15 Things Jesus Didn’t Say

 

shamegirl

15 things Jesus Didn’t Say:

“For God was so disgusted with the world and you that he gave his one and only Son.”

“I have come to bring you a new religion.”

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have correct theology.”

“If anyone would come after me, let him disparage all other religions and their followers.”

“If you love me, you will regularly attend a church of your choice… within reason.”

“Blessed are the tithers for they shall be called the children of God.”

“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in Heaven after the earth goes up in flames and is destroyed.”

“You have heard it said, ‘Love your neighbor,’ which means the people with whom you attend church and relate to in your Christian sub-culture.”

“In my Father’s house there are a limited number of rooms. But no worries, there is plenty of room in Hell.”

“The kingdom of God has come!… Well, not exactly. I mean, not completely. Let’s face it, the really-real kingdom comes after we die. Hang in there. It won’t be long.”

“And you will know the truth and the truth will make you superior to all the other simpletons who never learned Greek or Hebrew.”

“You are the light of the world… well… in a sinful-filthy-scum kind of way.”

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you a checklist of things to do and not do in order to remain in God’s favor.”

“For God so loved the world… you know like theoretically… as in, God loves the big ‘W’-world. But when it come to you specifically, there are quite a few things that would need to change for God to actually and specifically love… or even like… YOU.”

“He appeared to his disciples over a period of 40 days and spoke about how to incorporate his life and teaching as a 501(c)3, and go into all the earth to build mega-churches in his name.”

– Jim Palmer, Notes from (Over) the Edge: Unmasking the Truth to End Your Suffering

Latest Comments

  1. Merry Parker says:

    Here are a few things that Jesus actually did say, for us to consider also, because by the world’s standards today, they seem quite radical:

    “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in Heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in Heaven. Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take up his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 10:32-39

    “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. Many 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?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Matthew 7:21-23

    “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” John 15:5-6

    He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.” Luke 11:23

    “But why do you call Me “Lord, Lord”, and do not the things which I say? Luke 6:46

    “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. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

    “This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.
    And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” Mark 7:6-7

    “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again,
    he can not see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3

    “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life.
    No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

    • Rebecca says:

      Great truth to your words 🙂

    • glenbpowell says:

      Yep, but what did he mean by these teachings, given that he also said – many times in many different ways – :

      There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
      “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

      “The first,” they answered.

      Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

      Not so sure ‘confessing’ is much use if not backed up with action… Jesus came to seek and save the lost – and sends the ‘found’, but they spend all their time in church… Not sure that’s a good plan.

      • az4christ says:

        It all comes down to what repentance and saved means to you and does that mean the same thing as it does to God. Repentance means turning your back to your lawless past. We are saved from God, by God, for God. Its true we are still sinners until we are glorified into heaven, but our spirit ( will) is regenerated. We see things God calls sin as sin. We repent and turn away from our sin blinded slavery to sin and seek after God. God declares us clean and gives us The Holy Spirit to guide and protect us. We become part of the spiritual Body of Christ and are motivated by Jesus our head. As we walk with Christ daily, we are sanctified ( set apart -holy) by Him, for Him.

        Those who belong to Him, love Him and fear Him. Those who don’t, don’t. If you are truly saved, you see your own sinfulness and throw yourself at Jesus’ feet seeking mercy and help from our sin. While you fear God, you know and love Him and are known by Him. He removes the sinfulness of those who trust Him to do what they can’t.

        Praise God!

        AZ4Christ.wordpress.com

        Sent from my iPhone

    • Ellie Martin says:

      Oooo….getting to the heart of the matter…By our hearts we will be judged…
      “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:7-9
      Isn’t it wonderful to know that Jesus knew us in our mothers womb and went to the cross for us just the same. Who do you know that you would do that for?

    • qcstylee says:

      I don’t understand how people call today’s version of the Bible “The Word of God.” It’s been edited and interpretated, cut apart and spliced together so much that a lot of it doesn’t ring true. And, as for what Jesus stood for then making these “threats” you posted, does not make any sense, whatsoever and is clearly not divinely inspired. It’s man-made fear mongering so they can control the masses.

      • L says:

        Especially when the Bible itself calls *Christ* the Word of God

        Don’t believe me?

        1st chapter of John’s Gospel.

        “In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. and the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us…”

      • PLassiter says:

        Actually there are more ancient copies of the Bible books than of any other ancient documents. Studies show that it is amazingly consistent throughout these over documents. There are over 5,000 Greek manuscripts, about 8,000 Latin manuscripts, and another 1,000 manuscripts in other languages (Syriac, Coptic, etc.). In addition to this extraordinary number, there are tens of thousands of citations of New Testament passages by the early church fathers. In contrast, the typical number of existing manuscript copies for any of the works of the Greek and Latin authors, such as Plato, Aristotle, Caesar, or Tacitus, ranges from one to 20.The changes between them are less than 1% and and they are minor scribal errors that DO NOT AFFECT any elements of doctrine. There were extremely stringent rules followed by the scribes in copying involving counting words, counting letters and lines and other techniques to assure accuracy, plus the awareness of a Biblical curse on anyone who would intentionally change the smallest letter of it. If a single mistake was discovered, the entire manuscript would be destroyed. The New Testament can be regarded as 99.5 percent pure, and the correct readings for the remaining 0.5 percent can often be ascertained with a fair degree of probability by the practice of textual criticism.Among the many translations available today, the reason for the differences is that in the original Greek and Hebrew a word might have more than one meaning and different translators would choose one or another depending on their understanding of context. For example when Jesus says to the leper: “Your faith has healed you.” The Greek word used for healed also means saved, so some translations may write “Your faith has saved you.” or “Your faith has healed and saved you.” The other differences in translations is from whether it was from another translation or from original documents. For example, the King James was based on another translation, more modern translations go back to the early Greek and Hebrew documents. It is a fallacy that the Bible we have today has been “cut apart and spliced” so that it no longer represents the original documents. Also, any idea that any of the Church Councils changed or took out parts of it is impossible because at the time of the Councils there were hundreds of copies already in circulation all over the ancient world. You would have had to retrieve every one and alter it! We not only can be very certain about what the original “autographs” said, but we become more certain as more and more copies are discovered. I highly recommend a discussion of this issue by Dr. Paul Maier, professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University: How we got the Bible (DVD) – http://www.Paul Maier.com

      • Diane says:

        Actually, in response I would suggest you read Lee Strobel’s The Case for the Real Jesus in response to your first line. Great book I just finished reading. Would highly recommend it. Jesus was about loving God and loving your neighbour as yourself.

      • Albert says:

        Everything we read is Interpreted including our comments on this thread. But just because they are interpreted, doesn’t mean they are wrong.

        It is true that many people read the bible and interpret it incorrectly. But that doesn’t make the text wrong and it doesn’t mean it’s not the Word of God. What that means is the people that are reading it don’t understand enough to interpret it correctly. The flaw is in the people, not the writing.

        If your claim is that we can’t believe the bible because it is interpreted, then we can’t believe anything we read about anything.

        And you also mentioned that the bible has been edited. You will need to explain what you mean by edited. If you mean translated, that is different than saying it’s been edited. At least by my understanding of what edited means.

