Saturday, January 30, 2010

Revelation 14:9-11(Hellfire proof texts explained!)

The following video is an excerpt from Ed Fudge's book "The Fire that Consumes" (pages 186-190)..I didn't read every point he made trying to fit it all under 11 minutes.I'm sure he wouldn't advocate all of my theology but we agree on this point.The man is not a JW.I have no idea why the audio is suddenly so bad on youtube with my videos..It's fine till they get uploaded.

Couple points:

Jesus Christ paid the FULL wrath of God against sin on the cross.Is Jesus in eternal conscious torment?If not,then how was God's wrath against sin actually demonstrated upon him?Unrepentant sinners will have to pay their OWN price because they didn't accept Christ's payment ..torture leading to death.Just as Christ demonstrated.Otherwise,God lied when he said his wrath against sin was poured out upon His Son.He also lied to Adam when he said sin equalled death and ashes,then elsewhere defined death as a cessation of thoughts and existence,a lack of breath and life.What he REALLY meant was ashes..but THEN eternal conscious torment and that death equals eternal life(sometimes in agony),right?That the wicked inherit everlasting life,right?Only if you believe Satan and not the bible,who says God ALONE is immortal..and also now Christ of course.If God and Christ ALONE are,then why do Christians say everyone is?

A possibility that Ed didn't raise in relation to "NO REST day and night" is that this is in stark contrast to the righteous who will enter God's rest in the kingdom.In other words,the wicked don't receive that blessing.Ever."Day and night" Ed points out is genitive here,and doesn't have to mean a literal forever.In Isaiah 34:10 "night and day" is used for the smoke of Edom,and the language in Revelation here is borrowed from that.I can assure you that smoke has gone out,but wasn't,when it lasted,limited to either a night or a day.The eternality of it is in relation to its being an eternal and silent witness to the reality of Edom's ETERNAL destruction.What is eternal is the effect of the judgment rather than the process of it,the smoke SYMBOLIZING the destruction,the eternal one.Similar to "eternal redemption" being a ONE TIME redemption with everlasting consequences as opposed to an "eternal redeeming process."Christ's payment was a ONE TIME thing.As for "forever" in scripture,it doesn't always mean a literal forever,but rather only for as long as what is being spoken of exists.

To quote Steve Scianni from his essay "everlasting torment examined"

Ages of ages is an indefinite amount of time finding its duration in connection to the object referred to.

We might also recall the smoke rising forever and ever in Isaiah 34 and Revelation 19:3 as denoting an indefinite but limited amount of time. Also, 2 Kings 5:27, Psalm 83:17, Matthew 21:19, and Philemon 15 are among numerous examples of the word forever limited to the duration of the entity spoken of.

Examine Jonah 2:6: To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
the earth beneath barred me in FOREVER.
But you brought my life up from the pit,
O LORD my God.

So Jonah said he was barred in the fish forever..Was he?Obviously,forever often means "for as long as what is spoken of lasts" in the bible.

Regrettably,I used images here that are from a Satanic film,the Passion of the Christ.I JUST watched a revealing documentary about the film that exposes the truth about it.Here's the link to the first part:

I would remove this video but I simply do not want to remake this(I erased this one from my pc and so can't just easily erase the images from the original) and I think the truth in this vid is too important to discard and needs to remain out there.But I do apologize for the images from the film.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

John 2:19-21 for trinitarians.Did Jesus really die for you?

Watch the whole video please for some important reasoning.Then read this blog for something to ponder:

I present here SEVERAL possible interpretations of John 2:19-21,none of which I am dogmatic about.The most likely one to my reasoning is the figurative one.Jesus really died and God's definition of death is a cessation of breath & life.(When your spirit returns to God that means you have to count on Him to restore your breath of life in the resurrection.Just like he breathed into Adam's nostrils that breath of life animating Adam and giving him breath & life.Adam was NOT ALIVE until he did.And he didn't blow into Adam's nostrils a separate person/entity.He did the same thing for Jesus on the third day.And he'll do the same thing for us in the resurrection like he did for Jesus.)Simply put,if you believe Jesus was breathing(when our spirits leave us that means our breath does),had consciousness(ec. 9:5), and was able to think while he was dead(ps 146:4),then you neither believe God's definition of death nor that Jesus died at all.That is SERIOUS.Does metaphorical sleeping(used to connote God's ability to wake one up in a resurrection) actually suggest to you "wide awake somewhere?"(Matthew 9:23-25, John 11:11-14, Jeremiah 51:39, Acts 7:60)If not,again,from where did you get your definition of death?Again,if our spirits leave us that doesn't mean we're alive.It means we lost our ability to think,move,exist and breathe!And only God can return those abilities when He resurrects us through Christ,just like he did FOR Christ on the THIRD day.Amazingly,Christians think when our breath(aka spirit) leaves us that means a separate entity escapes immortal.Philosophy of man has erased truth for Christians on this integral matter.It also allows them to hold tight to the trinity doctrine because they know God cannot die.One lie leads to another.

