Genie Jesus

"Genie Jesus" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Genie Jesus” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

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I think this pretty much sums up contemporary Christianity. Don’t you?

One of the scariest parts of deconstruction is when you start to realize that the magic’s gone. If you want support and company, come pull up a chair with us at The Lasting Supper.

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25 Responses

  1. Bernardo says:

    Yes and it shows how easy it is to discredit all religions.

  2. Ducatihero says:

    “I think this pretty much sums up contemporary Christianity. Don’t you?”

    I can’t speak about an north American context but if Erwin Lutzer in his book “Hitler’s Cross” is right when he talks about contemporary Christianity being bout being happy just as German Christianity in the 1930’s was about Nazism then I think what you are saying has truth in it.

    So God, a being that answers wishes that one has predetermined in order to make one happy. So it then being about the individual or the institution. Hasn’t it always been that way for many rather than the few? For example the German church and Hitler’s “positive Christianity” as opposed to the few like Bonhoeffer and his “confessional Christianity”.

    Bernardo, it’s interesting that you should say what you have about easily discrediting. Before, you proposed that with the early church, Paul’s incentive for what he did was money. Then you propose that the Roman authorities executed him because of their envy of him.

    To what degree has you position been arrived at with Paul and the Roman authorities been due to your experience and/or your perception of church leaders and government authorities do you think?

  3. Bernardo says:

    More on the ease of discrediting all religions:

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    “The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother’s womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. ”

    Regarding Paul and money:

    Some of Paul’s money gathering activities some of which resulted in buying the Gentile entry into the then mostly Jewish version of Christianity:

    Paul claimed almost total independence from the “mother church” in Jerusalem.[12] and yet was eager and diligent to bring material support from the various budding Gentile churches that he started to the mother church at Jerusalem.

    When a famine occurred in Judea, around 45–46,[24] Paul and Barnabas journeyed to Jerusalem to deliver financial support from the Antioch community.[25] According to Acts, Antioch had become an alternative center for Christians following the dispersion of the believers after the death of Stephen. It was in Antioch that the followers of Jesus were first called “Christians.”[Ac. 11:26]. This act basically “greased” the entry of non-circumcised Gentiles into Christianity.

    “Paul collected the money from his four provinces, Galatia, Macedonia, Achaia and Asia but, for obvious reasons, of propriety, had representatives take each province’s own contribution”.

    Paul picked up the money scent on the road to Damascus. He added some letters and a prophecy of the imminent second coming for a fee for salvation and “Gentilized” the good word to the “big buck” world. i.e. Paul was the first media evangelist!!! And he and the other Apostles forgot to pay their Roman taxes and the legendary actions by the Romans made them martyrs for future greed.

    One assumes that in the Roman controlled world that said Romans knew what Paul was doing and he went a bit too far just as his rable-rousing, crucified Jesus did.

  4. Ducatihero says:

    You haven’t answered my question Bernardo but have asserted your proposition about Paul’s actions being determined by financial gain. Your use of the term “media evangelist” might suggest where your influences have come from to draw that conclusion.

    It seems that what you are proposing to be true runs counter to the biblical account of him being a “tentmaker” for his livelihood, not taking money in return for his preaching. Given that much of his work was in cities and therefore not inhabited by nomadic people, it could be that his work was linked to the theatre, perhaps costume making.

    Being paid to preach would have come with it the likelihood of setting himself up in a patron/client relationship. It is unlikely that any rich patron would pay Paul for purely philinthrandric work.

    There is no evidence in what you propose of Paul becoming wealthy. It would suggest therefore that you opinion of him may have been formed from perceiving him as being like some of the less than scrupulous who have become wealthy in contemporary life, reflecting more of slick marketing than any resemblance to Christ.

  5. Caryn LeMur says:

    David: If you are using the construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction model… I tend to agree with you.

    During my own deconstruction, the magic of the church institution vanished. I realized in 2004 that I could live quite well without them (though I grieved the loss of easy-friendships off and on for a bit).

    I had some tough years 2005 and 2006… but settled in quite well in 2007.

    My next attempt at churching was April 2010 to July 2011, with the Vineyard Church in Virginia. When I left that time, I realized that I could live much, much better without them.

    Even if I ever visit a church again, I think that spiritual independence will remain one cornerstone of my inner world.

    The mystical of Jesus and God stayed as part of my journey. And became much deeper without the magic-thinking of the Vineyard (which imploded as an institution during the years that followed).

    When I reconstructed, I simply became a deeper believer.

    That said, I am no longer sure what to make of ‘prayer’, to be honest. It was a deep part of my life after the last phase of reconstruction (in 2011 through June 2012). Then, I went into a state of shock/grieving when we moved to a new city.

    I started to pray again… sort of… kind of… last January 2015… Prayers and then holding-my-breath for answers. [Not much faith or trust, I must confess.] I had some great answers to prayer… some unbelievable ones. My prayer-centric life began to sort of grow… again… in May 2015.

