Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

“I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.”

This to me is so funny, yet unfortunately so true. There are two things going on in this quote. First is the concept and power of prayers the second is the belief we can sin all we want then just ask for forgiveness. I challenge both these concepts to be false.

It is no surprise that prayers go unanswered. If each and every prayer were to be answered I think chaos would consume this world. The question is why God chooses to grant some prayers over others. I can understand God not granting this individual a material possession such as a bike, which is what I think this quote is implying. I get it; we really do not need material possessions and Jesus taught against this “When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Luke 18:22. I interpret this as Jesus trying to diminish the importance of material possessions.

If we have just established that God does not grant material items, and we can assume he does not respond to every trivial request, I wonder why God does not grant prayers of healing and cries out for peace. Now I think many believers will say that God has his reasons but I cannot just buy into this, nor can I buy into the answer that God works in mysterious ways. If prayers were not meant to be answered then why does the Bible say “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.” Mark 11:23. This concept is also brought up in Matthew chapter seven, where it says “ask and you shall receive.”

The Bible is telling us if we just believe then anything will be given to us. I do not believe this to be true. When I was young I believed and I prayed for my dad to see me, and take me away from the turmoil I was in. I prayed, I believed, and nothing happened. I also question faithful believers who have been inflicted with cancer. Why are they not healed? I would challenge anyone who says they truly believe to actually ask God to cast a mountain into the sea. We could go through every believer of this faith and each one could ask, and I guarantee you this mountain will not budge. Is this where the author of this quote believes this is not how God works?

The other part of this quote is the concept of stealing and then just going to church and asking for forgiveness, and everything will then just be alright. Things are great you got your bike and are now forgiven. One of the things which bothers me about Christianity is the concept that you can sin six days then pray for forgiveness on the seventh day and all will be good. I am no expert by any means, but I do not think God works this way. Jesus said “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21 I don’t know if Christians know about this, or choose to pick other verses to discount this statement. Before Jesus was Jesus he was the Word, and if you choose to follow the Bible you cannot pick and choose what you will believe and what you won’t.

I had a brief conversation with one of my readers on the concept of being saved by faith and faith alone. I had to ask for clarification so I apologize if I am still not on the right path here, but I believe one of two things are happening. Either the Bible is contradicting itself or the believer is picking and choosing which parts of the Bible they choose to follow. If the Bible is the Word of God then it can possibly not contradict itself, because if it were it would prove to be fallible and the belief would then crumble under its own fallibility.

If the Bible is indeed the Word of God then man has chosen to change the Word to fit their own needs. This happens ever so gradually through the countless translation of the Word. With each new change the Word needs to be changed in order to gain new copyrights. This greed to make money off the Word is a perversion against the religion. This is a key theme I am working on in my book idea “Deceived.”

“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Timothy 4:3

To follow up on the Matthew chapter seven verse I used I would like to include the remainder.

22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

“Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” John 3:4

I am sure there are millions of faithful followers who not only have faith, but also follow God’s laws. It is those who follow both I admire the most. With that being said; when looked at through these few verses I do not believe God has any patience for those who do evil, and then one day a week ask for forgiveness. So is this a contradiction or is man bending the word to his own liking???

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Tell me what you think of these songs:

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise thee, we bless thee.” From Gloria Canon

“We are marching in the light of God” From An African Celebration

“Let us sing altogether to the Son of God. He is born as our saviour and redeemer. Come see the Christ child in the manger. The sweet little babe, Christ the King.” From Psallite

“Holy, Holy, Holy Lord of hosts. Holy, Holy, Holy God of power and might. Heaven and earth are filled with all your glorious works. Blest are they who worship in your Holy Name. Holy, Holy, Holy Lord of hosts. Holy, Holy, Holy God of power and might. Holy, Holy, Holy evermore the same.” From Sanctus

So what do you think of when you read these lyrics? Would you say these are religious songs? Would you come to the conclusion that perhaps these songs would be sung in a church? I come here to you today as a pissed off parent to find out these very same songs were performed by my daughters PUBLIC school choir. I was never informed and there was never a permission slip given to me asking if I thought this material was okay. I never received anything from her school. I did not find out about this until I was sitting in the stands and the program was passed out.

