Welcome back to Defender’s Voice. This is Dr.Paul. Thank you very much for joining us today. Defender’s Voice is about defending Christian faith against all sorts of attacks in our culture. If there is some topic you would like me to address, you can send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit us at www.doctorpaul.org to subscribe to our podcast.
In today’s episode, I would like to address Esther Dhanraj’s arguments against Ravi Zacharias and Christianity. Two of you asked me two questions. I clubbed them into one episode. I never heard about Esther Dhanraj before you sent me these questions. So, I thank you for introducing me to new individuals and their ideas.
Esther Dhanraj was a Brahmin Christian woman from India. She was a Christian. She studied the Bible. While in Seminary, she started to develop serious questions about Christian faith. She left Chritianity and now became an atheist promoting skepticism. She describes Christianity as a political conspiracy. I gave the links below, please watch those videos to understand her background and her arguments.
She made 6 arguments in these videos.
Indians were not mentioned in the Bible, so the Bible must be false.
She said she was troubled by the fact that Indians were not mentioned in the Bible.
In the very first verse of the Bible, we are introduced to a God who created the whole universe. Throughout the Bible, God repeatedly says that He is the creator of the heavens and the earth. Jesus Christ, our Lord said, ‘For God so loved the world’. He does not have to elaborate on every group of the world.
God loves Indians
God loves Chinese
God loves Europeans
God loves Americans
God loves Africans
God loves the people of Papua New Guinea
God loves people of Cayman Islands
God loves people of Virgin Islands
If you demand that God must mention all these people by name, the Bible would not be a single volume. It will be a 30 volume book like Encyclopedia Britannica. When Jesus said, ‘For God so loved the world’, it includes every single nation in the world, whether they are mentioned or not mentioned in the Bible.
She should also know that truth does not depend on who is mentioned or who is not mentioned. For example, if I gave her a book by Albert Einstein, and said, ‘Esther, this is a book by Albert Einstein. He wrote about Theory of Relativity.’ She takes the book, and reads through it and says, ‘I don’t believe what this book says, because it says nothing about Indians’. Theory of relativity is a universal truth about gravity, space and time. Whether it mentions Indians or not is irrelevant.
God chose Abraham and his children as the messengers of his truths to this world. So, the Bible has to focus on the Jews and their surrounding nations. As far as I remember, India is actually mentioned two times in the Bible. Anyway, Esther’s contention that she doubted the Bible as the word of God because it did not mention Indians is a silly argument.
Bible is full of contradictions
Then she says, Bible is full of contradictions. If you look deeply into so called Bible contradictions, you will not find any contradictions. Let me give you an illustration.
Mary is my patient. She came to me with a urinary tract infection. I made two statements to Mary.
Statement 1: Mary, you got UTI, take penicillin, don’t take Bactrim
Statement 2: Mary, you got UTI, don’t take penicillin, take Bactrim
On the surface, Statement 1 and Statement 2 look contradictory. In the first statement, I told Mary to take penicillin, and not to take Bactrim. In the second statement, I told Mary to not take penicillin, and take Bactrim. You might shout, ‘Dr.Paul contradicted himself’. Then, I told you, the first statement was from 2018 and the second statement was from 2021. When Mary got the infection in 2018, she was sensitive to penicillin and insensitive to Bactrim, so I told her to take penicillin and not take bactrim.
When Mary got the infection in 2021, she was insensitive to penicillin and sensitive to Bactrim. So, I told her not to take penicillin and to take Bactrim. If you realize that Mary’s sensitivity to antibiotics changed over the last 3 years, it is perfectly reasonable to make those two seemingly contradictory statements.
Atheists make the same mistake with the Bible. They say, here, God told Joshua to go and fight the Canaanites. There, God told Joshua not to go to war and fight the Canaanites. The shout, ‘God contradicts himself. I am no longer a Christian anymore’.
If you realize Joshua’s circumstances changed over the years, there is no contradiction in what God told Joshua.
Her next argument is,
Christianity has a bloody history
Christianity is a religion based on the teachings and life of Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus told clearly, ‘Love your enemies and pray for them’. Jesus told even to love your enemies. We have Christians who kill their friends, let alone love their enemies. Those Christians contradict the teachings of our Lord. You cannot blame Jesus for their violence.
Until Constantine legalized Christianity in the fourth century, Christianity was a persecuted religion. Even today, Christias are the most persecuted group in our world.
But, what about violence committed by Christians? When I talk about Christian violence, I categorize it under 4 headings:
Christians committing Civil violence – just cause
Christians committing Civil violence – unjust cause
Christian – State violence – just war
Christian – State violence – unjust war
Christians committing Civil violence – just cause:
For example, you were sleeping in your home. Someone entered your home and tried to kill your children. You want to protect your children from this invader. In the process, you killed that invader. It’s civil violence for a just cause. I don’t see anything wrong with it.
