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Posts Tagged ‘Judas Iscariot’

Are We All Christian Scientists Now?

Posted by Job on June 17, 2011

Sorry to feature homosexuality in back-to-back posts, but they are in response to a post Is It A New Day For Baptists And Homosexuality? that dealt with the changing approach that many evangelical and fundamental Christians are taking towards the homosexuality issue. Allow me to propose that the “need” to deal with this issue differently is not because of some new or better way to read the Bible that didn’t exist 30 – let alone 300 – years ago, but rather because mainstream society has chosen to view the sin of homosexuality in a different way. And make no mistake: a major reason why mainstream society has moved toward embracing homosexuality is that so many scientists have declared homosexuality to be a natural, in-born “orientation” as opposed to a lifestyle choice. So, the scientists lead, and Christians – along with everyone else – follows.

This, incidentally, includes Christians who take the seemingly orthodox position that being born a homosexual is no excuse, for we are all born in sin, which makes the “born this way” homosexuals as obligated to resist evil as anybody else. I say “seemingly orthodox” because where is the Biblical evidence that anyone is born a homosexual? Are people also born adulterers, thieves and murderers? Is there a “blasphemy gene” or an “idolatry orientation”? While the Bible does tell us that we are all born sinners due to the federal headship of Adam, and that fallen mankind has a sin nature making us predisposed to sin, and that sound Biblical theology lets us know that our lacking God’s perfect attributes means that all who are not God will fall short of God’s standards and thereby sin, where does the Bible say that anyone is born to a specific type of sin?

There is more evidence against it than for it. For instance, though Jesus Christ did call Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him, the “son of perdition”, Iscariot did not betray Jesus Christ because he was “born that way.” Instead, the Bible stated that Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus Christ after Satan entered and possessed him! And on the issue of homosexuality, rather than calling this sin a product of nature, the Apostle Paul in Romans 1:26-27 stated that homosexuality is “that which is against nature” and “leaving the natural use of” the body! So, how can one be born a homosexual on one hand, and against nature/leaving the natural use of your body on the other? We only countenance such notions because the scientists say so!

Now if anyone would have an agenda to stand up for science and a need for Christianity and science to be reconciled and integrated, it would be me, an engineer by education who works in technology by trade. Indeed, were science given the highest level of esteem, one that exceeds all reproach, I would benefit in terms of pay and reputation! But despite any personal benefits that I might derive from taking an alternate position, I must endorse the view of John MacArthur when he says that science is not a valid hermeneutic for interpreting the Bible! And as legitimate Christians are Bible-believing and Bible-based, we must choose the Bible over science.

Some say that no such choice has to be made. Why is this belief so common, it must be asked? Why is choosing the Bible over science so much harder than, say, choosing the Republican Party over the Democratic Party (over issues like abortion, homosexuality, school prayer and opposition to communism)? The reason is that in our culture, we have made science into an idol. We look to science, and not to God, for our daily bread! We attribute our wealth and power to our many scientific breakthroughs, which create everything from medicines to keep us alive and healthy to consumer products to drive our economy to weapons that allow us to win wars. And yes, even for many, a religious context is placed on this. How often do we attribute the superiority of our culture to its reliance on science, and then belittle other cultures for being backwards? It is not a far a leap to then state that our culture is superior because of its being shaped by Christianity, while, for example, Middle Eastern culture is backwards because of Islam, or native cultures are undesirable because of animism. It is similar to another idol of our culture, democracy, and yet another – capitalism – and indeed,  the exaltation of science, democracy and capitalism by American Christians is central to the “Americanity” or “Ameritianity” syncretism.

Because of this, few Christians are willing to simply stand up and say “I choose the Bible over science.” Instead, most of us meekly follow behind and adapt to whatever framework the scientists erect, and we strive to find ways where “legitimate science proves the Bible right!” (a major emphasis of apologetics). Case in point: how many Christians are much more comfortable with using psychology to explain moral and social problems as opposed to sin or – gasp! – demon spirits? Thanks to psychology, Christians get to appear “scientific” and therefore “educated” and “respectable” by talking about sin less and less, and about evil spirits practically never.

