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Immigration 2

We may not have explained ourselves too well the first time around. That may be because our minds were influenced by the bad use of scripture by a group of people who limit their theology to only the red-letters of some printed Bibles. Or they place too much emphasis on those words over the rest of the Bible, which are also the words of Jesus.

Let’s take a closer look at immigration to any country by using the current migrant caravan making its way through Mexico as an example.

First, does anyone have the right to one day decide they want to move from their home country and move to another nation by avoiding following the target nation’s immigration laws?

The answer, of course, is no. Those laws usually do not violate God’s laws and do not tell people or encourage them to sin. Instead, they are in place to keep people from sinning and illegally entering a country. We cannot use Mary & Joseph’s move to Egypt as an example because we do not know what laws were in place at that time or if Jesus’ parents went illegally. Being righteous people we hardly think they would sin at this time.

Second, is it right to covet the supposed wealth and other benefits of another country?

The people involved in this caravan have heard, etc., about how they can make more money in America. The have heard about the wealth that is there, is it right for them to covet that wealth in light of what one of the 10 commandments say? ‘Thou shalt not covet your neighbor’s…’  The term neighbor is not limited to the family living next door to your home. It can and does apply to countries as well.

These people are coveting what someone else has and are taking the wrong steps to get it for themselves.

Third, is it the application of compassion to support these people in their quest to break immigration laws and sin?

Again, the answer would be no. Compassion is to help people in a time of need and not to be used to break a country’s laws and help people sin against God. A better use of compassion would be to hep these people turn around and get them safely to their homes in their native lands. Then get involved and help them come to a new country the right way.

Right now some of those people are being kidnapped and held for ransom by drug cartels. Is it compassion to expose them to this danger? Is it compassion to let them travel in unsanitary conditions? Is it compassion to let these people take food, jobs, money, benefits from legal citizens of the new country?

Fourth, is it love for a new country by violating the laws of that country for self-gain?

It certainly is not the love that Jesus taught. What we see by this migrant caravan is greed and selfishness and does nothing constructive for the people in the new country this group is travelling to. It is all self-serving and there is no biblical teaching telling anyone to be a burden on anther country nor to be selfish or greedy.

Fifth, is it Christian to distort both the situation and bible verses to alleviate the issue and bring illegal people into a country?

Again, the answer is no. The Bible tells us to tell the truth and creating distortions is not telling the truth. It is basically lying and sin.

Sixth, is it Christian to help people to sin

It is not in the Bible. The Good Samaritan did not commit sin in helping the individual recover from his wounds. He did not lead the individual to sin either. God did not sin at any time when he rescued his people from Egypt. At one point he told the Israelites to stay out of a country and those reasons could apply to the migrant caravan as their efforts do not help other nations feel good about those people

Seventh, is it Christian to spend the money of the government and businesses without their permission?

The people supporting the effort of this migrant caravan are not spending their own money and sponsoring these people. They are spending the government’s money to give them welfare, food stamps and other benefits plus they are spending the money the healthcare outlets have to take care of these people when they get sick. They are also spending education dollars to make sure the children receive an education. Is that right and is that action in the Bible?

The people supporting this caravan are not spending their own money to care for these people once the illegally enter America. They are advocating that other people spend the money. That is money that is not theirs to spend. We do not see celebrities opening up their homes and bank accounts to make sure these people can be here legally, nor do we see Christians doing it. They all want other people to foot the bill, something that is not a biblical attitude.

Eighth, do Christians want to have help becoming illegal or sin?

If you do, then you are not following the Bible. The verse, ‘do unto others…’ is not permission to sin against God or violate a country’s laws. I John also talks about when Christians continuously commit sin and calling themselves of God, they make God a liar and they are not part of God’s family. Christians are not to advocate for or support sin.

Illegal migration is not of God.

Ninth, should Christians learn the difference between legal and illegal immigrants?

Yes, they should. The two are not the same and the latter makes the illegal immigrant a criminal. They have violated laws of the country they are entering. That doesn’t make them upstanding law-abiding citizens.  It makes them offenders. People who  have no love or concern for the rights of legal immigrants and native citizens

Tenth, what can Christians do

There are a lot of biblical responses to those people who are seeking to enter a country illegally.

