Sketches on Atheism

Why Won’t Christians Follow Jesus?

CommunismWhy aren’t Christians Communists? Why aren’t Christians Communists like the apostles of Jesus Christ were?

Here are the people who, allegedly, knew Jesus. They (allegedly) spoke with him, (allegedly) ate with him, (allegedly) travelled with him, (allegedly) asked him questions, and (allegedly) listened to the answers. These are the people who are best positioned to exemplify the core precepts as issued by this wondering 1st Century Palestinian rabbi (if he actually ever existed, which is questionable). After them there is only the slow dilution of the central message; a gradual erosion of those inaugural directives passed directly from the lips and hands of Jesus to the very first members of the Christian church. There is, simply put, no more potent an example of how Christians are supposed to live than that lived by the apostles. Not to labour the point, but their actions, as detailed in The Acts of the Apostles, are the raw, virgin, untainted, pure, crystal, uncomplicated and unconfused manifestation of the wishes of Jesus Christ himself… and that message is astonishingly clear:

  (Acts 2:44-45) All that believed were together, and had all things in common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

(Acts 4: 32-35) All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

There is no room for second doubts here. “No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had” is as clear as it comes. The apostles of Jesus Christ, those men and women who were charged by Jesus himself to establish and lead the first Christian communities, were dyed-in-the-wool Communists. Two thousand years later, Marx would pen the line, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need,” and we see this exact message lived by the pioneer Christians.

So serious, in fact, was this embrace of Communism that the married couple, Ananias and his wife Sapphira, were murdered by the Christian commune for withholding some of their possessions (Acts 5:1-11). Now, murdering people for not sharing what they had is a blazing, stage-lit, bells and sirens testament of just how seriously the apostles of Jesus Christ took their Communism. Murder isn’t something people do lightly, and when a group murders its typically to set an example.

And so the question stands: Why aren’t Christians Communists? Why aren’t Christians Communists like the apostles of Jesus Christ were? Would today’s Christians also be murdered by Jesus’ apostles for not being good Communists, like they murdered Ananias and Sapphira?

 

 

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230 thoughts on “Why Won’t Christians Follow Jesus?

  1. Good post john. I like what Gandhi had to say about Christianity….”a great idea too bad it has never been attempted” (A paraphrase)….personally I think Gnostics are more Christian than anything today…..chuq

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  2. Another excellent post posing an interesting question that remains a total enigma to me. As is this question: Why aren’t christians nice? If we’re to believe Jesus was who the Bible claims he was, he seems like a fairly nice fellow for the most part, for a bloody commie anyway. Why aren’t christians nice commies like Jesus wanted and said they should be? What would WLC say to this? Or more easily put, WWWLC say? There’s a quote attributed to Gandhi that reads: I see very little of Jesus in your christians. I personally see none of Jesus in them. Judgmental, materialistic, bigoted, arrogant, and anti-intellectual are things I most strongly associated with christians. And if you toss in catholics, I see a lot of pedophile rape happening too. I don’t associate pedophile rape with the acts of good commies. I’m looking forward to the apologetic answers to this, John. And I’m taking out my knee high poop cleaning boots and shovel to prepare for them. I can smell the methane stewin’ already.

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    • If we’re to believe Jesus was who the Bible claims he was, he seems like a fairly nice fellow for the most part.

      Well, he hated fig trees, that’s for sure!

      Now, I too am interested to hear the apologists way around Communism to Free Market Capitalism. God only knows, I’ve asked, but I’ve never really gotten an answer. Strange that….

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      • I love fags. But they cause lung cancer so I smoked my last one almost 20 years ago. It’s the figs that sneak up on ya when yer not lookin’ and then WHAM! you’ve gained 25lbs and don’t remember how you did it. Damn figs!

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      • Well, that was a withering comment. He hated Gentiles, too. Remember, His teachers were no for, you know, them.

        And the book in the Holy Bible that establishes the sanctified position for free market capitalism is the long lost Book of Milton Friedman which I expect the Drudge Report to report being rediscovered any day now.

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      • Of course he hated gentiles! Who doesn’t? The gentle bastards! What good are they? How many lives have they saved? And, most importantly, they’re awful cooks. My grand daddy always told me, “Son, never eat a biscuit baked by a gentile. It’ll stunt yer growth.” Damn gentiles. Next thing you know, they’ll want the right to get LEGALLY married. Gwad help the weary!

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  3. Gosh, what would Jesus say? Some say Jesus was an Essene because the Essenes live communally. In fact Jews were splintered into a great many groups at the time, but a desirable characteristic of Christian communities and which most probably was the reason Christianity grew at all until it became state-sponsored by the Romans was that they took care of their own. They shared everything. This was very attractive to middle class and poor Roman citizens who were basically shat upon by the upper crusts.

    So, communal living was a core reason Christianity is here today. I can’t wait for the Evangelicals to start signing up? What, they want no part of real Christianity? How sad.

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    • Granted, it’s a tad cryptic. They “fall down dead.”

      This is either a polite way of describing the apostles murdering them, or it means the Middle Eastern god murdered them.

      Which option do you prefer?

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      • So which one is it: murdered by the apostles, or murdered by the Middle Eastern god?

        Seriously, which one do you prefer?

        And they were murdered for not sharing the spoils of their sale. They were murdered for not behaving like Communists.

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      • Obviously they were not murdered so that’s not an option.

        They were struck down by God for lying about withholding some of their money.

        As I said in a comment on my blog (one you didn’t reply to) God did kill. I get this and don’t have a problem with it.

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      • I know you don’t, which is worrying, but “falling down dead” is pretty much murder in anyone’s books.

        The question I’m asking you is: who murdered them. Your Middle Eastern god, or the Apostles?

        The second, and more important question is: Are you a good Communist, like the Apostles of Jesus Christ were?

        If not, why not, considering the message is so clear….

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      • The apostles didn’t do it and it’s impossible, given the account, to make the case they did.

        The biblical answer is that they were struck dead by the Christian God for a crime they committed against Him.

        This was justified, although extreme, and not murder.

        Again, I answered why God kills in the OT in reply to a comment you made on my blog. I even made the comment into its own post. Why did you stop commenting right after that?

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      • The apostles didn’t do it and it’s impossible, given the account, to make the case they did.

        Balderdash! What it appears to be is a polite way of saying the apostles murdered them, by means not mentioned. That, or you’re admitting your Middle Eastern god is more motivated to kill someone for not being a good Communist, than, say, killing Hitler, who would go on to do serious evil.

        Are you saying Ananias and Sapphira were more evil than Hitler? Are you saying they deserved to be killed by your god, and Hitler did not?

        That’s a tremendously interesting position to take.

        Now, you’re dodging the question. Are you, James, a good Communist like the Apostles of Jesus Christ were, or would those same Apostles murder you, like they did Ananias and Sapphira?

        If you’re not a Communist, why aren’t you?

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      • John,

        First, I will not follow you down rabbit holes or let you drag this conversation off topic. Hitler has nothing to do with this and you know it.

        I answered why God killed in the OT and made my position that the apostles did not murder Ananias and Sapphira quite clear.

        And no, I am not a communist. A biblical case that I should be cannot be made.

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      • No rabbit hole here, James. You’re saying your Middle Eastern god murdered two people for not sharing their property/wealth with the Communist Christians who believed in common property/wealth. I think it was the Apostles who committed the murder, but as you insist it was your god, then I’ll play that hand. By saying it was your god you’re admitting murdering these two people (whose only crime was hiding a few coins) was deemed more necessary and more urgent than killing someone like Hitler.

        This is an astonishing admission. What priorities does your god proceed by? Murdering people for hiding coins, but not taking action against a person who had a hand in the slaughter of over 70 million people, not to mention the tens of millions of equally innocent animals that died and suffered pointlessly.

        Peculiar priorities.

        Now, to the more important question. You’re not a Communist you say, and yet we have a clear and definitive directive by the very first Christians to embrace Communism. They believed in common property and common wealth. It’s there in black and white.

        You believe the bible is inerrant, correct? Are you perhaps doubting the truth of the Acts of the Apostles?

        Upon what Christian grounds do you base your non-Communism? What passages of scripture can you point to that overrides such a clear attestation to Communism as that described in Acts. Where in the bible does it say Capitalism and free market economies are what Jesus wanted….

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      • John,

        You are wrong about the apostles committing the murders, that position cannot be substantiated using the biblical account, which calls your interpretation into question.

        It’s a rabbit hole indeed, Hitler has nothing to do with this, I answered specifically why God does what He does and you disregarded the comment entirely.

        As far as Jesus and His followers being communists goes, this is a little absurd.

        Communism wasn’t even a system of government when Jesus roamed the Earth, and there are no passages that state it was.

        Ananias and Sephira owned their own land and sold it themselves. Would this have been possible under communism?

        Do God’s chosen people, either now or in biblical times, live under communism? Is Israel a communist state?

        Jesus preached about charitable giving, not state mandated giving for wealth redistrubution, there is a big difference. He gave people a choice to give up their possessions and follow Him, communism would have made it mandatory.

        Does any modern Christian teaching, other than the unbiblical Catholic vow of poverty, force Christians to give up their possessions so the state can spread the wealth around?

        Also, isn’t one of the goals, although it actually does the opposite, of communism to eliminate poverty? If this is the case, why did Jesus say there would always be poor people (Matthew 26:11)?

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      • that position cannot be substantiated…. which calls your interpretation into question

        Well, I personally think human beings murdering other human beings is a tad more believable, from a reality perspective, than a magical Middle Eastern god murdering human beings, but I’ve already allowed your particular interpretation (as unfounded as it is) to stand. That’s fine. You believe your god murdered Ananias and Sapphira for hiding a few coins from the Christian commune. I just found that rather peculiar, considering the relatively innocuous nature of their “crime” when compared to, for example, the works of someone truly wicked, like Hitler.

        Communism wasn’t even a system of government when Jesus roamed the Earth, and there are no passages that state it was

        That’s like saying sandwiches didn’t exist until sliced bread in 1928. James, Communism is an idea based on the concept of common property and common wealth shared amongst members of the commune. That is “Communism,” and it’s probably one of, if not the oldest method employed by humans for group living. The Essenes were Communists in the strictest use of the term. Jewish Kibbutz’s are Communist in their operation. Just because you can’t think ”Communism” without immediately envisaging the 20th Century Russian experiment with the system is your failing, not mine. Sorry. As expressed by the Apostles:

        >All that believed were together, and had all things in common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

        See that word: Common. That, James, is the central tenet of Communism. The first Christians, the Apostles of Jesus Christ (the people who knew him) and their converts lived in communes, practicing Communism.

        Ananias and Sephira owned their own land and sold it themselves. Would this have been possible under communism?

        Again, you are erroneously comparing the 20th Century Russian experiment with Communism with the Communism practiced by the Apostles of Jesus and their converts. The Apostles had already sold their property, as directed by Jesus in numerous passages, including:

        (Matthew 19:21) “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

        So, when new converts, like Ananias and Sapphira, joined the Christian commune they had property from their life before. And again, from the Acts of the Apostles:

        No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had… those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

        He gave people a choice to give up their possessions and follow Him

        No, he didn’t. He demanded it! Again, from the bible:

        Luke 14:33 “… those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.”

