All Religions Blaspheme Each Other

 

“. . .because all the major religions in fact blaspheme one another, and ought by their principles to engage in crusade or jihad each against the others – a profoundly disturbing thought. They blaspheme each other in numerous ways. All non-Christians blaspheme Christianity by their refusal to accept the divinity of Christ, because in so doing they reject the Holy Ghost, doing which is described as the most serious of all blasphemies. The New Testament has Christ say “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me”.

This places members of other faiths beyond redemption; they are damned if they know this claim but do not heed it. By an unlucky twist of theology, Protestants have to regard Catholics as blasphemers too, because the latter regard Mary as co-redemptorix with Christ, in violation of the utterance just quoted. All non-Muslims blaspheme Islam because they insult Mohammed by not accepting him as the true Prophet, and by ignoring the teachings of the Koran.

Jews seem the least philosophically troubled by what people of other faiths think about their own – but Orthodox Jews regard themselves as religiously superior to others because others fail in the proper observances, for example by not respecting kosher constraints. All the religions blaspheme each other by regarding the others’ teachings, metaphysics and much of their ethics as false, and their own religion as the only true one.”—A C Grayling

http://www.acgrayling.com/the-secular-and-the-sacred

 

Atheism In The 1700’s

 ABSTRACT OF THE TESTAMENT OF JOHN MESLIER

By Voltaire

Excerpted from a longer volume

In regard to the Lord’s Supper, the first three Evangelists note that Jesus Christ instituted the Sacrament of His body and His blood, in the form of bread and wine, the same as our Roman Christ-worshipers say; and John does not mention this mysterious sacrament. John says that after this supper, Jesus washed His apostles’ feet, and commanded them to do the same thing to each other, and relates a long discourse which He delivered then. But the other Evangelists do not speak of the washing of the feet, nor of the long discourse He gave them then.

On the contrary, they testify that immediately after this supper, He went with His apostles upon the Mount of Olives, where He gave up His Spirit to sadness, and was in anguish while His apostles slept, at a short distance. They contradict each other upon the day on which they say the Lord’s Supper took place; because on one side, they note that it took place Easter-eve, that is, the evening of the first day of Azymes, or of the feast of unleavened bread; as it is noted (1) in Exodus, (2) in Leviticus, and (3) in Numbers; and, on the other hand, they say that He was crucified the day following the Lord’s Supper, about midday after the Jews had His trial during the whole night and morning.

Now, according to what they say, the day after this supper took place, ought not to be Easter-eve. Therefore, if He died on the eve of Easter, toward midday, it was not on the eve of this feast that this supper took place. There is consequently a manifest error.

They contradict each other, also, in regard to the women who followed Jesus from Galilee, for the first three Evangelists say that these women, and those who knew Him, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary, mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s children, were looking on at a distance when He was hanged and nailed upon the cross. John says, on the contrary, that the mother of Jesus and His mother’s sister, and Mary Magdalene were standing near His cross with John, His apostle. The contradiction is manifest, for, if these women and this disciple were near Him, they were not at a distance, as the others say they were.

They contradict each other upon the pretended apparitions which they relate that Jesus made after His pretended resurrection; for Matthew speaks of but two apparitions: the one when He appeared to Mary Magdalene and to another woman, also named Mary, and when He appeared to His eleven disciples who had returned to Galilee upon the mountain where He had appointed to meet them.

Mark speaks of three apparitions: The first, when He appeared to Mary Magdalene; the second, when He appeared to His two disciples, who went to Emmaus; and the third, when He appeared to His eleven disciples, whom He reproaches for their incredulity.

Luke speaks of but two apparitions the same as Matthew; and John the Evangelist speaks of four apparitions, and adds to Mark’s three, the one which He made to seven or eight of His disciples who were fishing upon the shores of the Tiberian Sea.

They contradict each other, also, in regard to the place of these apparitions; for Matthew says that it was in Galilee, upon a mountain; Mark says that it was when they were at table; Luke says that He brought them out of Jerusalem as far as Bethany, where He left them by rising to Heaven; and John says that it was in the city of Jerusalem, in a house of which they had closed the doors, and another time upon the borders of the Tiberian Sea.

Thus is much contradiction in the report of these pretended apparitions. They contradict each other in regard to His pretended ascension to heaven; for Luke and Mark say positively that He went to heaven in presence of the eleven apostles, but neither Matthew nor John mentions at all this pretended ascension. More than this, Matthew testifies sufficiently that He did not ascend to heaven; for he said positively that Jesus Christ assured His apostles that He would be and remain always with them until the end of the world.

