Archive for December, 2011
Richard Dawkins offered critique of David Cameron’s speech which was given on Friday 16th December 2011 at Christ Church Oxford, that Britain needs to return to Christian ideals. Dawkins, as typical, lashed out with verbal hand grenades at this claim by saying the Bible is, “an appalling moral compass”.
Dawkins also said, “The Christian bible will help us with our literature,” and “It should therefore be taught in schools in literature classes, but it’s not going to help us with our morals, far from it.”
Dawkins also said; “The bible is a terrible moral compass, if you think about it. Of course, you can cherry pick the verses that you like, which means the verses that happen to coincide with our modern secular consensus, but then you need to have a rationale for leaving out the ones that say stone people to death if they break the Sabbath, or if they commit adultery. It’s an appalling moral compass.”
Dawkins is correct that people cherry pick the verses they like, but clearly he is more guilty of this than the average Christian. The problem with Dawkins is that he has a very poor Theological understanding and a surface level interpretation of the Biblical narrative. He seems to willfully ignore context and historical settings.
He seems to think that when the Law of Moses commands stoning for adultery, that that command is somehow absent of any abrogation.
Dawkins stated in his criticism; “you can cherry pick the verses that you like, which means the verses that happen to coincide with our modern secular consensus, but then you need to have a rationale for leaving out the ones that say stone people to death if they break the Sabbath, or if they commit adultery.”
How long must we put up with this credulous argument?
When Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate and Pilate spoke to the Jewish people, they wanted to crucify Jesus and Pilate said to them; “Take ye Him, and judge Him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death” John 18: 31.
Clearly John 18: 31 states that the Jews in the time of Christ were subject to Roman law and not Mosaic law.
The question is why does Dawkins continue to claim that stoning people to death for breaking the Sabbath or for adultery is part of the Christian faith? Did Christ not say to those who wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery; “he who is without sin among you let him cast a first stone at her” John 8: 7
Who then is without sin?
What is clear to anyone who knows the Bible chronologically, is that the books which Dawkins likes to refer to are part of the Torah, the Pentateuch, being the first 5 books of Moses, which contain the ancient Law of Moses. This law which Dawkins often quotes was an ancient law given to the historical nation of Israel. It was not a law written or given to the Gentiles.
The historical Law of Moses was divided into three sections:
1) The Commandments
2) The ordainances
3) The judgement
The context of the Law suggests the following;
1) We must distinguish between the Ten Commandments and the Law of Moses. For the ‘moralia’ or ‘the 10 Commandments’ were not written by Moses but by God Himself. This means that the moral code of the Ten Commandments have not been abrogated.
2) The Law and ordainances were given to ancient Israel only. Exodus 19:3, Leviticus 26:46 and Romans 3:19, 9:4 clearly states this. Deuteronomy 4:8, Romans 2:12-14 clearly states that the Law of Moses was not given to the Gentiles but to Israel. Acts 15:5-24, Romans 6:14 and Galatians 2:19 likewise confirm this. This includes the ceremonies and rituals, of which is at no time are they imposed upon the Gentile Church (Acts 15:5 – 24).
3) Christ stated in Matttew 5: 17 that He fulfilled the Law, that is to take the punishment of it upon Himself. Paul confirms this when he states in Romans 10:4 that Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness. From this it is clear that the Bible states that righteousness does not come through the law but through Christ alone.
What is clear from correct study of the scriptures is that the judgement and penalties for breaking the Law of Moses was abolished in and through the life death and resurrection of Jesus. In other words, the wrath and harsh judgement of the Law was poured out upon Jesus.
The problem with atheists like Dawkins is that they are clearly ignorant of the Bible they freely critique.
Perhaps Mr Dawkins would care to give me an example of Christians who stone people to death? Or perhaps Mr Dawkins would care to join me in Biblical research or maybe he would care to read a book of Systematic Theology or evangelical Theology? Or better still, maybe Mr Dawkins would be better to leave the Theology to the Theologians and spend the next ten years in Biblical research and until then, cease from slandering a book he clearly does not understand.
It is clear to me that Dawkins has an agenda and his agenda is to slander Christianity and to abolish faith schools, because in reality, Dawkins appears to be a mere scientist, but inwardly he is a ferocious wolf who is part of a pack that seeks to spiritually devour Christ’s sheep and any lambs who may come to Him. But in reality, they cannot overcome the good Shepherd. For He cares for His sheep of which Richard Dawkins is not one of them (John 10: 25-29).
