Rise of the Bully Messiah

I detest bullies. I always have.

They are the greatest kind of cowards this world produces. Bullies are by their very nature, predators. The bully’s tactic is simple: leverage their power to generate fear in someone who possesses less power; to use their cultural advantage to terrorize another, all the while masking their own near paralyzing insecurity and self-hatred. They are small people trying to project themselves as towering.

There has quite possibly never existed a bully as afflicted with such sickness as the man occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue right now. Every single move he’s made since stepping into the office has been that of a predatory coward seeking validation through fear:

Stranding desperate refugees at airports after leaving behind all they know and the place they’ve called home in order to craft a less violent, less terrifying life—and exposing them to violence and terror upon their very arrival.

Manufacturing a phony monster out of the Islamic faith, exposing millions of peace-loving Muslim-Americans, who are already among the most-maligned and persecuted, to further intimidation and ostracism.

Harassing undocumented immigrants who are already living lives far more stressful and exhausting than most Americans would ever endure—by creating the false narrative that they are a parasitic danger.

Taking away healthcare from millions of the most vulnerable and financially unstable, ensuring that their already monumental difficulties will be magnified, and that their daily existence will be made exponentially more painful.

Assailing the rights of women to have autonomy over their own bodies and sexual expressions, and reinforcing an oppressive misogyny that is already a daily minefield they must navigate.

Resuming the Dakota Access Pipeline, quite literally bulldozing over the sacred lands of a people who have, since the very birth of our nation, been treated with contempt and disregard.

Removing protections from Transgender students, already among the absolute most vulnerable, most burdened, most endangered Americans, with a suicide rate far beyond any other segment of the population.

This is the growing legacy of this detestable Bully Messiah of a President, whose tactics are being applauded by similarly insecure cowards who don’t recognize their privilege, and who don’t know they are the entitled, lazy menace draining this country of its greatness. 

The sad irony here, is that the Bully Messiah is not preying upon the weak—no quite the opposite. Refugees, people of color, immigrants, the working poor, women, Native Americans, the LGBTQ community: they are the kind of strong and courageous that he will never be or understand. Faced with the absolute most difficult, most dire, most exhausting of days they persevere, they endure, they retain their dignity. Such great character is foreign to a small man so wishing he were big—and he resents them for it.

Meanwhile the Bully Messiah and his cowardly disciples, benefitting from every possible advantage of their whiteness and wealth and circumstance, feel compelled to undermine and attack and further marginalize the vulnerable. They are driven to prey upon those most in need of advocacy, most deserving of respect, and most specifically illustrating what it is that makes this nation great.

Right now, with every transparently predatory move their Messiah makes, the bullies around the country are cheering—but they are the only ones. The rest of us are bearing witness to the premeditated terrorism of a small minority of frightened cowards, and we are pushing back and will continue to pushback. Because if there’s one truth about bullies, it’s that they’re absolutely terrified of resistance. They collapse beneath the pressure of good people who refuse to be defined or silenced by the bully—and thankfully the majority of Americans are such people.

So the insecure, hateful few can have their Bully Messiah and his apparent ascension and their moment of apparent vicarious dominion. They can sing his praises and shout on the street corner and rant online. They can hurl slurs and spray paint doorways and knock over head stones and harass in the hallways—but they will not prevail. They, like all bullies will have to face the reality of their inner smallness and acknowledge the true character of those they harass, which they so covet.

And this bloated, self-inflated Bully Messiah, who sits in the Oval Office each day, reminding all of us that he is little more than a sad, scared, fraudulent child who hates so many in an effort to feel less hatred for himself—will not prevail either. We will not allow it.

To those feeling more unsteady, more at risk, more vulnerable than ever, be encouraged. We are proudly and defiantly standing with you, because you are so worth standing alongside.

America, after all is the home of the brave—and not the bully.

