City Demands Church Stop Sheltering The Homeless

THIS week, the temperature in Rockford, Illinois is expected to drop below 20 degrees. And yet the city has informed leaders at the Apostolic Pentecostals of Rockford church that they are no longer permitted to act as a temporary warming centre and homeless shelter because they do not have the adequate zoning permits.

David Frederick, the owner of the church, said that he was warned by city officials that if he kept opening his doors to the city’s homeless, he would be doing so illegally. It’s unclear if the city is prepared to levy any kind of penalty against the church if they ignore the warning.

“The people that came to the centre have feelings just like everyone else, and they need their necessities. food, water, shelter, and love. They were able to get it all here, and now they can’t,” said Thomas Sterling, a worker at the church.

Cities across the US have been cracking down on both the homeless and those who have tried to offer relief. In Raleigh, a church group was threatened with arrest for trying to provide dozens of free meals and hot coffee to the city’s homeless, and an Indiana restaurant was forced to end its practice of serving up free meals every Thursday by the city after neighboring businesses complained about the presence of poor people nearby.

The situation in Illinois is the latest example of a growing trend in municipalities across the country: the criminalization of homelessness as opposed to taking steps to address the fundamental problems that lead to it. Cities have shown a willingness to jail their homeless population rather than provide things like housing even though it is more expensive, while others have made it nearly impossible for outside groups to provide services for the poor that remain on the streets.
http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/03/23/3417952/rockford-church-homeless/

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52 thoughts on “City Demands Church Stop Sheltering The Homeless

  1. Reblogged this on I'm An Effing Christian! and commented:
    Way to go Rockford…this is EXACTLY what Jesus taught us to avoid, following the law at the cost of human suffering. Jesus healed on the sabbath despite the laws against such work. Here’s hoping that the church presses on despite the consequences as well.

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  2. I am left speechless. That is so wrong!

    So what’s the story? It’s one thing to crack down on beggars and the homeless so long as they are provided with an alternative. Otherwise you are just making life for these folk far more miserable. Perhaps that’s the intention……drive them away. But where to?

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  3. I hope the church and city can work together to allow the church to continue to help the homeless – they seem like they are doing a great job. Is the city opposed to the church getting the permits, or what is the technical or legal problem? The other examples you give of cities denying help to the homeless are just very sad. Where I live, there are quite a few homeless and the city isn’t doing much about it. It is difficult for me to see grown men urinating in public and the small library being taken over by the homeless; a couple had even died outside within the past year. There are ministries and nonprofits that help here, but the people need real help – like a place to live, an address, etc. I think it was somewhere in Utah that started a program where they provided apartments to the homeless – they determined it was more economical and useful than the combined programs they had been funding.

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  4. These stories are just too wonderful to be kept to myself. Challenge the good news paper have a website: http://www.challengenews.org/ But they haven’t updated their site this year. I have a copy of the March 2014 issue and I must say that it has a lot of wonderful, uplifting and God honouring stories in it—Thank you Challenge!

    Ex-psychic: Why I left the occult

    Hurting from her mother’s mental illness and intimate abuse by a family friend from ages eight to twelve, Angela Do Santos was angry with God and did the opposite to what He stood for.

    At this young age, she learnt about the occult, which both terrified an fascinated her.

    “I learnt how to call on demonic spirits by their name and it was not long before I felt the presence of entities in my bedroom tormenting and haunting me,” se says. “Eventually I started having suicidal thoughts and recurring nightmares that made me terrified to sleep.”

    By the time she turned 14, Andrea was experimenting with alcohol, drugs, sex and self-mutilation to cope with her negative emotions.

    “When my mother had a severe nervous breakdown, I was left homeless. Feeling abandoned, I stopped believing in God or anything good altogether,” she says.

    At age 19 Andrea was addicted to drugs and lived a promiscuous lifestyle, which led to a lot of sexually abusive situations. “Depression, anxiety, loneliness and suicidal thoughts were a part of my everyday life,” she recounts sadly.

    Her erratic behaviour eventually led to a nervous breakdown and she was diagnosed with a bipolar disorder, spending nearly a month in the psychiatric ward.

    “During my time of psychosis I had a strange experience with Jesus,” she recalls.

    “He showed me all the things in my life I had looked into: drugs, the occult, relationships with men – how I had put my faith in each one of these things and gotten rotten results. Jesus asked me: ‘Why put your faith in all these things when you can put your faith in Me?’”

    Andrea remembers being amazed at what she began to read in the Bible after leaving the psychiatric ward.

    “I had so much respect and admiration for Jesus but I was still very vulnerable,” she admits. “It was not long before the drugs, promiscuity and mental illness came back into my life full swing.”

    One night things got out of control and she had just written out a suicide note when the phone rang.

