These sayings may have a Biblical sound to them. But they are not Biblical.

Jesus

The Judge of the World

 

They set aside the teachings of Jesus, the apostles, and the Hebrew prophets,

but unfortunately fit well with current neo-con (new Republicans’) or neo-lib (new Democrats’) American values. They were written by Eric Mader in the early 2000’s during the Bush years. This is list 2; you may also want to see list 1.

The column on the right shows how some of the original sayings actually appear in the Bible. Please compare!


 

“The New American Bad Bible”

Spirituality, God

  1. When you pray, do not pray in a corner, like the meek do. For they have their reward. But when you pray, do so over an Evangelical Network, and your prayers will gather contributions. For thus does the righteous man get his due.
  2. Those who die for a cause shall receive their death. And those who send them to die shall receive everlasting life.
  3. It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a European* to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. [In the early 2000’s the Christian right despised “Europeans” for resisting Bush’s assault on Iraq. Today you could substitute “Muslims” or “Russians” or “black lives” or any number of groups. The religious neo-cons vary their targets frequently, just – it seems – so they can keep their followers riled up.]
  4. Yes, faith can move mountains. But strip mining is faster.
  5. The Kingdom of heaven is like a tax shelter.
  6. Approach like a dove, then devour like a snake. And then, digesting, put on the dove act again.

The Religious and Ethical Experts

  1. Woe to you, academics and intellectuals! You carp on and on about justice and truth, while the world’s riches are there for the taking! You neither use your wits to grab what you can, nor will you let others grab what they can!
  2. Woe to you, academics and intellectuals! You quote from laws and statutes as if men were made to follow laws, when it is otherwise; law was made to be changed by the righteous!
  3. Woe to you, academics and intellectuals! You trouble yourselves washing the inside of the cup, when all the customer sees is the outside! Your ventures will sink under such scruples!

The Beatitudes

  1. Blessed are the selfish, for they shall inherit the earth.
  2. Blessed are the rich, for they shall become much richer, and shall keep their riches to the last penny.
  3. Blessed are those who call themselves righteous, for they shall dictate unto the others, and the others shall find themselves without rights.
  4. Blessed are those who find loopholes for their misdeeds, for their misdeeds shall be overlooked.
  5. Blessed are those who are well placed, for they shall receive protection.
  6. Blessed are the liars, for their lies repeated often and loudly enough shall be called truth.
  7. Blessed are you when people criticize you and point to your crimes, for you shall be given dodges to evade any truth.
  8. For my Father in Heaven sees your shrewdness and greed, and you shall be rewarded.

The Real Bible – What Jesus Actually Said.

 

      So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. [Matthew 6:2-4]

 

      And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. [Matthew 6:5-6]

 

      Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.’ You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple … You blind men!…

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices — mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law — justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence…

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness…

You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? [Matthew 23:13-33]

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
  • Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
  • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
  • Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
  • Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
  • Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
  • Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

[Matthew 5:3-10]

 

 


I have a question:

How in the world

can professing Christ-followers allow themselves
to protect, support and justify
those who live by such false and deadly perspectives?

Jesus

And I Have Three Crucial Observations:

Please notice:

1. These sayings are not exaggerations.

They are pretty accurate.
Those who do not wish such things attributed to them
should neither live that way, nor promote those who do.

2. Let us not pretend to be surprised or offended

Not in the least. If we knew our Bibles we would know the Bible is full of complaints about exactly these kinds of thinking and behavior. And in Bible days these were often being practiced and promoted by the religious teachers and the political leaders whom they supported. We should FULLY expect it, and be watching for what the Bible indicates we will find around us.

3. We really have to choose.

Which line of thinking – and acting – will we honor and endeavor to follow? Jesus makes it pretty clear which line he is in. We really are being pressed by Jesus Himself to make the right and healthy choice – regardless of how people around us are choosing.

Featured Articles

Threat leads to assault. Hate leads to violence.

Hitler Defended Christian Morality and Family Values

Current prominent figures, speaking words the "Christian Right" wants to hear, are not the first national leaders to use Christian morality as a rallying cry. These words are from 1933: "The National Government will preserve and defend those basic principles on which...
Read More

German Christians Sold Out to Power and Glory

[A Review of Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, by Charles Marsh, 2014] This book is not written to coddle nor to discomfort whatever our self-image is as American Christians today; Marsh is trying to show reality. To me, two eras of Bonhoeffer's life seem...
Read More
Karol Wojtyla, John Paul II

John Paul II: Private Prayer and the Dangers of Public Life

Connie and I recently watched Karol: A Man Who Became Pope. It portrays Karol Wojtyla's life from his late teens, when the Nazi's invaded his city and nation, through WWII, then through decades of Communist rule (as a satellite of the Soviet Union), up to the day he...
Read More
Gun on Bible

Christians Should Not Enforce the Bible.

Here's another example of the misunderstanding and misuse of Scripture by the 'religious right'.  This was quoted to me to show that no Christian could ever vote for Democrats. "Don't you realize that if even one person is allowed to go on sinning, soon all will be...
Read More
Neighbor

If You Do Not Love Your Neighbor Whom You CAN See – Can You Love God?

