The purpose of this blog is to provide insights from the Christian perspective. It exists to present the elementary teachings of the Glorious Gospel through the preaching of sound doctrine, providing biblical exegesis, and by conducting apologetics. The Apostle Paul gave the following exhortation, "...that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another." (1 Corinthians 4:6)
For The Professing Christians Who Try To Refute The Doctrine Of Justification By Faith Apart From The Merit Of Works (Sola Fide), They First Need To Consider The Text Of 1 Corinthians 3:10-15:
-"According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire." (1 Corinthians 3:10-15)
Commentary On 1 Corinthians 3:10-15:
-On the Day of Judgment, God will evaluate the quality of every man's work. If the Christian's work ("gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw") withstands the testing of the fire, then he or she will receive rewards (v. 14). But if a person's works fail to pass the testing of fire, then he or she will still be saved. The Christian is saved in both scenarios. In either case (whether works pass the testing of fire or not), he or she will still be saved. Thus, it is clear from the text of 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 that justification is not determined on the basis of good works. They have no bearing on our salvation. Works simply determine the heavenly rewards that we will receive. Works are the product of saving faith. Salvation is strictly a gift from God. His grace is completely unmerited. There is nothing that we can do to earn right standing before God. Parallel this with Romans 4:4-5. Justification is not an earned wage but a free gift from God. He justifies the ungodly by His grace through our faith. Consider also 1 Corinthians 3:11, which tells us that Christ is the foundation of our salvation. Our good works are built on Him. Our good works are the product of a saving faith.
Following Is A Gem Rarely Published In Darwinian Literature--Overwhelming Complexity Of Embryonic Development (Evidence For Intelligent Design):
-"One of the main reasons for Duboule’s pessimism about the return of the EvoDevo comet is the staggering complexity and diversity of cellular and developmental regulatory processes. The configuration space for realistic models of such systems is vast, high dimensional, and potentially infinitely complex."
"Profound Similarities" Exist That Do Not Prove "Common Ancestry":
-"Because of this, similarities in gene expression patterns or morphological structure often do not necessarily imply common ancestry, since they may as well reflect the frequent reuse of the same regulatory or morphogenetic modules."
"We have written to you so that you might understand what is [written] in the book of Moses and in the words of the Prophets and in David and in the Words of the Days of All the Generations..."
REMAINDER OF KUMRAN--Commentaries only on biblical books
BEN SIRA (c. 180 BC)
Greek Prologue (130 BC): "For what was originally expressed in Hebrew does not have exactly the same sense when translated into another language. Not only this work, but even the law itself, the prophecies, and the rest of the books differ not a little as originally expressed."
Chapters 44-50: “Let us now praise famous men” (Adam-Nehemiah, only non-biblical figure mentioned is the High Priest Simon son of Onias [50:1-21], who is not the subject of any extra-biblical book).
2 MACCABEES 2:13-15 (c. 105 BC)
"Nehemiah [420 BC]... collected the books about the kings and prophets, and the writings of David ...in the same way Judas [Maccabeus, died 160 BC] also collected all [these] books...
PHILO, DE VITA CONTEMPLATIVA 25 (vol. IX, pp. 126-7) (AD 20-30)
"Laws, and oracles delivered thru the mouth of the prophets, and psalms and all the others which foster and perfect knowledge and piety."
JOSEPHUS, AGAINST APION 1:39-40 (vol. I, pp. 178-179)
"For we have ... only 22 books ... which are justly believed to be divine, and of them five are the books of Moses... the prophets...wrote down what was done in their times in 13 books. The remaining four books contain hymns to God, and precepts for the conduct of human life."
"Everything written about me in the law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled."
"...that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar (II Chron. 24:21ff.)."
4 Ezra (2 Esdras) 14:45 (c. AD 70)
"And...the Most High spoke to me saying, 'Make public the 24 books that you wrote first and let the worthy and the unworthy read them.'"
Mishnah Yadaim 3:5
"All the Holy Scriptures [O.T.] render the hands unclean [i.e., are canonical]. The Song of Songs and Ecclesiastes render the hands unclean. Rabbi Judah says: The Song of Songs renders the hands unclean, but about Ecclesiastes there is dissention. Rabbi Yose says: Ecclesiastes does not render the hands unclean, and about the Song of Songs there is dissention. Rabbi Simeon says: Ecclesiastes is one of the things about which the School of Shammai adopted the more lenient ruling, and the School of Hillel the more stringent ruling. Rabbi Simeon ben Azzai said: I have heard a tradition from the seventy-two elders on the day when they made Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah head of the Academy of Sages, that the Song of Songs and Ecclesiastes both render the hands unclean. Rabbi Akiva said: God forbid! No man in Israel ever disputed about the Song of Songs that it does not render the hands unclean, for all the ages are not worth the day on which the Song of Songs was given to Israel. For all the Writings are holy, but the Song of Songs is the Holy of Holies. And if anything was in dispute, the dispute was about Ecclesiastes alone. Rabbi Yochanan ben Yehoshua, the son of Rabbi Akiva's father-in-law said: According to the words of ben Azzai so did they dispute and so did they decide.
Tosefta Yadaim 2:13-14
The Gospels and the books of the books of the heretics do not impart uncleanness to hands. And the books of Ben Sira and all the books written thenceforward do not impart uncleanness to hands. 14R. Simeon ben Menassia’ says, “The Song of Songs imparts uncleanness to hands, because it was said by the Holy Spirit. Qohelet does not impart uncleanness of hands, because it is [merely] the wisdom of Solomon.” They said to him, “And did he write only this alone? Lo, it says, ‘And Solomon uttered three thousand proverbs and his songs were a thousand and five’ [1 Kings 5:12]. And it says, ‘Do not add to his words lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar’ [Prov. 30:6].”
