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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Noah: The Movie

Now that the movie has come out some more scholars have weighed in with their perspective. This article will only deal with two of them as there are other subjects that need to be dealt with besides this movie. For believers we just need to release on be simple statement. It could go like this:
“This movie does not reflect the true account of Noah and his family and is solely made from the director’s and other moviemakers’ viewpoint. There is little biblical value and does a lot of reading into the biblical texts. The majority of what you see in the movie did not take place in the time of Noah. If you want the truth, come to us for an explanation.”
First up is James Tabor and you can find his complete comments at the following link:
http://jamestabor.com/2014/03/29/bashers-of-the-noah-film-should-re-read-their-bibles/

#1. “Ken Ham, the self-styled “Creationist” of recent fame for his disastrous debate with Bill Nye on “Evolution,” tells TIME magazine that the film is an insult to Christians, with “barely a hint of biblical fidelity,” and thus “unbiblical” and “pagan.” Glenn Beck, labels the film a “100 million dollar disaster,” objecting, among other things, that it is “pro-animal” and “anti-human.” Erick Erikson, on his “Redstate” blog, concludes his scorching review with the suggestion that “we might should consider burning at the stake any Christian leader who endorses this movie…”

I think that Christian leaders trying to be political or send out sound bites just mess up the issue and make them look a bit weak and foolish. There is nothing to be afraid of about this movie for the moviemakers do not have the authority to change what the Bible says. Nor do they have the authority to say what is or isn’t historical.
The movie may be an insult to Christians but then it is only a movie reflecting the views of unbelievers not God’s or Christians. We do not have to get our knickers in a knot about this. Unbelievers have been distorting the Bible for millennia. We just have to come back with the truth.

#2. “One can only imagine the uproar had Aronofsky chosen to call the Creator “The Powers”–which would have been quite biblical. In the Noah film this nameless One is constantly referred to as “the Creator,” but used in a very personal way by all the characters in the film–good and bad. According to Exodus 6:3 God did not make Himself known by His personal name Yahweh (YHVH) or “the LORD” until the time of Moses.”

Tabor is a bit dishonest here as he leaves out the Patriarchs’ names from that passage of scripture. God was referring to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob not Noah. We do not know what name he used with him or Adam and Eve for that matter. Thus Tabor’s idea of a generic meaning doesn’t fit the biblical text and unbelievers would not know the correct definition to use when looking at the meaning of God’s name.
By that I mean, they can choose whatever definition they want but they have no idea if they got the right one. They could be simply changing the definition to fit their unbelief.

#3. “Aronofsky portrays the righteous descendants of Seth–through Methuselah, Lamech, and Noah, preserving this “peaceable kingdom” of non-violence and harmony with nature, whereas the murderous descendants of Cain had filled the earth with violence and “corrupted its ways upon the earth.”

Here Tabor misses the boat because there was no dividing of the descendants of either. The biblical text groups both lines into one category—very sinful. So sinful that God had remorse about creating them and that only 1 was found worthy. We are not given the spiritual status of Noah’s family, just his. In Genesis 4:26 we are only told that ‘men’ started to call on the name of the Lord. It is generic telling us that most likely both lines of people had members calling on God and both lines had very sinful people.

#4. “Noah’s family represents the last remnant of hope for humankind’s peaceable ideal in which violence toward humans or beasts is quelled and warfare ceases”

No. They were given the opportunity to replenish the earth because of Noah’s righteousness and they alone were saved because they did not participate in the sinful activities that brought the pre-flood world to destruction. (I will include Noah’s family here hoping they were not as bad as the others because of Noah’s influence)
There was no last hope of humankind in the account at all. The humans rejected God’s way of salvation thus they had no hope for the future. They didn’t even believe a flood was going to come so why would they have a ‘last hope for humankind’?
#5. “There could be no stronger expression of the “devaluing” of humans than we find in the Bible in the time of Noah.”
What devaluing of humans was there? The text describes them exactly as they were-very sinful. That Is not devaluing them at all but stating that their behavior was far from what God wanted his people to do. I would need more of an explanation from Tabor ion this point than he gives because setting a standard and then saying that people failed to meet that standard is not devaluing them but telling the situation as it is and that people need to do better.

#6. “The issue is whether the Creation itself has been so marred and destroyed by human behavior that it is best wiped away as a failed attempt by God to create creatures in His image–who nonetheless have free will and the “knowledge of good and evil.”

It wasn’t a “failed attempt by God to create humans in his image” God successfully did that. What Tabor fails to acknowledge is man’s freedom to choose and places the blame on God here saying God failed and humans are better than he. He ignores the fact that it is the humans who failed because they refused to follow God’s way and, like today, chose to follow evil.
We do not have any records of what those people did or how it affected creation, all records are lost of that time and maybe that is a good thing; for the example of the pre-flood world might give suggestions to the post-flood and make things on earth worse than they are now.

It was humans who failed yet Tabor is like so many other people who reject God—they refuse to take responsibility for their choices and actions and put the 100% of the blame on God.

#7. “Tubal-Cain, played by Ray Winstone, represents an ultimately opposite perspective. For him what makes a man truly a man is the complete independence from any Creator or any other moral code–forging his individual way in the earth through his power and his choices.”

We do not have any record that Tubal-Cain and Noah actually knew each other or if they even lived in the same area. These far-fetched ideas of Hollywood is what ruins their version of events. As does the depiction (read further in that paragraph at Tabor’s site) of Ham killing Tubal-Cain.
Pure fantasy and nonsensical. This is why believers do not have to worry about these type of movies—the unbeliever ruins it for themselves.
Just so you know, the Hebrew Bible is part of the Christian Bible. Tabor’s , and other scholars, attempt to separate the two fail because you cannot have the Christian Bible without the Hebrew one. The latter is the foundation for the former and the attempts to separate them means that scholars want to divorce history from the Christian Bible and faith.
Next up is Robert Cargill. His perspective can be found at:
http://robertcargill.com/2014/03/28/some-old-articles-about-noah-in-anticipation-of-the-new-movie-about-noah/

#1. Religious conservatives always freak out whenever anyone messes with their ancient myths. Well, allow me to clarify: as long as you retell the myth as it is preserved in the Bible, you’re praised as a good and faithful servant and an excellent producer/director/actor.”

