Friday, April 23, 2010

Eternal BB god

Russell said: "Mindless Amoral dirt cannot produce love, intellect or morality" is incorrect.

Michael replied: Mindless religion cannot produce intellect, morality or true love.

Russell: If that religion comes from an Eternal Moral God, then it cannot be mindless.

If your logic begins with an Eternal BB-sized glob of amoral “something”, then you must prove to me how that evolved into intellect and morality. That Eternal amoral “something” is your Eternal god. Since I begin with an Eternal Moral and you begin with an Eternal amoral BB, the proof falls upon you.

Michael said: Only exercised intellect and compassion produce morality and love. "

Russell: Whatever intellect and morality exists must come from a previously existing creator or giver of such intellect and morality. It makes no sense to believe that non-intelligence can create intelligence. Can you explain to me how a handful of lifeless dirt created intelligence and morality?

Atheism Mythical God

Russ said: "You love and protect your families but cannot figure out why."

Bernie: I think I know why. But I also don't see a logical need to believe in God in order to love and protect my family. How does it follow to think that you need to believe in God in order to love others?

Russ: Then stop beating around the bush and tell us why. You need to believe in God in order to love BECAUSE Mindless Amoral dirt cannot produce love, intellect or morality.
Russ said: "Mindless Amoral Eternal (MAE-god) soup with produced life cannot possibly produce any meaning."

Bernie: That is true.

Ruse: You said “That is true” and then you proceeded to show that it is NOT true. Are you listening to yourself?

Bernie: But humans have the brain power to observe the world and have consciousness, so we can make meaning for our lives while we exist. We are not mindless soup.

Russ: In other words "Mindless Amoral Eternal (MAE-god) soup which produced life CAN possibly produce meaning." You keep contradicting yourself. Again, why is it that the advanced brain power of humans seeks after a Creator god?

Russ said: "Until you acknowledge the existence of an Eternal Moral and Personal God, you only have your pity parties."

Bernie: I don't see how acknowledging the existence of mythical creatures solves any problems.

Russ: It solves problems because it makes you accountable for your actions.

Eccl 12:8-14

8 Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.

14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

“Mythical creatures”? Your own theology begins with an ETERNAL BB sized god which superheated to form the Big Bang. This is your ETERNAL God but you do not call it God. Your “mythical” god is amoral and unintelligent.

Bernie: Russ- did you see my presentation, as the file links were given above? I know you have a scholar's mind, but your last post looked mostly flippant."

Russ: I saw one paragraph. Send me the link to the whole presentation and I will evaluate it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Eternal Matter is the Atheist's god

Bernie to Russ: Russ, I didn't understand you first point, where you say:
"god already existed 17 billion years ago as a BB-sized something."

Russ: Do you not believe and teach that matter is eternal and that the Big Bang began with “something” exploding about 17 million years ago? If I am wrong, please tell me how you believe what we see around us all began. If that matter is Eternal, then it is your concept fo god.

Bernie: How can an atheist have a god when they claim there are no gods?

Russ to Bernie: Oh, but you do have a god. You call it Mindless, Amoral and Eternal = MAE. That is exactly how you describe your god. Not much smarter than Ellie Mae of Beverly Hillbillies.

Isn’t it neat that we both begin with an Eternal god? The major difference is that mine is Moral and Intelligent and yours is Amoral and totally incapable of having any intelligence. Both are Eternal.

I have provided a few scenarios which I think are impossible for atheists to explain. There are books full of these and I find more every time I watch the Science channel or read National Geographic. Are you going to explain any of them to me? You have evidently read all the intellectual answers and been convinced by them. Is that not what convinced you that there is no God? – atheists have the best answers?

Evolution from My Viewpoint

One Upon an Evolutionary Tale

The atheist’s god is Miss “Mae” – Mindless-Amoral-Eternal who is very highly evolved.

1. MAE-god already existed 17 billion years ago as a BB-sized something.
2. MAE-BB-god got really hot one day and exploded into billions of giant helium gas clouds.
3. MAE-HYDROGEN-god then superheated and exploded billions of times to produce heavier elements by chance fusion to make a soup of all elements.
4. MAE-SOUP-god then produced primitive LIFE by pure chance. An unduplicated feat.
5. MAE-SINGLE-CELL-god was so complex that it defies logic and mathematics. It requires much more FAITH than belief in a moral Creator.
6. MAE-MULTI-CELL-god appeared by chance mutation after eons of time.
7. MAE-SEXY-god appeared as a (?necessary) improvement to separate reproduction into male and female. Would it not be easier to merely keep on having sex with itself?
8. MAE-FISH-god has millions of distinguishable separate fish species even though fish sperm for all species is found in all ocean-lake water. Yet one would expect only one kind of fish after eons of intermingled fish sperm.
9. MAE-AMPHIBIAN-god decided to crawl out of the ocean and exchange gills for lungs. It also decided to replace unfertilized egg-laying with fertilized hard shell eggs. Did the gill-lung exchange and the soft-hard unfertilized-fertilized egg changes come gradually or suddenly? Evolution cannot explain this.
10. MAE-has absolutely not explanting about what came first –the chicken or the egg?
11. MAE--BIRD-god shed its scales for feathers and decided to fly in order to survive. Yet its predecessors still survive quite well.
12. MAE-LIVE-BIRTH-god decided to stop laying eggs and give live birth. Again, whether this came gradually or suddenly is not known. Evolution cannot explain this.
13. MAE-WHALE-god decided to crawl back into the ocean while keeping its lungs and live birth. This was only possible if the live birth was tail first. Evolution cannot explain how they survived without changing the method of birth immediately after entering the water.
14. MAE-HOMO SAPIEN-god finally arrived after eons of stooped biped-hairy-fixed-thumb mutation accidents with other species. By chance the male and female evolved at the same rate and at the same place and found each other on earh.
15. MAE-GOD SEEKER-god suddenly at the top of the evolutionary ladder, this MAE seeks after a replacement for itself in the form of an Intelligent Moral Eternal God.
16. IME-God will finally arrive as the ultimate Creator to replace MAE. That appears to be the trend of evolution. Man realized how fine-tuned the Universe is and how fin-tuned he is.

Atheism: Science Explains

Marie to Russell: By sending you to "other sources" are you talking about my suggestion that the scientific research can be found by a Google search? That is merely to point out that I'm not making stuff up, as there is solid research behind my claims. I'm not clear on why you wouldn't appreciate that.

Where do you get your information that liars, greedy, selfish creatures are culled out of the group populations of antelope, wolves, fish and insects in every generation? I don't believe that is true at all. Weak and sick, yes. That is true. But not greedy or selfish. I don't think this a common belief. If you can direct me to a "source" I would be happy to look at it.

Russ: O. K. I will limit it to the weak, sick and stupid non-team players. Your argument should apply to negative criminal gangs also.

Marie to Russ: The "gap" I was talking about was the gap in our knowledge of how things work. I'm not sure how you made the jump to the gap between species.

Russ: What is the difference? You act as if you know how the species are so distinct without having millions of in-the-process-of-evolving links.

Marie: The phrase "god of the gaps" refers to using god to explain any phenomena that cannot be explained some other way.

Russ: Every time I look at the Discovery or Science channel I see more and more proof that God must have created because evolution has no answers. You cannot even tell which came first: the chicken or the egg. How did the first whale decide to give life birth tail first? How did a gill-breathing sea creature develop lungs and crawl out of the ocean? How did an egg-laying creature decide to give live birth? Why did an amoeba or paramecium decide to stop dividing and become male and female. There millions of these things which are much easier explained by creation than evolution.

Marie: Many, yourself included, claim morality comes from god. If this was 1510 instead of 2010, I might be agreeing with you. However, in 2010 I find very satisfactory scientific explanations for things that would have been considered miracles, mysteries, or punishments back in 1510. And I find excellent scientific explanations for moral behavior.

Russ: You keep using examples from the past as if trying to insult theology. May I remind you of examples of “science” in the past which were every bit as insane. Please argue from the present.

Marie: The more we learn about how the world works, the less there is to attribute to "the work of god". That is not to say that there are not still a lot of unsolved mysteries out there!

Russ: Again, the Science channel adds more and more unsolved mysteries to your theory every day and makes me secure in mine.

Marie: But certainly you will grant that science has explained some things that used to be mysteries.

