Created in The Image Of God: What Does That Mean?

Created in The Image Of God: What Does That Mean? November 16, 2018

God created mankind after the image of God, so what does this mean?

The Distorted Image

After Adam and Eve choose to disobey God and choose for themselves what is good and what is evil, the image of God was distorted. Sin has a way of doing that. From now on, for Adam and Eve, “There is a way that seems right to a man” but they found out, “its end is the way to death” (Prov 14:12). Originally, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27), and part of that image of God was being upright, but that was before they took from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That changed everything. No longer was the Garden of Eden accessible, and now the ground was cursed. So mankind was cursed…cursed by sin, and something seemingly inescapable, being in our very nature (Psalm 51:5; Rom 3:10-12, 23).  Part of this sinful nature was passed on to Adam and Eve’s children, particularly Cain who killed his brother Abel, so Adam “fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth” (Gen 5:3), meaning, like Adam and Eve, he too would sin, just like everyone else (1 Kings 8:46; Eccl 7:20; Rom 3:10, 23). Now humanity would bear children after their own likeness and after their own image, and not all of it was good. Just as we were originally created after God’s own image and God’s own likeness, we are now made in the likeness and image of our parents…warts and all (of which I also plead guilty), however some of the image and likeness of God is retained…even in our fallen state. For example, we hate injustice, we want to right every wrong; and we hate to see people suffer.

The Creation of Adam as depicted in the Sistine Chapel.  Michelangelo.

Image of God

If we understand that people are created after the image and likeness of God, we might treat them better. The outside image is not what I’m talking about. The homeless man or woman may or may not be there of their own accord, and most of us will never know, so that’s why we must treat others with dignity and respect, regardless of their looks. One way to look at it is, “There go we but by the grace of God,” so that could be us, and how would we want others to treat us if we were in their situation, especially if it was a result of things beyond your control? Many vets are homeless due to a lot of extenuating circumstances, but the vast majority of them have not brought this upon themselves. Besides, only God can see their heart (1 Sam 16:7), and only He knows how their life has been.

Image of the Father

Perhaps it was out of curiosity that Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us” (John14:8). Jesus replied, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father” (John 14:9)? Jesus was the express image of the Father, which means He was merciful and forgiving, but He is also God just as the Father is. Jesus said, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works” (John 14:10), so Jesus’ words also showed us the Father. It showed us His redemptive plan for mankind (Mark 10:45) and judgment to come on all who reject Christ (John 1:18, 36). Jesus, as God, also had power and the authority to forgive sins (Matt 9:1-8). If you have read enough about Jesus, then you are well read about the Father, for if you have seen Jesus, you have seen the Father.

Image of Christ

Today, the Body of Believers are being shaped, formed, and molded more into the image of Christ, day by day. At least that is true for many, and so it is “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Rom 8:29). We are predestined to be conformed into the image of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and that is partly done when we trust in Christ. Now we can stand before God because of Christ since it was “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21). Having the righteousness of Christ is being more in the image of God and in the likeness of God, so “Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven” (1 Cor 15:49). For believers, as I write this, “we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Cor 3:18). The image of God comes from the Spirit of God as He points us to the Son of God. Tragically, “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor 4:4), but we can pray for the lost; love the lost, and seek their good, but “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ…is the image of God.” Did you get that? Read that again…the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ…is the image of God.” That’s because the gospel changes lives and regenerates through the Spirit to make us into a new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5:17). Now, having “put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (Col 3:10), we are being conformed into a creation more like Christ. Now that’s what I mean by restoring us back into the image and likeness of God!

Conclusion

Jesus Christ “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation” (Col 1:15), so to be created in the image of God, we must be recreated, or born again, from above (John 3:3-7). That new birth is began by the Word of God, instilled by the Spirit of God, making relevant the Son of God, and thus birthing the children of God, and this is all for the glory of God (Eh 2:8-9). If we want to boast about anything, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord” (1 Cor 1:31), and the glorious light of the gospel which washed our sins away.

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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  • pud

    More willfuly infantile make believe nonsense.

    So, your invisible undetectable “god” looks like Austalopithecus Afarensis?

    Au. afarensis had both ape and human characteristics: members of this species had apelike face proportions (a flat nose, a strongly projecting lower jaw) and braincase (with a small brain, usually less than 500 cubic centimeters — about 1/3 the size of a modern human brain), and long, strong arms with curved fingers adapted for climbing trees. They also had small canine teeth like all other early humans, and a body that stood on two legs and regularly walked upright. Their adaptations for living both in the trees and on the ground helped them survive for almost a million years as climate and environments changed.

    Not quite the image you lying preachers put forward of 6′ blonde blue eyed jesus is it. Ugly little small brained “god”

    “Jesus Christ “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation”

    How would you know since even simple minded you admits that your made up “god” is invisible? How could “he” be the firstborn of all creation since your deranged story has your “god” raping a modern human (virgin of course) to “create” “him”? Did it happen at the “big bang” jack? That was considered the “first creation” …which we have evidence and proof of unlike EVERYTHING you repeat from your stupid Bronze Age book of fables….Donkeys don’t talk and humans don’t survive in the “belly of a fish” ….more proof of your child like retarded thought process.

    “That new birth is began by the Word of God, instilled by the Spirit of God, making relevant the Son of God, and thus birthing the children of God, and this is all for the glory of God”

    By “magic” jack? An incantation? Explain to everyone the physics of speaking things into existence from nothing….waiting…waiting….

    Tell us all too what a “spirit” is and how you know such a thing “exists”….what’s that jack? Silence? Do you realize that telling bullshit over and over and over like a demented parrot doesn’t make it NOT bullshit? Of course you don’t…you don’t care at all about the truth of what you babble..your wretched job of lying to people is at stake.

    ““Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord” (1 Cor 1:31), and the glorious light of the gospel which washed our sins away.”

    You have to first demonstrate that any “lord” exists jack. You might remind yourself too that the “glorious light of the gospel” endorses SLAVERY, RAPE, GENOCIDE, CHILD ABUSE, MISOGYNY and numerous other brutal and barbaric practices endorsed and done by the “lord” that you can’t even show exists.

    Nice touch getting the “sin” stuff in there…have to make sure everyone of your gullible flock is always reminded that they were created sick and commanded to be well

    You think like a child, speak like a child, reason like a child.