First off as you read his words you will see that Cargill is using the word ‘myth’ a lot. It gives the impression that he is trying to convince himself that the Bible and Noah’s flood is a myth and that by repeating the word over and over again his wish that it is all a myth will come true.
Second, he is attacking an idea that he himself probably uses with his students. If they do what he wants and say the things the way he wants then they get a commendation and praise. So why is he attacking Christians for doing the same thing?
Third, the Bible doesn’t belong to unbelievers thus it is not theirs to twist and change to fit their heart’s desires. Of course believers will get upset because unbelievers are tinkering with something they do not have permission to tinker with. I am sure he would cry foul if believers tinkered with his curriculum without his consent.

#2. “Remember, a worldwide flood has been disproved time and again. It’s a myth preserved in the Bible, which was based upon much earlier flood myths that were incorporated into the biblical narrative.”

Really? That is news to me. In fact no one has disproven anything about the Bible and this is more of Cargill’s wishful thinking. We have more evidence for Noah’s flood than we do for his wedding and 4th anniversary (see his previous post ).
He also ignores the fact that there has been only 1 global flood and no one knows what the evidence would look like thus they cannot present any evidence to the contrary. There was a news story recently talking about the possibility of extra water in the earth’s core (I mentioned it before). The recent discoveries keep producing evidence that shows the Bible to be fact not myth.
As for the incorporation of other myths, he is without evidence to support that claim. It is more of a myth than he claims Noah’s flood to be because we have evidence for the flood and there is no evidence for copying other flood stories by the biblical authors.

#3. “But when Darren Aronofsky retells the biblical flood myth as “Noah”, religious conservatives weep and gnash their teeth. And why are biblical myths so sacrosanct?”

Because the Bible is God’s holy word and it Is not to be changed by anyone.
“and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.” Rev. 22:19
And there is a similar warning in Deut. As well, I just do not remember the exact reference. The Bible is not the unbeliever’s toy that they can do anything they want to it or its words. Just because Cargill doesn’t believe doesn’t mean unbelievers have the right or freedom to trample the Holy writings of other people.
#4. “They believe it really happened, regardless of what science says. The myth is to be believed over science, but only when the myth is preserved in the Bible. If it’s a myth of another religious tradition, then it’s OK to accept science, and even to use science to disprove the myth. But if the myth is in the Bible, science suddenly sucks.”
Cargill really sounds like a whiner here. Science is not an authority to be used to determine if something happened in history or not. Such determinations are beyond the scope and authority of science. Also, most science is conducted by unbelievers thus the information they provide is not objective, honest or unbiased, thus their words cannot be trusted to tell the truth.
People are given a choice—believe God or not and those who believe God are not doing anything wrong. They are going with the truth and using faith as God wants. They are also being obedient to God’s word where they reject false teaching and false teachers.
He is wrong about other religious writings. Believers do not take science over their words, they take God’s word over those alternatives. He misses the boat on this as well.

#5. “Look, they are myths. And this is modern motion picture art reinterpreting ancient literary art.”

Evidence please. Cargill’s word is not good enough. No scholar anywhere at any time has evidence to support this statement. His declaring that the Bible is a myth means nothing except that he doesn’t want to believe God or the Bible. He will take the lies and destruction of evil over God’s word and salvation.
It is sad to see but Cargill refuses to allow those with the truth to post on his site thus he stops up his ears whenever he is going to be shown how wrong he really is.

#6. “So relax and enjoy the movie”

You can go see the movie just do not buy into the secular ideas in it. We know it isn’t a true depiction but it may give us openings to tell unbelievers the true story and win souls for Christ. So instead of being offended by the portrayal use it for God’s advantage and plant seeds or win the souls for Christ. We believers have the truth and we have nothing to be afraid of—even this movie.
Oh and remember—it was ‘different kinds’ not all the animals Noah took on the ark thus the situation was much better on the ark than unbelievers think.

(The format may be different from normal because I wrote this first on Microsoft office then transferred it here)

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Posted by on March 31, 2014 in Bible, history, theology

 

Something To Think About

Two posts at other websites demonstrate why those who believe science over God’s word are not following God nor have the truth:

#1. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2014/03/converting-to-the-scientific-method.html

Mocking others doesn’t lead to conversions  nor do they convince people that they are wrong.

 

#2. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2014/03/antievolutionism-is-a-tool-of-satan-2.html

The problem for McGrath and others who hold to alternatives is that they have no scriptural foundation for their alternative beliefs. The Bible does not say to rely upon secular science or go to secular science for the answers but it does say to use faith

Hebrews 11 says:

Now faith is the [a]assurance of things [b]hoped for, the [c]conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old [d]gained approval.

By faith we understand that the [e]worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

McGraths’ attack on faith is wrong and his claim that anti-evolution is of satan shows that he is not of God but full of satan  himself.

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2014 in Bible, creation, science

 

Is It Now A Soap Opera?

As much as I would like to avoid talking about Mars Hill church and Mark Driscoll it just doesn’t seem possible. What I know about that church and its members is only what I read on other people’s websites, which means I am getting a very distorted view of the events and people involved in that circus.

What adds to the circus atmosphere are all the bloggers who chime in with their half-truths, and personal viewpoints on the goings on at that church. Jim West is one of those biased people who likes to distort people’s perspective on the situation and he just won’t let it go for some weird reason.