 

 

 

 

 

 

293 thoughts on “Rise of the Bully Messiah

  1. My comment is addressed to Joe Catholic. Joe, I believe you wrote that all of the apostles were selected by Jesus and authorized to speak on his behalf. It is my reading of scripture which instructs me to understand that Paul was, in fact, not selected by Jesus but was self-appointed as an “apostle”. He, in fact, never met Jesus, never saw him, never heard him preach and was not in attendance at the Last Supper. Please don’t claim that he “met” Jesus on the road to Damascus. As a Catholic, you have undoubtedly been made aware of the contradiction in re this event as recorded in Acts 22:9. In court, when a witness or defendant testifies that he “heard voices”, we do not tend to take such assertions seriously or lend them any credibility. Regardless, Paul, at no time had any contact with or personal relationship with Jesus and was not “selected” by Jesus to be one of his disciples. Yes, we refer to “the disciple Paul” and he clearly had a great influence on the growth of Christianity but this was largely as a self-appointed marketing expert whose epistles reflect his conservative Jewish upbringing rather than the primarily compassionate social conscience and emphasis on loving thy neighbor which was the heart of Jesus’ message. At the time of Paul’s epiphany Jesus was elsewhere. Please correct me if I am wrong but do so with facts and specific references to scripture.

  2. >To those feeling more unsteady, more at risk, more vulnerable than ever, be encouraged. We are proudly and defiantly standing with you, because you are so worth standing alongside.

    We? To those who are feeling more steady, less at risk, less vulnerable then others that is an illusion in my humble opinion!! In Christ these divisions do not separate us from the love of God. It is an illusion that soon disappears under duress that one is conferred privilege because one is the right color, goes to the right Church, has a six- or seven figure income, the right education, the right family, the right job, living a quiet life in a posh neighborhood etc. the consequences of the plan for world domination the bully has made for himself and his friends is taking away our future and our children’s futures. The whole human species is at risk!!
    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
    Martin niemoller

  3. John,

    I hope you as a proclaimed preacher of Gods word, has not forgotten that God is going to hold you accountable not only for your life but for all of those you have led astray. And I am not talking politics here, I am talking about those things that you state on here day in and day out saying they are okay.

    Just because someone is allowed legally to worship a different God, than the one true God who someday we will all bow to, does not make it right. There is one real living Heavenly Father, who sent His son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross. We must accept the free gift of salvation, repent , and confess Him as Lord to spend eternity in Heaven. How will you feel when you stand before Him, knowing how many people you have condemned to hell by your words each day.

    How can you claim to be a believer when you write such horrible ungodly things each day. You are a sheep in wolves clothing, you sir, are a false prophet and it will be brought to light in Gods timing.

    • Angie, f you don’t like what John P writes, don’t read it.

      Otheriwise take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror he holds up in front of you and take the log out of your own eye and digest the words of this modern prophet.

      Please don’t come here and spew ugliness.

      • Gloriamarie,

        I will continue to read John’s blogs because occasionally he writes something so beautiful that it brings me to tears. I find most things he writes that is not belittling the Christian he claims he used to be, or about politics to be quite wonderful . But I read each thing thru the lens of the Holy Spirit. I know i am a sinner and that I sin daily, I, however do not hold the position of authority that many reading this blog give to John. If you are a born again believer of God, you know there is more than love and light to Christianity. God is not just a loving God but a just God and that all Gods are not the same and nor do all roads lead to heaven. Don’t you think that while he is expressing peoples right to worship how they please, it should not sound as though he is endorsing a religion that will lead its believers straight to hell?

        • If you are going to wrtite comments, then please don’t lie when you do.

          John P. is a Christian with a deeper grasp of the divine than many of the voices against him.

          “Born again believer” is not, despite the lies, the only way to be a Christian. That is a Johnny-Come-Lately view of salvation.

          You write ” all Gods are not the same and nor do all roads lead to heaven. ” As always when someone puts words into another person’s mouth that the other person never said, tha someone is lying. You lie, Angie, if you think John has ever written anything that says all gods are the same and all roads lead to heaven.

          How you interpret John’s words is just that: your interpretation. Interpretation is not the same as facts, as evidence, as truth.

          You also lie when you say “he is endorsing a religion that will lead its believers straight to hell” because were you to allow yourself to benefit from his prophetic words, you would find yourself in heaven.

          People who turn their backs on John’s words follow the example of those who ignored the words of the prophet of the Hebrew Scriptures.

