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“Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy” –I call B.S.!

January 19, 2008

So I’ve been reading the bible because I was challenged to do so. I started in Matthew and am in chapter 5 right now. I came across this snipet:

Blessed are the merciful,
      for they will be shown mercy

So I’m calling B.S. If the bible was written by god then I want him to show me some practical evidence that this is true. Especially in light of my last post.

I know merciful people and god just walks all over them. Seriously! Does this really line up with reality? Look at Billy Graham, Mother Theresa and other “saints” who have spent their whole life being merciful. What does it get them? God did not give them mercy. He spit in their face.

So where is the mercy?

17 Comments leave one →
  1. mizpah31 permalink
    January 20, 2008 12:17 am

    Well Anthropolis, I’m not surprised that you’re skeptical of The Bible. It’s probably good that you’re trying to read it but the problem is that The Holy Bible is God’s love letter to His Children. Anthropolis, I’m sorry but you’re reading someone elses mail. Now you can be one of God’s children if you’ll ask Jesus to forgive your sins and surrender your life to Him. At one time I tried to understand The Bible before I came to Christ. Afterward when I became His I was astounded at how much easier it was to understand.

  2. Jessie permalink
    January 19, 2008 8:48 pm

    Cool! I’m so excited that you’re reading the Bible. I don’t even know you, but to take the time to try to understand something that you you currently seem to reject is pretty cool. I used to be just one of those religious people, a phony religious Christian that did the right things but didn’t have a heart that followed after God. I didn’t read the Bible, but once I started, there was no turning back.

    I encourage you to keep reading…and keep a journal. Write down the questions you have and begin to pray about them. I know you’re not quite so convinced about the God thing, but try it. Seek the truth, regardless of what you think it might be.

    On the other hand, consider it a blessing that you’re no longer part of a cult. You got that term right; it is a cult. Now you are free to seek the truth and really search after it.

    From what I’ve read on this blog, it appears you are hungry…you’re searching for something more than what this world seems to offer. I was the same and also was challenged to read the Bible. I found answers there…not the words themselves but in the Man to whom they pointed, Jesus.

    On another note, God is good and there is no evil in Him. There is an evil one and his name is the devil. He is the one who causes sickness, death, disease, hatred, violence, etc. He is the one who has come to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus is the One who came to give life abundantly.

    Those people that you mention, Billy Graham, Mother Teresa, etc. if they were truly Christians, then they know what true mercy looks like. When they were in sin and deserved death because of their rebellion against God, He came and rescued them with His own son Jesus. True mercy is not getting what we really deserve. The bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (see Romans). We ALL need Jesus to save us from the sin we’ve all committed.

    Also, this life is not all there is. Those who have not received their reward on earth are not seeking their reward in this world, but in the kingdom of God. They will be shown mercy by God when Jesus returns to this world to judge it.

    Keep writing and keep reading the Bible. A lot of people say t start with John if you’re new to it, but read all of it. Oh, and read Job. There’s a story of a man right with God who lost everything and then gained even more back.

  3. Reynvaan permalink
    January 20, 2008 6:01 am

    Like the previous commenter, I also encourage you to read the Bible beginning to end (something I haven’t been able to accomplish yet). If you don’t find what you’re looking for in there (as I too haven’t), I recommend the Bhagavad Gita, followed by the Upanishads. If you’re still not satisfied, you can’t go wrong with the Dhammapada. I haven’t read the Qur’an yet, so I can’t say anything about it, but at the very least it promises to be an informative read.

    As for Job, the first commenter seems to think it’ll be an encouraging story for you, but for me it fits more along the lines of what seems to be your current train of thought: biblical God spitting in the face of those who seem most devoted to him. Job’s story was worse than usual though: an angel saw that Job was a righteous and happy man, so it bet God it could shatter Job’s faith. Knowing this to be impossible, God allowed the angel to kill and destroy everyone and everything Job had and loved, just to say, “I told you so,” and then pat Job on the back for being a good sport about it. There’s a bit more to it than that, but there’s the SparkNotes version for you.

