Posted by: mystic444 | March 25, 2014

Should Christians support “Israel”?

Recently a Christian minister, whose blog I read sometimes, made a trip to “Israel”/Palestine as part of a Christian tour. I was afraid that he would succumb to Zionist propaganda while there, and come back spouting nonsense about the Jewish “right” to the “holy land” and the evil of Palestinian resistance. I am quite pleased to report that I was wrong. On the contrary, the tour enabled him to have his eyes opened to the Palestinian plight and the justice of their cause; and he wrote about it in a couple of blog articles (here and here).

He still says that he seeks not to “take sides” on the issue, because there are certainly wrongs which have been committed by the Palestinians as well as the “Israelis”. But some Christians think he most certainly did “take sides” in favor of the Palestinian cause, and would reprimand him because he doesn’t seem to realize that the Bible declares that the Jews are “God’s chosen people” and the land belongs to them by “Divine right”.

My contention is that for Christians the “New Testament” portion of the Bible is supposed to be their primary authority; whatever authority may be attributed to the “Old Testament” is secondary and it must be interpreted “in the light of” the “New Testament”. The foremost question for the Christian, then, should be: what do the “New Testament” writers have to say about “Israel” and “the land”? As a matter of fact, the “New Testament” either flatly repudiates the “Old Testament” assertions, says they are “no longer” valid, or reinterprets them in a ‘spiritual’ and symbolical manner. So let’s look at some of the “New Testament” teaching about “Israel” and “the promised land”.

No doubt most readers will be familiar with the story in Acts 10 about the apostle Peter and the household of the Roman centurion Cornelius. Peter had a vision (shown to him three times) in which he was presented with all kinds of animals considered ‘unclean’ by the law of Moses (and therefore supposedly by the law of God). He was told to kill and eat those animals; but being a good Jew, he refused saying he had never in his life eaten anything ‘unclean’. In response, he heard a voice telling him: “What God has made clean, do not call common.” When Peter told Cornelius about this vision, he said: “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.” (Verse 28). Again in verses 34 and 35 Peter said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.

Notice that Peter did not say that God “no longer” shows partiality; it was just a flat statement that God doesn’t show partiality. When the voice told him that he should not call “common” (or “unclean”) what God has “made clean”, this was in fact an explicit repudiation of the “law of Moses”. It was not that God had purified what was previously impure, so that Peter should not now pollute it; it was that Peter should not say things were unclean when God says they’re clean. When did God say those animals were clean? Well, Biblically speaking, it was “in the beginning” when God created everything. After each act of creation, God is said to have proclaimed that His creation was “good”. When he had finished all of creation, He proclaimed that it was all “very good” (Genesis 1:31). So the “law of Moses” contradicted the express declaration of God.

This was precisely the same as when Jesus (PBUH) said that divorce was contrary to God’s law (except in the case of sexual immorality). When it was pointed out that Moses’ law allowed for divorce, Jesus acknowledged that fact but then said that “it was not so in the beginning”; Moses’ permission was in violation of God’s law! (Mark 10:1-9). In the story in Acts about Peter’s vision of the sheet filled with ‘unclean’ animals, the statement about God calling those animals ‘clean’ was another repudiation of the “law of Moses”; it was the “false pen of the scribes” (Jeremiah 8:8) which had changed God’s original law into an untruth. Just as Jesus said about marriage, “what God has joined together, let no man put asunder”; so the vision said. “what God calls clean [good], you must not call defiled [common/unclean]“.

Peter realized that the meaning of the vision was not just about animals, but actually meant that the arrogant Jewish claim of being “God’s chosen” while the “Gentiles” were “unclean” was also a falsehood. God never said any such thing; the scribes had falsely inserted that notion into “the law”. God does not show partiality, but treats all humans the same way.

How I wish that the “New Testament” writers had consistently followed through on statements like this, that the “law of Moses” was deeply flawed due to scribal lies – or as Jesus is reported to have said concerning marriage and divorce, because Moses gave in to the ‘hardness of heart’ of the Jews and permitted what God had forbidden. Unfortunately the apostle Paul, who was in fact the chief ‘architect’ of the Christian church, was not able to completely abandon his Pharisaic attachment to the “Old Testament”. Instead, he worked out a ‘compromise’ whereby he taught that the Jews formerly were God’s chosen people, with special covenants from which ‘Gentiles’ were  excluded; but now that is no longer the case.

For instance, in Ephesians 2 Paul wrote: Eph 2:11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—Eph 2:12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ... Eph 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.

That is, God used to show partiality; but He has changed His mind and decided not to any longer! :roll: Wow! How gracious of God! We lowly Gentiles should be overcome with gratitude! (Sarcasm intended). However, at least – now that the “middle wall of division” (Ephesians 2:14) which separated Jew and Gentile has been demolished – Paul never envisioned a future time when God would rebuild that demolished wall. There is (now) no difference between Jew and Gentile; and there will never again be one so far as Paul’s theology is concerned.

Paul does seem to indicate, in Romans 11, that there will be a ‘golden age’ when there will be a ‘fullness of blessing’ for both Gentiles and Jews. Postmillennialist Christians in particular like to refer to this passage. However it should be pointed out that there is no indication at all that when that ‘fullness’ arrives the Jews will have a more elevated position than the Gentiles. Jew and Gentile together will still be “branches” on the same “good olive tree” – the “good olive tree” representing the covenant blessings promised to “the fathers”. In the meantime, according to Paul, only the “elect” (believers) from both Jews and Gentiles inherit God’s blessings. Being a Jew “according to the flesh” never made anyone an ‘heir’ of God’s promises. There was an “election” from among the Jews who were the promised heirs; “the rest” are rejected and “hardened”. The failure of “the rest” to obtain the blessings did not invalidate God’s promises, because they were never intended as the heirs of those promises.

What, then, are the covenant  promises made to “the fathers”? Jews, and “Christian Zionists”, will no doubt claim that the covenants to Israel involved an earthly parcel of land to call their own, from which the Jews will rule the world. Paul nullified that idea by proclaiming that the Gentiles are now fellow heirs of the covenants and promises which formerly belonged only to the Jews. So if there is an earthly land involved in those covenants and promises, then according to Paul the Gentiles have equal claim on that land. Do you suppose our “Christian Zionists” who are so infatuated with “Israel” according-to-the-flesh will be willing to acknowledge that the Gentile Christian believers have equal claim to “the land of Israel”? I don’t think so!!! That land, according to them, belongs by Divine grant to the Jews alone. The Christian apostle Paul disagrees with them – all the covenants are equally shared by Gentile and Jewish believers, because all belong to the same Godly household; but they blindly and blithely keep spouting their nonsense about the Jews as God’s chosen ‘earthly’ people with their own special covenants and blessings as if it were “Christian” teaching. I wish that the eyes of Christians would be opened to the teachings of the very ‘Scriptures’ they claim to honor. Then they would repudiate all ideas of Jewish privilege.

