Welcome to the April blog. It is good to have you visiting today.
Forgery allegations dismissed by Ossuary trial verdict
Unbelievers hate to admit that archaeological discoveries keep verifying the Bible. You will remember about five years ago they discovered an ossuary, or “bone box,” (top right) with an inscription containing the names James, Joseph and Jesus on it. Immediately, the skeptics howled that it must be a forgery. They are afraid that unless they disprove that such artifacts substantiate the Scriptures, someone might believe the Bible. Get a life! Other items known as the “Widow’s Plea” ostracon and the “Jehoash Tablet” (bottom left) were also tagged as forgeries by the atheists. They sued the owners, but the trial judge recently concluded that the evidence showed they were not forgeries. Here is the official word:
On March 14, Jerusalem Judge Aharon Farkash found defendants Oded Golan and Robert Deutsch not guilty of all charges of forgery. The judge stated that there is no evidence that any of the major artifacts were forged, and that the prosecution failed to prove their accusations beyond a reasonable doubt. The alleged forgeries include the inscription from the famous James Ossuary that reads “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.” The judge also found there was no clear evidence that several other ancient artifacts, including the “Three Shekels” ostracon, the “Widow’s Plea” ostracon and the Jehoash tablet, had been forged.
When will the unbelievers quit wasting their time trying to prove the Bible wrong? While certain artifacts do not “prove” the Bible is right, the discoveries continue to confirm that our faith in the veracity of the Scriptures is entirely justified.
The sad legacy of Whitney Houston, et al.
I just returned from El Paso where border violence is becoming stale news. Most residents, or at least their subdivisions, are now ensconced behind foot-thick rock walls. They don’t talk much about the spillover of violence, the bullets landing in the downtown area, or the drug cartels’ latest beheadings. Scared? Probably. Jaded? Perhaps. Maybe just tired of talking about it.
Probably not many reading this even noticed the news item about the Nigerian woman who was caught at the New York airport with a double handful of heroin capsules in her stomach. Or the Texas deputy sheriff that was shot in the spillover drug war.
But the violence of the cartels, the beheadings, the corruption of virtually all officials across the river—and all along America’s border with Mexico—will not cease as long as U.S. citizens crave their drugs. We cannot put all the blame on the smugglers and the suppliers for what is happening. As long as the news media will merely report the violence rather than the cause of the violence, it will continue. They refuse to finger the real culprits in this drug war—the users. Why the home invasions in Chicago? Or the car thieves in Sacramento? Or the menacing hoodies hitting the convenience stores in Philadelphia? The primary cause of such crimes is to get money to buy the drugs that some pusher got them hooked on. And who pays the bill for the increased prices of goods and insurance to make up for the losses—the taxpayers, of course.
If our dopehead celebrities would stop snorting cocaine, and the lazy street loafers would find something to do besides getting high and looking for another set of hubcaps to steal (one stole mine while I was sitting in the car!), the border violence and much of the street crime would subside.
Why not blame the real people who are keeping this cycle of violence, murders and smugglings going—the Whitney Houstons, the Charlie Sheens, the wealthy sports figures, the loony college students, and others who won’t give up their drugs. Stop praising them and start holding them accountable. Stop glorifying their lifestyle and start putting them behind bars, because they are guilty, in part, for the deaths of every deputy sheriff, DEA agent and border patrolman who has died in the line of duty. No market means no smuggling. No smuggling means fewer border problems and fewer deaths.
Political Science 101
These may be five of the most insightful sentences you’ll ever read:
1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.
3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
4. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation.
5. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.
Who was the father of Jesus?
I have heard it said by some ministers that the Virgin Birth of Jesus is “denied” in the New International Version, the New American Standard Bible and other versions in Luke 2:33 where Joseph is called Jesus’ “father”—“And his father and his mother….” The KJV reads, “Joseph and his mother.” Is this an effort to dilute the doctrine of the Virgin Birth? Which version is correct?
