"Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
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03-09-2011, 07:11 PM
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
(03-09-2011 10:27 AM)theophilus Wrote:  
(02-09-2011 09:56 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  "Jesus" was also very INCONSISTENT;
It is possible to make anyone appear inconsistent by citing statements which appear contradictory when they are viewed in isolation out context.

Quote:Jesus said
“The father is in me, and I in Him” (John 10:38 NJB), and,
"I and my father are one" (John 14:30 NJB). We were told that he is a part of, and equal to his father. Yet Jesus also spoke of his father as someone else:
"For the father is greater than I" (John 14:28 NJB), and,
"For God sent his son into the world not to condemn the world, but so that through him the world might be saved." (John 3:17 NJB). In the fourth century people murdered others because of disagreements over whether Jesus was God, son of God, or man. If the different authors of John had come to some consensus on whom Jesus was, maybe these fanatics wouldn’t have lost their lives and the Bible wouldn’t be so confusing.
Jesus was all three of these, God, son of God, and man. He was God and equal to the father but in his incarnation he took on a human form and temporarily assmed a lower position. People wouldn't have killed each other over this is they had simply obeyed Jesus' command to love each other.

Quote:Jesus said,
"Were I to testify on my own behalf, my testimony would not be valid" (John 5:31 NJB). This was followed a few chapters later by
"It is true that I am testifying on my own behalf, but my testimony is still valid...” (John 8:14 NJB).
Here is a little of the context of the first statement:
Quote:If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true.
John 5:31,31 ESV
Under the Mosaic law two witnesses were required to establish legally that something was true.

Quote:Jesus said,
"You have the poor with you always, but you will not always have me" (Matthew 26:11 NJB). Then he said,
"Know that I am with you always, yes to the end of time" (Matthew 28:20 NJB).
The first statement was made before his crucifixion and he meant that he would soon be taken away from them by his death. The second was after his resurrection and although he wouldn't be present physically he would send the Holy Spirit and would be spiritually present with them.

Quote:Jesus said,
"Love your enemies; bless them that curse you," (Matthew 5:44), but ignored his own advice by repeatedly denouncing his opposition:
"You brood of vipers, how can your speech be good when you are evil? For words flow out of what fills the heart" (Matthew 12:34 NJB), and,
"Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs that look handsome on the outside, but inside are full of the bones of the dead and every kind of corruption" (Matthew 23:27 NJB). One does not love and bless one’s enemies by insulting them.
The people he denounced were leading others away from the truth. Sometimes it is necessary to speak out against evildoers to keep them from hurting others.

Quote:Jesus said,
“Blessed are the peacemakers: they shall be recognised as children of God” (Matthew 5:9 NJB). He then said
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth: it is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34 NJB), and,
“If you have no sword, sell your cloak and buy one” (Luke 22:36 NJB).
The entire human race has fallen into sin and is in a state of war with God. Jesus came to make a way we can be forgiven and be at peace with God, but there are some who reject this gift and continue in a state of war. They are then in a state of conflict with those who follow God.

Quote:The Bible said,
“These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them as follows: 'Do not make your way to gentile territory, and do not enter any Samaritan town; go instead to the lost sheep of the House of Israel” (Matthew 10:5-6 NJB). Then Jesus contradicted himself:
“Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19 NJB).
The first command was given before the crucifixion; the second was given after the resurrection. This isn't a contradiction but simply different stages of Jesus' work.

Quote:There were obviously too many different authors putting words in Jesus’ mouth. A public figure that was reported as making these gaffs today would be picked to pieces and laughed at by the public.
What you find when you read the Bible depends on what you are looking for. If you have already decided that the Bible is false you will find things which seem to support your belief and will overlook those things which would prove you wrong. On the other hand if you read it with an open mind and are willing to accept the possibility that it is true, you might find that it isn't really contradictory at all.

Hi Theo, nice to hear from you! I clearly haven't rocked your deluded belief system. Congratulations at putting up some defense rather than just ignoring me. Your arguments , however, are very weak. I'll tell you why.