Russ: For every mystery science explains (and I love to see that) there are 10 deeper evidences of God revealed. The great wonder of it all -- an Artic tern or ocean turtle can migrate thousands of miles to the same beach or nest better than our vast technology and GPS usage.

Marie: I rather think that overall, atheists are as moral in their behavior as theists, maybe even more so. I'll stand toe to toe with you in a moral battle any day.

Russ: Amoral unintelligent gooo cannot create a moral being. Any moral decency you have comes from a moral God. Non-intelligence cannot create intelligence no more than a hammer, nails and pile of wood can build a house.

I am legally blind and limited on the amount of reading I can do. If you want to give some video links I will be glad watch them and critique them.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Atheism: Group Mentality-1

To Marie

I highly value intellect and educated discussion. Ask Bernie. I do not appreciate your technique of sending me to other sources. I want you and Bernie to explain why my logic is wrong.

I am trying to use your own logic to find holes in your conclusions. You should do the same to mine.

For example, you discussed group or pack mentality. Let us say that, after eons, some genes mutated by change to produce animals, insect and fish with pack mentalities. Each generation must be superior (faster, smarter and healthier) than the previous generation because the slow, stupid and sick are the first eaten and destroyed. This works fine with animals, insects and fish.

Why has group-pack-morality not worked with sentient homo sapiens? Why hasn’t eons of evolution removed the slow, stupid and sick? If group mentality promotes the survival of moral members because moral members help the group survive easier, then why have not the immoral been pushed back in the gene pool eons ago?

Tell me. Tell me. Tell me. The liars, greedy, selfish loners are culled our of the group populations of antelope, wolves, fish and insects in every generation.

Homosexuals do not reproduce. Most morons and two-headed humans do not reproduce? Why are they still around in the group mentality? At what point will they disappear from the gene pool?

You talk about less and less gaps every year. Now that is one book I will buy and read! The very fact that species of animals, fish, insects and humans are clearly distinguishable from each other (botanists recognize and name them) proves to me that the gaps between species still exist.

Have you seen any dogs mating with cats lately? How many monkeys mate with humans?

But the fact is, the more we learn, the fewer gaps there are for god to fill in."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Morality: Atheism vs Christianity-7

Russ said: "Animals do not sit and meditate about who and what they are and why they are here. Animals do not seek a higher intelligence and have worship rituals. But YOU, Bernie Dehler, have been made in the image of God.

Bernie: We do that because of the advanced cognitive abilities we have.

Russ: So you admit that it is our “advanced cognitive abilities” which make us different from animals and make us curious enough to seek a Creator. Therefore the most advanced evolved amoral creature finally reached the point in evolution where he/she realized that there must be more to life than chewing on a bone and playing fetch.

Bernie: We don't chew on bones like puppies do because we don't have their kind of teeth.

Russ: Really? Is that the only reason? I wondered why I don’t feel the urge to chew on bones. It is simply because I don’t have the right kind of teeth. Wow. Some logic.

Bernie: The other animals don't contemplate deeply like we do because they don't have our complex brains.

Russ: Again, according to your own amoral evolution docrrine,
the more “complex” we become, the more we realize that there must be more to the meaning of life. Perhaps the next step in human evolution is to reject secular humanism.

Bernie: But they do have enough brain power to make social rules, show altruism, show intelligence, and show love. And you must think it is all pointless for them too.

Russ: Therefore the more evolved one becomes, the more one realizes that there really is a difference between good and bad, right and wrong. Complex intelligence suddenly decides that it is time to seek a Creator because life has no meaning otherwise. God is love.

Bernie: I just recognize that our lot is the same as the animals, even though we have the creativity to invent god(s)

Russ: Listen to yourself. “We have the creativity.” Secular Humanism makes MAN God! And when man fails, man sees himself as a failure and seeks for meaning in a Creator God other than himself. You are making my argument stronger.

Bernie: … esp. to comfort us in the face of the psychological terror of contemplating non-existence, because our survival instinct is very strong.

Russ: God put that seeking into you. You have no cure for psychological terror because MAN is evil and devours his own kind. You contemplate non-existence because you see no logic in existence. Survival makes no sense if you are only the result of eons of amoral mindless accidents so you seek sense elsewhere in a Creator God.

Bernie: It is god who is made in the image of man. Jehovah is the tribal god of the Israelites. The newer manifestation of the Jesus god is for everyone."

Russ: Really? Then why does Yahweh command decadent mankind to obey a set of MORAL laws which are beyond their own ability to obey? Would you make a “god” in your own image who tells you to do something which is far more moral than you desire to be?

Morality: Atheism vs Christian View-6

Bernie to Russ: Did you also notice that animals have everything to a lesser degree? They are also self-aware, show love, altruism, etc.

Russ: Animals do not sit and meditate about who and what they are and why they are here. Animals do not seek a higher intelligence and have worship rituals. But YOU, Bernie Dehler, have been made in the iamge of God.

Bernie: (but they can't live forever according to Christian theology- that's only for humans). The difference is we have a more complex brain so we are smarter.

Russ: You are much smarter than your arguments sound. Again the “difference” is that “homo sapiens” have been created in the image of God.

Bernie: We have a choice, be an optimist or pessimist. There is much to experience in life with a positive attitude

Russ: No you don’t. Using your own doctrine, you are the product of amoral unintelligent soup and you are only what your genetic makeup allows you to be. If your genes allow you to be positive, you will be positive. If your genes allow you to be negative, you will be negative.

Bernie: Some people think it is ironic how some Christians cling to every second of life as possible, yet they are supposed to believe in a coming eternal paradise. I guess it shows they don't really believe it."

Russ: The answer for me is that I want to accomplish more before I go ahead to meet my departed loved ones. On the other hand, for you everything is final. No future, no seeing your lost loved ones, no hope –just turning back to dirt.

My friend, Bernie -- YOU love. You KNOW that you love. You know deep down inside that it is RIGHT (beyond genetics) to be faithful to your wife. You know deep down inside that it is WRONG (beyond genetics) to murder, steal and lie. That, my dear friend, is the “image of God” within you screaming for attention. You are not really an atheist because you love, care for others and are a really GOOD person. You are more than the sum of your genes and you know I am right.

Morality: Atheism vs Christian View-5

Russ: What a-moral force keeps you from cheating on your wife or keeps your wife from cheating on you?

Bernie: How about the principle of 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you' (the saying from Jesus which Jesus copied from others before him).

Russ: Why? Why not kill and rob them if you think you can get away with it? If you are a-moral and nothing in and of itself is right or wrong, then “do unto others BEFORE they do it unto you” should be preferable.

Bernie: In the grand scheme (cosmic scale over eons of time) of things I do think life is meaningless, because I believe there is no god(s).

Russ: Then society could not trust you to (1) be a spouse, (2) be an honest banker, (3) be a Boy Scout leader, (4) guard something or (5) be a politician. You have no moral reason to be honest.

Bernie: However, since we find ourselves here, we can develop good rules for society (to enable thriving), and enjoy life."

Russ: Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror and ask “Who am I? Why am I here? Why am I different from animals? Why did I evolve to become self-aware?” If things go wrong and your lose your family, house and job, what is keeping you from suicide?
Russ: Theists began with a “moral God.” Simple to find morality.

Bernie: Not simple at all for the theist. Theists also argue over gay rights, abortion, slavery, women rights, euthanasia, racial issues, etc. Being a theist doesn't really seem to help. The only theists who think it is simple also think that other theists are wrong and misguided.

Russ: At least we can engage each other from a perspective of what is morally right and wrong. Amoral atheists merely throw up their hands and say “Who cares? It just happened that way.”

Bernie: On the surface, being a theist helps tremendously. With a little digging, I think we find it doesn't help at all. All answers are superficial."

Russ: Theists argue about what a moral God would do. Amoral atheists have no motivation to even care who wins or loses an argument over morality.

Morality: Atheism vs Christian View-4

Marie said: “Natural selection is not the most positive way to go about it, but it gets the job done.”

Russ: Natural selection is unguided accidental chance because your understanding of “nature” has no intelligence behind it. That means that there is nothing either “positive” or “negative” behind what happens and that murder and rape are just as much part of “nature” as couples paring up and getting married.

Marie said “Greed is about hoarding resources, which keep you alive long enough to reproduce.”