    “A Christian friend had felt God lay it heavy on his heart to call me,” Andrea remembers.

    “I realised that when I felt like no one else was there, God was there.”

    This friend started taking her to church to help her recover from some addictions, but she confesses that she still did not want to change her lifestyle.

    After meeting an interesting man, who was into eastern mythologies, Andrea left the church and began working as a psychic doing tarot and aura readings and working with spirit guides.

    “I travelled extensively, researching many ancient cultures, reading self-help books and receiving counselling to come to terms with my childhood experiences,” she says.

    ”I thought I was very ‘deep’ but my mixed beliefs served my own ego. It felt good to be accountable to no one but myself,” she says.

    Soon Andrea found herself exactly where she had started, “My own addictions came back into the foreground and I found myself asking: if I am so spiritually advanced, why is my life such a mess?”

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    • -2-

      After falling pregnant with a son, to a man she later found out was married, Andrea says she sank into loneliness and depression once again. She knew she had no-one else to turn to but God.

      “One night I found myself saying, “Thank you, Jesus, for dying for my sins and rising again’ and I was shocked at myself because I had always denied it in the past.”

      She committed to making amends with those she had wronged in the past and says God began to show her the depth of her sins – the ugliness of her own behaviour towards others and towards God.

      “It was only God’s kindness towards me that made it bearable to look at myself fully,” she says. “It was difficult to give up my occult and New Age work but I finally understood that what Jesus offers us is greater than any of this.”

      After starting an introductory course about Christianity, in 2005, Andrea was 28 when she finally accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savour by completely turning away from her old lifestyle and acknowledging Jesus’ sacrifice for her.

      “Since becoming a born-again Christian, God has healed me of so many things and I have found real hope, joy, peace and love,” she says.

      So impacted by God’s love for her, Andrea went on to complete a university degree with the goal to use creative arts as a form of healing for traumatised children, youth and women’s groups.

      “I now understand that God has a plan for my life,” she says with certainty.

      “For now, that plan involves sharing my personal story and encouraging others to see the connections between their own life experiences and the truth of the Bible.”

      More about Andrea and her artwork is available at http://www.andreadosantos.com

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  5. Purple Heart veteran shares hope

    Burned beyond recognition by a phosphorus grenade during the Vietnam War, former elite Brown Water Black Beret gunner Dave Roever continues to live boldly for a cause.

    “I was terrible to look at, little children would scream, and run into stuff,” Dave is able to say humorously now.

    Yet, the plastic appendages and scars from having 40% of his body burned off, are a daily reminder of the terrifying moment when the grenade unexpectedly exploded in his hand.

    “Half my face landed in front of me. I looked down and my chest was gone. It’s interesting that you can still know you’re alive when you see your heart beating through a little hole in your chest like I saw,” Dave recounts.

    “My back was on fire, my arms were dripping skin, my left thumb was blown off, and my right hand was severed right in half.

    “Even under the water, I could see myself burning, glowing, white-hot. My head bobbed out of the water for air. With what was left of me, I looked up and gasped out loud: ‘God, I still believe in you!’”

    Dave had never anticipated joining the US navy. He had just gotten married to his high school sweetheart and was studying to be a minister

    Despite this, he felt compelled to enlist in 1968 when he considered all the other boys who were defending their country.

    “When I got into my military service, they eventually started training me with a Seal Team, which I had never heard about before in my life,” Dave says.

    “I would soon find out that was the meanest bunch of people that had decided to be in the military.”

    Taunted by the guys in his own barracks with names like ‘Duddly-Do-right’ and ‘Preacher Man’, Dave held tight to His faith in God through the temptation to “do what everyone else was doing”.

    “The days were coming in my life, when that decision at the age of 16 – when I gave my life to Jesus Christ – would become a matter of life or death. Believe me, when you’ve been to the door of hell and back, you know the difference between life and death. You know the difference in living, and dying a thousand deaths.”

    Soon Dave and the other men found themselves in a boat on the Vam Co Tay in Vietnam firing 500 rounds-a-minute at the enemy.

    Next minute Dave remembers the feeling of holes burning through him.

    He is able to joke about the incident now saying, “My Dad always told me, when I got older, to be a ‘Holy man’ – he never intended it to go that far!”

    Later, he found out that one of his comrades saw the whole horrific scene unfold and, witnessing Dave’s faith in God despite the circumstances, prayed to give his soul to Jesus right in the midst of the battle.

    “They got me to a hospital, where I stupidly asked for a mirror,” Dave continues, “They stupidly brought it.”

    “I couldn’t get what I saw in the mirror out of my memory, that ugly face that was half skull, and half swollen to the width of my shoulder. I remember when I sat in school, and my face matched on both sides, and I didn’t even know to be thankful.”

    Plunged into depression after being put on drugs, all Dave could think about was that he looked like a “monster”.