I found this in my documents but can't find the site addy :(It's from a webpage though and ALSO makes sense to me!)When I said there are many possible interpretations I wasn't kidding.

Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it. (1 Cor 12:27)

It should be clear from scripture, then, that Jesus was referring to his spiritual body—his Church—when he said after three days he will raise it up. And sure enough, this was his primary objective after his resurrection—the raising up of Christians into his spiritual body, who would comprise Gods temple, and in whom the Holy Spirit would dwell. They would carry on his work into the future, down to our day. Indeed, on the very evening of his resurrection, precisely and immediately after the three days of death, he appears to disciples, commissions them, and breathes on them saying, receive the Holy Spirit. (Jn 20:19-22). He thus begins the raising up of his body as he prophesied.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

How discreet are the faithful and discreet slave?

I have no idea why the audio sounds so hideous.It's perfectly fine until it gets uploaded to youtube.

This was partially inspired,again,by the MUST READ "Crisis of Conscience" by Ray Franz.

First let me say there are many good things about Jehovah's Witnesses..but JW's already know that!There are many good things about almost every religion..should I excuse all the bad because of them?If not,then why should JW's excuse the bad in THEIR religion because of the good?Wouldn't that be hypocritical to expect others not to do so but then to do so yourselves(if you're a JW)?

As for who the faithful and discreet slave are,I am going to assume like most Christians that all true Christians are "slaves" of Christ,and that if they are "faithful and discreet",caring for one another and handling the word of truth aright,then they are "faithful and discreet slaves."There is nothing in the texts to suggest that it is the men in the higher echalons of the Watchtower bible and tract society.Changing light is neither inspired nor discreet when it has resulted in mishandled sheep.

If just ONE Jehovah's Witness sees this and ponders the injustices and bloodguilt in the society,then that's enough for me.Organizational policies and legalistic standards are not the way to salvation.In fact,they're Pharisaic..When I was a JW,because of how controlled my mind was by constant meetings and WT literature,I HONESTLY believed these men were God's channel of communication.The bible became secondary,naturally.If you read everything they tell you to read,there's not much time for anything else.I believed I needed to be in their organization before I could be saved.I trusted them.Then I discovered the deceitful rhetoric,the lies,the history,the origin,the cover ups,the bloodguilt,the hypocrisy,the dangerous doctrines,the burdensome dogmatisms.etc.God prefers humility,grace,truth and justice.Christ is the answer.He is the "ark",the way,the truth and the life.The mediator.Not men.Not a "society",and not time slips or meeting attendance.

About the blood doctrine,EVEN IF you as a JW think the WT society is correct,you must at least consider that the NT reiterates the OT and ALL the blood that was mentioned from which to refrain was consuming that of deceased animals.Therefore,why would you jump to "possible life-saving blood transfusion" from that?If you hold the sanctity of life in as high a regard as Yah does,I do hope you'll at least consider that,if anything,this issue should at least be up to the individual conscience and not the policies of men who are interpreting a text outside it's OT context.Who have flip flopped over deadly doctrines many times.And how much blood product is allowed,taking control of YOUR conscience.And expecting you to change your mind tomorrow if they do.

Some SERIOUS flip flops to ponder:

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Romans chapter 9 for Calvinists part 2

What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion." So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. (Romans 9:14-16)

All these texts indicate is that Jah is the ultimate judge and who are we to question His perfect justice and righteous decisions,as His love and mercy are toward those he finds worthy and his wrath,culminating in complete destruction in the Second Death,is perfectly warranted as well,due to impenitence and unrighteousness,as indicated throughout scripture.Romans 9 may not address WHY God has mercy and compassion on some and not others(only indicating that it is whoever he wills to) ,but it isn't like we don't have the rest of scripture to elaborate why he wills to have it on some and not on others..When these texts say that OUR will isn't considered here,it doesn't mean we don't possess free will,but that GOD is the ultimate judge as to who has abused it or used it well,and that we have NO say in the matter of how he will judge us.There are no more appeals and cries once that judgment has been made righteously and justly.But what we can know is that he judges according to our faith,repentance and conformity to his standards simply because scripture indicates these basic facts throughout its pages.Just to reiterate,again,Paul was anticipating the objections ISRAEL would have to being rejected due to their rebellion and sin,NOT the foreordination of individuals' eternal destiny.In other words,how dare such an impenitent people question God's disposition and lack of mercy toward them when they denied His very Holy One,his Christ!Obviously,he didn't ARBITRARILY reject them nor force then to either sacrifice their children to Molech in the past(He said it never entered his mind!) nor to reject the Messiah.In fact he pleads for anyone willing to start exercising faith in righteousness.

