Friday, June 24, 2011

Yesterday on the Dividing Line: The Dumbest Thing Ever Said about Islam, and Calls

Dr James White talked about the following video and discussed important information about Islam. Follow the link after the video

Yesterday on the Dividing Line: The Dumbest Thing Ever Said about Islam, and Calls
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How To Avoid Getting Hit By A Train -

How To Avoid Getting Hit By A Train -

Psalm 23 – A Video Presentation | Dr. Claude Mariottini – Professor of Old Testament

A valuable bog post from Dr Mariottini. Just what do Shepherds do? Understanding this give huge more meaning to Psalms 23!

Psalm 23 from SourceFlix on Vimeo.

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever. - Psalm 23

Jesus said:

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. - John 10:1

Psalm 23 – A Video Presentation | Dr. Claude Mariottini – Professor of Old Testament
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CNN's Take On Mormonism

Colin Smith has posted a video from CNN about what Mormonism is. He wrote:

CNN posted a "religion" spot called "Explain It to Me: Mormonism" in which their religion editor explains Mormonism. Undoubtedly the fact that Mitt Romney is running for president again has ignited some interest in this "quintessential American religion." However, anyone who has done any research into Mormonism, or truly understands the doctrinal differences between Mormonism and biblical Christianity, will recognize CNN's attempt here as an effort to portray the LDS church according to the image they currently wish to have, not according to Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. Indeed, if you take this video at face value, the Mormons are just another Christian denomination, albeit with a few quirky things that make them different. What you won't find in this video are such things as: Adam-God doctrine, polytheism, progression to godhood, and Joseph Smith's repudiation of all Christian denominations. To name a few.

What blows my mind is that many Mormons don't seem to know what Joseph Smith and Brigham Young taught. I wonder if some most Mormons are ignorant of their heresies or if in fact they repudiate them. I have to wonder, if you reject them, how are you still a "Mormon"?

CNN's Take On Mormonism
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FacePalm of the Day #93 - Debunking Christianity: The Outsider Test: Pretend You're Hearing the Gospel for the First Time

John Loftus hss called attention to the following video because it supposedly gives a good example of how his methodology for evaluating Religion is practiced. He coins the approach as "The Outsider Test of Faith" (OTF). It boils down to evaluating a religions claims from the point of view of an outsider - pretending you are hearing it for the first time. I don't have any problem with the method per se because it's actually not a bad idea if you can truly objective weigh the claims a religion is making and don't mischaracterize what those beliefs are and are not. I agree with Loftus that this video is indeed instructive. It perfectly demonstrates how you should not performed an OTF of Christianity. In this we can see that an awful misunderstanding of theology leads to a conflicted and confused mess.

Look at how the Gospel is presented there are terrible presuppositions such as:

1. Jesus' resurrection has no value to anyone before Christ.
2. God has condemned most of humanity.
3. People are Christians because of the culture they are.
4. No one is a sinner
5. God realized that sin keeps souls coming from going to heaven.
6. God had to appeal to someone else for the need of a sacrifice for sin.
7. There is something wrong with the way the messages has been sent
8. It took a long time for the message to spread beyond a small geographic area.

Why are these failed presuppositions? Simple. Christians don't believe this. The Bible does not support these presuppositions. If you are going to evaluate Christianity then you should at least use theology and arguments Christians actually use and the Bible teaches.

1. Christians believe that all of those who were born and lived before us, since Adam will share in the same inheritance as us. Jesus said

31 But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” - Matthew 22:31-32

God would not just abandon folks He chose just because they didn't understand all of the plan of salvation in it's fullness. Jesus' sacrifice covers you, me, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Isaac, Moses, Joshua, David, Josiah, Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Paul, Jude, Peter, and everyone in between who put their faith in Christ.

 32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning;[e] they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
 39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. - Hebrews 11:32-40
2. No, hell is the default. destination for all of us. God knows what He is doing and has chosen to save those who believe in the provisions He has given us. No one has an excuse because God has given each one of us enough evidence and information for us to make an informed decision about Jesus. God only expects us to respond to what He has revealed to us. Abraham did not know about crucifixions or what the name of Messiah would be, yet he was justified by his faith in what he did know of the promises of God.

  1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” - Romans 4:1-3

Don't make the mistake of missing the fact that if you know of the details of that plan, and yet reject that revelation the standard God will hold you to are higher than for those who lived under the Old Covenant because you had more revealed to you than they.