I do not know what West has against Driscoll or Mars Hill but he should not be the one to talk as he disbelieves most of the Bible and thinks it was written solely for scholars. Yet he posts a link to what could have been an interesting website

http://zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com/2014/03/29/the-former-staff-of-mars-hill-are-publicly-repenting/

So I go to that new website hoping to find something real, something honest about Driscoll and his church. I didn’t. What I found was a very unbiblical place where people seemed to ignore biblical guidelines in handling problems. The Bible says

24 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive [a]by him to do his will. (2 Tim. 2:24-26 NASB)

23 Therefore if you are presenting your [g]offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your [h]offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your [i]offering. (Mt. 5 NASB)

In searching through the Bible for this topic I found no teaching that we are to do what that website does publicly for all to read and hear.  What happens at Mars Hill between members and former members should remain between them not put out on the internet for unaffected people to hear.

Such activities do tempt those outside of that congregation to sin and to harbor unChristian thoughts about the church, its pastor and its members. I say this because of one particular page over at that website:

http://sinrepentancegraceforgiveness.blogspot.kr/

If you can’t get to it through that link then try this one

http://sinrepentancegraceforgiveness.blogspot.kr/

It is just one big attack, point the finger failing to take responsibility for one’s own choices tirade. It shouldn’t be for public viewing. The person says he loves the people at that church yet this public posting denies that claim.

I say these things because I find no biblical teaching that tells us to air our dirty laundry. All that does is open up God, Jesus and the church to ridicule, not the purpose most people have in mind when they do these actions in public.

The confessions and apologies should also be done privately for many reasons. Most people are not and were not members of Mars Hill church and it is none of their business. They were not the offended parties and they should not be privy to these actions.

These type of apologies and confessions can and do lead to the wrong kind of pride leading people to sin in another area of life. I tend to find these type of confessions more phony, done out of duty or are forced and contain very little sincerity or honesty.

Another reason is that the offended party might be embarrassed by the public disclosure. The lack of sensitivity in the church is well-known and people need to take measures to meet the needs of those they are confronting or apologizing to.

Making a decision for them is not the right thing to do.

But you can judge for yourselves by reading them at this link

http://repentantpastor.com/category/confessions/

That website is very incomplete and I do not like it. I sense it is doing the right thing the wrong way and opening people up to ridicule, sinful attacks, embarrassment and other nonbiblical acts. I am not saying they should not confess and apologize, I am saying that there is a better way that doesn’t hurt the cause of Christ or Christian growth.

Right now, that website seems to be doing a ‘piling on’ of Mark Driscoll and the Mars Hill church, because that is the popular thing to do at this time. It also looks to be narcissistic where the people doing he confessions and apologies take a ‘look at me’ approach (whether that is true or not remains to be seen).

What also bothers me is the generalities mentioned in those apologies. Why mention anything at all if you are not going to be specific? This is another clue for me to think that there is little biblical foundation for these actions and why these confessions and apologies should be done at Mars Hill church and not the internet, because the generalities allow people to speculate and come to false conclusions.

These people may be sincere but too much is left to doubt. If they are not allowed to go back to the church building to conduct these confessions and apologies then there are better ways than saying everything over  the internet to reach those offended.

And more.  It’s pretty amazing.  Amazing indeed.  How Mark Driscoll can possibly remain Pastor of that Church is today’s greatest mystery.

This kind of commentary provides evidence to what I am talking about. I am reminded about how David treated King Saul as he would not talk against the Lord’s anointed even though Saul strayed from following God and threatened to kill him.

I think calling people to pray for Driscoll, Mars Hill church, its members (both current and former) is far better than trying to get the guy fired or taking pot shots at him. We do need to pray for them, for if their actions are unscriptural then it is God, Jesus and the church as a whole who are hurt making it harder to in souls to Christ.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2014 in Bible, General Life, theology

 

Where Do I Begin- 3

Almost done. This should get me caught up for now.

#1. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2014/03/creationism-in-proverbs.html

Proverbs emphasizes that it is a fool who refuses to accept correction. Based on that, who are the fools when it comes to science?

Yes Proverbs does say that but it does not refer to Christians accepting correction from those who do not believe God. Nor does it mean that Christians do not take false teaching over the truth.

McGrath has it backwards. Science does not trump God or God’s word and he needs to consider the source before demanding that creationist accept any correction.  But as we see, those who accept alternatives, like McGrath does, distort scripture to force believers to drop the truth and head for their falsehoods.

That whole post is based upon some new discovery in Brazil and you can click on the link in McGrath’s post to get to the story but that discovery has nothing to do with migration.  It isn’t just the dates that are off but the idea that the stone tools imply any sort of evidence for migration.

Anyone can make stone tools and their construction is not limited to one era. There is no way to tell when those stone tools were made or for what purpose. Because scientists have no way of knowing how people moved in ancient times or what implements they had the best they can do is make things up.

I say make things up because they do not know where the pierces of the puzzle actually go so they are left blindly placing them in a pattern until they have had enough guessing and just go with whatever sounds good.

The people who need correction are the scientists, not the creationists.

#2. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/10729717/Brian-Sewell-Why-I-will-never-be-converted-to-gay-marriage.html

What is the marriage of two men or two women other than a public declaration of their partnership, a natural, secular and universal institution almost as old as civilisation? What then are the differences between marriage and a civil partnership? None, if they take place before a registrar in a registry or other authorised setting; only if Christianity is involved is there any distinction.

Without Christianity, no one would know right from wrong and the above quote demonstrates that fact.  This is why so many people want to eliminate or omit Christianity from any aspect of life. It gets in the way of their doing what they want and makes them realize that they are wrong.

Jesus said his followers are the light of the world and the world hates having that duty fulfilled. Same-sex marriage is more than just a public declaration of their partnership, it is sin and we all know that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Nothing good comes from same-sex marriage or the support of homosexuality.

