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Thursday, July 14, 2005

God hates Harry Potter?

Pope condemned ‘subtle seduction’ of tales of wizardry!

Harry is Evil, Potter is Satan!

HARRY POTTER has come under attack from soul-sucking dementors and basilisks, but he faces his most formidable adversary yet in the form of the Pope.

A letter written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, before he was elected Pope in April, condemns the boy wizard as a potentially corrupting influence on children.

The Cardinal, then the late Pope John Paul II’s “enforcer” as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, revealed his views in a letter to the author of Harry Potter — Good or Evil?, a book published in Germany. The Cardinal appeared to sympathise with Gabriele Kuby’s thesis that Harry Potter corrupts the young, distorting their understanding of the battle between good and evil. “It is good that you enlighten people about Harry Potter because those are subtle seductions, which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul before it can grow properly,” he wrote.


Well, the Pope (and orthodox Christians) also despises Uncle Santa Claus … I wonder what is Santa’s sin?

For the record, Jack Brock, a priest from the Christ Community Church, said: “God says in Deuteronomy that witchcraft is an abomination. Whatever God hates, I hate.” More at Times Online

Really? God told you He hates Harry? Yeah right. Looks like religion is not only unfriendly to kid, guess there is also not much fun in it huh?

Do you fancy a world without Cinderella, Snow White and my best buddy: Mr. Mickey Mouse? Is this a positive phenomenon? I must ask God ...

BTW, I wonder what do Jews and Muslims think of Harry ... I imagine it gotta be the same (since they all share the same root)?

Anyway, if you want to know the literal meaning behind the word “bigot”, religious fanatics must be one of the best living examples.

34 Comments:

Blogger Sondra said...

I don't know where people come from when saying that Harry Potter is evil.

I've only read the first book and half of the second, but I thought if anything there were Christian undertones in the book.

Slitherin=Snake=What tempted Adam and Eve=Devil

Gryfyndor=Lion=Symbol for Christ

If you look at The Chronicals of Narnia they also have Christian undertones, but there is also 'magic' and 'witchcraft' in those books also!

I wonder if the Pope himself has read these books... would he read something he felt was 'evil' to get a better understanding of it or would he just condone it from what he's heard?

11:56 AM  
Blogger Young Bourbon Professional said...

"potentially corrupting influence on children."

Great Scott, don't twist what the man says. Of couse there a potential danger if kids concentrate only on the magical aspect of the books and get lured into practicing witchcraft. That's all the Holy Father is saying. The books, if parents choose to let their kids read them, need to be read as fictional entertainment and nothing more. I think most Christian parents would agree that any amusement could be abused.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Daldianus said...

Harry Potter is eeeeeebil!!! ;)

12:41 PM  
Blogger Creationism said...

I love Harry, I love Santa and I love Mickey.

Potter rocks, Pope tanks!

12:58 PM  
Blogger Sondra said...

Just remember, that's just my opinion.

I wouldn't go calling someone a religious bigot just because they don't like Harry Potter. I'm sure there is more to the argument than we both think.

1:39 PM  
Blogger La Bona said...

Sondra,

Well, it was the soldiers of God who taught me the word “bigot’ (they called me one when I disagreed with them in the past).

According Answers.com, bigot means “One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ”

I see there is no way the Pope is going accept Harry Potter as alright, neither will he endorse Santa Clause as a mascot for Christmas or for that matter, he won’t visit Disneyworld … aren’t this gesture of bigotry?

2:06 PM  
Blogger Sonia said...

why do they have a problem with harry potter? harry celebrates christmas! and he's fighting against evil. and he's a decent guy. and its fiction for heaven's sake! get a grip! on reality!

3:26 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Nice post!

First off, I'm not criticizing the Pope's apparent intent - to protect children from harmful influences - but yes, why should the church stop looking for evil with the likes of Harry Potter, SpongeBob Squarepants, etc.?

Claiming evil and insiduously-schemed corruption in harmless fantasy fiction is just plain absurd.

YBP - that's a fair point, we shouldn't twist what he says, and you're right about what he IS saying. However, do you really think that more than one in a million readers of Harry Potter, even young impressionable children, would really go and try to perform witchcraft on the basis of this simple, adorable work of fantasy fiction? No, I don't think so. So what's the Pope's problem?

3:38 PM  
Blogger GSmith said...

young bourbon professional: Of course the HP series should be "read as fictional entertainment and nothing more". What other ways are there to read the series? As a practical handbook to magic?

