Monthly Archives: July 2008

Pets in Heaven…

Will there be animals in heaven?  Will my pets be in Heaven?  Will my pets go in the Rapture, and if they don’t, what will happen to them?  If you’ve been around Christians long enough, these questions will and do come up.  They are not meant to be taken lightly, nor should they be.  Humans have strong bonds and emotional attachments to animals; animals, our pets, our work companions, are a part of our lives, and most of us believe gifts of God.  When we have a pet pass on, or a pet growing old, we begin to contemplate these issues.

First, there is no Biblical evidence decidedly for or against our pets being resurrected or taken to Heaven.  It disturbs me when I see someone pronounce a definite decision either way.  In this post, I’m going to talk about my opinion, but first a clarification on the issue.  When people ask me, or ask this question on a message board, “What about my pets?” I have one question to ask back that will supersede all others; “Do you trust God?”  That’s the real issue, do you trust Him?  If you can answer that question, the animal questions are covered.  If you can (and you should) answer “Yes, I trust Him completely,” then you can totally 100% rest your heart about your animals, no matter what happens.

Second, I do think there is Biblical evidence of animals in Heaven.  After all, the army of the Lord rides down on horses, do we not?  So either there is indeed a Heavenly stable, or they are conjured for us between Heaven and Earth.  Heaven is beyond our ken; 1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

We also know that animals are precious in God’s sight; He sees every little sparrow that falls, and values them, though He values humans more, as we are made in His image.  We know that living animals have nephesh or a soul, though theirs are different than ours.  We know that love and loyalty are wonderful things, also gifts of God, and what allows us to show both love and loyalty better than our pets?  Adam was put in the garden to tend it, and was responsible for naming the very animals.  We have a connection to the furballs/hairballs that cannot be denied.  Our ancestor Noah, under God’s direction, help, and guidance, built the ark that carried their ancestors to safety, we are assuredly connected.  For a glimpse at the deeper side of animals, make sure to read the story of Balaam’s Ass in Numbers chapter 22, I’m sure many times they are quicker to catch on to Spiritual things than we are…

It is also possible that they will be resurrected during the Millennial Kingdom; we know for a fact animals will be on the Earth at that point, living peaceably side-by-side.  Or, it is possible that our pets will be made new when the Heavens and the Earth are made new; after all, He did say He was reconciling all of creation to Himself, and was going to make all things new.

In my family, our animals (we’re a dog family) are a part of our family.  I’ve cried tears onto their fur while mourning loss, or guilt for something I’d done.  I’ve cried tears without them after they’d died.  I’ve laughed at their antics and my life has been made richer for them; they’ve reminded me of how God is master of creation, and a God of love, life, and joy.  Do I think we’ll be seeing them again? Yes, but I’m not going to pretend to know for sure.  But, I do know for Truth and for Fact that I can trust God to deal with my pets, and yours, completely Righteously, Mercifully, and with Love for them and us.

Perhaps a fitting question to end this post would be, “Will your pets be seeing you in Heaven or on the new Earth?”  Never forget that we need our Shepherd, to believe on Him, to have faith in Him, for we are but “sheep” gone astray.  And, our relationship with Him is what takes center stage.

Trust God, have faith in Him, fear not, everything will turn out just as it is meant to.

Be thou comforted, little dog, Thou too in Resurrection shall have a little golden tail,” –Martin Luther

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The Codex Sinaiticus Online

Really interesting (and quite a neat) development.  The Codex Sinaiticus manuscripts are going to be brought back together online.  You can read about it here: Scholars plan to reunite ancient Bible — Online.  It’s going to take them about a year to get it all setup and accessible.

Here is the main site: http://www.codexsinaiticus.org/ that will go live on July 24th, 2008…this Thursday.  It will start with The Psalms, and The Gospel of Mark.  The Codex Sinaiticus was written somewhere in the 4th century (300’s AD).  It contains all of the Greek New Testament, as well as portions of the Septuagint; Greek Old Testament.  It is one of the most important documents, or manuscripts, relating to textual criticism (“text crit”) of the Greek OT and NT.

