Saturday, July 24, 2010

Don't Acts, Don't Tell, Part VI: Acts, Chapters 9 - 10

Part VI of my "Don't Acts, Don't Tell" Series.

Chapter 9
  • Verse 1: "Meanwhile, Saul [of Tarsus] was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples." Luke is an expert spin doctor. Jewish law made blasphemy punishable by death. Jesus was an executed blasphemer. His followers were adhering to the blasphemous idea that Yahweh had raped a teenager who gave birth to some kind of demigod, and threatened to drag Jewish society into this dangerous heresy. Luke should have said that Saul was breathing out perfectly legal threats that were supported by the clergy and most of society. This Saul was not a Joe McCarthy, but a Thomas Dewey.
  • Verses 3 - 6: A voice from heaven speaks to Saul, claiming to be Jesus. How did Saul decide that the voice was telling the truth? How did Saul determine that a disembodied voice accompanied by a flash of light counts as the credentials of not only a supernatural being, but the first mate of the Supreme Being itself? This is the strange hubris that humans seem never to have been able to shake: if it's something beyond my pathetic, limited understanding, then it must be the greatest intelligence, the greatest power, in all the universe. This is one of the craziest assumptions I've ever heard, yet billions of religious people all over the world assume so without even realizing it.
  • Verse 16: A disembodied voice, purportedly that of Jesus, says to Ananias, "I will show [Saul] how much he must suffer for my name." If Ananias had read his bible, he would have known that this could not have been the voice of Jesus, because he would have remembered Matthew 11:30, where Jesus says, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light." Too bad Ananias made this careless mistake and allowed Saul of Tarsus--misled as he was by this demon masquerading as an angel of light--to corrupt Jesus' message, dooming billions to eternal torment. I've heard many, many spiritual leaders instructing Jesusianismists on how to determine whether an urge to take some action is from God or from Satan. No one ever leaves out the criterion, "Is this urge in line with Scripture?" Ananias really blew it, not just for himself, but for humanity as well.
  • Verse 22: Saul "baffled the proving that Jesus is the Christ." This is an excellent summary of the problem that the Jews had with the idea of Jesus being the promised Messiah. They were eagerly awaiting the Messiah, praying for him to come, even longing for him to come, all the while doing their best to keep the confusing and arbitrary commands of the bloodthirsty goatherd Yahweh. Then along comes this guy claiming to be the Messiah, in an environment where claimants were a dime a dozen, and disqualifies himself by being a blasphemer. How could the Jews be blamed for rejecting a known blasphemer who claims to be the Messiah? That would be like a child molester claiming to be a representative...of...God...oh, never mind.
Chapter 10
  • Verse 3: One afternoon, Cornelius "distinctly [sees] an angel of God." How could he tell that it wasn't Satan masquerading as an angel of God?
  • Verse 34: Peter says, "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism". If Peter had read his bible, or even bothered to remember half of what his lord and master had said, he would have remembered Jesus exclaiming, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel", in Matthew 15:24, and he would have known that his vision and Cornelius' angel were part of a Satanic plot to corrupt Jesus' true, racist message.
  • Verse 38: Peter talks about how "God anointed Jesus...with the Holy Spirit and [Jesus] went around doing good...because God was with him." God anointed himself with himself, and went around doing good because he was with himself? And why would go have to anoint himself with power? Wouldn't he already have power?
  • Verse 42: Jesus is "the one whom God appointed as a judge of the living and the dead." Not a very good choice, I have to say, considering John 8:15, where Jesus says, "I pass judgment on no one." Sorry God, try someone else. Peter seems pretty judgmental; he'd be better for the job. Not to mention that Jesus is nuts, saying in John 8:16, "But if I do judge..." Make up your mind!
  • Verse 43: "...everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins..." Peter's mind has obviously been twisted by the demonic visions he has suffered; he has already forgotten all of the exceptions: Korazin, Capernaum, Bethsaida, those who don't forgive their brother from their heart, etc., etc.

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