Thursday, February 12, 2009

Why Christians Aren’t “CHRISTians” At All.


The Christian Bible includes the Hebrew Bible, the “Tanakh”. Most scholars agree that the Hebrew Bible was composed and compiled between the 12th and the 2nd century BCE, hundreds of years before Jesus' birth. Jesus and his disciples based their teachings on the Tanakh, referring to its tenets as "the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms ... the scriptures". Luke 24:44-45. Christians today refer to it as the Old Testament.

In it is contained over 600 laws that establish how to conduct ones secular and religious life. These laws are very strict, requiring stoning of unruly children, stoning of homosexuals, killing of adulteresses, eating kosher foods, circumcision of male children, the list is long and detailed.

As a devout Jew, and rabbi, Jesus himself would have followed these laws. He may have been at odds with the Jewish priestly class who didn’t hold themselves accountable to the law, or who enforced laws that Jesus felt were being misinterpreted / misapplied, such as the admonishment against the poor gleaning fields on the Sabbath. But Jewishness, by definition, requires reverence for and obedience to ”… the law of Moses, and the prophets.” To abandon those laws would be to abandon the very foundation of Jewish religion. Jesus never did that.

How do I know? Jesus is alleged to have said so himself:
“For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:18-19 RSV)

He makes similar declarations at least two more times in Luke 16:17, Matthew 5:17.
Indeed, the early Christians were Jewish, and followed the laws of Moses and the Prophets along with revering Jesus as the Messiah.

Yet, when you ask a Christian why they ignore and disobey the Old Testament laws, they give you this song and dance: “Oh… that’s the OLD Testament. There’s a new covenant with God, Jesus did away with the old laws.” Nope. Not true as shown above, in Jesus’ own words, corroborated by both Mathew and Luke. But their justification for this abandonment of God’s laws is this: “For Christ is the end of the law, that every one who has faith may be justified.” (Romans 10:4)

But you see Romans, was written by Paul. It was not dictated by Jesus, not hinted at by Jesus, not referenced in any other scripture. It’s Paul’s abandonment of Jewish law to make the Christian cult more palatable to the gentile (Roman) recruits. It’s in direct contradiction to Jesus’ multiple admonishments. Heck, why do you think Paul included it in his letter to the Romans (hint, hint)??

So why don’t Christians follow Jesus’ words, keep kosher, kill witches on sight, and get circumcised, etc., etc., etc.? Because they find it easier, more convenient, to follow Paul than they do their professed Lord and Savior. They aren’t Christians at all. They are Paulists. They follow a false prophet, and they along with Paul, “… shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.”

Yep, when they croak, and Jesus smells that bacon on their breath, they are truly screwed.

20 comments:

OJ said...

I love it! It's a brand new argument that I've never ever heard before. I need to refer some Paulists to it and see what they have to say. "But... but..." is the response I expect to get.

p.s. I like the slight redesign at the top of your page.

Radames said...

"There was only one true Christian, and he died on the cross."
Friedrich Nietzsche - The Antichrist

Quite a dilemma: remain a small sect in Judaism or gain a larger flock with the pagans? The choice was made and today we have to hear Christian (or Paulist?) nonsense. Well, probably we would be hearing religious nonsense anyway.

I can't blame the early Christians. Moses was quite a hard legislator. But they didn't need to keep with the executions, adding the novelty of burning people at the stake!

DromedaryHump said...

OJ, Radames,

Thanks for your input.

We can't fully blame Paul. He saw the jews werent buying into jesus as Messiah, and it was either expand your client base to non-Jews, or watch the cult disolve.

And how many gentiles would be willing to become Jews first, and endure a circumcision and give up shellfishand pork, to join his cult. Not too many I'd say.

He did no more than any good cult leader / businessman would have done. I just wish the "Christo- Paulists" today would understand and acknowledge it.

Regards,
Hump

Joyce said...

And yet if you insist that Christians follow only the law of Moses and the prophets and not the writers of the NT, does that then make them Mosaics (hehe) or Prophetians?

With this argument, there's no leeway on either side. It's all or nothing.

DromedaryHump said...

Joyce,
Correct. Good post.
If it were just the laws of moses, and nothing else, there would be no christianity; Jesus' reform jewish movement would have withered on the vine.

But OT observance only(judaism), or cherry picking OT belief + Paul's divestiture of Mosaic law (Paulism);aren't the only two options.

