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The Bible and Slavery for Chris and Ben and anyone else

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved on March 28, 2009 at 3:05 pm

The Bible and Slavery

 

 

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The Bible teaches that slavery, in one form or another (including spiritual, mental, and physical), is always the fruit of disobedience to God and His law/word. (This is not to say that the enslavement of any one person, or group of people, is due to their sin, for many have been enslaved unjustly, like Joseph and numerous Christians throughout history.) Personal and civil liberty is the result of applying the truth of the Scriptures. As a person or nation more fully applies the principles of Christianity, there will be increasing freedom in every realm of life. Sanctification for a person, or nation, is a gradual process. The fruit of changed thinking and action, which comes from rooting sin out of our lives, may take time to see. This certainly applies historically in removing slavery from the Christian world.

 

Slavery is a product of the fall of man and has existed in the world since that time. Slavery was not a part of God’s original created order, and as God’s created order has gradually been re-established since the time of Christ, slavery has gradually been eliminated. Christian nations (those based upon Biblical principles) have led the way in the abolition of slavery. America was at the forefront of this fight. After independence, great steps were taken down the path of ending slavery – probably more than had been done by any other nation up until that time in history (though certainly more could have been done). Many who had settled in America had already been moving toward these ends. Unfortunately, the generations following the Founders did not continue to move forward in a united fashion. A great conflict was the outcome of this failure.

 

When God gave the law to Moses, slavery was a part of the world, and so the law of God recognized slavery. But this does not mean that slavery was God’s original intention. The law of Moses was given to fallen man. Some of the ordinances deal with things not intended for the original creation order, such as slavery and divorce. These will be eliminated completely only when sin is eliminated from the earth. God’s laws concerning slavery provided parameters for treatment of slaves, which were for the benefit of all involved. God desires all men and nations to be liberated. This begins internally and will be manifested externally to the extent internal change occurs. The Biblical slave laws reflect God’s redemptive desire, for men and nations.

 

Types of Slavery Permitted by the Bible the Mosaic law permitted some types of slavery. These include:

 

Voluntary servitude by the sons of Israel (indentured servants)

Those who needed assistance, could not pay their debts, or needed protection from another were allowed under Biblical law to become indentured servants (see Ex. 21:2-6; Deut. 15:12-18). They were dependent on their master instead of the state. This was a way to aid the poor and give them an opportunity to get back on their feet. It was not to be a permanent subsidy. Many early settlers to America came as indentured servants. These servants were well treated and when released, given generous pay.

Voluntary permanent slaves

If indentured servants so chose, they could remain a slave (Ex. 21:2-6; Deut.. 15:16-17). Their ear was pierced to indicate this permanent subjection. The law recognized that some people want the security of enslavement. Today, there are some people who would rather be dependent upon government to provide their needs (and with that provision accepting their commands) than do what is necessary to live free from its provision and direction. Some even act in a manner that puts them in jail, desiring the care and provision they get more than personal freedom.

 

Thief or criminal making restitution

A thief who could not, or did not, make restitution was sold as a slave: “If a man steals . . . he shall surely make restitution; if he owns nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft” (Ex. 22:1,3). The servitude ceased when enough work was done to pay for the amount due in restitution.

Pagans could be permanent slaves

Leviticus 25:44-46 states: As for your male and female slaves whom you may have – you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you. Then, too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that you may gain acquisition, and out of their families who are with you, whom they will have produced in your land; they also may become your possession. You may even bequeath them to your sons after you, to receive as a possession; you can use them as permanent slaves. But in respect to your countrymen [brother], the sons of Israel, you shall not rule with severity over one another.

In the Sabbath year all Hebrew debtors/slaves were released from their debts.. This was not so for foreigners (Deut. 15:3). Theologian R.J. Rushdoony writes, “since unbelievers are by nature slaves, they could be held as life-long slaves” 1 without piercing the ear to indicate their voluntary servitude (Lev. 25:44-46). This passage in Leviticus says that pagans could be permanent slaves and could be bequeathed to the children of the Hebrews. However, there are Biblical laws concerning slaves that are given for their protection and eventual redemption. Slaves could become part of the covenant and part of the family, even receiving an inheritance. Under the new covenant, a way was made to set slaves free internally, which should then be following by external preparation enabling those who were slaves to live at liberty, being self-governed under God.

 

Involuntary Servitude is Not Biblical

Exodus 21:16 says: “He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death.” Deuteronomy 24:7 states: “If a man is caught kidnapping any of his countrymen of the sons of Israel, and he deals with him violently, or sells him, then that thief shall die; so you shall purge the evil from among you.”

 

Kidnapping and enforced slavery are forbidden and punishable by death. This was true for any man (Ex. 21:16), as well as for the Israelites (Deut. 24:7). This was stealing a man’s freedom. While aspects of slavery are Biblical (for punishment and restitution for theft, or for those who prefer the security of becoming a permanent bondservant), the Bible strictly forbids involuntary servitude.

 

Any slave that ran away from his master (thus expressing his desire for freedom) was to be welcomed by the Israelites, not mistreated, and not returned. Deuteronomy 23:15-16 states:

 

You shall not hand over to his master a slave who has escaped from his master to you. He shall live with you in your midst, in the place which he shall choose in one of your towns where it pleases him; you shall not mistreat him.

 

This implied slaves must be treated justly, plus they had a degree of liberty. Other slave laws confirm this. In addition, such action was a fulfillment of the law of love in both the Old and New Testaments. The law of God declares: “. . . you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:17-18). Leviticus 19:33-34 clearly reveals that this applies to strangers and aliens as well: “The stranger, . . . you shall not do him wrong.. . . . you shall love him as yourself.”

 

It was forbidden to take the life or liberty of any other man. Rushdoony writes:

 

1. Thus, the only kind of slavery permitted is voluntary slavery, as Deuteronomy 23:15,16 makes very clear. Biblical law permits voluntary slavery because it recognizes that some people are not able to maintain a position of independence. To attach themselves voluntarily to a capable man and to serve him, protected by law, is thus a legitimate way of life, although a lesser one. The master then assumes the role of the benefactor, the bestower of welfare, rather that the state, and the slave is protected by the law of the state. A runaway slave thus cannot be restored to his master: he is free to go. The exception is the thief or criminal who is working out his restitution. The Code of Hammurabi decreed death for men who harbored a runaway slave; the Biblical law provided for the freedom of the slave.

 

2.  Rushdoony also says that the selling of slaves was forbidden. Since Israelites were voluntary slaves, and since not even a foreign slave could be compelled to return to his master (Deut. 23:15, 16), slavery was on a different basis under the law than in non-Biblical cultures. The slave was a member of the household, with rights therein. A slave-market could not exist in Israel. The slave who was working out restitution for theft had no incentive to escape, for to do so would make him an incorrigible criminal and liable to death.

 

3. When slaves (indentured servants) were acquired under the law, it was their labor that was purchased, not their person, and the price took into account the year of freedom (Lev. 25:44-55; Ex. 21:2; Deut. 15:12-13).

 

Examination of the Biblical view of slavery enables us to more effectively address the assertion that slavery was America’s original sin. In light of the Scriptures we cannot say that slavery, in a broad and general sense, is sin. But this brief look at the Biblical slave laws does reveal how fallen man’s example of slavery has violated God’s laws, and America’s form of slavery in particular violated various aspects of the law, as well as the general spirit of liberty instituted by Christ.

The Christian foundation and environment of America caused most people to seek to view life from a Biblical perspective. Concerning slavery, they would ask “Is it Biblical?” While most of the Founders saw it was God’s desire to eliminate the institution, others attempted to justify it. At the time of the Civil War some people justified Southern slavery by appealing to the Bible. However, through this brief review of the Old Testament slave laws we have seen that American slavery violated some of these laws, not to mention the spirit of liberty instituted by the coming of Christ.

 

Slavery and the New Testament
When Paul wrote how slaves and masters were to act (Eph. 6:5-9; Col. 4:1; 1 Tim. 6:1-2; Col. 3:22-25; Titus 2:9-10), he was not endorsing involuntary slavery or the Roman slave system. He was addressing the attitudes, actions, and matters of the heart of those Christians who found themselves in slavery or as slave owners. This encompassed many people, for half the population of Rome and a large proportion of the Roman Empire were slaves. Many people were converted to Christianity while slaves or slave owners, and many Christians were enslaved.

It is in this context that we can better understand the example of Paul, Onesimus, and Philemon. Onesimus, a slave of Philemon who apparently stole some money from his master and ran away, encountered Paul in Rome and became a Christian. Paul sent him back to his master carrying the letter to Philemon. Author of the famous Bible Handbook, Henry Halley writes: The Bible gives no hint as to how the master received his returning slave. But there is a tradition that says his master did receive him, and took Paul’s veiled hint and gave the slave his liberty. That is the way the Gospel works. Christ in the heart of the slave made the slave recognize the social usages of his day, and go back to his master determined to be a good slave and live out his natural life as a slave. Christ in the heart of the master made the master recognize the slave as a Christian brother and give him his liberty. There is a tradition that Onesimus afterward became a bishop of Berea. [i]

The Mosaic slave laws and the writings of Paul benefited and protected the slaves as best as possible in their situation. God’s desire for any who are enslaved is freedom (Luke 4:18; Gal. 5:1). Those who are set free in Christ then need to be prepared to walk in liberty. Pagan nations had a much different outlook toward slaves, believing slaves had no rights or privileges. Because of the restrictions and humane aspect of the Mosaic laws on slavery, it never existed on a large scale in Israel, and did not exhibit the cruelties seen in Egypt, Greece, Rome, Assyria and other nations.

 

Slavery has existed throughout the world since after the fall of man. Egypt and other ancient empires enslaved multitudes. Greece and Rome had many slaves, taken from nations they conquered. Slavery was a part of almost every culture. While some Christian nations had taken steps to end slavery, it was still an established part of most of the world when America began to be settled. Many of the early settlers came to America as indentured servants, indebted to others for a brief period of time to pay for their passage. England at this time recognized the forced labor of the apprentice, the hired servant, convicts, and indentured servants. Some of these laborers were subject to whippings and other forms of punishment. These forms of servitude were limited in duration and “transmitted no claim to the servant’s children.” [ii]

 

According to Hugh Thomas in The Slave Trade, about 11,328,000 Africans were transported to the new world between 1440 and 1870. Of these about 4 million went to Brazil, 2.5 million to Spanish colonies, 2 million to the British West Indies, 1.6 million to the French West Indies, and 500,000 went to what became the United States of America. [iii]

A Dutch ship, seeking to unload its human cargo, brought the first slaves to Virginia in 1619. Over the next century a small number of slaves were brought to America. In 1700 there were not more than 20 to 30 thousand black slaves in all the colonies. There were some people who spoke against slavery (e.g. the Quakers and Mennonites) [iv] and some political efforts to check slavery (as in laws of Massachusetts and Rhode Island), but these had little large scale effect. The colonies’ laws recognized and protected slave property. Efforts were made to restrict the slave trade in several colonies, but the British government overruled such efforts and the trade went on down to the Revolution.