I was immediately outraged by this! I could not contain my emotions. I expressed my frustrations to my wife which started a separation of church and state debate in the stands of the auditorium. I am sure the parents sitting around us were either offended or amused by our banter. In my opinion this shit does not belong in our public schools. This is a clear violation of separation between church and state. You can clearly see these songs are religious based. The lyrics do not try and hide there purpose. It is just BAM in your face. I wanted to get up; grab my daughter and pull her from this performance. I will be contacting her school today. But wait it doesn’t stop there!

I was chatting with my daughter one day afterschool and she was telling me about how in social studies they are learning about Judaism. She recanted the story of Moses and the Pharaoh and the plagues that came to the Egyptian people. She went on to say Moses parted the Red Sea in order to get away. She then explained how Moses reached Mount Sinai and spoke to the burning bush, and about how on the top of the mountain God gave Moses the Ten Commandments written by Gods finger on two stone tablets. They were teaching her this as if it is a fact not a religious belief. I am all up in arms over this. I was irritated when she was telling me about this, and I had to immediately correct her and explain that these events are not real facts they are a man made fairy tale. She has been my daughter long enough to already know this to be true. I think these songs really pushed me off the ledge.

I really want to call her school and confront the principle on this subject. I will try to refrain because I am not sure how articulate I will come across. Now back to the debate with my wife. She was telling me I am an extremist in my views and that I am a hypocrite because I am making such a big deal about this. I am not sure if she really gets my point. Here is my stance. I do not think kids should be exposed to religion until they hit the age of reason. At this point I am all for them seeking out faith if they so choose. If my daughter is fifteen and chooses to go to church I will support her. If she chooses to become a Muslim I will support her. If she so chooses the Tao or to believe in nothing I will support her. Of course I would love to expose her to my belief system, but that goes against what I believe is right for my children. I do not think exposing children to religion is the right thing because their minds are not fully developed and frankly they are gullible and will believe just about anything.

My youngest son (6) has been recently talking a lot about God, Jesus and Heaven. I am not sure where these ideas are coming from but I am not okay with this. He has been told this by someone and now looks at it as a fact. I mean c’mon this kid still believes in Santa Claus so that about says it all. I made a mistake with my daughter. She used to go to this Christian daycare center and was exposed to religion. Every time we talked I had to reprogram her to set her straight. I told her these things are fairy tales and are false teachings. I succeeded in swaying her away from Christianity. She really enjoyed the movie “Religulous” which makes me think she is probably an atheist. This point is where I can see I am hypocritical. I didn’t want to do the same thing to my son so I just tell him that this is something people believe, and is not rooted in any logical form of thinking. I really doubt he understands what that means, because he still believes in Jesus just as much as he does Santa Claus. I would love nothing more than to start schooling him in Taoism, but like I said this goes against my belief system.

All I know is I am pissed about her social studies class. Something should have been sent home informing the parents what they will be teaching when it comes to religion. I am also pissed because her choir teacher should have sent something home asking the parents if they are okay with this material. I am a firm believer in the separation between church and state. God has no place in our government and sure as shit has no place in our public schools.

After Moses freed the people of Israel from Egypt; they sailed off into the sunset, embarking on a journey through the desert. They walked and walked and walked until they arrived at Mount Sinai. Moses took a trip up said mountain and was gone for forty days and forty nights. Upon his return he came down the mountain with the Ten Commandments carved into stone by Gods own finger. These Ten Commandments would become the list of religious and moral imperatives for those of the Jewish and Christian beliefs. The list is quaint yet eloquent. I have met people who believe the only laws God gave us were the Ten Commandments. This is not the case; God also gave us the “Book of the Covenant” which contains many more specific laws God gave us. I think the Ten Commandments became more popular among man because they were easier to remember and follow. The word “commandments” is mentioned numerous times in the Bible, and I do not feel they are just referring to the ten most popular ones. My father is the only person I have ever met who follows all of Gods laws; but I digress. My concern in relation to this post is how we consistently break the first Commandment. I am not talking about just those who believe differently, I am talking about those who follow the Christian and Catholic faiths.

The Ten Commandments are mentioned in Exodus 20:2-7 and in Deuteronomy 5:6-21. The first Commandment in Exodus 20:3-5 reads as follows:

3.Do not have any gods before me. 4. You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5. You shall not bow down or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God.”

