Appledog, March 1st, 2018
This is as much an open letter to Christians as it is to myself, an expression of the frustrations I have endured in discussions and debates with regular Christians as well as pastors, missionaries and apologists.
It has often been said, and by people far more experienced in apologetics than I am, that Christians really love Jesus. I mean they really really just Love Jesus. As such they aren't really interested in apologetics. They believe in Jesus, and that's enough for them. They don't study the history of the Church, they don't study Greek or Hebrew – and they couldn't care less. And let's face it, more or less we live in a Christian Culture. Secular culture is strongly Christian – Christmas, Easter, and so forth, all have Christian connotations. Marriages are generally performed by Priests or Pastors. We live in a Christian world, where Christianity is often interchangeable with popular culture – even, normalcy.
So it is easy to understand why Christians get personally offended easily when you tell them you don't believe in Jesus. You're a 'heathen' – a Pagan! An Outsider!
I can remember the responses many of my Christian friends when I told them of my conclusions studying the bible. I said that it seemed obvious you didn't need Jesus, and that it was possible to have a direct relationship with God, and that there were several problems with Christianity such as the Christmas ritual and Easter being direct appropriations of Pagan rituals. Tantamount to idolatry. The ones that didn't get angry and say that I was accusing them of Idolatry would still show their incense; “Are you crazy?” I can remember one friend saying. “Good luck with that, it's impossible..” another had said.
In their hearts they were cutting me off. I know, because I used to be a Christian.
And even this, now, wil draw complaint. Many Christians have told me “You can't be a former Christian. No one can be saved and then be un-saved.”
So how did I get to this point? Where do I begin? I began by reading the bible and looking for the truth; I didn't want to believe in Catholic Heresies which were retaind by the Protestants. I wanted to find ecumenical authority. And I quickly, very quickly, ran into The Wall. Christians who hit this wall seemed to turn into snarling demons. It frightened me. But I am getting ahead of myself. I began by reading the bible for myself, and just asking a few simple questions.
Little did I know but I had unleashed the Beast.
Let me go out on a limb here and speak from my long experience (30+ years) in the Church. Christians place primacy in the faith of Jesus Christ. As such, in general, they are not interested in rational discussion. Here's an example.
Often times I have had Christians admit to me some special concession such as, “If Jesus broke the Torah, then sure, I would have to admit he wasn't the Messiah.”
Okay, so I would point out something like how the third temple wasn't built yet, there was no worldwide knowledge of God, the sermon on the mount where Jesus added to and removed from the Torah, and several other places such as when Jesus and his apostles didn't wash their hands before eating, or rubbed grains on the sabbath. I'd point out than when accused, Jesus didn't even bother to answer the accusation on one occasion and admitted it on a second – but his defense was to cuss out the Sadducees and Pharisees who were questioning him. I would point out that this raised the possibility of Jesus basically admitting to have broken the Torah. And I would get the shut down.
Or I would point out that John the Baptist very clearly stated he was not Elijah. They would tell me Jesus said he was, but he just didn't realize it. Or that he was the spirit of Elijah. I would point out that John knew who he was, he quoted Isaiah (he was the voice in the wilderness – not Elijah). I would point out that Elijah's coming would be physical, and would be a widely recognized sign, and that John didn't fufil Elijah's prophecy of the in-gathering of the exiles. I would explain how then since this prophecy itself did not occur irrespective of Elijah then Jesus couldn't have been the Messiah.
And I'd get the shut down.
The shut down. Over and over. I began to wonder, were they just not hearing me, or what?
In general I would get two kinds of response. The Shut-Down and the Super-Apologist who is Always Right™.
From Christians who are unprepared for a challenge to their faith: they shut down. Shutting down means they change the topic, and fast. They will change the topic out from under you so fast it will spin you. And they will often get angry. In any case, you are spiritually blind. They will not discuss the case with you. Ever. They will only talk about your blindness or about some other topic. One form this takes is when you are talking to a missionary and they hop around the bible from passage to passage, as you counter each one they show you. They're looking for a line to give you. And they have no idea what they are doing. So they take it as a personal attack, they get triggered, and in their hearts, they cut you off. They hate you. I've never met a Christian who didn't do this and didn't act triggered around me on a permanent basis other than falling into the next category.
