Hypocrisy is a Christian Value

Throughout my adult life, and certainly in the past few years, I’ve noticed a trend where Christians will unabashedly proclaim certain values and morals to be the direct guidance from god, then turn around and act completely different.  These values and morals are not just written in a book for us to read, but actually INFUSED in our brains, they claim.  To act otherwise is to wish to sin.  Yet basically the majority of voting Christians in this country have acted completely opposite of the values they claim to possess.  They say one thing in church, and do a completely different thing in the voting booth.  Hypocrisy, you ask?  Most definitely.

Outside the voting booth, preachers and apologists willingly lie every day.  They’ve practiced it so much it’s become second nature.  Their flock is no better off.  The bible belt is also the divorce belt, gay porn belt and abortion belt.  This hardly seems like the Christianity they profess.

For fun, I went to a Christian website and found this list of “Christian Values.”

Grace – a subversive value! Giving people more than they deserve.
Hope – not a guarantee of immunity from harm but a conviction that God is always
present
Faith – the means to real depth in relationships of all kinds
Love – means to love the unlovely
Justice – for all (not ‘just-me’). A concept biased in favor of the disadvantaged.
Joy – impossible to legislate for this but an essential social value
Service – meaning is found in service rather than self-centredness
Peace– not just the absence of fighting but positive well-being

Let’s discuss.

Grace.  If I had to name a number of Christian-led policy initiatives that fight hard NOT to give people more than what they deserve (except punishment), it would be too easy.  Immigration, welfare, social security, disability, union wages, trade balances, and the homeless are all issues where the Christian lobby actively works to keep people from getting one cent more than they deserve.  Now, I’m not going to tell you how I personally stand on any of these issues, because this isn’t a political blog.  But if you profess to being a Christian, and you don’t support grace in the public discourse, then you’re a hypocrite.

Hope.  Christians will tell you all day long that they have hope that god is always present, but they don’t.  They’re being hypocrites.  How many Christians buckle their seat belt?  For that matter, how many Christians are deeply saddened when a loved one dies in a car wreck?  Why?  If they actually believed god was there, and heaven was real, then a seat belt is just a device to screw up gods plan.  Death is only an extended business trip.  If they really believe they will be joining them in the afterlife for eternity some day, then why all the pain and anguish?  Hypocrisy.

I just have to laugh my ass off at this website’s definition of “faith.”  “The means to real depth in relationships of all kinds”.  Ha!  As it turns out, faith is also the means to justify why a significant other beats you.  Faith is the means to being unaware or blindly ignoring when your significant other is cheating on you, depleting your savings, or is addicted to controlled substances.  No, faith is a stupid means to gain depth in a relationship.  I think they mean “trust”.  Obviously, they are confused.  Faith is blindly believing.  Trust is something you build up over time.  Trust comes when your partner acts in the best interest of the relationship again and again.  Trust comes when your partner pays attention to your needs.  Trust comes when your partner is able to handle matters responsibly on a routine basis.

But since they seem to think “faith” is the thing to do, how do they actually do with it?  Fundamentalist Christians get divorced at higher rates than anyone else in the U.S.  So we know that faith doesn’t really have anything to do with good relationships.  Do they have faith in their sky-daddy?  I’m going to call bullshit on this one as well.  I can’t provide any links or statistics (it would be very hard to study), but let me provide exhibit A: Christianmingle.com.  Just the very existence of this website, and the lack of anger from Christians on it’s existence, demonstrates their hypocrisy.  Hell, the tagline says it all!  “God has a plan for you, but sometimes he needs a little help.”  In other words, “have faith that god will take care of you, but since he never actually does that for anyone, here’s a real, actionable step you can take to find your partner.”  The list of ways Christians act like hypocrites like this can take many forms.  You can pray to find your keys, but here’s a beeper to help you find your keys.  You can pray disease away, but also go to the doctor.  You can pray for a safe flight, but the FAA better have their shit together.  They claim to have faith, but in every single aspect of their life, they are hedging their bets.  Just in case god doesn’t help.  Hypocrites.

Love- and love the unlovely.  Side bar, remember when Bible God yells at his people that any guy that has lost his balls or an eye because of an accident can’t come into the temple?  Good times.  Nothing like loving the unlovely.

Yeah, Christianity is SOOO not a religion of love that it’s almost synonymous with hatred in US politics.  If you’re a white Christian male, of course, you get love.  All sorts of love.  But if you’re Mexican, Muslim, Atheist, brown skinned, gay, transgender, homeless, and in many circumstances a woman, then you’re not getting any love.  Reminds me of this meme:

8yuN1jT

(*note:  The above meme is not mine, but it has been pointed out that a. The Quran specifies women be sexually submissive to their husbands, not men in general, and b. the satanic statement is not in the Satanic Bible, but in the 11 Satanic Statements which are separate.)

Seriously, the tenants of LaVeyan Satanism are more in line with modern morality than the bible, by a long shot.  And I’m sure some ass-hat apologist will tell you that it’s because we are sinning now and we need to get back to god.  But seriously.  What do they personally think about rape?  If you didn’t tell them which book it came from, they would reject the biblical morality and choose the satanic morality.  And I’m not saying they SHOULD follow the bible, quite the opposite.  But even when they act like pretty decent people, they still stand up for the bible, and even vote and legislate based on the bible.  Again, completely contradictory to the way they actually live.  Hypocrisy.

So what about justice, and being set up to favor the disadvantaged?  Hardly.  Tax breaks that benefit the rich.  Hell, a tax code that benefits the rich.  Jail time for minor drug offenses, but leisurely probation for those that embezzle millions or even billions of dollars, causing thousands of people to live in impoverish conditions.  A professional athlete tried to raise the issue of justice through a quiet, non-violent protest.  He stated specifically that he was raising awareness for injustice.  This should have been a banner for Christians.  Instead they called him every name in the book, slandered the very purpose of his protest, and cheered when a leader said he should be fired.  Hypocrites.

Joy?  I guess I’ll skip this one.  Not really something you can do.

Service.  Nothing makes me laugh more than when a Christian tells me about all the good works their church does.  Now, I’m sure that somewhere, somehow, there is a selfless act of service being performed by a Christian or even a church group.  But let’s be honest.  Most of these services provided by churches are just recruitment campaigns.  That’s about as self-serving as it gets.  “Oh, we’re helping his body AND his soul” they would reply.  Bullshit again.  If it really meant that much, it would be your main purpose.  No, it’s your sub-purpose, or hidden purpose.  It’s self-serving, and it’s hypocritical.

And finally, let’s discuss how the war-mongering Christians are doing on the subject of peace.  Oh, did that give it away?  Yes, Christians are all too happy to go to war if the opponent doesn’t seem more than willing to just give up completely and convert.  The war between Israel and Palestine is funded by legislation supported by the Christian lobby.  Why, you ask?  Because in their mind, the sooner those two heathen groups get around to killing each other, the sooner Jesus will come and the world will end.  Oh, after he kills lots more people.  They don’t want peace, they want the rapture.  Hypocrites.

For every divorced fundamentalist Christian, there is a hypocrite.  For every fundamentalist Christian dressing lavishly and driving expensive cars, you find a hypocrite.  For every Christian that wants to “build the wall”, hypocrites.  Every Christian that says they follow the bible is a hypocrite.  In so many ways and so many times, the Christians say one thing, but do another.  Hypocrisy is so entrenched in U.S. Christianity, they might as well add it to their list of values.

The Spartan Atheist

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106 thoughts on “Hypocrisy is a Christian Value

  1. Not wanting to live the life of a hypocrite is one of the main reasons religion is no longer something I follow. My morals and my beliefs were not in line with the Bible (at least not all of it). I couldn’t treat my wife like a slave, think it was okay to kill homosexuals and adulterers or hate my parents in order to follow Jesus, to name a few examples. I decided I just wanted to be a good person. I felt I was doing the right thing, but Christians would call it a sin because I rejected the Christian’s handbook of morality. If it’s sinful to treat everyone with respect and not judge anyone because a dusty old book told me to, then so be it.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I suppose I could have mentioned in my article that hypocrisy is why I quit going to church, long before I would call myself an atheist. Not that I saw hypocrisy in others, but that I personally felt like a hypocrite reciting the Nicean creed, because I wasn’t sure I believed it. Rather than be a hypocrite, I decided to back away from the church until I could investigate further. And it should be obvious to you where that led….

      Liked by 5 people

      1. You have staryed from the part of light
        You need Jesus to save your soul and for you to have a meaningful life. You need prayers
        (sarcasm alert for all the lurkers out there who don’t have the capacity to recognize otherwise).

