Have you ever found yourself in the company of Christians whose commitment to God is so great, and whose good deeds are so innumerable, that you feel reduced to a carnal dirt clod just by being in proximity to them? How do you feel when you’re sitting in a prayer group, waiting for your turn to speak, and some spiritual superstar speaks out a prayer that is far more eloquent than anything you could ever come up with? Makes you want to pass when it’s your turn to pray, doesn’t it? Continue reading Taking the Apostles off the Pedestal: Power Struggles in the Early Church
The short little epistle of Jude has a lot of issues. One of our discerning readers came across this strange little reference in Verse 9 and wisely questioned what was going on:
But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 1:9)
So what is Jude referring to here? Is it really true that Michael and Satan got into a tussle over who ought to get jurisdiction over Moses’ earthsuit? No, it’s not. This legend about Moses is complete hooey. In fact, Jude’s epistle has a lot of hooey in it, which makes you wonder what was wrong with the folks who voted to include Jude’s letter in our sacred Scriptures. But since we’re now stuck living with their choices, we might as well use Jude’s silly book for discernment practice. Continue reading Taking Moses Off The Pedestal (Jude 1:9)
If my father hadn’t been an alcoholic, I wouldn’t be so messed up today.
If the coach had let me play, I would have won a scholarship.
If that stupid doctor hadn’t misdiagnosed me, I wouldn’t be dying right now.
Ever hear people talk like this? Have you ever talked like this? Blaming our current problems and miseries on the choices of other people can feel like a satisfying way to illicit sympathy while shirking all responsibility for our own choices. After all, some jerk raped you, and that means you now have a free pass to wallow in a victim mentality for the rest of your life. Or maybe you feel you can trace back your current health problems to the fact that your mother tried to have you aborted when you were still in her womb. Now you can blame her for everything while you play the part of the eternal martyr. See how it works? It’s fun to blame other people. It’s satisfying to point the blame in any direction but towards ourselves and make up all kinds of fantasies about how perfect our lives would have been if other humans hadn’t sabotaged us with their rotten choices or malicious actions. But here’s the problem with playing the blame game: if God doesn’t agree to play as well, then we’re going to end up in a heap of trouble. You see, we don’t get to judge ourselves. God is the One who judges us, and that means that we need to get an accurate understanding of how His judgment system works. Continue reading Debunking the Impact of Adam: Unlearning Lies About How God Judges You
Why do Christians today say that the entire Bible is God-breathed or Divinely inspired? Where do we get that idea from? We get it from the apostle Paul. Paul once said to Timothy:
All Scripture is Divinely inspired and is useful for teaching, for showing people what is wrong in their lives, for correcting faults, and for teaching how to live right. (2 Tim. 3:16)
Of course when Paul said this, he was only talking about the Old Testament, because that was the only “Scripture” that he knew. But today when we quote Paul’s words, we pretend that he was referring to both the Old and New Testaments, even though the New Testament that you know today wasn’t compiled until long after Paul’s death. It simply doesn’t matter to you that the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, Hebrews, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John and Revelation were all written after Paul had died. You still insist that when Paul said all Scripture was Divinely inspired, he was including documents that he’d never personally heard of. Are you starting to get a feel for how ludicrous the modern day application of Paul’s words is? Continue reading Imitating the Idolatry of NT Jews: All Scripture is God-Breathed
If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Rom. 10:9)
Like John 3:16, Romans 10:9 is a favorite verse among Christians which they like to use as a quick summary for how to obtain salvation. But like John 3:16, Romans 10:9 doesn’t come close to accurately summarizing God’s salvation requirements. This isn’t because salvation is complicated—on the contrary, it’s a very simple matter of submitting to the real Gods as the Supreme Authorities that They are. But this isn’t where Romans 10:9 takes us, because the apostle Paul wrote Romans, and the apostle Paul didn’t personally submit to any God as truly supreme. Continue reading False Formulas for Salvation – Romans 10:9
The theory that we all have to lie around in the dirt for some period of time before finally being resurrected to meet the Lord is one that was very popular among certain New Testament Jews (those who sided with the teaching of the Pharisees). But it’s interesting to note that the Jews didn’t think the soul was also stuck in the dirt. When Lazarus died, for example, the belief was that after three days of mourning over the loss of its host body, Lazarus’ soul finally went on to a spirit dimension called Hades. Hades was believed to have good and bad sections to it–which one you landed in depended on what kind of person you’d been on earth. It was because the Jews would have assumed that Lazarus’ soul was in another dimension and no longer with his body that Jesus’ resurrection of Lazarus was such a shocking miracle. Only a true God like Yahweh was believed to have the power to bring a soul back from Hades–yet here Jesus was doing it. And Jesus made sure to stall around for four days in order to leave no doubt in Jewish minds that Lazarus’ soul was definitely gone from earth. The Jews believed that the soul could take up to three days to leave, because by three days, it would be forced to face the fact that the body was decomposing. Continue reading The Resurrection Myth: Why the Dead in Christ Won’t Really Rise
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
The same John who wrote the Gospel of John and Revelation also wrote the three epistles known as 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John. While 2 and 3 John don’t get out much, 1 John has several famous one liners in it, including this frequently quoted statement about salvation being obtained through the confession of sin. But is this really accurate? Is merely listing off our sins enough to grant us salvation and cause use to be blameless in the sight of God? No, it’s really not. In fact, salvation doesn’t have anything to do with God considering us to be “blameless.” We just think it does because, like the New Testament apostles, we’re focusing on the wrong things (see Jesus vs. the NT Jews: What it Means to Please God). Continue reading False Formulas for Salvation – 1 John 1:9