RICK LANNOYE SAID:
“I went to Catholic parochial school from the 1st through the 8th grades. Academically, that was a good thing, but my Catholic education also resulted in about 20 years of trying to rid myself of feeling guilty, especially about things pertaining to sex or what we were told back then were ‘impure thoughts’."
In other words, Rick is a stereotypical apostate. It’s funny how many self-styled “free-thinkers” are straight out of central casting.
I mean, how many times have we seen this movie before? “I had all these Christian hang-ups about sex. Then I had this wonderful feeling of liberation when I was able to shed the guilt-trip.”
The only folks who find this rerun appealing are folks who had an unhappy religious upbringing. A Carrie-style background.
For the rest of us, who were socially and emotionally well-adjusted, this has no traction at all.
“I suppose my whole life has turned on that one, beautiful moment, when I finally stopped long enough to think about what I had been told to believe--what those who had converted me said I was supposed to believe, what they said I had better believe...or else--in order to entertain some doubts. It was then that the process began in earnest, the process of really questioning each and every assertion that I had in my youthful zeal swallowed hook, line and sinker. Maybe it's easy for most Christians to passively accept all they're told they must believe.”
Here’s another example of Rick as the typecast apostate. Once again, it’s funny how so many apostates think these confessions somehow burnish their credibility when–in fact–they come across as emotionally and intellectually stunted losers.
“Whether Jesus was God or not, whether I believe in God or not, Jesus did not believe in Hell.”
What a ridiculous statement on so many levels:
i) Hell is only possible if there is a God. So the existence of God is directly germane to the issue.
ii) Likewise, if Jesus is just another fallible, shortsighted, culturebound man, then he’s in no position to tell us what the afterlife, if any, is like.
iii) By the same token, if Jesus is just another fallible, shortsighted, culturebound man, then he’s in no position to make promises or issue threats about the afterlife. He can’t make good on what he says.
“His core message makes it impossible that he could have in that HIS view of God was radically different than the vindictive, angry, and basically, sociopathic view that was common then and now.”
Once again, if Jesus is just another brainy simian, like you and me, then there’s no reason to think his religious opinions square with reality. Who cares?
“As to the idea that the modern Bible is the infallible Word of God, it plainly cannot be! As Steven (Triablogue) himself (perhaps, unwittingly) pointed out, there are a number of different versions of Jesus in the Gospels! Evangelicals/Fundamentalists and the like are compelled by their doctrinal position to blend them altogether into one picture, even though each of of these Jesuses contradict each other.”
Of course, that’s pure, undiluted assertion.
“But not even they would ever make such a mish mash of any other ancient text. Normally, any scholar worth the paper his degree is printed on WEIGHS what is found in every text to discern which passages are most likely adulterations and mistakes and complete fabrications, from those which are most likely true to the original. Much can be detected in the context itself!”
Of course, many conservative Bible scholars with Ivy League degrees have done all that and come to the conclusion that Scripture is the inspired word of God.
“Steve quotes from the story of the Sheep and Goats in Matthew 25, which is actually a very good example of 3 different layers, or 3 different versions of Jesus. I contend that the original layer is the part where Jesus teaches his followers to be as empathetic to the suffering as they would be toward him. This teaching, as it was being relayed (by word of mouth initially, and then written down and recopied over and over), was eventually woven into one of the many typical Jewish Messianic Warning Parables.”
Conjectures like that are self-refuting. If they were true, you could never prove it. For if you postulate a series of oral and literary redactions, then each subsequent redaction erases much evidence for the prior redaction.
It isn’t just a case of adding one layer atop another, where you can excavate the intact layers. Rather, the redactive process would pulverize (literally, rewrite) the previous version so that each previous version is, to that degree, edited out of existence. The metaphor of redactive “layers” is deceptive.
“Then, on the top layer, are 2 insertions (probably added by some Greek Christian scribe LONG after Jesus' death) adding the words ‘and these shall go into everlasting punishment’.”
I notice that he doesn’t cite any MS evidence for this scribal interpolation.
In addition, I have no interest in the “original” Jesus who was allegedly buried beneath “layers” or oral and literary redaction.
Rick evidently thinks the “real” Jesus was groovy guru (a 1C Maharishi Mahesh Yogi) with some really cool ideas about forgiveness.
Well, I’m not interested in following a fallible, shortsighted spiritual guide. I only have to look in the mirror to find a fallible, shortsighted guy staring back at me. That’s not something I need to outsource.
“But of course, the original ideas Jesus had about a kind, loving and forgiving God, don't serve the agenda of the rich and powerful who need a hateful, vengenge God to help get people to side with them.”
Ah, yes, boilerplate Marxism. But one of the problems with a Marxist critique of Scripture is that you also have Marxist theologians who find in Scripture a running critique of the rich and powerful. According to them, God sides with the poor.
My point is not to vouch for Liberation theology. Just to observe that such an argument cuts both ways.
“So converted was I that I left school to join up with a group of ex-hippies who had also gotten saved, and went traveling all around the country and eventually to Europe for almost four years, basically working as a rodie for a Christian rock band.”
Actually, Rick never outgrew his Jesus-Freak paradigm. His view of the “original Jesus,” buried beneath all the redactive rubble, bears an uncanny resemblance to the Messiah of the rock opera: Jesus Christ Superstar.
Try not to get worried
Try not to turn on to
Problems that upset you
oh Don't you know
Yes everything's fine
And we want you to sleep well tonight
Let the world turn without you tonight
If we try
We'll get by
Close your eyes