16 Things Christians Have Been fooled Into Believing and The Actual Facts behind It.

I recently was perusing my wordpress discover page and came across this article by a Mr. Victor Uyanwanne entitled, “16 Things Every Atheist Should Know.” I read this and wondered why the wordpress entry was directed to atheist when in fact it is merely a preaching to the choir of christians that need some kind of loud voice on the internet. As an atheist, I deal with what we actually know. This is my response to the article and pardon if it is a bit lenthy.

1. God exists – whether you believe it or not.

Fact#1: No one has proven God exists, not even God himself.

Fact #2: Noone has proven that the Judeo-Christian God is a Supreme God of the universe.

Fact #3: No one outside of the Judeo-Christian religion, like Hindus, polytheists, anamists, etc; have proven that their gods exist.

The Fact of the matter is no one has proven god, gods,God, and Gods exist. People have tried and  have debated much but have not had concrete proof for the actual existence of their deity. No Christian, Hindu, Muslim, etc, has ever physically presented God.

2. To know God, check the Bible

Fact# 4: God did not write the bible. Humans did.

ok, so why do we need to check the bible? Why can’t we go to God himself? Oh, that’s right, he doesn’t exist. Yet, christians affirm that the bible is the way to know god when in fact its someones opinion about their god or a compilation of one of many gods.

Fact#5 the bible did not have a supernatural origin.

Fact #6 : many of the books in the bible are known to be written by someone other than the titled book name.

The gospels were all anonymous works yet someone attributed names to the Gospels and that’s why we have Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. We really don’t know who wrote the Gospels and that is a fact. Many of the other books of the Old and New testament are similar in anonymity. Other books are written under a false name in order to be accepted as authoritative. In actually checking the bible, it’s true origins , we find that it evolved through the centuries, through councils, through debates. The reality of the matter is christians in general are not told how the bible actually came about. They are given a mystical, devotional, supernatural explanation to affirm their faith.

3. God loves you, I thought you should know.

4. God is not angry with you.

Fact#7: until you can actually prove that god is real, then anything else you may claim about him/her/it is speculation.

This is very interesting. If god loved me, why doesn’t he personally tell me, face to face, real being to real being? Is it because he doesn’t exist? We are real beings and don’t need imaginary love to fulfill us. We need actual visible love from a visible person. God’s love in sending his son to be killed that we may live is not love but sick psychopathy. If that is love, I don’t want it and definitely stay away from me. If you want love from something that kills its own children to express their love for you then please get help.  

5. Jesus Christ is the only Way to God.

Fact#8: God didn’t say that, The human writer John did when recounting the story of Jesus.

You still haven’t proven a god exists and anything in relation to it is speculation. You can quote the compiled writings of men but you cannot actually quote the writings of a god. How is it relevant if God didn’t actually say that? Did God himself write the gospel of John? No, some guy did under the pretense of being John, trying to convince the people about Jesus.

6. You are not the first person to doubt the existence of God.

Fact # 9: Duh

I don’t need to comment on this matter. It is clear that people don’t believe and will not believe. This is more evidence in favor of not proving the existence of God. If God were proven, all would believe.

7. The Bible has a word for anyone who doesn’t believe there is God.

Fact #10: This is an opinion of whoever wrote it and not gods point of view.

David wrote it in the Palms. Paul wrote some about wise men being fools in a letter to the Romans. Notice, God did not write this but the men (Paul and David) of religious background did. I bet the muslim would say the same thing in the Koran or something similar. This is indeed a condescending view-point of unbelievers by religious members. What else is new?

8. There have been people who turned from atheism to God.

Fact# 11: Christians have been turned from theist to atheist.

This has no bearing on what atheism is or proving that god exists. Many christians have become atheist. Not just your everyday church member, pastors, evangelists, theologians have become atheists. To name a few notable ones:

Dan Barker, John Loftus, Jerry Dewitt, Seth Andrews.

They too have written books about their deconversions:

Hope After Faith: An ex’ pastors journey from belief to atheism by Jerry Dewitt

Deconverted: A journey from Religion to reason by seth andrews

Why I became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity by John loftus

Godless: How An Evangelical Preacher Became one of America’s leading atheist by Dan Barker.

