WWJD Series: Jesus and Anger Management

October 12, 2009 at 2:16 pm 54 comments

Jesus is almost always held up as the great, human example of love. He’s supposed to embody all that the Christian should aspire to (WWJD). When a Christian does something mean, unloving, etc, they often say they messed up and need to be more Christ-like. But since I now can look at the Bible objectively -i.e., without filtering it through a set of presuppositions that demand that it must all be (mis)interpreted so that it “looks good”- I see that being angry, hateful, vengeful, even going on the out and out attack, is really being very Christ-like. It’s just the sort of thing Jesus would do.

In fact, according to the gospels, he seems to have had some problems with anger management.

Let’s look at a few situations to see WWJD.

Fig tree withering:

Matt 21:18-19 “Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.”

OR

Mark 11:12-14, 20-21 “The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. ….. In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”

Whip cracking:

John 2:13-16 “When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!”

Name calling:

Matt 23:15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are. Matt 23:33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?”

Matt 15:25-26 “The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”

Of course Jesus was supposed to be God’s son, so he came by his tantrum-prone nature naturally enough. After all BibleGod is a nasty piece of work by any and all meaningful standards.

Just look at these Godly examples:

Killing babies is OK. God supposedly knew the “Slaughter of the Innocents” was coming for centuries and was quite content to just let it happen. (Jer. 31:15)]

Killing babies is totally OK. God killed David and Bathsheba’s baby directly.

Killing babies, and older kids, and adults is all OK. Think of “Korah’s rebellion” or the “Bronze Snake” incident, or the “angel of death over Jerusalem”.

Killing people for minor lies is OK. Think Ananias and Saphira. And then he lets billions of others off the hook. That’s both vicious and capricious.

Killing kids for just being kids is OK. Remember Elijah calling a curse done on teasing children and some bears came out to kill them.

Killing people for just doing their job is OK. Remember Elijah calling down fire on soldiers.

Torturing people forever for temporal infractions is OK. Remember, God sends people to eternal torment if they don’t happen to believe exactly the right religion (and of course the right subsect of that religion).

Ya know, if you go to “Christian counseling” I don’t think you see this sort of Biblical approach to anger management. I mean come on, isn’t it all about WWJD?

- LeoPardus

Previously in this series:

Entry filed under: LeoPardus. Tags: , , , .

Take this, Transcendental Argument for God’s Existence… The Wedding Saga: My Dilemma

54 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Joshua  |  October 12, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Leo, this is an incredible post. I wonder what brought it on? :)

    You know, I actually feel sorry for my previous Christian self and all Christians, really. The contradictions between being told to act like Jesus and then having actions of his be “exceptions” because “He is God” are perfect examples of how to make someone act slightly schizophrenic.

    The tendency I see is this: “I, as a Christian, will act like Jesus and get righteously angry on God’s behalf when I see people sinning. However, if my tirade does not produce the proper guilt in the opposing party through the work of the Holy Spirit, and they call out my attitude as being unloving or misunderstanding or impatient or whatnot, then I will apologize and say I need to ‘work on [insert fruit of Spirit here]‘”

    It’s pretty predictable.

  • 2. Quester  |  October 12, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Good one, Leo. I could not hang onto my Christianity any longer than I could my theism. Jesus was, in many ways, a jerk. In other ways, he advocated very self-destructive behaviour. If he wasn’t God, neither was he a role-model of any particular value. A couple good verses about love and abundant life are in there, but I can find a better role model in almost any novel on my bookshelf.

  • 3. Joshua  |  October 12, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    A couple good verses about love and abundant life are in there, but I can find a better role model in almost any novel on my bookshelf.

    It always surprises me that people who don’t know very much about Jesus have the highest opinion of him. I really don’t get it. I’ll talk to people and they will say things like “Well, I agree with everything Jesus said…” or something like that. I wonder if it is because it is somewhat cultural and social suicide to disagree with Jesus on anything.

