Jesus Unmasked

I am grateful to Susan Ritchie or Sanderson for her generous gift of the book Jesus Unmasked by Todd Friel. It is a token of Christian love for someone only met through blogging- hooray for WordPress! Susan shows little sympathy or understanding for trans women, but wishes to reach out.

I feel talked down to by the over-simplified style. Few of us have the patience for waiting. Imagine waiting four hundred years for someone. OK, you’d be dead, but that’s not the point. It is all like that, which gets wearing. It has silly errors: it claims that the “devil” tempted Eve, rather than the “Serpent”. More seriously, it states substitutionary atonement as if it were true, and evinces a literal belief in the creation story, even in Job and Jonah: The Old Testament is actually a history book with theology in it. There are no true allegories… but there are actual events that are fuzzy pictures of something else. Whereas any understanding of carbon dating, ice cores from Antarctica, or the fossil record refutes that. My heart sank at the endorsement from Ken Ham on the cover. Literalism leads Friel to call 397-5BC “The silent years”, ignoring the fact that some of the psalms and the final Hebrew/Aramaic form of Daniel were written or edited in the time of the Maccabees.

Fuzzy pictures: it takes the OT as prophecy of Jesus. It says that the Ram caught in a thicket was a prefiguring of Jesus. That is a valid interpretation, but he should not exclude others.

Friel delights in cruelty. The first nine plagues failed to soften Pharaoh’s heart, so God sent plague number ten and it was a doozey. Susan left her card in the book at p81, where Friel claims God is exceedingly long-suffering and amazingly kind, in a section on the extermination of the Canaanites. He loves Hell: There will not be a trap door with a chute that leads sinners to hell like a water park slide. God Himself will cast them to eternal damnation… they will suffer eternal conscious torment.

Unable to criticise post-modernism, he produces a straw man. Even though we completely disagree, we are both right. Then he claims his account of Jesus is true and Revealed. But the Bible is a conversation, a series of unreconcilable stories. There are many interpretations.

His contempt for people prevents him from seeing them clearly. The Pharisees and Sadducees wore splendid robes and would never stoop to hug children and babies. No, they were people who attempted to do God’s will by conforming to a set of complex rules- like modern Evangelicals. Of course they hugged children. He claims the same crowds who welcomed Jesus to Jerusalem with chants of Hosanna one week later were chanting “Crucify him!” Ridiculous, there were a million people in Jerusalem for Passover.

What can I agree with? He says the Bible is a progressive revelation of God. Indeed. The culmination is Jesus.

Should conservative Evangelicals wish to show their love, I would rather they prayed for me. Whatever they desire for me, the Holy Spirit will translate their prayer for my good.

Another picture by Sir John Lavery, who delights me.

John Lavery, Miss Auras, The Red Book

17 thoughts on “Jesus Unmasked

  1. Yeah. I’m becoming less and less tolerant of Bible worshipers. It just gets so ridiculous so quickly with them. Why can’t they just see it as a book meant to inspire?

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    • With all my love for you, I do feel the need to respond to your post. Although I may not be a “Bible worshiper,” as you stated, however I’m a true believer in the word of God; the Bible being same. Yes, its original message which it contained may have been tempered with. But God is powerful enough to reassure the message of salvation, the wisdom of the proverbs, and all the great Prophets signs and wonders were preserved,
      ,
      I do understand this spiritual journey is a solitary walk. However, this has been my experience with the written words. When paired with the presence of the Holy Spirit, (the creative power of God, the teacher, the comforter) the profound words found in the Bible have the tendency to minister to the believer’s needs, while leading the unbelievers toward the path of salvation, comfort, peace and hope.

      Much love to you, and take care.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi laughtermedicineforthesoul,

        That is a very nice reply. Thank you. I do not mean for this to sound like a trick as it is just a straightforward request. If you can locate in the RED text of the New Testament where Yeshua told us he came to save us from a tormenting Hell, then I will jump on board the whole “Bible is the infallible word of God thing.”

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          • I’d kinda like to see him ACTUALLY say it. You’d think something as important as my immortal soul would be mentioned at least in passing. What we have in the Mathew 8 verse you mentioned is a parable about faith.