Those who practice abnormal activities will always find a way to attack those who participate in normal ones:

The conventional marriage between a man and a woman now seems almost always to be an occasion of absurd extravagance, a white dress never to be worn again, toffs’ clothes previously worn by a thousand other sweating men, a white Rolls-Royce or two, food, drink, dancing and embarrassment, but it was not always so.

Not everyone celebrates a heterosexual marriage in the same way thus this attack falls short. These attacks are common and they are usually very generalized to emphasize their point. They are blind and deceived thus their analysis of past practices are very altered and unable to produce the truth.

They also ignore the role that God plays–he sets the boundaries for he is the one who created marriage and he alone declares what marriage is. Not the courts, the governments or those who do not want to play by God’s rules.

#3. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2014/03/heaven-is-for-young-sociopaths.html

How can the eternal torment of others not impact the bliss of those in heaven?

First, I doubt that God placed hell very close to his home where his followers would be troubled by the screams of the tormented. It wouldn’t be heaven if the suffering of those who rejected Christ were heard all the time.

Second, Those sent to hell made their choice after being told about the gospel or Jesus and God all their lives. If they weren’t told by people, there were many churches built and everyone knew their purpose.

For those who were not privy to all of that had God’s creation pointing them to God not evolution. They made their choice as well.

Third,the author’s of that quote doesn’t understand anything about heaven or God. God is just thus the eternal torment is the sentence they got, after being told that would be their sentence for their failure to repent. One cannot feel sorry for those who received a just sentence for their crimes. Even those receiving their sentence understand they have nothing to be angry about when the punishment is just. They know they did the crime so do those who reject Jesus as their savior.

The question of how there can be an eternal paradise with beings like us in it is a conundrum for most visions of heaven.

People who refuse to follow God’s way for salvation want heaven to be just like earth– inclusive and for everyone. It would not be heaven if sin was allowed to enter in. Nor would it be paradise if suffering were allowed to continue. People want to go to heaven but they do not want to give up sin in order to do so.

#4. http://unsettledchristianity.com/2014/03/an-ethical-take-on-homosexuality-in-scripture/

Yet, that is not the case. I believe that as a Christian, Scripture is an authoritative guide; however, we must use it reasonably within the framework of our theological tradition and not simply how we desire to read it.

After reading those words one must ask, why have a Bible at all if fallible man gets to change what it says to fit their desires? The author accuses Christians of using scriptures for their own desires when they speak against homosexuality but that is exactly what he proposes with that statement.

He wants to use scripture to support his desires, one being that homosexuality is not wrong. Believers cannot listen to a person like that simply because he is disallowing others to do what he does and that isn’t of God or just, let alone fair.

Those who support homosexuality do not want it to be a sin or wrong because they want to think of themselves as upstanding people worthy of heaven. They do not want to think about heading to hell, in other words they like to deceive themselves in order to enjoy their earthly lives.

The post linked to in Watts’ website is just another jealous and anger-filled speech that refuses to accept the truth and tries to rewrite scripture to make it say something it doesn’t.

Watts has another article on homosexuality

http://unsettledchristianity.com/2014/03/sodom-and-insert-your-community-here/

where he talks about the sins of Sodom but he isn’t convincing here. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah didn’t just do one sin even though one gets the most press. If one takes a close look at homosexuals and homosexuality  getting past the surface face homosexuals put on for the public and one would see how vile that preference really is.

Since there is nothing of God in the homosexual preference then there are no moral boundaries guiding the homosexual. Sure they can say they have morals but since their preference is already immoral then their supposed morality is tainted and ineffectual.

They will commit many sins if they so desire and the constant lawsuits we see taking place today brought by homosexuals lends support to this point. Like the pre-flood world, the people of Sodom and Gomorrah pushed God too far and went well past the point of no return. Homosexuality was a part of the sins those people practiced and it helped lead them to destruction for it broke down the barriers that guarded against the other sins.

#5. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/2014/03/my-spot-on-editorial-on-a-movie-i-havent-seen-or-omg-noah-gets-the-bible-wrong/

For generations of children’s Sunday School classes and Vacation Bible Schools, conservative Christians have already done a fine job of getting the Noah story wrong, so to get upset now strikes me as a stunning lack of self-awareness.

Peter Enns has his take on the Noah movie and how it relates to the Christian life. As you can see, he calls Christians who believe the truth wrong. Here is his point:

The caption, which reflects perfectly how the flood story is often spun, reads, “God’s love never fails.”

I’m completely down with that idea, but I certainly don’t get that from the flood story.

What I do get, and which I suggest as an alternate caption, is, “God’s love never fails (for Noah and his family).”

People like Enns focus on the real issue here and start to blame God for being immoral, failing in love and so on. What he and others ignore is that only Noah and his family obeyed God, the rest of the population did not.

God’s love never failed the rest of the world for he provided a way our from the destruction to come but NONE of them chose that option. SO how did God fail them? It seems that they fail God by choosing to reject his offer.

Or better: “Ancient Israelites, living in a world of already very ancient stories of a catastrophic deluge (likely occurring around 2900 BCE) that left ancient peoples scrambling for answers about why the gods would do such a thing, adapted that story to say something of theological significance for them by way of contrast with these other ancient stories.

The ancients weren’t scrambling for answers, they already knew them because the Flood was real and Noah and his family lived for a long time after the flood, telling their descendents about the judgment of God.

Why would God do such a thing? The answer is something Enns and others like him do not want to hear. It is because they disobeyed God and sinned. Again, Romans backs this up–for the wages of sin is death– and we get a very clear picture of that message from God to his creation with the Flood.

There was no adaption by the biblical authors, Enns just can’t believe the truth. Enns goes on talking about the Christian reaction to the movie and how they think the gospel is at stake with this version.