    “Now that’s what I mean by restoring us back into the image and likeness of God!”….https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-a-rendition-of-two-australopithecines-walking-in-volcanic-ash-35-million-24930768.html

    • Miranda

      In your own strange way you have hit on an interesting point. At what point along the evolutionary path were human endowed with a ‘Soul’ and enjoined to follow the path of the Father as opposed to being left in the ‘wild’? Was it when we were capable of speech – but that too gradually developed or turned from a nomadic to sedentary lifestyle…both of those have the problem that those events were not clear cut and often tribal groups went back and forth between sedentary and nomadic lifestyles. It’s hard to put the pin when the first ‘human’ as having a relationship with God different to animals and plants existed if you affirm evolution and a topic that needs a lot of consideration.

      • pud

        LOL! You simple minded boob.

        Demonstrate a “soul” exists…demonstrate “the father” LOL exists

        The cult delusion runs deep in you obviously.

        Your, and ALL the stupid superstitious “religions” men have invented started with agriculture when different tribes began to live together. Smart rulers quickly realized that the best way to control them all was to invent a “god” and have that “god” ordain them. duh

        In your simple minded stupid version your make believe invisible undetectable “god” is still a dick! Untold fear and suffering while he watched his little lab experiment play out.

        You people are truly and surely insane

  • Carlos Santiago

    Thank you Jack,
    It’s a strinkimg thing for me when I realize my neighbor, competitor,friend and foe were all created in God’s image. I look for that God distinctive that each person, and love them because of God and am seeing something really really special.. Peace

    • pud

      No…you see and do because you’re a simple minded gullible irrational fool. Fixed it for you.

    • Jack Wellman

      Thank you Mr. Santiago. I do believe that we should treat others with this in mind, as you yourself have done sir.

    • Theodore A. Jones

      Santiago.
      You and Wellman both need to inform yourselves of “children born NOT! of natural descent nor of human decision or a husband’s will” ” Jn. 1:13

  • I’m wondering about one aspect of the image of God. In Genesis, we read, “Let us make man in our image.” It seems to me that the original hearers of this material had in mind a polytheistic godhead. The popular Christian response that this was just the Trinity referring to itself won’t work because that wasn’t a concept back then.

    • Guestie

      I’ve always been a fan of the idea of a quaternity (a four-part god) rather than a trinity. The fourth part is never mentioned in the Bible (mysterious ways!). That’s how you know it’s real.

      • It’s hard to find fault with that logic!

        • Guestie

          Certainly no one has been able to show that the Quaternity doesn’t exist. Checkmate, Trinitarians!

          • Jack Wellman

            No checkmate. It’s not a chess game. The Bible says God is Three Persons and they are indentified in Scripoture. Your “idea of a quarternity” has no Scriptural support. That’s why the “fourth part” is never mentioned.

          • Guestie

            The Fourth Person is testing your faith by not revealing itself.

          • Jack Wellman

            Biblical faith is not a blind faith or a hope-so faith but a know-so faith, and so a “fourth person” is not biblical.

          • pud

            Is that so? So you can demonstrate the physics behind an incantation from an invisible undetectable “being” speaking something into existence from nothing? Thought not..no “faith” required here eh?

          • pud

            Right on simple jack again! The STORYBOOK says it and that settles it! No need whatsoever to use our critical faculties here!

    • Truthteller

      I think you made a mistake in your thinking but I will leave you to figure it out since you so tolerantly banned me from your blog and you never bother to learn God’s perspective anyways.

      I no longer debate unbelievers as one doesn’t solve a heart problem with an argument imo.

      Sin is a heart problem and is irrefutably demonstrated throughout the world unless you are personally determined to deny it.

      From your blog and mocking of believers I think that demonstrates that you embrace your own spiritual blindness now so prayer and repentance may be your only options now to get your heart right with God.

      Far be it from me to play mind games with people with unresolved heart issues they refuse to take stock of and let Jesus resolve.

      Why do you keep arguing with believers anyways? Do you like to make your personal problem their issue when you have no intention of availing yourself of the godly solution?

      Have a nice day but it seems you can’t because you demonstrate a lack of peace in your heart by this obsessive need to argue about religion.

      I hope you let Jesus resolve it for you some day.

      Don’t bother responding. One good turn deserves another and I would probably have to put you on block as your banning of me tells me you are an evidence denier and more importantly refuse to learn God’s perspective.

      I will include you in my prayers.

      God Bless!

      • I think you made a mistake in your thinking but I will leave you to figure it out since you so tolerantly banned me from your blog

        Remind me—why did I ban you?

        I no longer debate unbelievers as one doesn’t solve a heart problem with an argument imo.

        If an argument is focused on a “heart problem,” then it is of no use to me. I want intellectual arguments. I see the importance of emotional arguments in making someone a Christian (indeed, I wonder what besides emotional reasons are what keeps Christians as Christians), but I’m only going to change my worldview based on reality.

        I think that demonstrates that you embrace your own spiritual blindness now so prayer and repentance may be your only options now to get your heart right with God.

        And is this the approach you take with Islam, Hinduism, or any other religion? If not, then why should I?

        Why do you keep arguing with believers anyways?

        You’re kidding, right? I live in the US, and Christians allow themselves to be led around by the nose by conservative politicians. “You want prayer back in schools? You want same-sex marriage banned? The sky is falling, my friend, unless you vote for me!”

        Christianity in America is a bull in the china shop. It’s a social problem that I’d like contained.

        your banning of me tells me you are an evidence denier and more importantly refuse to learn God’s perspective.

        My problem with banning people is that I have an enormous tolerance for everyone. The regular commenters will complain that I let useless commenters stay for far too long. I always want to give them chance after chance to provide civil arguments. Anyone who’s been banned at my blog has a long history of annoying comments to answer for.

        • Hi Bob,

          There was a blogger over on this site called “Glory” who also claimed that you banned her from your site. I am not sure, yet, if “Truthteller” is the same person or not. Glory was a very obnoxious person. Truthteller hasn’t revealed herself in that way, yet.

          • Thanks for the info. I don’t remember a “Truthteller” at my blog, so perhaps there’s been a name change.

            As I said, someone has to be pretty obnoxious and useless to get banned at my blog. Perhaps that’s a badge of honor for some.

        • Truthteller

          God bless you, Bob. Putting you on block now.

          There is no reason to argue with people imo especially intolerant ones who think they are tolerant.

          But really who cares? Love is the better standard than tolerance.

          If I argued with you you might get your feelings hurt.

