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Letter: You may fool yourself, but not Jesus

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Posted: Saturday, November 9, 2013 12:00 am

I am a Christian. I make no apologies or excuses for being so. I believe that the Bible is as relevant, applicable, true and holy today as in the days it was written. It is not out-of-date or superseded by other books or beliefs.

Lying, cheating and stealing were sins then, and they are sins today. Adultery, abortion and homosexuality were sins then, and they are sins today. If you call yourself a Christian and live in sin, endorse sin or condone sin, you are fooling yourself. You are not fooling God.

I believe that God has a simple plan for mankind. Jesus was sent to show us the truth (John 18:37). The truth is that there is only one way to God and that is through Jesus (John 14:6).

America has legislated our Christian God and Jesus out of schools, public view and their lives. The majority of Americans have disowned Jesus by their laws and actions, and Jesus will disown them before God (Matthew 10:33).

Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12). In Revelations 2, Jesus says that if the people of Ephesus do not change their ways, He will remove the lampstand from its place.

We are like the people of Ephesus today. If we do not change our ways, He will remove the lampstand. There will be no light, and we will be in darkness.

I pray this has not already happened.

Jim Sugden

Lodi

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Welcome to the discussion.

28 comments:

  • Ed Walters posted at 8:33 pm on Tue, Nov 19, 2013.

    the old dog Posts: 606

    To all you sinners that posted ,I will take care of myself and my family, always have for over 50 years with no outside help. To all you people that rant about something your not 100% sure of. [sleeping]

     
  • Michael Nedderman posted at 7:50 pm on Sat, Nov 16, 2013.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Hi Joanne. Spin it as you will, but you are still advocating that government act as a charitable organization with the significant difference that the government employs oppressive force to extract money from its citizens that a truly charitable organization cannot, and would never do.

    Tell me Joanne, do you think that God will consider my tax payments to be charity? And, did you read the “Socialism is Evil” article I linked in one of my last posts? It directly counters your desire to impose your theistic ideas on the employment of governmental power.

    My point is that you want to use government to do what government, under our Constitution, does not have the authority to do—unless you violate that highest law of the land. Is that what you are advocating? No? Then, please cite the clause in the Constitution that permits the government to take private property from one person and give it to another for purposes that have nothing to do with the legitimate (Constitutional) operation of government.

    . . . . . Next, you assert that: “Morals are not derived from God, Jesus, or any other deity. They are an innate human trait that separates us from other species.” I guess you are referring to the “natural law” you cited as authority in your earlier post. Since you failed to provide your source, I’ll ask once again: can you please provide a source where I can read what you consider to be the “natural law”? And if I’m mistaken about the morality you believe is the basis of what you described, please clarify so I can understand you better.

    And, if morals are an innate human trait, it would seem that humans are, therefore, innately capable of goodness. I think it is usually expressed as a belief that people are “basically good,” as opposed to being innately sinful…sorry, innately inclined toward moral corruption. Which do you believe?

    . . . . . Also, I’m curious Joanne, if you don’t mind telling me, if you’re not a Christian, and you’re not an atheist, how would you describe yourself?

     
  • Michael Nedderman posted at 7:43 pm on Sat, Nov 16, 2013.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    First Joanne, the money in the US Treasury is not mine (“…he'll be darned if Jesus is going to use HIS taxpayer dollars to help those that Jesus told us to help.”). Therefore, I have no control over how it is spent apart from the ways each citizen has of influencing his government. Therefore, it is patently unfair of you to judge me as having an evil motive for doing that which I have no power to do.

    I may be misreading what you wrote in your post (quoted above), or maybe you miswrote, but did you mean to say that Jesus controls the use tax spending? Regardless how you answer that question, it is clear that you want government to use taxpayer dollars to follow Jesus’ instructions “…to help those that Jesus told us to help”—that’s you forcing your religious views on everyone else, Joanne--a defacto theocracy!