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Poe’s Law and Fundamentalist Evolutionists…

As a lot of my readers will know, there is a definite “internet culture”, with it’s own slang, it’s own etiquette (netiquette), it’s own definitions for words, etc… Sometimes something becomes so popular on the ‘net that it enters the mainstream world.  These things that move through some portions of the ‘net like wildfire take a bit more time to filter to everyone in the “real world,” and to certain parts of the web.  An example of what I’m referring to is a phrase like “Poe’s Law.”  If you are doing Christian Apologetics on message boards, or blogs, or are surfing the net reading different religious discussion boards, Poe’s Law is sure to come up at some point.

What is Poe’s Law?  The law itself was defined by Nathan Poe over on Christian Forums.  He was making the point that without some sort of overt sign, like a winking smiley ( 😉 ) or something to show irony, that you really can’t tell the difference between a parody of fundamentalism and the real thing.  Meaning, with Poe’s Law, many times you cannot tell if someone is being sarcastic, and attempting humor or are really serious with what they are saying.   Take someone, for example, going around the ‘net claiming the earth is flat, because they claim that the Bible says it is (of course, it does no such thing, but bear with me).  Now, there are two possibilities; either they are jerking everyone’s chain to try to prove a point, or they are completely wrong, but completely serious. That’s Poe’s Law; you can’t tell the difference unless the person is 100% honest and tells you their motivation.

Poe’s Law is often centered around Christian fundamentalism…however, back when Expelled: The Movie (Expelled is a documentary revealing the prejudice and bias of the academic community centering around evolution vs. Intelligent Design) was being released in theaters a youtube video was released on March 28, 2008 by a user by the name of “randomslice;” Richard Dawkins: Beware the Believers (for my readers who care about such things; there’s mild language, wacky hip hop dance moves, and employs language meant to show naturalistic evolutionists’ disdain for us religious folk, so if that will bother you, skip watching the vid) :

Now, when this video was released the ‘net was buzzing with speculation; who produced it? (The question is hilarious in and of itself; because it was obvious that the video was indeed designed by an intelligent designer, and everyone wanted to know who it was; it could never have happened by chance.) Was it poking fun at those that support Intelligent Design, such as the makers of “Expelled: The Movie,” or at those fundamentalist Darwinian evolutionists who cannot stand any other theory being discussed and who try to take a position of intellectual superiority?

Well, the first time my husband and I saw it, we felt it was plainly a mockery of the Darwinian position…and we could not believe that they were blind to this fact…well, on April 20th, randomslice added a new vid; Richard Dawkins: Designed by chance?

Clears it all up, right?  It clearly shows that it was the Expelled crew, those in favor of ID being discussed, that was behind the video.  And yet…and yet, the fundamentalist Darwinian evolutionists couldn’t give it up.  The next theory was that Mike, over at Float on Films, (who was in charge of the animation) had to really be on the Darwinists’ side even though he was hired by the Expelled crew…because, look at Ben Stein’s t-shirt in the second clip…it says “Poe’s Law.”

Now at this point, I’m laughing, and loving it, because the Expelled crew just gave the world an example of Poe’s Law from the other perspective.  Their video demonstrates that you can’t tell a parody of Fundamentalist Darwinism from a display of the real thing!  The Darwinists couldn’t even tell, that means they fully expect their really arguments to come off that way.  Of course it is indeed a parody, trying to show how the Darwinists, especially Atheistic Darwinists, now have a fundamentalist branch, which falls within Poe’s law as well.  This set of videos was a kick, everyone following Expelled, on each side, really enjoyed the videos, and it was great fun reading everyone’s discussions when they were trying to figure out who designed them.

So, there ya go; two birds, one stone.  I’ve given you a run down of the phrase “Poe’s Law” and shown an illustration of the extreme position that fundamentalist evolutionists have taken up.  Yes, it was a parody, but a parody so close to the real thing that even adherents to fundamentalist evolutionary theory couldn’t tell the difference, and even embraced the videos as representative of their position.