Children old enough to read these books should already have a firm understanding of the difference between fantasy and reality. If they don't, that's the fault of their parents, not the books.

As someone who has read all the HP books after my son bugged me for a year, I can see clearly that these books are harmless, high-quality escapism for kids (and the young-at-heart). By labeling them insidious evil influences, both the critic and the Pope have jumped the shark.

Reality.Hole

4:47 PM  
Blogger La Bona said...

Sonia “why do they have a problem with harry potter? harry celebrates christmas! and he's fighting against evil”
+
Daniel “even young impressionable children, would really go and try to perform witchcraft on the basis of this simple, adorable work of fantasy fiction? No, I don't think so. So what's the Pope's problem?”

As far as I know, faithful of all the Semitic religions ie. Judaism, Christianity and Islam will never accept anything either different or not stated in their holy books.

For example, they will never accept gays/same-sex-marriage because according Bible, God only made Adam and Eve ie only male and females, anything else is invalid or otherworldly.

It is for the same reason; they couldn’t accept even Santa Claus simply because Uncle Claus is not mentioned in the Bible.

In short, they only live by the book; Bible, Torah or otherwise Koran.

I thought it is must intriguing to live a life within the boundary of just one book and they always say “It’s none of your business!”. Well, if they don’t try to impose their belief on me and if they don’t harm others (the London bombings refers), I really couldn’t care less …

6:44 PM  
Blogger Talibah said...

good and evil doesn't operate within our in dichotomies. thats why "satan" is so tricky. sometimes religious people focus on the wrong issues. harry potter is not as destructive as say child molestation. we should attack that problem if goodness is what we are truly trying to manifest. where are our priorities? im speaking of religion in general

7:13 PM  
Blogger miss sara said...

thanks for passing that on. i noticed it yesterday and said something to my co-workers--but we just shook our heads...what is the world coming to?

it does deserve more attention--tis a very negative comment and could potentially re-kindle over censorship and limit our freedom of expression etc etc...

9:30 PM  
Blogger Scourge on Humanity said...

Why do non-Catholics care so much? As a Protestant "fanatic" myself, I feel no need to adhere perfectly to what the Pope says. Besides, his words are completely harmless. It's not like he's oredering people to be suicide bombers.

11:30 PM  
Blogger Scourge on Humanity said...

BTW, you forgot an entry on the poll. By traditional (use your imagination to fill in this blank) standards, a fetus is not viable until it has graduated from law school :)

11:36 PM  
Blogger bsotrh said...

In address to some of the comments posted here in regards to the influence of the Harry Potter books, I have the following to say...

The Harry Potter stories where written -according to the author J.K. Rowlings- as fictional works not as an introduction to wizardry/witchcraft. Unfortuneately, Ms. Rowlings, as well as many other people these days, does not realize the extent of the damage in writing ficticious content that glorifies homosexuality, witchcraft, and wizardry.

As posted earlier in a comment, there exists the opinion that one must be of a certain level of education or maturity to even read the books. This however has been circumvented by the avialability of the movies. A child of any age can watch a movie, and as everyone knows, children often mimick what they see via our media. Don't believe me? Just ask yourselves how many kids have immated or pretended to be ninja turtles or power rangers.

Now, to coninue on with the effect that these fictional works have, I must first point out that we as a society have greatly grown numb to our the screening process of our nation's entertainment. We have allowed ourselves to believe that things such as homosexuality, abortion, and many other sinful activities to be nothing more than trivial nucenses at best. We do not think of the example that this world constantly gives, nor do we control our children as we should. Individuality is all the rage these days! I've actually seen parents state "Oh, look at Johnny! Isn't he cute!? Look at how he expresses himself!" while he child continued to beat another child with a metal baseball bat. Upon trying to intervein, I was chastized as an interruption to their child's developement.

We as a society no longer hold morals. Even some who call themselves christians (Actually, I'd say about 80% of those who call themselves christians.) waver under the pressure of a moraless society. We are seeing the fruits of the "flower power" era, where the majority of people ran around screaming "peace without consequence!"

In the economics of spirituality, there is this one premise, right (that which God wills) and wrong (that which is against the will of God). We as a nation have taken the definition of right and wrong and changed them to fall under the vail of circumstance and comfort. We are EXTREMELY imature in our relationships with God and are not willing to accept correction and consequence. We have embraced rebellion in order to avoid discomfort!

