Goodbye Citizen Tom

I have just made my last comment over at Citizen Tom’s Blog.   It is his sandbox after all and he doesn’t seem too warm and fuzzy about those who bring toys that he doesn’t like playing with.

Like John Z, he encouraged his followers to come read the garbage I’ve been writing over at my blog.  Tom thinks he means well but he is a Christian on steroids who doesn’t take the time to listen what others have to say.  He’s an “in your face all the way” kind of guy.

I was happy to see one of his blog buddies , Matthew see my comments in a different way.  Matthew wrote, “You are welcome. I do welcome your craftiness and challenge.”

Then another voice of reason made a comment to Citizen Tom.  Scout said, “My reaction to the discussion between Matthew and kcchief1 (and it has been a valuable discussion) is that the divide between them is not, in fact, very great and may be a bit artificial (although both are obviously quite sincere in their presentation of their views).”

Citizen Tom replied, “Either we trust the New Testament, or we don’t. Those who wrote the New Testament either accurately documented firsthand accounts of Jesus or they did not.”

I’ve never argued there may have been firsthand accounts of Jesus.  What Citizen Tom fails to concede is the documents that were collected and became the current day Bible were stitched together by redactors , hundreds of years later. Read here

Finally Citizen Tom was quick to point out that I associate with the likes of Ark and John Z.    Guilty as charged.  Although we don’t always agree, Ark , YES Ark, and John Z have treated me with far more respect than many of the Christian Bloggers I have encountered.

In closing, what I have learned from this whole thing from the point John Z initially made me aware of Citizen Tom on his blog and the additional comments Ark made on my blog, is that A Closed Mind is a Wasted Mind.

It’s hard to learn anything when your lips are always moving…………………………

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Categories: Uncategorized | 53 Comments

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53 thoughts on “Goodbye Citizen Tom

  1. Gotta’ hand it to Tom, he inspires a weird kind of fascination and attention… Much like a train wreck, you can’t help but watch on in amazed wonderment at the molestation of reality 😉

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  2. Oh, did you know, Tom is also a climate denier. It probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but it’s always interesting to see how such nonsense comes in quite predictable packages.

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  3. I think they go hand in hand do they not ? 🙂

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  4. And a young earth creationist as well , I’m sure.

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    • I wouldn’t doubt it. If you’re determined to ignore the climate science, you’re certainly willing to ignore all other sciences.

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  5. “To some the Bible provides the key to the maze — an escape, the way home. To others the maze is home, and for some there is no home. There is only the eventuality of oblivion. Who is right? Who can provide proof that satisfies another? What we do know from experience is that we can make the maze more unpleasant for each other, or we can be patient with one another.”

    Tom, you never cease to amaze us !

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  6. “To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture.” Thomas Paine

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  7. Thank you Victoria ! Great quote !

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  8. Thanks Victoria ! I’ve had a lot on my plate the past few months including getting my new Winter Home set up the way I want it. I like the laid back environment of Port Charlotte but it does have its drawbacks like getting people to get anything done for you ! LOL

    Your comments are always appreciated ! 🙂

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  9. I hired a company 8 weeks ago to install a boat lift in the canal behind my house. They said it would be 5-6 weeks . It will be another 2 weeks when I get it, IF I’m lucky. I am flying back home to Springfield, IL on Monday and will have to fly right back in 2 weeks to inspect and pay for it. Very frustrating !

    I was told that those who want to work here already have a job . Help is hard to find in other words.

    🙂

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  10. Actually I have checked reviews about the company and they have all been good about their work. The complaint of most everyone was getting these people to show up. 3 of my neighbors hired them and were very satisfied with their work. Same complaint however.

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    • Well, that’s good to know. Seems like false advertizing though if they have a habit of telling their customers they will have the work done within a certain time frame and repeatedly don’t live up to their word. Sorry you have to go through the hassle and expense because of there poor business habits.

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  11. I guess that’s the price you have to pay to live in a warm climate during the Winter. 🙂

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    • Welcome to “Jesus Take the Wheel” country. 😀 You think it’s bad now — just wait until you need work done after a hurricane. I recently moved to the MS Gulf Coast in January, but I’ve lived here before. We be neighbors, sorta.

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  12. Yes we are neighbors, sorta. 🙂 The Bible Belt’s belt buckle does seem to be closer to you. 🙂

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  13. 🙂

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  14. thetruthisstrangerthanfiction

    “What Citizen Tom fails to concede is the documents that were collected and became the current day Bible were stitched together by redactors , hundreds of years later.”

