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 The Gospel Is Corrupt
Vernonb 3k posts, incept 2009-06-03
2023-09-18 18:54:28

Let's reanalyze...

Assumption 1: The King in his greed has not debased a currency or equivalent.

Would not the first taxation be deflationary especially if the King did not re-release those funds through loans and sequestered the funds?

The value of the remaining coin in the hands of the people should then buy more.

Release of funds through loans from the treasury reinflates the currency toward preconfiscation levels.

Of course if the economy is booming and he takes excess funds out of the economy would that not preserve purchasing power at the expense of limiting opportunity for everyone else?

"Mass intelligence does not mean intelligent masses."
Misemeout 47 posts, incept 2021-09-12
2023-09-18 18:54:40

Perceptive as always Karl. It would seem that in this parable mercy would rob justice or would in itself be further injustice. Jesus often told parables of imperfect people to illustrate a limited principle. I once heard a similar parable though it, too, has limitations.

There once was a man who wanted something very much. It seemed more important than anything else in his life. In order for him to have his desire, he incurred a great debt. He had been warned about going into that much debt, and particularly about his creditor. But it seemed so important for him to do what he wanted to do and to have what he wanted right now. He was sure he could pay for it later. So he signed a contract. He would pay it off some time along the way. He didnt worry too much about it, for the due date seemed such a long time away. He had what he wanted now, and that was what seemed important. The creditor was always somewhere in the back of his mind, and he made token payments now and again, thinking somehow that the day of reckoning really would never come. But as it always does, the day came, and the contract fell due. The debt had not been fully paid. His creditor appeared and demanded payment in full. Only then did he realize that his creditor not only had the power to repossess all that he owned, but the power to cast him into prison as well. I cannot pay you, for I have not the power to do so, he confessed. Then, said the creditor, we will exercise the contract, take your possessions, and you shall go to prison. You agreed to that. It was your choice. You signed the contract, and now it must be enforced. Can you not extend the time or forgive the debt? the debtor begged. Arrange some way for me to keep what I have and not go to prison. Surely you believe in mercy? Will you not show mercy? The creditor replied, Mercy is always so one-sided. It would serve only you. If I show mercy to you, it will leave me unpaid. It is justice I demand. Do you believe in justice? I believed in justice when I signed the contract, the debtor said. It was on my side then, for I thought it would protect me. I did not need mercy then, nor think I should need it ever. Justice, I thought, would serve both of us equally as well. It is justice that demands that you pay the contract or suffer the penalty, the creditor replied. That is the law. You have agreed to it and that is the way it must be. Mercy cannot rob justice. There they were: One meting out justice, the other pleading for mercy. Neither could prevail except at the expense of the other. If you do not forgive the debt there will be no mercy, the debtor pleaded. If I do, there will be no justice, was the reply. Both laws, it seemed, could not be served. They are two eternal ideals that appear to contradict one another. Is there no way for justice to be fully served, and mercy also? There is a way! The law of justice can be fully satisfied and mercy can be fully extendedbut it takes someone else. And so it happened this time. The debtor had a friend. He came to help. He knew the debtor well. He knew him to be shortsighted. He thought him foolish to have gotten himself into such a predicament. Nevertheless, he wanted to help because he loved him. He stepped between them, faced the creditor, and made this offer. I will pay the debt if you will free the debtor from his contract so that he may keep his possessions and not go to prison. As the creditor was pondering the offer, the mediator added, You demanded justice. Though he cannot pay you, I will do so. You will have been justly dealt with and can ask no more. It would not be just. And so the creditor agreed. The mediator turned then to the debtor. If I pay your debt, will you accept me as your creditor? Oh yes, yes, cried the debtor. You save me from prison and show mercy to me. Then, said the benefactor, you will pay the debt to me and I will set the terms. It will not be easy, but it will be possible. I will provide a way. You need not go to prison. And so it was that the creditor was paid in full. He had been justly dealt with. No contract had been broken. The debtor, in turn, had been extended mercy. Both laws stood fulfilled. Because there was a mediator, justice had claimed its full share, and mercy was fully satisfied. Each of us lives on a kind of spiritual credit. Unless there is a mediator, unless we have a friend, the full weight of justice untempered, unsympathetic, must, positively must fall on us. The full recompense for every transgression, however minor or however deep, will be exacted from us to the uttermost farthing. But know this: Truth, glorious truth, proclaims there is such a Mediator.

Nereus 3 posts, incept 2023-09-18
2023-09-18 20:12:18

First post, I've been a longtime reader (over a decade) who has benefitted from the articles here and been made to rethink some of my positions due to sound evidentiary argument. And all the pandemic writing was extremely valuable to me and those who would listen whom I shared it with. So, thank you.