Simon Peter Sutherland
20th December 2011
David Cameron while giving a speech at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford has attacked the moral decline of Britain and has openly called for a revival of Christian values in England and stated that people should openly proclaim explicit values of Christianity.
He also presented critique of the ideas that claim that by standing up for Christian values, we do somehow put down other “faiths”.
He also hailed the King James Bible.
Despite the distinctive observation that the word “faiths” is a historical fallacy concocted by political minds, the word ‘Religions’ is a better description, Cameron rightly spoke against Islamic extremism and claimed that an “almost fearful, passive tolerance of religious extremism” has resulted in Islamic Extremism to remain unchallenged.
One of the things which stands out regarding Cameron’s speech is that he spoke of a “revival” of Christian values and England certainly needs reform and a Christian awakening.
England is forgetting her own history.
Reform is certainly in the air and would involve a new Reformation and a restoration of Truth. But before a reformation of this nature could begin, the Church must get her own house in order first. And since Cameron said this to the Church of England, that is the context and this would call for reform within the Church of England, who has neglected the Bible in favour of passing trends, cultural pursuasions and theological windrushes.
It would be hypocrisy and a burying of ones head in the sand to imagine that the Church of England is in a good way, but there is always hope of reform.
Likewise there is always hope of a Christian awakening within the hearts of the people, but the Church and Parliament must get their own house in order first and remove the plank of wood that is in their own eye, before they can attempt to even suggest that their are splinters within anothers eye. In other words, you cannot expect the people to respect or embrace Christianity and Parliament, if much of Christianity and Parliament has become a harlot. People will not listen to anyone if they do not practice what they preach and the Church and the houses of Parliament of today have not presented themselves without fault.
However there is hope that things can change and it is out of hope that charity is born for without love and charity, ministers and politicians can give speeches all day long, but if they have not charity, they “become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” 1 Corinthians 13: 1
And as Paul says, “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth” 1 Corinthians 13: 1-8
Will Parliament be willing to seek a restoration of Christian values within England while at the same time feeding the poor of England? Or will it offer a restoration of certain morals only? Is Cameron being genuine at all, or is he just playing a voting game, using Christianity to gain popularity?
If he is being genuine in then I humbly suggest that we must go all the way with this or not at all.
However, regarding Camerons speech, it is interesting to note that in this very same Cathedral that he gave this speech, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer was publicly “degraded” in 1556 and in the 1720’s John and Charles Wesley were ordained as Priests in the Church of England.
Thus, just as great awakenings and reform did come in times past through the church, they can also do so once again in the future.
Thus, these three remain, “Faith, hope and charity” 1 Corinthians 13: 13.
Simon Peter Sutherland
17th December 2011
Harvard professor Marc Hauser found guilty of eight counts of scientific misconduct – can any of his findings be trusted?
Professor Marc Hauser of Harvard University who’s research into evolutionary biology and cognitive neuroscience has influenced the likes of Richard Dawkins and Christofer Hitchens has been found out.
Hauser was found guilty of eight counts of scientific misconduct last year and this year after a year leave of absence, he was due to return to Harvard University, but he resigned.
How sweet of him?
Clearly Hauser has been monkeying around.
But more recent accusations have risen against him. These accusations are part on ongoing debate.
What is clear is that the claims made by this man are in serious question, as is much evolutionary science in general.
The problem is that this case is not the only time where scientific conlusions have been shown to be fake. Piltdown man was a fraud and Nebraska man was a misake, not to mention the Neanderthal Man. And now we have one of the worlds leading evolutionary scientists proved to be a faker.
What is clear is that the scientific conclusions which have been presented and taught by Marc Hauser should be seen as unreliable dodgy claptrap.
Many scientists will no doubt argue their way out of this problem as the likes of Richard Dawkins has concerning the Piltdown man, Nebraska man and the Neanderthal Man, but they cannot ignore the fact that the theory of evolution has a problem, that problem being the fact that it has many problems.
No rock layers that have been found contain transitional forms within them. There is simply no evidence beyond highly speculative claims that are based upon evidences for the theory of evolution. It is a fallacy and a fraud that will one day be seen for what it is.
The theory of evolution is a pseudo-science which is based upon the ideas made up by a theologian who was not a trained scientist to begin with. Why then should a world science be based upon a theory made up by a theologian?
The problem I find with science is that it is a self-governing enterprise, which is something that I find suspect and in reality I would like to know why a theory which logically connects to the big bang, which cannot explain where matter came from should be taught in our schools to our children laid out as fact?
I don’t believe that evolution is a fact, it is more a re-invention of a 19th century myth which makes a lot of money and at the same time fulfills the scripture, “the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths” 2 Timothy 4: 3-4.
