Wednesday, 14 February 2007
I want to say straight off, Richard Wiedenheft is one of the good guys. Richard is one of the "class of 74", WCG ministers who acted on principle and left Armstrongism in a tidal wave of self-honesty and disgust, valuing integrity over paychecks. 1974 seems a long time ago, but many of these people are still around. These days Wiedenheft ministers in the Church of God (Seventh Day).
I also want to say that, as ex-ministers go, Richard appears to have a whole lot more savvy than most. He's well read, thoughtful and "pastoral" in the best sense of that word. Way back in the long-ago, he even graciously mailed me regular copies of his newsletter Focus On Truth, and played host to a friend and fellow Kiwi who was touring the US in the aftermath of Garner Ted's final ouster.
In the latest (Jan-Feb) Bible Advocate, Richard has contributed a feature article called Creation's Roots and Realities. I wouldn't normally have bothered reading it, but then noticed that Richard refers to the Enuma Elish in his endnotes.
Enuma Elish? That's an ancient epic that probably goes back to the reign of Nebuchadnezzer I. It might not be as famous as the Gilgamesh epic, but scholars of the Hebrew Bible value it highly because it predates Genesis, throwing light on the creation of the later document.
The point is, Richard is no wooden-minded fundamentalist. Over three pages he waxes eloquent about Genesis and gives comforting messages about its meaningfulness, without indicating that he sees it as literally true.
Am I complaining? Heck, no! It's a carefully crafted article that can be read as either supportive of the special nature of Genesis (and uncritical readers will assume that means a literal reading) or an encouragement to read Genesis at a deeper (i.e. non-literal) level.
But I'm not so sure that is helpful. Most BA readers will miss the point, if there is one. After all, COG7 is a Sabbatarian church, and as we all know, Sabbatarian churches are staunchly literal when it comes to Genesis. Richard has been dipping into the Enuma, and checking out what the big boys are saying in the Eerdmans Bible Commentary. That's great. But knowledge brings responsibility.
Moses did not write Genesis. (Richard hints at this when he writes "Moses may not have been the original author of all Genesis...") Genesis is derived and adapted from earlier mythologies. Here's what John Collins says on the matter.
The Bible claims that Moses received a new revelation, but even a new revelation was of necessity expressed in language that was already current... The Hebrew language uses the word El for God, and the term inevitably carried with it associations of the Canaanite high god. The biblical creation stories draw motifs from the myths of Atrahasis and Enuma Elish, and from the Epic of Gilgamesh. In short, much of the language and imagery of the Bible was culture specific, and was deeply embedded in the traditions of the Near East.
(John J. Collins, Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, p.45)
That's straight talk. Any church which doesn't "fess up" to things like this is in effect misleading the people in the pews, endorsing a lie because the truth is uncomfortable. Genesis did not drop down out of the sky into Moses' waiting arms on tablets of stone. It does not convey a prehistory of the planet. It is great literature, a testament to an ancient faith, but contains nothing to confirm the pre-scientific prejudices of fundamentalists.
Richard Wiedenheft's article steps up to the line but dares not cross it. Which is a shame. As it stands the article is a mere sacherine confection.
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The problem for Sabbatarians is that they must have a literal Genesis to get a reason for a literal Sabbath day based on "and God rested..." All fundamentalists and Evangelicals base real behavioral and theological understanding on Genesis being literally true. If there was no real Adam and Eve, Original Sin is hard to defend along with all the NT references to Adam being the first man, Jesus being the Second Adam..etc. It's a slippery slope.
Just from your description of Richard's article (I also know Richard) he is going through the classic journey of a man who believed it literally from his youth but then, due to an inquisitive and seeking nature, has learned,perhaps, otherwise. He is now walking a fine line being true to his own exploration of just what did happen or not, and another party line that he is ultimately expected to adhere to. This journey I know.
Many intellectual and open minded seekers in the ministry end up supporting the meaning, whatever that is, but hoping against hope that one does not force them to answer the question about events being literally true. A career can end if you answer inappropriately. I can't tell you how many pastor types I know, both in the COG's and in mainstream Christianity, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Catholic etc, who plainly say they have any number of topics they can't speak the truth about, "or I will lose my job."
For example, few well read and professionally trained Pastors,disagree that Paul, who seems to write most of the NT while those who spent time with Jesus wrote little or nothing, never quotes Jesus and never knew the physical Jesus. They know this is true, and troublesome. But they simply avoid the topic. One having told me, "Dennis, I know that is true, it has always bothered me and I personally don't care for Paul...but I'd lose my job."
All that to say, in Richard's approach and interests, one can sense a similiar dilemma for him personally.
Every worldview operates from a set of a priori assumptions. To simplify: if I hold the gospels to be theopneust, then I will likely accept the historicity that Jesus is shown ascribing to Adam and Eve and the Sabbath. If I don't then I won't.
BTW, to engage in a little deconstruction of my own, did you all catch Gavin's subtle allusion to Valentine's Day? His reference to a saccharine confection (aren't all confections saccharine?). After all, V-Day is the #1 day for the sale of confectionery, at least in the U.S., if not in Kiwiland. Subliminally awesome!
I could not find this article by Wiedenheft?
Googled it a few different ways.
Can someone post a link?
Are there any other similar writings articles or books you'd recommend on the same topic?
Genesis itself is clear that it is a compilation of texts. See 2:4 ("This is the account") and 5:1 ("This is the book of the generations of Adam") as examples of this. Someone had to have collated this material and edited it. Why not Moses as tradition informs us?
Richard's article is at http://cog7.org/BA/
One reason Moses may not have been the editor might be the Pentateuch was not compiled until between the tenth and sixth century BC, by at least three different traditions of authors and for the purpose of giving a rather obscure people a rather large and sweeping epic history. Of course, anything "could" be the case such as God holding the ill conceived and badly constructed ark together supernaturally :)
Thanks for the link Dennis.
Religion is littered with many figurative "Santa Clauses", and Linus blankets. It would be nice if the truth could be known, embraced and taught as some imply that they are doing.
One must recall the many times, back when GTA was in his prime, that he stated in some of his sermons that other popular and famous teachers, such as Billy Graham, AA Allen, and others, really knew the truth from studying their Bibles, but would not or could not teach it. My studies of the real origins of the Bible, and the history of canonization began many years after I had left WCG. I have no idea how much many of the senior ministers of WCG knew, but I really must wonder if GTA's critique of his competitors did not also apply to himself and his colleagues. In retrospect, his remarks seem to be subliminally defensive.
