What do the bible say

Now…let’s think a little more about Rick Warren and this here ‘invocation’ and what it all involves. Let’s think about Rick Warren’s beliefs apart from gay marriage.

Let’s consult that cached page of faqs again.

The Bible is God´s word to all men. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is truth without any mixture of error. 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20,21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105,160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5

That’s nuts. It’s childish. You can’t cite statements internal to a document to back up the claim that the document is inspired by God and that it is truth without any mixture of error. That doesn’t work, and it doesn’t work for reasons that are so obvious that failure to grasp them is simply childish. If that did work then all authors could just say ‘this book is inspired by God and it is truth without any mixture of error’ and be taken seriously.

I know that seems too obvious to be worth pointing out, but that’s why religion gets a free pass on this kind of thing. It all seems so obvious, no one bothers – so then there are whole huge segments of the population who never hear that actually there is no good reason at all to think the bible is inspired by God.

In other words it makes sense to start with the basics and go on from there. This whole idea of bible-based beliefs and morals is a broken reed; it’s worthless before we even get to the specifics.

And then there’s the fact that the bible of Rick Warren’s church is a translation, so what can it mean to say that a translation is truth without any mixture of error? Nothing – but Rick Warren says it. It’s childish, but we’re supposed to take it seriously.

The question is: What does the Bible have to say about when life begins?

“You made my whole being; you formed me in my mother’s body. … You saw my bones being formed as I took shape in my mother’s body. When I was put together there, you saw my body as it was formed. All the days planned for me were written in your book before I was one day old.” (Psalm 139:13, 15-16 NCV)

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV)

Psalm 139 tells us that God knows us personally while we are being formed in the womb, and Jeremiah 1:5 is one of many verses in the Bible that clearly show that even before we were conceived God knew us as persons. Life begins when God creates, and the Bible tells us that that happens in the womb.

But the Jeremiah verse (in this translation anyway) says that God knew someone before the womb. It seems pretty clear that that’s a magical claim – that God is being made to say ‘I knew you before you were even conceived, I knew you before you were a leer on your father’s face, I knew you when your grandmother was still in diapers.’ So if that’s taken as some kind of rule about when a person starts to exist…it’s not much help. And then in any case, it’s just some words in a book. It’s a grand claim by a ‘prophet,’ it’s some poetry in a psalm. It’s interesting, but it doesn’t really tell us anything about the foetus. Yet Warren says the question, when thinking about stem cell research, is what the bible says about when ‘life’ begins. (He promptly confuses life with personhood, of course.) You might as well think that Wordsworth’s poem about daffodils tells us that daffodils know how to dance. It’s baby stuff – but here we have a lot of adults taking it seriously and presumably heeding its instructions. That’s more bizarre than people generally admit.

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