A FEEBLE MIND AT WORK

Mosaic of St. Justin Martyr, Mount of the Beatitudes
Mosaic of St. Justin Martyr, Mount of the Beatitudes

Here of late this blog has been getting unintentionally flattering reviews from kcchief1, the author of The Divine Spark Within. I say unintentional, because it is obvious that  has no intention of praising Citizen Tom. Nevertheless, when I read ‘s posts I am hard put to find anything I would have said differently. Well, that is not entirely true. I do wish some of the quotes were not taken out of context.

 began his assault on Citizen Tom by posting a comment on JESUS NEVER GAVE THEM WHAT THEY WANTED — PART 4.

kcchief1
March 24, 2015 at 4:59 pm

First of all, I am NOT an Atheist, but a Deist. I have exchanged many comments with John Zande and have found him to be courteous especially during the times we have disagreed. I am curious why you felt the need to band him from commenting on your blog ?

Thank you for allowing my comment here.

That led to another comment to correct a spelling error, “band” was supposed to be “ban”.

I gave  a link to the post where I explained why I banned Zande and Arkenaten, WHY I BANNED TWO TROLLS FROM CITIZEN TOM. After that  compared my banning of Zande to the persecution that Jesus and His disciples had suffered. Since I don’t consider Christianity an excuse for allowing non-Christians to burden Christians with meaningless guilt, I decided to ignore . Nevertheless, the few replies I gave  resulted in three posts at The Divine Spark Within. Since  had not posted anything since January 20th, I thought that remarkable.

Then  decided to pester one of my commenters with his inane comments and do a blog post on that. Since one of  ‘s comments contains an absurdly incorrect citation, I decided to post a correction.

Matthew says:
March 27, 2015 at 10:06 am
Anyone watching O’Reilly’s “Killing Jesus” this Sunday? From my understanding, O’Reilly examines the historical view of Jesus, not the theological view, which, in my opinion, is deficient because one cannot truly understand Jesus without the theological view. Without the theological knowledge, Jesus becomes another “historical figure.” There is no doubt — owing to vast written testimony — concerning Jesus’ historicity, but why is or what makes Jesus different from others? Who is Jesus? Sadly, that question and answer is lacking in O’Reilly’s book, and will be lacking in his movie. Pity.

kcchief1 says:
March 27, 2015 at 10:38 am

“From my understanding, O’Reilly examines the historical view of Jesus, not the theological view, which, in my opinion, is deficient because one cannot truly understand Jesus without the theological view.”

Here are 2 theological views among many, I doubt you would want O’Reilly to mention. Maybe it’s better that he just presents his historical view.

Church Theologian, Justin Martyr, “And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter” (Chapter XXI.—Analogies to the history of Christ.)

Geza Vermes, wiki says, “He was a noted authority on the Dead Sea Scrolls and ancient works in Aramaic such as the Targums, and on the life and religion of Jesus. He was one of the most important voices in contemporary Jesus research,[1] and he has been described as the greatest Jesus scholar of his time” Vermes described Jesus as a 1st-century Jewish holy man, a commonplace view in academia but novel to the public when Vermes began publishing.[4] Contrary to certain other scholars (such as E. P. Sanders[17]), Vermes concludes that Jesus did not reach out to non-Jews. For example, he attributes positive references to Samaritans in the gospels not to Jesus himself but to early Christian editing. He suggests that, properly understood, the historical Jesus is a figure that Jews should find familiar and attractive. This historical Jesus, however, is so different from the Christ of faith that Christians, says Vermes, may well want to rethink the fundamentals of their faith” (wiki)

What are the errors in ‘s reply to Matthew?  either lifted or copied someone who had lifted a quote from Justin Martyr totally out of context. This article, Justin Martyr, Defender of the “true philosophy”, provides some background on Justin Martyr. Justin is surnamed Martyr because he died as a martyr for the Christian faith.

Justin Martyr wrote The First Apology. He wrote it to Emperor Titus Ælius Adrianus Antoninus Pius Augustus Cæsar in defense of the Christian faith. Here is the complete version of Chapter XXI.—Analogies to the history of Christ. If you want to understand just how much ‘s citation of Justin Martyr reeks, please read Chapter XXI from beginning to end.

Chapter XXI.—Analogies to the history of Christ.

