MICAH 4-6Micah 4:8 And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.
https://youtu.be/_dhoLRSFzV0 Micah 4-6
.C.C. water ban
.Hacking 2016 election
.Libya- Yemen- Iraq
.Truman and Stalin
.Did we need to bomb?
.Why no more media coverage of Mosul?
.God forgave him
.What did Balaam say again?
NEW [Micah comments below]
I did not form my views from these news links below- I actually read them after I made the post. But I thought they fit- so I linked them.
On today’s video I talked about ‘power’ authority- kingdoms- mindsets.
I mentioned our current situation in the U.S.- not to take sides [politically] but to see how the things we allow for ourselves [the West] we disallow for others.
The situation over Russian hacking in the U.S. election- what’s it about?
Hackers- more than likely from Russia- hacked into the DNC [political democratic arm] and released true information [emails- texts- etc.] that made Hillary Clinton look bad.
There is some evidence that they also had hacked into the Republican side- yet did not release that.
This would show that the Russians involved themselves in our election.
Ok- is this bad?
A few points- the U.S. also does the same- president Obama actively campaigned against Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel- because he felt it was in the best interest of the U.S. to do so.
The U.S. also engages in hacking- cyber warfare- and all of the things we are accusing Russia of doing.
The U.S. has actively backed up armed overthrows of other leaders [Gadhafi of Libya being one].
We do these things for our own interests- even if that interest goes against the will of other nations.
We accuse Russia of illegally taking Crimea- the people of Crimea overwhelmingly voted to join Russia.
The vote was more than 90%- yet because it was not in the U.S. best interest- we still accuse them of illegally annexing Crimea [they broke away from Ukraine].
The will of the people was to do that- yet the U.S. did not want the will of the people- so we accuse Russia today of an illegal act.
In Syria- rebels- and terrorists- have been fighting Assad.
Trying to overthrow him.
Assad- with Russian help- has been fighting back.
The rebels- and some who are indeed terrorists- have been armed by the U.S. - and we use our resources to back them.
Yet- when Assad fights to take back a city- Aleppo- we accuse him and Russia of war crimes.
Because sadly innocents have been killed- by both Syrian forces- and U.S. backed rebels.
Russia has not targeted women and children- yet I heard a U.S. representative say they were purposely executing kids and women.
Russia and Syria gave notice to the civilian population in Aleppo- and also have done various cease fires- for civilians to leave.
In reality- all civilians never leave their home town- even when warned.
Yet- we have said the civilians who have died- were executed- on purpose by Russia.
When the U.S. dropped pamphlets over Hiroshima and Nagasaki- warning the women and children to leave- many stayed.
But- because we warned them- we do not deem it the execution of women and kids.
Yet- we killed [numbers vary] around 150 thousand people initially- and possibly up to a million over the years by radiation sickness.
Did we execute them?
We knew they were there.
Many historians believe the bombing of the Japanese cities did not have to happen.
At that point in the war [WW2] the Russians under Stalin agreed to turn their massive army against Japan.
The Japanese were ready to surrender- but Harry Truman was in negotiations with Russia and other allies on how to divide up the area after the war.
Truman felt if the bombs were dropped [even though the war was almost over- without the bombs] that would give us more leverage against Russia- once they actually saw the potential that we had.
So- for political reasons that we in the West don’t always see- we killed many innocent women and kids- and never refer to it as the purposeful execution of innocents.
Yet I heard 2 U.S. representatives accuse Russia of doing this- which is a lie.
We involve ourselves in other nations- not just elections- but in the actual armed overthrow of their leaders- yet we deem this interference ok.
But the West is outraged that Russia too has a political motive.
And what might that be?
Putin and others- believe the U.S. has gone down a road that is leading to war.
Our buildup of NATO troops on Russia’s border is a provocative act- which we said would never do.
Yet- we are doing it.
In the 2011 Russian election- we called Putin’s election illegitimate.
Maybe it was- or maybe it wasn’t.
Yet when protesters marched- we made statements that maybe it was time for a Revolution.
That’s sends a message to any in the country or region- even ISIS- that wow- the U.S. might back up another armed overthrow of a nation.
These messages have disastrous results.
