Wednesday, July 30, 2014

On praying to saints

This will be a more organized revision of my previous articles on this matter.

First, the common objections:

Objection 1) "The Bible says there is only one mediator between God and man(1 Timothy 2:5)--that's Jesus, so we cannot pray to any saint!"


Here is the text they are referring to:
For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus: Who gave himself a redemption for all, a testimony in due times.--1 Timothy 2:5-6
Let's assume the Protestant is right--that praying to a saint in heaven asking that they pray for us is a violation of the statement that Christ is the only mediator.  The issue with this assumption is that it would contradict the rest of the Bible on matters of asking others to pray for you. It is a double standard to say it's not a violation of the sole mediatorship of Christ to have a person on earth to pray for you, but it is a violation of it if that person is in heaven.  Why is the person in heaven a mediator but not the one in heaven? Generally, the answer they give to this is "well because one of them is dead." However, this response makes the issue of being a "mediator" a non-issue, so their problem is not that it is a violation of 1 Timothy 2:5 at all, but the location and physical status of the person being asked for prayer, since all Christians have a concept of asking others be it fellow church-goers or people they consider holy to pray for them. I will address their "dead" objection elsewhere.
As far as 1 Timothy 2:5--"His Mediation" is His priestly sacrifice, His office as Holy High Priest. The one mediator of the sacrifice by which we are redeemed as it continues "who gave himself a redemption for all", the New Testament calls Christ the Mediator of the New covenant as in Hebrews
he is mediator of a better covenant--Hebrews 8:6
Objection 2) "They are dead, they cannot hear you."
Answer:  This objection makes the assertion that the dead (saints) cannot hear. This may assume soul sleep, which I will deal with later.  Why should we assume God does not allow or grant power to saints in heaven to hear the needs of those on Earth?  We have good reason to believe the saints in heaven can hear the petitions of those on Earth. We are told by Jesus that the righteous are like angels in heaven and we know the angels know when man repents--we they in some sense are aware of their thought and prayers to God, so why cannot the righteous in heaven intercede for those on earth? 1 Corinthians 13 explains that the partial will pass away. Jesus also does not really consider them dead, since they are alive in Him, which to Christ is far greater than physical life.  Also, this argument does not work at all to asking Angels to intercede, since angels are not dead, and therefore it cannot be said "they are dead, they cannot hear."
Objection 3) "Prayer is a form of worship, therefore it would be idolatry"

Answer: This understanding is flawed. Prayer CAN be a form of worship, but does it necessarily have to be? Is it worship to ask God to heal aunt Sally? Certainly it is when the main purpose of their prayer is thanksgiving and glorifying God. 

Objection 4) "The dead know nothing!" (Ecclesiastes 9:5) [soul sleep]

Answer: A favorite verse used by soul sleepers, they want to limit the verse to this section of the sentence.  Here is the context of the verse:
For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope; for a living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they shall die; but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. --Ecclesiastes 9:4-5
The first sentence says that "him that is joined to all the living there is hope" then the next verse says "the living know that they shall die, but the dead know not anything."  What this is saying is that there is something that the living can look ahead to---their death, whereas those who are already dead cannot look forward to any comparable death, since their fate is already sealed.

Objection 5) Mary would have to be omniscient and omnipresent to hear all those prayers at once!

Answer: No, omniscience is knowing all things, and omnipresent is being at all places! It might be possible that it be God's will for the righteous in heaven to know all things, or at least to the extent God wills it, 1 Corinthians 13 seems to imply something along the lines of man knowing all things. However, omniscience is not necessary nonetheless, its just knowledge of that petitions addressed to the particular saint that have to be known. Why should we assume God will not give this ability to the saints in heaven? He allowed man on earth to know the thoughts of others as in the case of Elisha, he know the thoughts and plans of the king of Aram (2 Kings 6:12), so its not something God is opposed to giving man the ability to do.  There is no need for omnipresence at all, since Elisha did not have to travel any distance to get this information.

Objection 6) It is forbidden to beseech the dead!


The commandment refers to seeking the dead, as in receiving counsel from them as in what King Saul did, the ancient Chaldeans would practice several forms of bizarre witchcraft using bones and stuff to try to summon the dead, my Syrian friend even insisted the word Chaldee comes from the word "magic", I have not been able to verify this elsewhere. Catholics ask the saints in heaven to pray for the Lord for them, we do not seek to get advice from them, we are not trying to lure them to use, nor do we ascribe some unique magical powers to them that are somehow independent of God, rather any power they have are directly from God, just as the bones of Elisha were.

Argument for Intercession of the Saints:

1) Christians are the body of Christ-the church
2) The body of Christ is one undivided body--not a mutant severed body.
3) St Paul teaches the body feels pain in the rest of the body and is able to seek help for it

4) God is able to give the saints in heaven any power He wants
5) Christ said the righteous dead are equal to angels
6) Angels can intercede, are cognizant of the doings of man on earth and can even deliver prayers to God
7) The angels in heaven rejoice over the repentance of one sinner
8) St Paul says at present on earth we see things partially, in the future the partial will pass away.
9) Saints in Revelation 6:9 are presented as asking for vengeance for their deaths
10) Christian, even Protestants have been known for addressing, rebuking Satan, a fallen angel (which they do not believe is forbidden to do)
11) IT would appear the Protestant view has the demons being allowed to be addressed but never God's host & saints in heaven

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Buddhist Hell!

