May 31, 2011

Part I – Will the Real Messiah Please Stand Up?

Hitler, one of the many
false Messiahs that the
world has followed.
By Francis Nye


Is Jesus the Messiah? To answer this, my Jewish friends tell me you must really ask a two part question.   Does Jesus fulfill the 21 signs and requirements of the scripture and does he embody the personal qualifications of the Messiah?  This week in this two part series, Will the Real Messiah Please Stand Up? I am going to tackle the first part of the question; does Jesus fulfill the 21 signs and requirements of the scripture?


I am a fact based person that looks at everything in a logical way. The Bible has a laundry list of requirements to determine who the Messiah is but first it is important to understand where the idea for the Messiah came from.  The Messiah concept came from an established religion, Judaism.  Judaism claims a historical continuity spanning more than 3000 years. It is one of the oldest monotheistic religions, [1] and the oldest to survive into the present day.  Not only is it the religion of these desert peoples of the Middle East it is also their philosophy and way of life.[2]   God revealed his laws and commandments to one of these people namely, Moses on Mount Sinai in the form of both the Written and Oral Torah.[3]  Included in God’s laws passed to these people are signs and requirements of the coming Messiah. 


Most of the scriptural requirements concerning the Messiah, what he will do, and what will be done during his reign are located in the Book of Isaiah, although requirements are mentioned by other prophets as well.  There are by my count 21 requirements that are written in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Psalms. 

So does Jesus fulfill these requirements?  Let’s look at some of what the Bible say he will accomplish:

The Torah (The Old Testament) says that the true Messiah will:

·         Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).

·         Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
 
·         Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore." (Isaiah 2:4)

·         Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: "God will be King over all the world -- on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One" (Zechariah 14:9).

Does Jesus pass the first part of the test?  The historical fact is that Jesus fulfilled none of these messianic prophecies. 
 
Christians counter that Jesus will fulfill these in the Second Coming, but Jewish sources show that the Messiah will fulfill the prophecies outright, and no concept of a second coming exists.  Since the God told the Jews what the requirements are I would counter that the Jews would be in the know. 

One could argue that Jesus has more in common with Krishna than the Messiah.  (See http://www.near-death.com/experiences/origen047.html for the 22 identical life experiences between Jesus and Krishna) Maybe the Christians got it wrong.  Jesus is the reincarnation of Krishna and not the Messiah, but that is a topic of another post.

Next week I am going to tackle the second part of the question; does Jesus embody the personal qualifications of the Messiah?





[1] "Religion & Ethics - Judaism". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/judaism/. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
[2] Jacobs, Louis (2007). "Judaism". in Fred Skolnik. Encyclopaedia Judaica. 11 (2d ed.). Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale. p. 511
[3] "What is the oral Torah?". Torah.org. http://www.torah.org/learning/basics/primer/torah/oraltorah.html. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 

May 24, 2011

2011 Rapture Scam

By Francis Nye



Some ask me are you ever afraid of running out of material for your blog or how do you come up with a post every single week?  My answer;  There is always someone, somewhere on this little blue ball we call home that will do something or say something so stupid or outrages in the name of religion that I have a hard time choosing what to write about.  Just the Christians alone are so damn entertaining.  The Cult of Christ never ceases to amaze or delight.  This week all the talk was on Harold Camping and his rapture scam.



Really -was any sane or rational person for even one moment worried that the end of the world was going to happen last weekend?  Yet so many people who otherwise live normal lives flock to this man, Harold Camping.  People are so damn gullible it is frightening.  Many of his followers gave up their jobs and spent their life savings and now they are left with nothing. 



This manic or gifted man, I am still undecided, advertised on billboards and ran other ad campaigns in an effort to convince everyone that the world was coming to an end.  The reason I say he may be brilliant is that according to his IRS tax filings he made tens of millions of dollars with his message of doom.  That’s right; I used the “M” word, millions.  People were giving to his ministry by the truck loads in order to fill the hole in their souls.  People turn to religion when their lives have hit a low point and this man and others like him know just what to say and do to get people to believe such utter nonsense.



