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Category Archives: controversial issues

Governments Going Too Far

You have probably heard about this story already– Oregon Seizes Children From Parents Who Have Low IQ– and you may already taken sides on this issue. You can read about it here:

http://www.christianpost.com/news/oregon-seizes-children-from-parents-who-have-low-iq-192929/

While governments have a certain amount of rights guiding them concerning this issue there is a point where they can go too far.  I am not going to make this a Liberal thing for conservatives have been known to do the exact same thing here. They all think they get to decide for other people on different issues. That is not right. No laws were being broken here, the children were not in danger and no matter what opinion to the contrary any one holds, these people have the right to have and raise their own children.

We feel strongly that Christians should stand up for these parents because they are innocent people. Being mentally slow is not a biblical criteria to deprive anyone of having and raising their own family.  It i snot what the government thinks, it is not what some people think it is what God thinks that matters most and there are a host of verses that tell the believer how they should respond in this situation and those verses do not tell them to side with the government.  Obeying the government does not mean we ignore God’s words , commands or instructions. The government has to be held in account for their actions. If they are not then there is no telling how far they will go. One bad example is found in Ontario, Canada where the ruling administration has decided that it can pull children out of a home simply because the parents will not support the child’s misguided gender feelings.

That is evil at work not God’s government and we are to oppose evil not support it. The government does not have a divine right to go too far, even though they do. It was once said evil abounds if good men do nothing or something like that. Good people do need to stand up and oppose the government follow God’s leading when they do so. Not like the do in the emotional issues like abortion where they do picket lines and violent acts but with God leading the way. People like that couple need intelligent Christians to stand up for those parents’ rights and fight for them.

Christians have to lead the way to what is right not to blindly supporting the secular government who does not care about God, his people or his ways.

 

Basic Christian Doctrines

Introduction:

The following information is taken from the book: Anders, M. E., & Anders, M. E. (1998). 30 days to understanding the Christian life in 15 minutes a day (p. 11). Nashville: T. Nelson.

and is not to be mistaken for deep theological teaching. These excerpts are placed here as an introduction only and it is advised that our readers get solid Christian books on biblical doctrine for further study and growth.

THE DOCTRINE OF THE BIBLE

The story of the Lady Be Good is a microcosm of life. We are all on the Lady Be Good, and we are all in flight. In making the determination on where and when to land we have to make decisions. And for those decisions we must choose whether we look outside ourselves . . . whether we trust our gut-level hunches or whether we look for an instrument panel.

The Bible offers itself as the source of truth. The Bible presents itself as the great, cosmic “instrument panel.” It tells us where we came from, where we are, and where we are going. It is up to us to decide whether we accept the “readings” we get from it.

The Bible does not defend itself. It was written to people who accepted its message and therefore spends little time convincing its readers of its authenticity. Charles Spurgeon once said, “The Bible does not need to be defended any more than a caged lion needs to be defended. All we need to do is let it out of its cage, and it will defend itself.”

The fundamental assertion that the Bible makes concerning itself is that, in spite of the human collaboration in the writing of it, the Bible is a revelation of God to man, it was written without error, and it can be trusted to reveal truth to us regarding God, man, life, and death…

God made known to man that which He wanted man to know. Some of the information related to present-day instruction on how to live and be rightly related to God and one’s fellow man. Other information related to prophetic statements about the future….

Gaining a deeper grasp of the Bible is a two-way street. It is true that it will not happen unless the Holy Spirit illumines the mind of the Christian, but neither will it happen unless the Christian is diligent in pursuing biblical knowledge. The more the Christian reads and studies the Bible, the more the Holy Spirit will illumine his or her mind, which encourages the student to read and study further…

THE DOCTRINE OF GOD

God is not to be found in the laboratory. He cannot be proved. But then, love is not to be found in the laboratory. Neither is courage, nor longing, nor hope. God is to be found in the courtroom. While data cannot be garnered to prove His existence, evidence can be amassed to demonstrate the probability of His existence. There is a gap between the probable and the proved. But then, few things can be proved to the unbelieving mind. Unbelief never has enough proof…

If you look for God in the laboratory, you will not find Him. If you look for Him in the courtroom, the amount of evidence can be very satisfying—enough to give a reasonable doubt about a universe without Him and make it reasonable to believe in Him.

In a scientific culture, some are reluctant to believe in a being they cannot see, hear, smell, taste, or touch. However, God cannot be dealt with in the laboratory.  He must be dealt with in the courtroom. It is impossible to generate proof of His existence, so we must look for evidence of His existence. While the Bible simply assumes that God exists, it also provides excellent evidence, so that believing in His existence is an intellectually reasonable thing to do…

God is a personal being, and as such has individual characteristics that distinguish Him from all other beings. These characteristics are called “attributes.” Some of His attributes are shared by mankind, since God created man after His personal image. These are called “personal” attributes. He has other characteristics, however, which go beyond man and are true of Him alone. These are the attributes that define “deity” and are called “divine” attributes. We will look more closely at them later…

