Contradict Meme #1

I finally figured out how I can create memes quickly without have someone else’s url on it and with no additional costs to myself .  This means I plan on making plenty of memes.  They seem to be easy ways of promoting Contradict Movement.  Here is a meme I meme I made using the Contradict logo:

contradict meme1I posted this image to Facebook and almost instantly I received a question about who considers Contradict to be hate speech.

The following was my response:

I can provide an example of a person who essentially says that it is hate speech. The person says that it isn’t hate speech, but often times in this paragraph uses the word “hate” in application to Contradict and does in fact call Contradict a bully:

“Islam, Christianity, Buddhism etc. Most are “the only truth” to countless people. And it’s fine to believe that. But, what’s not fine is not allowing others to have their individual beliefs in the truth. Who cares if they’re wrong? Is it really hurting you? Only if you fight them. Only if you threaten. Only if you belittle, offend, annoy…There’s a saying that hate is like a burning coal you are intending to throw at someone. The only one who gets burned by holding onto hate is you. This isn’t necessarily hate, but it’s close-minded. The Contradict movement is, for all intents and purposes, a bully. And yet, look at how many previously bullied people who have now found God are getting behind it. And before you go and argue that Coexist people are bullies, too, here’s a reminder–they aren’t expecting you to do anything but let people live out their own lives, as ignorant to your version of the truth as they want. It is a wise man who realizes that action speaks louder than any amount of scripture reading and referencing ever will.”

This quote comes from the following blog url: http://dreamsandrevelations.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/coexist-and-its-copycat-brother-contradict/

Also most sites where this image has been posted have responses from naysayers asking why Christians have to hate other religions and why we can’t accept them all and have tolerance?

My brother-in-law works with someone who has a Co-exist sticker on his car. His co-worker parks next to his car with a Contradict sticker quite often. After work, his co-worker told him that when he sees his Contradict sticker all he sees is hate and asked him why he has to hate others. Basically I think the Co-exist-er hates knowing that my brother-in-law professes John 14:6 and thus places his hatred of my brother-in-law’s beliefs onto the message itself, making the message a message of hate because it does spur people towards hatred, just as Jesus said, “The world is going to hate you because of me.”

Another person chimed in to my answer, adding:

Like the guy admits in the quote they want to willingly stay in ignorance, and in actually they’re lashing out and calling you the “hater” because they know they have no ground to stand on when it comes to their claim that “truth is relative”. Most people result to name calling and labeling when they’re exposed, and when the call you the “hater” they’re actually projecting what they are and what they feel toward you.

Check out Contradict Movement!  You can watch videos, get linked to Facebook, get access to free group study guides, and even better, order stickers, shirts, mugs, magnets, and cell phone covers adorned with the Contradict logo. 

Did Jesus Die on the Cross?

I met a student at Saddleback Community College yesterday who asked, “How can we be sure that Jesus died?”  I shared the following information with her, but I didn’t have the quotes at the time.  I gave her the website address http://www.contradictmovement.org and told her that there were links to a blog and Facebook and that I would post this for her.  I pray that she finds this and that others who need this information will find it too.  The important part is not just that he died, but that he was buried, and then raised!

Did Jesus die on a cross?

The Gospel accounts record that darkness fell over all the land for a three hour time span as Jesus hung on the cross.  (Matthew 27:45, Mark 15:33, and Luke 23:44,45)  This darkness covering the land is confirmed by the words of Thallus, a Samaratin historian who wrote about twenty years after Jesus’ death, as well as by the Greek historian Phlegon.  Their accounts of the darkness are preserved by the 2nd and 3rd century historian, Julius Africanus, who records both Thallus and Phlegon to confirm the same year and time of the darkness as the Gospels.  Julius records that Thallus tried to explain the darkness as an eclipse of the sun, yet Julius doesn’t buy this argument because:

The Jews celebrate their Passover on the 14th day according to the moon, and the death of our Savior falls on the day before the Passover. But an eclipse of the sun can only take place when the moon comes under the sun, how then could an eclipse have occurred when the moon is directly opposite the sun?1

Concerning Phlegon’s account, Julius records, “It is evident that he did not know of any such events in previous years.”2 This darkness is even recorded in Chinese history:

Summer, fourth month, on the day of Ren Wu, the imperial edict reads, “Yen and Yang have mistakenly switched, and the sun and moon were eclipsed.  The sins of all the people are now on one man.  [The emperor] proclaims pardon to all under heaven.3