        That deserves repeating: “those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” Now, Jesus is even quite specific about not having to plan ahead. He says all you need to do is sell everything you have and god will provide:

        Matthew 6:26 “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them”

        Now, I find this directive morally reprehensible, but that’s just me. Interestingly though, Reverend Christopher R Smith (Christian Living, Translating the Bible) understood this perfectly. He said: “Jesus assures us that our heavenly Father cares for us and will provide for us, so we don’t need to wonder, what will we eat? what will we drink? what will we wear? If we seek his kingdom and righteousness, all these things will be provided as well. And so, Jesus concludes, “do not worry about tomorrow.””

        So, it’s rather clear, isn’t it? It’s there in black and white. It’s the words written in your book. So, please demonstrate where, precisely, in the Gospels Jesus proclaims the righteousness of Free Market Capitalism. Show me where the Apostles of Jesus Christ got it all wrong in practicing Communism. Show me how they “missed” Jesus’ message which you, 2,000 years later, think you’re hearing, and they didn’t…

        Insanity has failed to answer this request, so I’m hoping you will.

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      • John,

        Communism, a branch of socialism, is an experimental social system based on a set of ideals that, at first glance, seem to agree with some biblical principles. On closer examination, however, little evidence can be found that the Bible truly supports or endorses communism. There is a difference between communism in theory and communism in practice, and the Bible verses that seem to comply with communist ideals are in fact contradicted by the practices of a communist government.

        There is a surprising sentence in a description of the church in Acts 2 that has led many people to wonder whether the Bible supports communism, and has led some people to defend strongly the idea that communism is actually biblical. The passage reads, “All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need” (Acts 2:44-45). This statement seems to imply that communism (which has, at its heart, a desire to eliminate poverty by “spreading the wealth around”) is found here in the earliest of Christian churches. However, there is a crucial difference between the church in Acts 2 and a communist society that must be understood.

        In the Acts 2 church, the people were giving to each other out of their own good will to those who had a need, and they were giving freely, without regulation of how much they were to give. In other words, they shared what they had out of a shared love for one another and a common goal—living for Christ and glorifying God. In a communist society, people give because a system of government forces them to give. They don’t have a choice in the matter as to how much they give or to whom they give. This, therefore, does not reflect on who they are; it says nothing about their identity or character. Under communism, the cheerful, generous giver and the stingy man are both required to give exactly the same amount – namely, everything they earn.

        The issue is one of cheerful giving (which the Bible supports) versus forced giving. Second Corinthians 9:7 says, “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” After all, the Bible contains a great number of references to helping the poor, being generous with what we have, and looking out for those who are less fortunate. When we obey in this area with cheerful hearts with the proper motivation, our giving is pleasing to God. What is not pleasing to God is giving out of compulsion, because forced giving is not giving out of love and therefore profits nothing in the spiritual sense. Paul tells the Corinthians, “If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3). Loveless giving is the inevitable result of communism.

        Capitalism is actually a better system, when it comes to giving, because it has proven to increase individual wealth, which allows its citizens to give out of their increase. Communism has proven to simply make all its citizens poor, except the very few in power who decide where the wealth goes. But even capitalism won’t work, by itself, as a system for aiding the poor. It depends on its citizens to be diligent (Proverbs 10:4) and generous with the fruits of their labor (1 Timothy 6:18) and to give out of love for God and neighbor. Thus, we see that God has designed for the physical and financial needs of the poor to be met by Christian individuals, rather than by any system of government.

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      • John,

        That last reply was from gotqestions.org, not my words.

        Even if you believe the disciples had some sort of communal living lifestyle, the Bible does not endorse Communism, nor does it require Christians to give up their possessions and share communally.

        A biblical case, although many try to make one, cannot be made.

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      • Yeah, I was wondering why you quoted the very same passage I had quoted in the post.

        Not to worry.

        James, once again, just because you can’t think ”Communism” without immediately envisaging the 20th Century Russian experiment with the system is your failing, not mine. Communism is simply the practiced concept of common property and common wealth. The Essenes, like countless other groups, were Communist… Just as the first Christians were practicing Communists.

        It’s there in black and white.

        Quoting Corinthians and Timothy is meaningless, even though the passages you have cited say nothing at all about the righteousness Free Market Capitalism. You are pointing to the words of Paul, whom never met Jesus, never spoke with him, never received the instructions as dictated to the Apostles… Instructions which led to the creation of Christian communes, practicing Communism.

        As I wrote in the post: the actions of the Apostles, as detailed in The Acts of the Apostles, are the raw, virgin, untainted, pure, crystal, uncomplicated and unconfused manifestation of the wishes of Jesus Christ himself

        James, do you follow Jesus and his Apostles, or do you follow Paul? Are you a Christian, or a Paulanite?

        Jesus’ words are perfectly clear. The acts of the Apostles are perfectly clear. I have cited biblical passages, direct quotes by Jesus, and the diary of the Apostles of Jesus as they established the first seeds of the Christian church. You, my good man who cares for animals, have failed to present a single word spoken by Jesus which supports your claim.

        So, as far as I can see, it is me, not you, who is championing Jesus Christ here. You, it appears, are going out of your way to trash his message… The message carried forward by the Apostles.

        And so, once again, please demonstrate where, precisely, in the Gospels Jesus proclaims the righteousness of Free Market Capitalism. Show me where the Apostles of Jesus Christ got it all wrong in practicing Communism. Show me how they “missed” Jesus’ message which you, 2,000 years later, think you’re hearing, and they didn’t…

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      • Why does it have to be a literal interpretation — the physical death of a body? Seems to me the Bible was nothing but metaphor and it’s only when the Evangelist type interprets everything by letter that they can use the words to justify whatever they want. Word by word, missing the fact that the wisdom is exactly the space in between the words. So, struck down for lying or withholding…. how? Death of the ego? Death of the false self? Something needs to die before a new thing can be born? It’s all riddle and paradox. So when Paul says, “I live no longer not I…” did he commit suicide? I don’t think so. I think that means he is no longer living out of his own ego, he’s become rooted in the true self, his divine indwelling, his anything-BUT-ego.

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      • I love your approach to it, and that was precisely how we were taught to look at the bible. Yes, I was educated by Carmelite nuns then Augustinian priests whom I think were secret atheists 🙂 To tell you the truth, i didn’t even know this type of literal interpretation of the bible even existed until I started seeing weird things being said on internet threads which, at first, i thought were jokes. turns out these people were deadly serious, and deadly weird 😉

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      • “Yes, I was educated by Carmelite nuns then Augustinian priests whom I think were secret atheists..” Sorry to butt in, but I, too, had a Catholic education, and I agree with you here John. Educating people to think for themselves was valued by the nuns and priests who taught me.

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      • I liked my priests, and I’m not kidding, none of them seemed to take religion seriously. Not the silly parts, at least. Made questioning the whole house of cards a lot easier.

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      • I love that your Catholic education system harbored atheists! Excellent that people continue to question and discern regardless of their roles. And it is too bad about those literalists… the only thing I can figure is that that type of interpretation lends itself to possession. One cannot be the best unless he’s able to define the worst, and what better way to do that than with sacred texts??! The ultimate defender of whatever one needs religion to be. Don’t get it at all and it’s quite a shame.
        How are things down your southern Latiny way?

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      • Horrible. We have a Dilma, the President, who’s doing her utmost to wreck everything that’s good. If, however, I ignore Dilma (as I do) then everything is wonderful, and we’re now up to eight animals… two new recent bundles-of-mischief adoptions 😉 Thankful though that summer is disappearing from our peaceful little valley. It was ghastly this year.

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    • 53:5,
      According to BibleHub.com the Aramaic in Plain English translation of the line in question is:

      “And Shimeon said to Khanan-Yah, “Why has Satan filled your heart to cheat The Spirit of Holiness and to hide some money of the proceeds of the field?””

      Seems to me that in oldest text in the original language the crime was “cheating” not “lying.” One more example of how through selective and disingenuous translations over many centuries an original message was corrupted to fill the need of those in power.

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      • Ananias and his wife, Sapphira sold a field. Part of the profit from their sale was kept back by the couple, and Ananias only laid a part of the money at the apostles’ feet. However, Ananias made a pretense of having given all the proceeds.

        This hypocritical show may have fooled some, but not Peter, who was filled with the power of the Spirit. Peter knew instantly that Ananias was lying—not just to him but to God—and exposed his hypocrisy then and there. Ananias fell down and died (Acts 5:4). When Sapphira showed up, she, too, lied to Peter and to God, saying that they had donated the entire proceeds of the sale of the land to the church. When her lie had been exposed, she also fell down and died at Peter’s feet.

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      • Didn’t ol’ God know that Wotsit was lying — a very long time before Wotsit was even born, much less Peter? Before the Creation, in fact?

        So the omnipotent didn’t act to change the script at all (He couldn’t, could He? That would blow it for Free Will) and so prevent a very preventable tragedy?

        God, the Bible is so bloody confusing at times~!

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      • The message is simple: they didn’t share everything they had, and they were killed for it. That part is clear. Christians, though, have to explain why they don’t follow the example of the apostles.

        None, so far, have answered that.

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      • “None, so far, have answered that.”

        And they never will. How could they?

        To profess faith in Christianity, or any religion, requires such colossal self-deception that the realm of reason and evidence is by necessity banished. Evasion becomes the modus operandi. Just as one little lie begets another, and another, and another, so the massive deception that is religion requires believers to enter a fantasy land where anything goes. Nothing is real. The arbitrary can’t be proved, but that won’t stop the self-deceivers from tying themselves in knots to evade the truth, because to face reality would be like pulling the rug out from under their own feet.

        Cheers,
        MichaelJ

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  4. Very good point there. I think the problem is that communism ( a word that is bound to trigger various algorithms at the NSA) is about today – how we live, how we distribute wealth or kindness, whereas Christianity has increasingly been reverting to the medieval promises of a better tomorrow above the clouds once we’ve all starved to death. In other words, they are obsessed with the supernatural instead of the natural trend to help one another.

    Meanwhile, can you please move on and not beg near our supermarket – it makes us feel uncomfortable.

    My favorite challenge for today’s Christians is always “what would Jesus say/do?” I have had on line arguments with some American Christians who really believe that if he were alive today, Jesus would be a Republican. If you were to suggest to these people that he would be a communist – I think they rush to the gun cabinet shaking with rage.

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      • I 53:5 PROJECT says, “The issue is one of cheerful giving (which the Bible supports) versus forced giving. Second Corinthians 9:7 says, “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.””

        If this is true, why is it that 99.9% of all Christian Churches preach Tithing as a present day commandment instead of just being a cheerful giver ????

        Why aren’t Christians , Communists ? I did a blog on the wealth of Christianity a long time ago. From memory, I think I read where Christian Churches worldwide possess over 3 Trillion dollars of property and bring in over 500 Billion dollars each year. Even if these Capitalists Institutions tithed just 10 % of their wealth and yearly income , they could wipe out worldwide poverty immediately.