Someone had written a letter to the editor of the Painful Truth regarding Dick Weidenheft's health. Hodgkin's lymphoma was mentioned. I know some would probably want to say a little prayer for Dick. Others might want to express appreciation for his writings.
Hodgkins Lymphoma..Thanks for sharing that about Richard. My brother in law, James Rosenthal died about a year ago of the same. It came out of nowhere. He was still a WCG pastor at the time of his death.
Sorry that the BA link seems to go nowhere with articles. I didn't try it out before realizing it is a info but not article site.
Having known many WCG ministers, I sincerely doubt many if not most knew anymore than they honestly believed and outwardly spoke. We had no background that would even have opened that door to other alternative understandings on all topics presented to us, as is the case with so many fundamentalist and denominational colleges. You get the denominational spin. Very common and to be expected. That's why, in hindsite, I'd rather have gone to Yale Divinity School! Most, if not all of the ministers I knew, did not know enough beyond the Bible reading and just using the Bible to as a source on it's own, to even ask questions. Those questions came later, at least for me, when circumstances slapped me in the face and my personal questions and doubts, suppressed for years, bubbled up.
Reading books about warm fuzzies of theology is not my personal idea of learning about just who, how and why the Bible is written as it is and the politics behind the scenes, both Old and New.
There never has been one true, coherent and "all one body we" church of God in the history of biblical history. It has been divisive from the start which is why you read, even in the NT, the various snarky comments the Apostles had about each other and how each promoted their own community at the expense of all others. Long story I spose.
I do not know how many, but there are a number of Church of God members that understand that not everything in the Book concerning creation and the beginnings of this earth should be taken literally. That this is true has no relevance to certain doctrines, for one, the Sabbath.
Personally, I do not think Adam and Eve spoke with a snake. Serpent is symbolic of Satan and the mention that he would, "on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life." might simply mean Satan would be constrained on the earth (dust).
The literal names Adam and Eve might be symbolic, although God does seem to name people what they are. There are other points that, perhaps, might have some symbolism.
What has to be literal? To start,
considering how complex everything is that we see here on earth, there does have to be a literal God. A being much greater than any human, and with an intelligence beyond our comprehension.
Obviously that being has a plan. We lowly humans have plans. What does that say about how God plans?
There was a creation. We have evidence all around us. Our earth has a 24 hour day, etc.
Even non-religious people have come to realize having one day a week off from work is wise. I would think God knows this, since he created us. (smile)
Yes, there are many people in all
religions, denominations, etc. that don't really deeply think about much of what their religion teaches.
I do wish religious leaders were more honest about what we know to be true, and literal, and what we have opinions about. Actually, in many cases, it is not dishonesty so much as they really haven't thought it through. Neither do most people read a whole lot.
I agree with Herbert Armstrong when he said, and he said it often, the Book is coded. God planned it that way. Humans tend to fall on one extreme or the other. Taking things to literally, (although there is a lot that can be) or taking the other extreme of doubting an awful lot of "stuff."
I tend to think that many of the doubters, in some ways, are more honest. Although, I will say doubting whether there is a God or not, to me, seems dishonest. There is much too much evidence to come to that conclusion.
There are a number of things that are literal---but aspects within that literalism that are meant to be symbolic, if one understands my point. (grin)
also...the serpent is never referred to as Satan. That all came later after layers were added to the mythology. I personally feel the snake was the symbol of the counselor to the Goddess, which snakes were in the surrounding cultures in Israel and the whole story is a slam against Goddess worship, (agriculture and fertility, which is why Cain's ag. offering was rejected) and her counselor. The idea that even Lucifer was Satan came as time passed and ideas evolved...
"Moses did not write Genesis. (Richard hints at this when he writes "Moses may not have been the original author of all Genesis...") Genesis is derived and adapted from earlier mythologies. Here's what John Collins says on the matter."
Moses could not have written any of the books attributed to him. The books name too many places and things that did not even exist until after his lifetime. Besides that, he wouldn't have had anything to write on except stone.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, Ezra is Moses. The Exodus is from Iraq to Canaan and not from Egypt to Canaan.
The Exodus could not be from Egypt because Canaan was also a part of the Egyptian empire at the time it was supposed to have happened.
They would have ran from Pharoah's army right into the Egyptian soldiers stationed in Canaan.
Egypt probably had more soldiers there than in Egypt to guard against their main enemy from the north, Assyria.
Speaking of which, if the Egyptians were so destroyed with the 10 plagues, as Exodus claims, it would have no longer been known as Egypt but would have been conquered and become known as Southern Assyria.
… along with humility, managing complex systems also demands the ability to admit we are wrong, and to change course. If you manage a complex system you will frequently, if not always, be wrong. You have to backtrack. You have to acknowledge error. You’ve probably learned that with your children. Or, if you don’t have children, with your bosses.
And one other thing. If we want to manage complexity, we must eliminate fear. Fear may draw a television audience. It may generate cash for an advocacy group. It may support the legal profession. But fear paralyzes us. It freezes us. And we need to be flexible in our responses, as we move into a new era of managing complexity. So we have to stop responding to fear: …
Hey you guys, just because your old hero had clay feet or you feel like your best friend has left you in the lurch, get on with your lives--stop spending all your time consumed with badmouthing and really start using your heads--look up and engage your brain in real life again.
The knowledge you should all have should increase your faith--not destroy it!!!
"Sanctified ignorance is still ignorance"
The pursuit of the way things are is the rip and the fun of it all. I don't have to worry about not being perfectly right and losing some kind of salvation for picking the wrong religion or concept of God. It's just enjoying the hunt and not being judged if one gets it all right the first time. I would not equate getting more and more understanding with achieving faith in the literalism of mythology as being the goal.
If you do not want to believe in God and you don't want to believe the Bible is factual, you don't have to, if that accomplishes something for you in some way. But if you adopt that stance, no argument a Christian will make will ever seem adequate.
In that context, a few observations. When Jesus, God incarnate, came to this earth, he did not denounce the scripture. Instead he referred to it as if it had authority, from Genesis onward. In fact, scripture claims that Jesus was the one who accomplished the acts recounted in Genesis.
Higher critics claim that there were two Isaiah's (among the many other specious claims they make conerning authorship and dates and external sources), so we have Isaiah I and Isaiah II. But Christ referred to Isaiah and quoted scripture from both of the supposed parts of Isaiah and did not hint that there were two. His language indicated Christ was speaking of one author. But, like I said, if you don't believe in Christ, this argument makes no difference.