Re " It is possible to make anyone appear inconsistent by citing statements which appear contradictory when they are viewed in isolation out context." I accept you have a point here. Yet Christians have to repeatedly "create" ie "interpret" what Jesus "really meant", because "Jesus" wasn't sophisticated enough to express his ideas clearly. You would think the son of God would do a better job.

Re "Jesus was all three of these, God, son of God, and man. He was God and equal to the father but in his incarnation he took on a human form and temporarily assmed a lower position. " WHAT GOBBLEDYGOOK! In the 4th century Christians argued vehemently with each other as to whether Jesus was a God, son of God or a spirit. They couldn't agree, so decided he was all three. How EMBARRASSINGLY PATHETIC is that!

Re "Under the Mosaic law two witnesses were required to establish legally that something was true." Ok....but that's not what our mate said.

Re "The first statement was made before his crucifixion and he meant that he would soon be taken away from them by his death. The second was after his resurrection and although he wouldn't be present physically he would send the Holy Spirit and would be spiritually present with them." Theo...you're fabricating....and....your fabricated explanation is still unsatisfactory.

Re "The people he denounced were leading others away from the truth. Sometimes it is necessary to speak out against evildoers to keep them from hurting others." That is obvious Theo. It is also obvious he hated their guts, not loved them, yet told people to love their enemies. He didn't lead by example Theo.

Re "The entire human race has fallen into sin and is in a state of war with God. Jesus came to make a way we can be forgiven and be at peace with God, but there are some who reject this gift and continue in a state of war. They are then in a state of conflict with those who follow God." This random statement does not address the fact that Jesus was inconsistent. You've simply ignored the point I was making.

Re..."The first command was given before the crucifixion; the second was given after the resurrection. This isn't a contradiction but simply different stages of Jesus' work." WRONG THEO. J was a fundamentalist Jew. Gentile interpolators were trying to give Jesus universal appeal, so invented his resurrection and his instruction to go out to the whole world. Think about that Theo, and ask yourself which explanation (yours or mine) makes more sense.

Re..."What you find when you read the Bible depends on what you are looking for." NOW YOU"RE TALKING SENSE!

Re..."If you have already decided that the Bible is false you will find things which seem to support your belief and will overlook those things which would prove you wrong. On the other hand if you read it with an open mind and are willing to accept the possibility that it is true, you might find that it isn't really contradictory at all."
OK....this is the crux of the issue, isn't it! What you are admitting in a round about way is that you have to want to believe the Bible is true (which is not the same thing as reading it with an open mind). Because you want it to be true, it becomes true. One doesn't have to have an anti Christian agenda to discuss the immorality, hypocrisy and inconsistencies in the Bible...these things jump out at you from the pages when you take your Christian goggles off. Why don't you take your Christian goggles off occasionally Theo? The world looks a lot clearer without them.
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03-09-2011, 07:22 PM
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
(03-09-2011 10:27 AM)theophilus Wrote:  What you find when you read the Bible depends on what you are looking for.

Precisely, make sure you are looking for the right things.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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03-09-2011, 07:23 PM
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
(03-09-2011 11:10 AM)CA Deere Wrote:  I am only now seeking to dissect the new testament, I am hoping to attend a debate in Dallas soon with Bart Erhman vs some other guy, but you are definitely on to something here. We know just as the garden or eden story and the flood are doom to close inspection so should Jesus. Carefully his message has been guarded and massaged of the centuries. I hope to learn something from this debate as many have vaunted Erhman as "the man" with the gospel. You make several points here, 1. exclusivity of favor 2. patronage of massacre 3. faith for candy...very good points one and all. Most faithful suburban christian know very little of the bible outside their preacher lips and spittle, and quickly distance from the old testament waving as you have said the flag of the bright and shiney Jesus. It is here that our future debates must be made. Just as Mohammed will be next. So I give a a vote of confidence and encourage you continue this line of thought...Thanks

Hi, nice to hear from you and thanks for your encouragement. You have a clever way with words.