22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.” - Matthew 11:22-24

3. It's not true that the only people who are Christians are people who are born into a "Christian" culture. It cracks me up when atheist make such a charge and then out of the other side of their mouths deny that Christianity had anything to do with the founding of America.. I make a difference between being truly born-again and just being a nominal Christian because you were raised in Church. If the Holy Spirit is not in you, you can't be a Christian in the way the Bible means it. Also if they were right than no would convert to religions outside of the one they grew up in. And people would not be able to become atheists either. This point is also tied to the previous one about condemning the majority of humanity. If you believe the Bible then you must immediately drop point 2 and 3 because the Bible contradicts them. God puts all of in the best possible place we can find Him. For some of us that means being raised in atheist homes. Sometimes it means growing up Buddhist, or Mormon, or Muslim, or only God knows what else.

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ - Acts 17:24-28
4. We are so hopelessly enslaved to sin, it makes no sense to argue that just because we try to do right and be kind that it even kind of balances out the evil that we do. In the sermon on the mount in Matthew 6, Jesus spelled out what Christians believe about this point. If you entertain thought of lusts, it is no different to God than if you fornicated or committed adultery. If you covet, you might as well steal. If you hate someone, you might as well murdered them. According to this standard every single one of us stands condemned before a holy God.

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.- Isaiah 64:6

We have so totally missed the mark we can't even see or understand it without God's intervention.

5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.- Romans :5-8

So do you need a savior because of your sins? Yup.

5. God did not just look at Adam eating the fruit and rebelling against Him and say "Oh Crap!!! What am I going to do now?" Jesus' redemption of God's chosen people and the death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus were already set before the universe was brought into existence.

8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. - Revelations 13:8

 6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. - Romans 5:6

  22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. - Acts 2:22-24
6. To whom is it that Christians believe that the debt of sin is owed? If you were going to pay for your own sin who collects? The Bible teaches us that it is God who we owe.

4Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.- Ezekiel 18:4

The wages of sin is death. It the logical consequence of sin. It's what we have earned because we sin in thought, word, and deed. Because of our sin, we deserve to be eternally separated from God in Hell. The debt is to God. Jesus sacrifice is propitiatory. A propitiation means that the debt we owed was satisfied because Jesus took our place on the cross and stood in our place. He took the wrath of God on Himself so we wouldn't have to. A fundamental aspect of God's character that is loss on someone who would make point 6 a contention is that God' characteristic  holiness and justness demands that sin be paid for and punished.

7. It's always amazing to me when someone walks up to something and decides critique it's design and not have a clue as to what the spec were. Does it make sense to pick up John Loftus'  books and start complaining about his punctuation? This is what we do when we complain about the design choices that God has chosen to implement in the world around us. We can't possibly know all things and reasons that went into those decisions. All we got is an opinion and no idea what we are talking about. As Christians, we accept the methods that God has chosen to spread the Gospel (which whoever made the video doesn't understand what the Gospel is).

 5 Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’”7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” - Romans 10:5-15

I can't argue with the results it worked on me and on many, many others for centuries.

8. The point that Christianity began in a small geographic area around the Mediterranean sea is misleading. The church began in the very city  Jesus was crucified about 50 days later with many of the same people who was present for all the events leading up to it. It is incomprehensible that a movement would get started around a man executed as shameful criminal in the same city he was executed without something miraculous happening - the Resurrection. Let's also not forget the fact that this movement spread so quickly that we are not just talking about a small geographical area. By the 60's AD around just 30 years after the crucifixion there were Christians in the farthest reaches of the Roman empire and in Rome itself! I'd call that phenomenal growth that continues even today! Nothing wrong with the way God does things.

The OTF is a good idea, but this video fails because it doesn't correctly represent what Christians believe And if you were going to apply OTF, it would not be a  monologue of hashing ideas and concepts Christians do not hold. It would be back and forth - questions and answers - and facts outside of the Bible from Archaeology, History, science, and whatever else we can test.

20 Don't treat prophecies as if they amount to nothing. 21 Put everything to the test. Hold on to what is good. 22 Stay away from every kind of evil.- 1 Thessalonians 5:20-22

This video fails the test of objective truth. Even if you don't agree with what the Bible says you still have to take into account what it says and what it doesn't say if you are really interested in fairly using OTF.

Debunking Christianity: The Outsider Test: Pretend You're Hearing the Gospel for the First Time
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