Leaders Can Be Either a Blessing or a Punishment

Yesterday, I had some time in the morning to watch the hearing on Rex Tillerson’s appointment to be the next Secretary of State.  I wasn’t able to watch all of it (had to go for a follow-up root canal appointment…ugh!), but what I did watch and then observe through news broadcasts later made me both proud of Tillerson and absolutely cringe at his detractors!  It was expected that the Dems would try to trip up Rex and rip his nomination bid apart.  But when a GOPe harpylike devourer Rubio comes along and tries to act more intelligent than the nominee (but then gets destroyed by Tillerson’s great response) it’s even more painful to watch.

Marco Rubio needs to grow up…A LOT…before he ever runs for president again. On second thought, I don’t think he should ever run for president!

Tillerson’s response to all of his detractors yesterday (at least the ones I saw before I watched Trump’s press conference) were all brilliant!
I wonder…how many readers here and others are noticing what I have noticed? I now see many (not all) politicians as ignorant or definitely biased in either their thinking or ideology; whereas those who have been successful in business (like Trump and Tillerson) have much more intelligence, savvy, knowledge and proper demeanor on how the world REALLY is and how to work successfully with our allies! They also have the smarts to not jump to conclusions regarding our enemies and are more thoughtful and wise in how to deal with them.

Perhaps it has been the eight long years of hubris and deceit under Barry’s BADministration that has caused many politicians to lose their minds?!  But I think that it probably is more likely that they were really on the other side and “secretly” agreed with Barry and HiLIARy.  Unconscionable…to say the least!

God saw fit to enable Trump to win the presidency.  However, should we go so far as this man (now deceased – God rest his soul) did in his “prophetic” ideas regarding Trump?

See: WND: Did This Man Predict Trump Presidency in 2007?

I liked one response written by “Informed” to the article that reads:

Informed • an hour ago

God is sovereign. He grants us leaders to be a blessing and a punishment. Whether Trump is more blessing or more punishment will not be known for a long time. I pray he brings much more respect for God’s moral truth, some good sense and efficiency to our delusional, self worshiping, wasteful and inefficient federal government.

Yes.  We will have to wait and see whether Trump will be “more a blessing or more punishment.”  We have already experienced punishment via the outgoing BADministration!  I second “Informed’s” prayer and sentiment!

It will be very interesting to see what an ordinary American businessman can achieve in the position of President of the United States.  A majority of Americans are absolutely fed up with career politicians who make promises that they don’t ever intend to keep!

Career politicians (like John McCain) are being revealed for what they are…in government for their own gain!   See Lame Cherry’s latest post about McCain!  Chilling…

Hat tips to all links.

*******

1Pe 2:4

Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,

1Pe 2:5

you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

1Pe 2:6

Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,

“Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”[fn]

1Pe 2:7

Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,[fn]

“The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone,”[fn]

1Pe 2:8

and

“A stone of stumbling
And a rock of offense.”[fn]
They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.

1Pe 2:9

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

1Pe 2:10

who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

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One Thing Remains…

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31 Responses to “Leaders Can Be Either a Blessing or a Punishment”

  1. GMpilot Says:

    Tillerson danced well, and even credibly. He’s probably smarter than his soon-to-be boss, That’s important, because he’ll likely spend most of his tenure attempting to deal with the fallout from Trump’s actions. I wish him luck.

    Again, we’re in agreement: Rubio has a lot of growing up to do. He’s full of ambition, and he’s already set the wheels in motion for 2020…but he’s no more suited for the presidency than the man who’ll be taking the job later this month. Maybe the next four years will teach him something.

    I wonder…how many readers here and others are noticing what I have noticed? I now see many (not all) politicians as ignorant or definitely biased in either their thinking or ideology; whereas those who have been successful in business (like Trump and Tillerson) have much more intelligence, savvy, knowledge and proper demeanor on how the world REALLY is and how to work successfully with our allies! They also have the smarts to not jump to conclusions regarding our enemies and are more thoughtful and wise in how to deal with them.

    Really? Then why isn’t Mitt Romney beginning his second term, instead of Obama ending his second one? ‘Cause everyone was supposed to believe that Mitt had the intelligence, savvy, knowledge and proper demeanor on how the world REALLY is. (Well, at least before his 2012 European junket.)

    God saw fit to enable Trump to win the presidency.

    You agree with that, but eight years ago you couldn’t understand why god saw fit to enable Obama to win, and you went ballistic four years later when he won again. Either you trust your god or you don’t.
    In any case, I thought it was “We the People” who decide elections in this country! Don’t you believe in them, too?

    BTW, what’s become of your friend L? It’s been three months since she challenged me; I accepted, and since then she’s been as silent as the Sphinx. I’m sure she communicates with you; did you warn her away?
    Even though you have decided to ignore me, I’m still here, like a proper nemesis is supposed to be. Just let me know if she’ll be back, that’s all.

    Like

    • christinewjc Says:

      GM,

      There are many reasons why Romney lost that election. He obviously didn’t have a good campaign message and plan (like Trump obviously did) and many saw him as a political elitist.

      McCain wasn’t the best candidate either. And now, seeing his nefarious actions against Trump reveals that he is another member of the GOPe. I have often thought it strange that the Dems in Congress quickly passed a resolution? (I think) to declare McCain eligible to run for president, while ignoring Barry Soetoro’s hidden records and computer generated BC. He was probably deemed to take the fall in a loss to the “first black president” anyway so no concerns about his campaign.

      I haven’t seen or talked with L for some time now. Been very busy with family (my lovely granddaughter!), the holidays, some illnesses that had to be dealt with, etc. However, the last time we walked together and talked, I mentioned that you have been battling against my Christian beliefs for over ten years. Perhaps she thought it would be a waste of her time to get into any dialogue/argument with you.

      Please see my new post! A lot of reading and videos to watch, but It’s quite the eye-opener!

      Like

  2. News That Readers Need to Know! | Talk Wisdom Says:

    […] Talk Wisdom's goal is to defend the tenets and values of Biblical Christian faith. We defend our Constitutional Republic and Charters of Freedom, especially when speaking out against destructive social and political issues. As followers of our Savior and Lord, we should boldly stand up for Jesus Christ in our present circumstances. He is our Savior, Lord, and King, and His love needs to be shed abroad in our hearts and in our world – now. « Leaders Can Be Either a Blessing or a Punishment […]

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  3. GMpilot Says:

    CJW:

    I haven’t seen or talked with L for some time now…
    However, the last time we walked together and talked, I mentioned that you have been battling against my Christian beliefs for over ten years. Perhaps she thought it would be a waste of her time to get into any dialogue/argument with you.

    Perhaps. If so, she thought nothing about wasting my time by asking me to read the bible again. She also lacked the decency to simply tell me that, or to ask you to tell me that. But I’ve been wrong before, so I won’t assume anything; I’ll just wait for the facts.

    I’ll read your ‘report’ later. I’m helping out a sick friend, and if Jesus comes back today, I’d rather he found me doing good to someone, rather than just praying.

    Liked by 1 person

    • christinewjc Says:

      Well…did you read the Bible again?

      I can text and ask her to reply to you.

      Glad your sick friend will be getting help from you. I don’t know his (or her) name, but Jesus does. Sending up a prayer for healing.

      Update to this comment.

      Prayer sent. I hope your friend does not have that anti-biotic resistant flu that was discussed on the news.

      I do not get flu shots. But I am approaching the age (maybe already there at 62?) where it is highly recommended. I’m notorious for using holistic and natural healing methods. Some have worked quite well, while others didn’t (e.g. needing to use Nyquil during a bad cold), so I’m not averse to using other meds when needed.

      I hope and pray that your friend gets better soon!

