Ridiculous Bible Quotes

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And as ridiculous as it may sound, sometimes all any of us needs in life is for someone to hold our hand and walk next to us.
James Frey (The Final Testament of the Holy Bible)
Satan to Jesus: Well, I see someone has a bad case of the hangries. You might want to consider using your godly powers to turn these desert rocks into loaves of bread. Maybe if you engage in some serious carb-loading, you’ll regain what little sense of humor you had before you started this ridiculous hunger strike.
Spencer C Demetros (The Bible: Enter Here: Bringing God's Word to Life for Today's Teens)
The logic of the Bible says: Act according to God's "will of command," not according to his "will of decree." God's "will of decree" is whatever comes to pass. "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that" (James 4:15). God's "will of decree" ordained that his Son be betrayed (Luke 22:22), ridiculed (Isaiah 53:3), mocked (Luke 18:32), flogged (Matthew 20:19), forsaken (Matthew 26:31), pierced (John 19:37), and killed (Mark 9:31). But the Bible teaches us plainly that we should not betray, ridicule, mock, flog, forsake, pierce, or kill innocent people. That is God's "will of command." We do not look at the death of Jesus, clearly willed by God, and conclude that killing Jesus is good and that we should join the mockers.
John Piper
We are not being true to the artist as a man if we consider his art work junk simply because we differ with his outlook on life. Christian schools, Christian parents, and Christian pastors often have turned off young people at just this point. Because the schools, the pastors, and the parents did not make a distinction between technical excellence and content, the whole of much great art has been rejected with scorn and ridicule. Instead, if the artist's technical excellence is high, he is to be praised for this, even if we differ with his world view. Man must be treated fairly as man.
Francis A. Schaeffer (Art and the Bible: Two Essays (L'Abri Pamphlets))
Secular humanists of every type may ridicule the Bible, but they cannot escape it; and in their obsession with change, calls for reform, doomsday warnings, and utopian visions, they continue to steal from it.
Gene Edward Veith Jr. (Loving God With All Your Mind: How to Survive and Prosper As a Christian in the Secular University and Post-Christian Culture)
The liberty of man is not safe in the hands of any church. Wherever the Bible and sword are in partnership, man is a slave. All laws for the purpose of making man worship God, are born of the same spirit that kindled the fires of the auto da fe, and lovingly built the dungeons of the Inquisition. All laws defining and punishing blasphemy -- making it a crime to give your honest ideas about the Bible, or to laugh at the ignorance of the ancient Jews, or to enjoy yourself on the Sabbath, or to give your opinion of Jehovah, were passed by impudent bigots, and should be at once repealed by honest men. An infinite God ought to be able to protect himself, without going in partnership with State Legislatures. Certainly he ought not so to act that laws become necessary to keep him from being laughed at. No one thinks of protecting Shakespeare from ridicule, by the threat of fine and imprisonment. It strikes me that God might write a book that would not necessarily excite the laughter of his children. In fact, I think it would be safe to say that a real God could produce a work that would excite the admiration of mankind.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
This century will be called Darwin's century. He was one of the greatest men who ever touched this globe. He has explained more of the phenomena of life than all of the religious teachers. Write the name of Charles Darwin on the one hand and the name of every theologian who ever lived on the other, and from that name has come more light to the world than from all of those. His doctrine of evolution, his doctrine of the survival of the fittest, his doctrine of the origin of species, has removed in every thinking mind the last vestige of orthodox Christianity. He has not only stated, but he has demonstrated, that the inspired writer knew nothing of this world, nothing of the origin of man, nothing of geology, nothing of astronomy, nothing of nature; that the Bible is a book written by ignorance--at the instigation of fear. Think of the men who replied to him. Only a few years ago there was no person too ignorant to successfully answer Charles Darwin, and the more ignorant he was the more cheerfully he undertook the task. He was held up to the ridicule, the scorn and contempt of the Christian world, and yet when he died, England was proud to put his dust with that of her noblest and her grandest. Charles Darwin conquered the intellectual world, and his doctrines are now accepted facts. His light has broken in on some of the clergy, and the greatest man who to-day occupies the pulpit of one of the orthodox churches, Henry Ward Beecher, is a believer in the theories of Charles Darwin--a man of more genius than all the clergy of that entire church put together. ...The church teaches that man was created perfect, and that for six thousand years he has degenerated. Darwin demonstrated the falsity of this dogma. He shows that man has for thousands of ages steadily advanced; that the Garden of Eden is an ignorant myth; that the doctrine of original sin has no foundation in fact; that the atonement is an absurdity; that the serpent did not tempt, and that man did not 'fall.' Charles Darwin destroyed the foundation of orthodox Christianity. There is nothing left but faith in what we know could not and did not happen. Religion and science are enemies. One is a superstition; the other is a fact. One rests upon the false, the other upon the true. One is the result of fear and faith, the other of investigation and reason.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Lectures of Col. R.G. Ingersoll: Including His Letters On the Chinese God--Is Suicide a Sin?--The Right to One's Life--Etc. Etc. Etc, Volume 2)
The truth was, I had never felt sad about being gay. It was just another part of who I was, no different than my size seven feet or 20/20 vision. The part I hated was the hiding; the pretending to be someone I wasn't; the steady, tormenting harassment that came in the form of Bible scripture and church sermons, the constant fear that if people found out, they would hate me, ridicule me, possibly even hurt me. That stuff sucked.
Jessica Verdi (The Summer I Wasn't Me)
To believers, the bible is a holy book, to unbelievers, it is a story book.
Michael Bassey Johnson
If we’re saying ‘no’ to God, have we considered what we’re saying ‘yes’ to?
Craig D. Lounsbrough
It is usually considered good practice to examine a thing for one's self before echoing the vulgar ridicule of it. But in connection with the Bible, such scholarly restraints are somehow regarded as out of place.
J. Gresham Machen (Christianity and Liberalism)
Each cherry took about three seconds to eat. Three seconds to eat, but at least five years in the making. It seemed unfair to the hard-working cherry tree. The least I could do was to devote my attention to the cherry in those three seconds, really appreciate the tartness of the skin and the faint crunching sound when I bite down. I guess it's called mindfulness. Or being in the moment, or making the mundane sacred. Whatever it is, I'm doing it more. Like the ridiculously extended thank-you list for my hummus, the fruit taboo made me more aware of the whole cherry process, the seed, the soil, the five years of watering and waiting. That's the paradox: I thought religion would make me live with my head in the clouds, but as often as not, it grounds me in this world.
A.J. Jacobs (The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible)
sudden I stopped. I was out of breath. I asked myself, “What is this all about? What is the meaning of this ceaseless rush? This is ridiculous!” Then I declared independence, and said, “I do not care if I go to dinner. I do not care whether I make a talk. I do not have to go to this dinner and I do not have to make a speech.” So deliberately and slowly I walked back to my room and took my time about unlocking the door. I telephoned the man downstairs and said, “If you want to eat, go ahead. If you want to save a place for me, I will be down after a while, but I am not going to rush any more.” So I removed my coat, sat down, took off my shoes, put my feet up on the table, and just sat. Then I opened the Bible and very slowly read aloud the 121st Psalm, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help.” I closed the book and had a little talk with myself, saying, “Come on now, start living a slower and more relaxed life,” and then I affirmed, “God is here and His
Norman Vincent Peale (The Power of Positive Thinking)
The Bible is not absurd for the people who wrote it; it becomes absurd when people in our day insist on taking it literally. The Bible does not present us with material that is ridiculous in the context from which it came. The Bible springs from the context in which people then were thinking, searching, and trying to find answers .