        Sharing the wealth seems to be a distant (2000 yr old) memory. 🙂

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      • In small groups it works, but communes have a natural size limit it seems. Beyond the point when you have a Treasurer, it becomes capitalist. Almost every cult (what we call “cult” because they’re typically small in number) are communist. David Koresh’s Branch Davidians were communist in principle and practice. For reasons only James can explain, he refuses to see this reality.

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  5. John, you’re confusing communism with the love and sacrificial nature of Christ. Many of us really do reflect that spirit of sharing and sacrifice, and distribute all we have to offer to those in need, our time, our money, our words of encouragement, even our very lives.

    Communism is a human system that sells a good line of bull about sharing the wealth, but never shares the end result which is always dire poverty, endless bread lines, and totalitarianism. The problem with communism is always the middle man, he gets rich off the fruits of our labor by selling us a load of crap about one for all and all for one.

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    • “The problem with communism is always the middle man, he gets rich off the fruits of our labor by selling us a load of crap about one for all and all for one.” Sounds hauntingly like the Catholic Church. Bless their pedophilic little souls.

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    • Hi Insanity. Good to see you here. Afraid to say, but I’m not confusing anything. The words are perfectly clear:

      All that believed were together, and had all things in common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

      No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had… those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

      Seriously, which part of “the first Christians were Communist with common property/wealth” don’t you get here? As we can see, they took this common property/wealth so seriously they murdered people for it.

      So, Insanity, are you a good Communist, or would the apostles of Jesus Christ murder you, too?

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      • LOL, as usual, I’m not the one who is confused here, John. I take those words you quoted to heart and follow them as closely as possible. You are the one who does not seem to understand the definition of communism and how it has played out in the world. If it had ever worked, ever managed to actually deliver that “distribution to anyone in need.” it would be a successful reflection of those words. The problem is, communism is a perversion of those biblical values that has never been able to deliver what it promises.

        How do you get the least amount of money into the hands of those in need? Communism. Were do we find third world poverty, John? Not so much in the western world a world founded on Christian values, not communism. Go check out North Korea and see how that distribution thing is working out for them. Communism is a perversion of a biblical ideal, just ask Karl Marx.

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      • OK, let’s try this one more time:

        All that believed were together, and had all things in common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

        Read it slowly, Insanity. See the word “Common”? Common property, Common wealth… These just happen to be the central tenets of, you guessed it, Communism!

        So, the question is: Do you own property? If so, why? The Apostles of Jesus Christ (whom you’re supposed to follow) were appalled by private ownership. These are the people who actually knew Jesus. Why aren’t you following their example? What possible motivations do you have to go against this central Christian directive?

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      • “Do you own property?”

        Uh, no John. I’m pretty sure the bankers, the money changers, and the government with their endless tax bills, own all my property.

        I seem to remember the last time we encountered this situation, Jesus arrived with a whip and started throwing tables around.

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      • Yeah, like an enraged Communist!

        So, Insanity, do you believe in common property and common wealth like the first Christians, the Apostles of Jesus Christ who directly heard his message?

        If not, why not?

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      • Christ was not acting like an enraged communist John, He was acting like a man enraged to see money being confiscated and profited from, allegedly in the name of the Father.

        That is what Marxism and the house of cards we seem to have built our current economy on, also seeks to do. In the name of Christian charity and the common good, you have to turn over all your money to the government and the credit industry, so we can allegedly distribute it to the poor and needy. The problem is, it never gets into the hands of the poor and it never will.

        So yes, I believe in personal property rights because without them, one has nothing left to sell and “lay at the feet of the apostles” so it can “be distributed to those in need.”

        No, this is not a contradiction of that principle because without personal property rights, one cannot ever “sell their goods.” You cannot sell what you do not own, John.

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      • So yes, I believe in personal property rights because without them, one has nothing left to sell and “lay at the feet of the apostles” so it can “be distributed to those in need.”

        Wow, that gets the Contradiction of the Day Award! 🙂

        Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not fan of either pure Capitalism or pure Communism. But this isn’t about me, is it. It’s about Christians today, like yourself and James, not following the Apostles of Jesus Christ who were, quite clearly, Communists.

        All that believed were together, and had all things in common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need

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      • If they were communists, John, they would have had no property rights and therefore no property or goods to sell.

        People who have no property rights, have nothing to sell and lay at the feet of the apostles.

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      • Please. They were new members, new converts, and sold their possessions (common property/wealth) to join the Christian commune/s. Do remember, it started with 12, so it had to grow somehow, right?

        If I remember correctly, the Apostles sold all their possessions at the beginning of the ministry.

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      • Do you even read my comments? They were “new” converts, so obviously they had property in their possession from the prior life, then were compelled to sell it all and give to the Commune.

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      • But you’re still not answering the question: why aren’t you, Insanity, a Communist?

        Where in Christian scripture do you get your Capitalist justification from? And do remember, this directly contradicts the Apostles… the people who actually knew Jesus.

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      • I am not a communist because I serve Christ and not Marx. If I were a communist I would be a Marxian, not a Christian.

        My capitalistic justification comes from the evidence on the ground, capitalism has been the most effective system the world has ever seen when it comes to getting wealth into the hands of the poor.

        So what is the most effective system that will enable us to sell our worldly goods and lay them at the feet of the apostles for distribution to those in need?

        Capitalism.

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      • Excuse my language, but bullocks. Communists do not “follow” Marx in much the same way Capitalists don’t “follow” Keynes. He wrote a treatise which was adopted as a white paper for a state trial of that system. Similarly, Jesus proffered some words which the Apostles put into action and created Christian communes, based on common property and common wealth… which are, I’m afraid to say, Communist tenets.

        You can’t escape this awkward reality, Insanity: the first Christians were Communists, and they murdered people who weren’t good Communists.

        Capitalism getting wealth to the poor, huh? Trickle down economics… Lovely. Could you point me to the parts in the Gospels where Jesus said “Give massive tax breaks to the richest, let them pollute the earth free from regulation, and employ slave labour… allow them to accumulate obscene wealth, for they will then employ many, many gardeners”

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      • Reality doesn’t feel awkward to me at all, John, it makes perfect sense. Why would I try to escape it?

        Those words and ideals in the bible predate communism by many, many, years. Marx came along and perverted some words in the bible to attempt to lend credence to the idea of communism and the rest is history. Logically, your argument doesn’t even make sense because the apostles lived long before the world had ever seen or dreamed of communism.

        “Capitalism getting wealth to the poor, huh?”

        Yes. Capitalism has provided more opportunity, freedom, and higher quality of life for the poor than any other system in the history of humankind.

        People actually risk their lives trying to get into our country just for the opportunity to experience the quality of life that our poor get to experience, John.

        To make it even better, capitalism has created the wealth needed to enable people to make more charitable contributions here at home and abroad then have even been made before.

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      • The entire history of mankind hasn’t seen that many economics systems, Insanity. In fact, four is about the fixed number: Empire, Feudalism (church dominated), Communism (briefly), Capitalism (secular).

        Now, where’s that biblical reference to Free Market, Capitalist Economies….

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      • Actually there are numerous biblical ideals that would lead one to favor free markets and capitalistic economies. We can start with Genesis where we are given dominion over the Earth and the things in it. Apparently, God favors the idea of personal property rights. We can continue on to many of the parables that Christ taught as well as all the instructions to sow and be prosperous.

        I know you disagree with me John, but believe it or not, our country was founded on some biblical principles by men who were well versed in the bible. That greatly influenced the type of system they chose to lay the foundation down for.

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      • Oh Insanity, you’re clutching at straws, my friend. Your bible contradicts you in the most heinous way, I’m afraid.

        Matthew 19:21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

        Luke 14:33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

        Luke 18:22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

        And my favourite:

        Matthew 6:26 “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”

        You see, Insanity, your reality doesn’t match the “reality” of your religion. Your savior’s message was quite clear, and you are not following it.

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      • It’s a beautiful message, isn’t it John? I follow it fairly well actually.

        There is nothing in those words however, that contradicts my point. One must have personal property rights before one can sell anything at all.

        How is one to go about selling all their possessions under a communist system where one is not allowed to own any possessions and absolutely everyone around you is “the poor?”

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      • Actually, Russian Communism lifted 100 million from abject poverty, gave them education, healthcare, and a security they never had under the Christian church-sanctioned Empire. Just saying…

        There is nothing in those words however, that contradicts my point

        Really? Didn’t you just say “parables that Christ taught as well as all the instructions to sow and be prosperous…. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty certain Matthew 6:26 (“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them) contradicts that rather profoundly!

        So, I’ve done my part in proving you’re wrong, and I’m still waiting for you to demonstrate where, precisely, in the Gospels Jesus proclaims the righteousness of Free Market Capitalism. Show me where the Apostles of Jesus Christ got it all wrong in practicing Communism. Show me how they “missed” Jesus’ message which you, 2,000 years later, think you’re hearing, and they didn’t…

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      • “Russian communism lifted 100 million from abject poverty, gave them education, healthcare, and a security..”

        Uh… that’s just awesome, John. Hitler also reaffirmed pride in the fatherland and built a booming economy. Mussolini made the trains run on time. Kim Jong Un thinks he’s very handsome. What does this have to do with anything?

        The apostles weren’t practicing communism because communism didn’t exist at the time.

        Communism is a system that always oppresses people and religion, nearly annihilating both entirely. If the apostles had been living under communism it is most likely that any wealth they gathered would have been confiscated immediately and they would have been executed.

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      • What does this have to do with anything?

        Errrum, do you have the memory of a goldfish, Insanity? You just said “How is one to go about selling all their possessions under a communist system where one is not allowed to own any possessions and absolutely everyone around you is “the poor?”

        These people weren’t “poor.” In fact, their lives were enriched by Communism. That particular experiment failed. The personalities driving it were atrocious, but you can’t deny it lifted more people from poverty faster than any other system ever. What you have in the United States is a system of economic imprisonment. Pay-to-Play. You’re the only advanced country on the planet that doesn’t offer universal healthcare, for goodness sakes.

        The apostles weren’t practicing communism because communism didn’t exist at the time.

        Congratulations, for that you’ve also won the Nonsensical Comment of the Day Award!

        If the apostles had been living under communism it is most likely that any wealth they gathered would have been confiscated immediately and they would have been executed.

        That really didn’t make any sense.

        Soooo, I’m still waiting for you to demonstrate where, precisely, in the Gospels Jesus proclaims the righteousness of Free Market Capitalism. Show me where the Apostles of Jesus Christ got it all wrong in practicing Communism. Show me how they “missed” Jesus’ message which you, 2,000 years later, think you’re hearing, and they didn’t…

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      • “These people weren’t “poor.” In fact, their lives were enriched by Communism.”

        Said almost no survivor of communism ever, John. I think that may be why we call those people “survivors.” They survived an atrocious system and were lucky to escape with their lives.

        Seriously, you’re trying to compare communism, which has killed millions of people, to Christ and the disciples? And you think I’m being nonsensical?

