Jesus Christ Is Lord

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Archive for February, 2009

Burning Incense To Caesar: Regarding Avigdor Lieberman’s Proposed Loyalty Oath In Israel

Posted by Job on February 27, 2009

Two things.

First, I am thoroughly shocked at the intense and pervasive anti – Israel and anti – Semitic feelings around the globe that has been growing exponentially since the September 11th terror attacks. Now I do have a theory on why SOME of this is taking place, specifically among certain corners of the left. First, there has always been a large anti – Semitic presence on the left, but it has been largely muzzled by an apparently pro – Jewish sentiment in that body. I said “apparently” because it was never legitimate, but rather many of these people’s using the Jews. First, Jews were a bold, intellectually vital, and financially necessary part of the radical left in its early days. Second, it was unbecoming to be an open anti – Semite while simultaneously agitating for equal or special rights for blacks, women, Hispanics, homosexuals, atheists etc. Third, and perhaps most important, Jews were very important as a strategic weapon against conservatives, which at the time was primarily led by anti – Semitic (or at least non – Zionist) paleoconservatives.

Now the situation has reversed itself. The radical left is now mainstream, fully in control of the government and further having made major inroads in our corporate and financial institutions. So, they no longer need the courageous leadership, brilliant ideas, or financial backing of Jewish socialists. Also, multiculturalism and relativism now make it entirely possible – indeed fashionable – to denounce Israel and Jewry as evil while glorifying suicide bombers who target Israeli schoolchildren as freedom fighter servants of “god” through the religion of peace. And most importantly, the left can no longer use the charge of anti-Semitism to attack the actions and motivations conservative opponents, because the paleoconservatism of the recent past has given way to a pro – Zionist neoconservatism, many of whose ideas and leaders come from the ranks of conservative Jews, and much of whose money, numbers, and organizing muscle comes from premillennial dispensational evangelical Christianity. So, where a conservative was often called “anti – Semite” as a political tactic in times past by leftist activists, modern leftist activists now bash Jews and Israel far more overtly, publicly, and viciously than the conservative WASP (or as it were Roman Catholic) bankers and politicians ever did in private, and now use “homophobe” as their weapon of choice against conservatives. The best example of this startling shift: where leftist Martin Luther King, Jr. was a fervent Zionist and employed communist Jews as his speechwriters, organizers, and strategists, Barack HUSSEIN Obama pastor Jeremiah Wright casts his lot with the Palestinian terrorists and counts Louis Farrakhan (and similar) among his support system. Not the Palestinians, mind you, for the overwhelming majority of Palestinians are not violent criminals, but people and groups who have blood on their hands and are thirsty for more of it. And where King was roundly criticized for his Zionist position, Obama and Wright were only challenged – and in an extremely muted fashion – by a few neoconservatives.  This is only explicable by a rapid and amazing rise in the climate of anti – Semitism (both that which exists and that which is tolerated in others) which can only be explained by the activity of evil spirits. 

So, it is in this context that Avigdor Lieberman is being called – amazingly – “Jewish Hitler” in some circles. I will not even bother to explain how such a moniker, such a comparison, is so grotesquely inaccurate and inappropriate that it can either only be made by someone who is unaware of Hitler’s ideology and behavior and is merely used to calling someone that you disagree with “a Nazi” (which does honestly seem to be increasingly the case … the media and the education system seem fine with willfully refusing to educate people about Hitler and the Nazi regime so that any view or ideology that they disagree with, including those in the New Testament, can be accused of either contributing to the Holocaust or leading us to a new one … a columnist for the Detroit Free Press actually claimed that George W. Bush’s proposals to cut taxes and create private Social Security accounts could lead to a state policy of exterminating low income people, and yes people like her often tend to be pro – abortion!).

And what makes Avigdor Lieberman so monstrous? Quite simply, his proposal for a loyalty oath, that all citizens be required to publicly express loyalty to Israel’s continued existence as a Jewish state. Those who refuse have to options: to leave Israel (and if I am correct, it is at Israel’s expense!) or to remain there as a sort of second – class citizen. Lieberman has even stated that a person does not need to declare loyalty to Zionism, which comes with a lot of political and religious implications that a lot of people (including haredi Orthodox Jews!) cannot abide. Such a person merely needs to be willing to declare an acceptance of the fact that Israel exists now and of its continued existence in largely its current makeup and form (a secular western democracy with a mostly Jewish population where Orthodox Judaism plays a huge role – indeed a larger role than Christianity ever has in America, as it is modeled more closely after 19th century Lutheran Germany or Anglican England than America) – in Jewish government and institutions.

Jewish supporters of Lieberman’s proposed oath point out that the United States requires the same of people beocoming  naturalized United States citizens. That is a willfully false comparison, as Lieberman’s oath would be required of everyone, both natural born citizens and already naturalized citizens, as a requirement of retaining their citizenship. In America, it is practically impossible for a natural born or naturalized citizen to be stripped of his status against his will. 