One should point out that it was not always this way. Science has not always been such a prominent measure of the worth of a society or individual. Indeed, this is a recent phenomenon, a direct result of the absolutely breathtaking scientific innovations that were unimaginable even a few decades ago, plus the similarly unconscionable growth and concentration of wealth and power that resulted. In prior times, people and nations were not judged by their scientific prowess, but by high culture: art, literature and religion. It was the lack of those things, and not of scientific prowess, that caused many people and cultures to be considered “savage”, “barbarian”, “brutish”, “Philistines” etc. That things have changed so dramatically and rapidly is evidence that man’s heart is indeed after mammon, because the way to wealth and power is to build the better mousetrap, not compose the better symphony! We have gone from making it a state priority to sponsor a large, vibrant community of artists capable of making beautiful, Christian-themed music, artwork, architecture and literature because of how those things reflect and communicate God’s attributes to trying to weave evolution into the Genesis narrative because the scientists say so, and done so in an incredibly short time.

Of course, I am not calling for replacing science idolatry with high culture idolatry, but rather to see what both, and in our context particularly the former, for what they are, which is idolatry. Again, go back to the common conceit “science proves the Bible right.” Pardon me, but why should it? For science is every bit the product of fallen man’s depraved nature and all the lusts thereof as is Hollywood. That is a good comparison, because evolution, stem cell research/cloning, weapons of mass destruction, and Stephen Hawking’s insistence that the universe created itself ex nihilo are evidence of the downward spiral of science in our culture just as Hollywood is a reflection of what happened to literature, music and theater. So, there should be no more need to reconcile science with the Bible than an Oscar-winning movie or a Grammy-winning record. (Then again, you have no shortage of preachers seeking Christian inspiration from Hollywood!)

The most that it can be said of science is that it is a product of common grace; that God has providentially used it to show His love for us by giving us things to make our lives better (i.e. medical breakthroughs) and also to fulfill His will (i.e. facilitate the spread of the gospel using everything from roads in the Roman Empire to the Internet today). But just as Satan has perverted other gifts of God through common grace for his own wicked purposes (see culture, religion and government being corrupted almost from the beginning in the Bible) there is no reason for science to be any different. Science is not holy. Science is not under any special protection from God, nor is it afforded any special privileges by God, nor does it have a divine or blessed use by God. The only things that have that special status – the things which Christians should respect and adhere to and center our lives and thoughts around unconditionally – are the supernatural things born of or given by God’s Spirit (John 4:23-24) which include God’s church and God’s word. So then, how amazing that the church is willing to just meekly accept the all out assault on the Bible because of “the science of textual criticism“?

That is why we have to abandon the notion of “all legitimate science confirms the Bible.” It takes the idea that scientists have come together to make this predetermined pact to rebel against the Bible because of a wish to reject God and His authority over their lives. While this is no doubt true in some cases, and while such things as ideological agendas and other biases do indeed exist, the idea that these people are propagating falsehoods and rejecting facts on purpose is untenable. Indeed, such things are unnecessary in the first place. Consider, for example, the text 2 Thessalonians 2:11. I am using it a bit of context, granted, but still “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” Combine that with Romans 1:21-22 (which I am employing in slightly better context) which reads “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.”

As science is the product of fallen mankind’s imaginations, those texts reveal that they do not have to deny the truth in favor of lies on purpose, after the manner of some conspiracy or overt rebellion against Christianity for instance, but rather that they are going to take lies to be the truth. We have no problem applying this to the politicians, activists, educators, economists etc. (especially if they are liberal), so why claim that the scientists are any different? The scientific method is not scripture. Instead, it is totally reliant on the ability of man to perceive the natural world and interpret its results. The scientific method provides absolutely no insight on the supernatural – save to reveal basic things concerning God’s existence and nature, see Romans 1:20 – which is God’s realm and from which God called the natural world into existence in the first place! Also, all of creation isn’t even “natural” per se … what of angelic spirits, and the spirits of men? So, the scientific method cannot even comprehend the supernatural portion of creation, let alone I AM THAT I AM, the uncreated, self-existing Creator! And even with regards to the natural world, the scientific method has real constraints. (For a somewhat whimsical example, see if you can reliably measure how much rain fell in a town in France 1500 years ago. You can’t … there’s this little problem called TIME.)

