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Christianity

Have You Read Your Bible Carefully?

9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God) [4]— 12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

These are the words of Jesus.  This isn’t too hard to figure out.  He’s speaking quite plainly, and making reference to specific Mosaic commands.  And he’s quite clearly reprimanding the pharisees for leaving the commandment of God and holding to the tradition of men.

You have to work pretty hard to find another way to interpret this.  Jesus is telling us that the Old Testament commandments regarding children and their parents is still very much in force.   Jesus wants you to kill your children for backtalking you.

Are you Christian enough to follow the commands of Jesus?

Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” [6] (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

This is from the same chapter.  Are you one of those Christians who thinks Jesus doesn’t want you to drink any alcohol?  Think drugs are bad, mmmkay?  In this passage, Jesus is clearly telling his followers that something we put into our bodies is not inherently bad, but it’s what we DO that makes us good or bad.

Are you Christian enough to admit that blue laws are stupid and that Jesus didn’t care if we drink responsibly?

6But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

What did I hear you saying about prayer in schools?  Jesus wouldn’t be in favor of that.  Are you Christian enough to give up the crusade to make our schools religious?

12For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

Jesus is in favor of you getting castrated for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.  Are you Christian enough to get your balls cut off for your god?

11And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.

Jesus commanded that marriage is a one-shot deal.  If you divorce, you may never again remarry.  Are you Christian enough to be single for the rest of your life?

1Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

2Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

Paul has instructed you not to resist the power of your government.  President Obama wants universal health care.  Are you Christian enough to support him even though you disagree?

5But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

Ladies, have you been covering your head every time you pray?  If not, why not?  It’s right there in your bible.

34Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.

35And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

Ahem…  I’m afraid you are not being good Christians, people.  If you’re going to be Christian, be Christian.  Don’t cherry pick it.  Jump in with both feet.

I dare ya.

Discussion

8 thoughts on “Have You Read Your Bible Carefully?

  1. On even-numbered days, Jesus fulfilled the law.

    On odd-numbered days, he replaced it.

    Depends on whether you like bacon.

    Posted by khan | March 30, 2011, 6:40 pm
  2. Khan, I’ve often wondered what it would be like if someone actually wrote down every single command Jesus made and then tried to live by each and every one of them. I suspect it would be like the classic sci-fi scenes where robots self destruct when faced with internal contradiction.

    Posted by hambydammit | March 30, 2011, 6:46 pm
  3. I love how when I quote Luke 19:27, Christians get this contorted look on their face as if this verse were from mars, meticulously hidden in an anthology of otherwise benign works of perfect verse.

    Posted by AugustSpies | March 30, 2011, 7:24 pm
  4. This isn’t that all hard. Anyone who has kept up with contemporary biblical scholarship knows that there are two voices in each of the gospels: the voice of Jesus, and the voice of the gospel writer and the community for whom he or she (at least one scholar thinks Luke-Acts might have been written by a woman) was writing. Given that none of this was put to parchment until some 40-70 years after the crucifixion, it should be no surprise that some of the stuff cited in this post crept into the developing tradition.

    Posted by Harry Maclean | March 31, 2011, 12:28 am
  5. Given that none of this was put to parchment until some 40-70 years after the crucifixion, it should be no surprise that some of the stuff cited in this post crept into the developing tradition.

    Harry, this fact was one of the first things that helped me leave Christianity. When it became impossible for me to think of the Bible as a unified presentation from an infallible deity, it quickly became obvious that if anything in the Bible was possibly wrong, then everything in the Bible was possibly wrong.

    Since that time, it’s become clear that IF there was even a man named Jesus (and there are plenty of scholars who believe it unlikely), it’s next to impossible to say what, if anything, in the Gospels can be properly attributed to him.

    It sort of makes you stop and wonder why you’re betting your entire eternal existence on such a floppy foundation, doesn’t it?

    Posted by hambydammit | March 31, 2011, 3:21 pm
  6. Actually, I’m, not betting on any kind of future existence after I die. Most of that stuff—you hear it at most funerals—is Victorian sentimentality. Jesus often spoke of the Kingdom of God, but I don’t think (and neither do most of the Jesus Seminar scholars) that was any kind of vision of life after death. It was a vision of what the present world would be like if it were ruled by love and compassion. Not a bad thing to shoot for and enough to keep me in the Christian fold.

    Posted by Harry Maclean | April 7, 2011, 11:10 pm
  7. You speak of following the Bible, but not of knowing Christ. Christ came that we may have life, and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). He did not come to give us a manual to live by. In John 5:39 Jesus told the Pharisees that they search the scriptures diligently for eternal life, but the scriptures bear witness about Him. This is exactly as you present the Bible in your article, as though it were a rule book that grants you something for following it closely. Do you not know that all men have fallen short of the glory of God? (Romans 3:23). If the Jews failed to keep the commandments, how on earth do gentiles think they can keep them? The Christian life isn’t difficult, it’s impossible!

    Jesus is the living Word. You don’t receive eternal life from following the Bible, the Bible points to the only One who offers His very Life. And He offers this to ALL men, not because of what they do, but because of what Christ did. And it is finished, there is nothing more for man to do.

    Don’t listen to the church organizations that tell everyone to stop sinning and follow the Bible as though it were a book of rules to get out of hell, they only want to control others with such teaching. That’s not the Gospel. The Gospel is the truth that sets you free! Trust me, I’ve heard it all too, the “god hates fags” groups and all those scripture-twisting liars. That is not true Christianity, though it is the majority voice in America unfortunately.

    I tell you this out of love, because I know all of the lies and liars that are out there, and only TRUTH will dispel lies, and it will set you free (John 8:32) not put you in bondage to try harder by being a “good” Christian.

    Posted by Just passing by | April 15, 2011, 1:10 am
  8. You speak of following the Bible, but not of knowing Christ.

    You’re right. I didn’t speak of “knowing Christ.” There were a couple of reasons for that. First, it’s a very modern interpretation of the NT. All the “personal relationship with Jesus” stuff is a rather liberal interpretation of a few passages that’s ballooned into its own subset of Christianity. It’s not readily apparent from the scriptures themselves. (And by “not readily apparent,” I mean “pretty much impossible to find.”)

    Second, the personal relationship angle is cherry picking gone mad. If that was all the NT had to say… “Have your own personal relationship with an invisible friend, and you’ll get lots of happiness,” then it would be one thing. But there’s lots of other stuff in there, and your particular interpretation glosses over it, suggests that it’s “metaphor,” or ironically — blames it on mis-translation. (Which seems to throw a monkey wrench into your whole certainty of salvation thing, but that’s another story…)

    Do you not know that all men have fallen short of the glory of God? (Romans 3:23).

    I’ve addressed the concept of sin HERE. I’ve addressed the broader concept of “Christian Morality” HERE.

    Don’t listen to the church organizations that tell everyone to stop sinning and follow the Bible as though it were a book of rules to get out of hell, they only want to control others with such teaching. That’s not the Gospel. The Gospel is the truth that sets you free!

    I admit. You have given me my first good belly laugh today, and it’s tax day. I never laugh on tax day. Do you hear what you just said? “Don’t listen to THEIR INTERPRETATION of the Bible!! They’re interpreting it wrong!! We’re interpreting it correctly. Read it like we say you’re supposed to read it!”

    Don’t you realize that EVERYBODY who believes in the Bible says exactly the same thing?

    Posted by hambydammit | April 15, 2011, 4:55 pm

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