Well, as any REAL parent will tell you, you need correction in order to survive! If you tell little Sarah not to play out in the middle of the freeway, you do it to protect her right? Now ask yourself what you would do in the following... What if Sarah actively kept on rebelling against your instructions not to play in the middle of the freeway? What if after explaining to her the dangers of such actions, she ignored you and marched right back out onto the highway? Would you be willing to apply a little force to her rear-end in order to get the point across? Sadly, in today's society, some would say "No". They would let Sarah "express her individuality" and watch her get creamed by the next semi.

We are just like Sarah in the previous example. God has told us (through his word) not to do certain things, and yet we just stick our tounges out at him and continue anyway. We don't see the immediate consequences of our actions, but be assured that there is indeed a semi heading in our direction! We numb ourselves to being upright and righteous in order to avoid discomfort with our peers, forgetting that there is a real war raging in the heavens above us! We value other people's opinions more than the opinion of God!

Harry Potter, as well as many other forms of entertainment are not unlike an anesthetic that puts you to sleep. They numb you to sin by leading you to believe that such sin is normal and/or unavoidable. They teach children subconciously to accept such things as homosexuality and witchcraft as part of the norm. That is why Harry Potter is not just mere fiction. Beneath the fiction lies an example. That example, if followed by enough other examples becomes a foundation.

I suggest that if you value your child's spiritual health, that you monitor such things as the books and television they are watching. Although many would like to pawn the seriousness of this off as a joke or unrealistic; this is real! We are in a war, and heaven and hell are the rewards in parrellel with their respective deserves! The grace of God is only extended to those who truly are followers of Jesus Christ. (Read Hebrews Chapter 10) You can not claim to be an upright citizen if you completely disregard the law and rely on the graces of a lenient court system! Eventually, your three strikes will come into effect!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Rev. John C. Beck
johnb@christianheights.org

3:01 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Wait a minute.

Where on earth did you get the idea that the Pope and "orthodox Christians" despise Santa Claus? Or Disney World?

I know there are probably some who don't "do" Santa, but fer chrissakes, you're REALLY stretching here.

I'm a pretty atypical (half-assed) Christian (obviously), but I have to agree with Rev. Beck above, in his statement:

They teach children subconsciously to accept such things as homosexuality and witchcraft as part of the norm. That is why Harry Potter is not just mere fiction. Beneath the fiction lies an example. That example, if followed by enough other examples becomes a foundation.

I'm sure that the Pope meant exactly that, and nothing so far-reaching as you imply. I've never read a word of Harry Potter, nor seen the movies, so I don't know the details, but I DO know children. Young kids DO "wannabe" like their book/movie/TV idols (see also: MTV/pop princesses), and if said idols are witches, I can see why the Pope or any other adult (religious or not) who doesn't want kids getting mixed up in witchcraft might object, or at least have serious reservations. It certainly doesn't sound as though the Pope has embarked upon some kind of anti-literary crusade, though. Don't read so much into it. Just sayin'.

4:17 AM  
Blogger Blogosaurus Rex said...

Re: the rev's comment, and the original post.

God help us all if this kind of closed minded view persists among people:

"The grace of God is only extended to those who truly are followers of Jesus Christ."

Is this supposed to mean that Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. are all condemned to hell? This is the same thing that many fundamentalist Muslim extremists think as well. If you believe this, it puts you in the same class. The "We are right, you are wrong" philosophy is what is currently dooming the world in which we live in.

Wake up.

The Bible is imperfect. *gasp* Yes, it's true. There were many other books that were left out of the Bible, and are now apocrypha. Have you ever read these? They are just as relevant as the books in the Bible. What about the gospel of Thomas (Nag Hamadi scrolls)? The Dead Sea scrolls? These, if studied, will all point out inconsistancies with the current version of the "Bible". You can't follow only this one book, which is a collection of works that the council of Nicea decided were the "proper" ones at that time. Read the Koran. Read the Torah. Study Buddhism. Only then will someone be closer to God, and "spiritual health".

True spirituality is a lost art. Condemning harmless fiction like potter, which by the way STILL comes with good morality tales, is a waste of energy that could be spent finding REAL spirituality, which can never be found in any religion.

