The Pope Doesn’t Like Catholic Pharisees

The Pharisees were, according to the Bible, which was written by their enemies, Jews who were sticklers for religious laws and rules. Jesus was said to criticize them because they did not address real life circumstances. When the Pope seeks to lighten up on Catholic rules because they do not fit life’s circumstances, there is an avalanche of criticism that sounds quite like the Pharisees. The Pope cleverly points that out.

What were the Pharisees really like–how did they actually see their enemies? And, who are really the “Pharisees” today? Critics of the Pope see him as following his own set of rules instead of their so it is the Pope, critics say, who is really today’s “Pharisee.”

This silly argument is not limited to Catholics. It is going full steam among Protestants. Conservative Protestants have decided what the Bible says about gay marriage, even though the Bible does not say it, and proclaims to honor gay marriage is to violate the written code of the faith.

The Pharisee argument is best raised against those who take the Bible literally. Places like the Moody Bible Institute come to mind. There is a big dispute going on right now at Moodys, however, as to what is meant by taking the Bible literally.

While arguing back and forth about who are the Pharisees, critics or followers of the Pope, is entertaining, it makes a point. The point is that most everything in religion is too vague to know exactly what it meant to those who wrote it.


13 Responses

  1. MJB

    We live in a physical world so there is no way a spiritual God can exist in a physical world that is scientifically impossible.

    Well I guess maybe there is an argument that time, space and matter cannot exist independently. I mean how could time, space and matter exist independently and then boom all 3 exist at the same time?

    Not to confuse the point above but maybe space created time and space and time together created matter – something of the sort and after 6 billion years humans evolved and then humans created a God.

    Well unless there is a something out there in the cosmos that is not impacted by time, space or matter…

    1. MJB 8:57 something of the sort and after 6 Billion years humans evolved and then humans created a God.

      This is fun to talk about. Six billion years and no humans, or gods. Then, just a short while ago, 200,000 to 300,000 years ago, humans came along. Even more incredible, the Jewish God did not show up until three or four thousand years ago and the Christian 2000 years ago.

      I’m conservative. I’m not going for this new god until is has stood the test of time. 🙂

      1. mark anthony

        I’m not going for atheism until it has stood the test of time. seems to me that atheism, at least in its modern iteration, has only been around 300 yrs or so.

        1. mark 10:08 it has only been around 300 years of so.

          What?? You always portray yourself as a person who has read a little history. If the length of time is the criteria for “truth” there are religions older than Christianity, Hinduism and Paganism for starters. Buddhism, with no super natural deity in most versions, dates back to 5th Century BCE.

          As to what we think atheism is today, the lack of believe in any deity, I think there is evidence there has always been a group who did not buy into the existence of supernatural ghosts and beings. Those without belief did not write it down because there was nothing to write about. If the they write down their skepticism, chances are it was destroyed by those religious governments of any era.

  2. mark anthony

    Jon, I understand that Area Voices is soon to be cast into the dustbin of history. Can’t help but wonder, then, how you will contrive to spread the atheistic gospel. Am waiting, then, if not with baited breath at least with some anticipation.

    1. mark 10:29 Jon, I understand that Area Voices is soon to be cast into the dustbin of history.

      I have not heard that, but I’ve said here many times Area Voices exists to make money for Forum Communications. When it costs more to keep it going than the revenue it brings in it will be discontinued. And if this does not happen for a long while, I will quit blogging because I will drop dead. In the meantime, I note you and others who hate this blog continue to read it. That gives me satisfaction.

      1. mark anthony

        I think that 15 May is the drop dead date for AV. BTW, don’t hate your blog: rather I find it amusing. Sometimes, tho’ the more outrageous, goofy comments get under the skin but, for the most part, it’s fun, sometimes even challenging..

        1. mark 11:04 I think that May 15 is the drop dead date for Area Voices.

          After May 15 Area Voices will no longer be available on the Forum website. That is, the option of clicking on it will be gone and, as I understand it, the Forum will no longer support Area Voices. My blog and some others may be available in some other format on the Forum’s website, however. That is yet to be determined.

      2. mark anthony

        When I said that atheism is only 300+ years old, I was referring to the modern version. And to the period of time when atheism has become more and more widely accepted. Of course, I know about folks like Democritus, Lucretius, Epicurus, Thales, et al. I know also that some of them were not treated well by their contemporaries. I doubt, however, that there were any vocal atheists among the Stone Age hunters and gatherers: animists, Mother Earth devotees, etc. but no public atheists. I further doubt that the notion of a non-sacral universe would have even occurred to such people.

        1. mark 11:32 I further doubt that the notion of a non-sacred universe would have even occurred to such people.

          You can doubt/speculate all you want. So can I. I doubt there was ever a time when every single person bought into to notion there are invisible beings all around us. Since recorded history skeptics have always been there. As different gods come and go, the skeptic has asked for and never received evidence. In this way, the skeptic has succeeded and the believer has failed.

          1. mark anthony

            OK. But I stick with my speculation. Interestingly, tho’ we do have a documented example of an ancient skeptic/iconoclast: Akenaten (sp?) in Egypt. Except that he went the other way, He violently rejected the ancient panoply of gods and veered toward monotheism.

          2. mark anthony

            FYI. My college major was in history. Have a passion for the subject, whether natural history or human history/intellectual history. Have read extensively on the subject over the intervening years,

          3. Ervin Miller

            The skeptics have succeeded! Talk of speculation! Frankly, it is pure conjecture to say the skeptics have succeeded, the facts will become knowable a few minutes after our soul gives up the mortal body. The skeptics are toying with unbelievable risk, it’s a challenge to be a devout Christian, on the other hand being Christian with a goal for eternal life with God sure is better then eternal misery in Hell.

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