Jul 31, 2014

Jesus versus the angry Jewish teachers

Jesus Versus the Angry Jewish Teachers.
Why Jesus had bad PR.  

At one time, Jesus riles the Jewish teachers.
He appears to antagonizes them on purpose.
As the Gospel says--
John 8:43 Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear my word? 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. ... 47 He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God. 

They don't thank Jesus. (Who would?)

They reveal how misinformed they are about his hometown. It says--
48 The Jews answered and said to him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”  

They sound pretty miffed.  

Then he makes himself liked even less.
He asserts he knows God, they don't.
It says--
54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing; it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’;
55 and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you, but I do know Him and keep His word. 

One wonders if he announces, "I'm God, by the way" to the non-receptive crowd.
It says--
56 "Your father Abraham [about a millennium and half previously] rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”
57 “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!” 58 I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was I am!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.  

 I Am, is a name for God.
So, Jesus says he's God, or God lived before Abraham. (It depends on the reader's inference.) 
He had a strange way of talking to them.
He says they are in league with the devil, and they say he's in league with the devil.
The argument goes nowhere.   

What good would it do to say "I'm God"? 
It wouldn't help.
He didn't try to win them over.
He seemed unable to turn them, anyway.  

Today Christians are no better with atheists.
They argue, "Atheists are immoral" or "Atheists worship the devil."
The Christian approach is as bad as Jesus'.

Jul 26, 2014

What would it take for you to believe in Christianity?

What Would It Take for You to Believe in Christianity?
Why the question doesn't help Christians.

 It would take these things-- 

Christians need to behave better.
They engage in intellectual dishonesty.
For example, they play word games.
Moreover, they don't, or cannot, live up to New Testament standards.
For example, it says don't be judgmental, but they are. 

Oust the Old Testament prophecies about Jesus.
Contrary to what Christians think, there aren't any such prophecies in the Old Testament.
They pull verses out of context or completely distort the words.  

They need to use caution; they need to get over themselves.
They appear to think they can do no wrong.
They think they know the Bible but they get it wrong.
They think they know science but they get it wrong. 
And they don't care when they get it wrong. 

They shouldn't apple pick from the Bible.
If there's something they don't want to believe in the Bible, they wish it away.
For example, they'll say it's metaphor.
Mostly, however, they disregard what they don't like.  

They need to provide good evidence for the existence of their God.
They think their God exists because the Bible says so.
They think Jesus isn't legend. 

Christians need to drop their circular reasoning.
They think the Bible is true, because the Bible says it is.

Jul 21, 2014

Heaven is not great

 Heaven is Not Great.
Why heaven isn't what it's cracked up to be.

In Christian doctrine, heaven is a super good place. 
Yet Satan, as well as his angel friends, fell from it.
There must have been some things they didn't like up there.
The Devil's fall may serve as a word of warning.
That is, will everything be just fine up there?

Jul 19, 2014

So hard to be good (Jesus' rules)

So Hard to be Good (Jesus' rules).

Christians are supposed to do the things Jesus wants them to do. 

For one thing, Jesus doesn't want them to get angry at others.
Anger jeopardizes their salvation--
Matthew 5:21 You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, "You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment." 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, "Raca," [Arabic word of contempt] is answerable to the court.

He doesn't want them to call anybody a fool.
  One view says the word is likely rebel. Then Christians shouldn't say non-Christians rebel against God. They risk hell fire when talking that way--
Matthew 5:22 And anyone who says, "You fool! [rebel]" will be in danger of the fire of hell. 

Men cannot look with lust at women.
Or else they break the commandment against adultery.
Matthew 5:27 You have heard that it was said, "You shall not commit adultery." 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

A divorced woman is off limits.
A Christian had better not marry one.
Matthew 5:32 Anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

He warns them against making oaths.
Don't promise anything while saying "as heaven is my witness."
Don't say "I swear on my mother's grave." Or "as sure as I'm standing here."
Don't make those kinds of oaths--
Matthew 5:34 I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply "Yes" or "No"; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

One wonders if the wedding vow is evil, too.
You know, one part goes, "Do you, (John or Mary), solemnly swear to take this ..."

Don't resist bad people's behavior.
If a bad man slaps you or makes demands of you, you're supposed to overlook it--
Matthew 5:39 I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

 Few Christians are like that. 

See your way clear to love your enemies.
Matthew 5:44 I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. 