“Go ye,” He said to them, in this pretended apparition, “and teach all nations, and be assured that I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Luke contradicts himself upon the subject; for in his Gospel he says that it was in Bethany where He ascended to heaven in the presence of His apostles, and in his Acts of the Apostles (supposing him to have been the author) he says that it was upon the Mount of Olives.

He contradicts himself again about this ascension; for he notes in his Gospel that it was the very day of His resurrection, or the first night following, that He ascended to heaven; and in the Acts of the Apostles he says that it was forty days after His resurrection; this certainly does not correspond.

If all the apostles had really seen their Master gloriously rise to heaven, how could it be possible that Matthew and John, who would have seen it as well as the others, passed in silence such a glorious mystery, and which was so advantageous to their Master, considering that they relate many other circumstances of His life and of His actions which are much less important than this one?


How is it that Matthew does not mention this ascension? And why does Christ not explain   clearly how He would live with them always, although He left them visibly to ascend to heaven? It is not easy to comprehend by what secret He could live with those whom He left.

I pass in silence many other contradictions; what I have said is sufficient to show that these books are not of Divine Inspiration, nor even of human wisdom, and, consequently, do not deserve that we should put any faith in them.   JEAN MESLIER

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The Justice Of God…The Mercy Of Christ

“All that the human race has suffered in war and want, in pestilence and famine, in fire and flood, — all the pangs and pains of every disease and every death — all this is as nothing compared with the agonies to be endured by one lost soul. This is the consolation of the Christian religion. This is the justice of God — the mercy of Christ.

This frightful dogma, this infinite lie, made me the implacable enemy of Christianity. The truth is that this belief in eternal pain has been the real persecutor. It founded the Inquisition, forged the chains, and furnished the fagots. It has darkened the lives of many millions. It made the cradle as terrible as the coffin. It enslaved nations and shed the blood of countless thousands. It sacrificed the wisest, the bravest and the best. It subverted the idea of justice, drove mercy from the heart, changed men to fiends and banished reason from the brain.

Like a venomous serpent it crawls and coils and hisses in every orthodox creed. It makes man an eternal victim and God an eternal fiend. It is the one infinite horror. Every church in which it is taught is a public curse. Every preacher who teaches it is an enemy of mankind.

Below this Christian dogma, savagery cannot go. It is the infinite of malice, hatred, and revenge.”
Robert Green Ingersoll

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Did a Divine Jesus Really Exist or Was He Just Human

The following list is of the historians and writers who lived in the same area and within Christ’s alleged lifetime or within a hundred years after his death

Apollonius         Persius
Appian                Petronius
Arrian                 Phaedrus
Aulus Gellius    Philo-Judaeus
Columella           Phlegon
Damis                  Pliny the Elder
Dio Chrysostom     Pliny the Younger
Dion Pruseus       Plutarch
Epictetus              Pompon Mela
Favorinus             Ptolemy
Florus Lucius       Quintilian
Hermogones         Quintius Curtius
Josephus                Seneca
Justus of Tiberius     Silius Italicus
Juvenal                    Statius
Lucanus                   Suetonius
Lucian                      Tacitus
Lysias                       Theon of Smyran
Martial                     Valerius Flaccus
Paterculus              Valerius Maximus
Pausanias

However, aside from two passages in the works of a Jewish writer mentioned above and two heavily disputed passages in the works of Roman writers, there just isn’t any contemporary–or soon after his death, mention of Jesus Christ in the writing of scholars and historians.

Philo (20 BC-50 AD) was born before the beginning of the Christian era, and lived well after the reputed death of Christ.

Philo was the one who developed the doctrine of the Logos, or Word, and although this Word incarnate (Jesus himself) supposedly dwelt in that land, and in the presence of multitudes he revealed himself and demonstrated his divine powers–Philo apparently never knew it.

His writings include an account of the Jews covering the entire time that Christ was said to exist on earth.  He lived in or near Jerusalem when Christ was supposedly born and when the Herod massacre occurred. Philo was there when Christ made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem; he was there when the crucifixion and reputed earthquake, supernatural darkness, and the resurrection of the dead zombies in the graveyard took place. – He never wrote about it.

Had these events really taken place you would think the word would spread all over the Middle East and Mediterranean world which at the time was teaming with religious fervor and many many stories going around about a Messiah.  Here was a man who would be the Messiah, who raised the dead and cured incurable diseases and yet no one wrote of him.

