Evil Bible Lesson #1 – JESUS: “Execute them in Front of Me”

“KILL MY ENEMIES” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)Bible page

“bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King and execute them in front of me.” (Luke 19:27)

This parable of Jesus about obedience. The nobleman in the story is a veiled reference to Jesus himself and he warns of executions for servants who disobey – as in anyone who, disciple or not, refuses to achieve purity.

According to church teachings Jesus is referring to the Parousia – the supposed Second Coming – saying he will not be the one to judge, round up and kill the bad servants himself when he returns from ‘far away.’ Jesus will instead hand this gruesome duty to the good servants who followed his rules.

And those good Christians will need to be very Sadistic to carry this out. Jesus is clear – he will not instruct them to have any mercy but to “execute them in front of me.”

Lesson Question:
If Jesus is against sin, how can he also insist his most merciful followers be so sadistic?
And what then is special about the Parousia if Jesus brings nothing of his own judgement or actions to the process?

Think about it.

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About Atheist Max

I'm a former Christian who became Atheist in middle age. My blog is a journal of how I lost religion and discovered a better life. For Peace, Civility and the Separation of Church and State
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33 Responses to Evil Bible Lesson #1 – JESUS: “Execute them in Front of Me”

  1. Jason Cooper says:

    Should those who reject love be shown love. Or those that reject mercy, or salvation, be shown that too? It’s true God is loving, but if you read the bible you’d see he does have a spectrum of emotions too. If there was only ever mercy than why would there be a hell? It’s true God is merciful but it’s a silly thing to stand before a judge, who loves justice, and expect to be pardoned because otherwise you’d die. There was made a way for this perfect judge to show perfect mercy and still people will reject it. Free will, after all.

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    • Atheist Max says:

      Jason,
      Are you agreeing with me that God’s judgement is no better than human Justice?
      I’m glad you are admitting God’s laws are exactly what men would invent.

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      • Jason Cooper says:

        Again you make it seem as if we should expect God to be kinder to us, at least kinder than a human judge. Isn’t that funny? It’s like you think he ought to love his enemies. But then if we take this in context, I mean as long as we assume he bore the judgement that would be on us being crucified and forsaken and all that, you’re only kidding yourself to think he doesn’t love us.

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        • Atheist Max says:

          Jason, I don’t know whether God loves us or not and I don’t think his messages are very clear at all.
          On the one hand you tell me it makes sense for god to not forgive his enemies (Just as a normal angry person would not forgive an enemy) yet he also instructs us to ‘forgive enemies’ – so which is it? Is God sinning by not forgiving his enemies? Or are we being duped by a god who doesn’t mind sinning himself and also wants us to join him in sinful behavior?

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        • Atheist Max says:

          Jason,
          I don’t expect God to be kinder to us. That was not my point at all.

          Please understand – God can do whatever he wants if he exists except for this > He cannot demand evil actions from us while claiming those same actions to be sinful and worthy of damnation!

          Read the post carefully. Jesus is saying he will tell his good servants (Christians) to round up the bad servants by THEMSELVES and those good Christians will then be commanded to execute them in front of Jesus.

          Jesus has already claimed that this sort of merciless behavior will send you to the eternal fires of Hell!

          In other words, Jesus will not be helping you decide who the bad servants are – he will send you out to find them yourself, and then you will have to kill them.

          Who is a bad servant of Jesus? Doesn’t that description fit everybody in one way or another?????

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        • Jason Cooper says:

          In my last comment I’m trying to point out the vast difference between what justice and mercy are. When it comes to God it would only make sense to expect mercy by having faith in his character. As to him sinning and telling us to sin this seems to me a little far reaching. In this parable the king’s enemies are referred to early on and are separate from his servants. At the end the servants who failed him are dealt with harshly, but the enemies are those citizens that hated him and refused to acknowledge him as king, and even beyond that they were going out trying to hinder him. This is all very different than the those who were given the money; they at least recognized themselves as servants. The point of the parable seems clear to me, it’s not really talking about punishment or mercy, that’s a parable for a different day, this one is about giving God the respect he deserves. It’s saying we should reflect in our actions that one day we’ll stand before God and be judged for the things we did for him or against him, and act with this in mind.

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        • Atheist Max says:

          “It’s saying ..one day we’ll stand before God and be judged for the things we did for him or against him, and act with this in mind.”

          Yes. It is a warning and a threat.
          But the judge will not be Jesus according to this Parable. That is what you are missing.

          The Nobleman (as Jesus warns) returns and instructs those near him to do three things:

          1. “Go and bring to me those enemies…”
          In other words, “you determine who my enemies are…”

          2. “and bring them to me” after you select them.

          3. “And execute them in front of me”

          There is nothing for Jesus to actually do! He simply lets the people sort this out amongst themselves.

          I see it as an obvious, nightmarish flaw in the Second coming. If Jesus conducts the second coming this way, it would be Sinner VS. Sinner since nobody is pure according to the Lord.