If one were to follow the admonishment of Jesus to keep the law of the OT, and temper it with his merciful application of those laws plus whatever unique teachings jesus professed; you'd have a Christianity that was what Jesus' brother James undersood was Jesus' objective. A kinder, Gentler Judaism.

It would be a modified / hybrid of btoh Judasim and the purest form of Christian doctrine, Jesus' own words...unsullied by Paul's deception, Roman recruitment efforts, and the anti-Semitism that sprang from the demonization of the stiff necked Jews by the Paulists.

Hump

Joyce said...

Drom said:

Joyce,
Correct. Good post.


Better than the "But... but..." response you'd thought you'd get from a Christfollower, eh, OJ? Whew! lol ;)

The words of Jesus also say that no man comes to the Father except through Him. Whereas the Law states that you must follow them in order to be right with God.

So I don't see Paul's words to be in conflict with this. If Jesus said that, then He had to be the fulfillment of the Law, as Paul stated.

Which would still leave me a Christian/Christfollower.

DromedaryHump said...

Joyce said:" The words of Jesus also say that no man comes to the Father except through Him. Whereas the Law states that you must follow them in order to be right with God."

Ah, but this is where youre getting bogged down in doctrine.

If Jesus said: "follow the laws, just like I do". It doesn't negate that jesus expected people to be lawful as well as accepting him as saviour / being the way to heaven.

In other words, they wouldnt be mutually exclusive in Jesus' mind. One can be both true to the mosaic laws & still accept jesus as the "way", without being in conflict... .as far a JESUS WAS CONCERNED , not as far as the Pharases or the Sandhedren, or Paul were concerend. But who cares what they thought. Jesus didnt?

The thing about christians not having to follow Mosaic law gives birth to this inane dogma that you can break laws, kill people, rape, murder children, but still go to heaven because you believe in Jesus. Its why mobsters, gang bangers and fiends believe they can do what they do and still be standing in heaven next to your pastor.

My guess is, considering Jesus multiple admonishments about observing the law, in rather specific and adamant terms, that he would consider that a most dispicable, obscene, and horrific doctrine.

No matter how its twisted, Jesus never retracted his words about the law of moses. Paul did it in his absense, and with an agenda.

Hump

Joyce said...

Yet we read in Luke 10:25-28: On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."


I think that's pretty cut and dry. Now ... it does also say in Leviticus 19:18 to love your neighbor, but the Jewish leaders had often interpreted 'neighbor' to mean only someone of their own their own nationality and religion. Jesus continues in Luke with the parable of the Good Samaritan and ends this discussion by asking the expert, "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

If it was the words of Jesus that you were looking for to answer your challenge, I think it sums it up right here, as Jesus summed up the Law in these two commandments.

DromedaryHump said...

Joyce,
thats all good. but nothing you say erases jesuses multiple admonishments to obey the law of the prophets.

Nothing is in contradiction with what I am proposing except that you want to throw four of jesus' statements out the window because you are reading one verse and trying to use it to justify Paul's dissoltion of the law. I understand that, but its not a valid tact.

If you take only one verse and say: "this is all jesus believed about the law", then what are we to make of his "the law of moses shall be observed; not one iota is to be dismissed, until the end of time. Those who don't will be called the least in The Kingdom" (paraphrased) also made in Luke, and Mathew. There are FOUR such admonishments, by jesus.

There are over 600 judaic laws; treating your neighbor as yourself is one jesus expanded on. It doesnt erase the rest of what he said about observing the laws..

And this focus on going to heaven as being the only reason for following jesus' words is a church invention. He understood that the judaic laws had societal reasons to be, and that they maintatined the identity of the Jewish people. He was't looking to make that culture disappear, he wanted to stregnten it, enhance it, humanize it.

So put down that damn lobster!!! or your going to Hell!!!

:)
Hump

Joyce said...

See, I see it a completely different way. Since Jesus' direct answer to what do I have to do to inherit eternal life was laid out right there.

And since Christians think all scripture is inspired, we have to study and see what it says when you lay it out all together. That includes Paul's statement to the law being fulfilled in Jesus.

And I believe that (as you well know. lol). So when I see what Jesus said regarding the Law, answering this law expert, and reading the words of Paul, my conclusion is the same.

Good discussion. Thanks.