But the main limitation is man himself. The fact is that even if the scientific method were capable of perfectly measuring the natural and the supernatural, it still wouldn’t be enough! Why? Because man would have to be able to perfectly interpret the results! Not only does man lack the perfect knowledge – omniscience – required to do so, but the limited knowledge that man does have is compromised by the fall of humanity into sin. Now these things are either clearly revealed in the Bible, or can easily be deduced from them. Yet, why do we still go to great lengths to justify science, to try to evaluate the Bible through the prism of science, and to be respected by the world as “scientific”? (While I do intend to visit the “Creation Museum” at some point, one must consider the underlying rationale for pursuing such a venture in the first place!)

The only answer is idolatry. We make the work of man’s hands into idols, and we do this because of our desire to make man into an idol. We put so much faith in science because deep down, we wish to believe that man has more knowledge, more power, more control than he actually does. That – plus the fact that it makes us rich and powerful and causes us to wonder after such things as great telescopes and micro robots – taps into our desire to worship ourselves. Indeed, the increasingly vain quest to validate the imaginations of scientists using the Bible rather than casting them down like 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to (oh had Paul warned of being led astray by philosophers AND scientists in Colossians 2:8, though I should point out that science is very much the traditions of men!) shows our deep-rooted desire to have a religion that allows us to worship ourselves. Interpreting the Bible in light of science allows us to worship God and ourselves at the same time, and it gives the veneer of respectability to our human idolatry! Indeed, it appears to sanctify it, to make it holy and acceptable!

But instead, the opposite is true, for the first commandment, Thou shalt have no other gods besides me”, is still very much in effect, including when the “other gods” is man. The search to try God, to test God, to worship God inasmuch as His revelation will be subject to science is merely humanism. So, though the homosexuality issue provoked my thoughts on the issue, the truth is that the real issue is in fact the exaltation of humanity through idolatry. It is the pride of life, the same which Satan tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden when he told her that the fruit would make her “as god.” Science gives us a way to be “like God” in our own minds, so just like Eve, we eat of the forbidden fruit, and share it with others! From this evil we Christians must turn away.

Science has its many uses, but one thing that it cannot be used for is to deal with human sin. Because God is holy and righteous, human sin must indeed be dealt with by God, the only one capable of acting as a judge in this matter (for unlike God, all humans are sinners and therefore are incapable of justly judging each other). At the appointed time, God will deal with sin by either forgiving it or punishing it. The punishment for sin is everlasting torment in a lake of fire, and this will happen to all whose sins are not forgiven. The only way to avoid this punishment is for one’s sins to be forgiven, and this occurs only for those who have faith in Jesus Christ. So please, stop putting faith in science or any other false idols, gods or religions today, and instead put your faith in Jesus Christ, the One who became fully man while remaining fully God as He had been for eternity, lived a perfect sinless life, died on the cross to pay for sins of others though He himself never sinned, and rose again from the dead. For more explicit information:

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Posted in Apologetics, Bible, capitalism, Christianity, humanism, Jesus Christ, mammon, rationalism, religion | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Did Jesus Christ Die For Judas Iscariot?