Conclusion: OT canonized 400-300 BC, not AD 90! (over)
Cf. also Babylonian Talmud Bava Batra 14b-15a Our Rabbis taught: The order of the Prophets is, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the Twelve Minor Prophets. Let us examine this. Hosea came first, as it is written, God spake first to Hosea. But did God speak first to Hosea? Were there not many prophets between Moses and Hosea? R. Johanan, however, has explained that [what It means is that] he was the first of the four prophets who prophesied at that period, namely, Hosea, Isaiah, Amos and Micah. Should not then Hosea come first? Since his prophecy is written along with those of Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi, and Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi came at the end of the prophets, he is reckoned with them. But why should he not be written separately and placed first? Since his book is so small, it might be lost [if copied separately]. Let us see again. Isaiah was prior to Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Then why should not Isaiah be placed first? Because the Book of Kings ends with a record of destruction and Jeremiah speaks throughout of destruction and Ezekiel commences with destruction and ends with consolation and Isaiah is full of consolation; therefore we put destruction next to destruction and consolation next to consolation. The order of the Hagiographa is Ruth, the Book of Psalms, Job, Prophets, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Daniel and the Scroll of Esther, Ezra and Chronicles. Now on the view that Job lived in the days of Moses, should not the book of Job come first? We do not begin with a record of suffering. But Ruth also is a record of suffering? It is a suffering with a sequel [of happiness], as R. Johanan said: Why was her name called Ruth? Because there issued from her David who replenished the Holy One, blessed be He, with hymns and praises. Who wrote the Scriptures? Moses wrote his own book and the portion of Balaam and Job. Joshua wrote the book which bears his name and [the last] eight verses of the Pentateuch. Samuel wrote the book which bears his name and the Book of Judges and Ruth. David wrote the Book of Psalms, including in it the work of the elders, namely, Adam, Melchizedek, Abraham, Moses, Heman, Yeduthun, Asaph, and the three sons of Korah. Jeremiah wrote the book which bears his name, the Book of Kings, and Lamentations. Hezekiah and his colleagues wrote (Mnemonic YMSHK) Isaiah, Proverbs, the Song of Songs and Ecclesiastes. The Men of the Great Assembly wrote (Mnemonic KNDG) Ezekiel, the Twelve Minor Prophets, Daniel and the Scroll of Esther. Ezra wrote the book that bears his name and the genealogies of the Book of Chronicles up to his own time. This confirms the opinion of Rab, since Rab Judah has said in the name of Rab: Ezra did not leave Babylon to go up to Eretz Yisrael until he had written his own genealogy. Who then finished it [the Book of Chronicles]? Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah.
-"Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him." (Psalm 127:3)
Scripture Uses Personal Pronouns In Describing Unborn Children:
-“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
God Knows Unborn Children In The Same Manner That He Knows Us:
-"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (Psalm 139:13-16)
The Mosaic Law Protected The Lives Of Unborn Babies In The Same Manner As Adults:
-“If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life..." (Exodus 21:22-23)
God Views Murder As A Serious Offense:
-"For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker." (James 2:11)
Notice This Powerful Admission From The Jehovah's Witnesses:
-“While inclining to view the pronunciation "Yah.weh" as the more correct way, we have retained the form "Jehovah" because of people's familiarity with it since the 14th century.” (The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, 1969, p. 23).
Confirmation From Jewish Scholarship:
-“JEHOVAH is a mispronunciation of the Hebrew YHWH the name of God. This pronunciation is grammatically impossible. The form ‘Jehovah’ is a philological impossibility.” (The Jewish Encyclopedia)
The Full Article Published By The New York Times Can Be Viewed Here:
-"And “morally corrosive” is exactly the term that some critics would apply to the new science of the moral sense. The attempt to dissect our moral intuitions can look like an attempt to debunk them. Evolutionary psychologists seem to want to unmask our noblest motives as ultimately self-interested — to show that our love for children, compassion for the unfortunate and sense of justice are just tactics in a Darwinian struggle to perpetuate our genes. The explanation of how different cultures appeal to different spheres could lead to a spineless relativism, in which we would never have grounds to criticize the practice of another culture, no matter how barbaric, because “we have our kind of morality and they have theirs.” And the whole enterprise seems to be dragging us to an amoral nihilism, in which morality itself would be demoted from a transcendent principle to a figment of our neural circuitry.
Here is the worry. The scientific outlook has
taught us that some parts of our subjective experience are products of our
biological makeup and have no objective counterpart in the world. The
qualitative difference between red and green, the tastiness of fruit and
foulness of carrion, the scariness of heights and prettiness of flowers are
design features of our common nervous system, and if our species had evolved in
a different ecosystem or if we were missing a few genes, our reactions could go
the other way. Now, if the distinction between right and wrong is also a
product of brain wiring, why should we believe it is any more real than the
distinction between red and green? And if it is just a collective
hallucination, how could we argue that evils like genocide and slavery are
wrong for everyone, rather than just distasteful to us?"
-The mother of our Lord Jesus Christ was taken directly into heaven in body and soul without physical death.
