My most recent article on defending Christ I had posted on a website I responded to has received a recent response and in my article I intend to respond to the response. Although I had stated before I may not waste my time, This would be a good opportunity for a written debate, which I prefer as opposed to an oral one.
The article can be found here: http://double-woe-seven.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/response-to-answering-judaism-on.html
"Response to Answering-Judaism on "Jesus probably worshipped Satan"
"Answering Judaism" (I'll call him AJ for short) has taken the time to address an old post of mine on a previous blog. I'm not Jewish, but apparently some of my arguments are...
TL:DR version: AJ, like so many Christian apologists makes a litany of random boneheaded errors about reality. He can't get over inerrancy and think about the writings contained in the Bible in any other way. It appears to be an all or nothing deal with him and he seems to have no sense of arguing like you should be making multiple, independent arguments to the better explanation. And he assumes I don't know the mainstream explanations for various issues I bring up."
Firstly, my user name Answering Judaism, is the name of my ministry. It specifically deals with Jewish Objections to Jesus yes, but it is NOT limited to that. I have addressed points raised by other groups outside of Rabbinic Jewish circles, Namely Muslims such as Shadid Lewis or Doctor Tauheed and also repudiates false ministries that call themselves Christians, mostly Non-Trinitarian groups and also in passing have condemned Word Faith Heretics and Kansas City Prophets.
I am aware that War On Error is not Jewish, but my ministries name doesn't prevent me from taking a look at other groups.
"To be clear, I don't believe in Christian mythology at all, much less this variant of it. This is an exercise in ridiculing Christians with a more probable supernaturalistic take on their own mythology which demonstrates an anti-supernatural bias is simply unnecessary. Notice, all of this completely takes for granted virtually every popular argument for Christianity that the intellectually inclined Christians believe are good arguments. The ontological arguments, the Kalam arguments, the cosmological arguments, teleological arguments, naturalistic incredulity of all forms, even young earth creationism and global Flood geology, Old Testament prophecy...all of that could be 100% legitimate. But none of that does anything to counter the idea that Jesus gave into temptation and worshipped Satan throwing away any chance of our salvations. Jesus predicting the end in his generation, his questionable behavior throughout the gospels, and the next 2,000 underwhelming years of Christian development indicate strongly that something must have gone wrong."
The problem with War On Error's conclusion about Jesus falling victim to Satan, is the very same context he quotes, Jesus not just once, but three times repudiates Satan and Satan goes away. Let's read Luke 4:
"4 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted[a] by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’[b]”
5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’[c]”
9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you
to guard you carefully;
11 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[d]”
12 Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[e]”
13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time."
If one allows for the context to speak for itself, rather than proving Jesus to be mislead by Satan or giving in to his temptation, what actually happens is he passes the test and Satan leaves, having failed to bring Jesus down to his level. Jesus flat out REFUSES to bow the knee to Satan, contra War On Error's actual position.
It is possible to be tempted by someone and yet stand your ground and never give into temptation.
I'm assuming that AJ is trying to say it is still a coherent story for Jesus who can't sin to be tempted to sin because he can go through the motions. Hence Jesus couldn't have worshipped Satan, right? AJ says himself later in the post: "Since God has no evil inclinations, no lustful feelings or sinful desires, it is not possible for God to be tempted to sin. God is completely good and holy. What James is basically saying is that only God has no desire to do anything that is sinful." This is like someone tempting me to fly around the sky like Superman and me putting on a show as though there's any chance in hell that I can actually comply even if I'm weak minded. Maybe that's satisfying nonsense for Christians, but I prefer a more coherent reality."
The quote I have placed in italics is specifically Sam Shamoun's own words on Jams 1:13. Yes, it is possible to be tempted and then brush the temptation aside. You can be tempted into doing something and refuse to do it.
Temptation itself is NOT a sin, it's dwelling ON the temptation and acting it out, Neither did Jesus actually do. The comparison to Superman to be honest is unwarranted and is not even a relevant comparison.
If the Bible is good enough to prove this persons point, it's good enough to disprove his point entirely.
Spoken like a True Believer (TM) who has rarely considered other points of view apart from Biblical inerrancy."
While I believe in Biblical inerrancy, The reason I made my point was a demand for consistency. If the same Bible is good enough to demonstrate your point that Jesus worshipped Satan, it is also good enough to refute your point as well. The very context which you quote from even shoots your thesis in the foot to begin with.
Even in the book of Job, Satan attempts to tempt God...
Wouldn't Satan know better? Does the Christian god not talk to anyone in heaven about himself as much as he doesn't talk to anyone on earth? He needs to learn some people/angel skills.
Also...doesn't Satan actually successfully tempt Yahweh into screwing around with Job? What *is* AJ referring to?"
