Wednesday, April 4, 2007

My spiritual journey: Christianity to Godnostic part 3 of 3: Walking through Hell to find peace.

When I left you last I was jobless, I had to move back in with my parents, I had just been dumped by Katie, and I was drinking constantly. Obviously, I can't blame all of this on my new found Atheism, but I think it was the final nail in my coffin to a full-blown downward spiral. I continued to write tortured poetry, and flaws of the gnostic religions. After I found out that Katie was already hooking up with guys within a week of our breakup I became extremely depressed. She was already in the process of falling out of love with me before the breakup, so for her it was an easier transition. I would have been fine if I thought she was just sitting around the house feeling sorry for herself like me. After being her everything, I felt that I must not have mattered as much to her as I thought. There was even a day when suicide didn't sound like a bad idea. Now that I had no fear of hell, what's the worst that could happen? Eternal sleep? That would have been fine. Then I snapped out of it and figured that I needed to stop being a pussy and letting someone else have control over my emotions. She is a great person, and I learned a lot about relatioships and love from her, but it was time to move on.
I didn't want to find a new job and work 9 to 5. I just wanted my bed, my bottle, and my pencil. I was in a rut and things needed to change. But ya know what they say about alcoholics, before it gets better, it has to get worse. Buckle the fuck up, this was a bumpy ride!!

My parents were cool about me moving back in but they still wanted me to get a job so I could pay some rent and keep up with my car payments. I milked that out for a long time by posting resumes on and never checking the results. After a while I think I took my internal clock out of any type of work-like schedule. I was staying up until 6 or 7 in the morning and sleeping in until 3 or 4 in the afternoon. It was pretty patheitc waking up every morning knowing I hadn't done shit for yet another day. After a while I started running out of excuses for why I was always home and never looking for jobs so I took my show on the road. I packed up my Hyundai with a chair, cooler, cd's, and a backpack full of literature and notepads. I'd go to different parking lots in Williamston and sit in the passenger side of the car read, write, and drink. I would always get bored just sitting there so I decided to move my party over to the Meridian Mall. I spent many an afternoon in Schuler's books as I numbed myself to everything and focused on hypocracies. This atheism was giving me freedom, the freedom to go ahead and live life without consequence. Then "consequence" happened. After knocking back a pint in Schuler's I decided to go to Ruby Tuesday's and watch the '04 presidential election. While there, I had some more drinks and left. Apparantly when I left I was visually drunk because a security guard followed me out to my car and as soon as I put the key in the ignition he asked me to step out of the car. I blew a .23 BAC and had to do a couple days in jail and plenty of probation and fines. Not long after that I got a ticket for "disturbing the peace" because I ran from a cop when I was leaving a party. I wasn't doing anything wrong, I must have just thought it would have been funny. I got about 20 yards down the sidewalk until I derfed-out right on my face. The cop then put me in a wicked-fresh cross-face chicken wing. The most embarrassing thing that I ever did occured at a track meet. I was sitting in my lawn chair in the woods behind the Williamston Football field and Track. It was the first beautiful day of spring and I just wanted to be out in nature for the day. When I heard the PA start announcing the field events my mind traveled down memory lane. I was on the Williamston Track team in high school so I wanted to hang out with old coaches and former teammates that were currently coaching. I wanted to re-experience the atmosphere that I loved to compete in while in high school. There was only one problem, it was 5 O'clock pm and I had been drinking since 11 am. Therefore, I proceeded to make a complete dildo out of myself in front of peers, parents, athletes, and worst of all the coaches that I respected so much. Before long someone had called the cops and they had me escorted off the premises. Luckily I didn't get a fine, but I should have. I still worry that I will see one of those coaches in the grocery store someday and I will be too embarrassed to even walk up and apologize. I was disgusted, I stayed in bed for a day deliberating if the path that I was on spiritually was working out. Obviously it wasn't. I wanted to save myself from that type of embarrassment from ever happening again. So I vowed to hit the job search hard and limit my drinking to weekends. The money that I had saved was pretty much gone. I figured I'd do that after May 19, 2005. May 19 was the opening of Star Wars episode III and me and some of my dork-ass friends wanted to go tailgating at Celebration Cinema and go to an afternoon show after we had some drinks. After I had been there for about a half hour I got calls from both of my friends saying they couldn't make it. I figured I was already there and already had a fifth in my possession, so I decided to go it alone. I drank most of the fifth in the car and by the time I got into the theater I was on a different planet. I plopped myself into a chair and passed out about 5 minutes into the movie. I woke up just in time to see the credits. (that was $8 well spent) As I walked to my car I finished up what was left of the fifth that I had poured into my $5 cherry coke from the theater. I got in the car and everything seemed ok, but by the time I got onto the expressway things were not cool at all. It was crowded, raining, visibility was low, and worst of all, I was seeing double. I knew that I had to get off the expressway. I started getting so scared that I wasn't gonna live past the night. I wouldn't have the opportunity to do any of the things in life that I was so passionate about accomplishing. I started praying to a god that I had denied and and mocked. I was looking for anything to help me through. I don't know if a higher power intervened but simply by praying calmed me down and helped me focus on the task at hand. I got off on the Okemos exit and parked at Big Boy I racked my brain as to who I could call. I tried many of my friends and I got many voicemails. I didn't want to drive all the way back to Williamston so I went to anyones house I could think of in the area. I just wanted a place to sober up and crash for the night but every apt, house, or condo I went to was empty. Nobody was home and I had checked at least 7 places. Finally I decided that I needed to get home before it got too late. As I was driving down Beech st. in East Lansing I was playing with my radio and crashed into a telephone pole going about 15 miles per hour. I couldn't get it off the curb so I fled the scene because I knew I couldn't pass the breathalyzer if the cops showed up. I ended up sleeping inside a garage of a house that I lived at with my friends Kortney and Jason. Soon enough I woke up to a flashlight in my eyes, the cops apparantly tracked me with a scent dog from the accident site. That was DUI #2 and this time it didn't fall on deaf ears. I was actually somewhat relieved that I was being forced to take some steps to getting my issues taken care of.