    “Folks, I’m not proud to tell you this, but I reached over and I grabbed the tube and I puled it out. I said to myself: ‘Suicide’s the way out. Kill this ugly thing. Destroy it, nobody will love it anyway’,” he recalls.

    Luckily he had only pulled out his feeding tube and Dave’s fears were soon eased by the unconditional love his wife displayed to him despite his disfigurement.

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      “She so revolutionised my own opinion about myself, the fear of rejection began to pull away. She said, ‘We have nothing left. We’re down to only Jesus,’ I want you to know, that’s enough, He is enough,” Dave says.

      Still, it took a long time for Dave to come to terms with his appearance and, fresh out of hospital, he remembers crawling around the church begging God to take away the scars.

      “I think I must have sounded like an old mooing cow, crawling around those alters, bawling, saying, ‘Jesus, please take this away. I don’t like being ugly’,” he recalls.

      Yet nothing changed, instead, God began to speak into his heart and Dave confidently says today, “I’d rather be able to laugh my tragedy in the face, and look the Devil in the eye, and say, ‘I won, sucker!’ Because, greater is He [Jesus] that’s in me, than he [the Devil] that is in the world.”

      God has since been able to use Dave’s disfigurement for good and has gifted him with great speaking skills, which he uses to bring a message of hope to schools, military installations, men and youth conventions, talk shows and churches.

      He has also been blessed with two children, an honorary doctorate and a host of military service awards, including a Purple Heart.

      Dave’s passion motivated him to found two non-profit corporations, Roever Evangelistic Association and Roever Foundation, as well as Eagles Summit Ranch, where Dave Roever and his team help to restore hope and train wounded warriors and young leaders through Operation Warrior RECONnect.

      Challenge the good news paper – Edition 367

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  6. It seems so utterly unbelievable, that I wonder what else is happening. When these poor homeless people are arrested and taken into custody, what happens to them? Are they helped and guided into a more sustainable life style?

    I know big business can act like unscrupulous predators, but city corporations?

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      • Should I have used a more appropriate term? But yes, many I think try to get locked up so they get fed and sheltered.

        Great to see you back, Dabbles. Alter egos aren’t the same. 😆

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  7. Answers to common objections

    Who made God?

    This is a nonsense question like the common one you hear “to whom is the bachelor married?”. The bachelor by definition is not married. God by definition (given in the Bible) is uncreated. There needs to be an uncreated first cause otherwise we have infinite regression (just ’caused causes’ = infinite causes).

    If God were real He would have made Himself more evident!

    This view presumes to predict what God will do. However the Bible says there is a time and a season for all things and that God will reveal Himself to all men at an appointed time. Until then, people need to have the choice to love God freely – not to be forced into it because they know He lays claim on their souls. That’s what free-will is all about and that is why God is holding off on the big reveal.

    Jesus never existed!

    Untrue, Even famous atheist (or anti-theist) Richard Dawkins had to retract his statemrnt after making this claim. Almost all historians take the view that Jesus was a real person in history and the Bible has some of the best historical records of all the ancient documents we have.

    Courtesy 101 arguments.com

    Challenge the good news paper – Edition 367

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    • Doesn’t this “view” –> “…God will reveal Himself to all men at an appointed time.”
      also “presume to predict what god will do”, Mon? 🙂

      …and btw.: What “view” “almost all (?) historians take” has no meaning beyond an opinion without any sort of foundation. It’s not any sort of evidence.
      The problem with the ‘existence of Jesus’ is that people on both sides of the fence can’t resist mixing the ‘historical’ with the wished-for ‘mythical’.

      ALL the recognised contemporary ‘historians’ (that I know of*) make no mention of the historicity of Jesus, though some of them make mention of
      ‘christians’.
      Equally, no 21st-century historian mentions Elvis wandering around Memphis, though plenty of ‘Elvians’ see him on a regular basis.

      * Even the Essenes, those meticulous keepers of historical records, who were actively seeking the messiah, and were right on the spot during precisely the ‘christian era’ make no mention whatever of the Jesus person nor the Jesus character who was crucified.

      Much less a miracle-worker who could walk on water and resurrect himself from the dead.

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      • In a verbal allusion to Genesis 1:2 in a Qumran Scroll from Cave 4 called “the Messianic Apocalypse,” this scroll states that “Over the Meek will His Spirit hover.” The author of this Scroll described the future redemption of God’s people in terms of the original creation account. The Spirit would hover over the Meek in the new creation just as it had hovered over the waters in the original creation. The writers of the first three Gospels alluded to Genesis 1:2 in exactly the same way. Just as the Spirit was involved in the Genesis creation, so it was involved in the inauguration of Jesus’ ministry which was the beginning of a new era, a new age. The Messiah had finally arrived.

