Half of US Christians Have No Idea What The Great Commission Is

Half of US Christians Have No Idea What The Great Commission Is January 16, 2019

According to Barna Research, over half of American Christians have never heard of the Great Commission, and over 37% of those polled couldn’t identify the Great Commission out of a list of various Bible verses.

Just in case you’re in that lower 50%, the Great Commission is found in Matthew 28:18-20 and it’s where Jesus says:

 

“Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations…and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.”

So, why is it that so many American Christians have no idea what the Great Commission is?

Well, the most obvious reason is that it’s because our churches are not focused on making disciples, and most alarmingly, our churches are not filled with people who consider themselves disciples – or followers – of Jesus.

Our Churches today are largely focused on providing goods and services, light Christian entertainment, inspirational sermons, emotionally-charged worship sets, and a variety of programs designed to keep families with teens and young children coming back week-after-week.

I’m not exaggerating.

The bottom line is: Christians are not disciples. This is why they’re unfamiliar with the verse where Jesus commands us to make disciples.

FYI: You can’t make a disciples unless you first become a disciple yourself.

So, if we’re not following Jesus, we’ll never be able to help anyone else follow him either.

Mystery solved!

If you want to read all the other gobbledeegook from various Seminary professors and mega church pastors about why Christians can’t identify the Great Commission, head on over to Barna Research and knock yourself out. But the simple fact is this: If we are not disciples, we can’t make disciples.

The survey says what most of us already know: Christians are more interested in arguing and dividing over doctrine than they are in following Jesus and putting his teachings into practice in their daily life.

It’s also why the church in America looks so little like Jesus and so much like a religious franchise.

Once you know the problem, fixing it should be pretty easy.

**

Keith Giles was formerly a licensed and ordained minister who walked away from organized church 11 years ago, to start a home fellowship that gave away 100% of the offering to the poor in the community. Today, He and his wife live in Meridian, Idaho, awaiting their next adventure.

His new book “Jesus Unbound: Liberating the Word of God from the Bible”, is available now on Amazon and features a Foreword by author Brian Zahnd.

He is also the author of the Amazon best-seller, “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb” with a Foreword by Greg Boyd.

Keith also co-hosts the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast on iTunes and Podbean. 

BONUS: Want to unlock exclusive content including blog articles, short stories, music, podcasts, videos and more? Visit my Patreon page.

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  • soter phile

    Evangelicals are the most likely churchgoing group to state that they have heard of the Great Commission and remember what it is (60%), which generally aligns with their theological disposition and the criteria to be characterized as “evangelical” in the first place. The traditional Christian views and personal spiritual commitment that shape evangelicals likely cultivate a higher level of awareness of the language of the Great Commission, and this missional jargon is more ubiquitous in the evangelical community. When selecting the Great Commission from the series of verses, three of four churchgoing evangelicals (74%) correctly identify it, the largest portion among churchgoing groups. Fittingly, American evangelicals also appear to be more Bible-minded, are more likely to be active in their churches and have deep knowledge of gospel context and the New Testament.

    – conclusions from the Barna Research article, generally contrary to your views on this blog

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Even those who have heard of the “great commission” and try to follow it I suspect get it somewhat wrong, especially as it is often badly rendered as “make disciples” as above. What the verse actually says is to teach the nations, not recruit them. If your church is concentrating its efforts purely on getting “bums on seats” and not principally on teaching their congregations how to be disciples of Christ when they are there, it is still not fulfilling the Great Commission.

  • Sophotroph

    Found the guy who doesn’t know who Barma’s customers are!

  • Sophotroph
  • Al Cruise

    For conservative evangelicals they just updated it a little bit. “Go into all the USA and make Republicans in all Districts and up walls to keep out all others.”

  • Angel Shining

    Church is a business and filling those seats is the agenda and how are we going to attract the most, entertainment is all the rage. I don’t believe in proselytizing anyone to anything. God draws the people on the path they should be on to further them along……and its not just the Christians who are part of that plan, all religions take part in moving people to God, each in a unique way. That is what is most annoying about the Christians is them pushing their beliefs on everyone and they all have a different take on God but they believe they are each right. Glad to be away from all that, and as the guy said above, they are more interested in politics then anything Jesus said. At least in the South, they are not as bad where I came from in Portland Oregon. They are open minded and tend to love all people.

  • Herm

    Being considered Bible minded and/or “following the Bible” has nothing to do with following Christ as the one and only Instructor of all truth. Even if you can find the Great Commission in the Bible doesn’t mean you know the Advocate for all children of God living with and in you as your one only Teacher of all truth as you can bear.

  • Rudy Schellekens

    “The survey says what most of us already know: Christians are more interested in arguing and dividing over doctrine than they are in following Jesus and putting his teachings into practice in their daily life.”
    How about the idea that “We are all believers in the same God anyway, so why bother?”

  • soter phile

    If you’re going to cite Barna as an authoritative source (as Keith Giles did), you can’t then say
    “see, Barna’s data is spurious” when you don’t like the corollary conclusions.

  • soter phile

    you said: Being considered Bible minded and/or “following the Bible” has nothing to do with following Christ as the one and only Instructor of all truth.

    a) that begs the very question under debate
    b) while Jesus said as much to the Pharisees, he also cited the Scriptures as fully authoritative and all about him (Jn.5:39-40; Lk.24:27,44)
    c) it’s hard to follow Jesus while disavowing the earliest, most well attested sources on who He is

    If one is a follower of Jesus, why wouldn’t that including loving the Scriptures as he does?

  • Summers-lad

    “Make disciples” often gets morphed into “make converts”. Re bums on seats (or pews), a disciple is one who follows, and you can’t follow while sitting down.

  • Ed Senter

    What do you mean by “God”?

  • Ed Senter

    If you are not a millennialist, you will never understand what the “Great Commission” is all about, anyways.
    Jesus sent out his disciples, and as far as anyone knows, only John died a natural death.

    What I don’t understand about this ‘progressive christianity’ is what is your end game? Do you seek happiness or truth?

  • frharry

    I agree with much of the analysis regarding goods and services as the focus of most corporate churches today. But let me offer a slightly different take on the Great Commission.

    To begin with let’s compare it with the Great Commandment. This is a statement that clearly reflects the thought of the Hebrew faith in which Jesus would have been raised. It is said to summarize the 10 Commandments and I think it’s no accident these words are placed on the lips of Jesus in the context of the Beatitudes and the teaching to love your enemies in Matthew 5. It also appears as the lead up to the Good Samaritan parable in Luke. The Great Commandments really sound like the authentic Jesus.

    The Great Commission, on the other hand, is transparently the early church, as it was, speaking to us. Stabilizing membership, growth and expansion are institutional imperatives. They really sound like a young organization trying to take off. And it sounds an awful lot like institutional churches today concerned with bottom lines measurable in dollars and bodies in pews. But this simply doesn’t sound much like Jesus.

    That doesn’t mean the Great Commission can be simply ignored or swept aside. But I do think it’s important to recognize that when we talk in the language of institutional imperatives, it often reflects the ultimate interests involved. Could it be that these concerns are a lot more about us than those we would deem to be our focus? And could it be that in an age of ascending “nones,” this is perhaps a losing strategy for survival?

    Just my .02 worth. Your mileage may vary.

  • erin Bragh

    Since so many can only preach a translated “word” far removed from the original and don’t bother to act according to what is taught therein, I personally would be glad if even fewer knew –from the crusades to today, conversion and conquest have gone hand in hard. A little respect for others beliefs –even competing Judeo-Christian ones would be an improvement.

  • Cyriacus

    You are aware that the term “great commission” to describe Jesus’ command at the end of Matthew’s Gospel is not older than the eighteenth century? In other words, it is just a piece of extra-Biblical theologians’ language, particular to Evangelical Protestants. The survey means no more than that a majority of American Christians are not familiar with Evangelical jargon. Would you conclude that Evangelical Christians don’t know or don’t care about sin because they are unable to list the “seven deadly sins”? What do Christians know about teaching and baptizing—that is the real question, not whether or not they are familiar with any particular set of theological buzzwords.

  • This makes sense to me. The phrase wasn’t popularized until maybe 100 years ago, and then only in some Christian circles. It isn’t a universal term, so it makes sense that many people would not have heard of it.

  • Kendall Kinnear

    You do realize that you face an additional problem. Those of us who follow other Gods and Goddesses are more willing to stand up for ourselves and not allow you to inflict your religion on us. Since you no longer can use force to convert us “heathens” as was done during the colonization period your conversion rate is going to go down since people aren’t scared of you any more. Many of us are now of the opinion that you should keep your religion and we’ll keep ours and we’ll get along just fine.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Churches are so stupid…..

  • Concealed Courier

    …How the hell does 40% of evangelicals bomb this!?
    This is what makes me very skeptical about these numbers. I want to physically see these people in front of a camera tell me they don’t know what the great commission is. I really do.

  • Evermyrtle

    Lost Republicans are the same as lost Democrats, though more Republicans believe in “JESUS CHRIST THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD!!!” With this belief we can live forever, with HIM!

  • Evermyrtle

    If you say you have no sin you lie and the truth is not in you; 1 John, therefore we may be attempting to live a better life, ourselves and help the un-beleivers to believe, maybe!!! 1 John 1::8-10

  • Al Cruise

    More Republicans believe in Donald Trump than they do in Jesus.

  • Evermyrtle

    It seems that you have no idea where Christians, true Christians, are coming from, we only want everyone saved and getting them on the church seats will not save anybody, everyone must accept JESUS CHRIST as the only begotten SON OF GOD! IN addition to that, we must strive to live according to what HE tells us is right, in HIS WORD, as well as we can,and know that we were all, made by GOD! If we do not accept this, we are not HIS children, we belong to whomsoever we follow! Basically: Love HIM and each other is the KEY!! HE IS THE ONE WHO DIED A HORRIBLE DEATH, nailed to that cross so that you and I might live with HIM forever!

  • Evermyrtle

    The choice is yours, if you are saved, it will be because you accept HIM for who HE is!

    For GOD so loved the world that HE gave HIS only begotten SON, that whosoever believeth in HIM should not perish, but have everlasting life!! The choice is yours, Christians just want everybody to enjoy this great everlasting life with them!! “For GOD sent not HIS SON into the world that HE should condemn the world,but that the world might be saved!!!” JESUS CHRIST is the only one who ever died such a cruel death for others and HE did it because HE loved us and wanted to give us a chance at “Everlasting Life with HIM!!” All you have to do is accept HIM and these facts!

  • GDunn

    Maybe knowing what a disciple of Jesus is is in order.

    To me, unless you know Shema, you can’t know what a disciple of Jesus is. Jesus said,

    26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. Luk 14

    33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

    This to many means give all to the poor, as Jesus said to the rich ruler. But…the last clause may have been the kicker, “and come follow me.” And…the
    knowing of the Shema Principle, and Jesus’ relation to it, is required here.