And at the root of all this: "Witch". What's a witch exactly? It's a term given to followers of the Wiccan religion, (yes, religion) in the early days of the church. The early church systematically branded wiccans as evil, and followers of the devil. Why the devil? Simply because the male version of their god was a "half man, half beast" with horns and hoofs. This being was associated with the devil in a masterful use of propaganda over the centuries. We still picture the devil looking this way. Here's a challenge: Find for me ANY physical description of the devil in the Bible that corresponds to this. Good luck with that. Not that there isn't a Satan, because there very well be. I think he may be controlling religious fundamentalists around the world. Many innocent peaceful people were burned as "witches" in the middle ages. This is one of many crimes commited by the "church".

I believe that God loves all his/her people, and would NOT favour one people over another. Everyone has recieved some sort of message. The real truth can be found in the commonalities between these messages. Although most messages have been gravely distorted over the years, I believe some truth can be found if you look hard enough.

Seek the truth above all else.

'nuff said.

4:26 AM  
Blogger Girish.S said...

nice blog...im sure u would know.
But Im sure the 2 books by Dan Brown "Angels and Demons" and "da vinci code" would most certainly interest u...have u read them.the books talk about how the vatican admonishes science and scientific research to be evil aspects.
U must read it...if u havent

8:03 AM  
Blogger Tony Brooks said...

I appreciate the comment, and the time you spent on my blog.

But we do not share the same views. I'm not a prophet, I do not desire to be God.

I desire to spread God's word, not retranslated to today's standards, or I do not desire to speak for God.

I beleive that Santa represents the "Good Deeds" fo Christmas, and I also know that as a Baptist I have taught my children the TRUE meaning of Christmas from the Bible.

Disney is a wonderful amusement park. They are not evil. If anything parents have not been able to relax and enjoy Disney over the years. The Southern Baptist convention had differences with Disney and it's policy regarding same-sex couples allowed insurance. Those differences are still there, but the ban on Disney is not.

I believe that the Word of God is the Bible. I believe that Christains need to educate the world in who Jesus is, what he died for and how that may change you life.

Thank you.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Unchained Slave said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:23 AM  
Blogger La Bona said...

Thanks, Rev. John C. Beck

“Ms. Rowlings does not realize the extent of the damage in writing ficticious content that glorifies homosexuality, witchcraft, and wizardry”

Where in her books can you find homosexuality? And even if you can find one, what is wrong with the word homosexuality? Isn’t beneficial for our children to know what is homosexuality all about?

”… children often mimick what they see via our media. Don't believe me? Just ask yourselves how many kids have immated or pretended to be ninja turtles or power rangers”

Fair enough. But what’s wrong to imitate their idols … Isn’t this part and parcel of the natural learning process for kids? Isn’t idolizing a motivating factor for kids to excel (say I idolize Lance Armstrong, so work really hard to try to be one someday)?

BTW, I used to play with bloom (just like Harry Potter) when I was a kid, it was fun and I don’t see myself becoming a witch in any way.

”We as a society no longer hold morals … right (that which God wills) and wrong (that which is against the will of God).”

I am going to create a new blog to discuss about this particular issue: Morality … Why should this important aspect of our life be monopolized by religion?

”We value other people's opinions more than the opinion of God!”

People's opinions are verifiable. God’s opinion is a subject of imagination … unless one has direct contact with God.

”Harry Potter numbs you to sin by leading you to believe that such sin is normal and/or unavoidable”

You mean fans of Harry Potter are destined to be criminals? ie. there are millions of potential bad guys in the making ... Oh, no!

“They teach children subconciously to accept such things as homosexuality and witchcraft as part of the norm”

How so? Harry Potter preaches witchcraft is cool, homosexuality rocks and that if you practice both, it’s the stairway to heaven?

”You can not claim to be an upright citizen if you completely disregard the law and rely on the graces of a lenient court system!”

You mean our existing judicial system is incomplete, ineffective, irrelevant or even flawed? Perhaps and I am sure there are many but do provide some solid examples

As for “lenient” … Well, didn’t the court just sentenced Bernie Ebbers (one of the most famous corporate crook – former CEO of Worldcom) behind bars for 25 years? Do you consider this lenient?

12:00 PM  
Blogger La Bona said...

Beth “Where on earth did you get the idea that the Pope and "orthodox Christians" despise Santa Claus? Or Disney World?”

Ask any devout Christian. I heard it all my life, the last time I was told by someone from a Lutheran Church: Santa is and will never be a part of Christianity. He is 100% banned!

