|Officer Dianobol, I presume? Yes, this pic (from the 2010 Super Bowl) just screams "Freedom!"|
Superbowl Sunday, the High Holy Day of our de facto state religion, has become such a brobdingnagian spectacle of militarist self-worship that Leni Riefenstahl would probably find the proceedings a bit excessive. The Caligulan feast in Dallas did offer one small source of consolation: Contrary to what compulsive mosque-baiters would have us believe, the culture on display is not haunted by the specter of impending Sharia rule.
|Hail the Empire! Superbowl Sunday, 2011|
Christina Aguilera, selected to perform the role of Vestal in yesterday's Ludus Gladitorius, is in no peril of being stuffed into a burqa, much as that development would benefit the public. She may have fatally injured her career, however, by her inept recitation of the Regime's official hymn.
Aguilera's celebrity will suffer, but she won't endure the hardships inflicted on dissidents -- many of them belonging to a sect founded in her home town of Pittsburgh -- who refused to offer ritual public submission to the State during the Holy Crusade to Save Stalin.
During World War II, recalls Molly Worthen of The New Republic, those who refused to recognize the State as their liege attracted the eager attention of pious souls willing to correct their thinking:
|Hail the Reich! Anschluss Saturday, March 12, 1938.|
"Violence against Jehovah’s Witnesses [who reject oaths of allegiance to any government] erupted in hundreds of towns across the nation. In Wyoming, a mob tarred and feathered a Witness. Public officials permitted beatings in Texas and Illinois; in Nebraska, self-appointed patriots castrated another."
The Jehovah's Witnesses had a long-established and well-earned reputation for being insular, authoritarian, and confrontational. In matters of religious controversy they were strangers in the house of subtlety and given to exercise what one legal analyst called "astonishing powers of annoyance."
What precipitated public persecution of the Witnesses, however, was not their sectarianism but their commendable loathing for the State. As Sarah Barringer Gordon of American History magazine summarizes, Witnesses were taught to display "open disdain" toward "all forms of government," both in the United States and abroad. This included a "refusal to serve in the military or to support America's war effort in any way."
|Painful to watch, more painful to hear.|
In a 1940 Supreme Court ruling that upheld state laws mandating recitation of the Pledge (Minersville School District v. Gobitis), Felix Frankfurter asserted that "Conscientious scruples have not, in the course of the long struggle for toleration, relieved the individual from obedience to a general law."
"Some vigilantes interpreted the Supreme Court's decision as a signal that Jehovah's Witnesses were traitors who might be linked to a network of Nazi spies and saboteurs," notes American History. In the service of that grand deception, the Witnesses -- whose deviousness apparently knew no bounds -- arranged to have thousands of their co-religionists imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps, and hundreds more executed for refusing to serve in the armed forces of the Reich. While officially sanctioned persecution of Witnesses by FDR's corporatist state wasn't nearly as intense, at least 1,500 members of the sect were assaulted in more than 300 separate attacks following the Gobitis ruling.
"In Imperial, a town outside Pittsburgh, a mob descended on a small group of Witnesses and pummeled them mercilessly," recounts Gordon. "One Witness was beaten unconscious, and those who fled were cornered by ax- and knife-wielding men riding the town's fire truck as someone yelled, `Get the ropes! Bring the flag!'"
Another patriotic mob in Kennebunk, Maine laid waste to the local Kingdom Hall. Jehovah's Witnesses in Rockville, Maryland were beaten by a mob across the street from a police station while officers looked on in contemptuous amusement. In Litchfield, Illinois, "an angry crowd spread an American flag on the hood of a car and watched while a man repeatedly smashed the head of a Witness upon it."
"I hoped to beat up these people," one enforcer of patriotic virtue said after he and other members of the Greatest Generation took part in the Litchfield pogrom. "Why, they wouldn't even salute the flag! We almost beat one guy to death to make him kiss the flag."
Those were extreme measures, of course, but they were tragically necessary in order to make the infidel make Islam (submission) to the divine State and its sacred totem.
In 1940, shortly before the Supreme Court authorized violent enforcement of collectivist piety, the FDR administration was shamed into modifying the flag salute, which was identical to the notorious stiff-armed fascist salute. Three years later, the Court itself was shamed into revisiting its ruling in the case Barnette v. West Virginia Board of Education.
