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Monthly Archives: July 2018

Our Comments on a Few Topics- 6

We would like to address a few more topics

#1. Revoice revisitedhttps://www.christianpost.com/news/revoice-lgbt-christian-conference-speaker-rejects-idea-that-jesus-supports-gay-marriage-226503/

Revoice says its mission is to engage in “supporting, encouraging, and empowering gay, lesbian, same-sex-attracted, and other LGBT Christians so they can flourish while observing the historic, Christian doctrine of marriage and sexuality.”

In light of our conversation yesterday on Revoice, we decided to take another look at the organization. In this article, we found that we could agree with much of what the keynote speaker was saying. Jesus never altered God’s rules to appease or include those who did not want to follow them. What we do not like are the generalities that organization keeps putting out.

As you can see by the quoted words above, they are far to non-specific to make anyone comfortable or encourage them to support the organization. we would need specifics on those topics to understand exactly what they mean and where they stand. As for empowering, the Holy Spirit does that not an organization and that empowering follows God’s rules.

So before we say anything more, let’s have specifics. There is nothing to be afraid of if you are standing with God correctly in your beliefs. Plus, it is good to make sure your beliefs are in line with God before you voice them.

#2. It doesn’t look like thishttps://www.christianpost.com/news/what-reconciliation-looks-like-fla-church-that-once-banned-blacks-now-has-first-ever-african-american-pastor-226492/

A Florida congregation that once refused to allow African Americans to attend worship services recently appointed its first African-American pastor

We are not racists, we are not anti-women but we are for obeying God’s word. You cannot have reconciliation if you disobey God’s word. While it is good that the church has changed from their exclusive thinking, it is not good that they went from excluding blacks to excluding God. The Holy Spirit does not lead people to disobey God the father or God the Son. That would be sin and would disqualify the Holy Spirit from being God.

What we suggest is that people take a hard look at what is motivating them to move away from the instructions God has given in the bible as they try to fulfil their desires. Not every motivating spirit is of God and many will deceive unwary, immature believers into thinking they are hearing from God. When some motivating spirit or human tells you it is okay to disobey God, then they are not from God and you should take the appropriate action.

#3. Please, do not say ithttps://www.christianpost.com/news/archaeological-discovery-huge-block-once-containing-the-remains-of-peter-philip-and-andrew-found-226448/

A reliquary that once could have held the remains of the apostles Philip, Andrew and Peter, has been discovered in the ruins of what may be the ancient Israeli city of Bethsaida, a top archaeologist has said.

Oops, they went and said it. Archaeologists should know history, they should also know the traditions of the disciples and how and where they died. There is no excuse for them to say such things as this. We get disgusted at these types of comments because one, they have no hope of being verified. Two, they are misleading and have some ulterior motive behind them. Three, the archaeologists just do not know.

It is better to withhold such statements until some real evidence is uncovered verifying the claim.

#4. All they need is an excusehttps://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-market-trader-who-lost-license-giving-away-tracts-against-homosexuality-wins-case-226449/

A Christian market trader who lost his license to set up shop in England after a customer complained about a tract he was giving out that was against homosexuality, has won his case and has been awarded damages.

While we are happy that he won his case do not be fooled. The unbelieving world does not need a reason to thwart any Christian attempt to win souls. All they need is an excuse. The non-christian world does not have an objective standard of justice that guides them. They have the hate that evil as for God and his followers. Keep that in mind the next time you want to do something for God.

Also, God does not always break believers out of prison when they are arrested like he did in the book of Acts. Have no romantic adventurous ideas in your head when you serve God. Just make sure you are serving God the way he wants you to do. And be prepared to endure while not whining and complaining about how you are treated. Sometimes, there are better ways to serve than handing out tracts.

#5. The unbelieving world is the world that is deceived- https://www.christianpost.com/news/canadian-man-changes-sex-birth-certificate-save-money-car-insurance-exposes-system-226526/

David then filed the note along with the necessary paperwork to the government for processing. A few weeks later, he received a new birth certificate with his gender marker stating that he was a woman. He would then go through the process to get a new driver’s license reflecting the female gender designation on his birth certificate. David then saved $91 per month on his car insurance.

David told CBC News that he was shocked when the new birth certificate came in the mail and made him feel like he had “beat the system.”

“I felt like I won,” he stressed. “I’m a man, 100 percent. Legally, I’m a woman.”

David assured the news organization that he does not actually identify as a woman and was just “angry” and felt like he was “getting screwed over” by the insurance company.

This article is an interesting read. It does show how the unbelieving world thinks it is better than the Christian world by its policies etc. Yet as can be seen, those policies lead people to do very unChristian acts to get ahead. The policies of the unbelieving world have people thinking they are helping a minority but in reality they are making life more unfair, more unjust, more sinful.

Remember that homosexuals and transgender make up a very minute amount of people. They should not be catered to but given help to overcome their sins. Right and wrong are not overturned because a small group of people want rights. There is a thing that is called right and wrong and that standard needs to be upheld even when those in the wrong cry and whine that they are excluded. They are excluded because they are wrong.