12:01 PM  
Blogger La Bona said...

Tony Brooks “Disney is a wonderful amusement park. They are not evil.”

You mean you are okay with fairy tales like Snow White … Poison Apple and the Witch etc?

Good on you but I am sure such stuffs is a no, no, no to those who hold onto the Bible as the only guide for their life.

12:02 PM  
Blogger La Bona said...

Gwhiz2k “[The grace of God is only extended to those who truly are followers of Jesus Christ.]

Is this supposed to mean that Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. are all condemned to hell? This is the same thing that many fundamentalist Muslim extremists think as well. If you believe this, it puts you in the same class. The [We are right, you are wrong] philosophy is what is currently dooming the world in which we live in”

I am afraid this is the reality. As someone commented before … “The only difference between religion and racism is that the former is color blind and the latter is color conscious”

I am going to create a new blog entitling “Is religion good for modern society?” (Judging from atrocities like the London Bombings, I am not too sure …) and I do see ‘substance’ in your comment on “True spirituality is a lost art and that we should refer to various holy books instead of just one …” I am going to create a blog based on your comment.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Some thoughts on a few of these comments:
Scourge - You said "Why do non-Catholics care so much? As a Protestant "fanatic" myself, I feel no need to adhere perfectly to what the Pope says. Besides, his words are completely harmless. It's not like he's oredering people to be suicide bombers." - Yes, that's good perspective on the Pope's comments. However, one cannot deny that the Pope has a great deal of influence, not only over Catholics but over elected leaders that cater to their Catholic (and Christian in general) constituents.

Rev. Beck - Fair points, and I'm certainly not up to taking you on with regards to theology. However, I agree strongly with other comments that the Catholic church is rather perverse with the notion of taking on what I think are harmless works of fiction while ignoring child molestation (or at best, doing damage control in a legal sense). You also mention homosexuality and abortion. On the former, I never have understood the inability of some to accept homosexual men and women for who they are, or at the very least, to promote monogamy amongst them. On abortion - well, I totally agree that alternatives to abortion need to be promoted much more. But I'm wary of turning our country into something like Brazil, where abortion is out-lawed except in extreme cases of rape sanctioned by a court order. There, they average 100-150 legal abortions a year, with well over 1 million illegal abortions a year, and botched abortions being the fourth-ranked cause of death in pregnant women. Why can't we find some way to reach out to these pregnat women, reduce the associated mortality, AND reduce the overall number of abortions? Instead, the official policy of Christianity in general is simply to make abortion illegal. --- it seems to me that much of these "Christian policies" have some misplaced priorities, and that I'm not so convinced that these policies are the best "moral" solution.

Beth - I'm with la bona - strictly speaking, Santa Claus is not anywhere in the bible last time I checked, and indeed, Santa and the X-mas tree are not specifically Christian symbols. I believe they were adopted from paganism in western europe around the 10th or 11th centuries. I'm sure Rev. Beck could correct me if I'm mistaken. Regardless, I'm sure if the Pope was interested he could find a way that Santa Claus or Disney World provide bad influence on our children just as easily as Harry Potter.

And last comment...
Free To Serve, you said "Specifically, that 'the end justifies the means' In all three 'movie' installments of 'Harry Potter', Potter DOES WRONG in order for 'Good' to Triumph... THAT IS THE DANGER OF HARRY POTTER...not magic." A decent point. But it also tells how Harry often disobeys the rules in response to bad leadership of his elders (e.g. the Minister of Magic, Prof. Snape, etc.). Still, your point is a good one - but I don't think the solution is to somehow censor the book from your child's eyes, it is instead to temper what they read by pointing out what in Harry Potter is not to be emulated - read it along with your child and discuss it's good and bad points as you go along.

3:24 PM  
Blogger La Bona said...

email comment from Caroline Macdonald

I think it's a great shame that certain world church leaders see fit to criticise a series that has been responsible for increased literacy in our young. I also don't see any problem with books that encourage imagination either. Getting stuck into a book and losing yourself in its world is one of the great forms of escapism.

This attitude of course, comes from the church that resisted the usage of colloquial language as opposed to Latin, Galileo's theories and burnt hundreds of people at the stake for not agreeing with them! The less said about those who have burnt and those who continue to burn books in droves because of some imagined example of devil worship! Mind you, these are the same people who oppose teaching Darwin's Theory of evolution!

