Monday, 19 June 2017

Unequal Yokes and Bidding Godspeed

In light of the recent condemnation of the dialogue between James White and Yasir Qahdi, it will be pertinent to take this opportunity to talk about certain biblical texts that are used not only regarding this whole issue and what they mean. The issue of White and Qahdi's dialogue will not be addressed in this paper however but maybe addressed if the Lord Wills.

Don't be unequally yoked
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 explains the following:
"14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial[b]? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“I will live with them
    and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.”[c]

17 Therefore,

“Come out from them
    and be separate,
says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
    and I will receive you.”[d]

18 And,

“I will be a Father to you,
    and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”

The common understanding and it is the main one, is condemning the idea of Christians marrying unbelievers and there are copius number of times in the Old Testament demonstrating the consequences of the Israelites marrying pagan women, be it Solomon's Wives (1 Kings 11:1-8), Ahab's marriage to Jezebel and his listening to her (1 Kings 21). There was even mass divorce in Israel in the days of Ezra because of the Israelite men taking many pagan women to be theirs (Ezra chapters 10) even though that was one of the sins that brought disaster upon them to begin with and of course Malachi also mentions how the Israelites offerings were detestable because of marrying foreigners:

"Malachi 2:10 Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers? 11 Judah has been faithless, and abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the Lord, which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god. 12 May the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob any descendant[e] of the man who does this, who brings an offering to the Lord of hosts!

13 And this second thing you do. You cover the Lord's altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. 14 But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15 Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union?[f] And what was the one God[g] seeking?[h] Godly offspring. So guard yourselves[i] in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. 16 “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her,[j] says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers[k] his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”

The offering is not just rejected, but God even threatens an Israelite with death if he presents an offering while he has knowingly married a pagan.

To be very clear on a certain point, Paul is not talking about an unbeliever you married before your conversion (When both spouses were pagans), Paul does have regulations laid out for Christians who are married to someone who hasn't been converted, again both married before one of the spouses comes to Christ, See 1 Corinthians 7:12-16:

"12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

While remaining married to the unbeliever after conversion can make you a godly influence on their life, sometimes, there may not be a change of heart from the believer and it may be best to let them quietly leave. What Paul is however against is a Christian marrying an unbeliever and commiting themselves to that unbeliever, which is not on even in the New Testament.

Others have applied 2 Corinthians 6:14 to businesses, namely workplaces, but does it apply to those situations, yes and no.

Let's begin with no first and foremost, Because believe it or not, your co workers are going to be unbelievers who do not share your convictions. You are in the world, but not of the world. When you purchase a book, or movie or video game, you are purchasing from an unbeliever and more often than not if you sell these things, you are selling to unbelievers.

You are to be a witness to those people. If they don't convert, don't worry, just carry on working alongside them in the workplace, provided the task in question is morally right in God's sight and is within the confines of the law of the land (Which we'll get to soon).

Work in such a way that they see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven, but even if they do not give him such glory, they may see you as a valuable asset to the team. You cannot escape from unbelievers, if you cannot work alongside one in the workplace, you are going to have a difficult time earning some money or living at peace with unbelievers, not in the sense of Christian fellowship, but in the sense of treating people with the respect they deserve, perhaps even being a friend to them.

Now having said this, we get to the yes application.

As said before, the work you engage in is to be moral (doing right in God's sight) and legal (doing right in the sight of the government), Sex trades, Drug trades, prostitution, sales of paganism and witchcraft and other practices of the like are out of the question. The entertainment industry is at a grey area but caution should be excercised, especially with the glorification of wickedness being celebrated.

A business deal sometimes if you run a business deal may not be the best course of action especially if said business deal goes against your conscience or the scriptures, but a business deal that is good and right can be considered.

With work and business, it depends what the goal is and whether the goal is just, not to mention it is impossible to remove yourself from the presence of unbelievers completely. As for marriage to an unbeliever, this is out of the question if you were not married when you came to Christ.

It depends on context. One the one hand you have the alliance of Jehoshaphat and Ahaziah, but on the other hand you have Solomon asking the King of Tyre, Hiram, a Phoenecian, for cedar and trading no less. Why was God condemning Jehoshaphat, yet had no problem with Solomon getting cedars from Lebanon? Context is key. Solomon wasn't alling himself with Hiram in terms of kinship yet this is what Jehoshaphat did and he lost the trade boats because of it. Hiram was a pagan but Ahaziah was an Israelite, so the principle regarding false teachers could be retroactively applied to in the case of Ahaziah.

In fairness however, Hiram's history with Ancient Israel goes back to when David reigned, namely the building of his palace (See 2 Samuel 5:11).