We do not change the rules because some people refuse to obey the rules.

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The Church & LGBTQ

You are never going to get us to agree that one can be a LGBTQ community member and a Christian at the same time. Jesus’ redemptive work at conversion takes care of that sin.  We have also argued that those claiming to be LGBTQ and Christian are being very selfish and refuse to give up their sin for God. They love their sin more than they love God.

But you will also never get us to agree to abuse those who participate in same-sex sins. We do not agree with letting them go homeless, hungry, thirsty or left without aid when they are in trouble. Do unto others applies to helping the LGBTQ member while not accepting their sin or lifestyle. The church is free to ban them from leadership positions in the Church,  they are free to ban them from the congregation if they refuse to give up their sins but the church is not free to spurn someone in need.

Doesn’t matter who they are, whether they be single men, women with children or those who practice sin. Returning good for evil is a commandment from Jesus. It is one that needs to be practiced in today’s cultural change against the Christian faith and those who practice it. We need to demonstrate that we have the better lifestyle and something worth living for.

With that said here are a few articles that need addressing on this issue:

#1. https://www.christianpost.com/voice/why-some-christians-buy-into-lgbt-theology.html

I’m often reminded of this quotation while listening to self-identifying Christians argue in support of same-sex relationships. Rarely do I ever hear an actual argument, certainly not from Scripture. What I do hear are experiences—how befriending an LGBT person or getting a certain feeling or receiving a supposed message from God should lead Christians to a new view of sex, marriage, and the human person—a view the church has unanimously rejected for two millennia.

A very well written piece that is worth the time to read and understand. The Bible tells us to teach sound doctrine and that there will be people trying to evade the truth. Every believer should have sound doctrine in their hearts and minds which will protect them from the evils that come from LGBTQ ideology.

#2. https://www.christianpost.com/news/megachurch-pastor-adam-hamilton-says-christians-can-support-gay-marriage-and-not-be-heretical-226454/

United Methodist megachurch pastor Adam Hamilton stated at a Texas gathering that Christians can support gay marriage and not be at odds with orthodoxy.

Maybe, but they would be at odds with God and his teaching. That is something no believer should attempt. God said you are either for me or against me (he did say it first) and that includes LGBTQ positioning. To be a true believer one cannot support same-sex marriage. They also cannot accept divorce except in the case of adultery. Nor can they violate the law and have more than one wife at a time.

Just because OT figures did so does not mean that we can. You either stand with God or you do not. The choice is yours and that megachurch pastor does not stand with God. He is changing the Christian faith to meet his desires and ideology. He is preaching something Jesus and the disciples did not teach.

#3.https://www.christianpost.com/voice/a-compassionate-response-to-the-transgender-issue.html

So in other words, for the vast majority of those suffering from gender dysphoria, it is a temporary—not a permanent problem. Yet for those who get the gender reassignment surgery, this is a permanent “solution.” But the “solution” then usually leads to many other problems.

It is an interesting read and one that gives the perspective of someone who regretted their gender identity changes. At no time should gender be removed from the lives of children. Boys are boys and are born with certain chromosomes and equipment. The same for girls. God made two different genders only as that was his will.

Far be it that we should change what God did.

#4. https://www.christianpost.com/news/al-mohler-denounces-ny-times-column-claiming-leviticus-doesnt-condemn-gay-sex-226350/

Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, has taken issue with a recent New York Times column claiming that Leviticus does not condemn homosexual activity.

Harvard scholar Idan Dershowitz argued in an opinion piece published Sunday that Leviticus 18:22, which prohibits gay sex, was added in the Old Testament long after it was first written

There is a second article on the Christian Post dealing with this topic.  Those people who do not have the spirit of truth will not know more about homosexuality than those who do. They will also not know more about what the Bible says than those who do. There will be those who disagree with God seeking to change what was written in his word so they can justify their sinful practices. It is not limited to LGBTQ issues.

Just for the record, Mr. Dershowitz is wrong and has no evidence supporting his position

#5. https://www.christianpost.com/news/speakers-lgbt-christian-conference-revoice-defend-event-225859/

Participants for the LGBT Christian conference Revoice are defending the event from criticism that the gathering will promote pro-LGBT ideas at the expense of biblical teaching.

There will also be those who refuse to acknowledge their sin and will continually seek to get it accepted into the church.  They are the ones, not those in the church who stand correctly with God, who err.

The church, to be the light unto the world, must stand with God and his teaching. Secular culture, unbelievers do not hold the truth and are the ones deceived. They cannot shed light onto the church. They can only spread darkness and try to ruin the light that the church is to be.

 

Some Words on Carbon Dating

And no, we are not going to make any bad jokes.

We have stated previously that we get a newsletter from Patterns of Evidence. This month, the topic was on carbon  dating. Now if you have read our early articles, you will see that we are not a fan of carbon dating. We do not agree that it can date back to 50,000 even with calibration. We do not think carbon dating can go beyond 11,000 years.