Let's examine the following to see who God has mercy upon and WHY:

Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:7)

... be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble." (I Peter 5:5b)

Scriptures like these are exceedingly abundant in the bible..And only eisegesis and bias and throwing logic by the wayside could possibly result in a Calvinistic interpretation.It's time Calvinists stop interpreting texts "in light of Romans 9",(which Calvin has a skewed and dishonest interpretation of to begin with,as if it doesn't even have context),but instead let the entirety of scripture actually speak and make sure Romans 9 doesn't conform.And sure enough,it does!After all,all scripture works harmoniously and the entire bible shouldn't have to have a concept read into it that CLEARLY doesn't fit (but by the fallacious force of fallible men)just because certain people can't exegete one chapter in the bible in context(especially its OT context)and realistically.

For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth." Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. (Romans 9:17-18)

Again,this text gives no indication that he hardens people who aren't disposed to being hardened by their own actions and stubbornness..In correlation with God's will working in concert with ours,there are a number of texts in Exodus that say Pharaoh hardened his own heart.So when GOD hardened Pharaoh's heart,He was doing something that gelled with the wickedness Pharaoh already harbored,and not some arbitrary task.He could've simply murdered Pharaoh,but instead he gave him every opportunity to repent,presenting scenarios where Pharaoh could either soften or harden his own heart.God allows for us what he sees in us,giving us over to evil if that's what he perceives in us.(Romans 1:24)As the great reader of hearts.. Of course,despite this golden opportunity,Pharaoh did not repent and God showed his power in him.God uses even wicked people for good sometimes and to showcase his power but that does not in any way equal foreordained salvation or condemnation for individuals based on a haphazard decision ultimately equalling a duck duck goose type of game/scenario.Again,even Paul could've rejected God's grace and molding and rebelled.But his heart accepted the gifts and mission, and so he was humble and faithful.And THAT is what will result in his eternal salvation,as opposed to God molding him for a specific purpose.Otherwise,Solomon would've been eternally unable to trangress to the point of loss of favor if God was so controlling over those He manipulates to accomplish certain spectacular purposes that He wills.But,alas,Solomon lost favor.And if I'm not mistaken,Calvinists don't believe if you're saved that that can ever be lost.Yet to say Solomon wasn't saved when he was actually in God's favor before he lost it,to me,sounds positively ridiculous.Scriptural clarity reiterates my sentiment,indicating that we MUST ENDURE in the race and to BEWARE that we don't fall even as we stand.What in the world are these warnings for in the world of Calvinism?Only reading a bias theology INTO texts could result in one believing that salvation cannot be lost if one unrepentantly transgresses after having been saved.When Jesus says things like "no one can snatch them(his sheep)out of my hand" ,it has to mean,in correlation with the rest of scripture,that the TRUE sheep will remain faithful and it is THOSE that cannot be snatched.Obviously,some sheep who aren't true CAN fall away.(Otherwise,many texts are meaningless.)That get "grafted out" after having been "grafted in".One cannot be "grafted in" if one isn't favored by God nor "grafted out" if one cannot lose that favor,which happens,according to scripture,due to unrepentance and unrighteousness that God never attributes to himself.Is God unrighteous?NEVER may that be said!

You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?" But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?" Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory ... (Romans 9:19-23)

Let us see why God has some vessels for honor:
(II Timothy 2:20-21)-if anyone cleanses himself , he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.

