More Servant Stupidities – Part 2

OK, back to Servant Stupidities. Last time we looked at how the “Servant of God” reveals the polytheism of “the groupers”, christians that claim that God is a group in one form or another, whether they claim God is three distinct persons, or two distinct persons.

Then you’ll meet the christians that really claim that God is indivisibly one. And they will mean it. Their view is called “the oneness doctrine” or modalism. In this belief, the father, son and holy spirit are not distinct persons. They are manifestations of the exact same God. Whereas groupers will say the father is not the son and the son is not the holy spirit and the holy spirit is not the father, the oneness people will ultimately say that these are just illusions of perception, but that they are all covers, masks, or modes of the same person.

It’s important that you see the difference. Groupers say that the Father is not the Son, they are distinct or separate entities: they are not the same person. The oneness posse will say that “father” and “son” are just manifestations of the same person, the same person being God.

So let’s see where that leads us.

Question: So Jesus is the servant of God?
Honest answer from oneness: Yes
Question: But isn’t Jesus and God the same person?
Honest answer: Yes
Question: So if Jesus are God is the same person, then is there really a servant?
Honest answer: errrr …
Question: I mean using language normally, a person can’t be his own servant. So is there a servant? The scriptures say that God has a servant, but you’re essentially saying God has no servant.

At this point, you may see the problem. The oneness doctrine undermines the words altogether making the very statement “servant of God” meaningless.

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More “Servant” Stupidities – Part 1

Last time in “servant” stupidities, I noted how the concept of God is the exact opposite of the notion of a servant. So saying that the servant of God is God is an utter contradiction.

This time on “Servant Stupidities”, in two parts we deal with the polytheistic or schizophrenic notion of God being the servant of God.

There are two ways of seeing Jesus as God. Either in terms of God being a group and the other as God being an indivisible unity. Let’s compare these notions with their consequences and the claims of the christians who hold them.

So the christians who see God as a trinity or a family or a “binity” (those who accept that the son and father are “God”) or whatever notion of separateness in the parties, these christians will claim to be fiercely monotheistic. Or at least they will fiercely claim that they are monotheistic. We’ll call these christians “groupers”, as their God is a group of one form or another. Yet look what happens when we apply such thinking to “the servant of God”.

Question: So is Jesus God?
Honest answer from grouper: Yes
Question: And Jesus is the servant of God?
Honest answer: Yes.
Question: So the servant of God is God?
Honest answer: Yes
Question: But in order to be the servant of God you have to be someone other than the God whose being served?
Honest answer: Well the God being served must be God the Father and God the Son became the servant.

At this point, you have an implicit fact. One “God” is not the other “God”. The God who has “the servant” is not the same as the God who is the servant. What does this mean? We have two Gods. Of course they’ll fiercely claim their monotheism, but, as is obvious, the claim is hollow. They acknowledge at least two Gods not one.

We’ll deal with the other sort of christian next time.

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“Jesus Christ” – a claim, not just a name

When a person refers the christian object of devotion, the centre of their belief system, as “Jesus Christ”, they are not just calling a name. The phrase, “Jesus Christ”, is a claim.

Although the word “Jesus” is a bastardization of whatever Hebrew or Aramaic name the guy originally had – it is a proper name – the word “Christ” is a title, not a name. It is a title that assumes that the person connected to it is the anointed one, the promised descendant of King David, set to rule Israel and live in a time of a better world. Without going into the doctrinal baggage that has been loaded on the word, the fact is that this word “Christ” makes a huge claim about the one it is attached to.

When a person who knows to use his words with purpose and understanding sees that a person doesn’t fulfil a certain role, then he knows to avoid associating that role with someone incapable of fulfilling it (unless when joking around or using it insultingly and ironically). If a madman or commoner claims to be royalty, then the wise person doesn’t call such a person, e.g. King John, or John the King. You don’t call a unqualified person e.g. Doctor John or John the Surgeon. The title doesn’t fit the person.

Jesus failed to fulfil all the explicit requirements set out in the Jewish Bible. The clearest statements in the Jewish Bible about the future king contradict the life and times of Jesus to the point where the new testament’s depiction of his birth destroys any claim that he is an adequate descendant of King David, to the point where christians spiritualize and allegorize the Jewish Bible’s criteria, or claim a second coming (a tacit admission of the failure to fulfil criteria in his “first” coming). Jesus failed.