I do not know who would think the gospel is at stake but I do know they might not like the lying about the Bible. Enns just doesn’t grasp this fact and misdirects people’s attention from the truth.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2014 in academics, Bible, creation, history, homosexuality

 

Where Do I Begin-2

This weekend will be continuing to catch up on all the topics out there. Although I have written a post on the new Noah movie this topic isn’t going away.

#1. http://zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/the-onion-gets-noah-the-movie/

West actually has two posts on this movie but it is this one which contains the point I want to address. In the first 10 seconds of this clip we are informed that the Bible record is wrong and that Noah’s mission was to save the animals.

This is far from the truth as the movie’s premise takes all thought off of the human disobedience to God and their punishment for sin and makes the biblical record into an environmental tale.

The unbelieving world will go to great lengths to hide from the truth and stop themselves from having to deal with the reality of their lives and choices. If the biblical record was a myth, then the unbelieving world would have no problem with dealing with the story as it is written. It wouldn’t mean anything but the unbelieving reaction to the story of Noah and other bible accounts provide evidence that the Bible is true.

#2. http://unsettledchristianity.com/2014/03/noah-is-unapologetically-theological-first-thoughts/

#1. Noah is the first major, at least modern, representation of the tragedy, the horror, the genocide that is the Great Deluge enshrined in our biblical text.

The key words here are ‘tragedy’ ‘horror’ & ‘genocide’. These words give us Watts position on the biblical account of God’s punishment of sinful people. Notice that Watts and others like him think their view of morality is greater than God’s

They also refuse to acknowledge that they are wrong, sinners and in need of a savior to avoid the same fate as those disobedient people received for their unrepentant sinful ways. Punishment for disobedience is not a tragedy,it is not a horror nor is it genocide, it is punishment.

We must question those who distort punishment into those categories and ask what makes their idea of punishment greater than anyone else’s, even God’s? Where do they get their authority from to make such judgments and who is that authority greater than another person’s? hose morality are they using as the standard for all people?

#2. but the very real, and plain sense, portrayal of a God who creates a wonderful world, but after a series of misfortunes — actions he could have helped his creation to avoid — he simply abandons them to their own free will devices. After ten generations, he decides it is time to judge them. During the meantime, he has no contact with the line of Cain and only spotty, questionable contact with the line of Seth.

There are some pretty harsh words here on the part of Watts and a hole lot of speculation as to what took place in the pre-flood world. I wonder where Watts gets his information from? He is wrong on all accounts by the way.

First, Watts says God could have avoided those misfortunes but God gave the pre-flood population the same free choice as he did the post-flood people, so if the pre-flood people ignore God’s ways and exercise their freedom to choose to opt for sinful ways what do you think is going to happen?

That era is going to be as bad or worse as the modern era. God has provided a way in the modern world to avoid this ‘misfortune’ yet people,like Watts, refuse to choose to follow it. God isn’t the problem here yet Watts wants to pass the buck and blame God for his and people’s choices to follow sin.

Second, Watts charges God with abandonment yet did God abandon his creation or did they simply abandon God? Watts likes to blame God for the actions of humans. There were men of God at that time who would have preached God’s message and God gave them plenty of time to repent, why is it that God is accused and not the sinful people?

Third, he accuses God of abandoning the line of Cain and having spotty relations with Seth’s descendents, yet Watts doesn’t see the scripture very well:

26 To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call [s]upon the name of the Lord. (Gen. 4NASB)

We see by this verse that Cain’s lime is not left out of any relationship with God. The generic term ‘men’ doesn’t restrict that group to Seth’s line only. Watts makes an assumption he cannot prove. We do not know how man’s relationship with God was at the time. What we do know is that those men dwindled down till there were only 4 left.

Nor do we know if Cain’s line was left out of the ark. I cannot prove this but look at these verses in Genesis 4:

20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. 22 As for Zillah, she also gave birth to Tubal-cain, the forger of all implements of bronze and iron; and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.

If Cain’s line had all these ‘fathers of’ then it is possible that Noah’s sons took wives from the line of Cain and Naamah is the name of one of their wives. Or it is possible that the sons of Noah learnt these crafts from Cain’s line and carried the knowledge into the post-flood world.

We just do not know. But still this lack of information does not warrant unprovoked attacks against God. People, like Watts, want very specific wording before they will admit to being wrong. They are being lazy by refusing to acknowledge the words God uses covers the very ground they question. They are like spoiled little children who throw a temper tantrum every time they do not get what they want.

#3. Believers are often faced with the questions we so avidly see displayed on screen. How could this wonderful creator, without cause — and indeed, he is more guilty than his creation — cause such destruction?

Just because sinful man doesn’t see a cause doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Then a person carrying out punishment is not guilty of a crime or disobedience. To say that administering punishment is a crime means those guilty of actual crime should be allowed to live as they please no matter whom they hurt.

There is something lost when people attack those bringing punishment and the type of punishment used. Usually what is lost is the desire to be obedient and righteous which are replaced by the desire to live as one pleases and make right and wrong along with morality, subjective.

#4. In one stark image we are allowed to see the true horror of the story. Underneath the oceans of water there lies the whole of humankind, including women and children. We are reminded near the end of the movie that many who died were “good.” Yet, it was not these who were pulled to the surface and saved, but the animals. And Noah. The same Noah who spends many months plotting to kill the innocent in the name of his God.

The true horror of the story is that too many modern people are ignoring the lesson of the Flood and they will end up in hell along with those post-flood sinners. People are refusing to see that unrepentant sin is punished and that sin is not good.

How can those people be good? They rejected God’s offer of salvation and continued to live disobedient, sinful lives. Romans tells us that no one is good, that we all have fallen short and our wages for being sinners is death. Romans backs up Noah’s flood account. They weren’t good, they were like Sodom and Gomorrah where there weren’t even 10 righteous people left on earth–including the children.

The other fallacy of that quote is the charge that Noah plotted anything, especially to kill the innocent. Noah was a righteous man he could not kill anyone,let alone think up a plot to kill them. Nor would he include innocent people in that plot. The character assassination of Noah is amazing here.

