The Inconvenient Sayings of Jesus

onebornfree
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April 7th, 2017, 6:00 pm #1

"Some things just need to be pointed out. I’m not sure I’d go quite as far as P. C. Hodgell when she wrote, “That which can be destroyed by the truth should be,” but truth – so long as it’s for the purpose of building and improving – should be told.

As the title indicates, I’ll be discussing several of Jesus’s sayings today. And I’m doing this because I think there’s tremendous potential among the world’s 2.4 billion Christians. As I’ve said before, these are people who have committed themselves to a great man and to a generally useful book. There is a tremendous amount of good that could come from them. I write this to remind them that “church” should never be more important to them than Jesus.

So, let’s begin.

“Call no man ‘father.’”

This one’s obviously going to be hard for Catholic and Orthodox Christians, who call their ritual leaders “Father,” but truth matters, and we may as well start here:

And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.

That’s from the 23rd chapter of Matthew, by the way. And yes, it flatly condemns calling a religious leader “Father.” Don’t blame me for this. Jesus said it; I’m just pointing it out.

And if this bothers you, please decide who is more important to you: Jesus or a church organization. You really can’t have it both ways here (as much as many have tried). Jesus said a specific thing, and while we are free to say, “He was wrong,” or “The book was wrong,” we cannot claim that Jesus and the book are right and still call a man in a robe “Father.”

That’s just the way it is.

“When you pray…”

This one will hit nearly all the big churches and most of the small ones too. Nonetheless, here it is:

When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

So, that’s how Jesus said to pray. Notice that he didn’t say anything about praying together at a church… or even holding hands and praying together at home. Nor do we see Jesus presiding over any such thing in the New Testament. But we do read, “after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.”

And in the verse just prior to this one, Jesus said:

When you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners…

Where then, does this leave public prayers?

So, if you think your church knows better than Jesus, pray in unison as much as you like. But if your church bosses don’t know better than Jesus, you might want to take your advice from the rabbi from Nazareth.

These passages are from the 6th chapter of Matthew, by the way, which
continues this way:

And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions, as the heathen do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words.

You might want to give that one some consideration too...........":
https://www.freemansperspective.com/inc ... ngs-jesus/

Regards, onebornfree
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Bill Smith
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Bill Smith
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June 1st, 2017, 8:33 am #2

I read it first on fremansperspective. I believe in God, but I haven't been to church with the exception of weddings and funerals in years.It's a comfort to know that Jesus felt the way I do about a lot of churches. I love baseball but when I go to games and I'm forced to stand up take off my hat while they play songs and roll out a wounded warrior to throw out the first pitch. I feel used. I usually just go out for a beer so I don't have to participate.
Bottom line, You can Love Jesus and go out for a beer on Sunday
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onebornfree
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June 2nd, 2017, 7:55 am #3

Bill Smith wrote:I read it first on fremansperspective. I believe in God, but I haven't been to church with the exception of weddings and funerals in years.It's a comfort to know that Jesus felt the way I do about a lot of churches. I love baseball but when I go to games and I'm forced to stand up take off my hat while they play songs and roll out a wounded warrior to throw out the first pitch. I feel used. I usually just go out for a beer so I don't have to participate.
Bottom line, You can Love Jesus and go out for a beer on Sunday
Maybe a good beer promotion might claim :" Drink our[insert brand name] beer- see Jesus!" ? :D

Regards, onebornfree
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excel
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June 9th, 2017, 7:47 am #4

Actually, the catholic reply to the 'call no man father' accusation seems pretty cut and dry:

https://www.catholic.com/tract/call-no-man-father
Infinite secession
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z1235
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June 9th, 2017, 8:28 am #5

excel wrote:Actually, the catholic reply to the 'call no man father' accusation seems pretty cut and dry:

https://www.catholic.com/tract/call-no-man-father
Not really. Jesus' statement seems much more cut and dry. Basically, don't fall for the scammers that boast of their superior or special connection to God. The Catholic hierarchy would obviously disagree but their reply is laughably weak.
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Joined: December 12th, 2012, 11:32 pm

June 9th, 2017, 1:28 pm #6

z1235 wrote:
excel wrote:Actually, the catholic reply to the 'call no man father' accusation seems pretty cut and dry:

https://www.catholic.com/tract/call-no-man-father
Not really. Jesus' statement seems much more cut and dry. Basically, don't fall for the scammers that boast of their superior or special connection to God. The Catholic hierarchy would obviously disagree but their reply is laughably weak.
When we delve into the details, the topic quickly becomes very complex, which is a sure sign that there are ill-motives mixed with right motives. As you noted, Jesus's statement is cut and dry. Like most things he said, there is little or no wiggle room, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us.

