Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Attack On Jesus

After I just did the piece on the South Park episode, it occurred to me that this has been quite a couple of weeks for attacks upon Jesus. I have a special blog devoted to spiritual issues, but with all of the items in the news related to Jesus, I felt I wanted to draw your attention to these and briefly discuss them in order to inform.

First, is the so-called "Lost" Gospel of Judas, which supposedly gives an account of what his role in the Crucifixion was. Of course it is a different account from that found in the traditional Gospels, and he (Judas) is a "good guy" in this gospel, only following the wishes of Jesus in order to fulfull will of the Father.

The truth is that this so-called gospel was found about 30 years ago, in the 70s, in Egypt, not just now, and has been dealt with by biblical scholars in the same manner as other extra biblical texts, such as the Gospel of Thomas. While the 4 accepted Gospels were writte within 30 years of the death of Jesus, and many people still lived who witnessed the events, this one was written no earlier than 150 years later by those who had not witnessed anything.

This text is one of many writings from the Gnostic movement. The Gnostics, whose name is a derivative of the Greek word Gnosis meaning knowledge, were a cult that developed at the end of the first century. Gnostics believes that they had a special and secret inner knowledge of God. They were a secret society and thought themselves superior to common christians. The Apostle Paul spoke of them in his first letter to the Corintians.

In essence the Gnostics perveted the gospel into an eastern mystical message that God lies within each of us and must be discovered and released. Today's Unity religion, which also considers itself Christian, would be one of the descendant of Gnosticism.

These writings we known to and rejected by the early church. Many of these texts were hidden because of the fact that they were heretical, and usually destroyed if discovered by the early church leaders. To compare this work to the four gospels is dishonest at worst and poor scholarship at best.

Next we have the Florida State University professor who seems to have discovered that Jesus did not walk on water, but rather may have walked on ice. According to Professor Nof, at that time northern Palestine experienced a cold climate and the lakes would have had ice formations. As I wrote to the university questioning this mans right to a professorship, an 8th grader with a basic bible knowledge could have dealt with this. It was pretty clear that Professor Nof, had not read the bible's account. He says that "it may have appeared to those on shore at a distance," that Jesus walked on water when it was most likely ice. The problem with that is that the biblical account states that the disciples had rowed about 3 1/2 miles into the lake when Jesus walked out to them. Secondly, the account states that as Jesus approached them, he bid Peter to come out to Him. Which Peter did. This presents 2 problems. It debunks the idea that the disciples saw this at a distance, and also that if peter got out and walked then he must have been on a second piece of ice. That does not even deal with the question of what were the disciples doing out on the ice, in a boat, in the first place.

Then we have the soon to be released Da Vinci Code film. The book initially released as non-fiction, tries to make the case that Jesus had a sexual relationship with Mary Magdeline and that they had a child, who was the true Holy Grial. The book goes further in saying that this line of Jesus carried on and remains today. While this book and the film are great fiction, they are just that. Unfortunately it will catch many unsupecting people off guard and caus ethe weak to question their faith.

If we put all of this and other items together we see a pattern. The American media and entertainment industry is trying help turn America into a secular humanist society, like that of modern Europe. To understand what this means and the danger we face I want to recommend and urge you to read the book The Cube And The Cathedral. It gives a picture of where Europe is, and where we will be if, we do not stop the secular humanist advance. I will just give you a hint, it is not in a good place.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

A House Divided, and A Senate Too

On June 18th, 1858 Abraham Lincoln delivered a speech which has become known as the "House Divided" speech


Here is an exerpt:

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention.

If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it. We are now far into the fifth year, since a policy was initiated, with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation.

Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only, not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed.

"A house divided against itself cannot stand." I believe this government cannot endure, permanently.

While Mr. Lincoln spoke specifically of the issue of slavery here, I believe the words ring true today with reagrd to the issues of the exercise of faith, the rights of the unborn, the sanctity of marriage, and many other moral issues.

The phrase was actually a paraphrase of the words of Jesus found in three of the four gospels, Matt. 12:25, Mark 3:25, Luke 11:17, and addressed the issue of unity and singlness of purpose. When Abraham Lincoln used the words he was urging the Republican Party not to shrink back from its purpose of abolishing slavery in its entirety. Afterall, the single reason the Party was formed was to abolish slavery. At their meeting of 1858 some wavered on the issue, thus prompting this speech. The Party did unite and 2 years later Lincoln became president with a single purpose, to abolish salvery, and he with the help of his Party did so.

Today the Republican Party again stands at a crossroads and if it ever needed to find unity it does so now. The Party appears to be in disarray, with those in Congress not only at odds with one another, but particularly with their President. Anarchy seems to rule in the GOP and it is filtering down to state and local elections as well. For some reason the Democrats are better at this than the Republicans. They stand strong in showing unity of Purpose. That purpose is to push forward their agenda and to thwart any Republican effort at anything, realizing that together they can regain power and control. While Bill Clinton was president, you did not see or hear of, many, if any Democrats in Congress breaking ranks with their President on any issue. Surely some disagreed with various policies, but it was dealt with internally and among themselves in a way to maintain unity. Today, however, we see and hear almost daily of Republicans disagreeing, second guessing, and breaking ranks with their President on almost every issue. I suppose they believe they are showing strength and independence. But to those who would want to go it alone and show how independent they are, hoping for some advantage in November I have a word of warning. "Woe unto you."

As a believer in a (the) living God and the principles He gave us to live by, I am reminded of another scripture. This one found in Matt. 8:9 is the story of the Centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant. Jesus told him he would come to his home but the Centurion said that was not necessary, and all Jesus needed to do was to speak the word and the servant would be healed. It is a great story, but the thing that stands out most is why the Centurion believed that. He said it was because he (the Centurion) was a man with authority, because he was a man under authority. He understood that because he was under authority and trusted that authority, that authority above him and its inherent power would protect and serve him well. He knew what that authority meant up the chain and down it. In the government and particularly the Republican Party today too many of our leaders do not understand this principle and I believe it will hurt them and our nation. They feel that they are an authority unto themselves and have forgotten from whence that authority comes. It comes from the people, and the people have chosen a president as the supreme authority in our land. As his authority diminishes so does all authority beneath his. A "trickle down" effect if you will.

I believe that it is time for our leaders to remember what authority means, and what it brings. Both submitting to authority and exercising it. Understanding this will, hopefully, allow them to regain unity in the Party and possibly even see it spread, bringing about a unity within our entire great nation.

I close with these words from Abraham Lincoln on that June 18th, 1858:

Our cause, then, must be intrusted to, and conducted by, its own undoubted friends-those whose hands are free, whose hearts are in the work-who do care for the result. Two years ago the Republicans of the nation mustered over thirteen hundred thousand strong. We did this under the single impulse of resistance to a common danger, with every external circumstance against us. Of strange, discordant, and even hostile elements, we gathered from the four winds, and formed and fought the battle through, under the constant hot fire of a disciplined, proud, and pampered enemy. Did we brave all them to falter now?-now, when that same enemy is wavering, dissevered, and belligerent? The result is not doubtful. We shall not fail-if we stand firm, we shall not fail. Wise counsels may accelerate, or mistakes delay it, but, sooner or later, the victory is sure to come.

Let us unite under one God and one President. We can discuss and disagree on some issues, but we must unite on the ones critical to the survival of our nation as we know it.