Libya- Iraq [our war with them] our involvement in nations that lead to the instability of the entire region.
Yet- we do not see why a Putin might want a leader who sends signals he might work with him.
Yes- Putin obviously would want to work with a president that he feels is not a threat.
This is not necessarily wrong- we do the exact same thing around the world.
Yet we are using language- referring to other world leaders as executioners of women and kids- because they have done the same exact things as us- and on a much smaller scale.
I am not defending Putin- or Assad.
I am trying to show you how we in the West do the things- that when others do them- we are outraged.
I want peace in Syria- and Russia- all over the world.
And when more than 90 percent of the people in Crimea vote to go back to Russia- we should not be referring to it as an illegal act- it’s not- that’s Democracy.
And if the innocent civilians in Aleppo did not leave- after Assad and Putin gave them notice- and we call it the purposeful execution of women and kids.
Then just what would you call the 500 thousand to a million dead Japanese?
NOTE- as I just watched the world news-[ 12-18-16- ABC news]- ‘MILITANTS BURNED 5 BUSES TO PREVENT THE EVACUATION OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN FROM ALEPPO’- These ‘militants’ are the U.S. supported rebels.
NOTE- PBS news- 12-19-16 ‘militants going door to door in Aleppo- executing women and civilians’- These ‘militants’ are the ‘rebels’ we armed. They are also referred too as ‘Syrian militants’- these are not Syrian troops. If the Russians and Syrian troops were doing this- it would be headlines in the U.S. media- but because these atrocities are being carried out by U.S. backed rebels- they refuse to identify them as such. This is media bias.
MICAH VERSES [past links below]
I quoted-read just a few verses from the prophet Micah-
They deal with the purpose of God and the expression of his kingdom both now- and after.
The same themes we see in the preaching of John the Baptist and Jesus.
Instead of teaching the actual context of the time- and who Micah was directly speaking too- I just wanted to give you a glimpse of the overall purpose of the kingdom of God on earth now.
The above post on ‘politics’ is really not so much about politics- it was meant to show us how we- in the world- engage in ‘rule’ dominion- power.
The global system of government is attempting to do this very thing- to enact rule.
The church- the people of God- are the ones who true authority in society is vested in.
Yes- whether they rule in a monarchy- a democracy- or any other type of human government.
Even in a true Democracy- the simple concept of majority rule- can never insure true justice in society.
If human values are simply determined by what the majority wants- in the end- there’s no real assurance that life will be respected.
The country I live in shows us that- with the legalization of abortion right up until the 9th month.
The prophet envisioned a time where the people of God would indeed be the salt of the earth- as Jesus said.
To me this does not mean theocracy- in the sense that believers should try and institute religious rule.
But the foundation for true moral virtue- rests within moral law.
That which God has revealed to man both by scripture and through Natural law.
God put conscience in man when he created man in his image.
This conscience only exists within the Human-
God gave man dominion [rule]over the creation when he made man.
After the fall of man- this image of man was ‘marred’ if you will- yet- he still has the conscience of good and evil.
Even the most ardent atheist- if he is honest- will admit he ‘feels’ guilt- if he does ‘wrong’.
Yet- he has no explanation for the guilt- or even the moral foundation for his own witness- that he did ‘wrong’ [which is a witness that he too is created in the image of God- because he has this inner sense of right and wrong].
This debate is long- and I have taught it all in the past [Philosophy- Kant- etc.]
But for today- we see that the rule of God- comes to the people of God.
Not in an abusive way- but thru the expression of Christ in us.
I’ll end with a true story I heard many years ago.
There were 2 Africans [one white- One black] and the white man happened to be an atheist.
Over the years he observed the many Christian missionaries who came to his continent- and reached out to the children.
Both protestants and Catholics did this.
The Atheist would criticize what the Christians were doing- saying they were wasting their time trying to convert the younger generation to Christianity.
Most of the children were indeed Black.
The black man eventually told his atheist friend ‘I have heard you for many years now criticize these Christians [the black man was also not a Christian] yet- in all the years these missionaries have been coming to our land- they have fed the children- made many efforts to teach them about their God- and sacrificed much to help the children- yet I have never seen any atheist organization attempt to do the same’.