          How could a good God leave us with such a CHAOTIC, violent message? Think of how many millions of people have already killed others thinking they were blessed by god to do so.
          Yet reading it carefully, it is impossible to see how it has any redeeming qualities.

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        • Jason Cooper says:

          There are just too many assumptions here. Why think It’s not well known who these enemies are, or that Jesus points them out? Why think he’s speaking to Christians and not angels, also his servants but with supernatural sight? Or even Christians made perfect with his coming? I know your purpose here is to make Jesus appear evil but this is a really strange place to start. After all, it’s a parable. This is just a story he’s telling to teach a lesson, not how it’s literally going to be. I mean he mentions going away to conquer another kingdom, there’s no one who believes that’s what Jesus is doing now.

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        • Atheist Max says:

          I am not making any assumptions at all.

          Why does Jesus tell the Parable of the Minas?
          He wants to instill fear in his followers and warn them to not be among those servants who did not follow his instructions while he was away.
          There is no other lesson or point to the parable. A bizarre story about a Nobleman who returns and slaughters bad slaves would have no other use.

          Christians have used this parable for 2000 years to proclaim how Jesus will conduct things when he returns.

          Of course the Parable itself is a fiction. There was no real Nobleman.
          Jesus is using the well-known Greek Homeric Epic of Odysseus who returns after a long journey to find his house overtaken by renegades.

          Jesus’ followers would have known exactly what message was being given to them – Odysseus was the most popular fiction of the ancient world.

          Some scholars think Jesus never actually said this parable – like so much of the Bible it appears to be conveniently inspired to protect property owners, particularly owners of slaves – but who knows?

          What is more important to me is whether or not modern Christians agree that such a barbaric and primitive message is moral or not.

          If the message of this parable is immoral, which I think is clear – the next step is deal with the consequences of that discovery and to NOT make assumptions for which there is no evidence.

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        • Jason Cooper says:

          You did assume his enemies were former servants, also that this is saying Christians will be going out to retrieve and kill people that may not even be enemies. You know, it’s okay to make some assumptions, there’s not a lot of information to go on here, but this theory that it was inserted to justify slavery is too far reaching. Also, I never thought of the Odyssey being relevant here but you’re right they are similar, but only in a very basic way. Then again I’m sure there are loads of stories similar in that way, like the Lion King, even though that’s G rated. So ‘would that barbarism be justifiable?’ Well, if we assume this is a picture of Jesus’ return, and all that goes along with it, at this point in the thought experiment you can’t think of him as just a mortal king like Odysseus or Simba, he would be God incarnate. This would be the being who created the laws of nature, the laws of morality, and generally everything that sustains all of reality. He would be the one that created and sustains life, and yet these people didn’t want to acknowledge him and even fought against him. What right do they have to life if they fight against the very one who’s giving it to them? It’s like they’re people who hate the ground because of the way it presses against their feet, but then don’t want to be flung into outer space. There’s no middle ground for it.

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        • Atheist Max says:

          I’m only reading what the text says.
          The sentences have a structure – Jesus is clear about who he is addressing.

          But why would you believe God or Jesus created or sustained life?

          Also why would you think slavery is “too far reaching”?
          Jesus completely endorsed and supported slavery very explicitly:

          “The slave shall be beaten if he knew his duty and did not do it.” – JESUS (Luke 12:47)

          Jesus through Peter commands slaves to surrender to slave masters and slave owners of all kinds:
          “Slaves, submit yourselves to your master’s wishes even the perverse” – (1 Peter 2:18)

          Are there no examples where the word of Jesus should be refuted? In what way are these instructions moral?

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        • Jason Cooper says:

          Your first sentence- that’s true for the parable, but as to who these people represent in reality is open for interpretation. I believe God created life because there can be no other explanation. And yes the process of evolution perfects life. And yes, it could be the natural laws of the universe bring about the process of evolution. And yes these natural laws may be produced by the way our universe expanded very early on, which may be just one of a larger multiverse, which has laws of its own that brings about an infinite number of universes, and maybe further still that we may never know, all brought about by God to produce you and everyone else here now. But that’s just my belief. Saying its slipped in to endorse slavery is far reaching bc there’s nothing to imply these people were slaves. Just saying they had a job to do is relatable to everyone on earth who needs to work. Plus as you quote there’s plenty of ways to endorse slavery in the bible so why would you need one more? I’m not convinced Jesus is endorsing slavery in your quote. Couldn’t he be just stating a fact? Just admitting that slaves exist isn’t endorsing it. I do however know that Jesus wants us to completely give up on ourselves and that is a lot like endorsing slavery. I can imagine him saying to be a slave just as much as saying if someone punches on the cheek offer him your other one. Or if somebody steals your cloak give him your shirt too. Or go sell everything you have, give up the whole life you know, and follow me. It seems like nobody can do these things, and yet Christians aspire to one day be able to, with perfect peace of mind, if only we trusted him enough. As to peters quote: Peter believed Jesus’ second coming was imminent, as did all the disciples, which is the reason they didn’t bother writing the gospels until much later. To peter the most important thing in that moment was only to make your heart right with Jesus in preparation for his coming, everything else, and I mean everything, paled in comparison.