Let's take a look at two passages:
"2 Chronicles 20:35 After this Jehoshaphat king of Judah joined with Ahaziah king of Israel, who acted wickedly. 36 He joined him in building ships to go to Tarshish, and they built the ships in Ezion-geber. 37 Then Eliezer the son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have joined with Ahaziah, the Lord will destroy what you have made.” And the ships were wrecked and were not able to go to Tarshish."

"1 Kings 22:47 There was no king in Edom; a deputy was king. 48 Jehoshaphat made ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir for gold, but they did not go, for the ships were wrecked at Ezion-geber. 49 Then Ahaziah the son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Let my servants go with your servants in the ships,” but Jehoshaphat was not willing. 50 And Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father, and Jehoram his son reigned in his place."

Jehoshaphat paid dearly for his alliance with Ahaziah, which resulted in the destruction of his ships and he refrained from teaming up with the king of Israel again. Of course this wasn't his first alliance, as he and Ahab worked together in the past, See 1 Kings 22:

As for Solomon, see 1 Kings 5:

Bidding God Speed
This is a text which was abused and mishandled not only in the recent James White Hunt but has been used in the past, namely, bidding God Speed to an individual. Let us look at 2 John:

"7 I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch out that you do not lose what we[a] have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. 11 Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work."

The context is not referring to unbelievers. It doesn't make that much sense to say it is. It's an obvious given unbelievers deny Jesus, so why would John need to make an emphasis as to who such a person is. Easy, he is referring to false teachers who claim the name of Christ, but their theology is not in line with the teaching of Christ or his apostles. Unbelievers do not run ahead and do not continue in the teaching of Jesus, because they don't believe in Jesus to begin with, whereas someone who claims the name of Christ go further than they should and fall into damnable error. Inviting an unbeliever around your house or being invited to his house is one thing, actually inviting a heretic to your house is another.

One interesting explaination comes from that of John Brown of Haddington:
"If therefore any preacher appears among you who does not declare and inculcate these very doctrines concerning Jesus Christ, and the redemption of sinners through his blood, according to the riches of God's grace, which we delivered unto you, see that ye give him not the smallest encouragement, by entertaining him in your houses, or wishing him any success in his ministrations; for whoever wishes him success, or familiarly converses with him, is accounted by God as a criminal encourager and assistant of him in spreading his errors, to the dishonour of Christ and the eternal ruining of men."

As for whether God loves the sinner and hates the sin, If the Lord Wills, I may address that.

Answering Judaism.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

3 random points to address

I wanted to look at some points made on Paltalk roughly a half hour before this article was written. proorizo_1 (Point 1 and 3), WhatDoMuslimsKnow (Point 2). I confess I need to hear more of what proorizo said (Working on your comic doesn't help listening to a point on Paltalk, there is a time and a place for working on a comic but I have to be sensible when and having Paltalk open to hear someone's point while working on the comic is counter productive.)

Do Christians deny obedience?
Short answer biblically speaking is no. If one is truly in Christ, he will be obedient. Putting aside the debate of OSAS or Once Saved Always Saved, repentance and obedience are part and parcel of the Christian gospel and message. Jesus said "If you love me, you'll keep my commandments" (John 14:15).

Hebrews are not Israelites and are two different tribes
There was an odd point about Israelites and Hebrews not being the same. There is no basis for this. The word Hebrew refers to either the language or a person, namely a person who identifies as an Israelite. They are not a referrence to two different tribes. Also, The term Jew refers to the tribe of Judah and yes, you have later down the line a Galilee, Samaria and Judea, but that doesn't change an Israelite being a Hebrew in the Old Testament.

Was the word Christian changed over time
Was the name changed to merely professing belief in Jesus rather than obedience? Not really. The word Christian has never changed, it means follower of Christ. Someone who claims to be a follower of Jesus and lives contrary to his instructions deliberately, then he is not a Christian.

Answering Judaism

P.S. Anything I have said that's incorrect regarding the representation of your points, feel free to let me know.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

What Christians can learn from Hollywood: The Fate of the Furious

Truth be told, I have only seen this installment, namely Fast and Furious 8 or The Fate of the Furious as it is called in the USA, the rest I have not seen fully, so I am operating on limited knowledge, despite light browses on Wikipedia. It is a franchise that involves illegal street racing and heists (Can't say I would condone those things but I digress.)

However, one thing has caught my attention with this franchise (thanks to a parody), namely, family. In fact one of the films (Furious 7 if I recall) has one of the characters, Dom Toretto say "I ain't got friends, I've got family". There was a video that I saw a few weeks ago that pertains to this issue, that despite the fact the film series are dumb entertainment, they do have an emotional tether that does make you connect with the characters, that they are in a certain way, a family, not necessarily by blood relations, but just by the fact that they care for each other in that way.

