Rich Wheeler's
The Gospel: No -isms Page

Opposing the eternal torture
(or, as fundamentalists call it, the damnation)
of the guilty.

(Construction started: 3 June 1997)

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So... You Think You Measure Up?

Consider...

The Big Ten. . . How do you rate?

(Abbreviated. Complete texts appear below.)

I. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
II. Thou shalt not make any image or likeness to bow down to.
III. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD in vain....
IV. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
V. Honor thy father and thy mother....
VI. Thou shalt not kill.
VII. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
VIII. Thou shalt not steal.
IX. Thou shalt not bear false witness. . . .
X. Thou shalt not covet. . . .

Think it's that easy?

Which is the greatest commandment?

  • "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Matthew 22:37-40)
  • All the moral rules in the Bible are applications of this one principle: Love God with all your being, and love all those whom He loves. Does God hold a greater place in your thoughts, feelings, and actions than does your own life, pleasure, profit, amusement? Do your neighbors' needs hold a place in your heart and actions equal to your own needs?

Think it's that easy?

The Law and... Fractals? Yes! Fractals!

(Under construction. Summary: As with fractals, the closer you look, the more details you see.)

  • "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Matthew 22:37-40)
  • "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." (Matthew 7:12) All the moral rules in the Bible are derived from this one principle. Could you honestly tell each person you know that you have always behaved the way you'd want them to behave?

  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them....

    • Not just graven images, but any likeness! Cast, modeled, drawn. . . it matters not!
    • Do you bow down before a crucifix? A statue of Mary? Somebody's ring? Do you serve them?

  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain....

  4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates....

    • (The Sabbath is Saturday; Sunday is 'The Lord's Day', the day of the Resurrection.)

  5. Honor thy father and thy mother....

  6. Thou shalt not kill.

    • Literally, thou shalt not murder. Under many conditions, capitol punishment, self-defense, and military service are excepted. Killing is actually required in civil laws given in the context in which the Big Ten are enumerated!

  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

    • "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not not commit adultery: But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." (Matthew 5:27-28) That pretty much takes in premarital sex, Baywatch, and (to extend it to both sexes) the Chippendales, doesn't it? If you're a male who thinks he's never broken this commandment, you're either very young, or you just ain't a red-blooded American!
    • You might think committing adultery in your thoughts isn't really something God would send anyone to hell for. Keep reading in the same context: "And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell." (Matthew 5:29) The offense of the eye is lust. And the penalty, if you rely on keeping the Big Ten in order to get to heaven, is hell!
    • Don't stop there. Have you ever played with yourself? Verse 30: "And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell."
    • OK, let's set lust aside. Did you know that with narrow exceptions, remarrying a divorced person is adultery? Verse 32b: "Whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery." Why? Because God doesn't recognize divorce. Some justify shacking up by saying that a piece of paper doesn't make a marriage. If that's true, then neither does a piece of paper make a divorce! So when one marries a "divorced" person, one really marries a married person... thereby committing adultery!
    • Go back to the first half of the same verse (32a): "Whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery...." If you trace this exception back to its origin in the Old Testament, you will find that the exception is an annulment on the wedding night, when one spouse finds that the other is not a virgin. The Biblical exemptions for divorce, even for breach of promise, are extremely narrow.
    • Just so there wouldn't be any argument, Jesus uttered this teaching concerning divorce more than once. Consider Matthew 19:3-9 (I'll give just verse 9 here.) "Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery."

  8. Thou shalt not steal.

    • You're not reading this on your employer's time, are you?

  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

  10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's.

    • 'Covet' means desire what's not yours.

Think it's that easy?

The Point: One Law, Many Points!

(Under construction. SUMMARY: The Law is like a chain. Just as breaking one link defeats the entire chain, breaking even the tiniest point of The Law violates The Law in its entirety.)

  • "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Matthew 22:37-40)
  • "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." (Matthew 7:12) All the moral rules in the Bible are derived from this one principle. Could you honestly tell each person you know that you have always behaved the way you'd want them to behave?

The Purpose of The Law

(Under construction. SUMMARY: The Law is given to awaken us to the fact that we are separated from God and that achieving the state of 'righteousness' is impossible.)

  • "Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:20) This is like saying, " Except you are even more righteous than the pastors and the priests, you're going to that other place!
  • Sure, if you can be perfect, you can go to heaven and boast about your own righteousness as you do. But that's an impossible if! "There is none righteous, no, not one.... For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God...." (Romans 3:10, 23)
  • "Now we know that what things soever the law [all the commandments] saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin."
  • The Big Ten, and all the other hundreds of commandments, tell us how to live wise and holy lives to the extent that we can; but that is not the critical purpose. The purpose of The Law is to show us that we cannot achieve the kind of righteousness we need to attain heaven. We are therefore driven to fall upon the mercy of God.

OK, I Know I'm Not Going to Heaven.

Now what?

(Under construction. SUMMARY: It's a free gift. Accept it as a gift and not as wages. Don't insult the giver by trying to earn the gift.)

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1996, 1999 Richard Wheeler

Mail Comments to: who.me@innocent.com

Flee the wrath to come!