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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Archaeological News+

I am taking the lazy way this morning as I get ready to pack and leave.

#1. http://news.yahoo.com/4-000-old-burial-chariots-discovered-south-caucasus-120004027.html

An ancient burial containing chariots, gold artifacts and possible human sacrifices has been discovered by archaeologists in the country of Georgia, in the south Caucasus.

 The burial site, which would’ve been intended for a chief, dates back over 4,000 years to a time archaeologists call the Early Bronze Age, said Zurab Makharadze, head of the Centre of Archaeology at the Georgian National Museum.

I highly doubt the human sacrifice but it gets attention.

The burial dates back to a time before domesticated horses appeared in the area, Makharadze said. While no animals were found buried with the chariots, he said, oxen would have pulled them.

This has got to be one of the dumbest things I have ever heard in archaeology. No one knows when the domestication of horses took place and even if there was a set date for mass ownership of the animal that doesn’t stop people from being the first to do it and use the horses for chariots.

Sometimes I think archaeologists have their heads up their rear ends when they make statements like the above.

#2. http://news.yahoo.com/underwater-cave-full-ancient-bones-mapped-3d-192546457.html

The bones of ground sloths, saber-toothed cats and other creatures of the Ice Age have been discovered in a deep underwater cavern on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, but the exploration of the site is actually happening on the surface, hundreds of miles away, in a lab in San Diego.

Ice Age?? How about the Flood? The only reason researchers came up with the ice age theory was because of all the glaciers in existence throughout the world. Their problem is they do not have a source for all that snow and ice outside of Noah’s flood.

So far, explorers in this cave have discovered a human skeleton from the Ice Age, and remains of gomphotheres (ancient elephant-like animals), prehistoric ground sloths and saber-toothed cats. Archaeologists think Hoyo Negro holds more remains and could provide valuable insight into Native American history; they just need a way to get their hands on the bones.

So humans and prehistoric animals did live together. I have read about many caves in South America that holds all sorts of animal and human bones mixed together by some catastrophe yet secularists refuse to admit Noah’s flood took place.

#3. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/teotihuacan-archaeologists-edge-closer-to-solving-the-mysteries-of-teotihuacan/

For decades archaeologists have puzzled over the ruins of the ancient city of Teotihuacán in Mexico. In the July Scientific American science writer Erik Vance reports on recent finds that are transforming researchers’ understanding of this enigmatic place and the people who lived there. For more on Teotihuacán, check out the resources below.

I am beginning to think that all the pyramid-like structures, including Egypt’s, along with the Sphynx, were constructed by the pre-flood civilization. That would explain the lack of blueprints, the lack of knowledge of both construction and the builders and the use of large stones.

#4. http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2014/0627/Scientists-in-Africa-discover-548-million-year-old-structures.-Who-built-them

An ancient reef that once teemed with primitive sea life has been unearthed in Africa.

The reef, which dates to 548 million years ago, is the oldest animal-built reef ever found.

The coral-like creatures, dubbed Cloudina, may have built the superstructures to protect themselves from predators or to soak up the nutrients from ocean currents, said study co-author Rachel Wood, a geologist at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland

I never believe the dates provided by secularists anymore. They are just too far-fetched to be real.  I also do not believe their theories either as they look at an unknown structure and start weaving all sorts of tall tales which lead them in the wrong direction.

One thing I have learned over the many years I have studied archaeology is that archaeologists may be experts in digging in the dirt but they are far from being experts in the topics they pontificate upon. Archaeologists do more to cloud the past than anything else.

#5. http://news.yahoo.com/experts-cast-doubt-big-bang-bolstering-discovery-060400200.html

Astrophysicists are casting doubt on what just recently was deemed a breakthrough in confirming how the universe was born: the observation of gravitational waves that apparently rippled through space right after the Big Bang.

 If proven to be correctly identified, these waves — predicted in Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity — would confirm the rapid and violent growth spurt of the universe in the first fraction of a second marking its existence, 13.8 billion years ago.

Even if these supposed gravitational waves were part of God’s creative act, secularists would find a way to credit some other non-existent source. Gravitational waves, if they actually exist, would NOT provide any evidence for the origin of the universe.

Why do I say that? Because there is nothing to link those waves to the actual origin of the universe. It is all pure speculation that they are a part of some cosmic catastrophe.

#6. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2014/06/stay-thirsty-creationists.html

The problem with the bottom statement in that image is, no one but secularists are claiming the supposed evidence for origins makes the earth and universe appear older than it is.

They are reading their own ideas into origins and not seeing what actually took place and in what length of time it actually took to produce what we have today. They are using their ideas of time and age if the universe and earth originated according to their claims, they are not using the truth to argue their position.

Evolutionists, big bang theorists and alternative believing people all think that humans must give their approval for origins when in reality they have to humble themselves and simply believe God’s word.

Scientific approval means nothing when it comes to anything in this world. God’s approval means everything.

#7. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2014/06/avoid-bible-churches.html

Look, any church will have Bibles in it, as well as people who read those Bibles to a greater or lesser degree. I have found that churches with “Bible” in the title, though, have weaponized their Bibles, and are not afraid to use them. They seem to be afraid to actually read them, but as bludgeons they are quite handy. Save yourself the bruises.

I will grant the fact that some bible believing people do not know how to wield biblical verses correctly but that doesn’t mean we toss the bible out and leave ourselves without divine guidance.

Alternative believing people want true Christians to toss out the bible because in that way, the alternative believers have a much easier time inserting their false teaching into the church and the lives of the true believer.

They cannot import their false teaching when people stand upon the Bible.

#8. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/06/27/historians-claim-about-archaeological-evidence-surrounding-the-bible-and-christian-history-that-might-stun-atheists/

Tacking the heart of the Christian faith, Moss described Jesus and his early followers as being genuinely convinced of his divinity.

“It seems to me that he believed himself and his first followers believed him to be the Messiah and the son of God,” she said, dubbing Jesus likely to be “mesmerizing in person.” “He clearly had some pretty exacting demands on his followers about how they should treat one another.”

I really have no use for Candida Moss. In reading her work, both in books and magazine articles, I find her to be error prone, misleading and out to lunch. For some reason she is getting a lot of press but she has nothing of value to say or offer anyone.

 

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Posted by on June 28, 2014 in academics, archaeology, astronomy, creation, history, science

 

Those ‘a-ha’ Moments

I am not traveling yet and have some time so I thought I would talk about one of those ‘a-ha’ moments Enns is trying to collect.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/2014/06/aha-moments-biblical-scholars-tell-their-stories-2-john-byron/

I do not know how these scholars read the Bible at those times nor do I know in which language they read it in but for arguments sake, we will go with the English.  But before I do, I will say one thing about translation work.

You cannot do direct translation from language to language–it just won’t work.

Language rules are different for each tongue and you have to make allowances for those rules. This means that if certain words in a passage appear in English but do not appear in the original Hebrew or Greek it does not mean the English is wrong. It means that certain words had to be added, rearranged, subtracted to fit the rules of English and for the translation to make sense.

Too many alternative believing people will use this absence as an excuse to change the meaning of a verse or three but they would be manipulating the scriptures for their benefit and not being honest in their translation work. This rule is important because if we didn’t have that leeway all translation work is null and void, and then we should be teaching natives Hebrew and Greek instead of translating the Bible into their own languages.

God’s word is NOT limited to Hebrew and Greek. Just because those were the original languages does not mean that they are the only languages one can use to read what God has to say. God said he would preserve his word, he did not say it would only be in Hebrew and Greek.

I mention this because the scholar talked about in that link missed some key English words which would have shown him that Jesus was NOT in error.

#1. The problem, however, as I pointed out to my teacher, is that Jesus got it wrong.

The first question is, why does this scholar think that Jesus got it wrong?  If Jesus were wrong then he would have sinned and he would not be the Messiah. This leads us to the second question, why are scholars and others so quick to give up Jesus’ perfection and Messiahship?

First, Jesus would not get it wrong. Don’t care what anyone says. If Jesus was wrong there goes our salvation so he wasn’t in error and I will show you why in a bit.

Second, David’s men may well have been there BUT NOT in the meeting with the priest. David does not have to tell the priest where his men are located. They may have accompanied him but not to the meeting thus sparking the question by the priest, ‘Why are you alone.”

Third, David is not required to tell the priest everything. It simply wasn’t his business and may have been safer for him if the priest did not know any details.