    Making disciples is therefore for me to know and teach Shema. And the FIRST thing we know FROM Shema, is…Jesus is not God, but God’s Agent or Shaliach.
    Puts 98% out of contention from the git-go, AYE?

  • Jennifer Gorman

    That is an excellent thought. Thank you.

  • Jon-Michael Ivey

    I don’t like how most translations make “go” an imperative, when it is really an aorist participle. The commandment is to make disciples and teach whenever and wherever we are going anyway, not specifically to travel places on mission trips.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Sort of “As you go, teach the nations etc…”?
    Edit: or “When you go [from here]…”?

  • rationalobservations?

    Why attempt to pass on religious beliefs that are based only upon indoctrination and upon no historical evidence whatsoever?
    Why attempt to indoctrinate those who have moved on from all forms or religious superstition and find the ignorant and malicious attempt to brainwash ourselves or our children insulting and offensive?

    The belief that an imaginary god/god-man is real does not make it real.
    The belief that an imaginary god/god-man is real does not make it probably real.
    The belief that an imaginary god/god-man is real does not make it possibly real.
    Any personal and unsupported belief has no bearing upon the possibility that any god/god-man (among all the millions of very similar undetected and undetectable imaginary gods, goddesses and god-men) is “real” in any form but the imagination of an indoctrinated believer.

    There are millions of undetected and undetectable gods, goddesses and god-men among which the originally Canaanite god “Yahweh” and Roman’s god-man “Jesus” appear nothing special and there is no evidence of the existence of any of the millions of undetected and undetectable gods, goddesses and god-men among which the originally Canaanite god “Yahweh” and Roman’s god-man “Jesus” appear nothing special.

    It’s not that we atheists pretend to know that any particular god does not exist.
    We observe there is no evidence of the existence of any gods, goddesses and god-men, and simply do not pretend to “know” that any of the undetected and undetectable gods do exist.

    Christians are often baffled how atheists could deny the existence of their originally Canaanite god, “Yahweh” and Roman god-man “Jesus”, but they really shouldn’t be. Christians deny thousands of the very same undetectable and undetected gods, goddesses and god-men that atheists deny. Atheists just deny one more god than Christians do (or is that three gods and countless demigod “Cherubim” “angels”, “saints” and other ridiculous imaginary assorted beings, maybe?).

    It’s not that we atheists are “anti” any of the many millions of gods and goddesses that have been invented by men to gain power and wealth for themselves down the ages. We simply do not believe in any and all of them. I wonder if any unreconstructed religionists are “anti” Zeus, Odin, Apollo, Quetzalcoatl, Pratibhanapratisamvit, (Buddhist goddess of context analysis), Acat, (Mayan god of tattoo artists). Or Tsa’qamae, north american god of salmon migration, or any of the millions of other undetectable and undetected totally imaginary deities among which the Judaeo/christian gods appear nothing special and about which there is nothing unique or original?

    Atheists and religionists are not so different, after all! Let us celebrate our vast agreement on the non-existence of millions of undetected and undetectable gods and other hypothetical and imaginary beings!

    https://monicksunleashed.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/99-percent-atheist.jpg

  • Nimblewill

    Those who do have put the cart before the horse. We shouldn’t even attempt the Great Commission without first applying the Great Commandment!

  • Maine_Skeptic

    “If you are not a millennialist, you will never understand what the “Great Commission” is all about, anyways.”

    What is your definition of “millenialist?” I’m not sure how you mean the term.

  • Maine_Skeptic

    It would be interesting to know what percentage of atheists are familiar with the Great Commission.

  • soter phile

    “conversion & conquest have gone hand in hand”?
    Might want to bounce that thesis off the last 70 years in China.

  • John Purssey

    Or what percentage of evangelical atheists.

  • John Purssey

    Another perspective is that Matthew was writing to Jewish Christians (an anachronistic term, I know) who had difficulty in accepting gentiles as disciples and Matthew was writing to argue that they should, starting with the gentiles in the genealogy and finishing with what also could be called the Great Inclusion. During the gospel Matthew follows Mark in the feeding of the 5000 Jews, followed by the crumbs for the Canaanite woman and feeding of the 4000 gentiles.

    In today’s terms we might like to consider whether the people we assume should be excluded should actually be welcomed. The distinctive group that are excluded by most churches today are members of the LGBTIQ community. IMHO the Great Commission/Inclusion should apply to them.

  • John Purssey

    If you have to SHOUT when everyone is talking, then people will not find it worth listening.

  • John Purssey

    It seems quite reasonable to me. Many just like the culture of their church and don’t need to be au fait with all the doctrines.

  • Cfl

    Thousands upon thousands in ancient times were executed in that manner.

  • frharry

    Good argument.

    From an inclusion v. exclusion perspective, your argument works well. And as a member of the community you reference, I can hardly agree more. Sadly, I rarely hear it being made in those terms. It’s more likely to be numbers driven. And it’s rarely focused on those explicitly or implicitly excluded.

    The Episcopal Church, in which I am a priest, often posts signs out front of their parishes reading “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You.” I have often raised the issue as to whether that is false advertising. But more recently I’ve come to believe that it’s simply a misstatement of the reality. The church doesn’t welcome you, in any kind of generalized other sense. The church welcomes us, people who look like us, think like us and share our life circumstances and worldviews. That really does speak to your point, I think.

    I think another aspect of this is the role that resolving cognitive dissonance plays. One explanation for the evangelistic impulse is that it’s a lot easier to believe things when you can get others to agree with you. The presumption is that many people can’t be wrong. History suggests otherwise.

    I’d say that if the followers of Jesus are actually living into the Great Commandments, they won’t need a Great Commission. We won’t have to go looking for people, they’ll be beating our doors down.

  • John Purssey

    Perhaps the end game is to bring and live good news. There are a lot of NT narratives to illustrate what this does and doesn’t mean.

  • John Purssey

    I agree with your last para. I think we have narratives because people read texts differently. The Great Commandments needed the good Samaritan story to explain it for those who might want to get around it. (They still do, anyway.) Just like the American Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal was not taken to include black people (or women in general).

  • Timothy Weston

    They went into church because their parents made them. If they continue doing so, it becomes a habit. After a while, the are admitted to the club that is marketed as a congregation.

  • Lark62

    Christians have had 2000 years to adopt “the greatest commandment.”

    Instead, christians gave us crusades, inquisitions, and genocide. They give the world hypocrisy, hate and greedy televangelists taking money from the vulnerable that “true christians” can’t be bothered to denounce.

    They can condemn two “wrong gender” adults in a long term committed relationship and in the same breath minimize and deflect child rape.

    They have raised “I’ve got mine, sucks to be you to be you” to an art form. When told that basic laws over homeschooling could help expose horrific child abuse suffered by other children, christians unite to prevent those laws. Their convenience matters more than other children’s lives. “I’ve got mine, sucks to be you to be you.”

    When told that trans people suffer physical assault when using public restrooms that don’t match their outward appearance, christians say how dare “those people” cause me a moment of mild discomfort. About 50% of trans people have been victims of violent physical attack, and “loving” christians don’t give a damn. “I’ve got mine, sucks to be you to be you.”

    Christians have no magic power. They believe a religion that gives them permission to hate innocent people and destroy lives.

    And nothing has changed in 2000 years.

    Christians are no more capable of loving their neighbor as they are of flying to Mars with water wings. What does this tell you about your deity?

  • frharry

    The Great Commandments serve as the ethical ideal, the overarching principle from which all the other ethical considerations are derivative. As such, the Great Commandment serves to critique those derivative ethics and the attitudes and behaviors that flow from them. It’s hard to say one is loving their neighbor when they are actively seeking to legally restrict their lives through everything from voter suppression to bathroom denial, all in the name of “the Bible,” of course. It’s amazing how easily our prejudices become projected into the mind of G_d.

    So here’s a thought. We always tell ourselves that evangelizing is about the other, that we are offering them a gift, the best we can ever give them. Of course, we presume that we have what they need. Do we? And is our endeavor really about them or is it about affirming us?

    How does the Great Commandment play into this? Are we really loving our neighbors as ourselves when we presume they ought to hold our beliefs, that they are not capable of coming to their own understandings and that if they do they will be inferior to those we would offer them? Is not loving our neighbors as ourselves respecting their autonomy, their rights to choose for themselves? Would not loving our neighbor as our self actually suggest encouraging them to listen to their own hearts, to listen to what Spirit may be saying to them regardless of what form that might take? Might the greater love of neighbor as our self occur when we love them despite their differences from our own beliefs? Isn’t that what the Good Samaritan was saying?

  • Maine_Skeptic

    “Or what percentage of evangelical atheists.”

    I can think of two or three different ways to interpret your comment, and I’m not sure any of them would be the one you intended. Can you elaborate?

  • Ed Senter

    I understand about the ‘bring’ part. As Paul put it: the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
    What I don’t understand is what you mean by ‘live’? Christianity is not a way of life. Christianity is the way- the sure way.

  • Ed Senter

    Just before Christ ascended in Acts 1, the disciples asked if the Kingdom would now be restored to Israel. He said it was not for them to know. But then in Revelation which was written some 50 years later, Jesus described a 1000 year reign of Christ on Earth which is the restored Kingdom of Israel. It is during this 1000 year (millennium) when the gospel will be taken to the world while Satan is locked up. That is the time for the “Great Commission” that Jesus imposed in Mathew.
    You see, Peter’s first sermon after Pentecost was to the nation of Israel to repent and recognize Jesus as the Messiah. They did not. The 40 year period between the ascension and the destruction of Jerusalem in year 70ce was the time of testing.
    Now, since the Jews have returned to Jerusalem and they are totally surrounded by enemies, the time is ripe for the anti-Christ to step in with a peace plan and the rest of Revelation and other prophecies will play out just like it says.

  • Jack Wellman

    So true. The idea that we do to others (Matt 25:35-36) as doing it unto Christ (Matt 25:40) has also dissapeared, yet churches here have prison and nursing home ministries, and are “going” into the world, either next door or wherever there are people. It is now become the “great omission” for what appears to be the majority of believers. Thankfully, not all believers become pew potatoes.

  • Ed Senter

    Logically, there is only one All-Mighty Supreme Being.
    How do I choose? The only one that has revealed himself. That Being being Jesus Christ.
    How do I know? This amazing Book called the Bible.
    How do I know the Bible is true? Because what it says has become true and is being played out before our very eyes.
    Still not convinced? Then all I have to say is we shall see, won’t we?

  • rationalobservations?

    Taking your claims in order:

    Logically a supreme being is an impossibility.
    There is not a single item of authentic and original, 1st century originated historical evidence of the existence of “Jesus” or any of the centuries later written legends invented for that fictional character.
    The oldest / first bibles were fabricated in the late 4th century and they are very different from later versions.
    All bibles are confused and internally contradictory, historically inaccurate and historically unsupported.

    Next?

