Luke 19:27 A response to Mark Shasha

As a Christian, it is not unusual to encounter atheist and other unbelievers who know little to nothing about the Bible. A lot about what they know unfortunately comes from other unbelievers. Some of whom are intentionally trying to mislead people away from Christ.

Then you also have the unbelievers who are just looking hard to find reasons not to believe. Looking for excuses, any excuse not to believe. They will often even attack and argue with us believers, not because they think they can convince a believer, but because they’re trying to convince themselves Christianity is not true or that there is no God.

Recently I encountered a person on Twitter who waa dead set on trying to make the Bible teach hate. I would correct him on one thing he presented me with, something he thought would show the Bible teaches hate. Then when he was shown to be wrong, he would jump to another passage he thought would support his argument and I would need to correct him on that too.

I have seen this before. Someone just keeps tying say the Bible says something it does not, revealing how they never read or studied the Bible and are just looking for a reason to justify their anti-Christian position or other curent view. After all, it is easier to justify your own position if you demonize the others in order to convince yourself your position is right, true and just.

Though there probably are a few who legitimately know what they’re presenting is incorrect and do it nonetheless.

Anyway – He eventually tried to use Luke 19:27. Asking, “why would Jesus threaten execution if he did not mean “Hate”?” Then giving a quote completely out of context.

The thing that really got me, having me scratch my head was how in the same tweet recognizes that Jesus was telling a parable.

I mean that should have been a dead giveaway as to how Jesus was not saying to his follower to kill his enemies in front of him or kill them at all. Jesus was simply telling a story and saying this was what the character in the story is saying.

It would be like me reading a story from a book to my son, then saying the king in that story said, “Kill all the magical Furbies in front of me.” Is that what I said and actualy want? Or am I relaying what the king in this book said? Of course, I didn’t say that. The character in the story that I’m talking about did that.

However, it would seem this was something Mark Shasha failed to understand somehow. This despite how he at least knew it was a parable.

Before I continue, let’s look at what the parable I’m context.

“11 As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. 12 He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. 13 Calling ten of his servants,[a] he gave them ten minas,[b] and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’ 14 But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ 15 When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business. 16 The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant![c] Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’ 18 And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.’ 19 And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ 20 Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief; 21 for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ 24 And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ 25 And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’ 26 ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 27 But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’” Luke 19:11-27 (ESV)

After reading this parable in context, we also learn what this parable is about. Yes Parables have points. In this Parable however the point being made was an attempt to help his followers understand what going to happen, not their and then but in the future.

You see, as Jesus was approaching Jerusalem, his followers had this idea in their head that he was going go there to the throne and destroy all his enemies in their time. He basically is telling them their timeline for the events are not exactly accurate here.

He wasn’t going to crush his enemies he was going away for awhile. Letting them know that he would eventually be coming back and then during His Second Coming he would judge his followers and enemies.

Sure the King represents Jesus to a degree in this parable, however it is not Jesus Himself. Of course this is not the first time He made such comparisons with strange people in his stories. We have even had comparisons between God and atheist in a parable (Luke 18:1).

The parable here however, at least when we get the the part Mark is trying to use against the Bible, is the time when Jesus returns, his second coming where he is judging his enemies. He not saying man’s going going to be carrying out any of this, as we know, the Bible makes clear it’s not man, but Him and His angels that will be doing this work, not men.

So clearly this passage is not saying what he thinks. Where before Jesus returns his followers must go around and kill his enemies. This Parables ending is about how, when he returns people will be judged. As the Bible makes clear it is Jesus who has the authority to judge both believers and unbelievers alike.

As we read the Bible we learned what Jesus/God actually wants from us in the meantime. Love God, turn the other cheek, love your neighbor, and yes Love your enemies like it tells us in Matthew 5:44. Even feed your enemy (Romans 12:20). These are all his standing orders that Christians are to follow while he gone.

