Our Comments on a Few Topics 7

We decided to break up the Sodom series as there are a few topics that should be addressed

#1, https://www.christianpost.com/news/anne-graham-lotz-cancer-diagnosis-i-trust-god-will-heal-me-before-or-after-surgery-227295/

Anne Graham Lotz on Cancer Diagnosis: ‘I Trust God Will Heal Me, Before or After Surgery’

It is this title that causes us to do some reflection. For the majority of Christians that publicly talk about their different illnesses, why is it that they all seek to be healed? Are none of them wanting to be with God?  Is life that special that they prefer that to being in the presence of the Most High God? God will heal, he had done it to Hezekiah and others. Jesus’ ministry was filled with healing. But sometimes we wonder why Christian leaders always go for healing over promotion to eternity.

We will give them the benefit of the doubt and think that they are like us- there is still just too much work to do.

#2. https://www.christianpost.com/news/whyididntreport-beth-moore-tweets-sex-abuse-experience-5-words-227544/

He lived in my house. #whyididntreport,” Moore tweeted on Friday.

We understand why many women do not report sexual abuse. We also understand why men do not report it when it happens to them. But you know what, waiting 10, 20 or even 30 years later is not helping the issue especially when those doing the reporting do not submit verifiable evidence. By not reporting it victims do not get help, and justice cannot be done.

Violating the rules of evidence does not help justice and lets supposed victims gain a measure of revenge at the hands of justice. God did not teach to ruin people or to make accusations without real evidence. Christians should know better and they should know that if they did not report it when it happened they should seek help privately. Not make it a public spectacle to get headlines.

#3. https://www.christianpost.com/news/evangelical-college-azusa-pacific-agrees-allow-lgbt-relationships-conservatives-slam-surrender-227538/

Queer students are just as able to have romanticized relationships that abide by APU’s rules.

It may fit APU’s guidelines but they do not meet God’s. They may conduct themselves in a monogamous, etc., same-sex relationship that follows biblical teaching but the fact that they are in a same-sex relationship, violates God’s rules and they are not in a biblical relationship even though they follow certain biblical rules.

#4. https://www.christianpost.com/news/evangelical-reactions-new-sexual-misconduct-allegations-against-brett-kavanaugh-227553/

As Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is facing a new round of allegations involving sexual assault, gang rapes and drunken parties, commentators have taken to the internet to voice their thoughts on the newest developments in the quest to confirm the 53-year-old judge.

We do not condone or approve of that behavior for anyone not just Mr. Kavanaugh. But what we see going on is the Democrats attempt to assassinate someone’s character, ruin his life and force the appointment to a time when they like. We do not see honesty, justice and any other positive characteristic involved from the Democrats. The fact that he was approved for different positions over the years and these alegations did not get mentioned support our point of view.

The Democrats will ignore the same allegations if their favorite person is nominated for the Supreme Court or other high office position. They did it with Clinton.

#5. https://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-colleges-must-address-lgbt-conversation-but-maintain-spiritual-identity-expert-220908/

Christian Colleges Must ‘Address LGBT Conversation’ but ‘Maintain Spiritual Identity,’ Says Expert

LGBTQ members make up a very small minority of people. Why should Christians change to allow these people of sin ruin their Christian ministry? While LGBTQ people should be allowed to enroll and attend Christian colleges, they should do so knowing what the rules are and they should not be so selfish that they undermine the Christian institution or its beliefs. If they want to be part of a sinful relationship, then they should stop attending the school and go to a secular institution.

The church does not bend to the will of the LGBTQ community.

#6. https://www.christianpost.com/news/chick-fil-a-helps-hurricane-florence-evacuees-open-sunday-giving-free-meals-227532/

Chick-fil-A Helps Hurricane Florence Evacuees; Open Sunday, Giving Free Meals

Christians need to lead by providing the right example. And if this is hate etc., then we would hate to see the alternative.