        In the very same Dead Sea Scroll from Qumran cave 4 states, that when the Messiah comes then “he will heal the sick, resurrect the dead, and to the poor announce glad tidings.” Let’s consider the significance of all this.

        Both Jesus and John shared the expectation that the works of the Messiah would include healing the sick, raising the dead, and proclaiming the gospel to the poor. That is why Jesus could cite his works as proof that he was indeed the Messiah. That expectation was shared not only by John and Jesus but by at least some members of the Qumran community. Of course the early Church shared this belief, as Matthew and Luke independently testify by recording this saying. There is obviously some connection here. Even if John the Baptist was never an Essene and even if there was no direct influence from the expectation of the Scrolls to the belief of the early Christians, at the very least this demonstrates that belief in a Messiah who raises the dead formed part of the religious landscape of first-century Palestinian Judaism. The early Church did not just make this up.

        We might note also that the Messianic Apocalypse says: “The heavens and the earth will obey His Messiah, the sea and all that is in them.” Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 28:18, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (NRSV). Remember also what Jesus’ disciples said after Jesus had calmed the storm on the Lake of Galilee: “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him” (Mark 4:41, NRSV)? The shared Messianic beliefs of the Qumran Essenes, the disciples of Jesus, and the authors of the Gospels cannot escape our notice.

        The parallels between Gospels and the Qumran Scrolls on this point, however, are not yet exhausted. The text of Isaiah 61:1 also crops up in Luke chapter 4, where Jesus stands in the synagogue, reads the passage, and proclaims that he fulfills the prophecy. Again, Jesus was not the only person who interpreted Isaiah 61:1 messianically. A Qumran Scroll from Cave 11 applies the passage to the heavenly figure of Melchizedek who is hailed as Messiah and in some sense God. Melchizedek is not said to be Yahoweh, of course, but El and Elohim , a lesser term for God which can be applied to angels and kings as well as the one Lord of Israel. Melchizedek is said to sit in judgment and to forgive sins. Of course in the New Testament all of these things are said to apply not to Melchizedek but to Jesus. But the messianic expectations of the Qumran community and the messianic beliefs of the early Church were obviously very close; they used the same language and even the same Scriptures.

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        And again, one Qumran Scroll from Cave 4 has this to say. The passage I’m about to read begins with four citations from 2 Samuel 7:11-14 and is followed by an interpretation and a citation of Amos 9:11 which, of course, is also found in the New Testament.

        The Lord declares to you that He will build you a House. I will raise up your seed after you. I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father and he shall be my son. He is the Branch of David who shall arise with the Interpreter of the Law to rule in Zion at the end of time. As it is written, I will raise up the tent of David that is fallen. That is to say, the fallen tent of David is he who shall arise to save Israel.

        One eminent commentator, Raymond Brown, has this to say about the Scroll just quoted and Luke chapter 1:

        We note that the Qumran interpretation takes out select lines from II Sam 7, just as Luke apparently did. It has shifted the focus of Nathan’s promise from a continual line of kings to a single Davidic king, the messianic ‘shoot’ who will arise in the last days, even as Luke has applied the Samuel passage to Jesus. The ‘forever’ of both Qumran and Luke is, then, not an endless series of reigns by different kings, but an eschatological redemption. And so there is nothing distinctively Christian in Gabriel’s words in vss. 32-33 of Luke, except that the expected Davidic Messiah has been identified with Jesus.(Reference2)

        What this commentator is saying, in other words, is that the Christian identification of Jesus as the Davidic Messiah promised in 2 Samuel 7 is in full accord with Jewish messianic expectation. And that, of course, is just the type of thing the New Testament tells us about the Old Testament prophecies which point to Jesus.

        What are we to make of this ancient Essene movement? The more we study these Essenes and their writings in conjunction with ancient Jewish and Christian writings, the more our understanding of Jesus’ cultural and religious world begins to emerge. We can better appreciate who the human Jesus was and what he said and did. Furthermore, we can glimpse a number of first-century Jews beginning to understand the Old Testament in such a way as to expect the type of Messiah that Jesus is. The baptizing ministry of a former Essene revealed the Messiah, and the Messiah’s subsequent ministry to the poor and the afflicted, as well as his raising the dead, authenticated his Messiahship. It is very likely that Messiah Jesus attracted many of his followers from among the Essenes who were prepared to hear his life-giving message and forsake their sectarian ways. As such Jesus reinforced Essene piety while denouncing Essene sectarianism. Jesus tore down the exclusiveness of his contemporaries and created an inclusive religion with love at its core. This teaching was so radical that it led him to a cross, paving the way to eternal life for millions of faithful followers.

        http://www.auburn.edu/~allenkc/openhse/deadsea.html

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      • Genesis came from three main sources, the non-priestly (desert prophets) Yahwist or Elohist, and the Priestly. So we get different versions of the same story mixed together. Thus we get God, Yahweh, in the same breath as Elohim, Gods. ‘Let us make (plural verb) man in our image, after our likeness’. Gen 20:13 Abraham, says that “the gods (elohim) caused (plural verb) me to wander” etc.