When independence was declared from England, the legal status of slavery was firmly established in the colonies, though there were plenty of voices speaking out against it, and with independence those voices would increase.

 

America’s Founders and Slavery


Some people suggest today that all early Americans must have been despicable to allow such an evil as slavery. They say early America should be judged as evil and sinful, and anything they have to say should be discounted. But if we were to judge modern America by this same standard, it would be far more wicked – we are not merely enslaving people, but we are murdering tens of millions of innocent unborn children through abortion. These people claim that they would not have allowed slavery if they were alive then. They would speak out and take any measures necessary. But where is their outcry and action to end slavery in the Sudan today? (And slavery there is much worse than that in early America.) Some say we should not listen to the Founders of America because they owned slaves, or at least allowed slavery to exist in the society. However, if we were to cut ourselves off from the history of nations that had slavery in the past we would have to have nothing to do with any people because almost every society has had slavery, including African Americans, for many African societies sold slaves to the Europeans; and up to ten percent of blacks in America owned slaves.

 

The Founders Believed Slavery Was Fundamentally Wrong. The overwhelming majority of early Americans and most of America’s leaders did not own slaves. Some did own slaves, which were often inherited (like George Washington at age eleven), but many of these people set them free after independence. Most Founders believed that slavery was wrong and that it should be abolished.

William Livingston, signer of the Constitution and Governor of New Jersey, wrote to an anti-slavery society in New York (John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and President of the Continental Congress, was President of this society):

I would most ardently wish to become a member of it [the anti-slavery society] and . . . I can safely promise them that neither my tongue, nor my pen, nor purse shall be wanting to promote the abolition of what to me appears so inconsistent with humanity and Christianity. . . . May the great and the equal Father of the human race, who has expressly declared His abhorrence of oppression, and that He is no respecter of persons, succeed a design so laudably calculated to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke. [v]

 

John Quincy Adams, who worked tirelessly for years to end slavery, spoke of the anti-slavery views of the southern Founders, including Jefferson who owned slaves:

The inconsistency of the institution of domestic slavery with the principles of the Declaration of Independence was seen and lamented by all the southern patriots of the Revolution; by no one with deeper and more unalterable conviction than by the author of the Declaration himself. No charge of insincerity or hypocrisy can be fairly laid to their charge. Never from their lips was heard one syllable of attempt to justify the institution of slavery. They universally considered it as a reproach fastened upon them by the unnatural step-mother country and they saw that before the principles of the Declaration of Independence, slavery, in common with every other mode of oppression, was destined sooner or later to be banished from the earth. Such was the undoubting conviction of Jefferson to his dying day. In the Memoir of His Life, written at the age of seventy-seven, he gave to his countrymen the solemn and emphatic warning that the day was not distant when they must hear and adopt the general emancipation of their slaves. “Nothing is more certainly written,” said he, “in the book of fate, than that these people are to be free.” [vi]

The Founding Fathers believed that blacks had the same God-given inalienable rights as any other peoples. James Otis of Massachusetts said in 1764 that “The colonists are by the law of nature freeborn, as indeed all men are, white or black.” [vii]

 

There had always been free blacks in America who owned property, voted, and had the same rights as other citizens. [viii]

Most of the men who gave us the Declaration and the Constitution wanted to see slavery abolished. For example, George Washington wrote in a letter to Robert Morris:

I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it [slavery]. [ix]

Charles Carroll, Signer of Declaration from Maryland, wrote:

Why keep alive the question of slavery? It is admitted by all to be a great evil. [x]

 

Benjamin Rush, Signer from Pennsylvania, stated:

Domestic slavery is repugnant to the principles of Christianity. . . . It is rebellion against the authority of a common Father. It is a practical denial of the extent and efficacy of the death of a common Savior. It is an usurpation of the prerogative of the great Sovereign of the universe who has solemnly claimed an exclusive property in the souls of men. [xi]

 

Father of American education, and contributor to the ideas in the Constitution, Noah Webster wrote:

Justice and humanity require it [the end of slavery] – Christianity commands it. Let every benevolent . . . pray for the glorious period when the last slave who fights for freedom shall be restored to the possession of that inestimable right. [xii]

 

Quotes from John Adams reveal his strong anti-slavery views:

Every measure of prudence, therefore, ought to be assumed for the eventual total extirpation of slavery from the United States. . . . I have, through my whole life, held the practice of slavery in . . . abhorrence. [xiii]


My opinion against it [slavery] has always been known. . . . [N]ever in my life did I own a slave.[xiv]

 

When Benjamin Franklin served as President of the Pennsylvania Society of Promoting the Abolition of Slavery he declared: “Slavery is . . . an atrocious debasement of human nature.” [xv]

Thomas Jefferson’s original draft of the Declaration included a strong denunciation of slavery, declaring the king’s perpetuation of the slave trade and his vetoing of colonial anti-slavery measures as one reason the colonists were declaring their independence:

He [King George III] has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere. . . . Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or restrain this execrable commerce. [xvi]

 

Prior to independence, anti-slavery measures by the colonists were thwarted by the British government. Franklin wrote in 1773:

A disposition to abolish slavery prevails in North America, that many of Pennsylvanians have set their slaves at liberty, and that even the Virginia Assembly have petitioned the King for permission to make a law for preventing the importation of more into that colony. This request, however, will probably not be granted as their former laws of that kind have always been repealed.. [xvii]

 

The Founders took action against slavery.


The founders did not just believe slavery was an evil that needed to be abolished, and they did not just speak against it, but they acted on their beliefs. During the Revolutionary War black slaves who fought won their freedom in every state except South Carolina and Georgia. [xviii]

Many of the founders started and served in anti-slavery societies. Franklin and Rush founded the first such society in America in 1774. John Jay was president of a similar society in New York. Other Founding Fathers serving in anti-slavery societies included: William Livingston (Constitution signer), James Madison, Richard Bassett, James Monroe, Bushrod Washington, Charles Carroll, William Few, John Marshall, Richard Stockton, Zephaniah Swift, and many more. [xix]

As the Founders worked to free themselves from enslavement to Britain, based upon laws of God and nature, they also spoke against slavery and took steps to stop it. Abolition grew as principled resistance to the tyranny of England grew, since both were based upon the same ideas. This worked itself out on a personal as well as policy level, as seen in the following incident in the life of William Whipple, signer of the Declaration of Independence from New Hampshire. Dwight writes:

When General Whipple set out to join the army, he took with him for his waiting servant, a colored man named Prince, one whom he had imported from Africa many years before. He was a slave whom his master highly valued. As he advanced on his journey, he said to Prince, “If we should be called into an engagement with the enemy, I expect you will behave like a man of courage, and fight like a brave soldier for your country.” Prince feelingly replied, “Sir, I have no inducement to fight, I have no country while I am a slave. If I had my freedom, I would endeavor to defend it to the last drop of my blood.” This reply of Prince produced the effect on his master’s heart which Prince desired. The general declared him free on the spot. [xx]

 

The Founders opposed slavery based upon the principle of the equality of all men. Throughout history many slaves have revolted but it was believed (even by those enslaved) that some people had the right to enslave others. The American slave protests were the first in history based on principles of God-endowed liberty for all. It was not the secularists who spoke out against slavery but the ministers and Christian statesmen.

 

Before independence, some states had tried to restrict slavery in different ways (e.g. Virginia had voted to end the slave trade in 1773), but the English government had not allowed it. Following independence and victory in the war, the rule of the mother country was removed, leaving freedom for each state to deal with the slavery problem. Within about 20 years of the 1783 Treaty of Peace with Britain, the northern states abolished slavery: Pennsylvania and Massachusetts in 1780; Connecticut and Rhode Island in 1784; New Hampshire in 1792; Vermont in 1793; New York in 1799; and New Jersey in 1804.

The Northwest Ordinance (1787, 1789), which governed the admission of new states into the union from the then northwest territories, forbid slavery. Thus, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa all prohibited slavery. This first federal act dealing with slavery was authored by Rufus King (signer of the Constitution) and signed into law by President George Washington.

Although no Southern state abolished slavery, there was much anti-slavery sentiment. Many anti-slavery societies were started, especially in the upper South. Many Southern states considered proposals abolishing slavery, for example, the Virginia legislature in 1778 and 1796. When none passed, many, like Washington, set their slaves free, making provision for their well being. Following independence, “Virginia changed her laws to make it easier for individuals to emancipate slaves,” [xxi] though over time the laws became more restrictive in Virginia.

While most states were moving toward freedom for slaves, the deep South (Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina) was largely pro-slavery. Yet, even so, the Southern courts before around 1840 generally took the position that slavery violated the natural rights of blacks. For example, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled in 1818:

Slavery is condemned by reason and the laws of nature. It exists and can only exist, through municipal regulations, and in matters of doubt,…courts must lean in favorem vitae et libertatis [in favor of life and liberty]. [xxii]

The same court ruled in 1820 that the slave “is still a human being, and possesses all those rights, of which he is not deprived by the positive provisions of the law.” [xxiii]

Free blacks were citizens and voted in most Northern states and Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. In Baltimore prior to 1800, more blacks voted than whites; but in 1801 and 1809, Maryland began to restrict black voting and in 1835 North Carolina prohibited it. Other states made similar restrictions, but a number of Northern states allowed blacks to vote and hold office. In Massachusetts this right was given nearly a decade before the American Revolution and was never taken away, either before or after the Civil War

 

There is much more information available to us than just he limited scope of redacted and revisionist history. This has been and will continue to be a much contested issue for any who delve into it. My primary focus was limited to a Christian and Biblical view of slavery. I really liken the slavery issue to the abortion issue. We have managed to kill over 45 million babies and even justify very late term abortion based on economic factors, like the southern states did with slavery. When we are violating God’s law the result is horrendous. If you read very much of the founding fathers you will see a very pronounced usage of the Bible, even from the two must non-religious founders Franklin, and Jefferson. The majority of the founders were Christians seeking freedom for all. 29 of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence were active pastors with seminary degrees. So much for “the wall of separation” they were very clear to keep government out of God but not God out of government. It’s there for the reading and available for anyone to learn. I have copied and quoted many references here and borrowed some phrasing from others to present a cogent view on Christians, Slavery, Morals, and History. I will not leave this subject without a plea to seek for God’s provision in your life and come to know the Savior.

