Jesus didn’t tap out

You wonder when you travel out-of-town for a week or so, if you will return to the same life. Will my house still be here? Will someone have broken in? (That’s really happened to me before, and it’s a strange feeling.) Will we all come home alive, uninjured? Will something or someone be forever changed because we took this trip?

As humans, we crawl all over the planet, and we do dangerous things like jump out of airplanes or ski fast through a stand of trees. We live on in spite of the risks we take, yet we can also be so fragile and quickly pulled under: a ruptured appendix, a samonella-laced burger, a bump on the head on the ski slope.

But I digress. Our long drive through the rural (read: desolate, lonely) areas of Colorado, Texas and New Mexico proved that God is alive and thriving. Churches are big business no matter how poor or how small the town. There were billboards, posters and church signs that read “God Loves You” and “Anti-God is Anti-American” and God this and God that. My kid, the one who I think never pays attention, was a veritable spout of religious sayings by the time we got home. Jesus didn’t tap out. He loves you, my son said. I saw that sign, too. In Clarendon.

And I started thinking about it. You know, across the board, just about every parent will tell you that they have a parental instinct. Hurt their child, and they’ll put a hurting on you. What kind of father would watch a group of men beat the living sh*t out of his son and nail him to a cross? What kind of father doesn’t step in and tap his son out? And since when did an MMA saying come to represent a man who promoted peace, not fighting?

Of course, you and I know the answers, but I’m only wondering why the folks who put these signs up don’t take pause.


42 responses to “Jesus didn’t tap out

  1. If you look at suffering on earth compared to an eternity in heaven, then the pain felt by Jesus is insignificant. I don’t really have a beef with Christianity over that. It’s with everything else that I get lost. Why was Jesus the son of god and not a prophet? Or, why is Jesus more important than his teachings? Why is the belief of resurrection more important than the belief in the message? Why is Jesus’ sacrifice, knowing that he would go to heaven, more admirable than if he had been human, with human doubts?

    • @Erica C. Good points…

    • *Why was Jesus the son of god and not a prophet?
      why does Jesus need to be a prophet? for how many prophets do we have and why do we have so many prophets?
      prophets came on behalf of God to lead the people, warn them about God’s wrath and let people know about God’s blessings.
      What did people do? they follow their own free will God gave them and killed the prophets.
      How many prophets has God appointed that they’ve been killed?
      that is why God had to send his Word (Jesus Christ) to come to the Earth to save us from God’s wrath and Jesus became God’s son.

      * why is Jesus more important than his teachings?
      Is the President more important than his announcements?
      is the Prime Minister more important than is declarations?
      Same with Jesus, he is more important than what he said to the Pharisees.
      If you have a billionaire and he says he wants a personal body guard. Are you going to work for him because he will pay you £20 an hour or will you work for him because he is a billionaire rich man?

      *Why is the belief of resurrection more important than the belief in the message?
      if you tell your kids “aww our cat died but don’t worry he will go to heaven”. Do you think your kids will be happy or sad?
      Purpose of the Gospel is for us to have an abundant life and when the end comes (everything that has a beginning as an end) we will reign with Jesus in Heaven. I mean wouldn’t you be happy to hear there is a resurrection if one of your dare lost family member can be resurrected or go to Heaven?

      *”Why is Jesus’ sacrifice, knowing that he would go to heaven, more admirable than if he had been human, with human doubts?”
      If you are a billionaire and you lost your job, will you remain rich or poor? you will still remain rich. If the Queen lost Harry going to the war, would she still be Queen or not? So it’s the same concept regardless Jesus dying or not, he would still go to heaven because he is from Heaven.
      And Jesus was fully human.
      Just like us, we are from Earth and made by Earth so when we die we return to the ground/Earth. That is what the bible says and that is what everyone on Earth does.

      Please read the bible before thinking ahead. It’s like trying to take an IT test, you haven’t revised the IT book but you are already speculating wonders about the questions.