I would guess you would have to watch the previous films to get the full weight of it, specifically from Fast 5 onwards (I assume), but The Fate of the Furious itself retains this running thread. There will be spoilers from this point on.

Dom is happily married to Letty Ortiz but he is forced to work for Cipher, a cyber terrorist when his former lover, who is revealed to have a son held captive on a stealth plane, forcing Dom to work with her or watch his family die and even betray his current family, Letty included. There is an interesting contrast, a man who loves his family and a woman who is cold and detached from humanity, seeing emotion as merely a biological axiom.

Cipher kind of reminds me of Jezebel to a certain extent, holding Dom under her thumb much like Jezebel did Ahab (Of course Ahab consented to Jezebel because he loved her, whereas Dom doesn't love Cipher but I digress.) I don't want to read too much into this but nevertheless it is fascinating, even if this isn't what the writer intended.

While the subject of family not being limited to biological relation but can refer to kinship towards each other for knowing each other for so long is a common thread in most movies, Not just in The Fast and Furiverse (what I call the franchise in general), it does raise an interesting point, especially for the Christian walk.

The church, the body of Christ is itself a family, which may entail blood relations but also those who are not even related in that way. The same could be seen in the past in Israel, such as the friendship between David and Johnathan (not a homosexual relationship as some are fond of propounding), they could be considered as family, brothers in particular because of their friendship.

It is when the church is divided that the family falls apart and that needs to be restored. Paul speaks of the church marching in step with the spirit, the believers walking together and keeping each other on the straight path and watching over each other, taking care of one another. See the following in Galatians 5:
"16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.".

If the Lord Wills, more maybe added to this paper.

Answering Judaism.

Monday, 15 May 2017

What Christians can learn from Hollywood: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars is approaching it's 40th anniversary on the 25th of May 2017 and has so far spawned 8 live action movies, cartoons, and a formerly canon expanded universe now known as Star Wars. It's a big franchise, but is there something that Christians can learn from said franchise? Yes. Specifically I want to focus on the Force Awakens, an amazing movie if you want to check it out.

There will be spoilers for the Force Awakens in this article so I say check it out first before coming back to this video.

Reconciliation and Restitution

One of the interesting things I noted when I went to see the Force Awakens again (and possibly in a facebook post that looked familiar), what one of the things that caught my attention, was that of reconciliation.

To reiterate a point I made in the previous paper on Doctor Strange, There is something here to take from the film, that restitution has to be made, whether it's criminal, civil or other ways, some compensation or a lot has to be made, even if it's being punished for a crime accordingly or restoring a relationship. Sometimes however, it may not be possible to restore a broken relationship between two people or several, it may be too late, but it's worth giving a try.

See David Pawson's talk on Philemon, specifically the section on restitution: 27:29-30:45:

Some of the characters are running away from their past, Specifically Han, Finn and Luke:

  • Han running from his family that has been torn apart by his son, Ben Solo aka Kylo Ren turning to the dark side of the Force, with he and Leia separating from each other with Han going back to his old way of smuggling, the only life he knew outside of family. He is a bitter man running away from his past. Maz Kanata, a friend of Han tells him that he must go back to Leia. Han is confronted with this and has to rebuild his family, with the road to possible reconciliation with Leia as well as Leia trying to convince Han that there is good in in Kylo Ren. Han is given the courage to bring the family back.

  • Finn is running away from the First Order. He was born and bred to be a stormtrooper, While it was commendable he was getting away from the First Order, he had to deal with his past by overcoming his cowardice and begin an active fight against the First Order. He was a flawed man, he lied to Rey, a scavenger about where he came from and claimed he was a resistance fighter, He rescued Poe Dameron, a resistance pilot for his own reasons rather than because it was right the right thing to do (though he confessed the truth to both Poe and Rey). He has fight the First Order in order for his past to truly be dealt with and brought to a firm conclusion.

  • Luke Skywalker functions more as a plot device rather than a character, but he went into exile when Kylo Ren destroyed the Jedi and fell to the dark side. The ending of the Force Awakens can be interpreted in a number of way but just his brief encounter with Rey at the end can tie into this putting the past right. Is Rey trying to say while holding the lightsaber out "Come with me, we can restore the galaxy together" or "we need your help to put things right", to which Luke is saying "You're right, I must". No dialogue is spoken but that goes to show how good the ending scene is, nothing needs to be said.
The characters know they shouldn't run away from their problems, but must deal with them. It's a common thread found in many films, including Disney films, be it The Lion King and Aladdin.

The unbelieving world understands much better than too many Christians that you must try to make restitution, it is a common thread not only in the films I mentioned, but many programs point this out.

If anything, television does bear witness that man knows right from wrong but chooses to suppress it. 