 

 

 


[i] Henry H. Halley, Halley’s Bible Handbook (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1965), p. 645.

 

[ii] Albert Bushnell Hart, The American Nation: A History (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1906), vol. 16, Slavery and Abolition, 1831-1841, p. 50.

 

[iii] “History of slavery is wide-ranging saga”, book review by Gregory Kane of The Slave Trade by Hugh Thomas (Simon and Schuster), in The Daily Progress, Charlottesville, Va., December 7, 1997.

 

[iv] The earliest known official protest against slavery in America was the Resolutions of Germantown, Pennsylvania Mennonites, February 18, 1688. See Documents of American History, Henry Steele Commager, editor (New York: F.S. Crofts & Co., 1944), 37-38

 

[v] William Livingston, The Papers of William Livingston, Carl E. Prince, editor (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1988), Vol. V, p. 255, to the New York Manumission Society on June 26, 1786. In “The Founding Fathers and Slavery” by David Barton, unpublished paper, p. 5.

 

 

[vi] John Quincy Adams, An Oration Delivered Before the Inhabitants of the Town of Newburyport, at Their Request, on the Sixty-First Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1837 (Newburyport: Charles Whipple, 1837), p. 50.

 

[vii] Rights of the Colonies, in Bernard Bailyn, ed., Pamphlets of the American Revolution (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1965), p. 439. In “Was the American Founding Unjust? The Case of Slavery,” by Thomas G. West, Principles, a quarterly review of The Claremont Institute, Spring/Summer 1992, p. 1.
14. Hart, p. 53

 

[viii] Hart, p. 53.

 

[ix] Letter to Robert Morris, April 12, 1786, in George Washington: A Collection, ed. W.B. Allen (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1988), p. 319.

 

 

[x][x] Kate Mason Rowland, Life and Correspondence of Charles Carroll of Carrollton (New York & London: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1898), Vol. II, p. 321, to Robert Goodloe Harper, April 23, 1820. In Barton, p. 3

 

 

[xi] Benjamin Rush, Minutes of the Proceedings of a Convention of Delegates from the Abolition Societies Established in Different Parts of the United States Assembled at Philadelphia (Philadelphia: Zachariah Poulson, 1794), p. 24.. In Barton, p. 4

 

 

[xii] Noah Webster, Effect of Slavery on Morals and Industry (Hartford: Hudson and Goodwin, 1793), p. 48. In Barton, p. 4.

 

[xiii] Adams to Robert J. Evans, June 8, 1819, in Adrienne Koch and William Peden, eds., Selected Writings of John and John Quincy Adams (New York: Knopf, 1946), p. 209. In West, p. 2.

 

[xiv] John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, ed. (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1854), Vol. IX, pp. 92-93, to George Churchman and Jacob Lindley on January 24, 1801. In Barton, p. 3.

 

 

[xv] “An Address to the Public from the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery” (1789), in Franklin, Writings (New York: Library of America, 1987), p. 1154. In West, p. 2

 

 

[xvi] The Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Adrienne Koch and William Peden, eds. (New York: Random House, 1944), p. 25

 

[xvii] Benjamin Franklin, The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Jared Sparks, ed. (Boston: Tappan, Whittemore, and Mason, 1839), Vol. VIII, p. 42, to the Rev. Dean Woodward on April 10, 1773.

 

 

[xviii] Benjamin Quarles, The Negro and the American Revolution (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1961), chaps. 4-6. In West, p. 2.

 

 

[xix] Barton, p. 5

 

[xx] N. Dwight, The Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence (New York: A.S. Barnes & Burr, 1860), p. 11

 

 

[xxi] West, p. 4.

 

 

[xxii] Harry v. Decker & Hopkins (1818), in West, p. 4.

 

[xxiii] Mississippi v. Jones (1820), in West, p. 4.

Was Hitler a Chrisitan

In Chrisitian, Satan, Sin on March 27, 2009 at 8:14 pm

Chris here are some quotes form sources that seem reliable not redacted or revisionist histroy.
The claim is sometimes made that Hitler was a Christian – a Roman Catholic until the day he died. In fact, Hitler rejected Christianity.

The book Hitler’s Secret Conversations 1941-1944 published by Farrar, Straus and Young, Inc.first edition, 1953, contains definitive proof of Hitler’s real views. The book was published in Britain under the title, _Hitler’s Table Talk 1941-1944, which title was used for the Oxford University Press paperback edition in the United States.

All of these are quotes from Adolf Hitler:
Night of 11th-12th July, 1941:

National Socialism and religion cannot exist together…. The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity’s illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity…. Let it not be said that Christianity brought man the life of the soul, for that evolution was in the natural order of things. (p 6 & 7)

10th October, 1941, midday:

Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure. (p 43)

14th October, 1941, midday:

The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death…. When understanding of the universe has become widespread… Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity…. Christianity has reached the peak of absurdity…. And that’s why someday its structure will collapse…. …the only way to get rid of Christianity is to allow it to die little by little…. Christianity the liar…. We’ll see to it that the Churches cannot spread abroad teachings in conflict with the interests of the State. (p 49-52)

19th October, 1941, night:

The reason why the ancient world was so pure, light and serene was that it knew nothing of the two great scourges: the pox and Christianity.

21st October, 1941, midday:

Originally, Christianity was merely an incarnation of Bolshevism, the destroyer…. The decisive falsification of Jesus’ doctrine was the work of St.Paul. He gave himself to this work… for the purposes of personal exploitation…. Didn’t the world see, carried on right into the Middle Ages, the same old system of martyrs, tortures, faggots? Of old, it was in the name of Christianity. Today, it’s in the name of Bolshevism. Yesterday the instigator was Saul: the instigator today, Mardochai. Saul was changed into St.Paul, and Mardochai into Karl Marx. By exterminating this pest, we shall do humanity a service of which our soldiers can have no idea. (p 63-65)

13th December, 1941, midnight:

Christianity is an invention of sick brains: one could imagine nothing more senseless, nor any more indecent way of turning the idea of the Godhead into a mockery…. …. When all is said, we have no reason to wish that the Italians and Spaniards should free themselves from the drug of Christianity. Let’s be the only people who are immunised against the disease. (p 118 & 119)

14th December, 1941, midday:

Kerrl, with noblest of intentions, wanted to attempt a synthesis between National Socialism and Christianity. I don’t believe the thing’s possible, and I see the obstacle in Christianity itself…. Pure Christianity– the Christianity of the catacombs– is concerned with translating Christian doctrine into facts. It leads quite simply to the annihilation of mankind. It is merely whole-hearted Bolshevism, under a tinsel of metaphysics. (p 119 & 120)

9th April, 1942, dinner:

There is something very unhealthy about Christianity (p 339)

27th February, 1942, midday:

It would always be disagreeable for me to go down to posterity as a man who made concessions in this field. I realize that man, in his imperfection, can commit innumerable errors– but to devote myself deliberately to errors, that is something I cannot do. I shall never come personally to terms with the Christian lie. Our epoch Uin the next 200 yearse will certainly see the end of the disease of Christianity…. My regret will have been that I couldn’t… behold .” (p 278)

I can claim to be a Muslim I can tell you I am a muslim but if I don’t practice the tenets of Islam and adhere to the 5 pillars of Islam. Am I a muslim? For Hitler to be a Chrisitian he would have to admit that Jesus was his Savior and Lord, Jesus was a Jew, Dietrich Bonheoffer a German prostant minister is jsut one of several hundred thousand Christians sent to the death camps, a great read on his bio. Chris Hiltler had more to do with witchcraft and other mystry religions than he ever did Chritianity.

It Is Finished

In Apologetics, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved on March 27, 2009 at 4:05 am

 

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(John 19:30 HCSB)  When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” Then bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

 

(Mat 27:50 HCSB)  Jesus shouted again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit.

 

This is the 6th cry from the cross and it came quickly after his agonizing shout “I am thirsty”. We have a completed picture of why Jesus was given to us by the Father. He finished his life knowing he completed everything he had been sent to do. I wonder if any of us will ever have the same satisfaction of knowing we had completed our purpose for living. The cry from the cross “It is finished” is really one Greek word tetelestai. Τελέω teleō  tel-eh’-o From G5056; to end, that is, complete, execute, conclude, discharge (a debt): – accomplish, make an end, expire, fill up, finish, go over, pay, perform. teleō

Thayer Definition:

1) to bring to a close, to finish, to end 1a) passed, finished

2) to perform, execute, complete, fulfill, (so that the thing done corresponds to what has been said, the order, command etc.) 2a) with special reference to the subject matter, to carry out the contents of a command 2b) with reference also to the form, to do just as commanded, and generally involving the notion of time, to perform the last act which completes a process, to accomplish, fulfill

3) to pay 3a) of tribute

Part of Speech: verb

 

As you can see the emphasis is on carrying out a command and completing or paying a debt. When Jesus spoke this we aren’t told what is finished at this point or brought to competition. Yet we know that it’s clear this was for our redemption and the rest of the New Testament fills in the blanks for us. When Jesus shouted “Tetelestai” this was the most triumphant cry in all history. In him all the sins of the world had just been paid for and the wrath of the Father had been spent on Him. Remember Jesus was born to suffer and his purpose was to do the will of the Father.

 

(1Pe 1:18-21 HCSB)  For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things, like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the times for you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

When was our rescue and salvation planned? When did the Father and Son put into motion the salvation plan that we have access to today?

 

(Eph 1:3-5 HCSB)  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, in Christ; for He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will,

 

When did God choose us to share in his plan?

 

We see at the cross the Old Testament sacrificial system fulfilled and the shadows of the prophets now have the full light of day shining on the death of Jesus. The only benefit derived from the old sacrificial system was ceremonial but it could not clean the conscience of man. Everyone knew that an animal could not substitute for a human being. We not see from the verses above and the death on the cross that Jesus was “Very God of Very God” and “Very Man of Very Man” the man God Jesus. Now he could mark the bill of transgression paid in full “Tetelestai.” In ancient times this word was used on bills of sale for final payment. The justice of God was now satisfied paid by this great price, his Only Begotten Son.

 

(Heb 10:11-18 HCSB)  Now every priest stands day after day ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this man, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. He is now waiting until His enemies are made His footstool.

For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified. The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. For after He had said: This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws on their hearts, and I will write them on their minds, He adds: I will never again remember their sins and their lawless acts. Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

 

It Is Finished is the statement that’s us free. Now the prophecy in Gen of the seed of the woman had triumphed over the loathsome serpent.

 

(John 12:31 HCSB)  Now is the judgment of this world. Now the ruler of this world will be cast out.

