Tuesday, July 6, 2010

304: Persistence

Luke 17-18
"And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" - Luke 18:7-8

Jesus starts off with some things we've already heard. Namely that sins are going to be brought into this world, but the people who bring the sin would be better off drowning themselves. What a lovely message.

He then tells his disciples a parable about servants. He says that if they had a servant plow their field, they would also tell the servant to prepare their dinner. As opposed to letting the servant eat dinner after they'd worked all day. Jesus says this is how God feels, and that we should all feel like unworthy servants who have not served God his dinner. I guess this will help us feel like shit all the time so we can get into heaven.

Jesus then heals 10 people with leprosy by doing nothing. He tells the leprous men to go see the priests, and on their way to see the priests they are somehow healed. What happened to the Jesus that had to spit in people's faces to get his magic to work? Now he can offhandedly dismiss someone and that somehow heals them? Also, when did Jesus heal 10 leprous men in the other gospels? Did Luke just make this one up?

Anyway, the point of the story is that only one of the ten men cured of leprosy returns to Jesus to thank God for healing him. Jesus asks the crowd where the other nine men are, and why only this one "foreigner" has returned to thank God. First of all, the obvious implication here is that a "foreigner's" thanks is worth less than an Israelite's. Second, how are they supposed to know who healed them? They were walking away and they were somehow healed. Are they supposed to magically know that Jesus/God healed them?

The rest of the chapter is a long rant about how we never know when Jesus will return. Except for we know that it will be within the disciples' generation, because Jesus has said that several times (though not in this gospel).

At the beginning of chapter 18 there is a parable about a persistent widow. This widow begs a Godless judge over and over to give her justice. I'm not sure why the judge is so anti-justice. The judge says even though he doesn't care about the lady, he will make sure she gets justice so that she will stop bugging him.

Jesus goes on to compare God to this un-Godly judge. Jesus says, like the judge, God will give justice to those who keep bugging him (by praying day and night). Really? Has Jesus just confirmed my suspicion that God doesn't give a shit about humanity? He really only answers our prayers (not) so we'll stop bugging him?

Jesus then tells another parable about humbling ourselves (yawn), says (like in Mark and Matthew) that he really likes to touch little children, and tells a rich ruler what he needs to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus again reiterates in this section that he is not "good" only God is (I think there are some Christians that disagree).

Wait, he's telling a rich ruler how to inherit eternal life? I thought it was a young man (like in Matthew and Mark). He again tells the ruler/young man, among other things, that he has to honor his father and mother in order to have eternal life. But remember, you have to also hate your father and mother in order to be a follower of Jesus.

Next, Jesus predicts his death again. He says that the gentiles will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him, and kill him. After three days he will rise again. For some reason, the disciples have no idea what he's talking about. How hard is this to understand? I guess it's hard to blame Jesus for calling them idiots all the time.

The final story is about a blind beggar. This blind man begs Jesus to have his sight back. Jesus agrees and simply says, "Receive your sight, your faith has healed you". The man is immediately able to heal. I'd really like the bible to give me a straight answer on how Jesus performs his miracles. Does he have to spit in people's faces and dance around? Or does he just have to make an offhand remark?

Is atheism (or, if you prefer, Atheism) a religion? Some think so:
Atheism is in the religion section because it is a religion. If it were an intellectual void of belief, it would not gravitate towards religion, and be the obsessive compulsive stalker religion that it is.

Here's a test. Go for a day without thinking about God or religion. If you can't, then you are more religious than most professed christians.
First of all, I know some atheists that are more than happy to run in the opposite direction of religion. I'm obviously not one of those, but that certainly doesn't make me more religious. Since when does thinking about God or religion make you believe in God or religion? If I think about how much Santa doesn't exist do I start believing in Santa?
Honestly, most of you godless heathen types are way more zealous than your average christian. You share more, even though you have nothing to share. You pray more(to your god, the government) to destroy other, more tolerant religions. Your inquisitions and holy wars are more deadly (Stalin and Mao killed millions trying to stomp out Christianity and what not, while fake christians killed less than ten thousand in the inquisition and quite a lot less during the crusades.
Yes, you caught us. Atheists secretly worship the government. Especially when 90%+ of government officials are Christians.

