Skip to main content

A Debate I Had On Facebook

Genesis 22  (NIV) 
 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” 
“Here I am,” he replied. 
Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” 
Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 
On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 
He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” 
Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 
Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 
Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. 
When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 
Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 
But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. 
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” 
Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 
So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” 
The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 
and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 
 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 
and through your offspring, all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
Note: Once I was famous for debating on Facebook. I'm not sure what happened—did the endless circles drain me or have I simply acquired a life?—but I no longer participate in debates ast much as once upon a time. Don't get me wrong, I still post the same firey content. I just let people disagree. I don't feel the need (or have as much time) to "correct" everything anymore. Or maybe I just care less what others think? I gave my opinion. I don't need to regive it.
But ... sometimes I also remember that I'm not the only one seeing those comments.
Some questions do need to be answered.
Especially the hard questions.
And I mean those questions about your faith that you'd rather not think about, the sort that gives validation (supposedly) to all the non-believers.
I believe it is our duty to honestly consider what another asks of us. We should question our beliefs. We should know what sort of God we serve. And we better not make excuses in the name of "ignorance" or "faith" when we are honestly just lazy.

1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)
 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

We won't always have an answer.
But that doesn't mean we shouldn't study to show ourselves approved. (2 Timothy 2:15).
And yes, some answers we will never be able to satisfy with a good answer. But don't let that be an excuse to stop searching. Always, always tackle the hard question.

Anyone can have faith. Let me clarify. Everyone has faith. But is your faith backed by tradition and upbringing, or knowledge and love?

Answer and act accordingly.

 Our faith must be great, but so must our knowledge. 

Jerry> Let me ask you this: Is sacrificing children
A.) a godly ritual? or is it
B.) a Satanic ritual?

Me> Sacrificing something of value to ourselves toward God is a godly ritual.
When killing or murder is involved it is a satanic ritual. That is when one becomes another.

One can not say that this is a satanic ritual because Abraham did NOT kill his son, but sacrificed him to the fullest toward God. If God had allowed Abraham to take that final step then God would not be the God we serve. There are many times when God has told men to do things out of symbolism or as a test that they never were allowed to follow through with.
Two of the top examples I can think of are when Abraham was told to kill his son, but then didn't, and when God told Peter to eat the unclean meats in the vision and Peter didn't [Acts 10:9-16].

Both times it wasn't about killing the son or eating the meat, but about something so much deeper.

"How much do you love me? Enough to give your son to me? How much do you love others? Enough to see past their social class?"

Of course, it's hard to fully give our children to God short of death, but God would never allow us to actually take a life. Life is the most sacred thing, and all other commandments of the Bible (lying, stealing, etc) make be broken in the preservation of this greatest of things.

And yet to offer up life is also the sign of the greatest sacrifice, "No greater love hath man than he who lays his life down for another." [John 15:13]

If God had allowed Abraham to kill Isaac I would not follow God. But I see the meaning deeper down. It was not a mere ritual or cruel test, but a plea, "How much do you love me? Is your son your idol, or am I yet your God?"

Jerry> Keturah, you said, "If God had allowed for Abraham to take that final step then God would not be the God we serve".
Question: why would Abraham's following through with the God-given request, make god "not the god we serve"?

And #2, what if Abraham were as intelligent as you are, and thus realized that following through with the God-given command would, in fact, be wrong to do, thus, Abraham refused to do it... would Abraham have then been found righteous?

Me> Yes, I believe he knew and hoped that God would. Because Isaac asked, and Abraham said, "God will provide." His faith was so great that he walked out on a limb obeying God trusting in God to provide a way out of this conflict. To Saul it was said, "Obedience is better than sacrifice." [1 Samual 15:22]
Abraham knew he MUST obey, but there was also a conflict of values here. To obey a God so great, yet a God so great would never ask something that went against His Holy nature and law. And so Abraham obeyed believing that God would provide and make everything clear at the end. And Abraham's obedient faith (not murder, mind you) is what found Abraham most righteous.

Jerry> Then you don't believe the Bible. The bible explicitly states that Abraham raised his hand, intending to kill his son. It does not say that Abraham believed that God would send an angel at the last moment to stop him. In fact, if Abraham had believed that it was all just a staged show to test him, then how could it have been a test at all? At best god failed because he deemed it a test, but Abraham somehow secretly knew it was a test so acted as if he was going to go through with the murder... thus tricking god into finding him righteous. Let's be realistic, the story is illogical and immoral.
1.) God doesn't ask people to do things that are wrong to do.....
2.) In the event that god were to ask a person to do something wrong and immoral, it would have to be a test in which God's standard of passing the test would be Abraham refusing to do the evil.
3.) God would never count a person as righteous for being willing to do evil.

Me> Yes, I believe Abraham intended to follow through to the very end, in faith that God would provide or show His ultimate will. Abraham didn't know. He obeyed and hoped (this is faith). If he had followed through and actually killed his son I believe Abraham would have lost all faith, and that we would not have the Bible today. Because then he would not have have been hearing the voice of God but of something he'd fabricated in his own mind.

