Archives for the month of: September, 2015

Alternatively Titled: Jesus told you to sell your possessions and give to the poor, so why haven’t you?

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If you’re a Christian, a sincere believer that following Christ and his teachings is the best way to store up treasure in Heaven, I have a very simple question – WHY do you own a computer or web-enabled phone?

This question might seem out of left field, after all almost everyone in modern society owns a cell phone that can browse the internet and many people also own a laptop, desktop or tablet to surf the web. But if the Jesus of the Gospels looked at most American Christians today he would rather perplexed by their behavior. Many of them buy fancy clothing and dress up each Sunday to go to Church, they own houses, multiple vehicles, computers and electronic devices, television sets and more clothes than they need.

While many Churches these days do help out the poor and hungry in our communities the average individual Christian does not follow Christ’s directions in the Gospels. Which directions am I talking about? Why the ones that tell Christians to sell their possessions, give the money to the poor, and hang out with and help out the poor at every opportunity.

There is no ambiguity in the Gospels that Jesus is preaching a Gospel of poverty. People, he says, should give no care of tomorrow and let tomorrow worry about itself for God will provide for them. And repeatedly, over and over again, Jesus tells those who wish to be followers to give away all of their possessions in order to follow him.

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Now there’s a handful of ways for modern Christians to skirt their way around this. They can pretend that Jesus was only talking to his followers in the 1st Century and not to those who would live thousands of years later… this kind of cherry-picking seems severely dishonest. Or those Christians could argue that God provided them the things they have, the cars, the money, the house, etc. The idea these people present, without any backing from the Bible, is that God has blessed them with Earthly treasure for their faithfulness.

Not only does this prosperity Gospel fly in the face of Christ’s actual teachings, which direct followers to give up Earthly goods to pursue treasures that are only in Heaven but it also doesn’t make any sense when you break it down. After all there are plenty of faithful devout believers who ARE homeless or poor and who can’t seem to catch a break and there are plenty of wealthy hypocrites and even wealthy non-Christians. So obviously being a sincere believer does not correspond to one’s worldly goods (duh). Jesus does say that God will provide food and clothing to wear but not any sort of riches or worldly things.

There is this weird contradiction I’ve noticed about many Christians here in America, the majority of them are REPUBLICANS. Republicans demonize the poor at almost every turn and deride the idea of their hard earned tax dollars going to help people on Welfare or Food Stamps. Yet this is exactly the sort of thing Christ wanted, people helping each other, helping to feed the poor, downtrodden or outcast. Jesus didn’t want Christians looking down on the poor, in fact Jesus liked to hang out with prostitutes and poor people an awful lot and only very rarely did he hang out with the wealthy.

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Jesus’ philosophy is almost self-destructively selfless. Turn the other cheek, give to those who steal from you even more than they take, bless those that curse you and love your enemies – and do not worry about tomorrow. Judge no one and be sure to remove the sin from your life before you criticize anyone. Help the poor and freely do miracles.

Yet why do we not see any verifiable evidence of miracles? Why do we not see Christians selling their worldly goods so that they can take up their cross and giving the money to the poor?

While I, obviously, do not agree with all of what Jesus says there is wisdom in some of it and while I do not think every American should give up everything they have to help the poor I think a more charitable attitude would help a great deal. Rather than despising those who are own Food Stamps are freeloaders perhaps Christians might look at them as Christ would have, as other fucking people who happen to be in a bad financial spot where they could use a little help to make ends meet.

Obviously this post is a bit different from other Fuck the Bible posts, because instead of saying Fuck the Bible, I am essentially pointing out that Christians aren’t following the book they purportedly think is the Word of God.

As I said though there’s plenty of self-destructive nonsense in what Jesus is talking about when he tells people not to resist an evil person but to submit to them. I understand that Christ was a pacifist (another fact many Christians would angrily disagree with) but he takes it to an extreme degree even telling his followers not to defend themselves. This seems like madness! If some burglar demands my wallet I am meant to give him my shoes as well? No thank you.

Jesus, being an apocalyptic prophet, believed that there was no reason to worry about tomorrow, the Kingdom of God was on its way. But today the advice to let tomorrow worry about itself is itself worrying. How can we possibly not worry about tomorrow? There are goals to be set and achieved, obstacles to overcome, and an uncertain future that we must attempt to shape as best we can. But, if, as Jesus believed, the world was fast coming to an end, there would be no reason to plan.

Dangerously there are some end-times minded Christians to this day who hold to the dangerous belief that the end is coming soon and that we don’t need to worry about abusing the planet and misusing our resources. They look forward to the end, to seeing God descend with fire and wrath and unleash slaughter on all the “evil people” of the world.

If you are a Christian reading this I wonder how closely you truly follow the word of your Savior. Do you keep the commandments, as Jesus instructs? Do you give to the poor regularly and keep yourself from becoming rich? (A rich man cannot pass into heaven, the Bible describes it as nearly impossible, as a camel passing through the eye of a needle). If you do keep the commandments very closely I wonder how you are even reading this, unless you’re at a local internet cafe or public library. Do you love Jesus more than your own family? Because if not you are unworthy. Have you ever been divorced and remarried, than Christ believes you are guilty of adultery, a capital offense in the Old Testament.