Russ: Insects, birds and animals would call this “survival” –not greed. It is not “right” or “wrong” for them. I suppose you think we should stop calling humans “greedy” for the same reason. You have no basis for calling anything “right” or “wrong”, “good” or “bad.” Rather than being “immoral” you are “a-moral.”

Marie: Paranoia is also about keeping you alive long enough to reproduce …

Russ: Nice. Your mindless evolution-creator god has made some aggressive, others greedy, others, lusty and others paranoid in order to achieve the same purpose of survival. Like I said before, after eons of trial and error, instead of one of these achieving more success and replacing the others, we still have all four. One would think that, after eons, only the most successful would still survive.

Marie said: Fortunately, these are counterbalanced by another trait we have passed on.

Russ: I’m sorry, but you are not in a place to use the words “fortunately.” “Fortune” implies something “good” happening instead of something “bad” and natural selection has no conscience to do this with.

Marie said: Groups whose members value morality or practice unselfish altruism are more likely to survive and thrive, passing on the genetic traits that encourage ethical behavior such as empathy, fairness and generosity.

Russ: You are destroying your own argument for natural selection. Because I begin with the assumption of a moral God, I can use words like “morality,” “selflessness (altruism),” “ethical,” “empathy,” “fairness” and “generosity.” You cannot use those terms without imbuing natural selection (unintelligent dirt) with morality to pass along.

Marie said: Brain scans have shown this genetic legacy in humans, and it's probably present in other mammals as well.

Russ: That, my friend, does not in any way prove that it got there because of mindless amoral natural selection. Your arguments are making my convictions stronger.

What gives you the “right” (or “wrong”) to discipline your children? Could it be that what YOUR amoral evolved mind calls “disobedience” and “wrong actions” are only natural selection evolving into its next phase into better sentient human beings?

Morality: Atheism vs Christian View-3

To Bernie

If your answer to “What is the meaning of life?” is “heavily atheistic” then the only possible logical answer must be “There is no meaning to life.”

1-- Theists began with a “moral God.” Simple to find morality.
1-- A-theists must begin with an a-moral “something” eternal.

2—Your eternal a-moral “something” (for no reason) exploded and produced hydrogen gas. A theory built on hot air.

3-- At some point your “amoral hydrogen-something” superheated many times to fuse into heavier elements.

4—After eons something “living” by sheer chance emerged from your “amoral soup of elements” and eventually mindlessly evolved into what you dare call sentient moral beings.

Sorry, but it takes more faith to buy into that fairy tale than to believe in a preexisting eternal moral God. The mistakes in the Bible are nothing compared to the mistake in your theory.

What a-moral force keeps you from cheating on your wife or keeps your wife from cheating on you? Oh, but it is not “cheating” or even “sin” –so nothing is wrong with it. Your logic can only lead to moral chaos.

If you expect to convince me of becoming a moral atheist you must first prove to me where and when in the evolutionary accident morality originated.

Morality: Atheism vs Christian View-2

To Marie

Yes, happiness is genetic. I agree. So also is the predisposition to murder, rape, steal, be a homosexual, depression and most other traits we have. Since acquired abilities do not become genes, why do we even bother to “correct” the bad traits?

My question to you is “Whatever happened to ‘survival of the fittest’?” I thought that evolution’s goal is to cull out body parts and characteristics which are inferior and harmful to the species.

After eons of trial-and-error and rejection of what is not the “best” we still have murder, rape, lust, greed and paranoia along with happiness. Your evolution-god has failed. How much more time does your evolution-god need before it gets rid of negative genes?

Morality: Atheism vs Christian View-1

Bernie Dehler: What is the meaning of life?

First, Christian missionaries do not serve “for the greater hope of gaining heaven” unless they do not understand that salvation is not obtained by one’s own good works. The statement does not describe true Christianity.

Second, what is happiness? Is it a chemical reaction caused by eons of evolution? If that is true, then happiness is genetic. How do secular humanists explain the exisence of “happiness” and “love”?

Third, are animals “happy” when they are well-fed, safe and “contented” with food, safety and shelter?

Fourth, is human “happiness” different from animal “contentment”? If so, is it proof of the existence of a soul and a Creator God?

Fifth, your example of a secular humanist is selfish and self-serving rather than self-less-ness and the desire to serve others. How does evoution explain the desire to help others in order to gratify self? Is this found outside of humans? If not, does it prove the existence of a Creator?

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Comments to Redeemed from the Street on Tithing

Redeemed from the Street, 4-12-2010

You said: The Bible tells us is both the New and Old Testament about what God required for his people.

Kelly: The Old Covenant was only commanded to national Israel and God specifically forbade Israel not to intermingle with us Gentiles.

You said: Tithing is basically defined as giving one-tenth of ones income or earnings, in order to support God's work.

Kelly: The true HOLY biblical tithe was always only food from inside God’s HOLY land which God had miraculously increased. Although money was common in Genesis and essential for sanctuary worship, money was never a tithe-able item for holy tithes. Jesus did not qualify and neither did anybody who lived outside Israel.

You said: The Old testament tells us in Leviticus 27:30 how God required tithing to the Israelite nation, giving one-tenth of all they possessed.

Kelly: Leviticus 27:30-34 clearly limits tithes to food from inside Israel as part of the Old Covenant. It did not include money or the poor who owned no land.

You said: Many today make that statement that "That was back then" meaning that it no longer exists and God does not require that.

Kelly: Again, God never commanded the Gentiles or the church to tithe. And he never commanded gospel workers to forfeit land and property ownership.

You said: If that was the case, then the Ten Commandments would not be required as well. Murdering, stealing, dishonoring and idolizing would be right in Gods eyes but that certainly is not the case.

Kelly: Even Gentiles who had not the Law were judged by the eternal moral principles of the law in Rom 1:18-20; 2:14-16. The “Thou Shalt Nots” for Old Covenant Israel are “You will obey” for New Covenant Christians in whom the Holy Spirit dwells.

You said: The book of Malachi Chapter 3 verse 8

Kelly: Malachi is written only to Hebrews under the Old Covenant (Neh 10:29; Mal 4:4). The tithe was still only food.

You said: I personally tithe to support God, and to avoid a curse that may descend upon me if I do not obey him.

Kelly: Christians who are saved under New Covenant promises cannot possibly be cursed because of disobedience to Old Covenant promises made only to Israel. Christians are already sitting with Christ in heavenly places and have already been adopted as God’s children. Gal 3:10-13.

You said: To conclude, tithing is relevant, and is still practiced today.

Kelly: Nothing, absolutely nothing, taught in the OT about tithing is obeyed by any church today. NT post-Calvary giving is primarily sacrificial. For many that means MORE than 10% but many are giving sacrificially even though less.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Comments on Stewardship Insights from George Hutchison (Crown Financial) on Tithing

Comments on Stewardship Insights from George Hutchison (Crown Financial) on Tithing --edited--

George: The word tithe means 10%.

Russ: I think you are somewhat dishonest by not defining the word “tithes” as it is used in the biblical Law. The true biblical “HOLY” tithe was always only food from inside God’s holy land which He had miraculously increased. Although money was very common even in Genesis and essential for sanctuary worship, money was never a tithe-able item. Jesus could not tithe and neither could anybody who lived outside Israel.

George: The Israelites were instructed to tithe (Leviticus 27:30, Deuteronomy 14:22-23, Malachi 3:10).

Russ: True and ONLY the Israelites under the Old Covenant could bring an acceptable tithe. And the tithe from the above texts was always only food from inside the holy land of Israel.

George: Many will say that we are not under the Old Testament Law that we are under grace.

Russ: “We” Gentiles of the Church never were under any part of the Old Covenant. And tithing was never defined as an eternal moral law of the conscience and nature.

George: This is true (Praise God!) but we must remember that when we move from law to grace the standard is always raised. I believe that tithing is the starting point for giving in a Christian's life.

Russ: This argument is deceptive and is based on false assumptions. It falsely assumes that everybody in the Old Testament was required to tithe although it only applied to food producers who lived inside Israel. And it falsely assumes that everybody I the OT began his/her level of giving at ten per cent although non-food producers and the poor were never involved in tithe-giving.

George: The only place in the Bible where God invites us to test Him is in Malachi 3:10-11.

