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Top 5 ‘heresies’ of 2016: ‘One God,’ biblical authority and more

"Triumph of St. Thomas Aquinas Over the Heretics"
Photo credit: "Triumph of St. Thomas Aquinas Over the Heretics" by Filippino Lippi via Wikimedia Commons (http://bit.ly/1y8QziM)

(RNS) How important is it to know your Christian creeds and confessions?

Not terribly, according to most Americans: 58 percent said they believe there is little value in studying or reciting historical Christian creeds and confessions, according to the 2016 State of American Theology survey conducted by LifeWay Research and sponsored by Ligonier Ministries.


RELATED: On God and heaven, Americans are all over the map


But getting Christian doctrines right – exactly, precisely correct – matters a lot to enough others that 2016 was something of a banner year when it came to believers hurling charges of heresy at each other.

Perhaps that’s understandable given that 2017 marks 500 years since Martin Luther – one of history’s great heretics, or heroes, depending on your point of view – nailed his 95 Theses to a church door in Germany, launching the Protestant Reformation. Yet it’s still remarkable that believers today can find themselves embroiled in debates over theological questions, many of which seem to have been settled by the early church.

Here are a few of the heresies that made waves in certain Christian circles in 2016.

One God. But whose God?

Larycia Hawkins speaks on Jan. 6, 2016, at First United Methodist Church in Chicago. Religion News Service photo by Emily McFarlan Miller

Larycia Hawkins speaks on Jan. 6, 2016, at First United Methodist Church in Chicago. Religion News Service photo by Emily McFarlan Miller

Late in 2015, Larycia Hawkins – then a professor at Wheaton College in suburban Chicago – posted a photo of herself on Facebook wearing a hijab as a spiritual discipline during the Christian season of Advent, leading up to Christmas.

It wasn’t the photo that caught attention of authorities at the well-known evangelical Christian school so much as its caption: “I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.”

Wheaton officials apparently did not agree and began termination proceedings against the professor, saying her statements seemed “inconsistent with Wheaton College’s doctrinal convictions.” The controversy spilled over into 2016, when the two agreed to part ways.

Not all might consider this one heresy, though.

The Second Vatican Council affirmed in 1964 that Muslims “together with us adore the one, merciful God,” NPR noted. Most Americans (64 percent) also believe God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam, according to the State of American Theology survey.

And in “The Last Battle,” the final book of the Narnia series, celebrated Christian author and theologian C.S. Lewis describes his character Aslan, a stand-in for Christ, accepting the praise other characters had offered an imposter named Tash, saying, “All the service thou hast done to Tash, I accept as service done to me.”

Notably, the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College houses a collection of C.S. Lewis’ writings and other artifacts, including his desk, a pen and a wardrobe.

Is ‘Amoris Laetitia’ Latin for schism?

Pope Francis waves to newlywed couples during his Wednesday general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican on Wednesday (January 21, 2015). Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Tony Gentile *Note: This photo may only be used with RNS-POPE-FAMILIES, published on January 21, 2015

Pope Francis waves to newlywed couples during his Wednesday general audience in Paul VI Hall at the Vatican on Jan. 21, 2015. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Tony Gentile *Note: This photo may only be used with RNS-POPE-FAMILIES, published on Jan. 21, 2015.

Are Catholics now Protestants? On marriage, at least, that’s what some of Pope Francis’ hard-line critics started claiming last year.

The background to their complaint was a major document on family life, published in the spring, called “Amoris Laetitia,” Latin for “The Joy of Love.”

It was Francis’ take on the deliberations of two major Vatican meetings, called synods, where bishops and cardinals debated ways the Catholic Church could better welcome families that don’t always fit the ideals of the catechism.

Conservatives were upset that the apostolic exhortation, as it is known, stressed the church’s commitment to accompany any family in whatever situation rather than laying a greater stress on conforming to traditional sexual and marital norms.

But the hard-liners homed in on one passage in particular that seemed to allow pastors latitude to give Communion to Catholics who have divorced and remarried without an annulment.

This, said the critics, was tantamount to caving to Henry VIII’s demand that the pope allow him to divorce.

Others went so far as to claim that the threat was analogous to the Arian crisis of the fourth century, which split early Christianity over the question of the two natures of Jesus Christ, human and divine. That crisis was only resolved through the development of a common creed over the ensuing decades.

How will the current Catholic crisis end? No one seems sure. Schism is one possibility, though a remote one. Canon law experts say that if the pope were in fact to endorse heresy he would automatically no longer be pope, and the College of Cardinals would have to find a new one. But who would even make that call?

Stay tuned.

The Trinity, Part Two

RNS-TRINITY-DEBATE

Wayne Grudem

Usually when Christians debate submission, they’re talking about marriage. This year, though, they were talking about the Trinity, the doctrine that God the Father, God the Son (that is, Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit together make up one God.

The nature of the Trinity was key to the split between the Eastern and Western Christian churches nearly a thousand years ago.

Yet those disputes were given new life in a flurry of blog posts over the summer, set off by a guest post on the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals’ blog by Liam Goligher, senior minister of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia.

Goligher said Wayne Grudem, professor of theology and biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary and founder of the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, along with other well-known complementarian theologians, have presented “a different God than that affirmed by the church through the ages and taught in Scripture” to justify biblical gender roles, in which women are subordinate to men.

In short, their theology makes Jesus subordinate to God the Father, Goligher wrote.

Grudem responded in a post on the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’s blog that it is not contradictory to believe Jesus is “eternally God (equal to the Father in his being and in all attributes) and that he is eternally Son (subject to the authority of the Father in the personal relationships within the Trinity).”

Most Americans (69 percent) affirm there is one true God in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, according to the State of American Theology survey. But they also seem split on questions of subordination, though their questions seem more about the Holy Spirit than about Jesus: 62 percent said Jesus is both truly God and truly man, and 51 percent said the Holy Spirit is equal with God the Father and Jesus.

This was first was debated in 325 at the Council of Nicaea, and a number of Christian creeds and confessions since have confirmed, as in the words of the Athanasian Creed, “In this Trinity none is afore, nor after another; none is greater or less than another.”

The Bible doesn’t tell me so?

Andy Stanley

Andy Stanley

The trouble began with this August sermon by Pastor Andy Stanley of North Point Ministries in Alpharetta, Ga.:

“So I need you to listen really, really carefully and the reason is this: Perhaps you were taught, as I was taught, ‘Jesus loves me. This I know’ – and let’s all  finish it together – ‘for the Bible tells me so.’ This is where our trouble began.”

It’s also where Stanley’s troubles began with more orthodox believers.

The popular preacher argued in that sermon that if the Bible is the foundation of Christians’ faith, then when their understanding of the Bible is challenged by scientific and archaeological evidence, their faith is challenged. But the Bible is no more proof of Jesus’ existence than a person’s birth certificate is proof of his or hers, and there is plenty of extrabiblical evidence for its claims, he said.

Therefore, Stanley said, Christians wrestling with parts of Scripture that seem to contradict themselves or modern science need not abandon the faith.

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler quickly fired back in an essay on his website, saying Stanley’s views are “an apologetic disaster and would leave Christians with no authoritative Scripture.”

“In the end, we simply have no place to go other than the Bible as God’s authoritative revelation. Christ, not the Bible, is the foundation of our faith — but our only authoritative and infallible source of knowledge about Christ is the Bible,” Mohler wrote.

This argument may not be settled easily.

Americans are split on the question of biblical authority. Half believe the Bible has the authority to tell people what to do, while 42 percent disagree, according to the State of American Theology survey.

On the question of biblical infallibility or inerrancy, they also are divided on whether the Bible is 100 percent accurate in all it teaches: 47 percent agree, while 43 percent disagree, according to the State of American Theology survey. There is disagreement as well on whether the Bible contains helpful accounts of ancient myths but is not literally true. On that question, 44 percent agree and 45 percent disagree.

The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy – written in 1978 by more than 200 evangelical Christians, including Francis Schaeffer, R.C. Sproul and John F. MacArthur – affirmed the Bible “is without error or fault in all its teaching.” The doctrine of inerrancy also was affirmed by the Second Vatican Council of the Roman Catholic Church, which states that “the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings for the sake of salvation.”

The Virgin Birth

Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, speaks during the 2015 Association of Certified Biblical Counselors Conference. Photo by Emil Handke, courtesy of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, speaks during the 2015 Association of Certified Biblical Counselors Conference. Photo by Emil Handke, courtesy of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Stanley v. Mohler makes the list again.

The two extended their theological tête-à-tête into the Christmas season after a Dec. 4 sermon in which Stanley downplayed the importance of the dogma that Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus.

“If somebody can predict their own death and then their own resurrection, I’m not all that concerned about how they got into the world because the whole resurrection thing is so amazing,” Stanley said.

“In fact, you should know that Christianity doesn’t hinge on the truth or even the stories around the birth of Jesus. It really hinges on the resurrection of Jesus.”

Mohler once again responded on his podcast, saying there is “nothing more important than clarifying and affirming all that the Bible teaches concerning the birth of Christ and the truth of his incarnation.”

If Jesus was not born of a virgin, if the account in the biblical book of Luke cannot be trusted, then “that mistrust cannot be limited to how he came to us in terms of the incarnation,” he said.

Mohler noted questions about the Virgin Birth date back 1,500 years to the time of St. Augustine of Hippo, who wrote, “The more impossible the virgin birth of a human being appears to them, the more divine it appears to us.”

Nonetheless, the Virgin Birth is widely accepted by Christians. It is documented in two of the four Gospels: Matthew and Luke. It also was reaffirmed in amendments to the Nicene Creed made in 381 at the First Council of Constantinople and in the Apostles’ Creed, which has been dated as far back as the second century.

And Stanley had this to say for himself to The Washington Post:

“I am often misunderstood because of my communication style. I frequently verbalize what I know unbelievers and those who have left the church believe, assume or remember a college professor saying.”

(RNS national reporter David Gibson contributed to this story)

About the author

Emily McFarlan Miller

Emily McFarlan Miller is a national reporter for RNS based in Chicago. She covers evangelical and mainline Protestant Christianity.

123 Comments

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  • Nice article, Emily. It had a bunch of relevant events of the year, tied together and all easily fact-checkable with good references. Thanks.

  • The only thing that allows theological debate in modern times is religious freedom.

    The only thing that has ever settled a theological “debate” in all times is power.

  • “…Mohler once again responded…saying there is “nothing more important than clarifying and affirming all that the Bible teaches concerning the birth of Christ and the truth of his incarnation.” — “If Jesus was not born of a virgin, if the account in the biblical book of Luke cannot be trusted…”

    Say what?…So Christianity’s “three for the price of one” God was debated-decided in year 325 at the Council of Nicaea…St. Augustine settled the virgin birth issue about year 400…How then is the bible inerrant and infallible if these mortals can change it a couple of hundred years after the founder died and gospels written?

  • Al Mohler thinks he’s a Babtist Medieval Pope. All this is about is some spiritual bullies like Ole Al demanding political correctness, except they call it “orthodoxy,” which is church-speak for political correctness.

  • “Allow pastors latitude to give Communion to Catholics who have divorced and remarried without an annulment.”