But this article does not seem a fair treatment of the text in question.
First, it is a concluding illustration to a train of thought, hence "That is why the kingdom of heaven..." How can the original author's point be grasped without looking at what leads up to "That is why..."?
Second, what of the figurative language - allegory, parable, simile, metaphor. It doesn't say heaven is exactly equivalent to a king settling accounts, but "may be likened to." That is underscored by the final sentence, in which the focus is shifted back to the heavenly Father and brothers. Allegorical language is in the "is like" - 'Heaven is like... Hell is like...' If one were to say a morbidly obese person may be likened to a whale, I am not going to be on lookout for them splashing through the ocean eating krill, but understand that comparative language has limits. Whenever a parable is given we should be scrambling to plug in 'What is meant by the king? What is meant by the servants? What is meant by the vineyard? What is meant by the seeds, the crow, the soil, the thorns?' In a parable, biblical or not, each item in the story is representative of something else in reality. If the language of parable is ignored and this must be taken as a treatise requiring forgiveness of financial debts, then the original post's complaint would stand because the King himself did not ultimately forgive the debt and the message then contradicts itself.
Third, why must it be assumed that this is a loan from public treasury? Checking texts on my shelf about the Greco-Roman world, it was expected that rulers personally spent large sums on things we would today consider part of public spending. A quick fact page claims Augustus Caesar was one of the wealthiest men in history with a personal fortune equal to 20% of the entire Roman economy. That's without dipping into the treasury. Insisting that because it is a king he is loaning from the treasury is forcing something onto the story that is not there, and ancient history has plenty of real alternatives. Nero is said to have bankrupted Rome one year building a palace for himself, and I've never seen an ancient historian complain that he had no right to but only that he was irresponsible and neglectful of the people to do so. He failed to uphold his responsibilities as patron of the empire. What were the standards of a ruler's spending in the ancient culture from which the story comes?
Fourth, where is a ban on wrath or anger? Jonah is asked at the end whether he has reason to be angry, implying that there is such a thing as good reason to be angry and Jonah's case wasn't it. Many passages of the psalms are difficult to interpret because they condone some very wrathful things, and not just limited to God's action. And there is long Christian history that men should be angry about injustice and evil happening. (I think Aquinas gave the quote that comes to mind).
Applied to a modern practical sense, two men currently owe me money. One owes me a very large sum, and one a relatively small sum, and neither was due to me loaning money. One is an owner carry for land title, in which I sold my house but the man asked for time to pay, the other was in exchange for a piece of heavy equipment, both transactions happened about a year ago, and both are becoming doubtful whether they will pay. I could forgive the small debt, but that would be with a verbal 'Don't worry about it.' If I later found he couldn't pay because he was spending like crazy on himself, would I not have the right to be upset and demand that if he misled me as to why he couldn't pay, that he must now either pay in full or return the equipment? And the big debt is too big for me to ignore without harming my family, but if that man misses the final payment-in-full, do I not have a right to let it slide a month or two if he pleads with me and I want to be kind? In either case, I would not have signed any contract officially 'forgiving' the debt. I have done that in other situations and cannot after the fact pursue those claims unless some form of fraud were discovered. But do I not have a right to be generous with a debtor's repayment if I choose? Or a right to cease being generous if he angers me due to his behavior?
Tritumi 2k posts, incept 2008-11-29
2023-09-18 20:12:30

There is forgiving a debt and then there is strategic fuck you...

Catholics condemn Archdiocese of Baltimore for bankruptcy response to sexual abuse lawsuits |
Onething@atime 138 posts, incept 2020-04-25
2023-09-18 20:17:36

Slow news day?
Jack_crabb 18k posts, incept 2010-06-25
2023-09-18 20:17:41

My opinion is that there is a special place in Hell for leaders (and many priests) of the Catholic "Church".

Molon Labe
Where is Henry Bowman when you need him?
How many are willing to pledge this? We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor
Tickerguy 198k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2023-09-18 20:18:46

@Nereus - The first reading (you DID click the link, yes?) in fact is a ban on wrath. Never mind reneging on a stated gift.

"Anyone wearing a mask will be presumed to be intending armed robbery and immediately shot in the face. Govern yourself accordingly."
Jfenello 75 posts, incept 2010-01-19
2023-09-18 20:44:50

Instead of dissecting every word, in every verse, of every translation, I wish people would spend 1/10th the time studying the history of the bible.

