Recently I was asked to “LIKE” a page on Facebook. Upon checking out the page to consider doing so, I discovered the following post by the individual, which including the attached picture with a scripture verse from the Book of Numbers, along with what would appear to be an innocent related quote from Pastor Rick Warren, of the evangelical “Saddleback Church”:
“The Bible teaches us that we are blessed not just so that we can feel good, not just so we can be happy and comfortable, but so that we will bless others.” – Pastor Rick Warren
“The Lord bless you and keep you..” ~Numbers 6:22-27
The above “scripture example” and comment attributed to Pastor Rick Warren is very misleading. For an example of Pastor Rick Warren’s fundamentalist, ‘one true religion’ belief as described above, check out this link to his “how to be saved” portion of the Saddleback Church’s website: http://rickwarren.org/know-god/how-to-be-saved.
This is a man-made lie and false teaching, perpetrated on the masses for over a thousand years, trying to convince people they are innately bad and “sinful” and in need of a “blood sacrifice” to atone for how bad they are. It doesn’t get much sicker than that, except maybe the related teaching that you must also drink the blood of Jesus and eat his body in the form of communion/Eucharist, and that when you drink the wine and eat the bread, this actually becomes the blood and flesh of Jesus. I guess that does kind of get a little sicker than the first part. Both teachings are pretty sick.
The Bible’s main, primary constant and not only repeated, but obsessive compulsively repeated teaching in both the Old and New Testament makes it a mandate that if you don’t convert to Christianity or Judaism you will be damned for eternity by God. So why do those who love to share the above “watered down” verses always avoid that 8000 pound elephant in the room with the Bible?
As I said, it is to attract others to their beliefs, which is easier than knocking on your door and telling you that you are going to Hell because you are watching the 49’ers on Sunday. You’d just laugh before you closed the door, and tell them you are already in Hell because Colin Kaepernick can’t hold on to the football on the goal line with seconds remaining!
The Bible is written by bigoted men, who created a God in their own bigoted image, not the other way around, in order to effect societal control of the masses through fear. Add to this the fact that the writers are mostly unknown. The writers are NOT whose names are attributed to each book, and the unknown writers wrote those books, attributing their writing to whose names are on the books, long after those individuals were dead.
So the writers were not a “scribe” for whose names are on the books, and were not alive anywhere near the time the individuals lived whose names are on the books in the Bible. The Bible’s overarching theme is condemnation and NO FORGIVENESS for those who are of diverse faiths. True spirituality is not found in such man made writing masquerading as “gospel”, and if by some chance you understand that, why in the world would you point people to the Bible for spiritual understanding?
It is absolutely true that we are blessed so that we can bless others, but the Bible is not the source for how we bless others. ACTUALLY, the Bible’s teachings on God’s “blessings” make it clear they are always CONDITIONAL on only believing one way, just as Rick Warren teaches (see link above).
So when one selectively quotes the Bible and Warren, one seeks to lead others to think those sources are true, when in fact the bigger “foundational” message they teach is condemnation (definitely not a blessing) for all who do not believe in Christianity (or in the case of the Old Testament, it was all are damned who were not Jews).
So when one quotes a seemingly innocent passage in the Book of Numbers about God “blessing” all, one does so while IGNORNING hundreds of verses such as Joshua Chapter 6 where God ordered the Jews to commit genocide, ordering them to kill all of the people, men, women and children, that they conquered at Jericho. Is that God “blessing” everyone. OF COURSE NOT. And this is all over the Bible, this condemning of others to death or eternal Hell for not believing in one religion.
We have a worldwide problem with this, not just with Christianity, but also same with Islam. To put it another way for you, it would be like an Islamic person using a similar verse in the Koran that said Islam and Allah “blesses” everyone so they can bless others, and yet the REAL message of Islam in the Koran is in fact that all who don’t convert to Islam are NOT blessed (same as Christianity and Judaism) but are damned to eternal Hell, etc. The two religions and books are very similar in that fact. The Bible’s repeated, constant overall message is NOT to bless everyone, only those who believe only its teaching which condemn all other faiths.
There is nothing holy about such teachings, and it is unconscionable that so many Christians are aware of this, yet selectively promote the verses that don’t readily show this in the Bible. You can’t cherry pick verses any more than Muslims can do so with the Koran, as the Koran’s teachings have the same constant overarching theme of damnation and lack of forgiveness for those who believe differently.
It is time to stop conforming to the false teachings in these two books and religions, and start facing the truth of the sick misguided man-made teachings that have caused more hatred, racism, violence and wars in our history than any other reason.
Numbers is in the Old Testament of course, and the Old Testament is replete with God ordaining genocide toward all other people conquered who were not Jews, ordaining slavery in the name of God (read Joshua Chapter 6 for one of many such repeated examples in the Bible).
Both the Old and New Testaments are replete with scriptures demeaning and subjugating women as second class citizens, following the teaching in the “Garden of Eden” story that Eve was created to serve Adam. The Bible is full of scriptures motivated supposedly by God’s desire for vengeance in many cases, that portray God ordaining racism.
The earliest example of this of course is supposedly God’s repeatedly declaring that the Jews were “God’s Chosen Race” and “Chosen People” . Any reference to a preferred or “chosen” race of God is the foundation of racism as we all know. And as you may not be aware, not surprisingly the Ku Klux Klan was eventually created and founded by Southern Baptists who used the racism and bigotry ordained by God to justify their beliefs that whites were superior to blacks.
The New Testament is packed full of scriptures that show Jesus, Paul, and the “apostles” teaching that all others are damned to eternal torture in Hell if they don’t convert to Christianity. Does this sound like true spirituality or man-made bigotry? It is not an unconditional universal loving blessing by a long shot. It is entirely “conditional”.
But don’t ever forget this important spiritual truth which will change your life and bring you true salvation: Love and forgiveness are not conditional in ANY way. They do not depend on any religion or ANY “one” belief in order to be GIVEN or RECEIVED, period. So the above verse and comment by Pastor Rick Warren is very, very misleading. How about this for a better quote?:
“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” -Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)
Diversity IS Divinity. We “save” each other unconditionally. That is how “Heaven” is created. True spirituality is the understanding that we are all spiritual brothers and sisters, and we are all an eternal holy part of what “God” is, not separate from it.
As such, true spirituality is the fundamental understanding that our only purpose is to BE the Divine love and forgiveness of God that others need. But the critical key is in understanding that doing so must ALWAYS be UNCONDITIONAL, and does not depend “conditionally” on any one belief…especially one such as the Bible and the Koran, that both have condemnation and damnation at their core teaching. This is the huge “elephant in the room” so constantly and shamefully hidden or avoided by many Christians when they use “false advertising” passages that only appear to be unconditionally accepting.
(Check out Connie Bryan’s full blog at http://www.conniebryan.com)