God is all powerful and has the ability to do whatever He wills. This sovereignty is only exercised in harmony with His goodness, righteousness, and other attributes, and it extends to the entirety of creation for all time. In His sovereignty, He has determined everything that has happened and will happen, and yet has done so in such a way that man has true “volition,” or choice. This is one of the mysteries, or “unexplainable” things, of Scripture…

Another mystery of the Scripture is the Trinity. The Bible says distinctly that there is only one true God (Deuteronomy 6:4). But it also seems to say with equal clarity that there was a man, Jesus Christ, who claimed equality with God the Father, and there is someone called the Holy Spirit who is also equal with God the Father. How do you put that together? Historically, the concept has been termed the “Trinity.” There is one God who exists in three persons. While it is impossible to give an illustration of the Trinity, the evidence remains and has been embraced as a fundamental teaching of Christianity from the beginning…

THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST

Attitudes about Jesus are varied and often are strongly held. From denying that a person named Jesus of Nazareth ever existed to believing that He was God incarnate, people demonstrate their conviction about Him by ignoring Him or worshiping Him.

Perhaps the most popular concept of Jesus is that, while He was not divine, He was a great moral teacher and leader. While He is no more God than you or I, He is a wonderful example to follow…

The position of the Bible is straightforward in presenting Jesus as divine, the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity. He is fully man and fully God. If He were not man, He could not have died for our sins, and if He were not God, His death would have accomplished nothing.

To understand the Bible’s position on Jesus, it must be grasped that Jesus is presented as the Messiah, the Savior of the world who was prophesied throughout the Old Testament, who would come to die for the sins of the world and who would come again to establish righteousness in a new heaven and new earth…

Though Jesus was man, He was also God. The second member of the Trinity existed before He was born as Jesus of Nazareth. Christ was active in the creation of the world and during the Old Testament. When the timing was right, the Christ, the second person of the Trinity, became incarnate as Jesus of Nazareth but did not forfeit His divinity at any time…

Though Jesus was God, He was also a man. Christ took on the form of humanity, and though He did not sin He tasted all other human experiences, including hunger, fatigue, and sorrow, etc. He was supernaturally conceived, was born of a virgin, and lived a fairly normal early life as a carpenter’s son in Nazareth of Galilee. As a man, He was crucified, died, and was buried.

The picture of the Messiah in the Old Testament was an uncertain one. Some of the prophetic passages spoke of a humble-servant Messiah, while other passages spoke of a glorious and powerful king. So stark was the contrast between these two kinds of passages that some Old Testament scholars thought there would be two Messiahs. With the additional revelation in the New Testament, we now know how to reconcile these passages. Jesus came the first time as a humble servant and died for the sins of mankind. After He was resurrected, He ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father. Some day in the future, and according to biblical prophecy it could be soon, Jesus will return to earth as a powerful and glorious king to institute righteousness on the earth.

THE DOCTRINE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

We all have shortcomings and weakness. We all want to be more than we are. But we need help. Sometimes we need information. Sometimes we need assistance. Sometimes, we need to be challenged or confronted to change. This is a primary role of the Holy Spirit . . . to work with us in a mystical sort of way to become Christians and then to grow as Christians. He transforms us from what we were like in the past to what we should be like in the future. He is a friend, indeed, because He knows all about us and loves us anyway. He commits Himself to us to help us change . . . to be the sort of man or woman we long to be deep down in our souls…

The Holy Spirit is sometimes perceived as the religious equivalent of school spirit. This is not accurate. In the Bible, the Holy Spirit is treated as a person and given the attributes of personality, such as emotions, actions, intellect, and relationships…

Not only is the Holy Spirit a personal being, He is also divine. He possesses divine attributes, such as omnipresence and omnipotence. He performed miracles only God could do, such as the creation of the world and the miraculous conception of Jesus. In addition, He is associated on an equal plane with the other members of the Trinity.

The Holy Spirit plays the instrumental role in the personal salvation of individuals who become Christians. It is the Holy Spirit who enables us to see our sinfulness and realize that we should turn from sin. It is the Holy Spirit who helps us see that, in order to become Christians, we must believe in Jesus, ask Him to forgive us of our sins and give us eternal life, and commit our lives to living for Him.

God wants to use each of us to minister to others. The Holy Spirit gives us a special spiritual “gift” to minister to others. It is something we enjoy doing and something at which we are effective. However, since God is working through us with this gift, the results must always be attributed to Him and not to ourselves. We must guard against two imbalances. We must not become discouraged if our results are meager, and we must not become inflated if our results are abundant. For in the true exercise of spiritual gifts, it is God who produces the results, whether meager or abundant.

THE DOCTRINE OF ANGELS

Mr. Graham also tells the story of John G. Paton, a missionary in the New Hebrides Islands. One evening, natives surrounded the missionary compound with the intent of burning down the compound and killing Mr. Paton and his wife. The missionaries prayed fervently all night and were surprised and relieved to witness the natives leaving the next morning.

A year later, the chief of the hostile tribe was converted to Christianity. He told the Patons that he and his tribe had fully intended to destroy the compound and kill the Patons that fateful night a year ago but had been stopped by the army of men surrounding the compound. “Who were all those men you had with you there?” the chief asked. “There were no men there; just my wife and I,” replied Mr. Paton. The chief argued that they had seen many men standing guard—hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords in their hands. They seemed to circle the mission station so that the natives were afraid to attack.