However, Israel is not America. Enumerating the many differences between their legal code and its underlying assumptions and our own would be rather unwieldly, but suffice to say that a Christian could spend a year in an Israeli prison for giving a “Gideon’s Bible” containing the New Testament (as they of course all do) to a Jewish 12 year old. Like all parliamentary democracies, Israel lacks freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and other things that make America much more of a constitutional republic than a pure democracy. 

Also, what Israel chooses to do with its citizenry is ultimately a matter of state, not of the cross. And though I believe Lieberman’s proposal to be exceedingly unwise, as it would be the doings of a democratic state that is not only secular but “founded on and governed according to anti – Christian principles and values” (it is a Jewish state, after all, so cast aside your premillennial dispensational Christian Zionism long enough read the 1, 2, and 3rd John and take its contents seriously) as opposed to the doings of a church or other body of professed Bible believing Christians, my position must be neutral, one of the many things that has happened and will happen in this world until Jesus Christ comes back. 

Yet and still, I cannot restrain myself from considering this policy past and future. It reminds me of the persecution against Christians in the Roman Empire. Christians were required to swear loyalty to the Roman state – and its state religion – with Caesar as head of both the state and religion with the status of a minor god in the religion by signing a document and bowing before either Caesar or his effigy. People who did so received certification of having done so, and people found by authorities in a condition of not having this certification either had to burn incense to Caesar or his statue immediately, or be subject to arrest, torture, and death. This policy resulted in the deaths of Christians in numbers exceeding a million, and the imprisonment or torture of still more.

I think that it is fair to point out that some Christians interpret the “mark of the beast” portions of Revelation to refer to this time, while others – myself included – believe the Roman persecution to be a precursor to the much worse persecution still to come under the great tribulation.

With that in mind: consider this. Were Israel to actually implement Lieberman’s policy (which by the way would take major changes to Israel, including but not limited to a major redirection of public opinion, big changes of Israel’s laws, and a complete overhaul of the composition of their largely liberal courts, which are far more likely to sentence conservative Israelis to 6 months of community service for speech code violations for displaying shirts and bumper stickers with slogans offensive to Muslims – again, Israel has no freedom of speech – than approving a citizenship test), then in order to be viable and practical, the government would have to be able to differentiate between who has taken the loyalty oath and who hasn’t. (After all, Christians had various ways of evading detection and capture by the Romans.) This is not the case of apartheid South Africa, where it was very easy to use physical appearance to determine different treatment by government authorities. Israel is not even planning on automatically deporting those who reject the loyalty oath, but rather giving such people the option of remaining as second class citizens. 

So, how is this to be done except A) completing a national computerized database or registry of people who have  and haven’t declared a loyalty oath and B) requiring people to carry evidence of their loyalty and status with them on their person so that the government officials – and anyone else who decides to enact similar policies of their own, including banks, grocery stores, and other businesses – would be able to differentiate and treat people accordingly? Would it take the form of an identification card that a person would be forced to carry? Well, those can be forged. What about a government – issued microchip? 

But that is just Israel, you say? Wrong. Various interests in America have been promoting “national ID cards” and “national registries” for years to combat everything from legal immigration to voter fraud (not to mention databases of people allowed or not allowed to buy firearms, and also of sex crime offenders … are “hate crimes” offenders next?).  If Israel adopts a national registration and ID system to implement their loyalty oath policy, then other western style governments are very likely to emulate it for their own national ID systems to address their own (real and perceived) problems. As a matter of fact, dictatorships and other authoritarian regimes are even more likely to. 

So, for no other reason than that, Lieberman’s proposal is something to watch and think about, along with the many similar proposals in our own country, especially those who prefer national ID cards over simply building a border fence, or people who claim that there aren’t simple and local solutions to voter fraud.

Posted in Christian Persecution, Christian persecution America, Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments »

Amillennialist Admits Premillennialism Was The Position Of The Jews And Of The Early Church

Posted by Job on February 26, 2009

The History of Chiliasm

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PREMILLENNIALISM IN THE EARLIEST CHURCH

Posted by Job on February 26, 2009

Key early quote: “The apologists who looked forward to the thousand year reign of Christ not only were

godly men and scholars in their own rite, but also were contemporaries of those who studied

under the Apostle John. One would think that men like Polycarp and Papias had a fairly accurate

understanding of what their teacher was conveying in Revelation chapter 20!”

A SURVEY OF EARLY PREMILLENNIALISM by Eric Frank

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If Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians was *first* Published in “Christianity Today”

Posted by Job on February 23, 2009

I am sorry. This is going to have to be a 100% cut and paste job.  Courtesy of sister PJ Miller.

If Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians was *first* Published in “Christianity Today”

 

by pjmiller

This satirical piece at The Sacred Sandwich had me both laughing outloud and pondering the more serious implications. (HT to ChristianResearchNetwork)

Can you imagine if Paul’s letter to the Galatians were to be originally published in Christianity Today, now, what some of the reactions from readers would be?