The author of "1 John" makes a simple, blunt, very logical analysis of our emotional attachments - or professed attachments. (1 John 4:20) If you do not love your brother whom you can see, how can you love God whom you cannot see? Well, John, that's easy! We do it all...
Read More

The Civilized Are Responsible

Originally published in 1976. My how times have not changed. The civilized have created the wretched, quite coldly and deliberately, and do not intend to change the status quo; are responsible for their slaughter and enslavement; rain down bombs on defenseless...
Read More
100 quotes

100 Quotes

Nerd alert! This is a list that used to be behind the quote widget on the upper right of the page. They are from various places, maybe half from my personal reading (books). I'm not documenting sources because I don't have time or did not record them. There's good...
Read More
Religion Running Government, Theocracy, We would regret it

Theocracy (Religion Runs the Government) – We Would Deeply Regret It

I am a church person, a person of faith. But I don't think we need a government that rules as if it were the voice of God. This nation's Constitution was written partly in order to help us avoid theocracy. Unfortunately there are Americans today who clearly think the...
Read More

The Moral Priorities of Jesus – What Did Jesus Teach?

He said, "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord' but do not do what I say?" Maybe he meant it. This short book (40 pages) is available as a free pdf, or as a paperback at LULU.com (see the links below). It treats the following issues.  Here, each chapter title is followed by...
Read More
hand writes with a pen in a notebook

The Quiet Places in Our Lives Make Our Public Activity Safer

Contemplation and Public Action The public good is most in danger when the voluntary visits to contemplation are neglected in favor of immediate communitarian action. We don't have to go off and become full-time contemplatives. But times of stepping aside from the...
Read More
Moral economic behavior stressed by Isaiah

Are Economic Matters a Moral Issue? Isaiah Thinks So.

In spite of Isaiah, and other Bible sources, we’ve all heard this - something like: I. It is NOT the government’s place to interfere in economic matters - tell people how they should spend their money or how they should treat their employees. That warps economic...
Read More
Jesus - What Does He Want?

Why I Pay Attention to Jesus Christ

WHY? Why should we focus any more on Jesus Christ than on Abraham or Moses or Isaiah? Or on the laws in the Bible, or prophecy, or the end of the world? Is focus on Jesus more needed than pointing out sins – especially other people’s sins? Is Christ actually more...
Read More

Why Many Christians Do Not Vote Republican

This was written about 12 years ago (as of today, in February 2017). Wow. And the problems remain, and have grown; which means these things still need thinking and talking about. References and Bible quotations...
Read More

Two Types of Religion – Authority, Love

Sometimes I feel there are obviously two primary modes for religious practice in this world. That amazement is the opposite of complacency and self-satisfaction. And that gentleness is very different from constant critique and...
Read More
Jesus - What Does He Want?

Is Trump a Christian? How Could We Tell?

There was some excitement among certain Republican Christians when Dobson said Trump had become a "baby" Christian and should be cut some slack on that basis. Two problems with that: A novice at practicing the Christian faith is not someone we should automatically...
Read More

Is Jesus’ Style “Judge Thy Neighbor”? Is That Jesus’ New Commandment?

Jesus was a highly respected teacher of morality and of the spiritual life. So, logically enough, a man asked him to take a stand on a moral issue between the man and his brother (Luke 12:13-15) - Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide...
Read More
fish racism

Jesus and Racism – Samaritan Lives Matter – Black Lives Matter

Samaritans in Jesus' day were both religiously and racially despised. The phrase "Samaritan lives matter" would have been very offensive to the Jewish culture in which Jesus was raised and in which he was a teacher and doer of good. But to Jesus, clearly Samaritan...
Read More

Prophets MUST Improvise, In and For Our Cities.

The prophet’s task is to “reorder” and “refashion” the urban environment to be more just and peaceable. Yet ... the work of social transformation must be based on a deep inner transformation. That's the burden of this excellent book (quote from p97). Resurrection City...
Read More

On War – and Its Effects on Humans

Quotes from the e-newsletter I get from Information Clearing House. ... the United States, for generations, has sustained two parallel but opposed states of mind about military atrocities and human rights: one of U.S. benevolence, generally held by the public, and the...
Read More
brick-layer at work

The Kingdom of God. God’s New Economy. We Are Called To Do It.

"Over and against these senseless modern myths ... there is the "myth" of the God of goodness who has chosen people to prepare a kingdom of justice, truth, and love on earth. This myth dies hard. Why should we refuse to admit that Christ taught it to us?" [from Andre...
Read More

Turn the Other Cheek – means Resist Them NonViolently

I. THE PROBLEM: Jesus says to turn the other cheek. [See a summary of this post.] Is it ever appropriate for Christians to resist authority? Many of us feel there is much in the behavior of our national leaders that cries out for criticism and resistance. Are...
Read More

"THIS IS HOW they made the pleasant land desolate."

The Bible fairly often makes a direct connection between the desolation of a land (and its people - and, obviously, its economic life) and moral corruption in the people's prior social, legal, and economic patterns. Here's an example from Zechariah 7. The residents...
Read More