Blog Archives

Do angels have wings?

Everyone knows that angels have wings.  Every picture we see of angels shows them with wings.  However there is one problem.  Some of the things said about angels in the Bible seem to contradict this belief.

Before God destroyed Sodom he sent two angels to take Lot and his family out of the city.

The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.”

They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.”  But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house.  And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.”

Genesis 19:1-5

The men of Sodom thought the angels were men and tried to attack them.  Don’t you think that if they had wings the men would have known they would have realized there was something different about them and they wouldn’t have been so anxious to harm them? Read the rest of this entry

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Evangelizing atheists

I have spent a lot of time on internet forums debating atheists and trying to convince them that God exists and the Bible is true.  I usually tried to show them that the existence of God is the only logical explanation for the existence of the universe and I pointed out scientific evidence that shows that the theory of evolution can’t be true.  However I have come to believe that I was going about this in the wrong way.  This conclusion is based on hearing two former atheists tell how they became Christians.

The first is someone I know personally.  He had a long conversation with a pastor which ended with the pastor explaining to him how to be saved.   He said he was an atheist and didn’t believe in God, and that ended the conversation.

Over the next few days thoughts about God kept entering his mind and he came to the conclusion that there really was a God.  Since the pastor had told him how to become a Christian he knew what he needed to do and so was saved. Read the rest of this entry

Traditions

All Christians accept the Bible as being the inspired word of God and believe that it is our guide for what we believe and how we live.  Some believe the Bible is all we need; others believe that church traditions are also authoritative and are needed to supplement and accurately understand the Bible.  Here is what Wikipedia says about this:

Sacred tradition or holy tradition is a theological term used in some Christian traditions, primarily in the Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox traditions, to refer to the fundamental basis of church authority.

The word “tradition” is taken from the Latin trado, tradere meaning to hand over, to deliver, or to bequeath. The teachings of Jesus and his Apostles are preserved in writing in the Bible as well as word of mouth and are handed on. This perpetual handing-on of the Tradition is called a living Tradition; it is the transmission of the teachings of the Apostles from one generation to the next. The term “deposit of faith” refers to the entirety of Jesus Christ’s revelation, and is passed to successive generations in two different forms,sacred scripture (the Bible) and sacred tradition (through apostolic succession).

In the theology of these churches, sacred scripture is the written part of this larger tradition, recording (albeit sometimes through the work of individual authors) the community’s experience of God or more specifically of Jesus Christ. Hence the Bible must be interpreted within the context of sacred tradition and within the community of the church. Sacred tradition, and thus sacred scripture as well, are “inspired,” another technical theological term indicating that they contain and communicate the truths of faith and morals God intended to make known for mankind’s salvation. This is in contrast to many Protestant traditions, which teach that the Bible alone is a sufficient basis for all Christian teaching (a position known as sola scriptura).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_tradition

What does the Bible itself say about this? Read the rest of this entry

Flood deniers

The Bible tells us that the human race grew so wicked that God sent a worldwide flood to destroy it.  He only found one righteous man, Noah, and he warned him to build an ark to save himself and his family from the flood.  You can read the complete story here:  Genesis 6-9

The Bible isn’t the only record of this flood.  Other cultures all over the world have legends of a worldwide flood in which only a few humans were saved to repopulate the world.  This article contains a list of some of these legends: Flood Legends From Around the World Read the rest of this entry

Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry

Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry is an excellent source of information for anyone wanting to understand the Bible better.  Here is how they describe themselves.

About The Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry

CARM is a 501(c)3, non-profit, Christian ministry dedicated to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ and the promotion and defense of the Christian Gospel, doctrine, and theology.  To do this, CARM analyzes religious and non-religious movements and compares them to the Bible. We examine abortion, atheism, evolution, Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism, relativism,Roman Catholicism, Wicca, universalism, (and more), along with Christian preachers and teachers.  In all our analyses we use the Bible as the final standard of truth in order to defend and promote Christianity.

carm.org

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Check your diet

We need food to keep our bodies healthy and functioning.  We all realize this and we put a great deal of effort into making sure we get all the food we need.  But we are more than just physical bodies.  Our souls and spirits need nourishment just as much as our bodies do.  The Bible provides this nourishment.

Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.
Jeremiah 15:16

It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Matthew 4:4

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A lamp or a flashlight?

Imagine that you have to go somewhere at night on a road that has no lights on it.  You will need to take a source of light with you and there are two available.  One is a flashlight and the other is an oil lamp.  The flashlight has fresh batteries and you can see a long distance by its light.  The lamp only gives off enough light to illuminate the area immediately around you.  Which one would you choose?

This question is a no-brainer.  With the flashlight you could see a long way ahead and know what to expect as you travel.  You wouldn’t be surprised by unexpected obstacles.  When you use a lamp only the area immediately around is illuminated and you have no idea what lies further ahead.  If there are obstacles you won’t know about them until you reach them.

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Earth 2.0

NASA scientists have discovered a planet they named Kepler-452b but which is also called Earth 2.0 because it is more like earth than any other planet yet discovered.  Because of its similarity there is speculation that it might contain life similar to that found on earth.

Dr. Jeff Schweitzer wrote an article in Huffington Post called Earth 2.0: Bad News for God in which he claimed that the discovery of life on this planet would be evidence that the Bible is not true.  Here is the link:  Earth 2.0: Bad News for God .