During oral arguments, the counsel for the state Board of Education insisted that "permitting Jehovah's Witnesses to abstain from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and saluting the flag leads to more violence" from those zealous to punish the infidels, who (in the mind of this State functionary) had it coming to them.
"To believe that patriotism will not flourish if patriotic ceremonies are voluntary and spontaneous instead of a compulsory routine is to make an unflattering estimate of the appeal of our institutions to free minds," wrote Justice Jackson in a welcome repudiation of the earlier decision.
Although nationalist violence against those who abstain from displays of nationalist piety fell out of fashion following Barnette ruling, there is an occasional relapse. For example, Brad Compeau-Laurion was assaulted and thrown out of Yankee Stadium by police officers during a 2008 baseball game for the supposed offense of using the restroom rather than participating in the mandatory singing of "God Bless America."
Compeau-Laurion -- who eventually won a nominal settlement from New York City -- was not intoxicated, nor was he misbehaving in any way. Yet two tax-engorged bullies seized him, wrenched his arms behind his back, and dragged him out in humiliating fashion in front of a huge crowd. When he pointed out that it wasn’t necessary to hurt him because he was offering no resistance, one of his assailants belched something to the effect that things would get worse for him if he didn't shut up.
“Get the hell out of my country if you don’t like it," one of the thugs sneered at Compeau-Laurion as he was kicked out of the stadium. The goons then returned to the section where Campeau-Laurion’s friend was still sitting and defamed Campeau-Laurion, informing spectators that he had been intoxicated and had told them, “This country sucks.” Compeau-Laurion said nothing of the kind, of course, but in light of the way he was treated he was certainly entitled to.
America has never been plagued by the kind of fanaticism that led to people being harassed, beaten, mutilated, or murdered because they refused to profess allegiance to Mohammed and his religion, nor are we going to see this happen in the future. Crimes of that kind inspired by intolerant nationalism, however, are disturbingly commonplace. Any moral or material distinction between those varieties of fanaticism is too small to be measured by any instrument of which I'm aware.
War tends to destroy the critical distinctions between "country" and "government"; that's one reason why rulers are incessantly cultivating wars and similar crises. James Madison famously warned that no nation can retain its freedom in the midst of perpetual warfare.
When the artlessly misnamed USA PATRIOT act was inflicted on our country in 2001, the legislators who enacted that measure before it was written insisted that it would be a temporary measure, subject to renewal at regular intervals. Congress is now poised to make that act as immutable as the laws of the Medes and Persians -- thereby formalizing the state of perpetual warfare Madison warned against.
Mubarak's Egyptian torture state, one of the Empire's most lavishly compensated regional affiliates, has operated under an "emergency powers" decree for more than three decades.
Whatever results from the turmoil in Cairo, it is immensely significant -- and more than a little inspiring -- to see hundreds of thousands of Egyptians loudly and defiantly insist that their country doesn't belong to the government ruling it. That defiance hasn't been limited to large public displays.
Two New York Times correspondents who covered demonstrations in Cairo’s Liberation Square were among scores of journalists arrested and detained by the regime’s secret police.
As they were taken to a nearby secret police headquarters, one reporter asked a soldier: “Where are you taking us?”
"My heart goes out to you," replied the soldier. "I’m sorry.”
The reporters saw dozens of people, both Egyptian and westerners, handcuffed and blindfolded. The interrogator who subjected them to the display told them: “We could be treating you a lot worse.”
|Egyptian Christians shield Muslims at prayer in Cairo.|
The sounds the reporters heard during their confinement underscored that warning. From a nearby cell, they could hear a series of dull whacks -- the soft, percussive noise of human flesh being beaten -- followed by screams of pain.
They also caught snippets of a remarkable conversation:
“You are talking to journalists?” demanded the torturer.“You are talking badly about your country?”
The victim defiantly rebuked his tormentor: “You are committing a sin. You are committing a sin.”
How many Americans – of any religious background – would display such self-possession, such principled defiance, in similar circumstances?
On "Superbowl Sunday," as millions of Americans celebrated the unsustainable debt-fueled opulence of our consumer culture and the decaying might of an imperial Regime in steep decline, Christians and Muslims living at the periphery of the empire united in a peaceful rebellion rooted in a shared rejection of the supposed divinity of the State. While Egypt certainly isn't the land of the free, it has a far better claim than we do to call itself the home of the brave.
