Sunday, 31 August 2014

Common excuses for false teachers

To begin with analogy, have you ever come across someone who says a particular comic book movie is good simply because they have something from the original source material yet the story of the actual film as well as the characters and screenplay are sub par or just simply unwatchable?

Having a particular comic book character in a film isn't what makes the film good in and of itself, its what you can do with the character, the same with a concept from that said franchise and Just sticking a character in franchise doesn't make it good, you have to build a story around that character.



Why the analogy? Well there are common excuses made by many individuals to justify the false teachers that they follow and try to make out that they are true men and women of God. We are not talking about a doctrine that is a non essential such as diet, hobbies or something neutral (Something that is not moral in and of itself but simply there), we are talking about major doctrines that are of life and death, namely Christology, the Resurrection, the Gospel, Salvation, Atonement etc.

Here are some excuses which I hope to address.

Let the wheat and tares grow together
This has nothing to do with examination of false teachers at all. Let's read:
"24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
" 

While the context tells that we are not to resort to jumping to rash conclusions regarding a man's own salvation, this doesn't mean that we cannot judge the individual scripturally and this point ties in with two later points.

JUDGE NOT!! Lest you be Judged!! 

and

TOUCH NOT God's anointed!!
These two commonly abused texts I have already addressed in this article here, along with a third text: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/judge-not-touch-not.html

OH BUT THEY ARE SO KIND AND LOVING!!
So is your average Jehovah's Witness and Mormon down the street and others in other religions are nice. AS Keith Thompson noted in a video he did on William Lane Craig and Michael Brown "Popularity and Apparent Kindness are not the tests of truth" See the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UFUDEFuMU0

BUT THEY LOVE JESUS AS WE DO!!
Do they? The Muslims and others claim to have this love for Jesus, But they don't have the true Jesus in the first place, they love a Jesus that has been fabricated from the vain imaginations of men. Paul warns against those who bring another Gospel in Galatians 1 and he warns against someone preaching a false Jesus in 2 Corinthians 11
"Galatians 1:6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!

10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
"

"2 Corinthians 11:1 I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me! 2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. 3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough."

BUT THEY ARE SO HOLY!!
They may live good lives, but what about their doctrine? Even if the person has a quality life and a supposed repentance, We are not automatically assume they are from the Lord, because repentance is not the only criteria of truth and neither is a holy life the only criteria. Doctrine encompasses what you teach and how you live.

Conclusion
To some up, Stop making excuses for false teachers, for Jesus does NOT expect that from us.

Answering Judaism.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Should Christians become vigilantes?

Vigilantes are individuals who band together for the purpose of bringing criminals to justice because they deem the legal authorities as inadequate to deal with criminals.

First Romans 13:1-5.
"Romans 13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor."

And 1 Peter 2:13-17
"13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor."

Both these apostles, in accordance with Jesus' teaching exhorted obedience to governments, however the only time they should be disobeyed, which can be in the TANAKH, is if they tell you to do something against God's commands. Such an example is in Daniel 2 when Daniel's friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are thrown into the fiery furnace after refusing to bow to an idol created by Nebuchanezzar and of course the story of Daniel in the lion's den that needs no introduction.

Vigilantes are outlaws, doing things that they shouldn't be doing, namely taking justice into their own hands, and self defence is NOT the same thing as being a vigilante.

It is the right to the government to dispense justice and punish the guilty for that is what governments are for. It is not for the ordinary citizens to do as that has not been granted to them.

Those who are familiar with Batman should have a semblance of an idea that he, though in league with Commissioner Gordon, gets into trouble with the police for his actions. One prime example from Batman can be given can specifically be given from Batman Begins, the scene were he has to get Rachel an antidote.

Although I am a huge fan of the Dark Knight Trilogy, I do not condone vigilantism nor would I encourage Christians to become a vigilante, nor would I want to become one.

There is no biblical nor exegetical basis for Christians to take up the life of a vigilante.

Answering Judaism.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Astral Projection and Lucid Dreaming: What should a Christian's attitude be?

Before we dive into this article, let me give a simple explanation as to what these phenomena actually are.

Lucid Dreaming is where a person is fully aware that they are asleep and thus can control the dream at will rather than just let it play out as a usual dream does.

Astral Projection is essentially where a person's soul leaves their body, allowing them to travel to other places leaving their body where it is.

I'll say this right now, these practices, are dangerous and come into the realm of the occult.

Both these particular practices can and in many cases open oneself to the demonic realm, something a Christian should never consider.

An episode of a childhood program comes to mind known as Jackie Chan Adventures. In one episode, Jade, Jackie's niece in the program, comes across one of 12 talismans that Jackie is to find before Valmont, a criminal ganglord finds them. In this particular episode, Jade accidentally uses the sheep talisman, which grants the user the power of astral projection. While she was having fun, the talisman was stolen from her by Valmont's goons and given to Shendu, a demon sorcerer who desires all the talismans to regain physical form.

Using the sheep talisman, Shendu possesses Jades body, rendering her unable to return to her body in order to gain access to other talismans hidden away and though the problem is resolved at the end, the episode speaks volumes on an issue raised by other websites. While the plot elements of Jackie Chan Adventures are not rooted in biblical theology, the point raised nevertheless highlights a severe problem that advocates of astral projection including new agers overlook.

Astral projection is not a safe or biblical practice, considering the fact the body is vulnerable to demonic attack and possible possession. While the person may be able to return to their body, they have now unwittingly opened themselves up to demons and fall under their control.

Also, what benefit is there in separating your soul from your body? Even if demons were not possess your body, astral projection requires demonic power to be achieved in the first place and there is indeed nothing profitable in astral projection either in reality or superficial curiosity. The thought of wanting to engage in this practice is not to be entertained.

Now onto Lucid Dreaming, this practice is also dangerous. There is a danger of dreams and reality merging so you may not be able to tell the difference between the two.

Dreams are a normal part of human mind when asleep, I am not saying dreaming itself is bad, but lucid dreaming as it stands has to be called into question for spiritual reasons.

If there is no harm in it, then it is useless and a waste of time and energy that God has given you. If however there is indeed some evil intervention that exists with lucid dreaming, then it is to be avoided.

I would advise Christians to stay away from these techniques, not only do they not profit us, they also do not fall in line with God's word and what he has told us.

Only God is worthy of our devotion, not occult techniques that open us up to the realm of evil.

See the following articles for more information:
http://studygrowknowblog.com/2011/06/15/the-unrealized-dangers-of-astral-projection/

http://beforeitsnews.com/paranormal/2014/02/witchcraft-people-leave-their-bodies-through-astral-projection-sign-a-ticket-with-the-devil-himself-2465006.html

http://heavenawaits.wordpress.com/human-interjects-and-astral-projection/

Answering Judaism.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Kansas City Pop Quiz: 7 questions

The Kansas City Prophets are well known for making false prophecies yet still carrying on their prophetic crusades. Here are few questions that I pose to those who defend these people or others similar to them.

