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Objective Truth

What I Learned About Objective Truth

Recently I just came back from a conference that talked about Christianity and Justice and how they’re both intertwined into one another. Before the conference me and a couple of other students that I went to the conference with had to read a book by C. S. Lewis called Abolition of Man. For this blog this is what I want to focus on is the argument C. S. Lewis makes in his book, and if you are curious about what I learned at the conference I talk more about that on my YouTube channel and my podcast check them out and subscribe to both not to miss out on any content I put out throughout the week.

So C. S. Lewis in his book Abolition of Man what he basically argues for is that there is objective truth and that objective truth is sent to us from something other than ourselves. What prompts Lewis to make this argument is that he received a book from two english professors that wanted Lewis to read the book and give feedback. Lewis definitely had some feedback to give to those two professors. When Lewis read through the book he realized that this book which is suppose to be a book about english was far from teaching any english at all he realize that this book was basically a book about subjectivism and the authors thought they where writing about english. When Lewis realized this he began to give the three lectures arguing about subjectivism which we now have in the book Abolition of Man. Before I continue with Lewis’ argument let me define the words subjective and objective.

Subjective: influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.

Objective: not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.

In the book Lewis received from the two professors they basically wrote without realizing that everything is subjective and nothing is objective in this world. Lewis combats that with saying that just by them writing this book means that even the writers have an objective value which is the value that they believe everything is subjective. Lewis in his book claims that everyone has an objective values if they notice it consciously or not. Let me asks a couple of questions if you don’t believe Lewis’ claim.

Is it right to kill a completely innocent person for no reason at all?

If an innocent person is drowning and you have the ability to save their lives is it okay to walk away?

Is it right to take someone else’s place on the bus for no reason at all?

For these questions you the reader probably automatically said no to all three of those questions. Why what made you automatically say no, even if you didn’t say no you did have something within you pulling you to say no to the questions. But why is that you may give the answer that you was taught this at a very young age not to kill anyone or not to take a spot that has already been taken, true but who taught the people that had taught you and who taught them you can continue going back and back and eventually end up with the first person that ever existed who taught that person why does this person have that instinct or feeling.  You might say to this that it’s basically human instinct not to do these things if that was the case why don’t we act on all our instincts we have as humans. For example what’s stopping men to just have sex with every woman they see insight that attracted them. What’s stopping people from acting on the urges they deeply feel throughout the day, something is stopping them and even you. You may feel two urges one to act and one to not act now here’s the question what’s that feeling that tells you to go for one and not the other. What’s that other thing that tells you to do the right thing even though you strongly want to go with your instinct to do the opposite? That thing is the objective value that has been ingrained in you and most of humanity.

If you’re curious about the argument about objectivism then definitely read these two books by Lewis which he basically clearly explains why its very real that we as human beings definitely have objective values if we believe it or not. Book 1 and Book 2

Did Jesus Actually Exist?

Did Jesus Existed?

Photograph by: Redo Angelo

Did Jesus Actually Existed?

Jesus Christ is one of the most well known people in the world and the main foundation for one of the world’s most well known religion Christianity. He is well known because of his teachings and miracles he is claimed of saying and doing. Now many people would write articles and books saying that Jesus didn’t exist. That he was fabricated by Jews so they could have their messiah to worship, but is that true. Didn’t Jesus Christ actually existed? Many scholars including atheist and agnostic scholars who are in the field of studying the bible and the New Testament would claim that Jesus was an actual person historically.

Why Scholars Believe He Did?

Even though we hardly have any references of the historical Jesus in early Roman sources. Scholars claim that there is so many sources that mention him in Christian sources that it is impossible for one person or group to make him up. He’s mentioned in Paul’s letters, The Gospel of Mark, The Gospel of Luke, The Gospel of Mathew, The Gospel of John, The gnostic Gospels of Peter and Thomas, The Jewish Historian Josephus mentions him, and The Roman Historian Tacitus mentions him.

