So You Say You Are a Christian?

You say you are a Christian, but did you know that Christ did not say:

Hate Gays, Hate Transsexuals, Hate Bisexuals, Hate Lesbians.

Christ did say:

“You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.” — Acts 10:28

Do you still say you are a Christian?

 

You say you are a Christian, but did you know that Christ did not say:

Support War, Support Violence Against Others, Support a First Strike Capability.

Christ did say:

“If someone strikes you on the cheek, turn the other cheek and if someone takes your cloak, do not withhold your tunic as well.”  – Luke 6:29

Do you still say you are a Christian?

 

You say you are a Christian, but did you know that Christ did not say:

Vote for Greed, Vote for Bigotry, Vote for Avarice.

Christ did say,

“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” — Matthew 16:26 

Do you still say you are a Christian?

 

You say you are a Christian, but did you know that Christ did not say:

Blame the Poor, Blame the Downtrodden, Blame the Sick, Blame the Hungry.   

Christ did say,

“If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” – Matthew 19:21

Do you still say you are a Christian?

 

You say you are a Christian, but did you know that Christ did not say:

Practice Intolerance, Practice Exclusion, Practice Narrow Mindedness.

Christ did say:

“If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?  Are not even the tax collectors doing that?  And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?”Matthew 5:43-47

Do you still say you are a Christian?

 

You say you are a Christian, but did you know that Christ did not say:

Go to Church, Read the Bible, Make Pious Remarks.  

Christ did say:

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”Matthew 7:24 / “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves.”— James 1:22

Do you still say you are a Christian?

 

You say you are a Christian, but did you know that Christ did not say:

The Ten Commandments Are All You Need. 

Christ did say:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

 Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.

 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.

 Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  — Matthew 5:3-10

Do you still say you are a Christian?

 Time for Questions:

What religion do you practice? Are you a hearer of the word but not a doer of the word?  Would Jesus Christ vote for Trump?

Life is Just Beginning.

“You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” ― Anne Lamott

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Thomas Guthrie
    Jul 19, 2016 @ 20:23:58

    Good reminders John.

    Reply

  2. Reid McFarlane
    Jul 21, 2016 @ 16:03:47

    Nice litany, and one that fits conventional theology. However, it ignores those passages and incidents that suggest a much more intolerant Jesus: “I came not to send peace, but a sword” (Mt 10:34). “And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” (Lk22:36)

    When Jesus was arrested, his followers asked “Shall we smite with the sword?” And one of them cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant. Among Jesus’ followers was Judah Iscariot, which most scholars now read as Judah Scarii one of the Jewish factions know as “stabbers.”

    And Jesus’ vision of the future is not one of love and peace, but one in which “The father shall be divided against the son and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter and the daughter against the mother…” (Lk 12:53)

    The New testament is a mixed bag because it grows out of a period of war, after all the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 CE and forbade Jews to return. In war the first casualty is the truth.

    Reply

  3. johnpersico
    Jul 21, 2016 @ 23:03:13

    Jesus was prophesying dissension because of his teaching, He was not preaching violence. In terms of the sword, you are misinterpreting his message here. As was usual with Jesus he was not being literal: The contextual meaning of the swords

    In contrast to the literal interpretation of using swords physically, the following interpretation works smoothly in context so that all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

    First, Jesus reminds the disciples of his mission for them before he arrived in Jerusalem (Luke 9:3; 10:1-17). Did they need a purse, a bag, or extra sandals? No, because people were friendlier, and their opposition to him was spread out over three years. Now, however, he is in Jerusalem, and he has undergone the compacted antagonism of religious leaders seeking to trap him with self-incriminating words. When the authorities are not present, they send their spies. The atmosphere is therefore tense, and the two swords—no more than that—represent the tension. Jesus’ mission has shifted to a clear danger, and the disciples must beware. However, he certainly did not intend for his disciples to use the swords, as we just saw in the literal interpretation, above, for he is about to tell Peter to put away his sword.

    In terms of MT: 10:34, the following is the true meaning, not your interpretation. Christ is cautioning His disciples that His gospel will not cause peace. In fact, it will cause division, even among families, because some people will believe and some people will not. Father and sons, mothers and daughters, many will disagree about his teachings, and this will lead to contention, and even possibly war. But, He warns, those people that are unwilling to follow Him despite the views of their family are not worthy of Him.