Robert Alley
As to the fragments of morality that are irregularly and thinly scattered in those books [the Bible], they make no part of this pretended thing, revealed religion. They are the natural dictates of conscience, and the bonds by which society is held together, and without which it cannot exist; and are nearly the same in all religions, and in all societies. The Testament teaches nothing new upon this subject, and where it attempts to exceed, it becomes mean and ridiculous. When it is said, as in the Testament, 'If a man smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also,' it is assassinating the dignity of forbearance, and sinking man into a spaniel.
Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)
I pity those reviewers above, and people like them, who ridicule authors like R.A. Boulay and other proponents of similar Ancient Astronaut theories, simply for putting forth so many interesting questions (because that's really what he often throughout openly admits is all he does does) in light of fascinating and thought-provoking references which are all from copious sources. Some people will perhaps only read the cover and introduction and dismiss it as soon as any little bit of information flies in the face of their beliefs or normalcy biases. Some of those people, I'm sure, are some of the ones who reviewed this book so negatively without any constructive criticism or plausible rebuttal. It's sad to see how programmed and indoctrinated the vast majority of humanity has become to the ills of dogma, indoctrination, unverified status quos and basic ignorance; not to mention the laziness and conformity that results in such acquiescence and lack of critical thinking or lack of information gathering to confirm or debunk something. Too many people just take what's spoon fed to them all their lives and settle for it unquestioningly. For those people I like to offer a great Einstein quote and one of my personal favorites and that is: "Condemnation without investigation is the highest form of ignorance" I found this book to be a very interesting gathering of information and collection of obscure and/or remote antiquated information, i.e. biblical, sacred, mythological and otherwise, that we were not exactly taught to us in bible school, or any other public school for that matter. And I am of the school of thought that has been so for intended purposes. The author clearly cites all his fascinating sources and cross-references them rather plausibly. He organizes the information in a sequential manner that piques ones interest even as he jumps from one set of information to the next. The information, although eclectic as it spans from different cultures and time periods, interestingly ties together in several respects and it is this synchronicity that makes the information all the more remarkable. For those of you who continue to seek truth and enlightenment because you understand that an open mind makes for and lifelong pursuit of such things I leave you with these Socrates quotes: "True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.
Socrates
Yet we can strive, perhaps above all else, to accurately describe the positions of other Christians, assume good motives from them until given evidence otherwise, and take seriously their concerns rather than ridiculing them.
Kaitlyn Schiess (The Ballot and the Bible: How Scripture Has Been Used and Abused in American Politics and Where We Go from Here)
It might be instructive to try seeing things from the perspective of, say, a God-fearing hard-working rural-Midwestern military vet. It's not that hard. Imaging gazing through his eyes at the world of MTV and the content of video games, at the gross sexualization of children's fashions, at Janet Jackson flashing her aureole on what's supposed to be a holy day. Imagine you're him having to explain to your youngest what oral sex is and what it's got to do with a US president. Ads for penis enlargers and HOT WET SLUTS are popping up out of nowhere on your family's computer. Your kids' school is teaching them WWII and Vietnam in terms of Japanese internment and the horrors of My Lai. Homosexuals are demanding holy matrimony; your doctor's moving away because he can't afford the lawsuit insurance; illegal aliens want driver's licenses; Hollywood elites are bashing America and making millions from it; the president's ridiculed for reading his Bible; priests are diddling kids left and right. Shit, the country's been directly attacked, and people aren't supporting our commander in chief.
David Foster Wallace (Consider the Lobster and Other Essays)
The Latin Church, which I constantly find myself admiring, despite its occasional astounding imbecilities, has always kept clearly before it the fact that religion is not a syllogism, but a poem. It is accused by Protestant dervishes of withholding the Bible from the people. To some extent this is true; to some extent the church is wise; again to the same extent it is prosperous. ... Rome indeed has not only preserved the original poetry of Christianity; it has also made capital additions to that poetry -- for example, the poetry of the saints, of Mary, and of the liturgy itself. A solemn high mass is a thousand times as impressive, to a man with any genuine religious sense in him, as the most powerful sermon ever roared under the big top by Presbyterian auctioneer of God. In the face of such overwhelming beauty it is not necessary to belabor the faithful with logic; they are better convinced by letting them alone. Preaching is not an essential part of the Latin ceremonial. It was very little employed in the early church, and I am convinced that good effects would flow from abandoning it today, or, at all events, reducing it to a few sentences, more or less formal. In the United States the Latin brethren have been seduced by the example of the Protestants, who commonly transform an act of worship into a puerile intellectual exercise; instead of approaching God in fear and wonder these Protestants settle back in their pews, cross their legs, and listen to an ignoramus try to prove that he is a better theologian than the Pope. This folly the Romans now slide into. Their clergy begin to grow argumentative, doctrinaire, ridiculous. It is a pity. A bishop in his robes, playing his part in the solemn ceremonial of the mass, is a dignified spectacle; the same bishop, bawling against Darwin half an hour later, is seen to be simply an elderly Irishman with a bald head, the son of a respectable police sergeant in South Bend, Ind. Let the reverend fathers go back to Bach. If they keep on spoiling poetry and spouting ideas, the day will come when some extra-bombastic deacon will astound humanity and insult God by proposing to translate the liturgy into American, that all the faithful may be convinced by it.
H.L. Mencken
The third moment of silence is in front of Herod and his band of mockers. They wanted a show. The Bible says this: When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform some miracle. He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. . . . Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies. (Luke 23:8–9, 11–12) This passage tells a fearsome tale. There are many who want Jesus to be nothing more than a miracle worker or an entertainer. And how ironic it is that enemies became friends out of a common desire to be rid of Him. Has anything changed since then? The fourth time Jesus was silent was when Pilate became fearful, hearing that He claimed to be the Son of God. “Where do You come from?” he asked. But Jesus remained silent. He had already told Pilate where He came from. But Pilate did not have the courage to deal with His answer. In the mix of these silent responses, there is a wealth of thought from God to us. A
Ravi Zacharias (Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message)
Typos happen, of course. And keep in mind that a robot spellchecker can't catch all of them. Consider this alarming blunder in a recipe printed in The Pasta Bible, issued by Penguin Australia in 2010: the book recommended seasoning a dish of tagliatelle with sardines and prosciutto with “salt and freshly ground black people,” according to a news story in the Guardian. No recall was made of the books in circulation, but the publisher destroyed the remaining 7,000 printed copies, at a cost of $20,000.1
Ann Handley (Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content)
The words of prophecy were fulfilled: “There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?’ for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” 609 Many who professed to love the Saviour, declared that they had no opposition to the doctrine of the second advent; they merely objected to the definite time. But God's all-seeing eye read their hearts. They did not wish to hear of Christ's coming to judge the world in righteousness. They had been unfaithful servants, their works would not bear the inspection of the heart-searching God, and they feared to meet their Lord. Like the Jews at the time of Christ's first advent, they were not prepared to welcome Jesus. They not only refused to listen to the plain arguments from the Bible, but ridiculed those who were looking for the Lord. Satan and his angels exulted, and flung the taunt in the face of Christ and holy angels, that His professed people had so little love for Him that they did not desire His appearing.
