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The Big Picture

'Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons.' -- Vizzini from "The Princess Bride"

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Denying Christ

While I have been discussing the misleading and deceitful nature of conservative Christians, yet another proof of this has been going on. There have been a number of conservative Christians who have been slandering the two Fox News reporters who were kidnapped, and released; Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig.

Update: I have spoken with Darnell, the blogger I refer to below. He insists that he never meant to desparage the Fox reporters as I suggest. I have to take him at his word, and I tend to agree that he uses them in a sense other than what I suggest. I still feel my point holds strong, as they were used as an example, in a post that speaks of denial of Christ. I do not know his heart, so I will call draw, but will accept his explanation as honest and true.

This guy takes the cake. He has the cohones to savage them, and then say that no true Christian would deny Christ. Notice how he manages to cite many New Testament passages in his defense. But he glosses over the most crucial one with the statement "Every time I’ve read about Peter’s actions I’ve prayed that I would not act as he did. To actually see the face of the Lord performing miracles and all, then deny him is something I have a hard time understanding." *

One of the most important characters in the New Testament and Christianity is Peter, Jesus' right hand man, so to speak. Let us reconsider one of the Gospel pasages concerning him:
"And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly" [Matthew 26:75 NKJV]. This can also be found in other verses (thus showing it is not some obscure easily dismissed verse: )Matthew 26:34, Mark 14:30, Mark 14:72, Luke 22:34, and Luke 22:61. What we see, is that Peter, too, is guilty of denying Christ. I don't know about these so-called Christians, but being in the company of Peter, is not to be taken lightly. To make light of Peter, is to make oneself greater than the the gospel of Jesus, as you are calling into question the character of the "rock" of Christianity, and claiming to be more moral and stronger than Peter. While it may be simple to simply mention this, its real and profound implications in Christianity are to make oneself more perfect than the bible allows (Why can't these types of Christians read and live by the "great" apostle Paul, who claimed, "I have become a fool in boasting; you have compelled me. For I ought to have been commended by you; for in nothing was I behind the most eminent apostles, though I am nothing" [2 Cor 12:10-12 NKJV]. I really find verse 10 appropriate and useful: "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Funny, that it is so easy to ignore important aspects of the Bible, if it furthers one's own modern interpretation of conservatism, and the right to (pretend to) act superior. I think what we are witnessing today is an all-too-real self-righteousness that was famously lampooned by Dana Carvey's "The Church Lady" in the 1980's.

* Actually, I would say it would be impossible to deny. Because miracles were performed, and yet it was still so easy for Peter to deny, then one would think the whole story made up; with the details, as written, crafted purely for dramatic impact.

Update: Blogger Hal, of the Great Seperation, has a different take on this, that being the mark of the beast as found in Revelations.


At September 08, 2006 3:42 PM, Blogger Darnell said...

I am the guy you said "takes the cake".

So I would like you to explain a few things.

1. Where do I "savage" Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig in my post?

2. How did I "gloss" over Peter when I detailed he was loved by Christ just the same?

3. Are the millions who died for Christ instead of accepting forced conversions somehow "more moral" than Peter? Remember, you said "more moral", not me.

The facts are:
1. I did not say anything about Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig other than they were forced to accept Islam. I never said what faith they might be part of, or that they should have done anything differently. My statements about my stance were in response to a general question. Not what Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig should have done.

2. I detailed how Peter was loved by the Lord.

3. Having an opinion about something done by Peter does not mean I feel I am somehow better than him.

I find it ironic that you speak of "boasting" while your statements about me do just that. I responded to a question from a fellow blogger and offered my reasons for that position.

Now please show a link to some Conservative Christians that slandered the FoxNews reporters, because while you seem to claim that I did, I did not.

Are you that desperate for someone to rant about that you cite a post that never trashed the men, to imply that I did?

At September 08, 2006 5:15 PM, Blogger jeffperado said...


First I want to welcome you to the big picture. Please feel free to stop by any time and leave your comments, I welcome opposing viewpoints.

Now, getting to your points you made.

1. You wrote, "So FoxNews reporter Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig were freed, but not before being forced to accept the “religion of peace” at the point of a gun. And before them, journalist Jill Carroll was forced to wear the Muslim garb, learn about Islam and make anti-American statements like Centanni and Wiig."

This was followed up by, "La Shawn Barber asks, would I deny Christ for earthly life? I say from the comforts of America, heck no. I can only pray I would be as firm in less comfortable surroundings"

Lest we not forget the title of your post, "Jesus Never Wants Those Who Claim to Love Him to Deny Him. (Gun Point Conversion to Islam.)"

Now I will give you points for being honest, in that you can only hope you could do better (and not flat out say that you would, but your point is clear, you strongly imply that they failed). But the fact remains, your own words prove you wrong.

