Friday, December 30, 2005

Countering An Anti-God, Anti-Biblical Article

One of my New Year's resolutions is to decide on a topic for writing my first Bible-based Christian book. I have several ideas and need to settle on just one and get started! Originally, I had planned to take a course on writing skills, brush up on my grammar and punctuation, and possibly take a journalism course. But a few of my good friends told me, "what do you think an editor is for?" Good point. I should just dive right in and let the Lord lead me!

One idea that I had was to write a book that counters anti-God, anti-Biblical articles that I have found and read. Here is an example. I wrote this rebuttal to an article written by Barbara Ehrenreich about last year's terrible tsunami. I will post her article in its entirety. Then, I will discuss and counter her comments, point by point.

Christine

*******
Her article:

Flip Side
Barbara Ehrenreich (B.E.)
God Owes Us an Apology

The tsunami of sea water was followed instantly by a tsunami of spittle as the religious sputtered to rationalize God's latest felony. Here we'd been placidly killing each other a few dozen at a time in Iraq, Darfur, Congo, Israel, and Palestine, when along comes the deity and whacks a quarter million in a couple of hours between breakfast and lunch. On CNN, NPR, Fox News, and in newspaper articles too numerous for Nexis to count, men and women of the cloth weighed in solemnly on His existence, His motives, and even His competence to continue as Ruler of Everything.

Theodicy, in other words--the attempt to reconcile God's perfect goodness with the manifest evils of His world--has arisen from the waves. On the retro, fundamentalist, side, various men of the cloth announced that the tsunami was the rational act of a deity enraged by (take your pick): the suppression of Christianity in South Asia, pornography and child-trafficking in that same locale, or, in the view of some Muslim commentators, the bikini-clad tourists at Phuket.

On the more liberal end of the theological spectrum, God's spokespeople hastened to stuff their fingers in the dike even as the floodwaters of doubt washed over it. Of course, God exists, seems to be the general consensus. And, of course, He is perfectly good. It's just that his jurisdiction doesn't extend to tectonic plates. Or maybe it does and He tosses us an occasional grenade like this just to see how quickly we can mobilize to clean up the damage. Besides, as the Catholic priests like to remind us, "He's a 'mystery' "--though that's never stopped them from pronouncing His views on abortion with absolute certainty.

The clerics who are struggling to make sense of the tsunami must not have noticed that this is hardly the first display of God's penchant for wanton, homicidal mischief. Leaving out man-made genocide, war, and even those "natural" disasters, like drought and famine, to which "man" invariably contributes through his inept social arrangements, God has a lot to account for in the way of earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and plagues. Nor has He ever shown much discrimination in his choice of victims. A tsunami hit Lisbon in 1755, on All Saints Day, when the good Christians were all in church. The faithful perished, while the denizens of the red light district, which was built on strong stone, simply carried on sinning. Similarly, last fall's hurricanes flattened the God-fearing, Republican parts of Florida while sparing sin-soaked Key West and South Beach.

The Christian-style "God of love" should be particularly vulnerable to post-tsunami doubts. What kind of "love" inspired Him to wrest babies from their parents' arms, the better to drown them in a hurry? If He so loves us that He gave his only son etc., why couldn't he have held those tectonic plates in place at least until the kids were off the beach? So much, too, for the current pop-Christian God, who can be found, at least on the Internet, micro-managing people's careers, resolving marital spats, and taking excess pounds off the faithful--this last being Pat Robertson's latest fixation.

If we are responsible for our actions, as most religions insist, then God should be, too, and I would propose, post-tsunami, an immediate withdrawal of prayer and other forms of flattery directed at a supposedly moral deity--at least until an apology is issued, such as, for example: "I was so busy with Cindy-in-Omaha's weight-loss program that I wasn't paying attention to the Earth's crust."

It's not just Christianity. Any religion centered on a God who is both all-powerful and all-good, including Islam and the more monotheistically inclined versions of Hinduism, should be subject to a thorough post-tsunami evaluation. As many have noted before me: If God cares about our puny species, then disasters prove that he is not all-powerful; and if he is all-powerful, then clearly he doesn't give a damn.

In fact, the best way for the religious to fend off the atheist threat might be to revive the old bad--or at least amoral and indifferent--gods. The tortured notion of a God who is both good and powerful is fairly recent, dating to roughly 1200 BC, after which Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam emerged. Before that, you had the feckless Greco-Roman pantheon, whose members interfered in human events only when their considerable egos were at stake. Or you had monstrous, human-sacrifice-consuming, psycho-gods like Ba'al and his Central American counterparts. Even earlier, as I pointed out in my book Blood Rites, there were prehistoric god(desses) modeled on man-eating animals like lions, and requiring a steady diet of human or animal sacrificial flesh.

The faithful will protest that they don't want to worship a bad--or amoral or indifferent--God, but obviously they already do. Why not acknowledge what our prehistoric ancestors knew? If the Big Guy or Gal operates in any kind of moral framework, it has nothing to do with the rules we've come up with over the eons as primates attempting to live in groups-- rules like, for example, "no hitting."

Yes, 12/26 was a warning, though not about the hazards of wearing bikinis. What it comes down to is that we're up shit creek here on the planet Earth. We're wide open to asteroid hits, with the latest near-miss coming in October, when a city-sized one passed within a mere million miles of Earth, which is just four times the distance between the Earth and the moon. Then, too, it's only a matter of time before the constant shuffling of viral DNA results in a global pandemic. And 12/26 was a reminder that the planet itself is a jerry-rigged affair, likely to keep belching and lurching. Even leaving out global warming and the possibility of nuclear war, this is not a good situation, in case you hadn't noticed so far.

If there is a God, and He, She, or It had a message for us on 12/26, that message is: Get your act together, folks--your seismic detection systems, your first responders and global mobilization capacity--because no one, and I do mean no One, is coming to medi-vac us out of here.

Barbara Ehrenreich is a columnist for The Progressive. She is the author of "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America" and "Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War."

End of Article

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Quote:

B.E. : "The tsunami of sea water was followed instantly by a tsunami of spittle as the religious sputtered to rationalize God's latest felony."

The author's obvious distaste for anyone with a religious view is clearly evident in her first comment. Labeling this disaster as a "felony" by God further accentuates her unthinking rant on this issue. Notice her mockery of God is only beginning.

Quote:
Job 13:9 - Will it be well when He searches you out? Or can you mock Him as one mocks a man? New King James Version © 1982 Thomas Nelson

Quote:
B.E. : "Here we'd been placidly killing each other a few dozen at a time in Iraq, Darfur, Congo, Israel, and Palestine, when along comes the deity and whacks a quarter million in a couple of hours between breakfast and lunch."

Has she investigated the Bible to find out why people kill each other? Is it ever justifiable in the case of war? Labeling serious conflicts with the words "placidly killing" doesn't show that she is very informed on these problems. Is she blaming God for the evils of man? Sounds like it. She then claims that the "deity" is guilty of "whacking" the people in the tsunami disaster. Does she know about the many warnings given to the areas affected that went unheeded because of greed within the tourist industry there? Why doesn't she blame them? Does she know about the young girl who saw the signs of an oncoming tsunami and warned 100 people to get to high ground? Does she know about the minister who physically placed dozens of warning messages on billboards in the area because the government(s) there laughed at him and ignored his warnings? Believers who trust in the Lord through all things have a different perspective; even in the midst or aftermath of a disaster.

Quote:
Job 13:15 - Though he shall slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain my own ways before him.

Noah Webster Version 1833 InfoPsa 125:1 [[A Song of degrees.]]

They that trust in the LORD [shall be] as mount Zion, [which] cannot be removed, [but] abideth for ever.

Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Pro 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

2 Samuel 22:31 - As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. New King James Version © 1982 Thomas NelsonPsalm

18:2 - The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. New King James Version © 1982 Thomas Nelson

Ultimately, no matter when or how we die:

Quote:
Psalm 34:22 - The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned. New King James Version © 1982 Thomas Nelson

Nah 1:7 - The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him. New King James Version © 1982 Thomas Nelson

Quote:
B.E. : "On CNN, NPR, Fox News, and in newspaper articles too numerous for Nexis to count, men and women of the cloth weighed in solemnly on His existence, His motives, and even His competence to continue as Ruler of Everything."

Does she know anything at all about the Ruler of Everything? If she had, I doubt that she would have made such a foolish statement. He was identified all throughout the Old Testament and revealed in the New Testament.