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        • Atheist Max says:

          Jason, you are free to believe what you want. But these things you said need to be commented on:

          “open for interpretation.”
          That is the problem with it. No matter how a Christian interprets it, it gives them permission to act accordingly. Very dangerous.

          “I believe God created life because there can be no other explanation.”
          This is known as the ‘argument from ignorance’ and it is a fallacy. Why one god? Why not 20 gods? why not pixies? You are placing one mystery on another mystery and it resolves nothing.

          “it could be the natural laws… infinite number of universes… all brought about by God to produce you and everyone else here now. But that’s just my belief.”
          So long as you ADMIT you are SPECULATING I’m fine with that! Just don’t claim it to be true. You have no evidence – yet – that your belief is a truth.

          “Couldn’t Jesus be just stating a fact? Just admitting that slaves exist isn’t endorsing it.”
          Jesus supposedly scolded the Pharisees for hypocrisy. Yet when talking to slave owners, soldiers and executioners Jesus blesses them along with Yahweh’s laws which speak to them – he never scolds a slave owner nor slavery itself.

          “I do however know that Jesus wants us to completely give up on ourselves and that is a lot like endorsing slavery.”
          Yes. You are admitting a lot right there. Jesus wants you in your entirety – but is Jesus real? a god? or is Jesus yet another legend of our culture – a convenient tool which we distort at our whims? Are ‘slaves’ of Jesus really any better behaved than the rest of us?
          Look at how Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin use Jesus for political ends – even if they are not trying to be fake about it, the results are fake.

          “I can imagine him saying to be a slave just as much as saying if someone punches on the cheek offer him your other one.”
          Yes, this is the fundamental idea of reciprocity – an ancient code known as the “Golden Rule”. Treat society as you would want society to treat you.
          It is thousands of years older than Jesus and it requires no gods.

          “Christians aspire to one day be able to, with perfect peace of mind, if only we trusted him enough.”
          All you have to do is the best you can – regarding the golden rule. Jesus has nothing to do with it. Jesus did not invent the golden rule.

          “Peter believed Jesus’ second coming was imminent, as did all the disciples, which is the reason they didn’t bother writing the gospels until much later.”
          So the dangerous passages of the gospels should be deleted because they are no use to us anymore since Jesus did not return.
          – right?

          “To peter the most important thing in that moment was only to make your heart right with Jesus in preparation for his coming, everything else, and I mean everything, paled in comparison.”
          So then what do we do with these gospels which are so wrong about so many things? Jesus didn’t return as he promised.

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        • Jason Cooper says:

          That’s just free will Max. You’re also free to interpret and act accordingly with whatever you see fit; a holy book, a constitution, a scientific theory. Ironically you may even be convinced one day that there’s no such thing as free will, or that your conscience is just a biological tool that may be ignored, and act accordingly. We do live in a very dangerous world.

          To me God is the best explanation for existence, and I am one of those Christians that feels it’s so apparent that everyone ought to believe even though I have no evidence (besides existence itself). But of course no one has evidence of what came before the big bang, that shouldn’t stop you from speculating though. It seems too convenient that this universe is so fine tuned for life so a theory does have to come about that explains it. Right now the multiverse theory seems to be what most scientists believe is the answer, but belief is all anyone has because there’s no evidence, and even if there was a multiverse it would also have to be explained. We’re all ignorant on this. To me God is the best answer, and why the Judeo-christian God is another story.

          Max, Jesus came to be crucified. His way of dealing with the corruption of the world was to take sin all on himself and die. There’s no manifesto that would’ve abolished slavery, prostitution, drug cartels, abuse, or anything else. As you know, people may still take his words and twist them to whatever purpose they want. Isn’t it a little ironic that he did choose his words very carefully to even urge people to misinterpret them? Such as the quote ”To be my disciple you must eat my flesh and drink my blood.” The people were horrified with this and many other things he said, and they did indeed crucify him because they believed he was evil. And here you are metaphorically crucifying him for his words today.

          I don’t know what to say to some of this and I don’t want to write too much. I guess if you really want to press it you can bring it up again. I don’t think religion has a place in the political process. I don’t even like it when pastors write letters to their churches about why Donald Trump would be a bad choice, even though I agree.

          Nothing gets thrown out. Peter’s quote about slavery illustrates the urgency of getting your heart ready for God, not that slavery is ok. It’s clear to me that you ought to think of that repulsion you have for slavery, how much you would want to escape that situation, and understand that this should be even more important.

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        • Atheist Max says:

          Jason, Let’s keep this going a bit further. I understand the way you are coming at this because I was a devout Christian for several decades as you probably realize. I am now an Atheist NOT because I became smarter – but because I gained a few insights which were not available to me as a believer.

          You said:

          “That’s just free will Max.”
          But it isn’t. I do not have the ability to believe in Jesus right now. I do not have a choice in this matter – Free Will is an illusion regarding Jesus. Once you discover why Jesus is unbelievable you cannot go back through ‘will’ power. It can’t work.

