Since it has not been that long since I started taking the Bible seriously, it would silly of me to offer myself up as a Bible scholar.  I am not.  Nonetheless, I study the Bible, and there are rewards.  Here is an example that I still treasure.   

For years this verse had made no sense to me. Instead, it just provided yet another example that the Bible is full of self-contradictions.

Mark 15:34 (Today’s New International Version)

And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

I was in my fifties before someone pointed me to Psalm 22.

It seems like it should be odd thing for a man in his fifties to still be full of the cocksure foolish ignorance of his youth, but I guess it is not.


  1. Tom,

    Do you think it’s a requirement to go to a church to be a Christian? I always thought that a person’s relationship with God was a personal thing. On my way to work and during work, I see His wondrous bounty displayed everyday.

    I pray every night for help to be a better person, for healing of people I know who are hurting or sick and try to live by the Golden Rule. I asked my Uncle, the missionary about it and he told me that a person SHOULD go to church so they could have spiritual support from other members of the congregation, reinforcing your belief in God as well as doing the same for them, plus also as a social gathering.

    I reckon I’m kind of cynical of the church in general and of most leaders of the church in particular. Everyone knows about the “tele-evangelists who’ve gotten themselves in trouble the last few years. But I’m also talking about leaders of smaller local churches. In particular, we had a neighbor who was a Baptist preacher. That guy was a whore hound and drank more liquor in a day than I did in a month. We’ve had a adulterous pastor at our church and another who embezzled money from the church. I realize that NO MAN is without sin, but it’s kind of hard to follow someone who so flagrantly sins against God and is a leader of the Church.

    Am I wrong in my thinking?

    Regards, Mike


    1. Mike,

      When I give advice, I try to give it with this verse in mind.

      Romans 14:4 (New Living Translation)

      Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? They are responsible to the Lord, so let him judge whether they are right or wrong. And with the Lord’s help, they will do what is right and will receive his approval.

      What irks me is one person will not leave another in peace. On the other hand, if I see somebody just hurting themselves, I am more inclined to pity. That includes self pity, of course.

      What do I think of not going to church? I don’t even know if you are doing anything wrong. Do you spend time in the company of other believers? Do you worship with them?

      The Bible says we should worship God both in private and in communion with others. We are social creatures. We need the support of other people. If we are to be Christ-like, then we must love someone.

      How have I found a church useful? I have found studying the Bible much more rewarding with a small group of people than I ever found it on my own. The people with whom I study have become my friends.

      Nonetheless, the Bible is somewhat vague. What exactly is a church? The word church appears over 100 times in the New Testament. The Bible says that church is the body of Christ, that Jesus is the head of the church, but the Bible does not name a particular building or denomination as the church.

      So what should you do? Some decisions we should pray about. What I suggest is that you read 1 John. If you can find a group of believers whose devotion you think would please John the Apostle, then you will have found a good church, and you should spend as much time in their company as you can.

      God be with you, Tom


  2. Hello Gramps, thank you for visiting and the compliment.

    Since you have several decades on me, I will not presume to lecture. I do too much of that here as it is. However, I would like some clarification.

    We all have a religious belief. Atheism is a religious statement that denies God, and Agnosticism is a statement of confusion. On the other hand, God-based religious beliefs assert the existence of God or gods. Since you believe in God, you have a religious belief that asserts the existence of a Creator. So you at least must find your own religious belief acceptable. Thus, we have a seeming contradiction.

    Therefore, here is my question. Is it religious beliefs and religion in general that you abhor or the tendency of some people to impose themselves by force upon others. If the latter is what you object to, then arrogance and pride, not religious beliefs and religion in general, is your culprit.


  3. No apologies are necessary. I made a mistake and you caught me at it. One of the best traits of conservatives is that when they make a mistake, they own up to it. 🙂



    1. True.

      Proverbs 9:7-9 (Today’s New International Version)

      7 Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults;
      whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.

      8 Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;
      rebuke the wise and they will love you.

      9 Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still;
      teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.