So my reaponce to him was a simple one. I asked Mark to ask himself, “why didn’t the apostles just start killing people in His name? What did they know that you don’t?

they were simple question, revealing ones at that. If they we’re supposed to kill his enemies in front of him, why were they not doing? This should have been enough for him to realize that maybe he didn’t understand what he putting forth.

Unfortunately it was not enough or he simply ignored it. Again, putting forth another argument that makes it look like he either never read Bible or was intentionally misrepresent it.

Now because he claims he used to teach the Bible, I will take his word at it. Which consequently means it is highly likely he knows what he is presenting is false and is still presenting it anyways. Yes it doesn’t give specifics on who he thinks Petter killed.

However, I am taking a guess he referring to the claim that Petter killed Ananias and his wife Sapphira. as this is the commen claim. If so and thats who he is talking about. they had not been killed because of what Jesus said in the parable found in Luke.

I’m not even sure how Mark could even think their deaths back up his claim about the parable in Luke, as they are two diffrent and independent situation. And in the story of the two who died we are actualy given a reason why they died and it was not because of what Jesus said, it was their deceit and so God executed his judgment for their deceit. possibly carried out by Petter (we really don’t know. we just know thry died at his feet adter he spoke).

Nonetheless, After I attempted to respond to Mark again, I realized that a conversation with him would bear no good fruit, realizing this I decided to just simply to end the conversation with him. Notifying him that I will be making this blog post mentioning him in it.

I would however like to thank him, he had given me an excuse to talk about a commen anti-christian argument I have heard, Luke 19:27.

Days of Proclamation, A Literal Reading of Genesis 1

A long time ago, the Bible had been interpreted in such a way to mean that the earth was a stationary object fixed in place. There had even been many attempts to model the universe after this interpretation.

However, when Galileo came along he had revealed that the Earth was revolving around the Sun. Sure, this wasn’t exactly a popular view, and the early church’s response was not exactly the best, but it did reveal that there was a problem with our old interpretations.

Science didn’t change our interpretation it just revealed a problem with an old interpretation. It only resulted in people going back to the Bible and reevaluated how they had been interpreting it. Figuring out what they missed, or added by mistake.

If it had only just been discovered in the last 50 years, chances are Young Earth Creationist (YEC) would probably be making many of the same arguments they are with Evolution and the Earth being old today. From arguing it’s an atheist scientific conspiracy to arguing same evidence different interpretation.

Anybody who has accepted the heliocentric model and is a Christian would probably even be accused of trying to make the Bible fit what science says. As they claim they do with other scientific fields of study they reject today, such as evolution.

The fact is today’s Christians who accept evolution and that the Earth is millions of years old are no different from the early Christians who had been forced to realize there was a problem that was revealed with their interpretation of the Bible due what Galileo presented. Something most Christians today are willing to accept despite how the interpretation changed from the outside (scientific) evidence.

So the criticism is quite hypocritical of the YEC who accepts the heliocentric model (yeah there are a few YEC who reject it). Because Christians re-evaluated how they were interpreting scripture.

Now keep that in mind as I continue if you just simply reject what I say because you don’t like it, or because you’re thinking, I’m trying to make the Bible fit science. I am only recognizing that there is a theological problem with the YEC interpretation that is revealed by science. And because of this, I am simply going back to the Bible to find out what it really says with an open mind. How anyone can find that to be a bad thing, I do not know.

Now many who profess themselves to be YEC often claim they are interpreting the Genesis account found in the Bible literally. I, however, highly disagree with such a claim. When we look at their claim, I don’t see them taking it literally. I often even see them making the Bible say more than it does in order to back up the YEC idea of creation. Which is one reason why I accept the ‘Days of Proclamation’ (DOP) reading of the Bible.

Simply put DOP is just a plain reading of what the Bible says, paying close attention to the grammar of what the Bible says. While, unlike YEC it doesn’t add a bunch of additional variables, which also tend to cause problems, while it solves problems that YEC does not solve, even solving some of the problems that the younger creationist model creates in its explanations.

