Snake Basterds & Loving your Neighbor as Yourself

But when the set time had fully come,
God sent his Son,
born of a woman,

born under the law.”[1]

Some time ago, a famous so-called Christian writer, Joshua Harris, renounced Christianity[2][3] on Instagram. It has caused an uproar. What I found interesting was the comments at a certain pastor’s Facebook page. I assume the commenting friends of the pastor are professed Christians, because most non-Christians do not normally befriend Christian pastors because they like them so much. The pastor had a harsh rebuke for Mr. Harris, because of the dishonor Harris caused by implication, that God’s revelation is false. The comments that followed about this post, were mostly harsh rebukes to the pastor for not “loving” Harris and not rebuking him “privately”—which is logical nonsense, because the persons doing so were both harshly rebuking and publicly rebuking. Harsh rebukes are not loving, so don’t you do it you cruel, heartless, person—as I harshly and dogmatically rebuke you. How much hypocrisy and nonsense one can fit into one small sentence is amazing. LOL! Such thinking is faulty and broken. Do not publicly rebuke people for it is an ethical wrong, while I publicly rebuke you. Dumber than dumb. Both, if their ethics are true, would make them moral monsters themselves, but I digress.

Getting past the Redwood tree sticking out of their eye, the issue for such persons is that emotional and outward displays of gentleness/kindness is primary, and God is secondary. I remember one so-called Christian, after leaving Christianity, updating their religious affiliation on Facebook as, “Kindness.” The one redeeming aspect of this was their honestly. Many have a man-centered view on this aspect of reality. Their final authority is their emotions, God is only a memorial or knickknack. They submit to feelings; they do not submit to God’s Word. They worship man, and God is put under their boots. They use God to promote what “they” think kindness should be. They use God as a steppingstone to elevate man, they do not honor or respect Him.

Genealogy was and still is a big deal to the Jews. There is a reason for all the list of genealogy in the Scripture. It was a bigger deal if you could prove you were a direct descendant of David and Judah, rather than from Dan. If your father was important and you were the first born, you had a larger inheritance.  Therefore, calling someone an illegitimate bastard, was to give an insult at a debasing level. This was something that even the Jewish leaders tried to insult Jesus Chris with saying, “who is your father,” knowing the rumors about Mary being pregnant before marriage.

Growing up I thought calling someone a “son of a dog” (aka. An illegitimate  bastard of a dog) was about as low as an insult one could get. However, not until I read Jesus calling people bastard children of Satan and bastards of snakes did I realize there was more dehumanizing, more vindictive names to call a human being, “made in the image of God.” Think about this. Jesus did this in ministry time. He did this in front of other people.  The people He insulted where important, popular people. Wait? What? Should pastors call someone a snake bastard and Satan bastard, and then do this in a Sunday service—of important people, in front of a crowd? Should they say this to image bearers of God? Or do people not know what they are talking about?

Did Jesus fail the command? Did He fail to love His neighbor? Was He not born under the Royal Law to love your neighbor “as yourself?” This means, this is how Jesus wanted to be treated if the context was reversed. Think about that.

I say, let the disobedience be on the theologians, who have no idea what Peter meant when he says to be gentle in apologetics, rather making Jesus Christ violate the Law. Also, the apostle Paul and John totally violated the “command” for a gentle and respectful speech to others. The Old Testament prophets have many revolting ways (sometimes sexually graphic ways) they insulted unbelievers and persons who resisted the truth. There are so many juicy, dehumanizing and nasty things they said, one could write books time about it. Wait! It was by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It was not only the prophets themselves, but some is direct discourse from God Himself in the nasty, dehumanizing name calling of the Image bearers He created. God did it, the prophets did, the Apostles did and the cornerstone Himself did it.

Paul says to rebuke them sharply. Titus 1:12-14 (NIV), “One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth.[4]  Yet, how many disobey and dissent against this command of God? Do you? Paul stereotypes these people in dehumanizing, vile, cruel names. This was his “rebuke” of them. Then commands Titus, and by implication all teachers, to do the same.

Also, Paul says for those who claim to be Christians that we are to publicly judge them (Corinthians 6). We will one day judge angels, and so we are to practice making public judgments of each other in this life. Yet, how many are in willful rebellion to Jesus on this? Do they call Jesus master but willfully disobey Him? If I see this, how much more does God see your disobedience?

How many times did Jesus publicly and harshly name call and rebuke people? He called people pigs, snake bastards, stupid (morons), liars, hypocrites and sons of Satan. Jesus used the Greek work for “moron,” for people who resisted the Scripture and were forfeiting their souls to hell. He called people morons, in front of their peers, and in doing so, Jesus publicly shamed and emotionally embarrassed them. And Jesus did this while, “born under the law” (Galatians 4:4). Jesus, right after name calling the Jews as “liars,” and “Sons of Satan,” asked if anyone can prove He has sinned? That is, sinned according to the Law of Moses. They could not.  Therefore, all His harsh rebukes and publicly calling people morons did not break the commandment to “LOVE your neighbor as yourself,” otherwise, He broke the command of God and forgiveness of sins for mankind is lost. The Law of Moses (and prophets) teach we ought to not only love our neighbor, but also love God first, and this includes bringing people to Yahweh as true worshipers.

