2 Corinthians 1-4
The Good: nothing
The Bad: V 12, which praises leaning on god rather than trusting human wisdom. V 14 – Paul is so sure Jesus will arrive, any day now… The rest of the chapter is just Christianese, empty platitudes, blah blah blah….
The Ugly: V 5-7: Think about the implications. These verses glorify suffering and encourage people to endure it. (They must have been among Mother Teresa’s favorites.)
Quotes: nothing spectacular here
The Good: I’m gonna quit bothering to look
The Bad: this is just drivel. Only a couple of verses bear comment – v 15, about the ‘sweet savor’, reminiscent of all that burning fat from back in the Torah. Ugh! And v 17, where Paul claims that he is preaching in all sincerity, and not like those other guys who peddle religion for profit (“hucksters”, in the NLT).
The Ugly: thankfully, nothing
Quotes: nothing here really inspires believers, either
The Bad: V 5 “It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.” Anti-intellectualism at its best. And v 6-17 describe the New Covenant that I have heard Christians talk about. It’s just drivel to me, but read it anyway; it’s obvious that this is the passage they use to dismiss the laws of Moses and the entire OT. Never mind that it conflicts with the words of Jesus as quoted in the gospels (eg Matt 5:17) – Paul wrote this before the gospels were written, and he never knew Jesus as an earthly human anyway. In fact, there’s nothing in any of Paul’s writings to suggest that he ever knew Jesus as a real person; his Jesus is supernatural/spiritual. So no wonder his view contradicts the gospels.
Quotes: V 17 2
The Good: The SAB notes that v 6 used to be inscribed on US military rifle sights. “Used to be” – the practice ended in 2010 after it was exposed in an investigative news report.
The Bad: Trijicon, the company who makes the guns, still engraves bible verses on its consumer products – just not those destined for the military. Wow – conservative Christians and guns, there’s a combo…
The Ugly: V 4 – “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” Wow – brutal! This exemplifies a common technique used in brain-washing and cults to persuade group members that those on the outside are controlled by the devil or under some kind of other nefarious influence which prevents them from seeing the ‘truth’. And sadly, it works much of the time. Read or listen to someone who has escaped any kind of cult or controlling religion and you’ll hear them talk about it.
V 8-12 – this is just plain scary. It glorifies suffering and death for the cause. Explain to me how it’s any different from suicide bombers or kamikaze pilots or fanatics of any other religion or creed. And how about v 17-18, encouraging people not to bother to solve problems or try to improve their lives because all that matters is the afterlife? Following this advice is what leads to human suffering as well as disregard for the environment, social issues, etc.
Quotes: Unfortunately, believers’ favorite verses are the ones I find most reprehensible