Bart D. Ehrman in his book A Brief Introduction To The New Testament says in chapter thirteen titled The Historical Jesus that what historians use to know if Jesus actually existed and while he existed what he mostly did and said is a set of a rules of thumb. First rule the earlier the source the better, so Mark’s Gospel would be a more reliable source because many scholars believe it was the first Gospel written. Second rule the more written about Jesus the better, so if we find two or more independent sources claiming that Jesus did something. That would be more reliable than one source claiming Jesus did something. Third rule the more the written sources work against the bias of the author the better for it being historical.

Applying The Rules Of Thumb To The Sources

So Mark’s Gospel was the earliest according to scholars it was written between 65-70 C.E. depending on what scholars you hear from some believe that Luke and Mathew gospels where written in 80-85. Depending on what scholars you go to some believe that Luke and Mathew copy their gospels from Mark’s Gospel. So many scholars would consider these three gospels as one source instead of three independent sources. Okay lets just say they’re all one source about Jesus, but scholars consider John’s gospel to be an independent source because of how different his gospel is from the other three Mark, Mathew, and Luke. Now remember rule of thumb number two if two or more independent sources claim Jesus did or said something not written exactly the same way it most likely happened. So lets analyze, lets start with Jesus’s crucifixion. Mark’s gospel has it written starting at Mark 14 and John’s Gospel has it written starting at John 18 even though Mark’s and John’s gospel dates are different for the events being taken place. There’s a reason why I believe that John purposely wrote his gospel on a different timeline than the the other three gospels that I will address in another post. But even though they differ in timeline they have similar events on how Jesus’ crucifixion happened they both claim that Judas betrayed Jesus, they both claim that Peter denied Jesus three times, they both claim that Pilate sentenced Jesus to the punishment of crucifixion. All of this according to the historical rule of thumb number two tells us this most likely happened historically. Also two more sources claim that Jesus was crucified by Pilate outside the Gospels according to Erhman roman historian Tacitus at least indicates that Jesus was executed by Pontius Pilate. Jewish historian Josephus writes about the description of Jesus being sent and executed by Pontius Pilate in book 18 of The Antique of the Jews, “At this time there appeared Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one should call him a man……He was the Messiah. And when Pilate, because of an accusation made by the leading men among us, condemned him to the cross,…”. All together four sources claim that the execution of Jesus happened which according to rule of thumb number two this is what historically happened.

Now rule of thumb number three claimed the more against the author’s bias the written works are the more historically accurate they are. What scholars and I mean when we say written work that goes against the authors biased; is lets say for example, what if one historian in United States history writes a piece explaining how the United Sates was created, but left out the part about slavery and claimed that we was always a country that always paid their workers from the very beginning. What if another historian in United States history writes the same piece but add in the slavery which goes against the United States idea of it being a country created on freedom. Which two historians would you most likely trust the second one because their information goes against the historians bias in United States ideology. You would think that if the gospel writers made up Jesus that they would claim that Jesus was not baptized by anybody, because why would he need to be baptized he’s God he would basically be saying that he’s less superior. Of course I got my reasons why Jesus was supposed to be baptized, but I mention that in another post. Most scholars would claim when Mark writes in Mark chapter 1:9 that Jesus was baptized by John the baptist that this goes against the bias of the author for the reason like I said before why would God need to be baptized. Also Mark writes in his gospel in Mark 14 that one of Jesus’ disciples Peter denied him three times when Jesus was on trial. You would think that if Mark was making this up he would frame Peter as a disciple that would not deny Jesus and also stand firm with Jesus. So according to scholars this goes against the bias of the author too. So according to rule of thumb number three these events most likely historically happened.

Conclusion

Overall scholars believed that Jesus was an actual historical person who existed because they are way to many historical references that mention Jesus that it can’t be possible that Jesus was made up. Also scholars like Erhman use a set of rules of thumb that they use to compare sources which historically prove that Jesus most likely existed as an actual historical person.

Christians Enjoy Your Season of Singleness!

singleness

Photograph by: Chris Sardegna

The Blog Post I’m writing about today is just an expansion on a video I did on my Youtube channel, if you would like to view it before reading this blog post you can watch it here.

To all the Christians singles out there I understand your struggle. If you are a Christian youth who is probably asking yourself, “Why am I still single?” “Should I have a partner already?” If you are a Christian youth who at every moment ask yourself when will you meet your partner and also think “Are they the one?” at every moment when you meet a person of the opposite sex. I understand I used to be like this too, but I have to ask why are you so worried about being in a relationship?

