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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

An Inconsistency In Muslim Logic

  • Discussion:
          -Following is an excerpt from a tract titled "The Bible God's Word Or Not God's Word The Islamic Dilemma":
          "In Surah 29:46, the Quran commands Muslims to say to Christians, "We believe in what has been sent down to us and what has been sent down to you, and our God and your God is one, and we are all Muslims to Him."

          Yet many Muslims say something very different to Christians. They say, "We don't believe in your book, because it's been corrupted and your God is a false god." If Muslims are commanded to say that they believe in what has been revealed to us, why do they instead say that they don't believe in the Bible, the only revelation we have? And if they're commanded to say that our God and their god is one, why do they instead say that our God is a false god?"

A Micro-Refutation Of Mormonism

  • Discussion:
          -Joseph Smith claimed to have received divine revelation from God to establish a new sect that possesses the fullness of allegedly lost truth. This encounter is described as a face to face dialogue between this so-called prophet and God the Father and God the Son. At this point, consider the words spoken by the Lord to Moses in the Old Testament:

          "And he said, Please, show me Your glory. Then He said, I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But He said, You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live. And the Lord said, Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.” (Exodus 33:18-23)

          What can be derived from the above quoted passage of Scripture is that no man in his sinful nature can look into the fullness of God's glory and survive. Also, the New Testament tells us that no man alive on this earth has seen God the Father:

          "Which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen." (1 Timothy 6:15-16)

          The mere fact that Joseph Smith came out of the woods walking and talking testifies to the falseness of his claims. In other words, the man is a liar and a deceiver. He received no divine revelation from God. Mormonism is based on utter falsehood.

The Heretical Doctrine Of Mormonism

Thus we see that the LDS Church still teaches the following:

1. God has not always been God, but achieved this position after years of self-effort.

2. Heavenly Father and his wife, Heavenly Mother, were once mortals on another world, ruled by yet a different “god.”

3. Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother are resurrected mortals who have achieved godhood.

4. The goal of the LDS couple is to achieve godhood and become a Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother to their posterity.

5. God, men and angels are the same species, just in different levels of achievement.

In other words, Mormonism is still a heretical offshoot of Christianity.

Cited from the article, “Is There a Mother God?” in the Salt Lake City Messenger, May 2016, Issue 126, pg.14

Logical Flaws Of Buddhism And Hinduism

"Buddhism and Hinduism, currently in vogue among many Westerners, are both directly concerned with humanity's discontentment and have similar prescriptions to the problem of desire. 

For example, "The Four Noble Truths" of Buddhism (arguably the central teaching of that religion) address the problem of humanity's unfulfilled longing explicitly. The first truth is that life lacks satisfaction. While people may find happiness for a moment here and there, it is always fleeting. Everything changes and so nothing keeps us content. The second truth is that we are dissatisfied because we crave and cleave and thirst. We need to get rid of that desire, which is the result of ignorance. The problem is that we see a distinction between ourselves and the thing we desire. We think that the things of the world will add something to our lives if we could only attach ourselves to them. All is one. To desire something is to mistakenly think that you exist independently from the thing you desire. The third and fourth truths teach how to reach a level of experience in which you "realize emptiness" and cease to desire anything, largely because there ceases to be a "you" to do anything at all. All distinctions are gone.

Hinduism, for its part, similarly teaches that the goal of its various paths and stages of life is "liberation" from the desires of life and union with the divine. Although it recognizes that people can legitimately give themselves to lesser goals...ultimately the goal is to escape worldly pursuits and the worldly cycle of death and rebirth to enter Nirvana, where these desires will be no more.

...If everything is actually one, not only are you not different from the thing you desire, you are no different than me or that tree over there. Personhood is an illusion...No one lives as if that is true. Also, this teaching means that there is no such thing as good or evil, as those distinctions are illusory as well."

Donald J. Johnson, How to Talk to a Skeptic, pg. 203-205

Monday, December 17, 2018

Is The Watchtower Right In Claiming Jesus Was Created?

