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Category Archives: comparative religions

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.

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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.

 

The Sea People Update

For us, the jury is still out concerning the Sea peoples and their involvement in the Middle East. But that doesn’t stop the archaeological world. here is an update on the Sea People. We will quote large portions of it from this newsletter.

http://patternsofevidence.com/blog/2017/10/20/ancient-sea-peoples-tablet-deciphered-are-they-the-biblical-philistines/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=Thinker85SeaPeople&utm_term=&utm_content=&utm_campaign=Thinker85SeaPeople&inf_contact_key=31e8a5f0febc0c9e649b5758ab28f0e36f7cc3af06dd4a063c9b689a4273c36f

Archeologists believe they have found the key to unlocking a mystery millennia in the making, uncovering how advanced civilizations in the lands of the Bible were invaded by so-called ‘sea-people’ in 1190 B.C. . .” according to Newsweek.com. The “Sea Peoples” have long been suspected of playing a key role in ending the prosperous Bronze Age in the eastern Mediterranean, and plunging many societies into prolonged dark periods. They also are involved in one of the chief objections to the idea of shifting Egypt’s timeline, allowing a link between archaeological evidence and the Bible’s Exodus account.

Newsweek tells how researchers recently translated the Luwian hieroglyphics on a 95-foot-long limestone tablet found in 1878. These hieroglyphics were the official recorded language of an ancient civilization in southwestern Turkey. The origin of the tablet appears to have been King Kupanta-Kurunta, a ruler in western Asia Minor who (the tablet says) sent his armies by land against the Hittite Empire to the east, and then, via a fleet of ships, down along the eastern Mediterranean coast.

According to Newsweek, the tablet claims that Kupanta-Kurunta’s armies “invaded a number of ancient coastal centers in modern-day Syria and Israel, building a fortress in Ashkelon and eventually advancing as far as ancient Egypt…”

The Philistines are thought to be one of these “Sea Peoples” who ended up occupying the coastal cities of Canaan and became Israel’s arch enemies during the period when Israel was governed by a series of judges. They continued to battle Israel’s first kings: Saul and David.

Sampson, who judged Israel for 20 years and put to death many Philistines, was chained between two columns during a Philistine celebration. In a final act of supernatural strength, he brought the house down on his Philistine captors…

While the 3,200-year-old tablet appears to give credence to a military campaign that may have birthed the Philistines of the Bible, this line of thinking is still in question.

The Luwian Studies Foundation, which is preparing to publish its findings on the stone, admits there is an “unfinished argument” over whether the inscription is authentic. Dr. Eerhard Zangger, president of the foundation, told the Times of Israel recently, “We think it’s too long and complicated grammatically to have been forged by anybody…”

There have been some archeological expeditions—one of them at Ashkelon—at what the researchers considered Philistine cemeteries. The Ashkelon dig found bodies interred in a similar manner to bodies around the Aegean Sea, leading to speculation that the Philistines may have indeed been related to the “Sea Peoples.” These findings have also been challenged.

So, while the translation of the Luwian hieroglyphs lends some credence to the Bible, with its description of “Sea Peoples” conquering the coastal regions of the Promised Land, there is still much work to do. Scholars will need to determine exactly who the Philistines were and whether or not this 3,200-year-old stone document is, in fact, genuine…

Here is the title in case the link doesn’t work

ANCIENT “SEA PEOPLES” TABLET DECIPHERED – ARE THEY THE BIBLICAL PHILISTINES?

 

A Pledge

We talked in a previous post about how you cannot serve two masters. This became more evident when we were watching this great video made by Red Skelton, a comedian who died 20 years ago. He does a great rendition of the pledge and reminds everyone of the seriousness of making it and how deep that pledge goes. We find that many people who live within America’s borders have lost sight of what their pledge means. here is a link to that video

 

With that said, we believe that no believer can pledge their allegiance to both God and his kingdom and an earthly nation. You cannot be aligned to both. You have to make a choice. You are either a patriot for the earthly nation or you are a patriot for God and his kingdom. Unfortunately, like the American Pledge of Allegiance, most believers have lost sight of what being a member of God’s kingdom really means and they have no concept of that membership’s depth and seriousness. They also do not understand the cost of being a member of God’s kingdom. Such membership means leaving earthly patriots behind and working for an eternal kingdom that unbelievers will hate because its light will expose how dark their lives are.

 

 
 
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