Don’t Rush

Don’t rush getting into a relationship! For you should enjoy your season of singleness. For if you rush you will most likely run into a partner that God knows is not best fit for you and major consequences come from rushing into a relationship. You and your partner will probably realize that you’re not really compatible and cause major hurt on both sides. Also probably during the time when you wasn’t single God probably needed you to be single. Just think about all the things that would be easier for you to do while you where single than in a relationship.

  1. Going on year long mission trips
  2. Going to pray for someone late at night, especially if they’re the opposite sex

These are just a couple of things that I believe would be EASIER to do while single for I am not saying that you cannot do these things if you are in a relationship. You could probably think of more than what I mentioned.  Also during your season of singleness you should take advantage of the free time that you do have on bettering yourself and growing closer to God. Allowing God to prepare you for when you do actually meet the one. So yeah this is just another shorter blog post than usual I hope this was helpful for you. If it was comment down below saying that it did if it wasn’t also comment down below saying why it wasn’t helpful I would like to hear my readers opinion on what I write about. Till next time God Bless!!

The Only View That Should Matter is God’s View

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Photo By: Dyaa Eldin

This blog post is me expanding on a video I did in the past if you would like to view it before reading you can by clicking here.

I was looking back over my life and I remembered a time when I used to always be so insecure about myself. I used to always every second of the day think about how people thought about me, and how people thought about my image. If someone gave me a bad look one day that person would be in my head that whole day. It was especially worse in times when I heard about how people spoke about me behind my back, those people would be in my head for months. I used to do everything in my power so people would view me in a good light, I would dress a certain way, I would talk a certain way, I would only hang out around certain people and dismiss other people who I felt my image would be ruined if they were near my presence! It was bad I was the perfect person to manipulate into giving into peer pressure! But I remembered one day I said to myself why did I care about people’s views on me, did their views really matter. I realized one thing if people saw me a certain way that is not true I know that there is always someone who saw me for who I truly was. That someone is God only his view on me mattered. If I did something everyone thought was wrong but God viewed it as right, then I’m alright because God’s view is the only one that matters. If I did something that everybody viewed was right, but God viewed it as wrong then I should stop doing what God disapproves of because his view is the only one that matters. We can look at examples in the bible Jesus broke cultural norms when he hanged out with the tax collectors and the prostitutes many people in Jesus’ day looked at him in a bad light, but he didn’t care about their view because he only cared about his father’s view. So in this shorter blog post that I’m posting today this may be a reminder for some and for others it may encourage you. I just wanted to let you the reader know that the only view that matters is God view on you. If your doing something everybody views as wrong but you know God sees it as right (make sure it aligns with scripture) then everybody else’s view don’t matter! Also if someone calls you ugly, stupid, fat, or other names just know that God views you as his great and awesome creation and only how he sees you matters!

Response to “It’s Not What You Think”

FullSizeRender 2Just like I promise two blog posts ago I finally finished reading Jefferson Bethke’s book, “It’s Not What You Think” and I will tell you this was a good read. I think it took me three and a half weeks to finish, but that was only because I was busy with school work, and I also was reading his last book along with this one which was also great I did a blog post on his last book you can look at it here,  but the main reason why it took me so long to finish is because once I read something in this book that was really impactful I would just stop reading and meditate on what I just learned not taking in any more information till the next day or couple of days after my last reading. So I’m going to tell you a couple of things that really impacted me when reading this book. Spoilers down below if you’re already planning on reading this book jump straight to the conclusion section.

The Impacts

  • That God wants Intimacy With Us!
  • What Voices Do You Listen To?
  • The Table Is Not What You Think!

That God Wants Intimacy With Us!