I, of course, simply reject the notion that ‘God’ has ever showed partiality in his dealings with humanity; there has never been a ‘chosen nation’ having the right to murder those who weren’t so ‘blessed’ as to belong to that ‘chosen nation’, and steal their  land; and there never will be in the future. The “Old Testament” statements to the contrary are arrogant lies of the Jews, and their “Torah” (Law) is “the commandments of men” coming from “the false pen of the scribes”. I hope that Zionist “Christians” will one day see this truth, and acknowledge that Paul was mistaken when he compromised by unwillingness to go all the way with the truth (maintaining that God used to show partiality but now he doesn’t).

I also believe that all souls are equally ‘part of’ – and equally loved by – the Universal Consciousness/Source of All; and all souls will at some point consciously realize their oneness with the Source through the evolutionary process of reincarnation. May that time arrive soon!

 

 

 

 

Posted by: mystic444 | March 13, 2014

Is God the Author of “The Law of Moses”?

For Christians in general (and of course religious Jews) the answer to the question in the title of this article is an obvious and emphatic “yes!” The Jews as “God’s chosen people”; the Tabernacle (and later Temple) worship; the commands to totally destroy the enemies of the Jews; and most certainly the system of sacrifices and offerings; all of these things were inculcated in “the Law of Moses” and are to be taken as “the Law of the LORD [Yahweh or Jehovah]”.

Yet for the Prophets of the “Old Testament” the answer was totally different; it was an emphatic “no!” All of those animal sacrifices and grain offerings were innovations invented by Levites and scribes and falsely put forward as God’s Law; and the Prophets very boldly denounced them. (Those Prophets were consequently hated, persecuted, and killed by the ‘orthodox’ leaders and their followers, of course.)

Listen to the Prophet Jeremiah in 7:22-24: 22 For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did NOT speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23 But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’ 24 But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.

 

Jeremiah said that God commanded them to obey His voice; but burnt offerings and sacrifices were no part of what that “voice” said to them! So the Levitical sacrificial system was not an act of obedience to the true law of God! In order to try to get around this explicit declaration that the “Torah” was a result of “the false pen of the scribes” and was a lie (Jeremiah 8:8) one modern English translation has deliberately falsified Jeremiah’s statement in 7:22 by adding just one word (which nevertheless completely reversed the meaning of the Prophet). The New International Version (NIV) rendered the verse this way: For when I brought your forefathers out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices.

 

The translators of the NIV were so convinced that the Biblical writers could not contradict each other, that when they came across this flagrant contradiction in Jeremiah they felt they had to ‘piously’ correct the Prophet! Instead, they have opened themselves up to the denunciation of Jeremiah in 8:8 – their ‘pen’ became a ‘false pen’ and they turned the Prophet’s statement into a lie! Because they agree with the lying scribes, they themselves become liars!

 

Here’s Jeremiah again in chapter 6:16-20: 16 Thus says the LORD: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ 17 I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Pay attention to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not pay attention.’ 18 Therefore hear, O nations, and know, O congregation, what will happen to them. 19 Hear, O earth; behold, I am bringing disaster upon this people, the fruit of their devices, because they have not paid attention to my words; and as for my law, they have rejected it. 20 What use to me is frankincense that comes from Sheba, or sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing to me.

 

 

Jeremiah called on his hearers to return to old ways, the true “Law of God” of which the sacrifices and offerings formed no part. Those were the “ancient paths” before the scribes falsified them with their lying pens.

 

What were those ‘ancient paths’? The Prophet Micah gave a brief summary, again in contrast to the false ‘Torah’ given by the lying scribes (Micah 6:6-8): 6 “With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? 7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” 8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

 

Again, all of those sacrifices and the anointing with oil were not part of God’s requirements of people; only justice, kindness, and humility were required! Hey, no wonder the Prophets were persecuted and killed: they exposed the whole false corrupt system imposed on the people by liars who claimed to represent God!

 

Now read what Isaiah had to say about God’s attitude toward the Levitical system (1:11-15): 11 What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. 12 When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts? 13 Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations— I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. 14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. 15 When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood.

 

Who has required of you this trampling of my courts?” Just as Jeremiah and Micah said, it was NOT God who made this requirement. Jeremiah told us it was the false pen of the scribes which introduced those lies; and Isaiah (29:13) says it is “a commandment taught by men”.

 

Would to God that the early leaders of Christianity (such as Paul and the other apostles) had just as clearly repudiated the “Law of Moses” as being falsehood introduced by lying scribes and Levites. Jesus certainly did in the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5-7, particularly chapter 5). He said that he did not come to destroy the true Law of God; rather he came to restore and complete it by correcting the falsehoods found in the supposed “Law of Moses” and the traditions of “those who sit in Moses’ seat”.

 

His followers, though, either accepted the ‘Law’ as being truly of God; or they at least felt like they ought to treat it as such in seeking to convince the Jews of the gospel they preached. But they at least treated it, for the most part, as metaphorical and typological, and as being “no longer” in effect since Christ had “fulfilled” the types and symbols. They also maintained that the Jews ‘used to be’ exclusively God’s chosen people, and the Gentiles ‘used to be’ excluded; but that was no longer the case. Now Jews and Gentiles together constitute the people of God – so long as they’re believers. God had “broken down the middle wall of partition” separating Jews from Gentiles.

 

Unfortunately, this treating of the so-called “Law of Moses” as formerly valid, and God’s Law, has left the door open to all sorts of nonsense in the Christian churches and those who are influenced by Christianity even though they may not claim to be actual adherents of the religion. There remains the suspicion – frequently stated as a clear truth – that the Jews are ‘still’ in some way God’s chosen and special people. Some actually teach that “the Church” will one day soon be ‘raptured’ out of this world, and the “Old Testament” Levitical system will once again be restored – with the Jews ruling the world from Jerusalem, having a restored Temple, and practicing all of the sacrifices which the Prophets said God not only did not require or command, but actually detests! They claim that the Jews absolutely had a right to kick the Palestinians out of their homes and lands, destroy their crops, and continue to have a right to wage destructive wars against all “Israel’s” ‘enemies’ (using other nations such as the USA and the UK as their proxies, of course) – all because (despite the denials of the Prophets) they maintain God chose the Jews as his own special people, gave them the land from the Nile to the Euphrates, and commanded all of those strange and horrible things found in the “Torah”. And the fact that the Christian writers said this was ‘no longer’ the case (though it ‘used to be’) for some strange reason does not prevent it from once again becoming valid.