Ellen Gould White (The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan)
The work of God requires stamina. Nehemiah sustained his stamina even through staggering difficulties. He persisted through both ridicule and discouragement, and he remained faithful when tempted to compromise. This tenacity is required of leaders who will make a difference. Will you crumble under the pressures, or will you face the trials with God’s strength? Many today question the possibility of revival. These naysayers see only the decaying moral condition of society and the disappointing lukewarm condition of churches. Revival, however, is not dependent on or the result of a flourishing spiritual condition. Some of the greatest revivals in Scripture came during the darkest times. Let us not look at the rubbish, but at Christ, the Rock, who can rebuild our country through revival. Let us be leaders God can use to bring revival. Nehemiah was not a man to sit idly by when there was tremendous need. Neither was he a man to attempt meeting such need in his own strength. God used Nehemiah to bring revival because Nehemiah began with supplication for God’s forgiveness and power. The task of rebuilding the walls could never have been completed by one man alone; it needed a leader who understood the power of synergy. Nehemiah’s willingness to be personally involved in the work, as well as his ability to convey the need to others, resulted in a task force that completed this enormous building project in a mere fifty-two days—to the glory of God. Like any godly leader, Nehemiah did not go unchallenged. Yet, he sustained his stamina in the face of every opposition. Nehemiah’s life proves that revival is possible, even when it appears the most unlikely. God sends revival through leaders willing to make a difference.
Paul Chappell (Leaders Who Make a Difference: Leadership Lessons from Three Great Bible Leaders)
Or is it the opposite-that the US has moved so far and so fast toward cultural permissiveness that we've reached a kind of apsidal point? It might be instructive to try seeing things from the perspective of, say, a God-fearing hard-working rural-Midwestern military vet. It's not that hard. Imagine gazing through his eyes at the world of MTV and the content of video games, at the gross sexualization of children's fashions, at Janet Jackson flashing her aureole on what's supposed to be a holy day. Imagine you're him having to explain to your youngest what oral sex is and what it's got to do with a US president. Ads for penis enlargers and Hot Wet Sluts are popping up out of nowhere on your family's computer. Your kids' school is teaching them WWII and Vietnam in terms of Japanese internment and the horrors of My Lai. Homosexuals are demanding holy matrimony; your doctor's moving away because he can't afford the lawsuit insurance; illegal aliens want driver's licenses; Hollywood elites are bashing America and making millions from it; the president's ridiculed for reading his Bible; priests are diddling kids left and right. Shit, the country's been directly attacked, and people aren't supporting our commander in chief. Assume for a moment that it's not silly to see things this man's way. What cogent, compelling, relevant message can the center and left offer him? Can we bear to admit that we've actually helped set him up to hear "We 're better than they are" not as twisted and scary but as refreshing and redemptive and true? If so, then now what?
David Foster Wallace (Consider the Lobster and Other Essays)
Of the poetical parts of the Bible, that are called prophecies, I have spoken in the former part of 'The Age of Reason,' and already in this, where I have said that the word for prophet is the Bible-word for Poet, and that the flights and metaphors of those poets, many of which have become obscure by the lapse of time and the change of circumstances, have been ridiculously erected into things called prophecies, and applied to purposes the writers never thought of. When a priest quotes any of those passages, he unriddles it agreeably to his own views, and imposes that explanation upon his congregation as the meaning of the writer. The whore of Babylon has been the common whore of all the priests, and each has accused the other of keeping the strumpet; so well do they agree in their explanations.
Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)
As a society we are only now getting close to where Dogen was eight hundred years ago. We are watching all our most basic assumptions about life, the universe, and everything come undone, just like Dogen saw his world fall apart when his parents died. Religions don’t seem to mean much anymore, except maybe to small groups of fanatics. You can hardly get a full-time job, and even if you do, there’s no stability. A college degree means very little. The Internet has leveled things so much that the opinions of the greatest scientists in the world about global climate change are presented as being equal to those of some dude who read part of the Bible and took it literally. The news industry has collapsed so that it’s hard to tell a fake headline from a real one. Money isn’t money anymore; it’s numbers stored in computers. Everything is changing so rapidly that none of us can hope to keep up. All this uncertainty has a lot of us scrambling for something certain to hang on to. But if you think I’m gonna tell you that Dogen provides us with that certainty, think again. He actually gives us something far more useful. Dogen gives us a way to be okay with uncertainty. This isn’t just something Buddhists need; it’s something we all need. We humans can be certainty junkies. We’ll believe in the most ridiculous nonsense to avoid the suffering that comes from not knowing something. It’s like part of our brain is dedicated to compulsive dot-connecting. I think we’re wired to want to be certain. You have to know if that’s a rope or a snake, if the guy with the chains all over his chest is a gangster or a fan of bad seventies movies. Being certain means being safe. The downfall is that we humans think about a lot of stuff that’s not actually real. We crave certainty in areas where there can never be any. That’s when we start in with believing the crazy stuff. Dogen is interesting because he tries to cut right to the heart of this. He gets into what is real and what is not. Probably the main reason he’s so difficult to read is that Dogen is trying to say things that can’t actually be said. So he has to bend language to the point where it almost breaks. He’s often using language itself to show the limitations of language. Even the very first readers of his writings must have found them difficult. Dogen understood both that words always ultimately fail to describe reality and that we human beings must rely on words anyway. So he tried to use words to write about that which is beyond words. This isn’t really a discrepancy. You use words, but you remain aware of their limitations. My teacher used to say, “People like explanations.” We do. They’re comforting. When the explanation is reasonably correct, it’s useful.
Brad Warner (It Came from Beyond Zen!: More Practical Advice from Dogen, Japan's Greatest Zen Master (Treasury of the True Dharma Eye Book 2))
LOVE AND HATE SATANISM represents kindness to those who deserve it instead of love wasted on ingrates! You cannot love everyone; it is ridiculous to think you can. If you love everyone and everything you lose your natural powers of selection and wind up being a pretty poor judge of character and quality. If anything is used too freely it loses its true meaning. Therefore, the Satanist believes you should love strongly and completely those who deserve your love, but never turn the other cheek to your enemy! Love is one of the most intense emotions felt by man; another is hate. Forcing yourself to feel indiscriminate love is very unnatural. If you try to love everyone you only lessen your feelings for those who deserve your love. Repressed hatred can lead to many physical and emotional ailments. By learning to release your hatred towards those who deserve it, you cleanse yourself of these malignant emotions and need not take your pent-up hatred out on your loved ones.
Anton Szandor LaVey (The Satanic Bible)
Every church became a theatre, where orators, instead of church teachers, harangued, caring not to instruct the people, but striving to attract admiration, to bring opponents to public scorn, and to preach only novelties and paradoxes, such as would tickle the ears of their congregation. This state of things necessarily stirred up an amount of controversy, envy, and hatred, which no lapse of time could appease; so that we can scarcely wonder that of the old religion nothing survives but its outward forms (even these, in the mouth of the multitude, seem rather adulation than adoration of the Deity), and that faith has become a mere compound of credulity and prejudices—aye, prejudices too, which degrade man from rational being to beast, which completely stifle the power of judgment between true and false, which seem, in fact, carefully fostered for the purpose of extinguishing the last spark of reason! Piety, great God! and religion are become a tissue of ridiculous mysteries; men, who flatly despise reason, who reject and turn away from understanding as naturally corrupt, these, I say, these of all men, are thought, O lie most horrible! to possess light from on High. Verily, if they had but one spark of light from on High, they would not insolently rave, but would learn to worship God more wisely, and would be as marked among their fellows for mercy as they now are for malice; if they were concerned for their opponents’ souls, instead of for their own reputations, they would no longer fiercely persecute, but rather be filled with pity and compassion. Furthermore, if any Divine light were in them, it would appear from their doctrine. I grant that they are never tired of professing their wonder at the profound mysteries of Holy Writ; still I cannot discover that they teach anything but speculations of Platonists and Aristotelians, to which (in order to save their credit for Christianity) they have made Holy Writ conform; not content to rave with the Greeks themselves, they want to make the prophets rave also; showing conclusively, that never even in sleep have they caught a glimpse of Scripture’s Divine nature. The very vehemence of their admiration for the mysteries plainly attests, that their belief in the Bible is a formal assent rather than a living faith: and the fact is made still more apparent by their laying down beforehand, as a foundation for the study and true interpretation of Scripture, the principle that it is in every passage true and divine.
