Yes, but it doesn’t say impossible!

Prov 18:11 “The rich man’s wealth is his strongest city.” But in Mark 10:25 Jesus teaches, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”


4 Responses to “Yes, but it doesn’t say impossible!”

  1. Michael,

    Thank you for taking the time to comment on my site. However, I must take issue with your repeated “context” complaint. It is a lazy and typical complaint from Christians when a non-believer uses passages from the bible to reveal the ugliness of the Christian religion. It’s clear that theists (god worshipers) are MASTERS at picking and choosing which passages from their holy books they want to follow/accept. But then I’m pretty adapt at ‘picking and choosing’ the ones I think are most revelatory of the contemptibility of their god and belief systems. Now I would argue that their selective preferences are the result of a careful, stubborn, WILLFUL naivety, while mine are the result of a determined desire to reveal the REST of what their holy books have to say. In other words, I wish to bring to light all the ugly stuff they purposefully ignore or even refuse to acknowledge/accept. So the out of context argument never holds any weight with me. I VERY CAREFULLY choose passages that were blatant, obvious and as black and white as they could be. Nothing written before or after could possibly ‘redefine’ what they were saying. But Christians just HATE it when you confront them with the undeniable truth that their holy book clearly depicts a god that can only be described as a bigoted, petty, vile, cruel, merciless, brutal, bloodthirsty, depraved, petulant, monster Yes, There are many beautiful passages in the bible as well, but I REFUSE TO IGNORE the ugly parts. I just wish more Christians would take a more honest look at this particular book. Especially if they are going to dedicate their whole lives and every decision they make in their lives on its words. I take the bible literally. I believe it must be either accepted as the genuine word of God or dismissed as a fairy tale. The concept of God, any god, is ALWAYS a personal one shaped by personal desire. Depending on the issue your god may be all goodness and light or vengeance and wrath. But how do you keep your own personal desire to view him one way or the other from shaping him? Those who find the bible loathsome need not take anything out of context to support their position. Only those who defend it need do so.

    So I ask that you don’t simply comment with this single word but with a full explanation of how these passages could mean anything else. To simply state that what something means is actually NOT what it means and offer NO details to enlighten our sad, confused minds serves no purpose at all.

    Take Care,


  2. You are right, lazy on my part. Thanks for calling me on that. Sorry. I’ll see what I can do. You say you take the Bible literally. That word is used a lot, but people define it differently. I suppose I would agree, yet I certainly think genre affects meaning. For example, figures of speech abound in many of the poetic writings and in some of the narrative. While I am sure (yes, thank you for pointing out my over-generalizations: guilty as charged) there is someone somewhere who thinks Jesus is a door, I really believe that most folks take John 10:9 as a metaphor. Ok, I digress, on with the explanation.

    Proverbs 18:11 must be taken in context. It is part of a two verse unit that begins in verse 10, and it contrasts God with a rich man. The writer says that while God is a strong tower, i.e., someone who can be trusted for protection, the wealth of a rich man is only a source of protection in his imagination. To quote only the first half of verse 11 really is pulling things out of context. The whole two verses read: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and like a high wall in his imagination.” Jesus does not contradict the inability of riches to save/protect someone. In fact, he says riches, if that is what one is depending on, will not cut it. The writer of proverbs states that the righteous man runs to God for protection. Jesus would agree with that.

    One of the things that gets us all in trouble is not looking at the whole unit a verse comes from. I think Christians often think that a verse is a complete proposition. (The Bible says it, so it must be true!) This is hardly true. Verse divisions are a later addition to the Bible. One must be very careful about quoting a verse without considering its place in the sentence, paragraph, and book.

    Just one other thought. I would agree that there are things in the Bible that are loathsome to me. I do not allow my understanding or misunderstanding on a few things to hold sway over my decisions. I do, however, question, and I am not afraid to question. I would agree that many Christians are. We don’t like to think we are wrong (not sure that is a solely Christian characterization). I believe the truth can be sought unashamedly, though.

    I will be back to fix the rest of my laziness, maybe not today, though.

    Thanks for the conversation,


  3. After reading over my reply, I had to add one more thing. From what I have read on other blogs, faith is often where conversation turns nasty or dissolves. While I do seek truth, I admit, unashamedly, that I live by faith. There are things I do not understand. There are things that I cannot prove. I realize that may make me seem naive, simple, and ignorant to some. I can take it. I’ve been called a lot worse. I don’t know who said it, but I would concur with the statement that Christianity is faith seeking understanding.



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