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TOPIC: Clarifying Christianity

Clarifying Christianity 23 Jan 2016 01:32 #1

  • Robert Baird
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Yes, there are those good people who believe it is ok to eat your babies as the Bible allows or commands and at the same time think they are moral people. They actually say they read the Bible and have (sometimes) said they can prove it is God's word and yet also say that our schools give no alternative to Darwin's Theory. Now far be it for me to suggest I know Darwin's Theory better than they do or that Darwin himself did not believe he had the final answer which science still seeks. Yes, I know he saw merit in Lamarck just as epigenetics sees today and all so many of our threads here cover.

Nope - I guess I just don't read at all. Not the Bible or Evolutionary Theory, see Darwinism Evolving to demonstrate how utterly bereft of reading skills I demonstrate, and please don't go near my thread on Reading if you believe any of what these great and insightful scholars want you to learn.

Aside from their eloquent and fully logical explanation of how the Bible accounts for every fact of science we are yet to understand and still find mysterious - there is no illustration of how the Bible explains any of the things we have in all likelihood learned in the 2400 years or so since they cobbled together a lot of Phoenician myths (see Father of Biblical Archaeology) and made the Hebrew Bible. They are well versed in all linguistic developments which occur every decade or century in language and can tell us where Hebrew originated - but they did not. Here is how you should think Darwin's Theory is stated.

"Summarized briefly, Charles Darwin studied wildlife while on a voyage and he noticed the variation in the appearance of the individual animals. He guessed that this variation, given enough time, would allow these animals to change to the point that they looked different. This was not a surprising discovery, by the way. Anyone can examine different varieties of roses or cats to see this. This process of changing an organism’s appearance through a series of small changes is correctly called “microevolution” (with an “i”) and is not what we are referring to when we write “the theory of evolution” on this page. After a series of microevolutionary changes, a frog may be larger or changed in color, but it is still a frog—not a fish or a lizard."

In Canada we have some people who are so bigoted that they would not allow any woman to be ordained, to re-marry or have an abortion after her minister raped her as often happens. They are not unusual in their hateful ways which wish for Armageddon and regard gays (a significant proportion of the population even without considering how many people are not strictly one of two simple sexual genetic types) as the worst form of sinner. Preston Manning had his Stockwell Day who believed man walked with dinosaurs. You might not know those two names from Canadian politics even though they are very important, but you should know Mr. Harper who was the Prime Minister for a long time (too long = turning prisons back to corporate felons etc.). He took a very strong stance against Vladimir Putin who could be more humanistic than he is - both are definite candidates for control freak therapy and sociopathy. Here is a little on the matter from the Vancouver Sun.

"Evangelical political journalist Lloyd Mackey, author of The Pilgrimage of Stephen Harper, says the prime minister is a "cerebral" evangelical Christian who appreciates Buitenwerf and "speaks warmly of the influence" and intelligence of Trask.

Two other important religious mentors for Harper, according to Mackey and others, have been Calgary Conservative MP Diane Ablonczy, a fellow evangelical, and Manning, who like Harper is an Alliance Church adherent.

Foundational convictions

Indiana State Purdue University religious studies Prof. Philip Goff says the Alliance Church holds to four foundational convictions, which emerge out of its belief the Bible is without error.

The Alliance Church places an intense focus on the need for personal salvation, emphasizes the importance of leading a "holy" life and encourages spiritual healing, says Goff.

The denomination also stresses that Jesus Christ's return to Earth is imminent, says the evangelical specialist, who was raised in the Alliance Church.

Alliance Church rules, like those of other evangelical denominations, strongly oppose homosexual relationships, describing them as the "basest form of sinful conduct."

The Alliance Church is also tough on divorce and holds that Christians who have been adulterous do not have a right to remarry.

The denomination's leaders, in addition, oppose abortion, stem-cell research, euthanasia, the use of marijuana and ordained female clergy.

When Trask told his suburban Calgary congregation during a recent Sunday sermon about RockPointe's mission to be "relentlessly focused on the lost," he was reflecting the Alliance Church's belief in the need to rescue non-Christians from damnation. {See threads addressing Eternal Torment or salvation ideology. If you get 'lost' looking for them - you better watch your ass.}

The Canadian church's website features a list of sample prayers "for the lost," so members can pray for sinful non-Christians they hope Jesus Christ will save from "eternal damnation.""

