American Christianity no longer resembles its Founder

In the United States of America the last few months we could see that there is much division in the country, with lots of people who call themselves Christian took on not only a racist attitude, but also used many awful words against the different peoples living in their state and against those who show that they do not agree with their favoured politician and presidential candidate.

In the 16th century there was a time many who fled to the New World carried a Dutch crescent-shaped Geuzen medal at the time of the anti-Spanish Dutch Revolt, with the slogan “Liever Turks dan Paaps” (“Rather Turkish than Papist“), 1570, indicating to be better a Muslim than to be a Roman Catholic.

An American writer who considers himself reformed in his thinking and faith, considers himself a follower of Jesus and believing all  Scriptures, though he looks like a papist (not in an offensive way) and does not seem to believe all words of Jesus and not to accept that God is only One, but that is not the issue in this writing.  Today we want to look at what he wrote already in 2012.

In his article The Best Argument Against Christianity he looked at “Some Disturbing Statistics” and wrote

David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group (a research organization focusing on religious trends and information), asserts that the primary issue that today’s culture has with Christianity is that it no longer resembles its Founder. {David Kinnaman, Unchristian, 2007, pg. 25. + The Best Argument Against Christianity}

In his book Unchristian, Kinnaman studied the Mosaic (born between 1984 and 2002) and Busters (born between 1965 and 1983) generations of the United States, which currently comprise approximately 77% of America’s population. With respect to Christianity, Kinnaman notes a growing tide of hostility and resentment, a statistic which is trending downward from a positive study that was done by his Barna group only one decade before. {The Best Argument Against Christianity}

Barna also describes the Mosaic Generation as “comfortable with contradiction”, “post-modern” and exhibiting “non-linear” thinking. All the contradiction going on in the New World many wanting to screw back into the past, makes it very chaotic.

The criteria for human value, to the world at large, has shifted from that of someone who champions high ethical standards at work, has personal integrity in his dealings, and who is committed to doing the right thing no matter what, to someone who, at work, is willing to do whatever can ensure the greatest commercial viability and his own personal security, and get away with whatever s/he can in their personal dealings. The more noble qualities of human nature are unwittingly being sacrificed on the altar of commerce. Most do not realize the cost: ending up as two-dimensional beings, mere cogs in the wheel of commerce without a heart capable of compassion.{Millennials: Escape the Credit/Debt Matrix}

For the blogger “evangelical” relates to Christianity, though we do not hope he wants to give the impression to his readers that ‘Evangelism‘ are the norm and does not use ‘Christianity’ in the same way as it is often used in Belgium when they speak of Christianity or of Christendom they mean ‘Roman Catholicism‘.

Most important to notice is the reflection of the spirit of the age. We have come in a time where atheists speak publicly more often about God than their in God believing counterparts. By the majority of the population there is a bad co-notation to the word ‘Christian’. In 2012 nearly half had a bad impression, and four year later we may say nearly three quarter of the population has a bad idea by the word ‘Christian’ and lots of them do find religion the cause of all the problems and all the wars.

Many non-religious people in the States and in Europe look at the works of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda and see the similarities with the crusaders.  All those groups went killing and conquering territory, terrorising lots of people. Many non-religious people also hear the vile language of many who say they are Christian or are saying they are defending the Christian values. The 2016 American presidential election has been the example how the Christian manners shown to the world are not those of the master teacher, rabbi Jeshua, known in the States and many other countries as Jesus Christ.

In 2012 also

There were two things that Kinnaman’s study uncovered, and neither had anything to do with the theological teachings or doctrinal standards of the Church. First, unbelievers responded negatively to what they termed the Christian “swagger” – how Christians’ lives don’t match up to Christ’s, and the bark and bite that unbelievers say they see in Christians’ demeanor and action. {The Best Argument Against Christianity}

The immoral way of life by Christians, outsiders can see, is the most chocking to non-religious and other religious people. Muslims in particular are very disgruntled by the way Christian behave. Put out over their way of life no wonder several Muslim groups try to get Christians to their faith, trying to have them understand such a way of living is totally against the Will of God.

Lots of non-religious and non-Christian religious groups see as many respondents said that the charity and compassion of Jesus’ teaching in the Gospels have been dismissed by Christians in favour of their selfish gain, combative and judgemental actions against what they believe to be threats against their moral positions.

In other words, as Christians, we have become famous for what we oppose and stand against rather than for what we are in favor of and champion. {The Best Argument Against Christianity}

But what are those American Christians are in favour for? What are their aims and what is their willingness to follow Jesus’ teachings and to have that same attitude as that master teacher? How peaceful do they want to be? In most instances we can see those American ‘Christians’ only considering their church or nomination to be allowed to have the label Christian. Very often they feel other denominations of Christendom are the false groups and consider that most of those people will land up in hell (for them a place of eternal torture). The exclusion of other people is the most problematic element the American population now encounters.

Many youngsters, particular the Millennials who had first difficulties in paying their studies and now have problems paying off the loan and need a place to live (besides with their parents), clothes on their back, food to eat and resources to care for their children, do not see any surplus a church or religion may give them. For them their focus is not at all on something which we cannot see or not fully understand. They are focussing on the material which might be in their reach if certain groups would not stand in their way. They want to have time and money for travel, doing fun things, but nobody standing in their way or confronting them with how they have to live or behave. At the moment they also have become very disappointed with the political system they are living in and want change. It is that carving for change what made many also to chose for Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States, which have become very divided now.

The neo-Nazis and the weapon lobby gladly backed Donald Trump, because in him they saw the man to clean up the country and to enable enough income by the promotion of weapons to determinate ‘the vermin’. Strangely enough lots of evangelist Americans and other so called Christians in those states do promote the carriage and use of weapons and do not seem to mind to shoot at an other creature of God.

When we do hear how those gun-lovers talk about them having to prepare against ‘the enemy’ and how they have to train their kids in shooting and defending themselves, we clearly can form a good idea how far away they have gone from the teaching of Christ. It has gone even so far that there are churches in America where in the service there are tombola’s for or weapons given to their members. There exist even crusader rifles of which so called Christians are very proud to have such gun, which has a cross engraved on it.

That is where the Americans have left the real faith and have also gone far away from the idea of defending and living in a free state.
Lots of American Christians have come to think their freedom is to limit the freedom of others and to oppress their way of thinking to others. For them all have to take on their ‘belief’ and their ‘faith’ and all people in the United States of America do have to live according to their religious rules. For sure that was not something the founding fathers of the New World had in mind. They just had escaped the tyrannising position of the churches in Europe. Today lots of Americans are trying to create that what the founding fathers of the United States of America had fled for and have no idea of their sayings.

It is getting time American Christian get back to reading the Bible and to listen what is written in it. They have to get back on track, finding the inner moral compass to resist unethical business practices, to show others they have a moral and ethical attitude according Judeo Christian values.