Maybe then they'd realize that Covid isn't the only narrative that has been forced upon us ...

Jay Fenello
Doladin 150 posts, incept 2022-01-15
2023-09-18 20:45:02

Well, there's a reason most religions ban usury, and why those useful at usury tend to parasitically drain and control their hosts.
It's so dangerous and subversive that the practice has its own name (usury)

Don't get me wrong, after millenia the institutions have figured out how to loan at interest and get around those original rules (including the Muslims)

What the salient point is that, even 2000+ years ago, before the Fed, before CBDC, before SWIFT, before FIAT currency - it was known that playing with the money supply LEADS TO BAD THINGS! And like much religious teachings, it's not good for your soul, either.

As much as I complain about the state of the world (Fed, marxism, etc) I am not naive enough to think that the world should be a utopia and we are the only humans ever to have hard times. I'm only sad because we should know better by now, after several hundred cycles and being in the information age... ah well, better luck to the society after the next catastrophic event?
Nelstomlinson 962 posts, incept 2011-12-21
2023-09-18 22:19:34

@blanca is on the right track.
Tonythetiger 940 posts, incept 2019-01-27
2023-09-18 22:24:33

Super Far off topic, but I came across this and thought some here might enjoy it as much as I did.

J.S. Bach's Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor, played on a glass harp. 11 minutes of incredible music and some impressive talent.


"War is when the Government tells you who the bad guy is. Revolution is when you decide that for yourself." - Benjamin Franklin
Larryboy 616 posts, incept 2012-12-29
2023-09-18 22:33:12

Thanks, Tony, amazing talent.
Guerin 173 posts, incept 2021-09-26
2023-09-19 11:19:14

I think in this case there is a distinction to be drawn between loans made by the sovereign in his personal capacity versus loans made in his capacity as sovereign. The comparison is drawn to forgiveness of sins, which in the context are a debt owed to God in his personal capacity, not to something like Kingdom of God or Heaven Inc. Kind of like how it's usury if a bank makes me a personal loan at interest but it is not usury if the bank makes my business a loan at interest under the same terms (at least by all classical definitions of the term).

Reading it this way, the loans the king made to his servants are ones he made in his personal capacity to his servants and therefore he may licitly forgive them without injury to the public. I don't think that's a stretch reading since kings in days of old often had their own lands which would have generated personal profits apart from the public purse.
Vernonb 3k posts, incept 2009-06-03
2023-09-19 12:29:59

So if I forgive someone for murder I can then commit murder under full forgiveness?

Asking for a friend but it illustrates the absurdity.

WTF knows what Christ actually said. I am sure scribes existed that omitted, deleted, or translated. Considering the political actors with the Bible read everything with suspicion.

Use common sense people. It is God's greatest gift. Many are bereft.

"Mass intelligence does not mean intelligent masses."
Jayrowan 3 posts, incept 2016-05-31
2023-09-19 14:34:05

1 Corinthians 1:18 - The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction!
Tickerguy 198k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2023-09-19 14:34:16

Excuses excuses @Jayrowan.

"Anyone wearing a mask will be presumed to be intending armed robbery and immediately shot in the face. Govern yourself accordingly."
Leber 131 posts, incept 2021-11-27
2023-09-19 16:49:11

A parable is a akin to a riddle, a dark saying (in the original languages).
It is not an allegory, and a fundamental flaw to extract meaning from each element in the story.

As for anger, the Old Testament even refers to God's anger (lit. nose of God, b/c of the way nostrils flare when people are angry). Of course we know God does not literally have a nose. Jesus took a whip to the bankers in the temple, the story tells us out of anger (at the scam they were perpetuating on behalf of the rulers and Saducees), the self-same week they had him crucified. Anger is part of life, just as is fear. Admonitions against anger certainly are not meant to contradict this reality: Anger is generally not a good counsel for one's conduct, but just might be, since anger/fear are ambiguous, as is the animal instinct to flee/fight -- often the emotion is exactly the same and the turn of events unknown even a split-second beforehand.
Leber 131 posts, incept 2021-11-27
2023-09-19 16:49:47

Your elaborate story about intermediation is a daily occurrence. Creditors sell debts to other creditors, but generally this results in worse conditionalities, not more merciful ones. Debtor prisons were not meant as punishment but to force repayment. The entire history of mankind is the struggle with the absolute iron law that "debts that cannot be repaid will not be repaid". All resistance to this basic principle results in more damage to the social fabric as a whole.

