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Discussing Archaeological Issues & The Bible

The quotes we are using today come from different threads in the archaeology forum on CARM. We will provide links to each thread that we quote from so you can see the whole discussion and make up your own minds about what we are about to say

#1. http://forums.carm.org/vb5/forum/secular/general-secular-and-apologetic-topics/archaeology/4337908-gobekli-tepe

The ruins are estimated to be 12,000 year old. This site may wind up causing a rewrite of some history books.

Ancient structures like Gobekli Tepe cause problems for people, especially Christians, because those who do the dating, do not allow for the interruption of the global flood. Of course the secular dating systems are off, including the pottery one because there are just too many problems involved with each one. We won’t go into those problems here but one example is the fact that no one knows how an artifact was placed where it was found. Assumption is not a good thing no matter how scientists use it. Then in the case of buildings, like Gobekli Tepe, there is just too much information lost to make a proper identification of its purpose and design.

Most archaeologists go for the temple explanation but everything from the past cannot be a temple, a goddess or cult site. It is unrealistic to even propose such ideas when nothing is known about the discovery. The words ‘I don’t know’ are better than lying or misrepresenting a discovery.

#2. http://forums.carm.org/vb5/forum/secular/general-secular-and-apologetic-topics/archaeology/73164-new-reserch

We need to be cautious. We cannot extrapolate from this evidence that literacy was commonplace.

Neither can we to do to say that illiteracy was the norm. The evidence shows that the ancient world was very literate despite what some scholars claim in their studies and comments. We have libraries full of thousands of works, we have archives filled with business, government and legal activities and we have myriads of pottery with writing on them by common folk. Far too many to be written by a handful of scribes some scholars say existed at that time. The supply of scribes would not be great enough to (even by ancient population estimates) handle the writing tasks credited to them. To say that the ancient world was illiterate is simply being an ostrich and sticking ones head into the sand.

We have thousands upon thousands of public ancient monuments so if the ancient world was illiterate, who were they writing these monuments to? No those who champion an illiterate past do so in error.

Christopher Rollston advises caution.

Christopher Rollston may be an expert in his field but he does not bring the truth nor is he guided by the spirit of truth. We have talked to him in the past and he is not providing anyone with a clear picture of the past.

It is that celebrating minutiae that I have come to expect from Christians. Remember all of the commotion a few years ago when a chunk of pottery was found with the name ‘David’ on it, and suddenly we had proof that the bible was correct?

Non Christians distort what believers claim and say so we must be careful in our assessment of artifacts and discoveries. With that said, the name David on a piece of pottery may not prove King David but if it dates to the 10th century, then it confirms that the name David was used at that time so the Bible is shown to be correct because it used a name that was used in the time period its pages recorded. Also non Christians will reject any evidence supporting the Bible but that is because they are deceived an influenced by evil.

#3. http://forums.carm.org/vb5/forum/secular/general-secular-and-apologetic-topics/archaeology/60894-flood-myth

According to archaeological investigations

Unbelievers like appealing to archaeology and other sciences because in most cases those fields tell them what they want to hear. They already know that archaeology is limited but that limitation supports the unbelievers desire and point of view so they will ignore the weaknesses of those research fields and use the information provided for their own benefit. They will also dismiss the results from the same research fields when those investigation support the Bible.Hypocrisy is great in the unbelieving world. The believer cannot elevate archaeology or other research fields above the Bible and think that those areas of study know more than God or the Bible. They would be elevating deception and blindness above the truth and that would be wrong.

Unbelievers will misuse historical information deceptively, you must be careful and know the topic you are discussing or you could have your faith hurt by what the unbeliever says.

There are over 500 flood legends in over 200 different lands. Do you think all of those people got it from Gilgamesh?

