Apologeet.nl5 Bible Passages that Caused her to Lose her Faith
Romans 9:14-24 Did God created people to go to hell?
Firstly, this is an important issue which demands an answer. The letter to the Romans is considered by many to be the most influential letter of Paul’s writings. Up till today it is still deemed to be the most doctrinal Epistle of the New Testament.
Let me tell you that this is a typical case of not reading the whole context. When Paul wrote this letter, he never marked it with chapters and verses. So, what’s going on here?
Chiasm in Romans
In Romans 9-11 we are looking at an intersection or crossing of two tracts, also called a chiasm. Paul is using this tactic in his writing because it helps the readers to understand and remember that what has been said.
Belonging or not Belonging?
To get back on track we’ll have to find out why Paul said what he said in Romans 9:14-24. The chiasm follows after the issue which has been raised in Romans 9:3-5.
For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
You see, there was a huge debate Roman Christians going on:
Are those physically born into Israel pre-determined to be heirs of God’s covenants?
Is everyone else disqualified?
Paul’s answered this with a clear ‘no!’, but this ‘no’ is being worked out in three chapters not just three verses.
The most important part of this chiasmus can be found in chapter 10:12-13
For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Do you see that the emphasis in verse 13 is on the whosoever, and not on the call. Paul is not giving us a checklist of ‘steps how to be saved.’ What he is doing is quite the opposite. Paul is emphasising that God’s covenant of grace is not just for the Jews but also for the people from other nation, it is available to everyone. Verse 13 makes it clear that justification comes through faith which has been worked out from chapter 9:30 to this verse in chapter 10. And the beauty of this structure is that it is a clear cross-section with that of Romans 3:21- 4:8 in which we also find the principle of justification by faith alone.
I do not believe that the passage Kristi Burke used is referring to individual predestination at all. No, it seems more likely to me that it teaches us how God used the stubbornness and wickedness of His chosen people, the Israelites. They are the ‘vessels of wrath prepared for destruction’ to bring about salvation for all. I do not say that all will be saved, no, I mean that salvation is available to all.
It leaves us wondering what would have happened if God’s people, the Israelites, wouldn’t have killed the Messiah. But, history has it that they demanded His death and because of this wickedness we, the gentiles, can enjoy everlasting life with God as well.
But let’s say, for the sake of the argument, the passage actually did mean to teach that everything is predetermined, it still does not dismiss free will. Paul is responding to a complained by those who believed it to be strange that God wasn’t going accept them, even though they were real Jews. Overall, they were righteous by birth, and they kept the law. But still, Paul is teaching that they can only be saved by faith? They thought that to be weird.
To make it a little clearer, we have to see what Paul is asking:
Is there any unrighteousness with God?
Why does God still find unrighteousness in people?
Is there anyone who can resist God’s will?
Some were arguing salvation was exclusively based on the predetermination. They also argued that salvation depended on God’s mood and not on a person’s works. But if that were true, we may ask why it is that God says we are all sinners. After all, everything is pre-determined and in such case a murderer can not help it. And if one says that the murderer can just decide not to do it, it leaves us wondering whether this means he could resist God’s will. You might already wonder whether that would be righteous or not right?
Heaven or Hell
Paul is merely showing that God is our Creator. As our Creator He could have created us just for destruction, but He didn’t and therefore, there is no unrighteousness in God’s judgements.
However, If we refuse to accept His offer of salvation, it is to God like He had indeed created us unto damnation. In that case your predestinated closing is indeed, eternal wrath. Our predestination is either heaven or hell, you cannot be pre-determined to spend eternity somewhere in the middle.
Even though Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the whole world, God is still not obligated to save anyone. However, Until a moment comes where God makes the decision to bring a final condemnation on an individual or until the final judgement as written in the book of Revelations, salvation is open to whosoever believeth, thus to all people.
Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated
Finally, I want to touch on this ‘hatred’ thing in the beginning of Romans 9.
…Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated
I hope that I have been able to make it clear that Paul is not teaching predestination. I know that Kristi didn’t mention this text. That might be because she knows that the word ‘hate,’ doesn’t necessarily mean the same as an intense dislike of someone. Still, I think it is interesting to mention that Paul refers to two sets of brothers. Paul also mentioned Isaac in verse 7-12.
So, why do I think this to be interesting? Well, in Galatians 4, Paul is talking about Sarah and Hagar.