          “To me God is the best explanation for existence”
          WHY?

          “no one has evidence of what came before the big bang, that shouldn’t stop you from speculating though.”
          Right – and I enjoy speculating and guessing – but when it comes down to a claim; ‘god did it’ that is not speculation anymore – it is a an absolute claim about a very specific God. And from that claim is a fountain of other claims….don’t be gay, don’t use contraception… blah, blah blah.
          Don’t you agree it is okay to speculate but WRONG to make a claim?

          “It seems too convenient that this universe is so fine tuned for life…”
          Yes. It is amazing and awesome – I do not argue against how awesome and peculiar it is. My problem is this: What says a God did this?

          “Jesus came to be crucified.”
          Let’s look at this claim. Why would it make sense for God to come to earth as a human only to arrange for his own suicide (Lamb of god) as a sacrifice to himself to save humanity from a Hell which he could easily obliterate if he wanted to?
          By the way – according to this theory the plan of crucifixion only works for those who believe in it. This makes it even more unlikely to be a true thing.

          “There’s no manifesto that would’ve abolished slavery, prostitution, drug cartels, abuse, or anything else.”
          Right – Because religion is a man made attempt to create sensible taboos for our culture. Jesus is an enforcer of taboos.
          Primitive cultures always had taboos long before Jesus.

          “they did indeed crucify him because they believed he was evil. And here you are metaphorically crucifying him for his words today.”
          I am NOT crucifying Jesus.You need to study what crucifixion is. Talk and discussion are NOT crimes and certainly not crucifixion.

          “I don’t think religion has a place in the political process. I don’t even like it when pastors write letters to their churches about why Donald Trump would be a bad choice, even though I agree.”
          Right – that is very smart of you.

          “Peter’s quote about slavery illustrates the urgency of getting your heart ready for God, not that slavery is ok.”
          So if your Mother were a slave being tortured by a slave owner and you had the chance to free her, you would not free her? You would comply with Peter’s command that she be forced to endure ‘even the perverse master’???
          I find that shocking!

          ” you ought to think of that repulsion you have for slavery, how much you would want to escape that situation, and understand that this should be even more important.”
          Imagine telling your mother or sister or cousin those words while they are enslaved!
          The Southern Baptist Church was created by slave owners to ensure children of slaves would not see fit to free their families in the name of Jesus Christ.
          Please do not let that point go past you!

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        • Jason Cooper says:

          Ok

          We were talking about how you’re free to interpret things and act on it, so I’m assuming you mean it’s not possible for you to interpret the bible in a way that makes you believe in Jesus. But of course that’s true. Was there something else to this? Science ought to teach you that the best way to truth is to leave your biases/beliefs at the door and only after careful critical analysis return to them and see what really fits. I know saying that makes it seem like I’ve found good reason to believe in God that should make even the most skeptical a believer, but that’s not true. After all, faith is absolutely essential to walking with Christ, it’s how a Christian moves and breathes. But, yes, when it comes to free will, belief and interpretation are separate things.

          Well if you really want to know, I believe it was God because I was smoking pot one day and had what they call a ‘mystic experience’ where I believe I encountered Jesus. Isn’t that funny? (it’s okay to laugh, though it’s actually very embarrassing to me so try not to laugh too much). It’s mostly embarrassing because I at least recognize it’s not respectable to base any belief on such an experience, either as a christian or an atheist (which I was at the time), because it may be just a trick of the mind, or a hallucination. Yet I experienced something I can’t put into words, and have many times afterwards (but even that may just mean I’m breaking down psychologically). When I experienced this, God asked me why I didn’t believe in Him and then showed me the answer: because I didn’t want to seem stupid. Now here I am, seeming very stupid to you, and trust me there’s no pride in that.

          Christians must claim some things because faith demands it. There will always be room to doubt God. Even after 10,000 years of living with him in heaven, though he’s been good to you it may turn out he’s very sadistic and was just playing an evil game the whole time, making you feel safe then giving you hell. It’s a fundamental problem because God will always be infinite and we will always be finite. Another example; it may be like we are computer programs and God is the programmer, he may create every aspect of our reality and consciousness and though it may feel like I’m my own person, perhaps these thoughts are just what he programmed to be there. Faith is despite all these doubts (that he may even be an evil God) and step towards him, casting your hope on him and his goodness. Following this pattern it only seems natural to us to claim that it was the Judeo-Christian God who created the universe, but I can see why you’d have a problem with it.

