Posts Tagged ‘ Answers ’

Too Edgy

I am doing a short series! We are going through some of the sayings of Jesus that can be … confusing … difficult … misapplied … whatever!

What does this mean? I will look at passages that I have personally heard misapplied, misunderstood, or simply confusion expressed over what Jesus meant.

Three weeks we looked at blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

Two weeks ago we looked at Jesus saying Christians should be perfect.

One of these appeared on The Domain for Truth to help out SlimJim with some coverage of his blog while he travels. (No judging me, now. I shared it here on this blog!)

Now, what is our next passage? (Maybe you already have an idea based on the title.)

Two swords? What about peace?

And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”
Luke 22:35-38, ESV

Okay. What’s up here? Was it not Jesus who said we should avoid violence, turning the other cheek and whatnot?

Perhaps now you see why some people struggle with understanding the Bible. Maybe you are one of those people.

What was Mr. Peace-Nick Godman getting at?

Firstly, let us remember Jesus’ own words:

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
Matthew 10:34

It would be very easy to take this out of context, so how about we take a look at that context to understand better what Jesus meant about bringing a sword:

“So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Matthew 10:32-39, ESV

So, we know that Jesus will divide families, friends, and communities, but this is definitely a figurative sword. We are to love God so much that it is as of we hate our family and friends in comparison. (But we love them all the more through God’s love!)

Perhaps we need to keep in mind that we are to defend the weak and defenseless. This is perhaps the most applicable literal sense of having a sword. Sure, self-defense may be a part of it, too, but probably defending others is more accurate.

We also need to consider the other meaning Jesus may have had:

and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God
Ephesians 6:17

We know that the Word of God is often referenced as a sword (Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 1:16, 2:12, 19:15), so this definitely far from being outside of the realm of possibility.

However, we also must remember what He said in Luke 22:37 above, that the scripture must be fulfilled that He was numbered with the transgressors.

Obviously, this points to being hung on a cross between two criminals, but I offer one other possibility (from Jesus’ arrest):

And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” And one of them struck the servant[h] of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”
Luke 22:49-53, ESV

You can probably imagine the Apostles’ thoughts: “He said have swords, so now that He is about to be arrested, is this the time He finally overthrows the leaders and takes control?”

But Jesus also hints that at this moment it appears He is already being considered counted among transgressors, as a conquering king raising an insurrection. It is made more likely an assertion with Peter striking Malchus’ ear off. (See John 18:10)

I would even argue that all of these are the reasons Jesus said to get a sword to the Twelve (well … Eleven).

Jesus must be numbered as one guilty of raising a rebellion.

But for us …

Defend the weak and powerless.

Be prepared to share the Word of God.

Be prepared to be numbered with Jesus.

VerseD: Proverbs 18:10

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
Proverbs 18:10, ESV

We do not need to defend God. His Word is enough. Trust in the name of Jesus.

(But also be ready to give an answer to those who question! 1 Peter 3:15)

Frosty Video Responses

A few weeks ago I uploaded the video and blog post about God proving His existence. Over on the YouTubes, I got my first internet troll!

Okay. Maybe he does not think he is a troll but actually doing some good atheist works by confronting us Christians.

Regardless, after a short dialogue, he made such a long response that I decided to respond here. I will put the entire discourse here so that perhaps we all could learn something and engage in meaningful dialogue.

This will be long …

frosted1030:
We don’t define evidence as you do. Or, in layman terms, your weak assertions don’t meet the standard quality of evidence required.


Response:

Firstly, thanks for commenting!

Secondly, I guess it really does matter how “evidence” is defined. I do wonder how you would define evidence. I agree that complexity does not necessarily lead to the conclusion of “creator”. An explosion certainly leads to complexity! I can concede order does not necessarily conclude intelligence. I have seen a river lay a neat pile of sticks and reeds all facing the same way and looking like a pile someone built.