Russ: First, God did not instruct “us” (Gentiles) in Malachi. Nehemiah had just excluded non Israelites from such worship and intermarriage. Second, the whole law was a TEST –not merely tithing. Obey all to be blessed; break one to be cursed. (Gal 3:10). It is absurd and dishonest to think that God is obligated to bless a tither who lives in a sinful relationship. (Yet I know “Christians” who do both.)

George: Do you think God will pass His own test?

Russ: Since God does not farm or raise herds inside His holy land of Israel, He does not need to tithe. God sacrificially gave his cherished Son as a freewill offering for Hebrew and Gentile–not as a tithe.

George: (2 Corinthians 8:13-15).

Russ: Read 2 Cor 8:12-15. Equality giving means that many should give more than 10% but others are giving sacrificially even though at a lower level. For some reasons you are unable to admit that.

George: So in God's school of giving, grade one is the tithe and grade two is sharing from abundance,

Russ: You have no texts to prove that tithing is grace giving. Levitical tithing was cold hard law and was required whether one was cheerful or not. Those who received the Levitical tithe as an inheritance were not allowed to own or inherit land. Why is that ignored today?

George: … but what about grade three; sharing sacrificially? This is where we really start to grow in our relationship with Christ.

Russ: You think that a Christian cannot “start to grow in our relationship with Christ” until AFTER first tithing and giving freewill offerings. Those are cruel words to the poor who are trying to obey 1st Timothy 5:8 and first pay for medicine, food and shelter.

I urge you to enter an extended dialog with me on this subject.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Reply to Hank Scott, The Plain Truth

Hank Scott (PT)

Hank: Thanks for your input in regard to the Tithing article, but I see from your website that you already have an agenda to push, and have preset conclusions on the subject, having already published a book of your own ideas and thoughts on this subject.

Russ: Does this mean that you have no “preset conclusions on the subject” and that your blog was not designed to influence others towards your own conclusions?

Hank: Are you open to change, when proved wrong?

Russ: I am always open to being persuaded by sound arguments from God’s Word. I have embarrassingly been a Southern Baptist, Church of Christ, Independent Baptist, Seventh-day Adventist, Methodist, Southern Baptist and Independent Baptist. How many times have you changed your theology?

Hank: There are several fallacies in your approach to what scripture reveals about tithing.

Russ: That is what I want. An extended in-depth debate using sound biblical hermeneutics.

Hank: The first is the typical Christian fallacy that "Old Testament" means not in force in these "New Covenant" times. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Russ: I see no texts which command the Church to obey the Old Covenant as it was written to Old Covenant Israel. Do you have any? That which God wanted the Church to obey after Calvary in the New Covenant has been clearly repeated in terms of grace and faith.

Hank: Take sacrifices, for instance. While it is true that the lack of a priesthood officiating at the Temple in Yarav-salem today makes these laws unnecessary at this moment in time, since this would be an impossibility, the idea that the Savior's sacrifice did away with the need for all sacrifices for all time is clearly flawed and false in view of future prophecies of the Savior's return and the establishment of His Kingdom here on earth (cf. Ezekiel 43-46, for instance).

Russ: I understand Ezekiel’s Temple to take place during the (1000 year) Millennial Reign of Christ on Earth. The sacrifices are not for atonement for as memorial. And, in Ezekiel’s vision of the Temple the Levites and priests own land and tithes are not mentioned. That is real cool.

Hank: Likewise, tithing is NOT a thing of the past, but is a present and future requirement for those who are obedient to their heavenly Father's will, just as the Savior was and still is.

Russ: And what texts tell you this? Everything about tithing in the past is gone: the covenant, the Temple, the priesthood, the Levitical cities, etc. Nothing about OT tithing and Numbers 18 is followed by any church today.

Hank: And tithing, though commanded specifically of agricultural produce and livestock in a almost entirely agrarian society, did not preclude tithing on other things, such as monetary income (unless your idea is the incorrect notion that only farmers and ranchers were required to support the Levitical priesthood).

Russ: Do a search of “money” and you will see that it was very common even before tithing was introduced. It was required for sanctuary worship. Your argument is weak. Tithes were from what God miraculously increased –not from what man made. And tithes could not come from outside Israel. Those are facts.

Hank: Tithes were the only income for the priests and Levites.

Russ: That common assumption is wrong. They received the tithes instead of land inheritance because they owned no land and were spread out among all tribes on loaned land to farm and feed tithed animals. According to 1st Chronicles 23 to 26 they had very many jobs in order to know skills to use in the temple.

Hank: But did all they need for their support consist solely of food? What about clothing and other daily necessities for them and their families? How else were these provided, other than by tithes and offerings?

Russ: There were 24 courses of Levites and priests living in 48 cities and they only worked in the Temple one week at a time. They had plenty of time to earn money as carpenters, sculptors, metal workers, bakers, guards and even political judges per 1 Chron 23 to 26.

Hank: (Just as Abraham tithed on everything of the spoils of war, to the priest Melchezidek; Genesis 14:20, who was neither a Levite nor a descendant of Aaron; Hebrews 7:4-6).

Russ: It was Abram a Gentile before he was circumcised. Nothing done by Abram is an example for Christians today: (1) only un-holy pagan spoils of war, (2) only once, (3) he kept nothing and (4) gave the 90% to the king of Sodom. Which of those do you follow?

Hank: The gathering of tithes into local cities was generally the second tithe, on the third and sixth years out of every seven (a sabbatical of years), for the Levites, the poor, widows and strangers who could not always afford to go to the Feasts, so that they could also rejoice.

Russ: I disagree. The first Levitical tithe was brought to the Levitical cities according to Neh 10:37-39. The Temple was too small to hold the tithes of the nation and 98% of those who needed the tithe to eat lived in the Levitical cities.

Hank: And second tithes were commonly converted into currency for such events, which funds were used to celebrate the Feasts by those who lived too far to bring their flocks, agricultural and other tithes personally (Deuteronomy 14:22-29).

Russ: Correct.

Hank: How could Levi have collected the same tenth Abraham paid on everything, if all he could lawfully receive was agricultural tithes?

Russ: He didn’t. Abram’s tithe was UNHOLY pagan spoils of war. Levi’s tithe was HOLY from God’s hand form His holy land. That is why the Law did not use Abram’s tithe as an example.

Hank: Christianity's flawed and false point of view is too legalistic, in that they look to man's law to settle every matter, rather than to the spirit and intent of the Creator's law, even while hypocritically trying to denigrate and overthrow this law as supposedly having no significance in the Creator's purpose and plan for humanity now and into the future.

Russ: And how do you distinguish between the “Creator’s Law” for Old Covenant Israel and eternal moral law for everybody? The same law which required tithing to Levi also required Levi to Kill anybody who dared enter the sanctuary and worship God directly and it also required Levi NOT to own or inherit property.

Hank: The utterly heretical viewpoint, that the laws against idolatry and adultery, to take two key commandments, are now just archaic and unnecessary for us to obey today, because the Savior's sacrifice supposedly "fulfills" (or "abolishes") these laws, is anti-scriptural, and mistranslated nonsense!

Russ: You have a terrible concept of biblical law. The Old Testament Law was written as “Thou shalt nots” whereas the “law of the Spirit of life in Christ” says “a new creation in Christ WILL not” Rom 8:2. There is nothing heretical from changing the external moral parts of the Old Law from stone to the heart per Heb 8:8-13.

Hank: The actual meaning of the same word translated "fulfill" in "Matthew" 5:17, for instance -- everywhere else it occurs in the entire New Testament -- meant "to make replete" or carry out, even OBEY or execute, NOT bring to an end, finish or abolish (as Christianity has long misconstrued this word; while indulging in thoroughly pagan and forbidden practices, from Christmas to Easter, Halloween, etc.).

Russ: First, Matthew 5:19-48 is a discussion of all 600+ commands of the law including commandments, statutes and judgments. It is either all or none per Gal 3:10. How do you explain that? Second, “fulfill” is a theme of Matthew. Third, Jesus told the disciples on the Emmaeus Road that he had fulfilled what was written about him. I think you have far more trouble explaining Mt 5:17-18 than I do.

Hank: For instance, this same word is translated "might be filled" in relation to the knowledge of the Creator's will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding (Colossians 1:9).

Paul knew that the Philippians could "fulfill my joy" by being likeminded, having the same concern and care, and being of the same spirit and purpose (Philippians 2:2).