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Dear Christianity Today:

In response to Paul D. Apostle’s article about the Galatian church in your January issue, I have to say how appalled I am by the unchristian tone of this hit piece. Why the negativity? Has he been to the Galatian church recently? I happen to know some of the people at that church, and they are the most loving, caring people I’ve ever met.

Phyllis Snodgrass; Ann Arbor, MI

____________________

Dear Editor:

How arrogant of Mr. Apostle to think he has the right to judge these people and label them accursed. Isn’t that God’s job? Regardless of this circumcision issue, these Galatians believe in Jesus just as much as he does, and it is very Pharisaical to condemn them just because they differ on such a secondary issue. Personally, I don’t want a sharp instrument anywhere near my zipper, but that doesn’t give me the right to judge how someone else follows Christ. Can’t we just focus on our common commitment to Christ and furthering His kingdom, instead of tearing down fellow believers over petty doctrinal matters?

Ed Bilgeway; Tonganoxie, KS

Dear CT:

I’ve seen other dubious articles by Paul Apostle in the past, and frankly I’m surprised you felt that his recurrent criticisms of the Church deserved to be printed in your magazine. Mr. Apostle for many years now has had a penchant for thinking he has a right to “mark” certain Christian teachers who don’t agree with his biblical position. Certainly I commend him for desiring to stay faithful to God’s word, but I think he errs in being so dogmatic about his views to the point where he feels free to openly attack his brethren. His attitude makes it difficult to fully unify the Church, and gives credence to the opposition’s view that Christians are judgmental, arrogant people who never show God’s love.

Ken Groener; San Diego, CA

______________________

To the Editors:

Paul Apostle says that he hopes the Galatian teachers will cut off their own privates? What kind of Christian attitude is that? Shame on him!

Martha Bobbitt; Boulder, CO

______________________

Dear Christianity Today:

The fact that Paul Apostle brags about his public run-in with Peter Cephas, a well-respected leader and brother in Christ, exposes Mr. Apostle for the divisive figure that he has become in the Church today. His diatribe against the Galatian church is just more of the same misguided focus on an antiquated reliance on doctrine instead of love and tolerance. Just look how his hypercritical attitude has cast aspersions on homosexual believers and women elders! The real problem within the Church today is not the lack of doctrinal devotion, as Apostle seems to believe, but in our inability to be transformed by our individual journeys in the Spirit. Evidently, Apostle has failed to detach himself from his legalistic background as a Pharisee, and is unable to let go and experience the genuine love for Christ that is coming from the Galatians who strive to worship God in their own special way.

William Zenby; Richmond, VA

_______________________

Kind Editors:

I happen to be a member of First Christian Church of Galatia, and I take issue with Mr. Apostle’s article. How can he criticize a ministry that has been so blessed by God? Our church has baptized many new members and has made huge in-roads in the Jewish community with our pragmatic view on circumcision. Such a “seeker-sensitive” approach has given the Jews the respect they deserve for being God’s chosen people for thousands of years. In addition, every Gentile in our midst has felt honored to engage in the many edifying rituals of the Hebrew heritage, including circumcision, without losing their passion for Jesus. My advice to Mr. Apostle is to stick to spreading the gospel message of Christ’s unconditional love, and quit criticizing what God is clearly blessing in other churches.

Miriam “Betty” Ben-Hur; Galatia, Turkey

________________________

EDITOR’S NOTE: Christianity Today apologizes for our rash decision in publishing Paul Apostle’s exposé of the Galatian church. Had we known the extent in which our readership and advertisers would withdraw their financial support, we never would have printed such unpopular biblical truth. We regret any damage we may have caused in propagating the doctrines of Christ.

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Regarding Abortion, Jesus Christ, Joseph And Mary: What If Mary Had Chosen Abortion?

Posted by Job on February 23, 2009

This powerful post on the topic of abortion from brother Laz caused me to ponder on the whole anti – abortion political movement and its influence on evangelical Christianity, particularly the fact that a great deal of tolerance is bestowed by evangelical political leaders upon those who profess to be Christian so long as they are sufficiently pro – life no matter what other flaws these “Christian pro – lifers” have in their doctrinal systems and lifestyles. Truthfully, other than perhaps the work of Billy Graham (and before him John Wesley), nothing has been more effective at uniting evangelical Protestants with Roman Catholics and (lately) Mormons and not to mention the wealthy, powerful decadent “Christian in name only” personalities active in politics and politiically driven media than the pro – life movement, which itself is but a part of the “family values theology” which again is part of the “Christian culture/Christian nation theology.”  

