The most accurate horoscope!

stars

When you believe in things that you don’t understand,
Then you suffer, Superstition ain’t the way, no, no, no

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95 thoughts on “The most accurate horoscope!

  1. Hm just a little niggle there Bryan,

    In Astrology, the Sun and the Moon are two of the ‘stars’ or ‘planets’ in the set of 9 that are placed accurately in the Horoscope.

    The Sun affects us constantly and powerfully every single minute of every day. It is the source of all energy on this earth. In its ‘rising’ and falling, it regulates every single one of us without fail in our time cycle. During daylight hours it causes our bodies to create Vitamin D. In the daylight that it affords us, we feel safer and can see all that is around us etc. whereas its absence at night is the key time for hidden things, and danger, and the necessity for sleep.

    Then the Moon in its cycles is said by some to affect people’s moods. But we do know that it affects the ocean tides, and possibly lots of other things.

    So the quote is not quite correct.. N’est ce pas?

    Cheers, Rian.,

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    • People want to believe the future can be predicted. That is why there are still many believers in the stars.

      This is not a science—it is hocus-pocus.

      For one thing, the equinox and the solstice points in the sky have each moved westward about 30 degrees in the past 2000 years, changing the position of the zodiac signs.So if you were born at a certain time on a certain day 2000 years ago, you would probably have been born under a different sign.

      Even if the star signs were consistent over 2000 years, why would the position of the sun, moon, planets etc at the time of birth determine our personalities and future events of our lives?

      It is clear most of the astrological readings about events and personalities are vague enough to fit many people under various signs.

      People think horoscopes are accurate because they wish to think they are.

      Numerous studies have confirmed the nonsense..

      In 1988, astrologer John McCall, who claimed an 80 per cent success rate in guessing a subject’s star sign during an interview, was tested by the University of Virginia. Mr McCall had only seven successes out of28 subjects during the trial—the same number that could be predicted by random chance.

      In another study in San Francisco , 28 astrologers tried to match star signs to personality tests. The success rate—2 n8out of 83 trials—was also the random chancestatistic.
      SIX expert astrologers independently tried to match 23 astrological charts to 23 people in a University of Arizona study.
      Again, the astrologers did no better than chance. And the astrologers often failed to agree with each other’s matches.

      Those who profess to believe in astrology are promoting the philosophy of determinism or fatalism.

      This states that future events are fixed and unalterable, and that all our choices, intentions and actions are no more than effects of other events, such as the movement of stars. We have no freedom of choice. What a hopeless life that would be.

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    • Bryan,
      You made no acknowledgement there on what I said about the Sun’s constant influence on us. And that is science and everyday fact.

      It is no use lecturing me about the practice of Astrology. Back in Perth some 35 years ago, I was involved with a Scientist friend who was performing a whole series of psychological tests based on Astrology. Together we found that Astrology simply doesnt work. It is a mistaken old practice. He wrote, with input from me, a book that was possibly the very first genuine Scientific study of the subject and its lack of validity. Your commentary in the posting below of course was accurate. But incomplete.

      What I have stated in my posting above is NOT Astrology. But it gives the lie to the constant repetition of the phrase ‘will not affect your life in any way.’ All life on earth, not to mention earths seasons and surface formation is constantly affected by the Sun. I read some little time back that it has been demonstrated how one of the big planets in our Solar System, – might have been Jupiter actually makes a contribution to our survival on earth by diverting Meteorites and suchlike away from possible collision with earth. It has also been observed that certain of the outer planets exert gravitational influence on each other. It is simply not too much to speculate that there may yet be proven to be such physical influences by the other planets upon our earth.

      Pull-ease Bryan, just for once, do acknowledge that what I have said here is accurate???? Please? You clearly and deliberately evaded it. The literal reading of those notes was WRONG. Same for you Mon, you can see and agree surely about what I say here?

      Cheers, Rian.

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      • Rian,
        Apples and Oranges…Your discourse about the sun is obviously correct but it had nothing to do with the post I put up. It was about hocus-pocus ASTROLOGY!!!!!.
        I’m not inclined to argue with you just for the sake of arguing.

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      • Yes Rian,

        I affirm that what you said about the sun and the effect the moon has on some people, ocean tides etc, is correct. I also think, as Bryan stated, that what you said had nothing to do with the topic. You were just being pedantic, were you not? 🙂

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      • Regarding your comment

        “The specific wording was ‘The stars and planets will not affect your life in any way.’ Of course I know that it was put in the context of Astrology. But strictly speaking it should have been worded more accurately.”

        Context is everything in determining what a word, a sentence or a phrase means.