Now that the end time has come and gone and they are still here do you think he will be giving refunds?   When will people learn you can’t buy your happiness through religion?  That these cult of personalities that are out their selling the so-called message of Jesus are nothing more than frauds and charlatans.  When will America realize that your problems won’t go away sometimes no matter how much money you throw at it?  There is no quick fix or supernatural way to solve your problems.  Sometimes you just need to learn to deal with it.  People need to start telling these Jesus freaks that enough is enough.  Stop feeding the beast of religion.  Its appetite will never be satiated. Ω TRT

May 21, 2011 Is Judgment Day; Family Radio's Harold Camping Prepares for Biblical Rapture





May 16, 2011

God Defined

Image from the game; God of War
By Francis Nye

The most misused and misunderstood word in the English language might well be the word “God”. It is a word used freely like water from a public drinking fountain in today’s society.  Literally hundreds of millions of English-speaking people use this word.  It is used by Christians in reverence and as a curse word by the not so reverent.  Yet so many do not understand the true meaning of the word and what it represents.  So can it be that misuse of the word has today given the Creator a bad name?  I think it has.


What is really surprising is that many Christians acknowledge a belief in the Bible. Yet in a literary sense, the word “God” never actually appears in any of the original languages of the Bible. Instead, such words as Yahweh, Elohim, Ho Theos, Adonai or Ho Kurios are used.  The word “God” is Germanic and dates back to before the 12th century.  It found its way into English-language through such translations as the King James Bible of 1611. But its origins are decidedly both racial and “pagan.” So the most important word in the Christians lexicon first of all is a term that is far-removed from the scriptures.

What has done probably the most damage to the idea and word of “God” has been the use of it by religious adherents in their justification for war. Throughout history, more people have been slaughtered in the name of God or its ideological derivatives than for any other word.

This fact perplexes me since the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines God as the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe.  He is also merciful, loving, and compassionate.

Churches also show their bigotry when railing against homosexuality while saying little or nothing about corporate greed and political power plays that place profits and selfishness over people and destroy our precious environment in the process. Today’s hypocrisy of the Christian churches is leading many to flee the teachings of Christ for a secular life style.  More and more people have had enough.  This is collaborated by the Pew Forum on religion that shows a steady fall in church goers year after year.

Either religious people need to change their ways to emulate their creator’s mercy and love or we as a society need to redefine the word God to mean hypocrisy, violence, and hate.  Ω TRT

What are your thoughts on this situation?  Please let me know below in the comment section.





Crazy American Fundamentalist Christian





May 10, 2011

Team Prayer: In Jesus Name We Play


By Francis Nye

When I was younger and in sports, coach would have us all huddle around for a moment of prayer before the game and ask God to give us the strength to beat the opposing team.  This is one of those things that left me to wondering, does one really think that the almighty is going to intervene and cause one’s team to be victorious?

Seriously think about it.  Two groups of twelve year old boys are going to square off at a football game and the adults that are running the show (the coaches) ask for divine intervention so their team can be victorious. 

Let me paint the scene for you.  Saint Peter comes running up to God all out of breath.  God…God…, oh thank heaven I found you.  I have these two urgent requests from a couple of coaches.  They desperately need your help in crushing the other team.  Which you will choose, Saint Peter asks all wide eyed.  I can only imagine what god thinks when these two prays are dialed into his hotline.  He probably rolls his eyes and says, give me a break.  These two idiots can’t be serious.  With people dying of dieses and hunger and a whole host of other disasters that are going on all over the world, these two morons are wasting my time with this! 

All I have to say is they are lucky I am not god.  I don’t suffer fools and idiots like the Almighty obviously does.  If I received a pray request like this I would send a bolt of forked lighting and smote both coaches in one shot.  They would be nothing more than two smoldering piles of burnt meat and hair.

There was a poll taken that asked, “Should coaches at public schools lead prayer?”  Out of the 943 individuals that were polled, 61% said it was wrong.  Thirty-three percent said, yes, it was good for the team.  Three percent said they didn’t care and 1% was undecided.   Interesting that most people were against it but it still goes on.  If I had to guess I would surmise that the majority did not want to offend the minority.  I would also further postulate that they know God really isn’t going to intervene so what harm could it cause. 

Can you imagine the row if God really did intervene? What would be the point of having the match?  God would always pick his favorite team.  It would no longer be a test of skills and tactics.  Sports would be subjective.   Stats would be meaningless.  Athletes would no longer feel the need to practice or workout.  Coaches would no longer have to spend hours watching game films or coming up with clever strategies. 

The entire contest would be a joke.  Instead coaches and athletes would have to come to practice to work on their praying skills instead of their batting skills for example.  Athletes could be gangly four-eyed geeks or fat kids with lasagna stains on their uniforms and peanut butter breath instead of the lean muscular jocks.  Schools would hire clergy to coach their teams instead of someone versed in the finer points of a particular sport.  Then it would be a pissing contest as to who has the best priest, rabbi, or shaman.  In hind sight I guess for once and for all we would finally find out which religion God prefers by the number in the win column.