Noah obeyed God’s commands and that is all he is guilty of.

#5. It is not the actual science of our creation, overlayed with the myth of Genesis 1, that will startle the earnest believer. Rather, it is the poignant reminder that God forsook his Creation for 10 generations (according to Scripture) only to murder even the innocent.

There is no science to creation and there is no myth of Genesis but with the type of thinking found in that quote  it is easy to see how Watts would accuse God of forsaking his creation.

He has it backwards, of course, as just like today when God provided a way out through Jesus, men refuse to accept that ay out and continue to seek alternatives. God is not at fault for man’s refusal to accept his plan of salvation.

Accusing God of murder means that Watts thinks he is greater than God and can judge God’s actions. That is heresy at its finest. God tells us that his ways are higher than ours and it is true for unbelieving humans cannot understand how God acts and apply deceived ideas to his actions.

It is unbelieving man who has to change not God.

#6. But, even with all of this, there is a message we can grasp and it is just as powerfully deep as the other message is repugnant. It is that God will provide if we find the love hidden in us.

Watts seems to think that we have the ability to save ourselves and all we have to do is find this hidden secret feeling of love. He omits Jesus from the picture for some reason for our salvation only comes from repenting of our sins and believing in the him not from finding some hidden inner feeling of love.

Unbelievers can love, so love is not our form of salvation. It is through Jesus alone as he said–I am the way the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the father but by me.–

People like Watts want alternatives to the truth, they do not want to learn the true message God brings thus they distort the gospel message and the biblical record thus e get movies like this Noah one. A movie that has no foundation in the word of God and doe snot have anything of God in it.

Believers need to be alert and not succumb to the distorted and wrong message brought by that movie. I am not going to say stay away from it because believers may need to see it in order to find the information needed to refute it. We do need to talk intelligently on the subject thus we need to know what is actually being said and then follow the Holy Spirit to the counter arguments in order to present the truth to a world in spiritual need.

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2014 in academics, Bible, General Life, history, theology

 

Where Do I Begin

The websites I keep an eye on have been busy with many different topics so it is hard to determine which subject to focus upon. Tonight I think the one God wants addressed is the recantation by World Vision on its decision concerning homosexual couples.

As you know last night’s article was on how there is no such thing as gay Christians and a ‘committed same-sex relationship’ doesn’t change their spiritual standing with God. I have no problem with World Vision changing their minds and recanting because that is the Christian thing to do when one learns they made the wrong decision for the wrong reasons.

When a believer errs then the only thing they can do is retreat and correct the error they made. A believer is not just representing themselves, they are representing Christ and God’s kingdom thus uncorrected wrong decisions  have deeper implications. This applies to charities, businesses and corporations.

One does not continue in wrong decisions simply because they made a decision and they do not want to embarrass themselves or fear that correcting a bad decision makes them look unChristian. The problem I have with World Vision’s initial decision is that if they were truly of God, they would not make such a decision without God’s leading or input.

Yet, they made the decision on their own and it blew up in their faces. God would not lead them to call those unrepentant homosexuals who are married to a same-sex partner Christian. He would not allow sin to enter the congregation, he would not call evil good and would not lead his people to do it either.

Though I like the recantation, I question how close World Vision is to God and Christ. It seems they are more bent on pleasing non-believers than they are God. Others do not like this recantation and here are a few quotes with commentary.

#1. People or organizations which change their minds and views with the political winds have no views or minds of their own to change.  There’s a huge difference between changing policies because of reasoned and persuasive argument on the one hand and bowing to political reality on the other. Spinelessness isn’t becoming to any beast but a worm. (http://zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/on-the-decision-of-worldvision-an-observation/)

I do not agree with West on this because I do not think World Vision was going with political winds but saw their spiritual error because so many churches & believers let them know what was what.

It wasn’t a political decision for those who were pulling out of supporting World Vision because a continuous sinful action was being included in what is supposed to be a Christian organization and purpose. You can’t lump these spiritual corrections in with spinelessness or changing political views. The three have nothing in common. Spiritual decisions involve obeying God and that fact is not present in the other two.

Christians have to make sure that they are in line with God’s teaching not alternatives.

#2. So… The decision by World Vision to respect denominational differences so that there can be a united voice on ending poverty was reversed. In other words, it is more important to discriminate against those you believe are sinners than it is to unite to end something we all generally agree is evil. (http://unsettledchristianity.com/2014/03/my-statement-on-the-world-vision-reversal/)

I disagree with Watts here because World Vision’s decision and the Christian uproar have nothing to do with discrimination but that word is often used by those who do not accept God’s word thus distorting the real issue.

The real issue here is that World Vision is going off the rails spiritually and Christians wanted to get them back on the right road. World Vision is not discriminating against homosexual couples when they restrict who can work for them. World Vision claims to be Christian thus they must abide by God’s biblical rules or they are hypocrites.

Either way, World Vision cannot win in the eyes of those who do not believe thus it is better for them to side with God because the secular world can only “kill the body not the body and soul” like God can.

World Vision cannot unite believers by including sin in the congregation. As the Bible says :What fellowship does light have with darkness? (2 Cor. 6:14) God does not allow sin in his kingdom and neither should Christians allow sin  in either.

#4. What led to the change? The word that springs immediately to mind is bullying. Many Evangelicals vocally expressed their dismay and promised to stop supporting World Vision. (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2014/03/world-vision-day.html)

Yes Christians can bully but when it comes to this decision I would think that is a hard accusation to prove. When believers are correcting other believers who have chosen to do something that is not of God it is not bullying.

Paul tells us that ‘scriptures is for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training for righteousness…’ (2 Tim. 3:16). Of course, these activities need to be done correctly with the help of the Holy Spirit. Those who lay charges that Christians are bullying World Vision are simply placing their own distorted ideas on the situation.