First I would like to point out the verbiage in this passage. It says no other ‘gods” before me. I take this as there being the possibility of other Gods out there. Which would make sense since the Tao gave birth to God, which means she could have given birth to multiple Gods. I was a bit offended by the lower case “g”.

To me this Commandment is pretty cut and dry. We should only worship and pray to one God. We should not construct any idols to worship. This is how God wanted us to be; but do we actually follow this? The answer to that question is a huge NO. Catholic churches pray and bow down to the Mother Mary, and many different Saints; where those of the Christian and Catholic faiths worship and pray to Jesus Christ. In every church I have ever been to (I didn’t start on fire after walking through the door) there was always a huge cross with Jesus perched upon it somewhere in the building. I don’t know about you, but to me this is worshiping a false idol. Not that Jesus was false, but that we have created and turned him into an idol we pray and worship to.

Matthew 15:9 “But in vein they do worship me, (Jesus) teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

I think what Jesus is saying is we would eventually get to a point where Christianity becomes more about Jesus than it does about God himself. There is a story somewhere in the Bible; I think in Exodus about two men who constructed this golden calf so they could use it as an alter to make sacrifices to God. Moses became angry and told them to step off of the golden calf because that constitutes worshiping false idols. I ask you this; what is the difference between this golden calf and all those Jesus, Saints, crosses, and Mother Mary’s statues in our churches? To me this sounds like worshiping false idols.

I tend to get confused a bit when reading the New Testament. I get the feeling that Jesus puts himself on an equal playing field as God, and insinuates he is one and the same. One of the many examples is in John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”  This was taken from a conversation with a man where Jesus clearly says the commandments are his commandments. There are other examples throughout the New Testament that brings up this strange concept. I understand Jesus is the son of God, but is by no means a God himself. An opposite example is in Mark 12:29 “and Jesus answered him the first of all commandments is hear, O Israel the Lord our God is one Lord.”  Jesus is telling this man that there is only one Lord, yet throughout the Bible Jesus is referred to as the Lord. I think this confusing duality is put to bed nicely in Revelation 14:12 “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the Commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” When it comes to this conundrum I have been speaking about this chapter and verse point out that God is supreme and his commandments should be followed, and we must also have the faith of Jesus in our hearts. Correct me if I am wrong but I believe before Jesus was Jesus he was the Word. If this is true and not a part of my imagination than these types of duality comments would make more sense.

For those of you out there who are of the Christian belief I ask you to sit down and meditate about this post. Ask yourself if we have gotten to the point where we have created false idols. If the answer is yes than you must reassess your beliefs a bit. If the answer is no; then at least you got fifteen minutes of quite time.

I know I have expressed strong opinions on organized religion, and many of those opinions are harsh on the God of the Bible. Believe it or not I was not raised an atheist or taught to hate God; in fact I used to have a strong faith in God and his Word. My mother was not a religious woman to my knowledge and my step-father was Jewish, neither one projected their faiths upon their children. My father on the other hand was a devout born-again Christian. When he was around he would teach me His Word. I think because I saw so little of my father the time he would spend with me was the greatest, and if this is what made my dad happy then I knew it would make me happy if I believed and showed an interest in his passion. I would also go to a Baptist Church with my best friends parents on Sundays if we had a sleep-over, and later on when I moved in with them. I would eat up all the lessons they would teach me. I think at my age I was well versed in this religion. I was drawn into believing this religion in part because I feared going to hell, the unknown of death, and the comfort knowing there was someone looking out for my best interest. I never ask a thing from God, I believed in him without needing anything in return.

It wasn’t until I fell into despair and I called out His name, only to hear nothing in return. Things were rough with my stepdad; my father would be inconsistent in my life, and when I was moved around. This did not just happen once; it happened many times. I prayed for protection from my stepfather. I prayed to have my father in my life, and later prayed to be with my mother. As I continued to grow I prayed for reprieve from my mental illness, I prayed for relief from my inner suffering. I finally got tired of asking for shelter, and walked away. I figured either I was not worthy of his shelter, or he did not exist. If he existed and was allowing suffering to go on in my life and around the world; then I did not want to know such a God.

I still feared the great unknown of death; I feared the wraith of God, and being cast into a lake of fire. I started studying other religions; in fact it became an obsession of mine to find the truth. I think because of my rejection issues as a kid I took the rejection from God as the ultimate rejection. The more and more I would read the Bible I started to find holes in this belief system, perhaps it was my lack of faith, cynicism, or anger which turned me into an atheist.