1. (a) You are very correct. God never asks us to do things that are wrong. But sometimes the things he asks of us don't make sense and we go through a time of doubt, wondering if God is really as good as we believed. This is when our faith is most tested. "But God, if you are good why do you feel so evil right now?" This is a common plaintiff in the psalms, and every honest Christian will cry this to God. And God will say, "Do you trust me?" Some of us will say yes, and follow through with what feels wrong until we come to "the good" he has for us, whether in this life or the next.
(b) sometimes we DO hear the voice of Satan, for even he can quote scripture and act as God. And this is why we must always, ALWAYS test what we hear to scripture. Our faith must be great, but so must our knowledge. 
2. I agree. If Abraham had killed his son, or if Peter had eaten the unclean animals I believe that both Abraham and Peter would have lost the meaning of the test and of their faith in a good, perfect God who never changes in word perfection.
3. Abraham was not willing to do evil but trusted that God would provide a way for him to do good. His faith was rewarded.

Abraham is a special man because he actually heard the voice of God and did crazy things. I do not know if we have a greater example of faith worked out in action than of him. God said move, and Abraham did. God said I will make you a father of nations, and God did. Abraham had doubts, yes, and this is shown through Hagar and when he went to Egypt. He believed God, though there were times he didn't quite fully trust God and those times always turned out messy for him. This was an ultimate test. How much did he truly trust God? Before, God had always provided even despite disbelief. Would God do it again? Or was he simply crazy, following voices in his head? He would obey God. But if God didn't provide, then it was not God whom he'd be hearing. He'd lose his son if that were true. But he'd also lose all of who he was and had been for all his life: his faith in God. This wasn't about killing Abraham, but how much love Abraham had for God and whether God was worthy of that love. This was not a normal test, and I do not believe God will ever ask of it again. That is what makes this story so outstanding. It is a story of a man who loves his God so much he is willing to go to the very end of that faith to prove himself and his God, and at the end the faith wins out and Abraham is found righteous and they all live happily ever after. To say, "God will provide," when all is dark and hopeless takes the greatest strength I can fathom. And then to be rewarded with such relief, "Yes, my God is who I believed Him to be? He IS good?" I can only imagine Abraham's joy at that moment.

Jesse> What? "If he had followed through and actually killed his son I believe Abraham would have lost all faith, and that we would not have the Bible today."? "Accounting that God was able to raise him(Isaac) up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure." - Hebrews 11:19 This makes it sound like if he had done it, he knew God would just bring him back, or believed he could/would.

Me> If God had done THAT then he wouldn't have lost all faith. Though even then, he might. Because he still would have had a conflict of feelings. He believed that God was ultimately good. But then to be commanded to break one of the greatest laws of committing murder would have haunted his conscience and values forever. I don't see how God could ever ask anyone to kill someone only to raise them from the dead. That is just too far from how I view God.

Jesse>  Well, it is. Abraham thought so. God thought so of himself, too. That's why he stopped him. It was all a metaphor. If it'd been a human sacrifice, I should expect Isaac to have died. So Isaac is like all of humanity. The lamb took his/our place.

Keturah> I would say it has some characteristics of being a metaphor, but it is also so much more. Because Abraham's faith was literally tested.

Jesse> True.

Keturah>  One could say ALL of life including the scripture is a metaphor. But that doesn't take away from how real and personal everything also is.

Note: Some would have answered this differently. Some talk about how it was simply a metaphor. But I think that's a dangerous path to take. Yes, it does also symbolize the perfect sacrifice. But it wasn't just about that. And people who hate God can see that, so should we. We can't just shove the tough parts of Scripture away with, "Well, that's how it was done back then," or "It didn't actually happen. It was only a metaphor."

When something didn't happen it was stated that so-and-so had a vision or that "and he gave a parable". Otherwise, I am with Kent Hovind when he says, "And God said the world was made in six days, and I believe that means the world was made in six days."

Either God is telling us the Truth, or He isn't.

Debate #2: This is actually a part of the same above debate from my FB timeline (the debate had hundreds of comments, mostly between others. I only poked my head in when I thought it necessary or felt like it).

Exodus 21:7-11  (NIV) 
“If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do. If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself,[a] he must let her be redeemed. 
He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her. If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter. 
If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. 
If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.

Jerry> If you, in any way, think that I, or any other parent, has a right to put Exodus 21:7-12 into practice, then you A.) don't deserve to ever become a parent, and B.) have no idea as to what love is. "Articulate how God can be blamed (for Exodus 21:7-12)"... Uhm... it's in the bible, thus god is endorsing it. Equally important, God is not forbidding it. Seriously, how hard is it to see that Exodus 21:7-12 is immoral and sick? And yet there it is, in the bible, not being forbidden, rather, being endorsed. Sad and sickening.

Keturah>  I think those verses are amazing, tbh, and heartily agree with them. In fact, my father has made many adverts trying to sell me. Sadly, none of them worked.

Jerry> Excellent! If you like this verse then I have a whole book that you might be interested in reading. It's called the Quran and it is held in high esteem by the religion of Islam. Do you have a copy of your own or would you like me to order you a copy from Amazon?