One of the truly great things about America is the liberal bankruptcy laws and possibilities for personal bankruptcy, rather unique compared to other OECD countries, inscribed on the liberty bell. Unfortunately few still understand the biblical background and spiritual inspiration behind this principle.
Lastquagga 51 posts, incept 2022-04-30
2023-09-19 19:41:12

@Leber, "Creditors sell debts to other creditors, but generally this results in worse conditionalities, not more merciful ones."

I think I'm misunderstanding you here, based on your other posts. Can you think of a case where this happens? I don't believe anyone other than the government can "legally" unilaterally change terms of a contract. If a creditor sells to another creditor, he cannot impose more strict terms than the debtor agreed to. Even if the terms are more lenient, courts can and did toss out mortgages in toto because the financial institutions couldn't produce the paper trail bearing the debtor's signature.

@Leber, "The entire history of mankind is the struggle with the absolute iron law that "debts that cannot be repaid will not be repaid". All resistance to this basic principle results in more damage to the social fabric as a whole."

This is largely true. Anyone who lends to another without being confident in the ability to repay has not, by definition, done due diligence, and deserves to eat the loss. I'll soften that a bit by pointing out that when it does happen, often the government had a hand in it. Whether we are talking about college loans, or sub-prime loans, or the moratoria on evictions for non-payment of rent, or the craziness of "renewable" energy, or whatever, the root cause of the change in circumstances can almost always be traced back to government mucking around where they don't have any Constitutional authority.

@Jack_Crabb, "My opinion is that there is a special place in Hell for leaders (and many priests) of the Catholic "Church"."

Yep. And not just Catholics. Any who lead the little ones astray. Which is a huge share of organized religion.
Workerbee 5k posts, incept 2009-03-18
2023-09-19 23:05:06

My apologies in advance as I thought I knew the subject matter.

I have lexicon, concordance, interlinear and many other ways I've long forgotten about researching the Bible (II Timothy 2:15 need to get back on that)
I was extremely perplexed when I realized this was subject matter out of my purview.

But it's biblical, how can it be out of my purview?
I know this stuff.
I understand it, and if I don't I can research it my damn self!

Then I realized I didn't understand the context of the written ticker.

And what exactly is USCCB????
No fucking clue, and since I am not catholic, my thoughts here are irrelevant as USCCB is to me.

No man in a fish hat, not Billy Graham or even a smiling Joel Osteen will tell me what the Bible says when I can read it my damn self.

It's like chosing to believe Ruth Bader Ginsburg's interpretation (or Clarence Thomas if you will) to interpret the constitution when you've never bothered to make it your own.

That's why II Timothy 2:15 is paramount.

YOU are solely responsible for understanding the written words.
Not anyone else's interpretation.

Or you'll be drinking koolaid, fucking children, dead with your sneakers pointing to Heaven's Gate or worse, never enjoying bacon.

That's hell on earth.

Find Jesus yall.

'Keep pushing fuckers, you'll find the trip wire eventually'
~ Quik49

No one should be dealing with any of this shit, yet here we
Tickerguy 198k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2023-09-19 23:05:47

Well I'd rather go to Hell than not enjoy bacon @Workerbee so..... yep!

I went after this because of the "packaging" that the Catholic Church does with readings (its actually rather interesting as a separate element of study on its own) and how they decided to do so in this specific case.

"Anyone wearing a mask will be presumed to be intending armed robbery and immediately shot in the face. Govern yourself accordingly."

Workerbee 5k posts, incept 2009-03-18
2023-09-20 09:04:25

I don't want to read a theologian.
Actually, reading many, if not most will take you all around the subject matter and never fucking fulfill "making it your own".
Heh, worse, many theologians are like the Medical Industrial Complex... will fuck you dead with their corruption [body, soul spirit or all the above]

It's not easy to find truth.
You have to search and be aware of your norlmacy bias.

Reading the written text, albeit The Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights, The Constitution, The Bible...
These things stand on their own merit when they've been read by a person, not explained to them.

It's that simple even for a redneck hillbilly like me.

'Keep pushing fuckers, you'll find the trip wire eventually'
~ Quik49

No one should be dealing with any of this shit, yet here we
Guerin 173 posts, incept 2021-09-26
2023-09-20 09:04:47

There is a book titled Index Lectionum that compares the "packaging" as it were of the readings as they are today versus what they were prior to the 60s. The passage from Sirach, for example, was never used in the past, and while Matt 18:23-35 was used in the past (21st Sunday after Pentecost), the passage it used to be paired with is Eph 6:10-17.
Teleros 11 posts, incept 2022-09-02
2023-09-20 09:05:08

I think this must be the first time Ive read one of these posts and been amazed at the affront to common sense and logic. @Tickerguy, did someone hack your account to post this?


