Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Jesus a Theological Flop

On the 3rd April 2015, Good Friday,  Killing Jesus, the movie from Bill O’Reilly’s best seller of the same name screened on Discovery Chanel.  If a church bell chimed every time the script dropped a clanger the poor bell-ringer would have eventually dropped from exhaustion.  O’Reilly, a catholic, fronts Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor, the top rated cable news show for the last 16 years – and counting.  Books are also published under his name, with the profits going to charity.  They generally sell really well so there must be a number of charities doing well from Bill’s efforts.

When he chose to do a book on Jesus it was almost a foregone conclusion that it would barely cover the essentials of Jesus’ ministry.  If the film version is anything to go by the prediction proved to be right.  What a travesty the movie is.  Without going into a blow by blow account lets deal with the main problems.

First up, the adult Jesus had to be convinced he was the Messiah, when in fact the Bible narrative confirms Jesus knew who he was from a young age.  At age 12 he was in the synagogues teaching and proclaiming he was the Messiah as foretold in Isaiah 61.  Next there were the miracles.  They confirmed Jesus was the Son of God, but they hardly get a look in in Killing Jesus.  One exorcism is depicted, but it would hardly rank as a miraculous event. There is no command given to the demon to go, no prayer, only some baleful looks into space that were supposed to pass for something vaguely mysterious.  Jesus is even shown as a little surprised when the boy returns to normal.

John the Baptist is given something resembling a star billing as he works on Jesus to start being the Messiah. This, of course, is completely a-biblical.  When John baptises Jesus Christians who know their Bible, even at a basic level, would have been waiting to here God the Father’s pronouncement that he was pleased with his son.  No, that was all missing too. In fact throughout the movie God hardly gets a look in. John is shown as the premier religious leader whom Jesus publicly defends, once John is arrested.  The sense of it is that Jesus was just filling in after John had gone.  The whole nature, purpose  and meaning of the Messiah is almost entirely missing because Jesus’ central connection to universal salvation for all who believe is never explained.  Instead he is made out to be more of a champion for Jewishness and a rabble-rouser who is able to raise a following after John’s arrest.  When Jesus tells the high priest he is indeed the Son of God the story writers have Caiaphas misquote Jesus, by denouncing him as prophet and not as the Messiah.  Once again the deity of the Christ is reduced.  He is merely denounced as a prophet.  Hardly a reason to have him crucified.

The book/movie’s Catholic influence comes out in two obvious ways.  First of all, Mary is given a larger role than any biblical narrative gives her.  There is little evidence beyond the water into wine miracle (not shown in the movie) that Mary played any central role in Jesus ministry, but it is depicted otherwise in the movie.  At one point he looks to Mary and says, “the pain of absence has been terrible.” There is no record of Jesus saying this in the gospels.  It is simply added to convey a sense that Jesus as somehow dependent on Mary.  Then we have the post-crucifixion period.  We never see the resurrected Jesus!  The actual resurrection and its significance is brushed over, like the miracles and the gospel itself. We are left at the end of the movie with Peter in his boat praying for a net-full of fish and then gazing into the heavens in wonder as the fish come.  This and an earlier miss-application of Jesus’ reference to Peter and the rock upon which his Church would be built was an obvious allusion to the Catholic claim to a papal, vicar of Christ, line of succession from Peter.

From a properly Christian perspective Killing Jesus is a very poor presentation of Jesus’ significance.  His deity and his purpose are hardly touched on.  The non-Christian is likely to think Jesus was just a motivated factional leader and some sort of prophet, assuming they even know what the word signifies.  The true Christian just feels cheated and indignant.  At best the movie illustrates the extent to which the meaning of Christ Jesus amongst us 2000 years ago has been lost or ignored.

If this movie reflects the tenor of his book then O’Reilly has done the cause of Christ a disservice, and backhanded the gospel. If people are taking the book and the movie seriously they are truly deluded, or ignorant of the truth.