    Does failing to concede such allegations of “redaction” really equate to close-mindedness? Even though I am in no way trying to defend whatever manner Mr. Tom did or did not use in his comments, I would simply say that these claims made by the schools of “higher criticism” are mainly ones that can be fairly easily dismantled, such as the ever-popular idea that Paul was the one solely “responsible for modern Christian doctrine” etc.

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    • Would you still consider the Bible inerrant if some scripture attributed to Jesus was added at a much later date ? My example would be the story of the Woman caught in the Act of Adultery found in the book attributed to John 7:53 through 8:11 . Scholars have discovered the oldest manuscripts in existence do NOT include these scriptures. Therefore they were a later addition.

      Oh, I am still waiting for examples from your last comment here where you say, ““I would simply say that these claims made by the schools of “higher criticism” are mainly ones that can be fairly easily dismantled,”

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      • thetruthisstrangerthanfiction

        Well, I suppose my answer would involve a number of points, many of which would probably take too long to fully go into here, but the primary point would probably be in response to the assumptions of these “scholars”, and their assumptions to the idea that believes that just because the oldest manuscripts we have today might not include this portion (i.e. codex sinaiticus and codex vaticanus) that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t at some point earlier manuscripts than these which DID include them, manuscripts which the many, many other Greek manuscripts which include the story of the woman were clearly being copied from..

        It is really nothing in the end but an attempt at grasping for straws, and taking an assumption and then standing it up as fact. If you are focusing on the whole “canonization” aspect in order to try and poke holes in the Bible, then you’re really missing the point anyway. The Word of God simply speaks for itself, and really does by it’s own content that it was not something humans made up about themselves. The scripture offends our own internal sense of pride and self-preservation. It moves to humble us far beyond what we are naturally inclined to go. It shows Love on a level that the human mind can hardly fathom….

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        • “It is really nothing in the end but an attempt at grasping for straws, and taking an assumption and then standing it up as fact. If you are focusing on the whole “canonization” aspect in order to try and poke holes in the Bible, then you’re really missing the point anyway.”

          First of all, I am not grasping for straws to poke holes in the Bible. I was a Christian for 50 years and defended the Bible as the inerrant word of God until I couldn’t explain the errors with my circular reasoning any more.

          “but the primary point would probably be in response to the assumptions of these “scholars”, and their assumptions to the idea that believes that just because the oldest manuscripts we have today might not include this portion (i.e. codex sinaiticus and codex vaticanus) that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t at some point earlier manuscripts than these which DID include them, manuscripts which the many, many other Greek manuscripts which include the story of the woman were clearly being copied from..”

          If your assumption is correct, then scripture has been tampered with either way. Either it was “taken away” or it was “added” .

          “Well, I suppose my answer would involve a number of points, many of which would probably take too long to fully go into here,” I heard this many times before.

          “The Word of God simply speaks for itself, and really does by it’s own content that it was not something humans made up about themselves” This is another example of circular reasoning. No factual basis here.

          I gave you an example . You gave me nothing but rhetoric.

          rhetoric = language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect on its audience, but often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content.

          I do appreciate your taking the time to comment here, but you provided no evidence for your comments.

          Happy Easter !

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          • thetruthisstrangerthanfiction

            “Either it was taken away, or it was added…”

            No. Once again, you are only speaking to the issue of the “canon”, not the matter of the original scriptures themselves. I have no problems personally with the idea that many pieces of the Bible may have been “tampered with”, and in fact I believe it most likely has been! BUT, these “tamperings” haven’t at all been to “invent” things like the Resurrection etc., or to make it more “miraculous” than it originally was, but just the opposite! Are you familiar with the Book of Enoch? I was shocked when I first heard someone claim that it was actually quoted in the book of Jude, but then after looking into the matter, well sure enough(!?) Really started to throw many of my assumptions about the “canon” for a loop, but after a while I began to realize that neither Jesus nor any of the apostles actually indicated whatsoever that there was supposed to be some “official volume”. So what does that mean?

            I now believe it means that the real Truths of scripture are not at all easily taken and crammed into some simplistic religious box. Maybe you should go back and re-examine some of these questions again, only from outside of whatever denominational presuppositions you might have been holding onto all those years…(?) Couldn’t hurt right?

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            • “”No. Once again, you are only speaking to the issue of the “canon”, not the matter of the original scriptures themselves. I have no problems personally with the idea that many pieces of the Bible may have been “tampered with”, and in fact I believe it most likely has been! ”

              OK, I’m starting to understand your position on the canon of scripture. But I don’t think your friends over at Citizen Tom would agree with you.