          Take care.

      • pud

        LOL…google “strawman”

    • Jeb Barr

      In Hebrew grammar a plural personal pronoun is sometimes used for someone of great honor. It’s called the “royal we”. It may be that this is what is going on here.

      • But isn’t the simple “gods” a plausible answer? I know it doesn’t fit with Judeo-Christian dogma, but that’s not really the point. We’re trying to fit it with history, and long ago, in that part of the world, they were polytheistic.

        • Jeb Barr

          No, I don’t think it’s a plausible answer, because those passages were likely written by Israelite priests during the period of the monarchy, and by that point those priests were certainly monotheistic.

          • I don’t know that the monarchy (what—around 1000 BCE?) was a cutoff point. I don’t see how “that was during the period of the monarchy—you can’t be seeing what you’re seeing” resolves the issue.

          • Jeb Barr

            Because by the period of the monarchy, Judaism had advanced to the point where monotheism was the norm, so it would be strange for the Jewish priests who likely authored these books to leave room for polytheism in the very books intended to teach the people the truth about God and His relationship with them.

          • The older books (J and E source) show polytheism, and later books (P source, Isaiah, etc.) show monotheism. Seems straightforward to me.

  • Guestie

    How could Adam and Eve (or Adam and Lilith) choose for themselves what is good and what is evil when they had no knowledge of what is good and evil?

    • Jack Wellman

      God told them not to take from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and they took it, so they knew better as they were warned, so to disobey God is to knowingly do evil.

      • Guestie

        So the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was misnamed? Interesting hypothesis. Alternatively, maybe they ate from it before God told them not to and he wasn’t aware of that.

        • Jack Wellman

          Hypothesis are fine in their place…Scripture is what I rely on. Thank you.

          • Guestie

            Where in Scripture does it say that Adam and Eve knew, prior to their eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, that is was evil to disobey God?

          • DDRLSGC

            Excellent questions? Are there some deleted parts from the Bible that we don’t know about?

          • Truthteller

            Quote from Thomas Allin:

            Let us next consider the true meaning of the words “aion” and “aionios.”1 These are the originals of the terms rendered by our translators “everlasting,” “for ever and ever:” and upon these misleading translations, a vast portion of the popular dogma of endless torment is built up.

            Taken from:

            Aion and Aionios by Thomas Allin
            http://www.mercyuponall.org/2016/05/28/thomas-allin-aion-and-aionios/

            I hope you are Berean and check for the Word translation error Pastor.

            Interpretation rests on word meaning. Word meaning is not dependent on interpretation.

            God Bless!

          • pud

            Right on simple jack! The BOOK says it, I believe it, that settles it! No need for any critical thinking here!

          • Theodore A. Jones

            “For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” Rom. 2:13

      • pud

        No simple jack…A STORYBOOK tale said this and that. You can forget about the rest of the logical argument against your infantile mindset as you have no respect for reason and logic

  • When the bible says “Let us make humans In our image and after our likeness”, isn’t this more likely to be a reference to early Hebrew beliefs in polytheism. It could not be a reference to the belief in a Triune God. The OT was written by Israelis who originally were polytheists but later came to a monotheistic view (not sure exactly when, but they were definitely monotheistic by the 8th. century BCE). To hold that this passage in Genesis refers to the Triune God is to read Christian theology back into the OT. I am not critiquing your view on the “image of God” but a popular misconception that many Christians succumb to when they read the Trinity back into Genesis 1.

    • Theodore A. Jones

      (“Let us make humans in our image etc.”?) “And God said, Let us make man in our image and after our likeness,” KJV “”Let us make man in our image, in our likeness,” NIV

  • How is the “image of God” related to the scientific view of evolution?

    If God does not exist, then there cannot be be any “image of God”. It presupposes the existence of the Jewish god then because you say that Jesus is the image of God, then the Christian view. Why not an Islamic view of God?

    How do we know that Jesus is the “image of God” ? This presupposes the truth of the Scriptures. But which bible view of God is it in whose image we are said to be “created”? Is it the barbaric Yahweh who ordered the slaughter of defenceless women, little children and babies during the conquest of Canaan? Or is Jesus Christ who told us to love our enemies and who welcomed little children. He didn’t say that we should kill them.

    How do you handle the “texts of terror” that are in the OT and in the book of Revelation in the NT? Were they written by barbaric savages who created god in their own image and likeness?

    How do you answer Pud’s rational analysis of Australopithecus Afarensis? Were these humanoids created in the image of God? What about Homo Erectus, and Neanderal man (who existed for some period with Homo sapiens)? Were these “created” in the image or likeness of God or do you consider this to apply to only Homo Sapiens? Homo sapiens evolved from Homo Erectus.

  • If Jesus is the image of God, which Jesus is that? Is it the peaceful Jesus of the Sermon on the Mount or the Jihadi Jesus of the book of Revelation?

    • Truthteller

      Luke 6:45
      New Living Translation

      A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.

      You should take that verse seriously John Arthur.

      The heart is an interpretive organ and you just projected your own evil onto Jesus so yes you have a heart problem.

      Most Christians do not see Jesus as a jihad maker. Jihadi is not even one of his titles in the Bible.

      He is the Prince of Peace but how can war be avoided when people refuse to make peace in their hearts with God?

      War inevitably comes from a lack of peace in people’s hearts: worry, fear, bitterness, anger, etc. all lead to wars.

      But the mind that is stayed on Jesus produces the peaceful attributes of the Fruit of the Spirit.

      If you are secure in God’s love then you can be at peace with yourself and the world.

      It is the doubting insecure people who like to start quarrels, insult people, and escalate things into a full blown war.

      What is the best response to a hate filled insult? Ignoring it.

      That way the insecure hater can’t manipulate you when or if you react.

      I hope you learned God is right about human nature.

      War starts in the human heart, sibling rivalry does, etc.

      Do you see God’s point?

      Have a blessed day. Leaving soon because it is likely you will disagree and I like to teach people who can actually grasp God’s perspective instead of erasing it and replacing it with their own evilly inspired opinions.

      • (1).What empirical evidence do you have that “the heart is an interpretive organ”?

        (2). You need to re-read the book of Revelation. It is Jesus who becomes the warrior “god” again and is very violent during the so-called imaginary “Great Tribulation” with rivers of blood flowing 180 miles long and several feet high. This Jesus seems to be a different Jesus from the peaceable Jesus of the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon of the Plain.

