Is God Afraid of us?

Sam Shamoun

This is perhaps Ghounem's most disturbing article, solely because of his slanderous attack on the holy character of the Lord Jesus Christ. Had there been any truth or substance to any of his claims, we would have been able to endure it somewhat. Yet, the disturbing thing is that most of what Ghounem claims are lies derived from deliberate misinterpretation and scriptural twisting. We are reminded of the words of the beloved Apostle Peter:

"Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, WHICH IGNORANT AND UNSTABLE PEOPLE DISTORT, as they do the other Scriptures, TO THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION." 2 Peter 3:15-16

Let us therefor proceed to Ghounem's arguments.


God is Eternal, God does not fear death because it is a gateway created by God.

Some Christians indirectly claim that God is full of fear, and is horrified of pain and death. These are the Christians who claim Jesus is God. Here we will list the verses in the current Gospel where Jesus focused on saving himself first;

"Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by." (John 8:59)

"While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them." (John 12:36-37)

"And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid." (Mark 7:24)


Do these passages prove that Jesus hid himself because he was afraid? Or do they actually affirm Jesus' sovereign power and control over his environment and the people, being able to slip through their midst at will? Let us read the following verses for the answer:

"At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, 'Isn't this the man they are trying to kill? Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Christ? But we know where this man is from; when the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.' Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, 'Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.' At this they tried to seize him, BUT NO ONE LAID A HAND ON HIM, BECAUSE HIS TIME HAD NOT YET COME." John 7:25-30

The people tried to seize Jesus, but could not lay a hand on him since it was not his time to die.

"Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. Some wanted to seize him, BUT NO ONE LAID A HAND ON HIM. Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, 'Why didn't you bring him in?' 'NO ONE EVER SPOKE THE WAY THIS MAN DOES,' the guards declared." John 7:43-46

This passage affirms that Jesus could even control the crowds' intent of seizing him simply through his preaching! This actually proves that Jesus has the unlimited power to guide and control the crowds solely by his word.

"All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. BUT HE WALKED RIGHT THROUGH THE CROWD AND WENT ON HIS WAY." Luke 4:28-30

Again, this clearly shows the power Jesus had over his environment since he simply walked right through the mob without the mob able to lay a hand on him. If anything, these verses all demonstrate that far from being afraid, Jesus was in complete control over the actions of his enemies and could do as he was pleased.


Jesus afraid people may discover him says;

"He [Jesus] said unto them [the disciples], But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God. And he straightly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing." (Luke 9:20 and 21)


Jesus was not hiding his identity because he was afraid of the people due to possible violence. Rather, he hid his identity solely because the Jews were expecting the Messiah to reign as a king. Yet, Jesus came not as the reigning Messiah, but as the suffering servant who had come to die for the sins of God's people:

"Jesus, knowing that they intended to come AND MAKE HIM KING BY FORCE, WITHDREW AGAIN TO A MOUNTAIN." John 6:15

This passage itself is sufficient in debunking Ghounem's credibility as a critic of the Holy Bible. Here, we find Jesus avoiding becoming king since he had first come to die for the sins of his elect. This is precisely why Jesus wanted to keep his identity hidden, in order to avoid any attempt on the part of the people into forcing him to become king.


The True God of Abraham has unlimited power to destroy the enemy, yet Jesus knows he is not God, so he asks his companions to buy weapons;

"But now," he said, "take your money and a traveler's bag. And if you don't have a sword, sell your clothes and buy one!" (Luke 22:36)

Would the True God need armed body guards?


