Sunday, September 26, 2010

CTS- Common Lies Christians Tell

Ok, a few apparent lies that Christians tell. For the sake of being thorough I'll go through all of them, even the ones mentioned in the introduction. Before I begin, I'd like to make a point about lying. A lie is defined as "a false statement with deliberate intent to deceive". This means that Charlotte is accusing Christians of, completely on purpose, deceiving everyone that they discuss the following topics. That is one large accusation. I would contend that most, if not all, Christians don't fully understand the Einstein, Darwin, or American topics. Now I'll begin the explanations.


This is a hotly debated issue. I'm not sure whether or not there is enough evidence to say it one way or another, but there are two basic conflicting views. Richard Dawkins (wrote "The God Delusion") sees Einstein as a pantheist, which he goes on to say is basically "sexed-up" atheism. He believes Einstein's use of the word 'God' was always used only in a poetic and metaphorical sense. On the other side of the issue, Susan Wise Bauer (wrote "The Well-Trained Mind") doesn't try to portray Einstein as a Christian, but argues that Einstein believes in one god and had a tendency toward deism. This view basically portrays God as a universal clock-maker, who winds everything up and then lets it tick without interfering. So those are the differing views, I'll post a few links below so you can see both sides. What we can say about Einstein is that he absolutely believed in the existence of Jesus as a historical figure. He also believed that religion and science can cooperate, they are not in contention.

Evidence for Jesus's Existence

First of all, the Bible is absolutely reliable as a historical document. Archeologists frequently discover artifacts that confirm the events recorded in the Bible. For a video on these findings click here. The writings of Josephus, a Roman citizen who lives from c. 37-100 wrote about Jesus. He calls him "a wise man, if indeed it is appropriate to call him a man", and says that he performs paradoxes and won over many Jews and Greeks. He even calls him the Christ. In a later writing, he also calls James the "brother of Jesus, who is the Christ". Many other early scholars reference "Christus", a Latinized Greek translation of the Hebrew word "Messiah". Justin Martyr mentioned an "Acts of Pilate", a record of some cases Pilate was involved in, but only Tertullian also mentions this. The evidence for the Bible and Jesus's historicity is to numerous to do more than touch on, so look around for yourself.

Darwin Recanted on his Deathbed

I don't believe this to be true. There is very little evidence for this. This story became popular when it was preached by an evangelical woman named "Lady Hope". She may have visited Darwin, but if she did it is most likely that she did so around 7 months before his death. At this point in time he would not have been bedridden as she had said, and therefore was unlikely that he was studying the Bible then. As Charlotte said, his daughter opposed this and his wife made no comment on it. It's likely she would have, as she was worried about the "godless nature" of his views. This doesn't rule it out entirely, but it doesn't have the background to be stated as fact.

Evolution is false (or only a theory)

This is an interesting one for sure. I agree that micro-evolution is as close to a fact as you can get with our limited knowledge. All it does is explain the variation we see every day as humans. Charlotte goes on to admit that "macro evolution remains a theory", and then contends that it is a fact (by saying "EVOLUTION DID HAPPEN"). I know a certain line of resources (look to the right) that would contend otherwise, and with scientific observations of their own. The theory of evolution by natural selection is at this point in time filled with far too many holes to be assumed to be a scientific fact. I'm also going to stray away from saying it is a flat-out falsity because of the evidence on the other side of it. Hopefully time will tell, but for now, Christians saying it's only a theory aren't lying.

Atheists Have No Morals

Once again, Charlotte using a statistic to prove her point and does not give a source for it. It is a gross generalization to say that no atheist alive has morals, so I don't agree with this statement. I do, however, take issue with Charlotte's accusations that Christians cause true immorality (genocide, slavery, etc). I've already disproved the slavery point, see here. I've also argued many times that genocide is not often caused by Christians, but when it is there are absolutely not following the Bible's teaching. The only wars backed by God were against societies taking part in extreme immorality (demon worship, human sacrifice, sodomy, etc).

Regarding women's suffrage, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union was one of the most influential groups pushing women's rights. Eleanor Roosevelt, a huge influential leader, was a theist (although not a Christian). The Christians who believed that women should not vote misunderstood the historical context of verses like 1 Corinthians 14.35 and Colossians 3.18. Women do have a different God-given role than men, but that is a different topic.

Back to atheists' morals. The Bible teaches that "the Law is written on our hearts" (Romans 2). This would imply that every person, unless their conscience has been severely fragmented by sin, has a basic moral awareness. Furthermore, many values consistent with Christianity are encouraged in our society. However, an argument exists that atheism, if left unchecked, will cause moral deprivation. If there is no God, there exists no standard for ethics beyond what is helpful for society. When no objective standard exists, it is easier to argue that choices like homosexuality, bestiality, abortion, prostitution, etc can do no material harm to society. In fact, one of the only atheists against gay marriage is Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who has been labeled a hypocrite by fellow atheists. Food for thought.

United States Founded on Christianity

Charlotte is correct here, but I'm going to add some perspective. There is no disputing the fact that the majority of the founding fathers and colonists at the time were Christians. This means that America was founded on a number of biblical Christian values (equality, respect, etc). However, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison were all deists. They believed in a generic god, but did not accept orthodox Christianity. Charlotte is correct, one of the principle reasons for the voyage to America was freedom of religion. I've said this before, and I'll say it again: State sponsorship is not conducive to a strong Christian faith. There's no need for Christians to push this idea. This "lie" is likely based on ignorance, not deception, I've not met one Christian who knows the information I just posted above. Atheists, please inform my brothers of this respectfully, there are not lying to you.