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever)
God famously doesn't afflict Job because of anything Job has done, but because he wants to prove a point to Satan. Twenty years later, I am sympathetic with my first assessment; to me, in spite of the soft radiant beauty of many of its passages, the Bible still has a mechanical quality, a refusal to brook complexity that feels brutal and violent. There has been a change, however. When I look at Revelation now, it still seems frightening and impenetrable, and it still suggests an inexorable, ridiculous order that is unknowable by us, in which our earthly concerns matter very little. However, it not longer reads to me like a chronicle of arbitrarily inflicted cruelty. It reads like a terrible abstract of how we violate ourselves and others and thus bring down endless suffering on earth. When I read And they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pain and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds, I think of myself and others I've known or know who blaspheme life itself by failing to have the courage to be honest and kind—and how then we rage around and lash out because we hurt. When I read the word fornication, I don't read it as a description of sex outside legal marriage: I read it as sex done in a state of psychic disintegration, with no awareness of one's self or one's partner, let alone any sense of honor or even real playfulness. I still don't know what to make of much of it, but I'm inclined to read it as a writer's primitive attempt to give form to his moral urgency, to create a structure that could contain and give ballast to the most desperate human confusion.
Mary Gaitskill (Somebody with a Little Hammer: Essays)
The knowledge of the alphabet is one of the most common things in the world. It lies at the very foundation of all learning. No one ridicules the child saying that he knows the letters of the alphabet, and for declaring most positively, in spite of all contradiction, that “A” is “A”. And yet he knows that only by faith. He has never investigated the subject for himself; he has accepted the statement of his teacher. The teacher himself had to learn the alphabet in the same way - by faith. It was not demonstrated to him that “A” is “A.” It could not have been. If he had refused to believe the fact till it was demonstrated to him, he never would have learned to read. He had to accept the fact by faith, and then it would prove itself true under every circumstance. There is nothing of which people are more absolutely sure than they are of the letters of the alphabet, and there is nothing for which they are more absolutely dependent on faith. Now, just as the child learns the alphabet, so we learn the truths of God. Whoever receives the kingdom of heaven must receive it as a little child. By faith we learn to know Jesus Christ, who is the Alpha and the Omega, - the entire alphabet of God. He who believes the simple statement of the Bible, concerning creation, may know for a certainty that God did create the heaven and the earth by the power of His Word. The fact that some unbeliever doubts this, and thinks it is foolish, does not shake his knowledge, nor prove that he does not know it, any more than our knowledge of the alphabet is shaken or disproved by some other person’s ignorance of it.
Ellet J. Waggoner (The Gospel in Creation)
If we follow Jesus, our status before God is righteous. The gavel has come down and our righteousness is secure in the work of Jesus Christ. God’s verdict is not subject to change based on our performance. We didn’t become righteous because of our performance, and we can’t lose our righteousness because of our performance. We don’t have to worry about getting escorted off God’s premises. We have access, we have resources, and we have blessings because of Jesus. It is easy to hear this sort of message and get excited about it. We hear a preacher talking about God’s forgiveness and grace on Sunday, and we’re like, “Woohoo! I’m in! This is great!” But then Monday comes around, and it’s really hard to apply this reality when we’re having one of those moments when we lose our minds, or make dumb decisions, or go off on somebody, or do that stupid, ridiculous thing we swore we’d never do again. Suddenly, here comes the negative emotion. Here come the bad feelings. Here comes that sense that our status cannot possibly be the same as it was in church yesterday. That’s what the Bible calls condemnation. It’s a very real phenomenon. If you are a follower of Jesus, a Christian, and have never experienced condemnation, you might be God. For the rest of us mortals, we’ve all experienced it. Guilt. Shame. A sense that our status has changed. I’m going to take this a step further. This might sound weird at first, but I think we actually, in a very sadistic way, enjoy condemnation. Why? Because condemnation is logical; and in a weird, twisted, dark sense, it gratifies our flesh. It actually feels right to feel horrible, to feel depressed, to feel dejected, to feel despair. “I messed up. I did something so stupid. This serves me right.” But in fact, condemnation doesn’t serve us at all. In the verses above, the Bible says that condemnation should have no part in our existence on this planet if we belong to Jesus. As humans, we are experts at confusing our feelings with reality. We take our negative emotions and thoughts at face value, and we think, I feel bad, so I must be bad. I feel guilty, so I must be guilty. And if I’m disappointed and mad at myself, God must be way more disappointed and mad at me. Since we feel condemned, we think we are condemned. And since we think we are condemned, we work harder to regain our lost status. Instead of going confidently to God and asking for his grace to get back up and move forward in life, we try to patch ourselves up and put ourselves back together so we can attain the status of righteous before God again. Ironically, since we will never measure up to perfection, the more we try to earn our righteousness, the worse we feel. It’s the cycle of condemnation. I find it’s far easier to believe we are sinners than to believe we are righteous. But we are already righteous through Jesus. It’s a gift, and it’s called grace. How much time do we waste as Jesus followers trying to recover what we have had all along?
Judah Smith (Life Is _____.: God's Illogical Love Will Change Your Existence)
Making A Connection With The Word Of God Now that we’ve discussed the various methods of memorizing, we will move on to what is necessary to prepare for the memorization session itself. When you’re preparing to memorize the first thing that you need to do is read the text to make sure you understand it. It is easier to retain and recall what you memorized if you have full comprehension of what the scriptures are saying. Therefore it is always good to read the scriptures first. When you memorize focus on the meaning of the scripture that it may remain true to you. When you read the word of God certain things will jump out at you. This is God speaking to you through the pages. By memorizing what speaks out to you, you have a heartfelt association linked to the memory. Similar to peg and memorization by association, having a deep heartfelt connection to what you memorize gives your mind something extra to grab onto. It is infinitely more powerful to have a personal heart felt attachment to the verses in order to be able to recall it at the most practical or emotional times. Whereas other methods require a silly mental image or the smell of bacon to associate a verse with which has no emotional connection with you. If we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength then we also should love His word by which we are saved. If then we love His word we will have the heartfelt connection necessary to practically apply the scriptures in a daily walk with Him. However if we do not have a heartfelt connection with the word of God, then we will not apply it at the appropriate times and thus our walks with God will be hindered. Rather than using the other seemingly ridiculous memorizing methods that are out there it is better to focus on the meaning while retaining it for later use. Seeing that it has a special place in your heart you will be able to more accurately recall it at the most necessary times. This is why I teach that you should only memorize what is jumping out at you from the pages. When this happens God is speaking to you through the pages for your daily walk. He uses life experiences mixed with teaching from His “text book” (the bible) to teach you. If then God uses this method to help you retain the scripture and the meaning behind it, shouldn't we also apply it when memorizing? Whatever God is teaching you at the time, He will compare the scriptures to your experiences in life that you’re currently going through. Even as it is written, “These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” 1Co 2:13  Understanding this it is good to memorize the subject He is giving us to learn. It will have practical, heartfelt meaning for you and for what you’re going through now. As a result because the meaning was associated with your heart, every time you need to recall this scripture accurately it will pop back up in your mind. A walk with God in His Spirit and His word must be heartfelt. Therefore Beloved, take the time to memorize what God is teaching you. Whatever is speaking true to the current situations of your life, memorize. These current situations God will use for lessons for growth, a troubling situation to overcome, or maybe a doctrinal dispute. If you’re learning new lessons then it’s good to remember these things as a good student of God. If it’s something to overcome always memorize what God has encouraged you with.
