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Category Archives: history

The Christian and the Holocaust

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Archaeology Amateurs

We know and have talked to the people behind Patterns of Evidence and the following news letter

http://patternsofevidence.com/blog/2017/11/03/google-reveals-walls-built-by-nomads/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=Thinker87GoogleWalls&utm_term=&utm_content=&utm_campaign=Thinker87GoogleWalls&inf_contact_key=8bef8025759b3b272657ce9f83c8cb5d8a7f5a516dd8b999f6c02f66506940c4

with that said we do not like when amateurs get involved and try to do ‘archaeology’. They may have taken approx. 15 years to make their film and then write newsletters and other things but amateurs only mess things up. We wil provide a few examples here;

#1.

And your children shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years and shall suffer for your faithlessness, until the last of your dead bodies lies in the wilderness. According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, a year for each day, you shall bear your iniquity forty years, and you shall know my displeasure.’ – Numbers 14: 33-34 (ESV)

Did the nomadic Children of Israel spend 40 years in the wilderness of the Sinai Peninsula, or did they spend at least part of those four decades wandering to and fro in the Arabian Peninsula? Some argue for the latter.

Not even a valid question we have their itinerary so we know where they went. Some people like Wm. Dever think that the Israelites spent 40 years at Kardesh Barnea but the Bible proves them wrong

#2.

 

Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. – Exodus 3:1 (ESV)

With the aid of Google Earth, University of Western Australia researcher Dr. David Kennedy has catalogued almost 400 stone walls that are hard to detect when you are standing right next to them; nevertheless, they can be clearly viewed via today’s satellite imagery.

There is nothing about this discovery that is vital to any exodus study nor can the former be connected to the latter.

#3. Dubbed “gates” because many look like cattle gates from high above the earth, these walls present themselves in a variety of shapes ranging from rectangular to a capital “I” with stone piles at both ends. The latter shape discourages any thought that these were enclosures meant to contain animals. Many of these stone walls are only three feet high.

Misleading and distorts the actual purpose of the walls. Walls may have eroded away, there is no telling how high they actually went.

#4. Then, too, the ecology of the Arabian Peninsula may have been very different thousands of years ago. Some speculate it may have been more tropical than it is today.

get some prove first before making statements like this. Those walls could have served any purpose and the environment could be the same then as it is today. We also know a lot about the climate in the region the Israelites wandered in as the Bible tells us about it through their complaints and Moses actions.

#5. So, did the ancient Israelites wander in the Arabian Peninsula, as some have suggested. Might these “gates” offer a clue from biblical times that a nomadic people such as this actually existed? Only time and boots on the ground will tell.

This is what really bothers us. There is no way to connect those gates or walls to the people of Israel. There is no clue here and there is nothing tying these walls to nomadic people. We understand why amateurs get involved in archaeology but they should actually learn something before muddying up the waters and misleading those who know even less about the topic. Before making such absurd statements or throwing the these bad questions out there to be considered a little common sense is needed. As well as asking oneself , is this really germane to the topic or is it just hype? Is it pandering to a specific audience or really helping to solve a mystery?

It is a fine line dealing with amateurs as you do not want to curb their enthusiasm but there is a point where they need real instructions instead of letting them ‘hypothesize’ over inane and immaterial topics like these walls. It is not a wise move to present archaeology in the same fashion as the experts or professionals as those groups do not know that much about the topic they are discussing. Modern science may be about the best explanation BUT the best explanation may be far from the truth and the believer cannot get caught up in that.

The believer is taught to go for the truth and that method must be taught to amateurs so that they can avoid making errors in the topics they are interested in.

#6. Keep Thinking

While all people need to keep thinking, this is bad advice as thinking in general does not lead one to the truth. Nor is thinking some haphazard activity. It must be guided. If it isn’t properly guided then it has no hope of reaching the truth.You cannot just think for the sake of thinking especially when you are disseminating information to others. You need to provide the truth or the next step in reaching the truth. For the believer this is essential as they have more at stake than those who do not believe.