Bethke starts chapter three talking about shame, how we feel shameful when we do things wrong. How in these times when we think about our mistakes, our sins, we try to always lie, we always try to cover them up, and we always try to hide from them. Pretending that it never happened  and by us doing this Behtke says in his book that we aren’t allowing ourselves to be intimate, vulnerable and transparent with our Heavenly Father. He explains in his book that it is funny that we learned to run away when we do something shameful from our very first parents Adam and Eve. That God gave Adam and Eve a commandment to not eat from the Tree of Good and Evil. Bethke asks in his book why would God do such a thing, why would God put a Tree of Good and Evil in the garden in the first place if he does not want them to go near it and Bethke answers his own question by saying that God did it as a form of offering to Adam and Eve to be more intimate with him. Bethke explains the tree is named the Tree of Good and Evil if Adam and Eve ate from it what would they know good and evil. God gave them an option to fully depend and trust in him or depend on themselves and eat from the tree. He continues saying if you are familiar with the story obviously you would know that Adam and Eve ate from the tree and they hid. But God does something to us that seems strange he walks through the garden looking for them, God had every right to be angry and to just strike them down and start over with a new Adam and Eve, but he doesn’t he calls for Adam he was calling Adam out of his shame. That’s what God does to us when we do something shameful and we want to hide. God is calling us from it. God is calling us from it because he wants us to be closer and intimate with him, even though we made a mistake God still calls out for us.

What Voices Do You Listen To?

In chapter four of Bethke’s book there’s this section called exactly what the title of this section of this blog is called What Voices Do You Listen To? and when I read this section I read it on the exact day I needed to be reminded of its content. Bethke starts off with this as his first sentence of this section, “The security that we have in Jesus doesn’t do much for us unless we trust it and listen to it.” This sentence is very true indeed! He continues in this section by explaining the story of the Prodigal Son if you don’t know the story you can read it in Luke 15. In the story Bethke mentions you can notice that when the prodigal son returned the father didn’t send him away in disappointment, he ran to him and hugged him and kissed him! Showing to the son that he is loved, that he is known, and that the father sees him for who he is not his mess. When Jesus was telling this parable he was explaining how God is with us how he doesn’t see our mess but he sees who we are for he tells us that we are loved, we are known, we are his children. Behtke explains that we should listen to the voice of God instead of the other voices that try to put us down and separate us from him.

The Table Is Not What You Think!

In the last chapter of the book when I read its title I didn’t know where Bethke was going with this, but when I read it through it truly impacted me. Bethke first starts the chapter off telling a story of a messianic Jew named Ilan who accidentally hit and killed a thirteen year old Palestinian boy. Behtke explains how Ilan is a follower of Jesus Christ and that he wanted to seek reconciliation and forgiveness desperately for the tragedy that he caused to the family. His friends told him to not do it because it was too dangerous even and Israeli policeman told him it was dangerous for Ilan to go all the way to the west bank to meet with the Palestinian family of the boy that he killed. In some Arab traditions  the family could kill Ilan as pay back for what he did to their son. Ilan knew the dangers and deeply want to reconcile so he met with an Arab pastor and asked for advise and he told him to make a sulha which is a meal set up that is particularly used for reconciliation. So Ilan set it up for the family there where tension until the father took the first sip from his cup accepting the reconciliation gesture. Tension died down and toward the end of the meal the family said that Ilan would always have a second home with them. The author explains in that meal Ilan and the whole table received love, grace and reconciliation.  Almost in every culture other than the westernized ones the author describes the table (sulha) is a place of peace, love and a covenant. How in american culture we basically miss the whole point of having a meal at a table, america makes everything about efficiency of just getting the food in our stomachs. Bethke explains back in Jesus day the table meant family and peace when you ate and sat with someone at the table it meant intimacy and friendship. The day right before Jesus did the most historical thing what did he do? He ate and fellowship with his disciples telling them to do this in remembrance of him. The author continues explaining when Jesus did this he didn’t mean the small crackers and the small juice cup they hand out in church every first Sunday, he meant actual eating and fellowshipping with one another at an actual table. Every time you have a meal with someone it should remind you of what Jesus had did for you. There is way more points that Bethke goes with this topic of the table that if I put everything in this blog post I might as well be writing his book.

Conclusion

My conclusion of this book is that this was a really great book to read. It really opened my eyes to some things and impacted me in many ways. If you enjoyed reading about the ways this book impacted me I recommend you get this book because I only talked about just a couple of chapters in this book. There is way more in this book that was not discussed in this blog that I believe it would be impactful for you!!