These are far better reasons than leaping to the conclusion that Jesus erred and with that error put everyone’s salvation in jeopardy. Yet these scholars who change their minds about scripture just love to do that. They end their salvation and seek to damage others. That is not Christian nor right.

#2. Moreover, Mark has the wrong priest. In 2:26 Jesus states that the priest was Abiather, but 1 Samuel 21 clearly states that it was Ahimelek.

Really? Is he sure about that? Here are Jesus’ actual words and you can compare what that scholar said with Jesus’ words:

26 how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest, (Mark 2NASB)

I put the key words in bold. In today’s world too many people do not know their own language very well. Instead of learning it, they opt for the easy way and apply their own interpretation to someone else’s words and think they have the intent and content correct.

The reason I say that the do not know their own language is because of the many westerners who come here to teach and open their mouths far too often displaying their lack of knowledge of the language they are hired to teach.

Jesus wasn’t mistaken when he named Abiather instead of his father Ahimelek as high priest. Notice the words in bold- ‘in the time of’. You may think this is being technical but it isn’t. It is using the English language correctly to discern the correct meaning of Jesus words.

Jesus was not saying ‘WHEN Abiather was high priest’ but during his lifetime, David… This is a very important difference. If you do not know your own language then you are going to miss out on these important points and stumble in your faith. The words ‘in the time of…’ does not mean ‘when’ they simply mean at some point in his lifetime. They do not limit the reference to one specific time frame.

Abiather was a high priest at one time so Jesus was correct in his reference. David went to the temple while Abiather was alive. Knowing one’s language is very important and if you do not know these little details you could develop problems in your faith. You cannot assume or interpret, you have to know what the Bible is saying. If that means learning English a lot better, then you need to do that. You cannot afford to take short cuts.

That scholar  ruined his faith not because he was super intelligent but because he was ignorant ad did not search the matter thoroughly for the correct answers.

#3. Years later I was pleasantly surprised to read that it was this very same passage in Mark that signaled the beginning of Bart Ehrman’s faith journey

I know Ehrman’s story as he related it in one of his first books. I mention it here as an example to show my readers that scholars do not always get things right and make grave errors. This is why you do not follow scholars blindly but double-check their work with the aid of the Holy Spirit.

#4. In the end, of course, it wasn’t just one problem like Mark 2:26 that caused me to reexamine how I understood the Bible—but it was a hook and it began a process.

Be careful and watch out for these ‘hook’ moments for they can destroy you if you are not wary.  If you have a problem search the topic thoroughly following the Holy Spirit’s leading, try to find where you are making the error for it isn’t God or the Bible who have made the mistake. This scholar put the blame on the Bible instead of himself and look what that did to him. He doesn’t believe the Bible anymore.

#5. Now some will say to me: “God’s plan is clearly laid out for us in the Bible. Had you not gone and destroyed your belief in the word of God through theological education you would not be in the fix you find yourself!”

Now I do  not blame the theological education for his downfall, I put the blame upon him and is ill-equipped teachers to handle the truth correctly. If the professor cannot answer such accusations and questions then I have to wonder why they are teaching in the first place.

The scripture that tells us to have the answers for when we are questioned why we believe, doesn’t just apply to unbelievers asking questions to believers. It applies to believing teachers being questioned by their believing students, believing parents by their children, etc., as well.

Everyone needs to find the answers to the questions not just a few lone evangelists.

#6. Here’s where I’ve come out: I consider the Bible to be a book written by fallible human beings who were attempting to describe their own faith and religious experiences and did so in an imperfect way. Yet at the same time, what I find within the Bible are words of life.

If this were true then how can he see Jesus as perfect and our savior? He has basically ripped the Bible to shreds and said it is worthless. As Francis Schaeffer once wrote, ‘How shall we then live?’ If the Bible is not God’s word then what is?

We do not have a replacement for it and if we do not have God’s word then we do not have salvation, eternal life, heaven or answers to our problems. Basically this scholar has said whatever anyone claims is now God’s word.

Why would cults and false teachers copy and use the Bible if it was written by fallible men relating their own ideas?  They wouldn’t need to because their religious writings sans the Bible would be just as valid as the biblical authors’ words.

The scholar in that article uses only 2 passages to destroy his faith yet ignores the myriad of evidence that shows God’s word to be true and inerrant. We have to ask ‘Why?’  No one would copy the Bible if it was a human authored work. You do not see cults and false religions copy the Book of Mormon (& other Mormon religious writings), The Quran, The Hindu Scriptures, and many other human authored works to accompany their deceptive religious beliefs. SO if the Bible was not true it would not be used either by those same people.

This fact alone should motivate Christians and scholars to study the Bible more carefully.

#7. But in the end I am not called to have faith in the Bible but in God.

How can you have faith in God if you do not know what he said? We are called to believe God’s words and if you cannot believe those then how can you have faith in God? There is no other Bible to turn to as a replacement so if you do not believe the Bible we have then you do not believe God nor have faith in him.

How can he know how to live and how to treat others if he does not believe the Bible is God’s word? If they are simply human words, then any behavior is acceptable and one doe snot have to change to enter God’s kingdom because we would not know what is right or wrong.

Homosexuality,murder, theft, rape would be okay and not sin. The Bible is either true and God’s word or it isn’t and we will have anarchy as there is no such thing as morality or right and wrong. Everyone would be allowed to live as they please because laws would not matter.

#8. In some ways I think he is right. My education has been extremely dangerous to my faith, at least a faith that was taught to me, a faith that is shaken by things like Mark 2:26. On the other hand, through my serious study of the Bible and the questions that arise from it, I continue to find that faith—a true resting and trusting in God—is more present to me now than ever before.

He sounds more like the Mormon religious leaders who tell their people when they have questions and problems, ‘Just pray and have faith.’ If we toss out the Bible how would we know that the answer we get by faith is God’s answer and not a deception?

He tosses out his belief because of one verse and then leaves himself rudderless because he can now ignore the passage that warns us that  evil comes disguised as angels of light. He has no way to tell the difference because he has demoted the Bible to a human work.

Jesus said, ‘why do you call me Lord but do not do the things I say? You need the Bible to be God’s word to do the things Jesus said. That includes studying to be approved of God. You need to study the Bible as God’s word and if difficulties arise, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to the correct answer that solves those difficulties. Just make sure to test the spirits so you know you are following the correct one.

The ‘a-ha moments’ are more like the ‘ooops, I am making a mistake but do not care’ moments. When these moments happen, there is more at work than just bad bible study and Christian students need to be aware of that fact so they can take the right steps to protect themselves and their faith.

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2014 in academics, Bible, theology

 

Much To Talk About- 48

#1. Time off-–  I will be taking a few days off as I have to go out of town for personal reasons.  I need the break anyways.

#2. The Lawsuit, The Dramahttp://jamestabor.com/2014/06/22/the-jacobovici-v-zias-lawsuit-why-it-has-nothing-to-do-with-freedom-of-speech/

Joe is desperate to cast things that way so he can appear the victim rather than the perpetrator–of slander and defamation–which he most surely is.  If you are interested in the facts, here they are. I know only too well what is at stake here because I have been the victim of Joe’s slander myself, having been a close friend of his for over 20 years. The only difference is Simcha Jacobovici decided to sue Joe whereas I have chosen to ignore Joe’s ugly behavior as much as possible while providing those interested in the facts of the case as I know them

Here is James Tabor’s view on the lawsuit and his wordy explanation covers the drama as well. Archaeology isn’t always just boring digging in the dirt sometimes it can get exciting when two or more people disagree.

The truth is Zias has moved way beyond respectful academic critique into defamation, libel, and personal slander. I know this firsthand because I have copies of e-mail and letters he has written to my Dean, Provost, Chancellor, literary agent, and publisher–Simon & Schuster, as well as dozens of colleagues, charging me with “conduct bordering on the criminal,” “planting of evidence,” and calling for my dismissal for academic misconduct.

I never agree with trying to remove someone from their employment and it is a rare instance where I will even think about supporting such a move. It is a punishment in most cases that does not fit the supposed crime.

I also think that it is not the call of the offended person or his or her supporters. Discipline is not arbitrary, subjective or applied haphazardly. Nor is it applied to appease those people who  demand blood when a slap on the wrist is called for.

We are not to be blood-thirsty when punishing those who commit crimes. We are called to be just and to use justice.

I don’t mind being criticized,” Jacobovici, 60, said in a recent interview. “People should be free to say what they want. But there’s a difference between free speech and libel. And when you make these kinds of allegations, you cross the line.”

