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21 Responses

  1. RollieB says:

    Great cartoon! Perfect!

  2. Sabio Lantz says:

    I guess you could do that cartoon for any Christian sect: Pentecostal, Catholic, Baptist, Mormon, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Anglican, Orthodox Russian, Lutheran and on and on.

    BUT, the point is, the artist is saying they know what a “REAL” Christian is — they know what Jesus wanted. For you David, your “Christian” means “Let’s just love everyone” — no damnation, no heaven, no redemption for sin, no magical ceremonies, no magical prayers, no god to petition. But, “Let’s just love everyone” certainly wasn’t Jesus’ teachings. So who is that guy in the picture? 😉

  3. Caryn LeMur says:

    Twenty-four years ago, I remember the Evangelicals calling for the ‘presidential candidates’ to be subject to the scriptures, concerning character qualifications. They used the scriptures concerning an ‘elder’ (if you cannot qualify to lead a church body, then clearly, you cannot lead a nation). They used the scriptures concerning a ‘righteous king’.

    Eight years ago, I remember the Evangelicals calling for fellow ‘Christians’ to vote for a certain Mormon. After hearing that ‘Mormons are a cult group’ for years and years, we were then told that the man’s religion did not matter. His conservative morals did matter more than believing in Christ.

    Now, I am hearing that the Bible does not matter, his religion does not matter, and his morals do not matter. The Bible is irrelevant to apply to National Leaders….

    Unless they support LGBT rights… then, the Bible controversial verses should matter on that subject;

    Unless they support Palestinian rights… then, the Bible’s verses (contrary) verses on Israel should matter on that subject;

    Unless they support Abortion rights… then, the Bible’s (contrary) verses on fetal life and death should mater on that subject…

    And the list goes on and on….

    I rejected the Evangelical form of National Christianity years ago… and I am actually glad to see the farthest right of Christianity endorse Trump over and over again.

    It is the hill that they will die upon.

    And perhaps the next generation will see a less political Christianity… and reject Jesus the Political Reformer…. and consider Jesus, the Teacher.

    I hope.

  4. Pat Pope says:

    Maybe cross off both and just have the name of the church. But, inevitably people will ask, “what kind of church is this?”, so labels are almost unavoidable. It’s how we identify ourselves and also how we identify if a group is the sort we want to be identified with.

  5. That’s Jesus in the picture Sabio. See the crown of thorns? 😉

    Thanks Caryn. I think we are experiencing and witnessing a major upheaval.

    Pat: agreed.

  6. Denise says:

    Happy belated 59th birthday David.

    Sabio may have a point regarding Jesus’ teachings.
    In his book: JESUS – APOCALYPTIC PROPHET OF THE NEW MILLENIUM, Bart Ehrman makes the following points on pages 162, 224 – 225:
    http://www.preteristarchive.com/Books/pdf/1999_ehrman_jesus-apocalyptic-prophet.pdf:

    “……it’s important to understand fully the framework within which his (Jesus’) other teachings are to be fitted. Many people—Christian and non- Christian alike—think of Jesus as a great moral teacher whose ethical views can help produce a better society for those of us who are determined to make our lives together as just, peaceful, and enjoyable as possible. On one level, I think that’s probably right. But it’s also important to realize that Jesus himself did not see it that way. He did not propound his ethical views to show us how to create a just society and make the world a happier place for the long haul. For him, there wasn’t going to be a long haul. The judgment of God was coming soon with the arrival of the Son of Man—and people needed to prepare for its coming by changing the way they lived. Preparation for the Kingdom—that’s what ultimately lies at the heart of Jesus’ ethics…..

    From the historical perspective that I’ve tried to maintain here, what is clear is that the apocalyptic Jesus we’ve uncovered is a far cry from the Jesus many people in our society today know. The Jesus of history, contrary to a modern “common sense” (at least in large chunks of American Christianity), was not a proponent of “family values.” He urged his followers to abandon their homes and forsake families for the sake of the Kingdom that was soon to arrive. He didn’t encourage people to pursue fulfilling careers, make a good living, and work for a just society for the long haul; for him, there wasn’t going to be a long haul. The end of the world as we know it was already at hand. The Son of Man would soon arrive, bringing condemnation and judgment against those who prospered in this age, but salvation and justice to the poor, downtrodden, and oppressed. People should sacrifice everything for his coming, lest they be caught unawares and cast out of the Kingdom that was soon to arrive.