So, I recounted during Election 2008 that presidential candidate John Edwards (who despite his support for abortion and homosexuality and – more important – his personally being an adulterer, making him no different from plenty of abortion and gay rights opponents who are also adulterers and fornicators, claims to be a devout Christian of Southern Baptist leanings) hired viciously anti – Christian atheist Amanda Marcotte to publicize his campaign. Among many of the “witty gems” that Marcotte produced was something to the effect of: what if Mary was on Plan B (the abortion pill) when Jesus Christ was conceived. (Actually, Marcotte’s words were much more mocking of God and vulgar.) Yet, this evil woman’s point was a good one: that the agenda of the “religious right” was not religious at all, but a cultural and political agenda. Now it is true that many of these people have indeed integrated culture and politics into their theological worldview, but the result is something that teeters on being a false religion that rejects the reason why Jesus Christ came (to die on the cross for our sins) and before then why Israel and Judaism were formed (so that Jesus Christ could come to die on the cross for our sins) in the first place. 

After all, Marcotte was somewhat correct in her mocking: abortion pills and other modern forms of contraception were not available to Mary at the time that Jesus Christ was conceived and in the nation and culture that Jesus Christ was born into. Now from the perspective of a political (worldly and carnal by definition) Christian, the response would be to imagine if it had been and gasp with horror at what might have been were our abortion pill culture had been in existence in Mary’s Roman Empire, and had Mary availed herself of it. And you know what? That is not only a perspective that rejects faith, but also history.

For the Roman Empire that Jesus Christ was born into was not a “Christian nation” and it was also not a “moral family values” one. Instead, there were multitudes of religions and bizarre abominable practices. For instance, homosexuality was commonly practiced, and if a man did not want his family, not only could he easily receive a divorce, but if he did not want to bother with divorce proceedings provided that he was a Roman citizen he could simply have the entire family –  his wife and children and everyone living in his house – killed. So, the world, the western culture that Jesus Christ was born into was not a family values culture. Furthermore, it was still not a family values culture when He finished His work and ascended into heaven. It was wicked before Jesus Christ came, was wicked when He departed, and will be wicked when He returns. Jesus Christ stated that this world and its cultures would always reject Him and those who truly know and represent Him. The “family values/Christian culture” theologians get around this by claiming “oh, Jesus Christ wasn’t talking about OUR culture and nation when He said that … He was only talking about the Pharisees, Sadduccees, and the rest of those wicked Jews.”

And so, in the decidedly “anti – family” that was the Roman Empire, do you know what else was available? A primitive form of abortion, along with infanticide and primitive contraception. So what if Mary had decided to avail herself of what was available and commonly practiced in the culture and gotten an abortion? After all, though betrothed, she was still technically single. She was also impoverished, belonged to a marginal class even among Jews, and her being pregnant would ruin practically any chance of getting married, which was her only practical hope of financial security and/or social mobility. Oh yes, there was also the fact that under Jewish law, she could have been killed by stoning. So, Mary had every reason to furtively seek out the Romans to receive an abortion, a decision which of our last several presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama have stated that they would have fully supported. (Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush made no such statements, but Bush was on record as opposing the overturn of Roe v. Wade and Reagan for his part signed America’s most liberal abortion bill into law as governor of California, and, as he himself was a divorcee, signed a no – fault divorce bill into law as well.) But Mary did not.

Joseph for his part had his options as well. He could have handed Mary over to be stoned. Or he could have divorced and abandoned her and the child. And keep in mind: there is no scriptural evidence that Joseph had the full benefit of knowledge that Mary did. The Bible does not relate Joseph being told that Mary’s child was the Son of God and the Messiah. The Bible only records Joseph being told that the child was of the Holy Spirit. (And keep in mind this context: Judaism taught that ALL conceptions were the work of the Holy Spirit.) Also, Joseph was not given this information in an awesome angelic visitation as was Mary. It came to him in a dream that would have been very easy to later deny and reject as part of justifying his decision to rid himself of responsibility for a child that was not his, and of the woman who became impregnated with such a child while she was engaged to him. After all, consider this fellow’s plight. The fact that Mary was pregnant before they were officially married with a child that was not his … how do you keep something like that secret, and prevent being the subject of gossip, scorn, ridicule and rejection, especially from your own family? But like Mary, Joseph did the right thing. 

And why did Mary and Joseph both do the right thing concerning Jesus Christ, ensuring not only His birth, but that His birth that would fulfill prophecies that would demonstrate to the Jews and to the world His identity? Simple: they were righteous people that obeyed God. Their righteousness was not the product of growing up in a “Christ honoring culture in a Christian nation with Christian values encoded in their system of laws.” In other words, it was not due to abortion being unavailable to Mary, not an option for her legally or practically. Mary had every opportunity to do wrong, but chose to do right.

For Joseph, the opposite was actually true. For him, the right thing to do according to the Torah would have been to take Mary to the priests and other religious and legal authorities to be stoned to death. Even though many who have studied Jewish history during the period state that stonings for adultery and other violations of the Sinai code had become exceedingly rare during that time, by taking Mary to the priests, Joseph would have fulfilled his own responsibility under the law. And further, it can be argued that Joseph’s plans to divorce Mary secretly without exposing her to public shame – or threat of death – qualified as his understanding Jesus Christ’s teachings of the weightier matters of the law, which are judgment, mercy, and faith.

