A critique

This is going to be the first of a series of responses or critique to my friend’s posts. I have chosen to do them here because as you’ll see when you visit the links given here and others that I will look at later, that he mostly ignores my questions, not that he has to answer them. Right here, I can ask all the questions I have and he is free to comment or clarify where he is misrepresented or better still ignore.

Here, here and here are the first posts I would want to address. We will have fun! Let it be known that am not saying the brother is wrong and am right, no that is not the point, I will try to show why I think the brother is misleading his audience, which is quite big. I think it is safe to assume he is a NT christian [ I could be wrong] but I find he draws most of his teachings from the NT and hardly makes any reference to the OT.

The first post deals with Paul’s thorn in the flesh. I have first to say here that a good friend of mine whom you now already know brought it to my attention that some of the passages attributed to Paul could have been later interpolations especially those on women as in Timothy and Corinthians.

Our friend here has listed three possible thorns that could have inflicted Paul, these are:-

  1. Chronic illness
  2. Poor eyesight
  3. Besetting sin

and forgot to mention one of the things Paul could have referred to as a thorn in the flesh and that is being impotent. There is evidence to support this view. One need only look at Paul’s view on marriage to make this inference that this could be thorn he couldn’t mention publicly but only alludes to it in no clear terms

“To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.” (1 Corinthians 7:8-9 RSV)

1 Corinthians 7: 1-2:

Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

In this view, I think one Paul saw marriage just as a means to avoid fornication. There is no where we find Paul extolling the goodness of marriage. Is it possible that he knew he was incapable of siring children and at the same time thought the end times were near?

Our friend tells us this is the ultimate lesson,

All of these diverse views and speculations about Paul’s thorn have one common danger; they may easily distract us from the point of Paul’s message in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9, GOD’S GRACE. The ultimate, take-home lesson in this passage is that God’s Grace is sufficient in our weakness,

and am tempted to ask why would a god want his children to suffer. What does this say of the people who believe in this god and of this god? If his grace is sufficient in our suffering, is he unable to use the same grace to remove the suffering or does he take pride in our suffering?

He continues to say

So, whether Paul’s thorn was a sickness, an infirmity or a besetting sin, the bottom line is that God’s Grace is sufficient. It is sufficient to help us live through the sickness and infirmity, and it is sufficient to keep us fighting that besetting sin

does it occur to the christian that if god’s grace can see you through suffering and illness, that he could stop the illness in the first place and fails to do so. That then he can’t and shouldn’t be considered good and full of grace?

The second post assumes some people hate Jesus, I don’t. I just think the guy didn’t exist and that is for another post. We will just look at his post and that is what I am responding to tonight.

To be in love, is not about the two people in that relationship to define their love. What does he mean when he say

To begin with, the proof that we love Jesus is defined by Jesus, not by us

do those who love Jesus have no say? And since you can’t talk to this Jesus is this not absurd? He continues to say

We love Him on His terms and His definition of love. Not necessarily because He is selfish and inconsiderate about our preferences, but simply because God is love and love is meaningless outside of His definition. How does God expect us to prove our love for Him?

How is this a perfect love? Maybe I don’t understand something but please friends tell me if this is your conception of love!

Our love for God is evidenced by our obedience to His commands, and His commands are not burdensome

Gods commandments include forsaking family, stoning your child if he is disobedient and killing men who work on the Sabbath  I don’t know about you but I find this a hell lot burdensome than keeping traffic rules.

Well wishers must also be well diggers

I agree with him here. No prayers needed, it is just should be obvious that praying isn’t going to solve his/ her problem since in all likelihood they have been praying and nothing has changed.

On temptation he refers to Jesus temptation and has this to say

Did Jesus obey? No. Why not and yet he was genuinely hungry and in need of bread? The reason is that in doing so, Jesus would be acting in obedience to the devil, not to God.

Had Oscar Wilde had written by this time, I think Jesus would have found this statement

The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it… I can resist everything but temptation.

very useful. But on a side note, why would the devil try to tempt Jesus knowing fully well he is god son of god, I don’t know which is correct?

