Horror Show Sunday: What to Do When Your Son is a Demon

GARY-SHERILLGary Sherrill, 51, of Phoenix, Arizona, has confessed to murdering his son David because he believed that he was possessed by a demon and was going to eat him.  Police found the body of 13-year old David, covered in lacerations caused by an axe.

Yes, seriously.

Sherrill’s brother, Andy, said that Gary was mentally ill and would never have harmed anyone if he was in his right mind.  Yes, he was insane, he believed in demons, which ought to be a clear sign, yet with all of the religious privilege that we have in this country, people who claim to believe in demons and angels and other supernatural nonsense don’t get the help that they need.

Friends and neighbors expressed concern about Sherrill’s mental state and said that he had recently purchased an assault weapon, yet I’d  be more worried about his choice in tree-chopping tools.

“It is difficult, we find it hard to believe that there are people still out in this world who would do this kind of harm to another person, even more so, to their own child,’ Phoenix Police Department Sargent Steve Martos told AZ Central.  No, what I find hard to believe is that we still think people who believe in religious nonsense and rant about their beliefs to be totally normal and harmless.  Clearly, in this and many other cases in the Religious Horror Show, this is not the case.

Had Sherrill not been religious, he could have gotten the help he needed before this tragedy.  The widespread acceptance of religious adherence as normal does nothing positive for society, it allows things like this to happen, it’s happened many times in the past and will continue into the future until we decide that irrationality is not an acceptable position, religion be damned.

Welcome to Horror Show Sunday, yet another example of the harm that religion can and does do.

 

 

 

168 thoughts on “Horror Show Sunday: What to Do When Your Son is a Demon

  1. What a tragedy. That poor boy.

    Unfortunately, belief in active demons isn't uncommon among fundamentalist Christians. Some of the more fanciful denominations, such as Pentecostals and Apostolics, believe that demons actively influence people and events. (Google "Jezebel demon" for an example of this kind of thinking.) It precludes rational discussion, it's superstitious, and its dangerous.
    My recent post Commentary Tidbits

    1. Common or uncommon, it doesn't change the fact that it's an irrational belief held by people who have never given an iota of intellectual evaluation to the idea. It does preclude rational discussion and that's the whole reason people get seriously injured or die because of it.

    2. IKt is a tragedy and christians need to quit ignoring this behavior or making lame ass excuses for it

  2. As much as I share your dislike for religion, I think you have gone over the top and out of your depth on this one. You appear to be saying that belief in demons, angels and the supernatural (as foolish and unsupported by evidence as they are) is "ought to be a clear sign" that a person is mentally ill.

    You obviously have about a second-graders understanding of psychology, mental illness and insanity. Believing in any supernatural agent or entity is not in-of-itself an unambiguous indication that a person is insane. Literally hundreds of millions of people believe in the existence of demons, angels, and one or more gods, yet clearly are not insane. You really should stop yapping on about topics on which you don't clearly know little or nothing about.

    "Had Sherrill not been religious, he could have gotten the help he needed before this tragedy."

    You have no way of knowing with any high degree of certainty that it was his religious beliefs that kept him from getting the treatment he apparently needed. There could have been a number of factors having nothing to do with his religious beliefs to explain why he never sought treatment. I agree that on balance, religion does not offer enough positive impact to outweigh the negatives. But you stating this does not serve as proof that religion played a role in keeping this man from getting treatment for his apparent mental illness.

    Does religion do harm? Sue it does in some instances. But the nature of this man's illness does not implicate religion as the source of his deep mental disturbance Nor do you provide sufficient grounds to sustain the assertion that had he not been religious he would have received treatment.

    This is yet another example of you doing the very thing you criticize others for doing: going off on an emotional rant and convincing yourself that you have offered a logical, rational, well-reasoned argument in favor of your claim. You've done no such thing here!