        Liked by 4 people

  2. The hypocrisy of Christians, especially conservative ones, is so massive it’s probably their most definitive trait, as your numerous examples show. The problem is that the Bible is so full of conflicting rules and standards that a person can take almost any stance or attitude and find something in the Bible to support it. The Trumplings’ recent use of Romans 13 to support obedience to the law, no matter how unjust, is a good example of this. Then there’s the tendency to twist meanings of words as much as necessary to justify what they really want to do. For example, since homosexuality is an “abomination” which will send you to Hell, the real way to “love” gay people is to harass the shit out of them in an effort to make them stop committing their “sin”.

    I can’t imagine what justification they could come up with for attacking the NFL anthem protests, but I suppose they came up with something.

    Thing is, these excuses for hypocrisy only work with people who are absolutely predisposed to accept them — that is, other fundamentalists. To everyone else, the hypocrisy and blatant cherry-picking to justify doing whatever suits their existing prejudices is too obvious and repulsive to ignore. That’s why mainstream society has an increasingly negative view of fundamentalism and even many younger Evangelicals are breaking with their elders over such issues.

    Perhaps the biggest hypocrisy is their ongoing insistence that religion is necessary for morality and that morality will collapse if too many people become unbelievers, whereas it’s actually the believers who are worst at following their own claimed moral system.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. PS: The Qur’ân actually says that women should always be sexually submissive to their husbands, not to men in general. The Satanist injunction on sexual advances seems to be referring to #5 of the Eleven Satanist Rules of the Earth (the nearest Satanist equivalent to the Ten Commandments), “Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal”, not to The Satanic Bible. Those things don’t undermine the point being made at all, but fundies will grab any chance at hairsplitting they can find to distract from the main argument.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Well researched, my friend. I will make note in the article of the discrepancies of the meme.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Great post. The hypocrisy of Christians is stunning. Blinding, almost. And it is so blatantly and wonderfully on display these days in our fine land. The support among Christians for Judge Roy Moore, an accused chronic practitioner of pedophilia, a few months ago in Alabama showed them at their best. It is truly sickening.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks. I try not to write about politics here, but yes and absolutely.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Well, being an “out” atheist in America, I’d strongly argue, is a VERY political statement. When we live in a country with so many politicians desperately trying to turn the nation into a right-wing, Christian theocracy, how can it not be? Being an atheist sorta implies, “Ya know, I really do NOT want to live a theocracy. So I’m gonna oppose the view that we should.”

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Yes, and I therefore don’t mind treading on politics lightly when referencing theocratic efforts. And I have a masters degree that says I’m probably a good person to actually write or debate politics.

        But I’m also trying to keep my focus for this blog on track. If I start bashing Trump, then I’ll be off on a whole different tangent.

        I talk politics all the time with friends and family.

        Liked by 4 people

  5. Christians choose the part of the bible they want to follow and then ignore the rest.
    Or, they form their beliefs and then find a verse in the bible to support it
    That’s christianity today

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I was accused of revolting against my own conscience in a christian blog
    https://cookiecrumbstoliveby.wordpress.com/2018/06/28/strictly-for-the-birds-as-in-literally/
    For saying that someone being gay should not affect the way we treat each other and for the christians to follow Jesus command to treat everyone with love and kindness and not be so judgemental

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow. Following your conscience is now “revolting against” your conscience. Hypocrisy wins again.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Ah, but see, when they talk about “conscience” they don’t mean what you and I mean. Your “true” conscience is shaped by their God, therefore if you believe your conscience is guiding you in a way that conflicts with their religion’s dogmas and taboos, you must be mistaken. Because your “true” conscience would never do that.

      In other words, they claim to know better than you do what’s going on in your own head. It’s perhaps the greatest arrogance of all. But I have seen this exact point made seriously on right-wing Christian sites.

      You can never win with these people on their own terms because they always twist words and meanings and re-define them so that their dogmas can never be refuted, no matter what. Talking about conscience and other moral concepts the way they do, as if they meant the same as the everyday meanings of those words, is yet another example of their hypocrisy.

      Liked by 4 people

  7. Excellent post. You covered the bases quite well. Too bad most “Christians” will never read it. Of course, if they do, they will deny … deny … deny. Or smugly say to themselves, “That doesn’t describe ME!”

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    1. Oh, I’m pretty good at finding where their hypocricy lies. Usually takes about 30 seconds or less in conversation, and usually has to do with their ignorance of the bible.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I have been surprised at how many proudly professing christians do not know what is in the holy book they claim to live by. Yes they know the main parts and general stories, the ones talked about most by their preachers and pastors, but many are very surprised if you asked them questions on conflicting parts of the bible. I often get told I am wrong if I mention disagreeable things that are in the bible, as they are sure their loving fair all caring god could never do anything disagreeable or mean. Hugs

        Liked by 5 people

      2. I too have been told by Christians (one in particular) that I have a “fundamental misunderstanding of the Bible.” You see Scottie, we are told on one hand that the Bible was left for us by God so we can all come to know him. However, on the other hand, only a select few know how to properly interpret it and the rest of us are misguided fools. It’s for everyone, yet not everyone will be able to know what it means. That’s what Sunday morning collection plates are for…enlightenment. 🙂

        Liked by 4 people

    2. Well, the Protestants would do that. The Catholics always have some incredibly convoluted explanation of why what looks like hypocrisy (or cruelty or plain reality-denial) actually isn’t.

      Liked by 3 people

    3. If they don’t know what’s in the Bible they should read Nan’s book 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I agree. Her book was an eye opener for me. I recently went back and referred to it on Satan, as I had forgotten the details. Hugs

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Such a sweetheart!

        Liked by 3 people

      3. BOTH of you!

        Liked by 3 people

  8. The Christian faith deplores hypocrisy. Jesus himself spoke harsh words to the religious hypocrites throughout the book of Matthew. You are correct to condemn hypocrisy. However, you should consider changing the title since Hypocrisy isn’t a “Christian value”.

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    1. The post and comments give plenty of reasons for the conclusion.

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Hi, John. Did you read the article? Hypocricy is probably the most widespread value among Christians. That’s why I titled the article as such.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi, Spartan.
        I did read the article. Did you know the Bible opposes hypocrisy consistently? It is not a Christian value. A better title might be, “Hypocrisy is Christian Shame”.

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      2. The bible also explains who and how to enslave people, but I don’t see a lot of Christians that are pro-slavery.

        And the bible also says thou shalt not bear false witness, but you personally have tried to pass bad, fallacious arguments in your comments.

        So I’m spot on.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. You are spot on for sure!
        Keep advocating for biblical values. This is the stuff we all need to hear.

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      4. Oh, I’m not advocating for biblical values. No, no, no. There is some seriously horrendous shit done by your god and by people under direct orders from your god in that book.

        If Christians were able to finally throw that piece of garbage in the trash where it belongs, and acted like decent people without the evil hang-ups of Christianity, they wouldn’t have to keep being hypocrites.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. No reason to quit being a hypocrite if I throw the Bible in the trash. Last I checked, hypocrisy isn’t illegal.

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      6. This is true, you can keep on being a hypocrite without the bible if you’d like.

        Liked by 2 people

      7. Thanks!
        If we throw away the Bible, we don’t have to be kind, charitable or generous either. Selfishness and greed are legal too.

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      8. Yep. All perfectly legal. Luckily, without a bible, non-christians aren’t as prone to hypocricy, greed, and selfishness. We don’t feel the need to take the world, live in the world, interact with the world, and then for some reason pretend that there’s another thing that is also right although contradictory.

        Since we don’t have the contradictions between the world and our understanding of the world, we can just be honest.

        Hypocrisy is therefore usually the value of the religious.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. You talk as if greed, hypocrisy, selfishness and global domination are bad things. That’s a pretty narrow point of view.

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      10. Yeah, it’s a viewpoint that comes with good morality. Again, the bible is totally cool with the whole global domination and genocide and slavery thing, but morality says otherwise. So here you, John Branyan, are forced to pretend like the bible is good, when it clearly is a horrible book.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. I never said the bible is good.
        Not once.
        So let’s throw it away. There are a lot of awful things in that book. I don’t want to be kind to my neighbor and I don’t like charity either. I’m happy to get rid of morality all together!

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      12. See, you’re being a hypocrite again. You know exactly what I’m talking about, but you’re pretending not to. And then you cherry pick a couple verses from the 30,000 word tome of hatred, and pretend that it’s the central message.

        Liked by 2 people

      13. No hypocrisy. I’m agreeing with your idea that the bible should be discarded. For some reason, you seem to be backpedaling about that.

        Are you saying we should throw the whole bible out or just some of it?

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      14. Throw the whole thing out, and start fresh. We can come up with “don’t kill” all by ourselves, and we then don’t have all the baggage to contend with.

        For example, biblical morality has nothing at all to do with human well being. It has all to do with mindless groveling. We can’t separate the two in the bible. All the reasons are wrong, even if the conclusion is sometimes correct. So let’s throw the whole book out, use our intelligence and good reasoning, and develop good morality.

        Luckily, we’ve already done this. This is why you don’t kill homosexuals.

        Liked by 3 people

      15. Intelligence and good reasoning to develop morality. I like the sound of that!

        We should kill the Christians that don’t get with the program.