        (3). Perhaps you should read the “Crucifixion of the Warrior God” by Greg Boyd. He tries to deal with the “texts of terror” located in the bible and which contradict the “God of peace”. He’s probably not altogether successful, but he, at least, is one who tries to deal with these terrible problems that exist in the text of the bible.

        (4). You seem to be pretty judgmental, and sanctimonious. Jesus is not the only way for people to go, He might be one way, but surely no-one can believe in a violent god who commanded the murder of defenceless women, little children and babies in warfare and hence the Jihadi god of the OT (Yahweh) must be rejected. He is incompatible with a God of compassion, healing-mercy and loving-kindness, revealed in Jesus of Nazareth. The violent Jihadi Jesus of the book of Revelation must also be rejected if compassion, healing-mercy and loving-kindness is our guide.

        (5). Some people practice a loving-kindness meditation. They breathe in slowly and breathe out slowly and let the peace and compassion that they experience be their guide. Some are Buddhist. Others are Hindus. Some are contemplative Jews and contemplative Christians. The Sufis are peaceable Muslims who practice compassion. Still yet, some are atheists and others are agnostics.

        (6) The experience of the presence of peace and compassion does not necessarily imply the existence of any god. There might be, but there seems to be little external evidence for the existence of such a being. Why not practice deep breathing as a means of finding peace and sharing compassion, healing-mercy and loving-kindness with others?

        (7). No holy book, nor any church, mosque, synagogue nor temple is required to practice loving-kindness towards others. No priest or minister or religious guru of any kind is required to practice compassion and peace. If you find any of these things helpful to you, than by all means go for them, But don’t assume that your view or way is the only view or way to operate peacefully and with compassion in the world.

        • Truthteller

          I didn’t read your post because your thinking on religion is irrelevant to me.

          I will respect your desire to set up science as your false idol now and put you back on block once you have a chance to read this because really I am not interested in unspiritual analyses of the Bible.

          And your will to force your ignorance on me is not greater than God’s will or my own.

          1 Corinthians 2:14
          New Living Translation
          But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.

          • Is the real reason you don’t want to answer my points is because you can’t? Why can’t the Spirit give you the answers?

            Are you also trying to tell me that you are a gnostic, where some Spirit gives you secret knowledge that non Christians cannot understand?

          • Truthteller

            Just to clarify. God is the Revealer of Truth.

            Why bring up Gnosticism?

            If you disrespect God then He can turn you over to a reprobate mind.

            Indeed a good portion of the world is spiritually blind. The Word was given to enlighten minds spiritually but many have always fought to stay unenlightened it seems.

            What does one get for attempting to lead some people into the truth? Persecution. Not from everyone but from some.

            Many of these debates degenerate into persecution.

            Some like pud pretend to debate but it is quite obvious his motivating aim is persecution although his heart is so darkened he seems oblivious to his own true motives.
            He can barely get a rational sentence out without peppering it with insults and profanity.

            Study the behavior of people. It all validates what the Bible says about people needing new purified hearts.

          • You are the one who appears to be a gnostic. You continually make the claim that you have special knowledge which only Christian insiders can understand. Is this really what Paul meant in 1 Corinthians? Perhaps you should read various exegetes on this passage and give up your gnostic interpretation.

          • Illithid

            “And your will to force your ignorance on me…”

            Who’s forcing anything on you? This is reasoned debate. We’re all trying to convince other people that our beliefs are correct.

            Oh, BTW, if you block someone they can still read your comments, AFAIK. You just can’t read theirs. I’ve blocked Pud, for example, because I find his rants irritating even though in general, we agree.

          • Truthteller

            You are one of the most pleasant unbelievers that it has ever been my pleasure to meet.

            Thanks for all your kind help.

            Be sure in all this argumentative mess not to miss out on what the Universalist Christians have to say about universal reconciliation for all of mankind.

            If you have the time look at the Universalism topic on Auburn.edu for starters.

            The Jews til this day do not believe in hell. Though Moses spoke of a greater prophet than he to come and he did come in the person of Jesus Christ.

            As John Wesley Hanson pointed out if hell were true God would have mentioned it in Genesis or when He gave the law to Moses at Mount Sinai.

            Have a blessed day!

          • Illithid

            Well, thank you. I do try to be polite.

            The link you gave led to the Auburn U. web page, and searching there led only to some local groups and events. I’m noddingly familiar with the concepts of Christian Universalism, however. I see it as a somewhat successful attempt to remove the moral problem of Hell in Christian theology.

            While the doctrine of Hell is indeed immoral, removing it does not constitute positive evidence for the theological claims of Christianity. I simply see no reason to think those claims true. I’ve always found the idea of the “things of the spirit” looking like foolishness to those not “in the spirit” to be dubious. To me, it sounds like saying, “we admit that it doesn’t make sense unless you already believe it.”

            In day-to-day life, though, I find those Christians who do not think I deserve eternal torture to be remarkably more congenial neighbors.

          • Truthteller

            Google Williamson’s The Nature of Salvation on Auburn.edu.

            He is very astute. He points out the two thought lines of God in scripture regarding the salvation of believers and the salvation of all other people.

            Most theologians have been taught to only pick out the one that the group before them advocated.

            Resolving paradoxes and seeming contradictions is a very difficult thing for the human mind to do. But many of scriptures greatest truths are paradoxical.

            It is too bad so many Christian leaders seem to have dumbed things down so they can control explanations when people need to work out their own relationships with God more than they need simplified explanations.

            Williamson quote:

            “For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God,
            who is the Savior of all men, especially those that believe”
            (1 Tim. 4:10)
            It is a lamentable truth, that in all ages and countries, those who have embraced opinions differing from the popular doctrines of the day, have suffered reproach in the consequence of their faith. Man has forgotten the great truth that his fellow-man has the same right to think as himself, and that every one is accountable for himself, and to God alone. For this reason he has persecuted his fellow for his opinion’s sake, and pointed to the man whose faith did not exactly square with the popular standard, as a proper object of reproach, and a mark at which bigotry might hurl her arrows of wrath with impunity.- End quote

          • Truthteller

            “In the first five or six centuries of Christianity there were six theological schools, of which four (Alexandria, Antioch, Caesarea, and Edessa, or Nisibis) were Universalist, one (Ephesus) accepted conditional immortality; one (Carthage or Rome) taught endless punishment of the wicked. Other theological schools are mentioned as founded by Universalists, but their actual doctrine on this subject is not known.”