    AND, most critically, the founders were, with just two exceptions, Christians (and even Jefferson and Franklin declared themselves Episcopalians)—did you read the reference I linked…no? Here it is again for your edification: adherents.com/gov/Founding_Fathers_Religion.html

    Therefore, Joanne, you are correct in reprising my position: Jesus Christ IS the Declaration’s “Creator,” “Nature’s God,” “the Supreme Judge of the world,” and “divine Providence.” What could make more sense than that our Christian Founders acknowledge and honored Jesus Christ rather than some latter day generic, inclusive, non-judgmental, non-god created (see the irony) by today’s combative Christophobes?

    Neither you nor David has presented any substantive evidence or reasoning that disproves my position either here or in the various other letter threads.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 9:19 am on Sat, Nov 16, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    As with individuals of Mr. Nedderman's ilk, Christian, atheist or other, the more they defend their position, the more they write or talk, you eventually get the truth.

    In Mr. Nedderman's case, he wishes that everyone "recognize" that the founding fathers were Christian and therefore the "creator" of the Declaration of Independence was Jesus Christ and thus this nation was built on Christian principles.

    But the bottom line is when it comes to living the teachings of Jesus, he'll be darned if Jesus is going to use HIS taxpayer dollars to help those that Jesus told us to help.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 8:35 am on Sat, Nov 16, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Yes, you are wrong - I'm not advocating a theocracy - just using the teachings of Jesus Christ so YOU can relate to what others who may or may not believe in God, Jesus or some other god believe is the just and humane way to treat our fellow human beings. And if government must intercede on behalf of those who are hungry or need shelter, then it is a good thing. Otherwise we'd have people living in shacks and have open sewers running in the streets as they do in many countries.

    Morals are not derived from God, Jesus, or any other deity. They are an innate human trait that separates us from other species.

    And those who profess religious convictions, especially Christians, love to try to make people believe that morals and religion cannot be separated as if they are special property that only belief in God and Jesus Christ can bestow.

    That is the conceit that individuals such as yourself possess.

     
  • Michael Nedderman posted at 7:55 pm on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Here's a great article, Joanne, that counters your belief that the government is authorized to affect your social justice goals. It is entitled, "Socialism is Evil, by Walter E. Williams. This is its concluding paragraph:

    "For the Christians among us, socialism and the welfare state must be seen as sinful. When God gave Moses the commandment "Thou shalt not steal," I'm sure He didn't mean thou shalt not steal unless there's a majority vote. And I'm sure that if you asked God if it's OK just being a recipient of stolen property, He would deem that a sin as well." http://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2004/07/28/socialism_is_evil/page/full

     
  • Michael Nedderman posted at 7:36 pm on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Hi Joanne. First, the word “nations” in the Matthew verses you quoted does not refer to the government of those nations. It refers to the people who are being judged. Only people can be judged in the afterlife. National governments are judged in this life. That’s why America has been so providentially blessed, the topic of Part 2 of my forthcoming article.

    And Joanne, I knew the definition of “social justice,” I just wanted you to commit to the definition as one somehow imposing a requirement on government or upon the administration of government. You used the following equivocation:

    “I didn't say social justice was a "requirement of government," but it should be a requirement of those who serve in the government and represent the people of this country and who profess to religious leanings.”

    So, the requirement isn't on the government, but on the people in the government. Should those people take some kind of oath to "uphold social justice" like they do to "uphold the Constitution"? Would you have them swear to "uphold the sermon on the mount"?

    Then, you define “social justice” as the administration of laws, apparently according to your religious views:

    Social Justice: "The fair and proper administration of laws conforming to the natural law...”.

    First Joanne, I’d really like to know where exactly do you find that “natural law” defined.

    Second, if you are using a religious standard or morality, actually taken from the teachings of Jesus, how is that not using the power of government to enforce religion? It seems that you are advocating the institution of a theocracy. Am I wrong?

    Do you see the contradiction with your denial that you want to employ the power of government to affect your religious beliefs?

     
  • David Diskin posted at 5:07 pm on Thu, Nov 14, 2013.

    David Diskin Posts: 184

    Our meetings are publically announced, in various newspapers and on our public website, Michael.

    And as I've said multiple times here, anyone is invited.