 

Take all your sin that you have ever committed and make it “Paid in Full”

·        Abortion-Paid in Full

·        Fornication- Paid in Full

·        Cheating- Paid in Full

·        Greed- Paid in Full

·        Criminal behavior- Paid in Full

·        Selfishness- Paid in Full

·        Anger- Paid in Full

·        Hatred- Paid in Full

Anything you can think of put on a piece of paper write them out and IN BIG BOLD LETTERS MARK THEM                Paid in Full

 

(Heb 10:19-22 HCSB)  Therefore, brothers, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that He has inaugurated for us, through the curtain (that is, His flesh); and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water.

 

 

God is no longer restricted to the Holy of Holies in the temple. We now have access to the Father through Jesus and we have become the temples ourselves. Jesus did in one day what no human could have done in all eternity. God’s justice on behalf of those who rejected his Son could never be satisfied by anyone else for the simple reason that only he can meet His own standards. Our best behavior and good works could never match up with Jesus’ righteousness. There no good we can do to earn his favor or enter Heaven.

 

(Isa 64:6 MKJV)  But we are all as the unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as a menstruation cloth. And we all fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

 

Imagine our last words or for that matter al our words what would they be? When we think of how Jesus died we should never look at death the same way again. We need to remember that Jesus willingly gave up his Spirit as an act of personal volition, a choice he made. His Spirit was under His control till he gave it up to the Father. His life was not taken from Him on the cross; He yielded or dismissed His spirit. He also died in His Fathers hands.

 

In conclusion if your spirit does not go into the hands of God for safekeeping, it will go into the hands of God for judgment. The same hands that speak of hope and comfort also speak of terror and punishment.

 

(Heb 10:31 MKJV)  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

 

I am posting a small sample from Jonathon Edwards “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” sermon delivered in 1784. By the way a very influential man in the founding of our country before the fabrication of the “wall of separation” so vehemently ascribed to today.

 

The use of this awful subject may be for awakening unconverted persons in this congregation. This that you have heard is the case of every one of you that are out of Christ. — That world of misery, that lake of burning brimstone, is extended abroad under you. There is the dreadful pit of the glowing flames of the wrath of God; there is hell’s wide gaping mouth open; and you have nothing to stand upon, nor any thing to take hold of; there is nothing between you and hell but the air; it is only the power and mere pleasure of God that holds you up.

You probably are not sensible of this; you find you are kept out of hell, but do not see the hand of God in it; but look at other things, as the good state of your bodily constitution, your care of your own life, and the means you use for your own preservation. But indeed these things are nothing; if God should withdraw his hand, they would avail no more to keep you from falling, than the thin air to hold up a person that is suspended in it.Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead, and to tend downwards with great weight and pressure towards hell; and if God should let you go, you would immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottomless gulf, and your healthy constitution, and your own care and prudence, and best contrivance, and all your righteousness, would have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of hell, than a spider’s web would have to stop a falling rock. Were it not for the sovereign pleasure of God, the earth would not bear you one moment; for you are a burden to it; the creation groans with you; the creature is made subject to the bondage of your corruption, not willingly; the sun does not willingly shine upon you to give you light to serve sin and Satan; the earth does not willingly yield her increase to satisfy your lusts; nor is it willingly a stage for your wickedness to be acted upon; the air does not willingly serve you for breath to maintain the flame of life in your vitals, while you spend your life in the service of God’s enemies. God’s creatures are good, and were made for men to serve God with, and do not willingly subserve to any other purpose, and groan when they are abused to purposes so directly contrary to their nature and end. And the world would spew you out, were it not for the sovereign hand of him who hath subjected it in hope. There are the black clouds of God’s wrath now hanging directly over your heads, full of the dreadful storm, and big with thunder; and were it not for the restraining hand of God, it would immediately burst forth upon you. The sovereign pleasure of God, for the present, stays his rough wind; otherwise it would come with fury, and your destruction would come like a whirlwind, and you would be like the chaff on the summer threshing floor…..

 

The question begs to be asked are you afraid of death? Does the uncertainness of the future scare you?

Do you know where you will spend eternity? Are you prepared for your own mortality?

Are you depressed, lonely, disappointed, hurting, stressed, and dejected?

 

Jesus calls out to you right now-

(Mat 11:28-30 MKJV)  Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke on you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.

 

(Rev 3:20-21 HCSB)  Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me. The victor: I will give him the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I also won the victory and sat down with My Father on His throne.

 

Grace-Heaven is a free gift

(Rom 6:23 HCSB)  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

It is not earned or deserved

(Eph 2:8-9 HCSB)  For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift–not from works, so that no one can boast.

 

Man-is a sinner

(Rom 3:23 HCSB)  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

 

He cannot save himself

(Mat 5:48 HCSB)  Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

 

God-is merciful and doesn’t want to punish us.

(1Jn 4:8 HCSB)  … because God is love.

 

But God is also just and must punish our sin

(Exo 34:7 HCSB) ..But He will not leave the guilty unpunished, bringing the consequences of the fathers’ wrongdoing on the children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation.

 

Christ-is both God and Man

(Joh 1:1 HCSB)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(Joh 1:14 HCSB)  The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

 

He died on the cross and rose from the dead to pay the penalty for our sins and purchase a place in Heaven for us

 

(Isa 53:6 HCSB)  We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way; and the LORD has punished Him for the iniquity of us all.

 

Faith-saving faith is not just head knowledge nor just temporary faith

(Jas 2:19 HCSB)  You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe–and they shudder.

 

Saving faith is trusting in Jesus Christ alone for our eternal life.

(Act 16:31 HCSB)  So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.”

 

More on Sin, Morals, God and life

In Christianity, Satan, Sin on March 24, 2009 at 5:39 pm

Hobart Mauer, professor at Harvard, wrote in the(also past President APA) American Psychologist: “For several decades we psychologists have looked upon the whole matter of sin and moral accountability as a great incubus and we have acclaimed our freedom from it as epic making. But at length we have discovered to be free in this sense to have the excuse of being sick rather than being sinful is to also court the danger of becoming lost. In becoming amoral, ethically neutral and free we have cut the very roots of our being, lost our deepest sense of selfhood and identity. And with neurotics themselves, asking,
“Who am I?
What is my deepest destiny?
And what does living really mean?”
He commited suicide at age 75.

On another note “G. K. Chesterton correctly remarked that the problem with Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting but that it has been found difficult and left untried. In response to an article in The Times of London entitled ‘What’s Wrong with the World?’ Chesterton replied, ‘I am. Yours truly, G. K. Chesterton.’ That is precisely Jesus’ point – we are wrong with the world.”

“The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man.”

I also wanted to includeDarwinism, the notion that the history of organisms was the story of the survival of the fittest and most hardy, and that organisms evolve because they are stronger and more dominant than others, is a perfect example of the age from which it came: the age of Imperialism. When Darwin wrote, it was received wisdom that the white, northern European man was destined to rule the world. This could have been rationalized as greed–i.e., Europeans simply taking the resources of nations and tribes less well organized than they were. It could have been worked out as a form of amusement of the upper classes and a place for them to realize their martial fantasies. (Was it Shaw who called Imperialism “…outdoor relief for the upper classes?”)

But it fell to a true Imperialist, from a wealthy British family on both sides, married to a wealthy British woman, writing at the height of Imperialism in the UK, when a huge hunk of Africa and Asia was “owned” (literally, owned, by Great Britain) to create a scientific theory that rationalized Imperialism. By explaining that Imperialism worked from the level of the most modest organic life up to man, and that in every organic situation, the strong dominated the weak and eventually wiped them out,

Darwin offered the most compelling argument yet for Imperialism. It was neither good nor bad, neither Liberal nor Conservative, but simply a fact of nature. In dominating Africa and Asia, Britain was simply acting in accordance with the dictates of life itself. He was the ultimate pitchman for Imperialism.

Now, we know that Imperialism had a short life span. Imperialism was a system that took no account of the realities of the human condition. Human beings do not like to have their countries owned by people far away in ermine robes. They like to be in charge of themselves.

Imperialism had a short but hideous history–of repression and murder.

But its day is done.

Darwinism is still very much alive, utterly dominating biology. Despite the fact that no one has ever been able to prove the creation of a single distinct species by Darwinist means, Darwinism dominates the academy and the media. Darwinism also has not one meaningful word to say on the origins of organic life, a striking lacuna in a theory supposedly explaining life.

Alas, Darwinism has had a far bloodier life span than Imperialism. Darwinism, perhaps mixed with Imperialism, gave us Social Darwinism, a form of racism so vicious that it countenanced the Holocaust against the Jews and mass murder of many other groups in the name of speeding along the evolutionary process.

Now, a few scientists are questioning Darwinism on many fronts. I wonder how long Darwinism’s life span will be. Marxism, another theory which, in true Victorian style, sought to explain everything, is dead everywhere but on university campuses and in the minds of psychotic dictators.

Is God really dead, if so have we killed him?

In Apologetics, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved on March 24, 2009 at 12:30 am

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Robert-

I don’t have the time to read all the posts but I believe I get the gist of how this is going. All I have to say is the Christ Jesus, or Jesus Christ, or whatever you want to call him, spent a lot of time with Mary Magdalene, a noted whore, and he, being a man, had a xxxx, he also drank wine…. see where this is going??? Get over it people–sex is good, god is dead, well, Jesus is dead, and god doesn’t exist. Now go find a drunk girl, make her XXX, and find a new one next week.

 

Robert-

completely disagree with your friend Dan. There is no need to invoke a higher being to develop a moral code. One can develop logically enough out of necessity. I agree not to beat you so I don’t get beaten. I agree to help you gather food while you’re sick because you’ll help me when I’m sick. The necessary fragility of being human can easily lay the foundation for the development of a moral code–naturally starting primitive, but over time getting complex.