Quote:
Micah 5:2 - "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting." New King James Version © 1982 Thomas Nelson

The following Jamieson, Fausett & Brown (herein, JF & B) Commentary on Micah 5:2 reveals the prophetic nature of Micah's passages and identifies who the Messiah will be and how we will recognize be able to recognize him. Jesus clearly fulfilled such prophecy.

Quote:
2. Beth-lehem Ephratah-- ( Gen 48:7 ), or, Beth-lehem Judah; so called to distinguish it from Beth-lehem in Zebulun. It is a few miles southwest of Jerusalem. Beth-lehem means "the house of bread"; Ephratah means "fruitful": both names referring to the fertility of the region. though thou be little among--though thou be scarcely large enough to be reckoned among, &c. It was insignificant in size and population; so that in Jos 15:21 , &c., it is not enumerated among the cities of Judah; nor in the list in Neh 11:25 , &c. Under Rehoboam it became a city: 2Ch 11:6 , "He built Beth-lehem."

Mat 2:6 seems to contradict Micah, "thou art not the least," But really he, by an independent testimony of the Spirit, confirms the prophet, Little in worldly importance, thou art not least (that is, far from least, yea, the very greatest) among the thousands, of princes of Judah, in the spiritual significance of being the birthplace of Messiah ( Jhn 7:42 ).

God chooses the little things of the world to eclipse in glory its greatest things ( Jdg 6:15 Jhn 1:46 1Cr 1:27, 28 ). The low state of David's line when Messiah was born is also implied here. thousands--Each tribe was divided into clans or "thousands" (each thousand containing a thousand families), which had their several heads or "princes"; hence in Mat 2:6 it is quoted "princes," substantially the same as in Micah, and authoritatively explained in Matthew. It is not so much this thousand that is preferred to the other thousands of Judah, but the Governor or Chief Prince out of it, who is preferred to the governors of all the other thousands. It is called a "town" (rather in the Greek, "village"), Jhn 7:42 ; though scarcely containing a thousand inhabitants, it is ranked among the "thousands" or larger divisions of the tribe, because of its being the cradle of David's line, and of the Divine Son of David.

Moses divided the people into thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens, with their respective "rulers" ( Exd 18:25 ; compare 1Sa 10:19 ). unto me--unto God the Father ( Luk 1:32 ): to fulfil all the Father's will and purpose from eternity. So the Son declares ( Psa 2:7 40:7, 8 Jhn 4:34 ); and the Father confirms it ( Mat 3:17 12:18 , compare with Isa 42:1 ).

God's glory is hereby made the ultimate end of redemption. ruler--the "Shiloh," "Prince of peace," "on whose shoulders the government is laid" ( Gen 49:10 Isa 9:6 ). In 2Sa 23:3 , "He that ruleth over men must be just," the same Hebrew word is employed; Messiah alone realizes David's ideal of a ruler.

Also in Jer 30:21 , "their governor shall proceed from the midst of them"; answering closely to "out of thee shall come forth the ruler," here (compare Isa 11:1-4 ). goings forth . . . from everlasting--The plain antithesis of this clause, to "come forth out of thee" (from Beth-lehem), shows that the eternal generation of the Son is meant. The terms convey the strongest assertion of infinite duration of which the Hebrew language is capable (compare Psa 90:2 Pro 8:22, 23 Jhn 1:1 ). Messiah's generation as man coming forth unto God to do His will on earth is from Beth-lehem; but as Son of God, His goings forth are from everlasting.

The promise of the Redeemer at first was vaguely general ( Gen 3:15 ). Then the Shemitic division of mankind is declared as the quarter in which He was to be looked for ( Gen 9:26, 27 ); then it grows clearer, defining the race and nation whence the Deliverer should come, namely, the seed of Abraham, the Jews ( Gen 12:3 ); then the particular tribe, Judah ( Gen 49:10 ); then the family, that of David ( Psa 89:19, 20 ); then the very town of His birth, here. And as His coming drew nigh, the very parentage ( Mat 1:1-17 Luk 1:26-35 2:1-7 ); and then all the scattered rays of prophecy concentrate in Jesus, as their focus ( Hbr 1:1, 2 ).

Also read Micah 5:3-9 for more detail. Here is additional commentary:

Quote:
3. "Therefore (because of His settled plan) will God give up to their foes His people Israel, until," &c. she which travaileth hath brought forth--namely, "the virgin" mother, mentioned by Micah's contemporary, Isa 7:14 . Zion "in travail" ( Mic 4:9, 10 ) answers to the virgin in travail of Messiah. Israel's deliverance from her long travail-pains of sorrow will synchronize with the appearance o? Messiah as her Redeemer ( Rom 11:26 ) in the last days, as the Church's spiritual deliverance synchronized with the virgin's giving birth to Him at His first advent. The ancient Church's travail-like waiting for Messiah is represented by the virgin's travail. Hence, both may be meant. It cannot be restricted to the Virgin Mary: for Israel is still "given up," though Messiah has been "brought forth" almost two thousand years ago. But the Church's throes are included, which are only to be ended when Christ, having been preached for a witness to all nations, shall at last appear as the Deliverer of Jacob, and when the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled, and Israel as a nation shall be born in a day ( Isa 66:7-11 Luk 21:24 Rev 12:1, 2, 4 ; compare Rom 8:22 ). the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel--(Compare Mic 4:7 ). The remainder of the Israelites dispersed in foreign lands shall return to join their countrymen in Canaan. The Hebrew for "unto" is, literally, "upon," implying superaddition to those already gathered.4. he shall stand--that is, persevere: implying the endurance of His kingdom [CALVIN].

Rather, His sedulous care and pastoral circumspection, as a shepherd stands erect to survey and guard His flock on every side ( Isa 61:5 ) [MAURER]. feed--that is, rule: as the Greek word similarly in Mat 2:6 , Margin, means both "feed" and "rule" ( Isa 40:11 49:10 Eze 34:23 ; compare 2Sa 5:2 7:8 ). in the majesty of the name of the Lord--possessing the majesty of all Jehovah's revealed attributes ("name") ( Isa 11:2 Phl 2:6, 9 Hbr 2:7-9 ). his God--God is "His God" in a oneness of relation distinct from the sense in which God is our God ( Jhn 20:17 ). they shall abide--the Israelites ("they," namely, the returning remnant and the "children of Israel previously in Canaan) shall dwell in permanent security and prosperity ( Mic 4:4 Isa 14:30 ). unto the ends of the earth-- ( Mic 4:1 Psa 72:8 Zec 9:10 ).5. this man--in Hebrew simply "This." The One just mentioned; He and He alone. Emphatical for Messiah (compare Gen 5:29 ). the peace--the fountainhead of peace between God and man, between Israel and Israel's justly offended God ( Gen 49:10 Isa 9:6 Eph 2:14, 17 Col 1:20 ), and, as the consequence, the fountain of "peace on earth," where heretofore all is strife ( Mic 4:3 Hsa 2:18 Zec 9:10 Luk 2:14 ). the Assyrian--Being Israel's most powerful foe at that time, Assyria is made the representative of all the foes of Israel in all ages, who shall receive their final destruction at Messiah's appearing ( Eze 38:1-23 ). seven shepherds, and eight--"Seven" expresses perfection; "seven and eight" is an idiom for a full and sufficient number ( Job 5:19 Pro 6:16 Ecc 11:2 ). principal men--literally, "anointed (humble) men" ( Psa 62:9 ), such as the apostles were. Their anointing, or consecration and qualification to office, was by the Holy Spirit [CALVIN] ( 1Jo 2:20, 27 ). "Princes" also were anointed, and they are mentioned as under Messiah ( Isa 32:1 ). English Version therefore gives the probable sense.6. waste--literally, "eat up": following up the metaphor of "shepherds" (compare Num 22:4 Jer 6:3 ). land of Nimrod--Babylon ( Mic 4:10 Gen 10:10 ); or, including Assyria also, to which he extended his borders ( Gen 10:11 ). in the entrances--the passes into Assyria ( 2Ki 3:21 ). The Margin and JEROME, misled by a needless attention to the parallelism, "with the sword," translate, "with her own naked swords"; as in Psa 55:21 the Hebrew is translated. But "in the entrances" of Assyria, answers to, "within our borders." As the Assyrians invade our borders, so shall their own borders or "entrances" be invaded. he . . . he--Messiah shall deliver us, when the Assyrian shall come.7. remnant of Jacob--already mentioned in Mic 5:3 . It in comparative smallness stands in antithesis to the "many people." Though Israel be but a remnant amidst many nations after her restoration, yet she shall exercise the same blessed influence in quickening them spiritually that the small imperceptible dew exercises in refreshing the grass ( Deu 32:2 Psa 72:6 110:3 ). The influence of the Jews restored from Babylon in making many Gentile proselytes is an earnest of a larger similar effect hereafter ( Isa 66:19 Zec 8:13 ). from the Lord--Israel's restoration and the consequent conversion of the Gentiles are solely of grace. tarrieth not for man--entirely God's work, as independent of human contrivance as the dew and rains that fertilize the soil.8. as a lion--In Mic 5:7 Israel's benignant influence on the nations is described; but here her vengeance on the godless hosts who assail her ( Isa 66:15, 16, 19, 24 Zec 12:3, 6, 8, 9 14:17, 18 ). Judah will be "as as lion," not in respect to its cruelty, but in its power of striking terror into all opponents. Under the Maccabees, the Jews acquired Idumea, Samaria, and parts of the territory of Ammon and Moab [GROTIUS]. But this was only the earnest of their future glory on their coming restoration.