Wouldn't the world be a wonderful place if everyone was educated and enlightened enough not to have to put up with other people making choices for them???

At the end of the day though, this kind of comment only increases interest, which means that people are more likely to read JK Rowling/go watch Disney films to see what all the fuss is about, thus inadvertently bolstering those writers/companies. Oops eh?!

Keep talking! TSLC

8:31 PM  
Blogger bsotrh said...

Dear fellow bloggers,
In attempt to try and share the reasoning behind my point of view, please understand that I DO believe the bible to be the holy and inspired word of God, and to be infallible in it's entirety.

Unfortunately, this does mean that those who do not believe Jesus Christ to be the ONLY way to heaven will indeed spend eternity in hell, whether or not they are moral people per se.

To be politically correct (an unrighteous fad of our times) my beliefs state that in the end, only the choice of either believing in Jesus or not is what will discriminate the path in which you go. (e.g. Heaven or Hell)

Unfortunately there have been and still exist those who feel that it is within their right to change God’s pre-ordained truth to fit their non-conforming, sinful, lifestyles. In reality, if I didn’t know the full aspect of the truth or I refused to accept the truth of Jesus Christ, I would probably have tried to bend things to make myself feel better too! Today, there are people who call themselves Christians who are expressly not so. True Christians (or those deemed as Followers of Christ) are those (as defined by the word Christian) who make Jesus Christ Lord of their lives. Do we sin? Oh yes, we most certainly do. So what’s the difference? True believers of Jesus Christ (Christians) believe in Jesus Christ, and therefore believe that when he states that he is King of Kings and Lord of Lords that he is indeed so. It means we believe that the bible is truth.

You can not pick and choose the details of the belief within the scope of Jesus Christ, because he claims to be God, and in claiming to be God, claims everything within the bible to be truth. (He even reasserts it himself.) You either believe in the whole thing or simply do not believe.

I know that this sounds harsh and unrealistically unfair to some, but guess what… It is! As I stated earlier you can’t expect to be a citizen of God while not obey his laws!

So, if we Christians (followers and believers of Jesus Christ) are sinners and still sin, how can we ever be good enough? Doesn’t the bible state that any kind of sin, in any amount, is absolutely detestable to God? In answer to these often confusing questions, yes, sin, any amount of it and any kind is detestable to God. This is however where Jesus steps in. In the end (whether your end or the end of the world) Jesus will step in for his followers and basically claim us as being clean to God. He will cleanse us (and has already) of our sins, and will say to his father, “This one is mine, I paid his debt already.”

Jesus will NOT however do the same for you if you are not an active believer and follower. As a side note, a believer and follower of Jesus Christ has a powerful and precious relationship with him. This could be acquainted as knowing the president. You may state that you believe in certain politics, but you can not say that you fully believe in the president if you do not believe in all of his politics can you? Furthermore, the president probably won’t put his life personally on the line for your wrongdoings if he doesn’t know and care for you, will he? It’s the same with Jesus!

Jesus Christ doesn’t ask for perfection! He instead asks for your BEST effort and a deep relationship with him. He is God! Like the Santa Claus songs says, “He knows if you are sleeping, he knows if you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.” He’s not going to vouch for someone who truly does not even attempt to try, as you wouldn’t even dare think of holding a friendship with someone if they didn’t try with you either.

Christianity is NOT a free pass to go on sinning! It’s NOT a field trip! It’s hard work but totally worth it! A relationship with Jesus has more blessing in it than not, but those blessings are not always something we immediately see. (Most of the time we realize them later in life.)

I’m not sure why we feel that we are so important and mighty as to deserve redemption whether we try or not. Society doesn’t work that way either! If you don’t work, you won’t get paid! If you don’t have a relationship with the Son of God, you won’t get into heaven!

I hope this helps clear up some of the misconceptions I brought in to this discussion. I am not here to try and scream, “Bad person!” I’m only trying to show you the truth as I and so many others have learned it. I encourage you to actually pick up a bible and read it. (I’d start with the New Testament as it is easier to understand.) I know that it is sometimes hard to grasp, but there are people that will help you in understanding it. I’d be happy to help you too! If you’d like, there is a translation online (FREE) that you will probably be easier to read than some other translations. The address is http://www.bible.org/netbible/

I’d be more than happy to post comments to your next topics La Bona! I sincerely hope this helps you find some answers!

Rev. John C. Beck
johnb@christianheights.org

3:55 AM  
Blogger Blogosaurus Rex said...