DromedaryHump said...

yeah well... but you ignored this:

"And this focus on going to heaven as being the only reason for following jesus' words is a church invention. He understood that the judaic laws had societal reasons to be, and that they maintatined the identity of the Jewish people. He was't looking to make that culture disappear, he wanted to stregnten it, enhance it, humanize it."

the reason you do ignore it is that jesus' true objective, if he existed at all, his kinder gentler but CONTINUEATION of judaism means nothing to you or the faithful.

To the church its all about death, and living again for ever after death, and avoiding punishment for disbelief.

The sociological and political and cultural elements of what a radicle reformed rabbi's intent was, and hpow strong his devotion to his religion was, is obscured by the supernaturalism he was endowed with after his death by his followers.

As a non-bliever, and avid reader of scirptural analysis by both believers and non-believers, I have the luxury of seperating the pie in the sky emphasis , and looking at the socio=political elements of jesus' words/teachings.

Unless Jesus said: "I changed my mind, screw the old laws, this guy Paul who follows me after my death will explain it all to you. " then his words don't just dissapear for the convenience of the people who follow Paul's doctrine Vs. Jesus'.

Joyce said...

How is it a church invention when Jesus answered the guys' question about eternal life? And Jesus spoke often of heaven.

And no, I didn't ignore that part. I merely said that all of this together makes me come to the conclusion (as a believer) that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and by following Him, we are following His commandments.

Jesus Himself broke from tradition (Law) by not washing His hands before eating and 'working' on the Sabbath.

DromedaryHump said...

Joyce,

Look, if James..Jesus' brother, had prevaled, and his flavor of Christianity supplanted the prevaling doctrine, Jesus' words would have been taken NOT ONLY as a path to heaven, but as a new and improved social order under the auspices of Mosaic law.

So, when I say following jesus words ONLY as a source of heavnly residence/ salvation is a church invention... I'm simply saying that the prevailing doctrine won out and superceded any secular purpose(s) for Jesus' words. (i.e. the refinement of jewish law to show mercy, even handed application, maintiaing the jewish culture, etc.)

Remeber, the sect and doctrine that determined the Christian canon was the winner of the 325 Council of Nicea debate / vote. There were alot of early xtian sects that had differing perspectives on who jesus was, and what his doctrine meant to the jewish people.

But, no matter how its spun, and by whom, the fact Jesus' repeated his rquirement to observe the mosaic law thee-four times, and never retracted it, in two books (Luke and Mathew) cannot be just ignored. OH it Can!! But thats the whole point..ignoring.

ok. finis.

DromedaryHump said...

PS: Joyce..don't worry. They serve shell fish and pulled pork in Hell.

You won't go hungry.

:)

Joyce said...

I think we've reached an impasse, which is ok. We've been here before and we'll be again! It was still a very good discussion and as always you leave me food for thought.

Speaking of food ... they will have to pry that lobster from my dying hands before I give it up willingly!

And quit cutting your hair above the ears, you ancestor of apes!

DromedaryHump said...

Joyce,

I mispoke...you wont go to hell for not observign mosaic law...you will just be called "the least" in the Kingdom of heaven,as Jesus said.

What that means is: they'll always seat you at the table nearest the kitchen or mens room, your accomodations are akin to a Motel 6,and on movie night you dont get butter on your popcorn.

Joyce said...

Does that mean langastinos instead of real lobster?

That sucks.

DromedaryHump said...

Sorry, langastinos are shell fish too. Jesus doesnt do shell fish anywhere in heaven.

They feed you that imitation crabmeat crap made out of processed pollack.

But there's worse news: As "the least in the Kingdom.." you don't get lemon or butter.

Joyce said...

No. No butter would be hell. And you already corrected yourself there.

Of course, I could always go on a tangent about how 'the least shall be the 'greatest', but that's a horse of a different color. (And I'm just being silly.)

Angel said...

Buahwhwhwha!!

Oh Joyce...

The Old versus the New Testament differences have always been glossed over by "but he was crucified for our sins" as the reason why Xians suddenly don't have to follow original Jewish doctrine.

Your take on Paulism is correct, Hump. I've never found a place in either Old or New stating why God decided to stop being such a dickhead to his people. It has always been implied and the flavor du jour for each sect of Xianity to decide what their take on it is.

And no. The least are not the greatest if they still run with the literal interpretation. She's thinking of the little lost sheep and... it just doesn't apply here.