Madison Malarkey #43: Recycled Lies & Closed Ears

Madison Malarkey #43: Recycled Lies & Closed Ears December 29, 2020

Dr. David Madison is an atheist who was a Methodist minister for nine years: with a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from Boston University.  I have replied to his videos or articles 42 times as of this writing. Thus far, I haven’t heard one peep back from him  (from 8-1-19 to 12-29-20). This certainly doesn’t suggest to me that he is very confident in his opinions. All I’ve seen is expressions of contempt from Dr. Madison and from his buddy, the atheist author, polemicist, and extraordinarily volatile John Loftus, who runs the ultra-insulting Debunking Christianity blog. Dr. Madison made his cramped, insulated mentality clear in a comment from 9-6-19:

[T]he burden of the apologist has become heavy indeed, and some don’t handle the anguish well. They vent and rage at critics, like toddlers throwing tantrums when a threadbare security blanket gets tossed out. We can smell their panic. Engaging with the ranters serves no purpose—any more than it does to engage with Flat-Earthers, Chemtrail conspiracy theorists, and those who argue that the moon landings were faked. . . . I prefer to engage with NON-obsessive-compulsive-hysterical Christians, those who have spotted rubbish in the Bible, and might already have one foot out the door.

John “you are an idiot!” Loftus even went to the length of changing his blog’s rules of engagement, so that he and Dr. Madison could avoid replying to yours truly, or even see notices of my replies (er, sorry, rants, rather). Dr. Madison’s words will be in blue.

Presently, I am replying to his article, “Bible Blunders & Bad Theology, Part 7″ (12-18-20).

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Proverbs 26:11 (RSV) Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool that repeats his folly.

2 Peter 2:22 . . . the sow is washed only to wallow in the mire.

Proverbs 1:22 How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?

Proverbs 9:7-8 He who corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury. [8] Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.

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The gospel of Mark is a good place to start. Do Christians really want the Jesus depicted here? In an article I posted here in January 2018,Getting the Gospels Off on the Wrong Foot,” I said this: “If you accept the Jesus of Mark’s gospel, you are well on the way to full-throttle crazy religion. No slick excuses offered by priests and pastors—none of their pious posturing about ‘our Lord and Savior’—can change that fact.” 

In the fifth chapter, for example, Jesus encounters a mentally ill man, and by a magic spell he transfers the guy’s demons into pigs. Most of us today wouldn’t agree that mental illness is caused by demons, or that a holy man could send them into pigs. That’s a sample of the superstition we find in Mark. Yes, we can chalk this up the naiveté of ancient thinking, and it’s too bad the Word of God didn’t rise above that.

But we find something even more troubling in Mark 4, an alarming text that should alert Christians that something is amiss. After Jesus has told the Parable of the Sower, 

“When he was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, ‘To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; in order that ‘they may indeed look, but not perceive, and may indeed listen, but not understand; so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.’” (Mark 4:10-12)

Devout scholars have been wringing their hands about this text for a long time. How can it be that Jesus tells parables to prevent people from repenting and being forgiven? On what level does that make sense?

I thoroughly refuted this pseudo-“objection” (so-called “blunder” and “bad theology”) over a year and four months ago:

Madison vs. Jesus #7: God Prohibits Some Folks’ Repentance? [8-6-19]

But since Dr. Madison deliberately ignores any critique of his contentions that I provide, he simply returned to his vomit and wallowed in the mire yet again.

Sometimes the cult-centric texts sound nice, for example, Mark 12:30, a command from Jesus: “…you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” How can a loving God require this level of devotion and subservience? Divine narcissism is fueled by the certainty that worshippers love at this all, all, all, all level. 

But what’s the point? Indeed most Christians—at least those who don’t choose monastic seclusion—have families, jobs, hobbies and pastimes that require major commitments of their hearts, souls, minds, and strength; they are not as fanatically obsessed with God as Jesus commands in Mark 12:30. Very few take this text seriously.

I thoroughly refuted this pseudo-“objection” (so-called “blunder” and “bad theology”) over a year and four months ago:

Madison vs. Jesus #6: Narcissistic, Love-Starved God? [8-6-19]

But since Dr. Madison deliberately ignores any critique of his contentions that I provide, he simply returned to his vomit and wallowed in the mire yet again.

And it gets worse. Mark 12:30 is a preamble to train wreck verses in Matthew 10; when Christians read these, why don’t they cancel their memberships?

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.” (verses 34-36)

And then Jesus the cult fanatic—Matthew’s version—puts the frosting on the cake: “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”  (verses 37-38)

Luke, however, wasn’t satisfied with even this. He added hate to the formula: “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.” (14:26) 

Not only hatred of family, but hatred of life itself.

I thoroughly refuted this pseudo-“objection” (so-called “blunder” and “bad theology”) over a year and four months ago:

Dr. David Madison vs. Jesus #1: Hating One’s Family? [8-1-19]

But since Dr. Madison deliberately ignores any critique of his contentions that I provide, he simply returned to his vomit and wallowed in the mire yet again.

For quite a while now I have used the term Ancient Jesus Mystery Cult to describe Christianity. Indeed the early followers of Jesus were in competition with other cults in the first century, others that celebrated resurrected gods and knew secret formulas for achieving eternal life. Sacred meals were sometimes part of the package, and the Jesus cult was not to be outdone, especially in the theology imagined by the author of John’s gospel. 

So we come to the final train wreck verses to examine here—perhaps a highpoint of bad theology. The sacred meal proposed by John included Jesus’ body parts. After all, according to John, Jesus had been present at creation; he was “one with the father,” so how could his body not have magical properties? John invented this Jesus script:

“Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me.”  (John 6:53-57)

This is an extreme—and disgusting—example of magical thinking; making it a “sacrament” adds to the disgrace. When Christians are asked to pretend—to simulate—drinking blood, that’s the time to head for the exit!

I thoroughly refuted this pseudo-“objection” (so-called “blunder” and “bad theology”) over a year and four months ago:

Madison vs. Jesus #8: Holy Eucharist as “Grotesque Magic”? [8-7-19]

But since Dr. Madison deliberately ignores any critique of his contentions that I provide, he simply returned to his vomit and wallowed in the mire yet again.

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Photo credit: Mark Peters (9-26-10). Yorkshire pigs wallow in mud at the Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary in Poolesville, Maryland [Wikimedia CommonsCreative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license]

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