Buddhism is often prayed as a hippie, progressive religion for people that vegetarians that wear sandals. It is interesting that Buddhists do have a concept of a fiery Hell, wherein the punishments of it are described make Jewish and Christian descriptions of hell look like bed time stories for small children.

The description in the article make it out to be levels of torment based on merits done it life, they note unlike Christian hell its not eternal--however, its lists punishments including being in a freezing, cracking state of disembowelment to being thrown in an oven for a mere 3 quintillion years, 3.39738624×1018 years--that's not taking into account there is reincarnation which probably means another chance of hell after a few years of life.

Buddhism's view of vegetarianism is not straight forward

Friday, July 25, 2014

The State of Israel paying for abortions

That Israeli government is now paying for all abortions for women 20-33 years old. 

Wonder what they have to do for the Fundamentalists to realize God is not on their side (nor their enemies' for that fact). Some fundamentalists admit they expect that land to embrace the great antichrist, yet they think that man and God may still bless them nonetheless!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ibn Kathir's fake history of Constantine

The following is based on the writings of the Sunni Muslim "historian" and Quran commentator Ibn Kathir in his commentary on Surah 3:55, found on google books volume 2, page 171 and on, and also on the Qtafsir website  The Tafsir Ibn Kathir will be in black, my words in blue.

And I will make those who follow you superior to those who disbelieve, till the Day of Resurrection

This is what happened. When Allah raised `Isa to heaven, his followers divided into sects and groups. Some of them believed in what Allah sent `Isa as, a servant of Allah, His Messenger, and the son of His female-servant.

The vast majority believed in this, only gnostics might object to the identification of him as "the son of His female-servant." Islam itself divided into sects shortly after Muhammad died, and even more wanted to leave Islam. The early Christians were given death threats for STAYING Christians, the early Muslims were given death threats for LEAVING Islam.
However, some of them went to the extreme over `Isa, believing that he was the son of Allah.
No one objected to this at all. How is this an extreme? People debated what "son of God" meant, no early Christians denied Jesus was the son of God since this was synonymous with "Christ" to them. We see in the 4 Gospel accounts Jesus own apostles and disciples call himself the "son of God," the demons and Satan call him "son of God," and even Jesus Himself refers to Himself as "the son of God." As we see in these verses:
Jesus Christ speaking of Himself (called Isa by Muslims):
Amen, amen I say unto you, that the hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live.—John 5:25
John the Baptist (Yahya):
And I saw, and I gave testimony, that this is the Son of God.—John 1:34
Archangel Gabriel (called Jibreel by Muslims):
And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.—Luke 1:35
Disciples/Apostles of Jesus:

“And they that were in the boat came and adored him, saying: Indeed thou art the Son of God.”—Matthew 14:33
“And the tempter coming said to him: If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread."--Matthew 4:3
What have we to do with thee, Jesus Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?"--Matthew 8:29
Jesus’ Crucifiers (Roman centurions):
Now the centurion and they that were with him watching Jesus, having seen the earthquake, and the things that were done, were sore afraid, saying: Indeed this was the Son of God.—Matthew 27:54
So based on the fact that we have the 4 accounts of the Gospels telling us Jesus is the “Son of God” with Jesus saying so Himself in John 5:25 with that verse have all variants of it reading “son of God” we have no reason to think Jesus is anything besides the son of God! Any Muslim claim of corruption is baseless. Demonstrating ibn Kathir had little to no knowledge of the Gospels and probably derived all his information from ignorant Islamic sources.
Some of them said that `Isa was Allah Himself,

If by “some” he means Jesus’ own apostles, then yes:

Apostle Thomas speaking to Jesus Christ:
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!—John 20:28
Apostle John:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.—John 1:1
St Thomas addressed Christ himself, yet Christ did not object to this identification at all, so either He allowed St Thomas to commit idolatry, or He really is God!

while others said that he was one of a Trinity.

Being the Son of God and God are necessary for the Trinity to be true, since we believe there is only One God and that Jesus is not the Father but born of the Father and the Holy Spirit also is God (and not an angel like Muslims foolishly assume) then for monotheism to be true and for them too all be God Trinitarianism must be true too. Other Christian before Constantine sometimes taught the 3 persons were really one person and that the Son is the Father and the Spirit is also, this too was rejected by our leaders like the Popes 100 before Emperor Constantine gathered the council of Nicea.

Allah mentioned these false creeds in the Qur'an and refuted them.

Reading how they state the creed seriously makes you wonder if “Allah” really knew what he was talking about at all.

The Christians remained like this until the third century CE, when a Greek king called, Constantine, became a Christian for the purpose of destroying Christianity.

4th century actually, and there is no evidence Constantine wanted to destroy Christianity. He did not formally become Christian however until his death bed when he was baptized.

Constantine was either a philosopher, or he was just plain ignorant.

Constantine was a military child, he was educated in Latin and Greek and philosophy, but does receiving some philosophical education make you a philosopher?

Constantine changed the religion of `Isa by adding to it and deleting from it. He established the rituals of Christianity and the so-called Great Trust, which is in fact the Great Treachery.

