I get email

Man, those visits to Fargo and Maine sure stirred up a lot of people. I've just been getting an unusually large volume of mail lately, and it's about evenly split: half are saying "Yay, I'm going to read your blog every day!" and the other half are "You're going to burn in hell!" It seems appropriate, then, to at least acknowledge this flood by posting one of them.

Nate is trying to pull a Ray Comfort on me. There's a reason why people call Comfort "Raytard", so he really isn't the right person to emulate.

You

Hi Paul,

The ten commandments:

1. No other God's…. even yourself.
2. No idols… none!
3. Take God's name in vain…. Never.
4. Keep the Sabbath day… every week!
5. Honor you father/mother…?
6. You shall not murder… Jesus said to hate your brother is to murder…. Ever hate anyone?
7. You shall not commit adultery… Jesus said to lust after a woman is the same… Lust?
8. No stealing… ever stole anything.. even minor?
9. Bear false witness?
10. No coveting… ever!

How did you do? If you are like everyone else you probably failed to keep 8-10 of these. Not a good sign for anyone that believes in God. I guess for now the easier thing to do would be to put him out of our lives. Of course in the end we will have to face the music no matter what we believe… or maybe Jesus faced the music for those who do believe. He can change your life as he has many. God is calling you.

How did you do with the ten commandments?

With love,

Nate Stead

Whoa. Slapped down with the Ten Commandments. No one has ever tried to do that to me before.

  1. Not only do I have no other gods, I have no gods, period. I ace this one and deserve extra credit. Score: 1½.
  2. Idols, are you kidding me? Of course not. No idols, no fetishes, no funny costumes or hats, no rituals, no hymns, no saints. I'm completely free of that nonsense. Score: 2½.
  3. There is no god, so no name to take in vain. And what does that mean, anyway? When I say, "Jesus was a deluded kook whose suffering does not excuse anyone's sins", I'm not taking his name in vain at all. Score: 3½.
  4. "Keeping the sabbath" is another nonsensical idea. Sure, I keep it; it's a day on the calendar, it's awfully hard to lose. But if you mean I have to be like those crazy fundamentalist Jews who don't even flip a light switch on Sunday, no. I hope this guy isn't serious about wanting to establish that kind of principle for everyone. I'm gonna give this one to myself. "Keeping" a day is so vaguely defined and even Christianist kooks differ in what it means. Score: 4½.
  5. Of course I honor Mom and Dad. I love 'em to pieces. Easy. Score: 5½.
  6. I have never murdered anyone. Never even killed anyone. And the commandments specifically say "murder", not "hate", so I reject your redefinition. Score: 6½.
  7. Likewise, I've never committed adultery. And once again, you don't get to redefine the commandment to mean, "Think Raquel Welch looked hot in that wetsuit". Score: 7½.
  8. No, I haven't stolen anything, either. I make a reasonable wage, have relatively few material requirements, and haven't needed to steal. I know, this wanker is probably going to redefine stealing to mean "Watched Indiana Jones snatch away a jeweled idol in a movie and thought it was cool" to mean I broke both #2 and #8, but I reject that fatuous word game, too. Score: 8½.
  9. No, I don't lie, either. It's so much easier to tell the truth. Oh, there were probably a few negligible childish fibs once upon a time, but I've never harmed people with a lie, or tried to use a lie to get away with something. Score: 9½.
  10. Uh-oh, caught me. Yes, I covet stuff all the time. I walk into bookstores and lust after so much stuff; I've got a long Amazon wish list, and I like my computer gadgets. So?

So, I score 9½ out of 10, and most Christians, by Nate's admission, score 0-2. That has to sting; here he's dreaming of someday watching the heathen burn in torment from a ringside seat in heaven, but I do better at following the commandments than he does!

But wait, I know Ray Comfort's schtick, so I know what comes next. God has given us these 'laws' that are virtually impossible to keep, so everyone breaks them at some time, but it's OK, because if you accept Jesus in your heart, it gives you license to break all these laws, and still get into heaven. If you're a Christian, you can lie, steal, commit adultery, and even murder, and still get divine approval. And if you follow every single one of the ten commandments, but don't love Jesus, you still get sent to hell.

So what good are these commandments? The people who think the source is credible also get carte blanche to break them, and the only people who are expected to stick to them are the ones who reject the Bible…and they are damned anyway!

So, Nate, I suggest you take your ten commandments and stuff them up your nether orifice. Sideways. No lube. And look! There's no commandment against it!

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