Bible in schools

Liberals and atheists are constantly trying to eliminate any references or public demonstration of Christianity from the public square.  They make the arrogant and intolerant assumption that their beliefs are all anyone should be exposed to.  This fascist attitude defies the western tradition of freedom of speech.  They hide behind the claim that church and state have to be separate.  The institutions should be, but Christianity’s ideas and principles should be as freely available and discussed in all spheres as any other idea, world view, culture or philosophy.  More often than not atheists have never read or studied Christianity in any text that comprehensively defends it.  When they do snatch at a Bible passage its is always simply to use it as a means of discrediting Christianity.  They love to listen to those who speak out or write against the faith, without any critical appraisal of the veracity of their arguments.  Ironically, they actually confirm the Bible which tells us people will gather around those telling them what they want to hear, while their hearts and minds are ‘seared’ against any contrary information of evidence – no matter how reasonable, logical or factual it may be.

Recently (2015)  a Truth Watch associate became embroiled in a debate with atheists trying to eliminate Bible teaching (to those voluntarily wanting to be there) in a school in the Rodney District of New Zealand.  Here are two of his letters in a debate conducted in a local newspaper

First letter:

The Editor,

In his letter to the Rodney Times, March 3, Ross Miller claims to be a Christian and yet believes that the Bible is mythological. I find this curious. Anyone who has actually read the gospels will know that Christ himself held the Scriptures to be inviolate (e.g., John 10:34-35; Matthew 5:17-20). In the words of John Wenham: “To Christ the Bible is true, authoritative, inspired, to him the God of the Bible is the living God, and the teaching of the Bible is the teaching of the living God. To him what Scripture says, God says.”

Ross Miller also perpetuates a common misunderstanding in using the label “fundamentalist” in an attempt to discredit those who believe the teachings of the Bible. By definition, a fundamentalist is simply someone who believes in the fundamental principles of something. It is not fundamentalism per se which is the issue, but rather it is the principles in which one believes that is important. Compare, for example, the teaching of Christ on loving your enemies (Matthew 5:43-44) with that of Muhammad on killing and torturing unbelievers (Sura 9:5; 5:43). Surely, the former principle is better than the latter.
In regard to the personal attack of Jeff McClintock on optional Bible teaching at Red Beach School (Rodney Times, February 24), I would like to offer the following quotes. From Woodrow Wilson (a Christian): “A man has deprived himself of the best there is in the world who has deprived himself of a knowledge of the Bible”; and from Immanuel Kant (an atheist): “The existence of the Bible, as a book for the people, is the greatest benefit which the human race has ever experienced. Every attempt to belittle it is a crime against humanity.”


Second Letter:

The Editor,
As reported in “Bible fight escalates” (Rodney Times, February 24, 2015), Jeff McClintock ‘s attack on optional Bible education at xxxxx School is motivated by his allegiance to the “Secular Education Network which aims to remove religious instruction from New Zealand state primary schools.” In reality, this group is simply looking to remove all opposition to their own religion, namely, atheism. But their cause is ultimately self-defeating. G. K. Chesterton summed it up well: “When a man ceases to believe in God he does not believe in nothing, he believes almost in anything.”

On the face of it, this battle appears to be an attack on Christian teaching in state schools. But at a more fundamental level, I see it as an attack on the very heart of Western culture, founded as it is on the Judeo-Christian ethic. It is this very culture from which we derive our personal freedoms, values, and sense of justice. It is who we are as a people, and what distinguishes us from cultures founded on other religions. Well done to Red Beach School for standing up to these bullies.