No clue what this “Great Trust” is. We have references to our rituals before Constantine. All of them can be found in the New Testament, and they are referred to before Constantine’s time in Christian writings.

He also allowed them to eat the meat of swine,

This was ALREADY done by Christians, since Christians do not follow dietary laws like the Jews did since we believe a new Law was established by Christ establishing a New Testament, in fact the New Testament explicitly states this in Colossians 2:16
Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in drink, or in respect of a festival day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbaths—Colossians 2:16

Despite this by being written by St Paul, Muslims must admit at least this was done long before Constantine since St Paul lived in the 1st century.

changed the direction of the prayer that `Isa established to the east,

There is no tradition, no information about Jesus instruction people what direction they are to pray in the Bible, we are to assume He prayed facing the Temple as did all Jews at His time due to Solomon establishing it. The custom of praying facing East was known and established 100 years before Constantine:
our being known to turn to the east in prayer.—Tertullian, Apology, Chapter 16, c. AD 200
Praying facing East was a custom of Churches that were never inside the empire of the Romans like Persia, Ethiopia, and India.  Interesting ibn Kathir does not volunteer where Christians prayed facing before that.

built churches for `Isa, and added ten days to the fast as compensation for a sin that he committed, as claimed.

What fast, which fast? No information about the days added, or the sin! Convenient!

So the religion of `Isa became the religion of Constantine, who built more then twelve thousand churches, temples and monasteries for the Christians as well as the city that bears his name, Constantinople (Istanbul).

Temples were just how Christians referred to their church buildings at times, but ibn Kathir makes them sound different. His 12,000 number seems to be an exaggeration, but I cannot prove it.

Throughout this time, the Christians had the upper hand and dominated the Jews. Allah aided them against the Jews because they used to be closer to the truth than the Jews,

Does this make sense at all? Ibn Kathir says what a terrible person Constantine was for intentionally corrupting Christianity and that many Christians already confessed false creeds that he considers idolatry, yet Allah thinks this idolatry is closer to the truth than the non-idolatrous Jews? Christians did not have the upperhand over the Jews until AFTER Constantine.

even though both groups were and still are disbelievers, may Allah's curse descend on them.

Cursing people is an old Muslim pastime, whereas Christian pray for a person to repent and that God drive them to it, Muslims are prone to curse and damn in prayer.

When Allah sent Muhammad , those who believed in him also believed in Allah, His Angels, Books and Messengers in the correct manner. So they were the true followers of every Prophet who came to earth. They believed in the unlettered Prophet , the Final Messenger and the master of all mankind, who called them to believe in the truth in its entirety. This is why they had more right to every Prophet than his own nation, especially those who claim to follow their Prophet's way and religion, yet change and alter his religion. Furthermore, Allah abrogated all the laws that were sent down to the Prophets with the Law He sent Muhammad with, which consists of the true religion that shall never change or be altered until the commencement of the Last Hour

Muslims are proud of Muhammad’s lack of education, and this lack of education is reflected in the Quran.  Interesting that ibn Kathir accuses modern Christianity of being started by Constantine was may have been “plain ignorant” yet when calling Muhammad “unlettered” he does not refer to him as “plain ignorant” when we have more reason for that. The funny thing about this statement is it talks about Muhammad abrogating what other prophets taught, and Muhammad’s own religion does not change—despite much of the Quran being abrogated by other verses in the Quran and by things Muhammad said.

 Muhammad's religion shall always be dominant and victorious over all other religions. This is why Allah allowed Muslims to conquer the eastern and western parts of the world and the kingdoms of the earth. Furthermore, all countries submitted to them; they demolished Kisra (king of Persia) and destroyed the Czar, ridding them of their treasures and spending these treasures for Allah's sake. All this occurred just as their Prophet told them it would, when he conveyed Allah's statement

Muslims did an excellent job of conquering sparsely populated desert lands taking the Middle East and North Africa. Barely making any headway into Europe, they took Spain for hundreds of years only to lose it in the 15th century completely. They took some of the Balkans like Albania, which is now atheist. For a while Europe controlled much of the Middle East, almost all of Africa (except Ethiopia) and other lands, yet the Muslim religion “shall always be dominant and victorious.” Even in our present times the Muslims completely outnumbered the Israelis in war, yet the Israelis won and took some Muslim land! So much for always being dominant and victorious!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

LDS Prophet vs New Testament Prophet

In Mormon (LDS) theology the top authority of their ecclesiastical structure has a Prophet, they claim
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are blessed to be led by living prophets—inspired men called to speak for the Lord, as did Moses, Isaiah, Peter, Paul, Nephi, Mormon, and other prophets of the scriptures
We sustain the President of the Church as prophet, seer, and revelator—the only person on the earth who receives revelation to guide the entire
 The strange part of this claim is that Peter and Paul lived at the same time and furthermore they did not have an interest in calling themselves prophets, nor did other people in the New Testament seem to apply this title to them, yet St John does seem to be called a Prophet, but this seems to only be in relation to the book of Revelation, never did St John guide the whole church and have it all subject to him.  We also see there are FEMALE prophets like St Phillip's "four virgin daughters gifted with prophecy" in Acts 21:9. Judas and Silas are called "prophets":
Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, exhorted and strengthened the brothers with many words.--Acts 15:32
Yet, Judas and Silas were subject to others and are not mentioned as speaking in the Council, despite being called in Acts 15:22 "leaders among the brothers," in fact Silas was a sidekick to Paul in Acts 15:40 and followed him much of Acts.