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Filed under Atheism, Humor, Of Interest, Origins

Doctor Who; Turn Left Review…

As I alluded to before, when I do reviews here at The Christian Scribbler, I have two aims in mind; the first is just a plain review…was the book/movie/show/CD a good one from my perspective?  Is it worth the money/time?  The second aim is to share any “sacred” I find in the “secular,” anything theological, philosophical, or spiritual that makes me ponder aspects of Christianity, or other belief systems.

Let’s “turn” to the review.  Turn Left is a Doctor Who episode, that I did enjoy, written by Russell T. Davies (RTD).  First I have to say that I must have Joss Whedon’s Firefly on the brain, because that is all I could think of as the show started in an alien type of Chinatown…  Anywho, Donna and The Doctor are in a market doing a bit of touring and shopping when Donna gets “pulled” into a fortune teller’s booth.  I could have told her, from a Christian perspective, that no good could come of this, if she’d only asked (ha)…  We, the audience, quickly realize that this isn’t a nice woman we are dealing with here, it takes Donna a bit longer.  By the way, this is where an aspect of Doctor Who that all of us fans know and love makes an appearance — a really cheesy “monster,” this time a gigantic, obviously fake beetle that gets a bit friendly with Donna’s back shows up; it latches on to her shoulders like a parasite.

The main theme of this eppy is an idea that I believe we’ve all kicked around at one time or another; do the smallest action and choices we make affect our futures in some profound way?  They do with Donna at least…the “bug” takes her back into her past and influences her to make a right turn when she originally made a left turn…literally.  She is at a crossroads in her car…thanks RTD…yes, we get it, the scene brings to mind the important crossroads in life.

The whole span of universes go down hill from there; Donna’s change in choice sends major ripples through the multiverse…and Catherine Tate’s wonderful acting is supposed to send ripples through us.  I think she pulled it off really well.  Choice and consequence, what-if’s, is there really coincidence, do we have free will in our choices?  Yes, RTD’s plot is set up to make us think.

Eventually Donna is able to return to her past again, and “right” the wrong; making herself turn left once more.  The universe is righted, the cheesy parasite insectoid falls off, and The Doctor finally finds her in the fortune teller’s shop.  The Doctor soon freaks out a bit himself, as Donna passes on a message from a certain blonde ex-companion, the message consists of two words, “Bad Wolf.”  Which, sets Tennant up to beautifully emote the Doctor’s internal feelings to us via facial expression.

So what stood out to me in this episode?  First, the central role of Christmas in the Doctor Who universe (yes, I understand that’s when the execs want a Who special on TV, but nevertheless…it was featured in this eppy as well).  Big alien invasion time?  Christmas.  Time to evacuate London? Christmas.  Pivitol character introduction or development for The Doctor? Christmas.  It’s amazing how the celebration of the Lord’s birth (notice I didn’t say, the actual date of the Lord’s birth, but rather the celebration of it) has such a high rate of “coincidence.”

Moving on; the messiah-like quality of The Doctor, as discussed in a previous post, was actually shared this time with Donna.  I both liked and disliked this plot device; at first I thought RTD was trying to make the very deep, very true point that all humans, regardless of station in life are pivotal (as The Doctor himself has alluded to in the past)…but then RTD changes track a bit and makes sure we know that Donna Noble is really really special, not like the rest of us ordinary slobs.

I, as a non-Arminian, non-Calvinist Christian have my own ideas about choice, free will, etc… and I couldn’t help but be reminded of the most important Cross-roads of everyone’s life…that point, or points, where we each, with our own free will, answer the question posed by Christ in Matthew 16, “13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?”  That choice, that answer, really does have world changing implications for each of us.  I do realize that it can come across as “cheesy” for me to mention that, but when terms such as “crossroad” and “life-changing choices” comes to mind, that’s what my thoughts turn to.

The philosophical questions RTD brings up through the storyline are really interesting, and he does such a good job balancing the story; if you want to read something deeper and ask those deep questions because of the plot…well and good.  If, however, you just want to kick back, relax, and enjoy an hour long sci-fi show with the fam without giving it too much thought, it works just as well.  It was a fun, but serious episode and well acted by Tate; worth watching and mulling over.