Once back on track they can give a good example how a Christian should live together with all sorts of people from all sorts of place and religions. than they can start to rebuild the shattered state they are living in now.

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Preceding articles

Scepticals of the Bible

Islamophobia Must be Fought and Defeated

God Isn’t a Republican

 

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Additional articles

  1. American Founding Fathers Sayings
  2. 2014 Religion
  3. Six Reasons Young Christians Leave Church
  4. The 17th annual White Privilege Conference a militantly Christophobic conference held in Philadelphia
  5. Iranian preacher creating more hatred between religious groups
  6. Hamas the modern Philistines
  7. Refugee crisis, terrorist attacks and created fear
  8. Silence, devotion, Salafists, quietists, weaponry, bombings, books, writers and terrorists
  9. What Jesus Did – Misleading around the Messiah and the final assessment
  10. Running the battle
  11. Living in faith
  12. If You want to start winning the war
  13. Blinded crying blue murder having being made afraid by a bugaboo
  14. The clean sweeper of the whole caboodle
  15. Separation of church and state
  16. Demonizing families in poverty and misleading actions
  17. Right to be in the surroundings
  18. Which back voters in the US wants to see
  19. Christian values and voting not just a game
  20. Faith related boycotts
  21. Roman Catholic Church in the United States of America at war
  22. Ron Paul blames Neocons
  23. Jews the next scapegoat for Donald Trump
  24. The American clouds of Anti-Semitism
  25. Trump brand of migrant demonization #1
  26. Peppered Speeches at Republican National Convention
  27. Bumpy road to success
  28. Reluctance to act in Syrian civil war
  29. Al Qaeda regaining foothold in Middle East bubonic plague for American elections
  30. ISIL will find no safe haven
  31. The Crusader Rifle
  32. Conservative and Communist Climate Change Scam
  33. Bridge builder Obama
  34. Obama made in a cult
  35. Second term for Obama
  36. Children of Men
  37. Preparing for an important election
  38. Coming closer to the end of 2015 and the end for Donald Trump as presidential candidate
  39. Walls,colours, multiculturalism, money to flow, Carson, Trump and consorts
  40. When so desperate to hold onto power
  41. Are United States of America citizens going to show their senses
  42. Brexit No. 2 Blow-up
  43. Nigel Farage called Donald Trump’s victory ‘bigger than Brexit’
  44. Trump et al.— The Global Storm
  45. A strong and wise fighter who keeps believing in America
  46. Victims and Seekers of Peace
  47. Declaration of war against Islam and Christianity
  48. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life

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Further reading

  1. Millennials: Escape the Credit/Debt Matrix
  2. Fully Satisfied
  3.  Election 2016
  4. Election 2016 Afterthoughts
  5. On voting
  6. This American Life
  7. How America got Trumped
  8. they tried to bury us. they didn’t know that we were seeds.
  9. How the Hated Donald Trump Came to Power
  10. What Great Leaders Stay Focused #Leadership #SMB
  11. “love keeps us safe, not fear”
  12. … Focus on the Task at Hand , ObamaCraps [#Islamic Terrorism]…
  13. Lesson From Election 2016
  14. The Need to Focus and Not Be Scattered
  15. Blog 2016 046. 11/11/16 Evangelize like Jesus did! Ask questions to get to their motives.
  16. Racism in America or Amerikkka( as some might call it)
  17. Andrew Young: ‘This is our country. And it does not depend on the president to make it great’
  18. The ‘Theoretical’ Significance Of This Election
  19. Cacophony of lawsuits to follow Trump into White House
  20. How a major hate-watch group is preparing for President Donald Trump’s America and the alt-right
  21. The Power of Apathy
  22. Division: An open letter to my sons 
  23. Donald Trump Is an Icon
  24. Clinton Wounded the Party, Now Howard Dean Wants to Kill It
  25. Southeast schools take the streets of South Gate
  26. Trump Denounces Protesters In Tweet, Praises Them In Another
  27. Man Describes Brutal Attack; Crowd Yelled ‘That’s A White Boy Trump Supporter’
  28. The Transition
  29. Donal Trump, The New Miracle
  30. Millions Of Concerned Citizens Are Signing A Petition That Asks The Electoral College To Vote For Hillary Clinton
  31. PFW: Blowing the Rust off of Hillary’s America
  32. Rowan Blanchard Marches In ‘Not My President’ Protest With Powerful Sign — See Pic
  33. The media’s sanctimonious self-righteousness contributed to Trump’s victory
  34. Rural vs Urban: the Greatest Divide in Modern America
  35. Trumped up
  36. The traumatized Democrats
  37. Rainier Beach High Students Walkout to Find Hope, Optimism After Election
  38. Well, That Didn’t Take Long
  39. Call to ‘Lock Her Up’ Puts Trump in a Bind Over His Threat to Prosecute Clinton
  40. White Christians Who Voted for Donald Trump: Fix This. Now. | John Pavlovitz
  41. The TRUMPet Has Been Blown
  42. We Will Rise Above
  43. Post-Election 2016, cont.
  44. How Donald Trump Pulled It Off
  45. Confession of a watcher
  46. Things I’m Verbing: “We Reject the President-Elect” and a WPA for Journalism
  47. The Era of the Post-Truth Politician?
  48. The Ku Klux Klan has a Voice and a Leader in Washington
  49. Where Were They?
  50. Oh, Really? Omarosa Says Black People Should Educate Whites After Trump Victory
  51. Oh, Really? Omarosa Says Black People Should Educate Whites After Trump Victory
  52. Immigrants in U.S. gripped by deportation fears with Donald Trump election win
  53. Between Friends
  54. Hitlery’s terrorist youth demand a government overthrow
  55. The Other Side We Failed to See – 2016 U.S. Presidential Election
  56. Blanketing Fantasy With A Hint of Reality
  57. Here’s how to sleep with Donald Trump
  58. Voices: Reacting to Trump | ‘I will fight for my right to speak’
  59. Women Warned To Get IUDs Before Trump Becomes President
  60. November 11, 2016
  61. Trump commends protesters’ ‘passion’ after new night of rallies
  62. How Will a Trump Presidency Impact Your Health?
  63. The tweet of a narcissist 
  64. Episode 43: Welcome to Trumpdome
  65. Republican Age Of Austerity – ‘And Here We Go’
  66. The Wall
  67. Popped and Cultured: The Results Are In
  68. It’s time for a few hard truths.
  69. Usually liberals would have same opinions & views as the media & liberal social networking groups… really sad…
  70. The pitfalls of underestimation
  71. With the possibility of 11th-hour change, here are suggestions for Trump’s ‘national growth and renewal’
  72. A Rock and Roll Generation (Post-Election blues)
  73. Election Results 2016: Did Voter ID & Voter Suppression Help Elect Trump?
  74. Here’s What it Means to “Make America Great Again”
  75. Election vitory: Anti-Trump Protest enters day two
  76. The way of the world

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White Privilege Conference (WPC) wanting to keep the press out for obvious reasons

WPC organizers reacted very poorly to the discovery that this year’s conference was being reported on from inside. This is unsurprising, since WPC has attempted to totally ban reporters from covering its proceedings and has actively kept them out in the past.