For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid [Ismael], the other by a freewoman [Isaac]. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
Paul is explaining here that he is referring to the brothers and their mothers in figurative language. That is to say, Hagar stands for the law and works because Abraham tried to fulfil God’s promise by his won works. While Sarah stands for Grace and faith, because the birth of her son, Isaac, came forth out of God’s promise.
To bring this back to Romans 9, we can now see that Paul’s purpose was to explain the concept of faith versus works. He is not setting up a dichotomy between predestination and free will. He intends to show the readers that we can only be saved by faith alone and that we have a free will to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to God’s saving grace.
He summarises this in Romans 9:30-32
What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
In other words, the Israelites acted like Abraham when he tried to fulfil God’s promise through his own efforts, rather than having faith in waiting on the promise.
Paul’s whole point is that it is God’s sovereign right to establish a covenant with whomever He wants. And if God decides to establish that covenant purely through faith rather than works, nobody can question Him on that. Even if that means (what it does) that He establishes it with everyone who wants to join in.
Psalm 137:9 Is killing babies okay by God?
So, firstly you need to know that the deconstruction community she is referring to is sometimes also called the exangelical community. This group is basically a group of people who mostly stepped out of traditional Christianity into the world where people try to show others the inconsistencies of modern Christianity. In other words, if you want to start doubting your faith, you can always ask advise in these communities.
She is right in explaining this as an imprecatory prayer. In other words, this was a prayer in which the writer wishes harm upon and would like to invoke evil upon his enemy.
Inspired word of God
And Here she goes wrong! Yes, the Bible is the inspired word of God, but no, that doesn’t mean that all words that are written down are God’s own words. We use the word inspiration in the sense of “divinely given” because of a verse found in Second Timothy. The King James Version translates this verse as follows:
2 Timothy 3:16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
The problem is that we, Christians, have taken the term inspiration in the way that all the words are exactly the words as spoken by God Himself. Inspiration is an unlucky term to use when talking about the Bible’s authority. The modern usage of the word does not express the idea of God’s divine authority. I think it would be better to speak of the Bible’s ‘divine authority,’ or the Bible is the ‘authoritative Word of God,’ the Bible being ‘God-breathed.’ I know it doesn’t seem to make it easier, but going back to our text in 2 Timothy it makes much more sense. The words in the Bible are authorised by the Lord in order to teach, correct and instruct us. That means that we will find texts that seem to come straight out of a horror film. Not to repeat! Not to celebrated. No, to show us why other rules are in place. But I’ll get back to that a little later.
Did God not Condemn the Killing of Babies?
This is lame. My kids sometime argue and sometimes have fights with each other. The say nasty things. And you know what? Most of the time I don’t have to say a thing because they already know the rules and how I think about name-calling. Do I really need to repeat that every time?
But for this lady’s sake, I’ll quote some of God’s rule concerning babies.
And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.
God wasn’t talking with a sweet mommy voice when He explained the punishment for this crime:
Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name. And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not: then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people.
And another pretty clear rule can be found in Exodus. If you cause a woman to get a miscarriage and the baby died… You would suffer the same consequence.
If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life…
The Bible repeatedly condemns the killing of the innocent (Jeremiah 7:6 and 22:17, Psalm 106:37-38, Proverbs 6:16-19, Isaiah 53:6, Luke 17:2 and Matthew 18:10,14).
Even when Jonah was sent to the great town of Israel’s enemy, Nineveh, God did not want to destroy it for the sake of 120,000 people who didn’t know the difference between their right and left hand. I seem to me that God is pretty clear about the rules.
Is it Fine in Christian eyes?
Gobbledygook! We are not fine with these words! I have never heard a sermon in which the preacher said something like: “oh well, its is God’s word, so it must be okay!’
This verse will set off big alarm bells among all well thinking Christians. The thing it does is that it makes us remember how deep humanity is fallen. I mean, even to wish this to your enemies is alarming. But still, I’ve heard people who survived the oppression of the Nazis in the second world war, uttering similar words. Is that okay? No! Is it understandable? Yes!
I do hope she is against abortion too? Because that is the only morally correct stance. Nope, the pro-life crowd is certainly not smooth talking this kind of prayers. We know it is there and we know that God allowed it to be written down. But that certainly doesn’t mean He thinks it to be alright to think like that.
Anyway, nope we do not think that kind of wishing of harm on others is fine. There are many more things in the Bible that are not very moral. Still, God allowed it to be in there because it makes one thing really clear.
for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God
And it makes us understand why Ananias urged Paul by saying
…now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
Deuteronomy 22:28-29 A man should marry the girl he has just raped?
