auto-3394015_640

This is the final part of a 5 part blog series. Part 1, which covers 1-7, can be read here. Part 2, which covers 8-9, can be read here. Part 3, which covers 10-15, can be read here. Part4, which covers 16-20, can be read here. I introduced this series in the first blog as follows:

Recently, I had a friend tag me on Facebook to an article that had been shared on a public page asking me my thoughts on it. The article was listed on FB as “22 Weird Things You Never Noticed in the Bible” but when I clicked on the link, the article title is “Things You Won’t Believe in the Bible” while the webpage heading in the browser is “22 Controversial Bible Verses That Lead to Much Debate”. After I replied to my friend’s tag, addressing each item, I thought that it would also make a great blog post, so here goes.

Some of these actually aren’t controversial and some of these are arguments that atheists or skeptics use. The 22 points of the article are:

1. Unicorns Are Mentioned Not Once, but Many Times Throughout the Bible
2. Eve’s Apple Incident Wasn’t Why She and Adam Were Kicked Out of Eden
3. Many of the Names in Gensis Incorporate the Ancient Hebrew Name for ‘God’
4. The Bible Revealed That the Earth Is Round Thousands of Years Ago
5. Your Mental Image of God May Actually Be of an Ancient Canaanite Storm Deity
6. Christ Probably Couldn’t Have Even Pronounced the Name “Jesus”
7. The Bible May Not Be as Sexist as It Seems
8. “Biblical Marriage” May Not Mean What You Think
9. The Magi May Have Had a Much Longer Journey Than You’d Think
10. Certain Divination and Fortune-Telling Techniques Are Actually Condoned in the Bible
11. “Ye Shall Not Add Unto the Word Which I Command You.”
12. God Never Actually Promised Not to Give Us More Than We Can Handle
13. Not Every Part of the Bible Was Intended for Everyone
14. Sodom May Not Have Been Destroyed for the Reasons You Think
15. God Had to Re-Do the Ten Commandments After Moses Broke the First Drafts
16. Many Biblical Heroes Weren’t Exactly Upstanding Citizens
17. There are Two Different Creation Stories in Genesis
18. The Bible Hates Judgey People Just as Much as You Do
19. None of the Ways We Imagine the Devil Are Biblical
20. Noah Was Old. Like Really Old.
21. Jesus Christ Had Nothing at All to Say Against Homosexuality
22. Before You Condemn Islam As Violent…

Some of these aren’t really controversial while others are actually taken out of context or don’t tell the full story. To cover all 22 and keep each blog within my self-imposed blog length, this will take 5 posts to cover. The final blog in this series will cover the final 2 points.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

21. Jesus Christ Had Nothing at All to Say Against Homosexuality

That’s right, as much as divorced politicians blame homosexuality for destroying the institution of marriage, Jesus never once spoke out against gay people. He preferred, it seems, simply to refer to them as “people,” just like everybody else.

Jesus also did not talk about pedophilia, does that mean that he endorsed it? Jesus was a Jew and endorsed the Law (i.e. the first five books of the Bible) which do talk about homosexuality. And again, he did specifically say that marriage was between a man and a woman (Matt 19:5).

Alan Shlemon, of Stand To Reason, addresses this in his Challenge Response: Jesus Never Said a Word about Homosexuality with 7 quick points in response to this:

  1. Jesus didn’t have to say anything about homosexuality.
  2. It’s not certain that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality.
  3. Even if it turns out that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality, what follows from that? Nothing
  4. We do know what Jesus would have said about homosexuality if he were asked.
  5. Jesus does voice his opinion on matters of sex and marriage. [Spoiler alert: Matt 19]
  6. Jesus does basically say that homosexuality is a sin, and we see this in Mark 7 where Jesus is talking about what makes a man unclean and what defiles a man.
  7. Saying that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality presumes that the words of Jesus are somehow more authoritative than the words of Scripture elsewhere.

Each point is addressed in a paragraph, so it’s an easy read. Check it out to see each point in more detail.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

22. Before You Condemn Islam As Violent…

Though there definitely are extremists in almost every religion, many Westerners tend to walk around armed with random verses from the Koran which they believe prove that the entire religion of Islam is one of violence. Consider the following verses:

– “A curse on him who is lax in doing the Lord’s work!  A curse on him who keeps his sword from bloodshed!”

– “I will bring terror on you, from all those around you,” declares the Lord God almighty.

– “The sword will devour till it is satisfied, till it has quenched its thirst for blood.”

Shocking? Perhaps, but maybe not as shocking as the fact that none of the above verses come from the Koran, but from the Old Testament of the Holy Bible (click on their sources to check them out).

Perhaps if we’re willing to overlook these bad boys and still consider Christianity a peaceful religion, we should have the same respect for the millions of peaceful Muslims in the world?

If you want to know about a religion, look at the founder (or the person that it is based on), the early disciples, the religion’s book, and the early history. When you do this, you’ll find that there is no comparison between Christianity and Islam.

Jesus wasn’t violent. In fact, he told Peter to put away his sword and that he who lives by the sword dies by the sword, Christianity spread not by the sword but by suffering, martyrdom, and the preaching of the gospel. The early church never took up arms against persecution but only spread in love. Jesus said to love your enemies and to turn the other cheek.

If you read the history of Islam, Mohammed was a warlord. Islam spread by the sword from its inception on. It’s not random verses of the Koran that are used to justify violence in the Koran.  Mohammed was only peaceful when he was outnumbered.

The truth is, both Islam and Christianity spread by the sword. The difference is which direction the sword was faced.

Alan Shlemon of Stand to Reason addresses this in more detail with his article Jihad and War in Islam and Christianity.

Now let’s look at the 3 verses the author quotes to make her point. The three verses are Jeremiah 46:10, Jeremiah 49:5, and Jeremiah 48:10. If you read these verses in context, they are part of a prophecy against Egypt, Ammon, and Moab respectively. They are not commandments or orders, and prophecies are typically full of imagery. The author could have actually made a stronger case by referencing other examples, which Alan addresses in the article that I referenced above. David Wood, of Acts 17 Apologetics, along with Nabeel Qureshi (a former Muslim), addresses this in his short video  Can Muslims Defend the Quran by Pointing to Old Testament Violence?

____________________________________________________________________________________________

This completes this series. I pray that it has blessed and enlightened you.