A letter to a pagan friend who doubts God….

Albert[name  changed for this blog] is an aquaintence who lives in my old town.Recently he lost his wife and has issues over God.

As our level of communication has come to religion, he told me that he is a pagan and worships trees…

Knowing this is because of the pain in his life and not perceiving God to answer him when he ‘needed him’, becoming a pagan is more a frustrated result of feeling himself rejected by God and so thumbs his nose at God by claiming to worship trees..

Albert is an artist and seems he has been fashioning gods in his own images…

He has claimed to resent the hypocrisy he met in Christendom, which unfortunately, is true in the churches today as religious spirits have dominated the scene and have dispersed wormwood to believers and poison many in the flock..

Not to give up however, as we who claim to see, must make the difference and reach out the lost and hurting and bring them the love of Christ, without being ‘religious’… a tight rope walk at times, but Jesus ate and drank with sinners, much to the chigrin of his contemporaries and showed us that we are to become all things to all people  in the hope of bringing them to Christ as Paul wrote of..

So what I am posting here is part of the discourses, as they unfold, to share, to edify, to be accountable with so that we all can learn and possibly help one another as we gain opportunities to witness for Christ… albeit it is mixed with social human stuff.. .but that is part of the deal too….:) GBU~!Ave

Hi Albert~
Totally understand and relate to where you are coming from. The Bible was/is misused by many if not most who used it to overpower others…I particularly resent the prosperity preachers...and those who think they can treat God like a genie in the bottle and ‘speak their fortunes into existence’.. all nonsense and gimmicks!

In and of itself however , the Bible has so much truth in it that I havent ever seen elsewhere!

I dont get religious, but I dont throw the baby out with the bath water either.. Historically Jesus was real [just like Mohammad?] and other religious leaders in pivotal points of history.Each had impacts.

The difference in Jesus, is he not only claimed to be the son of God, but willingly sacrificed himself for the salvation of mankind,

where as Mohamad was a pedifile, plunderer, rapist and unmerciful murderer… modern day or old days a lying, pedifile, murderer is still a piece of crap!

There was a teenage girl recently stoned to death because she liked a boy from a different religion! It just happened in northern Iraq.

Islam is barberism, unmerciful destroyers trying to conquer Israel.

But on the otherhand, Jesus only did good..made the blind see, the lame walk,deaf hear, healed epileptics, mental illness, demon possessed and so much more..

So just because ‘religious’ people have basically cornered the market on teaching the bible [to their own gain], the bible even spoke of them as hirelings, in it for the profit..Jesus called them hypocrites .
There are things in the bible that are explorable humanly scientifically and very deep and interesting.. hard to explain for just a man written book!

Like in Job their are scientific statements about the jetstream and rivers under the ocean!

They were only discovered in the last 100 years, so how could it have been mentioned in that ancient book ???

Or the earth ‘turning on its axis’ – while people still thought the earth was flat and that planets and sun revolved around the earth,

BUT in  the book of Job spoke the truth, scientifically correct!

How can an unschooled person from ancient times know such things as the earth rotating on its axis?..unless God through his Spirit told him or ‘inspired’ him, as the bible is said to be inspired by God????This offers more proof that the Bible is more than a mere book written  by men…

Some say Job was written before the books of Moses!..

There are also verses that indicate the earth was round and not flat, but people used to think the world was flat!! So how would a writer know it was round without a way to prove it scientifically?

There are little things tucked into it that predict things that have since happened and there is alot of wisdom concerning human nature in it that is applicable today… talked about pestilence, volcanoes, earth quakes and weather phenomenom that is only being understood in the passed century.

I look at it more as a survival manual in dealing with life and  people today and have gained a lot of keen insights from it, so I tend to think that maybe it was ‘divinely’ inspired and the writers were more like ‘ghost writers’ and granted, even with some minor language variations, reinterpretations and all, since it was written line by line, much of any bible you pick up will still have the same subliminal message which is a positive one…

So if God is real and the Holy Spirit speaks to some, he can and would protect his Word,why would he only go so far and not keep it as he intended it to be?

The bible no matter how many people have tried to change it, is still the same story and teaches the same principals on how to treat others and to get right with God..

So you can worship a tree,[bible even talks about that!!] climb a tree, plant a tree, eat its fruits, cut down a tree,carve a tree into an idol, burn a tree and when all is said and done, it is still only wood [or ashes]

Although it can provide shelter, warmth and pleasure to look at and even some fruit to eat, it is still after all is said and done a tree!..

It is a convenient or  good diversion and shield that some use to ward off facing deeper realities, but not uncommon…

Accountability is something we all need to have but many want to run around without accountability and act like they are the only one that matters, but in fact we are all part of the picture.

Everyone has a purpose…

So have any BBQ today? WE just kicked back and enjoyed .

James went out fishing and Kyle returned from his date.

I slept a good part of the day away as I was up all night online.

Now I am just getting ready to cook something… probably cheesburgers, but seems boring.. I was thinking that I should have picked up a cube of beer yesterday, but didn’t, so now I am bored….lol…not sure about what to do tomorrow…probably some art.

I dont want you to think because you choose trees, that I would try to get religious on you or try to convert you or something!

There is alot going on in life to not have to strain on certain differences of opinion and core beliefs..

Actions speak louder than words and you can judge me by my actions rather than any possible sterotyped Christian you have met...

I wish there were a better word to use rather than calling myself a Christian, since that name nowadays, is offensive to so many and  even leaves a tinny taste in my mouth sometimes..due to religion.. I dont like religion…at least all the hypocritical ones that turn so many off to God..

Anyway, are you making any leighway on your [artwork]??? How tall is she?? How are you making her?Is she wood or metal?

You aren’t the first professed pagan I have ever met…I have known other pagans..

Each gravitated to that because they didnt find the answers they were looking for in religion and said for the most part religion is BS….

[I hope I am not sounding a bit bipolar here???LOL}

It is just that in my life and mind and heart I have distinguished what is real to me and what is bull and I still ‘admire’ Jesus as a truly giving and wonderful human being when he was on earth and certainly very influencial after he left earth.. I think he was more than human and by the writings in the Bible fortelling his coming, his mission and what he accomplished, since all that proved to be true, thus far, I have more data to conclude that what he said about the future from this point in time on is also going to be true…the facts speak for themselves, Jesus has credibility, as does the Bible.