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Filed under Of Interest, Reviews, Sacred Secular

Church of the New Atheists…

Anyone that has been in the land of Christian Apologetics online knows that atheists like to proselytize their own religion…er,um…beliefs…even when they are on websites, such as Christian message boards, where that type of thing is strictly prohibited in the ‘board rules.  When someone comments or blogs about atheism, often times it is the atheists that come swarming to read and respond, whilst responses from those from other belief systems are few; they wish to defend their belief system, just as I do, I get it; but what is the logical reason?

Make a post or a blog that doesn’t even have direct connection to Christianity, such as Intelligent Design, and they still come out of the woodwork.  Now, this is statistically an odd occurrence, since, for example, atheists make up only somewhere between 3-9% of the US population from what I can gather by looking at different polls (of course, this number is really hard to pinpoint since the way questions are worded in polls sometimes muddy the water, but the point still remains), of course responders and posters can be from different countries, but still, it seems sometimes that the ‘net is favored as an atheist playground in some respects.

I realized that along with the priests of New Atheism, such as Dick Dawkins, and their prolific proselytizing, the New Atheists also now have a Church and it is apparently the internet itself, or rather, certain corners of the ‘net.  It does make sense; before the internet (yes, all you younglings out there, there was a time before the internet) , with such a small percentage of the population declaring themselves to be atheistic,  it had to be hard to find a place of fellowship.  Of course I use the term “church” loosely, for instead of being outcalled by God, they attempt to outcall themselves in some manner.  If you do a search, which I can’t really recommend, trying to find a Church of Atheism, you’ll find them outside of cyberspace as well, but where else can such a large group of non-believers get together to fellowship, praise and offer thanksgiving to…themselves, and…materialism?

My husband brought up a good point; aren’t secular universities Atheist Churches too?  I’ve given it some thought, and I think secular universities as “Atheist Seminaries” is a better descriptive.  Go online and you will find an actual “First Church of Atheism” which offers ordination…yes, one can actually be an ordained minister…of atheism; but, nobody better make the claim that atheism is another religion…did I mention that they think that they should be allowed to preach what they believe, and that one reason this is available is so that atheist couples can have a minister to preside at a marriage ceremony…but, nobody better make the claim that atheism is just another religion *footstomp*

Make no mistake about it, many of the “New” Atheists take discipleship seriously, find a teacher (or teachers) to latch onto, and wish to churn out disciples of their own.  Sometimes, when you run into these disciples online, you can literally tell where the conversation will head, because they are all reading off the same attack oriented websites…because in their religi…I mean belief system..I mean lack of belief system, it is apparently part of the Creed to attack the belief in God, especially Christian belief, and if you can’t attack the beliefs directly, hang out and bash those that hold said beliefs.

Christians believe that God wishes us to share the good news, and no, that doesn’t mean bashing someone over the head with The Bible, as some of my overzealous brethren sometimes tend towards.  Our motivation includes a “higher” calling; one from God Himself.  Our gathering together is called for as well as our sharing of the good news.  Why exactly do atheists feel the need to proselytize, what is their logical basis?  It isn’t as though they believe we humans are immortal beings and are trying to sow seeds that will help insure a right relationship with something above us, and a positive life in eternity.  Why exactly do atheists feel the need to be married by a minister…why do they feel the need to get married in a non-civil sense at all?  Besides the very grave, very serious spiritual implications, various studies have shown that things like faith in something greater than ourselves, prayer, hope, religious belief, etc… is a good thing for us humans…so what exactly is the joy in trying to tear down someone’s faith in God?  Usually some twisted idea that Christians are all a bunch of illogical, irrational, deluded idiots is set forth by non-believers…unfortunately for the atheists, that isn’t so.

A major point here being that the atheists have found a nifty base of operations online.  So, if you are out there contending for the Faith, and doing Christian Apologetics, or even Intelligent Design apologetics, be ready to meet and engage in dialogue with people from all backgrounds and beliefs…especially those that have found a non-believing church home on the ‘net, that wish to evangelize you to a state of…non-belief. Or, as I see it as a Christian; evangelize you to a state of having faith in something other than the only thing that deserves our faith; the One True God.  I write this too, to remind fellow Christians to support one another in real life, and especially online, as we have discussions and also share the gospel.