 

It’s high time we all came to realize that all of that is nonsense and lies. God is not “a respecter of persons” (has no favorite people), does not dwell in Temples constructed by humans, does not grant a ‘holy’ land to his supposedly favorite people, and hates sacrifices (both human and animal) and religious rituals. Those sacrifices were not part of God’s Law at any time, and they were most certainly not ‘types of Christ’, fulfilled in his supposed ‘vicarious atonement’. Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and death (or at least apparent death) was a vile act of murder (or attempted murder); and while it may certainly serve as an example to us of “turning the other cheek” and praying for those who mistreat us – as well as being a metaphor for us of the need to “die to the world, that we may live to God” – it most certainly is not intended to propitiate the wrath of an angry God! May our minds and hearts be enlightened to come to know the truths of the Universal Life, and depart from the errors and lies we formerly believed.

Posted by: mystic444 | February 3, 2014

Happy About the Super Bowl

I’m extremely happy about the outcome of the Super Bowl yesterday (February 2, 2014); but I don’t mean that I’m happy because Seattle won. I’m not much of a sports fan, and simply had no favorite team in this Bowl game. I guess you could say that I’m happy for Seattle, but sad for Denver. If the situation were reversed, I would be just as happy for Denver and just as sad for Seattle.

What I’m really happy about is simply the fact that there was an outcome to the game – rather than the major false flag attack which some had claimed was planned for that event, and which I referred to (and linked to) in my last article. The predictions had called for bombs which would close off exits from the stadium, and the release of toxic gas to cause tremendous pain and death among both players and spectators. I am so happy that this did not in fact happen!

I will assume that the prediction was a hoax to instill fear in people, and to try to make fools out of ‘conspiracy theorists’ who would fall for the deception. However, I’m also willing to make allowance that the terrorist event was actually planned, but was cancelled when the plot was exposed; or that heavy security measures prevented it. I’m also even willing to allow for the possibility that extraterrestrials from the Galactic Federation worked in secret to prevent the attack.

Yes, someone may claim that the fact that the plot was ‘exposed’ prevented it from actually being implemented. But I guess one might respond by saying that’s like the man carrying a big stick while walking in New York City. When someone asked him why he had the stick, he said “that’s my elephant stick”. When the objection was made that there are no elephants on the streets of New York City, he responded: “See, it works!”

Someone else may say that the extreme security measures implemented by law enforcement at the Super Bowl prevented any terrorist activity. One could respond to that idea, though, that that’s like the mafia style ‘protection’ rackets: they protected people from their own thugs – for a price. In this case, the “price” is the willingness of US citizens to submit to those very oppressive, freedom-violating, and unconstitutional ‘security measures’. If we’ll pay the price of the loss of liberty, our Government and law enforcement will ‘protect’ us from their own terrorists!

One is reminded of Saudi Prince Bandar telling Russian President Putin that he (Bandar) would ensure that ‘Muslim terrorists’ would not attack the Sochi Olympic Games if Putin would just agree to cease his support for Syrian President Assad. He said that he could offer this protection because he controlled those terrorists! That of course is simply the same as saying: “Mr. Putin, if you’ll pay the price, I’ll protect you from my thugs!”

Well, whatever may be the case – hoax; prevention by exposure; or prevention by heavy security measures (or by hidden ET intervention) – I’m just glad the false flag event didn’t happen. And I hope that future terrorist events (whether genuine or false flags) will also be prevented – or predictions of such events turn out to be hoaxes.

Posted by: mystic444 | January 27, 2014

False Flag Terrorist Event at Upcoming Superbowl?

A couple of days ago I came across a link – in the members’ area of Dr. Kevin Barrett’s “Truth Jihad” blog site – to an article concerning a planned false-flag terrorist attack on the upcoming (February 2, 2014) ‘Superbowl’. I don’t know whether this is legitimate, or disinformation designed to make “conspiracy nuts” like me look foolish when it is exposed as a hoax. Either scenario is to me quite believable.

Because it is such a serious thing if it is indeed true, I decided to go ahead and post the link: http://www.citizensamericaparty.org/TreasonBowl.htm . Check it out and decide what you think.

I suppose that if it is true, it is useless to propose a major investigation beforehand to try to stop it; so many “Intelligence”, military, and law enforcement agencies would be involved in the plot that no true investigation would be permitted.

Quite naturally I hope that this “terrorist” event does not take place. It’s too horrible to really think about. Whether it’s all a hoax; or the plotters call it off because the plot is being exposed; or ET’s from the “Galactic Federation” intervene (secretly or publicly) to stop it (!); whatever, I sure hope it never happens.

But if such a horrible event does occur, you may be sure that the true story of what happened will be quite different from what our treasonous Government tells us!

Posted by: mystic444 | January 23, 2014

Jesus Christ and “The Law”

And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men(Isaiah 29:13, English Standard Version)

 

Or as the Jews themselves translated this verse in the Greek Septuagint Version: And the Lord has said, This people draw nigh to me with their mouth, and they honour me with their lips, but their heart is far from me: but in vain do they worship me, teaching the commandments and doctrines of men. (Brenton translation. If you read Greek, that underlined phrase is:  μτην δ σβοντα με διδσκοντες ντλματα νθρπων κα διδασκαλας.)

 

“How can you say, ‘We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us’? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes has made it into a lie. (Jeremiah 8:8).

 

He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?… So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” (Matthew 15:3, 6-9)

 

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.  For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.  Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19).

 

From the above quotations, it can be seen that the Hebrew prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah did not think much of what passed for “the Law” (Torah) among the Jews. Isaiah said that what was taught as “Law” was in fact “the commandments of men” (or the Jews’ “fear of God” was learned from “a commandment taught by men”); while Jeremiah said that the Law of God did not exist among the Jews, because the lying pen of the scribes had turned the Law into a lie.

 

Jesus clearly agreed with them, because he said that the Pharisees and scribes “broke” and “made void” God’s Law by their traditions and teachings. He also quoted Isaiah’s statement that what they taught was “the commandments of men” rather than the Law of God.

 

Yet it is very frequently asserted that Jesus’ statement in Matthew 5 about every bit of “the Law” remaining inviolate until heaven and earth pass away means that nothing of Moses’ Law found in the Bible will ever pass away until the end of the world (until all be ‘fulfilled’, at any rate)! (And most certainly the “Law of Moses” found in the Bible was among the commandments and doctrines taught by the scribes and Pharisees, as well as their interpretations and expansions of “the Law” which we today know as the Talmud). How could Jesus be teaching that he did not come to break – but rather to “fulfill” – the “Torah” which the Jews had, when Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Jesus on other occasions, all said that the “Torah” in the Jews’ possession was not the “Law of God” but the lying commandments of men?

 

The answer, of course, is that when Jesus spoke (in Matthew 5) of “the Law”, he was not speaking of “the Torah” as the Jews knew it (whether that be the so-called “Law of Moses”, or the Law of those who “sit in Moses’ seat”). He was speaking of the true law of God which existed and was known long before the so-called “Law of Moses” came into being, and is universal and spiritual. This was the law which the Levites and scribes had distorted and mutilated into lying commandments of men.