    You are engaging in psychology-from-a-distance here, asserting as a fact something you've concluded from simply reading an account of what happened. This was a tragic, senseless, and horrific occurrence. But you shed no light on it with your idiotic attempt at linking this man's mental illness to his belief in demons. For all we know, had he not believed in demons he could have just as easily done this because he was hearing alien voices in his head ordering him to do so. He still would have needed treatment. And it is probably just as likely that he would not have received it and probably for the same reasons he did not in this case. Reasons, I suspect, that had nothing to do with religious belief and the privileged status it has in our culture.

      1. At the very least, it exacerbates existing mental health problems and it also stops these people from getting the help they need because mental health care professionals are terrified to infer that religious people are crazy.

      2. What you claim, that religion causes mental health problems, is an assertion that goes beyond the conclusion cited in the article to which you linked.

        From the abstract:
        " Belief in a punitive God was positively associated with four psychiatric symptoms, while belief in a benevolent God was negatively associated with four psychiatric symptoms, controlling for demographic characteristics, religiousness, and strength of belief in God. Belief in a deistic God and one’s overall belief in God were not significantly related to any psychiatric symptoms."

        Note that the negative correlation for four of the five symptoms was with a belief in a punitive God. Nothing was said about belief in demons or angels. Cephus implied that insanity can result from belief in demons or angels, as well as other "supernatural nonsense." Those who do not believe in the vengeful version of God did not, apparently, display any significant adverse mental health conditions. In fact, the authors concluded that belief in a benevolent God was positively associated with four of the five psychiatric symptoms examined in the study. The point I am trying to make here is that the relationship between religious beliefs and mental health is much more complex and nuanced than is implied by the remarks in the original post.

        Also, note that the study referred to conditions cited as "psychiatric symptons", not mental illnesses. Unless I misunderstand, the authors are saying that general anxiety, social anxiety, paranoia, obsession and compulsion were symptons and not the actual mental illness.

        I repeat (said this in the previous post), mental illness is typically not diagnosed on the basis of a single symptom or condition. I acknowledge that certain religious beliefs can result in adverse mental health conditions, as this study points out. But note that the study also concluded that belief in a deistic God or belief in God in general was not negatively correlated to the five symptoms discussed. Thus we cannot and should not conclude that religion in general or that belief in God in general is a source of mental illness or is a mental illness in-of-itself.

        I am not quarreling, however, with the general claim that religion can cause harm or can be in some instances associated with poor mental health. I am quarreling with the claim by Cephus that Gary Sherrill's mental illness was because of his religious belief. I strongly suspect that if Mr. Sherrill had not believed in demons or angels or any other supernatural entities, he likely would still have suffered from the mental illness that led to his act of murder. As I pointed out in the previous post, he might instead have acted on the belief that he was in contact with some aliens who told him to kill.

        I also see that Cephus now seens to have backtracked a little. In reply to your comment he now says "At the very least, it exacerbates existing mental health problems…." This is likely true, but it is a softening of the position he originally took that religious belief itself is a mental illness. I have yet to see any research that supports this claim.

          1. It depends on how you define "mental illness". If you define it as aberrant brain chemistry or objective brain damage, then no, these people are probably not mentally ill. However, I prefer to look at it as irrational, uncritical beliefs not supported by evidence and reason. Whether that's a mental illness or not, it certainly is a detriment to society.

          2. There is no rational reason for you to use the phrase "whether that's a mental illness or not". Irrational thought is not a mental illness. If it were, as I said in response to TheNewsMadd, you would be mentally ill. It is almost a certainty that stored somewhere in that brain of yours is an irrational belief or two. I have no doubt about this. It is true for all of us.

            If irrationality were a mental illness then this would also mean that when you were a believer you were mentally ill for all those years. Furthermore, when you were a child you were mentally ill for all those years as well by this standard. And you can't use age as a cover. All children are irrational. All children hold irrational beliefs. Therefore, by the standard that irrationality is a mental illness, all children are mentally ill during childhood. Of course I don't believe this. In fact, I think it irrational to think or even suspect that irrationality is itself a mental illness. Whether you are at this point in time mentally ill yourself depends on whether you agree or disagree with this proposition. Certainly irrationality may be a symptom of mental illness. But it certainly is not itself a mental illness.