          • Gloriamarie,

            I think you misread, I asked YOU, UNDERLINE YOU, “If you are a born again believer of God, you know there is more than love and light to Christianity. God is not just a loving God but a just God and that all Gods are not the same and nor do all roads lead to heaven. Don’t you think that while he is expressing peoples right to worship how they please, it should not sound as though he is endorsing a religion that will lead its believers straight to hell?” I did not attribute the words you wrote of to John but asked you , Gloriamarie, a question.

            Again, addressed to you, Do you believe there is another way to spend eternity in Heaven than to accept Christ as your personal Savior because you know He died on the cross for your sins, and rose again the 3rd to give you the gift of salvation and eternal life? Do you truly believe there is another way to become a “Christian”? HOW? Convince me please Gloriamarie.

            Angie

            • No, Angie. You did not ask me if I am a born again believer. There was no question mark, it was a declarative sentence in the second person which many people erroneously use when they should use “one.” There wasn’t anything to indicate that you were addressing me personally and every reason to believe you were making a generalized statement.

              “Don’t you think that while he is expressing peoples right to worship how they please, it should not sound as though he is endorsing a religion that will lead its believers straight to hell?”

              I don’t think you read John P. carefully enough because he is teaching us what it looks like to love our neighbors as ourselves, to love them as God first loves us.

              “Again, addressed to you, Do you believe there is another way to spend eternity in Heaven than to accept Christ as your personal Savior because you know He died on the cross for your sins, and rose again the 3rd to give you the gift of salvation and eternal life? Do you truly believe there is another way to become a “Christian”? HOW? Convince me please Gloriamarie.”

              Apparently, you must think me a very arrogant person. No one has the authority or power to convince anyone of anything except the Holy Spirit and I am quite content to leave it all up to Her.

              And, yes, as a matter of fact, I do believe that it is possible for people who never heard the name of Jesus to live in Heaven. I live in Heaven right now. Jesus tells us Heaven is “at hand.”

              Paul writes there are those who never heard the Law who live as though the law were engraved upon their hearts. We are created in the image and likness of God. Tht means all human beings have the ability to respond to God, to know God. Even those who have never so much as heard the name of Jesus.

              So, yup, there is more than one way to know, love, respond to God.

              • Gloriamarie, Good answer and you were kinder than I. I used to let people like that bully me, ended up being baptized three times so I could get it right for everyone, than I got a spine and decided it is not anyone else’s business whether or not I am saved. They need to worry about their own soul instead of being so arrogant as to believe they have all the answers. That is also a perfect example why I eschew the label christian and prefer follower of Jesus. Thank you, Peace……

                  • Kathaleen,

                    I apologize for any believers who bullied you. Only you know if your a believer or not, and your words and actions would or should bear that out to anyone.

                    Angie

                • I have a friend who when challenged with the question, “Have you been born again?” answers, “No. My mother got it right the first time.”

                  I am amazed that any legitimate clergy person would baptize someone who has already been baptized.

                  • O they were legitimate. Ended up dunking me three times, as that was the home run of baptisms. By the way, the last time was when my husband and I had started serving a church while he was in college. We were young and foolish and easily pushed around in those days. We learned how to stick true to what we have come to believe and that is the message that Jesus left us. Not everyone’s theological take but the message of love. I think that the best example of Jesus is when you see someone loving another in spite of all the prejudices they are exposed to.
                    I like your comment about your mother getting it right the first time.
                    Anyway, I pay no nevermind to bullies. I have enough problems trying to get it right for myself. Peace,,,,,,,,,,,

                    • ” I think that the best example of Jesus is when you see someone loving another in spite of all the prejudices they are exposed to.”

                      This I agree with, if only it was the whole story.

                  • No,none of the above. Just accept that it happened, that there are people so dogmatic that they can’t see anything other than what they want to see. I will not explain who the people are, with regards to the baptism, because the point was that they bullied. You ought to understand that because that is what you do.

              • Gloriamarie,

                I definitely bow at your expertise in English. I am definitely no expert at the use of punctuation, though I try to get it right. I went to high school in Australia and they teach things in a different method and I have never quite understood English the way I should. I just try to get the your, you’re, etc right and am very happy when no one calls me on those kind of things.