        For example, if I wrote out a sentence like: The dog went down the street to the corner.
        And then I “edited it”, that would look like this: The dog sat on the ground next to the front door.”
        The meaning of those two sentences is completely different. that is an edit.

        But a translation is simply taking the written words and finding the best fit according to a different language. Like someone saying “Estás loco en la cabeza” would be translated as “You’re crazy in the head”

        The meaning of those two phrases did not change. This is what happens with the bible; for the most part. There are some groups, like the Jehovah Witnesses that add words to fit their doctrine and the like. But that is a cult, not Christians. The words they follow have been changed. So then they would be following a different Jesus, if they follow him at all.

        But translations can be taken back to the original text and compared. And if you see that they are different in meaning, then you have something you can say was edited.

        Also, something you might want to consider about “divinely inspired” is that this could have been stated, not for all of the copies or the translations, but for the originals. The authors were divinely inspired to write what they did. And today, we have so many copies that we can be fairly confident that we have a bible that speaks with the original voice and intent.

      • AdamA5_18 says:

        The government doesn’t set out to murder and extinguish those who are under control. The Roman Empire sought out to slaughter the early church because the things Jesus told them to do pissed off the government, who wanted to discourage any real love from being spread and any real light from being shown. The guy that wrote most of the New Testament, Paul, was originally on that team, which is quite a story if you’re willing to learn about it. The early Christians were seeking to spread the revolution that Jesus began when He came here, an upside-down way of living that pierced those with all their religious pride to the heart and made them angry. That’s why they murdered Jesus, and that’s why they killed off those after Him that followed Him. There were certain things that you weren’t supposed to do in the culture that Jesus stepped into, according to religious authority. Jesus broke many rules of society for the sake of loving and serving and spreading the a totally unique and subversive kingdom, while still encouraging obedience to the authority established above you, to an extent. And yet, any time a religious authority was around, He was yelling at them, deeply upset by the high horse they set themselves upon. It’s a situation that can only really be understood by digging into it for yourself, and I really encourage you to do that. If “controlling the masses” appears to you to be what Jesus was about, and what His Word is for, I strongly encourage you to dig deeper into it. There’s much more to see than the shallow, comfortable “faith” that Christians and church people often try to throw at people today, and I hope you are willing to personally find out a little bit more about Jesus than what our comfortable, self-serving culture teaches. Thanks for your honesty though man, and if you do choose to really investigate this, I’d love to know what you find! Message me at fforeffort89@gmail.com.

      • Sue says:

        When one decides to believe that it was divinely inspired, then one has to find all sorts of ways to reconcile the discrepancies and such. Many folks make a lot of $$$ teaching people how they can make all the disjointed ideas fit together neatly.

      • Math1973 says:

        Very true. I keep hearing about all these copies of the NT from the before it was assembled. Shame that it’s mythical. There’s not enough evidencd to support anything in the Christian Bible. It’s no more reliable as a religion than Harry Potter’

      • sam says:

        Clearly you ought to find out how translations are derived because literal translations are often signicantly less accurate than dynamic equivalent (niv, nasv etc.) It’s important to have access to both.

      • jimpalmer1 says:

        During my seminary days we studied the Bible in their original languages (Hebrew, Greek), and translations based on them.

    • "Miss" says:

      Matthew 10:32-39
      This has always bothered me. Christ here seems no different from any other cult leader. How do we know there IS a difference? Is Christianity just another Messianic cult that has gained respectability over time?

      • Nicole Czarnecki says:

        As a Messianic Jew, I’m going to ask you a few questions about which you may want to think. Why are the majority of Jews not believing in or even ardently opposed to Jesus, as He said that they would be? What other leader would die on a cross for His people, especially if and when he knew that the majority would not accept his atoning death? What other leader predicted happenings and events, especially those regarding his people, that have come true (e.g., the Fall of the Temple in 70 CE/AD)?

      • A Follower says:

        Also, to follow up on Nicole’s comments, Jesus did not profit in any way from the beliefs of his followers. THat is, a cult leader usually gets alot of money/power, etc. But Jesus did not…

      • Albert says:

        There is also a difference in people dying for what they believe is true and dying for what the KNOW is true.

        The apostles went through life after the claimed the Jesus rose from the dead as different people than before they witnessed this miraculous event.

        These men went around telling everyone that what they themselves witnessed. It wasn’t something someone else said, but something they witnessed. And then those that were with them wrote down what they saw. We have two eye witnesses that wrote about this also, Paul and James, the brother of Jesus(who was not a believer until after he witnessed the risen Christ).

        If this is just a made up story, then these men died for what they truly knew was a lie. they didn’t require money or power but served others.

        If this is the same as all the cults you know about, then I would like to see which ones are like this. Because from what I know about cults, this is not the case.

        Jesus made claims that historically can be shown that came true. The men that wrote the bible were historically accurate with how they wrote them.

        Respectability was never a goal in the doctrine of Christianity. If it gained that, it’s because it’s true, not because it’s just popular.

      • Aneta Istrate says:

        Hi dear “miss” :).
        I read, too, the mentioned by you passage and I found actually few radical requirements there, which would need to become visible in the lives of those deciding to follow Jesus..
        Why did you say Jesus is not making any difference?
        One powerful difference is this: Jesus is the ONLY one who was brought back to life, compared to all other prophets before Him, after dieing for the mankind with no favouritism.
        One will know there is A difference in their lives when if they submit to this verse, John 7:17. (I shall leave with you the pleasure of discovering its message 🙂 )
        Feel free to continue exploring and if you need more help, here is my contact: aneta dot istrate at gmail dot com.
        I wish you a fulfilling search and a joyful walk with God. 🙂

      • Ron Goetz says:

        “Miss”, many of the Jewish leaders believed that Jesus was just one of a long line of Jewish messiahs. He was dismissed just the way they dismissed any “messiah” who gained a following, what you call a cult. Dozens of “Jewish messiahs” were crucified the way Jesus was.

        Faith is still faith. There is no “proof” that Jesus was THE Jewish messiah. That’s the difference between faith and knowledge. If someone’s so-called “faith” requires arguments and probabilities, then their so-called faith is weak.

      • Ron Goetz says:

        Nicole Czarnecki, I’m sure it will come as no surprise to you that many Bible scholars believe that the gospels that discuss the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D., like the Gospel of John, were actually written after 70 A.D. John knew the Temple had been destroyed, and his writing reflected that historical fact.

      • Ian Jameson says:

        The witness of the power and authority of the kingdom Christ (and subsequent followers) spoke of and demonstrated, intervening in people’s lives – freeing them from afflictions and various forms of bondage – is the proof the kingdom he spoke of is real.

        Unfortunately, the current status of the church sadly lacks the level of commitment to pay the price to walk out true biblical faith in demonstrating the reality of that power and authority of said kingdom.

        I include myself in that category. I would rather live a comfortable (albeit pointless) life than suffer the persecution inherent in truly living as I have been called to.

        Like an addict that can never hope to overcome an addiction without first becoming blatantly honest, the church will never grow out of this unless it admits it is just pretending.

        If / when the church at large does so and the lame walk, the blind see, and loved ones are set free from lifelong bondages, physical, mental and emotional disabilities, and raised from the dead en masse, the reality of that kingdom will be so undeniably real that only those whose hearts are hardened beyond repentance will choose not to see, and continue to deny, and persecute.