I think the dichotomy between science and religion is not marked as many claim. Archaelogy, geology and biology can all be approached with a religious fervor. In fact, scientific religionists have many of the characteristics of Armstrongism. My guess is that Armstrongites might easily make a transition from being religious bigots to being science bigots, without a lot of internal, personal changes. Just the details change.
Jay Gould, an author and Professor of Biology from Harvard, gave a presentation here several years back. He put up slides of creatures from the Cretaceous taken from a classical textbook on Historical Geology written by Carl Dunbar. Dunbar had incorporated these slides into an evolutionary paradigm. These were supposed by be ancient crabs on their way down the evolutionary path to modern crabs. Gould said that this was nonsense. Nobody in the scientific community actually knew what these creatures were. Just because Dunbar said they were crabs did not mean they were. Gould said the geological record is full of life forms that cannot be identified and do not have any connection with prior life forms or subsequent life forms. The smooth line of progession asserted by evolutionists was a fiction. He presented this to a body of about 250 scientists from all fields and nobody took exception.
So I am a little dismayed when I read anti-Bibilical remarks that look for all the world like another dysfunctional religion.
Absolutely agree on this Neo. Unfortunately there are many ‘science bigots’.
Richard Dawkins, a highly respected scientist, comes across with evangelical fervor in his seeming active hate of anything that smacks of anything religious. His complete bigotry in some debates I have seen him in makes you wonder just how honest he would be with anything he finds that would go against his rampant atheism. How far will his views affect his thinking on how to collate the evidence, would it really be a detached scientific view?
While there are many sincere and honest scientists, there are also many in the Richard Dawkins mould. It’s not just religion that has its bigots, and because of the bigotry, maybe even unconsciously, the evidence gets put together in a dishonest way.
"If you do not want to believe in God and you don't want to believe the Bible is factual, you don't have to, if that accomplishes something for you in some way."
You make it sound like God is staring us all right in face to where only an idiot could miss it and the easily discernable "facts" of the Bible are plainly comprehensible in a modern setting.
It can just as easily be said.. "
If you want to believe in God and you want to believe the Bible is factual, you can, if that accomplishes something for you in some way."
It works both ways. I thought Gavin's observations about Richard's waffeling were right on. I was even uncomfortable that he concluded that, as nice as Richard is as a minister etc, he is not being forthright about his own studies, perhaps. One sees that same kind of waffeling in the writings of Dr. Raymond Brown in his classics on the Birth and Death of the Messiah. He knows the problems with the literal stories and the contradictions. He knows how Matthew over reaches to make the OT say what it was never meant to say. He almost admits to any number of real problems he understands that would jeaprodize his standing with "the magisterium" and right up to his death, he also pulled his punches to remain in his faith.
Those who know too much about the realities of the Bible, but do not wish to give up their love for it or their position in a church, usually end up teaching in seminary. They can hide there nicely and present a bigger view. One that any student of a good theological professor will tell you is 50 years ahead of anyone in any local congregation.
I don't want to be 50 years behind any realities of the Bible or believe now with all my heart, mind and soul that which just a bit down the road will be proven as silly a belief as a flat earth or of a sun that revolves around the earth, because earth is the center of God's attention and the earth could not possibly revolve around the sun.
"You make it sound like God is staring us all right in face to where only an idiot could miss it and the easily discernable "facts" of the Bible are plainly comprehensible in a modern setting."
Just so. It is called General Revelation.
The earliest known sayings of Jesus validate the fact the Sabbath is to kept.
The gospel of Thomas DID NOT go through the filter of Nicea. In this gospel please notice saying 27 ...
27 "If you do not fast from the world, you will not find the kingdom. If you do not observe the sabbath as a sabbath you will not see the Father."
So the OT command to keep Sabbath is validated by Jesus in text that is not edited by the good church fathers.
27 "If you do not fast from the world, you will not find the kingdom. If you do not observe the sabbath as a sabbath you will not see the Father."
It has come to me over the years that Jesus had no intention of starting a church, whatever that concept may have been at the time, or create a new religion. Jesus, being a Jew, simply was more liberal than the days he lived in concerning these things. He tended to cut through the formalities that stiffled people and injected the amazing concept of "common sense" in belief and worship of the times. All the "I will build my church, came from the pens of those who perpetuated a system into the Roman version of Judaism we see today. What we really have today is a gentile version of Jesus that hijacked Judaism and Hebrew scriptures molding it to seem as if the whole point of them was to give birth to "the Church" Great redaction and editing for sure.
Back to Thomas...I seriously doubt the Sabbath was an issue for any of the truly Jewish church. Change of venue is purely a function of the gentile invasion of the Jewish followers of Jesus and the Hebrew scriptures. For example,
"And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath." Luke 6:5
If Jesus said this as quoted, and without feeling the compulsive need to define in some huge theological treatis, "son of man," I believe it simply can be understood as another term for "humans."
Thus, after all the goofiness over what is right or what is wrong, or can you save your life or the life of another, or walk this or that far, or even eat out..wink wink...
it simply says, "The Sabbath was made for humans, not humans for the sabbath, therefore, humans take presidence over the Sabbath."
In the context, this seems to be Jesus practical answer to practical questions of what can be done on "Sabbath" It is not a bold statement that Jesus is in some mystical way so much the God Being that he is Lord over the Sabbath. It is a much more simple teaching than all the baggage that was added to the term "son of man" over time.
Just a thought, since the fight over how to keep this or that has always been a divisive hallmark of the COG's as if there was one true way to be or do. There is not and this statement of Jesus is a simple common sense judgement on his part concerning the practical questions of the times.
How many times in our COG expereince have we heard what others allow or don't and said, "oh brother." Life is decisions, choices and personal choices for self over what may be expected by the group. It's why, back in 1974, I personally decided to simply have the boys immunized. If you remember those days, that was not generally acceptable to the group. Health issues are not a group issue, not then and now now to me and never were. While some ministers told members, "I will either anoint you, or visit you in hospital, but not both," Both was always a part of pastoral care to me. I simply took responsibility and it didn't matter to me what others thought. Of course, I have never regreted this decision on the topic. It is where my practical Dutch Presbyterian background spoke louder than the opinions on "healing" of where I had ended up. I admit that rather than speak up on the goofiness of "make up", how and what to deleaven and many other vitally unimportant questions that fall into the realm of personal choice, I more quietly told individuals to make choices and if anyone asked me, I'd tell them it was not really their business to judge.
I recall a man who, maybe once a year, had to go to a trade show and "work" by standing behind a table, on the Sabbath. It was go or not be employed. I simply told him (1970's) that the church still be here when he got back and not to lose a job over such a thing. "humans take presidence over the sabbath."
