Lies, lies and more lies

EVERYONE knows the Earth’s rotation causes basins and toilets to drain counter clockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere.

Well, the evidence shows that’s more myth than science.

Scientists say the way water flows depends more on the structure and shape of sinks and toilets.

And remember your mother telling you not to swallow chewing gum because it takes seven years to digest? Another myth.

What about us humans only using 10 per cent of our brains? MRI imaging shows we use most of our brain, even when sleeping.

And what about lightning never striking twice in the same place? It’s another myth. The top of the Empire State Building in New York is struck about 25 times a year.

Then there are the comfortable myths; the one about how the human species is evolving as an increasingly peaceful race and that one day there will no longer be wars.

And the other one _ that professing belief in God makes you a better behaved person.

You only have to look at history to see that belief in God has been the foundation for some terrible behaviour.
There are those who promote hatred in the name of the Prince of Peace, just as there are those who want war in the name of Mohammed.
Thank God for the real saints in a world of murderous God-worshippers.

None of us is immune to the sickness.

A University of Massachusetts psychology study found that most of us lie regularly, both to others and ourselves.

The name of the game is self-preservation. We lie to make ourselves look good to others and also in our own minds.

The study found that as soon as people feel their self-esteem is threatened, they immediately begin to lie at higher levels.

Many animals engage in deliberately misleading another, but only humans are wired to deceive themselves and others, researchers say.

Another study found we absolve our consciences by rituals such as washing our hands or showering.

It’s called the Macbeth Effect, after Lady Macbeth who vainly tried to scrub away imaginary blood on her hands in Shakespeare’s epic.

The theory is that we are subconsciously aware of how sinful we are and daily showering and handwashing has a psychological impact on making us feel better. We literally try to wash our sins away.

Early church father Augustine said sin wasn’t a moral failure, nor disobedience. It was simply turning away from God.
Augustine said no moral remedy was possible. The only remedy was returning to God.

The great and unique message of Christianity is that we are all sinners and the first step in redemption is admitting that fact.
It’s sin, not death, that is the great leveller.

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16 thoughts on “Lies, lies and more lies

  1. Speaking of lies:

    Noah “wasn’t nice” says Crowe

    HOLLYWOOD vs BIBLE: Was Noah most concerned about animals, or did he actively warn people of the coming flood for 100 years?

    Commenting on his role as Noah in the new Paramount film, Hollywood actor Russell Crowe told Entertainment Tonight in 2013 that Noah “Is not benevolent. He’s not even nice. This is the dude that stood by and watched the entire population of the planet perish.”

    In the new film, Crowe appear to depict “a delusional, conflicted man, more concerned about the environment, animals, and eve killing his own grandchild than he is with his family and his relationship with God”, according to Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis.

    A viewer unfamiliar with the Biblical account may not now that Noah was a “preacher of righteousness” (i.e. the goodness, kindness and justice of God – see 2 Peter chapter 2, verse 5). Over the 100 years it took to build the ark, Noah warned the world of God’s impending judgment for their sin against each other and against God.

    The Bible says that the door of the ark stayed open until the day the flood came and that “God’s patience waited in the days of Noah while the ark was being prepared” (1 Peter 3:20), only Noah, his wife, three sons and three daughters-in-law went in, because of mankind’s unbelief about God’s judgment.

    Why did no one else go in? In Genesis chapter 6, the bible records that God sent the flood because every person thought of “only evil continually” and mankind had “filled the earth with violence”. Unlike everyone else, Noah is described as “righteous”, dependent on God, the most “blameless” or faultless man of his time, and he “walked with God” in close fellowship.

    If the Bible’s history is right, then the account of Noah is relevant to us today.

    The bible says we are in “the last days”, when people will deliberately reject and ridicule the Genesis record of creation, the global flood of Noah’s day and God’s final judgment (see 2 Peter chapter 3, verses 3-7).

    Jesus says in Matthew chapter 24, “the [second] coming of the Son of Man [Jesus] will be [sudden] just like the days of Noah. They were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away.”

    Noah’s warnings of God’s coming judgment is the same merciful message that Christians deliver today. Noah offered the world a door of physical salvation, but today it is a door of eternal salvation in Jesus, who said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, they will be saved” (John 10:9).