    I'll ignore the rest of your post, mostly insults.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 12:25 pm on Thu, Nov 14, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    And let's not also forget the prophetic words of the great Sarah Palin who just recently commented about Pope Francis:

    “He's had some statements that to me sound kind of liberal, has taken me aback, has kind of surprised me."

    And these two comments regarding her comments are spot on:

    (Imagine) “a Christianist baffled by an encounter with Christianity.”

    And:

    “If Sarah Palin's this shocked by Pope Francis, she'll be catatonic when she finally gets round to reading about Jesus in the New Testament.”

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 12:18 pm on Thu, Nov 14, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Mr. Nedderman inquired:

    "You are modifying the word "justice" with the word "social." Can you explain what you mean by that modification?"

    You must be an Evangelical Christian, Mr. Nedderman, not to understand the meaning of social justice as it relates to religion. Both the Catholic Church and the Episcopal Church recognize and practice the concept.

    Social Justice: "The fair and proper administration of laws conforming to the natural law that all persons, irrespective of ethnic origin, gender, possessions, race, religion, etc., are to be treated equally and without prejudice."

    Social Justice: A principle tenet of Catholic teaching:

    The Catholic Church believes that through words, prayers and deeds one must show solidarity with, and compassion for, the poor. The moral test of any society is "how it treats its most vulnerable members. The poor have the most urgent moral claim on the conscience of the nation. People are called to look at public policy decisions in terms of how they affect the poor.

    Mr. Nedderman's follow-up question:

    "And please cite where Jesus mandated "social justice" as a requirement of government."

    I didn't say social justice was a "requirement of government," but it should be a requirement of those who serve in the government and represent the people of this country and who profess to religious leanings.

    Let's not forget Matthew 25, 31-46 which does speak of "nations," i.e., government:

    The Judgment

    31 "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 "All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats ; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. 34 "Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat ; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink ; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.'

    "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave Me no food, I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.” ... “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 11:51 am on Thu, Nov 14, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Response to Mr. Nedderman's request for information:

    Name-calling & "made-up stuff":

    "an atheist tag team “haunting” (pun intended) the religion page—that's so rich...in a hubristic kinda way."

    "explore your motivations for this obsession you have to “fly the flag” of atheism here on the religion page. I don't think it would be unfair to characterize it as a type of aggressive evangelism."

    "My experience with atheists is that they are quite dishonest in their arguments because they have committed themselves to a lie."

    "And yes David, I still think you're angry at God because he exists and you deny that obvious fact."

    Insults:

    "I am looking forward, mostly with dread, to whatever you had to say."

    "And if that is true about you, it comports with my experience with atheists: they are dishonest because their position cannot be defended upon any evidential or logical basis--only upon emotion, the primary one being anger against, first and foremost, God, but also against all those who bear witness to his truth."

    Bullying:

    "Are you running AGAIN David? Why don't you just face the questions I've asked and deal with it?"

    "I hope you understand what I'm doing, Jerome, and will let me engage our patriotic atheistic friends according to my plan."

    And my all-time favorite in which Mr. Nedderman admits doing all of the above. The comment must have been quite a doozey if it warranted an email from the editor or the moderator:

    "I did post a response to you about 10 days ago, but the editor didn't like how I characterized you, a characterization I believe was completely warranted because it was merely descriptive, and entirely accurate. I agreed to delete the characterization"

    I rest my case.

     
  • Michael Nedderman posted at 11:35 pm on Wed, Nov 13, 2013.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Hi David. You're proving that my assessment of you is accurate: "...that you have a habit of throwing in a few comments, but when someone (that would be me) challenges you, you run away."

    Are you running AGAIN David? Why don't you just face the questions I've asked and deal with it? Yes, I know, you have a self-image to uphold.

    Why don't you invite me to your atheist and "freethinker's meeting"? Or do you only want those in attendance who agree with you? Would you and your cohorts be respectful, or would you consider me your enemy simply because I disagree with you? I'd love to see Joanne there--but then she's not an atheist...too bad, maybe you could also invite her?