Christianity has been around for 2,000 years and many of the issues that get raised are actually very old. For example the notion that Jesus didn't fulfil any major messianic prophecies is over 1800 years old. An example is “Origen Contra Celsius” written in 248 AD (click to read – cool, huh?)
So basically Christians have an answer for everything – that is if they care to learn such an answer. Actually the field of apologetic studies is undergoing constant research. Yet arguments such as the use of royal language in Genesis, still common today, were actually discredited 200 years ago.
And the Super-Apologist is always right. Because when he's wrong, you are spiritually blind.
However, once wrestled with, the Super-Apologist will always fail because he is not prepared for the Jewish Argument. Thus we come to the end-game of the super-apologist (who does not fall into the previous trap of taking the debate personally):
If there is one thing I have learned in all my years being a Christian, in all my years debating Christianity and discussing it, countering Mormon and Jehova's Witnesses and whoever else came to my door, on and on, is that in the end..
baby… it's all about the jews.
I can't drive this point home enough. It's all about the Jews. Every New Testament sermon I have ever attended could be characterized as indoctrination against Judaism. Why? Because deep down the Jews are the biggest problem, the ultimate problem – the one problem the Church doesn't have an answer for. And that doesn't mean all their answers are right. It just means the Jews are the one problem the Church simply does not even know how to begin to answer.
Therefore, the Church goes to great lengths to discredit the Jews.
I don't mean just a little bit either. The Jews are described as stiff-necked, sons of Satan (twice or more), spiritually blind, and so forth. I've had Christians tell me that Pharisees worshipped Satan. I've had them tell me Pharisees visited Jesus in the Desert “Because John 1:17-25”. I've had Christians tell me Jusaism was one of the ten heads or horns of the Beast in Revelation. I have had Christians tell me that it was Jesus who appeared to Abraham and that Psalm 110 is about Jesus. And that Abraham and King David knew it was Jesus. I have been told Jesus was the burning Bush, Moses knew about it and the Jews – those wascally Jews – edited it out of the Bible.
It wasn't always this way. In 248 AD, Origen wrote, “But if he (Celsius) has begun and finished that second book, pray obtain it and send it to us, that we may answer it as the Father of truth may give us ability, and either overthrow the false teaching that may be in it, or, laying aside all jealousy, we may testify our approval of whatever truth it may contain.”
Yet after just over 1000 years of such debate with the Jews, the tone had definitively changed. Luther wrote in the opening three sentences of his three page letter “The Reformer's Offer” (to the Jews) that Jews were damned, rejected, lying, blasphemous victims of Divine Rage. Then he says 'Well gee I guess all we can do is be merciful and pray.“ “We must not seek vengeance.” However then he says directly after
He calls them an insufferable, devilish burden. And I will stop here as I have already spoken too much of Luther. So what's my point? My point is that in the end, this is what will happen if you win a debate with an apologist, you will run into THE WALL. Let me give you a very quick explanation of the WALL. Look very carefully at the above five points Luther made. These have taken place in history before, and I do not mean in the last 100 years, although that is of course another answer to this riddle. No rational human being would do such a thing on a recurring basis over a thousand plus years unless they were driven to it for one reason or another. Friends today I am going to push the big red button which indicts Christianity. Which causes the above.
Because I believe in today's day and age you cannot be killed for speaking your mind.
The Wall, my dear friends, is the Jews.
If you press the issue you will uncover serious problems; I have had Christians tell me Jews edited the bible. I have had Christians tell me the God of the OT is not the God of the NT (separate and different Gods, and they were serious). I have had Christians tell me that since Jesus was God it is okay for him to “change the rules”. I have had Christians tell me that God himself changed his mind and divorced the Jews (in Jeremiah).
Now you get into the real hot water. When you patiently show the heresy of each of the above, or whatever they bring to the table – they begin to get angry. Because what you are doing is you're making the Jewish case. You are showing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Christianity is Idolatry. “But how could that be,” thinks the Christian.
…I love Jesus….
And Jesus is God!
They will tell you why you need Jesus.
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.John 14:6 (KJV)
You see, Christianity used to be all about coming to the Father.