          3. It's an aberrant thinking pattern and I already said that it depended on how one defined mental illness. And I agree, while I was a believer, I had an aberrant thinking pattern. I was wrong. I was acting and thinking in an irrational fashion when it came to my religious beliefs. I don't grant myself a "get out of being uncomfortable free" card.

            I agree that children are irrational, but as one grows up and matures, we ought to adopt the standard that rationality is the norm, not the exception. All adults ought to be expected to think logically and critically. We'd consider an adult who believed in Santa Claus to be illogical, why do we make an exception for imaginary people in the sky?

          4. "It's an aberrant thinking pattern and I already said that it depended on how one defined mental illness."

            Goddammit. Read what I wrote. You said belief in the supernatural is a mental illness. Then you softened it by saying that such beliefs are a mental illness depending on how you define mental illness. You don't get to determine the definition for mental illness. It is not left up to how any person defines mental illness. The experts get to define it. You are not one of them. They have defined it. And guess what. Belief in the supernatural does not qualify as mental illness. Irrational thought does not qualify as mental illness. Both can be – I emphasize can be – symptoms of mental illness. But neither is in-of-itself a mental illness.

            And now you've switched to talking about aberrant thinking patterns. I agree that believing in the supernatural can be described as an aberrant thinking pattern. But is aberrant thinking a mental illness? Is belief in the supernatural a mental illness? Is irrationality a mental illness? All three questions are simple yes or no questions. The answer to all three questions is NO. Anything other than answering no is wrong.

            Now come back with either a yes or no answer to these questions and we will determine if you understand mental illness or are just full of shit.

            Next you said when you were a believer that you were engaging in aberrant thinking. Fine. I'll accept this. I agree that you should not get a get-out-of-jail-free card for this. But were you mentally ill during the time you were a believer because of your belief? That is the question. Yes or no? There is a right and a wrong answer here. The right answer inidicates that you understand what mental illness is. A wrong answer indicates that you are an ignorant asshole when it comes to the subject of mental illness. Ignorant because of your lack of knowledge of the subject and asshole because of your ongoing irritating refusal to acknowledge that neither irrationality nor belief in the supernatural is a mental illness.

            "All adults ought to be expected to think logically and critically. We'd consider an adult who believed in Santa Claus to be illogical, why do we make an exception for imaginary people in the sky?"

            I agree with this. But belief in Santa Claus as a child and belief in an imaginary God in an adult are not mental illnesses. Being illogical is not a mental illness. That is what this whole fucking conversation has been about. Now get you shit straight, do the appropriate research and get that simple idea through that fucking think skull of yours. People who believe in God, as dumb as this belief may be, are not mentally ill. People who think illogically are not mentally ill. People who adopt or espouse irrational thoughts are not necessarily mentally ill. And again, irrationality by itself is not a mental illness.

            I never said we should or that I make an exception for people who believe in imaginary people in the sky. Of course they are being illogical. But you are changing the subject. We are discussing whether holding these beliefs are a mental illness. Not whether such beliefs are illogical.

          5. Short answer to your question, No. Irrational beliefs are not mental illness. Irrationality is not mental illness. If if were then every human on the planet, including you and Cephus, would be mentally ill. All humans hold irrational beliefs at some time. Because of the process by which the brain evolved, irrational thinking is built into the brain. It can not be completely avoided. We can work at minimizing it. But it can not be completely eliminated.

          6. This article shows how religion can destroy lives and should be treated as a menat illness

          7. It shows that deviating from a religion can destroy lives. Christ never taught nor did this kind of violence.

          8. christ never taught you to harass people online yet you do so by your logic you are no christian either.

            This guy is a christian

          9. Christ never taught you to accuses me of harassment.
            By your logic I'm not sure… do you have logic?

            This guy didn't live up to any teachings of Christ and he will no doubt have Christians on any jury that serves at his trial. A secular justice system will deal with him.