It must not surprise you why it was kept secretly for the press the previous years. When you look at the debates it is clear we should seriously pose several questions by the speakers invited and by the set up of that conference.

Today there is a renewed attack (in the Western world) on anything to do with believing there is a God, a Creator of any kind!

There are even people who hold conferences to make it clear to others that almost every dysfunction in society, from racism and sexism to global warming and a weak economy, is united by the ideology of ‘Christian hegemony.’ That is at least what a lecturer at the 2016 White Privilege Conference (WPC) claimed.

Believers are again open to ridicule. Academics, who are confident they have the answer (or at least acceptable opinions) to everything about how the world began, compete among themselves for the “glory” they can receive from each other and from the public with their notions. Some also want others to believe that all more active believers would be creationists and do not seem to get the difference of believing that there has been a Most High Supreme being ordering everything  and being responsible for the creation.

Contingency, Hegemony, Universality

Contingency, Hegemony, Universality (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Certain people, like Paul Kivel, think Christians “colonize our mind.”
Paul Kivel, is a social justice educator, activist, and writer, who to our mind looks not so social at all but is perhaps an atheist socialist against religion and willing to attack it. Though he claims to be an innovative leader in violence prevention for 35 years, it either looks like he has changed gear or has always loved to set up non-believers against believing people .

He defines Christian hegemony as the

everyday, pervasive, and systematic set of Christian values and beliefs, individuals and institutions that dominate all aspects of our society through the social, political, economic, and cultural power they wield. Nothing is unaffected by Christian hegemony (whether we are Christian or not) including our personal beliefs and values, our relationships to other people and to the natural environment, and our economic, political, education, health care, criminal/legal, housing, and other social systems. {Christian hegemony}

For him

All people who are not Christian, as well as most people who are, experience social, political, and economic exploitation, violence, cultural appropriation, marginalization, alienation and constant vulnerability from the dominance of Christian power and values in our society. {Christian hegemony}

It looks like Christendom and/or Christianity (though he constantly refers to Christianity) is/are the badness of this world.

The internalization of dominant western Christian beliefs and values by individuals in our society seems to bring all badness into the world and being the cause of the present problems we have with fundamental Muslims. but it seems also to be in participial white Christian men who are dominating this world and causing inequality and injustice.

He writes

Another level of Christian dominance is within the power elite, the network of 7-10,000 predominantly white Christian men who control the largest and most powerful social, political, economic, and cultural institutions in the country. And finally there is the level which provides the foundation for all the others – the long and deep legacy of Christian ideas, values, practices, policies, icons, and texts that have been produced within dominant western Christianity over the centuries. That legacy continues to shape our language, culture, beliefs, and values and to frame public and foreign policy decisions. {Christian hegemony}

He even wants us tot believe, that we believers are blind. It is true that we cannot go without all those companies and organisations which have their say in our communities and that economical as well as political parties want to have everything in their hands. But we think it over the top, him saying

Christian dominance has become so invisible that its manifestations appear to be secular, i.e. not religious. In this context, the phrase “secular Christian dominance” might be most appropriate, Christian hegemony under the guise of secularism. Of course, there are many forms of Christian fundamentalism which are anything but secular. Often fundamentalists want to create some kind of theocratic state. But the more mainstream, everyday way that dominant Christian values and institutions influence our lives and communities is less evident, although no less significant and certainly not limited to fundamentalists. {Christian hegemony}

According to him Christian leaders have established an annual holiday cycle that extols US militarism/ triumphalism, the nuclear family, consumerism and whiteness. Perhaps he is so much focussed on the U.S.A. that he does not see the holidays of other countries and mistakenly takes many heathen holidays as Christian holidays, though it mostly are also the heathen people who celebrate those and try to lure Christians to celebrate with them.

The holiday cycle which he presents on his website present many secular holidays which he presents as so called holidays of Christianity though Christianity argues a lot against the celebration of those feasts. But we do agree in Christendom we see many people with the name Christian celebrating those heathen festivals as so called Christian holidays.

English: Painting of Christopher Columbus. The...

Painting of Christopher Columbus. The painting Virgen de los Navegantes (in the Sala de los Almirantes, Royal Alcazar, Seville). A painting by Alejo Fernández between 1505 and 1536. It is the only state sponsored portrait of the First Admiral of the Indias called Don Cristoval Colon known today as Christopher Columbus in English. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For him those holidays downplays the violence in our history, holding up a few white Christian men, such as Christopher Columbus and his American presidents,

for uncritical praise and emphasizes faith, family and country.

he writes and continues:

For many in the US, this cycle has come to seem traditional, even though it is constantly recreated and most of the holidays originated within the last 150 years. For some, these holidays have come to feel familiar, unifying and just plain American even though for millions of others they can be painful and alienating. Most of our national holidays are seen as secular, even though their underpinnings are deeply Christian. Even Christmas and Easter are viewed as secular by many. (I have been told that the phrase Merry Christmas in bold letters on the public buses in my
city is not religious but merely a general holiday greeting.)

It looks like he does not know that Jesus was not at all born on the 25th of December and that all the traditions people flirt with have nothing to do at all with the birth of Christ nor with God, and are an abomination in the eyes of God, of which a real Christian should abstain.

That New Year’s day for Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Chinese, Vietnamese, Mayans and many Native peoples happens at other times of the annual cycle, has nothing to do with Christianity not with Christendom but with choosing an other calendar system.

The fact that western countries imposed this calendar worldwide, even though those in the West are a minority in the world, is never acknowledged.

he writes, but we do think that is a matter of choosing a time indication where the West has chosen to keep to that Gregorian calendar, even after some countries tried the Napoleonic calendar for some time, but whatever calendar they would choose always there would be people able to complain about the system chosen.