    Challenge the good news paper—Edition 367

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    • This is what I felt God spoke to me on 3/3/2002:

      “Hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord of Hosts, My people shall be a people pure and holy who walk in My ways. The perverse and defiled shall not walk on My ‘Highway of Holiness.’ Beware, lest you think that I shall accept all who bear My Name, for the just shall live by faith and the way of man shall not prosper.

      Tarry not! Do not delay the day of repentance, for even now I have placed a mark on your foreheads. And you shall go on eating and drinking, and making merry, for you know not the time of My visitation.

      I have made a way for all who seek Me. It is straight and called holy. Heed My warning while there is still time.”

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      • Birds in fear
        by Paul Harvey

        One raw winter night a man heard an irregular thumping sound against the kitchen storm door. He went to a window and watched as tiny, shivering sparrows, attracted to the evident warmth inside, beat in vain against the glass.

        Touched, the farmer bundled up and trudged through fresh snow to open the barn door for the struggling birds. He turned on the lights and tossed some hay in the corner. But the sparrows, which had scattered in all directions when he emerged from the house, hid in the darkness, afraid.

        The man tried various tactics to get them into the barn. He laid down a trail of crumbs to direct them. He tried circling behind the birds to drive them to the barn. Nothing worked. He, a huge, alien creature, had terrified them; the birds couldn’t comprehend that he actually desired to help. The farmer withdrew to his house and watched the doomed sparrows through a window. As he stared, a thought hit him like lightning from a clear blue sky: If only I could become a bird – one of them – just for a moment. Then I wouldn’t frighten them so. I could show them the way to warmth and safety.

        At the same moment, another thought dawned on him. He grasped the reason Jesus was born. Jesus came to show those who did not know the full exent of God’s kind character that He has provided a way to eternal safety and life with Him.

        Challenge, the good news paper—Edition 367

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      • You are on a roll Monica! That story is so wonderful. I love it and I’m keeping it.

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      • God has His reasons of course, but I wonder why he uses archaic language forms to speak to you, Mon. Also why such warnings would be directed personally to you. Truly, He moves in mysterious ways.

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      • The archaic language is apparently no problem Strewth:

        “Thus saith the Lord” is the highest form of prophecy. This is given when a believer is claiming to speak for God Himself. This type of prophecy is either 100 percent right or 100 percent wrong. Using this type of prophecy means that there can be no other opinions or contrary thought. Because the Lord has spoken, the discussion is over……from John Bavere’s book, Thus Saith the Lord.

        As for your other question, well, I too asked Him that all those years ago; asked Him who it was for and what was I supposed to do with it. After all, I had been out of church for three years by then and I had never received a “Thus says the Lord” before…..nor have I received one since. I thought He had gone mad—-or perhaps I had? Anyway, this was the reply:

        (Habakkuk 2:2) The Just Live by Faith

        Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it, because it will surely come. It will not tarry.”

        “Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him, but the just shall live by his faith.”

        I guess He knew that one day in the distant future, I would find myself on a blog where the the opportunity would present itself for His word (assuming it is God’s word and not my own imaginings) to be made visible. You can be sure though that I pored through the Bible for confirmation, or otherwise and from what I can see, it seems to be scriptural.

        As a wise person once said, “Revelation says that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Knowing this, when listening to somebody prophesy, close your eyes and imagine: Is this what Jesus would say, if Jesus were standing here preaching? If not, then don’t accept what you hear. And at the end of the day, if a great prophet should arise who seems to be preaching something that doesn’t sound like gospel preaching, then don’t accept it as prophetic. If it is prophetic, it will sound like something Jesus would preach. If it is prophetic, it will sound a lot like the gospel message itself.”

        Oh, and I deliberately ommitted the first sentence of that word given me, which would probably have answered your question.

        Cheers, and thanks for asking. And I am definitely looking forward to watching the latest movie to hit the big screen ‘NOAH’, even if it doesn’t exactly follow scripture.

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  2. Homicide detective rejects Bible deniers

    An atheist for 35 years, J. Warner Wallace was a homicide detective who decided to investigate the evidence for Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, and ultimately found that he could not deny anything in the Bible.

    Raised by an atheist father and a Mormon stepmother, for years Wallace passionately debated the few Christian friends he had, but seldom found them prepared to defend what they believed.