1. What is it about these men that makes you believe they are the anointed of God automatically?

2. How do you know that what they are saying regarding what is taught in the Bible is actually contained in scripture?

3. What makes you think that their claims of being God's anointed makes them unassailable and beyond correction?

4. Despite false prophecies that have been uttered by them, what makes you think they can continue in their prophetic office?

5. Where is the concept of fallible prophecy found in scripture?

6. Where do you find the concept of holy laughter, being drunk in the spirit, fire tunnels, heavenly portals, gold dust, uncontrollable spasms and howling like wolves due to the Spirit in scripture.

7. Connected to number 2, Even if these prophets had a semblance of biblical theology, why is there the assumption that there is no need to check certain doctrines to see if they are biblically orthodox?

These are the seven questions that I pose.

Answering Judaism.



Thursday, 14 August 2014

How can Three be One? God, the Jews and the Torah

The article is NOT going to be proving the Trinity is in the Zohar, NOR is it saying Jesus is in the Zohar, but this is simply some comments on a phrase found in the Zohar, namely a supposed "How can three be one phrase".

The following phrase said this:
"Hear, O Israel, YHVH Elohenu YHVH is one." These three are one. How can the three Names be one? Only through the perception of Faith: in the vision of the Holy Spirit, in the beholding of the hidden eyes alone. The mystery of the AUDIBLE voice is similar to this, for though it is one yet it consists of three elements--fire, air, and water, which have, however, become one in the mystery of the voice. Even so it is with the mystery of the threefold Divine manifestations designated by YHVH Elohenu YHVH--three modes which yet form one unity". (Zohar, III: Exodus 43b, Soncino translation)

I have been told by a Jewish woman that it refers to God, the Jews and the Torah being one.

From my brief contemplation on this given point, I have concluded that there is indeed validity for this statement by her.

God himself gives the Law, the Torah for the Jews to live by and to have a personal relationship with God through his holy Torah (Not by works salvation, but simply gratitude to what God has done for them).

The three are united in purpose for bringing God's redemption to mankind, with the Jews being a light to the nations, the Gentiles.

There is some truth to this statement that has some connection to Jesus and I don't mean in the sense the Zohar is writing about him, but in the sense that the principle that God, the Jews and the Torah are united.

I am not even saying the Zohar is even taking Jesus into consideration with this principle at all, far from it, The Zohar is not a proof text for Jesus, That is just as absurd as a Michael Bay film flopping due to poor box office revenue.

Jesus as YHWH comes down to earth, to reconcile the Jews back to the Father in heaven and also as he said he "came not to abolish the law, but fulfill" (Matt. 5:17).

In Jesus, the three are united.
1. God the Father uses the Son as the means to bring salvation.
2. The Jews to this day are coming into a relationship with the God of Israel via the vicarious death of Christ and their hearts
3. Jesus own fulfilling of the Law itself grants righteousness to those who believe, the Messianics included. If it wasn't for the law, men wouldn't know what sin was. The Law was kept out of gratitude to God after coming out of Sinai, not as a means of obtaining salvation.

Jesus is the glue that binds the three perfectly.

Other issues such as Gentiles observing Torah or not have been covered in another article and need not be covered here again:
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/observance-of-torah-demanded-of-gentiles.html
See also other posts on other issues:
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/comments-on-deuteronomy-301-14.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/credited-as-rightous-response-to-rabbi.html

That's all I have to say, this is merely a reflection on the statement in a Zohar, not a commentary on it. After all, The Zohar itself isn't saying what I am saying, but the principle, is nevertheless interesting.

Answering Judaism.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Response to War On Error regarding Jesus 2

Though It has been sometime that I have responded to the claims made by War on Error, I intend to try and respond to his claims as best I can in this article

"Intro:

I sketched an argument a long time ago on a xanga blog far away concerning the likelihood (taking most of Christian mythology for granted) that Jesus worshipped Satan in the desert and forfeited everyone's salvation.  I argued that this would better explain why Jesus' prediction of the end of the world in his generation failed, it might explain his bizarre behavior throughout the gospels, and especially why the spread of a non-magical Christianity 2,000 years later is impressive from only a human standpoint.  Answering-Judaism (abbreviated AJ here) responded to that argument.  For round 2, I responded to his response and he responded to my response.  I am now going to respond to his latest response which begins round 3.

TL:DR:  AJ is in total "Bible tells me so" mode and supplements that with uncritical applications of traditional explanations for bizarre things found in scripture that might work to some other effect.  He doesn't tell us why we should trust every part of the Bible.  He doesn't tell us why the traditional explanations for the bizarre things found in scripture are more probable than alternative explanations which might support my "Jesus worshipped Satan" hypothesis.  He merely reminds us of a party line as though we didn't already know what it was and ignores carefully adding up each issue in terms of relative probability.  Having an explanation, whether it is more probable or not, is the same to him as winning the argument.  Nothing has changed between rounds 1 and 2 and I suspect that if there is a completion to round 3 that we'll still just get more "Bible says so" nonsense."

I keep going back to the Bible to demonstrate that War on Error is abusing the context rather than actually quoting the passage accurately in context. If you actually exegete the text, you find War on Error's claims about Jesus are found wanting.

***
"AJ says:
The problem with War On Error's conclusion about Jesus falling victim to Satan, is the very same context he quotes, Jesus not just once, but three times repudiates Satan and Satan goes away. [...] While I believe in Biblical inerrancy, The reason I made my point was a demand for consistency. If the same Bible is good enough to demonstrate your point that Jesus worshipped Satan, it is also good enough to refute your point as well. The very context which you quote from even shoots your thesis in the foot to begin with. [...] Still, his point about Satan being worshipped by Jesus, is refuted by the context of the passage where Jesus' temptation takes place.
Everyone sing, "...because the Bible tells me so..." "

It is not immediately saying "because the Bible says so", I am simply asking, if not demanding, that you quote the Bible in context and not take it out of context. If you are going to use the Bible to prove your case, I can use it to refute you.

"In reality-land we don't always have to trust everything a source tells us.  We can and should be critical with virtually any source to whatever degree is warranted.  They may tell us some things that are important to them and leave out other important information that would matter to us.  They may twist some aspects of the story that make them uncomfortable.  They might forget how it really happened and haphazardly try to put it back together and do it wrong.  They might lie about some things, but tell the truth about other things for a variety of reasons.  They might embellish an account that they feel needs more kick to be as authoritative in the eyes of other believers as they already feel it is.  They might make lots of unjustified assumptions about their source materials and/or use bad methodologies for sorting through them.  They may be religious people who have visions they trust which tell them "how it really happened" even though the account they have makes no such claims.  They may have been suffering from dehydration and hunger for 40 days and 40 nights and been subject to memory loss, hallucination, general mental fatigue, and the super clever deceptions of an evil super being who had 4,000 years of experience manipulating even the strongest human minds.  Clearly, people have tons of reasons to misrecord history."

You are assuming the disciples deliberately misrecorded history rather than demonstrating it. They wouldn't embellish, distort or lie about the death and resurrection of Christ if they knowingly knew that Jesus was indeed dead. A liar makes a poor martyr. All I can see regarding hallucinations or memory loss is just throwing anything at the Bible just simply as an excuse not to believe.