Response to Jefferson Bethke’s Book Jesus Over Religion

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Over this past weekend I was in Barnes and Noble where I study and do my homework most often.  I took my break like I usually do and walk around the store browsing books. I went to the christian section of the store to checkout what books they had. I saw this book by my now new favorite author I was tempted to buy this book around the same time I bought his recently new book a week before “Its Not What You Think” it’s a great book I recommend it. I’m going to still do a blog post on it when I finish it so still be looking forward to that. But I was staring at this book again and finally I gave into the temptation to buy it. I’m glad I gave into my temptation, because even though he wrote this book two years back what he says in this book is exactly what I believed I needed to get reminded of about being a person who lives for Jesus Christ. Even though I’m halfway through the book. I just have to post today about some things Bethke mentions. I’m only halfway through the book by the way amazing stuff! Spoilers down below don’t read any further if you’re already planning on reading the book, jump straight to the final sayings section.

What Bethke Mentions In His Book 

  • We aren’t christian because of safety.
  • We are not save by what we do.
  • We as christians need to know who our enemy really is.

We Aren’t Christian Because of Safety

In the beginning pages of Bethke’s book he talks about when he was learning how to be an actual follower of Jesus and in the middle of his process he realized that he was following the “wrong Jesus” the I like to call “Americanized Jesus”. He realized this when he was listening to a christian radio station and at their break according to Bethke, “they did a fifteen-second spot about the station that consisted of kids laughing, happy music, and the slogan, “Music you can trust, because it’s safe for the whole family!”” He thought is Jesus really safe for the whole family? He continued in his book saying that Jesus was a man who was homeless, persecuted and  killed because he said he was God. Paul says if we follow Jesus’ example we would go through similar things from the world. We traded the real Jesus for this “Americanized Jesus” who is safer and sanitized. Bethke says in his book if we would of have this “Americanized Jesus” we created in the world today he would of never got persecuted because he is too nice. If we spread the real Jesus, the gospel he told us to tell the people of the world it will get dangerous, because we are going to create tension with people. People will disagree with Jesus’ view.

We Are Not Save by What We Do

In his book he also says that we have made following Jesus all about following a set of rules, rituals and paradigms. Bethke explains in his book two ways that we as christians sometimes believe we are saved by works. He first starts off saying that just because we go feed the homeless once a year, don’t drink beer, and have no tattoos this doesn’t determine our salvation. He then more pages into the book describes a story about a time he talked to one of his teammates. Explaining how this teammate was the one who always spoke loudly about God but was always the one bragging about how many girls he had and when Bethke confronts him on his hypocrisy. His teammate explained he was saved and was okay because he did the prayer with his hands when he was young, basically explaining he was saved because of what he had done. Behtke explains in his book that these two ways are the wrong way to think about salvation. The first way is wrong because we are not just saved by what we do, nothing we can do can give us salvation. He explains that in Isaiah 64:6 explains to us that our deeds that we think are right are as  filthy rags, he explains that filthy rags back then was the rags a women used during their menstruation period. Our deeds that we think are good are used tampons. So how can our works give us our salvation if even our greatest are just as bad as a used tampon it can’t. Only through the grace of Jesus Christ and what he did on the cross that is what resulted in the salvation we as christians have today. Also the second false way of thinking about salvation some christians believe. Is just because we did something good in the past does not determine that we have a free ride for the rest of our live. Just because I prayed the prayer way back when I was thirteen does not mean that I have a free pass to do what ever I want. Yes we are saved by grace, but lets not get that confused. Imagine this Bethke gives this example in his book, is the husband able to go around and cheat on his wife just because they made the commitment and got married the year before, no. When we make the commitment to get saved  and allow Jesus to be in our lives, our lives should show more of a reflection of him if we truly serve him.

