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We Apologize

for the look of our previous post but we tried to fix it three times to no avail. There are some websites that just do not like having their work copied and pasted and no matter what we do, the result is as you have seen. Please take your time reading that post making sure you get it all.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Sodom & Tel El-Hamman

It now seems that  Dr. Stephen Collins and associates have uncovered a ‘palace’ at this site:

 

http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2017/02/28/For-Dust-Thou-Art-and-Unto-Dust-Shalt-Thou-Return.aspx

 

Two views of the sun-dried mudbrick walls of an ancient palace at Tall el-Hammam, Jordan, where the author is currently excavating. These mudbrick walls were later burned in a fire. Note a lone mudbrick sitting on the wall to the left. It was found in destruction debris above the floor of this room.
It is amazing the number of palaces archaeologists ‘discover’ in the ancient world. Almost as many as temples. It is as if the ancients had no other interests, business ventures or needs. Since there are no surviving documents describing this find, we will not join in the identification of this building. Archaeologists are well known to create a past that they want to see and not proclaim the past that actually was.
While God made this statement to Adam in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:19), it reminds me of what I’ve spent so much of my time with these days. I am writing this article from the Holy Land where I am excavating the palace on an ancient acropolis. It has thick walls of mudbrick constructed on stone foundations. When uncovered, we have found that a number of the walls have disintegrated badly during the last few thousand years. They really were manufactured from dust and back to dust they have gone!
We really do not need mud bricks to teach us this lesson. We have millions upon millions of graves which remind us of God’s declaration to Adam.
Archaeological excavations suggest the earliest dwellings in the ancient Near East were natural shelters – caves and rock formations. Where available, they would have been sufficient for small groups of people and frequently served as non-permanent habitation. That meant people could only settle in places where such natural shelter was available.
This sells the ancient sort and makes them seem like unintelligent knuckle draggers. While some people may have taken shelter in caves it does not mean they all did or that they all did not use their brains to solve their housing problems.What that author forgets, though he reminds us of the erosion of mud bricks back into dust, is that housing material will rot, erode, rust over time thus it would be impossible to find all the shelter that ancient man used. To make the assumption that author does means he commits a disservice to the past and his readers by misrepresenting what took place in ancient times.
God made us from the dust of the ground – in a miraculous way – and we become someone of value and important to him. Yet in the beginning and in the end we are just dust!
Just to clarify a point here, it is our human bodies that return to dust not our spirits. If people are going to draw a spiritual example, they need to get the information correct so that they tell the truth and not mislead the people. If you want proof of that, how can a spirit return to dust when it was not made of dust?
But getting back to the idea that Tel El Hamman is Sodom. We vigorously disagree with Dr. Stephen Collins on his identification of that ancient city with the one destroyed by God. He states in his season ten report the following:
As is now widely accepted, Tall el-Hammam remains far-and-away the most logical candidate for biblical Sodom based on a detailed analysis of the relevant biblical and historical materials regarding the chronology and location of the city (http://nebula.wsimg.com/9a161034ecbdd5c976d2608ac7eb2d09?AccessKeyId=AD0C503627C3B88E5A7F&disposition=0&alloworigin=1)
It may be widely accepted but that acceptance is wrong. Tel el-Hamman is nowhere close to being Sodom. It is like saying a future archaeologist excavating in what is now L.A. has discovered New York City. That is how off the mark Dr. Collins and his associates are.
That the enduring and powerful presence of Tall el-Hammam and its associated towns and villages on the eastern Jordan Disk during the Bronze Age gave rise to the Cities of the Plain tradition reflected in the stories of Genesis 10-19 is a reasonable theory commensurate with all of the available geographical and archaeological data.
This is impossible for Sodom and the cities were destroyed and made examples for those who would live ungodly lives (see Jude 7 and 2 Peter 2:6). You can’t be made an example by hiding the destruction for thousands of years and telling no one where the example is.God never promised to restore those cities and there is no scripture stating they were restored.Tell el-Hamman, and we use the Israeli word ‘tell’ not the Arabic word ‘tall’, is not Sodom. Dr. Collins misleads so many people and provides an excellent example of our point that archaeologists create their own past not the one that actually was.
Sadly for Dr. Collins and his associates., they have been calling this site Sodom for over ten years now and when they finally realize that they are wrong their reputations will take a great hit. Not only as archaeologists but also their claim to being Christian. Christians cannot afford to get these things wrong nor can they afford to misrepresent something for such a long period of time. We have too many people watching for us to make mistakes and capitalize on them. We are not just living in this world as our actions have eternal consequences for many.  I call on Dr. Collins to admit his error now and make things right before it is too late for him and his associates.
As you can tell we are not a fan or a supporter of his but we also do not want to see him be embarrassed by this gigantic error. No Christian wants to see someone claiming to be a Christian made a fool of, be embarrassed by their mistakes or do badly in their chosen profession.It is not a Christian attitude to want those things. Dr. Collins may be gaining support for his identification but support does not mean one is correct in their identifying the remains they are excavating. It means that those people believe him over God. We have talked directly to Dr. Collins and his associates many times over the years and unfortunately, we doubt he and they will admit their error. It is sad to see.
Sodom and Gomorrah have been discovered but those cities are not near Tell el-Hamman, they are at Bab el-Dhra and Numeria a very desolate wilderness where nothing lives. Dr. Collins and some of his early associates asked why would anyone build cities in such a barren and god forsaken land. Well they were looking at the land AFTER the destruction and not when Lot saw it.That error has led Dr Collins and friends to take the wrong path and mis-identify another tell.e need to correct our mistakes as believers and get back on the right path before we go too far and cannot return to the straight and narrow. Now is the time to do so and this applies to all areas of life not just archaeology
 