References Of Bodily Assumption Found In Scripture:
-Elijah--2 Kings 2:11
There Is No "Assumption" Of Mary Recorded In Scripture And The Doctrine Is Therefore To Be Deemed Unscriptural. As Roman Catholic Apologist Karl Keating Confessed:
-"fundamentalists ask, where is the proof from Scripture? Strictly, there is none. The mere fact that the Church teaches the doctrine of the Assumption as something definitely true is a guarantee that it is true" (Karl Keating, Catholicism And Fundamentalism, [San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1988], p. 275)
The Most Primitive Christians Knew Nothing Concerning Mary's Alleged Assumption:
-"Furthermore, the notion of Mary's assumption into heaven has left no trace in the literature of the third, much less of the second century. M. Jugie, the foremost authority on this question, concluded in his monumental study: 'The patristic tradition prior to the Council of Nicaea does not furnish us with any witness about the Assumption." (Raymond Brown, et al., Mary In The New Testament [Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1978], p. 266)
The Doctrine Of Mary's Assumption Is Strictly Apocryphal In Origin:
-"The idea of the bodily assumption of Mary is first expressed in certain transitus–narratives of the fifth and sixth centuries. Even though these are apocryphal they bear witness to the faith of the generation in which they were written despite their legendary clothing. The first Church author to speak of the bodily ascension of Mary, in association with an apocryphal transitus B.M.V., is St. Gregory of Tours’." (Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (Rockford: Tan, 1974), pp. 209–210)
The Catholic Encyclopedia Tells Us That The First "Authentic" References To The Bodily Assumption Of Mary Can Be Found In Writings Dated In The Sixth Through Eight Centuries:
-“The belief in the corporeal assumption of Mary is founded on the apocryphal treatise De Obitu S. Dominae, bearing the name of St. John, which belongs however to the fourth or fifth century. It is also found in the book De Transitu Virginis, falsely ascribed to St. Melito of Sardis, and in a spurious letter attributed to St. Denis the Areopagite. If we consult genuine writings in the East, it is mentioned in the sermons of St. Andrew of Crete, St. John Damascene, St. Modestus of Jerusalem and others. In the West, St. Gregory of Tours (De gloria mart., I, iv) mentions it first. The sermons of St. Jerome and St. Augustine for this feast, however, are spurious.”
The Assumption Of Mary Was Not Officially Declared An Article Of The Roman Catholic Faith Until 1950 By Pope Pius XII:
-“The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory” (Munificentissimus Deus)
Roman Catholic Imagination Runs Wild:
-"Catholic theologians teach with general concurrence, and quite in the spirit of the Church, that even a Scriptural proof in favour of a decree held to be infallible, is not itself infallible, but only the dogma as defined." [Originally cited by James Swan, Source: Johann Adam Mohler, Symbolism: Exposition of the doctrinal Differences between Catholics and Protestants as evidenced by their Symbolic Writings, trans James Burton Robertson (New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1997), p.296].
-The Roman Catholic Church has endorsed a plethora of unscriptural Marian dogmas, and has traditionally identified the "woman" figure mentioned in the text of Revelation 12:1-2 to be Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. This faulty interpretation of Revelation 12 has been a springboard for the development of doctrines such as the Assumption of Mary, her being called the Queen of Heaven, and the Mother of the Church. It accounts for the existence of portraits with her being dressed in cosmic clothing standing over the world. Hence, the Church of Rome literally believes the "woman" figure mentioned in Revelation 12:1-2 to be Mary. Pope Pius XII wrote in an Apostolic Constitution, “The scholastic Doctors have recognized the Assumption of the Virgin Mother of God as something signified, not only in various figures of the Old Testament, but also in that woman clothed with the sun whom John the Apostle contemplated on the Island of Patmos” (Munificentissimus Deus).
Inevitable Dilemmas Exist In Insisting That Revelation 12 Pertains To Mary:
-Notice how Revelation 12:2 depicts this "woman" as experiencing birth pangs. Also, notice that a part of the curse of original sin is pain during childbirth (Genesis 3:16). The Roman Catholic interpretation of Revelation 12 is remarkably inconsistent because according to official Catholic teaching, Mary was preserved from receiving a hereditary fallen nature (CCC # 491). Thus, she could not experience pain when bearing children. But this is clearly not the case, according to Revelation 12:2. "She" was clearly in distress. So Roman Catholics are being theologically inconsistent when interpreting the passage of Revelation 12 as being a reference to Mary. It is counterproductive. If she was sinless, then she would not have to undergo pain in labor.
-Does Mary have eagle's wings (Revelation 12:14)? What about the fact that this "woman's flight" took place after Jesus Christ's ascension to God's throne (Revelation 12:5-6)?
Presenting A More Reasonable Interpretation Of Revelation 12:1-2:
-"John's reference to the sun, moon, and stars in his description of the woman is similar to the descriptions of Israel in Genesis 37. The 11 stars refer to the sons of Jacob, and the 12th star to whom the 11 bow is Joseph. This is a clear reference to the twelve tribes of Israel in Joseph's dream (Gen. 37:9-10). Israel is often represented as a woman (Isa. 26:18; 47:7-9; Jer. 4:31; 31:32; Ezek. 16:32; Hosea 2:16; Micah 4:9- 10). Therefore this is consistent with the woman as being Israel in Rev. 12. It is Israel, not the church that brings forth the male child who is the long awaited Messiah (verse 5) who will rule the nations with a rod of iron (Ps. 2:9). In Hosea, Micah, and Jeremiah, Israel is depicted as a woman in birth pains trying to bring forth a child. For centuries Israel has suffered these terrible pains awaiting the promises of the coming of Messiah, all the promises of God, way back to Genesis chapter 3 about a seed of a woman who would bless, not only the nation Israel, but all the nations. In Revelation 12, we see a woman being persecuted by Satan. Clearly, the woman cannot be Mary, because the woman flees into the wilderness for 3 1/2 years. The woman is the symbol of God's purpose for Israel." (Mike Gendron’s “Proclaiming the Gospel” email news, 3/1/17)
The furor in German scientific circles was so great that Haeckel found it impossible to persist in his policy of silence. In a letter to Münchener Allegemeine Zeitung, ‘an international weekly for Science, Art and Technology’, published on January 9, 1909, Haeckel (translated) wrote:
‘… a small portion of my embryo-pictures (possibly 6 or 8 in a hundred) are really (in Dr Brass’s [one of his critics] sense of the word) “falsified”—all those, namely, in which the disclosed material for inspection is so incomplete or insufficient that one is compelled in a restoration of a connected development series to fill up the gaps through hypotheses, and to reconstruct the missing members through comparative syntheses. What difficulties this task encounters, and how easily the draughts-man may blunder in it, the embryologist alone can judge.’17
Discerning readers who compare Haeckel’s doctored dog and human embryo pictures with the originals (see photographs), will readily see that Haeckel’s ‘confession’ was itself a deliberate misrepresentation of the facts and essentially an attempt to justify and perpetuate his shameful forgeries.