Justus of Tiberius was a Jewish author and historian who lived in the second half of the 1st century AD and was a native of Christ’s own country, Galilee. He wrote a history covering this time of Christ’s reputed existence. Sadly the original work has perished, but Photius, a Christian scholar and critic of the ninth century who was acquainted with it says: “He (Justus) makes not the least mention of the appearances of Christ, of what things happened to him, or of the wonderful works that he did” (Photius’ Bibliotheca, code 33).

“Josephus:  (37 – c.100 AD) Late in the first century, Josephus wrote his celebrated work, “The Antiquities of the Jews”, giving a history of his race from the earliest ages down to his own time. Modern versions of this work contain the following passage:

“‘Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works; a teacher of such men as received the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was (the) Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day. (Book XVIII, Chapter iii, Section 3)

For sixteen hundred years or so Christians have been citing this passage as a testimonial, to the historical existence, and the divine character of Jesus Christ. However most all Biblical scholars agree that the sentence is probably a pious forgery written by a scribe or zealous Christian many years after Josephus.

Consider:

“Its brevity disproves its authenticity. Josephus’ work is voluminous and exhaustive. It comprises twenty books. Whole pages are devoted to petty robbers and obscure seditious leaders. Nearly forty chapters are devoted to the life of a single king. Yet this remarkable being, the greatest product of his race, a being of whom the prophets foretold ten thousand wonderful things, a being greater than any earthly king, is dismissed with a dozen lines.”– The Christ, John E. Remsburg, reprinted by Prometheus Books, New York, 1994, pages 171-3.

I’m divided on this…the man may have existed, but I really doubt he was the Messiah or divine in any way.  Just myths like the Old Testament.  Too much stuff just doesn’t add up…the whole story is incoherent and flawed…not a sign of a God inspired work.

“The world has been for a long time engaged in writing lives of Jesus… The library of such books has grown since then. But when we come to examine them, one startling fact confronts us: all of these books relate to a personage concerning whom there does not exist a single scrap of contemporary information — not one! By accepted tradition he was born in the reign of Augustus, the great literary age of the nation of which he was a subject. In the Augustan age historians flourished; poets, orators, critics and travelers abounded. Yet not one mentions the name of Jesus Christ, much less any incident in his life”…Moncure D. Conway, Modern Thought

 YEAH!!!…I just heard that bastard  Osama bin Laden is dead 
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End Times, Armageddon, Second Coming. etc.

Got to thinking about the ‘End Times’ today (this being Sunday and all) and was wandering how close we were to the fabled ‘Battle of Armageddon.’ all the Christians keep talking about and wishing for. Seems there are still a few items from Biblical prophecy that need to happen before the actual ‘End Times’ are upon us.

“Megiddo was a site of great importance in the ancient world, as it guarded the western branch of a narrow pass and an ancient trade route which connected the lands of Egypt and Assyria. Because of its strategic location at the crossroads of several major routes, Megiddo and its environs have witnessed several major battles throughout history. The site was inhabited from 7000 BC to 500 BC.” From Wikipedia, go: HERE

This little fact about Megiddo’s being occupied 3000 years ( Jericho is even older) before God supposedly created Adam & Eve, makes one wonder, and maybe think that the writers of the Bible were just making up stuff.

“After the destruction of the Beast at the Second Coming of Jesus, the promised Kingdom is set up, in which Jesus and the Saints will rule for a thousand years. Satan is then loosed **”for a season” and goes out to deceive the nations, specifically, Gog and Magog. The army mentioned attacks the Saints in the New Jerusalem, they are defeated by a judgment of fire coming down from Heaven, and then comes the Great White Throne judgment, which includes all of those through the ages and these are cast into the Lake of Fire, which event is also known as the “second death” or Hell.” See Wikipedia HERE

Premillennialism is a doctrine very popular among Evangelical Fundamentalist Protestants in North America. Other premillennial groups include Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Seventh Day Adventists. Premillennialists believe the Second Coming of Christ will be the start of the ‘Millennium’ (the 1000 year period when Jesus (God for you Trinitarians) rules the world). Before this period will come a time of destruction, war and disaster on earth, called the ‘Tribulation’, which will be ended by God defeating evil (Those pesky Russkies maybe, or politicians?) at the battle of Armageddon.

During the ‘Tribulation’ the Antichrist (Satan’s emissary…probably a politician) will torture humanity, and God will go to war against him. The tribulation will end in seven years when God defeats the Antichrist and we will enter the ‘Millennium. One thing to wonder about…why would a omnipotent God take seven years to defeat evil? Another thing that is troubling to me is that some Christians think they will be caught up in a ‘Rapture’ and miss all the Tribulation. Just like the Trinity, the Rapture doesn’t seem to be mentioned in the Bible…and some Christians build a whole church/sect on these things.