        That is in Hebrew. Greek translations often used ‘angels’ rather than gods.

        But if you want to pre-empt a trinity – there you are.

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      • Did Moses really write Genesis?

        A deadly hypothesis denying that Moses had anything to do with Genesis, based on spurious scholarship, is still widely being taught to future Christian leaders.

        Nearly all liberal Bible colleges and seminaries, and sadly some which profess conservative evangelical doctrine, approvingly teach the ‘documentary hypothesis’, also known as the ‘JEDP hypothesis’.

        This is the liberal/critical view which denies that Moses wrote Genesis to Deuteronomy. It teaches that various anonymous authors compiled these five books (plus other portions of the Old Testament) from centuries of oral tradition, up to 900 years after Moses lived (if, in this view, he even existed). These hypothetical narrators are designated as follows:

        J (standing for what the documentary hypothesists would term Jahwist) supposedly lived about 900–850 BC. He/she/they allegedly gathered the myths and legends of Babylon and other nations, and added them to the ‘camp-fire stories’ of the Hebrews, producing those biblical passages where the Hebrew letters YHWH (‘Jehovah’) are used as the name of God.
        E (standing for Elohist) supposedly lived about 750–700 BC in the northern kingdom (Israel), and wrote those passages where ’Elohim is used as the word for God.
        D supposedly wrote most of Deuteronomy, probably the book found in the temple in Jerusalem in 621 BC. (2 Kings 22:8).
        P supposedly represents a Priest (or priests) who lived during the exile in Babylon and allegedly composed a code of holiness for the people.
        Various editors R (from German Redakteur) supposedly put it all together.

        The documentary hypothesis undermines the authenticity of the Genesis Creation/Fall/Flood accounts, as well as the whole patriarchal history of Israel. It presupposes that the whole of the Old Testament is one gigantic literary fraud, and calls into question not only the integrity of Moses, but also the trustworthiness/divinity of Jesus. No wonder the critics have embraced it so warmly!

        Conclusion

        Ultimately, the author of Genesis was God, working through Moses. This does not mean that God used Moses as a ‘typewriter’. Rather, God prepared Moses for his task from the day he was born. When the time came, Moses had all the necessary data, and was infallibly guided by the Holy Spirit as to what he included and what he left out. This is consistent with known history, and with the claims and principles of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:15–17; 2 Peter 1:20–21).

        On the other hand there is no historical evidence, and no spiritual or theological basis whatsoever for the deceptive JEDP hypothesis. Its teaching is completely false; the ‘scholarship’ that promotes it is totally spurious. Propped up by the theory of evolution, it exists solely to undermine the authority of the Word of God.

        http://creation.com/did-moses-really-write-genesis

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      • Mon, you’d rather believe creation.com than all the liberal theologians and seminaries, plus some quote conservative and evangelistic? It’s by no means a new belief, a conserative and evangelistic clergyman taught me 40 and more years ago about Gesnesis sources.

        As far as Christianity is concerned, I don’t think Jesus would consider either belief mandatory!

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      • Aye! There’s the rub —-> “Of course in the New Testament all of these things are said to apply not to Melchizedek but to Jesus.”
        ….and in different times and places to many others.
        But playing a role and following a script ~ even in part ~ doesn’t make a messiah. Neither Jesus (whose name was ‘actually’ prophesied to be Immanuel ( עִמָּנוּאֵל) ~oops!) nor any of the other pretenders to the throne ever came close to fulfilling the ‘prophecies’; prophecies which in themselves were pretty airy-fairy and open to all sorts of interpretations by just about anybody, in the way of prophecies everywhere.
        To this day we have Charelton Heston impressively parting the Red Sea and Jim Carey working all sorts of miracles ~ even by accident….not to mention Noah Crowe!. People sufficiently ignorant and superstitious would have no problems seeing the fulfilment of SOME Dreamtime prophecy or other upon ‘witnessing’ the (cinematic) ‘evidence’.

        Of course the Essenes made mention of the ancient jewish messiah ~ which the jews adopted from a conglomeration of even more ancient messiahs and built upon ~ but the point was that THEY didn’t designate Jesus as being the one long sought. Either he was so insignificant that they didn’t even hear about him (if he existed at all) or else they discounted any of the supposed wild claims about his messiahship.

        I have no problem with the ‘character’ of Jesus; despite the endless conflict (in direct defiance of the very spirit of christianity) the world is better off for having such a benchmark.
        Unfortunately that’s not enough for ‘christians’; they need the reassurance of the corpus delicti.
        Especially since they can’t lay claim to possession the corpus.