Despite this totally dishonest and grievously mischievous basis for the theory of embryonic recapitulation, and the fact that it has long since been discredited scientifically, the completely false idea that human beings retrace their evolutionary past in the womb has been taught as evidence for evolution in schools and universities in the past, and it is still included in many popular science books.18,19
This excerpt is also useful here:
"This news might not have been so shocking to Heakel's peers in Germany a century ago: They got Heackel to admit that he relied on memory and used artistic license in preparing his drawings, says Scott Gilbert, a developmental biologist at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. But Heackel's confession got lost after his drawings were subsequently used in a 1901 book called Darwin and After Darwin and reproduced widely in English-language biology texts." (Elizabeth Pennisi. 1997 (Sept. 5). "Heackel's Embryos: Fraud Rediscovered." Science 277:1435)
"It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion: for while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate, and linked together, it must needs fly to providence and deity." Sir Francis Bacon, A Father Of The Scientific Method (1561-1626)
"...contrary to what Hawking claims, physical laws can never provide a complete explanation of the universe. Laws themselves do not create anything, they are merely a description of what happens under certain conditions." Professor John Lennox, Mathematician
"Modern sex education keeps failing to deliver on its
promises—indeed, it keeps plunging society into deeper and deeper problems—and
it keeps proposing as the solution more and more of the same. Sexual assault is
heinous, and even the clients of prostitutes want something more significant
than an anonymous encounter. The notion that sex can be pursued as recreation,
isolated from a larger relational and moral context, is an obvious scam. But we
keep getting mugged by reality."
According To Official Roman Catholic Doctrine, Only The Substance Of The Consecrated Elements (i.e. Bread and Wine) Are Changed By The Priest:
-"If any one...denies that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood-the species only of the bread and wine remaining-which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls Transubstantiation; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)
How Eucharistic Miracles Refute The Romanist Doctrine Of The Eucharist:
-The cited excerpt from the Council of Trent expressly states that the appearance of the bread and wine remains the same, despite the substance being mysteriously transformed (i.e. into the literal fullness of Jesus Christ's flesh, blood, and divinity) by the priest. In other words, the Catholic definition of transubstantiation involves an unverifiable miracle to human reason. However, Eucharistic miracles are readily observable to the people who are present at the Mass ceremonies. This is extremely problematical for the Roman Catholic position because according to official Church doctrine, the appearance of the transubstantiated elements remain completely unchanged. A change in appearance is contrary to no change in appearance. So when apologists for the Church of Rome cite occurrences of Eucharistic miracles as proof for the veracity of their beliefs, their arguments are actually counterproductive because these so-called supernatural occasions do not fit the Roman Catholic definition of transubstantiation.
"The entire Roman Catholic argument
depends upon the assumption that Rome could not do what Israel did. The problem
is that in reality she has done exactly what Israel did. She has placed herself
in precisely the same position that the Scribes and Pharisees found themselves
in. Their oral law or tradition was so "synthesized" to the written
Torah, that judgment of the validity of that unwritten law by means of the
written law became an impossibility. Neither could judge the other because both
were assumed to have originated with Moses. In the same way Rome has developed
an unwritten tradition that she has synthesized with the written New Testament
to the degree that it cannot be judged by that New Testament. If Mark 7 teaches
us anything, it is that the two must not be "synthesized." The
written Word of God must remain the unique norm." Keith A. Mathison, The Shape Of Sola
Scriptura, p. 179
“What about instinct? Evolution has no answer: Even if the bat’s sophisticated radar system suddenly appeared by chance, who taught the first mutated bat to use it? How many millions of Arctic terns drowned before the first one, by chance, learned to navigate thousands of miles across the ocean? How many salmon lost their way in the ocean and never made it back to spawn before this uncanny instinct was developed? How many millions of spiders starved before the amazing mechanism for making webs suddenly chanced itself into existence—and who taught that unique mutated spider how to make a web? How many eggs of all manner of birds rotted before the instinct to hatch eggs developed, and how was it learned and passed on?"
Dave Hunt, Occult Invasion: The Subtle Seduction of the World and Church, pg.36
-If you had so happened to recognize that the professing Christian congregations located in your community are far too liberal to attend, cultic, or are simply beyond convenient driving distance, then why not start a house church? It is still fellowship. It does have biblical basis: +"Greet also the church that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convertto Christ in the province of Asia." (Romans 16:5)
+"The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house." (1 Corinthians 16:19)
+"Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house." (Colossians 4:15).
+"also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier--and to the church that meets in your home." (Philemon 1:2)
-Roman Catholic apologists sometimes cite the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15 as proof against the doctrine of Sola Scriptura to demonstrate the necessity of an infallible Magisterium. They believe that since men convened to settle a doctrinal dispute, that this passage affirms the church needing to submit to an infallible interpreter of Scripture (i.e. Roman Catholic Church hierarchy).
