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October 24, 2009

Where Did All These Traditions of Men Come From?

October 3, 2009, 11:47 am by dc-agape.

 

John Chapter 17

 Every once in a while a chapter in the Gospel of John is packed with amazing quotes from the teaching of Jesus.  In this particular chapter, even though Jesus is praying to YHWH, he brings up six important concepts that relate to being a true follower of Jesus.  Some of these concepts are: the meeting of eternal life, freewill (again!), prophecy, separation from the world, unity, and YHWH’s love.

The meaning of eternal life is described in Jesus’ opening to YHWH:

John 17:3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

It’s very interesting that to Jesus eternal life has nothing to do with what happens after death.  Eternal life, in Jesus’ description here, is entirely based on knowing spiritual knowledge.  It is true in other parts that Jesus describes an afterlife.  But here Jesus is describing the eternal life and knowledge is the main component of this concept.  This is very different from modern Christian theology on eternal life.  “Praying Jesus into your heart” that is not knowledge of Jesus or YHWH, it is something much more complex.  As a result would cannot “pray Jesus into your heart”, for that is obviously a Tradition of Man.  Any person who preaches this concept is a faults teacher at should not be listened to.  Even more TrueChirstians™ should be extremely vocal about the evils of this false teaching.

Jesus again focuses on freewill.  In this prayer he does not do it once, but numerous times:

John 17:2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.

John 17:6 I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world.  They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 

John 17:24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and two see my glory, the glory you get have given me because you love to be before the creation of the world.

Three different times in this chapter Jesus uses the phrase “those you have given me”.  This is not directed towards the apostles, nor the disciples of Jesus’ time, it is directed towards those who believe in him.  From this chapter, it is quite clear, that YHWH chooses who will believe.  As a result freewill does not exist!  How many times does Jesus have to repeat this concept before Christians understand it?  Freewill is a concept brought about by the Traditions of Men.  To make this very clear, and in the debate, search the New Testament for the word freewill.  Nowhere will you find a signal author mention the word “freewill”. TrueChirstians™ should be extremely vocal about the evils of this false teaching.

For another example of how freewill does not exist we only have to look at Judas Iscariot.  Jesus uses an obscure verse from the Old Testament to claim that Judas was fulfilling prophecy:

John 17:12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by the name you gave me.  None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that scripture would be fulfilled.

For the entire Christian religion is based on the fulfillment of scriptural prophecy.  Without Judas fulfilling this prophecy Christianity would not exist, for Jesus would not have died.  As a result, the false doctrine that Judas betrayed Jesus is in error.  It is a Tradition of Man.  Judas was forced, by prophecy, to act exactly the way he did.  He had no choice, as a result, he had no freewill.

Another important topic that Jesus brings up is being separate from the world.  He prays that the apostles, the disciples, and all believers will be “sanctified by the truth”.  This means that they are protected from the evil in the world.  Here again, Jesus is describing how Christians did not belong to the world.  The world should hate them for their message not their hypocrisy.  The world should hate them for worshiping YHWH, not the Traditions of Men.  The world should hate them for the love they have, not for the bigotry and hatred that they espouse. TrueChirstians™ should be extremely vocal about the evils of this false teaching.

One of my most important understandings of the bible and Jesus’ is teachings is the unity of YHWH, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Church.  It is something we certainly do not see today.  With 46,000 denominations you can certainly say that Christianity is diverse, but you certainly cannot saying that it is in unity.  Again the traditions of men have taught that this disunity is acceptable.  Again, TrueChirstians™ should be extremely vocal about the evils of this false teaching. 

The final thing I find interesting about this prayer is the relationship that slain YHWH’s love and humanity.  YHWH’s love is for Jesus not humanity…only by being one with Jesus does one receive YHWH’s love:

John 17:26 I have made you know the to them, and we’ll continue to make you know in order that their love you have for me maybe in them and that I myself maybe in them.

If the only way humanity can experience this “loving” relationship is through obeying Jesus’ teachings.  Otherwise, YHWH has no love for his creation.  Clearly, he only loves his son.  The concept of a loving YHWH is mistaken, just look at the Old Testament.  He may have protected the Israelites when they obeyed him, but more often than not be punished them harshly at every minor infraction.  That certainly is not love, it is not even fatherly love.  Now we know, that Yahweh his son not humanity.  Only by being a follower of Jesus will YHWH exhibit this “loving” personality.

To the unbeliever, this chapter is packed with proofs that Christianity has become a Tradition of Man. It is obvious that Christians do not obey (love) Jesus, instead they love the comfort, the security, and the traditions that they experience in the modern churches.  No wonder Christianity seems to be in its death throes.  But to remove the Traditions of Men from the words of Jesus may be impossible.  For even the canonization of the holy bible may be suspect.  When did traditions of men get introduced into the teachings of Christianity.  One thing we know for sure is that the world stopped hating Christians and even began aiding Christianity as early as 320 BC.  I say this because the Roman Empire began to spread Christianity across the node world instead of persecuting the believers of Jesus.  Yet some believers were still persecuted and these were the Gnostic Christians, who just happen to focus on Jesus’ teachings instead of the teachings of Paul

 

Posted in Gospel of John, Contradictions, Personal Responsibility, Traditions of Men, Readings | Edit | 2 Comments »

The Big Picture

October 2, 2009, 10:09 pm by dc-agape.

