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A new play, ‘Christmas Mubarak,’ mixes Christian and Muslim stories of Jes …

The full cast and choir sing in the Silk Road Rising original production of “Christmas Mubarak” at the Chicago Temple in Chicago. Photo by Airan Wright/Silk Road Rising

CHICAGO (RNS) — The scene is familiar from many Nativity scenes arranged at this time of year: the Virgin Mary, cradling the newborn Jesus.

Then, the baby speaks, defending his mother’s innocence and declaring he has been appointed as a prophet. 

That might come as a surprise to Christians in the audience of the new play “Christmas Mubarak.”

Ensemble members Tommy Malouf, left, and Annelyse Ahmad perform a scene portraying Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus in the Silk Road Rising production of “Christmas Mubarak” at the Chicago Temple in Chicago. Photo by Airan Wright/Silk Road Rising

The play, an original production from the Chicago theater company Silk Road Rising, sets the story of the births and lives of both Mary and Jesus from the Quran and Muslim traditions alongside the Christmas music of Christian traditions, in hopes it will illustrate how much the two religions have in common.

“Christmas Mubarak” premiered last weekend in Silk Road Rising’s basement theater at the Chicago Temple, home to First United Methodist Church. The theater company was formed after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, to shape conversation about Asian and Middle Eastern Americans and became the church’s company in residence several years later.

With an ensemble cast of four playing all the characters and adding scholarly asides where Muslim traditions interpret stories differently, the show is — in its own words — the story of “a love affair” between Islam and Jesus, who is viewed as a prophet by Muslims.

The songs in the show, which range from a Byzantine Christian hymn to Christmas carols like “Oh Holy Night” to contemporary Christian songs like “Mary Did You Know,” are performed by several members of First United Methodist’s choir.

“This is a love letter to the Muslims we know and who come, that they’re going to feel like they’re incorporated in the Christmas holiday,” said Corey Pond, a Silk Road member who directed and adapted the play, working with a consultant on Islam to make sure it wouldn’t offend.

Pond, who was raised United Methodist, began working on the play over the summer. He said he wanted to tell the Muslim stories of Jesus’ life chronologically, from the promise of his birth to the promise of his return, and chose stories that, if they weren’t the same in both Islam and Christianity, were similar enough to feel familiar to Christians in the audience.

There’s the story of the angel Gabriel announcing to Mary she miraculously will give birth to Jesus, similar to the account in the Christian Gospel of Luke. In Islam, this fulfills a prophecy that was given to her father. Mary then hides away during her pregnancy, revealing it to Joseph, who in Islam is not her fiance, but her cousin.

Like the play’s Christmas tree — the date palm under which Mary gives birth to Jesus, alone in the desert — the stories of Jesus’ miraculous healings and his temptation, familiar as they are to Christians, come with what Pond called a “twist,” or a slightly different moral in Islam.

At one point, God sends a miraculous supper to Jesus and his disciples that may call to mind for Christians the scene of Jesus’ Last Supper with the disciples. And the play describes prophecies about Jesus’ return, though Muslims do not believe, as Christians do, that Jesus was crucified, died and rose from the dead.

“It’s different enough that it feels like a wonderful way for both Muslim and Christian to refresh their understanding of the story and to find something new in the story in this moment that we live in,” said Malik Gillani, executive director of Silk Road Rising.

Micah Hilson, center, performs in a scene from the Silk Road Rising production of “Christmas Mubarak” at the Chicago Temple in Chicago. Photo by Airan Wright/Silk Road Rising

The idea for the production came from Gillani, who is Shiite Ismaili Muslim, and Jamil Khoury, a Syrian Orthodox Christian, who founded Silk Road Rising.

Khoury, the company’s artistic director, said they had been thinking about telling the Muslim and Christian stories of Jesus’ birth and life alongside each other for several years. They brought it to the stage, they said, at a time when divisions between the two religions feel heightened.

“Jesus being the central figure in Christianity and Jesus being an important figure in Islam — and also Mary being an important figure in Islam — it just seemed to me that this would be a very useful conversation starter and also a way to illuminate for Christian audiences many of the similarities,” Khoury said.

Ensemble member Tommy Malouf in a scene from “Christmas Mubarak.” Photo by Airan Wright/Silk Road Rising

After a workshop performance on Nov. 30, one audience member described “Christmas Mubarak” as the “Muslim ‘Godspell,’” referring to the Broadway musical of the 1970s based on the Gospel of Matthew. Others called it “a learning experience,” expressing surprise that in the Quran Jesus didn’t die on a cross — or that he appeared in the Quran at all.

In fact, as the play notes in one of its scholarly asides, Jesus is named more often than any other figure in the Quran. And Mary is the only woman explicitly named in Muslims’ holy book, appearing more frequently in the Quran than she is in the Christian New Testament. An entire chapter is named after her in the Quran.

In light of the #MeToo movement, Mary’s prominence in the play and in the Quran adds to the show’s timeliness, said Gillani, and shows the power of seeing the Christmas story through the eyes of two faiths.

“I think that the moment we’re living in is (one) where we all need to take this journey with each other,” he said.

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.

248 Comments

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  • I hope this is successful at its home, that others pick it up and perform it and that Muslims come to those places and enjoy being with Christians reaching out. No matter what views we have, we are supposed to cheer for any love letter.

  • Well, I do hear an echo of 2Cor 6:14. “… what can light and darkness have in common?”
    Perhaps that’s too unpopular an idea these days.

  • It’s the mixing that’s the problem, Paul says.
    Islam came into the world some 600 years after Christianity, so he knew nothing of it. It doesn’t preach the good news of God’s kingdom, so it isn’t the light. Mt 24:14; 28:19,20.
    The religion being practiced by Silk Road Rising seems to be not much of anything. Not light.
    Look elsewhere for that, in the Bible.

  • I’m familiar with the Bible and those verses. The light represents Islam and the darkness Christianity, right? Or is it the other way?

  • Paul’s religion is the light. Islam – or any other ‘competing’ religion – is the dark
    BTW I think Silk Road’s operators have some connection with Islam, but I don’t know what it is Nor do I care.

    You may know that Muhammad knew of Jesus as a figure in the Bible. Islam considers him a prophet, the last and greatest until Muhammad himself. Much of his knowledge, though, came from Jews he encountered in his business travels. [Jews and Arabs coexisted peacefully in that place and time.] As a result, their picture of Jesus is distorted With legends. Not a good source. 🙂

  • Because religions and their concept of god(s) are manmade. This conclusion comes from the lack of scientific accuracy and plausibility in many of their key beliefs.

  • It’s supposed to “illustrate how much the two religions have in common”.

    To me, it illustrates how much the two religions differ in their beliefs about Jesus.

  • Mohammed was a warlord who apparently personally beheaded folkes who did not agree with him. Jesus, at least the Jesus of the Gospels who lived centuries before Mohammed, not only rejected violence and war but insisted on forgiveness. Unlike repeated verses in the Koran that demands the death of non believers the Gospels do not. There is no comparison let alone reconciling of the two religions when it comes to the Person and teaching of Jesus. Like fundamentalist mythic narratives in evangelical Christianity or imperial socio-political interpretations of the apostolic era in traditionalist Catholic ecclesiology Islamic fundamentalism is incapable of inter religious mutuality. You can loose your head for disagreeing with the Koranic version of Jesus in most Islamist theocracies fortunately there are no longer any Christian theocracies…oops forgot the Vatican!

  • Why pick? The best answer is to ignore both. I don’t do “organized religion.” Individual personal spirituality works best for me. But I can watch a play by religious people without judging them. Listening and viewing won’t “steal” my soul. When I was a young adult, back in the 1970s, I was in the musical “Godspell” and our Director was a self-styled “Black gay Christian pastor” of the Metropolitan Community Church. I still went and did my 2-year “Mormon mission,” no worse for the fun of being in that musical.

  • There is no existence of any gods….
    Show your evidence;
    All you have is one single solitary book composed and written by men –

    Think!!!

  • Thinking is obviously something you take great pains not to do, as it does not suit your agenda.

    Toddle off somewhere else to tell your self lies.

  • Cute fable, but still does not constitute evidence. Your ‘gospels’ are hearsay, ie spurious; and even if they showed evidence for the dubious existence of this jesus, that still could not make him any god (something else never yet proven…)

  • none of these verses even amongst those hearing them at the time would have been considered literal. It is a far cry from using a Aramaic metaphor to illustrate a choice and a direct and repeated command to kill non believers! good goddess even a fundamentalist should know that!

  • I am atheist, and I probably agree with you on most points, if I remember correctly.

    Nevertheless, there is Jesus saying stuff that must be assumed to be metaphorical, becuase it doesnt sound good if you take it literally. And yet fundamentalists will tell you every word of the Bible is literally true. I have had them tell me this about those passages specifically.

    It’s a puzzlement.

  • That’s true, until you get to the Bible. THEN the atheists get to play defense — and they usually come out looking far worse than the Jaguars in tonight’s football game. Poor little Jags!

  • Oh please. Is this the best response that the religion of Atheism can offer? So very pitiful.

    Again, please go look in the mirror. Your cheapo bathroom mirror with the dried toothpaste on it, will do nicely.
    What do you see? You see your face. You see your facial muscles, your facial expressions.

    So congrats. You’ve just disproved atheism SCIENTIFICALLY, using empirical observation. More details:
    https://creation.com/overdesign-in-humans-and-facial-expressions

  • Of course I’m overwhelmed by your tact, courtesy and grasp of scientific principles. Lower yourself and bear with me, anyway, please.

    Look at your hand. Dozens of pieces; bones, muscles, tendons. All capable of hammering a nail, caressing a child, carrying a load for a friend. Where did all that come from?

    Look at your eye. Oh, no, you can’t. Well, look at Francis Crick’s eye, then, and consider what he had to say about it, in a SciAm article on the brain. “One is left with a feeling of amazement that [visual recognition in humans] can be accomplished so effortlessly in such a short space of time.” Where did that come from?

    Crick thinks he’s so smart, let him answer. “An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle.”
    In other words, ‘I don’t know.’

    Of course he wrote that back in 1981. Lots more knowledge available to us now. Today’s answer [and I have asked]: ‘We don’t know.’ As to your eye and hand, ‘They developed over millenia, by trial and error.’ Is that plausible?

    I have an answer, from reading a book. The answer is logical, internally consistent, scientific and as a bonus, it told me Why. That BTW is a question we ordinary humans often ask ourselves, but that science does not take as its province.
    The book is the most widely distributed of all time, used by many as a guide to living, and can be had for a dollar in many thrift shops.
    Or not.

  • It might help your teaching if you checked your facts.
    Muhammad and his wife made a nice living as traders. He traveled with the caravans and she stayed home and kept the books. [He was illiterate.]
    Later, after his visitation from “Allah”, he proved to be a capable general.

    The message of Jesus was the establishment of God’s kingdom, “on earth as it is in heaven. As you can imagine, earthly governments will not take kindly to this so force will be required and was prophesied by him. Mt 24,25; Mr 13; Lu 21. That’s what Armageddon is for. That will be fought by God’s forces with Jesus at their head. Humans will not be needed.
    Islam OTOH encourages humans to act as God’s agents. They live by the sword …
    Myself, I’ve been impressed by their friendliness and hospitality when I’ve met them. But, it is a command from the Qur’an.

  • Did you ever read Moby Dick? A terrific book. A good half of it is modeled on Shakespeare and the Bible; allegory, metaphor, parallels. The last chapter title is quoted from Job, and references an account in Matthew.
    Don’t let that keep you from enjoying it.

  • So, bottom line, and conclusion … You have nothing – so far – that resembles anything acceptable as evidence for your gods…
    If you paid attention in High school, you would not be making silly IDK statements on the sciences…

  • Not only did Jesus mean them literally, but they were prophecies which have come to pass.
    From the family level up to international affairs the sayings of Jesus have neen used to foment arguments and homicides.
    And why not? People commit these acts over Communism vs. Capitalism, divorces have occurred over Trump vs. anti-Trump …

    At this time of year it’s common to think of a “warm and fuzzy” Jesus, a little baby in the manger. That was a long time ago. Now, he’s ruling as appointed king of his Father’s kingdom. He’s the one on the white horse at Rev 6:2, and look who’s with him – vv. 3-8.

    There’s much you don’t know about the God of the Bible. Ask questions; study. Not for nothing is its message called “gospel”: good news.

    So-called fundamentalists usually get it wrong. Compare their ‘hellfire torture’ teaching with the Bible, for instance.