Hard core Premillennialists also don’t see much point in Christians trying to improve the world, since God is about to destroy much of it…and then remake it…again…think Noah’s Flood. I could kinda’ see their point here, but since all this is just very weird and wishful thinking, and old myth’s, they really aren’t very good world citizens…and kind of downers to be around socially.

**Whats up with letting Satan loose again…does God have no mercy?

********************

Many fundamentalist Christians believe that the building of the Third Temple is one of the prerequisites for the second coming of Christ. Some Christian fundamentalists in the United States support arms sales and military aid to Israel in the belief that these actions will help Israel rebuild its Temple and thus bring about the End Times. Critics say the actions of fundamentalist Christians in Israel and Palestine, which includes providing material support for Jewish settlers in what was formerly Palestinian lands, is building dangerous tension in the area. However the Temple Mount is now controlled by Muslim’s, and is considered its most sacred (Dome of the Rock) site, so its unlikely that the Jews will attempt to build a new Temple there for a very long time…if ever.

Well, I think we can count out the fulfilling of this Temple3 prophecy for the immediate future. I don’t think the Muslim’s will give up the site and Israel so far looks like they don’t want to start WWIII.

All this sounds pretty scary, but since there is already lots of doubt about the stories I don’t think I’m going to worry about these Biblical myths very much. And people openly and loudly wishing for the end of the world need to go suck eggs. 🙂

Actually the Battle of Armageddon was fought in 1918, British Christianity…against the Ottoman Empire. We won.

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Sunday Sermon Continued

Sunday Sermon Continued

This is a continuation of debate that started here: HERE

Hi Idugan, Welcome back.

Hey, if I could have done half as good as you are when I was in high school…that would have been a miracle.

Why would man make up a God who is so just, etc? Why would man set up laws for himself that he knew he could not always keep? The idea that man made God up doesn’t make sense. Man naturally HATES God. So why would he make Him up?”

I’m sorry…you consider the Christian God just? How about His unconscionable treatment of Job? Heres an apparently honorable man of God, and God just lets the Devil experiment on him. His family is killed off he looses his land, cattle, he is stricken with boils. All to settle a little wager between God and the Devil. Job isn’t notified of the wager, so he has no idea what is going on. Can you imagine the terror in his soul? Is that a just God?

Men have been making up gods from the beginning of time…thats what we do best. I doubt if there has ever been a society on this earth in all of history who hasn’t had a ‘God’ myth. I don’t think your statement about men naturally hating God is true at all, else why would we humans keep making them up? I don’t hate God, all the people I know do not hate God. I can’t remember ever meeting someone who hated God. Now…not believing…thats another matter.

    I’m no theologian of any kind. I have only truly been studying Scripture for about a year. I mean I’m only a senior in high school. So I won’t even pretend to have all the answers. I will only tell you what I believe, and I want to fully understand what you do and why. I just thought I should tell you that so you don’t feel like I’m attacking you because that is not my intention.”

Hey, who does have all the answers? Attack away. Just keep it on a civil level…no name calling or personal attacks. I respect you, and expect the same.

    What Moses did was not a ‘minor infraction’. He deliberately went against what his God told him to do. The same God who led them out of Egypt. His annoyance with the people should not have gotten to be so big that he would willingly defile God. That is why he was punished. (And that was not the only sin that Moses ever committed.) The reason why these ‘myths’ as you like to call them do not make sense to you is because you are making up excuses. I’m not saying that I understand all of Scripture and every single thing about every story–because I don’t–but i do have faith in God that what is Word says is what happened and that God had a perfectly just reason for doing anything He has ever done.”

If you knew the Jews perhaps you would understand the point about Moses a little better. If you were leading a couple of million kvetching Jews through the hot barren desert, you would truly understand the temperament of Moses. The Jews are not an easygoing people, they complain A LOT. Reread the story of his time in the desert and pay particular attention to the interaction between Moses and the ‘people’ I am not making up excuses about anything…I see valid points of debate. Unlike most students of Christianity, I study with an open mind…I don’t have a preconceived viewpoint and a need to conform to what I know people around me think of the matter.

    “I looked at that site that had the supposed contradictions in the Bible. I would just like to say that I read a lot of them and looked them up and I can try to show you that they are not contradictions–but I don’t think you would believe me so I’m not going to unless you ask me specifically to.”

Whatever you think. I have been looking at a number of them myself and I will continue, but most of them remain valid points of contention. I already have someone where I am, that is kind enough to spend time in discussion about them.