        “To sleep: perchance to dream: ay there’s the rub; for in that sleep of death what dreams may come.”

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      • Nah! —> “Did Moses really write Genesis?”

        It was actually Hymie Ziegler using ‘Moses’ as his nom de plume.
        (Probably didn’t want god to know the author of such blasphemy!) 😉

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      • Thomas Paine also clearly demonstrated that Genesis (or at least part of it) was written “up to 900 years after Moses lived “, Mon.

        You never did read The Age of Reason, did you?

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      • Hi Mon,

        Yep that was a very good summary in your post of April 5, at 2.27, of the 4 Document thesis. As you correctly affirmed, this concept about the writing of the Jewish Torah is almost universally studied and taught in mainstream theological studies. And pretty well unanimously too on the other hand, it is hated, feared and argued against by many Evangelical and all Christian Fundamentalist authorities, because, along with the promotion of Evolution, it holds a crucial position in modern Christian studies.

        The idea that the Biblical Moses was taught and inspired by The God to provide the one true account of man’s origins and the demands and expectations provided by the deity, represents one of the first big obstacles in the way of learned non-believers’ and their potential ‘salvation’.

        I became convinced of the factuality about the Document thesis many years ago, and found that it made total sense. The authorship by Moses is on the other hand, something that appears just like a magical idea which rounds off certain of the most important teachings of Biblical Inerrancy, and can only just barely be defended by reference to tradition. When three or four years back, I was invited by a local Uniting Church Minister to do a series of ‘slide’ illustrated lectures for the church, one of the first precautionary things I did was to inquire if there would be any objection in the community to the Document hypothesis. I was assured that it was perfectly acceptable. And so I quoted it in my second lecture which dealt with the Adam and Eve story.

        The Document thesis helps in the process of explaining away the wonderful but primitive mythological tale of the Garden of Eden, the controversial Flood of Noah, and the pretty little account of the Tower of Babel. A book that I found most helpful in describing the issue and rationalising the whole of the Jewish Scriptures, is ‘On the Bible’, by Karen Armstrong (2007) – a relatively small volume that is packed with clear explanations for the modern thinker, just what the Bible is all about. It would of course be totally rejected with disgust by the Evangelical lobby.

        Even my big annotated Evangelical study Bible, I noticed, has a reasonably accepting view of the Document thesis possibility in its introduction. For any non-believers in this forum, I can say that a perusal of the history and facts of the Document thesis, will represent a valuable exercise for you.

        Cheers, Rian.

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      • Hi Strewth,

        I’ve made up my own mind about the authorship of Genesis and the Pentateuch, and yes, I agree with ‘Creation Ministries’ and countless other apologetics, including Got Questions Org, CARM and Bible Org which states, “When one affirms Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, this does not mean that there was no editorial redaction in the final canonical form. Certainly Moses was not able to write about his own death at the end of Deuteronomy (Deut 34:5ff). In addition
        Moses was obviously not an eyewitness to the Genesis events. No doubt these were preserved through oral tradition until the time of the Exodus when finally Moses put them down in writing.”

        That’s the beauty of faith; we don’t all believe the same.

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      • “There is abundant biblical and extra-biblical evidence that Moses wrote the Pentateuch during the wilderness wanderings after the Jews left their slavery in Egypt and before they entered the Promised Land (about 1445–1405 BC). Contrary to the liberal theologians and other skeptics, it was not written after the Jews returned from exile in Babylon (ca. 500 BC). Christians who believe Moses wrote the Pentateuch do not need to feel intellectually intimidated.”

        In any case, the author of Holy Scripture is God!

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      • Faith is a wonderful thing; ““There is abundant biblical and extra-biblical evidence that Moses wrote the Pentateuch during the wilderness wanderings”.
        For one thing it can abolish simple arithmetic.

        Once again Monica, I can only point you to Paine who uses ‘internal evidence’
        to unequivocally demonstrate that Moses was writing about matters/things centuries into the future.

        Are suggesting he was a fortune-teller as well as a turner of wood-into-snakes and parter-of the waters?
        (On the subject of which I can’t help but wonder why all the Heston-esque staff-waving histrionics was necessary? Why didn’t god just open the path half an hour before the jews arrived?)

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      • Malki Tzedek

        The Second Book of Enoch (also called “Slavonic Enoch”) is apparently a Jewish sectarian work of the 1st century AD.[69] The last section of the work, the Exaltation of Melchizedek, tells how Melchizedek was born of a virgin, Sofonim (or Sopanima), the wife of Nir, a brother of Noah. The child came out from his mother after she had died and sat on the bed beside her corpse, already physically developed, clothed, speaking and blessing the Lord, and marked with the badge of priesthood. Forty days later, Melchizedek was taken by the archangel Gabriel (Michael in some manuscripts) to the Garden of Eden and was thus preserved from the Deluge without having to be in Noah’s Ark.[70][71]

        He apparently returned from there to grow up and become King of Salem (later Jerusalem) and priest of the God of Gods. He was said to be a monotheist, but not a Jew.