  • Ed Senter

    Logic is the test for good and bad reasoning. It does not test the truthfulness of a claim.
    Saying “a supreme being is impossible” is a claim of which you offered no proof. Contradiction is not proof.
    I never said that there is an All-Mighty Supreme Being. I said that only one All-Mighty Supreme Being could exist. That is self-evident.

    Likewise, your comments about the Bible are merely contradictory. You can not disprove the Bible by denial.
    I am not claiming the Bible is true. What I am claiming is that it is consistent. Whether or not it is true depends on if the things it reveals becomes evident. For instance, currently, the nation state of Israel was foretold centuries prior to the claim of Christ entry into history. Look for a peace maker to soon come onto the scene.
    We shall see, won’t we?
    Next.

  • From the web site: “Evangelicals are the most likely churchgoing group to state that they have heard of the Great Commission and remember what it is (60%), which generally aligns with their theological disposition and the criteria to be characterized as “evangelical” in the first place…When selecting the Great Commission from the series of verses, three of four churchgoing evangelicals (74%) correctly identify it, the largest portion among churchgoing groups.”

  • Whole libraries can be filled with books defending Christianity on historical, archaeological, scientific and philosophical grounds. Atheists like you do nothing but advertise how ignorant all atheists are about that literature. Your accusations and reasoning are childish in comparison with the great authors who defend Christianity. That’s why few people will engage you online. If you want a serious conversation, read something like “Mere Christianity” by CS Lewis and discuss some of his evidence. It’s a short book so I’m sure most atheists can get through it. But you’re not interested in serious conversation, are you? You want to insult people. If all you have are insults, then please be more entertaining. Here’s an example: discussing God with atheists is like playing chess with a chicken. All the chicken does is kick over pieces and poop on the board.

  • John Purssey

    Matthew 25 has an illustrative picture of those who bring and live and those who bring but do not live.

    Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.”

    And earlier, in Matt 7, there are two other sayings

    ‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord”, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?” Then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.”

    ‘Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!’

    And James exhorts his readers to be doers of the word, and not just hearers.

  • John Purssey

    Just musing about a parallel between evangelical Christians and other Christians with evangelical atheists and other atheists. Just as evangelical Christians often seem to need to try and convert others to their form of Christianity, there are evangelical atheists (especially prominent on Patheos and other social media) who seem to feel the need to convert others to their form of atheism.
    At the extreme there are the fundamentalists with the attitude of “I am right and you are wrong”. Very little hope of a useful dialogue with them.

  • Ganieda77

    I think we all know this famous exhortation — I just never knew it was called “The Great Commission.” Who even calls it that — one or two particular branches of Protestantism? Talk about patriarchal/Evangelical jargon! That particular nomenclature is not a belief; it’s something a bunch of people (no doubt old white men) made up relatively recently. Thanks for pointing out that it has an actual name (for some, anyway). Doesn’t mean we don’t know what the call is.

  • Ganieda77

    What you call “facts” are actually BELIEFS and not “facts.” A FACT is something you can prove. Beliefs by their very nature cannot be proved. And there’s nothing wrong with that – that’s the nature of religion: it runs on a lot of beliefs that can’t be proved. But please learn the difference between a belief and a fact.

  • John Purssey

    You’ll find that where people are interested in interfaith dialogue.

  • John Purssey

    I agree.
    My point was that the Samaritan story presents a narrative to illustrate a proposition. I think that many people relate more to stories than to statements of belief.

  • I think it’s clear from the context that the Great Commission was given to the listeners (the disciples), not to ordinary Christians today.

  • Maine_Skeptic

    “Some Christians become atheists and just change what they are evangelistic about.”

    While I agree there ARE evangelical atheists, are you sure they’re the ex-Christians? I usually speak against it when someone suggests anything akin to “religion is THE problem” and it’s the ex-Christians who tend to agree with me. Meanwhile, atheists who’ve never seriously considered religion tend to think that the world would just automatically be a better place if all the churches, mosques, and temples went out of business.

    ‘At the extreme in both camps there are the fundamentalists with the attitude of “I am right and you are wrong”. ‘

    For me, the thing that tends to shut down discussion is not “being wrong” but being wrong because I’m evil, I’m in conscious rebellion against God, or I’m otherwise incapable of understanding “spiritual truth.”

  • Maine_Skeptic

    ” It is during this 1000 year (millennium) when the gospel will be taken to the world while Satan is locked up.”

    Thanks for clarifying. There are a lot of different beliefs about the order and timing of the millennium, the rapture, and the establishment of the Kingdom of God. Understanding yours helps me understand your earlier comment.

  • John Purssey

    No, not all evangelical atheists are ex-Christian. They were just an example. Being evangelical about something is cultural too. We have evangelical anti-vaxers, for example. I don’t come across the “being wrong because I am evil”.

  • Frank Langholf

    This is most certainly true. The “great commission” is the conclusion to this gospel and summarizes well its primary focus. The other writers of the other gospels have their own commissioning passage with exception of Mark.
    I also find it interesting that the author left out the reference to baptism. The text should be translated…make disciples by baptizing and teaching.

  • Frank Langholf

    Do not forget to baptize as well as teach

  • rationalobservations?

    Roger McKinney

    You write: “Whole libraries can be filled with books defending Christianity on historical, archaeological, scientific and philosophical grounds.”
    A gross exaggeration and a clear lie! Unless, of course you can reveal the historical, archaeological and scientific tangible and authenticated actual evidence you (and others) claim exists?
    (Hint: No one ever has!

    Your accusations that anyone who has actually studied the evidence must somehow be “ignorant” displays the depth of your own ignorance and scale of your egotism.

    The first known use of the word “religion” comes from Latin written around 2100 years ago and that word was used in the context of “to manipulate by means of deception”. That’s what the word really means so if you ask someone (who has not already joined the 3rd largest and fastest growing cohort of the godless) what religion they are you are really asking; “how have you been manipulated by means of deception?”

    When you don’t know your history, anyone can deceive you – as you continually demonstrate.

    https://agnostic.com/images/posts/69367_r9ouugwwvdgv62d_full.png?v=1

  • rationalobservations?

    Thanks for making me laugh at your accusations.
    You offer no evidence based proof of anything you claim.

    Before presenting some of the logical arguments against the existence of any god, goddess or god-man, please reveal which of the many diverse and very different, confused and contradictory, historically inaccurate and historically unsupported bibles you claim to be “consistent” and why?? (I suggest that you study the oldest 4th century fabricated NT bibles and compare the thousands of differences between them and modern bibles before making any uninformed further claims.)

    However: the logical impossibility of a supreme being has been explored by may scholars and philosophers down the centuries.

    An “omniscient” God would know its own future and the future of all the universe contains, and therefore its own decisions, it does not and cannot have free will and thus cannot be an omniscient personal being.
    – Dan Barker

    Immutability and emotion:
    If god exists, then it is immutable.
    If god exists, then it can have emotion.
    An immutable being cannot be affected by events.
    To have emotion, it must be possible for a being to be affected by events. Hence, it is impossible for an immutable being have emotion (from 3 and 4).
    Therefore, it is impossible for a god with emotion to exist (from 1, 2, and 5).

    A god cannot be all merciful and all just, since mercy is a suspension of justice.

    A god cannot be omnipotent since it could not create a rock so heavy that it would be incapable of lifting it.

    Biblical contradictions:
    Romans 15:33: The God of peace be with you all. Amen.
    Exodus 15:3: The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.
    (Many, many more here: http://bibviz.com/ )

    Several apologists say that “you can’t define god”. Yet at the same time, they define god by saying he is undefinable. Most apologists also define god as being real but cannot demonstrate that through direct evidence.

    If a god exists: Why did He not answer the prayers of the imprisoned, of the helpless? And when He heard the lash upon the naked back of the slave, why did He not also hear the prayer of the slave? And when children were sold from the breasts of mothers, why was He deaf to the mother’s cry?
    —Robert G. Ingersoll

    P1: If God does exist, is omnipotent, is omniscient and is omnibenevolent, then evil cannot exist.
    C1: (Contrapositive of P1) If evil does exist, then a God cannot exist, is not omnipotent, omniscient, and/or is not omnibenevolent.
    P2: Evil does exist.
    C2: (From C1 and P2) A God does not exist, is not omnipotent, omniscient and/or is not omnibenevolent.

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/1d/d0/ee/1dd0ee48757aee7b0939fead53dde21d.jpg
    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/u8D-hzTIK4s/maxresdefault.jpg

  • Maine_Skeptic

    “I don’t come across the “being wrong because I am evil”.”

    From Evangelical Christians, it’s becoming the go-to dismissal of everyone who disagrees with them. It’s the equivalent of labeling everyone who doesn’t worship the 45th president because they “must be a librul who hates ‘Merica.”

    I’m sorry to say that you probably will come across it eventually, because some atheists do it, too. It goes along with the idea that if you’re religious, there’s something so fundamentally wrong with you that there’s no hope for you.

  • Ed Senter

    Why is it that you continue to spew the same old crap, irrational?
    I doubt your ability to think since all you can do is copy and past.

    You regurgitated: “A god cannot be omnipotent since it could not create a rock so heavy that it would be incapable of lifting it.”

    My claim is that whatever attributes God has, omnipotence is what makes God, God.
    The very ability to ‘create’ is a display of omnipotence because only an omnipotent being could bring into existence something from nothing. Could he do it? Sure he can, but he ain’t stupid. Thus, the paradox. God could create to infinity and control it at the same time. But alas, you may be too stupid to understand that.

    God is not good because he conforms to some standard. God is good because he is omnipotent.
    And, God knows everything there is to know. That is, he does not know the future as some soothsayer might claim. He knows the future because he has the ability to make it according to his will.

  • Ed Senter

    Do you have anything to offer that makes more sense?

  • Ed Senter

    Hey, mighty mouse, are you still banning those who expose your nonsense?
    The Bible was written for this time. It can not be understood otherwise.

  • Uh, yeah. Atheists can’t stand the harsh light of Christian truth, so any Christians who come on my blog get quickly banned, the smarter the faster.

    Or not. Share with us how many comments you’ve made at my blog.

    The Bible was written for this time. It can not be understood otherwise.

    Show me where the Bible makes clear that it was intended to be relevant for audiences centuries in its future.

    Seems to me that seeing Jesus as an apocalyptic prophet who imagined the End within mere years of his day explains everything nicely. What’s left unexplained?

  • rationalobservations?

    Now all you have to do is prove it..!?

    It’s all such ridiculous nonsense that it is a surprise to the third largest and fastest growing human cohort (of the godless / non-religious) that any one is taken in by that obvious garbage and debunked bunkum.

    The belief that an imaginary god/god-man is real does not make it real.
    The belief that an imaginary god/god-man is real does not make it probably real.
    The belief that an imaginary god/god-man is real does not make it possibly real.
    Any personal and unsupported belief has no bearing upon the possibility that any god/god-man (among all the millions of very similar undetected and undetectable imaginary gods, goddesses and god-men) is “real” in any form but the imagination of an indoctrinated believer.

    https://sacerdotus.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/harris-impotent-evil-or-imaginary-600×435.jpg?w=1400

  • You are a good advertisement for the awesome ignorance of most atheists!

