Keeping Jesus’ Countless Red Commands

Those tough commandments

Did Jesus mean what he said?

Red-lettered Bible

“So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.”

John 13:14 NRSV

Here are some examples of Jesus’ commands: Love your enemies Matthew 5:43-45; Pray privately Matthew 6:5-7; Wash others’ feet John 13:14. Do not judge Matthew 7:1-2. Again, if you Google how many commands Jesus spoke, it will vary between Christian denominations from 3 to 1050. I’m still uncertain as to whether to follow all of these commands or just a few. It’s unclear and there’s no formula for entering that narrow gate Matthew 7:13-14. I guess the Apostle Paul didn’t have a list so he concluded that we just needed to “believe.”

List of Jesus’ 49 commands.

List of Jesus’ 300 commands.

List of Jesus’ 1050 commands.

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Beware of Man-Made Doctrines

Men dream up doctrines

The Trinity invented…

By guys in togas

“Jesus did not spend a great deal of time discoursing about the trinity or original sin or the incarnation, which have preoccupied later Christians. He went around doing good and being compassionate.”

Karen Armstrong

How many Christian doctrines are there? It depends on the sect of Christianity that you subscribe to and who you ask. Some say there are three, five, or ten maybe. Some break it down to the “main” doctrines of Christianity. Emperor Constantine in the 4th Century had a lot to do with creating doctrines. He formed various Councils to decide which doctrines were right and which were wrong. If you were on the wrong side, your were immediately excommunicated. Can you imagine going to a church council meeting and being excommunicated because you didn’t vote in the majority? Let’s ask the Pope! Wait. Was the position of Pope made up?

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Texans Fearful of Free Thought and Ideas

Banning books makes kids

As mindless as their parents

Unblemished Bible

“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”

Oscar Wilde

Banning books is great for the book industry. When I found out that such-and-such book has been banned, the first thing I do is go online and buy a copy! But, seriously! Haven’t we gotten over this book-banning shit? My thoughts are that the people who say they study the most horrendous book of all time, the Bible, are the ones attempting to ban books from children. I’m not always right, but I just have a feeling. In today’s “information age” doesn’t it make more sense to ban cell phones in school?

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Recipes For Salvation

Once saved, always saved?

Or once saved and may lose it?

Google is baffled!

And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Acts 2:21

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:16

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. John 10:9

The Bible

If you Google “how is one saved” or “steps to salvation” you’ll get a multitude of ways of what one must do to be saved. Jesus gives many examples throughout the Gospels of how a person can be saved. A good example is a rich man asking Jesus what must he do to be saved. Jesus answered, “Sell all your possessions and follow me!” That’s gotta be hard for a rich guy. Jesus gives many, many examples of people being blessed and saved by their actions. What I don’t understand is do we have to do everything that Jesus commands or just some of them? Will we know it when we’re saved? How can my church claim that they’ve saved some souls? How is that possible? Can they save mine? As you can see, my 40+ years as a Christian led me into a state of confusion. I have no idea if I’ve ever been saved, but I’m pretty sure that I’ve lost it by now.

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Painted Eggs and Chocolate Bunnies

Decorating eggs

Eating chocolate bunnies

Jesus has risen!

“Easter is so disappointing. You suffer all the way through lent, and what do you get for it? A ham.”

Garrison Keillor

I can picture Jesus out with a bunch of children hunting for decorated eggs while sucking on a chocolate bunny and having the best of times. Maybe that’s how the tradition of eggs and bunnies came about! It would be cool to have a clergyman dressed up as Jesus and going out on Easter Egg hunts with the kids. Or am I being too sarcastic? I don’t mean to be. Of course, Easter has to do with Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. The stories from the four gospel writers are different but they weren’t there to witness any of it. And there are no descriptions of the resurrection as it happened, only after it was completed. There are many debates on the resurrection which continues to make this religion confusing.

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Beauty and the Beast

Born into beauty

Taught to believe in their God

We become ugly

“Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.”

Psalm 51:5 NRSV

All babies are born beautiful in the eyes of their parents. We then teach our children about a God who teaches us that all babies are born into sin passed on by the original parents. We then become ugly and unacceptable in God’s eyes. His only son must give his life to make us acceptable to him. But, even then, only a few will be accepted.

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Salvation’s Long and Narrow Way

Shades of wavy grass

Trampled by a chosen few

Forms a narrow path

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Matthew 7:13-14 NIV

This has always been one of those passages that made me think about how one is saved. A lot of Christians tell me that “all you have to do is believe.” But, what if Jesus is right when he told his followers that you must do all of these things (commands) and then he throws out a verse that says, “… only a few will find it.” He dies on the cross to pay for our sins! Then he’ll come back to judge the sinless, the living, and the dead. And only a “few” of the sinless will travel down the path to eternal life. Of course, not all Christians are on board with this teaching. Or they have an entirely different interpretation of this Bible verse. The Bible is one mysterious and confusing book.

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Pentacostal Cages

Caged since my childhood

Tied up in religious shame

I set myself free

“The caged bird sings with a fearful trill,

of things unknown, but longed for still,

and his tune is heard on the distant hill,

for the caged bird sings of freedom.”

Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I just recently read about a young lady who was born into a religious and abusive family. She finally realized that she no longer had to be in this relationship and is now free from physical and psychological abuse. I’m sure there is a very long story that goes along with that. But, I know how hard it must have been to get away from something that you’ve been indoctrinated into since birth. This person did not have a choice in her religion. Most of us don’t. I am so sorry that you went through this and I know that there is a wonderful world out there without religion.

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Weird Bible Verse #5: 200 Tips On How To…

David killed and brought

Two hundred bloody foreskins

For King Saul’s daughter

…therefore David arose and went, he and his men, and killed two hundred men of the Philistines. And David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full count to the king, that he might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him Michal his daughter as a wife.

1 Samuel 18:27 NKJV

Here’s a really weird story and the really weird thing is that some Bible versions, such as the NRSV, say 100 foreskins. But, that’s just part of sifting your way through a confusing Bible. This happened after David killed Goliath so killing 200 Philistines was a piece of cake. Quick joke for you! What did King Saul do with all those foreskins? He had them made into a wallet so that when he rubbed it vigorously, it turned into a suitcase! Get it? Kind of a dual-function thing. I know, not that funny! Ha!

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Christianity’s Confused and Curious Cats

Bible confusion

You might as well speak in tongues

My cat got my tongue

“It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”

Mark Twain

Ever wonder why there are so many Christian Apologists? Or so many Christian Denominations? Or so many versions of the Christian Bible? Or so many debates on Christian Doctrine amongst the Christians? Me either!

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