  • Discussion:
          -Following is an excerpt from a Jehovah's Witnesses Watchtower Publication:

          "God created Jesus before creating Adam. In fact, God created Jesus and then used him to make everything else, including the angels."

          According to the Bible, the above quote is not true:

          "Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and He who formed you from the womb: I am the Lord, who makes all things, who stretches out the heavens all alone, who spreads abroad the earth by Myself." (Isaiah 44:24)

          In other words, God created the universe on His own. No created entities worked alongside Him in the process. Jesus Christ is not a created being, but the second person of the triune God. He is the creator of everything (Colossians 1:16). He is holding everything together. He is preeminent in all things. There are multiple lines of biblical evidence proving that Jesus is God in the flesh. Consider, for example, the Messianic prophecy of Zechariah 12:10. God once spoke of Himself as being "pierced" through the prophet. In the New Testament, Christ was "pierced" in the side while on the cross (John 19:36-37). Revelation 1:7 also alludes to the text from Zechariah. Isaiah 53:5 also prophetically speaks of the Messiah being pierced. This is clear proof of Christ being God. What is very telling is this excerpt from Watchtower Literature:

          "From time to time, there have arisen from among the ranks of Jehovah's people those, who, like the original Satan, have adopted an independent, faultfinding attitude...They say that it is sufficient to read the Bible exclusively, either alone or in small groups at home. But, strangely, through such 'Bible reading,' they have reverted right back to the apostate doctrines that commentaries by Christendom's clergy were teaching 100 years ago..." (Watchtower, Aug. 15, 1981)

Sunday, December 16, 2018

A Biblical Dilemma For Roman Catholic Mariology

  • Discussion:
          -The Roman Catholic Church believes that Mary was conceived immaculately and a perpetual virgin. Yet, an inescapable dilemma arises in the process of upholding the two dogmas. Consider the following passage of Scripture:

         "But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control." (1 Corinthians 7:2-5)

         If Mary refused to have marital relations with her husband Joseph, then she would be guilty of sin. In order to remain consistent, a Catholic would either have to reject the notion of her remaining a virgin for her entire life or her sinlessness. Both cannot be true at the same time.

Friday, December 14, 2018

The Repulsiveness Of Eugenics

"Voices haunt the pages of every book. This particular book, however, speaks for the never-born, for those whose questions have never been heard—for those who never existed.

Throughout the first six decades of the twentieth century, hundreds of thousands of Americans and untold numbers of others were not permitted to continue their families by reproducing. Selected because of their ancestry, national origin, race or religion, they were forcibly sterilized, wrongly committed to mental institutions where they died in great numbers, prohibited from marrying, and sometimes even unmarried by state bureaucrats. In America, this battle to wipe out whole ethnic groups was fought not by armies with guns nor by hate sects at the margins. Rather, this pernicious white-gloved war was prosecuted by esteemed professors, elite universities, wealthy industrialists and government officials colluding in a racist, pseudoscientific movement called eugenics. The purpose: create a superior Nordic race.

To perpetuate the campaign, widespread academic fraud combined with almost unlimited corporate philanthropy to establish the biological rationales for persecution. Employing a hazy amalgam of guesswork, gossip, falsified information and polysyllabic academic arrogance, the eugenics movement slowly constructed a national bureaucratic and juridical infrastructure to cleanse America of its “unfit.” Specious intelligence tests, colloquially known as IQ tests, were invented to justify incarceration of a group labeled “feebleminded.” Often the so-called feebleminded were just shy, too good-natured to be taken seriously, or simply spoke the wrong language or were the wrong color. Mandatory sterilization laws were enacted in some twenty-seven states to prevent targeted individuals from reproducing more of their kind. Marriage prohibition laws proliferated throughout the country to stop race mixing. Collusive litigation was taken to the U.S. Supreme Court, which sanctified eugenics and its tactics.