We as Christians Need to Know who our Enemy Really is

Bethke in his book explains that the way some of us christians treat people who is not living according to our standards are being hated by our community. How some of us say that God hates these people for example some christians in the community would say God hates gays. Bethke explains no where in the bible God says he hate gays, he love gays, but he does not love their actions. Just like us christians at times he loves us, but when we sin he does not love our actions. Bethke clarifies that he is not saying to not take sin seriously. He is saying to definitely take sin seriously and that we should avoid sin. He says that one of the main problems is idolatry. Which Bethke explains that it is putting anything above Jesus Christ. He explains when we idolize things we usually “demonize” what is in opposition of the thing we idolize. He gives an example democrats vs republican, if you idolize democrats then you believe that the republicans is the enemy and demonize them. If you idolize republicans then you believe the democrats is the enemy and demonize them. If you idolize your self righteousness then you would think anybody who is not held up to your standards is your enemy and demonize them. He explains that the only thing we should idolize is Jesus because what is against Jesus demons and it makes sense to demonize demons. He explains when we idolize Jesus we see sin as our enemy and not the people who commit the sin. We should tell them to avoid the sins they are doing but we should not demonize them, we should not think of them as our enemy. For Jesus himself ate and sat with sinners.

Final Sayings

I would really recommend this book for what Jefferson Bethke writes in here is really eye opening. Even if you already know about the topics he writes about in his book you should still pick it up and read it. It’s always good to get reminded of what being a true follower of Christ means.  Also this review is only less than half of the book! Think about the rest of it!

Jesus Wants an Intimate Relationship with Us

Intimate

Photo credit to Reymark Franke

In my hour car ride to a city I was listening to this podcast from Fresh Life Church.  The speaker that was on the podcast was Jefferson Bethke if you don’t know him he’s a famous Youtuber, poet, and author. Before I continue I just have to mention he’s an author of a great book called “It’s Not What You Think” I will write a blog response to it pretty soon so be looking out for that post, but I really recommend this book for my readers that need a good book to read you will definitely get something from it. Now let me continue Jefferson Bethke spoke on “What Does God require of us?” I don’t type every point he mentions in his sermon so if you would like to listen to the whole thing after you read this blog go ahead and click the link here.

His Sermon

When Bethke started his sermon he started to talk about the garden of eden and how God wanted Adam and Eve to go to God for all their needs and not themselves.  Adam and Eve didn’t have the knowledge of good and evil but God did so they needed to fully depend on him to be able to know good and evil. He continued saying God wanted them to fully depend on him, he wanted to have an intimate relationship with them. But they broke the intimate relationship by depending on themselves by eating the forbidden fruit. Bethke continues saying how God kicked them out east of eden for breaking the intimacy, from there he says that cain got kicked out east from eden and continues saying Lot got kicked out east and continues with all these examples in Genesis that the author is trying to tell us something making east represent these people leaving the intimacy of God. Then Abram in Genesis the Father of Faith because he is claimed to be the first one who had faith in God, Abram gets called west and he says another example when the temple was built the doors where instructed to face east so when you walk into the temple you are walking into it from the west. The author using west to represent returning back to the intimacy of God. Bethke then goes on and continues talking about the first five books in the bible which is called the Torah which is literally translated to either rules or instructions. From this he continues by giving an example of his childhood explaining how his mother gave him a skittle every time he used the toilet encouraging him to use it; until he eventually realizes the purpose of using the toilet and go do it without no encouragement. He gives a funny thought, he says if he went back home and his mom would of told him the exact thing he told him if he was younger, “hey little Jeffy if you go to the bathroom I will give you a skittle!” that would be weird. He continues by asking what is different she said the exact same thing right now that she said back then but we obviously know that teaching technique is not suppose to stay but to lead into a deeper understanding. He  connects his story to God, God gave us the Torah full of instructions and commands and if we followed them he will bless us and if we did not he will curse us. God was doing the exact same thing with the Torah that Bethke’s mom was doing to him with the skittles. He used the Torah as a tool to call us into more intimacy with him until we finally get it and get out of the Torah and make intimacy with God a way of life. Bethke then goes on and say that the Torah was just a shadow into what God is calling us deeper into and that is being deeper into himself (Jesus). He continues saying more about being deeper into God, but you can hear the rest of it above where I linked the podcast. His overall sermon is that God wants us, is calling us to have a deeper intimate relationship with him.

