The Anti-Christ by Friedrich Nietzsche

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Nietzsche was extremely critical of Christianity in the book “The Anti-Christ.”  There are scholars who believe the title of his book should have been translated as “The Anti-Christian.”  It fits with the wording and matches the book’s theme.

According to Nietzsche, “The very word ‘Christianity’ is a misunderstanding — in truth, there was only one Christian, and he died on the cross.”

Nietzsche felt Christianity pushed pity on followers, to the point of creating suffering among the believers.  He viewed religious leaders as manipulative liars and hypocrites.  He also believed faith was used to push people to accept what the church teaches, without questioning and without seeking for factual information.

His words were harsh; however, a quick review of the history of Christianity will reveal they were not unfounded.

I think, sometimes we need to pay attention to those who are critical of our belief system.  I admit, it’s not an easy thing to do.  However; we may find discrepancies or inadequacies that were previously missed by us.  If what we believe is true, it will hold up to research and questioning.  Therefore, there is no reason to refuse to check the facts behind what we are being taught.

Deception Detection

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The book, Spy the Lie, is about deception detection.  It covers common behavioral traits found in people when they lie.

The first section of the book talks about behavioral myths.  There are no automatic signs of deception.  People’s behavior will change based on a number of reasons, so it is important to know the context of each behavior.

The second section of the book, looks at common communication and behavioral patterns of people who are being deceptive.  However, it is important to keep in mind that things are not always what they seem and context matters.

The following are signs of deception:

  1.  Failure to answer
  2. Absence of an explicit denial
  3. Statements that fail to answer the question
  4. Inconsistent statements
  5. Going into attack mode
  6. Overly specific answers
  7. Process or procedural complaints
  8. Failure to understand a simple question
  9. Selective Memory
  10. Qualifiers

John the Baptist and the Religious Leaders (Matthew 3:7-12)

The Pharisees and Sadducees went to watch John the Baptist as he was baptizing people.  When John the Baptist saw the religious leaders, he addressed them by saying:

You brood of vipers!  Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.  And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.  Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees.  Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire. (ESV)

There are several things that struck me about the statements made by John the Baptist:

  • He spoke his mind.  John the Baptist didn’t care if the religious leaders were powerful or if they were wealthy.  He told them the truth.
  • Actions speak louder than words.  I think this is a message we all need to remember.  It’s easy to post about peace, love conquering hate, or helping your fellow man.  However, social media post will not change the world.  It takes action to change the world.
  • John the Baptist also humbled himself in his sermon.  He spoke of the coming of Jesus Christ and declared himself unworthy to even carry the shoes of the savior.

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