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According to Numbers 5, if you suspect your wife of having an affair, you should take her to the priest and give her this magic potion that will cause her womb to discharge and kill the baby if she's guilty of having an affair, but if she's innocent, God will let her have her children.

When he has made her drink the water, then, if she has defiled herself and has been unfaithful to her husband, the water that brings the curse shall enter into her and cause bitter pain, and her womb shall discharge, her uterus drop, and the woman shall become an execration among her people. But if the woman has not defiled herself and is clean, then she shall be immune and be able to conceive children.
I fail to see how this is not an ancient form of abortion sanctioned by God himself.
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According to Numbers 5, if you suspect your wife of having an affair, you should take her to the priest and give her this magic potion that will cause her womb to discharge and kill the baby if she's guilty of having an affair, but if she's innocent, God will let her have her children. I fail to see how this is not an ancient form of abortion sanctioned by God himself.

 

What translation are you reading? There are several passages in Numbers 5 that say similar but here is verse 27 (KJV):

 

27And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people.

 

That coupled with the fact that an affair does not necessarily make the woman pregnant, I fail to see how the translation you quoted is in any way accurate.

 

Also note the word defiled here does not translate to pregnant either. Defiled is in the context of sin apart from her husband.

 

Doug

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  • 4 weeks later...

If I might suggest a book that addresses many of these questions and topics...the author sets forth a very well thought out concept of what he calls a "Theologican Humanism."

 

"Theological Ethics and Global Dynamics", by William Schweiker, Professor of Theological Ethics as the University of Chicago.

 

Jenell

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  • 2 months later...

I was just listening today to a podcast recently produced by Truth Driven Thinking concerning Humanism. The American Humanist Association defines humanism as emcompassing:

  • Compassion,
  • Responsibility, and
  • Being Ethical

The speaker went on to say that unless a person practised all three, they really wouldn't be the best person they could be. For instance, not much point in being compassionate if you're not ethical. And who would want to be around somebody who is ethical but lacks compassion? Responsibility brings the other two into focus in that you must prepared to do something when you see a lack of compassion and/or ethics.

 

Sounds like my version of God, if God were to exist. So for me, it doesn't matter if one believes in God or is defined as a humanist. If you meet the above criteria then surely you must be approaching what God expects/hopes for you to be?

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I am in agreement with you here. I also think more and more people are beginning to think this way, and perhaps there will come a tipping point at which the idea gains enough momentum to make a difference. I really see no conflict between humanism and Christianity, and a lot of room for compatable integration and synthesis of the two.

 

A book I was assigned in a Rels Studies course, "Christian Ethics", is William Schweiker's "Theological Ethics and Global Dynamics", Schweiker is a Professor of Theological Ethics at the Univeristy of Chicago. The model he proposes in the book is what he calls a "Theological Humanism." I highly reccomend it,

 

Jenell

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Jenell,

 

I get the impression that 'secular humanism' is treated with great disdain by fundamentalists. On the surface this would seem to be quite strange - why in the world would a Christian object to ethical behavior by anyone? I suspect the answer is that the secular basis of humanism competes with the notion of God-given ethics as revealed exclusively in one source.

 

George

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Jenell,

 

I get the impression that 'secular humanism' is treated with great disdain by fundamentalists. On the surface this would seem to be quite strange - why in the world would a Christian object to ethical behavior by anyone? I suspect the answer is that the secular basis of humanism competes with the notion of God-given ethics as revealed exclusively in one source.

 

George

 

I totally agree GeorgeW, and I think this competition leads to fundamentalist having to deny the competing interest lest it threaten their entire belief system. I've had many a fundy Christian tell me that it doesn't matter how good you are, if you don't 'believe' you don't satisfy God. I'm sure I'm preaching to the converted when I say it all seems rather black and white to such people.

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I agree, George, I think that's a lot of it, when your faith depends on being the only show in town, you have to try to keep the competition out. But a lot of them are also caught up under the malicious, villianized straw man caricature images they are constantly preached within that environment, the same way any other ideology, religion, or category of people tey see as "other", not the same as themselves. Their objections to humanism are generally, just as their objections to many other ideas, not based on an actual truth about it, but the distorted, perverted sterotype of it they hold.

Jenell

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