The goal was to immediately sterilize fourteen million people in the United States and millions more worldwide—the “lower tenth”—and then continuously eradicate the remaining lowest tenth until only a pure Nordic super race remained. Ultimately, some 60,000 Americans were coercively sterilized and the total is probably much higher. No one knows how many marriages were thwarted by state felony statutes. Although much of the persecution was simply racism, ethnic hatred and academic elitism, eugenics wore the mantle of respectable science to mask its true character.

The victims of eugenics were poor urban dwellers and rural “white trash” from New England to California, immigrants from across Europe, Blacks, Jews, Mexicans, Native Americans, epileptics, alcoholics, petty criminals, the mentally ill and anyone else who did not resemble the blond and blue-eyed Nordic ideal the eugenics movement glorified. Eugenics contaminated many otherwise worthy social, medical and educational causes from the birth control movement to the development of psychology to urban sanitation. Psychologists persecuted their patients. Teachers stigmatized their students. Charitable associations clamored to send those in need of help to lethal chambers they hoped would be constructed. Immigration assistance bureaus connived to send the most needy to sterilization mills. Leaders of the ophthalmology profession conducted a long and chilling political campaign to round up and coercively sterilize every relative of every American with a vision problem. All of this churned throughout America years before the Third Reich rose in Germany."

Edwin Black, War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Is Your Sin Beyond The Forgiveness Of God?

        There is a number of Christians who feel burdened and disheartened in their walk with God as a result of previous shortcomings in their lives. There is a number of Christians who feel guilty on a constant basis for sins committed in the past, seemingly unable to find joy in the forgiveness that He provides. There are Christians who feel hopeless, utterly beyond the point of redemption. Indeed, the fact that we cannot change our past is a difficult pill to swallow. A basic fact of life is that all decisions have consequences. However, this does not mean all hope is lost.

        We do have the present, and can work to change our future with God's help. He does love us. No transgression is beyond His forgiveness. The salvation that He gives is complete, and without cost. We simply must ask Him to pardon our iniquity, even though it may be difficult or awkward to do so. We must trust Him at His Word. Our problem is sin, which is rebellion against God. It cannot simply be left unaccounted for. Sin has to be judged. That is the reason Christ came to offer Himself up as an atonement sacrifice. He paid an infinite ransom on our behalf, thereby enabling our redemption. This act in itself demonstrates the unfathomable depths of God's love for mankind. Consider the inspired words of King David the psalmist:

         "The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust." (Psalm 103:8-14)

         If the Lord did not have compassion for sinners, then He would not forgive us. He is not under obligation to save us. Nobody is deserving of His salvation. We are justified by faith, not works. The mercy of God has no limits. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses believers from every sin. Nonetheless, these truths should not be taken lightly. Christ came to earth so that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness could live life more abundantly (John 10:10). We must turn to Him. We must entrust ourselves to Him. If one is still struggling with how God could possibly forgive his or her sins after reading all this, then he or she needs to consider the notorious example of the Apostle Paul:

         "I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life." (1 Timothy 1:12-16)

         If Paul could be saved, then so can anybody else who calls upon the name of the Lord.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Signs Of A Spiritually Abusive Religion Or Religious Leader

"Abusive: Coerces obedience with power, manipulation, domination and fear.

Healthy: Leads the flock in his care with a servant’s heart and seeks cooperation and fellowship (Mk.9:35)

Abusive: Uses the Bible for his own purposes, i.e., to control and dominate the flock.

Healthy: Uses biblical doctrines in teaching and encourages the flock to do their own personal Bible study and study in groups.

Abusive: Has rigid or overly-enmeshed boundaries, and the members of the church are closed off from other groups.

Healthy: Has appropriate boundaries with members of the church. Doesn’t try to become enmeshed in their lives or cut them off from other Christians.

Abusive: May be narcissistic and believe that he knows what God thinks and may even see himself as “God’s mouthpiece.” Authority goes from the top down.

Healthy: Knows that God works through the Holy Spirit in each believer to give us discernment; accountability goes both ways.