Christians are allowed to withdraw from supporting a charity or business if those organizations stray from God’s word. They are also allowed to say that those organizations are wrong and on it goes. I did not read every angry reply but when it comes to spiritual issues the word bullying should not be the first thing that comes to mind.

Just because some people who accept alternatives think that a superficial definition of the word Christian trumps God’s word and it doesn’t. If people want to be called Christian then they need to follow God’s rules which means that those who do not obey or practice sin are not part of the kingdom of God and do not belong in Christian affairs.

#5. This whole situation has left me feeling frustrated, heartbroken, and lost. I don’t think I’ve ever been more angry at the Church, particularly the evangelical culture in which I was raised and with which I for so long identified. I confess I had not realized the true extent of the disdain many evangelicals have toward LGBT people, nor had I expected World Vision to yield to that disdain by reversing its decision under financial pressure. (http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/world-vision-update)

I disagree with Miss Evans simply because she ignores God’s will on this issue  and on her own decided to include sinful people in the kingdom of God when God clearly states they are not included or welcome. They would be welcome if they repented of their sins and gave up homosexuality and same-sex marriage but the LGBT community does not want to do that.

They want to keep their sinful desires and still be allowed into into heaven. God doesn’t work that way and he has made it clear that sin is not welcome and one must be born again. The book of 1 John goes into further details on this.

We must ask, who does Miss Evans think she is that she gets to change God’s rules? It is a question we can apply to all those who reject certain biblical teachings and adopt alternative ideas. They are not God nor do they have any authority to make those changes yet they think they can and then attack those who refuse to disobey God and stand with him.

Something has to change. And I’m as committed as ever to being a part of that change. (IBID)

So we know that she is not of God because she wants to change the church from being obedient to God’s ways into one that is disobedient and she is very wrong. The Church must go by God’s rules or it isn’t the church of God.

#6. I’m also saddened that in the end, the New Evangelicals forced World Vision to do exactly what they criticized them for in the first place: cave to the demands of culture and money. To me, this was the biggest show of hypocrisy of the whole thing. I’m just sad- I don’t know how else to describe it. (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/world-vision-announces-new-radically-consistent-employment-standards/)

He does make a good point and the church should pay attention to other sins BUT there is a difference between those sins and homosexuality. First, God does not call them an abomination like he does homosexuality. Second, God does not, that I am aware, give people over to those other sins like he does homosexuality.

Third, God did not destroy 4 cities and a whole geographical area and left it desolate as an example for future generations like he did  to homosexuals. We do need to preach against all sins but those sins are not paraded around in public as a ‘natural choice’ nor are pride parades held in different cities around the world for them and those sins are not upheld as a normal way of life.

Homosexuality is a big problem and as I said in the last article, in the OT Israelite world, those who participate in this unnatural preference are to be put to death. Those other sins do not get the same punishment. One more item needs to be pointed out, no one calls those other sins an accepted way of life, in fact many people who acknowledge the practice of those other sins admit they are wrong yet the homosexual refuses to make that confession.

One question to ask the owner of that site is, ‘given his education, he knows that God views homosexuality is wrong, then why is he supporting it and those who continue to participate in that sinful preference? Nothing of God is found in homosexuality so why is he defending them and calling their sinful relationships good?

Christians are trying to keep a supposed Christian organization on the right track, why are people who claim to be Christian fighting against God and helping those organizations down the path to destruction?

#7. The problem with not being the kind of blogger that writes instantly on every little thing is that I hadn’t even had an opportunity praise Word Vision before they let me down.

Let me just add something here that I said on Twitter. This whole “pro-tradional marraige” position is total garbage. In reality this decision is not “pro-marriage.” It is pro-adultury, pro-fornication, and pro-deception, as it forces gay and lesbian employees of World Vision to remain in the closet, and prevents them from entering into precsisely the kinds of loving marital relationships that World Vision insists are part of its vision of a fulfilled Christian life. (http://scottpaeth.typepad.com/main/2014/03/the-world-vision-reversal-interpreted.html)

This person calls the ‘pro-traditional marriage garbage’ yet God is pro-traditional marriage so I guess he thinks God is garbage. One must ask, since the LGBT members know the rules of World Vision why are they violating them and applying for and entering employment with  that charity?

Or any religious organization? That makes them the rule breakers not World Vision and it makes them wrong for knowingly doing it.  The LBGT members are not innocent victims here yet we do not hear the above supporters saying one word against this sinful act. They rather draw attention away from this behavior and attack those who are trying to keep Christians in the kingdom of God.

After participating in many discussions on same-sex marriage, I have been shown by God that homosexuals are not really married. The union that exists between a man and woman does not exist in homosexual relationships and it is impossible for those practicing sinful acts to be part of the Christian life.

The accusatory words (pro-adultery, fornication, deception)  are empty because being denied employment by World Vision does not originate such sinful acts. The LBGT members participate in them no matter whom they work for or not. It is just a way to pass the blame and responsibility on those innocent of such behavior.

He can be disappointed in Christian institutions all he wants but he is missing the point. He really should be disappointed in himself for letting himself be deceived and led astray from the truth by evil.

#8. Way to take a stand, World Vision. Way to cave in to the people who would rather let children starve than allow gay people to help feed them. Can’t have donors running around thinking you’re tolerant, can you…? (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2014/03/26/world-vision-u-s-we-made-a-mistake-and-wont-be-hiring-gay-married-employees-anymore/)

Sorry but I still see this as cowardice and ignorance as those children can be served by other charities. But then, those who do not like God or his rules, or his followers need to find something to attack to feel justified for supporting sin.