We already know and have known for years that there is a problem with that dating system. You cannot expect infallibility to be the product of fallible people who are often deceived and blind. Carbon dating lives and dies by the assumptions associated with it. In our opinion, calibration does not help but only makes things worse.

Again trying to correct one fallible dating system with another is like trying to correct a thief by using a master thief. It just does not work.  The newsletter goes on to say that a new study is rocking the archaeological world concerning dating biblical and other ancient events. The problem is that carbon dating is not the go-to dating system for archaeologists. Most of them rely on the pottery dating method because carbon dating is just too expensive.

Here is the first excerpt from that newsletter:

Theories about the correct dates for events in the ancient world have been debated for centuries. Even modern archaeology experiences disagreements over what the timelines for different periods should look like. Since 1949, the process of carbon dating has become widely (if not universally) accepted to the point where it has supposedly settled many of those dating disputes.

Adding to the debate was the announcement of a recent study last month in the Cornell Chronicle. Sturt Manning, Professor of Classical Archaeology at Cornell University, and colleagues, recorded a series of carbon 14 dates in tree rings from southern Jordan near Petra that have sent tremors through the field of archaeology.

Manning chose to test juniper trees (Juniperus phoenicea) that were of a type used for building construction at Taybet Zaman, Jordan and could give unbroken sequences of rings back several hundred years. These tree rings were of known dates between AD 1610 and 1940. They showed that the average discrepancy between the known ages and those supplied by radiocarbon dating was 19 years. The carbon dates made the samples appear older than they really were.

Manning noted in the Chronicle that, “Scholars working on the early Iron Age and Biblical chronology in Jordan and Israel are doing sophisticated projects with radiocarbon age analysis, which argue for very precise findings. This then becomes the timeline of history. But our work indicates that it’s arguable their fundamental basis is faulty – they are using a calibration curve that is not accurate for this region.”

Dating the past has never been an exact science. One reason is that the ancient records are scant. The Egyptian Chronology was built on quoted words of Manetho as his original autographs and copies of his work have long been lost. There are other texts involved but they are as fragmented as Manetho.

This also raises the possibility that going further back in time might magnify the problem. When asked about the accuracy of radiocarbon testing, Manning told the Times of Israel, “If you only have radiocarbon but have a good set of data and a known archaeological sequence (e.g. stratified layers at an archaeological site) then you can hope to get within a few decades or so – so high-precision dating,” he says.

But then Manning added a significant disclaimer: “If you have nothing but a few radiocarbon dates, then you are more looking at ca. 50-100 years or so precision.”

The 50 to 100 year probability is not unusual, we are not rocked or shocked by that figure. After all the Exodus ranges between the 15th and 13th centuries BC which is a 200-year difference. The concern about carbon dating’s accuracy should focus on the assumptions made not the results of different tests. There are so many variables in play when a scientist conducts a carbon dating test that it is a miracle if the system gets the date correct.

One of the biggest assumptions is how many C14 isotopes were in the original item when it died. No one ever knows the answer to that problem. Then the next biggest issue is how big was the item, animal, etc. when it died? Organic material decays and as it decays it loses a lot of properties that may help in dating the specimen. There are other problems that arise with carbon dating that do not allow it to be a very accurate dating tool.

At times we accept the dates it provides as long as it stays in the 11,000 year and under category because it is not totally useless.

The Times of Israel article focuses on the threat Manning’s revised dates pose to the archaeology that supposedly supports Israel’s United Kingdom at the time of kings David and Solomon. There are finds in Israel that support a more organized central government emerging during part of the Iron Age, which many have tagged as evidence for the time of David and Solomon. Making those finds several decades younger would disconnect them from their supposed biblical connections. This has led scholars who support these links to downplay Manning’s findings.

This would be nice and good if the unbelieving world was honest. But it isn’t carbon dating leading the charge to disconnect evidence from their biblical identity. That issue falls to those who disbelieve the Bible, like the Minimalists, who discount any biblical event prior to Omri or Ahab. Other unbelieving archaeologists just do not want to prove the Bible true and on it goes. It is not the dating system proving anything but those scientists and archaeologists who have been blinded and deceived by evil who construct theories etc. to condemn the veracity and authenticity of the Bible

Dating systems can be manipulated especially when you use another faulty dating system to correct the first one used. A bad date does not mean the Bible is untrue. There is a problem with the dating system if it disagrees with the Bible.

As Rohl documents in his book Pharaohs and Kings, several of these tree-ring chronologies have had to be withdrawn after it was found that they contradicted each other.

As we said, correcting one faulty dating system with another just does not work. But since the faulty dating systems give what the unbeliever wants to hear, we do not expect any corrections to come any time soon.

You can read the whole article, we hope, at the following link

http://patternsofevidence.com/blog/2018/07/27/carbon-dating-errors-may-rewrite-the-bibles-place-in-history/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=Thinker121Carbon&utm_term=&utm_content=&utm_campaign=Thinker121Carbon&inf_contact_key=000c53333e858c8b5a63d94d953a87221626af0bf022cac4794f63aedc2309fd

But one thing is for sure, do not think that the blind deceived world can construct anything that will be so accurate that it will prove God wrong. It just won’t happen.