“Blessed are those who die in the Lord…” Revelation 14: 13
When someone dies who is a popular figure, I find it a little obvious that so many people would write an article concerning them. Likewise, I find it a little obvious that when a heretic dies or gets ill many Christians conclude that it is a judgement? Yet in reality, all people be they heretic or Christian die sooner or later, some young, some old. Death is something that comes to all people. But the scripture I have above quoted speaks of a blessing when a person dies while in Christ. But if authority over life and faith were placed within the hands of many modern atheists, there would be no one on earth who dies in the hands of the Lord.
Modern atheism seeks to destroy Christianity.
Sadly, Christianity today is in a poor condition and deserves criticism and the reason, I think, this time has come about is because much of Christianity does not hold to the word of God anymore, but holds more to the opinions and ideas of men.
I see Christianity today being rather like a temple which is being attacked by many outsiders while so many Christians merely sit behind closed doors and watch and keep silent through either spiritual slumber or fear.
But the thing which strikes me about the scriptures is the prophetic nature of so many passages, while other religions would promote believers to keep the faith alive, the Bible states that it is God who will keep the faith alive and that it is He who will bring about a great falling away and a great delusion. We see this in 2 Thessalonians 2: 11-12. “…God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
In reality, the scriptures teach that it is God who is the boss and it is He who is in control, not man.
Yet still, Jesus warned us that false teachers would come, Peter warned us, John warned us, Jude warned us, Paul warned us and all consistently saying a very similar thing; heretics will come and speak lies and Christians must not fall for their slippery pursuasive words. This is consistent throughout the New Testament. Yet like all lies, there is a fraction of truth within a lie, if only here and there.
We see this in the writings and talks that Christofer Hitchens gave, that he mixed the truth with a lie, he claimed to love the Cranmer prayer book and the King James Bible and stated that they will be with him till the very last hour, yet at the same time he attacked the very foundations of the faith and the things contained in both Cranmers prayer book and the Bible.
In one quote Hitchens said this; (Christianity) “is a wicked cult, and its high time we left it behind”
In reality, what Hitchens did during much of his lifetime was to feed the many issues and possible doubts which even the average Christian has concerning God and His character and conduct and used them to promote his ideas. He picked out and explored selective Biblical texts which even the average Christian was not aware of, ignoring the context while at the same time promoting a twisted logic as though his interpretation of the narrative was actually final. He used many selective errors from Christian history and yet at the same time created an almost twisted logic to interpret them. However, I certainly would argue that much of his logic came through depression and the influence of alcohol.
Yet, having said this, there can be no doubt in my mind that Hitchens was a devout heretic who even crept into the Church at times and was given the time of day.
The problem is that alcohol merely brings out what is in the heart and clearly by listening to the words which Hitchens spewed out, we know what was in his heart.
However, although I confess that Hitchens did make people think and did even open many eyes to issues and ideas, and also spoke against many issues which I myself struggle with concerning modern day Christianity, I also confess that one of the many problems with Hitchens is that his logic was both human and demonic, based upon human philosophy and satanic lies.
I say this because I am sure that if satan himself did preach, he would open many eyes to things they never thought about before. The thing is that, Satan is old and has been around for eight thousand or so years. He has much experience and thousands of years worth of practice at causing people to doubt the word of God.
It is clear to me through the text of Genesis 3: 1 that doubt is satans calling card and whenever I hear anyone leading people into doubting the word of God, I know satan is near.
It is also clear to me that Hitchens was a thinker, but his thinking was merely humanistic and not spiritual. I don’t see how any man can understand spiritual truths through human logic, its like trying to ask a child to understand what it is like to be an older man, experience can only teach such things.
I think the New Testament is clear that heretics come and go and that they will always be on the earth until Christ returns. But one thing I think Christians should grasp is that there are some men who were forordained a long time ago, as Jude says; “…these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities…these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.” (Jude 1: 8-9)
Jude also says this; “beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Jude 1: 17-21
I could say more, but Jude does well.
I think in closing, I would like to say that I can have little sorrow in my heart concerning the death of a man who set out to destroy Christ’s church.
Hitchens did mock God, he did blaspheme the Holy Spirit, he did deny Christ, he did deny and mock Christ’s church and he spoke evil of Gods word and the character of God.
The problem is that although he has gone, his influence remains and I often ask myself, what or who is coming next?