          Jesus was crucified to save us from God’s coming judgement. Because the world is corrupted we are all born into sin and our destiny is to die / go to hell. God miraculously changes our destiny through Jesus when our hearts are one. By accepting that you are a sinner and accepting his salvation, that he died for you and suffered God’s punishment for your sake, you are actually dying with him on that cross and being resurrected in his heart. It’s like there’s a truck coming our way, there’s no stopping it, and you can now put on a suit of armor that can take all that damage easily, and you will live. Or like we were all born on the titanic after it struck the iceberg. It’s all going down and Jesus is a life boat everyone may fit on if only they believe it will save them. Removing hell from the picture doesn’t fix anything because there’s still the fundamental problem of sin. Even if God patched the titanic there are still icebergs it would run into eventually. Or if he removed the ocean (or our free will) then the boat would just be stuck. God’s solution is to instead make you truly unsinkable. Just because people need to believe it doesn’t make it less likely to be true. There are many people who believe vaccines do more harm than good and don’t give them to their kids. It doesn’t affect the reality that vaccines do help.

          There’s an informal definition to crucify: criticize someone severely and unrelentingly. Sorry if that seemed like I was saying you were doing an evil thing. I was just pointing out the irony that you’re doing it to Jesus, the most famous victim of the cross.

          If my mom was being tortured in slavery I would very much want her to be free, and if it was within my power I would definitely do it whether or not she believed in God. But as an issue of the heart, even more than wanting her to be free I would want her heart to be right with Jesus. You should understand the world back then was a very dark place. Slavery, oppression, violence was everyday life for them and it was terrible and nothing was going to change it for a very long time. It wasn’t within Peter’s power or any other one person to abolish slavery then. The best way for people to deal with this impossibly desperate situation was to find someway to make sense of it and understand there’s a better world to come. In the end they took Peter’s wife and children and crucified them in front of him. He was absolutely powerless to physically help them but he knew Jesus was waiting for them and I’m sure he said so. So you think the bible would be better if it took a stand and said at that moment to free all the slaves? You know it’s not like christianity was the dominant religion back then, saying something like that might’ve gotten it squashed out of existence. The bible is in no way perfect, and does leave a lot open for interpretation, and every day we do piece together a little more and the world is getting better. You know, our dna isn’t perfect either, but it’s these imperfections that allow us to adapt over long periods of time and survive in whatever age or culture we find ourselves in. Horrible mutations will always come about until that day of perfection, but even so the trend of history is getting less violent, less oppressive, and generally better (so long as those religious nuts don’t kill us all).

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        • Atheist Max says:

          Jason,

          Thanks for your response. You are not, nor would I assume you to be stupid. You seem to be approaching things with a lot of thought and you are looking for clear ways of talking about these things.

          Christians and Muslims are not stupid for believing in religion. I was exactly like other Christians – I know exactly what it feels like to pray to Jesus and believe his love is everywhere.

          But you said some things which confuse me:

          “It wasn’t within Peter’s power or any other one person to abolish slavery then.”
          That isn’t true according to your religion. Why wasn’t there a commandment against Slavery? God made commandments against murder and stealing – why not Slavery? or Rape? or Torture?
          Did God not want to improve human behavior?

          Furthermore, why did God command slavery and encourage Slave owners with blessings upon their slave ownership? How to make a slave permanent property is the 11th Commandment.

          “The Slave master must take his slave to the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his slave for life.” (Exodus 21:6)

          “I am the Lord…As you approach a town to attack it…all the people inside shall serve you as slaves.” (Deut. 20:10)

          Jesus blesses slave ownership.
          Did you know that?

          “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.” (Ephesians 6:5)

          “All who are under the yoke of SLAVERY should grant their masters full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered.” (1 Timothy 6:1)

          “God said….You shall buy male and female slaves from the foreigners who live among you, also their children..You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your own children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this…”
          God (Leviticus 25:44-46)

          Now consider the insanity
          of this problem:

          God demands ALL slaves submit to their masters even the most perverse – BUT IF one is a slave of Satan (for example) what is the literal recourse? There is NONE!
          How does one run away from Satan without violating God’s slavery laws?

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        • Jason Cooper says:

          Well, thanks for that.

          Again we have to recognize the world and their culture was very different than what we have today. These texts are literally speaking to a people of 2,000 years ago and more, and that’s not something that can just be swept aside. As difficult as it is for our modern minds to imagine, slavery was a reality and the world without it (the world as a whole) was something inconceivable to these people. Civilizations were built on the backs of slaves and economies were dependent upon them, yet this is not excusing it as a necessary evil, it was a natural symptom of a sinful world; the same as murder, abuse, genocide, sex trafficking, etc. The human race was like a child growing up, at this time there wasn’t much experience in such an ignorant world to reflect upon. God was very specific in his commandments to teach a people how to live in such a world, but they still had to live in it and slavery would be a part. So why wouldn’t God command the people to not take slaves? I don’t know the answer, but my faith in his goodness carries me through the problem. I know God cares especially for the lowest people of societies, the bible as a whole is very clear on this, and the continuing process of ending slavery is something I celebrate as a fellow-human but especially as a Christian.

          If you want to be free Jesus paid the price. All you have to do is accept it.

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        • Atheist Max says:

          Jason,

          Why did God command slavery? He commanded slavery – he was not the remedy for it. He did not object to slavery.

          Do you understand my question?

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        • Jason Cooper says:

          Max, God doesn’t command slavery. And most abolitionists were urged on by their Christian beliefs.

