published Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Misunderstanding Scripture today and other letters to the editors

Misunderstanding Scripture today

The death of Jamie Coots is very sad. Not just because a man has died but because what his church and others do in handling serpents is representative of a much larger problem in most of what is called Christianity today. Other churches may not handle serpents or do other seemingly bizarre things, but what they are guilty of is as dangerous. And that is not rightly dividing the word of truth, as the Apostle Paul tells us, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, in 2 Timothy 2:15.

We need to realize what today’s instructions are and follow those only. It’s not that Mr. Coots’ snake-handling was unbiblical (it is found in the Bible), but rather it is not information for us to follow today. Otherwise, Mr. Coots’ parishioners could have laid hands on and healed him, according to the passage in Mark and later in James 5:14-15.

This leads to disillusionment when promises for other times are deemed to be for us and then don’t come to pass; or worse yet, not rightly dividing Scripture may very well lead people to a misunderstanding of the gospel message of salvation for today and loss of eternal life.


The power of the wealthy

Now that the UAW/VW vote is over, organizations like Southern Momentum can fade into the night mist. But to paraphrase Tom Joad from John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath,” they will be there whenever a banker’s stomach rumbles, when his offshore accounts are in jeopardy, whenever a hedge fund manager frets over his bonus being 400 percent instead of the usual 500 percent. Whenever corporate interests are threatened by the working man wanting “his money” to spend frivolously on things like fuel to heat his home, money to feed himself and his family, money to clothe, house and educate his children.

These groups will be there with their new bank accounts, their bought-and-paid-for politicians and their silent backers. They will be there because without them, the lazy low-life louts would begin to think that they are as good as them. How can I even say those words?

A great thinker once said: “Never underestimate our ignorance.”


Sensationalism and the news

If editors and reporters were geographers, we would be told that the world consists of mountain peaks and abyssal valleys. If there is no sensation, there is no news, and no news means no jobs for reporters and editors … or at least, no pay increases.

If there is a word that inflames, use it. If there is a word that derides, use it. Throw caution to the winds — caution doesn’t sell.


Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.

Mr. Long, unions are corporations and their leaders can be just as greedy as a corrupt CEO of any corporation. The workers didn't want or need the UAW. Deal with it. It's a nice place to work and they're paid well. Cut out the stupid, socialist mumbo jumbo, this isn't 1900. "Bought and paid for politicians", as if unions don't politicians in their back pockets. Hypocrisy. The south doesn't want those stinking greedy unions that have helped trash millions of jobs and ruin many companies up north. Be glad VW decided to build a plant right here, invest in this community, and provide many, many jobs. The goal of a company is to be profitable, not make sure it's workers, no matter at what level, have security the rest of their lives. Those that take greater risks, provide leadership and a vision deserve more pay. Nobod at VW is not being paid well enough. Grow up

March 3, 2014 at 12:43 a.m.
LibDem said...

Mr. BENJAMIN E. LONG, Union busting has been common all my life and, most particularly, in the South. At least we have snake handling.

March 3, 2014 at 8:48 a.m.
kkemerait said...

Dear Angela,

Actually the snake handling passage is not biblical. The passage, which is found at the end of the Gospel of Mark is NOT in any of the earliest manuscripts for that Gospel. The earliest manuscripts end at verse 16:8 and verses 9-20 are believed by most (both liberal and conservative) biblical scholars to be a much later addition...and thus not canonical.

March 3, 2014 at 10:09 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

kkemerait, it really makes no difference whether it was canonical or not. Anyone is a complete fool to take the Bible - any portion of it - at its word anyway. The Old Testament is entirely fictional and centered around an extremely cruel, sadistic deity, and the New Testament is focused on a "messiah" who was a delusional character who contradicted himself on almost every issue and who either lied outright or simply didn't know what the hell he was talking about.

March 3, 2014 at 1:19 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

To qualify about Jesus: I do not totally discount everything that he said. He did indeed say some things that were wise. And by "he" I mean the person that he was supposed to be. I believe that he was totally fictional. Nevertheless it can be worthwhile to let oneself be inspired or uplifted by some of the obvious wise things that (he) said about love and compassion and brotherly love. But there is nothing that he said that had not already been spoken or written in the pagan religions, particularly Taoism, which preceded Christianity and the time that Jesus supposedly lived.

March 3, 2014 at 1:52 p.m.
kkemerait said...

Rickaroo, whether I believe the Bible to be true is irrelevant. I was attempting to make a case against snake handling to those who Do believe it is true...This is why I passed on the information about the ending to Mark.

