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Category Archives: Bible

The Christian and the Holocaust

In this post we are going to look at two quote. One is by Elie Wiesel and the other is made by Harry James Cargas. The latter wrote the book Shadows of Auschwitz: A Christian response to the Holocaust and the former wrote the foreword to that book. We are attacking neither person and only looking at their words and point they are trying to make.

The Holocaust demands interrogation and calls everything into question…It is impossible to detach the Final Solution from its Christian context- E.W.

While the Holocaust does demand interrogation it does not call everything into question. It is important to learn how the event came to be, the reasons behind its existence and what could be done to avoid such events in the future, it is equally vital to identify the source of the event and not distort it by placing it in a category or the result of a belief which had nothing to do with the event. People may argue that the Nazis were Christian in some respect, they were not Jewish, Hindu, or of some other religious faith but to do so would distort and misapply the term Christian.

It is not impossible to detach ‘the final solution from its Christian context’ because there was no Christian context surrounding the Holocaust. Yes there may have been weak immature believers who did not have the strength to withstand the pressure of the Nazis and their agenda, and supported their extermination efforts or did little to block them, but that does not place the Holocaust in a Christian context. Yes Hitler was part Jewish but being Jewish is not being Christian so that argument does not place the event into a Christian context. Then, yes many prominent Nazis came from Christian families but that fact does not provide a Christian context either. There is nothing Christian about the Holocaust. It was not conducted under biblical commands, and if any were used they those verses were misapplied,nor has there been a time in the New Testament era where God told Christians to exterminate any group of people. The Crusades were not Christian either nor conducted within a Christian context.

To be Christian and placed in a Christian context the Bible must be obeyed correctly. The command ‘thou shalt not kill’ cannot be overruled because one person or a group of people dislike another. People say that the word ‘kill’ actually means ‘murdered’ well that is what the Nazis did to the Jewish and other unfortunate people who fell on the wrong side of the Nazi perspective. It was not a final solution but murder. it was not a terrorist act or a hate crime, it was simply murder. We cannot distort the event by using modern politically correct terms to make the event more palpable. For that reason alone the Nuremberg trials were justified. The Nazis on trial were basically being tried for murder and other illegal acts not because they were Nazis. BUt that is another issue for another day.

To be considered a Christian context, the people participating in the event must actually be Christian. AS to the Christian faith of the Nazis and other German people we cannot judge but their actions tend to place them outside of Christianity or in the category of being immature Christians who did not trust God enough to take better action.We cannot lump everyone who were not members of the Nazi party into the non-believer category because that would be wrong. Christians do make mistakes in judgment and behavior but those mistakes and errors does not cost them their salvation. Nor does it put a Christian context to a horrible event. Christianity becomes the excuse to justify the false application of blame.

The late Mr. Wiesel also talked about a ‘Christian guilt’ in his foreword to that book but that is another distortion. Christians are not to blame for the actions of others. They are only responsible for their own actions. Also the Bible tells us that the sins of the father are not to be paid by the son and vice versa. No Christian today has any guilt for what took place 70 years ago. They are only guilty of the infractions they make in their lives, their ancestors are responsible for their sins alone. This does not mean we cannot try to right some wrongs or help take steps to avoid another Holocaust, (though Christians will be the next victims in the next Holocaust, and that too is another topic for another day), we are to follow the Bible in participating in prevention of any crime.

Yet with that said, God’s word must be remembered. He tells us in Isaiah that his thoughts and ways are higher than ours thus when we analyze any action by Christian or unbeliever we must learn how to look at those actions through God’s perspective.Our human views are too restricted to get a clear picture on why people, especially Christians, act the way they do. To apply only human reasoning and justifications only clouds the issue and does not explain the behavior taken unless of course that behavior is clearly a violation of God’s word. To judge the Christians living during the time of the Holocaust is unfair and wrong, we are not privy to all the pertinent information that would explain their actions. God is thus we need to look to God before concluding anything about past actions or determining an ancestor’s eternal destination.

