All credits to the original artist:
Gather round, chil'ren, it's story time.
Once upon a time there was a Christian. He was active in his local church and had obtained a small leadership role. He was well liked by people in his community. He was not famous by any stretch of the imagination, but he was by no means an inactive believer. He studied his Bible daily and when he wrote, he often wrote with scripture references galore. He also wrote frequently, and could have been known by some to have always had his nose in the good book.
Then one day he heard of another active church leader. This church leader was teaching strange things. He was teaching things that our Christian believed were wrong and against the Bible. So the Christian did what he thought he should do: he called the other gentleman out on it. He openly wrote that the man was committing error, and if he didn't repent, he should no longer be a member of the church.
This was not well received by the vast majority of people in the church. Most people called our Christian words that are equivalent to "Bible thumper" and "Pharisee." Some said he was disrupting the body of Christ. Some said he shouldn't worry so much about what others believe and just focus on his own faith. It got so bad that church bodies turned against our Christian and kicked him out, seeking instead to keep the church unified. In fact, even the government leaders opposed our Christian, and would banish him to other parts of the country to keep him far away from anywhere that he could disrupt the perfect unity and peace of the brotherhood.
During times of quiet, our Christian would settle back down to his ministry, but as soon as he spoke out against what he perceived to be heresy, the personal attacks and accusations of disrupting the brotherhood would return, and again our Christian was kicked out of his ministerial role. Many people thought our Christian was stubborn and dogmatic, yet he never changed his ways. In fact, to his dying breath, he continued to speak out against the error he perceived to be prevalent in the church.
Who was this Christian, you ask?
It was Athanasius, the deacon - and then bishop - of Alexandria in the early to middle fourth century. At times it seemed like, at least in the eastern Roman Empire, he was the sole voice against the Arian heresy that enveloped the church for almost sixty or so years. It was from this time period that the phrase Athanasius contra mundum ("Athanasius against the world") came into being, referring to Athanasius's near isolation in upholding biblical doctrine within a sea of heresy.
Those who look back on history always have a kind of superiority, and ask ourselves "How did that happen?", as if people long ago were incredibly absurd in thinking, and it could never happen again in our day. The fact is, things like the genocide that occurred during World War II happened for the same reasons the genocide happened in the Rwandan civil war, or even now in some regions of Sudan. We can't look back at those who lived in the 1930's and 1940's and act like we would never let this happen in our time when we have and still are.
I get so tired of hearing the same tired arguments people use in favor of either false teachers or heresy that it becomes daunting to even discuss the subject. Yet we have to wonder to ourselves how such people would be if they lived in times of the past? Would they be champions for the faith of those who came before, or would they be the opponents?
How many people, for example, would be there alongside the Arian supporters, condemning Athanasius for speaking out against Arius and his beliefs? How many today would accuse him, as many did back then, of disrupting the unity of the church? How many would support the move by many Roman emperors to exile Athanasius because he refused to cooperate with the church?
It doesn't stop there. How many would accuse Martin Luther of harming Johann Tetzel's ministry, and defend his indulgences by pointing out all the people who claimed to have been blessed by it? How many would attack John Owen for criticizing the Church of England, again disrupting the unity of the church? How many would lament John Bunyan's refusal to just cooperate with the Church of England, even to the point of his own imprisonment? When consistent, the person's standards would find them at odds with the greatest theologians and Christian men in history.
This should not entirely surprise us, of course. The apostle Paul wrote long ago that people would begin to "not endure sound teaching," and will instead, with "itching ears," begin to "accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions" (2 Tim 4:3). He wrote that God sends upon the church "a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 The 2:11-12). Men stood up for Arius against Athanasius because they preferred Arianism to scriptural truth - should we be any more shocked that men will stand up for error today against scriptural truth?
There is the popular claim that the devil wants to divide the church, and while that is true, I think we should not look to every question of authority or method of discernment as an attack from the devil. Indeed, if there is anything the devil would like more than a disunited church, it is a church united on shaky ground, accepting error and heresy for the sake of superficial peace. Indeed, those who would have us promote superficial peace over doctrine, discernment and theological discrimination are no different than those false prophets of old, who cried out to the people "Peace! Peace!", when, in fact, there was no such peace (cf. Jer 6:14, 8:11).
Yet we must remember what the apostle Jude wrote, when he instructed us to "have mercy on those who doubt," adding: "save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh" (Jude 1:22-23). Frustrating as it might be to reach out to those who claim to be of the faith and yet hold to great error for superficial reasons, we must remember that we, at all times, held to great error at one point, and were led astray. As ambassadors of reconciliation (cf. 2 Cor 5:19-20), it is our job to bring the truth of Christ - in its fulness - to all who would hear it, both within and without the church. God bless.
After the "I hate religion but love Jesus" became viral, it was just a matter of time before people attempted to do their own take on. There was a Roman Catholic version I came across, and then there was this...a Muslim version. The video itself can be watched below:
While I wasn't an overly huge fan of the original video (see here), this video literally made me fall out of my chair (yes, literally). The best way I could sum it up is that it is every bad Muslim argument made against Christianity that has been refuted over a hundred times already. I write that last sentence not to be disrespectful, but to speak plainly - anyone who has studied apologetics against Islam in the past twenty years (indeed, since the time of John Damascene) knows that everything mentioned in this video has already been responded to a thousand times over.
I decided to write a response precisely to give that: a response. This video is not just a "Hey I'm Muslim and this is what I believe," but it's clearly an evangelizing tool to bring people to Islam, and it is specifically aimed against Christians. Therefore, I present this for anyone wondering if what the gentleman says in the video is truthful, or perhaps they just want to see a response from the other side.
Let me give just a few notes on my method for this. I've transcribed the entire video and written down the lyrics, which I'll respond to in piecemeal. As I'll be quoting scripture, I put the lyrics in bold so that people can visually see when I'm quoting the video and when I'm quoting something else. Whenever a passage from the Quran or the Bible is sourced in the video, I'll put it in brackets.
You say Jesus was God, and God had descendedHere's the first sign of a problem: we're dealing with Muslim presupposition versus Christian presupposition.
We say Jesus was man, for Jesus was dependent
Some people might read that last sentence and think, "Well duh, genius." There is, however, a point in my making that statement: Muslim comparative religion is an exercise in circular reasoning. In Judeo-Christian history, God always revealed forward: what came before confirmed what came later (for example, Messianic prophecies fulfilled in Christ). In Islam, however, God reveals backwards: all previous revelations (the Bible) must be read in the context of a future revelation (the Quran). The man says "you say...but we say...", and the Muslim point of view is accepted as the accurate one. This, despite the fact that Islam's view of Christ and God's teachings takes place 600-years after the final revelations of God, in a land separated from Christ's people, and dealing with men who had no connection with God's people at all. We are supposed to forgo the writings of men who were eyewitnesses to the events for the opinion of a man who claims to have spoken to an angel and who had no other way of confirming himself except by his own revelations.
Despite what many Muslims might say in regards to Christians and blind faith, all Muslim presupposition boils down to "I believe the Quran is the final revelation because the Quran says so." Whereas Christians can freely look backwards and read the Old Testament in context to confirm gladly the New Testament (just as the apostles did to the Jewish people), Muslims are forced to essentially rewrite and reword the Bible in order to have it fit the Quran. Keep this in mind as we progress through this video, as it will become more and more apparent.