      • @blackxino I’m not sure what the point of your comment is because there’s so much here…. First, I have read the Bible, along with most of the people who write here. The Bible is just a collection of man’s story in my opinion. If you want to believe the Bible was divinely inspired, then I will not argue with you. There is no point. You are free to believe whatever you wish.

        Jesus is god’s son in Christianity.
        He is a prophet in Islam
        He is a man in Judaism.
        He is a loosely-based historical figure to people like me.
        So, Jesus is many things.

        • if you read a book about Ghost and you don’t believe ghost exist, would you take that book seriously?
          exactly, you need Holy Spirit to understand the bible, if you don’t believe or don’t have Holy Spirit, how can you take bible seriously?

          Yes bible is a collection written by man containing history (not story), ‘inspiration’ means Holy Spirit allowed them to remember words and events so that they can write it down. Bible contains words of God.
          How can man evolve from monkey when we have monkeys in the zoo right now, where are the white monkeys?

          and my reply was to Erica since that person was spewing nonsense. So I questioned for that person to answer.
          you cannot answer it, so you just ignored it.

          • How can man evolve from monkey when we have monkeys in the zoo right now, where are the white monkeys?

            We didn’t evolve from monkeys. Humans and monkeys share a common ancestor.

            As for the rest of your response, you’ve pretty much nailed it: if you don’t believe in ghosts, spirits, or angry war gods, why would you take the bible seriously? Why should you? More importantly, why do you believe that they *do* exist, other than that feeling in your head that tells you it’s all real?

  2. Not to mention the distinctly bad parenting involved in giving your children a choice and then punishing them if they didn’t choose what you wanted, for eternity no less, and not just punish, eternal torment.

    I’ve long said that if I’m a better dad than God I’d just as soon never meet the guy.

    • @ Christopher. Yes, I like the way you put that: “I’ve long said that if I’m a better dad than God I’d just as soon never meet the guy.”

      By the way, great post today. If anyone wants to check out Christopher’s latest post click on his blog link….

    • so you are saying restricted life is better than free will life?
      so it is better to live in North Korea (restricted life) than to live in America (free life)?
      why do you hate God so much?
      he gave you rules not to cross and gave you free will, you disobey him and you deserve punishment, so what is wrong in that? isn’t that justice?
      or are you telling me, you put down country laws, a criminal rapes someone and he does not deserve to be punished???

      you have a choice to believe in his son Jesus Christ and reap blessing life, or follow your life by being a god of yourself and you reap destruction. Why should you complain?

      • I think it’s kind of funny that you choose, for your analogy, a nation that treats its ruler with the same exact reverence most theocracies reserve for a God, and demand unwavering devotion to him on pain of lifelong exile to the work camps. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

        Also, I don’t think you understand that the issue many of us have with the Abrahamic God. He created us, loves us, wants us to be with him … but will torture us in fire for all of eternity for not believing in him … even though he didn’t see fit to present himself during an age where we could objectively verify his existence. No, we have to rely on the words of people who believed in magic, spirits, possession, and “laying of hands”.

        That’s not “justice”. That’s bad planning and a lack of foresight. You don’t create a species with the capacity for rational thought and then demand they ignore it. You don’t reveal yourself to a group of illiterate desert nomads and expect to be taken seriously by the people of the earth as they learn to split the atom and go to the stars.

        • @Senator Jason Apparently, BlackZino was a troll…. Or maybe he thought I wouldn’t approve his comments??

        • hhhmmm…yea!
          and I’m sure you know about God more than I.

          no i don’t understand your first paragraph.
          Where in the bible does it say God will torture you forever if you don’t believe in him. Show me.
          There’s a video I want you to watch, it simply and logically explains why God does not reveal himself (as you imagine a Hollywood tv special effects).

          Your last paragraph makes no sense.

          • Work with me here. You mentioned North Korea, calling it a “restricted life”. Problem is, it’s pretty easy to draw parallels between existence in NK and the requirements that Christianity makes on its followers. Blind worship? Cult of personality? Completely unbelievable stories? Punishment for independent thought? All there.