Your store of patience isn't just for Christians. It's for everybody.
Be nice to everybody, everywhere.
Matthew 5:46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 

Forgive others when they act like creeps.
Matthew 6:14 [I]f you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. 

Act in those ways, although they sound hard to practice with sincerity. You'll need to be perfect. 

Don't build up a big bank account or indulge in expensive tastes.
Matthew 6:19 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ... 24 You cannot serve both God and money.

Don't worry about eating smart or wearing fine clothes.
Matthew 6:25 I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? ...
28 [W]hy do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you--you of little faith?
31 So do not worry, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear?" 32 for the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 

Do for others what you'd like for yourself.
Matthew 7:12 [I]n everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. 

That's a tricky one as others might not seek what you seek. 

You won't enter the kingdom of heaven if you don't do what Jesus asks.
Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. ...
24 Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. ... 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.

It appears as though most Christians don't do what Jesus wants.
So, they haven't reserved a seat on the bus to heaven. 

Be scared of God, because God can send you to the bad place.
Luke 12:4 I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.

Admit you're Christian even when it's putting you in danger.
Luke 12:8 I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. 9 But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God.

You had better watch everything you say.
Your lies and careless words denote that you're evil.
Matthew 12:35 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned. 

Your careless and dishonest speech condemns you, and the condemned lie outside of salvation.  

Christian spokespersons say they know what God thinks about. But they don't really know. That's careless speech.
They say something is very clear in the Bible, although it's controversial. So they promote their relative view without saying it's a relative view. That's careless, too.

So they haven't reserved a ride on the bus to heaven, either. 

Jesus want them to sell what you have and send the proceeds to the poor.
Luke 12:32 Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 

If you foul up and sin, forgive anyone who sins against you.
That way you get straight with God.
Matthew 6:14 If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. 

Get right with God by confessing your sin.
Strange that Jesus doesn't say this one.
But, elsewhere, the New Testament says--
 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 

If you aren't good in these ways, you don't belong to Jesus.
Fact is, you won't be so good. So you won't belong to Jesus, anyway.

Those who always do what Jesus wants are few.

Jul 17, 2014

So hard to be good (Paul's rules)

So Hard to be Good.
Paul's rules.

Being a Christian means following rules.
Getting mad, hating, or causing dissension bars you, the Christian, from having a place in the kingdom of heaven.
Listen to what the apostle Paul says--
Galatians 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.

Behave like angels.
The fruit of the spirit enables you to be almost perfect.
Uh, it does really?  

Paul is serious about the strict rules--
Ephesians 5:3 [A]mong you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Don't act for your personal good, either.
Instead you should act for what's good for others-- 
1 Corinthians 10:24 "No one should seek their own good, but the good of others."

That's a tough rule to follow. 

Furthermore, it isn't your business to judge non-Christians.
1 Corinthians 5:12 [I]t is none of my business to judge outsiders. God will judge them. But should you not judge the members of your own fellowship? As the scripture says, "Remove the evil person from your group."

Paul says you're wrong to judge those outside the church. 

Jesus expresses an even broader principle against judging others.
Luke 6:37 Judge not, and you will not be judged; do not condemn and pronounce guilty, and you will not be condemned and pronounced guilty; acquit and forgive and release [give up resentment], and you will be acquitted and forgiven and released. 

That rule is as hard as Paul's is.
Follow every authority and the local and federal laws, because God wants you to.
Romans 13:1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves."

You certainly have to be obedient.
Elsewhere, it also says--
1 Peter 2:13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.

Toe the mark so as to keep your salvation.
You won't stumble, because the spirit of God guides you--
1 John 3:9 Those who have been born of God do not sin, because God's seed abides in them; they cannot sin, because they have been born of God. 

Those who lack the spirit of God aren't saved.
Romans 8:9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 

Be super good.
 Galatians 5:22 [T]he fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. 

Suppose you sin anyway.
Pray for forgiveness--
1 John 2:1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 

Sin again and you aren't saved.
 Keep breaking a rule, and you belong to the unsaved group.
1 John 3:6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. ... 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 

 But Paul backpedals.
Romans 7:18 I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

Paul's expression is monotonous there. Perhaps the sin living in him is responsible.  

Yet Paul complains that it isn't easy to behave well all the time.
He's a free man in Jesus Christ, yet confesses that his sinful nature won't leave him alone.
He isn't free of it.
Romans 5:21 I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am!

You can tell who has salvation.
The New Testament says--
1 John 3:10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister. 

