Judgement Day

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And the Lord said to them, ‘Let’s have a look how you got on. You fed the hungry, right?’

And they answered, ‘Well, we gave some money to charity a couple of times and we’re pretty sure the charity fed the hungry for us.’

‘Okay,’ he said, ‘I suppose I can give you some credit for that, though I have to say I was looking for something a little more… hands on. How about when people were naked – you know, needing their material needs met. How’d you get on then?’

‘The charities did that too, we think. Maybe.’

‘And the sick and imprisoned? You bother with them?’

‘Not so much,’ they answered. ‘Look, Lord, if people can’t take care of their own health needs or choose to live lawless lives, then that’s up to them. It’s really not up to us to help them out, now is it.’

‘I see. So how about the stranger, the homeless, the immigrant? You take any of them in? You cared for them?’

‘Well, no. I mean, if you’d said that’s what you wanted doing we would’ve done it, wouldn’t we. But you didn’t make it clear.’

‘I thought I had,’ he said. ‘Maybe it got lost somewhere in translation. Selling all you have to give to the poor, then? Surely some of you did that.’

‘One or two extremists maybe, but look where it got them. Obviously that daft instruction was meant only for the guy you were talking to – you know, the rich young ruler or whatever he was.’

‘Well, not exactly. I said it so many times in so many ways you’d have thought you’d have got the message.’

‘We’re not socialists, you know, even if you are,’ they said.

‘So how about turning the other cheek, then? Or going the extra mile? Giving to all who ask? Surely you managed those?’

‘Well, no. We felt you were speaking metaphorically when you said all that. You didn’t seriously expect us to do such ridiculous things, did you? I mean, we’re not doormats.’

‘So what is it you did in my name?’

‘Well, we accepted you as Lord and Savior. That’s all that’s required, isn’t it?’

‘Not really,’ he said. ‘Not if you didn’t do as I asked.’

‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, becoming exasperated. ‘We’re washed in the blood of the lamb. Sanctified and redeemed.’

‘You’re what?’ he said.

‘Sanctified and redeemed. Made spotless. You know, like Saint Paul explained.’

‘Saint who?’ the Lord said.

‘We worshipped you and praised your holy name,’ they went on. ‘Filled with your Holy Spirit we witnessed unto you and defended your Holy Word.’

‘But you didn’t actually do as I commanded?’ he said. ‘And you think that’s good enough?’

‘We stood up for you and for family life. We spoke out against unbelievers and sodomites and all those who were unholy, lest they bring down the Father’s wrath on all of us.’

‘You didn’t consider that to be judging, then?’ he asked. ‘Something else I told you not to do?’

‘Oh no, Lord, not really. We decided what you really meant was it was okay to judge so long as it was done righteously. We always judged righteously, so that was fine.’

‘Well,’ he said, ‘what can I say? You came up with a much better agenda than the one I left you with. Come in and dwell in the house of the Lord forever. You’re my kind of people.’

And, lo, the self-righteous stepped forward, ready to surge into heaven.

But he stopped them in their tracks. ‘Now you just hold on,’ he said, ‘I was being metaphorical there,’ and he stood up to his full height and cleared his throat. ‘Here’s the deal,’ he said, ‘Not everyone who keeps saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will get into the kingdom from heaven, but only the person who keeps doing the will of my Father in heaven… So, get away from me, you who practise evil. I never knew you.’

‘What?’ they said. ‘We didn’t think you really meant that. We’re washed in the blood of the lamb, you know.’

 

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Idiotic Stuff Jesus Said 3: Whoever Is Not With Me Is Against Me

ForUsJesus is reported as saying both that ‘Whoever is not against us is for us’ (Mark 9.40)
and ‘Whoever is not with me is against me’ (Luke 11.23). What he doesn’t seem to realise is that these two statements, each ridiculous in its own right (there is always the third option of not caring either way), mean exactly the opposite of each another. The first is inclusive and relatively friendly. The second is hostile and exclusive; it says, in effect, ‘If you don’t give me your unquestioning devotion you are my enemy.’

This is not the claim of a fully-realised divine being, but of a paranoid megalomaniac. As with much of what he said – or is reported as saying (which is not the same thing) – Jesus reveals himself to be very human; flawed and completely egotistical.

He sets up, as all cult leaders do (and, indeed, as all human groups have a tendency to do) an ‘Us and Them’. Elsewhere, Jesus describes Insiders and Outsiders, with all the rustic charm of a first-century peasant, as the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25.32). It’s still a favourite pastime of Christians to segregate themselves and others into these two categories. They do it with real sophistication these days, of course (I mean, ‘sheep and goats’… c’mon) but it still comes down to Us and Them:

If you’re a mainstream evangelical you’re Saved, while those who don’t subscribe to your brand of Christianity are Lost or Of This World.

If you’re a Bible-believing fundamentalist you’re Regenerate but others are Unregenerate (or Degenerate).

If you’re a Jehovah’s Witness you’re one of the True Church; other believers are part of a False Christianity.

If you belong to the cult formerly known as the Children of God, you’re of The Family and everyone else is part of The System.

If you’re a Roman Catholic you’re the Only True Christians, while all others are Damned.

and so on, throughout all of the 34,000 different Christian sects and denominations.

It is an essential part of the Christian faith to regard yourself as belonging to the only True Church. Everyone else – from those who don’t buy into religion at all to every other faith group – is wrong. They’re an enemy of Jesus because, not being for him or with him in quite the right way (your way) they are, according to the warped logic he expresses here, against him.

The so-called Prince Of Peace proudly declares that he came to bring strife and division into the world (Luke 12.51), which, to this day, remains his greatest achievement. His idiotic words about being either for or against him have proven to be a gift to every sect, cult and church that has ever existed.