The Apple Of God's Eye

September 11, 2011

Reconciling Evolution, History And the Bible

Filed under: Bible,History,Ice Ages — melchia @ 1:04 am
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guides.wikinut.com

Where do the so-called “Ice Ages” fit in Bible history? Why  did so many forms of animal and human life disappear at the close of  the geologic period labeled “Pleistocene” by scientists?

Most people do not know how a geologist reaches his conclusions. A geologist, of course, is one who makes a study of earth history. He investigates the rock structure of the surface of the earth. Working in the field, he discovers strata of sandstone, or limestone, or silt. Perhaps in them are fossils. He wants to know when the strata were deposited. How does he decide? The answer is: HE DOESN’T!

Being a very careful man — a scientific man — he will go to a paleontologist for the answer. And who is a paleontologist? He is a scientist who makes a special study of fossils. It is his function to explain to the geologist the apparent age of the fossils. And how does the paleontologist know the apparent age of the fossils? From geology? No! How can he learn it from geology when even the geologist does not know the age of fossil strata until he goes to the paleontologist who studies the fossils!! Then how does the paleontologist discover how old fossils are? Simple! He turns to the evolution theory!

Life, the paleontologist tells the geologist, developed from the very simplest cell into the varied complex creatures that inhabit the earth today. “But what is the age of the fossils?” asks the geologist.

“Let me explain that,” replies the paleontologist. “Evolution is a very slow process. It may take millions of years for one species of life to slowly develop into another totally different species. The age of your strata are determined by how long we think it took that particular species of fossils to develop. Of course, we paleontologists don’t all agree on these details. You might get a different answer from another paleontologist! After all, even though we all believe evolution is a fact, we do not know exactly how it occurs — or even the exact order in which various species of life evolved.”

And that, in simple language, is what happens! The age of the fossils is guessed at by the paleontologist. The source of his knowledge (or misknowledge) is not geology, but the evolution theory. He takes it for granted. He assumes the theory is a fact — or reasons as if it were a fact. The geologist then deduces the age of the strata from the assumed age of the fossils. (more…)

May 8, 2011

God’s Word Versus Man’s Traditions

Why do we do the things we do?

Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:  “This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.  In vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”  Jesus, Mark 7:6-7

Some scholars, theologian and clergy believe the only way to understand the Bible is to have it explained to you by someone who has studied it.

Unfortunately, too many people subscribe to this belief.  All too often they listen to a priest, rabbi, or preacher tell them what the Bible says. And as if this was not bad enough,  they go even further into blindness by setting their own standard of morals and conduct.  They, in effect, become a god unto themselves.

The main problem with North America, and the world is that they have become a people who have deserted the Word of God, replacing it with their own “evolving”  moral code of diversity and tolerance. Now we see mainstream society accepted abortion, gay rights, pornography, false religions and every other immoral concept that has been devised in the heart of man.  “To each his own,” they say, and go merrily on their way, not coming close to understanding why our nation and world is in the condition that it is in.

There is a living God who oversees the affairs of men and nations.  This was true of Israel of the Old Testament and it true of the nations of the world today.  As a Bible oriented, moral and family value respecting nation we have become the greatest nation on the face of the earth.  This was also true of Old Testament Israel.  But like Israel, we have forsaken the commandments of God in favor of the traditions of man.  Is there any reason that we should not expect the same fate that befell Israel when they deserted the teachings of God?

It is time that America woke up and turned back to the faith and values that have made us great and condemn the immoral practices being legally practiced  in our nation today.  If we choose to live as heathens we cannot expect the blessings of the God of righteousness.

May 1, 2011

Should A True Christian Admit Jehovah’s Witnesses?

apologetics315.blogspot.com

When the so-called “Jehovah Witnesses” come to the door of the true Christian, would it be discourteous not to admit them? How does God look at it?

God says “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” (Isa. 55:8).

What does God Command?

“For many deceivers (including “Jehovah Witnesses”) are entered into the world … Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not (obeys not) in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God … If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine (of Christ, and of God’s true Church), receive him not into, neither bid him God-speed: for he that biddeth him God-speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” (II John 7-11)

These “Jehovah Witnesses” DO NOT OBEY GOD! They argue against God’s Commandments, and especially against the Sabbath. They will argue Scripture, in a spirit of contention, which your Bible forbids. “Jehovah Witnesses” especially will argue against God’s Law. They transgress God’s Law, and don’t abide in the doctrine of Christ. Therefore their deeds are evil. God says the true Christian also, is partaker with them of their evil deeds if he receives them into his home.

Should you, then, be discourteous or un-Christian? Of course not. When these people come to your door, just smile and tell them politely, but firmly, you are not interested — you do not discuss religion – and be closing your door as you say it, and be sure you do close it as soon as you have said merely that short sentence. Do not give them any chance to talk back, or continue the conversation, or get into an argument.

You can’t change them! You can’t talk them into the truth! If you already know the truth, they cannot deceive you with false teachings, or talk you into anything. Any further conversation with them are idle words.

April 23, 2011

Catholics Have It Wrong On Jesus’ Time In The Grave

Editors Comment: This is a great article about the fallacy of the Catholic Church’s timing of how long Christ was really in the grave, to suit their doctrinal errors. It is from the Trumpet.com, and written by columnist Stephen Flurry. Check it out .

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newcreationperson.wordpress.com

It is commonly assumed that Jesus was crucified on a Friday afternoon and then rose from the dead a day and a half later around sunrise on Sunday morning. But if Jesus died on Friday and vacated His tomb at dawn on Sunday, how does that amount to three days and three nights, the time frame Christ established as proof of His Messiahship?

That’s the intriguing question posed by USA Today last week. Sadly, the article attempted to explain away the sure prophecy of Christ by holding up weak arguments presented by biblical scholars. One “expert” actually reasoned that Jesus didn’t intend for His words in Matthew 12:40 to be a “precise” measure of time!

Even Pope Benedict xvi, the article informs, wrestles with the three-day time frame in his book about Christ’s last days. According to the pope, “There is no direct scriptural testimony pointing to the ‘third day.’”

No scriptural testimony? When the Pharisees asked Christ for a sign as proof of His Messiahship, being in the grave three full days and three full nights was the one and only sign Jesus gave. He meant what He said. In another passage, He even referred to the daylight portion of a day as including 12 hours (John 11:9).

So when Jesus said three days and three nights, He meant 72 hours—no more, no less. That is the plain testimony of Scripture.