              “BUT, these “tamperings” haven’t at all been to “invent” things like the Resurrection etc., or to make it more “miraculous” than it originally was”

              I was in agreement with you til this statement. I am in the middle of watching one of my grandsons but will happily carry on later.

              Thanks again for your comments. I think we have some common ground but may also have to agree to disagree elsewhere.

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              • thetruthisstrangerthanfiction

                Yeah, I’m pretty sure dudes like Citizen Tom wouldn’t agree… 😉 but he’s not really a friend tho, but only an aquaintance I’ve spoken to a few times…

                The Bible is chock full of the miraculous of course. To deny the miraculous within it is to cut out everything of significance, but what I was refering to specifically was the whole “Genesis 6 paradigm”, i.e., the belief that fallen angels had relations with women and produced the Nephilim, a belief that was actually almost unanimous up until it seems that Augustine decided it needed to be scrubbed from Christendom….

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                • “but what I was refering to specifically was the whole “Genesis 6 paradigm”, i.e., the belief that fallen angels had relations with women and produced the Nephilim, a belief that was actually almost unanimous up until it seems that Augustine decided it needed to be scrubbed from Christendom….”

                  Do I understand you correctly that you actually believe this to be a true story ?

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                  • thetruthisstrangerthanfiction

                    Nephilim. Angel/human hybrids. Yes I do. Does this shock you? I confess, it shocked me when I was first presented with the notion, and even more shocked I realized that the Bible really does affirm such a thing.

                    Oddly enough, so does the occult realm…

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                    • I’m never shocked anymore. I have a whole book about angels which also writes about the subject you mention, I am in the middle of doing a new post where I feature some of your comments. I have tried to be respectful and look forward to your comments there. I will have it up yet this evening or by morning.

                      Liked by 1 person

            • “I now believe it means that the real Truths of scripture are not at all easily taken and crammed into some simplistic religious box.”

              “No. Once again, you are only speaking to the issue of the “canon”, not the matter of the original scriptures themselves.”

              “I have no problems personally with the idea that many pieces of the Bible may have been “tampered with”, and in fact I believe it most likely has been! ”

              So, where are these “Original Scriptures” you put your faith in ? As far as I know, there are no “Original Scriptures” which exist.

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              • thetruthisstrangerthanfiction

                That is an excellent point actually! Rather than seeing this as some type of invalidating force, I actually believe that the fact that we have no “original manuscripts” as to be very much un line with the whole concept of the “Living Word”. Firstly, if there were original documents hand written by the apostles existing today, they’d probably be receiving worshipped right now as “holy artifacts” or something, in contrast to the message of the Gospel itself, so I’m not at all surprised that God didn’t decide it was necessary to preserve them…

                But beyond this, simply go back and really contemplate the attitudes of the Apostles themselves when the NT was being written. Did they seem very concerned with compiling an “official” collection of Early Church writings, so people would know which ones were “legit” and which ones contained false teaching? oddly enough, no they didn’t. The preached the Truth and Power of the Gospel itself, in order that Believers might learn to discern the Truth from the lies themselves. And so, in this vein I do believe there are a good many modern Christians today far too reliant on church tradition and liturgy and institution, than the Living Spirit of God.

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                • Firstly, if there were original documents hand written by the apostles existing today, they’d probably be receiving worshipped right now as “holy artifacts” or something, in contrast to the message of the Gospel itself, so I’m not at all surprised that God didn’t decide it was necessary to preserve them…

                  Actually, upon reading the bible, a rational, reasonable person might well ask <”Why didn’t this Middle Eastern god just write the book itself?”

                  According to the bible, this Middle Eastern god can actually write, in words.

                  Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote.
                  — Daniel 5:5

                  And of course, the same god then performs some more writing in Exodus:

                  The Lord said to Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke.”
                  — Exodus 34:1

                  So the question stands: Why didn’t this Middle Eastern god just write the book itself?

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                  • Good point, John.

                    What I find interesting is that no where else in society would people accept second hand evidence in a court of law or anywhere else. I’m being too generous to say second hand. 4th or 5th hand would be more accurate .

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • …and let’s not forget the stunning contradictions between stories, and that’s just within the “approved” texts. If we add in the Infancy Gospels, for example, we get a story so stunningly divergent no rational oberser can take it seriously.

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                  • thetruthisstrangerthanfiction

                    Even if He had actually written the entire scriptures with His own finger, then wouldn’t we still end up in the same predicament, relying upon the eyewitness testimonies of humans who were there to give witness to the fact that it was God who wrote them, and not mere men?