9. Your lifetime is your only opportunity for you to know God.

Fact # 12: the only fact about this statement is that we only have opportunities in this lifetime.

Fact # 13: no one has proven the existence of an after-life.

As far as we know we die. Plain and simple. Anything else is speculation. Sure, people like to be comforted that Sally, who died of cancer is now in the heavenly courts living blissfully with Jesus and the Angels. But the reality is her body is in the grave and she is dead. If the after-life is so great, why not commit suicide and be with god? No, no, no, no, no. Suicide is bad and you have to suffer on earth in order to receive bliss in the afterlife. The longterm goal is the afterlife, why not get their quicker?

10. Whatever misgivings you have about God can be handled.

Fact #14 people are born atheist.

I really wanted to comment on this to correct something. People are indeed born atheist. That is what you call an implicit atheist. They are born and don’t really know about god don’t know about god and don’t have any care for god. The only way that people get the idea of god is not looking at nature, not looking at the wonders and horrors of creation. Belief in god is not a natural phenomenon. People are taught to believe in god.

11. God has numerous children and He has room for you too.

See fact #7 and #8,

Again the writer of John, a religion man trying to make people believe in Jesus wrote this. Did God directly say this? no. Someone else did. As far as we have seen, god is not a personal god, if one should exist. It appears he uses secondary or third hand means to try and get the message out. Why not directly speak to us since we are personal?

12. If you die today, where would you spend eternity?

Fact #15 yolo. You only live once.

The paradox of the christian lifestyle is living today so that the life after is the real one worth living. Yet you cannot live life anyway you want here because it will affect the afterlife. The reality of the matter is, I live in this life and can only live it moment by moment in the now, not in the future. How does eternity pay my rent? How does eternity feed my family? This life, the present is what I handle and deal with to the best of my abilities.

13. The question of sin cannot be cured except in Christ.

Fact #16: sin is subjective to religious authority or to those that deem it sin.

Sin is indeed a religious concept and has no real bearing on the decisions we make now. Sin is only sin to those that belong to that particular religious persuasion. What makes sin sin? God says something is a sin and it is a sin. If god were to sin, then would that still be a sin? Killing is a sin. God told people to kill innocent people. God made people sin. God poured his wrath on Jesus Christ, meaning he killed Jesus. He is a sinner. Yet the sin maker is not a sinner because he can make sin whatever he wants and is not subject to the law since he makes it. This is pretty subjective.

14. You are accountable to God, now or later.

Fact #17: the after-life has not been proven nor the existence of god and accountability to something that has not been proven is speculation.

15. There is a future reality called Hellfire.

Fact #18: Hellfire has not been proven.

Avoiding hellfire as motivation for not believing is pretty manipulative. It is like telling those uneducated individuals centuries ago who would clean your house that if they broke any mirror they would get 7 years bad luck. It is indeed superstitious to believe such consequence could happen by not having the same viewpoints. This is one way that religion has held on to many adherents: dire eternal consequences will happen if they don’t believe.

16. Very far from God is not too far yet.

See facts 1-18.

Until God can be proven, then anything related to God, gods, Gods, god, is irrelevant.

Enough said.

Thank you for your time. Would love your feedback.

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Losing A Friend Because Of Religion

A few months have passed since I have spoken to one of my dear friends who’s name is Amador. I’ve known him for over 16 years. He was one of the influential factors for me being a Seventh-day Adventist Christian when I was religious. Now, I do not hold the same beliefs I once did and have made it know to many and to him.

Amador and I lost contact about 5 years ago and recently renewed our connection. I heard he had a liver transplant and was like whoa!!! Reconnecting after 5 years I made known to him that I was definitely not religious and would rather keep silent when delving into religious dialog amongst friends. My exact words were, ” I don’t talk religion with family or friends in order to keep the peace.” Of course, if you knew my dear friend Amador, he is very zealous about religion and provoked me saying, “keep the peace? Jesus is the only one that keeps the peace…” I did not engage but did my usual chuckle, changed the topic and left it at that.

Weeks pass,  conversations happen over the phone. Each time more and more intensity is built up until that one day I come home from a hard day of work and already have had a few beers and he happens to call. Just like every phone call, something comes up with Jesus, religion, and the bible. This time I don’t hold back and lay it on him.