When it comes to the Easter sunrise service, however, there is no scriptural testimony to observe that man-made holiday. The word “Easter” appears once in the Bible—in Acts 12:4—and only in the King James Version. Hastings Bible Dictionary and other translations of the Bible correctly render this word, pascha—as it is translated in every other instance it appears in the Bible—as Passover. The Bible says that Jesus Christ was crucified on Passover (Matthew 26:2). (more…)

March 28, 2011

Geology Reveals: Two Creations, Two Worldwide Floods

findingtruthmatters.org

Here is startling proof — from the Bible and geology — demonstrating not only two widely separated creations, but two world-wide destructions! Few have understood this astonishing truth!

Contrary to what millions have been led to believe — the true facts of science and the truth of your Bible agree! Theologians have long kept hidden this surprising truth. It conflicts with their theology. Atheistic professors have suppressed it. Science has refused to believe it.

Only a few understand where the key which unlocks the amazing geologic history of the earth is. It has been in the FIRST TWO VERSES OF YOUR BIBLE all these years — and you probably never noticed it.

The FOUNDATION of Knowledge

The very first truth revealed in your Bible is: “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). This earth was created so perfect, so beautiful, that “the morning stars {the angels — Rev. 1:20} sang for joy” (Job 38:7).

Yet the very next inspired verse of your Bible reveals that this perfect earth was destroyed by a terrible catastrophe! Genesis 1:2 reveals, “And the earth was without form, and void.”

The original Hebrew word, which the King James translators translated “was” in verse two, ought to be translated “became.” It is so translated in Genesis 19:26, in Genesis 2:7, and in many other verses of the Bible. Turn to the example in Genesis 19:26. In this verse the same Hebrew word which is INCORRECTLY translated “WAS” in Genesis 1:2 is here CORRECTLY translated “BECAME.”

Notice, God warned Lot and his wife not to look behind as they escaped from the burning city of Sodom. Lot’s wife disobeyed this command and looked back longingly at the wicked city of Sodom, “She BECAME a pillar of salt” (v. 26).

Obviously, Lot’s wife had not always been a pillar of salt! But when she sinned, she became a pillar of salt.

In like manner, the earth wasn’t originally created a waste and in confusion! The correct translation of Genesis 1:2 from the original inspired Hebrew makes clear: “The earth BECAME without form, and void.”

This truth is further brought out when we note in Genesis 1:2 that the English “without form” was translated from the original Hebrew word “tohu,” which means “desolation” or “confusion.” Is God the author of confusion?

The Apostle Paul was inspired to write: “God is not the author of confusion” (I Cor. 14:33).

Isaiah said, “He {God} created it {the earth} NOT IN VAIN {“tohu” in Hebrew — that is, not in chaos and confusion} (Isa. 45:18). It BECAME that way! (more…)

March 24, 2011

Who Build The Great Pyramid At Gizeh, Egypt?

Filed under: Biblical Characters — melchia @ 10:28 pm
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pamukyemek.com.tr

Did you know the builder of the Great Pyramid at Gizeh, Egypt is identified in the Bible? Not only that, it tells when and why it was built.

Opposite Cairo, across the Nile River, lies the most famous architectural wonder of the world — the Great Pyramid at Gizeh. It is still the world’s most MASSIVE building. For 3500 years it was also the world’s TALLEST building. Only in the last century has man built taller buildings than the Great Pyramid. Yet the Empire State Building in New York is only about 2/5 the volume of the Great Pyramid!

The Cambridge Ancient History“, Vol. 1, page 281, declares of the Great Pyramid: “… its perfect building compels our admiration; its alignment {with the points of the compass} is mathematically correct; often one cannot insert a penknife between the joints of the stone.”

“The Great Pyramid is so incredibly precise that COMPASS ERRORS CAN BE CHECKED AGAINST IT,” writes Leonard Cottrell in his book “The Mountains of Pharaoh“.

Sadly, the external appearance of the Great Pyramid has been ruined by the Arabs. For centuries they have carted away and used the polished white casing stones which once made the Pyramid gleam in the sun and moonlight.

But the interior of the Pyramid remains an architectural marvel. The stones within have not moved a hair’s-breadth since the day the workmen fixed them in place. The flatness of the surfaces of the stones and the squareness of their corners are extraordinary. Literally acres of polished stone surfaces — equal to opticians’ work of the present day — line the passages of the Great Pyramid.

But not all is perfect workmanship. Human imperfection is noticeable in the rough, unfinished masonry on the floor of one of the chambers. We found the floor of the “King’s” chamber flagrantly out of level. All this speaks of remarkable human workmanship — But does it speak of a divine relationship, as pyramidologists theorize? If this mighty architectural wonder is a divine revelation, where is the divine perfection?

Yet the Great Pyramid is one of the wonders of the world. It is the only one of the seven wonders of the ancient world which still remains. Surely there is some significance in its endurance through the ages — especially since this pyramid, missing its capstone, is found engraved on our money. Why should we Americans — the children of Joseph’s son Manasseh — engrave this Egyptian Pyramid on our money? Who was actually responsible for the building of this marvel of the ages? (more…)

February 21, 2011

What Is The Third Tithe?

Filed under: Bible,Tithing — melchia @ 4:22 am
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tithinginfo.com

In ancient Israel, God instructed His people to set aside a special tithe to assist those in need such as orphans, widows, strangers, and Levites (Deut. 14:28-29; 26:12-15).

God’s Church has always met its Christian duty toward its needy brethren through the third-tithe program. This is an additional tithe, entirely separate from the first tithe which supports God’s Work of preaching the Gospel. Like the first tithe, the third tithe is ten percent of a person’s increase. While the first tithe is paid year by year, the third tithe is paid only on the increase earned during the third and sixth years of a seven-year period.

Usually, a person begins counting the third-tithe year soon after the knowledge of it is gained. Since most would probably learn about this tithe just prior to baptism, they would count their third-tithe year from either the Passover or the Feast of Tabernacles, whichever is closer to the date of their baptism.

In some cases the individual may give his third tithe to a near relative. A widowed mother, sister, or daughter, for example, would qualify under the guidelines set out in Deuteronomy 14 and 26. Orphans in a similar category would also qualify. This tithe supports many needy widows at this time and is God’s way of taking care of those who are in need.

February 19, 2011

Gays And Conservatism: The New Norm?