        Traditional Evangelical Christian denominations, following Luther, teach that Melchizedek was a historical figure and an archetype of Christ.[73]. He was not a descendant of Noah, nor even of Abraham’s ancestor Shem.

        Philo identifies Melchizedek with the Logos. Tremper Longman notes that a popular understanding of the relationship between Melchizedek and Jesus is that Melchizedek is an Old Testament Christophany – in other words, that Melchizedek IS Jesus.[74]

        At any rate for someone born before the flood, he must have been far from young when Noah’s generations of descendants were filling cities like Ur, Salem, Sodom, etc, and to still be around in Abraham’s time.

        I’m rather glad that I feel no necessity to accept scripture as factual, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Malki Tzedek, the first of the later Jewish Kohans or Cohens. (Although others say Aaron was the first.)

        Like

    • Who made God? I doubt if Jesus ever w orried about that.But consider, what if God is actually the universe, created spontaneously from nothing in a big bang.

      Perhaps though,that would be God’s body, him being a spirit and all.

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      • A fair thought. But keep in mind that it’s not possible to ‘create’ Something from Nothing Strewth, in terms of physics OR even language.
        The Second Law of Thermodynamics (among others) makes it quite clear that what is has always been, in some form or other.
        ….and we know that for every Effect there is a Cause, because there MUST be. (even ‘spontaneous’ ones.)

        Concepts of ‘Infinity’ boggle the mind because they obviate the need for Time. That’s why we invent gods; it reduces the unimaginable to within the very limited parameters of which our imaginations are capable.
        eg “The Alpha and Omega”, as the god of our choice chooses to describe himself.
        It reduces an ‘Eternal’ god to one which has a defined beginning and end ~ something we CAN grasp. It’s also why we limit Existence to a comprehensible ‘Alpha’: OUR ‘Big Bang’. ………and OUR ‘Omega’: the end of time ~ a measly 14 or 15 billion earth-years distant.

        Ever lie out on the lawn on a clear night and try reaching out to the Infinite?

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      • Dabs, when matter and anti-matter meet, the result is nothing remains. I’m assured that can’t work in reverse, but I do wonder about that “can’t”! 😆

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      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annihilation

        “When a particle and its antiparticle collide, their energy is converted into a force carrier particle, such as a gluon, W/Z force carrier particle, or a photon. These particles are afterwards transformed into other particles.[3]”

        It’s always wise to question terms like ‘can’t’, Strewth. (People who make such assertions never look beyond the point THEY wish to promote. It’s what I was trying to establish in re. the “equality” question: Relativity rules.)
        And in physics, to date, the rule of thumb is still the Mass–energy equivalence: E = mc2, energy and mass are equivalent and transmutable. (which means that ‘ it’ CAN “work in reverse reverse”)
        Matter and anti-matter can assume changed states, but a ‘non-state’ is apparently non-viable according to the whole established body of ‘ What We Know’.
        (Newton established that long ago.)

        I dug up a couple of quick references; I can follow the reasoning/maths, but don’t pretend to be able to ‘understand the essence’ (what some would call the difference between god and the holy ghost)—->

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annihilation (contains some interesting links)
        “When a particle and its antiparticle collide, their energy is converted into a force carrier particle, such as a gluon, W/Z force carrier particle, or a photon. These particles are afterwards transformed into other particles.”

        and ~ general background ~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antimatter

        Throw in Infinity ~ itself proven by the reality that what exists always has and always will exist! ~ and there IS the reality that one day we’ll all meet in Heaven!

        …and Hell! Will Bryan’s face ever be red! 😉

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  8. I think it’s already arrived in Australia. Hasn’t anyone noticed? It’s called corporate Australia. They just don’t care. That’s why they’re rich. They don’t care about the environment, they don’t care about the sick, they don’t care about the homeless, they don’t care about the refugees, they don’t care about the Aboriginals, they don’t care about the poor…

    No one listens to the Pope. We poo poo science. Now we have the ‘right’ to be bigots.

    Fancy 97% of scientists trying to fool us on the environment. Thank God for the courage and pluck of the billionaires and corporations for alerting us …

    Then we criticize Russia and threaten sanctions over the Ukraine, and get all offended when Putin restricts our beef. Incredible.

    I must apologize for calling Tony Abbott an idiot. He’s not an idiot. He’s smart enough to know if you get all the idiots on your side you can be elected forever ….

    Believe it …

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    • The same Pope that recently rewarded Pell with a plumb position sorting out the Vatican finances.