So to the conscientious objector of christians’ messiah claims for their chosen figure, be careful with your words. If you don’t accept their claims and the claims of the new testament, then there is no “Jesus Christ”! There may be a Jesus, a Yeshua, a Yeshu, a Nazarene, a person known as “that man”, a fool and a failure, or a man who was mistaken for something he wasn’t. But there is no Jesus who was “the Christ”. If the name makes a claim and you know the claim is unfulfilled, then don’t let your words agree with the claim or the assumption.

“Jesus Christ” is a claim. With that claim being unfounded, then to state it is a lie.

Or a joke.

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Even Christians admit that Jesus and his followers were wrong

I’ve been observing the discourse between followers of Jesus of Nazareth, the Nazarene, and those who reject his claims and those of his followers for reasons based on the Jewish Bible. I observed something striking that had been clearly stated by the followers of Nazarene:

There is no clear prophecy in the Jewish Bible that states that the promised anointed Davidic king called “the Moshiach” by the Jews would die and be resurrected according to the Jewish Bible. There is no clear explicit prophecy that clearly refers to this Davidic king that says that he would die, be in the grave for three days and three nights and return alive.

This is an important admission for a christian. Why? Because it contradicts what the Nazarene said. The following quotes are from the book “The grounds of Christianity examined: by comparing the New Testament with the Old”, written in 1813 by George Bethune, which Yvonne pointed me to. The book is now in public domain, available free online from places like Gutenberg or archive.org. The quotes are from the first chapter which discussed the fact that Jesus and his followers tried to prove their case from the Jewish Bible.

Again he discoursed to all his Disciples, putting them in mind, that, before his Death, he told them (Luke 24: 44, 46, 47,) that “all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms concerning him;” adding, “thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for Christ (1. e. the Messiah) to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day; and that repentance, and remission of sins should be preached in his name, beginning at Jerusalem …”

Paul, when accused before Agrippa by the Jews, said (Acts 26; 6,) “I stand, and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers,” i.e. for teaching Christianity, or the true doctrine of the Old Testament, and to this accusation he pleads guilty, by declaring in the fullest manner, that he taught nothing but the Doctrines of the Old Testament. ” Having therefore (says he) obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small, and great saying now other things than those which the Prophets, and Moses did say should come, that the Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first who should rise from the Dead, and should show light unto the People, and unto the Gentiles.” The Author of the first Epistle to the Cor. says, 15 ch. v. 4, that “Jesus rose again from the dead the third day, according to the Scriptures …”

Take careful note. The new testament has the Nazarene and his followers claim that he was to raise from the dead after a specific amount of time. Peter and John claimed the songs of David predicted it.

But I said it once and I’ll say it again and it has been observed in the mouths of devout christians that I’ve seen discuss the issue thus contradicting the Nazarene, the disciples, and the other man, Paul of Tarsus, there is no clear and explicit text in the Jewish Bible where the text overtly refers only to the promised anointed Davidic king that says that this promised anointed one will die and be resurrected.

Whether a christian will try to use Psalm 16, the book of Jonah, or Isaiah 53, they each share the same problem: none of these even mention “messiah”, nor do they refer exclusively and explicitly to that future anointed one. Even the much used but much distorted Daniel 9 has no resurrection.

Whether christians admit it or not, let’s be plain: the Nazarene and his followers were wrong! The Jewish Bible doesn’t teach this part of their message, as with many other parts of their message. Once again, the Nazarene fails.

Remember, the Jewish Bible and its God still stand even if the new testament and the Nazarene fall. And there is still a way to live acceptable before God, Jew or Gentile, without the Nazarene to separate you from him. As he said to Israel, and the message is universal: return to God, and he will return to you!

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Simple Truths: Genesis 18 – The facts

There are christians that say that Genesis 18 shows God coming down to earth in the flesh to meet with Abraham. As with many of their other claims, there is one major problem with this claim: Genesis 18 doesn’t say this.

I’m not going to write an essay on why the christian belief in a shape-shifting God is against the teachings and laws of the Jewish Bible. I’m just going to state a few facts about Genesis 18 and leave it there. My advice to you is to read the text in a good translation if you can’t read Hebrew, the more “literal”, the better. If you can read Hebrew, you’ve got no excuses.