I like going to sporting events.  When I feel like a lazy afternoon I go and see a baseball game.  When I am felling the need to watch a brawl on a Friday night hockey is my venue.  Whether it is baseball or hockey I am always moved by the national anthem.  There is something to be said for how Francis Scot Key portrayed one of the battles of 1812 from the deck of a ship in those immortal words of his poem which today was put to music in our national anthem.  To this day thousands of people stand at sporting events basking in their nation’s pride as they remember how the Brits tried to lay siege to an American fort but to no avail, as we all sing “and the flag was still there”.  This part of the song always makes me choke back a tear or two.  Oh, how I wish I could write poetry like that.  It is simply beautiful.

However, the basketball team, the New Orleans Hornets has marred this beautiful scene and has added prayer to there opening ceremony.  Simply put this is disgraceful.  Before each and every Hornets game for as long as the team has been in existence, a Christian invocation is done at half court before the national anthem, in which everyone is asked to rise.  I guess now pro teams are starting to take it to the next level by asking for divine intervention not only by getting the team to pray but also the fans too.  If this works then they don’t have spend much on player salaries. God is on their side so they can hire just any old bum to play.

Talk about leaving some fans disenfranchised including me.  This is an insult to all those fans that are not Christian.  Not to mention unpatriotic.  Our nation was founded on the core principle of freedom of religion.  

The whole concept of prayer before a game is really getting out of hand.  One has to see how pointless and silly it really is.  It’s offensive, unpopular and God really has better things to do, don’t you think? Ω TRT


What are your thoughts on this situation?  Please let me know below in the comment section.

3rd Rock From the Sun - Sports Prayers



May 6, 2011

The Evolution of Religions

The Evolution of Religions


Jared Diamond, professor of geography at UCLA, received the Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction in 1998 for Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. In 1999, he received the National Medal of Science. His most recent book is Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2004).

Prof. Diamond argues that religion has encompassed at least four independent components that have arisen or disappeared at different stages of development of human societies over the last 10,000 years.

One commenter on this video explains it best, "I like how he explains his observations in an objective manner. He excludes his moral opinions in examining the subject matter and is quick to remind his audience to do the same. He's quite a grounding individual. He takes no sides. He makes no claims of right or wrong. He just points out religions' intentions, and lets us decide for ourselves. He's just real."

Editor



May 5, 2011

400th Anniversary of the King James Bible

This month marks the 400th anniversary of the translation of the Bible commissioned by King James of England. The King James Version, as it has been called, may be the best known English translation, but it wasn't the first one. About a hundred years earlier, in 1525, William Tyndale undertook an English translation (from which most of the KJV is derived), and ultimately paid for it by getting burnt at the stake (his interpretation of the book was at odds with the King's). Mixing of state and religion never did any good. See the Francis Nye post from January 18, 2011, Gov. Chafee Understands the Danger of Mixing Government and Religion on this very subject)

If there's a god, I don't think he would care what book or which version (or any book) you read, or what name you addressed him/her/it with, or how many times in a day you bowed, or what direction you faced, or how many rituals you observed, or which animal was clean and which wasn't, or what day of the week you did what, or how many people you "saved".

Any entity worthy of being called a god would be above it all and would probably care more about how kind you were to others, and whether you left the world just a little bit better.

Editor

May 4, 2011

Morality: Is Something Good Because God Says it’s Good or is it Just Good?

By: Editor TRT

 

Peter Singer - Global Atheist Convention 2010

 

 


I found an interesting philosophical video that dispels the myth that you cannot have morality without God. This video was posted on the blog Debunking Christianity.  If you get a chance it is a worth while blog to look at.

Dr. Peter Singer, is an Australian philosopher who is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne. He specializes in applied ethics and approaches ethical issues from a secular, preference utilitarian perspective.

Dr. Singer starts out with the question, “Is something good because God says it’s good or does God say it is good because it is in its nature good?”  This is an interesting question to say the least.  Singer also questions that most of us have in the back of our mind.  Questions like, If God is the standard for morality why does God ask us to do horrific things like stone people to death because they worked on the Sabbath? Singer also demonstrates that God does not set the standards for morality but man does.  He uses the example that today’s Christians pick and choose which scriptures to follow based on what they deem, not God, what is right and wrong.  This blog points to this very fact in the Francis Nye, November 24, 201 post Man Claims Discrimination: Sunday Day of Rest.


