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How to become a heretic

Reader comment on item: Terrorism Defies Definition
in response to reader comment: Terror May Have Religious Connection; But Never a Righteous One

Submitted by Michael S. (United States), Dec 9, 2014 at 12:21

Hi, Tovey

I agree with you, concerning what you said about terrorism and the misappropriation of religion in categorizing it. To be sure, the terrorists are not moved by a genuine religious intent of pleasing God; otherwise, their very instincts would tell them that what they are doing in entirely wrong: You cannot please our Creator, especially one dubbed "The Merciful, the Compassionate", as Qur'an repeatedly describes Allah, by indiscriminately destroying His creation.

Concerning the savage slaughter of Muslim by Muslim, which we have been witnessing the past couple of years, historian Colin McEvedy:

"The provinces of the Caliphate in many cases first seceded in the name of Ali (Spain is an exception, but the Umayyad cause was a sufficient distinction). Their independence soon passed beyond challengs, and the second generation of Emirates, the Murabits, Zirids, anSamanids, returned to orthodoxy, readily acklowledging a community of culture with Baghdad, once doing so did not prejudice their freedom."

-- McEvedy, Colin, "The Penguin Atlas of Medieval History", p. 56

What we are seeing today, with the Egyptians and Saudis fighting the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda fighting Islamic State, Syria fighting Islamic State and everyone fighting Israel, is just the latest violent episode of Islamic history: All these players are using religion as a justification for their lust for power; and once they are comfortable (as the Saudis are, for instance), they will waste not time in going to bed with the "infidel" to protect their gains.

I have some theological bones to pick with you. First of all, you referred to James the Just (Ya'akov Tsadik) as the "step-brother" of Jesus, reflecting your Trinitarian bent. You believe, no doubt, that the Holy Spirit was somehow Jesus' biological father, and therefore Joseph could not have been. Paul contradicts this belief in Romans, however:

Romans 1:
[3] Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
[4] And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

Here, Paul calls Jesus the "son" of God (not of "God the Father", but of "God"); yet he makes it clear that this is an adoptive title; and that Jesus was physically the son of Joseph ("of the seed of David", as Mattew and Luke together proclaim with their dual genealogies -- both of them through Joseph). God created mankind from "the dust of the earth", this creation including the evolution of human DNA. God Himself does not have human DNA, as ought to be plain from the reading of scripture; so He certainly could not have been "of the seed of David". Jesus' physical father was Joseph, as Paul clearly implies, however miraculous an event may have brought this about.

You also make an interesting point concerning Jesus' death on the cross. You describe this as "the One eternal sacrifice of love":

blood has always been the medium of sacrifice, even in its malevolent and indiscriminate wasting of human life. Conversely, its only proscribed use is in a holy manifestation of redeeming mankind to the Almighty, which is NOT in the taking of more human casualties, but in recognizing by faith in the One eternal sacrifice that love, not terror, is what the Eternal seeks of humanity.

You speak well here. Jesus' sacrifice was not a ritual shedding of human blood, a concept that Jews rightly abhor. What makes his willing laying down of his own life acceptable to God, was the fact that he chose not to impute it to his followers, who had all deserted him. Zechariah, son of Jehoiada, died a similar death:

2 Chr. 24:
[20] And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the LORD, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the LORD, he hath also forsaken you.
[21] And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of the LORD.
[22] Thus Joash the king remembered not the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but slew his son. And when he died, he said, The LORD look upon it, and require it.

Like Jesus, Zechariah was killed out of jealousy while preaching to turn the Jews back to their God; but he did not forgive his tormentors. Jesus, on the other hand, speaking (as Zechariah had) as the spokesman of God, forgave these worst of all transgressors; so that we, who have committed lesser transgressions, likewise receive forgiveness by acknowledging what Jesus did and why he did it. The same God spoke through Zechariah as spoke through Jesus; but He chose to speake forgiveness of sin through the latter, to honor his father David.

I think it's interesting that Zechariah had been killed by Joash -- a king who had been righteous before God during the days of Zechariah's father; and most curiously, a descendant of David and, through Joseph (Matthew's genealogy), an ancestor of Jesus. He was one of many wicked Davidic kings, of a line which was eventually cursed.

It is for the sake of showing that Jesus was a rightful heir to the throne of Israel, I believe, that Matthew showed that genealogy -- a line that was probably adoptive, not through Joseph but through Joeph's adoptive father Jacob (no doubt, the one Ya'akov Tsadik was named after). Joseph's biological father according to Luke 3:23, namely Heli, was descended from David through Nathan, whose line was not accursed as Josiah's was.

Thus, Jesus was able to claim biological descent from David through Nathan, while at the same time claiming legitimate claim to the throne of Israel through Solomon. There are many alternate interpretations of the scriptures; but this is the only one that fits all scripture and legitimizes Jesus' claim to be the Messiah. This is also, unfortunately, the sort of interpretation that has estranged me from Christians for years, and that has led to others being ejected from the church as heretics.