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Dum spiro, pugno!
who wants to bet that the guy in the photo is on roids?
Too bad more religions can't claim to have been persecuted like the Jehovah's Witnesses of the 40s.
A friend of mine just got from NY two weeks ago. He stated NYC looked more like Iraq green zone, with men standing around with M4 rifles, than the American he left two years ago while serving in the Army.
Too bad more religions can't claim to have been persecuted like the Jehovah's Witnesses of the 40s
I predict that the next victims of the mob will be Gospel-abiding Christians who are not members of one of the IRS-recognized corporations that are centers of the Great National Religion.
The first three groups put in the camps by Hitler were the Communists, his lifelong enemies, the Witnesses, who wouldn't serve his will, and the Masonic lodges in Germany.
My opinion is that he could not have any secret organizations in his country except the Gestapo.
Dear Vinny -
(and everyone else too,)
I actually read your story, Vinny - most of it. I feel truly sorry for you. You have suffered very much because of the dogmas you were ordered to "believe," without using the reason God enowed you with. Now, your karma has run over their dogma.
All of us, here, need to understand this: That there is often very little difference between the Rulers of the Leviathan State, and the Elders or Sanhedrin of ANY religion. They are BOTH means by which a small group of power-hungry men exert their will upon the lives, beliefs and actions of a vast mass of gullible followers, most of whom, like Vinny, are decent, honorable, kind folk trying to live their lives in a holy manner.
Just like the people of Cairo, who have finally rejected the religion of the Mubarak-Suleiman Security State, after suffering its oppression for a whole generation.
Whether the religion is Jehovah's Witnesses, AlQaeda, the British Monarchy, The Stars and Stripes, Nazism, Communism, Mormonism, Hezbollah, Zionism, or The Amoricon Empire, it does not make much difference.
Dear, poor Vinny, instead of splitting hairs over doctrine and scripture with the elders of your ex-Church, (and this applies too, to all those whose religion is Nationalism, Patriotism, or Jingoism of one kind or another,) remember this incident from the life of Jesus:
A young religious scribe (much like you,) came to Him and asked Him: Out of all the laws in the Torah, most of them in Leviticus, which one was the most important? Was it that one should not eat pork, or one should not combine meat and cheese, or one should not eat shrimp or lobster, or one should not wear cotton-polyester blends, or a woman with her period was banned from the synagogue? Out of thousands upon thousands of laws, which was the most important? (Mark 12: 29-33)
"And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
"And the second is like unto it, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
"And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but He:
"And to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices."
Vinny, if by chance you want to discuss more about the Truth, please write me at: email@example.com and ask whatever you like.
Here is something to soothe your soul - you will not understand the words, but your heart will understand the message:
God bless and keep you.
- Lemuel Gulliver.
Here are some videos of human beings, doing what we were put on this earth to do: Worship our Creator; Remember His gifts to us; and Love all of His creation......
Russian Orthodoxy - The Lord's Prayer:
Roman Catholicism - Pueri Concinite:
Bette Midler sings "From a Distance":
Protestant Inspirationalism - the Gaither Vocal Band:
Now, dear friends, if you have watched all those videos, ask yourself this question: Of what use is the Imperium of this world? How utterly paltry, how trivial, how tawdry, are all the pomp, and ceremony, and pride, and cruelty, of all the Empires of Man?
Mr. Grigg, thank you for pointing this out to us again, and again, and again. We cannot hear it often enough.
- Lemuel Gulliver.
This was one of your best. Well done, Will!
That picture of Christians protecting Muslims is awesome.
Does not "The WHOLE(not just a portion) world is under the control of the evil one" sufficiently point out the problem with this world and it's systems of religion?
Sadly, "JW" is one such religion, naught but another 501(c3) not-for profit corporation broadcasting "Lo here is, lo there" ;-(
The brethren of The Messiah have taken heed unto The Call to "Come Out of her, MY people" and no longer have their portion with those who follow "the broad way that leads to destruction"!
Thankfully they are but "aliens and pilgrims while on the earth" for their "citizenship is in Heaven"!