            “The Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge”
            by Schaff-Herzog, 1908, volume 12, page 96

          • Truthteller

            It is too easy to miscommunicate in this medium of communication and to be misunderstood debating.

            Look at me. I just misposted to Jones and he misinterpreted my post as an attack when it was a change in topic.

            God is right. It is far better to obtain an education in the scriptures seeking His approval than it is sorting through the mess of philosophical opinions that men present in philosophical debate. The men presenting are in all different degrees of spiritual enlightenment and some are of dubious character.

            So go to God in the scriptures. Pray for His divine guidance and learn from the best: God.

            Leaning not on your own understanding but letting Him transfer His perspective to you.

            Of course, some people have been walking with God a lot longer than others and know more. Just be aware nobody knows everything or gets everything right except God.

            Peace Be With You!

  • pud

    The HONEST conclusion…

    The Absurdity of Original Sin and Salvation
    by Kenneth Harding

    The title of this monograph speaks clearly for itself. I intend to demonstrate to the reader the absurdity at the very heart of the Christian faith. Why do I do so? It is such an action that a man might take towards his friend who still believes, at an advanced age, in the existence of “Santa Claus”. Such a belief in an adult would hardly be considered healthy. So why does the belief in the foundation of Christianity, The Fall of Man, persist? I maintain that it is because no person sets aside their fear of final death and need for a watchful loving father figure long enough to seriously and soberly think it through. I have done so, and can honestly say that nothing could be more false than the idea of Original Sin and Salvation.

    Even if you are a believer, a person of faith, I will ask you to look at the story as if you are not. Look upon the Genesis account not as you have always done, through the filter of faith, but with the detachment of one who seeks to gain nothing from the story; like an unbeliever. Read it as you would any other book, and judge it on its own merits.

    Why did God put the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden? What purpose did it serve? Did God Himself need the knowledge of good and evil? Did He have to take a piece of the magical fruit now and again to refresh His memory? We can assume that He did not. Did any of the animals of the Garden need the Tree? We can assume not. What kind of tree was this? An apple tree, an orange tree, a banana tree? The bible does not tell us. How could a tree, an organism of wood and sap, contain the knowledge of good and evil? What capacity did it have for storing such knowledge, and how was that knowledge passed on by eating and digesting it? Allow yourself to think about that… Why, therefore, among all the useful and decorative trees in the Garden of Eden, did God deliberately include this tree, the tree that carries the warning: “in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”?

    Did He put it in the Garden as a temptation to tempt Adam and Eve? The bible says very clearly that cannot be the case. God does not tempt: “Let no man say . . . I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man.” (James 1:13) Therefore, we have a tree of a nature that we cannot comprehend, whose fruit is so sinful to consume that it would result in the immediate and eternal damnation of humankind, placed in a location so precarious as to make that outcome an inevitability, all apparently for no purpose whatever. Imagine a caring, loving parent leaving a loaded pistol in the playroom of a five year old child, knowing full well what the result will be, and watching from a crack in the door as the child blows his brains out.

    Did God know Eve would eat the fruit? Of course He did! We are told by the bible that God knows all things from the Beginning unto the End. Did He not know Eve would give it to Adam? Of course He did. Did He not know that the serpent would tempt Eve? He did, if we are to accept the bible. Therefore, did Eve have any free will in the matter? Could she have acted in a manner other than God had foreseen for her? Of course not! How could she? How was the serpent able to speak? Did it give itself this remarkable ability? How does the mouth of a snake, with no lips or proper teeth, and no articulate tongue, form human words? How did the tiny brain of a snake become wise and subtle? Who made it so? Who was responsible for putting the principle actors– Adam, Eve, the serpent and the Tree– all together in the Garden of Eden? God, of course. The inescapable conclusion? That He put all the pieces on the game board, and enacted His own little drama, resulting in the deliberate, eternal damnation of Humankind. In the words of Ingersoll: could a devil have done worse?

    But here is another problem. We are told in Genesis 3:14 that after the speaking serpent had completed the mission for which he had been placed into the Garden of Eden, that of tempting Eve, God cursed the serpent: “upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” (Does the devil have a finite life?) So somewhere out in the world, the Christian must believe, is a 6000 year old talking snake that eats dust! And they say that we’re the irrational ones. If Satan was cursed to spend the rest of his existence as a serpent, then how does he reappear later in the New Testament, and take Christ up to the top of the mountain to tempt him? How can this be? Did he release himself from the curse, or did God do it? What about the devil’s activities in the Book of Revelation? If he is slithering around as a serpent, what is the great danger? Why doesn’t someone simply step on him or cut his head off with a shovel?

    We are told that at their creation, Adam and Eve, like small children, did not posses the knowledge of good and evil, of right from wrong. I wonder why God wanted to withhold this from them… Should Adam and Eve therefore be held responsible for committing an action prior to them having the Knowledge of Good and Evil? I would not think so. They disobeyed an instruction before they knew it was wrong to disobey. Was this the Ultimate Sin, for which every human being ever born was to pay with their eternal soul? Was that the worse thing that Adam and Eve could have done? They could have beaten and slaughtered each other, and destroyed their paradise. But they did not do anything so cruel or barbaric. They ate a piece of fruit, contrary to the will of an arbitrary god. People disobey God’s commands millions of times every day all over the earth– from lying and stealing to murder and worshipping other gods… why then was Adam and Eve’s simple disobedience to carry such a heavy price? It would have been fair of God to give Eve this same warning…but He did not. He uttered it before He pulled out Adam’s rib and made a whole woman. (Why did He not use the dirt again, I wonder?) We have no record of God or Adam telling Eve of this dreadful warning, so why should she be held accountable?

    Would you treat your own children that way? Would you condemn them to eternal torture, infinite revenge, never ending intense pain with no chance of pardon, for taking a cookie out of the cookie jar before dinner, after you had told them not to? And would you condemn your children’s children, and all generations that will come after? What sort of justice is this? No natural person can condone this. All that the Christians can say is that we cannot understand God’s method of justice. That is all they can say.