 

So Jesus was saying that he certainly had not come to destroy God’s Law – no, the Jews had done a fine job of that already; he came to restore God’s law to its perfection. God’s law certainly will never pass away; but much of the so-called “Law of Moses” and the law of those “who sit in Moses’ seat” would most assuredly pass away, because such laws actually violated God’s law! It’s true, of course, that bits and pieces of the true “Law of God” still existed within that which passed for “the Law of Moses”, and perhaps more than just a bit of truth still existed in “the prophets”. The spiritually discerning can no doubt pick out those ‘gems of truth’; and Jesus willingly recognized them and promoted them (“you shall love the LORD your God… and your neighbor as yourself” for instance). Nevertheless, most of the laws and traditions of Judaism were at the very least inadequate, and at worst were outright lies falsely claimed to be God’s Law.

 

So when Jesus said (Matthew 5:19): Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven, he was referring not to the “Law of Moses” and the “traditions of the elders”; rather he was referring to his own restoration and perfecting of the true Law of God which he proceeded to give in the remainder of Matthew 5, and chapters 6 and 7.

 

In the rest of chapter 5, Jesus deliberately contrasted the true “torah” of God with the written and oral laws of Judaism. He said that the laws about murder and adultery were inadequate because they focused on the outward act; whereas God is more concerned with the thoughts and intents of the heart.

 

According to Jesus, the law permitting divorce was outright contrary to the Law of God, except for the cause of “fornication” or “sexual immorality”. The same was true concerning the swearing of oaths: whereas the Mosaic Law allowed such oaths and insisted that one be sure to keep his oaths (depending, though, on what one swears by – see Matthew 23:16-22), Jesus said the true Law of God was that one should not swear any oaths. Whatever went beyond a simple “yes” or “no” was of the evil one!

 

Also contrary to God’s Law was the famous “eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth” found in the written Law of “Moses”. According to Jesus’ restoration and perfecting of God’s Law, the truth is that one should “turn the other cheek”.

 

Then notice in verse 43 a law having two parts: You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ “Love your neighbor as yourself” is certainly in the written Law (Leviticus 19:18), but people sometimes say that “hate your enemy” is not; it’s only in the “traditions” (known today as the Talmud). Technically that is true; but those “traditions” simply summarized what the written “Law of Moses” most definitely taught. Consider, for instance, Deuteronomy 23:3 and 6 – No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the LORD. Even to the tenth generation, none of them may enter the assembly of the LORD forever… You shall not seek their peace or their prosperity all your days forever.That can certainly be correctly summarized by “hate your enemy”.

 

Consider also Deuteronomy 7:1 and 2 – When the LORD your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you…and when the LORD your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them. Certainly the scribes were very accurate in summarizing such a statement as “hate your enemy”. In other places the instruction to “devote them to complete destruction” is even more emphatically stated by saying to kill everything breathing: men, women, children, and animals. Joshua’s total destruction of the people of Jericho is one instance of a Biblical account of such total destruction.

 

Jesus Christ simply repudiated such commandments, and said that instead God’s Law is (Matt. 5:44-48): But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is 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.  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

 

This statement not only repudiates the “hate your enemies” portion of the Judaic law; it repudiates the “love your neighbor” portion also, as it appears in the written and oral law of the Jews. Leviticus 19:18 says: You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD. Obviously, “neighbor” is the equivalent of “the sons of your own people”; so the scribes and elders of the Jews were quite accurate in explaining that this didn’t apply to “Gentiles”. But Jesus said: if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? In the famous story of the “Good Samaritan”, of course, Jesus emphatically extended the commandment to “love your neighbor” far beyond the Jewish limitation of “the sons of your own people” or “your brother” (to the exclusion of the “Gentiles”). In the teaching of Jesus Christ, such distinctions as “Jew” and “Gentile”, “male and female”, “slave” and “free” lose all significance when it comes to love and laws of justice.

 

When Jesus said that not even the least part of the Law would perish until heaven and earth pass away, he most certainly was not talking about the laws of Judaism (the “Law of Moses” and the “Law of those who sit in Moses’ seat”)! He was talking about the true Law of God which the Jews had done their best to destroy with their “lying pens”, but which he was restoring and bringing to perfection.

Posted by: mystic444 | December 27, 2013

Jesus Christ versus the Scribes and Pharisees

Matthew 23:1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, Mat 23:2 The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, Mat 23:3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. Mat 23:4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.

 

Acts 15:6 The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. Act 15:7 And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them…Act 15:10 Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?

 

Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus declared…Mat 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

 

 

In the first quotation given above, the portion of verses 2 and 3 which I have placed in bold print is usually taken to be as much the teaching and commandment of Jesus Christ (peace be to him) as is the rest of the passage in chapter 23. That is, Jesus is thought to be instructing his disciples and the crowd – as part of his own teaching – that the Scribes “sit in Moses’ seat” (speak with Moses’ authority) and therefore ought to be obeyed.

 

I find this simply impossible to accept. How is it possible that one can seriously believe Jesus was telling his disciples and the other hearers that they should accept the teachings of people whom he immediately began to castigate and ridicule? He calls them hypocrites who don’t ‘practice what they preach’, and who only do things in order to be seen and acclaimed by other people. He says they neither enter the kingdom of God themselves nor permit others to enter it. Those who convert to the religion of the Scribes and Pharisees become “children of hell” – in fact, twice as bad as the Scribes and Pharisees themselves.

 

In verses 16-26, Jesus (PBUH) called the Scribes and Pharisees “blind” 5 times (blind guides twice, blind fools, blind men, and blind Pharisees). They are like whitewashed tombs – beautiful on the outside, but inside full of the rotting flesh and the bones of dead men; they are outwardly righteous, but inwardly full of hypocrisy and iniquity. They are serpents and vipers, and are unable “to escape being sentenced to hell”.

 

Regarding the Scribes being “blind guides”, it is interesting to note what Jesus, on other occasions, had to say about following such guides. In Matthew 15, verses 1-11, we are informed of an incident when Scribes and Pharisees challenged Jesus (PBUH) about the practice of his disciples – who, contrary to the “traditions of the elders”, didn’t wash their hands when they ate. Jesus responded by asking them why they violated the law of God by means of their traditions! He gave an example of how the “traditions of the elders” violated God’s law, quoted from the prophet Isaiah (peace to him) to say that the Scribes and Pharisees taught “the commandments of men” rather than the law of God, and then explained why eating without washing one’s hands does not “defile” a person in God’s  sight. The disciples then (verse 12) ‘informed’ Jesus that what he said had offended the Pharisees. Here is what Jesus said in response:

 

Matthew 15:13 He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Mat 15:14 Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

 

Instead of telling his disciples that they ought to obey those “blind guides”, he told them not to do so – since they would wind up falling into the pit along with their guides if they obeyed/followed them. How could one even imagine that Jesus would tell his hearers to obey teachings which he said violated the law of God?!

 

Luke 6:39, 40 gives another instance of Jesus talking about following blind guides:  Luke 6:39 He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? Luk 6:40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.