      Like

  4. GMpilot Says:

    No, my friend did not have the flu. He was diagnosed last year with congestive heart failure. If you believe prayer (even yours) can help him, then pray that he manages to obtain a pacemaker or heart transplant, because nothing else in this world will.
    I helped him because I could. His condition has left him barely able to navigate his own apartment any more, and my other friends and I have implored him to seek assisted living quarters. Of course there are some people who might claim that his illness is part of some divine plan, but I don’t agree with that.

    I didn’t get the flu either. Shots are highly recommended for people over age 60, but I regularly received shots for this or that all through my service career. The only time I was concerned about it was when I received an anti-malaria shot, because I was told I could not donate blood for several years afterward.
    My wife was also very enthusiastic about holistic and ‘natural’ healing, but I’ve never seen it produce results that conventional medicine can’t achieve. I’m skeptical about that, too.
    If you don’t wish to be inoculated, that’s your business; if people around you get infected because you didn’t get inoculated, that’s everyone’s business. I didn’t think you were that selfish.

    All you need to do is tell L that I asked about her, and she’ll answer or not, as she chooses. I won’t assume anything.
    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to catch up on some reading.

    Like

  5. L Says:

    To GMpilot, I was busy with the holidays, and honestly I don’t spend much time on the computer. My husband also has been sick, and I have been trying to help him to regain his health.

    I too enjoy reading, so when I have free time I would rather do that when possible. Do you have any good books to recommend? I like historical, political, and religious for the most part.

    Did you read the Bible again? If so then maybe you have things to discuss. I don’t think reading the Bible or most other books that are historic are a waste of time no matter why you read them.

    I will be interested to hear from you.

    L

    Like

    • GMpilot Says:

      L:

      I was busy with the holidays, and honestly I don’t spend much time on the computer. My husband also has been sick, and I have been trying to help him to regain his health.

      Understood.

      I too enjoy reading, so when I have free time I would rather do that when possible. Do you have any good books to recommend? I like historical, political, and religious for the most part.

      I don’t spend a great deal of time reading religious books; however, I can suggest a title that covers all three of your interests. It’s called God’s Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible, by Adam Nicolson, published in 2003. No sensationalist tome, it is a well-researched and thoughtful book about how and why the KJV came to be, and why, 400 years later, it continues to hold its own against more modern translations. My copy is a Harper Perennial, given to me in 2005; it may still be in print.

      Did you read the Bible again? If so then maybe you have things to discuss. I don’t think reading the Bible or most other books that are historic are a waste of time no matter why you read them.

      I did not finish my reread, due to your prolonged silence and with no idea if you’d ever return. But I still have things to discuss.
      Last October, you wrote ”There are things in history, and artifacts that prove the Bible. Do you dispute facts?”
      I responded with “Show me these ‘things in history and artifacts that prove the Bible’ instead of simply declaring them, and we will talk. If they have been established as facts, then I will not dispute them.” We could start with that. I’m willing to risk exposing my ignorance of the Bible to prove my points. And if I’m wrong…then I’ve learned something.

      I will be interested to hear from you.

      You issued the challenge, so the initial move is also yours. I say again: Come out swingin’!

      Like

      • L Says:

        GMpilot,

        Thank you for the book recommendation. I will look into it. I have one for you, Marxism, and Christianity by Giulio Girardi.

        I am not a Biblical scholar in any stretch of the word. What I am is a seeker of truth. I just want to get that out there, so you know I am not claiming to know everything. I have found several things though in the Bible that show me the truth.

        Let’s get started with two things. One historical artifact would be the Dead Sea Scrolls. They are proof of the Old Testaments existence in ancient times. The documents found in the 1940s through 1956 include some Biblical Scriptures that date back to around 250 BC. One of those Scriptures is the Scriptures of Isaiah the prophet.

        In Isaiah he makes many mentions of Jesus by description. Some examples are; The root of Jesse, The virgin will be with child, The honor of Galilee of the Gentiles, He will reign on David’s throne, despised and rejected by men, he was pierced for our transgressions, and, like a lamb to the slaughter. These are just a few of the words from Isaiah who is just one prophet that told of Jesus coming.

        Right now, I am reading about the Jewish faith. That will be the second item that I want you to look at. What I am finding is the Old Testament has so much proof of Jesus in there holidays, feasts, language or words, and the Jewish calendar. The start of Passover was being celebrated when he was arrested. Passover is a foreshadowing of Jesus. The blood of the lamb was put above their doors to avoid the angel of death.

        You might find this interesting too. It was foretold that the savior would be born in Bethlehem. Bethlehem is where the sacred lambs were raised to be sacrificed in the Temple. You see, Jesus is the sacred lamb, so he had to be born in Bethlehem.

        I can’t see how someone could write the New Testament to prove all these things in the Old Testament or vise versa. They would have left something out or made a mistake, and the Bible would have been proven false centuries ago.

        These are just a few proofs from the Bible. There are hundreds.

        Please keep reading,

        L

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  6. GMpilot Says:

    L: One historical artifact would be the Dead Sea Scrolls. They are proof of the Old Testaments existence in ancient times. The documents found in the 1940s through 1956 include some Biblical Scriptures that date back to around 250 BC. One of those Scriptures is the Scriptures of Isaiah the prophet.

    We know that the Old Testament existed in ancient times, and 40% of the Scrolls consist of copies of those scriptures. Another 30% are books that are the Jewish equivalent of the Apocrypha; they are texts that were not canonized.
    What makes the Isaiah text notable is that it was the only complete book found among the Scrolls, and that it’s considered to be the earliest Old Testament manuscript still in existence. The Scrolls are proof that the Old Testament itself existed, and I don’t dispute that.

    I can’t see how someone could write the New Testament to prove all these things in the Old Testament or vise versa. They would have left something out or made a mistake, and the Bible would have been proven false centuries ago.

    It’s quite easy, really. The New Testament was actually many new testamentS, written not by just one person but many people, and none of them were actually codified until three centuries after Jesus’ death. The Old Testament, however, had been around for about two thousand years already, and the writers of the latter were well aware of the prophecies of the older texts. We know, for example, that the Jews expected a warrior-prince to arise among them, one who would avenge their humiliation at the hands of the Romans and re-establish the throne of David over the lands they lived in. David was their greatest fighting chief, and that was one reason why the OT spoke so highly of David, and his line, and his kingdom.
    Perhaps some things were left out. For sure, many more things were covered over, and re-interpreted so that the scriptures said things they actually didn’t say. I do not say that the Bible itself is false, but I do say that a great many things in it are.

    Regarding Isaiah: it contains quite a few passages that don’t paint Jesus in such a heroic light. The reputation it has regarding the prophecies about Jesus come mainly from Matthew, who first declared it as such.

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  7. L Says:

    GMpilot, Then you don’t dispute the items I listed that were mentioned in Isaiah?

    You made a general statement about things that you believe are false, but let’s play fair. I want proof, and exact items from the Bible as I gave you. How do you know who wrote the Bible, and who were the many? It is a little obtuse to say perhaps some things were left out or covered up. Again we shouldn’t go on feelings, but rather proof.

    You didn’t touch the second of my proofs. Why is it that the Jewish festivals, and rituals are mentioned and always correspond with Jesus in the New Testament? Was that just happen stance, and if you believe that to be true please give me your proof.

    I have one more fact for you to disprove. When Jesus was to be crucified it was on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. There is always a ceremony on that day where the high priest has two identical goats, and they are presented before the people. One goat would be spared but the other would be sacrificed for the sins of the people.

    I know you know that the person that was spared on the Yom Kippur that Jesus was crucified was Barabbas. Did you also know that in Hebrew Barabbas means the Son of the Father?

    They were identical sacrifices on the exact day that this ceremony was to be done. Is this a coincidence, or a clever lie?

    I will be waiting for your facts, and proof.

    L

    Like

    • GMpilot Says:

      L: You made a general statement about things that you believe are false, but let’s play fair. I want proof, and exact items from the Bible as I gave you.