I was in jail for a little longer this time. The first thing that I did when I got to jail was ask my mom to start looking for some in-patient rehab facilities. I figured if I told her that while I was so low emotionally. I couldn't go back on it after I got out. Jail was crazy this time around. I had a really scary roomate and he snored like a bear, every time I kicked his bed to get him to shut up he would threaten to kill me. What a tool!! I passed my time in jail reading Atheism: The Case Against God by George H. Smith. He made some good points to show flaws of religions. But after reading some of his opinions, I realized how hypocritical the Atheist viewpoint is. This smug bastard was so full of himself for apparantly having all the answers to everything. He was guilty of the same "faith" that he was attacking religious people for. If an atheist has the absolute faith that there isn't a god, isn't that the same thing as a christian that has absolute faith that there is a god? I think so, considering neither are proveable one way or the other, but they both debate like their views are facts. One of them is wrong or maybe they are both partially right or wrong who knows? The worst part is I knew that I was guilty of these douchebag crimes. This is when I read in Mr. Smith's book about what he called "weak atheists" also known as agnostics.
I was intrigued as I started to read about what the agnostics believe and it made me feel stupid that I was 24 years old and their views were honestly the only thing that made sense. I couldn't believe that it took me so long to embrace something that was so obvious. Agnostics believe that God is unknowable in this lifetime on earth. Maybe there is a god, maybe not. Since it is unprovable why debate about it like the christians and atheists? Why kill for gods in Holy Wars when you have no solid basis to take another's life other than a 2000 year old book? After getting out of jail I had all these ideas as to what I wanted to do with myself. I relaized I did want to go back to work and actually get on a regular schedule. My mom showed me some of the places that she was looking at for rehab and the best one for the cost and statistics was called Sundown M. Ranch in Yakama, Washington. I was excited as hell, not only was I gonna be getting some much needed maintenanece but I was also getting a chance to fly out to the west coast and hang out in the Yakama Valley.
I flew out there in June, it was a 27 day program. The schedule was strict but I loved it. I'll go into this whole rehab experience in depth in another blog because I can't do it justice within the context of this article. I will just touch on the spiritual aspects. In most recovery programs there are the 12 steps. In this program we were to complete the first 5 before we left. I had no problem with the first step which was admitting that I was out of control. I had no fear of steps 4 and 5 either. But steps 2 and 3 just didn't seem right. Step 2 is: "Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity". Step 3 is: "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him." What kind of shit is that? So here I am an agnostic, who not even a month before was a devout atheist fighting off the myth of God on the frontlines, and I'm supposed to just change everything I believe in because I drink too much? I was too educated on religion and the idea of god to simply be scared into believing in whatever the counselor told me. They would find loopholes around the wording and say "your higher power doesn't have to be "God", it could simply be that chair over there." I would look at them and be like "How can that chair give me the inner strength to stop drinking?" They obviously had no answers for that.
It was crunchtime, I had finished my first step and tommorrow it was my turn to do the 2nd and 3rd steps. We had worksheets that we needed to do before we went to class and officially did them. These worksheets had a bunch of questions about our "God" and I had no answers. After becoming frustrated with the whole thing I decided to go outside at dusk while there was still some light outside. As I was walking around the beautiful complex I looked around at all the mountains and cliffs that surrounded me. The sky was shades of purple, orange, and pink. The temperature was 70 degrees with a slight breeze. Everything about this night was perfect. I walked over to the white picket fence that surrounded the facility and looked up towards the face of a cliff. There was a hawk gliding in the air on a current and although we were more than a mile away from one another I felt connected with it. It was just hovering their high in the air looking right at me. A feeling of euphoria filled me up. Actually to be honest, I felt like I had been inhaling nitrous oxcide (laughing gas). I just stood there and smiled at the fact that I finally felt some type of supernatural force come into my life. I knew that the God in the religious books was not the god that worked for me. I wanted something I could see and feel. I chose "nature" and all of god's creations to be my higher power. Ever since that day, I haven't had a day where the beauty on this planet hasn't absolutely blown my mind.
Now that I knew that I had a higher power it was time to work on my other issues. Not necessarily my drinking, but my mindset as an alcoholic. As an alcoholic I lived life as 2 different people. The person that I wanted people to see me as, and the secretive and unthuthful person that I was when I was alone. I got very good at calling people's bullshit in our group sessions at the Ranch and I started to just spill my guts to complete strangers about things I had done that none of my friends or family members knew about. It was very freeing, and I was liberated with how much better I felt by just telling the truth, instead of trying to give into my facade. Halfway into my time at Sundown Ranch I was leading our group meetings. I was also the guy people came to for help with their assignments and steps. After finishing that program I felt like I could do anything. I started going to AA meetings and slowly but surely I became numb to any types of negative feelings. After being in recovery programs for months as well as my time in jail, I heard so many stories of abuse, rape, child protective services, vehicular homocide, and every single other attrocity that can happen to people. I just lost the ability to be sad or upset about anything. I have been so blessed on this earth. I was born in America, I grew up on a lake, I have the greatest parents in the world, I have don't have any physical or mental disabilities, I have great friends, and I've had all the opportunities and advantages that anyone could ever need, and the cherry on top is a job and coworkers that make my carreer enjoyable everyday. There is no need to worry about the things that we have no control over. All we can do is enjoy life to the best of our ablities and do positive things for our fellow man and environment.