Why didn’t God create the Perfect Human and Why didn’t he create the Perfect Society?

Why didn't God create a sinless sociaty

In this Blog post I’m just going to go a little deeper into the questions one of my viewers on my Youtube channel asked me which was “Why didn’t God create the perfect human?” and “Why didn’t God create a sinless society?” If you haven’t viewed my video where I answer the questions in a short five minute video you can look at that down below.

Going deeper into the first question

Why didn’t God create the perfect human being? Like I said in the video in the very beginning when God created the first human being Adam he was I believe created perfectly in God’s eyes. When God created humanity in the very beginning he saw humanity as perfect in every aspect and every way including having a mind to have free will and free choice to say no to God’s commands, sin by the way is when we do anything that goes against God. Now why would God even give us the choice to not obey him if he does not want us to not obey his commands. To answer this question God does not want us to be “robots” just obeying orders without a second thought. God want us to obey him because we want to obey him, he want us to love him because we want to love him not because we are forced.

Going deeper into the second question

Why didn’t God create a sinless society? Like I said in the video before he did create a sinless society in the very beginning in Genesis chapter1-2 there where no sin when God created the world. But when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in Genesis 3 they allowed sin to enter into them and into the society they where around. Now there is a different view of this question that I will answer, why didn’t God create a sinless society in the since of making it impossible for sin to even have an opportunity to enter into it. My answer to this question will link right back up to the first question, “why didn’t God create the perfect human?” If God allowed the society he created to not have the opportunity for sin to enter into it, then Adam would of never been made perfect in God’s eyes. Adam would not have been able to have free will which obviously God wanted in Adam.

What is the Gospel!

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Photo Credit to James Best

I just got out of my small group session that I go to every so often at first I was debating on if I was going to go to it or not but now I’m glad I went. Instead of the usual manuscripting of the scriptures  we usually do we did something different we discuss what does the Gospel really mean. We watched a video that really told the reality of the impact of what the Gospel is. I’m not going to explain the video because I want you to view it for yourselves down below and actually feel the impact for yourselves.

We Sometimes Forget 

I know when I was watching the video the main thing that caught my attention was the Father’s reaction to making the decision to sacrifice his son to save the many people on the train. How distraught he was and how miserable he felt making such a decision even though he knew that was the decision he had to make! When we christians go over the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. I believe we christians at times could forget that the God the Father suffered through this also that he was the one who had to make the sacrifice to give his son to save us. Even though he knew he was going to raise from the dead he still suffered through this ordeal. Also we christians at times could forget how much suffering Jesus had to go through during his death. We go over the story and think it was a piece of cake for Jesus to do that, no it wasn’t he got ridiculed, crowned with spikes, whipped, and nailed to the cross to save our souls! What Jesus went through was horrific suffering but he did it to save you and me!

Do you Know What it Means to be Saved?

In our small group the leader told a story. She said she was in church the other day and an old man got up and asked everybody in the church to raise their hands if they where saved. Everybody in the church was confused because of course they where saved. When they raised their hands he then asks the question, do you know what it means to be saved, because if you do then why aren’t some of you spreading the Gospel to people like you should. If you truly know the impact of what the Gospel is why aren’t some of you eager to spread the Gospel every opportunity you get. This woke me up, because I may be spreading the Gospel through my Youtube channel, through my Podcast, and also through my blog, the one thing I have been lacking on I can admit is spreading it in person pray for me. I would have opportunities but I would hold back because I forgot how much of an impact the Gospel really is. I would forget how serious it was to spread it, how much pain Jesus and God the Father went through to just give us life. How we should tell people this story so they could know why they are here today. Is that you are you a christian who forgot the impact of the story of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. If that is you I just want you to write down on a piece of paper what you are going to do about it now. Put it in a place that you know you will look at everyday so you would never forget how important it is to spread this Gospel.

A Close Reading of Jesus Before Pilate in the Gospel of John

jesus-before-pilatehttp://stjohnscathedral.ca/2013/03/28/worship-for-holy-week/jesus-before-pilate-glazunov/

This post I’m doing today is required for a course assignment I’m doing for my New Testament Class, I’m going to be doing a close reading of a passage in the New Testament.