  • Maine_Skeptic

    “Do you have anything to offer (about the millennium) that makes more sense?”

    I just wanted to understand what you were saying. Because there are so many different eschatologies out there, I wasn’t sure how you thought the millennium related to the Great Commission.

  • Ed Senter

    Prove what, irrational?
    Your problem is that you try to conflate two different issues. I just debunked your claim and proved that an All-Mighty Supreme Being is possible. No one can prove God exists (a totally different issue) other than God himself.
    Pity, you are an indoctrinated unbeliever and follower of Sam Harris and his misguided ilk.

  • Ed Senter

    Just before Christ ascended in Acts 1, the disciples asked if the Kingdom would now be restored to Israel. He said it was not for them to know. But then in Revelation which was written some 50 years later, Jesus described a 1000 year reign of Christ on Earth which is the restored Kingdom of Israel. It is during this 1000 year (millennium) when the gospel will be taken to the world while Satan is locked up. That is the time for the “Great Commission” that Jesus imposed in Mathew.
    You see, Peter’s first sermon after Pentecost was to the nation of Israel to repent and recognize Jesus as the Messiah. They did not. The 40 year period between the ascension and the destruction of Jerusalem in year 70ce was the time of testing.
    Now, since the Jews have returned to Jerusalem and they are totally surrounded by enemies, the time is ripe for the anti-Christ to step in with a peace plan and the rest of Revelation and other prophecies will play out just like it says.

  • Jesus told the thief on the cross that they would meet in heaven that day. Is that compatible with a 1000-year reign of Christ on earth?

    You can sketch out how the Great Commission would work, but if you read the actual Great Commission scene in Matthew, he’s talking to the disciples, not you.

    The 40 year period between the ascension and the destruction of Jerusalem in year 70ce was the time of testing.

    Testing? What kind of a test is it when the teacher is omniscient and knows the outcome? No,that’s not a test.

    Now, since the Jews have returned to Jerusalem and they are totally surrounded by enemies, the time is ripe for the anti-Christ to step in with a peace plan and the rest of Revelation and other prophecies will play out just like it says.

    So the last bazillion times when people said that the end was nigh were nuts, but you’ve got it all figured out. OK, gotcha.

  • rationalobservations?

    Hilarious!
    You continually demonstrate ignorance of any actual tangible, authentic and original historical evidence that supports any of the diverse and different, confused and internally contradictory, historically inaccurate and historically unsupported, scientifically absurd versions of human authored bibles that first appeared shortly after the Roman religion they called christianity was cobbled together from mostly pagan components in the 4th century.
    Ref: Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus

    Your petulant denial is predictable and entirely expected as the standard response of the indoctrinated religionist that has been backed into the corner of their own unsupported and unsupportable delusions.

    I feel your pain and you have my sympathy, but you earn no respect for your egotism and pride in the ignorance and dishonesty that is all you offer.

    Again:
    The belief that any undetected and undetectable god/god-man is real does not make it real.
    The belief that any undetected and undetectable god/god-man is real does not make it probably real.
    The belief that any undetected and undetectable god/god-man is real does not make it possibly real.
    Any personal and unsupported belief in things undetected and undetectable has no bearing upon the possibility that any god/god-man (among all the millions of very similar undetected and undetectable imaginary gods, goddesses and god-men) is “real” in any form but the imagination of an indoctrinated believer.

  • rationalobservations?

    When and where have you ever debunked any evidence against the fraudulent and corrupt business of religion that you have failed to validate, justify, defend or excuse?

    There are millions of undetected and undetectable “supreme beings”, gods, goddesses and god-men and you have presented evidence of the existence of any of them but continuall lie and deny that fact.

    The one truthful thing you write and demonstrate is that “No one can prove God exists” (that should be any of the millions of gods, goddesses and god-men) while denying that this is the core and central point of any discussion of religion and the existence of any of the millions of undetected and undetectable gods, goddesses, god-men and other super-spooks and fantastical beings that are the exclusive product of human imagination.

    Obfuscation and denial do not constitute rebuttal and it is your bunkum that constantly remains debunked.

    Oh, and I follow no one. Others follow me and the results of my decades of detailed research that you and no one else has ever contradicted or “debunked”.

    You continually demonstrate ignorance of any actual tangible, authentic and original historical evidence that supports any of the diverse and different, confused and internally contradictory, historically inaccurate and historically unsupported, scientifically absurd versions of human authored bibles that first appeared shortly after the Roman religion they called christianity was cobbled together from mostly pagan components in the 4th century.
    Ref: Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus

    Your petulant denial is predictable and entirely expected as the standard response of the indoctrinated religionist that has been backed into the corner of their own unsupported and unsupportable delusions.

    I feel your pain and you have my sympathy, but you earn no respect for your egotism and pride in the ignorance and dishonesty that is all you offer.

    Again:
    The belief that any undetected and undetectable god/god-man is real does not make it real.
    The belief that any undetected and undetectable god/god-man is real does not make it probably real.
    The belief that any undetected and undetectable god/god-man is real does not make it possibly real.
    Any personal and unsupported belief in things undetected and undetectable has no bearing upon the possibility that any god/god-man (among all the millions of very similar undetected and undetectable imaginary gods, goddesses and god-men) is “real” in any form but the imagination of an indoctrinated believer.

  • Ed Senter

    If you follow no one as you claim, why do you keep quoting the likes of Sam Harris and others? You offer no original thought and spew forth the teachings of your gurus. So, you are the indoctrinated one, irrational.

    I most certainly debunked your illogical claims above. You have no retort to that and your conflation just shows how intellectually dishonest you are. And, if you want proof that the Bible is true, look to the Jewish people who are God’s oracle. The center of all of the action will be that city of Jerusalem just like the Bible says. The Jews returned to Jerusalem and are currently surrounded by nothing but enemies. The time is right for a peace maker who will be exposed as a fraud. That is history written in advance.
    And, why isn’t the Bible historically accurate? You have offered nothing to prove it is not historically accurate other than denial.

  • Herm

    soter phile, you take the scripture you have at your disposal out of context. Please, for your sake and those who follow you, read this Spirit inspired scripture today.

    So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

    “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

    John 5: 16-19 … 36-40 (NIV2011)

    Jesus was addressing those, most likely as do your church teachers, professed God through their relationship with scripture. Those “authorities” regarding a relationship with God, armed with Scriptures that testified about the coming of the Christ, did not recognize the Christ in their midst. It must be said here that not all scripture testifies about Christ in the Law, Prophets and Psalms, in fact, most Old Testament scripture does not testify about Christ’s mission fulfilled.

    Jesus is quoted to have spoken directly to misrepresentations in the Scripture relative to the reality of God’s will and love for all of mankind.

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

    Matthew 5:38-42 (NIV2011)

    “If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

    Exodus 21:22-25 (NIV2011)

    “ ‘Anyone who takes the life of a human being is to be put to death. Anyone who takes the life of someone’s animal must make restitution—life for life. Anyone who injures their neighbor is to be injured in the same manner: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The one who has inflicted the injury must suffer the same injury. Whoever kills an animal must make restitution, but whoever kills a human being is to be put to death. You are to have the same law for the foreigner and the native-born. I am the LORD your God.’ ”

    Leviticus 24:17-22 (NIV2011)

    Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

    Deuteronomy 19:21 (NIV2011)

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

    Matthew 5:43-48 (NIV2011)

    No Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD, not even in the tenth generation. For they did not come to meet you with bread and water on your way when you came out of Egypt, and they hired Balaam son of Beor from Pethor in Aram Naharaim to pronounce a curse on you. However, the LORD your God would not listen to Balaam but turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the LORD your God loves you. Do not seek a treaty of friendship with them as long as you live.

    Deuteronomy 23:3-6 (NIV2011)

    If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty! They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

    Psalm 139:19-24 (NIV2011)

    He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

    Luke 24:44 (NIV2011)

    No, no, no, Jesus does not love the “Scriptures”, period, exclamation mark, according to Matthew.!

    Are you committed to the Bible as the inerrant word of God? If you are, who is God speaking to when only scholars can possibly know the original Hebrew and Greek words fluently enough to comprehend God’s intent, if they could place themselves in the era of the writer, and only if they had the original manuscripts (which none exist).

    As to inerrancy of scripture, perhaps this well-known Bible scholar classic example of Christian scriptural error might beg of you to question just who got it wrong; Jesus, Mark or Samuel/Gad/Nathan?

    One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain.

    The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”

    He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

    Mark 2:23-28 (NIV2011)

    David went to Nob, to Ahimelek the priest. Ahimelek trembled when he met him, and asked, “Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?”

    David answered Ahimelek the priest, “The king sent me on a mission and said to me, ‘No one is to know anything about the mission I am sending you on.’ As for my men, I have told them to meet me at a certain place. Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.”

    But the priest answered David, “I don’t have any ordinary bread on hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here—provided the men have kept themselves from women.”

    David replied, “Indeed women have been kept from us, as usual whenever I set out. The men’s bodies are holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!”

    So the priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the LORD and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away.

    1 Samuel 21:1-6 (NIV2011)

    Abiathar was the son of Ahimelek, the reigning high priest that David received consecrated bread from.

    You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about Christ, the heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit, yet you refuse to come to them, and them alone, to have life. You follow the Christian leaders who do not recognize Christ, the heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit in their midst. God did not take a 1,950-year hiatus to leave those of mankind seeking the truth at the mercy of Christian leaders, like the Jewish leaders who did not come to them; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in their presence.

    I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

    John 14:18 (NIV2011)

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

    John 16:12-13 (NIV2011)

    After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

    Acts 4:31 (NIV2011)

    I would highly suggest that you reconsider just who you are following and just who you are glorifying. I do testify, in all truth, that God is real and available to all who sincerely seek them with the humility of a child, but not that of an authoritarian scholar. The word of God is available to all who see to accept the Spirit of truth to live with and in them today for eternity (always all the truth presented as they can bear in their language, vernacular, and era).

  • Ed Senter

    Love is not unconditional.
    “2 The Lord hath been sore displeased with your fathers.
    3 Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 1
    God gave man a wonderful gift. It is called free will.
    The kicker is that a man who turns his back on God simply won’t last very long on his own.

  • jekylldoc

    This is so true. I fear that in the thousands of years of creed-defined Christianity we lost track of how to be disciples. It isn’t easy to read the words of Jesus and understand how to follow him in the complex world of today.

    I think trying, and continuing to try, matters much more than believing particular things. But not because trying makes me “okay.” Rather because trying brings failing, and failing helps me to feel (to know, in the sense of knowing people rather than knowing facts) how grace acts.

  • rationalobservations?

    Your childish superstition based nonsense fails to impress, son.
    Quoting human authored garbage from one version of many diverse and different human authored bibles fails to impress.
    I have not “turned my back” on the millions of undetected and undetectable gods, goddesses and god-men. I simply observe them to be all similar in being totally imaginary and non-existent. I don’t “turn my back” on Unicorns, mermaids, leprechauns, fairies and goblins either.