Filed under: Homosexuals — melchia @ 6:09 am
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Editors Comment: Gays are now pushing the conservative agenda, according to the article below by TheTrumpet.com. In this arena,  GOProud, America’s first-ever organization that “represents gay conservatives and their allies,” condemns anyone opposed to homosexuality for religious reasons, calling them backward and barbaric—then proudly evangelizes for its own cause with nothing less than religious zealotry. These homosexual conservatives” are in the vanguard of a society aggressively pursuing an anti-Bible agenda that is dismantling the old ways piece by piece and hastening our ruin by doing so.

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metroweekly.com

Conservative in America ain’t what it used to be.

“The whole idea about conservatism is about individual freedom, individual liberty,” said Matt Hissey, a 22-year-old college student, at this past weekend’s cpac.

Really? The dictionary says conservative means holding fast to established, traditional norms, customs and values. Too bad for tradition: More and more American “conservatives” agree with Hissey.

For 38 years, the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, sponsored by the American Conservative Union, has drawn dozens of high-profile right-wing American political figures, hundreds of conservative activist groups and thousands of participants. Hissey was a volunteer for an organization attending the conference for the first time—and actually co-sponsoring this year’s event. This group’s inclusion caused some consternation among long-time participants, and not just because of Hissey’s off-kilter ideas on just what conservatism is.

Hissey is a member of GOProud, America’s first-ever organization that “represents gay conservatives and their allies.”

cpac organizers wanted to show just how big the tent for “conservatives” has grown. Now it includes proud homosexuals and people who want homosexuals in the military and support other “gay rights” issues. Define “conservatism” as individual freedom and liberty, and all kinds of possibilities open up.

Predictably, though, the move rankled those who actually favor preserving traditional norms. GOProud’s presence at cpac drove some folks to boycott the event, including the Family Research Council and the Heritage Foundation. GOProud’s executive director, Jimmy LaSalvia, said the boycotters “have chosen to marginalize themselves out of the conservative movement.” The fact that such right-wing luminaries as Sarah Palin, Andrew Breitbart and Ann Coulter supported GOProud’s presence would suggest he’s correct. Clearly, Republican organizers felt they had more to gain by courting homosexuals than they had to lose by alienating social conservatives. (more…)

February 12, 2011

Neanderthal Man DNA Disproves Evolution!

Filed under: Evolution,Science — melchia @ 7:09 am
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Editors Comment: Once again, evolution is being shown as an amateurish attempt to discredit God. The following article from the Trumpet.com shows that DNA from Neanderthal man is so similar to humans, that the difference is insignificant. Seems Neanderthal man is nothing more than pre-flood humans with a lot more muscle than his modern, soft counterparts.

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johnberardi.com

After years of anticipation, the genetic code of Neanderthal “cavemen” is being decoded. And it is unraveling the theory of evolution. Apparently Neanderthals are a little more closely related to humans than expected. How close? Let’s just say that the man Aunt Thelma married may really be a “Neanderthal” after all.

According to a May 6 Science article, the Neanderthal genome sequencing is nearing completion. It is not complete yet, but what scientists have found so far is astounding: Humans and “Neanderthals” are practically identical at the dna code level.

The researchers used dna captured from the nucleus of cells found in three bone fragments from three different female Neanderthals found in Croatia. The scientists then compared the Neanderthal genome to the human at 14,000 protein coding gene segments that differ between humans and chimpanzees. In doing so, they looked at over 3 billion combinations of four key protein molecules.

What did the scientists find? Simply put: Neanderthals are human. There was virtually no difference between the two codes. The few differences they did find were so slight that researchers say that they are functionally irrelevant—and that if more Neanderthal genomes could be compared there might be no differences at all!

But that is not all the scientists found. The data suggests Neanderthals are as closely related to humans as Chinese are to Germans, or French to Javanese. Furthermore, the genetic material analyzed indicated that Neanderthals and humans interbred and produced offspring that interbred—and regularly.

Uncle Jed’s jutting eyebrow? Chalk that one down to dna passed down from generation to generation.

“Whatever our differences, they’re not in the composition of your building blocks,” reports Wired Science. The “Neanderthal genome shows most humans are cavemen.”

Did you get that? All those supposed pre-man, caveman bones are actually just plain old human skeletons.

It is a startling admission for evolutionists because it throws a monkey wrench into conventional evolutionary theory. (more…)

Anti-Evolution Quotes

Filed under: Evolution — melchia @ 6:50 am
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“The number of intermediate varieties which have formerly existed on earth must be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.” – Charles Darwin 1902 edition.

“…I am quite conscious that my speculations run beyond the bounds of true science….It is a mere rag of an hypothesis with as many flaw[s] & holes as sound parts.” Charles Darwin to Asa Gray, cited by Adrian Desmond and James Moore, Darwin, (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1991) pp. 456, 475.

“Nowhere was Darwin able to point to one bona fide case of natural selection having actually generated evolutionary change in nature….Ultimately, the Darwinian theory of evolution is no more nor less than the great cosmogenic myth of the twentieth century.” Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crises (Bethesda, Maryland: Adler & Adler, 1986) pp. 62, 358.

“I believe that one day the Darwinian myth will be ranked the greatest deceit in the history of science.” Søren Løvtrup, Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth (New York: Croom Helm, 1987), p. 422.

“Scientists who go about teaching that evolution is a fact of life are great con-men, and the story they are telling may be the greatest hoax ever. In explaining evolution, we do not have one iota of fact.” Dr. T. N. Tahmisian Evolution and the Emperor’s New Clothes by N.J. Mitchell (United Kingdom: Roydon Publications, 1983), title page.

“The Darwinian theory of descent has not a single fact to confirm it in the realm of nature. It is not the result of scientific research, but purely the product of imagination.” Albert Fleischmann. Witnesses Against Evolution by John Fred Meldau (Denver: Christian Victory Publishing, 1968), p. 13.

“[T]he theory suffers from grave defects, which are becoming more and more apparent as time advances. It can no longer square with practical scientific knowledge, nor does it suffice for our theoretical grasp of the facts…No one can demonstrate that the limits of a species have ever been passed. These are the Rubicons which evolutionists cannot cross…Darwin ransacked other spheres of practical research work for ideas…But his whole resulting scheme remains, to this day, foreign to scientifically established zoology, since actual changes of species by such means are still unknown.” Albert Fleischmann, “The Doctrine of Organic Evolution in the Light of Modern Research,” Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria Institute 65 (1933): pp. 194-95, 205-6, 208-9.

“Evolutionism is a fairy tale for grown-ups. This theory has helped nothing in the progress of science. It is useless.” Louis Bounoure. The Advocate, 8 March 1984, p. 17.