– they can give them food and water and clothing while providing a sanitary place to do natural bodily functions BUT on their return to their native land

– they can get involved with the people and help them work to bring safe conditions to their native countries

– they can help the return home safely without risk

– they can sponser some so that they can enter a country legally and properly

– they can make sure other Christias are not distorting the issue and bible verses and get the truth out

– they can help provide a better solution than continuing the illegal strategy

– they can help filter out genuine hurting people from those who just want to abuse the new country and help those people enter the country legally

– they can make sure emotions are not used to bend laws

There are a lot of options to solving this type of issue and none of them involve sin or doing illegal acts.This included being fair to those who have already entered the country legally and fulfilled all the requirements to live and work in a given country. It also included being fair to the native citizens who have the right to live and work in their native land

There was a fad going around the Christian world a few years back called W W J D. Well Jesus would not help people to sin or illegally enter a country. He would not distort scripture to help  people sin or violate laws. He would not violate His Father’s will or rules in helping these people. He would not distort scripture to bring about a desired goal.

Read the Bible and you will see what Jesus would do. One thing is he would not misuse love and compassion to let people sin in hopes of getting their butts in the pew. The ends do not justify the means. We believers have no permission to sin in doing good works or to do evangelism.

remeber that NO ONE has a problem with LEGAL immigrants and immigration. It is the ILLEGAL version everyone is against

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Immigration

We try to stay away from political topics. But there are times when political issues cross over into the spiritual realm and these topics cannot be put on the shelf. They must be addressed. Our jumping off spot comes from the following link:

https://www.redletterchristians.org/when-the-bible-gets-in-the-way-of-following-jesus/

When the Bible Gets in the Way of Following Jesus

First off, the Bible does not get in the way of anyone following Jesus. Such thinking found in the title of that article is misguided and demonstrates a lack of knowledge about biblical teaching.Second, the Bible says the same things to everyone. It is the interpretation used, the cherry picking of scriptures and the inability to understand what is being said that gets in the way of following Jesus.

For example, the Bible tells us that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. But what happens in most cases is that individual people apply their own definition to the word love and think that is the definition that God uses. They do not do any in-depth study of the word nor do they ask the Holy Spirit to guide the to the truth so they miss out on what God has told us about his definition of the word.

What happens next is when Christians do not respond in the manner that those people have defined the word love,  they are accused of not being good Christians and not following the Bible. That article is a prime example of that type of mentality- ‘You do not do what we want so you must be and are wrong.’ Rarely do we see these people rethinking their positions or definitions of the word love. It is always the other person’s fault.

Case in point

I understand the fear. Of course we need to protect our children. I get that we have limited resources. Yes, migrants have to enter the country legally. But I don’t think these concerns are near as connected to this migrant caravan as they are to our collective enslavement to fear and misinformation. Rather than be moved by a commitment to understand and care for the “least and the last” we are being stirred into a frenzy of self-protection that is compromising our collective soul. It’s sad. But we can be healed

The author of that article skips over the important issues and dismisses them as if they do not matter. he gives lip service to them as he rushes to judge and condemn those people who  do not agree with him. It is not those who oppose this migrant caravan that is misunderstanding or lack caring. It is the author, and those like him, who ignore facts, fairness and the reality of the situation that do not get it.

They take one scripture and generalize it then try to make everyone else feel guilty because they are not doing their ‘Christian duty’. They distort both scripture and the situation to make people bend to their will and that is not right to anyone. Especially those who have entered any country legally, jumped thorugh all the hoops and got the right visa to live and work in their new land.

The fact that our administration is threatening these countries by taking away funding is short sighted and will only perpetuate the instability. We have to become students who ask the story behind the story behind the story. We have to get close to those in crisis. We need to be in proximity. We need to share tables and stories. And, in a country filled with immigrants, we can.

No this is completely wrong. We have to get to the truth of the issue and see the real motivations behind those in these migrant caravans. So far, not one person who has been interviewed has shown anything that would qualify them for asylum in any country. We do not need to hear the story behind the story behind the story- who even knows what that means?