For example when the Bible says,

“And God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so.”

One thing you will notice from reading this is the complete absence of it saying it was done instantly. Or anytime time frame was given at all. The YEC position rests upon this idea of it happening instantly. Sure, nothing says God could not have created instantaneously. However, reading it plainly, it is clear what it does not say. And what it does not say is it was done instantly.

Furthermore, YEC will read into this and, say God is taking the action, as in, he is doing the creating. However, when we look at it, we find what God said to be very clear here. He says, “Let the earth bring forth…” The Bible does not say God brought forth the grass and herb, it is saying very clearly, “let the earth.” A YEC may reject this saying God made the grass, but that is not what the Bible clearly says here. To ignore this and claim differently is to reject the literal reading of what scripture says.

With the Earth being the only thing that brought forth something here one must ask, how does the earth bring forth something if not by the scientific explanations of how it’s done?

Additionally, as we continue, looking at the very next thing that was said we find out the result of God’s command.

“And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself”

Notice god is not to be seen in this sentence? What we do see is that it was the Earth, at God’s command is that which has brought forth he grass and Herb yielding seed.

This is what sets DOP and YEC apart. DOP is accepting a plain literal reading of Genesis, while YEC interpretation requires one to think, scripture says it happens instantly. As well, that God did something God told the Earth to do. Where the word Created (the verb) is not being applied to God. Instead, the subject is the earth.

Again, this is just a plain literal reading of what the Bible says. To reject it is to reject what the Bible is clearly saying here. Yet a little reading is how DOP approaches it, it coming from a literal perspective of what the Bible says. Where it is taking a theological approach of accepting what the Bible is actually saying. Not adding to what it says or assuming it says something it does not.

DOP takes into account many things as well, like how Genesis 1 is being written from the narrator’s perspective. Where the narrator tells us that God said something then the narrator tells us in the following sentence, hay look it happened.

Not to mention when we read the Bible we find God tends to work by first saying he will do something then it is fulfilled later. With the Bible full of many different prophecies being fulfilled.

Understanding this and how it does not say, “and God said “Let there be light instantaneously.” We can see God starts off the Bible much the same way we find him doing things all over in the bible. God is making a proclamation and the narrator is effectively saying, Hey, look around it happened. This makes Genesis the pre-planning stage. Where nothing was created yet and the narrator just confirming what happened long after Adam and Eve.

Think about it, when God gave his prophecy about Christ was it something that happened instantaneous?

With this said, let’s look at what the Bible says and break it down into what God said and what the narrator said.

God said: “Let there be light”:

Narrator said: ” and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”

God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

Narrator said: “And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.”

God said, “Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear:”

Narrator said, “and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth:”

Narrator said, “and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day.”

God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years. And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth:”

Narrator said “and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”

God said, “Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.”

Narrator said, “And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.”
[Note that the narrator talks of God in the 3rd person ]

God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind:”

Narrator said, “and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”

Narrator said, So God created man in his own image, in the image of God, created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

God said, “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you, it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat:”

Narrator said, “and it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth days.

By reading it this way, we not only no longer have many of the objections atheist make about the Bible like two conflicting creation stories as Genesis 1 vs 2 is as now Genesis 2 is the story about the creation of man a long time after Genesis 1. Or how YEC creates problems with the order in which things are created such as how do you have photosynthesis before the Suns ever created if we accept the YEC interpretation.

Simply put, the plain reading of the Bible is in no way in conflict with what science has discovered such as the Earth be millions of years old and the Universe even older. Even evolution it’s not in conflict with what the Bible says. Again how does the Earth bring forth?

Sure creationist are under a false impression that the Bible says something like, “Animals reproduce after their kind” but nowhere where you ever find the Bible saying such a thing. You won’t even find the word reproduce and animal next to each other.