Distorting Other People’s Actions

is not of God. we were not really going to post today but this article caught our eye:

http://www.christianpost.com/news/4-reasons-evangelicals-should-oppose-trumps-muslim-ban-2-0-177036/

4 Reasons Evangelicals Should Oppose Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0

We will take a look at those 4 reasons.

It’s the same as Trump’s first immoral Muslim Ban

Using religious words in opposition to someone’s actions is distorting the issue.  The ban is NOT immoral. There is no biblical command stopping the ruling governments from not allowing different groups of people from entering their land. Governments are granted the right to rule by God and those governments have the same freedoms as individuals. They can choose to follow God’s ways or they can choose to go their own but to call something immoral just because you disagree with the move is distortion of what others are doing. Governments also have the right to adjust the rules governing immigration to their land thus if they want to stop people from entering while that renewal is taking place that is their right.

We must reject any religious test

We do not ban people from our country based on religion. Period

Aside from the fact that we do not like any author who uses the word ‘period’ to finish their thought, there is no rule stating that certain religions have an unstoppable right to move to different countries. If members of their faith have done notorious and criminal acts then guess what, a few people have spoiled it for others and it is up to the members of that religious group to reign in their zealots who have no care for anyone or anything. Governments have a right to know who is entering their nation. They have a right to investigate the people who want to migrate to their lands. This means even innocent people have to be put under scrutiny. I do not know how many innocent people came to Korea to teach who eventually committed crimes from importing and using drugs to pedophilia. Governments have a right to protect their own people.

We must defend the religious freedom of all Americans

That author seems to forget that those immigrating are NOT Americans and do not hold American citizenship. The ban is not infringing upon religious freedom by Americans it is examining the rules of those who want to move to America. This distortion is so bad it ruins that author’s argument.

Doesn’t make us safer

Using the fear factor doesn’t make one’s argument rational,logical or even good. It is obvious that governments have limits in protecting its people but it should not be vilified for trying to protect its people. If the ban was an actual crime then we would have no problem with those who oppose it but the government has not broken any laws in instituting the ban, as far as we can see. The problem with this issue is that those who oppose the ban do so with blinders on or with rose-colored glasses fixed to their faces.They only see the issue through their own perspective and do not take the time to be honest in their examination of the facts.