  • Hey, even Oakland is contradictory. Recall what Gertrude Stein said about it, yet just yesterday I heard it called “rhythmic Oakland”.
    😀

  • Jesus the Prophet and Mary the virgin mother of Jesus have the aura of Holiness when mentioned in the Quran. You can feel their spirituality and being God chosen as one read about them in Islam’s Holy Book. When you have Christians and not so Christians who skirt the miracle of virgin birth and have convulted interpretation of God in three person you cannot help but find solace in the message of the Quran. With Jews outright rejection of Jesus and the virgin birth the Abrahamic religion (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) that enlightens us about Jesus and Mary, ruling out the extreme conclusion of Divinity or impostorship is surely Islam and the Quran.

  • The only puzzlement is why an atheist would be talking to fundamentalists.

    One assumes the atheist rarely encounters the fundamentalist in, say, Club 21 or Hella Gay Dance Party, so it might fair to assume the atheist trolls fundamentalists.

  • I read some of the link. I understand his focus on the brain.
    Several times he mentions irreducible complexity, which is indeed a deal killer for evolution.
    My favorite example is the mitochondrion. It’s the energy factory of the cell, and the cell cannot live without it. It cannot exist without being connected to – being an integral part of – a cell. Sine qua non. Current scientific thinking acknowledges this. Therefore the cell – “the basic unit of life” – was engineered with it ab ovo, which is not proper evolutionary thinking. So, the current effort is to hypothesize a free-floating mitochondrion ‘way back in the primordial soup that somehow got inside a cell. That is “not plausible”, to quote another poster.
    What I’ve just given is my go-to position on evolution. If that doesn’t start an evolutionist thinking, then it’s time to move on. Mt 10:13. 🙂

  • Club 21? Hella Gay Dance Party?
    It’s obvious what they are from context, but … how does a good Catholic know them???

  • and I can insist that you go back and finish high school properly as those are elementary courses nowadays…; and a pathetic attempt at deflecting away from admitting that you cannot prove your god (which btw has nothing to do with the sciences)

  • Translation: “I don’t know.”

    High School; AA degree in Electronics Technology; made a good living in that field until retirement.

    For the record, I’ll repeat my question now and leave it hanging. You know where it is when you have the answer.

    Where did life come from?
    I insist on evidence to support your answer.

  • and that is still a deflection with no connection to the sciences, which as you must know shows no necessity of any gods – so it is up to you to prove your claims for your gods.
    (this is base line elementary)

  • Apocalyptic literature is older than the Hebrew Scriptures and found widely in all religions. The “final battle” narrative is found also in most and certainly was evident in writings of the Essenes who many scholars believe Jesus knew. Human kind is quite capable with its development of biological and nuclear weapons to destroy the planet and all living matter thereto, no divinity necessary or required!

  • Surely dialogue requires that both traditions feel safe to express their distinctive beliefs – this account sounds as though Christian essentials have been jettisoned in favour of the Qu’ranic narrative. Since one of the areas of agreement between Christianity and Islam is that God is almighty, the question at the heart of the discussion is not whether God *can* become incarnate , or *can* self-configure as Trinity, it is whether He is the kind of person Who would.

  • fundamentalist mythology is build on a house of cards and when one just one is removed it collapses. Their pathology will not allow them to accept this as this would render their literalism as non sense. They know this on some level and because it is such a threat to the bubble they choose to live in their response is fanaticism and violence,

  • my dear boy I know a number of very competent anger management therapists who would be of much needed help for you and your obvious unresolved conflicts and recommend highly you contact them. Petulance is unbecoming of even sophomoric attempts at scholarship.

  • People who know know that, say he plagiarized.
    Joseph Conrad, who had a Master’s certificate, said the whole book was junk.
    🙂
    I loved it.

  • Typical amateur and childish arrogant reply that we expect to hear when the theists have no evidence; just another deflection away from proof.
    You have no gods!!!
    and yes it is the lies – especially to children – that anger us…

  • Real funny that you continue to lie, ie deflect away, from any evidence to prove your gods….

    (the intellect on this page is as low as as it gets…)

  • What puzzles me about the Islamic understanding of the role of Jesus, is that the New Testament is held to have become corrupt, thus explaining the numerous references to the deity of Jesus, to His crucifixion, and to His Resurrection. However, in addition to the numerous extant copies of the New Testament of very early date, there are also a lot of early Christian writings which assume the truth of the above beliefs. This implies frequent mistakes in passing on details, many of them
    a) Within the lifetime of the writers;
    b) Related to to the same couple of doctrines;
    c) Not consistent with mere transcription errors, which might result in a spelling error or the omission of a word.
    Unless the Qu’ran is arguing for a conspiracy within the early church aimed at according Jesus a more-than-due deference (and a conspiracy, moreover, that inspired men and women to die as martyrs for its assertions), it is difficult to see how this could happen.

  • If someone wrote me a love letter, I’d want to be able to trust its contents, and ultimately the writer. This would make truth and integrity important. Supposing, for argument’s sake, that my fiance was writing to me about wedding plans, and I had picked out a fashionable, but most unbecoming wedding gown. If he assured me that it would look wonderful on me, how would I feel when I looked at the photographs afterwards?

  • What is the statistical likelihood of someone coming up with (for example) the idea of the Trinity, and seriously thinking that it was worth trying to get others to believe it? Surely a man-made god would not have characteristics which are counter-intuitive.

  • I would question whether fundamentalism, in and of itself, actually does lead to violence.- the issue hinges on the nature of the beliefs in question. An evangelical pacifist (yes, there are some) would be unlikely to resort to violence in support of his/her beliefs.

  • I don’t think these Christians are trying to marry these Muslims or trying to be tactful about their choice of attire for the wedding they are not having. As a matter of fact, I am no fan at all of Muslim doctrine, but I am a fan of bridge-building or attempted bridge-building.

    The love letter may be more like what George Strait described in a country song about his third-grade love, Emmy Lou. She passed him a note which read:

    “Do you love me, do you want to be my friend? And if you do, well then don’t be afraid to take me by the hand——if you want to. Check yes or no.

  • Bridges need to be attached at both ends, though. I’m not sure that devising a vehicle for the presentation of Islamic doctrine accompanied by Christian songs does the job – maybe it’s a pier, rather than a bridge. As someone whose childhood idea of the seaside was Southend (Essex, UK) with its famous pier, there’s nothing wrong with a good pier – but you need to be clear that this is what you are getting when you are assessing its value and likely cost.

  • >>it is difficult to see how this could happen.<<
    Yes, the assertion that the Bible has been corrupted has NO PROOF of said corruption. For example, the claimants of this view (Muslims, and now more frequently New Agers) cannot point, for example to the changes made from the original texts to the newer texts supportive of the scale of the claims they are making.

    Typically, it goes like this:
    –They(Seer, Prophet, Appointed Messenger etc) state they obtained divine knowledge from some celestial personage (if not God himself)
    –The Bible has been corrupted, however the Message as given by stated seer, will correct that.
    –Jesus tends to be very important, however, the Seer, for all practical purposes, becomes more important than Jesus.
    –The Seer typically either does no miracles or miracles of such vagueness as to be a non issue. Instead the seer's credibility is maintained by charisma, and in some cases supplanted by various levels of force.

  • Yes, Quran does indeed elevate Jesus and Mary in their Holiness and is an important component for Muslims in helping to understand the sovereignty of God through Jesus. I find it intriguing that Mary the virgin mother of Jesus is appearing throughout the world in many areas, some of them Muslim, or once Muslim controlled, perhaps to help them understand this, for example:
    A two year incident at Zeitoun, Egypt, a mysterious apparition of the Virgin Mary, seen by thousands, appeared over a Coptic Church 1968 to 1971, first noticed by Muslims,….
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Zeitoun
    http://www.marypages.com/ZeitoenEng.htm

  • Perhaps. My original comment at top of our exchange was simply a well-wish for people who are “trying something”. Whether what they are trying actually “works” to spark anything meaningful in the bridge department remains to be seen. I actually have no idea whether they are crafting a minor hit or a complete flop.

    I will share with you again that I am no fan at all of any of the Islamic doctrine, and, we know that official Islam rejects a great deal of the Christian doctrine except for (unfortunately) the worst of it all—-the first books of the Bible. BUT, I am a fan of people, including Muslim people. We need some common ground, if any can be found, to say, “Hey, most of these doctrines on all sides are hoopla anyway. We need to stop feuding and act in cross-cultural kindness. If we CANNOT do that, our religions are useless drivel which have NO value in making us into decent human beings.”

  • Numerous legends placed in what is often referred to as Gnostic Gospels sprung up about Jesus starting around the early 2nd century which either embellished the original account (in the Gospel of Peter, est125AD, Jesus emerged from the Tomb with his Cross floating after him and even speaking) else added new material primarily focusing around his pre-teen years. In the Infancy Gospel of Thomas mid to late 2nd century (125-190AD) “involves Jesus making clay birds, which he then proceeds to bring to life, found also attributed to Jesus in Quran 5:110.”

    While such stories from the earlier Infancy Gospel of Thomas, in circulation centuries before the Quran, were present, they were not canonized because they were considered, at best, fiction by early Christians.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infancy_Gospel_of_Thomas
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Peter

    Nevertheless, by circulating these stories with this theatrical presentation, may invite greater willingness by Muslims to investigate more seriously the actual source documents about Jesus as preserved by the Bible. Christians, in understanding that Islam does indeed hold Jesus and Mary in high regard, can use that conversational point in helping them to understand who the King of Kings really is.

  • Well anyone that wants, can deny that Christ is the Messiah right to his face one of these days.

  • Christians have thousands of manuscripts.
    Muslims have the sayings of one man who had a vision in a cave.

  • “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men
    loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.”

  • In Hijra year 5 (627 AD), on the orders of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, almost nine hundred Jews of a Medinan tribe named Banu Qurayza were massacred by Muslims. The women and young children who have not yet reached puberty are taken captive by Muslims to be sold in slave markets for horses and weapons, and all the males who have reached puberty are beheaded on Muhammad’s orders.
    A nice trader who became a “capable general”.

  • Thanks for the tip. I went to the most reasonable source I could find, the Jewish Encyclopedia.
    I’m unable to copy/paste on my phone, so please go to jewishencyclopedia.com, under Mohammad, as they spell it.

    A very interesting read and it matches what I previously knew about him. The account you gave is sketchy and omits two relevant facts. He had earlier conquered two other Jewish clans without massacres. Also, it was an underling who ordered the actual massacre, although it’s certain it couldn’t have happened without his knowledge. [Much of the attacks on individuals in Medina and Mecca seem to have been of the type of Henry II toward Becket: ‘Who will rid me of _____?’]

    In any case, his development as a religious and military leader parallels many others in history: Gradually more power-hungry, with less conscience.

    My original assessment of him stands. Whovever ordered the fire bombing of Dresden was also a capable general. I say nothing of his humanity.

  • In teaching others about Jesus and his Father, the best tactic is to use his Father’s word, of which Jesus said, ‘It is truth.’ John 17.

  • well, not so much ‘mixing’, just ‘disposing’. They’re using the Quranic version is completely is the opposite of Christianity. Christianity says he is the son of God who later sacrificies himself for the seal of a covenant to prevent God’s wrath/punishments on mankind from continuing, while Islam states it’s just a guy who managed to be born without a dad who ended up not really doing anything substantial except cheerleading for an illiterate kiddy-diddler. They are completely opposite. So this is just the ISLAMIST version, which succeeds to corrupting the true Christian version. It is anti-Christ 100%.

  • not true. Issa is a retconned namedrop, while Mariam is a gross distortion of Miriam (Judaism) and Mary (NT), with illiterate Mohammed calling Mariam “Sister of Aaron” (which is Miriam), and whom Mohammed lusts after and declares she will be one of his wives for eternity for being a good virgin. That’s the earliest “Yo Momma” joke/insult in history. That isn’t respectful at all. Hell, Issa wasn’t even sacrificed. Illiterate Mo-Mo said he was ‘magically transformed’ and it was Judas being cucified, and yet we already know Judas hanged himself after Jesus was arrested and sacrificed.

  • “Abrahamic religion” is also a made up fake term made up by Mo-Mo, who was illiterate and failed to comprehend the chronology. Yes, there were Jews who denied Jesus, the same money-lenders in the temple that Jesus was running off. The trinity isn’t “Three in one persons”, it’s the same God in three FORMS. See, illiterate Mo-Mo sets this ‘literalist’ standard for Jews and Christians, but bring up that he thinks the sun sets in a pool of muddy water and “Oh noes! That was obviously a metaphor!”

  • exactly, and muslims keep saying “multiple versions of the Bible” thinking that means the Bible’s words keep being changed, when it’s actually just ‘which books are canon’, as the words within the books themselves are unchanged.