Russ: It is proper hermeneutics to first look at how Matthew used the word. Why do you ignore those texts? Matthew alone uses "fulfilled" very often: virgin birth (1:22); out of Egypt (2:15); Rachel weeping (2:17); called a Nazarene (2:23); Gentiles’ great light (4:14); bear our infirmities (8:17); God’s Spirit on him (12:17); Israel blinded (13:14); teach in parables (13:35); triumphant entry (21:4); fulfill prophecies (26:54,56); 30 pieces of silver (27:9); lots for garment (27:35).

Hank: Paul also did not teach against the "Old Testament" laws, commandments, statutes and judgments, but rather taught the word of the Almighty One "in its fulness" (Colossians 1:25), which was the original purpose and intent of those laws.

Russ: You seriously misunderstand the New Covenant use of the Old Covenant law. Exodus 21:15, 17 commands parents to kill children who strike or curse them. That is part of the judgments you think are in full effect. Paul was clear about the OT law being replaced by the indwelling Spirit in Romans and Galatians.

Hank: But even today, Paul's writings are still twisted and distorted into saying something he never meant or intended (cf. II Peter 3:15-16).

In saying this, Peter said precisely what the intent was of this distorting of Paul's message, when he concluded: "be on your guard so that you might not be carried away by the error of LAWLESS men and fall from your secure position" (II Peter 3:17), all of which means that the "grace and knowledge of our Sovereign and Savior" (verse 18), is found only through and by the law, and never in spite of it.

Russ: Peter agreed with James in Acts 15 and 21 that Gentiles should not be under the Law of Moses. Why?

Hank: Justification (the forgiveness of sins), it is true, does not come about by obeying the law -- but solely through grace -- yet it is a grave mistake to then conclude that the law is superfluous, unnecessary or to be discarded entirely!

Russ: You statement is un-intelligible without a precise definition of what you mean by “law.” Is it only the moral law? Is it the commandments, statutes and judgments? Or is it only the commandments PLUS tithing? (which is a scam)

Hank: Why bother to forgive sins that "cannot now exist," if it be true the law is no longer expected to be obeyed? (cf. I John 3:4)

Russ: Before Christ the Law was a shadow standard of righteousness. Now Christ is the standard per John 16:8-9 and Heb 1:1-2.

Hank: If your stance is, apparently, to belittle and disparage the law -- without recognizing the "law" of which Paul wrote, as being no longer needed, was in fact the traditions added on top of the law and the tradition of circumcision, which originated with Abraham and not through Moses ….

Russ: You are so confused about the law that you interpret it as only “traditions added on top of the law and circumcision.”

Hank: -- then you must repent of this grievous error, or face the consequences for your sinful ways come Judgment Day!

Russ: All of this twisted logic in order to defend tithing. Amazing.

Reply to The Plain Truth Restored

The Plain Truth Restored
Tithing Today - The Blessed Alternative
PT: Tithing is an ancient scriptural law that 10% of everything you earn, over and above expenses, belongs to your Creator and that He requires it to be used to support His ministry (not just any religious effort, but that of the pure truth specifically).

Kelly: True biblical HOLY tithes were always only food from inside Israel which God had miraculously increased from inside His holy land. Although money was required for sanctuary worship, money was never a tithing item. Jesus could not tithe and neither could anybody who lived outside Israel.

PT: His blessing of abundance is promised to those who obey Him, yet today most ignore or misapply this law (by supporting heretical religions and ministers, pastors, etc.), and the results are rather obvious.

Kelly: You ignore and misapply the plain biblical definition of holy tithes. God only commanded Old Covenant Israel to tithe and not the New Covenant Church.

PT: Some think this Law is "antiquated"

Kelly: The fundamental underlying moral law which is the character of God applies to all creation. The Old Covenant law only applied to national Israel.
PT: Others accuse anyone who chooses to live by that Law of "inventing" it

Kelly: Most preachers and bloggers cannot correctly define the word “law” and tell what it includes and what it does not include.

PT: Tithing is just such a Law you must learn, know, and follow if you want to truly prosper!

Kelly: You have changed the biblical definition of a HOLY tithe to include income from outside Israel. Our God is now dealing with His Church through purely New Covenant principles given to the Church after Calvary.

PT: Prosperity, of course, doesn't necessarily mean rich

Kelly: Except for many prosperity preachers who fleece their flocks.

PT: Tithing is giving a tenth of your increase (what is left after taxes and work-related expenses are deducted) from the fruits of your labors back to your Creator

Kelly: This definition is not found in the Bible.

PT: Some may wonder if tithing is still required today, since there is no Levitical priesthood in place to receive such tithes.

Kelly: The tithe of food from Israel was the only inheritance of the Levites and priests. Today dishonest so-called “tithe-teachers” own and inherit property contrary to the tithing statute of Numbers 18:21-28.

PT: Such thinking is short-sighted and perhaps deliberately obtuse.

Kelly: Redefining the true biblical holy tithe is deliberate dishonesty to rob the flock.

PT: The ministry of pure truth is your means of learning about the Laws and Commandments of your Creator,

Kelly: The Church does not obey ANY of the OT tithing laws today.

PT: Those who teach you these things are worthy of "double honor" in terms of financial support (cf. I Timothy 5:17)

Kelly: From the context of 1 Timothy 5:1-17, “double honor” refers to discipline, not to salary.

PT: "'Test me in this,' says Yahveh of hosts, 'and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough to receive it'" (Malachi 3:10).

Kelly: The tithe in Malachi 3:10 is still only FOOD 1000 years after Leviticus and Numbers. The definition never changed.

PT: What is the sole condition for you to receive such a blessing? "'Bring the entire tithe into the storehouse, so there is food in my house'" (op. cit.), is all He requires of you.

Kelly: The whole law was a test, not merely tithing. Obey all to be blessed; break one to be cursed. See Gal 3:10.

PT: A storehouse, in modern terms, is actually the ministry that feeds you strong and healthy spiritual meat in due season (cf. "Matthew" 13:52)!

Kelly: The OT tithe was first brought to the Levitical cities and not the Temple because most of those who needed it for food lived there per Neh 10:37-38. The early church owned no legal buildings for over 300 years.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Reply to The Intersection on Tithing

Reply to The Intersecion

The true biblical “HOLY” tithe was always only food from inside Israel which God had miraculously increased from inside His holy land. Tithes could not come from what man’s hand increased or from outside Israel. There is no text to refute this.

Just because something is in the Bible does not make it for the Church; rightly divide the Word. OT tithing blessings were linked to obedience to all 600+ commands of the Old Covenant Law which were only commanded to Israel. Money was common even in Genesis but the tithe never included money from Leviticus to Luke. The OT Law commanded killing disobedient children in Ex 21:15, 17.

“As a church we are totally not afraid to talk about tithing. ,,, I am personally not afraid of tithing or talking about it.”” If this is true then please enter into an extensive in-depth in-context dialog with me about tithing. I believe that NT post-Calvary giving principles for the church are far superior.

“I believe it would be great if everyone tithed.”” The fact is that, after over 100 years of tithe-teaching, it has not worked and has not been accepted by the vast majority of the Church. A different and better New Covenant model is needed which focuses on sacrificial giving (which is far more than ten per cent for many).

“If we're going to practice the kind of tithing taught in the Old Testament, it's actually about 22.3%.” True. And Numbers 18 requires Levitical tithe recipients to kill others attempting to enter the sanctuary and worship God directly. It also require them to NOT own or inherit property. In fact, none of the tithing statute of Numbers 18 is obeyed by any church today.

“It's shaky ground to build a doctrine on that simply because Abram did it, or Jacob promised it.”” Nothing Abram (before he was circumcised) did concerning tithing is an example followed by any church today. (1) only un-holy pagan spoils of war, (2) nothing he previously owned, (3) he kept nothing, (4) he gave 90% to the king of Sodom.

“If this whole thing on giving is going to land where it needs to land for all of us, it cannot be a duty.” Second Corinthians 8:12-15’s ‘equality’ principle means that many should give more than 10% until it becomes sacrificial.

“It cannot be our response to a rule. It can't just seem voluntary. It has to truly be voluntary and all about our relationship with God.” Very good.

“Make it PROGRESSIVE - Decide: As time goes by, and as my income goes up.” Very good.