    “Mans purpose is to glorify God by using the attributes of Himself (love, morals, etc) that He gave us. “Sin”=when I don’t fulfill the purpose/will of God. For example the Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20. You say the only ’sin’ you commit is when you ‘occasionally have a bad thought about someone’ or lusted after someone other than your wife. And you know what I have committed sins..lots of them. Let me ask you something though, have you ever told a lie? or lost control of your anger? I have, and that’s why I am so grateful for my salvation.”

Pretty egotistical on Gods part if His purpose in making us was to have us constantly ‘glorify’ Him. Do you really think God needs this constant worshiping and adulation and glorifying? Is this OUR purpose in life? Don’t you think a grown up God would understand that we can love Him without all this drippy glorifying and constant wondering if we are sinning ALL the time?

    “you said: “My point in this paragraph, is that people will believe almost anything. And they would rather follow than lead, or buck the establishment. Early Christians and Muslims tapped into that, and our present day leaders, both secular and religious, do the same.”

    Don’t you think that you are also a ‘follower’ in your thoughts? I mean you’re not the first one to question the authenticity of the Bible and God.”

I am a follower, as I believe we all are. But in matters of the intellect, I follow where my thoughts lead me. I am not scared that if I get off the beaten track I’ll be cast in hell. The only reason that me and others question the authenticity of any religion, is because they are all open to criticism. We see silliness, made up drama, made up stories, allegory, plain old deception and greed, and other thing that often make no sense as described by followers

    ““Didn’t Jesus say that his disciples would live to see him return, and he would establish a new Jewish ‘ Kingdom of God’ on earth?” and “Even Jesus was wrong in his prediction.”

    If you can show me where Jesus said that then fine. But I could not find it in Scripture. When the disciples asked when he would restore the kingdom Jesus replied that it was not for them to know the time or season (see Acts 1 :6-11 for the Ascension).”

Mathew 24:30-34 He was expecting a Jewish Kingdom of God, because he was Jewish, He was a rabbi, and great believer in the Jewish faith. The Christian faith as we know it today did not really start to evolve until a couple hundred years after the death of Jesus. Well, Paul was preparing the stage.

“The Kingdom of God is referred to frequently in the Tanakh (see 1 Chronicles 1 Chronicles 29:10-12 and Daniel 4:3 for example). It is tied to Jewish understanding that God will intervene to restore the nation of Israel, and return to rule over them. The Kingdom of God was expressly promised to the patriarch and prophet, King David, because he was a man “after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22); and God made the Davidic Covenant with King David, promising him that he would “never lack a man to sit upon His throne, forever” (1 Kings 9:5). From Wikipedia” That prophecy never made it-Bill

    “Going back to the sin thing…When we sin we defile God’s creation. If we saw sin how God sees it we would shudder. (Zech 11:8; Ez. 20:43; 2 Cor 7:1). When we sin we rebel against God. A true ‘rebellion’ is when people try to assasinate those in charge and that’s why man did in Genesis 3:5–man wanted to be rid of God and to be like Him. When we sin we show ingratitude. God gives us everything (Life, love, friends, etc) and yet we sin. We rebel against God and yet we expect Him to keep blessing us. [These are some notes I took on a sermon about sin. It was the third in the series and it applies to people who believe it but I thought I would share it anyway.]”

Again with the sin thing. How old are you? Just live your life..and treat other people as you would like to be treated. Stay away from drugs, and when you’re old enough, treat alcohol with respect. If you find a woman you love, love her with all your heart, never cheat on her, and treat her with total respect. Follow these concepts and you really won’t have much to worry about. You keep worrying about sin so much and it will distort your brain…maybe make it explode. 🙂

Have a great life. I envy you your youth and promise.

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A New Sunday Sermon…Kind of

A new Sunday Sermon…Kind of

Hi Idugan,

To first readers…this is a reply to a reply that is under the heading: Did Jesus Exist? Here

Wow, where to begin. First, let me thank you for taking so much time to correspond with me. Thank You.

I am using the Bible and references to God, Jesus, Scriptures, etc., because we are ‘talking’ about them, and you are familiar with the myths

To clarify part of this; I do not believe that the Bible and the depictions of God, et al., are anything more than mans interpretations, campfire myths, etc., of his beginnings. I think they had a kind of relevance in the early times of mans intellectual childhood. There were no words at first to describe his thoughts or feelings. There was no explanations of what he saw. With no concept of science and being unsophisticated in thought and preoccupied with not starving to death, he made up stories to describe what lay before him. Civilizations across the face of the earth all did the same; a lot of them were made up before the bible stories were written down, and some of them were written down before Moses, and others, wrote the Pentateuch.