  • 4. orDover  |  October 12, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    I think you get the comments like “I agree with everything Jesus said,” because most people don’t really know what he said. All they know is the hype, which stresses peace and love. They don’t usually get around to the “I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword” sort of verses.

  • 5. atimetorend  |  October 12, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    My church was actually anti-WWJD, because we are hopeless sinners and the important thing is to focus on what Jesus *did*, ie, died on the cross as an atonement for our sins. Of course we were to strive to grow in Christ-likeness, so there was some confusion on that point, but anyway…

    I think you might receive a hearty “Amen!” for your piece from some Calvinists. After all, Jesus wasn’t some namby pamby love God, and how can people know they need a savior without being reminded they deserve God’s wrath? And what are we saved from, we are saved from the wrath of God himself?

  • 6. Joshua  |  October 12, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    So Jesus is like a pop star? Everyone is supposed to like them and only disagree if they know more than the majority or have personal experience?

    You can say anything you want about Paris Hilton, just don’t say she is ugly.

    You can say anything you want about Britney, just don’t say she is smart.

    You can say anything you want about Michael Jackson, just don’t say he is hot.

    You can say anything you want about Jesus, just don’t say he is wrong.

    And you will be a social god.

  • 7. LeoPardus  |  October 12, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    I wonder what brought it on?

    It’s been sitting in my files for quite a while. I finally pulled it out and finished it.

    Paris is hot.
    Britney is not.
    Michael is just dead.
    Jesus? Depends on what you read.

  • 8. SnugglyBuffalo  |  October 12, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Paris Hilton is ugly. Seriously, I don’t know why people think she’s physically attractive.

  • 9. LeoPardus  |  October 12, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    ‘Cause she’s got a helluva bod and shags like a wild mink.

  • 10. Joshua  |  October 12, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    ROFL.^

  • 11. Lurker111  |  October 12, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    The Fig Tree Incident creates a number of problems–or should–for the believer. Here are just a few:

    1. The Fig Tree has no brain, no consciousness, no soul. Who/What was Jesus punishing?

    2. The Fig Tree was out of season for figs, just as the Grand Designer had designed it to be. And Jesus is pissed about this?

    3. What’s the moral of this story? Why was it even included, except perhaps as another expression of metaphysical power? (See how “bad” I can be. Woo-hoo!)

    It almost looks like filler material that a novelist might throw in.

  • 12. Quester  |  October 13, 2009 at 1:01 am

    Lurker,

    The way I’d learned it, the fig tree was supposedly considered a symbol of Israel, like the maple leaf is of Canada. If in the story Jesus was standing in Ottawa, outside the Canadian Parliament buildings and cursing a maple tree for not bearing fruit– er, syrup– we might read it as a political statement.

    Of course, when I go to the actual bible verses, it sure doesn’t look like any kind of political parable, so make up your own mind.

  • 13. Big Dan  |  October 13, 2009 at 5:07 am

    If you move on from a literal reading of the gospels then surely these NT passages don’t present any real problems. The gospels were recorded to big-up JC. Why would negative character elements be included? To me, if we see negative traits of JC in the gospels then we’re probably missing the author’s intent.

    The fig tree story makes no sense as a literal story – not fruiting out of season, is JC stupid? No, surely it must have been intended as a metaphorical tale.

    Whip cracking – note he’s whipping the animals, not the people. Nothing wrong with that. You could be accused of sensationalising this. OK, he trashes the market stalls, but this seems justified.

    Name calling (snakes) – a fair cop, you must admit.

    Name calling (dogs) – I can’t believe that the author would have include this if it was meant to show JC as racist. At face value it apparently contradicts his message that the gospel is for gentiles too. So I think it’s likely that it is rhetoric, intended to speak to Jewish people in a certain way.

    And when did JC actually call people to emulate his actions, anyway? I disagree with your statement “He’s supposed to embody all that the Christian should aspire to”.

    As for all the OT stuff, I’m much more in agreement with you.