“The rules say bring your full tithe into the storehouse (Malachi 3:10), but grace says store up treasure in heaven (Luke 12:33-34).” The rules for tithing were only given to Old Covenant Israel per Ex 19:5-6; Lev 27:34 and Mal 4:4.

“Jesus doesn't want, or require our tithe.” Correct. Although He owned everything in the OT also, He only acccepte tithes of food from inside His special HOLY land of Israel.

Paul Spencer's Blog about Hillsong and Darin Hufford

Thanks for the encouraging post and for standing up to at least question tithing. I am always looking for grace-giving churches to add to web site list.

Are you, Paul Spencer a pastor or a grace-giving church? Where?

Did Darin Hufford’s grace giving church survive? Where?

If you want an entire web site devoted do grace giving with over 200 articles, see My PHD was on the subject.
Hill$onger questions church’s tithe teaching
Paul Spencer blogs…
Darin Hufford on Tithing
Darin Hufford of the Free Believers Network has admitted that he does not believe in tithing. Darin is an ex-pastor of the Dream Center – a mega church in Los Angeles U.S.A. I recall Darin relating in one of his Into the Wild podcasts, that he set-up his own church after he left the Dream Center. He promptly told his new congregation that they did not have to tithe. Darin ended-up having an argument with his accountant because his ministry was rapidly running out of money. However, Darin would not waver from his convictions and he stood firm when it came to not deceiving the congregation into tithing out of an obligation or with the promise of extravagant blessings should they continue to do so. Darin concluded from this experience that the whole institution church experience is man-made and is utterly dependant on the myth of tithing.

I’m kind of torn between accepting this statement fully and arguing that it is not the case, that there are some good things about the institutional church, particularly grace-oriented mega-churches such as Hillsong. However, I cannot deny that Darin does have a point and it does get me thinking. If this is the case, then perhaps Joseph Prince has to preach on the tithe so that he himself can continue to exist in a mega-church environment and so that he can continue to influence those who are also in a mega-church environment.
I made the big mistake of simply accepting everything I read in Hagin’s books without question. I suppose this was because I was so convinced by the extravagant testimonies of blessings and miracles; as well as the all-too-familiar name-it-and-claim-it faith confessions. I was desperate for love and approval and in the absence of proper teaching on grace – I just looked to performance and achievement. I saw faith as being the key to unlocking the power of God that I needed in order to be happy, satisfied and accepted.

Biblical prosperity is a very tricky subject – there needs to be a balance and I believe that extravagant testimonies, such as that of Olivia Lum, need to be seen as exceptional and not typical.

I foresee the grace revolution as being a rather slow process as old religious mindsets give way to the message of pure grace. I believe that the message of tithing will probably be the last bastion of Christian legalism to fall. Why? Well because it involves money of course!”

Monday, April 05, 2010

Atheism Debate 4-5-10b

Russ: "Abraham had enough faith in God that God would somehow work it out."

Bernie: No- Abraham lied when he told his son that.

Russ: And you know the hearf of Abraham?

Berniei: I think if you'll look at the morals of the god of the bible, you'll see he comes up short. And the reason for that is because god was made in man's image, not the other way around.

Russ: Interesting. If God were made in my image (1) He would not have allowed Satan into the garden, (2) he would have destroyed mankind long before Noah’s time and (3) He would have kept you in touch with me for the last two years.

Bernie: .. and men were more morally immature then compared to now.

Russ: That is highly debateable.

Bernie: That's why they had slavery and oppressed women.

Russ: I honestly believe that the world today is much more debased.

Bernie: Now we have equal rights.

Russ: To debase ourselves with infinitely more debase drugs and actions.

Bernie: .. because it is morally correct to do such."

Russ: After you explain Isaiah 49:5-6 and 53:4-12 I look forward to changing the discussion to your atheistic definition of morality. Who are you to tell me what is moral?

The other day you wrote that you “loved.” What is that? A chemical reaction which evolved by mindless accident? Don’t answer now. Answer after we have finished with Isaiah 49:5-6 and 53:4-12. I really do “love” you ad plan to fight tooth and nails until you see the truth about a loving God.

Atheism Debate 3-5-10b


Explain 49:5-6 in context. Explain 53:8-12 in the context of the servant of 53:11.

Abraham had enough faith in God that God would somehow work it out. God tests our faith in ways we cannot understand. I am glad that I am not Abraham.
Russ: If God forgave sin without requiring redemption then He would be unjust and violate His character by showing mercy."

Bernie: How does this make sense?

Russ: You are who you are. God is both just and merciful. As a parent you should also be both just and merciful. Do you ever discipline your children? Why? If you do not discipline them, then you are only merciful but show no sense of justness. If you only punish them and never show mercy, then you are not true to what a good parent should be.

How many times would you allow your children to steal your car without permission and wreck it? You cannot simply keep on forgiving them (showing mercy) because that would reflect on your poor character. Sooner or later you would set down the law to them and expect some kind of obedience and restoration. And you are only a human father.

Bernie: God requires payment, so he came to earth as a man, then died on the cross to offer himself up to himself as a sacrifice?

Russ: On what grounds do you, as a parent, have to forgive your erring children and show mercy to them? On what grounds does the Governor of a State have the authority to forgive sins and commute a sentence? The Governor has authority vested in him from the State. God has authority due to His own character and he must be true to his own character.

Bernie: What makes more sense, and is obvious, is to see how the ancients came up with an idea to appease the gods because of earthquakes, floods, etc (which they thought god was sending because he was upset with them). Give the gods a gift. A fruit-basket, anything. The ultimate sacrifice is to give your child. That's why the pagan's in Moses' day sacrificed kids, to appease their god. Moses copied the idea of blood atonement from his neighbors."

Russ: I think that it is the other way around. The pagans copied God’s original plan for ONE perfect sinless sacrifice for all sin for all time. You assume that Moses, Hebrews and Christians copied pagans. I assume that pagans mimicked God’s original plan and falsified it in order to deceive the world.

Muslims and Buddhists have rituals, prayers and good works. Buddhists and Hindus have reincarnation. None of these explain why their god can and should forgive sins!

Sin does not exist without free will. Do you have free will? Do you chose to do that which you sense is correct? From a theistic viewpoint sin must imply freewill.
When you and your wife decided to birth freewill thinking children, you should have committed to caring for them, feeding them and protecting them. Well, when God decided to create you with freewill, HE made a commitment to redeem you when you sinned.

Take away freewill and you can take away God’s need to provide a path of redemption for His creation. You also take away your own commitment to die if necessary to protect your own children.

You would DIE to protect your own children, wouldn’t you? That would be a BLOOD sacrifice to insure that your own children lived. Same logic as what God did.

Atheism Debat on Isa 53; 4-5-10a

Mr Babinski and Dehler

You urged me to go back and read Isaiah chapter 48 to 53 and I did –three times. It seems that you prefer to read other scholars rather than the texts themselves. We are NOT discussing other scholars. Rather we are discussing the Bible.

1. Servant is sometimes the prophet. I grant you that.
2. As a prophet servant is actually the mouthpiece for Messiah. You will not grant me that.
3. Servant is often national Israel. I grant you that.
4. Servant is MOST OFTEN “righteous Israel” – I will grant you that. Happy?
5. As “righteous Israel” servant is often the mouthpiece of Messiah. You will not grant that.
6. At very key texts it is clear to me that Messiah cannot possible be either Israel or righteous Israel. You seem unwilling to discuss these texts which refute your arguments.

48 all: God the Rock and Deliver is speaking to Israel personified.

49:1 God the Rock and Deliverer is speaking to Israel personified.

49:3 The SERVANT is Righteous Israel personified. However, this cannot be separated from 49:5-6.

• “And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”

49:4 Israel personified replies to God.

**49:5 The SERVANT here cannot be only the nation because the “servant’s” calling is to “bring Jacob again to him.” It is extremely difficult to imagine the prophet speaking about himself and boasting about his own “glory” even though his message failed!

49:5 And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.

***49:6 this text is extremely strong in support of the servant being Messiah. The purpose of the servant is to “to rise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel.” The SERVANT is to be a light to the Gentiles” and God’s “salvation to the end of the earth.” This cannot possibly refer to either a normal prophet or to Israel itself.

49:6 “And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.”

49:7-26 SERVANT is righteous Israel. However righteous Israel is personified as Jesus in the NT.