The Philosophical Society brings us these wise words.

Alfred North Whitehead, Religion In The Making:

"Religion is what the individual does with his own solitariness...and if you are never solitary, you are never religious. Collective enthusiasms, revivals, institutions, churches, rituals, bibles, codes of behaviour, are the trappings of religion, its passing forms. They may be useful, or harmful; they may be authoritatively ordained, or merely temporary expedients. But the end of religion is beyond all this."
Last Edit: 23 Jan 2016 01:38 by Robert Baird. Reason: typo
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Clarifying Christianity 26 Jan 2016 17:49 #2

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Mary Rose D'Angelo teaches at Notre Dame and is a member of Common Sense (They should know about Thomas Paine therefore.). Her thoughts on Pedophiles and concubinage or celibacy are almost humorous if you enjoy sick perverse institutions getting their come-uppance as I do. Here is something from her on Angelfire. The other links take you to treatises of far more depth and controversy about Mary Magdalene. I cannot recommend anything about them but in the interest of fairness I give them to you.

Mary Rose D'Angelo

Each day’s New York Times brings a new installment in the never-ending saga of priests, pedophilia and diocesan cover-ups that is revealing to US Catholics that their church’s corporate ethic falls significantly below Enron’s. The issue in which my grade-school diocese (Bridgeport CT) made its appearance as sleaze pool du jour offered a particularly ironic juxtaposition with a story about the Vatican demand that the archbishop of Chiapas stop ordaining deacons for five years.

There was nothing new or startling in the story of about the Bridgeport diocese -- it was one more sordid tale of clumsy prevarication and legal stonewalling by ecclesiastical bureaucrats, their insurers and their lawyers. As elsewhere, their first concern was not to address criminal behavior but to conceal it -- in a series of secret settlements. The raptor settlements have proven to be as dumb as they were dishonest -- in the words of Yale Law school professor Peter Shuck : “In terms of avoiding the scandal and eliminating the liability, this is exactly the wrong to have done. It’s not simply a case of an organization whose agents have erred ...It’s an organization that knew about the improprieties and concealed them.” The article also analysed a larger pattern of diocesan lawyers fighting current accusations of pedophilia by using the statute of limitations (read -- “He did it, but you caught us too late”) and the separation of church and state (“He did it, but its none of your business”) and most recently, trying to bury the evidence under the Vatican’s diplomatic immunity ("Nyah, nyah, nyah"). The “legs” on this story were the suggestion of cross-diocesan collaboration on this pattern -- and the revelation of the past practices of Edward Egan, once bishop of Bridgeport, and now Archbishop of NY and another winner of the Arthur Andersen award for creative myopia.

The second article reported a letter from Jorge Cardinal Medina Estévez (Congregation of Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments) to the current bishop of San Cristobal de las Casas, Felipe Arizmendi. The deacons in question are married men, largely indigenous, who administer baptism and marriages, and conduct “non-eucharistic” liturgies in the remote and poor accessible villages that see a priest perhaps once a year. There are about four hundred of them, in a diocese that has ordained fewer than ten priests in the last forty years. They were recruited by the former bishop, Samuel Ruiz, who had sought to indigenize his diocese in an attempt to reclaim it from the missionizing of Protestant sects. Unlike the majority of the few priests, the deacons speak the Mayan dialects of the people they serve and among whom they live; they were trained in liberation theology. The deacons, with about 8,000 indigenous catechists are the bulwark of the “Native Church” he left behind on retirement. So effective was their work and his that Ruiz was a credible mediator between the Zapatistas and the government in the Chiapas uprising and his work to end violence in his diocese has made him a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize.

