Why I Stopped Caring About What the Bible Says, and Why You Should too (Part 3)

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Enjoy the podcast:

https://anchor.fm/skeptics-and-seekers/episodes/Episode-32-Why-I-Stopped-Caring-About-What-the-Bible-Says–and-Why-You-Should-too-Part-3-e33fo5

Because, Jesus

Last year, I completed a book called “Red Letters: a closer look at the worst moral and practical teachings in history”. (I’ll get it prepped for publication eventually.) It directly tackles the notion that Jesus was a good teacher, a good person, and a good life coach. He wasn’t. In fact, he was one of the worst.

He gets a pass in a way that no other person does. He has an unfair advantage. In the eyes of Christians, he is god incarnate. By default, that means he is right about everything he ever said, or is said to have said. His pronouncements are perfect, even when you don’t understand them. He’s right. You’re wrong. It is as simple as that.

Not only does his god status make him the wises person in the world, but the most ethical. He is suggesting a better way of living, a better way of understanding the world and your place in it. What he says is good must actually be good. And what he says is bad must actually be bad. And what he says is desirable must actually be desirable.

Finally, he gets a pass on the facts. Whatever he says must be factually correct because, you know, he’s god. And he knows everything. So he would never be factually incorrect even on the little things, especially on the little things. If he said it, you can trust it.

We would never assume such about any mere human. So already, we enter the realm of special pleading when it comes to Jesus. The worst of it is this special pleading for Jesus has been so prevalent throughout the centuries, even atheists accept it. Those who don’t believe that Jesus was god still suggest that he was a brilliant philosopher. He gets credit that he simply doesn’t deserve from people who have not bothered to really study what he had to say.

I have done a deep dive into the life, ministry, and sayings of Jesus. And when viewed from fresh eyes, one finds that not only is he not a good teacher, he is one of the worst. Any book with Jesus as the central figure should be abandoned for that reason alone. Here is a summary of my case:

The Worst Financial Advice

Weird Al Yankovic: the best musical artist of all time, recorded a song called, “Everything You know Is Wrong.” It perfectly expresses how I feel when I read anything Jesus said regarding money and financial advice. Either he is cracked, or I’m on crack. But we both can’t be sane in light of what he says. Pick anything he said about money. It’s all wrong.

Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide yourselves purses that do not wear out—a treasure in heaven that never decreases, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. Luke 12:33

Remember when the rich young ruler approached Jesus to find out what he needed to do to be saved? Jesus told him to sell all that he had and give the money to the poor. Just so you know, this is not that occasion. This is an earlier occasion when Jesus was preaching to the crowd. This is the nut job advice he gave to general audiences.

I contend that there is no context, no scenario where this is good advice, not now, not then, not for us, not for anyone. A surer, swifter road to poverty, there has never been. If you want to ad context to what he said, it only gets worse. Start you reading back at verse 22 for a more complete thought. I will address the ideas in my next example:

Then he said to them, “Watch out and guard yourself from all types of greed, because one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” He then told them a parable: “The land of a certain rich man produced an abundant crop, so he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to myself, “You have plenty of goods stored up for many years; relax, eat, drink, celebrate!”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded back from you, but who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ So it is with the one who stores up riches for himself, but is not rich toward God.” 15-21

Jesus hated financially successful people. The only crime this man was guilty of was being a successful businessman who could afford to expand his holdings and retire early. Consider the offense: His storehouses were too small. So he decided to build bigger ones. The implication was that he was depending on his own success and not trusting in god to provide. The following passages make that abundantly clear.

If we are being honest, we would all seek advisors like the successful businessman. And we would fire any financial advisor who talked like Jesus. The reason is because Jesus was an utter fool when it came to money. And we all know it. That is why we don’t consider a word of what he had to say in the daily opration of our lives.

I will not have space in this blog to go beyond finances. But it should be sufficient for my point. If Jesus is this wrong about the practical, we have no reason to trust him for anything else. I will close with a few more examples:

Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your possessions back from the person who takes them away. Luke 6:30

Stupid!