The article shows he hasn’t read the Bible very carefully.

Read the rest of this entry

Gays who follow Christ

The gay rights movement is promoting the legalization of same sex marriage and the belief that homosexual activity is as normal as heterosexual activity.  Anyone who opposes these goals is accused of hating gays.

In some cases the accusation is true.  There are people who hate gays; the existence of the Westboro Baptist Church and organizations like it is evidence of this.  But there are others whose opposition is motivated by love.

God established marriage as a union between a man and a woman and has forbidden any sexual activity outside of this union.  Anyone who truly loves gay people will warn them of the dangers of violating God’s commands rather than encouraging disobedience.

There is a common misconception that all gays support the gay rights movement.  In fact there are many gay Christians who oppose it because they recognize the harm it does.  Here are three web sites where you can learn more about them.

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Sand in the bread

Many people believe the earth is billions of years old; the Bible tells us that God created it in six days.  Some Christians try to reconcile these two beliefs by saying that the days of creation aren’t literal days but simply long periods of time.

The word “day” can mean an indefinite time period and it is used that way in the creation account.

These are the generations
of the heavens and the earth when they were created,
in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.
Genesis 2:4

Here the entire time of creation is called a day.  But what about the days in the first chapter?  Here is a description of the first day.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
Genesis 1:3-5

Each day included a period of light and one of darkness and consisted of an evening and a morning.  Only a literal day consisting of the time the earth turns once on its axis has these characteristics.

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Rebellion in Hell

I found this on an atheist site.

We all know that fundamentalists use hell as an instrument of fear to keep people from leaving religion. This is my rebuttal, let’s assume they are correct and hell really exists. Even that will not work as punishment system, why? Because how may people will go there? Let’s say half of human population that is 3.5 billion people. Do you really think those 3.5 billion will just accept that and will not rebel against whoever manages hell? People are good in organizing ourselves against any common enemy – we all hate oppressive regime in the real world. Heck, 3.5 billion rebels in hell will topple whoever rules there.

The author has some misconceptions about what we believe but he brings up an interesting idea; is it possible that the residents of Hell will try to rebel?

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How to become a saint

Recently two former popes have been canonized as saints by the Catholic church.  According to the book Saints for Dummies these are the requirements a person must meet before before being considered a saint by the church.

To become canonized as a saint, a perfect track record isn’t required (or possible). Hence, being sinless isn’t on the list. So, what is required for sainthood?

Two verifiable postmortem miracles.

Evidence of having led an exemplary life of goodness and virtue worthy of imitation, having died a heroic death (martyrdom), or having undergone a major conversion of heart where a previous immoral life is abandoned and replaced by one of outstanding holiness.

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The Euthyphro dilemma

Plato wrote of a conversation between Socrates and a man named Euthyphro in which this question was raised: Does God command us to do things because they are good or are they good because God commands them?   Many people feel that either answer creates a problem.  If God commands us to do things because they are good that implies that there is a standard of goodness independent of God to which he must conform.  If the things God commands are good because he commands them then good and evil exist only because of God’s arbitrary decision to call certain thing good and others evil.  This problem is known as the Euthyphro dilemma.

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Brainwashing

God commands parents to teach their children the Bible.

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7

There are people who don’t believe the Bible and don’t think it should be taught to children.  Some claim that parents who teach their children the Bible are brainwashing them.  Those who make this claim are right; children who are taught the Bible are being brainwashed.

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Doublethink

The word “doublethink” was first used by George Orwell in his novel 1984.  It means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

Orwell invented the word but the practice existed long before he was born.  First Kings 18 describes the contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal to determine who is the true God.  Here is what Elijah said to the people.

And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.”
1 Kings 18:21

Some of the people practiced doublethink by worshipping both Baal and the LORD.  God condemned this practice and demanded that they choose one side or the other.

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Sacrificing Ishmael

Everyone who is familiar with the Bible knows that God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac.  Most don’t realize that before this Abraham had been commanded to sacrifice his other son, Ishmael.

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Ear, hand, and foot

While he was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy. And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him.

And he charged him to tell no one, but “go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a proof to them.”
Luke 5:12-14

Jesus told him to go to the priest because the Mosaic law required that an offering be made by anyone who had been cleansed from leprosy.

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Treasure hunters

Mr. Smith owned several acres of land just outside of a city on the coast.  He dreamed of living a life of luxury and seeing the world but had no hope of fulfilling those dreams because he was stuck in a job that paid him barely enough to live on.

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Abiogenesis, creation, and natural selection

How did life originate?  Most people believe that it began with a process called abiogenesis,  the development of living organisms from nonliving mater.  According to this belief a very simple life form came into existence and over millions of year its descendants changed through the process of evolution to produce the large variety of life that exists today.

Not everyone believes in abiogenesis and evolution.  Some people believe the Bible’s account of how life originated; it was created by God only a few thousand years ago.

Believers in abiogenesis and creation both agree that new varieties of life are constantly being produced by a process called natural selection.  An examination of how this process works might show whether abiogenesis or creation is the most likely starting point for it.

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Our daily bread

When the disciples of Jesus asked him to teach them to pray he gave them a model prayer called the Lord’s prayer which included this request:

Give us each day our daily bread.
Luke 11:3

We ask this because our bodies need food in order to function properly.  But we need more than just nourishment for our bodies. Read the rest of this entry

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For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:11)

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