The person who asked this question asked the right one. Of course they did not get their legends from the Babylonians or Gilgamesh.They got them from their memories after being told about the flood by Noah and his family. As they strayed from God so did their memories and their unbelief led them to alter the truth and create fictitious flood legends. we find them all over the world because the memory of the flood was carried with the people as they dispersed from Babel. There is no other answer for why so many flood myths exist in the ancient world.

#4. http://forums.carm.org/vb5/forum/secular/general-secular-and-apologetic-topics/archaeology/4101586-ancient-but-local-chinese-flood

Some Chinese geologists claim evidence for an ancient flood of the Yellow River.
Claim is a large landslip in a narrow gorge blocked the river, and created a very large lake. Flood resulted when the blockage eroded and the water was released in large flood.
Major difference is that floodwaters remained and resulting mud and sediment had to be drained.

It may just be a local flood. We can’t be certain because we do not know what the evidence for a global flood looks like or where it is to be found. There has only been one global flood and probably hundreds of thousands of local ones so any evidence for Noah’s deluge will be distorted, altered, wiped out and so on.it is hard to find evidence for something when natural disasters, wars, construction, traveling and other activities have gone over the evidence repeatedly for thousands of years.

 

LGBTQs Do NOT Love God

It is bad enough that we have to endure stories like the following

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland-thorns/2017/02/abby_wambach_announces_engagem.html

Soccer legend Abby Wambach announces engagement to Christian blogger Glennon Doyle Melton

but to call oneself a Christian is going too far. Not only are the women not Christian,for being Christlike is to be holy not practicing sin, they do not love God with all of their hearts, souls and minds. How do we know this? They have refused to give up their sin for God.Do not say you love God and Jesus and still keep practicing your sin. It is easy to say Jesus and God love me because they do and that knowledge makes one feel good, but that love does not mean one gets to keep being sinful. Love is a two-way street and to show love for both God and Jesus one must give up all their sins, accept God’s identification of what is or isn’t sin, and follow the Bible correctly. Jesus said, ‘if you love me, keep my commandments’ and no commandment of Jesus allows people to continue in any sin.Nor do they allow people to flaunt their alternative lifestyle and identify as a follower of Christ. If you remain in sin, you are not following Christ for he called people to repentance and to be born again.

Sorry LGBTQ people you are not Christian if you continue to practice your sin of homosexuality

 

A Word To Vegetarians/Vegans

We will use the word vegetarian here to include vegans and all other non-meat eaters.

Everyone knows you think your diet is superior to a meat-eating one; everyone knows you judge meat eaters and insult them; everyone knows you are rude to your hosts when you bring your own food to a dinner party  hosted by meat eaters. We have heard the vegetarian argument ad nauseam.

But there are a few points you need to consider which we hope will change your attitude. Yes, your attitude is terrible when it comes to your diet. First, when God gave the Israelites their divinely commanded diet he did not ban all meat products or animals. He allowed the Israelites to eat different kinds of beef and fish along with some other animals.

God told Peter in a vision about going to the Gentiles- ‘do not call unclean what I have cleansed’ This directive can also be applied to one’s food intake. What God has approved no one can call wrong, unclean or inferior.

Second, Jesus ate Kosher. This means that Jesus ate meat according to the laws set down for the Israelites by his father in heaven. We read about this in the Bible. Too often vegetarians think that they are greater than both God and Jesus and that they know better than them.  They think they can make a better diet than the one Jesus ate or God instituted. They can’t. It is not sin to eat meat nor is it less healthy as the Bible does not teach that one diet is greater than the other or that eating a certain way will extend their lives.

Third, When the Israelites were on their Exodus, they got tired of eating certain foods and complained . God fed them meat. He did not send a bunch of vegetable vendors to provide food for the wandering people instead he sent birds. If God had commanded that the Israelites could not eat meat, why would he help them sin by sending them meat?

