Dear Friend, Jesus & the Old Testament Disagree

Dear heathen/pagan/atheist friend,

Don't be telling me about conflict between Jesus and the Old Testament. You are a heathen/pagan/atheist; I am a Christian. Do you honestly think Christians don't have an answer for that challenge? You may not like the answer, you may think that it's wrong, that it's dumb, that it's ign'ant.

That's fine.

So address that. Address the Christian arguments. Don't come at me like you're bringing the light of revelation unto me. "Hey, what about the Jesus being all peace-like and nice and God in the Old Testament being all mean and stuff?" It's insulting. It's personally insulting.

Why? Because of what's you're actually saying when you do this.

Hey dude, be nice.
You think I'm a fool. The inconsistencies of this 2,000-year-old fairy tale I believe in (but about which you know almost nothing) are so obvious that I must be two kinds of fool. The fool who willfully believes a pleasantness in order to escape reality, and the fool who signs his life over without doing his due diligence. The conflict between Old Testament God and New Testament Jesus is so obvious that I cannot possibly have actually read my Bible.

Which means that you think I'm lazy.

And if I'm not lazy, and I'm not a fool, and I've actually read my Bible, then I must be a bully and a liar who is willing to work an obvious lie to take advantage of and gain social status over the real fools in my fairy-tale-social-construct.

Here's the thing. I don't mind if a stranger straight-up calls me those things. But you and I have been getting along nicely, under a pretense of friendship, or at least, civil acquaintance. If you think these things of me, we're not friends. Not because I can't be friendly with you, but because you clearly have never thought enough of me to have an honest relationship with me.

I'm not talking about the college freshman or the person brought up with absolutely no religious education, who asks "I see a conflict here. What is the Christian response to this?" and upon hearing the answer starts an honest old-fashioned dust-up. Ask the question. But don't act like the question itself is an argument.

I have told you what you say about  me when you behave this way. Now I will tell you what you're saying about yourself.

You are intellectually dishonest.

You come out with this pop-gun of a question acting like you're waving around a shotgun of hermeneutic. Perhaps you honestly think that Christians don't have an answer. Really? With all our history and institutions and libraries and theologians? If you don't know what the answer is, then it is you who have not done his due diligence. It is you who are lazy.

But I find this unlikely. More likely you are a cheat. If we were, for example, two debaters fighting our battle in public, you might ask me the question in order to have my answer exposed, and would then take the time to address my points and reveal my many mistakes to the audience. But you are not doing so. You are acting as if your question were rhetorical, as if your point had been made and proven. Which means that this is all show. That you are a rhetorical cheat. And rhetorical cheating is something one does to one's enemies.

It is your prerogative not to take me seriously. But if you do, I will take neither your arguments nor our relationship seriously.

Dear heathen/pagan/atheist friend, thank you for showing me where we really stand.

Cordially (but no more than cordially),



  1. Well put Joffre, I have had years of it, I know where you're coming from.


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