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      • Insanity, you’re getting yourself all confused. Breathe. Relax. Read slowly. No one is comparing the 20th century Russian experiment with Communism with that of the Communism practiced by the Apostles and the first Christian converts. Is that clear? The similarities begin and end with the tenets of common property and wealth (Although we can say both regimes murdered people for not being good Communists… go ask Ananias and Sapphira). As expressed by the Apostles:

        >All that believed were together, and had all things in common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

        As I have demonstrated, this Christian Communism was drawn directly from the words of Jesus whom you “claim” to follow:

        “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

        “…those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.”

        He did not say “Hoard money, buy property, bonds, and stocks, leverage your investments, grow wealthy, demand tax breaks, play the money market, strive to triple your income, and prosper in offshore tax havens.” He said quite the opposite:

        “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”

        So, I’m still waiting for you to demonstrate where, precisely, in the Gospels Jesus proclaims the righteousness of Free Market Capitalism. Show me where the Apostles of Jesus Christ got it all wrong in practicing Communism. Show me how they “missed” Jesus’ message which you, 2,000 years later, think you’re hearing, and they didn’t…

        Perhaps you could also explain why you are deliberately acting contrary to the way Jesus requested his followers act?

        Do you want to make Jesus cry?

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      • Granted, I was joking, although there was a certain vein of truth in the words.

        So, I’m still waiting for you to demonstrate where, precisely, in the Gospels Jesus proclaims the righteousness of Free Market Capitalism. Show me where the Apostles of Jesus Christ got it all wrong in practicing Communism. Show me how they “missed” Jesus’ message which you, 2,000 years later, think you’re hearing, and they didn’t…

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      • You weren’t really joking, John, you were reflecting something you learned somewhere. Writing is a pain in the rear isn’t it? We always unwittingly reveal ourselves.

        Peace John, I’ve already made my point and proven that no, the bible teaches nothing about the joys of communism. With any luck however, several other people should come along and validate the deception you’re trying to sell yourself.

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      • By “deception” you mean using actual biblical passages, direct quotes by Jesus, and the diary of the Apostles of Jesus as they established the first seeds of the Christian church?

        I see…. 😉

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  6. Ananias and wife gave up the ghost (King James) when confronted. I take this to mean that when they had been exposed, they were murdered, not by the disciples (nothing uplifting about that) but by the Middle Eastern God Himself, blessed be He and blessed be His Name, Amen.

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  7. I’ve often thought that if Marx had had some public relations savvy, he would have linked Communism with Christianity. It wouldn’t have been hard given many entries like this in the New Testament. From what I understand, in a lot of countries where socialism is popular, that link actually is often made under movements like liberation theology.

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  8. “… Many of us really do reflect that spirit of sharing and sacrifice, and distribute all we have to offer to those in need … ”

    Nice. I like it. But does the Pope?

    Perhaps if you forwarded him (or his minions this post), he may care to comment? Won’t happen though (a) you won’t forward it, and (b) no way will they answer it. QED.

    You left an escape clause in your comment, was that by design? (It’s one double-speakers have been using for millennia anyway; no problems.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Insanity is rather tricky in her replies… She hears voices in her head (i’m not kidding, she does, she says so) and these “voices” might be helping her craft such brilliant, brain hemorrhaging nonsense.

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      • I only blitzed the verse—but it does seem as if the Good Guy Apostles were innocent, that ol’ God Him/Their selves nuked them. No?

        The way my KJV has it, they were killed by YHVH.

        Which could appear to some to be a spontaneous act on His (the way it is described) yet because God(s) knows everything gillions of years in advance—there’s no way, just no way, as in NO way~!

        Ergo he/she/it planned it all down to the last withheld shekel. Aeons in advance.
        All that Wossisname and his Missus could do was follow the script. Therefore innocent victims.
        Free Will be damned … not possible.
        They had no option but to do what God knew they were going to do; and according to the Good Book … they done it.

        Ergo Big G was making a point:
        but why? None of the players had any option anyway—if you actually know that someone is going to walk out under a bus, what’s the point of ‘warning’ her?

        So you warn her (so would I) yet she does it anyway, just as you always knew she would, ‘cos she’s got no alternative … nice one, God~!

        (It seems so obvious—or am I missing something here?)

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      • Bugger—I left out the word ‘part’. God’s laughing at me, He knew before breakfast this morning that I’d do that (and yet the unfeeling swine let me go ahead). Lout!

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  9. It’s interesting that the actual communism (or as close to it as Soviet Union got) also did not see much connection between itself and Christianity and fought against religion tooth and nail, although it’s possible that it’s the Christian concepts of equality and communality helped communism establish itself around the time of revolution.

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      • I don’t really see it as a missed opportunity: communism as established by Soviet Union early on was basically a militant ideology of the “you either with us or against us” type forged during the revolution and civil war, and as such. it could not tolerate a presence of another competing ideology. If the establishment of communism had been gradual, it may have been theoretically possible to merge the two – but then the Russian monarchy would see communism as a threat and would try to crush it, which is pretty much what it had been doing in the late 19th century anyway.

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  10. An example of Christians not following Jesus I encountered yesterday was someone praising Jesus and the Canadian (conservative) Prime Minister in the same breath – the same Prime Minister that sent bombers to aide the US in killing people in the Middle East.

    Do Christians have a difficult time recalling how Jesus suggested to deal with one’s enemies?

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    • Well, since Jesus was God or part of God or whatever…the God of the Bible certainly showed no hesitation about killing the enemies of His People. Since, obvisouly, the United States is God’s Chosen Nation, Canada is able to slide on our proper Godly coat tails when engaged in some Holy Smiting!

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      • Ouch, my head hurts!

        Jesus tries to bring a different view of things compared to the Old Testament, ends up being connected to the OT God, which then allows people to say the ways of the OT God are loving because Jesus was.

        … and somehow people fail to see the trouble in such flawed logic.

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  11. What the apologists responding to this have been saying comes down to this: It was god’s will that Ananias and wife die. That makes it ok.
    This means of course that there is no fundamental morality to Christianity.
    And obviously, also, even though one must love god, there really is no assurance god will love anyone back. It’s all up to divine whim.
    god is a nasty mob boss; pay protection or else. But even if you pay it, that doesn’t get you any security that you get protection.

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  12. found this on http://evolequals.com/2014/10/24/a-survival-guide-for-christians-who-have-been-fighting-against-marriage-equality/
    “Get Real With Your Relationship With the Bible: I have never met a non-lobster eating, pro-slavery, Sabbath-worker killing, woman silencing, flat-earther, poverty seeking Christian in my life. I am not saying that there isn’t one, just that I have not had the displeasure of meeting such and individual. I therefore, have never met someone who TRULY and literally believes in what every word of the translated Bible actually says. Every single Christian on the planet picks and chooses passages they find relevant.”

    one can also cite where JC says take a horse/colt from other people since he needs it, as evidence for the idea of common property.

    I will have to say that some Christians are quite nice. My folks, for instance. My dad once went out to help some strangers who were stuck in the snow on his tractor to get them out in a snowstorm. And we fed and housed said strangers because he brought them home beause it was too bad to go anywhere else.

    In one place in the myth, JC says that being nice is required. Then we have another version who is quite happy with commanding that anyone who doesn’t accept him should be brought before him and killed. more evidence that there was no JC and we have the remains of a lot so different cults.

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  13. Pingback: Why Won’t Christians Follow Jesus? | Christians Anonymous

  14. Yes, John! This is a valid question. See this verse also:

    Give from what you have. 12 If you want to give, your gift will be accepted. Your gift will be judged by what you have, not by what you don’t have. 13 We don’t want you to have troubles while others are comforted. We want everything to be equal. 14 At this time you have plenty and can provide what they need. Then later, when they have plenty, they can provide what you need. Then everyone will have an equal share. 15 As the Scriptures say,

    “Those who gathered much did not have too much,
    and those who gathered little did not have too little.” (2 Corinthian 8:11-15)

    I’ve never heard a sermon preached on these verses in almost 35 years of being a Christian.

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    • Wohoo! We’re in agreement 🙂 It seems, somewhat regretfully, that the rabid right wing in the States have truly corrupted the central message as practiced by the first Christians. How anyone can go to a Megachurch and then believe they’re doing Christianity right is beyond me.

      Hope you’re well, Diana. Has the new addition arrived?

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  15. John I think this applied only to the apostles. Present day Christians are free to be capitalists and mean. You know the way they say the OT has been overruled by the NT.

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      • I loved that exchange John. It was eye opening. And scary too. Especially the last bit where she claims to have proven a point of some kind. Proved she’s batsh*t crazy is about all. Oh, BTW, just cause I have a chance here to digress, I will: Han shot first. $Amen$

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      • He shot Greedo in the bar in Mos Eisley space port. In the original movie, Greedo comes to tell Han Jabba has a price on his head. Then, before Greedo can shoot Han, Han blasts Greedo from under the table he’s sitting at. In the reissued Star Wars, George Lucas tweaked the scene and added a blast from Greedo’s blaster first, making it seem like Han fired AFTER Greedo shot first. In other words, Lucas softened Solo a bit. Can’t have a good guy who fries a bad guy because the bad guy MIGHT shoot him. But, Han did just that originally. Anyway, I still love Star Wars, and I find talking about it far more fun than talking to christians who don’t understand what communism is. Lordy be! The silliness of the christians never fails to amaze me. Here’s a question? Would Jesus have shot Greedo first had he come to bring him to Jabba dead or alive?

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      • Ahhhh! Han shot first, yes. In fact, Cult had episode 4 (the newer version) on last weekend and I watched that very scene, but I can’t remember Greedo firing first.

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      • It’s very fast and almost not noticeable. I’ve been a huge Star Wars fan since the day the first movie came out in ’77, and I wouldn’t have noticed it had not someone pointed it out to me. IMO, it doesn’t change the joy I get from that movie. Lucas said one of the reasons he sold Lucas Film was so that more movies could be made without him getting death threats and hate mail because people didn’t like them. That and the 5 billion dollars Disney paid him, I suppose. I like movies like Star Wars cause they’re fictional escapes from reality. When people turn them into religions, and many do, I find it deeply disturbing, for that is truly a path to the Dark Side of the Force.

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  16. For some reason Word press unfollowed you for me. How nice!
    I wondered why I was not getting any thing in my email of late.

    Your ”Best Quote Ever Award” was perfectly vindicated by Insanitybytes ( do these people ever think before they choose blog names?)

    Why the religious are not declared mentally unstable is quite beyond me.

    Very clever post by the way.
    I was hoping a Christian would come back and say: “Acts has now been declared fiction, so BooYah to you John Z”.
    Sigh ….wishful thinking.

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  17. John… this is such an interesting post…
    I believe that we can probably say that the Bible suggests that the first Christians established their own small communist society.
    The idea of communal property and lack of social differences is a good proof of that…
    As to Christian communism, as far as I have just read, it is considered a radical form of Christian socialism.

    I think this paragraph is eloquent!:

    “Christian communists agree with many of the economic and existential aspects of Marxist theory, such as the idea that capitalism exploits the working class by extracting surplus value from the workers in the form of profits and that wage-labor is a tool of human alienation that promotes arbitrary and unjust authority. Christian communism, like Marxism, also holds that capitalism encourages the negative aspects of human nature, supplanting values such as mercy, kindness, justice and compassion in favor of greed, selfishness and blind ambition”.
    (Found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_communism)

    Personally, I believe that the best way to ransom fake, old and unfair orthodoxies would be a return to the Sources of the original Christianism… When religion or belief become a Dogma… Then It is no more than a coercitive constraint.