The Archaeology of Sodom 2


The exact location of Sodom has been an ongoing debate for maybe a century or two. Until very recent times, Josephus’ identification on the south-east shore of the Dead Sea has been the accepted location. Ancient writers like Eusebius and Jerome and others up through the centuries to Dr. Robinson have accepted Josephus’ location (McClintock & Strong).

But this location has not gone unchallenged as Dr. Albright has excavated at another site Bab edh-Drah, now thought to be Sodom and Gomorrah, but dismissed it due to the lack of homesites in the region. He thought that the people of Sodom used Bab edh-Drah as a religious high place which they would visit at festival time. This theory explained the lack of homesite in that city (Harland, 2001).

Another explanation for the lack of homesites in the Bab edh-Drah region is that the destruction that took place was so thorough that nothing was left standing to be found by anyone even millennia later (Easton’s Bible Dictionary, 1897).

It as not till the later have of the 20th century that Bab edh-Drah was considered to be the actual location of Sodom. The desolate region does not have any people living there, nor is there any well-watered land. Paul Lapp started the new excavation which was carried on by Walter Rast and R. Thomas Schaub. In their work they were able to uncover a second city, Numeria, that existed in the Early Bronze Age and suffered from a destructive catastrophe (Van Hattom, BA).

The identification of Bab edh-Drah received lots of support from other scholars who have written in different archaeological journals, Have Sodom and Gomorrah Been Found? (1980). BAR, 6(5) & Dr. Bryant Wood’s article Have Sodom And Gomorrah Been Found? (BSP 3:3 (Summer 1974) p. 69).

Yet, this support and work has not deterred others from trying to find a third possible location for Sodom and the other cities of the plain.  Dr. Steven Collins, who declares that his site, Tall el-Hamman, is the best candidate for Sodom (Final reports 1 to 10), is not the first to suggest that the 5 cities that were destroyed in Genesis, were located in the North-eastern area of the Dead Sea.

One Mr. Tristam explored the Dead Sea region quite thoroughly and came to the conclusion that Sodom was located in the north far from the asphalt pits that dominated the Southern Shore region. This Mr. Tristam uses some of the same arguments that Dr. Collins uses today to defend his identification. He goes to one specific verse found in Genesis which he claimed states that Lot camped ‘at’ Sodom not toward it. Also, he limits the translation of the Hebrew word Ciccar to mean the local Jordan region found at the north of the Dead Sea (McClintock & Strong).

So today we have a dilemma as to which site is the actual location of the 4 cities destroyed by God. It is strange that with all the press, all the fame and all the investigations that have taken place over the centuries that these cities remain unfound (Harland, BA).

One of the purposes of this paper is to look at the archaeology of all three locations and see which one best suit the biblical description. We will also look at the evidence presented though in the case of Sodom lying under the Dead Sea, the evidence may be a little sparse. Then we will analyze some of the arguments for each pointing out why those identifications do or do not work.

Finally, we will go a step further than Mr. Harland and state that we already know the site of Sodom and Gomorrah, but archaeologists and scientists being what they are, do not stick their necks out and firmly state which location is the real Sodom.

This paper will tread where angels fear to go because we have nothing to lose by making this identification. This paper is more about truth because even in archaeology, Christians need to speak the truth and shun faulty theories.

Our credibility and reputation lie in speaking the truth even when we must go against scholars and archaeologists. How can the unchurch world trust what we say when we can’t even get the location of Sodom correct. To get the unbeliever saved, they have to know that they can trust us and Jesus.

That is the motivation behind the writing of this paper.

{author’s note– we know that our references may be a little off but that is due to the way our electronic library decides to be known. We will supply a bibliography at the end to help keep things clear Also, this does take alo tof work so we may not be posting each section every day. it depends on our schedule and the amount of free time we get}

The Archaeology of Sodom


We are still working on the research for this article but it is important that we get it written down as we go. We are not going to do any preaching or try to explain the different terms in each of the passages of scripture. Instead we are going to look at the 3 locations that different scholars have identified as Sodom and explore them archaeologically with a Christian eye and thinking. Christians have been involved in all 3 identifications so it is not like we are taking sides.

