Messiah Makeover

Jews, up to the time of Jesus, had slightly different ideas about the Messiah.   The Hebrew word for Messiah meant the same as the Greek word for Christ. Jesus Christ  is the equivalent of Jesus the Messiah. Messiah means anointed one. The title...

When Is a Christian Not a Christian?

Any Christian worth his (pillar of) salt has learned the fine art of giving God credit for everything good and blaming the devil for everything else. When a baby is born, it’s a miracle! It’s a gift from God! But if the kid grows up to be a scoundrel,...

St Augustine’s Confession

One of Christianity’s most famous saints, Augustine, admitted that Christianity is a rehash of ancient pagan religions, myths, and traditions:    That which is known as the Christian religion existed among the ancients, and never did not exist;...

Sign of the Cross

I see Catholics going around doing that strange little sign of the cross thing all the time. Watch any mafia movie, and you’ll see it dozens of times. Those guys were (are?) some of the most devout Catholics of any time or place. It appears they had...

We Three Kings of Orient Aren’t

Where in the New Testament does it say that there were three wise men? I don’t see that it specifies how many there were.    Where in the New Testament does it say that they were kings? They were magi, according to the familiar translation....

Is God a Pervert?

At Deuteronomy 23:1, the Lord declares:   No one whose testicles are crushed or whose penis is cut off shall be admitted to the assembly of the Lord.    But at Isaiah 56:4-5, the Lord changes his mind:   For thus says the Lord: To...

Nativity Seen

According to Christian tradition, Jesus was born in a manger in a stable. That’s the idea behind the nativity scenes so popular in December.    But there is a cave in Bethlehem which is also held to be the birthplace of Jesus. I’ve been there,...

Jesus Disclaims Doctrine of Original Sin

Christians tell us that all men are born sinners, and that we have Adam and Eve to thank for that. We aren’t sinners because of anything we have done, but because of what happened long ago in the Garden of Eden. No matter how hard we try, no matter...

Why Does God Hate Women and Children?

Why does God have so little regard for women and children? God’s hatred of them is displayed throughout the Old Testament. There is an awful lot of killing going on there, but that’s what happens in war. What God and his chosen people do to women and...

You Have the Right to Remain Silent

Mark 5:18-19: (NRSV)   As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed by demons begged him that he might be with him.  But Jesus refused, and said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for...

Jesus’ Strange Healing Rituals

In Mark 7:32-35, why does Jesus put his fingers in the ears of a man who is deaf and mute, then spit and touch his tongue?    Clearly this was not a necessary part of healing the man. We know that, because in verses 24-30 Jesus cast out a demon...

Is Divorce a Sin?

Is Divorce a Sin?   Jesus says yes, it is. It seems to be remarriage that is the sin more than the divorce itself, but it’s pretty clear that Jesus took a pretty tough stance on divorce.   Where does that leave Christians? Living in sin,...

Thought for Monday

Today is summer solstice -- the longest day of the year. There is exactly 2 hours and 30 minutes more daytime than nighttime. (It varies some depending on your location.)

Jesus Trips Over Sign Language

Mark 8:11-12   The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, asking him for a sign from heaven, to test him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this...

Thought for Saturday

I don't like to save all my thankfulness for one day in late November every year. I like to spread it out.   Today I am thankful for opposable thumbs.

Thought for Friday

So far this afternoon I've turned over a bookcase, sending it crashing into my computer, broke another shelving unit, and knocked my computer off my desk, sending it to the floor. I can't fix klutz, but I can fix sober. At least then I'll have an...

Jesus Was a Smooth Operator

Luke 12:4-7 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are...

Jesus’ Popularity and John’s Propaganda

John 12:37 Although he had performed so many signs in their presence, they did not believe in him.   If we had only the gospel of John, we’d be left with the impression that Jesus was ignored or rejected by most Jews. We’d think his...

Thought for Wednesday

How can you recognize fine art? How can you tell fine art from not so fine art? Like this.   Fine art is when she says Honey, don't you just love this one? and he goes, fine, whatever.

Another Bible Blunder: Acts vs Galatians

When did Paul meet with the disciples? Here’s what Paul says about it.   Galatians 1:13-20  You have heard, no doubt, of my earlier life in Judaism. I was violently persecuting the church of God and was trying to destroy it. I advanced in...

Jesus Pulls Rank

Luke 7:28   I tell you, among those born of women no one is greater than John; . . .   John, of course, refers to John the Baptizer. He was a pretty good guy, for sure. But to say that no one born of women is greater than him is a bit of...

Thought for Monday

Have you ever noticed that 85% of men's ties are simply diagonal stripes? And it's been that way for decades. With all the people out there who are pathologically focused on fashion, there isn't one person who can come up with an interesting and...