Did Jesus’ harshness “push people away,” or was Jesus to stupid to know this?

Jude 1:10-13 [LEB]

“…all that they understand by instinct like the irrational animals, by these things they are being destroyed.
11 Woe to them! For they have traveled in the way of Cain, and have given themselves up to the error of Balaam for gain, and have perished[j] in the rebellion of Korah.
12 These are the ones feasting together without reverence, hidden reefs at your love feasts, caring for themselves, waterless clouds carried away by winds, late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, uprooted,
13 wild waves of the sea foaming up their own shameful deeds, wandering stars, for whom the deep gloom of darkness has been reserved for eternity. ”

Let us not forget the vileness and creative poetic-ness of the rebukes given to human beings by Jesus and the authors of the N.T.

Apart from the immeasurable, de-humanizing insults Jesus gave when calling people bastards of Satan, I could not insult a person more horrifically, nor as poetically and creatively as Jude his brother. I guess Jude learned from His older half-brother the ins and outs of how to properly give de-humanizing name calling. Even Martin Luther has nothing on Jude. Think about the horrible realty Jude is describing in his vile name calling here. As much, as cruel atheists have tried to name call me in debates, they do not measure to the vileness, dehumanizing and cruel names to which Jude name calls false teachers.

Jude calls them dumb/irrational animals. Not just animals, but dumb animals. As a side note, according to Facebook to refer to a person on the level of an animal to showcase a human as inferior is, “hate speech.” Their standard outlaws the prophets, apostles and Jesus Christ Himself. They are called “Twice dead.” As if being once dead is not enough; they are twice dead? “Up rooted trees.” To say this of a human being created in God’s image is rather the insult. “Waterless Clouds”? Ouch! They are “wild” and “foaming” up their shame? “A wandering star”? Wow! This is a horrible insult to call a human being! Then to merely say hell is not enough for Jude, he needs to really describe hell in a sharper rebuke: “whom the deep gloom of darkness has been reserved for eternity.” Ouch!

Morons or Unwise?

Matthew 23:19, “Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift?

Jesus is calling people morons. There are two Greek words which are translated as fools or foolish (etc) in most Bible translations.  One is on the more offensive side, such as moron or stupid. The other means unwise, irrational or ignorant. Here, Jesus is using the more offensive one.  The Jewish leaders had forfeited themselves from entering the Kingdom of God. This was due to their moronic and irrational traditions that said such things as, “the gift is greater than the altar.” Christ’s argument was that His Divine Nature, being God, has infinite value, and therefore, this is the altar it makes His human body an acceptable offering to His Father for our sins. In summary, the altar is greater than the gift.  Christ was saying only God could save men from their sins, and He was there.

Jesus used this more aggressive word of moron when referring to the stupid virgins who forfeited their soul, Matthew 25:2 “Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish[morons].

Again, this is in context of taking about ultimate questions of reality. That is, in context of talking about Epistemology, Metaphysics, Logic, and Ethics. In context of these big questions that are revealed by Scripture people reject it. In this context Jesus calls them stupid morons. Jesus is not saying these overtly cruel names to people who dislike His use of Samsung over the iPhone, (not over personal things).

As a contrast, Jesus used the word for “fool” to describe his disciples, but its Greek was not “morons,” but “unwise.” And so, for those who are at least trying to understand but are messing up, Jesus called them “unwise” and “weak in faith.”

There are other times Jesus applies the less harsh form for example in, Luke 24:25, “Then He said to them, “O foolish[irrational] ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!”  Jesus Christ is talking in disguise to His disciples right after His resurrection. He is amazed how slow in the head they were in connecting the dots in the Old Testament, which spoke about His death and His glory.  As I stated before, it appears that Christ lessens the harshness of His name calling depending now how hard He and His gospel are being resisted.  The disciples are trying to understand, yet have totally missed it.  Therefore, Jesus calls them irrational and slow to understand, when so much of the Old Testament speaks of God’s Son and the gospel.

People who are willfully not believing and spreading a bad report/unbelief are called MORONS.  Those who—even if slow—are at least trying to understand are called UNWISE. To know which, takes some discernment. It does not mean one must always follow this in any one particular case, but that it being a common theme in the N.T. should have some resemblance in a Christian’s own life.