If I had to choose a personal Christian faith, it would still be "Jewish" in nature, sabbath friendly and resurrection, not heavenly silliness, oriented. It would also eliminate Paul and his writings for me as, TO ME, his character hijacks the intent and meaning of the real Jesus, who never would have understood Paul's Hellenized Cosmic Christ concept, over what Jesus himself probably thought about himself. Only the blind, deaf, dumb and blindered miss the antagonistic relations between James and Paul or Peter and Paul. The book of James IS the Law response dear to the Jewish Christians to Paul's Faith/Works, Law/No law garble.
That said, I have other issues with the whole concept, history and presentation of both the OT and NT that does not lend itself to any belief system I am comfortable with as a group. Add the absolute personal belief I have in the evolution of all things, including man, over millions of years,originating in Africa, and I guess I'd make a good Unitarian at best.
Dennis said: "It has come to me over the years that Jesus had no intention of starting a church, whatever that concept may have been at the time, or create a new religion."
But Jesus said:
"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
There is a disconnect somewhere.
My statement is based on a bigger picture that includes the fact (TO ME :)that the Gospels were written well after the facts, are incoherent in places and don't tell the same seamless story. I also believe that words were put in Jesus mouth to promote the evolving "church" of the time or the need to start something to counter the disappointment of Jesus death. Remember, in some gospel accounts, even the disciples return to Galiee with no hint of anything like "I will build my church" in mind. Three (or two, I forget) of the Gospels say the first post resurrection meeting would be in Galilee but that is undone by Luke etc. Also, there is a Greek style of writing that produces long speeches by the famous that, based on what is known about them, they MIGHT have said. You see this in John where John is the only one who knows anything about Jesus long discourses and in Acts, where the author has long speeches of what is imagined to have been said.
For example, we have the whole story of Jesus praying three times etc...while all slept. Who heard it to write down. Jesus was arrested just a bit later. At best, it is an approximation if not invented whole cloth to suppose what Jesus might have prayed. Also, who knew what Pilate's wife's dream was? Who knew her private concerns? It is apologetic meant to get Pilate off the hook (and Romans) and place more blame on the jews. In fact, the Romans cruxified Jesus for sedition and cared little for his religious beliefs, save for any problems they would have caused Rome and peace in Jerusalem.
I know that we were all taught the Gospels are eyewitness accounts of actual events. They are not. The birth stories of Jesus, and the Resurrection stories are explanations for that which they simply knew little about in fact. That is why they contradict and can be shown (Birth stories) to have been added to spiff up the credentials of Jesus, long after his death.
It's a huge topic but part of what seems to need to be understood is the politic of each book, such as John being written to discredit Peter, and Mark written to refute that. (This puts John as being the first gospel, not the last..really big topic) and the missing end of Mark, it ends for real in 16:8 and the two endings of John. I feel that John 21, for example is the missing ending of Mark that was put there to show Peter is restored to leadership no matter if John felt one who denies (Peter) is not better or able to lead than one who betrays (Judas). If you know the nuances of both books, putting John 21 as the original end of Mark after 16:8 it's pretty cool. The real gospel of John ends in chapter 20 where "if all the words...." etc. ends it.
This perspective, if so, puts a crimp in James Tabor recent book where he says that Mark has no ending because the traditions had not yet evolved. Either way, he does understand the evolving nature of the text which most have no clue about but merely read it as is...
"Upon this rock..."
Words of Jesus, or Words put into Jesus' mouth by the Gospel writer.
There were no tape recorders, yellow pencils and lined notebooks back then.
Peter couldn't take shorthand.
The agenda of the writers shines through in their recollections.
Some glory in the "freedom" with which the Gospel writers retold the story of Jesus' life.
Others suspect it was largely made up, a dash of fact and a cup of fiction, stirred well, then half-baked.
Either way, it's impossible to tell the voice of Jesus from the voice of the Early Church, the audience to which the Gospels were addressed.
That's the real disconnect.
that's also why modern liberal scholars, and they have to be liberal or no one would bother to ask the proper questions, have struggled to find the real words of Jesus minus those of the evolving church writers etc.
The real words of Jesus are not those in RED. And frankly, for a man who was known by "thousands" and such a famous character of his times, precious little is known outside the Bible. some of the phrases that allude to "Jesus" are either inserts after the fact or may not be talking about the same person.
For all the contemporary and famous historians of the day, some of whom lived right in Jerusalem, the real record of Jesus is terribly silent. As a result, we have midrashic (mining of the OT to explain Jesus) stories, rather than hard facts of his life.
And here I sit, the agnostic, projecting myself back into ancient Sumeria. I'm lying awake at night, wondering if the Enuma Elish is the true word of the pantheon of gods, and reflect the will of El! Further, I'm attempting to resolve differences amongst the teachings of Marduk, Ea, Anu, and Tiamat. Of course, I'm also informed by the narrative of the flood in the Epic of Gilgamesh, fully knowing that a box shaped ark would roll on the seas, probably dashed to death by its cargo!
What's a poor Sumerian boy to do, knowing all of his family and neighbors sense the presence of the gods, like the shamans of the cave man era, yet knowing on a deep inner level that all of the events occurring during his life time had had a physical or scientific explanation!
I guess this is all part of the eternal struggle which all humans undergo in attempting to find the meaning of life!
Right on BB! And we will all get the real truth of the matter if we can know the true mind of Julio Ignatius and Edwardo Eusebius. Or we can just decide to make ourselves experts at the characters in Hansel and Gretel and the exact number of crumbs left by Gretel along the way and their significance to the word "bread." :)
At one point you state: "I also believe that words were put in Jesus mouth ..."
This essentially denies the integrity of the New Testament.
And then: "Remember, in some gospel accounts, even the disciples return to Galiee with no hint of anything like "I will build my church" in mind."
In the former example you deny the validity of the New Testament and then in the second example you use it to support a viewpoint.
We have a methodological problem here. I would not be able to respond to this form of argumentation. Just as well. The debate between atheists and Christians has gone on Ad Nauseum and is well documented. I don't think we are going to discover anything new here.
We believe what we want to believe.
As you said Dennis:"Or we can just decide to make ourselves experts at the characters in Hansel and Gretel and the exact number of crumbs left by Gretel along the way and their significance to the word "bread."
Maybe this will help you understand the tale of Hansel and Gretel a little better.
You may have heard about Hansel and Gretel and the “witch.” The story is a lie. It's a huge cover-up perpetrated by anti-Semites and began over 800 years ago. Here's the true history.