Yes.....this is a point that people of reason need to make....the core of the Christian philosophy, the gospels, contain childish, simplistic, inconsistent and often immoral teachings from Jesus. These teachings damage people.

I will post a bit more about "Jesus"

Jesus and Eunuchs
Jesus said,
“There are eunuchs born that way from their mother’s womb, there are eunuchs made so by men and there are eunuchs who have made themselves that way for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.” (Matthew 19:12 NJB). Jesus was promoting removal of the testicles to facilitate entry into the kingdom of heaven. What a sick idea. Throughout history some men have mutilated themselves or others because of these lines. This teaching poisons a healthy attitude to sexuality in impressionable boys and men.

Jesus and Sex
Jesus badmouthed the very natural desire men have for attractive women;
“If a man looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28 NJB). Yet to have sexual thoughts is a normal aspect of being human, as natural as hunger or the need to breathe. Sexual desires are not something we can control, and if we don’t have them, there is a problem with our physiology. We can control acting on our desires, and to do so may have merit, but that is not what Jesus said. He claimed desire itself was sinful and implied we should be ashamed of our libidos.

For nearly two thousand years many Christian fanatics have felt guilt about what is natural and healthy. Some have denied themselves a sex life in the hope that would impress God and buy them a ticket to heaven. They have caused themselves much emotional pain and frustration. Some of these fanatics have ended up with neurotic illnesses. Many have sexually abused innocent victims. The words of Jesus must take some of the blame.

An Unbalanced Jesus
One has to wonder whether a man who could say the following has life’s values in perspective:
“If your right eye should cause you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; for it will do you less harm to lose one part of you than to have your whole body thrown into hell. And if your right hand should cause you to sin, cut it off and throw it away” (Matthew 5:29 NJB). This demonstrated an abnormally high degree of tension and fanaticism in Jesus’ mind, even if we grant he was talking allegorically.

Jesus the Pacifist
Jesus sometimes claimed people should be pacifists;
"To the man who slaps you on one cheek, give him the other cheek too" (Luke 6:29-30 NJB), and,
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5 NKJ). This is fundamentally unsound advice as it encourages a repetition of the offence by the other party, and engenders poor self-esteem. We should have enough self-respect to resist oppression.
Jesus said something very odd about enemies:
“I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44 NJB). This too is poor advice. We should listen to our enemies’ grievances and try to sort out any disagreements, but if necessary defend ourselves, not love and pray for our enemies.

Jesus often bad-mouthed his own enemies, so he didn’t lead by example. It is not surprising that only a tiny minority of Christians have ever taken any notice of this teaching.
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08-09-2011, 08:27 PM
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
Hey Theo, where you gone?
Ain't you going to defend your hero?
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09-09-2011, 10:54 AM
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
(08-09-2011 08:27 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hey Theo, where you gone?
Ain't you going to defend your hero?
No. It is obvious that nothing I can say will make you change your mind on this subject.

The information in ancient libraries came from real minds of real people. The far more complex information in cells came from the far more intelligent mind of God.
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09-09-2011, 01:53 PM (This post was last modified: 10-09-2011 11:20 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
Nice bump. Dunno why GrilyMan hadn't responded to these before now, must've missed them.

I'm gonna preface my comments with I don't accept any text as sacred. That gives me the clearing I need to pick and choose what I think feels right and ignore the bullshit. Granted this is kinda an end-around from the point Mark keeps trying to make that Jesus was an asshole. But I see him as a man just like me. In his finer moments he espoused compassion and empathy and liberation and enlightenment, in his lesser moments he was an asshole spewing forth shit. Just like me.

(03-09-2011 07:23 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  “There are eunuchs born that way from their mother’s womb, there are eunuchs made so by men and there are eunuchs who have made themselves that way for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.” (Matthew 19:12 NJB).

Okay, this GirlyMan can't accept it. Which is why this pharmaceutically induced eunuch slaps testosterone gel on every day. Poof, no more GirlyMan.

(03-09-2011 07:23 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  “If a man looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28 NJB).