    You cannot simply write the New Testament off as a “Mixed Bag.” There are too many similarities among the four gospels for them to be a mixed bag. They are mixed in style and format but not in terms of content and message. The time that Jesus lived in was violent but so is the entire history of the human race. This does not preclude a message of peace that Buddha, Lao Tzu, Gandhi and hundreds of other prophets have tried to preach.

    Reply

  4. Jeanine
    Jul 23, 2016 @ 13:26:24

    Your blog is good food for thought. Are we being good Christians? Christ asked us to love one another as He has loved us. This was His greatest commandment and I believe it is the most difficult.

    Reply

    • REID MCFARLANE
      Jul 24, 2016 @ 20:30:58

      John, The reason I approach the text literally, is because the church makes it’s claims based on the texts.  But the text does not support many of its claims.  For example Jesus never claims to be the Messiah,it is implied.  Phrases like “son of man” or “son of God” appear in the O.T. and other texts like the Dead Sea Scrolls. Thus respected scholars like Joseph Klausener wrote whole books on The Messianic Idea in Israel.  These “anointed ones” came and went in ancient Israel.  They were “anointed” but not immortal. Allegorical interpretations are helpful for advancing a particular theological understanding, one reason I tend to avoid them. In the Old Testament “Elohim” is translated as singular when Hebrew grammar says it should be “Gods.”    Similarly several texts are read as “Jesus of Nazareth” but should be read “Jesus the Nazarite.”  Another is the clear reference to James as the Brother of Jesus  by Paul (Gal 1:19) which is either ignored or mis-read.  So too with church history when a brutal fight among Catholic bishops and their thugs is re-written as a kind of revelation called the Nicene Creed of 325 CE. (See When Jesus Became God, by Richard Rubenstein) The violence of religious repression, crusades and inquisitions, are all conveniently ignored when referring to “the Prince of Peace.”  By re-interpreting Jesus’ clear reference to “sword” as “tension” you deflate the tale.     The “spies” that are around are not unlike Paul who was sent by temple authorities to arrest religious dissidents like Jesus.  That’s why his conversion was important.  And why, after his missions, Paul brings tribute to Jesus’ Brother James  the Just at the Temple in Jerusalem.   Jesus, and Paul after him, both clearly believed they were living in “end times.”  Maytag made a wonderful joke of God’s non-appearance with the tag line for their repair man; “They also serve who only sit and wait,” a line not in the text, but reflecting Jesus’ and Paul’s expectations.

      By ignoring or deflating the tension that did exist among Jewish sects of the Second Temple period you are missing an explanation of why, from this carnage, two very different religions emerged.   I’ll spend some time in the next few weeks assembling a list of the Jewish inter-religion carnage, but you can start by reading Ezra 4:3.about the beginning of the Second Temple period.   That period ended when a radical faction of Judaism controlling Jerusalem and in revolt against Rome.  The Romans had had enough.  They sacked the city in 70 CE and forbade the Jews from returning.  Some escaped to Masada, that Israel now makes a shrine, when these folks were fanatics who slaughtered a whole village on their way to the top. From the dust of these wars emerges Christianity one the one hand and Rabbinic Judaism on the other.  Well, I got other things to do.  We’ll continue this face to face. Reid    

      WordPress.com Jeanine commented: “Your blog is good food for thought. Are we being good Christians? Christ asked us to love one another as He has loved us. This was His greatest commandment and I believe it is the most difficult.” | | Respond to this comment by replying above this line |

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      | | | Jeanine commented on So You Say You Are a Christian?. in response to johnpersico: You say you are a Christian, but did you know that Christ did not say: Hate Gays, Hate Transsexuals, Hate Bisexuals, Hate Lesbians. Christ did say: “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any […] Your blog is good food for thought. Are we being good Christians? Christ asked us to love one another as He has loved us. This was His greatest commandment and I believe it is the most difficult. | Reply |    Comments |

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  5. johnpersico
    Jul 24, 2016 @ 23:37:00

    Reid, you have said “John, The reason I approach the text literally, is because the church makes it’s claims based on the texts. But the text does not support many of its claims.”. What church are you referring to? Who are you referring to. Many Catholic church scholars do not take Jesus literally. Your entire premise is based on this simple argument which is flawed since has many exceptions. You paint all religions with the same brush and deal with such gross generalities that it is beyond argument. Some scholars and some churches might take Jesus literally, but many do not. What claims does the church make that are not supported. You do not deal with specifics. You write much but it is not material to your central argument. Be specific. Cite sources as I did in my blog.

    Reply

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