I still referred to myself as an agnostic for quite a while simply because there was no term in exsistence for what I really was. I was somebody that believed in a God but not in the context of any of the Holy books. I like to believe in an afterlife, but that's something that is completely unproveable as well. I will continue to try and live life as a good person and when I die if there is a heaven, I hope to go there. There can only be good to come out of a society if it's individuals believe that helping their fellow man can grant them passage to paradise. Atheists will probably call me gullible, but that's fine. I believe god communicates through different frequencies with everyone including the Atheists. It keeps our society diverse in faith as well as scientific progress. So what to call my new rligion, agnostic was simply too neutral. If my belief in god was a glass it would be at least 75% full. I was talking on the phone with my friend Andy one day and we were discussing my beliefs and Andy came up with the term "Godnostic". I liked it because it was pro-god but I still leave the possibility open that there may not be any divine creator because, if our belief in god is simply because we believe that nothing can be created without intelligent design, then what intelligently designed god? If you response is: God simply "is", then wouldn't that mean that the universe could just exsist? However, that is more philosophical than spiritual. I choose to believe, it makes my life more enjoyable. I've studied up on religion and I have honed it to custum fit my life and personality. I plan to keep Godnostisism very broad and flexible. Other religions have suffered by trying to sharpen and make too specific certain translations. Christianity has been broken into 2500 pieces which is pretty amazing considering they are all studying out of the same book!! Flexibility is the key.
I have a long way to go on my path of life. I'm not gonna turn this into an after school movie, because I do still drink on occasion. However, I only drink on weekends and usually even that is just Friday night. I'm an alcoholic and I enjoy drinking. I havn't been in any trouble in 2 years, and when I drink it's more of a social thing than a "drown my pain" kind of thing. It's not perfect, but I'm living my life and enjoying every second, when it all comes down to it isn't that experiencing the glory of God's greatest gift- Life?? Hope you enjoyed the 3 part series that has given a glimpse into some of my darkest and most uplifting experiences. Till next time, your favorite, and mine-- Tabor


Monday, April 2, 2007

My spiritual journey from Christian to Godnostic. Part 2 of 3: Breaking Free

Here we go again, part 2. I explained in the first blog that I became a christian by default. I never questioned what my parents told me in the ways of religion. However, I wasn't active in any capacity in that religion for another few years. My mom and I didn't start going to church regularly until I was in 4th grade. I think she waited that long because she didn't want to be one of those annoying parents that bring their really young kids to church that cry and throw temper tantrums throughout mass. Those types just end up pissing everybody off. Especially because those kids aren't even paying attention they're just there to ruin everyone's experience. My Dad never attended church with my mom and I because he was a protestant and we were going to a catholic church. (I think it's because he just didn't want to go, I didn't blame him) I think I enjoyed the idea of church for about 3 weeks, then it kinda went downhill. Christianity worked for me when it was purely about faith in Jesus and the afterlife but I hated church. I hated the fact that I had to wake up early on the one of the few days I got to sleep in. I didn't understand why mass averaged out to an hour and 15 minutes when it was an hour of the same shit week to week with a 15 minute sermon. People droning on with the same chants and responses to the preists words, most of whom were comatose and reciting words out of habit rather than actually understanding what they're saying. Sit, stand, kneel, stand, kneel,sit anyone who has been to a catholic mass can relate to this. Does god really care how our body's are positioned as we worship? Maybe when we kneel it sends out some type of dogmatic frenquency through our vocal cords and that's the only frenquency gods ears can hear. I still don't see why church had to be so repetitive. I listened to the sermon because that was the only thing that I got anything out of. It was a man interpreting the bible to draw parrallels to today's world, and that's actually effective and enlightening at times.
I also had to go to church school (CCD) that meant going to church in the morning on sunday, coming home, watching some football then right in the middle of the afternoon game I had to go right back to the parrish hall for a 2 hour class about the bible. This was a class taught by parents that didn't have teaching degrees. They just kinda winged-it and added their own little spins on every little thing. Needless to say, I never got into it. After being involved with that for 3 years I finally told my mom that I didn't care what the punishment would be, but there was no way in hell I was going back for my 8th grade year. I would have been able to be "confirmed" if I would have stuck with it for one more year but I couldn't handle it anymore. My mom wasn't thrilled with my attitude towards CCD but she understood.
In 10th grade, I moved from Byron to Williamston. The 2 towns were only about 25 miles away from one another but there was a huge contrast between the two. In Byron, I was only kid out of all my friends that had to go to church. In Williamston, almost every single one of my friends attended church. Even by surrounding myself with people of faith it didn't do anything for my steadily declining respect for the catholic church. I still considered myself a christian throughout this period, but attending church was by far the least favorite thing in my life.
Finally when I turned 18, my mom told me that I no longer had to go to church if I didn't want to. I felt bad that she was going to have to attend alone but I was ready to be done with church forever. I was happy to have my faith in Christ without having to conform to the bible's rules, attend church, or water my faith down with ritualistic BS. Luckily I didn't have to wait very long for my guilty conscience to stop pestering me to go to church with my mom because she just stopped going. One Sunday I came upstairs and saw my mom sitting on the couch reading a book during mass hours. I asked her why she wasn't at church and she told me that she hadn't went to church for the last couple weeks. I felt responsible somehow, maybe she stopped going because she didn't have anybody to go with. She went on to tell me all about how they were taking a collection plate around the church asking people to donate money to help the pedophile preists pay for their court fees. After that, I don't think that either of us ever set foot in a catholic church again. But that's fine, my mom and I have both grown so much stronger spiritually without the churches help.