    Why should I be held responsible for Eve’s decision to eat the fruit? Why should you? If your distant ancestor, four hundred years ago, killed a man in an act of cruel and pointless savagery, should you be handed a life sentence in prison for it? God Himself states in the bible that He does not punish the children for the sins of their fathers. Are we to conclude by this that we have no sin upon us as the result of our births? No stain of eternal depravity upon us? Might not the notion of Original Sin be the fabrication of the Church, in order that they might further their careers and ensure their survival? For if one does not need to be saved, one does not need priests and preachers. Christians tells us that without their religion, all of us are doomed without hope. They try to convince us of the dilemma they have created for us, then try to convince us that they alone have the remedy. Christianity cuts you and then tries to sell you a Band-Aid.

    Because of the Fall of Man, we are told that it is not enough that we are good and caring people, not enough that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us, not enough that we forgive those who trespass against us. We must be baptized– have our heads wet by a priest– a meaningless gesture, and proclaim that we accept Jesus Christ as our personal savior. We must believe the unbelievable. A Hindu, who happens to be more charitable and humane than the best Christian, is nonetheless consigned to eternal damnation, just as the kind and gentle native of some tropical island who never heard of Jesus and his cross.

    If, as the Christian doctrine teaches, the only way to salvation is through Christ, what became of all the souls of the people who died before Jesus’ appearance on earth? All those Old Testament figures, all those who died in battle? Millions of people, to be sure. They had no chance of salvation before Jesus, had they? If we are to believe the dogma of salvation through faith, then we must believe that by their mere birth, they were consigned to hell without a chance, no matter how virtuously they lived.

    Why do you suppose God waited so long to send Himself down in the form of Jesus? Did He care nothing for the souls of all those men, women and children born between the four thousand years of time between Adam and Jesus? What of all those instances when God commanded His servants to kill men, women and children, sparing no one, knowing full well that they had no chance to be saved? Why didn’t Jesus appear in the generation immediately following Cain and Abel, when the number of persons on earth could be counted on one hand? The task of convincing people that Jesus was in fact God would have been effortless. In such a scenario, every human ever born would have a much fairer chance of attaining salvation. Because of God’s failure to do this, however, the vast majority of people who ever lived were doomed without hope.

    Christians tell us that Christ died to absolve Original Sin, so that all who believe in him might be saved. It is written that he came for the sole purpose of dying. Would it not then have been just as well if he had died of a fever, or of smallpox, or of old age, or from any other reason? We all suffer in some sense, and we all come into the world for the ultimately sole purpose of dying.

    If Jesus Christ was in fact God, and if he came into this world to suffer for us as Christians tell us he did, then the only real suffering he could have endured would have been to live. His existence on earth was a mortal state of exile or banishment from Heaven, the most perfect place, and the only way back to the paradise that was his home was to die. Everything in this strange system is the reverse of what it pretends to be.

    The sacrifice of Jesus was no sacrifice at all, for a number of reasons. First, according to the New Testament, Jesus Christ was God Himself. What possible inconvenience could death represent for an immortal god? None whatsoever. Would not God have an infinite capacity for enduring physical pain? Was crucifixion the worst possible way to be put to death? I submit that it was not. It is my opinion that burning to death by a slow roast would have been far more painful. The Church should know all about burning people to death, by the way, they did it enough. Their devices of torture were state of the art. Christ’s suffering was negligible compared to those who disagreed with His Church. Additionally, Christ supposedly came back three days later. So just what was sacrificed? It’s not a sacrifice if you take it back. And yet, the Christians claim Jesus made the most ultimate and perfect sacrifice. Is there anything more absurd than this?

    The claim is made that the price for sin was so high that Man could not pay it. Only God could pay the debt. Like a father who assumes the debt that his son cannot pay, we are told that God allowed Himself to be sacrificed on the cross so that he can forgive us. So, your child has just taken a cookie out of the cookie jar when he wasn’t supposed to. Now, to forgive him, you tell him: “Take this hammer and these nails, and nail me up onto a piece of wood until I die. Murder me, perform a human sacrifice, and then I’ll forgive you for taking a cookie.” Sacrifice the guiltless in order to forgive those who did no wrong, for a crime that was no crime in the first place.

    Suppose that a man had been convicted of murder, and was about to be hanged The governor watches over the execution. Now suppose that at the moment the convicted man was about to be hanged, someone in the crowd steps forward and announces, “I am willing to die in the place of that murderer. He has a family, and I have none.” And suppose further, that the governor should reply, “Come forward, young man, your offer is accepted. A murder has been committed and somebody must be hanged, and your death will satisfy the law just as well as the death of the murderer.” Is this situation acceptable to any civilized person? Yet this is the Christian doctrine of sacrifice. I say, let the guilty pay for their own crimes. If I commit I crime, I will take responsibility for my own actions.

    When is enough punishment enough? How much will the God of Love inflict upon His children? First there was the Fall from Grace. That was supposed to be the ultimate punishment, when mankind became separated from the presence of God and cast out of the Garden of Eden. When that did not succeed, God sent the Great Flood, and killed virtually every human on earth. When that did not cleanse the world of wickedness, Jesus came to earth and taught mankind about the fires and torments of Hell. This tactic is obviously failing, and we are told that even Hell is not enough punishment and suffering; for it is written that Armageddon and Judgment Day are yet to come. If God’s justice was totally satisfied with the sacrifice of Jesus, as Christian Doctrine teaches, then why all the horror, torture and killing that is yet to come at Armageddon, where nearly everyone on earth, Christian and infidel, will be subject to pain, suffering and death? The reason is that I suppose that once you have a taste for a certain habit, it is difficult to stop. And Jehovah has certainly demonstrated that He has acquired that taste.

    It is clear that Christianity is a gilded mansion built upon a foundation of sand. It’s basis is not only unexplainable, but illogical and immoral as well. But, as people so often say when they are faced with such illogical, immoral conundrums that they can’t talk their way out of, “God works in mysterious ways.”

    We are told that we must swallow this story, hook, line and sinker. We are told that God gave us the freewill to believe it or not believe it– but this gift comes with a deadly threat. Believe it– or be eternally damned. What kind of choice is that? Some people may be convinced that the threat is a very real one, and so they will believe any story that their preachers tell them. Under these conditions, some people can be made to believe anything at all.

    Salvation is not awarded by doing good deeds, we are told by the church, but through belief alone. God can forgive all things, it is said, except disbelief. He will pardon the murderer of children, if he but falls down and begs for forgiveness, and accepts Jesus Christ as his savior. But He will not pardon the person who uses reason and honesty, and who finally decides: “I just can’t believe it.” I am told that it doesn’t matter how good of a person I am during my life, because at the end of it, I will be asked: “Did you believe the one about the Garden of Eden?” I’ll have to be honest and say, “No, I didn’t. It was just too far-fetched. Sorry.”