Christians committing Civil violence – unjust cause
Recently, a self-proclaimed Christian entered two spas in Atlanta and killed women and men who work there. He blamed them for his addictions. That is an unjust cause. God does not approve of such violence. We should stay away from that. Watch my video on Atlanta Spas. I criticized it.
Christian – State violence – just war
St.Augustine formulated ‘just war’ theory for Christians. In the 4th century, many Christian kings and princes were troubled by the fact that they should wage wars. ‘Jesus told us to love our enemies. How can we kill them in a war?’ Augustine told them that wars for good causes would be justifiable in the eyes of God.
Now this is for the Christian State. A Christian leader, a President or Prime Minister, can wage war for a just cause. For example, let us say, you are the President of the United States, the intelligence report came to you, ‘the Nazis were building concentration camps to kill people’. You can command your army, ‘Go and destroy the Nazis’. That’s a just war.
As a President of the United States, on the one hand you love people. On the other hand, you will kill evil people. There is no contradiction between those two duties. Esther said, God was so cruel towards the Canaanites. That meaning of ‘cruelty’ depends on the context. We don’t say, ‘the President was so cruel towards the Nazis’. We say, ‘the President should crush the Nazis, they deserve it’.
In the Old Testament, God was killing the Nazis of their time. The Canaanites were the Nazis of the ancient world. They were not innocent people. They would plunder cities, they would kill people, they would rape women, they would abuse children, they sodomize and cannibalize their enemies. God told Moses to go and destroy them.
God has the perfect right to destroy people He does not like, because this is God’s universe. Your landlord has the perfect right to evict you from the apartment he rented out to you. Read the contract you signed. God is the landlord of this universe. He could evict you any time he wants. Your landlord at least signed a contract with you. You could take him to the court. But God did not sign any contract with you. You could not drag God to any court. There is no one above God.
I agree that God is a killer. He killed millions of people in the Bible. In Genesis chapter 6, in the Global Flood, God killed millions of people in a few hours. Men, women, children, babies, animals, and plants…dead in a few minutes.
Jesus said, ‘Do not be afraid of those
who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.
Rather, be afraid of the One who can
destroy both soul and body in hell’ (Matthew 10:28)
. What is he saying? Human beings can only kill your body. God can destroy both your body and soul in hell. Be careful with God!
Let us say, one day you went to a party. There you met a girl named Malia. Her name is Malia Obama. Let us say you are from Pakistan. Malia introduced herself to you. ‘Hello, I am Malia Obama, the daughter of President Barack Obama’. You said, ‘Hello, nice to meet you, I am Muhammed Mustaq. I am from Pakistan’. ‘So you are Obama’s daughter? You know, your dad killed many people in Pakistan. Many of them were children and even babies’. Malia said, ‘Well, my dad is a wonderful dad. My dad loves people. If he kills, there must be strong reasons. I will ask my dad why he had to kill people in your country’.
I say the same thing to Esther. ‘My God is a wonderful God. My God loves people. If he kills people, there must be strong reasons.’
If Malia gets upset, ‘My dad killed people in Pakistan? that is not right. I am not going back to White House. I am leaving my dad’. Many Christians are like that. They leave God when they hear that He killed people in the Old Testament. Malia should go back to the White House and ask her dad for an explanation.
Her dad Barack Obama would look at her and say, ‘Sweetheart, I had no choice. His name was Osama Bin Laden. He told him to stop his terrorist activities. He gave him time to repent. But he did not listen. So, I killed him and every one with him’.
If you ask God for an explanation for his killings, he would say, ‘I had no choice. I gave the Canaanites 430 years to repent of their sins. But they did not repent. So, I had to kill them all’.
Yes, God killed babies too. You should remember God has more resources to deal with a problem than you and me. All those babies immediately went to heaven to be with Jesus.
It is better for those babies to go to heaven than to live with their evil parents who would make them walk over burning coals or even sacrifice them on the altars of Baal or Molech in their next pagan festival.
Moses and his army were not criminals. If you go and kill Osama Bin Laden on your own, you could be tried on criminal charges. But, if the President of the United States commands you to go and kill Osama Bin Laden, then you are not committing any crime. In fact, you will be celebrated as a hero and be given the Presidential medal of freedom. This is God’s universe. God told Moses and Joshua to go and kill the Canaanites. God honored them for doing their job. So, you cannot call them cruel criminals.
If you are the US President, you should kill evil people. That’s part of the job. If you are God, you should punish evil. That’s part of the job.