It is one thing for someone who is sincere to believe and propagate false things (Which is bad enough), but it is quite a different matter if the person KNOWS that they are not holding to truth and yet still propagate their views as the ultimate truth.

Furthermore, I am NOT saying blindly believe any source and shouldn't always trust what the source says. That's why we need to be discerning when it comes to all sources, be they inspired or not.

"I suspect AJ has all or at least many of those tools of discernment when they are applied to something else other than the Bible.   He might try exercising them here.

Please note that the gospels are separate books and they do not even claim to be inerrant individually.  Just because someone collected them and put them in another bigger book and then decided they were inerrant because perhaps some other books make such claims doesn't prove anything.  Because we then have to ask ourselves why we should trust those claims?  AJ does not get into any of those defenses...perhaps because he cannot."

The assumption of Atheism ladies and gentlemen, There cannot be a God who can inspire and bring together texts of scripture. Somebody sing "...because I say so...".

"If there was a real threat that Jesus could actually sin (hence making the story make sense), most of it could have gone just as recorded with some confusion at the end when Jesus would have been at his weakest (near the end of the 40 days of fasting).  AJ has not even tried to make a "we have four sources attesting to the same thing" claim.  But even if he did, this individual story would be exempt because only a delirious Jesus was there.  And his testimony about what went on in the desert would not qualify as very trustworthy given the conditions he had subjected himself to and the likely cognitive bias that of course he was going to win. "

If you ask me, the argument that Jesus was somehow delirious in the desert is just an argument to throw at Christ.

"AJ says:
Temptation itself is NOT a sin, it's dwelling ON the temptation and acting it out, Neither did Jesus actually do. The comparison to Superman to be honest is unwarranted and is not even a relevant comparison.
No...the comparison is to someone like me being tempted to fly around like Superman.  The schoolyard bullies could taunt me to fly all they wanted.  If it's impossible for me to do it, they're just being extremely irrational and it wouldn't make much sense to say I was actually being tempted to fly.  They'd be more likely to taunt me to stick my tongue to a cold pole because that's something I could actually do.  It would be extremely irrational for Satan to attempt to tempt Jesus if he knew he was the Christian god who could not even possibly sin.  Satan would then sound like a complete buffoon every time he opened his mouth in the story.  It would also be irrational for the story author to construct a story such as we have where the plot device of tempting the untemptable is taken for granted.  Hence, it makes more sense if the author(s) believed that Jesus could actually sin and was actually proving something.  Hence there's the logistical possibility in Christian mythology that Jesus could have sinned and messed salvation up for all of us.  That is...if we let the context speak for itself.  And then we add in the evidence I've been talking about."

No the Superman comparison is irrelevant and why would you expect Satan to be very careful in approaching Jesus? He approached God in the book of Job. YOU CAN be tempted at yet not sin and the author doesn't even implicitly believe that Jesus was a sinner. It's funny how hypocritical you are when it comes to context, since you won't allow the Bible to actually be read in context.

"It is important to note that my argument is not, "The Bible indicates Jesus worshipped Satan."  No, my argument encompasses more evidence than just the Bible.  Jesus being a failed prophet and there being an unmiraculous spread of the religion for the next 2,000 years heavily weighs on what might have actually happened in the gospels (if we are taking all the other supporting arguments for Christianity mythology for granted).  And then as a cherry on top, we find Jesus acting bizarrely in the gospels themselves as though he slowly loses his cool and gives up entirely on the cross (in our earliest gospels)."

Growth of a religion depending on speed is not the criteria of a true religion and No where does Jesus even remotely act bizarrely as you claim and even if you are depending on other evidences than just the Bible itself, How does that refute the context of Luke 4 and what I have said?

"AJ says:
Satan was the one who did mess around with Job and God allowed it to happen to demonstrate his point that Job would remain faithful to him despite the hell that Satan would put him through.
Yahweh clearly gave in to Satan's "temptation" to molest Job.  Apologists should know better since someone acting on behalf of a ruler in that cultural context is considered synonymous with that ruler's will (and they use this to excuse contradictions between the gospels).  Satan taking over upon Yahweh's request is the same thing as Yahweh stretching out his hand against Job.  And morally speaking, when the mob sends a hitman to murder someone we morally blame the mob boss as well as the hitman.  Yahweh can't possibly be off the hook since he said yes, did not say no, and he did not stop the crime in progress.  What Yahweh had inflicted by proxy on Job was evil.  Believing that getting a replacement family in the end actually makes up for anything is also evil.  Gambling with Job's soul to begin with was evil.  Honestly these are the kinds of shenanigans we expect from the Greek and Roman pantheons that Christians will scoff at.

So yeah...even Yahweh can and did sin in the Old Testament.  But that's a different issue.  Satan got his way in the Job story, but ultimately lost that battle.  If anything, it proves that Satan can likely win some battles and perhaps even the war with Yahweh.  If he had no fighting chance, like mainstream Christianities would prefer, these stories make Satan's character make zero sense.  The theory that Satan at least could have actually won is therefore more probable.  The temptation of Jesus in the desert is an obvious candidate for that ultimate win."

Satan was making a claim that Job was only loyal to God because of what he had be given to him, rather than loving God unconditionally. God allows it to happen to show that Satan was wrong and that Job would remain loyal to God. YHWH is no sinner and does NOT sin when he allows an evil spirit to oppress someone to test them. There is nothing even like this in Greek and Roman pantheons to the best of my knowledge.

War on Error is one to talk about evil, since he as an atheist has no moral compass other than himself and cannot derive his morality from a higher authority, namely scripture. What YHWH does is consistently good and anyone claiming he isn't, has, I am sorry to say this, a twisted view of morality. This is not an ad hominem, I am simply making a point.

"AJ says:
I response to a question, Satan did know better, but he is rather careless in boldly challenging God the way he did in the first place.
When your theory entails extremely improbable behaviors and mine entails much more probable behaviors, that means I'm in the lead on this point."

Or so you claim, You are assuming my position is improbable.

"AJ says:
The word used for Generation (genea) can be used of a race or people and their offspring and Jesus may have been referring to the Jews not passing away until all has been accomplished. Such a similiar point has been made here: http://www.thingstocome.org/whatgen.htm.
Mark 9:1, Matthew 10:23, 16:28, and Luke 9:27 say the same thing in a different way (as I already mentioned).  AJ is going to need more ad hoc excuses.  It's a good thing Christianity has had 2,000 years of cognitive dissonance to attempt to explain it all away."

No argument present, just an accusation and insult. Defence of a Biblical text is not "ad hoc excuses". My point still stands.

"AJ says:
There is nothing in the Bible about making it to North America and South America in the first century.
If the Great Commission in Matthew tells them to tell everyone, that requires them to tell everyone on the timetable given which is within the death of their generation.  Hence all the continents with people on them would be targets.  That necessarily includes North and South America."

No, still nothing, Jesus doesn't say to accomplish the task within the first century and the great commission is for all Christians to obey, myself included. Where does it say even implicitly that it has to be accomplished before the 1st century ends? It's not there.