        Until then, to people in their natural, unredeemed state*, the message is only words – not to be taken any more seriously than any other of myriad messages floating around in the world.

        *See Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus in the gospel of John chapter 3 as a reference to what I am referring to here as ‘unredeemed’

      • Zonoma says:

        Miss,

        I, too, struggled with that question for years. I’m glad you are asking it out loud so I can tell you that you are not alone. So many great minds have wrestled with it before you and I! I have actually written about it because the journey was an important one for me and I hope yours is as fruitful as mine was. If you would like to read about my journey the entry (about 800 words) is here: http://www.zonoma.net/tag/truth/page/2/

    • Ron McDonald says:

      Excellent response. This popular version of Jesus being a peace loving, long haired hippy is nonsense. People need to at least be honest with themselves. I am an atheist, but I have more respect for the fundamentalists than the wishy washy McJesus types that are really just trying to lie to themselves about being a believer. If you are going to follow a religion, you can’t just cherry pick all of the good stuff and ignore all the bad stuff.

    • Kelly says:

      So, let me get this straight … you are quoting a book, written by a king as a book of law, that has been erronously translated an abundance of times? Ok ….

    • Robert says:

      You must be fun at parties.

    • Marie says:

      Excellent. Let the Word of God speak for itself. I think your point is, and I concur, is that while we are to be compassionate and loving, Jesus was UNEQUIVOCAL about many things. We live in a very compromising world and society. Jesus did not mince words.

    • Holy Femme! says:

      Thank you Merry. I just hope Jim really read the Bible before saying what Jesus did not say… half of what he says (while said cynically) is actually said in the Bible (even if not by Jesus directly). God gave you a gift but you have to accept it to experience. And he did say the way to heaven is narrow while that of hell is wide. Anyway, thanks Merry.

      -HF:holyfemme.wordpress.com

    • Arl says:

      Sounds pretty egotistical and tyrannical to me. Who’d wanna follow someone like that?

    • Deirdre Seim says:

      The more one reads about Christianity, the smaller and sadder it seems. That people desparately try to believe a set of punishing, cruel things hoping to cheat death and somehow how a “forever” existence as .. what, I am not sure, some strange, sexless, sinless non biological being? That they wrap themselves in twisted translations of a man who was killed 2000 years ago– apparently while claiming that god was coming any minute to punish his enemies (remember, jesus supposedly said that some of the apostles would still be living when judgement day arrived) and try to keep recreating a broken, failing society from that time is just sad.

    • Denise Sullens says:

      Very good post and all truth, and God’s Word is totally the truth and the inherent, inspired Word of God whether we believe it or not.

    • Denise Sullens says:

      PS. And we show our love to Him (not His to us) by our obedience. “Obedience is better than sacrifice.” Act 17:11. We also show our love for others by wanting them to know the truth.

  2. Rusty says:

    Yes, Merry Parker. If one doesn’t want to believe or address the things Jesus *did* say, it’s easier to just make up a list of things he didn’t say, and start a conversation around that. As you remind us, Jesus said some things that are difficult to accept.

    • Gary says:

      Yes, Jesus did say much and what HE says is a must as He Is God in the flesh. He gave a command, imagine that, and it was to love one another. Scripture warn over and over and over about poor teaching. So many of my Christian friends have forgotten Matt. 5:20 and the importance of being like a child to enter the kingdom. We all continue to forsake God or hold Him in low esteem. He is God and that is enough. He is not our butler, but then again He Does Love us………….

      The 15 Things Jesus Didn’t Say is a great awareness. Merry Parker’s scripture is also a great awareness. How off is liberal theology. and at the other end how far off is the hard core Calvanist??? We humbly need the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Helper) and God did not create us to be “independent” of Him or each other.

    • Ron Goetz says:

      Rusty, here’s a short list of people who said things that were difficult to accept: Friedrich Nietzsche, Joseph Smith, the prophet Jeremiah, John the Baptist, Fidel Castro, Martin Luther, and John Calvin.

      Being controversial doesn’t make you right. Being controversial doesn’t mean you actually said everything that is attributed to you.

  3. Jacques Cote says:

    I would like to remind all of us that Jesus did not call us to debate theology but to follow Him. Some times reading some of my brother and sister in the Lord, I wonder if they know more about scripture then Jesus Himself, It is one thing to know about him or His saying it is another to know Him and follow Him. Jesus came to establish the Kingdom of His Father in the heart of men (Righteousness, Peace and Joy), not a religion to be debated, or a doctrine to be followed, but a change life created by His presence in our heart.

    • az4christ says:

      J Cote With so many false teachers and phony Christians, Biblical doctrine helps us discern truth from fiction. Salvation by God is a supernatural event that fundamentally changes the will of those saved. Anyone can claim to follow Christ. Only the saved want to completely and do, long term. While we will fall short at times, until we are Glorified at our death, God tells us that we will know his children by their fruit and that we will fear Him and work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Those who have issues with Biblical Doctrine, have issues with God and may be deceived or trying to deceive others.

      All Glory to God!

      AZ4christ.Wordpress.Com

      Sent from my iPhone

      • Ron Goetz says:

        az4christ, every statement you made here is a faith statement. Nothing is factual. Many people may agree with you, but we all know that facts are not determined by a majority vote. (e.g. “the earth is flat.”

        And whose “Biblical Doctrine” do you have in mind? The Biblical doctrine of the Calvinists, or the Arminians? The Biblical Doctrine of Amillenialists, or the Dispensationalists? The Biblical Doctrine of Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox, or of Quakers?

        The story of the king in Matthew 25 doesn’t mention Bible Doctrine at all. The king comes already knowing who is acceptable and who is not.

        You are awfully concerned about false teachers and phony Christians. Jesus’ word to you is, “mind your own business.”

        “Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.'”

        None of us have enough sense or wisdom to know people’s hearts the way God does. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Stop meddling in the affairs of others.

      • Kimberly Knight says:

        The bible is not true JUST because the bible says it is true. If that is the argument you use then you worship the bible and not Christ. You have to do better than that.

    • Albert says:

      Jesus didn’t call us to surf the web reading what people post about such subjects, but we do that as well. In fact, there are many things that Jesus did not call us to do that we do. Some are good and some are not so good.

      I would think that discussing God’s Word would be something that Jesus would encourage. After all, if we don’t understand what he said, how can we follow him correctly?

    • Keishia says:

      But we are to be like the Bereans who tested whether or not a teaching was in line with God’s Word… It is not bad to have theological discussions–and even disagreements– as long aswe do it in love and humility.

    • Albert says:

      Jacques Cote, You said, ” Jesus did not call us to debate theology but to follow Him.”

      You do realize that what you just did there was to assert a specific theology?

      There are many doctrines centered on the bible, like the Jehovah Witnesses, that would say we are not to follow Jesus, but God alone.

      For you to assert your understand is to debate a certain theology.

      In fact, if you read your whole statement back it is defining what your understanding is that we should be doing. Which is a religion, a doctrine. And you presenting this point of view is lending a response for debate.

      By the way, I agree with your view, I’m just stating that you can’t say we can’t debate theology and present one at the same time.

      That is a contradiction.

      • Ron Goetz says:

        Albert, you would seriously attempt to eliminate those sorts of contradictions from discussions? Emerson said, “Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.”