Adam Houge (How To Memorize The Bible Quick And Easy In 5 Simple Steps)
For example for John 3:16 someone would imagine God growing a heart shape in his hand while handing a little toddler son dangled by his toes to a globe. Being dangled by his toes would help someone remember it because it is not something people would do. There have been books written about this subject, claiming that it works well for memorizing scripture. But turning the scripture into a ridiculous image is blaspheming the word of God by which you are saved. It is better to remember the scripture with the meaning of it. When you create a ridiculous image, you are no longer focusing on the meaning behind the scripture. In the end you are exchanging the meaning of the scriptures with a bizarre mental image. This is profaning the scripture in your mind! Even though this method may help you remember a verse or two it is not worth the trouble behind it. In the amount of time it takes to create a single image you could have memorized the scripture using other techniques. Also you’ll only be able to retain as many verses as you can remember silly images. And finally it does not help you retain the meaning of the scripture when it is time for the application of it, but rather it blasphemes the word of God.
Adam Houge (How To Memorize The Bible Quick And Easy In 5 Simple Steps)
The Peg Technique The peg technique is slightly similar to memorizing by association in that it uses a second memory to help the mind recall it. It is different in that you create the memory on the spot. The peg technique is meant to give your mind something extra to hang onto the memory with. Thus the memory hangs on the peg (image object etc), hence it is called the peg technique. The peg however is more than just a simple mental image you form. It is a ridiculous or silly image you create in the hopes that your mind will better remember it. How is this supposed to work? The mind many times can remember things that are bizarre in regard to its surroundings. Being a naturally inquisitive creature fueled by a thirst to understand the world around us, we must examine and better understand any discrepancies in our environment. For example men are fascinated with the workings of atoms and their bizarre behavior when broken apart. People have devoted their entire lives to figuring out these mysteries. When things function in a different way than expected, people can’t stop examining the subject until the can fully understand it. The peg technique was created on this basic premise with the hope that the concept would cross over with silly mental images. In the end this technique is proven to work well with numbers, and lists, among other things. It does not however help one to retain the meaning. In order to remember certain things one would need to create a memorable image in mind that would help bring to memory what they’re trying to recall. How this would apply to scriptures, is that you would choose to make the scripture into a silly image in your mind in order to help you remember it.
Adam Houge (How To Memorize The Bible Quick And Easy In 5 Simple Steps)
Some people are ignorant of the world but educated in Scripture, and are therefore prone to missing the relevance of Scripture - these sometimes, later, amidst life's challenges and doubts, turn from the faith; other people are ignorant of Scripture but educated in the world, and are therefore prone to missing the truth of Scripture - they are often those who ridicule the faith. The apologist stands somewhere in the center. He articulates where some are prone to understanding the truth in beauty, others the beauty in truth - that of a spiritual Creator in relation to his scientific creation.
Criss Jami (Healology)
In our youth, we may have ridiculed the cost-of-living-index family, with their house, two cars, and two kids, but today we are pro-family. We have seen the damage done by the previous generation and have doubled our efforts when it comes to caring for our families. Our children come first.
Gudjon Bergmann (More Likely to Quote Star Wars than the Bible: Generation X and Our Frustrating Search for Rational Spirituality)
Many at first appeared to receive the warning; yet they did not turn to God with true repentance. They were unwilling to renounce their sins. During the time that elapsed before the coming of the Flood, their faith was tested, and they failed to endure the trial. Overcome by the prevailing unbelief, they finally joined their former associates in rejecting the solemn message. Some were deeply convicted, and would have heeded the words of warning; but there were so many to jest and ridicule, that they partook of the same spirit, resisted the invitations of mercy, and were soon among the boldest and most defiant scoffers; for none are so reckless and go to such lengths in sin as do those who have once had light, but have resisted the convicting Spirit of God. PP 95
Remnant Publications (Remnant Study Bible NKJV (New King James Version) with E.G. White Comments)
Isn’t it an odd thing that doubting doctrines and dogmas not fully articulated until the Middle Ages can make you a heretic? Admitting to your pastor or priest that you doubt God, the Church, or the Bible can get you excommunicated. Yet treating your fellow human beings as though they were worthless scum will get you elected to the parish council (or to the U.S. Congress). Being open and honest about your faith—or lack thereof—will gain you ridicule and contempt. But take heart, fellow Christians. If you pretend everything is good, and that you are a faithful believer in all things, you most certainly will gain the respect of everyone in your community. Well, except the most important person of all—the guy who railed against hypocrisy: Jesus of Nazareth.
Chuck Shingledecker (Freedom to Doubt)
Some people ridicule the Protestant Reformers but relish the notion of human equality. They do not know that the Reformers paid with their lives to make the biblical idea of equality a foundational principle of the modern world. Today, we take it for granted that uplifting the downtrodden is a noble virtue. In
Vishal Mangalwadi (The Book that Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization)
If the Bible provides us with the only cohesive system of thought that allows us to properly interpret all of reality, why is it so hated and rejected by so many? If the truth claims of the Bible are logically demonstrable, why is it so despised and ridiculed by some of the brightest and smartest minds?
Jeffrey D. Johnson (The Absurdity of Unbelief: A Worldview Apologetic of the Christian Faith)
AMAZING GRACE IS A SWEET SOUND Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs. Proverbs 10:12 Wherever you look, Christians are being abused—whether it’s the ridicule, marginalization, and stigmatization that Christians receive from the media and liberal elites here, or the torture, imprisonment, beheadings, and slaughter Christians suffer abroad. So-called progressives in the West treat Christians with snobbish contempt. Radical Islamists kill us. In both cases, morality has been turned upside-down. The Bible warns of such crumbling morality in 2 Timothy 3:2. It’s all been prophesized. This passage reveals that people will be lovers of themselves, arrogant, abusive, and wicked. The line separating right from wrong has been blurred by the worldly influences of humanism, secularism, and religious doctrines not based on the Word of God. The outcry of the age is for “tolerance,” yet how tolerant is it for people to attack Christians who simply want to live their lives by biblical principles? The very heart of Christianity is to love our enemies, as tough as that may be. What does that love look like now that so many are labeling us “intolerant”? Our example is found in Jesus. If He showed such amazing strength and mercy in the face of horrendous treatment coming at Him, how can we, being recipients of His mercy, refuse to exercise whatever strength we can muster? We can’t refuse it. The daunting nature of required mercy and grace makes it seem impossible to implement, especially when we see hatred around us. All the more reason to tap into God’s amazing grace and ask Him to show us how. He’ll be delighted to teach us. SWEET FREEDOM IN Action Pray to God for strength and understanding, and for the grace to endure.
Sarah Palin (Sweet Freedom: A Devotional)
A great many skeptics are unfortunately put to waste, in that they vainly focus their energy on ridiculing a certain tiny denomination of Biblical fundamentalism, a denomination seated just one chair away from unbelief. They, the skeptics, cannot believe because they are the most literal of fundamentalists: of those who must interpret Scripture as simply an obsolete, absolutely dead compilation of intellectual incompetence. Nevertheless, by all means, because, after all, that is supposed to happen - Scripture states of itself that all thought and interpretation is folly without the Holy Spirit - however the ironic thing is the case in which one believes that the Bible is, in its true essence, completely outdated. And like flashes in a pan, he hints at his naivety, that he knows little about the world around him, little about those who live in it. Either that, or he knows little about what Scripture really says in relation to the world around him, little about what it really says in relation to those who live in it. It is as though he is the one dead to the world and it to him. He has not the Spirit to give life to his own spirit; he can only possibly understand Scripture as long-deceased rather than the modern world's very living narrative.