Thus, in conclusion, I would like to leave you with some thoughts from the scriptures.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Galatians 6: 7-8
“Keep the faith”
Simon Peter Sutherland
16th December 2011
“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” (1 John 2: 18)
The apostle John, the disciple Jesus loved and he who did witness the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and His resurrection, wrote the above words. He speaks about a people or a person, over whom much ink has been spilled. This person or persons is “the antichrist“.
Interestingly enough, John’s letters are the only places in the Bible where the actual name “antichrist” is used in direct wording. This wording can be found in 1 John 2: 18, 1 John 2: 22, 2 John 1: 7.
All other texts which are connected with antichrist are interpretated as referring to antichrist.
The question remains; Who then is antichrist?
Well, if we read further, we find that John tells us; “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” 1 John 2: 22
Firstly, 1 John 2: 22 tells us that antichrist denies the Godhead, the trinity, he also denies that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, God incarnate.
Secondly, 1 John 2: 18 tells us that there are “many antichrists“. From this verse we can conclude from the text of this passages that antichrist should not merely be understood as one man, nor limited to one man, for there are many antichrists.
Thirdly, we know antichrist is a liar (1 John 2: 22)
Fourthly, we know that antichrist does deny that Jesus came to earth as God and became flesh and blood and dwelt on earth, this can be concluded from the following passage; “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” (2 John 1: 7)
Thus, we can conclude with certainty that antichrist was in the world when John wrote this passage (1 John 2: 18) and that antichrist does not deny Jesus as a person, for only an ignorant person can deny the historical reality of the historical Jesus, but antichrist denies Him as God (2 John 1: 17) and we can also conclude that antichrist is not limited to one person or man, for there are many (1 John 2: 18)
Sounds a lot like atheism, maybe even the modern atheist movement? After all, if John is referring to atheists, we know that atheists did exist in the Biblical times, since David wrote; “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works” Psalm 14: 1. So we can conclude that if atheists existed in Davids time, they must have also existed in John’s time, hence the words; “even now are there many antichrists” (1 John 2: 18)
Fools have always been on the earth, but in reality, whether or not you believe in an antichrist or many antichrists or one distinct antichrist, it must be stated that atheism is antichrist, it denies God and thus denies Jesus as God, yet often has no problem with a certain Jesus who is not the Jesus of the gospels, not divine and not God in the flesh, thus, the atheist Jesus is not the Jesus of Christianity. It promotes another Jesus and believes the creature is the creator and denies that the divine Jesus is the creator, contrary to John 1: 1-3.
Thus, modern atheism may or may not actually be ‘The antichrist’ but it can be said with certainty atheism is ‘antichrist’ and since atheism is currently growing through the commercial and widespread influence of antichrist teachers such as Richard Dawkins and Christofer Hitchens, we can say that atheism is actually becoming a religion of sorts, even though many modern atheists inconsistently deny that.
But they deny the creator, so what do they know about the Truth?
Thus, modern atheism may or may not be a trendy fad or a flash in the pan, but it certainly is not going away any time soon. Thus, I conclude that the rise of atheism has been prophesied already in scripture as a warning for all Christians to not be deceived by it.
And in reality, the reason so many people follow these lies is because they are not of the truth and never were of the truth, as John says in the following text;
“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” 1 John 2: 19
God bless all those who are His children, who did belong to Him even before the foundations of the world were laid.
“Keep the faith”
Simon Peter Sutherland
15th December 2011
Some Christians also claim that Jeremiah 10: 1-10 speaks against the Christmas tree? But I doubt that the text is speaking of anything like that, for the context of Jeremiah’s passage speaks more against the idol worship that then existed and cannot rightly be connected to a mere celebration of Christmas which did not begin until many centuries later.
There is a 16th or a 17th century claim made by the early Lutheran church that the Protestant reformer Martin Luther was the first one to come up with the idea of having a Christmas tree in the home.
The story goes like this; Luther was one day in the woods and he saw the trees amongst the snow and thought it would be a good idea to cut down a tree and put candles on it to remind people of Christ’s birth?
The story itself has no actual historical evidence to support it, but really, I don’t see what evidence a person can find for such a claim. What would it matter anyway?
I think what I personally see from the Christmas tree is a reminder of Christ, who is the light of the world, crucified on a tree (1 Peter 2: 24) and that all His people who are crucified with Him and have died to self and are the light of the world (Matthew 5: 14)
That is what I see when I look at the Christmas tree, just a simple reminder of what Christians should be and a simple reminder of Christ who died for us.
I recognise that not everyone sees the Christmas tree that way, but whatever your pursuasion is concerning Christmas, if you are Christian or not, may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy 2012.
Simon Peter Sutherland
13th December 2011