They have "Come Out" of this wicked world and it's systems of religion and have taken heed unto the exhortation to:
“Love Not The World”
”For the WHOLE(not just a portion) world is under the control of the evil one”.......(I John 5:19)
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world will pass away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of The Only True GOD will abide for ever.”(IJohn2:15-17)
“If you were of the world, the world would love it’s own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his Master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also.” (John15:19-20)
“Where do wars and fighting among you come from? Do they not come of your lusts that war in your members? You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war yet you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts. You adulterers and adulteresses, don’t you know that friendship with the world is to be at enmity with The Only True GOD? Therefore whoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of The Only True GOD.” (James 4:1-4)
“The world cannot hate you; but the world hates Me, because I testify that the works of this world are evil.” (John 7:7)” and “The Messiah gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of The Only True God, Our Father.”(Gal 1:4)
The Messiah testified: “If the world hates you know that it hated Me before it hated you.”(John 5:18) Truly, Truly, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die it brings forth much fruit. He that loves his life in this world shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall have it unto life eternal.” (John 12:24-25)
John testified: “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hates you.” (I John 3:13) “ James testified, “Whoever would be a friend of this world is the enemy of GOD”(James4:4)
"Come Out of her, MY people"!
Global warming, polluted air, land and waters, toxic wastes, sexual perversion, evil inventions of destruction, greed, hate, carnal warfare, dis-ease(no-peace),,etc,, are all destructive processes that have their root in “the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life” all of which fuel the fires of mankind’s “imag”ination ;-(
"Come out from among them and be separate"!
Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(no-peace) that is of this world and it's systems of religion, for "the WHOLE(not just a portion) world is under the control of the evil one" indeed and Truth......
Truth IS, a lie never was and is not.......
Abide in Truth....... francis
Everyone knows? Part 1
I recently ran across a great cartoon on the Internet. It showed a stick figure man sitting at his computer, with his wife out of the frame asking him if he was coming to bed. He replied, "I can't, this is important." His wife asked, "What?" And he said, "Someone is WRONG on the Internet."
I think that applies to me when I read Lemuel's stuff here on this blog. Anytime the subject of "religion" comes up, he frequently gets it wrong. Whether he is blaming the Jews for everything or missing the mark regarding Christianity, I feel like I have to correct him. Maybe that's not necessary here. Maybe everyone else knows that doctrine DOES make a difference.
Maybe everyone else knows that the JWs are a non-Christian cult, and it's not their failed prophecies or there silly rules about blood transfusions (Vinny's reasons for leaving them), but their denial of Jesus' deity and their denial of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone that makes them heretical.
Maybe everyone else knows that all cults deny the deity of Christ and/or salvation by grace alone. Maybe everyone else knows what Paul told us in 2nd Corinthians – that there is another Jesus, a different spirit and a different gospel. The Jesus of the JWs is the archangel Michael. The Jesus of the Mormons is the spirit brother of Lucifer. Both groups are out trying to earn their salvation. Maybe everyone already knows this.
Maybe everyone knows that most of the people singing very nicely in the links that LG supplied are not truly worshipping God, but just singing very nice songs that COULD BE used as worship. Maybe everyone else knows that Jesus not only told us that "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength," as LG reminded us, but that He also told us, "those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." So maybe everyone else knows that religion – thinking that you can make yourself acceptable to God (going door to door, riding bicycles, keeping commandments) – gets you nowhere, since those that deny the truth of God's word, i.e., most of the people in those videos, are not worshipping Him in truth.
To be continued.
Everyone knows? Part 2 (final)
Romans 1 tells us: "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened."
I'm not here preaching hellfire and brimstone or being legalistic, or anything like that. I'm simply trying to point out the truth that all roads DON'T lead to the top of the same mountain, since there are two destinations, not one. It is a damnable lie that we are all worshipping the same God, but in a different way, which is what Lemuel appears to be telling us, just as our "Christian" president George Bush told us about the Muslims. (Bush interview with Charles Gibson: GIBSON: Do we all worship the same God, Christian and Muslim? PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I think we do. GIBSON: Do Christians and non-Christians and Muslims go to heaven in your mind? BUSH: Yes, they do. We have different routes of getting there.)
Jesus told us He is the ONLY way to Father. So your own made-up god, your own religion, your own effort, following false religions like Islam or cults like the JWs, or singing nice songs like "From a Distance," or believing in some generic "god" or "creator" won't cut it. The "Allah" of Islam is not the God of the Bible. And Vinny, Jesus IS Jehovah. THAT is why you should have left the JWs, not because of their rules about blood transfusions.