“And the salient fact is this: if by evolution we mean macroevolution (as we henceforth shall), then it can be said with the utmost rigor that the doctrine is totally bereft of scientific sanction. Now, to be sure, given the multitude of extravagant claims about evolution promulgated by
evolutionists with an air of scientific infallibility, this may indeed sound strange. And yet the fact remains that there exists to this day not a shred of bona fide scientific evidence in support of the thesis that macroevolutionary transformations have ever occurred.” Wolfgang
Smith, Teilhardism and the New Religion (Rockford., Ill.: Tan Books, 1988), pp. 5-6. Dr. Smith, taught at MIT and UCLA.

“With the failure of these many efforts, science was left in the somewhat embarrassing position of having to postulate theories of living origins which it could not demonstrate. After having chided the theologian for his reliance on myth and miracle, science found itself in the inevitable position of having to create a mythology of its own: namely, the assumption that what, after long effort could not prove to take place today had, in truth, taken place in the primeval past.” Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey (1957), p. 199.

“If complex organisms ever did evolve from simpler ones, the process took place contrary to the laws of nature, and must have involved what may rightly be termed the miraculous.” R.E.D. Clark, Victoria Institute (1943), p.

” `Creation,’ in the ordinary sense of the word, is perfectly conceivable. I find no difficulty in conceiving that, at some former period, this universe was not in existence, and that it made its appearance in six days (or instantaneously, if that is preferred), in consequence of the volition of some preexisting Being. Then, as now, the so-called a priori arguments against Theism and, given a Deity, against the possibility of creative acts, appeared to me to be devoid of reasonable foundation.” Thomas H. Huxley, quoted in *L. Huxley, Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley, Vol. I (1903), p. 241 (1903). 63.

“Our theory of evolution has become . . one which cannot be refuted by any possible observations. Every conceivable observation can be fitted into it . . No one can think of ways in which to test it. Ideas wither without basis or based on a few laboratory experiments carried out in extremely simplified systems, have attained currency far beyond their validity. They
have become part of an evolutionary dogma accepted by most of us as part of our training.” L.C. Birch and *P. Ehrlich, Nature, April 22, 1967.

“What is at stake is not the validity of the Darwinian theory itself, but of the approach to science that it has come to represent. The peculiar form of consensus the theory wields has produced a premature closure of inquiry in several branches of biology, and even if this is to be expected in `normal science,’ such a dogmatic approach does not appear healthy.” R. Brady, “Dogma and Doubt,” Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 17:79, 96 (1982)

February 3, 2011

What Is The Origin Of April Fool’s Day?

kloonigames.com

April Fools’ Day — or All Fools’ Day, as it is also known is of ancient origin, although its exact origin is obscure. The custom of playing practical jokes on friends on a particular day or sending them on fools’ errands was practiced from earliest times.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica: “What seems certain is that it [April Fools’ Day] is in some way or other a relic of those once universal festivities held at the vernal equinox, which, beginning on old New Year’s Day, the 25th of March, ended on the 1st of April. This view gains support from the fact that the exact counterpart of April-fooling is found to have been an immemorial custom in India. The festival of the spring equinox is there termed the feast of Huli, the last of which is the 31st of March, upon which the chief amusement is the befooling of people by sending them on fruitless errands.”

The practice of April-fooling long antedates Christianity, its roots buried in dimmest antiquity. Obviously, April Fools’ Day is of pagan origin!

Another source declares: “To find the practice so widely prevalent over the earth, and with so near a coincidence of day, seems to indicate that it has had a very early origin amongst mankind” (Book of Days, page 462).

Since the evidence is overwhelming that April Fools’ Day stems from ancient pagan custom and tradition, and since the Bible, the Word of God, nowhere teaches Christians to partake in observing such a day of mockery, foolishness, jesting and ridicule, and since God actually condemns foolish jesting in His Word (Ephesians 5:4), followers of Jesus Christ should have nothing to do with this custom.

God commands Christians, “Learn not the way of the heathen” (Jeremiah 10:2, Authorized Version). Regarding worldly customs inherited from heathenism, God declares: “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you” (II Corinthians 6:17).

 

November 24, 2010

Proving The Existence of God’s Law

gpcw.org.au

Consider the all-encompassing magnitude of God’s law. It outlines, in broad detail, our right relationship with the true God to receive needed guidance, help and blessings; and also our right relationship towards human neighbours – including parents, children, husband or wife. This law provides for every human need for our own good in a living, active, continuous relationship with the all-wise, all-powerful, all-loving God.

When we mediate fully on the ten commandments, we can see that God provides the means for mankind to have pure religion, happy families, a right social life, and wealthy economies. Never did God intent that His law be oppressive or destructive. In fact, the law can be summed up in one powerful word – love.

Our loving God has given us a law only forbids those things that harm us. God will never force us to keep His law because He has made us free moral agents. God wants us to choose to follow Him and His ways. It is all for our good. Yet, many who call themselves Christians teach that Christ did away with the ten commandments under the New Testament. However, that does not square with Christ’s personal example. (more…)

May 17, 2010

Is Smoking A Sin?

The modern denominational churches of this world refuse to take their religious beliefs and doctrines from the Bible. Rather, they attempted to read their ideas and beliefs into the Bible – by twisting and distorting the word of God, and by taking verses out of context. If we are to find the truth on this subject, we have to find the answer in the Bible.

That’s not to say that smoking is specifically mentioned in the Bible. What is mentioned though is the principle of sin, because it says “sin is the transgression of law” – meaning God’s laws. Now the law of God is always based upon the principle of outgoing love, that is, love towards others. There are also physical laws set in motion within our human bodies by God, to control our state of health.

Smoking is a spiritual sin

When looking at God’s spiritual law, we have to understand that it is divided into two great commandments – love toward God (the first four of the ten), and love to fellow man (the last six commandments). (more…)

May 10, 2010

Use Your Sin Filter

God has given the true Christian a very effective filter against sin. We wear it continually and are to use it to bear up to the standard of God. One of the ways we do this is through immersing ourselves in the word of God. That way we recognize when sin creeps into our life. Obviously we want this filter to be as tight as possible, allowing no penetration of impure materials.

Looking into scripture, we can find the things that filter out evil:

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Phil. 4:8)

None of these things dwell on anything that is against the law of God, and therefore all are spiritually pure. (more…)

September 7, 2009

Is Intelligent Design Really Intelligent?