For a God to be sorry for his creation speaks volumes about the image of this spirit creature. He made a ‘broken species’, feels sorry because they do not live up to ‘expectations’, and then murders millions of them, in an especially painful way, and then feels remorse. He did it to wipe out the sinfulness of His prior creation, and let a new, sinless mankind take over the earth. How well did that work out, I ask you? Do you not think a real God would realize the futility of this measure? Does this story (which has no support in science and actual geological history of the earth) not sound like a child’s tale? This was/is a 4,000-4500 year old morality tale.

God did not let Moses into the promised land for a minor infraction; after he had spent a lifetime following God and doing His will. God allowed Jesus to be descended from a murderer and adulterer. And although He has said that the son does inherits the sins of the father, He also said that the son does not inherit the sins of the father, I don’t know what to believe. Do you not see the craziness of this, the inconsistencies of these stories? As a race, we humans have grown up; the old fairy tales do not relate anymore-they might if they made more sense…were not so unbelievable and childish.

We are holding on to old concepts and beliefs well past their ‘sell by date’. You want to worship a God? Do so. Just don’t make the worship/initiation such a silly thing. How about: God, you made me, I acknowledge that, forgive me for my weaknesses and sins, I’ll try to do better. No need to go through the morality plays over and over and over again, they stick in the mind pretty quickly. And Christians need to stop proselytizing. Its very irritating for those of another faith. Everyone in the world has heard the story by now. Your eagerness and boldness in pointing out the ‘mistakes’ of other belief systems and cultures is just annoying and wrong.

Christians spend so much time and energy arguing about the nature of God and Jesus and invent such wild imagery of the proper way to worship and tithe, etc., that they end up killing each other about differences that really don’t exist in the real world.

Define ‘sin’ for me if you would Idugan.

The only thing I do to ‘sin’, is occasionally have a bad thought about someone. I have sometimes committed adultery in my mind, like Jimmy Carter, so I’m in good company. But, the older I get the less I find it happening.;-) I love my family and friends and try to be charitable to all I see and meet.

I don’t believe in the religions as they are now promoted. The theology is just plain crazy in my humble estimation. So consequently, I do not ‘worship’ that great spirit in the sky-and I don’t think He needs the stuff that Christianity pushes on helpless humans.

I think that evangelical, fundamentalists, are just plain brainwashed. They cannot seem to break out of a mold that was laid down hundreds of years ago, and worse, they don’t think they need to. “Gimme that ol’ time religion.” 🙂

To read and actually listen to the words of the Bible, God is VERY inconsistent. You might go: Here and see for yourself. They quote from real Bibles, so you will be reading actual real Scriptures. Easily checkable at Bible Gateway.

Paul established his ‘bonafides’ to his (Jesus’) followers by saying Jesus spoke to him in a beam of light. Then he proceeded to steer the flock away from an apocalyptic leaning. Didn’t Jesus say that his disciples would live to see him return, and he would establish a new Jewish ‘ Kingdom of God’ on earth?

People are lying to you when they tell you that Scriptures have not been altered. I don’t trust Paul..or Eusebius…..or Constantine for that matter.

You know what I consider interesting? That Islam, which was established around 250-300 years after Christianity, now has over 1,200,000,000 followers and is permanently ensconced over the whole world. And growing at a faster clip than Christianity. The Muslims have much higher fertility rates…in some cases twice as much…more little Muslims running around than little Christians. Oh yea…Mohammad loved little girls (and I do mean loved). My point in this paragraph, is that people will believe almost anything. And they would rather follow than lead, or buck the establishment. Early Christians and Muslims tapped into that, and our present day leaders, both secular and religious, do the same. Don’t rock the boat, and don’t ask too many questions

A lot of scholars think that John of Patmos was writing about Rome. He was clearly delusional. Ministers have been predicting the ‘End of the World’, based on bogus interpretations of Revelations for 2,000 years now. Even Jesus was wrong in his prediction. I don’t think the Apostles died for what they knew to be a lie, they died for a misguided belief. People have martyred themselves for less.

Regarding this line: “until you truly believe the Word of God and trust in Jesus for your salvation you cannot know ‘truth’.”

I would believe, if I truly knew what the real ‘truthful word’ was..or is. 🙂

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Did God Give US Free Will?

Do we REALLY have free will?

