Do you want to have this conversation with your friends, small group Bible study, or class? Here is the discussion guide that was used in this episode, free for your use: “No Religion Can Contain God!”. Please consider giving a shout out to Reconnect, andywrasman.com, and contradictmovement.org if you choose to use this discussion guide. Thanks.
George and Andy, discuss a series of articles from Credo House entitled: 21 Things Christians Say to Hurt Their Credibility. In this episode they have time to discuss three of these statements:
Andy and George agree that some of these statements really do hurt the credibility of our Christian witness and should be avoided, but they come to disagree with at least one of these articles, because they think the statement is in fact Scriptural, thus should be spoken, but maybe there is a better way of presenting the truth to a nonbeliever.
Other questions and topics emerge as they discuss these articles, such as: how do we know the Bible is the Word of God, how should we respond to questions we don’t know the answers, is it possible for Christians to have all the answers to life’s questions, what exactly is revealed to us in Scripture and why, how should we approach preparing answers to difficult questions raised against or about the Christian faith, why should churches teach apologetics, and the very controversial topic of varying degrees of punishment in hell!
If you want to chime in on any of these topics or give a short review of any episode of Reconnect, record a short 30 second to one minute long audio clip, stating your name and the episode number you are addressing, and send it to Andy at email@example.com as an mp3 file. If you have any questions you want addressed on the show, send them there via email as well. Thanks. Reconnect us, Oh Lord.
Jews reject Jesus as the Messiah, because they claim he didn’t fulfill Messianic prophesy. Andy received an email from someone arguing that there were four key prophesies Jesus did not fulfill. The sender also listed other ways in which Jesus contradicted the Hebrew Bible. Andy discusses this email with Crean Lutheran High School’s Old Testament teacher, Conni Schramm. She provides a Biblical response to all of the man’s objections. Her first response to the email is shocking, and it should serve as a reminder for all of us entering into such debates via online messaging!
How would you have responded to these objections? The following is the email Andy received at firstname.lastname@example.org in its entirety (swear words are blanked out):
I am contacting you because one of your members noticed my Israeli Air Force shirt today and proceeded to launch into horribly misinformed evangelical nonsense. I’ve had more enlightening conversations with Time Warner Cable technical support. He shared his nonsensical worldview with me, and I felt I should contact you, giving you feedback on one of your flock. Simply put, he was an idiot, but just barely intelligent enough to be _____________.
Let me speak frankly, then: Jesus of Nazareth was not the messiah.
What is the Messiah supposed to accomplish? One of the central themes of biblical prophecy is the promise of a future age of perfection characterized by universal peace and recognition of God. (Isaiah 2:1-4, 32:15-18, 60:15-18; Zephaniah 3:9; Hosea 2:20-22; Amos 9:13-15; Micah 4:1-4; Zechariah 8:23, 14:9; Jeremiah 31:33-34)
Specifically, the Bible says he will:
- Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
Second one was already standing – he’s out!
- Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
There was an enormous population of Jews outside Israel that stayed outside – nope.
- Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4)
If anything, more people were killed in his name than any other reason.
- Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: “God will be King over all the world ― on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One” (Zechariah 14:9). – Nope.
If an individual fails to fulfill even one of these conditions, then he cannot be the Messiah. Jesus failed at all four.
The Messiah must be descended on his father’s side from King David (see Genesis 49:10, Isaiah 11:1, Jeremiah 23:5, 33:17; Ezekiel 34:23-24). According to the Christian claim that Jesus was the product of a virgin birth, he had no father ― and thus could not have possibly fulfilled the messianic requirement of being descended on his father’s side from King David. (1) – Yet the genealogies of the gospels CONTRADICT EACH OTHERThe Messiah will lead the Jewish people to full Torah observance. The Torah states that all mitzvot remain binding forever, and anyone coming to change the Torah is immediately identified as a false prophet. (Deut. 13:1-4) So, he’s a dissident.Throughout the New Testament, Jesus contradicts the Torah and states that its commandments are no longer applicable. For example, John 9:14 records that Jesus made a paste in violation of Shabbat, which caused the Pharisees to say (verse 16), “He does not observe Shabbat!” And a blasphemer.Quite Frankly, sir, your evangelical organization is a sham, and the word “Contradict” in your title only refers to contradicting yourself. You can’t hold that all parts of the bible are true if Jesus BLATANTLY contradicts the Torah, though you hold that it is the binding word of God (written by people, by the way, even Torah) even though it is contradicted by a blasphemer and political dissident who accomplished exactly nothing. Jesus contradicts Torah, yet you worship Leviticus 18:22. YOU ARE CONTRADICTING YOURSELF! Normally, I don’t get too upset about these things. This person was hell-bent on converting me back to idiocy, and I am hell-bent on letting you know the following:1. That your followers are ________. You won’t win any hearts and minds with people like that.2. That your followers are also idiots, they are incapable of thinking for themselves save the lies with which you fill their heads.3. I shall make it my goal to contradict your insidious movement whenever the opportunity arises.
Alan Shlemon writes a monthly letter for Stand to Reason. This month’s letter addresses the person and nature of God within Christianity by asking the question:
Alan opens the letter by saying that most Muslims would say yes. That’s not my experience… I have yet to meet a Muslim who has said yes. They have always told me that Christians worship three gods, not one! I also don’t agree with part of his conclusion in the letter. I think if Jesus were to show up on the streets of Detroit today, every Muslim would fall in worship – they’d have no choice at Christ’s second coming – Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! Philippians 2 says this. But I get Alan’s point. If Jesus were to somehow return a second time in his state of humiliation and not his exaltation, Muslims wouldn’t bow and worship him, unless they converted to Trinitarian worship.
With that said however, Alan does a great job in my opinion of showing how Muslims believe in a God that is one person, one essence. Christians believe in a god that is three persons, one essence. Big distinction!
I like to say, “Jesus is God or Jesus is just a man.” Clearly, we’re not worshiping the same God. But from my experience, many Christians simply don’t fathom this. I have seen classrooms filled with mostly Christians divided on this question, just like Alan said.
Why? Why are Christians divided on this issue?
I have written on this topic before, but here it is now in video format! Ask questions if you have any.
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