It’s Not Every Day Jesus Comments on Your Blog

I recently hosted a 3-part guest blog series by Eric Seibert (Messiah College) on the topic of God’s violence in the Old Testament (part one here). It’s a touchy subject for some, and the comments left over several days reflect the diverse points of view people hold, and generally with both respect and passion.

Not unexpected, some comments voice very strong opinions that leave little room for give and take–as if the commenter is the very voice of God. Those sorts of comments rarely generate anything beyond a quick glance–until today, this morning at 10:27 to be precise, when Jesus himself paid me a visit and left a comment.

Jesus Christ

It’s amazing how so many of you feel you can change my words as you see fit to serve you own personal ends. I wrote the bible along side my father to leave behind a record for mankind, since then you have committed endless blasphemy claiming it is my will and disobeyed my command. This shall go no further, submit before my word, or be judged before my will.

You can imagine my reaction. I was all set to stop blaspheming and submit to Jesus and be judged by him when a thought occurred. Knowing Jesus’ penchant for engaging in dialogue with both friend and foe in the Gospel stories, I thought I would follow that pattern and see if there was some way I could engage him in further reflection on this matter.

Submitted on 2013/02/08 at 12:17 pm | In reply to Jesus Christ.

Dear Jesus,
Thank you for taking the time to post on my blog. I had no idea I attracted so much attention.
Thank you for writing the Bible along side of God and for giving us a record. I am sorry we are so bad at understanding it. Please do not judge us before your will–at least until I have a chance to explain.

You see—if I may, knowing how you can’t wait to judge us–some of us who are really trying to pay attention to your book get very confused about what exactly it wants from us. For example, why did you and God say in one part of the Bible that killing our enemies–even women and children–was your will, but then, you and God change your mind about all that in other parts (the parts where you are speaking, Jesus)? Also, please clarify, if you would, that part about smashing the heads of Babylonian babies against the rocks, and also the part where drowning everyone on earth was the best way to deal with sin way early in the book you wrote, but later you took a very different approach.

Those are just some questions I and others have had since the days of the Apostle Paul. I have other questions, and if you don’t mind, I’d like to ask them at some other time, if you haven’t judged me by then.

See you Sunday.

It goes without saying I will let you know if I get a response.

  • Brian LePort

    Jesus’ resurrected face isn’t quite what I imagined it to be. He looks a little like a hybrid between a gear and a green blob. I guess this explains why the disciples didn’t recognize him on the road to Emmaus. Also, I am quite surprised to learn that Jesus wrote the Bible alongside his Father, with no assistance from the Holy Spirit, and apparently no human agents on earth. That throws a wrench in things.

    • toddh

      I was a little confused by the absence of the Holy Spirit as well. Maybe we’ve been exceptionally wrong on the Trinity and Heysoos can clear that up for us also.

  • Justin

    That’s awesome. Well-played with the response, by the way. I was totally convinced that it was Jesus, until he wrote “along side” as two words.

    • musicologyman

      Justin, he can write “along side” because he is Jesus; it is, ispo facto, the Inspired Spelling..

      Henceforth, we must recognize that this is the divinely ordained rendering of the word and use it accordingly.

      • musicologyman

        Incidentally, you will note that Pete recognized this in his response and immediately fell into line. I think we can learn a lot from him.

  • Craig Wright

    Peter, I already had read Seibert’s book, but thanks for putting him on the blog, because then I got to see all the opinions responding to his thesis. This nudged me to finally put together a study for the adult Sunday school class that I teach. I needed to do that, because some parents were coming to me saying that their adolescent children were questioning the character of God. My study is thoroughly biblical, but leaves the complexity of scripture out there in the open, and forces people to deal with it. I used resources: Seibert’s “Disturbing Divine Behavior”, Paul Copan’s “Is God a Moral Monster?”, “Show Them No Mercy; 4 Views” ed. Stanley Gundry, and a book preview about “Jesus Versus Jehovah” by Gregory Boyd.

  • ScottB

    Your email doesn’t appear to be working. Hopefully I’m not getting kicked out by your spam filter, because that would be disheartening.

  • Phillip B.

    I’m not so sure your response was witty.

    In asking, your presuppositions seem to be judging God with limited moral perspective. How do you know he didn’t have a morally sufficient reason for doing and ordering those things? What if, had he not, the earth would have ended in a nuclear holocaust aeons ago?

    Just because we can ask difficult questions of the text, doesn’t mean they don’t have rational, moral answers. Even if the commentator wasn’t actually Jesus, your follow questions seem rather trite.

    • Craig Vick

      Yes, I think next time Dr. Enns should ask questions from an unlimited, infinite moral perspective. Good luck with that.

    • Nick Gotts

      This “God” fellow is supposed to be omnipotent. So clearly he could prevent a nuclear holocaust with a twiddle of the celestial fingers, and indeed, could have simply caused everyone he reputedly had slaughtered, or enslaved and raped, to be entirely virtuous and blissfully happy for all time.

  • Stephen W

    I’m gonna sit here and wait for Pete to get smited…

  • CraigCregger

    I have been following your blog for a while now. This is such a snarky, condescending post that I think it finally has caused me to go elsewhere to find answers to my Christian faith and the difficulties I have. I expect this kind of mocking tone from the atheists I hang out with. I have met people like you dozens of times, and today, on February 8, 2013 I am predicting that it will not be more than 5 years that we’ll read reports about how Peter Enns has thunk himself into a corner and then abandoned his Christian faith.