  • 14. Brian  |  October 13, 2009 at 10:30 am

    As a Christian I never had a problem with the whip cracking stories or the one where he calls the woman a dog. The former was because he was (in theory) driving out evil. And actually I LIKED that image of Jesus. I liked a savior who took action and wasn’t just some la-dee-da yogi who was always serene and speaking in weird parables. For JC there was a time for parables and there was a time to kick some serious ass.

    As to calling the woman a dog, I always took that one in the whole context of the rest of the story where it almost seemed like Jesus was challenging her, attempting to draw her faith out of her, which in the end is exactly what happens and he calls her blessed (I believe).

    The fig tree was another thing. Because yeah, that was a totally irrational thing to do. It seems like the kind of thing a five year old with superpowers would do. “I didn’t get my way, so I’m going to smite this tree!” I really don’t think it was figurative at all. Sure maybe you can retroactively fit it to teach a lesson about Israel, but all throughout the rest of the gospels, when a figurative story was being used to teach a lesson, it was done through a parable about somebody else. The parable didn’t STAR Jesus. If we’re going to say the fig tree incident was nothing more than a metaphor, I’d say that opens you up to question the tangibility of the ENTIRE gospel….

    …of course in my mind the whole thing is figurative anyway and my entire diatribe is rendered a moot point.

  • 15. LeoPardus  |  October 13, 2009 at 10:54 am

    note he’s whipping the animals, not the people

    και ποιησας φραγελλιον εκ σχοινιων παντας εξεβαλεν εκ του ιερου τα τε προβατα και τους βοας
    AND making a WHIP of RUSHES ALL He-OUT-CAST OUT of-THE SACRED-place THE BESIDES sheep AND THE OXEN

    I’m not a Greek scholar, but I can read a little and use the tools available. It appears from the structure that he whipped “all”.

    Nothing wrong with that. You could be accused of sensationalising this.

    Read the rest. He screamed for them to get out, and threw over their tables and benches.

  • 16. Joshua  |  October 13, 2009 at 10:56 am

    It’s so funny how we see in others the attitude we hope to see.

  • 17. Quester  |  October 13, 2009 at 11:35 am

    If you move on from a literal reading of the gospels then surely these NT passages don’t present any real problems.

    And when did JC actually call people to emulate his actions, anyway? I disagree with your statement “He’s supposed to embody all that the Christian should aspire to”.

    You’re almost right, Big Dan. If we assume that the gospels are lies or otherwise make-believe and that we are neither supposed to act like Jesus, nor pay attention to anything he said or did, the NT presents almost no problems. The one exception is that there are people take the bible seriously and try to emulate Jesus. That is a big problem I have with the NT passages.

    Brian,

    What I liked about Jesus calling the woman a dog, when I was a Christian, was that it showed that even Jesus made mistakes and had to learn.

  • 18. Joe  |  October 13, 2009 at 11:47 am

    I recently had a religious studies class where I used the example of Jesus in the Temple with the whip. Many today have their own “idea” who Jesus should be, and make being “Christ-like” almost a mushy, lovey-dovey character. Jesus was indeed loving in the Gospels, but he did have times of anger also.

    I mentioned in a short essay of a Time-machine going back to the Temple occurrence, filled with some of those with their “ideas” about whom Jesus “should be”. When they see Jesus with the whips they cry out “THAT’S NOT VERY CHRIST-LIKE OF YOU JESUS!!!”

    My teacher got a kick out of it even though it’s been used before. :>)

  • 19. Joshua  |  October 13, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    When they see Jesus with the whips they cry out “THAT’S NOT VERY CHRIST-LIKE OF YOU JESUS!!!”

    Haha, beautifully said, Joe. Seems like the Jesus in our heads is different than the Jesus of reality, no?

  • 20. orDover  |  October 13, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    To me, if we see negative traits of JC in the gospels then we’re probably missing the author’s intent.

    That’s convenient. Make the text conform to our preconceived notions of what they should say and what their various authors intended.