 

Chris-

Yeah, I agree B…. and that’s one of topics that started this whole thing. I was trying to argue in another blog that many of our moral ideas are most likely grounded in biology (in light of many studies in sociobiology, psychology, and observation in other species). Most other ‘moral’ ideas, like you, I think can be reasoned out. But I’m … getting hit with the tried and true ‘moral relativism’ argument. The most problematic assumption I’ve seen, is that there is this assumption that there IS some absolute moral truth/standard out there. Who ever said there was? Your ‘moral’ assessment of one situation would look absurd in the light of another. What if relativism is the way it is? Sometime I feel like people just don’t want to accept that many things in life are quite fluid, indefinite, and not easily spelled out in a book or summed up in a few brief ideas.Things such as ethics and morals are quite complex once you move out of simple situations or free yourself from overly simplistic reasoning (I’m not implying anything, just making a point). I think that there are many people in this world who would like everything nicely spelled out, black and white, and handed to them. Religion does this in many respects; regardless of which one we are talking about. My two previous sentences also leads into how people align themselves in politics. Just speculating, but what if the differences in politics and how people are always trying to standardize things, just comes down to some wiring difference in those that have a more ‘agrarian’ brain? http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1196554/posts (The previous link does not directly relate to what I said, but is along the same lines) So in agreement with you B….., I think that morals stand upon themselves without invoking some higher power/being. If what they said was true, then we should see some actual empirical evidence that those who follow God being more ethical, happy, and more fulfilled. Stereotypes aside, I think that the data would show otherwise or show that there is no correlation. We have the same central issue with people invoking a higher power/God/some intelligent designer with Evolution. The natural processes alone stand on themselves

 

Frank-

ummm… I read this, and I read Ben’s rebuttal.. and I must suggest that there is little to no hope in changing the mind of one who is so full of “faith” and devotion. –go figure, “faith” has the universal effect of putting blinder’s on people ability to perceive other possibilities etc.
Progress in ethics and moral evaluation is ongoing and progress is being made:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_position and there are more… (but I don’t have time to list now.) I very much appreciate and support your stance and your efforts Chris! Cya!;-) Frank

 

Ben-

Thanks for weighing in on the conversation guys! I talked to Chris this weekend and wanted to summarize a few points before discussing what was written today. Note: I spend the time writing these points because I care about you guys and want the best for you, which is the love of God. Both Chris and I agree that the truth will lead to happiness, peace, joy, etc … After this point; we disagree largely on what is the truth. Jesus Christ said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” John 14:6 (Holman CSB). So we call Him the truth. When you live His way, you are living the truth. This verse states where Jesus is. The truth is alive in my life and is directly visible by the goodness, joy, happiness, gentleness, peace, love, patience, self-control, and kindness that have resulted in Him. Some of you have experienced these results yourself in your life because of the truth, but still yet you do not completely trust Him. I know how that life is. I was an atheist then agnostic for 30 years of my life. And still as a Christian, I am not a perfect person like Jesus, so you also still see sin in my life that leads to consequences. But I still must trust the truth and love Him with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength because the truth will free me from ultimate destruction or the penalties / consequences of my sin. I can not save myself from this end…only the truth can save me, though I don’t disserve it because I still sin. This ultimate end or consequence results because God is just and must punish wrong actions. All of you have gotten as taste of what sin can do. The truth is that sin will get worse when you don’t trust Him and the penalties more extreme. When you place your trust in the truth (Christ), you do not have to pay the most extreme penalty, because Christ already paid for it and God is merciful. This purchase is free to everyone who believes in Christ. In the love of Christ, He gives you strength to turn away from sin and wrong actions, which leads more and more to happiness, peace, etc…until you reach the utmost called heaven. The truth can be hard to believe in the U.S. these days, where everything has a cost and the truth is convoluted with details (not to mention hatred and evil). It is easy to get lost in the details. So, the first step is open up your heart in love and reach out your hand to Christ. If you ever want to love anyone truly in life, you have to first reach out your heart to the truth and trust Him. I testify to the truth of Jesus Christ. Do you consider me morally right or wrong for doing so? What have you determined as the consequences to my trust? How does trust and love of the truth fit into your code of ethics? What will move you to not commit wrong actions? Does just knowing the truth lead you to right actions? How do you love ideas which only relatively express reality and are vague and convoluted and yet to be determined by science? How are you ever going to love anyone in your right actions based on an idea that you are still waiting to be determined in 1,000 years by some supercomputer? How can you trust your ideas when they are constantly changing from day to day? Is not your morality on shaky ground or based on a foundation that has never or may never exist? What are you waiting for science to determine? What if science determines that humans require the love and reverence of Christ in order to be saved from sin? How long will you wait for that determination of the truth? Will it be too late for you? What if you are wrong by not trusting in Christ? Can you determine that moral decision rationally?

 

Dan-

I don’t know that I can add much to Ben’s input or explanation. This much I know I was lost now I am found, I was blind now I can see, I was dead now I am alive. Of course I am speaking spiritually and personally for me. If you have found the peace that passes understanding please share it and explain. If you know that no matter what you are loved by the very person who should hate you based on your rejection of him please tell me. If you have a path that leads to a perfect eternal life that has no pain, hurt or suffering for all time and eternity we need it. In my own life for the record I am 51 soon to be 52, divorced, remarried, 3 married young adult children, 3 grandkids with one more on the way. I have had a chance to create a few regrets along the way and few things to celebrate as well. Like many from my generation we came of age in the 70’s , free love, fun drugs (cocaine was reputed to not be addictive just a party drug and sex enhancer) divorce rates that climbed from around 25% to over 50%, we were called the “ME” generation. The sixties had revived Nietzsche declaration God is dead and we killed him. In the 70’s we decided since we killed Him we might as well party. So I bought in for a while, went nowhere and ended going to work. I take it from Ben most if not all of you are at least college educated(congratulations that is a great achievement) well that makes you all smarter than me. The only answer I have to all the conversations going around is when I die and that is a universal truth we are all going to die. I will resurrect from the dead and live for eternity in Heaven because I got tired of trying to be my own god, make my own rules and foolishly think I could control my destiny. Maybe you’re better at it than I was or maybe you’re going to run into the same emptiness I did. I am inserting some scripture that has proved to be truer than anything I have ever read. You can think of me as ignorant, misguided, foolish, close minded, etc. that’s OK. I have found the advantage of getting older is it really doesn’t matter as long I have found ultimate truth. God is waiting for you; he requires all of for all of him. If you bow your knee to him and claim your will be done it will be the greatest experience you will ever know. If you straighten your spine, stiffen your neck and claim my will be done! He says so be it!!

I would that all of you come to Jesus and seek him, the reason for input in this discussion is because Jesus loves me and to not share it would be the greatest moral failure I could have. If it weren’t for his love and forgiveness I would be the biggest pagan you ever met.

 

(Gal 5:14 HCSB)  For the entire law is fulfilled in one statement: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

 

(Gal 5:19-23 HCSB)  Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar, about which I tell you in advance–as I told you before–that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

 

(Col 1:2-22 HCSB)  And you were once alienated and hostile in mind because of your evil actions. But now He has reconciled you by His physical body through His death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before Him–

 

(Rom 3:23 HCSB)  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

 

(Rom 6:23 HCSB)  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

(Rom 5:8 HCSB)  But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us!

 

(Rom 10:13 HCSB)  For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

 

(Rom 10:9-10 HCSB)  if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. With the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation.

 

(John 14:-3-5 HCSB)  “Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does Hooking up Hurt You and other moral issues

In Apologetics, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved on March 23, 2009 at 2:11 am

Chris

Does Hooking up Hurt You

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Today at 9:28am

Here’s a good article to why there might be a biological explanation of why hooking up/casual sex might be detrimental to women. This stems from a debate I had with a friend about pre-martial sex (the larger debate was about morals) and my stance was that there is a biological reason for limiting this type of encounter, but I do not think that is morally wrong (well, to some degree it is since it can lead to suffering). I think that SOME of our innate moral precepts or espoused religious values are actually a reflection of biology (or some type of other physical explanation). Regardless, if you agree or take the opposite stance, I do think that we need to educate people about all of the responsibility and effects of this type activity in young adults.

Dan’s response-

Chris from the tone of the conversation I sense a real seeking for absolute proof of absolute truth and thereby acceptance of a moral system that would bring peace and joy for you. I think the first response I can offer is God left just enough out of the Bible for us to have to come to him in faith because only faith pleases him. To come to that point we have to admit we are not God most importantly of ourselves. After we come to that reality most other questions about life seem to fall into place. We love others from a perspective that comes from a selfless motivation and true devotion; we then know peace and joy.

 

 “We act moral because biological evolution or social conditioning.”

 

Just a few points to consider regarding on morality based on evolutionary development or biological adaptations. Without God morality is arbitrary and you don’t have to be a believer in God to recognize this.

I might use a few quotes for Arthur Allen Leff (1935-1981) was a professor of law at Yale Law School who is best known for a series of articles examining whether there is such a thing as a normative law or morality. Leff answers this question in the negative and follows the consequences to their logical conclusions. Leff follows his insight to its logical conclusion and notes that similarly there is no way, using logic, to prove that any particular act, no matter how horrible, is normatively wrong. Put it another way, one can never prove to another person that a particular set of behaviors is right or that a different set of behaviors is wrong. He states:

I will put the current situation as sharply as possible: there is today no way of ‘proving’ that napalming babies is bad except by asserting it (in a louder and louder voice), or by defining it as so, early in one’s game, and then later slipping it through, in a whisper, as a conclusion.

In Law and Technology: On shoring up a Void and Unspeakable Ethics, Unnatural Law. Leff states “I want to believe —and so do you— in a complete, transcendent, and immanent set of propositions about right and wrong, findable rules that authoritatively and unambiguously direct us how to live righteously. I also want to believe —and so do you —in no such thing, but rather that we are wholly free, not only to choose for ourselves what we ought to do, but to decide for ourselves, individually and as a species, what we ought to be. What we want, Heaven help us, is simultaneously to be perfectly ruled and perfectly free, that is, at the same time to discover the right and good and to create it.

All I can say is this: it looks as if we are all we have. Given what we know about ourselves, and each other, this is an extraordinarily unappetizing prospect; looking around the world, it appears that if all men are brothers, the ruling model is Cain and Abel. Neither reason, nor love, nor even terror, seems to have worked to make us “good,” and worse than that, there is no reason why any thing should. Only if ethics were something unspeakable by us could law be unnatural, and therefore unchallengeable. As things stand now, everything is up for grabs. Nevertheless:

 

Napalming babies is bad.

Starving the poor is wicked.

Buying and selling each other is depraved.

Those who stood up and died resisting Hitler, Stalin, Amin, and Pol Pot —and General Custer too— have earned salvation.

Those who acquiesced deserve to be damned.

There is in the world such a thing as evil.

[All together now:] Sez who?

God help us.

 

Was Leff correct?

Can a world view without God explain objective morality and obligation at all?

Why should a person be moral if a naturalistic understanding of the universe is true-in other words, if the world is wholly without God and nothing exists beyond what we can see?

 

To address the evolutionary development or biological adaptations I would offer several comments then “Love thy neighbor” or any other sense of morality is merely an adaptation of how we survive. If that is the case then why over the centuries do we still have the terrible genocides we see not only in ancient history but literally happening in the Sudan today?  We could have evolved or developed, for example, a moral instinct favoring rape-which could be an aid to survival. Rape, then, would be “good” because it helps us to survive. One would also have to ask why would a mother give her life for her child and surrender her brief existence.