50 all: God rebukes SINFUL Israel.

51:1-8 God is speaking to Righteous Israel.

***5l:9-10 The “Arm of the Lord” is NOT national Israel. It is God, the I Am, who dried up the sea and ransomed sinful national Israel. This is crucial for understanding 53:l.

52:12 God is speaking to national Israel.

52:13 MY SERVANT is either Righteous Israel or the Messiah.

52:14 “Visage-appearance was marred more than any man” is a far better description of Jesus than it is national Israel.

53:1 The “arm of the Lord” (from 51:9-10) is NOT national Israel.

53:2 The “he” and “him” refers to the “arm of the Lord” from 53:1 and not to a prophet or national Israel. Explain this. 49:9-10

53:3 The “we” is either “all of the prophets” (which is unlikely) or else the “nation Israel” decribing one who will die as a sin offering for the sins of the nation in following verses.

****53:4-8 cannot possibly refer to the nation Israel because the person is suffering as a SUBSTITUE for national Israel. He is the SERVANT 53:11.

****53:5 cannot possibly refer to a sick diseased person because Hebrew Law forbade even such animals from being sin offerings. And it cannot be national Israel because you cannot substitute for yourself. He is the SERVANT in 53:11.

• But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

****53:6 The nation Israel is “we” and “us all.” It takes a lot of faith to believe that the text is referring to an ordinary but very sick and abused person. He is the SERVANT in 53:11.

53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

****53:7 There is no OT prophet or person who meets this description. Modern Hebrews, liberals and atheists have invented an imaginary sick person to explain this prophecy. He is the SERVANT of 53:11.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

***53:8 teaches SUBSTITUTIONARY ATONEMENT. Again there is no historical prophet or person who fits this description other than Jesus. Again the nation Israel cannot be a substitute for itself. He is the SURVANT in 53:11.

***53:10 The most important qualification for a sin offering is spotlessness—sinlessness. This is definitely NOT a description of the nation Israel. He is the SERVANT in 53:11.

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

**** Isa 53:11 MY RIGHTEOUS SERVANT cannot possibly refer to national Israel because he bears their inquities.

****This text, Isa 53:11, must be speaking of the same person in the preceding verses and it cannot possibly refer the nation of Israel.

11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

****53:12 No prophet teaches that the nation Israel will die as a payment for its own sins and that such payment will constitute a sin offering. The prophets were primarily sent to rebuke Israel if its sins.

Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Can anybody on this forum stop talking about what others say and discuss the texts themselves in context? I am not impressed with any of your arguments. Explain the servant of Isaiah 49:5-6; 51:9-10 and 53:4-12. Explain IN CONTEXT how the nation Israel is the suffering servant as Jews teach.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Ignored text

This one must have fallen out of the tithe-teachers and the greedy preachers Bibles. The poor widow cannot qualify to join a lot of our churches today.

Isa 55:1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Happy Resurection Day

Reply to Truth Works, 4-3-10

Reply to Truth Works, 4-3-10

TW: Melchizedek was a King and a Priest, just like Jesus. And his name literally means “King of Righteousness; King of Peace.” Duh. Not much need for an elaboration on that point.

Kelly: Hebrews 7 says that the “historical” Melchizedek was “by interpretation of his name” the “king of righteousness.” The historical was not literal; the typical was.

TW: And then there is this strange statement, “without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life” (Hebrews 7:3). Who is this guy?

Kelly: Everything about the historical M actually DISQUALIFIED him to be a priest in Israel. And everything about the historical M HIGHLY-QUALIFIED him to be an eternal priest of the Most High God which included Gentiles.

TW: Whether or not Melchizedek is a pre-incarnate manifestation of Jesus Christ or not — I do not know, and cannot say. But he certainly is “like unto Him” in many remarkable ways.

Kelly: Hebrews quotes Ps 110:4 eight times to point out that it is his office or “order” of “king-priest” which is important and not his “person.”

TW: And then there is this stunning fact presented for our peanut brains to try and figure out. When Abraham returned victorious from battle, Melchizedek blessed him and said, ”Blessed be Abraham of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And then the Bible says, “And Abraham gave him a tithe of all.” (Gen 14:19–20).

Kelly: Abram, not Abraham after his circumcision. Most likely he was compelled to obey the well-known law of the land which required tithes from spoils of war to the king-priest.

TW: There is a principle of Bible Study, which is called The Law of First Mention. It is a principle that requires one to go to that portion of the Scriptures where a doctrine is mentioned for the first time and to study the first occurrence of the same in order to get the fundamental inherent meaning of that doctrine. What is found in the first mention of a thing will hold true throughout the Bible from that point forward.

Kelly: See comments on Heb 7:5.

TW: This passage is the first mention of tithing in the Bible. Abraham gives tithes to Melchizedek, after the King/Priest blessed him. Why did he do that? There was no Law saying he had to do so; in fact, The Law would not come for several hundred years.

Kelly: Yes there was a very well-known pagan Arab and Canaanite law which required tithes from spoils of war.

TW: No, Abraham did not tithe out of any sense of duty or legalism; he tithed because his heart was filled with gratitude for the blessings he had received.

Kelly: There are no texts to validate this assertion.

TW: And his giving of the tithe to Melchizedek was a profound act of faith, and a compelling example of faithfulness — which stands to this day in the lives of all who are heirs of the blessing given to Abraham.

Kelly: Again there are no texts to validate this. Abraham got rich after lying to Pharaoh about his wife. And he gave 90% of the spoil to the king of Sodom. Those are not examples of faith to follow.

TW: Whether or not you tithe is none of my business; that’s a matter between you and the Lord. Some do, and some don’t.

Kelly: Nobody tithes today. True biblical HOLY tithes were always only food from inside Israel and that cannot be denied. Tithes did not come from what one’s hands provided or from outside Israel from Leviticus to Matthew. Not even Jesus tithed.

TW: But, there are some who DO NOT tithe, who act as though they are on a mission from God to prove to the world that those who DO tithe are deluded. With lengthy arguments they painstakingly try to dismantle each and every point made by others who teach that tithing is a truth for us today.

Kelly: Dialog with us. We sincerely urge you to carefully and prayerfully study all of what God’s Word says about tithing before condemning us. Be a Berean.

TW: The Bible says, “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind” (Romans 14:5).

Kelly: This is exactly what we urge.

TW: So as for me, I see no problem following in the footsteps of Abraham’s faith and love, and showing it in every way possible — including giving freely a tenth of my income –

Kelly: Follow Abram’s example and your church will flounder: (1) lie about your wife, (2) only tithe pagan spoils of war, (3) only tithe once, (4) keep nothing and (5) give the 90% to the modern equivalent of the king of Sodom.

TW: … especially when One far greater than Melchizedek reigns with blessings over my life today! He is the True King of Righteousness and the True King of Peace; He is the High Priest of the Most High God; He is Jesus, and He has risen from the dead!

Kelly: If you own and inherit property as a tithe-recipient, you are breaking the tithing law. If you do not KILL others entering the Sanctuary to worship God directly, you are breaking the tithing law. Num 18:21-28.

Hebrews 7:5 is the first occurrence in Hebrews of “commandment,” “tithes” and “law.” In 7:12 God said that it was “necessary to change the law” of tithing from 7:5. How was that law “changed”? It was not changed to be given to NT gospel workers. Rather 7:18 says that the “commandment going before” was “disannulled” because it was “weak and unprofitable.”

Please enter an honest discussion with us on this subject.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Atheism Debate, 4-2-10c

Bernie: Russ, I think you are being inconsistent. Either human sacrifice is evil or holy.

If you say it is evil, then god commanded Abraham to do evil. It would be like asking him to rape a woman... it is that bad, only worse, as I think murder of an innocent is worse than rape of an innocent.

If it is good, as in the case of Jesus being a human sacrifice for god, then you can't claim it was evil when Abraham was commanded by god to do it.

Can you see the inconsistency?"
God is omniscient. He knew that Abraham would not kill Isaac.

God is both just and merciful. Sin is transgression of the character and nature of God. The only way that God can be perfectly just to His character and also extend mercy to sinners is for someone (or something) equal to His character to pay for the offense against His character.