During the Middle Ages, when the Pope declared war on Muslims and compelled warriors to travel to the Holy Land to try and take back Jerusalem from Islamic control, one of the warriors was Rabbi Moisha Levi. He lived in southern Germany in the Black Forest with his wife Deborah Levi on a small plot of ground where they had a farm. Back then, Jewish ownership of land was rare. The ground was considered useless for farming, yet the Levis managed to survive.
Moisha decided to try and free Jerusalem from Islamic control for his people. But since Jews were being slaughtered by Crusaders, he feared he would be killed before leaving Germany. So he went over to the Holy Land as a knight and adopted Christian symbols and rituals hoping to be accepted by other Christians.
Moishe succeeded and was able to kill, according to a little-known legend, over 1,000 Muslims before he was captured and tortured to death. His circumcision betrayed him. He was staked out for three days and would have died sooner had it not been for a freak thunderstorm that provided him with some water which kept him alive a day longer than expected. But eventually he died and was virtually forgotten.
Back in Germany, Deborah didn't expect to see her husband again. So she decided to continue on the farm without him. She had two sons. One lived in Switzerland and was involved in banking, while the other lived in Italy and may have inspired Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. They sent money back to their mother to help her out, but she still needed help on the farm.
Deborah used to feed the birds and forest creatures by baking huge gingerbread cookies, which she placed on posts around her house. That's where the idea of her house being a gingerbread house came from. One day, three orphans came to her farm. When she saw them munching on the cookies, she took them in and fed them a decent meal. Two of the orphans were boys, whom she employed to help in the farming, and the girl was taught how to cook and sew.
After over a dozen children came to her farm — which by then was more like an orphanage — Hansel and Gretel arrived. They had been abandoned by their parents who couldn't afford to take care of them. They were discovered by Deborah feeding on the giant cookies and taken in to help on the farm.
Hansel became a talented metal worker while Gretel became an excellent cook. Deborah didn't pressure any of the children to convert to Judaism, because she knew being a Jew in a Christian region was practically forbidden. But she did teach Jewish traditions to those who were interested in her religion. Three of the boys were circumcised after they converted and wanted to become rabbis like her husband.
When the people in the nearby town discovered that three boys had been “bewitched” by Deborah and had turned against Christianity to embrace Judaism, they decided to go out to her farm and destroy her before she could commit more “evil.”
When men with torches arrived on the farm, Hansel and Gretel stood up for Deborah. They gathered the rest of the children around their beloved mistress in hopes that the men would leave after seeing their devotion. But it just enraged the men more. She was declared a witch and taken to one of the posts on which one of her giant cookies was secured and tied to it. When the three boys refused to denounce Judaism, they too were tied to posts. Wood was placed around Deborah and the boys and then lit. They were burned alive. That later was twisted by story tellers into her being thrown into the oven by Gretel and incinerated.
Hansel and Gretel tried to save Deborah and the three boys. But the men held them back. The bother and sister were eventually returned to their parents. The farm was torched and the rest of the children were scattered. Three of them walked to Switzerland to be with Deborah’s son Isaac.
They managed to keep the true story about Deborah, Hansel, and Gretel alive, though few who aren't Jewish know about it. A model of the farm was built, but it has since disappeared, as has much of the evidence that would exonerate Deborah Levi.
Anon..thanks for the background. Reminds me of singing "Ring around the Rosey" as a kid, only to find I was singing about the symptoms and method of corpse disposal for the plague, evidently!
"In the former example you deny the validity of the New Testament and then in the second example you use it to support a viewpoint.'
Both observations deny the coherence of the story and point out contradictions within the texts.
Jesus Predicts Peter's Denial
27"You will all fall away," Jesus told them, "for it is written:
" 'I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered.'[c] 28But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee." 29Peter declared, "Even if all fall away, I will not."
Jesus promises a first meeting in Galilee. The 21st chapter of John has this first meeting recorded.
6"Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.'
8Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
So a second reminder of the first meeting in Galilee and remind Peter.
John 21 shows why Peter was to be there in Galilee..to be forgiven.
NEXT Matthew 28
8So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."
Second Gospel to show FIRST meeting of Jesus and crew is in Galilee, not Jerusalem. Women's fear of empty tomb in Mark now turns "afraid..BUT filled with joy." This is pure upgrade of the story by "Matthew" to a more positive one than Marks endless ending.
NOW Luke 24
" 5In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' " 8Then they remembered his words."
Luke edits the meeting from what Mark and Matthew OBVIOUSLY meant about it being FIRST in Galilee to "remember when he was with you in Galilee, how he told you he would..." The telling changes and events are arranged so they can be in Jerusalem. "Then they remembered his words" is a nudge for you and I to remember it as well and forget what Mark and Matthew said about meeting in Galilee.
Its interesting how later in the same chapter, they gave Jesus "broiled" fish. Good trick if this is in Jerusalem. Ice was hard to come by unless they broiled dried fish. Luke is getting the broiled fish of the Galilee story in John 21, the real ending of Mark, mixed in with his appearance in Jerusalem story.
John simply has it all in Jerusalem in John 20. The "again" in 21:1 is an edit to Marks original ending to make it fit the usage for the ending of John in which Peter is forgiven inspite of the previous 20 chapters of John comparing Peter to a Judas and thus, the "Disciple who Jesus loved" John, should be leader and not Peter.
I know...who cares..ha. Interesting evolution of the story to me.
Dennis said: “The book of James IS the Law response dear to the Jewish Christians to Paul's Faith/Works, Law/No law garble.”
You first have to ask yourself what law Paul is talking about and to whom he is addressing his remarks.
Rom 2:14-15 Natural law—what “everyone” knows is right or wrong. E.G., incest is a taboo or unwritten law in almost all cultures, past and present—have you ever asked yourself why?
Paul goes on to address the law of the commandments in 2:17 … but in 2:29 we see that anyone who keeps the law, whether Jew or Greek or male or female or bond or free is considered a Jew (not only a repository and supposed teacher of the law but a commandment keeper) if the laws are written on your heart and mind (he/she keeps the law from the heart because he/she is circumcised of heart) through faith.
In Romans 7:1-4 Paul is talking about Pax Romana—he is, after all speaking to Gentile converts in Rome—and Roman law did not allow divorce. Moses allowed for divorce, so he is not speaking about the laws of the Jews. The only way out of a Roman marriage was through death, hence all the poisonings and murders among the aristocracy in Rome.
