Sunday, October 31, 2021

The Evil of Halloween

Every October 31, children go out on something called "trick or treating" to ask complete strangers for candy while dressed-up with the appearance of evil and with their houses dressed up with the appearance of evil.  Halloween doesn't even try to hide its satanic origins!  And Paul correctly pointed-out that we should abstain from all appearance of evil.  Yet Christians still find some way to try to justify continuing to celebrate this satanic day.

By the way, did you know that Paul was applying Deuteronomy 12 when he said to abstain from all appearance of evil?  God himself commanded us not mimic the ways of the pagans, not even as a means of serving him, but said to keep his commandments without adding to or diminishing from them [Deuteronomy 12:32].  Here's an article giving a very brief summary about what the Celts did for their new year celebration, which was later hijacked by the Roman Catholic Church, being given the name "All Hallows Eve" assigned to October 31, and mimicking the Celtic witchcraft in their celebration to this day!

Actually, the article linked above gives a watered-down version of what the Celts did.  A very watered-down version.  There are still cultures around the world that practice Celtic witchcraft instead of "merely" mimicking it.  And those who actually read the passages I linked (bonus points if you read more), you will know that God wants these pagan practices and their articles completely destroyed, leaving no trace that they even ever existed.  He wants us to practice what he commanded, not what the pagans practiced.  He has set us apart (made us holy) from the rest of the world to be an example to the world.

Let's take a look at some of the excuses that Christians make to continue to celebrate this holiday.  Some who claim to be Christians outright lie about the origins of the various practices and claim that the pagans borrowed from Christianity.  But even if that's true, what business does a Christian have in dressing as witches or demonic entities?  What part of "abstain from all appearance of evil" [1 Thessalonians 5:22] do you not understand?  What part of "do not add to God's commandments" do you not understand?  Should God be pleased with us for dressing as those whom God said shall be put to death?  Should God be pleased with us for honoring the rebellious angels by dressing as them?  Should God be pleased at the glorification of death, which he says is the enemy [1 Corinthians 15:26]?

Some Christians claim to celebrate Halloween to make a mockery of Satan because he was defeated by Jesus dying on the cross and then rising from the dead.  While I have no reason to question their sincerity, there are a couple a major problems with this, not counting the fact that it's a direct violation of Deuteronomy 12 and a violation of Paul's command.  The first problem is that Jesus didn't die on October 31.  He died on Aviv 14 (buried the following sundown) in 30 AD, which landed on Wednesday, April 3.  He rose on Aviv 18 (at sundown), which landed on Sunday, April 7, but which would still be counted by our standards as Saturday (the Sabbath), April 6.

The second major problem is this:  Who's mocking who?  Is it the Christian making a mockery of demonic powers, or Satan making a mockery of Christians who have been tricked into doing things that are contrary to everything that God stands for?  Satan's goal is to keep Christians away from God and he is the father of lies [John 8:44].  And what better way to do that than to trick us into believing that there's nothing wrong with doing things that God calls abominations?  I think the answer to the question of "who's mocking who" is quite clear.

I'll leave you with this video on the origins of Halloween by Pastor Jim Staley.



Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Why the Church Cannot Defend Paul

Introduction

Have you ever heard someone claim that Paul was a deceiver?  More and more Christians are coming to believe that this is the case.  And while I don't believe that Paul was a deceiver, I do understand why so many come to the conclusion that he was.  Furthermore, the response I've seen from the Church not only does not defend Paul as a legitimate apostle (most of them, anyways), but only goes to further prove that Paul was a deceiver in the eyes of those who believe that.  In this post, we're going to prove why these responses do the opposite of what is intended in the hopes that the Church will come up with actual defense.

In order to understand why the Church's responses to this claim do nothing for Paul's defense, we need to understand why Christians are coming to this conclusion in the first place.  Oh, and if you say, "no true Christian believes Paul was a deceiver", let me remind you that it's believing in Jesus that makes you a Christian, not believing in Paul.  So, why do people believe Paul was a deceiver?  There are two main components to this reason:  (1) They believe that Paul taught against God's Law, which would make him a false teacher.  And (2) they believe that Paul publicly obeyed the Law in front of the Disciples and his accusers, but secretly taught against it in his letters to the Churches.  They also believe that Paul changed his story about his conversion every time he told it.  I will not be refuting these false beliefs in this post, but I will be in a different post.  For now, let's take a look at how the Church responds to the claim that Paul was a deceiver.

Refuting the Responses

Let's get some of the more ridiculous responses out of the way first.  Some will simply state that certain people deny Paul without giving any context whatsoever (not even the context that they believe Paul was a deceiver).  This denial of Paul is typically used as a reason why such people are being labeled as "false teachers".  And of course nobody is going to think about asking why they deny Paul in the first place.  The Church tells you what to think, not how to think.  If those making this response were honest, they would tell you why they deny Paul and explain why they are wrong.  Of course those who think Paul was a deceiver deny him.  Why accept a false teacher?

Another, equally-ridiculous response is that those who claim Paul was a deceiver are trying to remove parts of Scripture from the Bible.  Again, this response tells you what to think, not how to think.  If Paul really is a deceiver, then his writings are not Scripture by the modern definition of the word and therefore never belonged in the Bible in the first place.  This response does nothing to refute the claim that Paul was a deceiver.