        Your comment may be technically accurate, but not everyone feels the need to qualify everything they write.

        I solve Jacques Cote’s problem by making simple statements of fact, like the fact that in Matthew 25 there is no mention of doctrine or theology. Or a more lengthy discussion of the inevitability of doctrinal differences, and that love covers a multitude of “differences.”

    • Sue says:

      Following which particular version or which particular passage since many contradict the others. Hence lies the need for debate. Too many discrepancies in the collection of many letters written by many different people over many different years read by many, many different people.

      • Demyan says:

        Or surprisingly few discrepancies considering that there are: “many letters written by many different people over many different years read by many, many different people.” You are making a qualitative statement on what is too many – but if in the midst of the “many” these letters contain a unifying message and theme applied in different instances and explained to different people, then to me (making my qualitative statement) that is actually good support of “divine inspiration” or at least “universal truth”

  4. Marge says:

    Never argue with a fool. For those who are watching cannot tell the difference. G.R.A.C.E…Just live it.

  5. Julianne says:

    I don’t understand how two or three people can hijack someone’s blog and virtually turn it into the opposite (or a sadly ironic example) of the kinds of theological “thinking” originally being critiqued.

    • Julianne says:

      Jim’s writing is very biblical, AZ4christ or whatever your real name is, and his list of things Jesus didn’t say is possibly motivated by people like you who grasp onto bits and pieces of the holy scriptures with narrow modernist-positivist interpretations, and a strongly judgmental approach to others, convincing yourself that only you and people who think like you can possibly know the meaning of the scriptures and of the life of our Lord….There are many who follow Christ, and have over the last almost 2000 years, whose understanding of their faith is quite different from yours. Sadly, Christians have always accused one another of heresy. There is clearly more than one possible interpretation of the events and of the scriptures that seek to interpret them. It would be gracious of you to accept and honour this.

      • az4christ says:

        Julianne, There is one truth, if it is truth. As another has said, Jim’s 15 things Jesus Didn’t Say is a straw dog. It’s post modern and thereby relative and false. It criticizes a caricature of frail faithful people in order to undermine their biblical faith. The Bible is God’s law and Gospel, not man’s opinion. God requires perfect obedience, something only God can deliver. Since Adam, we are born sinful. Jesus came to earth to save His elect from their sins to restore our godly relationship with Him. The law that you condemn, is what condemns us. Sin is not ok. Everyone who claims to follow Christ but doesn’t hate their own sinfulness is spiritually dead, lying or deceived. They don’t think they need salvation from their sin, because they love their sin. People like Jim tells people what their itching ears want to hear, that God loves them even as they wallow in their sinfulness, that they can be worldly and love God. This is impossible. It’s a lie. There is such a thing as God’s just wrath against the lawless sinners. Jesus died to satisfy God’s wrath and cover our sin, but only for those He came to save – God’s elect. We know we are part of the elect, when after reading God’s word we see His righteousness and our sinfulness, and are driven to our knees in repentance. If we feel, as Jim teaches, that sin isn’t bad but who we are, and that God loves us anyway, we aren’t yet saved. Jim is leading the lost away from repentance, and therefore away from salvation. That is how Jim is unbiblical. The fear of God is the beginning of godly wisdom. There is no salvation without repentance. Telling the lost that they are saved or Christian without repentance is unbiblical, evil, and demonic.

        The Bible isn’t open to multiple interpretations on truth. False teachers will accept and teach many conflicting opinions and call all of them valid. This is illogical and stupid. At the end of the day, God alone chooses who is saved, how they are saved, and what salvation looks like and accomplishes. I seek God’s opinion exclusively. I may be wrong. I know that I am a sinner redeemed by God. But the Bible is my only authority. It’s not hard to understand. You can tell who is Christian. They know they are sinful, and need their savior. With God’s guidance and protection, they seek to honor the Bible and faithfully follow Christ!

        Biblically,

        AZ4Christ.wordpress.com

      • Sue says:

        Makes sense to me. Anyone who thinks it’s false is either too swept up in a cult-like following of their religion or just obtuse.

      • Ron Goetz says:

        Julianne, Wisdom literature talks about the fact that sin is inherent in wordy discussions.

        “When words are many, sin is not lacking, but the prudent are restrained in speech.” (Proverbs 10:19)

        “. . . many words mark the speech of a fool.” (Ecclesiastes 5:3b

        Unfortunately, I’m the sort who sometimes spends more time with words than is healthy.

        One last thing: when I used to be a fundamentalist, I was taught that a single verse could be invoked to support a belief, e.g., “Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’?”

        Was Jesus “majoring in the minors” when he quoted that verse? I have found in those “bits and pieces” many dynamite teachings, teachings which were systematically ignored and suppressed by fundamentalism.

        This is not to argue with you, simply a few comments on your remarks to the Arizona Calvinist.

    • SingingOwl says:

      Sadly, my thoughts exactly.

  6. Dave Shumaker says:

    I agreed with something a guy named “Rusty” said: “…If one doesn’t want to believe or address the things Jesus *did* say, it’s easier to just make up a list of things he didn’t say, and start a conversation around that. As you remind us, Jesus said some things that are difficult to accept.” The 15 things Jesus never said is a straw man; Jesus never said find every tax loophole and exploit it, but we do with no pangs of conscience. He never said all kinds of improbable things, but He did utter some ‘hard sayings’ conveniently avoided. I know the intent of the writer… but this sounds like self-justification by omission.

    • az4christ says:

      Amen!

      Sent from my iPhone

      • Demyan says:

        While I also agree looking at what Jesus did say is definitely more profitable, the point of these particular things (the implication) is that these are things the church is teaching (or “Christians” are living) but which contradict Jesus’ teachings.

        In light of this, I actually don’t agree with all of Jim’s statements, but since you seem to think Jim is over-emphasizing God’s love to nonbelievers and so being deceptive (I can’t reply directly to that post – not sure why), I want to requote a few of the things Jim denounces:

        “The kingdom of God has come!… Well, not exactly. I mean, not completely. Let’s face it, the really-real kingdom comes after we die. Hang in there. It won’t be long.” (denouncing a “personal religion” mentality that avoids engaging in the present world)

        “You are the light of the world… well… in a sinful-filthy-scum kind of way.” (denouncing that God does not really expect you to be a light or to follow radically)

        “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you a checklist of things to do and not do in order to remain in God’s favor.” (denouncing legalism that replaces reliance on God’s grace with reliance on law-keeping for salvation)

        “He appeared to his disciples over a period of 40 days and spoke about how to incorporate his life and teaching as a 501(c)3, and go into all the earth to build mega-churches in his name.” (denouncing the idea that we make God fit into our plans instead of surrendering completely to His will)

    • Sue says:

      Big picture must be followed and the little details fall into place. These 15 things are big-picture items and if they aren’t addressed than whatever else a so-called Christian does is pretty much worthless. Heck, I’d go so far as to say if they ignore the 15 things they are hurting Christianity pretty profoundly.

    • Ron Goetz says:

      Dave Shumaker, those 15 Things Jesus Never Said is not a straw man. When many churches and Christians hold unloving and un-Christian beliefs or practices, questioning those beliefs and practices like this is totally acceptable.