First, lets look at the context. Jesus is telling a parable, ie a story, to make a point. Whats the point about? Sound monetary policy? Best practices in farming? How to write good code? No. Its about forgiveness and why its very important that you forgive (but not necessarily forget!) those who sin against you. Now, forgiveness and sinning are not quantifiable things, like money is, so there is not, and cannot be, an inflationary impulse from God forgiving you for sinning against Him. So right there, we can see that the parable does not translate one-to-one to the point Jesus is making.

Done and dusted.

But wait. Lets pretend for the sake of argument that Jesus is also telling us about inflation and deflation and all that lovely economic policy stuff too. Well in that case, what do you get wrong?

First, where do you think the taxed money comes from? Answer: the economy. Every silver talent collected as tax is a talent that is literally taken out of circulation and put into a literal room in the the kings palace (and if you think theres any real distinction between a 1st century kings private and public treasury hah!) So if we have $1000 in circulating currency, the king takes $100, and then loans out $50 in what way is -$50 inflationary? Doubly so when, given the historic context, such loans AND such debt jubilees would be a normal part of the economy (ie and thus could be factored into any calculations).

Second, you outright ignore the massive penalties to being in debt that existed back then and in that part of the world. Michael Hudson documented this extensively in And forgive them their debts ( a man who fell into debt and was unable to pay could be reduced to a slave, along with his wife and children. Admittedly, this last point is great if youre rich and want a few slave girls to have your way with, so you can see why it might be popular amongst the wealthy types whod be making the loans. Note, by the way, that some of these penalties are in the exact passage quoted, so how you ignore them is beyond me.

But why do I care if Bob is locked up or enslaved to pay back his debt? Thats no skin off my nose, and he did sign a contract and all that.

Sure, but now Bob cant be conscripted to fight or work on public projects like irrigation. And if there are too many Bobs and not enough free men, your neighbours might just decide to invade. Congratulations: your devotion to upholding contract law has gotten your entire family killed or enslaved. Oh, and if that doesnt happen, you create an oligarchy that rivals the king and priests in power and steadily reduces the ordinary population to dependents once it's eclipsed the king (see: Rome). Put in its proper context, maybe forgiving Bob his debts and suffering a little inflation sounds a little less evil than debt slavery.

Third, there is this point that the king is in the wrong by punishing the first servant. Well ignore the fact that the king in this is a stand-in for God (ie, and thus not sinning), and just look at what is in Sirach and again, if you read the full context, its quite clearly referring to not being a bitter neighbour who clings to past grievances instead of forgiving them. It nowhere states that there is a ban on wrath or anger. Furthermore, I would also point out Psalm 97:10 (Ye who love the Lord, hate evil), Proverbs 6:16 (These six things doth the Lord hate; yea seven are an abomination unto him), Proverbs 11:10 (when the wicked perish, there is shouting) or all the assorted times people have killed even committed genocide in the Lords name, and with the Lords approval. For that matter, there are assorted imprecatory psalms so yes, there is absolutely a time and a place for wrath and for anger you just have to make sure it is righteous.

Fourth, we have this accusation of a corrupt gospel. But if that is the case, are you quite certain that Sirach isnt also corrupted? What else might be corrupted? Is anything uncorrupted? Oops, there goes the whole house of cards. So under the circumstances, if the choice is going to be between the Bible has been corrupted and you dun goofed then Im going with the latter. You dun goofed.
Tickerguy 198k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2023-09-20 09:06:49

@Teleros -
Fourth, we have this accusation of a corrupt gospel. But if that is the case, are you quite certain that Sirach isnt also corrupted? What else might be corrupted? Is anything uncorrupted? Oops, there goes the whole house of cards. So under the circumstances, if the choice is going to be between the Bible has been corrupted and you dun goofed then Im going with the latter. You dun goofed.

Oh really?

I need only ONE printed-word example that is demonstrable bullshit to call into question anything in an "inerrant" work.

When did you last eat bacon or a ham sandwich? Because by the Bible you're fucked if you have. Never mind the other foods that are forbidden.

Well, I have, and I don't believe I'm fucked so there you are.

PS: Yes, I'm well-aware of the arm-waving in the Letters and Acts -- by man, natch, since those all post-date Jesus' death -- that people cite to get around that. But that's your hubris, not the written word when the agency of said capacity to write it was in Heaven and had been for a good long time.

"Anyone wearing a mask will be presumed to be intending armed robbery and immediately shot in the face. Govern yourself accordingly."

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