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      16. No, hypocrite. That’s bad morality and you know it.

        Liked by 2 people

      17. No. It’s reasonable to get rid of the superstitious people with their biblical morality. What difference does it make if we kill them? Nobody is going to judge us for it.

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      18. Wow. John, you are either again being a hypocrite, or you are very, very stupid. We have these people, and their actual title is “judge”. They have a whole supporting cast known as “police” and “attorneys” which help them in their role as “judge”.

        Anyway, thank you kindly for doing such a fine job of demonstrating Christian hypocrisy in action. Unfortunately, as a useful debate, your hypocrisy and dishonesty mean we will never actually agree on anything. As I make good points, your well-tuned hypocrisy kicks in and you make up a weird lie.

        So I’ll leave this conversation as you’ve helped me make my point already, and further discussion is pointless with you.

        Cheers!

        Liked by 3 people

      19. Christians following all the horrendous shit in the bible deserve to be killed. They advocate slavery and misogyny and homophobia. Nothing immoral about purging those vile people from an otherwise Utopian society.

        Cheers!

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    3. If the Christian faith deplores hypocrisy, as you claim, why are you an exemplar of hypocrisy?

      You neither truly follow the commandments of the character Jesus of Nazareth and you most certainly don’t adhere to many of the Divine dictums of the Old.

      Your entire approach is confrontational, and antagonistic, and unlike the non-believers you try to intimidate with your pathetic, infantil blathering you are the epitome of ignorance, willful or otherwise.

      That you have a family history of mental illness and a personal history that – according to you – involves a certain amount of addiction – strongly suggests sociopathic tendencies.

      Whatever you beleive your Christian (sic) motivation/mission is, it certainly works in the atheists’ favour.
      Maybe you should reconsider your approach?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Ark, you forgot one … Your entire approach is confrontational, and antagonistic, …. and sarcastic as hell. (He probably considers that last one a compliment since it’s reported he uses that in his comedy??? act.)

        Liked by 6 people

  9. I agree with you. If ever I will lose my faith in God, it is not because atheist encourage me but a theist discourage me.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Please, never ever lose faith in god because of dingbat people. Don’t lose faith because some people use faith unwisely or for personal gain. If you lose faith in God, let it be because this god is absent. Absent from caring, absent from healing, absent from protecting, absent from detection, and absent from communicating effectively. Anger is not an informed position. Reflection and evidence is.

      Thank you for your comment. TSA

      Liked by 3 people

      1. thanks for your wisdom, now I understand why there are people don’t believe in God.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Lose your faith in God when you discover a better explanation for your own existence.

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      3. John, we absolutely have another explanation. That is a fact. I think what you are unsure of is if it is a valid explanation, or the correct explanation. Obviously, you don’t think so. But there is an explanation.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Of course! You have another explanation!
        I’ll take your word for it.

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  10. Hypocrisy is a human condition. If you remove religion none of the things in your post will leave the world. Mankind has issues that play out in all aspects of society.

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    1. Nearly every single religiously based policy initiative in the US is counter to what they claim the religious values are. Is there another organization for which you can say the same?

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      1. Not true, they in fact claim to be sinners that can’t stop sinning. Isn’t that exactly what a hypocrite is?
        It seems to me that Christians are exactly what they say they are and everyone who is human suffers from hypocrisy.

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      2. That’s easy, the government. O.o but you already knew that.
        You know “All men created equal” while still having slaves.
        Fair Tax lol
        Even corporations are in on hypocrisy:
        Equal pay for equal work, (not women)
        etc, etc, etc Mankind loves hypocrisy, religion is simply another product of it but not the source.

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    2. Without religion, would there still be hypocrisy. Yes
      But what this blog post did is show that despite the bad painting christianity have given to hypocrisy, christianity endorses hypocrisy themselves

      Liked by 3 people

      1. There is no doubt that many people who call themselves christian are being hypocritical. I would even say that religion in general is mostly hypocritical.
        I just object to stopping there when there is so much more to put under that same title. Atheist and Theist may believe different things but they live the same lives. I’m not even sure why people call themselves christian, the only time you would know is when they actually go to church.

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  11. Hypocrisy is a universal human trait. We are all hypocrites to one degree or another. Calling another human a hypocrite is a lot like calling water wet.
    Hypocrites in church are no different than hypocrites outside of church, with one exception: the ones in church are where they belong. Church is meant to be a hospital for sinners, not a gallery of saints.
    We are supposed to go there to be fed by the Word while confronting and dealing with our sins. This isn’t meant to be comfortable. Sadly, too much of modern Christianity has forgotten that fact, and it shows. If more remembered it, there wouldn’t be people like Joel Osteen, Carl Lentz, or any other false teachers dragging the Church down, and living extravagantly in the process.

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    1. I believe you missed the point entirely. It’s not that hypocricy exists generally both in and out of churches, it’s that inside churches, it is expected. All of them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, if, as I said, hypocrisy is a universal human trait, and you don’t seem to outright deny this fact, then it is entirely expected in church. That’s a given. In that regard, you’re absolutely correct. Where you go wrong is that you fail to realize that, not only is it expected in church, but it is something that is also properly disciplined in church, IF they’re doing it according to Scripture. We are commanded to speak against Sin, ESPECIALLY if it happens to reside amongst us.

        So, no, I got your point. You missed mine. In any given church, we seek out and welcome the broken and imperfect. What we do with them when they come depends on our theology. For example, my church welcomes everyone who is ready to repent of their sinful nature, and follow the Lord. Meanwhile, other churches water down the Truth and allow the unrepentant to play act at being a Christian. Sadly, folks like you see the other churches and assume that they are somehow representative, while ignoring those of us who actually follow Scripture the way it ought to be followed. You do us a disservice, but it’s to be expected.

        If you wish to know how to tell us apart, it’s actually quite easy. Look for the tiny little churches with small congregations. Those are the ones whom are usually clinging to the true Gospel like a barnacle on a hull.

        The ones with the massive attendance, with worldwide fame and acceptance, are selling a false gospel which leads people astray. The megachurch known as Hillsong is a shining example of a church selling a false gospel.

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      2. TEP, if I asked every single person in YOUR congregation if they followed the bible, how many would say yes?

        I’d say a high number. 90%? 95? 100?

        Then ask, how many have actually read the entire bible. Cover to cover. Depending on your church, somewhere between, 70% and 2%. I’ll be highly generous and give you 70%.

        That means 20% hypocrisy. And this is especially important, it is hypocricy that is CONDONED, and ENDORSED.

        Then ask specifics about the bible. How many are married, or hope to marry? Condoned and endorsed hypocricy. How many have a savings account? Hypocricy.

        The difference between Christianity and the population at large is the wholesale endorsement of hypocricy. Hypocricy happens. It’s how you feel with it that speaks volumes.

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      3. while ignoring those of us who actually follow Scripture the way it ought to be followed.

        And who determines the way the scripture ought to be followed

        If you wish to know how to tell us apart, it’s actually quite easy. Look for the tiny little churches with small congregations
        The ones with the massive attendance, with worldwide fame and acceptance, are selling a false gospel which leads people astray

        So what you are trying to say is that the authenticity of a christian denomination message is determined by the census of the pew. So a church automatically becomes false when it becomes large enough to have the resources for international missionary work

        Liked by 1 person

  12. First, I refer back to my previous assertion, that 100% of all human beings, past, present, and future, are hypocrites to one degree or another. That’s because we are all broken and exist in a state of sinfulness. If ever you’ve spoken out words you didn’t mean, or done something contrary to a single statement you’ve made, then you’re a hypocrite. It’s that simple.

    Second, what you fail to realize is that I made a qualifier in my previous statement that is key to this point. I made reference to church discipline, as it pertains to anything that runs counter to Scripture. For the purposes of this discussion, the “anything” happens to be hypocrisy.

    In a congregation based on solid biblical principles, someone behaving in a hypocritical manner would be called out on it. It would be done according to the formula set forth in the New Testament, and would be done in a manner that would be loving and uncompromising.

    Third, you seem to make an assumption about us that even we don’t make of ourselves. You assume we have attained a level of perfection that allows us to choose where and when we are going fall short.

    Truth be told, following Jesus doesn’t render us incapable of sinning. It covers us in His mercy and grace on the day of Judgement. In the meantime, we aren’t somehow free from the earthly consequences of our thoughts and actions, a point that I feel isn’t made enough.

    As such, we will mess up. There will be moments when we forget ourselves, and pursue a coarse of action that takes us away from the Lord, rather than toward Him. So, your estimates of how many people may be following biblical principles at any given point in time are rather pointless. We are still human, after all.

    Final point, one in which I wholeheartedly agree with you. Modern-day Western Christians don’t study Scripture enough. I stand as a case-in-point.

    In my teens, I walked away from the Church, and stayed away for 20+ years. Now, at the age of 41, it’s been 4 years since I returned to church. In that four years, I spent more time studying Scripture than before.

