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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":
is a rather obnoxious
fundamentalist "Christian" who, no surprise, flunks the "Gandhi litmus test"
. This particular, err Christian has offended a large number
, 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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