But instead, Joseph and Mary did the right thing, which was to trust and obey God. Mary did not need a “Judeo – Christian set of laws” or a  “values based society” in order to keep her from sinning by abortion or anything else. She merely needed to be righteous, to love God by keeping His commandments. And Joseph would have actually been conforming to his Jewish legal and cultural context, righteous according to the externals of the law, by turning Mary over the authorities. The fact that he was pondering how to exceed the external righteousness of his religious and cultural systems in the first place, that he was trying to do more than what was required of him to be counted as righteous and just in the eyes of man, was evidence of his love for God, and the fact that he heeded the dream and made Mary and the child his responsibility was evidence of his faith. 

Mary and Joseph did not obtain their righteousness and faith from being born into a nation that loved and honored Yahweh and had a system of laws that reflected His nature. This would not have been possible, as the nation and culture that was the Roman Empire was as bad as our own of today, if not worse. Instead, they obtained their righteousness and faith from God. Consider the plight of Elijah, who was running from Jezebel and Ahab, the latter two of whom had led Israel into pagan idolatrous apostasy and killed the prophets. God’s statement to Elijah in 1 Kings 19:18: Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.

In the midst of the wickedness of the nation and culture, God preserved for Himself a people for His Name. These people were not righteous because of the world, because they were called out of the world, just as Israel was chosen from among the nations. They were called by God, predestined and elected to righteousness by God, and placed in that particular place and time by God for the purposes of serving Him and bringing glory to His Name.

The same is true of this Mary and Joseph. No matter what sort of culture or nation that they were born in, they would have still fulfilled their duties that came with bringing Jesus Christ into the world. Regardless of whether their external environment was good or evil according to its laws, culture and religion, Mary and Joseph were inevitably going to do the right thing because they were righteous. The reason is that their righteousness was not due to governments and cultures – which are the works of men – because if they were, then men should be able to boast about contributing to their own justification. Instead, their righteousness was due to God’s making them so, and predestining that they would be so. And where man’s nations and systems will inevitably fail, God’s divine sovereign decrees cannot and will not fail. This is with respect to man’s salvation and everything else. That is the meaning of the doctrines of grace.

Make no mistake. Abortion is a great abomination, a great evil, that should be outlawed in any society that considers itself civilized. The same is true of homosexual marriage. However, it was not the absence of legal abortion that prevented Mary from aborting Jesus Christ. (And as stated earlier, Joseph actually opposed the religious and cultural views of the day to obey his dream from God to make Mary his wife and to adopt Jesus Christ as his son.) Instead, it was the fact that Mary – and Joseph – was righteous. Mary and Joseph were not righteous because they were born in a Christian nation. They were not righteous because they were born to a church going family. They were not righteous because they were baptized as infants. They were not righteous because they raised their hands or came forward in response to an altar call (not that I in any way oppose invitations; I support them 100%!), said a prayer, or had their names added to a church roll. Instead, they were righteous because God made them so by virtue of His divine predestination and election. They were righteous because God called them out of this world to be part of His ekklesia. And their righteousness was not demonstrated or proven by their nationality, religious or political affiliation, cultural norms, or even their stated beliefs, but by their behavior, which was unyielding obedience to God and His Word in the face of all obstacles and in spite of all opposition. 

So, despite the evil that goes on in the world (or perhaps because of it) our goal is not to transform the world, to change the culture. In “The Visitation”, the Frank Peretti novel, the protagonist informed a young naive pastor that the job of the church was not to “take the town for Christ” because not even Christ Himself “took a town for Christ!” No, not only did Jerusalem reject Jesus Christ, but the place where Jesus Christ had the least honor, the fewest followers and believers, was His own country, and even His own brothers born in His house did not believe in Him! Instead, our job is to evangelize. To spread the gospel. To preach, teach, minister, disciple, and to baptize. Our job is to be the vessels for the sovereign God to use to call others out of this wicked world just as He called us out of it. And anything that distracts or hinders or redirects us from that task is just that: a barrier erected that opposes the will and righteousness of God. It must, by definition then, be considered sinful, evil, a work of Satan, the adversary, and not of God. 

Christians are not called to transform the world into Christ’s image. Christians are called to reject the world so that we might be fully effective in being used by Jesus Christ to go after His lost sheep. The sad fact that this world is sinful, that people are born in sin, and that people are going to sin. However, the joyful fact that opposes this is that if we would just obey God, He will use us to bring people out of sin and into salvation so that He will transform them, transform His people, transform His church, into righteousness. The issue is not to transform a sinful world, but rather to go after the people that God will conform into the image of His Son. If you profess yourself to be a Christian, please, go about the business of that issue today and every day. Maranantha!

Posted in abomination, abortion, abortion rights, Christianity, Jesus Christ, politics, pro choice, pro life, religious right, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: , , , , , , | 37 Comments »

Paul Washer: Jesus Christ Is Everything

Posted by Job on February 22, 2009

Posted in Bible, Christianity, Jesus Christ, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Dutch Jews Denounce Christian ‘Peace By Conversion’ Group

Posted by Job on February 22, 2009

Note below: these fellows are criticizing Christians for evangelizing not only Jews but also Muslims, and also for visiting a concentration camp. 