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        • LOL -Oh Dear! Would you not agree that life itself delight us with a preview of what” hell” is all about? Probably why Jesus said” …He came so we may have life more abundantly.” John 9,:9,10 I’m STILL WAITING! But seriously, in reference eternal destination, Yeshua left us with some graphic details of hell. The first scripture I can think of where He directly said the actual word ” Hell” was in reference to the Prarisee. (Who can blame him?) They where supposed to be doctors of righteousness, instead They corrupted, leading through hypocrisy Jesus preferred to them as” serpents, brood of viphers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? Matthew 23:33. Hmmm! I do feel a direct connection to my people from Haiti in this scripture. Its a goofd thing many of them, including myself are running to Jesus full force, like those in a race aiming for the gold medal. Anyway, to get back to the subject, while Yesh made reference to the just ones who are, saved by Grace” will come from east, west, & sit down with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob in the Kingdom of heaven…” On the other extreme, there will also be those cast into” Outer darkness, where there will be” weeping and gnashing of teeth.”Math.8:11-12, Math:24:51 &25:30,34,41 The Last book of the bible,which is the book of Revelations made reference to judgment dayas the ffollowing: ” ….And anyone not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelations 20:15 & 21:7-8 stated “…The abominable, unbelievers, murderers…shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” My question to you is:”What did Yeshua meant by” Where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth?” Let’s suppose there is no “Hell” but, would you agtee according to these accounts, there will be a place or a dedestination, neither you or I would would look forward to spend ETERNITY there? All the reading I’ve done, I’m yet to find reference where a mention of exit doors from” hell”. It my understanding, while we being on this side of the journey many options are left up to us, as to how to delight the desires of the flesh. However, at the end of this journey awaiting us a spiritual realm, where our soul will spend eternity based on past contributions here, whether good or bad, not according to our standard, but according to the creator of all creations. If He is a just God, would you not agree He would indeed a manual to help us, warn us of what ahead of us? We as imperfect being understand the importance of a manual book for a car, sewing mach….How much so this manual importance for the road of eternity?
          Last time I heard of a volcano eruption, while looking at that hot liquid vomit, the liva, I wondered then: Could this be” hell” in our mist? Imagine this! And it’s not even judgment day yet. Then for a second I thought,” Naaa, not possible! It was in Hawaii, not Florida. I’ve often said “it’s so hot here, God is giving the Floridian a foretaste of what” Hell” feels like. Or, He sees so many evil here in FL He’s preparing us for our final destination.”
          Take care.

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  2. ‘ …..amazingly kind, in a section on the extermination of the Canaanites. He loves Hell: There will not be a trap door with a chute that leads sinners to hell like a water park slide. God Himself will cast them to eternal damnation… they will suffer eternal conscious torment……’

    This section contains so many contradictions and Gorgon knots that I shiver…..

    My dear heart, you are so beloved. Look not upon the dark mirror to find the light, but search within for your brightness. It never leaves you.

    XXXX 😀

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      • Clare, Do you have children? If so, while they have the freewill, don’t you still discipline them? Do you expect them to abide by your rules? If they don’t, what are the consequences?

        Have you heard “God is love. His mercy endures forever?.” Yet God is also a consuming fire.”
        How other’s choose to live their lives should not be our concern. However, as Christians we do have the right to express our beliefs. Not to be judgmental or critical the path others choose to follow. The mere fact is everyone will have to stand before the Lord and answer for his or her own frailties. For if you recalled, when we started this journey, we came alone. The end will be the same. Neither one of us had any power whatsoever on the day we were born, so show me the one who can say “no” to death when the time comes. This is a stern reassurance that there is a greater power out there, and we will have to answer to Him.
        Therefore it behooves us to seek Him. Like King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes: ” Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.”

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        • I don’t have children. In my twenties, I think I would have made a poor parent, seeking too much control, and when I matured it was too late. The most important thing, though, is that children should separate themselves from their parents, so that they are their own autonomous selves, with confidence to go forth into the world.

          What would it mean for you to party? Would you deliberately wrong anyone? I hope you would choose temperance not because it is Christian, particularly, but because it is healthy, between asceticism and indulgence. You would enjoy yourself. You might have a little wine, for your stomach’s sake.

          I find human beings created loving creative and powerful, blessed by being in the image of God. Our worst acts arise from bad choices based on loving and creative impulses. Constantine had a lot to answer for, making Christianity the ideology of his empire, using it as an instrument of social control. The truth shall set you free! Christ did not command us to sterile rules, but to life in its fullest.

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    • Fran I truly admire your sense of humor. You truly make me laugh. But, you said it yourself, “God himself will cast them into eternal damnation.” What do you mean by “Eternal Damnation?”
      Are you stating that there will be no judgment day? If so, please let me know. Although a sinner saved by grace, I’ve been trying my best to be a good girl. Therefore If I can swing into wickedness whenever I want to, while I don’t have to be concerned about the adverse consequences, I might as well start partying…

      I agree with you. We do have a light within. The same “still small voice” which prevents us from dabbling in the path of wickedness. Help us to have the right fear and respect for a Creator. Furthermore, help us to love unconditionally, and to forgive.
      Yes God is love, He is not to be mocked. Just as light has nothing in common with darkness, so must we take heed, the work of darkness will be judged.

      Take care.

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      • I see I never responded to this. I feel the adverse consequences are here on Earth, in this life: if you started drinking too much you would affect your health, you would be less effective in your work and relationships, and if you become more selfish you drive people who matter away. God is infinitely kind. Do not worry now about what happens after death, but before it.

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  3. Hey Laughter, Sorry but in your response to me I’m not seeing where the messiah actually said he was here to save us from Hell. I see parables attributed to him but as you said, if this is our manual on how to do things then wouldn’t he spell it out?

    Just so you know, because I do not want to surprise you, I think a belief in a tormenting Hell is blasphemous. My God would never allow such a place to exist No matter what the pulpit preachers claim. Let them sell fear to the others. I have enough already.

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