          10. He never taught me anything because he is not real.

            He brought a sword (or rather an axe) and did not bring peace just as the bible teaches. He put man against son, instead of brother against brother in this case

          11. Christians do face persecution. Ask any sharia compliant cleric.

            But Christ didn't teach violence, use violence or advocate for it.
            He merely understood we would face violence due to His values.

          12. Where in this verse does it talk about persecution?
            34"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35"For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW;…

            I was wrong it does say man against son. Discusting

          13. I accept it and understand it and don't try to put a twist on things and interpret literally like it is supposed to be

          14. So you're telling us that Jesus, in the Bible, never overturned the moneychanger's tables or chased people out of the temple with a scourge? That's violence? Are you denying that Jesus, in the Bible, told his followers that he came not to bring peace, but a sword? (Matthew 10:24).

          15. I'm saying exactly that.

            But heck, since you don't believe any of the Bible you're not really in a position to seriously discuss it.

            I'll respect that.

          16. I hate to break it to you, but if you have to believe something is true before you're in any position to evaluate it, then your entire position is based on a fallacy. We think Islam is just as asinine as Christianity but we can still read the Qu'ran as well as we can read the Bible, often better than the people who believe in it and have to find some way to twist the passages to justify their faith.

          17. I agree with you entirely.
            Completely and thoroughly.

            That's why I encourage you to explain the things you keep using as conclusions without any further support.

            And why I suggest TNM use the same level of proof that both of you demand from me.

          18. You've got no evidence whatsoever that Jesus ever existed or said anything. It's no better than claiming that Harry Potter never taught things.

          19. And you have no evidence that the contemporary writings of His life are false.
            I thought yesterday you said Jesus wasn't a historical figure because He lacked contemporary figures writing about him. I provided two at least. And that left out Josephus because you don't consider him credible.

          20. Matthew and John.

            One a Roman local official and tax collector and the other said point blank he saw, he heard, he touched the things he wrote about.

            Those figures.

          21. The Gospel of John disagrees with events described in Mark, Matthew, and Luke and that verse does not show anything

          22. And if they were told exactly the same you would use that as evidence of collusion and fabrication.

            The fact that different people saw it slightly differently actually makes it more credible.

          23. We're not the ones that claim that the Holy Spirit inspired the writings, are we? We're not the ones trying to say that the Bible is inerrant or authoritative, are we? You can't have it both ways.

          24. No, I said you couldn't DEMONSTRATE that he was a historical figure because there was no DEMONSTRABLE evidence to support it and that is true. You've presented claims that have been long since discredited via higher criticism of the Bible. This isn't about my opinion, this is about Bible scholarship, which you don't seem to have a clue about. This is about historical validity, which again, you don't seem to have a clue about. You don't understand how historical validation works, you just desperately want this to be true so you sit around and quote other people who likewise desperately want it to be true. The Bible is not historical evidence because it cannot be independently verified. It is no more proof for Jesus than the Qu'ran is proof that Mohammed flew off to heaven on a winged horse.

            So long as you can't figure that out, you will continue to be a laughing stock.

          25. Yes, there is. The entire religion is a testament to his being here as a historical figure.
            Witnesses told what they knew and it spread.

            So long as you can't figure that out… what am I saying? You don't want to.
            That's the thing, you have a site to discuss and debate and mock Christians for not doing so, then mock them and ridicule them and ignore everything they say. You demand a higher standard from them then you will use for yourself, why in the world would any sane Christian want to take you up on that and find out your claim is rhetorical and you have no desire for any interaction?

            You want your opinion, great. You're entitled to it. But I don't just go comment to comment insulting and deriding you for it.

          26. Then is every religion a testament to the correctness of it's beliefs? Just because Hinduism exists, you think that proves that Krishna is real? Because people once believed in Odin and Thor, they really existed? The really asinine thing here is that you think all of these other religions, many of which Christianity lifted it's mythology from wholesale, are laughably wrong while your own religion, which you cannot rationally justify any more than these ancient believers could, must be right. And then you get mad because people point out your basic hypocrisy!