 

John Chapter 16:5 – 33

 Unlike the previous chapter, this one is solely for the believer, specifically the Apostles and the followers of Jesus during the 30’s AD.  The only thing related to the modern Church is the joy that followed (and should still be present) in the Church.  This joy is based on the presence of the Councilor (Holy Spirit) which would not appear until after Jesus’ death on the cross. 

The concept and the purpose of the Holy Spirit are outlined in this chapter, even though the purpose of the Holy Spirit is only briefly mentioned.  The first purpose of the Spirit is to convict the entire world.  I wonder when this will happen.  It certainly did not happen until after the European nations began the colonization of the Americas or Eastern Asia.  It certainly did not happen during the Crusades!  Supposedly, the Spirit brought the knowledge of humanities sin, Jesus’ righteousness, and the judgment of Satan (the prince of the world).  The concept of Satan is new to the world at this point.  The OT does not refer to Satan or the prince of the world, at any time or any place.  Jesus introduces this concept, even though it was not new to the Romans or the Greeks.   And please do not bring up Isaiah 14:12-15!  This entire passage starting in Isaiah 13:1-14:23 is one single oracle.  It is taken out of context if one uses it to describe Satan.  Read the whole passage not the single short fragment!  And don’t even try the Ezekiel 28:12-19 either.  This passage again has been taken out of context, read the whole passage: Ezekiel 28:1-19.  And make sure you understand the meaning of “son of man”.  In the Book of Ezekiel this term is describing Ezekiel…not Jesus (Ezekiel 2:1).

But an evil spiritual ruler of the world was not new to the Greeks or Romans.  Agra Mainyu is the evil side of Zoroastrianism – Babylonian religion during the period that the Jews were in exile in…Babylonia!  One must remember that in the 6th century BC Cyrus the Great controlled most of “the known world”.  By the 2nd century BC, Greek and Zoroastrianism had combined into the now fully familiar Greek mythology.

But what was the joy that the Holy Spirit would bring to the followers of Jesus?  It is the relationship that Christians will have directly with YHWH.  Since the Holy Spirit is YHWH and was brought to humans after Jesus’ death, Jesus’ followers could know what Jesus knew and that was a relationship with YHWH.  Through the Holy Spirit and Jesus this relationship with YHWH provided security from the evils of the world.  This also provided direct communication with YHWH:

John 16:23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything.  I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

Simply put, the joy that the Holy Spirit brought was having a Councilor to provide all the security, knowledge, and relationships that Jesus had.

To the non-believer (sinner) looking at this chapter brings one thing to the forefront.  Neither the concepts of the virgin birth nor the savior nor the devil were new (all were part of Zoroastrianism.  But all three were new to Judaism…and brought to a forefront by Jesus.  No wonder the Jews despised Jesus!  He was corrupting their religion with the religion of their captors during the Babylonian Exile.  This was worse than Hellenization of the Israeli religion!  It also indicates that Jesus was not teaching anything that was new.  He required following the OT and added components of both Greek and Babylonian religions to form a new religion: Christianity.  To be certain, this new religion was better than any of the three old religions…but it is was just that: a new religion.  It is truly amazing when the entire history of the world is combined and compared to specific national histories!  New knowledge, new understandings, and new perspectives are introduced.  One cannot live in isolation and one cannot make assumptions based on that isolation of events, histories, or interpretations.  The whole picture must be seen and accepted, you cannot disregard the pieces that do not fit your personal desires or beliefs.

 

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What a Chapter!

October 1, 2009, 8:37 am by dc-agape.

 

John Chapter 15 – 16:4

 In my last two posts I wrote about being fruitful and the meaning of love and obedience knowing Jesus’ purpose, the greatest love, and being chosen.  In this post I want to write about the about being hated, having hatred, and killing in the name of YHWH.  This chapter is packed with good examples of what a follower of Jesus is supposed to do to the world, experience in the world, and display to the world.  But this chapter does one other thing…it makes it obvious to the non-believer that Christian ≠ follower of Jesus. I will discuss each one, and let you decide.

John 15:19 If you belong to the world, it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  That is why the world hates you.

From this verse it is clear that a difference exists between Christians and the world.  This difference is so great, that hatred is the only word that can describe the difference.  The world’s hatred of Christians was quite obvious up until the reign of Constantine (320 AD).  At this point in time the persecution of Christians nearly ended.  They may not have been like, but there were no longer being killed for their faith.  This would pretty much indicate that slowly Christianity and the world are becoming one.  In modern times, most of Europe and all of the Americas are Christianized.  So how is it that the world now loves Christians?  One must also remember that almost all of Africa has also been Christianized.  Only in the Middle East and some parts of Asia are Christians still hated.  Reading John 15:19 again, “if you belong to the world, it would love you as its own.” Guess what?  The world loves Christians!  And from Jesus’ own words that means that Christians belong to the world.  The spiritual implication of this concept is straightforward.  Christianity no longer teaches something contrary to the sinful world.  Does this mean the world is no longer full of sin?  Or does this mean that Christianity is now full of sin?  If Christianity truly taught something that was contrary to the world, this verse (John 15:19) would mean something.  Instead, at least in the United States, two groups of people are hated: Atheists and homosexuals.

To the non-believer it is very odd that those that were hated are now the ones who hate!  Nowhere in Jesus’ teachings did he require hatred.  There is one verse:

Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple.