Otherwise, the only other time we see a male prophet (if not multiple simultaneous ones) in the New Testament was a man that was a prophet to HELP the Apostles--he was not the church leader (as claims that was Peter and Paul) he was just given prophecies by God about events about to happen.
At that time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch, and one of them named Agabus stood up and predicted by the Spirit that there would be a severe famine all over the world, and it happened under Claudius.--Acts 11:27-28
We had been there several days when a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. He came up to us, took Paul’s belt, bound his own feet and hands with it, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit: This is the way the Jews will bind the owner of this belt in Jerusalem, and they will hand him over to the Gentiles.”--Acts 21:10-11
We see a New Testament Prophet, just as St John, roles were not to be leaders of the Church-that was the role of the Apostles and presbyters. We see Acts 15 the Church Council was a gathering of Apostles and Presbyters--no prophet mentioned!
The apostles and the presbyters met together to see about this matter.--Acts 15:6
Agabus was still alive and already a prophet in Acts 11:27 and mentioned again in Acts 21:10--and we know he was both in Jerusalem and Antioch (Acts 11:27-28)--yet why is it the New Testament seems fit to cite what he says on the matter, why are his words not mentioned at the Jerusalem council of Acts 15?, why did not people in Antioch end all debate when Agabus come to them on the matter? Because he was not an apostle! An LDS missionary/elder insisted to me that Agabus must have had a leading role in the Church that is never mentioned, interestingly enough he admitted accepting Mormonism on other points was very difficult for him too! 

Let's see what has written about Agabus:

A story by a door-to-door missionary:
When I replied that everyone should be interested in a living prophet on the earth, she cried, “That’s not so! There are no prophets on the earth! Jesus Christ was the last prophet.”
         Then something strange happened. A question came to my mind: “What about Agabus?”
I immediately called out, “What about Agabus?” There was a long pause. Then the woman responded, “Who’s Agabus?”
“A prophet who lived after Christ and who prophesied of a famine that came to pass,” I said.
She asked me, “Where did you read that—in your Mormon Bible?”
“No,” I replied, “in the book of Acts, chapter 11, verse 28.”--What about Agabus?
Yes, what ABOUT Agabus--he does something Mormon prophets can't--predict things and have them actually 'come to pass!' also says in its manual on "The Life and the Teachings of Jesus and his Apostles",
(30-7) Acts 11:28. Who Was Agabus?
Little is known of Agabus other than that he possessed the gift of prophecy and was a noble Christian. By means of divine inspiration, he foretold a famine during the reign of the emperor Claudius, a fact which both the New Testament and Josephus confirm (Acts 11:28; Josephus, The Life and Works of Flavius Joseph, Antiquities of the Jews 20. 2. 5). Following Paul’s return from his third mission, Agabus also predicted Paul’s future imprisonment and bonds (Acts 21:10, 11).--Chapter 30: “God Is No Respecter of Persons”  
In this one they do not say he was a "prophet" but just had the "gift of prophecy." We look in the dictionary:

The Mormon manual called "New Testament Student Manual" 2014 says,
While Paul and his fellow laborers were staying at the home of Philip, “a certain prophet, named Agabus” visited them and prophesied that Paul would be bound if he continued on to Jerusalem (Acts 21:10). It is obvious that Agabus had the Spirit of the Lord with him, for Paul was later bound in Jerusalem (see Acts 21:33).-- "New Testament Student Manual" 2014. Chapter 34: Acts 21–28
This article written in 1962 refers to Agabus among other New Testament prophets who existed simultaneously but does not see an issue with the fact they were more about predictions than doctrine or new revelation, or they were mentioned after apostles, among other things. If the LDS is a reestablishment of the New Testament church then why didn't the New Testament church have a governing prophet like the Mormon do? Why were there multiple ones at once, but now only one at a time?

St Paul mentions the Apostles as being FIRST--before Prophets!
Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.--1 Corinthians 12:27-28
Even, in other places we see the prophets were mentioned second to the apostles:
built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.--Ephesians 2:20
which was not made known to human beings in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit--Ephesians 3:5
And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers--Ephesians 4:11
Rejoice over her, heaven, you holy ones, apostles, and prophets.  For God has judged your case against her.--Revelation 18:20
 Finally, the book of Revelation, we are told the city is built on the 12 APOSTLES:
The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation, on which were inscribed the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.--Revelation 21:14
If the Mormon religion is supposed to be a restoration of the New Testament church that Christ made, why is the concept of a governing prophet that leads the church and is assisted by 12 apostles the opposite of the New Testament church that is lead by 12 apostles and are assisted by multiple (simultaneous) prophets (some of which were female)? Sometimes, a Mormon may point to the fact Joseph Smith called all his "apostles" prophets too, but the fact still remains there was no mention of a top prophet in the new Testament that guided the Church. And if according to the Mormon claim the site makes that Paul was a prophet like Moses, Isaiah and their current "prophet" Monson--then why did St Paul have to be told by another prophet--Agabus that he was to be bound up.
...a prophet named Agabus.....came up to us, took Paul’s belt, bound his own feet and hands with it, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit: This is the way the Jews will bind the owner of this belt in Jerusalem, and they will hand him over to the Gentiles."--Acts 21:10-11
The answer seems simple--though St Paul received a vision of Christ--he did not claim to be a prophet, nor do others seem to claim that for him either! St Paul was assisted by prophets!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Muhammad vs Witchcraft

