The Secular Outpost
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A little bit of entertainment from YouTube:
Wow, that video was as bad as anything Dan Barker would put out or say.
Cute story, but maybe we can give Jesus the benefit of the doubt. Like when he says “Sell Everything” he doesn’t mean sell your hands, your nose, heart, brain. Well of course it’s obvious that Jesus means cut open your skull, sell your brain, cut open your chest, sell your heart. Speaking of amputees….
Forget your stupid DVD player, that’s nothing. Sell your skull, your brain, your heart, your arms, your legs, chop them off and sell them. That’s what Jesus says (in another passage, Mark 9:43ff and parallels). Don’t forget he says Sell Everything. And what “normal” and “intelligent” person wouldn’t conclude Jesus means sell all your body organs. And not just one kidney, but both. Sell Everything!
He was speaking to a rich man when he said this. A rich man can enter heaven (with his riches which is what Jesus implies), but it is difficult.
“When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. Jesus looked at him and said, ‘How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!’”
Sell Everything that gets in your way of loving God. Also the Aramaic has no superlatives, it has no “better” or “best” — which explains the “hate” passages, it means “love God more than these” etc.
Eat My Flesh and Drink My Blood is a reference to the Eucharist. It’s called Catholic transubstantiation, “This is my body” and “This is my blood.” Try reading some modern commentaries or the ancient Fathers on John 6:51ff.
Fr. Raymond Brown will do. He has a nice Introduction to the NT and commentaries on the Gospel of John.
And No I do not have the answer to the question Why God Doesn’t Heal Amputees. That’s the ancient Problem of Evil. Many have written on this.
On comparatives and superlatives in Hebrew/Aramaic:
Adjectives that do exist in Hebrew have no comparative or superlative forms. Relationship is indicated by the preposition “from.” “Better than you” is expressed literally in Hebrew “good from you.” “The serpent was more subtle than any other beast” is literally “the serpent was subtle from every beast” (Gen 3:1). The superlative is expressed by several different constructions. The idea “very deep” is literally “deep, deep” (Eccl 7:24); the “best song” is literally “song of songs” (compare “king of kings”); “holiest” is literally “holy, holy, holy” (Isa 6:3).
Luke 14:26 — If any man cometh to me, and hateth not his father and mother, and wife and children, and brothers and sisters, and even his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
is parallel to
Matthew 10:37 — He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
From John Calvin’s commentary on the Gospels:
Matthew 10:37. ‘He who loveth father or mother’ “As it is exceedingly harsh, and is contrary to natural feelings, to make enemies of those who ought to have been in closest alliance with us, so Christ now says that we cannot be his disciples on any other condition. He does not indeed enjoin us to lay aside human affections, or forbid us to discharge the duties of relationship, but only desires that all the mutual love which exists among men should be so regulated as to assign the highest rank to piety. Let the husband then love his wife, the father his son, and, on the other hand, let the son love his father, provided that the reverence which is due to Christ be not overpowered by human affection. For if even among men, in proportion to the closeness of the tie that mutually binds us, some have stronger claims than others, it is shameful that all should not be deemed inferior to Christ alone. And certainly we do not consider sufficiently, or with due gratitude, what it is to be a disciple of Christ, if the excellence of this rank be not sufficient to subdue all the affections of the flesh. The phrase employed by Luke is more harsh, ‘if any man doth not hate his father and mother,’ but the meaning is the same, ‘If the love of ourselves hinder us from following Christ, we must resist it, courageously:’ as Paul says, ‘what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ, for whom I suffered the loss of all things’ (Philippians 3:7,8).”
Glad I could clear that up for you and the amputees. I’m not a Calvinist but you’ll find similar commentary from Catholics (Raymond Brown, etc).
Really that “8 Steps” video is as bad and makes as much sense as “The Banana Argument” against atheism. Please. Don’t make me laugh. You already did. Hee hee.
BTW, he should have stopped at Step One and he would have been just fine. Interpret Steps Two through Eight in light of Step One. He apparently gets it that Step One “sounds simple enough.” Love God, Love Neighbor. And No, to answer your next question, that does not mean just the guy next door. Hee hee.
Funny video though, I look forward to more from that site.
So “sell everything” only applies to rich people? How come some Christian denominations advocate wealth accumulation, and consider financial success to be a sign of salvation?
Mark 9:43ff’s message isn’t about wealth, it’s about extreme action to remove causes of sin. Is your argument that you only need to give away wealth if it’s causing you to sin?
