"I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened." - Mark 13:30
There's not too much to talk about today. Mark's account (at least today) is pretty much the same as Matthew's.
The first parable is about the tenants who kill their landlord's servants and child. Next is the story about people asking if Jesus if it is right to pay taxes to Caesar. Jesus says (like in Matthew) that they should give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's. Isn't this a bit of a shallow answer? Money is still money, even if it belongs to the state (or has the king's face on it). Does this mean that we should only give gold bars to the poor, since government money belongs to the state?
Next is Jesus being asked what the "greatest commandment" is. Jesus just can't pick one, and lists loving God and loving your neighbor (this is the same as in Matthew). Again, there is a disparity between the commandments that he tells the rich young man he needs to follow, and those he lists as the greatest. Why are these commandments the greatest if you don't have to follow them to get to heaven? Maybe Jesus just thinks those sound the best.
The next story is about a poor widow who gives money to the temple treasury. She only puts in a small amount, but Jesus says that she's put in the most because she gave all she had. Isn't that a bad thing? Shouldn't Jesus mention that poor people shouldn't give away all their money? Especially to a corrupt temple.
The entirety of chapter 13 is about the end of days. This is all very similar to Matthew's story. There will be many false Jesuses (Jesusi?), there will be many earthquakes, brothers will kill brothers, etc. Mark's story also includes Jesus clearly stating that all these things will happen before their generation passes away. Is Jesus talking about some other end of the world that I don't know about?
Continuing on today's theme of unoriginality, I have another fundie letter to the editor:
Churches deal with the same difficulties and struggles as everyone else. While not perfect, churches have made great strides in supporting people with same-sex attraction who seek to live a life of holiness and separation from sin.
I've still yet to witness these terrible difficulties American churches have to go through. What to do with all the money they have? What to do with the thousands of square footage that some churches have? Maybe they struggle with the horrible taxes American churches have to pay. Oh wait, they don't have to pay taxes.
I agree, some churches have made strides in supporting homosexuals. Unfortunately, a lot of this seems to be done by jumping through mental hoops to try to make the bible somehow say that being gay is ok. Even if this were true, do you really need a book to tell you to stop being a prejudicial ass hole?
Anyway, back on topic. I agree some churches have made great strides, lets see what the writer thinks are "strides":
Many people choose to explore singleness or their heterosexual potential for various reasons. Churches can and do provide loving support for those struggling with same-sex attraction. I have witnessed personal friends who have overcome their struggles.
"Explore singleness"? "Heterosexual potential"? I suppose that's a stride if you compare it to lynching them. "Hmm, I see you're gay, how about we explore you being single for the rest of your life, and dying alone. How does that sound?"
I know I've said this before, but I like this mental exercise. Pretend the rolls were reversed. Being gay is the norm, and it's a terrible sin to like people of the opposite sex. Would you be happy with someone of the same sex? How about being single for the rest of your life? I think I can safely say that you'd stay whatever sexuality you are, regardless of what society or God thinks of you.
(via Delaware Online)