Two things about this verse should be taken into account.  First it is considered a hyperbole, the feelings the disciples should have forged worldly relationships compare to the relationship with Jesus should be as great as hating one and loving the other.  The other thing that should be considered is that in no way can this verse be linked to hating sin.  In fact, one other verse describes one a disciple will hate:

Matt 6:24 “No one can serve two masters.  Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and Money.”

This is as close to teaching hatred as Jesus gets.  But neither of these verses teaches the disciple to hate the non-believer (sinner).  Yet that is exactly what occurs in the modern Church.  Neither Atheists nor homosexuals are openly accepted in any but a few non-traditional Churches.  Very odd for religion based on love, don’t you think?

In fact, Jesus warns about hatred and killing done in the name of YHWH:

John 16:2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God.

Matt 24:9-11 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated but all nations because of me.  At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betrayed and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.

Today, both of these verses can be clearly seen actually happening.  Christians have been known to put people out of their church and to kill in the name of YHWH.  At the same time, many false prophets have risen up and have deceived the masses.  At this point in time, the haters and deceivers cannot be separated from the disciple of Jesus.  The combination of these two verses and the fact that these warnings have occurred leads the non-believer to one conclusion: will the true disciple of Jesus please stand up!  The non-believer can certainly not tell the difference between the hater, the deceiver, and the disciple.

All in all, this chapter in the Gospel of John has been unique for this experiment.  It may be having worked through four different books in the Bible I am beginning to see something that is not visible to most readers of the Word of God.  On the other hand, focusing on the positive teachings of Jesus, instead of the vitriol taught in the Church, may be influencing my perspective.  Many of the positive things that Jesus taught were not new, but the way he combined the different aspects of love, hope, and spirituality was certainly different from the old religions and from the Old Testament.  It is truly a shame that modern Christians have lost the focus on Jesus.  Instead, some focus on Paul’s teachings and others attempt to justify the Old Testament with the teachings of Jesus.  I guess this should not be unexpected, out of the Christian Bible only 10% of the Word of God is directly from Jesus.  And even that in 10%, half of it is mostly repetitive.

 

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The Missing Core

September 29, 2009, 9:19 am by dc-agape.

 

John Chapter 15 – 16:4

 In my last post I wrote about being fruitful and the meaning of love and obedience.  In this post I want to write about the greatest love, Jesus’ purpose, and being chosen.  I will have one final post on this chapter writing about hatred, hatred without reason, and killing in the name of YHWH.

This chapter is packed with good examples of what a follower of Jesus is supposed to do to the world, experience in the world, and display to the world.  But this chapter does one other thing…it makes it obvious to the non-believer that Christian ≠ follower of Jesus.  I will discuss each one, and let you decide.

Christians today its claim to not know YHWH’s purpose, but this should not be the case:

John 15:15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.  Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 

Jesus again describes one of his most important commands.  That command, we know is the second greatest command, is to love one another.  But in this description of the command to love one another Jesus adds a more stringent component.  “To love one another” means to be willing to sacrifice your life for the one you love.  It is very easy to say you’re willing; it is a completely different thing to actually mean it.   In the United States, and most likely most of Europe, the non-believer never gets to see this type of love.  Since Christianity is majority, or least accepted in these countries, there are few opportunities to lay down once alive for love.  Oddly, what the non-believer has been able to see, are people laying down their lives for equal rights, to save the environment, or to fight tyranny.  This type of love is not limited to Christianity; as a result, the non-believer sees no difference between a Christian and the non-Christian.

Now unless Jesus was only speaking about his Apostles, which seems odd, for even though this speech occurred at the Last Supper, is clear that everything Jesus said was about all his disciples.  So to claim “YHWH works in mysterious ways” or “no one knows YHWH’s plans” is actually saying that these people are not friends but are servants.  This would also indicate that these people, that say these things, are not part of the true vine…they have already been cut off.   If Jesus knows his Father’s business and his friends know Jesus’ business, Christians (who are friends of Jesus) should know YHWH’s business.  The fact that Christians do not know YHWH’s business proves that they are not followers of Jesus.

Once more Jesus brings up the topic of being chosen:

John 15:16 you did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.  Then the Father will give you would ever you ask in my name.

Again, one can argue that this statement was only directed at the Twelve.   But that would be taking this out of context, for many other parts of this conversation relate to all disciples.  Even if you were to take this to only apply to those in the room, then there would be no more fruit after they died.  The fruit that lasts are those people who obey (love) Jesus and his teachings.  So once more, it is clear, that Jesus chooses who will be his disciples.  Freewill does not exist, because it is Jesus who controls who will love and obey him. 

To the non-believer, these three topics continue to prove that something is terribly wrong with Christianity today.  If there were any disciples of Jesus left on earth, we (the non-believer) would see these three things very clearly.  What we do not see is the love Jesus describes here in the Gospel of John and elsewhere, that Christians know (as friends) Jesus’ and YHWH’s business, or Christians recognizing that not everyone can be saved.  Christians in the U.S. claim that this is a Christian nation.  But we do not see the form of love that Jesus taught his disciples.  We also do not see Christians who understand and know YHWH’s business, in fact, it is the exact opposite – Christians have no clue what YHWH’s business/plans are.  Finally, the US Christians cannot or will not recognize that it is Jesus who chooses who will follow him.    It is odd to say, and I’m sure most people will disagree, but what Jesus said in this chapter of the Gospel of John is at the heart of being a disciple of Jesus.  Ignoring or rationalizing away the implications of this chapter only weakens the religion.  And a weaken religion does not fulfill the purpose of that religion; it is only a Tradition of Man.

