Okay, talk about taking verses out of context, wow.
I think I worked within the context of the arguments that were being made regarding the original post. I covered a pretty large contiguous block (verses 21-48) without omitting anything that I'm aware of.
Jesus here is saying it is wrong to commit adultery but that it's not mans place to judge but God's.
But it was god who gave
the Israelites the law that allowed them to judge adulterers as worthy of death. In the section I was discussing, Jesus opens each segment with "you have heard that it was said
," which is a reference to the law given to the Israelites by god. Jesus was not telling them that they could not judge, he was moving the burden of guilt from deed to thought. Adultery was a stoning offense, but now just the thought
of committing adultery was worthy of punishment. Murder was a capital crime, but now anger
was sufficient to put one at risk of divine judgment.
Jesus is saying that acting in a godly manner was not enough. One had to be like god in thought
, not just in deed (hence verse 48: you need to be perfect, like god is perfect). I think that we're in agreement here, that the gist of his message was for his followers to think clean thoughts in order to avoid impure actions. The teaching, as I recall it, is that one of Jesus' goals in taking human form was to "fulfill the law" and then to supercede it with a "new covenant." No longer would god's people have a list
of good and bad things to do or avoid, but that they had to develop a mental attitude
that would guide them towards good and away from bad. None of that affects the point I made in my previous post about Matthew 5:21-48, and how it applies to the discussion following the initial post in this topic.
Be not anxious for food, clothes, or drink and explains God's power over the Earth and that if you have faith in the Master, He will supply your every need.
This will come as a painful surprise to those around the world who have put their trust in god and continue to suffer and want for even basic needs. Often, when their plight is brought up to believers, we are told that either their suffering is part of god's plan, or that perhaps they're not being truly sincere in their approach. The first explanation runs afoul of Jesus' promise in Matthew 6:25-33. He does not promise his followers that they'll be cared for 'unless I arbitrarily decide otherwise.' There are no qualifiers on his promise that god will care for those who put his kingdom first in their hearts. The second is often self-condemning, as nearly every believer has had a time when they asked god for something and did not receive a reply. Sorry, guess you just didn't want it badly enough.
I've never understood the confusion with the "judge not" part of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is not telling people not to judge, he is telling them to, well... apply their judgments judiciously
. The context makes it clear that he's talking about providing counsel, or advice, to those in need. If you do not have your own affairs in order, then any counsel you give may be discounted. A person who counsels another person to avoid alcohol may not be taken seriously if he's known for his frequent bouts of drunkenness.
Anyway, after that part, he continues to promise his followers that if they ask, god will provide. See above for how well that seems to be working.
False prophets. Wouldn't you say at least 90% of all the pastors/priests out there are false prophets.
You're off by about 10%.
I think when several people pray for something really important, like say the cure for cancer, or world peace that God really respects our comradery and would answer our prayers. I would like to see every one around the world come together in prayer for humanity.
Well, it's a far cry from "several people" to "everyone around the world." In Matthew 18:20, Jesus promises that wherever there are two or three gathered in his name, he is with them. If the only thing preventing the eradication of cancer or war is the heartfelt prayers of two or three people, then believers have been slacking off pretty badly!
I think that this shows the way that believers work around facts or circumstances that undermine what they (or their religions) teach. The Bible tells us that god will answer prayers and grant whatever we ask for. When that doesn't happen, we change the rules to explain why this is so. There weren't enough people praying. They didn't pray long enough. They weren't sincere enough. It's not that god is being capricious and adding requirements that we can't meet; his explanation of the power of prayer is both simple and clear: ask for something, and I will provide
. It shouldn't take anything more than that to provide proof of the power of prayer by eradicating cancer or achieving world peace.