ISIS is Islam

Here are two letters written by two Christians intent on informing politicians and the general public about the realities behind the Islamic threat. Their latter’s ignorance about Islam is truly astounding. A Princeton Islamic scholar, Bernard Haykel, has recently ‘come out’ by acknowledging the jihadists in ISIS and other Islamic terror groups are acting in accord with the teachings of the Koran and the example set by their prophet, Mohammad. This will be a revelation to many who listen to silly rhetoric claiming the terrorists are not properly following their religion. They are, it is just that most Muslims don’t want to go around killing people. They don’t really understand their faith, preferring to sideline the teachings that tell them Islam is all about bringing the whole world into submission to their Allah – by persuasion or violence. They can’t live up to the full demands of their faith because they just want to live peaceful lives. It does not take much to radicalise elements within the Islamic world because, being zealous for their faith and because they want assurance of salvation they turn easily to violence when incited to do so. This is not about cultural differences and the need to ‘understand each other’. This is spiritual. Islam is, at its heart, a vicious theocratic world view and has demonstrated its thirst for violence ever since its inception.
Here are the letters. A quick note concerning the context for each precedes them:


Letter One: Sent to New Zealand politicians in response to their concerns over sending a small training team to Iraq to help prepare Iraqi troops in their fight against ISIS.

I am writing to you and other MP’s to say some things that seem to have been left out of the debate on the Islamic issue. I’ve been into Muslim no go zones in the UK, faced off against Islamists in London and been into Islamic countries:

1. When NZ faced the Nazi threat, along with its allies, it saw not just an ‘existential threat’, but genuine evil. Now when confronted with the manifest evil in ISIS and the existential threat posed by the possible emergence of an new caliphate, along side a possibly nuclear armed Iran, we prevaricate over sending a mere training unit. All I’m seeing here is self-serving weakness. Australia already has 600 troops in Iraq while we huff and puff. I was opposed to US action in Iraq but the wolves have now been let loose – like it or not

2. The constant statements that Islam is a religion of peace and the jihadists are an extremist aberration is nonsense. This is what their prophet said to his followers; “I was ordered to fight all men until they say ‘There is no god but Allah.’” (Stark, 2009, God’s Battalions) Islam reveres its prophet who ordered over 60 violent jihads and led close to 30 of them personally. The so called extremists are only obeying their prophet and their ‘holy’ book. In the Koran there are 100+ calls to violence and jihad on an unrelenting basis until all are submitted to Allah.

3. Most of the ‘violent’ verses (e.g. in Surah 9) are in later surahs which under Muslim rules of exegesis abrogate earlier verses. So the ‘peaceful verses’ are abrogated. Thus the peaceful Muslims are in fact simply nominal Muslims. Their desire to live peaceful lives has nothing to do with Islam. What the violent Muslims are doing today is entirely in accord with Islam and consistent with the great swath of Islamic history from the 7th Century to 1683 when they were stopped at the gates of Vienna (not for the first time).

Its time you MPs grew a spine, woke up and spoke up. There is much more at stake here than your precious parliamentary careers. You need to put NZ, civilisation and humanity first.
< signed >
Letter two: Sent to a prominent national New Zealand radio host ho went on to read it on air:

Congratulations on your interview re Islam…a rare ray of light among dark clouds of apparently intentional misinformation. ISIS conforms exactly to the central authorities of Islam: the Koran, the Hadiths, and the example of Mohammad himself as portrayed in Islamic literature. The Islamic understanding of these was locked in over a 1000 years ago and any deviation from this understanding is apostasy. ‘Reformers’ are killed.

Mohammad authorised lying – Taqiyya – to further the Islamic cause, thus the deceptive claims by Muslims that Islam is a ‘religion of peace’. By ‘peace’ is meant the final state they envisage when Islam controls the world. Until then there is bloody war with all opposition to Islam, following the example of Mohammad. Some peace. Western leaders who recite this mantra are water carriers for Islam.

Mohammad oversaw and personally participated in the beheading of 700-900 Jewish men in Medina on one day, who had surrendered to him in good faith…and dispersed their women as sex slaves to his followers. Thus the contemporary mass beheading of those who oppose Islam and the taking of captured women as sex slaves.

Mohammad married his favourite wife Aisha when she was 6 and consummated the marriage when she was 9 and he over 50. This is confirmed by several Hadiths attributed to Aisha herself. Thus the legitimisation of child marriage by Muslims. It must be legitimate because the Islamic ‘perfect man’ did this.

Such behaviour has gone on consistently for the 1400 years of Islamic history with an estimated 270,000,000 people dying as a result of Jihad during that time.