Our God is all great, and cannot be comprehendedI find it interesting that the gentleman in the video leads us to question whether or not God died or "pretended," given that all four gospels (which he will quote from as the video progresses) confirm that Jesus died on the cross (Matt 27:50; Mark 15:37; Luke 23:46; John 19:30), something the Quran explicitly denies (S. 4:157). Even secular or non-Christian history is against the Quran on this. For example, the Talmudic traditions concerning Jesus - while denying his messianic status - confirm that he was, indeed, executed.
You say God was murdered - or do you believe that he pretended?
You see God gave us brains, and God gave us logic,
But I guess God wanted us to use them in everything else except for this topic
Yet to get to the heart of the matter, the man asks us "Can God be murdered?" and guesses that God wants us to use our logic on everything except this topic. The very nature of the question, however, comes at the crucifixion from a Gnostic mindset: either Jesus was fully man and could die, or was fully God and couldn't die. He seems to not understand the basics of the hypostatic union, which has been talked about for centuries and which many have used their "logic" to examine and discuss.
The basics of it is this: Christ was fully man and fully God. At the Incarnation, the Son in the Trinity did not cease being God, nor did he become half-man, half-God like the demigods of Greek mythology. The eternal Word took on flesh and dwelt among us, as scripture says:
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. [John 1:14]The word used for "dwelt" (ἐσκήνωσεν) is the same language used in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) in regards to the Tabernacle, the place where God dwelt within the Holy of Holies. Here, now, God dwells among men not in a building, but in Christ, the Incarnate Word.
So yes, it would be impossible for God, as an entire entity, to be murdered - it would not, however, be impossible for the God-man - the eternal God taking on flesh and dwelling among us - to be murdered.
It's like wearing a cross and proclaiming that you love Jesus,Let's ponder for a moment: what does the cross represent? If all it represented was an empty murder with no meaning, then I suppose the gentleman would have a point. However, that isn't the case: the cross represents the great humility of the Son in the Trinity, and the victory of God over sin, conquering death through death and sanctifying His true chosen people.
Well if God was murdered on the cross, the cross really shouldn't please us
I mean would you be wearing an axe if it was used to chop your mother up into pieces?
You see this is what happens when you believe in faith but fail to believe in reason
Cross symbolism, in fact, did not start with the later Christians, but with Christ himself. He said that those not willing to take up their cross and follow him were not worthy to be believers (Matt 10:38; Luke 14:27). He said those desiring to follow him had to take up their cross (Matt 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23). The earliest Christians spoke of the power of the cross (1 Cor 1:17; Gal 6:14), and said that by it we are reconciled to God (Eph 2:16; Col 1:20). So the cross as symbol was not an invention 200 years after Christ nor 2000 years after Christ - it was right there in the midst of Christ's ministry and the early church itself.
I will concede there are those who wear the cross and blaspheme doing so. Many celebrities and false Christians wear the cross yet knowingly act against for what it stands, and thus they quite literally "walk as enemies of the cross of Christ" (Phi 3:18). Many more treat the cross as a kind of idol, forgetting he who died upon it and what that death stood for. That does not, however, mean the use of cross as symbolism is in and of itself disrespectful to God, as if we are enjoying the murder rather than what came about from that murder.
Permit me to put it another way. When I go to the Vietnam Wall and run my fingers along the names imprinted there, I am not doing so to glorify death and destruction in war, nor am I doing so because I believe running my finger along a few names is going to do something magical or spiritual to the person whose name that represents. Rather, I do it out of respect for what that wall represents. I run a finger along a name and act in a respectful manner because I recognize behind that name was an individual like myself (if not younger than my current age) who made the ultimate sacrifice which I could never imagine giving myself. I recognize that the wall represents a memorial to those who died during the war, and I honor it as much as I can in that regard.
In like manner do I glorify in the cross. I do not do so because putting two sticks together will heal me of diseases, or because I think it's cool that Romans used to drive nails through people's bodies. Rather, I glorify in the cross because it was on that cross another person took the full brunt of God's wrath on my behalf and paid in full the debt that was owed to God for my sins.
You see we used to worship the creator until Satan turned us to the creationOn the contrary, we don't worship creature over creation, because the Son of the Trinity is not creation. That was the position of some historical heresies, such as Arianism (which believed the Father created the Son), but not historical Christianity. Scripture confirms that the Son coexisted with the Father before all existence - indeed, it was through the Son that creation came into being. Scripture tells us:
We began to worship the people, and neglect the one who made them
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. [John 1:1-3]Christ himself confirmed this - first to the Jews, by confirming that he held an eternal nature similar to God:
Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am." [John 8:58]And then in his prayers to the Father:
"And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed." [John 17:5]No mere creature would ever speak this way. If they did, then they were either serious about what they said, or they were great blasphemers (as the Jews thought Jesus was in John 8:58). If, however, Christ was serious in saying what he said, then Christians are in their perfect rights to worship him, and not as creature but as eternal creator.
We begin to believe that God had died, but how can a god even be created?This was the first sign to me that the gentleman in the video either has absolutely no idea what Christians have already said in response to these kinds of arguments, or he is completely ignoring them. No one believes that God was "created," either at the incarnation or elsewhere. Various heresies throughout history have often taught that (for example, Arianism), but that is not what historical Christianity has believed. Neither God nor the Trinitarian Son came into existence at the incarnation (see previous responses). To argue this way is to misunderstand what Christians believe.
A miraculous birth, and therefore the Son of God was begottenI believe what the gentleman is trying to argue here is that you don't have to be God to be virgin born, but God can just make a man born if He so wills this. This is certainly true, but in arguing this way he ignores everything in scripture that attests to the deity of he who was incarnated, as well as Christ's own statements regarding his eternal nature (again, see my responses above). Whether or not God could make a man be virgin born is not an issue to anyone, and therefore to argue this way is just a non sequitor.
See, the creation of Jesus was easy, but you seem to have forgotten
That God says "Be," and it is, just like with Adam, [S. 3:59]
A concept too complex for the church to merely fathom
By the way, I find it interesting the gentleman says the incarnation was "a concept too complex for the church to merely fathom," when I highly doubt this man has read any of the historical Christian works. How many Church Fathers has he read? How many of the Reformers has he read? How many of the most famous Christian theologians in the past 300 years has he read? I invite him to read works on the incarnation by Athanasius, Cyril of Alexandria, and Charles Spurgeon, and then tell me that the church is unable to "fathom" the incarnation.
But he was the creator of the universe, for all we know even moreI would wholeheartedly agree that we cannot fully comprehend God. However, the explicit purpose of Christ is to truly make God known to us. As scripture says:
And so what if we can't see him, I mean what you acting like, our universe is small? I mean there's still so much we've still yet to explore
I mean there's still so many things as human beings we still haven't seen, touched, heard or saw
I mean our eyes can't even handle the sight of the sun
So how can we possible handle the sight of our Lord?
No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known. [John 1:18]The language in this passage emphasizes that no one has literally seen God in a deep, knowing sense, but the "only God" (the true meaning of μονογενὴς) who "is at the Father's side" - that is, Christ has a close relationship with the Father, one that emphasizes his coeternal and coexistent nature. This is why Christ, and only Christ, can say "He who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9). No mere prophet could ever make such a claim.
Just to add something else Christians have often brought up: it is somewhat ironic that Muslims claim we can't fully know God on any major level...when Allah has ninety-nine names that describe who he is. Clearly from the Muslim perspective, there is some level by which we can understand God.