Again, angels?

When the brilliant scholar Mortimer Adler undertook to edit Great Books of the Western World for the Encyclopedia Britannica Company, he included “Angels” as one of the great themes. Personally curious, Mr. Adler went on to write a book on angels, and in doing so, discovered that from before Aristotle’s time to the present day, scholars and philosophers have taken angels seriously.

It is difficult to prove the existence and work of angels. They are not usually perceived by our five senses and are therefore not subject to scientific scrutiny. Nevertheless, they are found throughout the Bible, interwoven into many of the major events of Scripture…

Bible teaches that God uses a numberless army of angels to help execute His will in heaven and earth, and that among their duties is ministering to Christians. Perhaps this is where the concept of guardian angels came from. They are personal beings, spirits that God created before Adam and Eve, and are not “ghosts” of people who have died…

The Bible teaches that a large number of the “righteous angels” rebelled against God and now form an evil army under the command of the devil, who uses them to further his will, which is counter to the will of God. This corruption is often referred to as the “fall ” of these angels.

The Bible teaches that Satan was originally the highest angel, but because of pride he fell, rebelling against God and leading many lesser angels to rebel against Him also. In doing this he became evil and corrupt. He is a real entity who oversees the forces of darkness in the world and seeks to neutralize and overthrow the will of God.

In the Bible, Satan is called the deceiver and the destroyer. He deceives in order to destroy. A primary strategy is to make that which is wrong look right and that which is right look wrong. The Bible teaches that protection from Satan is available to the Christian. These spiritual defenses will be dealt with in greater detail later

THE DOCTRINE OF MAN

If the full power of the human mind were manifested by an individual, the world would assume that person was a god. The power of the brain is beyond comprehension. Scientists estimate that the most brilliant among us use perhaps 10 percent of its capacity. Yet that might be wildly overstated when we ponder glimpses of its potential…

The indications from Scripture suggest that man’s capacity before the fall and his capacity once restored and glorified in heaven are unimaginable. Someone once wrote that if we were to see our glorified selves walking down the street toward us, we would be tempted to fall at our feet and worship ourselves. Such is the future of humanity in Christ…

Man’s purpose is to “know God and enjoy Him forever.” Man was created in perfect fellowship and harmony with God, in His image. This does not mean physical likeness, for God does not have a physical body. But it means in the psychological, emotional, and spiritual likeness of God…

Man is spiritual as well as physical. Man’s earthly physical body is destined to die. The moment he is born, the process is set in motion for him to die. His spirit, however, lives forever and transcends his physical limitations. After man dies, he receives a new body that lives forever

Man possesses intellect, emotion, and will. With intellect he can know, reason, and think. With emotion he can feel, empathize, and experience. With will he can choose. These are all characteristics of God and, as such, are part of the “image of God” within man. They also separate man from the animals. In addition, man has the capacity for self-awareness, an awareness of God, an awareness of afterlife, and the ability to envision life in the future under different scenarios such as heaven and hell, etc. Man certainly has characteristics that overlap with the animals, but his capacities not only go beyond those of animals, he has capacities that no animals have…

Though man’s spirit inhabits a body at all times, that body changes after death on earth.  A new body is received, depending on his destiny, in which he will continue to live forever…

THE DOCTRINE OF SIN

When it comes to sin, we’re a little like the pigs. The smell of sin doesn’t seem so bad to us. We don’t even notice a lot of it. But to God, it smells like a thousand pigs that were kept in His living room for the winter.

Man does not and cannot grasp the awfulness of sin to the degree God does. But for two reasons we must try to grasp as much as we can. First, sin is harmful to us; it is self-destructive. All sins are boomerangs; they come back to hurt us every time. Second, sin grieves God, and if we hope to live a life pleasing to Him, we must try to live a life of righteousness…

All that is good, right, and pleasant comes from God. Anything that does not come from God is the opposite. By definition, it must be bad, wrong, and unpleasant. We are creatures who sin. When we do, we bring bad, wrong, and unpleasant things into our lives, we diminish the reputation of God as His children, and we decrease the interest the non-Christian world might have in God because they do not see the difference between being Christian and not being Christian…

All the pain, all the evil, all the suffering that is in the world, that has ever been in the world, and that will ever be in the world can be traced back to one event: when Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden. Because of the cataclysmically negative effects of that event, it has been referred to as the fall of man…

Sin entered mankind, and now all men are corrupted with sin. It is not that man is not capable of doing good (for certainly some people do wonderful things), or even that he is as bad as he could be (many people could be much worse than they are). It is just that he cannot keep from doing that which is bad, because his essential nature has been corrupted. David said, “in sin my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5). This does not mean that his mother sinned, but that all men are born sinners. We are not sinners because we sin. We sin because we are sinners…