 

 

Some Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Unearthing Atlantis 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

When They Get It Wrong

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

A Pledge

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

 

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

 

 

Unearthing Atlantis

And no, the title is not in response to the comment made in the In The News 24 entry of a few days ago. This title is exactly the same as the Charles Pellegrino book that discusses Thera and its relationship to Atlantis. Those people who place the destruction of Atlantis at 9000+ years ago are sadly misguided. Our theory coincides with others who think that Plato and the Egyptian priests were referring to the disappearance of the Minoan society in roughly the middle of the 1600s BC. The idea that Atlantis was some super race of humans who were so far advanced that it makes our modern civilizations look like hunter-gatherers is also far-fetched. Atlantis is just another name for the Minoans who existed for approx. 1500 years before God allowed them to be destroyed. We have to use the word allow because we do not know if God destroyed them for their sins or they were just unfortunate victims of a volcano and God acted to save a remnant of them, later called the Philistines. Archaeology and science cannot answer that question.

We are talking about the Minoans and Dr. Pellegrino’s book today because we came across it the other day as we were looking at used books in one of e of the very few used books stores in this country. It is a great book with a lot of great information and facts. We had it in our library for almost 20 years before we lost it in a move ad we are happy to have it again. The reason for that is as we are re-reading Dr. Pellegrino’s work we came across a very interesting piece of information that either we missed or forgot about. That tidbit is quite informative

The town that S. Marinatos discovered under all the ash dumped on it by the volcanic eruption, was actually built upon another, earlier town that was also buried by a volcanic eruption. There is not much information on that town because the work on Akrotiri is slow. Excavations have been on going for the one town for approx. 50 years. This information, of course, turns our minds to the pre-flood world and we wonder if that underlying buried town was not evidence for the pre-flood world and the flood. The Minoans are considered the ancestors or fellow Philistines due to this verse found in Amos

Amos 9:7“Are you not as the sons of Ethiopia to Me, O sons of Israel?” declares the Lord. “Have I not brought up Israel from the land of Egypt, And the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir?

Which may be a reason why no skeletons or bodies associated with Akrotiri have ever been found on Thera. It would be nice to learn more about the buried town that the current ancient city Akrotiri was built upon. In all the years we have been doing archaeology, Dr. Pellegrino’s book is the only source that mentions its existence.

For those who think that you cannot do archaeology with the Bible in one hand and a spade in the other are sadly misguided. The Bible contains far more ancient clues to ancient societies and civilizations than most ancient sources do. We would be hurting for information and discovering far less about our past if we relied upon archaeologists to dig up some ancient record that mentions the many societies that the Bible talks about. Don’t listen to the secular archaeologist (or even the supposed Christian ones) who say that the Bible cannot be used in archaeology. It can for it is a historical book and its pages are filled with actual history, peoples and civilizations.

The problem most believers have when they do archaeology (or any science) is that they listen to those unbelieving archaeologists (and scientists) who think they know more than God. When they do this they end up destroying their own faith and leaving salvation behind. That is a grave mistake. Archaeology has to be done by looking for the truth and following the spirit of truth or the person doing archaeology (or science in general) ends up thinking the Bible is in error. The Bible is never wrong.

God does not write errors to be corrected by sinful, fallible man who is so far removed from history that it is laughable that they think they know much about our past. God was there and saw it all thus it makes more sense to follow his instructions and take his word for it than any other alternative.

 

 

For Further reading:

http://www.greek-thesaurus.gr/cycladic-excavation-Akrotiri-Thera.html

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1967/12/the-promise-of-thera/303778/

http://www.santorini-islandguide.com/ancient-santorini

There are far more source of information than these three. We just picked three to place here to get you started. We also like Dr. Pellegrino’s book Return to Sodom and Gomorrah as it is a great source on this island and buried city.

 
 
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