First, the NIV and NASB (and all modern versions that I know of) plainly state that Mary was a “virgin” in all the NT places that refer to her status. The translators were clearly acknowledging that the real father of Jesus was God Himself. So it is unlikely that the same translators would then try to “deny” that fact elsewhere in a single verse by suggesting that Joseph was the actual or physical father of Jesus. Luke had already made it very clear in the previous chapter (Luke 1:34,35) that Mary was a virgin and God was Christ’s actual father (all modern versions that I have confirm this). If so, why is Joseph called the father of Jesus in this verse? Actually, there is really nothing problematic with referring to Joseph as Jesus’ father in such a context. It seems obvious that Jesus revered and recognized Joseph as His earthly father/guardian. Jesus was apparently thought of in the Jewish community as the natural born son of Joseph (Matthew 13:55).
The words translated “his father” in 2:33—o pater autou—appear in most ancient Greek texts. Textual scholars report that the evidence suggests that the phrase was changed to “Joseph” in some ancient Latin versions and their copies, ostensibly to protect the doctrine of the Virgin Birth. For some reason, in Stephanus’ 1550 Greek text, the basic text used by the KJV translators, “Joseph” appears in 2:33: “Joseph and his mother.” The ambiguity of the phrase—sounding like a reference to Joseph’s mother—as well as the manuscript evidence, tag it as an interpolation.
The claim of interpolation obviously arises through a change made in the Textus Receptus. Erasmus, in his first edition in 1516, which was the foundation of the Textus Receptus, had “his father and his mother” at Luke 2:33. He also had “his father and his mother” in his Latin translation. But by the time the Stephanus 1550 Textus Receptus edition was published—a take-off of Erasmus’ work—it had been changed to “Joseph and his mother.” So who “tweaked” the Textus Receptus here? Wycliffe’s Bible translated the verse as “his father and his mother,” as did Tyndale, Cranmer, the Great Bible, Geneva, the Bishop’s Bible, and Douay-Rheims—all except the KJV.
It is interesting that just a few verses later in 2:48, the KJV quotes Mary herself calling Joseph Jesus’ “father”—“And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.” (Emphasis mine) This rendering is supported in all Greek manuscripts. Why is it always 2:33 that is mentioned in accusations hurled at other versions and we never hear a word about 2:48? Were the KJV translators denying the Virgin Birth here? Was Mary herself denying the Virgin Birth? If anyone should know the truth, it would be her. If contemporary translations are to be accused, include Mary in the charges. Case dismissed.
“Decide to forgive”
Decide to forgive
for resentment is negative.
Resentment is poisonous.
Be the first to forgive,
To smile and to take the first step.
And you will see happiness bloom
On the face of your human brother or sister.
Be always the first.
Do not wait for others to forgive,
For by forgiving
You become the master of fate,
The fashioner of life,
A doer of miracles.
To forgive is the highest,
Most beautiful form of love.
In return you will receive
Untold peace and happiness.
And here is the program for achieving a truly forgiving heart: Only the brave know how to forgive. A coward never forgives. It is not in his nature.
Source: www.DearAbby.com; submitted.
Need computers and Wi-Fi for your church?
Turn it into a mosque and you might be successful in getting both—compliments of the U.S. government.
Three quarters of a billion dollars has been sent to Egypt to help rebuild the sewer system there since some mosques were experiencing flooding. The mosques themselves needed repairs and updating. Mosques in Cyprus have been granted a huge amount of your tax dollars. Mosques in Mali and in Pakistan were provided computers and hooked up to the Internet, courtesy of you and me. All this is done by our government while suggesting that we eliminate deductions for home mortgages here in the U.S. and make religious organizations pay for contraceptives and abortions. Evidently, the push for separation of church and state only applies to Christianity.
We were warned in writing by Obama himself that he would stand by the Muslims. Why is anyone surprised to find out he is doing it? Our tax dollars are being spent to buy respect from Muslim nations. And are we getting it in return? We are getting continued attempts to blow up planes and buildings in return. Will more tax dollars sent to them change anything?