My explanation here is about the same as it was for the previous verses.The scripture doesn't indicate WHY some are used for honor and some for dishonor..only that they are.Given an enormous number of cues throughout the bible,the only conclusion I have is that he honors those in His justice who are humble and good and dishonors those in His perfect justice who are haughy and unrighteous.Paul says these things,again,anticipating the reaction of the nation of Israel to being rejected by God.But we know WHY it was rejected..Was it because God was partial and haphazard and arbitrary?Of course not!It was because they were impenitent and haughty and rejected,even killed, the Messiah.When people are haughty,unrepentant,unrighteous,rebellious,gross sinners..there should be NO question as to why God prepares their souls for destruction and their vessels for dishonor!Because they deserve it,plain and simply.On his scales of divine retributive justice,they are abhorrent for rejecting the Messiah,among other hideous things.Israel and the godless people in it(not all of them of course!) would never be able to justifiably inquire WHY God will cease to continue to show favoritism toward it(and even when He did,the individuals who weren't decent and obedient were NOT "saved").As for the vessels of mercy..again,why not look at scripture(the lot of it!) to determine upon whom He will have mercy and why.The riches of His glory will bless those who remain in His favor by cleansing themselves white in the blood of the lamb,not through works that cannot save,but through faith in the savior who God gave the power to make his servants clean through genuine faith that produces obedience from love.It is those who exercise that faith that God prepared beforehand for glory.Even IF God knew every individual that would remain faithful(and it would be pure conjecture to say so,as opposed to Him simply knowing the number that would),it would still not prove He incorporated force on them.That would be tyrannical and in opposition to clear texts that abound with statements of our ability to choose for ourselves what we will do.I for one wouldn't be comfortable on judgment day blaming God for my sin!Or having to answer why I thought he forced me to do everything that inspires his rage.

He doesn't arbitrarily destroy some and save is conditional upon how we behave and who we are in our hearts,minds,and actions.So many scriptures indicate these simple truths that it is really amazing to me that this position actually has to be defended.

Couple random final thoughts:
God is not our puppetmaster unless he is truly responsible for everything that he said Satan was.Is Satan the father of the lie and Adam and Eve sinners or is God the liar and the sinner,although He indicated the former?And how could Satan be the father of the lie if Jehovah really is and made Satan lie?Why is Satan evil at all if he has a puppetmaster forcing him to do everything he does?And wouldn't that make God deserving of all the hatred we're supposed to have toward Satan?Why doesn't Satan curse God for forcing him to be deplorable and evil?Surely that would be a constant cursing if the Calvinist God weren't fictional.As opposed to a constant taunting of God,not for making him sadistic,but just because he IS sadistic,choosing to rebel against God in all his tragically abused free will.

I'm not negating the compelling power of God's holy spirit and how it can change minds and hearts and motivate Christians to follow God in a more awesome way.But if it cannot be resisted then how can it be grieved?And why is a sin against it unforgivable..why was it there to begin with if this "vessel for wrath" was chosen to never receive it?If one receives it,wouldn't that indicate that God can save him?And if one grieves it,what evidence is there that God forced him to?And wouldn't that indicate that salvation CAN be lost,contradicting Calvinist theology?

If you're a Calvinist,did you become one through scripture alone?Or did you read the smooth rhetoric of men and conclude that they somehow made sense in their exegesis of Romans 9?Did you then start reading your new theology INTO the rest of scripture because you somehow think it is justified to do so?If the entirety of scripture,with its pure unadulterated explicit statements(free from panged special pleading),contradicts your interpretation of Romans 9 and the few other Calvinist "strongholds",considering the size of the bible,shouldn't that at the very least make you skeptical and cautious?Did it ever occur to you to earnestly heed the OT context of the chapter and all the texts that expound upon this chapter,always proving we have choice,but that God will judge us according to his will in accordance with our choices that He never says He makes for us,which scripture lets us know is just and always good toward those good and culminates in a perishing of those who aren't?Never at all indicating he forces anyone to either be good or be evil.EVEN IF he molds them to fulfill a specific will,we have evidence whoever he uses can absolutely choose their own ultimate course of good or bad and that THAT is what will equal eternal salvation or eternal perishing.Because that is how he chooses upon whom he will have mercy and whom he will prepare for either glory or destruction.

SO much more could be said but I'll leave it at that for now.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Romans 9 for Calvinists part 1 of 2

This blog was entirely inspired by this great page that explains Romans chapter 9 beautifully.

Right off the bat,I am not claiming to have something new to offer here..I remain perplexed at the narrow minded and blindly biased interpretations of these texts that the Calvinists present.Here I am anyway to go over some points that I hope will help people who want to make a defense against Calvinists and for Calvinists who have probably already heard similar or identical points but chose to ignore them.

First,we have to recognize the context of Romans chapter nine,as well as the OT passages which these scriptures reference in order to obtain an honest exegesis,as opposed to a manmade eisegesis.What we discover,in context,is a chapter irrefutably about a NATION'S rejection(Israel) after God had used them to produce the Messiah,as had been promised to Abraham.Anticipating the moans and groans of this nation that many probably thought should be saved simply because of the favoritism God has shown it in times past,Paul here emphasizes God's right to reject a nation that has been impenitent and haughty and foolish,regardless of ANYTHING the individuals therein may say or do to insist that they SHOULD be saved because of God's mercy and acceptance and blessings for them in times past.Israel's reaction would likely be like spoiled children who have been bombarded with gifts and later think they should continue to be "just because" even though they behave like brats,given our human tendency to desire favor and blessings no matter what we've done to prove we don't deserve them.This chapter is all about God's absolute right to determine the acceptance or rejection,the condemnation or the salvation,of a person or nation no matter how adamantly one may feel or think one deserves the ultimate blessings and kingdom of God.