    There is NO EVIDENCE that supports the empty claims and lies you recycle or those within the oldest / first hand written NT bibles appeared in the late 4th century.

    You repeat the lies of every indoctrinated and deluded religionist about every one of the millions of undetected and undetectable gods, goddesses and god-men that have been invented and dreamed up by men.
    You waste the only life you will ever have between nonexistence and eternal nonexistence and your self delusion and ignorance is shameful.

    You continually demonstrate ignorance of any actual tangible, authentic and original historical evidence that supports any of the diverse and different, confused and internally contradictory, historically inaccurate and historically unsupported, scientifically absurd versions of human authored bibles that first appeared shortly after the Roman religion they called christianity was cobbled together from mostly pagan components in the 4th century.
    (Ref: Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus)

    Your petulant and furious denial is predictable and entirely expected as the standard response of the indoctrinated religionist that has been backed into the corner of their own unsupported and unsupportable delusions.

    I feel your pain and you have my sympathy, but you earn no respect for your egotism and pride in the ignorance and dishonesty that is all you offer.

    Again:
    The belief that any undetected and undetectable god/god-man is real does not make it real.
    The belief that any undetected and undetectable god/god-man is real does not make it probably real.
    The belief that any undetected and undetectable god/god-man is real does not make it possibly real.
    Any personal and unsupported belief in things undetected and undetectable has no bearing upon the possibility that any god/god-man (among all the millions of very similar undetected and undetectable imaginary gods, goddesses and god-men) is “real” in any form but the imagination of an indoctrinated believer.

    Please attempt to be more honest, less gullible, less dishonest, less furious, less fearful and less pathetic.

  • rationalobservations?

    The fact that you have no counter to the logic that confounds you has been evidence in all of your obfuscation and attempts at diversion away from your humiliating inability to answer any question or present any evidence in support of the existence of any of the millions of undetected and undetectable gods, goddesses and god-men.

    Your denial is not rebuttal and your bunkum remains debunked.

  • Ed Senter

    I just agreed with the “logic” but you are not smart enough to see it, fool.

  • Ed Senter

    The Bible says that after a period of dispersion, the Jews will return to their homeland and Jerusalem. Then, they will agree to a treaty with a peace maker.
    Fact: After 1900 years of no place to call home, the small religious sect called Jews have returned to Jerusalem and set up the nation state called Israel. They are currently surrounded by nothing but enemies.
    What are the odds? -astronomical but true just like the Bible says.

  • rationalobservations?

    Your demonstration of one afflicted by the Dunning-Krugger effect was already convincing. Further evidence that your ignorance is only exceeded by your unwarranted arrogance appears superfluous.

    Such foolishness as yours would be amusing if it wasn’t so very pathetic.

  • soter phile

    1) you said: It must be said here that not all scripture testifies about Christ in the Law, Prophets and Psalms, in fact, most Old Testament scripture does not testify about Christ’s mission fulfilled.

    a) that doesn’t match megalomaniacal Christ’s attitude about himself in relation to the OT
    b) nor does it match the NT authors’ understanding of the Christ they followed

    For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. (2 Cor.1:20)
    All of the Bible is pointing to Jesus.

    2) you said: I would highly suggest that you reconsider just who you are following and just who you are glorifying.
    The irony here is amazing. You keep stressing the Holy Spirit’s work – and yet you seem to claim that you (and but a small handful?) actually are knowing and experiencing that… and then notably apart from the visible Church.

    You are hoist by your own petard. A church communion of ‘me, myself & the 3 people I could find on the internet who share my obscure views’ does not match the testimony of the Holy Spirit as seen in the Scriptures.

  • rationalobservations?

    The messianic prophesies (that the “Jesus” of legend fails to fulfill) state that all the prophesied events will occur within the lifetime of the true “messiah”.
    Do you lack the concentration to read and understand the evidence?

    Once again:
    What exactly is the Messiah?

    The word “Messiah” is an English rendering of the Hebrew word Mashiach, which means “anointed.” It usually refers to a person initiated into God’s service by being anointed with oil. (Exodus 29:7, 1-Kings 1:39, 2-Kings 9:3)

    (1) Jesus Did Not Fulfill the Messianic Prophecies
    What is the Messiah supposed to accomplish? One of the central themes of biblical prophecy is the promise of a future age of perfection characterized by universal peace and recognition of God. (Isaiah 2:1-4, 32:15-18, 60:15-18; Zephaniah 3:9; Hosea 2:20-22; Amos 9:13-15; Micah 4:1-4; Zechariah 8:23, 14:9; Jeremiah 31:33-34)

    Specifically, the Bible says he will:

    Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
    Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
    Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4)
    Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: “God will be King over all the world – on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One” (Zechariah 14:9).
    If an individual fails to fulfill even one of these conditions, then he cannot be the Messiah.

    Because no one has ever fulfilled the Bible’s description of this future King, Jews still await the coming of the Messiah. All past Messianic claimants, including Jesus of Nazareth, Bar Cochba and Shabbtai Tzvi have been rejected.

    Christians counter that Jesus will fulfill these in the Second Coming. Jewish sources show that the Messiah will fulfill the prophecies outright; in the Bible no concept of a second coming exists.

    (2) Jesus Did Not Embody the Personal Qualifications of Messiah
    A. Messiah as Prophet
    The Messiah will become the greatest prophet in history, second only to Moses. (Targum – Isaiah 11:2; Maimonides – Teshuva 9:2)

    Prophecy can only exist in Israel when the land is inhabited by a majority of world Jewry, a situation which has not existed since 300 BCE. During the time of Ezra, when the majority of Jews remained in Babylon, prophecy ended upon the death of the last prophets – Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.

    Jesus appeared on the scene approximately 350 years after prophecy had ended, and thus could not be a prophet.

    B. Descendant of David
    Many prophetic passages speak of a descendant of King David who will rule Israel during the age of perfection. (Isaiah 11:1-9; Jeremiah 23:5-6, 30:7-10, 33:14-16; Ezekiel 34:11-31, 37:21-28; Hosea 3:4-5)

    The Messiah must be descended on his father’s side from King David (see Genesis 49:10, Isaiah 11:1, Jeremiah 23:5, 33:17; Ezekiel 34:23-24). According to the Christian claim that Jesus was the product of a virgin birth, he had no father – and thus could not have possibly fulfilled the messianic requirement of being descended on his father’s side from King David. (1)

    According to Jewish sources, the Messiah will be born of human parents and possess normal physical attributes like other people. He will not be a demi-god, (2) nor will he possess supernatural qualities.

    C. Torah Observance
    The Messiah will lead the Jewish people to full Torah observance. The Torah states that all mitzvot remain binding forever, and anyone coming to change the Torah is immediately identified as a false prophet. (Deut. 13:1-4)

    Throughout the Christian “New Testament,” Jesus contradicts the Torah and states that its commandments are no longer applicable. For example, John 9:14 records that Jesus made a paste in violation of Shabbat, which caused the Pharisees to say (verse 16), “He does not observe Shabbat!”

    (3) Mistranslated Verses “Referring” to Jesus
    Biblical verses can only be understood by studying the original Hebrew text – which reveals many discrepancies in the Christian translation.

    A. Virgin Birth
    The Christian idea of a virgin birth is derived from the verse in Isaiah 7:14 describing an “alma” as giving birth. The word “alma” has always meant a young woman, but Christian theologians came centuries later and translated it as “virgin.” This accords Jesus’ birth with the first century pagan idea of mortals being impregnated by gods.

    B. Suffering Servant
    Christianity claims that Isaiah chapter 53 refers to Jesus, as the “suffering servant.”

    In actuality, Isaiah 53 directly follows the theme of chapter 52, describing the exile and redemption of the Jewish people. The prophecies are written in the singular form because the Jews (“Israel”) are regarded as one unit. Throughout Jewish scripture, Israel is repeatedly called, in the singular, the “Servant of God” (see Isaiah 43:8). In fact, Isaiah states no less than 11 times in the chapters prior to 53 that the Servant of God is Israel.

    When read correctly, Isaiah 53 clearly [and ironically] refers to the Jewish people being “bruised, crushed and as sheep brought to slaughter” at the hands of the nations of the world. These descriptions are used throughout Jewish scripture to graphically describe the suffering of the Jewish people (see Psalm 44).

    Isaiah 53 concludes that when the Jewish people are redeemed, the nations will recognize and accept responsibility for the inordinate suffering and death of the Jews.

  • Herm

    Strange, every time the “you heard it said“‘s are quoted from the mouth of Jesus fundamentalists turn a deaf ear. Especially so when found in the Law of the Old Testament as though quoting the Lord God. God today is of the same love in heart, soul, strength, mind as when the Decalog was written by the hand of God. The Lord God did not say “an eye for an eye”. My Father is perfect in his love for our enemy. You are loved!

    Both Old and New are testaments of mankind in their relationship with God, not testaments of the Holy Spirit.

  • rationalobservations?

    The apparently fictional “Jesus” failed to meet the specification or fulfill the prophesies of the “messiah” according to any and all the confused and contradictory legends written by men starting with the oldest/first 4th century fabricated NT bibles (Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus) that are so very different in content from later fabricated versions of the legends of “Jesus”.
    There is, of course; no tangible and authentic, original 1st century originated evidence that “Jesus” ever existed.

    (1) Jesus Did Not Fulfill the Messianic Prophecies
    What is the Messiah supposed to accomplish? One of the central themes of biblical prophecy is the promise of a future age of perfection characterized by universal peace and recognition of God. (Isaiah 2:1-4, 32:15-18, 60:15-18; Zephaniah 3:9; Hosea 2:20-22; Amos 9:13-15; Micah 4:1-4; Zechariah 8:23, 14:9; Jeremiah 31:33-34)

    Specifically, the Bible says he will:

    Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
    Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
    Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4)
    Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: “God will be King over all the world – on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One” (Zechariah 14:9).
    If an individual fails to fulfill even one of these conditions, then he cannot be the Messiah.

    Because no one has ever fulfilled the Bible’s description of this future King, Jews still await the coming of the Messiah. All past Messianic claimants, including Jesus of Nazareth, Bar Cochba and Shabbtai Tzvi have been rejected.

    Christians counter that Jesus will fulfill these in the Second Coming. Jewish sources show that the Messiah will fulfill the prophecies outright; in the Bible no concept of a second coming exists.

    (2) Jesus Did Not Embody the Personal Qualifications of Messiah
    A. Messiah as Prophet
    The Messiah will become the greatest prophet in history, second only to Moses. (Targum – Isaiah 11:2; Maimonides – Teshuva 9:2)

    Prophecy can only exist in Israel when the land is inhabited by a majority of world Jewry, a situation which has not existed since 300 BCE. During the time of Ezra, when the majority of Jews remained in Babylon, prophecy ended upon the death of the last prophets – Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.

    Jesus appeared on the scene approximately 350 years after prophecy had ended, and thus could not be a prophet.