Quote:
B.E. : "Theodicy, in other words--the attempt to reconcile God's perfect goodness with the manifest evils of His world--has arisen from the waves."

Pay special attention to the words in bold. The author's first mistake is in calling this world "His world". The physical aspect of this world was created by Him, however, He, as well as believers are no longer "of this world". I will explain with Bible verses.

Jesus speaking:
Quote:
John 8:23 - And He said to them, "You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. New King James Version © 1982 Thomas Nelson

JF & B Commentary:

Quote:
23. Ye are from beneath; I am from above--contrasting Himself, not as in Jhn 3:31 , simply with earthborn messengers of God, but with men sprung from and breathing an opposite element from His, which rendered it impossible that He and they should have any present fellowship, or dwell eternally together. (Again see on JF & B for Joh 7:33; also see on JF & B for Joh 8:44).

Quote:
John 18:36 - Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here." New King James Version © 1982 Thomas Nelson JF & B Commentary:

Quote:
36. Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world--He does not say "not over," but "not of this world"--that is, in its origin and nature; therefore "no such kingdom as need give thee or thy master the least alarm." if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews--"A very convincing argument; for if His servants did not fight to prevent their King from being delivered up to His enemies, much less would they use force for the establishment of His kingdom" [WEBSTER and WILKINSON]. but now--but the fact is. is my kingdom not from hence--Our Lord only says whence His kingdom is not--first simply affirming it, next giving proof of it, then reaffirming it. This was all that Pilate had to do with. The positive nature of His kingdom He would not obtrude upon one who was as little able to comprehend it, as entitled officially to information about it. (It is worthy of notice that the "MY," which occurs four times in this one verse--thrice of His kingdom, and once of His servants--is put in the emphatic form). So where does the "manifest evils of this world" come from? What was Jesus' mission for? What did it accomplish?

Quote:
John 14:30, 31 - "I don't have much more time to talk to you, because the prince of this world approaches. He has no power over me, but I will do what the Father requires of me, so that the world will know that I love the Father. Come, let's be going. New Living Translation © 1996 Tyndale Charitable Trust JF & B Commentary:

Quote:
30, 31. Hereafter I will not talk much with you--"I have a little more to say, but My work hastens apace, and the approach of the adversary will cut it short." for the prince of this world--(See on JF & B for Joh 12:31). cometh--with hostile intent, for a last grand attack, having failed in His first formidable assault ( Luk 4:1-13 ) from which he "departed [only] for a season" ( Jhn 14:13 ). and hath nothing in me--nothing of His own--nothing to fasten on. Glorious saying! The truth of it is, that which makes the Person and Work of Christ the life of the world ( Hbr 9:14 1Jo 3:5 2Cr 5:21 ).31. But that the world may know that I love the Father, &c.--The sense must be completed thus: "But to the Prince of the world, though he has nothing in Me, I shall yield Myself up even unto death, that the world may know that I love and obey the Father, whose commandment it is that I give My life a ransom for many." Why doesn't the author know about Him?

Quote:
2 Corinthians 4:3,4 - If the Good News we preach is veiled from anyone, it is a sign that they are perishing.Satan, the god of this evil world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe, so they are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News that is shining upon them. They don't understand the message we preach about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.New Living Translation © 1996 Tyndale Charitable Trust

Who are we actually battling against?

Quote:
Ephesians 6:12 - For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.

New Living Translation © 1996 Tyndale Charitable Trust

How do we recognize his influence?

Quote:
1 John 4:3 - If a prophet does not acknowledge Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist. You have heard that he is going to come into the world, and he is already here.
New Living Translation © 1996 Tyndale Charitable Trust

What are we, as believers, supposed to do?

Quote:
Ephesians 6:13 - Use every piece of God's armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm.New Living Translation © 1996 Tyndale Charitable Trust What are we to focus on when we feel powerless?

Quote:
James 2:5 - Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn't God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren't they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him?New Living Translation © 1996 Tyndale Charitable Trust Why do we not have to fear death?

Quote:
Hebrews 2:15 - Only in this way could he deliver those who have lived all their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.New Living Translation © 1996 Tyndale Charitable TrustProverbs 14:27 - Fear of the LORD is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.New Living Translation © 1996 Tyndale Charitable Trust Even through suffering:

Quote:
Revelation 2:10 - Don't be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The Devil will throw some of you into prison and put you to the test. You will be persecuted for `ten days.' Remain faithful even when facing death, and I will give you the crown of life.
New Living Translation © 1996 Tyndale Charitable Trust

So, that "Ruler of Everything" whom Ms. Ehrenreich so disparagingly referred to in her piece has absolutely no clue Whom she is rejecting (either ignorantly or willfully) and the peace that such understanding could give to her:

Quote:
Romans 8:38, 39 - And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels can't, and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
New Living Translation © 1996 Tyndale Charitable Trust

Quote:
B.E. : "On the retro, fundamentalist, side, various men of the cloth announced that the tsunami was the rational act of a deity enraged by (take your pick): the suppression of Christianity in South Asia, pornography and child-trafficking in that same locale, or, in the view of some Muslim commentators, the bikini-clad tourists at Phuket."

Well guess what Ms. Ehrenreich. He IS enraged by such things. It is called sin and sin is an offense commited by mankind against God and also man against man. Whether the men of the cloth are correct about this disaster being a judgment from God can be debated. But lets see what the Bible has to say about the offenses she listed above.Even before Jesus Christ was born, it was written in the Psalms that many 'kings of the earth' would be against the gospel.

Quote:
Acts 4:26 - The kings of the earth prepared for battle;the rulers gathered together
against the Lord
and against his Messiah.
'Footnote:Ps 2:1-2.
New Living Translation © 1996 Tyndale Charitable Trust

Causing others to sin harms both you and the person you sin against:

Quote:
1 Corinthians 8:12 - And you are sinning against Christ when you sin against other Christians by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong.
Footnote:Greek brothers.
New Living Translation © 1996 Tyndale Charitable Trust

Isaiah 1:4 - Oh, what a sinful nation they are! They are loaded down with a burden of guilt. They are evil and corrupt children who have turned away from the LORD. They have despised the Holy One of Israel, cutting themselves off from his help.
New Living Translation © 1996 Tyndale Charitable Trust

Acts 13:10 - and said, "O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?
New King James Version © 1982 Thomas Nelson

Does Ms. Ehrenreich think it's no big deal to participate in child sexual molestation for profit? Pornography is often a catalyst used by people who pursue children for sexual gratification. The trial of the pedophile who murdered 7 yr. old Danielle Van Dame a few years ago by a revealed the fact that he was into child pornography on the internet. We probably can't even imagine the suffering of children in these Asian countries where authorities often turn a blind eye to such trafficking.

It's so henious and awful that someone would desire to hurt a child! Jesus had very harsh words and warned such perpetrators of what they deserve by causing such an offense
:

Quote:
Mat 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and [that] he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Mar 9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of [these] little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

Luk 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

What are Christians called to do?