Me> I already own a copy. It's at the top of my to-read list.

Jerry> That's the most inspiring thing I've heard you say in quite a while and I hope (and think) it will be a very enlightening experience for you.

Note: Nobody else seemed to be properly answering this question at the time. (There were some answers given, but even I wasn't completely satisfied). And I hate to see important questions be ignored. I'll admit, I don't think snark is usually the best way to go. But I was acknowledging two things.

1. "Jerry" had a point.
2. I am willing to not only have my faith but to study it and test it against other faiths. I am not blindly following the faith of my fathers, but I do believe that there is a God so great that what He says is true and good for us.

I believe this faith is sometimes tested by the appearance of evil. And this is why we must love God and His character so much that we can see evil for what it is, or find a way to understand what we are seeing. I still need to study this passage. I will not let it just sit there drooling in salty humor.

But the point is this: I have faith that God is good. Sometimes His laws don't feel good or don't make sense. Sometimes life really stinks. But this is when my Faith may be proved stronger or fail me altogether.

Why was God good before? What is it that makes Him good? I must remember that, and that is the Faith that pulls me through the hard times, and the more I'm pulled through the more I know of His goodness.

Those who pretend these times don't exist do not understand Ecclesiastes or the Psalms. Those who try to say that everything is of God's will, and thus evil things that happen are also according to His plan forget that sometimes men do things that God hates.

God would have that none of us perish.  (2 Peter 3:9) And yet, some of us will choose another path.
God doesn't wish that anyone should be harmed. And yet evil men will hurt innocent people.

We must have such a high opinion of God that when evil occurs we question it, not God, and ask ourselves, "Why?". We ought to ask "From whom is this?" We should know God's and His word so well that we know only good comes from Him and evil from elsewhere. We should seek out what this means, if it's really for our good or if it's a pain that God will comfort us of and walk us through. And if we find that it is indeed evil, we should place the blame only where it belongs; at the roots of sin, not at the foot of Yeshua.


Popular Posts

Living Like The Amish: Interviews With Three "English" Families PART I

Many people are obsessed with the Amish. I know at one time I was as well, and to a degree I still am. But my perception  has changed with experience. It started a long time ago when my family went to an Amish-held auction (no, it's not a place where you can buy Amish children, but a place where you can buy things from the Amish). I was eleven years old and enthralled to be surrounded by so many Amish. I loved the cockscomb flowers they sold everywhere. I bought a whole box for $2 and dried them for seeds so I could plant my own. But then I experienced my first reality shock concerning the Amish. I had assumed since they lived a simpler life everything about them was completely old-fashioned and natural. Imagine my horror when I saw Amish walking around with soda cans and store-bought ice cream. " Mom ," I said. "He's drinking soda!"  Left to right, back row: Jonny, Jonathan (Dad). Front row: Jacob, Keturah, Rebekah (Mom), Jonah (on Mom's

Peace During Patience

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” - Philippians 4:6 My family and I were sitting around the breakfast table several months ago. Mom had just read this verse. One of the kids laughed incredulously, “What is it saying? Be careful for nothing – live recklessly?” “No,” I answered quickly. My tone was very matter-of-fact, blunt, as if I were all-knowing. “It means do not worry.” The kids all nodded among themselves and life continued on for them. But for me life paused at my words. I had heard this verse soooooooo many times. I had always known what it meant. But now? Now it really meant something . “Do not worry.” This path I've chosen. I can not see it. I can not feel it. I do not know where I am. I have chosen to follow God, and no other. But why did He hide the light from my eyes? I must take a step forward. But I do not want to. How long w

Inside The Land Of The Free

Hello. My name is Greg.  I have a lot of time to think. Too much time. Sometimes I think about my life - why I am sitting in prison. I wonder what I could have done different - my life plays before my eyes. "If only..." But even I know that no amount of good works would have stopped tyranny from finding fault with me. It is cold. My clothes are thin. My stomach is empty - occasionally filled with food of no sustenance.  I hide my face in my knees - as if that will somehow protect me from the horrors of this dark cold dungeon.  They keep it cold to freeze me, this I know. It is a part of their game - to drive a lesson into me. As if I have a lesson to learn solely because I was convicted. Convicted, but not  guilty. Years.  68 years for standing against injustice. How many years have I sat in here? I have forgot. All I know is this question, "Was I fated for this? Did God grant my birth

It Doesn't Take a Genius to Recognize Corruption

After attending the writer's conference I had the opportunity to spend a week with my dad in Las Vegas (we went to federal court trials). I don't usually speak much of his work as I'm not sure all what to say about it. He keeps the public updated with what's happening in court, with all the many men locked up that he's trying to help out. I think he said there are like 19 guys right now that he is specifically trying to help release.  {If any of you have heard of the Bundy Ranch Stand Off, you'll know a little of what he is doing} I won't go into too much detail with his work. I will say if you want to know more of how to help out and learn what's going on just do some googling - my dad's name is John Lamb. You should be able to find plenty on him ;p Anyways, I was quite shocked the first day. Security didn't surprise me at all. Very much like an airport ;p  Except, most of the security was actually nicer ;) I was very p