The Council Of Jerusalem Gives The Roman Catholic Apologist No Support In Proving The Papacy From Scripture:
-First of all, it needs to be noted that the New Testament never mentions the office of an infallible interpreter. While there are many Scripture passages discussing authoritative roles, gifts, and responsibilities for being in such positions (1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11-15; 1 Timothy 3; 1 Timothy 5; Titus 1:5-7), we never find any mention of qualifications for being elected pope or becoming a member of the Magisterium. In short, these offices are not even biblical. -Secondly, it needs to be understood that the Jerusalem Council (which primarily discussed the irrelevance of circumcision to justification before God) had subjugated itself to the supreme authority of Scripture. Notice how the text of Acts 15:15-18 begins, "The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written..." That statement is clearly an appeal to the Scriptures as the final court of authority in a doctrinal dispute, and is a quotation of Amos 9:11-12. This of speaking of the inclusion of the Gentiles into the Gospel. It is de-emphasizing Jewish ceremonial laws such as circumcision. The Scripture teaches circumcision of the heart (i.e. Leviticus 26:41; Deuteronomy 10:16; Jeremiah 9:25-26; Romans 2:28-29). Also, note the fact that God had reckoned the righteousness of faith to Abraham (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:9-11) prior to his circumcision (Genesis 17:10). Circumcision was never necessary for salvation, even though it was a God-ordained act. So the Jerusalem Council had indeed based its rulings on Scripture. -The doctrine of Sola Scriptura means that Scripture alone is the ultimate standard of authority in spiritual matters (not that Scripture is the only authority). Nobody is denying the importance of ministers. We are simply saying that they are subject to the judgment of Scripture. Thus, a church council is not incompatible with a Sola Scriptura church model. The Jerusalem Council of Acts 15 is only supportive of the supremacy of scriptural authority. -It was James who had presided over the Jerusalem Council, not "Pope Peter" (Acts 15:19). It was he who had made the final declarations of the matter (in accordance to Scripture). This event was not by any means based on the "Tradition of the Fathers." It was not governed by an ex-cathedra statement uttered by the pope. This text says nothing concerning Papal supremacy. In fact, the epistle which was written and circulated to the churches as a result of the heresies promoted by the Judaizers made no mention of "Pope Peter" at all (Acts 15:23-29). Verse 23 says, "The apostles and elders, your brothers." The primitive Christian congregations were governed by pluralities of elders, not by a single human arbitrator headquartered in Rome.
King James Onlyites Almost Unanimously Concur That The King James Bible Translators Had Infallibly Preserved The Word Of God. Notice The Argument As Laid Out By A Fellow Blogger That I Had Debated:
-"And while I agree that comparing translations would be a good idea, that work was already done for us when the kjv translators compared all the previous english translations plus the manuscripts in other languages of the majority text...the Lord providentially used the KJV translators to preserve his inspired words."
Offering A Logical Critique Of King James Only Claims:
-If the King James Version translators were able to make comparisons with the texts that were available to them, then why are we not allowed to do comparisons with the ancient manuscripts that we have retrieved since the seventeen century? Why must we to the exclusion of all other Bible translations study from the King James?
-The transmission that has been described in the above comments from the King James only advocate is the process of restoration, not preservation.
-What people who subscribe to this position on the King James Version of the Bible fail to recognize is that their logic contains an apparent contradiction. Having various readings spread abroad which accurately record portions of the inspired words of biblical authors is completely different than having all the correct words aligned perfectly in a single document. In other words, what has been termed by the King James only proponents to be an "infallible preservation" of the Bible is contradictory because having such would not be based upon manuscripts which contain textual variances. It is inconsistent to equate "correction" with "preservation" because both words have opposing overtones. The first word implies the existence of error, whereas the later connotates maintaining the accuracy thereof. If errors are found and corrected in the manuscripts which form the basis behind a Bible translation, then how is the Word of God perfectly preserved?
-Did the King James translators somehow obtain a perfect translation of the Scriptures? If so, then why can we not use them instead of the King James Version?
-If we are to follow the K.J.V. onlyite's advice in dismissing the modern textual criticism performed by conservative, biblically sound scholars who love God, then why not also reject the King James Version because King James, Erasmus, and their translator colleagues had also engaged in rationalistic textual criticism? Every Bible translation is a product of textual criticism. Also, King James onlyites fail to recognize that they have raised their own unique standard of textual criticism when they express their feelings for the text of the King James Version.
A Fellow Blogger Has Argued That We Can Only Rely On The King James Bible Translation Because Modern Bible Translations Are A Product Of Some Vatican Conspiracy:
-"I know you are well aware of the problems of Roman Catholicism, but don't you know, about the counter reformation? How that Catholic Jesuits use many tactics including false bible versions to blind men's eyes to the pure truth of the word and bring them back under the bondage of Rome and eventually the Antichrist."
Bringing Into Light The Counterarguments Against K.J.V. Only Claims:
-To preface, we should take into account that the King James only stance is impossible to verify. We do not possess the original, inspired Greek and Hebrew manuscripts of the Old and New Testaments. But if we did have them, then we would not need to consult the King James Version because we could compare our modern Bible translations directly to the original source.
-The Counter Reformation argument is an ad hominem fallacy. Roman Catholic scholars can understand Hebrew and Greek, just as well as Protestant and secular scholars. One's worldview does not necessarily disqualify his or her scholarship. It is not wrong to learn from people that you disagree with.
-Note that in the preface to the New King James Version, the Thomas Nelson Publishers quoted eighteenth century Roman Catholic theologian Alexander Geddes. He said the following concerning the King James Version, "If accuracy and strictest attention to the letter of the text be supposed to constitute an excellent version, this is of all versions the most excellent." Very strange words indeed, if there had really been a Vatican conspiracy to discredit the King James Version through the circulation of bogus Bibles. -The King James Version originally had contained the Roman Catholic apocrypha, and is ultimately a product of the Latin Vulgate. The 1611 King James Version is based primarily on the Textus Receptus, which was originally assembled by the Catholic Erasmus.