Lord Willing if there is anything else we can take from Star Wars, I'll write on it.

Answering Judaism.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

What Christians can learn from Hollywood: Doctor Strange

Most Christians are quite dismissive of the movie industry, As pointed out in a previous paper, Both movies and video games are controversial among Christians. Some condemn them as worldly or childish and some see them as harmless but exercise caution in what they see. Me, I myself am a movie fan and fit in the latter category:

Lord Willing, there may be more articles made on more movies but we'll see what happens.

Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange is the 14th installment in a movie franchise called The Marvel Cinematic Universe, a film series based on comic books as made by Marvel. 

The series has made an incredible $11 billion at the box office and is currently unadjusted for inflation is the highest grossing film franchise in history, with James Bond and Harry Potter following behind. If you are wondering what my opinion of Dr Strange is, it's actually a really well written movie, pretty good overall.

Let me make one thing clear before I continue, I am aware that in the movie Doctor Strange, the characters engage in practices that the Bible condemns and warns people to stay away from such practices, make no mistake about that.

The characters use energy from other dimensions to cast spells, whether it be magical weapons, astral projection or drawing on dark power from another dimension. Witchcraft is something that must be repudiated, it mustn't be embraced (The same principle can be applied to Harry Potter if you can find anything in that franchise that agrees with and contradicts the Bible.)

That being said, Because there is an interesting message found within Doctor Strange that I think we can take aboard, but first, we need a quick run down of the story, spoilers if you have not see Doctor Strange.

Story and what we can learn

For those not in the know, Dr Stephen Strange was a brilliant (but egotistical) surgeon who is involved in an accident that ruins his hands and his career. He is forced to seek a cure for his affliction and in desperation tries various methods of healing to restore his hands to no avail. He learns of a man who was involved in a serious accident who was able to walk again and learns of a person known as the Ancient One whom he believes can help him.

Long story short, he is caught up in being involved in super heroics and is forced to become a sorcerer to defend the world from evil forces, including Dormammu, an evil demon from another dimension. There is a conversation that takes place in the movie where the Ancient One gives Dr Strange a choice, either go back to the life of being a surgeon or be something more and help more. There is more to just fame, there is more than just demonstrating incredible talent in an area.

Strange himself had a "friend" named Christine whom he didn't realize he didn't treat with a greatest respect until it was too late. Despite Christine trying to help him, Strange pushes her away and while the two reconcile and Strange is helped in recovering from wounds he sustained in a battle, that doesn't change the damage that has been done as a result of his selfishness.

There is something here to take from the film, that restitution has to be made, whether it's criminal, civil or other ways, some compensation or a lot has to be made, even if it's being punished for a crime accordingly or restoring a relationship. Sometimes however, it may not be possible to restore a broken relationship between two people or several, it may be too late, but it's worth giving a try.*


The villain, Caecillius, also suffering trauma of his own, lost his family and came to the Ancient One for help in the hopes of reviving his family, which she doesn't teach and feels betrayed by her. Stealing the Book of Cagliostro, a dark magic book, which would connect him to Dormammu, and grant him eternal life, seeing death as an enemy as well as time and that the only way to escape death is to become one with Dormammu and become part of the Dark Dimension. In fact he criticized the Ancient One for drawing on the power of the Dark Dimension to sustain her life.

This is where another interesting point comes into play, namely hypocrisy.

Baron Mordo, one of the Ancient One's loyal students looks up to the Ancient One as the one who helped him confront his demons, but is horrified when The Ancient One is using the Dark Dimension despite her prohibiting everyone else from doing it. Hypocrisy is damaging in any given situation but think of a case where the pastor of a church criticizes his congregation for engaging in sins that he himself is guilty of. Is it any wonder that the congregation is disillusioned with him and cannot trust him, ending up going their seperate way. They even feel this way possibly when one of their own breaks the rules without any remorse or regret that leads to repentance. Baron Mordo is disillusioned with the Ancient One and later Doctor Strange using the Eye of Agamotto, one of the Infinity Stones in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (despite his success in saving the world) that the sorcerers are not following their rules and thus walks away. 

Interesting considering when hear the story of a person who has left the Christian faith because they have been let down by people in the church and in many cases this is quite possible. Shadid Lewis' disillusion with his church and Mundane Matt's frustration with organised religion or other persons who have been hurt in some way, not knowing what Jesus is really like. It's not quite the same as Baron Mordo's story, but it's similar in concept.


Despite the fact the characters use spells to accomplish good or evil (Biblically its inconsequential what magic is used for because it involves using a source that's not God), there are many things you can take away from Doctor Strange that can resonate with us as Christians.

Lord Willing, there may be more papers similar to this, but you'll have to wait and see.

Answering Judaism.

