Monday, 29 October 2018

The Bible Vs. The Qu'ran on the Sinfulness of Sin

The matter of sin in the Bible is a serious thing. God hates sin and can't abide it. In fact, Revelation 21:27 (KJV) shows how his holy city will be pure. "And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life."

But the Qu'ran, as far as I can tell, seems to make sin into a matter of something one merely requests in the same way as an apology for a mistake. Sura 2:58 (THE HEIFER) reads, And recall that We said, “Enter this town, and eat plentifully from it whatever you wish; but enter the gate humbly, and say, 'Pardon.' We will forgive your sins, and give increase to the virtuous.”

But sin is something only God can forgive. When Jesus said a paralyzed man's sins were forgiven, Luke 5:21 (KJV) reports, "And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?"

But sura 2:182 (THE HEIFER )  says, "Should someone suspect bias or injustice on the part of a testator, and then reconciles between them, he commits no sin. Allah is Forgiving and Merciful."

When it comes to vengeance, Paul wrote in Romans 13:3 and 4 (BBE) that "the government is placed by god to recompense murder.   "For rulers are not a cause of fear to the good work but to the evil. If you would have no fear of the authority, do good and you will have praise; For he is the servant of God to you for good. But if you do evil, have fear; for the sword is not in his hand for nothing: he is God's servant, making God's punishment come on the evil-doer.""

But the Qu'ran says in sura 2:178 (THE HEIFER ) "O you who believe! Retaliation for the murdered is ordained upon you: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the female for the female. But if he is forgiven by his kin, then grant any reasonable demand, and pay with good will. This is a concession from your Lord, and a mercy. But whoever commits aggression after that, a painful torment awaits him."

Sin is no "oops" but a serious affront to our heavenly Father. Anticipating people saying they could sin so more of God's forgiveness would come, Paul wrote in Romans 6:15 (KJV), "What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid."

I'll be writing more about the sinfulness of sin in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? I feel the same way our heavenly Father does when people treat sins as a mere booboo instead of what they are. Sin is the ultimate insult to our holy God, so much so that Christ had to die in the place of those who became his slaves through repentance.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Saturday Song: Neil Diamond, "The Pot Smoker's Song"

With Cannabis being legalized in Canada and some American states, this song is germane to the issue. If you listen carefully, you'll find that all the people speaking between the choruses tell the story of their broken lives and pot's failure to satisfy them.

Hear Neil Diamond's thoughtful song here.

Though marijuana wasn't known to people in the Middle East when the scriptures were being penned, we can easily use strong drink as an analogy. Both are mood-altering drugs and both dull a person's awareness.

According to the New Testament writers, we err whenever we let our senses become misled by alcohol. The Apostle Paul warned in Ephesians 5:18 (KJV), "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;"

Booze also makes people act stupidly. Proverbs 20:1 (KJV) warns, "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise."

I notice that in many passages of the Bible, drunkenness is used as a metaphor for God's judgement upon nations. Look at what Isaiah 63:6 (KJV) says. "And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth."

But some will argue that Jesus turned water into wine. Isn't that hypocritical? Christ's first miracle was an act of kindness and generosity to the wedding guests and their host. John 2:11 (BBE) gives another reason. "This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee and let his glory be seen openly; and his disciples put their faith in him."

So we can see that a little wine isn't bad for us. It's when we become totally out of control that God frowns upon our behaviour. It ruins our testimony too. And since both marijuana and cigarette smoke cause lung cancer, it's best to abstain from both.

What do you think of the song and what I've written? Please feel free to comment.

By the way, I'll be posting about the sinfulness of sin on Monday. The Bible portrays it as a horrendous affront to God but the Qu'ran says it's no big deal.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Was The Bible Tampered With?

As I wrote in my previous post, it would have been an impossible task to round up every copy of the New Testament books. Lectionaries written by the church fathers show that our New Testament books are indeed the ones used as the church spread across Asia Minor as well as Europe.

Bible scholars have thousands of manuscript fragments from which they constructed the entirety of the New Testament. Like putting many puzzle pieces from several sets together, they chose those fragments which were the same as what the Latin Vulgate Bible contained. Where scribal insertions were found in later texts, such as Mark 16:9-20, those were noted in newer translations as not being present in early manuscripts.