1

Why is it so difficult to get one answer to the question, how did human life begin on Earth? Think about it. Our prosperous and well-educated Western societies, founded on Judeo-Christian principles cannot come to a satisfying conclusion as to whether human life originated as a planned, purposeful act of a supreme, all-powerful being, or as the result of a random, gradual process called evolution. There can only be one answer to this question. Yet examining the beliefs people embrace on the subject is massively confusing.

  1. What is termed “old-earth creationism,” is the acceptance scientific evidence that the universe is billions of years old but nevertheless that God created all there is by separate acts of miracles.
  2. What might be called “young-earth creationism” is the arguement that the universe, earth, and all life were created in just six days about 10,000 years ago.
  3. Most scientists say that science cannot prove the existence of God, and believe in a Theory of Evolution the sequence of events involved in the evolutionary development of a species or taxonomic group of organisms.
  4. The Intelligent-Design Theory states that creation is the work of an intelligent designer (though he is not specifically named), and that the Earth is billions of years old, not the thousands of years that most “biblical creationists” believe through their “literal” reading of the Bible.

In truth, true religion says the Bible account in Genesis actually describes a re-creation of the Earth. Therefore man was created 6000 years ago, but the earth is also millions of years old.

Gen. 1:2 is not actually the initial condition of the earth. Without form and void is not a regular sequence of events, but means  tohu (Strong’s # 8414 – waste & desolation) and bohu (Strong’s # 922 – to be empty, ruin).

Looking at this a little more in depth through the scriptures, we can see there is something wrong with this condition. Isaiah 45:18 says God did not create the earth in vain – same word tohu (waste and desolation). Is there a contradiction?

No, we simply understand that something happened between verse 1 and 2. The word “was” is Strong’s # 1961 [hayah], which is better translated as “became.” So the earth “became” without form and void. Something happened to cause it to become waste and desolate. It was not created like this by God.

Albert Barnes’Notes On The Bible further states:

“On the second day Gen. 1:6-7 a new disposition of the air and the water is described by the verbs “be” and “make.” These indicate a modification of what already existed. On the third day (Gen. 1:9, 11) no verb is directly applied to the act of divine power. This agency is thus understood, while the natural changes following are expressly noticed.”

In other words, the air and water was already in place before a great destruction came about, and then re-made by God. The grass, herbs and fruit are new creations, (though modifications of existing materials in place), not having been necessary in the time of dinosaurs. These were now necessary for the nourishment and existence of man to come.

In the fourth day (Gen. 1:14, Gen. 1:16-17)  the words “be,” “make,” and “give” occur, where the matter in hand is the manifestation of the heavenly bodies (two great lights) and their adaptation to the use of man. In these cases it is evident that the word “create” would have been improperly or indirectly applicable to the action of God. It does not prove the universe was created a couple of days before man. The Hebrew words in Genesis 1 indicate the universe already existed then.

  1. “Create” means “bara” or to create a new condition or circumstance.
  2. “Make” means “asap” which is creating or making something from existing materials. Moses used these 2 words deliberately and carefully.

In verse 1, God created from new, but in verse 16, they were “made.” Whatever happened in the destruction, God was making it right again. So verse 16 was not a new, fresh creation but God was working from materials that were already there at the beginning of the universe.

Looking at verse 21, we again see that the original language implies creation from new, when the sea creatures and birds of the air were made.

In Genesis 2:3, God rested from the work He created and made. A lot of parts of the universe were already there – from the earth and universe.

The Bible is an old book and if it wasn’t inspired by God, you would expect to find scientific inaccuracies, yet this is not so. Scientists are just coming to understand these truths. Satan will try to confuse religion and science about the truth of God. We should read and believe what the Bible says – that the earth is older than mankind. And we should give thanks directly to God for it all.

September 2, 2009

Where Did God "Translate" Enoch?

The Bible says that Enoch ‘was not, for God took him’ (Genesis 5:24), and that he was ‘translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him’ (Hebrews 11:5).

What actually happened to Enoch? Where did he go? Where is he now?

At this moment Enoch is dead and in his grave. We know this because it is clearly stated in Hebrews that Enoch died in faith, not having received the promises (Heb. 11:5, 13). And Genesis 5:23 plainly says that ALL THE DAYS of Enoch were 365 years.

On the other hand, God did deal with Enoch in a highly unique manner.

Enoch was one of those rare persons who realized the tremendous importance and profit in living God’s way. From age 65 until his death, three hundred years later, Enoch “walked with God” (Genesis 5:22). And God is always particularly concerned for those who put His work first in their lives. He promises to protect them in times of severe trial:

But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.(Ps. 37:39-40).

We are not informed of the conditions that made it necessary for God to “translate” (transfer, transport) Enoch from where he had been, but it is clear that God did this to save his life (Heb. 11:5). Enoch was not taken to the heaven of God’s Throne — he was removed by God to a safer location on the earth. Conditions were so bad that Enoch would have perished at the hands of men — had not God intervened.

A similar time of severe trial and test is soon coming on this entire world — but worse than any the world has heretofore known (Matt. 24:21). Enoch knew the way to Divine protection – it was obedience to God!

July 12, 2009

Free Beer During Service: Church Of England Loses Reality!

2782874518_601ff9e585_m[1]Well, the state of modern religion is starting to border on the insane. I found an article in the London Telegraph which shows just how desperate churches are becoming to attract members. This article says the Church of England offered beer and barbecued meats on Father’s Day. Men attending St. Stephen’s church in Barbourne, Worchester were handed bottles of beers by children to slake their thirst during the service.

Other churches offered bacon rolls, chocolate bars, and even a hog roast to the few who found economic times hard enough to sit through a sermon in order to get their alcohol fix and grab some “manna.”

In some ways it is understandable, as a study recently found that less than 20% of men in England attend church monthly. So if you have the wrong message, at least give them the right product to fill the pews.

The archdeacon of St. Stephen’s defended the beer giveaway, comparing it to the flowers that are given to mothers on Mother’s Day. Another bishop tried to legitimize the giveaway by comparing it to the gospel story in which Jesus turned water into wine, because He was “in favor of partying.” This from a man supposedly versed in the Bible, which advocates moderation, rather than a party spirit.

He argued that the free beer was intended to be symbolic of “the generosity of God”. Nothing about the gospel message. Don’t you just love recognizing the truth of the Bible?

July 9, 2009

You Are What You Think!