In Romans 7:5-6 Paul is talking about the law of sin and death—God’s 10 Cs—if you sin, you will die.
Therefore, before you through out Paul, and assume that his gospel is different than Christ’s, and you think you are free to obey the writings of one but not the other, you had best get deeper into the Scriptures and read what the words actually say on the page and not what some man or tradition says it says.
James says his faith is shown by his works. This most certainly does not disagree with Paul who strove to keep the law, what law? A law that must be kept by obedience—the 10Cs. Abraham’s faith and obedience (he got up and went when told to do so) were counted as righteousness, even though the law (10Cs) had not yet been codified.
If whatever is not of faith is sin, then anyone who does what he/she believes is right today (which may be less or more than you or I know or he/she might know tomorrow they are not a hypocrite, whom Christ said would not inherit the kingdom [Pharisees]). Deut 30:1-3 God is perfectly capable of teaching you what you do not know today tomorrow, but your heart must be willing—you cannot wait till you have all knowledge or perfect truth before you obey.
"you had best get deeper into the Scriptures and read what the words actually say on the page and not what some man or tradition says it says."
I soaked in the scriptures for 30 years and the spin put to them by both "men" and "tradition" said. I grew up in a Dutch reformed tradition that had me memorizing whole chapters word for word for years as a child. This book I know, warts and all.
It's when you read them as they are written that one can see the kinds of things I have come to see. As Isaac Asimov said..."the best evidence against the Bible is the Bible."
The idea that Paul was not speaking of Torah is a COG apologetic of sorts. Paul actually said the Torah was "sin" Rom 3:20,5:13, brought wrath 4:15 and death 7:10 Abrogation of the law was implicit in Paul's theology. The objections in the NT which Paul raised, whether against Jews, Jewish Christians or even Gentile Christians were Sabbath observance, holidays, circumcision, dietary laws, purity regulations etc. Especially against Gentile Christians who wanted to observe Jewish ways. Paul attached Jews for not living up to them and that they killed Christ. Romans killed Jesus, but the Jews killed Paul's Cosmic Christ.
Paul turned the Jewish scriptures upside down and ended up hijacking Abraham as being the father of the Gentiles. Paul uses the father of Circumcision to attack the practice for which Abraham was praised for doing. Frankly,Paul could be succesful with Gentiles who did not know what the Torah actually was or said. Jews would spot Paul's misuse and misunderstandings very quickly, and do to this day.
Romans 9-11 are Paul's definitive explanation of how he views law or "teaching" as Torah means. It is negative in the extreme.
I would also note Paul's unwillingness to cooperate with James or Peter. Paul was a man, not unlike many COG ,"start my own true work," ministers who said bluntly of those who knew a human Jesus and were either related to him or disciples of him...
11I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ."
Paul's Jesus was hallucinatory, revealed in his head.
2: 6 :As for those who seemed to be important—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance—those men added nothing to my message."
Wow, men who knew Jesus personally can't tell Paul anything or add to his gospel message. Sounds like Dave Pack :)
9James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars"
Paul plainly said he, like Jeremiah and Jesus, was called before birth! Humble guy here!
Anyway, Paul was anti Torah (law, teaching), and not just speaking of some more generic concept of law.
Paul also badly represented Judaism as more evil and lifeless than it was in fact and the law as more harsh and a form of bondage than, in fact, the keepers of it considered it. I personally am doubting that Paul was his glowing account of himself as a "Pharisee of the Pharisee" and "above my peers" etc. I'm sure his peers would have questioned his devotion to things Pharisaical with those Roman citizen papers. I personally feel Paul was a temple policeman of sorts working for the Saducees who for some reason grew to hate Judaism. When Paul tries to talk like a Pharisee in his writings,he often does it badly and in ways that would be considered non-sensical.
Paul also had a great talent of accusing others of the things he did himself and telling everyone he wasn't lying. Someone must have felt he was. Nuther story I
suppose and we can wrap it up.
PS for sure
Rabbi Solomon Schechter said of Paul's viw of Judaism..
:One thing is quite clear evn to every student, and this is that a curious alternative is always haunting our exegesis of the epistles. either the theology of the Rabbis must be wrong, its conception of God debasing, its leding motives materialistic and course, its teachigs lacking in enthusiasm and spirituality, or the Apostle to the Gentiles is quite unintelligible."
"Some Aspects of Rabbinic Theology"
(Psa 119:160 KJV) Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
Herbertus I taught that Simon Magus had hijacked Christianity, changing it during the "lost century". As it now turns out, there is plenty of recorded history from that so-called lost century. The proto-Catholics condemned Simon as a gnostic heretic, and destroyed whatever writings of Simons that they could find.
If anyone transformed Christianity from its Jewish origins, it was the Apostle Paul with his noachide teachings. This term refers to the lesser standards to which Jews held Gentile converts.
"...it was the Apostle Paul with his noachide teachings. This term refers to the lesser standards to which Jews held Gentile converts."
a common belief, but completely false....Paul never taught that there were different standards for Jews & Gentiles.
the standard is the same for all mankind.
Why how quaint. Which one of the ACOGs do you attend?
Try reading the epistles attributed to Paul without your Armstrong filters on. Also, please read The Jesus Dynasty by Dr. James Tabor.
One really must go to great lengths to squeeze a square Paul into a round Jesus.
"a common belief, but completely false....Paul never taught that there were different standards for Jews & Gentiles.
the standard is the same for all mankind."
Paul was a fabrication. He is not who the NT says he is. The Jewish community understand this. The Christian community does not want to deal with it. It must have Paul to justify its doctrine and existance.
Please read the following from the Jewish Encylcopedia
"The claim in Rom. xi. 1 and Phil. iii. 5 that he was of the tribe of Benjamin, suggested by the similarity of his name with that of the first Israelitish king, is, if the passages are genuine, a false one, no tribal lists or pedigrees of this kind having been in existence at that time (see Eusebius, "Hist. Eccl." i. 7, 5; Pes. 62b; M. Sachs, "Beiträge zur Sprach- und Alterthumsforschung," 1852, ii. 157). Nor is there any indication in Paul's writings or arguments that he had received the rabbinical training ascribed to him by Christian writers, ancient and modern; least of all could he have acted or written as he did had he been, as is alleged (Acts xxii. 3), the disciple of Gamaliel I., the mild Hillelite. His quotations from Scripture, which are all taken, directly or from memory, from the Greek version, betray no familiarity with the original Hebrew text. The Hellenistic literature, such as the Book of Wisdom and other Apocrypha, as well as Philo (see Hausrath, "Neutestamentliche Zeitgeschichte," ii. 18-27; Siegfried, "Philo von Alexandria," 1875, pp. 304-310; Jowett, "Commentary on the Thessalonians and Galatians," i. 363-417), was the sole source for his eschatological and theological system. Notwithstanding the emphatic statement, in Phil. iii. 5, that he was "a Hebrew of the Hebrews"—a rather unusual term, which seems to refer to his nationalistic training and conduct (comp. Acts xxi. 40, xxii. 2), since his Jewish birth is stated in the preceding words "of the stock of Israel"—he was, if any of the Epistles that bear his name are really his, entirely a Hellenist in thought and sentiment."
