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Jesus Christ's Ascension Into Heaven


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I guess this has been raised before but to get this off my chest...

 

One significant moment in my deconversion was when I was sitting in church and heard a Bible reading of Acts 1:

 

"1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

 

The 'penny' finally dropped at this point.  The scales fell from my eyes and I could see without 'Jesus glasses'.  I realised how stupid the whole story sounded.

 

Christians are supposed to believe that Jesus chatted to his friends, before flying up into the sky, and then onto outer space, right before their eyes.

 

At this point I had already discovered that the writers of the Bible were not eye witnesses and that most of the stories were legends.   I was at that point an annoying "liberal Christian", not taking the Bible literally, but still thinking  was special.

 

However here was a pivotal event, about the central character, which is obvious to outsiders as absurd and myth.

 

It also reminded me of Muhammed's night flight.  It is easy for us to mock other religions, that we have not be indoctrinated into.  Muhammed supposedly went by flying horse from Mecca to Jerusalem, and also by the same transport into heaven i.e. he went by flying horse into the sky and outer space.

 

If we had been born in a different country/culture we could believe in a flying horse, instead of where we are we are taught about talking animals and a flying man.

 

Something is obviously very wrong with "God" that he has to test his subjects to get them to choose between competing and contradictory and absurd myths.  So if you are born in one place you are supposed to believe in a book with a talking snake and a talking donkey and another place you believe in a book with a flying horse.

 

It is testimony to the power of social conditioning that anyone can fall for this, especially today.

 

It also reminds me of the Old Testament Elijah "ascended" by fiery chariot to heaven.  Another myth no different to the greek god Helios in Greek mythology.

 

Of course God could make donkeys speak, or send prophets on a flying winged horse, or send Jesus up in a cloud like superman or Neo from the Matrix.  But why would he?

 

I think this also demonstrates that in the ancient world 'heaven' wasnt some parallel dimension, but was thought of as literally "up there" in the sky.  The religious focus was on the sky, the "home" of God/gods. The sky covered the earth and was called heaven.

 

Did you have a similar moment of realisation?  Your thoughts?

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I didn't have a single moment like this, no. Wish I had had one years earlier!

 

There are so many pieces of bullshit in the resurrection to ascension 40 day period, when you start looking at it closely. 

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I didn't have a single moment like this, no. Wish I had had one years earlier!

 

There are so many pieces of bullshit in the resurrection to ascension 40 day period, when you start looking at it closely. 

H Ficino, I think any reasonable person would require some decent evidence, like eye witness accounts, or independent corroboration from a number of reliable sources.  But the stories in the Bible  are nothing like that.

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Just a general observation I ( and I think others) have noticed is that acts 1 taken at face value destroys the apologetic about the enemies finding the body to discredit the resurrection. Any corpse would be to rotten for that to make a difference one way or another.

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Yes. I've had this exact revelation too. I use the Muhammad horse story all the time because ironically Christians find that story ridiculous. Lol.

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I had a few WTF passages as a christian.  Places where you read the event and said:  No.  That didn't happen. Faith or no faith, that didn't happen.  And eventually the WTF's added up and the foundation crumbled.

 

The Zombie parade in Matthew 27:

 

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[e] went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

 

The stoppage of the earth's rotation in Joshua Chapter 10:

 

12 On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lordin the presence of Israel:

“Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
    and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
13 So the sun stood still,
    and the moon stopped,
    till the nation avenged itself on[b] its enemies,

as it is written in the Book of Jashar.

The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. 14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lordlistened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel!

 

 

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Another one that shows the extent of my brainwashing at the time:  The raising of Lazarus in the gospel according to John.  And it wasn't the raising of a dead guy that seemed unbelievable to me.  Of course Jesus could do that.  Simple thing for the son of God. No problem.

 

No, that's not what I found unbelievable.

 

I had to call bullshit because it was such a miraculous, monumental event, and it was never even mentioned in Mark, Matthew, or Luke.

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When jesus flew away, I wonder how he breathed up there with no oxygen. How did he get through the earth's atmosphere without burning up? Since outer space images prove there is no kingdom of god out there in the universe, did jesus travel through some secret invisible door to get back to sky daddy? Yeah, it's all fake. 

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One (of several) that stands out for me is the Tower of Babel story in Genesis 11:1-9. Here are questions and comments that come to mind: For one, why does Yahweh seem so concerned with a "tower" the people were building circa 1500 - 1000 B.C., and what threat could this have posed? This tower could not have been anywhere near as tall as modern skyscrapers, so if building this tower was such a problem, how is it that humans can now build skyscrapers, fly airplanes, fly into outer space in the space shuttle, etc.? How were the Egyptians able to build pyramids? The pyramids were probably taller than the height of this tower and would have been built earlier. The story seems to be written from the perspective of a human living on the earth in that time period, not a supernatural being that created the universe. There are an estimated hundreds of billions of galaxies in the known universe, each with billions of stars. Why is this tower a threat, when humans could not survive outside the earth's atmosphere without spacesuits and oxygen tanks, which did not exist back then?