According to the Quran, Surah 113--al Falaq (The Daybreak) the Muslim prophet Muhammad is supposed to seek refuge with God "from the evil of the blowers in knots" in Surah 113:4:

وَمِن شَرِّ النَّفَّاثَاتِ فِي الْعُقَدِ--Quran, Surah (al-Falaq) 113:4 

 Sahih International: And from the evil of the blowers in knots

Pickthall: And from the evil of malignant witchcraft, 

Yusuf Ali: From the mischief of those who practise secret arts; 
Shakir: And from the evil of those who blow on knots, 
Muhammad Sarwar: from the evil of those who practice witchcraft 
Mohsin Khan: "And from the evil of the witchcrafts when they blow in the knots,  
Arberry: from the evil of the women who blow on knots,
We see many of these translations translate the "blow on knots" as referring to witchcraft. In fact, on a Muslim commentary website for the Quran Tafsir ibn Kathir under this verse it states:
(And from the evil of the blowers in knots,) Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak all said, "This means the witches.'' Mujahid said, "When they perform their spells and blow into the knots.''
Then, following on with Tafsir on this verse, it tells about a hadith in Sahih al Bukhari about how Muhammad was the victim of witchcraft while he was a prophet! But rather than reproduce Tafsir on this, which just quotes the hadith (a Sunni one), here is the hadith itself:

Narrated by Aisha:
Magic was worked on Allah's Apostle so that he used to think that he had sexual relations with his wives while he actually had not (Sufyan said: That is the hardest kind of magic as it has such an effect). Then one day he said, "O 'Aisha do you know that Allah has instructed me concerning the matter I asked Him about? Two men came to me and one of them sat near my head and the other sat near my feet. The one near my head asked the other. What is wrong with this man?' The latter replied the is under the effect of magic The first one asked, Who has worked magic on him?' The other replied Labid bin Al-A'sam, a man from Bani Zuraiq who was an ally of the Jews and was a hypocrite.' The first one asked, What material did he use)?' The other replied, 'A comb and the hair stuck to it.' The first one asked, 'Where (is that)?' The other replied. 'In a skin of pollen of a male date palm tree kept under a stone in the well of Dharwan' '' So the Prophet went to that well and took out those things and said "That was the well which was shown to me (in a dream) Its water looked like the infusion of Henna leaves and its date-palm trees looked like the heads of devils." The Prophet added, "Then that thing was taken out' I said (to the Prophet ) "Why do you not treat yourself with Nashra?" He said, "Allah has cured me; I dislike to let evil spread among my people."--Sahih al Bukari Volume 7 [Medicine], Book 71, Number 660
 We see Muhammad's own wife, in fact his favorite one who he married when she was still but a child about 7 that still played with dolls, claimed Muhammad was harmed by magic and was fooled into thinking he had sex with his wives (polygamist, of course) when he did not!  Interestingly, the near by hadith explains what Muhammad should have done to prevent being harmed by magic:

 Narrated by Saud:
The Prophet said, "If somebody takes some 'Ajwa dates every morning, he will not be effected by poison or magic on that day till night." (Another narrator said seven dates).--Volume 7, Book 71, Number 663
 So, we see "God's Apostle" failed to eat his daily dates to prevent witches spells! You'd expect maybe Muhammad would have prescribed a prayer of some sort, but no! Besides, the strangeness of this commentary, and its relationship to Quranic verse and the absurdity of the story of why a wizard/witch/sorcerer would care to make Muhammad think he had sex with his wives, we must ask an even bigger question: How can Muhammad be trusted? If he is supposed to be God's own messenger, apostle and prophet, then why did God allow Muhammad to be fooled by magic? Furthermore, if Muhammad can be fooled by evil people in such a earthly matter, why should be trust him in even greater matters that relate to God and heaven?

Muhammad seems to be at the mercy of evil forces like demons who are the only power behind witchcraft. Whereas, we see no mention of Moses and Aaron being at the mercy of the Egyptian magicians (Exodus 7:22) they encountered in the book of Exodus--in fact they defeated them! Likewise, Jesus when confronted with demons--they cowered in His presence since they knew He was the Christ, the Son of the Living God, for instance:
They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?"--Matthew 8:29
We also see St Paul, whom Muslims generally think very lowly of, in our Christian scriptures relates how when confront with a sorcerer:
they met a magician named Bar-Jesus who was a Jewish false prophet. He was with the proconsul Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who had summoned Barnabas and Saul and wanted to hear the word of God. But Elymas the magician (for that is what his name means) opposed them in an attempt to turn the proconsul away from the faith. But Saul, also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all that is right, full of every sort of deceit and fraud. Will you not stop twisting the straight paths of [the] Lord? Even now the hand of the Lord is upon you. You will be blind, and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately a dark mist fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. When the proconsul saw what had happened, he came to believe, for he was astonished by the teaching about the Lord.--Acts 13:6-12
We see Paul could deal with magicians and was under God's protection, yet we see no mention of him seeking the aide of dates!