    This message has not, for the most part, been overwhelmingly popular among people who call themselves Jesus’ followers, even though, as we saw in the opening chapter, there have been individuals and groups on the fringes of Christianity since Jesus’ day who have continued to proclaim it in a variety of different ways, from the apostle Paul in the first century to the Montanists in the second to Joachim of Fiore in the thirteenth to the Millerites in the nineteenth to the evangelical doomsayers in the present, including Hal Lindsey and loads of others of his ilk. These later interpreters did not embrace the full message of Jesus with all its rich texture and nuance. They did not pay heed to his historical context or understand how his apocalyptic conviction about the coming of the Kingdom of God profoundly affected all of his words and deeds. Indeed, like most other Christian interpreters over the years, they opted to pick and choose from among the surviving words of Jesus, selecting the elements of his message that they found to be personally palatable.”

  7. Sabio Lantz says:

    @ Denise
    — well put, and I largely agree. But no matter who this Jesus was, it is very clear that he was largely fabricated, it is just a matter of degree. Jesus was a sock puppet and continues to be. David, even if no longer a Christian in any orthodox sense at all, still uses him as his sock puppet like all others — for their own agenda. Using him because it sends notes of holy up and above their own words. Ironic.

  8. Denise says:

    Hi Sabio,

    Indeed, there’s a lot of fabrication surrounding Jesus Christ courtesy of the NT writers, especially Paul.

    I am yet to decide whether, as per the mythicists camp, Jesus did not exist at all but was totally fabricated or whether he did exist but was just one of those Jews who was a product of the Jewish apocalyptic environment in which he grew up and so became an apocalyptic prophet himself at a time when the Jews were expecting divine intervention to bring about the end of the world on account of their over 700 years of foreign domination as the prophecies to restore the Davidic kingly line went unfulfilled (among the Jewish apocalypticists: the writers of Daniel, the Book of Revelation, the Dead Sea Scrolls etc; John the Baptist if he existed).

    This apocalyptic prophet named Jesus was then later transformed into God/the son of God by the higher levels of Christology of the NT writers.

  9. Sabio Lantz says:

    Hey Denise,

    As you know, Paul’s writings proceed the fake gospels (not the writing of the supposed apostles) and the mythicists’ theory is the Paul created a heavenly story which later writers decided to put meat on the bones. Paul apparently gave us almost no earthly-life stories. So the question is, was “This apocalyptic prophet named Jesus was then later transformed into God/the son of God by the higher levels of Christology of the NT writers.” OR, Did the later writers make the celestial Jesus story of Paul into an earthy story by fabricating the man.

    But either way, totally fabricated or not, “Jesus” is a highly fictional character. I have a post here with a diagram if you are interested.

    And the point is: Jesus’ Teachings are rarely the ones you hear EITHER the orthodox or unorthodox Christians put forward. The ones that follow Jesus teachings disappear because they have no off-spring or money — a loosing teaching.

  10. Denise says:

    *****Just to add:
    On the matter of Jewish apocalypticism: I found that the following article made some good points:

    https://ad1914.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/the-babylonian-exile-shaped-the-future.pdf

  11. Sabio Lantz says:

    David: my last comment was not added . Possibly because of a link?

  12. Caryn LeMur says:

    Denise: I would offer that, for Jesus to be considered primarily apocalyptic, we must abandon the teachings of Paul the Apostle, and in my opinion, also misread the Parables of Jesus.

    (Even though I am concerned about the canonicity of Hebrews, Revelations, and minor letters… I lean towards the Hauptbriefe (Romans, I & II Cor, and Galatians), and Matthew and Luke as canonical. So, you’ll often find me focused on those writings.)