So I think I would rather believe in Him who has never lied that what he did and said/says can be proven, as opposed to those who do lie and can be proven as liars, like fortune tellers and other faiths, like Islam…

Since He also was raised from the dead and Josephus and Eusebius and other historical books have records of it, then he disappeared from earth, with historical accounts made of people seeing him go up into the sky, after making promises of a return, I have no reason, at least from my studies, to disbelieve since many of the prophecies he made for the times to come are in fact still coming true..

If he were just a man, then how would he be so able to predict so many things to happen in the future that have happened since his death and resurrection and are still happening and how well he knew human nature and always wanted to promote positive goodness in others trying to show them how to approach the real  God?!

Conversely, Mohamad is a proven thief and murderer and the bible even predicted that Ishmael was going to be a wild donkey of a man always at war with his brothers.. Ishmael was 1/2 brother to Isaac and was not of God’s promise so he didnt inherit but has been fighting against Isaac ever since.. Hagar his mother was an Egyptian and taught him her ways and hatred for Sara and her offspring!

That ancient rivalry is causing the terrorism we see today.

Ishmael is father of Islam/Muslims and Isaac is father of the Israelites/Jews and to this day they war against one another and Ishmael is still trying to seize Jerusalem the symbolic representation of God’s promise..
When I think about it, it  actually takes more FAITH not to believe than to believe in Jesus..

Have a good afternoon… [As time progresses, you will find that there are many facets to my diamond, lol]

I look forward to talking to you more .

Lady Madonnah[Ave]

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26 thoughts on “A letter to a pagan friend who doubts God….

  1. June 1, 2007

    Hello!

    I just read your piece here, Ave. Please allow me to share with you some of my thoughts about what you say.

    At first, you seem to suggest that you are unsure whether Mohammad was an historical person when you wrote, “Historically Jesus was real [just like Mohammad?]”. Mohammad was, in fact, an historical person. He died in 632 C.E.

    But, having expressed your uncertainty about the historical Mohammad, you go on to express in no uncertain terms quite a number of claims about Mohammad that are not at all very certain and some of which are almost certainly false.

    You wrote, for example, “Mohammad was a [pedophile], plunderer, rapist and unmerciful murderer”. Later you write that “Mohammad is a proven thief and murderer.”

    Having expressed uncertainty about the very historicalness of Mohammad, it seems incongruous that you then say with such certainty these things about him. But, I wonder what grounds you have for saying these things.

    You also claim that “Islam is [barbarism], unmerciful destroyers trying to conquer Israel.” In fact, not all Islam is such. It is just as reasonable to say that all Islam is such as to say that since their are white supremacists who claim to be Christian, all Christians are white supremacists.

    You claim that, “That ancient rivalry [between Ishmael and Isaac] is causing the terrorism we see today”. This is, perhaps, the most difficult of all the things you say for me. For a very very long time Islamic Palestinians, Jewish Palestinians, and Christian Palestinians lived in Palestine without conflict. It is only after the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 that the serious conflict we see today arose. And most unbiased observers of what is going on in the region think that Israel and the United States are committing just as much, if not much more, terrorist violence in Palestine as are the Islamic Palestinians. Check out Amnesty International’s website (http://www.amnesty.org/) and their recent 2007 report on human rights to find out a bit more on the actual figures. I think you will be surprised. Another good place to look about this stuff on the web is pdxjustice.org. There are numerous videos and discussions on this site that you can view for free about the conflict surrounding the Jewish people in Palestine and the Islamic people there. I highly recommend that you take a look.

    That is, the violence taking part in the Middle East today is not evidence of an ancient rivalry between two peoples, but evidence of a pretty recent turn of events. Just because the people involved date back very far and long ago may also have had conflicts doesn’t mean that this conflict is of one with ancient ones. You might just as well say that when the United States and Italy disagree in policy about the International Criminal Court or the recent behavior of the CIA in Italy this reflects the ancient rivalry between the Franks, the Goths and the Romans. That would be a most bizarre thing to say.

    Perhaps less important, but nonetheless worth mentioning, is that it is not at all obvious when you read Job that there is any genuine, clear, and miraculous anticipation of the results of more recent, modern, science. For one thing, many ancient people believed the earth was round. The idea that it was flat may have been prevalent in Europe in the 15th century when Columbus made his first journeys, and so we say, “before Columbus people believed the world was flat.” But, saying that doesn’t mean that everyone everywhere believed, before Columbus, that the world was flat. That simply isn’t true.

    A point you may want to consider is that the Bible has many contradictions in it: the two accounts of the death of Saul, the two accounts of the death of Judas Iscariot, and the value of the circumference of a circle to its diameter (see 1 Kings 7:23 and 2 Chronicles 4:2; it is impossible for the circumference of a circle to be 3 if its diameter is 1). These are famous examples, and there are many more.

    I say all this in a spirit of fairness, Ave. I don’t mean to be confrontational or overly critical. I mean to suggest to you that you look a little deeper into some of the things you believe and say here. Scholars who have worked a lifetime on these matters disagree about them. It is hard stuff to talk about fairly and accurately for anybody.