            As for punishment, the description of hell is pretty clear. Look at Matthew 13:50, Mark 9:48, and Revelation 14:10. Not a fun place. And, for those who reject Christ, this is where we’re going. Actually, most of us aren’t rejecting Christ’s actions specifically, but his existence and divinity to begin with … seeing how there’s no evidence for it and therefore no reason to think this is anything other than an interesting mythological piece.

            Your last paragraph makes no sense.

            Figured you’d say that. The short answer is that your god makes no sense, and is both capricious and cruel to demand we believe in him based on the events that allegedly occurred 3,200 and 2,000 years ago in a place where literacy and education were as rare as platinum. We don’t hate him; we just don’t believe he exists.

  3. Thanks, it means a lot to me.

  4. I respect the beliefs of everyone, I really do! I honestly think my deep respect for others’ beliefs comes from being made to feel like I’m some kind of freak – only because I am not a christian. Living in a christian-based society sometimes makes me literally gag. I live in the south, I’m completely surrounded by it every single day, in the restaurants I go to, stores I shop in, even my management and leadership at work. I very rarely feel “safe” enough where I am able to speak about my own very personal beliefs. Most days I act like I agree with them (yes, I’m a big coward). Our anti-discrimination laws mean nothing when it really comes down to me not being a christian. I could be black-balled in my career for being an evil unbeliever, I could be denied advancement and promotions, I could even be fired. It is very irritating to me, not to mention it absolutely goes against everything christians make me want to believe. I don’t appreciate having christianity shoved down my throat, for me personally it feels like a slap in my face. No, this isn’t the “devil” speaking through me and I am not “evil” because I choose not to be a christian (yes it is my personal choice thank you very much). Pray for me, feel sorry for me, ostracize me – and I’ll sent healing energy your way in return. 🙂

    • @Shelley I know how you feel, and I’m sorry that you have to hide who you are–I feel like a coward a lot of times, too, not speaking up. I worked for a lady until very recently that would have fired me, I’m certain, had she known I was a nonbeliever. I felt like a fraud every time she talked to me about God and her church. Anyway, I hope you always feel free to come and vent here. I hope that we’ll all be able to come out of the closet soon.

  5. I think there’s been a big push in recent years to promote the idea that being Christian is “manly”, and what you saw likely represents their best marketing campaign. What better way to apeal to the manly-man, tough-guy crowd than throw in a MMA reference? Maybe follow it up with a couple of tastefully painted billboards depicting a bare-chested Jesus getting Satan in a triangle choke in the Octagon right ouside Galilee … heck, I’d convert.

    Speaking of “not tapping out”, I don’t understand why we’re supposed to think so much of the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf. Crucifixion is undoubtedly one of the less appealing ways to go, but he still walked away from the whole ordeal a couple of days later with only a couple of scars for his trouble. How much of a sacrifice is your life when you know from the beginning you’ll get it back in short order? If we really wanted to showcase some true martyrdom, we’d talk a little more about Antipas and Bartholomew from later that same century. When they died, they stayed dead … that’s committment.

    You ask what kind of father would allow that to be done to his son. That’s easy: the kind of father the Israelite war god of the Old Testament would make if he were a real person. He was angry, jealous, capricious, resentful, and abusive. As Christopher Hetkey said, it takes a special kind of person to present someone a choice and then punish them for eternity if they choose “poorly”.

  6. @dam, Put the way you phrased it “What kind of father doesn’t step in and tap his son out?” – I don’t see the meaning of Easter that way. If God is loving, why doesn’t he just forgive us when we do wrong like you or I might forgive if a neighborhood kid was playing at our house and accidentally broke an expensive lamp? When we forgive the neighborhood kid, the child walks away forgiven and we bear the cost of the lamp. Jesus taught that he came to bear the cost for our wrongdoing himself so that we could be forgiven. This is something that Jesus willingly did.

    As for the irritating signs or worse yet, the discrimination and judgment that many contributors here experience, this is not the way of Christ.

