articulett: I think that’s the Jesus in your head– not the Jesus in the bible…
Mike Gantt: The only Jesus in my head is the one that got there from my reading the Bible.
articulett: Why do you suppose Jesus didn’t command against Slavery? Torture? Pedophilia Sexism? Why would he instead focus on “thought crimes” like coveting?
Mike Gantt: “Thought crimes” is a term that applies when humans try to control thoughts of other humans. It is an inappropriate term for describing our thoughts before God. So, let me use the term “sinful thoughts.”
The reason Jesus focuses on sinful thoughts is that this is the starting point from which all the evils you list come. To deal with sin at its roots is the only effective way to eliminate it.
articulett: Why would he not teach people useful scientific things– like “wash your hands frequently and your beloved children will be less likely to die from childhood diseases?” Or “the male determines the sex of the child, so quit punishing women for not having sons?” Or “Don’t blame rape victims for rape or force them to marry their accuser as the bible advises” or “There is no such thing as witches… “treat all humans the way you wanted to be treated– even the ones that are female or different races or different religions or that you think might be possessed or witches or demonic.”
Mike Gantt: Lay the moral code you just gave alongside the Sermon on the Mount and compare the two. You really think your version of morality is superior to His?
articulett: The Jesus of the bible endorsed slavery… he did not treat women as equals… he encourages men to hate their families and follow him… and if he is also the god of the old testament (as monotheism requires) then he is horrific. He advised people to “dash the little ones upon the rocks”! He commands all sorts of murder and commits all sorts of murder himself.
Mike Gantt: You are just reciting a list of contrived grievances, put together for the sake of making a case against faith in Christ. You are talking about Jesus the way Jesus talks about Satan. Do you really think Jesus is evil?
articulett: I think you may be a nice guy Mike and you are projecting your niceness onto Jesus. But if you discriminate against homosexuals or non believers or those of differing faiths, then I don’t think I’d think you were so nice. If you try to disrupt the teaching of science with creationist obfuscation, then I would rescind my compliment.
Mike Gantt: I am not projecting my niceness onto Jesus. I am trying to put myself in a position each day so that He can project His niceness onto me. Although I am a long way from perfection, I am also a long way from where I used to be.
articulett: I think you are more moral than Jesus, because if Jesus existed, he doesn’t any more. The only thing we can know about him is in the bible and, as Bart Ehrman discovered, much of it was not in the very earliest writings. Some stuff that was in the earliest writings were left out. The gospels conflict. I think you’ve trained yourself to see Jesus through your belief that he is divine.
Mike Gantt: I know something about the lives of Jesus of Nazareth and of Bart Ehrman. Faced with a choice, I know who I would trust with my life.
articulett: What do you think is the most divine thing Jesus did or said. Is it something that you would expect from an omnipotent omniscient omnibenevolent being?
Mike Gantt: The most divine thing I think Jesus ever did is not something I would have expected from an omnipotent, omnisicent, omnibenevolent being: He died for my sins on a cross of cruel rejection. And not for mine only but for those of the whole world.