So, bottom line, maybe everyone already knows this, and this post wasn't necessary. But if not, thanks for letting me voice my 2 cents. And, as always, great blog, Will - LLAP.
Simply this wicked, evil world and all it's religions, pagan catholicism and all her harlot christian daughters inclusive, are anti-messiah ;-(
"Come Out of her, MY people"!
And those who "love this world and their own life in it", those "whose god is their bellies and whose glory is in their shame because they mind earthly things" will not inherit The Kingdom of The ONE and Only True GOD, Father(Creator) of ALL ;-(
And so it is that the brethren of The Messiah are but "aliens and pilgrims while on the earth" for their "citizenship is in Heaven"!
Father Help! and HE does.......
I hope you get to read this, and can reply. You say there is only one God. OK, only one. Not two. Not one-and-a-half. Not one-and-seven-eighths. One. The Creator of all.
Who then are the Muslims worshipping? The Sikhs? The Buddhists? The Jews? All of them say there is only one God, and they are worshipping Him.
You say they are not. They are worshipping a different God. The wrong one. But who is that? You said there was only One. Which different God could they possibly be worshipping?
Either there are many Gods, and only you are worshipping the right one, or there is only one God, and everybody is worshipping Him in their own way. You cannot have it both ways.
Do you have an answer? I really would like to hear it, because this is a quastion I have been unable to answer myself.
PS: I would also like to know who is the neighbor Jesus advises us to "love as thyself." I notice there is no qualification in the text: He did not say, "Love thy Jewish neighbor," or "Love thy Christian neighbor," or "Love thy next-door neigbor," or "Love thy righteous neighbor." He just said "Love thy neighbor." When he was questioned about exactly this point, He told the story of the Good Samaritan, a people whom the Jews hated as blasphemous.
So does this mean we are not to love the Jehovah's Witnesses, or the Mormons? Or the Buddhists and the Muslims and the Jews? Some do not love Catholics. Some do not love Protestants. In Belfast, in fact, those were killing each other not so long ago, both in the Name of Jesus. Which side do you think was right?
Does one side always have to be right and the other side wrong? Perhaps both sides in a dispute can be wrong. Perhaps both sides in a dispute can be right. Is light a particle or a wave? They are mutually exclusive. Or are they?
"War tends to destroy the critical distinctions between "country" and "government"; that's one reason why rulers are incessantly cultivating wars and similar crises. James Madison famously warned that no nation can retain its freedom in the midst of perpetual warfare."
So very true! And the US government is constantly fanning and/or creating new "wars" - especially those on drugs, and of course on "terror". This last "war" provides government "justification" for enormous variety of regulations continuing and/or furthering the restrictions on voluntary interactions as well as furtherance of military interference virtually anywhere on the globe.
But the government enforcers are the key to these "wars"! Without them the government official statements/declarations would be nothing but words. Know any government enforcers? If they will not be persuaded by reasoned logic to cease their positions, then withdraw voluntary association - negative Social Preferencing. Shun these doers of physical harm! Have nothing to do with them! Do not do business of any kind with them, unless actually threatened with physical harm.
There are far more non-enforcers in any area than there are government enforcers - civilian or military. And always keep the following in mind:
Politicians and bureaucrats – rulers, whether or not they are fairly elected – do *not* get out into the field and enforce their own legislation/decrees/mandates/etc. Instead they depend on the enforcers to do the dirty work. Therefore the enforcers are the key! Politicians and bureaucrats simply talk and write, even when it is to give orders. Without the enforcers, the harm cannot be done! The enforcers are the key, whether police or military!
Strong negative Social Preferencing – withdrawal or refusal of voluntary association with the reasons made public – is selective (discriminating) association to exclude those who cause harm. It is a potentially *very* powerful method of non-violent action, referred to as ostracism by many down through the ages. It is included in Gene Sharp’s 2nd volume (of 3), “The Politics of Nonviolent Action”, Chapter 4, “The Methods of Social Noncooperation”.
Even in the current very unfree societies (of which the US is one despite its government’s claim of otherwise), negative Social Preferencing can be effectively used to influence individual social behavior and the actions of the State. In fact I wrote about this practice in general intended for use in North America in “Tax/Regulation Protests are Not Enough: Relationship of Self-Responsibility and Social Order” – http://selfsip.org/focus/protestsnotenough.html – but the general principles are applicable anywhere.