But somewhere down the line, you see, we stopped trying to get there.
Somewhere down the line we even stopped listening to Jesus and started listening to the men who came after him.
30 “I can do nothing on my own authority; as I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.
43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. 44 How can you believe, who receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?John 5:30,43 (RSV)
In Matthew 19:17 and Luke 18:19 Jesus said, “Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.”
If you ever wanted to know the truth, all you have to do is read the bible. In every single case Jesus speaks of himself he is sure to show he is not God.
In Every. Single. Case. The few cases Christians point to such as Jesus saying “before Abraham was,” etc. they do not understand, for these too have been shown to mean something else than the Christians take them to mean. All you have to do is read it. Here are some verses on the topic:
When faced by opposition from the authorities, Peter said: ‘We must obey God rather than men! The God of our fathers raised Jesus’ (Acts 5:29-30)
Once a woman was healed of her incurable bleeding. The woman came up behind him and touched his cloak, and she was immediately healed. But Jesus had no idea who touched him: ‘At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ (Mark 5:30)
‘He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.’ (Mark 6:5)
Quite obviously, someone with such limitations can not be God. The power of miracles was not within Jesus but was granted to him by God.
God, however, does not need to be strengthened. Human need to be strengthened; God does not because God is All-Powerful. If Jesus had to be strengthened, he must not be God.
‘An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him – in the garden of Gethsemane’ (Luke 22:43)
‘Then the devil left him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him’ (Mark. 1:13)
‘And he was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to him.’ (Mark 1:13)
‘not my will but Yours be done.’ (Luke 22:42)
‘I do not seek my own will, but the will of Him who sent me.’ (John 5:30)
‘For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me.’ (John 6:38)
Are some members of the coequal Trinity subservient, and less than equal, to other members? Even though they have different wills (‘I do not seek my own will’), do they obey without question the others’ commands (‘the will of Him who sent me’)? Jesus admits to subordinating his own distinct will, yet according to the Trinitarian doctrine they should all have the same will. Should one of the triune partners have to forgo his own will in favor of the will of another member of the Trinity? Should not they all have the exact same will?
If Jesus was God, He would have not have regarded God’s testimony as separate from his own.
But God is All Wise & does not need to learn: Jesus grew in wisdom, but God is all wise ‘Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.’ (Psalms 147:5)
God does not need to learn, but Jesus learned: ‘Although he was a son, he learned obedience’ (Heb. 5:8)
Jesus had limited knowledge, but god’s knowledge is infinite. Since Jesus did not know, he was not all-knowing, and therefore, he cannot be the God whose knowledge is all-encompassing.
‘No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the son, but only the Father.’ (Mark 13:32)
Since God can not be tempted, but Jesus was, therefore, Jesus was not God.
Jesus could not have said this if he were God because the doctrine would have been his.
The Bible teaches that Jesus died. God cannot die. Romans 1:23 and other verses say that God is immortal. Immortal means, ‘not subject to death.’ This term applies only to God.
Jesus cannot be God because he depended on God for his own existence.
God is all-powerful, no one gives God His powers, otherwise He would not be God because He would be weak. Therefore, Jesus could not be God.
No one can teach God, otherwise God cannot be All-Knowing and would owe His teacher. Since Jesus was taught and commanded by God, Jesus cannot be God himself. The teacher and the student, the commander and the commanded are not one.
‘Lord’ is used in many ways in the Bible, and others beside God and Jesus are called ‘Lord.’ For example:
1) property owners (Matt. 20:8)
2) heads of households (Mark 13:35)
3) slave owners (Matt. 10:24)
4) husbands (1 Pet. 3:6)
5) a son called his father Lord (Matt. 21:30)
6) the Roman Emperor was called Lord (Acts 25:26)
7) Roman authorities were called Lord (Matt. 27:63)
‘Lord’ is not the same as ‘God.’ ‘Lord’ (the Greek word is kurios) is a masculine title of respect and nobility used many times in the Bible. If Jesus was God, then for the Bible to say he was ‘made’ Lord would make no sense.
God, the Creator of angels, can not be lower than His own creation, but Jesus was. Therefore, Jesus was not God.