    I’ve stated it before, but if Jesus could give Communion to the one who was about to murder him, then the priest should give Communion to anyone even if they view them as a sinner. The greatest sin wasn’t enough to withhold Communion, why should a lesser one be??

  • “As a matter of fact, God takes His name very seriously, and the Ten Commandments include the command that we must not take the name of the Lord in vain. We are to use the names God has given for Himself, and we are to recognize that God takes His name seriously because He desires to be rightly known by His human creatures. We cannot truly know Him if we do not even know His name.”

    I could almost see what Mohler and thus you are saying with this except for one thing…

    Using the logic provided in the article, YOU floydlee, and the author of the article you wrote ARE NOT worshiping the Christian God, you Heathens (literally Heathens, as explained below)!!

    The names God gave himself were clearly outlined as “EL”, “ELAH”, “ELO’AH”, “ELOHIM”, “YHWH”, and a host of other names in the Bible.

    Yet you call him “GOD” which is NOT HIS NAME, ~blasphemers!!~

    Muslims call him “ALLAH” which you take offense with as not being among the “names God has given for Himself” But the linguistic roots of “EL”, “ELAH”, “ELO’AH”, “ELOHIM”, and “ALLAH” are all the same Semetic linguistic roots.

    But what about the word YOU blasphemers are naming Him by?? “GOD”. “GOD” has linguistic roots connected to “GODAN”, “WODAN”, and “ODINN” cultural variants of the same Germanic Pagan deity.

    If you really, REALLY, and HONESTLY want to use this logic of “We are to use the names God has given for Himself, and we are to recognize that God takes His name seriously because He desires to be rightly known by His human creatures. We cannot truly know Him if we do not even know His name” then I have one question for ya floydlee…

    Why do you worship Odin??

    (*Also on a more serious note there’s the obvious fact that Jesus was known to quote scripture from the Septaguint, a translation of the original Hebrew scriptures, so even Christ Himself was not calling God by the exact words he laid down, and if the translation of God’s names into Aramaic and English is 100% okay to you, why not also Arabic, which is more akin to both Aramaic and Hebrew than your Germanic English is??*)

  • Discussions about “heresy” are age-old. “Heresies” have erupted repeatedly and cyclically throughout history. They will continue to erupt, over and over and over and over again. What’s not being considered, is the reason this happens.

    Because there IS a reason “heresy” battles keep cropping up … the problem is, no one will discuss that reason, own up to it, or deal with it.

    And that reason is: Religion is all just metaphysics. Indemonstrable, unverifiable, and in many cases, indescribable. Confirming or refuting “heresies” in any definitive, concrete way is impossible. Sure, one side or another can bully the rest into submission, especially if they have political power backing them, but ultimately it’s impossible ever to truly settle any given religious dispute — because there’s no possibility of certainty (except for imagined certainty, which fundamentalists like Mohler, especially, have in abundance).

    That religions can only be “verified” (and I use that term loosely) via artificial means, especially communal reinforcement, means “heresies” aren’t well tolerated. The existence of dissenters throws doubts on the religion, triggering insecurity and anxiety. Hence, conflicts arise. “Heretics” must be forced to capitulate, or be destroyed … or else!

    The inability of religion to prove any of its tenets will forever relegate it to “heresy” controversies such as these. As for what can be done about it … understanding the inherent uncertainty of anything metaphysical is a first step. Once one realizes one might be wrong, one becomes less incensed at the existence of those who disagree, and while one may continue holding views others might consider “heretical,” conflict doesn’t arise.

    Such insights require both rationality and maturity that, unfortunately, most human beings don’t possess. In fact, the more religious one is, the more likely it is one will actively reject both rationality and maturity. Hence, “heresy” conflicts are self-perpetuating. More’s the pity.

  • The Jews stopped calling God by his name before the Christian era. According to my historical source (Monty Python, Life of Brian) using the name Yahweh or Jehovah was a stoning offense.

  • Well, that’s an interesting reply, Fast Eddie. Thanks sincerely. (Side Note: Larycia Hawkins now teaches at a secular school — where she belongs.)

    Why do I use the specific term “God”, you may ask? Because He is quite okay with using the term for Himself. “Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for Me?” (Jer. 32:26-27)
    (By the way, Jesus is okay with saying the word “God” as well. See John 3:16.)

    Meanwhile, it’s easy to show that Allah is not God. If you see Wheaton’s Statement of Faith (which Hawkins affirmed before she went rogue), that “Jesus is true God” and “Jesus is the Son of God”, then Islam says those claims are “shirk” or blasphemy. So “Allah” cannot possibly mean the same as “God.” (Mohler pointed this out as well.)

    But, to deal with the “names of God” issues that you bring up, let’s wrap ’em up here:
    http://www.letusreason.org/Islam6.htm

    “Odin”? No chance. No real evidence of a connection to “God” or “Jehovah.” Also, in Norse heathen religion, Odin is but part of a pantheon. The triune God of the Bible, does NOT play with pantheon foolishness. Not ever.

  • Whats strange is, all this primitive, regurgitated, confusing, ‘theological’ pharisee babble and NOONE seems to realize ‘christians’ are destroying the planet as we speak. It started here with Christopher Columbus pulling Indian ‘savages’ apart with horses for not meeting his weekly gold quotas, thanking God for his ‘prosperity’ in his letters to the queen. They’ve done it on every continent and still doing it today in Australia, Africa, the middle east and else where. Its what the antichrists, 4 Horsemen, Babylon metaphors are about…

    Filter out the bs and scripture becomes real simple.

    Isaiah 1:23 Your leaders are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loves gifts, and follow after rewards: they deny justice to the fatherless, neither does the plight of the widow come to them. Isa 56:11 …they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter (district). Rom 16:18 …they serve their own belly; and by GOOD words and FAIR speeches deceive the minds of the simple. Jer 9:5 …they exhaust themselves in greed. Their habitation is in the midst of deceit… Prov 22:16 they oppress the poor to increase their riches, and they give to the rich… Psa 26:10 In whose hands is mischief, and their right hand (priority) is full of bribes. Psa 5:9 They flatter with their tongue. There is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is truly wicked; their throat is an open tomb. Psa 12:2 They speak vanity every one with his neighbor: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. Amos 5:7 They turn justice to bitterness, and neglect whats right… 5:12 they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor from whats right. 2 Peter 2:18 they speak great swelling words of pride, they manipulate using the desires of the people, through much wantonness… 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption… Isa 59:14 judgment is turned away backward, and justice stands far off: for truth is fallen. 1Tim 6:5 Perverse men of corrupt minds, destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness… 2 Tim 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. 2 Peter 2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: a mind they have exercised with greedy practices; cursed men. Ezekiel 33:31 …they come to you as the people come …they hear your words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goes after their greed.
    Jeremiah 9:3 they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth; they proceed from evil to evil, and they dont know Good …they deceive every one, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and exhaust themselves in greed. Their habitation is in the midst of deceit; because of deceit they refuse to know Good …their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaks deceit: he speaks peaceably to neighbors, but in his mind he lays their wait. Shall I not visit them for these things? says the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

    …and there’s much more but for space.

    Christ, all the disciples and prophets were killed by colluding politicians and preachers for exposing them and breaking their ‘laws’. Its cover to cover Christianity 101 and ‘christians’ don’t have a clue. NONE! They need to start following Jesus instead of worshiping him while drowning in ‘law’.

    While the so-called ‘church’ wallows in delusion, their ‘christian’ congress in this ‘christian nation’ is $20 TRILLION in debt and climbing, budgetless, full of adultery and fornication, ‘legally’ functioning in collusion, drowning in ‘legalized’ corruption, their foundation is Betrayal, savagely rapin the public treasury writing contracts to friends and family …their wives, daughters and girl friends secretly getting abortions, eating birth control like candy …heavily ‘invested’ in the poisoning of the planet, recently ‘legalizing’ the pumping of fracking waste directly into the Gulf of Mexico! …sitting on the committees intentionally writing the laws sending jobs abroad, quietly investing in them as they go! ..’legalized’ tax evasion for the rich while the teachers, cops, shipyard workers and nurses pay the bills, neglecting society, ravaging the planet while the duped cops and soldiers run around cleaning up their wickedness …institutionalized deception and manipulation claiming speech is now money, bribery is lobbying, big businesses they whor with are people, 501C4 is tax-deductible social welfare! even calling it ‘Dark Money’ …on and on, its modern day Sorcery.

    They’ve ‘legalized’ the very things Christianity considers evil – porn, alcohol, abortion, drugs, prostitution, gays marrying, gays adopting, bribery(lobbying), televised filth and depravity, violence(MMA), barrooms and strip clubs on every corner, etc …deviously betrayed us on the Single Payer Plan receiving $2Billion from demonically greedy BigPharma and HealthCare since 2009 …in a treacherous death clinch with the Grand Dragons of head-choppin suicidal terrorists, giving them F-16s, M1Abrams, state of the art bases and technology, drones, logistics, Sops helping them overthrow another tyrant in Syria to install a Qatari pipeline from the largest methane reserves in the world underneath the Persian Gulf to Europe …’legally’ funding, arming and training suicidal terrorists militias Al-Qaida, Nusra and others with ‘tax-payer’ money “fighting terrorism”, in a slow middle east genocide for dominance and control of global natural gas/oil markets …saturated in the blood of millions of innocents, creating enemies by the tens of millions, who are now running around trying to kill us …bullying China’s extraction of crystalized methane in the South China Sea, encompassing Russia with bases and armament cutting their Ukrainian economic umbilical cord… They’ve been overthrowing South American governments (some 2and3 times) and upheaving Africa for the past century. Our CIA specializes in overthrowing governments that won’t cooperate in their corporate hustle, uh ‘Capitalism”. They’ve installed some of the most vicious tyrants the planet has ever seen …such sophistication in creating millions of refugees, widows and orphans …the varieties of anguish, misery, despair, death and destruction …the magnitude of treachery and betrayal of humanity, legalized and sanctioned by a ‘Christian Congress’. Not only ‘legalized, but invested and promoted! It makes the Four Horsemen metaphor child’s play. ‘Satan’ would blush. They’re ‘legally’ getting rich from it all for God’s sake!

    ‘Christian’ politicians, preachers and their duped, babbling supporters are knowingly or unknowingly the antichrists that their Bible speaks of. Those in place of Christ, claiming or representing Christ while intentionally confusing, deluding, deceiving, manipulating, exploiting…betraying and working evil on the world …not some fantasized, comic-book-like, delusional bs about a magic man giving everyone a 666 while blowing up tanks with lightning bolts coming from his fingertips. They prey on the ignorant and simple minded, intentionally using faith and God for political/monetary gain, which is abominable, blasphemous and satanic! I won’t even go into the Catholic church being rife in homosexuality, chronic pedophilia, mafia money laundering, etc.

    They are about as ‘spirit led’ as trump’s pe nis – about as inquisitive as a hammer. They’ve regressed to a paranoid Religion, a delusional cult fantasizing in primitive, dreamy, ‘theological’ bs, detached from truth/God, drivin by fear and hate, motivated by rhetoric and propaganda. The average one would support a filthy rich, tax-dodging, “two” Corinthians, puzzy grabbin, blasphemous sexual predator – a real anti-christ who says “I don’t need much forgiveness b/c I don’t make mistakes”, while their bible explicitly describes him and their eventual following! The spiritually dead priests and preachers supporting him share his characteristics of sexual prowess and greed of money.

