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July 12, 2016

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So, looking at everything one by one

- Jesus isn't very nice. Need to qualify what they mean by 'nice'
- Actual story of Christ. What do they believe is the actual story of Christ.
- Jesus is narcissistic. If Jesus is God as He claimed to be, then He actually is worthy of worship and this wouldn't be narcissism.
- contradicting honor thy mother and father. This again sets up a false dichotomy. Jesus wasn't actually speaking of abandonment in the actual sense [see 1 Cor. where Paul indicates many of the apostles had their wives as companions when traveling], but rather how their devotion to Him compares to other relationships.

These points should be tactically drawn out, however, this is a very poor challenge as it even ultimately comes down to the atheists ideas on morality and its' very basis.

If you look at Luke 14:26 (probably the most offensive verse to the objector) Jesus is simply communicating what it means to be His follower when push comes to shove. We should put Him above everything. What would you give up to follow Christ?

Matthew 10:37 deals with the same topic and communicates the same message in a more culturally acceptable way. In simple terms – Don’t put people above God. It doesn’t matter if they’re family, friends, or strangers.

Could you walk away from your crying child forever if put in the position? I, for one, shudder at the thought. But what would I be afraid of besides the fear of my flesh? What reasons would I have if not reasons I anchor to the nature of the very God I am refusing?

All of this basically comes down to this:

If Jesus is who He says He is, these commands are good, righteous, and even “nice”.

Robby has it right that these terms need to be defined. I won't duplicate his excellent point here.

However, assuming we know what the challenger means by these terms, then we can demonstrate a category error. That is to say that the way we honor our father and mother is one category and the way that we forsake our families for Christ is another. To demonstrate that this is category error, Jesus forsook his mother and brothers when they came to him as he taught in capernaum to demonstrate what he meant. However, he also honored his mother at the wedding at Cana by obeying her. He also honored her from the cross when he provided for her through John. This indicates that he had been providing for her all along since the death of Joseph.

So what are these categories? First, while believing parents will have an impact on the faith of their children, we know that our faith must be appropriated each one individually. We aren't believers simply because our parents are believers. This also means that we can become believers even if our parents are not believers. The familial relationship between believers is to be far stronger than the relationship between biological families. So in this way we forsake our biological families for a greater family when we come to faith.

The other category is a demonstration of honor and obedience that speaks of the righteousness of God. We honor our mother and father not because they deserve to be honored but because God has given them to us to be our parents. Honoring them glorifies God. Obedience to our parents doesn't trump obedience to God. If our parents command something that goes against God, then we do not honor our parents by being obedient to them. We honor them by being obedient to God.

So these two categories don't contradict each other.

I know this is a classic fallacy of tu quoque, but:

Richard Dawkins isn’t a very nice guy. In spite of his credentials as a biologist, he makes extreme statements which declares his a poor theologian. He is biased to the point where he doesn't believe people of faith are rational and has advocated use of ridicule to humiliate them.

This will result in dozens of defenders giving more than adequate proof that Dr. Dawkins is a nice guy. (Robby Hall makes an excellent point about the concept of being "nice."

Nice is a very loose term. The challenger's failure to perceive of Jesus as the Christ demonstrates that her understanding of the pseudo-narcissist labeling of the Nazarene is too narrow. Jesus transcends mere "nice."

Jesus died to save sinners. How nice.
Jesus assumed the punishment of sin that would have been ours. How nice.
Jesus is King of kings and Lord or lords. How nice.

Get how flat "nice" is when talking about Jesus?

Fully understand the ministry of the Christ and you see how shallow the challenge is.

This is a passage written in High Athese, also called Smugsceptish and requires some translation:

Jesus wasn't a very nice (a word which here means the kind of person who would hang out with people other people would shun like the sick, mentally ill, poor, oppressed minorities, prostitutes, or big-government shills like tax-collectors and such, lay down his life for his friends, and save everyone from a fate worse than death, Jesus was nothing like "nice") guy (a word which here means regular human, none of that Son of God nonsense, because how rational is that?).

Americans talk a lot about so-called family values (a term which here means a bunch of old, outdated fuddy-duddy rules about not sleeping around made up by a bunch of religious prudes that nobody who's anybody believes anymore) but that concept doesn’t have much, if any, basis in the actual story of Christ (a term which here means a story I haven't actually read, but I found some good pull quotes I while reading some other atheist's blog somewhere because if I had read the actual story of Christ I might have an actual clue as to how nice -see above- Jesus actually was and that a book that starts with a wedding-Gen2 and ends with a wedding-Rev20 would have a lot to say about "family values" in the middle, too).

Jesus demanded (a word which here means commanded like he was the Son of God or something utterly irrational like that) that his disciples abandon their families and save all of their devotion for him and him alone (hyperbole: a word which here means, some sort of conic curve that approaches but never touches a limit, see how smart I are!) – a rather narcissistic (I know what narcissistic means, but not hyperbole, hmm) and not particularly family-centric expectation . . . seeming to be in direct contradiction to the commandment about honoring thy mother and father (a commandment that supersedes anything Jesus said because it uses "thy", anyway it's not like Jesus ever honored his Father - No, I've never heard of Philippians 2:6-8 you mean there a Bible book written to islands off the coast of China that wouldn't be discovered by Europeans until the 1500s? See, the Bible is just so much fiction!).

If someone thinks I've taken a little liberty in my translation (smugsceptish can be a bit idiotic, er idiomatic), I took no more liberty than the author of this accusation of Christianity's senselessness did with the "actual story of Jesus".

The Atheist isn't reading the bible to genuinely seek wisdom or guidance. If she was, she would take the whole bible and the morals and family values taught in all of scripture from Genesis to Revelation. For example, Ephesians chapter 5 and 6 is God's Word through the Apostle Paul explaining Christian family values.

The article is disingenuous and designed simply to twist Jesus' words to fit her worldview (ironically similar to how satan twisted Gods words in Eden to deceive Eve).

The Disciples willingly followed Jesus and as mentioned in a previous post some had their family members with them as well. Of those who did leave their families Jesus said this " And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life." Matt 19:29.

But I'm sure the Atheist does not care to be accurate when it comes to the teachings of the bible. She only wishes to insult and falsely say all kinds of evil against the Christian...

Mathew 5:11 "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me."

Yeah, this challenge isn't much of a challenge really. It's easy to knock down a scarecrow in first century Jewish clothing and then claim that you've proven Christianity doesn't make sense. Taking on the Real Jesus, or as the challenge puts its "the actual story of Christ", is a much different challenge than the straw man this person served up.

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