    B. Descendant of David
    Many prophetic passages speak of a descendant of King David who will rule Israel during the age of perfection. (Isaiah 11:1-9; Jeremiah 23:5-6, 30:7-10, 33:14-16; Ezekiel 34:11-31, 37:21-28; Hosea 3:4-5)

    The Messiah must be descended on his father’s side from King David (see Genesis 49:10, Isaiah 11:1, Jeremiah 23:5, 33:17; Ezekiel 34:23-24). According to the Christian claim that Jesus was the product of a virgin birth, he had no father – and thus could not have possibly fulfilled the messianic requirement of being descended on his father’s side from King David. (1)

    According to Jewish sources, the Messiah will be born of human parents and possess normal physical attributes like other people. He will not be a demi-god, (2) nor will he possess supernatural qualities.

    C. Torah Observance
    The Messiah will lead the Jewish people to full Torah observance. The Torah states that all mitzvot remain binding forever, and anyone coming to change the Torah is immediately identified as a false prophet. (Deut. 13:1-4)

    Throughout the Christian “New Testament,” Jesus contradicts the Torah and states that its commandments are no longer applicable. For example, John 9:14 records that Jesus made a paste in violation of Shabbat, which caused the Pharisees to say (verse 16), “He does not observe Shabbat!”

    (3) Mistranslated Verses “Referring” to Jesus
    Biblical verses can only be understood by studying the original Hebrew text – which reveals many discrepancies in the Christian translation.

    A. Virgin Birth
    The Christian idea of a virgin birth is derived from the verse in Isaiah 7:14 describing an “alma” as giving birth. The word “alma” has always meant a young woman, but Christian theologians came centuries later and translated it as “virgin.” This accords Jesus’ birth with the first century pagan idea of mortals being impregnated by gods.

    B. Suffering Servant
    Christianity claims that Isaiah chapter 53 refers to Jesus, as the “suffering servant.”

    In actuality, Isaiah 53 directly follows the theme of chapter 52, describing the exile and redemption of the Jewish people. The prophecies are written in the singular form because the Jews (“Israel”) are regarded as one unit. Throughout Jewish scripture, Israel is repeatedly called, in the singular, the “Servant of God” (see Isaiah 43:8). In fact, Isaiah states no less than 11 times in the chapters prior to 53 that the Servant of God is Israel.

    When read correctly, Isaiah 53 clearly [and ironically] refers to the Jewish people being “bruised, crushed and as sheep brought to slaughter” at the hands of the nations of the world. These descriptions are used throughout Jewish scripture to graphically describe the suffering of the Jewish people (see Psalm 44).

    Isaiah 53 concludes that when the Jewish people are redeemed, the nations will recognize and accept responsibility for the inordinate suffering and death of the Jews.

  • Ed Senter

    I see that you are still lost in the forest because of all the trees, mighty mouse.
    Yes, the fact that the righteous go to heaven/paradise after death is compatible with the literal 1000 year reign of Christ on Earth and the restored Kingdom to Israel as promised. God is not done with Israel who are his oracle as played out by the drama of their lives and revelation to the world. The Jews rejected Jesus as the Messiah at his first coming. They will repent (after they accept the false christ)then Jesus returns in the clouds and sets up the restored Kingdom as foretold in Daniel 7:13,14. The book of Revelation reveals that the restored Kingdom of Israel will last 1000 years while Satan is locked up. Then, Satan will be released for a “season” before the final battle when Jesus destroys Satan and his followers by his word. (There is a second coming part A where Jesus slays the armies at Armageddon with the sword from his mouth- followed by the 1000 year period that the gospel will be preached throughout the world by the people of Israel- then the second coming part B where Jesus destroys Satan and his followers by speaking.)
    How the “great commission” works is the gestalt of the Bible. How it plays out totally depends on when the House of Israel and the Jews repent (that is, to change their mind). They could have accept Jesus as their Messiah at his first coming. They did not. And, it is the mystery that Paul talked about in Romans 9 where because the Jews rejected Jesus, the time of the gentiles and the church is for now and the Jews will eventually be grafted back in. Jesus also told his disciples to go first to the lost sheep of Israel. The Jews never thought they were lost. So who are those lost sheep? Another mystery.
    There is something special about the number “40”. It is repeatedly used in the Bible as a time of testing and trial. Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness prior to the Exodus. Israel spent 40 years in the wilderness after they failed to go into the promised land by faith. Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. Jesus spent 40 days on Earth between the Resurrection and Ascension. 40 years passed between the Ascension and the destruction of Jerusalem. Etc.
    Believe what you want about the meaning of “omniscient”, but is generally means to know everything there is to know. Does it mean “knowing” the future, or does it go along with omnipotence and “making” the future and compatible with free will?
    The Bible also warns against the false prophets who have proliferated the past centuries. Test them against the only authority of which we have which is the Bible.

  • Ed Senter

    Are you a Jew, irrational? Because the Jews totally missed the significance of Isaiah 53.
    Here is what Jesus had to say to those who can’t properly discern scripture (they have no love for God):
    ” 39 You study the Scriptures, because you think that in them you will find eternal life. And these very Scriptures speak about me! 40 Yet you are not willing to come to me in order to have life.
    41 “I am not looking for human praise. 42 But I know what kind of people you are, and I know that you have no love for God in your hearts. 43 I have come with my Father’s authority, but you have not received me; when, however, someone comes with his own authority, you will receive him. 44 You like to receive praise from one another, but you do not try to win praise from the one who alone is God; how, then, can you believe me? 45 Do not think, however, that I am the one who will accuse you to my Father. Moses, in whom you have put your hope, is the very one who will accuse you. 46 If you had really believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me. 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how can you believe what I say?” John 5:39-46

  • rationalobservations?

    I am an atheist of Christian heritage.
    Quoting one version of human authored mythology fails to validate that mythology.

    You have had chapter and verse on why the legends of Jesus preclude that fictional character from qualifying as “Messiah”.
    Your futile denial is pitiful and risible.

    There is no historical evidence of “Jesus” or the unsupported legends you quote that first appeared nearly 400 years after the time in which the legends of “Jesus” are merely set.

  • Ed Senter

    If you don’t seek, you will find exactly that- Nothing…
    “Psalm 14 King James Version (KJV)
    14 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
    2 The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
    3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

  • Ed Senter

    The Jews had every opportunity to repent, but they did not. The book of Acts is clearly an indictment. Is your heart likewise calloused, irrational? While under house arrest, the Apostle Paul explained their dullness of mind just as the prophet Isaiah had proclaimed:

    “23 So they (Jews) set a date with Paul, and a large number of them came that day to the place where Paul was staying. From morning till night he explained to them his message about the Kingdom of God, and he tried to convince them about Jesus by quoting from the Law of Moses and the writings of the prophets. 24 Some of them were convinced by his words, but others would not believe. 25 So they left, disagreeing among themselves, after Paul had said this one thing: “How well the Holy Spirit spoke through the prophet Isaiah to your ancestors! 26 For he said,
    ‘Go and say to this people:
    You will listen and listen, but not understand;
    you will look and look, but not see,
    27
    because this people’s minds are dull,
    and they have stopped up their ears
    and closed their eyes.
    Otherwise, their eyes would see,
    their ears would hear,
    their minds would understand,
    and they would turn to me, says God,
    and I would heal them.’” Acts 28

  • Ed Senter

    The Jews got it wrong. Perhaps you will remember the truth as you are groveling before the anti-Christ for mercy as he slays you. That is your only hope- to repent and die a martyr.

  • rationalobservations?

    Repeating the pitiful and corrupt propaganda of a vile and disgusting human invented religion is about as frightening as the suggestion of a toddler that an adult won’t get gifts if they don’t believe in Santa.

    Religious mania is a recognised mental illness that is treatable. You should seek professional help in your own interest and the interest of those to whom your fanaticism and hatred pose a potential threat.

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/s.plague.io/upload/2015-04-26/1ef777b2-e2c4-4470-908a-932ae2bd2aac.jpeg

  • rationalobservations?

    Repeating garbage from one version of human written books of garbage fails to validate, justify or excuse that garbage.

    The evidence against all versions of NT mythology is there for all to read – chapter and verse.
    Your denial of the evidence fails to nullify that evidence/

    Your myths are all busted and your bunkum remains debunked.

    Seriously!
    Religious mania is a recognised mental illness that is treatable. You should seek professional help in your own interest and the interest of those to whom your fanaticism and hatred pose a potential threat.

  • rationalobservations?

    “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”

    Hahahahaha. Really!?
    Quoting a version of human authored garbage yet again fails to validate or excuse that human authored garbage.

    However and disregarding any possibility of a human blood pump (heart) “saying” anything at all:
    The wise observe with their brain that there is no evidence of any of the millions of undetected and undetectable gods goddesses and god-men invented by men to enslave and delude the ignorant, the gullible and fools like you.

    Your denial of the evidence fails to nullify that evidence/

    Your myths are all busted and your bunkum remains debunked.

    Seriously!
    Religious mania is a recognised mental illness that is treatable. You should seek professional help in your own interest and the interest of those to whom your fanaticism and hatred pose a potential threat.

  • Ed Senter

    What evidence?- denial and speculation is not evidence.

    The Jews have returned to Jerusalem after 2000 years of exile and surrounded by enemies. The time is right for a false peace maker followed by Jacob’s Trouble. Then the restoration of the Kingdom of Israel for 1000 years. Just like the Bible says.

  • Ed Senter

    Logically, atheism is the least tenable belief system because an atheist must believe that he knows everything there is to know.
    A truly intelligent person understands that no matter how much he thinks he knows, he really knows very little.
    Therefore, atheism = low intelligence.

  • Ed Senter

    “I think therefore, I am” and wonder what else is out there?
    Sensory observation merely facilitates survival.
    A mind is a terrible thing to waste…

  • rationalobservations?

    You waste your mind on human mythology, legends and lies.
    That’s not only the waste of a mind but the waste of the only life you will ever have.
    You retain my sympathy but have earned no respect for your ignorance and egotism.

  • rationalobservations?

    Hilarious!
    Without indoctrination – no person has ever believed in any of the millions of undetected and undetectable gods goddesses and god-men among which your particular unconvincing gods are nothing special, unique or original.

    The onus remains with the believer to offer supporting proof that their beliefs are warranted.
    You say “I believe in a god”.
    I say: What proof do you have of this god?
    You say: “No proof. Only faith”
    I say: “Then I find nothing to believe in and I don’t believe you.”
    Why can’t you offer something to believe in?

    The belief that any undetected and undetectable god/god-man is real does not make it real.
    The belief that any undetected and undetectable god/god-man is real does not make it probably real.
    The belief that any undetected and undetectable god/god-man is real does not make it possibly real.
    Any personal and unsupported belief in things undetected and undetectable has no bearing upon the possibility that any god/god-man (among all the millions of very similar undetected and undetectable imaginary gods, goddesses and god-men) is “real” in any form but the imagination of an indoctrinated believer.