It was the actual witness of the Christians- and their efforts to reach out to the Africans- that made this great impact on the man.
And in a way- I think that’s what the kingdom is all about.
Rule- authority- comes to the humble and meek followers of Christ-just like Jesus said-
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Matt. 5:5
NOTE- I mentioned abortion in the late stage- in actuality the majority of the country does not approve of late stage abortion- but the Supreme Court ‘decided’ it was a ‘constitutional right’- a right to privacy. Many legal scholars believe this decision is flawed. I mention this because in the U.S. it is not so much a democratic rule- on this issue- but an overreach of the court.
PAST POSTS/LINKS [verses below]
As you can see- war crimes- or ‘crimes against humanity’ are in the eye of the beholder.
Now- in the entire history of the world- the biggest one [or 2] day killing of civilians- that is a targeting of civilians for a military/political goal- was the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Yes- out of all the nations on the planet- the U.S. killed more civilians- on purpose- in these 2 attacks- then in any other single bombing in history.
We had our reasons for sure- but the immediate deaths were around 200 thousand- not counting the many women and children who died many years later- from the long tortuous process of radiation cancer.
These types of deaths- especially on many of the thousands of young kids who suffered extreme agony- great fear in their deaths- were not considered ‘crimes against humans’.
Yet- the water boarding of a terrorist- an actual enemy who is in our custody- is considered tortuous- and meets the criteria of a war crime.
See how messed up this is?
Now- in the past 2 years the U.S. has worked closely with the state of Israel in monitoring/spying on Iran- to see how far along they are coming with their nuclear program.
We share intelligence- and have even ‘partnered’ with them in some clandestine op’s.
The famous Stuxnet virus- a computer virus that was launched to disable Iran’s nuclear reactors- was a joint program between the U.S. and Israel.
Okay- one of the other secret operations that has been going on is the killing of civilian scientists who are working with Iran’s nuclear program.
These scientists are not military targets- they are civilians- who are deemed ‘worthy’ targets because of their role in the nuclear program.
I have heard no one call these killings ‘crimes against humans’ or ‘war crimes’ even though these scientists are civilians.
No- in the reports about their killings- there is a sense of ‘hooray’.
In the past 3 years there has been a collection of various bomb parts- dropped by the U.S. - in the mountainous region between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
There are legal teams on the ground- representing the families of kids and women who have been killed by our nonstop use of Drones in the area.
We- the U.S.- have a military objective- to root out the Taliban [who were ‘created’ by the U.S. govt. when we aided them against the Russians]. In the process of this rooting out- we have killed- and keep on killing- Muslim women and kids.
Now- do we ‘mean’ to kill them?
Of course not.
But we are making the military/political calculation that so many kids and women will indeed be killed- we know this.
So- we are basically saying ‘look- we really don’t want to kill these kids- but this does happen from time to time’.
Can we help it?
Of course- stop using the ‘darn’ drones- solved.
The whole point I’m making in this post is we- the citizens of the world- are often manipulated by the way a story is told- by the way the media show us stuff.
I know of no U.S. citizen who even thinks twice about calling the killing of the Japanese- and thousands of kids- with radiation poisoning- a very tortuous death- a war crime.
Yet many see the water boarding of a terrorist as a war crime.
Does this make any sense at all?
All killing- all war- is wrong.
You mean our response to 9-11 is wrong?
I mean that when humans resort to killing other humans- because they see no other way to resolve the problem- then it’s wrong.
I don’t like hearing the words ‘this guy committed a crime against humans’.
When you put a bullet in another human- and kill that person- it is never a just act- not in my book.
Yes- there are people who have committed terrible crimes- and I- like everybody else- also think ‘that so and so needs to die’.
But as a society- we should be able to deal with them [life without ever getting out] without having to kill them.
Over the next few weeks we will see the outcome of what really happened in Libya- but when I hear words like ‘we will bring them to justice’.
I don’t truly get it- if we [the U.S.] declare war on a group- we then need to be more responsible about where we put official rep’s of the U.S.
Our official Rep’s are deemed ‘justified’ targets- they represent the U.S. govt. in an official capacity.
The U.S. needs to respond to attacks on them as an act of war.