This is one of the few times I agree with Jacobovici and he is right. Believers should not be hasty in labeling what is being said or how it is being said but they should make sure it is wrong first before reacting to the words spoken.

Criticism is not always persecution. Be wise and apply definitions of labels correctly in that way you can avoid a lot of anguish.

It is wise to learn from the mistakes of others, so read through that article and see what God would want you to learn.

#3. Making Accusationshttp://news.yahoo.com/methodist-panel-overturns-pastors-defrocking-164904931.html?bcmt=comments-postbox

The church can appeal the decision to its highest court, the Judicial Council. Bishop Peggy Johnson of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, which brought the case against Schaefer, planned to issue a statement later Tuesday.

I find that quote both ironic and hypocritical, can you see why?  Here is a person who is breaking God’s rules bringing charges against someone for breaking church rules. God’s rules for the ministry do not allow for women ministers yet here she is being a minister and ignoring what God has laid out for who leads his church.

She may use the culture of the time argument to defend her position but then she opens the door for the male pastor to use the same argument for his actions.  She really doesn’t have a leg to stand upon in making her accusations.

If you are going to accuse someone of wrong doing, make sure you are not violating some law while making the accusation. What the accused pastor has done is wrong but he should be accused and tried by those who are actually obeying God.

Traditionalists say clergy have no right to break church law just because they disagree with it.

This is a very good point. If you agree to uphold the laws of the church and abide by them, then you do not have the arbitrary right to choose which ones you will or will not obey. You need to obey them as long as you are a member of that organization and obey them while you lobby to change them but you cannot disobey them and expect not to be punished.

The changes are not church or organizational law so they are not in effect. The unchanged laws are and if you violate them then you need to either repent and obey the current rules or willfully leave the church or organization.

If people are allowed to cherry pick which laws they will or will not obey then all you have done is created anarchy not order. Such people make the rules meaningless and there is no sense in belonging to any organization when that happens because right and wrong have been abolished.

God punishes people who do what is right in their own eyes and ignore his laws. Christians need to wake up to this fact and take the time to decide whom they will serve–themselves or God.

#4. Archaeology Is Not Always Safehttp://zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com/2014/06/26/very-sad-news-3/

I received word early this morning that Yuval Peleg, an archaeologist with the IAA, was suddenly killed while working in a cave which collapsed.

Even in archaeology, people need to be careful. Peleg is not the first archaeologist to die on a dig site and I doubt he will be the last. But one thing, even if you are careful do not cross the line into paranoia and let that fear stop you from doing what you believe God wants you to do.

We cannot stop death from taking place so put aside the fear and enjoy your work, your explorations and learn from the mistakes you make so that you can avoid needless injury to yourselves and others.

#5. Federal Judges Strike Againhttp://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2014/06/the-state-of-marriage-in-the-united-states.html

A federal judge struck down Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriages yesterday. Fred Clark shared this useful map illustrating the impact that this is having on traditional heterosexual marriage in the United States:

I get both sad and disappointed every time I hear of a federal judge trampling the rights of people who have legally and democratically expressed their will on this issue. The federal judges use civil rights as their excuse to appease a very minute minority of people while denying those same rights to the vast majority.

Homosexuality does not come with marriage. It is not part of the package thus there is no civil right involved in this issue. All it is on the part of the homosexual is a money grab. It is not about obtaining denied rights like the black population had been denied for centuries.

The two issues are not the same. The federal judges are erring in a grave manner and all I can do is advise you to pray to God and seek his leading on how to proceed in fighting this travesty and trampling of the majority’s rights. The innocent people who will be harmed by these decisions are vulnerable children and teens as they will now be taught that homosexuality is good and that it is okay to be a homosexual.

Neither are correct and non-adults need to be protected form this false teaching.

#6. The Avoidance of Providing Evidence http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2014/06/unreasonable-demand-of-antievolutionists.html

The above image comes from EvolutionEvidence.org, which has a whole page dedicated to intermediate fossils and the evidence they provide for biological evolution.

The image says it all. Evolutionists know they cannot prove their theory true so they will only provide a hodge-podge of questionably applied evidence to support their theory thus relieving themselves of the painstaking responsibility to actually prove their theory true.

In other words, they are trying to take the easy way out, escape their duty and still claim they are right. Why is it so hard for them to look at their theory, their supposed evidence and see that it isn’t true and that they cannot prove it true then be adult about it and admit they were wrong?

Instead, they have to be childish about it and hold on to a false theory when they can see they have no hope in proving it true. The evolutionist is unwilling to meet the same demands they place upon the creationist. This refusal to provide evidence only undermines their claims and demonstrates how false their theory really is.

It also shows how unscientific evolution is as they are only doing a half-baked job. It is inexcusable and I demand that the evolutionist ponies up the real evidence that proves their theory correct and stop using scientific experiments that have nothing to do with their claims as reasons for claiming their theory is true.

Time to put up or shut up, evolutionists.

#7. The ‘aha moment‘– http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/2014/06/aha-moments-biblical-scholars-tell-their-stories-1-me/

Following on my last post, here is the first installment of a series–biblical scholars from evangelical backgrounds telling their stories about their “aha” moments that convinced them they needed to find different ways of handling the Bible than how they had been taught.

Maybe their ‘aha moment’ should be when they realize that scholarship does not over-rule God’s rules. Or maybe it should be when the realize that they are disobeying God by listening to false teaching over God’s commands.

One day in class, my professor James Kugel was lecturing on the creative ways that Second Temple Jewish interpreters handled these episodes.

If the ‘creative ways’ are not scriptural and produce false ideas then it is wise NOT to use them in your own studies. This is the problem with scholarship today. it is not looking for the truth nor is it following the Holy Spirit to the truth. Instead it is sinful man using their own ways to come to false conclusion sin order to have a discussion.

That is not good for the church or the church member. It is also disobeying God which makes it very wrong. Scholars who have these ‘aha moments’ are not smart as they allow such realizations to doubt God and the Bible opening a door for evil to work its destructive magic.

The passage, 1 Cor. 10:4, Enns is using as an example does not come close to what he and other scholars are saying yet he uses that passage to allow himself to stray from the truth. Coming to a conclusion then accepting/following that conclusion without verifying that it is true is not a wise thing to do. It may be scholarship but scholarship is not what God said to follow or practice.

This does not mean we do not use our God-given intelligence or check our brains at the door because believers need to use both to obey God and avoid false teaching. They need to know the difference between true and false teaching and that takes using one’s brain and God-given intelligence.

In reality, following scholarship and its ways is really checking your brains at the door and not using your intelligence because any real brain and any real intelligence would tell a person to obey and follow God’s teaching not man’s.

The trick is to learn the difference between the two and how to apply the scripture you read. Intelligence and brains are not the only tools a believer needs in biblical reading and the Christian life. They also need wisdom, understanding, knowledge and so much more to get what God wants in their lives correct.

#8. Misguided Thinkinghttp://rachelheldevans.com/blog/ask-brian-mclaren-response

I do not like to read Rachel Held Evans that much but today there was one letter she published  in that group of letters that held some misguided ideas that the believer can learn from.

From Cindy: As my denomination (United Methodist) continues to tear itself apart over how we will or won’t receive LGBTQ people in our midst, I despair that the losers in our struggle will be the poor and other marginalized people, who Jesus called us to be in ministry with

The only way to receive homosexuals into the church is if they come repenting of their sins. The church cannot support sin nor allow it to be practiced in their midst. The church has to stand with God and his rules even when so many people claim to be Christian and want to be part of the fellowship.

Jesus said, my sheep hear my voice’ and Jesus’ voice did not say to include sin in his church or say that sin was good, normal and okay.

Not only that, but as more and more states legalize gay marriage, these churches will find themselves in the position of Bob Jones University, which distinguished itself as a holdout supporter of racial segregation until 2000.

This is part of Mrs. Evan’s response to Cindy and she makes a very grievous error in her analysis of same-sex marriage. Withholding marriage from homosexuals is not a racial violation, it is not discrimination nor is it even close to being on the same level as the abuses heaped against the black people.

Also, the different States are NOT legalizing same-sex marriage, most are being forced to do so by federal judges against the will of the people. The two actions are not the same. What Mrs. Evans forgets is homosexuality and same-sex marriage is sin and violates God’s laws. Being black doesn’t thus stopping homosexuals from marrying is not discrimination but keeping sin out of what God had sanctified.