    Thanks for sharing and all the best to you, Aquileana 😀

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    • I absolutely agree with you, which is not at all strange 🙂 Acts, not piety or dogma, are what matters regardless of ideology, yet it seems many Christians have not only ignored this truism, but appear repulsed by the very notion. In particular, i’m speaking about the American Christian, but we see this example everywhere. This subject has jumped over onto a few other blogs, and i’m utterly astounded at how the Christians who’re engaging this subject are vehemently protesting the very clear example of Christian communism, despite all the evidence. Seems we’re all mistaken. Jesus was clearly an advocate for free market economies, trickle down economic policies, for-profit healthcare, no regulation, environmental vandalism, corporate greed, and the accumulation of obscene wealth.

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  18. Another way to look at this question, if you’re feeling perverse, is to wonder why advocates of communism or, indeed the welfare state, like to pretend they aren’t Christians.

    Thanks for this fun article,
    Ben

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  19. Not to split hairs but there is a big difference between a system of forced sharing of goods, and a the voluntary forming of a community where people meet each others needs. So see the work of the salvation army and the Foodbanks as examples of this in practice.

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    • there is a big difference between a system of forced sharing of goods, and a the voluntary forming of a community where people meet each others needs… and if they don’t, they get murdered, like Ananias and his wife Sapphira.

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      • Have you ever actually read that passage. I assume not but here is an excerpt to help you. Pay special note to verse 4 Didn’t it belong to you, wasn’t the money at your disposal….? I’ms sure i’ve and this discussion on one of your pages before but anyway, lets play it again.

        3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have **lied** to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? **4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal?** What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”

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      • Precisely! He withheld a portion of the sale from the commune (the Christian communists) and was murdered for doing so.

        The question for you is this: Did the apostles murder Ananias and his wife Sapphira, or did Yhwh murder Ananias and Sapphira?

        Which do you think?

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      • We have no record other than the account – which says 1. The issue is lying, they were under no obligation to sell or donate 2. they died without any record or human intervention. Given the denunciation of violence by the apostles I’d go for God striking them down.

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      • I’m sure they’ll get there chance to complain if they’d like to. Hard to argue with the one who makes the rules though! Glad to see you’re ignoring the text of the episode and my points on it. A debate where we noted each others points would be quite novel though!

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      • I’m not ignoring anything. You, however, are. Need I remind you of the verses?

        (Acts 2:44-45) All that believed were together, and had all things in common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

        See that word, “common”? All things in “common:” common property, common wealth. That’s Communism. Of course, the first Christians were simply following Jesus’ command to the Tee:

        Luke 14:33 “… those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.”

        So, you see, Clap, Jesus ordered his disciples (his followers) to sell everything and share it as common property. The first Christians, the people who actually met and knew Jesus, did exactly this. New followers and converts, like Ananias and Sapphira, were under the same command as the apostles, the commands made by Jesus: sell everything and share it in “common.” They didn’t, and they got murdered for it.

        Now, that’s fine that you believe your god murdered Ananias and Sapphira for hiding a few coins from the Christian commune. I just find it all rather peculiar, considering the relatively innocuous nature of their “crime” when compared to, for example, the works of someone truly wicked, like Hitler.

        I guess its just a matter of priorities. Not disclosing a few coins is far worse than having a hand in the murder of 70 million innocent people, right?

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      • You’ve picked a few random passages but ignored all the others. What about the passage where Jesus commends zacheus who only sells half? Hmm maybe he was making a different point? And all the apostles teachings about providing for your own family (see eg timothy). Hmm….Interesting. Perhaps they’re not the communists you suppose.

        Hardly worth arguing the other point. Assuming the Almighty exists, and that we all die, it’s hard to argue with the one who decides when that happens.

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      • A few random passages?

        Matthew 19:21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

        Luke 14:33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

        Luke 18:22 “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

        That seems pretty conclusive to me. How about you?

        Now, back to the murder of two essentially innocent people. Are you saying Ananias and Sapphira were more evil than Hitler? Are you saying they deserved to be killed by your god, and Hitler did not?

        That’s a tremendously interesting position to take.

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      • Matt 19 deals with a self righteous guy who insists he has done everything good. Jesus shows him his greedy heart with that challenge. Jesus only tells these self righteous types. Jesus followers had their own cash which they used to supply him (Luke 8) and his followers often recognise private property rights so suggesting these passages prove the bible endorses communism is a bit embarrassing.

        Re murder, not saying anything about Hitler just saying we all die so might as well accuse God of billions of murders.

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      • The actions of the Apostles, as detailed in The Acts of the Apostles, are the raw, virgin, untainted, pure, crystal, uncomplicated and unconfused manifestation of the wishes of Jesus Christ himself. These were the people, after all, who met and knew Jesus, right? And how do we have them acting? Pursuing common property and common wealth… Communism. It’s there in black and white… Or don’t you follow Jesus and the Apostles, Clap?

        Now, you say your Middle Eastern god was motivated enough by Ananias and Sapphira withholding a few coins from the Christian commune to murder them. Your god, so you believe, got up and killed these two people. He intervened, this you believe. This you said. To repeat their crime: hiding a few coins. Could you explain to me, Clap, why your Middle Eastern god wasn’t motivated enough to do anything about someone like Hitler, who had a hand in the murder of over 70 million innocent people.

        Looking forward to your answer…

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      • That’s quite some doctrine there john. But if you really follow jesus you follow all his teachings and make the effort to understand them. As I’ve tried to show with matt 19 and the like. If you want to ignore his teachings and the teachings of his apostles then so be it. But if you bother to read beyond d you’ll see private property and free choice about it (as in verse 4 this story) all through the bible.

        Poor old God is damned if he does and if he doesn’t. When he kills the child sacrificers in the OT he’s a genocidal maniac and now he’s uncaring for not taking out the nazis. Should he have taken out Hitler when he was a kid – that would def have got him in hot water!

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      • Interesting that you say one should read scriptures, yet here you are ignoring scripture; ignoring Jesus’ strikingly clear commands, and ignoring the acts of the people who actually heard Jesus’ words: the Apostles. Always amusing, I must say, to see a theist dance around those awkward parts of the good book which they don’t want to confront, or more particularly, emulate.

        I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems, Clap, that you’re saying the Apostles got it all wrong. How do you think they got it so wrong, when they had actually listened to Jesus? Perhaps you can enlighten me on this little vagary…

        Yes, poor old god. That doesn’t answer my question, though. Why do you keep avoiding it?

        How about we rephrase it? Do you, Clap, believe hiding a few coins deserved being murdered for, but being responsible for the slaughter of over 70 million innocent men, women and children (and god only knows how many tens of millions of equally innocent animals caught up in the fracas) wasn’t?

        Please, don’t dodge the question again….

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      • No dancing. Just actually reading what’s on the page. Peter clearly affirms private property in that passage. And if you think jesus is a big communist please can you explain zacheus. Teach me john, I need your instruction!

        Should God wipe out everyone who inflicts hurt on someone else. Thankfully not or we’d all be smoked! I’m more interested in why people don’t take responsibility for people’s actions, instead of blaming god for them.

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      • Come on, Clap, you’re boring me to tears here. You can ignore the direct commands of Jesus and the acts of the Apostles all you like, that’s your prerogative (and only you have to sleep with yourself at night), but if you avoid addressing what is being put to you again regarding the murder of Ananias and Sapphira I’m just going to ignore you, as it’s simply too boring to continue.

        You have said, quite clearly, the Apostles did not execute Ananias and Sapphira. You claimed, quite clearly, your particular Middle Eastern god, Yhwh, instead murdered them.

        Their crime: hiding a few coins from the Christian commune; the first Christians who practiced common property and common wealth (ie. communism) and felt cheated by Ananias and Sapphira who did not fully follow this system of shared-communal living.

        What you are saying then, with great confidence, is that your god was motivated enough by this supposed “crime” that it intervened in earthly affairs and killed this couple. Killed them, Clap.

        In itself this is tremendously interesting because Christians are forever explaining away why their god does nothing, unlike all the intervention in the OT, is because after Jesus intervention wasn’t required.

        Well, this event was after Jesus, was it not, Clap?

        I remind you: you are saying your god intervened and killed these people. Not me. You are the one making the claim, so now you have to justify it, or simply admit the Apostles actually killed Ananias and Sapphira.

        So, Clap, as you are saying you know your god did in fact intervene in earthy affairs after Jesus. It follows then that you must also understand why it intervened, or you wouldn’t make the claim, correct? So, tell me why your god thought hiding a few coins from the Christian commune was reason for an earthly intervention, but stopping, say, a six year old girl being raped is not cause for an intervention…

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      • Lol. You’re like the guy who thinks brits should still fight the Germans cos the PM once said so. You hold onto that statement out of context all you want john – I obvs can’t help here. Even though in that same passage jesus refers to the 10 commandments which are riddled with private property rights.

        All you’re doing here is showing that you’re not interested in actually understanding the text. You’ve got the same approach as tele evangelists. How ironic!

        I don’t know why god did in one nd not the other. Maybe he did so that Adolf didn’t kill even more. Maybe the death toll without his interference would have been 200m. Interesting – would you thank him now? Or be ungrateful? Lol!

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      • OK, you’ve bored me enough… and I didn’t mention Hitler this time, rather a six year old girl being raped. A horrid crime which is, by your own admission, not worthy of a godly intervention.

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      • Not at all. But if he does intervene or pronounce judgement you find a reason to be unhappy with that as well. As in this case there’d probably be some progress if the texts where actually understood.

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  20. This is an awesome read. I did not though understand how the death of the couple is murder. If murder is defined as the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another, and the couple where not killed by another human being, then I fail to see how it is murder.

    Let’s assume that it does not matter whether human-human relationship matters in defining murder. Do you mean to say if God, assuming He exists and creator of all, thus giver of life, takes life, then God is a murder?

    If God gives life, does He have no right to take it? I just lost here and wish you enlighten me John.

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    • Hey Daniel, good to hear from you!

      Murder is the unlawful ending of another’s life. Had Ananias and Sapphira committed a capital crime? Of course not. Were they tried, found guilty, then executed? Nope. Their supposed “crime” was simply hiding a few coins from a sale from the members of the commune. Hardly something deserving death. Have you ever considered it necessary to kill someone, your wife, or your children for telling a little lie? It is, therefore, murder. The outstanding question though is this: who actually murdered Ananias and Sapphira? The text is quite cryptic. They “fall down dead.” Now, I’d say the apostles murdered them, but I’ve had many Christians say their/your god in fact killed them, and I’m willing to accept this (for arguments sake, at least), although it raises some tremendously awkward questions which perhaps you can address.