I heard Leon Panetta say ‘we couldn’t put our troops at risk in an unknown situation’.
No- you say that if it’s some type of rescue operation of non U.S. citizens- but when it’s an attack by those we have declared war on- and they are attacking our official U.S. rep on the ground- no- we do indeed put our troops at risk to go in and do what needs to be done.
 DRUNK WITH THE BLOOD OF THE SAINTS- Wasn’t sure which way to go today? It’s strange that I have been thinking about covering the sad story of the Christians in Iraq; since the war they have been persecuted severely- a few months back one of their main churches was attacked, many have fled to the northern region of the country [Kurdish area] and many are seeking asylum in our country. Saddam Hussein protected the Christian church in Iraq- he was not considered to be a radical Muslim leader- like the Mullahs in Iran. So it’s sad to see the Christian church possibly being eliminated from this ancient country. The church in Iraq dates back to the 1st century- they still speak Aramaic [some of them] which was the actual language Jesus spoke. Anyway- the thing that seems strange is I felt like I should read Revelation chapter 17 this morning- and in the chapter the apostle John has this vision of Babylon [which is Iraq- geographically. In the chapter it’s a symbol of the Roman Empire] and as he sees Babylon he says ‘she is drunk with the blood of the saints’- yes indeed, much Christian blood has been spilt in Iraq.
Okay- the other day I was watching some show about a group of people picked from all over the world who were chosen to participate in a sort of round table discussion where each person would spend so many months just sharing in conversation with these other people. Some were from the U.S., others from Muslim/Arab countries- some were from Israel. The conversation they had was really revealing- they were not scholars, but they showed you the point of view from other perspectives. One of the questions they asked was what should happen to Iran? Should the U.S. intervene in their desire to obtain nuclear weapons? One of the Americans said we should- because they might be a danger to world peace [a common ideology among many Americans] then one of the students from a Muslim country said ‘then why do you not feel it is also wrong for the U.S. to have nuclear weapons’ and the American gave some type of simple answer. Why does the Muslim world have a problem with the U.S. seeming to play the role of arbiter- who can have- or not have a nuclear arsenal?
Are there any Muslim/Arab countries that have them today? What about other countries who are also unstable? Let’s see- Pakistan [the most unstable of the bunch right now] India [Pakistan’s rival, also a major reason why Pakistan will not eliminate the Taliban from the mountainous region of her nation- they see the Taliban as playing a major role in the future govt. of Afghanistan and they need some ties to the Taliban in order to balance out any power play between India and Afghanistan] Egypt, Israel, North Korea, Saudi Arabia- well as you can see there are a bunch of nations who already posses nuclear weapons- or are on the road to getting them. So when the average Muslim sees our attempt to intervene in who gets nukes, they see it as a hypocritical game.
What is the world history on nuclear attacks? How many countries have actually used nukes to attack/respond to other attacks? One. Who dropped the first Atomic bomb in the history of the world on another country? We did. Okay- let’s give this another shot. Who dropped the second Atomic bomb? Okay- us again. One more time- who dropped number 3? No one. So let’s see this from the perspective of the Muslim student who questioned the reasoning of why the U.S. has nukes- but doesn’t want other nations to have them. The student was told that if other nations [Iran] has them- they might use them. Yet they see us as the only country that has ever actually used them. Look- I know why we used them- and many have questioned the morality of what we did in WW2. Were we just in dropping the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? We killed around 200 thousand people- civilians- not military [not counting the many who died in the following years from radiation sickness]. One of the definitions of terrorism is the purposeful targeting of civilians for a political/military goal. To the Muslim world- we targeted these civilian cites [they were not collateral damage- the civilians were the target] for a political/military goal- to end the war. The point is we [Americans] have a tendency to view things from one perspective- we rarely see the end result of our actions. Who would have thought that our war in ancient Babylon [Iraq] would have contributed to one of the fulfillments of John’s prophecy ‘Babylon- you are drunk with the blood of the saints’.
Because our bibles were written in Greek [which shows you how strong the Greek influence effected the early church- our first New Testaments were written in Greek- though the Roman Empire was the world Empire of the day.
But Alexander the Great- the famed Greek conqueror who came a few centuries before Christ- he instituted what we refer to as Helenization.