If God forgave sin without requiring redemption then He would be unjust and violate His character by showing mercy. On the other hand if God honored His own intrinsic just-ness (fairness) and did not forgive sin, then He would violate His characteristic of being merciful.
Why are you trying to change the subject away from Isaiah 53? Can you or can you not explain all the reasons I gave earlier to prove that the suffering servant could not have been national Israel? Can you or can you not explain why your view of the suffering servant, national Israel, cannot be a substitute for itself.

Are you conceding the I won the debate on Isaiah 53? Do you now want to go elsewhere?

Jesus is very much an exception to the rule for several reasons. (1) Sinners did not offer Jesus in order to appease God and (2) Jesus freely offered Himself to be a kinsman-redeemer when the Godhead decided to create mankind with a freewill. Christianity is the only religion that gives God a reason to be consistent with His own character and also forgive sin.

Atheism Debate, 4-2-10b

Throw out the commentaries and do your own study. Read all of chapter 49-53 and ascertain WHOM is speaking to WHOM. You will discover that often it is clear that the answer is the Messianic personage rather than the prophet or nation.

Question: Who is the LORD speaking to in 49:5-6: (1) The prophet, (2) the nation personified or (3) the Messiah?

49:5 And now says the LORD, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel might be gathered to Him (For I am honored in the sight of the LORD,
And My God is My strength),
6 He says, "It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth. NASU

Answer: It cannot be the nation personified because “His servant” was called “To bring Jacob back to Him. It is either the prophet or Messiah. It is most likely the Messiah who will “raise up,” “restore” and be a “light to the nations.”

Question: Who is the LORD speaking to in 49:7-13: (1) the prophet, (2) the nation personified or (3) Messiah?

49:7 Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and its Holy One, To the despised One, To the One abhorred by the nation, To the Servant of rulers," Kings will see and arise, Princes will also bow down, Because of the LORD who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen You."

Answer: The “despised One” must be either the prophet or the Messiah because the “nation abhorred the LORD” (49:7). The context of 7-13 must be the Messianic figure because the LORD “gives You for a covenant of the people” (49:8).

Question: Who is speaking to whom in 51:9+?

Answer: It appears to be God the Messiah speaking to God the LORD and/or vice-versa as “the arm of the LORD” who dried up the sea so the “nation” could escape Egypt. Verse 12 says "I, even I, am He who comforts you.” Verse 15 says "For I am the LORD your God.” Verse 16 says "I have put My words in your mouth.”
Question: Who is speaking FOR whom in 52:3-6?

Answer: Either the prophet or the Messianic figure is speaking FOR the LORD who says in verse 6 "Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore in that day I am the one who is speaking, 'Here I am.'"
Question: Who is the “we” of 53:3-7?

Answer: The “we” is the nation Israel. Therefore the “he” must refer to the Messianic figure.


Question: If the “he” is a literal sick man, why would the LORD “smite him” FOR the “griefs and sorrows” of others? 53:4

Question: How does the “chastisement of our stripes” “heal” the nation of Israel? 53:5

Question: Why would the LORD lay upon s single ordinary sick person “the iniquity of us all (THE NATION)?

Question: How can the nation Israel be said to have been “cut off out of the land of the living”? 53:8

Isaiah 53:10 is the most awesome text of the entire chapter.

Question: Why would a holy Jewish prophet teach that God would be “pleased” to see a person with “no deceit) (v9) die as a SIN OFFERING? Jews did not have human sacrifices.

Muslims Worship Freely Here; We Cannot Worshi;p Freely There

Islamic “militants” murdered a pastor recently in Somalia and burned a Christian man nearly to death in Pakistan. Pastor Modabe Abdi was shot to death on March 15 in Somalia, after he was tracked down by an Islamic group called al Shabaab. He had escaped a kidnapping attempt less than two weeks earlier. The Muslims refused to allow Abdi’s body to be buried, ordering that it be left to the dogs (Voice of the Martyrs, March 24, 2010). In Pakistan, Muslim “extremists” set 38-year-old Arshed Masih on fire for refusing to convert to Islam. His wife was raped and the couple’s three children were forced to watch their parent’s brutalization (, March 22, 2010). Arshed is in intensive care with burns over 80% of his body and is not expected to live. The terrorist act occurred in front of a police station not far from Pakistan’s capital city.
(Friday Church News Notes, April 2, 2010,, 866-295-4143)

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Discussion with Atheists, Babinski, 4-1-10

Babinski: There is nothing about scourging or crucifixion in the description of the Suffering Servant, nor any mention of the sins of the world, only of the sufferings of Israel.

Kelly: You admit too much. Even if it is only a reference to the sins of Israel, the suffering servant is an innocent sin-offering substitute for Israel. You cannot be substitute for yourself.

Kelly: “His visage was so marred more than any man” KJV. “Appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance” liberal RSV. While the text does not say HOW he was marred, scourging fits the description as well as your own speculation of disease. Like it or not, it is still a good description of what happened to Jesus.

Babinski: If you were to ask several translators what Isa. 52:14 means in context it implies his face was ugly due to disease.

Kelly: None of the translations which are legitimate contain the word “disease.” You want to hold me to an exact literal translation but you want me to accept your loose interpretation.

Babinski: You can compare translations and commentaries. But don't just read Evangelical ones, try Jewish ones and Cambridge and Oxford and Anchor Bible commentaries as well.

Kelly: The Jewish, Cambridge, Oxford and Anchor comments are liberal and PREJUDICED. They do not assume that an Omniscient God can know the future and they go to great extremes to cover up any prophecy. I see no need for them to even worship a God who is so feeble. They should disband and spend their money on better things.

Babinski: According to The Bible in Basic English: "As peoples were surprised at him, And his face was not beautiful, so as to be desired: his face was so changed by disease as to be unlike that of a man, and his form was no longer that of the sons of men."

Kelly: Reads like Sesame Street to me. It is definitely a very loose paraphrase and not an attempt at true translation at all. I reject it.

Babinski: A few verses after that The Amplified Bible, chapter 53:3-4 describes this servant: "3 He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness …

Kelly: Thanks for reminding me how dishonest the Amplified and paraphrase Bibles are. Read the same text in the NAS, RSV, NIV and KJV. The Amplified has added the words “and sickness.”

Babinski: 4 Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]." The brackets are from the Amplified Bible translation.

Kelly: Again the words “sickness” and “as if by leprosy” are not found in legitimate translations such as the NAS and RSV. You resort to questionable translations in order to argue against God’s ability to know and prophesy the future.

Babinski: In brief, the servant cannot refer to Jesus because the subject of Isaiah 53, was sick, was buried with the wicked (plural) and had children and long life.

Kelly: Mt 8:17 says Jesus bare our sickness as he was healing them during his daily ministry. There is no mention that such healing marred him. (1) It is only your interpretation using a bad translation which says that the servant of Isaiah was sick. (2) Do you realize that Jesus was buried among the wicked because, for the most part, the rich wicked rulers were the only ones who could afford expensive above-ground sepulchers.

Babinski: Jesus does not fit any of these. Also read the previous chapters in Isaiah that refer to The Servant, and notice they are referring to the people of Israel, though a single individual prophet might also be view perhaps Jeremiah.

Kelly: It cannot possibly refer to the “people of Israel.” (1) In 53:3 the general population “despised him.” (2) In 53:4 he bears the sins of the people who considered him “smitten of God.” (3) In 53:5 he was punished for the people. You cannot substitute for yourself. (4) The “we” of 53:6 included the prophet (whether Isaiah or Jeremiah). (5) In 53:8 he was “cut off” for the transgressions of my people” –the writer is not speaking about himself as a prophet. (6) In 53:10 God Himself made the suffering servant a sin offering. You cannot possibly say that this is either the people in general or a prophet. Be honest to the text. (7) In 53:10 “prolong his days” follows being “cut off as a sin offering” and must refer to resurrection. This is because 53:9 says that “he had done no violence, neither was there any deceit in his mouth.” There was no person or prophet in Israel who was sinless.

Babinski: But it's a human figure, described in human fashion with no divine overtones.

Kelly: “No divine overture”??? In 53:1 “the LORD revealed.” In 53:4 “smitten of God.” In 53:6 “the LORD laid on him the iniquity of us all.” In 53:10 “it pleased the LORD to bruise him.”

Babinski: … Reading everything as a metaphor for Jesus is just not playing fair with the original text.

Kelly: You have ignored all the arguments AGAINST interpreting the texts as either Israel itself or a prophet.