      For example, Isaiah wrote something in a very similar vein.

      “When you come to appear before Me, Who requires of you this trampling of My courts?” (Isaiah 1:12)

      What this verse shares in common is a critique of a common practice, and rhetorically searching for the “author” of such an idea.

      For example: “You are the light of the world… well… in a sinful-filthy-scum kind of way.” This is how the truth of who we are in Christ is actually taught, especially in really Calvinist places. We are light, but still thoroughly evil and reprobate. Just as Isaiah asks, “Who required this of you?” we are asked here, “Who taught you that you remain sinful-filthy-scum as a Christian?”

      I think you should study the idea of a “straw man” a little more closely.

  7. Jim says:

    The centuries of sin has changed God’s creation of Man; Adam and Eve. There are children born every day with cleft pallet, club feet, deformed heart, withered limbs…. but if somebody is born gay it becomes his/her responsibility to have that part of the brain changed or go to hell. People are born with issues involving their brain and we cut them slack. But not homosexuals. Why do we care who is sinless or not? Everybody is responsible for their own relationship with God. Go and sin no more. I mean YOU go and sin no more. Let others following Christ have their own relationship.

    • az4christ says:

      You equate things that clearly are caused by our fallen and cursed creation with behavior that God says is sinful. You wrongly assume that homosexuality is a physical birth defect or we were born that way. While we all are born with original sin, mo one is ever is justified biblically to continue in our sinfulness. Paul spoke to the church at Corinth and identified behavior that is sinful, that some of them were ( past tense) – Ie God removed their sinful desires. If something causes you to sin, remove it or yourself from those who do it. Its a spiritual battle, seek protection and encouragement from godly people. Homosexuality isn’t normal biblically. True christians wouldn’t turn their backs on God and support those that try to normalize it.

      Following Christ!

      AZ4christ.Wordpress.com

      Sent from my iPhone

      • Jim says:

        You equate all homosexual behavior with the choice decadent and depraved people make. In Sodom there was a group demanding the guests (angles) be sent out so that ‘we may have sex with them’. Now that sounds like people lost to their lusts and are behaving in a way that is an abomination to God’s plan for our lives. Remember when groups of young men running around New York city were attacking and raping women? That is wrong as well, but there were heterosexual I think az4christ just likes to feel superior to others and smiles while he draws a line that slices off so many people who were born homosexual. But I can’t say what his relationship is with God, or what he will believe in a year or two. None of my business. Nor can he say what my relationship is with God.
        az4christ. Troll for God’s kingdom!!

      • az4christ says:

        I don’t feel superior, i feel redeemed and thank God for redeeming me. My heartfelt desire is that everyone who reads this who suffers under the sin of homosexuality or lust will be saved! I do not presume to know your heart. But from the heart glows all sorts of evil. God’s word judges you and i. Lust, heterosexual or homosexual is sin. I am not a slave to lust. My relationship with God is eternal. God promises it and i believe it. All may be saved, but repentance is necessary. Who’s the troll?

      • Jim says:

        You are and you love the attention.

      • az4christ says:

        Refute what i say biblically. If anything i say is unbiblical, don’t believe it. However, if it is biblical (and it is), you ignore it at your peril. The all time best selling book is worth reading. Your books are not.

        God’s word is truth!

        AZ4Christ.wordpress.com

        Sent from my iPhone

      • Rowan Smith says:

        I love that God’s word is the all time best seller. Did you know it is also the most shop lifted book in the USA today. So it seams people want the truth even if they have to steal to get it lol

      • az4christ says:

        Rowan,
        God isn’t silent on homosexuality. Many presume that it is a birth defect or people are made that way. Alcoholics should be able to get drunk, because they are born that way? Pick any sin. Your logic would justify anything.

        I simply accept God’s judgements and trust that He can remove any and all sin.its wrong because God says it is .God’s opinion is the only one that matters.

      • Donald says:

        Oh will u please stop with the sodom and gomarra, thats not on gay people, its on rape!!!! not every gay man wants to rape each other, hell im gay and i dont even do what it says in that story, its getting really old, just stop, im 18 and i have had feelings for guys since i was 8! if gay is being a choice? when did u wake up to be straight??….. exactly

      • Pastor Cindy says:

        Jesus had NOTHING to say about homosexuality. Jesus came to supercede (sp?) the law, thereby making any Old Testaments comments about homosexuality null and void. And Paul is not Jesus, so what he had to say about is irrelevant as well. It is not an assumption to say that people are born homosexual, it is scientific fact, just like some people are born with a birth mark, or diabetes or heart disease. God is love and there is no room for hate or judgment in the heart of a Christian. You are obviously not one.

      • Darrell says:

        If you believe in generational curses, a person can be born gay. Homosexuality is no bigger of a sin than any other sin. Daddy may have been straight, grand daddy may have been straight, but great grand daddy may have been in grama’s bedroom trying on some clothes when no one was home. If we stopped fighting over whether or not it was a sin, and just started loving people, at some point in time they may get it and turn, then again they may not. Imagine if Jesus would have stayed away from lepers….

        Pastor Cindy, if you are truely a pastor, then you know that the entire bible is considered Gods Word. So saying that Pauls words are irrelevant is pretty scary.

      • Ron Goetz says:

        Pastor Cindy, Jesus actually did mention flesh-and-blood gays and lesbians in at least 2 places. I’ll warn you ahead of time that this claim is controversial, but I am convinced. Here are the two places:

        The Centurion and His Pais.

        The word pais was a nick name for the younger member of a gay couple. This meaning is found in Greek literature, but was deliberately suppressed by the men who wrote the Bible helps laypeople rely on (Strong’s Concordance, Young’s Concordance, etc.)

        The usual rendering for pais is son or servant, with no hint of this alternative usage. It was common for centurions to have an attendant to minister to his various needs, including sexual.

        Jesus and the two Gays and Lesbians

        Luke 17 describes two gay couples, male and female, in verses 34 & 35.

        “I tell you, on that night two men will be in one bed;
        one will be taken and the other left.
        Two women will be grinding grain together;
        one will be taken and the other left.” (Luke 17: 34-35)

        (I have performed a careful exegesis of Luke 17: 26-35. This interpretation does not rely on a simplistic reading of two verses.) http://biblethumpingliberal.com/gays-lesbians-in-luke/

        There’s more, but these are the two most important.

        Jesus healed the gay companion of the centurion, and expressed no hint of condemnation of the pais, or of the gay and lesbian couples in Luke.

    • Keishia says:

      Jim, if you are the original person who wrote this blog post, it really spoke to me… I just stumbled upon your words and I was cheering as I read them. There is much truth in what you have written. However, Merry’s response is powerful because these ARE the actual teachings of Jesus Christ.

      Just because a group of scientists say something doesn’t make their ideas true. “Science” has been a changing and shifting dialogue for at least two millenia. And that is what TRUE science is supposed to be…

      Additionally, culture has also shifted and changed– so we can’t use that as a benchmark either. Laws have been written and changed; empires have risen and fallen.

      God never changes. The same God who destroyed Soddom and Gomorrah is Jesus Christ. He is also the Holy Spirit ~ and the three can not be divided. So what does this mean? “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” 1st John 4:1-6

      AND

      “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

      We all struggle with sin, every one of us. We were born into it and we will die in it unless we embrace the Truth. We are not perfect, but God wants us to live victoriously. We can only do it if we fully humble ourselves and trust Him with our temptations and not succomb to them.