      If I’m to accept Yhwh murdered Ananias and Sapphira, then we have to assume their crime was deemed so abhorrent to move Yhwh and warrant a godly intervention, correct? If Yhwh can be motivated to intervene in earthly affairs over such a seemingly gentle—victimless—crime, motivated enough to actually kill two people, why does he not intervene to stop the vicious rape of a six year old girl? Upon what priorities does this story make any sense to Christians?

      Liked by 1 person

      • John, I believe you defined words to fit your case. Dictionary of Law states that murder is unlawful killing of a human being by another(with qualification of age, sanity, etc). A robot killing a human being is not murder(ever watched iRobot 🙂 ) because robot-human relationship is not included in murder.

        Following the text, Acts 5 it records that they fell down and died. No human active invovlement is found in the text. I shy not saying that God, as an actor in Acts 5, is actively involved.

        So we have God-human relationship. Creator-creature relationship. My question thus is if God is a giver of life, one he takes life, is God a murder? Does a Creator have rights to do with His creation?

        Is murder category applicable to Creator of life? It is believed that God gives and takes lives, throughout the books you are quoting. So no life God unless God permits or wills it. Thus God, is not just a “murder” of the couple in Acts but every single person per your understanding, from the first human being to the one that just died as you read this. 🙂

        God, from the book you quote, gives and takes life’s as He sees fits. What is so special about Acts 5? If God placed Jesus to be killed according to his foreknowledge, what is the couple so different? I am lost here John!

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      • No human active invovlement is found in the text. I shy not saying that God, as an actor in Acts 5, is actively involved.

        This is creative hermeneutics, and not accepted as logical, or reasonable. Do two people, accused of the same “crime,” suddenly fall down and die without some form of intervention? Of course not. We have a double murder here. That is perfectly clear, and the majority of Christians I have spoken to have stated, quite resolutely, that Yhwh was the intervening hand, not the Apostles.

        My question thus is if God is a giver of life, one he takes life, is God a murder?

        Good question. It can be best answered by surveying the notion of justice. I know you like your corollaries, so how about we put it this way:

        1. A good god is a just god
        2. For justice to be meaningful it has to be consistent.
        3. The Murder of Ananias and Sapphira is not consistent with the crime
        4. Therefore, the Christian god is not a just god.
        5. Therefore, the Christian god is not good.

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      • Do two people, accused of the same “crime,” suddenly fall down and die without some form of intervention? Suddenly fall down and die, yes. Without some form of “intervention” ? No. From the books you quoted God is active all the time. There is no interventions since God is present all the time.

        I wrote that I did not shy away from the implicit meaning of the text. God actively took away the lives of Ananias and Sapphira. The idea that the first Christians killed them is ad hoc. One there would be a murder charged from the Jews and Romans towards the first Christian. Two, first Christians where known to die for what they believed, not to kill others for that. Three, it would be against their leader who taught them that the vengeance is not theirs but God. From the text, the only non ad hoc explanation is that God took Ananias and Sapphira’s lives. The burden of proof is on you to show that it was not God who took away the lives of the couple but the first Christians.

        My question is, so what is a big deal with God taking away of the couples lives? According to the books you are quoting, God is the giver and taker of life all the times. See for example:

        “Yahweh kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up” – 1 Samuel 2:6

        “‘See now that I[Yahweh], even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.” – Deuteronomy 32:39

        These also includes the brutal death of ” His only beloved” Jesus. So what is so unique about Ananias and Sapphira?

        None put it well than the author of the book of Job(1:21): “And he[Job after hearing all his lost, including the death of all his children] said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. Yahweh gave, and Yahweh has taken away; blessed be the name of Yahweh.”

        The idea that gave gives and takes lives is not new. Taking Ananias and Sapphira’s lives is not news. According to the book you quoted, it is not just Ananias and Sapphira but every single human being, matured or prematured. He gives. He takes.

        Corollaries:
        (1) God is just
        (2) God took away Ananias and Sapphira’s lives.

        What to conclude! (3) Therefore God is unjust?

        How does (3) follow from (1) and (2). We could have a premise (4) It is possible that God had justified reason(s) to take Ananias and Sapphira’s lives. If (4) is possible, not necessarily true, then (3) does not follow. Logically it fails. Unless you argue that it is impossible that God had justified reason(s).

        So back to the basics. Murder is defined as unlawful taking of human beings life by another human being(with certain qualifications, age, sanity &c.,) if a dog unlawful killed a human being, it is madness stating that that dog is a murderer! Or if a tree unlawful killed a human being, it is madness stating that a tree is a murderer! Or if a person killed himself, it is madness stating that he is a murderer. Murder is human-to-another human relationship. But let’s grant it and carry on this loaded language, for argument sake.

        God murdered Ananias and Sapphira. Why stop there? He murdered His beloved Jesus. He murdered every single human being that is now dead. He is murdering right now. He will murder in future. He gives lives and takes lives. My question is, so what? What is so special with Acts 5?

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      • I’ve already said I’m happy to play along and accept the apologists’ unsubstantiated interpretation of the text and place the murder of Ananias and Sapphira on the Christian god. Logically, I don’t accept this as being true, and your explanation that there would be murder charges brought against the Apostles (if they’d performed the murders) is moot. Regardless of whom murdered the couple there are still two bodies, so murder charges would be brought in all respects. I’m pretty sure the Romans/Greeks/Jews didn’t have a legal clause excusing murders in cases when a god did the killing.

        My question is, so what is a big deal with God taking away of the couples lives? According to the books you are quoting, God is the giver and taker of life all the times. See for example

        What’s the big deal? Do you not respect the notion of justice? The central premise of any personal god hypothesis is that it, the god, is the final dispenser of justice, correct? The personal god sees all, and will reward, or punish, in some ultimate supernal reckoning. This is the central theme of Christianity. This is the central attraction of belief: Justice. If there’s no hope for justice, why believe?

        This story is an interesting case in justice. As I put it to you:

        1. A good god is a just god
        2. For justice to be meaningful it has to be consistent.
        3. The murder of Ananias and Sapphira is not consistent with the crime
        4. Therefore, the Christian god is not a just god.
        5. Therefore, the Christian god is not good.

        Your reply to this is pure evasion. You ignored Premise 2, deliberately omitted “a good god” in addressing Premise 1 (“A good god is a just god”), and simply re-invented Premise 3. When read correctly, Premise 3 follows, quite naturally, because for justice to be meaningful (for it to be good) it has to be consistent. If we could not rely on this consistency then we do not have “justice,” rather some haphazard, arbitrary dispensing of punishment according to the erratic emotional states of the judge and executioner. Are you saying your god, Daniel, is prone to unpredictable emotional outbursts?

        Are you saying your god is not in control of its emotions?

        So, for justice to be meaningful—for it to be good—it must be consistent. If this is not the case then you have no rational reason to admire (or have faith in) your god. This is a statement of fact. And this brings us to the “crime” of Ananias and Sapphira. It was a victimless “crime.” They hid a few coins. The totality of their “crime” was that they told a lie by not disclosing the full proceeds from a sale of their own property.

        For this, they were killed by Yhwh. Yhwh, so the story goes, was motivated enough to physically intervene in earthly affairs and snuff out these two lives.

        Fine.

        Now, where is the consistency? Has Yhwh continued to intervene in earthly affairs and kill people for lying since this event? No. Here we have serious problems with consistency, made all the worse because Yhwh has failed to physically intervene in earthly affairs in matters of truly appalling crimes, like the vicious rape of a six year girl. While the six year old girl is being molested and beaten, her little body torn apart and her tiny bones smashed, she is pleading for help, is she not? She is desperate, yet we have never heard of a single case where Yhwh decided such a ghastly, abhorrent crime was of equal measure and urgency as Ananias and Sapphira hiding a few coins from the sale of their own property. That deserved physical earthly intervention, and severe intervention at that, but the brutal rape of a six year old girl doesn’t warrant the same attention?

        Consistency. There is none.

        And so we return to the corollary, which I’m hoping this time you’ll address without deliberately misrepresenting what is actually written:

        1. A good god is a just god
        2. For justice to be meaningful it has to be consistent.
        3. The murder of Ananias and Sapphira is not consistent with the crime
        4. Therefore, the Christian god is not a just god.
        5. Therefore, the Christian god is not good.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It does not matter what you accept or not John. The text does not show that the first Christians killed Ananias and Sapphira. If you think it does, the show it. From the Greek terms used, there is no indication of your theory. The burden of proof is on you to show that they did without your theory being ad hoc.

        Let accept your loaded langauge of “murder”. How do you know that (3)The murder of Ananias and Sapphira is not consistent with the crime, is true. What standard do you use to measure what is consistent with a given crime?

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      • How many times do you want me to repeat the same thing? I’ve said, repeatedly, I’m willing to play along with the apologists’ interpretation of the text and place the murder of Ananias and Sapphira on the Christian god. Of course I find this explanation ludicrous as I don’t believe in the Christian god (the god of the Pentateuch, which is known myth, therefore just another debunked god), but for arguments sake I’ll play along. No problem.

        More housekeeping. Would you feel happier if the word “murder” was changed to simply “killing,” or perhaps “execution”? If so, I also don’t mind. I find it interesting, though, that you suddenly now have such a severe allergic reaction to that particular word, but were quite fond of it, as I recall, when discussing abortion. And if I remember correctly, although being shown that your usage was in extreme error (you can’t kill something that can’t die), you stubbornly persisted in using that word, despite knowing you were wrong. Still, in my mind, if the event did in fact occur, the apostles and their followers obviously murdered Ananias and Sapphira to make an example out of them, but again for arguments sake, I’m happy to play along and say for the record: Yhwh killed—executed—Ananias and Sapphira for the “crime” of lying, in that they did not turn over the full proceeds of the sale of their own property to the Apostles.

        How do you know that (3)The murder of Ananias and Sapphira is not consistent with the crime

        I thought I explained this all quite thoroughly. Firstly, and I think we can all agree, a death sentence for lying by omission (regarding a few coins) is somewhat extreme and radically inconsistent will all notions of appropriate punishment. Indeed, executing two people for not sharing everything is rather abhorrent, unjustified , and unexampled. And therein we dive a little further into the matter of consistency:

        It is unexampled.

        If Yhwh was a consistent god, a dependable god who was mindful of setting a good and predictable example to the creatures he demands veneration from, then we should—naturally—expect him to repeat his behaviour. In matters of justice and punishment we should see no deviation in his behaviour, and so we would expect him to execute all people for the same “crime:” lying. As I said earlier:

        For justice to be meaningful (for it to be good) it has to be consistent. If we could not rely on this consistency then we do not have “justice,” rather some haphazard, arbitrary dispensing of punishment according to the erratic emotional states of the judge and executioner. Are you saying your god, Daniel, is prone to unpredictable emotional outbursts? …

        For justice to be meaningful—for it to be good—it must be consistent. If this is not the case then you have no rational reason to admire (or have faith in) your god. This is a statement in fact.