-To summarize, we can trust our Bible translations because they have so much manuscript support. The New Testament alone has much earlier and wider source attestation than any other document of antiquity. It is almost one hundred percent textually pure. Unlike the translators of the King James Version, the scholars of today know Koine Greek. Scholars have learned much about the Hebrew and Greek languages since the seventeenth century. The translators of the King James Version only had access to a handful of late manuscripts for their work, whereas we have several thousand more manuscripts that date much closer to the timing of the apostles. Our language has changed, thereby proving we need other translations.
-Even if the King James Onlyites were correct in their argumentation, there are still many important questions that need to be answered. Who gets to protect and publish this so-called inerrant Bible? Would the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts which were inspired by God need any improvements? What about the Roman Catholics who have studied their Vatican approved translations only to find our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? What respectable evidence is available suggesting that the King James translators were inspired by God? What makes the King James Version the standard by which other translations should be judged? What sort of concrete arguments can the K.J.V. only advocates advance, besides making empty blanket assertions against Bible translations and assigning without proof colorfully malicious motives to Bible translators? And if modern Bible societies despise the King James Version so much, then why do they still distribute the archaic English translation in mass amounts? If our modern translations of the Bible are part of some Vatican conspiracy, why is it that Roman Catholic Bible societies do not approve of Catholics reading non-Catholic translations?
The Roman Catholic Catechism Defines This Marian Dogma The Following Way:
-“Mary, in whom the Lord himself has just made his dwelling, is the daughter of Zion in person, the ark of the covenant, the place where the glory of the Lord dwells. She is "the dwelling of God...with men." (CCC #2676)
An Interesting Question That Roman Catholics Should Ponder:
-If Mary automatically inherits the title "Ark of the Covenant" for the reason that she once bore our Lord Jesus Christ in her womb, then would it not logically follow that all Christians can rightly be given the same title, since our bodies are also God's dwelling place (1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19-20)?
Independent Fundamental Baptist congregations comprise a group that schismatized from the traditional Baptist denominations as a result of some deviating from biblically orthodox doctrine. This movement had its beginning in the late eighteen hundreds, and was done for the purpose of defending essential Christian doctrines such as the inerrancy of Scripture. Professing Christians who have affiliated themselves with the Independent Baptist label describe their worldview as being highly conservative, nondenominational, and usually express belief in the divine inspiration of the King James Version. While there are a great number of Independent Fundamental Baptist churches that faithfully preach the Word of God, there are also many circles categorized under the same umbrella which have wrongfully caused division throughout the church as a whole. This article is not meant to serve as hate literature, but rather aims to highlight the main problems existing among these autonomous Christian sects. It is an overview critique of the current state of the Independent Fundamental Baptist movement.
The primary issue that should be addressed is the manner in which some Independent Fundamental Baptist congregations present the gospel. In some Independent Baptist circles, a watered down version of the gospel is preached. In other words, they tend to spread a gospel message of salvation by faith but forget to emphasize the aspects of repentance and Jesus Christ's Lordship over the believer's life. The Scriptures emphatically teach that obedience to Christ goes hand-in-hand with faith in what He has done for us (Matthew 7:15-23; Romans 1:5; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 15:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; James 2). We do not just get to do whatever we want with our lives. Though salvation comes by faith apart from the merit of any and all works, a changed heart will by definition result in a changed life (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21). Good works spring forth from saving faith. Despite there being nothing that we can do to save ourselves from the wrath of God, conversion involves a change of heart (i.e. repentance). It occurs when we surrender our ways to Christ. It occurs when we recognize the absolute futility of our pride. It is God who saves man. It is God who deserves all the credit for saving us. But it still holds true that Jesus Christ is both our Lord and our Savior. If we are Christians, then we also need to act like Christians. We also should not forget that God actually desires to have a personal relationship with us. A lot of times, members of Independent Fundamental Baptist congregations do not speak much of repentance and obedience to Christ when presenting the gospel. This is most probably a result of their legalistic view of righteousness, which focuses more on external behavior than internal change. Authentic change comes from the heart; actions are simply symptomatic of what is happening from within. God looks at the heart.
The second most important issue that should be taken into account is the fact that some Independent Fundamental Baptist churches do not display a high view of the Bible. Many Independent Baptist Pastors tend to invest too much time into merely discussing the cover of their Bibles. In other words, these people oftentimes praise the Bible for being an impeccable spiritual standard of authority without even delving into the text of Scripture itself. They rail their so-called perfect, divinely inspired King James Version on the members of the Independent Baptist congregations. But one of the things that the Christian church needs the most is expository Bible teaching. We need to illustrate the divine inspiration of the Scripture by preaching it in its respective context. We need to teach the practical application of scriptural principles so that other brethren can learn to develop a solidly biblical worldview. We need to rightly divide the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). The Word of God imparts wisdom to those who diligently study it (Psalm 119). Scripture interprets Scripture. Scripture illustrates Scripture. These Independent Fundamental Baptists need to focus on serving the God of the Word, rather than debating over which translation is the Word of God. This is a perfect example of having misplaced priorities. The Bible is not like a bag of trail mix where various proof-texts can be cited at one's own whim. Neither are the sermons of the pastor meant to be stories where they themselves are the heroes. The Bible is not an idol. God gave it to us so that we can discern His will (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We should handle Scripture carefully. We should treat it with utmost respect. The Bible should be studied in context.
