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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Bad Archaeology-1

The title of this article is the same as a website that deals with what the owners of that site deem to be ‘bad archaeology’. I am planning on going through their website and draw out some misconceptions and information that needs to be addressed.

Believers really need to be educated in as many areas as possible as ignorance is not an excuse. We need to know what we are talking about if we are going to 1. refute the lies of the unbelievers and 2. teach our children with the truth and provide the right answers to their questions.

We cannot leave this duty to the Pastor or other church leader as the task is just too great and overwhelming for them. They have other duties they need to focus on as well. As I discuss the information taken from that website I will place a link to the page where it is located so you can see the context for yourselves.

One of the great cultural achievements of the Enlightenment of the late eighteenth century was the recognition that the christian Bible was just another piece of ancient literature like any other, full of myths and legends that should not be treated as scientific truths. Liberating science from the shackles of a religious world view, with its creation myths, its ridiculously short chronology and its distortions of ancient history was to have a profoundly positive effect on just about every aspect of life. (http://www.badarchaeology.com/?page_id=114)

At the top of the page we have it told to us that the authors are not objective and very biased against the Bible. Believers are constantly bombarded with demands from the unbelieving world to be objective yet they refuse to be objective when it comes to the Bible and its record.

I have quoted William Dever a lot on this website and on this topic but it so aptly demonstrates the double standard unbelievers apply to biblical stories and believers. Twice in his book, Did God Have A Wife?’,  Dr. Dever says that ‘objectivity is impossible and no wanted but turns around and condemns the biblical writers for not being objective.

The unbeliever cannot have it both ways. Either they start being objective or they need to stop demanding that believers use objectivity. The conclusions stated in that quote about the Bible being full of myths, etc., only come from conjecture based upon an argument of silence and an unwillingness to accept the real explanation for missing evidence.

I should add that those conclusions are also based upon the rejection of evidence presented. We have numerous pieces of evidence for Noah’s flood but they get dismissed because the unbeliever seems to think they have found another explanation even though their alternative has no viable evidence to support it.

As European intellectuals moved away from the medieval belief system, in which the Bible remained the ultimate source of knowledge for any question, new systems of learning began to develop. (same link as above)

This is a very big misconception as the Bible was a source of information but it was not the ultimate source those authors imply. Yes people got their ideas from biblical passages but they also went out and investigated for themselves. We know from history that Ptolemy did not use the Bible to determine the circumference of the earth, he used the methods available to him at the time. The same for all astronomers and other researchers.

The Bible may have sparked something but it hardly could be considered the ultimate source. That is because the Bible doesn’t touch on all aspects of each scientific or historical field within its pages. That is not its purpose and if it did, the Bible would be so thick no one would want to pick it up let alone read it.

Now there were misguided and unbelieving religious leaders of those times who tried to thwart investigation by invoking biblical passages but that doesn’t mean that the Bible was the ultimate source for information. To judge the whole ancient or medieval world by those few recorded voices is unjust and very inaccurate and an excuse to omit the Bible from being part of the archaeological work taking place.

The development of astronomy following the invention of the telescope was rapid (same link as above)

I am not focusing on the words ‘developement’ or ‘telescope’  rather on the word ‘astronomy’. The fact that men and women can see deep into space, figure out precession and other fine details of how the solar system works has nothing to do with the age of the earth or creation.

Astronomers can no more say the Bible is wrong than they can say an uninhabited planet is in the middle of an evolutionary process. There is nothing in the universe that points to its actual age. The evidence they claim for an actual age is merely misappropriated and attributed to a ‘Big Bang’ idea and not applied to God’s creative work.

God knew that His creation would be looking at the stars so He did leave evidence for them to find. Sadly, the unbelievers have rejected the truth and placed that evidence on an alternative source. Once again, one that they cannot prove actually took place.

Knowledge against dogma (same source)

Unbelievers like to call biblical truths dogma as it helps them avoid the truth of this world. They like the idea of ‘the truth’ changing because it gives them something to do. If creation isn’t true, then a lot of scientists now have a job in exploring origins. But knowledge doesn’t mean that they necessarily have the truth.

With knowledge alone we have many descriptive categories to divide it into. There is theory, hypothesis, assumption, conjecture, wishful thinking, false knowledge and truth. The unbeliever doesn’t like the latter two for it means they have to make changes to their thinking, their life’s work and their lives so they avoid it at all costs.

For the believer we have the truth and false knowledge with most of the above list falling into this category.  The Bible is very clear that there is such a thing as false information, false teaching and false knowledge. They are generally called lies (to be blunt). we do not need to research origins because we have the truth.

The truth is not dogma because the character quality that comes with it. The truth does not change. If it did then it was never the truth. That is why believers can have peace about where we came from because the Bible does not change, God does not change thus the truth remains the same no matter what era one is living in.

We know that evolution and other alternative theories about origins are not the truth simply because they always change. What evolutionists believed 100 years ago is not exactly the same as what is believed today. They do not have the truth.

We can change from false information to the truth, but that doesn’t mean that the truth changed. It simply means that we discovered our error and made a correction but we do not change the Biblical record for it has not made an error nor has it passed on any false information or knowledge.

Dogma is a dirty word and should not be used by any believer. The Bible is the truth no matter what secular science and scientists claim. believers do not believe dogma, for that content can change, we believe the truth and it becomes our rock to found our faith upon.