      In the end, we have to go with what has actually been written~ even the hard parts. When we do so, we say, “Lord I trust that You are who You say You are. You are pure love and this temptation before me is a counterfeit.”

      P.S. I realize that Soddom and Gomorah were not distroyed just for the sins of homosexuality and lust, but also sheer pride, greed, and apathy. (See Ezekiel 16) The latter three seem to be unfairly and often overlooked since Christians, in the Western world are thoroughly plagued and inculcated with the idea that bigger and blingier is always better (and smarter for that matter).

    • Sue says:

      Remember the “pointing out a speck in your brother’s eye while you have a plank in your own”? Kinda applies, doesn’t it?

  8. Robert says:

    I liked your list…

    here a few others…

    1. Jesus did not say that the bible was the literal word of god…. the bible did not exist…. (but he did say alot about false prophets, pretentious and profit seeking priest.)

    2. Jesus did not say to change the sabbath from Saturday to Sunday… (but he did say alot about doing the right thing… not the easy thing.)

    3. Jesus said nothing about gay people at all… but he did say to take the plank out of your eye before removing the splinter from someone else’s…

    I love Jesus and always have… What Jesus said was to live a life of service, to love the oppressed, to act kindly to kin and stranger, to live a life of life of love, not fear. I have lived my life actually doing that (by working for 20+ years with the poor, homeless and discarded)… not by talking about it… and I am not a christian… because while I love Jesus… I can do without the arrogance and ignorance that christianity and all major religions seem to breed.

    I think most christians miss the humility piece and go directly to a self appointed, self righteous pride with very little effort to actually doing anything of real value in this world…

    • SingingOwl says:

      Robert, that is a good list. I’m so sorry you seem to have encountered more than your share of prideful Christians. But as for doing things of value, I must say that I do not have to look far to see that there have been MANY Jesus followers who spent their lives bringing things of value to the world–hospitals, homeless shelters, food pantrys, orphanages (not all bad), feeding programs, schools….and on goes the list. I know many people who have given much and loved much. I hope you meet those kind of Christians soon. Peace. And thank you for following Jesus example.

    • Annie says:

      Thank you Robert. You expressed what was in my heart, beautifully. Thank you too, Jim, for the original list.

      • Ultimate Glory says:

        Hear hear! I still have the shivers from reading it. This is the most elegant, powerful, convicting post that I have ever read on the topic that cuts straight to the chase of “religious” Christian living. Thank you so much

    • MaryEllen Belford says:

      Your post resonates with me, Robert. The truth of the matter is, we don’t really know what Jesus said or didn’t say. A study of the HISTORY of the Scriptures will show you that. Check out author Marcus Borg or Richard Rohr’s book “Living the Questions, The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity.” Both authors break down all the mythology surrounding Jesus and get to the spirit of his life. There is something about him that we’re still talking about him 2000 years after his death. I’ve taken an interest in why that is. What I’ve learned is this humble man was quite the social activist. He stood up to the injustices of the Roman law and the hypocricy of the Judaic system of the day. I look at the way he lived his life. I believe his life was his message.

      To me, being a follower of Jesus means using the example of his life to inform mine. I have also become a social activist. I stand up for the “least of them”. I was happy to support my gay brothers and sisters last weekend in our Pride Parade and Festival. As an allie, I feel that it is important to have a voice for any kind of discrimination whether it be for one’s race, sexual orientation, class, religion or lack of religion.

      I have taken the time to learn the truth about other religions from those who practice those religions, not from the fear mongering “Christians” who say that theirs is the only way.

      That’s what being a follower of Jesus looks like in my life. I ask myself, if he were here today, what would he be doing, and I try to do that. I believe that he would be outraged at the religion that has evolved “In His Name”, today. I think that’s why so many of us abandon Christianity all together. Check out Progressive Christianity. It’s something different. Definately not for biblical literalists. But for those that believe that there is something in the Jesus story that can help them live their lives today.

      • Jason Ryan says:

        His post resonates with me, too, Mary Ellen. Since the New Testament in large part was not actually written down until decades after His death, it reminds me of the game we tried a few times in class, where we sat in a circle, and one message got whispered one by one, until you could compare what was first said, and how it finally turned out. Multiply that by decades, or hundreds or thousands of years, and you get my point. Yes, we were kids, maybe that was the only diff. Ha. I believe in acting and following His teachings, and believe if many more would just that, it would proportionately diminish the hatefulness.
        Perhaps someone can enlighten me on one quote ascribed to Him; ‘This generation shall not pass away before the return of the Son of man”. And another paraphrased, as I don’t want to look up the specific words: ‘On that day, you will not need to be told, all will see when it arrives suddenly, like a thief in the night, with a Thunderclap’. So far as I know, the only thieves in the night are quite mortal, and they usually don’t clap. Maybe the quote included a sound of a trumpet, but they usually don’t do that either.
        I believe evidence shows not only that generation, but a hundred subsequent ones have come and gone and no ‘thief in the night’ Day of Judgment yet, or we’re all in a dream world. There was a considerable panic as the year 1000 A.D. approached, with many pontificating interpretations of the significance worrying believers. Since then there have been many more demagogues with their scholarly predictions that have come to naught, and sometimes led to their followers’ untimely deaths.
        You can research one panic caused in the 1830s here in the USA, and other fooled-following-fools incidents, some not that long ago involving poisoned Kool-Aid and other off-shoot sects. I think He also said something about not worrying yourselves as to the day nor hour, but keep on keeping on, faithfully doing your work, and doing the best you can.
        Regarding ‘proof’; do you need proof that you better gas up occasionally, or just faith that you can ignore it and keep driving; proof that you need to put out some effort to eat, or is faith that manna will drop into your lap enough; proof that you need to shower occasionally, or faith that it’s just your hairstyle keeping people at a distance? Proof that the world is way older than the fundamentalists ‘know’ how old it is, or faith that all the fossil, geologic, ice core records and etc are put here by the Debbil to fool us? Why, if ancient prophets could require proof, can we not do the same?

    • Dan says:

      Robert,
      First, bless you for helping the less-fortunate. You’re doing WAY more than anyone else anywhere. Second, the belief of Christianity is to believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior. To know, love and believe in HIm is to be a follower of Christ (and therefore a Christian). The people you are referring as self-appointed, prideful, etc. are the wrong side of the Chrsitianity coin. Assuming that all Christians are like that because of the radicals is like saying that all Islamics are terroistis, when only the crazy, misguided ones truly are. Never be ashamed to be a Christian. A Christian who trulyloves and knows Jesus will be acting exactly the way you are now: with humility, empathy, love, and compassion. Welcome to the better half of Christianity, brother!

    • Sue says:

      Jesus didn’t have a Bible like folks use now – it’s a bunch of letters grouped together from a bunch of different authors that don’t all agree on the facts and it kinda didn’t exist in Jesus’ day…

  9. Aron Duby says:

    Here’s a link to Jim’s recent follow up post “15 Things Jesus DID Say”: http://jimpalmerblog.com/2013/06/06/15-things-jesus-did-say/

  10. karen beckett says:

    people of all walks try to figure Him out, and it cant be done, because He doesn’t need figured out. Utterly simple needs no figuring out. my little niece w downs loved Him and reminded us of Him when she knew we were sad or troubled. SIMPLE.