The reason for his post was this

In the same way, the proof of our son-ship, the proof of our love for God, the proof of our compassion and care… is not in our willingness to share photos or “like” heart-warming messages on Facebook. The proof of our right standing before God is elsewhere, at the Cross of Jesus Christ.

And the question I ask is why should the cross of someone who committed suicide albeit by delegation should matter to us? Why should this be important to us? What does sharing photos or any chain mail have to with the love of god, Jesus or Buddha?

The last one is my favorite. It is a good example of the theist telling each other your brand is not the correct one, and it is the only time they speak truthfully.

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – Jesus

These words appear only in the gospel of John. Mathew, Luke and Mark did not hear them. I contend they are a later addition, an interpolation for which the bible is full.

I don’t think he is saying the truth when he says

and yes, for the sake of remaining politically correct, Christianity was founded by Jesus Christ.

Christianity was founded by Paul.

No matter how much the Jews respect and honor Abraham, no one has deluded himself into equating Abraham with God. No matter how protective the Muslims are of Prophet Muhammad’s name and image, they draw the line at equating Muhammad with God

I could be wrong, but Jesus doesn’t call himself god and the matter of his divinity was resolved in a council of Catholics when Catholicism was the state religion. Mohammed simply doesn’t make the claim because at the time the Koran is being written, they have seen the problems the christians have gone to deal with this question and so the drafters are tacitly avoiding a similar problem. The Jews are not making the same mistake with Abraham because they are far much ahead of the christians in terms of originality of thought.

So, is Jesus the founder of Christianity in the same sense that others are founders of their respective religions? Or is he more? What makes Jesus so unique? What gives him (and Christians) the audacity to say that Jesus was more than a prophet and that Jesus is God? This claim alone sets Christianity apart from (and, yes, above) all other world religions.

Christians want to believe their religion is special. All other religions think the same of their founders even if they don’t make claims that they are god. The muslims ask how could the death of one man save all. It simply doesn’t make sense to anyone except the christian. He must see this as special for him to continue being a christian. There is nothing whatsoever special except maybe the level of delusion.

 Even Jehovah’s Witnesses acknowledge that Jesus died for the sins of mankind, but they refuse to equate him to God. They argue that “Jesus is the greatest Witness of all, inferior to no one except Jehovah Himself.

Last I checked JW were a branch of christrianity. How then does he go ahead and quote them?

Jesus made everything. Muhammad was a man, created like the rest of us, lived, sinned and eventually died like the rest of us. Jesus was the creator of Muhammad. Muhammad was the creation of Jesus.

Am confused here. Who did the creation? God or Jesus are they one? So how old was Jesus when he was born by Mary and how old is he now? When did they stop counting his age and how do we know this? At least Mohammed didn’t commit suicide 🙂

2. Jesus is the Word of God, Muhammad received the “Word of God.”

Jesus is not the greatest prophet to ever live, He is the subject of all the greatest prophesies. While Muhammad claims to have received a revelation of God’s Word through an angel in a cave, Jesus claimed to be the very Word of God. He claimed to be the Truth about God. While Muhammad was God’s messenger, Jesus was the messenger, the sender and the message all rolled into one.

Since we have no record of a book written by Jesus, these are claims made by others. Jesus, if he lived, did not say them. If the bible is to be believed, Jesus is a messenger and he says he does as he has been sent. How is he any different from Mohammed, who I doubt graced this atheist universe!

Abraham was the first Jew, Muhammad was the first Muslim, Buddha was the first Buddhist, but Jesus was not the first Christian.

But this is out-rightly untrue! How could Buddha be the first Buddhist if Buddhist follow the teachings of the Buddha? Does this make sense to anyone? Isn’t this a case of special pleading? And did Abraham even exist?

Jesus never killed anyone. No, this does not mean that NOT killing someone is any sign of moral superiority on Jesus’ part. God killed and kills people all the time. People deserve to be killed by God. Jesus would not be breaking any moral law by killing someone. What’s so amazing about the fact that Jesus never killed anyone is what he did instead, he raised the dead. Lazarus, Jairus’ daughter…. Jesus gave people life, Muhammad only took many people’s lives.