A slightly more reasonable response is the response that those making the claim are trying to push unbiblical teachings.  That is, it seems reasonable until you realize that the "proof" that these teachings are unbiblical come from Paul's writings.  And if Paul was a deceiver, this his writings cannot be used to prove that the alternative teachings are unbiblical.  Typically, this response is framed with the previous claim as, "they're trying to replace parts of Scripture with unbiblical teachings".  Typically in a manner that implies such people are wolves.  Note the connection with the previously-mentioned response.

In one of the very few articles that I was able to find which responds to this claim, their response was along the lines of "those who claim this are Hebrew Roots who believe that Christians need to keep God's Law, but Paul proves otherwise".  Not only is this the genetic fallacy because they tried to discredit the claim based purely on the source of the claim, they also committed what's known as an ad-hominem attack.  That is, they attack the character of those making the claim, rather than the arguments of those making the claim.  The Church loves to characterize Hebrew Roots as being anti-Christian, and to label those who's teachings they don't like as "Hebrew Roots".  But remember, it's whether or not one believes in Jesus that makes them a Christian or non Christian, not whether they study the Hebrew roots of Scripture.  And most of those who do study the Hebrew roots of Scripture are Christian.  By the way, that article went to great lengths to hide the reason that people believe Paul is a deceiver.

One response I saw to this claim is that the disciples affirmed Paul's legitimacy.  But remember how I mentioned that these people believe Paul did one thing in the presence of the Disciples, but wrote something else in his letters?  Because of this, those who believe Paul was a deceiver believe that Paul successfully deceived the Disciples into believing he was one of them.  Note that they do not believe that these Disciples were deceivers.  They just believe they were deceived.  So the Disciples believing that Paul was legitimate doesn't really work.

One article I found, which was written by someone who is in the Hebrew Roots Movement invoked the slippery slope in an attempt to defend Paul.  The argument went something like this:  "If you believe Paul was a deceiver and demand that his writings be removed form the Bible, then you will also believe that Luke, who was Paul's companion on his journey to Rome, was also a deceiver and that his writings should also be removed from Scripture.  And you will also believe that the writings of the other disciples who affirmed Paul's legitimacy should also be removed from Scripture."  This response does nothing to defend Paul.  And I have found absolutely no evidence to back-up this hypothetical chain of events.  Or any similar hypotheticals.  Remember, those who believe that Paul was a deceiver believe that the Disciples were deceived by Paul's deception.  They believe the other Disciples' teachings were true and that they were trustworthy.

About half of the responses to the claim that Paul was a deceiver are simply asserting that such a teaching is a "dangerous heresy".  The source of the danger is never specified or proven, leaving it up to the viewers imagination to determine what is so dangerous about such a claim (eg: loss of Salvation).  And as for the "heresy" part?  That isn't explained either.  It's as if the ones responding to the claim know that they don't have a response and want to spend as little time trying to address the claim as possible, so they scare you into not investigating the claim or its merits.  This, and the one that came before it, amounts to nothing more than fear-mongering.  Not to mention heresy, as the response basically amounts to "do not test Paul" in spite of the fact that Paul said to test all things [1st Thessalonians 5:20].

There is none the less, one response which is a defense of Paul.  This response is that those who believe Paul was a deceiver do not understand Paul.  They quote 2nd Peter 3:16, where Peter notes that Paul is hard to understand, in Paul's defense.  However, they make no attempt to bring to light what this misunderstanding is, or how their understanding is wrong.  It's also the case that those who believe Paul was a deceiver agree with the Church on the issue of what Paul actually taught.  So if they believe what the Church believes about Paul's teachings, then they have the same understanding of Paul as the Church.  So if those who believe Paul was a deceiver misunderstand Paul, then so does the Church.

Conclusion

So why can the Church not provide an adequate defense of Paul?  Because the Church teaches that Paul taught against God's Law, which is the exact same teaching about Paul that is used to prove Paul was a deceiver.  God made it clear in Deuteronomy 13 that anyone who teaches against his Law by definition preaches idolatry.  So in order to prove that Paul was not a deceiver, they would have to prove that Paul taught obedience to God's Law, which would prove in the eyes of many that the Church is the real deceiver.  The Church loves its traditions instead of God and goes to great lengths to "prove" that the Law of God no longer applies.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Back on Blogger

It's been a while since my last post, which was when my blog was hosted temporarily on a different platform.  I became dissatisfied with that platform so I basically stopped posting to that blog and let my subscription there expire.  That was quite a long time ago.  And a couple weeks ago, I finally went back to Google Blogger.

So now that I'm back, I'm going to start writing blog posts again.  It's going to mostly be about Biblical topics since I am a Christian, but I will be blogging about other topics.  For example: gaming, and programming.  A significant portion of the posts on Biblical topics will be testing various teachings that are claimed to be Biblical, including teachings that some would rather not allow us to test.

Making Claims on the Bible's Behalf

If there's one thing that I've noticed while testing everything , it's the fact that the Church makes claims about what the Bibl...