Sure, I was a bit aggressive in my talk. In fact, I was very direct and abrasive. Could I evade him forever? I guess not.

My  last words over the phone were, “If were cannot come to terms with what the bible really is and let the bible speak for what it is and not what church and theology have told you it is, then we have nothing to talk about. ”

And he of course, was offended and called it a day. I have not heard from him since then.

He was a father figure to me and a like a brother. I guess now to him I am just a dissenter and a lost prodigal.

If you see this, I still care about you Amador, my dear friend, regardless of religion. Maybe you’ll have a change of heart.

 

 

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The Return!!!

Hello fellow bloggers. It has been a while since I have blogged anything (roughly 2 years) but I have returned…………..hopefully I can continue blogging with my crazy work and life schedule.

 

 

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Why I like chess

Why do i like chess? Chess is a game where you don’t have to rely on people but yourself. Why is this important? I don’t need to worry about people making the wrong moves or moves that I don’t approve. I don’t have to need to blame anyone but myself because I am the only one accountable in this game.
There are many possibilities in moves. What do I mean? There are six different types of pieces that move differently from each other. The bishop moves diagonal while the rook moves in a straight line. A pawn can move one or two steps on the first move and then moves forward, never moving backward but attacking diagonally. The knight moves in an “L” shape. The king moves one space at a time while the queen can move like a combined bishop and rook. And let’s not forget castling or en passant, which are special moves that can only be done if the conditions are met and pieces are in place.
Chess is a game in which a person can bring their personal strength and ability into the match, like wrestling(not that WWE business). Before the match, some wrestlers train hard by doing workout routines, enlist a coach for guidance, and watch videos. Chess is the same way. In order to become good in chess, one has to practice puzzles, learn strategy and tactics, endgame principles, and opening theory. Masters and experts are also available to tutor and mentor chess players.
I like chess also because it is an international game. In fact many people from across the globe know about the game and are masters in this field. Just looking down the like of world champions, we see the nations of India, USA, Russia, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, Latvia, and China, Iran, Nigeria, and the list goes on. Though the Russians have dominated the crown for over 50 years, countries like Armenia, Norway, USA, Poland, India, China, and England have tremendous up and coming grandmasters that are making an impact, changing the shift of dominance, and evening the playing field.
Chess (in my opinion) helps cultivate analytical skills. During a game of chess one has to calculate moves of the opponent’s attack or defense. One has to assess a position, if it is good or bad or getting worse. These analytical skills are cultivated and can be used in the real world.
Chess maybe a game but it touches the individual and molds the world. That’s why I like chess.

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The Birth Of Jesus: When?

Many, by tradition hold that Jesus was born on Dec. 25. Does the New Testament Say anything of that nature?. You find many dates though in the New and Old Testament but nothing that specific. When examining  the gospel accounts we get estimated time periods. Matthew and Luke cite historical and traceable events that we may get an estimate of when Jesus was born.  The only problem that we come across is that Matthew and Luke pinpoint the birth of Jesus to two different historical events which were not the same time.  Let’s take a look. I will be using the ESV.

Matthew:

Mat 2:1  Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem,

ok so as  I mentioned before we get an estimate of when Jesus was born. We know from historical facts that Herod died around 5 /4 BC and Jesus was alive a little before that because Herod was looking to kill 2 year olds. So Jesus had to be born before 5/4 BC because that’s when Herod Died. Many commentaries and dictionaries place the birth of Jesus between 6-4 BC. Some have even place it as far back as 8BC. So let’s run with 6BC. He would have been around 2 When Herod died.

Luke:

Luk 2:1  In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. Luk 2:2  This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Luk 2:3  And all went to be registered, each to his own town. Luk 2:4  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, Luk 2:5  to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. Luk 2:6  And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. Luk 2:7  And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Now Luke mentions something interesting. In vs. 2, it mentions that Quirinius (Cyrenius in older translations like the KJV) was governor of Syria. This is can be traced back to a certain time period. He was governor of Syria in AD6. In Vs 6, while they were there for the census, JESUS WAS BORN “the time came for her to give birth.”