People seem to be confused about this whole issue. It is not a civil rights matter but a spiritual one. Something most people refuse to acknowledge and allow into the issue. Even people like Mrs. Evans who claim to be Christian yet take such anti-God positions refuse to acknowledge this fact.

Stopping sin is not committing discrimination.

And I should add that “follow the money” applies in this situation too. Thousands of pastors know that if they accept LGBTA people as equals, key donors will stop supporting them. In the longer term, I think the opposite will be the case: more and more donors will refuse to support organizations that stigmatize LGBTQ people.

Mrs. Evans has become deluded in her support for homosexuals. people will stop supporting the church when they see it no longer practices and supports Christian teaching. Pastors and churches who accept and support homosexuals are not really of God for he clearly stated how wrong homosexuality is and that homosexuals will not see his kingdom.

If I were a Pastor of a church I would have to tune down donations from those people who wanted to have unrepentant sin part of the church because accepting such money and following that criteria means that God is no longer in charge and sinful humans are. That is a big mistake to make.

What Mrs. Evans forgets is that Christians are to serve God and proclaim his ways not serve culture or the sinful world and include in the church what God hates.

A. We accept LGBTQ people as equal, and accept that a significant percentage of people will leave, especially older and more dedicated donors, which will have results in closing seminaries, stopping mission to needy people, spending millions on lawyers, etc., etc.

It seems she is an ‘end justifies the means’ type of person. I wonder if she thinks God is in charge at all and if his rules matter? It seems she has forgotten whom she serves and how holy he is. Does she even care what God’s rules are?

I would be happy if she simply said, ‘I stopped being a Christian because I couldn’t agree with God on many issues’. At least that would be honest. Her ‘I am a christian but God is wrong’ mentality is dishonest and wrong.

B. We keep our conservative position but make allowances for congregations or conferences that differ, knowing that we will lose some people who will be against any compromise.

Mrs. Evans seems to have forgotten Jesus’ own words in John 3 when he told Nicodemus that to reach heaven ye must be born again. Does Mrs. Evans think she is greater than Jesus and can over-rule his criteria for salvation?

Does she think God and Jesus bow to her will? One would think so judging from the above comment.  She forgets that if you compromise with sin you lose and are making deals with evil. Something Jesus nor God never did. The church doe snot compromise if it wants to be part of the kingdom of God. I guess Mrs. Evans forgot the teaching on the straight and narrow road and how few will find it.

C. We accept a progressive position but make allowances for congregations or conferences that differ, knowing that we will lose some people who will be against any compromise.

There is no such thing as a ‘progressive Christian position’. You find the truth and stick with that regardless of how many people, who claim to be Christian, alter their beliefs to fit in with the secular world.

D. We refuse to accept LGBTQ people as equal, and accept that a significant percentage of people will leave, especially younger and more educated people, which will have results in closing seminaries, stopping mission to needy people, spending millions on lawyers, etc., etc.

I actually find this point quite insulting as more educated doe snot mean more spiritual or possessing more of God’s truth. Her last sentence is purely fear mongering and speculation. It doesn’t even belong in the discussion.

Being accepted as equal has nothing to do with accepting sin as good. Mrs. Evans is changing her argument to fit her desires. She seems to forget that believers can accept others as human equals but they can also reject the unrepentant sinner from their congregations.

Rejecting the sin is not making the rejected sinner unequal. It simply means that the unrepentant sinner needs to be born again and give up sin to be part of the Church. What is the point of having rules, if people like Mrs. Evans refuses to abide by them?

God’s church God’s rules. if people do not like that then they need to stop calling themselves Christians and leave the church to start their own organization. God owns the church not the people and he sets the rules that need to be followed.

E. We allow current conservative regulations to continue and we create a mechanism for people to violate those regulations to remain, knowing that some people on both sides will leave because they disapprove of this option.

She is changing her argument again. It is not about conservative v. liberal regulations. it is about obeying God. If you cannot obey God then leave the church. The church is the light unto the world but it cannot be that light if those people who want sin in the church get their way.

If you cannot abide by God’s rules, don’t join the church or call yourself Christian. Now this may be a hard stance to take but it is tiring to continually face these sinful arguments and not lose patience.

People who call themselves Christians yet disobey God and advocate accepting sin as good are the biggest problem for the church today. They need to be weeded out of the congregation, the bible colleges, seminaries and other church organizations.

You cannot say you have the answer for the world and its problems when you accept those problems into the church and declare them good. You have nothing to offer the world. You have nothing to offer the world if you change the teachings of the Bible to fit secular culture. One example:

Many years ago I ran into an intern pastor at a local congregation who was put in charge of a coffee-house started to reach street youth.  The sign used to advertise this coffee-house, written by the youth pastor, I believe,  read in part, ‘we are just like you. Trying to figure this life thing out.’

I pointed that sentence out to the youth pastor who replied, ‘we are trying to identify with the world.’ Well he may have succeeded in identifying with the lost youth BUT he also told them that the church did not have the answer for their problems. If Jesus and the Bible aren’t  the answer then you have nothing to offer anyone.

No one is going to go to a church who says they are just like the secular world. The lost want answers not someone identifying with them.  We believers have the answers but we do not alter them to appease those who disagree with the regulations.

If people want homosexuals in the church then the homosexual needs to repent of their sins and give up homosexuality. We do not change God’s word to make the homosexual feel good and allow them to deceive themselves into thinking they can do both–be Christian and still practice homosexuality.

Cindy, people like you can make a big difference in all this. Keep positive. Love everybody.

This is in the last paragraph and it is a very misguided thought. Loving everyone does not mean one ignores God’s rules. Loving everyone does not mean loving and accepting sin. People love their children but they do not love their rudeness, their disobedience, their foul speech and so on. So why should the church have to accept and endure sinful, disobedient behavior and speech just because some alternative accepting ‘Christian’ demands it?

Parents correct their children and tell them the right way to live so does God. So we must ask why do so many people have a problem with God’s correction and his rules on how to live correctly?

The church isn’t a toy given to humans to play with as they please. Too many ‘progressive’ people fail to understand what the church is all about. They think they are in charge and get to set the rules– they are wrong. God set the rules long ago and it is up to the member to abide by them.

We do not change the rules simply because someone doesn’t like them. We do not have the authority to change the rules. We only have the authority to accept or reject them.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2014 in academics, archaeology, church, creation, family, history, homosexuality, Justice, science

 

Archaeology, etc.

Time to take a break from the heavy topics and see what is happening around the world in archaeology. Archaeology is one field which secularists use to construct their historical and literary context. As we shall see it is a field vulnerable to speculation, manipulation and eisegesis. Much can be read into the evidence because we do not get verifiable and legitimate manuscripts detailing what a building was used for, the purpose of the artifacts and so on.

#1. They Look But Do Not Seehttp://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/24/science/a-sunken-kingdom-re-emerges.html?_r=2

The submerged forest of Borth is not new. First flooded some 5,000 years ago by rising sea levels after the last ice age, it has been there as long as locals remember, coming and going with the tides and occasionally disappearing under the sand for years on end. But the floods and storms that battered Britain earlier this year radically changed the way archaeologists interpret the landscape: A quarter-mile-long saltwater channel cutting through the trees, revealed by erosion for the first time, provided a trove of clues to where human life may have been concentrated and where its traces may yet be found.

Notice the details– 5,000 years ago, rising water, flooded. If this was the only such discovery one could easily dismiss it as folklore but independent researchers have found similar towns it is not easily dismissed.

Ryan and Pittman in their book Noah’s Flood detail their discovery along the Turkish coast of similar villages. Graham Hancock in his series of books does the same except he goes from India, to Japan to other parts of the world.

The evidence for Noah’s flood is out there one just has to see what they are looking at instead of distorting the dates and the cause.

Footprints of humans and animals in Borth had been dated to about 6,000 years ago. The site in Happisburgh was 900,000 years old, a time when mammoths and hippos still roamed in these parts. No human bones or prints that old had ever been found in Britain.

I can accept the 6,000 year old date a lot better than the 900,000 year old one simply because there is no way to verify the latter and there is no real evidence that humans have been on earth for that length of time.

But even if the dates support the biblical record, we cannot be too sure of them. Simply because it is very difficult to date backwards without a verifiable marker from that era. For example a business sign stating ‘established in 1887 gives us such a marker whereas a business sign stating Johnson and Sons Inc. does not.