About a week after I graduated from high school I started dating a beautiful young lady named Katie. Katie was everything that I wanted in a girl. Kind, gorgeous, smart, well mannered, and funny. She made me wanna be someone that I knew in my heart I wasn't. She was a 4.0 GPA student in high school with plenty of faith in Jesus, she was drug-free and a virgin. I basically got by with a slightly higher than a 2.0 GPA, my faith was shaky at best, I smoked pot on a daily basis, and I was not a virgin. But we loved each other and I hid much of my baggage from her. She ended up getting me to go to church again. Her mom was a hardcore christian, the type of lady that only listens to music that's christian themed. Her faith is everything to her, but inside her heart she is very depressed. She tries to make that pain go away by doing anything and everything for her family and friends, but she neglects herself in the process. Katie wasn't quite as gung-ho about church as her mom. She liked to sleep in as much as I did so we definately missed church more than we attended. When we did attend we started going to a nondenominational church because we were both disgusted by the catholic church that we attended in high school. The nondenominal church was the best christian stronghold I had ever been in. The people actually seemed to enjoy themselves, they laughed, danced, sang, and "felt the holy spirit" Although I never got into the cheesy christian rock I liked this church because it wasn't repetitve. Every week was different, if the pastor forgot something, no big deal, he'd do it next week. It felt more spontaneous and "from the heart" than Catholic church. Kate and I attended sporadically for the next few years, and it was fine. I liked the pastor and he actually gave me advice I could apply to my personal life. It's also kind of funny that the one pastor that actually got me to listen was also the one that started me on my journey away from christianity. I think maybe if I would have paid attention in church or CCD when I was younger I would have come to these conclusions earlier. Since I paid attention to Pastor Brad, I realized that the majority of these stories that he was referencing from the bible were not historically accurate, scientifically accurate, nor logical in the slightest sense. I was told the story of Jonah and the Whale and nearly burst out in laughter in the middle of the service. I started viewing the bible maybe not so much a text meant to be taken literally, but more as a guide to living a better life through stories and parables. (B.I.B.L.E. "Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth") This made me thirst for knowledge, and therefore I did what very few christians do...I actually read the friggin' BIBLE!! I was intrigued with finding the truth about Jesus. I was a little taken aback when I found more detours, absurdities, and flat out hogwash the further I read. I wanted so desperately to believe in God and Heaven but to no avail. I started becoming skeptical and questioned everything faith-related. One night when I was 23, I was sitting in the living room watching Larry King Live. He had on a guest that looked familiar but I couldn't put a name with his face, this guest ended up being Bill Maher. He was very bold and unapologetic towards christianity, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I figured people would have been calling in to yell at him or threaten him with fire and brimstone, little did I know what a strong following he had. He was funny, but more importantly he was logical and intelligent from a common-sense perspective. He had a way of making the biblical doctrines sound so ridiculous that only a moron would believe them. He spoke the words I wanted to hear at that point in my life. I started slowly leaning towards atheism.
While Katie and I were living together I started bringing home books on atheism. I was still too much of a pansy to tell her that I wasn't a christian anymore so I made up some excuse that I was simply using these atheism books to get a different perspective than the christian perspective I had been fed my entire life. (Which was true in a sense) I also just assumed that all the great minds in the history of the world were christians. I thought words like Atheist and Heretic were the same thing as pure evil. As I researched I found that Atheism was no more than the absense of belief in god and that heresy was actually a beautiful thing. Heretic comes from a latin word that means "choice" . A heretic is nothing more than someone who chooses a different religion than the prominant one in their society. Therefore in the middle east a christian would be considered a heretic. As I did research I realized that the majority of the great minds in the world were Atheists. (Stephen Hawking, Ben Franklin, Isaac Asimov, Fredric Neitze, Karl Marx, Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, Magellan, Karl Sagan, Thomas Jefferson, Voltire, etc.) They all had expressed varying degrees of Atheism but all of them were 100% against the church. I figured if all the smart people of history were atheists then I wanted to weild that type of intellectual superiority over everyone. I basically became a flat-out asshole. I was one of those guys that would go into christian and muslim chat rooms and talk down to them about their faith. I statred being more open about my beliefs and I would debate people at work or in social settings to point out the flaws of their beliefs. I was so happy to be learning something, I wanted to flex my new found brain muscles over the weak minded. Since there was no consequence to my shitty attitude I basically started drinking everyday. I enjoyed knocking back shots of vodka as I read book after book on religions, governments, and philosophies. I started writing heavily. I wrote poems, short stories, 100 pages of a screenplay, chat rooms message boards, and anything else that was in the line of fire from my new found passion for knowledge. Due to the fact that I was in constant state of intoxication and high and mightiness, my relationship with Kate started falling apart slowly. It was a couple months coming when we finally broke up. I can't blame her, I always thought she was out of my league anyway.
I moved back home with my parents and continued on my search for knowledge. My drinking got worse and with all the pride I felt for finally breaking the shackles of christianity. I started becoming a person that I hated. The more I learned, the more I became jaded until their was nothing left but a guy that based his entire life around drinking and debating, nothing else mattered. I stopped going to my job and I guess you could say I was in a temporary state of depression. I guess ignorance is bliss, and I was much happier living in an artificial bubble than while I was exposed to my new reality. I had a long way to go spiritually and personally to get me back on my feet. Stay tuned to find out if I survived or not in the next edition of "That Tabor Guy". Oh and here's a list I found on the internet of biblical contradictions back in 2003 that steered me towards Atheism. Some are petty, but some are still pretty prominant. I would definately like some feedback from my christian readers regarding some of these claims. Till next time, your favorite, and mine-- Tabor

1. God is satisfied with his works
Gen 1:31
God is dissatisfied with his works.
