Repent or Perish?

“Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

– Lk 13:1-5

There are many believers who interpret that passage as meaning that, yes, bad things happen all the time, but that in any case the ‘bigger issue’ is that everyone who does not repent will ‘perish’ (usually the conversation then goes on to ‘hell’ as the means by which that perishing will happpen) – which any intelligent reading of the passage will reveal is a non sequitur – the logic does not follow.

Or that unless God protects people, everyone is open to horrible things happening to them. This is simply a form of superstition; a causal relationship between ‘if you do this, then this will happen’. This concept simply relegates God to being a mindless ‘karma engine’, as opposed to a living Person capable of deciding for Himself!

Actually, taken in its context, there is far more to this passage than this simplistic and doctrinally-loaded interpretation. In an excellent piece that I link to below, the author explains the historical context, what Jesus probably meant, and also a lot of really uplifting, upbuilding stuff about encouragement and the like. Just the sort of thing that my blog is supposed to contain. Click the title graphic below to go to the article.


So where’s the humour? It’s here. The featured image for this post is a scene from the classic Monty Python film ‘Life of Brian‘, where the legendary John Cleese plays the part of a Pharisee accusing a villager of blasphemy (He uttered the word ‘Jehovah’, apparently). See the entire clip here:

The idea of ‘REPENT!! or Perish!!’ is implied in the header picture, which is why I used it. Especially because modern-day Pharisees love to point out (often literally, with a finger!) the sins of others and command them to REPENT!! Lol.

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