    Paul’s writings are a balance of ‘this life and the life to come’. He has multiple instructions concerning earthly conduct during our lives; and also Paul invokes the coming judgment day. A quick read of the Hauptbriefe confirms this balanced approach.

    While I may disagree with the percentages in Paul’s ‘balanced approach’, it is nonetheless, a balance to Paul the Apostle.

    When we review the Parables of Jesus, in order to say that Jesus was primarily ‘apocalyptic, we must ignore the ‘middle part’ of many Parables attributed to Jesus, and emphasize only the conclusion of the Parable, which is most often some form/analogy of judgement day.

    So, then, in the Parable of the Goats and Sheep, I offer that we should not overlook the middle part of investing with our own lives into the hungry, the thirsty, the prisoner, the sick, the unclothed, and the homeless. Yes, there is a judgment/apocalyptic ending in that Parable… but for balance, we should read the middle part as well as the ending.

    Likewise, in the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant, we should not overlook the middle part of forgiving those that have wronged us.

    Likewise, in the Parable of the Talents, we should not overlook the middle part of concerning investing in business what God has loaned us.

    Again and again in the parables, those that think Jesus was primarily ‘apocalyptic’ rush to the conclusion of the parable – which is most often a judgment.

    Those who think Jesus was primarily balanced (that is, Jesus emphasized ‘this life and the life to come’), see the middle of the parable, and the conclusion. I lean towards this approach as being more appropriate and accurate.

    Lastly, there are those that also insist Jesus never reversed his teaching on ‘God supplying your needs’ and ‘turning the other cheek’ and so forth. Yet, in Luke 22, these words are attributed to Jesus:

    “Then Jesus asked them [the apostles], “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”

    “Nothing,” they answered.

    He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.  It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”

    Thus, the extreme messages of Jesus – such as trusting God to supply to us like birds – were reversed. Self-defense to a minimal degree is a command.

    Thus, I have concluded that (a) Paul the Apostle was focused on ‘this life and the life to come’; (b) Jesus was focused on ‘the long haul’ and ‘a better society’ in the middle of many parables; (c) Jesus was also focused on judgment of all mankind by Himself (which is part of an apocalyptic view); and (d) Jesus reversed the ‘total dependence upon God’ view that he earlier taught.

  13. Caryn LeMur says:

    Sabio: while I recognize that you attended a Bible college, I am not familiar with the teaching of Jesus to have no children.

    And, in Luke 22 (quoted above in reply to Denise), Jesus clearly taught about supplying ‘money’ for ones own self. And, in the Parable of the Talents, specifically taught the importance of investing (rather than not investing).

    Please give me some insight concerning this view of yours, “… The ones that follow Jesus teachings disappear because they have no off-spring or money — a loosing teaching.”

    You have me quite curious how you came to this conclusion based on Jesus teachings.

  14. Sabio Lantz says:

    @ Caryn,

    In German, “Hauptbriefe” means “Main Letters” but you made me learn the technical German Theological use. 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians, and Romans.
    Funny.

    I see you are like Marcion of Sinope, with your own canon. Nice.

    Curious why you don’t consider The Gospel Mark as canonical (it is clear how hyped The Gospel of John is).

    Mixing Paul’s Teachings and the Teachings of Jesus in the Gospels is a mistake from the beginning, I think. Yet along trying to mix the contrary gospel stories as if really told by some holy ghost. But writers of these documents did try to edit in a way to get it accepted and fit in their stuff. Thus all the contradictions and all the theological gymnastics that people must do (as you show here) to make it all create a Jesus of their liking.

    Shakers, for example embraced celibacy.

    So here is Jesus: Matthew 19 [a Gospel you accept]
    “But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.”

    “For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.”

    Here is Paul from your Hauptbriefe (1 Cor 7):

    1 Corinthians 7:7-9: For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

    I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.

    Both these guys (if Jesus was even real) felt the end times were coming soon, so marriage — and thus children — is not needed and BETTER not to do.

    Shakers, for example embraced celibacy, and thus disappeared.

    Does that help?

    BTW, Bible College was a long time ago. Probably like you, 90% of my real education came after college, no?