Being a Christian sounds difficult, what with rules to follow and your sinful nature still out to get you.
The spirit guides, still it's hard to behave well.
The result is equivocation.

Jul 13, 2014

God needs a reminder

God Needs a Reminder. 
 Why God wrote a Post-It. 

After Noah's flood, God placed a rainbow in the sky.
It represented his promise that he wouldn't destroy the earth with a flood again. 
 Genesis 9:13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

The rainbow was for God to see and to remember his promise. 
He tells Noah--
 Genesis 9:14 Whenever ... the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind.

 God might forget if the rainbow isn't seen.
The rainbow is like a Post-It stuck to his refrigerator door.
He needs it, the reminder.

Jul 11, 2014

God lives in outer space

God Lives In Outer Space.
Why the Bible says God lives there.
According to the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, God sits above the earth's atmosphere.
On a throne, looking down on the earth--
Isaiah 40:22 "It [the world] was made by the one who sits on his throne above the earth and beyond the sky; the people below look as tiny as ants. He stretched out the sky like a curtain, like a tent in which to live."

 It appears that heaven, or part of it, anyway, is situated up there, according to Isaiah.

Moreover, going to heaven, Jesus went into the sky.
Jesus, departing from his disciples, went in the sky above and through a cloud, as though his destination was somewhere in outer space--
Acts 1:9 "After saying this, [Jesus] was taken up to heaven as they watched him, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10 They still had their eyes fixed on the sky as he went away, when two men dressed in white suddenly stood beside them 11) and said, 'Galileans, why are you standing there looking up at the sky? This Jesus, who was taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way that you saw him go to heaven.' 12 Then the apostles went back to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, which is about half a mile away from the city." 

One might wonder how far Jesus levitated.

Isaiah says God sits high over the sky, within telescope range; the New Testament says Jesus traveled skyward to reach heaven.
That's where heaven is. Um ...

Jul 6, 2014

The discarded commandments

The Discarded Commandments.
Bible believers apple pick which biblical commandments to follow.

Thereby, they disregard other ones. To make life easier, they discard biblical rules such as-- 

1) Kill witches.
Exodus 22:18 “Do not allow a sorceress to live." 

2) On your wedding day, stone your bride if she's not virgin.
Love's got nothing to do with it.
Deuteronomy 22:20 "If the charge [against the newlywed] is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, 21 she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death."

3) Expect the slave you own to like it.
1 Peter 2:18 "Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19 For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God."  

In fact, your slave should treat you like Jesus.
Ephesians 6:5 "Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people."

The New Testament repeats the rule to serve a master as you would Jesus.
Colossians 3:22 "Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."


4) Kill a friend who entices you to worship a new god.
In that way, those who worship God will be afraid to stray.
Deuteronomy 13:6 "If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, 'Let us go and worship other gods' (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known, 7 gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), 8 do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. 9 You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people. 10 Stone him to death, because he tried to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 11 Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again."
5) Don't claim that atheists are immoral as you might bear false witness against them.
Exodus 20:16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor."


6) Tell your wife to keep silent in church.
Instruct her not to speak out in church at all.
1 Corinthians 14:34 "Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church."

7) Kill your child for showing disrespect toward you.
Leviticus 20:9 "Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death. Because they have cursed their father or mother, their blood will be on their own head."

Exodus 21:15 “Anyone who attacks their father or mother is to be put to death."

8) Turn against family members who won't be Christians.
Matthew 10:35 "I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law-- 36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household."

9) In your neighborhood, support the death penalty for adultery.
Leviticus 20:10 "If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife--with the wife of his neighbor--both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death."

10) Want death for homosexual men.
Leviticus 20:13 "If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."  

11) You rich should give up your wealth.
Mark 10:25 "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

Mark 10:21 “'Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.' 22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth."

12) Fear that God might kill you for choosing the other guy's religion.
Deuteronomy 6:14 "Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land."

13) Be subservient to your husband, because God wants you to.
Colossians 3:18 "Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord."

14) Speak under divine inspiration.
Never mind the chaos it brings as many say that they speak under divine inspiration and go in different directions.

1 Corinthians 14:4 "Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit,
especially prophecy. ... 5  I would like every one of you to speak in tongues [foreign languages], but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues."

15) Kill anybody in your flock who holds a séance.
Leviticus 20:27 "A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.”  

16) When you throw a party, invite strangers not your friends.
Luke 14:12 “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

Good Bible believers, should they apple pick or follow it all.