Free thoughts on (not so) Freethought

I read this quote from the New Testament on the Freedom From Religion Foundation* website (http://ffrf.org) tonight:

Even Jesus Was** Against School Prayer “Thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men…” “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret.” – Matt. 6:5-6. [Quoted from url: http://ffrf.org/faq/state-church/prayer-in-public-school/%5D

Seems the Freethought folks are actually implying that Jesus would be on their side on the issue of freedom from prayer in schools. But this is simply more of your general garden-variety text-mining (proof-texting as it’s also called), a fairly common mistake committed by those who apparently don’t have a sense of the overarching theme of the Bible, and also a fairly common attempt to deliberately misrepresent the Bible’s actual message. Read the verses below and tell me that Jesus is against school prayer or religion in the public square in general.

“What I tell you in the dark, utter in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim upon the housetops” (Matthew 10:26). “So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). (Emphasis added.)

So much for the “not-so-free” thinkers and their weak attempt to silence us by misquoting our Lord.

The passage below is another one trotted out by those wishing to imply that we can’t really be Christians if we still have any money or possessions:

“These Twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And preach as you go, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without pay, give without pay. Take no gold, nor silver, nor copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor a staff; for the laborer deserves his food” (Matthew 10:5-10).

Those who quote this passage conveniently leave out the rest of the story. You can see it very clearly in Luke’s Gospel, but then you’d have to be familiar with the Gospel message itself, not just a few texts here and there. I’ve quoted below verses 4-9 of the 10th chapter of Luke, which parallels the above verses of Matthew.

Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’ If a peaceful person 5 lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves his payment. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God is at hand for you.’ (Luke 10:4-9).

But later on in Luke (chapter 22) we see Jesus issue the exact opposite command which I’ve quoted below. The mission has changed. But most non-believers either don’t know this passage exists or they conveniently forget about it.

He said to them, “When I sent you forth without a money bag or a sack or sandals, were you in need of anything?” “No, nothing,” they replied. He said to them, 12 “But now one who has a money bag should take it, and likewise a sack, and one who does not have a sword should sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in me, namely, ‘He was counted among the wicked’; and indeed what is written about me is coming to fulfillment.” Then they said, “Lord, look, there are two swords here.” But he replied, “It is enough!” (Luke 22:35-38)

And that’s just about enough for this post. Peace be with you, whoever and wherever you are. And if you’re an atheist busily crusading to free yourself from the mere mention or even the thought of religion while simultaneously crusading to end my religious liberties, and also falsifying the Gospel message; if the slightest mention of the Lord ruffles your feathers and and affects you like the proverbial nails on a blackboard, then I leave you with one last verse:

“…[B]lessed is he who takes no offense at me” (Matthew 11:6).

And you know, I don’t see that one quoted much by so-called thinkers who think they are free.
____________________

Notes

*Oh, how proud I was to stumble across their site (http://ffrf.org) again, to be reminded that along with their hall in Madison, Wisconsin (progressive movement central!), they also have facilities here in Alabama. Isn’t that lovely? Guess they’re trying to save us religious hicks from our religious hick selves here in the Bible Belt. Ain’t that swell?

**You might be talking with an atheist if: he speaks of Jesus in the past tense, since he doesn’t know, believe or understand that Jesus is the Second Person of the Trinity and the Eternal Logos, eternally begotten of God the Father, and is not dead and gone but more alive than you or me or any other mere creature on the planet.

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About Disciple

I am a pro-life activist, blogger, writer, poet, singer songwriter, musician, photographer, nerd, bookworm and Mac fan. I have two dogs, one of whom is well-travelled. (I had three for a while after adopting a senior dog, but he has now passed away, and the pack is back to two girl dogs. One was born after, the days of mammoth road trips.) And the most important thing is: I was received into Holy Mother Church in 1996 and, through the grace of God, I love Christ and His Church more with every passing day. Thanks be to God!
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