There Are No Atheists In Foxholes

You can wikipedia this to understand it. This is meant as an expression, not a statistical fact. The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, which Charlotte referenced, stands against the use of this as a statistic. It's simply meant to show that many people re-evaluate their positions on God's existence when under circumstances of extreme stress. This common idea is backed up by the experiences of people who encounter NDEs, or Near-death experiences. I've posted a link below for some information about atheists in particular who encounter this phenomenon.

Einstein opinions:
Historicity of Jesus:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

CTS- Christians Are Hypocrites

Ok, so Charlotte opens up this article with an accusation that she has "yet to meet ONE who does not practice hypocrisy to the highest degree." She cites marriage laws, prayer in schools, and commonly ignored teachings as evidence of this hypocrisy. However, she forgets one of Christianity's principal doctrines: Our sinful nature. We are imperfect beings, being Christian doesn't change that. When you put your faith in Jesus Christ, it your sin is no longer held against you. Then, the process of sanctification begins, where God begins to make us holy. This process is completed when we die. Along the way, mistakes are made. Expecting perfection in this lifetime is simply unreasonable. Because of this, keep in mind that there are times where I will agree with Charlotte, it's a shame that we can't be better examples of Christ. However, that doesn't mean the Bible is evil, far from it. It's the ideal standard, something to strive for throughout your life. With that in mind, I'll move on to her specific examples.


Charlotte begins with the claim that Christians are not allowed to divorce, unless one spouse commits adultery. Let's start by looking at Deuteronomy 24:1-3. The situation offers no specific criteria for a divorce beyond finding "uncleanness". Matthew 19 is one of the verses cites for its argument here. Let us look at some word meanings in the verse, shall we? "Consequently they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate". Man used here is anthropos, meaning a human being. Separate means come between. This is a verse showing that no person has the right to come between a married couple in any way to mess with their marriage. Let's move on now to verse 8. Jesus says that divorce was permitted because of men's hearts. He reveals the true issue, man's failure to keep within God's intentions, especially regarding marriage. The entire problem of divorce is people making bad choice, and failing to find God's will for their relationships. Here's a great article about divorce:

Prayer in Schools

The issue of putting prayer in schools is a political one. It is not supported one way or another by the Bible. I'm of the opinion that prayer should be kept out of public schools because I believe involuntary religions actions cause contempt toward that religion. In short, it's more conducive to a saving faith in Christ to have other people share it with them then force them to pray. Now, Charlotte cites some verses with some misconceptions attached to them, so I'll clear that up now.

Matthew 6.5-6: This is Jesus correcting the Pharisees' motives. The Pharisees' were very proud of their "holier than thou" image. When people see them praying constantly, they will be looked at as more religious. They were praying so that people would accept them and look at them with awe, instead of to connect with their creator. It's not about where to pray.

1 Corinthians 11: This requires some historical context to understand correctly. In ancient Corinth, it was customary for women to wear veils and for men to leave them uncovered. Veils were a sign of submission. God calls women to submit to men because He 'programmed' men with the call and ability to lead. There were issues with women spurning the symbol of their submission, and leadership in churches were being upset. Also remember the common views of men and women in that day. The church would not have been taken seriously if women dominated it.

More Commonly Ignored Teachings

1) Essentially the same issue as the Corinthians passage above. Long hair for men can have various implications. The idea is to not confuse the roles and men and women, looking like a woman was always considered cross dressing by the Roman culture. God created men and women differently for a reason. 'Unisex' messes up that balance. It is no longer considered cross dressing in our culture, merely a different style. Because of this, long hair no longer threatens the balance of leadership. Jesus had long hair because of the religious significance of it in a completely different culture, the Hebrew one.

2) Keep this passage in context. Paul is writing a letter to the Corinthians, a relatively new church at the time, in an age where women were not looked at as leaders. To allow women to lead the church at such a time would give nonbelievers further reason to look away from it. Women simply were not accepted as leaders. Obviously, their role has changed significantly in recent history. I believe that men are primarily called to be leaders because of how we are 'wired', but the culture's view of women has changed so they are accepted as ministers.

3) Ok, Charlotte believes Christians are prevented from cross-dressing. The verse said that men were not to wear women's clothing, and vice-versa. Pretty straight forward, but Charlotte does not account for intent. God created us as men and women on purpose; attempting to look like the opposite sex is the equivalent of believing you know better than God who you truly are. Think of the rationalizations you hear from transsexuals, "I'm a woman trapped in a man's body". Your body should be God's, not yours. However, Charlotte claims hypocrisy by seeing women in pant suits. These garments are designed in order to look professional, not to look like a man. Many pant suits are designed for women now, making it not cross dressing.

4) The next argument is the repetition of words during prayer, such as "amen" or "yes, Lord". Charlotte has missed the second part of the verse, the intents of the repetitions. Jesus is condemning hypocrisy, or repeating "amen" in order to seem godly to the people around you. This is the same principle as the Pharisees praying in public places.

5) There is a misconception of the phrase "if any of you has a dispute with another" here. This verse is applicable when the dispute is between to Christians, not Christians disputing nonbelievers. When Christians take issues into court, it damages the unity of the church. Paul wrote this command to Corinth because this was a prevalent issue at the time. Now, when Christians take things like school prayer and abortion to court, the goal is to get the federal laws changed, something the church cannot do. That's a political dispute, not one that the church is called to step in the middle of, and doesn't hurt the church's unity.

6) This challenge has to do with the way women dress. They are commanded in 1 Timothy to dress modestly and discreetly, and Charlotte challenges that being followed today. Modesty is commanded so that men's eyes won't wander and they won't commit a lustful sin. On the other hand, they are commanded to dress discreetly so that there is not a tendency to use clothing to call attention to oneself. Immodesty is wrong, and you should point it out if a Christian is dressing immodestly. The purpose of being discreet has changed with the times, this is more of an intentions issue. So judge for yourself (not others).