                    I suppose what you’re really asking is why hasn’t God chosen to reveal Himself “directly”, in the same way He is claimed to have done to say, Moses at the burning bush, or the Israelites at Mt. Sinai, to every single person who ever lived?

                    I guess it’s a valid question, and one that I myself would admit to have wondered about a great deal over the years, but in the end, you can’t rely escape the fact that if there is a God, then He would have the right to decide the ways and means by which to reveal Himself to mankind, and though we might not understand it, or think it makes the most sense, the fact that His methods of Revelation are not what we would’ve thought were the best doesn’t then automatically mean that He doesn’t exist…

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                    • “Even if He had actually written the entire scriptures with His own finger, then wouldn’t we still end up in the same predicament, relying upon the eyewitness testimonies of humans who were there to give witness to the fact that it was God who wrote them, and not mere men?”

                      No argument here……..

                      “I suppose what you’re really asking is why hasn’t God chosen to reveal Himself “directly”, in the same way He is claimed to have done to say, Moses at the burning bush, or the Israelites at Mt. Sinai, to every single person who ever lived?”

                      Let’s talk about the Israelites at Mt Sinai. According to scripture, they actually heard God’s voice from a cloud. And yet shortly there after, they were worshiping a golden calf.

                      Obviously no Christian knows what document to believe or how to interpret it or else there would be ONE Christian Religion, NOT thousands of Christian sects / denominations plus the Catholic Church.

                      I am a Deist. I have no religious dogma which I have to do mental gymnastics to make it all fit. I don’t know how the universe was created but my best guess is that an intelligent being/s possibly caused the big bang. Where did he / they come from ? No clue.

                      If we are all honest with ourselves (atheists, deists, religious) we are all agnostic. We cannot know.

                      Using your logic in a previous comment, ” but the primary point would probably be in response to the assumptions of these “scholars”, and their assumptions to the idea that believes that just because the oldest manuscripts we have today might not include this portion (i.e. codex sinaiticus and codex vaticanus) that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t at some point earlier manuscripts than these which DID include them”

                      How do we know there doesn’t indeed exist earlier documents that never mentioned miracles or the divinity of Jesus ? They could have easily been added .

                      I don’t need a religion to tell me how to live or behave. I don’t live my life out of fear. I live it with awe of the universe.

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                    • thetruthisstrangerthanfiction

                      I don’t live my life out of fear either, and I too am in awe of the Universe, but I am more in awe of the One who Created it, and even more in awe of the fact that He would actually care about you or I…

                      But yes, there are of course many, many things about which we do not know much at all, and many things about which we only “see as though through a glass darkly”, which makes sense why there would be so much disagreement about all sorts of various things, but in the end, there is actually a great deal of agreement on foundational things, such as the identity of Jesus, and the centrality of why He died on the cross, and rose from the dead…

                      “I don’t need a religion to tell me how to live or behave…”

                      If this is something you are determined to preserve above all else, then honestly, all discussions about hypothetical situations involving manuscripts and “evidence” and all the rest is just nothing more than obfuscation in the end. You have thus disclosed the type of theistic reality you are willing to consider, and that which you are not, so you are really not seeking the Truth, no matter what it might be in the end, after all…

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                • Would you accept second hand evidence in a court of law or anywhere else ? I think not.

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                  • thetruthisstrangerthanfiction

                    If you had bonafied “first hand evidence” of the authorship of the epistles/gospels etc., would that in itself be sufficient to convince you that they were actually true accounts? I honestly don’t think so, you would only have to concede that those specific people wrote them, believed them, but not that what they were talking about as a whole was true.

                    In the end, what much of it comes down to is just an examination of the explanation that the Biblical narrative provides for the human condition, and decide for yourself if it does a better job than any other belief system.

                    I for one am convinced that it does…

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  15. thetruthisstrangerthanfiction , thanks for your comments.

    “I would simply say that these claims made by the schools of “higher criticism” are mainly ones that can be fairly easily dismantled,”

    What claims are you speaking of ? Please feel free to name the claims and then dismantle them.

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  16. I hope you are not refuting the claims of redactors .

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  17. “To deny the miraculous within it is to cut out everything of significance,”

    This is where I would disagree . Few if any of these are miraculous and yet have much meaning to a believer.

    https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2009/05/the-100-most-read-bible-verses-at-biblegatewaycom/

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  18. “You have thus disclosed the type of theistic reality you are willing to consider, and that which you are not, so you are really not seeking the Truth, no matter what it might be in the end, after all…”

    au contraire ! I am always open to evidence or lack thereof . That’s how I became a deist. My belief system is not cast in stone. It’s the best I’ve come up with until something else makes more sense.

    Like

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