"AJ says:
It is not a failure on God's part nor a copout whatsoever on the part of Christians when the scripture which War On Error quoted from that there will be false Christians or people who call themselves Christians are not truly regenerate. God preserved a righteous remnant of Jews in the TANAKH or the Old Testament and no doubt he has done the same thing with Jewish and Gentile followers of Jesus. He has preserved remnants among Christendom who only do his will and follow him to the end.
I'm well aware of Yahweh's low standards for success that I've ridiculed in a previous post of mine: http://double-woe-seven.blogspot.com/2013/10/jesus-desires-all-to-be-saved-just-not.html  The problem of course is an evil inversion of good expectations.  We're sold one thing.  We get another.  Whereas we get parables where a "good shepherd" is willing to go out of his way for 1 lost sheep out of 99, the actual reality of Christian mythology is that Jesus is willing to settle for pretty much just that one lost sheep.  Of course, we don't normally blame the sheep when a "good shepherd" comes home with 1% of his flock. And shepherds who blame the sheep rather than their own shepherding skills get fired."

If you are going to resort to ridicule, there is no point in continuing. For that matter, God is more concerned with the QUALITY of the sheep, NOT the QUANTITY. Quantity is useless unless you have the Quality up to a high standard. It is better to have ONE righteous man than 1000 wicked unregenerate men.

The parable that Jesus tells is referring to an apostate WHO HAS GONE ASTRAY, not referring to who is going to heaven and who isn't. Jesus the shepherd may seek after one who has gone astray to bring him back into the flock.

"AJ says:
Heresies and divisions need to happen in order to sift the true Christians from the false and prepare the true Christians for heaven. There is no failure on the part of God, he is still preserving a remnant to this day.
Preserving a remnant?  You mean, "settling for less."  You don't suppose that if Yahweh left all of humanity up to their own devices, that merely by chance alone a "remnant" might be pleasing to him on Judgement Day?  These standards are synonymous with having virtually zero standards for Yahweh's goodness and providence."

Settling for less would be gathering many people with poor fruits, not a few with quality good fruits. YHWH has very high standards of fruit demanded of his people.

YHWH is SO GOOD, that he cannot tolerate sin in his presence. The Father sent the Son to die on the cross in order to atone for your sins so that we may be holy and suitable for living in his heavenly abode.

One sin is enough to keep you from going to heaven and man needs someone to pay that fine, or they pay it themselves. Leaving things to chance, is not one of God's traits.

"What should Yahweh have been doing (you might ask)?

To quote myself elsewhere:
From our human perspective, at least, based on the kind of moral background knowledge that any parent has to trust, one would expect in a positive sense that proper divine management of moral and spiritual agents would entail that all humans would have a fair, fighting chance in this life for a mature salvation before Judgement Day.  And so it would require, at the very least, that everyone had a sufficiently long life, that we all had properly functioning brains (bred predisposed to maximal positive, healthy behaviors), that we were all encultured with the correct moral values and spiritual teachings from a very young age, that no one else’s free will would ever be allowed to infringe or significantly violate our autonomy, and that we’d be given all the support we would ever need throughout our lives so that in all likelihood (with an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent shepherding god at the helm) no one would be lost to damnation.
We're given the advice in Proverbs to "raise a child up in the way that he should go and he will not depart from it."  But then Yahweh turns around and doesn't bother to raise all humans up in the way that they should go."

Putting aside the issue of original sin which I do hold to as biblical, God allows man to reject him or not should he come to them. He is not going to force man to love him and lets man make the decision to accept him or reject him.

War on Error fails to take into consideration that a proverb is NOT a promise. A proverb is only genuinely true depending on the situation and the context. There are families FROM ALL walks of life that have rotten apples in their families, despite raising them well. This doesn't mean the parents fail, unless the parents themselves are deliberately useless. The proverb however is referring to those who are NOT useless.

"AJ says:
Regarding the growth of other religions, Jesus in his parables speaks of letting the wheat and tares growing together. God allows the bad people to exist for the sake of preserving the good, then he will judge all of mankind and dispose of the evil ones into hell.
That's the official excuse alright.  It's just a really bad one.  It's like the cops saying, “We shouldn’t arrest anyone, because then good people would be hurt...”  Riiiight...that’s called negligence (surprise!) and Jesus is caught making really bad excuses for it."

The point about the cops is irrelevant, a red herring and a distortion of what I was saying. Jesus is not making a contrived excuse, he is warning the apostles not to hastily rush in to pick the tares out at the cost of damaging or pulling the wheat out.

Jesus also said you know an individual by their fruits and the disciples had to carefully discern which person had good fruit and who didn't, a practice which Christians are to carry out to this day.

"AJ says:
Having high numbers in a religion is not the criteria of truth and I never use the highest population factor to determine Christianity being true.
There shouldn't even be religion.  There should just be the Christian god and everyone else involved in a healthy, respectable, straightforward relationship with him as I described in my quote from myself above.  But we don't have anything like that, do we?  Just what can hide under the radar of reality."

God is allowing man to either reject him or not if he comes to them. He places man in a place where they can seek him and find him if they truly believe. A restoration of mankind to YHWH will not happen until the return of Christ, so for now, God is preparing the kingdom of heaven and getting individuals ready for it.

By I restoration I am not saying the atonement is futile, I am referring to FULL restoration when there is no more sin in the world.

"Of course, obviously the Christian god has been this negligent all along.  But if we accept the unlikely premise that it "made sense" for an all powerful god to focus on just one nation in the ancient world (which it doesn't), but then Christianity was for everyone, worldwide, and things were supposed to be different...then Christianity should have been for everyone.  Instead it's just a successful, endlessly fractured religion amongst other successful, fractured religions.  All the true believers should have had miraculous powers to heal the sick and instantly communicate in all the missionary languages.  But instead they have all the same non-miraculous powers every fake religion has.  Maybe the prophets had real powers back in the Old Testament.  But doesn't it at least call into question whether anything divine is going on today if science is doing better in the miracle department than any Christian denomination?"

"The answer of course is "No," because you're a Christian.  And like the vast majority of Christians and religious people everywhere, you've been conditioned to dumb down all your standards and expectations of the evidence on behalf of actually demonstrating the realities of your supernatural worldview.  This opens the Pandora's box of epistemology where someone like me can demonstrate contrary religious mythology is actually more probable.  Even if "Jesus worshipped Satan" is nearly as improbable as anything else Christians believe."

Even if one were to present evidence to you War on Error, it is clear to me you would not be interested in hearing us out and considering the possibility of there being a God. You have a conscience, which isn't merely moulded by your background and somewhere in your conscience, you are hoping that there isn't a God, so you don't have to be held accountable to a higher authority than yourself.

Miracles are not the automatic proof of a religion, the message of a religion has to be consistent with what God has revealed.

Even if a miracle was true, it doesn't lead everyone to automatically believe. War on Error would be among the people who didn't witness Jesus do miracles because of unbelief.

Science doesn't call into question anything divine, it is just a tool of man. If it wasn't for science, you wouldn't be able to house so much information on the internet. If it wasn't for science, War on Error and I would NOT have the means to set up a blog post, since a computer requires science to exist, if one gets the point I am making.