    After becoming a police officer, forensic scientist and eventually a cold-case homicide detective for 12 years, Wallace constantly relied on the nature and power of evidence. Yet, when he finally took time to be honest with himself, he realised he had not examined the evidence for the Christian worldview without the bias and presupposition of naturalism.

    “Growing up as a sceptic, I never thought of the biblical narrative as an eyewitness account,” Wallace writes in his book Cold Case Christianity , which chronicles his investigation.

    “Instead, I saw it as something more akin to religious mythology – a series of stories designed to make a point.”

    On his first examination of the New Testament, he quickly noted that “the writers of Scripture identified themselves as eyewitnesses and viewed their writings as testimony”.

    To establish the authenticity of these eyewitness accounts, Wallace examined a dozen hostile witnesses: ‘pagan’ and Jewish historians from the first and second century. He found that they collectively provide a detailed outline of Jesus’ life and His followers’ actions afterwards.

    Addressing the question, ‘Is There Any Evidence for Jesus Outside the Bible?’, Wallace writes on PleaseConvinceMe.com that it is possible to reconstruct much of Jesus’ life from these hostile witnesses. They record his virgin birth in Palestine, his “magical powers” and healing of the lame, his teachings on repentance and faith in Him and deity claims, that he accurately predicted the future, His betrayal by Judas, crucifixion under Pilate, the sky’s darkness and earthquake upon His death, the empty tomb, and the boldness and martyrdom of Jesus’ disciples who claimed they saw Him, His wounds and His ascension to heaven after He rose from the dead.

    Wallace notes four reasons why these non-biblical sources powerfully corroborate the authenticity of Jesus’ life.

    “One, there are amazingly few manuscripts of any text written during Jesus’ time. Two, historians of this period wrote amazingly little about religious figures anyway. Three, Jesus was active (in public ministry) for just three years. Four, Jesus ministered in an amazingly remote corner of the Roman Empire.”

    Continuing his examination of the supposed contradictions in the Bible, Wallace eventually assembled ten rules to aid an accurate assessment.

    The first two rules were: read it “with a fair attitude”, and remember that Christians affirm the original manuscripts are without error, so minor copyist variations are irrelevant to this inerrancy claim.

    Third , to be fair, he needed to “allow the Bible to explain itself by reading other passages that comment on the difficult passage in question.”

    Fourth , he noted that Bible writers followed “the common cultural device of rounding numbers for the sake of simplicity.”

    Fifth , Bible translations add quote marks not in the original, which means, for example, that New Testament quotes from the Old Testament were not meant to be verbatim.

    Six , Wallace realised that “no two witnesses to the same event will ever describe that event in exactly the same way. If the witnesses did describe the event in exactly the same way, you should question their honesty!”

    Seven , the Bible is written from the viewpoint of earthbound people, not unlike modern meteorologists who refer to “sunrise” and “sunset” even though the earth moves, not the sun.

    …..to be cont’d

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  3. -2-

    Eight , the mere description of an historical event in the Bible, he explains, “does not mean that God approves it”.

    Nine , on investigating the small variations due to copyist errors, Wallace concluded that none affected the theology or instruction of the Bible.

    The tenth rule of Bible, Wallace says, is “God alone is God,” which means He is the transcendent “source of all morality”, is innately good and “the Creator of life”.

    Since God is the Creator of Life and all things, Wallace observes that “[God] can also take back what He has created, and in doing this, He does not violate anything in His nature. But, we also need to remember that God has a reason for everything He does, even when we may not see it as clearly as we would like.”

    Wallace says he came to understand that God is loving and can be trusted to perform what seems harsh. Like a doctor who removes a gangrenous arm even though ignorant observers believe the hand and fingers are healthy.

    In the final analysis, Wallace realised that he is imperfect and could not logically argue with a perfect God.

    “As a reader of the Bible, either I am going to stand as its critic, or I am going to allow the Bible to stand as a critic over me.

    “Utilising some simple rules of engagement, the apparent contradictions faded away.”

    When the evidence was collected, Wallace concluded that only the Bible had sufficient support from archaeology and broad eyewitness sources to be a true record of history.

    On that basis he humbly asked Jesus Christ to be the King of his life and save him from judgment for his sin.

    “I’m grateful for my evidential detective inclinations because they guided me to the truth,” Wallace shares. “God moved first, I responded with the evidence God provided.”