Fourth, Vegetarians forget that God rejected Cain’s meatless offering.  Meat is a prime ingredient in making offerings to God for only meat contains the blood needed to meat God’s requirements for forgiveness of sins and other sacrifices.God never allowed for a vegetable substitute. The priests were allowed by God to eat part of the meat sacrificed to him. If God wanted his people to be meatless then he would not have provided that permission. If God approves of meat then no human can declare meat to be wrong or unhealthy.

Then to address a couple of our introductory remarks. The Bible tells us to eat what is placed in front of us. But we are not going to be strict here because there are a lot of foods placed in front of us that we just cannot get down or keep down. The point of this is that vegetarians need to learn that their diet is not divinely commanded and they will not sin if they break it. It is okay to eat meat and then go back on your diet when you are in your own home, etc. Since a vegetarian diet is not biblically commanded one is not disobeying God when they break it. There is no divine consequence if a vegetarian has to eat a little meat to be polite to their hosts.

Vegetarians are not greater than meat eaters. Nor are they perfect so stop breaking the command  ‘do not judge’. It is not a sin to eat meat nor does eating meat make a person inferior to vegetarians. The verses in the Bible talking about humbleness apply to vegetarians and how they view their diet.

Finally, get over yourselves. You are free to not eat meat if you so choose but you are not free to make other people go meatless. You have free choice as to what you will eat and how you will construct your diet so do meat eaters. You do not have the right to force your dietary rules upon others. nor make their decisions for them. Other people get to freely choose what they will eat. If you are going to be a zealot about your diet then stay away from meat eaters. There is no divine command to convert people to a vegetarian diet. If you sit at a table with meat eaters then keep your mouth closed about your diet and just enjoy the other person’s company and have a good discussion on anything else.

Vegetarians die from the same corruption, diseases and other causes of death just like meat eaters. Their diet does not extend their life nor protects them from dying. No matter what you eat, death comes eventually so chill out and take it down a few notches because you are not being biblical when you give your diet divine status or make it superior to the teaching of the bible.

 

It’s A Cave

Archeologists announced this week that they have discovered a 12th cave, which may have once held hidden scrolls from the Second Temple period. http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/12th-dead-sea-scrolls-cave-is-discovered.html

It is a possibility it was a 12th cave but lets not read into anything since the evidence is not there to support the conclusion

“The jars were all broken and their contents removed, and the discovery toward the end of the excavation of a pair of iron pickax heads from the 1950s, stored within the tunnel for later use, proves the cave was looted,” he said.

Yes it was looted but who knows what those jars held. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here and make declarations that may not be accurate.  One of the complaints I have had from atheists is that believing archaeologists and investigators kick over a rock and call it a holy discovery. Christians are known for jumping the gun on many supposed discoveries and fail to do their work properly as they are too intent on proving the bible true or some other biblical agenda and then do sloppy work embarrassing themselves and the church.

Right now the cave is a disappointing discovery that could have held more scrolls

Gutfield said that even though no scrolls were found, the evidence is clear that scrolls were once stored in the cave.

“Those findings include the jars in which the scrolls and their coverings were hidden, a leather strap for binding the scroll, a cloth that wrapped the scrolls, tendons and pieces of skin connecting fragments, and more,” he said.

That is the other thing, archaeologists assume too much and think every discovery is virgin, meaning it is as they think it is untouched for centuries and as they conclude. They do not consider other possibilities when examining their find. In this case we may tend to agree with them but we will only go as far as saying it is a possibility and only a cave until proven otherwise.

If there were other DSS in that cave, we may already have them but their discovery is not germane to the faith. Our faith rests upon Jesus and God’s word not more DSS.

 

Be A Friend

At the end of the church service today the church played the song, I’ll Fly Away, you know how it goes, ‘when this life is over…’ and it got me thinking about how so many believers tend to be selfish in their christian thinking. They have received redemption, forgiveness and salvation yet do not care if anyone else receives it as well as they want to catch the first flight to heaven and leave this earth.

