I want to show you something that has the power to change the world of religion as we know it. And what it is, is a corruption of spirit and deception of faith most high. In the modern revised edition of the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible, you will find Luke 14:26 written so that Jesus says, “If you do not love me more than your father, or your mother, or your wife and your children, or your brothers and sisters, yeah, even your own life as well, then you cannot be my disciple.”
Why this verse always bothers me?
Something about it just didn’t sit right with me; something I could never put my finger on. It wasn’t enough that I was disturbed by the fact that the God I loved, wanted me to shun my family. As an omnipotent deity, I could not understand why he felt it necessary to even say this. You would think such a thing could go without ever having to be said. Being told I had no choice in the matter, left me with a gaping hole in my heart: one that I would struggle with all my life.
Reading the Bible
Then, one day, I happened across an old Bible at a local thrift shop. So I bought it, took it home, and began to read. I mean, really, really read. However, the more I studied it, the more confused I became. It would seem this version contradicted just about everything I learned in the revised edition, to include church. So I did a little investigating. Turns out I was comparing the original 1611 edition of the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible to a modern man-made revision of 1966. In it, it read, and I quote, “The text from which this translation was made is the Greek New Testament prepared by an international committee of New Testament Scholars, sponsored by several members of the United Bible Societies, and published in 1966. Verses marked with brackets [ ] are not in the oldest and best manuscripts of the New Testament.” Unquote.
Knowing this, I again read from Luke 14:26. That being where Jesus, said: “If you do not love me more than your father, or your mother, or your wife and your children, or your brothers and sisters, yeah, even your own life as well, then you cannot be my disciple.”
I then compared it to the original 1611 edition where Jesus, said: “If any man comes to me, and does not hate his father, or mother, his wife or his children, or his brothers and sisters, yeah, even his own life as well, then that man cannot be my disciple.”
A veil was lifted and my heart was filled with joy!
I finally realized why I had been struggling with that verse for so long: it was because I was being lied to by a bunch of “scholars” with an agenda who held that it was in my best interest if I did not know the truth. On the contrary, it only served to fuel my desire for more of it. So over the next seven years, I wrote a book called “Soul Trap.” I one day hope to have published. In it, you will find every answer about God and the Bible you ever wanted to know, to include answering the greatest mystery of all – the secret behind the number 666. Yes! This mystic code has finally been cracked. See Revelation 10:7. “In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he begins to sound [by way of the final and or seventh sign of the seventh seal], the mystery of God should be finished….”
Be that as it may, when you compare these passages according to their versions, it becomes clear who is being antagonistic, and why. Because of this, I give you the verse that binds. See John 3:9 of the 1611 edition. “No one born of God commits sin; for God’s nature abides in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God. 10 By this it may be seen who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil…whosoever does unrighteousness is not of God, nor he who does not love his brother.”
In one verse, Jesus is telling me I cannot love him and family (mammon and God) at the same time if I am to follow him. Another verse says that I, in fact, must hate them. Then along comes yet another verse saying that anyone who hates his brother is a child of Satan.
In a nutshell, this is why there exists contention within religion, and why it will never change. For proof of this, I give you Matthew 10:35. This being where Jesus, said of it: “I have come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes will be they of his own household.”
Then there is Matthew 10:34 where he said: “Think not that I have come to send peace on Earth. I came not to send peace, but a sword.”
So, if being atheist means not having to be bound to such egotistical nonsense, then so be it. Christians can have their God of conflict, and I will keep my love of family and friends. But then, this means that you would have to obey Deuteronomy 13:6 because, through your faith you are not only convicted by it, but contracted to it. This being where God, said: “If your brother, or your son, or your daughter, or your wife, or your husband, or your friend, entice you to serve other Gods, 8 you will not listen to them. Nor will you pity them. 9 But you will instead kill them; your hand will be first upon them to put them to death….”
For the why of it all, I give you Exodus 34:14 where an all-knowing, omnipotent deity, said: “You will worship no other god. For the LORD, whose name is JEALOUS, is a jealous God.”
And because there is consternation associated with being a “God-fearing” Christian, I would like to share with you, Deuteronomy 28:58. That being where God, said: “If you will not observe to do all the words written in this book [the Bible], that you may fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; 59 then the LORD will make your plagues astonishing, and the plagues of your children even greater, and of long continuance, and a sore suffering of long continuance. 60 Moreover, he will bring upon you all the diseases of Egypt of which you were so afraid of; and they will cleave unto you. 61 Also every sickness, and every plague which is not written in the book of this law, them also will the LORD bring upon you until you are destroyed.”
Well, so much for a God who says he does not coerce freewill because – boy has he ever got you over a barrel on this one!
I, therefore, choose atheism because it, at least, is not built around threats or deception. In the old days during the Inquisitions when the Catholic Church rid the world of some 70 million men, women, and children, they did it because these people refused to embrace their religion. To make it official, the church deemed them heretics. They did it again during the Crusades where millions more were put out of their so-called “soulless misery.” Today, a Muslim radical would simply blow my brains out with his AK-47. To make my brain splatter official, he would deem me an infidel, meaning: one who doubts a particular doctrine, system, or principle.
Religion has had some 2,000 years to get it right, but still it only spreads divisiveness. People say that the best indicator of future behavior is to look at its past. This tells me that, given half a chance, religion will only ever produce more of the same. I do not know about you, but I want to leave behind a better world not just for my children, but your children, and the world’s children also. Otherwise, the day will come when they have to turn their plowshares into swords. How sad. How very sad for them because – they do not deserve it!
What you call atheism, I call spiritual maturation through erudition
And, I am of the opinion that the world will one day have no choice but to embrace it, or die fighting it. It is not only time to turn the other cheek, but drop the whole philosophy because it’s riddled with cancer.
And because it is, I leave you with Deuteronomy 7:1. This being where God, said: “When the LORD your God brings you into the land he promised you, and has cast out many nations before you [the enemies of Israel], the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you; 2 and when the LORD your God delivers them up before you; you will kill them, and utterly destroy them; you will make no covenant or allegiances with them, nor show mercy to them.”
Like the religious contention of the Middle East, someone forgot to tell them that people do not like to be pushed around without mercy, God said or no, and will fight back because of it: even if that means to the last person standing. And, the cost will be great. But then, “Blessed is he [or she] that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things that are written therein. For the time [of Armageddon] is at hand.” Revelation 1:3.