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Fundamentalism & Christianity


February 25 2012

Everyone has a soapbox

The advantage of the internet is that it lets people present their point of view. The disadvantage of the internet is that it lets crackpots present their point of view.

The internet is a true miracle. Every single idea, viewpoint, opinion can be found and expressed here. That is, every single idea, viewpoint, and opinion that someone is willing to express for fun and for free.

"Free" being the operative word here. In other words, expressing something and not getting paid. It is amazing the number of crackpots out there whose opinion is worth precisely nothing.

My rule of brevity

I believe in the rule of brevity: The more worthwhile someone's writings, the less they write. I came up with this rule back in the days of Usenet, after seeing countless crackpots post long, rambling posts no one wanted to read; people whose net contribution to the internet is to anger people and start flame wars.

That in mind, today's blog post is pretty long.

The John 14:6 litmus test

I was looking around for a decent free online commentary on the Gospel according to John. My litmus test was simple: I would open up the commentary and see what it said about John 14:6 ("I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me"). If the commentary said words to the effect that 14:6 means that all Muslims, Buddists, Hindus, etc. are going to Hell, I knew using said commentary would be a waste of my time.

Fundamentalists who use 14:6 to justify their intolerant and bigoted "God" gloss over 14:2: "In my Father's house, there are many mansions". It is no coincidence Jesus said that before affirming that he was an integral part of the universal God all religions aspire towards. What 14:6 is really saying is that truly Godly people will live a life like he lived: Loving and compassionate, as opposed to the legalistic and judgmental life the Pharisees of Jesus' time lived.

The only free online commentary of John I found worth reading was the Wikibooks one.

The Gandhi is in Hell litmus test

I have another theological litmus test: Do you believe Gandhi is in Hell? Not surprisingly, there are a lot of crackpots on the internet who believe precisely that. Take, for example this rather obnoxious "Christian":

John Chisham

John Chisham is a rather obnoxious fundamentalist "Christian" who, no surprise, flunks the "Gandhi litmus test". This particular, err Christian has offended a large number of people, including Christians and his types of beliefs have even caused someone to lose Christian faith.

A tree and its fruit

Luke 6:43-45: "There is no good tree that brings forth rotten fruit; nor again a rotten tree that brings forth good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. For people don’t gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings out that which is good, and the evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings out that which is evil, for out of the abundance of the heart, his mouth speaks."

Someone who preaches a "gospel" which is lacking in love and whose fruit is to drive people away from Christianity is someone who is preaching a "gospel" giving out very rotten fruit indeed.

Two blogs worth reading

Now that I got that rant off of my chest, two blogs worth reading:

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