1) God is never equated with the three men that appear to Abraham according to the text of Genesis 18. The first verse says that God appeared to Abraham, and verse two follows by saying that three men then appear. There is no textual phrase that makes the two occurrences one and the same.

2) None of the three men that meet Abraham are ever referred to as God or “Lord” in the divine sense according to the text of Genesis 18. This even includes verse 3 which has Abraham saying something, but it doesn’t make clear to whom according to the text. It doesn’t say “And Abraham said to one of the men, “Please, Lord, …” It doesn’t say this.

3) According to the text, the men come and then the men go, and God remains with Abraham. Textually, God was there before the men arrive, and remained a little while with Abraham after the men left.

With these three facts and actually reading the text through, there is no textual evidence in Genesis 18 that God became a man.

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Atheism is not the way forward

So I finish writing another article for leavingjesus.wordpress.com and it dawns on me from time to time that sometimes, when a religious person relinquishes the faith that they had devoted themselves to, they are then led to a dark place, a place of utter questioning and confusion or despair. One of the friendly faces that may show itself is atheism, the refusal to acknowledge the truth of God anymore. It is kind of like when people get out of a relationship after a painful realisation and don’t want to get into another one due to the pain and lack of trust, except in too many instances there’s a lot more arrogance involved.

But atheism is not a good step forward. To give up on the whole notion of God is a self-destructive step.

Instantly, I can hear the voices say “hey, wait there, I’m an atheist and I live a very fulfilling life.”

You know, it doesn’t matter what worldview a person chooses, there are always people who share it that will say their lives are fulfilling, be it christian or muslim or hindus or nazis or “agnostics” or whatever. But the issue isn’t whether someone is comfortable or not or have a subjective feeling of fulfilment or not. It’s whether the worldview is a consistent one and whether it is truly a good choice to accept it.

So is atheism a good positive step to take in a general sense?

Is it a good step morally? If a person believes that there is no God, then where do their morals come from? There is no objective standard for morality anymore. It’s not as if there is some principle that everyone must follow, because everyone has different ideas what the principle should be. And there’s no objective way of finding it out. Some choose rationalism, science, emotionalism, spiritualism, politics. But all of this is just a subjective choice made in a individual brain, a clump of grey matter. If a person can get away with certain actions, then there is no real reason not to. A person who decides to reject the existence of an absolute foundation of the universe, i.e., God, essentially has made it that when he or she claims that something is morally wrong, there is absolutely no reason why his or her view on morality should apply to anyone else. The same for when they say that something is morally right as well. All that happened was that his or her mouth moved due to some chemical imbalance of the brain and puffed out air and audio vibrations. That’s it.

That’s one thing I find societally and morally undercutting about atheism and what adds to their hypocrisy when so many demand that things are right or wrong, or claim that they are “moral” individuals. In the eyes of a God-fearing observer of such an individual, the individual atheist may be a good person, but that is only because of the objective sense of right and wrong that comes from the foundation of Torah-theism. But in terms of the foundations of the worldview of that atheist, having no such foundation, then it makes no difference if they are good or bad as those words have no real meaning except personal tastes at the time, nothing more, maybe less. In such a worldview, based on the fact that pain and death is just a fact of life, there is nothing essentially wrong with causing pain or death to others. Pedophilia, rape, theft, murder, corruption, all of these are facts of life with no moral difference between those acts and those of goodness and kindness. It’s all just personal actions, pleasure, brain conditions and taste.

Looking at cultures throughout history up until today, today’s moral standards are the dregs and remnants, the echoes of a Torah worldview dragged through the paganism and imperialism of an old christianity which has now been de-toothed and crippled by the rise of humanism, the belief that only human reasoning and science is the key to truth, a belief that has failed in so many of its promises but clings religiously to the advances in technology which, although meaning to bring people relief, further isolates on person from another under the illusion that computer codes and virtual existence comprised of digital pulses is a real way of living. (Man that was a long sentence!) The atheists of today, betraying their own worldview, unconsciously steal from the old (yet still present) Torah worldview to wrap themselves in a shell of morality. But as they reject the foundation of that worldview, they only have a hollow morality, changeable, man-made, empty of any real power except whatever force they can muster for themselves as individuals, or the same persuasion techniques used by the very religious evangelists they wish to remove themselves from, or the tyrannical force of the fickle and immoral governments they think they normally put into power.