Dating the latter sign becomes impossible because we have nothing to go on but pure speculation. Sure there will be clues but we cannot be sure of those clues as too many questions arise with them. To accurately date backwards, you must have a real marker not an assumption.

The footprints, the oldest known outside Africa, probably belonged to a family group of Homo antecessor, a cousin of Homo erectus that possibly became extinct when Homo heidelbergensis from Africa settled in Britain about 500,000 years ago, he said. Using foot-length-to-stature ratios, scientists estimate that the male was perhaps 5 feet 9 inches tall, and the smallest child a little less than 37 inches.

Little is known about this early human species. Fossil skeletons in Atapuerca, Spain, from around the same time suggest that they walked upright and looked much like modern humans, though their brains were smaller. If they had language, it was primitive.

Nothing but pure speculation and manipulation as the secular researchers do anything they can to avoid the truth of the Bible.

#2. Archaeological Evidence for the Biblehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49nTewUjt_M

It is a video so no quotes to talk about. It is important for Christian archaeologists to be honest in their work. They should not let their goal of finding evidence to support the Bible to get in the way of being honest.

This is a good video and presents the evidence they are basing their conclusions on honestly but it does have Jim West upset–

http://zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/i-guess-that-shows-you-minimalists-or-more-misrepresentation-of-archaeology/

They sure are making a lot out of a little.  Talk about your exaggeration and misrepresentation of the archaeological facts…  Poor Qeiyafa.

I do not see any ‘exaggeration or misrepresentation’ in either video. West is upset because  archaeology continues to prove the minimalist position wrong.

Two things, David was not a tribal chieftain or a bandit. There is no evidence to support such a claim. Those who argue that this was so, do so basing their claim upon silence not actual fact.

Then relating the city structure to temple designs to me seems to be a stretch. It is a claim we shouldn’t make because of the lack of documentary support. Too much reading into finds does happen on both sides of archaeological research. We just need to be careful before making any claims because that city may have been remodeled AFTER the temple was built.

We just cannot be sure of exactly when the work on either took place.

#3. Lawsuitshttp://www.jpost.com/Article.aspx?id=360555

Jacobovici filed the lawsuit against his harshest (supporters of Jacobovici have said “brutal”) critic, Joe Zias, the former IAA official of 25 years demanding NIS 3.5 million (and claiming actual damage of NIS 8.57 million.) The filmmaker claims that though others have disparaged his ideas in a legitimate debate over whether his conclusions are right, that Zias went beyond legitimate debate and defamed him by self-initiating a broad-based campaign to directly sabotage lucrative contracts he had already signed and was executing.

Archaeology is not without its drama and if the details here are correct then I would have to agree that Zias over-stepped his boundaries in his opposition to Jacobovici’s work. I am no fan of the latter but when he is in the right then his rights need to be defended.

Just because someone doesn’t like him or what he says doesn’t mean they have the right to interfere with gainful employment or the expressing of those views. There are a couple of points to look at though

Zias, volunteers that Gat was a well-meaning and hard-working field excavator, but argues he had no academic expertise whatsoever to make any conclusions and should never have received a prize of any kind, let alone to have his wife just happen to posthumously push Jacobovichi’s theories on a huge stage.

Here Zias sounds jealous and not like a concerned academic. Academic expertise is a very subjective accusation as the same guy would have been credited with it if he had said something Zias approved of.

Academic expertise is an easy accusation to throw around and it is a good excuse to dismiss what someone else is saying, especially when they disagree with your point. Jim West did it in the previous point, he just didn’t use those specific words. Instead he used words like ‘exaggeration and misrepresentation.’

I. Finkelstein doe sit every time E. Mazer makes another discovery supporting the Bible and even though E. Mazer is the daughter and granddaughter of two famous and respected Israeli Archaeologists.

So if someone is using the ‘lack of academic expertise’ argument against you, take it with a grain of salt then double-check to make sure you have your claims right and supported properly.

Zias’ “tip-off” about Jacobovici’s alleged Aramati mailbox conspiracy came from Joanna Garrett, a woman who both sides say had a romance with North Carolina Professor James Tabor, a big supporter of Jacobovici’s theories, but then fell-out with him.

Ahh yes, the revengeful girlfriend argument.  The drama doesn’t get better than this. Not everything used in archaeology comes from hard work, academic level research or real evidence. Sometimes it comes from hearsay from those slighted in romance.

I have never figured out why Tabor got involved with Jacobovici in the first place as Tabor is a very smart person and was the holder of an academic chair for a very long time. Along with being an archaeologist, historian who partners up with respected Israeli archaeologists.

Jacobovici on the other hand doesn’t know what he is talking about most of the time when it comes to artifacts and archaeology. This is evidence by his Exodus Decoded fiasco when he was in the Greek museum and he was hyperventilating over a stone artifact he felt supported his theory and not the one the Greek curators said.

He went on and on about how the curators didn’t know what they had, etc. when anyone with a brain who watched that show knew it was Jacobovici who didn’t know what he was looking at.

Jacobovici does this over and over which makes him a nuisance not a credible contributor to archaeological discussions. Having watched Jacobovici’s t.v. show Naked Archaeologist and as many of his archaeological  documentaries as I can I have no use for the man except when he puts real archaeologists and scholars on the screen and lets them talk.

He does not help either side of the biblical archaeological debate.

#4.  Ancient Writinghttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu0aorzgu-0

This video talks about an older discovery but it makes a good point. Any discovery will be challenged if it supports the Bible. But the issue is deeper than that. You may have heard of the term ‘prehistory’ and that usually is applied to mean ‘before written records’ and you will hear in the video how writing was a new invention for the Israelites.

What archaeologists are saying is, that the ancients were illiterate and incapable of actual writing or understand what was written until the modern archaeologists say they could. BUT that brings up a very important problem for those type of archaeologists.

The ancient world was filled with inscriptions, monuments with writing, written law codes and many other important artifacts with the different kings’ decrees etc. So who were these writings for if the majority of the ancient world could not read and write?

There is no purpose for these written pieces of work to exist if no one could read them. The elites, who archaeologists claim were the only ones who could read or write, did not live in the rural regions of the kingdom, where Hammurabi’s law code was found, so why was it placed there if the inhabitants would not know what it said?

The elites were usually in the cities and according to archaeologists a minute minority so why would such great stone edifices be carved with writing, when all it would take was a simple messenger to bring a simple scroll with the information written on it?

The arguments against literacy and writing in the ancient world do not make sense especially when they are compared to reality. There are so many reasons why we cannot find ancient writing today and why the charge that the ancients were illiterate is ridiculous.

Wars destroy many things including written texts. So do natural disasters. Then people change houses and throw out unneeded objects which can include ‘notebooks’. Domestic fires destroy many things as does the water that puts out those fires.

The reasons why we have so little remains of ancient writing and literacy are all rational and logical but there is one more very important fact that archaeologists ignore. Not all people are authors even after being taught how to read and write.

In this country there are about 20,000 people who are Western English teachers in any given year and the total amount of those people who actually publish anything is less than 50.

They all know how to read and write but their written evidence is so minute that the evidence for their literacy is gone soon after they leave the country. In the past 20 years there may have been about 400,000 westerns who come to Korea to teach and maybe 5 will have their writing survive any length of time.

Yet they were all literate (or supposed to be).  Basing literacy claims upon written remains is not a good way to judge where the ancient world stood with literacy.

#5. Surpriseshttp://news.yahoo.com/items-ancient-sumerian-city-found-cupboard-173338324.html

Amazing what you can find when you do a good clean out.

Bristol University in Britain learned this firsthand when researchers discovered a box containing materials from archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley’s dig of the Sumerian city of Ur tucked away on top of a cupboard.

“I would classify it in the same category as ‘I found a Monet in my grandmothers’ attic,’ ” Tamar Hodos, a senior lecturer in archaeology, said Wednesday.

I came across this after I wrote and published the above 4 points.  One reason the historical and archaeological contexts are so incomplete is that there is not enough people to analyze the materials stored in the museums. Or discovered materials get lost like the box above from Woolley’s archaeological work.

If anything we need more Christians to work on uncovered artifacts, texts, manuscripts etc. to get a more complete picture of the past. The reason I say ‘more Christians’ is because hopefully the Christian researcher will be more honest than the secular researcher.

The world needs the truth whether they want it or not.

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2014 in academics, archaeology, history

 

Is There Such A Thing Called Liberal Christians?