Give to the one who asks you, and do not reject the one who wants to borrow from you.

Bat – Shit – Crazy!

And that’s the view from the skeptic.

David Johnson

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18 thoughts on “Why I Stopped Caring About What the Bible Says, and Why You Should too (Part 3)

  1. Hey David,

    Will just say it was an interesting episode- sort of a “David unleashed” type deal 😛 But good job as I know doing the solo gig can be difficult to make entertaining at times.

    Anyways, I just wanted to apologize to you and the audience, I lost track of responding to this blog of yours in the midst of everything going on.

    To help rectify for this, on the issue of Jesus’ teachings, one of the better jobs I’ve seen to explain them are by actual biblical scholars like Dr. Michael L. Brown (someone, I’ve referenced on the show multiple times now); see a 30 min video on some of these things- I hope this will be helpful on some of the issues David mentioned in this show and possibly other issues that David might raise in his series during the coming weeks = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOmqYa-tCns .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the link. You can still do a writeup and I will happily post is as the official response. Up to you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I tell you what, if no other Christians take you up on your offer by Wed, then I will type something up as I think it is an issue that deserves to be addressed 🙂

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      2. As I always have an opinion about everything….I’ll give you mine. STUPID THINGS THAT JESUS SAID. If not next episode, eventually. Whenever Christians are trying to worm their way out of a mess…. they pull out Jesus and slap him down on the table. They think he’s their ‘ace in the hole.’

        It drives me looney tunes…….ooops…don’t chase that! lol

        Love and Light
        Tara

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    2. 1. I am not, and never have been particularly impressed with this guy for reasons not worth going into here. I think Messianic Jews are the worst of both worlds. They tend to get both Christianity and Judaism wrong.

      2. He didn’t address the issues I brought up in the podcast.

      It is really hard to defend Jesus’ sayings on money from a mainstream Christian perspective. Believe me, I tried for a long time and had to give it up as a bad job. I found other things to talk about. 🙂

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    3. You back in, Dale? I can’t keep up. 😉 This is less Jesus and more feline behaviour; The cat wants to leave, you open the door. the cat sits and looks, or goes out and comes back.
      Remember do what is good and helpful to you. What you find nourishing and enlightening. Go, or stay, but maybe less of the big proclamations that you are departing for good never to be seen again hey? We can’t sleep at night. It’s getting too Peter and the Wolf 😉 . And cats and wolves don’t mix. Nor do oil and water supposedly, but I challenge that as I do quite well with oil and vinegar when I make a vinaigrette. Helped along by the mustard of course. Find your mustard, Dale.

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      1. Hey Sarah,

        I want to thank you for all your attempts to give a balanced/fair assessment of me (at least most of the time you do anyways lol). Anyways, no I’m not playing games here, I really have made my decision to leave and it is final at this point- I’ve been working on doing up an audio Farewell speech for David to post after Sean’s show to explain my side as to why I feel its is necessary for me to go (without giving away any private stuff between me and David of course).

        I offered to write the final blog as a gesture of goodwill for David, as this is a topic that is very important to him (he wrote a book on it after all) and it was the last blog he sent to me before this situation came about. I respect everything he has done for me (including offering me a generous open invite to come back on the show whenever I feel ready- as both David and I still consider each other friends, I requested I be involved in the Sean McDowell show as he is my contact and personally I would like to have a chance to speak with him on mic about a topic I’m excited about (same deal if any of the others I reached out to come on the show as well).