  • Christianity isn’t “organized religion”, it IS a personal spiritual relationship. You’re thinking specifically of Catholicism.

  • >enjoy being with Christians reaching out

    err.. you mean ‘dhimmis being hoodwinked by taqqiya dawah’

  • well, except Mo-Mo urinated all on bridge building by distorting and corrupting the lore of the previous two entries.

  • No, what? Jesus said his kingdom is ONLY in heaven. To do God’s WILL on earth as it is on heaven, not establish dominion. Jesus also taught we are all children of Cain, born into sin, and thus peace on earth 100% is impossible. Hell, Revelation paints an even bleaker future for Christians, being persecuted by the Anti-Christ (Mohammed).

  • ‘God’ can be seen as an authority higher than man in order to establish Law, Order and Society. You’d rather tell children to live in a world of chaos, anarchy and absolutely no authority except what they desire?

  • most of the stuff the Quran used about Issa is stuff mixed with other tales from other countries and civilizations. Basically the Quran is what you get when you play the telephone / monkey game through 100 thousand illiterate arabs

  • “breed plentifully and use the earth and its animals as your food and resources”. no theocracy there

  • If theocracy is government by God, then isn’t that exactly what we have there?
    God giving the earth to man and instructing him in its use.

  • And I’ll note you’re still in Judaism. And if you notice, chronologically after that, Cain killed Abel, and then it goes downhill from there as far as the depths humans go, hence the need for Jesus’ sacrifice to stop the ‘theocratic’ aspects, reducing the Law to the Golden Rule. The only Laws man gave were the 10 commandments (in Judaism). The Bible doesn’t even really go into ‘eternal punishment’ (that’s something Catholicism delved deeper into, and Islam solidified), and espouses the notion of free will. I doubt the existence of a ‘God’ who would dictate which hand to wipe one’s butt with.

  • Chronologically, this is long before Judaism. Abram won’t come along for centuries.
    Based on 1:28, what would you say was God’s purpose for the earth he created?

  • Personally I believe creation is the ultimate purpose of God and thus mankind is merely a carbon based manifestation that has the utmost advantage physically and mentally to create as well. But I am also more Zoroastrian (albeit via Nietzsche’s Zurathustra), thus I see things more in terms of creation/production vs atrophy/destruction.

  • We are where we are. “Make the best of it” is the hopeful side of every situation. Every other approach is worse.

  • I prefer God’s approach at the Tower of Babel, spreading the different people out to different corners, combined with the wisdom “Good fences make good neighbors”

  • “GOD WITH US”

    “HIS NAME SHALL BE CALLED IMMANUEL, . . . GOD WITH US.” “THE LIGHT OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE GLORY OF GOD” IS SEEN “IN THE FACE OF JESUS CHRIST.”

    From the days of eternity the Lord Jesus Christ was one with the Father; HE WAS “THE IMAGE OF GOD,” the image of His greatness and majesty, “THE OUTSHINING OF HIS GLORY.”

    It was to manifest this glory that He came to our world. To this sin darkened earth He came to reveal the light of God’s love, to be “GOD WITH US.” Therefore it was prophesied of Him, “HIS NAME SHALL BE CALLED IMMANUEL.”

    By coming to dwell with us, Jesus was to reveal God both to men and to angels. He was the Word of God, God’s thought made audible.

    In His prayer for His disciples He says, “I HAVE DECLARED UNTO THEM THY NAME,” “MERCIFUL AND GRACIOUS, LONG SUFFERING, AND ABUNDANT IN GOODNESS AND TRUTH,” “THAT THE LOVE WHEREWITH THOU HAST LOVED ME MAY BE IN THEM, AND I IN THEM.”

    But not alone for His earthborn children was this revelation given. Our little world is the lesson book of the universe. God’s wonderful purpose of grace, the mystery of redeeming love, is the theme into which “angels desire to look,” and it will be their study throughout endless ages. Both the redeemed and the unfallen beings will find in the cross of Christ their science and their song. It will be seen that the glory shining in the face of Jesus is the glory of self sacrificing love. In the light from Calvary it will be seen that the law of self renouncing love is the law of life for earth and heaven; that the love which “seeketh not her own” has its source in the heart of God; and that in the meek and lowly One is manifested the character of Him who dwelleth in the light which no man can approach unto.

    In the beginning, God was revealed in all the works of creation. It was Christ that spread the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth. It was His hand that hung the worlds in space, and fashioned the flowers of the field. “HIS STRENGTH SETTETH FAST THE MOUNTAINS.” “THE SEA IS HIS, AND HE MADE IT.” Ps. 65:6; 95:5. It was He that filled the earth with beauty, and the air with song. And upon all things in earth, and air, and sky, He wrote the message of the Father’s love.

    Now sin has marred God’s perfect work, yet that handwriting remains. Even now all created things declare the glory of His excellence. There is nothing, save the selfish heart of man, that lives unto itself. No bird that cleaves the air, no animal that moves upon the ground, but ministers to some other life. There is no leaf of the forest, or lowly blade of grass, but has its ministry. Every tree and shrub and leaf pours forth that element of life without which neither man nor animal could live; and man and animal, in turn, minister to the life of tree and shrub and leaf. The flowers breathe fragrance and unfold their beauty in blessing to the world. The sun sheds its light to gladden a thousand worlds. The ocean, itself the source of all our springs and fountains, receives the streams from every land, but takes to give. The mists ascending from its bosom fall in showers to water the earth, that it may bring forth and bud.

    The angels of glory find their joy in giving,giving love and tireless watchcare to souls that are fallen and unholy. Heavenly beings woo the hearts of men; they bring to this dark world light from the courts above; by gentle and patient ministry they move upon the human spirit, to bring the lost into a fellowship with Christ which is even closer than they themselves can know.

    But turning from all lesser representations, we behold God in Jesus. Looking unto Jesus we see that it is the glory of our God to give. “I DO NOTHING OF MYSELF,” SAID CHRIST; “THE LIVING FATHER HATH SENT ME, AND I LIVE BY THE FATHER.” “I SEEK NOT MINE OWN GLORY,” BUT THE GLORY OF HIM THAT SENT ME. JOHN 8:28; 6:57; 8:50; 7:18. In these words is set forth the great principle which is the law of life for the universe. All things Christ received from God, but He took to give. So in the heavenly courts, in His ministry for all created beings: through the beloved Son, the Father’s life flows out to all; through the Son it returns, in praise and joyous service, a tide of love, to the great Source of all. And thus through Christ the circuit of beneficence is complete, representing the character of the great Giver, the law of life.

    In heaven itself this law was broken. Sin originated in self-seeking. Lucifer, the covering cherub, desired to be first in heaven. He sought to gain control of heavenly beings, to draw them away from their Creator, and to win their homage to himself. Therefore he misrepresented God, attributing to Him the desire for self-exaltation. With his own evil characteristics he sought to invest the loving Creator. Thus he deceived angels. Thus he deceived men. He led them to doubt the word of God, and to distrust His goodness. Because God is a God of justice and terrible majesty, Satan caused them to look upon Him as severe and unforgiving. Thus he drew men to join him in rebellion against God, and the night of woe settled down upon the world.

    The earth was dark through misapprehension of God. That the gloomy shadows might be lightened, that the world might be brought back to God, Satan’s deceptive power was to be broken. This could not be done by force. The exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God’s government; He desires only the service of love; and love cannot be commanded; it cannot be won by force or authority. Only by love is love awakened. To know God is to love Him; His character must be manifested in contrast to the character of Satan. This work only one Being in all the universe could do. Only He who knew the height and depth of the love of God could make it known. Upon the world’s dark night the Sun of Righteousness must rise, “with healing in His wings.” Mal. 4:2.

    The plan for our redemption was not an afterthought, a plan formulated after the fall of Adam. It was a revelation of “THE MYSTERY WHICH HATH BEEN KEPT IN SILENCE THROUGH TIMES ETERNAL.” ROM. 16:25, R. V. It was an unfolding of the principles that from eternal ages have been the foundation of God’s throne. From the beginning, God and Christ knew of the apostasy of Satan, and of the fall of man through the deceptive power of the apostate. GOD did not ordain that sin should exist, but He foresaw its existence, and made provision to meet the terrible emergency. So great was HIS LOVE FOR THE WORLD, that He covenanted to give HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, “THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE.” JOHN 3:16.

    Lucifer had said, “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; . . . I will be like the Most High.” Isa. 14:13, 14. But Christ, “being in the form of God, counted it not a thing to be grasped to be on an

    equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men.” Phil. 2:6, 7, R. V., margin.

    This was a voluntary sacrifice. Jesus might have remained at the Father’s side. He might have retained the glory of heaven, and the homage of the angels. But He chose to give back the scepter into

    the Father’s hands, and to step down from the throne of the universe, that He might bring light to the benighted, and life to the perishing.

    Nearly two thousand years ago, a voice of mysterious import was heard in heaven, from the throne of God, “LO, I COME.” “SACRIFICE AND OFFERING THOU WOULDEST NOT, BUT A BODY HAST THOU PREPARED ME. . . . LO, I COME (IN THE VOLUME OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME,) TO DO THY WILL, O GOD.” HEB. 10:5-7. In these words is announced the fulfillment of the purpose that had been hidden from eternal ages. Christ was about to visit our world, and to become incarnate. He says, “A body hast Thou prepared Me.” Had He appeared with the glory that was His with the Father before the world was, we could not have endured the light of His presence. That we might behold it and not be destroyed, the manifestation of His glory was shrouded. His divinity was veiled with humanity, the invisible glory in the visible human form.

    This great purpose had been shadowed forth in types and symbols. The burning bush, in which Christ appeared to Moses, revealed God. The symbol chosen for the representation of the Deity was a lowly shrub, that seemingly had no attractions. This enshrined the Infinite. The all merciful God shrouded His glory in a most humble type, that Moses could look upon it and live. So in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, God communicated with Israel, revealing to men His will, and imparting to them His grace. God’s glory was subdued, and His majesty veiled, that the weak vision of finite men might behold it. So Christ was to come in “the body of our humiliation” (Phil. 3:21, R. V.), “in the likeness of men.” In the eyes of the world He possessed no beauty that they should desire Him; yet He was the incarnate God, the light of heaven and earth. His glory was veiled, His greatness and majesty were hidden, that He might draw near to sorrowful, tempted men.

    God commanded Moses for Israel, “Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them” (Ex. 25:8), and He abode in the sanctuary, in the midst of His people. Through all their weary wandering in the desert, the symbol of His presence was with them. So Christ set up His tabernacle in the midst of our human encampment. He pitched His tent by the side of the tents of men, that He might dwell among us, and make us familiar with His divine character and life. “THE WORD BECAME FLESH, AND TABERNACLED AMONG US (AND WE BEHELD HIS GLORY, GLORY AS OF

    THE ONLY BEGOTTEN FROM THE FATHER), FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH.” John 1:14, R. V., margin.

    Since Jesus came to dwell with us, we know that God is acquainted with our trials, and sympathizes with our griefs. Every son and daughter of Adam may understand that our Creator is the friend of sinners. For in every doctrine of grace, every promise of joy, every deed of love, every divine attraction presented in the Saviour’s life on earth, we see “God with us.”

    Satan represents God’s law of love as a law of selfishness. He declares that it is impossible for us to obey its precepts. The fall of our first parents, with all the woe that has resulted, he charges upon the Creator, leading men to look upon God as the author of sin, and suffering, and death. Jesus was to unveil this deception. As one of us He was to give an example of obedience. For this He took upon Himself our nature, and passed through our experiences. “IN ALL THINGS IT BEHOOVED HIM TO BE MADE LIKE UNTO HIS BRETHREN.” HEB. 2:17.

    If we had to bear anything which Jesus did not endure, then upon this point Satan would represent the power of God as insufficient for us. Therefore Jesus was “IN ALL POINTS TEMPTED LIKE AS WE ARE.” HEB. 4:15. He endured every trial to which we are subject. And He exercised in His own behalf no power that is not freely offered to us. As man, He met temptation, and overcame in the strength given Him from God. HE SAYS, “I DELIGHT TO DO THY WILL, O MY GOD: YEA, THY LAW IS WITHIN MY HEART.” Ps. 40:8. As He went about doing good, and healing all who were afflicted by Satan, He made plain to men the character of God’s law and the nature of His service. His life testifies that it is possible for us also to obey the law of God.

