Can you imagine a sane person, familiar with history, trying to use semantics to “spin” Hitler’s genocide of the Jews as being their own fault…trying to spin his sick “Final Solution” as an unfortunate “last resort” on his part… after all, the Jews had been warned and told they could all leave Germany and get out for good, but they stayed at their own peril as Hitler was bringing peace and his version of ‘salvation’ to humanity through his recognizing that Germans were the “Chosen Race”(Just like the Bible claims Jews are God’s “Chosen People”)? Can you imagine any sane person trying to make such a sick argument?
Yet this is the exact same kind of ‘semantic’ oriented argument many Christians make when you point out that John 3:17 – 19 quotes Jesus saying that he came to bring condemnation. He specifically says all are condemned by their own fault, if they don’t believe only in him. He refers to ALL who have a different belief or don’t believe in him, as “evil” and not a part of the “light”. Those verses immediately following John 3:16 are the DEFINITION of condemnation…it is damnation on “condition” that you must convert or be condemned.
Here’s another example: Can you imagine any sane person who has studied history, and is aware of the genocide and holocaust committed against the Native American “Indians” by early explorers and settlers of the American West, can you imagine them trying to use semantics and “spin” the mass killing of them by the Catholic Christian “explorers” from Spain, Britain and France (not including Christian Americans hundreds of years later) as being inevitable in the name of God?…That it was the Native Americans’ own fault, if they would not convert to the “Good News” that “Jesus loves them”?
Can you imagine any sane person saying, “Well, they condemned themselves…they were given an opportunity to be ‘SAVED’ by the message the civilized world brought them with the Bible, and they chose to remain heathens who REJECTED the “Good News”, so they were condemned “already”(as John chapter 3 tries to say) and deserved what they got.” Can you imagine any non-mentally ill person making such an argument?
When you have this discussion with a lot of Christians, this kind of ‘game playing’ with semantics is what often ensues. They may not use the first example, but they most often use some form of the second example I gave to justify the hallmark of their belief that is ever present in the Bible, that being condemnation of all other faiths who don’t convert to their belief.
Many who call themselves Christians out of some sort of family tradition will ignorantly try to say condemnation is not a part of Christianity, but those are people who either are embarrassed to admit that aspect of their religion, or they really are just “saying” they are Christians, and haven’t read the Bible. Both the Old and New Testaments are crammed full of scriptures making it clear that to be a Christian, it means you believe all other faiths are condemned to an eternity of torture in Hell.
That is the cornerstone false teaching in Christianity. As I’ve pointed out before, this condemnation of all other faiths, held not just by Christians but also by other faiths such as Islam, is the FUNDAMENTAL OBSTACLE in the way of world peace for humanity.
The reason I make such a concerted effort to raise awareness on this topic is simply because I am keenly aware of HISTORY. I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of history repeating itself with hate, war and genocide from such a widespread “learned mental illness” taught by organized religion that has at its foundation the condemnation of others.
Throughout history this institutionalized religious bigotry taught by “popes”, “priests”, “pastors”, “imams” and “rabbis”, has been the fundamental motivation to hate and kill others in the name of “God”. Love has NOT been the true message…convert or be damned has been the message of Christianity and Islam. (For much of history that was the message of Judaism, though arguably one could make a case that is changing in Judaism of late.)
When you point out that passage in the book of John chapter three, vs.15-19, many Christians react by burying their heads in their religious sandbox, saying it is not about condemnation because Jesus is saying those who don’t believe in him are condemned “already”, meaning they condemn themselves by not converting. This is nothing but dishonest “game-playing” with words, also referred to as “semantics”.
The ENTIRE CONTEXT of that passage in John chapter three is that Jesus is adamantly making it clear that the result is condemnation for all who don’t believe ONLY in Christianity (Vs. 17 through 19). And the spin that Christians put on this is that the passage refers to all who don’t believe as being condemned not by Jesus, but by their own “evil” in themselves… Evil simply as a result of having a different belief in God.
As I mentioned above, this is the excuse harbored by Hitler toward the Jews to justify his genocidal acts, as well as the Catholic early explorers to justify their holocaust and mass killing of Native Americans who refused to convert to the “Good News” they tried to force on them from the Bible.
To try to spin John 3:17-19 as not being condemnation from Jesus is a monumental lie by Christians, using semantics to avoid taking responsibility for their absolutely condemning religious beliefs of all others. The fact that such a ridiculous spin is even resorted to reflects a realization deep inside of Christians that such condemnation is wrong. Of course, those verses were written by men, not Jesus, so they are clearly a false teaching motivated by men to promote such sick beliefs of “convert to our religion or be damned”.
By the way, just on a side note, if you were Jesus…and you were God coming to earth to set everyone straight on how to believe, at a BARE MINIMUM, wouldn’t the first thing you would do be to find a scribe to help you write the BOOK of JESUS?? All four “Gospels”, that being Matthew, Mark, Luke and John…all of them were not written by those whose names are on them.
That in itself is a huge lie. Most Christians aren’t even aware of just that historical fact about the Bible. The contents of those four books were written by unknown individuals a hundred or more years after the deaths of those four disciples. So OF COURSE at a minimum, if Jesus was God and came to teach us the right way, he would have made sure to write his own Book of Jesus.
Just that fact alone should wake some people up to this religious bigotry designed by bigoted men trying to control the masses for power, monetary and political gain…not the least of the offenders being the Roman Catholic Church.
Ironically, what does the Bible say, “BY THEIR FRUITS YE SHALL KNOW THEM”? And what are the fruits displayed by the Catholic Church, not including the mass killing in the name of God of Native Americans who refused to convert, but up to and including the child rape and pedophilia by many of its priests to this day?
Yes, that is my point…ironically I can absolutely agree with that passage! By their fruits ye shall know them. And their ‘fruits’ are not the fruits of true spirituality. They are not the fruit of unconditional love, which can have NO CONDEMNATION, only forgiveness. Forgiveness cannot ever condemn.
The fruit of love and forgiveness cannot be “damnation” if you don’t convert, or mass killing of Native Americans who welcomed Western explorers – did not attack them when they arrived – many of which were massacred because they wouldn’t convert to Christianity. (And the reason they wouldn’t convert was only because they insisted on keeping their beautiful, peaceful tradition of worshiping God through nature.)
Lastly, the fruit of spiritual love cannot be a deep seated culture of child rape and pedophilia by church leaders, or exploiting church members for monetary gain insisting on “tithing” which is expected in return for God’s “healing” or “blessing”, etc.
By their fruit, meaning their behavior, or their HISTORY, ye shall know them. Time to wake up to this truth, and stop playing semantics because you don’t want to face reality about the harm organized religion has caused throughout history. It’s time to bring a new ‘spiritual renaissance’ of peace to humanity, which requires we stop repeating this sick history of man-made religious lies and bigotry. (For more specific examples, please see my “Bible Lies” series 1, 2 and 3, posted on my blog at www.conniebryan.com)