    Challenge , the good news paper—Edition 367

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    • Hi Mon,
      I’ll follow your lead and pop this posting into a current blog collection. so here is the first of my two questions.

      Now Inclusivism appears to facilitate the possible ‘salvation’ of all people, or at least the salvation of the multitudes who have faith in other religions, or who never had the opportunity to hear the Christian Gospel. In other words none of the specifically ‘Christian’ obligations would be binding on the Non-Christians of past like studying the Christian Scriptures or praying in and through Jesus Christ. But let’s recall that there are all sorts of dire warnings that are offered in Sacred Scripture for the faithful to heed, lest they be lost.

      So it appears that Christians inherit extra or over-riding duties AND serious penalties, that are not applicable to non-Christians. As an example, it was affirmed the other day that for the Christian, to be ‘almost right’ about some particular beliefs, actually means that he is totally wrong, and thereby condemned. Whereas of course the heathen who is nevertheless loved by God, is and remains ‘totally wrong’, but through not having the Gospel, he is actually ‘right’ after all, and none the less saved.

      I recall, Mon, the descriptions you have given in this forum, of times when your God appeared to be very very hard on you. As you will no doubt realize, for the outsider these experiences seem totally unjustified and unduly harsh. They are not calculated to give the unbeliever any view of a God who genuinely loves, or who IS Love. (whatever that last phrase might mean.)

      So is my assessment right? Does this actually mean that for the Christian,
      much much more is demanded by the God, than is demanded of those others that the God loves, but who are saved (through the Christ they don’t know) via the
      easier ‘escape’ route? Would you say that this is the meaning of the Gospel verses about the harsh penalties and consequences described so often? And these of course are some of the condemnations that tend to appall the non-Christian. Is this the meaning then of those Gospel verses that tell how more will be expected of those who have more, than of those who have less? – as perhaps in the parable of the Talents.

      Next and hopefully the final question coming up, perhaps tomorrow.
      Love Rian.

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      • -1-

        Oh Rian,

        I thank God for you! 🙂

        “Now Inclusivism appears to facilitate the possible ‘salvation’ of all people, or at least the salvation of the multitudes who have faith in other religions, or who never had the opportunity to hear the Christian Gospel. In other words none of the specifically ‘Christian’ obligations would be binding on the Non-Christians of past like studying the Christian Scriptures or praying in and through Jesus Christ.”

        Message for Monica —When in doubt, read Got Questions Org.

        What is the gospel of inclusion?

        The gospel of inclusion is simply the old heresy of universalism re-packaged and given a new name. Universalism is the belief that all people will eventually be saved and go to heaven. The gospel of inclusion, as taught by Carlton Pearson and others, encompasses several false beliefs:

        (1) The gospel of inclusion says that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ paid the price for all of humanity to enjoy eternal life in heaven without any need for repentance.

        (2) The gospel of inclusion teaches that salvation is unconditional and does not even require faith in Jesus Christ as the payment for mankind’s sin debt.

        (3) The gospel of inclusion believes that all humanity is destined to life in heaven whether or not they realize it.

        (4) The gospel of inclusion declares that all humanity will go to heaven regardless of religious affiliation.

        (5) Lastly, the gospel of inclusion holds that only those who intentionally and consciously reject the grace of God—after having “tasted the fruit” of His grace—will spend eternity separated from God.

        Okay, then in that case I was totally wrong to label myself an inclusivist. I APOLOGISE RIAN. I AM NOT AN INCLUSIVIST. On the contrary, I believe that multitudes will be lost; separated from God for all eternity and that only a remnant will be saved, because the eternally damned choose to reject the only source of salvation, Jesus Christ. That’s what the Bible teaches and I believe the scriptures.

        But, as I said before, I believe that God is bigger than our Christian tenets and doctrines. He alone knows who will go to Heaven and who will not, and all I know is that God’s grace is boundless. So I live in hope…..and trust, that the God I love and worship will give every person a chance to be saved.

        I believe there are many ways that a person can receive the gospel message. It isn’t confined to a church building. God is not limited in how He can offer salvation to men. But what I truly believe is that we are all held responsible for what we know of God; for the light that is given, and that we will all stand before Him one day to give an account of of our lives.

        I do not know how to explain myself any better Rian.