    By His humanity, Christ touched humanity; by His divinity, He lays hold upon the throne of God. As the Son of man, He gave us an example of obedience; as the Son of God, He gives us power to obey. It was Christ who from the bush on Mount Horeb spoke to Moses saying, “I AM THAT I AM. . . . THUS SHALT THOU SAY UNTO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, I AM HATH SENT ME UNTO YOU.” Ex. 3:14. This was the pledge of Israel’s deliverance. So when He came “IN THE LIKENESS OF MEN,” HE DECLARED HIMSELF THE I AM. THE CHILD OF BETHLEHEM, THE MEEK AND LOWLY SAVIOUR, IS GOD “MANIFEST IN THE FLESH.” 1 TIM. 3:16. AND TO US HE SAYS: “I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD.” “I AM THE LIVING BREAD.” “I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE.” “ALL POWER IS GIVEN

    UNTO ME IN HEAVEN AND IN EARTH.” JOHN 10:11; 6:51; 14:6; Matt. 28:18.

    I AM the assurance of every promise. I AM; be not afraid. “God with us” is the surety of our deliverance from sin, the assurance of our power to obey the law of heaven.

    In stooping to take upon Himself humanity, Christ revealed a character the opposite of the character of Satan. But He stepped still lower in the path of humiliation. “BEING FOUND IN FASHION AS A MAN, HE HUMBLED HIMSELF, AND BECAME OBEDIENT UNTO DEATH, EVEN THE DEATH OF THE CROSS.” PHIL. 2:8.

    As the high priest laid aside his gorgeous pontifical robes, and officiated in the white linen dress of the common priest, so Christ took the form of a servant, and offered sacrifice, Himself the priest, Himself the victim. “HE WAS WOUNDED FOR OUR TRANSGRESSIONS, HE WAS BRUISED FOR OUR INIQUITIES: THE CHASTISEMENT OF OUR PEACE WAS UPON HIM.” ISA. 53:5.

    Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. “WITH HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED.”

    By His life and His death, Christ has achieved even more than recovery from the ruin wrought through sin. It was Satan’s purpose to bring about an eternal separation between God and man; but in Christ we become more closely united to God than if we had never fallen. In taking our nature, the Saviour has bound Himself to humanity by a tie that is never to be broken. Through the eternal ages He is linked with us. “GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON.” JOHN 3:16.

  • He gave Him not only to bear our sins, and to die as our sacrifice; He gave Him to the fallen race. To assure us of His immutable counsel of peace, God gave His only begotten Son to become one of the human family, forever to retain His human nature. This is the pledge that God will fulfill His word. “UNTO US A CHILD IS BORN, UNTO US A SON IS GIVEN: AND THE GOVERNMENT SHALL BE UPON HIS SHOULDER.” God has adopted human nature in the person of His Son, and has carried the same into the highest heaven. It is the “Son of man” who shares the throne of the universe. It is the “SON OF MAN” WHOSE name shall be called, “WONDERFUL, COUNSELOR, THE MIGHTY GOD, THE EVERLASTING FATHER, THE PRINCE OF PEACE.” Isa. 9:6. The I Am is the Daysman between God and humanity, laying His hand upon both. He who is “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners,” is not ashamed to call us brethren. Heb. 7:26; 2:11. In Christ the family of earth and the family of heaven are bound together. Christ glorified is our brother. Heaven is enshrined in humanity, and humanity is enfolded in the bosom of Infinite Love.

    Of His people God says, “THEY SHALL BE AS THE STONES OF A CROWN, LIFTED UP AS AN ENSIGN UPON HIS LAND. FOR HOW GREAT IS HIS GOODNESS, AND HOW GREAT IS HIS BEAUTY!” Zech. 9:16, 17. The exaltation of the redeemed will be an eternal testimony to God’s mercy. “In the ages to come,” He will “show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

    “TO THE INTENT THAT . . . UNTO THE PRINCIPALITIES AND THE POWERS IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES MIGHT BE MADE KNOWN . . . THE MANIFOLD WISDOM OF GOD, ACCORDING TO THE ETERNAL PURPOSE WHICH HE PURPOSED IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD.” EPH. 2:7; 3:10, 11, R. V.

    Through Christ’s redeeming work the government of God stands justified. The Omnipotent One is made known as the God of love. Satan’s charges are refuted, and his character unveiled. Rebellion can never again arise. Sin can never again enter the universe. Through eternal ages all are secure from apostasy. By love’s self sacrifice, the inhabitants of earth and heaven are bound to their Creator in bonds of indissoluble union.

    The work of redemption will be complete. In the place where sin abounded, God’s grace much more abounds. The earth itself, the very field that Satan claims as his, is to be not only ransomed but exalted. Our little world, under the curse of sin the one dark blot in His glorious creation, will be honored above all other worlds in the universe of God. Here, where the Son of God tabernacled in humanity; where the King of glory lived and suffered and died, here, when He shall make all things new, the tabernacle of God shall be with men, “and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.” And through endless ages as the redeemed walk in the light of the Lord, they will praise Him for His unspeakable Gift, IMMANUEL, “GOD WITH US.”

    The Chosen People

    For more than a thousand years the Jewish people had awaited the Saviour’s coming. Upon this event they had rested their brightest hopes. In song and prophecy, in temple rite and household prayer, they had enshrined His name. And yet at His coming they knew Him not. The Beloved of heaven was to them “as a root out of a dry ground;” He had “no form nor comeliness;” and they saw in Him no beauty that they should desire Him. “HE CAME UNTO HIS OWN, AND HIS OWN RECEIVED HIM NOT.” ISA. 53:2; JOHN 1:11.

    Yet God had chosen Israel. He had called them to preserve among men the knowledge of His law, and of the symbols and prophecies that pointed to the Saviour. He desired them to be as wells of salvation to the world. What Abraham was in the land of his sojourn, what Joseph was in Egypt, and Daniel in the courts of Babylon, the Hebrew people were to be among the nations. They were to reveal God to men.

    In the call of Abraham the Lord had said, “I WILL BLESS THEE; . . . AND THOU SHALT BE A BLESSING: . . . AND IN THEE SHALL ALL FAMILIES OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED.” GEN. 12:2, 3. The same teaching was repeated through the prophets. Even after Israel had been wasted by war and captivity, the promise was theirs, “THE REMNANT OF JACOB SHALL BE IN THE MIDST OF MANY PEOPLE AS A DEW FROM THE LORD, AS THE SHOWERS UPON THE GRASS, THAT TARRIETH NOT FOR MAN, NOR WAITETH FOR THE SONS OF MEN.” MICAH 5:7. Concerning the temple at Jerusalem, the Lord declared through Isaiah, “Mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all peoples.” Isa. 56:7, R. V.

    But the Israelites fixed their hopes upon worldly greatness. From the time of their entrance to the land of Canaan, they departed from the commandments of God, and followed the ways of the heathen. It was in vain that God sent them warning by His prophets. In vain they suffered the chastisement of heathen oppression. Every reformation was followed by deeper apostasy.

    Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation. If they had walked in the ways of obedience, HE WOULD HAVE MADE THEM

    “HIGH ABOVE ALL NATIONS WHICH HE HATH MADE, IN PRAISE, AND IN NAME, AND IN HONOR.”

    “ALL PEOPLE OF THE EARTH,” SAID MOSES, “SHALL SEE THAT THOU ART CALLED BY THE NAME OF THE LORD; AND THEY SHALL BE AFRAID OF THEE.”

    “THE NATIONS WHICH SHALL HEAR ALL THESE STATUTES” SHALL SAY, “SURELY THIS GREAT NATION IS A WISE AND UNDERSTANDING PEOPLE.” DEUT. 26:19; 28:10; 4:6.

    But because of their unfaithfulness, God’s purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation.

    They were brought into subjection to Babylon, and scattered through the lands of the heathen. In affliction many renewed their faithfulness to His covenant. While they hung their harps upon the willows, and mourned for the holy temple that was laid waste, the light of truth shone out through them, and a knowledge of God was spread among the nations. The heathen systems of sacrifice were a perversion of the system that God had appointed; and many a sincere observer of heathen rites learned

    from the Hebrews the meaning of the service divinely ordained, and in faith grasped the promise of a Redeemer.

    Many of the exiles suffered persecution. Not a few lost their lives because of their refusal to disregard the Sabbath and to observe the heathen festivals. As idolaters were roused to crush out the truth, the Lord brought His servants face to face with kings and rulers, that they and their people might receive the light. Time after time the greatest monarchs were led to proclaim the supremacy of the God whom their Hebrew captives worshiped.

    By the Babylonish captivity the Israelites were effectually cured of the worship of graven images. During the centuries that followed, they suffered from the oppression of heathen foes, until the conviction became fixed that their prosperity depended upon their obedience to the law of God. But with too many of the people obedience was not prompted by love. The motive was selfish. They rendered outward service to God as the means of attaining to national greatness. They did not become the light of the world, but shut themselves away from the world in order to escape temptation to idolatry. In the instruction given through Moses, God had placed restrictions upon their association with idolaters; but this teaching had been misinterpreted. It was intended to prevent them from conforming to the practices of the heathen. But it was used to build up a wall of separation between Israel and all other nations. The Jews looked upon Jerusalem as their heaven, and they were actually jealous lest the Lord should show mercy to the Gentiles.

    After the return from Babylon, much attention was given to religious instruction. All over the country, synagogues were erected, where the law was expounded by the priests and scribes. And schools were established, which, together with the arts and sciences, professed to teach the principles of righteousness. But these agencies became corrupted. During the captivity, many of the people had received heathen ideas and customs, and these were brought into their religious service. In many things they conformed to the practices of idolaters.

    As they departed from God, the Jews in a great degree lost sight of the teaching of the ritual service. That service had been instituted by Christ Himself. In every part it was a symbol of Him; and it had been full of vitality and spiritual beauty. But the Jews lost the spiritual life from their ceremonies, and clung to the dead forms. They trusted to the sacrifices and ordinances themselves, instead of resting upon Him to whom they pointed. In order to supply the place of that which they had lost, the priests and rabbis multiplied requirements of their own; and the more rigid they grew, the less of the love of God was manifested. They measured their holiness by the multitude of their ceremonies, while their hearts were filled with pride and hypocrisy.

    With all their minute and burdensome injunctions, it was an impossibility to keep the law. Those who desired to serve God, and who tried to observe the rabbinical precepts, toiled under a heavy burden. They could find no rest from the accusings of a troubled conscience. Thus Satan worked to discourage the people, to lower their conception of the character of God, and to bring the faith of Israel into contempt. He hoped to establish the claim put forth when he rebelled in heaven,that the requirements of God were unjust, and could not be obeyed. Even Israel, he declared, did not keep the law.

    While the Jews desired the advent of the Messiah, they had no true

    conception of His mission. They did not seek redemption from sin, but deliverance from the Romans. They looked for the Messiah to come as a conqueror, to break the oppressor’s power, and exalt Israel to universal dominion. Thus the way was prepared for them to reject the Saviour.

    At the time of the birth of Christ the nation was chafing under the rule of her foreign masters, and racked with internal strife. The Jews had been permitted to maintain the form of a separate government; but nothing could disguise the fact that they were under the Roman yoke, or reconcile them to the restriction of their power. The Romans claimed the right of appointing and removing the high priest, and the office was often secured by fraud, bribery, and even murder. Thus the priesthood became more and more corrupt. Yet the priests still possessed great power, and they employed it for selfish and mercenary ends. The people were subjected to their merciless demands, and were also heavily taxed by the Romans. This state of affairs caused widespread discontent. Popular outbreaks were frequent. Greed and violence, distrust and spiritual apathy, were eating out the very heart of the nation.

    Hatred of the Romans, and national and spiritual pride, led the Jews still to adhere rigorously to their forms of worship. The priests tried to maintain a reputation for sanctity by scrupulous attention to the ceremonies of religion. The people, in their darkness and oppression, and the rulers, thirsting for power, longed for the coming of One who would vanquish their enemies and restore the kingdom to Israel. They had studied the prophecies, but without spiritual insight. Thus they overlooked those scriptures that point to the humiliation of Christ’s first advent, and misapplied those that speak of the glory of His second coming. Pride obscured their vision. They interpreted prophecy in accordance with their selfish desires.

    “The Fullness of the Time”

    “WHEN THE FULLNESS OF THE TIME WAS COME, GOD SENT FORTH HIS SON, . . . TO REDEEM THEM THAT WERE UNDER THE LAW, THAT WE MIGHT RECEIVE THE ADOPTION OF SONS.” GAL. 4:4, 5.