Gen 6:6
2. God dwells in chosen temples
2 Chron 7:12,16
God dwells not in temples
Acts 7:48
3. God dwells in light
Tim 6:16
God dwells in darkness
1 Kings 8:12/ Ps 18:11/ Ps 97:2
4. God is seen and heard
Ex 33:23/ Ex 33:11/ Gen 3:9,10/ Gen 32:30/ Is 6:1/
Ex 24:9-11
God is invisible and cannot be heard
John 1:18/ John 5:37/ Ex 33:20/ 1 Tim 6:16
5. God is tired and rests
Ex 31:17
God is never tired and never rests
Is 40:28
6. God is everywhere present, sees and knows all things
Prov 15:3/ Ps 139:7-10/ Job 34:22,21
God is not everywhere present, neither sees nor knows all
Gen 11:5/ Gen 18:20,21/ Gen 3:8
7. God knows the hearts of men
Acts 1:24/ Ps 139:2,3
God tries men to find out what is in their heart
Deut 13:3/ Deut 8:2/ Gen 22:12
8. God is all powerful
Jer 32:27/ Matt 19:26
God is not all powerful
Judg 1:19
9. God is unchangeable
James 1:17/ Mal 3:6/ Ezek 24:14/ Num 23:19
God is changeable
Gen 6:6/ Jonah 3:10/ 1 Sam 2:30,31/ 2 Kings 20:1,4,5,6/
Ex 33:1,3,17,14
10. God is just and impartial
Ps 92:15/ Gen 18:25/ Deut 32:4/ Rom 2:11/ Ezek 18:25
God is unjust and partial
Gen 9:25/ Ex 20:5/ Rom 9:11-13/ Matt 13:12
11. God is the author of evil
Lam 3:38/ Jer 18:11/ Is 45:7/ Amos 3:6/ Ezek 20:25
God is not the author of evil
1 Cor 14:33/ Deut 32:4/ James 1:13
12. God gives freely to those who ask
James 1:5/ Luke 11:10
God withholds his blessings and prevents men from receiving
John 12:40/ Josh 11:20/ Is 63:17
13. God is to be found by those who seek him
Matt 7:8/ Prov 8:17
God is not to be found by those who seek him
Prov 1:28
14. God is warlike
Ex 15:3/ Is 51:15
God is peaceful
Rom 15:33/ 1 Cor 14:33
15. God is cruel, unmerciful, destructive, and ferocious
Jer 13:14/ Deut 7:16/ 1 Sam 15:2,3/ 1 Sam 6:19
God is kind, merciful, and good
James 5:11/ Lam 3:33/ 1 Chron 16:34/ Ezek 18:32/ Ps 145:9/
1 Tim 2:4/ 1 John 4:16/ Ps 25:8
16. God's anger is fierce and endures long
Num 32:13/ Num 25:4/ Jer 17:4
God's anger is slow and endures but for a minute
Ps 103:8/ Ps 30:5
17. God commands, approves of, and delights in burnt offerings,
sacrifices ,and holy days
Ex 29:36/ Lev 23:27/ Ex 29:18/ Lev 1:9
God disapproves of and has no pleasure in burnt offerings,
sacrifices, and holy days.
