God is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. This basically means he is everywhere all the time, is infinite in power and knows everything that there is to know. That’s pretty awesome. We should all be thankful for such an amazing entity to be in charge of the universe.
As humans we should consider ourselves unbelievably special. Of all the millions of species on our planet, God selected us to live forever in heaven after we die. How amazing is that? The Old Testament of the Bible states that God provided 10 rules we must follow in order to receive this incredible gift of everlasting life. Various translations (and assuming none of my readers understands Aramaic) over the years means these 10 rules have likely been altered in verbiage. However; I feel confident that the meaning of each is fairly clear. God called these 10 rules “commandments”. These rules and the expectation that God has for us are also clear.
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
These words, found within the New Testament, imply that we should follow the rules despite how modern day Christians often like to ignore them.
Now approximately 2,000 years ago this really cool guy named Jesus of Nazareth came along.
He happened to be the actual son of God! God’s son living among us? Yep. Well, between God and Jesus, they decided that these 10 rules may be a little harsh. So, God ordered his son to suffer and die on a crucifix so that the rest of us good people wouldn’t have to strictly follow the rules that God established. In a nutshell, by Jesus’ sacrifice (of course since God told him to do it, I wouldn’t call that a sacrifice) he has abolished us of all our sins and through his grace not following God’s 10 rules is acceptable, so long as we ask for forgiveness. All we have to do is admit that Jesus died on our behalf to absolve us of our wrongdoings. It’s a real shame that so many people since Jesus’ death have also died much more horrible deaths, and experienced such horrific and tragic events in their lives. But let’s forget about them for now. All that really matters is that Jesus died for us.
I’d like to focus on the fact that God “knows everything that there is to know”. I, being a meager human, probably can’t understand basic English. Regardless I’ll give it a try. If God knows everything there is to know, why didn’t he know that we’d ignore his rules? Therefore, why did he need to send his son to die and erase our sins? It seems like a real shitty deal for Jesus, right?
The Old Testament, the original Bible, is a collection of stories written prior to Jesus’ arrival here on Earth. I believe that since God knows everything he’d never need to sacrifice his only son. Therefore; it is my firm belief that the only part of the Bible that really matters is the Old Testament.
The New Testament is a group of different people’s interpretations of what they heard from those who witnessed Jesus’ demise. This part is crucial. The chapters, or books, within the New Testament were written by people who were not even present (most of them not even alive at the time) when Jesus supposedly sacrificed himself. Since the books within the New Testament were written based on stories passed down from generation to generation, there’s a good possibility the details probably got a little garbled. In fact, the New Testament is actually a group of books that the original Christian Churches decided to put together and refer to them as such. There happen to be many other books written at that time as well; however they don’t seem to necessarily follow the same script. The church decided they’d be excluded so as to not confuse or mislead any of us. I’m sure glad they did that, otherwise we’d be bewildered, and not know what the hell to believe.
So I’m going to throw out the New Testament, which seems like the appropriate thing to do. Now I want to look back at those original rules that God gave us. I think that since man got so involved in God’s master plan and decided to change the rules, it’s the correct thing to do.
Let’s discuss each of them in detail.
- Thou shalt have no other Gods before me – I find this particular commandment interesting. The entire foundation of Christianity lies in the firm belief that there is but one God. He, and only he, has ever existed. He created the universe and everything within it. Given this important detail, why would God need to tell us that we shall have no other Gods (plural)? Was there a time when other Gods existed? Or, were those people who God created so uninformed that they would believe that there must be more than one god? The ancient Greeks as a great example of this. There are many more like them, such as the pagans, the Sumerians, and on and on.
- Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image – Okay. What the hell does this mean? I think the original intent of this rule was that we aren’t supposed to create any action figures (using today’s terms) that depict some other god. But what about that image of the crucifix that I always see in church. Does that apply? I sure hope not.
- Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain – I’m really screwed now. I probably do this at least 20 or 30 times a day. Most of my friends and family members do it too, so I have to say I’m fairly worried about what’s to become of them when they die.
- Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy – Sounds easy enough to remember the day, but what does “keep it holy” mean? Are we supposed to only follow the rules on the Sabbath day? If so, that’s pretty cool. If not, well, then what? Wait, I don’t typically the rules on that day either, so I’m probably screwed.
- Honor thy Father and thy Mother – Most of us typically do this. However; there are plenty of times when we’re growing up when they punish us for something we’ve done wrong. Secretly we wish horrible things would happen to them. That doesn’t sound like honoring our parents. 😦
- Thou shalt not kill – I’ve got to agree we shouldn’t kill each other. I mean, if it was a free for all on murder it would be total anarchy! This rule doesn’t say anything about only killing humans though. Does this mean we can’t even kill what we intend to eat? That’s a big bummer.
- Thou shalt not commit adultery – Does this include premarital sex? I sure hope not; otherwise Tim Tebow is about the only person I know who’s following this rule…so far.
- Thou shalt not steal – We’re all guilty of stealing something. I stole a few images off the internet and included them in this blog. It’s likely you stole for friend’s toy when you were a child. You may have stolen some money from your parents as a teenager. Of course if you did that, then you’re also guilty of rule #5, whereas you certainly were not honoring your parents.
- Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor – I guess this is probably about the only rule I’ve not broken as far as I remember. But who are we kidding, I’ve most assuredly done this at some point.
- Thou shalt not covet – I was driving just today and saw this car pass by me. I was totally thinking I’d love to have that car as my own. In fact, just the other day I was watching TV and there was this sweet looking house, and all I could think was how badly I wish it were mine. Darn! That’s coveting, isn’t it? Shit!
I guess if we’re going to follow the rules as depicted above, we’re basically all in deep trouble. But, if we decide that we do believe that the New Testament is true and that God did change his mind, then I’m sure glad. But there’s still that little problem I have with understanding how God would give us these 10 rules, watch us ignore them, and then change his plan to ensure we could break the rules and still maintain his respect. Let’s not forget, the Bible also tells us that our Lord is a jealous God. Wouldn’t he already know that we’d ignore the rules and just do the whole Jesus sacrifice thing in the first place, SINCE HE’S ALL KNOWING? It’s all very confusing to me.
Well, I’m going to roll the dice and go with option #3. I’m going to continue being an atheist, because this whole God thing sounds completely made up. But, you do what you feel you’ve got to do.
God bless you?