How does one explain that the killers came from Christian families and had received a Christian education- HJC

The word ‘killers’ here of course refers to the Nazis and other German people. The answer is quite simple. Coming from a Christian home and receiving a Christian education is no guarantee that people will not choose to follow evil. This change of character happens all the time. The founder of the Children of God was an evangelical minister before sliding into evil and founding his cult. You can check the many websites where former missionaries and pastors and other Christian workers reside and see how they have left their faith and stopped believing in God. Being from a Christian family or being educated in Christianity does not stop people from exercising their right of free choice and doing horrible things.

They may use scripture to justify their thinking or behavior but again such action does not place their deeds in a Christian context nor does it mean a Christian committed the offenses. Sometimes they are Christian but deeper examination than a superficial judgment is needed to assess the situation.

The Holocaust is not a Christian event nor was it conducted in a Christian context. It was conducted via hatred which is a sin and not a Christian virtue or teaching. There is no Christian guilt to be endured. Those who say there is, mislead and distort the issue, such accusations are probably motivated by their own hatred for Christianity and Christians. To find solutions to such events like the Holocaust you cannot falsely accuse a belief or group of people. Even if Christians were a part of the Holocaust, we can say they were probably not Christian because Jesus told us ‘my sheep hear my voice’ and Jesus never told anyone to kill another person no matter what faith they adhered to.

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Learning

We decided to take a look at an old website we used to frequent. It was a great sight to get examples of what should not be done. That sight still doesn’t disappoint. Here is a quote that while is important it ignores vital information and leads people in the wrong direction

Let’s be honest- if you’re an American biblical scholar/ theologian and you only read English, you are terribly hobbled by that. The greatest hindrance to learning is monolinguism.

https://zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com/2017/11/10/the-greatest-hindrance-to-learning/

Yes it is important to learn other ancient languages to learn, and to read books outside of one’s denominational literature to grasp what God is saying to us, it is not enough. The greatest hindrance is for believers to stop following or ignore the Spirit of Truth. For believers being scholarly, academic, theologian is not the goal. The believer has to go for the truth. There is no alternative goal for the believer. Interpretation is not a tool that can be used either. Interpretation brings confusion to any biblical issue and allows for too many opinions to hide the truth. It makes the Bible vulnerable to subjective opinion and nothing the Spirit of the Truth says is the truth.

The greatest hindrance to learning is ignoring the Spirit of Truth.

P.S. Going for the truth means we do not automatically believe every accusation that one gender hurls at another. We believers investigate honestly, properly and get to the truth supported by real evidence. Hearsay is not allowed nor is ‘a woman’s honor’ a turning point in which story will be believed.

We follow the Spirit of Truth to the truth even in legal , sexual, and other issues that plagued life.

 

Obey Now

We are not usually fans of bumper stickers but the one we saw on the inside of a bus is an exception to the rule. It reads “obey now, play later; disobey now, pay later. These few words bring the message of the Bible down to the basics. If we correctly obey God now then we will be able to play in heaven (hopefully, we are not sure of all our activities when we get to heaven). After obeying and enduring throughout this life, we can put down are troubles and relax, enjoy our eternal home. BUT if we disobey God now and play with our lives here, abusing scripture by using our own interpretation and ignoring the Spirit of Truth, then we will have to pay the piper and that eternal destination is not attractive.

Sadly, too many churches and church members like to do the former. We cannot tap dance around that fact. They use their own interpretation, their own desires and justify their behaviors with scripture. They are not obeying scriptures correctly. The words in the Bible ‘men love darkness rather than light’  apply to Christians and churches as well. There are far too many church members who prefer darkness to light while still claiming they are in the light. As 1 John says these people lie:

If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth (ch. 1)

We shall state clearly here that there is no such thing as eternal security as 2 Peter 2 tells us

20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. 22 [h]It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”

these people are disobeying now and if they do not change they will pay later.

 

Human Rights is Not the Goal

Many people are dedicated to bringing human rights to the world. They feel that if everyone has the same rights then the world would be a better place to live. Unfortunately, their ideas fall short and are far too subjective to make any real contribution to the condition of all societies in existence today. We have seen many of these people’s ideas and the one idea they have in common is that they all think they know better than God on how to run life on earth. The UN certainly thinks it does as they define human rights in the following manner:

Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.