    The Saviour’s coming was foretold in Eden. When Adam and Eve first heard the promise, they looked for its speedy fulfillment. They joyfully welcomed their first born son, hoping that he might be the Deliverer. But the fulfillment of the promise tarried. Those who first received it died without the sight. From the days of Enoch the promise was repeated through patriarchs and prophets, keeping alive the hope of His appearing, and yet He came not. The prophecy of Daniel revealed the time of His advent, but not all rightly interpreted the message. Century after century passed away; the voices of the prophets ceased. The hand of the oppressor was heavy upon Israel, and many were ready to exclaim, “THE DAYS ARE PROLONGED, AND EVERY VISION FAILETH.” EZEK. 12:22.

    But like the stars in the vast circuit of their appointed path, God’s purposes know no haste and no delay. Through the symbols of the great darkness and the smoking furnace, God had revealed to Abraham the bondage of Israel in Egypt, and had declared that the time of their sojourning should be four hundred years. “Afterward,” He said, “shall they come out with great substance.” Gen. 15:14. Against that word, all the power of Pharaoh’s proud empire battled in vain. On “the self same day” appointed in the divine promise, “it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.” Ex. 12:41. So in heaven’s council the hour for the coming of Christ had been determined. When the great clock of time pointed to that hour, Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

    “When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son.” Providence had directed the movements of nations, and the tide of human impulse and influence, until the world was ripe for the coming of the Deliverer. The nations were united under one government. One language was widely spoken, and was everywhere recognized as the language of literature. From all lands the Jews of the dispersion gathered to Jerusalem to the annual feasts. As these returned to the places of their sojourn, they could spread throughout the world the tidings of the Messiah’s coming.

    At this time the systems of heathenism were losing their hold upon the people. Men were weary of pageant and fable. They longed for a religion that could satisfy the heart. While the light of truth seemed to have departed from among men, there were souls who were looking for light, and who were filled with perplexity and sorrow. They were thirsting for a knowledge of the living God, for some assurance of a life beyond the grave.

    As the Jews had departed from God, faith had grown dim, and hope had well nigh ceased to illuminate the future. The words of the prophets were uncomprehended. To the masses of the people, death was a dread mystery; beyond was uncertainty and gloom. It was not alone the wailing of the mothers of Bethlehem, but the cry from the great heart of humanity, that was borne to the prophet across the centuries, the voice heard in Ramah, “lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping

    for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.” Matt. 2:18. In “the region and shadow of death,” men sat unsolaced. With longing eyes they looked for the coming of the Deliverer, when the darkness should be dispelled, and the mystery of the future should be made plain.

    Outside of the Jewish nation there were men who foretold the appearance of a divine instructor. These men were seeking for truth, and to them the Spirit of Inspiration was imparted. One after another, like stars in the darkened heavens, such teachers had arisen. Their words of prophecy had kindled hope in the hearts of thousands of the Gentile world.

    For hundreds of years the Scriptures had been translated into the Greek language, then widely spoken throughout the Roman Empire. The Jews were scattered everywhere, and their expectation of the Messiah’s coming was to some extent shared by the Gentiles. Among those whom the Jews styled heathen were men who had a better understanding of the Scripture prophecies concerning the Messiah than had the teachers in Israel. There were some who hoped for His coming as a deliverer from sin. Philosophers endeavored to study into the mystery of the Hebrew economy. But the bigotry of the Jews hindered the spread of the light. Intent on maintaining the separation between themselves and other nations, they were unwilling to impart the knowledge they still possessed concerning the symbolic service.

    The true Interpreter must come. The One whom all these types prefigured must explain their significance.

    Through nature, through types and symbols, through patriarchs and prophets, God had spoken to the world. Lessons must be given to humanity in the language of humanity. The Messenger of the covenant must speak. His voice must be heard in His own temple. Christ must come to utter words which should be clearly and definitely understood. He, the author of truth, must separate truth from the chaff of man’s utterance, which had made it of no effect. The principles of God’s government and the plan of redemption must be clearly defined. The lessons of the Old Testament must be fully set before men.

    Among the Jews there were yet steadfast souls, descendants of that holy line through whom a knowledge of God had been preserved. These still looked for the hope of the promise made unto the fathers. They strengthened their faith by dwelling upon the assurance given through Moses, “A PROPHET SHALL THE LORD YOUR GOD RAISE UP UNTO YOU OF YOUR BRETHREN, LIKE UNTO ME; HIM SHALL YE HEAR IN ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER HE SHALL SAY UNTO YOU.” ACTS 3:22.

    AGAIN, THEY READ HOW THE LORD WOULD ANOINT ONE “TO PREACH GOOD TIDINGS UNTO THE MEEK,” “TO BIND UP THE BROKENHEARTED, TO PROCLAIM LIBERTY TO THE CAPTIVES,” AND TO DECLARE THE “ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.” ISA. 61:1, 2.

    THEY READ HOW HE WOULD “SET JUDGMENT IN THE EARTH,” HOW THE ISLES SHOULD “WAIT FOR HIS LAW,” HOW THE GENTILES SHOULD COME TO HIS LIGHT, AND KINGS TO THE BRIGHTNESS OF HIS RISING. ISA. 42:4; 60:3.

    The dying words of Jacob filled them with hope: “THE SCEPTER SHALL NOT DEPART FROM JUDAH, NOR A LAWGIVER FROM BETWEEN HIS FEET, UNTIL SHILOH COME.” GEN. 49:10. The waning power of Israel testified that the Messiah’s coming was at hand. The prophecy of Daniel pictured the glory of His reign over an

    empire which should succeed all earthly kingdoms; and, said the prophet, “It shall stand forever.” Dan. 2:44. While few understood the nature of Christ’s mission, there was a widespread expectation of a mighty prince who should establish his kingdom in Israel, and who should come as a deliverer to the nations.

    The fullness of the time had come. Humanity, becoming more degraded through ages of transgression, called for the coming of the Redeemer. Satan had been working to make the gulf deep and impassable between earth and heaven. By his falsehoods he had emboldened men in sin. It was his purpose to wear out the forbearance of God, and to extinguish His love for man, so that He would abandon the world to satanic jurisdiction.

    Satan was seeking to shut out from men a knowledge of God, to turn their attention from the temple of God, and to establish his own kingdom. His strife for supremacy had seemed to be almost wholly successful. It is true that in every generation God had His agencies. Even among the heathen there were men through whom Christ was working to uplift the people from their sin and degradation. But these men were despised and hated. Many of them suffered a violent death. The dark shadow that Satan had cast over the world grew deeper and deeper.

    Through heathenism, Satan had for ages turned men away from God; but he won his great triumph in perverting the faith of Israel. By contemplating and worshiping their own conceptions, the heathen had lost a knowledge of God, and had become more and more corrupt. So it was with Israel. The principle that man can save himself by his own works lay at the foundation of every heathen religion; it had now become the principle of the Jewish religion. Satan had implanted this principle. Wherever it is held, men have no barrier against sin.

    The message of salvation is communicated to men through human agencies. But the Jews had sought to make a monopoly of the truth which is eternal life. They had hoarded the living manna, and it had turned to corruption. The religion which they tried to shut up to themselves became an offense. They robbed God of His glory, and defrauded the world by a counterfeit of the gospel. They had refused to surrender themselves to God for the salvation of the world, and they became agents of Satan for its destruction.

    The people whom God had called to be the pillar and ground of the truth had become representatives of Satan. They were doing the work that he desired them to do, taking a course to misrepresent the character of God, and cause the world to look upon Him as a tyrant. The very priests who ministered in the temple had lost sight of the significance of the service they performed. They had ceased to look beyond the symbol to the thing signified. In presenting the sacrificial offerings they were as actors in a play. The ordinances which God Himself had appointed were made the means of blinding the mind and hardening the heart. God could do no more for man through these channels. The whole system must be swept away.

    The deception of sin had reached its height. All the agencies for depraving the souls of men had been put in operation. The Son of God, looking upon the world, beheld suffering and misery. With pity He saw how men had become victims of satanic cruelty. He looked with compassion upon those who were being corrupted, murdered, and lost. They had chosen a ruler who chained them to his car as captives. Bewildered and deceived, they were moving on in gloomy procession toward eternal ruin, to death in which is no hope of life, toward night to which comes no morning. Satanic agencies were incorporated with men. The bodies of human beings, made for the dwelling place of God, had become the habitation of demons. The senses, the nerves, the passions, the organs of men, were worked by supernatural agencies in the indulgence of the vilest lust. The very stamp of demons was impressed upon the countenances of men. Human faces reflected the expression of the legions of evil with which they were possessed. Such was the prospect upon which the world’s Redeemer looked. What a spectacle for Infinite Purity to behold!

    Sin had become a science, and vice was consecrated as a part of religion. Rebellion had struck its roots deep into the heart, and the hostility of man was most violent against heaven. It was demonstrated before the universe that, apart from God, humanity could not be uplifted. A new element of life and power must be imparted by Him who made the world.

    With intense interest the unfallen worlds had watched to see Jehovah arise, and sweep away the inhabitants of the earth. And if God should do this, Satan was ready to carry out his plan for securing to himself the allegiance of heavenly beings. He had declared that the principles of God’s government make forgiveness impossible. Had the world been destroyed, he would have claimed that his accusations were proved true. He was ready to cast blame upon God, and to spread his rebellion to the worlds above. But instead of destroying the world, God sent His Son to save it. Though corruption and defiance might be seen in every part of the alien province, a way for its recovery was provided. At the very crisis, when Satan seemed about to triumph, the Son of God came with the embassage of divine grace. Through every age, through every hour, the love of God had been exercised toward the fallen race. Notwithstanding the perversity of men, the signals of mercy had been continually exhibited. And when the fullness of the time had come, the Deity was glorified by pouring upon the world a flood of healing grace that was never to be obstructed or withdrawn till the plan of salvation should be fulfilled.

    Satan was exulting that he had succeeded in debasing the image of God in humanity. Then Jesus came to restore in man the image of his Maker. None but Christ can fashion anew the character that has been ruined by sin. He came to expel the demons that had controlled the will. He came to lift us up from the dust, to reshape the marred character after the pattern of His divine character, and to make it beautiful with His own glory. GOD bless You.

  • heresy or not, it’s like energy. It’s the same energy from God that is the ‘Holy Ghost’ / Father meaning that ultimate accumulation of energy, to the Holy Spirit, being the energy ‘en transit’, and the ‘Son’ meaning the energy manifested in carbon form. It’s still the same energy.

  • That is why your brand of “Christianity” counts against you. You presume to tell me what I really mean because you think that your “personal relationship with Jeezus” gives you telepathic insights into the minds and souls of others. From my perspective, that sort of wrong-mindedness comes from dark influences, not the positive ones.

  • Wow, you just made a complete fool out of yourself. I’m an Amalgamist, that leans closer to Zoroastrianism (and Nietzsche’s Thus Sprach Zurathustra), but I am also a theologian. I study them based on the historical perspective and their doctrine perspective. Clearly you haven’t invested more than an hour on actually reading the texts. For example, if you’d actually read the Bible, you’d realize how asinine your statement – “because you think that your “personal relationship with Jeezus” gives
    you telepathic insights into the minds and souls of others.” – really is. Judge not lest ye be judged quickly dispelled that idiotic statement. So does making such an idiotic false statement such as that “come from dark influences” or “positive ones”?

  • Cool. Nice to know that there are more self-anointed than attend Hallelujah Bible Study. Save the efforts to impress. More self-righteous flaming is even less impressive. Sadly, for you, some of us are blessed with the natural gift of seeing through the pretense and BS of others. But I can chill if you can and we could actually just talk. Or we can ignore one another. You pick.

  • LOL, calling me the prick while using reductionist “yousa got telepathic powaa” idiocy earlier. I noticed you didn’t answer my question. And when you get a chance, I’d love to check out that “gift that sees through pretense and BS”, because it hasn’t been displayed yet.

  • Cool. More hating and self-praise. That’s three bites at the old Troll road apple (country humor for “horse manure”). If that’s all you have, we are good. Later.

  • You have a complex set of beliefs there.
    I’m not sure how you expect man to create the way God does – from nothing but energy. Isa 40:26.
    My question, though, was about God’s idea, although the answer bears directly on your comment.
    Based on what you read at Gen 1:28, what was God’s purpose for the earth he created?

  • not create on the scale of creating universes, tho one may argue that we have via virtual reality and technology. But more along the lines of creating with carbon instead of with energy. Even evolution supports that the principle purpose of life is merely creation. And in Biblical sense, God cast us out of Eden and was pretty disappointed when the fruit of knowledge was eaten. One could almost argue that God’s intentions for us was to be no more than any other animal, but by eating the fruit, we completely f’d the idea up and have just been trying to cope with it since.