One thing we are sure about, it does not lead anyone to the truth as many of those supposed migrants have said nothing but how they want to break the law of the land they are heading towards. The author uses his own fear tactics to get people to consider or switch to his way of thinking.  He threatens that ending handouts will destablize a country, something that connot be verified at this  time.

Also, he distorts the issue by ignoring the fact that the current large migrant caravan and other smaller ones, are not filled wiht legal immigrants. Yes, both American and Canada were built by immigrants– BUT THEY WERE LEGAL IMMIGRANTS. There is a big difference between being legal and following the rules and being illegal. Many of the members of this caravan have expressly stated that they will break the laws of America. That is something that is not taught in scripture. They claim to be law-abiding but their first act is to be a violator of the law.

Clearly, it is not the Bible getting in the way of following Jesus. Getting people to follow the law is not anti-Jesus or anti-biblical. God had and has rules for people to follow and he punishes them for disobeying them. Surely it is more Christian to punish those who violate or encourage others to violate the law. It is not God or Jesus who are leading these people or their supporters as they ignore scripture time and again and think that there is no difference between legal and illegal immigrants.

The migrant caravan is made up primarily of people with deep Christian convictions and traditions.

This also is not true. They may claim to be Christian and come from a religius denomination but that denomination is not Christian in any way shape or form. To include it in with the term Christian is misleading and allows for false teaching to influence people’s thinking. While there are Christians in the RCC, the Roman Catholic Church is not Christian and teaches far too many false docrines to be even close to Christianity.

That author distorts what is happening and hides the truth with that statement.

As they move north, they are holding vigil and praying for God’s guidance and protection for ultimate liberation. Mommas are pushing strollers as they pray for their children’s future and pleading with God to deliver them toward safety and new life.

Here in the U.S., many people with deep Christian convictions and traditions are praying for the migrant caravan to turn around (at best) or to be violently resisted/restrained (at worst). Parents are fearful that this caravan could threaten the safety and future of their children and are pleading with God to protect them from the “invading enemy.”

There are so many assumptions in that quote that we do not have the time to address them all. People may be pleading and praying but that doesn’t mean they are Christian or deserve to break the immigration laws of America. As the news stories have shown most of these migrants are not fleeing anything dangeorus. God does not answer prayers by having people break the wrong laws.

If they want God’s help, then they need to ask him to help them follow the immigration laws and jump through the right hoops so they can legally live and work in the country. What that author does not recognize is that the migrant caravan is a large invading group of people who have no respect for American law. One lady even said that she had lived illegally in Ameirca for 6 years and was finally deported. She also followed up that confession with, the idea that she should be allowed to work illegally again for a few years and then be deported a second time.

That is not the attitude of someone who is a friend to America or its people. It is certainly not biblical teaching.  The Bible gets in the way of such people telling them not to lie, not to covet, and these people certainly are coveting American resources and wealth, and other instructions. This type of attitude also does not reflect any definition of love for America and it is far from God’s definition. It is a selfish attitude which is also not part of biblical teaching.

How and where does God act in a moment like this? Whose prayers are “heard?”

We are told that the prayers of the righteous are heard. Sadly, we find no one in that migrant caravan that is actually righteous. if they were, they would not be participating in this march of sin. The author of that article puts his own spin on these prayers that he assumes are being said. He forgets that God follows his rules and any prayers answered will not violate God’s rules. Entering a country illegally is not of God.

We have not found one answer to biblical prayers that involved allowing sin to take place. The Bible does tell us to treat others well, doing good in return for evil, but it also does not say we cannot punish lawbreakers. We can have mercy but mercy should not allow sin to flourish. Mercy is usually given when people have truly learned their lesson and repented of their evil ways. It is not permission to continue in their evil desires.

We are going to stop here as we find the supposed Christian thinking of that author repulsive. It is not even close to what the Bible teaches. Governments have the right to close their borders when uninvited citizens of other countries march on their land to disrespect the laws and drain the resources of that country they are marching to.

I’m convinced one of the greatest obstacles to following Jesus in the United States is HOW we read the Bible.

Yes it is and it is the red-letter Christians who are reading the Bible wrong and mis-applying its teachings to the situation of legal and illegal immigration. It is not Christian to let people jump the legal line. It is not Christian to apply the law to some people and not to others. God doesn’t do that. If the people marching on  America right now are of God, they would stop what they are doing and turn to godly, legal ways to enter the country.