Note that she only read two verses! That’s asking for trouble, but I’ll explain that in a moment. It further strikes me that she seems to have a certain pride in the the fact that she has gone through a so-called deconstruction period. It is almost as if by this she wants to indicate that she has thought about things much more, and she thought deeper than those who still believe.
Ask the pastor
Her first hunch is correct. Of course does God not force a raped girl to marry the rapist. Don’t panic! We will deal with it in a moment. First let’s listen to what answer the pastor gave.
Too eager to answer
This is a bit of a shame. Of course, we cannot expect a pastor to always have an answer. But pastors should be careful not to be too eager to give an answer. He would have done better to study these two verses a little more before answering. Sometimes, when it seems that a verse has a simple answer we should have the willingness to study a little deeper… Just in case it is a bit more difficult than you initially thought.
OK, so here’s what I mean. She doesn’t take anything for granted, because she doesn’t allow herself to be indoctrinated… Indeed, she has entered a deconstruction process. Sigh!
Nobody likes to marry a rapist
Aside from women suffering from Stockholm syndrome, I also cannot imagine a woman wanting to marry her rapist. But don’t you think this was a convenient way for men to get a woman. No, this was a convenient way to get into deep trouble.
Kristi knows what to do
Now we’re going to get it. Kristi knows how to deal with this!
Don’t be so difficult God
This is Kristi’s answer to the issue. Don’t be so difficult about sex before marriage. Who cares if a girl is no longer a virgin. There you go, no punishment or fine. No way, just let them have their way.
In the villages where I work, I see the consequences of low morals. Everyone and everybody is having sex and girls as young as 12 are walking around with big bellies. And the boys? Ah, who explains to them that it was immoral? After all, there is no fine or negative consequence!
First, it becomes clear that adultery was absolutely not tolerated. Even if the official marriage ceremony had not yet been performed, the boy and girl promised to each other were not allowed to have sex with another person. We read this in verses 13 – 21. Here we are talking about a girl who was promised to a man to marry, but nevertheless already had sex with someone else before marriage. The girl could face the death penalty for that. I say ‘could’ because the man was able to protect the girl. We see this played out between Joseph and Mary, for example. You can imagine the panic when everyone saw that Mary was pregnant. When Joseph saw it too, he decided to leave her quietly. He could have decided differently. The Lord chose him to be Jesus’ foster father for a reason. Joseph was a God-fearing man!
Then we move on and see the rules regarding having sex with someone already married to another.
If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.
So here we are talking about voluntary sex by both parties.
Now it gets trickier because the following verses talk about both voluntary sex and rape.
If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour’s wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you
So here you see the issue in which it can be assumed that the man and the girl both consented to having sex.
The next section outlines the scenario in which it can be assumed that the girl did not voluntarily want to have intercourse with the man.
But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die: but unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter: for he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her.
And now we arrive at Kristi’s text.
If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.
There are two possible explanations.
Possibility 1: It was not rape
The first deals with the fact that ‘they be found.’ This suggests a degree of voluntariness. Indeed, we have read before that if the girl does not scream, it is assumed to be voluntary. Only in the previous scenario, she was already engaged and thus committed adultery. In this case, the girl is still single. The man and the girl can be forced to marry. There is no mention here of the possibility of the father refusing to give him his daughter as a wife. This is not a problem because that possibility was taken for granted. If the girl was a minor, her father had the right to refuse marriage. But she could refuse as well. I’ll get back to that later.
Possibility 2: It was rape and the man gets off scot-free
The other possibility is that this was indeed rape. The Talmud writes that one should not commit that sin. These two verses are mainly about the man in question, telling him what his responsibilities are after he rapes a girl. The emphasis is on his punishment; the verses tell nothing about the options available to the girl. If it is really about a rape, it makes sense that not much is said about her perspective because she did nothing wrong. It is more about her father’s perspective (the girl in this part is a minor and thus still under her father’s responsibility). The choice is already laid out in verse 16, where the father can go and complain to the elders. Yet the girl does have a say in her father’s final choice. They can refuse marriage, or they can force the rapist to marry and support her.
Talmut Ketubot 39bi
The baraita continues: Although both the rapist and the seducer are obligated to marry their victim, both she and her father are able to prevent the marriage.
The fact that the rapist gets an opportunity to marry the girl, or even just has to pay a fine, is pure mercy! We have read before that adultery and rape can be very severely punished.