      Here are the exact items you gave me:

      In Isaiah he makes many mentions of Jesus by description. Some examples are; The root of Jesse, The virgin will be with child, The honor of Galilee of the Gentiles, He will reign on David’s throne, despised and rejected by men, he was pierced for our transgressions, and, like a lamb to the slaughter.

      The root of Jesse: I guess you mean Isa 11:10. I don’t dispute that either. He was the father of the hero David, and on ‘that day’ someone of his line would stand as an ‘ensign of the people’. That’s fine by me. ‘His rest shall be glorious’ might be disputable, since Isaiah doesn’t make clear he’s talking of eternal, not temporal, glory.

      The virgin will be with child: Anyone who cares to learn knows that ”virgin” is now often regarded as a misinterpretation of almah, “young woman”. The controversy has gone on for decades, and it’s not going to be settled here. I don’t claim to know if she actually was chaste. If a woman gives birth to a child, then by definition she isn’t a virgin, but who determined that, and how? We aren’t told. The young woman in question was living at the time of the prophecy, not 800 years in the future. AFAIK, her identity has not been established, but the context of the verse implies the near-future.
      If Isaiah was describing Jesus, then why is he known to us as Jesus, rather than Immanuel, as was prophesied?

      The honor of Galilee of the Gentiles: Has Galilee been honored? Because there, and elsewhere in the region, there is still ‘confused noise, and garments rolled in blood’. and so far, the IDF has not yet decided to burn them. Of course there is also that old question in Jhn 7:41~43.

      He will reign on David’s throne: But he didn’t, did he? At least, not in the way everyone was expecting. The Jews all knew who David had been, and so naturally thought that anyone who assumed his (now-nonexistent) throne would be someone who had the same qualities that great king did. Jesus didn’t do that. According to some. Jesus had a cursed bloodline, which by divine decree would keep him off the throne of David (or would have, if Joseph had been the actual father). The only high place he had was the cross he was executed on.

      despised and rejected by men: Okay, you have me there.
      He was despised, by some, and rejected, by some. The leper, the blind man, the centurion, the revivified Lazarus: all of them were absent and silent at his trial before Pilate. None of them actually rejected him, but they didn’t get the memo and show up. The Sadducees, now…they actually despised him and schemed to be rid of him.
      But I could name some non-biblical figures who were also despised and rejected. That isn’t prophecy; that’s a sucker’s bet.

      he was pierced for our transgressions: Did Jesus know he was on a suicide mission? Sometimes he seemed to acknowledge it (Mar 8:31), and sometimes he seemed to want to avoid it (Mar 14:36).

      like a lamb to the slaughter. Lambs are for slaughtering before the Lord—that was the attitude of people in that time and place. We have evidence of God’s enjoyment of human sacrifice, but this was to be the last one ever. This was the final “lamb of God” that had to die—but since he already told us that he takes no delight in the blood of bullocks, or lambs, or goats, I cannot help but wonder why Jesus had to die at all.

      To the Jews, and a number of biblical scholars, Isaiah’s prophecies make more sense if applied to the nation of Israel, rather than to just one person.

      I have one more fact for you to disprove. When Jesus was to be crucified it was on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. There is always a ceremony on that day where the high priest has two identical goats, and they are presented before the people. One goat would be spared but the other would be sacrificed for the sins of the people.

      That is not for me to ‘disprove’. But I have something to say about it. You said

      They were identical sacrifices on the exact day that this ceremony was to be done. Is this a coincidence, or a clever lie?

      On the day of Jesus’ execution, the high priest made the traditional offering. Pilate was only a magistrate, and would have had little to do with the affairs of the local religion. He would not have made the Jesus/Barabbas offer in place of the high priest. The Temple’s offer was a symbolic one; Pilate’s was not (and the fact that three men were executed instead of just one was also contrary to the custom).
      The authors of the Gospels would have been well aware of this custom, too, and could have written the narrative in order to make it comply with the prophecy. Such things have happened before.

      Like

      • L Says:

        GMpilot,

        The things I have written you are only a few examples that are in the Bible. Do you think that the men that wrote the Bible had thought that hard, and deeply about putting all of these coincidences, and historical proofs in the Bible?

        What other religion of the thousands of religions out there, besides Judaism or Christianity, which prove each other have a historical book that has been in existence for over 3000 years with countless facts, places, and people that can, and have been proven to exist or be true?

        Here are a few more facts to ponder;

        It was foretold that the Messiah would ride in on a donkey, not have any broken bones, where he would be buried, where he would be born, the star at his birth, the wise men, and the exact money paid at his betrayal.

        Peter Stoner, a mathematician took just 48 prophecies that foretold of Jesus, and the chance that these would all apply to just one individual is one chance in ten to the 157th power of being fulfilled. Those are pretty staggering odds.

        If believing in Jesus is a sucker’s bet as you said, I will take that bet all day long. Look at evolution as an alternative. Now, that’s a sucker’s bet. None of the missing links have ever been proven true. They all have been discredited. To me you have to have blind faith to believe that we all evolved from a single atom. Please, understand I do believe that species evolve or change to adapt to their habitat. I would never deny that, but to stretch that kind of evolution to a single atom, I don’t see the link.

        Lastly, I look at the Apostle Paul. He never knew Jesus until after the resurrection. Why would he have chosen to believe in a lie? He persecuted the Jews for their belief in Jesus. He was well known, powerful, and from a respected Jewish family. He chose a life of persecution for Jesus. That makes no sense at all unless he knew without a doubt what the truth was.

        As I said in the beginning of our discussion, I am not a Biblical scholar. I took my own journey to look for truth. Look to old writings, and documents to avoid some twisting of the truth in current times. You are more eloquent, better read, and I am sure more intelligent than I am. I am only hoping that by us debating here that you might be sparked to continue on a journey to search for the truth for yourself, and be ready to acknowledge whatever you find.

        Your friend,

        L

        Like

  8. GMpilot Says:

    L: The things I have written you are only a few examples that are in the Bible. Do you think that the men that wrote the Bible had thought that hard, and deeply about putting all of these coincidences, and historical proofs in the Bible?

    Of course they did. If they wanted it to be the words of their god, then they wanted all the right (or unconfirmable) data they could obtain. Why else would some things be included, and others not?
    If you look only for the good (or bad) in anything, you’re very likely to find it. I do believe the authors of the Bible looked for coincidences, and when they found them, played them up. As I wrote earlier, they could easily have emphasized certain points in order to make them line up with any prophecies.
    As for historical proofs, exactly what do you mean? Do you mean that there was an Egypt, or a Jerusalem, or a Damascus? Or do you mean the predictions of miracles, betrayal, method of death, and post-death appearances? We have evidence for the former, but not the latter.

    What other religion of the thousands of religions out there, besides Judaism or Christianity, which prove each other have a historical book that has been in existence for over 3000 years with countless facts, places, and people that can, and have been proven to exist or be true?

    I submit for your perusal The Analects of Confucius. The sayings of the Chinese sage were compiled in the 5th century BCE, making it about 2600 years old—quite a bit older than the Christian bible, which didn’t begin to coalesce into an actual book until 300 or so years after Jesus’ time, and within a century of the age of the Pentateuch (the OT’s first five books).
    Like the Bible, it purports to show men a way to better living, but places far more emphasis on reason and restraint than on the sword or divine wrath. It is in fact not a divine text but a philosophical manual, and has influenced Chinese and East Asian thought for over 2500 years. Coincidentally, Confucius didn’t write it himself; it was compiled by his followers—just like the words of Jesus.

    Here are a few more facts to ponder;
    It was foretold that the Messiah would ride in on a donkey, not have any broken bones, where he would be buried, where he would be born, the star at his birth, the wise men, and the exact money paid at his betrayal.
    Peter Stoner, a mathematician took just 48 prophecies that foretold of Jesus, and the chance that these would all apply to just one individual is one chance in ten to the 157th power of being fulfilled. Those are pretty staggering odds.