Source: WSB-TV.wmv. It is my understanding that this information was part of a newscast in Atlanta. To see for yourself, click on the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXWm_xIxnZw.
Now you are invited to read the following item.
15 Threats to U.S. Economy
Bible study goes viral
Into His Marvelous Light Interactive Bible Study is now on hundreds of church websites across America. As of 2/22/12, 337 churches have IHML on their websites, or at least have downloaded the Interactive PDF. (Spanish is now ready for downloading.) Additionally, the study is on websites in fourteen foreign countries, including Scotland, Germany, S. Africa, Sweden, Norway, India, Canada, Switzerland, Trinidad/Tobago, Venezuela, Australia, Fiji, and N. Ireland.
Into His Marvelous Light Bible Study is one of the most effective ways of reaching the unsaved today. If you would like to have more information on how your church could be involved in this effective outreach, contact OneHourBibleStudy.com and click on Free IHML Interactive PDF.
The doom of DOMA
President Obama has worked diligently to totally remove the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) from American law and life. Buying votes from the liberal homosexual community, he has pushed for issues favoring the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) community. The President is following through on virtually every promise he made to bring about the “overwhelming transformation” (his words) of this country into something our forefathers never envisioned. Unless we elect men and women to public office who will stand up for traditional marriage and oppose the homosexual agenda, it is likely that it will go the way of all the earth.
A sad statistic just came down the pike: 60% of couples now live together before marriage. Many are opting to never marry. Copulating and populating outside of marriage is eroding the foundation of our society. Was this what the homosexuals and liberal feminists had in mind all the time? Do these people ever think—what about the children? More and more children recognize they were probably “unwanted” so they feel less and less obligated to their parents. What a vicious, downward spiral!
Blasphemy and free speech
One of the most disturbing aspects of our current government is its willingness to support all things Islamic. There must be a reason. I updated the March blog with the suggestion that our readers would find it helpful, but many read the blog before it was added. It is definitely worth the few minutes it will take to read it. It is entitled, “Blasphemy and Free Speech.” Click on this link:
Rick Warren says God and Allah are one and the same
By Jim Hinch, for THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
“The Rev. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest and one of America’s most influential Christian leaders, has embarked on an effort to heal divisions between evangelical Christians and Muslims by partnering with Southern California mosques and proposing a set of theological principles that includes acknowledging that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.
“The effort, informally dubbed King’s Way, caps years of outreach between Warren and Muslims. Warren has broken Ramadan fasts at a Mission Viejo mosque, met Muslim leaders abroad and addressed 8,000 Muslims at a national convention in Washington D.C.” [end]
[Why do Evangelical ministers, including some Apostolics, by the thousands flock to his seminars to sit at his feet and inculcate his heretical doctrines and methodologies that will do nothing but lead them and their churches astray?]
Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California is the eighth largest church in the United States with an average attendance of 20,000 or more. Rick Warren is the founder and senior pastor of this mega church. He is also known for his popular book and program of church growth known as The Purpose Driven Church.
He has built his temple of thousands on a platform of liberal theology. His preaching is more emotionally based than spiritually based, which is how, according to Warren, you build a big church. The bottom line of his philosophy is that it is more important to gather a big crowd than teach sound biblical theology. Crowds bring money, and with them come power and prestige. Truth is fallen in the streets.
In his typical liberal fashion, Pastor Warren has joined a movement known as King’s Way. The movement’s goal is to bring Christians and Muslims together without either group trying to proselytize or convert the other.
As part of this effort, Warren announced that he wants to create a set of principles that both evangelical Christians and Muslims could agree to in the effort to bring churches and mosques closer together. One of those principles is that we both worship the same God. In other words, Allah and God are one and the same deity.
Sorry pastor but you couldn’t be more wrong. Yes, I know that Muslims trace their history back to the Ishmael, the son of Abraham and Jews and Christians trace their history back to Isaac, also the son of Abraham. Warren used this common history as the basis of making his statement on God and Allah being one and the same. How ignorant of the facts of history.