A form of conquering where you let the people you conquer keep their culture- but you also use parts of your culture [in this case the Greek language] to permeate the vanquished.
So- the Roman Empire of Jesus day [who at one time were under the rule of the Greek Empire] continued to write in Greek.
It wasn’t until around a few centuries after the time of Christ that the first Latin bible was written [by Saint Jerome].
But even his bible [the Latin Vulgate] used the Greek Old Testament [called the Septuagint] instead of the Hebrew- for his Latin translation.
Ok- the point being- the Greek world did indeed have a strong influence on the early church.
And the church had to refute the belief that all matter was evil.
The Christian doctrine of creation [developed under saint Augustine- the 4th-5th century bishop of Hippo- North Africa].
Was the teaching that matter was good- that God created the material realm- so it is not inherently evil.
But- after the fall of man [Genesis 1-3] a curse did indeed come upon the earth [some times when the bible says ‘the world’ it is speaking of the earth- but other times it is speaking of the fallen order- the sinful realm of man. That’s why there is some confusion- till this day- among Christians. They might read verses like this- and think the bible is saying the earth itself- the planet- is wicked. Actually in those verses it is speaking about the fallen order of sinful men. See? ‘For all that is in THE WORLD- the lust of the flesh- the lust of the eyes and the pride of life- is not of the father- but is of the WORLD- and the WORLD is passing away’- this is one example from the epistle of John- here the World is not saying the planet- but the world of sinful man- a fallen ‘world’ order.]
So- in conclusion [if I ever get there!] we- as believers- reject the belief that all matter is evil.
No- man was created in the image of God- and God is the creator of all things- both visible [earth- man- etc] and invisible [mentioned in the above chapter].
The evil we see in the ‘world’ today is simply a result of mans sin- mans choice to live in rebellion against God.
We can’t escape ‘this world of sin’ by simply denying ourselves [though that is one aspect of the Christian life].
But God sent his Son into the world to redeem man- Christ died for all men- and this is the Divine act of Salvation.
When we as humans partake of this Salvation- we are then free- free to enjoy this life- that God gave us- and we don’t have to have the mindset of a Socrates- who saw this natural life as evil.
The apostle Paul says in his letter to the Romans;
‘Present your bodies as a living sacrifice- HOLY and acceptable to God’.
Our bodies- the actual flesh we live in- can be Holy- sanctified- when submitted to the will of God.
This is from my Romans teaching I did a few years ago- ROMANS 11-13
[note- there’s much more on the video than the post]
St. Thomas and Augustine.
I mean these are 2 of my favorite Catholic scholars.
Augustine- the 4/5th century Bishop of North Africa- and Thomas- the great 13th century Doctor Angelicas [Angelic Doctor].
Yes- these are some big players in Theology and Philosophy.
So why have the media reported that the pres used them in his war strategy?
They are also famous for the development of the Just war Theory.
Yeah- people for centuries have appealed to these great thinkers in their justification for war.
But Obama- how does he find the time to read these guys?
I mean- unless their names are on the golf balls [he just played his 100th round!]
I don’t see him having time to read them.
So why mention it?
Because he fumbled the ball with our Catholic friends [who just began a 2 week prayer and fast against the repression of religious liberty- because of the presidents demands that they provide birth control thru their institutions].
And he needs to make amends- so lo and behold- he loves reading the Catholic scholars!
If you put all this together- the ongoing scandals- not just one.
The actual lies- the ones they have been caught in- on paper.
I mean even a mainline reporter could not believe that the revealing of this was ‘no big deal’.
And now- the fact that the pres came out the other day and addressed the nation ‘me and my Whitehouse have not released any CLASSIFIED information’.
‘It’s an insult to think this’.
Then- one week later- on Friday- they sent a letter to congress- declassifying the drone war
They were basically saying ‘yeah- we were behind the releasing of all the info- it’s just we ‘declassified it’ first’.
He is going to say when he released the info- his office first ‘declassified it’.
But when he addressed you- and me- he was outraged- he made it sound like he was not aware of the leaks.
And 99 % of the public took it this way.
Look- when you get caught doing this- over and over and over- I mean this is not a one time affair.