So what’s the problem? Well. as we can see there is about a ten year gap between what Matthew and Luke say about the birth. Matthew shows from the time of Herod 6-4BC but Luke shows around  AD 6. So, what is it: the time of Herod or the Time when Quirinius was Governor of Syria?

Many New Testament books and commentaries point this problem out and can only speculate to an answer. I will only cite a few for brevity sake.

In Exploring the New Testament: a Guide to the Gospels and Acts, Wenham and Walton say:  “HIs reference (Luke) in 2:1-2 to the census organized by Quirinius is historically problematic, since the census we know about took place after deposing of Archelaus in AD6not in the time of Herod.”(italics added)(p 144).   “The divergences of Matthew and Luke are not all easy to explain…” (p144).

In The New Testament: A Student’s Introduction 4th Ed, Harris writes : “The two writers agree that Jesus was born in Bethlehem to Mary, a virgin, and Joseph, a descendent of David…Apart from that, however, the two Evangelist relate events in a strikingly different manner. “(p188)

The HarperCollins Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version comments for Luke2:2 are: ” A roman registration, or census, established control, especially for taxes and conscription.Dating this census has confounded historians. Herod the Great died in 4 B.C.E. (see 1.5; Mt 2.5). Acts 5.37 refers to a census of Judea in 7-6 C.E. by Quirinius, the Roman legate, which caused a Jewish rebellion. Syria, a large roman administrative province, included Galilee and Judea. “(p. 1958)(bold italics supplied).

Edwin Yamauchi  in Jesus Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents the Historical Jesus, writing about outside New testament evidence under Roman sources states: ” the practice of an enrollment under Augustus mentioned in Luke 2:2 is in accordance with Roman practice, the specific association with the governor of Syria, Quirinius, presents some problems. ” (p215). What Luke wrote was and will be problematic. He doesn’t go into the problem just notes it is one.

F.F.  Bruce in The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable offers 4 possible explanations to resolve this error but concludes: “The question is not yet finally decided, but it may be best to follow those commentators and grammarians who translate Luke 2:2 as ‘This census was before that which Quirinius, governor of Syria, held.”(p 88) (bold italics supplied).  So basically he says, if the following four solutions don’t help explain, try this, and even with this, it is still in the air.

Paul Barnett in a similarly titled work, Is The New Testament Reliable, states” A problem in Luke’s account is that Jesus was born during the reign of Herod who died 4 B.C.(Lk 1:5; cf. Mt 1-2)…Quirinius did not become governor until A.D. 6-9 and the only census we know occurred in A.D. 6-7.”(p 101)  Unlike Bruce, he offers 2 possible solutions instead of 4 and sticks with the last resort option of Bruce in translating Luke in that manner: “some explanation along these lines is preferable to attributing an error of this magnitude to Luke.” (101)(bold italics supplied). It may be preferable but it still doesn’t correct the issue of the error in Luke.

I actually like what the S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 5 (the green 1956 ed.) says regarding this issue of when Jesus was born. Sure, it has an explanation to try an reconcile this contradiction but : “The explanation here proposed assumes, without proof, that it was” (p227)(bold  italics supplied). Hey, at least they are honest about the issue. They don’t have proof and don’t hide it. They can try and propose a solution but that is the job of a commentary.

Richard Carrier has wrote an extensive article on this issue of the date of the nativity. He does some serious research showing how many have tried to find proof to harmonize Matt and Luke but haven’t. I will provide the link below for those that care to delve into this more. Here is just a sample addressing the argument made by Bruce and the likes:

“Some have tried to argue that the Greek of Luke actually might mean a census “before” the reign of Quirinius rather than the “first” census in his reign. As to this, even Sherwin-White remarks that he has “no space to bother with the more fantastic theories…such as that of W. Heichelheim’s (and others’) suggestion (Roman Syria, 161) that prôtê in Luke iii.2 means proteron, [which] could only be accepted if supported by a parallel in Luke himself.”[10.1]  He would no doubt have elaborated if he thought it worthwhile to refute such a “fantastic” conjecture. For in fact this argument is completely disallowed by the rules of Greek grammar. First of all, the basic meaning is clear and unambiguous, so there is no reason even to look for another meaning. The passage says hautê apographê prôtê egeneto hêgemoneuontos tês Syrias Kyrêniou, or with interlinear translation, hautê(this) apographê(census) prôtê[the] (first) egeneto(happened to be) hêgemoneuontos[while] (governing) tês Syrias(Syria) Kyrêniou[was] (Quirinius). The correct word order, in English, is “this happened to be the first census while Quirinius was governing Syria.” This is very straightforward, and all translations render it in such a manner.”(Carrier)”

When was Jesus born? It depends who you ask.  If you go by the gospel of Matthew, around 4 BC. If you go by the Gospel of Luke, then, around  AD 6. Who knows for sure? No one.