That is what some people call themselves when they do not or cannot believe what the Bible says and pursue alternatives to the biblical record.  For me I do not go for the labels ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ because I side with God. You are either a believer or you are not.

God wrote the Bible, it is his word so you have a choice, you can accept it as such or not. But when you replace God’s words with your own or with the words of someone who does not believe God then you are not a believer in God or his word. You now believe an alternative.

God didn’t write the alternative. We have no legitimate historical textual record supporting the alternative either. In fact, the fragments and manuscripts we do have do not contain any alternative ‘liberal’ Christians declare are valid. We have some that leave out passages of scripture but we do not know why they were left out.

Omission in early manuscripts or fragments is not enough reason to remove the passages from the Bible and insert alternative ideas. Two articles offer reasons why people change from being a true believer into one who is ‘alternative’ or ‘liberal’.

#1. Peter Ennshttp://www.patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/2014/06/i-was-always-taught-the-bible-says-x-but-i-just-dont-see-it/

Carey is simply rehearsing a well-worn path in western Christianity over the last several hundred years: “I was taught to believe the Bible unequivocally says X, but I just don’t see it, so I am going to stop believing X.”

The question is, how do want to see things? The way they are or the way you want them to be? For example creation. We cannot see God creating everything over and over. That would be ridiculous and has God jumping to our demands. We have to take by faith that God did as he said and then look at the results of his creative act to see he told us the truth.

We have the stars, moon, sun, reproduction etc., doing exactly what God said they would do so we have evidence for his creative act. In contrast, we do not have anything doing as the evolutionist claims. They have no evidence for their alternative.

So instead of saying I don’t see it, maybe people should look more closely instead of taking the words of unbelievers over God’s.

I have known many people, and heard of many others, who have come from conservative or moderately conservative backgrounds and whose earlier paradigms have been seriously challenged by the simply process of paying attention to scripture in context–whether the immediate literary context or the historical context.

But are they paying close attention to scripture?  First, the Bible does say different people were at the tomb BUT not one of those accounts contradicts the other. Being omitted from one account does not mean they were not at the tomb with the other people. It simply means they were not mentioned. Not being mentioned is not a contradiction.

When I write these articles I do not mention I am in Korea but that omission does not mean that I am writing from another country. It simply means that Korea is not germane to the point being made nor needs to be mentioned.

Second, the literary and historical contexts Enns is referring to are usually human authored and full of gaps. They are not qualified to determine what took place because we do not have complete documentation of every little breath, sigh, or act done in history. They are too incomplete to qualify as judge of the Bible and what it records.

I think it’s because scripture doesn’t line up very well with the conservative paradigm of scripture (some form of inerrancy). That’s why the paradigm needs constant tending and vigilant defending in order to survive.

God’s word has survived without the aid of ‘liberal’ Christians. God doesn’t need a paradigm nor constant tending. Why people do that is to keep those alternative believing people aware of the truth and protect the unwary congregation from people like Enns who can’t believe the Bible and want to follow after their own desires like secular science.

The scriptures line up with the truth for it is the truth. If that is the conservative way then so be it. People like Enns attack the scriptures because they do not want the truth. They want the secular world to like them so they avoid picking up their cross and following Jesus.

I mean, there’s a reason why Carey’s phenomenon keeps rearing its head generation after generation. It’s not (as I hear far too often) that the offenders are intellectually naive (or dimwitted) and have been duped or are too spiritually weak kneed to “hold on to the truth.”

The reason this crops up is not because the ‘conservative paradigm is flawed’ it is because people do not want the truth. I am not saying that all ‘conservative’ Christians understand or use the scripture correctly. There are many cases throughout history where they do not BUT just because people do not learn and apply scripture correctly does it mean that scripture is wrong.

We do not burn the Bible or alter it because someone has been misguided or uses it incorrectly. We correct the mistaken person not the Bible.

#2.  Greg Careyhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/greg-carey/where-do-liberal-bible-scholars-come-from_b_1774447.html

In public conversations such as The Huffington Post, it’s common to see people deriding “liberal” biblical scholars, as if the world is just full of people whose dearest wish is to undermine the Bible and turn Jesus into nothing but a symbol for a bizarre mushroom cult.

I would not like it if true believers ‘derided’ anyone and I am sure Carey is using that adjective to manipulate not reflect the truth.  But there is a reason why people oppose ‘liberal’ Christians–they do not bring the truth.

So it should be no surprise that biblical scholars run in all shapes, sizes, colors and denominations. What would surprise many people, though, is that a very large number of us love Jesus and the church, and we spend hours upon hours communicating the love and wonder we experience with the Bible.

I challenge the claim that ‘liberal’ Christians love God or Jesus, let alone the church. I do not think they know what love is as 1 Cor. 13 tells us

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; [b]bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Notice the words I put in bold print. When they change the Bible to fit their desires, they are NOT believing all things. When they change the historical record of creation, the flood, and other biblical events to metaphors, myths or legends they are not believing all things.

So their claim of ‘loving God and the church’ is hollow and doesn’t ring true. Jesus said ‘if you love me keep my commandments…’ yet these ‘liberals’ cannot even do that as they seek to change many of the commandments to allow their alternative ideology into the church.

They can’t even obey the simple warning of testing the spirits because evil comes as an angel of light…They do end up accepting many false doctrines and ideas then claim God is wrong. SO they do not love God nor the church, they love their alternative ideas and want to force the church to follow in their disobedient ways.

The best way for conservative churches to produce “liberal” biblical scholars is to keep encouraging young people to read the Bible.

I wonder what Carey does with the passage, ‘thy word I have hidden in my heart so I won’t sin against thee…; (done from memory). Reading the Bible leads us to those passages that keep us from sinning against God yet it seems that Carey has ignored those which say ‘do not follow the ungodly’ or ‘ blessed is he who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly.’

If someone has a question about different passages and what they mean, then they need better answers from more mature believers. Being honest with those with questions goes a long ways.

The first thing seemed little, but it proved to be important later on. Reading through Matthew, then Mark, and then Luke, a young person can get bored: Didn’t I see this story before? I get it already: How many people did Jesus heal? But something else happens, too. You begin to notice little inconsistencies.

I have not found any inconsistencies in the Bible. I have found where different authors have written things a little differently but that is normal. Not everyone writes the exact same words as another author on the same topic. For example, the Civil War, Foote did not write from the same perspective as Catton and Catton did not write from the same perspective as MacPherson who did not write from the same perspective as Foote.

If they did, charges of plagiarism or copying would abound. The same for the Gospels. We already have the source Q theory as evidence for what happens if they would have written from the same perspective and using the same exact words so it is not a stretch to say that the biblical writers and God would face criticism no matter what they did.

Of course there will be similarities because like the Civil War authors mentioned above, the gospel writers are writing about the same person so some of the stories will be similar. If they had completely different stories within their gospels, I am sure modern unbelieving  or liberal scholars would claim that the gospel writers were writing about different people and not the same one man.

God won’t win no matter what he does because unbelievers or liberals will find fault no matter what. What true believers can only do is answer the questions honestly and if it isn’t enough there is not much else one can do. People will find any excuse to accept alternatives.

An innocent Bible reader assumes there must be satisfactory resolutions to such problems. But no such explanations exist. Different biblical books simply tell stories differently.

This is not true. The problem isn’t that a satisfactory answer is NOT available, it is that ‘liberals’ do not accept the answers given to them.

With a colorful chart, the instructor was explaining how the Gospels were composed — that Mark was written first, and that Matthew and Luke relied upon copies of Mark. As soon as I saw that chart, I instantly knew where we were headed! There was no way the Gospels were written by eyewitnesses who simply remembered things differently.

So a chart told him there were no eye-witnesses? My question is, why didn’t he challenge the chart and the instructor instead of assuming God is wrong? We do not know which Gospel was written first and no chart can change that fact. SO why didn’t Carey take issue with this misguided presentation?

It isn’t the answers that are the problem, it is the failure to challenge those who claim something is wrong or claim something they cannot possibly know. There is no way to say that Matthew and Luke relied upon Mark because we have NO verifiable historical document making this confession. It is all pure speculation.

There is more but I just do not have the time to deal with it right now.

My second memory involves the one thing that most bothers pious high schoolers: sex. Our church leaders warned us not only to abstain sexual intercourse but also to avoid those heavy makeout sessions that lead to removing sweaters, exploring panty lines and so forth. And depending on what the meaning of is, is, I pretty much succeeded. But I was also reading my Bible. And nowhere did I find all this stuff about saving sex for marriage. (That’s because the Bible doesn’t include that message, certainly not consistently.)