  11. Adam says:

    Theology. Who cares? I mean, who *really* cares? At the end of the day, all that matters is this: did you accept Christ as your Savior? Did you love one another? Or did you waste time fighting over theology? At the end of the day, it is not our theology – our study of God – that matters. What matters is that we have accepted Him. Stop arguing.

  12. Melanie says:

    And all of the arguing back and forth over what was said and not said, who is good and who is bad, How much money to give, who is going to be saved or go to hell. How about this, What is the basis of God or Jesus’ teaching for us. No matter who you are or how you believe, leave the judging to God, and just LOVE ONE ANOTHER WITHOUT JUDGEMENT! Whether I agree with you or not, we are on this planet together and if everything I do comes from a place of PURE (no judgement) love and compassion I can’t be wrong. Without judgement, Love to you all and my sincerest hope for your happiness.

  13. Shari says:

    It’s amazing. After all these years, you still have these Pharisees, now calling themselves Christians, still living for the law, thinking that if they do everything perfect they will be loved, incapable of accepting the fact that God already loves them and that that love is why Jesus died. It’s sad. They’re sad. But thankfully, while it makes their lives on earth a living hell, and while it keeps people that believe them from ever having a loving relationship with God, it doesn’t separate them from God. God still loves them and one day they will be set free from their fear, probably in death. Until then, they will continue to preach law, because that’s all they know, and ignore the love, acceptance and grace of God. I cry for them.

  14. Anthony says:

    I think it important to actually focus on what he did say….Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.

  15. Gabe says:

    I was a hard core Christian for over 20 years and I’m so glad I escaped that religious maze. I just shake my head as I watch these silly debates with interest as I reflect on the silliness of it all. Most Christians especially the Pentecostals and Non-denominational think their brand is the truest when there are hundreds if not literally thousands of Christian sects, offshoots, denominations, etc. It’s like watching Muslims arguing amongst each other which version of Islam is closest to the true one that Muhammad espoused…If God exists, I hope he way more rational and understanding than what I used to believe and how most of you portray him. I’m sure you believe that you are one of the elect, the special little group of people that God selected for salvation, ,and God said screw ll the rest. That’s one of the sickest doctrines of all. Makes God look like a total a**hole. Do you seriously love a God who chooses a few for salvation and basically screws the majority of humanity…and your okaywith because he is “just”? That God sounds as about attractive as the gods of Olympus. How can someone believe in the Calvinism brand honestly love God without coersion. The Arminian version ain’t much better either. If God exists, I’d say he’s got to much wiser, kinder, and much more amazing than the bible God. Can you seriously call a being who tortures human beings forever without mercy kind and loving? His either has limited power, a distorted view of love, or is divine psychopath, or he doesn’t exist, or lastly the real God is not at all as he is portrayed by Christians.

    Here is a question for you Christians. If God didn’t exist or if He did and would take you to heaven no matte how you lived…would you still live a pure life for its own sake because being is good..or would you be like YES, now I can raise hell and do whatever I want.

    Many people who are not CHristian or dont even believe in God live good honest lives for goodness sake, not to avoid hell.

    I apologize for the long rant…but I’d like hear your thoughts. The writer of this article I think hit some great points but many went into righteous defense mode it seems.

    • Albert Listy says:

      Gabe you said, “Here is a question for you Christians. If God didn’t exist or if He did and would take you to heaven no matte how you lived…would you still live a pure life for its own sake because being is good..or would you be like YES, now I can raise hell and do whatever I want.”

      Me personally, would do good. I see no reason to do bad.
      But for your scenario to work, it would mean that God is not just. This would mean that those that are serial killers, pedophiles and the like would also be let in. Is that the kind of Heaven you would want to live in? One where Justice is not an issue. You could murder everyone in sight and still go to Heaven. Is that a God you would want to spend time with?

      You also said, “Many people who are not CHristian or dont even believe in God live good honest lives for goodness sake, not to avoid hell.”

      You’re right. What’s your point?
      If Jesus is who he claimed to be, then what you consider good is not what he considered good, right? Because even Jesus said in Mark 10:18 said, “And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.”

      So no matter how good you are, it will never be enough for you to enter Heaven on your own merits. You need Jesus to do that. He paid for your sins when he died on that cross. All you have to do to get the judgment removed is to accept the gift. But that’s the hard part, right?

      Plus, just so you know, I don’t do good or nice things for people because it will get me into Heaven, or keep me out of Hell. because it wont in either case.
      What gets me into Heaven is accepting the free gift that Jesus gave me when he died on that cross and rose again, defeating the death I deserve.

      My judgement will no longer come directly to me to pay for as it has already been paid in full.

      I do good deeds because I love my God and I understand what he did for me so much that I WANT to do good. It is to please him, not appease him. Those are two different things.

      • Dave says:

        So for serial killers and so forth to get what they deserve (supposedly), all non-Christians have to be tortured for eternity? I don’t think that will do much to reassure Gabe that Christianity is not sick.

      • Albert Listy says:

        Dave, I guess that would depend on what moral standard you are using to determine what is good and what is bad.
        If you include people that sometimes lie, cheat or steal into a group that is considered good, then you can allow those people to share in the same eternity as those that don’t, right?
        But that isn’t what God is doing. God, according to the bible is indicating that all have fallen short. That means there is no one good. In fact, even Jesus said that no one is good but God alone. So if that means that all are bad then they all deserve to be punished for the bad things they have done.

        Also, you have a false understanding about what Hell is about. Non-Christians will not be tortured for eternity, they will be tormented for eternity. Sounds like a small difference, but it is not.
        You see torture would mean that someone is doing something to them. Tormented is them doing something to themselves.
        The torment they will be going through will be because of the realization that God gave them a chance to repent and accept the gift Jesus offered to anyone to would believe in him and follow. Those that choose not to follow him will be judged according to the sins they committed. They are being justly judged for their crimes. No different than a serial killer going to court in this life time.

        I’m sure you would agree that just because there are a lot of thieves in the prisons we don’t want to set them free simply because they are not serial killers, right? Well, in a sense that is what you are wanting God to do in his day of judgement. And if he did that, where is the justice in that?

      • Sue says:

        You make Heaven sound like a high-society club with strict rules to enter. LOL!

        Those you mention with mental illnesses were kinda born that way, or else turned that way by someone harming them. So, how can they not be shown mercy by God who created them? Birth defects include mental illness in my opinion, and we should focus on helping and not punishing. If God is a loving god, and if Christians follow in the example of Jesus, then there would not be all this hate-speak because that is not the example Christians were given to follow.

        So no elitist garbage – instead of feeling all superior like you’re one of the few, maybe think about how others might be able to go too because Jesus said to love others as you do yourself.

  16. Phaethon says:

    “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in Heaven after the earth goes up in flames and destroyed.”

    “The kingdom of God has come!… Well, not exactly. I mean, not completely. Let’s face it, the really-real kingdom comes after we die. Hang in there. It won’t be long.”