    For me, I cannot swallow it, no matter how much I am threatened. I can’t help it. It has to make sense to me… that’s the way my brain works. If there is a god floating somewhere up in the vacuum of space, then he’s sure to understand that.

    If you do believe that tale, I’d have to ask you: WHY?

    • Jeb Barr

      I believe because I find the witness accounts of Jesus’ resurrection credible with no other reasonable explanation for the beginnings of the Christian movement. I believe because the teachings and example of Jesus lead to humility and selflessness and, seemingly in contrast to this, lead to true contentment and joy in life, as if they came from the very One who made us. I believe because I’ve witnessed the transformational power of those teachings in my life and the lives of countless others.

      I understand that much of the Bible may seem impossible to believe, especially when framed the way you have, in ways which are not necessarily accurate or true of how many Christians understand the Bible. So I just encourage people to start with Jesus, and really consider Him, His example, His teachings, and see what you find there. If nothing of lasting value, then go on your way, and if you’re right, then you’ve got nothing to worry about. But if you do find something of lasting value in Jesus, then follow that and see where God leads you. Maybe, at some point, you’ll understand some of these things differently.

      Peace to you, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

      • pud

        1. No one cares what you or anyone else “believes” People “believe” all manner of ridiculous things. The only thing that counts is what you can “show”

        2. Cults form for all manner of reasons. Just because you can’t imagine how only shows how simple minded you are.

        3. There are no “witnesses” ….name one. It’s a story book with character names in it no different than Harry Potter.

        4. Peoples lives get “transformed” for all kinds of reasons..you see what you want to see and ascribe causation without proof

        5..All the claims in the buybull don’t “seem” impossible, they ARE “Impossible”

        6. The “teachings” of jesus eh?…like slavery?

        • Jeb Barr

          You asked why anyone would “believe” the tale. I was simply using your word and answering your question. If you didn’t want an answer, then why ask the question.

          You apparently believe that juvenile insults are evidence of a superior intellect. You are in good company with our current President. But I wonder if you think such insults are persuasive in any way, and if not, then what purpose do they serve?

          Witnesses – Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Paul for starters. Historians do not debate that these were real people. The authority for the earliest Christians was the teachings of the apostles who are, again, believed to have been real people by historians today. You may believe they were liars, and that’s fine. But to say that they are fictional figures like Harry Potter is simply false.

          Jesus never taught slavery. Jesus taught self-sacrifice, humility, peace, mercy, and putting others before yourself. He taught to love your enemies, to not respond to them in kind, and to pray for them. He taught against legalistic religion. He taught that God loves and cares about every human being on the planet, and that His followers should do the same. And because of that I truly hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and were able to spend it with people you care about.

          • pud

            LOL! You need to do a little research before you babble nonsense…

            1. Only “paul” is known to have actually existed. The other books were written anonymously…FACT

            2, “paul” was a psychotic murdering religious lunatic who babbled 7 letters…so what? Who cares and why should or would anyone listen to some ancient delusional lunatic?

            3. Jesus was a moral monster…..IF HE EXISTED AT ALL….and there is NO evidence outside of your stupid book that he did. The “character” jesus in your storybook supposedly healed a couple of lepers…Why didn’t he cure leprosy?

            4. Jesus “Slaves obey your masters” did you miss that in your bible study?

            5. Who cares what your ridiculous human blood sacrifice character supposedly “taught” in your make believe story book? The “god” character OBVIOUSLY didn’t and doesn’t give a shit about anything other than himself! He slaughtered MILLIONS in various egotistical temper tantrums through the ages.

            I suggest you take off your “god glasses” and stop seeing and reading and listening to ONLY what you want to see and hear and embrace reality not fantasy.

          • Jeb Barr

            I’ve done quite a bit of research, which is why I know that Jesus never said “slaves obey your masters”, but if you think He did, please provide the chapter and verse.

            The gospels were not written anonymously. The authors do not identify themselves by name, that is true. But that does not make them anonymous. John’s authorship is clear from the context clues in the gospel. Luke is a letter, and the original recipient would have certainly known his identity. The same author writes a sequel – Acts, and in the context clues of this book, the author is revealed to be Luke. The gospels were only accepted because they were written or overseen by the apostles, and this was established within a few decades after Jesus’ death by people (disciples of the original apostles) who would have been in a position to know. It’s for this same reason that later “gospels” were rejected as frauds despite actually bearing the name of the apostles, because they were known to have not been written by them. You’ll find no evidence of the four gospels being referred to anonymously or by any other competing name because their authorship was universally known to the church from day one. But again, if you have some evidence to the contrary, please share or link to it.

            As to the rest, if I only read and saw what I wanted, I would not have read your posts, and I certainly would not be taking the time to respond. I actually make it a point to read the views and opinions of others who believe differently from me, and it’s not uncommon for me to learn something valuable from them when they write with intelligence and respect.

            Which leads me to ask you again why you do not do so. You failed to answer my previous questions to you on this. What’s your motive? Is it to convince others of your point of view? If so, you’ve picked a curious strategy. Do you gain some sort of satisfaction by insulting and demeaning people who believe differently from you? Did you grow up in a place where this is just how people talked and disagreed with each other, and you just think it’s normal? Were you hurt in some way by people in the church, and this is how you’ve chosen to work through that pain – by venting angrily towards Christians in a safe, online space? I’ve been hurt by people in the church to, and would certainly understand that motivation. Just wondering what your goal here is, if you would be kind enough to share it.

          • pud

            No, you haven’t done any research and you obviously are incapable of critical thought.

            1. “jesus” never “said” anything. The character in a BOOK was “said” to have “said” things by unknown authors of the BOOK. There is NO actual evidence of any “jesus” ever existing. The most cursory examination of your stupid BOOK proves how absurd your claim is…to wit…WHO exactly followed this make believe character around recording EXACTLY what he was supposed to have said? WHO did so when your fable BOOK character was ALL ALONE in the wilderness and the garden?

            2. Your BOOK is nothing but a collection of claims and assertions none of which can be verified by any means whatsoever.

            3. There were many BOOKS and STORIES written with only some of them making it into the canon via a VOTE amongst lunatic priests. So what? ALL OF IT was based on hearsay! NOTHING was from an eye witness and even if it was…SO WHAT? Testimony doesn’t make EXTRAORDINARY CLAIMS true and especially second hand testimony.