It is a fallacy to suggest that science should automatically call the divine into question.

"AJ says:
Satan didn't give Jesus ANYTHING, Jesus flat out refused what Satan had to offer. Jesus also warns the disciples about false miracles, as does the TANAKH in Deuteronomy 13.
Mark 13:22, Matthew 24:24, and 2 Thessalonians 2:9 say something very similar to Deuteronomy.  Satan is powerful enough to produce all the counterfeit miracles Jesus would need to appear to complete his mission.  Jesus wouldn't even have to know it was Satan's doing.  So maybe we should treat Jesus with the same skepticism that Deuteronomy and other passages warn us about, lest we be deceived by a false messiah?  Like maybe when Jesus predicts the end of the world, and it doesn't happen, we don't try to wiggle out of it with unlikely definitions of words and ignoring the supporting verses."

Jesus was fully aware of who Satan was and what he is capable of and considering he is YHWH, Jesus would not be caught off guard by Satan. Read Luke 4 carefully and you'll see he actually succeeds AND CHASTISES Satan for trying to deceive and mislead him. Jesus isn't a fool to be caught off guard.

Jesus can and should be tested by Deuteronomy 13 and hence if the resurrection is true, he passes the test and his claims can be accepted. There is no wiggling out of anything here, it is just simply the refusal on the part of War on Error to actually read the scripture carefully.

"AJ says:
If Satan inspired the stories to "be written as such since he would then be in charge of the Christian god's abandoned "holy scripture."  So...it'd just be fake stories" as War on Error puts it, Why is he using these "abandoned" documents as his means of trying to demonstrate that Jesus was a sinner who bowed the knee to Satan?
I didn't say he was.  The idea is that Satan's trying to keep the religion going for dubious purposes.  Like continuing to gloat and humiliate Jesus and Yahweh with his win.  Showing up as Satan just being Satan isn't as insidious.  But parading around an undead gospel, laughing your ass off behind the scenes, works wonders."

Satan isn't using Christianity for a nefarious purpose or even for a dubious reason, not sure where that even came from.

"AJ says:
Also, The word Meizon or greater in John 14:12-14 refers to the disciples doing greater works in terms of quantity because of Jesus going back to the Father, but it doesn't necessarily mean that every disciple will be performing miracles here and there.
John 14:6, 14:12, and 14:23-24 are generalizable statements to "anyone" despite the overall context of chapter 14 being aimed at the disciples.  Jesus says "you" to refer to just the disciples and "anyone" to refer to um...anyone.

And even if the one aspect means greater quantity rather than quality (which I don't concede since regardless Jesus says they can do "anything" and the power of "God" would be unlimited), there's still the "equal to" part which is more than sufficiently damning.  Even if not every disciple should be able to spew out miracles, why would we expect any given genuine Christian community to have zero?  Jesus and then his disciples can do them all the time and then they suddenly stop for the next 2,000 years like the issue wouldn't matter?  It's just not plausible."

Not every Christian is required to have miracles, again, it is greater in terms of quantity, that is what the word Meizon OR greater means in this particular context. You cannot just simply assert a word has a meaning unless you back it up by the context. Also, It doesn't necessarily refer to performing miracles only, it can also refer to preaching and living the holy life as a witness to the people of the world. There are two churches, false and true. Genuine Christianity can have many miracles or little and false religions or even heretical movements can have many miracles or little. Miracles are only valid if the person's doctrine doesn't violate the scriptures they claim to believe.

"AJ says:
What kind of Jesus has been fed to those? What world are they living in?
Maybe not every Christian has the miraculous ability to excuse absolutely everything they find in the Bible?  Lots of people actually struggle over these issues.  Putting up a false front of confidence before an ideologically hostile opponent does nothing to obscure that."

No excuses, just simply an acknowledgement that Jesus is not a laid back hippy or liberal.

"AJ says:
If you think that Jesus was some laidback carefree lovey dovey so and so, then you are not even getting an accurate picture of Jesus. Jesus was not being rude to his family.  [...]  Are you saying that Jesus CANNOT be angry? That is absurd. You can be justified in anger if there is a just cause in being angry.
He cursed a fig tree.  Most people would find that a bit much.  It is more likely that Jesus was getting inappropriately angry, did something stupid, and the writers of the gospels decided to turn it into some kind of symbolic message to attempt to smooth such a bizarre story over.  Resorting to violence in the temple was equally wild behavior since it would not have changed anything about the temple practices. They would have simply gone back to doing what they were doing after his violent outburst.  And there's just no reason Jesus could not have been found to be consistently kind to his mother and disciples even when they were slightly out of line.  But instead he's just a jerk.  It is possible to criticize without name-calling, right?  That's what modern Christians expect of each other, typically.  But Jesus gets away with it.  Because reasons."

It appears that when ever Christians are giving a defence for Jesus, War on Error seems to think that this is simply "excusing" Jesus or trying to smooth things over.

The fig tree and "violence" is already covered here: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/response-to-war-on-error-regarding-jesus.html

Insisting that Jesus behaviour is irrational or mad is simply a lack of understanding on the part of War on Error and refusal, to actually listen.

War on Error doesn't understand the difference between an ad homenim and simply calling someone for what they are. Jesus when he referred to the Pharisees as snakes and vipers, he was referring to what they were characteristically.

Indeed one should respect their leaders and others and not speak evil of them. However, one calling out a leader as a hypocrite when it's the truth, is not a sin and is not unchristian. Furthermore, Isaiah refers to his people as a brood of vipers because of their wickedness, which would include the scribes, judges and religious leaders who were encouraging their people in their idolatry.

"Isaiah 57:1 The righteous perish,
    and no one takes it to heart;
the devout are taken away,
    and no one understands
that the righteous are taken away
    to be spared from evil.
2 Those who walk uprightly
    enter into peace;
    they find rest as they lie in death.
3 “But you—come here, you children of a sorceress,
    you offspring of adulterers and prostitutes!
4 Who are you mocking?
    At whom do you sneer
    and stick out your tongue?
Are you not a brood of rebels,
    the offspring of liars?""

Calling someone a hypocrite because of the fact they are doing evil in the sight of the Lord is not disrespect to any leader if they are responsible for instructing people in the ways of God. In the days of the NT, the Pharisees, though not guilty of worshipping statues, were certainly guilty of Avodah Zara or alien worship. They substituted the commands of God for the traditions of men, just as the people of Israel (many but not all) in Isaiah 29 did and Jesus quotes this passage to condemn the Pharisees in Matthew 15.

"Isaiah 29:9 Be stunned and amazed,
    blind yourselves and be sightless;
be drunk, but not from wine,
    stagger, but not from beer.
10 The Lord has brought over you a deep sleep:
    He has sealed your eyes (the prophets);
    he has covered your heads (the seers).
11 For you this whole vision is nothing but words sealed in a scroll. And if you give the scroll to someone who can read, and say, “Read this, please,” they will answer, “I can’t; it is sealed.” 12 Or if you give the scroll to someone who cannot read, and say, “Read this, please,” they will answer, “I don’t know how to read.