You see Jesus used to pray [Matt 26:39], but in your opinion who'd he pray to?This is a common argument for Muslims to make on the internet, but - like so many others we've already covered - has already been responded to countless times by Christians. What we have here is the presupposition of unitarianism rather than Trinitarianism. That is, we cannot assume it is the Son praying to the Father (as it in fact was); rather, we have to assume Jesus is either completely God, or isn't God at all. This presupposition says that God is one Being and one Person, not God in Trinity. Therefore, it is no surprise for the gentleman to argue that if Christ was God he could not pray, because he is not coming from a Trinitarian mindset wherein the Person of the Son can pray to the Person of the Father.
I mean if Jesus was God, surely prayer would be of no use
I am also curious how this gentleman would respond to one of the previously cited verses of scripture, where Jesus prays these words:
"And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed." [John 17:5]Some Muslims are quick to say, "Yeah, but that's still Jesus praying!" They seem to completely ignore what he prayed, which is: 1) a request to be glorified alongside God the Father; 2) a declaration that Christ had this glory before the world existed - in other words, before creation. What mere creature would dare to ask God to glorify them along his side, and then declare that they had this same glory before all creation even existed? Again, if Jesus was a mere prophet, then he was a great blasphemer. If, however, he was the divine Son within the Trinity, and was praying to the Father within the Trinity, then all of this makes perfect sense.
In fact, John 17:5, along with John 8:58, are two passages of scripture to which I have yet to see Muslims give an adequate response. What these verses say is crystal clear, and only with blind eyes can one ignore the truth therein.
Or did he only require it when he needed to know the truth?This is another popular argument for some Muslims, and is known by Christian apologists as the "fig tree argument." The idea is that if Jesus is God, he must be omniscient, and if he's omniscient, then surely he must have known that it wasn't the season for fig trees.
Like when God wasn't sure if it was the season of the fruit? [Mark 11:12-14]
This argument, however, blinds us to the larger picture. That the fig tree had leaves (v. 13) suggests that it should have had fruit. The fig tree was also a popular representation of Israel (Isa 5:1-7), which was, by then, supposed to have born fruit of repentance and accepted the Messiah. The condemnation of not bearing fruit was representational of what would eventually happen to the nation of Israel, which was they would be punished for their unbelief and rejection of the Messiah, and the fruits of God's favor would be given to someone else (Matt 21:43). This is the significance of the gospel writers mentioning it was not the season of figs; the fig tree itself represented something far greater, and Christ's omniscience was completely irrelevant.
We can see a similar lesson in the parable of the barren fig tree (Luke 13:6-9). There, a man has a fig tree that has not born fruit (representing the search for repentance among Israel). He mentions that he has sought fruit for three years from the tree and found none (representing the three years of Christ's ministry). The vinedresser asks to dig around it and put in manure (representing the preaching of the gospel), and if it does not bear fruit, then it can be cut down (representing the coming judgment of the Jewish nation with the destruction of Jerusalem). As with the previous fig tree, this too represents Israel and God's search for those who would turn away from their sins, and if the people as a whole reject God, then they shall bear no more fruit.
Or maybe he prayed when there was something he couldn't doJohn 5:30 is a popular passage for Muslims on the internet to throw around to attempt to show that Jesus was merely a man. The problem is that it ignores the much larger context of what Christ is talking about. It's a pretty big chunk of scripture, so please bear with me here. In the end, it will show us the full context of what Jesus is saying. Shortly after the healing of the man at the pool of Bethesda, the following occurs:
Like when he said "I, of myself can do nothing," but you took it as "There's nothing he couldn't do" [John 5:30]
The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. And this is was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, "My Father is working until now, and I am working."Now let's review the true context of Christ's statement "I can do nothing on my own."
This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who send me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
"Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.
"I can do nothing on my own..." [John 5:15-30]
Jesus has just healed a man, and has done so on the Sabbath. This was a violation of resting on the Sabbath, as God had ordered his people to rest in honor of the climax of creation, and hence the Jewish leaders believed this was the perfect chance to end Christ's ministry (v. 16). Jesus tells them something you would never tell devout Jews regarding your working on the Sabbath: "My Father is working until now, and I am working" (v. 17). What does this verse mean? Obviously, the only being in the universe permitted to continue working on the Sabbath was God, and Christ just said, "Just as my Father (God) is working, so too am I working." Christ just put himself on equal with God.
Those who want to soften the impact of this, or deny the verse is saying that, forget that in the very next verse John signifies this is exactly what Christ is saying. He says that "the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God" (v. 18). Christ was not calling God "Father" in any kind of metaphorical sense, as clarified by the wording "his own." John doesn't clarify they were mistaken, as he does with other sayings of Christ (see John 2:20-21) - rather, he states this matter of factly, demonstrating that, yes, this was in fact what Christ was doing, and it was upsetting the Jews greatly.
Christ then goes into one of the seven great monologues of John's gospel, with Christ saying "the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing," adding: "For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise" (v. 19). Now wait a minute...what creature can say that? If Jesus is talking about God here, then he just stated that whatever God does, he can do too. Again, the Jews were right - Jesus was making himself equal with God.
We see this again two verses later with Christ's statement: "For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will" (v. 21). Now the Son, Jesus, is saying that, like the Father, he can raise the dead and give life. Again, what mere creature or mere prophet can talk this way? Could Mohammad say, "Just as Allah raises the dead and gives them life, so too can I give life to whom I will"?
We see this yet again: "The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him" (v. 22-23). Some Muslims might quickly say, "Yes, you're supposed to honor God's prophets," but that is not what Christ is talking about here. Christ is stressing that honoring him and honoring God are the same thing. They're two sides of the same coin. Obviously there are many people in my life that I honor - my parents, the police, military servicemen, the president, etc. - but none of them do I honor in the same way I honor God.
We see this yet again with: "For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself" (v. 26). Christ is stating that, just as God the Father has life in himself, so too does he, the the Son, have life in himself. Again, no mere creature can say that, and no mere prophet would say that.
At long last, we've come to verse 30, where Christ says, "I can do nothing on my own." Yet what is the full context? Is Christ saying he's weaker than the Father? On the contrary! Christ is telling the Jews that his healings, his teachings, and everything he does is not something he's done on his own unilateral accord - rather, he and the Father are working together with equal authority and power. Christ's statement "I can do nothing on my own" is treated as a sign of weakness, and yet it is perhaps one of the greatest statements of his power and divinity in scripture!
You see no one used to worship Jesus, so ask yourself why do you"No one used to worship Jesus?" Really? Why do the disciples worship him after the he calms the storm? (Matt 14:33) Why do the women worship him after the resurrection? (Matt 28:9) Why do the disciples worship him after the resurrection? (Matt 28:17; Luke 24:52) Why does the man born blind worship him? (John 9:38) Why does the apostle Thomas identify Christ as his Lord and his God? (John 20:28)
A concept so straightforward, but has left so many confused
Here is the funny thing about all these incidents...in not one does Christ tell the person, "Stop! Worship God alone, not me!" We find precedence for this elsewhere in scripture: Peter accosts Cornelius for worshiping him (Acts 10:25-26); Paul and Barnabas get upset with the Greeks of Lystra because they mistake them for Zeus and Hermes (Acts 14:11-15); an angel accosts the apostle John for worshiping him (Rev 19:10) - in fact, this happens twice (Rev 22:8-9).