Criss Jami (Healology)
Of course no one argues that we Christians are tasked with building the new heavens and the new earth from bottom to top. That would be as impossible as it is ridiculous. But there are a number of people who have argued that we as Christians at least have a hand in the creation of the new heavens and new earth—that we partner with God in his mission to restore the cosmos. As energizing as that may sound, though, it simply doesn’t ring true with the way the Bible talks about the new heavens and new earth. There’s the clear testimony of the passages we’ve just considered, but there’s also the fact that the land in which God’s people dwell—whether the Promised Land or the new earth—is always said to be a gift from God to his people.
Kevin DeYoung (What Is the Mission of the Church?)
13 The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it [the idol he is making] out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass [your craftsmen exercise great care and skill in manufacturing your idols], and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house [your craftsmen put great care into making your idols; implication: if you were as careful worshipping God as you are in making idols . . .]. 14 He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth [cultivates and grows] for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash [tree], and the rain doth nourish it. 15 Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it [you use most of the tree’s wood for normal daily needs; how can you possibly turn around and worship wood from the same tree in the form of idols!]; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto. 16 He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire [normal uses]: 17 And the residue thereof [with the rest of the tree] he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver [save] me; for thou art my god [Isaiah is saying how utterly ridiculous it is to assign part of a tree to have powers over yourselves]. 18 They [idol worshipers; see 45:20] have not known [German: know nothing] nor understood [German: understand nothing]: for he hath shut their eyes [German: they are blind], that they cannot see [are spiritually blind]; and their hearts, that they cannot understand [they are as blind and unfeeling, insensitive, as the idols they make and worship]. 19 And none considereth in his heart [if idol worshipers would just stop and think], neither is there knowledge nor understanding [they don’t have enough common sense] to say, I have burned part of it [the tree spoken of in verse 44] in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination [is it reasonable to make the leftover portion into an abominable idol]? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree [is it rational to worship a chunk of wood]? 20 He [the idol worshiper] feedeth on ashes [German: takes pleasure in ashes, perhaps referring to ashes left over from some forms of idol worship]: a [German: his own] deceived heart hath turned him aside [German: leads him astray], that he cannot deliver [save] his soul, nor say [wake up and think], Is there not a lie in my right hand [covenant hand—am I not making covenants with false gods]? 21 ¶ Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee [the exact opposite of idol worshipers who form their gods]; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me.
David J. Ridges (Your Study of Isaiah Made Easier in the Bible and the Book of Mormon)
there is not one person in a thousand who does not hold to some kind of superstition, and those most given to ridiculing the belief in witchcraft of past ages, believe in omens, prognostics, dreams and revelations. They carry a rabbit’s foot or buckeye, keep a horse shoe over or under the door, see spectres stalking around a table of thirteen, or could not be induced to start a journey or begin any work on Friday, and since people of the present day cannot explain the phenomena in spiritual manifestations, mind reading, electric wonders, etc., their ancestors may be excused for believing in witchcraft, inasmuch as they accepted the Bible for the guidance of their faith and believed all it says on this subject, as they did that pertaining to the soul’s salvation, and sought to put away witchcraft, that Christianity might prevail.
M.V. Ingram (An Authenticated History of the Famous Bell Witch)
Here is the death of human pride. Beside the glory of Christ, all human titles are of no importance and all human claims become ridiculous.
William Barclay (The Daily Study Bible Series: The Revelations of John, Volume 1)
Many persons, as they begin to prosper, immediately expand their ideas and commence expending for luxuries, until in a short time their expenses swallow up their income, and they become ruined in their ridiculous attempts to keep up appearances, and make a “sensation.
Napoleon Hill (The Prosperity Bible: The Greatest Writings of All Time on the Secrets to Wealth and Prosperity)
Literary Genre In current trends within critical scholarship, Jonah is commonly labeled as parody or satire. The former typically lampoons a piece of literature, while the latter targets people (specific or stereotyped categories) or events, as Jonah does. Satire can be either an enactment or a written composition in which vice, folly or incompetence is held up for ridicule. The closer to reality a satire can be, the more effective it is. By definition it targets real people and tries to use the mannerisms and words that they use. Satire exaggerates reality, but by its nature is based on reality. Satire and parody are both known in the ancient world and the Bible. The examples of parody in the ancient Near East also target entities that are considered to be historical and from which historical information may be deduced. In the realm of related satire, the Babylonian “Dialogue of Pessimism” targets a wide variety of cultural institutions. The satire in the book of Jonah targets Jonah personally as a ludicrous example of how a prophet might behave. ◆ Key Concepts • Much of the significance of the book depends on understanding that the Ninevite response is superficial, yet God responds anyway. • Jonah is put in Nineveh’s shoes in order for the book to make its point about God’s compassion being undeserved. • Jonah is not a missionary; he is a prophet. • Jonah’s message is of judgment, not instruction or hope.
Anonymous (NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible: Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture)
This idea that Jesus is meek, mild, indifferent, and non-judgmental is the stuff of pure myth. Pastor Mark Driscoll says he used to believe Jesus was dull, boring, passionless—in short, unappealing—until he read the Bible. He didn’t recognize in its pages the Jesus about Whom he’d always been told. Driscoll challenges us to read the Gospel of Mark, which will “spin your head around.” Jesus, says Driscoll, tells people to “repent.” He tells people to quit their jobs and follow him. He tells a demon to shut up. After He heals a leper He swears him to silence, too. Then He picks a fight with Sunday school teachers, He tells His mom He’s busy, He rebukes the wind, He kills two thousand pigs, and “he offends people, but doesn’t go to sensitivity training.” He calls people hypocrites and calls Peter “Satan,” He curses and kills a tree, He tells people they’re going to hell, and He rebukes the disciples for falling asleep on Him in the garden.21 Driscoll’s point is not that Jesus was mean or bad in any way; merely that the lukewarm, pacifist image this culture has created of Him is as ridiculous as it is inaccurate.
David Limbaugh (Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel)
​Certainly, in our spinning-globe-Earth-modern-reality, such Bible passages seem quaint, perhaps even ridiculous.
Giovanni Cirucci (Eaters of Children: The Pedocracy Exposed)
The Bible offers plenty of metaphoric and poetic descriptions that would be rendered completely ridiculous if taken literally. For example, Jesus said Christians are to be the salt and light of the world (Matthew 5:13). Obviously, He was not saying we need to transform ourselves into sodium chloride and photons. He was using everyday concepts such as salt and light as tools for teaching a broader message.
Derek P Gilbert (The Day the Earth Stands Still: Unmasking the Old Gods Behind ETs, UFOs, and the Official Disclosure Movement)
Good ideas are just there all of a sudden, like angels in the Bible. You cannot ignore them just because they are ridiculous.
Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon)
One day, when Jon and I must have been nine or ten, we were talking about God. This was a big moment, because Jon’s family didn’t go to church, and he didn’t talk about God very much, but now, while we stood in my driveway, he was being open and sharing his beliefs. Jon said he thought God was like a filing clerk. His desk was full of cards, and those cards comprised our reality. This divine Clerk had cards for physics, biology, historical events, future events, people, and everything everywhere. God spent his time filling out these cards and keeping them organized. I laughed at him. I couldn’t help it. Jon’s idea about God was so ridiculous and wrong. After all, I was an expert on God—I studied him every week at church, and I even knew him personally. I’d been saved and baptized. Here was Jon, so much smarter than I, and he didn’t understand God at all. I have to admit, the thought made me feel pretty proud of myself. After I stopped laughing, I started to tell Jon about the one true God of the Bible and His Son, Jesus. But Jon didn’t want to listen. His eyes were watering, and his face was red, too. I couldn’t tell if he wanted to cry or yell at me. I think a lot of us do what I did in that moment. We have experiences with God that are beautiful and moving, but over time, they just become things that make us feel superior to other people.