We do not see any reason at all why not to say “Happy Chinese New Year” or “Happy Jewish New Year”, like we do in the West of Europe? He should know that these other calendars are also culturally specific and that everybody is free to follow one or the other and that nobody would mind you saying “Happy New Year” when it is a new year for that person.
For us this article is written on the 12th of Nisan, 5776 but in the West most people would not know about which day we are talking therefore we also use the common general practised calendar indicating that it is today April the 20th of the year 2016 of the common Era (CE). For us on 22 April (Taanit Bechorot) Friday night we are looking at the 14th of Nisan, 5776 going to celebrate the Passover, the “Feast of Unleavened Bread” Erev Pesach and on the 23rd the 15th of Nisan, 5776 we look at the holiday yomtov, being part of the “Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread”or “Pesach I”, having on Sunday the 1st day of the Omer (or Pesach II) the period between Passover and Shavuʿot, the 16th of Nisan of the year 5776. {The holiday of Pesach, or Passover, is an annual week long festival commemorating the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt and slavery. Before the main festival begins for the Jews, the Christians remember the night that Jesus came together with his apostles for the Last Supper and announcement of the installation of the New Covenant. for us this 14 th of Nisan is the most important day of the year and precedes the Pesach festival which begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew calendar month of Nisan — which derives its name from the passing over of the homes of the Israelite slaves during the tenth plague. It is that liberation and the liberation by Christ that we should remember for ever.} Next year the Passover shall be on Monday, April 10 and in 2018 on Friday, March 30.
But this is all about arrangements and agreements and depending on which calendar you want to base your daily activities.

For economical and practical reasons an agreement has to be made to use what calendar and what to consider the first day of the week: Thursday (certain Hindus), Friday (like Muslims), Friday night – Saturday night or Sabbath (like the Jews), or the week beginning on Sunday or Monday, as such beginning the day at 00.00 hours or when the sun gets down. Here you may find calendars beginning the week with Sunday and others ending with the weekend (which I personally find more practical).
It is true that

holidays can be destructive when they celebrate war or colonialism, are promoted aggressively or when corporations use them to promote values hostile to our environment and us. {The Christian Holiday Cycle}

For sure we need to think seriously about what we celebrate and why, who is included or excluded in the celebration and what values are implicitly or explicitly communicated. But we never should condemn certain groups of people if they want to celebrate certain days, though it is our duty to point out to Christians what they are celebrating and which festivals are alright to take part in and which not.

For Kivel the choice of calendar use and the days celebrated shows the dominance of a certain group and the normalization of such a group.

It is said that WPC takes tremendous pains to protect everybody’s feelings, but this year many toes were stepped on. To ensure a gender non-conforming person isn’t labeled with a wayward “he,” attendees are asked to always introduce themselves with their name and their pronoun set. Presenters routinely ask for anybody to pipe up if they’re triggered by a presentation, and will apologize if such a complaint arises. Almost half the conference revolves around microaggressions and how to avoid them or defuse them.

A major part of WPC are the daily caucuses, where attendees segregate themselves by race and talk through their feelings on white privilege. They were assembled collectively beforehand and assigned to a specific smaller room ‘because of the large number of white people in attendance’. Organizers warned they could start physically exerting their white privilege by walking too aggressively and not paying heed to their surroundings. If attendees weren’t careful, they said, they risked getting in the way of non-white attendees who would have no choice but to shy away and debase themselves before these barreling vectors of overwhelming privilege.

Disaffected participants in the 2016 White Privilege Conference (WPC) have taken to Twitter to complain that the conference was, ironically, too white and was actually filled to the brim with white supremacy. Adopting the hashtag #WPCSoWhite, inspired by the recent #OscarsSoWhite campaign, Twitter users claimed the conference that was supposed to battle white privilege instead served to entrench it. The tag appears to have been started and pushed with particular vigour by Aeriel Ashlee, an education consultant who attended WPC and objected to several parts of a keynote address delivered by (white) historian James Loewen. Some of his comments where even described as “deeply offensive and traumatizing.”

More than 700 Barbie dolls are displayed during an exhibition which takes place from March 10 to September 18, 2016.       (MATTHIEU ALEXANDRE/AFP/Getty Images)Frederick Gooding, Jr., who styles himself as “The Race Doctor” gave a half-comedic, half-serious lecture intended to point out various moments of subtle white supremacy and white privilege throughout the past year. Near the end of his address, Gooding went after Hollywood for the recently-released film “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” which features three Caucasian heroes in the form of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.

“I have a quota where it’s just a little too much whiteness, I gotta tap out,”

the Doctor said to a laughing audience.

“One white hero at a time, I can kinda take that, but you have two of them … but then, the White Man said, we gonna show you something. And they throw in a white woman!”

For people discussing other folks it may not be easy today how to call them. All sorts of new terms have to be looked for to talk about people with an other skin colour or with an other faith. In this time of many fleeing from the Middle East and from Africa for discussing different terms are looked for, and one term which could be right at one time a few weeks later may be considered totally wrong to be used.  Undocumented immigrants may still be called “illegals” despite the fact that this also could be a highly inaccurate and pejorative term.  Whether intentional or accidental, the use of such terms has shaped public opinion on immigration policy.  Of course, not everyone who uses these terms intends to colour undocumented immigrants with the stigma that these terms carry with them.  Today the phrase “illegal immigrant” is by many considered

decidedly not okay

During a workshop titled “Nativism 101,” on the topic of immigration and the groups opposed to it, one attendee objected to another’s use of the term “undocumented immigrant.”

Instead of illegal or undocumented, the woman proposed that such immigrants be labeled

“unauthorized immigrants.”

Unauthorised where those who brought out photographs and texts from this conference where very high income prizes where charged, as if the poor people and immigrants ever would be able to pay such fees.

Dividing the people in categories for the debates Kivel finds it are the Christians who divide people and put them in hierarchical order. For him it is in-acceptable that there would be a

“God over people, men over women, parents over children, white people over people of colour,”

inevitably creating systems that justify and even glorify oppression, but was he and the organisers not doing just that?

 

Please do read also:

  1. The 17th annual White Privilege Conference a militantly Christophobic conference held in Philadelphia
  2. White Privilege Conference Attendees Complain Conference Is Too White
  3. White Privilege Conference: Almost Everything Bad Is Tied To Christianity
  4. 7 Things That Offended People At The White Privilege Conference

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What Makes a Theologian

Oswald Bayer wrote Martin Luther’s Theology: A Contemporary Interpretation > summarizes Martin Luther’s thinking on what makes a theologian and what rules should govern the theologian.

Luther argued that a theologian is made through six things.

  1. The grace that is worked through the Holy Spirit
  2. The agonizing struggle
  3. Experience
  4. Opportunity
  5. Constant, concentrated textual study
  6. Knowledge and practice of the academic disciplines

Luther goes on to say that three rules should govern the life and task of the theologian.

  1. Prayer = Oratio (prayer)
  2. Meditation = Meditatio (meditation)
  3. Agonizing Struggle= Tentatio (affliction)

theologian = to know both sides of a theological concept: the objective + subjective

theologian = responsible to study, pray, meditate + agonize

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Preceding articles:

Mental Enslavement and Sins Syndrome (MESS)

Luther on Being a Theologian: Oratio, Meditatio and Tentatio

The Pastor Theologian

Theology as Discipleship

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Gospel & Gratitude

Oswald Bayer wrote a fine book titled Martin Luther’s Theology: A Contemporary Interpretation. In this book he summarizes Luther’s thinking on what makes a theologian and what rules should govern the theologian. Luther argued that a theologian is made through six things.