    Always remember that evidence of the non existence of the nonexistent is nonexistent because the nonexistent is nonexistent.

    No one has ever proved the existence of any of the millions of undetected and undetectable gods, goddesses and god-men that litter human fiction.

    The major problem for all things “Jesus cults” is that there is no authentic and original, 1st century originated historical evidence that any man named “Jesus” existed and no historical record at all that validates any of the diverse and very different, confused and contradictory legends of “Jesus” that first appeared centuries after the time in which they are set.

    There are millions of undetected and undetectable gods, goddesses and god-men among which the originally Canaanite god “Yahweh” and Roman’s god-man “Jesus” appear nothing special and there is no evidence of the existence of any of the millions of undetected and undetectable gods, goddesses and god-men among which the originally Canaanite god “Yahweh” and Roman’s god-man “Jesus” appear nothing special.

    It’s not that we atheists pretend to know that any particular god does not exist. We observe there is no evidence of the existence of any gods, goddesses and god-men, (including the one(s) you fail to justify or excuse) and simply do not pretend to “know” that any of the millions of undetected and undetectable gods do exist.

    Again (for those who have not read this before):
    Christians are often baffled how atheists could deny the existence of their originally Canaanite god, “Yahweh” and Roman god-man “Jesus”, but they really shouldn’t be. Christians deny thousands of the very same undetectable and undetected gods, goddesses and god-men that atheists deny. Atheists just deny one more god than Christians do (or is that three gods and countless demigod “Cherubim” “angels”, “saints” and other ridiculous imaginary assorted beings, maybe?).

    It’s not that we atheists are “anti” any of the many millions of gods and goddesses that have been invented by men to gain power and wealth for themselves down the ages. We simply do not believe in any and all of them. I wonder if any unreconstructed religionists are “anti” Zeus, Odin, Apollo, Quetzalcoatl, Pratibhanapratisamvit, (Buddhist goddess of context analysis), Acat, (Mayan god of tattoo artists). Or Tsa’qamae, north american god of salmon migration, or any of the millions of other undetectable and undetected totally imaginary deities among which the Judaeo/christian gods appear nothing special and about which there is nothing unique or original? Some religionists accuse atheists of hating their god but hating an imaginary entity would appear as ridiculous as believing in it.

    Atheists and religionists are not so different, after all! Let us celebrate our vast agreement on the non-existence of millions of undetected and undetectable gods and other hypothetical and imaginary beings!
    https://steemitimages.com/p/8SzwQc8j2KJb4ARrxQxCjX4jizub4U5CAK3WwB89rcTX8pEgMhAuJcTsDweHZ6hXHwnJgxr3PZUePRwXxEugE4cmodpZNMv46PdBruYeXXHSxi1gGwQ?format=match&mode=fit&width=640

  • rationalobservations?

    You problem is that unless all the prophesies are fulfilled, none are fulfilled.

    The prophesies you mention must be fulfilled within the lifetime of the “true messiah”.

    Here again is chapter and verse why the fictional Jesus of 4th century Roman religion could not be the “true messiah”:

    The word “Messiah” is an English rendering of the Hebrew word Mashiach, which means “anointed.” It usually refers to a person initiated into God’s service by being anointed with oil. (Exodus 29:7, 1-Kings 1:39, 2-Kings 9:3)

    (1) Jesus Did Not Fulfill the Messianic Prophecies
    What is the Messiah supposed to accomplish? One of the central themes of biblical prophecy is the promise of a future age of perfection characterized by universal peace and recognition of God. (Isaiah 2:1-4, 32:15-18, 60:15-18; Zephaniah 3:9; Hosea 2:20-22; Amos 9:13-15; Micah 4:1-4; Zechariah 8:23, 14:9; Jeremiah 31:33-34)

    Specifically, the Bible says he will:

    Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
    Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
    Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4)
    Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: “God will be King over all the world – on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One” (Zechariah 14:9).
    If an individual fails to fulfill even one of these conditions, then he cannot be the Messiah.

    Because no one has ever fulfilled the Bible’s description of this future King, Jews still await the coming of the Messiah. All past Messianic claimants, including Jesus of Nazareth, Bar Cochba and Shabbtai Tzvi have been rejected.

    Christians counter that Jesus will fulfill these in the Second Coming. Jewish sources show that the Messiah will fulfill the prophecies outright; in the Bible no concept of a second coming exists.

    (2) Jesus Did Not Embody the Personal Qualifications of Messiah
    A. Messiah as Prophet
    The Messiah will become the greatest prophet in history, second only to Moses. (Targum – Isaiah 11:2; Maimonides – Teshuva 9:2)

    Prophecy can only exist in Israel when the land is inhabited by a majority of world Jewry, a situation which has not existed since 300 BCE. During the time of Ezra, when the majority of Jews remained in Babylon, prophecy ended upon the death of the last prophets – Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.

    Jesus appeared on the scene approximately 350 years after prophecy had ended, and thus could not be a prophet.

    B. Descendant of David
    Many prophetic passages speak of a descendant of King David who will rule Israel during the age of perfection. (Isaiah 11:1-9; Jeremiah 23:5-6, 30:7-10, 33:14-16; Ezekiel 34:11-31, 37:21-28; Hosea 3:4-5)

    The Messiah must be descended on his father’s side from King David (see Genesis 49:10, Isaiah 11:1, Jeremiah 23:5, 33:17; Ezekiel 34:23-24). According to the Christian claim that Jesus was the product of a virgin birth, he had no father – and thus could not have possibly fulfilled the messianic requirement of being descended on his father’s side from King David. (1)

    According to Jewish sources, the Messiah will be born of human parents and possess normal physical attributes like other people. He will not be a demi-god, (2) nor will he possess supernatural qualities.

    C. Torah Observance
    The Messiah will lead the Jewish people to full Torah observance. The Torah states that all mitzvot remain binding forever, and anyone coming to change the Torah is immediately identified as a false prophet. (Deut. 13:1-4)

    Throughout the Christian “New Testament,” Jesus contradicts the Torah and states that its commandments are no longer applicable. For example, John 9:14 records that Jesus made a paste in violation of Shabbat, which caused the Pharisees to say (verse 16), “He does not observe Shabbat!”

    (3) Mistranslated Verses “Referring” to Jesus
    Biblical verses can only be understood by studying the original Hebrew text – which reveals many discrepancies in the Christian translation.

    A. Virgin Birth
    The Christian idea of a virgin birth is derived from the verse in Isaiah 7:14 describing an “alma” as giving birth. The word “alma” has always meant a young woman, but Christian theologians came centuries later and translated it as “virgin.” This accords Jesus’ birth with the first century pagan idea of mortals being impregnated by gods.

    B. Suffering Servant
    Christianity claims that Isaiah chapter 53 refers to Jesus, as the “suffering servant.”

    In actuality, Isaiah 53 directly follows the theme of chapter 52, describing the exile and redemption of the Jewish people. The prophecies are written in the singular form because the Jews (“Israel”) are regarded as one unit. Throughout Jewish scripture, Israel is repeatedly called, in the singular, the “Servant of God” (see Isaiah 43:8). In fact, Isaiah states no less than 11 times in the chapters prior to 53 that the Servant of God is Israel.

    When read correctly, Isaiah 53 clearly [and ironically] refers to the Jewish people being “bruised, crushed and as sheep brought to slaughter” at the hands of the nations of the world. These descriptions are used throughout Jewish scripture to graphically describe the suffering of the Jewish people (see Psalm 44).

    Isaiah 53 concludes that when the Jewish people are redeemed, the nations will recognize and accept responsibility for the inordinate suffering and death of the Jews.

    FOOTNOTES
    (1) In response, it is claimed that Joseph adopted Jesus, and passed on his genealogy via adoption. There are two problems with this claim:

    a) There is no biblical basis for the idea of a father passing on his tribal line by adoption. A priest who adopts a son from another tribe cannot make him a priest by adoption.

    b) Joseph could never pass on by adoption that which he doesn’t have. Because Joseph descended from Jeconiah (Matthew 1:11) he fell under the curse of that king that none of his descendants could ever sit as king upon the throne of David (Jeremiah 22:30; 36:30). (Although Jeconiah repented as discussed in Talmud Sanhedrin 37a and elsewhere, it’s not at all clear from the early sources that his repentance was accepted to the degree that the royal line continued through him. See e.g. Bereishit Rabbah 98:7 that the line continued through Zedekiah.)
    To answer this difficult problem, apologists claim that Jesus traces himself back to King David through his mother Mary, who allegedly descends from David, as shown in the third chapter of Luke. There are four basic problems with this claim:

    a) There is no evidence that Mary descends from David. The third chapter of Luke traces Joseph’s genealogy, not Mary’s.

    b) Even if Mary can trace herself back to David, that doesn’t help Jesus, since tribal affiliation goes only through the father, not mother. cf. Numbers 1:18; Ezra 2:59.

    c) Even if family line could go through the mother, Mary was not from a legitimate messianic family. According to the Bible, the Messiah must be a descendent of David through his son Solomon (2-Samuel 7:14; 1-Chronicles 17:11-14, 22:9-10, 28:4-6). The third chapter of Luke is irrelevant to this discussion because it describes lineage of David’s son Nathan, not Solomon. (Luke 3:31)

    d) Luke 3:27 lists Shealtiel and Zerubbabel in his genealogy. These two also appear in Matthew 1:12 as descendants of the cursed Jeconiah. If Mary descends from them, it would also disqualify her from being a messianic progenitor.
    (2) Maimonides devotes much of his “Guide for the Perplexed” to the fundamental idea that God is incorporeal, meaning that He assumes no physical form. God is eternal, above time. He is infinite, beyond space. He cannot be born, and cannot die. Saying that God assumes human form makes God small, diminishing both His unity and His divinity. As the Torah says: “God is not mortal” (Numbers 23:19).

    Next..?

  • Ed Senter

    You claim:
    “You problem is that unless all the prophesies are fulfilled, none are fulfilled.
    The prophesies you mention must be fulfilled within the lifetime of the “true messiah”.”

    Who says? Your problem is that you refuse to recognize the gaps of time within the prophesies. God knows the beginning and the end. He is the alpha and the omega.
    The Jews would first reject the Messiah. Eventually they will recognize whom they had pierced. Read Zechariah 14.

  • rationalobservations?

    You address none of the issues that confounded you and reveal the fraud at the 4th century origin of your ridiculous cult.

    Your pitiful condition if denial was already self evident and your bunkum remains debunked.

  • rationalobservations?

    It appears that you think that total baldness is a hairstyle, not collecting stamps is a hobby and shunning all religions and dismissing all gods, goddesses and god-men is somehow an alternative form of religion?

    I guess you merely wish to demonstrate once again that religion only appeals to the ignorant and the gullible? Mission accomplished!

    Having no faith in the lies and delusions of men is being free to accept the world and the universe for what it is and relish the short time any living thing has to experience life & love and to do as much good for this world and our future generations as we are the only beings capable and available for that essential task.