Mike McHargue (Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science)
And is that all there is to it?’ Nekhlyudov cried as he read these words. And the inner voice of his whole being said, ‘Yes, that’s all there is to it.’ And then something happened to Nekhlyudov, the kind of thing that often occurs with people living a spiritual life. What happened was that an idea that at first had seemed weird paradoxical, maybe even ridiculous, after being confirmed time after time by the process of living, suddenly presented itself as a simple, incontrovertible truth. In this way it became clear to him that the only sure way of salvation from the terrible evil whereby so many were made to suffer was for people to acknowledge that they are guilty before God and therefore disqualified from punishing or correcting other people. He now saw clearly that the terrible evil he had witnessed in the prisons and at the halting-stations, and the smug complacency of those who were committing it, all stemmed from one thing: people were trying to do something that was impossible – to correct evil while being evil. Sinful people tried to correct sinful people and thought this could be achieved mechanically. The only result was that people needing and wanting money have a profession out of the imaginary punishment and correction of others, and they have become corrupt themselves even as they have gone on ceaselessly corrupting their victims. Now he could clearly see the origin of all the horrors he had witnessed, and what had to be done to eliminate them. The answer he had been unable to discover was the one given by Christ to Peter: always forgive, forgive everyone an infinite number of times, because there are no guiltless people who might be qualified to punish or correct. ‘No, it can’t be as simple as that,‘ Nekhlyudov said to himself, yet he could see beyond doubt that, however outlandish this had seemed to him at first, because he was so used to the opposite, it was the one sure way to solve the problem, both in theory and emphatically in practice. The age-old objection that evil-doers had to be dealt with – we can’t let them go unpunished, can we? – no longer bothered him. As an objection it might have been valid if there was any proof that punishment reduces crime and reforms criminals; but when the proof is entirely in the opposite direction, and it is clear that it is not within our power for some men to punish others, the only natural and reasonable thing is to stop doing what is not only useless but pernicious, as well as callous and immoral. ‘For centuries you have been executing people classed by you as criminals. Have they been eliminated? They have not, their numbers have only increased, added to by criminals corrupted by punishment and by other criminals – the judges, prosecutors, magistrates and gaolers who sit in judgement and dole out punishment.’ Nekhlyudov could now see that society and good order in general exist not because of the legalized criminals who judge and punish others, but because, despite all the forces of corruption, people do in fact pity and love one another. Hoping to find confirmation of this idea in the Bible, Nekhlyudov started reading from the beginning of St Matthew’s Gospel. After reading the Sermon on the Mount, which had always moved him, he discovered in it now for the first time not just abstract ideas of great beauty that imposed hyperbolical and impossible demands, but a series of simple, clear-cut, pragmatic commands, which, if followed (a distinct possibility), would establish a totally new order of human society, in which the violence that incensed Nekhlyudov would fall away of its own accord, and the greatest blessing for humanity, the kingdom of God on earth, would be achieved.
Leo Tolstoy (Resurrection)
Instead of speculating about the end times and writing terrible novels about people being left behind and preaching ridiculous sermons connecting Iran to the book of Daniel, it’s better if people agree that we aren’t going to worry about what we can’t control and we are going to become far more intentional about what we can control—loving our neighbor, becoming people of character and integrity, taking better care of the earth.
Rob Bell (What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything)
Gbenye’s lip curled. “How would a woman’s arrow kill a yearling impala?” “By making a hole in his neck, Gbenye. Your arrows went for the tail like a dog after his bitch. Where was your aim, nkento?” Gbenye raised his fist, and I was sure he would kill Nelson for that insult. But he flung his finger toward me instead, and shook it as if he were ridding himself of blood or slime. Commanded me to skin the impala and bring the meat down to the village. Then turned and walked away from us. Nelson drew his knife and knelt to help me with the tedious work of cutting through the tendons and peeling back the pelt. I felt mixed up, grateful, and sick at heart. Nelson had ridiculed Gbenye’s aim by calling him nkento. A woman.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
And is that all there is to it?’ Nekhlyudov cried out as he read these words. And the inner voice of his whole being said, ‘Yes, that’s all there is to it. ’ And then something happened to Nekhlyudov, the kind of thing that often occurs with people living a spiritual life. What happened was that an idea that at first seemed weird, paradoxical, maybe even ridiculous, after being confirmed time after time by the process of living, suddenly presented it as a simple, incontrovertible truth. In this way it became clear to him that the only sure way of salvation from the terrible evil whereby so many were made to suffer was for people to acknowledge that they are guilty before God and therefore disqualified from punishing or correcting other people. He now saw clearly that the terrible evil he had witnessed in prisons and the halting-stations, and the smug complacency of those who were committing it, all stemmed from one thing: people were trying to do something that is impossible – to correct evil while being evil. Sinful people tried to correct sinful people and thought this could be achieved mechanically. The only result was that people needing and wanting money have made a profession out of the imaginary punishment and correction of others, and they have become corrupt themselves even as they have gone on ceaselessly corrupting their victims. Now he could clearly see the origin of all the horrors he had witnessed, and what had to be done to eliminate them. The answer he had been unable to discover was the one given by Christ to Peter: always forgive, forgive everyone an infinite number of times, because there are no guiltless people who might be qualified to punish or correct. ‘No, it can’t be as simple as that,’ Nekhlyudov said to himself, yet he could see beyond doubt that, however outlandish this had seemed to him at first, because he was so used to the opposite, it was the one sure way to solve the problem, both in theory and emphatically in practice. The age-old objection that evil-doers had to be dealt with – we can’t just let them go unpunished can we? – no longer bothered him. As an objection it might have been valid if there was any proof that punishment reduces crime and reforms criminals; but when the proof is entirely in the opposite direction, and it is clear that it is not within our power for some men to punish others, the only natural and reasonable thing is to stop doing what is not only useless but pernicious, as well as callous and immoral. ‘For centuries you have been executing people classed by you as criminals. Have they been eliminated? They have not, their numbers have only increased, added to by criminals corrupted by punishment and by other criminals – the judges, prosecutors, magistrates and gaolers who sit in in judgement and dole out punishment.’ Nekhlyudov could now see that society and good order in general exist not because of the legalized criminals who judge and punish others, but because, despite all the forces of corruption, people do in fact pity and love one another. Hoping to find confirmation of this idea in the Bible, Nekhlyudov started reading from the beginning of St Matthew’s Gospel. After reading the Sermon on the Mount, which had always moved him, he discovered in it now for the first time not just abstract ideas of great beauty that imposed hyperbolical and impossible demands, but a series of simple, clear-cut, pragmatic commands, which, if followed, (a distinct possibility), would establish a totally new order of human society, in which the violence that incensed Nekhlyudov would fall away of its own accord, and the greatest blessing for humanity, the kingdom of God on earth, would be achieved. There were five of these commandments.
Leo Tolstoy (Resurrection)
Liew has said that Jesus Christ is not just the “King of Israel,” and “King of the Jews,” but is also a “drag king.” He is implying that Jesus was a crossdresser! That heresy makes me sick to my stomach. I hate to even entertain his ridiculous belief, but I have to make sure that I teach the truth of what God’s Word actually says. Jesus, Who was with the Father YHWH in the beginning, authored every word of our Holy Bibles - through the Holy Spirit (2nd
Michael Sawdy (Even More Signs of Our Times: MORE Biblical Reasons Why This Could Be the Generation of the Rapture)
What's the first commandment - a fundamentalist preacher once yelled at me with utter condescension! I replied quite instinctively - love thy neighbor. He laughed in ridicule and said - if you had actually studied the bible, you'd know, the first commandment is, love thy God - love thy neighbor is the second. I smiled and responded - and if you had paid any attention to my pal JC, you'd know - love comes first, nothing before that.