        Otherwise I could easily give you the following advice:

        “…and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.” Luke 8:33

        “… Go and do likewise” Luke 10:37

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      • Catholicism has lost its right to call itself Christian

        Brings back some memories. I remember before I was a Muslim a devout Christian threw an eraser at my head when in passing I said that Catholics are Christians. From that I sensed that maybe some Christians do not think Catholics are Christians. 🙂

        I don’t see many people in this day and age behaving as Jesus pbuh.

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      • to davinci (to follow April 22 at 10.43)

        Hi davinci,
        Yes that is a real old one, and very funny. Glad to be reminded of it.

        However it is really very ironic when Christians bring up the question about context when reading Scripture. The validity of their conclusions on some crucial issues is simply not sustained, as can be seen very easily.

        Incidentally in the present case of the Astrology blog, we must observe that the key sentence ends with the words ‘in any way’. That actually cancels out the context objection. The sentence was very carelessly written. Could have been avoided very easily.

        Cheers, Rian.

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    • No I’m not being picky or pedantic.

      The specific wording was ‘The stars and planets will not affect your life in any way.’ Of course I know that it was put in the context of Astrology. But strictly speaking it should have been worded more accurately. Think about it this way, – if a professional Scientist or Astronomer had read your blog, do you really believe that he would have let it stand?

      That sentence is simply wrong. And Bryan, at least you could just have acknowledged it. It wasnt even an argument. And in the process, I actually added to the put-down on Astrology with the (hopefully) interesting information on my experience in Perth all those years ago. That might have been mentioned, you know. My bet is that if one of the Christians on the blog had written my posting, it would have been answered.

      It is rather noticeable Bryan, that you are actually rather nervous about arguing with me. Seems to be saying something. As Moderator here, you are not used to being challenged by non-Christians. Almost as bad as your repeated refrain about preferring to read ‘real scholars’.

      Cheers, Rian.

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      • Oh No Rian,

        I’m not in any way nervous about arguing with you. I just don’t wish to.

        You take things far too aspie literally, miss the point and focus on little things that have nothing to do with the subject at hand.

        That’s really not worth arguing about.

        BTW A passive/aggressive insult is not an argument.

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      • Okay Bryan,
        You win. I withdraw gracefully on this occasion. One cant fight City Hall!

        But I wonder if you could do me a big favour. Could you just post a succinct screed in this forum in which you give a clear idea of the aims and purposes of Faithworks. Just what it is and just what it isn’t. I recall the list of requirements that you used to promote in the old Herald-Sun days. ‘Dont hold back’ you used to say. ‘Let a thousand flowers (roses? Whatever) bloom…’ Etc etc.

        And I assumed that with the name Faithworks, it was a platform on which all sorts of faiths, creeds and religious opinions could be aired, with full equality for all and with open debate. But as I’ve sadly observed many times here, it really appears that the name should rather be reflecting certain partisan Christian viewpoints. As I see it, it should more honestly be termed ‘Christian Evangelical Faith Works’ or some such.

        Of course, abusive language should be outlawed, and polite respect for all the posters maintained. I felt sure in those early days, that open debate would be permitted and encouraged here, wherein very little would be out of bounds for argument. But sadly it just doesn’t seem like what I envisaged. Incidentally, I had carefully refrained from mentioning my Aspergers diagnosis all along, feeling that it would just be thrown up at me, as a means of dismissing my views. That has well and truly turned out to be a correct expectation. Let me state emphatically that I am not hyper-sensitive about that matter, – rather just that it is an illegitimate form of ad hominem.

        Just where exactly do you stand on debating about particular issues? In your opinion, does the precise quoting of passages of Scripture simply put an abrupt stop to argument? And is it really fair to call a halt to some discussion, by simply stating that you would prefer to learn from ‘Real Scholars”, when real scholars are actually being cited by the antagonist?

        So how about just running through your current idea of the Guidelines for Faithworks. It might be useful for others as well as for me. Above all, as I said at the beginning, please describe the aims and purposes for the blog, including a description of just what it isn’t. Just maybe, I got it wrong all this time.
        Cheers, Rian.

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      • Bryan,

        As I said there, ‘You cant fight City Hall.’ So I back down. But I would still appreciate from you a suitable commentary on just what the aims and purposes of this blog might be. In the process, just what it is not as well. Perhaps a few of us might then know what is more suitable for posting, and what isn’t.

        Let me offer one significant and relevant thought further on the matter. I would certainly expect that in a forum such as this, Christians have an opportunity to hone their apologetics and their evangelical skills. One of the outcomes of this would be that any of you would be immediately prepared to dive in and answer any queries, questions and objections that non-believers might raise.