  7. If all the people who call themselves Christians would learn that the biblical story of Jesus (Yesua/Joshua) is nothing more than a poor re-telling of the
    life of Mithra/Mithras/Mitra whose name is found in Vedic texts 3,500 years old and that every time they shake hands they do what his followers did in those days. They also need to study Zarathustra whose writings are the source of the basic tenets of the Middle Easts 3 monotheistic religions.

  8. “On religion, to each his own, in silence.”…pir faqir from 1966

  9. “On religion, to each his own, in silence.”…pir faqir from 1966

    Awesome quote, pir faqir. If only American Christians would heed that sage advice.

    Who was it that started putting up those atheist billboards in some cities? I loved that movement. Sadly, it seems to have tapered off. While I agree with pir faqir that we all need to keep our religious views to ourselves, I can’t blame folks wanting to beat back the Christian message we see so often. Come to think of it, wouldn’t it be nice if billboards in general went away?

    Sorry your kids got inundated with confusing messages.

  10. ive wondered why more people dont pause too–i mean i was raised in all of that and i reached a point where i did start to pause and question the billboards on the highway. different brain patterns i suppose.

  11. @Shelley et al., I too live in the south, and although we live in a little cultural oasis of a university town, religion is everywhere. I mean, you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a church around here. (No disrespect to cat lovers intended. 😉 And yes, the orthodontist office has a bible in the waiting room and puts christian music over its stereo system, and other indignities to those of us who believe differently are there every day. I try not to let it get to me.

    When people say things that I find offensive, I’ll often not speak up, because frankly, it’s not worth it. It only raises my blood pressure, not the level of discourse. Once in a while, when I feel that the person speaking is both intelligent and sincere, I’ll try to plant a seed. There’s a particular look that comes over their face when it’s planted. It’s hard to explain. You can see that they’ve just heard something that they’ve never heard before, and they’re saying to themselves, “Wait, that wasn’t a christian thing to say, but it still sounded reasonable.” I don’t press the matter at that point. I’ll just go on my merry way or change the subject. Seeds take time to germinate and grow.

    • Christianity is so pervasive here (south) that I think it is assumed that everyone is a believer. Add to that, it is a common belief that non-believers lack morals/are bad people. So if they know us, like us, and even trust us, naturally it is assumed that as good folks, we are “one of them”.

    • @deosullivan3…I don’t speak up because it’s not worth it, but also because people get so deeply offended and are so irrational about their God. I guess, like you said, it’s knowing who you can open up to….Your ortho has a bible in the office? My ex-doctor’s office does, too, but he also had SEVERAL! paintings of Jesus looking over a doctor’s shoulder to help him made a diagnosis. Of course, you know what I think–holy shit, if you need the guidance of an invisible man, I’m in big trouble!

  12. A wise and funny man said this, keep up the great work!

    “Religion has convinced people that there’s an invisible man … living in the sky. Who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer, and suffer, and burn, and scream, until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you. He loves you and he needs money.”

  13. Hey Deborah! I can tell you what’s up with the whole bloody death of Jesus bit. Whenever issues would rise in my life, especially in church, others, especially church leadership, would be quick to point me to Jesus. After all, if he who knew no sin would be willing to die a death of great suffering than who the hell am I to be upset about a gossip or bully?! Church leaders use this whole scenario to keep people in check, if you will. Therefore, all legitimate concerns are considered dribble, and if you keep it up you need to be confronted, dealt with, and held accountable because you don’t know how to submit and commit and are rebellious (aka have a spirit of Jezebel)!

    While we’re on the topic of Jesus, contrary to beliefs of Christians and non Christians alike, he was NOT perfect! He angrily called Pharisees “brood of vipers” because they were exactly as what they should have been according to old testament law/teaching. He didn’t like the price mark ups of salesmen in the temple for their sacrificial animals, got pissed, took the time to make a whip, then use it on them. Jesus also lets us know that he didn’t come to bring peace, but to divide us through violence of a sword. He didn’t like something a disciple tells him and says “get thee behind me SATAN”! Jesus also calls a woman a dog, I don’t know if it’s because she was a woman or because she was NOT a Jew. Sexism or racism, you would think the spotless lamb of god would be above both.