 

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So Simple, Yet So Not Happening

September 28, 2009, 8:15 am by dc-agape.

 

John Chapter 15 – 16:4

 There are so many things that need to be said about this chapter.  Being fruitful, love and obedience, answered prayers, knowing Jesus’ purpose, the greatest love, being chosen, being hatred, hatred without reason, and killing in the name of YHWH.  This chapter is packed with good examples of what a follower of Jesus is supposed to do to the world, experience in the world, and display to the world.  But this chapter does one other thing…it makes it obvious to the non-believer that Christian ≠ follower of Jesus.  I will discuss each one, and let you decide.

Being fruitful is part of being a follower of Jesus.  This does not mean just the bringing of souls to YHWH!  It means living a godly life and having a virtuous character.  This does not mean sometimes being fruitful!  We think of seasonal fruiting plants and believe that bearing fruit can be sporadic, but this is not Jesus’ intent.  The “true vine” never goes dormant; it has the light of YHWH always making it grow.  Even the pruning is to make it have more virtue and more proof of a godly life.  Here is the first proof that non-believers have where Christians ≠ followers of Jesus.  In the modern world both “Christians” and non-believers both live virtuous lives.  I can say this because the word “virtue” is not linked to YHWH or even Christianity!  It is defined as living life in conformity to moral or ethical principles.  And YHWH does not have a strangle hold on ethic…it was perfectly fine to own slaves and to be polygamous in the OT, by Jesus’ time polygamy was out of fashion (unethical) yet slavery was still acceptable (ethical).  100 years ago it was unethical to marry inter-racially, but today we see that as common (and ethical) as treating each human as an equal.  Equality was certainly not ethical until the very most recent times, yet we still have issues with this concept!  So if ethics (virtue) change over the millennia, how exactly are we to tell who is a Christian?  We cannot unless they set themselves apart.  The only way Christians have set themselves apart from non-believers is to make false accusations against science, equality (slavery and equal rights), demanding constitutional amendments dictating their particular morality, and vandalizing of family planning clinics.  Are these truly godly life or virtuous character?  Worse is the cyclical nature of Christian’s virtue.  None become more virtuous with age!  No what the non-believer sees is that with age the skeletons in the closet are exposed, proving that the “spiritual” leaders are bogus.  The biggest sign of this is looking at the children of these leaders.  Billy Graham’s son Franklin Graham is a hatemonger, as was Jerry Falwell son Jonathan, and Pat Robertson (Timothy Brian).  Are these truly “godly”, are the actions of these men virtuous (both the father and the son)?  The biggest skeleton in each of these fathers’ closet is what the son does!  For it is from the parents that the child learns hatred and corruption.  Isn’t it always said that being the preacher’s kid is the worst, they even have a name for it Preacher’s Kid Syndrome?  If a preacher cannot bring their own child up to exemplify Jesus, that is one huge skeleton in the closet.

The Gospel of John returns to the concept of love and obedience being linked.  One cannot love Jesus without obey his teachings.  Not the teachings of Paul, Luther, John Smith, or John Calvin.  One must follow and obey the actually teachings of Jesus to love Jesus.  Yet only 66.6% of the NT does not deal with the teachings of Jesus.  Where is the focus on the important teachings that the followers of Jesus must obey?  Why have they been superseded by the teachings of Paul?  How can one obey and love Jesus when so little of his teachings remain?  Only two documents (the Gospels of Matthew or Mark and John) remain of the closest thing we have to the teaching of Jesus.  Even the Book of Acts is suspect, it was most likely written by a follower of Paul!  What happened to the documents that were written by the actually followers of Jesus?  Why were they not canonized?  What teachings did they invoke that the Orthodox Church found inappropriate?  Jesus had many disciples (more than the twelve) shouldn’t we have more copies of what the individual disciples had to say?  With the overwhelming focus on the teachings of Paul verse the teaching of Jesus, does not the NT come under a cloud of questionability?  Did none of the original disciples make records of their gnosis, their logos from Jesus?  Why did the followers of these men not record the sermons these men taught?  Or did these recording get written, but the Orthodox Church deemed them unacceptable?  Could the Christianity that “won” actually be a false teaching of Jesus?  It certainly is not based on obey Jesus; instead it is based on obeying men…especially Paul.  With so little of the Christian doctrine based directly on Jesus teachings one must wonder.  The Beatitudes are held as models to aspire to, instead of ways to actually live life.  But shouldn’t they be obeyed (not just used as an unreachable goal) if one loves Jesus?  As I have said before, Atheist do not hate YHWH nor Christians because of the hard teachings…no it is because of the hypocrisy in the lives of Christians that Atheist despise.  And the lame excuse of “we are only sinful human” does not cut it.  Being “born of the Spirit” and “guided by the Spirit” and “born of God” and this one specifically:

1st John 3:9-10 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.  This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

This verse puts to death the lame excuse of we continue to sin after “loving Jesus”.  If you follow Jesus you no longer sin!  And if you claim to be a Christian and you continue to sin, you make this verse a lie.  By making this verse a lie, you invalidate the entire Bible…since this is the Word of God.  Loving Jesus means obeying Jesus, it also means living a righteous life without sin.  Otherwise, you make a mockery of the teachings of Jesus and will not be pruned, you will be thrown away to be burned.  Get it right “Christians” is all I can have to say!

