Thursday, 4 February 2016

Jesus versus Christianity

Christians sometimes say that if you want to understand Christianity, just read what Jesus said. Is that really going to work? Modern Christianity has deviated from Jesus quite a way, a process that started with Paul. This page lists some ways Christianity if different to what Jesus preached.

A Religion For Everyone?

Jesus said his message only for the Jews:
Matthew 15:24 But He answered and said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
Christianity, starting with Paul, decided otherwise. Paul wanted to sell this religion to the gentiles. He ignored that Jesus had said he was sent to the Jews only, he told the gentiles that God's commands did not apply to them. He had to to get the converts to his religion.

The OT Laws No Longer Apply (Well, Some Of Them)

Jesus was quite clear that all the laws of the Old Testament still apply:
Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

The disciples, whose who actually knew Jesus, observed the Jewish laws even after the pentecost. Why? Because they had heard Jesus say he had not come to change the Law. They knew the laws - the commands given by God - were just as important 10 years after Jesus' death as they were a century before.

While Jesus protested the strict adherence to the law of the Pharisees, his protest was about strict following of the letter of the law, not the spirit. When it came to divorce, Jesus sided with School of Shammai that it was only for certain cases, rather than the prevailing School of Hillel.

Christianity says there is a new covenant, and that lets Christians (as a group) pick and choose the laws they want from the Old Testament.

Jesus is God

Jesus never said he was God. Rather, he was the King of the Jews, the adopted son of God. This was according to the custom established in the OT:

2 Samuel 7:12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, 15 but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. 16 And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me.[c] Your throne shall be established forever.’”

Messiah means "anointed one". The Jewish Kings were anointed with oils. All Jewish Kings were messiahs, all were considered the adopted sons of God. Jesus did claim to be the messiah, i.e., the King of the Jews, who was traditionally the adopted son of God, and so we see:
John 5:17 But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.”

Mark 14:61 But He kept silent and did not answer. Again the high priest was questioning Him, and [ab]saying to Him, “Are You [ac]the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” 62 And Jesus said, “I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
See more:

Christianity has elevated Jesus to being God himself, a part of the divine trinity. This is theology Christianity invented after Jesus was death, and has nothing to do with what Jesus actually said!

The Afterlife

Christianity promotes the idea that when you die, if you are a good Christian, you will go straight to heaven. Jesus was expecting God's kingdom to come to earth, not that the dead would go to heaven. The Lord's Prayer is asking that:
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Paul's epistles also make clear that Paul too was looking forward to an afterlife on earth, albeit in a new heavenly body.

Standing Up To Bullies

Anyone who stands up to bullies is ignoring what Jesus said.
Matthew 5:38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take your [am]shirt, let him have your [an]coat also. 41 Whoever [ao]forces you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.
When the Nazis threaten to conquor the whole of Europe, the Christian thing to do was to let them. On the other hand, the moral thing to do, the right thing to do, was to stand up to them. I am thankful Christians ignore this advise from Jesus, but it is still clear that they do ignore it.

Saving Money

Jesus was against saving money.
Matthew 6:19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
No need to save money for the future, God will provide, or so Jesus states:
25 “For this reason I say to you, [n]do not be worried about your [o]life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the [p]air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single [q]hour to his [r]life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But [s]seek first [t]His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be [u]added to you.
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will [v]care for itself. [w]Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Anyone with savings or a pension is ignoring Jesus.

Give Away Your Stuff

Jesus was clear that his followers should give all their belongings to the poor. That was how he lived, and that was how his disciples lived.
1 John 3:17 “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?”

Matthew 5:42 Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

Matthew 14:16 But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.”

Matthew 15:41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not [e]take care of You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

More here:

See also here:

Matthew 19:24 “And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

Of course, most modern Christians ignore these verses, and live in big houses with cars, computers, etc. Who wants to live in poverty, right? Sure, God specifically told you to, but...

Judging Others

Jesus said:
Matthew 7:1-2 Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
Ever since a Christian judging some one? Or should I said, do you know a group of people more judgmental than Christians?

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Antisemitism and Christianity

There is good evidence that anti-Semitism in Europe (and later America) has its roots in this verse:
Matthew 27:25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.
The author of the gospel was probably trying to exonerate Pilate, to make the text palatable to the gentiles, and was probably refering to the destruction of the Temple when he said his blood was on their hands. However, the effect was to have the whole Jewish race pronounced guilty of deicide. The so-called "Blood Curse", the Jews as the "Christ killers".