Instead we find that the Bible tells us that the earth brought forth animals of various kinds, with nothing saying they are limited by some kind of invisible barrier that would prevent evolution.

Are You Falling Asleep at Church?

We’ve all heard it the stories from atheist and even other Christians about how the church can be boring. I suppose in a day and age where we’re getting immediate gratification from television cell phones it can be a bit of hit on one’s senses. Let’s mention there are actually born churches.

Part of me suspects some churches rely heavily on making people stand up for long periods of time just to keep people awake due to how boring it can be.

However, I think most of the time why people find it boring and start drifting off it’s because they’re not actually interested in what’s been talked about. It goes to church because they feel they have to not because they want to. The go expecting the pastor to give them entertainment, not realizing it’s not the pastor who supposed to be doing this, but it is God who’s giving them that reason feel that awe that wakes them. In the simplest terms, they’re looking in the wrong place.

Sadly many Christians, especially the person or family whose only connection to God is that one day a week they go to church, don’t seem to understand this. Because they don’t and they’re looking in the wrong place that we can board and that boredom leads to them no longer attending church.

So if you find yourself bored at church maybe it isn’t your church but it’s you who’s not paying attention. Think about it this way most of the great stories in the world from the books you read to all the movies that Entertain you for 2 hours in the theater are taking inspiration from stories such as those found in the Bible. Despite that, you’re able to stay awake but it’s because you’re actually listening and wanting to hear the story.

Your Entertainment should come from God and learn about Him. If you’re wanting to learn you won’t be bored but if you don’t really want to learn about Him, you don’t really want a relationship with Him. So yeah, you’re going to be bored.

So next time you find yourself falling asleep, actually open your mind and become willing to learn, willing to hear what God has to say that will Awe you.

It’s Not Wrong to Publicly Confront Christians Who Publicly Sin.

I have never been one to shy away from confronting people. This includes those calling themselves Christians who are publicly sinning or who are teaching something false about scripture. I think it does a lot of damage not correcting my fellow brothers in Christ when they sin publicly.

However, I have found that when I correct my fellow Christians l it can result in me becoming the target of their wrath and not just from the person sinning, but also from my fellow Christians who don’t like me correcting others. It not only just them simply trying to tell me how I should not be publicly rebuking them, but it has resulted in name-calling some hateful vile things as well.

Most of the time it does start pretty civil, it just ends up resulting in an emotional response from others. Usually, after they ironically attempt to publicly rebuke me telling me it’s wrong to do it to other Christian. A hypocrisy from them that I have found to be a little amusing to see.

In the end, ultimately they will argue that I need to pull the offender aside and privately talk to them about their sin. More often than not they will attach Matthew 18:15-17 to back up what they are saying to me.

I will address the scripture they use in just a moment. However, I must ask, is this really the best course of action for Christians? How does this undo the damage that is done? If a self-professed Christian is passing off false Doctrine, sinning is public, bringing shame onto God, His people, and His word, how can that be resolved in private? How does it answer the charges that are now levied against the Lord and his people of inconsistency and hypocrisy?

The answer is, it does not. It just leaves it out there to “spread like cancer” (II Timothy 2:16-18)

Ask yourself, what effects do you think a Christians false teaching or sin has when done in public? What effects do you think this false teaching/sin will have on God, His people’s persuasiveness, reputation, and influence with all those that believe and the unbeliever who we wish to teach about Him to?

If we do not publicly correct a public sin this could only serve to drive a wedge between Christ and the unbelievers. We’re supposed to be planting seeds not driving wedges. So the idea that God would want this does seem a bit off character for Him. So why does Matthew 18:15-17 tell us to take a fellow Christian aside and out of sight of others to correct them?

Well, it doesn’t, this comes from a misuse of what said. There is a very important qualifying condition that I think people missed when reading Matthew 18 here. It says, very clearly, “if your brother sins against you”. This is not in regards to a public sin, it has to do with a private sin, sin that doesn’t affect the public reputation of God and His followers.

