Jonestown Massacre in Plain Sight

If your pastor tells you what to believe, where to get your knowledge and how to live your life you might think he loves you and wanted you to be safe, but you would be at the mercy of a charlatan who wants your worship.  When Jim Jones led hundreds from their homes in the United States to their death in a distant jungle the truth about American Christianity popped into view as a Jonestown massacre.

The power of faith is not mediocrity

What are we up to when we do not believe the science of faith (religion), the data of climate, of finance, of  economy and of civic society? Necromancy and prostitution. Most of  the people I would like to call colleagues are zombies under the spell of the corrupt GOP and the criminal and unrepentant neo-Nazis in the government.  The power of faith makes us see through the darkness and it does not provide a string of miracles for conditions for which we have handy and well known remedies.

Deceit will not furnish my home

How many of us actually have a human being who

  • What you see is not happening
  • What I tell you is the truth
  • Scientific information is useless because it exposes
  • Democratic government cannot make (any) law
  • Discussion only needs humour, no rules

Seeing is believing!  Some things are cut and dried.  No debate is needed to settle facts.  Discussion does not turn a conman – like potus45 –  into a principled leader. If anyone thinks that it is possible to find a Bible saying to justify the evils of misogyny, let us urge them to THINK AGAIN!  The conflict between Israel and her neighbours are a stark warning against dividing society into us and them, Jew and Gentile, Black and White, Muslim and infidel, sinner and saint, because human instincts for justice and salvation are not helpful for God’s purposes. The traditional Islamic,  Jewish, Christian, and  political treatment of these issues

The latest nominations to the Supreme Court in the United States are part of the massacre.  Are people supposed to believe that SCOTUS is hogtied to mere interpretation of the 2 centuries old constitution, that new law is not their duty?  If Notre Dame scholastic excellence does not accept new law and claims to need original documents for its interpretation of the gospel it dare not call itself Roman Catholic when the pope makes  binding law as easily as the Congress.

Unquestionable Cowardice Witnessed from the 1970s to 2020

American preachers have packed up the gospel in their corruption bag of laws and economic slavery.   They ask for tithe as if they do not know who the high priest is.  They bypass the fountain of decency and precision in order to pursue their conspiracy theories and their idolatrous traditions of judges and peace officers attempting to align themselves with the love of God.  Even with their vigorous campaigns in print, audio, and video there has been –  practically – a deafening silence from American religious leaders for almost a century.

Patriotism and discrimination were Nazism’s distinguishing marks, and that exposes why both Hitler and the Jewish movement towards nationalism have failed.  American religious leaders have seemed unaware of the idolatry in making a test of God and country: a test which to this day avoids recognizing one’s neighbour as the country and the God as specifically Christ the Son of God, or Allah, or Adonai ( Yhwh).

Diligently seeking

Thus says God!
My word (my message and my will)  is now incarnate and remains uncreated.

It is pure self-deception to think that we have found the God of Salvation because we searched diligently.  Moses told his people that neither climbing up into high things nor diving into the depths will bring about the produce of faithfulness. (Deuteronomy 30:11-14).  Events in history or predictions are easy to find by searching, but salvation and holiness are not.

Still people keep alive the illusion that law is going to be the solution for the human problem, chiefly those depending on simple, easy, cheap, and quick solutions. We can see how important to GOD it was that the solution be neither simple, easy, cheap, nor quick because of the following.

  • The time it took from creation to unveil
  • Seating the solution in his own person
  • The impossibility of humanity having a guiding hand or genius in designing or defining the discovery

Disguising the deposit

In that light we see how childish and foolish our leaders have been for looking for the same things as the people of old. We cannot provide a single reason for thinking concretely of creation, life, death, promise and happiness with the same slideshow as the ancients did. Palestine cannot possibly hold the saved of all ages, so the eternal home is necessarily larger. None of the nations can be expected to take the law seriously about building a sacred tent and having a place for annual festivals and daily offerings.

Shattered dream

The idea that the Bible has a word for every situation runs into considerable trouble.   One can seek for God with all one’s heart and be certainly not rewarded with what they are looking for, as the saying from the Gospels (John 7:32-34) reveals.

Some will seek and not find

32) The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about Him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to seize Him. 33) Therefore Jesus said, “For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me. 34) You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come.”

John 7:32-34

The foolish son will also be disappointed

“Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently but they will not find me,

Proverbs 1:28

Noah was not looking for grace and neither was any of the millions whom the the Father has saved. There is no credit for recognizing God’s grace and if you think that you do get credit for finding grace that would explain why so many are faking obedience instead of doing God’s work of believing on His Son.

There’s no life in the law

All of the discoveries that are connected to the tabernacle (the ark, the priesthood, and the service routines) wind up delivering false hopes.

Looking for death after rejecting life

And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.