Dutch Jews slam Christian ‘peace by conversion’ group 

By Cnaan Liphshiz Tags: Jewish WorldIsrael NewsDutch Jews are accusing a Christian organization of insulting Jews and Muslims by trying to convert them under the banner of promoting peace and interfaith dialogue. 

The Jewish community’s umbrella group, the Central Jewish Committee, issued an unusually harsh statement about a conference held by the Christian organization Cornerstone in the town of Soest, near Utrecht, yesterday. 

The organizers of the conference, which drew hundreds to Soest’s Juliana Church, advertised it under the slogan: “The path: Reconciling Jews with Arabs.” Preceding the event was a visit by Cornerstone leaders to a Dutch concentration camp. 

 

“It is an insult and maltreatment of the Jewish and Muslim faiths to suggest that their followers can only coexist in peace if they convert to Christianity,” the Committee wrote. 

One of the organizers, Cornerstone’s Jaap Broker, labeled this criticism “laughable,” adding that the conference was not geared toward conversion. He nonetheless added that “the only path to reconciliation is to accept Jesus Christ as one’s Savior.” 

In an interview with the Dutch paper AD, Broker is quoted as saying: “Being Christian doesn’t mean losing one’s Jewish identity. They remain Jewish. The Committee is jumping to conclusions.” 

Ronny Naftaniel, a prominent figure within the Jewish community and head of the Center Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI), said he opposed Cornerstone’s Friday trip to the Westerbork concentration camp in the north of Holland. 

“It is upsetting that they come to commemorate Jews [murdered in the Holocaust] while they themselves believe that Jews should no longer exist, and become Christian,” Naftaniel said. 

Broker explained that the organization brought Christian Arabs to the site. 

“Christian Arab leaders want to know more about the Holocaust, which will help create a bond with the Jewish people,” he said. 

In an interview with the local paper Leidsch Dagblad, Broker is quoted as inviting Naftaniel to attend the conference, adding: “But it’s on Shabbat, so he can’t start the car.”

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , | 40 Comments »

Is Faith A Gift From God?

Posted by Job on February 21, 2009

Posted in Bible, Christianity | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Is The Emergent Church Defined By The Transcendental Meditation Of Maharishi Yogi?

Posted by Job on February 20, 2009

This site says yes, and makes a compelling case for it! Please read:

Emerging Mysticism

The Emergent Contemplative Prayer Model

More articles:

Posted in Christianity, false doctrine, false teaching | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Of A Christianity That Requires Faith In Dust Bunnies

Posted by Job on February 20, 2009

I have spoken of how being the parent of small children often comes with watching children’s entertainment. For years, I tried to uphold my antipathy, forged in my days as a neoconservative, against liberal government funded PBS. Finally, however, I wound up adhering to the counsel of my wife, who argued for PBS based on the educational merit of its content. Where PBS shows actually attempt to teach children to read, count etc. the “educational” content of its competitors like Nickelodeon and Disney seem more preoccupied with using the theories of psychologists, sociologists, etc. to shape children’s values and worldviews.  That and the “free market” cartoons push far more violence, subversive behavior, sexuality (including homosexuality far more strongly implied than Tinky Winky’s carrying a purse or Buster’s visiting a lesbian couple in Vermont) and elements of the occult and paganism than PBS chooses to depict in its children’s shows. So, I acquired the attitude “if my kids are going to watch children’s TV, it is going to be something that is more likely to help them learn to read their Bibles and less likely to emulate homosexual sponges and starfish or find new ways to rebel against their parents and teachers.” Winner: PBS by a country mile. (And also what was the position of my wife from the very beginning.)

Now one of these PBS offerings is “Big Comfy Couch.” The wife hates it, and Ipersonally find little merit in it. But the kids love it, there is nothing truly objectionable about the program, and it is sandwiched between programs that are quite educational, there is little excuse for failing to abide it. As it happens, the show is set in “Clown Town”, is centered on Loonette the clown and her childlike “living doll” Molly, and much of the first half of a typical show shows the doll and owner (who relates to Molly as a mother would a child) interacting while sitting on a couch. 

It is in these interactions where one of the things that makes the show mildly engaging (for me) occurs: a running gag concerning the possibility of the existence of dust bunnies living under the couch. Molly, the child doll, believes in the dust bunnies. She sees evidence of the dust bunnies around her, and attributes events – such as the disappearance of household items – to their existence.

Molly also regularly attempts to convince Loonette of their existence, but to no avail. Loonette rejects all of the obvious evidence of the existence of dust bunnies as a the product of childish imaginations and stories that must be abandoned as one matures. As a matter of fact, Molly’s adherence to belief in dust bunnies frustrates and agitates Loonette. What generally closes one of these scenes is Loonette’s singing to Molly the “I Don’t Believe In Dust Bunnies” song. The point of this song is not so much to prove that dust bunnies do not exist, but to explain why believing in them is inappropriate. The song ends with the line to the effect of “that’s why I would still never believe in dust bunnies even if I saw one.”