The time of this eclipse recorded during the Han Dynasty is placed at 31 A.D., and if the darkening of the sun occurred from noon to three P.M. in Jerusalem that would correspond to be from five to eight P.M. at the current capital of China at the time, Luo Yang, explaining why the Chinese records claim not just a darkening of the sun, but also the moon!4

darkness

                With such internal and external evidence connecting an unprecedented and unexplainable extinguishing of the sun to the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, coupled with accounts of subsequent bodily resurrection; it’s likely that such news reached even the ears of the Roman emperor, who could have sent an investigator who would have had the authority to access all pertinent parties to verify if Jesus was in fact crucified.  Many other investigators of lesser political or wealthy status could have made inquiries about his death.  It wasn’t as if Pontius Pilate was completely inaccessible.  The Jewish Sanhedrin clearly had no problem bringing Jesus before Pilate and Herod to be tried for insurrection.  (Luke 23:1-25) Without a doubt, many Jews and Romans in the region would have wanted to investigate Jesus’ death and would have had the means of verifying if Jesus did die by crucifixion under Pontius Pilate.  Even if they couldn’t speak with Pilate in person, there were plenty of witnesses who saw him sentenced to death, since a riotous crowd shouting for Jesus to be crucified forced Pilate to condemn Jesus to the cross.  (Matthew 27:15-24, Mark 15:9-15, Luke 23:20-25)  Surely, an eyewitness from this scene could be found rather easily in the months to years following Jesus’ sentence. 

Both Matthew and Mark record that after Jesus’ death sentence, that he was taken to the Praetorium, the governor’s residence, where the entire company of soldiers stationed there stripped him, put a scarlet robe on him, gave him a crown of thorns, mocked him, spit on him, beat him, and had him flogged!  (Matthew 27:27-31 and Mark 15:16-20)  After this treatment, the Gospels record that the soldiers led Jesus away to his crucifixion.  Many of these men would be able to serve as witnesses to Jesus’ death, or if they didn’t see execution through until the end, they would be able to point you to centurion and his soldiers who oversaw his final hours. 

simon of cyreneAnother witness that could likely be found was a man from Cyrene, named Simon.  The Synoptic Gospels record that the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross.  Mark records that this man was the father of Alexander and Rufus.  (Mark 15:21)  He writes these names as if his audience would have known who they were.  Surely, a man named Simon, from Cyrene, who has two sons named Alexander and Rufus, could have been found and interrogated in the early first century.  He should be able to answer the following questions with ease: Were you forced to carry a cross at the time of the Passover?  Was the man whose cross you carried, Jesus of Nazareth?  Did he say anything to you?  What was his condition like when you carried his cross?  Was he crucified at Golgotha, The Place of the Skull, as Jesus’ disciples claim?  Is it true that a sign was placed over his head that said, “THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.”?  Did you see Jesus nailed to the cross?  What about his death?  Did you stay to witness it?  Could you tell if any of his followers or family was there for his execution?  What did you think about the sky going dark at his crucifixion?  Or the earthquake at his death?  Do you think they are linked? 

The Gospels make mention that many women followers of Jesus were watching his crucifixion: Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, the mother of Zebedee’s sons, Salome, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Jesus’ mother and her sister.  Any of these women could have been interrogated to confirm the death of Jesus, as well as the apostle John, who claims in his Gospel to have witnessed the crucifixion, even receiving instructions from Jesus to take care of his mother, Mary, while his rabbi hung on the cross.  Already, a large list of supposed witnesses could be located and examined to verify the Gospel accounts that Jesus did in fact die.  The greatest witness of them all though, would be the centurion who oversaw the crucifixion, and the soldier who stuck Jesus in the side with a spear (possibly the centurion).  The following is what John records of the death that he witnessed:

Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath.  Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down.  The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other.  But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.  Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.  (John 19:31-35)

soldier spear

                If Jesus was not sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate, surely Pontius would publically squelch that rumor, or Herod or the Sanhedrin.  If someone other than Jesus was nailed to the cross, the mob who demanded his crucifixion, the women disciples who stayed to his final breaths, his closest disciple, John, should have been able to confirm that Jesus did not die on a cross.  If anyone questioned if Jesus could have survived the crucifixion as a possible explanation for how his tomb was empty and people saw him alive post-mortem, the executioners would certainly be able to affirm if he was dead or not.  The man who thrust the spear into Jesus’ breathless body would be able to confirm if Jesus died on the cross.  The Gospels record that the centurion in charge of Jesus’ execution, after seeing how Jesus died, said, “Surely this man was the Son of God” (Mark 15:39).   The first century inquirer would seek the centurion for confirmation of Jesus’ death and would learn if he truly did believe Jesus was the Son of God based on the way he died.  If any of the Gospel accounts were false on how Jesus died, these witnesses would deny them.  Living in the 21st century we have no record that they ever did. 

1. “Historical Evidence for Crucifixion Darkness” retrieved from http://www.biblehistory.net/newsletter/crucifixion_darkness.htm on March 21st, 2013

2. Ibd.

3. Chan, Kei Thong.  Faith of Our Fathers: God in Ancient China. Shanghai, China, 345 Xianxialu, 2006. p. 318.

4. Ibd. p. 318.

Click here to order my book, Contradict – They Can’t All Be True.

How do religions contradict each other?