    And they will be mindlessly worshiping and glorifying him soon, when a do-nothing congress finally writes an infrastructure bill creating millions of ‘jobs’ that they callously refused to do when their “Obama the antichrist sharia law undercover moo’slum mole is gonna take our guns and destroy our country and take our wealth to Kenya” – intentional lies, slander, mockery, condemnation, ridicule, deception, manipulation, distraction – exploitation and betrayal started.

    And while these spiritually dead, self righteous pharisees gleefully worship him, they will continue exploiting God as their global destruction and genocidal horror for wealth continues… “destroys wonderfully with peace”.

    John 7:7 The world hates me because I expose it, that the works thereof are evil.
    Ephesians 5:11 Have no association with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
    1 Timothy 5:20 those elders who are sinning you are to expose before everyone, so that the others may take warning.
    Prov 8:13 The fear of the lord is to hate evil…
    Psalms 97:10 You that love the lord, hate evil…
    Amos 5:15 Hate the evil, love the good and establish justice: it may be that God will be gracious to you.

    Here’s a little blatant proof…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKV1sTw8zOc

    https://www.thenation.com/article/how-many-missions-has-the-us-military-carried-out-in-africa-no-one-knows-for-sure/

    http://johnpilger.com/videos/utopia

    http://www.businessinsider.com/gods-bankers-financial-scandals-at-the-vatican-2015-2

    https://archive.org/stream/WarIsARacket/WarIsARacket_djvu.txt

    http://www.salon.com/2015/11/18/this_is_why_they_hate_us_the_real_american_history_neither_ted_cruz_nor_the_new_york_times_will_tell_you/

    http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/zinncol1.html

  • Me think Al know God through scripture. Me think Al like Paul before God kick Paul’s ass and cause Paul to fall off that donkey and hit head. After Paul hit head and know Jesus, Paul start scratching head thinking about scripture. Before hitting head Paul only scratch ass when thinking of scripture. Paul say please hurry donkey we must tell people God love rocks the law tell me so.
    Andy Stanley is teaching something pretty simple. In the first century teachers looked through the law and came to conclusions about who God was. A guy named Jesus comes along and says you won’t understand God through an understanding of the law, rather you will understand the law through a knowledge of God.
    I read Albert Mohler retort on Andy Stanley’s sermon. I think Albert Mohler might be the same guy who writes the instructions on how to change a spare tire and put all the parts back the way they were. In Alberts world only a rocket scientist can understand spare tire instructions. In Andy Stanley’s world my wife can put on a spare, and THAT is a miracle.
    Jesus told Peter walking on water was a sign that his fear was greater than his faith. Who gets out on night like that and goes for a walk on the lake? There wasn’t any reason for Peter to get out of the boat. Jesus didn’t just bump into the guys unexpectantly. He shows up to calm seas, and doesn’t say to eleven guys in a boat they have small faith because they didn’t believe they couldnt something miraculous. If I believe this story with all my heart do I have big faith? If I doubt the story just a little bit does Jesus say “you have small faith”? What if I never “get out of the boat”, that is I’m not sure it really happened? I think i can believe most in what I experience and as I experience storms and calmness in today’s world as a Christ follower I can understand the experiences and stories told in the first century. Maybe that makes me more like the guys in the boat and my point, what the guys in the boat didn’t believe doesn’t seem to be held against them any more than what Peter believed was a credit to him. Thank you Andy Stanley for affirming that.

  • The word “god” is of Germanic root and does orginiate with Godan, Wodan, and Oddin. That much is contextually correct from Eddie’s post. As for your example from Jerimiah, that’s actually not accurate. That’s one of the most common translations of the original Hebrew, however, the actual word used is אלוהים, which is pronounced el-lo-heem. Notice the root “el,” it’s also sometimes phonetically spelled elohim as Eddie mentions. This is not a “generic” term in Hebrew it’s understood as a proper name. Hence, the argument (specious though I agree it is) that Christians who refer to God as “God” are in violation of the Commandments is not completly without merit. Additionally, the argument being extended to say that Muslims are actually better adhering to the Commandments by referring to God as “Allah” is also not without merit as Allah is based on the original semetic root word el-lo-heem.

  • As for the word “Jehovah” it’s of a Latin root base not Germanic. Two different things altogher 🙂 It was origninally spelt with an “I” though, as in Iehoua (u is a v in original latin), which again makes sense as it’s nothing but the Latinization of the Hebrew word יהוה‎, which again is understood as a proper name not a generic word for God, which does exist in Hebrew by the way; אֲדֹנָי‎, (Adoni) is the generic word for Lord.

  • Whether you believe in God or not, the world would be a better place if we simply followed Christ’s greatest commandment – Love your neighbor as yourself. How do all the other controversies – how many Gods, virgin birth, inerrancy, subordination, etc., impact our treatment of one another? Answer – They don’t. I think Christ would say “shame on you – I couldn’t have made it more simple – “love your neighbor as yourself” and look how you’ve screwed it up by dividing yourselves “to show which of you have God’s approval.” (1 Corinthians 11:18-19.)

  • As Commonweal recently said:

    The Eucharist, for example, is to be understood primarily as a gift that brings healing and nourishment, not as a remote display of supernatural power to be approached only with trepidation.

  • “the Arian crisis of the fourth century, which split early Christianity over the question of the two natures of Jesus Christ.” You are describing the Nestorian heresy. The Arian heresy had to do with the full divinity of Christ.

  • The question of one God is fascinating.

    If some people worship different Gods, how can there be only one God?

    If there is only one God, how can people worship different Gods?

    Certainly different people, religions, creeds attribute different characteristics to God. Does that imply the existence of more than one God? Does that imply that they worship different Gods or just that they attribute different characteristics to the one God?

  • It’s just that the gift never actually delivers what you claim it does. If you disagree, then present your verifiable modern evidence for that.

  • It’s actually really interesting you mention this. I know it was meant to be tongue in cheek, but there’s a lot of truth here. Pre-Kingdom Jews used Yahweh exclusively (more or less) when speaking of God. By the time the Kingdom period rolls around, Yahweh is restricted to only being used by the High Priest at the Temple during Yom Kipur and was indeed a stoning offense for anyone else at any other time as it was deemed to be taking God’s name in vain to use it for any other purpose.
    .
    At this point, Jews started using Elohim for an everyday word for God. It’s especially interesitng because Elohim has roots in polytheism and was used to “absorb” local gods after conquest, like with the Caananites. This is really the begining of true monotheistic Judism.
    .
    Over time, even the word Elohim was deemed too holy to be used in casual conversation and was relegated to liturigcal purposes. It was replaced by Adoni, which in turn is now considered by many Orthodox Jews to be too holy for casual use and is slowly being replaced by hashem (literaly “the name” in Hebrew).

  • I don’t have a horse in this race, but id does seem to me that if the Bible is inerrant, there is one God of Abraham, full stop. If Christians, Jews and Muslims all claim to worship the God of Abraham (which I believe they do), they are worshiping the same God, whether that God is called Yahweh, “I am who (I) am”, Jesus Christ or Allah. The fact that they have splintered in their means of worship and interpretation is not different that sects of Jews, or Christians or Muslims. I don’t see how it changes the “God of Abraham” source.

  • The “traditional” view is that there is but one God and his name is Yahweh, to make a play on the Islamic phrase. All other “gods” are merely imperfectly understood aspects of the One 🙂

  • Which is (in some views) the actual meaning of the Exodus 20:3 “You will have no other gods before me.” God himself acknowleges the existence of these other gods (or imperfect aspects) and does not prohibit their worship… so long as they are worshiped as secondary to the One.

  • “getting Christian doctrines right – exactly, precisely correct” is not humanly possible. Whether ancient or modern, they will never be anything else but the human, theological conception of what we ‘want to believe’ is true. Considering the obscured origins of Christology and the continuing, historical disputes over dogma and doctrine, it remains impossible to honestly know what is true and what is not. Where I have no doubt, is that if a second coming ever happens, first on His agenda will be to sort that out, And I expect there to be gnashing of teeth all around.

  • “Why do I use the specific term “God”, you may ask? Because He is quite okay with using the term for Himself. “Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for Me?” (Jer. 32:26-27)”

    Sorry, but this is ~really~ funny to me.

    He did NOT use that term for himself, you heathen. The passage YOU quote reads the following: “Hin-nêh ’ă-nî Yah-weh, ’ĕ-lō-hê kāl-bā-śār; hămim-men-nî, yip-pā-lê kāl-dā-ḇār.”

    In the passage you cite, he gives two potential names “Yah-weh” and “’ĕ-lō-hê”. He ~never~ once uses the name “God”, stop disrespecting him with your vile, made-up name.

    So either you’re a blaspheming heathen who is disrespecting God by not using his correct name as the article you FIRST quoted states… OR

    You believe using the English translation of God’s names, the names made-up by English speakers and then crudely plugged into the place where God names himself, are acceptable.

    If the English translation is okay with you, then I will also point out another translation of Jeremiah 32:26-27: “Haneda alerb Allah kel dey jesd. hel y’eser ‘eley amer ma.”

    Oh look, God named himself “Allah”. If translations are valid to use, then that is his name as is “God”.

    “If you see Wheaton’s Statement…”

    If that was the point you wanted to make, you should have made that point. INSTEAD you linked to an article explaining that Allah isn’t God because “Allah” isn’t a name God gave himself (ignoring that “GOD” is not a name God gave himself!! It’s derived from Germanic languages).

    The only thing I want to debate you on at the moment is your incredibly silly initial claim based on linguistics. Because I find that debate so silly that I must bring up the counterpoints, whereas I have no real interest in whether or not you think the Christian and Muslim gods are the same. It’s just the reasoning you initially provided is ~silly~.

    “”Odin”? No chance. No real evidence of a connection to “God””

    Your initial argument was that Allah can’t be God because that’s not the name God gave himself. Yet the name YOU USE for God was also not given by God. Your word “God” comes from proto-Germanic “ǥuđán”. The names “Godan” “Wodan” and “Odinn” (all Germanic pagan deity names) all derive from “ǥuđán” as well (which means that “ǥuđán” is the name of some proto-Germanic god that morphed into Godan, Wodan and Odinn in different diverging cultures).

    Thus, YOU ARE USING THE NAME OF A PROTO-GERMANIC HEATHEN GOD AS THE NAME FOR ELOHIM. If you were ~serious~ about your INITIAL LINK claiming that God takes his name SERIOUSLY, why on EARTH would you think using the name of a PAGAN GOD for Elohim would be acceptable?! If God takes his name as ~seriously~ as the article you link claims, then this would be ~unacceptable blasphemy of the highest order~ to equate a pagan, polytheistic war-god with Elohim of the bible, would it not??

    So either God does NOT take his name as seriously as the article you linked claims ~or~ you commit blasphemies every time you call him by the name of Guđán, which is ~not~ ~his~ ~name~.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_(word)

  • Here’s your answer.