All through the scriptures we are told there is only one true and living God, revealed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And you don't have to go any farther than the first Commandment to have your question answered:
"You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God."
Why would God tell us to have no other gods before Him if He is the only God? Why would he talk about worshipping and serving idols? Because anything can be a god. Some people worship themselves, their career, whatever. Others create religions with phony gods to worship and serve – the "gods" of the JWs, the Mormons, Islam, e.g. Indeed, Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 8:
"… we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him."
"Allah" is not Jehovah. Mormons are polytheists and believe in many gods. Jesus is not the god of the JWs. And none of the gods of the world's religions, cults, or those manufactured by the average guy on the street, are the God of the Bible. We are born with a sin nature, in a state of rebellion to God, and we don't want to do it His way, so we make up our own. Those people are worshipping a god who doesn't exist, and cannot save them. As I said, Jesus told us He is the ONLY way. Take a look at that verse:
"I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."
That's pretty exclusive, isn't it? He is THE way, not one of a number of equally good ways. He is THE truth, not some of it, and HE is our eternal life (if we are in Him.) Not asking what would Jesus do, or following the Ten Commandments, or not killing someone. It is Jesus Himself – HE is the life. And no one (how many?) comes to the Father but by Him. There is no other way than Him. Not being good, not following commandments, not worshipping God as best as you understood Him, "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name." (John 1:12) Scripture is clear – there are two destinations after death, not one. And you are either in Christ, saved, or in the world, lost.
As far as your other question, I'm not even sure why you asked it. I don't believe I or anyone else said anything about loving your neighbor only if they are a Christian. It is often through love displayed to non-believers that they come to Christ. You are correct that there is no qualification. I don't know how this is an issue.
Where is the bellowing Beck and his blackboard? Seems that Christians doing the Christlike thing just doesn't jibe with his Caliphate refrain.
Quote from a comment, "All through the scriptures we are told there is only one true and living God, revealed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."
Ssdly, such a belief has a prime place in pagan catholic/christian theo'ry'logical folklore and is of mankind's "imag"ination ;-(
And because of pagan catholic/christian folklore "The Way of Truth is evil spoken of" ;-(
Hope is there would be those who would take heed unto The Call of The ONE and Only True Living GOD, Father(Creator) of ALL to
"Come Out of her, MY people"!
"Come Out" of this wicked, evil world and it's systems of religion!
Abide in Faith!
See, LG? Just look at the gibberish from "ElderChild." Another example of a deluded person who has rejected Christ and manufactured a god of his own making.
Simply sad for mr. s. for it is quite apparent that he/she is bound in the chains of strong delusion that is pagan catholic/christian folklore ;-(
Yet while there is breath(spirit) there is hope!
For Miracles do happen.......
Hope is there would be those who experience The Miracle that is receiving "the love of The Truth" for they will see The Light that is The Messiah.
"GOD said, "Let there be Light""!
"And there was Light"!
The Messiah, "the beginning of The Creation of The ONE and Only True Living GOD, Father(Creator) of ALL"!
Father Help! and HE does.......
I just came back here on the chance you had replied, and you did. Sorry for the delay in our dialogue.
Thank you for the courteous answer. I understand your points perfectly. I was raised a Christian, and unlike very many who apply that label to themselves, I have read the four Gospels end to end more than once. I have only dipped here and there into the Old Testament, but still know quite a lot of it.
If you get back to read this, I would like to ask: What happens to a child who is born a Sikh, or a Hindu, or a Buddhist, or a Muslim? Their parents belong to that religion, they are indoctrinated into its beliefs from birth, the whole society around them follows that religion, and they may never even get to meet a Christian person and hear the revelation of Jesus. Yet, they may be a good, moral person, do good works, and worship God in their own way their whole life, calling on Him by their own name for God.
Do you believe that the God that YOU worship through Jesus will condemn that person, when they die, to eternal hellfire, because they did not take Jesus as their Savior, and thereby have their sins taken away by His sacrifice on the cross?
If that is the One God that you worship, I am very sorry for you. Truly. It must be a very lonely and sad feeling to believe that the Creator of this Universe and the Father of Jesus, (who exemplified total love: "Greater love than this hath no man, than he that layeth down his life for his friend,") is such an arbitrarily cruel Being.