 

Our Comments on a Few Topics- 5

#1. Deathhttps://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-author-wynter-pitts-dies-suddenly-at-38-daughter-trusts-god-is-in-control-226444/

Wynter Pitts, a well-known Christian author, speaker and founder of For Girls Like You magazine, died “suddenly” on Tuesday. She was 38 and leaves behind her husband and four young girls

One of the last things Christians should be surprised at is death. Doesn’t matter the age. Why should it be one of the last things we are surprised at? Because Jesus warned us that it is appointed unto man once to die. God did not say that everyone will long a long and fulfilled life. Also we have countless accounts of people dying young in the Bible.

Because we are not guaranteed a long life, we should live our lives to the glory of God each day. That is hard to do but at least it is the right motive to live life. When people die young, we should not get angry at God. He gave zero promises about our longevity and it is usually our wants, desires, emotions that are used by evil to interfere with our relationship with God.

#2. Childbirth-  https://www.christianpost.com/news/us-is-most-dangerous-place-in-the-developed-world-for-childbirth-report-226446/

An in-depth investigation conducted by USA Today points to different reasons why the U.S. has become the “most dangerous place in the developed world” for giving birth to a child.

The investigation reveals that while most women in the country give birth without encountering any issue, over 50,000 per year are not as fortunate as they become severely injured. Around 700 women on a yearly basis suffer an even worse fate as they pass away during childbirth. The biggest reason cited was a lack of attention to new mothers

It is a very good article and one not about the dangers of abortion. we will just quote two of the reasons so you are aware of the issue and can take the proper steps too avoid them:

Among the reasons cited is hospitals and medical workers failing to follow proper safety practices

The investigation notes that over the span of decades, hospitals and experts in the medical field have pointed to women being unhealthy, overweight and other risk factors as reasons for the rising number of maternal deaths.

#3. Overreaction?https://www.christianpost.com/news/willow-creeks-global-leadership-summit-loses-111-sites-due-to-allegations-made-against-bill-hybels-226467/

The Willow Creek Association revealed Friday that their annual Global Leadership Summit set for Aug. 9–10 has suffered a loss of 111 host sites as a direct result of the sexual misconduct allegations that led to the resignation of Willow Creek Community Church founder Bill Hybels earlier this year.

We are not fans of Willow Creek or even Mr. Hybels but sometimes as we read about different churches and their responses to sinful issues in the Church we think that people are trying too hard to be spiritual and not being spiritual at all. Or they want to look good to a certain demographic in hopes of getting the latter’s butts in their pews or whatever reason they may have.

Very rarely do we come away from those articles with the thought that they are spiritual. Their terminology causes us to doubt their stated position. We do not like this leadership conference because WIllow Creek sins and leads other churches to sin, we also did not like their handling of the accusations against their founder. It was a matter that should have been handled privately, not in the media. The people outside the church do not have a right to know. Handling sin is not a public spectator sport.

#4. Judgmenthttps://www.christianpost.com/news/judge-upholds-oregon-school-districts-policy-allowing-boys-to-use-girls-bathrooms-226419/

A federal judge has upheld an Oregon school district’s policy allowing students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their preferred gender identity instead of their biological sex.

U.S. District Court Judge Marco Hernandez ruled Monday that Dallas School District No. 2 did not violate students’ privacy rights by allowing boys who identify as female to use girls’ facilities and vice versa.

The courts can and do get their judgments wrong and this is one of those cases. The different governments, courts, therapists are mishandling this issue and making things worse for everyone. Transgender thinking children need help, not encouragement. They are the ones breaking the rules and need to be corrected. It is not the ones obeying the rules of gender identity that are in the wrong or need correction.

As you go through that article you will see where the judge’s logic makes no sense. No one is stopping the transgender from using certain facilities. They are being stopped because they want to use the wrong ones. Right and wrong do not disappear simply because people think that rights trump everything.

#5. Justice?https://www.christianpost.com/news/so-baptist-missions-agency-opens-2-investigations-into-handling-of-sex-abuse-allegations-226430/

The president of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention has announced that two investigations are underway regarding the board’s handling of past sexual abuse allegations within the organization.

As we read the article we had hope that the man would install biblical justice and make sure both sides received a fair handling of the cases put before the board. For those who do not know, justice is a two-way street and does not always side with the accuser. As you read the article, you will see he is addressing a 21-year-old case that has no supporting evidence. This is wrong in and of itself. Evidence, real evidence must be part of every trial, not just a supposed victim’s or offender’s word.

We were vastly disappointed as it seems that he is blindly siding with the accuser giving no hope to the accused. Justice is not about removing hurt and pain. It is about the truth and bringing real offenders to repentance. It is not about revenge, upholding an accuser’s honor and so on. God has given us too many examples of how justice should be carried out and you will notice that women and children do not get a free pass. Their supposed honor or innocence does not deter justice. Men are also not automatically guilty without real evidence either.