Just research and don’t be so arrogant
You can see that the protection of the girl is very important for God. Even if she is a minor, she has a say in what is decided. Kristi may think she can come up with a better solution more quickly than the Lord God, but her solution opens the door to immorality! The problem is that many people would rather be lazy. She cannot convince me that she has really thoroughly researched this topic. A little more humility would not go amiss for her.
For us? A warning is also in order. We must be careful not to fall into the trap of pride. We can be trained theologians and feel we know a lot, but sometimes it is wise to take a little more time before answering a difficult question.
Video tijd 11:54 – 14:40
Deuteronomy 20:10-18 Surrender or Die and Women and Children as Spoils of War
Okay, that sound horrific, I agree! But since we are deconstructing stuff, I suggest deconstructing her assumptions in the right context.
What Kind of Cities are we Talking about?
These cities are not of the Canaanites, as is clear from Deuteronomy 20:16-18. These Canaanite cities were under an absolute sentence of destruction as ordered in Exodus 23:32,33
Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.
The cities in this passage are either of other nations who injured or disturbed them, or started to make war against them, or helped their enemies, or persecuted the friends and allies of Israel. The cities could also be of the Hebrews themselves. In this case they were found guilty or helping and encourages the practise of idolatry or apostasy from God. They could also found guilty of resistance to or rebellion against lawful authority, or because of giving protection and/or defending people who were guilty of a capital offence.
Surrender and Become Slaves or Die?
Nope, ‘then proclaim peace unto it’ basically means that they had to offer them terms of peace. That could mean that they had to renounce idolatry or stop helping the enemy.
If they agreed, they would fall in a form of slavery that was quite different from that of the infamous chattel slaves we know from our time and in recent centuries. This was more like serfdom than slavery.
The problem here is that the people of these cities squandered their chance of living a peaceful life in God’s land. The Lord hated the actions of the former pagan nations, and rightly so. These nations were absolutely immoral. You do not have to be a Christian to understand that their habits were disgusting. I mean, I have never met an atheist who wanted to throw his or her children into an oven as an offering. I have never met an atheist who went around raping girls and boys and then just killed them afterwards. Don’t get me wrong! There are sick people who like to do that, but overall, either believer or unbeliever, we detest these things. And so does the Lord.
Still, the people of these cities (and we’re not talking about cities with millions of inhabitants, but more like a few hundred), could resume their lives reasonably if they would give up their evil ways. But the result would be that they would have to work for their conquerors. This would most likely mean they had to spend a set amount of time in the fields for their new masters. Sometimes, giving up a portion of their own crops as a form of tax.
Normally, if the inhabitants had been Hebrews themselves, they were to go free after six years (Exodus 21:2) with generous support (Deuteronomy 15:14), or they were to go free at the year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:40); whichever came first.
If the inhabitants of the cities consisted out of foreigners they would likely stay in this position for the rest of their lives. Foreigners were not allowed to own land in Israel, and it would have been next to impossible for them to earn a living on their own; to release such slaves against their will may have been cruel.
Slavery in the Old Testament was very different and involved a variety of methods, situations, and restrictions. But the Old Testament is clear about capturing people and selling them as chattel: kidnapping was a crime punishable by death (Exodus 21:16).
Women and Children as Spoils of War
It sounds horrible as it is, but Kristi makes it sound even worse by adding: “and do whatever with the plunder that you want to do.”
Let’s listen a bit more.
“What do you think that means?”
“What do you think it was intended when they said take the women and children and do whatever you want with them!”
Excuse me? What do you think it means? Is Kristi thinking about the plunders of war as we have seen in those terrorist groups like the Taliban, Boko Haram, or Isis? Did she just think about Islamic war rules?
This is such a dumb remark. It is testifying of a lack of critical reading. The text says the following:
but the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.
Nowhere it says that you can do whatever you want with the children and women! It is referring to eating the cattle… Unless, Kristi is thinking about eating the women and children too?
So, what then could they do with the women and children? Let’s read a bit in the next chapter.
When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, and seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails; and she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife. And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.
Clearly the women weren’t raped. This is astounding! Why? Well, if you consider the culture in the ancient Near East. Military rape was mostly essential for the course. However, the Israelites were not allowed to do this.
Also, the women received 30 days to mourn. The Israeli soldier couldn’t just decide to lustfully take her into bed right away. The soldier had to wait and allow her to grieve. Maybe, if after that time his testosterone levels came down, he might change his mind. If he did, the woman had to be set free.