If you read my book, you will see a lot of poems where even after all the disappointment and unanswered prayers I was still extending my hand to the lord; in hopes he would take my suffering away. Just like all the times before he did not answer me. The Bible says in a few places where Jesus is telling his people “if you ask the Father for anything in my name and it will be granted.” These verses tended to stick with me, and caused me to become angrier at Him.  

The one thing which stayed consistent with me was an indescribable hole inside my body. I no longer feared death and the unknown; I no longer feared hell. Once I was able to shed these two fears it opened my heart and mind to other religions such as the Tao. I could not be more content knowing I have found something to fill this hole. I am grateful I have found the Way.

“I see that you have a book on changes that have taken place in the bible. I’m thinking that you can answer some of the questions that keep me up at night. I am just looking for a short answer truthfully. I have friends that are Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I have been studying with them, but grew up in a community church, so that is the background of the questions.
Obviously, from the question I haven’t read the entire bible and don’t have a huge understanding of it yet…but am working on it. I am just wanting to learn the “right way”
 
 1) is the true name of God Jehovah? And that is what He wants to be called??
 
2) Do we go to heaven/hell when we die?
 
Thanks, Dana

Dana,

Very difficult question which will require a bit of explaining, I will try to keep this as short as possible. I study theology with as much of an open mind as I can, if I were to pick a religion to “follow” it would be Taoism, although I try to follow strictly in a philosophical, moral, and ethical fashion. The “big” three religions Judaism, Christianity, and Muslim all originated from the Old Testament. It is later on they branched out into different religions. I am not a fan of the big three, since they are responsible for many of the bloodshed in human history. During the various inquisitions the Christian/Catholic Churches were responsible for wiping out many of the “savage” beliefs, and it was not always peaceful. They suppressed free thinking by banishment, imprisonment, and death.

I think the issue with the Bible is it has been changed so many times to fit mans needs. The oldest translation of the Bible is the King James Version, since then it has been changed in minor ways for two reasons; they make minor changes so they can copyright it. The King James Version can not be copyrighted, like I said before they made minor changes to fit mans needs. The major change is we are taught we are saved by grace not works, this is simply not true.

I also have issues with the Bible because starting in the early 500 A.D. the Catholic Church ruled supreme next to the Roman Empire; they controlled which books made the Bible and which ones did not, and also controlled translations. The information they were relaying or what we know today may not be the “truth.”  They used fear mongering to make believers out of everyone, and one of the best tactics back then and still used today is the fear of hell and eternal damnation.

There was never meant to be a separation between Judaism and Christianity, many churches base many of their teachings upon the New Testament, and almost make it seem like ok we don’t need to follow the Old Testament, because of Jesus Christ dying on the cross for our sins. Now as far as names go we have two separate names Yahweh (Judaism) and Jehovah (Christianity) Jehovah is mentioned many times in the Bible, but with each translation it has been used less and less and replaced with “LORD.” From what I know of Jehovah Witness, is you need to call God by his true name when praying. I do not think God cares what you call him, regardless he still listens.

 If you read some of Jesus’ teachings, he was not for worshiping in churches, he believed them to be unnecessary and run by charlatans. This is discussed in Revelations and described as the seven letters to the seven churches, or charlatans. These were the churches leading the people away from God (may be a bit off it has been awhile) I believe the seven churches to be the Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Evangelicalism (there are more denominations just using these main ones as examples)

I have read the Bible three times once as a believer, once as a theologian, and the other as a skeptic. I believe if you choose to be a Christian you need to follow the God of the Bible this means you choose no denomination and read and reread the Bible and trust the word. When you do this you will see many things wrong with the way HIS message is being perverted.

I do not believe in hell per say. The Bible describes something like hell, but was not meant to be used as it is today. The Bible says when Jesus comes the TRUE believers will be taken away, it states something regarding all the non-believers will be given another chance to believe and except God into their lives. I also believe regardless of what you believe we all seek the same destination, we just take different paths. These paths lead to the same place.

If you are seeking spirituality I recommend reading many different beliefs until you find the one your heart connects with, it will be then you know you are on the right path. If being a Jehovah’s Witness does not feel right to you, then it is not, and you should move on.