7) Charlotte says this is "perhaps the mother of verses ignored". The infamous "judge not, lest ye be judged". This is also the mother of all verses taken out of context. When read correctly, the verse is saying that if you judge others, you must be held to that same standard. It's an anti-hypocritical verse. It doesn't mean we should avoid judging anyone at all costs. If your neighbor has been arrested for murder and charges were mysteriously dropped, it's probably a good idea to judge that you shouldn't allow him/her to babysit your kids.

8) Jesus frequently uses hyperbole in order to make a strong point to those listening to him. He doesn't ask people to literally hate every part of their lives, but they should make their number 1 priority God, not their personal comfort.

9) First of all, law enforcement is not a biblical issue. Law enforcement exists to protect the integrity of a nation, the New Testament is more concerned with peoples individual lives. Jesus was instructing the people not to retaliate against wrongdoing with wrongdoing because that helps no one.

10) The Catholic church uses the term "father" to recognize where the priests authority comes from. This is Jesus reminding people that God loves them and watches over them more than any regular man has a capacity to do. It's not a literal command.

11) This is correcting a mindset issue with believers. Look at verse 25 in Matthew 6, it says "do not worry". Excessive worrying in unnecessary because God is in control, that doesn't mean don't be prepared.

12) This is an objection that has been answered several times before. The Old Law is still in effect, but not for Christians. Accepting Jesus Christ releases us from the Old Law, so we will not be judged accordingly. Non-believers do not have Jesus Christ interceding on their behalf, so they will be judged according to the Law. Look to past posts for a full explanation.

13) I'd like to know where Charlotte got this stat. She lists no source. As far as I know, most Christians only consult 'mystics' who claim to be in touch with God. Either that, or they don't really understand mysticism. Other than that, Charlotte is correct, consulting mystics is a mistake.

14) This is one of the laws that was specific to the Israelites. This tithe helped them maintain the temple ceremonies that they performed. It's not applicable to society today. It's not a bad standard for giving to the church, most churches survive off of donations in order to fund ministries and missions. It's a charity thing, and its through God-given gifts that were are able to make money, so we should be willing to give back.

15) If you simply look at the beginning of the verse, you will see that the tattoos were given in order to honor the dead. Many other tattoos in this time period also pertained to other religions. This puts the command in a different light. Furthermore, the motives on getting the tattoo can determine whether or not its a good decision. These "Mexican Catholics" Charlotte mentioned seemed to be setting themselves apart as Christians, so what's wrong with that?

16) This was another command specifically for the Israelites during this time period. You have to look at the historical context and see if they are focused on principle or current culture. This was a political law, it establishes no spiritual principle.

17) Again, a cultural law. It made sense at the time because they didn't have the methods of cooking that we have now to kill all the bacteria in pork.

18) This takes some historical context to understand. One of the most important things to people during this time period was the family name. If the brother dies before he has children than there is no opportunity to continue the family line. This way his brother is doing him a favor and continuing his family for him. Seems weird to us now, but it made sense then. Also, this way the family had a provider.

19) This seems weird to us because of the culture norm regarding sex now. God created sex for only a husband and wife to have within a marriage relationship, in order to reproduce and connect with one another. Fornication is a perversion for that, so both perpetrators must deal with the consequences. Now further sex isn't a sin (barring adultery).

20) This is actually the same basic thing is #19. The word the NIV has translated as rape is shakab, meaning "to lie down". The word usually used to mean rape is taphas, meaning "to take hold of". So it makes more sense in context to simply mean intercourse, making it the same as number 19. This issue is more fully explained in the article "Rape In the Bible" (click here).

21) The insult to Jews will be ignored. As for the rest of Charlotte's objection, this is a cultural command again. There are a variety of thoughts on the purpose of this law. Cain and Abel's dispute involved a dispute over flax vs. wool. This mixture was a staple of Canaanite culture, and God frequently sets His people apart in this ways. Linen is water resistant while wool shrinks, so this could cause a variety of issues including hygiene. As for the beards, the rounded beard was a part of Egyptian and Arab culture. They would round off their beards in order to show worship to their gods.

22) Again, a cultural command. A bastard in the historical context is a child between and Israelite and a foreigner. God had commanded them not to intermarry with foreigners because of the influence of the false gods that they worshipped and various other customary issues. There was a consequence for disobedience.

Finally, a word on Charlotte's closing attack. I would advise any Christian faced with this situation to ignore the person questioning them. Charlotte is advocating a blatant attack on the Christian faith, a lack of tact, and a lack of respect for the beliefs of millions and millions of people. These type of people aren't going to accept that Christianity holds water no matter how much debating you do, so don't indulge them. Simply my two cents, judge for yourselves.

Shatnez (wool and linen) information:
Another point of view on this article (Note the 6 parts):

Friday, March 26, 2010

CTS- Absurb Torah Science

Again Charlotte steps into the world of science, not theology. This does not appear to fulfill's goal of proving that there is immorality in the Bible, but this is important to debunk nonetheless. Bear in mind the links to the right are very helpful in dealing with creation science. Many of these explanations encompass more than one of Charlotte's points, so I'll list the ones where it applies.

1) Charlotte says that science tells us the order that things came into being, and that it was very much different that what it says in the Bible. Science determines these based on dating methods like carbon dating, proven unreliable time and time again. See links to the right for more information. This is also determined by the layers of soil in which fossils are found, but the fossils also tell the age of the soil (circular reasoning). Furthermore, these layers are very rarely found consistently in more than one place, and never everywhere.

2) As shown in my article debunking "A day is a day" (click here), evening and morning come from Hebrew words that are used to show progression of time, not literal evening and morning shown by the sun rising and setting. As such, this objection is unfounded. Charlotte says "considering the context it is quite obvious that the light god is speaking of is the light emitted by the sun". That statement shows very little thought for the context. The context would reveal that the sun wasn't the source because it wasn't created until later. It makes no sense for those statement to be contradictory in such a small space.