 

If you take a “blind person” (obviously figuratively speaking) as your teacher/guide, you can only wind up “blind” yourself – and in the same pit. You won’t wind up better than your teacher. So surely Jesus would never instruct people to obey the teachings of “blind guides” and “blind fools”!

 

In the verses quoted at the beginning of this post, Jesus and Peter (peace to both of them) had commented on how heavy the burdens and the “yoke” of the Scribes and Pharisees were. Peter commented that the Jews had been unable to bear that yoke. In contrast, Jesus called on his heavily burdened hearers to take his yoke and burden instead, because my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Again, how can one imagine that Jesus would ever instruct anyone to bear the heavy burden or “yoke” of the Scribes and Pharisees (Judaism), when his message was that they should take his “yoke” and burden instead?

 

What, then, did Jesus mean in Matthew 23: 2 and 3? It was another instance of Jesus quoting the teaching of “the Jews” in order to contrast it with his own teaching. Just as a Christian preacher may begin his sermon by reading or quoting from the Bible; or a Muslim teacher may begin a message with a quotation from the Qur’an; so Jesus on this occasion began his message with a quotation from the traditions of the Scribes – a quotation with which his hearers would be very familiar, and would have no trouble recognizing for what it was. The obvious difference, though, is that instead of treating the quotation as Divine Truth, he immediately began to demolish it as ‘a lie of the Devil’. Instead of honoring the Scribes for the sake of their supposed position as representatives of Moses (and consequently of God), he repudiated and mocked them in all of those vivid terms which I noted earlier.

 

So in effect what Jesus was saying was: You have been taught: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you”; but let me tell you, you sure don’t want to do the things they do! They say one thing and do another. You should be sure that your actions match your words. They seek public acclaim; you should only seek the ‘acclaim’ of your Father in Heaven… This was the same sort of “compare and contrast” statement Jesus had made to the Samaritan “woman at the well” in John 4. There he inserted a quotation from “the Jews” into his own teaching (You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews) in order to contrast it with the truth of his own teachings. Here in Matthew 23 Jesus began his ‘sermon’ with the quotation he wished to repudiate.

Posted by: mystic444 | December 21, 2013

I Agree With Phil

I suppose that everyone – in the USA at least – has heard of the controversy over “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson’s statements about homosexuality. Phil and his family are ‘Bible believing Christians’, and their show clearly promotes that “Bible believing” viewpoint. There simply can be no doubt that Biblical Christianity regards homosexuality as a “sin”, along with many other things (like adultery, sexual lust, theft, greed, murder, hatred, evil-speaking, etc.). While the “Old Testament” Jewish scriptures call for the death of homosexuals, the Christian “New Testament” does not.  The Christian New Testament calls on believers to show love and compassion toward all manner  of ‘sinners’, including homosexuals; but such love and compassion toward the person does not deny the evil of the thought, word, or deed considered to be “sinful”. Instead, Christian love and compassion includes inviting the sinner (the homosexual, in this case) to turn away from the sin and live a righteous, moral, and godly life. This is the position and attitude that Phil and his family maintain.

I am not a “Bible believing” Christian, as my blog posts have made plain. This does not mean, though, that I DISbelieve everything that is to be found in the Bible. Concerning homosexuality, I do definitely DISbelieve the “Old Testament” view that homosexuals should be put to death! I do not believe in any sort of criminal punishment for such ‘sins’. However, I do believe the “New Testament” viewpoint of homosexuality; not because I believe the Christian apostles were infallible (I most certainly do NOT believe that notion), but simply because I believe their viewpoint on this issue is correct.

The Christian apostle Paul denounced homosexuality not as a violation of the Jewish law, but as something which is unnatural (see Romans 1:24-27). In other words, Paul maintained that homosexuality was a violation of “the laws of nature and of nature’s God”, which the writers of the American “Declaration of Independence” believed to be the foundation of good government. (Note that those American ‘founding fathers’ did not base government on the laws of the Bible and the Bible’s God, but the laws of nature and nature’s God). The normality of the male/female relationship, and the abnormality and unnaturalness of same sex relationships is so clear and obvious as to not even need argument, it seems to me.

So even though I’m not a “Bible believing” Christian, I agree with Phil Robertson and other such “Bible believing” Christians on this matter. Therefore I will reprint below the text of a petition calling on the A&E network to immediately apologize to Phil and rescind their suspension of him. If you agree with the petition, please  go to istandwithphil.com and add your signature.

Dear A&E Network,

I am writing to you regarding your network’s intolerant, discriminatory, and punitive treatment of Mr. Phil Robertson, star of A&E’s #1 hit show, Duck Dynasty.

Mr. Robertson’s comments in GQ Magazine are simply reflective of a Biblical view of sexuality, marriage, and family – a view that has stood the test of time for thousands of years and continues to be held by the majority of Americans and today’s world as a whole.

Many members of the LGBT community may not agree with this view, but the notion that a free-thinking American should be discriminated against simply for expressing a perspective that is in conflict with another is patently un-American and flies in the face of true tolerance and civility. A&E’s position, which in your own words is “championing” the gay and lesbian community — which I believe you have the freedom to do — excludes the views of Faith Driven Consumers and effectively censors a legitimate viewpoint held by the majority of Americans.

As a Faith Driven Consumer, I am signing this petition to demand that my views be treated with equality and respect in America’s rich rainbow of diversity.

I am asking your network to immediately reinstate Mr. Robertson to Duck Dynasty, and to formally apologize to him, his family, and the millions of viewers who tune in every week, stand by him, and share his worldview. While the LGBT community may be offended by his opposing viewpoint, your rash, discriminatory, and unfair treatment toward Mr. Robertson — a recognized symbol of the faith community — is a slap in the face to Faith Driven Consumers and everyday Americans alike.

There are 46 million Faith Driven Consumers in America today who spend 1.75 trillion dollars annually. Should you refuse to equally respect and welcome our legitimately held views, we will gladly stop watching this and all other A&E programming and turn to any reformulation of Duck Dynasty on another network – while simultaneously supporting brands that stand with the show and the Robertson family.

Signed,

John Q. Public

#IStandwithPhil

Posted by: mystic444 | December 2, 2013

Five “S-Words” in Islam

Dr. Kevin Barrett published an article today, in his Truth Jihad blog, entitled Sunni, Shi’a, Salafi, Sufi, Shariah: A guide for the perplexed. I found it so enjoyable – for its wit and humor, as well as the simplicity of its explanations – that I asked him for permission to repost it on my blog. So here it is, without further comment from me:

 

Sunni, Shi’a, Salafi, Sufi, Shariah: A guide for the perplexed

Posted on by kbarrett

http://uc4i.org/video/big_shariah_finance_west_needs_to_know.jpg

What’s with all these Islamic S-words? Who are the Sunni, Shi’a, Salafi and Sufi Muslims? And what is this “Shariah” they follow?