And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter. For you know how many sons your esteemed writers ascribed to Jupiter: Mercury, the interpreting word and teacher of all; Æsculapius, who, though he was a great physician, was struck by a thunderbolt, and so ascended to heaven; and Bacchus too, after he had been torn limb from limb; and Hercules, when he had committed himself to the flames to escape his toils; and the sons of Leda, and Dioscuri; and Perseus, son of Danae; and Bellerophon, who, though sprung from mortals, rose to heaven on the horse Pegasus. For what shall I say of Ariadne, and those who, like her, have been declared to be set among the stars? And what of the emperors who die among yourselves, whom you deem worthy of deification, and in whose behalf you produce some one who swears he has seen the burning Cæsar rise to heaven from the funeral pyre? And what kind of deeds are recorded of each of these reputed sons of Jupiter, it is needless to tell to those who already know. This only shall be said, that they are written for the advantage and encouragement of youthful scholars; for all reckon it an honourable thing to imitate the gods. But far be such a thought concerning the gods from every well-conditioned soul, as to believe that Jupiter himself, the governor and creator of all things, was both a parricide and the son of a parricide, and that being overcome by the love of base and shameful pleasures, he came in to Ganymede and those many women whom he had violated and that his sons did like actions. But, as we said above, wicked devils perpetrated these things. And we have learned that those only are deified who have lived near to God in holiness and virtue; and we believe that those who live wickedly and do not repent are punished in everlasting fire. (from here)

The reference to Geza Vermes’ work is relatively accurate. The mistake here is that Geza Vermes did exactly what  complained about.  Vermes’ tried to reduce Jesus from the Son of God to a historical figure.

But Mr Vermes’s real fame came from his contention that the historical Jesus, whatever his followers came to believe later, was first and foremost a Jewish holy man, one of many such itinerant preachers and wonder-workers. When his book “Jesus the Jew” came out in 1973, that approach seemed revolutionary. In many respects, the two faiths were in a state of mutual ignorance. Jewish scholarship and piety shunned the Christian scriptures: what could be gained by studying a self-proclaimed messiah and his mistaken followers? For their part Christians all but ignored Jesus’s Jewishness. Mr Vermes, somewhat combatively, highlighted the neglected common ground. (from here)

Vermes is a Jew who became a priest and then a Jew again. Since Vermes still experienced antisemitic persecution after he had become priest, we probably should not be surprised Vermes wanted to remind Christians that Jesus was a Jew. In that respect, Vermes did something useful.

It is also likely that Vermes conversion to Christianity never was sincere.

He was born in Makó, Hungary, to assimilated Jewish parents. His mother, Terézia, was a schoolteacher, and his father, Erno, a journalist and poet who associated with leading Hungarian intellectuals. When the family moved to Gyula, Vermes was enrolled in a Catholic primary school, and the family converted to Catholicism – “to give me a better chance”, as he wrote in his autobiography. That may have been his father’s intention, but his mother took the conversion seriously and became a devout Catholic. Vermes also seems to have taken it seriously enough to consider becoming a priest, when he graduated from the Catholic gymnasium. It was 1942 and life was becoming increasingly difficult for Hungarian Jews. The family’s baptismal certificates proved useless to protect them. Vermes was desperate to further his education but saw little chance, as a Jew, of gaining a place at university. Entering the priesthood offered a way forward. (from here)

The point is that Vermes is a Jew. So we have no reason to be surprised that a Jew doesn’t think Jesus was the Messiah. We would be surprised only if it was otherwise.

Anyway, I don’t have the time rebut nonsense. I don’t have to agree with the conclusions of the people who post here, but I will not permit obvious falsehoods. When people comment here, I expect what they post to be at least factually correct. And no, I don’t permit quotes deliberately taken out of context. The quote from Justin Martyr’s work was reprehensible.

Therefore, if a commenter like  wants to post anti-Christian drivel (garbage that is not even factually correct), he will have to do it on his own blog. Otherwise,  will have to do a little research first.

Note: If you wish to understand why I titled this post as I did, pleased check out   ‘s comment here.

THE MORALITY OF GOVERNMENT

constitution1.pngWhat Not To Do

In my last post, IS MULTICULTURALISM A RELIGION?, I supposedly ratted out Chris Nicholas, the host at Renegade Press. At least that is what he says in his REACTION. When we post stuff on the Internet, it is there everyone to see, but by his own admission Nicholas plays to emotion, not logic. And that is what I wanted folks to realize when I point them to Broken Windows, the post that inspired IS MULTICULTURALISM A RELIGION? When we set aside all logic, discard the wisdom of our forefathers, and let our feelings governed us, just believe whatever we wish to believe, we too think like and sound like Nicholas, vulgar and childish.