Well since I have at least seven more topics from this chapter, this might go on for some time.  By far, the Gospel of John has got to be the most important source of the teachings of Jesus.  The Synoptic Gospels were written to collaborate with each other.  The Gospel of John was written to teach Jesus’ followers how to love and obey Jesus.

 

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And Now For Something Completely Different

September 25, 2009, 8:21 am by dc-agape.

 

John Chapter 14

 This chapter stresses two things: love and obedience.  Jesus continually repeats that YHWH and he are inseparable, and indicates that once someone becomes a Christian (disciple of Jesus) they too are inseparable from YHWH and Jesus.  Jesus even promises a Spirit of truth to help his future disciples to follow his commandments.  And he makes one guarantee that has rarely been proven:

John 14:13-14 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Odd how this guarantee is that any pray (that glorifies the Father) will be answered!  Yet how often do prayers get a “No” as an answer.  It is pretty clear that Jesus had just promised that there would be no answers of “No”.  Yet today, Christians assume that this is a valid response from YHWH.  But this Tradition of Man is not valid and it is not within the teachings or commandments of Jesus!

And what is this chapter’s major theme?  This is that those who love Jesus will obey everything that Jesus taught (not Paul, not James, not Luther, and definitely not the Pope).  And we only have four surviving documents of these teachings, of which the Synoptic Gospels are almost complete duplicates.  I find it very suspicious that we only have 2 documents, as a result, that describe Jesus’ actual words…were there not at least 11 Apostles and untold number of disciples?  Why do we not hear what they have to say about their personal experience with Jesus?  Has not Jesus’ teachings been tampered with (destroyed) by the canonization of only the Synoptic Gospels and John’s Gospel?  The Book of Acts is the only other book that comes close to directly describing the teachings of Jesus.  Why is 66.6% of the NT written by the “Apostle” Paul?  Why is it that the rest of the NT does not quote Jesus?  Yet to love Jesus is to obey Jesus…which means focusing on what Jesus taught!  Why do today’s Christians not focus on what Jesus taught?  This was his last desire to his disciples that they would love and obey his teachings…should not the modern disciples of Jesus also obey this desire?  Would not Christendom be one unified Church if this was the case?  Wouldn’t the non-believer know that YHWH existed if the Church actually loved (and obeyed) Jesus’ teachings? 

Do notice right away that the words “way”, “truth” and “life” were not capitalized.  This tells us something as well.  What this tells us is that Jesus is not the “Truth” nor the “Way” nor even the “Life”.  The traditions of men have changed the meanings of Jesus’ words from words that mean something spiritual to words that must be taken literally.  These three words (way, truth, and life) only apply to the disciples of Jesus, not to the world in general.  I know that my “Christian” readers will not grasp the difference, but the un-capitalized word is meaningful only to the followers of Jesus, while the Capitalized words are imperatives (related to all humankind and the universe).  Jesus did not use the word as capitals and they are not imperatives, they are specific to his followers and only his followers.

But what should we make of this Spirit of truth?  Other places it is referred to as the Holy Spirit.  Jesus here teaches the meaning of this concept.  This Spirit will:

John 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

This Counselor will only be sent to those who love Jesus, which implies those who obey Jesus.  So this crap about “praying Jesus into your heart” and being saved is only a Tradition of Men.  It does not save your soul!  Only by loving Jesus and obeying his teachings can one be truly a follower of Jesus (a Christian) – Jesus own words.

To the non-believer this begins to make sense out of the chaos that Christianity presents.  It is obvious that only one Church exists (not 45,000).  It is becomes obvious why it is hard to tell the difference between disciples of Jesus and Christians.  It becomes clear that today’s Christian has elected to follow the Traditions of Men instead of the teaching of Jesus (66.6% of the NT being written by Paul).  And, finally, it becomes all too clear why prayers can be answered with “No”, because they are not prays of the faithful!  Christianity is just a religion, being a disciple of Jesus is something completely different.

 

Posted in Love, Gospel of John, Holy Spirit, Traditions of Men, Readings | Edit | 2 Comments »

The Cruelty: It Burns

September 24, 2009, 8:47 am by dc-agape.

 

John Chapter 13

 I am not sure how far I will get in this chapter.  Three major topics are repeated here: service, love, and betrayal.   In hindsight John writing this Gospel sees the importance of love in the message of Jesus.  He shows an example of love and the commandment of love that Jesus gives his disciples.  In the example of love service plays a part.  Since they are interconnected, one cannot have one without the other.  Jesus also shows two predictions (again written in hindsight).  The first is Judas’ betrayal of Jesus to the Jewish leaders.  The second is Peter’s own betrayal of Jesus.  If Jesus knew in the future betrayal of these two men…they had no freewill.  To know something will happen is better than predicting; it indicates that something is planned.