        So, have we seen this behaviour repeated? No. Have we seen a consistency in this god’s actions before, and since? No. And yet we have Abraham’s wife, Sarah, lying to Yhwh, but did he execute her? No. Abraham lied to Pharaoh and to Abimelech, but did Yhwh execute him? No. Jacob lied to Isaac, but did Yhwh execute him? No.Laban lied to Jacob, but did Yhwh execute him? No.The Potifar’s wife lied, but did Yhwh execute her? No. Rahab lied to everyone in Jericho, but did Yhwh execute him? No. Saul lied to David, but did Yhwh execute him? No. Hitler lied to Chamberlain, but did Yhwh execute him? No. Ronald Reagan lied to the United States, but did Yhwh execute him? No. If you lie tomorrow, Daniel, will you expect to be executed by Yhwh? Can you depend on Yhwh to behave in the same manner as he did with Ananias and Sapphira and strike you down dead? I doubt it. Tomorrow you will lie, and you will go to sleep at night embarrassed—and perhaps a little upset—with yourself, but otherwise perfectly healthy. Your “crime” has not been treated equally, and this is inconsistent.

        It is erratic.

        It is untrustworthy.

        It is, therefore, not the stable and dependable execution of justice.

        Now, added onto being a demonstrably inconsistent, undependable, erratic, untrustworthy god, we have in this case a severe problem of priorities. As I pointed out earlier, Yhwh was motivated enough (so you believe) by the victimless crime of lying to physically intervene in earthly affairs and kill two people, yet we have never seen him physically intervene in earthly affairs when it comes to truly appalling crimes, like the vicious rape of a six year girl. As I put it earlier:

        While the six year old girl is being molested and beaten, her little body torn apart and her tiny bones smashed, she is pleading for help, is she not? She is desperate, yet we have never heard of a single case where Yhwh decided such a ghastly, abhorrent crime was of equal measure and urgency as Ananias and Sapphira hiding a few coins from the sale of their own property.

        And so, we return to the corollary:

        1. A good god is a just god
        2. For justice to be meaningful it has to be consistent.
        3. Yhwh’s execution of Ananias and Sapphira is not consistent with the crime
        4. Therefore, the Christian god is not a just god.
        5. Therefore, the Christian god is not good.

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      • John I am challenging your assumption: You keep asserting but not defending. You stated that the justice given to Sapphira and Ananias is inconsistent to their crime.

        What standard that you hold that is objective (meaning that is true for you, me and first Christians thus transcend culture, time &c.,)?

        What objective standarding point so you stand on to say x justice is consistency or not with y crime?

        In short: How do you know what is consistent and what is not?

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      • Do you even read the comments, Daniel? Shall I repeat what was written?

        So, have we seen this behaviour repeated? No. Have we seen a consistency in this god’s actions before, and since? No. And yet we have Abraham’s wife, Sarah, lying to Yhwh, but did he execute her? No. Abraham lied to Pharaoh and to Abimelech, but did Yhwh execute him? No. Jacob lied to Isaac, but did Yhwh execute him? No. Laban lied to Jacob, but did Yhwh execute him? No. The Potifar’s wife lied, but did Yhwh execute her? No. Rahab lied to everyone in Jericho, but did Yhwh execute him? No. Saul lied to David, but did Yhwh execute him? No. Hitler lied to Chamberlain, but did Yhwh execute him? No. Ronald Reagan lied to the United States, but did Yhwh execute him? No. If you lie tomorrow, Daniel, will you expect to be executed by Yhwh? Can you depend on Yhwh to behave in the same manner as he did with Ananias and Sapphira and strike you down dead? I doubt it. Tomorrow you will lie, and you will go to sleep at night embarrassed—and perhaps a little upset—with yourself, but otherwise perfectly healthy. Your “crime” has not been treated equally, and this is inconsistent.

        And so, we return to the corollary:

        1. A good god is a just god
        2. For justice to be meaningful it has to be consistent.
        3. Yhwh’s execution of Ananias and Sapphira is not consistent with the crime
        4. Therefore, the Christian god is not a just god.
        5. Therefore, the Christian god is not good.

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      • I believe you misunderstood me John. I am not asking for whether there is constiency or not. Granted, prima facie it appears there is no consciency. This is not may problem. My problem is deeper than that. It is about what standard do we use to know x justice is consistent with y crime.

        Checking a list of the past justice J+ which corresponded with crime C+, does not begin to explain what standard we use to judge x justice is consistent with y crime.

        So how do you know that killing of Ananias and Sapphira is inconsistent with the crime they performed?

        A utilitarian would not see any problem with the passage. What is right is measured by the greatest satisfaction it brings to a huge number of people. The death of Ananias and Sapphira, from a utilitarian, could a brought greast satifaction of fairness in great number of first Christians. From utilitarian, there is no inconstancy.

        You and I, I assume, are not utilitarian, but what standard do we hold to reject their view and how that killing of the couples is inconsistent with their crime?

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      • What standard? Do you recognise any standard higher than your god? If so, do please let me know…

        And so, we return to the corollary:

        1. A good god is a just god
        2. For justice to be meaningful it has to be consistent.
        3. Yhwh’s execution of Ananias and Sapphira is not consistent with the crime
        4. Therefore, the Christian god is not a just god.
        5. Therefore, the Christian god is not good.

        Like

      • Did I judge and execute Ananias and Sapphira?

        And so, we return to the corollary:

        1. A good god is a just god
        2. For justice to be meaningful it has to be consistent.
        3. Yhwh’s execution of Ananias and Sapphira is not consistent with the crime
        4. Therefore, the Christian god is not a just god.
        5. Therefore, the Christian god is not good.

        Like

      • You did judge that the execute of Ananias and Sapphira is inconsistent. This is your premise three. The major premise of your argument. 🙂

        If you have no standard to which you made such a judgement, why think (3) is true?

        Without any standard you cannot simply assert that the killing of Ananias and Sapphira is inconsistent with their crime. Your premise (3) is thus moot. Without objective transcends standard how on earth do you know that their judgement is not consistent with their crime?

        Here I believe your argument fails, no matter how you repeat it. It fails because (3) is simply an assertstion without rational justification. You simply assumed and hope that those who also buy such an assumption will agree with you. Any logical and critical thinker would not buy such an assertation that is sold without warrant. 🙂

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      • Did I judge and execute Ananias and Sapphira? Really? Was I there? Did I perform the execution? Do you believe that I, Daniel, am the infallible, perfect, and final arbiter of justice in this universe? Do you believe that I, and I alone, am the highest authority to which all contingent things must ultimately defer to? Do you believe that I, and I alone, Daniel, will lord over your religions Judgement Day as the ultimate authority and dispenser of justice?

        Premise 3 is immutable.

        It is immutable because 1. You believe Yhwh to be the perfect and final arbiter of justice in this universe, the highest standard there is, and 2. Because it is a statement of fact based on the actions of Yhwh before the judgement and execution of Ananias and Sapphira, and after the judgement and execution of Ananias and Sapphira. Have we seen this behaviour repeated before or after? No. Have we seen a consistency in this god’s actions—its judgment—before and since in matters of identical crimes? No. Did Yhwh execute Sarah for lying? No. When you lie tomorrow, Daniel, will you expect Yhwh to strike you down dead, just as he struck Ananias and Sapphira down dead for the same crime you will commit? If your god was consistent, it would strike you down dead, wouldn’t it? Shouldn’t it?

        Consistency. There is none.

        And to repeat:

        For justice to be meaningful it has to be consistent. If we could not rely on this consistency then we do not have “justice,” rather some haphazard, arbitrary dispensing of punishment according to the erratic emotional states of the judge and executioner. Are you saying your god, Daniel, is prone to unpredictable emotional outbursts? Are you saying your god is not in control of its emotions, and is therefore not dependable, not fair, not just?

        Perhaps you want to re-think your position and just say the Apostles murdered Ananias and Sapphira to set an example… It’s the only option you have to save your god.

        But while you think about recanting your earlier proclamation that Yhwh judged and executed Ananias and Sapphira for the “crime” of lying, let us return to the unchallenged corollary:

        1. A good god is a just god
        2. For justice to be meaningful it has to be consistent.
        3. Yhwh’s execution of Ananias and Sapphira is not consistent with the crime
        4. Therefore, the Christian god is not a just god.
        5. Therefore, the Christian god is not good.

        Like

      • John, it does not matter how many times you repeat your argument. I granted presmis (1) and (2). I challenged the truthfulness of (3).

        You claimed that the judgement of execution of Ananias and Sapphira is not constitent with their crime.

        This is your judgment call by, using your words, of a not perfect and not fallible being, called John Zande. The problem is, as a not perfect and not fallible being, how do you know that Ananias and Sapphira’s death judgement is not constitent with their crime?

        It appears that you need to be perfect and infallible being to make such a judgment call. You said you are not. So why should a rational and critical thinker buy your unsupported assertation that their punishment did not fit their crime?

        Your premise (3) is simply your unsupported, purely aprior assumption without any justification. From the logical point of view, (3) is problematic and for me, the sale out of your case.

        (3) needs support and since you have no standard, objective transcending foundation, to judge whether (3) is true, then your argument fails. 🙂 Sadly. Repeating it does not suddenly, magically, or mysteriously remove that problem. 🙂

        As a critical thinker, I cannot buy your case unless you provide justification for why on earth should we accept (3) as true 😉

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      • You claimed that the judgement of execution of Ananias and Sapphira is not constitent with their crime—this is your judgment call….an assertstion without rational justification….Your premise (3) is simply your unsupported, purely aprior assumption without any justification…..needs support and since you have no standard, objective transcending foundation

        So, let me get this straight, Daniel: you’re actually trying to argue that it is irrational and without justification to use the actions and behaviour of your own god, Yhwh, as the “standard” for assessing the execution of Ananias and Sapphira as inconsistent? Now, do please correct me if I’m wrong, but this requires repeating it’s so bizarre …. It appears you’re trying to argue that it is irrational to use the actions and behaviour of Yhwh—your god—as a measuring rod, a reliable standard, for assessing right from wrong. Is this what you’re trying to say?

        LOL! You’ve truly outdone yourself here.

        Daniel, do you recognise any higher authority than your god? In your thinking, your god sets the precedent in all matters of justice, does it not? Your god, Yhwh, is the final arbiter of justice, and for justice to be meaningful it must consistent, correct? So let’s once again examine Yhwh’s behaviour and precedent setting (his consistency) in matters of justice for the crime of lying.

        Satan lied to Eve. Did Yhwh execute him? No. Precedent set.

        Sarah lied to Yhwh. Did Yhwh execute her? No. Precedent upheld.

        Abraham lied to Pharaoh and to Abimelech. Did Yhwh execute him? No. Precedent upheld.

        One-hundred million people lie in ten billion different ways. Does Yhwh execute any of them? No. Precedent upheld.

        Ananias and Sapphira lie. Yhwh judges and executes them. Inconsistent, but we can, for arguments sake, say a new precedent has been set. Yhwh is god, after all, right?

        Five billion people lie one trillion times in the next 2,000 years. Does Yhwh execute any of them? No. Inconsistency. Precedent shattered.

        You see, Daniel, I’m using your god—the great Judge of judges—as the “standard.” Are you going to say it is irrational? LOL!!

        Alas, Premise 3 stands without a scratch. The execution of Ananias and Sapphira is not consistent with Yhwh’s treatment of the same crime before, and after, judging and killing the couple.