If magicians and demons can fool a man claiming to be a prophet of God about something like sex, why can't he be fooled about other things? And why does he have no protection from deceit of evil?


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

New Islamic Caliphate

ISIS has changed its name and declared its leader the new caliph--successor to Muhammad. According to Muslims sites there are 3 ways of becoming a Caliph--election by leaders, appointment by a prior Caliph, or brute force. With the new Caliphate Muslims (at least the ones that recognize it) are obligated to obey and they can now state offensive wars, rather than the alleged defensive ones. However, this all depends on the Caliphs recognition in the Muslim world, but even if he gets SOME recognition it will be incredibly damaging.

SBC's statement of faith critique

The SBC (Southern Baptist Convention) has no dogmatic creed they go by technically. However, they do issue an official statement of faith called The Baptist Faith and Message. This statement of faith they state can be changed--and it is.

The old BFM made very strong statement about not doing unnecessary work on Sunday, whereas the new one of 2000 is far less vague and leaves it up to a persons conscience.

The first day of the week is the Lord's Day. It is a Christian institution for regular observance. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should include exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private. Activities on the Lord's Day should be commensurate with the Christian's conscience under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.--BF&M 2000, VIII. The Lord's Day                        

The first day of the week is the Lord's Day. It is a Christian institution for regular observance. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private, and by refraining from worldly amusements, and resting from secular employments, work of necessity and mercy only being excepted..--BF&M 2000, VIII. The Lord's Day                        

 Constantly, the BFM affirms religious freedom, and states they believe in a separation of Church and State--probably because Baptist were rarely ever the majority in any government.  Despite this claim they SBC's BFM makes several statements where they encourage people to affect government--just as they do through resolutions. They've had a history of pushing against any use of alcohol, however, they claim a separation of church and state--despite their 1925 affirmation that they use "bread and wine" for the Lord's supper, which they changed in the 1963 to "fruit of the vine"--which refers actually to another cup at the Last Supper!
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The act is a symbol of our faith in a crucified, buried and risen Saviour. It is prerequisite to the privileges of a church relation and to the Lord's Supper, in which the members of the church, by the use of bread and wine, commemorate the dying love of Christ. --1925 Baptist Faith and Message, XIII. Baptism and the Lord's Supper                        

The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.--1963/2000 Baptist Faith and Message,VII. Baptism and the Lord's Supper
They mention both their "ordinances" of baptism and the Lord's supper as "a symbolic act of obedience," they only unique thing they do is state baptism is by immersion, this down plays the Biblical view of baptism which according to Jesus in Mark 16:16 he who "believes and is baptized shall be saved," and St Peter in Acts 2:38 who teaches "repent and be baptized for the remission of sins." It is less than an "ordinance" which the bible never calls it--strangely they have a problem with the term "sacrament" when the term they use is not used either!  Baptism is something done to you through a minster by God Himself to wash away sin! Interestingly enough, the creed does not make an explicit mention of having to be "old enough" to be baptized, no direct mention of credo-baptism--which is THE DOCTRINE that separates the Baptists from others!

 Continuing, the fact is their idea of separation of church and state is--we do not get tax, you cannot enforce anything on us that we do not like, but we can push our Baptist values and morality on society as a whole:
Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly  love. --XV. The Christian and the Social Order
Church and state should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. In providing for such freedom no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be favored by the state more than others. --XVII. Religious Liberty                        
 Though many of the SBC's moral views are good and unobjectionable, it still seems in consistent with their idea of separation of church and state--look at my page on alcohol and see how they rail against FDR for letting prohibition be undone with the 21st amendment!
The SBC webpage says their members range from Calvinist to Arminian, yet the SBC's Baptist Faith and Message seems to be very Calvinist on some points and Arminian on others. For example, they seem to affirm Once saved always saved/eternal security saying:
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility. 
All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.--2000 Baptist Faith and Message, V. God's Purpose of Grace                           
The first paragraph does not use the term "free will" but "free agency" a term the Mormons like too, perhaps the SBC is just keeping and old term or wants to avoid the free-will debate, either way generally you would not see this in a Reformed creed other than to negate it somehow, or define it in a very narrow way.  Then the second paragraph explicitly states they believe you cannot fall from a state of grace, but that graces can be "impair[ed]."   This section does not allow for a person to have faith for a time, but states they will persevere.

Notice also their statement on the Last Things is very nonspecific and agreeable to many non Baptists. No mention of a pre-tribulation rapture which is common among Baptists.


Answering Dispensationalism: "Remission"

This will be an expanding of a Question and Answer page from an older post on here:

Claim: When the Bible says baptism is for the remission of sins, it does not mean forgiveness, it means remission in the sense cancer can be in remission.