  4. January 20, 2008 2:52 pm

    Hey, Anthropolis. I’m pleased to see that you took up the Bible. It’s a challenging book, to say the very least. I won’t say that reading it on its own is a bad thing to do (since Christians have been doing that for a long, long time), but I’d recommend supplementing that reading with some commentary, if you can. It will give you some background in terms of historical context, the audience for whom the Gospels (and other writings) were written, etc.

    Again, the commentary’s not necessary, but it can be helpful. You might check out Jacobson, Diane L and Robert Kysar. A Beginner’s Guide to the Books of the Bible.

    As to your verse, here’s something to ponder about Jesus. He turned a lot of ideas and expectations upside down. In Matthew he flips a lot of ideas about the Law (Torah) and in Luke (where you’ll see some similarities and differences in the “Blessed are the” sermons) he upends ideas about justice. In Matthew, Jesus is the new Torah, and in Luke, Jesus is bringing “good news to the poor,” “proclaim[ing] release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind,” and so on.

    Jesus is cool, man. One the one hand, he’s telling people, “Your life is kind of crappy, because

  5. January 20, 2008 4:49 pm

    Anthropolis, there is a lot of wisdom in these responses. Remember to read everything with discretion. Pray for wisdom before considering the truthfulness of each response. I know what you’re thinking, but if there is no God then the prayer won’t hurt anyway right? If there is a God then he rewards those who earnestly seek Him. Why wouldn’t a God take pleasure in being discovered by His Creation? Remember when we talked about a child’s excitement at being found when playing hide and seek? That squeal of delight when she is found? That’s our God as well- only without the squeal 🙂 He allotted the time of your existence and established the boundaries of the places that you will live so that you might seek Him and perhaps grope for Him and find Him (Acts 17.26?) He did this for you because He wants to be found. Pray for God’s guidance as you read through these very good responses.

  6. 1arabella permalink
    January 20, 2008 1:52 pm

    Any nun ministring in the order of Mother Theresa could easily cure you from the illusion of her being merciful.
    And I am not sure, if she really served the God of Abraham, Jakob ,Isaak and the Father of Jesus Christ.
    Notwithstanding, she did a great job.
    Those who want reward on earth, they have already gotten, says Jesus.
    Ever thought about that too?
    Jesus does not serve egotism. Jesus does not serve gnosticism. God resists the proud.

  7. January 20, 2008 2:52 pm

    Hey! I got timed out! I’ll be back.

  8. January 20, 2008 3:01 pm

    So, Jesus is telling people that the world rejects the poor in spirit (and the poor in pocket), it rejects the mourners and the meek and the peacemakers, etc. But he’s also saying, “You know what? No! I say, ‘Blessed are those people!’ It’s the ‘world’ who has got it all wrong.”

    I had more to say about that, but it’s now slipped my mind.

    Well, here’s something else to ponder. Christians, as a group, have totally bollixed up Jesus’ image, making him into a hippie or a flower child or something. It must be the peace thing. Jesus IS about peace, but it’s God’s peace, which incorporates justice. It’s not about being well-mannered and polite, sitting quietly and reverently, which some people equate with peace. Just try to keep that in mind when you’re reading the Bible, and I think it will come to life a bit more vividly for you.

    And do think about those commentaries. Just a suggestion.

    Above all, though, keep reading and keep asking questions.



  9. January 25, 2008 12:36 pm

    Thanks everyone. You all seem to have good advice. One thing is that I do know the bible pretty well as I was raised in a church. I don’t think I calrifiyed that before. So I’ve read the bible a lot. But what Aaron challenged me to is to read something other than the New World Translation and to read differently than I am used to. The challenge is to read looking for how the bible speaks to me in my current situation instead of read it for proving or disproving doctrines. This is a new way of reading the bible for me and to be honest even though I have found some things that piss me off like this snipet on mercy, I have come across some intersting things that keep gnawing at me all night. What I am learning is just what Robiah and others sais is that Christians have messed up what the bible really says. I don’t know about jesus being god. That is going to be hard for me. But what he speaks about makes sense and even for people who are not christians, they should read his words. People are just plain evil. Myself included. And we need some serious help. I don’t think we are just a product of random chance and mechanical processes. I want to believe that because I can dismiss any meaning to life if I can believe that. But there is something deeper than that and it is evil. I don’t think I could say that there is evil if there wasn’t something bigger than me out there. I’m just not sure if there is something good out there to balance the evil. I’m not convinced that there is a good god.