    I’ve gone in-depth, studying the original languages, cultures, and history. It has led to a much richer understanding of Jesus, God in the flesh, our Creator, than I could have ever imagined.

    Previous to my departure in my teens, ostensibly because of all the hypocrites 😂 (I never said I was overly bright back then), my biblical training consisted of a six week Confirmation course that I had to take in order to be baptized.

    No one taught me the importance of Scripture, prayer, repentance, or salvation through faith and grace in the mercy of Jesus Christ. I had to learn of all that on my own at the age of 37, while undergoing my own study. They only taught me Church Doctrine, much of which I’ve since learned has little to no basis in Scripture.

    Much of that I blame on the modern church’s teachings, and their inexplicable deemphasis of the importance of Scripture. Modern Western Christians have become victims of their own success, and it’s led to a great many internal problems. My own blog is dedicated to turning that around.

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    1. So, we are all hypocrites sometimes. We are all sinners sometimes. We all have doubts about the church sometimes.

      Are you married, or wish to someday be married? Do you have a savings account?

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      1. I’m married, and no, I don’t have a savings account. What is the relevance? I’m sure this will be good.

        We are all sinners and hypocrites all the time, not just some of the time. We’re born in a state of sinfulness that can only be atoned for by the acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross. That is not a part-time thing, my friend.

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      2. Um, so you seriously don’t know about the Pauline doctrine at all?

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      3. Actually, my primary area of study has been Messianic and Trinitarian texts. I study the relationship between the Old Testament, the New Testament, and Jesus. As for Pauline theology, what I’m doing in this conversation is giving you leeway to make whichever case you’re seeking to make. So, make your point, I’m waiting.

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      4. Well, my point is that I’m referencing a major plot theme from the bible. And you seem wholly unaware of it. I feel like I’m talking to someone that claims they’ve watched Star Wars but doesn’t know about the Empire.

        I mean, we’re talking about a pretty major theme of the New Testament here. I don’t know how to say this politely, but I don’t believe you’ve ever read the new testament. Like, actually read it. As in, I ask if you’re married and that doesn’t automatically ring a bell in your head about what I’m talking about kind of dont believe you read it.

        Seriously, how do you not know what I’m talking about? I’ll be happy to give you both numerous verses AND the context (because I’ve read the bible), but just letting you know if I have to do that for you, you are TOTALLY proving my point…

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      5. Very well, make your point, and use your verses. Let’s see what ya got. 😁

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      6. Well, the New Testament has a major theme of Jesus returning to install a godly kingdom. It’s kind of a major thing. Probably not in most churches, I’d assume, and certainly not in any I’ve either visited or been a member of, but it is a fairly major part of the story. It should be clear why most don’t emphasize it much, though, on account of it already being a failed prophesy.

        But to the point, a significant portion of Christians today believe the end times will come in their lifetime, and that is not extrabiblical thinking entirely. The NT is quite clear that Jesus is expected to return and bring about the end of the world and establishment of a godly reign.

        And since I promised references:

        Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

        Matthew 24:34. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

        All of 1 Corinthians 7, which says the end of the world is very close and changing your marital status is just distracting from getting ready for the end. Paul especially stresses this in verses 29-31, where he specifically says if you aren’t already married, it isn’t worth the time to worry about it.

        Ergo: if you claim to be a bible following Christian, and also get married, you aren’t actually following the bible, and don’t actually believe what it says. You are therefore telling people that they must follow a book you aren’t following.

        Hypocrite.

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      7. You know, I’m so glad I met you. It’s folks like you that help a Christian grow in their knowledge of the Lord. I sincerely hope and pray that you abandon your wicked ways and turn to Jesus, who died on the Cross for you. Now, to the matter at hand.

        Actually, from the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the garden on, God’s only mission and desire has been to bring humanity back into right relationship with Him. It’s funny that you claim that Christians shouldn’t marry, given that marriage is the very first institution created by God; one which He created before the fall of Adam and Eve. Why wouldn’t we want to marry? I’ll address that more fully in a bit.

        First, let’s address the Kingdom. Yes, Jesus preached the coming Kingdom. He also stated that no one knew when the end times were coming, just that they were. It could be now, tomorrow, or a thousand years from now, we don’t know when. I’m not sure what you’re referring to as a failed prophesy, and I do hope you’ll elaborate.

        In the meantime, let’s move on to the Scriptural evidence you’ve presented. First and foremost, I must take you to task, because you’ve made a common mistake, you’ve only presented one verse at a time. To gain full context, you must look at the chapter, the passage, and the surrounding verses. You must also consider historical context, cultural context, religious context, and linguistic context.

        For example, the first verse you presented, Matthew 6:34, is actually part of a larger passage (Matthew 6:25-34), which finishes out Chapter 6. In this passage, the main thrust of Jesus’ teaching here is a caution against avarice and anxiety over the future. The main idea being that God will provide for the basic needs of the Disciples. There is nothing in the passage that forbids planning ahead, or even saving for the future.

        Next, you presented Matthew 24:34 for my consideration. Straightaway, this is part of the parable of the fig tree. (Matthew 24:32-35) This comes shortly after Jesus’ prophecy regarding the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.

        Matthew 24 actually encompasses two separate prophesies, one regarding the Temple, and the other regarding the end times. You have to be able to pick out which is which, and Jesus makes it easy.

        From the beginning of the chapter to verse 31 is the prophecy regarding the Temple. The whole thing is brought together by the parable of the fig tree, with the message being that the people can read the signs of its coming the way people read the budding of a fig tree to know that summer is coming.

        He was right, too. The Temple was destroyed within the lifetime of that generation. Jesus preached between 30AD-33AD, with His ministry ending with His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. The Temple was destroyed by the Romans approximately 40 years later.

        Next, we will look at your assessment of 1 Corinthians 7, especially because you are way off base. First, note that Paul makes a distinction between what he thinks best, and what God commands. He was very careful there, and rightly so.

        The main thrust of the opening segment is that marriage is preferable for those who don’t believe they can live a life of celibacy, which is most people. This is in line with something Jesus taught, found in Matthew 19:8-12.

        “8 He answered, Moshe allowed you to divorce your wives because your hearts are so hardened. But this is not how it was at the beginning.

        9 Now what I say to you is that whoever divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery!

        10 The talmidim said to him, If that is how things are between husband and wife, it would be better not to marry!

        11 He said to them, Not everyone grasps this teaching, only those for whom it is meant.

        12 For there are different reasons why men do not marry — some because they were born without the desire, some because they have been castrated, and some because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever can grasp this, let him do so.” (Matthew 18:8-12, CJB)

        I used the Complete Jewish Bible for this passage because I believe the language is a bit clearer. That being said, note that the overarching theme is that celibacy is only intended for those who’ve been called to remain celibate.

        Overall, your interpretation of the Scripture involved is interesting, but pretty much what I expect from someone who just found a few verses and latched on to them as an unbeatable argument. I’m even sure you’ve successfully used it before. The issue is that this argument is completely erroneous, which is why you have correctly surmised that most Christians don’t study the Bible.

        Verses 6 & 7 of 1 Corinthians 7, Paul makes his own personal feelings clear in the matter. He would rather people choose to live a celibate life as he has, but he will not make it a command. Why? Because that isn’t what God intends for most of His children. If He did, Adam never would have had a wife.

        “Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. 7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.” (1 Cor 7:6-7, ESV)

        In verse 9, he makes the following statement, “But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” Again, as Jesus taught, celibacy is only for those called to be so. For all others, marriage is the way to go in order to avoid sexual immorality. Seems to make sense to me, as I couldn’t imagine ever living a life of celibacy.

        Now, we arrive at verses 25-26, “Now concerning the betrothed, I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is.”

        Again, he makes clear that this is only his opinion, and not the Lord’s. Here is where historical context comes into play. He says, “the present distress”, and that is a key point. At the time that 1 Corinthians 7 was written, they were at the beginning of three centuries of intense persecution of Christians by the Romans and the Jews. In effect, he’s saying, “Things are about to get very rough, so don’t go making plans.” While he was right to differentiate his opinion from God’s, it’s also clear that he was wrong in his sentiment.

        Why is he wrong? First, in times of trouble, when humans are stressed to the breaking point, it’s those bright moments of joy that help them make it through. Second, the example of the Essenes is a valid one.

        Note that everything I say about the Essenes will be in the past tense because they no longer exist. They were a Jewish ascetic sect who are most likely responsible for the Dead Sea scrolls. They lived a very monastic lifestyle, vowing to live chaste lives in poverty. The sect was made up solely of unmarried men who sought a life of isolation, choosing to dedicate their lives to God, and not the world of flesh.

        The biggest problem with this idea is that they had no way for their teachings to spread. For a person’s way of life to continue you need two things, outside contact and children. They had neither, and are extinct as a result. For Christianity to be something other than a weird footnote in history, marriage and children are a must.