Some of the best known Christians in history have taught there is no free will, including St. Augustine , Martin Luther, and John Calvin. The Christian Bible states in many places that God creates our future and decides our fates. It constantly denies that we have free will. If God knows exactly what will happen, (Being omnipotent and omniscient of course) the status of choices as free, is questionable.

“Praise be to [God], who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” Ephesians 1:4-6 NIV

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:4-10 NIV

“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified” Romans 8:29-30 NIV

“Not only that, but Rebekah’s children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad – in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls – she was told “The older will serve the younger”. Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated”. What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion” Romans 9:10-15 NIV

“It does not therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed on all the earth.” [Exodus 9:16] Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” ” Romans 9:16-19

“[God] has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, ” 2 Timothy 1:9 NASB

All people living on the Earth will worship [The Devil], except those whose names were written before the creation of the world in the book of the living which belongs to [Jesus].” Revelations 13:8 NIV Pretty much the whole thing

Schopenhauer talks of free will and moral responsibility thusly:

“Everyone believes himself a priori to be perfectly free, even in his individual actions, and thinks that at every moment he can commence another manner of life. … But a posteriori, through experience, he finds to his astonishment that he is not free, but subjected to necessity, that in spite of all his resolutions and reflections he does not change his conduct, and that from the beginning of his life to the end of it, he must carry out the very character which he himself condemns….”

So what is one to make of all this? Christians, today tell me that I have free will and it is by my own choice whether I go to heaven or hell. But, then you read Revelations 13:8 (above). Of course this is just one of MANY inconsistencies to be found in that confounding book; the Bible.

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Was Jesus a Christian?

Was Jesus a Christian in his lifetime?

Very interesting book review in Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper yesterday. Link Here

A new book: How Jesus Became Christian, by Canadian author Barry Wilson, 2008, Random House Canada, says: “Jesus was preaching as a Jew, a rabbi, and championed the Torah, prayed in synagogue and urged his followers to adhere strictly to Jewish law.”

Wilson says that Jesus did not want to abolish Jewish religion and life; he wanted to improve it. His followers began to think of him as a Messiah, and after his death his brother James and followers waited for him to return to create the “Kingdom of God”

After the death of James the Jesus Movement was in decline until Paul of Tarsus hijacked the cause. Paul did not know Jesus, but linked his writings, in an oblique way, to the long dead Messiah. Paul says that he received the Gospel not from man, but by “the revelation of Jesus Christ” on the road to Damascus, thru a “beam of light.” I think I saw one of Paul’s relatives on Hollywood Blvd. one day in the 1960’s.

Wilson terms “Paulinity” – “a Hellenized religion about a Gentile Christ, a cosmic redeemer” – rather than the Jewish-inspired religion of Jesus, which was embraced by the Gentiles of the Roman world in the period from the second to the fourth centuries.”

Paul is second most prolific writer in the New Testament. Authorship of 13 or 14 letters, or Pauline Epistles have been credited to him, some of which he actually wrote himself. His influence on Christianity and the New Testament has been highly underrated. Some think he invented Christianity, as we know it today.

Paul himself is very unwilling to talk about the character of his conversion, though in Galatians he uses it as authority for his independence from the apostles: Here

Paul removes his theology from Jesus’ apostles; he writes his own.

In the academic field (other than evangelicals, who insist that the bible was always the same, inerrant in all ways), there is not much doubt that the Christian writings have been changed significantly since the earliest days.

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The Trinity, Brothers of Jesus, Was Mary A Constant Virgin?

Hi again quickbeamoffangorn, Good to hear from you again. I’m putting this on column–much easier to edit, allows for more exposition.

OK, I went to your reference link, and I’m still not groking this. I only have Webster’s and Random House dictionaries and not OED. Spiration does not show up in Catholic dictionary.

Your link: “http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07409a.htm He proceeds, not by way of generation, but by way of spiration, from the Father and the Son together, as from a single principle.”

“Yes, of course Jesus had brothers and sisters, Mary was not a perpetual virgin.”

“Sorry this is simply a misreading of the scriptural data. The former point isn’t proven at all. You are free to hold the latter if you chose, but frankly if one places themselves in St. Joseph’s shoes; I don’t think you’d be keen on bedding down with a women who was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. Of course if you dismiss the bible as historically inaccurate then that goes out the window, but then there’s no point in having a discussion either if that’s the case.”

Well on the above point I am going to take Occam’s Razor firmly in hand, place to my throat, and say:

Mathew 1:25: And [Joseph] knew her not till she had brought forth her *firstborn son: and he called His name JESUS.

Mathew 12:46-47: While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.

Mathew 13:55-56 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?