The dialog between Jesus and his disciples (notice that John does not use the word Apostles) and especially Peter shows how important service to others is to being Christian.  But not just any type of service, Jesus made it clear that it should be of the most humble and menial form.  Yet somehow Christians have completely forgotten this most important teaching of Jesus.  They neither serve each other (showing love to those that love them) nor do they serve the non-believer, so that we know that they are disciples of Jesus.  In fact, it is the exact opposite today!  Christians attempt to take the highest position possible…that of governance.  Governance is neither menial nor humble; it is the most important form of work here on earth.  Without governance nations would crumble, bloodshed would be rampant, and humanity would never have crawled up from subsistence living allowing for science, arts, and technology.  But when religion attempts to govern we see things like the Inquisition, the Dark Ages, the subjugation of women, and even intolerance of minorities.  (And before any one might claim that Hitler was an atheist please read mein kampf and his speeches – where the Bible and Christianity are cited over 75 times).

But Jesus teaches love is the most important action that Christians can take.  This form of love has two effects.  As I just mentioned it means doing the most humble and menial of tasks for others (not just other Christians – see Matt 5:46-48) but also this love will be felt by others and will prove a person is truly a follower of Jesus.  Christians today, who demand new laws be written to punish/subjugate minorities (taking rights away from homosexuals), who vocally call for bloodshed of innocents (war against the Middle East), and demand government money be spent on religious symbols – instead of taking care of the poor, are truly showing the non-believer that Christianity has failed to follow the example of Jesus.  In fact, even wasting money on attempting to get science to be watered down with Creation “Science” in the classroom is just another form of this lack of love.  Should not Christian’s time, effort, and money be going to loving their neighbor by helping the poor, the orphan, and the widow?  Instead we (the USA) have the super right wing conservative fiscal party (the Republicans) gathered with the super right wing religious!  The “godless” Democrats are the one actually showing love to the poor!  What complete irony.

Jesus does on other thing in this chapter.  He prophesied the betrayal of two of his disciples.  The concept that Judas was a disciple is rather complicated to explain to those who believe that Judas was the Betrayer, but let me just point to a few verses (Matt 10:12, Matt 26:14, Mark 3:19, Mark 14:10, Mark 14:43, Luke 16:6  – he is named as one of the Apostle).  But more important is that Jesus knows that someone (from his inner ranks) must betray him – Matt 26:24, Mark 14:21, Luke 22:22).  In fact this verse is worth noting:

John 13:27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.  “What you are about to do, do quickly,” Jesus told him, but no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him.

Jesus knew that Judas not only was going to betray him, but that Judas had to betray him.  There was no freewill in this action.  Remember if Jesus had not been betrayed the crucifixion would never have taken place!  Judas may have done the most important act that any Christian could perform, preparing the events that lead to religion known as Christianity.

But Jesus did not stop there.  He also prophesied that Peter would deny him three times within the following 12 hours.  Again, freewill is removed from Peter at this point.  For Jesus to know in advance that Peter would deny knowing Jesus can only have occurred if Peter did not have freewill.  In both of these cases, both Judas’ and Peter’s, we are shown that humanity is completely helpless in making freewill choices.  We are forced to take the actions that are required to fulfill YHWH’s plans for each one of us. 

This realization leads to troubling outcomes.  The divided Church would indicate that YHWH plans to send billions to hell.  Not only the ones that “choose” to sin (the non-believer) but also the ones who have been taught by the Traditions of Men that they are saved!  But with this being the case, then YHWH is not a loving supreme being.  He has planned the suffering of untold billions (if not trillion and quadrillions) in hell.  Worse is that it is a hell of his own creation!  So now we have a vicious circle…how can a loving god allow so many to go to a hell he created without allowing them to chose?  But we know that untold millions had no choice, prior to the conquest of the European Christians during the 15th and 16th centuries (at least 1400 years after Jesus died) only a small fraction of the world’s population even knew the story of Jesus.  At that time the population of Japan was 1,800,000 people, the population of China was well above 100,000,000 people, the population of India was 35 million people, in North America the population was as much between 8 and 112 million people, and that does not include Australia, South and Central America, Africa, or the Pacific Ocean nations.  To say the least estimates put the total population of the world at the beginning of the 16th century  435,000,000 people.  It is quite obvious that these people did not have freewill to chose to worship YHWH!  What a loving YHWH, allowing nearly 300,000,000 million people to go to hell because he allowed them to be born in countries that had not heard the Word of God!  And that was only the beginning of 15th century…hell certainly will be a crowded place with many innocent people sent there without freewill.  We can only hope that the Mormon’s are right and Jesus was sent to the Americas!  Otherwise, YHWH is a cruel and unworthy being to worship.

 

Posted in Gospel of John, Contradictions, Personal Responsibility, Freewill | Edit | 1 Comment »

Mistranslations, Freewill, and Divided Houses

September 23, 2009, 8:14 am by dc-agape.

 

John Chapter 12:20 – 50

 This section has three interesting concepts that I believe most (if not all) Christians overlook, ignore, or rationalize.  The first one is who Jesus is speaking to about his death.  Unless there has been some heavy editing he is speaking to the Greeks who came up to worship at the Feast.  The second interesting thing about this section is that Jesus promises that the prince of the world would be driven out…now!  Of course, that was over 1,900 years ago and still has not happened.  Finally, we have another proof of how YHWH keeps some (if not most) people from turning to him.  This of course, is where the rationalization occurs.

The opening of this section goes like this:

John 12:20-23 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast.   They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request, “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.  Jesus replied, “This hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

The word “replied” in this sentence indicates that Jesus was talking to the Greeks.  These Greeks were Jewish and there may have been some actual Israelites in the crowd.  But whenever the Greeks want to talk to Jesus about obviously started this conversation.  I bring this topic up because the NIV it claims that these Greeks were not actual believers.   So what we have here is a Tradition of Man superseding the Word of God.  I will continue to point out where it is obvious to the non-believer that the traditional interpretation of the Bible is not what the Word of God actually says.  For this everything written in this book is truly Word secondary translations and interpretations based on other humans are the basis for Traditions of Men.   