    According to the very best evidence– the holy book of each and every religion on the planet– all religions but one are false.

    The only difference between and atheist and a true believer is that the latter believes in one more religion than the former.

    If you (a generic you) truly understood why you reject every faith on the planet but your own, you would understand why I reject yours.

    Finally, it really is a case of the blind men and the elephant. Except that the elephant is all that the blind men know, and the elephant knows nothing about blind men.

  • Which in turn has to do with the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin in a universe where no one knows how to sew.

  • Eh, and then of course there’s the whole “family photo” thing which flys straight in the face of Exodus 20:4 :p

  • And you were doing so well until you came to THIS:

    “They’ve ‘legalized’ porn, alcohol, abortion, drugs, prostitution, gays marrying, gays adopting, bribery(lobbying), televised filth and depravity, violence(MMA), barrooms and strip clubs on every corner.”
    Which two of these things is completely unlike all of the rest of them, except in the minds of people just like the ones you are decrying?

  • “Hence, the argument (specious though I agree it is) that Christians who refer to God as “God” are in violation of the Commandments is not completly without merit.”

    Not trying to argue that specifically, but arguing that, if it is true that (As the link Mr. floydlee provides states) God takes his name incredibly seriously and only accepts the names he gave himself, then logic dictates that “God” would not be an acceptable name either. He never gave himself that name.

    So either then it must be concluded that the author of the linked article and floydlee openly and knowingly blaspheme, or that the author and floydlee think translations are acceptable, in which case their argument based on linguistics is debunked based on how the bible is translated into modern Arabic. There’s no third way, it must be one or the other.

  • “which I believe they do”

    Belief is not necessary, it’s objective fact that they claim the “God of Abraham” in both Torah, Gospel, and Quran.

  • Eh, I use hashem most of the time so totally agree 🙂 I think there’s a subtle middle-ground also, granted not that Floydd is making it. Using the proper name of God for casual purpose is using his name in vain, therefore using a placeholder word in its place is appropriate. Which of course is the reason many Jews use hashem these days.

  • “The existence of dissenters throws doubts on the religion, triggering insecurity and anxiety. Hence, conflicts arise. “Heretics” must be forced to capitulate, or be destroyed … or else!”
    And there you have it in a nutshell.

  • Is that relevant to the question of whether or not the gift should be given to all if you believe that is what it does??

    No??

    Then this is not the place for that discussion. Go find some other corner of the internet for your little flame war.

  • Eh, that’s debateable. I’ve seen good scholarly work that associates the storm god to Ba’al more than El. If anything, El is just pre-kingdom generic Hebrew for “a god”, Elah is “the god”, Elot is “the gods”, Eloah is “the gods”, and Elohim is some early properization of the plural noun “Elot”. There’s a definate transition period here for early Jews from some quasi-polytheistic religion to a pre-modern monotheistic religion though.

  • You’re missing the point. They’ve legalized the things they consider evil.

    Although I don’t agree with homosexuality, I’m not a gay basher per say. I see heteros being far worse – liars, fornicators, pedophiles, adulterers, sodomizers, fraudsters, drunks, rapists, hypocrites, planet destroying, war mongering murdering death merchants throwing rocks at gays.

    I’ll edit just for you.

  • Actually the “angels on the head of a pin question” was an issue that arose during the Medieval Scholastic Period of Church history and was confined to the west, It’s a matter of philosophical approach to theology rather than a question of heresy.

  • Well, yes and no. The Wikipedia article on the subject is quite comprehensive and well researched. “Let US create man in our own image, after OUR likeness.” Not a royal we at all. There was a Mrs. God long before the Mormons. The gnostics recognized her, and she is also in the Jewish tradition. Christianity is quite polytheistic, despite is hysteria around the subject.
    I used to know a lot more about this, but I’ve probably forgotten more than I know now.

  • I’m sure translations issues are a part of the problem, but less then your imagine. As the early roman church burned as much of scripture it could find that conflicted with its institutional priorities, one can ask if the Bible is even complete? There are the discoveries of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hammadi Library, discovered at the end of the last century. There are still the Jordainian codices yet to be unraveled and ‘translated’. What more might there be yet to be discovered? And among many other questions is this: was a Fallen nature and reason ever going to be competent in comprehending the mind of God? My own opinion is probably not!

  • No, I got the point exactly. The “They” that fought against the full recognition of gay people as human beings are not the same “they” that recognized it and put it into law, over the objections of the former.

    “I don’t agree with homosexuality” has as much value as “I don’t agree with air” and “I don’t agree with pizza.” What you don’t agree with is my right to exist as gay man, to live my life authentically as I am made, with full participation in society as a gay man, with no diminishment of my humanity or my life, in order to satisfy either your own prejudices, or your god’s.

    in my experience for the 45 years I’ve been in the fight– I’m 66 now– people who “don’t agree” with homosexuality are just kinder and gentler versions of the people who would see us in jail, dead, marginalized, our families and loves denigrated (as you did), our participation in society only allowed if we don’t get uppity about it, and only within certain well defined bounds.

    Neither my existence as a gay man, nor my parenting of children, nor my marriage harms a single soul on the planet. ANY claim to the contrary is simply prejudice. So maybe, you are not a gay basher, or maybe, you’re not in your own mind.

    my mileage has varied considerably on that.

  • No, It seems that Eddie got it wrong even on these points.

    The disagreement centers on the important issue (sometimes stated, sometimes not) of “who borrowed the term ‘God’ from who.” For example, your first sentence makes it sound like we Christians somehow borrowed the term “God” from Norse Pagans.

    But as I said, there’s NO evidence of that. Indeed, from the Online Etymology Dictionary, you have Old English term “god” meaning “supreme being, deity; the Christian God; image of a god; godlike person,” from Proto-Germanic *guthan (source also of Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Dutch god, Old High German got, German Gott, Old Norse guð, Gothic guþ).

    So there’s no evidence that WE borrowed any terms for God from the Norse Pagans, (and certainly no evidence that we borrowed the non-pantheonic “God” from the pantheonic “Odin”). Instead everybody just derived their own separate words for “God”, apparently based on the term Proto-Germanic “guthan” (and we’re not even looking at earlier Indo-European stuff). Those cultures who wanted to, came up with their own polytheistic idolatrous deity names, on their own dime.

    Well, what about Allah and the term “elohim”? Does that give Eddie some traction? The answer turns out to be “No.”

    Don’t want to get lengthy, but readers need to hear what Sam Shamoun of Answering-Islam says on this issue (supporting texts omitted here to save space):

    “(If) the word Allah is derived from “ilah”, then there is nothing special in the Muslim god being called Allah. “Allah”, much like the English word “God”, just so happens to be a generic noun that can be used for any deity, not just for the true God of the Holy Bible. Thus, just because Muslims call their god Allah doesn’t mean that they are worshiping the same true God as revealed in the Holy Bible…”

    “If, on the other hand, Muslims claim that Allah is not derived from “ilah”, but is the eternal, unchangeable name of their god, then this only proves that the god revealed in Islam cannot be the true God revealed in Holy Scripture. The everlasting name of the true God of the Holy Bible is not Allah, nor is it el, elohim, eloah, elah etc. The proper name of the God of Abraham is Yahweh (Jehovah).”

    Okay, so there’s the real factual deal. Eddie’s argument is actually eliminated.

  • It just means that there is one true God, the God of the Bible, and a lotta people don’t wanna hear that.

  • Doc, just because you are ignorant, among your other sterling qualities, doesn’t mean everyone else is.

  • I’m well aware of that. My point was actually following the words “in a universe”.

    As the buddhists say, “if you meet the Buddha in the road, kill him.” Which is a koan-ish way of saying that the more certain you are about thelogical issues, the less likely you are to know anything.

    A generic you, not you personally.

  • I’m not actually sure what Mr. Shamoun is arguing here… that the Talmud and the Quran both worship the God of Abraham is uncontested. Muslims, Christians and Jews all worship the same God; albeit through vastly different means. This is well documented at least as far back as Aquinas and Ibn Rushd in the seventh century. It was also commonly excepted throughout the Moorish period of Spain with dozens of historical treatises on the subject.
    .
    There is no actual conflict between the use of Allah or Yahweh as the two words aren’t comparable. The correct comparison is Allah to Elohim. The origin of (the Jewish version anyway) Yahweh post dates both. The name “Israel” is derived from El not Yahweh. Although, Islam translates Yahweh and Elohim as Allah, the same way Christians translated them originally as Jehovah and later as The Lord or God.
    .
    The key to understanding these different evolution’s of the word is within the Talmud itself. Pre-Kingdom writings, or the Hexateuch, uses Yahweh a lot somewhere around 7,000 times, before it falls out of favor during the Temple period and is replaced by Adoni. However, there’s actually a lot of debate on how “original” this is as the Hexateuch was heavily edited and revised during the Kingdom period, which shows pretty heavily in Leviticus with duplication of passages and omissions of passages between those duplicates.
    .
    I think most serious Rabbinical scholars generally accept that El was the original name for god brought over from the Babylonian exile. El wasn’t originally a monotheistic deity, at least not pre-Kingdom. There’s even extant references to God’s wife and usage of the Hebrew pronoun “we” in reference to the creation of man in the Talmud. The Hebrew מלכת השמים comes straight out of Jeremiah 44:15 and translates as “Queen of Heaven” and contextually the people basically tell Jeremiah to go screw himself that they aren’t abandoning the traditional polytheistic worship of their fathers and the kings of Judah and Jerusalem before them; implying that this wasn’t something that just “popped” up, but had been the norm for centuries at least within the Jewish population.
    .
    Which is all a long round about way of saying that Yahweh as the name of god is probably a Kingdom era creation during the transition between the quasi-polytheistic religion of the ancient Israeli people and the monotheistic religion of the Kingdom of Israel. Although, even that’s been argued, because again revision and editing. There’s a case to be made that Yahweh may first show up because of Egyptian influences.

  • No. That’s not going to cut it in today’s world, and it HASN’T been cutting it anyway.
    When people come at Christians with heretical and skepticsl public claims, and all the Christians can respond is “Christ said love you neighbor as yourself,” that simply tells the Non-Christians and Christians alike that the heretic or skeptic is correct after all.

    Young people, the ones who usually have the most questions and natural curiosity, look at such unnecessary surrenders and concessions on the part of Chrisrians, and thereby the young people are influenced away from Christ and the Bible.

    But that’s not how things have to go. Don’t have to let the skeptics and heretics win anymore. Good Bible information and defenses are out there, online and print for everybody to use. Just do the homework, study strong, so you can have some fun standing up for Christ.

  • I am loath to pull the H card and I would not place Andy Stanley in that corner by any measure. I do believe that he thinks that he can argue unbelievers into saving faith, that he takes a decidedly synergistic stand when it comes to salvation.

  • Or, you can find better things to do on Sunday, instead of pretending that Jesus never said what he so clearly said about The Law, or that when he said anything that contradicts the view of fundamentalist authoritarian Christians, such as yourself, or anything inconvenient, such as the passage under discussion…
    He clearly didn’t mean that and meant something else entirely.