Quote:
2 Corinthians 10:5 - With these weapons we break down every proud argument that keeps people from knowing God. With these weapons we conquer their rebellious ideas, and we teach them to obey Christ.New Living Translation © 1996 Tyndale Charitable Trust

Quote:
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8

Quote:
B.E. : "On the more liberal end of the theological spectrum, God's spokespeople hastened to stuff their fingers in the dike even as the floodwaters of doubt washed over it."

She knows that these liberal spokespeople are experiencing "floodwaters of doubt" because of this tragedy? And she knows this how? With certainty? I may not agree with the politics of my liberal Christian friends on this board but I certainly don't think that they can be labeled with such a blanket statement as this. In reality, I think her statement reveals a lot about her (Ms. Ehrenreich's) own personal doubt!

Quote:
B.E. "Of course, God exists, seems to be the general consensus. And, of course, He is perfectly good. It's just that his jurisdiction doesn't extend to tectonic plates. Or maybe it does and He tosses us an occasional grenade like this just to see how quickly we can mobilize to clean up the damage."

God can use anything, including a tragedy like this, to get our attention on matters of importance. How does Ehrenreich know that God wasn't attempting to grab our attention through all the people who were putting up warning signs prior to this disaster? What did the people do in response? Ignored them!! Why? Pride, profit, scoffing, indifference...the list could go on and on.

Quote:
B.E. : "Besides, as the Catholic priests like to remind us, "He's a 'mystery' "--though that's never stopped them from pronouncing His views on abortion with absolute certainty. "

I wonder. Is she speaking from experience or what? Did she just throw out some rhetoric she picked up along the way or is she familiar with Catholic teaching? God is only a 'mystery' to those who don't know the Person of Jesus Christ, for he is the exact representation of God the Father. Of course we don't know all about God because right now we "see through a glass darkly" but those who hold to the promises of God through Christ know all that they need to know in the here and now to conduct their lives of purpose and worship for God.

Jesus often spoke in parables and this verse explains why:


Quote:
Mark 4:11 - He replied, "You are permitted to understand the secret about the Kingdom of God. But I am using these stories to conceal everything about it from outsiders,
New Living Translation © 1996 Tyndale Charitable Trust

There are so many verses that I could post here concerning God, mystery and the special revelation of Jesus Christ. I will list a few in the KJV.

Quote:
Rom 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. The following verses discuss Jesus as the revelation of the mystery.

Quote:
Rom 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

Cr 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

Eph 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

Eph 3:3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,

Eph 3:4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

Eph 3:9 And to make all [men] see what [is] the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Eph 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

Col 1:26 [Even] the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Col 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;

This is where the necessity of faith comes in and the Catholic church may be referring to the following verses:

Quote:
1 Timothy 3:16 - And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.
New King James Version © 1982 Thomas Nelson

Col 4:3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

There IS no mystery concerning Ehrenreich's comment about God's view on abortion:

Quote:
Psalm 139:13, 14 -For thou didst form my inward parts, thou didst knit me together in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.

Psalm 139:16 -Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained {for me,} When as yet there was not one of them.
New American Standard Bible © 1995 Lockman Foundation

Verses in Leviticus warn of giving children and offering them to Molech (false god). Today, would-be parents give their children over by murdering them through their god of convenience: abortion.

Quote:
Lev. 20:4 - And if the people of the community ignore this offering of children to Molech and refuse to execute the guilty parents,
New Living Translation © 1996 Tyndale Charitable Trust

Jf & B Commentary:
Quote:
2. Whosoever . . . giveth any of his seed unto Molech--(See on JF & B for Le 18:21). the people of the land shall stone him with stones, &c.--Criminals who were condemned to be stoned were led, with their hands bound, without the gates to a small eminence, where was a large stone placed at the bottom. When they had approached within ten cubits of the spot, they were exhorted to confess, that, by faith and repentance, their souls might be saved. When led forward to within four cubits, they were stripped almost naked, and received some stupefying draught, during which the witnesses prepared, by laying aside their outer garments, to carry into execution the capital sentence which the law bound them to do. The criminal, being placed on the edge of the precipice, was then pushed backwards, so that he fell down the perpendicular height on the stone lying below: if not killed by the fall, the second witness dashed a large stone down upon his breast, and then the "people of the land," who were by-standers, rushed forward, and with stones completed the work of death ( Mat 21:44 Act 7:58 ).4. If the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, &c.--that is, connive at their countrymen practising the horrid rites of Molech. Awful was it that any Hebrew parents could so violate their national covenant, and no wonder that God denounced the severest penalties against them and their families.

Quote:
Leviticus 18:21 - And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through [the fire] to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I [am] the LORD.

Quote:
21. thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, &c.--Molech, or Moloch, which signifies "king," was the idol of the Ammonites. His statue was of brass, and rested on a pedestal or throne of the same metal. His head, resembling that of a calf, was adorned with a crown, and his arms were extended in the attitude of embracing those who approached him.His devotees dedicated their children to him; and when this was to be done, they heated the statue to a high pitch of intensity by a fire within, and then the infants were either shaken over the flames, or passed through the ignited arms, by way of lustration to ensure the favor of the pretended deity. The fire-worshippers asserted that all children who did not undergo this purifying process would die in infancy; and th21. thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, &c.--Molech, or Moloch, which signifies "king," was the idol of the Ammonites. His statue was of brass, and rested on a pedestal or throne of the same metal. His head, resembling that of a calf, was adorned with a crown, and his arms were extended in the e influence of this Zabian superstition was still so extensively prevalent in the days of Moses, that the divine lawgiver judged it necessary to prohibit it by an express statute. neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God--by giving it to false or pretended divinities; or, perhaps, from this precept standing in close connection with the worship of Molech, the meaning rather is, Do not, by devoting your children to him, give foreigners occasion to blaspheme the name of your God as a cruel and sanguinary deity, who demands the sacrifice of human victims, and who encourages cruelty in his votaries. Killing an innocent, helpless life in the womb is murder.

Quote:
Deu 10:4 And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me.

Jam 2:11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

Quote:
Matthew 19:18 - "Which ones?" the man asked.

And Jesus replied: "`Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not testify falsely. New Living Translation © 1996 Tyndale Charitable Trust


Quote:
B.E. : "The clerics who are struggling to make sense of the tsunami must not have noticed that this is hardly the first display of God's penchant for wanton, homicidal mischief. Leaving out man-made genocide, war, and even those "natural" disasters, like drought and famine, to which "man" invariably contributes through his inept social arrangements, God has a lot to account for in the way of earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and plagues. Nor has He ever shown much discrimination in his choice of victims. A tsunami hit Lisbon in 1755, on All Saints Day, when the good Christians were all in church. The faithful perished, while the denizens of the red light district, which was built on strong stone, simply carried on sinning. Similarly, last fall's hurricanes flattened the God-fearing, Republican parts of Florida while sparing sin-soaked Key West and South Beach."

There is so much trash-talk to respond to in this paragraph. Where shall I begin? Her terms describing God as being involved in "homicidal mischief" and guilty of "inept social arrangements" are priceless examples of the secular humanistic atheism mindset. At least she admits to the concept of "man-made genocide"; but she misses the point of why the selfishness and evil ways of man which unnecessarily attributes to the suffering of others through drought and famine persist in this world.

Rather than waste time on her blather here, I will respond to the irony hidden within her last sentence.The "faithful perishing" is what I am referring to as ironic. It's ironic that she was even willing to write such an oxymoron. The Bible tells us that the faithful do not perish!

First, the bad news. We need to look at some verses that describe exactly who shall perish:


Quote:
Jeremiah 10:11 - Thus you shall say to them, "The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under the heavens."
New American Standard Bible © 1995 Lockman Foundation

2 Peter 2:12 - But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and killed, reviling in matters of which they are ignorant, will be destroyed in the same destruction with them,
Revised Standard Version © 1947, 1952.

Who will not perish:
Quote:
John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
New American Standard Bible © 1995 Lockman Foundation

Where did all those believers who physically died during the tsunami disaster go?

Quote:
2 Corinthians 5:8 - We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
New King James Version © 1982 Thomas Nelson

Jesus speaking:
Quote:
Jhn 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.Jhn 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also.

As for those who were involved in the "sin-soaked" areas and were spared death, for now, perhaps they should heed the warning of how close they came to physical death, how short their time on earth could be, and thus be grateful for more time to find the Lord during their physical lifetimes.