Here is where Ghounem's deceptive misquotations come into play. Let us read this in context to see what Jesus meant:

"Then Jesus asked them, 'When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?" 'Nothing,' they answered. He said to them, 'But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: "And he was numbered with the transgressors"; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.' The disciples said, 'See, Lord, here are two swords.' 'That is enough,' he replied." Luke 22:35-38

We see from the context that Jesus was telling the disciples that the time was coming for them to provide for themselves since Jesus was to be taken away to be crucified, in fulfillment of the scriptures. If Ghounem had continued reading the same chapter, he would have seen Jesus rebuking his disciples for trying to defend him:

"When Jesus' followers saw what was going to happen, they said, 'Lord, should we strike with our swords?' And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus answered, 'NO MORE OF THIS!' And he touched the man's ear and healed him." Luke 22:49-51

This either means that Ghounem deliberately misquoted the passage or failed to read the entire context. In either case, Ghounem's misquotations are inexcusable.

Furthermore, Jesus did not need bodyguards since he himself is God and had the power to destroy his enemies if he so chose. Yet, he willingly allowed himself to be put to death for his sheep:

"The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life-only to take it up again. NO ONE TAKES IT FROM ME, BUT I LAY IT DOWN OF MY OWN ACCORD. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father." John 10:17-18

"Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, 'Who is it you want?' 'Jesus of Nazareth,' they replied. 'I am he,' Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) When Jesus said, 'I am he,' THEY DREW BACK AND FELL TO THE GROUND." John 18:4-6

This passage affirms that with one word, Jesus could have destroyed the soldiers completely. This proves that Jesus is God, having the "unlimited power" to do as he pleases.

"With that, one of Jesus' companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 'PUT YOUR SWORD BACK IN ITS PLACE,' Jesus said to him, 'for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, AND HE WILL AT ONCE PUT AT MY DISPOSAL MORE THAN TWELVE LEGIONS OF ANGELS? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?' At that time Jesus said to the crowd, 'Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.' Then all the disciples deserted him and fled." Matthew 26:51-56

Hopefully, Ghounem will read the scriptures carefully and clearly.


Jesus even hid from his own disciples;

when Jesus was asked to go to Jerusalem, Jesus told them that he would not be going, but then he later went secretly to Jerusalem by himself ( John 7:2-10 ). (Note: the words "not yet" which appear in some versions at John 7:8 are an editorial "emendation" to the original text.)


Again, let us read the context to see how Ghounem has once more twisted the scriptures:

"After this Jesus went about in Galilee; he would not go about in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him. Now the Jews' feast of Tabernacles was at hand. So his brothers said to him, 'Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples may see the works you are doing. For no man works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.' For even his brothers did not believe in him. Jesus said to them, 'MY TIME HAS NOT YET COME, but your time is always here. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify of it that its works are evil. Go to the feast yourselves; I am not going up to this feast, FOR MY TIME HAS NOT YET FULLY COME.'" John 7:1-8 RSV

Jesus was referring to the fact that his time to go up to Jerusalem publicly in order to die had not yet arrived. Yet, when the time had come Jesus did go up publicly to Jerusalem in order to die:

"In any case, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day-for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!" Luke 13:33

"The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, 'Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!' 'Blessed is the King of Israel!' Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written, 'Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey's colt.' At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him. Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. Many people, because they had heard that he had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet him. So the Pharisees said to one another, 'See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!' Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. "Sir," they said, "we would like to see Jesus.' Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus. Jesus replied, 'THE HOUR HAS COME FOR THE SON OF MAN TO BE GLORIFIED. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? "Father, save me from THIS HOUR"? No, it was for this very reason I came to THIS HOUR. Father, glorify your name!' Then a voice came from heaven, 'I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.' The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to h im. Jesus said, 'This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.' He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die." John 12:12-33


From child-hood Jesus hid over 10 years in Egypt to avoid death;

"Now when they were departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I tell thee: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him."

(Matthew 2:13)

now a unblemished lamb (which Jesus was assumed to be) is supposed to be sacrificed at the age of one in order to fulfil scripture (Exodus 12:5-7) though we see Jesus avoided death all the way into his thirties (Luke 3:23).


First, we challenge Ghounem to show us where in the text does it say that Jesus stayed in Egypt for over ten years. Secondly, Ghounem's ignorance on the nature of biblical types is apparent in his insistence that Jesus was old enough to die as an unblemished lamb on behalf of sinners.