  10. January 28, 2008 1:02 pm

    Hi, Anthropolis. I just ran across this quote at another blogsite and it reminded me of you and the first post you wrote. It ties in – as far as I can tell – with Luther’s “Theology of the Cross.”

    Really this is just a lame excuse for me to check in and see how your reading is coming along.

    Anyway, if you find the quote helpful/interesting, great; if not, no sweat.



    “Plain experience and common sense inform us that no abstract Person can have made us as we are … without also wishing to delete us and start over (Gen. 8:21; Zeph. 1:2). Therefore, the existence of cruel and arbitrary nature, together with the universality of human sin, prevents us from beginning the theological enterprise with any concept of God that is distinct from revelation. All theologies of a cosmic harmonic principle shipwreck on the truths of tragedy, catastrophe, and injustice.”

    —Paul F. M. Zahl, A Short Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), p. 7.

  11. February 9, 2008 1:30 pm

    Hello Robiagh,

    Yes, that quote makes sense in an odd sort of way. It is hard for me to grasps who god is when I see all this crap going on. What I don’t get is how people like yourself and others can go through things and still see god as being good. What is it in him that causes people to refuse to deny his goodness? It isn’t natural. If I had a father who abused me, I would deny his goodness in an instant. We deny the goodness of horrible people all the time, but never deny the goodness of the only one who has the power to interfere and stop th evil that they do.

  12. February 13, 2008 5:36 pm


    Here’s another way to look at it. The fact that evil goes on is testimony to God’s mercy and goodness. You and I contribute to the evil every day, yet God allows us to continue living because He is so merciful. We can write off the things we do as not that bad, and point out how everyone else is so bad, but in God’s eyes even little sins are a big deal, because they’re committed against Him.

    We are all wicked people. I have no problem admitting it about myself, and the Bible says it over and over. The Bible also says God is infinitely holy and just. After I told my first lie when I was a little kid, God should have immediately punished me. His place of punishment is hell. But He didn’t punish me, He allowed me to go on living. How did I repay His mercy? I lied some more, I stole, I looked lustfully at women, I blasphemed His name. Even after all of that He didn’t send me to hell. In fact, He did the opposite. While I was His enemy, He saved me from hell.

    If it were up to me, the first time someone murdered someone, I would kill them and send them to hell immediately. I would show no mercy to that murderer. God however does show mercy even to murderers. He wants everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

    I think when you get to the point that you no longer ask why do bad things happen to good people, but why do good things ever happen to anyone, the Bible might start to make sense. Every day that He gives you oxygen to breathe is a day where He is showing mercy to you. But we all have to choose whether we’re going to experience His mercy for eternity or His justice.

    Sorry for my lack of brevity.


  13. February 14, 2008 9:24 pm

    Bill, thanks for the comment. That is something for me to consider that I haven’t yet. I don’t have a problem admitting that I am evil. I am fully aware that I deserve hell or annihilation (sorry, thats the Jehovah’s witness coming out of me). Either way you look at it I deserve to be toast. So I see some mercy there. but what about a person who is good and still gets kicked in the ass by god? I mean I deserve it. Billy Graham, Mother T and my buddy don’t. I mean maybe they did at one time but then they turned their life around and have done so much more that out weighs the bad that they may have done in the past. Why does god spit in their face and not mine? Seriously. I’m not trying to diss your god or your beliefs but this is seriously a question that I am struggling with. I know that those ppl would say that they are not good. I get it. But seriously take a look at their life and then at a life like mine or worse. The scales our all out of wack.

  14. February 24, 2008 3:09 pm

    Hi, Anthropolis . My computer has been on the fritz for a while and I haven’t gotten ’round to stopping by here lately. I’m sorry for that.