Quote:
2 Peter 3:9 - The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent.
New Living Translation © 1996 Tyndale Charitable Trust


Quote:
B.E. : "The Christian-style "God of love" should be particularly vulnerable to post-tsunami doubts. What kind of "love" inspired Him to wrest babies from their parents' arms, the better to drown them in a hurry? If He so loves us that He gave his only son etc., why couldn't he have held those tectonic plates in place at least until the kids were off the beach? So much, too, for the current pop-Christian God, who can be found, at least on the Internet, micro-managing people's careers, resolving marital spats, and taking excess pounds off the faithful--this last being Pat Robertson's latest fixation."

Her first statement above has already been disposed of outrightly in my previous postings. However, some Bible verse reminders that sum up the love of God:

Quote:
John 3:16 - Jhn 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Jhn 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Her contempt for God is so obvious by her placing of quotes around the 'God of love' comment. What's ironic is that she is the one exposing herself as being "vulnerable to post-tsunami doubts." She doesn't even recognize that she is placing herself into the vulnerability domain through her own human pride, demand(s) for God to act in a certain way that seems "correct" to her and her continual contempt towards the Christian faithful.

Let's see what God's Word says to those who choose to reject Him and about the reason(s) for such attitudes.


Quote:
Psa 74:18 Remember this, [that] the enemy hath reproached, O LORD, and [that] the foolish people have blasphemed thy name.

Psa 74:22 Arise, O God, plead thine own cause: remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee daily.

Pro 9:6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Pro 9:13 A foolish woman [is] clamorous: [she is] simple, and knoweth nothing.

Pro 10:14 Wise [men] lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish [is] near destruction.

Pro 14:1 Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

Pro 14:3 In the mouth of the foolish [is] a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.

Pro 14:7 Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not [in him] the lips of knowledge.

Pro 15:7 The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish [doeth] not so.

Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

The reason(s) non-believers see the Christian faith as foolish?

Quote:
1Cr 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;


Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? The Christian response to such foolishness?

Tts 3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

1Pe 2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:

Advice to people like B.E. -


1Cr 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.


Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Why she has no excuse NOT to know God through Jesus Christ:

Quote:
Rom 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them.

Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

What her resistance leads to:


Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

Rom 1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Rom 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

__________________

15 comments:

Bruce786 said...

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING PASSAGES FROM THE BIBLE AS IT HAS IMPLICATIONS ON THE WAR AGAINST TERROR/ISLAM and the claim of Israel that god gave them the land. If the child is an infant than the Judeo-Christian version becomes null and void and we are wasting our time and resources i.e. we could save trillions of dollars and create a more peaceful world rather than fighting against Islam the religion of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them all).

The passages are central to islam/chritianity/judaism.


GENESIS 16:16
And Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ish’mael. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ish’mael to Abram.
GENESIS 21:5
Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

At Genesis 22 Abraham had only 2 sons others came later. The Quran mentions that it was Ishmael that was sacrificed hence the reference in genesis 22:2 your only son can only mean someone has substituted Ishmael names for Isaac!!

BY DOING SOME KINDERGARTEN ARITHMATIC USING ARABIC NUMBERS (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10)
NOT ROMAN NUMERALS (I, II, III,IV,V,VI,VII,VIII,IX,X)
NB no concept of zero in roman numerals.

100 - 86 = 14

ADD 3 YEARS FOR ISSAC’S WEANING

THAT WOULD MAKE ISHMAEL 17 YEARS OLD IN GENESIS 21:14-21
BUT IT IS A DESCRIPTION OF AN INFANT.

PLEASE GIVE A STRAIGHT FORWARD REPLY

GENESIS:21:14 - 21

So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-Sheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes. Then she went, and sat down over against him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, “Let me not look upon the death of the child.” And as she sat over against him, the child lifted up his voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not; for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him fast with your hand; for I will make him a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the lad a drink. And God was with the lad, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

AS THE DESCRIPTION OF ISHMAEL IN GENESIS 21:14-21 IS THAT OF AN INFANT IT CAN BE ASSUMED SOMEONE HAS MOVED THIS PASSAGE FROM AN EARLIER PART OF SCRIPTURE!!! AND HAVE GOT THERE KNICKERS IN A TWIST.
For background info on the future religion of mankind see the following websites:

http://www.al-sunnah.com/muhammad_in_the_bible.htm (MUHAMMAD IN THE BIBLE)
http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/MB_BQS/default.htm (Quran and Science)
http://www.harunyahya.com/
http://www.barnabas.net/
http://www.answering-christianity.com/ac.htm
http://www.islamicity.com/
http://www.islamonline.net/english/index.shtml

Christinewjc said...

Bruce786,

Ishmael was born to Hagar and Abram, but was not the promised child of the Lord who was to be born to Sarah and Abraham.

Ishmael was made a great nation, but he was not the child of the line of descendants from which the Savior, Jesus Christ would emerge.

Neither Ishmael nor Isaac were sacrificed, however, it was Isaac whom Abraham obediently brought up to the place where God told him to. Then, God provided the ram in the thicket for the sacrifice. This was a foreshadowing of the provision of God's only Son, Jesus Christ, as the final sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Being that Jesus was both God and man on earth, He had the power to relinquish all sin (as our Savior)and be raised up at the Resurrection (as our Lord), giving hope to all (who accept Him into their hearts) of mankind for eternal life with God in heaven.

Bruce786 said...

Dear Christine

You have ignored the age of the child ishmael in genesis 21-14:21.

Carefully read several times the above passage and then tell me the mental picture you get between the mother child interactions what is the age of the child. If the mental picture is that of a 17 year old child being carried on the shoulder of his mother, being physically placed in the bush, crying like a baby, mother having to give him water to drink, than the Islamic viewpoint is null and void.



The following passages of the Quran
point to Abraham sacrificing ishmael the first born, of course the ram was exchanged and it was only a test if abraham would carry out gods will.

HOLY QURAN CHAPTER 37 verses 101 - 122

101. So We gave him the good news of a boy ready to suffer and forbear.

102. Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: "O my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: Now see what is thy view!" (The son) said: "O my father! Do as thou art commanded: thou will find me, if Allah so wills one practising Patience and Constancy!"

103. So when they had both submitted their wills (to Allah., and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice),

104. We called out to him "O Abraham!

105. "Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!" - thus indeed do We reward those who do right.

106. For this was obviously a trial-

107. And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice:

108. And We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times:

109. "Peace and salutation to Abraham!"

110. Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.

111. For he was one of our believing Servants.

112. And We gave him the good news of Isaac - a prophet,- one of the Righteous.

113. We blessed him and Isaac: but of their progeny are (some) that do right, and (some) that obviously do wrong, to their own souls.

114. Again (of old) We bestowed Our favour on Moses and Aaron,

115. And We delivered them and their people from (their) Great Calamity;

116. And We helped them, so they overcame (their troubles);

117. And We gave them the Book which helps to make things clear;

118. And We guided them to the Straight Way.

119. And We left (this blessing) for them among generations (to come) in later times:

120. "Peace and salutation to Moses and Aaron!"

121. Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.

122. For they were two of our believing Servants.

ISHMAEL IS THE FIRST BORN AND GOOD NEWS OF ISSAC DOES NOT APPEAR UNTIL AFTER THE ATTEMPTED SACRIFICE?????

Bruce786 said...

Christine

see link below for more detailed analysis of the sacrifice?

The Sacrifice Of Abraham: Isaac or Ishmael(P)?

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Contrad/MusTrad/sacrifice.html

Christinewjc said...

bruce786,

Since you are using a book (Quran) that I view as an improper addition to the Bible, anything I might say to rebut your allegations will probably not be accepted by you. I do not say that the Quran is an improper addition to the Bible with a mean-spirited goal, it is just the truth as I see it being a born-again Christian. The Bible gives us a double warning in Revelation 22:18,19 not to add nor subtract from what is written, therefore, any book written after Revelation would be adding (and, in some cases subtracting, according to what is written in them)to God's Word which we are told not to do according to these verses.




Rev. 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:


Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book.

Your inquiry about Ishmael is well taken. However, the Bible does not say that "Ishmael was physically set on the shoulders of Hagar."

Here is the complete (KJV)verse:

Genesis 21:14 -And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave [it] unto Hagar, putting [it] on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

The way that I read it is that Abraham put food and water on the shoulder of Hagar and the shoulder of the child. Apparently, in verse 21:15, we find out that Hagar had the water, so it is likely that Ishmael carried the food.

According to my brief research this morning, Ishmael was about 14 years old, thus, he could carry the food.


Genesis 21:15 - And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.


