Science and History
Cruelty and Violence
"The coming of the Lord draweth nigh." -- James 5:8
James for Skeptics
James is one of my favorite books in the Bible. I don't know, maybe it's just the ex-Catholic
in me, but James doesn't contain much that is objectionable, and has some really good
stuff. Evangelical Protestants, of
course, don't much like the book of James, though few will admit it as openly as did their hero,
Martin Luther. He
despised it, calling it an "epistle of straw" since it so clearly contradicted his
perverted belief that salvation comes from faith alone, independent of one's actions.
Verses seldom quoted by born-again Christians:
- "Be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath." 1:19
- "Pure religion ... is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted
from the world." 1:27
- The rich should not be treated better than the poor. 2:2-4
- "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?"
- Help others that are in need; don't just wish them well. 2:15-16
- "Faith without works is dead." 2:17, 20, 26
- "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble."
- "By works a man is justified, and not by faith only." 2:24
- "The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." 3:18
- "Ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little
time, and then vanisheth away." (All we are is dust in the wind.) 4:14
- "Ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you." 5:1
Of course, James also has some silly stuff. For example:
- If you are merciless to others, God will be merciless to you. (Two wrongs make a right.) 2:13
- James says that, even in his day, all beasts, birds, serpents, and sea creatures had been tamed by humans.
- If your prayers are not answered, it's your own damned fault. 4:3
- Whoever is a friend of the world is an enemy of God. 4:4
- "The coming of the Lord draweth nigh." 5:8
- If you are sick, rely on the power of prayer. It works every time. 5:14-15