Dr. Singer also makes some interesting comparisons between Western industrial nations.  He points to the fact that most secular European nations are more moral than the Christian US.  These European nations have less crime and less disease per capita than the US.  He attributes this of course to man deciding what is moral and not God.  That some how man is better qualified in this department.

There is a point in the video that I found especially provocative when Singer makes the statement that societies operate on a sort of quid-pro-quo doctrine.  That people found it is more beneficial to the whole of society to work together as opposed to against one another and that this is why societies develop a morality system that works.

Finally there is an interesting back and forth Q&A session near the end.  One person asks Dr. Singer if he believes there is more virtue in the West than the East.  The answers are interesting and enlighten to say the least and I don’t want to spoil the video for you so check it out on your own. Ω TRT


What are your thoughts on this situation?  Please let me know below in the comment section.



May 3, 2011

Bin Laden: Religion is a Conduit to Evil

MORALITY
Name one moral action performed by a
nonbeleiver.  Now, can you name
a hideous, moral act
undertaken because of faith?
You've already thought of one.
Now you thought of another.
You'll keep thinking of them.
By Francis Nye

Osama bin Laden is dead.  It is an oddity when people gather together and celebrate the death of an individual.  In this case it is completely understandable.  Bin Laden was such an odious person he is deserving of the world’s repugnant feelings toward him.  But let’s not loose site about what this is really all about, religion.  This man used the religion of Islam to garner people’s hatred and direct it at the innocent around the world.  People he vilified as being kifir or infidels.  Bin Laden’s true motives may or may not have been religious in nature.  Never the less he used religion just the same to create an atmosphere of fear and hatred toward his fellow humans.   In most if not all case he and his cohorts never met their victims.  And this is the true power of religion.  The power to judge whole swaths of people without regard for them as individuals.  The power to get others to commit mass murder on gargantuan scales in the guise of justice.  The power to create and maintain an “us verse them dynamic”.

Let’s face it.  No sane person would take over a plane and fly it into a building unless the reward was enormous and justified; in the case of Islam, 72 virgins in paradises.  No person in their right mind would strap a bomb to them and detonate it in a public area unless their cause was viewed as righteous.  The real enemy here is not Osama bin Laden but religion itself. 

Steven Weinbergan, American theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate in Physics wrote, “Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion.”

The President of the United States, Barack Obama appeared on national television a few nights ago.  In his speech to the world he reminded everyone that the United States is not at war with Islam.  However, in reality that is exactly who we are at war with.  We are at war with religious extremists and in this case with Wahhabism, a branch of Sunni Islam.  These people want nothing short of the extermination of every man, woman, and child of the United States.  All this because they see us as a threat to their values, their way of life, their religion.

Religion does at time have some pearls of wisdom even though it is so vile in nature.  Buddha once said, “Believe nothing merely because you have been told it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings -- that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide.”

If more people would take heed to the words of Buddha then less violence would be perpetrated in this world.  Too often religions; all religions have been nothing more than conduits for a few people to bring their agendas of hate to fruition.  Bottom line -The world needs to shed the heavy oppressive cloak of religion in order to follow their own hearts in their quest for peace and enlightenment. To stop being used by mad men bent on destruction.
Ω TRT


What are your thoughts on this situation?  Please let me know below in the comment section.

See the video below:  Jesus - The Revenge.  Even the Christians want in on the act of killing.



May 1, 2011

Miracles for Sale

This is an excellent video, Miracles for Sale produced by Derren Brown a British illusionist, mentalist, painter, writer and skeptic showing the tricks and devious practices of faith healing in America.  Mr. Brown claims that anyone can be a faith healer, even people without a moral compass to guide them.  Mr. Brown takes you on a tour through Dallas, Texas showing how faith healers prey on people’s faith in order to garner wealth and power without any regards for the sick and maimed.  Mr. Brown through eye witness accounts shows the very real health risks, dangers, and tragedies of faith healing.

With unwitting participants Mr. Brown also injects a phony faith healer in a fictitious carnival like atmosphere of his own creation to demonstrate how anyone can use these techniques.  That faith healing does not work.  That it is all in one's mind.  That you do not have to have the “Holy Spirit” flowing through you to heal the blind, deaf, and crippled.

With these so called powers charlatans are making hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars per person at these events.

So as easy as it is to say, “In the name of Jesus!” anyone can make a small fortune in the faith healing industry.  Ω TRT


What are your thoughts on this situation?  Please let me know below in the comment section.