What is most striking about this narrative is that the Vatican explicitly identifies the moratorium on ordaining deacons as an attempt to undo Ruiz’ work. The letter warns that Samuel Ruiz, who retired two years ago after leading the diocese for nearly 50 years, offered a dangerous precedent : “If you continue augmenting the number of permanent deacons, the perceived danger is that the initiatives sustained by Monsignor Samuel Ruiz will be affirmed, impeding the normalization of ecclesiastic life in the diocese and sending an implicit message of support to the other ecclesiastical groups for an ‘alternative’ church model that could seem convenient for ‘cultural situations and particular ethnic groups.’” Shorn of ecclesiospeak, that seems to say : “Papa don’t ’low no mariachi playin’ here" -- no pre-Columbian symbolism, no liberation theology, no Zapatista sympathizers. In most villages that will also mean no ministry in their own language, and indeed, no regular communal worship at all. Arizmendi tried to explain the “cease and desist” order as pro-priesthood rather than anti-diaconate, arguing that the church “Jesus built” was not based on deacons , who are supposed to be collaborators.” This justification is fraught with historical problems. The career of Jesus was completely innocent of the structures of deacon, priest and bishop; these functions were still loosely defined throughout the second century. If anything, Ruiz’ “native church” seems to be not only one significant realization of the vision of Vatican II, but also a pretty good reflection of the (admittedly wildly variable ) churches of the first three centuries. But beyond the question of accuracy, does the curia really think that cutting down on deacons will increase the number of priests? What can this kind of “normalization” mean in a diocese that has ordained fewer than ten priests in 40 years? Hara-kiri?

What is the dangerous “abnormality” of the Chiapas diaconate? It seems to be twofold : that the roles of deacons are not adequately distinguished from those of priests (given that most of the diocese rarely sees one) and the roles of the deacons’ wives and widows are not adequately distinguished from those of the deacons. In other words, when the Vatican destroys the pastoral work of Samuel Ruiz and promotes bishops who bury sex abuse cases (like Edward Egan) they are concerned with the same goal : the desire to maintain the closed circle of a male and celibate clergy.

Numerous apologists have argued that celibacy isn’t the source of this problem--and it’s undoubtedly true that celibacy doesn’t create pedophiles -- the plane loads of married westerners who invade Thailand for sex tourism make that clear, as do the many men and women with or without religious commitments, who live celibate lives and show no need to prey upon either children or adolescents. But pedophilia is not the real problem in this scandal -- the real problem lies in the longterm policy of addressing ecclesiastical wrongdoing with lies, secrecy and silences. A married clergy and the ordination of women would incorporate permanent outsiders into the system. It is worth noting that in so far as there were whistleblowers in the Enron scandal, they were women.

Mary Rose D'Angelo teaches Theology at Notre Dame and is a member of Common Sense.
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Clarifying Christianity 26 Jan 2016 18:21 #3

  • Robert Baird
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If you actually study and learn you might be able to participate in stopping the wars and racism which come out of falsehoods in religions.

The power over non-religious people who wish this to end or the power over the brainwashed sheep must be diminished at a minimum - or we can be pretty certain some level of Armageddon will be forthcoming - they actually want this. Who are THEY? THEY are the ignorant!

The OP demonstrates a little of the facts we can be certain of in reference to the Roman religion which is what any who believe in the NEW Testament follow - not just Catholics.

I have not read the following book which was not available when I wrote many books on the points he addresses. It seems to mirror my points as well as his other book The Invention of the Jewish People. (See threads on the Diaspora, Hyksos and Exodus for a sampling).

One reviewer says if people knew what is written in these books we might see an end to all the Holy lies and liars - but it will take more than all people learning history to begin to find any truth in all religions.

"“Anyone interested in understanding the contemporary Middle East should read this book.”—Tony Judt, In praise of The Invention of the Jewish People

“Perhaps books combining passion and erudition don’t change political situations, but if they did, this one would count as a landmark.”—Eric Hobsbawm, In praise of The Invention of the Jewish People

“A thought-provoking, readable, and important work.”—Publisher's Weekly

“... there is much to enjoy and learn in the evidence in the potentially incendiary material [Shlomo Sand] assembles here.”—Electronic Intifada

“[Sand] critically consider the ways in which the Zionist colonization of Palestine and the establishment of the State of Israel have been justified by claims of ancestral lands, historical rights, and millennia-old national yearnings, all of which he proceeds to critically undermine as either justifiable reasons for mastery over the land of Palestine/Israel or even representative of longstanding mass Jewish aspirations.”—Book News

“This groundbreaking new historical work from a highly controversial author undoes the myth of the Jewish people’s historical right to the ‘Land of Israel.’”—

About the Author

Shlomo Sand studied history at the University of Tel Aviv and at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, in Paris. He currently teaches contemporary history at the University of Tel Aviv. His books include The Invention of the Jewish People, On the Nation and the Jewish People, L’Illusion du politique: Georges Sorel et le débat intellectuel 1900, Georges Sorel en son temps, Le XXe siècle à l’écran and Les Mots et la terre: les intellectuels en Israël."
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Clarifying Christianity 07 Feb 2016 20:48 #4

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Fraud should be the assumed cause of any report on most Christian claims that suggest there is truth in their scriptures. Even Christians like are getting fed up with it.