We will use biblical verses and place them in this preface as a reference point. Not all of the verses will be used as we are not going to delve into the why the 5 cities of the plain were destroyed. God has already told us why. We are interested in why people picked these 3 sites, what archaeology says about each of them and demonstrate why 2 of them do not qualify as Sodom.

The verses are important because so many scholars either use them or allude to them in presenting and supporting their arguments.  We may address other topics as we get this paper ready but we shall see. Getting the Bible right, even when doing archaeology saves believers so much trouble and builds their credibility and reputation. We need to be honest in our archaeological work if we want people to listen to us.

Jesus never exaggerated, he never altered, he never lied and we must be careful to follow that example. We also have to be honest when presenting our facts, our theories our conclusions and so on. The Bible tells us that the unbelieving world cannot do anything against the truth, thus we must make sure that we have the truth first, including our archaeological identifications, if we want unbelievers to listen to us and take the gospel seriously.

Christians, churches, Christian organizations have been embarrassed far too often by the many searches for Noah’s ark. That is because over enthusiastic people have let their excitement lead them not God. We should not let this happen with any biblical event. It is far better to say we do not know than try to force a given site to fit the biblical narrative. And keep harping on it when the supposed evidence needs to be stretched to fit the theory. One thing we got from Bob Cornuke is that if the evidence does not fit, then the identification is off. And that applies to 2 of the 3 Sodom sites.

We know many Christians, and we used to talk to them on the old BAS forum, that are embarrassing themselves by their current selection of one site over the other 2 for Sodom. We will get to that later. Sodom and its identification is a little easier to find because of a certain verse in scripture. Unlike Noah’s ark, it still exists today

Bible verses for Sodom

The territory of the Canaanite extended from Sidon as you go toward Gerar, as far as Gaza; as you go toward Sodom and Gomorrah and Admah and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha.

Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere—this was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah—like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go to Zoar.

that they made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar).

And the king of Sodom and the king of Gomorrah and the king of Admah and the king of Zeboiim and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) came out; and they arrayed for battle against them in the valley of Siddim,

Now the valley of Siddim was full of tar pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and they fell into them. But those who survived fled to the hill country.

Then they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food supply, and departed.

And the Lord said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.

Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven,

and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the valley, and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land ascended like the smoke of a furnace.

‘All its land is brimstone and salt, a burning waste, unsown and unproductive, and no grass grows in it, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in His anger and in His wrath.’

“For their vine is from the vine of Sodom, And from the fields of Gomorrah; Their grapes are grapes of poison, Their clusters, bitter.

Unless the Lord of hosts Had left us a few survivors, We would be like Sodom, We would be like Gomorrah.

[ God Has Had Enough ] Hear the word of the Lord, You rulers of Sodom; Give ear to the instruction of our God, You people of Gomorrah.

And Babylon, the beauty of kingdoms, the glory of the Chaldeans’ pride, Will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.

“Also among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: The committing of adultery and walking in falsehood; And they strengthen the hands of evildoers, So that no one has turned back from his wickedness. All of them have become to Me like Sodom, And her inhabitants like Gomorrah.

Like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah with its neighbors,” says the Lord, “no one will live there, nor will a son of man reside in it.

“As when God overthrew Sodom And Gomorrah with its neighbors,” declares the Lord, “No man will live there, Nor will any son of man reside in it.

“I overthrew you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, And you were like a firebrand snatched from a blaze; Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord.

“Therefore, as I live,” declares the Lord of hosts, The God of Israel, “Surely Moab will be like Sodom And the sons of Ammon like Gomorrah— A place possessed by nettles and salt pits, And a perpetual desolation. The remnant of My people will plunder them And the remainder of My nation will inherit them.”

Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.

And just as Isaiah foretold, “Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left to us a posterity, We would have become like Sodom, and would have resembled Gomorrah.”

and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter;

just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire

We do not think he blasted anyone

Except those who do false accusations and those who ignore the rules of evidence, along with the statutory limits rules.

Ousted evangelical leader Paige Patterson returned to the pulpit last week, where he blasted women who falsely accuse men in the #MeToo movement.

We are not politically correct and do not intend to be. We find that being politically correct, honesty, truth, reality are lost, replaced by feel good attitudes that hide the facts from people. We also find that being politically correct is not a biblical teaching. While we do not consider ourselves as on the same level as Jesus, who said some pretty nasty things to the Pharisees, we do not believe in sugar-coating certain aspects of life. People can’t learn correctly if they are put in a vacuum and ‘protected’ from certain views and opinions.

We will speak the truth in love as best we can, which we are sure Jesus did when he spoke harshly to the Pharisees. But back to the quote. In today’s journalistic world, it seems that what is accepted as credible is where supposed journalists state their opinions and ignore facts, the correct definition of words and other pieces of the journalistic puzzle, in hopes of getting more clicks. More clicks means more ad revenue.

But that is a problem that can be solved if today’s supposed reporters followed the traditional rules of journalism and wrote compelling, honest, fact-filled and truthful articles. We do not fool ourselves into thinking that what passes for journalism today is the actual story of what is being reported on. The same for that quote.

Last week, he preached on the biblical story of Joseph, who was falsely accused by an Egyptian woman of sexually abusing her.

We missed using that story and wish we had. It provides compelling evidence that the secular world does not follow the rules of justice, just like the modern does not. What is sad is that the same story is like a mirror to many in the Christian world exposing their unjust treatment of pastors, church leaders, and others who have been unfairly accused and attacked.

The woman’s story is believed when the evidence does not support the accusation. We are still waiting for real evidence to be presented in any of the cases that have made the public arena. By failing to be biblical and just, we are setting a very bad example to our children, fellow believers and the secular world. What stumbling blocks that are raised we do not know but fear that many have been because the church fails to follow God yet again.

The 75-year-old preacher then talked about the current movement in society where various male leaders in church, in politics, in Hollywood, and other institutions are being accused of abusing women.

“I’m all in favor of the #MeToo movement when there is a guilty party,” Patterson said, insisting that men who abuse women are cowardly.

We agree. BUT there must actually be a guilty party, verifiable and credible evidence proving a crime took place and that the sentence passed is fair, just and leads the offender to repentance. Also, the pursuit of justice is done not out of revenge or vengeance, God did not teach us to use either when seeking true justice. The accusers must have a pure heart, not hate-filled and need to forgive those they accuse. God has taught us that if we do not forgive then he won’t. Forgiveness helps us to clean our eyes from the beams the offense and the response to the offense have placed there.

By the same token, I have nothing good to say about a woman who falsely accuses a man. She runs the risk of ruining a life. She runs the risk of causing sorrow unknown when the person is, in fact, innocent,” he added, however.

We agree here as well. The Bible teaches us to not bear false witness against others. A false accusation is lying  and a false witness. The NT tells us not to lie one to another. To receive true justice, God did not teach us to present our accusations without evidence. Being a godly man or woman is not criteria for presenting evidence God’s way.

There must be real and credible evidence and since governments are granted the right to rule over their nations, they have the right to impose statutes of limitations Any accusation must adhere to those human rules. It is not justice or fair to the accused to bring up decades-old supposed offenses that have no credible evidence supporting the claim.

Is ruining a life worth revenge? The Chinese have an old saying, when seeking revenge, before you go on your journey first dig two graves. This means that when you get youor revenge, you kill 2 people. The one you are seeking revenge against and yourself. Jesus does not want us to kill ourselves as he told us to return good for evil.

Some people like the OT’s an eye for an eye, but we do not see that teaching continued in the NT.