Universal human rights are often expressed and guaranteed by law, in the forms of treaties, customary international law , general principles and other sources of international law. International human rights law lays down obligations of Governments to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts, in order to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Pages/WhatareHumanRights.aspx

It is a nice sentiment but it is idealistic, irrational and unrealistic. Treating others in a respectful, etc., manner is a voluntary choice, it cannot be made mandatory as laws are not solutions to problems faced by society. Laws may stop some people from acting in certain ways but it does not remove the cause for crimes or non-human right behavior. But this is the human solution to a problem that was solved millennia ago. The essence of human rights  says that there is no real right or wrong. We have seen this statement supported by the rise in support of the homosexual and transgender. Their behavior under human rights is not seen as a perversion of what is normal, as wrong the way to conduct life but as individuals who have the right to participate in life as if nothing was wrong.

This is the problem with human rights. Those advocates ignore God’s standards of right and wrong and declare that all practices of life are correct and have a right to exist. The other foundation that supports many human rights activists is a misconception of the purpose of the law and the freedom of governments to rule their nations. Here is an example:

All human rights are indivisible, whether they are civil and political rights, such as the right to life, equality before the law and freedom of expression; economic, social and cultural rights, such as the rights to work, social security and education , or collective rights, such as the rights to development and self-determination, are indivisible, interrelated and interdependent. The improvement of one right facilitates advancement of the others. Likewise, the deprivation of one right adversely affects the others.

We put in bold one line that if followed would shut down the abortion industry. Humans beget humans thus all human rights must be applied to their unborn children in the process of fully developing into a viable and functioning person. According to this definition, they have the right to life and no one has the legal authority to hinder fulfillment of that right. The definition of when  fetus becomes human is always going to come up for debate but that debate is subjective not objective heavily influenced by sin and other personal views. It is not a topic that needs to be discussed here.

Another thing that human rights activists miss out on is that when one lives in a collective society certain rights are given up so that the society can function in a peaceful and constructive manner. The human rights activists cannot obtain that ideal with their granting everyone ‘human rights’. For society to survive anarchy cannot be part of the system. Then just because one set of people have rights doe snot mean that everyone has a right to do what they plan. Something has to be determined to be wrong and not good for the health of the society.

Another issue with human rights advocates is that they will throw out the very book and author who has given everyone the same human rights which co-exist with a strong standard of right and wrong. The reason for this is that the human rights advocate does not want to be subservient to anyone. They want to dictate to society what it should and should not do. B doing away with a strong objective form of human rights, the human rights advocates have opened up a slippery slope that has no where to go but down.

The human rights advocate is like the atheist. They want something and they want the world to be a better place yet they toss out the only way to achieve what they want. Of course these last two paragraphs are talking about the Bible and God. Everything those two groups desire can be achieved if they turn to Jesus and follow his ways. Yet they do not want to humble themselves and follow Jesus, they want to be the master of their destiny. They give up what they want in order to try and get what they want. That is an impossible route to take.

God has already outlined and instructed throughout his word how others should be treated. He guarantees human rights without sacrificing his standard of right and wrong. Homosexuals and transgender are to be treated in the same manner as the normal person BUT without accepting or condoning their sin. Yes both are sin. You cannot have real human rights if one allows for sin to enter the definition of the term. Because if you do there is no longer any boundary to draw the line.

To obtain true human rights then there must be perverted and wrong behavior, preferences, and practices. Along with that an objective course of action must be adhered too,one that is not human. Any human version is not greater than another and all are corrupted by sin making them unworthy of elevation to being the standard to follow. You want human rights then you need to follow God’s word correctly, excluding interpretation and following the Holy Spirit to the truth or you just end up in the same situation as before- a very subjective human idea that can only go down hill.

 

Some Thoughts

#1. https://www.christianpost.com/news/newspring-church-founder-perry-noble-announces-divorce-wife-17-years-asks-for-prayers-205087/

If a person wants privacy, why are they announcing their actions publicly? We are sure many people ask this same question and the answer seems that these type of people just need the attention. Psychologists might have a field day with this tactic but for us, if you want privacy don’t say anything publicly. We have seen so many articles where teachers have used their Facebook accounts to ‘vent’ about their students yet complain that their ‘security’ was broken and the students got to read the teacher’s ‘secret’ notes. If you do not want the students to know what you think, do not post your thoughts in a public place whose security measures can be broken.