I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen. But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, "In Isaac your seed shall be called." That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. (Romans 9:1-8)

Here Paul is letting us know that all Israelites cannot be members of Christ's body or of "spiritual Israel" just because they are descendants of fleshy Israel.God will determine in his own perfect judgement who will receive a blessed inheritance based upon one's being declared righteous by faith and penitence in Christ.There is positively nothing in scripture to indicate that just because God molds and chooses an individual or nation for a specific extraordinary purpose that that means God will be the puppetmaster of that one forever and make sure he is saved.Solomon was used to compose 3 OT books and to build a glorious temple etc..but because Solomon was unrepentant in certain wicked acts,he lost favor.And ,again,there is absolutely nothing in scripture to indicate God made him do these wicked acts and then cause him to cease to ever repent of them.The whole notion is ridiculous.And I'm basing this fact on scriptural language,clarity OF that language and repetitive testaments to the truth that we have free will we can use in concert with God's will,that God is impartial,and would find anyone who isn't an abomination.To say God ISN'T impartial would mean he doesn't live up to his own standards of what is decent and just and that scriptural language is to be regarded as moot..Someone like Paul being chosen for all the marvels he accomplished by God's power doesn't mean that if he had become overcome by the world in some fashion and unwilling to humble himself in returning to God's ways that he wouldn't have been condemned,even though God has obviously used him in remarkable ways!Everything in scripture indicates that what we do by our own choices,independent of God's supposed Calvinistic merciless force,will result in his favor or not,in his spirit working in concert with our will or not.Even if he has molded us to accomplish something pertaining to his will,we can STILL,as the bible says,fall away.Or be "grafted out."(Romans 11:17-24)..Entirely dependent upon our faith and obedience(or not) and God's righteous judgment of our lasting conformity(or not) to his fair standards.

Couple brief examples of how if one holds to a Calvinist interpretation,scripture become meaningless:

James 1:13 When under trial, let no one say: “I am being tried by God.” For with evil things God cannot be tried nor does he himself try anyone. 14 But each one is tried by being drawn out and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then the desire, when it has become fertile, gives birth to sin; in turn, sin, when it has been accomplished, brings forth death.

If God doesn't try anyone with evil and people's desires aren't always God's desires(unless God is unrighteous ..never may that be said!),according to these texts,how can you say God tries who he wishes with evil and gives everyones' desires to them ,forcing them to sin.All the text itself says is that they are our OWN desires,belonging to no one else prior to us heaping them upon us.Calvinist interpretations are simply eisegesis in the highest order of the word.

Let's go to another text in James:
James 4:8:Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you indecisive ones.

So this text ,as clearly as is possible,is a great example of how OUR free will in drawing close to God compels God in his love to reciprocate the intimacy,appreciative I am quite sure of some people's spiritual need being cultivated and addressed.God doesn't send invitations throughout his holy word to a few people while the rest of everyone sits reading and hoping and praying while there is just NO hope whatsoever.Frankly,that would make God like a parent who has 10 children but doesn't care a thing for most of them and in fact will burn them up in an oven just because he likes to play sadistic duck duck goose.(or if you believe in the orthodox greek philosophically inspired hell doctrine,never letting them be burned up at all but rather letting them continuously burn forever mercilessly,as if God is infinitely sadistic and the anger he has will be forever even though he said it was temporary.)Again,God is not unrighteous and wicked.Satan and some people are.So let us not attribute the characteristics of the devil to our God of love and mercy and impartiality.Absurd!

For this is the word of promise: "At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son." And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), it was said to her, "The older shall serve the younger." As it is written, "Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated." (Romans 9:9-13)