A7. The ENGLISH word remission can mean both forgiveness and the alternate meaning. Dispensationalists try to make a doctrine of splitting what they call the Kingdom Gospel and the "Grace" Gospel, out of the KJV's inconsistent translation of a Greek word. They believe St Paul was the first "revealed" the "grace" Gospel. Forgiveness/pardon is the meaning when dealing with sins. Here is the origin of the word remission itself:
early 13c., "forgiveness or pardon (of sins)," from O.Fr. remission, from L. remissionem (nom. remissio) "relaxation, a sending back," from remiss-, pp. stem of remittere "slacken, let go, abate" (see remit). Used of diseases since c.1400. 
But, this is not so helpful since this is just a translation of the Greek. The Greek word used in Acts 2:38 that bibles like the King James Version and the Douay Rheims for what the translation as "remission" is ἄφεσιν . ἄφεσιν simple means to let something go.

A. [select] letting go, release, περὶ τῆς τῶν πλοίων ἀφέσεως Philipp. ap. D.18.77, cf. Pl.Plt.273c; “καρπῶνPAmh.2.43.9 (ii B. C.); γῆ ἐν ἀφέσει land in private hands, opp. βασιλική, PTeb. 5.37 (ii B. C.), etc.

b. [select] of persons, dismissal: in ritual, “λαοῖς .Apul.Met.11.17; release, Plb.1.79.12, IG2.314.21, Ev.Luc.4.18.

2. [select] c. gen., . φόνου quittance from murder, Pl.Lg.869d: so abs., Hermog.Stat.8; discharge from a bond, D.33.3; “. ἐναντίον μαρτύρων ποιήσασθαιId.45.41; opp. ἀπόδοσις χρημάτων, Isoc.17.29; exemption from attendance, leave of absence, Arist.Ath.30.6; . τῆς στρατείας exemption from service, Plu.Ages.24; remission of a debt, “ταλάντουMichel1340B7 (Cnidus, ii B. C.); “χρημάτωνIPE12.32B70 (Olbia, iii B. C.); sc. καταδίκης, Inscr.Magn.93c16.

b. [select] forgiveness, Ev. Marc.3.29; “ἁμαρτιῶνEv.Matt.26.28.

3. [select] relaxation, exhaustion, Hp.Epid.3.6.

5. [select] starting of horses in a race, “ἵππων . ποιεῖνD.S.4.73: hence, starting-post itself, ἰσώσας τἀφέσει (Musgr. for τῇ φύσει τὰ τέρματα having made the winning-post one with the starting-post, i.e. having completed the δίαυλος and come back to the starting-post, dub. cj. in S.El.686, cf. Paus.5.15.5, 6.20.9: metaph., the first start, beginning of anything, Man.3.405, etc.

6. [select] discharge, emission,ὕδατοςArist.PA 697a24; “βέλουςD.S.17.41; “τοῦ θοροῦ, τοῦ ᾠοῦArist.GA756a12; “τοῦ κυήματοςId.HA608a1; the dropping of a foal, ib.576a25.

b. [select] discharge, release of an engine, Ph.Bel.58.24.
7. [select] = ἀφεσμός, Arist.HA 625a20 (pl.).
8. [select] release,ὕδατοςPPetr.2p.34 (iii B. C.): hence, in concrete sense, conduit, sluice, ib.3p.88, PFlor.388.44 (iii A. D.): pl., “ἀφέσεις θαλάσσηςchannels, LXX 2 Ki.22.16.

9. [select] Astrol., reckoning of the vital quadrant, Ptol.Tetr.127, cf. Vett.Val.136.2 (but ἀπὸ Λέοντος τὴν ἄφεσιν ποιούμενοι, simply, starting from . . , Id.31.8).
 Mark 3:29 uses this Greek word in the sense the eternal sin can never be "forgiven" it would not make much sense if this eternal sin were only suppressed or whatever other secondary sense exist in English. In fact the King James Version translates ἄφεσιν  as "forgiven" a few times Acts 5:31, 13:38, 26:18, Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14. It means forgiven.

Let us go through the 17 times in 16 verses in the New Testament ἄφεσιν is used with a comparison of the KJV with how it is used, the Greek will following the Byzantine
For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission [ἄφεσιν] of sins.-- Matthew 26:28
τοῦτο γάρ ἐστιν τὸ αἷμά μου, τὸ τῆς καινῆς διαθήκης, τὸ περὶ πολλῶν ἐκχυνόμενον εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν. --Matthew 26:28
John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission  [ἄφεσιν] of sins.-- Mark 1:4
Ἐγένετο Ἰωάννης βαπτίζων ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ, καὶ κηρύσσων βάπτισμα μετανοίας εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν. --Mark 1:4
But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness [ἄφεσιν], but is in danger of eternal damnation:-- Mark 3:29

ὃς δ' ἂν βλασφημήσῃ εἰς τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον, οὐκ ἔχει ἄφεσιν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, ἀλλ' ἔνοχός ἐστιν αἰωνίου κρίσεως. --Mark 3:29

To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission [ἀφέσει] of their sins,-- Luke 1:77
τοῦ δοῦναι γνῶσιν σωτηρίας τῷ λαῷ αὐτοῦ ἐν ἀφέσει ἁμαρτιῶν αὐτῶν, --Luke 1:77
And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission [ἄφεσιν] of sins;-- Luke 3:3
Καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν περίχωρον τοῦ Ἰορδάνου, κηρύσσων βάπτισμα μετανοίας εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν· --Luke 3:3