It is also good to know that in the ancient Near East, widows of war were typically poverty-stricken. Often they were turned into sex slaves, tortured, or just neglected or killed. In Israel’s law, these women were given the change to regain the dignity of marriage and a home. They weren’t seen as sex objects or concubines; No they were to be treated as spouses. And then in verse 14 we read that, If for what reason this marriage wouldn’t hold, the man could not decide to sell the women as a slave.
In a world where there are wars, and therefore prisoners of war, such regulations in fact set a high standard of conduct.
So, once again the division of the Bible, and in this case the Torah into chapters and verses is not embedded in the biblical text itself. It is more the way scholars thought how to read it. Most of the Torah is a free-flowing text. The texts ought to be read without headings chapters, or verses. I admit, this makes it a bit difficult to determine where sections start and end. But not reading it as one book will result in awkward conclusions, as Kristi, and with her many others demonstrate.
John 3:16 Everything Wrong with it
Jumping to Conclusion?
Okay, let’s listen to her last text in this video. Based on her previous analyses on the text, I assume she is probably going to bash this text for dubious reasons.
God is Not Love?
Oh boy! What did I tell you? Anyway, she is right by pointing out to those wicked nations that got destroyed by God. What does it reveal about what God thinks about the world? Many will preach and many more believe that God loves everybody. That He loves you no matter how much enmity. He loves you no matter how much destruction you, or your organisation brings against His people. God loves the sinner, but He hates the sin, right?
But is this true? Is it true that God loves you when you reject and despise His Son, the Lord Jesus? I know, it’s not an easy topic, but it needs to be said. The Creator of heaven and earth is not a snugly sweet old man. He is holy and just. He will not allow us to use Him as a soft pillow which we can use as a boxing and kicking bag.
When I listen to Kristi, I get the impression that this is what she means by ‘love.’ Like a mother or father who let their kid go off the hook every time it does something wrong… Because that is the loving thing to do, right?
And yes, there is a time to let you kids off the hook, but love goes deeper than that. Love is many-sided. It knows affection on several levels but if it doesn’t match with the following text, it comes forth out of a wrong source:
1 John 5:3
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
Do I say that God doesn’t love the world? No, He does love the world, but not in the cosy Fatherly love He shows towards His children. The love He has for the world is of a different level. His love for the world dictates that He simply doesn’t want to see anybody go lost for eternity. In other words, He doesn’t want to see His creation gone to waste. He wants to give everybody a change to be saved. His love goes hand in hand with His righteousness. Just sending people to their damnation without giving them any change to be saved or repent, goes directly against His righteous nature.
The affectionate love Kristi seems to be thinking of, can be found in the relation God has with His children.
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Did you noticed the condition for this warm love?
If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
So, again, John 3:16 is referring to God’s righteous love in which He wants to see everybody come to Christ and be saved.
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Jesus Was not God in the Flesh?
He she goes totally wrong. True enough that there are denominations which don’t confess Jesus to be God. However, these denominations do not belong to orthodox Christianity. I mean, this is a point on which both the Roman Catholic and the Protestant church agree. So, I would be very careful to label denominations, which deny Christ’s deity, as Christian in the first place!
Then, she says that the doctrine of incarnation, which basically means that Jesus is God Himself, was not part of the faith of early Christians. She said that it only developed much later. This is embarrassing, to put it mildly. Someone did not do her homework!
Polycarp (AD 69-155) was the bishop at the church in Smyrna, was a disciple of John the Apostle.iii
Now may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the eternal high priest himself, the Son of God Jesus Christ, build you up in faith and truth…and to us with you, and to all those under heaven who will yet believe in our Lord and God Jesus Christ and in his Father who raised him from the dead.
Ignatius (AD 50-117) was the bishop at the church in Antioch and also a disciple of John the Apostle.iv
Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, unto her which hath been blessed in greatness through the plentitude of God the Father; which hath been foreordained before the ages to be for ever unto abiding and unchangeable glory, united and elect in a true passion, by the will of the Father and of Jesus Christ our God; even unto the church which is in Ephesus [of Asia], worthy of all felicitation: abundant greeting in Christ Jesus and in blameless joy.
These are just two of the many first century Christians who call Jesus God.
Permit me first to recount the prophecies, which I wish to do in order to prove that Christ is called both God and Lord of hosts.