Man’s heart has been corrupted, and therefore he commits individual, personal sins. Some of these sins are sins of commission (things we ought not to do, but do) and some are sins of omission (things we ought to do but don’t). They may be tangible acts, or they may be deficient attitudes, motives, or perspectives. When we compare ourselves with other people on external things, we might not do so badly. But when we compare ourselves with Jesus, who had no imperfections in act, thought, motive, word, or deed, we see that we fall short…

THE DOCTRINE OF SALVATION

In studying the matter of man’s destiny, we actually overlap with our overview of the Doctrine of Salvation. We saw earlier that man has a spirit as well as a body and that he will live forever in heaven or hell. The immediate concern, then, is what determines his destiny? The Bible appears to teach that children who die before the age of accountability, that is, the age at which they have the intellectual capacity to accept or reject God, go to heaven. After they reach that age, if they do not accept God’s salvation before they die, they will go to hell. How, then, does man avoid that destiny? What is the basis of God’s salvation?

There are several commonly held beliefs about how to get to heaven. One belief suggests that if no really terrible sins are committed, God will overlook the small ones. Another suggests that if your good works outweigh your bad works at the end of your life, you will make it to heaven. Still another suggests that God will line up all the people in the world who ever lived, from the worst to the best, and divide that line in half. The worst go to hell, and the best go to heaven. All these beliefs are incorrect. Good and bad works have absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you go to heaven…

We cannot earn our salvation. We are imperfect, and we cannot make ourselves perfect. Yet God demands perfection. Therefore, all we can do is cast ourselves on God’s mercy. In His mercy, God offers to forgive our sin and give us a new nature of holiness so that we can be in perfect relationship with Him. The completion of that relationship is not realized until we die and we shed the “body of sin” in which we live. God’s offer has one condition: that we believe in and receive Jesus as our Savior…

God’s solution to man’s inherent dilemma is to offer him forgiveness of his sins and to give him a new nature that is not flawed. Man still languishes under the impact of sin until his flawed body dies and he receives a new body. Then he is free to serve God forever in heaven in undiluted righteousness…

Sin brings death. Since all have sinned, all have died, spiritually, and are separated from God. Jesus was without sin, and He willingly died with the understanding that His death could count as a substitution for our own. If you believe in Jesus and receive Him as your personal Savior, God will then count His death for yours and give you eternal life…

Man is body and spirit. Upon becoming a Christian, a person’s spirit is born again and he is given eternal life. His body, at that point, remains unchanged. It is corrupted by sin, is susceptible to disease and death, and is inclined to sin. The brain, which is part of the physical body, is still encumbered with old programming that is counter to biblical truth. Because of this, the Christian experiences a continuous struggle between the new inner man who wishes to serve God and the outer man who feels the pull to sin (see Romans 7). This conflict continues until the death of the body, at which time the spirit of the Christian is transported immediately to heaven to receive a new body, untouched by sin. (Rom. 8:23)

Fortunately, until our salvation is completed with “the redemption of the body,” when we sin after having become a Christian “we have an advocate with the Father,  Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1). “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). God does not want us to sin, but He recognizes that as long as we are in this body, we will. When we do, He cleanses us. The death of Christ on the cross was sufficient for all our sins, past and future. God is continuously working in our lives, however, to lead us to a more righteous lifestyle. If we resist this work of God, He chastens us, as any loving father would a child, to correct inappropriate behavior…

THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH

The Church is to be the physical representation of Christ on earth now that He has returned to heaven. What Christ said, we are to say. What Christ did, we are to do. The message Christ proclaimed, we are to proclaim, and the character Christ manifested, we are to manifest. The world can no longer see Christ living on earth. He is removed, physically, though He lives in the hearts of His children. Because the world can no longer see Christ living on earth, it should be able to get a pretty good idea of Christ by looking at His Church.

The Church is a wonderfully important institution that has fallen into some disregard in the United States lately, even among Christians. It happened partially because many in the mainline denominations abandoned the historic fundamentals of the faith for a form of Christianity that denied the very things that were distinctive to Christianity. When that happened, the church lost its justification for its existence, and attendance began to drop precipitously.

Then a remnant church exerted itself; it was made up of largely newer denominations and independent churches as well as some churches and denominations that had held firm or renewed themselves. The renewed churches disdained the theological shallowness of churches that had denied their faith and, as a result, they “threw the baby out with the bath water.” Out with the theological shallowness went deep respect for tradition, church authority, and the clergy…

The Universal Church, also called the Body of Christ (Col. 1:24), refers to all people in all parts of the world who have become Christians since the beginning of the Church and who will become Christians before Christ returns. The Church began on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), and will culminate when Christ returns. Christ is the head of the Church (Col. 1:18), and the Universal Church is to be the representation of Christ on earth, collectively doing His will…

The church is not a building, but people. At any given time and place, Christians are to band together to carry out the responsibilities of the Universal Church. As such, they organize to govern themselves, select spiritual leaders, collect money for ministry, observe baptism and communion, exercise church discipline, engage in mutual edification and evangelism, and worship God…

Leadership in the local church is invested in pastor-teachers, elders, and deacons and deaconesses. The Scripture appears to give freedom as to how this leadership is organized and functions, but it is quite specific about the spiritual qualifications. Only spiritually mature people are to be given high positions of spiritual leadership in the church…

