just stick my name on it

jesus said just stick my name on it cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

I find it interesting when someone says “But Christians believe this…” There are as many brands of Christianity as there are Christians. The variety of belief is profound!

I am very interested in theology. I’m very interested in what the bible says Jesus taught. I’m very interested in what this means.

But I’m sure, however, that lots of what gets passed for his teaching isn’t even remotely related.

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28 Responses

  1. Sabio Lantz says:

    Taking Doubt one step Further

    If we are rightfully willing to doubt the various spins people put on the Bible, and to doubt the uninspired biases of the various authors collected in the Bible, can’t we also doubt the teachings of Jesus himself?

    I mean, even if it were possible to find out exactly what Jesus said, why couldn’t we also doubt or outright disagree with what Jesus said. For instance, if Jesus really said something like, “You should give away all your money and depend on God to provide for you because he is returning very soon.” Wouldn’t most Christians say, “Wrong!” Haven’t most Christians rightfully said, “No way!”

  2. Gary says:

    Good post. I find it to be very difficult to sort out (perhaps even impossible really) what is genuine teaching of Jesus and what is obscured by the carefully crafted image (various images of course from various factions) of Him presented by the church.

    Do I believe He is God? Yes I do.

    Do I doubt the church, or even my own understanding. Absolutely!!

    Do I fear my doubt? Not anymore.

  3. Sabio Lantz says:

    For even for those who believe Jesus is God (even though they are willing to doubt the authors of the Bible books), they could still hold a variety of views towards Jesus’ infallibility. Some could view him as fallible but others could view his humanity side as making him fallible. If he was infallible, then his real teachings would be 100% true. If not, then we can also dismiss some of his teachings: like giving away all our money.

    But, where is that belief in the degree of fallibility come from?

  4. Steve Martin says:

    Jesus raised the dead. Jesus went to the bathroom.

    The finite contained the infinite.

    __

    We’re not concerned about what he taught (so much) because we are unwilling to do those things, anyway.
    We are concerned about what He did. Forgave sins and was raised from there dead, so that we might be also.

    Some believe this. Some don’t. It has always been so and it will always be so.

  5. Sabio Lantz says:

    Wow, Steve Martin gave us some solid nuggets of truth:

    (1) It was mostly the sacrifice of Jesus that mattered, not his teachings. [A Paulite, for sure]

    (2) Jesus raised people from the dead so that we could be raised from the dead too. Whooops, I think Steve might not have had his Doctrinal morning Java yet before typing that.

    (3) Some people believe things and some don’t. Wow, that was heavy.

  6. Sabio Lantz says:

    @ Steve Martin:

    Peter and Paul apparently raised dead people too. And I am sure Peter and Paul “went to the bathroom” just like Jesus. [see Acts 9 & 20]

    Stories exist in Hinduism and many other faiths of people raising the dead also. I am sure those people pooped too.

    Are all those examples of what you called “The finite contained the infinite.” ??

  7. Steve Martin says:

    If Peter and Paul raised anyone from the dead, it was because of Christ.

    I know not of others (not Christians) raising people from the dead. I don’t doubt that there are claims to such.

    I do know that no other religious leader claimed to be God, as Jesus did.

    As John wrote, the world could not contain the all the books if all that Jesus had done were written down.

    As I said, some believe…and many do not. I do…and you don’t. That’s ok by me.

  8. Sabio Lantz says:

    @ Steve Martin
    So for those others claims of raising from the dead, I imagine you think that they are one of these:

    (a) lies
    (b) exaggerations, distorted over time
    (c) self-deceit
    (d) mistakes
    (e) work of satan

    Correct? Whereas you believe that reports of Jesus, Peter and Paul were the real thing.

  9. Mad =^..^= (AKA ccws) says:

    Oh, Steve Martin… “We’re not concerned about what he taught (so much) because we are unwilling to do those things, anyway.” Au contraire, mon frére – doing those things is precisely what it means to be a follower of Jesus – for “as you did it to the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”

  10. Mad =^..^= (AKA ccws) says:

    Oops, I think that should have been “frère”…oh well…

  11. Brena says:

    LOL
    That MUST be what Jesus instructed. Slap a “Jesus” on whatever philosophy will get that world Empire.
    Maybe for the fast and loose first century there was some sort of “kingdom within you” stuff going around but the far more fiscally successful Roman Empire got at the helm and their advanced marketing skills really jabbed it into shape.

  12. salimbag says:

    I am very liberal about religion, and understand and agree with the point you are trying to make with irony here, but the statement above is also, I think, sadly, a legitimate way to interpret the gospels. It’s just not one I choose to follow.

  13. Mad =^..^= (AKA ccws) says:

    p.s. Steve Martin – It seems to me that the “unwilling to do those things anyway” attitude is the reason atheists, agnostics, and followers of other religions so often act in more “Christian” (i.e. Christlike) ways than many Christians. No one has told them they’re unwilling (or unable) to do the essential work of caring for the world and their fellow beings – they just go ahead and do it, because love, justice, and compassion are the right thing to do. Just sayin… :-)

  14. Pat Pope says:

    Yep. I remember a conversation I had with a Hindu co-worker who thought Christianity was opposed to the death penalty and I had to explain to him there were two basically two views on it. It was interesting though to get an outsider’s view of the faith.

  15. Steve Martin says:

    Sabio,

    I do not know what those other folks are.