Firstly, there was the discovery of two vast continents on the western side of the Atlantic Ocean that were populated by people whose relationships to Adam and Eve were difficult to establish and which were evidently unknown to the supposedly divinely-inspired writers of the Bible (same link)

This and two more point come from the sub-section titled Three strikes and the Bible is out and it is a very large misconception for the Bible is not out. It is declared so by the authors because they reject what the Bible is teaching. You will notice that they think that North and South america provide evidence that the Bible is wrong but the authors of that quote forget about Babel.

 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, (Gen. 11:8)

Finding people in North and South America is not a problem in linking them to Adam and Eve when one sees what the Bible teaches. God scattered them over ALL the earth. Finding people in the western hemisphere is proof for this verse and shows that the Bible spoke the truth.

Secondly, as the development a mineral-hungry technology in Europe led to the growth of geology as a scientific discipline, some scholars concluded that the earth had to be much older than the six or seven thousand years that the biblical scholars had calculated (same link)

Geology did nothing to change the truth about the age of the earth. The unbelieving geologist and others are not talking about how the earth was really formed or how long it took God to create it. They are talking about an age of the earth IF the earth was formed according to their alternative idea/theory.

There is nothing in geology that supports an evolutionary/Big Bang model, what claims of evidence they have is merely conjecture, assumption and wishful thinking. The unbelieving geologist cannot verify one thing they say because NO world is forming right now in that manner and NO world has ever been observed as forming in the manner they claim

They have only their on biased unbelieving theories to fall back upon and that is not enough. if secularists followed their own rules they wold have to throw out this alternative because there is no real evidence to support it. This geology did not prove the Bible wrong, nor give it its second strike, it is merely a created tool usurped by unbelievers and used to justify their rejection of God’s word.

Thirdly, the rocks they were quarrying contained the bones of unknown monsters. Some resembled animals alive today, while others were completely different. The way in which these remains were arranged in the ground in layers that always followed the same sequence was worrying for those who confidently explained that these bones must be the remains of unfortunate creatures downed by Noah’s flood. (same link)

First, extinction is not just a post-flood phenomenon. For all we know the pre-flood world practice the same hunting habits, without restriction, on pre-flood animals. genetic information may have been lost for the animal kingdom with the Flood. Then, species reproducing after the flood may not have hit the same combinations as their pre-flood counterparts.

We just do not know but to reject these scenarios mean that the unbeliever is not looking at all the data or not accepting it to support their opposition to the Bible. Unbelievers are rarely honest in their work when it comes to biblical matters.

As for the layering as evidence against the flood, those people who accept that notion basically reject the other evidence we have that supports the flood. That evidence is found in the caves where humans and animals rushed to avoid the flood waters or were deposited there by the water’s actions. See the following link for a better discussion of evidence for Noah’s flood:

http://www.dakotascba.com/Evidence-for-Noah%27s-Flood.php

Layering doesn’t disprove the Bible nor the flood since we only have had one (1) global flood we do not have other information with which to compare. To say it isn’t evidence is misguided and that contradictory point can be turned against the evolutionist. Since they claim there has been only 1 evolutionary process on earth, they have no evidence that layering is evidence for their process. They have nothing to compare their claims with.

In other words, they have no evidence for their process either and merely assume that is how their process would work and leave evidence. Layering by water is not an exact science or a predictable action given that we do not know the volume of water involved or how it retreated from the earth. Layering is just another excuse by unbelievers to reject God’s word.

This should do it for part 1 of this series and it is easy to see that to call using the Bible in the field of archaeology ‘bad archaeology’ is misguided especially considering ll the evidence we have for the Bible which have been discovered and verified by both Christian and unbelieving researchers.

A short list, to give you an idea, includes: Civilizations in their right time and location, thousands of cities in their right time and location; different people and their names in the right time and when the names were in use. there is more but these three should show you that the Bible belongs in archaeology and it is not wrong.

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Posted by on January 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Faith Healing & Modern Medicine

The title is a bit misleading as it is hard to word in order to convey the content of this article. The subject matter concerns the over-the-top attacks made against those who practice faith healing and shun modern medicine.

Having participated in discussions on faith healing with atheists just after another child had died from its use, one sees the hatred towards the practice and those who opt for the exercising of their faith.

The attacks are quite unrealistic and hypocritical. Their foundation are based in hatred towards anything religious and the attackers have firmly closed their mind to any reason or being reasonable.  They feel everyone should do medical treatment their way, especially if a child is involved.

Faith healing is solely a religious practice and those who want to participate in it receive a lot of flak for doing so. The same can be said for those who merely support the practice by others. Jesus did say to His disciples, and to us by extension, that they are hated because people hate Him.

Those people who hate anything religious know that they can’t attack God or Jesus so they do the next best thing. They hurt them via attacking their messengers, their servants, their followers. Believers are vulnerable and the easiest target. Faulty faith healing does nothing to alleviate this scenario.