When a person becomes a Christian, he or she immediately and automatically becomes a member of the Universal Church, the Body of Christ. Throughout church history, local churches have had varying requirements for membership that range from very limited to very strict. This appears to be a point of freedom given local churches in the Scripture. An important point, however, is that everyone should be a part of a local church. God never intended for Christians to try to make it alone. Placing oneself under spiritual authority and in mutual ministry with others is essential to spiritual health…

THE DOCTRINE OF FUTURE THINGS

The Bible presents a picture of a future that is difficult to imagine. Power, glory, wealth, and honor are ours. But in large measure, we must wait until we get to heaven to experience it. For now, the limitations of earth are very much with us. Until we cross the Atlantic, the life of Lord Fauntleroy will have to wait.

The information the Bible presents about Future Things is sketchy. The prophetic information in the Bible is not given to satisfy our innate curiosity about the future, but to encourage us to live like royalty while we are still here on earth. It is given, not to impact our curiosity, but our lifestyle.

Therefore, while the information is incomplete as to details we might desire to know, it is adequate for us to take our present life seriously. We are royalty with a celestial inheritance, but we are presently misplaced…

Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, buried, and resurrected about A.D. 30. He ascended into heaven, where He has remained for the last two thousand years. At some time in the future, and from prophetic information it could be at any time, He will return to earth. When He does, it will not be as a carpenter’s son but in power and glory, revealing His true cosmic sovereignty. During His first visit to earth, He came as a servant with an emphasis on His humanity. During His second visit to earth He will come as a king, emphasizing His deity…

At two different times and places, God will conduct audiences with all humanity to confirm our eternal destiny. Those who believed in Jesus and received Him will then be confirmed to eternity in heaven with Him. Those who did not believe in Him and receive Him will be confirmed to eternal separation from Him in hell…

The present universe was flawed with sin at the time of the “fall” of man. While much of nature is beautiful, much of it is also destructive and uninhabitable. The universe will be destroyed with an apocalyptic cosmic fire and replaced with a new universe and a new earth that will have no harmful features…

Jesus will reign in absolute righteousness. Only goodness and beauty will exist. Believers will rule with Him forever as vice-regents. They will govern angelic beings. They will be beings of beauty and power who will participate in glorious celestial ceremonies. Believers themselves will receive much personal glory by the grace and goodness of God, as well as spend generous time worshiping and praising God. Intellect, beauty, power, and talent will be virtually limitless as believers both serve Jesus the King and rule with Him in a world that progressively glorifies God and brings great joy and individual satisfaction…


 

Maybe They Weren’t Slaves

We got the following in a newsletter we subscribe to:

ANCIENT GRAVEYARD OF SLAVES DISCOVERED IN EGYPT – COULD THEY BE HEBREWS?

Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a largely juvenile slave force, numbering in the thousands, buried in Egypt. These slaves had worked to build the city of Amarna, Egypt’s new capital city under Akhenaten, the eccentric pharaoh of the New Kingdom’s 18th Dynasty who is thought to have adopted a form of monotheism. Evidence from the graves indicates there was oppressive treatment of this disposable and possibly foreign workforce. Naturally, some have latched onto this find (and its similarities to the Exodus account) to propose that this might be evidence of Israelite slaves. Assessing that idea by examining the finds and then applying a patterns approach will be the subject of this two-part Thinker post.

The city of Amarna (located about 200 miles south of Cairo) had a very brief history. Pharaoh Akhenaten’s religious revolution exchanged the traditional pantheon of Egyptian gods for worship centered on the single deity Aten (depicted as the rays of light extending from the sun’s disk). After this shift, Akhenaten had the entirely new city of Amarna constructed for his grand capital in a matter of five brief years. Once completed, it would only serve as a thriving city for about a decade, as it was quickly abandoned and demolished after the death of the heretic king. Most of its stones were scavenged for building projects at other locations. Conventional dates for the city are from 1346 BC to shortly after 1332 BC, which marked the death of Akhenaten. His successor Tutankhamun (King Tut) moved the capital to Memphis, and Amarna was never rebuilt.

That is just the beginning of a long address on the title discovery. As we read through this information the thought struck us that there is actually nothing that ties those skeletons to slavery. Being badly buried, badly injured and so on does not indicate the skeletons belonged to slaves. These bones could have been the remains of prisoners, forced child labor policies, they could have been runaways and so on. Tying them to slavery may be difficult, even if some DNA samples proved that some of the remains originated somewhere else.

The archaeologists would have to prove that the Egyptians had slaves at that time to make this theory credible. The only reason the Egyptians had Hebrew slaves was because they Egyptians were afraid that the Hebrews would ally themselves with the Egyptian enemies and overthrow the current government. There is nothing tying these young people to the Hebrews. So why mention it? Because mentioning the Hebrews means more clicks and readers that is why.