Mark 3:31-32: There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.

Mark 6:3: Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

Luke 2:7: And she brought forth her *FIRSTBORN son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 8:20-21 And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee. And he answered and said unto them, my mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.

John: 7:3: His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest..

*To be called the firstborn may imply there are more, and the different scripture selections seem to back this up by referencing “brethren” in a separate manner than “brothers of the congregation.” Just a billion or so Protestant people’s belief. On the point of bedding down with a wife who’d had relations (in a spiritual way) with God-there may be some element of sexuality there you have not considered. 🙂

I consider the Bible historically accurate on most points. People, places, and a number of events, have been shown to be true by archaeological and other sciences. However these same sciences are showing that a lot of Genesis events are not. Of course there is controversy about the sciences intruding in religion, but I feel it is a legitimate area of research.

I’m not even close to being an arian–Sikh’s are weird. That whole mustache and beard thing is creepy. 🙂

LOL, I don’t know if your having a bit of fun at my expense on this one or not. Arianism don’t have to do with Sikh’s. It was the heresy that rocked Christianity in the 4th century.http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01707c.htm

I think there may be too many arians around. When you mentioned this term, I immediately thought of the Indian sub-continent. This is from Wikipedia:

The Arain are an agricultural caste settled mainly in the Punjab (Pakistan), with significant numbers also in the Sindh (Pakistan). They are chiefly associated with farming (market gardening), traditionally being small landowners or zamindars

Being slightly dyslexic, I transposed the i and a. Well at least we got a laugh from it. 🙂


I think I do hold the Sola Scriptura position on most things I read in the Bible, as do a lot of people of the Protestant faiths. Although I am not of those faiths, I do follow most of their logic in regards to deciphering Scripture

“The Trinity was fought over for years before it was canonized; it was a human thing. Were it a God-driven message, there would have been no opposition.”

Now here you appear to move into what appears to be a Monothelites position (one will) another heresy only that was condemned in the late 7th century.

Not believing in a Trinity does put me in the category of Monotheism. Me, a Heretic? I’ll fight you all the way to the stake. 🙂

Wasn’t Jesus ministry itself opposed by religious humans? Does it follow that His ministry is therefore human driven? I don’t think that point stands.

The ministry of Jesus was opposed by the Jewish clergy, the Sadducees, etc.. It seems, from Scripture, that the common folk followed him

” Remember, God was supposed to be directing this thing. People were tortured for their non-belief in the Trinity. Does that seem like a Godly enterprise?”

Agreed. This was political then anything else. The Trinitarians were tortured, beaten, exiled and killed by the Arian emperors and when Trinitarian emperors came to power they in turn applied the same method to the Arian believers. Their rational was to create political stablility as a unifying principle for the empire.
Most of history used that principle. The church isn’t excused in going along with the states methods, but that does not invalidate it either IMO.

First, I don’t think there were any non-Trinitarian emperors. Emperors previous to Constantine did not believe in the Christian God. Constantine was the first emperor to convert to Christianity; all the others were pagan. He was the first emperor to legalize Christianity. When Constantine converted the Roman Empire to Christianity he was not a hard believer of one way or another, regarding the Trinity. At the end of the Nicene council he told the members to decide on Trinitarianism or monotheism, they choose the former, and there followed a number of years where the monotheists (arians) were tortured and killed for their beliefs–by The Mother Church, with Rome’s help of course. The 50 Bibles that Constantine commissioned at Nicene’s end contained the Trinity. Again I will ask; does that seem like a Godly enterprise?

“Regarding my using Bible literalism for exposition-Hey, priests and ministers have been doing it for centuries. ”

Selectively yes. I’m not saying it hasn’t been used, I simply saying it’s flawed.

Flawed or not it is used extensively by Protestants, and I feel no shame in using the same tactic.

“I think if this were indeed real (Trinity, Dualism, etc.) that there would not be the dichotomy we see in Scripture.”

Again this goes back to the reformation idea of sola scriptura. Your free to chose that position, just be aware it’s a 16th century creation.

Christianity has down through time constantly adjusted positions. I disagree on the Trinity and I don’t feel apprehension about it. But then I am not leading a billion people.

“There should not be a special class of priests necessary to explain God’s words or meanings.”

Easily understandable given the times we live in. As the secular world increases and the influence of Christianity continues to decline, the quality of all the Christians will increase, because true sacrifices will be required of them- especially in first world countries.

Interesting poll came out last week that said 45% of religious people have, in the last year, “changed” their religion. I wonder what is going on?

Been a pleasure “talking” to you “quick.”

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