I used to get paid to explain this stuff to students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. But when I tried to devote one week of a sixteen-week course to a discussion of the “war on terror” – and proposed that the Muslim-majority opinion that 9/11 was an inside job should at least be mentioned – I got run out of town by Karl Rove, Lynn Cheney, Fox News, and sixty Republican state legislators.

Apparently it would corrupt young minds, and undermine national security, to even mention the poll data showing that three-quarters of the world’s Muslims are convinced that 9/11 was an inside job. After all, if the students heard THAT, they might wonder “Why do Muslims believe this?” Then they might do some research and discover Building 7. Next thing you know, they’d be taking shahada, wrapping towels around their heads, and cutting off the hands of thieves.

How could Washington, DC function if nobody there had hands? Legislators couldn’t draft bills, the President couldn’t sign them, and cops couldn’t enforce them. The whole government would fall apart.

Worse, locker rooms everywhere would suffer towel shortages, and female reporters would have unobstructed views of athletes’ private parts. American manners and morals would be terminally degraded – even worse than now, if that’s possible.

All because I told my students what Muslims think about 9/11.

Fortunately for our precious national security and the innocence of our nation’s youth, I am now reduced to giving away my knowledge of Islam for free. So here it is: A brief taxonomy of Muslim S-words.

Sunni:  Almost 90% of the world’s Muslims are considered Sunni. Traditionally each Sunni would adhere to one of four law schools. I know what you’re thinking: How could they possibly educate enough lawyers if they only had four law schools? Please note that (a) Muslims don’t immediately think of suing someone if they spill hot coffee on their own damn crotch, and (b) we are using the term “law schools” to signify a legal school of thought, not a brick-and-mortar institution.

Shi’a: A little over 10% of the world’s Muslims are Shi’a. Almost all adhere to Islam’s fifth major law school, the Ja’fari (twelver Shi’a) school. Shi’a tradition holds that the early (proto-Sunni) Muslims screwed up royally by failing to recognize the Prophet Muhammad’s designated successor, Ali, and later his son Husayn. According to the Shi’a, this allowed corruption to creep into the leadership of the Muslim community. The Shi’a have a long history of both active and passive resistance against corrupt leadership…which may be one reason Shi’a-majority Iran succeeded in overthrowing its corrupt Western-puppet dictator, the Shah, while none of the Sunni-majority countries have yet managed a similar feat.

Salafi: The Salafis are Sunnis who have tried to modernize Islam by dropping the traditional law schools, and reading scripture directly instead. In this sense they are the Muslim equivalent of Protestants. Like some Protestants, some Salafis derive an obscurantist, hyper-literalist, sectarian, fanatical orientation from their non-traditional readings of scripture. (The term “Wahabi” denotes this kind of extremist tendency among Salafist followers of the Arabian reformer Ibn Abdul-Wahhab.)

Sufi: Sufis are Islamic mystics. They intensify Islamic ritual practices in order to gain direct experience of the Divine, and favor allegorical as well as literal readings of scripture. Many Salafis view Sufis as backward, superstitious, heretical, apolitical hicks, whereas many Sufis view Salafis as hyper-literalist boneheads who wouldn’t recognize the Divine if it snuck up and bit them on the butt.

Shariah: Often translated as “Islamic law,” this is the most misunderstood Islamic word in the Western lexicon after jihad. The word Shariah literally means “the broad path to the water hole.” It is a set of guidelines for living well, achieving lasting inner peace, successfully traversing life’s journey, and arriving at the promised oasis-garden of paradise.

At least 99% of Shariah is not “law” in the Western sense, because it is not meant to be enforced by anyone but God. For example, Muslims follow Shariah by praying five times per day and fasting during the month of Ramadan. There are no police, courts, or prisons forcing you to pray and fast. You’ll get your reward, or your punishment, when you meet your maker.

Islamic civilization, with the Islamic societies and cultures that comprise it, is held together not by police, courts, and prisons, but by a broad popular consensus that following Shariah is the right way to live. People who sink into a deep God-loving trance while performing the salaat prayer five times each day generally do not need the threat of police, courts and prisons to live modestly and morally.

Unfortunately, the cancer of Western selfishness/materialism, and perhaps some internal dry rot as well,  has afflicted Muslim-majority countries. Western-style legal systems imposed by the colonialists, and enforced by postcolonial police states, have replaced Shariah as the glue holding these societies together. Morocco, for example, is a bureaucratic living hell thanks to the Napoleonic Code imposed by the French conquerors and retained after nominal “independence.” The best thing that could happen to Morocco, and the rest of the Muslim-majority countries, would be Iran-style Islamic revolutions and a return to Shariah.

And the more Shariah in the USA – meaning the more people praying, fasting, and exhibiting god-fearing piousness, modesty, and charity – the better.

I think I’ll contact my friends in the Wisconsin State Legislature and suggest they pass a bill establishing Shariah as the official state path to the water hole…sort of like the cardinal is the state bird, and the badger is the state weasel. And while I’m at it, I’ll ask them to give the lowly badger a break, and name witch-hunting Rep. Steve Nass as the new state weasel.

But wait a minute, you say -  sure, Nass is a weasel – but Shariah in Wisconsin, land of beer-guzzlers and the ubiquitous beer-gut?! And what about the stuff about whacking off people’s hands…maybe even their heads?

First of all, you non-Muslim beer guzzlers needn’t worry: Shariah gives non-Muslim communities the right to run their own affairs, including the right to make their own rules about which drugs are acceptable and which drugs are not – no matter how stupid those rules may be. If you kaffir morons want to make the world’s most destructive drug, alcohol, legal – while banning such relatively harmless and sometimes helpful plants as marijuana, mushrooms, cactus, and ayahuasca – that’s your problem, not ours.

Second of all, there are a whole lot of hands and heads in DC and elsewhere that really do need to be whacked. But since less than 1% of Shariah is humanly enforceable, and the Qur’an enjoins us to privilege mercy over justice, the amount of suffering dished out in 1,430-plus years of Islamic history through these extremely rare hudud punishments is probably less than is experienced by the roughly ten million Americans under penal supervision during the time it took you to read this sentence.

American “justice” is brutal and almost completely merciless. Islamic justice – even the distorted hard-line tribal variety of, say, the Taliban – is replete with kindness and mercy by comparison.

Ahmed Rashid’s anti-Taliban book describes the way the Taliban dealt with condemned murderers: A family member of the victim would be given the choice of either showing mercy and accepting a “blood fine” from the murderer, or executing the murderer himself. The Taliban would spend a lot of time and energy repeatedly exhorting the victim’s family to show mercy and refrain from carrying out the execution. The exhortations were often successful.

So even the 1% of Shariah that is humanly enforceable, and the .001% of that involving “cruel” punishments, winds up looking extremely merciful when judged with a fair yardstick in comparison to other justice systems. Wherever Shariah is broadly accepted, crime rates typically drop to extremely low levels, and the net amount of suffering dished out by criminals AND those who punish them shrinks dramatically.