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Did you ever hear someone speak out foolishly, sometimes instantly regretting what is said? Yes, that person may apologize, but the scriptures have a few words to say about what we so quickly let fly out of our mouths:

“A good person produces good from the good treasure of his heart, and an evil person produces evil from an evil treasure. For it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45)

Who thinks about their daily thoughts as evil – a sort of poison chalice? We should because thoughts, if left unguarded, will rule us with persistence. Why? Because we are what we think about. Thinking about things that are positive, just, honest and so on are completely foreign matters to most people. The mind loves to justify itself; gratify, satiate the ego. iIt does not like to think about others.

Let’s have a look at two competing scriptures – one with a godly mind:

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Php 4:8)

And one with the mind of carnal man:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jer. 17:9)

It is this second mindset which dominates most people on earth. We don’t generally think about what we think about – by that I mean our thought processes are generally involuntary – a freefloating smorgasbord formulated by what we see and touch. They may be many tiny thoughts we don’t remember thinking, but the result is either positive or negative.

Now think about this. All those tiny thoughts which are obviously formulated, but which we may not realize are there, could produce significant results. If we tend to think negatively, then we are generally so afflicted. If positive, then the other way around.

Thoughts on others

What about how we think about others? Prov. 23:7 tells us that “as we think in our heart, so we are.” If we harbor negative thoughts in our heart about people, then we cannot love them. It is hard to disguise what we think about and somewhere, sometime, our negative thoughts spill out to someone. We may feel remorseful, but that doesn’t make the situation any less real – we do not like that person. Apologizing at this point is wiping bug remains off the front of the car – a never ending job. We know, even if we get the car spotless, the bugs will continue to commit suicide on the grill.

So how do we get out of this vicious, negative cycle? Biblically, we are admonished to think “soberly (Rom. 12:3), which means to be of a sound mind, or moderate. (Strong’s # 4993, coming from # 4998). We are told not to think of ourselves more highly than we aught to think. In other words, drop the ego. Imperfect, negative thoughts can be stopped, with the power of the Spirit of God.Without that power, it becomes an exercise in futility.

Then, the next step is to meditate on things which are positive. This requires some effort and most people are lazy thinkers. They would rather do anything else than put some effort into thinking. but do so the true Christian must. Phil. 4:8 tells us how:

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

What does this all mean? Let’s explain:

  1. True thoughts are generally something proven. We must make sure that our thoughts are not half-truths, or presumed truths.
  2. Honest thoughts can be trusted not to meditate predominately on the self, but to direct attention outwardly towards the care and consideration of others.
  3. Just thoughts are equitable in character, act, or innocent, holy, righteous. They reflect the mind of God and the way He thinks.
  4. Pure thoughts are considered innocent  (Strong’s # 53), meaning chaste, clean and pure. They are the opposite of our arch enemy Satan, who loves to make us break the spirit of the law.
  5. Lovely thoughts or of a good report are right thoughts flowing out of our mind, waiting to bloom for the benefit of the thinker.

Remember that Jer. 17:9 says all mankind has a desperately wicked heart (mind), where the self always thinks it is right. It takes effort and concentration to open the door of our mind to these Phil. 4:8 thoughts. They produce an orderly way of thinking, or better thoughts which produce the character of God.

If in doubt, go about your daily life and as you do so, remember what you thought about after doing something. Our thoughts are the father of our actions. All actions begin with a thought process. Examine your life and your surroundings, they are the reflection of your mind. Is it orderly, or untidy? Are your friends positive or do they have criminal tendencies? Do they curse God in their everyday speaking? Is this really just innocent banter, or the reflection of a passive resistance to God?

The Bible tells us to think as Christ thought, and even to take on the very mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5). We can’t so that if we open ourselves up to wrong thinking, producing weeds in the garden of our mind.

True Christians must examine their thoughts daily, and meditate on what is produced in their life, at work, in study, prayer and everywhere else. Is it the fruits of the spirit blossoming (Gal. 5:22-23), which produces “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.” Once mastered, these become automatic reactions to our interaction with others. But weeds take time and effort to eliminate, as they take deep root and seldom like to relinquish their hold. Don’t allow them to find a home in the first place.

Learning to control our thinking teaches us to control our circumstances. Sift, sort and analyze  everything passing though the mind for value. Then our action, which are dictated by these thoughts, will have value. It is immeasurably important to build a future on right thoughts, which have produced right actions.

June 18, 2009

Mystery Of The Ages: Free Book Clarifies Life's Unanswered Questions!

1One of the best books I have ever read is called, “Mystery Of The Ages,” by Herbert W. Armstrong. It really clarifies the most important knowledge ever revealed from the supreme Source of understanding—about man, his origins, his identity, the world around him—knowledge that has mystified humans since mankind first appeared on Earth.

I highly recommend this book as it is written in a straightforward manner, with no twisted scriptures, no private interpretations – nothing but factual truth, straight out of the word of God.

If you have an open mind, then you are ready for the true biblical answers to seven of life’s most puzzling mysteries:

1. WHO AND WHAT IS GOD?

God reveals himself in his Word, the Holy Bible, yet almost no one has understood it. The Bible, as author Bruce Barton said, is “the book that nobody knows.” The Bible itself is the basic mystery that reveals all other mysteries.

2. THE MYSTERY OF ANGELS AND EVIL SPIRITS

Is the existence of spirit beings fact or myth? Is there a devil? Did God create a devil? If there are holy angels, what is their purpose? Do evil spirits influence humans and even governments today? Do they affect your own life?

3. THE MYSTERY OF MAN

What and why is humanity? Is man an immortal soul? Do the dead know what the living are doing? Is man flesh and blood being with an immortal soul within? Is there meaning and purpose to human life?

4. THE MYSTERY OF CIVILIZATION

How did civilization develop? Why does our world of awesome advancement and progress also have such appalling evils? Why can’t the minds that develop marvels of science and technology solve the problems of human helplessness?

5. THE MYSTERY OF ISRAEL

Are the Jews the ancient nation of Israel? Why did God raise up one special nation? Are they God’s favorites? Does God discriminate against other nations? Is God a respecter of persons? What is Israel’s purpose in the divine order of things?

6. THE MYSTERY OF THE CHURCH

Why should there be the institution of the Church in the world? Is it one Christ-originated Church, or does it consist of many differing denominations? Does it have government and authority? How could one recognize the true Church today?

7. THE MYSTERY OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD

Jesus’s gospel message was “the kingdom of God.” Is the kingdom of God something within each person? Is it something that may be set up in men’s hearts? Is it the institution of the Church? Or is it something else altogether?