"...I encourage you to actually pick up a bible and read it."

Why do you people always assume that anyone who disagrees with you hasn't read the Bible? Did you NOT read my comment Mr. Beck? I am very familiar with the Bible. I grew up a Christian. A very devout one at that. If you are going to debate me, (and I believe this blog is encouraging such debate) then debate me point for point, not with the standard Christian party line.

Yes, I do believe that Yehoshua (The person you call "Jesus") did exist. I believe he was an extremely extraordinary individual. However, I believe, after years of searching that much of his original message has been lost, or twisted purposefully by those who use religion as a way to control people.

The current translation of the Bible IS flawed. Badly. Just one small example, (and one relevant to this discussion) is the fact that many people quote a certain deuteronomy verse as containing the word "Witch" or "Witchcraft". This page points out that none of the ORIGINAL Hebrew words used in that verse actually have anything to do with Wiccans. It is also easy to see how the many different translations of a single verse can have different meanings. The version that contains the word "witch" is actually targeting all followers of a specific religion, and was not the intent of the original verse. (Not to mention that the term "Witch" would not have been known to the author of the verse.)

The history of the Bible is rife with controversy.

Read up on it, and you will discover that the early church was split between followers of James (Brother of Christ) and Paul (Saul of Tarsis). They violently disagreed on the direction of the early church. We are led to believe by religious leaders and people like Mr. Beck that the Bible is the one and only word of God. How convenient.

History shows that Paul's version of Christianity is the one that prevailed, not James'.

Paul (Saul of Tarsus, the Roman) never actually even met Christ. He had a "vision". How many people who have "visions" today are taken seriously? Paul was very prolific, and spread his word far and wide. James was not so prolific, and his version of Christianity is largely buried. Who would have been more credible, the man who spent his LIFE with Christ, or the person who simply had a vision? What does it say of Paul when he can disagree with a man about his own brother's teachings?

In fact, many people believe that Paul infiltrated the Church, and deliberately spread doctrine that was actually in opposition to many of Christ's teachings, in order to make them more friendly to Rome. I can't say for sure if this happened (no-one can) but there is ample historical support for this view. Either way, I cannot Pauline doctrine.

Paul's doctrines were still dominant when the Roman emporer Constantine ordered the Council of Nicea. The council decided on the books that would be included in the canon (Bible). Understand that Christianity had been around for over 300 years at that point, and many were preaching different doctrines, and versions of events. The council decided which books were valid and which were not. People believed as absolute truth anything that was told to them by religious leaders, mainly because most people were illiterate. Thus, religious leaders held great power over their people. A sudden change in their doctrine would have threatened their credibility. The council held, by and large, to doctrines that were already in place before the Bible existed. Anything considered contradictory, or irrelevant to those doctrines, was LEFT OUT of the Bible. Add to this all the bad subsequent translations of scripture, and it becomes less credible. There was great controversy over key points within the council as well. How can you accept such a thing to be infallible? Does faith blind you to logic? If so, that is a sad waste of an otherwise intelligent mind.

I cannot accept the Bible as the absolute word of God. Sorry. I don't know how anyone can, knowing how it came to be. I believe that saying that you believe the Bible, and ONLY the Bible, blinds you to finding truth.

I do believe in Yehoshua (Yeshua, Iesu, Jesus), and I someday hope to learn what his REAL message was. I believe that the more I search, the closer I come to him, God, and to REAL TRUTH. If you search, you will find many more amazing stories about Christ than are in the Bible. However, it requires you to have an open mind, which unfortunately very few fundamentalists have.

Seek and you will find.

The truth is NOT easily contained in a convenient book. It MUST be SOUGHT to be found. This is the information age. Information is more available than EVER BEFORE in history. Now is the time when humanity can awaken from its oppressed slumber, learn truth, and hopefully find God. Only then will we as a planet have true peace. A peace without war, discrimination and racism. Religion is often at the heart of ALL these things. Once again, WAKE UP!

And leave Harry, Mickey, and Santa alone for everone's sake.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Unchained Slave said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:38 PM  
Blogger Unchained Slave said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Unchained Slave,
No, I'm with Gwhiz2k. His point seems to be in line with my thinking, that the teachings of Jesus are certainly Truth, but the bible may not be a perfect record of his teachings. Afterall, the bible has endured quite a few versions, translations, etc over the centuries, and it wasn't until at least 200 A.D. until the books of the new testiment were compiled anyway. There were no reporters following Jesus and his disciples around, just recollections of his teachings put down on paper many years after the fact. Furthermore, if the bible is unarguable and literal Truth, why is it that Catholics, Protestants, etc disagree on some particulars?