*Let me bear clear I am not denigrating a job such as a surgeon or any lawful and right career, if anything Christians should be diligent in that work and do it as if Jesus himself is running the company or is a customer to whom you are providing a service. 

David Pawson has even said regarding God "He'd rather have a conscientious taxi driver than a careless missionary".

The point is, would you rather go back to a life that goes well and ok for you and helps others or do you want to serve others with a higher purpose and a greater good? In a Christian's case, doing his job in such a way it glorifies God, loving him and loving your neighbor. One could just be content with living his life out, but what does it amount to in the end?

You don't need a college degree to serve God, he can use anyone, be it a housewife, a construction worker, a surgeon etc. Even cleaning your workplace can be done in the name of Jesus.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Confession is good for the soul, second apology

This is something I should have confessed to all my viewers a while ago, years ago in 2011-2012, I confessed to God rashly for watching Prasch's videos and It was wrong of me going back to the videos when I said I wouldn't.

It was based on a misunderstanding of his position on Midrash and the article in question misrepresented his position but what I have said cannot be undone. Forgive me for the deception.

Answering Judaism.

Confession good for the soul, apologies to make

Remember the article I wrote with respect to Muslims and being ungracious. Well there are times I have been too ungracious to other people.

To Angel Lawin and Marihot Tobhing, I believe Maestro M Evangelista is not a true prophet and stands condemned by the Bible. But to slander you and offend you by referring to you as crazy and constantly engaging ad hominem attacks, using the snake insult and alike. Not saying I agree or want to compromise with your prophet but there is a way to discuss the issues with an insult.

To Dk man7 and xgamer, I have been fairly harsh with you in the past and while I believe you need to repent of your falsehoods, there again is a better way to address your objections and I repent of my insults toward you. Forgive me xgamer for not calling fitzy out for calling you gay.

The apology for being too harsh also extends to Richard Merrell, the writer of the article Trinity is not of the Truth and also to Tovia Singer in his article on the Trinity for having a lack of a gracious attitude: see original article here:

To Sam Shamoun, years ago when I didn't tell you I was Answering Judaism after the brief time we didn't speak with each other, forgive me for not telling you who I was and deceiving you.

I also apologise to those whom participated in watching the debate with savedbybaptism back in 2013 that I had studied the Trinity in depth on the Trinity whereas I mostly listened to Sam Shamoun (and James White and Anthony Rogers). (More will be added when I can find what I said in the recording).

Answering Judaism

Thursday 2nd March 2017. There was a time in 2012 I mocked homosexuals on Paltalk in the room and I was rebuked by bearbronxbud (I think that was his name) . For this I apologise for the mockery I engaged in. Although I believe homosexuality is wrong, mockery is not the right attitude and I repent and say sorry.

Tuesday 3rd of April 2017. Although angelsswingss and I have put this behind us, I still need to apologise publically for it. In 2012 I was part of her room as an admin. The issue of Mormonism came up in the room which I have offered to  talk about Mormonism in my room (You should never advertise your room in another room on Paltalk, it is bad etiquette) but while it was touch on briefly, I then used the my room to do impressions ( I also did impressions in angelsswingss room too.) which was the wrong thing to do and for that I apologise of that deception. There is an accusation of heresy but that will be penned another time.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Beauty and the Beast: A Christian's comments

Beauty and the Beast is one of the films that came out of an era known as the Disney Renaissance, a time where Disney films were once again at their peak and prime, with other animated films measured to that standard at the time and some argue Tangled or even Frozen started a second renaissance at Disney but I digress.

Beauty and the Beast was nominated for an Academy Award, won a Golden Globe for best picture, garnered positive reviews upon release and was a box office hit. To this day it is remembered fondly by many around the world, praised for it's animation, songs and writing, myself included.

In 2014, a live action remake was announced and set for release this year.

Now why am I talking about Beauty and the Beast in this article? Well, Emma Watson is the main lead and from I gathered from other people, is herself a strong feminist voice.

A cover on Total Film caught my attention on the 28th of January 2017 when I went to the shopping centre and I saw it's cover had the film in question (Do a google search on the poster and you'll see it.

What specifically caught my attention were the words underneath, which said "Darker, Smarter...Relevant".

I posted a comment on the Midnight's Edge Facebook group asking if the caption itself was insulting to the original film and the response, it surprised me by how many comments I got, some disagreed and some agreed.

One last thing I will say, this is not to attack Emma Watson as an individual. She has said she is a fan of the 90s Beauty and the Beast and I am willing to take that comment at face value. However, I feel she is missing the point entirely of the original film, especially from what I gathered from the people at Midnight's Edge, namely that Emma Watson having some requests, namely no flat shoes, no twirls because it means it makes her (I think she is referring to Belle) submissive, or wear large gowns and corsets. I could cringe at those decisions.

