Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.”

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:24-31, ESV)

To Earnestly Contend For The Faith Does Encompass Arguing In Defense Of It

The obvious answer to the question “Did Jesus Ever Argue Doctrine” is: Absolutely, yes. In fact, we see an example of this right from the text I just cited above from the Gospel of Mark, which is the end of a series of arguments Mark tells us Jesus had been having with Jewish religious leaders. It’s only because the visible church, fearful of conflict, has decided to follow the whimsical ways of our effete culture that Christ’s confrontational style has been hidden.

So instead people turn to fickle fools advancing the doctrines of demons spewed from the seducing spirits operating within the egregiously ecumenical Emerging Church aka Emergent Church—morphing into Emergence Christianity (EC)—like Adam Walker Cleaveland to tell them incredibly stupid things like Jesus Was Wrong. And/or they will turn to EC dreamers like Samir Selmanovic, who’s a member of the Coordinating Group for Emergent Village.

In the Apprising Ministries piece Samir Selmanovic: God Is Father Of All Religion I showed you that Selmanovic has mused:

Only God is God. And Christianity is not. Nor Judaism. Nor Islam. Paradoxically, this realization about the greatness of God is a deeply Christian, Jewish and Muslim teaching. (Online source)

As pious as this all sounds, 1) no one credible is arguing that Christianity is God, and 2) Jesus Himself said to very devout leaders of Judaism:

“If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word.

You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:42-44, NASB)

Doesn’t exactly sound like Jesus felt He was one with them, does it. Now, courtesy of Dr. Walter Martin (1928-1989)—himself no stranger to debating—and his classic textbook The Kingdom of the Cults, we bring you the words of an unbelieving agnostic who showed far more wisdom about the Gospel of Jesus Christ than EC kind-a, sort-a, professing Christian Samir Selmanovic:

the New Testament itself, the very cradle of Christianity, reflects in a startling way the fact that the faith of Jesus Christ was built and nourished upon the controversy which it provoked. It was said of the early Christians that they “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6); indeed the message of the Cross itself is offensive and controversial by nature.

Robert Ingersoll, the late great agnostic and renowned antagonist of Christianity, was wise enough to recognize this fact and stated in his famous lectures, “If this religion is true, then there is only one Savior, only one narrow path to life. Christianity cannot live in peace with any other religion.” (473, emphasis mine)

Well, that is until the Trojan Horse of Emergence Christianity, which is now emerging from the metaphysical neo-Gnosticism of the Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism it would unload within the largely undiscerning mainstream of the evangelical community. The EC has been quite successful, with an able assist from other branches of the toxic tree that is the Church Growth Movement, in completely kicking out Sola Scriptura for many.

This has then opened the way for EC preachers like Rob Bell to proclaim the “Jesus” who’s “gospel” is essentially Marxist social reform, which apologist Chris Rosebrough has correctly deemed: The stick it to the Ceasar man gospel. But this swallowing up of all religious “traditions” was quite obviously not the plan that the actual Jesus of Scripture had in mind; nor did He ever shy away from conflict, or from arguing in front of crowds that they might come to hear the Truth in the process.

That’s why the refusal to discuss doctrine by “pastor” Jay Bakker, head of the largely Biblically illiterate outlaw preachers, and his subsequent whining about so-called attacks whenever one tries to debate him, rings so hollow. Bakker attempts to claim it’s not the way of Jesus to argue, but a text such as the one I used from Mark 12 above clearly shows that Bakker is dead wrong concerning his mythical Jesus of timid tolerance.

In closing this for now, let’s look at what a couple of actual Bible scholars can tell us about this passage of Scripture. First, here’s Dr. Walter Wessell from the Expositor’s Bible Commentary concerning verse 28 — One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”:

Mark seems to suggest that the question asked by the teacher of the law, in contrast to many that had been asked by his colleagues, was a sincere one (but cf. Matt 22:34). He had been impressed by Jesus’ answer to the previous question and so ventured one of his own. (Mark, CD Rom)

Notice carefully that this scribe approaches Jesus because he had “been impressed by” what the Lord had said, which he would not have heard unless Jesus had been willing to make a public stand for the Truth. And now here’s the great Bible commentator Matthew Henry from his classic commentary:

See here the method Christ takes to clear and establish this truth, which they attempted to darken, and give a shock to. This was a matter of moment, and therefore Christ does not pass it over lightly, but enlarges upon it, that, if they should not be reclaimed, yet others might be confirmed.

He charges the Sadducees with error, and charges that upon their ignorance. They who banter the doctrine of the resurrection as some do in our age, would be thought the only knowing men, because the only free thinkers, when really they are the fools in Israel, and the most enslaved and, prejudiced thinkers in the world. (Online source)

Again, it’s precisely because Jesus took a path to “clear and establish the truth” by debating these things in public that we now have His example concerning “the method” Christians are to employ with religious leaders who teach erroneous doctrine, such as Rob Bell and Jay Bakker. After-all, they like to point out that someone like myself or Chris Rosebrough are fundy Pharisees; well then, shouldn’t these “Christ-followers” now handle us like Jesus did?

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