Do you refer to yourself as a “born again” Christian? If so, why? Because that’s what it says in the Bible, right? But have you ever looked up the passages in which that term is used and studied the original context? Probably not, so let’s do it now, because it’s really quite interesting. Continue reading Understanding Jesus: What does it mean to be born again?
The apostle Paul was an ethnic Jew. In his day, ethnic Jews—especially Jewish men—were taught from the cradle to believe that they were far superior to everyone else. Jews referred to non-Jews as Gentiles, and being called a Gentile was not a compliment. Jews liked to refer to Gentiles as uncircumcised dogs which, in their cultural context, was like a white man calling a black man a nigger today. It’s critical that you appreciate how deeply racist the Jews in Bible times were. You need to understand that these folks had completely blown off Yahweh’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Continue reading Romans 10: Paul’s Racism, His Pride & His Beautiful Feet
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
“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
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
This is one of the most widely quoted verses from the Christian Bible, and we often use it to summarize God’s requirements for salvation. But is this really an accurate summary? Not even close. In fact, when you really stop to think about it, John 3:16 is a very lousy verse to use to try and help a non-believer end up on the right side of eternity. Now let’s learn why. Continue reading False Formulas for Salvation – John 3:16
As we start Romans 7, we are continuing in our study of Paul’s theology of sin and salvation. Back in Romans 5, Paul laid out some absurd theories on where sin came from. In Romans 6, Paul said that once we Christians get baptized, we are magically changed so that our basic nature is no longer depraved, and this makes it possible for us to now live sinless lives. Not only is it possible for us to be perfect, but perfection is what Yahweh demands of us. Continue reading Salvation According to Paul: If You Sin, You’re Damned (Romans 7-8)
Open up a box of crayons and look inside. Which colors do you like the best? Which colors do you like the least? Do you know where you get your opinions from? The Ones who made you. You see, before you were born, Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit decided whether you’d like blue better than green or red better than orange. They programmed your little brain to have an extremely narrow definition of concepts like good, beautiful, delicious, and fun. Why did They do this? Because They are obsessed with variety. And since it was Their plan from the beginning to make zillions upon zillions of humans, They came up with many creative ways to ensure that all of those humans wouldn’t end up as clones of each other. Just as you don’t want to listen to a fifty hour song that only has one note in it, your Creators weren’t interested in creating zillions of humans who all think, act, and look alike. So when it came time to create you, They put together a zesty little combination of fascinating features that would result in you being not quite the same as anyone else. They painted your skin a very specific shade. They programmed the cells in your body to grow into a very specific shape. Are you thin or fat? Are you a straight stick or do some parts of you bulge out? Perhaps you have a fat gut or a large butt or a big chest. Maybe your nose is huge or your ears stick out or you’ve got boats for feet. While you look in the mirror and see a bunch of flaws, your Gods see fascinating variety. They like ears that stick out just as much as ears that lay flat. They like long fingers just as much as stubby ones. Big guts, small guts, high butts, low butts, flat chests, big chests—it’s the variety that makes it all so fun. They don’t want a white world or a black world. They want snow white, inky black, and every fascinating shade in between.
The next time you’re out among people, take a moment to notice that endless variation that is all around you. No two humans are exactly alike, and if you’re honest, there are plenty of human features that you just don’t find very appealing. The truth is that you’re quite the narrow-minded little thing with a very pinched up view of “attractive.” This isn’t your fault, it’s how you’ve been wired. Being narrow minded comes naturally to humans, but our Gods are not humans, and when we start blurring the lines between Them and us, all kinds of problems arise. Continue reading More Lies from Paul: God Loves Jews More Than Gentiles (Romans 11)