Posted by Job on March 10, 2011

According to those who believe in universal atonement (or unlimited atonement) the work of Jesus Christ on the cross makes salvation possible for all but certain for none based on the doctrines that A) Jesus Christ died for the sins of all humans and B) a person must accept this fact in order to make His work efficacious. So, let us apply this to the case of Judas Iscariot. Did Jesus Christ die for his sins, and make salvation possible for this character?
If this is the case, then why did Jesus Christ call Judas Iscariot the son of perdition in John 17:22? In that text, Jesus Christ said that He had preserved from falling all of the apostles except this one Judas Iscariot, and that the exception of Iscariot was so that the scriptures would be fulfilled. Since the fate of this Judas Iscariot was foretold in the Bible, inspired by the same Holy Spirit that works regeneration, in no sense was his salvation possible. The idea that the death of Jesus Christ makes salvation possible for all cannot possibly be so in the case of Judas Iscariot. Or if it is so, then with respect to Judas Iscariot the death of Jesus Christ was in vain. After all, Iscariot was not one born out of due time. He knew Jesus Christ personally, heard Jesus Christ preach, and saw His many works. So, if redemption was possible for everyone, then would not Judas Iscariot, one of the original twelve, one of those sent out two by two who did mighty works in Christ’s Name (Mark 6:7-13) including healing the sick and casting out devils, be foremost among whom it was possible?
Yet, why did Jesus Christ say of Judas Iscariot that it would have been better had he never been born, as recorded in Mark 14:21 and Matthew 26:24? It is logically incongruous to say of a person on one hand “Jesus Christ died for his sins, making his salvation possible” and then on another “it would have been better for him had he never been born!” In the former case, Judas Iscariot had a chance at salvation. In the latter case, the one actually recorded in the Bible, he had no chance.
Also, it can be said with a high degree of confidence that Jesus Christ Himself stated that His atonement was not intended for Judas Iscariot. Where was this? The famous text of John 15:13, which reads “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Who are the friends of Jesus Christ? He says so in John 15:14, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” In this section, Jesus Christ was speaking to His apostles during His high priestly prayer and discourse. As the apostles are the foundation of the church, when Jesus Christ addressed His apostles in this manner, He was addressing the entire church through them, with the apostles’ acting as the church’s representatives.
So, the summary of John 15:13-14 is “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends, and you (meaning first the people that He is directly addressing, and then through them the church that the people that He is directly addressing represents) are my friends.” And when Jesus Christ says “I am dying for my friends and you are my friends”, Judas Iscariot has already left! Judas Iscariot had departed the room, and thereby from the perspective and effect of these words of Jesus Christ, from those who Jesus Christ identified as His friends that He died for, in John 13:26-30! Judas Iscariot was not alone when he left, but Satan had entered into Judas Iscariot. And of course, Satan is not a friend of Jesus Christ. Despite the claims of Origen and others who adhere to universalism, Jesus Christ did not die for Satan! And it is also true that Jesus Christ did not die for those who Satan rules, those whose father is Satan according to the words of Jesus Christ in John 8:44-47!
And it cannot be said that Judas Iscariot was unique; the one person in history for whom Jesus Christ did not die. Atonement is either universal or it is limited, and the mere exclusion of Iscariot makes it limited. Also, it should be said that even Muslims who read of Judas Iscariot were aware of the implications, as the (false) Gospel of Barnabas was almost certainly written and definitely advanced by Muslims specifically as a polemic against Reformation doctrines, of which limited atonement is one.
While limited atonement is a truth, it is equally true man cannot and does not know the identity of the people that this act of Jesus Christ is limited to. For instance, some early Jewish Christians felt that the work of Jesus Christ was limited to members of their nation, but that false idea was destroyed upon the conversion of Cornelius. Further, Reformed Baptist William Carey, an adherent to limited atonement in its true form, exposed false doctrines based on distortions of limited atonement (created for the political and cultural purposes of European church-states) against “evangelizing the heathen” for the abominable doctrines of devils that they were with his successful missionary work in India. Further still – and very sadly – up to 88% of children born and raised in evangelical Christian families and churches leave the faith upon adulthood (a fact that challenges not limited atonement doctrines, but rather free will salvation ones, as why would all these people, having been raised with the message of the gospel and heard it hundreds of times all their lives, knowingly brazenly reject Jesus Christ and choose an eternity in a lake of fire instead)?

So, please recall the words of Jesus Christ: many are called but few are chosen (Matthew 20:16, Matthew 22:14). It is the duty of those who are called and chosen to make their calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10); to work out their salvation with fear and trembling (Philemon 2:2) in accordance to the manner laid out for us in the scriptures (Acts 2:38, Romans 10:9-10). If you have not received the free gift of salvation through the work of Jesus Christ, do it now.

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Posted in Bible, Calvinism, Christianity, Islam, Jesus Christ, limited atonement, Muslim, Reformed, soteriology, universalism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Why Judas Iscariot Betrayed Jesus Christ

Posted by Job on April 29, 2009

According to scripture, it was because he did not believe. 

Jhn 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

Recall, scripture reports that Satan tempted and finally entered into, or possessed, Judas Iscariot. This was so because Judas Iscariot did not believe. Judas Iscariot was not of the elect, not predestined to salvation, and, and as such, as Jesus Christ said, it would have been better had Judas Iscariot never been born.

Posted in Bible, Christianity, Jesus Christ | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

 
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