    Yours,
    Russell Dale

  2. With permission I am posting this response to Russell from Jim:
    > >yahoogroups.com, “jphurleysr” jphurleysr@…wrote:
    Perhaps you will take us on a magic carpet ride, Mr.
    Russell.
    I think it would be very beneficial for the Brethren to
    become more knowledgable about Muhammid and Islam. Who knows,maybe you will even be able to convert some here.
    I can’t find anything wrong in what Ave has written about Muhammid. He was a lier and a thief and a pedophile. He was
    also an extortioner of Jews and Christians. He was a crafty warlord that grew stronger over time with his band of plunderers. Two of his wives were mere children of the ages 11 and six.
    In the case of the six year old he waited until she was nine years old before he began having relations with her. Martin Luther once described Muhammid and his band of cut-throats as devils following their devil god.
    They have the nature of their god! Want links?
    Jim

  3. Jim would like me to further add this for your consideration:

    “jphurleysr” wrote:

    Here is a summary of Muhammads life:—Was born an orphan
    tribal chilod in Mecca in 570.—Married the wealthy widow Khadija,
    who provided him economic security, became one of his first converts
    to Islam, and gave him a daughter, Fatima.—Experianced in a cave
    visions from Allah through the angel ‘Gabriel,’ visions which
    Muhammad identified as revelations and later codified into the Quran,
    a perfect book from ‘god’.—Won as a convert Ali, who later married
    Muhammads daughter Fatima, fathering two sons, Hassan and Husain, and
    becoming the first imam of the Shiites.—Escaped to Medina in 622,
    an event known as the Hegira; the Hegira begins the Islamic calender.-
    –Established the umma, the community of Islam, in Medina; built the
    first mosque, organized an army, and played the roles of prophet,
    ruler, judge, commander in chief, and prayer leader.—Subdued the
    tribes, including Jewish tribes, killing thousands and collecting
    booty including concubines, and gaining power throughout the
    peninsula.—Ganied many wives and concubines, his favorite being
    Aisha, with whom he consummated marriage when she was nine years old.-
    –Gained control of Mecca in 630, cleansed the kaba of idols, and
    established it as the place of pilgrimage to worship Allah. Died and
    was buried in Medina in 632 with no successor. He did NOT ascend into
    Paradise from atop of the Dome of the rock as Muslims believe. JESUS
    IS LORD!

  4. June 5, 2007

    Thank you James and Ave for your responses to my comments.

    There is simply no reliable documentation on the details of the wives of Mohammad. There are only uncorroboratable theories about his wives and their lives. People seem to fall into camps around these theories. Those who dislike Islam and Mohammad tend to turn him into a pedophile. Those who like him, treat him otherwise. But, if you really look into this and don’t just accept biased opinion, there really is no data on the matter so that you can say anything for certain one way or another. One may just as well conjecture that Solomon with all his wives and concubines had underage spouses since marriage to what we would consider “underage” girls and women was common practice in ancient Judea and Israel as well. But, there is no data to support such a thesis one way or another. The unbiased person will, I would expect, not believe one way or another. You just have to suspend belief in the absence of data. That can be difficult to do since we all wish to know things for certain, but it is the only responsible thing to do.

    I am not Muslim, so I don’t expect I will be trying to convert anybody. 😀 I am just trying to be somewhat fair. I believe in love, as Jesus preached it. I don’t like the spread of hatred. I don’t suppose that you, Ave, really mean to spread hatred. But, I study these things and I recognized in some of what you originally said, Ave, the sorts of things that people who definitely do try to sow hatred say. They say these things so confidently, it can seem that they know what they are talking about. But, much of what they say is false and needs to be looked at critically.

    Look, imagine that the Islamic world were united and in the position of power that the United States is in now. Imagine that the Islamic world also united in believing in monogamy. Now, imagine that the Muslims condemned and hated Christians because Christians believe in polygamy and that that they got their idea that Christians believe in polygamy because they took 19th Century Mormons to be indicative of all Christians. Imagine that this idea got repeated over and over and was used to spread hatred of Christians. Imagine that political leaders benefited from fanning the flames of what they knew to be the false belief that all Christians were polygamists. This would be a horrible situation.

    I tend to think this sort of story is happening in American Christianity right now. It is really not that hard to find out at least, as I suggested above, that we simply don’t know the truth about much of what gets said in the cause of hatred and intolerance.

    Yes, James, I know there are many “links” on the Internet that spread the sorts of things you are suggesting. But, one must look at all things of this sort critically. I recommend that you look into some of the scholarship available. It is easy to find moderately reliable sources by look through a few bibliographies. Look through a few of them, though, so that you don’t get stuck with biased sources. Play one source against the other. I am quite confident you will find what most scholars find: we just don’t know about the things you are trying to say.

    I am surprised that neither of you addressed the other points I made in my original post. Perhaps I wasn’t very clear about what I was saying. I’m sorry if that is the case.

    Anyway, thank you again for your thoughts.

    Yours,
    Russell

  5. Referenced:> A point you may want to consider is that the Bible has many
    > contradictions in
    > it: the two accounts of the death of Saul, the two accounts of the
    > death of
    > Judas Iscariot, and the value of the circumference of a circle to
    its
    > diameter
    > (see 1 Kings 7:23 and 2 Chronicles 4:2; it is impossible for the
    > circumference
    > of a circle to be 3 if its diameter is 1). These are famous
    examples,
    > and there
    > are many more.

    > Yours,
    > Russell Dale

    No, perhaps not. But if it’s circumference is 29.9999999 divided
    by 3.14 (pi) you end up with 9.5541398. Close enough to 3 and 1 in
    my book to make the objection fairly insignificant, wouldn’t you say?

    Sorry for taking the passing dog by the ears, Mr. Dale, but I just
    love this stuff.

    Love,
    Bipsy Quee

  6. > I’m sorry but there is just too much ‘Baloney’ in your Salaam-i.
    My sources are Islamic from Muslim Literature. My sources are Not
    usless inventions flying around on the Internet. I addressed a
    portion of your reply to Ave because I recognized what the attempt
    was on your part. Israel belongs to the Jews for all time—God owns
    that land and he gave it to Abraham in perpetuity. Ishmael had no
    part in that land. He was cast out. God Himself verified to Abraham
    that he should listen to the voice of his wife, Sarah. After
    Abraham’s death, Ishmael once again tries to weasel his way back into
    the family and the Arabs have also been trying the same thing ever
    since then also. You speak of errors in the Bible. Again the Quran
    has distorted the truth. Islam denies Jesus very name and thereby
    denying the power of that name. Muhammid calls Jesus Isa–Arabic for
    Esau. There is no other name by which a man might be saved. Muhammad
    says our Bible is corrupted, as if God cannot protect His Word.
    Muhammad tells his followers that it is OK to lie. Says so right in
    the Quran. But Jesus warned us about this in John 8:41-44–‘ You do
    the deeds of your father. Then they said to Him; we have one father,
    even God.vs.42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your father, you
    would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came
    I of myself, but he sent Me. vs43 Why do you not understand My
    speech? even because you cannot hear My word vs44 You are of your
    father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a
    murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because
    there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own;
    for he is a lier, and the father of it. Muhammad said an angel told
    him what to write in the Quran. Jesus warned us about angels coming
    and trying to change scripture. Islam cannot provide proof about
    anything it claims. The Bible says that ‘He who speakes the truth
    gives honest evidence’. Tell me, how many miracles did Muhammid
    perform? How many have been performed in Muhammad’s name? There are
    no errors in the Bible. There are, however, many contradictions and
    errors in the Quran. Want proof? You are out of your league, Mr.
    Dell, when you try to attack the Bible. Jesus is Lord.