                I agree that John knows how to love, just not sure he is going about teaching it in a way that is loving to all, especially fellow Christians, if he truly is one.

                But as far as the rest of the things you expressed, while I disagree, I do hope you are right.

                Well, said!
                I hope to spend eternity with you, truly, Gloriamarie

                Thank you,

                Angie

                • One of the ways I haver made a living is as a professional editor, Angie, and if you know any others, you will discover that we find we are pedantic bunch.

                  Something to which I neglected to respond. You wrote “Do you believe there is another way to spend eternity in Heaven than to accept Christ as your personal Savior because you know He died on the cross for your sins, and rose again the 3rd to give you the gift of salvation and eternal life?”

                  As far as I know, I became a Christian at my baptism at six weeks old. When I was a toddler I used to play with Someone Else as I called him in the backyard. In first grade when Sr Padua introduced us to the Catechism and I learned the name Jesus, I realized my Someone Else was Jesus and I have been walking the Mystical Path all my life.

                  I have never said “yes” to the question you ask, as the way to become a Christian.

                  As no aspect of my faith is evangelical, fundamentalist or Reformed, I don’t actually believe that Jesus died for my sins. That teaching was invented by the Reformers only a mere 500 years ago.

                  Jesus came to show us how to be better people. He came to show us what love in action looks like. He died because evil people killed Him. He arose from the dead because He is God and death can’t hold him.

                  Nowhere in the New Testament are we asked to assent to the question you raised. Many people in the NT who were baptized did so because they believe Jesus is God.

                  The question “Do you believe there is another way to spend eternity in Heaven than to accept Christ as your personal Savior because you know He died on the cross for your sins, and rose again the 3rd to give you the gift of salvation and eternal life?” feels too much like a magic firmula to this non-evangelical, non-fundamentalist, non-Reformed believer.

                  And, yes, Angie, we are both already living in eternity and in our eternal lives. Our eternal lives will take a different shape, by and by, that’s all.

    • Angie, I gather you haven’t spent much time actually reading the Bible. You are way off base in your criticism of John. He is preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He’s not hitting people who claim to be Christian over the head with Hebrew Scripture clubs. He’s not lobbing bombs from Paul, taken out of context, at people just to intimidate them. None of us knows who will be “correct” when we meet God. I will continue to rely on the grace and mercy of the God I worship to deal faithfully with me. Cast all the rocks you want, but John is preaching the Gospel…..and Jesus often gave us hard instructions to follow. John is closer to doing that than you or I.

      • Bruce,

        Thanks for your response.

        I am quite sure you have no idea how much or how little I read Gods word but I am quite sure its not enough

        John is NOT preaching the gospel of Christ. The Gospel, is that Jesus died on the cross for our sin, and rose again the 3rd day, and that if we accept the free gift of salvation, repent, confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe our heart that God raised him from the dead, we will be saved.

        John , does nearly daily espouse ” Jesus is love, and love one another” This is the greatest of commandments. This is a good work of being a believer, and its an amazing message for John to share each day. But there is so much more to the story, and John has a responsibility to share the rest, God is love but God is a just God, a jealous God and can be an angry God. Your right only God knows our hearts, but we recognize each other by our actions and words. John does not share the gospel of Christ, ever to MY knowledge and that is my concern. As a self proclaimed pastor, he has a responsibility so share the whole story, not just one part.. and

        He has a responsibility to love other Christians, even ones he does not agree with. Do you see anything loving about the way John speaks about other believers he does not agree with? Do you see anything about how he writes that would make a believer that he has condemned and called names, want to be more like him if he is Christlike? Do you believe the Bible teaches a way to handle problems you have with other Christians? Does this come close?