Therefore these words testify explicitly that He [Jesus] is witnessed to by Him [the Father] who established these things, as deserving to be worshipped, as God and as Christ.
But also think of Thomas’ proclamation when he saw Jesus after His resurrection
[…] My Lord and my God.
Council of Chalcedon
Kristi might be confused about the fact that it was only later that the councils decided to solidify good Christian doctrine.
Within the lifetime of the apostles, some were already having a hard time harmonising Jesus’ divinity with his humanity.
2 John 1:7
For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
At the First Council of Nicaea (325 AD), the church declared that God the Father and Jesus the Son were ‘consubstantial’ (in other words: of the same substance), making it clear that Jesus was in really divine in the same way that God is divine. However, they didn’t address the human aspect of Jesus’ identity clearly enough and thus still giving room for heresies.
It was the fourth ecumenical council in 451 AD, also known as the Council of Chalcedon, where leaders from all of Christendom gathered to define the incarnation of Christ once and for all.
God was Not Obligated to Save us
I am not sure why she says that He ‘guilt humanity into believing’ or following Him. Really! It is not like people start to feel so sorry for that poor, beaten up Jesus on the cross, that they decide to follow Him… Just to make Him feel better? That’s a weird thought.
But Kristi is absolutely spot on when she states that God was never obligated to die for humanity. She might not realise what she just said. But indeed God could have decided to let us all go lost. But He didn’t because it doesn’t sit right with who He is.
He Couldn’t Just Forgive…
Yes, that would be silly. It goes directly against righteousness. Clearly Kristi didn’t think this through. To bring it a little closer to home. What do we want when someone is being robbed, beaten up or murdered? Right! Justice. But can’t we just forgive the trespasser? Yes, sometimes we do that with the minor offences like stealing an apple or a loaf of bread because the thief was hungry. But how would Kristi respond to this approach when it comes to a paedophile or to a robber who just beat up an old man and stole his last money?
God’s own Choice
Again, yes it was God’s own choice to die for humanity. Nothing we, as humans, can do about that.
But, to say that He could have decided different because He could have made different rules… Well, that’s a bit of a childish way of thinking. Just imagine, God decided not to punish evil. Where would that leave the whole idea of justice and righteousness? Honestly! Most of our legal laws stem from the Judeo-Christian world-view.
Not a Nice Gift?
Okay, let’s get real here. If I do something stupid, like driving my car into a limited edition Lamborghini Veneno. I mean, my car would win that battle easily. But now, the owner of that Lamborghini comes and demands $4.000.000. I am not sure about you, but it is not every day I have this amount of money in my pocket. But then another guys shows up and noticed the mess I caused. He feels sorry for me because he knows I will never be able to pay that money. He comes with a solution—he will write the owner a cheque to pay for all the costs. But only if I agree.
What do you think! I was the one acting stupid and dangerous. I should be the one to pay for my own faults… But 4 million? What a beautiful gift! I would be so thankful that the man was willing to help me out.
Only Believing is Unfair?
You are not saved ‘just’ because you have believed. Again, she is distilling this form one verse without considering the rest of God’s word. She says that it doesn’t matter what you have done and what your intentions were. This is totally missing the point. Believing in Jesus is much more than just factual accepting His existence. James was very clear on this. In his letter, he went through great lengths to teach us that believing has everything to do with behaviour and intentions. He went as far as to say that if one claims to be a Christian, but it doesn’t show in his life, we can seriously doubt about that person’s honesty.
I already know where this is going.
How about other Religions?
Well, I wish I could make it sound better than this, but it is true.
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Jesus is the only solution to our problem. But how about those who haven’t been fortunate enough to be raised in a Christian family? Well, I am one of those people. I didn’t have a clue about Christianity. I believed all sorts of things, mostly those things that suited me best. When I heard the Gospel for the first time I wasn’t interested at all! Are you out of your mind? Me, giving up my pleasures? Pleasures by the way, I knew weren’t very moral. I mean, Paul wasn’t crazy when he said that everybody knows about God’s standard.
For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another
The ones who never heard the Good News
But, how about those in countries where the Gospel isn’t heard? They can’t help it that they worship Allah or any other pagan god!