Other problems rampant in the Independent Fundamental Baptist movement that should warrant our concern are how the pastors tend to be elevated and that outside fellow brethren are usually viewed as inferior. In many cases, the pastor of the congregation demands unquestioned obedience. Anybody who dares to make an inquiry is viewed as standing in rebellion to God. This teacher is oftentimes adored, and is given titles such as the "man of God" or the "Lord's anointed." He is treated as though he is king over the entire congregation. Independent thinking is often despised in Independent Baptist churches. There is much mind control. People are oftentimes coerced into blind submission, lest they get shunned by all their loved ones. The Independent Fundamental Baptist movement tends to be pretty anti-intellectual. But, our churches should not function in a manner similar to that of personality cults (1 Corinthians 1:10-13). Neither is the church to be governed by a single earthly head (Luke 22:24-26). Pastors should not strive to be lords over God's heritage, but rather should be good moral examples for the flock to emulate (1 Peter 5:1-5). Christian churches are supposed to be governed by a plurality of elders. Leaders are to be held accountable for sin (1 Timothy 5:19-20), in the same way that we are to be held accountable for our sins. The constant pattern found in Scripture is to evaluate the validity of ministry (Acts 17:11-12; Ephesians 5:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22; 1 John 4:1-4). We are all a royal priesthood, according to Scripture (1 Peter 2:5-9). The church encompasses all believers across the globe (1 Corinthians 1:2; Colossians 1:17-18). It is not limited to a group of elitist saints. This mindset is rooted in pride, as well as hypocrisy. This "holier than thou"and "us verses them" mindset that many Independent Baptists have is outright unbiblical and arrogant. In fact, the majority of Independent Fundamental Baptist congregations are so obsessed with the concept of separation that they bitterly divide themselves against each other over the most nonessential issues! Independent Fundamental Baptist Pastor David Cloud has made similar reservations on these matters, as well: "I fear that Independent Baptist churches in general, as a movement, are biblically shallow, frightfully uneducated on serious issues; idolatrously man-centered, carnal, and hypocritical. Some are near cult-like in granting unquestioning loyalty to a man. Many practice a Quick Prayerism type of “soul winning” that inoculates more people to genuine salvation and thus damns more people to hell than the number of those that are truly “won.” Many hold to a goofy Ruckmanite belief that the KJV itself was given by inspiration, is advanced revelation, and is itself the unchangeable Word of God, confusing dots over i’s and crosses over t’s in English with the jots and tittles of Hebrew, though they refuse to tell us which edition of the KJV is absolutely infallible." (Way of Life Literature, "What Is Independent Baptist?")
So, should people attend Independent Fundamental Baptist congregations? Well, the answer depends entirely on whether the church is faithfully preaching the Word of God. It depends entirely on whether the church accurately presents and lives in accordance to the gospel. Discernment is needed before joining an Independent Baptist church. This is true of any professing Christian congregation. While there are Independent Fundamental Baptist churches that are for the most part doctrinally sound, the fact nevertheless remains that the problems described within this paper have infiltrated the vast majority of these professing Christian sects. These are the main problems existing in this set of Independent congregations. At the same time, there are also wonderful Independent Baptist churches. It is indeed a terrible misfortune that the liberals have made painstaking efforts to portray all congregations that identify under this label as being unbelievably wicked and vile. Such could not be further from the truth. Independent Fundamental Baptist churches (as do other nondenominational groups) tend to have variances in doctrine, custom, and practice. No doubt, there are many Independent Baptist churches that are faithful to Scripture.
"The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments." Benjamin Rush, American Founding Father (1746-1813)
-The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches believe that during their weekly worship gatherings, which are called Masses, their priests transform the bread and wine into the physical body and blood of Jesus Christ (i.e. transubstantiation) to be consumed by the attendees. They maintain that this alleged miracle is an atonement for sin, that His propitiatory work is ongoing, and that His work is only being "re-presented." However, the New Testament Book of Hebrews contains several plain statements which pose a contradiction to the aforementioned beliefs of these Lord's Supper literalist churches. This paper provides a concise commentary on how the text of Hebrews 10:10-18 refutes the notions of transubstantiation and the Eucharist.
An Irrefutable Blow To The Myth Of Transubstantiation And The Eucharist:
-First, we are told that we have been sanctified by means of Christ's sacrifice "once for all" (v. 10).
-As a result of this expiatory sacrifice for the salvation of mankind from God's wrath, priests repeatedly offer the same sacrifices in vain because the objects used no longer have the power to atone for sin (v. 11). Why would we need an ordained ministerial priesthood when there no longer is power in ritualistic sacrifices? How is the Catholic Mass, which occupies the same concepts found in this verse, an exception to this rule? How can the elements which are comprised of finite particles contain the fullness of God's infinite presence?
-Our Lord Jesus Christ is now at the right Hand of the Father (v.12), and is currently waiting for His enemies to be made His footstool (v.13). How can His physical body be located in several thousand different Roman Catholic and Eastern orthodox congregations across the globe as the same time? Eucharistic theology undoubtedly suffers from an ontological dilemma.
-We do not even need any additional sacrifices performed in the Mass because we are ETERNALLY perfected by the single sacrifice of Jesus Christ (v.14). This cannot occur repeatedly.
-The Holy Spirit bears witness to us and has inscribed His moral precepts into the innermost part of our being, the soul (v.15-16).
-Consequently, God will not count trespasses against the people whom He forgives (v.17). -Therefore, there are no more offerings available for sin (v. 18). Now, God offers forgiveness of transgressions through the sacrificial work of His Son Jesus Christ. The sacrificial system was a thing of the Old Testament, which was fulfilled by Christ in the New Testament. To reinsert a new priesthood with a new sacrificial system is to undermine what Jesus has already done for us on the cross at Calvary. We need no more atonement for sin, and thus the Eucharistic sacrifice has been invalidated. Interestingly, Hebrews 9:9 tells us that sacrifices and gift offerings cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, which is also contrary to Catholic teaching regarding the Eucharist being an atonement sacrifice for the sins of mankind (CCC # 1414)
"Consider that over the course of the past few years, Democrats and liberals have: booed the inclusion of God in their platform at the 2012 convention . . . endorsed a regulation that would allow transgendered students to use the bathroom and locker room corresponding to their identity; attempted to force small businesses to cover drugs they believe induce abortions; attempted to force nuns to provide contraceptive coverage; forced Brendan Eich to step down as chief executive officer of Mozilla due to his opposition to marriage equality; fined a small Christian bakery over $140,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding; vigorously opposed a law in Indiana that would provide protections against similar regulations—despite having overwhelmingly supported similar laws when they protected Native American religious rights—and then scoured the Indiana countryside trying to find a business that would be affected by the law before settling upon a small pizza place in the middle of nowhere and harassing the owners."