If someone says that all religions have the same teachings, and same basic principles, and you share that this is not the case; religions contradict each other in ways that are irreconcilable to anyone who is an orthodox adherent to their religion of choice.  To be able to back up your assertion, simply have memorized a few doctrinal categories and several of the world’s religions’ positions for each of those categories.  Spitting out a few examples of what different religions teach, say, in the categories of who God is, what the source and focus of revelation is, and what lies after this life, should be enough to demonstrate some very stark contrasts in beliefs.  Clearly, all religions don’t teach the same views on life, God, and the destiny of mankind, but can you quickly demonstrate it?

The following image is a photo I took of a student’s test that asked this basic question.  Check out how he answered the question (click the image to enlarge):

Religious Contradictions

Muslims believe Jesus is the Messiah – Clash with John 14:6.

I received the following comment on a blog post:

Did you know that Muslims believe Jesus is the Messiah? Where does that fit into John 14:6?

 

Someone else responded to that by saying:

See you can’t speak for all Muslims. Some do believe Jesus is the Messiah, others believe he was just a prophet who died, etc. What does the word Messiah mean to Muslims?

 

I think that was a pretty good response.  Ask the guy for more clarity.  Do all Muslims believe Jesus was the Messiah?  They likely refer to him as the Christ, but do they know that Christ means Messiah, and if they do know this, what exactly does the word Messiah mean to Muslims?  Do they have Messianic expectations that are the same as the Jews?  Do they understand Jesus’ role as the Messiah in the same way as Christians?

The original commenter responded saying:

It’s part of their doctrine. Mainstream Muslims say to not believe Jesus sits even now at the right hand of God and will come again is not to be Muslim. They believe Jesus was born of the virgin Mary. Look it up. It’s in the fundamentals of Islamic doctrin

 

This reply doesn’t exactly address the meaning of Messiah and doesn’t show that Muslims believe everything Christians believe about John 14:6 and the personhood of the God-Man, Jesus Christ.  Here’s the comment I left after this string of comments:

I know that you are right that Muslims believe that Jesus was born of a virgin named Mary.

I also know that they don’t believe he died. That is clearly stated in the Qur’an. If he did not die, then the doctrine of his atoning sacrifice for the sins of mankind is not within Islam, which means that Muslims reject the prophesies of Isaiah 53. Muslims believe that each man must pay for his own sin, that they cannot stick their sins to someone else. This means Christians have quite a different understanding of who Jesus is and what he did for mankind than Muslims do.
The following page shows the verses from the Qur’an that support that Jesus was born of a virgin, did not have an earthly Father just as Adam, and did not die:http://www.islam-guide.com/ch3-10.htm.

 

Help me out, please. Where do you find that Muslims believe that Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father and that he is the Messiah. Also show me what Muslims believe concerning the Messiah. I know that Christians recognize that Messiah means “anointed one” and that prophets, priests, and kings were anointed in ancient Israel. Christians believe that Jesus as the Messiah fulfills all three offices in such a way that no other person possibly can because Jesus is fully God and fully man (another Doctrine that Muslims reject).

 

Any feedback or additional thoughts or answers to the questions I left in my post on this topic would be appreciated.

 

 

One Nation Under God #1

One nation under God.  Which God?  I’ve heard a lot of people make the argument that a majority of the founding fathers were deists and not Christians.  I however was taught that America was founded as a Christian nation.  Here are some quotes from some very influential founding fathers:

From John Hancock – Signer of the Declaration of Independence:

Principally and first of all, I give and recommend my soul into the hands of God that gave it; and my body I recommend to the earth… nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mercy and power of God.

 

The doctrine of a general revelation would have come from a Biblical, Christian worldview for Mr. Hancock.

Patrick Henry – Governor of Virgina:

It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Wow!  Partrick Henry claims that America was founded on the gospel of Jesus Christ!  That isn’t generic deism by any stretch of the imagination.  If Patrick Henry was wrong in this statement, other early prominent American leaders would have corrected him.  Do we have any such corrections?

English: Peter F. Rothermel's "Patrick He...

English: Peter F. Rothermel’s “Patrick Henry Before the Virginia House of Burgesses”, a painting of Patrick Henry’s “If this be treason, make the most of it!” speech against the Stamp Act of 1765

Benjamin Rush – Signer of the Declaration of Independence:

My only hope of salvation is the infinite, transcendent love of God manifested to the world by death of His Son upon the cross.  Nothing but His blood will wash away my sins.  I rely exclusively upon it.  Come, Lord Jesus!  Come quickly!

 

Benjamin Rush, Painting

Benjamin Rush, Painting (Photo credit: Marion Doss)

Benjamin Rush definitely wasn’t Jewish or Islamic, or simply believing that there was some unknown Creator directing the course of history from afar without any direct revelation of himself to mankind.

John Adams – Second President:

The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity… I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.

 

John Hancock and John Adams:

We recognize no sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus!

 

All quotes were pulled from In God We Still Trust by Dr. Richard G. Lee.