The church has erred greatly in this department and have granted the secular world far too much influence on these matters.

#6. Fairy Tale–  https://www.christianpost.com/news/maxine-waters-declares-la-megachurch-she-was-sent-by-god-fight-against-donald-trump-226414/

Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters of California declared in a speech on Sunday at First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles that she feels “sent by God” to oppose President Donald Trump and all the harm she says his administration is doing.

That is what her declaration is. Not only was she not sent by God, her methods contradict her words. She does not do one biblical thing in her personal opposition to the President. Also, the only people being divisive are the Democrats, the liberals, the rebellious, and God does not teach rebellion. One may point to the book of Judges to try to counter our statement but a close examination would fail to support their use of that biblical book.

The Democrats and company are not seeking to free God’s people but looking to punish, persecute and imprison them. The Democrats and company are not looking to overthrow evil but have embraced it and wanting it to rule the land. The Democrats and company are not practicing what they preach and seek to silence voices of reason, right and wrong and justice.

Ms. Waters is not sent by God but using his name so she can be re-elected, given influence and more power. No matter what she says, she is not guided by God.

If a person wants to invoke God’s name and make statements that he is with them, they had better live the life God has instructed throughout his Bible. Ms. Waters, the Democrats and company are far from a holy life and do not know God.

 

Rachel Held Evans & the Bible

One of the trends we see taking place today is government changing its laws because a group of people refuse to obey them. The marriage laws were changed, drug laws have been changed and the list goes on. Yet that is no way to run a government nor is it anyway to run a faith. Once you start changing the rules, you are saying that the rules do not matter, only what people want or do not want is important.

Then there are people like Rachel Held Evans who fancies herself as some sort of expert on the Bible. She changes the message and meaning of the bible to suit her fancy and make people feel good. Changing the Bible is not smart as it undermines the faith and removes any guidance, direction, instruction, commands that we have and basically tells people you can live as you please. It is saying that the rules found in the bible do not matter.

We all know that is far from the truth yet people like Ms. Evans continue to defy logic and God, while still wanting to see themselves as Christian.  Here are some of her points taken from the following article:

https://rachelheldevans.com/blog/inspired-excerpt-resistance-stories

#1. It’s easy for modern-day readers to forget that much of the Bible was written by religious minorities living under the heels of powerful nation-states known for their extravagant wealth and violence.

First, let’s take away the plural nature of the word minorities as the Bible was written by one group of people– Israelites. Second, let’s take away the word minority because they were not a religious minority in their own land. While the NT was written under Roman control, that nation had no say in the construction or content of the Bible.

The OT was not written in the 5th to 7th centuries BC regardless of how many scholars claim it was. It was written over a period of time and very few of the writers were under the domination of outside nations. For example Nineveh did not rule Israel at the time of the writing of Jonah. The Psalms, books of Kings, Samuel, Chronicles, Proverbs, Ecc., and the Song of Solomon, as well as the Torah, were not written under any foreign oppression. Neither was Joshua, Job, and a few of the prophets.

We also need to add that there is absolutely no evidence supporting a 5th to 7th-century BC compilation of the Bible either. Then those outside nations wealth and violence did not influence one word of the Bible. Her other words in that paragraph

These various superpowers, which inflicted centuries of suffering upon the Jews and other conquered populations, became collectively known among the people of God as Babylon.

are just wrong and misleading. At no time were these nations placed under one category but it would be nice to see her reference sources for such an idea.

#2. One of the most important questions facing the people who gave us the Bible was: How do we resist Babylon, both as an exterior force that opposes the ways of God and an interior pull that tempts us with imitation and assimilation? They answered with volumes of stories, poems, prophecies, and admonitions grappling with their identity as an exiled people, their anger at the forces that scattered and oppressed them

No that was not the intent of the biblical writers and they did not give us that question. Nor did they grapple with their identity and so on. Ms. Evans is reading far too much into the Bible. If there is one thing that the Hebrews knew, it was their identity. They knew exactly where they came from and who they descended from. They also knew their own tribes, their own parent’s lineage and so on. Identity was not a problem.

In fact, WF Albright wrote years ago that the ancient Hebrews were the only ancient nation to know their origins. Jesus taught us not to resist but to obey authority, to do good to those who do evil and much more. The Bible does not bring us questions, it brings us the answers to our questions. The OT books were not about the Hebrews learning how to resist, as God directed them in their actions against those who oppressed them. The Bible tells us how to live correctly, not resist those in authority.

#3. It is in this sense that much of Scripture qualifies as resistance literature. It defies the empire by subverting the notion that history will be written by the wealthy, powerful, and cruel, insisting instead that the God of the oppressed will have the final word…

This is nowhere near the truth and it is such a ridiculous idea that we will not spend anymore time rebutting it. Except to say that Solomon and David were wealthy and powerful writers when they wrote their part of the Bible.

#4. The word apocalypse means “unveiling” or “disclosing.” An apocalyptic event or vision, therefore, reveals things as they really are. It peels back the layers of pomp and pre- tense, fear and uncertainty, to expose the true forces at work in the world.