It has to be said that they only think that they put such entities as government into power because the choice is always limited to parties that are essentially the same, the people they vote for can never represent them as these representatives can only realistically represent themselves as it is impossible to present thousands or millions of individuals, and what really happens in the end is that they end up under the power of the tyrannical government systems: those who are classed as “public servants” end up making the public their servants and slaves and source of revenue (i.e., indentured servitude).

So morally speaking, atheism is a hollow worldview that has more to do with self-delusion of fulfilment rather than having any absolute or real substance to their morality.

Atheism has a similar problem when it comes to knowledge, truth, or history. With atheism, there is nothing absolute or concrete about knowledge or truth. It’s just someone’s opinion, someone’s individual perception. So there is no real study of history, just a search for past relics of perceptions. The best thing they have is pragmatism: whatever works is fine. But that’s what everyone else has so they have no advantage. Once you go beyond human experience, the time span that humans have been on this planet, there is no real history, just a shell game of assumptions, biases, and limited knowledge based on guess and unprovable axioms. All of these human qualities are then set to feast upon silent circumstantial evidence to create stories and myths that that are held aloft as if the quest for truth has been realised, only for it to be dashed to the ground as rubbish when perceptions, political alliances, focus of funding and biases change. Just look at the history of science for the many theories trashed that were once almost sacred. As someone once said:

The odd thing is that science has such a ridiculous track record to serve as such a powerful veto-house of truth. If we think in terms of centuries and millennia, few other disciplines turn inside-out so flippantly and quickly as the natural sciences. Nothing can take the puff out of the scientific chest more than a study of its history. Perhaps that’s why it’s so rare to find science departments requiring courses in the history of science. The history of science provides great strength to the inductive inference that, at any point in its history, that day’s science will almost certainly be deemed false, if not laughable, within a century (often in much less time). (Douglas Jones, Credenda)

Or in other words, to marry the science of today is to prepare to become a widow tomorrow. Science, outside of human experience, as as much truth context as a fairy tale. It’s anyone’s guess.

Why bring this up? I write on a blog where I show the ineptitudes and fundamental weaknesses of christianity. All too often when a person leaves christianity, they think something like atheism is a viable worldview and all too often their religious zeal or devotion is carried over into that vacuous religion (yes, I’m talking about atheism), sometimes to the point where they move from atheism to anti-theism. They fill the void that atheism is with their old moralities to shout out against the evils of religion (remember how empty the word “evil” is in atheism) or to shun anything to do with God or objective morality.

To be in such a situation and think that one has moved forward is a delusion. It’s true that there has been movement, but not all movement is forward.

It is still very much possible, even after one has released oneself or been released from religions (including atheism), to have a healthy respect and acknowledgement of God and a standard for morality and knowledge and history. It takes a lot more effort and reflection than adopting such a inert and unworthy worldview as atheism.

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Blinded by the lights – Baited by miracles

It’s almost inevitable that the christian will use miracles to back up his belief in Jesus. The pages of the new testament are filled with many miracles, be it healings, or exorcisms, transfigurations or food multiplication. In fact, miracles are supposed to be amongst the most significant things about their belief in Jesus, the resurrection being the most significant. Jesus is said to have told people to believe him because of his “works” i.e., his miracles. Even their man, Paul, said that if it wasn’t for the resurrection, he and his followers would be the most miserable of men.

Now this article isn’t a rebuttal to miracles. There’s nothing wrong with a miracle. But it questions the purpose of miracles.

I mean, think about it. If someone stands up and says “one of the reasons to believe in Jesus is because of the miracles that he did” or “the resurrection proves that Jesus was messiah or the son of God or God Himself” or “the virgin birth ensured his sinlessness” then a person is well within their rights to question if the miracle really has anything to do with what is claimed.

For example, let’s take the resurrection. Let’s pretend that Jesus really came alive after he was dead. Let’s pretend that certified doctors of the day checked his vitals and gave certification that this man was as dead as a dodo, and then after a few days, lo and behold, the dude is up and about walking around. Whether he claims God did it or he did it himself because he is supposedly God, the question has to be whether this resurrection validates anything.

First question: does the resurrection prove that he is messiah? Well, if we go through the Jewish Bible and look for passages that are clearly about the future promised anointed Davidic king, is one of his clear criterias that he should have a personal resurrection? The answer has to be no. There is not one passages that contextually is only referring to the future promised Davidic king which states that he must rise from the dead.