What is the whole story? let’s look at some statistics to get a better picture of the whole issue:

Faith healing: Asser studied 172 reported deaths of infants and children between 1975 and 1995. Deaths were found in 34 states among members of 23 religious groups. They belonged to families of Christian Scientist, Faith Tabernacle, Faith Assembly and several other religious groups that practice faith healing (http://www.religioustolerance.org/medical3.htm)

Modern Medicine: An average of 195,000 people in the USA died due to potentially preventable, in-hospital medical errors in each of the years 2000, 2001 and 2002, according to a new study of 37 million patient records that was released today by HealthGrades, the healthcare quality company. (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/11856.php)

Do you see a problem? The faith healing statistics covered a 20 year span and only had 172 deaths (that was reported to this study) while modern medicine had 600,000 deaths approx. in 3 years.  There is more and from the same links and quoted in the same order:

He compared the cause of death with the expected survival rates if the children had received routine medical care. They found:

bullet 140 children would have had a 90% chance of surviving if they had been treated medically.
bullet 18 children would have had a 50 to 90% chance of surviving
bullet 11 children would have received some benefits from medical care
bullet 3 would not have been helped from medical care

The 172 deaths are presumably some unknown fraction of the total deaths among children whose parents used faith healing in place of medical treatment.

Also unknown are the numbers of children who died after having received medical treatment who would have been saved by faith healing.

The problem with that analysis is that it is based upon the assumption that the people involved would respond to modern medicine. Hard to say since they are working on skeletons to come to this judgment. What about modern medicine, how many could be saved if things were done differently (I say that because we do not know if faith healing would be successful or not in treating those 600,000 people).

If we could focus our efforts on just four key areas – failure to rescue, bed sores, postoperative sepsis, and postoperative pulmonary embolism – and reduce these incidents by just 20 percent, we could save 39,000 people from dying every year,” said Dr. Collier.

So if changes were made to some practices of modern medicine, 120,000 people could possibly still be alive today. yet no one is demanding that the modern doctors and nurses be sent to prison for murder like they do for those involved in faith healing.

Those quotes only give an idea of what we are dealing with and the amount of unrealistic thinking that comes from the unbelieving side. They are more worried about 172 deaths over 20 years than they are 600,000 over 3:

One review published in 1998 looked at 172 cases of deaths among children treated by faith healing instead of conventional methods. These researchers estimated that if conventional treatment had been given, the survival rate for most of these children would have been more than 90 percent, with the remainder of the children also having a good chance of survival (http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/mindbodyandspirit/faith-healing)

But given the large amount of deaths at the hands of modern medicine, they really cannot make that claim. They do not know how many of those 172 people would have died under modern treatment. They do not care about that or it would have been addressed.

The one-sided argument presented by unbelievers, in the medical field as well, tends to tilt the playing field against those who want to use faith healing for whatever reason they have. The arguments presented against faith healing are not grounded in fact or reality but prejudice, bias and a hatred for anything religious interfering in their profession.

At this point, we really do not need to discuss the pros and cons of modern medicine as we know what it can do and has done. God does not say reject that field as an option when a family member gets sick since he used a doctor to write 2 books of the Bible.

God does say that medicine is not the end all of medical treatment either as the Bible relates the story of a woman who suffered for decades at the hands of the then modern medical practices and could not be healed. Having faith in Jesus and His healing power, available to believers today,  did what medicine could not do; He healed her. So faith healing does have a part in people’s lives.

What does need to be discussed is how and when faith healing should be used. We all know that there are frauds out there, it is no secret and many people suffer at the hands of these con artists. That suffering could be financial, spiritual, or medical doesn’t matter, that they suffer does.

Finally, a few “faith healers” have been caught using fraud as a way to get others to believe in their methods. These people often solicited large donations or charged money for their healing sessions. (http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/mindbodyandspirit/faith-healing)

The believer or religious person really needs discernment when looking at faith healing as an option to their troubles. They also need to seek God’s direction in this matter so that they do not run afoul of the frauds.  Desperation is a characteristic these frauds look for in order to perform their cons.

As is over-emotional parents or others. We cannot let emotion influence too much as it does make one susceptible to the wrong suggestions as a solution to one’s medical problems.

The first thing, after asking God for help is to not dismiss the option of medical treatment. God may want you to use modern medicine, doctors and nurses to cure you. In today’s world there are many medical professionals who do to belive in God or acknowledge that He exists thus they need contact with believers to  learn the truth.

Also, the medical professionals need to see God in action. There are many documented cases where doctors have pronounced judgment upon a patient, only to see a complete healing at a subsequent visit.  They need to see that God does things that science cannot.

A third reason is to teach the believer that faith healing is not the only option available. They need to learn that even using modern medical facilities and treatment is an exercise in faith. This comes through answered prayers as the believer sees the timing involved, the doctors involved, etc., and the impossibility of all taking place without faith in God and His working in the lives of people.

Having God direct the believer to just the right doctor, who has just the right treatment or medicine on hand, or in the correct restaurant or department store with medicine on hand, is a miracle of faith as well. Believers do not need to reject modern medicine simply because its supporters and practitioners do not believe in God.

Believers just need to consult God first, even a hurried prayer in an emergency can bring miracles and save a loved one’s life. Let Him direct them so that HE gets the credit and glory and so the unbelieving world can see that God does care about individual lives.

We cannot deprive the unsaved world of such lessons and examples. Does this mean that we ignore faith healing? No, for faith healing may be the only option available or the only way God will get the glory. It also might be the only way to get the medical professional’s attention.

We do not know thus we need to let God decide what kind of treatment should be used and then we need to confirm that the direction is really of God. How we get the answer varies and depends upon one’s spiritual state. In other words be careful in making this determination.