Gen 17:24 And Abraham [was] ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.


Gen 17:25 And Ishmael his son [was] thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.


Gen 17:26 In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son.

(Note that Abraham was 99 years old and Ishmael was 13 when they were circumcised. Abraham must have been at least 100 years old when Issac was born since it takes 9 months to have a baby.)

Back to Gen. 21:18 -

Casting someone under a shrub can mean simply leading them there and pushing them under the bush, not necessarily physically picking up, carrying and placing a person there. We need to examine why Hagar did this. She thought that since they were out of water that they would die and she didn't want to see her son die in the desert.

It is not unusual for anyone, including a teen boy, to cry when the circumstances looked so dire.

God heard the lad crying, and the angel of God called out to Hagar:

Genesis 21:17 - And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he [is].

In verse
Genesis 21:18 -
Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.

Hagar can lift up the lad by taking his hands and pulling him up to stand. Even if Ishmael was of infant size (which he wasn't), what mother could physically "hold him in thine hand?" No one would ever hold a baby in one hand. This was a literary device used to illustrate her comforting and assuring her son.

Genesis 21:19 - And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.


Gen 21:20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.


Gen 21:21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.

bruce786 stated, "ISHMAEL IS THE FIRST BORN AND GOOD NEWS OF ISSAC DOES NOT APPEAR UNTIL AFTER THE ATTEMPTED SACRIFICE?????"

According to the Bible, your assertion here is not true. If what you stated above is written in the Quran, then it is a twisting of Scripture and a false assertion.

Gen. 21:19-21 tells us what happened to Ishmael.

Gen. 21:1-16 tells us of the offering of Isaac and how the Lord provided the ram in the thicket.

Notice, also, that God calls Issac "thine only son" in verse 22:16. This is because Isaac was the legitimate son of Abraham and Sarah, as promised by God in Genesis 17:

Gen 17:19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, [and] with his seed after him.

God gave the promise to make Ishmael "a great nation," however, it is clear from Gen. 17:21 that God's covenant would be established with Isaac. Through geneology, we find that the Messiah, Jesus Christ, arises through this line.


Gen 17:20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.


Gen 17:21 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.


Gen 17:22 And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.

Christinewjc said...

Oops. Need to make two additions and a correction.

First, it was in this verse we find out that Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was conceived/born:

Gen 17:17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall [a child] be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?

Second, it was in Gen. 17:21 where God reveals that the covenant would be established with Isaac.

Third, it was in Gen. 22:17 (which I neglected to post) where God calls Isaac Abraham and Sarah's "thine only son."

Gen 22:16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only [son]:


Gen 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which [is] upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;


Gen 22:18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

Bruce786 said...

Christine

Thanks for your attempted reply.
You need to add 2 or 3 years to Ishmael's age so that would make him 16 or 17 because according to genesis 21 it was after Isaac's birth and weaning which traditionally takes several years, that Hagar and Ishmael were sent to the desert.

I don’t think you have read my earlier accounts properly I have clearly stated that Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. So I do not need a lesson in biology that it takes approximately 9 months to conceive I should know this as I have 4 very young children of my own.

I have shown the passage of Genesis 21 to my two elder children of good reading ages now and without influencing them asked them what mental picture they got about the age of Ishmael in that passage and they thought he was about 5 years old. I have also tried the same thing with my work colleagues some of whom are qualified with PhD’s and have the ENGLISH language as their mother tongue and they also said they thought Ishmael was 5 years or younger because some of them stated by themselves that there was no verbal interaction between mother and child. i.e. If Ishmael is not of talking age then he must be less than a year old.

It seems that having an open and objective mind in order to differentiate between right and wrong are missing in your reply.

Muslims cannot dismiss the BIBLE entirely because if it was available in its original form it would be the same message as that of the Quran and it essentially is apart from a few theological differences. The bible is the word of god and men and because of the many contradictions it contains we know that it has changed by the church to fit in with there own beliefs.

How can the New Testament be reliable if the oldest manuscripts we have in possession are in Greek i.e. all of the bibles in any language are translated from the Greek versions? NONE OF THE DISC IPLES, or MATHEW, MARK, LUKE and JOHN as far as I know had knowledge of GREEK language.

The concept of the Triune god does not appear until after the council of NICEA in the 4th Century AD.
The council of NICEA was basically a battle between the UNITARIANS and TRINITARIANS concept of faith.


PS A brief lesson on Islam.

It is the oldest faith on the planet it starts of with Adam and Eve, and continuous through revelations given to Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Moses, David, Solomon, Jesus (many others too numerous to mention) until its completion under the messenger ship of Muhammad (pbuta).
Islam is not an exclusively an Arab
Faith as there is no scriptural evidence that Muhammad (pbuh) said that he is the founder of Islam. One cannot quote the Quran as it is not the work of Muhammad as he could not read or write in any language including Arabic
Just as Jesus has himself not ever said that he is the founder of Christianity or Moses has not stated that he is the founder of Judaism.
Isiah 29 verse 12 "And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned".

I leave you to contemplate on the following passages from the Quran concerning JESUS (pbuh) and Abraham (pbuh).
I suppose you won’t read them as they could have been revealed by Satan?

Quran Chapter 3 verses 42-71

42. Behold! the angels said: "O Mary! Allah hath chosen thee and purified thee- chosen thee above the women of all nations.

43. "O Mary! worship Thy Lord devoutly: Prostrate thyself, and bow down (in prayer) with those who bow down."

44. This is part of the tidings of the things unseen, which We reveal unto thee (O Messenger.) by inspiration: Thou wast not with them when they cast lots with arrows, as to which of them should be charged with the care of Mary: Nor wast thou with them when they disputed (the point).

45. Behold! the angels said: "O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah.

46. "He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous."

47. She said: "O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?" He said: "Even so: Allah createth what He willeth: When He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, 'Be,' and it is!

48. "And Allah will teach him the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel,

49. "And (appoint him) an apostle to the Children of Israel, (with this message): "'I have come to you, with a Sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah.s leave: And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by Allah.s leave; and I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you if ye did believe;

50. "'(I have come to you), to attest the Law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was (Before) forbidden to you; I have come to you with a Sign from your Lord. So fear Allah, and obey me.

51. "'It is Allah Who is my Lord and your Lord; then worship Him. This is a Way that is straight.'"

52. When Jesus found Unbelief on their part He said: "Who will be My helpers to (the work of) Allah." Said the disciples: "We are Allah.s helpers: We believe in Allah, and do thou bear witness that we are Muslims.

53. "Our Lord! we believe in what Thou hast revealed, and we follow the Messenger. then write us down among those who bear witness."

54. And (the unbelievers) plotted and planned, and Allah too planned, and the best of planners is Allah.

55. Behold! Allah said: "O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute.

56. "As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help."

57. "As to those who believe and work righteousness, Allah will pay them (in full) their reward; but Allah loveth not those who do wrong."

58. "This is what we rehearse unto thee of the Signs and the Message of Wisdom."

59. The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be". And he was.

60. The Truth (comes) from Allah alone; so be not of those who doubt.

61. If any one disputes in this matter with thee, now after (full) knowledge Hath come to thee, say: "Come! let us gather together,- our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves: Then let us earnestly pray, and invoke the curse of Allah on those who lie!"

62. This is the true account: There is no god except Allah. and Allah.He is indeed the Exalted in Power, the Wise.

63. But if they turn back, Allah hath full knowledge of those who do mischief.

64. Say: "O People of the Book! come to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but Allah. that we associate no partners with him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah." If then they turn back, say ye: "Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to Allah.s Will).

65. Ye People of the Book! Why dispute ye about Abraham, when the Law and the Gospel Were not revealed Till after him? Have ye no understanding?

66. Ah! Ye are those who fell to disputing (Even) in matters of which ye had some knowledge! but why dispute ye in matters of which ye have no knowledge? It is Allah Who knows, and ye who know not!

67. Abraham was not a Jew nor yet a Christian; but he was true in Faith, and bowed his will to Allah.s (Which is Islam), and he joined not gods with Allah.

68. Without doubt, among men, the nearest of kin to Abraham, are those who follow him, as are also this Messenger and those who believe: And Allah is the Protector of those who have faith.

69. It is the wish of a section of the People of the Book to lead you astray. But they shall lead astray (Not you), but themselves, and they do not perceive!