March 3, 2014 at 4:16 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

I understand, kkemerait, and I know that your argument is a valid one. I like to see anyone shining the light of reason on to the clouds of darkness, in whatever way and whatever degree. I might have appeared to be discounting your argument but that was not my intention. My apologies. When I said that it makes no difference whether that particular verse is/was canonical or not, I was thinking of how those who are fanatical enough to do irrational and nonsensical things in the name of their religious beliefs are not going to be persuaded by any amount of reason or factual knowledge anyway. But then, I know that they are not going to be persuaded by any arguments that I might make either. I can't seem to help speaking my mind, though - for what it's worth.

March 3, 2014 at 4:52 p.m.

Hold up folks! Give a 'little research guy' a chance to offer his two cents tidbit.

Only 2 Greek manuscripts (Aleph and B) omit the verses. A total of 618 contain the Gospel of Mark 16:9-20. ..And...a blank space has been left in B, where the verses should have been but where the scribe obviously omitted them.

The following all contain Mark 16:9-20:

2nd Century: Old Latin and Pes.hitta Syriac versions, Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian; 3rd Century: Coptic and Sahidic versions, Hippolytus, Vincentius, Apostolic Constitutions; 4th Century: Curetonian Syriac and Gothic versions, Syriac table of Canons, Eusebius, Macarius Magnes, Aphraates, Didymus, The Syriac "Acts of the Apostles," Epiphanius, Leontius, Ephraem, Ambrose, Chrysostom, Jerome, Augustine; 5th Century: Armenian version (some copies), Codices A and C, Leo, Nestorius, Cyril of Alexandria, Victor of Antioch, Patricius, Marius Mercator; 6th and 7th Centuries: Codex D, Georgian and Ethiopic versions, Hesychius, Gregentius, Prosper, Archbishop John of Thessalonica, Bishop Modestus of Jerusalem.

The Philoxenian Syriac of the 5th century contains the verses. Tatian (2nd century) quoted the verses. The Old Latin manuscript k has the "short conclusion" instead of verses 9-20. The omission of verses 9-20 from the above handful of documents is indicative of the work of heretics, especially docetists who sought to de-emphasise post resurrection appearances of the Lord from the Gospel record. The supposed adverse testimony of ancient writers is spurious, resting on a quotation from Eusebius which does NOT deny verses 9-20. Berry's Greek text supports this passage.

March 3, 2014 at 6:50 p.m.

"As for the Sinaiticus manuscript, it is written in the same-size letters throughout until you come to the place where the last twelve verses of Mark belong, then the letters become large and spread out, taking up enough extra space to allow the last twelve verses of Mark to appear in the smaller letters that had been used up until this time. The double page containing the end of Mark and the beginning of Luke was removed at an early date and replaced with the four sides rewritten to exclude Mark 16:9-20! By slightly increasing the size of the letters and spaces, the writer was able to extend his shortened version to the top of the column preceding Luke one. Tischendorf, the discoverer of the Sinaiticus copy, alleged that these pages were written by the copyists of the Vaticanus manuscript.

So much for the so-called evidence from the two "oldest" manuscripts; if anything they testify to the authenticity of the last twelve verses of Mark."

Cite/Reference...Allan O'Reilly

March 3, 2014 at 6:54 p.m.

All of St. Mark 16:9-20 is in harmony with the teachings of the rest of the Holy Bible. Therefore, Mark 16:9-20 supports the spirit, letter, and Truth of all of Holy Bible Scripture. Mark 16:9-20 does not contradict New Testament doctrine. What is wrong with supporting text within The Word of God? What is wrong with text agreeing with/supporting other text when both are accurate?


March 3, 2014 at 7:14 p.m.

Rickaroo...You are not listening:

"The sun softens wax.......The sun hardens clay"...Yep, contradiction! The same sun softens and hardens.

Many very ignorant (very, 'very' ignorant) people slather out silly notions that Jesus Christ spoke contradictions. If these individuals will take a few seconds to think about one extremely simple example of 'seeming' 'contradictions' in nature, then I will be so appreciative:

Exothermic and endothermic. Exothermic means energy is radiated outward. Which usually generates heat or heating. Endothermic means energy is radiated inward which usually generates cold or cooling. …When the voltage is high enough, frost can form on each end of an electrical spark gap. This is only one of myriads of examples.

To the those who want to live a DeGenerate lifestyle of the anti-Christ..."Go try to sell Your pathetic 'contradictions' balderdash to others (like Yourself).

Did You Get That? ...Don't claim my Saviour spoke in contradictions...unless You know more about the laws of Physics than Your very own Creator, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.


March 3, 2014 at 7:23 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Exothermic and endothermic. Exothermic means energy is radiated outward. Which usually generates heat or heating. Endothermic means energy is radiated inward which usually generates cold or cooling. …When the voltage is high enough, frost can form on each end of an electrical spark gap. This is only one of myriads of examples.