  15. Denise says:

    Hi Caryn,

    I beg to differ with your conclusions above for several reasons but I will highlight just a few:

    1. Jesus Christ is/was a false prophet – he predicted the end of the world during the lifetime/generation of the audience that was listening to him ( Matthew 16:27-28, Mark 14:53-62, Mark 8:39 to 9:1, Mark 13:30-33, Matthew 24:34 – 36, Mark 13:30, Luke 21:32, Luke 9:26-27, Mark 1:14 – 15 etc.) but this did not happen. Yet Christianity keeps reinterpreting his failed end of the world prophecies ignoring the audience to which Jesus spoke and projecting the fulfillment of his failed end of the world prophecies into the future or claiming that they were fulfilled in 70 CE with the destruction of the Jewish Temple according to Preterists. The preterism interpretation can be easily debunked however:
    http://www.theskepticalreview.com/authorfarrelltill3.html#preterism

    2. Paul was also a false prophet:

    Jesus is not the only figure in Christian scriptures whose prediction of the end of the world was mistaken.

    No one knows the day no hour yet approximately twenty years after the death of Jesus the apostle Paul was emphatic about the immediacy of the return of Christ. Throwing all caution to the wind, he boldly asserted as a certainty that he and his flock would participate in the great encounter during his own lifetime. Paul believed that he and some of the recipients of his letter to the Thessalonians would be alive when Jesus returns.

    The earliest Christian author is the apostle Paul, who wrote his letters prior to the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Strikingly enough, like so many Christians who lived in the centuries since, Paul was convinced that the end would come in his own generation. In fact, in the very earliest writing from his pen, Paul speaks about the imminent end of the age to be brought by Jesus’ return, this would have happened during the 1st century CE. This is the first letter to the Thessalonians, written probably in 49, 50 or 51 CE, approximately twenty years after the death of Jesus. In his letter to the Thessalonians written specifically to address their concerns about believers who have died before Christ’s Second Coming, he writes:

    “For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are leftuntil the coming of the Lord by no means will precede those who have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air” (1Thess. 4:15-17).

    What has long struck scholars of the New Testament is that, as seen in the words in bold, Paul appears to understand that he himself will be one of those living when Jesus returns. It would have been easyenough for him to talk about “those” who are alive if he did not imagine himself to be one of them.

    Early Christians believed Christ’s return was imminent. For example, in his letter to the church in Corinth written about the year 54 C.E., Paul writes, “What I mean, my friends, is this. The time we live in will not last long…. For the whole frame of this world is passing away.” (1 Corinthians 7:29-31)

    In his letter to the Thessalonians specifically to address their concerns about believers who have died before Christ’s Second Coming, he writes, “For this we tell you as the Lord’s word: we who are left alive until the Lord comes shall not forestall those who have died; … the Lord himself will descend from heaven; first the Christian dead will rise, then we who are left will join them, caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18; emphasis added). Of course this did not happen in Paul’s lifetime, despite his firm belief that it would.

    Paul anticipated the second coming of Jesus in his near future, and during his own lifetime. Again, this would have happened during the 1st century CE. He wrote 1 Thessalonians about 50 or 51 CE. Many theologians believe that this is the first book written in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament)

    In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, Paul wrote:

    “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

    Here, Paul seems to be referring to himself and some of the recipients of his letter as being alive when Jesus returns.

    In 1 Thessalonians 5:2-11, Paul wrote:

    “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.”

    Here, Paul urges the recipients of his letter to be on guard at all times, because he expected the second coming to happen within both his and their lifetimes.

    2 Thessalonians 2:1
    “Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of OUR Lord Jesus Christ and OUR gathering together to Him”.

    Thessalonians is Paul talking with an early church in southern Europe, and he faces a specific challenge: Christians have died. We had expected Jesus to come back before that happened. Now what do we do? Paul thought he was living at the end of an age. He thought he would see the day that God would come back, clean up the earth and restore Paradise. But it hasn’t happened within the timeframe he expected, so he offers an explanation that integrates the existing facts—instead of Christ returning before any Christians have died, the dead and the living are united with Jesus together.