Bibliography

Barnet, Paul. Is The New Testament Reliable? Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2003.

Bruce, F.F. The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? Grand Rapids: William B.Edermans Publishing Company, 1981.

Carrier, Richard. “The Date of the Nativity in Luke (6th ed., 2011).” 2011. The Secular Web.14 March 2014. <http://infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/quirinius.html#7.2>.

Harris, Stephen L. The New Testament: A Student’s Introduction. Boston: McGrawHill, 2002.

Meeks, Wayne A. Editor. The HarperCollins Study Bible: The New Revised Standard Verson. San Francisco: HarperCollins Publisher, 1989.

Nichols, Francis D. Editor. Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary Vol. 5. Washington D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1956.

Wenham, David and Steve Walton. Exploring the New Testament: A Guide to the Gospels and Acts. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2001.

Yamauchi, Edwin M. “Jesus Outside The New Testament: What Is The Evidence?” Wilkins, Michael J and J.P. Morland. Jesus Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents The Historical Jesus. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1995. 207-229.

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Bible Contradictions Re-examined Part 1

 On Facebook I have written a few notes about bible contradictions. In doing so, one of my friends, who I least expected responded against my post offering possible solutions to the contradictions, an apologetic reply. She then offered me literature which revealed that she was a Jehovah’s Witness. I was a bit surprised because I never really heard her speak about god(or religion for that matter). I myself am an Agnostic Atheist and am not shy about it. I guess she, giving me this lit, hopes that I may learn “the truth” about god’s word, the bible. We are currently going chapter by chapter examining these claims in the book.The book The Bible: God’s Word or Man’s (which will be abbreviated BGWM from here on out) is a small, apologetic work that attempts to prove that the bible is really something divine. Yet, under serious scrutiny, one concludes that this book is merely propaganda for the Watchtower and Bible Tract Society (which will be abbreviated from here on out WBTS ), something that will be addressed in a future blog.This blog will look at a chapter on bible contradictions in part. In fact, just a section titled Independent witness, dealing with Matthew 8 Luke 7, Mark 10 Matthew 20, 2 Chronicles 3,7.There are 5 points/reasons in which the this is indeed a contradiction, not harmonious as the watchtower and bible tract society claims it.  Here is the text below that will be examined. The number in front of the section I guess are paragraph numbers structure to answer the questions which the text offers in the footer. I have included them but not the questions.Independent Witnesses
3 Some “contradictions” arise when we have two or more accounts of the same incident. For example, at Matthew 8:5 we read that when Jesus came into Capernaum, “an army officer came to him, entreating him,” asking Jesus to cure his manservant. But Luke 7:3, we read of this army officer that “he sent forth older men of the Jews to him to ask [Jesus] to come and bring his slave safely through.” Did the army officer speak to Jesus, or did he send the older men?
4 the answer is, clearly that the man sent the elders of the Jews. Why, then, does Matthew say that the man himself entreated Jesus? Because, in effect, the man asked Jesus through the Jewish Elders. The elders served as his mouthpiece.
5 To illustrate this, at 2 Chronicles 3:1, we read: “Finally Solomon started to build the house of Jehovah in Jerusalem.” Later, we read: “Thus Solomon finished the house of Jehovah.” (2 Chronicles 7:11) Did Solomon personally build the temple from start to finish? Of course not. The actual building work was done by a multitude of craftsmen and laborers. But Solomon was the organizer of the work, the one responsible. Hence, the Bible says that he built the house.(p88)   Let’s take a look at what method was used to resolve this. The WBTS Stays within Chronicles to interpret Chronicles and does not leave. We don’t need to interpret something that is already given an explanation for.  The method used by the WTBS is not applicable in 2 Chronicles because of the fact that it is self interpreted. The Writer of 2 Chronicles was interpreted by the writer of 2 Chronicles, not another author. Why? Because then the meaning or example would be different. A modern day example of this situation would be when theologians speak of inerrancy. There are many views of inerrancy, yet the term inerrancy is used. Inerrancy can be absolute, full, partial, and even functional. It all depends on who is using it. The user defines the word, not the listener.