What Ghounem fails to see is that the connection between a sacrificial lamb and Jesus is not the age, but rather their condition. Both had to be perfect, having absolutely no blemishes, in order for their blood to be accepted as atonement for sin.

In the citation above from Exodus, the similarities in the Passover Lamb and Jesus again were not in their age. Rather, the similarity lie in the fact that both had to be killed, their flesh eaten, their blood used as a covering in order that death might passover the individual, and neither of their bones could be broken. (cf. John 5:24; 6:51-54; 19:32, 36; 1 Corinthians 5:7)

The scripture also says Jesus was our high priest:

"Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin." Hebrews 4:14-15

"When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation." Hebrews 9:11

In order for Jesus to assume the role of a high priest he had to have been at least 30 years old, bathed in water and anointed with the Holy Spirit. (cf. Exodus 29:4,7; Numbers 4:3,43).

In the case of the anointing of the priests, the oil used symbolized the anointing of the Holy Spirit (cf. 1 John 2:27- John 14:26)

Hence, this is why we find that Jesus was 30 years old when he began his ministry, baptized in water and anointed with the Holy Spirit. (cf. Luke 3:21-23)


And until the end, Jesus pleaded to avoid death, asking God to save him from the cross;

"And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt." (Mark 14:36)

The "cup" is a symbol of death in this verse according to the Geneva Bible Study.

And after it appeared as if God would not save Jesus, according to the current Bible, in front of the people Jesus was supposed to be teaching, Jesus was vengeful towards God by saying;

"And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34)


This again demonstrates Ghounem's fundamental ignorance of biblical theology. Jesus did not fear physical death, but broken fellowship with the Father as a result of taking upon our sins.

Jesus came to take the penalty of sin, which constituted both physical death and broken communion with God, which is what we call "spiritual death":

"For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil will not sojourn with you. The boastful will not stand before your eyes; you hate evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful." Psalm 5:4-6 NRSV

"If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear." Psalm 66:18

"Rather, your iniquities have been barriers between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear." Isaiah 59:2 NRSV

"Then they will cry to the LORD, but He will not hear them; He will even hide His face from them at that time, because they have been evil in their deeds." Micah 3:4

"Your eyes are too pure to behold evil, and you cannot look on wrongdoing..." Habakkuk 1:13 NRSV

By physical death is meant the soul separating from the body, with the body returning to the dust from which it came:

"And to the man he said, 'Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree about which I commanded you, "You shall not eat of it," cursed it is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat the bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.'" Genesis 3:17-19 NRSV

Jesus' cry to the Father in Mark 15:34 clearly demonstrates that it was precisely at this point that the Father and the Son severed their intimate communion as a result of sin. Hence, this shout was an assurance to believers that Christ had taken upon himself the wrath of God in order that we might be saved.

Once Christ had satisfied the divine justice of God, the intimate fellowship between Father and Son resumed:

"Jesus called out in a loud voice, 'Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.' When he had said this, he breathed his last." Luke 23:46

At this point, Christ's Spirit departed from his body, experiencing physical death. Yet, to show that the curse of sin had been reversed the Lord's Spirit reunited with his body, raising his temple to immortal glory just as he had said:

" Jesus answered them, 'Destroy this temple, and I WILL RAISE IT AGAIN in three days'… But the temple he had spoken of WAS HIS BODY. After HE WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words Jesus had spoken." John 2:19, 21-22

"The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life-only to take it up again. NO ONE TAKES IT FROM ME, BUT I LAY IT DOWN OF MY OWN ACCORD. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father." John 10:17-18

These verses clearly demonstrate Jesus' unlimited power over the grave, affirming that he is indeed God. They also establish that Christ was still consciously existing during the time his body lay in the tomb. Otherwise he could not have claimed to be able to resurrect himself had he not been alive in the Spirit.