Jer 7:22/ Jer 6:20/ Ps 50:13,4/ Is 1:13,11,12
18. God accepts human sacrifices
2 Sam 21:8,9,14/ Gen 22:2/ Judg 11:30-32,34,38,39
God forbids human sacrifice
Deut 12:30,31
19. God tempts men
Gen 22:1/ 2 Sam 24:1/ Jer 20:7/ Matt 6:13
God tempts no man
James 1:13
20. God cannot lie
Heb 6:18
God lies by proxy; he sends forth lying spirits t deceive
2 Thes 2:11/ 1 Kings 22:23/ Ezek 14:9
21. Because of man's wickedness God destroys him
Gen 6:5,7
Because of man's wickedness God will not destroy him
Gen 8:21
22. God's attributes are revealed in his works.
Rom 1:20
God's attributes cannot be discovered
Job 11:7/ Is 40:28
23. There is but one God
Deut 6:4
There is a plurality of gods
Gen 1:26/ Gen 3:22/ Gen 18:1-3/ 1 John 5:7

Moral Precepts

24. Robbery commanded
Ex 3:21,22/ Ex 12:35,36
Robbery forbidden
Lev 19:13/ Ex 20:15
25. Lying approved and sanctioned
Josh 2:4-6/ James 2:25/ Ex 1:18-20/ 1 Kings 22:21,22
Lying forbidden
Ex 20:16/ Prov 12:22/ Rev 21:8
26. Hatred to the Edomite sanctioned
2 Kings 14:7,3
Hatred to the Edomite forbidden
Deut 23:7
27. Killing commanded
Ex 32:27
Killing forbidden
Ex 20:13
28. The blood-shedder must die
Gen 9:5,6
The blood-shedder must not die
Gen 4:15
29. The making of images forbidden
Ex 20:4
The making of images commanded
Ex 25:18,20
30. Slavery and oppression ordained
Gen 9:25/ Lev 25:45,46/ Joel 3:8
Slavery and oppression forbidden
Is 58:6/ Ex 22:21/ Ex 21:16/ Matt 23:10
31. Improvidence enjoyed
Matt 6:28,31,34/ Luke 6:30,35/ Luke 12:3
Improvidence condemned
1 Tim 5:8/ Prov 13:22
32. Anger approved
Eph 4:26
Anger disapproved
Eccl 7:9/ Prov 22:24/ James 1:20
33. Good works to be seen of men
Matt 5:16
Good works not to be seen of men
Matt 6:1
34. Judging of others forbidden
Matt 7:1,2
Judging of others approved
1 Cor 6:2-4/ 1 Cor 5:12
35. Christ taught non-resistance
Matt 5:39/ Matt 26:52
Christ taught and practiced physical resistance
Luke 22:36/ John 2:15
36. Christ warned his followers not to fear being killed
Luke 12:4
Christ himself avoided the Jews for fear of being killed
John 7:1
37. Public prayer sanctioned
1 Kings 8:22,54, 9:3
Public prayer disapproved
Matt 6:5,6
38. Importunity in prayer commended
Luke 18:5,7
Importunity in prayer condemned
Matt 6:7,8
39. The wearing of long hair by men sanctioned
Judg 13:5/ Num 6:5
The wearing of long hair by men condemned
1 Cor 11:14
40. Circumcision instituted
Gen 17:10
Circumcision condemned
Gal 5:2
41. The Sabbath instituted
Ex 20:8
The Sabbath repudiated
Is 1:13/ Rom 14:5/ Col 2:16
42. The Sabbath instituted because God rested on the seventh day
Ex 20:11
The Sabbath instituted because God brought the Israelites
out of Egypt
Deut 5:15
43. No work to be done on the Sabbath under penalty of death
Ex 31:15/ Num 15:32,36
Jesus Christ broke the Sabbath and justified his disciples in
the same
John 5:16/ Matt 12:1-3,5
44. Baptism commanded
Matt 28:19
Baptism not commanded
1 Cor 1:17,14
45. Every kind of animal allowed for food.
Gen 9:3/ 1 Cor 10:25/ Rom 14:14
Certain kinds of animals prohibited for food.
Deut 14:7,8
46. Taking of oaths sanctioned
Num 30:2/ Gen 21:23-24,31/ Gen 31:53/ Heb 6:13
Taking of oaths forbidden
Matt 5:34
47. Marriage approved
Gen 2:18/ Gen 1:28/ Matt 19:5/ Heb 13:4
Marriage disapproved
1 Cor 7:1/ 1 Cor 7:7,8
48. Freedom of divorce permitted
Deut 24:1/ Deut 21:10,11,14
Divorce restricted
Matt 5:32
49. Adultery forbidden
Ex 20:14/ Heb 13:4
Adultery allowed
Num 31:18/ Hos 1:2; 2:1-3
50. Marriage or cohabitation with a sister denounced
Deut 27:22/ Lev 20:17
Abraham married his sister and God blessed the union
Gen 20:11,12/ Gen 17:16
51. A man may marry his brother's widow
Deut 25:5
A man may not marry his brother's widow
Lev 20:21
52. Hatred to kindred enjoined
Luke 14:26
Hatred to kindred condemned
Eph 6:2/ Eph 5:25,29
53. Intoxicating beverages recommended
Prov 31:6,7/ 1 Tim 5:23/ Ps 104:15
Intoxicating beverages discountenanced
Prov 20:1/ Prov 23:31,32
54. It is our duty to obey our rulers, who are God's ministers
and punish evil doers only
Rom 13:1-3,6
It is not our duty to obey rulers, who sometimes punish the
good and receive unto themselves damnation therefor
Ex 1:17,20/ Dan 3:16,18/ Dan 6:9,7,10/ Acts 4:26,27/
Mark 12:38,39,40/ Luke 23:11,24,33,35
55. Women's rights denied
Gen 3:16/ 1 Tim 2:12/ 1 Cor 14:34/ 1 Pet 3:6
Women's rights affirmed
Judg 4:4,14,15/ Judg 5:7/ Acts 2:18/ Acts 21:9
56. Obedience to masters enjoined
Col 3:22,23/ 1 Pet 2:18
Obedience due to God only
Matt 4:10/ 1 Cor 7:23/ Matt 23:10
57. There is an unpardonable sin
Mark 3:29
There is not unpardonable sin
Acts 13:39

Historical Facts

58. Man was created after the other animals
Gen 1:25,26,27
Man was created before the other animals
Gen 2:18,19
59. Seed time and harvest were never to cease
Gen 8:22
Seed time and harvest did cease for seven years
Gen 41:54,56/ Gen 45:6
60. God hardened Pharaoh's heart
Ex 4:21/ Ed 9:12
Pharaoh hardened his own heart
Ex 8:15
61. All the cattle and horses in Egypt died
Ex 9:3,6/ 14:9
All the horses of Egypt did not die
Ex 14:9
62. Moses feared Pharaoh
Ex 2:14,15,23; 4:19
Moses did not fear Pharaoh
Heb 11:27
63. There died of the plague twenty-four thousand
Num 25:9
There died of the plague but twenty-three thousand
1 Cor 10:8
64. John the Baptist was Elias
Matt 11:14
John the Baptist was not Elias
John 1:21
65. The father of Joseph, Mary's husband was Jacob
Matt 1:16
The father of Mary's husband was Heli
Luke 3:23
66. The father of Salah was Arphaxad
Gen 11:12
The father of Salah was Cainan
Luke 3:35,36
67. There were fourteen generations from Abraham to David
Matt 1:17
There were but thirteen generations from Abraham to David
Matt 1:2-6
68. There were fourteen generations from the Babylonian captivity
to Christ.