        But David and I have spoken privately after my announcement during which I suggested we come to a fair disagreement-resolution agreement (in the event both of us firmly disagree on something as we did in the case of my being able to delete my own comments or not) and I now understand from him that we were never full equal partners to begin with and that is why David was placing increasing amounts of restrictions on me as he deemed proper for the show- so I’m now fully aware that if I were to come back as a co-host as before then it will need to be on David’s terms as opposed to a full equal partnership (which is what I thought we had this whole time) and personally I just don’t feel inclined towards those terms as they were even starting to increasingly impact on what topics I’m allowed to discuss (subject to whether David approved of them or not). Hopefully this comes across in the right way here, not upset or complaining at all here, just explaining where both of us are coming from and why I feel that leaving is the right solution (its about more than just some deleted comments). I won’t give specifics so as not to risk a breach of confidentiality here.

        Now as to this dirty deleting thing- wow I’ve seen quite a lot from people on this, especially being called rude by people you thought were your friends; to my mind it is them who are being rude to me, demanding that they control my comments that I engaged in with people for their and my benefit in the immediate context of having a real convo (hence I made them in sincerity and good faith)- I was never commenting to put on a show for people 5 years from now to read the convo afterward (though with Darren at least he had the courtesy to inform me in advance of his intention to use some of our convos for his own blog wherever that is- that is the way it is supposed to be done- he gave me a heads up about his intentions with my comments and allowed me to agree in advance that by interacting with him on some of these things, he would use them for his own purposes with his blog- no one else did that with me, so I just assumed they sincerely wanted to interact with me for the sake of having a real convo with me about a topic in the moment; I don’t know maybe I just will never understand this since I was new to online forums when I started on Unbelievable? and I have to say it feels to me like the people cutting me up over this issue are just being “entitled” rather than being grateful for the time I put into interacting with them in the comments (my volunteer contract was only ever to do a blog/Podcast once a week and so all the bonus Podcasts or bringing on my friends like Barrie Schwrotz, Mike Licona or Gary Habermas to the show or interacting in the comments with you guys was me going above and beyond what I agreed to do originally for the sake of audience). On my end, I never took the audience’s comments for granted in that way, I always recognized that they were doing David and I the favour by putting in the time to share their thoughts (even when I was not fond of what they were saying) and I would never feel like I was entitled to those comments or thoughts if they ever decided to delete/take them away- I honestly just don’t care. I purposefully left my convos on the Shroud with Hugh Farey because I felt they could be helpful to future readers but if Hugh ever decided to delete his side of the convo (assuming he had the ability which he doesn’t), I wouldn’t be angry with him at all- they are his comments!

        Also for Tara, it was not the case that knew in advance the limits of WordPress, this whole time I thought everyone had the right to edit/delete their own posts- so it wasn’t until Darren notified me of this difference that I became aware of this disparity (very recently as a matter of fact). Also, I never said I wanted to block you from this site, I said I wanted to block you from my view because you usually provoke me into saying something out of annoyance and then you can turn around and use that comment against me.

        For David R.- you claim I’m trying to hide the evidence of my beliefs- think more critically before saying this; all of my blogs/Podcasts in which I outline these same beliefs in proper context are still and will always be available for public consumption (as long as David so wills I suppose), but people taking my comments out of context and emailing them to people who are not privy to that context/conversation is unacceptable- when Tara cuts me up for my beliefs on here, I don’t care because everyone knows the full context of who she is, our prior convos and what I’ve said on the matter when I’m trying to approach the issue in a responsible and clear manner as opposed to one where I’m annoyed or something- emailing one of my personal friends and showing them some comments where I state my beliefs without the context of the months and months of conversation that went prior to those comments, is not fair to me and I’m sorry I feel no shame in doing whatever is necessary to protect myself against such unfair tactics- I would do so again in a second.

        Anyways back to you Sarah as this is a reply to you lol, thank you for all your support on the show Sarah (and same to David and all the other listeners as well), I also hope that S&S continues to garner support from the listeners as I know David’s in a difficult position now and given all the hard work he has put into this project I don’t want to see that go to nothing- I state emphatically that it is not my intention to hurt the show at all here, but I feel I must stand up for what I believe is right even if the whole world disagrees with me (which it seems most of the time you guys do lol).