Let's go to the book of Job quickly:
"Job 2:1 On another day the angels[a] came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”
Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”
3 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”
4 “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. 5 But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
6 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”
7 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. 8 Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes."
Satan was the one who did mess around with Job and God allowed it to happen to demonstrate his point that Job would remain faithful to him despite the hell that Satan would put him through.
I response to a question, Satan did know better, but he is rather careless in boldly challenging God the way he did in the first place.
[Jesus] said he would come soon, he didn't say he would come shortly. Soon doesn't mean imminent. How does the author know that Father is not with Jesus, he is merely asserting it.
Jesus believed the world was going to end in his generation (see: Mark 9:1, 13:30, Matthew 10:23, 16:28, 23:36, 24:34, Luke 9:27, 21:32). He says so repeatedly in different ways. Look at the whole chapters surrounding those verses and you will see that everything that Christians believe is supposed to happen in the official end times is actually supposed to happen in Jesus' generation. This is good evidence that something went wrong. Jesus worshipping Satan seems like a prime candidate for something going wrong."
The word used for Generation (genea) can be used of a race or people and their offspring and Jesus may have been referring to the Jews not passing away until all has been accomplished. Such a similiar point has been made here: http://www.thingstocome.org/whatgen.htm.
Still, his point about Satan being worshipped by Jesus, is refuted by the context of the passage where Jesus' temptation takes place.
Jesus promises the true church they will be guided into all truth, but the context is specifically referring to the apostles AFTER Jesus returns to heaven. Furthermore the same Jesus in Matthew 24 makes it clear MANY will fall away and in Matthew 7:21-23 makes it clear that not every Christian who professes him as Lord will enter the kingdom. If you want to quote the NT, please quote it
The spread of Christianity is impressive from a naturalistic point of view. One third of 7 billion people today profess to be Christians of some kind. However, 1.5 billion people profess to be Muslims of some kind. Five million people profess to be Mormons of some kind. And so on and so forth. The successful spread of any religion is impressive in human terms. But maybe we should expect the real god to be a bit better at his job? The lack of Christianity actually making it all over the world (especially since they are supposed to make it to North and South America in Jesus' generation) even to this day, the lack of supernatural powers accompanying the true gospel, and the endless divisions of the church that could easily be moderated by angels points to a purely human spread of the religion. Merely saying there will be Christians and not Christians is an expectationless copout which would fit almost any outcome."
There is nothing in the Bible about making it to North America and South America in the first century. It is not a failure on God's part nor a copout whatsoever on the part of Christians when the scripture which War On Error quoted from that there will be false Christians or people who call themselves Christians are not truly regenerate. God preserved a righteous remnant of Jews in the TANAKH or the Old Testament and no doubt he has done the same thing with Jewish and Gentile followers of Jesus. He has preserved remnants among Christendom who only do his will and follow him to the end. Heresies and divisions need to happen in order to sift the true Christians from the false and prepare the true Christians for heaven. There is no failure on the part of God, he is still preserving a remnant to this day.
Regarding the growth of other religions, Jesus in his parables speaks of letting the wheat and tares growing together. God allows the bad people to exist for the sake of preserving the good, then he will judge all of mankind and dispose of the evil ones into hell.
Having high numbers in a religion is not the criteria of truth and I never use the highest population factor to determine Christianity being true.
There where miracles recorded in the NT that this individual is quoting, Acts and the Gospels alone contain a plethora a miracles.
A: It's possible Satan provided sufficient means through possible deception to make the disciples believe they were performing miracles. [BTW, most of my short story on "Jesus worships Satan" revolves around Satan toying with Jesus and giving him the (apparent) power to make him believe he still is on mission after failing in the desert.]
Jesus also makes excuses for why he can't/won't do miracles for certain people and in certain towns which may indicate that in the event his miracle working failed, he could find away to explain it away. Same with his disciples. (see: Mark 8:12, Matthew 12:38-39, 16:4, Luke 11:29 and Mark 6:4-6, Matthew 13:57-58, Luke 4:24-27) Hence if his powers were actually Satanic after the desert, Satan wouldn't have to provide a counterfeit miracle every time.
B: It's possible Satan inspired those books to be written as such since he would then be in charge of the Christian god's abandoned "holy scripture." So...it'd just be fake stories.
C: AJ misses the point that miracles suspiciously stop in the religious propaganda even though that propaganda clearly says anyone that genuinely believes in Jesus will be able to do equal or greater miracles (John 14:12-14). It doesn't say it stops. But it did. So what happened? Maybe Jesus worshipped Satan and it's been mostly a human farce ever since.