  • “So there’s no evidence that WE borrowed any terms for God from the Norse Pagans,”
    Actually, doc, as usual, you’re wrong. But that is just one of your more charming aspects.
    you might want to look up where Odin hung himself on a tree as a sacrifice for man. Ya know, kinda like redeeming mankind by his sacrifice. Then you might want to look up the medieval lyrics, almost all of them of Germanic origin, where in the cross is referred to as a tree.

  • It’s almost like there were TWO gods, each with his own narrative in OT, one named El and one named Yahweh, which if I remember correctly is a corruption of yud-yud, the unpronounceable. On the other hand, A rabbi wrote this:

    “The phenomenon is purely a function of your siddur’s editor and printer. The double yud is not one of the names of Hashem and has no kedusha (sanctity). It’s simply a substitute for the name of Hashem and it appears randomly in various versions of the siddur. The siddur I use (Kavanat Hashem) has the name of Hashem written out fully all the time.

    Essentially, the reason for using a substitute is out of respect. The name of Hashem has kedushah and must not be erased or abused. Since two yuds isn’t a name of Hashem, it was substituted so that if the siddur wasn’t treated properly it would be less serious. Especially today, with the availability of inexpensive printed siddurim, siddurim aren’t treated with the same care and respect with which they historically were treated.”

    No reason why both can’t be true.

  • Reality can be subjective. You can pretend and create your own. “they that recognized it and put it into law, over the objections of the former.” is a result of relentless political pressure and convenience. Our political whors will do anything for money and/or political advantage. That’s crystal clear, just look at society and the world! Its a consciousless, satanic greed that drives them. They have no moral bearings whatsoever.

    The “I don’t agree with homosexuality” has as much value as “I don’t agree with air” and “I don’t agree with pizza…etc” is feel good, self deluding BS. Just b/c a man is born with a lot of female hormones doesn’t mean there’s not a female match for him.

    I have not once met a gay person I didn’t like. Every single one has a great sense of humor, kind, generous, etc. I just can’t deal with licking and sucking each others’ ass, intentionally playing in feces and then washing your hands pretending the germs aren’t caught in your cuticles and then transferring it to what ever door knob I’m grabbing. There are enough depraved heteros doing it. I don’t need professionals helping them. …and no amount of feel-good rambling, kindness or love will ever make me accept it.

    Lets hear how self delusion explains away the numerous scriptures that clearly refute “men lying with men doing that which is unseemly”.

  • I see. You are indeed one of the gay bashers, but it doesn’t massage your self esteem to think so, and you wouldn’t care to dirty up your own hands. “Just because a man is born with a lot of female hormones” pretty much demonstrates that you know nothing about the subject.

    “Relentless political pressure and convenience.” From 2% of the population? Amazing how much power we have. Or maybe we have friends, family, neighbors and colleagues that don’t spend their waking hours thinking about the mechanics of homosex. Or maybe it was an understanding of an ancient, vicious and very durable prejudice, whether disguised as religious belief, or admitted for what it so clearly is. Or maybe they just aren’t as fascinated by anal sex as every antigay bigot on the planet is, even when they admit that heterosexuals do it, too.

    What you say is very revealing. If you can’t deal with “licking and sucking” etc., perhaps you ought not to think about it as much as you clearly do. Or you might inform yourself about sex and gay sex and heterosex. It’s funny how the many hundreds or thousands of heterosexuals who have been in my life manage not to think about it at all, but here YOU are, thinking away about it. “Intentionally playing in feces”? You reveal way too much of yourself here.

    and what you reveal is just as sick as any self-professed antigay bigot. No one is asking you to accept a thing, other than perhaps your tendency to denigrate others based upon what is going on inside your head.

    numerous scriptures? Well, there might be 7 that might, in a vague general sort of a way, have something to with what might be homosexuality, possibly as understood two to three thousand years ago, but certainly not in ours. There are far more proscriptions on heterosexual behavior. You people must need far more regulation than we do.

    But then, I don’t rely on books that are 2000-3000 years old for my morality, any more than I would rely on them for an accurate description of physics or the world at large. especially when those books seem to think that incest, murder, torture, and genocide are positive values.

    But I can understand why YOU do.

  • Thank you for the response, but I think you are proving my point. You are suggesting, if I understand you correctly, that your interpretation is correct, therefore dividing yourself from others who disagree, because you believe this will please Christ. Correct? Didn’t Paul chastise these divisions expressly? 1 Corr 11:18-19. What did Christ say is the most important commandment? Arguing over scripture or loving one another?

  • Um yes, when I see a homosexual I think of them licking, sucking and playing in feces, sorry, its the depraved part of their lifestyle they hate admitting … and get pissed if someone is repelled, repulsed and offended by it! They become sociopathic.

    Claiming godless, genocidal politicians ‘legalized’ or ‘recognized’ your lifestyle tells me all I need to know about your twisted logic.

    Gays control the media, and the politicians know it …and therefore caved to that political pressure. And there are quite a few rich ones buying them also. 2% is plenty. Excluding the gay ones, claiming they done it out of morals and ethics is more feel good self delusion.

    I’d say your knee-jerk assumptions of me, and your desperate rambling and justification of this depravity means your full of sht. I just ask that you try not to spread it please …don’t slobber all over each other in public like heteros, AND KEEP YOUR DEPRAVED EYES OFF MY 17yr OLD BOY! Other than that, I could care less if you marry 10 men with 2 dicks each, with all of the hetero amenities. Same goes for your depraved hetero friends.

    Im intelligent enough to not allow primitive, brain dead interpretations of the book to cause me to trash it, unlike you. And I’m intelligent enough to filter out the incest, murder, torture, genocide and depravity for the evil it is, allowing myself to learn from some of the greatest minds to ever put pen to paper, unlike you. Filtering out sht in all forms is a good thing. The regression of playing in it like Neanderthals may have been ‘natural and normal’ two to three thousand years ago, but certainly not now.

    I’m done with this. Exposing gays has gotten me banned from forums. As I said, they control most of media. I’m not here to attack them, but rather expose this spiritually dead Christianity that is ravaging the planet. You provoked this conversation with your paranoid assumptions – “What you don’t agree with is my right to exist as gay man…”

  • Re: “So Christianity’s ‘three for the price of one’ God was debated-decided in year 325 at the Council of Nicaea …”

    A little pedantry: Nicaea didn’t deal with the nature of the Holy Spirit (i.e. the third person of the Trinity). It only dealt with christology, i.e. the nature of Christ. The Holy Spirit didn’t figure in until I Constantinople (381) when the Macedonian heresy was denounced (among other things). What’s often called “the Nicene Creed” ought, really, to be called “the Constantinopolitan Creed” instead. It’s a misnomer to call it “Nicene.”

    And yet more pedantry: Even then, the matter was by no means “settled”! Christological and trinitarian conflicts continued to erupt even after that, e.g. Monophysitism, which in some cases veered into Miaphysitism … etc. etc. etc. On and on it went.

    Still, your point is well-taken: If all of this stuff was so certain, and if scripture were so clear on it, why was any of it still being discussed in the 4th and 5th centuries?

  • Thank you for proving the point, again and again and again, that what I said was true.

    “Exposing gays has gotten me banned from forums.” I simply cannot imagine why.

    Paranoia, obsession with anal sex, repeating the same tired old myths about gay men and adolescent boys– it’s all there– as well as a bunch of things that just are jaw dropping, to say the least.

    But don’t worry, I don’t take it personally. You seem to hate just about everyone, not just gay people. You are the one that has to live with a mind and heart like that, not me.

  • Calm down! Honest, its not personal. I’m sure there’s others with fecal fetishes. I exposed them too. You’re just the only one who freaked out.

    You don’t have to ‘imagine why’. I will share with you. It simply happens every time I mention the playing in sht part. Its not difficult to ‘imagine why’. Even small frontals can understand why. They get all worked up and paranoid, obsessively trying to defend it …like you. Its a sure sign of delusional depravity.

    And if that doesn’t get them anywhere, they start to use the regurgitated ‘tired old myth’ bs. Its not a myth, men have been ‘tirelessly’ playing in it like animals since Neanderthal days of ‘old’. Most just aren’t as proud of it as you are.

    But when I expose heteros, it doesn’t get me banned. Why is that?

    The only act of ‘jaw dropping’ in here is yours. And judging by your own words, we now know precisely why. And if its quite normal and natural to be “made” this way, there would be far more than a measly 2%.

    Lucky for you, that number should increase as betraying politicians, in collusion with spiritually dead priests and demonically greedy bankers, keep mom and dad enslaved to their ‘investing’ with no time to teach Jr right from wrong. And so he raises himself on the vile that comes through headphones and hollywood unsure of what in the hell is going on in life. And unfortunately, sometimes turn to the ‘priest’ for help! Without good parenting and guidance, who knows what a kid will turn in to. Their reasoning skills aren’t much above animals. In fact, there’s documented proof of children growing up with dogs, incorporating their characteristics and habits.

    As I said, The world hates me because I expose it, that the works thereof are evil. Hate the evil, love the good and establish justice: it may be that God will be gracious to you.

  • A repost for any new readers.

    All this primitive, regurgitated, confusing, ‘theological’ pharisee babble and NOONE seems to realize ‘christians’ are destroying the planet as we speak. Here it started with Christopher Columbus pulling Indian ‘savages’ apart with horses for not meeting his weekly gold quotas, thanking God for his ‘prosperity’ in his letters to the queen. They’ve done it on every continent and still doing it today in Australia, Africa, the middle east and else where. Its what the antichrists, 4 Horsemen, Babylon metaphors are about…

    Filter out the bs and scripture becomes real simple.

    Isaiah 1:23 Your leaders are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loves gifts, and follow after rewards: they deny justice to the fatherless, neither does the plight of the widow come to them. Isa 56:11 …they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter (district). Rom 16:18 …they serve their own belly; and by GOOD words and FAIR speeches deceive the minds of the simple. Jer 9:5 …they exhaust themselves in greed. Their habitation is in the midst of deceit… Prov 22:16 they oppress the poor to increase their riches, and they give to the rich… Psa 26:10 In whose hands is mischief, and their right hand (priority) is full of bribes. Psa 5:9 They flatter with their tongue. There is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is truly wicked; their throat is an open tomb. Psa 12:2 They speak vanity every one with his neighbor: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. Amos 5:7 They turn justice to bitterness, and neglect whats right… 5:12 they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor from whats right. 2 Peter 2:18 they speak great swelling words of pride, they manipulate using the desires of the people, through much wantonness… 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption… Isa 59:14 judgment is turned away backward, and justice stands far off: for truth is fallen. 1Tim 6:5 Perverse men of corrupt minds, destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness… 2 Tim 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. 2 Peter 2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: a mind they have exercised with greedy practices; cursed men. Ezekiel 33:31 …they come to you as the people come …they hear your words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goes after their greed.
    Jeremiah 9:3 they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth; they proceed from evil to evil, and they dont know Good …they deceive every one, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and exhaust themselves in greed. Their habitation is in the midst of deceit; because of deceit they refuse to know Good …their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaks deceit: he speaks peaceably to neighbors, but in his mind he lays their wait. Shall I not visit them for these things? says the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

    …and there’s much more but for space.