Common sense has been lost and the expectation of privacy is distorted. The Bible talks about taming the tongue, and people should realize that the word tongue can be applied to typing on a computer screen. The verses in James apply to all forms of communication, not just speaking verbally.

#2. https://www.christianpost.com/news/10-theses-for-a-new-reformation-205074/

We are not going to totally agree with Mr. Brown here even though we like a lot of articles he has written. The second point he makes is a little difficult to accept because while Christianity is related to Judaism, it is not the same faith. NT believers cannot celebrate Passover it is not a commanded holiday for them. Neither is Easter and we should not be celebrating that festival either. Jesus did say to use communion to remember him and what he did. He did not say invent a holiday and use it.

To meet Mr. Brown’s recommendation believers need to fully understand what the ‘priesthood of believers’ really means, most believers have no clue. This is the fault of the overemphasizing of Mr. Brown’s point #5. The church is already doing that point at the cost of every other command and instruction in the Bible. The church is ill-equipped to train and teach those new believers who convert and want to learn about the Christian faith. They cannot grow spiritually because the church is at Mr. Brown’s point #8. It is very biblically illiterate and is in capable of instructing existing members correctly let alone new ones who do not have a clue what life in Christ is all about.

Other than that he makes great points which need to be examined by all believers.

#3. https://www.christianpost.com/news/scientists-oldest-recorded-solar-eclipse-joshua-biblical-battle-204804/

There is the possibility that the two stopped shining but it is hard to verify as that event was so long ago. No real evidence exists to support that conclusion. It is also possible that the solar event mentioned in the article does not relate to the bible at all.If the sun ‘became dark’ how would that be an answer to Joshua’s prayer when he requested more sunlight not less to beat his opponents. Scientists and historians need to rethink their conclusions here.

#4. https://www.christianpost.com/news/republicans-conservatives-evangelicals-increasingly-opposed-to-death-penalty-204949/

The death penalty was instituted by God, it would be wise for people to consider that fact as they think through this issue. Our position has been that the death penalty may not be suited in all cases as there is still hope for true conversion by the offender BUT there are offenders who have gone past the line and will never convert. The death penalty is not cruel or harsh punishment but a spiritual one. It should be applied correctly thus believers should seek God first before adopting any position on the issue.

 

The fact that there are some innocent people wrongly convicted of a crime worthy of death is not the fault of the death penalty but the judge, prosecutors and defense attorneys involved. Don’t punish the death penalty for crimes it did not commit. Do not listen to the arguments that it is not a deterrent, that is an aspect that cannot be proven. Crime will always take place whether there is the death penalty or not in existence.

#5. https://www.christianpost.com/news/the-reformation-turns-500-how-luther-shaped-our-world-205082/

We are not big reformation fans. We feel that too much emphasis has been placed upon the humans involved and not on God who directed the humans. One reason for this is how the reformers like Luther, Calvin and Zwingli lived their lives and what opinions they wrote about.We also believe that God was already at work in many believers lives at the time and his word and truth was not lost during the supposed Dark and Middle Ages. There was always a true church (Not the RCC) in existence spreading the truth to all who would listen. It is just that Luther, Calvin and Zwingli got the press.

The key for the believer is that they are truly following the Spirit of God and implementing his ways into their lives because that is how people get reformed. The only true past event that should be celebrated is the life of Christ at communion.

 

Unearthing Atlantis 2

From time to time we will be taking quotes from that book and look at them here. Today’s quote comes from near the end of the book.

Clark is the man who invented the communication satellite…Long before anyone had gone to the moon, even before the first satellite had been orbited, he had written a story about a Jesuit priest’s voyage to another solar system, where an extinct civilization was being excavated. The civilization, a remarkably refined one, had died under the glare of a supernova– which turned out to be the Star of Bethlehem…but the paradox was the same, I pointed out, If God wanted to strike fear into the Pharaoh, why did he need Thera? Why was it necessary to destroy innocents hundreds of miles away? (pg. 286)

The key to understanding God’s methods, if he used Thera to help free the Hebrews from Egypt is found in the word ‘innocents’. Yes the Minoans were not guilty of helping the Egyptians to be slaves and they may not have encouraged the Egyptians to enslave the Hebrews but that does not meant hat they are innocent people. They may be innocent of the slavery issue BUT we do not know everything about the Minoans and their involvement in Egypt’s affairs.SO they may not have been innocent after all.We just do not know.