3) The day 2 creation was the sky, separating the waters of the earth from the waters of the sky. This is consistent with the most modern model of the pre-flood world, the canopy theory. Before the flood there was a coat of water in the upper atmosphere, which crashed down to help cause the flood. The obvious greenhouse effect created a world where the dinosaurs could live as well. Heaven was nowhere involved in the verse.

4) "Plants are made before there was a sun to drive their photosynthetic processes." Charlotte has left out that there was LIGHT, the very first creation. Furthermore, there was no death before the Fall, so the plants were likely supported by God as well.

5) This was the land gaining living creatures and plants before the sea. There is also a creation model Charlotte is forgetting. God created things with apparent age. It says "The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. " (Gen 1:12), and about Adam "So God created man in His own image". Man, not boy. Tree, not seed. Beyond the fact that they had apparent age, we don't know how old they were in comparison to one another, but perhaps science has told us. God created the sea with more apparent age than the land.

6) Charlotte used an unclear translation for this verse. Here's Genesis 1:20 in the NIV: "And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky." That should clear it up, shouldn't it?

7) This point, about ages of reptiles vs. mammals, goes right back to dating methods and apparent age, already addressed.

8) These calculations are using a young earth perspective. With an old earth perspective, the numbers become much different. Beyond that, Charlotte is correct, a young earth perspective is shows a massive gap between itself and science's current timeframe, which goes up by another million or so every day.

9) This, again, isn't taking into account the world before the Fall. Now, there are two possibilities here:
1. Nothing ate meat before the Fall, very possible since with sin came death, and sin had
not yet come.
2. This would be accurate even today. I don't think I need an energy pyramid to tell you
that energy, originally harnessed by plants from the sun, makes its way up the food chain
by predation, so predators are indirectly using the plants for meat.

10) Again Charlotte ignored the old-earth interpretation. Maybe she thinks she shot it down permanently with the last article? Also, the links to the right should tell you about evolution, it's by no means a proven fact.

11) Same thing, evolution being stated as a fact. See links to the right.

12) Climate change would've killed the animals? Ignoring life before the fall again. Modern scientists believe that there was was a "mega continent" that split because of tectonic activity. This is consistent with a free-flood world. Furthermore, he named all the birds, livestock, and land animals. Many of the unknown animals now live in the water. Beyond that, bear in mind that there are many more animals that exist now than did before. Not necessarily because of evolution, but because of cross breeding, minor mutations, etc. About the phrase "none seemed to have what it takes to please him" is nowhere in the Bible. It says "for Adam, a suitable helper was not found." God's criteria, not Adam's.

13) This is pure speculation. Maybe it had legs before this happened, and God made them go away? Impossible to say without admitting this is pure guesswork, but it's hardly evidence against the Bible. Also, eating dust is a figure of speech. When you yell "eat my dust" at someone during a race, you don't literally want them to bend down and begin consuming the dirt you've tramped on any more than was intended here.

14) Nephilim is a Hebrew word meaning "Fallen One". They are the offspring of demons who had come down to earth, and human women. They would be abnormally tall and strong, hence the giants mentioned earlier. Charlotte claims a lack of evidence, but how do we know that the neanderthals found are not nephilim? I've cited a source at the bottom of the page that records archaeological evidence for their existence.

15) Noah was able to build the ark, larger than virtually every ship in ancient history, because he had God's guidance. You think an all-powerful, all-knowing God wouldn't know how to build a big boat?

16) God was helping here too. He helped bring them to Noah, and the existence of only one continent certainly helps. We don't have very much information on what the pre-flood world was like, or the amount of species then, so this is entirely possible.

17) Genesis never says all of the animals entered the ark on the same day. It says "on that very day, Noah's family entered the ark, and they had with them every wild animal according to its kind." THAT is referring to the day when the flood began, not the day that all of the animals entered the ark. As a rephrase: "Once they had every wild animal, they entered the ark."

18) All the water came from the upper layer of water, separated on the 2nd day of creation. Canopy Theory explains this. This explains the flood completely. There is evidence for a flood, the links to the right explain that.

19) Noah would've planned for this. The animals would have had to eat while on the ark, wouldn't they? Plants have been demonstrated to float, as shown by the olive branch brought back by the dove. Seeds have been shown to survive for some time in salt water (by Charles Darwin of all people), so plants could have survived. About the migration thing now. Has Charlotte forgotten Beringia? There existed a land bridge between North America and Asia.
Tectonics are commonly thought to have destroyed them, as well as flooding. Land is thought to have been much higher than it is now (Pleistocene for example). The link to Christian answers below helps explain this.

20) It is common knowledge throughout the Christian community that Noah brought 7 of each clean animal, likely knowing this would happen (Genesis 7:2). That leaves some to repopulate.

21) The rainbow is a sign of God's covenant to Noah. God uses it as such, and says "I have set my rainbow in the sky". God caused the rain during the flood, and consequently (not coincidentally) caused the rainbow, i.e. set it in the sky.

22) The Bible is really the only thing that offers an adequate explanation for all languages. The best evolutionary explanation is that vocabulary and grammar evolved out of the grunts and hand signs of our simian ancestors. Somehow that results in a Chinese language with THOUSANDS of characters? I would also like a source for the history Charlotte is using. For all those curious for more info, including evidence for, Babel, look below.

23) See #22

24) There are many possibilities here. First, the name could have been inspired by God, knowing that future readers would know it better that way. Second, it's possible that the name "Dan" was in use around the time of Abraham, but it didn't become it's formal name until later. It was called Liash later because of whose hands the city fell into. Third, there very well could be another Dan (possibly referred to in 2 Samuel 24:6; 1 Kings 15:20; cf. 2 Chronicles 16:4), situated near the source of the Jordan. It very well could have been a Phoenician city.