Well hell, since I've already fucked her in my heart, I might as well go home and beat off so that I've fucked her in my head too. What I won't do is actually try to physically fuck her lest I spooge a perfectly happy 25 year monogamous marriage.

(03-09-2011 07:23 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  “If your right eye should cause you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; for it will do you less harm to lose one part of you than to have your whole body thrown into hell. And if your right hand should cause you to sin, cut it off and throw it away” (Matthew 5:29 NJB).

As a diagnosed manic depressive in my teens followed by a decades long major depressive disorder with more than a little familiarity with OCD, I see this as completely allegorical and cautionary. Little obsessions can quickly degenerate into something far more dangerous and sinister. Nip them in the bud.

(03-09-2011 07:23 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  "To the man who slaps you on one cheek, give him the other cheek too" (Luke 6:29-30 NJB)

The damage they are inflicting on themselves is far greater than the damage they are doing to you. Give them the opportunity to hoist themselves on their own petard. This is why I never raised a hand or expressed anger at any of my four now adult children. It would've damaged me far more than it possibly could've benefited them. Fortunately, they all respond well to reason.

(03-09-2011 07:23 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  “I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44 NJB).

Not so odd. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

Like I said in my preface, this is kinda orthogonal to the point Mark keeps trying to make that Jesus was an asshole. Yes he was, who isn't? By not recognizing any text as sacred, I get to pick and choose those teachings which I find compelling while rejecting those which are bullshit. Not only do I think I can I do this all by myself, I think I have to.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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09-09-2011, 02:44 PM
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
(24-08-2011 11:19 AM)FSM_scot Wrote:  [quote='theophilus' pid='42700' dateline='1314206031']

If you don't have a Bible with you here are two places you can read it online.

http://www.esvbible.org/Genesis+1/

http://www.blueletterbible.org/

There's also...

http://www.biblebrowser.com/

Pretty sweet and a good thing to carry into a conversation with a pestering theist.
They really hate it when you're a little too accurate with "their" words.

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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10-09-2011, 06:12 PM (This post was last modified: 10-09-2011 06:42 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
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11-09-2011, 02:09 AM
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
(09-09-2011 10:54 AM)theophilus Wrote:  
(08-09-2011 08:27 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hey Theo, where you gone?
Ain't you going to defend your hero?
No. It is obvious that nothing I can say will make you change your mind on this subject.

What a shame you're going off to sulk. Who's going to defend Jesus when you're gone? Maybe I could tempt you with a few more? Come on Theo...its fun!

Now where was I? Ah yes...Jesus the Sacrifice.

Jesus the Sacrifice?
Jesus said,
“For God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17 NJB), and,
“For I did not come to condemn the world, but to save the world” (John 12:47 NJB).
The idea that Jesus thought his own impending murder was a sacrifice to save the world was, in reality, only first put forward by Paul, many years after Jesus died. It was a profoundly illogical argument. The real Jesus would never have claimed his own death was needed to placate Yahweh and thereby save men from their sins unless he was seriously deluded, and I don’t think he was. Jesus, who was a traditional Jew, would have imagined sin was an issue that the sinner needed to sort out directly with his god, Yahweh, perhaps with some help from the local priest. There was no need for belief in a third party.

If we assume God was Jesus’ father, let’s consider his position. Insisting his son die a horrific and degrading death for someone else’s sins is ridiculous.

Jesus and Salvation
Jesus claimed everyone needed to believe in him to win the prize of salvation:
“No one who believes in him will be condemned; but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already because he has refused to believe in the name of God’s only son” (John 3:18 NJB). Oh dear. What an odd idea! Gospel authors made Jesus sound arrogant by having him claim he was the Son of God and then had him say one had to believe that to get into heaven. I don’t believe the real Jesus ever said anything of the sort. This is another one of Paul’s imaginative ideas that has been retrofitted to Jesus.

“Jesus” was implying one should allow oneself to be convinced of something because one is told to do so. Yet genuine belief is the result of an examination of good evidence, not of being cajoled or threatened. Furthermore, while it is possible to lie about beliefs to avoid, for example, a firing squad, an omnipotent god always knows if one is lying, so we cannot fool God by pretending to believe. If “Jesus’” agenda is true, a person who genuinely doesn’t believe the spiel is doomed with no hope of salvation, condemned to burn in hell forever because he can’t get away with lying.