[ASIDE: I know people use songs like Psalm 16 to claim he did, but there is not one verse in that song which overtly says that it is specifically referring to the messiah. It's just a song of and about the writer.]

So seeing that there is no verse that states that we will know that someone is the “messiah” if they should rise from the dead, then it is fair to conclude that the resurrection would prove nothing about his or his followers’ messiah claim.

Another question: does the resurrection prove that he was the son of God (whatever that’s supposed to mean)? Again we must ask whether the Jewish Bible states that we will know that someone is the son of God by the fact that that individual would rise from the grave. Once again, the answer is no. It is best to use God’s standards as shown in his Law and through his prophets to test someone’s claim, and the Jewish Bible tradition is what we have so … Once again, the resurrection doesn’t prove that a person is God’s son.

OK, one more question: would the resurrection prove that he is God Himself? Straight off the bat, the answer has to be no! Why? Because if we again use the standard of the Jewish Bible, God says that he lives forever and doesn’t change. So he can’t die in order to raise himself from the dead. But we can still ask the question: is it stated in the Jewish Bible that the way we can know a man is God is if he has a personal resurrection? Again, the answer is no.

So what exactly does the resurrection prove if we use God’s word in the Jewish Bible as a standard? Absolutely nothing, except that the guy can do great tricks. It doesn’t make him good or righteous, just a great magician. In fact, what is most notable is that the Jewish Bible doesn’t make miracle-making a criteria for accepting someone as messiah!

In fact the Jewish Bible invalidates using miracles alone as a sign that someone from God. The Torah states that even false prophets and magicians do miracles and signs. So miracles in and of themselves prove nothing.

Now I can sense what some may say. “But David, Jesus was already teaching and preaching with such authority so this miracle just adds to that.” Actually, whether Jesus was teaching and preaching correctly depends an awful lot on a previous knowledge of the Jewish Bible, which many christians throughout all of the history of the christian church lacked before they accepted the claims of Jesus. They even make much of the fact that Jesus recruited simple and unlearned fishermen who many times didn’t even understand Jesus’ claims a significant amount of times (which should make you question other things about their claims after he died).

It is in this ignorance that Jesus’ miracles are flaunted and advertised. The flashing lights of miracles which are meant to catch a person’s attention seem to detract from the actual substance of what is said to the point where people mainly see the miracles as if they mean something in and of themselves.

This is the main difference between the new testament and the Jewish Bible. Although the Jewish Bible has some miracles, the standard is obedience and knowledge of God’s law first. And that is what I love about Torah. For all the wondrous miracles, it’s not about the miracles. It’s about the content, the standard. Where the immature get caught up in the flashing lights of miracles, the Torah demands a standard and tells us to grow up and think about things, beyond those bright lights, and whether there is true substance.

Christians get caught up in resurrections and healings and transfigurations and forsake the standard. “Oh look, that dude did a big trick, said words that make sense to me, he must be God or the messiah.” That’s the thinking of idolatrous pagans who forsake thought and the standards of Torah, God’s law, for self-gratification.

OK, let’s me bring this all together. The resurrection of Jesus, whether it happened or not, proved nothing about Jesus’ messiah claim or his followers’ claim that he was divine. Miracles on a whole have nothing to do with whether someone’s messiah or not. Ignorance of Torah teachings and the criteria of what is a messiah and the use of miracles have been used to fool people into accepting Jesus, and once one devotes oneself to him it is hard to break out. Basically people are blinded by the lights and then hooked onto devotion. As a friend of mine, Terry Hayes said:

They are called fishers of men – you ever fished with a spoon a type of spinner bait? It is shinny and it spins in the water reflecting the light to attract the fish by its shinny reflection and when the fish bites, it has a hook on the end to snag the fish into the fisherman’s snare – its all trickery.

Then you have a popper, it makes a popping sound in the water. The sound attracts the fish and snares it. Then you have the baits that look like real fish but is artificial – you see the fisher of men throws their nets, and baits fish with artificial lures to snare and trick the fish into the fisherman’s well. This is totally what xtians do they cast their nets, make noises and uses flashy trickery or out right imitate the real so they can lure the unlearned and unsuspected into their boat. They are truly fisherman.

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