I live in New Zealand, am an ICT Engineer for Rhema Broadcasting Group (http://rbg.co.nz), and have a Bachelor of Ministries degree from the Bible College of New Zealand (Now called Laidlaw College, http://www.laidlaw.ac.nz)
I can be IM'd at geoff at gurutoo dot com.
I was listening to the Michael W Smith song “Missing Person today, and I was struck by the line:
And like a child he would believe without a reason
I find this more than just a little bit annoying. Firstly, its a misuse of what Jesus says in Matthew about “becoming like a child”.
This means to unlearn everything the world has taught you to value, and to relearn how to live in the kingdom of God.
Secondly, How can you “believe without a reason”? There is no possible way you can believe something without a reason. At the very least, you believe something because someone you trusted told you something.
Its an old and very stupid thing that Christians, particularly evangelicals, hold on to. I can remember many Pastors preaching this. “Just believe like a chid” – WELL WRONG. Children believe like children, but then they grow up.
Christians do not, and should not “believe without a reason” – just like when you are at school, or anywhere else for that matter, if someone tells you something, or teaches you something, you dont “just believe it” – you take it with a grain of salt, and you go away and find out, or get a second opinion, consult an expert.
No, friends, there is no such thing as “believe without a reason” – and it marrs what would is otherwise a cool song (and Christianity!)
Its been a quite interesting case with many experts giving evidence. What’s also quite interesting is an article on creation.com where they detail the various kinds of evidence and some of the issues with it. The crux of their argument being that even experts disagree on evidence, which they are able to reproduce, and measure scientifically.
The problem is that whilst the CMI might consider themselves experts, they are not. They are “people who have an interest in firing guns” and not “ballistic experts”. When they DO employ “ballistic experts” they only employ ones who agree with their perspective on how they should interpret the evidence.
This is completely contrary to to facts, and good “Science”. Most of us study the texts to determine what they are for, what was intended to be said, its socio-historical context, its theological context, its historical theological context, etc. The “Science” involved in interpreting scripture is called Hermeneutics. This is what you do BEFORE you start making any scientific conclusions about creation. In fact, once you do this, you realise that any scientific conclusions you make about creation have very little bearing on what Genesis says at all.
They say this:
Further, with the lure of prestige, fame and fortune accompanying evolutionary ‘discoveries’ in academia today, and with most universities firmly ensconced within the reigning materialist paradigm, one would have to be naïve not to believe that much of the evolutionary interpretation is also influenced by the rewards that come with telling the ‘right’ stories.
Apparently evolutionary studies are not based on science, but because scientists are being bribed to manipulate the evidence. Its beside the point because the bible does not have anything to do with the study of evolution, other than the God who ordered the universe also made it possible for science to be done. Either that or all science is a lie.
I liked this article which popped up today on the subject: http://agreatercourage.blogspot.co.nz/2014/09/more-pannenberg-on-genesis-1-2.html
… when it comes to the past, an objective, reliable eyewitness account of events carries the most weight. When it comes to origins, the claimed evolution from the Big Bang onward had no eyewitnesses and has never been observed in the field or repeated in a laboratory
Of course we know this to be true. However, scientists can measure and observe, then draw a line backwards and get some idea of what happened. However, this same criticism is true of Genesis, because the author of Genesis was not present at creation either. Worse, the author did not ever intend the text to be understood as an explanation of WHAT (the scientific detail) but rather, the WHY (the theological implications of a God who orders the universe), and HOW (this God is the one God who is above all other gods, and understandings).
They go on to say:
By contrast, creation had the ultimate, most reliable and truthful eyewitness possible, the eternal Creator God Himself. And He has given us an account of that supernatural, six-day, once-off event—primarily in the book of Genesis, but confirmed by many other passages of the inspired Word of God. Noah and his family were eyewitnesses of the Flood judgment about 1650 years after creation, and God (and possibly Noah himself) ensured that the account was also recorded for us in the Bible. As in a court of law, let us take the objective, unbiased account of the ultimate eyewitness at His plain meaning when evaluating the evidence for where this wonderful universe, including mice and men, has come from. When we do so, we will find that all of the ‘forensic’ evidence available to humanity as made in God’s image makes perfect sense when interpreted in the light of that record.
God did not WRITE the Bible, he INSPIRED it. There is a huge difference, and the author of the passage in question was not recounting, as I said, the details of what happened, he was not there, he did not know. He was INSPIRED to write about why things are the way they are. He also was not present at the flood, and did not know NOAH.
These people have stolen what it really means to believe in creation, and the name “creationist” and perverted it into some perverted shadow of the truth.
Apparently, creationism is no longer allowed to be taught as science in UK schools, which is all well and good, but I hope they still teach about it, so that kids will have the information in order to decide for themselves.
You dont have to teach it as science – because it is not, its theology, but you do have to explain it as one of the major historical metaphysical understandings of how the world began.