13 The Lord says:

“These people come near to me with their mouth
    and honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
    is based on merely human rules they have been taught.[b]"

Also, the same can be said of individuals who are not teachers. To character assassinate an individual is attack them on a personal level rather than deal with what they said.

There is a difference in calling someone a liar to attack them and calling them a liar when you have exposed them for giving false information.

Jesus did NOT resort to character assassination, he was calling out the Pharisees as evil, reprobate and vile individuals AND REFUTING them at the same time. Learn the difference.

"AJ says:
But no answer was provided as to WHY God was no longer with him, One what basis does Jesus having little knowledge indicate the Father was not with him?
We could have evidence where Jesus always knew everything.  If he was fully the Christian god, that would have made the most sense.  Instead we have evidence of Jesus getting away with being ignorant.  What other ignorant things did he get away with that we know nothing about?  This evidential situation makes the official story less probable and an alternative hypothesis like "maybe Yahweh had left Jesus to his own devices" more probable.  [Note: And then Luke comes along after the precedent of Jesus being ignorant of various things is established in other earlier gospels and he decides Jesus could have even been ignorant of things even as a child.  Even though Jesus had access to all knowledge up until the point where he failed in the desert.  And then Satan sent him delusions of knowledge when it was requested and Jesus couldn't tell the difference.]"

Again, Jesus growing in wisdom and stature is a result of him becoming a true flesh and blood man, but he remained God and merely veiled his glory, not ridding himself of his deity. Such can be found in Philippians 2:5-11. There isn't anything wrong with Jesus growing in wisdom and stature, We can expect this if God took on flesh and laid his divine prerogatives.

If you have a problem with the God-Man growing in wisdom an stature, that's your problem. Furthermore, Jesus didn't lose knowledge and let himself be mislead by Satan. Again READING the context, JESUS DOES NOT ACCEPT ANY DECEPTION FROM SATAN.

Stop giving me this excuse of "Everyone sing, "...because the Bible tells me so...", that isn't getting us anywhere.

"AJ says:
[Jesus] predicts that Peter will die A FAITHFUL MAN.
Lucky guess? The power of suggestion?  Untrustworthy accounts of virtually all the martyrdom stories?  A combination of these?  Pick one."

Or, NEITHER ONE.

"As further evidence of Jesus' ignorance, in Mark 7:1-5 Jesus doesn't know that washing your hands is actually a good thing.  Even if it is just with water.  This would have been a great time for the Holy Spirit to reveal that washing your hands is a good thing as well as having a religious lesson about mental purity.  Instead we get the latter without the former.  Busted."

Jesus wasn't dismissing the washing of hands in and of itself nor was he ignorant of washing the hands being a good thing, read the context.

"7 The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus 2 and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. 3 (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. 4 When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.[a])

5 So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?”

6 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:

“‘These people honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
7 They worship me in vain;
    their teachings are merely human rules.’[b]
8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

9 And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe[c] your own traditions! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’[d] and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’[e] 11 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)— 12 then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”"

Jesus is against the washing of the hands itself, it is the hypocrisy of the Pharisees that is his main focus and the fact they were focused more on outward rituals rather than inward purity that leads to holy living. He is going after them for the reason of being corrupt inside.

Of course, War on Error will dismiss this as another contrived excuse.

"AJ says:
There isn't any retconning on the part of the authors, they only record details relevant to their point, hence why certain statements are added or omitted.
Asserting your theory at the expense of mine without explaining why it is more probable does not win the point.  Our earliest accounts of Jesus saying something embarrassing as though something has gone wrong. [Note, you can quote your favorite psalm to complain that something has gone wrong.]  Later accounts don't appear to like this and suspiciously put Jesus more in charge of his own destiny."

I don't have to explain WHY they omitted a detail. It is only for the reason of demonstrating a specific point to their audience. Show me where in the Gospels that Jesus did something embarrassing.

"It appears AJ is not even considering seriously the weight of arguments for legendary development and polemical embellishment and would not recognize the evidence of it even if it were there all over the place.  [BTW, it's all over the place.]  That's not a fair fight."

Or maybe you are assuming the apostles had some political embellishment rather than demonstrate such. Once again, Liars make poor martyrs.

"AJ says:
If they were hallucinations, then the disciples were dying for a lost cause and genuinely believed it was still true, rather than know it was false and deceive. While a hallucination can affect all five senses, it isn't necessarily the case in all circumstances. It can be visual, heard or even touched or a combination of those things.
In this time period hallucinations weren't typically understood as hallucinations according to ancient background knowledge.  They were considered visions and appearances of real divine beings.  We have plenty of pagan accounts of pagans having visions of pagan gods.  They may have been considered "really there" and made of real "heavenly materials."  Just as Jesus would have "really been there" and had a new glorious body made of "heavenly materials."

I am not interested in the pagan religions at this point, you are going off into a tangent. How do you even know they were hallucinations to begin with?

"AJ says:
The disciples DID see the risen Jesus, a hallucination cannot adequately explain his post mortem appearances to 500 individuals over 40 days.
Unless it was Satan masquerading as Jesus.  Or Paul bs-ing an audience who couldn't so easily verify such a claim many countries away (Greece to Israel, you know).  Or a vague claim equivalent to a modern Assemblies of God church on any given Sunday morning where everyone "witnesses" an appearance of the Holy Spirit and/or Jesus through collective ecstatic trance.  1 Corinthians 15 is just not specific enough to even bother to debate."

Satan didn't masquerade as Jesus, If he did, there wouldn't be any reason for him to oppose the apostles, he would simply allow them to continue their business rather than impede their progress and to be honest comparing the 500 to a modern Assembly of God congregant is another irrelevant comparison like the Superman comparison earlier.

1 Corinthians 15 is one of the earliest creeds that we have for the Christian church and to dismiss it is just irresponsible.

"AJ says:
What reason would the apostles have to lie? They wouldn't have any reason to lie or create fanciful delusions deliberately if they knew that what they said is a lie. The disciples were terrified after Jesus' death, but when they saw him, they proclaimed his death and resurrection with a courageous streak. What changed men who were abject cowards into brave spiritual warriors? It is actually War On Error assuming that there is a conspiracy on the part of the disciples to mislead others into supporting a lost cause.
Satan must be very persuasive with all that deception and all those miraculous powers of his.  It's amazing that AJ doesn't seem to think Satan is at all good at his job."

I am not denying that Satan is VERY good at deception and persuasion, he is very good. But it is non-nonsensical for Satan to stop the apostles, when in the first place according to War on Error, Satan is responsible for deceiving the apostles. The NT records Satan actually being a nuisance and trying to destroy the church, rather than let it go.

"AJ says:
And why would Satan fake the resurrection and for what reason would he?
If Jesus were claiming all along that it was supposed to happen (like the gospels claim), then faking the resurrection to keep the religion going as a living farce would likely be the reason.  It's humiliation.  Plain and simple.  Why do you think Satan invented Islam and Mormonism?  Well...that might be boredom.