    Jim

  7. “jphurleysr” wrote:

    And by the way, there ARE two main sourcesfor the life of
    Muhammid, both of which are IslamicThe ancient biographies of
    Muhammid based on the traditions which have been preserved are

    The
    Life History of Muhammad, by Ibn-Ishaq (A.D.768),edited by Ibn-Hisham
    (A.D. 833); and The Expeditions of Muhammad, by Al-Waqidi (A.D. 822).

    Both have been combined in an English translation by A. Guillaume,
    titled The Life of Muhammad. It was published by Oxford University

    Press in London in 1955. A similar book titled Muhammad: His Life
    Based on the Earliest sources, by Martin Lings, was published first
    by the Islamic Texts Society in London in 1983.

    Much indeed is known about Muhammads wives.

    Muhammads first wife was named Khadija.

    He was 25 and she was 40.

    Another wife was Hafsa, Daughter of ‘Umar.

    Another wife was Zainab, His Adopted Son’s ex-wife.

    Another wife was named Juuwariyah.

    Then there was wife #7–

    Her name was Rathana, and she was
    a Jewess.

    Wife #8—Maryam–An Egyptian Christian Slave girl.

    Wife #9—Safiyya From the Khaibar Jews.

    The 10th wife–Um Habeeba.

    Finally we have wife #11 Her Name was Maimuna of Mecca.

    Have you ever heard an expression, ‘Beware of wolves in sheeps clothing?’

    Jim

  8. June 6, 2007

    Dear Jim,

    Thank you again for your comments.

    It sounds like you have faith in a certain picture of history and even of what it is to reason carefully about factual matters. My approach to thinking about such matters is different and I am not sure we really have enough in common to continue this discussion.

    But, I sincerely appreciate your passion for the topic.

    Yours,
    Russell

  9. June 6, 2007

    Dear Bipsy Quee,

    Well, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter is always pi (3.14159265358979…). The Bible, in the verses I mentioned, implies that this ratio is actually 3. Since pi is not equal to 3, the claim in the Bible implies, mathematically, a contradiction. It is false, strictly speaking. Given that the instructions about the building of the temple are so precise in every other detail, this is really surprising. I believe, had the ancient Israelites had a better pipeline to the truth, they would have said as much. They simply computed the number inaccurately like most ancient cultures did. But, in fact, there were cultures that knew that pi could not be 3. This was known by the ancient Egyptians as well as by the ancient Babylonians. See Petr Beckmann’s “The History of Pi” for more discussion. Dirk Stijk’s “A Concise History of Mathematics” is also a good source.

    Yours,
    Russell

  10. Mr. Dale,

    As I have already allowed, “No, perhaps not”.

    However, I would not label it a “contradiction”, strictly speaking, but I would agree with your assessment that it is “strictly speaking”, “false”.

    But is the objection realistic, given that the manuscripts referred to in the articles you cite are mathematical treatises and the Biblical account, in this case, is not?

    That was my point, Mr. Dale.

    This begs the question: which is the correct approach to Biblical inquiry then? Is the record to be examined as a technical manual written by technicians?

    I would be very interested in your reasonings if your answer is “Yes”.

  11. June 6, 2007

    Dear Bipsy Quee,

    I see what you are saying. Your idea is that the Israelites were not being as exact as modern day mathematicians, they were just speaking roughly and what’s 0.14… among friends. 😀 I see. That’s an interesting point.

    Do remember, though, that I was responding to Ave’s thought, originally, that the Bible has somehow miraculously anticipated the results of modern science, for example in the book of Job. One would expect that if the Bible were really about anticipating modern science, it missed a great opportunity right here. In fact, that pi was not exactly 3 was known even back then. That is, even back in those times mathematicians in the flanking areas of Egypt and Mesopotamia knew that pi was not exactly 3. Were the Babylonian gods Baal or Marduk were more inspirational than Yahweh?! I am being facetious. But, it bothers me when I hear that the Bible somehow had a secret pipeline to scientific truth because it was inspired by God. The verses Ave alluded to in Job really don’t show any interesting anticipation of modern science. And, if God were so keen on anticipating modern science how did he miss inspiring the ancient writers to let us in on the actual age of the world (14 billion odd years as opposed to the 6,000 or so scholars have adduced from the Bible), the nature of geology, the existence of dinosaurs, evolution, the laws of motion, of gravity, atomic theory, and so forth? Why was it conceivable to the ancients that the sun stopped moving for a period of time? Etc.

    Plus, don’t forget that the description of the temple is given in such exact terms. One would, as I argued in my previous letter, expect that they would have been more precise if they knew how to be. I doubt they knew how. If they had taken the path to seeing why pi could not be 3, they would have understood that this was an important bit of mathematics. It is hard for me to believe they knew it. Perhaps.

    Further, just to be tidy, I make this final point about what I said earlier. If pi is what it is and the circumference of that basin is 30 units while its diameter is 10 unites, the pi is equal to both 3 and 3.14…. That is, strictly speaking, a contradiction. No number can be two separate quantities at the same time. I understand you to mean, you don’t take it to be a contradiction because you don’t take the verse in question to be saying that the circumference was exactly and absolutely 30 cubits while the diameter was exactly and absolutely 10 cubits. I accept the point. I just wanted to clarify the sense in which I meant “contradiction”.

    The books I mentioned (they are not articles, I just used quotes because I can’t underline or italicize here) are not mathematical treatises but books describing the history of Western mathematics. They are really very good, though I don’t like Beckman’s style much and he is a little heavy handed with his political and philosophical digressions. But, it is a good introduction to understanding pi and its history.