Then it does make the public wonder about everything else.
And when the public asks for answers- and you respond by playing the race card- then it’s time for some people to resign.
AN UNJUST LAW
https://youtu.be/oQMmaWERTYk An unjust law is no law at all
.911 hijackers- who were they?
.Release the 28 pages
.Dow 18,000- sell! [remember- the video was made last week]
.Iran- Yemen- Libya- Ukraine- Russia
.How did we bail out the banks again?
.Cuban Missile crisis
.Did Russia have the right to fly over our ship in Baltic Sea?
.Water Gate- Nixon
THE MEXICAN JUDGE [And Benghazi]
https://youtu.be/aXYcDbk3s7M The Mexican judge and BenghaziAmos 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?
Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
Amos 3:8 The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?
ON VIDEO- [verses- links- below]
.Why did the Apostle Paul work and NOT let the church support him?
.Should men who don’t work- able bodied- get free food? What does the bible actually say?
.Are judges- EVER- biased?
.What about the civil rights era- there were WHITE judges in the south- who were racists. Many Blacks complained- were those Blacks ‘racist’ because they were right?
.Did all the leaders of the country say ‘how dare anyone ever think a judge can’t do his job because he is a White KKK member’?
.Libya and the crime of Benghazi
.Bathroom law? There is a young girl who was told ‘UNDRESS’ and change- with an older boy- nude- in the locker room. She wore her gym clothes under her school clothes all day. Is this girl a bigot?
.Fire Dept. Stuff
.Our action in Libya supported racists- did you know that?
.What was the date of the Benghazi attack? http://journal-neo.org/2015/10/25/hillary-s-lies-and-the-benghazi-attack/
.Preachers- do you ever actually read the bible?
.Pastors- here’s the answer to why you’re having financial problems [for real- it’s in the bible!]
Was gonna do one last post [for now] on Libya- we will need to cover the whole development of how we began to view/and act over a 6 month period- we acted [as a nation] contrary to our public statements. We swore- over and over again- that we were not targeting the man [or his family] and he swore [before the U.N. - by his rep.] that we were lying- and did indeed already kill a few of his grandkids [which was true] and were going after him.
Then- on national T.V. - we saw him flee Sirte [his hometown] and get bombed by both NATO and American planes [ours were Drones]. We destroyed a bunch of vehicles- left a lot of dead bodies- but he made it to a tunnel.
Then he got pulled out- ended up with a bullet in the head. O- forgot- this happened a day or 2 after Hillary Clinton visited Tripoli [her first visit] and said ‘we are waiting for you to capture or kill him’ [oop’s!] She later had to ‘clarify’.
She also was caught on tape- laughing and rejoicing over his death- okay- many people did- but if your saying publicly- ‘that’s not what we want’- then it looks bad.
Of course the other Arab nations want the U.N. to investigate- they were being told- by us- that we were not going after him. He begged for a peaceful resolution [he did do this!]. But we basically said no.
There are lots of questions to still be answered on this thing.
Okay- yesterday I wrote a quick note about a conversation I had with a new friend who just joined my site. She was into some new age stuff- we talked a little- I defended historic Christian belief- then she blocked me.
Let’s talk a little about Apologetics/Theology. Apologetics is the field where Christians Defend the Faith.
In our day- it is common for believers to be ‘left in the dust’ when they bang up against an atheistic scientist [they not all are!] or someone versed in Philosophy [Sartre or Camus- atheist thinkers- or Hitchen's and Dawkins].
Many times these various fields of study are too much for the average believer to feel like he can engage in- in an intelligent way- and ‘win’ the argument for the Christian view.
But church history has a long- and very successful- track record doing this very thing.
A few weeks back I did about 5 posts or so on Philosophy- a field I like to study. But if you do too many of those posts at one time- then it can get a little heavy [and boring!] So I try to break it up by only doing so many at a time. The same goes for Theology- Church History- etc.
But over time- if we become well versed in these various fields- it will help us defend the Christian view- in an intelligent way- without being mean about it [I try!]
But sometimes you will offend people- even if you try to be nice- because you’re engaging in a conversation that says ‘yes- as Christians we believe in ultimate truth- and that truth is in the person of Jesus Christ’ yes- that will offend some.
