Thursday, July 8, 2010

I...Am Your Father! Luke Chapters 21 - 22

Part 10 of my "I...Am Your Father!" series.

Chapter 21
  • Verses 1 - 4: Jesus encourages his followers to drive themselves into poverty in order to give to the church. Seriously? What a stupid, backward way to make the world a better place. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, mere humans, are doing something far better than Jesus ever did: lobbying the fabulously wealthy to give huge portions of their wealth to charity. If Jesus had taught something like this, we might live in a much better world by now, with far fewer megachurches and far less starvation.
  • Verse 15: "I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict." One might have hoped that by this he meant that he would supply his followers with facts, logic, and reason. Unfortunately, it seems that he meant that he would encourage his followers to turn off their critical thinking skills, or better yet, refrain from ever attempting critical thinking.
  • Verse 18: "Not a hair of your head will perish." Paulines might want to take this figuratively, but there is no justification for doing so, unless you've already become a Pauline. Jesus was obviously convinced that his followers' bodies would not decay. That is just as obviously a false hope.
  • Verse 36: "Pray...that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man." Seems like Jesus wanted his followers to be in the dark about whether they would be saved. They'd always have to pray about it, rather than feeling any sort of security in God's infinite love. That god doesn't deserve to be called "father" or "lord". Maybe "massah" or "mein f├╝hrer".
Chapter 22
  • Verses 15 - 16: "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you...I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God." Paulines seem to think that Jesus was the final sacrifice, that after his triumph over death, sacrifice would no longer be necessary. But didn't the Passover, in those days when the temple was still intact, involve the sacrifice of a baby sheep or goat? Why would Jesus ever eat the Passover again? Because he was a faithful Jew, not a Pauline.
  • Verse 36: "If you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one." It's really hard to make this fit with his obviously false pontification in Matthew 26:52, "All who draw the sword will die by the sword." Why would he have his followers selling their clothes in order to buy swords that he did not want them to draw?
  • Verse 38: The disciples point out to Jesus that they already have among them two swords, and Jesus says, "That is enough." If he were omniscient, he would have known that there were already two swords among them, and would not have had to advise his followers to buy more swords. He would have just said something like, "Bring those two swords that are hidden behind that stash of raisin bagels in the pantry," just to impress his followers by his miraculous knowledge of these weapons.
  • Verse 41: "He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them." Rather than this throwaway verse, God could have inspired Luke to say that Jesus withdrew to the distance that light travels in a hundred nanoseconds. Now that might have made us think that God, or at least a technology superior to that of the ancient Jews, was behind the bible. The word "about" has no place in a book reputed to have been inspired by an omniscient being.
  • Verses 43 - 44: An angel appears to Jesus and strengthens him, and Jesus' sweat is like drops of blood. The footnote in my NIV bible says that some early manuscripts do not have these two verses. That's inerrancy for you.
  • Verses 50 - 51: Jesus' followers begin to attack his enemies with the swords that he told them to bring. Seems like he has a change of heart; he says, "No more of this!" How does this fit with Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever"? Sounds like he did a one-eighty in the space of a few hours or less. Paul's Christ is not the same guy, obviously.
  • Verse 52: "Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs?" Now this sounds like a true Christian tactic, not Pauline, or at least not invented by Paul. He instructs his followers to bring swords, but then criticizes his attackers for coming with weapons. Christians do this sort of thing all the time, such as when they say that we're taking bible verses out of context and deliberately misconstruing the meaning, but then totally misrepresent non-supernaturalist views in order to score cheap debating points for their ignorant audiences.
  • Verses 61 - 62: "The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter...and [Peter] went outside and wept bitterly." What is the point of this horrible guilt trip? Why does Jesus have to rub Peter's nose in his fear? Why can't Jesus have just a bit of compassion and understanding, given that he's an infinitely loving God and all? What a prick.

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