These are the seven great mysteries that concern the very lives of every human being on earth. The plain truth of all these mysteries is revealed in this eye-opening book, and it is yours FREE for the asking! It is given away here.

June 14, 2009

The Violence Of Islam

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Editors Comment: I posted this article  from probe.org in its entirety because I thought it contained a good insight into a politically incorrect subject. Too many are willing to minimize what is plainly evident before our eyes today. Islam is not a religion of peace, though many practice it that way. From the outset, as the article states, Muhammad conquered with the sword and this philosophy is now manifesting itself again in a huge way worldwide. Any opposition is worn down through suppression – either violent or non-violent through political pressure by integration into other societies.
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On September 11, 2001 Americans found themselves confronted by an enemy they knew little about. We had suddenly lost more lives to a sneak attack than had been lost in the attack on Pearl Harbor and yet few understood the reasons for the hatred that prompted the destruction of the World Trade Center towers and part of the Pentagon. Even in the days that followed, Americans were getting mixed signals from the media and from national politicians. One voice focused on the peaceful nature of Islam, going so far as to argue that Osama bin Laden could not be a faithful Muslim and commit the acts attributed to him. Others warned that bin Laden has a considerable following in the Muslim world and that even if he was removed as a potential threat many would step in to replace him with equal or greater fervor.

Some argued that fundamentalist Muslims are no different than fundamentalist believers of any religion. The problem is not Islam, but religious belief of any type when taken too seriously. This view holds that all forms of religious belief, Christian, Jewish, or Islamic can promote terrorism. Robert Wright, a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania writes that:

If Osama Bin Laden were a Christian, and he still wanted to destroy the World Trade Center, he would cite Jesus’ rampage against the money-changers. If he didn’t want to destroy the World Trade Center, he could stress the Sermon on the Mount. [1]

His view is that terrorism can be justified by any religion when people are economically depressed. He adds “there is no timeless, immutable essence of Islam, rooted in the Quran, that condemns it to a medieval morality.” [2]

This claim points to the question: Is there something inherent in Islam that makes it more likely to resort to violence than other world religions like Christianity or Buddhism? While it is important to admit that all religions and ideologies have adherents that are willing to use violence to achieve what they believe are justified ends, it does not follow that all religions and ideologies teach equally the legitimacy of violent means.

People have committed horrible atrocities in the name of Jesus Christ, from the inquisitions to the slaying of abortionists. However, it is my position that it is not possible to justify these actions from the teachings of Christ Himself. Nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus teach that one should kill for the sake of the Gospel, the Kingdom of God, or to defend the honor of Jesus Himself.

What about Islam? My contention is that Islam’s founder Muhammad, and the Quran, its holy book, condone violence as a legitimate tool for furthering Allah’s goals. And that those who use violence in the name of Allah are following a tradition that began with the very birth of Islam.

Muhammad

As mentioned earlier, there are followers in most of the world’s belief systems that justify the use of violence to achieve their religious or political goals. However, this says more about the sinfulness of humanity than it does about the belief system itself. It is important to look past the individual behavior of a few followers to the message and actions of the founder of each system and his or her closest disciples. In the case of Islam, this means Muhammad and the leadership of Islam after Muhammad’s death.

One cannot overstate the centrality of Muhammad’s example within the religion of Islam. One of the greatest Muslim theologians, al- Ghazzali, writes of Muhammad:

Know that the key to happiness is to follow the sunna [Muhammad’s actions] and to imitate the Messenger of God in all his coming and going, his movement and rest, in his way of eating, his attitude, his sleep and his talkGod has said: “What the messenger has brought–accept it, and what he has prohibited–refrain from it!” (59:7). That means, you have to sit while putting on trousers, and to stand when winding a turban, and to begin with the right foot when putting on shoes. [3]

Although considered only human, one Muslim writer describes Muhammad as “[T]he best model for man in piety and perfection. He is a living proof of what man can be and of what he can accomplish in the realm of excellence and virtue. . . .” [4] So it is important to note that Muhammad believed that violence is a natural part of Islam. Many passages of the Quran, which came from Muhammad’s lips support violence. Followers are told to “fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them (9:5),” and to “Fight those who believe not in God, nor the Last Day.” (9:29) Muhammad also promises paradise for those who die in battle for Allah, “Those who left their homes . . . or fought or been slain,–Verily, I will blot out from them their iniquities, and admit them into Gardens with rivers flowing beneath;–A reward from the Presence of God.” (3:195; cf. 2:244; 4:95)

While living in Medina, having escaped from persecution in Mecca, Muhammad supported himself and his group of followers by raiding Meccan caravans. His fame grew after a stunning defeat of a large, well defended, caravan at Badr. Muhammad was also willing to have assassinated those who merely ridiculed his prophetic claims. The list of those killed included Jews, old men and women, slaves, and a mother of five children who was killed while she slept. [5] Also, in order to violate a long-standing ban against warfare during a sacred month, he claimed a new revelation that gave him permission to kill his enemies. [6]

Violent expediency seems to have been the guiding rule of Muhammad’s ethics.

Early Islam

Muhammad’s life as a prophet was a precarious one. After fleeing Mecca and establishing himself in Medina, Muhammad was constantly being tested militarily by those who considered him a religious and political threat. Although at an initial disadvantage, Muhammad wore down his opponents by raiding their caravans, seizing valuable property, taking hostages and disrupting the all-important economic trade Mecca enjoyed with the surrounding area. [7] The turning point for Muhammad and his followers seems to have come in what is known as the Battle of the Ditch or the Siege of Medina. A large Meccan force failed to take the city and destroy the new religion. Suspecting that a local Jewish tribe had plotted with the Meccans to destroy him, Muhammad had all the men of the tribe killed and the women and children sold into slavery. [8] In 630 A.D. Muhammad returned to Mecca with a large force and took it with little bloodshed. He rewarded many of its leaders financially for surrendering and within a short period of time a large number of the surrounding tribes came over to this new and powerful religious and political movement.

Muhammad continued building his following by using a combination of material enticements, his religious message, and force when necessary. With the fall of Mecca, many other tribes realized Muhammad’s position as the most powerful political leader in western Arabia and sent representatives to negotiate agreements with him.