Christians should not be helping them to sin and violate the laws of the land. Nor should they be distorting the issue and applying their own subjective and sinful ideology to a situation that is quite clear. What gets in the way of handling these situations correctly and following Jesus are thse supposed Christians who have adopted too much of secular thinking and distort what the Bible says.

 

 

Education & Politics

It is tempting to talk politics and we probably will in this article. But we will not say how you should vote. While we do favor one American party over the other, and we do not favor at least one party in Canada over the others, it is not wise for us to state more details. We will say that the radicals in those parties do more to undermine the sovereignty and existence of the two nations than any other political party.

Part of the problem for us is when Christians get on their soap box and start misrepresenting the facts. It is a bad witness and can turn a lot of people off of Christ. Our case in point:

https://www.christianpost.com/voice/millions-of-christians-are-not-prepared-to-vote-dont-be-one-of-them.html

And we will address some key issues found in that article.

Do you know the candidates on your midterm election ballot? I’d venture to say most Americans don’t.

This means there are millions of Christians in America who are unprepared to vote and who will walk into their polling places on election day largely uninformed of the very races they’re being asked to weigh in on

This is a pretty broad assumption to make. It assumes that no Christian has been watching television in their own cities. The political ads are run often enough that just about everyone should know the issues and who is running for elected office. Whether they go further in their preparing for the elections is up to them, but in this election here we are pretty sure most Christians are aware of what is at stake.

My Faith Votes is working hard to keep America’s Christian voters equipped with the information necessary to cast informed ballots. The Voting Assistance Center is a unique and non-partisan tool that allows users to see an electronic sample of their local ballot and includes critical information on candidates’ positions on the issues.

This sounds good and we hope they are being honest in their presentation. it doesn’t say if they cover all 50 states or not but hopefully they do.

In other words, freedom disappears where ignorance flourishes. Only a people who engages their minds to understand critical issues and evaluate where each candidate stands on those issues can wisely affect the course of society with their vote.

Herein lies the problem. The most successful educational program in the past 40 years has been dumbing down. Ignorance is at an all-time high. We do not say this lightly because we saw the examples of western native teachers who traveled overseas to teach their own language. Not only did most of them not know English, some tried to control provincial Korean NET programs so that their ideology and their ideas would filter out any good teaching candidate they did not like.

Not only did we meet these people, we also saw their handiwork. The quality of native candidates went down year after year and the students suffered for it. Ignorance already permeates the American nation and it is not limited by political or religious affiliation.

Part of this ignorance is seen in the ignoring of the rules of evidence when people are accused of crimes.  You should know the examples well and they too cross political and religious affiliations.

The assault on America’s traditional Judeo-Christian values is coming from all directions, and often the most immediate pressure comes at the local level

This term has always puzzled us. While there is a way God wants people to live, he did not present them in a Judeo-Christian framework. He framed it in moral behavior, right and wrong definitions, and good and evil reality. All of which are rejected by a vast majority of people around the world. Time after time we see God punishing people not for violating a Judeo-Christian standard but for disobedience to his instructions.

Obedience to God’s standards, instructions and commands are key, not a Judeo-Christian standard.

For example, activists on many local school boards have pushed a liberal agenda and so many parents are oblivious to the power these elected officials have over the development of their children!

This is true and it is one reason why the dumbing down of western students and populations has been such a great success. Education is not the priority of certain supposed educators. Having students feel good and being liked by the students is more important. When we were in school, very few of our teachers could have cared about being liked. Their job was to educate and educate they did.

We have said it before and if you read the book Hitler Furies, you will hear it again. Hitler used dumbing down to control the German people. He did not restrict that program to only secular people. This fact partially explains why the religious Germans of that time supported Hitler, even when he went off the rails. Ignorance is a mighty tool to get injustice, favoritism, sin and other negatives into society.

It is also a great tool in controlling people and having power over them. We will not point fingers at any political party but just be forewarned. Education officials do not have the best interests of your students in mind. Doesn’t matter the political party. Our concern has been that schools and school boards have crossed the line from educating students into usurping parental authority and allowing certain actions to take place without the parents’ consent or knowledge.