There are people that kill people who happen to be atheists. The more important question is do they kill people because they're an atheist. The answer is (in any case I've ever seen), no. Pose that same question to the inquisition. Did those Christians kill because they were Christians? Most certainly yes. Did the 9/11 attackers kill because they were Muslims? Yes. Does that mean all Christians/Muslims are bad? Of course not. But killing is definitely more a tenant of religion than it is non-religion (largely because non-religion has no tenants).
I personally believe in Christ, because his way is the way of peace and love, and freedom. If you're a miserable, hateful, sour, unhappy adherent to atheism, and you want some happiness in your life, I suggest you have a little talk with Jesus, and be free from atheism's oppression.
Right, because the writer of this article is obviously not miserable, hateful, sour, or unhappy. For being a follower of Jesus he sure doesn't turn the other cheek or love his enemy very much. Also, I think he may have missed the point when he read the bible. Doesn't much of the New Testament say you have to be unhappy in order to make it to heaven?


  1. Luke 17:1-2. Jesus specifically states that anyone who causes one of "these little ones" to sin would be better off drowning himself. However, there is no indication in Luke's Gospel who these little ones are. Dwarves? It seems that Luke is missing the verse in Matt 18:5 (he uses only 18:6-7) that would make sense of this.

    Luke 17:6. I guess no one has that much faith, because the mustard seed is the smallest seed, and no one has ever successfully caused, by a voice command, a tree to uproot itself and "plant" itself into the sea. Then again how do you measure the size of faith? Maybe a mustard seed worth of faith would be a lot.

    BTW, as Robert Price pointed out, you either have faith that God can do something or you don't. The whole idea of quantifying faith was devised as a rationalization to explain why prayers are not answered: "Your prayed to God for something and didn't get it? I guess you didn't have enough faith."

    Luke 17:7-10. If you had servants, who did everything you asked, would you demand that they say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.' God is really on a power trip isn't he (like in Job)? Why is He more insecure than us?

  2. If you're a miserable, hateful, sour, unhappy adherent to atheism, and you want some happiness in your life, I suggest you have a little talk with Jesus, and be free from atheism's oppression.

    For the love of Grod, it's like these people don't even understand the words that they're using.

    I can't force myself to believe in God anymore than I can force myself to believe in the Tooth Fairy, or that tiny goblins live in my clothes dryer and eat my socks. I can't force myself to believe anything - that's why it's called a "belief". Just because I really, really, really want to believe that a tiny lady with wings on her back steals baby teeth and replaces them with dollars that doesn't mean that I actually CAN make myself believe it.

    I can be argued into changing my beliefs, and I can accumulate evidence to show that my beliefs are wrong and I should believe something else. This has happened to me a LOT in life - my politics have switched 180 degrees in the last 20 years, I've become convinced my old religious beliefs were bunk over the last 10 years, and everything I used to believe was true about parenting has been proven wrong since my son was born. But I can't just choose to believe something else and have it be true - that's nonsensical. And it actually makes a mockery of Christians who are true believers if you really think that beliefs can be switched on and off that easily - anyone who thinks that I could become an evangelical Christian if I just chose to believe must also think that a devout evangelical Christian could choose to drop all of his beliefs and choose to be an atheist. It doesn't work that way.

    As far as atheists and religion - I think it depends on the religious environment you grew up in and how curious you are about other religions. I grew up pretty staunch Roman Catholic, but I was always curious about mythology and other religions. Now I'm an atheist but I'm still fascinated by religion. My Bible sits on the shelf next to my collection of Greek, Norse, Egyptian and Sumerian mythology books and my Joseph Campbell books. I admit to having a fascination with the social construct of religion and the stories that religions have woven over the centuries, even if I think that Theseus killing the Minotaur is equally likely to be a historical event as Moses parting the Red Sea.

  3. Luke 18

    Luke 18:1-7. So God is an "unjust judge"? Yep, that sounds about right, at least according to the bible.

    And the squeaky wheel gets the grease, even when you pray.

    Luke 18:18-30. Luke copies Mark's parable pretty closely, except he changes the young man to a ruler, and smartly drops the "commandment" Do Not Defraud. Luke also tries not to overpromise by removing the itemization of things one will receive in this lifetime found in Mark ("homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields"), instead just saying that you will receive many times as much, not of what, he doesn't say.

  4. It's not much a stretch to think that you could "choose" to believe in God for people who also believe that you can choose your sexual orientation.



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