My approach to these types of debates is I’m what you would call Ecumenical- I believe that Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox- and all the other ‘churches’ that profess Christ- I believe they are all Christian.
Now you might say ‘well John- doesn’t everybody?’ Actually no- many of the most knowledgeable Apologists do indeed go after the other groups. Quite often you will have a strong protestant defender [usually from the Reformed faith] that will really hit the Catholic church- in my view- too hard.
While it is true that historically Catholics and Protestants have differences- I have often found that Many ‘average’ Catholics/Protestants are not really aware of the real differences- they often have very limited perspectives about the ‘other side’ and these limited ideas [often wrong] seem to stay with the people- for most of their lives.
One example- the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception- what is it?
The teaching became Official- only in the last 2 centuries of the Catholic church- though it was held by many- it finally became official in the last 2 hundred years [ 1854 for the Immaculate Conception- 1950 for the Assumption of Mary doctrine].
The doctrine teaches that the Virgin Mary- Jesus Mom- was born ‘without the taint of original sin’. Now- what does that mean?
Some Protestants think the Catholics teach that Mary was ‘sinless’ in the same way Christ was sinless.
Actually- that’s not the official doctrine [see- it’s important to know the official teaching when we engage like this]. The actual teaching- that has the churches Imprimatur on it- is that Mary WAS A SINNER- just like the rest of us- but in order for Jesus to have been born from a pure vessel- that the actual work of the Cross- Redemption- it was applied to Mary ‘ahead of time’.
Yes- the official teaching is that Mary ‘was saved’ from her sin- just like the rest of us- thru the Cross. The difference is the forgiveness that came to Mary- came to her before she was born- yes- the teaching does teach that Mary was born ‘without sin’ but not like Jesus was without sin- but she was ‘without sin’ because her salvation was applied ahead of time- way ahead of time- before she was born.
Okay- do Protestants believe in this teaching? No. But is it ‘so way out of line’ to the point where we should view our Catholic brothers and sisters as ‘non Christian’ because of it? No- not in my view.
Plus- many Catholics don’t even realize that this is what the doctrine teaches- many think it is talking about the birth of Jesus- being born without sin- by the act of the Holy Spirit descending upon the Virgin Mary and Mary conceiving.
No- this is what we call ‘The Virgin birth- conceived by the Holy Ghost’. Jesus being born from a virgin with no earthly father.
This is not the Immaculate Conception.
So right here alone [trust me- there are many more examples that I could give] Both Catholics and Protestants usually get the doctrine wrong- yet they remain divided their whole lives- over something that they are not even right about.
So I have found this type of stuff to be a problem while striving for Christian unity- and many Christians prefer to see the ‘other side’ in a negative light- and will continue to view them that way- till they die.
I always feel bad when I lose a friend from the site- sometimes you can’t help it [other times it is my fault!] but sometimes it’s because we have views about things- strongly held views- and when others hold to a different view- well we try and avoid them.
One day I received a Friends Request- to my surprise- it was from a young Catholic priest- I did not know him but he must have read a few posts of mine and liked them. He often gave me Thumbs Up comments on the posts- and at times would tell me he loved the posts.
Most were my Theology/Church history posts.
Often times Catholics and Protestants can agree and enjoy these types of studies. I love studying and teaching on the Church Fathers and early Christian history- and these sources all have a very strong Catholic flavor to them- so I see my fellow Catholics as being a part of a long tradition of Christian history.
Many famous converts to the Catholic Church [Bishop John Newman- converted from the Anglican Church] convert because they read the Church Fathers- and when you read them- it’s obvious to see the catholic nature of the early church in these men’s writings.
So anyway I was very happy to have a Catholic priest as one of my ‘on line students’ [and honored].
But one day- during one of my studies [covering one subject for a month or so] to my surprise I saw he was gone [yes- the dreaded block]. I thought- geez- wonder why?
I realized it was right in the middle of a study I did on Islam- and while I was doing the posts- I was also going thru a study on Islam- by the same guy who teaches it to the U.S. govt. - yes- it was a prof. [I think named Espinoza?] who teaches Islam to our govt. employees [sort of like a tolerance type thing].