Schools are not parents of those children, for the most part, and they should not be giving out parental advice or consent to the students. They should be working hand in hand with the parents. But the parents are in the way of the agendas and objectives of many, not all, schools and school boards. These objectives change when elected officials change.

In  Korea, every time there was a new provincial or federal education minister elected, they had to put their own stamp on education. This caused many problems for the Korean teachers. That is no way to run an educational department. Such thinking hampered Korean teachers and set back education by years. But this illustration is mild compared to what is taking place in some western school districts and departments.

There was the story of a school that helped a student get a sex change operation without letting the parents know. Schools and school boards have crossed the line and become ineffective educational institutions. That is just the tip of the iceberg. But all we can say is start praying sincerely and learn who is on the ballot and what they believe before you vote.

The verse, if my people shall humble themselves and pray… applies to politics and education. It is not just an evangelistic instruction.

We can protect Christian values in America if faith voters like you do their homework and make informed votes

It is not Christian values that need protecting. It is the people who need protecting from those who reject God and his ways and have the possibility of being elected to govern western nations. Their interests are not God’s. Their goals are not to see the people governed honestly, justly or even  fairly. Their goal is to control and have power.

We have seen those people in action as the institution of marriage has been compromised; gender divides have been abolished; and the rights of the legal citizens have been ignored in favor of helping those people who break immigration and other laws. Among other violations. Sadly, again not just one party is guilty here, though one may have more guilty members than the other.

We must not take democracy, and the most fundamental act of voting, for granted.

Democracy is the weakest form of any government. That is how Hitler came to power. He tried a forceful way but that did not work. Democracy opens the doors for any political person if they can convince enough people to support their political desires. That means even dictators can take over a nation through democratic means.

The disarming of the people also makes a nation weaker. It is much easier to overthrow a country when their citizens cannot respond in a military way and protect their own borders or lands. You will notice that God does not use a democracy in his kingdom. It is his rules and only his rules that count. Christians need to get the idea of democracy out of their heads, as Jesus said he was the head of the church. There was no vote and no separate Christian parties to choose between.

Politics is an earthly construct only. One that is fallible, influenced heavily by evil and so on. If Christians want to make their mark on this world, they need to be different from the secular people. Whether they are teachers or politicians, Christians need to be better. They need to lead better, educate better and set the right example for all to follow.

If the Christian doesn’t do it, then evil gets to lead more people to destruction

 

 

The Clothing They Wore/Wear

Over the years we have noticed how so many mega church pastors and other church leaders have toned down their clothing style. Jeans, T-shirts, bad shoes and other casual clothing has become the norm with many who fill th epulpit on a weekly basis. While the Bible doesn’t provide  a dress code for church leaders in the NT, it certainly did in the Old

https://www.bible-history.com/tabernacle/TAB4The_Priestly_Garments.htm

This section is mostly concerned with a description of the high priest’s ceremonial robes known as the garments of glory and beauty. In style and color, the robes of the priests were rich in typical significance for they depicted both the wondrous beauties of Christ the High Priest and also the privileges and duties of all who are the priests of God, whether the appointed ones of the Old Testament or all believers of the New. In his garments of glory and beauty, Aaron became typically that which Jesus Christ was intrinsically in all the purity and holiness of His being.

We are not going to be legalists here and declare that every preacher needs to dress up like the OT temple priests when they enter the pulpit or do church duties.  Nor will we be doing a guilt trip. That is to our mission here. Our mission is to point out a few things found in the clothing the OT priests wore.

#1. God put a lot of thought into what his representatives wore

For something many people consider to be a very minor issue, God spent a lot of time thinking about what his priests would wear, right down to the littlest detail. Look at the instructions he gave. Nothing was spared God’s attention.

#2. Casual was not the norm

People may say that it is what is on the inside that counts and that our hearts can be pure on the inside while wearing casual clothing. We are not arguing that point. We are pointing out that casual clothes was not on God’s list when he outfitted his priests.  The heart is very important as Jesus talked about it to the Pharisees when he rebuked them but he did not dismiss their dress nor overturn his father’s dress code.