      Up till now he’s been talking a good game but …….

      Like

      • A wise move, in my opinion. Remove him from personal involvement with a ‘flock’ and general society. It’s being kicked upstairs, I reckon.

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      • Hey strewth,

        Yeah I guess there is something to be said for putting a round peg in a round hole.

        Still the timing looks off. Recent revelations seem to have revealed that the Sydney Diocese is both incredibly wealthy and willing to trample victims of abuse in order to protect that wealth.

        And the guy in charge gets a promotion.

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    • That ain’t the half of it Jimbo.
      Along with all the other Orwellian stuff, I came across this insidious little gem a few days ago:- National Electronic Conveyancing System.

      Sounds innocuous, right?
      But along with the universal demands for photo-ID (itself often needing to be ‘verified’ by some authority or other) it opens a door to every aspect of one’s life.
      It’s an invention of the banks, and allows them to tighten their grip upon and intimate information about just about anyone living anywhere. Needless to say it’s mostly supported by lawyers and conveyancers (allows them to jack up their fees/charges), and is gaining support by governments. (already in NSW it’s a legal requirement.)

      Cross-reference THAT corporate intrusion with others like LGAs. the RTA (licences/ ID and vehicle registration now automatically checked electronically by any passing police-car), compulsory Superannuation Funds, (about to be privatised) Medicare and increasingly hospitals, and countless other data-banksdata-banks.

      Even politics is being privatised (eg Clive Palmer, whom I quite like!) and in due course the ATO and Centrelink will fall into private hands.
      ……..which all means that any ‘authority’ can lay hold of and do anything to anyone anytime, while all the while your ‘freely-elected’ (oops!: compulsorily-elected) democratic politicians never have to answer for anything.

      Who? Me?
      Makes Keating’s Australia Card look like a kindergarten game.
      But we fought that. These days we just drop our pants and bend over further.
      …….and create another corporate-government department.

      Signs of the times:- cash is rapidly becoming ‘persona-non-grata’ (or at least highly suspicious), and any sort of property deal is automatically assumed to be bank-mortgage-dependent. It rattles the whole system if you want to buy or sell a property without bank involvement.
      …and the machine-operated zombie-like apparatchiks REALLY get into a flap if you want to buy a property (or even,generally, a car) with cash.

      Try getting even a simple straight-forward figure for Stamp Duty, online or in person.

      ps,, as for the wheeling and dealing over the Ukraine (in which case we object to democratic decision-making!), yorta see how the courts work these days. Conferencing between prosecution and defence is mandatory ~ and all very chummy ~ and rather than ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ the ‘balance of probability’ is the keystone.
      Actual specific ‘crimes’ like ‘occasioning actual bodily harm’ have been dropped from the Crimes Act, and replaced by New-Age crap like ‘Stalking’, couched in the most nebulous non-specific terminology you can imagine.
      Another consequence of the corporate approach applied even to the police-force and justice system, and (in general) engineered by feminist ideology.

      I’ve been wondering how the North Koreans would feel about Boat-People refugees FROM Australia turning up on their beaches…….
      And looking at boats for sale!

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  9. Here we have a different situation. We have centrelink recipients who use their benefits for smoking and alcohol and god knows what else… Then they overload the charities intended to help the homeless for food. So much so that Centrelink has been forced to issue a Basic Card imposing restrictions on what people can do with their “benefits”. Because charity help is known to be abused, many people are starting to ask whether it is wise to help the homeless. I believe that the phrase used is “worthy poor”. Very very awkward situation

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    • Charity is like treating sores with band-aids. Necessary for a limited time, but in the long term it’s necessary to look for the cause of the sores, and correct that.

      How? I guess a sociologist would have more of a clue than I do.

      Or does an ultra-capitalist society need to preserve an under-class? The extremely wealthy can’t be top of the pile unless there’s a substantial bottom.

      Which said, it’s great to see the action recently reported of Bill and Melinda Gates.

      Like

  10. Just another ploy by the devil through the government pigs to oppress the needy and keep themselves full and comfy. I hope the church doesn’t bow to their demands and continue doing what they do best.

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  11. This is one of the signs of incompetence. Love of procedure. These sorts of leaders cannot prioritise. A tendency to polish the silver while the house is burning down.

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    • Hey Dom,

      Well we don’t really know why the decision was made apart from ‘zoning permits’.

      Remember the fire at the backpakers hostel in Childers? 15 people died.

      That’s what can happen when something goes wrong at a venue poorly designed to cater for the type or number of people staying there.

      So maybe there were some pretty good reasons as to why the city didn’t want a church turned into a homeless shelter.

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      • Quite so:- “That’s what can happen when something goes wrong at a venue poorly designed to cater for the type or number of people staying there. ”

        …….like Planet Earth, d’you mean?

        Like

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