        Now you have repeatedly of late stated that you are not prepared to ‘argue’ with me. I would really prefer the word ‘debate’ of course. So I have been endeavouring to imagine your interactions with atheists or other dissenters in everyday life. I find it terribly hard to imagine that you would simply dig your heels in, refusing to answer, when they ask questions or pick holes in your arguments or quotes. Same for Monica or any of our enthusiastic Christians here, – I’ll bet that you do your level best to address those questions.

        You guys might sincerely see some of my complaints as being trivial, especially regarding historical matters. But surely if a non-believer brought up such things in discussion, pointing out that you are simply not familiar with the latest research, you will only be showing yourself to be stubborn and immoveable when you refuse to quote sources that refute them, or worse, simply don’t know them. That particular point or picky little query that you see as trivial, may well be a huge matter to the one being evangelized. On the public platform of a formal debate, you would be needing to address such things.

        To paraphrase and reapply a verse from the Gospels, – If you fail to recognize the facts in history which are well researched and open to all, then how can you claim to know more about the spiritual facts of the Cosmos which are not so readily seen by all?’ (and please dont go checking chapter and verse to find out what I am referring to. You should well know.) Over these 2000 years of Christianity, I would remind you that great numbers of Christian doctrines and claims have only been determined and defined because disbelievers, heretics and Atheists have tossed extant weaknesses and gaps at the Church Apologists. All too often, it must be said sadly and truthfully, the Church simply fabricated documents and history in order to back up its claims. (See Donation of Constantine and False Decretals.) The fable of huge numbers of Martyrs under Rome is a classical example.

        Monica asked, somewhat unbelievingly, if she and the rest of you actually happen to be poor salesmen. Well, I would state emphatically that when you toss around general Christian concepts, and loads of Scriptural quotes, but don’t talk or write in terms that the outsider can recognize, surely you must be showing up as poor salesmen. Again, is there any evidence at all, that any disbeliever has ever been converted through reading your blog, Bryan? So much of what is here, looks just like the old state of ‘preaching to the converted’.

        Funnily enough, the only real arguments and battles that go on here seem to be internal squabbles between Christians of competing ideologies, – as between a number of you and our friend davinci for example. Goodness. That is just like the old old debates between heretics and orthodox that used to amuse the Emperor Julian the Apostate so very much. For the greater part, you folk seem able to put down the arguments of Atheists quite readily and successfully, with traditional and pat answers.

        But I’m fundamentally a bigger problem for you, because I’m looking at the inside of Christianity from both experience and close study. In everyday life, my Christian friends have admitted that they really have to work much harder in order to counter my arguments. And don’t suggest that I’m bragging there. Don’t forget that you guys give the impression to us outsiders, that you already are bragging with inside knowledge and experience, not to mention confidential enlightenment from the Divine Source itself. Can we be expected to counter anything like that???

        Cheers regardless,
        Rian.

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      • Rian,

        I view this blog as a discussion centre, not a debate forum with what you call “antagonists”. It shouldn’t be just a place to score points or to flash egos with bragging. Certainly there are times when the discussion becomes heated and sometimes overheated. There have unfortunately been times when bloggers have resorted to personal abuse and have been blocked..

        I’d hope that most people who come here have respect for the opinions and personal beliefs of others. But it’s not a perfect world.

        You were the one who told us you suffered from Aspergers. So I don’t believe pointing out the traits that come from that are an illegitimate form of ad hominem. However, I will in future refrain from pointing these out to you.

        I don’t wish to debate with you because it seems to upset you when I point out why your viewpoints may be suspect. Also I do believe you have some stubborn antagonism towards Christianity and Christians. There is little point in “debating” just for the sake of debating, especially with those who just want to score points.

        Cheers regardless to you too.

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      • Rian,

        The points that you often make are based on wrong premises to begin with. In your case these are inexcusable because you were a Christian to begin with, you should have known what the truth was. And if you didn’t you should have searched the scripture until you found the truth.

        Instead you dabbled in Catholicism, which does not have much respect for the Word of God.

        Then you chose to be an outsider. And to quiet your conscience, you researched every excuse that outsiders give against Christianity, often ignoring the Christian side of the story.

        To excuse your existence as an outsider you often twist the truth, omit facts, and/or resort to misleading comments (such as the one you made about asking an astronomer about effects of the sun on the body).

        And if you can’t twist things, omit facts, or resort to misleading comments, you bring into the discussion, topics that have absolutely nothing to do with the subject. Comments that are calculated to deceive the innocent and the unwary.