    Christ, all the disciples and prophets were killed by colluding politicians and delusional preachers for exposing them and breaking their ‘laws’. Its cover to cover Christianity 101 and ‘christians’ don’t have a clue. NONE! They should follow Jesus instead of worshiping him while drowning in ‘law’.

    While the so-called ‘church’ wallows in delusion, their ‘christian’ congress in this ‘christian nation’ is $20 TRILLION in debt and climbing, budgetless, full of adultery and fornication, ‘legally’ functioning in collusion, drowning in ‘legalized’ corruption, their foundation is Betrayal, savagely rapin the public treasury writing contracts to friends and family …their wives, daughters and girl friends secretly getting abortions, eating birth control like candy …heavily ‘invested’ in the poisoning of the planet, recently ‘legalizing’ the pumping of fracking waste directly into the Gulf of Mexico! …sitting on the committees intentionally writing the laws sending jobs abroad, quietly investing in them as they go! ..’legalized’ tax evasion for the rich while the teachers, cops, shipyard workers and nurses pay the bills, neglecting society, ravaging the planet while the duped cops and soldiers run around cleaning up their wickedness …they’ve institutionalized deception and manipulation claiming speech is now money, bribery is lobbying, big businesses they whor with are people, 501C4 is tax-deductible social welfare! even calling it ‘Dark Money’ …on and on, its modern day Sorcery.

    They’ve ‘legalized’ the very things Christianity considers evil – porn, alcohol, abortion, drugs, prostitution, bribery(lobbying), televised filth and depravity, violence(MMA), barrooms and strip clubs on every corner, etc …deviously betrayed us on the Single Payer Plan receiving $2Billion from demonically greedy BigPharma and HealthCare since 2009 intentionally allowing them to gouge as we speak …in a treacherous death clinch ‘alliance’ with the 911 Grand Dragons of head-choppin suicidal terrorists, giving them F-16s, M1Abrams, weapons, state of the art bases and technology, drones, logistics, Sops helping them slaughter in Yemen, while trying to overthrow another tyrant in Syria, to install a Qatari pipeline from the largest methane reserves in the world underneath the Persian Gulf to Europe …’legally’ funding, arming and training suicidal terrorists militias Al-Qaida, Nusra and others with ‘tax-payer’ money “fighting terrorism”, in a slow middle east genocide for dominance and control of multi-$Trillion global natural gas/oil markets …saturated in the blood of millions of innocents, creating enemies by the tens of millions, who are now running around trying to kill us …bullying China’s extraction of crystalized methane in the South China Sea, encompassing Russia with bases and armament cutting their Ukrainian economic umbilical cord… They’ve been overthrowing South American governments (some 2and3 times) and upheaving Africa for the past century. Our CIA specializes in overthrowing governments that won’t cooperate in their corporate hustle, uh ‘Capitalism”. They’ve installed some of the most vicious tyrants the planet has ever seen …such sophistication in creating millions of refugees, widows and orphans …the varieties of anguish, misery, despair, death and destruction …the magnitude of treachery and betrayal of humanity, legalized and sanctioned by a ‘Christian Congress’. Not only ‘legalized, but invested and promoted! It makes the Four Horsemen metaphor child’s play. ‘Satan’ would blush. They’re ‘legally’ getting rich from it all for God’s sake!

    ‘Christian’ politicians, preachers and their duped, babbling supporters are knowingly or unknowingly the antichrists that their Bible speaks of. Those in place of Christ, claiming or representing Christ while intentionally confusing, deluding, deceiving, manipulating, exploiting…betraying and working evil on the world …not some fantasized, comic-book-like, delusional bs about a magic man giving everyone a 666 while blowing up tanks with lightning bolts coming from his fingertips. They prey on the ignorant and simple minded, intentionally using faith and God for political/monetary gain, which is abominable, blasphemous and satanic! I won’t even go into the Catholic church being rife in homosexuality, chronic pedophilia, mafia money laundering, etc.

    They are about as ‘spirit led’ as trump’s pe nis – about as inquisitive as a hammer. They’ve regressed to a paranoid Religion, a delusional cult fantasizing in primitive, dreamy, hair-splittin ‘theological’ bs, detached from truth/God, drivin by fear and hate, motivated by rhetoric and propaganda. The average one would support a filthy rich, tax-dodging, “two” Corinthians, puzzy grabbin, blasphemous sexual predator – a real anti-christ who says “I don’t need much forgiveness b/c I don’t make mistakes”, while their bible explicitly describes him and their eventual following! The spiritually dead priests and preachers supporting him share his characteristics of sexual prowess and greed of money.

    And they will be mindlessly worshiping and glorifying him soon, when a do-nothing congress finally writes an infrastructure bill creating millions of blue and white collar ‘jobs’ that they callously refused to do when their “Obama the antichrist sharia law undercover moo’slum mole is gonna take our guns and destroy our country and take our wealth to Kenya” – intentional lies, slander, mockery, condemnation, ridicule, deception, manipulation, distraction – exploitation and betrayal started. The architects of ‘Fake News’.

    And while these spiritually dead, self righteous pharisees gleefully worship him, they will continue exploiting God as their global destruction and genocidal horror for wealth continues. “…he destroys wonderfully with peace”.

    Ephesians 5:11 Have no association with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
    1 Timothy 5:20 those elders who are sinning you are to expose before everyone, so that the others may take warning.
    Prov 8:13 The fear of the lord is to hate evil…
    Psalms 97:10 You that love the lord, hate evil…
    Amos 5:15 Hate the evil, love the good and establish justice: it may be that God will be gracious to you.
    John 7:7 The world hates me because I expose it, that the works thereof are evil.

    Here’s a little blatant proof…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKV1sTw8zOc

    https://www.thenation.com/article/how-many-missions-has-the-us-military-carried-out-in-africa-no-one-knows-for-sure/

    http://johnpilger.com/videos/utopia

    http://www.businessinsider.com/gods-bankers-financial-scandals-at-the-vatican-2015-2

    https://archive.org/stream/WarIsARacket/WarIsARacket_djvu.txt

    http://www.salon.com/2015/11/18/this_is_why_they_hate_us_the_real_american_history_neither_ted_cruz_nor_the_new_york_times_will_tell_you/

    http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/zinncol1.html

  • I was a Jehovah Witness in my teen years and this was a big issue for them. They point out that the tetragrammaton was common in the older OT manuscripts. They feel it is wrong to address him in generic terms when he has a name. This is a failure of modern Christians and an insult to their god.

  • No, that’s just the filth you can’t remotely justify. You ‘clearly’ said I “was doing well” exposing heteros depravity until I exposed yours. You wouldn’t make good fertilizer in a bath house flower bed.

  • The world doesn’t hate you. That’s your megalomania and obsessions speaking. Until you posted your fetishes and disturbing fanatasies here, the world didn’t know you exist.

    Having been exposed to the workings of your depraved mind, I wish I didn’t either,

  • Monophysitism turned into MiaPhysitism. Oh no! OH no! Say it isn’t true! Please! I can’t take this infinite regression of counting the number of angels dancing on the head of a mirrored pin in a funhouse run by the illegitimate offspring of the mad hatter and the Red Queen!

  • LMAO! This mentally weak response means that you have been handled! Its the childish equivalent of “got your tag”.

    I’m not your typical religious bigot hating on gays, fumbling with my words trying to guard my own depravity. I’m not easy, old man. Im not on a team here. I just let my yea be yea, and my nay be nay.

    Go find you a spiritually dead ‘christian’ to ramble your desperations and delusions at. You might win. There are priests a dime a dozen that will agree with you, possibly even ‘engage’ you. Or, are you one?

  • I have offered you no “argument” or disagreement against your Bible statement of “love your neighbor as yourself.”
    But people like Larycia Hawkins, Andy Stanley and Ben In Oakland aren’t challenging you as to the authority and accuracy of that one statement. They’re offering you serious challenges against OTHER Bible claims, OTHER claims of Christ.

    And your one given statement, while true, does NOT address the challenges they are throwing at you. Readers are not dumb; they can tell whether Christians (or anybody else) can answer the questions and challenges that are being placed on the table.

    If we Christians cannot do so, then it is NOT possible to paper things over by merely saying that “Christ said to love your neighbor.”

    When people questioned Jesus, Jesus didn’t duck. Nor should we. (Please see 1 Pet. 3:15).

  • That would include myself. My ‘log’ is eating too many hot chocolate chip cookies with a large glass of milk, spiking my sugar before I go to sleep. Something foolish I am starting to eliminate.

    Do me a favor and agree with him pls and calm him down. Give him an upvote. He bit off more than he can swallow.

  • Don’t forget, love also means chastising, correcting, disciplining, exposing, even punishing. You have to apply reason to scripture. For example, Jesus said to turn the other cheek. So, if I’m robbing you, shoot at you and miss, do you turn the other cheek and say, “You missed in the name of the lord” or defend yourself?

  • You know why you’re doing all that pontificating there?
    Because Albert Mohler and other Christian apologists are constantly lining ’em up and knocking ’em down, and every time they give a good Scripture-honoring answer to a given heresy or skepticism “du jour”, you are unable to counter it.

    So you start offering your own homegrown (and half-baked) philosophy of religion — one in which you arbitrarily claim that there’s “no possibility” of religious certainty.

    (That’s a position that was certainly NOT held by Jesus, but then again Jesus wasn’t bogged down in the quicksand of atheism like you are. That’s where you are ultimately getting this stuff from.)

    So Mohler takes care o’ some apologetics business around here, and what can you offer against his specific points? Nothing, except to pretend that Mohler’s sense of certainty on his replies to various challenges is but “imagined.” But you actually **haven’t** refuted anything he said. There’s the real meal deal.

  • I think you are getting a little worked up over things, Fast Eddie. But let’s play along, for today anyway. You have not defeated Mohler’s argument, that’s for sure.

    To save a little time, let’s look again at that “another translation” of Jer. 32:26-27 that you offered. You failed to say exactly WHICH translation it was, and that’s a key omission.

    But no matter. In Jer. 32:27, where it says “God”, that’s the term “elohiym.” And, simply put, you got NO rational way to derive Allah from Elohim.

    “First off, if Allah is in fact a contraction of two words, al and ilah, then Abualrub is wrong in saying that Allah is Arabic for elohim. Elohim is the plural form of eloah, and in neither case do we find the definite article forming part of the words themselves as we find with Allah. The definite article in Hebrew is ha, not al, and if one wanted to speak of THE God in Hebrew, he would have to attach the definite article to the words that are commonly used for God in the Hebrew Bible (i.e., el, eloah, elohim etc.).” (see Gen. 35:1,3; Deut. 4:35, 39; Isa. 42:5) — Sam Shamoun

    Using several examples from the Bible and the Koran, Shamoun also proves that:

    “…if the word Allah is derived from “ilah”, then there is nothing special in the Muslim god being called Allah. Allah, much like the English word God, just so happens to be a generic noun that can be used for any deity, not just for the true God of the Holy Bible. Thus, just because Muslims call their god Allah doesn’t mean that they are worshiping the same true God as revealed in the Holy Bible. In other words, even though Arab speaking Jews and Arabic Christians use the word Allah when speaking of the God they believe in, this doesn’t mean that they have the same God in mind as the Muslims.”