ISIS is the authentic historic face of orthodox Islam.
< signed >

False prophet and heretic Rob Bell

Truth Watch has no need to wax lyrical on Rob Bell.  It became apparent years back that Rob Bell was going to take the emergent church movement to new heights of theological degradation.  He is now calling on Christians to embrace homosexuality.  See for a good round-up of the Bell sage and the depths to which he has been plunging.

Islamic extremism

This entry follows the recent Islamic attacks on a French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, Boko Haram’s mass killings in Nigeria and then the mass beheading of Egyptian Coptic Christians in Sudan…

On-going Islamic atrocities continue to be met by a steadfast refusal, on the part of western leaders, to link it directly to Islam.  It’s possible their insistence it represents an extremist betrayal of the fundamentally peaceful nature of Islam may only be a political and diplomatic device.  If they were to publicly acknowledge the obvious and decry Islam’s avowed intent to Islamify the world, by force and extreme violence whenever necessary (Surah 9:5, 29 for example), what would happen? They would confront the millions of usually nominal Muslim’s in the West with the fact that their religion does indeed call for violence against non-Muslims.  Its their duty -their salvation is at stake if they resist Allah’s will. They would then be presented with various choices: defy Koranic teaching by remaining Muslim, renounce their faith, or become actively jihadist.  The first option would create a great deal of internal angst and eventually force them into one of the other two options. The second choice would leave them exposed to sharia death penalty laws for renouncing the faith and the last choice would mean they would  have to start covertly working with jihadists in the West.

Western leaders will not see a good side to any of this.  All those millions of passive Muslims would start making choices and those choices would all spell social disruption, exposing the false nature of multiculuralism, long supported by these leaders and their political parties.  Its a Catch 22 situation entirely of their own making.  Ultimately, they are going to be forced into either capitulating to Islamic demands within the West, especially as the Muslim population is, by natural increase, growing rapidly.  If they do that they will risk civil wars as Europeans eventually revolt against laws and restrictions on rights which are anathema to western values.  Their other choice, to openly and honestly acknowledge the violence inherent in Islam, will also lead to serious social disruption for the reasons given.  Despite that it would be the correct path, simply because unless Islam is confronted and dealt to decisively it will continue its crusade to enslave us all.

Where should the Church be in all of this. It should certainly not be seeking common ground with Islam as it is at present.  It could, instead, be actively and vociferously  proclaiming the truth that Islam is violent to the bone, while calling on nominal Muslims to either change the laws on abrogation so that the early Koranic ‘peaceful verses’ are reinstated, or leave Islam. This of course is to provide some legitimacy for Islam as a religion, something Truth Watch could not support, therefore this option should not be followed.

The correct course is to boldly denounce Islam for the violent and oppressive religion it is and actively proselytise amongst Muslim communities at a level that would almost certainly promote a violent backlash – similar to the persecution early Christians experienced when they challenged the Roman world’s paganism.  Publicising Islam’s violent history would also be a good tactic.  It is long past time the West woke up to the fact that for the last 1400 years it has been at war, intermittently, with Islam. Islam has never been at peace with the West.  The latter’s dominance and the Islamic world’s own backward weakness has kept them quiet since the Muslim Caliphate was wound up following the First World War.

A third more moderate option would be to simply push for strict integration.  No more Muslim enclaves.  Muslims would need to under-go training in core western values and acknowledge their supremacy in the country they have chosen to adopt.  No more calls for Sharia Law.  Unfortunately, this option will run into liberal multicultural conditioning that will likely make such a policy weak and ineffective. Muslim resistance would almost certainly grow too and effete western liberalism is no match for militant Islam.  Attempts at stronger integration would probably fail and cause the internal divisions and violence it was supposed to prevent.