I've heard from various sources that the earliest fragment discovered so far was from thirty years after Christ's death and resurrection. But books purporting to be gospels were written two hundred years or later. Just from statistical probability alone, the earliest fragments were more likely to be accurate than those found later.

Jesus also said that his words would remain. Luke 21:33 (KJV) says, "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away."

Christ also promised that the scriptures would never be changed. Matthew 5:18 (KJV) says, "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one title shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."

We can therefore rest assured that what we have in our Bibles is the God-breathed truth. Paul told us in 2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV) that, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"

I'll be writing more about the reliability of our scriptures in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? People have been questioning the veracity of Holy Scripture but nobody has been able to find any outright lies in its claims. It truly is the Word of God.

On Saturday, I'll be dealing with the controversial topic of marijuana and featuring a song which tells the real story about drugs.

Monday, 22 October 2018

Which Book is More Credible, The Bible or The Qu'ran?

Islamic scholars argue that our Bible has been tampered with. Therefore, Allah sent Muhammad to bring the full revelation to humanity. The Qu'ran says in  sura 3:71, (FAMILY OF IMRAN) , "O People of the Book! Why do you confound the truth with falsehood, and knowingly conceal the truth?"

But we know that our scriptures are the same today as they were when they were penned. Firstly, scribes were meticulous in their copying of God's Word. According to Joe Casey, author of Understanding Islam, scribes would copy one letter at a time. They also counted each letter. If the copies had the wrong number of letters, and if the central letter was wrong, the copy would be rejected and recopied afresh.

We know too from the Dead Sea Scrolls that the book of Isaiah hadn't essentially changed in twelve-hundred years from the oldest copy scholars had before their discovery of those scrolls. Only minor mistakes such as misspelled words were seen in those ancient copies.

But according to The Hadith, Abu Bakr was the first to collate the texts of the Qu'ran from those who had been with Muhammad and heard his proclamations. Since he was dead, Abu Bakr had no choice but to gather together every fragment of information from those followers.

According to Toby Jepson's book, The Bible Vs. Qu'ran, all other Qu'ran were destroyed and only this official version became the standard.

But our Bible, especially the New Testament, couldn't have been tampered with. Since they wrote on papyrus sheets which were fragile, many copies were made and distributed. Paul even wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:27 (KJV), "I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren."

Paul also wrote in Colossians 4:16 (KJV), "And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea."

Additionally, church fathers wrote lectionaries, commentaries on the New Testament books. If all the verses quoted in them were collated just from those documents, there would be only eleven verses missing.

Furthermore, the New Testament books were translated into three different languages. It would have been impossible for any ecclesiastic le leader to gather and change all those copies. People would know right away that they had the correct version and not the doctored one from that leader.

This subject could fill a whole book but I'll write just the highlights in my next paperback called You Think You're Going to Heaven?On Thursday, I'll post more about the Bible and it's veracity.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Saturday Song: Ian Thomas, "Come the Sun"

In the late sixties and early seventies, it was trendy and hip to sing about Jesus. Many non Christian artists portrayed him as a first-century hippie who got killed for saying we should all be nice to each other.

Though I appreciated hearing songs about my Lord on the radio, I soon learned that those who name his name aren't always doing so for noble reasons.

Listen to this song here.

The people of the world can be excused for their ignorance but not the followers of Christ. Some folks claim to be believers but they just want his power and blessing. Matthew 7:22 (KJV) is a warning to such people by Jesus when Judgement Day comes. "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?"

Some folks become swept up in the emotional atmosphere of evangelistic meetings but they have zero interest in being Christ's disciple. As Jesus asked in Luke 6:46 (KJV)  "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"

And in a parable about the end of this age, Jesus warned in Luke 13:25 (KJV) that, "When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:"

So, what do you think of this song and what I've written? Please leave me a comment below.

By the way, I'll be posting about the credibility of the Bible verses the Qu'ran on Monday. Stay tuned for that.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Which Religion is the Misogynistic one?