That’s the tragedy of letting politicians stuff our children’s heads with multiculturalist fluff. Even though our children’s heads may be full of nothing, they are very proud their heads are full. Moreover, they want to please us by parroting back what they have learned, and because we once went to schools run by politicians it takes us awhile to realize how little sense they make.

Consider who Nicholas quotes.

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.’ -Winston Churchill

Just as the heyday of the British Empire was coming to an end, Churchill served as its Prime Minister, perhaps the United Kingdom’s greatest Prime Minister. And what caused Churchill much sorrow?

I have not become the King’s First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire. — (from here: a speech at Lord Mayor’s Luncheon, Mansion House, London, November 10, 1942)

Churchill spent his life defending the British Empire, an empire composed mostly of black and brown men run by white Christians. Yet Churchill was a wise man. Grudgingly, he accepted the inevitable. He understood that Britain did not have the strength to hold the empire together, that the British people would not hold their empire together by force. Therefore, he did his best to enable its peaceful fragmentation. Thus confused, people now debate the extent of Churchill’s bigotry (see here, here, here, and here).

What To Do

Since phadde2 replied to REACTION at least as well as I could have, I will forgo further discussion of it. I expect Nicholas will approve ‘s comment. If not, you can check out his comment here.

For something even better, please visit Madison and Hamilton: “Democracy Violates Natural Law” at The American Post-Standard. What that post entails is a thoughtful discussion of the ethics of government.  That is, in his post  considers what is required to provide an ethical justification for government.

 began this little adventure in thoughtful contemplation of Democracy Violates Natural law.  That post is at THE ROAD TO CONCORD, another great blog.

For what it is worth, I added my two cents in the comment trail at Madison and Hamilton: “Democracy Violates Natural Law.”

What do we use as the basis of our ethics.  The founders of this nation used the Bible to provide the ethical foundation of our government.  If you doubt that, or you are just curious, I suggest a visit to The Bible’s Influence. Here we have a scholarly, but very readable, anthology of articles that demonstrate the wide scope of the Bible’s influence on America.

Note that the thrust of The Bible’s Influence seems to be the promotion of the Bible as the subject of study in the education of our children. Here I may have a little disagreement with the authors. I seriously doubt the competence of our public education system to provide instruction related to the Bible.  Why?  Those who don’t believe the Bible have great difficulty understanding what it says. They don’t want to believe the Bible. Because they don’t want to believe the Bible, the Holy Spirit does not help them understand it. So it is that we sometimes hear otherwise well-educated scholars saying idiotic things about the Bible. For a good explanation of the problem, see What is the biblical doctrine of illumination?

THE BIBLE PREDICTS A ?

zombieIs this still a current topic? Well, perhaps not. However, when I spotted the topic at Settled In Heaven, because it was such a weird thing to see there, I got curious and decided to read these three posts.

Does the Bible predict a zombie apocalypse? No, but some people will say anything, and others will believe anything. So  Rob Barkman thought the subject warranted some attention.

What have folks said? Here are some of the titles.

There are some responsible websites, but not many.

Anyway, when we read the Bible, context does matter. Not sure about what that means? Then check out The Coming Zombie Apocalypse Part 1 at Settled In Heaven.  My guess is that you also want to read the other two posts.

WHO WILL YOUR PROVIDER BE?

Many thanks and a hearty H/T to A True American Hero (notablequotesnsuch.wordpress.com).

In DO YOU THINK MIGHT MAKE RIGHT? — PART 1, I sought to answer a question:

Why I Choose To Talk About The Application Of Christian Theology To Politics?

In her segment on One Nation Back To God, KrisAnne Hall provides an eloquent and fiery answer to that question. Why the fire? We live in troubled times. To find a time when the political divide between Americans is as large as it is today, we would probably have to go back to the Civil War. Why is that? In her presentation in the second video below, KrisAnne Hall explains what is at stake.

What’s the subject of this first video? In this video Wild Bill for America provide an introduction for KrisAnne Hall.

Who will your provider be?  That’s the question that KrisAnne Hall asks as she ends a great presentation in the next video. Is her presentation a bit long? After you have listened to it, you may wish it were longer.

How did KrisAnne Hall answer her question. She used the last sentence in this verse from scripture.

Joshua 24:15 English Standard Version (ESV)

15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

When we regard our government as our provider, then like the Amorites or the fathers of the Hebrews, we worship an idol, a thing that can only condemn us eternally.