So, for Loonette, the obvious evidence often produced by Molly pointing to the possibility of the existence of dust bunnies – always dismissed, often in favor of explanations that are actually less plausible – never matters. Further, even the existence of dust bunnies as objective, rational truth is not at issue. (After all, Loonette stated that even if she saw a dust bunny she would still continue to deny their existence!) The only thing that matters to Loonette is that the existence of dust bunnies is incompatible with her worldview. And what makes it so incompatible? The fact that for her to admit an existence of dust bunnies would make her an object of scorn and ridicule to her peers, her friends and family. Believing in dust bunnies would cause people to regard her as insane, eccentric, or at least immature. Either way, the result would be her forfeiting the privileges that come with being regarded as a stable, responsible adult. Because Loonette greatly values these privileges, things that would cause them to be denied to her, including the rational truth of the existence of dust bunnies, cannot coexist with her. This would be an amazing statement of her mindset (inasmuch as Canadian children’s shows shown on public television can be) even if the TV viewers were not shown images images of dust bunnies playing with the very items that Molly insists to Loonette that the dust bunnies have in their possession even while Loonette is vehemently denying them. 

Whatever motive that this show has for including this recurring theme, I have not been able to discern. However, it is very easy to correlate this with the real world and Christianity. Romans 1 states that the mere presence of a grand and orderly creation makes self – evident the existence of One God who is both holy and all powerful. In refusing to believe in the existence of dust bunnies despite the abundance of evidence around her, Loonette is like mankind who rejects the clearly revealed knowledge of God  to go after abominations, whether false gods or evolution.

Yet Loonette is given another chance: Molly, who not only believes in the dust bunnies because of the evidence, but persistently shows Loonette the evidence and interprets it for her in a way that she can understand and cause belief in the truth. However, Loonette is similar to the instance in Jesus Christ’s parable of the sower (Mark 4:1-20, Matthew 13:1-23, and Luke 8:1-15) where the seeds fall on stony ground. These people actually believe the gospel initially (Loonette acknowledges having believed in dust bunnies in her own youth) but abandon it, not because it has been proven to be untrue or insufficient, but because “when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.” When you are concerned with what others think of you and receiving benefits based on it, the truth doesn’t matter. Your worldly position and privileges matter, so you will inevitably deny the truth to hold onto your little bit of the world, just as Ananias and Sapphira did when they rejected the truth to hold back part of the price of the land and fell down slain by the Holy Spirit (as a contrast to falling down after allegedly having been slain IN the Holy Spirit).

So, this little dust bunny joke on “Big Comfy Couch” reminds me of how we Christians are to keep a childlike faith in a Jesus Christ that the world has rejected and will continue to reject. Recall Loonette’s declaration that she wouldn’t believe in dust bunnies even if she saw one. Is this any different from the Pharisees and Sadducees that rejected Yeshua HaMashiach, whom we English speakers call Jesus Christ? They saw the miracles. They saw Jesus Christ fulfill the prophecies. And they knew that He resurrected from the dead. But the Pharisees in order to remain in power needed the support of the poor. The hope of the poor was a change in earthly circumstances, liberation from Rome. They had little use for a Messiah whose message was an eternity with God in the next life and the strength and help required to endure until the end in this life. (The prosperity doctrine adherents are their successors, incidentally.) And the Sadduccees were Hellenists. Their power despite their being despised by the people had a lot to do with their adopting a form of Judaism that the pagan Roman Empire found acceptable, which included denying a belief in the resurrection. When Jesus Christ rose from the dead, it completely shattered their entire belief system, as well as the pagan belief system of the Roman Empire that they had co-opted. (Liberal Christians who accept evolution as fact while denying the virgin birth, deity, and resurrection of Jesus Christ are their descendants.)

But what do the Pharisees and Sadduccees do? Conspire to cover up the truth. Pay people to say that the Body of Jesus Christ had been stolen, and threaten and kill anyone who said anything different. For the Pharisees to stand up for the objective rational truth: that Jesus was the Messiah, would have meant being rejected by the people and losing their power. For the Sadduccees to do the same in acknowledging that Jesus Christ’s rising from the dead would have meant being rejected by the Romans as unlearned religious fanatics not worthy of being entrusted with their governing responsibilities. So despite the fact that they saw the Son of God and knew of the empty tomb, they had to deny it.