        Dale

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        1. There is no context..NONE ..that justifies your repeated statement that you would kill me if your morally perfect God asked you to do so,

          Gary Habermas knows that, that’s why I enjoyed my brief interactions with him. He’s got a functioning conscience.

          So I don’t even slightly regret telling him what you’ve been posting. He imo is likely partially. albeit unwittingly,responsible for your atrocious behaviour.

          As to ‘dirty deleting ‘ .., clearly intent is key.

          I’ve never deleted texts to avoid culpability. If I feel ashamed of something..,I apologize and try not to do it again.

          I mostly edit because I don’t translate well in writing. I can appear illogical or rude because I’m not a great writer.

          You delete your posts to avoid facing up to your own bad behaviour.

          Love and Light
          Tara

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          1. Tara,

            I have no stomach for a fight with you, I want our parting words to be kind. Recently, I have questioned your motives quite strongly but as you know after having considered all the evidence, I apologized for over-reacting towards you- don’t get me wrong, I still think what you did was wrong. But it wasn’t nearly as bad as what I thought you were trying to do and so as before I will support that you mean well and are trying to do what you think is best but its just man, I’m telling you it has the opposite effect of spreading the love and light that you seek to share.

            Good luck to you and I guess you will be hearing me on Feb 20th 🙂

            Like

        2. Thanks for your reply. My main concern was that you are OK having gone abruptly quiet. And it seems you have a fair grasp of what makes you happy and is beneficial to you, so if this is not it, fair play to you for bowing out. Things don’t always work out the way you wish. That’s OK. It’s just life. You gave it a go.
          You put in a lot of work. No one can take that away from you. I wish you all the best.
          I can’t be bothered to get het up about the whole delete thing. It’s possibly bad forum form, but so what! It’s hardly a crime against humanity. Your comments. Free will. As you see fit.

          Cheers

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Cool well said Sarah- yeah I have no regrets about doing this project at all, I’m proud of it and grateful that David gave me the chance to work with him on this- I think I’ve done a lot of good things here and as I told David in private I do feel terrible that my budding ministry has to be cut short here, but that is fair enough- David and I had different understandings on our involvement here. But again, David is true friend, he thinks I’m making a mistake here due to my youth- I don’t think I am, but the great thing about David is that he is willing to let me learn from my mistakes (if it turns out he is right and I want to come back as a mere contributer at some future time)- he has allowed me to have that option and so regardless of our differences in opinion on this, I fully recognize that he has bent over backwards for me on this front and he did not have to do that at all- on my end I really hope some of the other Christians I’ve reached out to get back to me about coming on the show, I can still arrange Luis Dizon and those Shroud Wars things but a couple others just haven’t responded back to me so I’m assuming there is no interest but who knows 🙂

            So yeah in the end, believe it or not, I think I would have even been happier if we had just started with clarity from the beginning that I was only an equal contributor to the website rather than a “partner” as both David and I agree this should not be about one’s ego or pride but sharing the substantive material with people to consider- unfortunately given that we started as full partners (in my understanding) and then had the trend of seeming one-way incremental concessions on my part being made, I just feel that over time I could be increasingly restricted to the point where it simply defeats the purpose of being on in the first place.

            So that’s where I’m coming from at least, I hope people understand my take on this 🙂

            Dale

            P.S. Thanks for the understanding on the dirty deleting thing, for a while there I was beginning to feel like I had walked into a Star Trek convention in my ordinary clothes and then was getting hassled because of some made-up rule about having to dress as Klingon or Captain Kirk or whatever (though I imagine people are going to tell me you do have to dress up to go to a convention now- “social robots” like me just can’t keep up lol).

            Take care 🙂

            Like

            1. Well, no regrets is just a bonus then!

              Ref the PS. We just passed legislation in the EU called the “right to be forgotten”. It allows any individual to have their records held by any company internet database etc to be scrubbed and these companies must comply. I wholeheartedly support the idea as an individual you have the right to have removed/retracted all information on you on the internet. Not sure it’s enforceable outside the EU of course. With regards to WordPress/Disques, I should imagine it is where the servers are held. Anyway, in this internet age of brutal forums, I support the right to retract what one has said or done.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. “Well no regrets is just a bonus then” ….