We believers cannot afford to be selfish in our thinking when it comes to the spiritually lost. We need to remember that we fight against powers and principalities etc, and not flesh and blood. Our fellow humans need compassion and help to be freed from sin and those evil forces which enslave them. Wishing to get to heaven while there is work to be done is not the correct Christian attitude to have. We need to look upon the lost as Jesus does and forget our desires and get involved in the unbelievers’ lives in such a way that more people will find Jesus as their savior.

This does not mean that every person must give a gospel message every time they approach an unbeliever. It may mean planting seeds and watering them via good works, visiting them in the hospital, helping around their homes and so much more. It may mean sitting with them when something bad happens to one of their family members or going to prison to visit prisoners.

We can share our faith when the unbeliever asks why are we doing these good deeds for them. There is no need to cold call with the four spiritual laws, etc., and force the conversation. Take an interest in their lives, learn to care for them and treat them like the humans they are. Let’s leave the judging and condemnation to God and get busy obeying his will.

If you do not know how to do good works for others, the gospels and the book of Acts is full of examples to follow. Just being a friend also goes a long way and being a friend does not mean compromising or changing one’s beliefs but using those beliefs to guide you in your friendship with the unsaved.We must remember that before we were saved we needed good friends to be there for us so do unto others as you would like to be treated and learn how to be a Christian friend to those who are in need of a good friend.

Oh and being a friend does not mean our beliefs are influenced by secular thinking. We still need to follow God’s rules for our lives. As a Dallas Theological Seminary professor once said to his son who wanted to hang out with his unchristian friends–‘it is okay as long as you influence them and they do not influence you’. It wasn’t long before those unsaved friends were redeemed by Christ.

Influence others for Christ do not let them influence you away from salvation and eternal life with God.

 

Body Shamers and Other Internet Bullies

We heard about how Lady Gaga suffered from internet bullies after her Super Bowl appearance.  There is nothing biblical about attacking people via protection of anonymity.  The Bible verse ‘remove the beams from your own eyes ‘ comes to mind as does ‘do not judge’. Attacking people hiding behind the keyboard is not Christian and it is most likely sin and God does not give permission to his followers to sin, even if you do not like the person or the way they look.

God wants his followers to be obedient even when their identity is protected. What you think may be the right thing to do is probably not as you need to check to see where your thoughts are coming from and if they would be approved of God. There are many passages of scripture that will guide you in this,including the ones from the epistles of peter which says to add spiritual virtues to other existing spiritual virtues.

Living the Christian life is done at all times, not when we are in public and people will know who we are.

 
 

This Point Is Good

http://www.christianpost.com/news/liberals-who-preach-the-bible-on-refugees-why-not-homosexuality-173995/

But we conservative believers hardly have a monopoly on hypocrisy. To the contrary, the Bible-quoting hypocrisy of the liberal left is far more galling than our conservative Christian hypocrisy. We, for our part, truly believe the Bible to be God’s Word and seek to live by it (even though failingly so at times), whereas the liberal left often despises the authority of Scripture except for a few select passages that it misuses for its purposes.

This has come into glaring clarity in light of the president’s executive order concerning refugees. Suddenly, Hollywood elites and their liberal colleagues are quoting the same book that they openly mock, especially when it comes to moral and spiritual standards.

They can’t have it both ways.
But the hypocrisy has gotten worse after President Trump’s executive order putting a temporary halt on incoming refugees from seven Middle Eastern countries. These one-time Bible-mockers are now quoting the words of the Torah in the Old Testament — yes, those supposedly antiquated, misogynist, bigoted words — reminding us of Israel’s calling to care for the refugee and the foreigner in their midst.

More galling still is the liberal left’s quotation of Torah law pertaining to care for the refugee while ignoring the Torah’s strict moral code, which universally forbade homosexual practice and adultery under penalty of death.

And the next time conservative Christians do the same, don’t yell back at us, “Separation of church and state!”

But then who has ever accused the left of being honest when it comes to the Bible?

 
 
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