And isn’t that the fair measure of a justice system? Isn’t minimizing sufferering – first the suffering of victims, and secondly the suffering of criminals – the whole point?

By that standard – the only sane standard of judging justice systems – Shariah looks like one of the world’s best-ever justice systems, while the American system looks like the absolute worst.

Additionally, Shariah bans usury – any form of lending at interest. The nearly two billion Muslims committed (with various levels of intensity) to ending usury are by far the most potent enemies of the usury-based New World Order bankster dictatorship.

No wonder the NWO orchestrated the 9/11 false-flag to launch a war on Islam.

So please email your State Legislator and ask them to introduce a bill making Shariah the official path to YOUR state’s water hole. And be sure to cc it to Pam Geller, so she’ll have something exciting to bitch and moan about:

pamelagellerwebsite@gmail.com

Posted by: mystic444 | November 7, 2013

Jesus and Judaism

John 4:19  The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. John 4:20  Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” John 4:21  Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. John 4:22  You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. John 4:23  But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. John 4:24  God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” [English Standard Version of the Bible].

 

The above conversation is the famous Samaritan “woman at the well” incident. In this conversation, the Samaritan woman had been amazed by Jesus’ (peace be with him) responses to her statements and questions, and particularly with his knowledge of things about her life that one would think he shouldn’t have been able to know. This led her to recognize, as verse 19 records, that Jesus must be a prophet.

 

Since Jesus (peace to him) was obviously a prophet, it would be interesting to get his take on the major controversy which existed between the Jews and the Samaritans. Which one is really correct: “our fathers” (meaning the Samaritans) or you Jews?

 

Now one might think that this was a foolish question; ordinarily one could just assume that a Jew would say “well of course we Jews are correct!” However Jesus had made it obvious from the very beginning of the conversation that he was no ‘ordinary’ Jew. The very fact that Jesus would even deign to speak to her had amazed this woman, because Jews despised Samaritans and would have no dealings with them. They considered Samaritans to be even worse than those Gentile ‘dogs’! Yet Jesus had politely asked her for a drink of water, and didn’t seem to manifest any discomfort in speaking to her. So maybe he wouldn’t give an ‘ordinary’ Jewish response to her challenging question.

 

And indeed his answer was not an ‘ordinary’ Jewish answer! Or at least 2/3 of his answer was not. He began (verse 21) by saying essentially: “As a matter of fact, neither one of you is correct. It’s neither ‘this mountain’ nor Jerusalem which is the proper place to worship the Father.” Then verses 23 and 24 state that the correct ‘place’ to worship God is ‘in spirit’ and ‘in truth’. “Truth” here refers to ‘reality’ as opposed to outward symbol – not as opposed to a lie or falsehood. “The Father” is not an object located in a building at some particular location, and ‘He’ is not bound to a particular people or religion. God is “spirit” and anyone anywhere can find and ‘worship’ God within his/her own ‘spirit’. This is ‘true’ worship as opposed to outward symbolical forms of worship. One doesn’t have to be a Jew to worship God properly!

 

Yet right in the middle of his answer, Jesus is said to have made a statement which would seem to contradict and completely overthrow the rest of his reply. Having said that neither the Samaritans nor the Jews had the right of the matter, verse 22 makes out that Jesus reversed himself and made an ‘ordinary’ Jewish reply: “It’s we Jews who know what we’re talking about and doing, whereas you Samaritans don’t know what you’re doing; after all, salvation comes from the Jews!” Now he sounds like a typical arrogant and bigoted Jew, believing Jews are ‘chosen’ and ‘superior’ to everyone else!

 

So what’s going on here? Did Jesus really make those plainly contradictory statements? Was he so ignorant and confused that he couldn’t even keep his story straight within one short paragraph?? Well, the Jews – who have always despised Jesus Christ – may be quite happy with that idea; but I totally reject it – I don’t even consider it a ‘theoretical’ possibility.

 

What then is the answer? I see two possibilities. (1) Jesus never made the statement of verse 22 – that the Jews are in the right, the Samaritans are ignorant, and salvation comes from the Jews. Perhaps John – or some editor – inserted those words into Jesus’ reply in order to ‘soften’ the ‘anti-Judaism’ of his words. It might be pointed out that the reply fits together smoothly and makes perfect sense if verse 22 is left out. “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father… But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

This would not be unheard of, either. In Psalm 51, the Psalmist (said to be King David following his adultery with Bathsheba and having her husband killed) pled with God for mercy, forgiveness, and cleansing of heart. But in verses 16 and 17 he repudiated the idea of animal sacrifice. “For you have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased. The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. But this repudiation of animal sacrifice was just too much for the scribal editors who put together the Jewish scriptures after the Babylonian captivity. So they added verses 18 and 19: Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, then you will delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar. [Quotations of Psalm 51 are from the New Revised Standard Version.]

How do we know that verses 18 and 19 are inserted long after the time of David? The walls of Jerusalem were intact during the time of David and did not need to be rebuilt! The walls of Jerusalem were knocked down by the invading Babylonians and needed to be rebuilt after the exile.

So it would not be totally beyond possibility that someone added this statement of Jewish superiority to Jesus’ reply because he found Jesus’ anti-Judaism embarrassing. Yet with all of the many times that Jesus (and his cousin John ‘the Baptist’) denounced the scribes and Pharisees, and the “traditions of the elders” (which we know today as the Talmud) – and in fact the Jewish nation in general – it would seem strange that such a hypothetical editor of Jesus’ words would only choose this instance to ‘soften’ Jesus’ statements. Jesus called the ‘orthodox’ Jewish leaders and teachers “hypocrites”, “snakes”, “children of the devil”, and “whitewashed sepulchers”. In Matthew 23:15 he is reported to have said that when the scribes and Pharisees managed to make a convert to their Jewish religion, they made him twice the “child of hell” that they were (thus saying that they themselves were “children of hell”) – and it was conversion to the Jewish religion which made him so! And Matthew 21:43 says that the “kingdom of God” would be taken away from the Jews and given to another nation which would bring forth the fruit of the kingdom. In other words, Jesus said God had rejected the Jews!

(2) But it’s actually not necessary to conclude that verse 22 is an interpolation. Jesus may very well have made the statement as a quotation of what the Jews say, in order to contrast it with his teaching. Jesus was not only a good teacher due to the content of his message, but also due to the style of his teaching by which he made what he said interesting. So perhaps he did what many people do today in order to poke fun at beliefs and arguments with which they disagree. Perhaps he lowered the pitch of his voice, and said in a mockingly grave tone: You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. Then he resumed his normal pitch and tone to say: But the hour is coming…  

Or perhaps he introduced verse 22 in much the same way he introduced many of his statements in “the sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5, 6, and 7: “You have heard that it was said”). Perhaps he said something like “you have heard the Jews say…”, but for some reason John did not record that phrase. Perhaps John forgot that introductory phrase, but figured that anyone using his reason could figure out that Jesus was quoting the Jews rather than so flagrantly contradicting himself. At any rate, anyone at all familiar with the “gospel records” should realize that it is simply inconceivable that Jesus would himself make such a bigoted statement as part of his own teaching.

