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The Opposite of what Jesus Said!

(The following should not be viewed as an endorsement of a particular religion. It recognizes the significant contribution to western culture that Christianity has provided to illustrate the dichotomy of social beliefs.)

How does one effectively hold up a mirror to society so that we better understand who we are and what we really believe? We first need the kind of mirror that can reach into the depth of our souls and reveal the complacent hodgepodge of conflicting values.
     The following is an attempt to provide such a mirror.
     It presents the opposite of what the biblical record reports Jesus as saying. What we find is that this opposite describes pretty accurately what many hold to be true, despite beliefs to the contrary.


The Opposite of What Jesus Said:

"Blessed are the rich…
Blessed are the happy...
Blessed are the aggressive and power hungry...
Blessed are those who get away with doing wrong…
Blessed are the guilty and the troublemakers…
Blessed are the those who are apathetic, who stand for nothing…
Blessed are you when you get back at someone, and spread gossip…"
     (Compare w/Matthew 5: 3-12)

"And when you pray, do so dramatically in front of crowds of people, or on television, and you will be richly rewarded by men who will think you holy, and will send you money for your antics. Even the poor will give up their meager wages…"
     (Compare w/Matthew 6: 5-8)

"Hoard your treasure on earth, for people will think you deserving of God's love…"
     (Compare w/Matthew 6: 19-21)

"By serving money, you serve God. Material success is the badge of honor in spiritual matters. So it is right to worry about your reputation, about what you eat and drink, and the way you dress. Seek first your own satisfaction, and the world will be at peace. And when you judge others, make sure you are conscious of your own image…"
     (Compare w/Matthew 6: 25 - 7: 2)

"Welcome false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing. By their fruit you shall know them. They shall assault your emotions with guilt so that you will not think for yourself, and will feel unworthy for the gifts that God has given to you. Support them with your hard-earned money. And remember, everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven; so speak as much religious jargon as you can, and don't worry about your heart…"
     (Compare w/Matthew 7: 15-23)

"It is the successful and socially accepted people that I have come for; I have no interest in the rest, and neither should you. Separate yourselves from them, and associate only with the hypocrites who pretend to be righteous. Learn what this means: 'I desire image, not purity, pretension, not authenticity, class distinction, not brotherhood;' I come to call those who cannot possibly respond to me, for they have already justified their sins in their own minds, and have no taste for being forgiven…"
     (Compare w/Matthew 9: 12, 13)

"I am sending you out like wolves among the sheep. Be shrewd as snakes and take whatever you can get…"
     (Compare w/Matthew 10: 16)

"If you want to be perfect, go, build up your possessions, forget the poor. I tell you the truth, only the rich and successful and power-hungry will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, so be like them. Again, I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a sincere and simple believer to enter the Kingdom of God."
     (Compare w/Matthew 19: 21-26)

"Whoever wants to be great among you should seek to be rich and powerful, and discriminate against those who cannot be used…"
     (Compare w/Matthew 20: 26)

"Blessed are the rich…
Blessed are the satisfied…
Blessed are the partygoers…
Blessed are you when men love you and include you and compliment you, and accept your name as honorable because of the Son of Man…
But woe to you who are poor…
Woe to you who are hungry…
Woe to you who weep and mourn…
Woe to you when men speak ill of you…
But I tell you, hate your enemies, do evil to those who hate you, plot against those who curse you, condemn those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on the one cheek, stab him with a knife… If you love those who hate you, you go against a long and honorable tradition of war and vengeance. If you lend to those who can't pay you back, that doesn't make good economic sense… Be critical, just as your father is critical… Judge harshly, and others will be afraid to judge you. Condemn vehemently, and you will be above others' condemnations. Take from others, and you will have more than you had before. Only the sightless can lead the blind into this pit that leads nowhere…"
     (Compare w/Luke 6: 20-39)

"If anyone would come after me, he must be happy with himself and all his faults, accept himself for what he is, throw away responsibility toward others and do what he wants… What good is it for a man to gain personal selfhood, and not be financially well-off?"
     (Compare w/Luke 9: 23-25)

"For everyone who exalts himself will be honored, and he who humbles himself is not opportunistic enough to deserve cheap social praise…"
     (Compare w/Luke 18: 14)

"Keep the children away from me, for they are tainted with original sin. I tell you the truth, you must be clever and indirect and insincere to enter the Kingdom of God…"
     (Compare w/Luke 18: 16-17)

"My house will be a television set, that speaks of greed…"
     (Compare w/Luke 19: 46)

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