Shepperson proposes that at this early stage of the investigation there are three main options for considering who these people were. Because of the likely separation from families (who would normally have provided the proper burials that were so important to ancient Egyptians)

Or the families were to poor to properly bury their young dead. Without documentation explaining the who’s and why’s it is all pure reading into the discovery on the part of the archaeologist. Archaeologists prefer good bedtime stories and not the truth. We will withhold judgment on this discovery until there is something more than ‘maybe’, ‘possibly’, ‘could be’ and so on. There is nothing in these graves that we have read so far that even dates these graves to Akhenaten.

Then Akhenaten could not be the Pharaoh linked to the Exodus. That Pharaoh believed in many gods not one, he was killed and his eldest son/daughter was killed in the plaque. Look for someone else to be the Pharaoh of the Exodus.

 

No It Is Not Tied To Money

Vicky Beeching on Eugene Peterson Controversy: ‘American Christians’ Opposition to LGBT Equality Tied to Money’

http://www.christianpost.com/news/vicky-beeching-american-christians-gay-marriage-eugene-peterson-192086/

This is the sad view of at least one person who is a participating member of the LGBT community. Unfortunately for her her claim is not true. The opposition to LGBTQ equality in church or life is all about obeying God {or at least it should be}. Money i snot or should not be part of any protest/opposition against anti-biblical behavior.  It seems that most people supporting the LGBTQ movement have forgotten to learn the lessons of history as they strive to make LGBTQ preference seem normal, correct, good and not sin. What these people, governments and courts are doing is only hastening the destruction of society as we know it and propelling it down a path civilizations have never recovered from.

She also wrote, “I imagine Eugene Peterson is under immense pressure, but that’s not a reason to backtrack and throw LGBT people under the bus.”

No one is throwing the LGBTQ community under the bus. What they are trying to do is protect society from their sins and refusal to acknowledge that they are sinning. Opposition to the LGBTQ movement is based upon remaining holy and one cannot be holy if they continue to practice sin. One cannot be obeying God then pursuing a sinful desire, then calling that evil good,normal, healthy and whatever other positive adjective you want to use here. What LGBTQ people do not realize, or may not accept, is that humans cannot determine what is or isn’t sin. We cannot speak for God and claim we are the decision makers of his standards. That luxury remains clearly in God’s realm and only he decides what is holy and what is sinful. Man cannot do that. We do not make God in our image but must accept what he has said is right and wrong. There is no other alternative.

She also noted that LifeWay decided that their stores will continue selling Peterson’s books based on his retraction. “The moment Peterson’s pro-LGBT beliefs hit the internet, huge USA Christian bookstore chains started threatening to boycott selling his books,” she wrote in a preceding tweet.

Bookstores have the right of free choice and do not work for Ms. Beeching. They are free to offer or refuse to offer whatever book they chose. That is their right yet people like Ms. Beeching refuse to allow anyone who disagrees with them that right and freedom. They think everyone must go according to their views. That attitude is neither right nor democratic. It isn’t even Christian but sadly those members of the LGBTQ community who claim to be Christian only put that attitude on when it benefits them and no one else. As a side note, we are not fans of The Message or of Mr. Peterson, we find both out of step with God and biblical instruction so we are not defending him or his work but critiquing the claims made by Ms. Beeching concerning the opposition to the LGBTQ movement.

The LGBTQ cannot achieve equality in the church for it is sin and nothing else. They can be treated like humans though and not violate God’s word. They should not be allowed to marry but they should be allowed to make their partners beneficiaries of whatever government, insurance, and work programs they are a member. That is only fair. They should not demonstrate, force their views on others or  be a bully and intolerant towards those who disagree with them but they should never be denied employment unless unqualified), housing (unless they violate some laws, etc.),  And on it goes. Believers should treat the LGBTQ as they would like to be treated, that verse does not exclude the sinner from being treated graciously, etc.

BUT with that said, no believer or church can accept a practicing LGBTQ member as a brother or sister in the lord for they are not. They have not been redeemed by Jesus and still live captive in their sin. The opposition is not about money, it is about their soul and the LGBTQ community’s eternal destination.

 

Israel 5

The Travels of the 12 Disciples

The following is based upon the book ‘The Search for the Twelve Apostles’ by Wm. Steuart McBirnie.  The book is well research but it is neither definitive nor infallible and please use this page as a starting point for not the end of research

1.     Peter— Jerusalem, Samaria, Antioch, Corinth, Babylon, Rome; Possibly Britain and points north of Rome

2.   Andrew—Scythia, Ephesus, Asia Minor, Greece,

3.   James, son of Z.—India, rumored Spain, Jerusalem, killed early.

4.   John—Jerusalem, Ephesus,

5.   Philip—Jerusalem, Scythia, Phrygia,, Hierapolis, possibly Laodicea & Colossae, rumored France,

6.   Bartholomew—Jerusalem, Armenia, AlbaniaLycaonia, possibly India & Persia,

7.   Thomas—Jerusalem, India, Babylon,

8.   Matthew—Jerusalem, Ethiopia, Persia, possibly Egypt,

9.   James, Son of Alph.—Jerusalem, too little is known and too many James to make distinctions

10.  Jude—Jerusalem, Edessa, Samaria, Mesopotamia, and Persia

11.  Simon the Canaanite—Jerusalem, Egypt, Africa,  Britain, Persia

12.   Matthias—Jerusalem, Armenia,

In checking the internet, the websites accessed provided some information but they were not as good as this book and one basically just quoted it verbatim.  One must remember the reason why there is so little concrete evidence concerning the travels of the disciples, it is not that people did not record what took place, it is not that wishful recipients wrote legends to feel apart of their work and not left out of the ‘spiritual’ gain one would get by association with the disciples.

