Hey Evangelical Christians, or On Antichrist(s)

10 03 2017

Hey evangelical Christians! I have some things I want to run by you. I’m a Jew, and I haven’t read the Christian bible cover to cover, so there may be gaps in my understanding, but I get the broad strokes, and I’ve done a decent amount of reading about specific concepts. What I’m offering here is an outsider’s take on things. Very often, outsider interpretations can be off the mark and even just plain wrong, but they can also be insightful and helpful by offering a fresh perspective. I’m aiming for the second one.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements




Bill O’Reilly, Christian, on Homelessness, or Pieces of Humanity

3 07 2015

I am not a Christian. Any understanding I have of the New Testament comes second-hand, though I’ve done a decent amount of reading about it. As I understand it, Jesus had quite a lot to say about helping the poor and downtrodden and very little to say about the issues that people typically moralize and scold about these days (like homosexuality, for instance). I always think of Matthew 25:40, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me,” and maybe I’m putting undue weight on it, but as I understand it that’s Jesus talking as he’s separating the “sheep” from the “goats” at the End of the World, describing his primary criteria for judgment. Seems like a big deal.

Bill O’Reilly is a Catholic. In a 2010 column, he talked about staying with the church in the aftermath of the priestly sexual abuse scandals, saying

Throughout it all, however, I stayed with the church. If you cut through all the bull, the doctrines of treating others as you want to be treated, forgiveness and redemption, and charity for all stand the test of time. Even if the atheists are right and there is no God, the philosophy of Jesus is full-force positive. Live the way he lived, and the world will be a better place.

Presumably, as a Catholic who focuses on the “full-force positive” “philosophy of Jesus” and believes that “the world will be a better place” if people “live the way [Jesus] lived,” he has spent more time with the New Testament and the teachings of Jesus than I have as a fairly secular Jew. The “pieces of humanity” part of the title of this post comes from the title of one of O’Reilly’s books, A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity, which was apparently an epithet hurled at Young Bill by one of the nuns who taught him in Catholic school. It seems safe to say that he’s spent a pretty good amount of time with the scripture.

That brings me to a question I have for many, many Christians, one I’ve never gotten a satisfactory answer for – what’s the deal with your priorities?

Read the rest of this entry »