I also looked at an article last year (And posted that to Midnight's Edge too). You can find the original article here:

Here are Watson's comments:
"In the animated movie, it’s her father who is the inventor, and we actually co-opted that for Belle. I was like, ‘Well, there was never very much information or detail at the beginning of the story as to why Belle didn’t fit in, other than she liked books. Also what is she doing with her time?’ So, we created a backstory for her, which was that she had invented a kind of washing machine, so that, instead of doing laundry, she could sit and use that time to read instead. So, yeah, we made Belle an inventor."

Here's the thing, Belle reading books was there for reason.

Belle loved reading, it was a form of escapism but more than that, it gives the viewer an insight into one of her goals. She was seeking a better life and someone to love her for her rather than mould her into something she is not. Her words in one of the songs in the film was "There must be more than this provincial life."

Let us also look at the contrast between the Beast (called Adam in a CD-ROM triva game that came out years later: and Gaston.

First, Gaston. He is an egotistical, narcissistic individual who loves the attention the townsfolk give him. He sees Belle as a potential wife, but not really someone whose feelings who he cares about. Belle even rejects his advances on him and shows him the door. Gaston grows increasingly more selfish and more of a viable threat, especially when he threatens to throw Belle's father Maurice into an asylum unless he agrees to marry her, which makes Belle be repulsed by him even more. Eventually this leads to Gaston's destruction when he makes the final assault on Beast's Castle and tries to kill the Beast but ultimately fails. His one consuming passion turns him ironically into a monster with violent hatred toward the Beast.

Second, The Beast himself, who started out as a selfish and spoilt prince who turned an old woman away at the door, who turned out to be a beautiful enchantress, who curses him into a chimera and the servants are transformed into household or castle objects, but still sentient. The Beast would have to learn to love and be loved in return, lest he remain a Beast forever, both he and the servants losing their human sentience.

When the Beast encounters Belle and her father, He is unkind and cruel. He forces Maurice to be imprisoned, to which Belle agrees to be the Beast's prisoner in exchange for her father to be free This ties into later on because eventually the Beast does regret separating Belle from her father.

The servants do their best to bring Belle and the Beast together but specifically the Beast himself learns to come out of his zone so to speak. What finally brings him to his senses is rescuing Belle from the wolves, with he and Belle chiding each other for their actions. Belle does something that the Beast never had happen to him, have someone challenge him on his behaviour.

The Beast does begin to change his ways, why? Belle wins him over by her conduct. Her compassion and selflessness starts to rub off on him and he in return reciprocates.

When the Beast starts to actually care for Belle, he doesn't try to change her or mold her, but instead gets know her and what makes her tick so to speak. He even gives the library to Belle, knowing that she has a love of literature (He wanted to do something for her and it was suggested to him the library as an idea from Lumiere and Cogworth) and after the dance when Belle looks into the magic mirror, Beast reluctantly, but willingly releases Belle from her captivity and sends her to rescue her father.

When Gaston attacks, Belle returns and the feelings between the two are strengthened, Gaston is defeated and the spell is broken. The Beast has finished his journey.

Belle's selfless and caring nature wins the Beast over and changes him, both on the inside and back to normal on the outside.

It's clear Gaston was not interested in Belle's feelings whereas the Beast eventually understood what would make Belle happy and learnt to be less selfish and he could be someone to care for and cherish her rather conform her into someone shallow, like the triplets who sigh at the mere sight of Gaston and have no interest in him as a person.

This reminds me of 1 Peter 3:1 (though not exactly the same) where wives are to win their husbands over by their conduct. I am not saying Beast and Belle are Christians, I am saying that Belle doesn't score cheap points with the Beast and go down to his level, but rather through her actions and words, he is brought to her level, becoming a better man for it.

David Pawson even has stated that God is more interested in character than achievement, that he' rather have a conscientious taxi driver than a careless missionary.

The comments by Emma Watson sadly miss the point of the original Beauty and the Beast Disney classic entirely and to be honest there is no need to make Belle an inventor, (though there is nothing wrong with the idea in and of itself), but in the context of the story, It's Belle's character rather than her achievements that gets the audience invested in her. Sadly, the remake in light of Watson's requests if they are real requests, may destroy the remake. We'll have to see when it comes out.

A woman of good character (specifically biblical standard of good) is someone who is the strong woman and empowered, the feminist regardless of their intentions is not helping the cause of empowering women.

Jesus Christ is the one who elevates men and women, not through violating and breaking the gender barriers, but strengthening their roles as men and women.

Answering Judaism.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

The Abomination of Desolation: A response to Walid Shoebat 10

Here is the final part which had been left alone for a while.*

One thing I will say about the two senses before we carry on, It was explained to me by Keith Thompson of Reformed Apologetics Ministries the following regarding them. He said to me that their actual espoused views are mutually exclusive with the alleged other view Shoebat speaks to.