    Anyway, it is interesting discussing these things with you. Let me know what you think.

    Yours,
    Russell

  12. Dear Mr. Russell,

    No. Apparently you do NOT see what I am saying.

    I am not attempting an “end-run” around an obviously difficult-to-reconcile discrepancy in the Biblical record with contemporarily known mathematical precision. There are enough plausible explanations for the apparent discrepancy available on the internet, for anyone interested enough in pursuing them, to be satisfied with the account’s validity.

    If one is so inclined.

    But I would neither bore you with their details and attempt to present myself as an authority on mathematics, which I am not, nor would I insult your intelligence by assuming you were as unaware of them as you present yourself as being.

    Additionally, I am disinterested in contesting our obvious disagreement on the meaning and application of the word “contradiction”. Among other disagreements. Although these might furnish us with many hours of amusing but fruitless distraction, I have too many other pressing concerns demanding my time.

    No, (but, given that these explanations ARE out there AND that they are eminently plausible) my original point goes to the question of one’s approach to the Biblical accounts and the reasonings one offers for his/her choosing this approach.

    Given that you frame your response in strictly technical terms I must assume your answer to my original question is “yes, I do approach the Scriptures as a technical manual to be dissected by technicians”.

    That may be where our problem lies in our disagreements, and until we come to a consensus on this important issue, I suggest we leave off discussion, as it will only result in endless hours of frustrating and fruitless bickering.

    Don’t you agree?

    Regards,
    Bipsy Quee

  13. June 7, 2007

    Dear Bipsy Quee,

    I am happy to continue the discussion. I work really hard at thinking about these things and discussing them with people. I won’t bicker, though. As soon as a discussion starts going that way, I tend to opt out of it.

    I don’t believe the Bible is “a technical manual to be dissected by technicians”. I am not sure why you think I might. I have not been saying that, “Look, the Bible says pi is equal to 3, that is that, the Bible is wrong.” Rather, I am trying to raise a little bit of doubt that the Bible was inspired by God since presumably God would have known that pi is 3.14…. I don’t think my attempt at persuasion on this matter is a knock-down argument. Perhaps everything you have said and suggested answers my meager points. I will think about it more.

    Yours,
    Russell

  14. …Maybe our idea and understanding of ‘pi’ is what is off!…that may be the paper tiger that you see while the real one is getting ready to pounce! *

    If God made the universe, and all that is therein.. He knows all and what He inspires into the hearts of men[like in writing the Bible int he first place] WE shouldnt be into straining on gnats while swallowing camels— but to know and acccept the fact that He is real and thatwith all the translated and written down accounts of the Bible, of what He has given men to share amongst themselves, provides us with the ‘blueprint of salvation’ through Jesus Christ

    Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life and the Resurrection and the Door and the only Mediator between God and man and that All others are LIARS…. simple enough for me and all who have recieved the free gift of eternal life by surrendering their will to God’s – HIS WAY–… and FOR ALL others who seek God with a WHOLE HEART– while acknowledging that ‘our’ ways, THOUGHTS , ACTIONS ETC. are imperfect, but God is perfect and while now we see in a mirror dimly– later in eternity we will see HIM face to face..

    There were many other things that Jesus did while among us, but had they all been written down, the very world couldnt contain it…but these were written that you might believe in the only son of God- Jesus!….

    So why bother with all the religions- under any names????-

    Go to the source- God and ask Him to cleanse you from your pride and arrogance and dazzling human intellect[the devil thought he was really smart and yet is smarter than man and knows how to play on your human nature like a fiddle!] and reason with you in a way you can accept and understand- casting aside the devisive spirits of contentions, intellectualism, rationalizations and legalistic so called logical mumbo jumbo in trying to smear the Bible with the same facade all other religions including islam have..

    All others are wrong- who cares about political correctness when eternity is at stake???

    Get smart- Get saved– by JESUS- ONLY… HE IS THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE IT TO HEAVEN…

    ALL the other ways lead to your destruction and that is a wide path indeed and yes many are going to their doom! BUT not because God didnt warn them- He sent Jesus to tell them/us and He did and now all glory honor and power belong to Jesus!

    So what if there are false religions claiming to be Christian- which are full of lies and hypocrisies??? So what if someone hurts your ‘feelings’ or sensibilities??? That wont ‘fly’ when you prepare to meet your maker and stand before the judgment seat of God!

    Dont want to join them who are going to argue their way straight into hell ??

    Then turn your heart to Jesus, instead of resenting Him, for what some dumb people who misapply scriptures told you and may be hypocritical about… hypocrites also go to hell- so dont use them as a cop out against getting to know Jesus!~!..

    Each is lured and enticed by their own ‘desires’ to sin — so you wont go to hell because of my behavior or of a church you dont like or because of soemone who loves Jesus couldnt inform you of enough to your satisfaction–

    You will go to hell because of your own sins unless you focus on getting to know and believe in Jesus and reject the familiar spirits that plague your mind with endless doubts and vain imaginings…

    I hope you seek God with your heart in truth and not in devilish legalism because it may ‘sound good’… the ear tries words like the palate tastes food… taste and see that the Lord is good!!!
    : GBU~
    Ave

  15. Dear Russell,

    You’re kidding, right?

    The point of your contributions to a Christian forum is to persuade those who believe to doubt the basis of their belief.

    With all there is to busy one’s self with in this world, why would one feel the need to do such a thing?

    Regards,
    Bipsy Quee (real name, Chuck)

  16. You’ve hit the nail right on the head and destroyed a very proud (arrogant) argument. Praise God.

  17. June 9, 2007

    Hi Ave, Jim, and Chuck,

    I appreciate your thoughts. I don’t have much to say about the theological stuff. I am not kidding: I am not trying to change anyone’s beliefs. I am presenting my reasoning and listening to what others have to say about it. I find others often help me understand my own views better. I am guessing that that is not at all how you are understanding my contributions, though, Chuck, you yourself asked why anyone would want to change Christians’ beliefs. There are better things to do. One of them is to share your own beliefs with people who don’t believe the same as you and see how they stand up. That certainly is a method of healthy self-criticism. I have the feeling that you are taking my talking with you as more hostile in intent than it is at all meant to be. And isn’t that all I can say?