Satan didn't give Jesus ANYTHING, Jesus flat out refused what Satan had to offer. Jesus also warns the disciples about false miracles, as does the TANAKH in Deuteronomy 13.
The reason that Jesus didn't do miracles in certain areas were due to the unbelief of the individuals in those towns. Why would he do miracles for them when those people would not believe despite what they had seen? It would of been redundant. There were even those who witnessed the miraculous signs that Moses did in the TANAKH, yet some of the people were destroyed because of their unbelief and sin. Seeing a miracle doesn't automatically lead to a belief in God in every context. It was not a case of malfunctioning.
If Satan inspired the stories to "be written as such since he would then be in charge of the Christian god's abandoned "holy scripture." So...it'd just be fake stories" as War on Error puts it, Why is he using these "abandoned" documents as his means of trying to demonstrate that Jesus was a sinner who bowed the knee to Satan?
Also, The word Meizon or greater in John 14:12-14 refers to the disciples doing greater works in terms of quantity because of Jesus going back to the Father, but it doesn't necessarily mean that every disciple will be performing miracles here and there.
[Jesus] didn't "lose it", He was showing righteous anger because his Father's house was DEFILED by profiteering
There is nothing unbiblical about getting angry for the right cause and Jesus had zeal for his Father's house.
Jesus is exposing the Pharisee's wickedness and hypocrisy when he calls them a brood of vipers. He is not engaging in ad homenim tactics.
AJ seems to assume I don't know the official explanations for these things (and he keeps doing that), but they do add up and they do bother a lot of people. People don't expect Jesus to be rude to his family and his disciples, to lose his temper with a fig tree, to use excessive name calling, to resort to violence, or appear to cry out on the cross that he doesn't understand why his god has forsaken him."
What kind of Jesus has been fed to those? What world are they living in? If you think that Jesus was some laidback carefree lovey dovey so and so, then you are not even getting an accurate picture of Jesus. Jesus was not being rude to his family.
In Matthew 12:46-50 we read:
"46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”
48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”"
As Jamieson Fausset Brown observes
"47. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee, &c.—Absorbed in the awful warnings He was pouring forth, He felt this to be an unseasonable interruption, fitted to dissipate the impression made upon the large audience—such an interruption as duty to the nearest relatives did not require Him to give way to. But instead of a direct rebuke, He seizes on the incident to convey a sublime lesson, expressed in a style of inimitable condescension."
Matthew Henry in his commentary says:
"12:46-50 Christ's preaching was plain, easy, and familiar, and suited to his hearers. His mother and brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him, when they should have been standing within, desiring to hear him. Frequently, those who are nearest to the means of knowledge and grace are most negligent. We are apt to neglect that which we think we may have any day, forgetting that to-morrow is not ours. We often meet with hinderances in our work from friends about us, and are taken off by care for the things of this life, from the concerns of our souls. Christ was so intent on his work, that no natural or other duty took him from it. Not that, under pretence of religion, we may be disrespectful to parents, or unkind to relations; but the lesser duty must stand by, while the greater is done. Let us cease from men, and cleave to Christ; let us look upon every Christian, in whatever condition of life, as the brother, sister, or mother of the Lord of glory; let us love, respect, and be kind to them, for his sake, and after his example."
There are more commentators on this passage I could cite but I think this will suffice.
As for Jesus driving the people out of the temple, using a whip to drive them out may seem harsh at first glance, but why would you stand by while you let someone defile the temple of God? You would be pretty angry at people for letting this happen and if Jesus did nothing, he would of been guilty of a grave sin.
He curses the fig tree to demonstrate a point that most Israel refuses to bare good fruit. Why is there an objection to him cursing the tree?
Also, I already addressed the misuse of Jesus' statement "My God, My God why have you forsaken me?", that is already covered in the previous article and has not been responded to by War On Error: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/did-jesus-worship-satan-response-to.html
"One could ask on the "Jesus worshipped Satan" theory...where is the evidence that Jesus lost his cool? Well...here's that bizarre evidence. This is meant to be an undertone that is less probable on expectations of Jesus as the true god and more probable if something has gone wrong. "
Are you saying that Jesus CANNOT be angry? That is absurd. You can be justified in anger if there is a just cause in being angry.
[I said:]"[Jesus] doesn’t seem to have access to all knowledge, indicating God was no longer with him."
Verse please? Can you show where this is in the Bible? Even Mark 13:32 and Matthew 24:36 do not teach what this individual teaches. Jesus' knowledge was limited while on earth...
So...AJ asks me for the verse which he already knows and then admits that I'm right about Jesus being ignorant. Easiest. debate. ever. Further if Jesus "grew in knowledge and wisdom" as it says of him as a boy in Luke 2:52...that necessitates that he went from a state of ignorance to less ignorance.