  • Not admiration. Recognition of his better qualities; his bad ones have spoken for themselves.
    Since 9/11/01 people have been going for the soundbite view of Islam and its founder. I’m more interested in light than heat.
    In any case the Book, as Muslims call it, had good advice millennia ago. Ps 146:3. Keeps me out of trouble.

  • this feels like deja vu… “breed plentifully and use the earth and its animals as your food and resources”. no theocracy there

  • you’re trying to allude that a vague explanation whose answer is unknown since we are *not* God thus ridiculous for a small carbon based lifeform to presume to know – but I do know that verse is a far cry from strict dietary rules, or paying God jizya taxes, or wiping your bum with your left hand, or having to group up with other members every day in a ritualistic manner. That is theocracy stuff, where man is presented AS an authority supposedly under the direct will and command of ‘God’. That’s even Wizard of Oz type stuff.

  • An opinion!! ‘can be seen’ by those deluded….
    and you deflect to some idiocy that religion is necessary for societal stability??

    Try some social and historical anthropology to learn about social customs before man created religions…

  • !! ” a book ”!!!
    ???
    A book is evidence of a book – like a superman book proves Superman.

    We are talking about evidence [do you only associate with dolts who accept that as proof’??]

  • The Bible is a compendium of fire side tales and fables,
    recounted orally for generations by goat herders and primitive tribes from the stone age,
    until writing was invented,
    and then again many different sources, transliterations, and versions were copied and written down.
    There were no grand central universities to organise the many various versions of these origin/creation stories, stories common to most primitive cultures.
    They were for entertainment (as in all migratory camp tribes),
    and to answer the questions of the many fears and mysteries of our universe, like ‘thunder’ and earthquakes, since there was no science yet.

    This is the old Testament.

    The ‘new’ Testes is also hearsay since these letters, ‘gospels’ and stories were written by the loyal faithful, the camp followers,
    not by objective historians at that particular time,
    or by any contemporary writers,
    and these tales were written many years after the supposed events of this mythical Jesus.

    Thus, there is no verifiable evidence of a Jesus in real documented history.

    Then, many of these stories, but not all, were compiled for one self-absorbed converted Roman Emperor in his Nicean Council, for his expressed purpose of conquest and control of the people of Europe for his Holy Roman Empire.
    He recognised that this was the perfect religion/mythology for the future domination of the populaces.
    Half of the stories were ignored by the Nicean Bishops and none have been proven to be based on fact.

    This ‘Bable’ book is backed up by absolutely no facts and no evidence.
    It is not proof for any gods….(or of any jesus…)

  • That’s easy!, as that is all answered in high school science classes… Try it!!

    Science is simply the observation of data and fact, not opinion, and these observations have shown no need or a place for any gods!

  • I ask one question ie a request (which has become a demand over the centuries )
    Prove a god!!

    To date – there has been no evidence to prove any gods – just a lot of books (see Superman…)

  • We would love to see your evidence to prove your gods…. (all you have so far is smart-arse remarks (and the fool expects respect for this sort of stupidity – in public))

  • You can believe the Tower of Babel story if you wish. I think it never happened, does not explain at all what it purports to explain, and mostly serves to make God look clueless about his own Creation—-an all-around useless story.

  • why should I learn about social customs? Apparently they were made by humans, and humans are flawed, right? Why shouldn’t I kill anyone? Why shouldn’t I steal?

  • i’m waiting for the answer. Yes, I’m aware that as a microorganism, the mitochondria latched on and provided energy for the oxygen, but what came *before* that?

  • hey, dhimmi, I’m not a Christian and I don’t consider the Bible “proof” –
    just as you have no ‘proof’ for your arguments. What I’m doing is
    correcting your stupidity and inaccuracies. The Bible is a COMPILATION of books. Just debunking your “derpy derrrr it’s only ONE book!”

  • There is no MESSAGE. It’s an absurd fable and the people who like it don’t even know it’s a slander on God.

  • yes, there is. It’s man’s obsession with thinking they ARE ‘Gods’ obsessed with creating a tower into the heavens. How is it a slander against God?

  • “According to the story, a united humanity in the generations following the Great Flood, speaking a single language and migrating eastward, comes to the land of Shinar (שִׁנְעָר‬). There they agree to build a city and a tower tall enough to reach heaven.
    God, observing their city and tower, confounds their speech so that
    they can no longer understand each other, and scatters them around the
    world.”
    So again, how is that a slander against God?

    Genre
    The narrative of the tower of Babel (Genesis 11.1–9) is an aetiology or explanation of a phenomenon. Etiologies are narratives that explain the origin of a custom, ritual, geographical feature, name, or other phenomenon.[15]:426 The story of the Tower of Babel explains the origins of the multiplicity of languages. God was concerned that humans had blasphemed
    by building the tower to avoid a second flood so God brought into existence multiple languages.[15]:51 Thus, humans were divided into linguistic groups, unable to understand one another.

    Themes

    The story’s theme of competition between God and humans appears elsewhere in Genesis, in the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.[16] The 1st-century Jewish interpretation found in Flavius Josephus explains the construction of the tower as a hubristic act of defiance against God ordered by the arrogant tyrant Nimrod. There have, however, been some contemporary challenges to this classical interpretation, with emphasis placed on the explicit motive of cultural and linguistic homogeneity mentioned in the narrative (v. 1,
    4, 6).[17] This reading of the text sees God’s actions not as a punishment for pride, but as an etiology of cultural differences, presenting Babel as the cradle of civilization.

    AGAIN, how is it a slander against God?

  • You are showing yourself to be a very stupid person, with some very silly comments – If you want your god – fine, but in public you must prove your imaginary friend or accept the obvious conclusion that all claims of gods are lies!!

  • you’re asking me to prove your misconception. Again, chucklehead, you’re displaying your inability to comprehend. I simply said I liked the message of the Tower of Babel. I never said I was a Jew. You’re making that all up and that is merely proving you suffer from projection. You keep going to the portions of Judaism. I’m not Jewish. I defend Christianity, which is called the ‘New Testament’, and the message of Jesus and the simplification of the Golden Rule. As I stated earlier, I see ‘God’ more in an energy form and as an authority form, something that is higher than man and consistent, unlike the morals of mankind which seems to change with the seasons. I stated I lean towards Zoroastrianism, because I subscribe to the idea of duality – creation and destruction as inevitable forces of nature. The only people I have ever encountered who think of God as a ‘imaginary friend’ or ‘sky daddy’ are atheists. It’s almost as if you have limitations and can only personify / anthromorphize things. Are you a fan of Pixar and Disney, out of curiosity?
    So what is ‘the truth’ that you subscribe to?

  • A good assessment. One quibble, though.
    We’re what you might call unipolitical. We’ve settled on one government, permanently, the one at Mt 6:9,10. No need for even mid-term elections. 🙂
    Works for us; 8 million and growing.

    And, there’s one war yet to be fought, by Jesus. If he asks us to participate, we will. That’s Armageddon. What we get from other parts of scripture, though, is that he has that covered, as they say. We’ll just watch; no need to stockpile.

  • I think you’re also conflating Roman and Greek gods with that of Judaism, what with the whole personifying – though in a way the Greek were the most accurate, as Jupiter is our protector and had Jupiter become a sun (as most solar systems are binary suns), humanity would be unable to exist on Earth.

  • Lots of visions; earlier ones superseded by later ones. The earlier ones, because of rulings by Muhammad and others, were later considered to be spurious; not from Allah or Gabriel. [“The Satanic Verses” of recent fame and fatwah.]

    If the Jews of his day had still practiced the religion Jehovah gave them they would have seen through this new one immediately.

  • You have already proven yourself to be ignorant, actually stupid as the data is there, and you have chosen to either ignore it or bugger it up to suit whatever you have as an agenda.
    [eg the Bable was nothing but crap letters etc and put together finally as a historical novel.
    The Koran crap was just a cheap copy and paste job …etc….

  • and what data are you referring to? and you seem to be arguing with me.. odd.. that would mean you have an agenda of your own. Yet you’re demonizing agendas? So you never answered why I shouldn’t rob you or kill you. The simple answer is essentially “I wouldn’t want someone to do that to me” (the golden rule). but since you apparently think that’s bad, please let me know why I shouldn’t do those things, and where that authority comes from?

  • You have been told by many that you have mental problems; you need to stop listening to these sounds in your head [you have yet to make a cognizant comment or cogent answer – just all over the place]
    We are done.

  • Yes, I understand that you’re now imagining you’re a credible psychologist, and either willfully playing stupid or just failed to comprehend what I presented. You have yet to provide anything except personal attacks (that are way of the mark). We were done a while ago.

  • can I make a quick guess that you have no children? It would help explain why you disavow any concept of ‘structure’ or ‘stability’ and embrace nihilism.

  • also, try looking up “faith” and “proof”, they are two different things, but I think you think they are the same.

  • That may be how we experience God – He knows that we can’t process a conversation in which, for example, both Father and Son say different things at the same time – but it is essentially man-centred, and doesn’t allow for the relationships within the Trinity.
    When God revealed His name to Moses as “I am”, one of the implications was that God would still exist, whether there were human beings present to relate to Him or not.

  • It’s quite possible to take a fundamentalist line on teachings which are intrinsically erroneous – my argument is that the term “fundamentalist” describes the way in which particular people relate to key data within their own tradition (Margaret Thatcher was, arguably, a free market economic fundamentalist when she announced that “Hayek is my Bible”), but “fundamentalist” loses its descriptive function when it is used as a pejorative.

  • God is either the good, all-knowing origin figure capable of love for the world and its top-end creatures (people) as described in John 3:16, or there are other implications when we celebrate the Tower of Babel story. One of those is that he created mankind without knowing what capabilities men might achieve, and had to “go down” and see what they were up to and say “Oops, I screwed up and made them too big for their britches. Aha, I will slow them down a bit by confounding their languages. THAT will fix ’em.” This is people writing a story which makes God look either inept in creating, or a being which (like old Greek “Gods”) has a vindictive personality.

    THEN, there is the issue of real anthropology, the real origins of languages. Telling any child that the Tower of Babel story actually happened and is an actual explanation of ancient world history is an educational fraud, beyond ridiculous in this age. Christians who stick to this stuff are not honest enough to be representing what could be and should be good about religion. We either try to tell truth or we don’t. If we don’t, we should be ashamed of ourselves in front of all youth.

  • except again, these are humans post-disappointment and post-fruit and post-cain. Nimrod was building it in DEFIANCE OF God, in order to ‘break through the gates of heaven’. And you’re kinda being daft about human nature. When’s the only time humans ever “work in unison under one language with one focus”? Oh, right, dictatorships. Think Hitler and Socialism. No doubt much slave labor was used to build that objective. Basically all the humans were following NIMROD’S will.

  • And I wouldn’t teach that story as “fact” or “truth” to any child, nor should it be presented as such in schools. Like I stated earlier I’m not into theocracy, and I’m not Jewish.

  • If the Tower of Babel story is not fact or truth, then there is only one thing to say about it. That would be that it serves only to remind us how simplistic and absurd men can be in making up stories when they are completely clueless on that which they are expounding. We have people from Judaism, Christianity and Islam all insisting in theory that everything in the Old Testament is for real. The more they do it here in 2018, the meaner we all become as result of their “efforts”.

  • Muslims cannot believe that Jesus was the son of God because, as they take it, that would mean God had sex with a woman.
    There’s no approach I’m aware of to overcome this, because they’re right – it didn’t happen that way.

    I agree that the best argument against a corrupt text is the text itself. Also, they admit to inspiration of at least some of the NT, so they might consider, then, how God wasn’t able to protect his own book from mere men. It’s technically true that their Allah is the Jehovah of the OT, but they see him as absolutely controlling everything – “the will of Allah”.

  • Religion is “Be Kind, Tell Truth”——or——-we need to all be against whatever else it is selling. Genesis should be on the same library shelf with Greek mythology. There really is no other way make people behave with a Jesus mindset toward each other. I want Christianity to be a good thing, a good force, a good influence. Hanging onto the worst after learning the best is regrettable error.

  • Whatever he said on coming out of that cave had the ring of truth to them. As have the pronunciations of Hitler and many other demagogues in history.
    That’s the value of the Bible. It has a consistent message from start to finish, in spite of its authorship by some forty men. They claimed to be getting inspiration from one higher source, and so it seems even at this late date.

  • It seems to me that the account of God “going down to see” the Tower of Babel is part of a consistent Divine behaviour pattern characterised by relationship seeking.. There is a similar narrative after the Fall, when God goes searching for Adam and Eve, who are hiding from Him. He’s omniscient, and doesn’t need to search. Not to mention that He already knows that they are guilty. Load thunderbolt, aim and… FIRE!! But what He actually does is to accord His errant creatures the dignity of an overtly fair hearing, holding them accountable as rational beings for their actions. Even as fallen beings, they have significance – the God of all the universe chooses to allow Himself to be moved to grief and anger at their actions, when He could hold Himself transcendantly aloof, and even explains why He responds in the way that He does.