Abusive: Sees itself as the only “true” church; has black and white thinking - us vs. wrong (the others are wrong).

Healthy: All those who have accepted the finished work of Christ on the cross, without need for personal performance, are brothers and sisters in the Lord. There are not “superior” believers; all believers are equally loved by God (Romans 8:1).

Abusive: Promotes legalism and perfectionism. This gives the leader ability to control people by their fears of not being saved and going to hell.

Healthy: Knows that the Christian is saved by grace through faith and salvation cannot be earned by one’s behavior (Eph. 2:8-9).

Abusive: Has obsession with discipline in which those who disagree are shunned, censured or expelled from the church. Leader expects to be obeyed because he has “the mind of Christ.”... Many sins are tolerated if a person is a loyal tithe-paying member.

Healthy: If the individual has erred, he confesses the sin and receives forgiveness (1 Jn.1:9). Believers are not shunned or expelled for disagreements on non essential matters of faith.

Abusive: Encourages “group think” by using rules and regulations that are constantly repeated, taught and reinforced by church literature, classes and teaching from the pulpit.

Healthy: Encourages the Bible as truth, does not obsess about rules and regulations, but focuses on helping individuals grow in their relationship with the Lord.

Abusive: Believes the end justifies any means. The denomination sponsors community events and public activities without saying who they are in order to gain proselytes. Immoral or criminal conduct on the part of a leader may be covered up for the sake of “the mission”....

Healthy: If the end that is desired is not consistent with God’s Word, then no means will be acceptable.

Abusive: Uses end-time events to promote its own eschatology. Eschatology itself isn’t wrong, but when the leaders use end time teaching to control the flock by promoting fear and anxiety, isolation from other Christians, perfectionistic behavior, uncertainty about salvation and “extra-biblical” teachings, they are in error. There may be an obsession with calculating the dates, situations or events that predict Jesus’ return...

Healthy: Teaches that no one knows the time of Jesus’ coming (Mk. 13:32).

Abusive: Uses insider double-talk with a confusing doctrine. The group encourages blind acceptance of its opposing teachings and rejection of logic through complex presentations on incomprehensible doctrines.

Healthy: The Bible is the doctrine upon which teachings are based; other ancillary teaching texts must be consistent with biblical truth."

Life Assurance Ministries, VOLUME 13, ISSUE 4

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Swedish Professor Under Investigation For Saying Men And Women Are Biologically Different

"A Swedish university professor is being investigated for making the comment that there are biological differences between men and women. Lund University neurophysiology professor Germund Hesslow was accused by a student of making “transphobic” and “anti-feminist” statements in a lecture, and though the school has asked him to recant, Hesslow is refusing.

During a lecture in his course on ‘Heritage and Environment’, Hesslow cited research that supports the idea that there are differences between men and women which are “biologically founded” concluding that for that reason genders cannot be regarded as merely “social constructs.”

After the lecture was over a female student complained to the department suggesting that Hesslow’s comments went against Swedish values which require all schools in Sweden to adhere to an ethical policy, which upholds egalitarian values, individual freedom and equality of the sexes.

Hesslow [said], some students, “for ideological reasons,” don't like to hear certain scientific facts about biological differences between men and women.

Reportedly, the comments were not necessarily tied to the course material but were prompted by a question asked by a student during the lecture.

According to Academic Rights Watch, Hesslow met with the chairman of the program board for medical education Christer Larsson, and was told that the student claimed he spoke on his “personal anti-feminist agenda.”

Hesslow has refused to recant his statements saying “At some point, one must ask for a sense of proportion among those involved. If it were to become acceptable for students to record lectures in order to find compromising formulations and then involve faculty staff with meetings and long letters, we should let go of the medical education altogether.”

He said, “Ideology, politics and prejudice form the conventional outlook, not science.”

Kayla Koslosky, “Swedish Professor Under Investigation for Saying Men and Women Are Biologically Different,” ChristianHeadlines Online, September 19, 2018