    One atheist working for humanity does more good than a billion idiots praying to nonexistent gods.

    “The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”

    – Albert Einstein. Letter to philosopher Eric Gutkind, January 3, 1954.

    Well done exposing your ignorance and recycling your debunked bunkum – and please keep it up!

  • Max

    My younger sister and brother have raised their daughters and sons without religion. My sister is an atheist, my brother a Roman Catholic and all four kids are atheists. Neither of my siblings spared their hostile opinions toward religion , and my nieces in particular get belligerent when asked to discuss their views, informing their questioners that such conversations have no moral or ethical uses and are non-debatable. My younger niece, a control freak, even went so far as to forbid one of her college roommates to put up a picture of the Last Supper in their shared kitchen. Now, I believe in spirituality and have been taught by priests, nuns and various gurus and mediums to “go within” and deeply explore the incursion of the divine into human solar plexuses. I’ve been doing this devoutly for thirty-some years. My life is for shit, while the people around me who’ve never prayed ad/or meditated in their lives are glowingly successful..So what IS there “within” to find? Are those of us who meditate, chant, fast and pray simply playing into a delusion? All comments welcome.

  • Max

    You need to calm the fuck down.

  • rationalobservations?

    “Who says?”
    Your fraudulent bible says – as quoted chapter and verse.

    I am still waiting for any attempt at justifying, validating or excusing your delusional beliefs, Ed.

    Take all the time you need….

  • Ed Senter

    A bald head is an hairstyle; a hairless body is an anomaly.
    Not collecting stamps does not mean you don’t collect anything else, nor do you reject the existence of stamps.
    Shunning all religions because of no proof is a belief in the religion of scientism; and, dismissing the idea of any God is a form of arrogance of the highest order as well as living a life of denial.

    What you have demonstrated is that you need a course in critical thinking skills.

    All “good” is relative. Even an Einstein recognizes that.

  • Ed Senter

    The Messiah is alive. For proof see the Resurrection.
    When the Messiah appears in the clouds (Daniel 7;13) (Rev 19:11) to set up his everlasting Kingdom, I suppose He can tell us whether this is his first or second coming. Ha!

  • rationalobservations?

    I have read the evidence regarding a few messiahs. There was one in particular who was fathered by a god, performed wondrous deeds, was hailed as a saviour, was killed but rose again to join his father in immortality for eternity. His name was Herakles/Hercules. Is that who you believe to be real?

    Or maybe it is the only messiah who was briefly recognised in Rabbinical circles? His name was “Simon christ” (Simon bar Khokchbah aka Simon ben Cosiba). Is that your “messiah”.

    I have searched far and wide for many many years and researched in many of the world’s greatest libraries, museums, univetrsities and archives of religion but there is not one single authentic and original historical trace of evidence in support of the existence of a messiah named “Jesus”.

    The Church agrees, saying:

    “Our documentary sources of knowledge about the origins of Christianity and its earliest development are chiefly the New Testament Scriptures, the authenticity of which we must, to a great extent, take for granted.”
    (Catholic Encyclopedia, Farley ed., vol. iii, p. 712)

    The Church makes extraordinary admissions about its New Testament. For example, when discussing the origin of those writings,

    “the most distinguished body of academic opinion ever assembled” (Catholic Encyclopedias, Preface) admits that the Gospels “do not go back to the first century of the Christian era”

    (Catholic Encyclopedia, Farley ed., vol. vi, p. 137, pp. 655-6).

    This statement conflicts with priesthood assertions that the earliest Gospels were progressively written during the decades following the death of the Gospel Jesus Christ.

    In a remarkable aside, the Church further admits that,

    “the earliest of the extant manuscripts [of the New Testament], it is true, do not date back beyond the middle of the fourth century AD”

    (Catholic Encyclopedia, op. cit., pp. 656-7).

  • rationalobservations?

    Well done for further exposing your ignorance and recycling your logic and evidence devoid debunked bunkum – thank you for keeping it up!

  • rationalobservations?

    “Are those of us who meditate, chant, fast and pray simply playing into a delusion?”
    The evidence of your own anecdote and of all the history of dishonest and self serving religions may indicate that the answer to your question is-
    YES.

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/s.plague.io/upload/2015-04-26/1ef777b2-e2c4-4470-908a-932ae2bd2aac.jpeg

  • Max

    Thanks for your reply. But the AMA and the APA both endorse meditation, TM in particular. And if you go to any chemical dependency treatment center there are required times of day when patients are forced to meditate. There’s no “structured” practice, but one sits in absolute silence for twenty minutes twice a day, and pays attention only to his/her thoughts. That particular practice, a kind of modified Zen, was borrowed from the Institute for the Study of Non-Violence in Palo Alto, where it continues to be taught by its founder, Joan Baez. And chant is second nature to Buddhists who are atheists by definition. Have you ever been to a Nichiren Buddhist service (Gonyo)? All of this in no way proves anything except that folks calm down and their blood pressure drops–sometimes by quite bit. the so-called New Agers bellieve in Buddhist fashion that a thought or desire held in the mind and focused on with intense concentration can actually bring about the material manifestation of that thought.

  • Max

    When i was in seminary a number of my professors were atheists.

  • Ed Senter

    I am sorry that you are so confused. Just what would convince you? My guess is that you don’t want to be convinced. -too bad.

    A wise man once said that if he did not worship the God of the Bible, he would worship the guy who wrote the Bible. The Bible was written for this time. As the Bible says: the proof of a prophet is whether or not what he says comes true. The Jews are being regathered to Jerusalem and they are surrounded by enemies. Look for a peace treaty to soon be consummated. That will signal the time for Jacob’s trouble. Then, the restoration of the Davidic Kingdom in Jerusalem for 1000 years.
    Most of all- if you do not change your mind and believe Jesus Christ died on that cross and ended death for all, you can not be saved from the final death. With out God- the source of all life and sustenance- and the Spirit of Christ in you, you are helpless and destined for nothingness.

  • rationalobservations?

    Many many years ago I was actually confused by the contradictory content of the bible the religion of my heritage employed. It was to answer and resolve that confusion that I started the quest for evidence that would settle which of the diverse and different accounts and fables had any basis and support from historical evidence.
    The result of decades of research has been that there is no tangible, authentic, original 1st century originated evidence of the existence and centuries later written exploits of “Jesus”. That observation has been presented many times to you and others and no one has ever refuted the fact by the presentation of tangible, authentic, original 1st century originated historical evidence.
    You know that as well as I do but are merely too dishonest and indoctrinated to admit it.

    You once again simplistically reference “the bible” without revealing which of the many diverse and very different in content bibles you consider to be valid or the evidence upon which you base your opinion of validity.

    I suggest that you spend a little time studying the oldest/first prototype bible that was cobbled together by four Greek langauge scribes at the end of the 4th century. Then get back to me with historical evidence that supports the content of that human authored book – or any of the later different versions written by other teams of human men.

    Your confusion is always apparent within the debunked bunkum you dishonestly attempt to pass off as evidence.

    In response to the final lines of garbage you offer: There are millions of gods, goddesses and god-men and the odds against your human invented god are therefore millions to one. It is you who should be concerned that you are really infuriating any actual real deity by your preference for a false one borrowed from the Canaanites by middles eastern barbarians and reinvented by 4th century Romans.

    Meanwhile the rest of us are happy in the acceptance of reality and the enjoyment of life between non-existence and eternal non-existence that is the destiny of all living things no matter how much you delude yourself otherwise.

  • Ed Senter

    If you or anyone else is truly happy with the concept of “eternal non-existence”, then you and your ilk are truly retarded. What differentiates man from the rest of animal life? Man is a sentient being who is aware that he is aware. He has a mind. You simply have wasted your mind.

    What contradictions? You have not debunked squat. The most basic tenet of Christianity is: God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. Every book of the Bible points to that simple truth. Compare Christianity to any other religion and it is no contest between the straight stick and the crooked stick. Christianity is the only one that makes sense. The Bible is 1/3 prophecy; and, most of that is yet to come. So you want evidence? The Jews have returned to Jerusalem. Is that a freak historic accident? Or, fulfillment of a prophetic timeline? People who are aware know better.

  • rationalobservations?

    If you or anyone else is truly happy with buying into the myths, legends and lies of primitive ignorant men, then you and your ilk are truly retarded.

    You ask: “What differentiates man from the rest of animal life?” Your own answer is ridiculous because very little differentiates between us and the other great apes with whom we share nearly all of our DNA and (on a geological time scale) a very, very recent common ancestor.

    You write: “The most basic tenet of Christianity is: God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.”
    Apart from the ridiculous concept that a self aware immortal god should sacrifice itself to itself to save a very few and declining number of members of our recently evolved species of ape – there is NO tangible. authentic, original, 1st century originated historical evidence that “Yeshua/Jesus” ever existed and not record of any of the newsworthy events that appear in the oldest first bibles that were fabricated in the late 4th century but are very significantly different in content from the legends and fables within later human authored bibles and those we know today.

    “Every book of the Bible points to that simple truth.”
    ??
    Really? What is your “truth” within the original bible books known as the “Shepherd of Hermas”, and the Epistle of Barnabas?

    Even the oldest foundational business of the christian religion agrees that there is no historical evidence upon which their business was founded in the 4th century:

    “Our documentary sources of knowledge about the origins of Christianity and its earliest development are chiefly the New Testament Scriptures, the authenticity of which we must, to a great extent, take for granted.”
    (Catholic Encyclopedia, Farley ed., vol. iii, p. 712)

    The Church makes extraordinary admissions about its New Testament. For example, when discussing the origin of those writings,

    “the most distinguished body of academic opinion ever assembled” (Catholic Encyclopedias, Preface) admits that the Gospels “do not go back to the first century of the Christian era”

    (Catholic Encyclopedia, Farley ed., vol. vi, p. 137, pp. 655-6).

    This statement conflicts with priesthood assertions that the earliest Gospels were progressively written during the decades following the death of the Gospel Jesus Christ.

    In a remarkable aside, the Church further admits that,

    “the earliest of the extant manuscripts [of the New Testament], it is true, do not date back beyond the middle of the fourth century AD”

    (Catholic Encyclopedia, op. cit., pp. 656-7).

    Your delusional bunkum remains debunked.

  • Ed Senter

    That is your problem, bonzai. You just admitted that you are no more intelligent than a chimp.
    I am still waiting for you to provide any “contradictory content of the bible” as you claim.

    So what if all we have are copies of copies? Where is the error and why do you choose to not believe?
    Any aware sentient being should be able to contemplate the most glaring question facing our existence: Why do we die?

    It makes perfect sense that the All-Mighty Supreme Being who sought to redeem mankind from the curse of death would use death and then resurrection and the promise of eternal life as illustration for those who choose to believe. Death is not what God intended, and blood sacrifice was never intended as appeasement as you have erroneously surmised. The blood sacrifice was intended to illustrate the horrors of death, and the only way to avoid a similar fate was to trust (faith) God.