The article claims that Jesus often used hyperbole but this is not true. Even the example cited of putting out an eye and cutting off a hand is not hyperbole! In Matthew 18, he is discussing the closeness of children (or "these little/humble ones") to the Heavenly Father. In verse 3, he says, "Truly, I tell you" and in verse 10, he says, "For I tell you". These phrases are rhetorical devices that Jesus frequently used before saying something that you would think is hyperbole. He uses these phrases specifically to say, "This is not hyperbole; what I'm about to say might sound crazy, but I'm completely serious." The examples are too numerous to mention, just read a few chapters of any of the four synoptic gospels.

The reality is that, for many of us, the word "father" contains abusive, exploitative, negligent or other traumatic connotations. Yet, the father-child relationship is the picture that the God of Jewish and Christian scriptures has chosen to apply to Himself in explaining how we are related to Him. Unlike in the case of our human fathers, however, the abuse, exploitation and negligence we suffer in life is the result of self-abuse... willingly accepting mistreatment that no one should tolerate. This is objectively the case in fact because God is not an abuser. The logical tension between this reality and the "picture" of what a father is that many of us received from our earthly fathers is a prod. It prods us to think about who we really are and whether we are going to choose to see ourselves as our abusers saw us - worthless, no-account mud-blobs - or whether we are going to choose to see ourselves as we are... beings made in the image of something unimaginably greater, dependent yet containing the seed of true self-actualization and self-determination.

Many aspects of the earthly church mirror the abusive/exploitative nature of the earthly father-child relationship. There are innumerable kinds of exploitation and abuse in the church - emotional, spiritual, psychological, sexual, even physical. Within the familiarity of the church environment, these abuses can reach extremes of depth and duration not possible in any other context. "God says you have to accept my abuse." Who can argue with God? The habit of referring to men in robes as "Father" is a symptom of the sickness of self-abuse within the laity.

"Do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven." - Jesus
Matthew 5:26
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excel
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June 13th, 2017, 10:02 am #7

z1235 wrote:Not really. Jesus' statement seems much more cut and dry. Basically, don't fall for the scammers that boast of their superior or special connection to God. The Catholic hierarchy would obviously disagree but their reply is laughably weak.
You can't call it cut and dry when your "basically, ... " describes something entirely different from the actual statement. If he meant "beware spiritual scammers" why would he only outlaw the use of the word "father"? Why not "priest", and "wiseman" and any other form of address that gives cover to spritual scammers?
Infinite secession
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excel
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June 13th, 2017, 10:06 am #8

Clayton wrote:The article claims that Jesus often used hyperbole but this is not true. Even the example cited of putting out an eye and cutting off a hand is not hyperbole!
This statement makes him look like a total lunatic, though. I mean you'd have to be crazy to believe that your eye can cause you to sin.
Also, does his statement "none can come to the father except through me" mean that all who lived before he came into being are damned? I don't know if there's any statistic for his use of hyperbole.
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Joined: December 12th, 2012, 11:32 pm

June 13th, 2017, 11:15 am #9

excel wrote:
z1235 wrote:Not really. Jesus' statement seems much more cut and dry. Basically, don't fall for the scammers that boast of their superior or special connection to God. The Catholic hierarchy would obviously disagree but their reply is laughably weak.
You can't call it cut and dry when your "basically, ... " describes something entirely different from the actual statement. If he meant "beware spiritual scammers" why would he only outlaw the use of the word "father"? Why not "priest", and "wiseman" and any other form of address that gives cover to spritual scammers?
That's exactly what Jesus says:

Matthew 5:26
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Joined: December 12th, 2012, 11:32 pm

June 13th, 2017, 11:42 am #10

excel wrote:
Clayton wrote:The article claims that Jesus often used hyperbole but this is not true. Even the example cited of putting out an eye and cutting off a hand is not hyperbole!
This statement makes him look like a total lunatic, though. I mean you'd have to be crazy to believe that your eye can cause you to sin.
He's speaking of the interaction between the senses (not just eyesight) and temptation. Of course, a better solution than putting out your eye is simply to choose not to look at things that cause you to experience temptation to sin. But Jesus is making three points - (1) the level of dedication to which he is calling his disciples is superlative... yes, even the destruction of the body is "on the table", (2) entry to the Kingdom of God is so valuable that it is worth whatever you have to give up to get there, including family, wealth, health, body members and life itself and (3) don't make excuses for sin... if it were really true that you "can't help looking", then it really would be better to just put out your out-of-control eye. He's not exaggerating to make a point, he's stating the case-in-fact which follows from points (1) and (2).
Also, does his statement "none can come to the father except through me" mean that all who lived before he came into being are damned?
No.