    Thank you!!! I’m so sick of rapture theology, and of the ‘Gospel’ as an escape to somewhere better in the sky. It’s such a weak message of escapism, which strips Christ of his Kingship over the world he came to save (and not to save us from). Yet so many churches preach this…I really wish I knew what to do about it.

    • Ron Goetz says:

      Amen, Phaethon. What to do? Live it out ourselves. Set the example. Speak up about it as the Lord leads. Shout it from the roof tops.

      “You are “my disciples if you love one another.” “Why do you call me Lord, Lord, but don’t do what I have commanded?”

      “But that would be works-based religion, Jesus.”

      “Excuse me? You do realize who you’re talking to, right? Why call me Lord if you don’t do the things I have commanded?”

  17. Alise Suttle says:

    This is awesome !

  18. shade ardent says:

    i struggle with this though, apparently g-d said ‘i love you. so i hurt you. praise me for the pain.’

    i want this to not be true. i need this to not be true, but i wear the scars. i want to reject this g-d and call it an abusive deity, but i have trouble seeing any other.

  19. Anonymous says:

    How about we all just believe what feels right to is and leave each other alone

    • Albert says:

      What if what someone feels right is to eliminate those people that they believe are inferior to themselves?
      Subjective morality will only get you so far and then you have to contend with those that think differently. The problem is you can’t justify your position unless you can define it’s authority.
      What ‘feels right’ isn’t always what’s best and most of the time is not agreed upon either.

      • Sue says:

        That’s why we have laws that don’t allow folks to harm others or children. It’s not about religion, it’s about civility and living together and not infringing on our personal freedoms or the personal freedoms of others.

  20. Dtoland says:

    I’m sure arguing about this is very productive and has changed SOOO many peoples lives..

    That was sarcasm.

    Debating is great, but are you doing it to glorify God and show people Christ or to be seen as right? Everyone is right in their own mind. While there is a right and wrong we (as followers of Jesus) shouldn’t walk around pointing the finger at everything we think is wrong. We should be loving people into the kingdom, not condemning them into it. You wanna change an unbelievers life and really prove them wrong, show them Christs loving and compassionate heart and don’t lead a hypocritical life. I’m so tired of followers of Jesus being known for what we are against rather than what we are for. All i’m saying is that we shouldn’t just talk about it and expect to change some lives. Personally i think the best way to prove someone wrong is not to just talk about it, but to show it with our personal lives. Nobody is perfect, Everyone is loved by Christ, and we should love them too. I don’t care if my rant makes no sense.

    Love yall and have a blessed day.

    • Albert Listy says:

      And all that you just said was not in how you are personally living but by speaking your mind.

      Your whole comment is a contradiction in terms. You can’t say that we shouldn’t talk about it while in the same breath talking about it.

      the fact that you don’t care if your rant makes sense or not shows that you are not hear trying to love on people through your words but rather you are here to just make it know what you feel.

      There is nothing that says I can’t share my feelings and express care for someone through my words. There is not reason I can’t question someones ideas and ask for clarification so that I can understand their point of view. Because quite honestly, to care about what others think is a form of loving them. It’s a chance to get to know them and how they feel and think. It’s not that you can’t speak to them about areas you believe they might have misunderstood something, but rather in the way you do it.

      I have no problem loving those around me. but quite honestly, those on the internet are more than likely not in close enough proximity for me to show them my love without words. And in those situations, I use my words. I don’t belittle them. I don’t jump on them and just yell, “You’re wrong! Your’e wrong!” I ask them to look at what they have said. I see if what they mean is really what they meant to say. I point out areas where I see they might not understand something. And all the while, I am keeping my ears open because there is no reason they can’t teach me a thing or two.
      But in all of this conversation, we can love each other and be cordial. If I go into a conversation to be right, then I have gone in for the wrong reasons. And if the other person believes that is why I am there, then I need to change my approach as words are sometimes difficult to understand without expression. They can be taken out of context and misunderstood.

      So though I agree that we need to love people where they are at, I don’t agree that when we discuss these issues we can’t show love.

  21. Sharon says:

    Thank you for putting in print what many of us want to say!

  22. Kimberly Knight says:

    Thank you for this post Jim. I know you know this, but there are a lot of hard hearts who NEED to understand what you are saying but will refuse to listen. There are of course other people who have no idea that there are people of faith like myself and others who do not for one minute need to worship the bible or debate theology with the willfully ignorant in order to do our dead-level best to follow Jesus. Keep shining your light Jim.

    K

  23. Paul says:

    This article is a very intelligent and well thought up way of discussing the guilt and shame culture that exists in our churches. If you refuse to acknowledge that for centuries religious leaders have been abusing and misrepresenting scripture, you live in ignorance and denial.

    Maybe when self proclaimed followers of christ do follow christ and stop performing for their church, when they get down on their knees and pray more than empty words, we can stop reading about god and experience ……. the unexplainable.

  24. Robert Alan Rife says:

    Reblogged this on innerwoven and commented:
    This was my first visit to Jim’s blog. It was that good I felt it necessary to hang it out here a bit, too. Enjoy. I sure did.

  25. victor says:

    I am a little confused….”Blessed are the tithers for they shall be called Children of God” are you saying they aren’t or can’t be blessed. I read the beatitudes and see a Jesus who is picking folks from the crowd and telling them that despite what they do they can have access to the kindgom of God on Earth….blessed are the obese, blessed are the depressed, blessed are the rich, blessed are the smokin’ hot etc….he wasn’t giving us new “law” and saying that these are things we need to do that we might be blessed…he was saying in spite of these things we have access to a life changing transformation in the Kingdom of God on Earth.

  26. Sean Cook says:

    Photograph by the incredible Erwin Olaf.

  27. Rupesh says:

    I am of Hindu faith and have not read the Bible in great detail. And I am quite impressed with way various interpretations of the Bible are being discussed on this thread. What I believe is despite all the differences in its interpretations, the Bible has shown light to millions of people and has made the world a much much better place to live.

  28. tylerlinn5 says:

    Reblogged this on The Crux of Christianity and commented:
    Sounds a lot like the American Church. We have work to do.

  29. Jason says:

    “The flaw is in the people, not the writing.”

    But it was written by people. Most of the New Testament was written WELL past the death of Jesus. Have you ever played a game of telephone? Stories will be twisted and changed as it’s passed from person to person. How can you honestly believe that the gospels are 100% accurate knowing that people are imperfect and fallible? Faith? I prefer logic.

    • Albert says:

      Jason,

      You said, “Have you ever played a game of telephone? Stories will be twisted and changed as it’s passed from person to person.”

      Have you ever played the telephone game? The rules are setup to purposely fail so that everyone gets a good laugh at the end.

      But they way the oral tradition was passed on was not like the Telephone game where you whisper what you are passing on and only say it once. It was more like Karate. Karate is very disciplined. The moves were taught over and over so that those that learned it would respond with a certain move without ever thinking about it. There was care taken to always get the steps right and where they noticed a flaw in the movement, they readjusted so they were doing it correctly from then on.

      Logic would dictate that if the gravity of the information is seriously important, which I’m sure these people considered this information as it was God’s Word, they would have done all they could to make sure they got it right.

      The telephone game is not what they used. They used Karate.

  30. krazykiwi says:

    Reblogged this on keep Ithaca in your mind and commented:
    I love this post, Rob — thank you. Your soul friend, Alan

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