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Communion; Unworthily vs. unworthy…

I discussed the doctrine of transubstantiation in two parts which you can find here; pt. 1 & pt. 2.  I mentioned that I was going to comment on Paul’s injunction about taking communion unworthily, and that we are to examine ourselves.  Throughout different denominations, teachers have been misusing these verses to try to lay a guilt trip on people for their sin when partaking of the bread and wine; however, if one looks at the verses in question, things start becoming clear.  We are indeed to examine ourselves, and we are not to take unworthily, but what exactly does this mean?

1 Corinthians 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

I hold that the bread and wine are symbols (not “just” symbols or “mere” symbols, but symbols full of meaning, that serve several purposes), as taught by Christ and Paul (and even James indirectly). However, there is power in the act, or in the taking. Why do I say this? Because one can eat and drink temporary “damnation,” or rather rendered judgment (in the Greek; krima), or sickness on themselves, according to Paul. Eating and drinking without remembering Jesus and His sacrifice leads to this.

Of course, in Paul’s example, there were people eating and drinking the bread and wine after they were drunk, and/or they had come to have a full meal together, and did not set apart the bread and cup, but rather drank and ate hungrily without thinking on Christ. They weren’t taking it worthily…in other words they were partaking in an unworthy manner.

The Greek word used for “unworthily” is anaxious, which is an adverb describing the act (remember, adverbs describe verbs, not nouns), not the person.  Worthiness in this context is not about the person taking the communion, it is about how it is taken. We aren’t to examine ourselves before partaking, we are to remember Christ.  So, from scripture, we are not to examine ourselves, for worthiness, that takes our “eyes” off Christ, and puts them on ourselves. The only way to take unworthily is to take not remembering Christ’s sacrifice, and by so doing, we fail to remember Him and fail to show forth His sacrifice.  So to examine ourselves means to make sure we’re remembering Christ, that we aren’t just eating because we’re hungry (or drunk). None of us are worthy, as far as that goes, so there’s no examination necessary when it comes to our being unworthy.

Anyone who tries to get people to examine themselves for things like sin when partaking of the bread and wine are doing the very thing Paul warned against; taking our “eyes” and minds off of Christ, and neglecting to take in rememberance of Him.  Now, there is a responsibility on the part of the person taking the bread and wine to realize what it is symbolic of…this is why non-Christians should abstain from taking communion; they don’t believe in Jesus as the Son of God, and therefore would not be partaking in remembrance and faith in Him, nor to show forth His body, broken for us, and His blood shed for the remission of our sin.  Again, I look forward to going more in depth about how Passover fits in with communion, and remembering Christ’s sacrifice for us in a later post.

I owe much of this teaching and understanding to the late Dr. Gene “Doc” Scott…his teaching on this idea has helped to refocus believers hearts and minds onto Christ.  If a person’s sins were going to stop us from taking communion, none of us could partake.  Communion, or the taking of the bread and cup is one of the straightforward symbols and acts that Christ Himself instituted, and instructed us as believers to do.

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Transubstantiation (pt. 2)…

I focused solely on John 6 in the first part in regards to transubstantiation, and I’m going to pick up where I left off, and also move on past John 6 to show other evidence that transubstantiation contradicts scripture.  At the end of Jesus’ discourse in John chapter 6, in which He used symbolic language to get His point across, many of the people that had been following Him left. The ones who left Jesus when He made the Bread of Life speech were the ones that misunderstood Him. The ones that left Him took Him literally. The Roman church (RC) POV would have us believe that the ones who left Him understood Him perfectly. This isn’t so.

We have scriptural evidence that when people got angry at analogies used by Jesus, they were NOT understanding.

John 2:18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? 19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?

They took Him at His literal word, and they were wrong to do so. He did not mean the literal physical temple, He meant His body. The listeners got upset, and sarcastic, they misunderstood Him here, just as they misunderstood Him about “flesh and blood” in John 6.  I’ve had many RC’s ask me why Jesus didn’t stop them from leaving if they misunderstood.  Look at all the instances in scripture; He doesn’t stop people that leave or get mad over misunderstandings.  He talks in parables so that faith plays a role, and so that not everyone will get it, or have it “forced” upon them;

Matthew 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

Now, we also have the timing and positioning of the words in other scripture to show that the bread and wine are symbols.