    Yours,
    Russell

  18. Russell,

    Your explanation sounds inviting and yet somehow I get a feeling that you are not seeking but shut down, that you have once believed but have lost faith?

    I hope that isnt the case, as a brother wronged is unrelenting the saying goes.. You seem to be a very intelligent and studious man, so that leads me to think you are seeking something, hopefully the truth.. I recall Jesus saying, if you dont believe me , believe the miracles, of which it is recorded history in and out of the bible that he performed such miracles and also recorded history that he actually raised from the dead. Since he then proved who he was and fulfilled the prophecies concerning his coming when he did then that leads me to trust him since he hasnt been proven false yet.

    Also having some personal miraculous healings in my own life that the doctors couldnt explain but people prayed for me and the healing began and in one instance I received an instant healing of a deformity I developed during child birth that was only correctable by surgery that I refused to get and lived with the incumbrance a year before a minister in a church in Corning prayed for me and I initially had doubts while he was praying for me, but then recalled a verse ” I believe, help my unbelief” so I prayed to God in my mind as the others also prayed for me and accepted the healing should he want to do it… He did and it was instantaneous and when I went to the doctors for confirmation- I no longer needed the operation as I was healed totally at that point.

    So I do believe in Jesus as I have seen evidence of Him in my life personally after many years of conditional belief always looking for ‘proof’… he does say in Is 1:18 to come now and let us reason together- , but you know the rest.
    Groups like the Cobu shipwrecked many’s ability to attain a level of faith in God afterwards and yet it wasnt God’s fault we were in there and some good occurred for many including myself while a member of the FF.. As it deteriorated in 4/76 I left as the takeover was occurring.. The Holy Spirit told me to go and I listened.

    Since Stewart and his closer minions, OR’s worked on belittling people and forcing everyone to rely on St’s direction rather than Jesus and he ascended onto his own throne, St damaged many lives to which he will be accountable for…
    Meanwhile you may not have left when the HS first told you to and you may have been so deceived by the Cobu that your heart has hardened , I dont know, as I dont know you, but there are alot of false gods out there and they can present a nifty religious offer but they can not save you. only Jesus can and willingly does. I understand you doubt as I had doubts for over 20 years and that too is spiritually influenced as our minds are the battle grounds for our souls and demons speak to our minds in our own language so they appear to us as our own thoughts and are merely suggestions and we choose daily whom we will serve… including what thoughts to give into and not to give into.

    It wasnt until I personally encountered such thoughts and wondered why my mind raced so much with so many thoughts that I prayed and asked for the HS to silence the wrong thoughts and to prove to me that God is real and that Jesus is Lord and he did so by my healing and circumstances.

    I realize now that financial gain is not the measure of God’s love, nor is religious rituals and doctrines but developing and establishing a relationship of trust in Jesus suddenly makes alot of things in life come into perspective and it is true, his yoke is easy and following him is an easy decision once you realize all the other ways are not Gods ways nor his thoughts… I challenge you to apply the bible to your daily life and taste and see that the Lord is good and that you cant go wrong if you follow him.
    GBU~!
    Ave

  19. Dear Russell,

    Your intentions may or may not not be deliberately hostile, but your posts certainly do not reflect the characteristics which would identify them as being self-critical as you maintain, and your admission that you wish to raise doubts about the inspiration of the Scriptures, in an explicitly Christian forum, would seem to indicate a duplicitous spirit at work.

    Wouldn’t you agree?

    Look, my suggestion, which you would have been able to discern from my other replies if you had not been so intent on instilling doubt, is to alter your own approach, rather than to be concerned with the approach of others to these questions.

    If you have decided to forgo faith, for whatever reason, good or bad, then forgo it and be at peace with your decision, if you can.

    And if you cannot find peace with your decision, then may I suggest you reconsider it rather than compound the problem by attempting to unsettle the faith of others.

    Regards,
    Chuck

  20. Yes Russell~ you need to stop letting your thoughts control your ability to reason with God… your thoughts are not entirely your own, as you have an enemy that wants to keep you separated from the true love of God and just as God says ” Your thoughts arent my thoughts says the Lord”.. the converse is that the devil- the whisperer- tries to enter our thoughts and have us claim them and operate under their influence..

    You see there is no discharge from the war nor will wickedness deliver those given to it!.. choose this day whom you will serve and surrender the evil thoughts that enter your mind against God and ask for his deliverance of such doubts and faultfinding with God as that is classic devil!… Dont hang with satan- rebuke him and renounec the workings of satan in your life and recommit your way to the Lord of lords and fill you mind with ‘good thoughts’.. feed on the Word of God and study and show yourself approved rightly dividing the word of truth….

    Whether you accept it or not, God is real and Jesus is Lord. he is coming back again to bring those who love him , with him back with him… So either you choose to be a loser and go to hell on the side of doubt, fear, frustration, anger,pride lust, hatred and the like… OR reject those character traits and embrace the Lord… and be filled, with love, joy, peace, patience, self control, and the like and follow Jesus while on earth…

    GBU~!
    Ave

  21. June 9, 2007

    Dear Chuck and Ave,

    Thank you again for your thoughts.

    When I first looked at this site, I saw written things that I have found a critical study of history and religion suggest are false. I wanted to raise doubts, first of all about those things. The way these things were put seemed not a little bit hateful and hurtful to people who don’t believe in Christianity. Plus, they incite further hatred against non-Christians in those who do profess Christianity. The idea that Islam is a violent religion is just as ridiculous as the idea that Christianity is. Plenty of violence has gone on in the name of Christianity. You will say, well, those are not real Christians. But the Muslim who contends Islam is a peaceful religion will say EXACTLY the same thing.

    I continued the conversation concerning pi with you, Chuck, and I appreciated it. And here, presenting my views and seeing what you had to say about them were an act of sharing and hearing criticism.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing with me.

    Yours,
    Russell

  22. For more than 1000 years Christianity was only Roman Catholicism and the BIBLE was not read by the common person.

    The Catholic church rose in power and controlled how people read or were to learn the bible.