But anyway, let's carry on:

"To answer this question, they have no other method but to go to the Church fathers and twist everything. For example, they use Clement when he explains:
But you are not inclined to understand it thus, but perchance more generally. Hear it also in the following way. The flesh figuratively represents to us the Holy Spirit; for the flesh was created by Him. The blood points out to us the Word, for as rich blood the Word has been infused into life; and the union of both is the Lord, the food of the babes–the Lord who is Spirit and Word. The food- that is, the Lord Jesus–that is, the Word of God, the Spirit made flesh, the heavenly flesh sanctified…” (The words of the Lord from the bread of life discourse “Eat My flesh and drink My blood,”)
“The flesh figuratively represents…”? Is Clement saying that the Eucharist does not represent the real essence of Christ? Then they even present Clement’s Paedagogus Book 1, chapter 6 “Elsewhere the Lord, in the Gospel according to John, brought this out by symbolswhen He said: “Eat ye my flesh, and drink my blood; ” describing distinctly by metaphor the drinkable properties of faith and the promise …”
So is Clement explaining “Eat ye my flesh, and drink my blood” strictly as a Metaphor?
And Clement even concludes the chapter with this:
“Thus in many ways the Word is figuratively described, as meat, and flesh, and food, and bread, and blood, and milk … by His own Spirit He will nourish those who hunger for the Word.”"

This doesn't prove transubstantiation, at all. If Clement is speaking figuratively which he would be as the philosophy of accidents didn't exist in his day, then Shoebat is believing in a false teaching. Even if he didn't believe it was merely a symbol, no credence is given to transubstansiation to begin with.

"One can also find Tertullian “and that flesh which was the “bread given for the life of the world,” He also stated “Constituting, therefore, His word as the life-giving principle, because that word is spirit and life, He likewise called His flesh by the same appellation; because, too, the Word had become flesh, We ought therefore to desire Him in order that we may have life, and to devour Him with the ear, and to ruminate on Him with the understanding, and to digest Him by faith. (On the Resurrection of the Flesh 37)
Are the apostolic-succession churches dismantled by these words from Clement and Tertullian?
Hardly. It is here that the trickster avoids the ancient “two senses” in interpreting. Irenaeus, around 180 A.D., close to the time of the disciples of Jesus says of the Eucharist “For as the bread, which is produced from the earth [grain], when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common breadbut the eucharist, consisting of two realitiesearthly and heavenly; so also our bodies, when they receive the eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity.”
While the context is the “resurrection” of the believer the bread is “no longer common bread“.
This is using the proper scriptural method: the two senses."

Even if we grant the church Fathers used the two sense interpretation, it does not justify the later Roman teaching on the Eucharist which Shoebat is so keen to proclaim in his paper. It is still a metaphor and not literally consuming Jesus' body and blood. You cannot use the two senses interpretation to justify pagan transubstantiation. It's not even what Tertullian had in mind when speaking on the Lord's Supper. The treatise in question is addressing gnostic objections to the flesh of Christ, not the nature of the Lord's Suppers nature.

As for Irenaeus, he is dealing with sacrifice and oblations, that those offered to God in sincerity and purity are accepted but those who do it as an external ritual without being clean, their sacrifices are an abomination. He even says that Jews (unbelieving of course) Gnostics or heretics insult God by their offerings. See the section in question for yourself:

Irenaeus doesn't address the nature of the Lord's Supper as being that of Romanist Transubstansiation, even in the state found within the chapter.

His point in the chapter is how a Christian is to rend his service to God, that gifts to him should not be withheld and should be given without intermission.

The subject of Origen and his homily Lord Willing shall be looked at another time.

"This mystery regarding “this is My Body” has various levels of meanings. The Logos (The Word) became flesh and so did the Eucharist. We also have the Word (Christ) and the Word of God (the Bible). Origen says “… but we are said to drink the blood of Christ not only in the rite of the sacraments, but also when we receive his words, in which are life, as he himself …” and is why Clement said “…Thus in many ways the Word is figuratively described, as meat, and flesh, and food, and bread, and blood, and milk …”
Origen, Clement and Irenaeus also saw the word of God in the Communion and the Communion in the word of God. They did not see Christ merely in the consecrated bread and wine, but also the communion of believers and the word of God. The believers were not the only ones who resemble the body of Christ, but that Scriptures and the Body of Christ, both, resembles the Body of Christ.
They used both senses in interpreting scripture, the allegoric and the literal approach that is so much removed today from the modern pulpit of the disco-tech style charismatic churches while dressed up in Hawaiian shirts with multiple colors looking more like an Antichrist with hyacinth blue, sulfur yellow and fiery red."