Feminists, in general,  rail against Christianity, calling it misogynistic and patriarchal. But these folks fail to recognize their own hypocrisy. Having studied the Qu'ran, I find that it's far more patriarchal and misogynistic than what Christianity is accused of being.

For starters, the Qu'ran allows men to have up to four wives each. Look at what sura 4:3 (anNisa’) says. "If you fear you cannot act fairly towards the orphans—then marry the women you like two, or three, or four. But if you fear you will not be fair, then one, or what you already have. That makes it more likely that you avoid bias."

While it's laudable to provide for orphans and women who have lost husbands, the real God frowns upon bigamy. The Pharisees asked Jesus about divorce and he gave the heavenly Father's answer as to how many wives a man should have. Mark 10:7-9 (BBE)  says, "For this cause will a man go away from his father and mother, and be joined to his wife; And the two will become one flesh; so that they are no longer two, but one flesh. Let not that which has been joined together by God be parted by man."

Additionally, sura 4:34. (anNisa’) says that disobedient women can be beaten. "Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, as Allah has given some of them an advantage over others, and because they spend out of their wealth. The good women are obedient, guarding what Allah would have them guard. As for those from whom you fear disloyalty, admonish them, and abandon them in their beds, then strike them. But if they obey you, seek no way against them. Allah is Sublime, Great."

But what does God, through the Holy Spirit, say men should do? Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:25 (KJV), "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;"

And in Colossians 3:19 (KJV), Paul admonished, "Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them."

Regarding widows, the New Testament is clear that kinsmen or the church should care for those who are elderly. Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 5:16 (KJV) that, "If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed."

A few verses earlier, he said widows who are young shouldn't be put on the church list since they are likely to remarry. That insured genuine needs could be met.

I could probably write a whole book just on this subject. Instead, I'll add this to my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? Islam claims to be superior to Christianity but careful study has shown me how inferior it is, even to the Old Testament.

On Saturday, I'll post about another song mentioning Jesus. For a few years, it was trendy for secular bands to sing about our Lord.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Was Muhammad a Real or False Prophet?

Since Christ was more than a mere prophet, though he did hold that office, was Muhammad also God's prophet? Some Christians might be convinced of that but the Bible makes it clear who is and isn't a prophet which he had sent.

First of all, God sent prophets from Israel to the Israelites. As the scriptures in Deuteronomy 13:1-3 state, "If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, 'Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;' Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul."

And as I pointed out before, the Israelites came through the line of Isaac, the child of promise.

Additionally, God gave his prophets the power to do miracles. We see the works of Elijah, Elicia, Moses, and others which verify that those men were speaking for God.

But some spoke from their own notions, as Jeremiah 23:21 (KJV) shows. "I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied."

Notice too that when angels appeared to people, they always began by saying, "Fear not." But Muhammad claimed to have seen the angel Gabriel while he was in a cave. According to him, Gabriel never said "fear not," but he pushed him down and said, "Recite."

Additionally, all the prophets sent by God agree regarding what he spoke. Luke 24:25 (KJV) shows just how the message given to them was consistent. As Jesus told two of his followers, "Then he said unto them, 'O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:" Then he explained to them how the Christ had to suffer, die, and rise again.

Since Muhammad was a self-proclaimed prophet with no miracles to his credit, I'll write more about that in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? God never contradicts himself and neither do his messengers contradict what he spoke.

On Thursday, I'll show that it's Islam which is the misogynistic belief system, not Christianity as some feminists assert.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Saturday Song: Badfinger, "Dennis"

Parental love is so special. No matter how bratty a child can get, parents still put up with them and correct them. I remember when I pulled stunts like walking all the way to my dad's workplace, he assured me that he still loved me as my behind ached from the spanking.

Badfinger recorded a charming and touching song about a boy named Dennis and his parent's reassurances to him. I think it's one of their finest compositions.

Listen to the song here.

Sometimes our heavenly Father has to spank us when we stray. Proverbs 3:11 (KJV) reads, "My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:"

But God doesn't chastise us because he's mean. Look at what Hebrews 12:11 (KJV) says. "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby."