    They had priests interpret God’s WORD and while there was always a remnant that sought God, political power polluted the church at different points in time and caused wars like the Crusades. It also caused false doctrines that prevail in the church today, such as the worship of Mary, the saints and the ability to buy indulgences for their sins, even purgatory as a way out of going to hell if enough people pray for the dead- all wrong doctrines that are not biblical!

    That led to alot of wrong other stuff that is commonly accepted today, that you might refer to as well as the splintering of the Christian RELIGIONS or faith as many broke away from the Catholic church in seeking God on their own like that king of England, who wanted to remarry after being divorced, looking for a loophole through the BIBLE ,but again on their own as Protestants, some true seekers gained new insights, but still others fell for more errors in applying the word of God to their lives..

    You see each of us is lured and enticed by their own desires..
    Whether or not the seeker gives into the carnal desires determines the path they take- yet even so , God’s truth prevails…

    Only those who seek God with a whole heart can find Him …

    The ones called Protestants, in the middle ages, having more literal problems to deal with, as they brought the BIBLE to the printing press and distributed it to the people, but many had very limited educations, so much error evolved throught the history of Christianity, but the BIBLE message is still protected by the Holy Spirit and those who seek God can find him with the help of the Holy Spirit and in their submission to God’s will by becoming born again and following Jesus.

    The BIBLE remains the TRUTH, but like the Ark of the covenant in the hands of God’s enemies or whatever power that be that captured it — they were never able to control God and he would send plagues on those people til the Ark was returned.
    Symbolically it is the same with the Bible, as God’s word- Jesus, it was not used necessarily according to the will of God as much as the will of man. ..

    Many religions are born on the Bible but not through the Bible.

    It doesnt make the Bible any less sacred or less true because of some operating in error, deliberate or ignorant, have at times misapplied its truths…

    God still protects his word for future generations to be able to seek him

    You see the BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD but in the hands of carnal man, so many using a form of religion calling it christianity, as its name claim to be doing God a service but really aren’t and one day, Jesus will tell them “begone I know you not’ – [speaking about the hirelings and ‘nominal’ christians].

    Many who call themselves Christians, do not follow or obey the bible but try to use it as a status symbol .the Bible says,” He obeys the son has eternal life”…. also ” he who does not obey the Son shall not see life but the wrath of God rests upon him” [John 3:36]

    These religious wordly, carnal Christians are the ones who have successfully given Chrisitanity a bad name to foreign religions.

    Jesus is still Lord and God is love and Jesus came to earth to be a willing sacrifice because he wanted mankind to love and obey God, however many who wear the name , are ‘nominal’ and do as they please…

    These carnal christians are acting as if God doesnt know what they are really up to or will perhaps wink His eye at it, which He wont. Non-christians often use this as an excuse but we each will be judged according to our own actions. God sees all!!

    However the TRUE church of believers is interedispersed throughtout time and space and it it those believers, many were/are/will be martyrs who are to be the bride of Christ.

    The cause of biblical Christianity is love between God and man and his plan of redemption.

    Muslims on the other hand also have some very deeply committed members who care and generationally obey it
    Some may see the ‘average muslim’ as less hypocritical than their Catholic or [Whoever is more or less hypocritical will not gain any brownie points with God…All will be tossed in the lake of fire if not having their name in the Lambs book of Life..]
    Christian counterpart, they maybe even more dedicated at prayer and sacrifice and even a better example religiously…

    However the ‘nominal muslims’ provide only a cloak of respectability within the political community , the cause of deep core muslim Qu’uran belief is the continuing story of Ishmael’s hatred to Isaac and his attempt to force God’s blessing on his existence.

    The core of islam is HATE [dating all the way back to satan, as a covering cherub hating Jesus and being cast out of heaven, then again when Cain hating & killed his brother Abel and subsequently being cast out of the Garden, Ishmael hating Isaac, being caste out into the desert, only to later see Jesus crucifixion as Abel being killed again, but that time the Lord God raised Jesus from the dead and thwarted the plan of satan which is to utterly destroy mankind, yet still it is Islam hating Jew, modern day fighting over the promised land} and hate not only for Jew and Christian but for any ‘infidel’ who doesnt convert to islam.

    During the course of time there are always remnants who intermix and many muslims do live peacefully with Jews and other people, however as they are called to obey the Qu’uran, they will be forced to be as blood thirsty as their extremist counterparts OR they too will be slain…

    The overall eternal goal of satan, is to destroy all mankind and had the days not been foredestined to be shortened, no flesh would be saved!!

    The fanatical islamic terrorists ARE the ‘true believers’ of islam not the MANY MILLIONS who like many other religions, try to be nice and at peace with all the world.

    The mass of peaceful living muslims are only the smoke screen in time, shielding or hiding the hideous demonic nature of true islamic mandate by satan and its origins were given by a demonic angel to a demonic man- Muhammed- so being true to his nature [ John 8 :44) he had/has to lie and by doing so he calls “Allah the benevolent” which is not true and so on through out the Qu’Uran… cut off a person’s hand if they steal a loaf of bread– stone a girl to death because she wants to marry outside of the religion [ as just happeend in northern Iraq!] KILL THE INFIDEL!

    Allah is not God, but is the god of this world!

    True islam is antichristal and is harsh,not forebearing of its own people and definitely not of what they consider to be unbelievers, where as Jesus laid down his life to save mankind, Islam has them lay down their lives to slay mankind.

    RELIGION is the vehicle the devil drives around this world running interference between man and God.

    Islam is out for world conquest and is doing it at many levels at a time,by war,by terrorism, by persuasion, manipulation, aggression, oppression, whatever it takes as it is on a quest to irradicate all infidels who are anyone other than themselves…[LIKE THE HEZEKIAH STORY WITH THE RABSHEKAH & SENNACHARIB AND LATER THE ENVOYS FROM ‘BABYLON’….

    They also will turn and bite and devour themselves as God said Ishmael was a WILD donkey of a man always at odds with his brethren…

    Judgement starts with the house of God- so this warring between Ishmael and Isaac overflows countless generations, to include the Christians [ Shem dwelling with Japheth as Noah prophecied!] . Less significantly, perhaps, it will also spread to annihilate other religions, as it considers religion itself the whore of Babylon!..