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        • Atheist Max says:

          Jason,

          Somehow you missed exactly where I showed you God commands people to have slaves. It is his 11th Commandment.

          “The Slave master must take his slave to the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his slave for life.” – GOD (Exodus 21:6)

          “I am the Lord…As you approach a town to attack it all the people inside shall serve you as slaves.” – GOD (Deut. 20:10)

          Jesus through Paul blesses slave ownership. This is a way of showing Divine support for slave masters:

          “Slaves, you must obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.” – Paul (Ephesians 6:5)

          “All who are under the yoke of slavery shall grant their masters full respect for God’s sake.” (1 Timothy 6:1)

          “God said….

          You shall buy male and female slaves from the foreigners who live among you, also their children…

          ..
          they shall be your property, passing them on to your own children as a permanent inheritance…”
          God
          (Leviticus 25:44-46)

          Slavery is commanded by God.
          It took civilization 1800 years to throw away enough of these scriptures to finally get an abolitionist movement.
          The Southern Baptist Church was created to stop the Abolitionist movement in 1830.

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        • Jason Cooper says:

          Oh, so is this the part where you accuse me of not hearing you, and I accuse you of not hearing me? I’ve already addressed these verses. There’s no 11nth commandment though both Leviticus and exodus are guidelines on how to conduct yourself in the world, as it was thousands of years ago. Slavery was a part of it.

          No scripture was thrown away. Pastors still use these verses but in metaphorical ways.

          As we’ve already said, you can interpret anything to mean whatever you want. People wanted the slaves so they made it seem appropriate in the bible, abolitionists did the opposite.

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        • Atheist Max says:

          How did you determine only one of these is a commandment !?

          “You shall have no other gods before me. Yahweh (Exodus 20:3)

          “You shall buy male and female slaves as your property.”
 – Yahweh (Leviticus 25:44-46)

          What did you mean when you say God “does not command” slavery?

          Like

        • Jason Cooper says:

          The difference between the two is simply this, one of them is written in stone, it stands unalterable through time and whatever the culture shifts to (hence the adage ‘written in stone’), the other isn’t.

          I have a question for you Max. Assuming you believe slavery to be evil: what’s the type of moral ground you stand on to judge it as evil, is subjective or objective? Subjective doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, because you’d understand these people lived thousands of years ago and their subjective morality would’ve been very different from yours so why would you expect them to be “better”? On the other hand, do you believe they ought to have known better because morality is objective and just something built into the universe?

          Like

        • Atheist Max says:

          Jason,

          “written in stone..unalterable”
          I don’t understand. Where is the stone?
          Please explain – Are you suggesting the rest of the Bible is alterable?
          How does that work?
          Are you saying the 10 commandments (which were never numbered by Jesus) are absolutely not to be broken no matter what? Don’t you sometimes have to work on the Sabbath like most people?

          “What is the type of moral ground you stand on to judge…”
          MORALITY is about well-being. This has always been true.
          Well-being for yourself, your loved ones and those who are part of your community. No religion is needed for this.
          THE GOLDEN RULE requires no gods and predates all the world’s religions: “Do not do to others that which you do not want done to you”
          This is also called the ‘Law of Reciprocity’ and it is older even than the ancient Code of Hammurabi 10,000 years ago. We know this because ancient cultures often had ideas for centuries before they wrote them into stones and Hammurabi was written on such a stone. The Hammurabi stone still exists.
          As you know, Jesus is very recent history compared to that.

          “People who lived thousands of years ago…why expect them to be better?”
          I wouldn’t. They were ignorant about a lot of things and had societies structured with Kings and an ownership class. Serfs had no choice – there was no capitalism. Money was limited within a kingdom or empire and barter was a very inefficient way to get anything done.
          They were not better than us. They can’t be blamed for not knowing about germs or antibiotics or where the sun went at night.

          Marcus Aurelius wrote extensively in ancient times about morality and he never mentions a need for a god – and his works are free to anyone who wants them online.
          Also many stories; Homer’s Epics and Aesop’s Fables were very powerful moral tales in ancient times. They are as fictional today as they were then.
          None of those wise tales of right and wrong ever mentions Yahweh or Jesus.

          Like

        • Jason Cooper says:

          “He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets.”

          The rest of the bible isn’t alterable. There are bones to the bible and there’s flesh. The ten commandments are like bones, and other verses served some purpose in the past but isn’t so relative to us today. Like all that section on how to deal with someone when they get sick and there was no germ theory. It doesn’t get thrown away so it still serves some purpose either metaphorically or at least a picture of how things once were, which is interesting in itself.

          You’re right these laws cannot be kept perfectly because we’re not perfect, yet they can’t be broken. But as a former Christian you ought to know “…For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.”

          If you’re arguing that morality doesn’t come from religion then I would argue for you. The most immoral people tend to be religious in my opinion, and ironically Jesus had the harshest words for the religious leaders and their hypocrisy, but you haven’t answered my question, or at least not clearly. Do you believe your morality, and its base by which you judge people or gods to be evil, to be subjective or objective?