But perhaps we are not considering historical evidence as real evidence? If so, that is a major fallacy. Without historical evidence, even the scientific method falls apart, because we have to rely on what we and others have recorded as evidence. Likewise, the field of archaeology is pointless, because we could never truly know what happened in the past. Why trust what others have written? Yet we do this all the time. We accept historical sources as evidence. Likewise, we have documents from people who claim to have interacted with someone who claimed He was the Creator God and said He would prove it by being killed and rise again. That in and of itself is not enough (look at all of the “faith healers” today who are really tricksters … we certainly agree on that, I am sure), but the Gospels meet the expectations of historical documentation and then far exceed them in many cases (largely in volume of manuscripts and consistency in content among the manuscripts. There is a video on the channel that briefly covers this.)

Maybe I misunderstood your assertion (for which I apologize if true), but some of your videos as well as your comment on this particular video lead me to that conclusion (and also assuming you watched the entire video.) Otherwise, is there evidence that could convince you? (Luke 16:29-31 serves as a reminder to us, though, that, no, no evidence will. But I and others are willing to have the dialogue!) Again, thanks for “stopping by!” I like a good discussion!

And now for the big response-o-rama:

frosty1030:
@a simple man of God “I guess it really does matter how “evidence” is defined. I do wonder how you would define evidence.” We define evidence, in this context, to be fact that supports or does not support a predictive model based on a specific definition. In this regard, the theist’s perpetual last ditch resort fallacy is removed (goalpost moving). This is why you will never see a specific definition for a deity with any quality. “

I guess, then, we have to discount the numerous prophecies made throughout the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) that said a specific person was coming and would do certain things. Further, Jesus made several predictions that He would be arrested, beaten, crucified, and rise again. This certainly qualifies as predictive and setting a specific definition. The facts that support this would be Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. That looks like what you asked for. No goalposts being moved, and throughout the Bible God gives us definitions of deity [there is only one (Exodus 20:2-3, Isaiah 37:16, 1 Timothy 1:17), creates and controls everything (Genesis 1, Colossians 1:16-17), knows everything (Isaiah 40:26, Jeremiah 17:10, Hebrews 4:12-13), source of morality (10 Commandments)]. But, having already read your entire response, I know this will not be good enough for you. I will get back to it …

An explosion certainly leads to complexity!” Careful with that strawman. We shall not be discussing cosmology without context.

Carefeul there! You are putting words in my mouth and creating the strawman. My only point is that any explosion causes anything that is ordered to become very complex by being spread out and made into a mess.

But perhaps we are not considering historical evidence as real evidence?” We do not consider fables (no matter how apparently accurate in small bits) as they fail to meet the base qualifications. This is an old apologist argument, pretending that you don’t understand that one inconsistency, fallacy, or inaccuracy is enough to demonstrate a fiction, not the other way around. If you doubt this methodology, do ask how many scientists have been put on the project of finding Neverland as there are fewer inconsistencies and more facts in Peter Pan then there are in your fables.

What is your evidence that the biblical stories are fables? The Bible has vast archaealogical evidence supporting much of the history it shares. In the past 20 years alone we have found evidence of David and Solomon and several of the kings who followed after them. Many people groups and settlements mentioned in the Bible were found specifically by following the Bible’s descriptions. Jesus is mentioned by several people outside of the Bible and Christianity.

As for the inconsistencies and facts, to which do you refer? I keep seeing and hearing the same tired examples that have been refuted time and again through the centuries. If you refuse to interact with those answers, that does not prove your point nor contradict our arguments. So, please offer examples rather resorting to the very things you accuse me of doing.

Likewise, the field of archaeology is pointless, because we could never truly know what happened in the past. Why trust what others have written?” A track record of consistency, and changing conclusions when the facts reveal better more verbose detail pointing to a different conclusion. Something theism can not do due to presuppositional fallacy.