The biblical preachers followed both of Christ’s examples in the use of name calling.  To the Galatians, where they seemed to be honestly trying to understand Christ, Paul called them irrational and unwise.  Yet, in the book of Romans, to people resisting God so hard they are unwilling to yield to Christ, he calls them morons

Galatians 3:1, “O foolish [irrational] Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?”

Romans 1:22, “Professing to be wise, they became fools [morons].”

Peter and Context.

1 Peter 2:3-14, 3: 13,15-16,  LEB

“… Subject yourselves to every human authority for the sake of the Lord, whether to a king as having supreme authority, or to governors as those sent out by him for the punishment of those who do evil and the praise of those who do good…”

.. And who is the one [i.e. authority] who will harm you if you are a zealous adherent for what is good?…

“…always ready to make a defense to anyone [i.e. authority] who asks you for an accounting concerning the hope that is in you. But do so with courtesy and respect, having a good conscience.”

The context is painfully obvious. However, if there is one thing I have learned with so-called theologians is that they and those who scream the loudest to read a verse in context, are the ones who in practice, do not do it.

The context is authority. Do good and authority will most likely praise you. However, if the authority hurts you for being a Christian and for doing good, then you will not lose you reward. On the other hand, if you do evil, then the government is God’s extended authority to punish you.

First, the term, “everyone,” in verse 15 does not mean all people, because the term “all,” or “everyone,” is seldom meant this way in the Bible. Almost always, it is within a context of a particular group. The context of the group here is “human authorities.” For example, in verse 18 it reads, “For Christ also suffered once for sins,.. for the unjust.”  The “unjust” does not mean, “all unjust”; rather, this term refers to the particular group in context of Peter’s letter, called the “elect.”

Secondly, one might think verse 8-12 in chapter 3 means there has been a move away in context of “human authorities.” This would be a naïve mistake, and poor reading comprehension. Verse 13 and 14 speak of, “who is the ONE who will harm you,” and, “do not be afraid of THEIR threats.” In context, the one spoken of who has the power to bring harm is the human authority, and the one who has the power to threaten with fear is the human authority.

Third. The Greek word for “defense” or “answer,” is where we get our English word for apologetics. It is a rational defense of the Christian faith.  That is, when Jesus in John chapter 8 was doing apologetics. He was preaching and defending the gospel. Jesus did this in a positive proof of the good news. He likewise did so by tearing down the falsehoods and arguments of the Jew. Or as Paul says, “tearing down arguments…that is raised up against the knowledge of God,” 2 Corin.10:4-5. Apologetics includes both.

What does this teaching from Peter 3:15 look like?

Acts 23:3–5 (LEB)

3 Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! And are you sitting there judging me according to the law, and acting contrary to the law do you order me to be struck?” 4 And those who stood nearby said, “Are you reviling the high priest of God?” 5 And Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was high priest. For it is written, ‘You must not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”

Paul does not apologize for the insult or the curse itself, but only apologizes for speaking that way to a human authority.

Conclusion

If there are people willfully teaching bad doctrine or hindering the good doctrine from being heard, then the rebukes become very harsh, even curses. Paul even prayed that the harm the coppersmith did in hindering good doctrine being believed, would be returned back to him. See Jude speaking of false teachers: it is one insult after another. 2 Timothy 4:14 “Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works.” In essence, Paul is praying like an vindictive Psalm over this person.

Yes, the vindictive Psalms are still for today. As a superior species of human, as a saint of God, as a co-heir who is seated with Jesus at the right hand of the Power, you have authority to pray such things today.

Whether it be pastors rebuking things they ought, or issues in movies, or business, or politics, many Christians unmask their spiritual perversion and adultery. They show how little they regard truth, and how much they love viewing the world from “their” human observation, emotions and calculations of kindness. They even judge God himself by these human superstitions.

Their god is not Yahweh; rather, their god is their spiritual belly of emotions. Their condemnation is well deserved. May God repay them for the harm they have done to the Church. They have a “man-centered view” on what it means to have a God-centered view of loving your neighbor. This man-centered view of kindness is in first place too them; God is secondary.  I know many professed Christians are dumber than bricks, do not know the Scripture and are in willful rebellion to God, but to reject God in disobedience over your emotions is Plus Ultra Stupid.

Jesus was always surprised to see faith in people, because it really is such a richly scarce possession. The same is for today.

born under the law

EndNotes—————-

[1] Galatians 4:4

[2] Sexual sins can be forgiven. But to disbelieve God’s word is truth to begin with, means you are not a Christian. It is a horrific dishonor to God, by making God to be a liar and man (as a starting point) truthful.

[3] Harris kept saying phrases like “according to historic Christianity.” In my experience this is often an indicator that one’s epistemology is empiricism (starting with man as a starting point of knowledge (i.e. speculation)), and not Scripture. Any other sin issue that might be exposed later, is secondary to this issue of epistemology.

[4] See Vincent Cheung. Rebuke them Sharply.