#3. Dress for respect

This attitude goes three ways. One, the right clothes show respect for the people the priest or pastor is addressing and leading. Don’t expect to be respected if you think lowly of your congregation and dress in a manner that reflects that attitude. Respecting your audience helps them open up their ears and their hearts.

Two, God has shown us how to be respected. By dressing appropriately what we have to say will be taken more seriously and the messenger gets respect.

Third, it shows respect to God. We are not treating him, his son and his word in a casual, lighthearted, off the cuff manner. We show the world, not just the congregation that we respect God and dress the right way. We take God and his word seriously when we put on the right clothes.

We do not take many people seriously when they fill the pulpit dressed in very casual clothes. We also do not respect those pastors who dress down when giving God’s message. We do not think highly of them as they do not think highly of anyone or God.

#4. God did not try to identify with unbelievers or people

He had his uniform for his representatives and if it turned people off of his message, he wasn’t concerned about it. He never changed their dress from when he gave Moses the instructions to after the time of Christ. Christianity isn’t about identifying, that is not our mission, even in evangelism. It is about having the gospel message and ourselves taken seriously. It is also about showing respect to God and giving him the honor he is due, even in the clothes we wear.

We need to be different as we clothe our bodies, from the pastor on down to the common church member. We are not part of the secular world and do not follow its lead even in clothing styles.

Take this as some food for thought and rethink how you present yourself to the world as believers.

 

Fasting

We found a topic that we have not addressed yet. We will take a few days to try to study the biblical approaches to fasting but for this post, we are going to rely on works from other sites to get the topic rolling. we are not going to quote long passages, just enough to give people the idea. The final quoted work is something we wrote for a secular website

#1. https://www.gotquestions.org/fasting-Christian.html

Christian fasting – what does the Bible say?

Scripture does not command Christians to fast. God does not require or demand it of Christians. At the same time, the Bible presents fasting as something that is good, profitable, and beneficial

#2. http://www.inplainsite.org/html/fasting.html

What Biblical Fasting is Not

(1) A Physical or Psychological Discipline

(2) A Manipulative Tool

(3) A Hypocritical Religious Exercise

#3. The Facts About Fasting

Hearing the word ‘fasting’

Sends many people running screaming in terror. To them fasting means not eating for a long time and they do not like that thought. But fasting is a lot more than just missing but on some food for a few days.

What is fasting

Basically, a fast is where you go without food and sometimes water for an extended period of time. Fasts are done for a variety of reasons and the most common ones are spiritual health, medical benefits, as well as trying to lose a few pounds.

Before you go on a fast, you should talk to your doctor. You may have some hidden medical issues that may interfere with your fasting plans.

Types of fasts

It really doesn’t matter which type of fast you chose to follow. They all give the same health benefits. Plus, you do not need to use a fast that has the word cleanse or detox in them. All fasts cleanse and detox your body.

  • Dry fasts- this is the one most people hate. You avoid both food and liquids during this type of fast
  • Liquid fast- here at east you get to drink some healthy liquids as you cleanse your body. You can go with water only or use juice and have a little nutrition as you fast
  • Partial fast- here you eat a little food, but the key is what foods you do eat and which ones you exclude
  • Intermittent fast- in this fast you alternate between eating and fasting periods. You can design your intermittent schedule.

When you do a fast, make sure you prepare for it first. That will protect you from some negative side effects that can take place when you deprive your body of food and liquids.

The health benefits of fasting

To protect yourself from certain brain diseases a regularly scheduled fast can help protect you from the effects of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Just 2 days a week can keep your brain healthy and disease protected.

Other health benefits include

  • Keeps blood pressure and other fluids balanced
  • Helps moderate blood sugar levels
  • Strengthen immune system
  • Burns fat
  • Protects brain from stress related damage

This is just food for thought and we will try to get back later in the week with more information

 

Marital Happiness

The following is an interesting article to read

https://www.christianpost.com/news/fewer-sexual-partners-before-marriage-yield-greater-happiness-marriage-study-228128/

Fewer Sexual Partners Before Marriage Yield Greater Happiness in Marriage: Study

We take scholarly studies with a grain of salt. Peer review, scientific papers, etc., say a whole lot about nothing and they rarely provide any real answers for anyone.