Firstly, and again, where has the Christian message (as a whole, not merely some of us who have made mistakes or have gone off the rails in their attempts to defend the faith, such as people like Westboro Baptist Church or those who resort to overly-simplistic arguments) been inconsistent? I concede there have been people who have abused the name, and sometimes we make mistakes. We are sinful people. It is why we show grace to others, including atheists. (And I am sorry people attempt to lump all atheists together so that those like Lenin, who killed millions by his decrees, laws, and actions, are made the defacto representation of atheism.)

Secondly, I feel like you misunderstand presuppositionalism. Yes, some misrepresent it. However, how is saying “People think wrongly about foundational things, so it is helpful to reveal those wrong thoughts and fill in possible gaps” a fallacy? What is the point of education if not to correct incomplete and wrong knowledge?

Likewise, we have documents from people who claim to have interacted with someone who claimed He was the Creator God and said He would prove it by being killed and rise again.” First off, you sound like the guy standing there holding her purse full of bricks outside the women’s bathroom at a restaurant, six days later. The only difference is that you have been holding that purse for over two-thousand years. Face it, she ditched you.

The simple answer here is Jesus’ words from Luke 16:31: “If they do not hear Moses and Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.”

I am pretty sure that we all agree with Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:17: “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile …” He also said in that book that our faith and the gospel are foolishness to this world, which is why we need our minds corrected (regenerated) to be able to believe. We wait, but we were not given a purse with bricks but a command (Matthew 28:18-20) to share the news of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and hope for the future glory.

Secondly, we have much earlier stories that say the same thing, yet you discount them, even though they were written in a time of illiteracy, when most stories were passed down “word of mouth.” Ever play telephone? Let’s look at one: Horus was born to Isis-Meri (became Mary), Foster father: Seb (called Jo-Seph) from royal ancestry, Birth date Dec 21/25, Birth announcement by angels, witness to birth 3 solar deities (wisemen), Death threat during infancy, no info between ages 12-30, raised the dead, traveled with 12 disciples, baptized at 30, baptizer beheaded, betrayed, crucified, dead for 3 days, resurrected . Seem familiar? That story was written over three-thousand years before the events in your fables were said to take place. What about Krishna, Dionysus, Mithra? All predating your fables, all very very similar (though nit-pickers will find all the differences) and all passed down the same way. Did you really think your fables were unique?

I am only slightly surprised you pulled out this tired trope. (I am surprised people as intelligent as Bill Maher still believe this stuff.) For my reply, I refer to Lutheran Satire’s fun response:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0-EgjUhRqA

In short, this argument is incredibly easily refuted, and there is absolutely no evidence to back up the claim that the Christ-myth predates the Gospel.

is there evidence that could convince you?” Sure. Bring your deity to a press conference, let it stand trial for crimes against humanity, allow it to answer any and all questions put to it including detailed questions by scholars, and scientists. If you can’t or won’t, ask yourself why you bother insisting upon fantasy through fallacy.

My first question in response to this is, “but would even submit to God were He to come (again) and answer your questions?” (And I refer you back to Luke 16, the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man that ends with the quote in verse 31 seen above.) We also need to know what precisely is meant by crimes against humanity, especially seeing as the Christian argument is that all of humanity has commited crimes against a holy God and each other. Does God not have the right to do with His creation as He sees fit? If He is guilty of anything, it is relenting in completely wiping us out at the first sin. Instead, He lets us deal with the results of our own sinful behavior, but He offered a way out through Jesus if we are willing to turn and believe. He will return one day to remove those who have hated Him and renew all of Creation. Perhaps I will make a video responding to the penalty of sin to answer your inevitable questions about Hell and judgment …

Whew! That got wordy!

What are your thoughts? How would you respond to either of us? Would you have changed any of our arguments?

VerseD: Romans 1:16

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Romans 1:16, ESV

Do not be intimidated with sharing the gospel or that you believe.

You should be ready to explain why you believe, but it is okay (as a young Christian, at least) to admit you are not entirely sure of all of the reasons.

Just share how you came to faith.