Many people hold up the words on the Statue of Liberty but they forget that those words are not the law of the land, not part of the constitution and really plays no role in guiding government when it comes to immigration.  Christians cannot afford to distort what other people say or do. Distortion is dishonest, lying and sin. Their witness/testimonies as well as the gospel message are at risk when they take to distorting what other people say or do. They also show that they are influenced by secular forces and not the word of God.

We all know that anyone can use the Bible to support whatever they want to. It has been done for centuries and it is being done in opposition to this travel ban. It may also be done in defense of the travel ban.  It should be noted that Jesus never taught insurrection, protest or disobedience to government laws and governing authorities.He did teach to pray for them, to do good to them, to obey  them and we must be careful when declaring something immoral.  What we consider to be immoral may not be. God sets the standard for morality not humans and believers are told throughout the book of Proverbs to get wisdom, understanding and so on.  Writing articles like the one linked to above is not helping anyone but using scripture and religion to further one’s personal views. It certainly doesn’t enhance the gospel.

The use of the word ‘period’ demonstrates a very closed-minded attitude on the part of the author who thinks that only his way is best. That is reducing one’s argument to a subjective nature and not based upon the standards set by God. How can that author prove that his way is better than Mr. Trump’s? He doesn’t do it in the article and he does nothing but whine and complain because someone with elective authority has done something he does not like. He distorts the action because he is not in favor of it and he wants to convince or manipulate others into going along with his way of thought. That is wrong as well for he should be teaching God’s way in this issue and convincing his readers to go along with God’s thinking.

Is the ban a violation of God’s word? Not yet. It depends upon the new rules that will be implemented during the ban period. Again, governments have the right to restrict whomever they want from entering their borders. People need to be wise in this issue not blindly devoted to some personal agenda. It is not smart to open one’s borders to all who want to enter for the government must make sure there are enough resources to take care for all the people under their care and that includes those who are born in the nation. The people attacking this ban seem to forget about the rest of the population they share America with and think their ideas trump everyone else’s and that is not wise, smart or biblical.

 

Distorting Creationists’ Views

We have crossed swords with Age of Rocks before and usually it has been a good encounter as both sides present their views. However, this post of his

Mr. Creationist Goes to Court

is a blatant and gross distortion of creationists’ views concerning our origins.  The author of that piece assumes far too much. For example he assumes that secular science has been charged with the duty of discovering our origins. It has not. He assumes that secular science has found and maintains the truth about our origins. It has not.He assumes that secular science is infallible when it comes to the information it uncovers. It isn’t.

He assumes that secular science or any science knows more than God does. It doesn’t. He assumes that evil plays no role in the work of secular scientists work, thinking and presentations, as well as those scientists who call themselves Christian. He would be in error. He assumes that secular science is an authority and has the final say on all matters of life. Again he errs.

Secular science is the blind leading the blind and that is the best thing we can say about that field of research. We include all those scientists,like Francis Collins, who claim to be Christian yet contradict God and his word by including evolutionary ideas and models in with God’s creative act.Those people are very misguided and deceived.

The other important aspect that author assumes is that only those who do secular science can do rational and logical thought or are the only people who know anything. I am sure he is one of the group of anti-creationists who will say creationists lie when they disagree with the claims of secular scientists but they have to prove an actual lie has been told willingly.  Disagreeing with the results of secular science is not lying nor is honestly producing information one believes to be the truth. Sometimes people repeat information that they think is the truth because they were taught that information was true. That is not lying.

Then that author thinks that one has to be a scientist to rebut anything secular science declares.That s far from the truth for even an office assistant can know the truth because they listen to the God who did the actual creating over the fallible human who was not even an adviser to the creator of the universe, life and its development. The secular scientist is the one who does not know anything about our origins not the lowly uneducated believer of the Most High God.