I don’t know why god should kill anyone? If he says not killing is not a sign of moral superiority, how does god killing people become allowable? There is nothing special in raising the dead if they die again! And besides Jesus isn’t the first to achieve this feat if again the bible is to be believed. The same claim is made about Elisha or Elijah, am not sure who, you could correct me if am wrong.

5. Jesus was God, Muhammad was man

The Bible says that Jesus is God (John 1:1), Jesus Himself claimed to be one with God (John 14:10-11), and the apostles taught that Jesus was essentially and ontologically God:

“Though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!” [Philippians 2:6-8]

Unless my understanding is bad, the same bible says of Jesus that he was fully man. Why ignore the parts where Jesus calls himself the son of man? Why this special pleading? The passage in Philippians was not spoken by Jesus. It can’t pass for evidence in this case. We must leave it when considering the claim of whether Jesus, if he lived, thought he was god.

Furthermore, while Jesus claimed to know what the Father knew and to be sent directly from the father,

again another case of special pleading. Why ignore the parts where Jesus, if he lived, says no one except the father knows the hour? Is it because this doesn’t satisfy your goal?

Only men need mediators in order to communicate with God. Jesus didn’t need one. He was one.

if Jesus is god, why does he pray? Why on the cross does he make the cry father father why have you forsaken me? Did he forget he was god or as Albert Camus puts it, at this very moment Jesus realizes it was all in vain. He died for a wrong cause?

Jesus never sinned. He was perfect like Adam before the fall. That means he was perfectly human, not inhuman. All human beings after the fall became less than human. To be fully human is to exist and live as God originally intended man to be. Muhammad on the other hand was a sinner (Quran 40:55; 48:1-2). Not only was he not God, he was not even fully human. He was a fallen man, like the rest of us.

Nietzsche says Jesus died too soon! Had he lived to old age he may have repudiated his stand, that is if he lived at all. Well our friend believes in the creation story and original sin. I do realize that without the fall of Adam, Jesus would have died in vain and so for the christian Adam must exist for sin to exist. If to be fully human is to exist as god intended, it is not clear in the bible except what I find that god created man ignorant and wanted him subservient and a fool! Who wants to live this way, by a show of hands, and Meme please count all of them!

7. Jesus is alive, Muhammad is dead

Jesus was killed, buried, and on the third day He rose from the grave. Muhammad died and stayed dead. Of all the differences between Jesus and Muhammad, this is the most pivotal. For years, many Muslims have claimed that Jesus never died, that He was simply taken away by God. But evidence to the contrary has increasingly shown that Jesus did indeed die.

I hear that Mohammed was taken to heaven in a chariot, I could be wrong. Evidence indeed shows Jesus didn’t exist, so how can there be evidence showing he did indeed die? So I don’t find this conclusive but I know again christianity is based on the Easter story. And as several apologists since Thomas Aquinas so observed, you take away the resurrection story and then there is no christianity. So the christian has to present conclusive evidence that one, a god exist, that this god has a son, sent this son to commit suicide to save us and that this son was raised after dying on a cross and lifted up to heaven which the christian also must provide evidence for. Saying the bible says so isn’t evidence.

As Ravi Zacharias aptly puts it, “Perhaps it’s time Muslims stopped asking IF Jesus died and started asking WHY Jesus died.”

And yours truly will ask, perhaps christians should start asking whether Jesus existed and not take it as a given!

No, Jesus is not the Christian Muhammad. Jesus is the creator of everything. Jesus is God. Jesus is the Savior of the world. All roads do not lead to God. Jesus is the only way to God.

Am confused. Either Jesus is god or the way to god, it can’t be both. And someone please educate me, who is the creator, are they two or is it just one guy. And while at it, when I read the creation story, in the chapter where they talk about the fall of man, god seems to be saying man has become like us, could be he was addressing Jesus, just thinking allowed!

I stop here friends!