One of our listeners asked me to comment on Jen Fishburne. She gave an hour long lecture on her life story explaining why she left Christianity. She was born and brought up in a very devout Christian home. Her parents gave her a very Biblical education. When she was a teenager, she left home with her boyfriend while her mom was pleading with her, ‘It is a sin to have sex outside marriage’. She married, divorced and remarried. She was forced to have an abortion by her husband, which she resisted. She changed many different denominations as she moved across the world. She studied theology, logic and history under many different theologians. Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Pentecostal, legalistic, pietistic, patriarchy…she had seen every form of Christianity. Then finally, she realized that Christianity is not for her and she left it and formed her own ideas about God and spirituality.
What are her reasons for leaving Christianity?
Her first argument is
Christianity is only for the Jews: She says, ‘the law was given only to the Jews. Then Jesus came as another prophet to the Jews. Everything associated with Judaism and Jesus were destroyed in AD 70 when Romans attacked Jerusalem. The Bible was only for the Jews. It may give us some information about history and ancient civilizations. But, Bible is not about the salvation of our souls.’
Let me answer this first. The universal nature of the message of the Bible is established right in the book of Genesis, in the very first verse. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. God’s implicit message is ‘I created the universe and everything in it. So, everyone in the universe must obey me.’
In Genesis 6, God sent a Flood to destroy the whole world. There, we see a God who judges the whole world. In Genesis 11, God scatters the peoples of the world across the globe. In Genesis 12, God chose Abraham, and told him, ‘I will make you a great nation and I will make you a blessing to all nations of the world’ (Genesis 12:3). The universal nature of Judaism and later Christianity was established right there in the first encounter between God and Abraham. God’s plan was to bless all the people of the world through Abraham and his children.
God chose Canaan as the place for the habitation of his people. You have Europe, Asia and Africa….three continents intersecting in the Canaan. It is the cradle of all ancient civilizations. God’s plan was as people travel across the Canaan, they should come in contact with the Jews and learn about their Holy God.
God sent prophets to the neighboring pagan nations. For example, God sent Jonah as a missionary prophet to Nineveh, the capital of the Great Assyirian Empire. God’s desire was to reach these pagan Assyrians through prophet Jonah.
Even in the Old Testament, God had a desire to save non-Jewish people. If you come to the divided Kingdom, we see Syrian generals like Naaman going to Israel for healing of his leprosy and later converting to Judaism. Prophet Isaiah says, ‘Israel shall be a light unto all the nations’.
Coming to the New Testament, we see the universal nature of the Christian faith right from the beginning of the gospels. Jesus says in the most famous gospel verse, John 3:16, ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ For God so loved the world…..A God who loves the world, not just the Jews.
Pointing to Jesus, John the Baptist says, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29). Jesus is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the whole world, not just the Jews.
In John chapter 4, Jesus preaches the gospel to Samaritan woman, who was not Jewish. Before his ascension to heaven, Jesus gave his disciples the Great Commission, which is, ‘Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost’ (Matthew 28:19). Jesus’s final commandment to his disciples was, ‘Go to all nations and preach this good news of salvation to every creature’.
In Acts chapter 2, we see the Holy Spirit coming down on the disciples as they gathered in a meeting in Jerusalem. Peter was there. He thought exactly like Jen Fishburne: This Christianity is only for the Jews. He was not mingling with the Gentiles. He was not reaching out to the Gentiles. But in Acts chapter 10, God told him to go and preach the gospel to Cornelius, a Roman general. Cornelius was a gentile. Peter in obedience to God’s commandment went and preached the gospel. Cornelius accepted Jesus as his Lord, got baptized and the Holy Spirit came down on his home. Holy Spirit came down on the Gentiles. And Peter said, ‘Jesus Christ is the Lord of all’ (Acts 10:36). He is the Lord of both Jews and the Gentiles.
Apostle Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles. In Acts chapter 17, we see him preaching the gospel of Christ to Greek philosophers in Athens. He was preaching the good news to the pagan Greeks and the Western Civilization soon adopted Christianity as its major religion.
Jen Fishburne says God never gave the Law to the Gentiles. But, God wrote moral law on every man’s conscience. The Epistle to Romans is about how God revealed his righteousness to the Jews through the Mosaic law and to the gentiles through the natural creation and moral law written on their conscience. In the Book of Revelation, we see God judging every human being ever lived according to their works. So, the universal nature of Judaism and later Christianity is very clear from the Bible.
Jen Fishburne says she thinks Christianity is only for the Jews. She is like what Peter was before God told him to go and preach the gospel to the Gentiles. So, that is not a good reason to leave Christianity. Now, she says, God is like an electromagnetic field, like some energy.
That is the most popular view of God today. God is just some energy. This God who does not give you any commandments; He does not judge your sin; He does not ask you for any accountability; indeed this god revolves around you. You are the center of the universe. This view feeds your narcissism. We are living in the most narcissistic generation of all human history. So, it explains why this view is the most popular view of God in our time.
When she was a teenager, Jen told her Mom, ‘Mom, I am leaving you with my boyfriend’. Now, she says to God, ‘God, I am leaving you with my own ideology’. Your view of God cannot save you. You should come and accept the glorious gospel revealed in the Bible. Confess your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. That is the only way to heaven.