Abhijit Naskar (Tum Dunya Tek Millet: Greatest Country on Earth is Earth)
If you really stop and think about it, even Jesus prayed a prayer in Gethsemane that wasn't answered the way He wanted it to be. Did He not believe enough in the Father? Did he not pray long enough, or hard enough, or with enough faith? Of course not! The mere thought is ridiculous. And so I wonder if maybe we need to shift our focus away from rosy platitudes that are, quite honestly, easier to say than the alternative---the hard work of keeping our hearts open in the pain. Recognizing that God is with us, whether or not He calms the waves." Aunt Charlotte patted Alice's hand once more. "And that's not to say fear is what God wants for us, because I don't believe that's true. But it is to say you aren't alone in it, Alice. Not hardly. God has never left you, and I haven't either." "You're right..." Alice's voice trailed off as she cozied deeper into the sofa. "I've never thought about it like that before, but even Jesus prayed there'd be some other way than the suffering He endured, and He was the Son of God. And even Lazarus died eventually. Death always comes before resurrection. All this time, I've been so focused on praying my mom back to health that I've missed out on the big picture. It's not about whether I pray fervently enough to unlock some blessing through the right combination of words. It's about God walking with us in our brokenness---a brokenness the Bible warns that in this world, we will all endure. Maybe instead of trying to sidestep the pain, I need to fill it instead, and ask God to help me find a way through.
Ashley Clark (Where the Last Rose Blooms (Heirloom Secrets, #3))
This is why, back in 1554, a priest carrying the eucharist (the little Jesus cookie) could stand before a family of Christians in Scotland, tied to posts with dried brush up to their waists. He’d hold that piece of bread before them and ask if what he held in his hand was actually the body, blood and deity of Jesus Christ. When they said, “No, it is only a symbol,” the priest’s assistant placed his flaming torch into the brush and set those Bible-believers on fire. As the victims screamed in agony, the priest held up his crucifix and said, “All this is for the greater glory of God.” It holds firm, just as strong today, as it did in the time of the Middle Ages, that anyone who ridicules it, or says that it only represents Christ, is damned. The Vatican II Council re-affirmed this. Pope John XXIII said, “I do accept entirely all that has been decided and declared at the Council of Trent.
Jack T. Chick (Smokescreens)
There is not, throughout the whole book called the Bible, any word that describes to us what we call a poet, nor any word that describes what we call poetry. The case is, that the word prophet, to which later times have affixed a new idea, was the Bible word for poet, and the word prophesying meant the art of making poetry. It also meant the art of playing poetry to a tune upon any instrument of music. We read of prophesying with pipes, tabrets, and horns—of prophesying with harps, with psalteries, with cymbals, and with every other instrument of music then in fashion.9 Were we now to speak of prophesying with a fiddle, or with a pipe and tabor, the expression would have no meaning, or would appear ridiculous, and to some people contemptuous, because we have changed the meaning of the word.
Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason (AmazonClassics Edition))
when we peer into our own hearts, we will have sufficient cause — even laughably ridiculous cause — to see our own sin and be humbled before God. That will lead us to an other-awareness that our fellow disciples and humans are like us, sinners in need of mercy, grace, forgiveness, and patience. This reversal of the proclivity to be gods creates on our part a tenderness in our perception of the sins of others.
Scot McKnight (Sermon on the Mount (The Story of God Bible Commentary Book 21))
I gingerly and quietly plopped the idea into the laps of those with whom I thought it would be safe: the married women at church. Big mistake. Immediately I was assaulted with some of the most ridiculous and unbiblical things I’ve heard in church to this day. Here are some examples. “The last thing you want to think about right now is marriage.” “When you stop thinking about marriage, that’s when God will bring someone to you.” “Maybe you’re not spiritually mature enough to marry.” “Go on another missions trip. That’ll get your mind off marriage.” “I wish I were still single. Wanna trade?” These were all said by Christian women, many of them long-time believers, Bible study leaders, elders’ wives, and/or women in other places of authority. I felt so foolish. If it wasn’t good to desire marriage, then I figured I’d better just keep my mouth shut. I certainly didn’t want my fledgling hope to be dismissed so easily. I’d either have to nurture it in secret or try to squelch it altogether. Many singles have done just this. We’ve shut down. We’ve tried to reprogram ourselves. We hold others at arm’s length on this subject because we don’t want to get hurt.
Lisa Anderson (The Dating Manifesto: A Drama-Free Plan for Pursuing Marriage with Purpose)
In these past twelve years of ecstasy, I have never had this train of thought: You know, Judah, Chelsea loves you so much, she takes such good care of you, she’s so loyal and faithful—you could cheat on her and be just fine. She’ll take you back. She’ll still love you. I’ve never had that thought, and I never will. It’s ridiculous. It’s repulsive. Why? I’m not faithful to some impersonal ideal called marriage. I’m faithful to a person. And every good thing she does only reinforces my commitment and my faithfulness to her. It doesn’t tempt me to abuse her trust. When some people hear about grace, the first thing they think is: So, I can go out and do whatever I want, and God has to forgive me? They haven’t met grace—they’ve met a concept. They’ve met an idea. They’ve heard a nice sermon. When you look in the eyes of grace, when you meet grace, when you embrace grace, when you see the nail prints in grace’s hands and the fire in his eyes, when you feel his relentless love for you—it will not motivate you to sin. It will motivate you to righteousness. When we meet grace, it becomes the fuel of our faith. We pray, we read our Bibles, we worship, and we live the purest lifestyle we can because we love a person. Allegiance to a doctrine can only last so long, but relationship trumps everything. We’ll do anything for someone we love.
Judah Smith (Jesus Is ______: Find a New Way to Be Human)
7Do not be deceived, God is not mocked [He will not allow Himself to be ridiculed, nor treated with contempt nor allow His precepts to be scornfully set aside]; for whatever a man sows, this and this only is what he will reap. 8For the one who sows to his flesh [his sinful capacity, his worldliness, his disgraceful impulses] will reap from the flesh ruin and destruction, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Anonymous (Amplified Holy Bible: Captures the Full Meaning Behind the Original Greek and Hebrew)
People say that Yazidism isn’t a “real” religion because we have no official book like the Bible or the Koran. Because some of us don’t shower on Wednesdays—the day that Tawusi Melek first came to earth, and our day of rest and prayer—they say we are dirty. Because we pray toward the sun, we are called pagans. Our belief in reincarnation, which helps us cope with death and keep our community together, is rejected by Muslims because none of the Abrahamic faiths believe in it. Some Yazidis avoid certain foods, like lettuce, and are mocked for their strange habits. Others don’t wear blue because they see it as the color of Tawusi Melek and too holy for a human, and even that choice is ridiculed.
Nadia Murad (The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State)
It is one thing for modern educated people to feel they must believe these old stories as factual when science proves otherwise. It is quite another for ancient people living before the dawn of scientific technology to venture clever but inevitably mistaken explanations. My guess is that many secular folks in our day take a dim view of biblical tales of a six-day creation, a universal flood, etc., blaming these stories for the oppressive use of them by religious leaders who ought to know better. But that’s not fair. Who, after all, scorns and ridicules the Greek or the Norse myths? No one, because no one catechizes us to believe these literally. They haven’t left a bad taste in our mouths. Nor should the myths of Genesis. If we could somehow visit the past and explain to the authors of Genesis the true origins of the earth and its life-forms, of languages, and of ethnicities, I suspect they would rejoice to learn the truth of the matter.
Robert M. Price (Holy Fable: The Old Testament Undistorted by Faith)