  • 21. Joshua  |  October 13, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    C’mon orDover, you know that the authors intended to communicate 21st century Protestant Reformed Christianity based on the 66 book canon. It’s obvious. Just read them yourself!

  • 22. George  |  October 13, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Jeus was angry, very angry for the rip off of the poor. Making them by pre-blessed animals for sacrifice.

    He also knew why He was in Jerusalem and on earth at all, he was going to be the ultimate sacrifice. It was far deeper than just the money grabbers.
    Jesus was angry, make no mistake, but for the right reason.

    Paul stated, “Be angry and sin not.” Interesting.

  • 23. Mel  |  October 13, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Joshua,

    I do not know if he will take the time to answer you or not, but when you stand, or kneel, before Jesus Christ in judgement, you can ask him if he was angry at the Temple in 32 AD.

    See if he laughs at you stupid and childish humor.

    My bet is no.

    Maybe you can give him a PDT (personality disorder test).

    I believe you will have opportunity to repent of your current mind set.

  • 24. Mel  |  October 13, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Quester,

    Did you comment that you were a pastor? If so, where? I take it you retired from the job?

  • 25. Mel  |  October 13, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Joshua,

    I truly believe you are sick. I believe you are ill at the deepest level of you soul.

    Your speech belies a person who is bent on appeasing the other agnostic/atheists, Jesus Christ bashing comrades in the thread.

    As you transparently prove your ignorance on a daily basis, you will store up for yourself a far more serious session when you are resurrected from the dead.

    The pathetic nature of this de-conversion site displays nothing but a small number of regulars who entertain each other with the cancer of the mind bent on your own destruction.

    May God grant you the space to repent.

    “Be not deceived, God is not mocked, whatever a man sows, that will he reap.”

    THE FOOL HAS SAID IN HIS HEART, THERE IS NO GOD

  • 26. Blue  |  October 13, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Yawn.

    Matthew 5:22 “…But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

    Best watch out for the skybully there, Mel. You seem to be mocking him by not following his commandments.

  • 27. Joshua  |  October 14, 2009 at 1:38 am

    I truly believe you are sick. I believe you are ill at the deepest level of you soul.

    Of course you do. Your sky daddy tells you that is what I am, so you have to believe it.

    I, however, will continue to think you are a normal human being and will treat you as one, equal to me, until you prove otherwise. It’s probably too much to ask that of you, I imagine.

    That said, read my most recently posted story on this site, and then tell me I’m the fucked up one.

    I’m really beginning to enjoy the amount of flack I am receiving on this site :) It tells me I am making some headway.

  • 28. Mel  |  October 14, 2009 at 1:59 am

    Joshua, your post is why I said what I did.

    Got you there. I have been reading your attempt at cleverness for some time. Just could not hold back.

    Glad you feel so good about yourself. :)

  • 29. Mel  |  October 14, 2009 at 2:00 am

    goodnight…..Joshua

  • 30. Enigma  |  October 14, 2009 at 2:20 am

    Hello Mel- can you address an argument without a condemnation to hell- like for instance the argument in the original post. For instance, can you reconcile an all-moral, all just God calling for the Israelites to kill all the men, women and children (except for the female virgins which the Israelites should keep for themselves) in Numbers 31:17-18. Or perhaps pick any of the baby killing examples Leo set forth. Oh and the answer isn’t that im gonna go to hell

  • 31. Big Dan  |  October 14, 2009 at 2:44 am

    LeoPardus @ 15 – maybe you’re right about the whipping, When the NIV says “drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle” I read it that “both sheep and cattle” is a subordinate clause of “all”, not an adjunct to. However, the Greek – on which I’ll have to take your word – and Young’s Literal Translation (no idea how reliable that is) suggest that sheep and cattle are not the sum of the all.

    But I note (unless there’s something else hidden in the Greek) that you have inserted the word “screamed” to sensationalise the episode. I don’t want to get into petty squabbling, but I could redirect Joshua @ 16 back at you.