        ……..more to follow

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  4. -2-

    “So it appears that Christians inherit extra or over-riding duties AND serious penalties, that are not applicable to non-Christians. As an example, it was affirmed the other day that for the Christian, to be ‘almost right’ about some particular beliefs, actually means that he is totally wrong, and thereby condemned. Whereas of course the heathen who is nevertheless loved by God, is and remains ‘totally wrong’, but through not having the Gospel, he is actually ‘right’ after all, and none the less saved.”

    No Rian,

    I think you are confused about the “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15) message where Dr. Ray Pritchard quotes C.S. Lewis, “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic-on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg-or else he would be the Devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

    and Ray Pritchard says, “To be almost right about Jesus is to be totally wrong. Why? Because we are not saved by good opinions about Jesus. We not saved because we have a good feeling about Jesus. We are not saved because we like his moral teaching. That is not enough. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. If you almost-right about Jesus, you are really totally wrong. Does it matter what we believe about Jesus? Yes, it does. The truth about Jesus is the difference between heaven and hell.”

    I believe that they are primarily speaking to non-believers, because a true Christian is a person who has put faith and trust in the Person and work of the Son of God, (Jesus Christ) including His death on the cross as payment for sins and His resurrection on the third day. A true Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and enjoys relationship with God.

    The Christ of the Bible is not the New Age Christ. That Christ is a consciousness, a form of the higher self. It is possessed by all because everyone is divine. “It is not Christ that can be crucified”.

    The Christ of the Bible is not the Jesus of the Muslims. Isa is seen to be a Prophet and Envoy of God, but only a man and nothing more. As a performer of exceptional miracles, he was rescued by God from an untimely end, was raised up to heaven, and (according to certain traditions) will come back to earth again–to die a Muslim! He is not the Saviour of the world, and is certainly not God, or “the Son of God”. And so it goes on with all the other religions. They all have their own interpretation of who Jesus is. And yet, when the disciple Peter responds to Jesus’ question, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” with, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” Jesus answered “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. So yes, I agree that what we believe about Jesus is the difference between heaven and hell.

    …….more to follow

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  5. -3-

    So you think God’s dealings with me have been harsh Rian?

    No, I disagree. On the contrary, I feel very loved and cherished by God for extending such grace towards me. I have been so rebellious towards God, and stubborn; idolatrous and sinful, because I disbelieved and rejected the Word of God. And in response God deals with me as a loving parent would. Here is the confirmation in Scripture, Hebrews 12:5-6:

    “My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
    or lose heart when you are punished by him;
    6 for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves,
    and chastises every child whom he accepts.”

    So I thank God for His dealings with me. But, I think that God would require a higher standard from me than He may do of others, because of the great mercy He has shown me and because of the call on my life, and that scares me. Here James says in Chapter 3, verse 1:

    NOT MANY [of you] should become teachers ( self-constituted censors and reprovers of others), my brethren, for you know that we [teachers] will be judged by a higher standard and with greater severity [than other people; thus we assume the greater accountability and the more condemnation].

    I mean, if God hasn’t led me to this blog to speak my mind, then I am in BIG trouble! And I’ve made a ton of mistakes over the years here, and no doubt have inadvertently misrepresented His character and His Word in the process. But this is my classroom. This is where I learn to step out in faith and trust, and to get back up when I fall.

    I certainly agree with you Rian that Luke 12:48 is to be taken seriously…. “But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.”

    Hope I am still not confusing you.

    Cheers

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  6. So lying to ourselves is in order to raise our self esteem, a denial of our innate sinfulness? Is that the message?

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    • It’s how we are. Most of us believe that we are above average drivers etc etc.

      If it’s not an attribute that can be easily and readily quantified most of us have exaggerated opinions of ourselves. The “Muhammad Ali” effect is a good example.

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      • Most of us, Bubba? For the greater part of my life I had very low self esteem. Amongst the influences which eventually raised it a bit, was one church. Not that I was ever a member, but an attender for long enough toappreciate much of its teachings.

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  7. Early church father Augustine said sin wasn’t a moral failure, nor disobedience. It was simply turning away from God.

    A big lie from the early church. Among many. Who could be more immoral than the Old Testament God?

    There are approximately fifty theological statements in the Nicene Creed. Bishop JS Spong concedes that only ONE of the dogmas can be accepted as true in the light of present-day knowledge.

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