    This concern of yours has been on my mind for a couple of weeks. Right now I’m thinking about the text to Matthew 8:18-27. There are 3 stories there: 2 of them are about guys who say they want to follow Jesus, but Jesus…I don’t know how to put this – he doesn’t brush them off, but he does kind of disabuse them of romantic notions about being a disciple (the first guy) and remind them to put God first, even before family (the second guy. The other story is about the disciples freaking out over the storm on the Sea of Galillee.

    I think all of these stories have pertinence to your question, but maybe the third one resonates the most. In one of your responses above you note that you (we) deserve to be toast, which is probably true when we compare our disobedience (even when grading on a curve) to God’s purity; yet in the Matthew story, we’re not seeing the disciples being put in danger because of their disobedience – in fact, it’s quite the opposite! Jesus said to them, “Let’s cross over to the other shore,” and they obeyed, yet they found themselves in this life-threatening storm (“seismos” in GK).

    So, good people are obeying Jesus, yet they wind up in the middle of chaos. Sounding familiar? The thing is that God never says, “Follow me and life will be a bowl o’ cherries.” It’s not part of the promise. In fact, the opposite is true. When you keep reading that Matthew text, jump forward to chapter 10, where Jesus tells us that discipleship means taking up our cross and denying ourselves.

    In other words, following God doesn’t come with a benefits package that includes freedom from oppression and misery, but it does come with the guarantee that Jesus – God in the flesh – has walked a mile in our moccassins, knows what we’re going through, and promises rest in His Kingdom.

    Luther (may not have been the first) calls this the theology of the cross, and it makes so much more sense to me than the rose-colored theologies many Christians espouse. It’s a recognition that life includes pain and suffering, but it does not presuppose that pain comes from or is caused by God. Don’t assume that God creates the storms we face, but do know that He’s in the boat with us.



  15. February 25, 2008 5:38 pm

    Thanks Robiagh. I’m not trying to be pesky, I’m really wanting to understand this so I’ll ask what’s on my mind. Even if god doesn’t cause the pain and suffering doesn’t he have the ability to prevent it? When I was JW they always talked big about god’s omnipotence. So what I can’t shake is this inconsistency between god’s supposed omnipotence and his supposed goodness. I don’t see how it matters if god caused it or if it is just a natural cause. Either way he has the power to stop it. unless he is a powerless god. So yeah, he gave us a heads up about suffering but if he knew we would why not just prevent it?

  16. Matthew permalink
    July 14, 2009 9:58 pm


    I’m know I’m a little late, I found this post by mistake. But,your answer in in the rest of the verse. Jesus was mercy and was killed! The world hates the message of God, because they hate his authority.

    Plus, your using the pragmatic view of truth as you sole basis of you disputation..The pragmatic theory of truth is absurd. Many things work but are unethical, etc. Why would God try to fit into your absurd standard?

    Your assuming God always vindicates in time..He doesn’t.

    Botton line, to reject the authority of Christ is to fall into chaos. If we follow your take, is it better to be unmerciful? What is Mercy in your worldview, how do you justify mercy? Hitler was unmerciful, is that your standard? Should we do away with mercy because it doesn’t work. I hope my doctor doesn’t feel that way. What is your ethical basis? It appears that the verse isn’t BS..

  17. July 18, 2009 3:01 am

    Dude WTF man? ? Your talking like this s@#t actually matters. I dont know what u mean by pragmatic view of truth but I do know what u mean by sayin I use it and that the view is absurd. You are sayin Im absurd and I dont know who u think u r but u havnt earned the right to come down hard on me cuz you havnt earnd my respect yet . yeah u say the answer is in the 2nd half of the verse. but guess what? I bet jesus changed his mind when he was killed because in all his holy mercy I dont see how he was shown mercy. He said the merciful will be shown mercy but I bet he changed his tune fast when he found himself hanging buck ass nude on a cross. U ask why god would try to fit into my absurd standard but you are acting like he chose to fit in your absurd standard instead of mine. what makes u think that god is begging to be let into your theory? Do you think he worships U and is just waiting for U to articulate your theory so he can fit into it and preach you version of him to the angls? Mercy in my worldview is not real. everybody does nice things for selfish reasons not just to be mercyful. why in the hell would u say hitler is merciful in my standard? it appears that not only is this verse BS but so R U!

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