In context,I can't really see anyone being able to honestly argue that this chapter isn't speaking of NATIONS..which is exactly what Esau and Jacob represent here..NOT individual men and whether or not God ultimately saves them regardless of their actions,dependent upon his fictional partiality.If this were about the individual,it woud be a failed prophecy,(something inexplicable scripture wise!) considering Esau did NOT serve Jacob but, if anything,Jacob served Esau,bowing before him 7 times,offering him his family and possessions,etc..just so his brother wouldn't avenge the birthright he stole from him.I'm not denying that God can use and mold people to fit his will(still,not always resulting in their salvation unless they obeyed and served God righteously in faith),but this simply isn't about him doing that with these two men.Examining the OT references should put that to rest.As well as the fact that "the older DID NOT serve the younger!"A common Calvinist objection might be that even if it is pertaining to nations that God's sovereignty over them displays his absolute sovereignty and partiality even more strongly,but again,this ISN'T about God determining the ultimate SALVATION of individuals in these nations,or else everyone in Israel has eternal life and everyone in many other nations can't.Is that the case?Of course not!It is about God using a particular nation for an exceptional purpose,resulting in the birth and death and resurrection of our great Lord Jesus,and then that same nation(though not every individual therein) losing his favor because of it's continuous rebellion.No way would Paul have written these texts and expected anyone to assume they meant the literal two men when the Old Testament,which the new testament doesn't contradict but rather reiterates,from which Paul quoted explains everything:

But the children struggled together within her; and she said, "If all is well, why am I like this?" So she went to inquire of the LORD. And the LORD said to her:"Two nations are in your womb, Two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, And the older shall serve the younger." (Genesis 25:22-23)

So Jacob and Esau represented nations.This has to be one of the simplest concepts imaginable.The narrow minded and biased Calvinist interpretation confounds me.

So in context,we've ALREADY established
1.This chapter is about nations,not individuals.
2.It would be a FAILED prophecy if it WERE about individuals because Esau DID NOT SERVE Jacob but rather the NATION that descended from Esau served the NATION that descended from Jacob.
3.In their OT context,the meaning is kindergarten,SIMPLY gathered.

How anyone could take these facts and assume these scriptures are in relation to the foreordination of individual mens' eternal salvation or eternal death is beyond me.If they've studied the facts,the context,and the references.

Even further:

The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. "I have loved you," says the LORD. "Yet you say, 'In what way have You loved us?' Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" Says the LORD. "Yet Jacob I have loved; But Esau I have hated, And laid waste his mountains and his heritage For the jackals of the wilderness." Even though Edom has said, "We have been impoverished, But we will return and build the desolate places," Thus says the LORD of hosts: "They may build, but I will throw down; They shall be called the Territory of Wickedness, And the people against whom the LORD will have indignation forever. (Malachi 1:1-4)

It really doesn't get more succint than that!Esau is identified as Edom..a nation,correlating with Romans chapter nine ,which is about NATIONS.Just to recap,if you think this is literally applied to these two men,it becomes a failed prophecy and the OT context becomes moot in your interpretation which ultimately equals eisegesis,considering Paul wouldn't rearrange the OT texts to introduce a whole new concept in the NT,which is quoting from the Old!That would be eisegesis,again.

As for Jacob(Israel) being loved, and Esau being hated..All that means is that Isreal was ESPECIALLY favored and Edom was less favored,not that God literally hated every person in Edom or even the nation.Let's examine a text to help clarify this:

Luke 14:26:If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple.

In scripture to hate someone or something sometimes means simply to love less.If we REALLY hated our own family ,God would reject us.So it HAS to mean that we love Christ MORE than our family but we would still have to love our family,even though the term "hate" is used.This is also how it is used here in Romans.Jah loved Edom less than Israel.Understandably,as Israel would bring about the promised seed,our savior.

To quote the website linked at the top:
"If we look closely at Romans 9 and its referenced passages, we can observe where God has manipulated nations in His grand scheme, or judicially hardened rebellious individuals. Yet, He still allowed the ultimate fate of both nation and individual to be chosen through either penitent obedience or stubborn disobedience.God's unconditional election only applied to the role of nations in producing the Messiah, not the salvation of individuals."

I'll leave you with this irrefutable compelling text:
Acts 10:34 At this Peter opened his mouth and said: “For a certainty I perceive that God is not partial, 35 but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.

You can't reconcile these texts nor too many others to count with Calvinist theology without special pleading of the most desperate tragic kind.

More later.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Watchtower or holy scripture?

Any questions,feel free to e-mail me.( you're an ex-JW who needs someone to talk to,I'm here.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Watchtower false dates and "Crisis of Conscience"

This blog is inspired by the MUST READ book "Crisis of Conscience" by former governing body member Raymond Franz,who is nothing but kind and respectful and matter of fact in this gem of a book.