25) Charlotte makes a point that seeings something during conception will not determine the pattern of the baby, and accuses the author of Genesis of believing that. She sites Genesis 30:37, but has missed chapter 31. Look at Genesis 31.9-12:

9 So God has taken away your father's livestock and has given them to me. 10 "In breeding season I once had a dream in which I looked up and saw that the male goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled or spotted. 11 The angel of God said to me in the dream, 'Jacob.' I answered, 'Here I am.' 12 And he said, 'Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you.

Laban had been cheating Jacob for over 14 years, and God has seen this. He commanded Jacob to do what he did, and helped him out. It was a miracle, and much of genetics is determined by chance (God). The reeds didn't have anything to do with it.

26) This is a very basic point. Israelites were only allowed to eat things that both divided the hoof and chewed the cud. Camels were not allowed to be eaten because they did not divide the hoof, the subject of debate here. The criteria for a "divided hoof" is a COMPLETELY divided hoof. The camels hoof does not divide the entire way through, and the bottom consists of a padded sole that is not divided at all. As such, it does not fit the criteria of a "divided hoof".

27) Again, the criteria for "cud" is in question. Hares have two kinds of stools. One is feces, or poop. The other is a mucous-colored green pellet which the rabbit licks off its anus (gross I know) and re-ingests. When cud is defined as un-digested matter, this certainly fits.

28) The bottom link is helpful for this, 27, 29, and 30. Charlotte does not understand the taxonomic system employed in the Bible. In the Bible animals were classed by locomotion, as this creates much easier boundaries (but less accurate genetic ones, which they wouldn't have understood anyway). Flying animals are classified with birds, swimming animals with fish, etc.

29) This is a translation mishap. This contradiction is only present in the KJV, as after it was compiled scholars gained access to older manuscripts. The work present in the KJV manuscripts is "owph" meaning fowl. In the more older manuscripts, the word is "seres", meaning creature. This makes the most accurate translation of Leviticus 11.20-21: "All flying creatures that walk on all fours are to be detestable to you..." aka bugs.

30) This has to do with the same principle as 28. Animals are classified by locomotion, the most sensible way to do it in that time period. "Four-legged" creatures are the ones that do not walk or hop on two legs. This is created to differentiate the birds from the insects, as "seres" and "owph" are too general of words to be used without more detail.

31) The King James Version is the only Bible translation where I see unicorn (It's not even in the New KJV). Every single other one refers to a wild ox. It's possible the unicorn described was a type of wild ox Job was familiar with, the unicorn we think of would not by any means be the same type. AiG believes that a unicorn very well may have existed (Job's version, not ours) so I'll cite the link below. Similar words to "re-em" in other languages directly mean "wild bull", so that translation is likely more accurate.

32) The serpents are called "fiery" because of the effect of their bites. This could fit the description of many, many snakes known to us today. The Septuagint translates it as "deadly" rather than "fiery".


Friday, February 26, 2010

CTS- A Day Is A Day

Here Charlotte has gone mostly beyond theology, into science. This is a theological blog, so I will focus on the claims that the Scriptures cannot possibly support an old earth interpretation. This is simply not true.

The Hebrew word for day is "yowm". It has been shown to be used as a literal day or a figurative day, depending on the context it is used. For example:

Genesis 2.4 : "At the time when God made the earth and the heavens." (Period of time, not day)
(Above is traslation in The Bible: An American Translation)

How about the usage of "evening" ('ereb) and "morning" (boqer)? Surely these must show that it's a literal day, right? Wrong. They are used as a segment of time as well, such as in Psalm 55.17: "Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice". Also in Daniel 8.26: "The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given to you is true, but seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future." Mornings and evenings are used frequently to show periods of time, not specific times of day.

Boquer also doesn't always even mean morning. It is figuratively translated in the English Lexicon and The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew as "of bright joy after a night of distress". After all this, boqer and 'ereb can be the following:
Boqer: Ending, morning, dawning light
'Ereb: Beginning, evening, darkness

After the meanings of "yowm", "boqer", and "ereb" are explained, it is clear that Genesis could be very easily interpreted as an age. Isaac E Mozeson is a Christian linguist. He, along with many others, holds that Hebrew is the language from which almost all others stem. Here's an excerpt from his book "The Word":

"While the Hebrew Letter Yod'/Y is more likely to take an
I/i in Greek, the Yod takes an A in AEON as well as in AGONY. Any theological agony over the geological age of the earth is unnecessary, as YOM (Day-Gen 1.5) is better translated as AEON (an age). YOM is the term used in phrases like "ancient times" and "the middle ages". Juma is a week in Swahili. YOM can infer any period of time."

Helpful sources:
Mozeson, Isaac E. "The Word"

Friday, January 15, 2010

CTS- Biblical Intolerance

Here Charlotte is arguing that Christians are intolerant of others. Intolerance means a refusal to tolerate or respect anothers' beliefs. Charlotte takes this even farther to say that the Bible demands that Christians be intolerant to others. Then a list begins with many verses pertaining to intolerance of other religions, so here we go. These are not numbered, so I'm going to list them by verses. For this section, I'd like to make readers aware that if you follow another religion, than this section may be strongly offensive to you.

Killing non-Christians:

Throughout the Old Testament non-Christians were killed because of worshipping other gods. Worship of other gods is worship of demons. From the very beginnings of civilization demons have been leading men astray using many methods. A very key one is possessing or conversing with humans to begin a new religion. For example, look at the many similarities between Mormon and Islam. For a list click here. It is the same thing with witches and other users of dark magic. Those powers are very real, but they come from pacts with Satan. These pacts are never worth it, the cost always far outweighs the initial power. These followers of other religions were killed so that people know the gods their families followed had no actual power. They were either worshipping demons or carved material. In the New Testament there are reminders that non-Christians will ultimately be judged and found guilty.