Merritt, son of former SBC President James Merritt, criticized Patterson for focusing on the latter, noting that studies have shown that false accusations of sexual assault make up only two percent against the 98 percent epidemic of real abuse.

Actually, we disagree. Both figures seem to be off and we know that statistics can be manipulated very easily.  They also leave out the other side of the story and many facts that are involved which lead to abuse or supposed abuse.

Merritt also took aim at what he said was Patterson “body-shaming” a woman in another anecdote, where the former Southern Baptist leader talked about meeting a parishioner’s mother.

We are very tired of hearing the many different terms that use the word ‘shaming’ as the last word in a descriptive pairing. No one is body shaming anyone when they are speaking the truth. A fat person is a fat person not curvy, or whatever they want to use there in place of the word fat. No one is doing a fat person any favors by hiding their unhealthy girth.

The body is the temple of God and unless there is a true medical reason why a person is overweight we may dare to say that letting oneself ‘go’ is not treating the temple of God correctly. Men and women should strive to keep their bodies healthy, in shape and presentable. But lets not stop telling the truth by accusing those who like facts of shaming anyone. Hiding the truth only lets the bad behavior continue.

Some people need to toughen up if they can’t handle being told that they are over-weight and out of shape. The past few decades have seen the raising of very weak-minded and weak people who do not know how to handle life very well. If you look to the biblical example, you do not see any instruction from either God or Jesus to make peope weak and incapable of dealing with what comes in life.

Deut. has many instructions from God on how to teach children and grandchildren and keeping them in a bubble to ‘protect’ them is not one of those instructions.

But it is an especially inappropriate, even befuddling, choice of material for Patterson (who was coincidentally speaking in a state with the nation’s third-highest obesity rate)

Maybe he needed to say it there because they needed to hear the truth about their physiques. Hiding the truth does not accomplish anything. Speaking the truth in love, does. Oh and we do not care what twitters think.  Fat is not beautiful, it is not healthy and it is life shortening as well as leading to or a product of gluttony. Instead of protecting these overweight people from having hurt feelings, those who protect them, by using all those cute words to describe their obesity, should look to see if the sins of gluttony and lust are present.

We should be looking to stop sin, not let it go undiagnosed to the point where it kills someone– literally.

No biblical grounds were given, let alone, seriously considered. There are numerous Christian leaders who have committed sins worthy of discipline. Patterson is not one of them; he hasn’t committed any such sins. On the contrary, he has done many things worthy of exaltation. In fact, he is one of the top conservative Christian leaders of our day,” he wrote at the time.

“Many who opposed Dr. Patterson were apparently caught up in winds of the #MeToo movement of the day. But no doctrinal or moral charges were even offered, let alone proven by two or more credible witnesses against him,” he added.

In closing, we do need to say that if you cannot be truly spirit led and bring the truth to any given situation, nor follow God’s ways, then do not get involved. You sin while trying to right a wrong and that is not of God either.

You can read the whole article at: https://www.christianpost.com/news/paige-patterson-returns-blasts-women-falsely-accuse-men-metoo-body-shaming-227429/


An Update

While we are working on the upcoming article, we are also considering the future of this website. we would like to make a few changes and are considering our options at the moment.

We will keep you updated over the next little while. In the meantime, if you are someone who does content work, or know someone who does and they are in need of content, we have lots of content for sale at http://www.writology.com under the name David Thiessen. They are all individually priced and are works we never received payment for. We have over $2000 worth of lost work sitting on our hands. The content is on a variety of topics and can be easily updated for 2018.

Also our 3 books, Archaeology & the Unwary Believer; Much to Talk About Vol. 1 & 2 are still on sale as is our electronic version of our Korean English curriculum. For the Korean work the cost is $10 and once we receive payment we will send out the curriculum to the email address given to us. Please use the Skrill address listed in the gift page for payment. The three other books can be found at Amazon.com and are priced accordingly.


Thank you