          Like

        • Atheist Max says:

          Jason,

          You asked,
          “Do you believe your morality, and its base by which you judge people or gods to be evil, to be subjective or objective?”

          Morality is only determined
          by one thing: Well being.

          Moral decisions require consideration of the context of the situation (as you admit God does). But unlike God, humans must care about well being above all else.

          So it is sometimes necessary to harm a child with a needle prick in order to give them a vaccine. In other words, it causes temporary harm for better health later.

          But to injure someone needlessly is immoral.

          God certainly has no objective morality:
          “Slaughter them all, women and children..” – GOD
          “Rape them in daylight” – GOD

          There is no objective morality in any case.

          Like

        • Jason Cooper says:

          Thank you Max. I hope you see this is a difficult question for whichever side you fall on. It seems to me your belief most closely resembles subjectivity because after all it would be up to us humans to determine what is well being, and the best way to get there. To do these things we use our knowledge, experience, and (when we don’t have either of those) we use our minds to come up with the best opinion we can. But it is important to know that all these things (what we know and experience) is derived from the information available and our culture. The problem with subjective morality comes when you have to make judgements either by calling something good or evil because to do so you must assume your moral ground is higher than the person you’re judging (not necessarily meaning you are morally superior, but at least that by which you judge is). So using your example of the vaccine we know there is pain and suffering, which is not apparent well-being to the infant, but the doctor stands on higher moral ground because he sees the good the infant can’t, even knowing there’s a chance that vaccine can backfire and do huge damage. The infant may judge the doctor as evil, but it’s easy for us to see the moral ground he crawls on is too limited to make that call, the infant of course doesn’t realize it though and thinks he’s evil anyway. In the same way we shouldn’t be calling God evil, it’s way too arrogant to assume your moral ground is superior to an infinite being, that your ways are above His ways, or that your thoughts are above His thoughts. Of course you don’t believe in God, but to assume He’s real in a thought experiment (as you would have to do in order to call Him evil) it’s because of these things that I just don’t see it passing.

          I hope I’m not creating the feeling here I’m just trying to beat you in an argument, because I’m not. What I really want you to know Max is that God is good, despite our many doubts, and He still loves you. You are currently taking that position of nailing him to the metaphorical cross, but even as they were nailing him to the literal cross He pleaded for them saying, “forgive them Father, they don’t know what they do.” I’m convinced that even though you’ve come to the insights you have which makes you an atheist, you don’t actually know what you do. And that’s not a slight on your intellect or your morality, because I do honestly think you are very intelligent and good person, but simply because some things we can’t know. Faith comes from God and I pray He gives it to you, even though you don’t want it. Otherwise, I wish you well Max.

          Like

        • Atheist Max says:

          Jason,

          You said,
          “The problem with subjective morality comes when you have to make judgements either by calling something good or evil because to do so you must assume your moral ground is higher than the person you’re judging”
          I do not see a problem with being subjective. If a person is acting immorally (against well being) they are behaving dangerously toward themselves or toward someone else.
          That is exactly the time to judge a situation and see what, if anything, you might be able to do to intercede and lesson the harms.
          What is the problem with calling such behavior ‘evil’ if it causes needless suffering?

          “…the doctor stands on higher moral ground because he sees the good the infant can’t…”
          There is no ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ moral ground. That is a needless criterion. The doctor’s behavior is simply either moral or it isn’t. In the case of vaccination the doctor is clearly being moral by inflicting a tiny bit of suffering for long term well being.

          “even knowing there’s a chance that vaccine can backfire and do huge damage.”
          Life is NOT EASY. A correct Moral action does not always result in happy outcomes.
          But if the choice is to let a baby get Polio and die paralyzed at age 7. Or take a vaccine to prevent that from happening – there is no question that the vaccine is the moral choice.

          “In the same way we shouldn’t be calling God evil”
          Wrong. God has nobody’s well being in mind – therefor he is immoral. He is only interested in obedience and conquest. The Bible is a story of one God attaining conquest over another God (satan) – it is not about morality.
          If Voldemort were claimed to be real I would say he is immoral too. But Voldemort’s existence is not argued about – so I don’t bother pointing it out.

          “it’s way too arrogant to assume your moral ground is superior to an infinite being”
          Well, if you don’t believe that being exists there is no possible way to be arrogant towards it.
          You don’t believe in Apollo. Do you feel arrogant to speak down to the character of Apollo? I hope not. I don’t see how you could.

          “assume He’s real in a thought experiment”
          If God were real he would be a contradiction unto himself and it would be a waste of time to interact with him. He would spread immorality – which is exactly what belief in Gods always does.

          “What I really want you to know Max is that God is good, despite our many doubts, and He still loves you.”
          I have hundreds of people who love me already. Wife, kids, friends… Why should I cheapen all that wonderful love by imagining a worthless sort of love such as God’s? It demeans my loved ones to have that happen to them – to rank their very real love as less valuable than the pretend love from a god – It goes against their well-being! It would be immoral of me.

