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 Was the Bible open-source?

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Dec 01, 2001
I've been dealing with this demon for a few days now. After seeking ministry with Pastor Arnold, I thought I'd ask the adequacy community for their opinions on this topic. Bear in mind, that I do not fully subscribe to this thesis (yet), and I'm not going to start preaching (yet) about how this would affect yours, mine, and everyone's lives.

More diaries by Mint Waltman
Mint Waltman Internet Ministry!
The Bible was written not by one man, but several. All working towards one, solitary goal- the promulgation of God's Word. Now, we all know that God speaks to those who care to listen, and so there should be little suprise that God spoke to the several authors of the Bible's many books. The fact that these books were compiled into what we now view as the Word of God speaks volumes to the inclusiveness and anti-authoritation nature of Christianity. Contrast this process with that which led to the creation of the Koran. God dictated His Word to one illiterate man. I don't know about you, but that makes me snap my head back and scrunch my nose because it smells so bad.

Now, we all know which is the better Book, but what does this mean as far as operating systems go? This is why I'm wondering: it's time to replace the old 486sx in the youth group meeting area with a new computer. The kids love to create bullitins to hand out at Sunday services and tracts to hand out on the street. Should I get a computer running Windows or a 'box' running linux? I'm concerned that opting for a windows machine might be unChristian as Microsoft, like Mohammed, is authoritarian and intolerant by nature. MS releases operating systems and apps alike. They create everything in-house. How could this central authority create the best possible anything? MS smacks of Godless communism. Is linux the answer? Open source allows for specialization and comparative advantage- two key components in free-market economics. Linus can specialize in os development, while Jan or Wim concentrate on apps- thus creating the best possible programs in each area. Are we to belive that only Microsoft are capable of creating quality programs? Could it be that guys with names like Linus and Wim and Jan are the apostles of the 21st century? Could it be that we will find God in the /bin file of the linux operating system? Will my flock soon be handing out flyers announcing prayer services outside mosques and temples that were created on the linux os?

I don't know the answer to that. But I know this- I need your input. I fear I may have been led astray and need my course to be righted. Is linux the Christian choice for my flock?


The Bible was not open-source. (none / 0) (#1)
by tkatchev on Sat Dec 1st, 2001 at 10:03:34 AM PST
Actually, at first Christians did not have a written body of doctrine; most Christian thought at the time was passed by word-of-mouth. Eventually, some people started writing down Christian stories that they were told; at the influence of Christianity and worldwide literacy increased, the number of such works grew tremendously. At one time, there were thousands of Christian texts in existence -- virtually every community seemed to have their own, unique Christian text. The diversity was very wide, and some works were downright heretical and untrue. At one point, when the amount of disinformation became daunting to ordinary Christians. Something had to be done -- a committee of prominent Christian thinkers was put together, to decide which texts were authentic. Texts were judged by historical and dogmatical validity -- meaning that if a text could not prove its own historical origins, it was rejected, even if it did not contain heretical fallacies. Eventually, after quite a bit of deliberation, the current New Testament was put together. Everything that was rejected became the apocrypha. Some of it survives to this day, and makes quite interesting reading. Don't take it too seriously, though, or at least consult your pastor first -- some (but not all!) is heretical or downright stupid.

P.S. Interesting moment: The most contentious book the New Testament was the Apocalypse of St. John; it just barely made it into Christian canon, with a large and active minority against it. (Which, incidentally, is why it is last in the Bible.) Those against including it thought that many narrow-minded people would take it too literally; seems they were right. People get dumber with centuries, and what was once quite obviously allegory and metaphor is now taken at face value. Sad.

Peace and much love...

Interesting... (none / 0) (#2)
by Mint Waltman on Sat Dec 1st, 2001 at 10:32:22 AM PST
But it sounds as though there were many Christian stories, all based upon the same essential beliefs, that were eventually vetted becuase they may or may not have adhered to the tastes of the cimmittee that compiled those books contained in the Bible. All authors had access to the same, basic inofrmation (source code) in the form of Christian tenents and common beliefs, but eventually took these principles in different directions with their own stories (apps, kernals). I don't think it would be suprising that very few of these works were eventually culled in order to create a Bible comensurate with the select committee's point of view.

But back to the most pressing issue: Would you say that I should get a windows machine for my youth group in light of the info contained in your post?

Yes and no. (none / 0) (#3)
by tkatchev on Sat Dec 1st, 2001 at 11:32:54 AM PST
I'd say to go for the Linux machine, but with one giant caveat: most Linux enthusiasts are godless heathens or outright pagans. In fact, whenever you hear somebody call themselves a "geek", you can be sure 100% that the person also subscribes to some form of "alternative" spirituality. I don't think this is a fault of the operating system per se, (it's just a tool, after all...) rather a sad commentary of the state of our society nowadays.

If you can provide suitable guidance to your youth group, go with Linux. Just remember to make two things absolutely clear:
  1. Linux is just a tool, not a lifestyle. Linux has about as much to do with culture and spirituality as a hammer.
  2. "Geek" culture is inherently sinful; it has one and only one central goal -- hate of God.

Peace and much love...

so sad (none / 0) (#4)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Dec 1st, 2001 at 01:23:40 PM PST
What the meaning of the word "geek" has become. In the early days it was hurled as an insult, used by jocks and stoners to ridicule those who took an interest in intellectual pursuits of one form or another. In those days, one could've just as easily labelled a student of theology a "geek". In fact, being a "geek" had nothing to do with one's ideology; it was merely used to identify those with a true, legitimate interest in a field of study. It was, by contrast, a common ground to be shared by people who might otherwise not have anything in common.

Ever since publications like "Wired" and "Slashdot" arrived on the scene however, being called a "geek" became desirable, regardless of legitimate skills or knowledge of the field they claim to be involved in. Now, 99% of those calling themselves geeks or identifying themselves with so-called geek culture are barely competent and usually have no skills to speak of, save posting volumes of crap onto weblogs, being pagan, subscribing to "free software ideology", and so on. Now it basically means: "I know how to use Linux, or how to plug in a network card, and how to download mp3s and mpegs, and how to find and install cracked software (and then justify it by quoting RMS). But actual programming? I couldn't code my way out of a wet paper bag." And that is... unfortunate.

Unfortunate? (none / 0) (#6)
by elenchos on Sat Dec 1st, 2001 at 02:21:12 PM PST
How come?

I do, I do, I do
--Bikini Kill

well (none / 0) (#7)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Dec 1st, 2001 at 02:56:50 PM PST
Because it tanked the economy.

A pressing concern... (none / 0) (#5)
by Mint Waltman on Sat Dec 1st, 2001 at 02:11:23 PM PST
I feel I could guide my youth group in the use of the linux os, and the responsibilities that go along with treading near the dark realm of geek culture. As long as they are in my care that is...

What you said though strikes fear in my heart. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. I'd hate to think that one of my kids may casually engage in discussion of linux with a true geek while on the school bus or at an after-school job. Seeing they share some common ground, the geek may use peer pressure to convert them to paganism or take part in one of those animal sacrifices I've read about. I would hope that my flock's spirit would be strong enough to convert the geek to a right Christian lifestyle, but perhaps that's a deed better left to a pastor.


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