Sometimes, a decision along the lines of ‘better safe than sorry’ is wise. By that I mean, if you are not sure, then opt for the hospital but still rely on God. Not everyone has the faith to do faith healing and those that think they do probably don’t.

With faith healing, one has to be absolutely sure and it has to be done where it is all God.  So seek God in this issue as lives depend upon it.

Now who can seek faith healing? This is a complicated issue as believers have their own personal not biblical ideas they thrust upon this situation but from the evidence we have in the biblical record it doesn’t matter if they are unbelievers or believers. What did matter to Jesus was the faith of the person making the request.

From the gentile woman saying ‘even the dog’s eat the crumbs of their master’ (paraphrased), to the Roman centurion to the 10 lepers we have examples of those who believed that Jesus could solve their medical dilemma. In the case of the 10 lepers we see that, as far as we know, the 9 who did not come back remained healed even though they did not follow Jesus or return to thank Him.

Healing was for all both believer and non-believer and few were rejected. Given John’s words at the end of His gospel, I doubt we will fully know the scope or breadth of Jesus’ healing ministry. Withholding healing simply because one is not a believer or does not attend your church is not a smart route to take.

Now a few words about cultic practitioners of faith healing:

The Watchtower periodical Awake once showed pictures of Jehovah’s Witnesses children who followed the churches ban on blood transfusions and died (http://www.religioustolerance.org/medical3.htm)

That quote will merely represent all cults and false religions. Their members can partake in healing from Jesus but it depends upon whom they are asking. In the biblical accounts, the non-jewish petitioners came to Jesus alone and not to their version of Jesus to seek healing.

Is God hearing the prayers of those cult members who want their loved ones healed? it depends. Are they approaching their version of God and Jesus or are they putting their false beliefs aside and coming to the real Jesus who does heal and answers prayers?

If it is the latter then the answer to their requests are up to God. The Bible does say ‘ He will have mercy upon those He chooses to have mercy’ (paraphrased) which means that if true believers are approached by cultic members and asked to use their gift of healing, then their denial should only be the result of being told by God to deny them.

Cultic members are like the medical professionals. They need to see the real God in action and they need to see that God cares about them and their loved ones. One would hope that after experiencing God in this way those cultic members repent and turn to Christ for the rest of their lives..

One final word and it is a warning. God has given each individual so long on this earth and then they will die. There will be no help from modern medicine or faith healing if one’s alloted time is over. Of course, some people get a reprieve BUT they eventually die. God is not going to change that restriction.

What this means is, that when that time comes it doesn’t matter what medical option one chooses, the person is going to die–doesn’t matter their age. This means that the attacks against faith healing are frivolous and without merit. Why? Because those attacking faith healing do not factor in this fact nor accept it.

This fact of life also makes one question the need for machines to prolong a patient’s life. The Hippocratic oath contains the words, ‘do no harm’ but the quest to mechanically or medically extend a life does do harm in many cases.

It harms the patient’s or their families financially, medically, emotionally, and spiritually thus those doctors trying too hard to keep their oath end up violating it. This medical extension really needs to be questioned and not blindly accepted simply because a doctor recommends it.

Yes many patients are afraid to die, even believers, and they want to remain on earth longer but that is more of a spiritual problem than a medical one. it is also a situation between God and the patient and their family.

Afterall of this what does a believer do when these attacks come? 1. They need to be able to turn aside the arguments against faith healing with facts and solid information; 2. They need to be prepared to face persecution as Jesus said we would; 3. We need to be wise and seek God in all medical matters instead of rushing off to the doctor without consulting Him; This point alone helps people avoid mistakes in medical care; 4. We need to be inclusive not exclusive when people need healing; 5. We need to approach faith healing correctly and biblically; and most important, 6. we need to make sure God gets the glory correctly.

We do not seek the glory but direct people to Him and what God did.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Forgiveness

Over the past few years we have been treated to a few stories where the United States and other countries have pursued legal convictions against old men who were accused of being Nazi prison guards.

The most recent case was the one involving an 89-year-old man, named Demjanjuk.  One comment as to why prosecution for this frail man was justified is quoted below:

But I don’t look at it as the history because I look at it – the importance of the future. We need to bring the message to the rest of the world that some of the things we can never forget and never forgive, and we have to put this man in trial even if he was 105 years old ( http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104058890)

Why never forgive? The alleged crimes took place almost 70 years ago and have long-lost their relevance. What sort of justice will be served by punishing men decades after the fact and when they are far too old to learn anything from their trial and conviction, let alone serve the time conferred?

Demjanjuk died at age 91 and was free pending appeal,

Demjanjuk died in March aged 91 awaiting another appeal after being convicted a year ago (http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/german-prosecutors-probe-nazi-guard-execution-charge.aspx?pageID=238&nID=23227&NewsCatID=351)

At some point an offended person or nation needs to see that forgiveness is the better route to take as the folly of a trial does not really bring justice. It is just an exercise to make the prosecuting participants feel better and then they can show their constituency that they are actually doing something about those who commit crimes.

When we turn to the Bible, we find that forgiveness plays a large role in the Christian life. The idea of ‘never forgiving’ is not part of it. At some point we need to come to the realization that lives will be better if we let go of the offense committed against us and not spend our energy holding onto to some violation that can never be changed.

Here are some scripture verses which direct our lives in this issue of forgiving others. There is no real order to them as I quote. Just listen to what God has to say to you about this act.