        Finally, we arrive at verse 36, “If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin.” The last bit is key: it is no sin.

        You claim that it is hypocrisy to encourage people to marry, but apparently missed the part where Paul admits that marriage is not a sin. As hypocrisy is sin, and marriage is not, it’s clear that you’re off base on that. Going back to what I’ve already said, marriage is the first institution created by God, before the fall of man, marking it as His perfect and divine will that we should be married.

        God’s will and desire are perfect, without blemish, and above reproach. If He desires that an individual live their entire lives celibate and childless, then that is His desire. However, that is something He only desires for a small number of people.

        As for Paul, he made it clear that his words were a) his own personal preference, and b) not a command from God. In that sense, one is free to disregard those words if they see a point of disagreement. Nothing about that says I am a hypocrite for living my life within the covenant bonds of marriage.

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      8. Wow, TEP. You’re just wrong. Completely and utterly wrong. I didn’t cherry pick verses with no context. No, I actually read the bible. I read it like a complete storybook, and in that way I actually know what the theme of the book is. And you’re just wrong.

        No, Jesus was not talking about the destruction of the temple in his prophesy. He was quite clearly talking about the end times. 10 points for the mental gymnastics, 10 points for lying so hard to make the bible say what it doesn’t, and 10 points for helping me prove that you’re a hypocrite. You ignore the clear message of the bible when it suits you.

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      9. I gave you a solid, and biblically sound, answer. The interpretation I gave is backed both by the plain text I supplied, and associated commentaries. Whether or not you like or accept it is entirely on you. It is not my problem. Have a blessed day. May the Lord bless you. 😊

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      10. No, it wasn’t sound at all. Not in the least. Let’s review:

        29 “Immediately after the distress of those days

        “‘the sun will be darkened,
        and the moon will not give its light;
        the stars will fall from the sky,
        and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’[b]

        30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth[c] will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.[d] 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

        32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it[e] is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

        Jesus doesn’t say “The stuff about the temple will come true by this time”. He says “all.” And he says it right after he talks about the end of the world, not about temple destruction.

        And he doesn’t change the channel either. He says “this stuff will happen, and just like how you notice a plant changing with the season, you will see these signs and know that it will all follow.”

        That is literally what is written. Your answer wasn’t biblically sound, it was apologetically manipulated to say what it doesn’t actually say in black and white.

        And if you want to believe that’s what Jesus ACTUALLY said because otherwise there’s an obvious failed prophesy, go for it. But don’t pretend you’re actually following the bible.

        And as I already noted, this idea is supported by the entire rest of the new testament, which clearly has everyone scrambling for the end times. Jesus and Paul and all the apostles were concerned with the end coming so soon, it wasn’t worth getting married. Or divorced. Or saving money. Or planning for your future. It was now or never time. That is what the NT clearly conveys over the entire work. And Jesus saying so in that one verse illustrates the point, but it certainly isn’t the only time it’s mentioned.

        Quit listening to other people tell you what the book says. Read it for yourself.

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      11. There is but one god: Allah. There is but one truth and it is found in the Quran. Beware the Christian for Satan uses his mouth to lure you into damnation. From the Quran: “He that chooses a religion over Islam, it will not be accepted from him and in the world to come he will be one of the lost.”
        Quran 3:85
        Listen NOT to the lies of the infidel and his accursed book of lies, The Bible. Trust only in truth. From the Quran: ” There is no doubt that this Book is revealed by the Lord of the Universe.”

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      12. The hilarious part is that the Qur’an affirms the truth of the Bible, which in turn proves the Qur’an false. Allah is Satan. Have a nice day. 😊

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      13. Lies from the mouth of the Satanic infidel! Beware the lies of the Christian for they will lead you into the fires of Hell! From the Quran: “God’s curse be upon the infidels! Evil is that for which they have bartered away their souls. To deny God’s own revelation, grudging that He should reveal His bounty to whom He chooses from among His servants! They have incurred God’s most inexorable wrath. An ignominious punishment awaits the unbelievers.”
        Quran 2:89-2:90

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      14. The hilarious part is that the Qur’an affirms the truth of the Bible, which in turn proves the Qur’an false. Allah is Satan

        TEP336, I would take it that you have not studied the full Quran

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      15. There is empirical evidence that the Quran is absolutely true. It says so right in the book: “This Book is not to be doubted…. As for the unbelievers, it is the same whether or not you forewarn them; they will not have faith. God has set a seal upon their hearts and ears; their sight is dimmed and grievous punishment awaits them.”
        Quran 2:1/2:6-2:10
        TRUTH!

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      16. And Batman proves both the Qur’an AND the Bible false.

        Are you going to just keep making shit up? I can do that too. We WERE sorta having a decent discussion…..

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      17. Well, will wonders never cease. It seems we may both be right. However, we’ll burn that bridge when we get there.

        In the meantime, I’ve a question or three for you. First, are you a theologian? Second, are you able to read/write/speak Koine Greek, Aramaic, and/or Hebrew? Third, are you an expert in First Century Judean culture and history? In short, are you a trained biblical scholar who has dedicated years of their life to the study of Scripture? If not, then you have no right to deride me for turning to experts in the field, because the Bibles you study from are the work of those experts, or did you think those books simply materialized out of thin air? All I do is read their commentaries, along with my own regular studies. Now, if you like, I would gladly share the sources which I turn to for a fuller understanding of Scripture.

        As a clear understanding of Scripture is my goal, I firmly believe that I must get it right. In this case, I missed an important element, one which you very rightly pointed out. Thank you for that. I can only improve from here.

        When I said we were both right, I meant it. You see, the passage I made reference to (Matt. 24:1-31) contains language that references both the end times, and the destruction of the Temple. What that means is that the parable of the fig tree very likely would pertain to both. In all honesty, I was in a hurry, as my shift was about to start. Not an excuse, just what happens sometimes. I’m only human.

        Now, I have a rather practical set of questions for you. First, if Christians are not supposed to get married, then why does Paul say that it is not a sin in 1 Corinthians 7? Second, if we aren’t allowed to marry, then why do Jesus and Paul bother with the portions of their teachings that pertain to marriage and divorce? Third, going back to 1 Corinthians 7, why does Paul take great pains to keep separate in the text his preferences from God’s, when speaking in regards to marriage? Fourth, why do Jesus and Paul refer to Jesus’ relationship with the Church in marital terms? (i.e. the Church is referred to as the Bride of Christ)

        Now, to address Jesus’ statement regarding the generation, as you seem to think it’s a failed prophesy. Up until 70AD every Jew could trace their lineage back to Abraham. Now, why was that?

        The Old Testament, or Tanakh, contains an overarching theme throughout, specifically texts relating to the Messiah and His anticipated arrival. This is important because Messianic prophesy states that the Messiah would be descended from the tribe of Judah, a direct descendant of King David. As such, everyone, especially David’s linear descendants, had their lineage carefully mapped out, even Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

        When the Temple was destroyed, Jerusalem sacked, and all the remaining Jews chased out, the one remaining sect (Pharisaic, or rabbinic Jews) ultimately lost that genealogical information. They were literally cut off from it. As such, the linear progression of the Jewish people was interrupted. This was a huge thing, but it isn’t all. Various commentators, theologians all, have addressed this passage. Here is an excerpt from one of them:

        “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
        Now learn a parable – See the notes at Matthew 13:3. The word here means, rather, “an illustration” make a “comparison,” or judge of this as you do respecting a fig-tree.
        Fig-tree – This was spoken on the Mount of Olives, which produced not only olives, but figs. Possibly one was near when he spoke this.

        When his branch … – When the juices return from the roots into the branches, and the buds swell and burst, “as if tender,” and too feeble to contain the pressing and expanding leaves when you see that, you judge that spring and summer are near.

        Matthew 24:33
        So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
        So likewise ye … – In the same manner, when you see what I have predicted the “signs” around Jerusalem – then know that its destruction is at hand,
        Is near – Luke says Luke 21:28, “your redemption draweth nigh, and Luke 21:31 the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” Your deliverance from the dangers that threaten the city approaches, and the kingdom of God will be set up in the earth; or your everlasting redemption from sin and death will come at the day of judgment, and his eternal kingdom will be established in the heavens.

        Matthew 24:34
        Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
        This generation … – This age; this race of people. A generation is about 30 or 40 years. The destruction of Jerusalem took place about forty years after this was spoken. See the notes at Matthew 16:28.
        Till all these things … – Until these things shall be accomplished. Until events shall take place which shall be a fulfillment of these words, if there were nothing further intended. He does not mean to exclude the reference to the judgment, but to say that the destruction of Jerusalem would be such as to make appropriate the words of the prediction, were there nothing beyond. Compare the notes at Matthew 1:22-23. So when “death” was threatened to Adam, the propriety of the threatening would have been seen, and the threatening would have been fulfilled, had people suffered only temporal death. At the same time the threatening had “a fullness of meaning” that would cover also, and justify, eternal death. Thus the words of Christ describing the destruction of Jerusalem had a fulness of signification that would meet also the events of the judgment, and whose meaning would not be “entirely filled up” until the world was closed.