  • I call myself “FriendlyGoat” because my wife and I have some real pet goats. They are “pieces of work” in their behaviors observed over time, especially our ridiculous little male who is a “bad boy” in the extreme—-even as we love them all for being animals.

    The faults of human nature are the same as the faults in the rest of creation, we are self-centered. This is not properly explained by the Genesis stories. We are to use our brains, our hearts, to develop ethics, responsibility, cooperation and kindness. My goats can’t. We can. Moving on from Genesis is required. Most of the world has. Let’s not be always and forever trying to drag ourselves back to re-justify stories that are now known as inadequate to both facts and our present circumstances.

  • I am not required to prove the existence of God. He requires me to teach others about the good news of his kingdom, a perfect government, something man has not known since Eden.

    I gave you the existence of God as proven by the “book of life” as it’s called. The Bible points out that “of course, every house is built by someone”. Of course. An undeniable fact. Then it continues, logically, that “the one who constructed all things is God “.
    You on the other hand claim that the house you live in – the earth, the solar system, the universe – came about by accident!

    Taking you at your word, although you know only what other men have told you in “a lot of books”, I ‘demand that you prove the non-biblical source of life, with evidence’. [Just what you demanded of me.] But you refuse to comply.

    When you have learned to discuss rather than pontificate, we can talk. Starting with your proof of life, with evidence.

  • As I understand it, human reproduction, marriage and families were designed to give us a picture of our relational God. A limited picture, since we are finite creatures, and the Divine image in us needs restoration following the Fall, but still one that is a faithful reflection. Islam seems to me to assume that we are projecting our own characteristics onto God by saying that He has a Son, and that we are therefore implying that the Father must have begotten Him in exactly the same way that a human father would – but it is actually the other way round, and the relationship between the First and Second Persons of the Trinity is the ultimate Father/Son relationship, faintly echoed by our own parent/child bonds.
    Given that Jesus’ eternal Sonship predates both Creation and His incarnation, Yahweh and Allah cannot be the same Person, because the Qu’ran clearly states that Allah has no son.

  • most of the Christians I know – and I grew up in the South – aren’t hung up on the Old Testament, and consider a lot of that to be metaphorical. That’s just been my experience. It’s also been my experience that the atheists are the only ones making the claims that Christians interpret it as literal, while only having the Westboro Baptists and perhaps the Mormons as their examples. Islam’s worse tho for the mere con of the Quran’s claim of utmost perfection and authorship *directly by* God.

  • History says that the Jesuits ran into a problem when teaching Muslims the trinity. Hebrew and Arabic are of course related, including the assigning of the feminine gender to “spirit”. This led the Muslims to think that the trinity was composed of Father, Son and … Mary!

    The problem of defining the trinity so that it makes sense and doesn’t violate ordinary rules of language continues down to this day. That has been seen on this thread: At least two different understandings of ‘three-in-one’ given by trinitarians. Modal? Homouusion? Homouuision? Name of the holy spirit person? Is a puzzlement!

  • Both are, and are called, “the God of Abraham”. That’s what Pope Francis had in mind when he made his controversial statement. He was correct, on that point anyway.
    That doesn’t give Islam, Christendom or Francis an accurate or useful picture of God.

  • What I know is that the people of the churches which insist in the formal doctrine that “every word of the Bible is true, God-breathed, inerrant and all-sufficient” just did something in the modern era. What was that? They put America under Trump and into Trumpism. They fibbed about what scripture is and then they fibbed about everything else. Sense was on the losing end—-because Donald found the gullible gang and took them for a ride to everyone else’s detriment.

  • Only God can define the Trinity – but the Bible does give us some idea as to which possibilities are ruled out.

  • For Christians, it should have not needed Jesus to fix it later on. But it was inadequate for that. Which is why we have Jesus. A big change, even though the rationalizers will claim to their dying breath that its all a continuum, when it clearly is not.

  • What that absolute hell did this just devolve into? I didn’t realize I was talking to an NPC. Maybe you need more Vitamin C in your life.

  • Sooooo.. what have you got to say about the dhimmi gang that put America under a Muslim (or at least a ‘fervent admirer of Prophet of Islam’)?

  • It’s simple. We know that what we call “Evangelicals” in America (the white ones) went 81% Trumpee in 2016. This is a symptom, like a psychiatrist might use to diagnose a mental disorder. The people who are supposed to be called to kindness because they supposedly are in spiritual tune with Jesus and the Holy Spirit——guess what?—–aren’t.
    We could blame Fox News and Limbaugh and stuff like that, I suppose. My personal opinion is that their OT obsession is the main problem with them. They will be mean as snakes until they escape it.

  • welp, whatever credibility you brought you just lost. Care to explain the 98% blacks voting for Obama then, chief?

  • “The future does not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam” – Barack Obama, who also called the Call to Prayer the most beautiful sound he’s heard.

  • He had fewer reasons to not believe those accounts than we have to not believe those accounts. It’s better to believe in a Jesus who did not know certain things than to believe in one who knew everything but chose to hide critical details from mankind. Germs are one of those things we could have expected a loving and all-knowing Jesus to explain, for instance. He didn’t, because he did not know. Ditto deep time and deep space. Ditto chemistry and physics. We love him for caring about us, not because we can mess around with these kinds of discussions until we accidentally prove that “nah, not really.”

  • Obama tried to build the same bridge to a billion or more people in the world of Islam as his immediate predecessor. Was George W. Bush a Muslim or great admirer of Muhammad?

  • I never had any credibility with you anyway, nor you with me. But you should know that the blacks voted for Obama because they were proud of him and proud of the kinds of talk he and Michelle put on display in the campaigns and in the White House. They voted at almost the same high percentage against Trump because they listened to him and were repulsed by White Bigmouth. As for you calling me “chief”, am I really your boss?

  • well, no they didn’t vote 98% against Trump. And many are walking away from the Democrat plantation. But I’m not going into a political discussion.

  • but I would like to point out, one of the reasons the support for Trump surged was because of hypocrisy like this – you’re all about ‘building bridges’ to the most extreme religion on the planet, the proverbial black sheep of the “Abrahamic faiths”, yet seem to have nothing but utter disdain for Trump and Christians.

  • I happen to be no friend of Islam, and not a believer that Muhammad was any kind of prophet. I personally think that both Bush and Obama would privately share the same view. Obama was not “a Muslim” for the simple reason that he was intellectually too smart to be a Muslim. The idea that the sayings of Muhammad are the final authority on all matters of faith and life? Laughable that so many accused Obama of being in that camp, but, as you know, a good chunk of church folks were indeed that clueless and passed the rumor among themselves for lack of anything more sensible to say. That’s why you brought it up, of course, says me the psychoanalyst. Hey, any chance you’d be willing to break off this exchange? We aren’t going to go anywhere useful, after all.

  • I like Christians, just not the phony ones who bond to Trump like a refrigerator magnet. There still are some Christians who are not so captured, of course. I’m with them.

  • uh, now you’re lying. *I* didn’t bring it up. YOU brought Trump up and YOU connected it to Christians. And oh right, Obama creating a schism during his presidency , destabilizing the middle east, eliminating it’s checks and balances and unleashing the horde into Europe isn’t having *any* consequences.

  • Just because you say that, doesn’t make it so. It’s more clear that you simply suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome.

  • Of course. She was the Dem on the ticket. I do Dems. I do not do Republicans—-for policy reasons. I haven’t since they put up Reagan against Carter and put out all the bull about the benefits of high-end tax cuts. Most of the working-class folks in the GOP do not know what “hit them”, why they felt a need to “make America great again” (for themselves). I happen to know—-it was the tax cuts that ate their lunch, took away their economic prospects, left them disrespected in the dust. Now they have doubled down and their kids are in a deep, deep soup going forward.

  • Remember this?

    “Sooooo.. what have you got to say about the dhimmi gang that put America under a Muslim (or at least a ‘fervent admirer of Prophet of Islam’)?”

  • Not my words. But here are MY words. I gotta go feed my real goats and do several other things besides carry on in the comment section. Toodle-doo.

  • So you’re simply a partisan sheep. Trump’s actually an independent, centrist, who ran on the Republican ticket since we all know third party candidates only splinter votes. None of the other candidates in the Republican Party would have stood a chance against her media-backed campaign. And most working class in the GOP knew what “hit them” during O’s presidency. I happen to know – the mandated ACA f’d their incomes up and many had to pay higher premiums AND higher deductibles to cover the open door invitation. See, ACA might have worked, but only with secured borders. As we’re seen in Europe, increasing the welfare state via immigration causes implosion.

    “Remember, if you like your doctor….”

  • Yeah, I do. And I seem to recall saying that AFTER you brought Trump on the mix. Lay off the paint chips, goatboy

  • Remember this?

    ” They put America under Trump and into Trumpism. They fibbed about what scripture is and then they fibbed about everything else. Sense was on the losing end—-because Donald found the gullible gang and took them for a ride to everyone else’s detriment”

    You said it before my comment. So thanks for playing, lying son of a motherless goat.

  • Well, I guess I could take just one more minute to block your commentary from my view for all eternity “for cause” (as they say). There, all done. Bye.

  • So,… you have no proof for your gods – Simple!
    There are no gods!

    and for science : just go to high school and it is all explained with evidence…

  • Again – NOT smart!

    Not just children – but also a teacher in the sciences.

    (Just try proving your gods instead of all these childish attacks…)

  • it is a belief based on something different than ‘proof’ – except most of them have ‘seen’ or ‘felt’ the proof – and since God is the “holy spirit”, it is hard to “CARBON-prove” it. But again, the definition is more than just the exact definition of “believe”. My point being that there are specific words.

  • correct, your misconception of ‘gods’ is not provable. Tell me, what your favorite book written by anything animal besides a human?

  • This is heartening, but there is at least one error in the report. Jesus is not named “more often than any figure in the Qur’an.” That would be Moses with Abraham coming a close second. Jesus actually doesn’t get much attention beyond an extended birth story in Surah 19 and a smattering of verses essentially repeating several themes, primary of which is that he is simply one in a long train of prophets sent to preach an uncompromising monotheism, so uncompromising that the Qur’an makes it clear that anyone who associates him with God as Christians do are in error. Surah 4:171 is particulary pointed in its rejection of Christian theology:

    4:171 O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of God aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of God, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in God and His messengers. Say not “Trinity”: desist: it will be better for you: for God is one God: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth.

  • ‘expected Jesus to explain’
    That wasn’t his job. He ‘preached the good news of his Father’s kingdom’. Mt 24:14 et al.
    He’s considered a great teacher by many. Can we say that about a fool who tells us to pray for something that he “knew” to be nonexistent? Mt 6:9,10.
    The Jesus I “believe in” is no fool.

  • OF COURSE Jesus is not a “fool” and was not a “fool” in his time on earth. He is our main reference, our main link, our main call to the most important thing—–loving, at least trying to love each other. He gave everything to help us “get” that. The best “comment section argument” I can make to you about all this today is Merry Christmas, Doug.

  • The concept of “Trinity” is a construct that came about decades after the religion of Christianity was formed. There are many things in today’s many sects that were not there in the beginning, including Christmas. In fact, the following modern forms of Christianity do not recognize the trinity: “The Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS, Iglesia Ni Cristo, Christadelphians, Christian Scientists, Dawn Bible Students, Living Church of God, Oneness Pentecostals, Members Church of God International, Unitarian Universalist Christians, The Way International, The Church of God International, the United Church of God, and Armstrongism do not believe in trinitarinanism because they do not share history with the post-apostolic process that concocted the doctrine. Also, Unitarians believe that the Father is the sole deity and the Savior was not God”. Also, the Chaldeans, who were around before even Roman Catholics, do not believe in it, and they embrace Mary Magdalene as the wife of Jesus.
    So, to say Jesus ran into problems teaching trinity to muslims is highly problematic. 1. Islam did not exist during the life of Jesus, 2 Jesus didnt teach trinity to anyone 3 your language argument hold no water on its base, but Jesus didnt speak Hebrew, either. He spoke Aramaic, which is closer to Arabic. LOL.. that point is so funny.. So, Doug, sorry. Your statement is wrong on so many levels.