New research reveals that marriages are quantifiably happier if the couple had fewer sexual partners prior to their wedding day.

We really did not need a scientific or academic study to tell us that. But we will further say that when people are unhappy in a marriage, they can commit adultery no matter how many previous sexual partners they had before they got married. Our question is this- why is this article posted on a Christian newspaper website? It certainly doesn’t talk about God’s views about sin, marriage and sex.

It doesn’t talk about how sex before marriage is adultery and it isn’t really news, so why is it there? We think that it is because many believers have had sex before marriage and not just before they were Christians. The trend is that sex is more important than obeying God. We know it takes place and that a lot of Christians do not want to wait till marriage to enjoy one of life’s simplest and best pleasures.

It saddens us to think this but we know it is the reality. So we will just make a blunt statement- sex before marriage is sin and adultery. There is no altering that fact. The good news is for those Christians who have participated in sex before marriage that adultery is not the unforgivable sin. It would be wise of the believer to truly repent of those sins and the attitude that got them involved in adultery if they want to make an impact for God.

Love is patient and if the man or woman truly love their partner they will not rob them of the beauty that comes with sex after marriage. They will not rob them of that happiness marriage is supposed to bring. Having sex before marriage is not progressive, it is not cool and it is not wise. It is selfish though. Both towards your future partner in life and to God. You are saying to him that his instructions do not matter and your personal pleasure is more important than obedience to him.

We would advise you all to rethink your views on this issue if you agree that sex before marriage is okay. Obeying God is more important than anything else.

 

Archaeology, the Bible and Children

We will look at a couple of short articles on archaeology, the Bible and children. Too often when modern peope read biblical accounts they tend to read their own views or modern culture into the different accounts referring to children. That is not the correct way to read anything about the Bible or the ancient past.

the first article- Did the Ancient Israelites Think Children Were People?- brings this research question. The author starts off with the following point

When the class session on the 10 plagues in Exodus came around, an interesting discussion ensued among the students about the plague of the firstborn and whether or not the Israelite deity was morally justified in killing Egyptian babies.

The key words are in bold. The biblical account says the firstborn. It does not say babies. That is the first mistake made by that author and her students. The firstborn could have been at any age. They could have been elderly, middle ages, young adults, teenagers and so on. The second mistake they make is to stand in judgment of God. Who are they to say if God is justified or not? Most of those people probably are still in their sins and think they know more than God does.

Why, we then have to ask, would the Israelites have imagined their deity Yahweh slaughtering children for sins the children themselves had not committed? If they thought children could be killed for the transgressions of others, did they even think children were persons with any type of rights?

Their assumption that those punished were babies leads that class and its instructor to the faulty conclusions stated in that quote. Most likely, God was punishing those children for the sins the Egyptian firstborn had committed in their lives and failed to repent of them. Were the children punished for the transgression sof others? That is hard to say as that teacher and class produced no evidence that was taking place. Of course, when plaques hit, both the innocent and guilty are affected.  That is a fact of life.

We are sure that the many victims of the Black Plague did nothing to warrant their demise from that disease. The last line of that quote shows the infusion of modern thinking into past records. Rights have nothing to do with a person’s identity as a human. The fact that they were born human gives them that identity not any so-called rights.

Rights are also not biblical and have no part in defining how the ancient Israelites thought of children.

What do I mean by “persons” exactly? A person, in my usage and that of many anthropologists, is a human being accorded status and recognition in their society. A person is an individual who is seen as having value—not economic value like a sheep or a llama, but social value, value in relationships with others.

None of those elements need rights to support them.  Also, you can see how far off the secular word is in its thinking. A human is a human whether they are given value, status, or not.

Personhood is an abstract concept. One might say it is too abstract to be useful. But discussions of personhood arise generally only in the most pressing situations—when we are discussing what we can do to human beings and their bodies.

Actually it is not. A human being is a person no matter how someone defines that term. Both identifications start at conception and continue thorugh life until the person dies.