The only reason Islam and Mormonism would exist is to deceive the world. Satan is using these two religions as a mighty tool to bring many people to their knees, as with any false religion, atheism and agnosticism included.
***

Outro:

Perhaps AJ will at least learn something about arguing outside the box.  Or maybe not.

Ben"

Yeah continue with the ad hominem, real cool. How about actually not distort the Bible hmm?

Answering Judaism.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Covetousness: What is it?

The TANAKH and the NT tell believers that they shall not covet the property of any individual or engage in covetousness

Exodus 20:17
17 "Do not covet your neighbor's house. Do not covet your neighbor's wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else your neighbor owns."

Colossians 3:5-10
5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires. Don't be greedy for the good things of this life, for that is idolatry. 6 God's terrible anger will come upon those who do such things. 7 You used to do them when your life was still part of this world. 8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. 9 Don't lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old evil nature and all its wicked deeds. 10 In its place you have clothed yourselves with a brand-new nature that is continually being renewed as you learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you.

1 Corinthians 5:11: But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

Let me dispel a confusion, covetousness is NOT commerce or vice versa. If you simply think to yourself you are going to purchase a movie, a video game, a vase, a lovely decoration etc, You are not coveting. When you exchange money for goods or provide a service after giving a purchase to the individual, that is commerce.*

Covetousness is simply desiring that which belongs to another, which is why there is a questionable doubt on gambling itself. Gambling may cause an individual to desire what someone else have or someone desiring to have what you have. If Poker is simply played for fun where matchsticks are perhaps used or a chip simply has a value with no intention of using money, that's fine, but if actual money and property is thrown into the mix, there is a significant problem here which cannot be denied.

Buying a good in a shop because you feel like getting it or you think to yourself it is interesting is NOT covetousness. Covetousness in the context of purchasing the item is a persistent desire where you feel you MUST have it no matter the cost, namely desiring said item with no regard to others.

Thanks for reading.

Answering Judaism.

*19th of April 2016. It is also important to note that covetousness is also an insatiable behavior. Jesus says this: 
"Luke 12:13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”"

Possessions in and of themselves are not bad, but can be a problem if they become your god. If you concentrate on accumulation of possessions and let them control you, you will go into ruin. You must never go to a point that the rich man did in the context of the parable, it led him to having many possessions on earth at the expense of disloyalty to God and even forgetting God. The covetousness began to overtake him.

Again, this is not the same as "Hmm, sounds interesting, I might get that", This is more "I must have this in order for to be complete." or one has to get this no matter the cost. 

Riches can easily become idols to us and we either must put the riches back in their proper place as intended in the best case scenario or renounce them completely in the worst case scenario. The rich man who went away sad let his riches get in the way (Matthew 19:22 and Mark 10:22) and Jesus has made it clear that we must be willing to follow him to the end, even if family disown us, possessions are lost in the process, being willing to give up everything to follow him (Which would be blasphemy if Jesus was a mere creature BTW, but I digress). 

Jesus was showing the rich man that his money was his idol. Christ's point was that you must be willing to forsake all to follow him. He is not saying that all sell their possessions, he is demanding people to love him and the Father more than everything in this world. Jesus was not sinning what so ever when telling the rich man to sell his riches, he was pointing out the man was an idolater and had not kept the commandments perfectly. Whatever demands Jesus has for you, You'd better be prepared to carry them out, myself included.

The danger of covetousness also leads to the destruction of your own lifestyle and possibly your life.

Paul says the following in this passage:
"1 Timothy 6 Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants[a] regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. 2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.

Teach and urge these things. 3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound[b] words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and[c] we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.."

Having a love for money, not money in and of itself, that is the root of all evil. Is it any wonder that those with massive amounts of wealth in Hollywood end up doing drugs or getting themselves into terrible scandals? (Not saying all with wealth are like this or all actors are like this). Covetousness can lead us into the destruction of your own lifestyle and possibly your life as mentioned before and it is worth noting that money does not buy you happiness, it is not going to fill the void at all or keep you content if all you do is seek money. If you spend money on drugs and prostitutes and getting drunk, you will come to ruin.

And speaking of content, Listen to Paul's words in Philippians:
"Philippians 4:10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me."

Christians really should be content with what we have and by God's grace it can be accomplished here.

Hope this addendum has helped.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

What does the Shoebat say? A Challenge from Sam Shamoun

In a recent video, Theodore Shoebat has been comparing Islam to Protestantism. I admit I am insulted by the comparisons that Shoebat Jr has done in his video.

I am pretty sure that if Shoebat Jr would be offended if I started making comparisons to Catholics and Rabbinic Jews, that tradition of halacha from Rabbis MUST be accepted and so must Catholic Tradition, or The Pope must be accepted as authoritative just as Maimondes must be accepted as authoritative. While Rabbinic Judaism would not claim papal infallibility, nevertheless, I am sure Theodore Shoebat is not going to accept the comparison between Roman Catholics and Rabbinic Jews, so why make the comparison between Protestants and Islam because of rejecting the Catholic Church?

I am so sick and tired of many saying the Trinity or the Deity of Christ are Catholic dogmas, despite the fact that Romanism is a later apostate church that came onto the scene. This page for links refuting Roman Catholicism: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/refutations-of-roman-catholicism.html

Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists and other cult groups are NOT Protestants in any sense. Hatred of the Catholic Church or rejecting the church doesn't make one a Protestant simply because they are protesting against the Catholic Church. Cults have hatred for Protestantism just as much as they have hatred for Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

Sam Shamoun has rightly expressed concerns about Walid Shoebat in light of Shoebat's recent defence of certain aspects of Roman Catholicism. 

Theodore Shoebat also sent the following to Sam Shamoun in a message which Shamoun has shared on his page, to which he said to pass on to others. Here are the comments:

"Here is what Theodore Shoebat just sent me in private message. Please make sure to pass this on to others, warning them about this sick demented wolf. Make sure to inform people that this is Walid Shoebat's son: 

Theodore Shoebat
Aug 1st, 11:37pm
You set it up bitch

Theodore Shoebat
Aug 1st, 11:37pm
You are White little bitch

Theodore Shoebat
Aug 1st, 11:38pm
White's little punk bitch.

Theodore Shoebat
Aug 1st, 11:39pm
Set it up and let me know, you and me, 2 hours. Set it up, White's bitch"

Sam Shamoun has also called out Walid Shoebat on this matter in the following post on his page:
"Hey saints, due to the fact that Walid Shoebat had his email which he sent to me posted publicly on facebook for all to see, as you can verify by going here: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1596526860574015&id=1378840859009284

He has therefore left me know choice but to post my replies here for all to see. Here goes: 

I saw that you had your email to me posted on Facebook. Therefore, I need to respond by posting my reply to you for all to see. And I am going to demand that you give me the names of your church and your son's church so we can see whether you do go to a Protestant church, or a Catholic one. In either case, I am going to do what you demand and contact your church and pastor or priest to make sure that your son comes under discipline and that you are held accountable for not controlling his behavior and venomous slanders and lies.

I am now going ahead and posting this on my pages for all to read.