How much reading comprehension do we have to toss out in order to forcefit modern Christian theology on the texts?"
Jesus growing in wisdom and stature is a result of him becoming a true flesh and blood man, but he remained God and merely veiled his glory, not ridding himself of his deity. Such can be found in Philippians 2:5-11. There isn't anything wrong with Jesus growing in wisdom and stature, We can expect this if God took on flesh and laid his divine prerogatives.
But no answer was provided as to WHY God was no longer with him, One what basis does Jesus having little knowledge indicate the Father was not with him?
...however, there were cases where the disicples understood that Jesus knew all things
How do we know that his diciples did not just assume that he knew all things? Or that Jesus was bluffing and got away with it? But we've already demonstrated that Jesus didn't know all things. If he was willing to admit that in his ministry he could always get away with not knowing things just like psychics do today. "Sometimes right and never wrong...""
Jesus didn't bluff, In fact Jesus even confirms my point when he spoke to Peter:
John 21:15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
Notice Jesus doesn't correct Peter when he says Jesus knows all things in the context. In fact he even tells Peter that if he truly loves him, he'll take care of the future church for him. Jesus is giving implicit acknowledgement that Peter is correct in his assertion that he knows all things, as well as acknowledging that Peter does indeed love him and predicts that Peter will die A FAITHFUL MAN.
In fact in the context of John, Jesus even says, it is finished, indicating he had been successful in his atoning work on the cross and of course in Luke, he says "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit" which shows that the Father was receiving Christ after the mission had been finished.
Yes, later gospels make Jesus say much more confident things. That's not suspicious to AJ at all? Oh right, he's an inerrantist (probably). So any Bible author can retcon any other Bible author and they'll call it a day."
There isn't any retconning on the part of the authors, they only record details relevant to their point, hence why certain statements are added or omitted.
A hallucination would only prove the point that Jesus was dead, it would not prove he was alive.
Perhaps those are AJ's standards of evidence. That doesn't mean they were Jesus' disciples' standards of evidence.
Or if your hallucination says, "Hey, I'm alive," you might think that means your hallucination is alive.
Furthermore in the NT again, the apostles were able to touch him, something you wouldn't be able to do with a mere ghost or hallucination.
Actually you can hallucinate with all 5 senses. Look it up in the science literature.
Also, AJ takes the gospels way too seriously as sources of information. Why would we have to trust *everything* if Satan took over?"
If they were hallucinations, then the disciples were dying for a lost cause and genuinely believed it was still true, rather than know it was false and deceive. While a hallucination can affect all five senses, it isn't necessarily the case in all circumstances. It can be visual, heard or even touched or a combination of those things.
It is safe to assume that a hallucination would only show a person was dead and how would you know the apostles were hallucinating in the first place? If their touch was impaired by hallucination? How?
The disciples DID see the risen Jesus, a hallucination cannot adequately explain his post mortem appearances to 500 individuals over 40 days.
For that matter, for what reason would the apostles "smooth things over"? They wouldn't have a reason to because they earnestly believed what happened. Yes I am aware that men can die for truth or a lie and believe either one wholeheartedly, but one who knows he is a liar would make a poor martyr. The idea that the apostles would all be willingly to go to their death for something THEY KNEW to be a lie, is absurd and out of the question.
AJ assumes there's no category of believer that has a fervent core belief that is less extravagant than the beliefs they may promote for others for the greater good of the core message. How would AJ know which type the original disciples were without assuming his conclusion?"
What reason would the apostles have to lie? They wouldn't have any reason to lie or create fanciful delusions deliberately if they knew that what they said is a lie. The disciples were terrified after Jesus' death, but when they saw him, they proclaimed his death and resurrection with a courageous streak. What changed men who were abject cowards into brave spiritual warriors? It is actually War On Error assuming that there is a conspiracy on the part of the disciples to mislead others into supporting a lost cause.
Additionally, The resurrection, if it happened, would only prove Christ's claims to be true, rather than falsify his claims.
Assuming Satan didn't fake it of course. Round and round in circles we go. ***"
And why would Satan fake the resurrection and for what reason would he?
AJ basically argues as though the gospels must bluntly say that Jesus worshipped Satan and then his ministry failed. Christian apologists often aren't the sharpest nails in the cross.
Your premise War On Error is you are trying to use the Gospels to establish Jesus being a worshipper of Satan, yet when we do quote the Gospels in their context, we find the opposite and that Jesus actually rebukes Satan. The passage you quote to prove your point shoots you in the foot and destroys the entire point you set to establish. Like I said before, if the Bible is good enough to prove your case, it is good enough to refute you, You can't have your cake and eat it too.