Thanks to western liberal multiculturalism and its associated immigration policies the West has created an enemy within.  For 1400 years we fought to keep them at arms length.  Now, in our ‘enlightened’ liberal era we have simply opened the gates and let them flood in. The ludicrous and unnecessary apology the Pope issued over the Crusades is now exposed. Why should the West apologise for fighting to hold the Muslim armies at bay in the Levant as they repeatedly attempted to topple the Byzantium flank to Europe.  If it had fallen in the Twelfth Century the West, in its fractured state, would have been hard pressed to resist the attack that would have inevitably come from both the east and the west (through Spain).

The Church is complicit in this sad state of affairs.  It has remained silent on Islamic immigration, which in OT terms would have been the equivalent of inviting the Philistines to occupy Israel.    The Church could have followed Israel’s example, since it clearly had God’s sanction.  Instead it defied biblical example and sought to find common cause with an implacable enemy.

Rick Warren exposed

Watch this video for an in depth examination of Rick Warren’s ministry.  Draw you own conclusions, but this documentary highlights many of the issues Truth Watch has been talking about for more than a decade.  Warren’s mentor was Peter Drucker who openly acknowledged he was not a Christian and had no interest in Christianity.  To him it was just one of many faiths, but he was interested in promoting community projects using the church model.  Warren and Hybels used Drucker’s ideas for church growth to build mega-churches off a marketing strategy and not the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Warren’s book The Purpose Driven Life was simply an extension of Drucker’s church building formula.  Warren used proof-texting from Scripture to justify his promotion of a self-centered ‘christianity’ that he knew would be more appealing than the real message of the Bible.  Many in church leadership have tried to emulate his success at the expense of truth and the gospel.

Friendship evangelism fails the western Church

Despite decades of pushing friendship evangelism the western Church has not seen much growth.  In fact the reverse is true.  Acceptance of Christianity, especially amongst youth  continues to shrink in the face of a concerted anti-Christian campaign, as Barna research (Read U Turn by George Barna) proves.  Church leaders have consigned the Church to a modern wilderness by refusing to confront secularisms drive to marginalise Christianity while simultaneously adopting management marketing principles to recruit church goers, rather than to disciple true believers.  There has been an escalation of commitment to seeker-friendly friendship evangelism by leaders, especially through the emergent church movement and the mega-church influence of Rick Warren’s purpose driven me-ism and Bill Hybels’ Willow Creek. This escalation has continued in the face of abundant evidence that it is failing to produce true followers of Jesus Christ.  Barna catalogues this failure with plentiful statistical evidence in U Turn. In a 2014 article on this issue Truth Watch explains why friendship evangelism is failing to live up to expectations.  The issue we cover include presenting the real Jesus, developing a comprehensive Christian world view, the importance of apologetics, the law to grace method of evangelism, the church’s defencelessness and the church’s teaching treadmill.  All is explained in the article.

A Christian refugee’s chronicle

Our latest article (see: My Church Journey – 30 Years of Lies - Articles menu) describes the journey from active church attendee to Christian refugee of one of Truth Watch’s founding members.  Jack (a pseudonym), describes his experience with the Anglican, AOG, Baptist denominations before his exodus to the independent Christian fellowships, from which he was eventually forced to flee.  His journey mirrors that of other Truth Watch members who all found that proper biblical discernment, exegesis and truth were progressively diluted in so many churches over the last 30 years.

Dealing with the problem of evil

The presence of evil in the world is often used by atheists and back-slidden Christians to justify their unbelief.  They erroneously claim evil would not be found in a world created by an all-loving and all-powerful God.  From there they conclude God cannot therefore exist.  This argument appears to have validity until the bigger picture is considered.

God is all-loving for those that accept him by faith.  He is also all-loving in the sense that he wants everyone to accept him and join him for eternity.  Jesus Christ sacrificed himself on the cross to make that possible. He submitted to evil to make freedom from evil, for eternity, possible for all.  God is also all-powerful, but there is abundant evidence that God never claimed he would use that power to prevent evil in a world that refused to honour him with the free will he had given its people.  In fact he judged the whole world in Noah’s time by killing everyone, other that Noah and his family.  He ordered the genocide of tribal groups  and he used war to bring down empires and judge his own people.  In John’s Revelation God fore-swears that he will destroy vast numbers of people  and devastate the environment in the end times Tribulation. This is not a God to trifle with.