        Matthew 24:35
        Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
        Heaven and earth shall pass away … – You may sooner expect to see the heaven and earth pass away and return to nothing, than my words to fail.

        Matthew 24:36
        But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
        But of that day and hour – Of the precise time of the fulfillment. The “general signs” of its approach have been given, as the budding of the fig-tree is a certain indication that summer is near; but “the precise time” is not indicated by these things. One part of their inquiry was Matthew 24:3 when those things should be. He now replies to them by saying that the precise time would not be foretold. Compare the notes at Acts 1:7.
        Knoweth no man, no, not the angels – See the notes at Mark 13:32.”

        Going further, let’s examine the same passage as it appears in the Complete Jewish Bible.

        Matthew 24:32-35, “32 “Now let the fig tree teach you its lesson: when its branches begin to sprout and leaves appear, you know that summer is approaching. 33 In the same way, when you see all these things, you are to know that the time is near, right at the door. 34 Yes! I tell you that this people will certainly not pass away before all these things happen. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

        As the Complete Jewish Bible is a direct-to-English translation from the original languages, much of the Jewish context that was lost in other versions just sort of leaps off the page at you, which is why I like it. Do note, the CJB version of that passage makes clear that Jesus was referring to both the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, and the end times, as He had spoken of both beginning in verse one of the chapter.

        While many people did interpret Jesus’ message as apocalyptic in nature, the fact of the matter is that He brought more than that. His message wasn’t purely eschatological, there was so much more to it. He was the physical embodiment of the Law, and clearly demonstrated for all to see HOW to live according to that Law.

        His primary mission was to bring about the restoration of the right relationship between the Lord God, and mankind. The way He was to do that was to die on the cross. He repeatedly alluded to His impending trial, execution, and resurrection, all in fulfillment of the prophesy found in Isaiah 53 (Isaiah 52:13-53:12). In short, His primary mission was to atone for the sins of all mankind through the sacrifice of His holy, perfect, and divine body. Eschatology was secondary, in every sense of the word.

        Now, does this in any way detract from the fact that so many people were convinced that the end times were near? No, Jesus states clearly in Matthew 24:36 that no one but the Father knows when the end times would come. It certainly must have seemed that way, given that Jesus’ followers were beset on all sides by oppressors and persecutors. Just through the actions of their detractors, they must have been seeing the signs everywhere.

        Certainly, the prophecy regarding the destruction of the Temple was clearly fulfilled in 70AD. According to Josephus, the Temple itself was so thoroughly destroyed that not a single stone was left in its place.

        All that remained was a portion of a retaining wall that was built during the reign of Herod the Great, which was never actually part of the Temple. As for the end times, believers still expect it at any time. As I said earlier, it could be now, tomorrow, or a thousand years from now. However, in spite of the fact that we expect it, there is nothing in Scripture that forbids marriage or planning ahead.

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      18. TEP, first I appreciate your honesty. Despite our opposing viewpoint, I at least feel like we’re having an adult conversation.

        On to the questions.

        No, I am not an expert in any biblical studies. I am reading the bible. And my point is simply this: If the bible is the inerrant and perfect word of God, the message shouldn’t be so damned confusing and subject to interpretation. This is a failure of the bible from the start.

        I have found that most biblical “scholars” have extreme bias in their work. But I am a fan of Bart Ehrman. He really knows his shit, and he’s honest in his conclusions.

        Jesus specifically said the stars would fall before his generation passes. I don’t care how you interpret “generation”, just saying that the stars will fall shows he didn’t know what they were. Further, it is an unfulfillable prophesy. So it did not happen, and it can’t happen. It is a failed prophesy.

        Marriage. I didn’t say marriage was forbidden, I said that the new testament is consumed with the message of impending end times, so much so that it frequently mentions how planning for the future is a waste of time. You CAN get married if you want, but you’re blowing precious seconds to get ready for the stars to fall…..

        Worse, still, are modern day christians that actually believe this stuff. These are the gullible congregations that gave everything away because they believed the rapture was soon. Hell, they made a movie about the rapture, and made it clear they thought it would really happen soon.

        There is only one word for this stupidity: Gullible.

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      19. After careful consideration, I apologize. I saw trollish behavior, and reacted. Mea culpa.

        To the others, if you wish to discuss Islam, pop on over to my blog, and pick one of my posts related to Islam.

        Spartan, give me a bit, and I’ll respond to your comment.

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      20. It’s really refreshing to find people who know how to disagree properly. I swear it’s becoming a lost art. Far too many people these days are so thin-skinned, the mere thought of an opposing viewpoint makes them want to find a safe space free from microaggressions. If only such spaces had good cookies, instead of gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free, flavor-free soy chunks of compressed sawdust. 😂

        Actually, the Bible isn’t confusing. The problem is, too many people try to apply the wrong set of contexts to it. Studying the Bible through the lens of a 21st Century Westerner is going to do nothing but confuse, or lead to a metric crap-ton of false doctrines and beliefs. I suspect that might be part of why you and I disagree on interpretation.

        Having been to the Middle East, I have experience with many of their cultural practices, so the attitudes and such of First Century Judea are very familiar. It hasn’t changed that much. Add to that the fact that I happen to speak some Hebrew and Arabic, and you can bet I don’t view Scripture the same as my contemporaries.

        The failure isn’t on the part of the Bible, but rather on the part of the people trying to read and understand it. As I mentioned before, you must take into account historical, cultural, religious, and linguistic contexts to get the full meaning of what’s in front of you. You won’t get that from most English translations, which is why I use the CJB and associated commentaries.

        The writers of those commentaries knew and understood the requisite contexts and were able to incorporate it into their writing. I’m also not one to stick to just one source, especially when there is a plethora of different writers, often with their own unique way of seeing Scripture. The more differing angles you have, the more textured and detailed the image is.

        Bart Ehrman is ok, but he’s just as biased as anyone else. Like hypocrisy, bias is universal to humans. You’re biased, I’m biased, my three-year-old is very biased (daddy’s girl 😁), we all are. That doesn’t necessarily negate whether someone is right or wrong, it’s a question of whether someone is able to look beyond their biases to the heart of a given matter. Bart Ehrman is not able to look beyond his own bias because his bias is very lucrative. That being said, he can be very honest if caught in the right circumstances.

        For example, in the paperback edition of “Misquoting Jesus”, Bart Ehrman concedes that all of the variants found in the New Testament manuscript tradition have absolutely no impact on essential Christian doctrine. “The position I argue for in ‘Misquoting Jesus’ does not actually stand at odds with Prof. Metzger’s position that the essential Christian beliefs are not affected by textual variants in the manuscript tradition of the New Testament.” (“Misquoting Jesus”, pg. 252) On occasion, he can be intellectually honest, and that’s worth something.

        How is it that there can be so many variants, and Christian beliefs still be intact? Dr. Daniel Wallace, one of Ehrman’s colleagues states that 95% of those variants are nothing more than differences in spelling. That’s it, nearly all of them come down to the difference between tomato, and tomatoe. Same pronunciation, same meaning, only one letter difference, and they’re both technically correct.

        Moving on, yes, Jesus made mention of the sky falling. In case you missed it, much of human literature and culture tends to be hyperbolic. First Century Judea was no exception. In fact, all of Hebrew culture has always given to hyperbole, and this is no exception. The Old Testament is chock full of it.

        Where you’re going wrong is that you’re trying to take literally material that was meant to be read in a hyperbolic fashion. I mean, if I were to say that I’m going to destroy a cheeseburger, how would you interpret the statement? In using the phrasing Jesus used, He was trying to paint a picture of extreme calamity, not describe an actual event.

        Let’s flip the coin for a second, and consider the idea that you’re espousing. In colloquial terms, what do we call a meteor entering our atmosphere? A shooting star, or a falling star, right? What, I wonder, would a whole mess of meteors entering our atmosphere look like to our eyes? Perhaps a bit like the stars falling from the skies? If that’s the case, and you’re right, then one of the signs could be a mass meteor event, complete with strikes on the earth’s surface. I’d call that quite the calamity, myself. Both prophesies still stand, one fulfilled, the other awaiting fulfilment.

        So, if marriage is not forbidden by God, and 1 Cor 7 clearly shows it isn’t, then how would I be a hypocrite for getting married? I’m still a bit confused on that point.

        Now, we get to saving. This has been a theological topic for quite some time. The Amish refuse to save, and won’t even buy insurance. Meanwhile, most every other denomination is either indifferent to the topic, or fully supports the idea. Now, I had planned on going in-depth regarding the issue of Scripture and saving money, but my office is going nuts today, and I won’t have the time. Here is a link to an article relating to it:

        https://www.biblemoneymatters.com/bible-verses-about-investing/

        As for the rapture, I’m on the fence. I’ve heard some say it’s biblical, and others say it isn’t. I simply haven’t studied it, yet. As such, I’m in no position to render an opinion. As for why people, including myself, still believe in God, that’s a whole other discussion.