Anon...Thanks! I thought I was the only one who understood the controversey over Paul and his place in the story. As noted of Paul..."If he was a Pharisee, he was unlike any Pharisee before him." He tries to sound like one in his reasonings, but falls on his face in a number of places, badly, and has a totally flawed view of Judaism and how the Law was viewed or applied.
The Noahide Laws were those they applied to Gentiles in Acts 15. It's what James is said to concluded etc, for the gentiles. Paul, at the Pen of Luke, seems to comply in Acts 15, but in practice, as in Corinth, he negated even those by telling the Corinthians "eat whatever...we know the idol is nothing but in every man is not that knowledge." I don't disagree with that, but it is not what Paul agreed in the Acts 15 account to administer.
He was simply the Lone Ranger and cooperation was not in his vocab. Kinda like all the chief COG gurus.
Paul is not saying :- "eat whatever...we know the idol is nothing but in every man is not that knowledge."
"1Co 8:4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one."
It’s pretty clear the whole discussion is referring to the principle of eating meat which has been sacrificed to idols, and in context Paul is saying that we know the idol is nothing, so the meat is not defiled by it. But further on he is stressing not offending someone that isn’t happy about this point. In that case don’t affect their conscience.
Clean or unclean doesn’t come into it – it’s the idol problem that is being addressed.
(Please don’t just brand this as ‘Armstrongite’. Yes, as it happens it would be, but it’s also the straightforward reading of the passage as well).
I agree that Paul was discussing idol meat specifically. That is my point. The Noahide Rules given by James by which Gentiles could come into the faith without converting to Judaism etc were:
19"It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.
20Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.
21For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath."
Paul, when he went back to Corinth, dismissed the idol rule as well and probably didn't care about any of it. Luke makes Paul look more compliant than he was in fact. That was Lukes job and the purpose of Acts which reflects a kinder, more gentle relationship between Paul and Apostles. In fact, it did not exist. Luke is Paul's apologist.
The comment about "21For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath."
is James assuring the Jewish Christians that their perspectives would not be going away, which they feared if Gentiles were admitted to the faith. It was not meaning that, as I was told and taught as WCG minister..."and the Gentiles can learn all the rest of Moses's rules in church every week."
It does NOT mean that. It simple means, "not to fear, Judaism is not threatened. Moses, like McDonalds, is everywhere and has been for a long time. Our perspective for US, is not threatened if the Gentiles come to the Church."
There clearly were two different ways of being an early Christian and Acts 15 defines rules for Gentiles. Ultimately, Paul didn't care for those rules either and went his way, giving us the Roman, Hellenized Pauline Christianity we have today.
I know that in WCG we were taught and I taught it that the Gentiles had the Acts 15 rules as ADDITIONAL rules due to Gentile infractions, and they would pick up Sabbath, Holyday and unclean stuff in the synagogue or church as they went along. This simply is not true. The Noahide Rules were the ONLY rules for Gentiles and the Jewish Church, under James remained mostly Jewish in nature until the destruction of the Temple and the rest is history.
Christianity was a mere subset of Judaism. The gentile question confused the issue and was "solved." Paul ran off on his own and wrote most of the doctrines and beliefs we find in the NT based on his Hellenized views of a Cosmic Christ that he saw in vision but never met in real life. He certainly doesn't quote Jesus in any way when it would serve him to do so.
If you wish authentic Christianity of sorts, one has to pick between James OR Paul. They were hardly speaking the same things.
For our atheistic contributors who are fond of scholarly citations, as long as the citations are anti-God, how about this one:
"Of course there is a God. Where do you think all this stuff came from? Did Captain Kirk bring it back from the Final Frontier?"
I believe that this was an additional reason why HWA embraced British Israelism so strongly. By arbitrarily designating us all as physical Israelites, he placed us into the Jewish Christian category, as opposed to Noahide Gentile Christianity. This also removed him from the authority of the RCC, whose history literally does trace them back to the early apostles, verifying that the primacy of Peter is vested in the RCC.
Not "Atheist" here. Agnostic perhaps in transition and Non-condemnational in practice. I have no problem with their being a God. I have a problem with God as defined and exemplified in the Bible. A real God would be much much bigger, not prone to killing or being jealous of the attention other local gods were getting, and not in need of worship and adoration or else. This is the Bible God. Cultic and more like a human than one likes to admit.
And why would one quote someone they don't agree with to make a point they don't believe? No one does that.
I don't know. I am not sure HWA would have been capable of that much planning or having a motive that big. I could be wrong. I just think he honestly believed the BI thing to be true and saw the Sabbath and Holydays in the Gospels and a Jewish Jesus, and like all others who see it that way, spent lots of time trying to show how Paul fit into it all, which is a good trick.
I doubt any WCG minister ever heard of the Noahide laws for Gentiles or that they actually were a bonified way to bring gentiles into the Jewish community and then good a way to bring the Gentiles into the Jewish Church. I know HWA never heard of such things. I had to figure it out years later myself with personal study. I did get to teach it at my last festival sermon in Myrtle and my Epistles teacher took me out to dinner to learn more! Cool beans...then came the end..ha.
The U.S. Congress officially recognized the Noahide Laws in legislation which was passed
by both houses. Congress and the President of the United States, George Bush, indicated in Public Law 102-14, 102nd Congress, that the United States of America was founded upon the Seven Universal Laws of Noah, and that these Laws have been the bedrock of society from the dawn of civilization.
They also acknowledged that the Seven Laws of Noah are the foundation upon which civilization stands and that recent weakening of these principles threaten the fabric of civilized society, and that justified preoccupation in
educating the Citizens of the United States of America and future generations is needed.
For this purpose, this Public Law designated March 26, 1991 as Education Day, U.S.A.
In the late 50’s or maybe early 60’s The Plain Truth had a lot of articles concerning Free Masons. I just can’t remember what they said.