Though the teacher was Catholic- yet he was VERY much pro Islam- I mean to the point where I had to reject some of the stuff he was saying- and finish the study from my own education on Islam.
At one point- he taught that the spread of Islam thru out the world had a wonderful- liberating effect on all the women in the lands where Islam spread. I mean it was so obvious that the man had no idea what he was talking about [in this area] that I realized he was not a good source [this happens every so often].
And it was more troubling that this was the guy Obama picked to teach Islam to our govt. employees [don’t get me wrong here- he teaches our govt. workers- not to convert them- but more of an informative type thing- just like you would teach any other course about sexual harassment- or whatever].
Anyway- in one of my posts while teaching on my site- I did refer to Mohamed as ‘the prophet’- now- I don’t receive Mohamed that way myself- but because I was teaching some Muslims who did recently join the site- well I used the title in this way.
I think that might have been the ‘last straw’ for my student/priest- he ‘went on Pilgrimage’ right after that post.
Okay- today’s point is we all should try our best to be ‘tolerant’ that is- we should give people as much grace/mercy as possible- but at the same time we also need to be honest about the Christian faith.
Yes- as Christians we believe salvation comes thru Christ- he was not just ‘one religious leader among many’ no- we believe he is the Way- the Truth- the Life/light- no man comes to the Father- but by him.
Sometimes we do our best not to offend- we might even go out of our way to receive people- other religions and systems that are not Christian- that’s okay- I have Muslim and Jewish and all types of friends- I’m glad they are my friends!
But we also have to be honest about our beliefs- and every now and then that might- just might- earn you a BLOCK
Amos 9:5 And the Lord GOD of hosts is he that toucheth the land, and it shall melt, and all that dwell therein shall mourn: and it shall rise up wholly like a flood; and shall be drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.
https://youtu.be/BLELo-v0rRc The flood
.Russia bombs ‘our fighters’- while we stand by and watch
.50 diplomats rebuke Obama
.Cyber influence is just as real as ‘going to the building’ [Harvard- Cambridge- etc.]
.The U.S. govt. still uses Floppy disks to save info
.Maybe we are behind the times when we say ‘The radicals are not ‘REALLY’ terrorists- because there is no connection’. In Today’s world [one without floppy disks] you can be trained by the top universities in the world- without actually ‘being there’.
.They even hacked Hillary's campaign!
.Crimea voted to go back to Russia- by over 90 % of the vote- John Kerry and the U.S. said ‘we will not honor it’. Hmm? I thought we were for Democracy?
.Hillary ‘Trumps a birther’ [meaning- he questioned if Obama was born in the U.S.]
.The media found out who actually started the birther movement.
http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2015/09/26/washington-post-confirms-hillary-clinton-started-the-birther-movement/ [see note below- BIRTHER?]
.The Hillary Clinton campaign- when she was running against Obama the first time- were the ones who floated that actual story- yes folks- no lie
.Who said ‘Obama is the biggest joke going- he should be serving us coffee instead of running for president- he is playing the race card on us’? Bill Clinton
.Whose starting the wildfires?
.Personification of wisdom
.Proverbs and John’s gospel
.How much money did it take?
.Pastors- don’t be ‘building centric’
.Is a hurricane on the way to Corpus Christi- this year?
VERSES-Micah 4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
Micah 4:2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Micah 4:3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Micah 4:10 Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go even to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there the LORD shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies.
Micah 4:11 Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion.
Micah 4:12 But they know not the thoughts of the LORD, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor.
Micah 4:13 Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the LORD, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth.
Micah 5:1 Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek.
Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.Micah 5:4 And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.
Micah 5:5 And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.
Micah 6:1 Hear ye now what the LORD saith; Arise, contend thou before the mountains, and let the hills hear thy voice.
Micah 6:2 Hear ye, O mountains, the LORD's controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth: for the LORD hath a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel.
Micah 6:3 O my people, what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me.
Micah 6:4 For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.
Micah 6:5 O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal; that ye may know the righteousness of the LORD.
Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Micah 6:9 The LORD's voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it.
15 And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said:
16 He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open:
17 I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.
18 And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly.
19 Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.Numbers 24
Note- Please do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on- Thanks- John.#