  1. The grace that is worked through the Holy Spirit
  2. The agonizing struggle
  3. Experience
  4. Opportunity
  5. Constant, concentrated textual study
  6. Knowledge and practice of the academic disciplines

Luther goes on to say that three rules should govern the life and task of the theologian.

  1. Prayer
  2. Meditation
  3. Agonizing Struggle

I love the intersection of experience, suffering and study in Luther’s thought on the development of a theologian. It takes more than books and a degree to make a solid theologian. As the quote goes, “a smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.”

One must know the roaring of a condemning conscience and the silencing power of the gospel to bring the…

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Luther on Being a Theologian: Oratio, Meditatio and Tentatio

Augustine of Hippo (354–430), Latin theologian. His writing on free will and original sin remains influential in Western Christendom.

The world has created so called scientists in the knowledge of God. Lots of people do put all their trust in such scholars who received a degree in theology at a university.
The majority of those theologians are as most of them would consider a theologian is,

“one who is dedicated to life in Christ and the contemplation of the Holy Trinity.” {What Does It Mean To Be a Theologian; by David Russell Mosley}

For many who studied the godsThe Philokalia“, a collection of texts written between the 4th and 15th centuries by spiritual masters”, was their primary guide for what it meant to be a theologian.

We always should know that to come to know God and to worship God we do not have to be people who have a university degree in theology, but we should be people who take time to study the bible. Lots of theologians have spend more time in studying writings of other human beings instead of looking more closely at the Word of God, the Bible. When you look at the theology courses, you will notice much more time is spend at those human writings, philosophy and human doctrines than at Biblical doctrines. No wonder that there have been much more books written by trinitarian scholars than by non-trinitarian Christians, because for the latter it is evident what is written in the Bible is the truth and as such in the non-trinitarian denominations of Christianity there are not so many divisions or matters of dispute as in the trinitarian denominations of Christendom.

We should remember that each of us has to be a theologian, a person who wants to know and worships the Only One True God of gods. A knowledge of the other gods may help in this, but the main focus should be on the real True Divine Creator, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jakob and of Jeshua, who is mostly known as Jesus Christ by English speaking countries.

Each person who claims to be a Christian should be a follower of Christ and should worship the same God Christ worshipped, namely his heavenly Father. Like Jesus prayed to his heavenly Father we also should pray to that God of Jesus, Jehovah the Most Almighty God. That Oratio (prayer) should be grounded in the Word of God.

God cannot tempted, but Jesus was and we also shall be tempted more than once. This Tentatio (affliction) is not something God uses to drive us a way from self, but is our own selfish will because we are so much busy with ourselves. In case we would be more busy with the Will of God we would not be so much and so often suffering from our wrongdoing. Then we would also be more forthcoming to God His Will and would be more able, like Christ did not his own will, not to do our own will but being happy to do God’s Will.

To avoid going astray we do need the Meditatio (meditation) which should be the continual study of the Holy Scriptures and not so much the study of the many theological works by human beings.

We should trust more the Call and the Voice of God instead the voices of so many people who call themselves theologian, whatever they may mean by that word.

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Preceding articles

Mental Enslavement and Sins Syndrome (MESS)

Some one or something to fear #7 Not afraid for Gods Name

Pascal’s Possibility

Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings

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Additional reading

  1. The importance of Reading the Scriptures
  2. No other god besides Jehovah who gives all explanation
  3. God’s forgotten Word 3 Lost Lawbook 2 Modern scepticism
  4. Theologians and a promised Spirit to enlighten us
  5. Necessity of a revelation of creation 9 Searching the Scriptures
  6. Necessity of a revelation of creation 11 Believing and obeying the gospel of the Kingdom of God
  7. Necessity of a revelation of creation 14 Searching the scriptures
  8. Missional hermeneutics 1/5
  9. Missional hermeneutics 5/5
  10. Approachers of ideas around gods, philosophers and theologians
  11. To find ways of Godly understanding
  12. Position of the Bible researcher
  13. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  14. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  15. Being Missional
  16. Christendom Astray The Devil Not A Personal Super-Natural Being
  17. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  18. Our life depending on faith
  19. Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach
  20. Reasons why you may not miss the opportunity to go to a Small Church
  21. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  22. The meek one riding on an ass
  23. Does there have to be a Holy Trinity Mystery
  24. Altered to fit a Trinity
  25. the Trinity – the Truth

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Further related writings

  1. What Hath the Church to do with the Library?
  2. Theology of Experience
  3. … 506 years ago
  4. The Calvinist ‘God’ and God
  5. Jealous God | Jealous for God
  6. So, Here Goes…
  7. The Angelic Doctor
  8. Good Morning January 25
  9. What Makes a Theologian
  10. The Pastor Theologian
  11. A Quote from St. Augustine on “The State”
  12. Theology as Discipleship
  13. 43rd of 2015.
  14. What Does It Mean To Be a Theologian
  15. What is Distinctive about Christian Analytic Theology?
  16. Pulpit Supply: Sunday School: Four Key Concepts to be a better Theologian
  17. Theologian Spotlight: Kathryn Tanner
  18. Saint Augustine
  19. Puritan John Owen – Doctrine of the Spirit and Mortification of Sin (Christian audio book)
  20. C.S. Lewis Died on This Date
  21. Albert Schweitzer
  22. Jean Guitton
  23. Biblical Christian Theology: Definition by DR. Donald E. Battle
  24. DR. Donald E. Batle: Theologian And Christology Scholar
  25. Who is qualified to write theology?
  26. What is the Recipe to Survive in the Storms of Life?
  27. Crossing Divides: Can an Atheist be a Chaplain?
  28. So Now I’m a Christian. Now What? Part 4:The Loving, Triune God
  29. Thought on the Trinity, Its Being Less than Mysterious, and the Biblical Support of an Analogy to It
  30. The Incarnation a Contradiction?
  31. 1 Corinthians 10:15 (Don’t Take My Word For It)
  32. Christ Strengthens You

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Gospel & Gratitude

In John Doberstein’s The Minister’s Prayerbook, he discusses Martin Luther’s understanding of the development of a theologian. Luther believed that the “right way to study theology” is anchored in the three rules set forth in Psalm 119: Oratio, Meditatio, Tentatio. For Luther “Everything centers around the practice of meditation, for prayer prepares for it and its results are confirmed in the experience of conflict. For Luther, meditation is the key to the study of theology. No one can become a true theologian unless he learns theology through it” (Kleinig, “The Kindred Heart”, 142). The discussion that follows is taken directly from Doberstein and explores each of the three dimensions.