    OK, quite possibly he threatened people with physical violence, or even did some. But this isn’t the retributional smiting of an omnipotent power; it’s the actions of a human. I don’t think anyone anywhere in the OT or NT says that it’s wrong to get angry. Does this support your thesis that “he seems to have had some problems with anger management”? Or does it just say that on some occasions he did get angry, and that anger was justified?

    Quester @ 17 – I’m drawing the distinction between paying attention to what Jesus said, and trying to emulate him. When people asked Jesus what they had to do to inherit eternal life, he didn’t say “copy me”, he gave some specific instructions. So I think WWJD is a flawed approach.

    orDover @ 20 – I’m not trying to do anything convenient. To me, looking at any passage and saying “That doesn’t make sense, maybe I’m reading it wrong” (note it’s just a maybe; further investigation is then required) is no different from saying “The world created in 6 days? That doesn’t make literal sense, what’s the real point of the story?”

  • 32. Quester  |  October 14, 2009 at 3:20 am

    When people asked Jesus what they had to do to inherit eternal life, he didn’t say “copy me”, he gave some specific instructions. So I think WWJD is a flawed approach.

    Sorry, Big Dan, I thought you wanted to move away from a literal reading of the gospels.

  • 33. Joshua  |  October 14, 2009 at 3:56 am

    Joshua, your post is why I said what I did.

    Got you there.

    OMG! You totally did! lol

    Very, very nice. I will be much more perceptive from now on :D

    You totally pownd me.

  • 34. Big Dan  |  October 14, 2009 at 5:45 am

    Quester @ 32 – guilty as charged.

    And so my paradoxical position on the Bible (which hitherto I haven’t explained) comes to a head: I can’t accept that Jesus was who he said he was (or who the writers said he said he was) because that doesn’t seem to line up with my perceived reality. Therefore I conclude that probably a lot of the claims about what he did are exaggerated. But still I want to try and extract some goodness from his teaching. Why? Because for various reasons I find myself in the middle of a Christian community, which I rather like, and which I think still has something to offer me (and vice versa).

    My original reason for entering the discussion was that I felt that the original post (at least, the NT part) was of the rather simplistic “ha ha, there are inconsistencies in the Bible, therefore it’s all rubbish” type. I still feel that. I really think that the NT examples quoted can be made sense of by some serious discussion. But it’s been nice to have some intelligent people challenge my thinking – thanks.

  • 35. LeoPardus  |  October 14, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Mel:

    Thanks for the humor breaks. :D

  • 36. societyvs  |  October 14, 2009 at 11:19 am

    “Therefore I conclude that probably a lot of the claims about what he did are exaggerated. But still I want to try and extract some goodness from his teaching” (Big Dan)

    I am not sure why you cannot – the teachings are in general very good. Some questionable episodes, that would need to be worked out more as you mention, denies them all of some meaning? That’s like saying because your mother smoked and told you not to as a kid that everything she warned you about was wrong. No one makes that conclusional leap in reality.

    The fig tree I could care less about – there must of been a point to that story – haven’t read it in some time but it’s quite meaningless everytime I read it. That story is not a core teaching – and if it is – them someone point out what core teaching Jesus is going over in that story?

    As for the whipping at the temple – yes that is anger…and I do think he drove out the moneychangers and their animals. Now how much did he whip them – no one knows – likely wasn’t torture though. They needed to be removed – they were selling offerings at the temple which is like someone selling hotdogs on your front porch. Someone would likely throw that hotdog stand to the ground at some point…we don’t know how long Jesus had to watch that whole offering exhibition before he just ‘this is enough’.

    As for the name calling bit ‘hypocrite’ is not really a name without some meaning. He then moves into a tyrade about ‘snakes’ but even that is being used in comparision to the lowliness of what they ‘are doing to others’. I see the writers making the point in those ‘woe to’s’ as warnings to the reader about their own behavior.