70. Ye People of the Book! Why reject ye the Signs of Allah, of which ye are (Yourselves) witnesses?

71. Ye People of the Book! Why do ye clothe Truth with falsehood, and conceal the Truth, while ye have knowledge?

Bruce786 said...

Sorry for posting above comments twice accidental.

Christinewjc said...

bruce786,

I deleted one of them to save space.

Christinewjc said...

bruce786,

I am familiar with the religion of Islam. I have studied it enough to know how it differs from Christianity and have concluded that Muslims do not worship the same God as Christians. The reasons are plentiful, however, I will try to summarize.

What Muslims believe:

"Christ, the son of Mary [note: not as the "son of God"], Was no more than A Messenger; many were Messengers that passed away Before him [here, equating Jesus with mere Messengers, or perhaps prophets, but certainly not the Son of God]. Sura 5:75, Abdullah Yusef Ali, 10th ed. reprint, 2001. "The similitude of Jesus Before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust . . . ". Sura 3:59. A subsequent "created" man, like Adam. Not God.

What Christians believe:

However, "And the angel [being Gabriel, the same angel that allegedly dictated the "Holy Koran" to Muhammed] answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35, KJV). The Scriptures refer to Christ as "the seed of the WOMAN," knowing that no woman has any seed. The seed has to come from the male; Christ, as the Word incarnate (John 1:14), in an INCORRUPTIBLE SEED (1 Pet. 1:23) not like unto "corruptible MAN" (Rom. 1:23). Not like Adam, a created man who was not the son of God.

Thus, it comes down to a choice between these two disparate positions.
Either God showed up in the flesh, or he did not. At this point in history, that makes you either believe God's inspired Scriptures testifying of himself in the flesh, or Allah's declaration that he did not visit in the flesh nor will he return once again.

The Quran indicates there WAS AND IS NO SON OF GOD in the flesh at any time. Muhammed thus cuts off the Issac line through David to Jesus by God acting through Mary, and substitutes the illegitimate Ishmael to substitute himself for Jesus Christ as the New Testatment "Comforter". Jesus would then have be the son of Joseph (a corruptible man, dead and buried without resurrection), and therefore could not be the son of God. What does that make Muhammed?

I realize that you and other readers will regard this as harsh. I am just sharing the truth of the matter.

We are warned about such non-scripture by Paul when God cursed Muhammed (and any angel with whom he was consorting) for preaching "another gospel" (Gal. 1:8-9).

Below, are more differences that I have gathered through other's postings. (I will include first names or screen names only)

1. Mohammed sought earthly power and riches, including women from conquest. Jesus taught us that the Kindgom of Heaven is not of this world, and he gave up His life, via a gruesome Roman execution, so that we all might live again in the Kingdom of heaven, with all the angels and saints. And a final human act of murder and self-destruction will not gain one access to that Kingdom of Heaven, much less 72 dark-haired perpetual virgins. No, allah and God are quite different beings, with different requirements for believing in them. (contributed by John)

2. No Muslim believes that Jesus Christ in the trinity is one with God and God. Therefore they do not worship the same God.
Allah does not reflect John 1:1 at all.

Hence the reason one can not preach the teachings of Christ around Mecca. (contributed by Merle)

3. It is TOTALLY ILLOGICAL to say the god of Islam and God of the Jews and Christians are one and the same.

Islamic scripture KORAN and Hadith is rife with Allah's disdain and hate of the the Jews and Christians.

It is IMPOSSIBLE for God to hate the people (Jews and Christians) he created.

Therefore Allah of Islam and God are not the same. (contributed by Paul)

4. To base aguments on the superficial use of the word 'God' misses the mark entirely. Even cults use the word 'God'. It is true that Judeo-Christian and Islamic beliefs have Abraham in common. From there though, Islam takes every Judeo-Christian belief and turns it upside down. (contributed by Terry)

5. Perhaps I can fill you in on some key points as to why I have trouble (with anyone who hold the opinion) that Allah is the same God of the Bible - God of Christians and Jews. First we need to be careful to resist our natural urge to claim common ground for the sake of unity and peace. Instead we need to look at historical facts and religious aims to see whether such commonality is possible. And we need to proceed LOGICALLY.

The question we are asking is : Who is Allah? Here we are asking who Allah, the God of Islam is. We are asking who is the Allah god muslims worship to?

The Koran points out that Allah is the same as the God of Jews and Christians ( "the People of Book") And muslims claim their faith as "the faith of Abraham" in one Creator God. So the question is settled? Well, not so fast!

As well meaning religious people, we like to see unity and peace. And we like to establish commonality with our neighbors. However to answer this key question, we need to be more objective. So let's clear up our mind and approach this question from the standpoint of a new muslim convert who is being introduced to Islam.

What is the most important statement of Islam? It is the Shahada: That there is no deity but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet. This all important pledge states that Allah is the only God there is and Mohammed is his prophet. If you say this before two witnesses, you become a muslim. This all important claim of Islam DEFINES Allah. Note that there is two parts to Shahada - "Allah is only God that exist" and "Mohammed is Allah's prophet". In other words, Shahada states "There is only Allah" but who is this god, Allah? "Allah is Mohammed's God" because Mohammed is his spokesman (prophet).

So the fundamental axiom of Islam DEFINES who Allah is. Allah is the God Mohammed worshipped! And this is a point that ALL MUSLIMS, CHRISTIANS, AND JEWS CAN AGREE ON.

Allah is the god Mohammed worshipped. This is how we should clarify who Allah is.

This statement: "Allah is the God Mohammed worshipped daily" is a statement we all agree on.

Now we examine cold and hard historical facts.

Was Mohammed ever a Jew? Nope. Was Mohammed ever a Christian? Nope. In fact, historians would agree that Mohammed was an Arab pagan who worshipped at Kaaba temple of Mecca. And he worshipped the supreme deity of Arab paganism - Allah of Mecca.

We know that there is connection between the God of Christians and God of Jews BECAUSE JESUS HAS BEEN A JEW AND SO WERE ALL EARLY CHRISTIANS. We can safely say that Christianity is a branch, if you will, out of Judaism because all early Christians were Jews and Christians accept Jewish Old Testaments VERBATUM.

By the same key criteria, we cannot say that Islam is a growth out of Judaism nor Christianity. Mohammed had never been a Jew nor a Christian and muslims do not accept the Bible verbatum. Instead Islam AIMS TO REPLACE THE BIBLE WITH THE KORAN. Because they believe that the Bible is full of errors while the Koran is the perfect book from the Heaven.

So let us summarize above point why Allah is same as the God of Christians and Jews.

a. "Allah is the God Mohammed worshipped." If you want to talk Islam, you have to start from the Shahada. If you are unwilling to see the meaning of Shahada, we are talking at cross purpose. Shahada says that Allah is the God Mohammed worshipped and he is the only God there is. All other deities are idols to be denied and oppressed. (This is a point that all muslims, Christians, and Jews can agree on. )

b. Mohammed was an Arab pagan who worshipped at Kaaba temple of Mecca. (This also is a point that all can agree on. ) He was and never had been a Christian nor a Jew.

c. Therefore, Allah is NOT the God of Christians and Jews.
(contributed by Jay)

I am very politically aware of what is going on in the world today. In fact, here in America, as long as your god is just a word, the world has no problem with you. However, mention the name of Jesus Christ and they do have a problem. Why is that? Why is Jesus so offensive to those who do not believe in Him?

Bruce786, perhaps you already agree that we do not worship or serve the same God.

Christians believe in the Trinity (I John 5:7). God the father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30). "If you have seen me you have seen the father" (John 14:9). In non-theological words, Jesus is God revealed to us in the flesh.

Muslims do not believe in the same god, that is the God of the New Testament Bible.

Let's just call it like it is. People must not try to trivialize our differences for the sake of peace.

love said...

You don't know anything about GOD stop lying.

Bruce786 said...

Christine

I am humbled by your logic and arguments perhaps you can start a campaign to remove the name ALLAH from all ARABIC versions of the BIBLE and convince your fellow Arabic speaking Christians and Jews that they are wrong in worshipping a god that is different to their fellow Muslim citizens.

This is for any Arabic readers - see the symbol below if it does not appear you can easily find it by doing a search for the word TETRAGRAMMATON in Google or visit the following link.

http://www.eliyah.com/tetragrm.html

Please write the four letters of the Tetragrammaton as they appear in the Modern Hebrew alphabet on a piece of paper. Then look at it upside down without adding any vowels as they do in YHWH and make it sound like YaHWeH or JeHoVaH.