One more place that Christians like to ignore or rationalize is this verse:

John 12:30-31 Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine now is the time the judgment of this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.

Jesus mentions two things in this verse that are supposed to happen “Now!”. One is and the judgment of the world began almost 2000 years ago.  And secondly, that the devil would be true that helped almost 2000 years ago.  Obviously neither of these two things occurred then or is occurring now.  This is just one of the places in the Word of God that Christians must rationalize to make it fit their Traditions of Men.   The other option, is that heavy editing of what Jesus actually said has occurred.  In either case, the validity  of this passage (and possibly the Bible itself) is brought to view.  Basically, either Jesus did not know what he was talking about or men have changed what was said.

Finally we reach another quote used by Jesus that indicates YHWH chooses who will hear his message and who will not.  The passage quoted comes from Isaiah 6:10 and says this:

John 12:40 “He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn – and I would heal them.”

Christian rationalization and the traditions of men claim that sin comes first and then YHWH fulfills this verse.  But when you look at Isaiah this is not the case.  The full passage that is quoted is actually this:

Isaiah 6:9-12  He said, “Go until the people this: Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be  ever seeing, but never perceiving, make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes.  Otherwise they might see with the eyes, understand what their hearts, and turn and be healed.  Then I said, “For how long, O Lord?” “Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged, until the Lord has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken.

Sorry for the long quote, but it is important to show that either Jesus twisted the old testament, man has twisted Jesus’ words, or humankind is a play rag doll for YHWH’s pleasure.  In the book of Isaiah the people they have sinned, but it is YHWH who has chosen to punish without reprieve.  In both the gospel of john and in the book of Isaiah it is clear that it is YHWH who controls whether humankind sees, hears, and understands the message.

To the non-believer these three things indicate that the Word of God is questionable at best.  It is becoming clear to me that reading the Word of God does not build faith, instead it shows how Traditions of Men have twisted the bible to say what they wanted to say.  This is taken place either by mistranslation, twisting of the verses, or rationalization.  For whatever reason, the original intent of Jesus’ message has been garbled.  One of the most obvious signs Is That the Kingdom of God is divided.  And we all know what Jesus says about that:

Luke 11:17 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. 

 

Posted in Contradictions, Gospel of John, Traditions of Men, Inerrancy – My Ass, Freewill, Readings | Edit | 6 Comments »

The Human Side to the Word of God

September 22, 2009, 8:30 am by dc-agape.

 

John Chapter 12: 1 – 19

 A number of variations occur that are similar but different from the Synoptic Gospels.  We do not know how long Jesus stayed in Ephraim.  We do know that between their incident with Lazarus and begin the chapter 12 Jesus stayed Ephraim.  The Gospel of John records nothing occurring during this period.  Oddly Jesus is just last Bethany and now at the beginning of this chapter he returns to Bethany.  The author John seems to have forgotten that Lazarus and his sisters were rich (john 11: 38 indicates that Lazarus with what was wealthy due to the tomb he was buried in).  John also seems to have special knowledge that even Jesus did not have about Judas Iscariot.  In this section called the Triumphal Entry, two interesting things are recorded.  The first miss of john ignores how Jesus got the donkey.  The second is how Jesus fulfilled a prophecy by planning.  In the first case the synoptic gospels tell us how Jesus told his disciples to steal the donkey.  And the second case it is a self fulfilling prophecy when Jesus chooses to ride the donkey.

I should have noticed this in my last post, but John introduces Mary by what she’s about to do:

John 11: 2 This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.

Since John makes it clear that the family of Lazarus is very important to Jesus, we can be certain that the events of the anointing by Mary had not occurred prior to chapter 12.  This plus John’s foreknowledge of Judas’ theft indicates that the human element is difficult to separate from the supposed supernatural origin of this text.  In fact, the concept that Judas was a thief has no physical evidence in the bible.  On the other hand it is quite clear that Jesus had a special relationship with Judas.  I will have to leave the verses indicating Jesus’ relationship with Judas to a special post, the gospels are ripe with the examples.  For John two know that Judas was a thief seems like an addition after the fact.  It would seem more like a human emotion to defame Judas for the acts that he committed which were required for the salvation of the human race.

On the subject of the Triumphal Entry, it is humorous the john would record the story of stealing the donkey without introducing the theft.  The Synoptic Gospels make it quite clear that Jesus told his disciples to take what did not belong to them without payment.  It’s also very clear that the dock you would not be returned.  John, on the other hand, makes it seem like the  possession of the donkey was perfectly legit.  The other part of the Triumphal Entry that seem strange, to the non-believer, is how Jesus self fulfills a prophecy about himself.  When Jesus chose to ride the donkey he chose to fulfill an old prophecy.  As a result, any one attempting to prove themselves the Messiah could also perform this “miracle”.

Reading this section as a non-believer is even worse than reading the last chapter.  At least in the last chapter faith was involved, at the beginning of this chapter has a number of questionable remarks: contradictions, human emotions, defamation, and cover-ups are recorded in numerous places.  A lot of Christian Apologies must be made to explain away these non-supernatural attitudes.  Even with these Apologies, the Word of God looks very human in nature.  Since this Gospel was written after Pentecost, should not the  Holy Spirit have been a better guide?  Or is the guidance of the Holy Spirit not as powerful as the Word of God describes it?