1) Time is a non-entity to God. "A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night." (Psalm 90:4) "With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." (2 Peter 3:8)

2) The Son of God was present at creation, he created the world and he was alive before Abraham: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made." (John 1:1-3) "'Very truly I tell you,' Jesus answered, 'before Abraham was born, I am!" (John 8:58)

3) The Jews did not know the Son of God because he is the secret that was kept hidden for ages. (Colossians 1:25-27, below) Nevertheless, salvation is from the Jews (John 4:22) and the Heavenly Father (who the Jews did know from the time of Abraham) has promised to gather His chosen people to Himself at the end of the age (Deuteronomy 30:1-10,
Jeremiah 29:11-14).

"God gave me [a commission] to present to you the word of God in its fullness— the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Colossians 1:25-27)
I don't know if there's any statistic for his use of hyperbole.
A good first-approximation is zero.
Matthew 5:26
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onebornfree
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January 24th, 2018, 1:03 pm #11

"What Jesus Didn’t Say":

"Most of the things people associate with Jesus are things he never said. I’ll provide a few dozen examples below, but first please understand that I’m not doing this to tear anything down. Rather, I’d like to open a path away from obsolete and moribund beliefs. To do that, I’m drawing a hard line between Jesus and the apostles.

I’d very much like people to differentiate between what Jesus taught and what others taught about him. This is, however, a difficult thought, standing against centuries of assumptions to the contrary. So much so that when I first grasped this concept back in 1976, I was unable to deal with it and it slid off to the side....."

"....So, what can we call a set of beliefs founded only upon the sayings of Jesus? I don’t know, but we can’t honestly call it “Christianity.” As you’ll see below, very many of Christianity’s core beliefs did not come from Jesus; they were added by others. However uncomfortable this may be, I really have no clearer way of expressing it, and I think its truth will become more obvious as we proceed.....

.....My point is this: What Jesus actually taught is quite distinct from Christianity. And in my opinion, the mix of doctrines that constitutes contemporary Christianity is at a dead end...."
https://www.freemansperspective.com/jesus-didnt-say/

Regards, onebornfree
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Merlin
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January 24th, 2018, 4:51 pm #12

How common is it for Christians to read the Bible cover to cover? Anecdotally, do those who read it come away getting a different “vibe” from it?
Do you: 1) regard the Free Society as an orienting ideal but 2) acknowledge human societies to be too complex for modelling with the intellectual tools at our disposal, and so 3) wish to start from the polity you have, eschew revolutionary change and instead 4) aim to move step by step while, 5) being ready to change your very orienting ideal if unforeseen consequences arise during your move towards it? You may be a libertarian gradualist!
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Joined: December 12th, 2012, 11:32 pm

January 24th, 2018, 10:57 pm #13

Merlin wrote: How common is it for Christians to read the Bible cover to cover? Anecdotally, do those who read it come away getting a different “vibe” from it?
One virtue of reading it cover-to-cover is that you can spot those who pretend they've read it cover-to-cover (but haven't) within seconds. I remember one episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where Marie says, "Jesus said, Be ye kind to one another!" and IIRC Robert objects, "No, Ma, it doesn't say that." Then somebody grabs a Bible off the shelf, dusts it off and they all start flipping through pages randomly. Finally Marie grabs the Bible and starts reading a random passage out of I think Leviticus (a book of arcane priestly rules of the ancient Jewish priesthood) and then trails off, saying, "It comes right after this somewhere." Pure writing genius.

The message of the Bible is more coherent than most skeptics who haven't read it realize. It's also a very human book, a complex book. It is tough reading in spots, so I recommend a first-time reader to read NIV, NLT or ERV. Listen to it in audiobook form if that helps. Also, there's nothing wrong with skipping over the really tedious chapters - genealogies, censuses, tabernacle assembly, and so on. You can pick those details up in a subsequent read without any loss the first time through. I would describe the overall vibe of the Bible as serious, almost melancholy. The Old Testament contains the history of the ancient Jews and ends in tragedy - they have returned to their homeland but they are decimated and apparently forgotten by God. The New Testament also ends in tragedy, this time even more drastic, with the destruction not merely of one people and one territory, but of all people and the entire world. There is some irony in the fact that the most popular book ever is a melancholic tragedy (twice over).
Matthew 5:26
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onebornfree
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January 25th, 2018, 6:45 am #14



regards, onebornfree
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