Living Church of God has been known to meet in Masonic temples or buildings (as did Herbert Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God). Freemasonry is a considered
religion but not a Christian religion.
Rod Meredith confessed to being initiated into the DeMolays, a Masonic club for boys, when he was a teenager. ("Trust Christ's Leadership,"taped sermon, July 6, 1996.) He attended Ambassador College from 1949 to 1952. Some
believe that groups such as the DeMolays are "feeder groups" for the Masons ("being groomed for potential membership in Masonry and the Eastern Star when they reach adulthood"). Could Dr. C. Paul Meredith (Roderick Meredith's
uncle) perhaps have been a Mason himself? Dr. Meredith was an evangelist in the Worldwide Church.
( I read this about Rod in the exit and support web site)
If one traces roots of Noahide Laws with Freemasons, Kabbalah, the Bilderberger Group etc. one can see a pattern being formed that is interesting, to say the least.
If Rod Meredeth was initiated into DeMolays, he had to have had a Mason connection in his family.
( that's how it was in our family, you have to authenticate your Mason lineage)
Thereby I can not believe HWA was not privy to the Noahide Laws. These men( Meredeths) were in the formative years of Radio Church.
Even the Auditorium has been suggested to link to specifications of the Masonic.
BB, Dennis and any others can correct me or enlighten me more on any errors of my deduced connections of the above mentioned groups .
The Noahide Laws may not be known by average church goers, but they are well known by the powers that
'be' and those who work behind the scenes of history down through the ages.
Trudie, because in so many cases HWA did not properly credit his sources and influences, it is difficult to tell who many of them are. He borrowed from the Quakers (conscientious objector), and the Mormons (family of God), and we know of his connection to COG-7, and indirectly to the Adventist movement. Years after the fact, upon discovery of literature in his basement, the influences of GG Ruppert were discovered. I'd imagine that if we went on forever, we would still be discovering things which we don't really want to know.
During my tenure at AC, ( as nearly as I can tell, I got the boot about a week before Dennis arrived on campus!) I do recall the freemasons being lightly condemned. Jack Elliott had written an article about them,as apparently he had been involved. If there were any masonic influences throughout the WCG and AC, I am sure they would have been very subtle, and probably uncredited. But, who knows? The whole WCG scene was so confusing, that some have even speculated it was a covert storefront operation of the CIA!
The only thing we can really know for sure was that it certainly was not "God's True Church".
Trudie..interesting. I just never heard any references to any of that at all. I suppose connections can be made but it was never anything that I was conscious of. RCM spent more time telling us he used to box Golden Gloves.
I rented Masonic Temples for Church. They were always very nice about it and I liked speaking between the pillars of Boaz and Jochim or something like that..:) If there was a more sinister HWA or even WCG, I was certainly out of the loop.
they did put a rope around my neck once and make me roll one pantleg up...when I was ordained Preaching Elder...was that bad? :)
Was "creation" a literal six days?
Or were there other processes?
There are pros and cons,though not too many of the former we trust.
I doubt if any person on earth can positively,absolutely assert that earth was formed within six days. Even science cannot offer either TOTAL confirmation or riposte.
We see the geological calendar unravelled with various interpretations.All opinions are probably equal, though some more than others.
Did Adam wear a fig leaf?Did Eve eat the "apple"? Who knows.
What is important is that this universe is "upheld" by various laws of physics and chemistry.Where did these laws come from? Did they self-evolve?That is the question.So, until we have absolute corroboration of the provenance of man and his cosmos,every opinion is valid in today's questioning society.
Even GTA allowed for an earth that might be billions of years old.
Was there a Noatian flood? We have yet to find the ARK-AEOLOGICAL evidence of such.
I like Gamaliel's reference to "Armstrong filters",which lens itself to,and embraces a wide scope of spectral comprehension.
>>Trudie..interesting. I just never heard any references to any of that at all. I suppose connections can be made but it was never anything that I was conscious of.<<
Do an internet search and you will find many references between Noahide laws, Freemasons and Kabbalah.
I put this quote in one of my folders while searching about the subject.
"However, Christ condemned the traditions of the Mishnah (early Talmud) and the Scribes and Pharisees who taught it, because the Talmud nullifies the teachings of Scripture.
The warning of Jesus Christ about the traditions of men that make null and void the Word of God (Mark 7:1-13) is a direct reference to the Mishnah.
The false doctrine of merited righteousness through observance of the Noahide Laws is an affront to the grace of God, who imputes Christ's righteousness to sinful men on the basis of faith alone.<<
and again another quote
""With respect G-d's commandments, all of humanity is divided into two general classifications - the Children of Israel and the Children of Noah.
The Children of Israel are the Jews, the descendants of the Patriarch Jacob.
They are commanded to fulfill the 613 commandments of the Torah.
The Children of Noah are the Gentiles, comprising the seventy nations of the world. They are commanded concerning the Seven Universal Laws, also known as the Seven Laws of the Children of Noah or the Seven Noahide Laws."
According to Masonic doctrine, a Noahide is an average Gentile, while a "true Noachida" would be a "righteous Gentile" (eg., a Mason) who pursues the study
and keeping of the 7 Laws, thereby attaining to an advanced level of spirituality:
"When one of the Children of Noah engages in the study of the Seven
Universal Laws, he is able to attain a spiritual level higher than the High Priest of the Jews, who alone has the sanctity to enter the Holy of Holies
in the Temple in Jerusalem."<<
This coupled with Jewish Kabbalah mysticism.
Under the guise of Torah Judaism, the Kabbalists are taking both Jew and Gentile back to Egypt, the ancient house of bondage - a fact confirmed by Theosophist, H.P. Blavatsky, who traced the Kabbalah to the mystery religions of Babylon and Egypt
end of quotes
Look further into this Dennis and you will see it expands to areas you may not have been aware of.
One study just leads to another and strange that most go back to
**mystery religions of Babylon and Egypt**
Who would benefit from all these sources of 'truth' coming from Babylon and Egypt?
Could there have been a planned covert "cover up" all these many centuries to navigate one away from the plan of God?
Just a thought.
Hasn't President Bush and members of Congress also attended functions in which Reverend Moon was proclaimed "Emperor of the Universe"?
Just trying to make the point that when it comes to 'proclamations', they need to be(like the sacrifices), taken with some salt, due to the "mutual backscratching" nature of politics.
Hi Mary Kay
It pays to be careful using salt when backscratching.
It might sting.
Gamaliel could have added that "Armstrong Filters" were polarised.
Mind you, Armstrong filters could also be bad for the health; depends on how much tar they have in them.
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