Jesus - That boy ain't right

jmullaney has submitted that God exists and Jesus is his son, and more audaciously, stated that there is no morality without christianity, because his teachings are ‘right’ (here). It’s my personal opinion that he is playing Devil’s advocate, but he hasn’t claimed to be. Regardless of the shaky foundations of this stance, he invited me to point out Jesus commandments which are ‘wrong’.

Right or wrong, there are instances where He was clearly mistaken, or acted inappropriately. I admit I am not the most knowledgable Bible-scholar, and I admit that its not the easiest thing to find objectionable phrases and actions that come directly from Jesus, but this is what I came up with after a short search. I realize we are judging him by the morals of our time, but for all our faults, I think we can agree we are living in more enlightened times. If his actions are the measurement of sin, and we are still being held to those standards, I see no reason why the comparison should be unfair. In the interests of fairness, I tried to stick to the New Testament, and statements or actions that are attributed to Jesus the Man, not His father, though of course we all know they are one and the same :wink: . Otherwise its just no contest.

[Matt. xxiv, 74-34; Luke xxi, 32.] And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come … Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

Obviously, many many generations have passed, and we still haven’t seen him. Or maybe we did, but Christians burned him at the stake.

  • [Mark x, 15.] Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.*

If he’s telling the truth, then all of the conversions, epiphanies, and changes of heart in God’s favor have been for naught, if they took place after childhood. Therefore a person’s behavior and beliefs have no effect on their salvation. That’s wrong.

[Luke xix, 27.]But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

Jesus or Hitler? You decide.
I realize I just violated my own rule [that I stole from somewhere, I forget], that being that anyone who brings up Hitler in an argument automatically loses that argument.
Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: and when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables.

He is clearly out of line here, disrupting the businesses of men trying to support their families. He may disapprove of their lifestyles, but his methods are clearly out of line.

*[John ii, 4.] And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? *

Now now, Jesus. Didn’t your parents teach you the commandments? Honor thy father and they mother (Lest I take ye over my knee and give ye a paddlin’).

Be not afraid of them that kill the body"
then threatened with violence himself…
[John viii, 59.] Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself. [Matt. xii, 14-15.]Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence.

Clearly bad advice if he can’t be bothered to follow it himself.

These are all examples of poor behavior on Jesus’ part, or statements by Him with unjust implications. They certainly don’t exude that certain “something” that says ‘hey, this guy must be the Prince of Peace.’ Your assertion, jmullaney, that Christianity=morality is indefensible, if not lame.

How about Mark 11:12-14, where Jesus curses a fig tre because it didn’t have any fruit yet? Then, a few verses down, the next morning the disciples see that the fig tree Jesus cursed was dead, down to its roots. Don’t piss off Jesus, or He’ll hurt you!

Yeah, <b>goboy</b>, the fig tree incident always severely bugged me too. If I recall correctly, the fig tree was <i>out of season,</i> for corn’s sake. Jesus cursed the tree for being true to its nature.

Whoa! Cool earthquake here in Seattle just now! Gotta go!

You might have more luck with the Gospels (I mean why somebody would consider them a sorce of morality) if you didn’t read them like a fundementalist.

I think I will leave this to actual Christians, but one thing:

Oh, honestly. He meant you have to come to God with an open heart, like a child would. It’s called a figure of speech. Sheesh!

You might have more luck with the Gospels (I mean why somebody would consider them a sorce of morality) if you didn’t read them like a fundementalist.

I think I will leave this to actual Christians, but one thing:

Oh, honestly. He meant you have to come to God with an open heart, like a child would. It’s called a figure of speech. Sheesh!

The first passage quoted was a double prophecy one part which refers to the second coming of Jesus and the other part which refers to the destruction of Jersualem by the Romans which happened approximately 40 years or one generation after Jesus spoke these words.

This is a simile, note the word as, and refers to child-like faith and humility.

This is from a parable and is quoted out of context but the message is that those who do not acknowledge the lordship of Jesus will have to pay the consequences of that decision.

The merchants in the temple were trying to make money off of other people’s religous faith. They were in effect selling access to God. Jesus, being God, found this intolerable.

Jesus’s mother was asking him to use his divine power to perform a party trick. He was understandbly annoyed at this but eventually did as his mother requested.