Matt 1:17
There were but thirteen generations from the Babylonian
captivity to Christ
Matt 1:12-16
69. The infant Christ was taken into Egypt
Matt 2:14,15,19,21,23
The infant Christ was not taken into Egypt
Luke 2:22, 39
70. Christ was tempted in the wilderness
Mark 1:12,13
Christ was not tempted in the wilderness
John 2:1,2
71. Christ preached his first sermon on the mount
Matt 5:1,2
Christ preached his first sermon on the plain
Luke 6:17,20
72. John was in prison when Jesus went into Galilee
Mark 1:14
John was not in prison when Jesus went into Galilee
John 1:43/ John 3:22-24
73. Christ's disciples were commanded to go forth with a staff
and sandals
Mark 6:8,9
Christ's disciples were commanded to go forth with neither
staffs nor sandals.
Matt 10:9,10
74. A woman of Canaan besought Jesus
Matt 15:22
It was a Greek woman who besought Him
Mark 7:26
75. Two blind men besought Jesus
Matt 20:30
Only one blind man besought Him
Luke 18:35,38
76. Christ was crucified at the third hour
Mark 15:25
Christ was not crucified until the sixth hour
John 19:14,15
77. The two thieves reviled Christ.
Matt 27:44/ Mark 15:32
Only one of the thieves reviled Christ
Luke 23:39,40
78. Satan entered into Judas while at supper
John 13:27
Satan entered into him before the supper
Luke 22:3,4,7
79. Judas committed suicide by hanging
Matt 27:5
Judas did not hang himself, but died another way
Acts 1:18
80. The potter's field was purchased by Judas
Acts 1:18
The potter's field was purchased by the Chief Priests
Matt 27:6,7
81. There was but one woman who came to the sepulchre
John 20:1
There were two women who came to the sepulchre
Matt 28:1
82. There were three women who came to the sepulchre
Mark 16:1
There were more than three women who came to the sepulchre
Luke 24:10
83. It was at sunrise when they came to the sepulchre
Mark 16:2
It was some time before sunrise when they came.
John 20:1
84. There were two angels seen by the women at the sepulchre, and
they were standing up.
Luke 24:4
There was but one angel seen, and he was sitting down.
Matt 28:2,5
85. There were two angels seen within the sepulchre.
John 20:11,12
There was but one angel seen within the sepulchre
Mark 16:5
86. Christ was to be three days and three nights in the grave
Matt 12:40
Christ was but two days and two nights in the grave
Mark 15:25,42,44,45,46; 16:9>
87. Holy ghost bestowed at pentecost
Acts 1:8,5
Holy ghost bestowed before pentecost
John 20:22
88. The disciples were commanded immediately after the
resurrection to go into Galilee
Matt 28:10
The disciples were commanded immediately after the
resurrection to go tarry at Jerusalem
Luke 24:49
89. Jesus first appeared to the eleven disciples in a room at
Luke 24:33,36,37/ John 20:19
Jesus first appeared to the eleven on a mountain in Galilee
Matt 28:16,17
90. Christ ascended from Mount Olivet
Acts 1:9,12
Christ ascended from Bethany
Luke 24:50,51
91. Paul's attendants heard the miraculous voice, and stood
Acts 9:7
Paul's attendants heard not the voice and were prostrate
Acts 26:14
92. Abraham departed to go into Canaan
Gen 12:5
Abraham went not knowing where
Heb 11:8
93. Abraham had two sons
Gal 4:22
Abraham had but one son
Heb 11:17
94. Keturah was Abraham's wife
Gen 25:1
Keturah was Abraham's concubine
1 Chron 1:32
95. Abraham begat a son when he was a hundred years old, by the
interposition of Providence
Gen 21:2/ Rom 4:19/ Heb 11:12
Abraham begat six children more after he was a hundred years
old without any interposition of providence
Gen 25:1,2
96. Jacob bought a sepulchre from Hamor
Josh 24:32
Abraham bought it of Hamor
Acts 7:16
97. God promised the land of Canaan to Abraham and his seed
Gen 13:14,15,17; 17:8
Abraham and his seed never received the promised land
Acts 7:5/ Heb 11:9,13
98. Goliath was slain by Elhanan
2 Sam 21:19 *note, was changed in translation to be
correct. Original manuscript was incorrect>
The brother of Goliath was slain by Elhanan
1 Chron 20:5
99. Ahaziah began to reign in the twelfth year of Joram
2 Kings 8:25
Ahaziah began to reign in the eleventh year of Joram
2 Kings 9:29
100. Michal had no child
2 Sam 6:23
Michal had five children
2 Sam 21:8
101. David was tempted by the Lord to number Israel
2 Sam 24:1
David was tempted by Satan to number the people
1 Chron 21:1
102. The number of fighting men of Israel was 800,000; and of
Judah 500,000
2 Sam 24:9
The number of fighting men of Israel was 1,100,000; and of
Judah 470,000
1 Chron 21:5
103. David sinned in numbering the people
2 Sam 24:10
David never sinned, except in the matter of Uriah
1 Kings 15:5
104. One of the penalties of David's sin was seven years of
2 Sam 24:13
It was not seven years, but three years of famine
1 Chron 21:11,12
105. David took seven hundred horsemen
2 Sam 8:4
David took seven thousand horsemen
1 Chron 18:4
106. David bought a threshing floor for fifty shekels of silver
2 Sam 24:24
David bought the threshing floor for six hundred shekels of
1 Chron 21:25
107. David's throne was to endure forever.
Ps 89:35-37
David's throne was cast down
Ps 89:44

Speculative Doctrines

108. Christ is equal with God
John 10:30/ Phil 2:5
Christ is not equal with God
John 14:28/ Matt 24:36
109. Jesus was all-powerful
Matt 28:18/ John 3:35
Jesus was not all-powerful
Mark 6:5
110. The law was superseded by the Christian dispensation
Luke 16:16/ Eph 2:15/ Rom 7:6
The law was not superseded by the Christian dispensation
Matt 5:17-19
111. Christ's mission was peace
Luke 2:13,14
Christ's mission was not peace
Matt 10:34
112. Christ received not testimony from man
John 5:33,34
Christ did receive testimony from man
John 15:27
113. Christ's witness of himself is true.
John 8:18,14
Christ's witness of himself is not true.
