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.
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.
Jay Clair has been a very active member on my Contradict – They Can’t All Be True Facebook page.
I discovered that he had a blog called Blue Eyed Shy Guy. The blog stood out to me because I am a fan of Mario 2 for the NES, and to my knowledge it was the only Mario game that featured the Shy Guy characters. Jay explains the name of his blog at the start of the podcast. For this show we discuss one of his blog posts that really stood out to me: “What is Meant by God?”.
The blog post originated as a reply to an Avengers meme that his brother sent him. Many people compare belief in Jesus to belief in Zeus, basically saying, they’re both mythological gods. Yet, Jay responds with a break down of the difference between God with a capital G and god with a lower case g. Doing such shows that belief in Jesus is nowhere near the same as belief in Zeus. His work also shows that there isn’t as many proposed Gods to consider if someone is evaluating the world’s religions for truth.
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Kyle Beshears is the author of Robot Jesus and Three Other Jesuses You Never Knew. Robot Jesus is the Jesus of Scientology. The other three Jesuses are Big Brother Jesus (Mormonism), Archangel Jesus (Jehovah’s Witness), and Silver Medal Jesus (Islam). For each of these religions he shares their origins, history, teachings, and practices. Each chapter ends with tips for communicating the Real Jesus of the Bible to each of these religious groups.
Kyle also created the Reconnect logo! He won a design contest I ran. His award is getting ten commercial plays on the show during this first year, so you’ll hear more about Kyle’s work via the commercials (and likely much more, since I plan to have him as a guest to cover the other chapters of his book).
A Muslim imam is scheduled to pray to Allah at a local Christian building of worship near you in an effort of peace between Muslims and Christians… what do you do? Do you attend? Do you allow Allah of the Qur’an to be invoked in the Christian sanctuary? One German lady said that if that happens, the building is no longer a church building; it is a mosque! She interrupted the prayer and shouted that “Jesus is Lord.” She proclaimed, “Here I stand I can do no other.”
Christians should not partake in religious syncretism, the blending of differing religious belief systems so as they are one.
Christians can certainly pray anywhere and at any time. I have visited a Muslim mosque before during Friday noon prayer, and as a guest I was well treated and given a tour of the mosque and given an explanation of what was to transpire when I showed up early. I was given a spot in the back to sit and I was not expected to pray, though I did pray to the Christian God (the Triune Lord) during the service. I just did not give any indication that I was praying, and I certainly didn’t pray in the same physical posturing associated with Islamic prayers, because I did not want to give any indication that I was praying to the same God as the Muslims.
When a building that is designated as a place of Christian worship, has prayers offered by a Muslim leader to Allah with the expectation that prayers offered by a Christian leader to the God of the Bible will follow, it is a clear form of syncretism. Chrislam is the term I have heard used for this type of blending.
I don’t understand why the prophet Muhammad would encourage Christians to pray in mosques in Medina, because Christians pray to a God that is not one person. We pray to a God that is three in person. In fact, I have had many Muslims tell me that I worship three gods, not one God (which I was told at UCI after speaking at the interfaith discussion you hosted).
Christians who are devote to the Bible’s revelation of God, must stand for Christ being Lord. He is not just a prophet. He is the second person of the Trinity revealed to us in human flesh. In Jesus, people have seen, heard, touched, and known God. He has revealed to us who God, the Father is, and he has sent to us the Holy Spirit (the third person in the Trinity). For Christians to pray openly along with Muslims, it gives the impression to both parties that we are praying to the same God, which is far from the truth.
In fact Israel, under the old covenant were always disciplined by God when they fell into religious syncretism.
John 14:6 is very clear. Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
For more examples of Chrislam, check out the following video, featuring George Bush, Brian Houston (Hillsong Pastor), and the Pope:
For more details on why all religions can’t be true, order a copy of my book, Contradict – They Can’t All Be True.