    Christine once told me that a true prophet must, among other things, give predictions of future events that come true exactly as stated. So I’ll tell you what I told her:

    I walked over to my dusty ol’ shelf full of science fiction books and chose From the Earth to the Moon, written in 1865 by a French fellow named Jules Verne. You may have heard of him.

    Going through it, I found that Mr. Verne

    Predicted a manned mission to the moon. This was, I remind you, in 1865. The days of Goddard and Tsiolkovsky were sixty years away, as well as the rockets they would build. Verne had his expedition fired from a super-cannon, considered the only viable way to get them up there, but the point is that he forecast the trip in the first place.

    The expedition was launched from Florida, a place considered accessible yet remote from populated areas; in fact the cannon was set in a place scarcely a hundred miles from where the real Cape Canaveral is now.

    The expedition returned to Earth in the Pacific Ocean, making it the first known description of a ‘splashdown’ at a time when manned flight was only possible by balloon…and parachutes did not then exist.

    There were three men on the expedition, all of whom faced the sinister lunar creatures, and other perils, yet survived.

    All three men were Americans, even though Britain was the most powerful and advanced nation at the time. When asked why his heroes were not English (or even French), Verne said because it was because he considered Americans to be “a nation of engineers”.
    As a prophet, Mr. Verne does better than some of the biblical ones! And he made only five!

    Prophecies are nearly always made in fuzzy-sounding words, which is why it’s so hard to pin them down, and why words which ‘foretold’ the end of the world in the 1st century CE can be used to ‘foretell’ the end of the world in the 21st century CE as well.

    If believing in Jesus is a sucker’s bet as you said, I will take that bet all day long. Look at evolution as an alternative. Now, that’s a sucker’s bet. None of the missing links have ever been proven true. They all have been discredited. To me you have to have blind faith to believe that we all evolved from a single atom. Please, understand I do believe that species evolve or change to adapt to their habitat. I would never deny that, but to stretch that kind of evolution to a single atom, I don’t see the link.

    If you don’t see the link, it’s probably because you don’t understand exactly what evolution is.
    First, it is not the opposite of belief in Jesus—that would be the belief in some other religion. Second, evolution is not the belief that we all evolved from a single atom—that would be abiogenesis, which is something completely different. Evolution is the change in large groups of organisms over time. It does not engage the question of how life began; it acknowledges that life already exists, and changes while it does.
    If you want to see a ‘missing link’, look in your mirror. You are not exactly like your parents, nor your children, and the children resemble your parents even less than you do. So will their children. Missing link? You’re it, and so is everyone else. You’re another branch in the ever-growing tree of the human species.

    The ‘sucker’s bet’ is forecasting things you know will happen, because they are already happening; for example “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars” (Matt 24:6). There are nearly always wars–even as I write this, there is a war going on somewhere in the world. Most of us simply don’t care unless it involves a nation we consider important for some reason.

    Lastly, I look at the Apostle Paul. He never knew Jesus until after the resurrection. Why would he have chosen to believe in a lie?

    Paul didn’t know Jesus after the resurrection, either. He says nothing about the amazing works Jesus is said to have done, or who had seen them. He says almost nothing at all, apart from the Damascus road incident. He never seemed to think of Jesus as having been an actual person—just as some supernal being who chose him for a mission.
    I don’t think anyone chooses to believe anything; belief is based mostly upon what we actually know, and the authority of the person who makes the claim. From the time of Julius Caesar onward, thousands of Roman soldiers died in the Empire’s wars, and most of them believed that their Emperor was a god. Did their belief make that true?

    As I said in the beginning of our discussion, I am not a Biblical scholar. I took my own journey to look for truth. Look to old writings, and documents to avoid some twisting of the truth in current times. You are more eloquent, better read, and I am sure more intelligent than I am. I am only hoping that by us debating here that you might be sparked to continue on a journey to search for the truth for yourself, and be ready to acknowledge whatever you find.

    I’m no biblical scholar either. Even if I were, it would be used against me, because I don’t believe it. I probably know more about Star Trek than anyone should, but I don’t actually believe the Enterprise or the Federation is real! It is possible to have extensive knowledge about things that don’t actually exist, and my impression is that’s exactly what clergymen do.
    It is harder to argue for unbelief than belief, almost everywhere. My eloquence, such as it is, comes from defending my position. And I learned long ago not to underestimate anyone’s intelligence. I won’t start with yours.

    Awaiting your reply,
    GMpilot

    Like

    • L Says:

      L(new)
      I didn’t want to keep rehashing the same things, but I just couldn’t let your answers to my questions to you stand as is. Again though disprove what I put to you. There is so much more….

      L: The things I have written you are only a few examples that are in the Bible. Do you think that the men that wrote the Bible had thought that hard, and deeply about putting all of these coincidences, and historical proofs in the Bible?
      Of course they did. If they wanted it to be the words of their god, then they wanted all the right (or unconfirmable) data they could obtain.

      L(new) I gave you confirmable data. Although even comparing these things to ancient writings may not be acceptable. What would be proof? Sometimes nothing is ever sufficient. Why else would some things be included, and others not? You cannot include every detail of every Scripture nor even always every Scripture. Work with what you have, and disprove it.

      If you look only for the good (or bad) in anything, you’re very likely to find it. I do believe the authors of the Bible looked for coincidences, and when they found them, played them up. As I wrote earlier, they could easily have emphasized certain points in order to make them line up with any prophecies.
      As for historical proofs, exactly what do you mean? Do you mean that there was an Egypt, or a Jerusalem, or a Damascus? Or do you mean the predictions of miracles, betrayal, method of death, and post-death appearances? We have evidence for the former, but not the latter.

      L(new) I read a book, Jesus on Trial that unfortunately I loaned out. Try reading that book to see more of the proof.

      What other religion of the thousands of religions out there, besides Judaism or Christianity, which prove each other have a historical book that has been in existence for over 3000 years with countless facts, places, and people that can, and have been proven to exist or be true?
      I submit for your perusal The Analects of Confucius. The sayings of the Chinese sage were compiled in the 5th century BCE, making it about 2600 years old—quite a bit older than the Christian bible, which didn’t begin to coalesce into an actual book until 300 or so years after Jesus’ time, and within a century of the age of the Pentateuch (the OT’s first five books).
      Like the Bible, it purports to show men a way to better living, but places far more emphasis on reason and restraint than on the sword or divine wrath. It is in fact not a divine text but a philosophical manual, and has influenced Chinese and East Asian thought for over 2500 years. Coincidentally, Confucius didn’t write it himself; it was compiled by his followers—just like the words of Jesus.

      L(new) As you stated The Analects of Confucius was not a religion, but a philosophical manual. There is a difference. Since you brought up the Bible yes, there were over 60 authors, and several different translations, but looking back to the Dead Sea Scrolls they found with all of that very few changes. Pretty amazing.

      Here are a few more facts to ponder;
      It was foretold that the Messiah would ride in on a donkey, not have any broken bones, where he would be buried, where he would be born, the star at his birth, the wise men, and the exact money paid at his betrayal.
      Peter Stoner, a mathematician took just 48 prophecies that foretold of Jesus, and the chance that these would all apply to just one individual is one chance in ten to the 157th power of being fulfilled. Those are pretty staggering odds.
      Christine once told me that a true prophet must, among other things, give predictions of future events that come true exactly as stated. So I’ll tell you what I told her:
      I walked over to my dusty ol’ shelf full of science fiction books and chose From the Earth to the Moon, written in 1865 by a French fellow named Jules Verne. You may have heard of him.
      Going through it, I found that Mr. Verne
      Predicted a manned mission to the moon. This was, I remind you, in 1865. The days of Goddard and Tsiolkovsky were sixty years away, as well as the rockets they would build. Verne had his expedition fired from a super-cannon, considered the only viable way to get them up there, but the point is that he forecast the trip in the first place.
      The expedition was launched from Florida, a place considered accessible yet remote from populated areas; in fact the cannon was set in a place scarcely a hundred miles from where the real Cape Canaveral is now.
      The expedition returned to Earth in the Pacific Ocean, making it the first known description of a ‘splashdown’ at a time when manned flight was only possible by balloon…and parachutes did not then exist.
      There were three men on the expedition, all of whom faced the sinister lunar creatures, and other perils, yet survived.
      All three men were Americans, even though Britain was the most powerful and advanced nation at the time. When asked why his heroes were not English (or even French), Verne said because it was because he considered Americans to be “a nation of engineers”.
      As a prophet, Mr. Verne does better than some of the biblical ones! And he made only five!
      Prophecies are nearly always made in fuzzy-sounding words, which is why it’s so hard to pin them down, and why words which ‘foretold’ the end of the world in the 1st century CE can be used to ‘foretell’ the end of the world in the 21st century CE as well.