  • Oratio (prayer) is grounded in the Word of the Lord. Prayer is the voice of faith. That is to say, that prayer grows out of the Word of the Lord. “The richness of the Word of God ought to determine our prayer, not…

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Framework and vehicle for Christian Scholasticism and loss of confidence

in the December issue of the Spectator questions where Christianity began to lose confidence (as he thinks it now has) that its teachings can offer a sure framework for day-to-day moral reasoning.

Detail of The School of Athens by Raffaello Sa...

Detail of The School of Athens by Raffaello Sanzio, 1509, showing Plato (left) and Aristotle (right) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to us all went wrong when the church fathers agreed to Constantine the Great to adapt their faith to the Roman faith and to include their gods in the god of Christianity, creating a three-headed god like in the Roman and Greek culture. They also were very attracted to the philosophers of antiquity. One of the greatest intellectual figures of Western history got his philosophies in the teachings of the false teachers of Christendom.

Aristotle, Greek Aristoteles  (384 bceStagira, Chalcidice, Greece – 322, Chalcis, Euboea) his philosophical and scientific system that became the framework and vehicle for both Christian Scholasticism and medieval Islamic philosophy. Even after the intellectual revolutions of the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Enlightenment, Aristotelian concepts remained embedded in Western thinking. For him

ethical questions were soluble by the application of logic and common sense that he could advise anyone seeking to determine the ‘right’ course of action to ask themselves what a respected gentleman would recommend; and if still in doubt ask what would be going too far, and would not be going far enough, and thereby locate the mean between them as the appropriate action. The Nichomachean Ethics do not speak to me of an age of aching uncertainty about the rules for human coexistence. From those times, only Pilate’s ‘what is truth?’ calls to us down the ages with a modern ring. {The question Christianity fails to answer: ‘Who is my neighbour?’}

Though he was the the founder of formal logic, devising for it a finished system that for centuries was regarded as the sum of the discipline, the 4th century church leaders did not seem to have much interest to keep everything logical and to keep just to what the words of the Bible said. Though the idea of the homoousios [consubstantial, of the same substance] used by the council of Council of Nicaea in 325, to define the Son’s relationship to the Father was not universally popular, different emanations from God looked much cooler and by transferring the god Zeus into the person of Jeshua corrupting his name to Issou or Jesus (Hail Zeus),they could go with the Roman emperor his ideas and keep the minds at ease, not confronting the Roman merchants with the instructions of followers of Jeshua to their believers not to buy figurines or sculptures to have them as representation of God or gods in their house.

The raising and discussing of doctrinal difficulties became a popular pastime. It also created the possibility for church-fathers to create writings and to gain popularity in certain circles. But because they agreed to certain Roman elements they became in difficulties with the Aristotelian use of deductive reasoning proceeding from self-evident principles or discovered general truths; and syllogistic forms of demonstrative or persuasive arguments. On lie or false teaching made they had to crate an other lie or a doctrine people had to take for truth, with the saying that it is something to difficult to understand for a human mind and therefore Christians had just to believe it as a creed of faith.

writes

Early Christianity strikes me as inheriting much from Aristotle’s ‘think about it: it’s obvious’ approach. The Roman Catholic church added layer upon layer of specific rules, all underwritten by a claim to divine authority — the big ‘Because’ — as handed down by a clear and certain hierarchy of human office-holders. The Reformation at first aimed to replace Roman Catholic certainties with certainties of its own. But in time the Reformation produced so many competing answers to the big ethical questions that in the schisms, sects and splinters — the rival certainties — modern Europe’s sense of one great, shared moral certainty was lost. {The question Christianity fails to answer: ‘Who is my neighbour?’}

The early Christians had already became distressed by heresies and by men who liked to have the pre-eminence over others. This resulted in schism and fragmentation. When the apostles were alive they still could call others to order. They made every effort to rebuke and educate those in error, sometimes with success and sometimes not. Those they could not bring to order or following the teachings of Christ Jesus grew in number and as such more and more people preferred those teachers which allowed them to keep the heathen rituals and to enjoy the human traditions. Still today we see that this is the main reason why many Christians do not want to convert to the truthful Christian groups which only want to keep to Biblical teaching and not to the human doctrines.

Some people are convinced that Aristotle is the most wise man who was keenly attuned to the realm of the divine. They also want to think that the divine the philosopher was talking about would have been the same divine Jesus and other Hebrew prophets were talking about.

He might have thought the divine being the origin of the human and the human at its best approaches the divine.

The latter is a paradoxical truth at the center of human existence {Aristotle’s Key to Christmas}

writes who thinks

the more perfect a human life, the more it stretches beyond the human and almost touches the divine. One who sees deeply into human greatness can as it were see through it, to something beyond. For men can become like gods. Such a profound truth Aristotle saw. {Aristotle’s Key to Christmas}

Aristotle had confidence — though not certitude — that the gods will reward those who become like them, and the followers of Christ asked their disciples to become like Christ. For lots of human beings to become like God would be the most favourable and the climax in their life, the sum-mum. So, having Christ Jesus as their god would be better than the gentiles having their Roman or Greek gods, when they would equal Jesus with the God of Abraham.

All the preaching of the Hebrew prophets and rabbi Jeshua was about becoming one with the God Most High, building up a relation to last in eternity.

In some sense the possibility of God and men becoming friends does enter his mind. It enters his mind as a possibility to be rejected: “when one party is removed to a great distance, as god is, the possibility of friendship ceases” (also from the Nicomachean Ethics). It is not that the notion was inconceivable to him. Rather, there was simply no ground to consider it a real possibility. For God and men to be friends an apparently unbridgeable gap would have to be bridged. For as Aristotle often points out, friends share one life together, and there is nothing for which they so yearn as to be together. {Aristotle’s Key to Christmas}

Such idea makes some Christian philosophers or Christian teachers, also today, placing Aristotle as the visionist who not only could tell what is  truly virtuous and what is mistakenly thought to be so, but also could tell the world what the meaning of Christmas is.

And this, then, is what Aristotle has to say about Christmas, about its deepest meaning.  If men are ever to become more than just somewhat-like the divine, if we are ever (tremble at the words) to live one life with him, and thus be his friends, then something very specific has to happen. And there is no human ground to expect that it ever will. {Aristotle’s Key to Christmas}

As you see, it was thought of that one could live with the gods and to be befriended with the gods and with God. In Ethika Politika speaks about that happening in what he calls the “first Christmas”. With that “first Christmas” he refers to what lots of Christians have taken as the birthday of Christ.

