Sunday, October 5, 2014

Confusing bias for substance

The folks over at Teaching Nonviolent Atonement definitely have problems with reality. I'm all for nonviolence but I take issue with delusions, willful ignorance, double standards, and plain old deceit. Yet another of their Patheos blog posts is chock full of all of the above. The title,"How Christians Reject Jesus: On Trying to Outsmart God", implies a number of things that Adam Erickson not only never establishes but also has no objective way to establish.

When he writes "reject" what he really means is that there are Christians who do not accept his preferred version of the Jesus figure, which is true. It is also true that his views of Jesus are highly subjective, debatable, and unproven. Virtually every paragraph of the piece shows that he is writing solely from his own biased views without any substantive thought. In the very first paragraph he insists, "We take seriously the words of Jesus that we should love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us." No, they do not. The selectively choose which bits of scripture favor their own preferences. There are plenty of passages where Jesus acts in a hostile and violent manner.

Throughout the post Erickson makes similar comments. Among them, "Excuse me for stating the obvious, but Christians are not Biblians. We are Christians. As Christians, we should be putting Jesus first...And Jesus calls us to nonviolence." Problem is that it is not obvious. It in fact is false. If you strip away scripture Jesus literally disappears. As I have on numerous occassions pionted out, Christians to some extant have to take scripture literally if they want to preserve belief in their messiah. I have also on numerous occssions challenged any Christian to come up with a plausible way to reconcile Luke 19:27, ""But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.", with the notion of a peace-loving Jesus. Last I knew dividing people up with a an Us-vs.-Them mentality and then oredering mass murder is the opposite of "nonviolent"

The writing never gets any better. However, it does become a bit more entertaining towards the middle. His observations about wisdom gave me a pretty good chuckle.
"Notice the distinction being made between God’s wisdom and human wisdom. The wisdom of God is the way of nonviolent love in the face of violence that often leads to the cross...Human wisdom, on the other hand, is the wisdom of retributive violence."
There are so many things wrong with this that I can't possibly write about all of them. I'll stick with just a few of the more blatant flaws with Erickson's line of thinking.

It seems to me that even the most devoted theists would have to realize that the only way a flawed human being could perceive "God's wisdom" is through the filter of "human wisdom." So how can you possibly make any "distinction"? And how can you know you aren't completely fucking it up? Then there's that gem about God being non-violent. What?! Even if you discount the whole of the Bible how do you account for human violence. Isn't God suppose to be source of everything? Isn't everything suppose to play out by God's grand design? I also have to marvel at the implication that all human wisdom supposedly leads to "retributive violence." Did Erickson just inadvertently admit that he and everyone else at Teaching Nonviolent Atonement are a bunch of dumb-asses?

Believing in the proto-hippy Jesus is better than the tight-ass obey me or go to hell version but that is still no excuse for blathering on in such a blatantly error laden ignorant way.

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