Mat. 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

Note in verse 29 that the Lord says; I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine. It does not say blood, and this verse follows the blessings. He labels it fruit of the vine even after the blessing. The blessing is where the Roman church sees the transubstantiation as happening; however, from scripture we can see this isn’t accurate. Jesus is still at the table, the goblet of wine is still there and He labels what they’ve just drunk together as fruit of the vine.

Paul too seems to back this up:

1. Cor. 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. 27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

Notice Paul went through the happenings at Passover. Then he says in verse 26 that as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup. He does not say flesh and blood. And again in verse 27 he says whosoever shall eat this bread. It is literal and physical bread.

If one views the wine as becoming literal blood, then it goes against this:

Leviticus 17:10 And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people.

And, to show that it is not just an old covenant teaching:

Acts 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

Acts 15:29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

This is teaching coming from James, the leader of the first church; Jerusalem. Now, whether or not you agree with all of James’ teaching, and his seeming legalistic bent, you can’t deny that he taught that believers should not drink blood. It’s straight forward; no blood. There are no exceptions taught, or mentioned.  Notice in the OT verse that it is any manner of blood; it isn’t limited.  Jesus did not break the Law, which can only mean He did not partake of blood at the Passover.

Another issue; Christ is not bodily on this Earth. He’s seated at the right Hand of the Father. He will only return bodily, touching this earth, at the second coming. If the eucharist is His literal body, blood, soul, and divinity, then He would already be here physically, which is not what scripture teaches, so it is another contradiction.

This brings me to the fact that not even the Roman church takes Christ literally. He said this is my flesh, this is my blood. However, the RC teaches that the wafer becomes not just Christ’s flesh but body, blood, soul, and divinity by transubstantiation. This idea is clearly not scriptural, even if you take His words as being completely literal. Jesus instructed the disciples to both eat and drink. The Roman POV is that you don’t have to do both, just one. This isn’t scriptural. We are to do both, first, the bread shows His body that was abused and pierced for us, second the wine, the symbol of His blood shed for us.

And finally, we have one really good example of what happens when Jesus turns one thing into another in scripture. He turned water into wine. When He did this it looked like wine, tasted like wine, everyone knew it was wine. With transubstantiation you do not have this. For all practical intents and purposes, to every scientific look, that bread is still bread, and that wine is still wine, not flesh and blood. We have a good basis; water to wine, to show that this is not how this type of miracle works. Why does the blood not taste like blood?

Taking all of scripture into account, and by looking at the context of all of these various verses, transubstantiation is not supported, and even contradicts several key verses.   I look forward to delving into the symbolic nature of Passover, that we carry out in communion in future posts, as well as whether or not we are to examine ourselves to make sure we are worthy (or for some other reason) before partaking in communion, or are we to keep our eyes solely on Christ with the acknowledgment that we are not worthy, but that we are symbolically showing His death, and remembering Him by partaking?

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Filed under Apologetics, Communion, Theology

Joss Whedon’s at it again…

Anyone who likes Buffy, Angel, Firefly, etc… knows who Joss is, and most people who like his work like to keep track of what he’s up to.  Currently, he’s engaged in a web-based “experiment.”  It’s entitled Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog and features Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, and Felicia Day.  Of course, being a Browncoat (a dedicated Firefly fan), I think it is worth watching just to see Cappy (Nathan) again…but that’s beside the point.

The story comes in three acts, the first two having already been released; the third and final online act will be released on July 19th…the three acts will only be available to view until midnight on July 20th, then they will be taken down; available elsewhere to download for a fee, followed by the release of a DVD with extras.  Joss is attempting this experiment to see how the future of TV/Movies will fare if they’re released in this new format.  His “Master Plan” behind Dr. Horrible is a must read to really get at what he’s attempting to do, as well as absorbing his views on the writers’ strike.