Here we have several occurrence where biblical characters openly rebuked others for worshiping someone other than God. Yet when we look at the instances where Christ was worshiped by others, Christ did not stop them, rebuke them, or even gently reprimand them. In other words, three apostles and an angel are all able to tell someone not to worship them, and yet one of the greatest prophets (according to Islam) never did so. We can only come to two conclusions: either Christ was a false prophet who accepted worship meant for God, or Christ did not stop these individuals from worshiping him because he was deserving of worship.
So you see, this concept is straightforward, but the only time people become confused is when we introduce extra-biblical concepts, such as those in the Quran.
You see Jesus preached one God [Isa 45:5], but the church has failed to practiceQuite frankly, here is the part where I wanted to bang my head, hard, against my computer desk. The gentleman in the video just pulled the "one plus one plus one doesn't equal one" fallacy. However, no knowledgeable Christian throughout history has ever argued that one plus one plus one equals one. God is one Being (monotheism) revealed through three distinct but unified Persons (Trinitarianism). The historic Christian doctrine of the Trinity from the time of Christ has always been that there is one Being of God revealed through three individual Persons connected by a unified Essence. These are not three gods, and to continue arguing that way is simply to ignore what Christians have been saying for over 2000 years.
And I mean you don't have to be that dumb to know that one plus one plus one equaling one isn't necessarily going to give you a pass in mathematics
To my Muslim friends, let me be frank: this might win you points if you're trying to look good in front of other Muslims, and it might get you views for your video, but if you're trying to open dialogue with a Christian - and I mean meaningful, serious dialogue - don't resort to this sort of thing.
You see the church said three, and Jesus said oneOn the contrary, Christians have been saying "one" for thousands of years. The Nicene Creed, formed in the early fourth century, opens up with the words: "I believe in one God." The only person who claimed otherwise was the writer of the Quran, who clearly did not understand the Trinity in any way, shape or form. For a greater discussion on this, please see this post.
Jesus said God, and the church said Son
Jesus never said worship me, rather he said pray [Matt 6:6]Here we have the repetition of the old Ahmed Deedat argument, "Jesus never said, 'Worship me.'" Is this the case? We've already seen (in the previous responses) that Jesus fully accepted worship aimed at him while others rejected worship aimed towards them. Even if Christ never said "Worship me," he never once condemned the act of doing so.
But you've chosen to worship Jesus despite everything He used to say
In regards to Matthew 6:6, this is simply a command from Christ to pray with humility, rather than the hypocrites among the Jewish leadership who prayed openly to be seen and adored by men (see Matthew 6:5-8 for a full context). It is true that Christ told his followers to pray, but that was not all that he said (we'll get to that later on).
You began to think with your emotion, and forgot to think with your mindThis was an argument made popular through Khalid Yasin (and I'm sure others), but it's incredibly fallacious. The "our father" is referring to the Lord's Prayer, which Jesus was giving to followers, not Him. Hence the Christ's words "and when you pray" (Matt 6:7).
I guess you didn't pay attention when Jesus said "Our father," yet never says mine [Matt 6:9]
Also, that Jesus never said "mine" in regards to the Father is simply erroneous. One need only find a scripture search engine and type in "my father" for the New Testament to see this is completely incorrect. Heck, just read the fifth chapter of John's gospel and count how many times Christ says "my father." This kind of great error is an ironic one to make when we are told in the same breath to "think with our mind."
You claim to be a follower of Christ, yet you still choose to eat swine [Deu 14:8]That's because Jesus said himself that it wasn't what entered a man that defiled him, but what came out, for it revealed their heart (Mark 7:18-19). It is then added in verse 19: "Thus he declared all foods clean." We see this likewise in Acts, when God tells the apostle Peter regarding animals: "What God has made clean, do not call common" (Acts 10:15). The reason for this change was that with the coming of Christ came the new covenant, wherein the Law was written upon your heart and not upon tablets, and the ritual laws of old Israel (including the dietary laws) were no longer relevant.
So yes, sir, I am a follower of Christ and I choose to eat swine, because both the Father and Son have said my salvation is not in jeopardy for doing so.
And you call yourselves Christians, but in your churches you're busy drinking wine [Lev 10:9-11]First, what kind of statement is that? "Busy drinking wine"? That makes it sound like Christians get drunk during Sunday services, which is a complete straw man, and quite frankly a disrespectful one. Also, the only churches with wine are those denominations that use wine for communion. Many Protestant churches today use grape juice, so for a large portion of this man's target audience, that statement is completely irrelevant.
Second, Leviticus 10 is regarding the Nazirites, a special branch of religious Jews who let their hair grow and abstained from wine and other practices. It is not talking about all believers. Nowhere does scripture give a complete prohibition on alcohol or wine as Islam does - in fact, some passages of scripture clearly have God saying it is all right to drink wine. In one of the passages speaking of the tithe, it reads:
"Then you shall turn it into money and bind up the money in your hand and go to the place that the LORD your God chooses and spend the money for whatever you desire—oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household." [Deu 14:25-26]Either there is a contradiction in God's word, or the gentleman in the video has used the Leviticus passage out of context. Given the proper context of both, we have to go with the latter option.
And just to clarify, I do love Jesus, matter of fact I love him more than youOh really? Is that so? You know, this statement reminds me of someone else - another young gentleman who actually met and spoke to Jesus. One account of the story:
Because when Jesus said do something, I actually do
And behold, a man came up to him, saying, "Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?" And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments." He said to him, "Which ones?" And Jesus said, "You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself." The young man said to him, "All these I have kept. What do I still lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. [Matt 19:16-22]The man comes before Jesus and asks about eternal life. Christ reminds him about the commandments, which the man boldly proclaims he has done. Like the young man in the video, this young man would likewise say, "When Jesus said do something, I actually do it!" Yet Christ then adds something: give up everything and follow him. Not God, but Jesus. The man refuses to do so because of his wealthy possessions - a sign that all he had claimed to have done before was an out and out lie. Indeed, it is impossible for anyone to perfectly follow God. This is why, in the verses following, you have the disciples lamenting, "Who then can be saved?" to which Christ replies, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" (Matt 19:25-26).
Let me now ask the gentleman in the video: you say that you love Jesus more than Christians because when Jesus says "do something," you actually "do." All right, have you ever been angry with your fellow believers? Christ says that makes you guilty of murder (Matt 5:21-22). Have you ever looked at a woman with lust? Christ says that makes you guilty of adultery (Matt 5:27-28). So according to Christ's own words, you have not done all the things you've claimed to have done. Before the eyes of God, my friend, you are not a doer, but a sinner.
I am not writing this out of a spirit of self-righteousness. I myself am guilty of both of those a thousand times over and so much more. If I was reliant upon my doing alone, I would be on a one-way trip to hell, and God would have every right to do so. The fact is anyone who says they are a true doer of what God commands are themselves a liar, and deceive themselves (1 John 1:8).
You see, I would love to be able to never, ever get angry with my brother again, or never look at a woman with lust again, but I know, because I was born in sin and iniquity (Psa 51:5), that this is just an impossibility. I want to do good, but the evil inside me compels me to continue sinning (Rom 7:19). That is why I can proudly declare, along with the apostle Paul: "Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Rom 7:24-25)
However, I'm not connected with the church, or with the Bible,I find it interesting the gentleman says he's not connected "with the Bible." Does the Quran not confirm that God sent down the Torat (Torah) and Injil (Gospel) to the people to be used by them as a clear message? (S. 3:3) Does the Quran not say Mohammad is confirmed in the Torat and Injil? (S. 7:157) Hasn't this gentleman been quoting the Bible this entire time to confirm what he believes? Doesn't he cite the Bible just two verses later?