Of course, the Muslim view of Allah is not the same as the Christian view of God. Here are some major differences:
- Allah was one of the pagan gods worshipped by the dwellers on the Arabian peninsula in the sixth century. Mohammad insisted on the worship of Allah alone to the exclusion of all the others. That insistence formed the basis of the Islamic religion.
- The only Person in the Christian Godhead is Jesus Christ.
- In Islam, Jesus was all human who was a prophet whose message has become corrupted.
- Christianity is based upon the fact that Jesus was God incarnate who died on the cross, was resurrected from the dead and ascended to the right hand of the throne of God. Islam does not recognize Jesus’ deity, death on the cross, and His resurrection.
There are many other differences, these are listed as they are critical to the Christian faith.
Source (with some editorial amendments in the above list): Pastor Rick Warren Says Allah and God Are One in the Same – Godfather Politics http://godfatherpolitics.com/3962/pastor-rick-warren-says-allah-and-god-are-one-in-the-same/#ixzz1o6mFncct
Killing babies no different from abortion, experts (?) say
Parents should be allowed to have their newborn babies killed because they are “morally irrelevant” and ending their lives is no different to abortion, a group of medical ethicists linked to Oxford University has argued.
The article, published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, says newborn babies are not “actual persons” and do not have a “moral right to life.” The academics also argue that parents should be able to have their baby killed if it turns out to be disabled when it is born.
The journal’s editor, Prof Julian Savulescu, director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, said the article’s authors had received death threats since publishing the article. He said those who made abusive and threatening posts about the study were “fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society.”
The article, entitled “After-birth abortion: Why should the baby live?”, was written by two of Prof Savulescu’s former associates, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva.
They argued: “The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.”
Rather than being “actual persons,” newborns were “potential persons.” They explained: “Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life.’
Source: By Stephen Adams, Medical Correspondent; 2/29/12
When was the last time you heard the word “infanticide”? Who’s next on the “expendable” list? Give you three guesses, and the last two aren’t needed.
Fat-free tofu only?
The food stamp program: Part of the Department of Agriculture, is pleased to be distributing the greatest amount of food stamps ever.
If the government becomes the sole supplier of our food, then they will have total control over our lives. How easy to take the next step to mandate that the stamps are redeemable only for foods the government approves.
Anybody else need anything?
U.S. immigration officials are under standing orders to provide abortion services for detained illegal aliens in some circumstances and hormone therapy to those who say they are transgendered.
The orders to do so are included in the “2011 Operations Manual ICE Performance-Based National Detention Standards” for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement division of the Department of Homeland Security.
Detention facilities are required to provide female detainees with “pregnancy services including routine or specialized prenatal care, postpartum follow-up, lactation services and abortion services,” the manual dictates.
The government will pay for an abortion in cases of rape or incest, or if the mother’s life is in danger, according to the manual. In other cases, the female detainee who wants to halt a pregnancy must pay for the abortion, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement will cover transportation costs to and from the abortion clinic.
“Transgender detainees who were already receiving hormone therapy when taken into ICE custody shall have continued access,” according to the regulations. “All transgender detainees shall have access to mental health care, and other transgender-related health care and medication based on medical need. Treatment shall follow accepted guidelines regarding medically necessary transition-related care.”
Source: Newsmax, 3/24/12
This is especially for someone reading this blog. Is it you?
Charles Mackay (1814-1889) wrote the popular poem You have no enemies, you say?:
You have no enemies, you say?
Alas, my friend, the boast is poor,
For those who have mingled in the fray
Of duty, that the brave endure,
Must have made foes.
If you have none,
Small is the work that you have done.
You’ve hit no traitor on the hip,
You’ve dashed no cup from perjured lip,
You’ve never set the wrong to right.
You’ve been a coward in the fight.