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”

22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times (Mat. 18)

Forgive us our sins,
    for we also forgive everyone who sins against us (Lk. 11:4)

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Eph. 4)

O Lord, we and our kings, our princes and our fathers are covered with shame because we have sinned against you. The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; 10 we have not obeyed the Lord our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets (Dan. 9)

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.(Mt. 6)

Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow (2 Cor. 2)

With all of this in mind we can see that forgiveness plays a very important role in a believer’s life. If we do not forgive others then God does not forgive us and this makes sense as our sins against God are probably greater than other people’s against us.

God tell sus in the Bible that Noah’s righteousness was only enough to save him but for God’s mercy, Noah’s family was included. This gives us the lesson that being merciful is part of using forgiveness. We do not demand the letter of the law punishment but look to see if mercy is warranted.

Does forgiveness mean we do not punish or discipline? No but it helps those who do the judging to see a lot clearer when adjudicating some offense. God does not want us to sin when we discipline and we need to see the whole story clearly so that we can avoid sinful acts when meting out the punishment for the crime.

The passage about ‘removing the beam from your own eye’ would apply here.  Does one have to be friends with the offender after forgiving them? That really is between you and God and depends upon the situation. God remains friends with those who sin against Him and asks for repentance, so we should really look to God for leading in that area.

Though shunning people from the congregation after they have sought and been granted forgiveness is not a wise act to do. We need to show the world that God’s way is better thus we need to welcome people back without resentment or holding their violations over their heads. The offenders need a fresh start in order to not be driven back to evil.

That is a key as believers need to think of the ramifications of their actions towards others in these matters. Many a church member, missionary, pastor have been driven to the secular life because their friends and congregations refused to treat them in a Christ-like manner. We cannot afford to have such things take place for it sends the wrong message to the world and to other believers.

How does this apply to crimes outside of the church? For example murder, theft, rape, incest, molestation and so on. You will notice in those verses that no escape clauses are included which means that criminal offenders are to be forgiven as well.

It is understandable that the pain and hurt will hinder the process where the victim gets to a place where they can forgive the criminal but if they work with God, they will succeed.  Forgiving criminals doesn’t mean they get off scott free but it does mean that they will receive justice and being just is a major issue throughout the Bible.

This means that we cannot let emotion over-rule what is just. The pedophile is to receive justice just like the rich man. If there is no justice for one then there is no justice for all. Emotions are not a character trait the Bible says to use when presiding over criminal acts. Kangaroo courts and vigilantism are the results of emotionally charged thinking.

Christians need to control their emotions and look to what kind of justice God would want and implement that.  To forgive and to seek justice is not easy and it often means standing alone against a crowd but if we lose both then no one has hope for a just trial or punishment.

Someone has to stand up for the correct justice and someone has to stand up for the proper application of forgiveness. That duty falls to the believer for they serve a just and forgiving God.

For Mr. Demjanjuk it is too late. If there are any more Nazi soldiers left alive, it is time to forgive them and let them live out their lives in peace. It is not justice nor mercy to pursue them and bring them to trial. Nor is it a proper application of forgiveness.

When we do use forgiveness, we need to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit to make sure we get it right because we still need to discipline those who commit offenses but we need to judge without sin in our hearts. Forgiveness allows us to see clearly what to do and how to proceed with justice. It also helps us bring mercy to the issue so that we do not over do the sentencing and cause people to harden their hearts and remain criminals or offenders forever.

Even in criminals cases we are seeking to have the offender repent and change their lives thus we must act according to how God wants and not how we would like to see it done.

 

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Justice, theology

 

Same Sex Marriage

In seeing the rise in states seeking approval for this act I cringe a lot. Not that I am homophobic but because of the rush to freely allow sinful behavior and make it an accepted part of society. Of course, only those who believe God call it sin  which it is regardless of any argument people may bring.

In a discussion on this topic recently I was amazed at the selfishness of the Homosexual Community (HC) in this matter. When given a scenario to shed light on the issue the response was pure selfishness. First the scenario:

Place 100 homosexual males on an uninhabited island in the Pacific and place 100 lesbians on a similar island at least 1000 miles away so that there is no attempt to contact each other. Then check back on the two groups in 100 years and lets see what has transpired. (Of course they have food, shelter etc. just not contact with the opposite sex)

One of the responses was, “why do you make reproduction a requirement for marriage?” No such requirement was made as the scenario was designed to make a specific point yet that responder would not listen to reason and felt that the HC should be allowed to marry no matter what it does to civilization or society.

There was no remorse, no thought of anyone else in the responses given to that scenario. It was all about the HC and what they wanted and to heck with anyone else. They did not care that civilization is damaged or headed towards destruction just as long as they got what their selfish desires wanted.

The point of the scenario is that homosexuality, and by extension same-sex marriage, does not contribute to the continuation of civilization nor does it have the best interests of society in mind. It is all about what the homosexual can get.

They do not make a secret about this. They want the benefits that come with a heterosexual marriage. In other words, they want money. That may seem harsh and omitting other things but the core of the issue behind the same-sex marriage drive is money.

They may deny it but in all the discussions I have been a part of and read money is at the bottom of it all.

The second attitude I have seen in the HC and evidenced in the courtroom battles and democratic fights is that the HC is very spoiled. They refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer and continually seek a way to reverse the negative responses from the public.