      L(new) Nice story, but you could say the same thing about the Dick Tracy cartoon. It is different when you are talking hundreds of years, and one person fits all 48 of the prophecies from several different prophets.

      If believing in Jesus is a sucker’s bet as you said, I will take that bet all day long. Look at evolution as an alternative. Now, that’s a sucker’s bet. None of the missing links have ever been proven true. They all have been discredited. To me you have to have blind faith to believe that we all evolved from a single atom. Please, understand I do believe that species evolve or change to adapt to their habitat. I would never deny that, but to stretch that kind of evolution to a single atom, I don’t see the link.
      If you don’t see the link, it’s probably because you don’t understand exactly what evolution is.
      First, it is not the opposite of belief in Jesus—that would be the belief in some other religion. Second, evolution is not the belief that we all evolved from a single atom—that would be abiogenesis, which is something completely different. Evolution is the change in large groups of organisms over time. It does not engage the question of how life began; it acknowledges that life already exists, and changes while it does.

      L(new) You are twisting what I said. I never stated I believe evolution is the opposite of belief in Jesus. I do believe in the evolution of species changes.

      If you want to see a ‘missing link’, look in your mirror. You are not exactly like your parents, nor your children, and the children resemble your parents even less than you do. So will their children. Missing link? You’re it, and so is everyone else. You’re another branch in the ever-growing tree of the human species.

      L(new) I do not believe in one species becoming another species. Show me one proof of any species doing that. Where is the species jumping. You should see evidence everywhere. It isn’t there, and not for the lack of trying. Lucy was in the history books when I was in school as proof. This turned out to be false, but you were never to question the truth as a student of history at the time.
      Now, we redefine the meanings so that the science fits. I compare that to Global Warming being changed to Climate Change. Why change the name? The warming part didn’t work out, so the term, and definition were changed to Climate Change. Everyone can, and should believe in Climate Change. It is called cyclical weather. How much influence does man have on that cyclical weather, well that is debatable.

      The ‘sucker’s bet’ is forecasting things you know will happen, because they are already happening; for example “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars” (Matt 24:6). There are nearly always wars–even as I write this, there is a war going on somewhere in the world. Most of us simply don’t care unless it involves a nation we consider important for some reason.
      Lastly, I look at the Apostle Paul. He never knew Jesus until after the resurrection. Why would he have chosen to believe in a lie?
      Paul didn’t know Jesus after the resurrection, either. He says nothing about the amazing works Jesus is said to have done, or who had seen them. He says almost nothing at all, apart from the Damascus road incident. He never seemed to think of Jesus as having been an actual person—just as some supernal being who chose him for a mission.

      L(new) When I said known I did not mean in the physical sense, but the spirit of Jesus came to him by name. He does speak about the amazing works of Jesus, and always talks about the apostles who saw those acts. He believed what he was told regarding Jesus as the person, because of his experience on the road to Damascus and what happened to him afterwards that Jesus (spirit) told him would happen.

      I don’t think anyone chooses to believe anything; belief is based mostly upon what we actually know, and the authority of the person who makes the claim. From the time of Julius Caesar onward, thousands of Roman soldiers died in the Empire’s wars, and most of them believed that their Emperor was a god. Did their belief make that true?

      L (new) People Paul met, and his blindness were true. He didn’t want to believe, but when what Jesus told him what would happen came true he couldn’t doubt any longer.

      As I said in the beginning of our discussion, I am not a Biblical scholar. I took my own journey to look for truth. Look to old writings, and documents to avoid some twisting of the truth in current times. You are more eloquent, better read, and I am sure more intelligent than I am. I am only hoping that by us debating here that you might be sparked to continue on a journey to search for the truth for yourself, and be ready to acknowledge whatever you find.
      I’m no biblical scholar either. Even if I were, it would be used against me, because I don’t believe it. I probably know more about Star Trek than anyone should, but I don’t actually believe the Enterprise or the Federation is real! It is possible to have extensive knowledge about things that don’t actually exist, and my impression is that’s exactly what clergymen do. Read Jesus on Trial.
      It is harder to argue for unbelief than belief, almost everywhere. My eloquence, such as it is, comes from defending my position. And I learned long ago not to underestimate anyone’s intelligence. I won’t start with yours.

      L (new) A part of the challenge I don’t think is being met. Are you re-reading the Bible consecutively? You can start with the New testament first, but the re-reading has to be part of this.

      Awaiting your reply,
      GMpilot

      Like

    • christinewjc Says:

      To L regarding GMpilot.

      Since my name was mentioned within this comment thread, I thought that I would share some pertinent facts regarding non-believers who refuse to see the truth about Jesus Christ fulfilling prophecy, and thus being the Savior of the world.

      I have found that no matter what proof and truth is shown to detractors of the Bible and Gospel of Jesus Christ, they often will never accept it or even consider it! The greater audience of your comments at this or any other blog may well be reached through your efforts here. Sometimes the person that you are writing to (in this case, GMpilot), won’t be the one who will ultimately benefit.

      L, you are doing the good work of an evangelist despite the fact that the person you are replying to will continue to reproach you for what you write. This is exactly why Proverbs contains the paradox of these two verses of wisdom:

      Pro 26:4

      Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
      Lest you also be like him.

      Pro 26:5

      Answer a fool according to his folly,
      Lest he be wise in his own eyes.

      In a comment thread on one of my posts, I made the claim that Jesus Christ has fulfilled over 300 Bible prophecies. There are several yet to be fulfilled at His second coming. I found a site that lists 353 prophecies fulfilled (including some to be fulfilled in the future) by Christ!

      Here’s the link:

      According to the Scriptures: 353 Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

      Even with all of this evidence, hardened hearts will still refuse to believe in Jesus! Amazing…isn’t it?

      Why is that?

      1Co 1:18

      For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

      Well, God bless you L for your efforts here at this blog to lift up the Name above all names…the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!

      Your friend In Christ,
      Christine

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      • GMpilot Says:

        Aww, you didn’t have to wait until I dropped your name, hostess! This is your blog—you can do anything you want here, anytime you want! Even if I objected, there’s nothing I can do to stop you.

        Thank you for the link. Now that I have them all in one place, I can investigate them—not necessarily to disprove them, but read them. Believe it or not, I’d really like to know. If I have my own Damascus Road moment as a result, you’ll hear of it.

        Like

      • christinewjc Says:

        GM,

        I wrote that comment and the link to the prophecies fulfilled page for L. I gave you the same link months ago, but did not read any comment from you regarding what was revealed.

        The point is that non-believers generally cannot be convinced of faith in Jesus unless they are willing to repent, believe in Him, and thus be saved from their sins. Those who want to argue against what is revealed in the Bible usually aren’t searching for the answer to their sin problem. It’s not “fashionable” these days. Many who are on the liberal side prefer avoiding the need to come to the Cross of Christ to be genuinely saved.

        The Bible tells us that “without faith, it is impossible to please God.”