The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance [ἄφεσιν] to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty [ἀφέσει] them that are bruised,-- Luke 4:18

Πνεῦμα κυρίου ἐπ' ἐμέ, οὗ εἵνεκεν ἔχρισέν με εὐαγγελίσασθαι πτωχοῖς· ἀπέσταλκέν με ἰάσασθαι τοὺς συντετριμμένους τὴν καρδίαν· κηρύξαι αἰχμαλώτοις ἄφεσιν, καὶ τυφλοῖς ἀνάβλεψιν, ἀποστεῖλαι τεθραυσμένους ἐν ἀφέσει, --Luke 4:18
And that repentance and remission [ἄφεσιν] of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.-- Luke 24:47
καὶ κηρυχθῆναι ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ μετάνοιαν καὶ ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν εἰς πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, ἀρξάμενον ἀπὸ Ἱερουσαλήμ. --Luke 24:47
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission [ἄφεσιν] of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.--Acts 2:38
Πέτρος δὲ ἔφη πρὸς αὐτούς, Μετανοήσατε, καὶ βαπτισθήτω ἕκαστος ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν, καὶ λήψεσθε τὴν δωρεὰν τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος. --Acts 2:38
Him hath God exalted with his right hand [to be] a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness [ἄφεσιν] of sins.--Acts 5:31

Τοῦτον ὁ θεὸς ἀρχηγὸν καὶ σωτῆρα ὕψωσεν τῇ δεξιᾷ αὐτοῦ, δοῦναι μετάνοιαν τῷ Ἰσραὴλ καὶ ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν. --Acts 5:31

 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission [ἄφεσιν] of sins.--Acts 10:43

 Τούτῳ πάντες οἱ προφῆται μαρτυροῦσιν, ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν λαβεῖν διὰ τοῦ ὀνόματος αὐτοῦ πάντα τὸν πιστεύοντα εἰς αὐτόν. --Acts 10:43

 Be it known unto you therefore, men [and] brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness [ἄφεσις] of sins:-- Acts 13:38

Γνωστὸν οὖν ἔστω ὑμῖν, ἄνδρες ἀδελφοί, ὅτι διὰ τούτου ὑμῖν ἄφεσις ἁμαρτιῶν καταγγέλλεται· --Acts 13:38

To open their eyes, [and] to turn [them] from darkness to light, and [from] the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins [ἄφεσιν], and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.—Acts 26:18

ἀνοῖξαι ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτῶν, τοῦ ὑποστρέψαι ἀπὸ σκότους εἰς φῶς καὶ τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ Σατανᾶ ἐπὶ τὸν θεόν, τοῦ λαβεῖν αὐτοὺς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν, καὶ κλῆρον ἐν τοῖς ἡγιασμένοις πίστει τῇ εἰς ἐμέ. --Acts 26:18

 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness [ἄφεσιν] of sins, according to the riches of his grace-- Ephesians 1:7

ἐν ᾧ ἔχομεν τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν διὰ τοῦ αἵματος αὐτοῦ, τὴν ἄφεσιν τῶν παραπτωμάτων, κατὰ τὸν πλοῦτον τῆς χάριτος αὐτοῦ, --Ephesians 1:7

 In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness [ἄφεσιν] of sins:--Colossians 1:14
ἐν ᾧ ἔχομεν τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν, τὴν ἄφεσιν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν· --Colossians 1:14

 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission [ἄφεσις].-- Hebrews 9:22

Καὶ σχεδὸν ἐν αἵματι πάντα καθαρίζεται κατὰ τὸν νόμον, καὶ χωρὶς αἱματεκχυσίας οὐ γίνεται ἄφεσις. --Hebrews 9:22
 Now where remission [ἄφεσις] of these [is, there is] no more offering for sin.-- Hebrews 10:18
We see here that of the 17 times this Greek word is used in the KJV 1611 translates it as follows:
Remission--9 times: Matthew 26:28, Mark 1:4, Luke 1:77, Luke 3:3, Luke 24:47, Acts 2:38, Acts 10:43, Hebrews 9:22, Hebrews 10:18 
Forgiveness--6 times: Mark 3:29, Acts 5:31, Acts 13:38, Acts 26:18, Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14 
Liberty--1 time: Luke 4:18 
Deliverance--1 time: Luke 4:18
In every instance its translated as remission or forgiveness--the context is the same--sin.  How could the KJV writers tell the difference between a "remission" or "forgiveness" in the mind of a dispensationalist?  Furthermore, Matthew 26:28 has Jesus dying for the REMISSION of sins! Furthermore, even though ἄφεσις is not used in Romans 3:25, Romans 3:25 in the KJV has "remission" being used by the person that Dispensationalists allege was given "another gospel" that is not supposed to be one of "remission of sins" but "forgiveness of sins."

Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God--Romans 3:25
Also, we see "forgiveness" not just "remission" did occur before St Paul as in Acts 5:31 where St Peter was preaching:

Him hath God exalted with his right hand [to be] a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness [ἄφεσιν] of sins.--Acts 5:31