"As George Gilder explains pointedly in Men and Marriage, “Unlike a woman, a man has no civilized role or agenda inscribed in his body.” The boy has no onboard GPS directing him toward his future. His transition into manhood can only come into being with significant, intentional work by other men. As a behavior, manhood must be learned, proven, and earned. As an identity, manhood must be bestowed by a boy’s father and the community’s larger fraternity of men. His mother can only affirm it. She cannot bequeath it.
Maleness just happens, but manhood does not. The first is a biological event, while the second is a developed character quality. When manhood is not formed and cultivated, males fail to mature, resulting in the “perpetual adolescence” or “failure to launch” that plagues our culture. When so many men play beer pong into their forties, live in their parents’ basements, play videogames twelve hours a day, and encounter women only in the form of pixels on a porn site, it seems clear that we have a manhood problem.
The human male nature doesn’t naturally go in the direction civilization requires; it requires the direction of other men. . . .
Manhood must be crafted and refined in order to orient males in pro-social, communitarian directions. In fact, this is the first work of every civilization. Anthropologists tell us that the original and most fundamental social problem of any culture is the unattached male. Left to his own, he is not inclined to play well with others. He is not disposed to make himself, or anyone around him, a better person. He is not likely to become other-focused. Either fiercely competitive or indolent, he is more likely to become a social contagion. He will either seek to define himself in the community by power, false confidence, and selfish conquest, or shrink away toward inactivity and reticence. . . .
[A]cross virtually all cultures, manhood has largely consisted of three essential qualities: procreation, provision, and protection. If the boy doesn’t learn these things, then he is not likely to become a good, selfless, serving man. Shame and derision from the community will become his lot. As Mead explains, “this behavior,being learned, is fragile and can disappear rather easily under social conditions that no longer teach it effectively.” Such domestic education can disappear within a generation. Tragically, manhood is becoming extinct because we are not teaching it."
"What has traditionally held Americans together is the idea that
each of us is made in the image of our Creator and endowed with certain
unalienable rights. But not only that idea. We are also held together by the
culture that emanates from the intermingling of dynamic peoples and unchanging
principles. To combat identity politics, we must emphasize an American
nationalism based on both a commitment to the ideals of the American Founding
and a shared love of our national history and culture—a history and culture of
individual freedom and religious pluralism, resistant to centralized authority
and ever expanding into new frontiers and new possibilities.
The American people are united by our creed of freedom and
equality, and also by our habits, our manners, our national language, our
territorial integrity, our national symbols—such as the National Anthem, the
Flag, and the Pledge of Allegiance—our civic traditions, and our national
story. We should tell that story forthrightly and proudly; we should continue our
traditions of local government and patriotic displays; we should guard the
symbols of our heritage against attack; and we should recognize that the needs
of our citizens take priority."
Notice What Cold Case Christianity Has To Say Concerning How The Naturalistic Mindset Has No Valid Explanation For The Laws Of Logic:
-"God is eternal, uncaused, omniscient and omnipotent. He is the all-knowing and all-powerful Creator; the necessary, uncaused first cause of all matter, space and time. He has thoughts and possesses a particular character, essence and nature. Because He is all-powerful and all-knowing, these attributes are perfected (an all-powerful and all-knowing God has the power to eliminate imperfection). The Laws of Logic are simply an attribute and reflection of God’s perfect existence; God does not create these laws, they are an innate and immutable aspect of His nature. As God is necessary for all else to exist, so are the Laws of Logic. They are merely a reflection of His Being, and they permeate all of His creation.
Both the atheist and the theist agree something is eternal, uncaused and necessary. But when the atheist says the Laws of Logic “simply exist”, he’s begging the question; he’s not providing an explanation for the eternal, uncaused and necessary existence of the laws (saying they exist does not provide us with an explanation for their existence). Theists, on the other hand, can make a case for God’s existence from a number of evidential lines, providing a reasonable foundation from which logical absolutes can then be elucidated. In addition, atheism fails to explain how the Laws of Logic can be eternal and uncaused and what role they play in causingall other contingent realities. Theism, on the other hand, accounts for the existence of the Laws of Logic by pointing to the existence of an omniscient and omnipotent uncaused, first cause possessing perfect rationality (by virtue of His limitless power) who also acts as the first cause of all other dependent (contingent) creations.
The Laws of Logic are conceptual. They only exist in the mind. They don’t describe physical behaviors or actions of matter, but instead describe conceptual truths. Logical axioms are statements dealing with conceptual patterns and processes of thought."
"You can't repent if you don't believe in sin to repent of, and you can't believe in sin if you don't believe in a real moral law, because sin means disobeying that. Moral relativism eliminates that law, thus sin, thus repentance, thus salvation." Peter Kreeft, A Refutation of Moral Relativism
The Lord Jesus Christ Is Clearly Worshiped In Scripture, Which Proves That He Must Be God (Contra Unitarianism):
-"Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, everything in the universe, cry out: 'To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor, glory and might, forever and ever.' The four living creatures answered, 'Amen,' and the elders fell down and worshiped." (Revelation 5:13-14)