    I only know that many hundreds witnessed Jesus, after he was raised.

    And I know that He has made a believer out of me when that was the last thing that I ever thought would happen.

  16. Christine says:

    Steve, there was a time when you insisted that, despite all evidence to the contrary, you agreed with me that, while we are saved entirely by faith, that does not preclude the importance of doing good.

    Today, you have shown conclusively that isn’t true. Today, you have said we aren’t so concerned with the teachings of Jesus, what you believe to be God incarnate’s directions to humanity – what we have been called by God to live by, because we aren’t going to bother with it anyway.

    That sin preaching you get on about has indeed rotted your brain. It has convinced you that people can’t change and are fundamentally incapable of goodness. There are plenty of atheists out there proving you wrong about human nature. And there are at least a few Christians in here wanting to spit all over your permissive theology.

  17. SocietyVs says:

    Oh is this ever funny (and true). I am currently playing some Jesus game on facebook (a little cartoon Jesus) and is it ever funny. But Jesus is even a video-game.

  18. faithlessinfatima says:

    The records(gospels,NT)are likely to contain as much or more fiction as they do fact.Metaphyics draw from the well of imaginative fiction, likely our best guide to the meaning and purpose we seek.The clues are inherent in the NT…consider the development of Christology from the earliest gospel (Mark) to the latest (John).

  19. VanPastorMan says:

    From a biblical point of view I doubt Jesus would be trying to build up an empire. When Peter grabbed his sword to defend the Lord, Jesus told him to put it away. In the Great Commission, it would seem that world conquest would be part of the marching orders. This of course is not the case. We are to preach the Gospel about who Jesus is and what He has done, by dying on the Cross, being buried, and coming to life again.
    A few weeks ago I preached on 2 Cor 5. In this passage, Paul says in 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
    This message of reconciliation is what we in the church call, “The Gospel”. Good News that man can be reconciled to his or her creator by faith in God’s only Son. In my view this is far more profound than world conquest.

  20. Gary says:

    VPM it seems to me you have missed David’s point entirely. I don’t get that he thinks this is what Jesus was actually saying, but rather that if you listen to His followers this would be what you would conclude by their actions.

  21. VanPastorMan says:

    Gary, I think I understood it. There is a doctrine called Kingdom Age theology that says Christians are going to take over the world and when Jesus comes back the church will present a wonderful holy world to the Lord. If people are going to conclude Jesus’ mission was conquest, this is probably where they would get it.
    Now to the reality. Christians I know are just trying to get home before the dark. They are trying to love Jesus,fellow believers, and their neighbors, while paying the bills worrying about their kids doing drugs, illicit sex etc. The believers I know and the ones I pastor are nothing like the assumptions displayed in the cartoon. I do appreciate you responding though Gary. I was beginning to think you didn’t like me.

  22. Gary says:

    VPM – Nah I don’t dislike you. In fact you seem like a decent fellow. Of course I have come to a point in my life where I very much reject much the the fundamental teaching of my younger years, which of course means we see things a little differently. But that’s ok. ;-)

  23. Christine says:

    VPM – I think it’s far more than Kingdom Age thoelogy that makes it look that way, even beyond, say, the idea of Christendom, “Christian nations” and crusades. And that is because often churches tell people what they want to hear. All those prosperity preachers, for instance? Or all those people who find that God happens to disapprove of all the same people they do? Hardly a coincidence. Many churches are more interested in filling pews and offering plates than facing hard truths and sacrifice. Yours might be the exception in some of these respects, but it doesn’t deny the trend.

  24. VanPastorMan says:

    Christine, we don’t even have plates. We’ve got two boxes at both entrances to the church, and people give what the Lord lays on their hearts. I rarely preach on money unless our finances are in the red. The key then is to not manipulate, but just lay out the facts of the situation. One thing I love about my church is they wouldn’t put up with selling our souls to get, “butts in the seats”. I had to put a little Pete Rose lingo in there. We as a congregation do invite people to church, but it is more from a relational drive rather than program driven.

  25. Christine says:

    VPM – I said… “Yours might be the exception in some of these respects, but it doesn’t deny the trend.” As in the trend in all Christianity. Can you move past for one second the idea that this is about you?

  26. VanPastorMan says:

    Christine, there are many pastors who are like me. In fact most of the pastors I know are just trying to serve the best they can, the God they believe in and the people they love. When we talk about trends aren’t we usually talking about the more well known churches that are large? Yet, most churches in the U.S. are 150 or less congrigants. I guess what I am saying is trendy Christianity gets all the hype, but the reality on how many congregations operate is far different.
    You are right. It’s not about me. My life and ministry is the Lord’s. I’m one of those ordinary pastors who is just doing the best he can.

  27. Christine says:

    VPM – I am far from talking about “trendy Christianity”. And I’m talking about the many small churches as much as the few big ones. A trend within Christianity is not at all the same as indicating some fad. I see very disturbing things in our religion as a whole – ones we should all be concerned about. You not passing around a collection plate doesn’t change that. Most people just doing their best doesn’t change it – lots of people are doing terrible things sincerely. If you don’t see this, fine – but I find it disturbing that when others try to point them out, the gut reaction of some is “I’m not like that and neither are my best friends so it can’t be real”.

  28. nakedpastor says:

    Christine: I find that you last sentence is probably the #1 reaction to nakedpastor posts. Right on!

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