    “If, on the other hand, Muslims claim that Allah is not derived from “ilah”, but is the eternal, unchangeable name of their god, then this only proves that the god revealed in Islam cannot be the true God revealed in Holy Scripture. The everlasting name of the true God of the Holy Bible is not Allah, nor is it el, elohim, eloah, elah etc. The proper name of the God of Abraham is Yahweh (Jehovah).”

    So there you go. You are clearly wrong. The problems clearly DO exist. God did NOT “name himself Allah” after all.

    And there is one more thing that you have not considered. “Allah is not called Yahweh once in the Koran but neither is Yahweh called Allah in the Bible. So they can’t be the same God.” — Mike Oppenheimer, LetUsReason
    But what’s this? In Jer. 32:27, “Elohiym” is SPECIFICALLY identified as Yahweh, right? So since Yahweh is never called “Allah” in the Bible, and Allah is never called Yahweh in the Koran, then there’s NO WAY to derive the term Allah in that particular verse!
    Obviously, this post is lengthy, too lengthy, but you don’t and won’t have any refutation for this stuff. Mohler’s argument is on a VERY solid basis here, for anybody with access to both Bible & Koran.

  • As for your other argument (that “Odin” thing), that’s a lot quicker to dispose of, Eddie. All we know is that we English speakers use the term “God”, which apparently derives from the Proto-Germanic term “guthan.”

    But that’s ALL you and I know about it, other than the following:

    “ … Old English god “supreme being, deity; the Christian God; image of a god; godlike person,” from Proto-Germanic *guthan (cognates: Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Dutch god, Old High German got, German Gott, Old Norse guð, Gothic guþ), from PIE *ghut- “that which is invoked” (cognates: Old Church Slavonic zovo “to call,” Sanskrit huta- “invoked,” an epithet of Indra), from root *gheu(e)- “to call, invoke.” (Online Etymology Dictionary)

    “When I checked up with other Etymological sources, I find that scholars are not agreed on the etymology available. So, as such the root for the word ‘God’ provided in searches is quite doubtful and not acceptable to scholars.” — (“Ask a Linguist”, Linguistlist.org)

    So let’s just be honest Eddie. You absolutely do NOT have the evidence to support your claim that us English-speakers have borrowed the name of ANY pagan god (be it Proto-Germanic or not) when we say the word “God.” You have NO evidence-based link, NO evidence-based derivation, that we English speakers derived the term “God” from “Odin” or any other heathen goober. That much is clear.
    I think that pretty much clears up the “name game”, wouldn’t you agree?

  • Ben to the rescue? Oh yes.
    The etymological “name game” is now destroyed (see my most recent replies to Fast Eddie), so let’s see why this Odin bloke is trying to hang his little fanny on a tree.

    http://norse-mythology.org/tales/odins-discovery-of-the-runes/

    Okay, got it Ben. Gotta tell you the truth upfront: Anybody with the slightest familiarity with the Bible’s contents, will immediately see that this “Odin and the Magic Tree” business is NOT a parallel with any account of God or Jesus in the Bible.

    In fact Odin is performing an outright sin, he’s actually doing pure SHAMANISM. This stuff happens to be part of the occult “divination” stuff that is expressly forbidden by the true God, the God of the Bible. So we Christians ain’t borrowing NOTHING from that Odin joker!!

    (Plus the occult tree Yggdrasil happens to be WAY different than the ordinary wooden cross on which Jesus died. But you already knew that!)

  • I would not even disagree with Larycia Hawkins claiming she’s a Christian. It’s just that the unfortunate teaching that she has gotten herself bogged down with, is a heresy.

  • Umm, biblically speaking, NO, that ain’t it. Those other “views” you speak of, are not what the Bible says.

  • Nope, ANOTHER mistake. I’m sorry to be going on like this, but today I have a little extra time today and I’ve decided to push things a little.

  • Oh, doc. doc. doc. doc. You are such a smart feller– or do I have my initial consonants mixed up– but such a smart feller that you frequently outsmart yourself. Maybe, sometime, you should learn a little respect, but then you wouldn’t be the smart feller you think you are.

    And perhaps read with a little understanding the very citation that you have triumphantly produced to prove me wrong. But then, you would have learned that rather than refute me, you proved my point beyond a shadow of a doubt.

    Here is just ONE of the many points in this article you cited, smart feller that you are, that proves my point.

    “Our source for the above tale is the Hávamál, an Old Norse poem that comprises part of the Poetic Edda. In the first of the two verses that describe Odin’s shamanic initiatory ordeal itself (written from Odin’s perspective), the god says that he was “given to Odin, myself to myself.” The Old Norse phrase that translates to English as “given to Odin” is gefinn Óðni, a phrase that occurs many times throughout the Eddas and sagas in the context of human sacrifices to Odin. And, in fact, the form these sacrifices take mirrors Odin’s ordeal in the Hávamál; the victim, invariably of noble birth, was stabbed, hung, or, more commonly, both at the same time.[2]

    Odin’s ordeal is therefore a sacrifice of himself to himself, and is the ultimate Odinnic sacrifice – for who could be a nobler offering to the god than the god himself?

    So, it seems that a statement above is in need of qualification. Part of Odin survived the sacrifice in order to be the recipient of the sacrifice – in addition to the runes themselves – and another part of him did indeed die. This is suggested, not just by the imagery of death in these verses, but also by the imagery of rebirth and fecundity in the following verses that speak of his being “fertilized,” and, like a seedling, “growing,” and “thriving.”

    End of quote from your citation. There are so many more.

    Now what christian myth is it that this sounds like? Noble birth “thou son of David?” New born KING? Hung? stabbed? tree? wood? Sacrifice of god to himself? Oh, yes, the central story of Christianity itself.

    I’m going to say something that normally I wouldn’t bother with, you being you and me being me.

    Idjwit.

  • So how would you respond, as a Corinthian, to Paul, when he writes to you, ” 18 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19 No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval.” I don’t think Paul was being complementary. There are other statements, such as “judge not lest you be judged”. Why not let Christ figure this all out, instead of arguing it out here to demonstrate here that you know what the ancient text which is, by its nature, subject to innumerable interpretations? How do you rank any of his OTHER statements, when he expressly said, “Love your neighbor” is the greatest?

  • Clearly, Christ’s example was not to defend himself. Nor did Christ generally chastise, correct or discipline or punish. He invited the good thief to heaven that very day. He said it was the Lord’s duty to judge, not yours. I suppose it may make you feel better to assume the role of chastising, correcting, disciplining, exposing and punishing your neighbor, instead of loving and forgiving him seventy times seven times, but the beauty of the Books is that anyone can find anything they want to justify who they are – violent people find justification of violence, loving people can find justification of love, and judgmental people can find justification of judgment. It’s a great system, and has led to the religious chaos we endure in the world today. Thanks for the discussion. Peace to you for the New Year.

  • You come across as being programmed. How would one know what all Christ done and said? There’s very little info on his life.

    Solomon said, “there’s a time for all things, including killing. There’s so many scriptures proving you wrong, I won’t bother pasting them b/c I believe you’re looking for argument.

    Cowardly Christians that reward only, with no chastisement, discipline and correction leads to animals like our ‘christian’ leadership that are savagely betraying/exploiting society and feverishly destroying the planet as you hang out in forums babbling about irrelevent ‘theological’ bs. Try raising a child without it and see what you get. Its a crap shoot.

    You’re confusing ‘judging’ with recognizing blatant evil. I believe intentionally, for argument. It reminds me of Isa 59:14 Judgement is turned backward, and justice stands far off: for Truth has fallen. Maybe a little out of context but…

    No judgement, leads to a depraved society like we have today, or worse. If there were noone judging, evil would ravage you. Or maybe you think one needs to go to a seminary/ law school to judge. Perhaps you robotically worship ‘law’ while abandoning all forms of reason.

    I have no problem what so ever forgiving thieves. B/c I ‘reasonably’ understand most are a result of a leaderless, screwed up society. Really just victims of poor parenting, a broken system and a greedy, moral less society ever more enslaved to working for bankers’ ‘capitalism and democracy’, trying to keep up with their investment, uh ‘inflation’, with no time for teaching their children right from wrong. I preach/teach to them in our local county jail frequently. In fact, without reason, one can’t forgive or judge.

    No doubt, it does require use of one’s God-given brain to recognize evil…or else you can find yourself a robot, not just robbed, but dead …or worse, caught up in a cult and held responsible for your ignorance or cowardness that has lead to, and complicit in, your leadership’s genocide.

    Without reason, people can turn into guys like you roaming forums like this, typing paragraphs like the above.

    If Christ, the prophets and disciples were like you, we wouldn’t have scriptures to learn how to recognize and ‘judge’ evil ….like this –

    Isaiah 1:23 Your leaders are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loves gifts, and follow after rewards: they deny justice to the fatherless, neither does the plight of the widow come to them. Isa 56:11 …they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter (district). Rom 16:18 …they serve their own belly; and by GOOD words and FAIR speeches deceive the minds of the simple. Jer 9:5 …they exhaust themselves in greed. Their habitation is in the midst of deceit… Prov 22:16 they oppress the poor to increase their riches, and they give to the rich… Psa 26:10 In whose hands is mischief, and their right hand (priority) is full of bribes. Psa 5:9 They flatter with their tongue. There is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is truly wicked; their throat is an open tomb. Psa 12:2 They speak vanity every one with his neighbor: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. Amos 5:7 They turn justice to bitterness, and neglect whats right… 5:12 they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor from whats right. 2 Peter 2:18 they speak great swelling words of pride, they manipulate using the desires of the people, through much wantonness… 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption… Isa 59:14 judgment is turned away backward, and justice stands far off: for truth is fallen. 1Tim 6:5 Perverse men of corrupt minds, destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness… 2 Tim 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. 2 Peter 2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: a mind they have exercised with greedy practices; cursed men. Ezekiel 33:31 …they come to you as the people come …they hear your words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goes after their greed.
    Jeremiah 9:3 they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth; they proceed from evil to evil, and they dont know Good …they deceive every one, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and exhaust themselves in greed. Their habitation is in the midst of deceit; because of deceit they refuse to know Good …their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaks deceit: he speaks peaceably to neighbors, but in his mind he lays their wait. Shall I not visit them for these things? says the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
    …and there’s much, much more but for space.

    Christ, all the disciples and prophets were killed by greasy politicians and delusional preachers for exposing them and breaking their ‘laws’. Its cover to cover Christianity 101 and ‘christians’ don’t have a clue. NONE! Why? B/c delusional, spiritually dead preachers/priests can’t do it anymore!

    They need to start following Jesus …instead of ‘worshiping’ him while drowning in hair-splitting, phariseeical ‘law’ and fantasized, comic-book ‘theology’ that is having little effect on the evil ravaging this planet.

