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The Church: A hou/se

Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of th...

Americana itself

To use the words of that icon of Americana [no, not baseball, apple pie or Chevrolet], Abraham Lincoln, from a speech given in 1858 given in the town made famous for being home to the Simpsons [Springfield], he said

A house divided against itself cannot stand.

which oddly enough, given Lincoln’s distaste for Christian dogma is a paraphrase from Matthew 12:25 which says

Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand’.

This post is directed to Christians [although atheist, agnostic, Buddhists, Muslims and everyone else is welcome to read]. Let’s face some facts. As of 2001 Christianity had over 33,000 denominations. Not all of them had major differences in doctrine but quite a large number had some fairly major differences in core Christian beliefs. I am not one to believe anything attributed to Jesus, I am not even sure he existed but to those of you that do profess to believe in him, pay attention to the words attributed to him above.

Christianity at it’s very beginnings started with a division between Paul and the disciples left in Jerusalem. Things just got much worse as time went on. One body is what you hear Christians proclaiming but a split into 33,000 personalities would do Sybil proud. Let me digress a moment here, well more than a moment so bear with me. Who started Christianity or rather who invented Christianity? Was it Jesus [who may not have existed but for arguments sake let’s say he did] or someone else? How about we waltz through the 4 gospels in the New Testament and scour them for the 7 “I am” statements of Jesus. I am neither going to insult Christian’s intelligence by listing the 7 statements nor bore anyone else by doing so but not one of them says anything about starting a religion. Let’s delve a bit deeper and consider the entire New Testament. There are 15 reasons given for Jesus coming, a few of them were said by Jesus [ironically enough one says he came to bring a sword, which cuts and divides] yet again not one says anything about starting a religion. So I ask you Christians, who are you following?

Let’s take a look at a passage all Christian’s should be familiar with. It is just 4 small verses Mark 10:17-21. In the NIV these verses are titled the rich young man

17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” 18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’” 20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” 21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”

Ok, seems clear enough. The question asked Jesus was how do I get eternal life. The answer Jesus gave was follow the commandments including the one you think is hard, giving charity isn’t exactly a commandment but close enough. Please keep in mind that this was a young man. Now let’s fast forward a few years when this rich young man squandered all his money and went out into the world and got himself a job. Wasn’t a great job but the benefits were that he could beat prisoners whenever he felt like. He was a jailer, as luck would have it [not luck, my version of events] he was the jailer where Paul and Silas were jailed. Let’s take a look at Acts 16:30-31.

30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

Anybody notice anything strange there? Did Paul contradict Jesus? Who are you Christians really following? Can’t be Jesus because if it was you would be following the commandments and have no possessions besides what can sustain life. Or are you following Paul and his easy path of just believing?

Christianity was a house divided amongst itself practically from the moment it’s savior was executed. Not only were their doctrinal differences between Paul and the disciples in Jerusalem but as can be clearly seen above their were differences between Paul and Jesus. Reading this I sincerely hope [bet you thought I was gonna say pray] that most of you understand just a little better why I have such problems with the dogma of Christianity and also I hope that this small article has given any Christians reading this something to think about. Let me end this with a little video once again by the Thinking Atheist and aptly titled, A House Divided.

[tweetmeme source=”noreligionblog” only_single=false https://noreligionblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/10/the-church-a-house/%5D

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12 Responses

  1. Jesus said that many would come in his name but he would tell them to get away you workers of lawlessness….

    False christianity is divided against itself and it will fall…

    Gods church and true Christianity remain in full agreement and will be here long after all other churches have fallen…

  2. Looking into acquiring additional readers, do you have any tips?

  3. Ok, the coward is here. Or so you say.
    So lets start with where in the Bible does it say the rich young man and the Jailer are the same person. You said it so back it up.

    Rick b

    • I would if I said that but can you show me where I said it did? Over on the other blog I noticed you correctly quoted what I said in brackets yet you turn around and ignore that?

  4. Non said :I would if I said that but can you show me where I said it did?

    Below you said,

    Ok, seems clear enough. The question asked Jesus was how do I get eternal life. The answer Jesus gave was follow the commandments including the one you think is hard, giving charity isn’t exactly a commandment but close enough. Please keep in mind that this was a young man. Now let’s fast forward a few years when this rich young man squandered all his money and went out into the world and got himself a job. Wasn’t a great job but the benefits were that he could beat prisoners whenever he felt like. He was a jailer, as luck would have it [not luck, my version of events] he was the jailer where Paul and Silas were jailed.

    You said the rich young man squandered all his money, then got a job as a jailer. Please back this up from the Bible, you did say this. Your clearly confusing the prodigal son who blew all his money, but then got a job feeding pigs, then left and went home. If you cannot get something this simple correct how can I believe you really know the Bible well enough to attack it? Rick b

    • Do you have a learning disability? Where did I say the bible said that? Do you know what the words between the brackets in what you quoted mean?

      as luck would have it [not luck, my version of events] he was

      In any case what was being pointed out is the difference between what Jesus said versus what Paul said. Now I would think you should want to apologize for falsely claiming i said that was from the bible.

  5. Are you serious? You said exactly what Rick said you did. How can he quote it, when it’s right from your post, and you say you never said it? Is this some kind of joke? How can you outright lie, when anyone can read exactly what you wrote above? That makes no sense at all. Please, tell me you are joking.

    • Are you blind also? What did I write between the brackets in what Rick quoted and you read? Truth be told unless you morons start reading properly your getting banned from the blog.

  6. Ban me if you want.

  7. Cults like each individual Christian denomination start as small home groups (ekklesias) which initially thrive through conversion, recruiting new members. The early Church was like this for nearly 300 years.

    Once they reach a critical size, as many of the people around them who are willing join, stagnation turns to political methods to force others who are not so willing to join.

    This started around 300 CE when the church managed to get sufficiently involved in politics to shut down the persecution against themselves and turn it on others to force them into the Church.

    The Church quickly becomes a political state institution and as corrupt as that entails. Clearly there are many parallels between Emperor Constantine’s Roman Catholic Church and the crazy cults collectively trying to become the State Religion today.

    It’s hard to believe that most of the denominations despise each other intensely. Which denomination would become the true state religion? How would the other denominations feel about that?

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