In fact, it is smarter to be the latter than the former. It is rational and logical to be a believer in the one who did the actual creating than follow the one who rejects  him and his revelation.Making fun of those who believe God and the Bible is also not an intelligent, rational or logical move. That behavior only exposes the ignorance of the one who rejects God and his word. Science, any variety, is a lowly creation and not greater than the one who created it. Science was created by God so we would understand him more and learn about him. It was not created to usurp authority nor declare that God was or is wrong. Nor was it created to be  the authority or final word on all aspects of life.

Sadly, too many people,including those who claim to be Christian, have thrown God out of his own creation and try to do science on their own. All they have done is open the door to evil and let it destroy any truth science could uncover. You cannot throw the God of truth out and expect to come to the truth when you are influenced and led by the father of lies.

Secular science and scientists need to humble themselves and recognize that they are not the supreme being and acknowledge God as above them. Then they need to repent of their sins and get right with God so that science can be used correctly, leading people to the truth and to a greater understanding of God. Currently, science is being used to lead people to lies, to say God did things he did not say he did, and to distort the evidence we have to fit their humanistic views. Science is being misused and abused by those who reject God and that is wrong.

The church is not against science especially when science gets things correct– like orbits and other factual members of the universe.It is against the lies of that secular science produces. Lies like Darwin’s theory of evolution, natural selection and other human alternatives to the truth of Genesis 1 and 2. Science does not belong in the affairs of our origins for that is not a mystery. We know where we came from, how it all came about and we do not need secular science meddling in what we already know to be the truth.

Secular science and its human alternatives bring confusion and confusion, as the Bible tells us, is not of God. This fact tells the believer to reject what unbelieving scientists say because they are disagreeing with God and the Bible. Anything that disagrees with God and the Bible are the ones in error. God does not lie and he does not make mistakes so we take God’s word over the word over those who ‘do science’. That is the right and Christian thing to do.

 

Bits And Pieces2

#1. http://www.christianpost.com/news/toni-the-tampon-coloring-book-that-teaches-men-get-periods-amounts-to-child-abuse-says-expert-177040/

The Adventures of Toni the Tampon: A Period Coloring Book that teaches children men get periods too is causing a stir, with one critic calling it “child abuse.”

No it is not child abuse. Le’s stop abusing the word ‘abuse’. This is called lying to children and lying is a sin. The Bible reminds us that liars do not go to heaven. Let’s not sin in exposing sin.

#2. http://www.christianpost.com/news/justin-trudeau-donates-650-million-fund-abortions-worldwide-pro-lifers-horrified-177143/

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to donate $650 million for abortions worldwide on International Women’s Day, with “horrified” pro-lifers calling it a “sick” decision.

We call it misusing ones authority and power.

“It is important that as a world we recognize that empowering women, that respecting their rights, is fundamental to building a world in which everyone has a real and fair chance to succeed,” he added.

Women do not have the right to hurt or kill the child or its body developing in their womb.

 

#3. http://www.christianpost.com/news/i-was-a-skeptic-of-the-shack-then-i-spoke-with-the-author-177146/

People had warned me not to read the book. And when I heard that God, who is called Papa, was portrayed as a large black woman, I really wasn’t inspired to read it.

The author of the book and the producers of the movie seem to have forgotten that God does not show himself to humans. If he did the person seeing him would die. Why would God appear as a black woman? There is NO logic to maintain that idea. Then when God has met people the person is told to remove their shoes for they are standing on holy ground. We do not see that vital act used anywhere in this movie. At least it i not mentioned taking place anywhere we have read about the movie.

People may like this film but it is theologically and biblically wrong

#4. http://www.christianpost.com/news/isis-radicals-disguised-as-doctors-massacre-over-30-sick-and-wounded-in-hospital-177142/

Islamic State militants have killed over 30 patients and staff at an Afghan hospital and wounded twice as many others after managing to disguise themselves as doctors in what some have called an “abhorrent new low.”