"The following is an expose of W.A.R., Wyatt Archaeological Research and Ron Wyatt.

Since the magazine "Dew from Mount Hermon" published the article "A Great Christian Scam" exposing the so-called discoveries of Ron Wyatt as nothing more than a great hoax perpetrated upon the Christian community for money and fame, Joel Davenport, the manager of WAR's Internet site has published an article located at their web site accusing me, Gary Amirault, of not telling the truth. In the article I did not disclose the names of my sources since the article only went to a few hundred subscribers who trusted my reporting. I didn't feel providing names and addresses was necessary. But since Mr. Davenport's extremely distorted assessment of the accuracy of "A Great Christian Scam," and since WAR and associates are continuing to defraud the Christian community by selling videos, books, speaking engagements, trips to Israel, enticing investors in further digs, etc., all based upon discoveries which were never made, I feel it is time to lay out enough evidence to make it perfectly clear to any sane individual that we are dealing here with nothing short of an outright scam.

I have telephone interviewed most of the people on WAR's Noah's Ark video. Not one single person I spoke with on that video presently believes that Ron Wyatt's site is Noah's Ark. Some are outraged that Wyatt is still using film clips which make them look like they are substantiating Wyatt's claims when, in fact, the opposite is the case. Listed below are some of the individuals who appear on the video. Compare the story WAR continues to sell with the actual words written by the scientists after doing extensive research on the site. They no longer believe it is Noah's Ark. They believe it is a natural geological formation. As to the so-called discoveries on Ron Wyatt's video entitled "Presentation of Discoveries," those interviewed whom Ron Wyatt presented with his "facts" put little or no archaeological value on any of the material. "Fraud" was the word most often used when discussing these so-called discoveries. Read the letters from archaeologists within Ron Wyatt's own denomination, Seventh Day Adventist, and you will see that even those who would have an interest in substantiating Ron Wyatt's claims find little or no scientific evidence to support any of these discoveries.

As to Ron Wyatt's organization being non-profit and as such having no investors, I spoke to businessmen and television producers who have invested money into Wyatt Archaeological Research for television rights. There have been many tens of thousands of dollars invested in WAR. To date, none of those who invested this money has seen a shred of scientific evidence substantiating Ron Wyatt's claims. Where is the report from the blood sample analysis of what Ron claims is the blood of Jesus Christ? Where is the Ark of the Covenant? Which museum is housing the ancient chariot wheels he claimed to have been from the Red Sea Crossing? There is no evidence because the video is a fraud. On the Noah's Ark video, all the so-called scientific data cannot be duplicated, a clear sign that what was given the labs was false data. (Read John Baumgarten's and Tom Fenner's letter)

In summary, "A Great Christian Scam" was written to warn the readership of "Dew from Mount Hermon" magazine of Ron Wyatt's deception. That was as far as I planned to tell the story. Since the story appeared on the Internet, we have received many inquiries from many Christian organizations asking for more information. Since Joel Davenport has chosen to publish a very misleading article written to discredit my article, I felt it necessary to release further documentation of the overwhelming evidence against WAR's claims of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time. Read the letters. Write or call some of them. Those professionals who have seen the evidence (or lack thereof) and those who have had dealings with Ron Wyatt will make it plain to anyone that WAR's discoveries are hoaxes.

Since this report has been published, Ron Wyatt died. Yet there are many individuals who are promoting Ron Wyatt's claims. Here are a few such individuals: Jim and Penny Caldwell, Richard Rives, Pinkowski, Mary Nell Wyatt, John McCoy, Bill Fry, Kevin Fisher, Jonathan Gray, Rebecca Samsing, Lenneri Moller and Henry Gruver, and Jim Bakker.

For other reports on Wyatt Archaeological Research see the following Internet sites:

Christian Information Ministries
Bill Crouse, President
Christian Information Ministries

Creation Magazine
Amazing Ark Expose'
Andrew A. Snelling PhD. Geology
Answers in Genesis"
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