Friday, January 1, 2016
Jahaziel: Thank You for no Longer Pretending
The legendary Christian rapper, Jahaziel has renounced his Christian faith and I for one am very pleased he did. See the story HERE.
Now, please let me explain what I mean. Jahaziel has given us several reasons for why he has left the Christian faith. Some people are in shock that such a central figure in Christian entertainment (oxymoron) would just walk out on their faith in such a matter-of-fact way. I am not the least bit surprised with this story. In fact, after reading Jahaziel’s reasons for leaving, I am glad he left but not glad he is gone. Puzzled? Keep reading.
Jahaziel tells us, “When I first joined Christianity, I was told 'you must believe this book is God's infallible word' ... Before I'd even read the book!! How can one decide for themselves whether a book is accurate and true BEFORE they have even read & investigated the book thoroughly?!” Here is a most profound confession on Jahaziel’s part. What is sad is that many modern Christians will read this and think, so what! I don’t believe all the bible either but I love Jesus and I am a Christian. If that is your position, I think Jahaziel is far more honest that you are. At least Jahaziel that believing in Christ and believing the bible go hand in hand. At least he was honest enough to say if that is what being a Christian is, then I am not that. So thank you Jahaziel for at least admitting that you were not one of us. I wish everyone that professes to be a Christian would wake up tomorrow and either place their faith in Christ and believe God’s word or do what you did and stop identifying with the God whose word they reject when and where it is convenient.
Regrettably, Jahaziel did not stop with this reason for leaving Christianity. It seems clear from my perspective that someone must have spit in Jahaziel’s Wheaties. He offers this torrent of criticism about Christianity: I would like to take some time to be equally vocal about the negatives I have found. Christianity and its controlling dictatorship, its historic blood trail, its plagiarized Bible stories, characters and concepts, the many human errors of the Bible and its contradictions, the brutal nature of its God, its involvement in the slave trade, the crusades, the inquisition, the witch hunts, its second-class view of women, its masculinization of God, its emasculation of men, its financial corruption.
Christianity has a controlling dictatorship? I am not sure what he means by that remark. It sounds more like a compliant against how he has been treated by someone than anything else. Christianity has a historic blood trail? So Jahaziel is leaving Christianity because some people professing to be Christians behaved in a way that is contradictory to the Christian ethic? Christianity nowhere teaches that we should be shedding anyone’s blood. The Bible’s stories are plagiarized? Which ones? And what is your evidence? The brutal nature of God? Christianity was involved in the slave trade? Christianity is a system, a belief system centered around the person and work of Jesus Christ. By its nature it cannot be involved in the slave trade. But it does have something to say about how slaves should be treated in those circumstances where they exist. The bottom line is that Jahaziel is a bitter man and I think that in due time, we will discover what precipitated that bitterness. My guess is, it has little to do with years of intellectual reflection on the teachings of Christianity and much more with a incident or series of incidents that Jahaziel perceives as wrong and immoral. And I am guessing that these wrongs were committed by professing Christian(s).
You see, we live in a culture and an era where being a Christian really isn’t saying much about a person any more. Christians, professing Christians live however they please. They ignore God’s law. In fact, most Christians understanding law-keeping as legalistic these days. They have no interest in understanding God’s law let alone loving it and keeping it. They do not realize that an indifferent toward God’s law betrays an indifferent attitude toward God. The problem is that we do not force people out of the Christianity community after they have demonstrated that there is no evidence that their faith is real. We shrug our shoulders, mumble something about no judging, and completely ignore the purity of the church and refuse to show these people the love of God by confronting them with with the truth. The truth is, modern American Christianity is lawless. The modern gospel is without law. It is a thoroughly antinomian Christian culture that dominates American society.
Now, are Christians asked to just accept the Bible as the Word of God before they have had a chance to read it, examine it, evaluate it, and make sure it is accurate for themselves? Yes, as a matter of fact, they are. Christians are never to elevate their rational arguments and science above the Word of God and then subject the Word of God to the standards of autonomous human reason and modern science to see if the Bible is worthy of our trust. Such an approach is utterly blasphemous and unfaithful to the text. The Word of God is not trusted because it passes the tests and standards of science and human reason. The Word of God is trusted on because of what it is, God’s Word. We believe it is reliable because, by faith we understand that it is the very Word of God. And we know that if it is the Word of God, it is completely trustworthy. If Christians conclude that the Bible is the word of God based on scientific investigation and rational argumentation, then the Bible can never be our final authority, our sole standard for truth and knowledge. Whatever we use to test the Bible necessarily has more authority than the Bible.
Finally, it is impossible to conclude that the Bible is the Word of God apart from trusting Christ. The traditional arguments all fail to establish the truthfulness of the claim that the Bible is the Word of God. It does not follow that just because there were miracles and fulfilled prophecy that this book was written by God. No human argument will ever get you to that conclusion apart from faith. We believe the bible is God’s word because we have been born again, and having received the gift of faith, and we know that what the Spirit is testifying to us is true. This is biblical Christianity. If you cannot accept that, find Jahaziel and swap stories over a beer, because it is very likely that your faith is nothing more than an intellectual assent, a wink and a nod to the man on the cross. But do yourself and us a favor: like Jahaziel, either embrace God’s Word for what it is, or get out. Have a little integrity.
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ is located in Genesis three. But the most explicit promise given that a new community was coming and what the instrument of shaping that new community would be is located in Jeremiah 31. I pick it up at v.33, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. But modern, American Christianity seems to find any mention of law legalistic and repugnant and for some reason, antithetical to grace and faith. I have to ask what American seminaries are producing exactly if these are the kind of leaders they are giving us. Do they deserve our financial support and endorsements? Jeremiah continued in 32:38-40, “They shall be My people, and I will be their God; and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them. “I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me. God will work in the heart of His people to put His fear in their heart. The redeemed of the Lord, those whose lives are governed by the New Covenant, have a profound fear of the Lord that God, through faith by grace has given them. If you are a Christian and you have negative thoughts or emotions when you hear the Law of God mentioned or when someone says you must keep the commandments, perhaps you need to revisit what biblical Christianity actually is.
Assuming that Jahaziel has actually defected from the faith, and committed apostasy, it is because he was never a member of the New Covenant. He never had God’s law written on his heart. He never had the fear of God in his heart.
Stop romanticizing personalities and elevating men to the status of idols. God is pleased when you worship and elevate only Him!
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