    The dogs comment is a very interesting one. It’s a one time occurence and never happens again (let’s at least get that clear). Which always makes me wonder why did Jesus say it?

    I chalk it up to playing the known hand of the day – to see her response. Gentiles were likely not looked highly upon by any religious group of the day – and may have even been compared to dogs for their behavior towards Israel (after all they were basically a ruled people by Romans). Jesus may be throwing the comment out to see her reply – which seems to be the case…since he looks pretty fondly upon her response. If he meant it – I am not sure he would of bothered with much more of a conversation.

    I cannot really answer for the Tanakh but I do know there is more to many of the situations mentioned – like war for example…doesn’t make anything right but does show some of these situations occured in horrible times and people used God to justify some of their actions (which Judaism would even see as wrong).

    The great thing about Judaism is they don’t deny many of the problems you are pointing out – but neither do they use those examples as the norm from the law (Torah)…cause they are not. But I cannot really break down the Judaic teachings in all honesty – I don’t know them well enough to defend them in totality.

  • 37. Quester  |  October 14, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Big Dan,

    My original reason for entering the discussion was that I felt that the original post (at least, the NT part) was of the rather simplistic “ha ha, there are inconsistencies in the Bible, therefore it’s all rubbish” type.

    Really? I see it more as “Jesus is held up as a role model because of some of the words and actions attributed to him are paid attention to, while others are ignored.” I am by no means confident that the words and actions paid attention to are in the majority. An awful lot gets ignored to make Jesus seem like an example worth following.

    As for, “there are inconsistencies in the Bible, therefore it’s all rubbish”, I’d say a better argument is “the Bible is largely inconsistent and incoherent, therefore it is poorly suited as a source of authority”. Can you derive good teachings from it? Certainly. But without some sort of answer key telling you which parts of the Bible are to be taken literally and which are not, you are using your own reason, empathy and experience as your authority, not the Bible, just like the rest of us.

  • 38. Mel  |  October 14, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Quester, would you please comment on my post, it is for you, mainly.

  • 39. LeoPardus  |  October 14, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Mel:

    Let me put this as plainly and delicately as possible:

    Go away.

  • 40. LeoPardus  |  October 14, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Just so you have some reasons.

    You contribute nothing valuable here.
    You are not serving the purpose of this site.
    We already know everything you have to say.

  • 41. DSimon  |  October 14, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Let me add another reason, and the one that I personally feel is the most important:

    Mel, you’re being incredibly rude to the posters here.

    If you want to try and persuade people of your religious convictions, (ignoring the fact that this is not the right place to do that) you’d have a better chance of success if you used even the slightest bit of politeness.

  • 42. Joe  |  October 14, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Man walks up to door with sign that says “Deconversion Blog in Progress”. He looks inside and sees 10-15 people sitting at desks and having a casual conversation. He notices a podium and steps up in front of it:

    “I want to thank you all for allowing me to enter into this conversation. I’d like to add one thing if I could”. He takes two steps back and shouts loudly:

    “YOU’RE ALL GOING TO BURN IN HELL!!!!”

    Taking two steps forward again he smiles, and says “I notice there are some donuts and coffee in the back of the room. If anyone would like to join me for more conversation in this general vein, please join me for a donut and we can discuss it some more. Thank you.”

  • 43. Quester  |  October 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Joe,

    I never thought I’d say this after our interactions last year, but kudos, man.

    *applause*

  • 44. societyvs  |  October 14, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Mel, your logic is kind of twisted theologically I must say.

    On the one hand you see the fig tree symbolism as Israel making mistakes and needed to removed as God’s people so the Gentiles could enter (who made twice as many mistakes if truth be told). Then you see this lopped off fig tree – Israel – coming back into the picture in this throwdown in Megiddo with Islam…why exactly?

    You know Israel has never accepted the claim of the trinity or Jesus being God’s son. They never accept the idea of a virgin birth. They don’t believe Jesus resurrected. They do not see Jesus as the messiah. They do not accept the NT as scripture. Yet they, for some reason, play a role in the end of times…almost as if they were the one’s God has been concerned about all along.