The ‘will of the people’ is ignored when things do not go the HC’s way (and so is the democratic process). It would be nice to see the governments of the world take a firmer stand against the HC and learn how to say no to them. Same sex marriage is not a right that is being violated nor is the HC being deprived of the freedom to marry. The HC have rejected the right way of marriage, which means they have deprived themselves of a right not the ‘homophobic’ heterosexual.

This distortion clouds the issue as the HC looks to point the finger at everyone else but themselves. When they are in that fight trying to determine their sexual preference, they need to stop for a minute and count the costs involved. They should take into consideration the fact that if they go the homosexual route they are giving up a lot of benefits and privileges.

But no one wants to pay the costs for their choices anymore. They want their own way and they want everything else as well. The HC is no different. They think they have a right to the benefits enjoyed by those who do things right but they don’t. The question needs to be asked, ‘Why should those who do things wrong be rewarded?’

Now of course, one way around that is to declare homosexuality good but the Bible warns about calling evil good and good evil. It is not a smart thing to do. There is nothing good about homosexuality and it produces nothing good for civilization. It does bring destruction.

What is the believer to do in all of this?

First, the definition of good and evil right and wrong can only come from God and that is the definition the believer needs to use at all times. The believer needs to put God’s attitude as the primary reason for objecting to same-sex marriage. Their personal views need to be tempered by God’s word and made secondary.

Second, the believer needs to pray on how to be a light to this issue. Wisdom and understanding need to be influential factors when looking to participate in discussions or legal proceedings. Plus they need to pray on how to participate without letting personal bias ruin things.

Third, one needs to learn how to apply scripture correctly. By that I mean, does the scripture verse, ‘Do unto others…’ mean that we allow and support same-sex marriage because heterosexuals want to keep getting married?

No. What it means is that we treat the individual homosexual as Jesus would want but we do not legitimize their sins by supporting a sinful act that is detrimental to all of society. In other words, if the homosexual is injured, in need of food, or other help then we give aid but we do not say their preference is good and is something to be proud of.

Nor do we allow for their preference to be legitimize via special rights, legislation, or social approval like granting the privilege to marry to those who have rejected the correct way of marital unions.  We do raise our voice in opposition because believers have a duty to inform government officials  of God’s way to deal with these issues.

What is important is the world has to learn that ‘civil rights’ is  not a viable reason to ignore what is right and wrong or change what is evil into something supposedly good. Right and wrong does not employ civil rights as a moral guideline, it sets the boundary so people know how to act.

Then the cost involved of doing wrong needs to be made known. If the HC wants to practice their sexual preference then they need to realize that they are losing out on certain benefits. That cost or boundary does not change because a small group of people whine, stamp their feet and refuse to take no for an answer.

it does civilization no good to have things declared wrong and set boundaries if those yardsticks are going to change every time a small group of people do not like them. The HC made their choice and now they are saying they can’t live with the choice they made. Now they want to be like heterosexual couples and make their partnerships good.

It doesn’t matter for no matter how many laws they get passed, no matter how many benefits they gain access to, nothing will make their partnerships right or good. They will still be practicing sin and still an abomination to God. God’s rules do not change no matter how many times a group or individual stamp their feet and refuse to take no for an answer.

God’s right and wrong does not change because governments change their laws to accommodate a minute minority of whiners. God doesn’t change nor does His word. if they did, then no one would be safe and no one would have salvation.

Believers need to cast light upon this issue and they need to correctly state that granting the HC the right to same-sex marriage is wrong not just spiritually but for the nation as well.

Nothing is gained by saying yes to a bunch of selfish, spoiled people who can’t pay the cost for their choices.

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2013 in General Life, Justice

 

Food For Thought

When the movie A Thief in the Night was release about 30 years ago or so it was limited by the available technology of the time and it could not explain how the receivers of the mark of the beast were able to keep track of people nor how they were so willing to accept a cashless society.

But as time went on and those in the technological field were able to make great advances it becomes much easier to see how the authorities can keep tabs on people and how they could convince people to turn to a mark instead of using cash.

Let’s look at some of those advances. I should say that the original invention of these advances may not have had controlling the people in mind when they were invented but such ideas are easily taken over for evil purposes–like guns.

#1. A cashless society

Since the 50’s or 60’s credit cards have been used to train people to use a number instead of cash. First it was a very selective issuance, meaning that only a few companies offered them. Second, as time went on and people started to get used to the idea of using plastic cards instead of cash, this convenience was made easier . Gas companies started issuing them as did other companies in search of new revenue.

Then to further make things easier, grocery stores and other businesses decided to issue their own ‘discount’ or member cards. You can get special rewards for using them. Soon millions of people around the world are getting trained to use a number over cash.

Of course, the reasoning behind this training is not overt but a nice appeal to the fears of people does the trick. In most cases, it is the fear of robbery that does the trick. make people think that they will be a victim  and they will look for alternatives to avoid that scenario.

Or the fear of being without, use your grocery card so the store can keep your favorite items in stock.Of course, the stores really do not need a card to track their sales they just want people to do what the stores want.

With the wide accessibility for card use, you can buy almost anything with a number.

#2. GPS–

In the movie the producers could not demonstrate how the mark of the beast authorities could track down those who did not accept the mark. Well GPS is your answer to that problem.