        Like

      21. Thanks, TEP. And glad we can keep this civil.

        The concept you bring up is exactly the reason I started to doubt my faith. The question of what is literal, and what is figurative, what is hyperbolic, and what is a parable caused me to begin examining what was or wasn’t real in the bible.

        Mythicists (that hold the position Jesus was entirely made up) have noted that every story in Mark (the first gospel written) mirrors old Jewish ceremonies and traditions. Therefore, the entire Jesus story could be a parable. This is their position

        Is it really all a parable, or was there a real Jesus? I don’t know. Obviously Bart Ehrman thinks there was, although I haven’t yet read his book to dive into his evidence. But just that there is a question as to his existence is a huge problem.

        But either way, Jesus real or made up, Jesus himself used parables all the time, and obviously has major policy changes attributed to him that we now know are forgeries- like the “he who is without sin.” This is not a minor error- like a spelling error. This is a major change to Mosaic Law.

        Saying that you have found a way to square the “stars falling” and the failed prophesy doesn’t help for two reasons. 1) The English bible is the one read by millions of people. 2) There is no evidence for any of it. It’s like squaring issues with the understood properties of Santa Claus. Sure, you can make up another reason, or find a reason someone else made up for that matter. But Santa Claus is still not real.

        I appreciate your admission that the bible has errors. What I don’t understand is why you conclude some things are real, and others are parable, and others are made up. It seems how you judge those verses depends on what you already believe, instead of where the evidence takes you.

        Marriage and savings- Again, I admit there is no law against further marriage in the bible, nor a law forbidding saving money (that I’m aware of). However, if you read the New Testament entirely, the end of the world is clearly expected, and expected soon. I provided a couple of verses that I could recall that highlighted that overarching theme, so my apologies if I didn’t fully research and note all the references. They are there. Maybe one day I’ll get bored enough to re-read the NT, and I’ll try to note every example. Don’t hold your breath.

        To sum up, the English reading clearly states what I have said. Original texts may say it differently in a way that makes more sense, but that does mean that the English bible is in error. Trying to figure out what is or is not in error, and what is or isn’t wholesale made up in the bible leads to no answers other than the beliefs of those that interpret how they like it to be. This is not a convincing argument for me.

        TSA

        Liked by 1 person

      22. Actually, it’s really rather easy to tell when Jesus is being hyperbolic vs. when He is being serious. Take, for example, the point where Jesus states that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven. Is that absolutely true, or is He just illustrating through exaggeration the level of difficulty a rich man would experience in surrendering to Jesus as Lord and Savior? I submit that He was speaking in hyperbolic terms.

        While I don’t doubt that there are financially wealthy men whom are also saved, I just know that the path to that point had to be downright ugly for them to have finally surrendered to Him. They would have had to repent of their materialism and greed on a daily basis to get there. Talk about bleeding knees.

        To establish the standard of the hyperbolic, I’ll use the definition found at dictionary.com:

        an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as “to wait an eternity.”

        Without going into a segue about the existence of miracles, this definition certainly works as well as any. While I have much to say on the subject, I want to deal with this subject first.

        The Jesus mythers constitute one of the very few points where I agree with Bart Ehrman, the other being the role that textual variants play in the manuscript tradition. Now, why else would so much of Mark, or any of the other Gospel accounts for that matter, mirror so much about Judaism? Jesus was the living embodiment of the Law which formed the basis for Jewish life.

        Jesus, as our Creator, gave His language and culture to the Hebrew people, not the other way around. As such, most of what the Jews of First Century Judea believed in was a foreshadowing of who and what the Messiah was to be. I mean, this is a being whose existence was first predicted in the Garden of Eden, and for whom another 352 prophesies followed, from Genesis to Malachi.

        Did you seriously think that He would have no influence on things prior to His arrival in the First Century? He even made multiple appearances in the Torah as the Angel of the Lord. He IS the Law, plain and simple.

        It is interesting that you mention Jesus’ policy changes, because He really didn’t make any. In fact, quite the opposite, His teachings were pure Torah. The Sermon on the Mount alone contains no fewer than 54 direct and indirect references to Old Testament Scripture. Where Jesus had a problem with First Century Jewish leaders was their reliance on the oral tradition, what we now call the Talmud. The Pharisees, scribes, and Sadducees trusted the traditions of men more than the Word of God, and that was the main sin He called them out on. That was why He called them hypocrites, serpents, and white-washed tombs.

        If you want to see just how Jewish Jesus and His teachings were, look no further than the Gospel according to Matthew. His intended audience was the Jewish people, which is why he continuously draws parallels between Jesus’ words and deeds, and Messianic texts found in the Old Testament. Jesus is, and has always been, the link between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, as He is God in the flesh.

        Dr. Daniel Wallace described the story you reference (let he who is without sin) as his favorite story that never happened. Yes, there are a few bits and pieces where something foriegn was introduced later on down the road, but these, again, don’t impact Christian doctrine. Why? Well, the example you give isn’t the only story in which Jesus’ mercy and grace are demonstrated.

        Even without that story, we still have a basis for knowing that Jesus showed grace and mercy to all who asked it of Him. It’s worth noting that virtually every Bible in print today contains notes pertaining to materials that don’t appear in the manuscript tradition, showing that modern scholarship has thoroughly identified and accounted for all of those points.

        Funny side story, in 1610, when the King James version was first published, there was an uproar because the scholars who wrote it left out apocryphal writings, that story included. People were so outraged by it that they threatened to riot. The publishing houses released the version we have today in 1611, with the apocryphal bits intact, after having been sufficiently frightened by the angry mobs.

        Did I admit to errors in the Bible? No, I actually didn’t. You think that a variant automatically means mistake, when it actually doesn’t. As I mentioned before, 95% of all variants are made up of differences in spelling, due to the fact that Koine Greek didn’t have a standard for spelling until long after.

        To illustrate, I want you to tell me where you find the spelling errors:

        Tomato
        Tomatoe
        Potato
        Potatoe

        Now, does that extra “e” somehow change the meaning of those two words? Would it change the meaning of a sentence if I used one over the other? What I have demonstrated is the type of variant which makes up 95% of all variants.

        As to the types that would change the meaning of a sentence, they make up less than 1% of the total text of the New Testament. Again, I direct you back to the Bart Ehrman quote I shared earlier, to answer whether or not that fraction of a percent has any affect on essential Christian doctrine. In short, it doesn’t.

        Now, how scholars, thousands of years worth of them, determined which materials were correct and which weren’t comes down to textual criticism. They used a variety of methods, including radio-carbon dating, linguistic analysis, cultural study, and the manuscript tradition, which encompasses more than 25,000 copies and fragments of the New Testament, along with the patristic writings of the early church fathers, to make those determinations. (Note: the patristic writings constitute millions of pages of text, and could be used to piece together virtually the entire New Testament from scratch)

        Bart Ehrman didn’t discover the material he’s presented in his books, he took what had been common knowledge among scholars for 2,000 years, put a massive slant on it, and packaged it as his work. That’s why the books he writes for laymen look so different from his scholarly work, most laymen don’t know enough to dispute his assertions, which translates to scads of money for him.

        Overall, there is nothing wrong with the English-language versions of the Bible. The problem is with the people who read it without taking the time to fully understand what they’re seeing. I mean, most people still think that Jesus was some pacifistic, Socialist hippy who didn’t care what people believed, when the fact of the matter is that He was none of that. He was dynamic, powerful, wonderful, and exactly who you and I should seek to follow.

        Like

      23. Wow. Kill people or don’t kill people is not a significant policy change, eh? And lots and lots of your best guess. I submit you’re wrong on the first part, and dishonest on the second.

        Liked by 1 person

      24. To begin, you’re in danger of dragging us into a very lengthy discussion on the violence of the Old Testament, the Doctrine of the Trinity, and Messianic texts. You’re headed right into my area of expertise, as it were.

        The second part: In what manner have I been dishonest?

        Like

      25. TEP, it’s been fun, but I have a busy day ahead of me. I’ll sum up and then you can have the last word or whatever.

        Clearly, you know more about the bible than most Christians. I’d say 99.99% of them. Yet your ultimate measure on if something was literal or figurative in the bible is if it seems right to you. That is where you are being dishonest. Not “lying” dishonest, but intellectually dishonest.

        We’ll have to figure out how to better discuss these issues than this format someday. We’ve only scratched the surface.

        TSA

        Liked by 1 person

      26. Well, thank you for the compliment. I’ve studied hard for years to get where I am, and I have no desire to stop. You are wrong in one sense, my ultimate measure has nothing to do with my feelings. As Ben Shapiro has famously stated, “Facts don’t care about your feelings.” Believe me when I say that much of my flesh tries to rebel against God, while my spirit fights for Him.