Ignorance is bliss:

1) This verse says to not let the deceivers into your house or welcome them. Charlotte has interpreted "deceiver" to mean "non-Christian", which is not the case. John was actually writing a warning about false teachers. The teachers have claimed to be Christians, but preached heresy such as "Jesus wasn't really God" "All religions get you to heaven" and the like.m To allow heretics into your house would be the equivalent of inviting them to share their message, a lie.
2 John 1

2) This is the same idea as 2 John above. Heretics were twisting Scripture and misleading people so that denominations without legitimate truth were being created, such as Docetists and Arianists. They did these things for their own benefits, so the Romans were to stay away from them so they weren't at risk.
Romans 16

3) Again Charlotte makes empty insults, and misrepresents Scripture. "The verse see to it that you are not taken captive by hollow and deceptive philosophy." It wouldn't make sense to encourage Evangelism and then tell Christians to avoid philosophers, would it? The funny thing is, it says later "which depends on human traditions and the basic principles of this world rather than Christ". Sounds a lot like Naturalism, doesn't it?
Colossians 2

Judge others for not following Christ:

Charlotte shows here a lack of understanding the process of Justification. When we accept Jesus Christ His blood fulfills the requirements of the Law, and were become "of God". The people who have not accepted Jesus have yet to fulfill the requirements of the Law because they cannot on their own. This is why people go to Hell. Recall that Scripture is inspired by God, this is God judging non-believers, not Christians. Also, as I've said above, in 2 John it is not referring to nonbelievers as deceivers and anti-Christs, it is referring to heretics of the Christian faith. As for non-Christians having evil hearts, all humans have evil hearts. Once we accept Atonement and are Justified, the process of Sanctification. This process continues throught the our lifetimes and it is only through this process that God purifies our hearts.

Charlotte's favorites:

1) Charlotte's commentary was "Everyone will worship Jesus--whether they want to or not." Since when is bowing worship? Bowing your knee to Jesus is submission, not worship. Jesus has been exalted to the Highest Place because of His sacrifice on the Cross, and will be revealed in all His glory at the 2nd Coming. Jesus has so much glory that one can do nothing but submit, it's something that, once that time comes, you will be glad to do, not forced.
Phillipians 2

2) Here the commentary was "you can't judge a Christian for a wrongful act". The key word is judge. This doesn't mean judge as in convict of a crime, but rather to make a statement about the Christian's relationship with God or personal character. It is reiterated many times that Christians make mistakes, we are human and forgiven.
Romans 8

Thursday, December 3, 2009

CTS-Do not ignore OT

Charlotte is right here, the Old Testament is certainly not to be ignored. It shows the story of God pursuing man throughout history despite continual sin, and man's continual rejection because of convenience. That being said, this does not mean that the Law is still ruling over Christians, see below.

1-10) You must understand the purpose of the Law to understand why we no longer are required to follow all of it. Many parts of it address things that would be wrong in a practical sense during the time period. Modern advances has reduced the need for such guidelines because this has become common knowledge, such as mixing cotton and linen in clothes. The Law is still in effect, Salvation is based on a legal system. All human beings are subject to the Law, which is why it endures, unless they call on the name of Jesus Christ and have accepted Him during their lifetime. All humans are sinful, so none will pass the Law without Jesus. The reason that Christians are not longer under the Law is because Jesus fulfilled it for them and created a New Covenant. This New Covenant is between God and Jesus coming on our behalf, and Jesus fulfilled his side with the crucifixion. This puts Christians under grace, not the Law. However, the reason we are still called to do things like abstain from sexual immorality, gluttony, etc is because they hurt our relationship with the Lord. We are now called to spread the Gospel and grow in relationship with Christ, which is our ultimate purpose.

11) The first two are both examples of judgement commanded by God toward the Egyptians. It wasn't theft because the Israelites had been in unpaid slavery, this was at least some compensation. The next part was borrowing a colt, that's not stealing. Furthermore, it must be remembered that God created everything, so even that colt was ultimately His.

12) The judging being condemned here is the act of passing judgment on another person based on your limited knowledge of them. The phrase Jesus used in John 7 is actually used to provoke thought. People are limited many times by what they see, and if they allow themselves to be limited like that then they cannot make a right judgement. Jesus is telling them to get past mere appearances, not to judge people.

13) A better translation in 1 Corinthians is the one used in the NIV, it merely says earnestly desire. Coveting as used in Exodus is being jealous of another's possessions, rather than earnestly wanting. So, don't be jealous, but a holy desire is fine.

14) The lying spirit mentioned in 1 Kings was Satan, and God was allowing Satan to test Ahab. Satan makes requests of God to test people, and God allows it, such as the case with Job. It wasn't God that was forcing them to lie, it was Satan and God was testing their faith.

15) Charlotte made a mistake here. The commandment says "do not murder" meaning do not wrongfully kill other human beings. All of the instances of killing throughout the Bible are a result of war or capital punishment. For a complete list click here.

16) Here Charlotte attempts to play the card of slavery. Slavery in Biblical times was not as we understand it now. Then it was what we now call indentured servitude. Families would sell themselves or children into slavery for a period of time in order to pay a debt, like Jacob did in order to marry Rachel. They were also not treated as badly because of the Bible's laws governing it. For a complete explanation with examples click here.