You left out the last part of the verse “do not fear those who can kill only the body, but rather fear God” which is very good advice. And remember it says he removed himself from danger because it was not his time. When his time came he did not resist his capture of his crucifixion.

I didn’t say that. I said: it is right to keep Jesus’s commandments.


Well, duh. In other words, you are conceding my point, but decided to throw in a lot of extra junk in order to look like you aren’t. Clever. :stuck_out_tongue:

I really take issue with your deceit here:

As Quentin Tarrentino wrote:

(Pulp Fiction, scene 1) Any of you stupid freaks move and I’ll execute every last mother fucking one of you

Quentin or Adolf? You decide. :rolleyes:

Yep. You lose. :stuck_out_tongue:

Wisdom is the mother of all her children.

From the previous thread…

Originally posted by jmullaney


Originally posted by muppetsoup
This is bullshit, and you know it. “Right” does not equal “Christian”, “Wrong” does not equal “non-christian”, nor does “wrong” equal “christian” or “right” equal “non-christian”.

Well, you can say that until you are blue in the face emphatically as you wish. But, perhaps you would like to cite an actual example from among Jesus’s commandments which you feel is wrong, just for argument’s sake? (start a new thread if you like).


Well, duh. In other words, you are conceding my point, but decided to throw in a lot of extra junk in order to look like you aren’t. Clever. :stuck_out_tongue:


If your point is that one needs religion in order to act morally, I’m certainly not conceding that. If its anything else, then its entirely possible :wink:

I admit it never crossed my mind, and if that’s the case, I humbly concede this one.

Don’t be talkin’ smack about Jesus, masonite, or he’ll smite your blaspheming ass. :smiley:


Just a WAG, but I do remember reading somewhere that the fig tree was a symbol of Rome, so perhaps smiting that fig tree was symbolic of his opposition to Rome?

pantom – I have heard that the fig tree is symbolic of the old covenant.

You’ve basically just got my point backwards, but we’re going to get in trouble if we start throwing around such loaded terms as “morality” and “religion.” Don’t confuse orthodoxy with orthopraxy. So let me say instead: Whoever acts perfectly moral will have the indwelling of God, and know God.

Don’t worry about the earthquake. Bill Gates is just trying to blow up the San Andreas fault to make Redmond an independant island nation. :wink:

If by “moral” you mean “knowing God and acting as He would have you act”, then by definition you are correct. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your perspective) we do not all define ‘morality’ the same way. I was once in a classroom ‘debate’ and morality came up. One of the girls argued that a girl who sleeps around does not lack morals, she just has different morals. Many, if not all on this board would claim to be moral people, some might even claim to be perfectly moral, yet clearly they do not all know God. In contrast, experience tells me that those who claim to know God are some of the least moral.

So there. :stuck_out_tongue:

muppet, while your ongoing argument with jmull is interesting, you have yet to respond to puddlegum’s responses to your OP examples, aside from conceding that you misinterpreted the child one.

To put it bluntly, you took each and every one of those quotes out of context.

Granted, they are out of context. The context is a pretty thick book. Other than the one I mentioned, I’m open to the fact that they can and will be interpreted, and I’m willing to listen if you’ll tell me what context would make those statements acceptable in terms of the standards of our society.

Take out the “know God” part, and we have an agreement.

Well, yeah. Loaded term like I said.

I believe Jesus’s commandments are the standard of perfect morality. But, like I said, loaded term. So let’s say this: everyone who does what Jesus taught his followers to do is doing right, while those who do not are doing something wrong. Note that I count myself in the second group – and not out of any false humility I assure you.

3… 2… 1… :wink:

OK, I’m going to go for it.

There are a few ways to take this one. There’s puddlegum’s version, there’s the literal version which is how you chose to interpret it. Since it has been demonstrated that when someone takes the Bible literally then things often get interpreted wrong (see any Creationism thread), so I choose to reject that interpretation. The interpretation that I choose to accept that he is referring to people’s souls, not their physical bodies. Since it is souls that are going to be mucking around in the afterlife, and since the prophecy deals with the end of the world and the afterlife, this interpretations make sense.

I’ll skip the child one.

This is the ending of a parable. This is not Jesus submitting an order to his followers, but rather the orders of the nobleman who had people attempt to prevent him from being king (Luke xix:13). As puddle pointed out, it is merely a vivid way to express the idea that there will be consequences upon the second coming for all those who tried oppose the Word of God.