I heard some guy spouting off the other day, about how he was “lukewarm” and that God was going to “spit him out of his mouth”. He was really quite worried and he was going to all these prayer meetings and charismatic meetings in order to “find his first love” so he could be “on fire” again.
Now, I’ve been there, and I know, it’s quite scary. The reality is though, that is not what Jesus is saying to the Church in Laodicea.
The problem is, taken out of context, the whole bible context, it can be made to mean that, but the author of revelation is carrying on a very vivid exodus theme through out his visions, and to divorce it from the OT is a travesty.
From Genesis 3, sin is spiralling out of control. One murder becomes murder for just touching someone (lamech). One wife, becomes many wives. When the relationship between God and humanity breaks down, so does relationships between humans. The consequence of Adam and Eve ceasing to rely on God for everything is that they begin to try and dominate each other (your desire is for him (to master him), and his is to master you). By the time we get to babel we have got to such a bad point that God has had to destroy people with a flood because of this. The nephilim are despotic rulers (liek gilgamesh) who take and do what ever they want because they are so powerful they seem godlike – recall the emperor in the movie 300?
By the time Babel comes around there are 2 distinct groups, those who “call upon the name of God” (there is a play with the name seth), and those people of “reknown” – people making a name for themselves. These people have come so far they make their own Ziggurat – we have records of such things from other ancient stories and they are always a pathway to heaven… a man made one. To make it worse, the people of babel dont have any natural resources to use, so rather than God supplied stone and wood, they use kiln fired bricks made with bitumen. They have so completely abandoned God they believe they can build their own resources and make their own way to heaven.
Likewise in Laodicea. The people of Laodicea are not “lukewarm” because they only kind of believe in God, in fact, they have abandoned God. They were known for their fine clothes made of wool from black sheep, and also for a special poultice which was used to treat eye ailments. The city was destroyed by an earthquake, and rebuilt by the wealth of its inhabitants. This city was known for its self sufficiency. The story is told that they had no natural water supply, so they built an aqueduct system. By the time the water got to the city it was lukewarm. Look at the text:
Rev 3:14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:
Rev 3:15 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Rev 3:17 ‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, Rev 3:18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.
Rev 3:19 ‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. Rev 3:20 ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. Rev 3:21 ‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
Clearly, Laodicea is being told that if they continue to rely on their own wealth, skills, knowledge, etc, they will not find their way into heaven. One gets to heaven by being reliant on God. Eden, the first heaven, is a place where God provided for his people, where they lived as God’s governors. All too often we (I) rely on our own skills/wisdom/knowledge/money/etc. But the faithful, recognise that there comes a point where this is futile, and place their trust in God.
A LAWYER lawyer has filed a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice to overturn the trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Kenyan lawyer Dola Indidis argues that the trial was unlawful and is demanding that Israel and Italy be held responsible, The Christian Post reports.
Mr Indidis, a Roman Catholic, and former spokesperson for the Kenyan Judiciary, filed the lawsuit regarding Jesus’ death with the International Court of Justice, the primary judicial branch of the United Nations based at The Hague in the Netherlands.
He filed the lawsuit against Pontius Pilate, several Jewish elders, King Herod, Tiberius (Emperor of Rome 42 BC-37AD), the Republic of Italy and the State of Israel.
“I filed the case because it’s my duty to uphold the dignity of Jesus and I have gone to the ICJ to seek justice for the man from Nazareth,” Indidis told the Nairobian in a recent interview.
“His selective and malicious prosecution violated his human rights through judicial misconduct, abuse of office bias and prejudice.”
The International Court of Justice has reportedly created a preliminary panel to consider Indidis’ case, but there is a small problem.
“The ICJ has no jurisdiction for such a case,” an ICJ spokesperson told website Legal Cheek.
“The ICJ settles disputes between states. It is not even theoretically possible for us to consider this case.”
Some poll results on what americans believe about conspiracy theories. 12.6 Million Americans believe shape changing reptilians run the worlds governments.. Put that in perspective, that’s 3 times the population of New Zealand. I’m keen on a good conspiracy theory myself, but I prefer the truth.
One in five voters (up to 66 million Americans, if the results can be extrapolated), believes that the U.S. government is covering up a 1947 UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico. This situation is not helped by the fact that H2’s America’s Book of Secrets made this exact claim last Friday night, just the latest in an endless media campaign that primes the public to believe in UFOs. Oddly, more conservatives than liberals believe in the UFO cover up.
More than one in four voters (as many as 88 million Americans), believes that a secret society such as the Freemasons is conspiring to take over world governments. This situation is not helped by Scott Wolter’s America Unearthed, which proposes a 2,000-year conspiracy by Freemasons to restore the goddess-worshipping Grail Kings as the true owners of America. More conservatives believe in the secret society takeover than disbelieve (35% to 32%).
Seven percent of voters (as many as 22 million Americans) believe the moon landing was faked, a claim that has appeared more than once on Ancient Aliens, though, to be fair, in competition with other ideas that the astronauts actually went to the moon to explore alien archaeological sites.