One might consider ethics based on a social contract but we would have the problem of the one who doesn’t want to go along. Even if people agree to a social contract, this doesn’t mean that their actions are right. To become a part of a gang, for example a person might be required to comment murder.

To have a moral law without the moral law giver we fool ourselves. Anselm in his Proslogion 3 made another a priori argument for God, this time based on the idea of necessary existence. He claimed that, if God is that than which no greater can be conceived, it is better to be necessary than contingent; therefore, God must be necessary. To sum up:

1. God is the entity than which nothing greater can be thought.

2. It is greater to be necessary than not.

3. God must therefore be necessary.

4. Hence, God exists necessarily.

In Chapter 2 of “The Existence of Nature and God” Anslem′s Argument for the Existence of God is as follows:

  1. God is something than which nothing greater can be thought.
  2. God exists in the understanding.
  3. It is greater to exist in reality and in the understanding than just in understanding.
  4. Therefore, God exists in reality

You know I couldn’t go this long without scripture:

 

(Gen 1:1)  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

 

(Gen 1:26)  Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the animals, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.”

 

(Gen 2:9)  The LORD God caused to grow out of the ground every tree pleasing in appearance and good for food, including the tree of life in the midst of the garden, as well as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

 

(Gen 2:16-17)  And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”

 

(Gen 3:15)  Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit from the trees in the garden. But about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, ‘You must not eat it or touch it, or you will die.'” “No! You will not die,” the serpent said to the woman. “In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

 

(Gen 3:19)  You will eat bread by the sweat of your brow until you return to the ground, since you were taken from it. For you are dust, and you will return to dust.”

 

We see the basis of good and evil, the beginning of God and man, the judgments of disobeying God and most important the Grace available for our own disobedience God’s forgiveness.

The Cries of Anguish

In Apologetics, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved on March 20, 2009 at 4:02 am

The Wonder of the Darkness:

 

(Mat 27:45-46)  From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over the whole land. At about three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, Elí, Elí, lemá sabachtháni? that is, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?

 

At the Cross redemption and love foretold was being fulfilled sin with all its horror and grace with all its wonder. With the cry of dereliction as it is called in the middle of the seven sayings we see the mystery of our suffering God. God’s inflexible unchangeable holiness and his undeniable boundless love collided at this very moment to satisfy the judgment that was required by the perfect judge. Christ did not die to make the Father loving, for He loved us from the foundation of the world.

 

Eph 1:4-5  for He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will,

 

God’s will and the Son’s will blend in the perfect self-sacrifice of love. The Father turned away from the Son at the cross because they agreed it must be so to purchase our redemption.

 

Mat 26:39  Going a little farther, He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”

 

When Jesus cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” we should not think that the Father and the Son became separated in their “being or “essence.” In other words, when the Father forsook the Son, the Trinity did not divide in two. This was a break in fellowship, not a breach of the fundamental unity of the Father and the Son. Remember while the word Trinity is not used in the Bible it describes the relationship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as the Godhead. Example 1X1X1=1 NOT 1+1+1 THAT IS HERISY!

 

trishield

 

 Another example my son will forever be my son not because of relationship but by birth. I can disown him in name only but my blood beats in his veins. I can sever our relationship to the point we don’t have anything to do with each other but he will always carry my DNA. In an effort to move on I will touch on only a couple of verses to illustrate the point.

 

(Mat 3:16-17)  After Jesus was baptized, He went up immediately from the water. The heavens suddenly opened for Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on Him. And there came a voice from heaven: This is My beloved Son. I take delight in Him!

 

(John 1:1-2)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

 

(Deu 6:4)  “Listen, Israel: The LORD(Jehovah) our God(Eloheem), the LORD is One (Echad).

 

  1. Jehovah- self Existent or eternal; 2.Eloheem- gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; 3.  Echad-properly united, example one family Yachid is one item.

 

We can more deeply discuss the Trinity on a later date. Why night at noon? Darkness is always associated with the judgment of God against great sin. This was not an eclipse but by the supernatural act of God he obscured the sun. We see not only the judgment of the Father on the evil men who treated his Son with cruel contempt. It represents the judgment of the Father against His Son, during those hours Jesus became legally guilty of our sin and for that he was judged. It was also an act of love the Sinless One “made sin for us” the event was veiled from human eyes.

 

(2Co 5:21)  He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

 

The Wonder of the Question: My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?

 

We see in the following passages the concept of being forsaken.

 

(Psa 77:7-9)  “Will the Lord reject forever and never again show favor? Has His faithful love ceased forever? Is His promise at an end for all generations? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger withheld His compassion?” Selah

 

(Isa 49:14)  Zion says, “The LORD has abandoned me; The Lord has forgotten me!”

 

We see the contrast with Jesus’ previous experience with the Father!

In the garden God strengthens him-on the cross a God who turns away.

In the garden12 legions of angels quick to deliver-on the cross to God who refuses deliverance.

A Father who would not leave him alone- on the cross The Father turned His face.

In the garden the Son was tempted to forsake the Father-on the cross the Father forsook the Son.

 

Only here in the Gospel record does Jesus address His Father as “God.” This change of address signified the break on fellowship between Father and Son. At this moment, the Father is portrayed not acting like a Father. The suffering was intolerable enough but to endure without the Father’s presence magnified the horror. This is very difficult for us to accept to the point some have suggested the Father did not really forsake the Son but that Jesus only felt forsaken. This is wrong when the Bible speaks first we must take the words for their plain meaning. Calvin was right in stating that Christ’s soul must feel the full effects of judgment. This was real abandonment by the Father. The word forsaken is a powerful word.

 

Forsaken-to withdraw companionship, protection, or support from somebody; to give up, renounce, or sacrifice something that gives pleasure.

 

The Son had been the object of the Father’s love from all eternity; The Father’s presence was this Son’s only delight. The hiding of His Father’s face was the most bitter sip of the cup of sorrow Jesus choose to drink. The beauty of this cry rings with hope He still called “My God” the Father still belonged to Him. The word reveals their relationship.

 

John 1:1-2 listed above.

 

(Joh 8:28-29)  So Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing on My own. But just as the Father taught Me, I say these things. The One who sent Me is with Me. He has not left Me alone, because I always do what pleases Him.”

 

(Joh 10:30)  The Father and I are one.”

 

(Joh 14:10)  Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I speak to you I do not speak on My own. The Father who lives in Me does His works.

 

(Joh 17:10)  All My things are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I have been glorified in them.

 

(Joh 17:21-23)  May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me. I have given them the glory You have given Me. May they be one as We are one. I am in them and You are in Me. May they be made completely one, so the world may know You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me.

 

The Wonder of the Silence: My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?

 

The cry from the cross calls out to a silent Heaven. So why was the Son forsaken by the Father? The Father forsook the Son because His holiness required it. Only Jesus could take the wrath we so richly deserved. The first purpose of the cross was not for us but for God. Jesus shed his blood for us, but it is even more true that he shed his blood for the Father. Christ’s death was a “sacrifice to God for a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.

 

(Eph 5:2)  And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.

 

We are also told by Paul that Christ died to demonstrate God’s justice.

 

(Rom 3:25)  God presented Him as a propitiation through faith in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint God passed over the sins previously committed.

 

Jesus also went through the darkness that we might have light. He was cursed we are blessed. He was condemned that we have no condemnation. He suffered hell for us that we can enjoy heaven with Him. He entered terrible frightful darkness that you and I might walk in the light .

 

(Rom 8:1)  Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus,

 

(1Pe 2:9-10)  But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

 

Paul tells of the horrid and awful experience of those who do not find shelter beneath the work of Jesus on the cross. We are told of eternal separation from Him who is the source of all life and love.

 

(2Th 1:9)  These will pay the penalty of everlasting destruction, away from the Lord’s presence and from His glorious strength,

 

(Mat 7:23)  Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!

 

 

We are going to pickup on the rest of the subject Thirst next week. This deserves a deeper investigation and study. If after reading this you have any doubts about your eternity and where your relationship with Jesus is heading let’s talk. He wants to love you for all time and eternity all that is required is your all. If He is not Lord of all then He is not Lord at all. Jesus says “come all” that means you and me. Remember FAITH Forsaking All I Trust Him!!. Don’t let one more minute pass without the assurance of your salvation…I am available to discuss and pray with you anytime..In Christ Dan.

Situational Ethics Rebuttal..It may surprise you to know there are some things God cannot do!

In Apologetics, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved on March 17, 2009 at 9:28 pm

 

Chris at 1:10pm February 20

What is deemed correct in one situation would be morally wrong in another. So we must look at who and what it affects along with the overall changes in happiness, suffering, or pain. Here lies my working definition of what is right/moral. It is anything that decreases the amount of pain and suffering in the world or anything that increases happiness or quality of life. This definition for me works in most cases as broad principle, but I’m sure there are many cases in which it is not so black and white. Pertaining to sin within the context of Christianity, I would say that many of the things that deemed immoral are simply not moral issues based on my previous definition. For example God defined eating unclean foods as a sin in Leviticus 11:1-47 and Deuteronomy 14:3-20. Is eating ‘unclean’ food really a damnable offense? The Bible makes this particular issue a moral one claiming to be a sin (or an offensive against God or his will).

Chris at 2:16pm February 20

But in reality this was just a matter of practical advice given the food preparation processes of that time period. Not a moral issue and I can find more examples if someone would like me too to reinforce my argument. Okay, back to my original argument about situational ethics. Sorry for getting sidetracked about my previous point, but I wanted to make a brief point about many things that proclaimed to moral issues when they in fact are not (based on my definition). Ben, you are right about Lamont separating the action from the consequences and here’s an example why:

Person X kills person Y: X killed Y because X was robbing Y. This is obviously morally wrong and most people would label this as murder.

Person X kills person Y: X killed Y because X was defending himself/herself from Y.

Sorry for the crudeness of the example; in both of these situations the act of killing has occurred. But in each situation the act of killing could be labeled differently.

(Lev 11:44-47 HCSB)  For I am the LORD your God, so you must consecrate yourselves and be holy because I am holy. You must not defile yourselves by any swarming creature that crawls on the ground. For I am the LORD, who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God, so you must be holy because I am holy. This is the law concerning animals, birds, all living creatures that move in the water, and all creatures that swarm on the ground, in order to distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between the animals that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten.”

 

Deuteronomy repeats the dietary restrictions (Deu 14:2-22 HCSB) “You are not to eat any carcass; you may give it to a resident alien within your gates, and he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner. For you are a holy people belonging to the LORD your God. You must not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk. “Each year you are to set aside a tenth of all the produce grown in your fields.