 

Posted in Gospel of John, Readings | Edit | 1 Comment »

An Unsatisfactory Episode

September 21, 2009, 8:46 am by dc-agape.

 

John Chapter 11

  In this chapter Jesus brings Lazarus back from the dead.  This entire story must be taken completely on faith.  This is complicated by the fact that only the Gospel of John records this story.  Neither the Synoptic Gospels nor historical documents, from the Jewish or the Roman Empire, record this story.   It is extremely odd that the Synoptic Gospels do not record the story.  For John claims that Lazarus’ entire family is very significant to Jesus.  In the gospel of John it is recorded that this incident has a very specific meaning, for the synoptic gospels to omit this story is very strange.   In the Synoptic Gospels Lazarus is not even mention when we hear about Martha and Mary space.   Since this story takes place at the end of Jesus’ ministries, all of the Disciples should have remembered the importance of this story.  So even if this story is taken to be accurate, it adds weight to the fact that the Gospel of John is truly independent of the Synoptic Gospels.

The story itself, since it must be taken on faith, cannot be disputed.  That does not mean that parts of the story should not be question.  The significant questions include: why did the synoptic gospels ignore this incident, certain statements attributed to Jesus, and the concept that Caiaphas had actually prophesied.

I have already mentioned that it is odd that the Synoptic Gospels do not record this incident.  I’ve also mentioned there are two reasons why this is odd: the importance of Lazarus’ family to Jesus and the importance of the story to glorify YHWH.  Since many men were claiming to be the Messiah at this time, both the Romans and the Jewish nation would not have recorded this story.  One of the reasons that they would not have recorded this story would have been that it was hearsay, but another reason is that the source was questionable.  Even if this incident was spread amongst the Jewish leaders of the time, most of them would believe that this story was fictional because it would incite rebellion against a powerful force, the Roman Empire.   The Romans, on the other hand, would have ignored this story because they had heard it before.  Many of the roman mythology include returning from the dead.  But the Synoptic Gospels do not have these rationalizations.  Why did the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke ignore this story?  If this story had occurred, the authors of these Gospels would have been present.  We can be certain that all of Jesus is disciples followed him because of this verse:

John 11:7 Then he said to his disciples,”Let us go back to Judea”.

It is quite clear that no one stayed behind.  This can be qualified by this verse:

John 11: 16 Then Thomas (called capital Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “let us also go, that we may die with him.”

So basically, the Synoptic Gospels ignored this story.  The Gospel of john claims that this incident was very important.  Yet it was obviously not important enough to the authors of the Synoptic Gospels.  Does this not seem strange?  Jesus only raised a dead person one other time, at that time the Synoptic Gospels did record the incident, yet the Gospel of john did not record that incident.  To the non-believer these variations indicate that the Gospels are less than truthful.  To claim that each of these Gospels was an eyewitness account would require some similarity in this incident.  Since all witnessed it, but did not record it, a question of authenticity is introduced.

Two statements by Jesus are questionable.  The first one, is here:

John 11: 4  When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death.  No, it is for God’s glory and so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”

By the time Jesus said this Jesus knew that Lazarus’ was dead.  In fact, this one incident only added to the supposed glorification of Jesus.  Oddly the sickness did and in Lazarus’ death, whether or not Lazarus was raised from the dead.  The sickness did end when he died.  So both sentences in this verse are meaningless.  The first one is wrong, the second one is superfluous.  The second statement from Jesus that is questionable is here:

John 11:9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight?  A man who walks but they will not stumble, for he sees by this world’s light.”

Jesus was being very silly to claim that there are twelve hours of daylight.  This only occurs twice in a calendar year: the Vernal equinox and Autumnal equinox.  Why bother including how many hours of daylight in this comment?  This is another question that Jesus asks that does not represent either a spiritual or physical fact.  For the Son of the almighty YHWH, this seems very strange.  In fact, this seeming generalization only indicates that the author of this Gospel did not know that the number of lighted hours in the day changes continually.

Finally, the supposed prophecy of Caiaphas is very questionable.  It is obvious from reading this section that Caiaphas was not attempting to prophesy, he was attempting to save his power and possibly his nation.  There was no supernatural agent involved.  The prophecy also was not fulfilled.  Within 40 years of this supposed prophecy the nation of Israel was destroyed.  In actuality what Caiaphas said had no spiritual nature to it.  As with most prophecy hindsight is 20/20.  We can now claim that Caiaphas was prophesied only because we can fit the results to the statement.  This is called self-fulfilling prophecy.  As a result this section does not mean what the Traditions of Men claim it to indicate.  This is just one more incident that strengthens a story of mythology.

As a non-believer, this entire chapter does nothing to prove the glorification of Jesus or the prophecies of YHWH.   In fact, the stories from this chapter only weaken any proof of supernatural incident.  Too many questions are brought up, none are answered.  As I started this post, this entire chapter must be taken on faith.  Since the non-believer has no faith this chapter does not glorify YHWH or Jesus.  The only thing this chapter does is satisfy the believer’s desire to believe.

 

Posted in Gospel of John, Traditions of Men, Readings | Edit | 1 Comment »

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