Really? Again we see him claiming the Bible is wrong and that he is free to do as he wills instead of challenging those people who may have given him false information. The Bible is very consistent about sex and how it should be practiced. If the example of David and Bathsheba wasn’t enough of an example then what would be?

Here is a link to passages of scripture on adultery, and they seem quite consistent to me

http://www.biblegateway.com/keyword/?search=adultery&version=NASB&version1=NASB&version1=NASB&searchtype=all

It seems that someone distorts what scripture says to fit his own desires.

  And I wondered how a 16-year-old Southern Baptist would have made sense out of Ephesians 5:21-6:9, a passage that tells wives to submit to their husbands, children to obey their parents and slaves to obey their masters.

I remember what the late Corrie Ten Boom wrote about an event that took place between her father and her when she was a young girl. They were traveling somewhere together and she wanted to carry the suitcase but her father wouldn’t let her. Finally after much pestering her father put the suitcase down and told her to pick it up. She couldn’t and her father said something like, I do not let you carry the suitcase because you are not ready for it as it is too heavy for you.

The same thing with scriptures. Sometimes scriptures are too heavy for 16-year-old boys and they should not worry about those passages until they are spiritually strong enough to handle the message they bring.

Becoming a Christian doesn’t mean we are immediately endowed with complete understanding of what the Bible says. It takes years of growing in Christ before we are ready to handle some of the tougher passages.

Carey seems to be impatient and wants God to lay everything out the way Carey wants instead of being patient and doing things God’s way. God knows when we are ready to handle what he says in different passages and so we just have to trust and wait till those times come when we understand it all.

You see Carey assumed the word ‘slaves’ meant the American style slavery but he wasn’t mature enough to search out what God meant by the word so he built a stumbling block instead of searching for the truth.

  I’m just as passionate for Jesus and for the gospel as I ever have been, though I understand them differently too. But I can say this: Reading the Bible is a terrific cure for fundamentalism. That’s exactly how many of us so-called liberal Bible scholars got our start.

How can he have passion for Jesus and the Gospels when he doesn’t believe them and tries to change their words? He may have passion but it isn’t for Jesus the Son of God or God’s word, it is for his own construction of who Jesus is and what God’s word says.

This is the thing with ‘liberals’. They claim to love God, Jesus , the bible and the church BUT they do not see that it is not God, Jesus, the Bible and the church that they love. It is their own version of those items they desire.

This is why I can ask, is there such a thing as a liberal christian because in reality, they really are unbelievers not Christians. The word Christian means Christ-like and they certainly are not Christlike as Jesus did not change Genesis, he did not change the commandments of God, he did not find excuses to sin and so on.

Liberal Christians are actually unbelievers because they do not believe God, Jesus or the Bible and want to make the church after their own image and desires not God’s.

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2014 in academics, Bible, church, theology

 

Much To Talk ABout- 47

#1. Now It Is Hell’s Turnhttp://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/letting-go-of-hell/

Nope– not at all, and today I’ll explain how it’s possible to let go of hell without letting go of the Bible.

First, it is creation, then the Flood, then anti-homosexual teachings and now we get people trying to change the biblical teaching on hell. Two points

#1. In fact, the concept of hell we have today is far more based on the 14th Century Poem, Dante’s Inferno, than it is scripture itself.

UHM…NO!  The concept of hell that we have today and where Dante probably derived his idea of hell comes from the Bible. All the author of that post had to do was read the book of Revelation and he would see this fact

10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and [c]brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Rev. 20 NASB)

Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if [a]anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Rev. 20 NASB)

The KJV may have been translated after Dante’s poem but Dante’s poem was written long after the book of Revelation was written. The concept of hell we have today comes from God’s word not secular humans.

#2 We would argue that this is precisely what Jesus was referring to in Matthew 10:28 when he said that we should not be afraid of human enemies who can kill the body but not the soul, but rather we should be concerned with God, who actually is able to kill the soul.

One thing I do not like is when people distort scripture or leave words out of passages to make their point.  The author of that post is using that verse in Mt. to support the point he made in the previous paragraph, which is:

Since the soul does not posses independent immortality, souls can in fact “die” or cease to exist if God withdraws his will for them to exist.

What ruins his point is the little fact that he left out 2 words from MT. 10:28

28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in [a]hell.

I put the 2 words he is missing in bold print.  He conveniently leaves out these words because they ruin his thesis.  Jesus was not talking about killing the soul as a body dies or is killed but that important point is left out by the author of that post for some strange reason.

But this is the way it is with those who accept alternatives over the Bible. They do not like a biblical teaching so they alter the text to fit their desires. It is shameful and dishonest.

#2. Bad Scholarshiphttp://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/06/23/how-an-apocalyptic-plague-helped-christianity/?hpt=hp_t2

Archaeologists in Egypt have unearthed relics from an apocalyptic plague that some Christians believed heralded the end of the world an idea that likely helped spread the faith centuries ago.

I do not like what Candida Moss writes not because she is highly touted by Jim West but because she doesn’t get it right.  We have NO connection between that particular plagued and what ancient Christians thought. When she quotes Cyprian, she doe snot quote any passage supporting that point above, she quotes something altogether different–the effects of the plague.

It boggles the mind to see such a leap to a conclusion and the failure to support that leap. But this isn’t her only problem. She really doesn’t understand the topic very well.

As archaeologists excavated the site earlier this month, they found remnants of bodies covered in a thick layer of lime. The lime was significant, as it was used in the ancient world as a form of disinfectant to prevent contamination.

I do not think she researched the use of lime at all. It was never used as a disinfectant but to aid in decomposition and cut the smell of the decomposing body. You can study up on it here if you want

https://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=A0SO8xFOqqhTtCUAH9JXNyoA;_ylc=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?gprid=tp1H8LNLS2G_PNq_zXfADA&pvid=75go7DIwOC61Q6D1UqV2qAfTMjIyLlOoqk7_4w8I&p=lime+and+burials&fr2=sb-top&fr=yfp-t-901

Different studies do try to say that lime did not aid, composition but then what studies say and what ancient people really thought are usually two different things. I also know that lime for burials has been used well up into the modern age with the same idea–cut the smell and help decomposition. The problem is, she posted nothing to support her point.

Pottery located in the kilns enabled the scientists to date the discovery to the middle of the third century, the time of a gruesome epidemic known as the “plague of Cyprian.”

The problem with this point is that the pottery in the kiln may not have any relation to the burial site. The burial could have been hundreds of years earlier, we cannot know for sure.

With the spread of the plague, these threats seemed increasingly real. Now that hell had become a place on earth, Christians were increasingly eager to avoid it in the afterlife.

The epidemic that seemed like the end of the world actually promoted the spread of Christianity.

Nothing that she wrote supports this conclusion. In fact she failed to make any real connection from the plague to the spread of the gospel. She makes wild suggestions that cannot be supported then draws her conclusion based solely on her own wild suggestions.

We see nothing in her quotes or comments that has Christians traveling the world because of this plague.

#3. Double Standard– http://global.christianpost.com/news/homosexual-behavior-policy-leads-lawyers-to-vote-to-deny-christian-university-law-school-accreditation-121524

Lawyers from the Law Society of British Columbia voted to prevent the B.C. Trinity Western University from confering law degrees due to the school’s Community Covenant Agreement which requires that students “voluntarily abstain” from “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.”

Homosexuals and other sinners all want freedom to practice their views YET they refuse to grant that same desire to those who disagree with them. It is the same with the cry for academic freedom that secular scholars trot out every time a Christian organization decides to remove professors who do not agree with God or the Bible.

A Christian university should be allowed to practice its faith without being accused of discrimination. The secular world would not admit to it but their actions in opposition to  the Christian university’s stance is discrimination in action.

The secular world is not allowing the Christian to practice their faith. So if barring homosexual behavior is discrimination then so is barring the Christian from practicing their faith.

It is a large double standard and one that will not be fixed very soon as I doubt TWU or other Christians will sue and bring the charge of discrimination against the secular world.

#4. Ratingshttp://global.christianpost.com/news/duck-dynastys-season-6-premiere-ratings-at-4-6-million-drop-from-season-5s-8-5-million-121534/

A&E’s reality show “Duck Dynasty” premiered its season six on Wednesday night with declining numbers, losing nearly 4 million viewers compared to its season five premiere. However, the show still remains the number one cable show on Wednesday night.
Read more at http://global.christianpost.com/news/duck-dynastys-season-6-premiere-ratings-at-4-6-million-drop-from-season-5s-8-5-million-121534/#g8Yq1q9yEO4DveLt.99

Not every decline or negative comment has a sinister conspiracy behind it. Sometimes a show has just run its course and it is time to move on.