17) First of all, Luke 12:3 says nothing about improvidence. The giving spoken of in Luke 6 is generosity, not improvidence. Jesus is telling the disciples to lend to those who need it because they need it, not because you will get something in return. This type of generosity is pleasing to God. The improvidence condemned later is actual improvidence. Verse 6 reads: "The widow who lives for pleasure even while she lives is dead". This places the verse into the context of selfishness, the family is not being provided before because of the satisfaction of sinful desires.

18) Anger is something acknowledged in the Bible, but not condemned. We are warned against it because it can cloud our judgement, but is not sinful in and of itself. We are told not be be well-acquainted with angry men because of their tendency to lack self control as well.

19) Jesus is acknowledging a careful boundary Christians have regarding our works. We are to do good works for the benefit of mankind and to show the kind of things God can do through people because of Jesus. This is being light for mankind. The other side is doing good works for the purpose of getting patted on the back by men. We are supposed to do good works for general benefit and for God, not for men. Also, this is outside of the Old Testament, so why is his here?

20) Charlotte did not incorporate the context into her interpretation of Matthew 6. Verse 5 reads: "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for the love to pray standing in the synagogues and on street corners to be seen by men". God enjoy public prayer, but not when it is simply, like #19, for the sake of being seen as righteous. Jesus says go into your rooms and pray privately so that you don't fall to the temptation of doing it for show, not sincerity. God enjoys it greatly when people gather together in order to pray and learn because it shows their love for Him.

21) Hair was important in ancient cultures as a sign of vitality and life. The Nazirites were a people God had set apart, like Sampson. He required them to grow out their hair in order to show their distinction, especially from priests who were forbidden to shave their heads but frequently trimmed it. This also showed their sanctity along with the other vows they had to take, prohibition from drinking wine and not being allowed to touch corpses. In the New Testament long hair was the modern day equivalent of cross dressing. Paul is prohibiting this because it encourages homosexuality and deciding you know better than God which gender you should be.

22) In the OT the Israelites were circumcised to show that God had set them apart. Modern medicine also shows that circumcision decreases chances of infection and diseases. It was because of this requirement that people began to see circumcised people as more holy than others because the Israelites were God's people. The Galatians passage was reminding them that just because they were once set apart as an Israelite does not make them any better than others. That was a passage condemning pride, rather than condemning circumcision.

23) It is not imperative that Christians keep kosher. Like I said, not every single law was intended to point out sin. There's a practical application here. The first source explains why we don't follow the Old Testament, but the reason for many of these laws of kosher were intended to preform a ceremony giving glory to God and to eat healthy foods. A new covenant is now in effect, so we don't need to keep these laws, and now our society has ways of making them more healthy. Peter's vision in Acts 10 was a metaphor used to remind Peter that God has now accepted all peoples. Peter understood the vision after he was given the opportunity to witness to a non-Jewish family. This fact is just a reminder of the intention of the verse, but Galatians and 1 Corinthians deal with kosher.

24) Oaths are allowed. Taking oaths in God's name is a method of worship and confession. What God was acting against when He condemned it was taking His name in vain or asking Him to confirm a lie. People throughout the Bible took oaths in God's name. In Matthew Jesus was telling people not to take oaths based on earthly things because they will eventually pass away. This would implie the oath is temporary.

25) Marriage is a good thing. This is a verse saying that God is impartial to couples versus single people. Marriage is a symbol of Christ and the church, and there are many metaphors of marriage throughout Scripture. 1 Corinthians 7:2 even states that it is good for every man to get married because of all the immorality around, namely fornication. This is prevalent even today, just turn on the TV.

26) This was already addressed in the article "Rape in the Bible". For that click here. Basically they have inserted a lot of words into the verse. To understand it you must understand the historical context. Virgins were considered "pure" and therefore allowed to live as a servant for the soldiers' households. Men were even allowed to marry them if they so chose, but never rape them.

27) The link from posted below is really helpful. Drunkenness is a sin because your judgement is impaired and you are very prone to additional sin. Drinking in moderation is not a sin, but for it not to be you must examine your motive for drinking. Drinking for a "buzz" is an early stage of drunkenness, or and fitting in is dealt with in James 4:4. Proverbs 31 uses win and beer as a symbol, obvious if you keep in mind the genre of the book.

28) Women do have rights. Men were appointed by God to be leaders of their families. The relationship of man and woman is representative of Christ and the church. Men are called to love their wives like Christ does the church, which would mean men aer to show their wives respect. When women become the authority in the house it gives a lopsided view of Christ and the church. This relationship does not by any means require that God only use men. God uses women throughout history both to show the Israelites that He is not limited by their expectations and to speak to a different audience. God sees men and women as equal.

29) We are not to usurp authority unless they are going against God's will. All authority was put in place by God, be it to test our faith or to learn from them. God says "Be not servants of men". He is just clarifying that we are ultimately under His authority, no righteous authority can go against His will.

30) This was already answered in #1-#10 above.

31) Already answered in #24 above.

32) We are not required to keep the Sabbath day because of the New Covenant. Jesus had come to teach us the New Covenant and do away with the altered original Law that were keeping man from growing towards God because of fear of His commands. He came to save us, and didn't even violate the Sabbath. The Pharisees had messed up the Sabbath day with all kinds of restrictions, and Jesus was attacked for healing someone, not working for personal gain at all.

33) A graven image here means an idol. An idol is an object of worship. "You shall worship none but the Lord your God". The Cherubim on the Ark were never objects of worship, therefore they are not the graven images described. The rest were also not objects of worship, they were made for the temple for worship of God.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

CTS- End Times

Here Charlotte examines the many prophecies made by Jesus and His disciples concerning the End Times. Many are the same points reiterated by several people. Charlotte accused apologists as "weaseling out of it" by making the argument Jesus was speaking of His later apostles. Charlotte blatantly ignores the relative nature of the word "soon". She also interprets verses out of context in order to prove her point. She also uses phrases like "lives and dies on the resurrection and end times" which are nowhere to be found in the Bible. The Bible lives and dies on every verse disprove any one and it cannot be trusted. However, it has yet to really debunked, so that should say something. There's also a website which has a complete list of prophecies fulfilled modern day, for that click here.