And this narrative is not alone among texts in the Hebrew Bible in leading readers to call into question whether or not the Israelites saw children as persons. We even read in the storied 10 Commandments: “I, Yahweh, your god, am a jealous god, punishing children for the iniquity of parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me” (Exodus 20:5 in English versification; Deuteronomy 5:9). Either the Israelites who wrote this did not see children as persons, or their conception of personhood was a collective one that allowed children to be punished for the sins of parents.

It is clear that the author does not understand what is being said in the Bible. Declaring that certain punishment will take place does not remove the identity of children. It is just telling people what will happen when they sin. Distorting scripture to make a thesis point or answer a research question is not an intelligent thing to do. It misrepresents the Bible and misleads people.

We could answer this question more easily if we could speak and interact with real Israelites. Since we can’t do this and since the Israelites revealed their views of personhood indirectly rather than through philosophical treatises on the subject, we are left having to read through the lines. At best, the Israelites held a view of personhood that allowed for collective punishment and saw children as low-level subordinates subject to the wishes and whims of parents—usually fathers. At worst, they were not seen as persons

This is the danger that comes when a person cherry picks verses to handle their discussion. it leaves out the myriad of biblical verses that show that the Israelites thought and treated children like real people. We skipped a section on child sacrifice as that is a topic for another day. They come to wrong conclusions about the people of the past. They only look for those verses that will support their thesis and not head for the truth.

We do not see philosophical treaties as direct sources. They also do not give us direct insights into the thinking of ancient people. But that comment does tell us a lot about the author and her bias. That bias undermines and ruins her point. There is more to that article to discuss but we want to move on to the second one. you can read the first one here: https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/bible-interpretation/ancient-israel-children-personhood/?mqsc=E3998904&utm_source=WhatCountsEmail&utm_medium=BHDDaily%20Newsletter&utm_campaign=ZE8AOVZ70

What Does the Bible Say About Children—and What Does Archaeology Say?

Unfortunately, children are underrepresented in the archaeological record and ancient texts, including the Bible. It is difficult to discern which artifacts belonged to children. In fact, the best context for identifying children’s artifacts is burials. When children and infants are buried with particular materials, we can infer that these materials were associated with children and were usually intended to assist them in the afterlife.

Burials do not say much about how a person thought. They may say something about the individual families or the regional culture but very little about the deceased, including children. it is impossible to say if the chid requested those items to be buried with them or if their parent sinluded them because they did not want their child to be alone or defenseless in the after life.

It is also misleading to say that children are underrepresented in ancient texts or the bible. Those are adult activities and adult written. They deal with, for the most part, adult things. The lack of children’s drawings, writings and other remains indicate that only the children’s parents took an active interest in what their children did. There is no reason for anyone to preserve children’s works outside of the family for posterity.

Legal documents are the best textual source for learning about the lives of ancient children; these include “wet-nurse contracts, adoptions, inheritance, debt-slave sales, and slave sales.” We have a large amount of ancient adoption records from the site of Nuzi in northeastern Iraq. For adopted boys, the major concern was inheritance; for adopted girls, it was marriage prospects.

Again, these show nothing much about the lives of children. They do show how the adults in their lives were governed. What is sad is that the article cherry picks what it will focus on when it comes to children. Again, this second article veers off topic towards child sacrifice. The article is weak as it ignores all the ancient children games and other artifacts archaeologists have uncovered over the decades.

If the author wants to focus on the lives of children, then it should actually focus on the lives of children. It should not talk about child sarifice as that is an adult decision,not a child’s one. We will address one point on child sacrifice:

Second, the discovery of infant cemeteries (called tophets) at Carthage and other Punic sites suggests that child sacrifice did occur in the ancient Near East. Not all scholars agree with this interpretation, but many think these tophets are proof of the practice.

What are the parents supposed to do when their child dies? Leave them to rot? Of course there will be child cemeteries but that does not mean child sacrifice was practiced. Modern scholars keep reading into the evidence what they want to see or they take the words of the enemies of a given people over rational thought.

https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/ancient-cultures/ancient-near-eastern-world/what-does-the-bible-say-about-children/?mqsc=E3998904&utm_source=WhatCountsEmail&utm_medium=BHDDaily%20Newsletter&utm_campaign=ZE8AOVZ70

 
 
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