Critics and ratings-gazers will be quick to attribute Duck Dynasty’s fall from grace to any number of factors — one of them obviously being star Phil Robertson’s controversial persona in the wake of anti-gay comments made in a GQ profile — but the fact of the matter remains that docusoaps have a short lifespan. And A&E has already milked more out of Duck Dynasty than anybody could have imagined,” wrote Michael O’Connor for The Hollywood Reporter.

He is probably correct. Networks will use controversial remarks as a way to get the ratings to go up and normally do not signify their true feelings on a topic or about a cast. Money is what drives networks and if they can get money out of Christians by promoting Christian topics then they will do that.

If they can get money out of the homosexual preference then they will promote that agenda. Making money drives Hollywood. Though for Hollywood and others, they should be reminded that ‘the love of money is the root of all evil.’

Don’t look for things that aren’t there. Look for the truth and then deal with that.

#5. Defending Sin Against The Big Bad Christianhttp://global.christianpost.com/news/polands-prime-minister-says-doctor-must-put-law-over-faith-perform-abortion-despite-christian-belief-121370/

Prime Minister Donald Tusk said in a statement Tuesday that the well-known Warsaw obstetrician Bogdan Chazan must choose the law over his faith after the doctor refused to perform an abortion on a fetus who reportedly had severe physical and brain abnormalities.

What is the secular world afraid of that it needs to force believers to carry out acts they disagree with?  Surely there are other doctors who are more willing to perform an abortion that the Prime Minister doesn’t need to force someone to act against their own beliefs.

Then, this is a good example where people obey God rather than man. If one has to lose their medical license or their jobs to stay true to their faith and God then that is what they must do.

One never wins with compromise. Nothing is gained by ending the life of an unborn child. But as we see in the last paragraph, people’s attitudes are very selfish

In 2011, the Polish government narrowly rejected a bill that would have illegalized abortion in all cases. The bill failed to pass parliament by a 191 to 186 vote, but the massive public support for the bill revealed Poland’s views on abortion. The bill reportedly needed 100,000 signatures to receive a parliament vote, and it gained 600,000 in a mere two weeks.

One more thing,

Poland’s strict abortion laws only grant women the life-ending procedure before 25 weeks of pregnancy and if the mother’s life is in grave danger, if the fetus is known to have severe birth defects, or if the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest.

Allowing abortion for rape or incest is punishing the child for the sins of the parents. Something God did not allow in the OT. Christians should not be supporting abortion in the case of these two reasons.

We need to be consistent with our faith even when we protest against an action that is sinful.

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2014 in academics, archaeology, church, General Life, homosexuality

 

Church Sins

Over the past week or so I have talked a lot about those people who have attacked CT and the supposedly anonymous ex-YP and his story.  Most people involved in the uproar were very emotional and sought their own brand of justice and not God’s.

Some of these people may wonder why I did not ‘come down harder’ on both CT and the ex-YP and joined the chorus in condemning both.  Partially because neither had committed any real sin nor broke any laws in writing and publishing those words. The same people may also wonder why I did not speak out more against sexual crimes committed by religious leaders (those two words will cover pastors, assistants ps., yps, missionaries and other leaders in the church).

There are a few reasons for why I didn’t say more about sexual crimes in the church and today’s post will cover that ground. Religious leaders usually go through years of biblical training and have a firm grasp on what is or isn’t sin. They are well aware that they are disobeying and letting God down by giving in to temptation or being unable to control their sexual desires.

Condemnation by the congregation or outsiders is not going to bring healing in that area. Religious leaders struggle with the sin nature just like anybody else. They are not immune to its evil influence nor are they immune to temptation.

They are human as well and there is only so much pressure they can withstand if they are not given support. That support can be in the form of prayer,  set boundaries and so on. That is the decision of the local church.

If I were to speak more harshly about sexual sins, then I would also have to bring up the other sins religious leaders commit.  Those sins affect the church, its spiritual health and growth just as much as sexual sins do.

If you recall the first battle of AI then you would remember how one lowly person’s sin cost the lives of many in that fight.  Then think about how the ‘lesser’ sins of religious leaders will affect the church.  All sin, not just the sexual ones have a destructive effect on God’s people.

We should not get off-balanced when dealing with sinful matters in the church. God doesn’t let one little in go so we should be more vigilant in charging our religious leaders concerning their spiritual duties. Paul tells us in Col 3:9 that we are not to lie to one another. Lying is sin and is destructive to the church congregation.

Religious leaders should not lie to their people. They are also to feed their flock. Jesus made that charge to Peter when he challenged Peter’s love for Christ. Improper feeding of the faithful means that the congregation will not be spiritually mature or ready for spiritual warfare.

Religious leaders are a product of that type of malnourished environment and their production is going to not as pure and good as it should be. Having attended Bible College I have seen first hand the training many religious leaders receive, how they apply that training and how they have failed in their spiritual battles.

How one is taught, the examples they receive from the then religious leaders does affect the leadership in the present day church. So if I am going to speak on one sin I have to speak on them all because one sin causing emotional outrage is not the only sin affecting the church today.

Then there is another problem. And in those posts I have tried to deal effectively with that problem but I do not know how well I did.  Jesus made the point when confronted by the religious leaders of his day with the woman caught in adultery.

He said-those without sin, cast the first stone. Now I doubt it would be only the religious leaders throwing stones . Most likely, due to the culture of the time, all people would participate in the act of stoning. And since there were no other qualitative words used in that passage of scripture we can conclude that Jesus was speaking to all people.

In other words, those who rose up and attacked CT and the ex-YP needed to be without sin before they cast their first stone and I highly doubt any of them were. I certainly didn’t read anything that implied that they were without sin.

Then we need to turn to that famous passage, ‘Do unto others as ye would have them do unto you.’ How many of those people attacking CT and the ex-YP would want to be treated in the same manner as they treated those two participants?

You see if you want the religious leaders to treat you with justice, compassion, mercy, fairness, etc., then you need to treat them with the same behavior. You need to be just, fair, compassionate, fair and merciful.

No passage of scripture, that I know of,  tells anyone to wait till the religious leaders do it first then you behave in the same way. God’s instructions are for everyone to implement into their lives regardless of what the other person does.

You can’t wait till the religious leader is perfect before starting your spiritual growth. You are responsible to obey God even if no one else does. The Christian life is not a majority rule life, it is not a depends life, nor is it a wait and see life. Every one who claims they have received salvation needs to learn and implement God’s ways into their lives without waiting for the other person to do it first.

When a religious leader falls, there is no biblical instruction to point the judgmental/condemning finger and kick them when they are down. Biblical instruction is provided to guide the unfallen in picking the fallen up and restore them to the correct Christian behavior and faith.

You see if I spoke out against 1 sin, then I would have to speak out against them all and I would have to target ALL church members not just the religious leaders. Yes there is a sexual problem in the church leadership BUT there is also a sin problem in the whole church

It isn’t just the church leaders who need to repent and get right with God it is the many members of the congregation who sin as well. Maybe if the whole church got right with God and repented of their sins they would know that they can and need to remove those sinful church leaders from their midst until they repent.

You can’t put the blame of sexual sins solely upon church leadership because if the congregation fails to remove that fallen leader then they are as guilty as the person committing the sin. The congregation has the power to 1). plea to God to remove the fallen person; 2) vote him or her out of their employment.

But if they don’t act and wait till someone else does it then they only have themselves to blame for what took place. God has given many options to the people, they just have to be courageous enough to take those options and without sinning apply them to their problems.

Christians do not do kangaroo courts, they do not do vigilante justice, they do not hurt innocent people. They take care of problems God’s way which means justice, fairness, doesn’t play favorites, doesn’t follow the world’s thinking, and protects the innocent. It is also honest.

In the ex-YP’s case, from the information we were given, the young girl was not a victim, was not groomed and was not innocent. If you are honest with yourselves and use God’s ways you will see the difference.

Too many people have sinned in this uproar and they need to get right with God over their actions if they want to be healthy believers and stop destroying the church. It isn’t just the religious leaders who are doing it. It is a group effort.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2014 in church, family, General Life, Justice

 
 
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