#9. But here’s what encourages me and keeps me going: you all stepped up when we asked. I can’t count the number of emails, comments and messages I’ve received that said “I just went and sponsored a child”. One person even sponsored three! I’m also encouraged by the messages I’ve received that have said, “in spite of their reversal, I will not stop sponsoring this child”, which makes my heart sing. (op cit Formerly Fundie)

The problem here is that reactionary support is support for the wrong reasons. It is not done out of love, caring or the leading of God but out of hatred for those who withdrew their support for scriptural reasons.

It is the children who suffer in the long ring because these supposed rescuers do it for the publicity of looking better than others plus they can drop their support hen no one is looking or will hear about it.

The owner of that website talks about consistency yet he ignores the consistency that is applied. Most believers do not simply sign up and support a child because it is the ‘in’ thing to do. They find biblical reasons to do so and look to the leading of God as well.

Thus their withdrawal if done biblically and with the leading of God is consistent with their previous actions. Consistency is not defined by the unbeliever or those who reject many biblical passages thus his charges of inconsistency do not hold water.

But then, those who disagree with Christians ignore so much in order to judge and attack others. They do not even take into account that those withdrawing from World Vision may be trying to support those same children via other agencies. But then they do not care, they just see an opening and abuse it for their own purpose.

Believers are not to listen to such people. They are to be consistent with God’s word and obey it first. This fact is lost on those who reject God and his word whether they be claiming t be Christian or not.

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2014 in Bible, General Life, homosexuality, theology

 

What Does God Say

Much is said about homosexuality and those who practice it do not see anything wrong with their preference. They dismiss what God says about their choice because that is what they want to practice. They do not want to abide by what God laid out for relationships and marriage.

Just so everyone is clear, here is what God says about Homosexuality:

22 You shall not lie with a male as [a]one lies with a female; it is an abomination. (Lev. 18 NASB)

13 If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them. (Lev. 22 NASB)

In the OT God does not tolerate homosexuality at all and he gives a clear, strong message in the New:

On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [a]effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. (I Cor. 6 NASB)

realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers 10 [a]and [b]immoral men [c]and homosexuals [d]and kidnappers [e]and liars [f]and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted. (I Tim. 1 NASB)

We see by God’s standards that homosexuality is not welcome nor an approved sexual practice. Yet many ignore what God says and go their own route. Why would they do that? Their own route and homosexuals have nothing to  offer anyone. They do not have a plan of salvation, a new home to take adherents to nor can they offer eternal life to anyone.

So why would anyone want to support what God has called evil? Here is what God says about calling evil, good:

Not one of these men, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I swore to give your fathers, (Deut. 1:35 NASB)

Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it. (Ps. 34:14 NASB)

Depart from evil and do good, So you will abide forever.. (Ps. 37:27 NASB)

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (Is. 5:20 NASB)

if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it. (Jer. 18:10NASB)

Seek good and not evil, that you may live; And thus may the Lord God of hosts be with you, Just as you have said! (Amos 5:14 NASB)

And I said,

“Hear now, heads of Jacob And rulers of the house of Israel.
Is it not for you to know justice? “You who hate good and love evil,
Who tear off their skin from them And their flesh from their bones,
Who eat the flesh of my people, Strip off their skin from them,
Break their bones And chop them up as for the pot
And as meat in a kettle. (Micah 3 NASB)

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. (Romans 12:9 NASB)

for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. (Rom. 13: 4 NASB)

See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people (1 Thess. 5:15 NASB)

Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. (1 Peter 2:12 NASB)

Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God. (3 John 1:11 NASB)

God speaks a lot more about staying away from evil and doing God but as we see in 3rd John, we can tell that there is nothing of God in homosexuality or same-sex marriage. God did not bless same-sex unions, he did not say that a man will leave his mother and father and join with another man or that a woman would leave her parents and join with another woman.

He said:

24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. (Gen. 2 NASB)

He also blessed Noah and his sons by saying:

And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. (Gen. 8 NASB)

Since they were all married God as not blessing same-sex unions but heterosexual ones. Jesus re-emphasized this by saying:

And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, (MT. 19:4)

There is no support for homosexuality in scripture which leads me to the next point. In that article where World Vision is explaining its decision to hire married gay christians

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/march-web-only/world-vision-why-hiring-gay-christians-same-sex-marriage.html?start=1

they call some homosexuals Christians. The problem is, we can see by scripture that there is no such thing as a gay Christian. For a homosexual to be part of the kingdom of God, they must do what Jesus said in John 3

Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born [b]again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”(NASB)

We know that the practice of homosexuality is not of God because homosexuals do not get to inherit God’s kingdom-1 Cor. 6:9 They must give up their practice of homosexuality, their desire for a same-sex partner and all other sin to be able to be part of god’s kingdom.

World Vision is wrong in calling practicing homosexuals christian. You can’t call good what God has declared evil. Homosexuality has no foundation in God at all and World Vision is making a big mistake by using the reasoning they do.

We must ask, where does the christian label end if homosexuals are allowed to be Christian? Do we protect Christian pedophiles? Christian rapists? Where do we stop on this slippery slope?

We stop where God stops and we do not include in the family of God those God has left out. There is only one type of Christian and if they do not meet God’s requirements, being born again, obeying his commandments, repenting from evil and so on then we cannot call them Christian.

****Update

I just saw this article, about an hour after I wrote the above

http://www.thewire.com/national/2014/03/world-vision-reverses-decision-to-allow-same-sex-marriage/359699/#disqus_thread

Two days ago, World Vision U.S., one of the largest Christian charities in the country, changed its guidelines to allow for employees in same-sex marriages. Now, it is reversing that decision.

The decision to allow gay marriage among employees was widely criticized, and many donors wrote as much on the charity’s Facebook page. One major Pentecostal denomination urged members to switch their World Vision contributions to other charities. Wednesday’s news caused them to relent as well.

The result of threats of potential lost funding caused World Vision’s board to vote unanimously on Wednesday to reverse its decision and stick to heterosexual marriage only.

You cannot unite Christians by including sin

 
 
 
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