    Just a couple of thoughts.

    • @Hi Hope. Good to hear from you. From past responses, I know you know your Bible! That is an interesting point–that Jesus had flaws. I remember that he called a woman a dog, but not the rest of the instances you mention. Funny that we think these times are more violent, but they’re not really.

      That is also interesting what you wrote about keeping people in check. (What Senator Jason said about the level of sacrifice was interesting point, too.) Your experience reminds me of something. My boys once attended some sort of exorcism at their dad’s church. A young girl (I think she was only 8 or 9) was giving her parents trouble, and so they brought her to a church member’s house where everyone held hands around the girl and chanted. My boys did not participate but watched from another room and the thing that bothered them most was that this young girl was being treated as if she had the devil in her…..

  14. That poor girl! Sounds like a deliverance session. I feel for her and your boys who witnessed it, but were too young to do anything about it. Interesting on how children and young women are prone to have people do this to them, but not grown adults who actually abuse, rape and murder. It just confirms my feelings on how christianity just turns victims into even bigger victims. That poor child was either abused by someone (who may have even been at that event) or just simply acting out in response to a family problem.

    • @Chope Good point….I didn’t know the girl, just what my boys told me. There’s no telling–she could have been under some sort of emotional stress….

  15. What kind of father would watch a group of men beat the living sh*t out of his son and nail him to a cross? A: He is not a man he is The God who sacrificed his only son for your sins. So you could return to him.

    Since when did an MMA saying come to represent a man who promoted peace, not fighting? A: since the beginning of time when Jesus fought for all of us, the sick, lame, blind, dumb, even the non believers like you.

    Of course, you and I know the answers! Really? Do you now, then you can see every corner of the universe known and unknown and thus determine there is no God? Your wisdom and logic are so great so profound that you can determine that God will suspend Free Agency when it suits him? Oh, I see Sin offends you and so there is no God? Or perhaps your rules are more exacting than God’s commandments?

    You keep applying the circular logic of a simpleton to questions you can’t answer. You can’t answer them because you’re blind. What Kind of a parent would be so closed minded as to foist their views on the children they profess to love?

    • Hi Woz All parents (even you, if you have kids) “foist their views” on their children. I do not prefer to foist views that I find unsupportable or lacking evidence. For the same reason you don’t teach adults that the Easter Bunny is real, I don’t teaching my (thinking) children to believe in god(s). You’re entitled to your faith, of course. Faith is that which is unprovable. And I’m (we–there are quite a few of us here) are entitled to our lack of it.

      The burden of proof is on you to present evidence of a god, just as the burden of proof would be on me if I insisted the Easter Bunny is true.

    • Parents who repeat to their children what they learned from their parents just brainwash their children with the same garbage they learned as children. What parents are supposed to do is teach their children to think, for themselves then we wouldn’t have so much hate and crime and wars.
      ‘Human beings attain true adulthood only when they learn to think for themselves.’…pir faqir

  16. Because there’s nothing like conditioning, incessantly reinforced through the clever use of good old fashioned fear. All are conditioned to believe, their servitude to any Deity is motivated by love. But always accompanying this freewill love is the reality, if they choose to forgo this servitude… hell, damnation, annihilation will be their reward. Trust me, I know!!! Fear is a powerful motivator.

  17. I’m with all of pir faqir’s posts here. If we had more independent thinkers and fewer unquestioning followers, we’d all be a lot better off as a species.

    • Thanks for your comment. Here’s something that appears in a book I’m almost ready to post on Amazon. “If you can put a name to your beliefs, those are borrowed beliefs and you are nothing more than a hammered brass mirror offering up faulty reflections of the beliefs that you borrowed.”…pir faqir
      I was lucky, I didn’t get brainwashed when I was a kid. I had go to the Hickory Grove General Baptist church with my family but I was never told I had to believe what I heard there. At age twelve while walking toward that church I decided that no spiritual being in the sky had created the heavens and earth in just 6 days. In other words, I became an atheist..

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