Or do you believe that the One God you worship can accept the devotions of those people whom you would call "heathens," and receive them into Heaven? If so, then Jesus would NOT be the ONLY Way, Truth, and Life. God would be denying the claims of Jesus.
Which is it? Is Jesus the exclusive Way to salvation, and God is arbitrarily cruel to the children He has created to be born in those other countries and raised in those other faiths? Or is Jesus NOT the only Way to salvation, and those souls have a chance of redemption through the mercy of God Himself?
Can you resolve that problem? Because this is the problem that caused me to leave Christianity. If you can give me a really good and logical answer, which nobody else has ever been able to do, I might return to Christianity.
One criterion I would ask you to adhere to, is to back up whatever your reply is, with a verse from the Gospels, and not with anything some human theologian or preacher has said. (I am also doubtful about some of the things said in the letters of the disciples, found in the back of the Bible, such as what they said about women, or about the Jews. If you can, please leave those out of your reasoning.) Thank you!
- Lemuel Gulliver.
Please do not waste the precious time we are given bickering over the doctrines of men, but rather spread the Gospel. Let God have his rightful position as judge. None of us can save or condemn one soul, that is only up to God. Our commandment is to preach the Gospel, not pass judgment. We live in a world full of evil, we cannot save ourselves and we will answer to God. An almighty eternal God is not defined nor bound by lines drawn by men. We are all imperfect servants of God, don’t let the forces of evil deter you from that fact.
Matthew 15:6, 8-11
You have made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition
This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. And he called the multitude and said unto them, Hear and Understand; not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man: but that which commeth out of the mouth, This defileth a man.
Judge not that ye be judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and behold a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thin own eye: and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy bother’s eye.
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses
For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasures of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account therof in the day of judgement. For by thy word thou shalt be justified and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
II Timothy 2:15
Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
LG - I have many things I would like to say, but I cannot take the time right now. It often takes paragraphs to reply to a single sentence, but since you are asking something that has been asked before by tons of people, I will provide a link to a brief video that allows me a lazy way to provide the answers to your questions. Over the next few days, I will try to add some additional comments of my own, but in the meantime, I believe this to be more than adequate. I can listen to Alistair Begg all day because I love his accent, and here he is addressing exactly what you asked:
Out of respect for your beliefs, I am taking the time to write you a long reply. Please read it..??
His accent is Scots. He's a very clear speaker - one does not have to wonder, "What did he just say?"
I listened to the entire speech. Only around Minute 27 did he begin to speak about other faiths, and thereafter all he had to say basically was that everyone should be respectful of other people's beliefs, but that nevertheless only Christianity has a resurrected savior and only Christianity is the true path to God.
That still does not answer my question about whether God condemns non-Christians to damnation, or whether God at the Judgment will overrule Christ's claim to exclusivity.
Let me give you a possible answer to my own question.
In 319 AD Constantine the Great decreed Christianity to be an approved religion of the Roman Empire, because his mother Helena had become a Christian. He did not forbid all the other religions and cults - worship of Mithras, Aprodite, Isis, Apoolo, etc. etc., because, as a politician and the Emperor, he wanted peace and order in his Empire.
In 325 AD he called all the Christian bishops of the Christian Churches in his Empire together at Nicea, about 80 miles from Constatntinople, decreeing that they MUST come up with ONE doctrine, ONE belief, and ONE canon of Scripture for ALL the Christian churches, of which there were about 50 in the Empire. This was because, over 300 years since Jesus' short ministry, for most of which these churches had been underground secret movements, and their followers martyred at every opportunity, during those 3 centuries their beliefs had grown apart very significantly. Remember, communication between them was difficult - there was no Postal Service, and travel was dangerous and expensive. Plus, they were in hiding from the "police." There were about 12-15 Gospels, and hundreds of ancient letters, books and commentaries, being used as Scripture in all these various churches.
Each bishop, or head of a Church, came to Nicea attended by scribes, theologians, advisers, and a personal entourage of porters, cooks, treasurers, and so on. There were thus about 1,000-1,500 people at the Conference. Some arrived early, and left early, some later, so there was a period of about 4-6 months in the middle when everyone was there.
