Hat tip to HowardinNYC for this inspirational video.
Hat tip to HowardinNYC for this inspirational video.
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
“As he taught, Jesus said, ‘Be wary of the scribes and the keepers of the law. They love to walk around in richly flowing robes, and to be greeted with great show of respect in the markets, and to have the highest places of honour at banquets. And yet they devour widows’ houses, while hypocriticaly making public shows of reverence. These will receive the hardest judgement.’”
I feel like rolling a hand grenade into a crowded room of shit throwing monkeys today. Was Jesus married to Mary Magdalene? Was Jesus really celibate for his whole life or did the Church Heirarchy make that up? Personally, I believe the whole celibacy issue is one of the major problems with priests and the abuse of children. I think women should be allowed to be priests. I think priests should be allowed to get married. I think the Church heirarchy are a corrupt organization of wealthy powerful men that are driving people away from the church.
Wednesday, September 26,2012
Who would have thought that one small piece of papyrus could stir so much explosive debate?
I’m referring, of course, to the recent discovery by a historian of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School, professor Karen King, of a papyrus fragment that identifies Jesus as referring to Mary Magdalene as “my wife.”
The papyrus fragment is hardly the first piece of evidence that Mary Magdalene was — or may have been — more than just a disciple or a reformed prostitute. An exhibit at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia on the Dead Sea Scrolls includes two bone-storage boxes that once contained the remains of a married “Jesus son of Joseph.” In addition, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the boxes also contained the remains of a woman whose name resembled that of Mary Magdalene.
The papyrus fragment has been peer-reviewed and deemed authentic. The bone-storage boxes have not been conclusively connected to the New Testament. But as we dig deeper into ancient history and find more relics, I predict this question is likely to be debated many times.
The reason there’s so much controversy surrounding this discovery is manifold. Archaeologists and church elders have debated over the centuries whether Jesus was celibate, and if not, what impact that would have on his purity and on his designation as the son of God.
Of course the Catholic Church’s attachment to Jesus as a celibate is most integral to church teachings. It’s why priests, bishops and all church leaders can only be men (in Jesus’ image) and why they must also be celibate.
To an outsider, this debate is specious. It is as completely incapable of being settled definitively as is the location of the Ark of the Covenant (at least as of now) or the very existence of God. We might as well hang it up.
Biblical scholars cannot agree on the precise date the Gospel of Mark was written. Most agree the range would have been sometime between 65 and 70 A.D., or before the destruction of the Jewish Temple. Others argue it could have been much later.
Regardless, Jesus is generally agreed to have died around the age of 33 and many scholars believe that none of the Gospels was written by an eyewitness to Jesus’ life.
Picture yourself among the literate “scholars” of the time. They believed in magic. There was no consensus on why the sun rose and set each day. There were scores of cult leaders and kings proclaiming themselves messiahs, both before and after Jesus’ death, including Alexander the Great.
My favorite take on why this debate continues was written by the Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault, who is a guest blogger for The Washington Post.
She said: “Nowhere in the (Nicene) creed does it specify as an article of belief that Jesus is a celibate, or that his divine status depends on his presumed celibacy. This is all later Christian mid-rash, the product of an increasingly patriarchal and misogynist hierarchy, which for the past 1,600 years has conducted its theological discourse in the hallowed halls of celibates speaking to other celibates. Not only does it not reflect the authentic message that Jesus is teaching; it actively distorts this message.”
The gospels that made the New Testament were chosen by politically-motivated church and state leaders who rejected dozens of other gospels with which they disagreed. This was completed centuries after Jesus’ death, early in the fourth century. What gave them the power to decide what should be included in the Bible and what should not?
The answer is nothing: they had political power and used it to sway church dogma. I urge all believers and non-believers to dig into biblical history. I’m shocked at the number of believers who’ve never read anything outside the Bible or listened to anyone but their pastors or priests on this topic. I hope King’s discovery will create a flurry of people rushing to learn more about how church doctrine came about in the first place.
Bonnie Erbe, a TV host, writes this column for Scripps Howard News Service. Email bonnie.scrippshowardgmail.com.
I love revealing Christian hypocrisy. Christian Evangelicals and many other faux Christians selectively use Jesus when pushing their agenda. They conveniently ignore Jesus’ most famous teaching – The Sermon on the Mount. They aren’t real big on “Blessed are the Peacemakers”. That is what Jesus said. I suggest that the warmonger neo-cons on this site who also call themselves Christians read the words below THOROUGHLY before they open their traps about attacking Iran and making the world safe for democracy.
SOURCE: THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW
DATE WRITTEN: 63 AD
1And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
5Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
7Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Believers Are Salt and Light
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
14“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Christ Fulfills the Law
17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
Murder Begins in the Heart
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, “Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, “You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. 23Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.
26Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.
Adultery in the Heart
27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not commit adultery.’
28But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
Marriage Is Sacred and Binding
31 “Furthermore it has been said, “Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.
Jesus Forbids Oaths
33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37But let your “Yes’ be “Yes,’ and your “No,’ “No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
Go the Second Mile
38 “You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.
Love Your Enemies
43 “You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Do Good to Please God
1“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.
The Model Prayer
5“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8“Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11Give us this day our daily bread.
12And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
14“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Fasting to Be Seen Only by God
16 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
Lay Up Treasures in Heaven
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
The Lamp of the Body
22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
You Cannot Serve God and Riches
24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
27Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31“Therefore do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?’ or “What shall we drink?’ or “What shall we wear?’ 32For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Do Not Judge
1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?
4Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
6“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
The Narrow Way
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
You Will Know Them by Their Fruits
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
I Never Knew You
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Build on the Rock
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
28And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
The moral and constitutional obligations of our representatives in Washington are to protect our liberty, not coddle the world, precipitating no-win wars, while bringing bankruptcy and economic turmoil to our people. — Ron Paul