    You need to realize Mel – with your apocalyptic ideas – that Judaism and Chrisianity are nothing alike. If this is the case, which it is, then why is the same God defending both as if neither has made mistakes in your end times charade?

  • 45. Blue  |  October 14, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    Nice one Joe. :-)

    What is with this obsession with Israel from various parts of Christianity? I grew up non-denominational protestant and they were obsessed with Israel because they wanted the apocalypse to happen, but is that common in other Christian sects? Are Catholics and Orthodox as obsessed?

  • 46. LeoPardus  |  October 15, 2009 at 10:56 am

    What is with this obsession with Israel from various parts of Christianity? I grew up non-denominational protestant and they were obsessed with Israel because they wanted the apocalypse to happen,

    I think you got it. They want some big thing to happen to ‘prove’ they are in the right. It’s childish really, but then so is all superstition.

    but is that common in other Christian sects? Are Catholics and Orthodox as obsessed?

    The C’s and O’s are not so obsessed. For one thing the book of Revelation is never read in their services. (Well actually it is in certain services that are often not done and are always sparsely, if at all, attended.) I’d say most C’s and O’s have no idea what’s in Revelation or Daniel.
    Also the C and O faiths are focused more on living. Not on impractical silliness.

  • 47. Joshua  |  October 15, 2009 at 11:02 am

    I think you got it. They want some big thing to happen to ‘prove’ they are in the right. It’s childish really, but then so is all superstition.

    Bingo!

    I was just telling the elder who got kicked out of the church that I thought believers wanted spiritual warfare to occur so much that they actually create the drama they are looking for. He had no response. Given his situation, I can understand why. Because that IS what is happening in his case.

  • 48. Blue  |  October 15, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Thanks Leo. I’ll have to check out our local Orthodox church to see the difference.

  • 49. LeoPardus  |  October 15, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Blue:

    If you want to see and understand the difference, i suggest you see if you can find one with a fairly high number of adult converts to Orthodoxy, or at least with experience with such folks. Native O’s are not usually very good at explaining it to newbies; though some are excellent.
    Try looking at OCA or Antiochian EOC churches. They’re the most likely ones to know about converts.
    (Yeah I know you’re not looking at converting, but you’re still an outsider; and Orthodoxy is really different. My reaction at first was, “Weirder than a farm full of three-headed animals.”)

  • 50. LeoPardus  |  October 22, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Just saw one to add to the lists for this article.

    Matt 15:3-4 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’[a] and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’

    Man! I wouldn’t want Jesus for MY dad.

  • 51. Joe  |  October 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    Leo–

    One has to read a bit further in Matt. 15 (v. 5-6) to get the true meaning though. It has to be read in context. Jesus isn’t telling them they should put children to death– he is stating that they are warping laws to FIT their own tradition. He uses the law of honoring father and mother as an example of what he is trying to teach about hypocrisy.

    I do understand what you are saying though concerning the LAW—it was quite severe!

  • 52. LeoPardus  |  October 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Actually I did read further to figure the context. And I got that he was decrying the warping of their scriptures. BUT, the example he gave was Matt 15:3-4. That says to kill kids who don’t honor their parents. If you’re going to play the context game, then the context here is pretty clear that Jesus was saying that killing kids for no honoring their parents was indeed a thing to do.
    Of course everyone wants to play exegetical games to say this ain’t so. After all we aren’t murderous primitives. But Jesus and his contemporaries were. Much like modern Muslims.
    One more reason not to base one’s life on ancient texts written by not-quite-civilized primitives.

  • 53. Joe  |  October 22, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Leo—

    I hear ya. I also broke my own rule of not getting into discussions about Biblical passages on the board. LOL
    I had a brain-freeze. :)

  • 54. LeoPardus  |  October 23, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Not a problem Joe. Civilized discussion are always a good thing

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Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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