See I love Jesus as my prophet, but refuse to worship him as an idol
Just like he wants it, and proclaims it as sin [Exo 20:4]
So it doesn't really matter if they don't let him in
Because Jesus wouldn't even want to be in the presence of people worshiping an idol of him
The video here cuts to a news footage of lightning striking a statue of Jesus, apparently as a suggestion that it was an act of God. However, giant statues of Jesus cannot be used to attack Christian worship of Jesus. There is a world of difference between Christian worship of Christ as the Eternal Son and the abuses that might stem from that. It is comparable, say, to the Muslim's respect of the Quran and abuses that might stem from that.
Before I move on, there's something I need to mentionHere we have the (unfortunately common) case of Muslim apologetics: ignore practically all of Christ's message and focus only on his monotheistic message. Did Christ teach there was only one God? Of course he did - but we do a dishonor to anyone if we focus solely on one aspect of their overall message. To do so is like saying Abraham Lincoln only wrote the Gettysburg Address to remind people how old America was.
The worshiping of Jesus is a man-made invention
He never asked for your worship so he can grant you protection
Rather he asked you to alternate your prayers towards another direction
So what else did Christ teach? He taught that he was to die and be resurrected for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 24:46-47). He taught that those who believe in he himself would not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16) and would not be condemned (John 3:18). He taught that he himself was the resurrection and the life, and that those who believe in him would never perish but have eternal life (John 11:25-26). He taught that he himself was the way, the truth, and the life, and that no one came to the Father but through him alone (John 14:6).
Many of these teachings are things the Jews had previously only attributed to God, and which Muslims would most certainly only attribute to God. Which mere prophet ever said belief in him, and not God, was mandatory for eternal life? Which mere prophet taught that he himself, not God, was the resurrection and the life, and that belief in him, not God, was dependent for eternal life? Which mere prophet taught that he himself, not God, was the way, the truth, and the life?
You see, when you isolate part of a man's message and ignore everything else he said, it's easy to warp it into whatever you desire it to be. Yes, Christ did come to tell us to alternate our prayers towards another direction, but he said: "For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day" (John 6:40). Christ himself is asking people to look towards him, and only then will they find eternal life. Again, what mere prophet ever spoke this way?
To God and God only and pray that he accepts themThis part stuck out to me. Whether or not the gentleman intended it to be this way, it was worded interestingly. He says that we should pray to God and "pray that he accepts them." So I am first to pray to God, then I am supposed to pray God accepts my prayers? Might I ask where the hope in this is? That's like saying you have to pay $100 to the court for a speeding ticket, then pay them another $100 in the hopes that they'll accept your previous payment.
This reminds me of an encounter John MacArthur had with a Muslim man on an airplane. When MacArthur asked the man if he sinned, the man said yes, and that he was actually on his way to meet a woman and possibly sin some more. When MacArthur asked the man if God would forgive him for his sins, the man replied, "I hope so."
And know that just because you love Jesus doesn't mean he feels the same way about your affectionOn the contrary, what I and many other Christians do is exactly what he asked us to do. We've clearly seen that in the previous responses.
See what you believe in is exactly what he resented, matter of fact it's everything he despised
See the worshiping of creation went against the very message he supplied
So you began to follow a religion and call it love in disguiseI agree love can be blind, but love of Christ is not the kind of blindness we have seen in this video. No, my friend, there is a different kind of blindness here. Blindness is ignoring what the other side has said for thousands of years. Blindness is accepting the teachings of a prophet unconditionally, even when his teachings clearly contradict all the revelations that came before him. Blindness is picking and choosing verses, ignoring their true context, and ignoring all the verses that contradict your entire theology. Blindness is focusing only on the part of a person's message that you choose to accept.
Because love can be good, but love can be blind
To any Muslim reading this post, let me say that this video does not teach you anything edifying nor truthful. I encourage you to truly read God's word (not just peruse a search engine or look for verses that prove your point) and study what He says therein. You will find that Christ is God, that he is Judge, and that one day every tongue will confess and every knee will bow and acknowledge God as Lord - not as prophet, nor as simply messiah, but as Lord. This will be done either out of love, or out of shock and awe. For those who embrace him as Lord and God in this life - as the apostle Thomas did - they will have life everlasting, and will be forgiven for their sins thanks to the atoning sacrifice of Christ. If, however, you are outside of Christ, you will be judged for all your sins, and God will judge righteously.
I hope and pray that God uses this post to edify the people of God, and I hope and pray that Muslims who read this come to a knowledge of the truth. If you are Muslim and reading this, I pray that - even if we never get to meet face to face in this life - we get to meet face to face after the resurrection, in the company of Christ. God bless.
There was a video being shown around the Twitter and Facebook circle, saying that Jesus hates religion, and that Jesus was different than religion (you can see it here). I never contributed to its viral popularity because, while I understand where the gentleman was coming from, there was something about it that didn't sit right to me. To say "Jesus hates religion" or to oppose the word "religion" seemed a bit too extreme a reaction to the extreme position many people take.
But Kevin DeYoung has managed to put all the problems I was having with the video in coherent, educated terms, which he wrote in the following article. So...I'll just let him do the talking. See the link below:
Does Jesus Hate Religion? Kinda, Sorta, Not Really
EDIT - JANUARY 17, 2012: Small update to report. Mr. DeYoung and the gentleman who made the video have come to an agreement of sorts. This is how discussions in the body of Christ should go - oh how easy it is for some to just pull the Pharisee card...
Following Up on the Jesus/Religion Video
here) is a prominent figure in the house of prayer movement, and is a senior leader at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (IHOP-KC) under Mike Bickle. He is most commonly known for his TheCall conventions, which happen at various places across the country and are mainly for prayer to God for breakthrough and revival in America, especially in regards to homosexuality and abortion. In addition to IHOP-KC, Engle has started a series of Justice Houses of Prayer (appropriately known as JHOPs) in various major American cities. His target audience is often young adults and children - in fact, he can be seen talking about abortion with many children in the documentary Jesus Camp.
One element of IHOP-KC and its associated churches is the stance of dominion theology. Dominion theology teaches that the believer has dominion over every area of life. This extends well beyond how most Christians might believe - dominionists will extend it into society, culture, and government as well. They uphold that we are reclaiming everything from Satan to God, not just the souls of men. Some will use the word "kingdom" in this regard, stating that we are in "the kingdom" and reclaiming everything for "the kingdom."
This came out surprisingly strong in a Lou Engle sermon I listened to recently. It was entitled Voting as a Prophetic Act of Divine Governance, and given at IHOP-KC (link). Perhaps what shocked me the most while listening was how much Lou Engle distorted scripture to suit his theology. Well this isn't uncommon for those at IHOP-KC (as I've shown before and again), it was the first time I had heard Lou Engle do it, and just the way he distorted verses - even well known verses - made me realize this sermon should perhaps be addressed.
As might be discerned from the title, the sermon is on voting, and why Christians should vote. Near the beginning of the lecture/sermon, Lou Engle turns to Genesis 1:26.