Ditto for this quote. Merriam Webster disagrees with her (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apocalypse) as does just about every dictionary in the world. She is off track and far from reality with those words.

#5. The beasts of Daniel and Revelation need not be literal to be real.

Quoting Amy-Jill Levine to make a biblical point is not a smart move. As you read Ms. Levine’s words “The point of apocalyptic texts is not to predict the future,” explained biblical scholar Amy-Jill Levine in The Meaning of the Bible; “it is to provide comfort in the present.” You will see that she is more off the mark than Ms. Evans. She misunderstands the books of Daniel and Revelation as those books are not predicting the future, but informing us of what will take place. We draw comfort from their word as we know that God wins in the end.

There is a difference between prediction and actual informing people of real events.

And I think that’s because Americans, particularly white Americans, have a hard time catching apocalyptic visions when they benefit too much from the status quo to want a peek behind the curtain.

Really? She brought color and supposed race into the issue? Whether someone is white or not has no bearing on how they view apocalyptic literature. Her attack on movies that depict the rapture is not grounded in any real logic or rational thought. Then her use of the words ‘privileged class’ are out of line as she tries to restate and change the identities of the biblical writers. She calls them ‘oppressed minorities’. All Ms. Evans is doing is demonstrating how out of touch with the Bible and its content she really is.

#6. The fact is, the shadow under which most of the world trembles today belongs to America, and its beasts could be named any number of things— White Supremacy, Colonialism, the Prison Industrial Complex, the War Machine, Civil Religion, Materialism, Greed…

…America’s no ancient Babylon or Rome, I know that. But America’s no kingdom of God either

Not really. There are a few other countries who are doing that as well. But this makes no sense and her misapplication of history continues to defy logic. It has nothing to do with the Bible, the biblical writers or even our future. She misses the point because she refuses to see that it is the sin nature in all of us that brings the evil into this world and directs the unrepentant person’s actions. She also misses the teaching of the Bible by a wide margin.

#7. There’s just no denying that the very things for which Israel was condemned by the prophets—gross income inequality, mistreatment of immigrants and refugees, carelessness toward life, the oppression of the poor and vulnerable, and the worship of money, sex, and violence—remain potent, prevalent sins in our culture. These sins are embedded in nearly every system of our society from education to law enforcement to entertainment to religion. We are all culpable, all responsible for working for change.

She also misses the point that the sins that Israel were condemned for having exist in every society, not just American culture. Having had the opportunity to live overseas, we can say that there is not one nation that lives according to God’s word and commands. They are all corrupt, they are all unjust, they are all sinful. No culture is worse than another.

…What I love about the Bible is that the story isn’t over. There are still prophets in our midst. There are still dragons and beasts. It might not look like it, but the Resistance is winning. The light is breaking through

What resistance and what are those resistance fighters fighting? She was never clear on this issue. What is the goal of this resistance? She has not clearly stated or explained that either. So what is her message? That she is free to alter scriptures to fit her preferred way of thinking? That she is free to alter biblical reality to fit her new beliefs?

Sadly, she has not said anything of value in that excerpt from her book. She does talks senselessly meandering over topics acting like she knows what she is talking about. But it is her view of the Bible, her refusal to understand sin, and her acceptance of evil over good that has led her to a position of irrationality and illogical thinking.

The Bible is not a book of resistance but a guide on how to live holy lives acceptable to God.

 

James Tabor & Jesus

To be more specific the title should read James Tabor & the Jesus Tomb.  There are times where scholars continue to beat a dead horse and continue to try to salvage some sort of credibility for a theory that has long been honestly and thoroughly proven wrong. The following article is one of those times

https://jamestabor.com/the-top-twenty-fictions-related-to-the-talpiot-jesus-family-tomb/

We should mention that we sort of like James Tabor. We have sat in many of his lectures, read his books and read his blog from time to time. We do not agree with him, but he is a smart person. He was able to get his Ph.D. from Chicago University which we are told is no small feat. We do not feature him that often on this website because he is very verbose and it takes far too much time and space to go through his articles.

We will not go through all the 20 points, maybe a few, as he gets quite lengthy in his defense of his position. Most of his defenses do not work and only show the desperation in his position. You need to keep in mind that he has been making this argument for 12 years now and it didn’t help when he teamed up with S. Jacobovici.

Unfortunately, these are the very points that one most often sees repeated endlessly by those less informed as well as those adamantly opposed to the possibility that the Talpiot tomb is that of Jesus of Nazareth and his family.

We understand that he wants to address certain points when people endlessly bring the same ones up but after 12 years, there is a point in which you give up the theory because it is wrong. There is no possibility that the tomb is of Jesus of Nazareth and his family. To be specific, it is not the tomb of Jesus in the Gospels.

Research and discussion of the Talpiot tomb as related to Jesus of Nazareth shows contempt for Christianity and is an attack on the faith of millions.

We would  agree with him that researching this tomb would not be an attack on the Christian faith. BUT declaring that it is the tomb of Jesus of the Bible, when the Bible clearly states what happened to Jesus would be an attack. Why?  It is not because Christians are suppressing good history but because the researchers are saying the Bible is wrong and God lied.