I have already briefly quoted Romans 12 but let us also read verses 12, 13 and 16
For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (for not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
First this, Paul was mostly explaining here to the Jews that they should not think that they would be saved simply because they had the law of Moses. But the bit about the Gentiles seems to be saying that God will judge all men through Jesus Christ, and that these Gentiles might have salvation ‘imputed to them’ on the basis of their implicit, that is hidden, knowledge and obedience to God’s law which is written in their hearts, regardless of a public or even conscious profession of faith. But I am cautious about this explanation. The principle is that God will judge fairly, and every man is judged according to the knowledge given to him. Could a Gentile be saved on the basis of the salvation on the basis of following their implicit knowledge? I will not deny the possibility, but the Biblical basis seems a bit weak for this explanation.
That being said, I do have some other thoughts that may raise an eyebrow here and there.
Indeed, there is no hope for the unbelieving person who willingly rejected God’s gift of salvation? When someone knowingly refused God’s salvation, he has only the lake of fire to look forward to.
First thing that come to my mind is the event in Revelations 20, were we can read that Jesus will reign for 1000 years. It says that He will be accompanied by those who enjoyed the first resurrection, the saints who already died, and the saints who are still alive.
Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.
So, if we get to reign together with Christ, over whom do we reign? Well, clearly the rest of humanity who not yet decided to be saved by Jesus and are still alive at that moment. These people get a unique change to see how it is to live under the rule of Jesus. They get a real change to understand His Salvation work. I can’t imagine that Christ will rule over them for 1000 years just to reject them after that. No, they still have their change to be saved then and there.
But, okay, there are of course still those who died long before this time. What about these people?
You may have already known that the Bible teaches that God will resurrect the saints when Jesus returns, but did you know about Jesus’ teachings about a second resurrection. He said that people from different ages coming face-to-face in ‘the day of judgement.’ We see an example of that in Matthew 12.
The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgement with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgement with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
The letter to the Hebrews (6:4-6 and 10:26-29) says clearly that we have only one chance to get saved. But how about a second chance of living? That is different and that seems to happen during the resurrection. I am referring to the second resurrection, this is the resurrection of those who do not belong to the saints. Again, those who willingly rejected Christ in their lives will receive their sentence at that moment. However, in Matthew 10:15 Jesus said that it would be ‘more tolerable’ for some than for others. If God’s only purpose of this second resurrection is to sentence all these people to death, then Jesus’ words wouldn’t make much sense. If they all receive the sentence of death in the lake of fire, judgement would not be ‘more tolerable’ for one than for another.
You see, many deceased people never did not know the only name by which salvation is possible.
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
What is more, God wills that all humankind have an opportunity for salvation.
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
What can it mean? I am careful here, but it seems to imply that in the end everyone will get a chance to say either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the Saviour.
God is fair, just, and merciful. Indeed, there might not be a second, third, or fourth chance to repent. But we do know that, by His mercy, God will give everyone at least a first chance!
Be this all as it may, I am astonished about the stubbornness of many people. They rather concern themselves about the nitty-gritty of the Gospel, they rather start endless debates about what this or that verse means en whether that is righteous and fair. Instead, I would like to urge these people to stop nagging and start thinking about their own souls. You will always find issues to doubt or debate, but you might never get a next chance to repent.
None of Your Business
The question who is going to be saved and who not, is very old. Somebody asked the same question to Jesus Himself.
Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
The Lord didn’t give a straight answer. He basically said: “Whether few or many is none of your business. You just make sure to put your own mind on your life with God.”
Can you Stop Believing?
It is interesting to me to hear that she is so mixed up with what she thinks is ‘believing.’
Foremost, the form of believe God requires of us is trust or faith. When I went to the swimming pool with one of my kids, I dove right in. My child was afraid to do the same, and rightly so because he couldn’t swim yet. I encourage him to jump, reassuring him that I would catch him. Obviously, he believed I was there in the pool but did he believe my words that I would catch him? That second ‘believe’ required trust.
So, when Kristi challenges me to turn off my belief, I need to know what she means. Can I stop believing that God exists? No! That’s impossible. The Bible actually teaches us that nobody can do that.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.
Sorry Atheists, for quoting this text! But, saying that you just lack the belief in God is being dismissed here. The word of God says that you are willingly suppressing the truth. And with this remark I come to the second form of belief, that of trust or faith. I don’t mind quoting Romans because I have more trust in God’s word than in that of Atheists.
Back to Kristi’s challenge. Could I turn of my belief when it comes to faith and trust? Yes, I could. I can decide to ignore God’s providence and try to make things work out for the better all by myself. I could do that because trusting someone is a direct choice we can make.