        You correctly guessed that I’m an apologist. My primary method is evidential apologetics. While presuppositional apologetics is preferrable, the reason I use evidential is that folks like you are more inclined to listen to an evidential approach. As such, I adhere to the sentiment found in 1 Thessalonians 5:21, “but test everything; hold fast what is good”.

        Now, how can you accuse me of intellectual dishonesty if I’ve openly stated which sources I’m using? Thus far, I’ve spoken plainly about the where and why of my theological position, so I’m curious about how that makes me intellectually dishonest.

        I absolutely agree that a better format is needed. Unfortunately, this is all we’ve got. It’s true that we’ve barely scratched the surface, which is why I suspect I’ll be researching Scripture until my dying days. I can’t begin to express how happy such an idea makes me. 😊

        Like

      27. We’ll have to find a better format. I feel like I already answered your concerns, so I’ll blame the limitations of typing on a phone.

        Deuces, and thanks for the conversation. Catch you later.

        Like

      28. Having been to the Middle East, I have experience with many of their cultural practices, so the attitudes and such of First Century Judea are very familiar. It hasn’t changed that much. Add to that the fact that I happen to speak some Hebrew and Arabic, and you can bet I don’t view Scripture the same as my contemporaries.

        You are saying what I always say. They is nothing divine about the bible it is only a normal representation of the society that exist at that time

        Bart Ehrman is not able to look beyond his own bias because his bias is very lucrative.

        Now I may be putting words in your mouth. So it is only people who agree with you that can look beyond their own bias

        he can be intellectually honest,

        So Bart Ehrman is only intellectually honest when he agree with your own beliefs

        That’s it, nearly all of them come down to the difference between tomato, and tomatoe. Same pronunciation, same meaning, only one letter difference, and they’re both technically correct.

        I then to be skeptical when someone say many of the differences are just one letter
        Take the following sets of words atheist / theist, biogenesis/abiogenesis,chromatic/achromatic, gnostic/agnotic, historical/ahistorical, moral/amoral, political/apolitical, sexual/asexual, synchronous/asynchronous, theistic/atheistic, tonal/atonal, and typical/atypical etc
        The words are listed above what are the differences: The difference is JUST a single letter but that is enough to CHANGE THE ENTIRE MEANING
        Now like you gave an example of tomato, sometimes the meaning stay the same. But saying most differences are in spelling, is an attempt to psychologically fool me that just a difference in one letter makes no difference, but like I showed that is not the case. If you can show that every single spelling difference are like your tomato/tomatoe case and not my atheist/theist case then and ONLY then can you erase the spelling differences as insignificant

        Moving on, yes, Jesus made mention of the sky falling. In case you missed it, much of human literature and culture tends to be hyperbolic

        They was nothing hyperbolic about that. For one if you follow your own advice and look at that statement concerning stars falling using the biblical cosmology as understood then was something like this
        https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSVdKBP8XCz-odDUTZYpEcaZ5E3gD09_ATiE2MWnrVaNtqMz96mew
        And it made perfect sense to talk about stars falling to the earth. You are only claiming that verse to be hyperbolic because of our current knowledge of cosmology. A similar “prophesy” is found in Isaiah 34:4

        The sun, moon, and stars will crumble to dust. The sky will disappear like a scroll being rolled up, and the stars will fall like leaves dropping from a vine or a fig tree.

        Why didn’t you take Jesus “prophesy” about the destruction of the temple as literal and not hyperbolic, why didn’t you take the supposed “prophesies” about a messiah as literal and not hyperbolic, why do you take the supposed “resurrection” as literal and not hyperbolic, why do you take the “prophesies” about the end times as literal and not hyperbolic

        I mean, this is a being whose existence was first predicted in the Garden of Eden

        Based on our current knowledge of science, the whole story of the garden of eden is a MYTH

        Liked by 1 person

      29. Apparently, you are TOTALLY proving his point by asking him to make his point.

        Like

      30. In what manner? Thus far, what I’m doing is giving him rope. He’ll either climb, or hang. If he has a point I’ve otherwise been unaware of, then so be it. If not, then perhaps he might learn something from me. In either case, this will be an educational experience.

        Like

      31. TEP336, you would also note that the general scholarly consensus is that the gospels were written after the destruction of the temple. I assume ( correct me if I assume wrong ) that you wouldn’t belief me, if I wrote an article today which basically said that I gave a prophesy about the 9-11 attack two weeks before the attack occurred. You wouldn’t believe that I made such a prophesy but you are doing the same thing when you say that Jesus prophesied about the destruction of the temple when the documents containing the supposed prophecy where written decades after the event took place

        When I said we were both right, I meant it. You see, the passage I made reference to (Matt. 24:1-31) contains language that references both the end times, and the destruction of the Temple. What that means is that the parable of the fig tree very likely would pertain to both

        The references to the destruction of the temple are found around the beginning of the chapter
        But the verse Remember that ALL these things will happen before the people now living have all died
        Comes after verses 29-31 which talks about the signs that would be seen when the son of man comes
        I don’t see how you are saying that verse 34 of that chapter doesn’t refer to verse 29-31

        I don’t know how you turned this

        Matthew 24:33
        So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

        to
        So likewise ye … – In the same manner, when you see what I have predicted the “signs” around Jerusalem

        Even when you consider Matthew 16:28

        I assure you that there are some here who will not die untill they have seen the son of man come as king

        This also implies that Christ second coming was going to occur “before the people now living have all died”
        In light of what is in Matthew 16:28, the content of Matthew 24:34 would be seen as a reference to the coming of the son of man

        Up until 70AD every Jew could trace their lineage back to Abraham

        Now I hear this said a lot but I would be glad if you would kindly list your sources for this

        The Old Testament, or Tanakh, contains an overarching theme throughout, specifically texts relating to the Messiah and His anticipated arrival. This is important because Messianic prophesy states that the Messiah would be descended from the tribe of Judah, a direct descendant of King David

        It would be fair to mention that Jesus did not meet up the Jewish expectations for a messiah, ( these are expectations that were based on the text ).

        As the Complete Jewish Bible is a direct-to-English translation from the original languages

        THIS STATEMENT IS WRONG
        Because, if a direction translation of the biblical manuscripts to english, the translation would be virtually unreadable
        So I assume what you meant is that, the CJB is the best translation we have. I would request for your sources or how you arrived at this

        Liked by 1 person

      32. TEP336 you are the one not looking beyond your bias. You take the part of the text that satisfy your beliefs then treat others as hyperbolic. Thats the very meaning of not able to look beyond his own bias because your bias is very lucrative
        Since you treat a good part of the bible as being hyperbole why then is “Yahweh” not a hyperbole

        Jesus, as our Creator, gave His language and culture to the Hebrew people, not the other way around.

        How did he give the hebrew language to the jews, it rather the opposite he learnt the hebrew language because that is where he resided

        Now, how can you accuse me of intellectual dishonesty if I’ve openly stated which sources I’m using

        What you are doing is say that any scholar that didn’t agree with you is being bias and intellectually dishonest. You decide to intepret the part that aligns with your BIAS literally and those that do not metaphorically

        “As the Complete Jewish Bible is a direct-to-English translation from the original languages”
        I remember asking you about this
        “The hilarious part is that the Qur’an affirms the truth of the Bible, which in turn proves the Qur’an false. Allah is Satan”
        and this
        Just remeber I have been ignored

        We have a wide range of “gospels” some are down right incompatible with each other. On what basis did you arrive at the conclusion that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are legit

        an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as “to wait an eternity.”

        A question, where you in the mind of Jesus to know what was not intended to be taken literally. I’m sure must of what are in the gospel will fit this definition of a hyperbole

        Without going into a segue about the existence of miracles

        I saw what you did here. You are trying to excuse “miracles”
        Why don’t you regard the “second coming of Jesus” as a hyperbole

        If you can just easily treat the part of the bible you don’t like as a hyperbole, then other than your “bias” you can’t rule out the Qu’ran as false the way you did, or the theogony or Iliad etc

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I hate much of what God supposedly is allowed to do but we aren’t. Like according to God, abortions are wrong in all cases, but no one bats an eye at all the unborn babies he apparently “takes back to heaven”, the stillbirths and miscarriages of wanted and loved babies, for instance. Or let’s not forget God’s plan was to take back a child dying a horrific death from a terminal cancer like DIPG where they get to a point like locked in syndrome but are fully mentally aware until they die. Morality is made up by God, and I guess he who makes the rules apparently can break them 😦 I’m a social conservative, but don’t identify with the hypocrisy of many religions, including Christianity.
    “quod licet iovi non licet bovi” apparently is the order of the day for many believers…
    https://aladyofreason.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Very true. Bible god embodies all that is bad about leadership, responsibility, caring, and nurturing.

      Liked by 2 people

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