But Molly believed in dust bunnies. Why? Because she had nothing to lose. As a child, or more accurately a childlike doll, she had no esteem, no responsibilities, no privileges to lose by declaring a belief in dust bunnies. And we are to be the same. So long as we have an investment in this worldly system, whether it is financial, political, ideological, or simply our own pride and desires, we will never have faith in the real Jesus Christ, the corner stone that the builders rejected. Oh, we will declare faith in a false Christ, one that the world deems acceptable to believe in, loudly and profusely. We will even accept persecution in the name of this false Christ so long as it confers worldly benefits. Take the Crusades. While there may have been legitimate political and military reasons to fight the Crusades, the truth is that not one word of scripture can be construed in support of these campaigns. Yet the Catholic Church declared a holy war, and even at one point promised automatic salvation to anyone who died fighting, no different from the modern Islamists. So, many thousands of professing Christians marched off to deprivation and death, pursuing a false Jesus Christ whose commandments in scripture that they did not obey, but instead offered worldly benefits like a false assurance of salvation and the status of a hero. But suffering persecution for the God of the Bible does not interest the world, so it does not interest those of the world. 

So, we have to be like Molly. In order to have faith in the true Jesus Christ, we need to have nothing in this world to lose. The only way that we can reach that point is, of course, to renounce the world. Unlike the rich young ruler, who failed when he was tested, we have to be willing to forsake all, follow Jesus Christ, and live for our riches in heaven. Will you do so today?

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

The Cause Of Homosexuality In Animals Discovered: Corporate Pollution!

Posted by Job on February 19, 2009

For years, homosexual rights advocates have used the occurrence of homosexuality in animals as part of the “God made us this way so we have to reject what the Bible says” argument. Well, see the article below, which contains, among other things, this blurb: “In California researchers found what came to be known in the press as “gay gulls”: same-sex seagull couples shacking up together in the nest, protecting eggs with abnormally thin shells that often harbored dead chicks. DDT was the suspected culprit.” Still more proof that the Bible is right: homosexuality is an unnatural abomination that was never part of God’s plan.

However, if this article is correct, because of pollution, homosexuality is only one of the many unnatural things caused by pollution. It is still more evidence that we are living in the last days, and that we need Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior.

Is One Very Tough Rat a Very Big Risk to Human Health?

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , | 21 Comments »

The Better Biblical Way To Pursue Christianity

Posted by Job on February 18, 2009

By PJ Miller.

Posted in Bible, Christianity | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

In What Manner Should Christians Meditate?

Posted by Job on February 18, 2009

The word “meditate” appears in the Bible (King James Version) 14 times. (Words that could be translated as “meditate” appear much more often.) The count includes mentions of prominent Bible characters engaging in the practice, as well as explicit commands for all who worship God to do the same. The latter includes at least one in the New Testament: 1 Timothy 4:16’s Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Add to that commandment this blessing of Psalm 1:1-2: Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

So, from this, we can conclude that Christians are supposed to meditate. But precisely what does Christian meditation entail? The Bible does tell us how to pray, providing examples for virtually every situation. The Bible tells us how to worship and praise, to the point of supplying doxologies which can be used for hymns, and telling us how to perform the Lord’s Supper, and also instructing us on the manner that we should preach and teach. The Bible even tells us how to fast.

But does the Bible tell us how to meditate? I have not seen it. Yet, it is clear that we are to do so. So the question is: how is the meditation of the Christian separate from the meditation of the heathen?

I will say that the Bible does contain a warning of how NOT to meditate. Jesus Christ specifically forbad the process of “centering”, which includes the practice of not a few Christians that use “centering prayers”, in Matthew 6:7’s prohibition against “vain repetitions as the heathens do.” As a matter of fact, peruse the varying translations of this verse, and you will see this more explicit, and the New International Version is even more direct when it states “do not keep on babbling like pagans.”  So that is something to avoid. Which, of course, means that importing meditative practices from other religions (i.e. “Yahweh yoga”) is forbidden from Christians by Jesus Christ and His Bible. The fact that the Bible commands us to meditate is no excuse to mess around with syncretism. Also, recall 1 Thessalonians 5:22‘s Abstain from all appearance of evil. Also, recall what Romans 14:21 says about not making your brother stumble. So, any Christian meditation program would have to be subservient to and governed by those and all other commands of scripture. 

So, does anyone have any suggestions on Christian meditation practices that are scriptural and expedient to be practiced? This is not out of mere curiosity, or simply an intellectual exercise, but rather motivated by the fact that the Bible does command us to meditate, and it is a command that I personally intend to keep. 

I wonder what Messianic Judaism would have to contribute on this issue … if there is anything valid recorded in their tradition that dates back to the Bible times that would be helpful. And yes, I will say that the Catholic tradition of meditation (both Roman and Orthodox) is something that I wish to avoid because of my real doubts that their meditative practices have anything to do with the sort of meditation that was practiced by the Jewish culture that produced the Bible. Example: their practice of incorporating icons, angels, saints and such into their meditative and contemplative practice … well try to square that against the Biblical commandments not to pray to graven images, the host of heaven, etc. So, I am seeking advice on CHRISTIAN meditation, so certainly anything that breaks direct Biblical commands in such an obvious manner does not qualify. I don’t care if these people have been contemplating and meditating on icons, angels and Mary since 230 AD or whenever … the Bible prohibits idolatry, so it isn’t Christian.

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: | 52 Comments »

 
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