        Angie

          • I know I said I’d not respond to JCs posts, but sometimes I believe it necessary to put in my 2cents.
            I suspect that one REASON JP is writing, is that he honors real American values over those expressed by so many members of the GOP, and pointedly, the current president. Both the parties did represent those values–but the GOP has taken to emphasizing many of the worst practices in American History, e.g. racism, fascism,
            misogyny, economic extremism, and economic inequality out the wazoo. Since taking office, the President continues these and other practices which denigrate America daily.
            In the future, I will post a list of American values created by others and myself. It is certainly not the only list, it is inclusive, and of course, rejecting of many practices, ancient and modern.
            Fascism, greed, political extremism , misogyny, racism, unnecessary meanness heaped upon the weak and vulnerable, and lying, lying, and lying, are not American values, though they have been America practices-and probably even the world at one time. Truth-truth and fact matter. The attack on the truth, is inexcusable, and is clearly indicative of totalitarian control and plans. We need not only rational discourse and a belief in facts, truth and scientific inquiry–and FREEDOM OF DISSENT.
            If these are prohiblited and punished, May God help us..

            • JC: Racism and misogyny are hallmarks of conservative thought and action: moreover misogyny is historicaly in some of the Catholic Church, most recently with Pope Benedict’s threats and actions to Nuns in America. The Good news is, the finest,most Christian Pope in my knowledge, is remedying, relieving authoritarian, greedy and misogynistic Churchmen. Look at some recent Church history.
              Regarding Racism, the president just appointed
              a known racist to be the attorney General of the USA. I may be mistaken, but I believe all GOP members voted for him.
              Moreover, the GOP, at all levels has used many, many ways to deny people of color the simple right to vote.
              The GOP is afraid of Black people voting, or holding office. Their work is a vicious, racist attach on Fellow Americans. Police violence is manifest: very few guilty police personnel have been brought to justice. When released from court, they are often welcomed by the Confederate battle flag. Conservative, morally vicious whites.
              I support the police: no one ought to support a murderer.
              I did not claim biologically ill, i.e. a ‘Leper.’ I do hold that you are in terms of argument, dishonest. You are also disruptive, and often mean-spirited. You do not seem to answer factual or rational claims, but attack with ad hominem statements.
              In short JC, it seems a waste of energy and time to treat with you, or your posts. From my heart, I wish it were not so. I do know what it is to be left out. I will admit that you can be a challenge when you respond and i do like that, though your narrowness and mean attack grow stale and objectionable in short order. I hope you will use that head of yours, and leave the far-right dogma behind. Oh, I also seriously reflect on Bannon’s project to destroy the US Government. Imagine the plight of minorities, had it not been for Kennedy, LBJ, Carter:
              Clinton and Obama have given much to our nation in terms of fairness: The GOP, well hardly at all.

              • Thank you for a very honest answer. I agree wholeheartedly. I worry about where this country is heading and what some of our citizens are allowing. You were very succinct with your answer. Peace………..

              • Don’t bother to insult me as if I were an 18 year old Freshman college student. I have had a lifetime of service and teaching, studying and learning. Historically, the Southern Democrats were the racist stalwarts,
                (Civil War)and from 1877 to the 1960s.
                Of course Lincoln, the first Republican fought initially to save the Union, but by increasing time, came to see the need for freeing the slaves, and providing them with opportunities.
                He barely accomplished this due resistance from the Northern Democrats.
                Republicans punished the South, through reconstruction,and withdrew in 1977, to get their president elected: the Democrats got the Federal troops to leave by allowing the GOP to win in a tight race. For years afterward, republicans and northern democrats, having become pro-government, and progressive, worked together in the late ’50s, and through the early 80’s to craft and pass the civil rights laws. When Southern Democrats had exhausted defiance, they incrasingly joined the northern part of the party, to affirm rights for all.
                Slowly, but it happened. Ronald Regan with his Southern strategy, energized whites in the South and Midwest. He deliberately stirred racism, and racist anger. JC, if you are unaware of this, you must have been asleep. Conservative Republicans in numerous states, with help for the conservatives on the Supreme court have whittled back minority rights, by not reissuing voting rights acts. State officials have attacked minority/Black Rights for years.
                Conservatives have increased attacks on Jews, Muslims, Blacks, liberals, the Press and Hollywood: public education, national health plans, our institutions such as Social Security, medicare, and Medicaid. These are attacks on middle class, and impoverished. This disdain for all except the wealthy elite in guise of helping “Forgotten Americans.” Misogyny??? From Trumps language to his actual attack on women, physical and verbal, the constant attacks on reproductive rights,including the fight against Planned Parenthood, which spends 97% of it’s time and money on providing health care for the poor, and under insured.
                The attacks on public health, the attack from Boy Bush, and now from Trump on Title 10, the breakthrough legislation which has helped millions of young women to grow, learn and compete in the world. The GOP is not for the vast majority of the American People: they aren’t for anything, unless they can control, or make money by their actions. Their ‘ethics’ have become the power, militarism, greed and violence, and destruction of fascism. Please attend to CPAC today, with Priebus, Bannon, and Trump. If you have the intellectual courage.