Muhammad’s death in 632, just two years after his triumphant return to Mecca, thrust an important decision on the community of believers. Should they choose one person to lead in Muhammad’s place or do they separate into many communities. The decision was made to pick Abu Bakr, the Prophet’s father-in-law and early supporter to assume the role of caliph or successor to Muhammad. Immediately, many who had submitted to Muhammad refused to do so to Abu Bakr. Several tribes wanted political independence, some sought to break religiously as well. The result is known as the Apostasy wars. At the end of two years of fighting to put down both religious and political threats, Abu Bakr had extended his control to include the entire Arabian Peninsula. Islam was now in position to extend its influence beyond Arabia with a large standing army of believers.

Violence and warfare seems to have dominated early Islam. Two of the first four caliphs were assassinated by internal rivals, and within the first fifty years of its existence Islam experienced two bloody civil wars. Rival tribal loyalties within and the religious struggle or jihad against the Byzantine and Sasanian Empires made the first century of Islam a bloody one.

Jihad

Historian Paul Johnson writes,

[T]he history of Islam has essentially been a history of conquest and re-conquest. The 7th-century “breakout” of Islam from Arabia was followed by the rapid conquest of North Africa, the invasion and virtual conquest of Spain, and a thrust into France that carried the crescent to the gates of Paris. [9].

From the beginning, Muslims “saw their mission as jihad, or militant effort to combat evil and to spread Muhammad’s message of monotheism and righteousness far and wide.” [10] Although many Muslims in America have argued that jihad primarily refers to a struggle or striving for personal righteousness, Bernard Lewis, professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University writes that, “The more common interpretation, and that of the overwhelming majority of the classical jurists and commentators, presents jihad as armed struggle for Islam against infidels and apostates.” [11]

Although highly regulated by Islamic law, the call for every able- bodied Muslim to defend Islam began with Muhammad and has continued with the fatwas of Osama bin Laden in 1996 and 1998. Bin Laden argues that his attacks on American civilians and military has three specific complaints: America has placed infidel troops on holy soil in Saudi Arabia; America has caused the death of over a million Iraqi children since Desert Storm; and American support for the evil Zionist nation of Israel.

Regarding the history of jihad in Islam, an ex-chief justice of Saudi Arabia has written “[A]t first ‘the fighting’ was forbidden, then it was permitted and after that it was made obligatory, . . .” Muslims are to fight against those who oppress Islam and who worship others along with Allah. [12]. He adds that even though fighting is disliked by the human soul, Allah has made ready an immense reward beyond imagination for those who obey. He also quotes Islamic tradition, which says, “Paradise has one hundred grades which Allah has reserved for the Mujahidin who fight in His Cause.” [13]

Numerous passages in the Qur’an refer to Allah’s use of violence. A surah titled “The Spoils of War” states, “O Prophet! Rouse the Believers to the fight. If there are twenty amongst you . . . they will vanquish two hundred: if a hundred, they will vanquish a thousand of the Unbelievers: for these are a people without understanding.” [14] Another says, “O ye who believe! When ye meet the Unbelievers in hostile array, never turn your backs to them. . . .” [15] It adds that those who do will find themselves in hell, a significant incentive to fight on.

Muslims and Modernity

Islam was born in the midst of persecution and eventually conquest. Muhammad was adept at both religious and military leadership, but what about modern Islam? Do all Muslims see jihad in the light of conquest and warfare?

While it is probably safe to say that American born Muslims apply the teachings of Muhammad and Islamic traditions differently than Saudi or Iranian Muslims. The use of violence in the propagation of Islam enjoys wide support. Part of the reason is that the concept of separation of church and state is alien to Islam. Muhammad Iqbal, architect of Pakistan’s split from Hindu India, wrote, “The truth is that Islam is not a church. It is a state conceived as a contractual organism. . . .” [16] Responding to the inability of Islam to accommodate the modern world, an Algerian Islamic activist points to the example of Muhammad:

The Prophet himself did not opt to live far away from the camp of men. He did not say to youth: “Sell what you have and follow me. . . .” At Medina, he was not content merely to be the preacher of the new faith: he became also the leader of the new city, where he organized the religious, social and economic life. . . . Later, carrying arms, he put himself at the head of his troops. [17]

The powerful combination within Islam of immediate paradise for those who die while fighting for Allah and the unity of political, religious, and economic structures, helps us to understand the source of suicide bombers and children who dream of becoming one. Young Palestinians are lining up by the hundreds in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to volunteer for suicide missions. Eyad Sarraj, the director of the Gaza Community Mental Health Project, detects a widespread zeal. “If they are turned down they become depressed. They feel they have been deprived of the ultimate award of dying for God.” [18] Palestinian support for suicide bombers is now at 70 to 80 percent.

Islam and Christianity both require its followers to sacrifice and turn from the world and self. Yet while Islam equates political conquest with the furtherance of Allah’s reign, Jesus taught that we render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s. Christianity recognizes that the advancement of God’s kingdom is not necessarily a political one. The New Testament did not advocate the overthrow of the Roman Empire. Muslims are given the example of Muhammad’s personal sacrifice in battle so that Allah’s enemies might be defeated. Christians are given the example of Christ who gave His life as a sacrifice, so that even His enemies might believe and have eternal life.

Notes

1. Robert Wright, http://www.msnbc.com/news, 10/30/2001.
2. Ibid.
3. Norman L. Geisler & Abdul Saleeb, Answering Islam: The Crescent in the Light of the Cross, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1993), p. 82.
4. Ibid., 84.
5. Ibid., 175.
6. The Quran states, “They ask thee Concerning fighting in the Prohibited Month. Say: ‘Fighting therein is a grave (offense)’; But graver is it In the sight of God To prevent access to the path of God.” (2:217)
7. John Esposito, The Oxford History of Islam, (Oxford University Press, 1999), p 10.
8. Geisler & Saleeb, p. 79.
9. Paul Johnson, National Review, October 15, 2001.

10. John Esposito, The Oxford History of Islam, p. 13.
11. Bernard Lewis, “Jihad vs. Crusade,” The Wall Street Journal, September 27, 2001.
12. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Muhammad Bin Humaid, “Jihad in the Qur’an and Sunnah,” http://islamworld.net/jihad.html, p. 4.
13. Ibid., p. 8.
14. Qur’an 8:65.
15. Qur’an 8:15-16.
16. Kenneth Cragg & Marston Speight, Islam From Within, (Wadsworth Inc., 1980), p. 213.
17. Ibid., p 228.
18. Eric Silver, “Bomber quit intelligence service to join Hamas two days before attack,” Independent Digital (UK) Ltd, 03 December 2001, www.independent.co.uk.

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