 

 

Chris I think damnation is a bit far for breaking the dietary laws but being unclean before a Holy God is the point. God not only gave them survival laws for living in the wilderness they were to be an example of God’s holiness to a dead and dying world. You can see by the scriptures God explains to the people of Israel they are to be Holy because He is Holy. Prior to the dietary laws the people had made covenant with God to be His people and honor his law. This is the lesser details regarding obedience and respect. The “damnation” if you will was for the Worship and moral law given as we call them today the 10 commandments. In context the people had already committed themselves to obeying God. This is after being freed from slavery, defeating Pharaoh, providing escape across the Red Sea, manna in the wildness, and the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. You see if God is God by the shear meaning he is in charge, not just a boss, but a ruler. We are governed by a lot of things but this was more than a moral ascent and lip service to God. He had actively provided and requested their obedience which they willingly gave. A few verses to constitute the facts.

(Exo 14:31 HCSB)  When Israel saw the great power that the LORD used against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and believed in Him and in His servant Moses.

 

(Exo 15:1-2 HCSB)  Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD. They said: I will sing to the LORD, for He is highly exalted; He has thrown the horse and its rider into the sea. The LORD is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. This is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.

 

(Exo 15:13-16 HCSB)  You will lead the people You have redeemed with Your faithful love; You will guide them to Your holy dwelling with Your strength. When the peoples hear, they will shudder; anguish will seize the inhabitants of Philistia. Then the chiefs of Edom will be terrified; trembling will seize the leaders of Moab; the inhabitants of Canaan will panic; and terror and dread will fall on them. They will be as still as a stone because of Your powerful arm until Your people pass by, LORD, until the people whom You purchased pass by.

 

(Exo 16:4 HCSB)  Then the LORD said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. This way I will test them to see whether or not they will follow My instructions.

 

(Exo 19:5-8 HCSB)  Now if you will listen to Me and carefully keep My covenant, you will be My own possession out of all the peoples, although all the earth is Mine, and you will be My kingdom of priests and My holy nation. These are the words that you are to say to the Israelites.” After Moses came back, He summoned the elders of the people, and put before them all these words that the LORD had commanded him. Then all the people responded together, “We will do all that the LORD has spoken.” So Moses brought the people’s words back to the LORD.

 

(Exo 20:1-17 HCSB)  Then God spoke all these words: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.

 

Do not have other gods besides Me.

 

 Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth.

 

You must not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the fathers’ sin, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commands.

 

Do not misuse the name of the LORD your God, because the LORD will punish anyone who misuses His name.

 

Remember to dedicate the Sabbath day:

 

You are to labor six days and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. You must not do any work–you, your son or daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the foreigner who is within your gates. For the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything in them in six days; then He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and declared it holy.

 

Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

 

Do not murder.

 

Do not commit adultery.

 

Do not steal.

 

Do not give false testimony against your neighbor.

Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

 

(Exo 20:18-20 HCSB)  All the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain surrounded by smoke. When the people saw it they trembled and stood at a distance. “You speak to us, and we will listen,” they said to Moses, “but don’t let God speak to us, or we will die.” Moses responded to the people, “Don’t be afraid, for God has come to test you, so that you will fear Him and will not sin.”

 

 

 

(Exo 24:7-11 HCSB)  He then took the covenant scroll and read it aloud to the people. They responded, “We will do and obey everything that the LORD has commanded.” Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you concerning all these words.” Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and 70 of Israel’s elders, and they saw the God of Israel. Beneath His feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire stone, as clear as the sky itself. God did not harm the Israelite nobles; they saw Him, and they ate and drank.

 

(Exo 40:37-38 HCSB)  If the cloud was not taken up, they did not set out until the day it was taken up. For the cloud of the LORD was over the tabernacle by day, and there was a fire inside the cloud by night, visible to the entire house of Israel throughout all the stages of their journey.

 

As you can see the dietary requirements were a small part of the overall covenant with God. Just so we are clear I have included the proper definition of a covenant. Covenant-a solemn agreement that is binding on all parties, commercial law a formal and legally binding agreement or contract such as a lease, or one of the clauses in an agreement of this kind. A covenant is often used to require an owner or user of a parcel of land to do or refrain from doing something. Bible in the Bible, the promises that were made between God and the Israelites, who agreed to worship no other gods.

 

This part of the Bible has to do with promises made and promises meant to be kept. I guess this goes to the core of morality, we expect people to keep their word with us but if something negates our promises we want them to forget, ignore or at best to relieve us of our bond if we don’t keep our word. I made a statement a few responses ago; you can’t separate the Moral Law from the Moral Law giver. Morality without God is nonsense because we can’t be moral without an objective set of morals given to us outside our own ability to manipulate them. God would not be God if we could control, manipulate or even coerce for our own selfish pursuits his will. We are to submit to his authority and honor Him as God or Lord of our lives.

 

If situations were to determine our ethics then we are mere globs of slime forever regulated to our evolved state not a being with a higher pedigree than that. I know life always has and will always have situations arise that seem to back us in a corner concerning our espoused beliefs. But God is never slack concerning his requirements and presence during those times. The whole of the Bible proclaims his love and redemption for us. You see there is no situation outside the providence of God, no moment when He is not aware of, and there are no surprises that will catch Him off guard.

 

A total solution to the problem of evil is beyond human ability. I would put forth the idea that evil may be a necessary accompaniment of God’s plan to make us fully human or the means to a greater good. I took this statement from Christian Doctrine author Millard J Erickson page 141. It may surprise you to know there are some things God cannot do! God cannot be cruel, for cruelty is contrary to his nature. He cannot lie. He cannot break his promise. As an example God cannot make a circle, a true circle, without all points being equidistant from the center. Similarly, God cannot make a human without certain accompanying features. Humans would not be humans without free will. Whether humans are free in the sense assumed by Arminians or free in a sense not inconsistent with God’s having rendered certain what is to happen, means that we have certain capacities (e.g., the capacities to desire and to act) which we could not fully exercise if there were no such thing as evil. If God had prevented evil, he would have had to make us other than we are. To be truly human we must have the desire to have and do things some of which will not be what God wants us to have and to do. Evil, then was a necessary accompaniment of God’s good plan to make us fully human. Another dimension of this theme is that for God to make the physical world as it is required certain concomitants. Apparently, for humans to have a genuine moral choice with the possibility for disobedience meant they would be capable of dying. At this point someone might ask “If God could not create the world without the accompanying possibility of evil, why did he create the world at all, or create the world without humans?” We cannot answer that question since we are not God it is noteworthy God chose the greater good. He decided to create rather than not create; personally I’m glad for that. He decided to create beings who would fellowship with and obey him. Beings who would choose to do so even in the face of temptations to do otherwise. Free will appears to be the greater good as opposed to a totally antiseptic environment from which even the logical possibility of desiring anything contrary to God’s will would have been excluded. Let me conclude with a couple of scriptures.

 

(Rom 5:1 HCSB)  Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

(Rom 5:8-20 HCSB)  But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us! Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life! And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned. In fact, sin was in the world before the law, but sin is not charged to one’s account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin in the likeness of Adam’s transgression. He is a prototype of the Coming One.   But the gift is not like the trespass. For if by the one man’s trespass the many died, how much more have the grace of God and the gift overflowed to the many by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ. And the gift is not like the one man’s sin, because from one sin came the judgment, resulting in condemnation, but from many trespasses came the gift, resulting in justification. Since by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. So then, as through one trespass there is condemnation for everyone, so also through one righteous act there is life-giving justification for everyone. For just as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. The law came along to multiply the trespass. But where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

 

 

Chris I would invite you to seek God He will find you and you will find him. I hope you know that for me this is enjoyable but also I recognize the eternal consequences involved in these discussions. Please know that I truly care and want to see others come to know and follow Jesus. I pray that I have not been offensive but at the same time I am betting eternity on what I believe not just on knowledge. You see without faith it is impossible to please God.

 

Dan

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Thief’s Predicament

In Apologetics, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved on March 13, 2009 at 3:47 pm

The Thief’s Predicament

 

threecrosses1

(Luke 23:39-46)  Then one of the criminals hanging there began to yell insults at Him: “Aren’t You the Messiah? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, rebuking him: “Don’t you even fear God, since you are undergoing the same punishment?  We are punished justly, because we’re getting back what we deserve for the things we did, but this man has done nothing wrong.”  Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!”  And He said to him, “I assure you: Today you will be with Me in paradise.” It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three, because the sun’s light failed. The curtain of the sanctuary was split down the middle. And Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I entrust My spirit. Saying this, He breathed His last.

 

First and foremost we see the fulfillment of prophecy as Jesus is on the cross together with the thieves. He has taken the place of Barabbas and is on the cross meant for him. We see in Isaiah the event taking place even to the detail of being treated as a criminal foretold several centuries earlier.

 

(Isa 53:12 HCSB)  Therefore I will give Him the many as a portion, and He will receive the mighty as spoil, because He submitted Himself to death, and was counted among the rebels; yet He bore the sin of many and interceded for the rebels.

 

Now let’s see how the event unfolded and what does it take to become a Christian. All the requirements of receiving a personal relationship with God are present and we see their formation here at the cross. Until now we see God in the Temple behind the Holy of Holies, visiting his Spirit on a select few for a short time and he had to withdraw from us till a permanent dwelling was established in our hearts. The thief is not only shown to us for his story but for our hope and realization of our part in salvation we can only ask and receive.

 

The Thief’s Predicament– he was no doubt in league with Barabbas, the word their as we learned here also meant terrorist or rebel. The three of them had been judged and the sentence was meant to be carried out before Passover so the Jews could see the power of Rome to overcome the rebels. Imagine his shock and surprise when the time came for his sentence to be carried out to see Jesus instead of his leader Barabbas.  No wonder he like the other rebel and the crowd jeered Jesus at first. Here he was ready to die for the cause and anticipating his leader to show his courage to become hero’s of the cause. Now instead of infamy he is being crucified alongside a supposed heretic that thinks he is God in the Flesh. I wonder if he saw his devotion a waste now with nothing to die for. He was without a doubt one of the worst of the worst or else why would be on a cross? Then Jesus who as the scripture states is offering intercession for all Isa 53 reads- “yet He bore the sin of many and interceded for the rebels”.  Maybe Proverbs might shed some light on his character, behavior, and lifestyle before this moment.

 

(Pro 1:10-16 HCSB)  My son, if sinners entice you, don’t be persuaded. If they say–“Come with us! Let’s set an ambush and kill someone. Let’s attack some innocent person just for fun! Let’s swallow them alive, like Sheol, still healthy as they go down to the Pit. We’ll find all kinds of valuable property and fill our houses with plunder. Throw in your lot with us, and we’ll all share our money”– my son, don’t travel that road with them or set foot on their path, because their feet run toward trouble and they hurry to commit murder.