        And so, if you’re unwilling to recant your position and just admit the Apostles in fact murdered Ananias and Sapphira, then we return to the still unchallenged corollary:

        1. A good god is a just god
        2. For justice to be meaningful it has to be consistent.
        3. Yhwh’s execution of Ananias and Sapphira is not consistent with the crime
        4. Therefore, the Christian god is not a just god.
        5. Therefore, the Christian god is not good.

        Like

      • Again, you fail to see the Truth, the one and only Truth, though before you its light shines if you but look for it. From the Qur’an:
        5:73: “Surely, disbelievers are those who said: “Allâh is the third of the three (in a Trinity).” But there is no god but Allâh. And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall the disbelievers among them.” There is no God but Allah, and Mohammad is His Prophet. Embrace the Truth, infidels. Cease this foul discussion of your false and blasphemous god or suffer the punishment that awaits you in Hell.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It is irrelevant what God or no-God I hold to challenge John’s argument 🙂 I approach his case purely from skeptical point of view. Purely philosophical and not theological.

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      • Let’s grant that it is theological counter for argument sake. It is John who brought such langauge. He claimed that he is not such a being with those attribute. I just used his own rope to tie him :). I could be an atheist 🙂 or atheist wannabe 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • There is but one God and one Truth. From The Qur’an. 9:29: “Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allâh, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allâh and His Messenger (4) and those who acknowledge not Islam as the religion of truth among the people of the Scripture, until they pay the Jizyah [religious tax] with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

        Any discussion not in agreement with this Truth is a discussion held by infidels and fools. There is no God but Allah, and Mohammad is His Prophet.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I missed your response as I began another wonderful exchange with a beautiful person. Address your respond John, I am not asking of the list of crimes and justice in the book you quoted. My question is deeper, and I told you that. Socrates when challenging Euthyphro made this clear that a list of pius acts does not begin explaining what is pius and what is impious.

        Your response actually begin to challenge your own self. Your answer are like Egyptian serpent that bits its own tail. Allow me to show. Scientists have defined a meter as the length of the path traveled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299,792,458 of a second, the standard meterbar in Paris, let’s call it SB, is thus what is used to see where a given bar B is accurate or consistent with the SB. If a bar is inconsistent with SB, then it is not accurate. When it is, then it is accurate.

        Now SB is the standard to measure what is a consistent and inconsistent when it comes to meters. The problem is how do you measure that SB itself is inconsistent? Giving me a list of other meter bars that are consistent or inconsistent with SB does not even begin to address the question.

        Parallel to your claim, you used God(as SB), and claim that God’s justice given in form of death to Ananias and Sapphira for their crime is inconsistent? How do you know what is consistent and what is not to a given crime? What standard are you using to show that God(as SB) is inaccurate? Listing past judgement does not begin to address the issue. As Hume beautifully said about rooster who every morning got food from the farmer. Just because it is morning again, and a list of previous morning it got food from the farmer, it does not mean it will also get food today. Today might be the day the rooster become the farmer’s food(dish) 🙂

        So your argument fails. No matter how many time you repeat it or self-believe it is unchallenged. You can hold to that. I dare not break the bubble 🙂 I will leave you in your paradise but attempt to show you it is not what you think it is.

        Thank you for our exchange. See you some other time. 🙂

        Like

      • And again, you have truly outdone yourself, Daniel. Your practice of Christian apologetics has reached that penultimate point in space where reality, no matter how many times it is shown to you, is simply ignored.

        You ask: How do you know what is consistent and what is not to a given crime?

        This is hilarious! Truly, it’s priceless. In fact, I’ve never seen an apologist dance as hard as you are dancing here to try and save your god. Daniel, read this slowly: I am using your own god, Yhwh, as the measure for consistency for the punishment of the crime of lying.

        Here, let me repeat this: I am using your own god, Yhwh, as the measure—the standard—for consistency for the punishment of the crime of lying.

        Let me remind you: You proclaimed, Daniel, that your god, Yhwh, judged and executed Ananias and Sapphira for the crime of lying. Yes? You have stated, in no uncertain terms, that your god, Yhwh, judged Ananias and Sapphira for this alleged “crime,” and deemed it so abhorrent to warrant a death sentence, which your god, Yhwh, then performed: personally executing the couple.

        As I so effortlessly then presented to you, Yhwh’s behaviour—his judgment and punishment in this one case—does not meet the necessity of consistency which is required for justice to be meaningful. I flooded you with contradicting examples, both before and after your god, Yhwh, judged and personally executed Ananias and Sapphira for the identical crime: lying.

        Now, what you are saying is this… and it so utterly insane it deserves to be put in blockquote just to highlight its fantastic nonsense.

        “John, it is irrational for you to use the recorded actions and judgments of my God, Yhwh, as the standard against which things can be measured. My God, Yhwh, is not the standard any rational person should use to measure matters of justice. You are wrong, John, to think my God, Yhwh, is a reliable standard anyone should look to as some sort of authority. You are wrong, John, to believe my God, Yhwh, is the dependable measure of consistent justice.”

        That, Daniel, is what you are saying. That is what you are writing here. It’s brilliant.

        Again, I have never seen so much contradictory, self-annihilating nonsense come out of an apologist’s mouth. You, Daniel, have set a new standard!

        To save your god from its own recorded inconsistency, you have been forced to deny that your god has any authority, and should not be looked to as a standard by rational people.

        Let me repeat that: To save your god from its own recorded inconsistency, you have been forced to deny that your god has any authority, and should not be looked to as a standard by rational people.

        Stunning! Hilarious, but stunning nonetheless.

        And just so this echo’s forever through your head, a reminder of your failure here, let me repeat the still unchallenged corollary:

        1. A good god is a just god
        2. For justice to be meaningful it has to be consistent.
        3. Yhwh’s execution of Ananias and Sapphira is not consistent with the crime
        4. Therefore, the Christian god is not a just god.
        5. Therefore, the Christian god is not good.

        .

        Liked by 1 person

      • The christian’s god is a blasphemous lie. Only Allah can, and will, dispense justice. Only blind infidels fail to see this truth. Read, and believe, in a true Holy Book, or forever burn. From The Qur’an: 3:85: “And whoever seeks a religion other than Islâm, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • “Again, I have never seen so much contradictory, self-annihilating nonsense come out of an apologist’s mouth. You, Daniel, have set a new standard!”

        John, I am embarrassed for him. Just goes to show you the power of indoctrination and death anxiety. He is loyal to, and defending a genocidal psychopath.

        Daniel:

        “God murdered Ananias and Sapphira. Why stop there? He murdered His beloved Jesus. He murdered every single human being that is now dead. He is murdering right now. He will murder in future. He gives lives and takes lives. My question is, so what?”

        ‘Nuff said.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Credit where credit is due, Daniel did an awesome job trying to rescue his god from the pit of inconsistency and bad justice. I mean, nothing could have prepared me for him denying his own god’s authority as the ultimate arbiter of justice. That’s impressive dancing! Kill your god to save it from itself! LOL! It raises the question, though: if Daniel doesn’t believe Yhwh is the highest “standard” available in the Universe, which is what he was admitting, then what is the highest standard available in the Universe in his mind? Did I miss something? Is there another god of Christianity, another Creator of the Universe to whom Yhwh answers?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, you foolish man, there is a God in the universe to whom we all must answer: Allah. From The Qur’an: 8:39: “And fight them until there is no more disbelief in Islam and the religion will all be for Allâh Alone…” These verses from the true Holy Book, The Qur’an, given to us by God’s last Prophet, Mohammad, negate any and all false, blasphemous beliefs you, and the fools who argue from that evil book, the bible, have. Why ask questions to which the answers have already been given? There is no God but Allah, and Mohammad is His Prophet. It is only in the minds of doomed imbeciles that this ultimate, undeniable truth is not accepted. ALL other discussions of God, particularly those presented by christians, the followers of the demon, Paul, are sins in Allah’s eyes, and those infidels who insist on having them will burn in Hell forever upon the hour of their deaths.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ” I mean, nothing could have prepared me for him denying his own god’s authority as the ultimate arbiter of justice…. Is there another god of Christianity, another Creator of the Universe to whom Yhwh answers?”

        Well, Christians are polytheists.

        Like

      • From one of the 18th-Dynasty Cairo Hymns to Amun-Re

        “This splendid God, Lord of all gods, Amun-Re
        Lord of the thrones of the two Lands, Foremost in Ipet-Sut
        Splendid Soul who came to be in the Beginning,
        great God who dwells in Truth,
        Primordial God who engendered the first gods,
        through whom every god came to be,
        Most unique of the unique, who made all that is,
        who began the world back in the First Time;
        Whose features are hidden, yet frequent his appearances,
        and there is no knowing how he flowed forth;
        Gloriously powerful, beloved, majestic,
        Mighty in his theophanies, magnificent;
        Powerful Being through whose Being each Being came to be,
        Who began Becoming with none but himself.”

        .

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      • He should be scared. Amun-Re is gonna put a hurtin’ in him.

        It’s funny to jest until reality grabs your thoughts again and you are reminded that billions have been slaughtered because people like Daniel continue to defend these man-made gods.

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      • Absolutely. Thing is, a huge part of the christian god defense MUST be put on why THAT god and THAT holy book are real/true and other gods and holy books are not. Before I can have a discussion with a christian on the infallibility of their invisible guy and his holy book, and my disbelief in them, they must first convince me why it is their invisible guy who’s real and not the invisible guy Muslims worship. The two holy books and faiths are NOT compatible. They cancel each other out with their blatant idiotic conflicting dogmas. Now, if we could just get them to stop murdering and abusing innocent people over this nonsense, I’d rest better. Actually, I’d rest better if they simply went away forever. No more religion. Please.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Obviously, this refers to Allah, though written centuries before He revealed Himself to Mohammad, the last Prophet. Through Faith, all things become possible, even things that are utterly, completely, totally, absolutely, ridiculously impossible.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Correction: talking about constancy, it was Bertrand Russell, not Hume, that presented the rooster example I mentioned:

        “The man who has fed the chicken every day throughout its life at last wrings its neck instead, showing that more refined views as to the uniformity of nature would have been useful to the chicken.” p.123, 2009 The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell

        Liked by 1 person

  21. A better example of Jesus’ philosophy can be found in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Those books supposedly show what Jesus himself did and said, not what his followers later interpreted in their own way.

    While Jesus did tell people to give away their worldly possessions, he never said anything about forcing people into it. Jesus was pretty clear not to force anyone to do anything, saying everyone is an equal brother but you shouldn’t take revenge when someone wrongs you. That part about murdering someone for not being generous is a pretty clear violation of this idea.

    That’s the difference between communism and charity. With charity, there is no force. People have a choice, free will. Jesus was more of an anarchist than a communist. Conservatives in modern politics are quick to point this out. They believe in private, charities rather than having the government force people to pay through higher taxes.

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    • Hi Matt

      I think Jesus was perfectly clear, and quite forceful when he said:

      Matthew 19:21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

      Luke 14:33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

      Luke 18:22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

      Telling people, “they cannot be his disciples” unless they do something is rather coercive, wouldn’t you agree?

      Like

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