Jewelry from the Time of the Judges Found at Megiddo
Archaeologists working at the site of Megiddo in Israel’s Jezreel Valley recently discovered a hoard of gold, silver and bronze jewelry dating to around 1100 B.C.E. The jewelry was found wrapped in fabric and hidden inside a ceramic vessel that had been excavated in the summer of 2010 from an early Iron Age dwelling at the site. It is hoped that further analysis of both the textiles and jewelry can reveal important clues as to their origins and use.
Source: Biblical Archaeology Society Staff • 03/01/2012
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by Nevin Bass
God teaches life’s lessons through trials. They are a part of every believers experience. Trials are a part of every believers life. The good news is that trials are one of the most effective methods that God uses to prepare us for His perfect plan.
Our trials will either be stepping stones to greatness or stumbling blocks of destruction.
We will either allow our trials to develop the traits needed to achieve God’s ultimate desire for our life, or we will resist change and find fault with the direction in which God leads us.
Our tests will either be our servants to minister grace toward us, or they will become our enemies and hinder our progress.
The determining factor is our attitude. We are not allowed to choose our trials, but each of us must choose how we will react to these times of testing. Take a journey through the wilderness with the Hebrew people and learn why God did not lead them in a direct route to the Promised Land. The path on which God led the exodus generation afforded opportunities for the people to grow and be prepared for the eventual conquest of Canaan. See how God provided opportunities for the people to learn to:
Deal with Delays
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The Causes of Ancient Rome’s Collapse
In his book, Caesar and Christ, historian Will Durant has documented the collapse of the Roman Empire with stunning words that seem to speak directly to the American nation at this point in time:
“A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within. The essential causes of Rome’s decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade, her bureaucratic despotism, her stifling taxes, her consuming wars….
“Rome was conquered not by a barbarian invasion from without, but by barbarian multiplication within….
“Moral decay contributed to the dissolution. The virile character that had been formed by arduous simplicities and a supporting faith relaxed in the sunshine of wealth and the freedom of unbelief; men had now, in the middle and upper classes, the means to yield to temptation, and only expediency to restrain them. Urban congestion multiplied contacts and frustrated surveillance; immigration brought together a hundred cultures whose differences rubbed themselves out into indifference. Moral and esthetic standards were lowered by the magnetism of the mass; and sex ran riot in freedom while political liberty decayed….
“The economic causes of Rome’s decline [were] . . . the precarious dependence upon provincial grains, and the collapse of the slave supply and the latifundia [i.e., the large estates]; the deterioration of transport and the perils of trade; the loss of provincial markets to provincial competition; the inability of Italian industry to export the equivalent of Italian imports, and the consequent drain of precious metals to the East; the destructive war between rich and poor; the rising cost of armies, doles, public works, an expanding bureaucracy, and a parasitic [royal] court; the depreciation of the currency; the discouragement of ability, and the absorption of investment capital by confiscatory taxation; the emigration of capital and labor, the strait jacket of serfdom placed upon agriculture, and of caste forced upon industry: all these conspired to sap the material base of Italian life, until at last the power of Rome was a political ghost surviving its economic death….
“The political causes of decay were rooted in one fact—that increasing despotism destroyed the citizen’s civic sense and dried up statesmanship at its source.”
Source: Caesar and Christ, pp. 665-668.
Are you praying for America?
The mainstream media at work
D.L. Moody, when speaking of the Masons said, “You can never reform anything by unequally yoking yourself to ungodly men. True reformers separate themselves from the world.”
“There is no other single force causing so much measurable hardship and human misery in this country as the collapse of marriage.” – David Jeremiah in I Never Thought I’d See the Day, p. 107, quoting Time magazine author Caitlin Flanagan.
Speaking of marriage, I recently read about the conversation between a father and his daughter’s suitor who was seeking her hand in marriage. The father was questioning him closely about his plans. “Do you have a job?” he asked. “Yes,” the boy replied. The father pressed him further: “Are you sure you can support a family?” “Absolutely,” the young man assured him. “Think, now,” the father said. “There are twelve of us.”