John 5:31
114. Christ laid down his life for his friends
John 15:13/ John 10:11
Christ laid down his life for his enemies
Rom 5:10
115. It was lawful for the Jews to put Christ to death
John 19:7
It was not lawful for the Jews to put Christ to death
John 18:31
116. Children are punished for the sins of the parents
Ex 20:5
Children are not punished for the sins of the parents
Ezek 18:20
117. Man is justified by faith alone
Rom 3:20/ Gal 2:16/ Gal 3:11,12/ Rom 4:2
Man is not justified by faith alone
James 2:21,24/ Rom 2:13
118. It is impossible to fall from grace
John 10:28/ Rom 8:38,39
It is possible to fall from grace
Ezek 18:24/ Heb 6:4-6, 2 Pet 2:20,21
119. No man is without sin
1 Kings 8:46/ Prov 20:9/ Eccl 7:20/ Rom 3:10
Christians are sinless
1 John 3: 9,6,8
120. There is to be a resurrection of the dead
1 Cor 15:52/ Rev 20:12,13/ Luke 20:37/ 1 Cor 15:16
There is to be no resurrection of the dead
Job 7:9/ Eccl 9:5/ Is 26:14
121. Reward and punishment to be bestowed in this world
Prov 11:31
Reward and punishment to be bestowed in the next world
Rev 20:12/ Matt 16:27/ 2 Cor 5:10
122. Annihilation the portion of all mankind
Job 3: 11,13-17,19-22/ Eccl 9:5,10/ Eccl 3:19,20
Endless misery the portion of all mankind
Matt 25:46/ Rev 20:10,15/ Rev 14:11/ Dan 12:2
123. The Earth is to be destroyed
2 Pet 3:10/ Heb 1:11/ Rev 20:11
The Earth is never to be destroyed
Ps 104:5/ Eccl 1:4
124. No evil shall happen to the godly
Prov 12:21/ 1 Pet 3:13
Evil does happen to the godly
Heb 12:6/ Job 2:3,7
125. Worldly good and prosperity are the lot of the godly
Prov 12:21/ Ps 37:28,32,33,37/ Ps 1:1,3/ Gen 39:2/
Job 42:12
Worldly misery and destitution the lot of the godly
Heb 11:37,38/ Rev 7:14/ 2 Tim 3:12/ Luke 21:17
126. Worldly prosperity a reward of righteousness and a blessing
Mark 10:29,30/ Ps 37:25/ Ps 112:1,3/ Job 22:23,24/
Prov 15:6
Worldly prosperity a curse and a bar to future reward
Luke 6:20,24/ Matt 6:19,21/ Luke 16:22/ Matt 19:24/
Luke 6:24
127. The Christian yoke is easy
Matt 11:28,29,30
The Christian yoke is not easy
John 16:33/ 2 Tim 3:12/ Heb 12:6,8
128. The fruit of God's spirit is love and gentleness
Gal 5:22
The fruit of God's spirit is vengeance and fury
Judg 15:14/ 1 Sam 18:10,11
129. Longevity enjoyed by the wicked
Job 21:7,8/ Ps 17:14/ Eccl 8:12/ Is 65:20
Longevity denied to the wicked
Eccl 8:13/ Ps 55:23/ Prov 10:27/ Job 36:14/ Eccl 7:17
130. Poverty a blessing
Luke 6:20,24/ Jams 2:5
Riches a blessing
Prov 10:15/ Job 22:23,24/ Job 42:12
Neither poverty nor riches a blessing
Prov 30:8,9
131. Wisdom a source of enjoyment
Prov 3:13,17
Wisdom a source of vexation, grief and sorrow
Eccl 1:17,18
132. A good name is a blessing
Eccl 7:1/ Prov 22:1
A good name is a curse
Luke 6:26
133. Laughter commended
Eccl 3:1,4/ Eccl 8:15
Laughter condemned
Luke 6:25/ Eccl 7:3,4
134. The rod of correction a remedy for foolishness
Prov 22:15
There is no remedy for foolishness
Prov 27:22
135. A fool should be answered according to his folly
Prov 26:5
A fool should not be answered according to his folly
Prov 26:4
136. Temptation to be desired
James 1:2
Temptation not to be desired
Matt 6:13
137. Prophecy is sure
2 Pet 1:19
Prophecy is not sure
Jer 18:7-10
138. Man's life was to be one hundred and twenty years
Gen 6:3/ Ps 90:10
Man's life is but seventy years
Ps 90:10
139. The fear of man was to be upon every beast
Gen 9:2
The fear of man is not upon the lion
Prov 30:30
140. Miracles a proof of divine mission
Matt 11:2-5/ John 3:2/ Ex 14:31
Miracles not a proof of divine mission
Ex 7:10-12/ Deut 13:1-3/ Luke 11:19
141. Moses was a very meek man
Num 12:3
Moses was a very cruel man
Num 31:15,17
142. Elijah went up to heaven
2 Kings 2:11
None but Christ ever ascended into heaven
John 3:13
143. All scripture is inspired
2 Tim 3:16
Some scripture is not inspired
1 Cor 7:6/ 1 Cor 7:12/ 2 Cor 11:17


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