Perhaps you should steer clear of science topics Ken, You have no clue what you are talking about.

March 3, 2014 at 7:41 p.m.
ToHoldNothing said...

Even if it was in the original manuscripts, it doesn't make it reasonable to follow: snakes will bite if provoked, you're just gambling and testing God, both of which to some extent are advised against, especially the latter (Jesus to Satan in the temptation at the desert)

March 3, 2014 at 9:39 p.m.
kkemerait said...

Sorry Orr,

It is not as simple as you are trying to make it. I don't want to get into a long discussion, but here is a link that seems to do a reasonable job of putting forward both sides ... of course, since it is an apologetics site, they draw a conclusion which I personally do not think is justified....from their own evidence.

March 3, 2014 at 11:49 p.m.

lkeithlu, Am I mean-spirited to You? Then, why are You mean to me? Just a 'human' sort of question. kwo

March 4, 2014 at 8:07 a.m.

Thank You kkemerait, I am going to category=13&article=704 now. kwo

March 4, 2014 at 8:09 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Orr, when I point out your mistakes, your fake interest in learning enough to correct them is dishonest and tiresome. You have no interest in learning or correcting your mistakes. I have no reason to be either patient or understanding with you anymore.

March 4, 2014 at 8:12 a.m.

How so Lady of the Sea? I keep finding only scientific support, say, for instance, the origin of Caucasians being from African Albino genes.


March 4, 2014 at 8:20 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

That's not a "scientific" source, Ken.

Neither, by the way, was the un-cited source you copied that rot about exothermic/endothermic and pasted on several threads yesterday.

March 4, 2014 at 8:26 a.m.

I do apologize regarding over site (no pun intended) of neglecting to cite my source. kwo

BTY, i still have the wonderful exhaustive book list You sent re: earth's water sufficiency/non-sufficiency and population sustainability capacities. (:> (I do value the list!). kwo

March 4, 2014 at 8:36 a.m.

This is my day off. Going to get breakfast now. Do not intend to be rude. Will post responses when returned. kwo

March 4, 2014 at 8:38 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Valuing a list is not the same thing as learning from it. I see no evidence that you have read anything I suggested, which is fine, but you are making the same mistakes here over and over.

March 4, 2014 at 8:38 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

Ken Orr, your attempt to justify and explain Christ's many obvious contradictory preachings by comparing them to exothermic and endothermic energy are downright funny. Your comparison doesn't make sense on any level! And for you to try to make that leap shows you to be a much bigger fool than I already knew you to be. You might just as well be saying that up is really down and down is up and left is right and right is left and black is white and white is black. In some absolute, cosmic sense, it is possible to see the interrelatedness of all things and how we are all connected somehow. But that does not mean that it is okay to say one thing and then say the exact opposite thing and have it mean the same thing! Then we might just as well be idiots babbling incoherently. Language is how we make ourselves understood and the meaning that we attempt to convey to others cannot in any way be compared to exothermic or endothermic energy. While the audible words coming out of our mouth or the thoughts directed silently and inwardly to our brain might reasonably be said to represent exothermic and endothermic energy respectively, the meanings that we attach to those words have nothing whatsoever to do with any of that.

You poor pathetic lost soul. You waste so much time studying and analyzing the detailed and exhaustive research of Biblical scholars, apologists, and theologians who themselves waste so much time trying to prove the Bible to be something that it obviously is not - the inerrant word of God. The only way the Bible makes any sense at all is to see it for what it is - a work of fiction, both the Old and New Testaments alike. It is a compilation of the myths of primitive people who did not know enough about our world and the cosmos to explain it any other way than through what appeared to them to be supernatural occurrences.

Give it a rest, Mr. Orr. You really need to get your head out of that silly book long enough to smell the roses. I guarantee you that if you can dare to step outside your little box of blind faith long enough to look at it and read it objectively you will see it with fresh eyes and it will become instantly clear to you that it is not a book of God but of men, and ignorant, misinformed men, at that. Even your Jesus, who did on occasion say some rather intelligent and worthwhile things, was not only not perfect but downright ludicrous sometimes.

March 4, 2014 at 10:34 a.m.

Yeah, like, requiring multiplied millions of tissue cells to die so our organs can continue to live. Wow...I mean, Wow! Go figure. Yep, I really need to get my analogies, comparisons and contrasts straight, right? kwo

"Sometimes You've got to give up what You've got to get what You want/need."

March 5, 2014 at 1:53 a.m.

Jesus Christ said,[Matthew 16:25]

"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."

March 5, 2014 at 1:57 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Nothing new from Ken Orr. Same old psychotic blather.

March 5, 2014 at 7:18 a.m.
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