    The ‘mask’ comes off in ‘Revelations and the beast goes after the woman[RELIGION] and all religion will being purged from the land as the battle of Armegeddon gets under way…as the devil knows his time is short, he goes out for a bloodbath!

    A world figure will arise, the ‘antichrist’ that controls the beast and all religions will submit to his authority and their will be no buying or selling of anything without taking the mark of the beast and that is another story that is still unfolding as we can only speculate until the Lord reveals the unfolding of the scenario.. THE ANTICHRIST WILL BE A MUSLIM OR MUSLIM SYMPATHIZER.

    It will bring a temporary ‘false peace’ before the end.

    But the endtime results will be that Islam will take over the world , Jerusalem will be destroyed, Christian and Jew remnants will be hid in the hills and God’s wrath will be poured out…

    Ishmael STILL will not inherit the promise, the same as the devil will not storm the gates of heaven to be able to overthrow God!!…

    Jesus already won the battle in the spiritual realm at Calvary and will also be victorious in the physical realm of the world.
    Remants will be saved… Those who are now muslims or any other religions will become true Christians as they acknowledge Jesus as Lord.

    Those who dont will be followers of islam[the antichrist when he arises to power] and ultimately go to hell along with satan and his evil angels who have been renamed demonsIf you really care about islam and other religions~ free them from the bondage of religion ~ and tell them about Jesus wanting to save them!

    Jesus is Lord!

  23. Well, Russell,

    As I have always said, if one sees the Christians doing it wrong, the best alternative is to do it right oneself.

    All the best in your quest.

    Chuck

  24. Firstly, All Praise be to God, the Lord and Cherisher of all Worlds.

    Secondly, Peace, Blessings, and Mercy to you All

    Thirdly, I would like to, by God’s will, say Russell Dale is by definition of principle, an individual of fair reasoning and much wisdom. From some of the things I have read that he wrote, I believe he has completely submitted to God. That is the definition of a Muslim. The grounds for making this statement is of the same logic as one who looks above to observe the stars and concludes that he/she is looking at Sirius, Vega, Procyon, or Spica, or any of the brightly lit stars. Well, whatever one calls it, the fact is that person is relating to others the experience by calling that which is observed a name. In doing so, another comes a long for where he/she calls the same star a different name, perhaps due to where he/she has learned about it.

    Lastly, Indeed only those guided by God, will never be swayed by anything else…Ignorance is the greatest enemy and the Devil capitalizes on it.

    Peace unto you All.
    May God save us All.

  25. Would you want your child calling ‘everyone else’ “Mommy” or ” Daddy”? You cant call God by any and every name!!

    A ‘neighbor’ may be ‘nice’ but they arent your parent!

    God is one and has a name and we are taught that under no other name given among men can a man be saved…So many lying spirits have initiated deceptions and delusions that make people ‘feel’ religious and that they have ‘received’ revelations that God can be this that or the other and that all are the same when in fact , there is one God and all other ‘gods’ are false!!

    Religions seems to have become more of a ‘ what I will believe and stick by’ rather than the truth about Jesus.

    When you say that one who is totally submitted to God is the definition of a muslim, you mistake he is not submitting to GOD , rather he is submitted to ALLAH , who he calls ‘god’- but is not the God of Israel but an imposter – the angel of light…the deceiver.. and the paradise Allah offer is really hell.

    Religion is like man telling[WHO HE PERCEIVES TO BE] ‘god’ what he will do in order to serve, however God has only one way- His Way.Jesus is the Way,the Truth and the Life. NO MAN comes to the Father except through JESUS.

    I am sorry if that isnt religiously politically correct for some of you~ and that you may be as sincere as you can be in thinking you are serving ‘god’- but if it isnt thjrough Jesus Christ, ‘and he came down and was born of the flesh..’ so that ‘ALL who believed in HIM may have Life in HIS Name.” that apart from Jesus- there is no hope for eternal life, simple and hard as that.

    Then there is the matter of misusing HIS name~ many come claiming to be in HIS name but are in fact in a false Jesus, not the one son of God…Many call themselves Christians and hold a ‘form’ of religion, but their very life’s actions and depth of their hearts prove otherwise as a ‘man is known by his actions’,…actions speak louder than mere ‘words’…

    The devil is the ultimate ‘wordsmith’ and has set out to deceive the nations, all the way back from the beginning to now. The best lie is 99% true~ so some of the most irreligious people you will meet, unfortunately may claim to be christians….

    He said in scripture ” These people honor me with their mouths but their hearts are FAR from Me..~”….

    So pure religion ~ to visit the widows and orphans ~ those ‘spiritually’ without a father or husband…those who havent been born again spiritually into the household of GOD nor have experienced the adoption or ingrafting into the vine, of the Holy Spirit .

    Instead they may play moral and good and live by rules and try to be holy, while inwardly given the right circumstances will come at you like a ravenous wolf~[scratch the surface and then the poison will come forth]…

    A real Christian is one who has surrendered to Christ and asked forgiveness of their sins and have repented and turned away from their sins and seek to please the Father by following Jesus and doing the works that Jesus did… [Greater things will you do!] which is to go forth and make ‘disciples’ [ones disciplined by the Word,the Bible] and live their faith and trust in God. They are the ones who rely on HIM and not the traditions of men or mere superstitions….

    Real Christians are pilgrims and strangers in these lands and when come by, often are rejected and despised by even those claiming piety, christian or non christian.

    So yeah there are better muslims than some chrisitains or better buddhists than some christians and so on, but the measuring stick for all is not the standard set forth by almighty God.. They all live a sad delusion at best.

    The Holy Spirit searches the hearts and minds of men looking for those who love God will be found by Him and will be drawn to HIm so they will get saved.

    Jesus said that all that the Father gives to Him will come to him… and him who comes to Him will be saved … so God is fair but life in this world isnt…

    I have met many nicer Buddhists and Muslims and have had wonderful exchanges with them.. Those seeking to please God without the constiction of religion, will not argue religon but seek to please and to know the one and only real God and will find that Jesus is the Way.

    God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

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