 

 Hopefully we aren’t doing the things listed above but honesty requires us to admit that in some fashion we are just as guilty of robbing God. How have you robbed God?

Not using my spiritual gifts, Accepted glory that belongs to him, Used money and time my way, Ignored reading his word, Half hearted worship or worshiping for show

 

His predicament as author Arthur Pink puts it” He could not walk in the path of righteousness for there was a nail through either foot. He could not perform any good works for there was a nail through either hand. He could not turn over a new leaf and live a better life for he was dying” (The Seven Sayings of the Savior on the Cross). If we do not see ourselves as helpless as this man we cannot be saved. On the cross next to Jesus he had a change of heart. The only way to know the Savior is to see ourselves like him sentenced to a cross for our rebellion.

 

The Thief’s Remarkable Faith-Golgotha (which means skull place) was the place of execution for the very worst criminals. It is not a place to meet the most divine man ever to walk the earth. What turned this vicious, ruthless, callous, mean and rebellious man into a believer? What happened that day on Calvary to cause him to turn to Jesus?  We can deduce from the reaction of the Centurion and his own confession he heard Jesus praying over and over- (Luke 23:34 HCSB) [Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.”] he saw the ridicule of the crowd as they taunted him (Mat 27:42 HCSB) “He saved others, but He cannot save Himself! He is the King of Israel! Let Him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in Him. Imagine his surprise “he saved others? Maybe as they recounted his miracles the thief had to wonder what they mean.  He heard or possibly read the sign (Luke 23:38 HCSB) An inscription was above Him: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Because the High Priest protested about the sign he had to figure there was something to it. Incredibly, God birthed faith in this man’s heart at that moment. He believed at a time when Jesus was entirely helpless to save anyone; if fact he appeared to need saving! When you or I need saving you don’t turn to someone who is in the same predicament as you dying in disgrace for salivation, we typically need someone standing apart from the situation.

 

What savior would wear a crown of thorns matted with blood? What savior would have his beard plucked out by the roots? His body so emaciated by the scourging he was not recognizable as a man, no that’s not a picture of a savior is it? His hands and feet nailed to a cross barley able to breath, what a pathetic sight. Here is our redeemer, savior and the Son of the Living God. Remember the thief had yet to witness a miracle, no walking on the water, no wine made from water. He hadn’t seen the lame walk, the blind see, the dead raised. Jesus had not yet given up his spirit nor had he ascended, the veil was not yet torn, the earth hadn’t shaken. Yet he was as improbable as it was, he believed. Let’s see the path to salvation as it is described in the scriptures:

 

Admit your sin and repent (Luke 23:40-41 HCSB) But the other answered, rebuking him: “Don’t you even fear God, since you are undergoing the same punishment? We are punished justly, because we’re getting back what we deserve for the things we did, but this man has done nothing wrong.”

 

Ask for forgiveness and accept Jesus for who he is call on him in the same manner as the thief (Luke 23:42 HCSB) Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!” 

 

Your answer is the same as it has been from that moment till now (Luke 23:43 HCSB) And He said to him, “I assure you: Today you will be with Me in paradise.”

 

Barely able to speak justly being punished for his crime, not offering excuses for his behavior, not offering up his good deeds as justification. He asked simply to be remembered not honored when Christ came into his kingdom. His request modest, his attitude humble, his heart open, before the Lord but most of all his faith courageous he is in Heaven for all time and eternity. If the cross is not enough for salvation nothing else can be. We can’t will ourselves to be better, we can’t do enough good works, we can’t get baptized enough, and we can’t do anything else but trust and obey. In that order and like the thief we seek humbly for Jesus to remember us in his kingdom. Some may think I’ll keep living this way then like the thief I’ll just repent before I die. Some think they can have sin and salvation by depending on a death bed conversion as though we have some kind of indication of when we are going to die. This is the folly of all follies when you consider a few realities.

 

(Gal 6:7-8 HCSB)  Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows he will also reap,   because the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.

 

(2Co 6:2 HCSB)  For He says: In an acceptable time, I heard you, and in the day of salvation, I helped you. Look, now is the acceptable time; look, now is the day of salvation.

 

The word says now is the acceptable time, if God is God and you aren’t who are you reject his offer of Grace. He will not always offer it so readily.

 

(Rev 3:19-21 HCSB)  As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be committed and repent. Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me. The victor: I will give him the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I also won the victory and sat down with My Father on His throne.

 

(Mat 25:12 HCSB)  “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like 10 virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the groom. Five of them were foolish and five were sensible. When the foolish took their lamps, they didn’t take oil with them. But the sensible ones took oil in their flasks with their lamps.

Since the groom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. “In the middle of the night there was a shout: ‘Here’s the groom! Come out to meet him.’ “Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. But the foolish ones said to the sensible ones, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ “The sensible ones answered, ‘No, there won’t be enough for us and for you. Go instead to those who sell, and buy oil for yourselves.’ “When they had gone to buy some, the groom arrived. Then those who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet, and the door was shut. “Later the rest of the virgins also came and said, ‘Master, master, open up for us!’ “But he replied, ‘I assure you: I do not know you!’

 

(Isa 49:8a HCSB)  This is what the LORD says: I will answer you in a time of favor, and I will help you in the day of salvation,

 

(Luke 13:23-25 HCSB)  “Lord,” someone asked Him, “are there few being saved?” He said to them, Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because I tell you, many will try to enter and won’t be able once the homeowner gets up and shuts the door. Then you will stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up for us!’ He will answer you, ‘I don’t know you or where you’re from.’

 

The other thief- both had equal opportunity; both heard the words of Jesus as he prayed for him as well “Father forgive them”. And yet the other thief will be forever separated from his friend. It wasn’t the wickedness, or even their distance from Christ that keep them separate. One called on Christ the other rebuked him. (Luke 23:39 HCSB)  Then one of the criminals hanging there began to yell insults at Him: “Aren’t You the Messiah? Save Yourself and us!”

In conclusion if you haven’t decided what to do, who to follow don’t delay. Not everyone has the chance to repent before they die. We don’t know the time of our death unlike the thieves on the cross not everyone has a warning. Millions die unexpectedly without as much as a minute to think about their relationship with God. And more to the point when we reject the gospel while we are healthy and things are going great most reject when things are worse. We tend to blame God for bad times instead of drawing closer to him. I have heard it said if we bow our knee and ask “Your will be done” he grants us our desire. If we stiffen our back and neck and say “My will be done” he responds so be it….

 

Remember Salvation is simple not easy! The problem is not that salvation is difficult it’s that is untried.

 

(Act 2:21 HCSB)  then whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

 

(Act 2:22-24 HCSB)  “Men of Israel, listen to these words: This Jesus the Nazarene was a man pointed out to you by God with miracles, wonders, and signs that God did among you through Him, just as you yourselves know. Though He was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail Him to a cross and kill Him. God raised Him up, ending the pains of death, because it was not possible for Him to be held by it.

 

More to the reply for Chris

In Apologetics, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved on March 11, 2009 at 4:31 am

Chris-

I do agree with Lamont’s statement that actions in themselves are not inherently right or wrong. So what do we mean right or wrong, since these are value assessments in themselves? Everyone needs to come up with a working definition of what in the world we mean by this. How do we define what is right/moral? Through some appeal of a standard (religion, philosophical system, personal standard, etc) or through its consequences? Like Lamont, it is my opinion that the consequences are the ultimately means of assessing what is right or wrong. I do understand that this leads to a relativistic system of morals or a situational type ethical framework, but to me, that is simply reality.

What is deemed correct in one situation would be morally wrong in another. So we must look at who and what it affects along with the overall changes in happiness, suffering, or pain. Here lies my working definition of what is right/moral. It is anything that decreases the amount of pain and suffering in the world or anything that increases happiness or quality of life. This definition for me works in most cases as broad principle, but I’m sure there are many cases in which it is not so black and white. Pertaining to sin within the context of Christianity, I would say that many of the things that deemed immoral are simply not moral issues based on my previous definition. For example God defined eating unclean foods as a sin in Leviticus 11:1-47 and Deuteronomy 14:3-20. Is eating ‘unclean’ food really a damnable offense? The Bible makes this particular issue a moral one claiming to be a sin (or an offensive against God or his will).

Dan-

Chris as I read your definition of morality I see it manifesting as Cultural and Moral Relativism-i.e. the beliefs of a person or group of persons are “true” for them , but not necessarily for others. Ultimately, no truth is universally, objectively, true or false. One person’s “truth” which is really an opinion, can conflict with another’s “truth” and still be valid. And the Moral Relativist would maintain that there are no moral absolutes, no objective ethical right and wrong. Moral values are true –or “genuine “-for some, but not for others. Since there are differing expressions of morality in the world, there is no reason to think that one is any truer and objectively binding than another. If I have misstated please forgive me and correct me. For the present I’ll stick to this as my understanding. Your example of decreasing pain and suffering or anything that increases happiness and quality of life is interesting. I would point to Hitler (drastic I know but will suffice for examples sake) he wanted to decrease Germany’s suffering and pain, increase the happiness of the Aryans and make a better quality of life for them. And his ultimate goal of the Übermensch as a goal humanity can set for itself.

All human life would be given meaning by how it advanced a new generation of human beings. The aspiration of a woman would be to give birth to an Übermensch, for example; her relationships with men would be judged by this standard.

The point of adding this information was to contrast how the suffering and destruction of WW2 stands as an example of trying to achieve the goal of happiness through social engineering. Devoid of any standard apart from God morality lacks any consistent standard to evaluate actions and any action would be justifiable in some situations. The Holocaust if in the long view makes the whole of society happy and would eventually end suffering for the human race then the tragedy of the loss of life is only necessary for the betterment of all. I think you would have to agree we need a standard that would apply to all morality and be judged on that basis. Relativism misses on a crucial point test of internal consistency.” Something can be true for one person but false for another “fails to meet its own criterion for truth. While a worldview can be internally consistent of logical yet still be false, no worldview can be true if it contradicts itself.

I must always return to the scriptures for proof and validity so I have a couple of scriptures for contemplation:

(Rom 2:14-15)  So, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, instinctively do what the law demands, they are a law to themselves even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts. Their consciences testify in support of this, and their competing thoughts either accuse or excuse them

 

(Act 10:34-35)  Then Peter began to speak: “In truth, I understand that God doesn’t show favoritism, but in every nation the person who fears Him and does righteousness is acceptable to Him.

 

(Rom 1:19-20)  since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. From the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse.

 

(Rom 2:27)  A man who is physically uncircumcised, but who fulfills the law, will judge you who are a lawbreaker in spite of having the letter of the law and circumcision.

 

These versus attest to the moral standard set by God and the consequences of rejecting His Son.

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