    The apostle Paul wrote in his first epistle to the Thessalonians, “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first” (4:16). In referring to the end of time when Christ would “deliver the kingdom to God the Father” (1 Cor. 15:24), Paul also spoke of a trumpet that would sound at the final resurrection, “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed–in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (vs:51-52). This passage not only uses the same terminology that is found in Jesus’s description of his coming in Matthew 24:31 but it also presents the view that this sounding of the trumpet was an event that would happen soon. Paul did not speak of this as something that would happen to those who would be living at some time in the remote future but as something that was going to happen to him and the Corinthian Christians he was writing to. “We shall not all sleep,” he said, “but we shall be changed.” He said that the trumpet would sound and we–not people in the distant future–will be changed. Clearly, Paul thought that the return of Jesus and the final resurrection were events that would happen within his own life time, but since all of these expectations have proven to be wrong, biblicists have been required to put far-fetched, unlikely spins on the language of all New Testament passages that spoke about an early return of Jesus:

    1 Corinthians 15:51-53New King James Version (NKJV)

    51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: WE (including Paul) shall not all sleep, but WE shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and WE shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

  16. Denise says:

    Hi Caryn,

    Also, I do not believe in any coming future judgment and salvation by Jesus Christ for several reasons, I will highlight just a few:

    What about persons who lived and died before Jesus was crucified? Do they receive forgiveness of their sins and the reward of everlasting life in heaven? Did they somehow get to Heaven without the redemptive powers of Jesus or even the Jewish law? And if so, if this is possible, then what was the point of sending Jesus or giving the law at all? Why then was Jesus’ death necessary in the first place? Or if they are to be judged in the future where are these dead persons who lived and died before Jesus now and on what basis will they be judged since they died before Jesus Christ came into the world and therefore knew nothing about him?

    The Bible is supposed to contain all relevant information regarding God’s plan of salvation, it is exceedingly strange and hard to explain, at least for those who believe in it, that it does not answer such an obviously important question. The most relevant thing it says is its dictum that no man gets to Heaven without Jesus Christ, which implies that all those millions of people who lived and died without ever hearing of him were all damned through no fault of their own, but merely because they were born in the wrong place or at the wrong time. This is horrendously unfair – an infinite atrocity from a god one of whose main characteristics is supposed to be justice.
    _____

    According to Christianity, the death of Jesus was a miscarriage of justice. So then, what if there was no so-called miscarriage of justice so that Jesus was not put to death by the Romans but he instead died by some other means not involving the Romans? Would Christians still receive forgiveness of their sins and their hoped for salvation?
    For that matter, it wasn’t possible for Jesus to die a natural death given that he was perfect and therefore not subject to the frailties of inherited Adamic sin …………so he should still be alive today.
    _____

    According to the Bible, TWO perfect lives were lost, yet there was only ONE ransom sacrifice.
    ______

    Jesus prayed:
    “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing”
    (Luke 23:34).

    How must God forgive those who put Jesus to death when God required Jesus’ death as the only mechanism by which He would or could forgive individual humans for their sins and grant them salvation?

    1 John 1:6-8 (NKJV):
    “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

    Romans 4:24-25 (NIV):
    “For us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”

    Hebrews 9:28 New King James Version (NKJV):
    “So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”

    etc.

  17. Denise says:

    Hi Caryn,

    Regarding your request to Sabio:
    “Please give me some insight concerning this view of yours, “… The ones that follow Jesus teachings disappear because they have no off-spring or money — a loosing teaching.” ”

    I just wanted to add if I may:
    Chapter 10 of the book by Bart Ehrman (JESUS – APOCALYPTIC PROPHET OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM) which I quoted from above discusses the points raised by Sabio:

    http://www.preteristarchive.com/Books/pdf/1999_ehrman_jesus-apocalyptic-prophet.pdf

    http://www.bartdehrman.com/jesus-apocalyptic-prophet-of-the-new-millennium/

    According to Jesus, people should eagerly wait for the Kingdom and sacrifice all to its appearance. Seeking the Kingdom above everything else also meant leaving even one’s family behind.