This is the mandate - the cultural mandate - that God gives to Adam. He creates Adam, "'Make man in our own image,' God says, 'according to our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea...the birds of the air, over the cattle over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.' So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created them, male and female He created them, and then God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it, bring it under governmental control, subdue the rebellion, and have dominion over the fish of the sea the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves on the earth.'" [1:25-mark]Did you notice what was not there in the original text that Engle added? Let's quickly review the verses he quoted in their original wording:
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." [Gen 1:26-28]So as you can see, nowhere in the text does it say man should "bring it under governmental control" or "subdue the rebellion." The latter point is especially odd - what rebellion? The Fall had not yet occurred. There was no rebellion to subdue. This makes about as much sense as a historian saying, "And King George III sent General Cornwallis to America in 1762, saying 'Subdue the revolution!'"
Of course, the first chapter of Genesis is always the key place dominionists go to in order to substantiate their theology. The problem is, of course, when they stop at verse 28, they always forget what comes after it:
And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so [Gen 1:29-30]This is repeated to Noah later on:
And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood." [Gen 9:1-4]What is going on here? God is giving His final creation - mankind - dominion over the rest of creation, yes. However, this is in the context of God's providence for them. That is, man is permitted to have dominion over creation so that he can be provided for. The animals are here for the service and food of man, as are all the plants yielding seed and bearing fruit. This says nothing about government, rebellion or anything like that, nor could we consider this a "cultural mandate." Engle has added such a concept into the text. Why? As suggested before, to promote dominion theology:
As we begin with the first mandate of God...the first mandate that describes what the image of God in man really is, and it is this: that the image of God is a rulership image. That by bearing the very image of God, by very nature and original job description, we are rulers. It is our calling, it is within us, we are dominion-havers, dominion-takers, amen. Can you say amen? The primary job description is to rule. [3:04-mark]And soon after:
Now at this time in history, God had created the heavens and the earth, but there had been a rebellion - isn't that right? And Satan himself was cast down from that throne of worship before the Lord, and he found his headquarters of rebellion - he made it on the earth, he was cast down there. God puts Adam into the Garden, there's a serpent walking there, and God says, "You're to tread down that serpent in this garden. You're to govern this garden and bring it into subjection." [5:06-mark]Here we finally have the context of exactly why Lou Engle added "subdue the rebellion" into Gen 1:26-28. According to Lou Engle, Satan falls to earth, makes a headquarters of rebellion; God puts Adam into the garden and says Adam's to tread on the serpent, govern the garden, and bring it into subjection. Here's the problem with that: nowhere in scripture does it say anything close that. Let's review what God says when He puts Adam into the garden:
The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." [Gen 2:15-17]And that's it. There's nothing about a serpent, nothing about "bringing the garden into subjection." The serpent won't appear until chapter three, nor will it be said that someone will step on the serpent until then. At this point, snakes just aren't a problem. Even when the snake does appear, he's not incorporated into any kind of dominion or kingdom theology. What Lou Engle has done here is read chapter three back into verse two, and what's more...he has distracted us from Christ. What do I mean by this? Let's review the "tread down that serpent" verse:
"I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." [Gen 3:15]This is considered by some to be one of the earliest Messianic prophecies in scripture. God is saying to the serpent - and by extension, the devil - that he will bruise the heel of the woman's offspring, and her offspring will bruise his head. This is the fulfilled in Christ: the devil "bruised his heel" at the crucifixion, and Christ "bruised his head" at the resurrection. This passage isn't about us, it's about Christ. To make it about us is to rob the glory from Christ and pass it to our own.
Lou Engle then goes at length about the "four arenas" that we must "govern" if we're going to "bring Satan down" and "bring the kingdom to the earth." He starts by saying that we must govern ourselves, asking "hath Christ become the governor of my own life?" (7:10-mark). I didn't have too many problems here, and I'm certainly not writing this post to nitpick on every tiny thing Mr. Engle says. However, I did feel myself come to a halt when he talks of the next "arena," which is marriage:
In the garden, first movement of governmental rebellion springs forth in that marriage. And when that rebellion takes place, the man and the woman are hiding from one another, and hiding from God. If we're gonna be governing the earth, our marriages have got to stay together. [7:54-mark]Again, let's go the text where this is occurring.
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. [Gen 3:6-8]Let's now review a few problems with Lou Engle's interpretation of this passage, given what we've read:
1) This is not a "governmental rebellion" - this is sin. Adam and Eve had sinned against God, and that is what happened here. I don't like it when liberals reinvent terms - neither do I like it when conservatives do so.
2) The first "governmental rebellion" was not Adam and Eve hiding from one another, but their violating God's commands. Marriage is nowhere being discussed here. Certainly one could argue Adam failed in his role as a husband for not protecting Eve from the serpent or reprimanding her when she offered him the apple, but that was the sin for which they are accosted for is the eating of the forbidden fruit.
3) Nowhere does the text say the man and woman were "hiding from one another" - Lou Engle has completely read that in. It simply says they "hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God" - they're not hiding from one another and God, they're hiding from God alone. They didn't sin against each other, they had sinned against God - that's why they were hiding from Him.
Lou Engle now moves onto his third "arena," saying it involves children, having lots of children, and raising children to have a dominion mindset. This, for me, led to the most shocking part of Lou Engle's speech, and the part that inspired me to work on this blog post. Pay close attention to what he says:
Be fruitful, multiply - but it's not enough to be multiply and have children. You must have children who become sons who can bear the governmental rule. "Onto us a child is born, onto us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders." Children can be born, but sons come from fathers. Come on! Sons come from fathers who father sons who then can bear the government upon their shoulders. [9:06-mark]WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA! Did you see what he just did there? To what verse is he referring in that quote? He's quoting Isaiah 9:6 - let's look at it in full with a bit of additional context:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. [Isa 9:6-7]Who's being talked about here? Who is the child being born? It's Jesus Christ! This is a Messianic prophecy, and one of the best known! Lou Engle has (for the second time) completely ripped a Messianic prophecy out of context and applied it to us. Engle cut it off after "the government shall be upon his shoulder," but he forgot what came after that, which would have completely contradicted his point. Can any Christian father call his son "Mighty God"? Can any Christian father say his son is "Everlasting Father"? This is simply inexcusable - in fact, it's downright blasphemous. As many who read my blog know, I don't immediate jump to the assumption someone is purposefully misquoting scripture, but in this case I can't possibly think that Lou Engle did this by accident. He had to have known he was misapplying the verse, and went ahead any way. There is absolutely no excuse for this.
You read it in Isaiah 22, He says, "and the government shall be upon his shoulder, I'll give you the keys of your father David, what you open no one will shut," and then 2:23, it says "and he shall rule as a father." We need men and women who can rise up and rule as fathers, not as unfathered children. Who govern under the fear of people's voices rather than govern under the rule of the Father in heaven.[9:50-mark]Lou Engle is quoting from what is an extensive section of Isaiah:
Thus says the Lord GOD of hosts, "Come, go to this steward, to Shebna, who is over the household, and say to him: What have you to do here, and whom have you here, that you have cut out here a tomb for yourself, you who cut out a tomb on the height and carve a dwelling for yourself in the rock? Behold, the LORD will hurl you away violently, O you strong man. He will seize firm hold on you and whirl you around and around, and throw you like a ball into a wide land. There you shall die, and there shall be your glorious chariots, you shame of your master's house. I will thrust you from your office, and you will be pulled down from your station. In that day I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and I will clothe him with your robe, and will bind your sash on him, and will commit your authority to his hand. And he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his father's house. And they will hang on him the whole honor of his father's house, the offspring and issue, every small vessel, from the cups to all the flagons. In that day, declares the LORD of hosts, the peg that was fastened in a secure place will give way, and it will be cut down and fall, and the load that was on it will be cut off, for the LORD has spoken." [Isaiah 22:15-25]The idea of "he shall open, and none shall shut" and "he shall shut, and none shall open" is made reference again later on to someone else. Who is it? It's Jesus Christ. How do we know this? We know this because this passage is made reference to later on in Revelation:
"And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: 'The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.'" [Revelation 3:7]Just as some Roman Catholics wrongfully say Isaiah 22 is about Peter, so too does Lou Engle wrongfully say Isaiah 22 is about believers. This is the third time thus far in the sermon that Lou Engle has taken a Messianic prophecy and applied it to us rather than Christ.