    • Mark Edward

      And yet no criticism for a person pretending to be Jesus? That person isn’t being condescending by confirming their personal interpretations of the Bible by lying and pretending to be Christ himself?

    • jason

      Ah, here’s the missing Holy Spirit that toddh (above) was wondering about. And apparently he doesn’t have a sense of humor.

    • Joe

      I’m sorry you feel this way. It’s just that there are many of us who are Christians who are concerned about the way that the Bible has been used to justify manipulation, control, and even oppression. I care that people are being hindered from accepting the Gospel because the Bible has been forced to fit a mold that it never claimed for itself. Christians are wrong if they view the Bible the same way that Muslims view the Qu’ran. The fact that divine and human influences are both expressed in Scripture is central to the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation and helps us to avoid Gnostic, cult-like tendencies. Sadly, some people think that the Bible is an end in itself rather than realizing that its authority was meant to be functional: to lead people into relationship with a living God. Let’s stop making the Bible into an idol just because it better suits our desire to be in control.

    • Chuck Sigler

      I was truly offended by the “person” who posted as Jesus Christ and responded much less tongue-in-cheek than Peter did. See my responses on Dr. Seibert’s last blog post. There was no productive reason at all for that person to post as “Jesus Christ” or to say what he/she said. My faith in Christ was not defended, uplifted or encouraged by what this person said. I think Peter’s “snarkyness” was just what needed to be said to the person posting as “Jesus Christ.” Your own response to Peter (“I am predicting that it will not be more than 5 years that we’ll read reports about how Peter Enns has thunk himself into a corner and then abandoned his Christian faith.”) seems to be more of the same arrogance as the person posting as “Jesus Christ.”

  • Larry

    Jesus -

    Thanks for posting here, and for writing your book with your father. I have a copy! So, this comment is kind of like “first time long time”, like they say on talk radio.

    I’m worried about the judgment you mentioned, so I want to put in a good word for myself. First: I want to assure you that I never change your words. I mean, I don’t know what your words are, because we only have them in translation, and probably paraphrased, but I try really hard to quote them the way I find them. I use cut-and-paste whenever possible, though I never imagined that CTRL-C might keep me out of hell! You move in mysterious ways.

    You said that I have committed endless blasphemy. That seems way harsh. My understanding of blasphemy is that it’s the same thing as being insulting. I don’t think I’ve ever insulted you, I mean not in the sense of those witty Oscar Wilde or Mark Twain insults anyway. “Hey Jesus, that’s a nice tunic you’re wearing, does it come in your size?” Heh heh. Sorry. In any event, whatever I did, I don’t think it was endless. Aren’t my sins bad enough without your having to exaggerate? (Your being divine, does that make you super-sensitive to insults, or super-impervious to them? Can you make a rock so heavy that not even you can move it? Sorry, I digress.)

    I can feel myself getting all defensive! But can you check your records, because I’m sure I never claimed that anything was “your will”, being as I’m Jewish. Oh, once I had dinner with a nice Christian family, and I said the Lord’s Prayer with them — was that YOUR will being done? I’m sorry if that was the wrong thing to say. Actually, I try to say nice things about you, in particular when it comes to how you recommend being forgiving and loving.

    Anyhoo … given that you post comments on the internet so infrequently, I think it would help the cause of goodwill towards men, I mean humans, if you’d stress the forgiving and loving stuff when you DO post. IMHO and FWIW. By the way, if I say something sinful, but I follow it with IMHO and FWIW, then it’s not sinful anymore, right?

  • Jame the Great

    Jesus left, folks, but don’t worry: I got this.

  • DAF

    Jesus has a surprisingly fuzzy grasp on the proper use of the semicolon.

    • Swartzendruber

      English is not his first language.

      • Alison (@alisonjoyful)

        I laughed OUT LOUD at this. That would explain some of the “mistakes” Jesus made in his comment.

  • Chuck Sigler

    Francis Schaeffer observed that what sticks in the mind like glue for decades is typically not the issue of doctrine or belief that caused the differences in the first place, but the bitter things said by true Christians in the midst of differences. “It is these things—these unloving attitudes and words—that cause the stench that the world can smell in the church of Jesus Christ among those who are really true Christians. . . . The world looks, shrugs its shoulders, and turns away.” (Schaeffer, “The Mark of a Christian”)

  • James

    “Little room for give and take,” I think is key to appreciating Pete’s conversation with Jesus. We should never come across as infallible interpreters of his words, even though they are found in the Bible. It’s good to give and take a little without getting bent out of shape or cracking under pressure. I guess blogs are good forums for flexible conversations!

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  • beaglelady

    Thanks for your post, Jesus. And thanks for teaming up with God to write the scriptures. Hope she’s doing well!

  • Mike Sangrey

    In related news…

    Peter Enns was rushed to the hospital minutes after having an irony contest with Jesus. He was pronounced dead on arrival. Miraculously, a few hours later he walked out of the hospital, fully recovered. Several doctors, all consulted independently, all gave a diagnosis of Tri-malegallus-crowphobia, though they have no idea why. Peter only remembers having a dream about a white light. However, when he sees a picture of Jesus, he feels a sense of Satanic oppression and tries to get behind the painting. He finds this quite odd and is seeking therapy via a Blog dedicated to rethinking Christianity.

  • Jim

    Maybe the person who wrote you has a point. After all isn’t the Bible the fourth member of the Trinity ……