  18. Denise says:

    *****A correction:

    My quote above from yesterday, Oct 8, 2016, from Bart Ehrman’s book (JESUS – APOCALYPTIC PROPHET OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM) was taken from pages 162, 244 – 245 and not from pages 224 – 225.

  19. Caryn LeMur says:

    Sabio: thank you for sharing those scriptures. I did reach a different conclusion from both verses – namely, that celibacy was an option to which some were called. And, they are more blessed than me in my marriage.

    Clearly, I am not called to celibacy… lol… I enjoyed being married years ago, and to this day.

    Thank you for mentioning the Shakers. I just had to read up on them. Now, and in my opinion, *that* philosophy is dedication to the extreme! I had no idea!

    Well… let’s just say that I am glad the vast majority of Christ-oriented religions reject that ‘celibacy’ requirement.

  20. Caryn LeMur says:

    Denise: if you lean towards all the Pauline letters being written by Paul the Apostle, then yes, you would be correct to say that some letters were primarily apocalyptic. And if I also accepted all those same letters as canonical, then I would also add that other letters are much more evenly balanced.

    We would most likely conclude that we have a collection of letters then – some primarily apocalyptic, some primarily ‘doctrine’, and some primarily instruction for this life.

    On the other subject of ‘salvation’. I hear you, and accept, that you do not believe in any salvation through/by Jesus.

    I am on the other side of the spectrum.

    I believe that Jesus was the only ‘begotten’ Son of God. Therefore, he has/had absolute uniqueness.

    As is said about antiques and rarities, ‘Absolute uniqueness can demand an absolute price.’

    In essence, Jesus traded his earthly life for the sins of all earth. He was the absolutely unique monetary unit that purchased Divine forgiveness for all mankind for all time.

    Jesus said, “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.” Matthew 12:31.

    So, within my best understanding of Jesus’ viewpoint, all sin has already been forgiven for all mankind via his own death. There is only one sin that ultimately matters at Judgment, which is ‘blasphemy’ against the Holy Ghost.

    Jesus also taught that two men went to the temple, and the one that asked God for mercy went home forgiven. [Luke 18:9-14]. So, it appears that within Jesus’ viewpoint, salvation is given to anyone that humbles themselves towards God.

    In the same parable (in Luke) Jesus also is showing someone that receives no forgiveness – the man that exalts himself and despises others.

    Bringing this concept back towards ‘blasphemy’, it would appear that somehow, this ‘humbling’ is related to agreeing with the Holy Ghost; while this exalting ones own self is related to ‘blasphemy’ of the Holy Ghost. At least within the views of Jesus.

    Thus, within my understanding, Jesus sees an enormous forgiveness towards all mankind being given by his death… so enormous, that anyone that humbles their self towards God will not be guilty of ‘blasphemy’ of the Holy Ghost.

    So then, when Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.” then Jesus is stating the fact of the monetary exchange – the payment for all sins of all mankind, because of his absolute uniqueness. No one gets to heaven without Jesus.

    But the door to implementing this salvation is incredibly wide – Abraham humbled himself, and received that forgiveness. Namaan humbled himself, and is among the forgiven. Nebuchadnezzar humbled himself, and is among the forgiven. Paul the Apostle humbled himself and received that forgiveness. I did the same many years ago.

    Thus, if humility towards God/god is the chief criteria for avoiding this ‘blasphemy of the Holy Ghost’, then I see all religions that humble themselves requesting god’s mercy, as equally forgiven of that single sin that ultimately matters.

    I hope that in heaven, we will see many people that have humbled themselves towards God, no matter what name they called him.

    [Indeed, I searched the Internet, and found a list stating there are 102 names for God just within the Bible. If I am allowed to humble myself to any one of 102 names, then I cannot believe that God is angry towards being called Zeus, or otherwise.]

    I have concluded that there is a generous forgiveness already given; there is only one sin that ultimately matters and that one sin is avoided by simply humbling our self towards God by any name.

    Otherwise, I would offer that you are correct in saying that ‘Christianity is an infinite atrocity’.

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