What does this symbol look like or is very similar to????????


ALLAH



Christine you are just repeating and quoting rubbish based on media version of Islam rather than a serious analysis. Please can you quote chapter and verse about the 72 virgins being available after one takes there own life and any innocents I look forward to reading it.


Briefly the foundations of the Kabba in Mecca were initially built by Adam and Eve and on these foundations Abraham and Ishmael built the Kabba for worship of their god. It was the first place dedicated to the worship of god for mankind.
Does that make Abraham a pagan??? You have lied about Ishmael being the illegitimate son of Abraham does the word illegitimate son appear in the Old Testament.
The annual pilgrimage hajj is taking place in the next week and over 3 - 4 million going to gather and perform pilgrimage following in the footsteps of Abraham, Hagar, and Ishmael and later on by Muhammad (pbuh).
The area would not have been possible for anyone to settle in unless the spring that quenched the thirst of Hagar and Ishmael back in Genesis 21 had not been provided by God and this water is still flowing today it is called the well of ZAM ZAM.

Bacca = Makkah?

Psalms 84:5-6 “Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.”

Qur’an 3:96-97 “The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakka full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of beings: In it are signs manifest; (for example) the Station of Abraham; whoever enters it attains security; pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith Allah stands not in need of any of his creatures.”

Christinewjc said...

bruce786,

This will be my last post to you on this particular topic. If you want to discuss another topic, I would be happy to do so.

Recall that I had previously stated, "Since you are using a book (Quran) that I view as an improper addition to the Bible, anything I might say to rebut your allegations will probably not be accepted by you. I do not say that the Quran is an improper addition to the Bible with a mean-spirited goal, it is just the truth as I see it being a born-again Christian. The Bible gives us a double warning in Revelation 22:18,19 not to add nor subtract from what is written, therefore, any book written after Revelation would be adding (and, in some cases subtracting, according to what is written in them)to God's Word which we are told not to do according to these verses."

Arguing for arguing's sake is not advantageous nor fruitful.

When someone comes to this blog and they are searching for the truth as revealed by Jesus Christ and the Bible, then I wholeheartedly continue to respond.

When someone comes to this blog and they have questions and are genuinely seeking answers as revealed through the Bible, then I wholeheartedly continue to respond.

When someone comes to this blog with their mind made up about their particular religion (or atheism; agnosticism; cult worship; etc.) and they are here only for any one of the following purposes; it is then that the conversation on said subject ends:

1. Disparage, mock, ridicule, debase and or insult the name of Jesus Christ. I immediately remove such posts.

2. Only with the goal to continue countering, ignoring what is revealed in Scripture and/or testify against Jesus Christ and His Word, the Bible, with absolutely no intention of learning Biblical Christian faith and thus only for the reason to argue , it is then that I make an informed decision about whether or not to continue in that particular subject conversation.

3. Attempting to legitimize and/or trying to spread their own brand of religion.

You may ask why I need to be discerning on these issues? Because this is a Christian oriented blog. My purpose in having this blog is stated clearly in my profile and introduction page. Arguing with nonbelievers is unfruitful.

Discussing with nonbelievers is a different thing entirely. It indicates to me that they are seeking God and are open to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. That is why this blog exists and why I am here responding to posts.

You appear to have made your decision on whom to worship and how to worship. So be it. That is your free will choice. I have made my choice as well and it differs greatly from yours. What I believe is Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I believe in the Biblical Christian faith (as opposed to liberal versions of Christianity) and nothing that you or anyone else says in conflict with the truth given by God in the Bible through Jesus Christ will change my mind.

Coming here and quoting the Quran does not do anyone any good because the Christians who frequent this blog do not recognize the Quran as a book from God.

Please don't take this as an insult, it is just, quite frankly, the truth. I would say the same thing in regards to the any other religion and/or pagan cult and their claim that their book comes from God. You are free to believe in your religion and I am free to believe in mine. Ultimately, we just have to agree to disagree and call it a day.

With that said, I will share a few points regarding your dismay at calling Ishmael illegitimate.

I am currently in the middle of a Bible study on the book of Genesis. Here is a partial recap of chapter 16:

Here we find Sarai and Abram frustrated by the passing years without a son. So they devise their own strategy for "fulfilling" God's promise--and reap the consequences. Read Genesis 16.

1. It has been ten years since Abram and Sarai entered Canaan. What action does Sarai how suggest (16:1-2)?

Suggested Abram sleep with her maidservant to build a family through her.


2. What do you think this indicates about their trust in God?

They doubted that His promise would be fulfilled without them stepping in and "helping it along" the way. Sarai influenced Abram to commit adultery.

(Another point to recognize is the name changes of both Sarai and Abram to Sarah and Abraham before Isaac was born but even more significantly this occurred after Ishmael was born. A name change in Scripture is quite significant in that it indicates a great change in the path of the person. We see this in the New Testament when Saul was renamed Paul after his encounter with Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus and thus his conversion from not only just Judaism, but from being a persecutor of Christians to becoming one of the greatest apostles for Christ!)

3. How can our impatience with God's timetable lead us into unbelief and even disobedience?

It led to the sin of adultery in order to get the child they so desperately wanted. In fact, God did come through later with the conception and birth of Isaac.


7. Ishmael means "the God who hears." What does that reveal about the outcome in 16:15-16?

The Lord heard the child and Hagar's misery. Even though He told her the good news that He would increase her descendants so that they would be too numerous to count, He also told her the bad news; that Ishmael would be Gen 16:12- "And he will be a wild man; his hand [will be] against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren."

This is indicative of the hostility we have seen between Arabs and Jews throughout the centuries. We also see it in the radical fringe of Arab/Muslim terrorism going on around the world. (This is not to say that ALL Arabs/Muslims are terrorists because of course they all are not, but to point out that the hostility predicted in this Biblical account has come to fruition down through the generations and can be seen today as a result of this prophetic description of Ishmael in Genesis 16:12.

I WILL REPEAT FOR ABSOLUTE CLARITY. I AM NOT SAYING THAT ALL MUSLIMS/ARABS ARE TERRORISTS!

Lastly, in Chapter 17 we see that God's one and only covenant is revealed through Isaac. I have already included the Bible verses in previous posts.

Bruce786 said...

Christine you still have not addressed a single issue of mine.

So I leave you with a little quiz
About Sauls/Pauls (the real founder of Christianity and ex persecutor) experience on the road to DAMASCUS a city now teeming with muslim/arab/terrorists.

Goodbye and Good luck in your studies.

When Paul was on the road to Damascus he saw a light and heard a voice. Did those who were with him hear the voice?

1. Yes (Acts9:7)

2. No (Acts22:9)



When Paul saw the light he fell to the ground. Did his traveling companions also fall to the ground?

1. Yes (Acts 26:14)

2. No (Acts 9:7)


Did the voice spell out on the spot what Paul’s duties were to be?

1. Yes (Acts 26:16-18)

2. No. The voice commanded Paul to go into the city of Damascus and there he will be told what he must do. (Acts9:7;22: 10)

Christinewjc said...

Bruce,

You posted:

"When Paul was on the road to Damascus he saw a light and heard a voice. Did those who were with him hear the voice?

1. Yes (Acts9:7)

2. No (Acts22:9)"

Let's examine these verses.

Acts 9:7 - And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

Acts 22:9 - And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

This is where a concordance comes in handy. In Greek, the word is akouo, ak-oo'-o; a prim. verb; to hear (in various senses): - give (in the) audience (of), come (to the ears), ([shall]) hear (-er, -ken), be noised, be reported, understand.

In Acts 9:7, the companions of Paul heard a voice, but in Acts 22:9, we learn that they did not understand what was being told to Paul.

Bruce: "When Paul saw the light he fell to the ground. Did his traveling companions also fall to the ground?

1. Yes (Acts 26:14)

2. No (Acts 9:7)"

The companions who did not understand the voice that Paul was hearing may have gotten up sooner than Paul and just stood there. This is not inconceivable and therefore no error can be found here.

Bruce: "Did the voice spell out on the spot what Paul’s duties were to be?

1. Yes (Acts 26:16-18)

2. No. The voice commanded Paul to go into the city of Damascus and there he will be told what he must do. (Acts9:7;22: 10)"

The details of his duties would be shown and learned by him in Damascus. The summary of what the Lord would show him was shared in Acts 26:16-18.