Every few weeks during the Conference, the Emperor Constantine would travel down from Constantinople to hear what had been decided, since, being a politician and dictator, and wanting peace and order to prevail in his Empire, he did not want anything to enter Christian belief which would cause friction with all the other cults and faiths in the Empire.
He would then express his approval, or, if he did not agree with the results of the debate, he would ask the Bishops to go back and discuss their decisions some more. Remember, the Emperor had the power of life and death over every soul in the Empire, and his tolerance of Christianity was very recent. His opinions therefore were very, very influential.
As regards the doctrine of reincarnation, there were two schools of thought among the Bishops: The first school believed it was literally true, it had been taught by Christ, and that it was the only explanation for the apparent randomness of good and bad fortune in life, and the only explanation for the apparent capriciousness of God in conferring benefits and afflictions on human beings. This could only be explained as the results of deeds in a past life, for which one was being rewarded or punished.
The second school of thought reasoned politically, that if people believed this, then they would say: "Let us drink, steal, murder, and rape in this life, and have a great time, and worry about the payment later. Nobody has spoken from the grave, we do not know if this story is true, and so let us enjoy life and worry about it next time - if there is a next time." They believed that if, instead, Christianity taught that there is only this ONE chance to get it right, and the result of one's actions in this ONE life is Paradise or Hellfire, people would be easier to control, into the paths of morality and right conduct.
The doctrine of reincarnation lost, among the 50 or so assembled Bishops, by two votes. Two. Therefore, we can infer that almost half of the Christian churches held this doctrine so firmly, that the contra-argument could not sway them from the truth as they saw it. Some, no doubt, WERE persuaded by the political arguments, and voted against their conscience and belief, so it is possible that even more than half the churches held this belief. We do not know Constantine's opinion on this topic, and whether he influenced the vote.
What, then, would the consequence be today if Christians believed in reincarnation?
Why, the Muslims, the Hindus, the Buddhists, and all the others (BTW, Alistair Begg was very much misinformed on several of the tenets of other faiths,) could be seen as working their way through the consequences of their prior actions, and in a future life would be exposed to Christianity, and thus be able to choose Christ as their Savior and be saved from rebirth into this "vale of tears," and be able to take their place in the lap of Jesus in heaven.
Those who did not believe but were still good people, would be able to come back again, and have a second chance or a third chance. Only those who chose total evil, with a clear reason and deliberate vileness, (there ARE such people in the world,) would be punished with hellfire, and even they could be granted the opportunity to come back, make amends, take Christ as their savior, and eventually be saved. It is said that Judas now sits in the lap of Christ in heaven - he who betrayed the Savior for 30 pieces of silver.
Thus a loving God and his Son would, or could, eventually redemm ALL the souls of men, after those souls had acquired wisdom through many lifetimes, and turned away from evil deeds, and to God.
THIS, Mr. Spock, is the answer to my question.
Once the untruth, of one and only one life, had been introduced into Christian dogma, everything began to unravel, and more and more lies had to be told to suport this first lie. More and more, Christians were told to suspend reason and "have faith" in dogmas which were illogical, and which portrayed God as a heartless monster.
As a consequence, people turned away from God entirely, and said, "There is no God," because they reasoned that no loving God could allow such evil in the world as now exists. Convoluted arguments and hair-splitting multiplied, until the ponderous and clumsy Christian dogma of today is far removed from the simple, beautiful, and resplendent teachings of Christ.
By this one lie, the Bishops at Nicea laid the foundations for the demise of Christianity, which we now see occuring in Europe, and all over the world of thinking and reasoning people.
Nevertheless, Christianity is a beutiful belief, and if one reads the New Testament with a clear mind, Christ's teaching and doctrine shine forth with magnificence and clarity. In spite of all the additions, deletions, and misinterpretations that have been introduced to the Scripture over the last 1,900 years, the truth is STILL there, which is nothing short of miraculous.
I have no wish to change your beliefs, Mr. Spock, or those of Mr. Grigg. I am only a worm, a miserable aspirant to holiness, and if God wants you to see the truth more clearly, He can do so in an instant. All I have is speech and reason, while He has all the power in the Universe at His command.
But He does use us as as His servants to further His purposes, so if my words influence you, it is only because He wills it.
God bless you, and guide you in your quest for His grace.
- Lemuel Gulliver.
LG - I haven't forgotten you. Give me a couple of days and I will reply. If I get a chance, I will reply later today, but probably in a day or two.
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