That celebration which is still popular by many Christians and is even seen as a Christian holiday by many non-religious persons is a pagan celebration with lots of figures which have nothing to do at all with the birth of the promised saviour, Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

But we can see or understand why many want to bring Aristotle’s thinking to that pagan celebration and to bring it in Christendom. For man it has always been a question why they lived, why they had to suffer so much and how they could bring an end to suffering and get a better life.

Many have searched for happiness and came to the conclusion it must also have to do with having friendly relationships to living beings and perhaps also to divine beings.

According to John Cuddeback

Aristotle had the key to understanding Christmas. His master achievement was a profound understanding of human happiness. It is as though he grasped as much as can be grasped by human reason alone. {Aristotle’s Key to Christmas}

Men are designed for greatness, a greatness that few ever achieve. True human happiness consists, simply put, in living virtuously. And virtuous living is the fundamental requirement and the necessary context for that deepest of human longings—true friendship. {Aristotle’s Key to Christmas}

gods take an interest in the struggles of men? Here, writing in the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle is more tentative:

For if the gods have any care for human affairs, as it seems they do, it would be reasonable both that they should delight in that which was best and most akin to them and that they should reward those who love and honor this most, as caring for things that are dear to them.

Remarkably, he has confidence—though not certitude—that the gods will reward those who become like them.

But this is as far as far as it goes. Surely the possibility of God and men entering into some sort of shared life never entered his mind. Right?

This is a subtle matter. In some sense the possibility of God and men becoming friends does enter his mind. It enters his mind as a possibility to be rejected:

“when one party is removed to a great distance, as god is, the possibility of friendship ceases” (also from the Nicomachean Ethics).

It is not that the notion was inconceivable to him. Rather, there was simply no ground to consider it a real possibility. For God and men to be friends an apparently unbridgeable gap would have to be bridged. For as Aristotle often points out, friends share one life together, and there is nothing for which they so yearn as to be together. {Aristotle’s Key to Christmas}

When for Aristotle the happiness meant to become wholesome, the early church argued people could become complete went hey became like Christ, though we do not know if they intentionally would say by that that people could become like God, because they came to take Christ Jesus to be God.

For Aristotle, eudaimonia was about living in accordance with reason; fulfilling our sense of purpose; doing our civic duty; living virtuously; being fully engaged with the world and, especially, experiencing the richness of human love and friendship. {Hugh Mackay, ‘Why we sometimes need to be sad’Happiness, Aristotle & Catholicism}

Today we do not see many Christians who understand that living the life Christ calls us to live as Christians is a very logical exercise. Many Christians do not want to believe Jesus when he says who he is and who is grater than him.

A 22 year old Catholic woman writes

 if He is indeed God, then it is only logical that I need to center my life around Him. {Happiness, Aristotle & Catholicism}

But than she makes a funny remark as if Jesus would not be saying who he is, but than says

On the other hand, if Jesus is not who He says He is, if He is not God, then He’s not a nice man, He’s a dangerous fanatic, and therefore I would do well to avoid centering my life around Him. {Happiness, Aristotle & Catholicism}

what she does not seem to see that Jesus never told lies, because according to the Holy Scriptures, which we take to be the infallible word of God, being from the Most High God of gods Who does not tell lies, Jesus would not have sinned and as such would not have told lies. Jesus tells very clearly how he relates to God and how we like him have to relate to his heavenly Father.

As a Catholic she believes that our hearts are designed for union with God. She has reason to believe that, but she takes the wrong person to be her god. She has to be in union with her brothers and sisters in Christ and with Christ in union with God, like Jesus was in union with his heavenly Father. This will not make us to become Christ nor to become God, like Jesus was also not God, though one with God like we have to be one with Him.

This unity is the purpose of our existence that is inscribed into us; to love God and to be loved by God.

St. Augustine said,

“You have made us for Yourself, oh Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You”

And so, when we live in a way that we were designed to live, we experience a pervading joy and peace that the world cannot give. St. Catherine of Siena said,

“Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire.”

In other words, to be fully alive is to be who we are meant to be. {Happiness, Aristotle & Catholicism}

These days in darker times of the year man tries to look at light and hopes to find in it happiness. He has taken the day of the goddess of light as the day to celebrate and present a Santa Claus, who has taken the place of Christ and the place of God. Man has become so materialistic and thinking happiness lays in the material goods one can get, that he is blinded not seeing the light of Christ and the Way to God.

All those false teachings were many became victim of give them a false hope of their spirit leaving their body and going to a sort heaven where they shall be able to find happiness. They do forget that Christ Jesus came to safe us and liberated us already some two thousand years ago from the penalty of death. thanks to him we are able to receive here already lots of happiness and hope in a marvellous new world here on earth.

Christian joy is living in accordance with reason, in a way that fulfills our sense of purpose, living virtuously, being fully engaged with the world and experiencing the richness of love and friendship with God.  {Happiness, Aristotle & Catholicism}

A reason that follows with reason the words form the most sacred Book of books, the Bible and not from human dogmatic teachings and philosophies.

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Preceding

Focus on outward appearances

Marriage of Jesus 7 Impaled

Roman, Aztec and other rites still influencing us today

Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia

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Additional reading

  1. Integrity of the fellowship
  2. Gainsayers In Apostolic Days
  3. Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:18-20 – John’s Teaching and Imprisonment
  4. Matthew 1:1-17 The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
  5. Politics and power first priority #2
  6. Politics and power first priority #3 Elevation of Mary and the Holy Spirit
  7. Altered to fit a Trinity
  8. Spelling Yahshuah (יהשע) vs Hebrew using Yehoshuah (יהושע)
  9. Americans really thinking the Messiah Christ had an English name
  10. Experiencing God
  11. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  12. Focussing on oneness with Jesus like Jesus is one with God

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Further related articles

  1. In the Family Way or Aristotle’s Ethics
  2. What Aristotle Says About Christmas
  3. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
  4. Deterring Determinism: The Freedom of Mankind
  5. 3 Quotes, 3 Days Challenge: Round 2
  6. The Birth of Science
  7. The Good Life: You Scratch My Back and I’ll Scratch Yours
  8. Four-Part Epilogue
  9. Aristotle’s Poetics and Sophocles’s Oedipus
  10. Interrogation
  11. Happiness, Aristotle & Catholicism
  12. Imagination defines humanity
  13. Some Thoughts about Two Old Guys
  14. Happy Holidays
  15. The Smiths’ Christmas Letter
  16. A really lovely yet simple day
  17. Out with the old, in with the new
  18. Solving the Unwanted Gift Dilemma – With Love
  19. Christmas Party 2015
  20. It could only  happen at christmas
  21. Deconstructing Christmas
  22. This Christmas
  23. Tales of Christmas
  24. Christmastime
  25. Twelve days of Christmas
  26. One Last Look at Christmas, 2015
  27. Attachment and Holidays
  28. Prepare the Way for Christ
  29. grandchildren, love, and being a “gift-hero”
  30. Where is My Christmas Joy
  31. Not ‘Feeling’ Christmas This Year?