Unfortunately for Dr. Tabor good history is not always good. By that we refer to the old adage, history is in the eye of the historian. This adage implies that history is under the influence of the beliefs, unbeliefs, and other influences held by the historian. Rarely is the objective of the historian to reach the truth. For example, Steven Ambrose, MacPherson, and Bruce Catton all wrote on the Civil War.

Each author had their own independent perspective on the events that transpired. Same events, same historical resources, same topic yet 3 different views. If you only read one of the authors, your views on the Civil War may be altered in some way.

While we agree with Dr. Tabor that the Talpiot tomb holds an ossuary with the words Jesus son of Joseph on them we would not agree that it is only a first century person. Dating is always subjective in most cases. We also think the ossuary holds the remains of a different person named Jesus. It is possible that the chlild was named after the divine Jesus, after Jesus was crucified. Making the ossuary and remains 1st century does not mean the person was contemporary with the biblical Jesus.

It would be coincidence that his father’s name was also Joseph which would influence the naming of the newborn child.

Jesus and his family would not have a family tomb in Jerusalem. If there were a Jesus family tomb at all it would have been in Nazareth in the Galilee, which is the ancestral home of the family.

We do not know where Jesus’ human family would have a tomb. We also do not know if they used an ossuary. According to Dr. Tabor, Jewish law says that a person is to be buried where they died. Well, except for Jesus and James, we have no idea where the family members died, including Joseph. Notice Dr. Tabor is saying that Jesus’ mother was buried in the tomb but if we recall correctly, they never argued that point before. Usually their argument was for Mary Magdalene that the name Mary represented.

Jesus was a poor, illiterate, itinerant peasant, and neither he nor his followers would have been able to afford a burial cave such as the one found at Talpiot.

We agree with Dr. Tabor here as we do not know the financial health of Jesus and his family members. What we are told is that Joseph was a carpenter and Judas was the treasurer.

THE OSSUARY INSCRIPTIONS

This is a lengthy section but it can all be addressed at the same time. First off, inscription reading is not easy, especially when someone is inscribing a name with a nail. Dr. Craig Evans has a good point on this as he said it is easy to make a slip when writing certain letters and go too far. We have all made that same slip with our pens and pencils

Second, inscription reading is very subjective. Different scholars who are experts on ancient writing do not always agree. This can be seen in Dr. Tabor’s article as well as the debate over the inscription on the ivory pomegranate, a relic thought to be from Solomon’s temple.  It can also be seen in Dr. Rollston’s work as he rarely attributes ancient Hebrew to ancient Hebrew. He always seems to find a way to attribute ancient writing to some other ancient Semitic society.

Third, ancient inscriptions are not preserved very well all the time. Cracks, weathering, and other influences blur the writing making it difficult to read or understand You can see that with the argument over the word ‘kai’ or ‘and’ in Dr. Tabor’s points. One expert will call an inscription a forgery while another will call it authentic.

DNA TESTING

This only proves heritage or lineage. It is not always good for identification. In other words, using DNA to find the identity of the bones marked Jesus would be impossible. It cannot prove those remains are the remains of the biblical Jesus. All that DNA can do is show that those Jesus remains are the remains of a son a Joseph had and whom they named Jesus.

The same for the son of Jesus remains. It cannot prove any divine linkage or that the biblical Jesus had a son. DNA can only prove that those remains are the remains of a son that particular Jesus had. DNA cannot prove any divine nature or even detect it. It also cannot prove that a marriage took place between Mary and Jesus.

It can prove they had a son but marriage is not the only way to have a child.

STATISTICAL STUDIES

These mean absolutely nothing. They are a waste of time and cannot bring any evidence to the table. Even if there was only 1 ossuary with the name Jesus on it, does not mean that that ossuary holds the remains of the biblical Jesus. Since ossuaries are not the only method of ancient Jews to bury their dead, it is impossible to claim that ossuary was the one.

In other words statistic do not provide evidence for reality.

THE JAMES OSSUARY AND THE TALPIOT TOMB

Everything to do with the James Ossuary and Talpiot are pure speculation and assumptions. With so much time between the original excavation and now, no one can say if it is the missing 10th ossuary.

After all of this, we say to Dr. Tabor, give it up. Let your reputation take the hit for being wrong and backing a dead horse. You will recover from it and possibly from your association with S. Jacobovici. The tomb you found belonged only to a human named Jesus who was not the biblical Jesus. The Bible tells us exactly what happend when Jesus was crucified and ressurrected. He went to heaven and his earthly body was changed. It was not moved to another tomb to be with family members.

Also, the presence of Matthew kills your theory no matter how hard you try to twist the reasons for its presence in the tomb. Research tells us that the apostle Matthew did not die in Jerusalem. He was supposedly martyred in Ethiopia. According to you, Jewish law would not permit transportation back to Jerusalem for a sympathetic burial with Jesus.