    Good reasoning to you for the New Year.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKV1sTw8zOc

    https://www.thenation.com/article/how-many-missions-has-the-us-military-carried-out-in-africa-no-one-knows-for-sure/

    http://johnpilger.com/videos/utopia

    https://vimeo.com/46137917

    http://www.businessinsider.com/gods-bankers-financial-scandals-at-the-vatican-2015-2

    https://archive.org/stream/WarIsARacket/WarIsARacket_djvu.txt

    http://www.salon.com/2015/11/18/this_is_why_they_hate_us_the_real_american_history_neither_ted_cruz_nor_the_new_york_times_will_tell_you/

    http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/zinncol1.html

  • If the Scriptures are “subject to innumerable interpretations”, as you claim,, how do you know that Christ really said to “love your neighbor as yourself”? Hmm?

    And maybe you have misinterpreted that Pauline passage by the way, since there are “innumerable interpretations” of it possible. Maybe you are mistaken to quote it here.

    In fact, under those conditions, how can you even know whether John 3:16 and all the other Christ-salvation texts are true or false at all? How can anybody know?

  • Wow. Got me there, but it seems, again, you are proving my point – if you can’t know for certain, why are there “heretics” at all. If you can’t know, hmmm, why do you criticize someone for not interpreting the uninterpretable in the same way you do? Hmmmm?

  • Re: “So you start offering your own homegrown (and half-baked) philosophy of religion — one in which you arbitrarily claim that there’s ‘no possibility’ of religious certainty.”

    It’s not merely “my” philosophy. It is fact. Nothing metaphysical is demonstrable. Not. One. Single. Freaking. Thing. About. It. I defy you to produce compelling, objective, verifiable evidence your religion — and specifically, your personal form of it is true. Go ahead. I’ll wait while you come up with it. Just remember, it has to be both objective and verifiable.

    Re: “Jesus wasn’t bogged down in the quicksand of atheism like you are.”

    Woops! You missed your target with that accusation. I’m not an atheist. You might think I’m one … but I’m not. Just a suggestion for the future: Next time you feel like slapping a label on someone, you might want to take a few moments to check and see if that label actually applies to him/her. It could make you seem a bit less foolish.

    Re: “So Mohler takes care o’ some apologetics business around here, and what can you offer against his specific points?”

    Little Al hasn’t “taken care of” any form of “business” … except his own (i.e. lining his pockets from a job that allows him to spew all sorts of crap about everyone else’s “heresies”). What I have to “offer” to little Al is the same demand I made of you: To produce compelling, objective, verifiable evidence that his religion — and specifically, his personal form of it — is true.

    I will state right now that it this is impossible for either you or little Al to do. But of course, one or the other of you might surprise me and actually produce compelling, objective, verifiable evidence supporting your metaphysics. (That’s what makes me an agnostic, as opposed to the atheist you erroneously accused me of being.) But … I’m not counting on it.

    Re: “Nothing, except to pretend that Mohler’s sense of certainty on his replies to various challenges is but ‘imagined.'”

    Unless little Al can produce compelling, objective, verifiable evidence supporting his metaphysics, then in fact any “certainty” he may feel about them absolutely is “imagined.”

    Re: “But you actually **haven’t** refuted anything he said.”

    It’s not my job to refute some bellicose apologist’s accusations of “heresy” on the part of his fellow religionists. Not at all! I’m not a Christian. On the other hand, though, it does happen to be his job to produce compelling, objective, verifiable evidence supporting his metaphysics. If he can demonstrate that all the “heretics” who’ve got his knickers twisted in knots are, in fact, “heretics,” then little Al will finally have managed to do his job.

    As I already said, I don’t expect he will ever be able to do so, although I can’t rule it out entirely. But little Al has yet to live up to the burden of his claimed job as an American Christian “heresy hunter.”

  • ” …if you can’t know for certain, why are there “heretics” at all? ”

    A very good question…’if you can’t know for certain’…. Here’s a possible answer.

    Paul wrote this about his own knowledge and understanding and it might apply to other scripture as well —
    1. …our (my) knowledge is partial and incomplete…
    2. …we (I) see things imperfectly…
    3. All that I now know is partial and incomplete…
    (1 Corinthians 13:9,12)

  • ” Neither my existence as a gay man, nor my parenting of children, nor my marriage harms a single soul on the planet. ”

    Yes.

  • You mean like casting my pearls before swine? …b/c this is not a house of God. If it is, its full of ‘law bidin’ Pharisees. But how to reveal the Truth in few? minus adjectives? different forum? or just shut up? Either way, good lookin-out my friend.

  • It references the Queen of Heaven and the early pre-kingdom worship of her as God’s wife. Jerimiah is calling for his people to abandon the worship of the “old” polythiest Jewish gods in Jeremiah 44:15. The people respond that what was good enough for their fathers and kings is good enough for them. The implication being that polythiest worship was the norm pre-Kingdom.

  • That’s exactly what the “bible” says, or more accurately the Torah, in this case. Exodus 20:3 reads: לא יהיה־לך אלהים אחרים על־פני . That translates literally as, “not you shall have to you gods other before me the face of” or transliterally as, “You shall have no other gods before Me.”

  • I’ve seen that thesis a couple times and it has some serious merit. The god(s) of Israel during the Babylonian Exile was “El” and the polytheist pantheon. However, at some point, likely during the Egyptian period it changed to Yahweh and evolved into a monotheist religion by the Kingdom period.

  • I’m just saying that your OWN “innumberable interpretations” position, knocks out all your postings about Christ saying “love your neighbor as yourself”, and also knocks out your attempt to invoke Pauline verses as well.

    You really gotta decide whether you even want to quote or employ Bible verses at all, if you are THAT shaky on their authority and accuracy.

  • Not a problem on the demonstration aspect — which is why atheism is totally dominated by theism in America.

    Your atheism (and I’m not trying to be stubborn about things, but your “nothing metaphysical is demonstrable, all religion is indemonstrable and unverifiable” position is really part and parcel of atheism) is genuinely and honestly, rationally unsupportable in a universe that is amenable to the official scientific method (empirical observation, hypothesis formation, hypothesis testing, conclusions and repeat process.)

    God exists and atheism is falsified, because intelligent design in biology exists, since God is the Intelligent Creator of biological objects such as the eye (Prov. 20:12). Gotta break but be back on this shortly if they keep it on the list of articles.

  • I think I understand. You’re saying my interpretations are wrong, but yours are irrefutably right?

  • I have several family members who are part of the Witness’, as well. It’s an odd sect. Always comes off a little Jews for Jesus for me 🙂

  • That’s pretty much what Wikipedia says. Two distinct gods, at different times. There is a great deal of evidence for this in the bible itself. Take the story of Sodom, one of the oldest in the bible in my opinion. It is so ancient that god has to send an angel (literally, messenger) to find out if what he has “heard” about Sodom is true. So ancient that god WALKS to Abraham’s tent. So ancient that he sits down and has dinner with Abraham, and doesn’t know Sarah is hiding behind the door.

  • Re: “Not a problem on the demonstration aspect — which is why atheism is totally dominated by theism in America.”

    That non-believers are outnumbered by believers doesn’t “demonstrate” anything. To believe so is to fall for the argumentum ad populum fallacy*. That lots of people think something, even most people, cannot and will never magically make them correct.

    Re: “… your ‘nothing metaphysical is demonstrable, all religion is indemonstrable and unverifiable’ position is really part and parcel of atheism …”

    Wrong. It might be “ametaphysics,” but it’s not “atheism.” No matter how fervently you believe otherwise … it just is not. As I said, it would pay for you to pay attention to things and be aware of the actual meanings of words, before hurling them at people.

    Re: “… is genuinely and honestly, rationally unsupportable in a universe that is amenable to the official scientific method …”

    Not one thing about “the scientific method” supports the existence of any deity. Deities are metaphysical entities and therefore are beyond science. Also, you may wish to know, there is no “‘official’ scientific method” as opposed to some “‘unofficial’ scientific method.” If you believe this, then I suggest you probably don’t really understand what “the scientific method” is.

    Re: “God exists and atheism is falsified, because intelligent design in biology exists …”

    No it doesn’t. “Intelligent design” has no scientific basis whatsoever. None. Not a speck of a hint of an iota of it. (If I may use a Biblicalism.)

    Re: “Gotta break but be back on this shortly if they keep it on the list of articles.”

    Go ahead and peddle your ridiculous, laughable gibberish at people. You’re still lying if you say your God is scientifically demonstrable and that “intelligent design” (which is a misnomer since there’s nothing truly “intelligent” about it) is part of biology. Did your God tell you to run around lying to people? Because that’s what you’re doing, you know.

    * I can translate that from the Latin for you, if you need me to. Just say the word.

  • Actually, that is NOT the greatest commandment. The first and greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. The SECOND, which is predicated on the first, is to love your neighbor as yourself. Without first loving God, the second is useless, doing nothing to alleviate the real problem of man, which is separation from God, not separation from each other.

  • Why would you choose the commandment that doesn’t suggest you help your fellow man vs. the one which clearly does so?

  • Because it all goes back to motivation. The first commandment is there to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength for several reasons. One being that God knows if we truly love Him with ALL that we are first then we begin to allow the Holy Spirit to change us and use us to naturally follow the second commandment, which is to love thy neighbor as ourselves. God loved mankind SO much that He gave His Son to die on the cross. Secondly, God knows mankind’s form of love is a selfish, fallen love and without the sanctifying work of the Spirit in our lives as we seek to know God and love Him with all we are, we cannot truly love others as we do ourselves. It is in following the first commandment that we can truly follow the second in the way it needs to be followed. There is no greater way to love your neighbor than to be the witness of the gospel of Christ, in all aspects (service to, literally sharing the gospel, showing the love of Christ, etc.). If we are just “loving others” and not sharing Christ with them then it is useless, temporary…not eternal. So, it isn’t helping fellow man if you don’t first know and love God with everything FIRST!!

  • 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37-39 (Context, Context, Context…a must have for interpretation.)

    okay, your comment makes no sense in light of mine..but that’s okay. You basically just proved my point..hence the verse says “and the SECOND is like it…” which means there is a FIRST, and in the pecking order second comes AFTER the first. I mean, God did give us language as well. And He taught us that if something is First, like Himself, then that is to happen first. Then when that happens, the second can take place. So, loving GOD FIRST is the command, which then will lead to loving your neighbor as the SECOND command. So, again thank you for proving my point with Scripture. God bless you 24601lnd!

  • Forgive me, I’m a “faith without works is dead” kind of guy. I observe people who claim to have faith who do not demonstrate it through their love of fellow man. I see many of faith to be the most judgmental among us, notwithstanding, “judge not”. So for me, the simplest path is to cut to the chase and say you demonstrate your faith by your works. Feel free to think otherwise. I appreciate your sincere discussion.

  • God’s word might be inerrant, but I’m not so bold as to believe man’s interpretation of it 2100 year later is. So I follow the simplest approach – WWJD? By his own actions, he did not judge, he fed the poor, forgave the sinner, in sum, loved his neighbor – things I don’t see many people of faith doing. Thanks again.

  • Yes, as I’m sure you know, it was James, the brother of Christ, who said, “20. But are you willing to understand, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21. Was not Abraham our father justified by works . . . 22. Do you not see that faith was working together with his works, and by works his faith was perfected? . . . 24. You see, then, that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only (James 2:14, 17 – 18, 20 – 22, 24, HBFV).

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