We can see the early church fathers took it that way in many quotes:
If someone had killed your son. could you stand the sight of him or the sound of his greeting? Wouldn't you try to get away from him as if he were an evil demon; as if he were the Devil himself? The Jews killed the Son of your Master......... Will you so dishonor Him as to respect and cultivate His Murderers, the men who crucified Him?
- John Chrysostum C. 390 CE
Chrysostum wrote a whole series of homilies on this subject.
You can hear the wailing and lamentations of each of the prophets, wailing and lamenting characteristically over the calamities which will overtake the Jewish people because of their impiety to Him who had been foretold. How their Kingdom . . . would be utterly destroyed after their sin against Christ; how their Father's law would he abrogated, they themselves deprived of their ancient worship, robbed of the independence of their forefathers, and made slaves of their enemies instead of free men.
- Eusebius c. 340 CE

For the circumcision according to the flesh; which is from Abraham, was given for a sign, that you may be separated from other nations and from us, and that you alone may suffer that which you now justly suffer, and that your land may be desolate and your cities burned with fire, and that strangers may eat your fruit in your; presence and not one of you may go up to Jerusalem.'
- Justin Martyr C. 160 CE

Quotes from here:
We may thus assert in utter confidence that the Jews will not return to their earlier situation, for they have committed the most abominable of crimes, in forming this conspiracy against the Savior of the human race…hence the city where Jesus suffered was necessarily destroyed, the Jewish nation was driven from its country, and another people was called by God to the blessed election.
- Origen of Alexandria

The synagogue is worse than a brothel…it is the den of scoundrels and the repair of wild beasts…the temple of demons devoted to idolatrous cults…the refuge of brigands and dabauchees, and the cavern of devils. It is a criminal assembly of Jews…a place of meeting for the assassins of Christ… a house worse than a drinking shop…a den of thieves, a house of ill fame, a dwelling of iniquity, the refuge of devils, a gulf and a abyss of perdition."…"I would say the same things about their souls… As for me, I hate the synagogue…I hate the Jews for the same reason.
- John Chrysostom

How hateful to me are the enemies of your Scripture! How I wish that you would slay them (the Jews) with your two-edged sword, so that there should be none to oppose your word! Gladly would I have them die to themselves and live to you!
- St. Augustine

Yes, you Jews. I say, do I address you; you, who till this very day, deny the Son of God. How long, poor wretches, will ye not believe the truth? Truly I doubt whether a Jew can be really human… I lead out from its den a monstrous animal, and show it as a laughing stock in the amphitheater of the world, in the sight of all the people. I bring thee forward, thou Jew, thou brute beast, in the sight of all men.
- Peter the Venerable

Their rotten and unbending stiffneckedness deserves that they be oppressed unendingly and without measure or end and that they die in their misery without pity of anyone.
- John Calvin

Quotes from here:

This page details numerous anti-Semitic events through history (note: the first few were not at the hands of Christians, but the vast majority were):

A page detailing a number of attacks of Christians against Jews in Russia (Pogroms) between 1880 and 1920, when some 60,000 Jews were murdered:

As Jesus said,  Ye shall know them by their fruits. We can certainly see the fruits of the anti-Semitic core of Christianity.

Martin Luther

Luther's blueprint for the holocaust:
First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians. ...
Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. ...
Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them. ...
Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb. ...
Fifth, I advise that safe­conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. ...
Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them and put aside for safekeeping. ...
It is worth noting Martin Luther's influence on Hitler:
I do insist on the certainty that sooner or later—once we hold power—Christianity will be overcome and the German church, without a Pope and without the Bible, and Luther, if he could be with us, would give us his blessing.

To them belong, not only the truly great statesmen, but all other great reformers as well. Beside Frederick the Great stands Martin Luther as well as Richard Wagner.

A History of Atrocities

The third wave of crusaders during the first crusade went on a Jew killing spree in Rhineland, killing 5000 in 1096.

In 1190 nearly all the Jwes in Norwich, England were slaughtered, and 57 in nearby St Edmunds. 500 died at York.

1221 an anti-Jewish riot in Erfurt.

1236 Crusades kill around 3000 in Anjou and Poitou.

1241 progrom in Frankfurt, 180 killed.

1264 massacre in London.

1288 104 Jews killed ion Bonn.

1321 around 5000 massacred in central France after a false accusation

1348 Jews blamed for the black death. More than 200 communities destroyed. Around 3000 Jews are massacred the following year in Erfurt, and many more in Speyer, Worms, Berlin, Breslau, Cologne, Strasbourg, Mainz (over 6000), as well as Brussels the next year.

The Brussels massacre, in 1370, due to false accusations of host desecretation. Although only a handful were killed, this is notable as it was still celebrated until shortly after WW2.

1474 Christiams slaughters around 360 Jews in Cartellone, Sicily

1492, the year Columbus found the Americas, 200,000 Jews are expelled from many European countries (after being robbed first, of course).

In 1506 a crypt-Jew dares to express doubt about a miraculous vision, and over 2000 are killed , led by Dominican monks.

1543, Martin Luther publishes "On the Jews and Their Lies", advocating burning down synogogues and persecuting Jews.