If you need a modern example of why God destroyed the world with a flood… Now all the people of the pre-flood world were not this bad but they did think of evil all the time. Sin is evil, God set the boundaries for sin not humans. be careful.

#5. http://www.christianpost.com/news/when-should-elderly-pastors-retire-ten-diagnostic-questions-176314/

There are a lot of us Baby Boomer pastors and Christian leaders around. And it’s cliché, but we aren’t getting any younger. It’s a quiet question that many are asking, but they are asking it nonetheless: What age should I retire?

People like Ranier need to go away. They are sticking their noses in where they do not belong. They are what was once called busybodies. They are minding everyone else’s business but their own. They also think they are in charge of the church and Christians, placing themselves over God with their views. We have never liked Ranier, his articles or the book he wrote. We find him treading in areas where he does not belong and uses the wrong standards to make his judgments.

 

A Word Or Two On Scholars

http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/bible-interpretation/first-person-misogyny-in-the-bible/

It is an interesting article on a topic we are fully aware. We do not agree with Mr. Shanks or Dr. Rollston as neither person has the spirit of truth guiding them to the truth. This is the confusing thing about scholarship. Many people claim to be Christian, who are scholars, yet they throw out God’s rules that would guide them to the truth of a topic and embrace the rules of man. Rarely do scholars come to the truth using that formula. They try to please men, not God.

Christopher Rollston is one of the world’s leading paleographers of ancient Near Eastern inscriptions. I have been harshly critical of some of his views, principally regarding unprovenanced inscriptions—inscriptions that have surfaced only from the antiquities market, not from a professional archaeological excavation. They may be forgeries, he argues. Although my criticism of Chris’s position is intense,1 we remain good friends and regularly share a meal.

Yes he is a leading scholar but we find his answer wanting and lacking in anything that is helpful to the believer. We know this as he refused to provide a direct answer to some our questions when we asked him point-blank, when does a Hebrew script mean a Hebrew script? Scholarship should be dedicated to finding the truth and informing the people of that truth. Sadly, too many Christians opt for constructing new theories for discussion and avoid the truth like the plague. This is why we used the word ‘confusing’ earlier. Even Christian scholars bring confusion to the church and confusion is not of God. These men and women are trained  in ancient languages and other disciplines thus they are in a unique position to help the church…unfortunately, this rarely happens.

Rollston finds the marginalization of women obvious and “clear” in the Ten Commandments: “The wife is classified as her husband’s property, and she’s listed with the slaves and work animals. There is also a striking omission in this commandment: Never does it say, ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s husband.’”

People like Rollston tend to read too much of their own or some other secular person’s views into scripture and make a mole hill into a mountain.  When the word woman is or wife is used in the 10 commandments she is not being listed as property. That is an idea that is read into the passage of scripture. The idea that women were ancient men’s property is more of a secular cultural idea than a spiritual one for we never read any passage of scripture instructing men to make women their property. But when a couple marries and becomes one they do belong to each other and no one else. it is a different concept than the one proposed by Dr. Rollston.

Men have specific instructions from God on how to treat women and none of them tell the man to make a woman their property.But these passages are ignored when scholars, like Dr. Rollston, publish their views on scripture.

Rollston continues with other examples:

An unmarried woman could be compelled to marry her rapist, as long as the rapist could pay the standard bride price and the woman’s father was comfortable with the marriage (Deuteronomy 22:28–29). Polygyny (a man having multiple wives at the same time) was not condemned, but was an accepted and legal custom (Deuteronomy 21:15–17; Genesis 4:19–24; and 2 Samuel 3:2–5). A woman’s religious vow could be nullified by her father or her husband (Numbers 30:3–15). And the assumption of the text is that the priesthood is all male (Leviticus 21). In short, within the legal literature of the Bible, women were not accorded the same status as men.