No book, not even the bible, can perfectly record the complete Truth that Jesus attained, and taught, to his followers. All of us, yes, even his disciples 2000 years ago, can only hope to achieve a glimmer of this Truth. Just reading the Bible alone will not do it for you, and for any of us who are not Christ-returned to think that we have attained absolute Truth by any means is pure hubris.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Blogosaurus Rex said...

Please understand.

I am not against Christ at all. I am against the current version of Christianity, which has been heavily influenced by Saul. The Bible, in its current form, contains many writings by this person.

Bottom line: The statement "Either the Bible is all true OR it is all false" is illogical on many fronts. It would make a little more sense if it was all penned by one author, but it is not. It was penned by many different authors in many different periods. I believe many parts of it are true, but I also believe it's possible that some these parts may have been edited as well to suit the "church" dogma.

I have done a fair amount of digging in the last few days, and am now convinced more than ever that Saul's purpose was to subvert Christ's message, possibly in order to make it more palatable for Rome. He introduces concepts that are contradictory to Christ's teachings.

Inequality of women, sanctioning of slavery, condemning of homosexuality, and a host of other such things have all found justification quoting works of Saul. Just think of what kind of effect he has had on history, notably Christian/European domination of the world...

There are some who even consider Saul the first "antichrist". I don't know if I agree with this, but it certainly seems plausible considering what I have read over the years. How would Christians react to that? I personally am starting to believe that he was possibly the most notorious liar in history. There are many contradictions that Saul makes against Jesus' own teachings. Especially concerning a MAJOR pillar of Christian belief. Faith VS. works.

Rather than go on and on here, I will refer to a couple of pages that are pretty much along the same lines, and seem to be backed up with ample evidence.

Here is a page with a good history of how the Bible came to be:
http://www.liberalslikechrist.org/about/BibleStats.html

This site outlines the contradictions between Paul and everyone else. His Q and A forum is quite informative (if not long) as well.
http://www.wordwiz72.com/paul.html

This page supports Jesus as an Essene, but has some more good info about Saul's activities.
http://www.essene.org/Yahowshua_or_Paul.htm

More info about Paul/Saul
http://www.liberalslikechrist.org/about/paulvsall.html

I am not condoning any of these pages, only referring to them as sources for more info about paul.

My current stance is that we need to rethink the history of Christianity, and strip away the influence of Saul completely. I believe that a different and more tolerant view of Christ's actaul message can then be extracted from the confusion.

Also, the "church" is very quick to condemn modern day revelations such as the dead sea scrolls, and the Nag Hamadi library as heresy. I believe these to be clues to the truth, and they should be regarded as such.

You are right Unchained Slave... Oppression DOES come from Satan and sin.. what better way to oppress than to subvert that very thing which many believe to be absolute truth? Much oppression has been and continues to be inflicted on Human beings in the name of religion, including "Christianity", using the Bible as the "absolute and authoritative word of God". Thanks, you have opened my eyes yet a little more.

11:25 PM  
Blogger Unchained Slave said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:34 AM  
Blogger Blogosaurus Rex said...

One more for the road :)

Unchained, I DO find your politeness refreshing. You make your point without sounding condescending, as many end up doing. Thanks for the debate :)

I'm not sure why the link didn't work for you, I just tried it again.. maybe you didn't copy all of it? Here is an actual link:
http://www.liberalslikechrist.org/about/paulvsall.html

Coupla points:

1. "The law", when quoted in scripture usually refers to the law of moses, not the actual bible (which didn't exist in present form yet anyway)

2. The other references about "the word" being "The truth". I think we both agree to this, but disagree on what "the word" is. "the word" as mentioned there might refer to scriptures as they were then, but not to the new testament, specifically the works of Paul, which I am mostly contesting.

Anyway, here are a few more links that I find interesting:

Gospel of Thomas: http://www.misericordia.edu/users/davies/thomas/Trans.htm

Infancy of Jesus: http://www.misericordia.edu/users/davies/religion/InfancyT.htm

Gospel of Mary: http://www.gnosis.org/library/marygosp.htm

4:07 AM  

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