Obviously I am not willing to make that dumb mistake, but many Atheists did just do that. Again, Paul tells us in Romans that everybody beliefs in God’s existence. The fact that they say that they have a lack of belief doesn’t change that. They might suppress it all they want, it’s still there. However, when an Atheist tell me that he doesn’t believe in God any longer, it is probably more so that he stopped trusting the Lord. They started reading atheistic articles and slowly but surely confusion and distrust became to seep in. Up to the point they just didn’t want to trust anything about God, Jesus and the Bible.
What is the final conclusion? Well, that it has turned out to be a very long video. But just apart from that, I would say that it has become clear that this lady is mostly criticising all sorts of straw man fallacies. A straw man fallacy is a type of fallacy where one refutes not the opponent’s actual position but a caricature of it. One explains the opponent’s position in such a way that it becomes much easier to refute. Kristi does this too. She takes a text and gives it a twist and then starts refuting the twisted version. This is typically what many atheists do. It is an easy way because many people are not exactly aware of what the actual argument entails.
What is also striking is that people like Kristi are very good at criticising a lot of points at once. She picks one or two verses and then throws a multitude of criticisms at them. That makes it very difficult to counter it. That’s why this video is so long. You can pause a video, but not in real life, and so if, as a Christian, you then want to refute such a bombardment of complaints, you will soon lose the listeners’ attention… It just takes too long for most people. The atheist seems to have won.
By the way, what also struck me was that Kristi said very early on
It is now more than 13 years later. I haven’t found the ultimate truth, but I think that’s the point. To get to a point where you feel comfortable just saying, I don’t know, I don’t know what’s next, I don’t know who God is, I don’t know what my purpose here on earth is, I’m just me.
I don’t know about you, but this thought would not put me at ease. How can you be at ease if you don’t want these kinds of deep life questions answered?
The fact that she says she isn’t bothered by this is up to her, but then she says this:
My purpose here is to help and encourage you to find your own path and to help you deconstruct, and figure out these things that we were not allowed to question when we were growing up in the church.
Kristi is what you would call an agnostic atheist. And she wants very much to help you. With what, then? Well, at least she doesn’t try very hard to help you with questions of faith. Her entire channel is dedicated to debunking the Christian faith. I find that strange. Especially if you are to believe her when she says she wants to help in your search for your own path. That path, according to her channel, cannot be the Christian path, that much is clear.
It is hard to argue with people like Kristi. Almost all atheists do the same thing. They bring a lot of complaints against faith, but think they themselves don’t have to make good arguments for their own atheistic world-view. Atheists say that someone who believes in God has the burden of proof. Do you believe in God? Then first prove that He exists!
Now imagine that both I and Kristi work for the police. And imagine a fire has been set in a factory. It’s a big case so both Kristi and I are sent there to investigate. We both look around. After going through all the clues and questioning all sorts of people, I come to the conclusion that Mr X did it. But Kristi’s response is negative: “No way, Mr X didn’t do it!” To which I ask, “Then who did it? Do you have another suspect in mind?” To which Kristi simply replies that she just has a lack of believe that Mr X could have done it. Now I ask you, is she a good detective in this story? No of course not! Simply dismissing my suspect as nonsense for no good reason is not what a good detective is supposed to do. A good detective should make good arguments and come up with a well-argued alternative. Just saying that my findings are wrong is not good enough.
Anyway, it took me a while to upload this video. I don’t think I have ever made such a long video before.
I am curious to read what you think of my explanations. Just let me know in the comments section below. Remember! I am mostly active on my Odysee channel. You’ll find a link to that channel in the description of this video or on my website.
I really appreciate your prayers and support! Look in the description of this video to see how you can help me. There, I will also put the link to both the Dutch and English transcripts of this video.
God bless you, thanks for watching and, Lord willing, we will see each other in the next video!
i Chabad.org. De Talmoed, Ketubot: 39b, Engelse vertaling: Adin Even-Israel (Steinsaltz), [internet] accessed 20 August 2023, https://www.chabad.org/torah-texts/5449931/The-Talmud/Ketubot/Chapter-3/Daf-39b
ii Wenham, John William. The Goodness of God. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1974. p. 96.
iii Polycarp, Philippians, 12:2, [internet] accessed 26 August 2023, http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/
iv Ignatius, Letter to the Ephesians, 0.0. (This is the Greeting.), [internet] accessed 26 August 2023, http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/
v Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, 36. ANF, I:212, [internet] accessed 26 August 2023, http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/
vi Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, 63. ANF, I:229, [internet] accessed 26 August 2023, http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/