Four percent of voters (up to 12.6 million Americans) believe that shape-shifting reptilian creatures are running the governments of the world. This idea comes from David Icke, who simply replaced “Jews” with “lizard people” in adapting anti-Semitic and anti-Masonic world government conspiracies, the same conspiracies Scott Wolter attributes to a Templar-Freemason cult and Ancient Aliens attributes to an alien-Freemason alliance.
Fifteen percent of voters (up to 47 million Americans) believe that the government embeds mind control waves in television signals. Presumably these are not the same people who watch H2, unless the mind control waves only exist in over-the-air signals.
On our national poll this week we took the opportunity to poll 20 widespread and/or infamous conspiracy theories. Many of these theories are well known to the public, others perhaps to just the darker corners of the internet. Here’s what we found:
- 37% of voters believe global warming is a hoax, 51% do not. Republicans say global warming is a hoax by a 58-25 margin, Democrats disagree 11-77, and Independents are more split at 41-51. 61% of Romney voters believe global warming is a hoax
- 6% of voters believe Osama bin Laden is still alive
- 21% of voters say a UFO crashed in Roswell, NM in 1947 and the US government covered it up. More Romney voters (27%) than Obama voters (16%) believe in a UFO coverup
- 28% of voters believe secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government, or New World Order. A plurality of Romney voters (38%) believe in the New World Order compared to 35% who don’t
- 28% of voters believe Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks. 36% of Romney voters believe Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11, 41% do not
- 20% of voters believe there is a link between childhood vaccines and autism, 51% do not
- 7% of voters think the moon landing was faked
- 13% of voters think Barack Obama is the anti-Christ, including 22% of Romney voters
- Voters are split 44%-45% on whether Bush intentionally misled about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. 72% of Democrats think Bush lied about WMDs, Independents agree 48-45, just 13% of Republicans think so
- 29% of voters believe aliens exist
- 14% of voters say the CIA was instrumental in creating the crack cocaine epidemic in America’s inner cities in the 1980’s
- 9% of voters think the government adds fluoride to our water supply for sinister reasons (not just dental health)
- 4% of voters say they believe “lizard people” control our societies by gaining political power
- 51% of voters say a larger conspiracy was at work in the JFK assassination, just 25% say Oswald acted alone
- 14% of voters believe in Bigfoot
- 15% of voters say the government or the media adds mind-controlling technology to TV broadcast signals (the so-called Tinfoil Hat crowd)
- 5% believe exhaust seen in the sky behind airplanes is actually chemicals sprayed by the government for sinister reasons
- 15% of voters think the medical industry and the pharmaceutical industry “invent” new diseases to make money
- Just 5% of voters believe that Paul McCartney actually died in 1966
- 11% of voters believe the US government allowed 9/11 to happen, 78% do not agree
Some of you will know that I work for a radio/tv/media broadcaster in New Zealand.
We are a donation driven organisation, whilst we do have ads, they only make a small percentage of our income.
We are a small organisation, but from little old New Zealand, we have effected change and influence in Christian broadcasting throughout the whole world, and are trying to lead the way in this respect.
It takes a lot of money to broadcast radio in NZ (even just on AM frequencies – FM is worse, and TV is HUGE), and we rely on people supporting our mission to make sure we can keep broadcasting. I’m not asking for a tithe, just for money to help pay the bills. There are a lot of them.
Our goal is to encourage people in (and into) faith.
If you have some money spare, or would like to become a regular supporter please go here: http://www.lifefm.co.nz/supportdrive/
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The real slave master, keeping the human race in bondage, is death itself. Earthly tyrants borrow power from death to boost their rule; that’s why crucifixion was such a symbol of Roman authority.
We need to remember this..
People often think that resurrection means “life after death” or “going to heaven”, but in the Jewish worldview of the first century it meant an embodied life in God’s new world; a life after “life after death” so to speak.
By embodied, we mean “in a body” – not floating about in the clouds nebulously playing a harp.. In the end, “heaven” and earth will be the same place, that is, the earth will be renewed. We aint “going away” – we WANT to be left behind.. creation is our inheritance, not “nowhere”.
Luke 18:18Nowa certainruleraskedhim, “Goodteacher, whatmustI doto inheriteternallife?”18:19Jesussaidto him, “Whydo you callmegood? No oneis goodexceptGodalone.
The suggestion in some commentaries is that Jesus is pointing them in the direction of his true nature – that is, “you realise that you are calling me God, because God is the only one who is good?”
But I wonder.. is he saying in fact, “I am not “good”, I am human just like you.. only God is perfect”.
Note that there is a difference between “sinless” (in relationship with God) and being “good” (upright and honourable). It seems to me Jesus is actually saying, look, I understand its hard, I’m not perfect, I find it hard too.. but it can be done, and I am doing it, follow me.