            4. Religion poisons everything. Superstition and stupidity, ignorance and myth are enemies of reason and I have made it my personal mission to expose the folly, fraud, idiocy, ignorance etc of those who “BELIEVE” nonsense

            5. I never subscribed to any delusional cult and your strawman trying to make me out as some bitter former cult member is a waste of your time. I am a truth seeker and man of reason. Ridiculous ideas deserve ridicule and that is one of my many hobbies. Nothing is more ridiculous than religion…nothing.

          • Jeb Barr

            For someone who claims to be a man of reason, you make a lot of adamant, unsupported assertions. You understand that this is a classic, logical fallacy don’t you? I didn’t try to make you out to be anything. I simply posed a series of questions as to your possible motives. I have no idea what your background is. To twist my words is another logical fallacy. If you are a man of reason, then speak reasonably. Make reasonable comments. Otherwise your just becoming hat you claim to despise.

            If you are really interested in seeking truth, I’d encourage you to read Bart Ehrman on the historicity of Jesus. You’ll find much in Ehrman with which you’ll agree. He’s a former Christian who is now very critical of Christianity, and he’s also one of the world’s leading experts on the New Testament, and even he says that Jesus in one of the most historically attested people of the ancient world. He believes the story of Jesus was greatly embellished later, but he considers it folly to try to claim that Jesus did not exist.

            As to your question about how things could be written that happened while Jesus was alone, I would ask if you’ve ever told anyone about something you did when you were alone.

            A few other questions:
            1. When did this “vote of lunatic priests” happen?
            2. How do you know none of it was from eye witness testimony?
            3. If we dismiss eye witness testimony, then we must doubt the majority of what we know about human history. How do you get around this problem? Do we dismiss account of Socrates because we only have Plato, one of his students, putting words in his mouth?

          • pud

            I’ll answer these questions but they really don’t matter. It’s like two morons arguing which superhero is better, batman or spiderman. I really don’t care since both are fictional as is everything in your make believe BOOK.

            1. The “Counsel of Nicea” in the 300s AD…..lunatic priests argued about the divinity of make believe, left nothing “jesus”…it was a vote where I also recall the equally stupid made up concept of the “trinity” was invented to make everyone happy. lol

            2. Name a single eye witness and demonstrate that he (she’s don’t count do they) was actually an eyewitness. Then demonstrate why anyone should “believe” this non existent eye witness anymore than we “believe” those who testify that they were abducted by aliens.

            3. No. Like science, history is a probability function. We know with extremely high probability that George Washington existed…we have evidence to support this claim. We however have no real evidence that Socrates existed but so what? Socrates didn’t claim to be “god” did he? While the existence of Socrates can be doubted it is far more PROBABLE that a real human being by that name existed vs. a magician claiming to rise from the dead.

          • pud

            Try reading Matthew 18:25, where Jesus uses slaves in a parable and has no qualms about recommending that not only a slave but also his wife and family be sold, while in other parables Jesus recommends that disobedient slaves should be beaten (Luke 12:47) or even killed (Matthew 24:51).

            However…none of this matters. I couldn’t care less what your ancient ignorant BOOK says, I care about what is actually true. There is NOTHING true in your BOOK other than some names and places.

            It is an absolutely and fundamentally ridiculous scenario your cult puts forward with its tools of guilt, shame and fear. That an eternal, all knowing, all powerful “being” (that cracks me up) has nothing better to do or no better way to do it or should have any “Need” to do anything at all is absurd.

            No. You and those like you are credulous, gullible, infantile, fearful sheep who have fallen prey to cultural pressure and your fear of mortality to subscribe to a cult full of empty promises and ridiculous impossible claims.

            This is what makes you dangerous to freedom, reason, human advancement and human dignity and this is why I and other rational sane people oppose you all

          • Jeb Barr

            There’s a difference between disagreeing with someone and ridiculing them. You don’t seem to understand that. Sarcasm is not an intelligent argument. Ridicule is not an intelligent argument. Random all caps is not an intelligent argument. You may have legitimate ideas and arguments to offer, but you bury them under a rant.

            I asked you to show me where Jesus said for slaves to obey their masters. You still have not done so. You’ve linked to parables where Jesus used the imagery of a master and an indentured servant as a metaphor for other things. This was a common arrangement in Jesus’ day for people who owed debts that they could not pay off, and so His listeners would have understood it. He offers no comment on the justice of the arrangement, except that He seems to favor the master who forgave the debt that the indentured servant owed.

          • pud

            Wrong. Ridicule is one of the best tools possible to ring out the ridiculous. Ridiculous ideas have no place in human society thus they deserve ridicule. Calling the absurd, absurd is truth seeking and the truth is way more important than your tender “beliefs” and sensibilities.

            “jesus” never “said” anything. No name authors of ridiculous BOOKS claim he said this or that. Any actual “jesus” wrote nothing, said nothing, did nothing and left nothing….odd for the most important message humanity was to ever receive don’t you think?

            In your absurd ridiculous BOOK this “jesus” character expressly supposedly said that not a “jot or tittle” of the “law” was to be changed did “he” not? Well slavery is expressly condoned in your BOOK.

            And kindly spare me your RIDICULOUS apologetic about “slavery” being indentured servitude…In your BOOK daughters could be bought and sold and non jews were expressly enslaved as property. Don’t risk further embarrassment by making me give you chapter and verse.

            Pretty shitty of your “son of god” the “all loving” teacher who couldn’t condemn slavery or cure leprosy and who was satisfied doing a few magic spells and entrusting the most critical message to humanity to a bunch of stupid second hand accounts….don’t you think?

          • Theodore A. Jones

            Suggest that you rephrase (“The authority for the earliest Christians was” etc.) to; The authority for a Christian and a pagan is what has been written in the scriptures. Further responding to the posts made by “pud”, who is deathly afraid of his real identity being exposed, is a waste of your time.

      • Theodore A. Jones

        “For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” Rom. 2:13 What is the law Paul is referencing?

        • Jeb Barr

          He seems to be referring to the moral aspects of the Old Testament Law, as opposed to the ceremonial and ritualistic aspects of it.

          • Theodore A. Jones

            The law Paul references in Rom. 2:13 is not a segment of OT law.

  • DDRLSGC

    You are many people in authority positions like business leaders, police officer, military officers and NCOs, etc. who think that they are God and probably in some cases, think that they are.