At the time of Jesus Christ, there was no such thing as quotation marks to indicate when someone else is being quoted. One either had to state the fact, or the reader would be left to deduce it. Instances of this latter can be illustrated from the letters of Paul. In 1 Corinthians 6:12 and 13 we read this (New Revised Standard Version): “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are beneficial. ”All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food,” and God will destroy both one and the other… In the Greek letters of Paul, there was no indication that Paul was quoting anyone when he made the statements which appear in quotation marks in modern English translations. But most people recognize that Paul was probably quoting objections people tended to make to his teaching, and then responding to the objection. In the same way, if we will think about it a bit, we should realize that in John 4:22 Jesus was quoting arrogant and bigoted Jewish opinion – even if he didn’t indicate it by prefacing it with “you have heard that it was said” – and then contrasting such an idea with his own prophetic teaching (both in verse 21 and 23-24). Such bigotry was simply no part of the teaching of Jesus Christ (peace be with him). He repudiated such ‘Judaism’.

Posted by: mystic444 | October 30, 2013

A World Without Money

I have written 2 previous articles advocating a moneyless society: What Do We Consider Valuable; and Choose Whom You Will Serve: God or Money. But the second of those articles was just over 3 years ago, so I think now would be a good time to return to that subject.

I realize, of course, that my thinking will correctly be labeled “utopian fantasy” and “wishful thinking”. But I don’t believe such “wishful thinking” is a bad thing – in fact it can be a very good thing – so long as it doesn’t prevent us from living in the “real world”. Engaging in “wishful thinking” can plant an idea in our minds which may in fact eventually bear real fruit, and the “fantasy” may become “reality”.

In the USA, we have just reached a temporary resolution of a “debt ceiling” controversy in Congress. We have a ‘debt based’ economy in which we have to ‘borrow’ money in order to pay off other preexisting bills and debts (or perhaps just to pay off the interest on the debts). Obviously this means simply that we are continually getting deeper and deeper into debt, until we have actually reached the point where there doesn’t even appear to be a possibility of ever getting out of debt. We reach a set limit on how much the Government is allowed to ‘borrow’, and then have to decide whether or not this set limit (“ceiling”) of debt can be raised.

So just fantasize with me a bit: imagine living in a world where everything is free. No one ‘charges’ for any goods or services, and therefore no one ‘pays’ for any goods or services. No one has (or needs) an ‘income’; and there is no borrowing and lending. Our Government would not be ‘borrowing’ money to pay ‘bills’, so there would be no such thing as reaching a ‘debt ceiling’ and having to decide whether or not to raise that ‘ceiling’. The whole ‘debt ceiling’ controversy would never have occurred. (Neither would there be any taxes to partially cover Government spending!)

Of course, there would also be no “Affordable Care Act” (AKA “Obamacare”) which one party would be able to use to ‘hold hostage’ the debt ceiling debate. No one could refuse to raise the (non-existent, in this scenario) ‘debt ceiling’ unless “Obamacare” was rescinded/postponed/defunded, because health care would be free to all and insurance companies would no longer exist. There would be no ‘government mandate’ that everyone must purchase insurance, and no one would have to worry about having to give up an insurance policy he/she likes because it doesn’t meet Government standards. The reasons for the “Affordable Care Act” simply would not exist: trying to enable as many people as possible to ‘afford’ insurance, eliminating preexisting illness/injury clauses, etc.

Doctors and hospitals would not have to worry about how they could possibly ‘earn a living’ if they had to provide their services for free, because everything would be free to them also.

Homelessness and starvation would be eliminated, because housing and food would also be free to all. Real Estate Agents would no doubt still exist to assist people in locating property and housing to fit their needs and desires; and distribution warehouses and stores would still exist. But there would be no ‘cost’ and ‘payment’ for these services and the goods they provide.

Being able to ‘afford’ a new car – or being able to ‘afford’ maintenance and repairs on your vehicle – would not be a problem, because in a moneyless society this, too, would be free to all. There might, though, be a problem with what to do with ‘used’ vehicles. I suppose there wouldn’t be all that many people looking for a ‘used’ car when they can get a new one. :grin: Perhaps there would need to be regulations about how many ‘new’ vehicles a person or family may have, and how long the ‘new’ vehicle must be kept before it can be replaced. If a person or family felt they needed or wanted another vehicle (or vehicles) beyond the approved limit, they could get a ‘used’ vehicle. [That is at least one way this “used car problem” could be resolved]. Of course, there would probably still be antique car lovers who actually want old vehicles to lovingly restore and maintain.

Are you enjoying fantasizing about this? Well there’s much more of such enjoyable ‘wishful thinking’ where that comes from! :lol: There would be no taxes; therefore there would be no Internal (Infernal?) Revenue Service to answer to. There would be no borrowing and debt, so there would be no falling behind in payments, debt collection agencies, and credit ratings to worry about. There would also obviously be no ‘interest’ (usury) on any loans.

There would be no retirement accounts, Social Security, or Disability payments; yet those who are retired or disabled would not be destitute.

There would be no Stock Market (and therefore no Stock Market collapses); and no banks (and therefore no need to ‘bail out’ banks and investment agencies which are ‘too big to fail’).

Besides “Obamacare” and the “debt ceiling” controversy, think of how much more legislation that ties Congress in knots is money related – and therefore would not exist in this fantastic moneyless society. How much that divides Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, etc. is in fact money related – how to raise money to carry on Government, and how to spend the money which is raised!

Would the elimination of money produce a ‘perfect’ society, in which no ‘evil’ exists? No, that’s not very likely unfortunately. While some people may quote the Christian apostle Paul’s statement that “the love of money is the root of all evil” to claim that everything which is evil springs from the love of money, that is certainly not true – and it’s probably not even what Paul’s statement meant. He was no doubt saying that the love of money is a root which is totally evil, and produces only evil ‘fruit’; but he was not saying that everything which is evil springs from that evil root.

People and nations would still no doubt find ways to irritate each other. Personal jealousies and strife would still exist. “That no good *#!% stole my girlfriend”; “I think my worthless husband is cheating on me”; “they worship a false god/practice an evil religion”; “we’re God’s chosen people and everyone else is worthless”, etc . A Government which wishes to be “top dog” will no doubt find excuses to attack other nations.

Nevertheless, getting rid of the very concept of money and material ‘wealth’ would relieve so many of the world’s problems. It would go such a long way toward establishing a utopian society. So I don’t mind engaging in such dreams. Hopefully you’ve found this bit of wishful thinking enjoyable also. :smile:

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