Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jesus the Letdown: Revisiting Matthew, Chapters 22 - 23

Part 13 of my "Jesus the Letdown" series.

Chapter 22
  • Verse 7: "He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city." Jesus is definitely the son of Yahweh, destroying entire cities because of a few people there that he didn't like. The apple really does fall not far from the tree.
  • Verse 14: "...many are invited, but few are chosen." Chosen? This god who constantly nags us about our unrighteousness is going to choose who gets to go to heaven? Why should we bother obeying him, losing the only chance we'll ever get to have fun before our eternal torment, when he's just going to choose who gets to go?
  • Verses 22, 33, 46: When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away. When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching. No one could say a word in reply. This sounds about right: Christians think that there is some connection between the truth and the ability to win debating points. Take a survey of the pro-science arguments and the pro-Yahweh arguments, and you'll see a clear trend: the pro-science camp enumerates facts and provides detailed explanations, while the pro-Yahweh camp, when their factual claims are debunked, just hunker down into ad hominem. I'm not saying that atheists never engage in silly debates or less-than-honorable tactics. I'm just saying that there's a clear distinction between the usual methods of the pro-science people and those of the pro-Yahweh people, and Jesus is the epitome of pro-Yahwists, spouting interpretations of ancient myths rather than telling people to wash their hands before they eat so they won't get sick.
  • Verse 37: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." The only kind of love a human could experience toward this god is the same kind of love that Winston Smith felt for Big Brother at the end of Orwell's 1984. Is this a good god, who wants this kind of coerced love, who accepts it as a good thing?
Chapter 23
  • Verse 4: "They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders..." Oh, you mean like when he earlier said that anyone who doesn't deny himself and take up his cross is not worthy of Jesus? Sounds like a pretty heavy load.
  • Verse 5: "Everything they do is done for men to see..." Oh, you mean like all of these cheap, so-called miracles Jesus has been doing in public all this time, when he could have easily--if he's God--healed all disease everywhere without even batting an eye? When he could have easily explained pathogenic microbe theory and saved millions from horrible disease? For that matter, he could have just planted the knowledge in everyone's heads, Matrix-style. Whoa, I know open-heart surgery!
  • Verse 9: "Do not call anyone on earth 'father'..." Oops, Catholics, are you guys using the same bible as everyone else? And not just Catholics, practically everyone on Earth, except for smart-alecks like my daughter who addresses me by my first name, calls their father 'father' or 'dad' or the like. Think Jesus was disallowing only the word 'father'? What about later on in the Gospel of John when he calls God 'Abba', that is, 'Dad'? Christians, you guys don't seem to listen to Jesus very much.
  • Verse 13: "You yourselves do not enter [heaven], nor will you let those enter who are trying to." What happened to "many are invited but few are chosen"? Seems like Jesus will prevent quite a few people from entering heaven.
  • Verses 16 - 35: The pivotal event in the entire history of the universe, the coming of God to earth in human form, and he has to go on about oaths and the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. Was their hypocrisy really the worst thing going on in the world at the time?
  • Verse 23: "But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy, and faithfulness." Oh, so this is where Christians get the idea that Jesus cared a lot about human well-being. I claim that the stuff he talks about the least is the stuff that he cares about the least. And what does the law have to do with faithfulness? What kind of faithfulness is he even talking about? Marital fidelity? Doesn't he have bigger fish to fry?
  • Verse 36: "...upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah..." I suppose that not a single one of the myriad children who were slaughtered on Yahweh's orders was righteous. I suppose that the only righteous blood that had ever been shed on earth was Jewish blood.

No comments:

Post a Comment