Really? How is he out of line? Because he got angry when people took advantage of people’s religious beliefs to profit from them? One might think of an allegory to televangelists here, but that’s besides the point. To get back on topic, do you feel that extortion is a legitimate business? Because that’s what the money-changers and animal sellers were doing.

I think it’s pretty clear that the main point of this story is that if you take advantage of people’s belief in God and their desire to follow his Commandments, God’s not going to be happy with you. I think that’s a reasonably acceptable lesson.

How’s this one for out of context? The full quote is “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come,” meaning that it was not yet the proper time for him to start peforming miracles and displaying his divine powers.

Also, his mother immediately ignores his refusal and simply tells the servants to do what Jesus says. Jesus immediately sets about fulfilling his mother’s request. I think that is pretty obedient, don’t you?

Really? He can’t be bothered to follow it himself? Try reading John 18:5-11, Luke 22:49-53, Mark 14:47-49, or Matthew 26:51-55. These illustrate Jesus’ passive acceptance of his arrest, and even his order to his disciples to not try and prevent the arrest. He had to avoid death the other times because there was a timeline he had to follow here, the same reason as stated in the water to wine quote above. The fact that you took two quotes and used them to make a point that is contradicted by my four quotes, shows that you took the whole thing out of context. And not just out of context of the Bible, but even context of the book or the chapter, or even the verse in some cases.

I don’t know if you are using someone else’s quotes and arguments here or if you are using your own. If they are someone else’s you might want to double check them yourself and do a bit more reading next time. If it is the result of your own research, then you must have read the whole thing in order to find the quotes and then either deliberately took them out of context or simply misinterpreted them. Your response to the child quote implies that it was an unintentional misinterpretation, but you might want to be more careful next time.

What does “all” mean to you? Just whatever is convenient for you? You seriously expect us to believe that

refers to the destruction of the temple?

Okay, here’s the context:

Note the clear switch from third to first person. It seems pretty clear that the last two sentences are not part of the parable.

The consequence being that Jesus would kill them. How does this counter the OP?

I find NSYNC to be intolerable. Do I have the right to go rip apart their studio?

Josh, as we’ve discussed in threads on economics, Jesus was clearly wrong in his economic ideas. If everyone followed Jesus’s economic theories, we’d all starve to death. Maybe that’s what Jesus wanted, for everyone to starve in miserable squalor. But I disagree with Jesus there.

Score so far:

Lemur: 1
Jesus: 0

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”Matthew 10:34

Well, this doesn’t seem very nice.

“And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.”Matthew 18:9 See also Luke 16:19-31

I have serious problems with any ethical teacher who relies as much on the threat of eternal torture as Jesus does. I consider the doctrine of eternal hellfire to be morally repugnant.

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple.”Luke 14:26

I suppose this will be dismissed as hyperbole.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.”Matthew 5:38-40

Again, this will be dismissed as hyperbole. Certainly few Christians eschew lawsuits, or even forcible self-defense where necessary. It’s also not clear if this is intended to apply to individuals only, or to societies as well. I don’t really see how a society can function without mechanisms for the restraint of evil. (And if it doesn’t apply to societies, then what kind of ethical system is it that provides no workable rules for societies? Humans are social animals.) This is not to say that I endorse “Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.” But I find resistance to evil, on both an individual and a social level, to be not only necessary but even admirable.

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”John 14:6

Now, if Jesus was really God Incarnate, then perhaps he has some moral right to make this claim. I don’t believe that Jesus was God Incarnate, and in fact I find the whole concept of a human literally being God, while still also being fully human, to be incoherent. As they say, “liar, Lord, or lunatic”—a “great ethical teacher” who claims to be God Himself strikes me as kind of a nut.

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’”Matthew 22:37

This last may seem like sort of an ethical nitpick, or perhaps mean-spirited. But I am an atheist. I don’t find the evidence for a Creator or Higher Power to be convincing, and still less so the evidence for a Creator or Higher Power who desires a close relationship with human beings. I find there to be considerable and convincing evidence against the existence of the God of the Bible, to whom Jesus is referring. To make ones relationship with an imaginary or very likely imaginary being as central to his ethical system as Jesus does strikes me as irresponsible at best.