          “forgive them Father, they don’t know what they do.”
          NOW YOU ARE LEARNING! So even if God exists and we can’t understand any of his existence and in our ignorance reject his commands – we will still be forgiven anyway!
          You are only making my position stronger. God will forgive us for rejecting him even if we are Atheist AND CAN’T BELIEVE IN HIM.
          So why bother with any of it? Life without God makes more sense and is much simpler and happier.

          “I’m convinced that even though you’ve come to the insights you have which makes you an atheist, you don’t actually know what you do.”
          And I’m convinced you are beginning to realize that God is a paper tiger – a fake. If he forgives everyone who does not know what they do – he must forgive everyone since nobody really knows anything about which God is the real god and nobody can prove it either way.
          Abandon the whole thing, I say.

          “Faith comes from God and I pray He gives it to you”
          You are surrendering your mind because it is the easier way to go. The meaning of ISLAM is “surrender”.
          Good luck with your prayers. You’ll need it.

          Like

  2. Brian says:

    This is unrelated to your atheist belief system, but earlier in January you seemed to be in a heated discussion with deists and you placed in bold letters that Jonas Salk was an atheist. I was researching him online and I found your site and one called Aussiegirl. He hated to be categorized as either a theist or an atheist. His concept of creation and the natural world included both perspectives. He did not agree that scientists had to pick sides.
    Here it is from an old Blog called Aussiegirl:
    Herb Meyer shared some memories of dinners with Jonas Salk. What a dream that must have been. I share Dr. Salk’s opinion, I don’t see why there has to be an either/or proposition — after all — everything in the universe was set in motion by the great creative hand of God, including all the laws of physics, quantum theory, and the secret of DNA and the mystery of evolution of life. One of the interesting things to ponder about Intelligent Design is the incredible number of so-called “anthropic coincidences” inherent in the universe which made the evolution of life even possible, and indeed led to the expansion of the universe as we currently see it rather than its almost immediate extinction or implosion. As one scientist so beautifully put it — “Man is the universe taking a look at itself.”Here’s the excerpt:

    Back in the early 1990s, Jonas and I would meet for dinner about once a month. His willingness to sit and chat with me, and to answer my questions about science, was among the greatest privileges of my life. At dinner one evening at a restaurant in La Jolla he liked to frequent, I told Jonas that I’d been reading some books and articles about Intelligent Design, and asked if he’d been following the debate. He nodded, so I plunged ahead and asked which side he was on. I was startled by the vehemence of his response. Jonas started to shake his head from side to side, slammed his knife and fork onto the table, and let fly:

    “Why do I have to choose? Why must it be one or the other? Of course evolution is real. DNA mutates, and that makes evolution one of the most powerful forces in nature. But who set evolution into motion? Can’t God have done that? I can’t stand it when the ideologues take over on something like this. Don’t ever let yourself be caught in one of these “either/or” debates, because when you finally figure it out – it’s usually a bit of both.”

    posted by Aussiegirl @ 10:48 PM
    Of course one can choose to deny the credibility of the sources. But in this context, I need no further evidence for my satisfaction. From my cursory examination, Jonas Salk is one of the most important people in the history of mankind. If anyone could have risen above the debate, it was he.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Atheist Max says:

      Brian,
      Thanks for contacting me about Jonas Salk. I was familiar with Salk’s feelings from other materials.
      Some people think Atheism is a claim that God does not exist – they are wrong.
      Salk was being asked whether God existed or not and he did not want to be pigeonholed on that question. He did a great job of explaining why he did not know and why he did not want to choose whether god existed or not. But that argument has nothing to do with belief. Salk clearly did not believe in a god.

      I’ll explain:
      ATHEISM only means one thing:
      “I do not believe in God”
      Atheism is not a claim god does not exist – it is not dogmatic. It is an opinion about gods.

      Salk said, “Why do I have to choose?”
      This is what one says when one does not believe in a God.

      I am like Salk in the same way. I do not believe in a God.
      But does God exist? I don’t know – I cannot choose to deny God’s existence if I am honest about it. And I don’t have to choose either.

      But I don’t believe in God. And LACK of belief is the important part which defines the word “Atheist” – it is different from being asked whether or not God exists. Salk did not believe in God. But he (like me) refuses to claim God does not exist.

      I agree with Salk. God may exist. But Salk was as much a non-believer (Atheist) as I am.

      Like

  3. Stacey says:

    Dear Max, you said your wife and kids love you. Would they die for you. If there were only one piece of bread left in the whole world, would they give it to you or eat it themselves? Jesus did die for you. Jesus gave his life for yours and “if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord”, and believe in your heart that God raised Christ from the dead you shall be saved (Romans 10:9).”

    Like

    • Atheist Max says:

      You are making an emotional appeal to me. It won’t work.
      You need to explain why Jesus is real. And if you quote the Bible to me, I will quote the Three Little Pigs to you. I do not believe the Bible is anything but a bunch of old silly stories. Very bad ones.

      Like

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