     
  • Michael Nedderman posted at 11:26 pm on Wed, Nov 13, 2013.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    You are modifying the word "justice" with the word "social." Can you explain what you mean by that modification?

    And please cite where Jesus mandated "social justice" as a requirement of government.

     
  • Michael Nedderman posted at 11:22 pm on Wed, Nov 13, 2013.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Hi Joanne. Where have I called you “names,” or insulted you, or “made-up information”? Can you quote what I've written in that regard? If I have done such, I will be happy to apologize. If I haven't done that, I hope you will apologize for the false accusations.

    And where, oh where, have I threatened you with “some type of revenge for those with differing opinions who make comments on the religion section of the paper”? Please, please, please quote whatever I've written in that regard or withdraw the false accusation!

    And, please forgive me for assuming that you are an atheist. Your defense of David was so enthusiastic that I, quite naturally, thought there was that connection--either that your that maybe you are related. If you're not an atheist, Joanne, would you mind explaining your religious view?

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 9:58 am on Wed, Nov 13, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    For the obvious reason that Republicans do not believe in one of the central tenets of Jesus's teaching - SOCIAL JUSTICE.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 9:56 am on Wed, Nov 13, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Michael Nedderman wrote: "Hi David & Joanne. Fancy meeting you two here! I'm beginning to understand what you guys are up to. You're like a wrestling tag team, but different—an atheist tag team “haunting” (pun intended) the religion page—that's so rich...in a hubristic kinda way. "

    I'm still curious why the post that contained this opening paragraph is still here considering that it violates several rules of this forum, i.e., name-calling, insults, and "made-up" information? It is ALSO rather threatening, as Mr. Nedderman seems to want some type of revenge for those with differing opinions who make comments on the religion section of the paper.

    I'm not an atheist, Mr. Nedderman, as I have previously stated. Even if I was I would still have the RIGHT (not "permission" as you seem to think the Constitution allows) to express differing opinions about those who claim to be "Christians," but display ANYTHING BUT Christian-like behavior - including yourself.

    I suggest you show your posts to your spiritual adviser and see if he/she thinks that you are behaving in a manner that Jesus would approve.

     
  • David Diskin posted at 8:24 pm on Tue, Nov 12, 2013.

    David Diskin Posts: 184

    I'll get right on that, sir...

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 1:17 pm on Tue, Nov 12, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    "Or have you forgotten what your savior was all about?"

    Quite a common error among those who claim vociferously to be Christians and wish to lecture others about sin.

     
  • Michael Nedderman posted at 11:30 am on Tue, Nov 12, 2013.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    That's a curious statement John. Why do you say that?

     
  • Todd Cronin posted at 7:56 am on Tue, Nov 12, 2013.

    Todd Posts: 131

    Thank you for the preachy-talk james........[wink]

     
  • John Lucas posted at 7:12 am on Tue, Nov 12, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    One thing is for sure. If you are a follower of Jesus and believe in the things he said there is one thing you can never do and that is vote for a Republican.

     
  • Michael Nedderman posted at 2:37 am on Tue, Nov 12, 2013.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Hi Debbie.

    Regarding your statement, " I'm not sure I want to believe in something that sits in judgement of me. Dictates right and wrong as it see's it and then punish me." Do you think that your disbelief can make God, the Ultimate Reality, cease to exist?

    In other words, if there is an all-powerful, all-knowing Creator-God, would you really have a meaningful choice--sure you can deny Ultimate Reality, but what would that do except to deceive you?

    And Debbie, how do you explain all that exists? Did it just spring out of nothing? In other word, if there ever was absolutely nothing, how can there be anything now?

    And after whatever happened to create (yes, create) the limitless universe, how did life spring from dead rocks?

    And after that primitive life come into being, how did we become self-aware?

    Denying the Creator-God may be satisfying on some level, but can you see how unsatisfying you position is?

     
  • David Diskin posted at 8:17 pm on Mon, Nov 11, 2013.

    David Diskin Posts: 184

    Why thank you, Debbie. Hope you can join us at the Stockton Area Atheists and Freethinkers sometime.