What we find when scholars make these type of points is that it is not God who is in error. Rather, it is the scholar who does not understand scripture properly and attack the passage from their own understanding not using God’s wisdom or spirit of truth to help them grasp what God is saying. Dr. Rollston, there, is pulling passages out of context and without proper exegetical work to understand why God said what he said. Scholars cherry pick as well. They also ignore passages that would clarify what God is saying for those passages stop the scholar from writing what they do.

But there’s more: “Let a woman learn in silence and full submission. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to be silent” (vv. 11–12). The author’s rationale: “For Adam was formed first, then Eve, and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor” (vv. 13–14). According to this text, women were to be silent in worship gatherings (and men were certainly not told to be silent)

Another example of cherry picking a verse to support a bad agenda and another example of understanding what God is saying. Does the word silent mean that women cannot worship or pray? We do not think so. Most likely the women was not to teach or preach to men but as you can read it looks like Dr. Rollston is importing his own ideas to the text and not taking out exactly what God means. We get a clue when men are not told to be silent. Dr. Rollston seems to forget that if men are to be silent then there is no teaching, preaching or worship going on in the service, everyone just sits around watching each other grow. This is the problem with scholars and scholarship. They leave God out of the process and think their conclusions trump what God wants for his church. God owns the church thus he gets the say how it will operate.

Rollston recently told us in writing what we already knew. This criticism of the Bible led to his “forced ouster” from Emmanuel Christian Seminary.

We know this story and yes there was nothing wrong with his ouster. He was teaching contrary to the ideology of the institution that employed him and he taught things that were not of God.This is the result of scholarship when you leave the spirit of truth out of helping–you leave God and speak something God did not teach or say. Dr. Rollston, then, becomes a false teacher and those people have no place in God’s academic institutions or churches. He has no business teaching young Christians nor do those pastors who do not believe God’s word any more. The Bible warns us against false teachers and the church and academic institution must obey God and get rid of those who do not teach what God wants or commanded. There is no alternative to that position.

If you cannot believe, preach or teach what God wants, then you have no right to teach or preach in what is God’s. Christian scholars are to be servants of God and they must present what God wants– the truth in love– not contrary theories or lead people to false teaching. They are to obey God in all areas of life and cannot adopt secular ideas to guide them in their work. Christian scholars need to bring the truth for they have a great responsibility given to them by God and they fail God and the people when they allow themselves to be led astray by those who reject God, Jesus and the aid of the Holy Spirit.

 

Abortion & Rape…

There are many anti-abortionists who allow abortion in times of rape or incest and to us that is an inconsistent point of view as well as a sinful compromise. The problem with that viewpoint is that it look sat the crime, the supposed feelings of the mother to be and ignores what scriptures tells us

20 The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself. Ez. 18 NASB

This is but one passage that reminds us that the unborn child, as a result of rape or incest, shall not be punished for the sins committed by their fathers.  The child did not do anything wrong and should not be deprived of life because of the sexual sins of others.We say this because of the following article

http://www.christianpost.com/news/a-child-conceived-by-rape-is-still-a-human-being-176324/

Which would have been a lot better if the author had relied upon a spiritual support for her argument. What is missing from most pro-life arguments, and articles like the one linked to, is that they ignore what God instructs or commands. They base their arguments more on logic than spiritual direction. While that author makes some good points, her punch is missing because she makes it more of a subjective point of view instead of a divine objective instruction. Allowing a baby conceived by rape or incest is not legitimizing or condoning the crime. It is acknowledging the innocence of the child,something we can never forget.

Then when rape or incest occurs, we must set aside the emotional part of the crime and deal with the violation with clear heads, following God’s rules on justice and we must be just. Getting justice for the victim does not mean we throw justice out the window or ignore God’s instructions on being just. Emotion is not part of the process and that is one reason why we do not like these victim impact statements or statements by relatives. Those pervert justice not aid it by allowing emotion to alter what is just.people may not agree with this but we must do what God wants even when our women are attacked and victimized.

It is not easy but there are no escape clauses allowing us to pervert justice when our wives, daughters or mothers are raped or made victims of rape. Women need to learn what true justice is just like the men do.

 
 
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