Jesus did not think of himself as God, instead Jesus’ God is the same as ours.
But he denied it: According to the Bible, on only two instances the Jews opposed Jesus on the basis that he pretended to be God or equal with God. Had Jesus, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, claimed to be God, he is likely to have been opposed on this basis more frequently.
Because in these two instances, when charged, in the one case, with making himself God, and in the other, with making himself equal with God, he denied the charges. In reply to the charge of being an equal with God, he says immediately:
In answer to the charge of making himself God, he appeals to the Jews in substance thus: Your own Scriptures call Moses a god, and your magistrates gods; I am surely not inferior to them, yet I did not call myself God, but only the ‘son’ of God (John 10:34-36).
This is unlikely to have been Jesus’ actual response. Hastings in ‘The Dictionary of the Bible’ says, ‘Whether Jesus used it of himself is doubtful.’ Grolier’s encyclopedia, under the heading ‘Jesus Christ,’ says, ‘it is uncertain whether the Father/Son language (Mark 18:32; Matt. 11:25-27 Par.; John Passim) goes back to Jesus himself.’ A University of Richmond professor, Dr. Robert Alley, after considerable research into newly found ancient documents concludes that:
‘The (Biblical) passages where Jesus talks about the Son of God are later additions. what the church said about him. Such a claim of deity for himself would not have been consistent with his entire lifestyle as we can reconstruct. For the first three decades after Jesus’ death Christianity continued as a sect within Judaism. The first three decades of the existence of the church were within the synagogue. That would have been beyond belief if they (the followers) had boldly proclaimed the deity of Jesus.’
Assuming Jesus did say that he was ‘son’ of God. What did it mean? We first need to know the language of his people, the language of the Jews to whom he was speaking.
First, most people think there are no other verses that contradict or give equal divine sonship to other persons in the Old or New Testament.
For Jesus to be called son of God, does not make him a true son of God, other wise Adam, Jacob, Ephraim and many more should also be considered as been sons of God as such they should be worshiped too according to such method.
Adam: ‘Adam, which was the son of God.’ (Luke 3:38)
Jacob is God’s son and firstborn: ‘Israel is my son, even my firstborn.’ (Exodus 4:22)
Solomon: ‘I will be his father, and he shall be my son.’ (2 Samuel 7:13-14)
Ephraim: ‘for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.’ (Jeremiah 31:9)
Is God’s firstborn, common people are called the sons of God: ‘Ye are the children of the Lord your God’ (Deuteronomy 14:1)
Christianity has been indicted as a heresy of Judaism.
The gall, the ire, the hubris! The impudence of this position cannot be understated in the mind of the Christian.
Yet who is such to challenge the very word of God?
For even if the Christian admits Jesus is not God but says,
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.John 14:6 (KJV)
then I will turn and say,
I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before my face.–Exodus 20:3 (Elliot's and Pulpit Commentary on the original Hebrew)
To a Jew, Jesus is the sin of the golden calf.
To a Jew, Jesus is the sin of worshiping Baal together with God (1 Kings 18:21).
Don't you know what happened? The Jews went through this already! They already KNOW the answer to this puzzle. They were shown by God and each time they got it wrong people got killed, people were sent into exile, and the Jews cried out in repentance for mercy. They got it. The righteous remnant was kept and preserved by God. This is the entire message of the old testament!
You are not allowed to worship someone placed between you and God! You do not need Jesus to get to God.
You can have a direct relationship with God. Without any intermediary. This plan was put in place before Sinai. The Sinai covenant was for the Jews to teach the world on God's behalf. A Light to the Nations, remember?
This is the entire point of the Old Testament, versus the entire point of the New Testament.
What else can we say? Jesus lied.
And if he didn't lie, he does not rest upon the foundations of the Old Testament.
And in either case, we are right to reject him.
And thus the monster has finally been revealed; because despite the stark and utter clarity of the message above, the Christian will say you are blind.
And he will love Jesus even more.
Man, what are you doing?
What were you thinking?
Far be it from me to present a problem and not provide a solution.
You want it straight, you want the truth, and you don't want to have to trust me – I am falliable.
Okay. Go read the bible for yourself: Exegesis. God bless you and keep you safe.