Revelation of John 9:6

Blind if God does not unveil

Isaiah 65:1-2

1) “I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me; I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here am I, here am I,’ To a nation which did not call on My name. 2) “I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts,

Isaiah 65:1-2

I know that there are hundreds of “thus say Yahweh” sayings in the writings of people who do not know Him and there are hundreds of commands from Christ and his disciples which stand when all the others crash and burn. The one about women’s inheritance rights should suffice to show how little we appreciate God’s revelation of himself.

The least racist person in the Third Reich

The least racist person in the Third Reich would hang in Israel if we caught him. It is too bad that Likud does not recognize the reich in potus45.

Trash talking chief

I promise
to release my taxes
I want to release my taxes

In the land where no-one is above

The land of the free has a severe challenge producing men and women who are genuinely free and the gatekeepers pretend not to know what impartial justice, diversity, and religion look like. If you were a criminal head of state who gets a pass because law enforcement have their hands temporarily tied by policy what would you be proud of?

The least racist person in the Third Reich is a racist

Did he or didn’t he?

No condemnation in Christ

No condemnation from Christ

No condemnation according to Christ

Two things Christ came to do that people reject

  1. Render Satan powerless (Greek, destroy the one having the power of death)
  2. Free the fearful

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,  Hebrews 2:14

and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. Hebrews 2:15

Many do not have a clear answer.

Did he or didn’t he?

Notre Dame scholastic deep dive

If American jurisprudence seems torn between the hard cold evidence in an eighteenth century text and a sensitive development of legislation the nomination of a judge to the supreme court with a specific set of expectations then a deep dive into injustice and tyranny is in the making.

Law, like gospel, has no partisan streak

It is more than strange that lawyers know less about the recent American constitution than they do about the text of the Greek New Testament. They cannot agree.  Greek does not  lend itself to personal interpretation.  It gets weirder when we realize that pastors claim to know more about the American constitution than they do about the text of the Greek New Testament, not because they know 18th century American English so well.

The open hostility between religion and American politics can never be erased.  The constitution cannot be at the same time a living document- capable of growing and becoming more focused – and dead fixed standard.

Fools rush in to believe that lawyers do not know for sure what the law says and justice gets delayed.

Individual responsibility has traditionally melted into the background.  As the record of both conscience and protest has shown revolutionary vision cannot be in bed with tradition.  One might be convinced that the best revolutionary or protest stance is to flee as the Pilgrim Fathers of the United States did, but failing to include the right to free speech and the right to bear arms only shows that these were not priorities to the founding fathers.

The bridge between commander in chief and his troops is a broken roadway: the people he calls Christian allies and the fallen soldiers he calls losers are one and the same.

The distance between an independent judge and the president does not exist

All the American English grammar in the world has made interpretation of the 18th century constitution neither easier nor accurate. One has to be a raving lunatic or seriously brainwashed to believe that the current chaos of disparate Christian beliefs is not the direct result of pastors neglecting our original documents. I do not exaggerate. The distance between the apostles and the modern expositor remains as long as dishonest men and women are satisfied with labels such as conservative, liberal, leftist, and right-wing. The fact of corrupt incompetence among lawyers and religious leaders is not without precedent, and their collusion to oppress the poor is out in the open.

Precedent on the precipice

Isaiah 29:10

For the Lord has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep, He has shut your eyes, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, the seers.

It surely looks noble to say that the supreme court has judges interpretating law and judges making law, but the facts are that neither side should have any difficulty discovering the intent of the writers of constitution (or ite amendments). Sadly, the church has way too many bogus scholars with megaphones, who do not even agree that our safeguard is the original text of our documents, and way too many scholars who are great at producing lists of what the quality life looks like, but who neglect the original and settle for peer commentary.

Isaiah 29:11, Literate Precedent

The entire vision will be to you like the words of a sealed book, which when they give it to the one who is literate, saying, “Please read this,” he will say, “I cannot, for it is sealed.”

Isaiah 29:12, Illiterate Precedent

Then the book will be given to the one who is illiterate, saying, “Please read this.” And he will say, “I cannot read.”

Isaiah 29:13, Repetitive Spin and Hype

Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,

A deserved duping out in the open

It is cold comfort that sone American justices want us to believe that they only interpret and apply the law as it is written.  The most recent nominee to the Supreme Court asserts that (a)  the law must be interpreted according to the intentions of the founders and (b) there are problems that law cannot solve. 

Problems that current law does not address are problems that can be solved by new amendments.  Otherwise one is left with criminal conduct above or outside the law.

The two assertions show just how idolatrous the American justice system has become.  Every body of legislation is open to amendment.   The USA constitution was deemed to have missed important rights and over the two centuries of its existence there have been 27 amendments.

Interpreting as written

We are not so daft as to think that people do not keep seeing themselves as outside the law or abovs the law, but our eyes do not fool us.  Neither 18th century English nor 1st century Greek is out of reach.   We are being duped into rationalizing the oppression of having multiple jobs and being unable to nake ends meet, and the inequality of second class citizenship for Black and brown people.