No, it is because where the disciples went or how long they spent at each place is not important. What is important was the message that they preached–Jesus and salvation.  The fact that they traveled, proclaimed the gospel, taught others how to be disciples and died for Jesus provides us an example of obedience and doesn’t elevate them above their station.

They are not Christ but fellow followers of Him and we see by their lives the truth of what we read in the gospels and about Jesus, giving us strength in our faith, our work and the message we believe.
 

Israel 4

More on the Exodus

I am going to take the opportunity to recap the main points as to why there is no evidence for the sojourn in and exodus from Egypt by the Hebrew people:

1. Joseph sold into slavery- Gen. 37:28, 36.  This was done by his brothers to a middle man who eventually sold Joseph to the Egyptians.  No records or steles, or monuments would be erected to preserve this transaction.

2. Joseph’s promotion–Gen. 41:39-40. Done as a reward and given an Egyptian name which removes the idea of a foreigner being in charge of the country. If records were kept, this would only deserve papyrus NOT a stone monument or stele as no great deed was done to achieve this award.

3. Joseph’s family invited to move to Egypt–Gen. 45: 16-18. An invitation does not warrant permanent preservation for the move was done by invite not conquest. Joseph’s family came voluntarily not by force thus no record would be made or if there was, it would not be done in stone.

4. Jacob’s death– Gen. 50: 2-3.  Jacob’s body was prepared for burial the Egyptian way and accompanied back to Canaan by a host of Egyptians. Any remains would look Egyptian not Hebrew.

5. Joseph’s death-Gen. 50:26- His body was prepared for death the Egyptian way and buried n the country.  It was moved in the Exodus and we have an idea were it is today {http://www.thebereancall.org/node/6551}

6. Slavery–Ex. 1:811.  The Hebrew people were already living in Egypt when they were made slaves, they were not captured in some great battle that would be carved into a stele or made into a monument. It was an oppression of existing inhabitants of Egypt.  No fanfare or glorifying of the pharaoh for his accomplishments would be needed.

7. The Plagues– Ex. 7:1 to 12:1.  There is an ancient record of these events but it is either dismissed or re-dated to another era. {http://www.geocities.com/regkeith/linkipuwer.htm}

8. Hebrew property- Though there is no specific scripture reference, just reading Exodus 1 to 6 one sees that the Hebrew people did not have their own manufacturing plants, their own wares or their own cultural artifacts or property.  They could not leave anything distinctly Hebrew behind in Egypt for all they owned was basically Egyptian.

9. The Start of the Exodus– Ex. 12:33-36.  God had the Egyptian people give the Israelites gold, silver, clothing, so they did NOT take anything that was basically Hebrew with them. They carried Egyptian articles thus if anything was discarded, it would be Egyptian not Hebrew.

10. 40 yrs. of wandering– Nbrs. 14: 32-35.  The Hebrew adults would die in the desert for their unbelief and rejection of the Promised Land.  If their skeletons could be found, we would find only Egyptian clothing and artifacts buried with them.  There would be no opportunity for the Hebrews to make their own cultural items and even if they did create their own cultural identity, how would we know? There would be nothing from pre-sojourn to compare the items with, thus all such discoveries of artifacts would be considered Egyptian or some other nation’s remains.

These are some of the reasons why we do not find any evidence for the Hebrews living in, being enslaved by and exiting the country of Egypt.  There just isn’t any but this is not abnormal as there is scant evidence for the existence of many countries’ peoples.  The Hittites were ‘lost’ for over 1800 years and thought to be an invention by the Biblical authors; thus to make an argument out of absence of evidence is just ludicrous in this case for there is 1 ancient record which provides the evidence needed– The Bible.

So in reality there is evidence, there is a record and there is a history of the Hebrew people which we can turn to find the truth of the past.

 

Israel 3

A Historical Timeline

It is quite common to hear people claim that the Israelites copied form the Babylonians or some other ancient culture they had contact with in their history. Usually such comments are mad by those who subscribe to the Copenhagen school of biblical thought or claim they are centrists, who are merely trying to find the truth or are promoting their own agenda.

There are a couple of problems with that point of view:
1. The Israelites have no reputation of being copyists.  This is an important fact for it would seem that someone somewhere would have recorded this act by the Israelites.  In fact, why didn’t the Babylonian records reflect such a trait in the people they enslaved? One would have thought that to cement their superiority over the captured people, the Babylonians would have recorded these type of actions and provide proof for the falseness of the Israelite beliefs.