2. One sentence was all you spent on the denial of Peter. One sentence.

3. I cannot answer that question, I think the whole theology of Christianity is garbage, so how to "rank" the morality of people who died for a useless cause is beyond my abilities. I would rely on you to make that call for me. Is dying for Jesus more moral than lying about Jesus? I would and could only suggest what I did, this implies an arrogance not allowed for in the New Testament.

Your facts:
1. Well, just because you do not mention their religious beliefs, (and you don't that is true), does not equate to "they could be any religion." It is and has been well established that they were Christian, regardless of your omission. For example: If you were to say, "The Pope said...." and failed to mention that the Pope was Catholic, does that absolve you from the fact that the Pope is, in fact, Catholic? No, of course, not. Just because you failed to mention the religion of them, your whole point was about denial and Christ. End of story. The conclusion is not only obvious, it is real, and not dependant on your statement of their Christian heritage.

2. You did mention Peter and other passages from the NT, that is true, but your point was what I claimed, pure and simple. Peter denied Jesus Christ, and still was not just relevant, but key to the rest of the NT. And for the record, Jesus' love for Peter is not at issue, Peter's actions when pressured was. (Not to delve too deeply into theology here, but Peter's denial did have a very important theological reason for it. Recall that this occurred before the holy spirit descended on the disciples, and after this, the newly appointed apostles (former disciples) were all very brave. Peter being the bravest. The reason is clear, this was written to show the power of the holy spirit. It was done to reinforce the will of those early Christians that they would have the courage necessary to to hold onto their new religion.)

3. No, but thinking that you would do something different in the same situation, without actually being in that situation, and thinking it would be somehow better or more noble, are the words of a braggart, not a soldier.

Al always, you are entitled to think and to say whatever you like. I do not say that I "hope" I would do better than someone else if put in their situation. I cannot be called out for boasting, for boasting would suggest that I somehow think I am better or more noble.

I do not think that. What I write is what I feel. And my writing suggests that I think Christianity is bunk. It says nothing to any sort of self-inflated ego at all. I base my writing on fact, on knowledge, and on wisdom. I do not base even one word on any sort of infallibility regardless of fact, knowledge or wisdom.

That is our difference. You used those men in a post that speaks to "being true" to Christ, and they were not used as positive examples. How would you classify that??

As for your links you request, do it yourself, simply go to townhall.com. Here is one that says exactly what you say was never said:
Jeff Jacoby
David Warren
Of course the ever-Christian, Debbie Schlussel speaks up as well.

I could go on but this is useless.

At September 08, 2006 8:07 PM, Blogger Darnell said...

Regarding #1.
Does Jesus Wants Those Who Claim to Love Him to Deny Him? Of course not. Its a simple fact. That title says nothing about Centanni and Wiig, although their experience caused some to wonder what they might do if in that situation. I don't know what faith Centanni and Wiig are, do you? So how could I ever look at their actions in terms of denying Jesus if I don't even have a clue if they've ever accepted him as their Lord and Savior?

I never said it, you simply felt it was there, because my post offers a strong viewpoint and you naturally recoiled a bit. But in recoiling you've added words that are not there.

Point 2. There's way more there than a single sentence, but you're seeing what you wish to.

Point 3. It is not my call, God is the judge.

Regarding the facts section.

1. OK if you say they are Christians then fine. First I've heard of it. Honestly I've never heard them say what they claim to be. Many have said they don't know, so it's not well established at all. If they are Christians I pray they don't fear expressing it openly, although I can understand their choice in that situation. Now that they are free I've still never seen them mention their personal faith. I guess they want to go back to those Islamic areas. I am of the opinion that they should openly express their faith if they are Christians.

2. Your statement about bravery would be theologically correct if there were no martyrs before Jesus came to earth. Even before Jesus came and before the Holy Spirit there were people who refused to deny the faith.

3. I simply state how I hope to be in such a situation. I don't say which is better, but convey what the Lord said himself.

How would you classify that??
I mentioned the facts of what happened and how one of the greatest representatives of the Lord actually did it more times in a night than once. So Centanni and Wiig are not looked down upon by me.

Jeff Jacoby says he "hopes" to have courage to take the bullet. I guess you somehow see that as a disrespect, but to ignore those who have taken the bullet would be a disrespect to those who gave their lives.

David Warren never says he knows what faith they claim. Because it has not been well established what faith they are. He simply offers some additional Christian perspective.

Debbie Schlussel's post is 100% correct. And I don't always agree with her.

You've learned about the Christian faith and decided to reject it. So be it.

Thanks for the opportunity to exchange thoughts with you. Bye :) .

At September 08, 2006 10:23 PM, Blogger jeffperado said...

I think I will leave the final word to Darnell. What has been said speaks for itself.

I find your concepts intriguing, please consider hanging around and commenting further, I think you will find much stimulating debate on subjects of theology here.


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