It is being touted as a tool to fight crime but what people do not realize is if you do not take the mark of the beast, you are a criminal.  GPS is everywhere now, in shoes and clothing of children, it is in cars, cell phones and many other gadgets

Again, this is being promoted via the fear issue. No one wants a crime to happen to their child so mothers make sure they put GPS trackers wherever they can in order to have a false sense of security. Statistics usually point to the fact that the majority of children will not be abducted thus GPS in their clothing is over-rated.

Then GPS is said to help find your car if it is stolen. BUT what the authorities do not tell you is that good car thieves already know how to dismantle the GPS  rendering that security device moot.

#3. Fiber optic cable services–

Now what I am about to tell you is based solely upon hearsay but it does seem probable. I was told that the military had the technology to put a fiber optic camera into the cable wire and view your home through your t.v.

We saw this take place in the movie as well. I was told about this advancement 20 years ago and if you think about it we know that fiber optic cameras are used in law enforcement today to see in difficult situations.

It would not be hard to place a fiber optic camera into the production of simple and common cable wiring. Now I am not saying it is being done, I am saying it is a possibility after all to control people you need access to their homes and keep the residents in fear.

#4. Street cameras–

Designed to record crimes taking place. Whether it be traffic or criminal activities, law enforcement needs the footage as evidence. While this is a good thing, it can also be used to keep track of undesirables or just anyone.

They say that in Seoul a person walking down the street can be caught in up to 30-40 security cameras in one or two blocks. It was raising privacy concerns but nothing has been heard further on that issue. With that example, we can see how cameras for security can be used to keep track of those who reject the mark of the beast

These are but a few examples presented to the general public as good things to use and I am sure that for the most part innocent intent was behind most of the inventing process. BUT… that does not mean that these inventions are immune from a takeover and have evil purposes applied to them.

I mentioned guns earlier and they serve as a good example of a good idea with multiple purposes. Originally the gun was used for protection and hunting. One could protect his family or people by having these weapons and they could feed them a lot easier.

Unfortunately, those with other intent saw that the gun could be used in other more destructive ways and took full advantage of their power and used them against society. The same for these inventions mentioned above.

Yes they have good purposed attached to them but evil people have already thought of the same things I have mentioned and can or have turned them against the good of society in order to fulfill their evil desires.

True believers know this age is coming, this should not be news to them and they should take the steps God wants, in order to protect themselves from this danger that is coming. Some people may say that the avoidance of these inventions means you are tempting God but I do not see it that way. I see it as putting your trust in God for your protection (and your family’s and possessions).

He doesn’t need a number to track you and he doesn’t need a number to find where your family or possessions went off to. He also knows who is coming to hurt your thus can send you a warning well in advance or stop the criminal before they make you a victim.

psalms 91 reminds of that fact and there are other verses which tell us the exact same thing. Below is psalm 91

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
I will say[b] of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the Lord, who is my refuge—
10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

Yes, secular society will run to the false security provided by those inventions. Yes, even weaker Christians will do the same, we do not judge them but proclaim a better way in order to preserve life:

25 For whoever wants to save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mat. 16)

We see that taking place today as governments use terrorist activities to remove the liberties enjoyed by the people. Christians have nothing to be afraid about, God watches over them and their families. We do not need the false sense of security the world desires or hide behind defenses that are easily circumvented.

We trust God for our protection and He doesn’t malfunction nor has an evil side to Him that can be used against you. Even in the times of the mark of the beast. Be careful how you use the inventions above and make sure you stay within God’s rules when you do.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2013 in General Life

 

One Final Point

I was reading through the article I gave as a reference for the natural and volcanic source for some of the plagues and came to this near the end:

The cause of the final plague, the deaths of the first borns of Egypt, has been suggested as being caused by a fungus that may have poisoned the grain supply of which the male first-born would have had first pickings and so had been the first to fall victim.

That suggestion falls way short as the poison would have to act very quickly to discourage others from eating it and really doesn’t say God was behind it. Plus what poison would be able to get into al the homes at the same time and why would all the first born be eating after midnight as the passage says the deaths occurred?

So Moses said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. (Exodus 11:4-5 NIV 1984)

Notice the bold words. The first born plague was to affect the cattle as well so did they have access to the grain at midnight? Of course not, so the suggestion above doesn’t fit the plague.

If God used Thera eruption (on the island of Santorini) for some of the plagues (9 of 10) then this one plague would be that unique element I mentioned in the last article to ensure that all would know that God was behind all 10.

There is nothing natural that would explain all the first born from all classes of people and their cattle dying at the same time in the middle of the same night.

Only God could do it.

There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again (Exodus 11:6 NIV 1984)

These words tell us that science cannot touch this nor duplicate it. It is by faith that we believe and accept it.

{If you want to read about the plagues then turn to Exodus 8-11 to get the full account of what took place}

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2013 in archaeology, theology

 

Faith

God has provided an interesting source for some evidence in support of the one world post-flood civilization that tried to construct a tower to heaven. But first let’s look at the verse which requires this evidence.

Genesis 11:3 tells us:

They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar

We know about mud bricks and how easily it is to make them plus the supply seems almost limitless given the location of the tower.  Notice the words ‘baked them thoroughly’ as this tells us exactly how the process for making the bricks was done.

There is a reason that this detail is mentioned because it provides the difference between regular mud brick and the kind these people used. That difference is illustrated quite well in a T.V. show called “Lost Science of the Bible: Ancient Discoveries. You can view it at the link below and fortunately the Tower of Babel is the first topic discussed so you do not have to wait long to see the illustration

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_QQsVXI25U

Of course, I am going to give you a brief synopsis of the illustration but I won’t cover all the details the show provides. You really should see it for yourself and then decide about the bricks.