As for a review, having seen only the first two acts, Joss’ wit is in full force.  I don’t agree with Joss’ religious ideas and gripes (he’s an atheist, and I could write about the irony of some of his plots and quotes, just as I did with Russell T. Davies and S. Moffat with Doctor Who), nor with his political leanings, but the man can write some humorous dialogue and scenes.  Be prepared, it really does feature the actors singing, so it is a blogger musical.  Heads up to my readers who care about such things; there are several curse words used, and also sexual innuendo, slight violence as well…and if you don’t like Joss’ humor, you probably won’t find this the least bit funny…but, I’m sure he’d say “your loss…”

The story follows Harris as “Dr. Horrible” (note irony: Doogie Howser, M.D.) and “Captain Hammer” (note irony; Captain Mal Reynolds) as they carry out their feud which brings “Penny,” a cute bystander who Dr. Horrible is in “love” with, into the fray.  The way it is shot is meant to simulate “low-budget” technique, and capture the style of an amateur video blogger.  Regardless of whether or not you like the clips, it will be interesting to follow this story to see how Joss’ little experiment turns out.

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Filed under Humor, Of Interest, Reviews

John 6 and Transubstantiation (pt.1) …

Since this is my first post about Roman church (RC) doctrine, I want to make something clear from the outset.  As long as a person, as an individual, has placed all their trust and faith in and on Jesus Christ, The Father, and The Holy Spirit to save them, I don’t care what denominational title they give themselves.  I believe in the universal church; the ekklesia, in the Greek, that is made up of all believers regardless of what they call themselves.  We are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling; I’m not willing to judge another’s salvation, that is between them and God.

That being said, I believe that all doctrine of all denominations is fair game when testing them to see if they hold up to the Apostle’s teachings, mainly found in scripture.  One of the claims of the RC is that their teachings will not contradict scripture, but that some of their teachings are based more on oral tradition.  Most of us Protestants have some issues with some of the RC teaching because they can’t be found in scripture, and are sometimes contradicted by the word.  I’ve always believed we should study to show ourselves approved, and I’ve taken a lot of time studying RC doctrines, and I also watch EWTN quite a bit; which I must say is much better in execution and style than most Protestant based television stations.

This post is to look at the doctrine of transubstantiation and John 6, I will raise more issues with the idea of transubstantiation in my next post.  I’m addressing this through John 6 because watching “The Journey Home” on EWTN regularly I’ve noticed an interesting occurrence in those Protestants that become RC…they all say they’ve never heard John 6 explained, which I can’t quite grasp, but I’m going with the flow anyway, and will discuss it here.

To start off; What is transubstantiation? Transubstantiation is the belief that the bread and wine at the celebration of Mass becomes the literal flesh of Christ, and the literal blood of Christ. When it says literal, it means literal. You are no longer eating bread; you are eating flesh (and in fact, the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ). You are no longer drinking wine, you are drinking blood. My main contention with this is not that this is taught per se, but rather, scripture is claimed to back it up. Transubstantiation is not something taught in scripture, nor was it believed or taught by the earliest church leaders. When we examine scripture; Christ did not teach it, Paul did not teach it, and even James, the leader at the earliest church, Jerusalem, did not teach it.

John Chapter 6; this chapter, to get at the meaning of Jesus’ words must be read in entirety and in context. Please do so, here I will only give a run down on context, then on to the the main verses at hand.

John 6:1-14 Jesus feeds the five thousand. He fed them loaves of bread and fishes. This same group follows Him after this incident.

John 6:15-21 Jesus walks on the water

John 6:22-71 As we go through this, you’ll probably want your Bible opened to this, or your web-browser open as there is a lot of ground to cover here. I’ll quote the whole verses in my responses.

So, in John chapter 6, the large group that followed Jesus were after one thing:

26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

They wanted actual physical literal food. They were there when He did it before (verses 1-14), and they want more.

31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. 32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. 35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believenot.

So Jesus is the Bread of Life. Is He literal flour and water? No. This is a spiritual analogy. This clues us in right off the bat that He’s going to be speaking this way in this discourse. The symbolic language surrounding Christ is present in full effect in the Gospel of John, for example:

John 15: 1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Is Jesus literally a plant? No.