 

The scattering of people to confuse them with different languages so that they could not understand each other also makes no sense. We live in a global society today. So how is it that people can learn to speak and read multiple languages and communicate with each other? For example, the United Nations should be impossible, since it has people from many countries speaking multiple languages who are able to communicate with each other. This also indirectly led to Bible translation issues and errors, which would seem to be important to communicate clearly to humans.

 

 

 

The Tower of Babel

 

11 At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words. 2 As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia[a] and settled there.

 

3 They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.) 4 Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.”

 

5 But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. 6 “Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! 7 Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.”

 

8 In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why the city was called Babel, because that is where the Lord confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world.

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To the people who wrote the Bible the sky is a blue ceiling.  It is held up by mountains the same way walls hold up a building's roof.  It was called a "firmament" and the gods were walking around just on the top of it.  If you could fly high enough you could visit the gods.  That was why angels had wings, so they could fly back and forth.

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To the people who wrote the Bible the sky is a blue ceiling.  It is held up by mountains the same way walls hold up a building's roof.  It was called a "firmament" and the gods were walking around just on the top of it.  If you could fly high enough you could visit the gods.  That was why angels had wings, so they could fly back and forth.

I guess this is why liberal Christians ignore the Genesis creation account and the ridiculous tower of Babel story, even though the writers of the new testament believed in these myths.

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I think one of the most ridiculous stories is in Daniel, when the king has a dream but can't remember it, but wants to know what it means.  So god tells Daniel what the dream is and interprets it, then Daniel goes to the king to tell him what the king's dream was and the interpretation, and everybody is thrilled with Daniel.

 

Really?????????

 

They really ran countries like this back then?  And they believed Daniel?  He could have made up anything.

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I just don't understand why the Old Testament is full of cruel rules set up by the loving God of the universe. Christians tell me "well that was just the culture at the time-" NO. Just NO. God had the power to create ANY kind of world he wanted. And out of all of the possibilities he could have pursued, he decided to create a world that have laws like killing people for being gay, don't have tattoos, don't wear certain fabrics, a menstruating woman is unclean and whoever touches her is unclean, etc. Let's not forget Deuteronomy 22:28:29.... "28 “If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, 29 then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days."

 

One of the worst laws I have ever read in the Old Testament is as follows:

Numbers 5:11-31 New International Version (NIV)
 
The Test for an Unfaithful Wife
11 Then the Lord said to Moses, 12 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man’s wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him 13 so that another man has sexual relations with her, and this is hidden from her husband and her impurity is undetected (since there is no witness against her and she has not been caught in the act), 14 and if feelings of jealousy come over her husband and he suspects his wife and she is impure—or if he is jealous and suspects her even though she is not impure— 15 then he is to take his wife to the priest. He must also take an offering of a tenth of an ephah[a] of barley flour on her behalf. He must not pour olive oil on it or put incense on it, because it is a grain offering for jealousy, a reminder-offering to draw attention to wrongdoing.
 
16 “‘The priest shall bring her and have her stand before the Lord. 17 Then he shall take some holy water in a clay jar and put some dust from the tabernacle floor into the water. 18 After the priest has had the woman stand before the Lord, he shall loosen her hair and place in her hands the reminder-offering, the grain offering for jealousy, while he himself holds the bitter water that brings a curse. 19 Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and say to her, “If no other man has had sexual relations with you and you have not gone astray and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse not harm you. 20 But if you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have made yourself impure by having sexual relations with a man other than your husband”— 21 here the priest is to put the woman under this curse—“may the Lord cause you to become a curse among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell. 22 May this water that brings a curse enter your body so that your abdomen swells or your womb miscarries.”
 
“‘Then the woman is to say, “Amen. So be it.”
 
23 “‘The priest is to write these curses on a scroll and then wash them off into the bitter water. 24 He shall make the woman drink the bitter water that brings a curse, and this water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering will enter her. 25 The priest is to take from her hands the grain offering for jealousy, wave it before the Lord and bring it to the altar. 26 The priest is then to take a handful of the grain offering as a memorial[c] offering and burn it on the altar; after that, he is to have the woman drink the water. 27 If she has made herself impure and been unfaithful to her husband, this will be the result: When she is made to drink the water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering, it will enter her, her abdomen will swell and her womb will miscarry, and she will become a curse. 28 If, however, the woman has not made herself impure, but is clean, she will be cleared of guilt and will be able to have children.
 
29 “‘This, then, is the law of jealousy when a woman goes astray and makes herself impure while married to her husband, 30 or when feelings of jealousy come over a man because he suspects his wife. The priest is to have her stand before the Lord and is to apply this entire law to her. 31 The husband will be innocent of any wrongdoing, but the woman will bear the consequences of her sin.’”
 
See what I'm saying? Why did God create a world with these kinds of laws, when he had so many better options? And God supposedly knew that these laws would go in the Bible and would confuse people like us in modern times. I just can't imagine a loving God setting these kinds of laws and treating his own beloved creations this way. It's like he has anger management issues and perhaps is bipolar or something; the moment you break one of god's unreasonable laws, you get punished for it. It's fucked up.
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