Before I start I just want to make clear that each Gospel has a theme the gospel of Mathew was targeted for the Jewish audience making Jesus portrayed as Israel’s Messiah, the gospel of Mark Jesus was themed as more of a servant of doing, the Gospel of Luke was targeted for the gentile audience it has more of an intellect theme to it and the Gospel of John has the theme of making clear that Jesus is God.

The Passage John 18:28-40

These verses that are in the gospel of John are talking about Jesus’ trial before pilate. This passage in John’s Gospel is important because it is the most clear out of all gospels to state the reason why Jesus died on the cross. 

The Day the Trial Happened

It states that this trial happened early in the morning on the day of Passover making Jesus on this judgement day seem like the lamb being prepared to be sacrificed. According to the other three Synoptic gospels Mathew, Mark and Luke Jesus was crucified after the day of Passover, because Jesus have Passover meal with his disciples before his death Mathew 26:26-30, Mark 14:22-25, and Luke 22:14-23. Why would the author of the Gospel of John write that Jesus got put on trial the day of Passover? Why not align the day of Jesus trial with the rest of the other Gospels that said he was put on trial after the day of Passover? Probably John wrote it in like this to symbolize that Jesus is the ultimate Passover lamb that saves from death, just like the lamb that protected the first born boys of the Israelites in Exodus 12. When God sent the angel of death over Egypt to allow the pharaoh to free the Israelites from their captivity.

 Jesus Answering Pilate’s Question

In John’s Gospel when Pilate questions Jesus, Jesus has more conversation time answering Pilates questions than in the synoptic Gospels. When Jesus responds in synoptic Gospels of Mathew, Mark and Luke he responds very minimal to him just saying, “You say so” when Pilate ask him if he was king of the Jews. In John’s Gospel the author puts that Jesus has a detailed conversation explaining who he was when Pilate asks Jesus if he where the King of the Jews, Jesus basically explained what that title meant for him. Jesus saying that his kingdom is not of this earth and that if it was, his followers would of been fighting to protect him. The author most likely did this because he wanted to make it clear who Jesus was in divinity.

Pilate Claiming Jesus Innocence 

In John after Pilate has the conversation with Jesus about his title King of the Jews, he then goes out to the crowd and says he find no fault in Jesus and gives them the option to release Barabbas or Jesus. Which if you noticed the author wrote a very short paragraph on that part of the story the reason for its shortness compared to the Synoptic Gospels is probably because the author wasn’t too focused on emphasizing Pilates claims of Jesus’ innocence he was more focused on displaying the character of Jesus. In the Gospel of Luke in verses 23:6-12 Jesus is sent to see Herod before Pilate urges that he is innocent and you realize that this author puts more emphasis on Pilate urging Jesus’ innocence in 23:13-25 because this author’s theme is to claim that Jesus got a punishment he did not deserve because of his innocence. In Mark 15:6-15 after Jesus says “you say so” Pilate automatically goes out and talk to the crowd about his confusion of what has Jesus done and this author puts more of an emphasis on the theme that Pilate is trying to please the crowd. In the Gospel of Mathew 27:15-26 after Jesus says “you say so” he also automatically tell the crowd of his confusion of why he should be crucified, but when Pilate finally gave the punishment to Jesus that what the crowd wanted Pilate washes his hands and tell the crowd that his blood is not on his hands. The author of Mathew wrote this in to make more of an emphasis that the Jews was responsible for Jesus’ death not Pilate, since Mathew is  targeting the Jewish audience.

Overall

In John’s Gospel the trial before Pilate puts more emphasis on Jesus’ divine nature and who he is as King of the Jews. Jesus in John’s Gospel was put on trial the day of Passover to symbolize that Jesus was the ultimate sacrificial Lamb, in John’s Gospel they where more emphasis on the conversation Jesus has with Pilate because the author wanted to make clear who Jesus was in divinity, and in John’s Gospel the part where Pilate pleas for Jesus’ innocence is so minimal than in the rest of the Synoptic Gospels is because the author didn’t want to put as much emphasis on Pilate, because he was more focused on putting an emphasis on Jesus’ divinity.