6 Here is a similar example. At Matthew 20:20,21, we read “The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached [Jesus] with her sons, doing obeisance and asking for something from him.” What she asked was that her sons should have the most favored position when Jesus came into his Kingdom. In Mark’s account of this same event, we read: James and John, the two sons of Zebedee, stepped up to [Jesus] and said to him ‘Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever it is we ask you for.'” (Mark 10:35-37) Was it the two sons of Zebedee, or was it their mother, who made the request of Jesus?

  Secondly, the text of BGWM then concludes, “In the same way, Matthew’s Gospel tells us that the military commander approached Jesus. But Luke gives the added detail that he approached him through the Jewish elders.”  Problem solved, right?Hmmmm… absolutely not. He had builders under his direction that built the house but he was given credit. In 2 Chronicles chapter 2 we find that Solomon appoints all the workers to build the house. Clear direction is given as to who does what, so indeed it was under his direction that they built the house of Jehovah. How do we know that? We read the text context, not another book in the bible to interpret it. The text interprets itself.The first verses pointed out by the watchtower are found in chronicles that are said to clarify this point.  7 Clearly, it was the two sons of Zebedee who made the request, as Mark states. But they made it through their mother. she was their spokesperson. This is supported by Matthew’s report that when the other apostles heard what the mother of the sons of Zebedee had done, they became indignant, not at the mother, but “at the two brothers.”—Mathew 20:24
8 Have you ever heard two people describe an event they both witnessed? If so, did you notice that each person emphasized details that impressed him? One may have left out things that the other included. Both, however, were telling truth. It is the same with the four Gospel accounts of Jesus’ Ministry, as well as with other historical events reported by more than one Bible writer. Each writer wrote accurate information even when one retained details that another omitted. By considering all the accounts, a fuller understanding of what happened can be gained. Such variations prove that the Bible Accounts are independent. And their essential harmony proves that they are true. (pp 88-89)

Third, another example is quoted from scripture in Matt 20 and Mark 10 where the mother of James is mentioned to speak to Jesus asking to have her sons to be favored in the Kingdom. Now, the same issue is involved here. You see, Matthew now is not the one that doesn’t say James and john asked but says his mother asked Jesus on her son’s behalf. Mark doesn’t mention the mother. This example destroys the argument that the  WBTS bring in because if Matthew meant to use a messenger to speak on someone’s behalf, he would have written it. He did in this occasion by using the mother of James and John.

Fourth, now this brings another problem of author precedence. Who’s word are we to take over the other writer? Are we to believe Luke or Matthew in when speaking of the roman centurion or elders and friends? Now we are at a crux. Why? Matthew was an eyewitness. Luke is not. If Matthew was an eyewitness, he must have been there and must have seen the events. He must have seen the Roman centurion ask Jesus. Luke researched the matter and found different details. He was writing after the event. Now, who are we to believe? Luke, because he had second hand or third hand descriptions or Matthew who was there? Who would you believe? We again face the dilemma of who are we to believe? Matthew or Mark? It appears that if there are more details, even if it is totally different, according to the wtbs, then we are to take that as the correct version of the story from the gospels. Again, we are brought back to the issue of eyewitness. Was Mark an eyewitness like Matthew? Are we to take Matthew over Mark just because he was an eyewitness and Mark wasn’t? In this instance Matthew did take precedence but in the previous Luke did, according to the WTBS.