It’s basically saying that if somebody sins privately you should deal with it privately. It’s not saying that you do not deal with public sin in public. However, there are some situations where it may actually be beneficial to deal with public sin privately and I think a person should always consider if it would be better to do so or not.

However, it still doesn’t neglect the fact that the Bible doesn’t say that you cannot deal with public sin publicly. Nor does it even make sense to do so and let the damage go on unchecked by not dealing with it publicly.

We even find that Paul was more than willing to publicly stand up and call out his fellow Christian, doing so to their face “…before them all.” (Galatians 2:11,14)

Correcting your fellow Christian show your love for your fellow Christian(s) and unbelievers. It helps end rumors and slander. It shows people you believe what you teach about what the Bible says.

So if I or someone is correcting you don’t get offended don’t feel that they’re picking on you. We are doing it not only to correct you but to stop the issue the sin/false teaching has created. Ending it there and then instead of allowing it to continue to spread and turn people away from Christ. This is not a bad thing, but a good thing we are done out of love of you and others. And it is a huge mistake that Christians are teaching that we should not or cannot publicly correct one another when nursing is done in public.

Let Our Works Speak To The Unbelievers

As a Christian, I know what it is like to be attack by non believes. I had some very hateful things said about me and what I believe. I have even had people attack my family for simply being a Christian and not necessarily anything I specifically believe. It does come with the territory.

However, it would seem that many who are calling themselves a Christian, feel that it is perfectly acceptable to behave just as the non believers who are attacking them do. Saying hateful in Vile thing in return. Some may even say it to a non-believer who is behaving civilized with them, because of what others have done to them previously.

This is not how Christians are to act. We are to “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:22) and we are not doing that when we are calling people names, launching personal attacks, being prideful, arrogant or putting others down.

One of the greatest Commandments we have is to love our neighbor. And really, how can we say we love our neighbor when are treating the non-believer so horribly? When our actions make it look like we hate them?

Sure, the non-believer may be hateful and vile towards us in his or her attempt to destroy us. However, the Bible does not tell is to follow all the rules, except when attacked by a atheist or muslim who is trying to hurt our feelings. We are to always be humble, patience, meekness, not prideful, be gentle with perfect courtesy toward all people. Because, we are to , “Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against us as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.” (1 Peter 2:12)

We are to use their attempts to destroy us, to being them to the Lord. Just as David did when his enemies had been spreading lies,and being deceitful. In the end, we need to trust God, “When you’re under attack, take refuge in the Lord as your righteous defender.” (Psalm 5:1-7)

Sadly, when many Christians are confronted on their unchristian like behavior/actions. I have found that very few change what they are doing. Either giving excuses as to why they can do what they are doing, ignoring the Bible. Or they claim I am not a Christian, because to them, a Christian does not call out other Christians for what they are doing. Therefore, because they deem me as not a christian, they feel that it gives them an excuse to continue with the unchristian-like behavior. No I’m completely unaware of any Scripture that says that, even if somebody is not Christian they can not point out unchristian-like behaviors and actions.

In many ways, I understand such people. When I was a new Christian, I had a hard time with this. I would fight back giving just as much if not more then what I was given. I said some horrible things to people as a reaction to what they are sub to me. I had a hard time being kind to those who are not doing so with me. It’s just taking me a long time to get where I am today. Even after all these years, I still find that I must pull myself aside and remind myself of how I should interact with others, others who I’m not exactly the nicest people towards me.

We must remember that our works are an indication of our faith. If we don’t act like we believe what we profess to believe, then why would a non-believer even take a serious? Why would they even consider what we have to say?

We must also ask ourselves, our we bringing glory to God with the things we say and do? Is our behaviors and actions resulting in a seed being planted? Or is wedge being driven in? Which do you think is more productive?