"Today several millions of Jehovah's Witnesses believe and teach that Christ's invisible presence began in 1914.Very few realize that for nearly 50 years the WT society announced and heralded,in their role as prophet,that such invisible presence began in 1874.As late as 1929,15 yrs. AFTER 1914,they were still teaching this." p.183-184,"Crisis of Conscience"

1.the WT taught for DECADES that Christ began his kingdom rule in 1878.
2.The WT taught for HALF A CENTURY that the "last days" began in 1799
3.For more than 40 yrs. the WT taught that the resurrection of anointed Christians began in 1878.
4.From its beginning,the WT taught that the "harvest" would run from 1874 to 1914 and that by 1914 the destruction of all human institutions of this world would take place.
5.They say now that Babylon the Great fell in 1919.For FOUR DECADES they said 1878,with its COMPLETE destruction culminating in 1914 or 1918.
6.This list could go ON and ON.

The cause for the change?To quote Franz "the failure of their published expectations to be realized."

And those who didn't believe them were not only stumbled,but labelled and shunned.After all,how could they remain a JW unhypocritically if they didn't believe every ounce of information out of the mouths of the governing body since that is the society's dogmatic unjustified standards?To wholeheartedly,and without question,believe everything they say,no matter what ,to remain "acceptable".Otherwise,you would be a risk to the unity of the organization's followers,right?Well,the solution is to STOP BEING DOGMATIC about issues that have nothing to do with anyone's salvation,that Christ and the apostles did not teach as THEIR good news.And to actually read the bible and BELIEVE what it says about nonessential teachings and legalistic standards not being necessary for salvation,like the Pharisees believed they were.And to also believe Jesus when he said it wasn't up to us to know the dates or seasons.Keep on the watch by all means.But stop speculating specific dates that the bible says belongs ONLY to the father to discern.Jehovah's Witnesses often compare their false predictions to the apostles premature expectations as told at Acts 1:6 yet completely ignore what Jesus said rebuking them in the very next verse.There are no more excuses.

Acts 1:7:He (Jesus) said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.(NIV)

These false predictions weren't just passingly proclaimed as possibilities..they were emphatically & confidently declared for decades.Now THIS is part of the record you must consider,as the WT organization says you should,to determine whether they are a "modern-day prophet".And if they are,what kind of prophet are they if their predictions all failed?

The society has said that it is fallible and not dogmatic yet they dogmatically enforce their inferences as if they are infallible and people who don't adhere are not approved JW association.There is a discrepancy here that is inexplicable and again,dictates behavior on the part of supposed "good JW's" and the society itself that is the OPPOSITE of just.

Again,I am going to have to point out that if you had questioned these men in their error you would have been deemed all kinds of blasphemous names and titles,even though these dates were as false as the sun is bright..And this isn't nitpicking history.This is still going on.If a doctrine has the potential to become "new light" tomorrow that means:

1.It may have never been true to begin with.
2.It isn't stable to begin with nor should it be a dogmatism and enforced belief because of it's instability.
3.It is absolutely ridiculous to shun and label fellow Christians for questioning these speculations that are based on unstable biblical interpretations by men that don't even agree with one another to begin with unanimously,yet expect you to adhere to their faulty interpretations wholeheartedly in order to remain a "true Christian" and "acceptable".

The Society's recent publications infer that the serious expectations and dogmatic assertions in regards to all these dates and their fulfillments were the responsibility of the readers and the readers' inferrences from reading the literature!

From Jehovah's Witnesses and the Divine Purpose page 52:

"There is no doubt that many throughout this period were overzealous in their statements as to what could be expected.Some read into the WT statements that were never intended."

As genuine as this might SOUND,a true examination of the evidence reveals their glossing over the facts,their hypocrisy,and their shameless aversion of attention from themselves as the blame for their lies to OTHERS,like the JW's who trust them and even God himself.

"If any expressed doubts about the Society's chronology,the very quality of their relationship with God was subtly placed in question--along with their faith and wisdom.This is a form of intellectual intimidation,a practice that increased manyfold once 1914 had passed by,failing to fulfill the expectations published worldwide." p.198 "Crisis of Conscience"

As Franz points out,there was intense importance and constant emphasis placed on these false dates,in many cases for more than 50 years,being POSITIVELY proclaimed.Of course now in the publications,a picture is painted that minimizes the importance they attached to these dates,saying that they were predicted as mere "suggestions" or “possibilities.”

"Since the vast majority of their readers have no access to their earlier publications ,the articles can trade on their ignorance and can downplay the force of the predictions by a selective use of quotations and either gloss over or deliberately ignore other clear statements made." p.200 "Crisis of Conscience"

Some of the phrases the WT has incorporated to describe their false predictions were "God's dates","emphatically manifest","firmly established","established truth","definitely marked","already in progress"(in reference to the final battle that was to culminate in 1914),"proven"..etc..

But afterward and now they assert that they "merely infered".This is journalistic and intellectual dishonesty in the highest order.