The Talpiot tomb does not hold the earthly remains of the biblical Jesus for he is risen and in heaven today.

 

How NOT to Read The Bible 2

A lot of time when people see certain passages of scriptures they think that those words confirm their personal preferences. We are not talking about generic scriptures like love, etc. which help the LGBTQ community remain in their sin and disobedience. We are talking about specific topic verses like the ones that contain words like be fruitful, multiply, having a quiver full and so on.

They read these passages and ignore everything else the Bible says or they interpret the rest of the Bible in light of that supposed confirmation of their personal desires. Somehow these people get it into their heads that children are the most important thing God has on his mind. They distort scripture to prove their ideological point. The following article is a product of a couple of such people

Why Children Aren’t Optional

https://www.christianpost.com/voice/why-children-arent-optional-self-sacrifice-vs-self-fulfillment.html

We are not going to go point by point through the article but only look at a couple of key statements.The first is the title. That declaration flies in the face of biblical teaching and claims that God is not interested in anything else in our lives except that we reproduce. That sounds more like Mormonism than Christian teaching. It also blocks God from directing married couples to obey his will.

We read many times in scriptures where women were barren. These women prayed for children, not because they wanted to fulfill an obscure biblical command to reproduce but for other reasons. They wanted a child, they were jealous of other women, they were mocked by other women for being childless and so on. Children were granted by God to fulfil his will, for example Isaac, Samson and John the Baptist. Though we should say that Elizabeth was a different case and was given a child, like Sarah long after her fertility years.

God didn’t grant them children merely because he was helping his creation meet a command he never gave.

But modern ideas about the good life turn this on its head. Covetousness is the means by which commercials sell us things

This point is unfair to all childless couples. While some couples do covet the things of the this world, Christian couples often do not. But what makes this wrong s that it lumps every childless couple into one category and ignores all the other reasons why a married couple do not have children.  Sometimes it is not the fault of the couple it is just that their seed and egg do not fertilize.

Let’s not blame couples for things they cannot control or have not done. Then if you read the previous paragraphs you wonder how those authors made a leap from a legitimate concern, economics, to covetousness. Couples that covet the things of the world still have children.

Christians, of all people, should understand that self-sacrifice is at the heart of what the Bible calls the good life. The only way to save our life is to lose it. For many Christians, that should start with children.

This is a very bad point to make. It should not begin with children at all. Self-sacrifice should begin with God. It is very unlikely that if you haven’t done self-sacrifice before having children that you will start after you have them. Then if these couples do start self-sacrificing for their children, what does that say to God and about their relationship with God? He was not worthy of self-sacrifice? That children are more important to you than he is?

No, self-sacrifice starts when you convert to Jesus and accept him as your savior. It all starts with God. Then it continues when you get married. A good marriage does not happen when each person in the couple seek their own ways and makes no self-sacrifice for their partner.

As we’ve said before, marriage, “from the beginning” in God’s plan for humanity has unitive and procreative functions. It’s why we mourn with couples who experience the deep pain of infertility.

We disagree with this statement as Genesis 2 says

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper [o]suitable for him.

He did not say, I will make him someone to bear children for him. But when people get caught up in their personal desires, they tend to read the Bible in one way only– their way and toward their ideology. What those authors forget is that humans do not have to be married to reproduce. Reproduction is not limited to married couples only. They vastly misunderstand what marriage is all about

Reproduction is a product of a union of two people, not the purpose for those two people to get together. Paul wrote that he wished fellow believers were like him and Christ– unmarried and childless. Is Paul wrong for saying that? Obviously not as it is in the Bible. God has a direction and purpose for childless couples and uses them as much as he uses couples with children.

Also, why should those authors mourn a couple who cannot have children? They should be helping those couples explore what God wants them to do. With the millions of orphans in the world looking for parents, it shouldn’t be that difficult to help them get over their feelings and see that they have a purpose and can be a parent.

Infertility is not to be lamented and mourned. it can be solved in other ways. Not just with adopting little babies but adopting older children who have lacked a parent for years. This mourning those authors do hinders God’s working in the lives of the childless couple and showing them that there is a need they can fulfill which will also meet their own desires.

On the other hand, intentionally childless marriages are incompatible with God’s intention for marriages

This is just wrong and deprives people from being self-sacrificing to God. It is not wrong to give up having children to serve God. That quoted statement is misleading about marriage and deprives couples from doing what they think is right in their Christian life. That statement is the author’s personal views not a god-given one.

Couples who do not have children are not inferior to those who do. They are not lesser in the kingdom of God than those who do. We challenge the authors of that article to produce real scriptures to back up their points because they are bringing harm to childless Christian couples with their misleading thinking. They are not reading the whole bible but using a particular filter, one that they prefer, to change what the Bible says and God’s intention for marriage.

One other thing, you will note that throughout his ministry, Jesus did not teach that married couples had to have children. He did not make it mandatory for his childless disciples to have children or his single disciples to marry. Jesus did not mourn those who were childless either. he told them to love God with all their hearts, etc. and having children is not a mandatory part of that command.

 
 
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