In light of the preceding factors, we get a greater appreciation for what God has done for us in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Finally, although Ghounem quotes Mark 14:36, he does not include the concluding portion of Jesus' prayer:

"Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping… Once more he went away and prayed the same thing… Returning the third time, he said to them, 'Are you still sleeping?…'" Mark 14:37, 39, 41

Since Mark doesn't tell us what exactly Jesus prayed before returning to his disciples the third time, we must turn elsewhere for the answer:

"He went away a second time and prayed, 'My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, MAY YOUR WILL BE DONE.'" Matthew 26:42

We wonder why Ghounem chose not to include this statement from Christ? Could it be that it serves to debunk his assertions?


Through out the Old Testament, _mere_ Prophets displayed Bravery in the face of Death, David and Goliath (1 Samuel 21:9), Noah and the Flood (Genesis 7:6) , Moses and Pharaoh (Exodus 10:1), etc... etc...,

We also see in Islam, One of many incidences where Prophet Muhammad did not fear death:

Muhammad was sitting under a tree when a pagan with a sword approached him to kill him, the pagan asked 'who will protect you', Muhammad replied "Allah", at this moment, the pagan lunged forward at Prophet Muhammad tripped on a stump and dropped the sword which Muhammad picked up and gave it back to the pagan and asked the pagan, "who would have protected you", the pagan replied 'no, one', from that day on, the pagan became a Muslim and one of Prophet Muhammad's closest companions. (Volume 5, Book 59, Number 460: Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah)

Yet in the New Testament, we see Jesus who some Christians claim is God, consistently fearing death.


We agree on the bravery shown by the true prophets of God. Yet, we are not certain that we agree that Muhammad was that brave.

First, Ghounem assumes the reliability of the hadith and hence argues for Muhammad's bravery based on the hadith. Yet, the hadith were compiled centuries after the fact, allowing the Muslims to embellish the stories in order to make their prophet look much better.

Second, even if we assume that the hadith are reliable, we find examples where Muhammad is anything but brave. For instance, according to the Islamic traditions on the night Muhammad left with Abu Bakr to Medina, Ali slept in Muhammad's bed in order to deceive the Quraysh into thinking he was Muhammad. Hence, Muhammad allowed Ali to be his scapegoat while he fled that night, knowing full well that the Quraysh were planning on killing him that morning.

In comparison, Jesus never allowed any of his disciples to jeopardize their lives while he was with them, but died on their behalf:

"'I told you that I am he,' Jesus answered. 'If you are looking for me, then let these men go.' This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: 'I have not lost one of those you gave me.'" John 18:8-9

Third, Muhammad's God allows Muslims to deny their faith instead of dying for what they believe:

"Whoso disbelieves in God, after he has believed- excepting him who has been compelled, and in his heart is still at rest in his belief- but whosoever's heart is expanded in unbelief, upon them shall rest anger from God, and there awaits them a mighty chastisement." S. 16:106

Al-Tabari comments:

"It has been reported that the Quraish compelled 'Ammar, his father Yasir, and his mother Sumayya to renounce Islam. So they tied Sumayyya to two camels and pointed a spear to her heart, saying to her that she converted for the men, and killed her. Later they killed Yasir. Thus, these two were the first martyrs in Islam. As for 'Ammar, he told them, unwillingly, what they wanted to hear. So it was told the Messenger of God that 'Ammar disbelieved. He said, 'No, 'Ammar is full of faith from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet; belief has been mingled with his flesh and blood.' 'Ammar came weeping to the Messenger of God. Therefore, the Messenger of God started to wipe his tears, and said, 'If they come back to you, repeat to them what you said.' This is the evidence for the admissibility of speaking unbelief under compulsion." ('Abdallah 'Abd al-Fadi, Is the Qur'an Infallible? [Light of Life PO Box 13 A-9503 Villach Austria], p. 97)

Yet, Jesus' disciples were to die for their Lord. They were never to deny him for any reason:

"Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven." Matthew 10:32-33

"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life FOR MY SAKE will find it." Matthew 10:37-39

Hence, it is Christians who are the true fearless believers of God, not Muslims. This ends our rebuttal.

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