And as Jesus said in Revelation 3:19 (KJV), "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent."

Furthermore, God is like the ultimate father who provides what his children need. Luke 12:30 (KJV) says, "For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things."

So, what do you think of this song and the wonderful things our Father in heaven does for us? Let me know in the space below.

By the way, I'll be posting on Monday about Muhammad and if he was or wasn't a genuine messenger from God.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Did Christ Say He Was God?

Continuing along in my examination of differences between God and Allah, Was Christ really divine? Muslims assert that he was a great prophet but not the son of God. The Quran says in sura 2:22, THE HEIFER, "He who made the earth a habitat for you, and the sky a structure, and sends water down from the sky, and brings out fruits thereby, as a sustenance for you. Therefore, do not assign rivals to Allah while you know."

In Islam, joining or assigning partners to Allah is the unforgivable sin of shirk. This is so reprehensible to them that they are commanded to deal harshly with any "disbeliever" who teaches the doctrine of the Trinity. As it says in sura 3:151, FAMILY OF IMRAN, "We will throw terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve, because they attribute to Allah partners for which He revealed no  sanction. Their lodging is the Fire. Miserable is the lodging of the evildoers."

This sura contradicts what God said to Jesus and those watching his baptism in Luke 3:22 (KJV). "And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, 'Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.'" Notice that the Holy Spirit was also present, nullifying any argument against a triune God.

Furthermore, God called Christ his beloved son when he was transfigured, showing his pre-incarnate glory. Mark 9:7 (KJV) says, "And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, 'This is my beloved Son: hear him'."

But did Jesus actually say he was God? He didn't say those exact words but it's clear from the scriptures that he knew he was divine. In John 8:58 (KJV), Jesus answered the Pharisees question about how he could have known Abraham and yet he wasn't even fifty years old. "Jesus said unto them, 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.'"

That wasn't a poor grammatical choice on Christ's part. He spoke the holy name of God. Exodus 3:14 (KJV) shows that's what God called himself.  "And God said unto Moses, 'I AM THAT I AM:' and he said, 'Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, "I AM hath sent me unto you."'"

Because the divinity of Christ is crucial to our salvation, I'll stress its importance in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? If Jesus were a mere prophet, he couldn't atone for the sins of all who trust in him for forgiveness of sins. But since it's through him that we obtain salvation, we must believe he's divine and therefore able to pay our debt to God.

On Saturday, I hope to post about a touching song about a father's love for his rascal son.

Monday, 8 October 2018

Who Was the Child of Promise, Isaac or Ishmael?

Muslims believe that they descended from Ishmael, the son born to Abraham's concubine. But as the Bible says many times, Isaac was the promised heir. Quite naturally, Muslims think they're right and that our scriptures were tampered with. I'll address that topic another time but for now, I need to show how Isaac was the one promised to Abraham.

Now it is true that Ishmael was born first but he wasn't the child God promised to give Sarah. We can see that in Genesis 16:3 (KJV) where it says, "And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife."

But we see who the child of promise was in Genesis 17:19 (KJV), "And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him."

Since the word "seed" is singular, we know it means Christ. He was promised from the beginning to be the saviour of humanity. As Galatians 4:28 (KJV) explains, "Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise." All who belong to Christ are counted as children of promise.

We also can tell that Ishmael had a different temperament than Isaac. Genesis 16:12 (KJV) describes him this way. "And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren."

We who believe in Christ need to know the truth but we also must reject error. That's why I'm writing my book You Think You're Going to Heaven? Just as bank tellers can recognize a counterfeit bill, so we need to be so familiar with the truth that any lie will become blatant and obvious to us.

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Saturday Song: Klaatu, "Hope"

Did you know that there are two kinds of hope? The first is a wish for something good. The second is an assurance of good things from God Almighty. The first is based on wishful thinking but the second is based on the Lord's faithfulness.

A Canadian band called Klaatu wrote a song about hope. It's part of a concept album about a lighthouse keeper on a devastated planet. The last of his kind, this alien spent the last day of his life coming up with a universal prayer. Hope was the only idea which fit his criteria.

Listen to Klaatu's song here.