And fifth, the problem with the solution proposed by the WTBS is that it adds on to the words of the bible writer. If one says that both Luke and Matthew are correct, then you are changing the gospel of Matthew and adding and changing details that were not originally in the text. In fact, in this instance Matthew was mistaken and needs to be revised since he wrote “Roman Centurion/Soldier” instead of “elders “and friends. So is that what he really meant? Is it really what Matthew meant or are we just making it mean what we want it to mean? In the second example also, did Mark mean mother when he wrote James and John? He obviously didn’t. If we read the context, Mark is clear that he meant James and John, not the mother. Well, maybe she was not visible to Mark’s sources but was she still there? Anything is possible if we were writing the details but the text is pretty clear on explaining itself. We are not the writers so why are we making the text say something it is not? If we are to take the counsel of revelation, we are not to add or take away from the word of god because then we would be in danger of condemnation. When we harmonize the bible in this manner to smooth out contradictions one becomes guilty of adding to the word of god.It is clear early on in this book that the Watchtower and Bible Tract society had a purpose to make the bible a great and divine book. Yet, such a view will find ways that make the bible more than it really is. The bible is indeed a product of man, and the fact that there are contradictions is clear that it is a product of humanity. These contradictions are not apparent, as this books states but are full-fledged contradictions. Under careful, thorough scrutiny, one must conclude that that the passaged examined in Matthew and Luke (as with Mark 10 and Matthew 20) do contradict each other in detail and the methods employed by the WTBS (and many bible believing Christians) are deficient and inconsistent. This was the first contradiction examined and more to come in the following blogs.study hard,alberto

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God is Unfair: Thoughts on SDA Unity Church sermon 2-2-13

Well, Saturday was an interesting theme for the sermon. It was called: That’s Not Fair by Pastor Kim, I  believe. It was actually my first time there so I had no idea who these people were. I was a former SDA member years ago but left the church because of personal reasons. I am somewhere near being an Atheist and an Agnostic.

So, about this sermon… In essence, this sermon brought up the idea that life isn’t fair because God is not fair. He gave various illustrations: how some people wait till the last minute to study to get help and pass while those who study year round pass without help. a father has two kids and one asks for an inheritance, blows it and comes back home to be greeted and celebrated. The other brother then complains that his father never did that for him and he was the good child.

The bible texts that he used in his illustrations are Matthew 20 and Luke 15.  In Mathew we find the story of the 11th hour workers who get the same wage as the other workers. In Luke we find the story of the prodigal son and his older brother. In the story of the vineyard with the 11th hour workers, the lord of the vineyard hired these workers early in the day. Then he kept hiring more workers as the time passed and the other workers were not done. At the end, he hired a last set of workers who only worked an hour but got paid like the rest of the workers, who’d been working all day. They then became disgruntled by the fact that they busted their butts all day and should get more than the ones that worked for the last hour. That’s not fair.

The prodigal son was  basically mentioned above, about the son who demands his inheritance, wastes it, returns home, only to be celebrated with a great feast. This also caused the older son to be upset because he was always a good son, never disobeying and honoring his father, never received a feast such as the one that the rebel son received. That’s not fair. 

So basically God is unfair. Pastor Kim kept emphasizing how grace, which is unmerited favor, is given to us all. We receive the better half of God being unfair with the universe because we didn’t deserve grace but still received it. 

I thought this was a timely sermon because I had a friend who’s mother recently passed away suddenly, leaving him to question the fairness of the situation. He cursed God and said this wasn’t fair that his mother should die without notice/warning. She was young and didn’t deserve to die. I agreed with him and wondered why life isn’t fair.

Dwelling on this thought, it makes sense why life isn’t fair. It seems that we may have some favoritism from God, seeing is that he sent his son to save humanity’s lost race, yet still face the cold facts that the universe is built in unfairness, or at least upheld by unfairness.Looking at the other side of the coin, it is not fair that innocent people should die. They didn’t deserve to die but life isn’t fair.  So all of those unfair acts and events are to expected because the creator of the universe truly isn’t fair, resulting in unfairness unleashed in the universe wreaking havoc and blessing simultaneously(at least in our world). God doesn’t help everyone. God doesn’t heal everyone. God doesn’t save everyone. God doesn’t kill everyone. He helps some. He heals some. He saves some. He kills some. He picks and chooses some because he is God. He can do whatever he wants because he is God, right? This is what it appears to make sense for me. Life is unfair because God is unfair and we can expect nothing less from a universe built on the principle of unfairness, good or bad.   

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