            Here's a clue for you, since you don't seem to have many of your own. If you don't like the way this blog runs, don't comment here. Nobody is holding a gun to your head. You have *EARNED* the treatment you get here, just like you *EARN* it everywhere you go. If you want to know where the problem lies, look in the mirror. If you want to be able to post your drivel without comment, start your own blog and post to your heart's content. However, when you're posting on someone else's blog, you play by their rules and your only option, like it or not, is to leave. This isn't a democracy. Stop pretending otherwise.

          27. Once more the very epitome of level headed calm thinking that doesn't need to resort to name calling.

            That's what I love about atheists so much. They knowing they are the last word at their own destiny rise above all the things they don't like in organized religions.

          28. In other words, you still have nothing worthwhile to say, you're just trying to get around the requirements that you come up with actual evidence for your claims? Typical.

          29. In my own words, I have presented evidence in the form of archeological finds, and disputed the claims and conclusions you haven't explained.

            But I have tried to do so without name calling and insults.
            I've stuggled to be patient and stick to facts, or my understanding of facts.

            Typical, yes.
            And most of the time you do the same. I'd hope to see more of that.

          30. As an afterthought, even if you proved that some guy named Jesus actually existed, you wouldn't have proven that he was the same character as appears in the Bible. It's probable that there was some itinerant preacher running around Jerusalem at the time, we have historical evidence that such people did exist, but even if that were the case, it doesn't prove that Jesus was the Son of God. That requires even MORE evidence that you don't have. Even if it is true that there was a real guy at the kernel of the myth, that doesn't prove any of the myths are true.

          31. I already have. Matthew and John.

            The dead sea scrolls show that the Bible has not changed much over time, the way the monasteries copied and double checked their word speaks to the care given the cannon over the ages.

            Prove that the Bible can't be counted on when John said He saw, heard and touched.

          32. Actually, since we have none of the original monographs, you can prove nothing about the Bible from it's earliest writings to the present day. You cannot prove that the original texts are historically correct or that the copies of them are accurately transcribed.

            You can no more prove that John actually did what was described in the Bible than you can prove that Harry Potter didn't do the things that J.K. Rowling claimed he did in the Harry Potter books.

          33. That would be a valid concern.
            We do have archeology backing up the historical accounts in the Bible and the dead sea scrolls assured us that the texts have been changed very little in the lapsed time since.

            Cephus, you already laid down a criteria on historical figures, I met that standard and now you're changing it.

            What makes Cleopatra an historical figure and Jesus not?

          34. You do realize that using the word "should" is a statement of values, not of fact. If you think it should be a mental illness then lobby the experts to change the definition of mental illness to include any behavior that results in a person's life being destroyed. It is a logical fallacy to argue for what should be from what is. The philosopher David Hume pointed out this logical fallacy in the 1600s.

            Furthermore, destroying lives is your criterion for calling something a mental illness? Wow. You have just broadened the definition of mental illness to the point that a whole lot of human behavior is now a mental illness. By the way, what constitutes a destroyed life? Poverty destroys lives. Are those who do nothing to alleviate poverty mentally ill? Are those who are themselves in the grips of poverty mentally ill? Greed destroys lives. Ken Lay of Enron fame certainly destroyed a lot of lives. Was he mentally ill? If you really mean what you said, then you are going to have to agree that all those who engage in any behavior that ends up destroying another person's life is mentally ill.

          35. I'd say a whole lot of what humans do *IS* mental illness, or at least mental aberration. You have to understand how the mental health profession operates. It takes an average of human behavior and sets that as the baseline, what is "normal", and then describes aberration in variation from that point. It is not an objective measure of something wrong with the individuals, but a subjective measure away from a statistical average.

            That means that, as today, if someone hears voices, that's considered a mental disorder, but in a theoretical world where 80% of the population heard voices, that would be considered normal.