        Heb 11:6

        But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

        The Bible also tells us:

        Heb 11:1

        Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

        All of Hebrews 1 discusses those in biblical history who “by faith” accomplished God’s will in their lives; all the while looking forward to the hope of the coming Messiah – Jesus Christ.

        Like

      • GMpilot Says:

        GM, I wrote that comment and the link to the prophecies fulfilled page for L. I gave you the same link months ago, but did not read any comment from you regarding what was revealed.

        Then follow this conversation with L, and learn from her. She gave me several specific claims, rather than try to sweep me away in a flood of data. If all of the claims are valid, than any one of them could have been chosen to make your point. At least she kept it to a workable handful. I asked you if you wanted me to go through all of them, saying, “So, do you expect me to examine each prophecy point by point? That could take years, and the world moves on. Or are there one or two unassailable prophecies that you’d like to dare me to dispute?
        More importantly, is this what convinced YOU?” And you never answered.

        The point is that non-believers generally cannot be convinced of faith in Jesus unless they are willing to repent, believe in Him, and thus be saved from their sins. Those who want to argue against what is revealed in the Bible usually aren’t searching for the answer to their sin problem. It’s not “fashionable” these days. Many who are on the liberal side prefer avoiding the need to come to the Cross of Christ to be genuinely saved.

        The point is that non-believers generally cannot be convinced of faith in Jesus unless it can be shown that there was a Jesus, and that all the events concerning him were/are true. If believers can’t do that, why should anyone be convinced by them?

        The Bible tells us that “without faith, it is impossible to please God.”
        Heb 11:6
        But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
        The Bible also tells us:
        Heb 11:1
        Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

        Of course! If you actually see something, you don’t have to have ‘faith’ in it.
        You speak of faith as if it’s a good thing. The Hebrews’ own faith in Great Yahweh is what got them persecuted, isolated and murdered, time and time again. Often the persecutors were Christians. Faith was the motivation pf both the persecutors AND their victims. Faith made Job into Lucifer’s pincushion. Faith led Jephthah to kill his daughter. Faith made Samson destroy a building and kill 3000 people (shades of 9/11/01!). Faith made genocidal killers out of Joshua and Gideon.
        Faith made equally genocidal killers of the First Crusaders. Faith made slavery a divine command, and made Martin Luther declare that burning the homes of Jews was a good idea. Faith made missionaries die for their creed, and sanctified vengeance by the soldiers who came after them. Tens of thousands of Japanese soldiers died—and killed—in their faith for the Emperor (who was also a god.

        And absolutely none of it made that faith justified. None of it ever proved that faith to be good or true.

        All of Hebrews 1 discusses those in biblical history who “by faith” accomplished God’s will in their lives; all the while looking forward to the hope of the coming Messiah – Jesus Christ.

        But the Jews do not believe that Jesus was the Messiah! They’re not looking forward to his return, because they believe he hasn’t arrived yet! Let’s see how far your ‘faith’ will get you with them. Go ahead, try it. They have a faith of their own…and since yours came from theirs, you have no room to decry it.

        Like

      • christinewjc Says:

        About your question regarding “is this what convinced you,” the short answer is no.

        What discovering all of those prophecies fulfilled by Christ did do for me was to further cement my faith in Jesus!

        For a longer answer, see My Journey to Christ.

        Liked by 1 person

      • GMpilot Says:

        CJW: About your question regarding “is this what convinced you,” the short answer is no.

        And it took only 11 months, and another person, to wring that answer from you. We’re making progress.
        But if all those supposed prophecies and their odds didn’t convince you, why did you think they would convince me?

        What discovering all of those prophecies fulfilled by Christ did do for me was to further cement my faith in Jesus!

        Ah, the classic “ I’ll see it when I believe it” method apologeticists use. Trouble is, those who believe far outnumber those who understand.

        For a longer answer, see My Journey to Christ.

        Your longer answer translates to “No, but…”
        From your description, your children found Protestant church services more engaging, more…fun. (You said they liked it “SO MUCH BETTER”, but you didn’t say why). It may have had nothing to do with what was actually being preached, you know. My wife once said something similar to me about church service.

        Like

      • christinewjc Says:

        I did mention why my children liked the Christian Fellowship better. For our daughter, it was the children’s program. For our son, it was the teachings of the Pastor in the sanctuary.

        Excerpt:

        Our daughter went to the children’s group and our son came into the big sanctuary with us. He loved listening to Pastor Shawn. My daughter joined AWANA…

        I learned about the fulfilled prophecies gradually during my Bible Study times. However, seeing that huge list in one place is quite impressive! At least it is for me!

        Like

      • GMpilot Says:

        CJW: I did mention why my children liked the Christian Fellowship better. For our daughter, it was the children’s program. For our son, it was the teachings of the Pastor in the sanctuary.

        Indeed you did. I stand corrected.

        I learned about the fulfilled prophecies gradually during my Bible Study times. However, seeing that huge list in one place is quite impressive! At least it is for me!

        But they didn’t convince you—you were already convinced when you saw them, right? You still believed it before you understood it.

        Like

  9. GMpilot Says:

    L:
    I didn’t want to keep rehashing the same things, but I just couldn’t let your answers to my questions to you stand as is. Again though disprove what I put to you. There is so much more….

    I’ve responded to the explicit points you made, except those regarding Peter Singer’s calculations—I’m still researching that. I’m no mathematician, so I want to learn how he calculated those odds.

    L: I gave you confirmable data. Although even comparing these things to ancient writings may not be acceptable. What would be proof? Sometimes nothing is ever sufficient. Why else would some things be included, and others not? You cannot include every detail of every Scripture nor even always every Scripture. Work with what you have, and disprove it.

    You’re right, sometimes nothing is ever sufficient. But you seem to think that if I can’t ‘disprove’ your claims, then they win by default. I will show you where I think they’re wrong, and why, and let you draw your own conclusions, keeping in mind that we might both be wrong. That’s where a good argument lies.

    L: I read a book, Jesus on Trial that unfortunately I loaned out. Try reading that book to see more of the proof.

    That’s David Limbaugh’s book, right? Show me an example in there that convinced you.
    Also, be more careful; no books are ever lost by lending except those you want to keep.

    L: As you stated The Analects of Confucius was not a religion, but a philosophical manual. There is a difference. Since you brought up the Bible yes, there were over 60 authors, and several different translations, but looking back to the Dead Sea Scrolls they found with all of that very few changes. Pretty amazing.

    A religion is not the same as a book. Christianity is a religion; The Analects is a book. Please note the difference. The Bible is an anthology: 60 authors over a period of 1500 years, most of them speaking different languages and nearly all of them never having met each other, all writing with different agendas concerning the deity of which they were writing about. We don’t even know who actually wrote many of the books in it.
    I did not invoke the Bible, you did. Your exact words were ”What other religion of the thousands of religions out there, besides Judaism or Christianity, which prove each other have a historical book that has been in existence for over 3000 years…” I gave you one example. There are probably others.
    One more thing: the oldest extant version of the Bible is the “Sinai Bible” (Codex Sinaiticus) and is housed in the British Museum. It is written in Greek, and dates from the reign of Constantine. There are 14,800 differences between it and the KJV. I would not consider that ‘very few changes’.

    L: Nice story, but you could say the same thing about the Dick Tracy cartoon. It is different when you are talking hundreds of years, and one person fits all 48 of the prophecies from several different prophets.

    And I would, if it illustrated my point, which is: get enough data together and you can make it say anything you want, about anyone you want.

    L: I do not believe in one species becoming another species. Show me one proof of any species doing that. Where is the species jumping. You should see evidence everywhere. It isn’t there, and not for the lack of trying. Lucy was in the history books when I was in school as proof. This turned out to be false, but you were never to question the truth as a student of history at the time.