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How many demon have you cast out? How many miracles do you have under your belt? Because we are meant to know Christ’s followers by their “FRUITS” and if you are not bearing fruit Christ says you may be cut down and cast into the fire.

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If you don’t follow after Christ all that closely than I wonder WHY you believe in something you are unwilling or unable to follow. Why not discard it? Give the Bible a much closer examination and study how it came together and then decide whether the commandments are worth keeping and the beliefs worth holding onto. And if they are, then I bid you farewell as you will no doubt sell your possessions to follow Christ. If they aren’t worth believing then I hope you will one day join me when I say, Fuck the Bible.

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Alternatively titled: God Is like Immortan Joe from Mad Max Fury Road

One element that is crucial to modern Christianity is the doctrine of God’s mercy and grace being almost limitless. In fact there are numerous verses of scripture about just how kind and forgiving God is. Thanks to Jesus’ brutal ritualistic death and supernatural Resurrection God can forgive just about anything.

However as I hope I have shown on this blog God’s mercy is actually extremely limited. In fact any reasonably moral human being who behaved like God does would be labeled a serial murderer, psychopath, and be thrown in prison for life. When judged by human standards God is a supernatural maniac who kills at the slightest offense and often for things that no sane person would consider offensive. Yahweh is a dangerous war criminal, a spreader of plague and famine. The Bible paints a portrait of a terrifyingly tyrannical celestial dictator bumbling about with some illiterate people in the desert before carving out a swath of land for them via conquest and slaughter.

The Bible also makes sure that we are aware that God’s mercy is not infinite, not only by depicting God as a short-tempered wrath-bringer but by specifically mentioning sins and misdeeds that simply cannot be forgiven.

Take, for example, a story in Deuteronomy 29. God is reminding the Israelites of their escape from and captivity in Egypt when he mentions the detestable religious practices of that land. See God, for superstitious woo woo reasons, doesn’t like idols or depictions of things. God doesn’t like graven images of anything on Heaven or Earth and get’s jealous that people might like the creation more than they like the creator.

He cautions the Israelites not to let idol worship or the worship of other gods enter into their communities and announces that he will never forgive and has no mercy for those who commit this violation of the Covenant.

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Not only does this passage mention this as an unforgivable sin but also further indicates the superstitious nonsense we’re dealing with by invoking the “curses in this book”. Spooky huh? And yet Christians are always bragging about how different their religion is, how it can be reconciled with reason and logic and how it is compatible with science. Does a warning about curses set to befall people for building idols REALLY sound enlightened or spiritually deep? Because to me it sounds like primitive Iron Age horseshit.

Of course most believers will be very familiar with the supposed Unpardonable sin talked about by Jesus as the Blaspheming of the Holy Spirit. On what exactly the unforgivable sin entails it’s hard to find two Christians that agree but they all seem in agreement that it is the only unforgivable sin, at least in the so-called New Covenant. But we don’t even need to bring that up to show how merciless God can be…

Meanwhile back in Deuteronomy, which is a great book to read if you’d like to become an atheist, God sends out the Israelites against their enemies and tells them to have no mercy or pity, to spare no one, and to utterly destroy every trace of them.

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Before this God is telling the Israelites all the blessings he is willing to give them if they do follow after him. Much like a dictator God repeatedly cautions the Israelites that he will revoke the blessings if they trip up or don’t follow orders. In fact given that all of this is taking place in the desert Yahweh is very reminiscent of the Mad Max villain Immortan Joe, only Yahweh is more evil.

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In the book of Jeremiah the prophet talks about the Babylonian captivity of the Hebrew people. Jeremiah is believed to have multiple authors, one reason for this is because it often switches between narrative and poetic verse on very short notice. Jeremiah 13 contains a pretty awesome, but merciless, poem where God plans on bringing down darkness on top of Israel but before this there is an even more outright statement of God’s less than benevolent intentions.

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So is God merciful? Obviously only up to a point and, as the Bible indicates, that point is a razor’s edge easy to cross. Many far-right Christians here in America talk about how our nation is going to be punished for allowing things like abortion and gay marriage and yet they fail to recognize one of the biggest reasons God would punish us – religious plurality.

The God of the Bible, if it existed, would be vehemently anti-American, after all our nation allows people of all faiths, not just Christianity or Judaism, but those who worship other gods as well. And it is that act that constantly get’s the nations surrounding the promised land into trouble in the Bible. In fact their cultures and gods are seen as so abhorrent to Yahweh that he wants those nations wiped away and every man, woman and child slaughtered without mercy or pity.

In Deuteronomy chapter 7 God directly warns that letting even the children live and be adopted might lead Israel astray.

So when completely insane terrorist groups like Isis threaten America with their fundamentalist version of Islam they are thinking in much the same terms, that Infidels and unbelievers must either be converted or killed. And remember that to them Yahweh and Allah are basically equivalent beings because, hey, they have the same brutally evil personality traits and dictatorial insanity.

In truth the unforgivable sin would be to allow bullshit like the Bible (and Koran) continue to weigh down society and drag us backward. It offers no true redemption, not with blood-soaked pages full of wrath and magic. We’re better off saying fuck the Bible.