     
  • Michael Nedderman posted at 9:59 am on Mon, Nov 11, 2013.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Hi David & Joanne. Fancy meeting you two here! I'm beginning to understand what you guys are up to. You're like a wrestling tag team, but different—an atheist tag team “haunting” (pun intended) the religion page—that's so rich...in a hubristic kinda way.

    And to get an actual sermon from David—WOW! I'm impressed beyond words (hyperbole to be disproven by this and subsequent comments).

    It would be interesting to sit down with the two of you and explore your motivations for this obsession you have to “fly the flag” of atheism here on the religion page. I don't think it would be unfair to characterize it as a type of aggressive evangelism. What do you think?

    And David, I've noticed that you have a habit of throwing in a few comments, but when someone (that would be me) challenges you, you run away. Your most recent disappearing act was on the comment thread under my letter about how Jesus Christ is the God referenced in the Declaration of Independence. I'd really like to get your response to my last comment to you there, if you would be so kind.

    And Joanne, I hope you work it out with the editor regarding your lost comment on that same letter thread because I am looking forward, mostly with dread, to whatever you had to say.

     
  • Debbie Meade posted at 9:56 am on Mon, Nov 11, 2013.

    DebYZ Posts: 13

    Why is it that the opinion section is always someones religious beliefs? I do not believe in god and I feel that I shouldn't have to have it tucked in to my "paper". I'm not sure I want to believe in something that sits in judgement of me. Dictates right and wrong as it see's it and then punish me. I had a mom and dad, been there done that. I wish I could only speak as eloquently as David did in a previous post!

     
  • Debbie Meade posted at 9:53 am on Mon, Nov 11, 2013.

    DebYZ Posts: 13

    Your response made my morning! [beam]

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 9:51 am on Sun, Nov 10, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    This is the problem with so many self-proclaimed and self-righteous Christians. As Mr. Sugden wrote: "Lying, cheating and stealing were sins then, and they are sins today."

    Perhaps he does not include all of the lies (which include mistruths and misinformation) he has included in all of the LTE's that he has submitted in the past, including some very interesting comments about wanting to deny services to people who are less fortunate than himself and are in need.

    Apparently, he has placed his status as "taxpayer" above his self-proclaimed status as "Christian" as evidenced by his less than charitable attitude and the name-calling included in all of the below.

    (Yes, the LNS does keep ALL of your letters in its archives so we can review what you have written in the past.)

    http://www.lodinews.com/opinion/letters/article_232c0d26-2f80-55ba-9880-9cf7c8c8fd9b.html

    http://www.lodinews.com/opinion/letters/article_8bfd8b4b-821e-5a56-b5ae-ff09ad373eea.html

    http://www.lodinews.com/opinion/letters/article_16bcf42c-ee00-5135-9f15-e24c1b8a85d0.html

    http://www.lodinews.com/opinion/letters/article_7df04ee9-43cf-5d29-a08a-c793f3574ab3.html

    http://www.lodinews.com/opinion/letters/article_0afa92eb-f157-582f-aad3-67c974fe275e.html

     
  • David Diskin posted at 9:00 am on Sat, Nov 9, 2013.

    David Diskin Posts: 184

    I'm no Christian, but I'm pretty sure of a few things regarding the way most Christians understand the New Testament.

    First, that Jesus fulfilled the OT laws and that many of the sins you speak of are no longer punishable.

    You say that the bible isn't superseded, nor that it is out of date, but the NT superseded the OT, and there is much ambiguity as to which books even constitute the NT since man has put his mark on the publishing and translations of the various books of The Bible.

    I also recall Jesus saying something about throwing the first stone, which you've clearly done here. Unless you are without sin, you're quite the judgmental person. Why don't you leave that up to your god?

    And finally, a lack of sin is not what gets one right with your god. As I'm sure others will agree, it's accepting Jesus with your lips. Even the worst criminals are alright with Jesus as long as he's alright with them.

    So why preach about sin, and instead preach about the things Jesus did. You know, forgiveness, love, acceptance, charity... things like that? Or have you forgotten what your savior was all about?

     

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