The show shows us that regular mud bricks dried in the sun are quite strong but those that are baked are close to 5-6 times stronger and can be used to construct a building 2 miles high. That fact also supports the height mentioned in Genesis 11

Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens

A building built 2 miles high is reaching the heavens thus we have actual proof that Genesis 11 is factual and probable. The technology to use mud bricks was available back then, the building material was in large supply back then plus the strength of the building material makes it possible to build that high.

So the Bible is verified in those details and we can say that science used correctly has provided evidence for the Biblical account.  But science done incorrectly will not usually provide any evidence to support the Bible.

This is because most scientists are not believers, as those in different science related fields like archaeology, geology etc., and they do not want to have their fields provide evidence to support anything the Bible says (Read Dr. Del Raztsch’s book Battle of Beginnings).

Too often, and in that t.v. show, unbelievers try to use science to see if a natural explanation can perform the ‘miracles’ recorded in the Bible. One reason is to see if such an event could take place, like the parting of the Red Sea and a second reason is to remove God from the picture and make the ‘miracles’ a human invention or sourced in order to deny God any credit and participation.

One good example is the segment on Elijah and the burning alter duel he had with the prophets of Baal. In that piece, the researchers were talking about automatic fire and that Elijah may have used natural ingredients to get his alter lit.

There are problems with that idea because if Elijah did use natural ingredients, then he deceived everyone and God did not answer His prayer and did not show that He existed and Baal did not.  Here is the story first:

http://http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1 Kings+18&version=NIV1984

If Elijah deceived the people then they would have found out soon enough and he would not be a prophet of God and they would not have repented from their false worship but returned to it. But he did not deceive and he did not use natural ingredients and God did burn the water-soaked altar to show His people that HE existed and is God. When God did this the people responded correctly:

39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!”

So science done incorrectly can mislead people away from the truth and take their eyes of God and what He really did. Now does this mean God doe snot use natural events or items to perform His miracles? That is hard to say because God is going to do things so that people know HE did them and that HE gets the glory and in using natural events there would have to be a clear distinction or something unique to show that God put it all together.

Some people say that the volcanic eruption on Thera was the pillar of light at night and the cloud during the day that the Bible speaks of that lead the people of Israel.

21 By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night (Exodus 13:21)

Hard to say because the Bible doesn’t tell us what God used except that He went ahead of them.  The subjective dating aside, and I won’t rehash those arguments here, would the geography lend credence to that thinking? Hard to say as the distance from the Sinai peninsula to Thera is quite a ways.

Knowing the size of the eruption makes that thought probable but maybe not actual. Yet did God need the volcano to manufacture those pillars? No but then those pillars combined with the plagues, which seem consistent with volcanic eruptions, could make using Thera unique enough so the people would know it was God behind it all and not natural events.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/7530678/Biblical-plagues-really-happened-say-scientists.html

Then we would need to ask the question: ‘Would God mask what He did so people would be confused as to the source of the miracles?’ Ido not believe God would mask it but I cannot be sure of that as God may want to test people and their faith.

It is easy to believe the ten plagues if we found natural origins for them but it is another matter to simply believe that God did it all without nature’s natural involvement.

The thing to remember is that even if we found natural origins for most of God’s miraculous events it doesn’t mean that God used them at those particular times and we still need faith to know that God did it not some alternative and that they took place as God said, when He said they took place.

This is why we need to be careful about science’s involvement in anything biblical. At times it can help us by demonstrating the validity of the biblical passages, like Genesis 11:3-4 and sometimes it does not help us, like the 10 plagues.

One reason for this is that in Genesis 11 we are given enough details to verify God’s word while the other we are not, we need to use faith. The former passage and support is used by God to shore up the faith we are to use when we come to belief in Him through Jesus.

Hebrews 11:6 tells us:

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

It even takes faith to believe that He exists and the rest of Hebrews 11 talks about faith and how important it is. God will provide some physical evidence to shore up our faith but HE WILL NOT provide so much that it destroys what pleases Him.

This is why the demands of the unbeliever for more evidence will not be met because faith is always part of the equation. This is why believers do not need to waste time and resources searching for Noah’s ark. First it would hard to verify that we found ‘the ark’ and second, finding the ark is no guarantee that skeptics will repent and believe.

Noah’s flood, like creation, the tower of Babel, Jesus historicity, resurrection and so on must be believed by faith, just like heaven. We cannot provide any physical evidence for the existence of heaven thus its existence must be done by faith and if you need to use faith for heaven then you need to use faith for creation.

Why? Because we were not at creation and we must take God’s word for what He said He did.  If God lied about creation then He is probably lying about heaven and if not how can we be sure? Well, if God lied about creation then He is a sinner in need of a savior and Jesus is not God nor the savior for he came from a sinful father and probably did not exist as we would not know if the Bible was lying about John 3:16 and the life of Jesus.

This can go on and on as God lying just destroys all the foundation the world and its population is built upon. This is why we can label almost all of those advocates of alternatives to creation as false teachers and not of God. They are destroying everything and do not know the ramifications of their beliefs.

We side with God even though there may not be a lot of evidence if any because our future depends upon it.

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2013 in archaeology, theology

 
 
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