Number four: he placed him in a garden - the cultural mandate is to subdue the garden, the sphere of authority that you've been placed into, and govern that, and bring it under the dominion of Christ, so that there is peace...Wherever I go, people are talking about the seven mountains of influence: government, family, religion, business, education, arts and entertainment, and media. These are the seven mountains of influence - it's your garden! God wants the garden of government to be ruled by sons who, when the government is upon their shoulders, the increase of the government and of His peace shall be no end. [10:43-mark]The "seven mountains of influence" is a dominionist doctrine that has become popular in most dominion theology circles these days. Engle approves of this doctrine by applying all the misapplied verses which he has thus far cited. He continues:
So, Adam's rebellion brings forth a full-blown rebellion in chapter eleven of Genesis - Babel - which is the foreshadowing of the worldwide full-blown rebellion of the last days when the antichrist, the man of lawlessness, government releases law so that there is peace. The man of lawlessness will rule, it will be a worldwide rebellion, and what starts with Adam comes into the full-blown antichrist rebellion. [12:32-mark]What? How is any of that related? Engle is going off on a tangent here and talking about things without first stopping to explain them. He's throwing them out in a cavalier fashion without giving a defense for the people listening. This might win the emotions of people there in IHOP-KC, but such preaching does not edify the people of God.
But in the middle of this, and in the falling of the garden, a voice comes, it is the word of the Lord, "But you're gonna have a seed, and that seed will crush the head of the serpent," hallelujah! There would come another Adam who would begin to reverse what Adam had lost in terms of governmental authority to the usurper Satan, there would come another son who would bear the government upon his shoulders, and of the increase of his kingdom of his government there shall be no end, and it will lead until the great day, until Christ is Lord, rules over the earth, and the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ. There are two movements in the earth: a governmental rebellion and a governmental restoration of all that was given to Adam at the beginnings. Hallelujah! When Christ completely obeyed the Father in the garden - when He went to Gethsemane and said, "Not my will, but thine be done," it was the beginning of the great restoration. He got the keys of the kingdom when He died on the cross in complete obedience to His Father, raised to the right hand of the Father, given the throne room, seated at the right hand of the Father. [13:06-mark]Lou Engle isn't entirely wrong here. Many theologians and commentators have written on a comparison between Adam's sin in the Garden of Eden and Christ's loyalty in the Garden of Gethsemane. There is no doubt a legitimate allegorical connection which can be made here. However, where we should be discerning is Lou Engle's application of this being the starting point of a "great restoration."
In fact, Lou Engle's focus on Christ's passion in the garden and that this is the beginning of a "great restoration" is ironically similar to Mormon theology. Mormons do not believe we were atoned for on the cross, but rather in the Garden of Gethsemane when Christ is said to have sweat drops of blood. In like manner, his presentation of the cross fits more a Christus Victor model than a substitutionary atonement model. Not that I am implying Lou Engle denies the atonement, but when his presentation is solely on Christ's loyalty and the idea of "government restoration," that is the logical conclusion we come to in regards to the role of the cross.
So what was the point of the cross? Shortly after foretelling His death for the third time, Christ told His disciples that "the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Matt 20:28). It was about the laying down of the Son's life for the purchase and sanctification of His chosen people. The Christus Victor model is therefore not an entirely wrong one, as Christ did emerge from the cross a complete victor, but to simply highlight the victorious acts of Christ would be like focusing on V-E and V-J Day while ignoring why World War II started in the first place.
...He gave the great commission to the new Adam, to the offspring of the last Adam, the new believers in Christ, He gave them the mandate "go ye therefore into all the world and preach the gospel. Teaching all nations, discipling all nations, to do whatever I've told you to do!" Come on! I believe what he was saying here, it was what God said to Adam in the cultural mandate of Genesis: the great commission is actually the extension of the first commission, the cultural mandate. It is this: Go ye therefore and win people to Christ, but don't just get 'em saved, make them disciples so they can become sons who carry the government into every sphere of society and bring the authority and dominion of the king to the earth. In this present age...it is still our mandate as was given to Adam, bring the garden of God under the control of the king! Come on! [14:28-mark]Let's review the Great Commission quickly:
And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." [Matthew 28:18-20]Now let's review Luke's parallel to it:
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high." [Luke 24:46-49]This is the second time on this blog we've noticed someone from IHOP-KC distorting the meaning of the Great Commission. Daniel Lim (in a previous post of mine) turned the great commission to mean Christians should perform miracles. Here Lou Engle turns the Great Commission into a dominionist manifesto. Reviewing these passages, I think it would be safe to say that the beginning of Genesis was not what the apostles had in mind when Christ gave the Great Commission. Rather, it was the "repentance and forgiveness of sins" to be "proclaimed in [Christ's] name to all nations," and the discipleship of the nations involved the teaching and baptizing. There is nothing here about bringing people into submission or "bringing the garden of God under the control of the king." In fact, Christ makes it clear in Matthew's account He already has authority over the earth.
Penetrate every sphere of society! Raise up sons and daughters who can bear the weight so they can rule in the universities of America! They can rule in the government of America! God has never given up the world to the devil...the problem is, He ascended to the right hand of the Father to the hill of the Lord, but there in Psalm 24, "But who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? He with clean hands and a pure heart." He's looking for a generation of men and women who can govern themselves, who can get to the top of the hills, like Daniel did in Babylon, and govern through the king, hallelujah! This is our mandate! [15:36-mark]Let's review Psalm 24.
Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.Who is the one who "has clean hands and a pure heart" and will ascend the hill of the LORD and cry out: "Lift up your heads, O gates...that the King of Glory may come in"? Who is this verse talking about? It's talking about Christ! This is a Messianic prophecy about Christ ascending the hill of the LORD in glory. Lou Engle's done it again! For the fourth time since this sermon started, he's taken a passage of scripture about Christ and made it about us! As I said before, this is just blasphemous.
Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle! Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! [Psalm 24:3-10]
I was going to continue on, but to be perfectly honest, I can't continue this post. Before anyone launches into false accusations, I did listen to it the whole way through, but sitting down to transcript it has proven daunting. Lou Engle's method of sermon leads one to transcribing rambling, and I think we have seen enough to show that this speech given by him is not faithful to the word of God in any way, shape or form. A man who claims to be having supposed dreams and visions from God should, at the very least, use the word of God properly. If he cannot do that, chances are he is not speaking to God at all.
Some supporters of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (IHOP-KC), in an attempt to justify founder Mike Bickle's position that New Testament prophets can get details of a prophecy wrong, or can prophesy wrongly (see my posts here and here), have tried turning to a scriptural example. They turn to the prophecy of a prophet named Agabus, found in Luke's Acts of the Apostles. Using his very own personal account, Luke recalls the prophesy given by Agabus regarding Paul's eventual journey to Jerusalem and his imprisonment.