I agree that the video exaggerates the issues here, but there is no question that there are multiple and conflicting statements in the Bible about how to achieve salvation, which has led to conflicting doctrines between Christian denominations about the role of faith vs. works and free will vs. predestination (cf. Pelagianism, semi-Pelagianism, Calvinism, Arminianism, etc.).
The proliferation of diverse Christian sects that have not been reconciled on basic doctrines is itself a piece of empirical evidence against the truth of Christianity.
Lipp: “So ‘sell everything’ only applies to rich people?”
Sell everything applies to rich people in the context of that passage (Matt 19; Mark 10; Luke 12). But it does apply to everyone in the sense that “the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Peter 6:10 KJV). Sell everything that gets in your way of Loving God and Loving Neighbor. The video gets Step One correct. Interpret Two through Eight in light of One.
Lipp: “…there are multiple and conflicting statements in the Bible about how to achieve salvation, which has led to conflicting doctrines between Christian denominations about the role of faith vs. works and free will vs. predestination….”
True, the Bible calls Paul’s letters “hard to understand” (2 Peter 3:16f) which is why Catholics and Orthodox are not sola scriptura (Scripture alone) like Protestants. We not only have the Bible, but Tradition and the Magisterium to interpret which doctrines are correct. That’s why the Ecumenical Councils were called. An authority is needed to resolve disputes. For Catholics, that’s the Pope and Councils. Protestants have no such authority other than a sometimes “hard to understand” Bible.
So I guess you agree that “Sell Everything” does not necessarily mean selling both your kidneys? But doesn’t Jesus say “everything?” Everything means everything, right? Body parts included? Or maybe not?
Maybe if it doesn’t include body parts then maybe you can keep your DVD player, one television, maybe a computer and a microwave. And a place to live. Maybe a car. All right, we’ll throw in an Xbox. Hee hee.
Now wait just one second. Wouldn’t “everything” mean selling all your clothes? Sell Everything means Sell Everything, right? But Jesus says to clothe the naked.
Uh oh that video uncovered another contradiction! Jesus had no idea what he was talking about since Jesus tells us to sell all our clothes but clothe the naked. Right???
“For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me.”
Please Jesus! I can’t clothe the naked or give food and drink to the hungry and thirsty! I sold my clothes and my refrigerator when you told me to “Sell Everything!” And I can’t go on Ebay to get those things back since I sold my computer! I want to go to heaven Jesus, I’m just doing what you told me! I sold Everything!
This is “The Banana Argument” in reverse. Too stupid. Hee hee.
BTW, I don’t deny there are difficult passages in the Bible, seeming contradictions that are difficult to resolve. But what that video brings up are not.
Is it possible for a rich man to be a disciple of Jesus? Yes:
“And when it was evening, there came a certain rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was a disciple of Jesus.” (Matt 27:57)
There are the women followers of Jesus who supported His ministry out of their own means or substance (Luke 8:1-3), which from what I understand means they had money.
So it is difficult for a rich man to enter heaven, but not impossible. If money gets in your way of loving God and loving neighbor, then Yes “Sell Everything” and give it away to those in need.
Here’s a short commentary on the passage that most Christians could agree with (with minor theological differences):
“In order to be saved, the rich, young ruler had to become a true believer — and thus a follower of Jesus — and that is the same requirement Jesus made of anyone who wanted eternal life. To be saved, the rich ruler had to repent, just like anyone else, and he specifically needed to turn from money as his master in order to make Jesus his Master, because it is impossible to serve God and mammon (see Matt 6:24). He had to repent of greed, just like any other greedy person who wants to be saved, because greedy people will not inherit the kingdom of God (see 1 Cor 6:9-10; Eph 5:5).”
Just admit it, you can’t do it. You can’t follow Jesus, you will burn in hellfire for not accepting his word as truth…
In response to philvaz,Sure you can excuse the absurdity of the Bible with the argument that Aramaic doesn’t have superlatives, and thus hate doesn’t mean hate. And you can argue that Catholics have the Pope and councils to interpret the bible and doctrine correctly. So what?
Seems to me that if God wanted to communicate with mankind he or she would have anticipated all the possibilities for misunderstanding. God would make sure that God’s word the bible said what God wants to communicate regardless of language variances.
Instead the Bible, as illustrated in this excellent video, is chock full of confusing contradictions and absurdities.
LOL That if f–king brilliant!
But he should have mentioned the bit about ‘if your right hand causes you to sin, chop it off’. I bet there are no Christians that have followed that one either.
Gene Cook has responded to this video here.
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