              • Well JC, I cannot dispute with alternate realities, post truth theories, and alternate facts, or the seperate disbelief factual statements known in public venues for years and years and years. Once again your simply denial of historical evidence, facts, histories, stories, legal cases—all which can be examined in the Public Domain, will have to be my defense. If reality and actual morality bother you so much, that your negations amount to blatant lies, I can only pray for you.
                There is such a thing as current history, current news, works on the history of Politics and Race in the US. This all public knowledge friend, and I’d ask you to look at that. As for providing more concrete examples, I have given you broad strokes: you should be able to read real truth. All of my children are adopted, bi-racial, special needs children. I will fight the growth of Fascism, and lies,
                racism, plutocracy, wilful ignorance with all of my being.

        • Angie, many people tend to conflate Jesus and Paul and lose sight of what Jesus said and taught. His teachings were very clear and ran counter to the established religion and regularly irritated the Pharisees which is what got him nailed to the cross.
          Read Matthew carefully especially near the end of the 25th chapter where Jesus is explicit about how we treat each other and what the consequences will be. It’s pretty clear that how we treat each other is of great importance and is the result of our relationship with Jesus Christ.
          If memory serves correctly it is Paul who speaks of the fruit of the Spirit. Good fruit is the sign of God in Christ working in us. That’s how loving neighbor as yourself meshes with loving God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength.
          It’s not our job to save anyone or condemn anyone. Jesus saved us the cross at Calvary around 33AD. Our job is to witness to the power of the Holy Spirit working in us. That manifestation is the result of our faith.
          And before you ask, yes I am a born from above, baptized by water and the Holy Spirit follower of Jesus Christ. Note I did not say “born again.” The original language does not translate that way. In fact there is no actual English equivalent, but “born from above” is the closest to the original ancient language. We often forget (ignore?) the fact that Scripture comes to us first via oral narratives that were later committed to writing. There have been translations and re-translations. For many concepts and words, there is not English equivalent. Jesus did not speak “King James English!” He probably spoke Aramaic in usual conversations and ancient Hebrew in others.
          At any rate, John P is preaching the Gospel. He’s doing a great job of it. And as I have noted before, he is putting the “hard words of Jesus” in front of our faces for us to examine and act. No one told us the road would be easy. But we were promised we would not take the journey alone. I leave it up to my Creator in the end and trust in the mercy and love I know to be in my Creator.

          • Bruce,

            Thank you for your reply and I agree with most of it.
            I agree that John is teaching
            ‘love one another’ except for those who do not agree with him.
            And by the way, I agree with loving the same people John claims to love, I just do not believe he is loving them the way God intended us to. And no, Its not my job to save or condemn, that is the HOLY SPIRIT’S job. But it is our job to witness in action and word. If you will notice I have not argued his politics, only what he shares as the gospel. Your absolutely right, Jesus is explicit in how we are to love and what the consequences are, but how can I claim to love someone if I do not care enough about them to care where they spend eternity? And its only because of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit that I even care to speak out and question. So I am very grateful that if I never meet you this side of eternity, I will spend eternity with you.. and no theres not a lot that is easy about walking this life of Christ, only possible with His assistance. By the way, like “born of above” much better.