Let’s consider an analogy. Imagine a group of Santa Claus fanatics threatened a group of Christians with eternal hell fire if they refused to believe Santa was real. That wouldn’t and shouldn’t and couldn’t make those Christians genuinely believe Santa was real, as Christian adults know the red and white man is a myth. The analogy with Jesus is similar. Most people know the divinity of Jesus is a myth. Christians should respect that, no matter how wrong they think people are, but many don’t, so they threaten non-believers with punishment or eternal damnation. Vulnerable children are sometimes exposed to these threats.

This idea of salvation is an integral part of a power game. Churches find it a very useful idea to promote as they can promise people heaven, a reward they are never obliged to deliver, in return for which they can then tell people what to do and think.

Jesus and Faith

Jesus made a lot of promises. He talked of heaven, kingdoms, and miraculous events to come. As he couldn’t prove these things would happen, he had to insist people have faith:
“Everything is possible for anyone who has faith” (Mark 9:24 NJB). Everything is possible if one injects oneself with heroin too, but that is only an illusion that lasts a few hours. At the end of the experiment one is left with cold hard reality, and faith, like heroin, will never change reality.

Jesus stated
“I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3 NJB). He was demanding uncritical belief, and was threatening anyone who didn’t believe by refusing them heaven. Once again, the fact he resorted to threats meant he had a weak argument. This aptly demonstrates how the Gospels were written for an uneducated audience, and what is more, were aimed at keeping them uneducated so they could be more easily controlled.

The Gospel authors were hoping faithful and trusting Christians would believe the fantasy that Jesus had all the answers. Children occasionally ignore reality because they have very active imaginations. That is natural and healthy during one’s childhood, and does no harm. An adult, however, needs to face up to reality if he or she is going to be truly happy and successful. To just decide to have faith in Jesus when there is no good proof of his divinity is to avoid facing reality.
Uncritical belief, otherwise known as faith or superstition, is an essential part of the Christian dogma. Without faith, Christianity completely disintegrates, which is why Gospel authors have Jesus praising its value.

Faith in Jesus should not preclude rational thought in non-religious facets of life, yet unfortunately and insidiously it often does. Faith can change the way a person looks at the world because one loses confidence in the power and logic of the rational. The truth becomes something one is told by someone in authority, not something inherently logical. One tends to believe his destiny is out of one’s control, determined by the favour or otherwise of an unpredictable God.

There is a superior alternative to faith. A person becomes mature, well balanced and successful by using rational thinking. Society too makes advances in science, education and law by employing rational thought.

Mankind failed to progress, and in fact societies declined, throughout the dark ages, largely because Christian churches actively discouraged rational thought. Churches were not comfortable with people thinking for themselves, or for scientists discovering solutions to problems, because any thinking not focused on a church’s doctrine was seen as a threat to their power.

Jesus asked the individual and society to do something we should never ever do: abandon our sense of reason and the pursuit of rational solutions to problems. That puts an end to the discovery of truth.
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11-09-2011, 04:00 PM
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
(11-09-2011 02:09 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  An adult, however, needs to face up to reality if he or she is going to be truly happy and successful.

You can be happy and successful without ever acceding the existence of any reality whatsoever. I mean, I am and I don't.

(11-09-2011 02:09 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  There is a superior alternative to faith. A person becomes mature, well balanced and successful by using rational thinking.

Rational thinking is far more useful and utilitarian, but I'm very careful not to let myself be seduced by it either. It is intrinsically limited.

(11-09-2011 02:09 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Jesus asked the individual and society to do something we should never ever do: abandon our sense of reason and the pursuit of rational solutions to problems. That puts an end to the discovery of truth.

I don't think Jesus asked me to do that. I think the peanut gallery looking to exploit this unusual personality to control and manipulate the rest of us is responsible for that perversion.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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