      1. Nope, they give lame a$$ excuses like "he was not folloing the teachings of christ" and then when you point out why they are wrong they go ape shit on you

    1. No, you showed His followers would face attacks. (persecution) not that they should fight back or go on the offensive.

      Come on you just said you accepted it as it was written, now is the time to man up and actually do that.

      1. I did say that and you can't show in that verse where it says anything about his follwers facing attacks

        1. Yes, the verse says that on the face of it.

          Not that they would want to, or be encouraged to use violence themselves.

          Come on, are you reduced to this waffling and confusing words that are so simple?

          1. I know what I quoted and no where in that quote does it say his follwers would face attacks.

          2. Nope here I will quote it again:
            34"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35"For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW;…

            Where does it say his "followers will face attack" in that quote?

          3. Yes, when we accept Christ those people will fight us and be set against us.

            Persecution. Just like I pointed out several times.

          4. Nope here I will quote it again:
            34"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35"For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW;…

            Where does it say his "followers will face attack" in that quote?

          5. Sounds like when families react to the news of Salvation it gets ugly, and persecution can result.

            Try reading what you just quoted and then applying it to the life Jesus led and the news today. It all fits.

          6. You still have not answered the question. Where does it say christians will be persecuted in that quote?

            I can't apply anything to life of jesus since no one can prove he ever existed

          7. In this part.

            34"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35"For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW;…

          8. Where? Putting family members against each other has nothing to do with persucution. Please show in the verse where it says and I will quote you "christians will face persecution"

          9. Well that is easy. No where in that verse are the words christians, face, or persucution.

          10. Concerning quote from Roger. I think he must be one hand typing to you.
            "one hand it's a problem".

  3. Nope, not in the text. No "christians", no "will", no "face", no "persecution"

    34"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35"For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW

        1. 34"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35"For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW;…

          1. well that sure is nice for jesus to bring a sword and not peace and put family against each other. However "persecution" is not in that verse anywhere

            Check Mate

          2. Try to stay in this reality instead of the one of your own creation.

            When did Jesus carry a sword?

            When have His opponents?

            One side always reacts with violence. Jesus Himself was pierced with a sword.

          3. Yes. and the roman soldier that used his sword to pierce Jesus's side at the cross fulfilled the role Jesus had for him. But not because Jesus used it.

          4. You'll perhaps have a chance to ask him that someday.

            But my answer would be that Jesus knew freedom of choice would have a class of people who not only rejected Him, but would do so violently in a violent world.

          5. Here you go Roger. Fuck God. Fuck Jesus. Fuck the Holy Spirit. That ought to qualify as the unforgivable sin, right? So can we get on with a discussion about the facts and not about your ridiculous religious beliefs now?

          6. It's not, not until you consider it seriously, study and understand enough to know what you're rejecting.

            And I'd love to discuss facts instead of religion.

          7. Keep twisting, Roger. The argument was that Jesus said specifically that he came to bring the sword (cause violence) and he actually did so in the marketplace.

          8. Keep twisting yourself. You haven't proven that Jesus ever touched a sword.
            Not a double blade, not a short fighting blade, not even a longer blade. Not any blade at all. See: Burden of proof.

          9. And I pointed out Jesus never once was said to have carried or used a sword.

            They were used on him, 'touched' is one way of putting it.

            Perhaps you just won't admit that the Bible is what it is, and Christians are what they are.

          10. Of course not. And you keep dancing around the fact that you don't get to decide what use of common words is the one that we are stuck with.

            He came, Jesus warned His teachings would bring a sword and it's happened in history. It's really simple.

            Why do you struggle to hard to impose a false understanding on any of that?

          11. HE said HE DID NOT COME TO BRING PEACE BUT A SWORD.

            In a literal sense with no christian twist on it this verse shows he came with a sword

          12. Yes, and at this death scene who was holding that sword?
            Not Jesus.

            Don't blame me if you can't understand simple English.

          13. I understand it just fine you are trying to change it and make it say something it's not.

          14. Like you are? Not even.

            He said what He said. He lived a life, and died standing for values and people have responded violently to it since.