Since there are none and the Babylonians do NOT point this out, we can conclude that the Israelites did not copy the Old Testament from that society or any other. In fact, the reverse is true.  Dr. Robert Veenker in his contribution, Syro-Mesopotamia,  to the book, Mesopotamia & the Bible edited by Drs. Chavalas & Younger Jr. has stated that “The scribes of the Old Babylonian period were zealous copyists and went to great lengths to preserve the literature that came down to them from the past, especially the archives of the 3rd dynasty oat Ur.” (pg. 163)

2. There is a belief that the Sumerians were the first civilization and that all future myths and stories were based upon their writings.  This assumes that the oldest written is the original and dismisses completely what the Bible says about the origins of all people and civilizations. We know from the Bible that the Sumerians were NOT the first civilization, though they may have been the first to develop as a world power but that was AFTER the Diaspora at Babel.

It is interesting to note that while many secular scholars and archaeologists reject Noah’s flood, the Sumerians place it (or their version of it) right in the middle of their king’s list, at the proper place in the genealogy that compares with the Biblical version.  So one must ask, where did they get the idea for a flood? And why did they know where to place it in history?  If there was no flood, then there would be no reason to place it in their historical records.

We know that the length of their kings’ reigns(for the most part) are exaggerated, which provides us the clues we need to prove their version of the flood is an altered version of the real event thus even though their tablets reflect an older age than the written Biblical record, we know they are not writing the original story. How do we know this, well the timeline to follow provides the answer.

1. In the Beginning– creation.  Adam and Eve were made and given life and we know that they had conversations with God thus they would know the truth about what took place.

2.  The Fall– after this event, children were born and if they were like all other parents, they would teach their children their history and talk about what God had done in the beginning.  Most likely, they probably taught them to keep the children on God’s path not evil’s.

3. The Murder– after Cain killed Abel, he talked with God and it was not a big deal.  Cain was used to the idea of God and seemed not surprised that God would talk to him.  Cain had knowledge of God and we know by Lamech’s declaration that that knowledge was passed down to his future descendants.

4. A New Child– With the birth of Seth, we have a new line from which righteous people were born into which God used to preserve the truth of the past and His deeds.  We know that Enoch walked with God thus he possessed the truth and we know he passed that truth down because Noah was a preacher of righteousness (from Peter).  It should be noted that only 4 to 8 of Seth’s descendants made it onto the ark, which gives you a clue as to how corrupt the world had become.

5. The Flood — Here Noah and his sons had at least a year to record or implant in their memories all that they knew of the pre-flood civilization they had just been separated from.  We do not know if they wrote things down or recorded them by memorization because we do not know how advanced that civilization was or what tools they had available for writing. The important thing here is that these 8 people knew exactly what transpired prior to the destruction.

6. Post-Flood– The 8 survivors started to have families, probably only six of them.  Since the 8 lived to great ages it would not be surprising if they passed down all that they knew to the succeeding generations so that by the time of Babel, all the people of that one world society knew the truth or had heard it from their parents or grand-parents.

7. Post-Babel— Here we have the dividing of the one world civilization into many yet what is important here is that God changed the language not the people’s memories.  They still had the ideas of how to build great structures, how to cook, hunt or grow food and so on  PLUS they still had their history in their minds. One needs to be remembered and added to the equation is that as people got further away from Noah and the flood, the got further away from the truth and that the devil was still working in the hearts and minds of the people.  The flood did not destroy him or his hatred or his ability to deceive God’s creation and blind their minds to the truth.  Thus as these civilizations grew and they strayed from God their memories of the true events also changed to reflect their new culture and beliefs.

Conclusion— Thus by the time the Sumerians rose up and became a powerful nation, the truth had changed.  They still knew of their past or they would not have been able to write their king’s list as they did nor include the flood but they no longer possessed the truth and wrote such things according to what they now believed.  The Sumerians (in general) did not stick with God so why would they have the truth in their records? They would record their cultural beliefs not what really took place.

Then, as a side note, one of the realities that arises which contradicts the idea that the Israelites copied form the Sumerians or other ancient civilizations is that we only have 1 copy of the ancient myth written by the Sumerians.  This lone tablet does not support an original concept theory.  It is one tablet and we do not know if the Sumerian people had written other accounts with variations or even the actual truth of the events of the past.

To say that the Israelites copied is a closed-minded conclusion not supported by history or facts and is an idea or theory based upon very scant evidence without corroboration.  The mere possession of an ancient tablet reciting an event similar to the Biblical record is not anything but one’s person view of his past and any other idea cannot be built upon this lone writing.

The historical timeline puts into perspective how the truth was transmitted down through the ages and places the Sumerians (and other societies) as recorders not originators of the ideas found in the past and we can see that there is an unbroken line for the truth to be transmitted down to Abraham onto Moses and into the Old Testament.  The Israelites did not copy the scriptures; they did not have that reputation. Most likely the Babylonians copied form the Israelites because that was who they were, copyists.

It should be noted that all those who say the Israelites copied do not have any physical evidence to support their claims.  They use conjecture based upon what they did not find, or re-dated to fit their ideas, or have dismissed because the evidence found doesn’t fit their theories.  Not one shred of evidence. Those who support this idea of the Israelites copying can be ignored, for they have no foundation in fact or science.
 
 
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