  4. Seeing as how I’m as illiterate on the bible as I am on this here computer… 🙂 …I reckon I need to learn how to use the search functions properly, eh?


    P.S. I don’t consider myself wise, although I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.


  5. Ahhh…I see said the blind liberal mouse to his friend, the deaf leftist cat. It’s all become so clear now.

    My uncle is a Quaker. They have some very conservative views as pertains to Christianity…not that that’s a bad thing, mind you. They’ve been all over the world, building schools and spreading the gospel. Their last station was in Mozambique. At my Father’s memorial service a couple of weeks ago, they were telling us about getting out of China just as the Tianamen Square disaster was taking place. They had spent 20 years in china doing God’s work. Really nice folks.


    P.S. I didn’t think I was trying to be humorous. That is the actual 1st Proverb. I reckon it might be better to read a Psalm or two instead, huh?


    1. Mike, 😀

      There are 31 chapters in the Book of Proverbs. We could try reading a chapter a day. For example, this passage from chapter 1 seems all to applicable to our plight today.

      Proverbs 1:20-33 (Today’s New International Version)

      Wisdom’s Rebuke
      20 Out in the open wisdom calls aloud,
      she raises her voice in the public square;
      21 on top of the wall she cries out,
      at the city gate she makes her speech:

      22 “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?
      How long will mockers delight in mockery
      and fools hate knowledge?

      23 Repent at my rebuke!
      Then I will pour out my thoughts to you,
      I will make known to you my teachings.

      24 But since you refuse to listen when I call
      and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand,

      25 since you disregard all my advice
      and do not accept my rebuke,

      26 I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you;
      I will mock when calamity overtakes you—

      27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
      when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind,
      when distress and trouble overwhelm you.

      28 “Then they will call to me but I will not answer;
      they will look for me but will not find me,

      29 since they hated knowledge
      and did not choose to fear the LORD.

      30 Since they would not accept my advice
      and spurned my rebuke,

      31 they will eat the fruit of their ways
      and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.

      32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
      and the complacency of fools will destroy them;

      33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety
      and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

      Since we all like to think of ourselves as wise, we all like to think we hear wisdom’s call. Yet before any of us decide to think ourselves wise, it might be better to read the rest of the Book of Proverbs — and the Bible — with a bit more humility than that to which we have become accustomed.


      1. ” Since we all like to think of ourselves as wise, we all like to think we hear wisdom’s call. Yet before any of us decide to think ourselves wise, it might be better to read the rest of the Book of Proverbs — and the Bible — with a bit more humility than that to which we have become accustomed.

        Beautiful CT…

        Although I’m entering my eighth decade, I don’t assume myself any wiser or more knowledgeable than the check out gal at Wal-Mart that’s workin’ on her PhD in philosophy at the UW…

        I’ve actually been half way around the world making war, in my youth…for absolutely no good reason, whatsoever…!

        In my own most humble opinion…it has become apparent to me, with respect to my travels and associations; that religious beliefs and religion in general, is responsible for more death, destruction and mayhem than any other ridiculess idea or endeavor man in his ultimate, foolishness, has ever put his mind too…

        Damn man’s religion of every stripe…
        Yet believe in God…
        I like that!


  6. Mike, thanks for the humor.

    Mick, thanks for the humor.

    Since Mick’s joke is a little hard to understand, I guess I had better explain. Otherwise, it will probably go over the heads of Liberal Democrats.

    Mick is referring to the About page, where I quote from Thomas Paine’s Common Sense. Instead taking issue with the DOCTRINE ITSELF, Mick promptly takes issue with the MAN. That makes any sort of reasonable discussion impossible. That is why Paine began Common Sense as he did.


  7. ‘This blog is not about me”

    Surely you can’t say this. Your blog reeks of conservatism and preference towards the GOP, your conservatism and preference towards the GOP. A typical Republican (hypocrite).


  8. My uncle, the missionary, pointed out to me that there are 33 proverbs. He suggested reading one each day. For instance, today being the first day of August, read the first proverb. 🙂

    The proverbs of Solomon the son of David,
    king of Israel;

    I’m not sure what that means but there it is.



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