While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul's belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, "Thus says the Holy Spirit, 'This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'" [Acts 21:10-11]IHOP-KC supporters claim that this was wrong, as it was the Romans who bound Paul. To verify this, they go to verse 33.
Then the tribune came up and arrested [Paul] and ordered him to be bound with two chains. He inquired who he was and what he had done. [Acts 21:33]Therefore, they say, since Agabus was wrong (at least "partially") on the details, this is scriptural proof for the IHOP-KC position that New Testament prophets can get some things in a prophecy wrong. Is this the case?
First, let's remember what the apostle Peter wrote regarding prophecy in general:
Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. [2 Peter 1:20-21]As I discussed in the previously cited post, both the words and the grammar here are clear. The apostle Peter begins by saying that "no prophecy of Scripture" comes from someone's own interpretation (not referring to sola scriptura, but man making up scripture with no assistance from God), and then explains why in the next verse: it is because no prophecy was ever by "the will of man," but as men "were carried along by the Holy Spirit." The original word translated in the ESV as "carried along" means that God is in complete control, and what God wants to be said will be said. God is not a victim of fatalism to the personal spiritual whims of the creature, and His prophecies are not capable of being given with any degree of error. At the time of this writing, I have yet to have a follower of Mike Bickle or IHOP-KC's doctrines give a real response to this passage of scripture.
Secondly, we should point out that the idea that Agabus got the details of the prophecy wrong is vastly foreign to the over 2000 years of Christian exegesis and scriptural study. Some recent men, such as Wayne Grudem and D.A. Carson, have certainly made the claim that Agabus spoke in error (and IHOP-KC's followers readily quote them), but their opinion is in the vast minority. Some of the greatest theologians and expositors of scripture throughout history have interpreted Agabus's prophecy as being completely fulfilled with no mistake on his part (even with verse 33 in consideration). This list of great men includes John Calvin, Matthew Henry, John Wesley, John Gill, Adam Clarke, Albert Barnes, A.T Robertson and many, many others.
Thirdly, let's try to understand what occurs in Jerusalem when Paul arrives. While the backing of Christian history can be vital, it is not Matthew Henry, D.A. Carson or anyone else who gets the final word, but scripture itself and its plain meaning. We find, in this section, the apostle Paul at the Temple performing Jewish forms of worship, and a riot occurs:
When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him, crying out, "Men of Israel, help! This is the man who is teaching everyone everywhere against the people and the law and this place. Moreover, he even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place." For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple. Then all the city was stirred up, and the people ran together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple, and at once the gates were shut. And as they were seeking to kill him, word came to the tribune of the cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion. He at once took soldiers and centurions and ran down to them. And when they saw the tribune and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. Then the tribune came up and arrested him and ordered him to be bound with two chains. He inquired who he was and what he had done. Some in the crowd were shouting one thing, some another. And as he could not learn the facts because of the uproar, he ordered him to be brought into the barracks. And when he came to the steps, he was actually carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the crowd, for the mob of the people followed, crying out, "Away with him!" [Acts 21:27-36]Paul was indeed bound by Romans (v. 33), but it was at the instigation of the Jews (v. 31-32), who had already seized and dragged him out of the Temple (v. 30). It was because Paul's enemies had instigated the people and caused the riot that the Romans were compelled to chain him. Some commentators, such as John Gill, suggest that the reason the tribune puts Paul in chains is to calm the Jews and pacify the situation, and, if this were the case, then the Jews of Jerusalem would indeed be responsible for Paul's binding. Certainly Tertullus, spokesman for the Jewish leadership, made the claim later on that it was they who captured Paul (Acts 24:6). Although there is a textual variant in the next verse where Tertullus gives some credit to the tribune, this is not in the earliest manuscripts, and is left out of most modern translations.
Fourthly and finally, if Agabus got the details of the prophecy wrong, the characters of Acts - including the author Luke himself - are completely silent on the matter. We don't see Agabus and others being befuddled by the differing events in the same manner Mike Bickle, Bob Jones and the other Kansas City Prophets were befuddled by differing events from their own prophecies (as was often recorded by Bickle himself). In fact, let's take a moment to understand how the apostle Paul interpreted the events of Acts 21. To the Jews in Rome, Paul said:
"Brothers, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans." [Acts 28:17]Did Agabus get the details of the prophecy wrong? That's completely foreign to the apostle Paul himself. Paul interprets the events as the Jews capturing him as a prisoner (thus being bound, even if only by instigation) and handing him over to the Romans. According to the apostle Paul, Agabus got everything right. If Agabus had been wrong, Paul should have said something similar to simply: "I was arrested by the Romans." There is good reason, therefore, that the previously mentioned theologians believed that Agabus's prediction was completely fulfilled, and that is the apostle Paul himself, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, confirmed it so in this verse. At this moment in my life, I do not believe myself spiritually mature enough to disagree with the apostle Paul.
It is perfectly fine to turn to scripture affirm or review our theology. However, when we reach a level where we attempt to accuse prophets of God of prophesying falsely (even if "partially") and ignore how scripture itself interprets an event, then we are not continuing in a mindset where scripture has the final say. Instead, we are entering a mindset where our presuppositions and desires to validate another man's ministries and false teachings are carrying the day. I humbly ask that those supporting IHOP-KC, Mike Bickle and his peers carefully and prayerfully consider this. God bless.
These days, I can't help but notice that a lot of Neo-Pentecostal and Hyper-Charismatic churches seem to be following a trend - namely, a hyping up of various "anointings." I've heard of "Anna anointings," "Daniel anointings," and every other anointing under the sun. These teachings seem to follow the same trend, and it seems like in order to mimic this, you just have to follow these easy steps.
1) Find a Biblical character who did something.
2) Slap the word "anointing" after their name.
3) Tell people God is ready to give this anointing to others willing to emulate this person.
So I propose we teach a new anointing available to the people of God...
That's right, the Judas Anointing! With this anointing, we'll be able to start hanging ministries! No, I didn't mean to write "healing ministries," you read it correctly the first time, folks - hanging ministries! We need people willing to hang themselves for God, because God isn't just looking for people willing to feel sorry for their sin, He wants people who are willing to show how angry they are at what they did. So the Holy Spirit is going to raise up people with a Judas anointing to get'r done!
Now I know what some of you are thinking. Some of you might be pointing out that the only person we're told to emulate in the Bible is Jesus Christ, who was the perfect fulfillment of the Law. Some of you might be pointing out that this essentially introduces works-based salvation where our blessing is dependent upon everything we do. Some of you might be pointing out that no such anointing exists in the Bible, and therefore I'm adding to God's commands and guilty of moving away from the gospel.
Well, to all you people, I got one response...
DON'T YOU JUDGE ME I'VE GOT A LOT OF FOLLOWERS SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN HELPED I'M A NICE GUY DON'T CRITICIZE IT UNTIL YOU'VE EXPERIENCED IT YOU BIG MEANIE!!!!!!!!1111oneoneone
There, I think I've covered all my bases. So in conclusion: let's get this Judas anointing underway, let's start up some hanging ministries, and let's go out there and do what I - I mean - God wants us to do! GO FORTH, MY READERS!
DISCLAIMER: This is satire. If you seriously go out and hang yourself, I'm not responsible.