I forgot to thoroughly answer your question why I chose to bring your name into the discussion of your son's reason. First, as I stated it seems that you share his convictions about Protestantism in light of some of your scathing criticisms of it in your defense of Rome. And here is the other reason I chose to mention you as I mentioned to your son:

BEGIN
Aug 1st, 11:12pm
Secondly, I didn't attack anyone but simply stated the facts of the matter. Besides, unless you are hiding your assaults against Protestantism from your dad, I am pretty certain your dad is fully aware of your current crusade. The fact he doesn't censure you but allows you to continue your assault while also writing for his site means he must agree with your assessment.
END

So in light of your son's utter venom which he spews against Protestantism I must ask as to why you continue to allow him to write for you if, as you imply, you do not necessarily share his views? And how do you justify him calling me James White's bitch? Are you going to turn a blind eye on this one and continue to justify his behavior and have him continue writing for you? I surely hope not.

Walid,

I am cc-ing Dr. James R. White, just as you cc-d your son whom I do not care to speak with. To begin with, Dr. White sent me an email asking if you had converted to Roman Catholicism, which I had informed him that that would be news to me since I hadn't received any information that you had done so. I then did a google search and what I discovered utterly shocked me. In many of your tirades against Protestants you sound exactly like a Roman Catholic apologist. I then forwarded the links to some of your posts to White and he also agreed with me that you sound exactly like an apologist for Rome. White even mentioned you in one of his recent Dividing Line programs, informing his audience of some of your criticisms as he provided a refutation to them. I also posted links to your scathing criticisms of Protestants and defense of Rome on my facebook pages.

I then discovered your son, or should I say people on my page started mentioning your son and his utter vitriol against Protestants and those who would criticize Rome. He even had the audacity to produce a video likening Islam to Protestants. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBq0-ga6IM4

Suffice it to say I told people who supported you and your son about this video clip trashing Protestants and likening their criticisms of Rome to Islam's attacks on Catholicism. That is when your son chimed in my page and personally attacked me by saying I should be ashamed of myself. So your son is lying when he says I did some name calling. He started it with his arrogant bullying tactics and even challenged to debate me on ABN. I gladly accepted and told him that he was a coward if he didn't go ahead and try to arrange a debate between the two of us, to which your son sent me the following:

Theodore Shoebat
Aug 1st, 11:37pm
You set it up bitch

Theodore Shoebat
Aug 1st, 11:37pm
You are White little bitch

Theodore Shoebat
Aug 1st, 11:38pm
White's little punk bitch.

Theodore Shoebat
Aug 1st, 11:39pm
Set it up and let me know, you and me, 2 hours. Set it up, White's bitch

He not only calls me a bitch, he even says I am James White's bitch just because I had informed him that White was thinking about responding to his assault against Protestants. 

The fact is your son is uncontrollable and is a disgrace in the way he deals with those who disagree with him, and yet you have him writing for your web site instead of monitoring his behavior in order to control such vitriol and abuse.

Now as far as Spencer is concerned, I worked with him on shows dealing specifically with issues related to Islam and one of the reasons I did so is because he hasn't said anything to attack and assault Protestants, like you and your son have been doing.

So now is the time for you to come clean. Are you a Roman Catholic since your son sure is? 

Anyway, I hope this puts things in perspective and you can see where we are coming from.
Sam".

And

"If you guys want proof that Walid Shoebat fully endorses his son, and is therefore a snake, note his reply to my challenge to debate me on Roman Catholicism:

"I must say, unlike myself, he is a formidable debater on such topics and I myself do not suggest you retract your offer, call it a loss, since I am pretty sure he will overwhelm you on such topic. Is this what your choice is? I am more than willing to arrange the phone or skype debate between the two of you and will post it on my website which got 2.5 million hits last month alone, so it is a great avenue for both of you to make your case."

Now here is my answer to this snake:

"And your praise of your son is not only sickening but exposes your true intentions. A formidable debater? Yes, I must agree with you that calling someone a bitch is quite formidable. You really should be ashamed of yourself since this only proves that you do agree with his assault against Protestants. Therefore, I have no choice but to post your praise of your son for all to see."

Now please pass this on since people need to know that both Walid and his son are snakes, especially his father for using Protestants to make a name for himself even though he is a closet Catholic in love with Rome."

and finally: 

"BTW, here is another part of my email where even James White invites Walid Shoebat to debate him, provided he comes clean with what he actually believes:

BEGIN

I repeating White's reply here just in case Walid missed it:

*I* would be happy to debate Walid in defense of sola scriptura, on the Papacy, etc. But from looking at these emails, I am less than clear as to what his current position even is!

james

So now you have both of us challenging you to debate. Time to step up to the plate and not hide behind your son to do your dirty work for you so you can give the impression that you do not necessarily agree with his venomous attacks against Protestantism. You really should be ashamed of yourself of hiding what you really believe and feel. But praise God that you are now being exposed for all to see.
END

Moreover, I have challenged Walid to give me the names of his church and his son's church to see whether they go to a Protestant church or a Catholic one, and he refuses to answer my request. Therefore, please go to his page and insist that he shares the name of the churches that he and his son attend, since that will tell us if he really is a Roman Catholic who is too ashamed to admit it."

Mr Shoebat, Walid in particular, I have questions of my own. Why are you insisting that Rome is a biblical church or is even a church that goes back to the apostles? Why also are you trying to defend many of the things that Rome endorses?

Here is an article I have written responding to one of your articles: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/why-having-icons-to-worship-is.html

Answering Judaism

Echad: My thoughts on the word

This article is NOT going to be a discussion for the Trinity or against the Trinity, the only point that is going to be made is what the word means.

The word "echad", depending on it's context can either refer to plural oneness or singular oneness. For example Adam and Eve become echad in Genesis 2:24 or one and the Tabernacle parts become echad in Exodus 26:6.

The Shema contains a singular usage, referring to how many Gods exist, namely only One God to worship, YHWH and no other. 

Before the Unitarian can clap their hands and think they have won the debate if they read this article, read the following articles:
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/deuteronomy-64-trinity-vs-shema.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/deuteronomy-64-trinity-vs-shema-2.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/response-to-droptozro.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/comments-on-anissueof-ursincerity-and.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/three-person-one-person-false-dilemma.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/spirit-of-god-response-to-anonyemous.html
Regardless of the Shema using Echad as singular or Yachid, this would not disprove nor prove the Trinity, as that is not the goal of the Shema. It's a point missed by Trintarian and Anti-Trinitarian alike.
There are other cases of Echad being singular, such as Isaiah 51:2.

For evidence that Echad CAN have a singular and plural meaning from a counter missionary, Tovia Singer in his lecture "Is The Trinity Biblical?" talks about this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Joz6vKSh1o, Watch from 15:56-23:40. Singer later claims that the arguments used by Christians are used by Pagans also but to be very honest, Pagan Polytheism and Biblical Monotheistic Trinitarianism are NOT the same thing and any claims they are the same thing are a strawman of Trinitarian belief.

However, the goal of this article is not to prove the Trinity and this is already done elsewhere on my blog.

Answering Judaism