It is simply not possible to reduce God to a IF he-has-these-attributes-THEN-he-would-do-such-and-such equation.  As we demonstrate in our article, all the factors pertaining to evil’s existence are far more complex than a manufactured argument that rests on bald assumptions about several facets of God’s nature. Atheists may be content with resting their case on this argument but all they will do is condemn themselves.  They can beat their chests about what they think God should do, but they cannot expunge God with an over-simplified and banal excuse.  Go to the articles section and read  The Problem of Evil – No Problem After all.   

A fairytale called evolution

There are many aspects to evolutionary theory that make it unbelievable. The very idea that the complexity of living organisms can have its origins in nothing but inorganic matter is ridiculous. Evolutionary scientists have no idea how it happened beyond wild speculation. The probability that amino acids could spontaneously order themselves in very specific ways to produce proteins which then form complex interacting groupings to achieve a myriad of complex functions is so ludicrous it beggars belief. How DNA, the brains behind cellular life, could ever form on its own is unimaginable. Then there is the way the universe, our planet and our solar system in particular are so very finely tuned to make life possible. These so called cosmological constants only have to be minutely altered to make life and even the cosmos impossible.  It simply cannot happen by chance.

But, lets get down to something a lot more basic that even we lesser mortals can ponder before concluding evolution must be wrong. One of the key evolutionary principles concerns what is called the survival of the fittest. Evolutionists claim life grew in complexity as it self-selected on the basis of survivability. The most complex and highly evolved ‘animal’, according to evolutionists, is us – Man. They claim we got to where we are today because some small apes decided to drop out of the trees, for which they were supremely well designed, and make it on the forest floor.

Think about it. Why would an animal, designed to depend on its tree-dwelling ability decide to head for the ground? Every fibre of its natural instinct would have told it to stay in the safety of the trees. To try to make it on the ground is to defy the very survival of the fittest doctrine. On the ground small apes are highly vulnerable to predators. True, they might have ventured on to the ground to forage for some types of food, but they would have fled to the trees every time a sabre-tooth headed their way. Their vulnerability would have mitigated against ground adaptation. Their whole pelvic design, for example, makes flight on the ground almost impossible. To adapt to terrestrial living they would have had to stay on the ground for many generations, according to evolutionary theory, but that would have left them at the mercy of just about every known predator. They would not be fit to survive on the ground. The great apes can survive on the ground because they are large enough to see off most predators, but even they are restricted to a very small habitat, suited to their survival. The small apes, the Australopithicines, which the evolutionists claim were our forebears, had no size or strength advantage, no speed advantage and no fighting advantage. Their only hope lay in the trees. It is therefore reasonable to conclude the man from apes idea is unworkable – using evolutionary theory’s own dictum.

The fact is real empirical science has been replaced , by evolutionists like Richard Dawkins, with scientism; a religious dogma that insists God cannot exist and therefore everything must owe its origins to chance and the sole operation of natural laws, even if those very laws cannot make something out of nothing and cannot emerge on their own from nothing.  Dawkins and his ilk pretend to get past this fact by waiving it aside with “we’re working on that”.  This is tantamount to the blind faith they attribute to Christianity.

What is even more sad than this self-delusion is the fact that so many Christians think that a fairytale called evolution needs to be superimposed over an all powerful, all knowing God to produce everything there is while God sits idly by and watches with impotent interest. They have adopted their own form of scientism. If Jesus is Lord then he is the king of and creator of creativity itself. If he is Lord he is capable of bringing everything into being and he has told us that is exactly what he did. If Jesus is Lord, no ape needed to swing down out of a tree. God created the tree, the ape and Man. When Christians swallow the evolutionary lie they deny Jesus is Lord – Romans 10:9. If they are prepared to believe in evolution any old lie that comes along will be just as easily accepted. The leadership of the Church has allowed this appalling state of affairs to develop and it is at them that God will point his staff of justice.