  • Not all Christians believe in Trinity, nor do they believe Jesus was God. The Christian faith has been bastardized so often that many of today’s forms do not even closely resemble the base faith.
    In the Qur’an, Jesus is a primary figure and prophet. His teachings are extremely important to Muslims, whose beliefs about him are closely tied to what is taught in traditional Christianity that is pre-Roman Catholic, even.
    If you you really want to explore your faith you may want to learn about the earliest church(s) and what their core beliefs are, and then trace when other ideas were introduced and why.
    It will make a Muslim out of you 🙂

  • I dont know where you studied Qur’an or the life of the prophet, but it sure wasn’t at any accredited program!

  • Someone’s statement may be wrong, but not mine. “History says the JESUITS ran into a problem…”

    “Hebrew and Arabic are of course related…” is also true.

    My post listed some of the complications of the trinity lie, which is indeed the product of man’s philosophies.

    Men have also brought up the Aramaic situation. Paul once quieted a crowd of angry Jews by ‘speaking to them in the Hebrew language’, not ‘in the Aramaic language’. Do you think Jesus could not? No doubt Paul had been speaking in Greek, the lingua franca of the Roman Empire. It would have been understood by all three of the parties involved; Paul, the opposing Jews and the Roman soldiers guarding the former from the latter.

    Greek slaves were valuable in Rome because they could teach the language and literature to Romans and their children. The Septuagint is Greek, not Aramaic.
    Syriac, another Semitic tongue, is valuable today because Bible translations and commentaries were made in it, which help us to fill gaps in the many and varied copies of the Greek and Hebrew scriptures.

    Portions of Daniel e.g. are written in Aramaic in the old mss., which also contain loan words from Persian and other languages. [Magi is from Persian, via Greek.]

    By far the most common concept of God today is trinitarian, which should teach us something about the limitations of ‘majority rule’. It can show us what is popular, not necessarily what is true.

  • Your ideas about Jesus and his “main reference” are common ones, but don’t match the information we have about him. Please begin by contemplating the scriptures I cited. Also useful is his statement at Mt 7:21 ff.

  • My advice to people would be to weigh the entire 7th chapter as a whole, then ask, seek and knock personally. In addition to Merry Christmas, I wish you peace and blessings for the New Year.

  • The message of vv. 21-23 stands on its own. It tells of events in the last days, when “Christians” will be glad-handing each other and even performing powerful works, all in the name of Jesus.
    At that time Jesus will reject them and their works, proving them to be false Christians.

    A very important message; a life-and-death matter in fact.

    What do you make of it?
    What fatal mistake did those people make? Do you see the answer he gave?

  • Well, that’s a good question, and for me, this goes in a bit of a circle, like a mystery. First of all, he is talking about some Christians who drove out demons and performed miracles in his name. That is not generally your “nominal” Christians, who only go to church on Christmas and Easter (maybe) who are . That is church people who are heavily into the Bible, or who believe they are, but who may be lacking the love they are supposed to be giving to others though the Holy Spirit. BUT, to start criticizing such “Lord. lord” people is to be engaging in exactly the kind of judging of others which we are admonished not to do in the first five verses of the chapter.

    This is why I suggest that people “ask, seek and knock” on their own and trust, as is implied in verses 7-11, that they will not receive a stone or a snake for their effort or for their request made with a trusting heart.

    THEN, there is the golden rule stated in verse 12 as being God’s will for our behavior. Then there is your subject verses 21-23 as a warning to those who do not do what God wants them to do—-which could reasonably be construed as not following the golden rule of verse 12.

    Then there is the question of who are the pigs in verse 6. We could say those are the heathen, but you can’t evangelize the heathen without putting what is holy in front of them. So are the pigs actually the over-churchy who may follow all the dogma but scoff a bit at the golden rule? Back to the judging thing there. We’re not to do it.

    And who are the false prophets of verses 15-20? Are they the atheists? The Catholics? The Mormons? The Protestants? The Fundamentalists? The Unitarians? The Islamists (a term not known in Jesus’s time)? Are they those of strange dogma? No dogma?

    Net, net, the best way to not be a false Christian is to ask, seek, knock—–alone, not in groups. No?

  • If a Christian is someone who believes what the Bible says about Jesus, then that will necessarily include both His Divinity and the fact that God configures Himself as three divine persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – in one divine entity. We are accustomed to one person dwelling in one entity, because that’s what human beings are like, but there is no requirement anywhere in the Scriptures that our configuration should be the norm, or that God should have to conform to it in His own being.
    The New Testament has not changed since it was first written, so there is no basis for saying that early Christians believed in Jesus as a prophet who was not crucified, in line with the teachings of the Qu’ran.

  • The religious groups that you have listed are heresies and cults – they are not representative of the mainstream Christian church, which accepts the Trinitarian teachings of the New Testament, itself written by the Apostles, and therefore not the product of some post-apostolic process.

  • “Trinitarian teachings of the NT”.
    Got one handy for us?

    First, please take a look at Rev 3:12. A question it raises with me is, Who is the “my God” that Jesus worships? What do you think?

  • Another needed correction for you. [You treat all those with contempt, so no need for me to be tactful.]

    There are in fact many different Bibles with different wordings. This is so if only because translation is as much art as science. Muslim scholars, no fools they, know this. That’s the main source of their “corruption” claim. They don’t have that problem because they believe the only true Qur’an is in Arabic.

    There is also the question of actual corruption, like the insertion of 1John 5:7,8 into the later Gk mss., which were used for the Douai and KJV. These are handled quite well by Christian scholarship.

    No doubt they also know of the RCC Apocrypha ‘difference’ but IMO that’s irrelevant to the big picture.

    A couple of approaches I use, beyond you I’m afraid, is to identify myself politely as a worshiper of “the God of Abraham” [true, and gets us on common ground] and to ask, IF it comes up, ‘Can you please show me one of those corruptions in my Bible?’ They can’t, so I go on to my main topic, which is God’s kingdom on earth. [“as it is in heaven”, remember?]

    I used to have one of Mazda’s light bulbs. Worked fine.

  • Babel: the Bible, by Jehovah.
    Good fences: Mending Wall, by Robert Frost.

    Not much neighborliness shown since Nimrod’s day.

  • The story itself is just a record of human behavior.
    That behavior was wrong for at least two reasons.
    First, it was disobedience of the Gen 1:28 command, repeated after the Flood. ‘Fill the earth’.
    Second, Jehovah had pronised Noah that he would never again clobber mankind with a flood. Building a flood-proof tower was tantamount to calling God a liar; slander. It repeated the sad scene in the Garden. ‘No, you will not die [as God said you would]’.

    When Paradise is restored the earth will be filled with only righteous people.

  • Jesus had no reason to not believe anything he found in the scriptures then known and available. We, on the other hand, are increasingly in possession of contradicting information. When that occurs, we have to decide whether to willfully deny what has been discovered and whether it is really more faithful to pass off scriptural accounts as fact when we can reasonably suspect they are not. All species being preserved on the Ark, for instance, is a less and less likely event as more and more species became known. I don’t think it’s a nice thing to imply to people that they cannot be spiritual people unless they deny reality and deny their own educations.

  • Good catch. I hadn’t ever looked at that, for one good reason – I’ve never seen a Bible that does not say “my God”, in English. Still haven’t. You sent me back to my sources, which is always a good idea. I enjoy doing research and learning something new. I’m saddened by those who research, but don’t learn. 1Tim 6:20,21. We got that from Adam, with the rest of our bad tendencies.

    I have 8 English Bibles, of which 4 are Protestant and 3 are vetted RCC.
    Also 3 Interlinears, of necessity NT only; 2 of the Trinitarian persuasion.
    Also 7 NT.
    So, unless you have more, I’m holier than thou. 🙂

    Back to our story. All the Revelations have “my God “, four times.
    This includes the English in the Interlinears, ALL of which have “my God” as the choice of those scholars. My research also found the explanation for this.

    The phrase you quoted is correct, but incomplete, if we are trying to puzzle out the “true” meaning of the passage. Here’s what I found, without exception:

    to ovoma tou Theos mou…
    the name of the God of me…

    I hope my interlinearization stands up upon posting. [I’m doing this on my smart phone.] If not, a quick trip to your own source will confirm my finding.
    What do you learn from this research?

    Back to the original story.
    “Trinitarian teachings of the NT.
    Do you have one for us?
    I have one for you; the only clear, unambiguous, Trinitarian-approved statement of the dogma in the Bible, KJV. 1John 5:7,8. That’s it; there’s the Trinity!

  • What fatal mistake did those people make? Jesus himself said, v. 21, ‘they didn’t do God’s will’. They did their own, or their pastor’s, no doubt with every good intention. That’s the “authority” for the Christmas season among others.
    In “that day” – the last day – Jesus won’t just “criticize” them, as we might, he’ll condemn them to death.

    Your comment about ‘lest ye be judged’ is a common belief. But by studying the Bible we learn the only perfect standards for judging, Jehovah’s. We use those to guide our own behavior and to choose our associates. We do NOT use them to decide which of our fellow imperfect humans to kill or ‘condemn to hell’; we see the bad results of that mindset in the news.

    “Not in groups?” Paul didn’t agree. Heb 10:24,25. Nor did Jesus. Mt 18:20.

  • My experience is that all types or levels of religious “groups” contain nuts and nuttiness—–and——contain every excuse in the book for not asking, not seeking, not knocking on the individual heart level. I was in or around a lot of different kinds of Protestant churches for 40 years. That’s what I found in every one—-no exceptions except possibly in moments of group silent prayer, where we don’t know what people might be thinking or doing. For everyplace there was something visible or audible, the group dynamic did not help anything.

  • One Christian religious organization [not a “church”] that avoids most if not all your objections is here:
    jw.org

    The home page links begin with Online Bible Study Lessons. At no time will you be required to register or send money. The lessons use our own Bible as a source, but please compare it with your own.

    The next link is Read the Bible Online, in many languages. Ditto.

    The rest of the page has some of our teachings on several topics of interest to people like you.

    Near the end of the first page is Featured Publications. Click, and scroll down to Who Are Doing Jehovah’s Will Today? Download* various print forms or mp3. See if your comments are addressed by it.

    One point made is that we have no paid clergy. Can you see how that alone prevents many of the problems you found in the churches?

    * Wait! Before you do, see how much we get to charge you for it, at Mt 10:8. 🙂

  • Historical note: Jonathon Swift thought highly of the passage. Isaac Newton did not. Both had D.D. degrees.
    Edw. Gibbon, of Decline and Fall fame, sided with Newton.

  • Hey, Doug. THANK YOU for your open sharing here. I get your sincerity and appreciate it. Although I won’t be a convert, I have known many JW people with good hearts. It’s good to be in the open about where we come from when we talk to each other, and yes, you are correct that gatherings without the paid clergy model are undoubtedly nearer what Paul and Jesus had in mind.

  • Goal is not converts. Jehovah handles that, for those with the right characteristics.
    Goal is encouraging and furnishing Bible studies, with the tools you now have at your disposal.

    The brochure I suggested you download has specific responses to your well-considered complaints about churches. If you were serious about them you’ll read it. If not, you’re just another bellyacher. World has plenty of those, right? 🙂
    Did you look up what we charge for all this?

  • You know, I was trying to be civil, cordial and friendly, right? Golly, I might not have the “right characteristics” to avoid being what you call a “bellyacher”. Yes, I looked up the verse. No, I am not in any sort of either/or situation with respect to reading your literature or not. My concerns with churches are out of my own 40-year history in them and what they are doing to American civics in our time, not with a denominational group’s answers to questions I didn’t ask them. (Good Grief.)

  • Boy, that’s as clumsy a post as I’ve ever made! I’m very sorry I hurt your feelings.
    I forgot Col 4:6, to ‘let my words always be gracious, seasoned with salt.’
    I hope you’ll give me a second chance.

    My first paragraph stands, as a reply to your statement about converting. Also the next sentence about the brochure, which does give specific answers to the complaints you and many others have about the churches.
    One point the brochure makes repeatedly is that the Bible’s teachings are hardly at all church teachings. If you’re interested at all in religion, as you have been for some 40 years, you owe it to yourself to look into that. That’s the specific purpose of the brochure.
    At least it will give you a better exposition of God’s word than my clumsy effort.
    Please accept my apology.

  • Immediately accepted here—-please forgive me too for going harsh. Happy New Year. I’d like to be your liberal friend, even though we may see nearly everything differently with respect to religion. As it happens, I do have an old very, very conservative friend from a workplace we shared decades ago. I’m 67, he is 80. We talk on phone once or twice a year. We don’t agree and we don’t fight.

  • You weren’t harsh, you were honest.
    I should have mentioned we hope people will read our literature along with the Bible – any Bible.
    I think I’ll just keep quiet for a while. 🙂

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