            What He said was true, what you try to say it means isn't.

          15. Because Jesus lived by the sword, so he died by the sword. He admits it.

          16. But Jesus didn't. There is no record of Him using one, ever.

            His teachings brought persecution, but not due to Christ teaching His followers were to use it.

          17. But he did. There is the record of him saying he came by the sword.

            His teachings cause death to many that believed in his BS.

          18. Maybe when he was 15 years old he used it. The bible doesn't mention him being fifteen years old, but that doesn't mean he didn't have a fifteenth birthday, and got a brand new sword for a gift.

          19. He was once 15 years old, i am not making that up. What he did when he was 15 years old had something to do with him coming by the sword.

          20. How could Josephus see that when he was born after jesus died?

            Did he come back from the dead or something?

          21. It shows He wasn't busy with swords.

            That was all I needed to show. And thank you for offering the level of proof you always demand from me (not).

          22. No you haven't. If you went by the Gospels lined up with history you would realize Jesus gave warnings, on many occasions. When His followers paid attention it saved them. No Christians died in the fall of Jerusalem in 70AD they fled when they recognized one such warning.

            You don't know my religion enough to decide what it says.

          23. Re-framing the argument. ignoring the bible, and going by a biased version of history to fit your agenda.

            Jesus came by the sword.

          24. The burden of proof lies on you not me. You are the one trying to show your religion is true

          25. If you want to prove my religion is false, do so.

            You can't and you are too lazy to make the attempt.

            Your opinion is jus that, nothing more.

          26. I am just punching holes in your religion and since you can't, nor can anyone else prove your religion to be true you have lost the debate. Facts and evidence. Also see Burden of Proof

          27. YOU are the one tryimg to prove your god is the only real god not me. I am just debunking everything you say with logic

          28. You have denied things, you haven't debunked them.

            I could say the sun being yellow proves intelligent design, that it's accepted fact and not open to debate.

            That wouldn't make the claim true.

          29. Josephius is known for his propaganda, ignoring the unflattering failures, such as Aaron’s golden calf, in an effort to promote the Jewish cause.

          30. He was where? Not with Jesus at 15, that;s for sure.

            So Jesus might have been swings that sword around like he talked about.

          31. That is pretty clear in the verse I posted. At least everyone else understands it

          32. For some reason he choices to ignore it.

            The idiot probably is confusing Josephius with Joseph of Ameritima.

            His pearls are fake.

          33. I like how he also thinks he can judge us. HE talks about the only way you can be christian is by following the teachings of chirst and he fails so short of that

          34. Ye the two of you have proven nothing, provided no evidence and can't connect your flawed view of that one text with how Jesus lived His life or taught His followers to conduct themselves.

            I can.

          35. He CAME BY THE SWORD, he didn't say he came to be USED by a sword.

            You are twisting the words of the bible to fit your agenda.

          36. I'm trying to think of the stories in the Gospels about Jesus taking His disciples into the hills into secret training camps and teaching them how to use suicide bombs.

            I just can't recall any.

          37. It's possible that he did just that, since he said, HE CAME BY THE SWORD.

          38. Of course not. You can't point out anything even close.

            I can point out a religious leader that did. But it would be spam since this site isn't set up for this.

          39. Come on, you know the Bible is the Big Book of Multiple Choice, you can get virtually any conclusion out of it by only reading the passages you like.

          40. This is why people with such divergent values and perspectives can sincerely call themselves Christian.

            I wonder, though, what Christ would say about a Christian who holds all others in contempt.

          41. For some. I've not found it to be like that in my life.

            If a text doesn't make sense then it means you just need to dig deeper.

            One example is the text that says two are in the field and one is taken the other is not.

            It conflicts with the text in 1 Thes. about the dead being raised and the rest being caught up in the air.

            How does it happen and what about that conflict? If you study the old greek text 'taken' is the word for 'taken/to die".

            It's our spin on the texts that can be confusing, not the texts themselves once understood.

            There are some word pictures in Revelations that I scratch my head on.

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