In many of these examples the word that Charlotte points out time and time again is the word "soon". She neglects to mention the subjective nature of the word. Keep in mind any amount of time relative to eternity would seem short. Also, the knowledge of the time period and the nature of the followers of Jesus must be kept in mind. Because of the disciples' deep relationship with the Lord, they were able to look at it from an eternal standpoint. Jesus also called His followers to "make disciples of all nations". Keep in mind that the Americas and much of the world were not discovered then, so this prophecy could not have been fulfilled yet at this time, there were nations not yet made disciples of. Now, let's get started.

1) All Jesus said was "You will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and riding on the clouds of heaven". He never said you will live to see it, but even those in Hell will witness the End Times. He never said in his lifetime, either, merely "you will see". (Matthew 26:64 and Mark 14:62)

2) This first example could not be more out of context. Jesus is condemning the Pharisees for their hypocrisy and is prophesying that prophets and apostles will be crucified and flogged because of them. He finishes with "all things will come upon this generation" referring to these very Pharisees witnessing these acts against the church. (Matthew 23:36).

In the next part, Charlotte is fussing over the word roughly translated as generation. In fact, a more accurate translation would be tribe, meaning that Judah will never cease to exist as a distinct people, and they still have not. (Matthew 24:20-35)

3) The phrase Charlotte is now scrutinizing is the phrase "some who are standing here will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming into his kingdom". This is not referring to End Times at all, but rather to the Ascension that shortly followed the Crucifixion. Christ ascended into his kingdom to make ready a place for the church. (Matthew 16:28)

4) This is the same exact speech from Matthew 24 above. Jesus is referring to the line of Judas when he says generation, and they have yet to pass away. (Mark 13:30-31). Mark 9:1 is also the same thing as the verse in #3.

5) Apparently Charlotte is unaware that the four Gospels are all accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. This is the same phrase as Mark 9:1 and Matthew 16. There were 500 people who witness the resurrected Jesus before he ascended to heaven, plus 11 disciples. (Luke 9:27)

6) Jesus does not in any way imply that John will survive until the End Times. Peter asked about John and he replied "If I want him to remain alive, what is it to you?" This is essentially "don't worry about him, just worry about following me." (John 21:22)

7) Again Charlotte fails to realize that the different Gospels are all accounts of the life of Jesus Christ. This has been answers already. The word that is roughly translated as generation can also be translated more accurately to mean race. Clearly, the Jews have not passed away, have they? (Luke 21:25-33)

8) "Shortly" is a very subjective word. It is because of Jesus' influence on the disciples that they are able to see time through the knowledge of eternity. Eternity makes every other period time seem extremely short, hence the "soon" and "shortly". (Revelation 1:1-3)

9) This is essentially the same idea as above. John was able to see the world through the knowledge that the world would pass away, but there was an eternity afterwards. (Revelation 22:7, 12, & 20)

10) First of all, let's clear up who, or what, the antichrist is. The antichrist is Satan manifested as a human, much like Jesus was. He has done this throughout history in order to trip up God's people. John recognizes that Satan is doing this more often now because Satan's time is up on Judgment Day. Satan wants to stamp out the Christian faith, and does it in a number of ways including making it seem irrational, killing Christians, and twisting God's Word. No Christians means that Revelation's predictions cannot come true, and this is what Satan wants. (1 John 2:18)

11) Apparently Charlotte did not know the above statement, the fact that the antichrist is Satan. Satan has been around longer than humanity has. He is still around today, deceiving those he is able to and "seeking whom he may devour". The spirit of the antichrist is still around today. (1 John 4:3)

12) Again, Jesus is able to see time from an eternal standpoint. Everything would seem "soon", it's a subjective word. Soon is accurate as well because Jesus has called us to make disciples of all nations, and the more time we get the more people will end up in heaven. Because of the sheer number of non-Christians, we need time to accomplish this. (Revelation 3:11, 22:7, 12 & 20)

13) In Philippians Paul merely writes "the Lord is near". The Lord is always near to us, regardless of how close Judgment Day is. He is listening to our prayers and actively working in our society, so how could he be doing that and not be near? In fact, Judgement isn't even mentioned in Philippians 4. (Philippians 4:5)

14) Paul has deemed our time and his the "Last Days" because all that is left for God to do is to set everything in motion for Final Judgement. These are the days between Christ's 1st and 2nd coming, and the title is also meant to give us a sense of urgency, because we don't know the "time or dates the Father has set by His own accord". (Hebrews 1:2)

15) Again, from an eternal standpoint the time between the early days of the Church and Christ's 2nd coming is not a long time. This language is also thought to be used in order to create urgency within the Church because every minute people die, and it is up to us to make sure those people are going to heaven. (Hebrews 10:37)

16) Charlotte makes a large assumption here. Paul says "we who are still living" in the passage, and she interprets that to mean that Paul is sure he will be living when it happens. He merely means that he is alive at this moment in time, and, if it were to happen now, he would be brought into the sky with the saints. The rest of the passage is a prophecy. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

17) This is again one of Charlotte's arguments dealing with the word "soon". This subjective word must be understood in light of eternity. The only difference is that it is now James. (James 5:8)

18) This is dealing with the word "soon" again. The only difference is it is now Peter. (1 Peter 1:20 & 4:7)

Not even one of these can go without an explanation, yet more evidence for the inerrancy of the Bible. These "contradictions" are pointed out either because of the use of the word "soon" or something being unclear because of grammar or translation.