Sunday, June 21, 2015

Jesus was a Weapons Manufacturer

Don't trust that man!

This post was prompted by the recent claim of Pope Francis that people who manufacture weapons shouldn't call themselves Christians:
It makes me think of...people, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons. That leads to a bit a distrust, doesn't it?" he said to applause.
So, everyone knows that Jesus was a carpenter, though this fact is only stated or implied a few times in the Gospels. And there is virtually nothing about His life as a carpenter, just as there is virtually nothing about the "middle years" of Jesus' life. Interestingly, some of the apocryphal gospels do include material about His carpentry skills. For example, in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, we see a young Jesus miraculously stretching a beam of wood that Joseph had sawed too short. This is goofy. No wonder it wasn't included in the canon.

However, the Gospels do mention one physical item that Jesus made. It's the only physical item that the Gospels describe being made by Jesus. Non-miraculously, I should add.

What is it?

A table, a chair, a chest of drawers?

What?

Wait for it...

It was a whip.
After making a whip out of cords, he drove all of them out of the Temple, including the sheep and the cattle. He scattered the coins of the moneychangers and knocked over their tables.
That's right, Jesus made a whip. And he then proceeded to use that self-made weapon in a one-man commando attack on the money changers.

If that's not pastoral care, what is?

Oh, but that doesn't count. Now, you're just playing gotcha games against the Pope.

No. I'm relating an interesting fact about the Gospels, while at the same time having a bit of fun against the background of yet another idiotic Francis statement.

Here's one that's a bit better known:

Jesus told his Apostles to buy swords.
Then he told them, "But now whoever has a wallet must take it along, and his traveling bag, too. And the one who has no sword must sell his coat and buy one.
Now, there's some controversy about why He said this. Many believe it was to fulfill a prophecy. The group needed to carry swords (but no more than two swords). He didn't mean for them to be used, or at least not used in violent combat.

I think this is probably true, but that's not the point. He did ask that they be purchased.

Who should they purchase them from? Evil sword makers?

Making weapons is okay as long as you're going to use them against moneychangers or in order to fulfill prophecies.

No one ever said that Christian ethics aren't complicated.

So now that we've all read the latest enviro-encyclical, did I ever tell you the one about Jesus shriveling the tree?

7 comments:

  1. But it wasn't a stupid prophesy either, if Jesus said it merely to fulfill prophesy then he, along with the prophet, foresaw the swords' necessity. There were clearly a time and a place to die for the name of Christ, but just as clearly, a time to defend oneself or one's group. It wasn't Singapore.

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    1. You mean, 1941? I think the question of Jesus and nonviolence is a deep and complex one. I don't claim to really or fully understand it. Do you think you do? If so, I would appreciate any advice. I have respect for honest pacifists, but to me most "antiwar" people these days seem to be fakes.

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  2. I believe Francis also suggested that the great powers should have bombed the rail routes used to transport prisoners during the Holocaust. But bombs presumes bomb-making, so I wonder then how can used the weapons made by bad people can be considered good.

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    1. He didn't say "bad". He said (or implied) "un-Christian" You purchase the bombs from Sufis.

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    2. But if something is un-Christian, then it's bad; since one need to convert to Christ according to the Pope, mere good will is enough.

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  3. Fun fact that I discovered when making a name for a D&D character in a setting with something like actual medieval culture: we have a patron saint of arms dealers.

    Courtesy of Saints SQPN, St. Adrian of Nicomedia:

    Pagan officer and body guard at the imperial court of Nicomedia. Adrian was so impressed by the strength and faith shown by persecuted Christians that he declared himself a Christian, though he had not even been baptized. He was immediately arrested and tortured. He and fellow prisoners were tended by his wife, Saint Natalia until they were executed.

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