Even the great Mosaic law was found lacking the justice of equality and the case was made by women for women’s inheritance rights. 

We believers understand the need to treat the gospel as an unchangeable message and our best approach is to master the language of the document.   This is hardly rocket science for either English of the 18th century or Greek of the 1st century.  It is shameful that both preachers and lawyers fall short of becoming reliable witnesses because they respectively reject the idea that original languages open the door to accurate information and reject the idea that law can change.

If American English of the 18th century has difficulty bringing the wealth of its standards to the lighf of day the prospect of 1st century Greek bringing its riches to the church is quite improbable.

Faith needs neither electoral nor academic handles

A culture of denial is behind the curtains of both our dilemmas and our valiant struggles, and the people tasked with ensuring transparency and accountability keep hoping for miracles instead of using their considerable intellect to work on respectable solutions.  It is good that people are amazed at the handles recommended but fogging up the screen of the common goal of participating in God’s kingdom and picking the wrong tools for the several problems  needs neither electoral or academic handles.

When the rabbi from Nazareth burst onto the scene in the third decade of his life he did not say “Money makes the world go round”; that would have made Solomon proud. He was not even a rabbi; they had no idea where he acquired his cutting edge grasp of the law and the nation’s destiny.  Money or law as the world turners are respectively economist and Israelite views.  No historical, economic or theological review can draw an ownership circle around either view or the practice that belongs.

An early sign that the core teachings of Judaism were not being reflected in civic life was the encounter between a young Yeshua and a later sign was Yeshua’s assault on temple corruption.

Young Yeshua interacts with temple officials

46) Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47) And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.

Luke 2:46-47

John 2:14-16 shows Messiah taking ownership of the temple

14) And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. 15) And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables; 16) and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.”

Check your teacher

What school, what grades?

The Jews then were astonished, saying, “How has this man become learned, having never been educated?”

John 7:15

Judeo-Christian footwork leaves no question

Mishnah – Sayings of ths Fathers

It should not be surprising to discover that Israeli governments, though named after legal parties, are usually formed  through alliances between tiny religious factions, in violation of rabbinic wisdom.

It is no secret that a host of Christian (church and para church) leaders are woefully biased towards tradition and away from active public service and accurate interpretation of the matters at hand.  It matters little where one gets trained or educated, but it matters absolutely that one soberly does ones work conscientiously at ones level of competence.

People espousing political views, Jew or Gentile, as if those views have a heavenly stamp, and following the hype and spin of partisan politics, trying to make spiritual hay of civic grass,  are deemed to be on dangerous ground.  The experts in New Testament times – the priests and the scribes –  sold out their responsibilities to personal enrichment and fables.  Our experts – the pastors, divinity and theology teachers – can be expected to include some intelligent servants, people with questionable academic credentials, fullblown rascals, and  a few whose  priorities and practices have tenuous connections to the established facts of faith in God.

The secret and sacred vote

Even though one’s contribution to discussions and the public appearance of participation gives away what one supports or rejects the individual’s vote remains secret.  We discover that many debates are the seed bed of conflict and open hostility.  Political discussions are like religious debates: they take you to places you never thought you’d want to be.

Scholar and the student

Isaiah 29:11-13

11) The entire vision will be to you like the words of a sealed book, which when they give it to the one who is literate, saying, “Please read this,” he will say, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” 12) Then the book will be given to the one who is illiterate, saying, “Please read this.” And he will say, “I cannot read.” 13) Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote…

From the vaults of the logical latrine

Some people, having neglected to count the cost of their discipleship, find themselves at the shrimp level of the food chain, all the while publishing their resume as scholars, experts and teachers. It is easy to spot the shrimp: they read English haltingly, they major in practically all the cliches of popular Christianity and they use history and logic to add precision to their interpretation of the gospel.

Self and others
How well do you take care of yourself?


28. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29. Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, 30. saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’

Luke 14:28-30

They seem, in most cases, to have missed the lesson about Scripture having no vulnerability to individual opinions.   What we say about Scripture is of no consequence compared to our saying accurately what the Scriptures mean.  Apparently people are still excited about hearing what the Bible says even when the meaning is still a mystery.

It is pure ignorance that keeps a person believing that violation of the Law (Pentateuch and Sinai Covenant in particular and the whole Bible in general)

It was through a hungry, thirsty and dying man and an empty God that God addressed the world’s salvation.

If violation of law was what put Adam in debt we should expect Johm 3:16 to be interpreted as “… whoever keeps the law may not perish but have eternal life”.  We should also expect the access to be proclaimed as judgment, hardball, and conviction not grace,  mercy,  and peace.

Instead of grace and peace we have law and torment dressed up as sensible arguments such as this image (below).  Instead of following the example of Christ in putting the interests of others first people take up this so-called reasonable path of loving oneself first.