    Species do not ‘jump’, as you put it. It is gradual. On what date did Cro-Magnon Man become us?
    Your statement is phrased to dictate that the only acceptable evidence is evidence that cannot be found. The irony is that the evidence cannot be found because evolution is true. That is, evolution states that populations change over generations. Generation of a new species requires generations. And that taxa “higher” than species involves multiple speciations — more generations. This places the evolution of a new genus or family outside the time limit of the history of human observation. So now the questioner can claim “there is no observable evidence; evolution is not true!” But we can, and have, observed it in plants and many animals.
    In one study mentioned by biology Prof. Paul Lucas, “they started with a species of ‘fruit’ flies — eats the juices of fruit (fructose). They put populations on potatoes or on malt. After 52 generations they had 2 new species. BUT, they were not ‘fruit’ flies anymore. One was a ‘starch’ fly and the other a ‘malt’ fly.”

    Now, we redefine the meanings so that the science fits. I compare that to Global Warming being changed to Climate Change. Why change the name? The warming part didn’t work out, so the term, and definition were changed to Climate Change. Everyone can, and should believe in Climate Change. It is called cyclical weather. How much influence does man have on that cyclical weather, well that is debatable.

    The warming part is still underway; where I live, for the past several weeks, temperatures have been 17~20 degrees above normal for this time of year. ‘Climate change’ is in fact a more accurate term than ‘global warming’. The former term leaves one with the impression that everywhere is getting warmer, all at once. But tropical ocean currents like the Gulf Stream appear to be actually getting colder; if that’s so, then Europe, never the warmest of places, will begin to experience cooler temperatures as time goes on. And that would clearly lead to a change in climate.
    But climate change and evolution are irrelevant to what we’re discussing here.

    L: When I said known I did not mean in the physical sense, but the spirit of Jesus came to him by name. He does speak about the amazing works of Jesus, and always talks about the apostles who saw those acts. He believed what he was told regarding Jesus as the person, because of his experience on the road to Damascus and what happened to him afterwards that Jesus (spirit) told him would happen.

    I know what you meant. You illustrate the point in my previous post: Paul believed what he was told based on what he knew and on the authority of the person who made the claim (i.e., Jesus himself). He believed Jesus spoke to him. Did his belief make that true?

    L: People Paul met, and his blindness were true. He didn’t want to believe, but when what Jesus told him what would happen came true he couldn’t doubt any longer.

    Paul’s blindness was true. The rest is questionable—especially since with each succeeding report of his encounter, he embellished what Jesus said to him and slowly eased his traveling companions out of the story. He never identified them, so they can’t contradict or confirm what happened that day. But there would have been no need to do that, if the story was actually true.

    L: A part of the challenge I don’t think is being met. Are you re-reading the Bible consecutively? You can start with the New testament first, but the re-reading has to be part of this.

    Why do you insist I begin with the New Testament? Would you suggest I read any other book by starting at the middle? As I told you before, I read the Bible the old-fashioned way. There can’t be a New Testament without there having been an Old one—otherwise it would simply be “The Testament”. Starting with the NT is NOT reading it consecutively!

    GMpilot

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  10. My Journey to Christ | Talk Wisdom Says:

    […] between my friend L and a non-believer named GMPilot in the comment section of a post entitled Leaders Can Be Either a Blessing or a Punishment, Mr. Pilot asked me a […]

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  11. L Says:

    GM,

    Your right let’s keep this on point. I can see we both have many differing views on several topics.

    The reason I say to start with the New Testament is simple. We are trying to prove or disprove Christ, so start with his story first.

    I had a friend that suggested I start with the New Testament first, and once I did that, it was easier to read, and understand for me. Let’s be truthful when you are reading the Bible for the first or second time it can tend to put you to sleep, or at least that is what it did to me. When you read the first few books in the New Testament they are almost the same. For me it was repetition, and I thought, OK, I get this. I am not saying you are as dense as I am, but it gives you a better understanding reading the New Testament first.

    I want to give you one more proof. This is about Paul. When he was blinded the Lord let it be known to Ananias a Christian, that he was to go to Paul, and touch him, so that Paul would regain his sight. In Hebrew Ananias’s name is Khananyah. That name translates to grace of God. Do you think that it was a coincidence that the first thing that Paul saw when he regained his sight was the grace of God?

    I understand your denial of Christ. To say things are not fair or good here, and not understanding why is understandable. It won’t ever be like Heaven here until Jesus returns. Man can never make earth utopia, and fair because he has to sin. It is in our nature. This is because God gave us our free will, and we chose to sin, and Satan is here. This is the part that is the most difficult to understand, and accept. We can try to be better, but we can never attain what we are trying to do here on earth, or without God.

    L

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  12. GMpilot Says:

    L: GM, Your right let’s keep this on point. I can see we both have many differing views on several topics.
    That’s what discussions are made of. If we agreed about everything, it would be a dull world, wouldn’t it?

    The reason I say to start with the New Testament is simple. We are trying to prove or disprove Christ, so start with his story first.

    Okay, let’s start with his story.
    We don’t know when he was born, and we don’t know where: most people say it was during the reign of Herod the Great, who died in 4 BCE, but Luke says Jesus was born while Quirinius was governor of Syria, which means Jesus had to have been born at least nine years after the death of Herod (6 CE). Matthew and Luke say he was born in Bethlehem, but it seems to not have existed at that time. (Nazareth did.)
    In Matthew, Jesus alludes to the prophecies about the Messiah at least thirty times, emphasizing that those forecasts apply to him. He also admits that he often behaves deliberately to fulfill the prophecies, which of course were known to all the Jews of his day.
    Jesus said, For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matt 12:40)
    But Mark 15:42~45 says Jesus died on the afternoon of the day before the sabbath (i.e., Friday), and Jesus left the tomb sometime on Saturday night/Sunday morning (Mark 16:9, Matthew 28:1) That’s a day and a half at best, not three days and nights. In short, Jesus didn’t fulfill his own prophecy.
    Throughout his ministry, almost to the very end, Jesus declares that the only people who matter to him are his fellow Jews (Matt 10:5~6, 16:22~26). That “savior of all mankind” part came much later, mostly through Paul.

    I had a friend that suggested I start with the New Testament first, and once I did that, it was easier to read, and understand for me. Let’s be truthful when you are reading the Bible for the first or second time it can tend to put you to sleep, or at least that is what it did to me. When you read the first few books in the New Testament they are almost the same. For me it was repetition, and I thought, OK, I get this. I am not saying you are as dense as I am, but it gives you a better understanding reading the New Testament first.

    Yes, those early books are tedious to read, yet many generations of believers have, and do, read them. When I was originally challenged to read it long ago, I wanted to be fair, so I read it all. But my question still stands: would you ever recommend that any other book be read by starting in the middle? I say, if someone wants you to do that, then there’s something in that book they don’t want you to see.
    Since the Bible is supposed to be the The Most Important Thing You’ll Ever Read, you might wonder why such information is being withheld from you.

    I want to give you one more proof. This is about Paul. When he was blinded the Lord let it be known to Ananias a Christian, that he was to go to Paul, and touch him, so that Paul would regain his sight. In Hebrew Ananias’s name is Khananyah. That name translates to grace of God. Do you think that it was a coincidence that the first thing that Paul saw when he regained his sight was the grace of God?

    “Nice story, but you could say the same thing about the Dick Tracy cartoon.” It’s a beautiful metaphor, and it’s nice if you’re trying to emphasize a story point, but it proves nothing. It’s the sort of prosaic story one would expect from that time and place.
    I’ll give you a better one: “…thou art Peter, and upon this rock I shall build my church…” The name Peter means “rock” or “stone”, and upon this pun the Roman Catholic Church established its legitimacy. It proves nothing.

    I understand your denial of Christ. To say things are not fair or good here, and not understanding why is understandable. It won’t ever be like Heaven here until Jesus returns. Man can never make earth utopia, and fair because he has to sin. It is in our nature. This is because God gave us our free will, and we chose to sin, and Satan is here. This is the part that is the most difficult to understand, and accept. We can try to be better, but we can never attain what we are trying to do here on earth, or without God.