With that said, even if they were innocent of the slavery crime that still does not make them innocent in God’s eyes. The use of Thera would be two-fold. First, IF God used Thera for the plagues, and we cannot be sure if he did or not, he did so to free his people from their slavery. Second, IF Thera was done on the Minoans as part o God’s judgment, it was done to punish the Minoans for their sins, disobedience., and their rejection of him and his ways. They were not innocent in God’s eyes. God may have stuck two birds with one stone.

It can be argued that the Minoans did not have a biblical witness to their civilization. BUT that is another argument from silence. we do not know who God sent to preach to this civilization or what person they came in contact with in their many travels around the globe. The existence of Melchizedek tells us that God had a witness long before Moses and it stands to reason he would have more witnesses available for the people of the ancient world. His love for his creation did not begin with the NT thus, like Jonah being sent to Nineveh it is consistent for him to have someone preaching to the other nations as well. God does not punish haphazardly, for the pleasure of it or because he is some homicidal maniac. His punishments are just even to those in the OT world.

Regardless, how one defines the word ‘innocent’ depends upon if they are looking at things from a limited perspective, a human one or a divine one. Dr. Pellegrino is using the first two perspectives. He is limiting his definition to the human perspective and limiting it to just the Egyptian /Hebrew slavery issue. Christians cannot do this. They need to see things from God’s perspective if they are going to provide the correct answer to the secular world and not harm their faith.

Getting the right definition is important if one wants the truth.

 

When They Get It Wrong

The following quote is taken from Charles Pellegrino’s book Unearthing Atlantis, pg. 53-4:

…you’d see immediately that volcanoes are not merely bringers of tidal waves and fiery death. They were also bringers of life. Indeed, there is every indication from laboratory experiments, that hot volcanic rocks were needed about 4 billion years ago, to concentrate amino acids into little clumps and strings of proteinaceous spheres, into protocells- that eventually became us. It is very likely that without volcanoes there would be no life on earth today.

Dr. Pellegrino draws that conclusion from his observation of giant worms that lived near volcanoes under the ocean. These worms had no faces or rear ends, nor even digestive systems as we know them. These worms live off sulfides that come from these undersea volcanoes and the bacteria  in their tissues keeps these worms alive. In a nutshell that is Dr. Pellegrino’s evidence supporting his statement in the quote above.

The problem with that observation is that it is nowhere near the truth. His mis-identification leads people in the wrong direction. There is no evidence connecting volcanoes with the origin of life and there is no evidence that connects those worms and where they get their nourishment from to any evolutionary theory or development of life. It is a big stretch to jump to that conclusion when all Dr. Pellegrino could do was watch these worms through a submarine window or study a dead sample. What he witnesses was worms congregating around a spot which turns out to be its food source.

Having a food source does not equate with origins of life nor does it make connections to life development. All Dr. Pellegrino witnessed was a bunch of worms feeding. Everything else is read into that little snapshot of the worms’ lives. His conclusion is like watching a herd of horses eat in a pasture then assuming that grass has something to do with the origin of life and that without dirt and life, no one would exist. It is far-fetched. That is the problem when you read the ideas of those who do not accept nor believe the truth. You get far-fetched ideas that have nothing to do with reality.

Volcanoes did not help originate life. They may be a food source for giant worms and other weird creatures but that is the extent of their contribution to that aspect of life. Food sources speak nothing to the origin of life. That is a totally different and separate event.

Because the unbeliever does not accept the biblical account of creation then our origin remains a mystery to them. They continually look for the wrong answer by walking down the wrong paths and looking in the wrong places. But then the Bible tells us that people today will willingly be deceived and we see the truth of that verse every time unbelievers reject the truth and create these far-fetched theories.

 
 
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