Another aversion from the truth:

From "Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose" p 53

"SOME may make positive statements of what they know,and of what they do not know,WE NEVER INDULGE IN THIS."

To quote Franz,again.

"This is the picture the organization seeks to convey.Compare it with OTHER statements made in WT publications and magazines ,statements to which the Society's publications today make no reference whatsoever..Ask whether it is true that the responsibility for dogmatic claims rests outside the society,rests instead with those who "read into" the publications a certainty never intended,particularly as regards what 1914 would bring." p.193,"Crisis of Conscience"

Franz is honest here.We have some SERIOUS double-speak,concealing most of the information, playing with semantics to fool people,and blame thrown everywhere but where it really lies.

From "The Time is at Hand" p. 98-99

"We consider it an ESTABLISHED TRUTH that the final end of the kingdoms of this world ,and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God,will be accomplished at the end of A.D 1914"

Hmm.I would say that is,and Franz agrees with me,INDULGING in positive statements and needs nothing to be read into it at all to be dogmatic.

From 1892 Jan 15 WT

"The date of the close of that "battle" is DEFINITELY marked in scripture as Oct 1874."

From July 15 1892 WT

"We see no reason for changing the figures--nor could we change them if we would.They are,we believe,GOD'S DATES,not ours.But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning ,but for the end of the time of trouble."

Who cares if someone says they have an OPINION or the like if they are going to ,in the same breath ,say their opinion is God's?Who cares if someone never said they were inspired if they said they were God's mouthpiece?Who cares if someone never said they were infallibile if they said they are God's channel of communication and modern day prophet?You do not have the right to say you made a mistake but it is ok because you were uninspired and fallible if you are going to assert that these were God's dates,that you are a modern day prophet as God's sole channel of communication and that you are a mouthpiece for God.That just makes you desperate and duplicitous and deceptive.

When 1914 came and went and their false predictions were not met,Charles Taze Russell actually said that "The Lord overruled it for the blessing of his people."-"The Time is at Hand"

Wow!Instead of confessing and repenting of lies and errors that were shamelessly attributed TO GOD,he proceeds to blame God once again for "overruling" a date that was never true to begin with,as if it was always God's date,that he just decided to change his mind about.If you're not gathering by this point how the WT employs semantics to subtly fool its readers and strain itself out of blame,shifting it to others,(even it's own followers and God himself!), instead of confessing and repenting,then it's time to wake up.

"Frequently,in WT argumentation,a "red herring" is dragged across the path ,as in drawing attention away from the failure of the predictions by switching the focus to the willingness of many to stick with and support an organization despite its having fed them false hopes,while representing those who opted not to do as as being "spiritually weak", as "having grown weary in God's service",or being governed by selfish motives...This only accentuates what is perhaps The most distressing factor of the whole matter:the apparent lack of any genuine concern for the EFFECT such predictions had on the lives of people,those WT readers who viewed the predictive measures as coming from a God-directed source,as His divinely provided "meat in due season" for them.They were OPENLY encouraged to allow these predictive claims to serve as a basis for their hopes and expectations,and thus to mold their lives in conformity." p. 202 "Crisis of Conscience"

To quote Franz,who is quoting Charles Taze Russell here

"Merit is found even in the false predictions because of the "stimulating and sanctifying effect"(quoting CTR) produced,so that one may "praise the Lord--even for the mistake".That approach allowed for still more false predictions with their "stimulating effect".One is reminded of Isaiah 5:20: Woe to those who are saying that good is bad and bad is good, those who are putting darkness for light and light for darkness, those who are putting bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!" p.205 "Crisis of Conscience"

After the death of Charles Russell,instead of rectifying and frankly admitting their errors,Judge Rutherford decided to justify their errors and propagate more,moving many of the things expected in 1914 up to 1918.Of course,everything failed.And since it did,why not just change the MEANING of what the dates entailed,after all an "invisible presence" can't be disproven.Keep in mind the bible said all things were handed to Christ when he ascended to heaven and that EVERYONE will know when he is present again,at the second coming.I don't deny he has been present from heaven "sifting" and such for a long time..but,again,the bible says it isn't FOR US to know the times,the dates,the seasons,so to speculate about a specific time is foolish,especially if you've failed TOO MANY times to count before & ruined lives in the process,seemingly from my observation without remorse..No new revelation from man that the apostles and Christ himself didn't preach is a "salvation issue."YET the organization continues to treat 1914 as such because their "entire range of teachings" is a REQUIREMENT to remain an acceptable Jehovah's Witness.If you can find the justice there,then you're a better scout than I.