    But my dog of 5 years attacked my cat of 16 years, and my cat died .. while calling out to me for help. Then, I lost 2 friends to death in July 2015… one was my body-guard and I watched his breathing tube fill with foamy blood in the hospital after a failed surgery …. and I am still feeling robbed by all their deaths…

    I have not been able to pray but once or so, since then. How do you say ‘hello’ to someone that stole 3 friends?

    I wish I had some of that magical-thinking …. a simple answer… a meme that healed me…

  6. Ducatihero says:

    Hey Caryn,

    Thank you for your openness.

    I hear that it feels to you that God stole your friends and how to you pray to him.

    For me I am not unacquainted with fear and pain when approaching God. However I find that such can be just as I would be with say, surgeon if I were to undergo a major lifesaving operation. I find silence in prayer works for me and I rarely use words to articulate thoughts to God – just to “be” after all he already knows my needs and it able to determine what is on my heart.

    I wonder if looking up the World Community for Christian Meditation might help you?

    I hope you find that edifying.

  7. Love your story Caryn. Touching. Moving. I identify with much of it myself.

  8. Bernardo says:

    Ducatihero,

    The key word in your rebuttal is “the biblical account”. I recommend perusing the analyses of these accounts in the studies of Professor Bruce Chilton published in his book Rabbi Paul and Professor JD Crossan in his book, The Search for Paul.

  9. Ducatihero says:

    I hear your recommendation to consider said authors Bernardo.

    What I would recommend to you is to consider that the burden of proof of a proposition is on the one making the proposal, not the one with the rebuttal. In spite of your claim, your comment has not put the kibosh on anything. Assertions without evidence are opinions an opinions are open to all and anything.

    It is your opinion that it is easy to discredit religions and that Paul was wealthy, having been paid handsomely for the ministry he did. History and the Bible suggests otherwise.

    Again, you didn’t answer my question. I find that telling. It would seem that the conclusions you have come to could have been made from social programming and selective reading.

    I’m not being pejorative with that, we all have presuppositions and assumptions strongly influenced by social programming.

  10. Caryn LeMur says:

    Thank you for your responses, Ducati and David.

    Peace to you all on your journeys.

    Sincerely; Caryn

  11. Bernardo says:

    Ducatihero,

    Please present the history of Paul that you have mentioned that is not in your bible. Again, the other histories of Paul are listed in the references presented.

  12. Ducatihero says:

    Bernardo,

    You want me to present an account of Paul that is not in the bible.

    Permit me to make a slight correction to what you say. The bible is the bible not “your” bible.

    When engaging with texts, in principle I would weight each up equally. I do have a copy of Crossan’s book on order that you recommended. I also have books by other authors I can refer to. The bible will be a text that I refer to – it’s omission would not be consistent with good scholarly practice.

    I may give reference to other texts than the bible once i have had an opportunity to read Crossans book and engage with it critically.

    So I’ll give what you want consideration. With all due respect, I have formed the opinion that you may have come to the conclusions you have arrived at strongly influenced by social programming and have quoted authors to support your opinions. I don’t see evidence of your critical engagement with said authors or authors you have disagreement with but a quoting of them to support the opinions you have.

    It’s more likely that there would be useful exchange of comments if it were to be discussion of a variety ideas with an openness to views changing in the light of new evidence rather than statements to argue opposing opinions supported by selected texts.

    I’m going to ask you to engage with the bible and with authors that challenge the views you have s well as those you have quoted. I’m more likely do what you request if you honour what I am asking of you.

  13. Gary says:

    The spamming by Bernardo has really ramped up again. This guy is even more of a fundamentalist than the baptist preachers at the churches I used to go to…and he has even less credibility. Extremism represents a lack of critical thinking.no matter what the arena.

  14. Funny Gary but I was going to write a response this morning to this. Bernardo: Please stop posting all these references over and over again. Let’s just have a conversation instead. Thanks.

  15. Gary says:

    I wasn’t trying to be funny.

  16. No I mean it is “funny” as in “strange” or “a coincidence” or something like that.

  17. Gary says:

    Oh got it…LOL.

  18. Bernardo says:

    Reiteration is a major tool of education.

  19. Bernardo says:

    Some people enjoy suffering the pangs of education.

  20. But Bernardo… you don’t come across as an educator but a propagandist. Seriously. We don’t need the constant flood of references. Once was enough. Thanks. Let’s move on.

  21. Ducatihero says:

    “and torture ” now that was funny! Hehe

  22. Ducatihero says:

    “and torture ” now that was funny! Hehe

  23. Bernardo says:

    Ahh, torturing the likes of educated Dave et al? Give us a break!!! And keep in mind that there are new readers of this blog every day.

  24. Ducatihero says:

    “Give us a break” – I think that’s what David is asking you to do Bernardo from the ” propaganda “. There’s truth in what Gary said about lack of critical thinking.

    I dunno, maybe you would like to reflect on what people here are saying, suggesting and asking of you. Just a suggestion.

    It is of course up to you as to whether you consider these worth taking on board or not.

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