No Christian would deny that Christians are referred to as the body of Christ, that is indisputable, not to mention Jesus is with the communion of believers and he is the word of God. But how does this prove transubstantiation?

Also what is your point when you keep pointing to supposed churches that dress in hawaiian shirts? How is this relevant to addressing anything to do with the abomination of desolation. BTW, Wearing a suit doesn't make your point more credible or less credible. Many teachers be they David Pawson, John MacArthur etc wear suits but that doesn't make them credible. What does make them credible is their exceptional theological depth and insight. I am not saying that you can automatically wear anything as a Christian, there are standards of dress code for Christians but someone wearing a Hawaiian shirt is hardly in violation of scripture, but it's not the sort of thing I would wear personally in church.

Also, not to defend the crazy stuff that comes out of charismatic churches, I am sure they will take issue with Shoebat's comments.

"Tricksters are recognized from their isolating everything, from verses to context, metaphor from literal,  they isolate the stone from David, and even from God, as only if one of these was the originator and the true killer of Goliath.

The fathers used metaphor, the stone was also Christ, that David used Christ to strike Goliath, that David was not the sole instrument of the judgment of God against Goliath, that God Himself was the originator where David through Theosis (the process of being one with Christ) became one with God and through God’s Son also kills the Antichrist. David also resembles Christ Who will return to accomplish the striking of the serpent’s head, who is both the devil and antichrist. This is why we see in Revelation 11-12 not only the Church and Israel, but also Mary and then the saints in Zechariah standing with Christ on the Mount of Olives. In Revelation 11:19 we see the “temple” of GOD being opened, and within it is the “Ark of the Covenant” then in Revelation 21:22 “And I saw no temple therein. For the Lord GOD almighty and the Lamb are the temple thereof”. This clearly debunks Ezekiel’s temple being rebuilt by some group calling itself The Temple Institute. The lazy replaced Christ, Ezekiel, Joel, Daniel and Paul with a modern outfit, elevating the Jewish system made obsolete over Christ. This in itself is an abomination to God and I ask Christ for forgiveness."

A Protestant or even a Messianic Jew would not disregard literal and metaphorical being linked period, but would call into question where and when it is being used. This is purely a caricature on the part of Shoebat.

Putting aside the fact that I have said I don't believe that an organization builds the temple such as the Temple Institute or any organization with a similar function, No one would disregard David being a foreshadowing of Christ, at all.

I have already said The woman in context is not a reference to Mary, It is a reference to the church and redeemed Israel.

I would recommend seeing Keith Thompson's video on Revelation 12 for more information:

Before anyone asks, Yes, Mary is part of the church, but that doesn't validate automatically the interpretation put forward by Shoebat.

Also, a belief the third temple being literal or spiritual is a debatable issue and even if one holds that the sacrifices were instituted, it still wouldn't undercut Jesus Christ. I have already given my points on the third templein previous papers so I won't be going over that again in my response to Shoebat.

"John describes, like Ezekiel taking a measuring rod to measure the temple: “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” (Revelation 11:1-2).
Yet this is clearly and primarily the Church (who see the woman, Mary, as the crowned queen) since “the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent … And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Revelation 12:14,17)"

Where is Mary a crowned queen in Revelation 12? Can you show that, Again, the passage refers to The church, including Mary as a whole, it is not isolating Mary or singling her out.

"“the court outside the temple” are the Christians that were not protected, but will be subject to Satan during that same time (Revelation 12:17). Antichrist does not rule the entire globe and his center is in Asia Minor."

Anti-Christ does not rule the whole globe? Lord Willing I would need to look into this point more but what makes you think he doesn't rule the entire globe based on that reading?

"It is only when I discovered all this, how to be as wise as a serpent and try to be innocent, confess my sins continually to another who is in authority, receive Christ in the communion, that I could finally say “I was blind, but now I see”.  The disciples forgave as Christ forgives because they were one with Christ. Christ clearly said to the disciples “whatever sins you forgive it shall be forgiven” while the trickster uses a truth will jot “only Christ can forgive sins”. While this is true, no Christians denies it whether apostolic succession or not, Christ is to be our one and absolutely unique mediator who alone can reconcile us to the Father. But this is also ignoring that such a truth has a system that the trickster isolates. Indeed Christ is the only mediator and sin forgiver, yet He told the disciples that He will use them, the first priests, as the mediators between the sinner and Christ “whatever sin you forgive [on earth] it shall be forgiven [from heaven]”."

See the previous article on James 5:

I'll link to these again:

Answering Judaism.

*21st of January 2017. Update, Lord Willing there will be an addendum to this article in the future. When it will happen I don't know.