Christian – State violence – unjust war
Then Esther Dhanraj says, British Christians invaded India: So much for the religion of love!
This comes under Christian – State violence – Unjust war. If a Christian wages a war to occupy other nations to plunder them, then it is unjust war. We should condemn it. Jesus lived a very simple life. He did not even own a home. He lived like a homeless stranger in this world. He taught us to seek the kingdom of God. He taught us to store riches in heaven. But if a Christian wages a war for a kingdom of man or for this worldly riches, he or she is not following Jesus’s message.
Christianity’s basic message is to live with contentment. Colonialism was a product of discontentment. The English were not content with what they had in England. East India Company was about trade and making lots of money. It was not a Christian organization. They had non-Christian reasons for invading India.
George Bush claims to be a Christian, he invaded Iraq. Bush had his own reasons for invading Iraq. His Christianity had nothing to do with his invasion of Iraq. Yes, he said that God told him to invade Iraq. But still that is not from the Bible or Jesus. Trump bombed Syria. He claims to be a Christian. He had his own reasons for bombing Syria. His Christianity had nothing to do with his bombing Syria. Barack Obama bombed Libya. He claims to be a Christian. He had his reasons for bombing Libya. His Christianity had nothing to do with his bombing.
Islamic Caliphs were on war footing from Day 1 of Islam. Their main goal was to spread Islam. The Britishers did not have such a goal when they invaded India. At least Catholic invaders said, ‘we are doing this for Mother Mary’. But Protestant invaders from England and the Netherlands did not bring God into their invasions. Why do you think that South America is Catholic and India is still mostly Hindu? The Catholic invaders forced their religion on their conquered masses while the Protestant invaders did not care for religious conversions.
Also, the British colonialists were nominal Christians like Esther Dhanraj’s husband.
Esther said, ‘my husband is a Christian in name only. He does not care about its teachings’. He would be a perfect recruit in the British army. They were ‘ChrisEaster’ Christians who go to church on Christmas Day or on Easter Day, drink brandy and dance.
They were not devout followers of Jesus. In fact, they were afraid of Christian missionaries and their educational activities in India. Their fears come true. Christian missionaries educated many leaders of Indian Independence. Indian leaders like Gandhi and Nehruwere educated in Christian schools and colleges. ‘Equality’ is a Christian concept. Gandhi demanded equality from the British which is a Christian concept. Hinduism has no such concept as ‘Equality’. Karmic religions like Hinduism never taught equality of all human beings. If the British rule over you, that is your karma. Don’t blame anybody.
Ravi Zacharias: Holy Spirit failed?
Finally, Esther said the Holy Spirit failed because Ravi Zacharias sinned. You see, it is Christians who exposed Ravi’s sins and condemned his behavior. Watch my videos on Ravi. I exposed his sin. We serve a Holy God who abhors sin. If you are tempted to go inside a spa and touch women, the Holy Spirit tells you not to act on those temptations.
The Holy Spirit gives you resources to fight sin in your life. But if you reject Holy Spirit’s advice, if you reject Holy Spirit’s resources and sin in any way, then you are responsible for your own sin and its consequences. You should not say, ‘Holy Spirit failed’. The Holy Spirit is like the law of gravity. You cannot fail the law of gravity. Whether you walk safely or fall and break your nose, the law of gravity is the same. The law did not fail. In the same way, whether you live holy or sin, the Holy Spirit of God is the same person of the triune God. He does not change. Don’t say he failed.
I have some patients. They call me and say, ‘Dr.Paul, it has been 10 days and I am not getting any better’. I ask them, ‘Are you taking the prescription I gave you?’. They say, ‘I took it for one day and stopped’.
It’s a 10 day prescription, you can’t take it for one day and say my prescription failed. In the same way, when you don’t follow God prescriptions, you should not blame God for your continued sickness.
Rajiv Malhotra loves what Esther has to say. He says Christianity is all about exploitation of women. Have you seen how Jesus interacts with women. When he talks to Samaritan woman, when he interacts with Mary and Martha, when he heals woman with hemorrhagic disorder, have you seen the dignity, compassion and grace Jesus shows to women?
Contrast Jesus with Krishna. Krishna is a romantic young boy to milk maids. He steals butter and plays pranks. He makes love to dozens of women. While women are bathing, he steals their clothes. He robs them of their privacy and dignity. Ravi would find good company with Krishna. Ravi and Krishna would make great friends. Many men in India justify their adultery using Krishna as their model for living.
So, Esther Dhanraj made very silly arguments against Christian faith using Ravi Zacharias and other tools. I hope she will discover the truth and come to the saving knowledge of Lord Jesus Christ.