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Who Gets to Say What the Bible Says?

Who Gets to Say What the Bible Says?

Alex Crain

bible_dusty600x300

When asked about the way popular periodicals portray Christianity, Pastor Rick Warren once observed: “I think it’s disingenuous that magazines like ‘Newsweek’ know that their circulation goes up at Christmas and Easter if they put a spiritual issue on the cover, but it’s always bait and switch.”

Newsweek magazine cover, 19 April 1982. HMS He...

Newsweek magazine cover, 19 April 1982. HMS Hermes pictured. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, this week’s cover of Newsweek is no exception. It bears the appropriate title The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin by Kurt Eichenwald. In the article, Eichenwald highlights the problem of biblical illiteracy but then proceeds to make a stunning display of his own selectively presented and—there’s no better wording I can think of—downright ignorant attacks on Christianity. Among Eichenwald’s more obvious errors are (1) overstating Bible manuscript discrepancies (which do exist, but are minor… for more detail on that begin here and here), and (2) completely ignoring the credible historical testimony of Apostles and martyrs who were killed for refusing to deny Christ‘s teachings, deity, and claims. (C.S. Lewis’ apt phrase “chronological snobbery” comes to mind here.)

Eichenwald’s attacks have been responded to time and again throughout the centuries along with every other charge levelled against Christianity. They keep getting recycled because of two perennial facts: #1 they appeal to natural human doubt and #2 they make lots of money. It’s no secret that publishers know controversy sells. In his own words, Newsweek editor-in-chief James Impoco states: “In case you haven’t noticed, The Bible is news.”

Well, of course it is, Mr. Impoco… the way you tell it. Of course, this begs the question: “Who gets to say what the Bible says anyway?”

Having a Megaphone Isn’t the Same as Having Authority

Certainly, many who self-identify as “Christian” in the broadest sense are disqualified, as Eichenwald rightly points out. Many of the world’s worst examples of professing Christians are lampooned in the Newsweek article, as well they should be. They don’t speak for Christianity. Faithful Christians recognize them as frauds. That’s half of the solution. The other half is working with and supporting credible ministries that care about the truth. How do we recognize the good ones? Fortunately, the Bible spells that out. There are certain kinds of leaders to follow, and they are the ones who get to say with authority what the Bible says. All other voices—including Kurt Eichenwald’s and even that of the mighty Newsweek magazine—are mere passing novelties.

Those who use the Bible to persuade others actually put themselves in a very dangerous place. They presume to speak for God as one of His spokespeople. (And, yes, I include myself here.) According to James 3:1, such people are considered “teachers.” Teachers are subject to strict judgment both for their character and for how well they handle Scripture. Because biblical literacy is at an all-time low, the naïve give equal weight to every opinion about the Bible. Many are unable to spot illegitimate teachers who sow confusion. A true teacher of the Bible, however, has certain observable character qualities. Titus and 1Timothy tell us they are…

“…above reproach, the husband of one wife… He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” Titus 1:5-9

And

“…above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach” (1 Timothy 3:1-5).

In other words, those who declare “This is what the Bible says…” without meeting the above qualifications—be they writer, farmer, judge, professor, or president—put themselves under God’s condemnation as false teachers. Wielding a big megaphone like Newsweek isn’t the same as having true authority. The Christian faith is not a stand-alone artifact that’s subject to being picked apart by skeptics with an axe to grind. It’s a body of truth that is guarded and maintained by a community of the faithful who are led and taught by faithful men of God. Such qualified elders stand in an unbroken chain extending from the present day all the way back to Christ and the Apostles (2 Tim. 2:2). They may be hard to find, but they do exist and are far more worthy of attention than the cacophony of false teachers that are found in such abundance today.

Your turn: Are you often stumped by doubts or unable to respond to charges levelled at the Christian faith? Ask yourself this: Are you under the sound teaching of God’s Word by qualified elders? Could that be one of the reasons you are so easily tossed about with every wind of doctrine? (Eph. 4:14) What’s keeping you from seeking out and submitting to biblical pastoral leadership?
Alex Crain is the editor of Christianity.com. You can read more posts by Alex at his blog and follow him on Twitter @alex_crain.

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Naturally the Bible says nowhere that Jesus is God but in it, the Maker of all things and Only One true God says clearly that Jesus is His only begotten beloved son. Jesus himself also very well knew his position which at first was lower than angels and that God is, was and always shall be, the Most High.
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Denominationalism exists because?

In this world we do see many religions and in each religion many divisions. This tells a lot about man.

In Christendom we may find Christianity with people who follow Biblical doctrines and on the other-side lots of people who do prefer to follow human doctrines. those following the false teachings of man make up the majority in Christendom. They made themselves a three-headed god and many often did made graven images of their god and bow down in front of those pictures or statues to pray for, though according God’s Word, the Bible this is an abomination in God’s eyes.

Already very soon after Jeshua (Jesus Christ) died false teachings came into the ‘Christian‘ system, like it previously also had done in the Judaic system.

Perhaps one can bring as an excuse that the way of man is not in himself, but we must know that each of us is responsible for his own actions and his own thinking and his reaction on it.

‘Hautain’ man= arrogantly superior and disdainful haughty man thinks him superior to God’s Word and dares to frighten people that they would not be able to understand the Bible without their teachings. They forget that God His Word is infallible and indestructible, saying everything it has to say in a way that all people can understand and can have enough information according to their capabilities.

It are those theologians and church-institutions who wanted to keep their power or get more power, who adapted their teachings for the best of their institutions. Often they overlooked that for one lie an other one had to be created to have their teaching ‘soundproof’.

File:Greekorthodoxchurch nl.jpg

All denominations have their own specific worship-houses or church-buildings. – Greek orthodox churches.

Denominationalism is a man-made concept which we really do not need. We do have to follow Christ who is the cornerstone of the Church of God and not of a church of men.
In that church of God we do have to become one with Christ like Jesus is one with the Father. And all should be as brethren and sisters in Christ, worshipping only One True God, the God of Jesus Who is the God of Abraham.

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Biblical Notes

By Ron Thomas

Why are there so many denominations? This is the question asked in a Bible study book called God’s Answers to Man’s Questions (p. 178). The answer given? “Each is probably like a variety of fruit and it takes many varieties to make an orchard. (Many spokes to make a wheel.) Christ’s desire is that the Church on earth should be clean, glorious and holy, Eph. 5:27. ‘That He might present it (the Church) to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it (you and I) should be holy and without blemish.’”

This is all there is to his answer. Did he answer it? Yes, I suppose you can say he did. Is his answer adequate or, better yet, biblical? It is not. The Bible passage he referenced is certainly biblical, but it does not support the contention of the…

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