                Wow … now that is the absolute opposite of what I have been striving for since my first conversation with Dale. He has shown no sign of empathy or remorse for his behaviour. David and I, each in our own way care deeply about Dale so our goal is to reawaken his conscience. I have been doing my very best to get Dale to REGRET his hateful words and to apologize for them. No luck so far.

                As to scrubbing … that’s a very very slippery slope. Let’s take the 1 in a million chance that Dale digs himself even deeper into the twisted immoral pretzel. One day my family arrives home to find me dead in the kitchen floor , with a note saying “my morally perfect God commanded me to kill her”

                I sure as hell hope Dales words were not scrubbed from the www.

                We have child pornography laws and so of some ‘scrubbing’ must be enacted. Other than that I think we all have to learn to retract and apologize for the words we regret uttering.

                But… I’ll follow up on your new laws. I may end up regretting my words today. And then I will SAY SO.

                If you have links on this . Love you to forward then Sarah.

                Thanks xoxo

                Love and Light
                Tara

                Like

                1. Dale isn’t going to kill you. You know it, and so does he. I can’t believe we’re still having the convo.

                  You’re a weirdo if you want to read about the GDPR laws all businesses have had to comply with in Europe. Big roll out last year. Muchos panicking. But it seems it’s gone the way of the Millenium bug. Nothing much has come of it. Not heard of anyone taking anyone else to court yet. For big corps maybe it’s a good idea, but it went to the stage that even someone enquiring about a property (ie clearly interested in buying) can’t be registered by you (ie agency) for similar alerts without giving explicit consent. Bonkers. Not sure how many small businesses who rely on initial contact to sell later are complying. I may (or may not) be doing so. Ssshhhh, I’ve already said too much,.

                  Anyway, knock yourself out…..

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_be_forgotten

                  https://gdpr-info.eu/issues/right-to-be-forgotten/

                  I guess the UK won’t be subject to it if they leave the EU, the BSC idiots that they are to be doing so. Brexit is proper stooopid.

                  Like

            2. I’ve written to Sarah below Dale… I suggest you read it.

              I truly hope you return and re-engage with all of us…. your forum friends. I truly think everyone chatting with you on these forums only wishes you the best. And we all think the best thing you could do is to reevaluate your very poor choices. When you defend slavery, misogyny, rape, genocide that is YOUR CHOICE, that makes you responsible for behaving immorally. That’s not Gods fault. He… she… whatever … has gifted you with free will. That makes you solely responsible for all of the ‘hate’ you learned as s child and now choose to regurgitate as a fully grown man.

              As always… I sincerely love you.

              Love and Light
              Tara

              Like

  2. David,

    I know for me, arguing over what the bible says, or how to interpret it, is akin to arguing which way the unicorn horn spirals. However, I did find this podcast entertaining, so if you were game for doing the next podcast as Part B and continuing with the sayings of Jesus, I’m pretty sure I would enjoy it as well.

    Like

  3. If Jesus is this wrong about the practical, we have no reason to trust him for anything else.

    I would state this more precisely as “Jesus forfeits his claim to saying only perfect things when he says demonstrably false things.” Christians grant Jesus perfection FIRST, so they can claim everything he says is thusly perfect. I would flip it around, I would judge someone to only say perfect things if they in fact only say perfect things. And saying 5 perfect things in a row does not guarantee the 6th, 7th or any other to be perfect. It’s the difference between using an argument from authority and the proof in the pudding being in the eating.

    Like

  4. Standup … a la George Carlin buddy! I’m already there, front row center. Should I ask for your autograph now before it’s too late?

    Fabulous episode. Love love loved it. Xoxo

    Love and Light
    Tara

    .

    Like

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