1648-55 Cossacks slaughter up to 100,000 Jews as part of the Khmelnytsky Uprising.

1881-84 Pogroms across Russia

Nazi Germany

The horror of the Holocaust in Nazi Germany - a predominantly Christian country - was the ultimate outcome.
These were some of the reasons why most Christians in Germany welcomed the rise of Nazism in 1933. They were also persuaded by the statement on “positive Christianity” in Article 24 of the 1920 Nazi Party Platform, which read:

"We demand the freedom of all religious confessions in the state, insofar as they do not jeopardize the state's existence or conflict with the manners and moral sentiments of the Germanic race. The Party as such upholds the point of view of a positive Christianity without tying itself confessionally to any one confession. It combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit at home and abroad and is convinced that a permanent recovery of our people can only be achieved from within on the basis of the common good before individual good."

Despite the open antisemitism of this statement and its linkage between confessional "freedom" and a nationalistic, racialized understanding of morality, many Christians in Germany at the time read this as an affirmation of Christian values.

The Nazi leaders had questionable religious beliefs, often a mix of Christian and Pagan beliefs with the occult thrown in. It would be dubious to call any of them actually Christians.

However, the rank-and-file Nazis were predominantly Christian:

The German census of May 1939 indicates that 54 percent of Germans considered themselves Protestant and 40 percent considered themselves Catholic

With a population that is 94% Christian, we can be sure that most of the Nazis were themselves Christian. Furthermore, it is clear that the Nazi leaders targeted their speeches at Christians, and Hitler often mentioned Jesus in his speeches.
Still others actively supported Nazism, calling themselves “storm troopers of Jesus Christ.” As a result, as Protestant churches responded to National Socialism, some struggled to preserve the independence of their churches from politics and government, while others sought to claim a central place for Christianity in Nazi Germany.

Both politicians and church leaders took advantage of the public appeal of church liturgy to Nazify churches and re-Christianize Germany. On February 3, 1933, four days after Hitler was appointed Chancellor, pastor Joachim Hossenfelder led a service of thanksgiving at the Mariankirche in Berlin. He used 1 Corinthians 15:57 as his sermon text: “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Solberg 147).

On March 20, 1933, Protestant church leader Otto Dibelius preached at a service in the Nikolaikirche in Berlin. His sermon text was Romans 8:31, “If God be for us, who can be against us.” Afterward, Hermann Goering joyfully shook his hand.

This web site features numerous images of Nazis, showing their Christian influence

Eckart further associated the release of Satan to the emancipation of the Jews of Europe. In other words, with Jewish emancipation, Satan had been loosed, and his world rule via the Jews was imminent. Eckart ended his piece with a reference to Revelation 12, writing, “for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”9
World War I was now reinterpreted as being part of a much larger battle between the forces of good and evil, Aryan and Jew. Eckart wrote: “this war was a religious war, that one finally sees clearly! A war between light and darkness, truth and lies, Christ and Antichrist.” He concluded: “When light clashes with darkness, there is no coming to terms! Indeed there is only the struggle for life and death, till the annihilation of one or the other. Consequently the World War has only apparently come to an end.”10
Eckart and the Nazis came to believe that they were a chosen elect whose divinely inspired mission was to save the world by defeating the satanic Jewish-Bolshevik conspiracy. For those who converting to Nazism, their once confused and meaningless lives were suddenly transformed. They had a nation, a race, indeed a world to save. And if this meant sacrificing their lives to fulfill this holy mission, then they would gladly do so.11

Further Comments

Observations by other commentators:

These anti-Semitic statements were and still are the principal cause of all persecutions, oppressions and pogroms in which Jews have suffered.  These anti-Semitic accounts in the New Testament have taught mankind to hate the Jew.  As long as the New Testament continues in print (at least in its present form) the Jew will be hated.  Here are but a few verses from where Christianity borrowed its anti-Semitic sentiments.
“The children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 8.12)
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!  Behold your house is left unto you desolate.” (Matthew 23.37,38) Then answered all the people (Jews) and said, “His blood be on us and on our children” (Matthew 27:25). 1 “But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you to councils, and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten” (Mark 13.9)

As a Christian, it seems to me that Christianity has sadly played a significant role both in anti-Judaism and the persecution of the Jewish people. The teachings of various established churches included the charge that Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus, and thus they deserved to be punished. The prolonged suffering and dispersal of Jews among the nations were seen as just retribution for their monumental crime of killing God.

In the first millennium of the Christian era, leaders in the European Christian (Catholic) hierarchy developed or solidified as doctrine ideas that: all Jews were responsible for the crucifixion of Christ; the destruction of the Temple by the Romans and the scattering of the Jewish people was punishment both for past transgressions and for continued failure to abandon their faith and accept Christianity.