Shalom shalom :-)


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (53) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
An Agreed Definition [72 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Freddy TerraneanApr 4, 2016 17:27228712
2Definitions of Terrorism in the U.S. Code [413 words]LudvikusJan 17, 2015 00:51220437
Define [19 words]AlbertEDec 15, 2014 19:35219789
the abstract or the actual islamist terrorist [16 words]mythNov 17, 2014 05:39219336
The name of the "game" is Zionism [823 words]Richard MartensNov 14, 2014 14:37219307
The wellfare state result: mass terrorism [60 words]PermReaderNov 12, 2014 10:54219285
3Terrorism is not an ideology [176 words]saraNov 3, 2014 21:09219150
You are correct: Terrorism is not an ideology; and we're not convincingly at war with it. [373 words]Michael S.Nov 9, 2014 09:22219150
1Terrorism is in the eye of the beholder [158 words]saraNov 16, 2014 18:39219150
War on Flying [408 words]Michael S.Nov 17, 2014 15:07219150
Muslim Brotherhood threat [153 words]saraNov 20, 2014 21:29219150
1It takes all kinds [295 words]Michael S.Nov 21, 2014 15:18219150
Muslim divisions [571 words]Michael S.Nov 26, 2014 05:09219150
Terrorism [133 words]donevanNov 2, 2014 14:42219127
1It's Personal [546 words]Michael S.Nov 25, 2014 11:23219127
1I agree...it's not a religion [181 words]donevanNov 27, 2014 14:40219127
It's all "religious", by someone's definition [573 words]Michael S.Nov 29, 2014 18:51219127
Not a 'Religion" [184 words]donevanDec 1, 2014 22:10219127
Defining "Religion" [209 words]Michael SDec 4, 2014 12:28219127
Terror May Have Religious Connection; But Never a Righteous One [388 words]M. ToveyDec 4, 2014 17:20219127
I Agree......I think I do [119 words]DONEVANDec 8, 2014 10:02219127
Religion and Terrorism...... [117 words]donevanDec 8, 2014 10:21219127
How to become a heretic [1033 words]Michael S.Dec 9, 2014 12:21219127
Hereticism Can Be Avoided By Holdng to the Spirit of Scripture [538 words]M. ToveyDec 11, 2014 14:10219127
Murder From Supremacist Motives [65 words]DaveOct 31, 2014 19:14219088
1Still puzzled after 13 years. [120 words]JD WillOct 31, 2014 09:58219068
An endless war.... [151 words]donevanNov 3, 2014 22:17219068
Why did the lame duck cross the road? [919 words]Michael S.Oct 29, 2014 14:43219039
Someone Tell the Duck to Duck - It's Dark Out On That Roadmap to Peace. [324 words]M. ToveyOct 31, 2014 18:22219039
Be afraid! Be very afraid! [875 words]Michael S.Nov 3, 2014 10:01219039
Terrorism is in the Eye of the Beholder [26 words]Barry BlackOct 28, 2014 09:36219010
Koran sponsored crimes [64 words]PermReaderOct 27, 2014 12:19218990
what about "a state actor attacking civilian targets to spread fear for some putative political goal" ? [25 words]servet cevikOct 27, 2014 08:04218987
4What can we learn from the terrorist attack in Ottawa [219 words]dhimmi no moreOct 27, 2014 07:18218985
terrorism is a Monster with many face [26 words]myselfOct 27, 2014 06:47218984
1"TERRORISM" IS THE CRIME OF "EXTORTION" [41 words]Uncle VladdiOct 26, 2014 20:55218980
Let's Define Terrorism Better [379 words]Richard H. ShulmanOct 26, 2014 20:31218979
Définitions Of TERROR, TERRORISM and TERRORIST [161 words]JACQUES HADIDAOct 26, 2014 18:02218977
Its the purpose...not the degree of violence [167 words]gerNov 3, 2014 11:12218977
Don't Forget the Media's Role [156 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
AlexOct 26, 2014 16:50218973
1common sense [49 words]Charles MartelOct 26, 2014 16:02218972
Freud summed it up. [80 words]Andrew HOct 26, 2014 13:32218967
That Explains It [50 words]Barry BlackOct 26, 2014 10:19218964
1The Winslow Plan [367 words]TL WinslowOct 26, 2014 10:13218963
1terrorism [25 words]Jan LapterOct 26, 2014 09:37218960
Yes, "Terrorism" is already known as the crime of "Extortion." [13 words]Uncle VladdiOct 27, 2014 21:36218960
terrorism [11 words]Jan LapterOct 28, 2014 04:37218960
"Terrorist inmates" are subject to many extra restrictions - I would add: many extra benefits if members of ROP [16 words]MarkOct 26, 2014 09:28218958
Terrorism is a tactic in the War [90 words]Ralph C Whaley MDOct 26, 2014 09:27218957
Maybe there is a reason terrorism defies definition [179 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
S. KleinOct 26, 2014 09:01218956
What's wrong with the definition provided? [36 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Eric GoodmanOct 26, 2014 06:59218950
Pst! "Terrorism" isn't limited to "non-state actors." [27 words]Uncle VladdiOct 27, 2014 21:33218950
What's wrong with the definition provided? (Defining vs. criteria of application) [133 words]Daniel D. NovotnyOct 29, 2014 09:26218950

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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