John 4:13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. 15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. We have a perfect example here, because what is being compared is an actual drink; water. Does Jesus give actual physical literal water? No.

John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture Is Jesus a literal door or opening, made out of wood, or nothing? No. He’s a Spiritual one. Is He an actual lamb or lion? Are we literal and physical sheep? No.

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. In this context, is He literal light waves? No. The point here is that John especially is filled with highly meaningful symbolic language.

How does Jesus give life to the world? He came, walked perfect, was a sacrifice, gave His flesh and blood in that sacrifice for us. How do we participate in this life He brings us; not by physical eating, but by coming to Him and believing (faithing) on Him. He will not give them physical, literal food, but only Himself to faithe on.

For those that believe in Transubstantiation do you claim not to physically and literally hunger anymore? Do you claim not to thirst? Of course not, so this idea is not a literal physical one. We don’t hunger spiritually anymore, we don’t thirst spiritually anymore after coming to Christ and faithing on Him.

John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

For everyone that has Faith in Him, they get everlasting life.

John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 48 I am that bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

So, He is the living bread. For those of you who believe Transubstantiation is literal, do you believe that you will not literally, physically die? Of course not, it is obvious He is talking about spiritual death. If we come to Christ, and Faith on Him, we will not die. How does He give His flesh for the life of the world? By sacrificing it, not by us literally ingesting it.

John 6:52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

Notice it is NOT as their fathers did eat manna. How did they eat manna? Literally and Physically. We also have a repeat of the phrase “hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” Where did we see this phrase before? In verse 40: And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day

So, we get this everlasting life by belief, or more accurately rendered; by faith in Him. This too lines up with all of Paul’s teachings on faith vs. works. And also professing Christ (Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation) is indeed what saves, not literally eating or drinking.

John 6:60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? 61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? 62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. 65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. 66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

Now we come to the conclusion of this chapter, and it wraps the whole thing up. It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. Jesus is blatantly telling us that nothing you physically and literally eat can save you (this goes right along with His teaching that nothing you physically and literally eat can make you unclean; Matthew 15:18). His word are about Spiritual matters, not fleshly, the flesh doesn’t profit anything.  Peter’s answer sheds more light on the situation. “Thou has the WORDS of eternal life.” Peter got it, it was Jesus’ words themselves that were giving life, His teachings. Again, it’s backed up by Peter’s believing Him; thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. That is what saves, that is what we need to come to and believe in order to have eternal life.

In part 2, I will continue on by examining the reaction of the crowd, and other scriptural insights, such as the scene at the Last Supper, that do not support the doctrine of transubstantiation.

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Filed under Apologetics, Communion, Theology

Hellboy II; Movie Review

Well, husband and I went to watch the new Hellboy, and I thought I’d write a quick review.  One of the reasons I liked the first Hellboy was, of course, the religious tidbits throughout, and that is what I was hoping for in this installment…unfortunately I felt let down.  The main plotline revolves around a much more “fairy-tale” like theme.  Having also watched Pan’s Labrynth I wasn’t surprised to see several similarities, given that Guillermo del Toro was the director and main writer.  However, if I’d wanted Pan’s Labrynth part 2, I’d have held out for an actual sequel.

Both my husband and I felt that Hellboy’s character development had regressed since the first go around, which doesn’t seem to flow logically from where the last movie left off.  There was a lot of big CGI fights, so if that is your cup of tea, go for it.  I also missed Rupert Evans as Myers.

On the positive side, there was a lot of humor written into the movie…and I enjoyed watching Luke Goss as the Prince (He’s also intriguing to watch as Xerxes in One Night with the King) and my favourite scenes were the elfin martial arts action shots.  So overall, if you have to drive any distance, I’d save my gas and ticket money for something else.  If you are where you can get to a theater relatively cheaply, and you enjoy a lot of action, especially CG, in a movie it was worth the price of admission if there isn’t something else you’d rather see.  Of course there was plenty of violence, and some language as well; it’s rated PG-13.

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Filed under Of Interest, Reviews