Please do not take the following as a criticism, rather as honest comment as invited by your good self.
I found the sites you linked to, to be rather 'breathless' in style.
Some of the moral, not to mention social and political messages in the New Testament are actually very powerful. Finding other statements in the gospels that contradict these messages does not in itself gainsay those powerful messages, if you know what I mean.
As an atheist and humanist, I see no reason why I should not recognise the beauty, and the moral power, of much that is written in the bible. This does not mean I am in any way supporting an argument for the existence of God, or accepting the harmful and negative aspects of religious thought.
Of course, as many commentators such as Dawkins have mentioned, thoughtful and non 'fundamentalist' Christians have to 'cherry pick' the good stuff, and reject the stuff that is mad or bad.
It is probably a sign of my advancing middle age but I also found the spelling mistakes on those sites irritating and a distraction.
You may find the following page interesting, as well as rather more measured and carefully put together.
http://www.humanism.org.uk/site/cms/con ... ticle=1209
The Gospels were first written in the late 60s for Mark and up to 90 for John so a generation after Jesus. What they record is, effectively, what the Early Church needed to know to keep going. Whilst there are a lot of genuine sayings of Jesus there, there are als quite a few where the writers attribute ideas back to Jesus to justify present action. The outcome is that the texts are the words of the author and the community leaders. Thus it may be that threats of Hell were added by the leaders to ensure people would stay with the Church.
This is a bit topic but the main point I want to make is that the text is the work of others reporting Jesus' sayings a generation later and modifying / inventing as they went along. We don't know precisely what Jesus said and I suspect some of the harder parts may well not be genuine Jesus.
We also need to understand the texts as texts for their time. 1st Century Palestine was not like modern Palestine / Israel and the morals of the time were different for ours. Thus judging the texts as absolute against our standards is hardly fair.
Of course, the source of morals and ethics can be claimed to be Biblical, but it si clear that the real source of morals must be man made apart from the bible as the way the 'cherry picking' of texts used suggests the ideas were there and the texts were looked for later to justify the ideas.
This is such a travesty of 'the teachings of Jesus', showing such ignorance of the theology involved in 'justification by faith versus justification by works', the sacrament of confession and so on I stopped reading at that point. Who produced those pages? There is some good material in them (as well as very bad spellng / typos) but the type of misrepresentation shown in the quote above can only do harm to secularists / humanists.
I think that with the thief on the cross a Christian would presume that he had repented of his sins - which were probably fairly mild anyway according to the morals of our society - as well as believing in JEsus .. I guess they'd say that the two went hand in hand.
Time to die
The sad thing is, a lot of the American millionaires cited in your link, have got their wealth by fleecing their flock, a lot of whom can't really afford to be fleeced.Compassionist
The Bible says that it is better to give than to receive. If that is the case, why is the world in this state
Argh! It's forum etiquette, not to mention your fairly new, so you can be excusedPenguins and Seahorses.
It'd be great if it worked*, wouldn't it! Mind you, what's the use of sheep if you can't fleece 'em?Compassionist wrote:I saw an ad on Cable TV where some Christian faith healer prays for you to be healed if you pay him with your credit card! I feel so sorry for the sheep who fall for such fleecing.
BTW Alan C, what's happened to your avatar? I can't see it any more - just an X in a box.
Sorry! BOT (Back On Thread). Maybe we could run a humanist prayer shop as our charity fundraiser. It would be jokey, obviously. You know, Pay £10 and an atheist will recite a prayer for you. I thought I was being silly at first, but you know it could work on Comic Relief or something! Oh no. sorry - wrong thread. That idea should go on the Human Aid thread. Ooooh! Sorreeeeeeee!
*The prayers, that is. Not the con. Clearly the con does work.
Alan C. wrote:I think this fits under this thread title.You just gotta love them Christians!Christian Boot Camp Officials Accused of Dragging Teen Behind Van
That is truly shocking! I've tried to find out more but news story giving the bare bones is all I can find. I would dearly love to know how they justify this act of torturing a human being in this way.