The Bible has much to say about both kinds of hope. One example of the first kind of hope, or the lack of it, is Job 7:6 (KJV). "My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and are spent without hope."

But we have the experiences of thousands of years of faithful believers that the trials of our lives aren't in vain. Psalms 31:24 (KJV) reminds us, "Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD."

Our hope is an abiding trust in our heavenly Father and his good plan for us. Psalms 38:15 (KJV) expresses this well. "For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God."

And like the psalmist wrote in Psalms 42:5 (KJV), our hope in our heavenly Father can lift us out of even the deepest depression. "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance."

The Apostle Paul, persecuted and on trial, held onto the hope promised to Israel and all who would believe in the Saviour. Acts 26:7 (KJV) says, "Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews."

This hope is more than a wish, it's a work of sanctification. As 1 Peter 3:15 (KJV) reminds us, "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"

So, what do you think of Klaatu's "hope" and what I've written? Please feel free to comment.

On Monday, I'll be posting about who the real child of promise was.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Was Muhammad the Prophet Like Unto Moses?

As I wrote before, Islam and Christianity aren't compatible. Neither does the Qu'ran agree with Holy Scripture on many crucial points.

This prophet, which Moses said would come, is a case in point. Look at what Deuteronomy 18:15 (KJV) has to say. "The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;"

Moses clarified the point in Deuteronomy 18:18  (BBE) when he said, "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him."

Notice that in these scriptures, Moses added "from among their brethren" to his prophecy. Those brethren he spoke of were the Israelites.

But Muhammad was an Arab. How could an Arab be part of the Israelite line? He also lived more than two thousand years later and in a completely different land than Israel.

Muhammad never claimed to be the Son of God but Christ did. As Jesus said in John 15:24 (KJV), "If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father."

Additionally, Muhammad did no miracles but Christ performed many. Jesus also fulfilled hundreds of Old Testament prophecies but Muhammad never did. Neither did Muhammad have a unique conception as Jesus did. And the body of Muhammad is still on the earth but Jesus rose bodily into heaven.

I could find many more examples of their differences but I'm sure you see my point. I hope the readers of my upcoming You Think You're Going to Heaven? book do too. Since Muhammad isn't the prophet like unto Moses, we can safely discard his commandments.

On Saturday, I'll be posting a blog post about one of my favourite songs by the Canadian band, Klaatu. Stay tuned for that.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Are God and Allah the Same Person?

This month, I want to deal with the subject of Islam. Certain people teach that we worship the same deity as the Muslims. They reason that since both religions claim Abraham as their father, it must mean we worship the same creator. This is obviously false.

If God and Allah were the same deity, the Bible and the Quran would agree with each other. After all, the Old Testament and the New Testament agree. Neither contradicts the other.

But the Quran gainsays Holy Scripture in many places. It denies the Trinity, the deity of Christ, and many other tenets of Christianity. And as I pointed out before, it calls Jews and Christians "apes" and "pigs."

Why would God suddenly change from being the heavenly Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to being a single entity? Did he forget or lie when he said in Malachi 3:6 (KJV), "For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed."

Jesus also said in Revelation 22:13 (KJV) that, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." How could he say that if he were a mere prophet as the Quran claims?

Furthermore, how could the Holy Spirit be a mere angel when Peter accused Ananias of lying to the Lord about the sale price of some land? Acts 5:3 and 4 (BBE) reads, "But Peter said, 'Ananias, why has the Evil One put it into your heart to be false to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land? While you had it, was it not your property? and after you had given it in exchange, was it not still in your power? how has this purpose come into your mind? you have been false, not to men, but to God.'"

This shows without doubt that God and Allah aren't the same entity. Just as two people can have the same name and yet be totally different, so we can see by these verses and other statements in Holy Scripture that the god of the Muslims is not God at all.

I'll be covering more of this topic in my upcoming book, You Think You're Going to Heaven? A god by any other name can't save people. Only the one who sent his son to die for the sins of sinful humanity can save us.

On Thursday, I'll post about the false claim that Muhammad was the prophet like unto Moses. Muslims think this is true but it obviously isn't.