    I don’t think you do understand. I’m aware that things are often neither good nor fair. That’s why we make laws.
    As I’ve told our mutual acquaintance, I believe Jesus to have been a real person. It’s his divinity I have doubts about. I also doubt the divinity of Allah, Izanami, Marduk or any other god you can name. I don’t play favorites.
    Paul’s famous argument of Romans 9 (esp. 9:20) means that “free will” cannot exist. A God powerful enough to give free will also is powerful enough to take it away, and there are examples in the Bible of him doing just that.
    If we can never attain what we are trying to do here on earth, or without God, then what are we here for? Some believers tell me we’re here to give God glory, but why would God want glory from inferior beings, especially ones he supposedly made?
    Utopia means “no place”. That’s a pretty good description of heaven.

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  13. L Says:

    GM,

    Please read the Bible again for yourself. No amount of listening to others or taking bits, and pieces out can reach a person as reading it for themselves.

    I haven’t been a steady member of a church for years, and the more I read the Bible, and other books I think for me it is best that way.

    I was just watching a program this morning about Guttenberg, and the printing press. It wasn’t until about 560 years ago that most people were even able to read the Bible for themselves. The churches skewed the word of God in their verbal message, and changed God’s calendar. Do I still believe that happens? Absolutely, but the Bible is the same.

    Open your mind to whatever you find when reading, because you will see the truth if you allow yourself to see it. Question everything. Compare God’s calendar (Jewish calendar) to events in the Old and New Testament, and yes even events in current history. Then I think you will find as I have that the Bible tells things from the end to the beginning and back again as no other book can.

    So, read….

    L

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    • GMpilot Says:

      L:Please read the Bible again for yourself. No amount of listening to others or taking bits, and pieces out can reach a person as reading it for themselves.

      I fully agree. How do you think I got here?
      It wasn’t due to some traumatic personal event; it wasn’t because I ‘just wanted’ to sin, or was a victim of events. It was because I had some questions my clergymen didn’t answer, so I went to the same source they did…and found myself horrified by most of it.

      I was just watching a program this morning about Guttenberg, and the printing press. It wasn’t until about 560 years ago that most people were even able to read the Bible for themselves. The churches skewed the word of God in their verbal message, and changed God’s calendar. Do I still believe that happens? Absolutely, but the Bible is the same.

      You don’t believe that the churches skewed the word of God in their written message, as well? Why not? The Catholics’ Bible has more books than the Protestants’ Bible, which means that someone, somewhere, decided for themselves (and everyone else) which books were the actual message of God, and which were not. And God has not seen fit to correct us about it.
      There are many versions of the Bible out there, and every one of them claims to be the definitive, unchanging word of God. They can’t all be the right one. Maybe none of them are.

      Open your mind to whatever you find when reading, because you will see the truth if you allow yourself to see it. Question everything.

      I did that. That’s why I no longer believe.

      Compare God’s calendar (Jewish calendar) to events in the Old and New Testament, and yes even events in current history.

      God uses the Jewish calendar? I didn’t know that. Have you noticed that the Jews do NOT date their calendar from the birth of Jesus? According to them, this is the year 5777. So the end of the world not only did not happen in 2000 CE, as many Christians expected, but it isn’t due for at least another 223 years.
      I think I stated earlier that Nero Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Adolf Hitler were all, at various dates, awarded the title of Antichrist in accordance with prophecies derived from Scripture. Were they?

      Then I think you will find as I have that the Bible tells things from the end to the beginning and back again as no other book can.
      So, read….

      Any book can tell us things. Books that tell us things that are true and useful are preferred. But because you insist, I will read. Again. Starting in the middle.

      Like

  14. christinewjc Says:

    L,

    What you wrote about churches drifting away (or, in some cases deliberately doing so) from the true gospel of Jesus Christ is true. What’s more, it is happening at a greater rate in this generation than ever before! Our family left two churches over the years because we found that the pastor was drifting away from excellent Bible teaching. In one case, the pastor started to follow another pastor’s way of teaching and this caused errors (one was huge!) in the direction that he started taking the church.

    I suggest reading my post entitled Syncretism Stew. An author by the name of Marsha West has created a list of denominations that have drifted their congregations away from what the disciples originally called, “The Way.”

    So, how are we supposed to know who is correct in such matters? That is where serious studying of the Bible comes in! There are too many Christians who only rely on the words of others, rather than examining the Word of God and the Living Word – Jesus Christ – for themselves.

    There is a verse in 2 Timothy (which is utilized by the AWANA programs for children) that tells us to “study to show thyself approved unto God – rightly dividing the word of truth.”

    2Ti 2:15

    Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

    What’s more is that we need to be diligent about it! There are so many tools that can be used to help us in our studies. I think that the commentaries of past biblical scholars (like Matthew Henry) are very helpful! Also, using a concordance in order to understand the meaning of the Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic words in the Bible helps to prevent error in private study and interpretation. For example, the word “fear” in the Bible can mean either dread of something or someone, or it can mean reverence (usually reverence for God). This is only one example. Proper context is essential in Bible study.

    The book of Jude informs us that we are to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”

    Jude also warns us about the syncretism stew of those who would do things to gain advantage, follow after their own lusts, and be mockers:

    Jde 1:16

    These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.

    Jde 1:17

    But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ:

    Jde 1:18

    how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.

    Jde 1:19

    These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.

    Jude 1:19 informs us that those who do not have the Spirit (meaning the Holy Spirit of God who indwells us when we repent of our sins and ask for forgiveness at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ and then through faith, ask Him to dwell in our hearts in the form of the Holy Spirit as saved individuals) are people who are sensual persons who cause divisions. Again, this is an example of the syncretism stew that people can willingly enter, or ignorantly enter into because of their lack of knowledge about the way, the truth and the life of Jesus Christ.

    Bible study is crucial, but the fellowship with other Christians in a Bible based non-denominational church is also important. If the church is Bible based, then it is less likely to fall into the syncretism stew types of errors.

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  15. L Says:

    GM, and Chris,

    God gave the Jews his calendar. God first told Moses to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, which means God is among us, after the Exodus. Jesus was born exactly when God said in his calendar he would be. He was born during the Feast of Tabernacles. You can trace it through John the Baptist, and when his Mother was pregnant. Zacharias, John’s father was serving his priest’s office during the Feast of Pentecost when he was told his wife would conceive. Then you put the other details in regarding Mary’s visit to John’s Mother Elizabeth, and Elizabeth being six months along, and everything falls into place.

    Jesus was actually born around the end of September or first of October, which would have been exactly as planned during the Feast of Tabernacles.

    I look at the times for feasts, and other events on the Jewish calendar as dress rehearsals. Over, and over historic things happen on these days. By celebrating the way, and time the Jews were instructed are dress rehearsals for actual events. When events happen they should be ready, and aware. Unfortunately, Christians, and Jews are not paying attention to history or the calendar.

    I agree with you Chris. We have become too dependent on other people’s words. We need to search, and look for the truth ourselves. Look at everything, and question all religions. Studying our history, and roots is so important. Things are getting lost, and forgotten.

    Just as in politics we have become so team oriented, and tribal in our views. We are never willing to say or think that our side has said or done anything wrong. The truth is there, but we won’t see it, and refuse to hear it.

    I didn’t vote for Donald Trump for President, but I am happy with some of what he has done. I am not happy with the new health care plan. I wanted it abolished, and he is just replacing it with another government health care plan. Democrats should be ecstatic, but they don’t see that they are getting what they want. Republicans should be upset, but, because Trump has an R and not a D they don’t see the hypocrisy.

    Religion, truth, politics, and life in general is getting very twisted. You can no longer believe your lying eyes, go back to the past to learn the future. Stick to your principles, and not people. Know God’s love for us, and love each other no matter our differences. I want to find common ground with any good person that will honestly do the same.

    L

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