          • No, Joe….John is actually sticking very close to Scripture in everything he says. Read the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, the only record of the early church in Scripture.
            First of all, Jesus tolerated none of the religious “junk” that religious authorities of his day were putting between God and the people of God. He regularly put the Pharisees in their place over their misinterpretation of Scripture….the Hebrew Scriptures. Jesus pointed out hypocrisy and it didn’t sit well with the hypocrites he identified.
            Someone on this list said John P was just supporting the Democratic Party platform. No, not really. John P is just following the examples of the Gospels and the Book of Acts. Those who have read Acts will know that there was no individual ownership of resources in the early church. Everything was held in common for the benefit of all. That wasn’t necessarily a requirement, but if you did agree to that you were held accountable. Remember the story of the couple who sold property to give the money to the church? He lied and said he had given all he had received. He dropped dead on the spot. His wife saw a body being carried out as she came in. When asked the same questions, she also lied. She too dropped dead and both were buried. The issue wasn’t what they gave but them lying about it.
            Most on this list have little concept of the world and culture when Jesus lived and certainly even less about the time of the Hebrew Scriptures. You simply cannot just “transfer” a concept from thousands of years ago to the present and expect it to fit. Science and technology alone shoot that down very quickly. Are you really willing to believe as and adhere to the “rules” and concepts of over 2,000 years ago? I doubt that seriously. Yet you are trying to tell us we have to use those precepts to run our lives.
            There are certain universals: When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus responded with loving God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength. He then added that was the first and great commandment and the second was like it and said to love your neighbor as you love yourself. He followed that with the statement that on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. In other words, this was truly the summary and it did sum up all the rest into these two.
            God gave us all a brain and expects us to use it. Faith is not the recitation of dogma and a list of rules. Faith truly is the ability to trust what we cannot see.
            There is way too much nitpicking on this list from people who are unable to use their brains to think about concepts they never discussed before. No one has all the answers, but it behooves us to look deeper than the surface if we want our own faith to have any depth and substance.

          • Few Ad hominems…are you kidding here? It is not John who inspires hatred: it is those who deny God’s values, American values, and care for Jesus, and His work and message. He is not a divider: you and the ultra-conservative, always judging Christians, often hating Christians, scorning those not just like them. Stop lying Joe: if you would have conversation, be decent and tell the TRUTH.

            • Major, all of us who have had the misfortune to engage Joe Catholic have come to the same conclusions as you post above. And we stop engaging with him, because he is not interested in the lessons of history. logic, and reason . Unfortunately new people come along and think they can have a rational conversation with him, and so it perpetuates.

            • Major, all of us who have had the misfortune to engage Joe Catholic have come to the same conclusions as you post above. And we stop engaging with him because he is not interested in the lessons of history, logic, and reason . Unfortunately, new people come along and think they can have a rational conversation with him, and so it perpetuates.

              Several people follow this blog with the purpose to make fun of, mock, exercise their self-righteous judgmentalism against John P. While overlooking that they are exactly the people who most need to benefit from his prophetic exhortations.

              I personally don’t read them and it saves me a lot of time I would otherwise waste talking about red herrings.

    • I feel sad for you, Angie, if you find the idea that we should stand up for the oppressed to be horrible and ungodly.

  4. I look forward to each of your articles. If there is any blogger who resonates more with my thoughts about our current times, I haven’t found him or her. I basically think exactly the way you write. Writing is thinking, and you do a great job of expressing ideas that do need to be expressed. Basic love, kindness, and empathy has been turned around to somehow appear weak when these are the very qualities that save people from greater despair. I have always stood up to bullies as an educator, and I’m glad you are voicing your thoughts. Thank you, thank you, thank you….

  5. Gloriamarie,

    I do believe that a person who has never seen or heard of God can come to believe there is one.

    However, I believe the Bible teaches the only way to eternity in heaven is thru salvation, thru faith.

    Angie

    • Angie, have you read much int primary sources of the early church? Just wondering. My fav stuff to read.

  6. Spot on as usual, John Pavlovitz. My worry is what it’s going to take to undo all the damage that will be caused over the next four years – if, indeed, we even can.

  7. Bully is IMO the entire through line of this entire administration, and the Trump movement, since its inception.

    Anyone still supporting 45 in 2019 is, for me, beyond consideration as a reasonable person at this point.

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