        We weren’t even talking about the effects of the moon and the sun on the body. I understand that the core subject of the topic was whether the horoscopes affect our destiny. Yet here you were introducing comments that confuse the difference between astronomy and astrology.

        Thus you are approaching the point where nobody wants to debate anything with you. You are fast becoming a bull artist. Unfortunately there are people who fail to distinguish the difference between astrology and astronomy and need to be warned against this sort of nonsense and the bull artists who promote it.

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      • Just an important correction there, Bryan.

        Most of us Aspergers simply do not consider that we ‘suffer’ with Aspergers. The modern understanding is rather that we represent one of the many interesting and uniquely productive variations of the human kind. For me, no, I’ve never suffered from the Syndrome. Any inherent suffering therewith, is more linked to the problems faced when interacting withe the great majority of the population, who we term as NTs. (That stands for Neuro-typicals. In other words for all the rest of you who are not Aspies.) I’m not hyper-sensitive about my AS. I’ve done too much lecturing and writing about it to be disturbed and heard every possible argument..

        You are actually reading me very wrong if you imagine that I ever get upset when people oppose me over topics on this blog. I’ve been opposed on all sorts of topics for all of my life. For the greater part, my friend, I have not been confronted here by very much in the way of evidence counter to what I have put forward. I can think of (and I’ve kept copies of most of the discussions that I’ve been involved in here) several occasions when you have stated that you answered my points, when neither you or anyone else actually did. I can get frustrated by dead ends where there should have been some productive ends.

        A classic example was when I quoted some 32 Scriptural quotes from the NT to demonstrate that the first Church was anything but single, united and undivided. No one proved I was wrong, especially since I was quoting from the infallible Scripture. Then no-one brought up any real scholars to demonstrate that I had been wrong about the numbers of Martyrs. Numbers of others like these.

        No, I have never been upset by opposition on this blog. I still suggest that this would actually be a good place for Christians to practice their evangelical skills, and to try out their Apologetics. You have not made any attempt to explain just how one is supposed to ‘discuss’ any topic, if and when one is lampooned or put down for the views that are held. And that especially when one is leaped out on, with the comment that you have tossed at me on a number of occasions that I have just offered ‘opinion’. Surely it is then legitimate and only to be expected that I will give some evidence. And then either that evidence should be respected, or at least countered with some opposite evidence.

        At what point should ‘discussion’ cease, and when exactly does it become argument or debate? Dissenters like myself would observe that it comes about when the Christian majority finds that they cant answer the arguments.

        Cheers, Rian.

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      • “And if you can’t twist things, omit facts, or resort to misleading comments, you bring into the discussion, topics that have absolutely nothing to do with the subject.”

        You’ve been told Rian! Next thing you know, you’ll be accused of making baseless assertions or self righteous proselytisations.. But it was the “topics that have absolutely nothing to do with the subject” bit that really propelled my afternoon coffee out through my nostrils.

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      • “Monica asked, somewhat unbelievingly, if she and the rest of you actually happen to be poor salesmen.”

        No Rian,

        I had a huge smile on my face when I wrote that! It was tongue-in-cheek!

        This is an imperfect medium. Of course you couldn’t possibly see my disposition when I wrote that but you obviously assumed that I was being smug. Obviously nothing we say (and even after I spent a whole day with you) can break through your critical judgment of us Christians.

        Sorry Rian, but I feel bullied by you here.

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      • And I get angry and close-up when I start to feel bullied, so I shall refrain from entering into any further discussions here over faith with you for now. You say you do not get upset at being challenged but it certainly does not come across that way here. I was going to share something wonderful that I learnt last night about something in the Bible with you, but I won’t now for fear that you will misinterpret my intention for smugness.

        Just being honest.

        Love, Mon

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      • davinci on April 22, 2015 at 13:15 said:
        Instead you dabbled in Catholicism, which does not have much respect for the Word of God.

        Are you saying, Davinci, that Catholics aren’t Christian? And which Catholics?

        Many individual Christians and Christian denominations consider themselves “catholic” on the basis, in particular, of apostolic succession.

        They fall into five groups:

        The Catholic Church, which sees full communion with the Bishop of Rome as an essential element of Catholicism. Its constituent particular Churches (Western and Eastern) have distinct and separate jurisdictions, while still being “in union with Rome”.[8]

        Those, like the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox, that claim unbroken apostolic succession from the early Church and identify themselves as the Catholic Church.

        Those, like the Old Catholic, Anglican, and some Lutheran and other denominations, that claim unbroken apostolic succession from the early Church, and see themselves as a constituent part of the Church.[note 1]

        Those who claim to be spiritual descendants of the Apostles but have no discernible institutional descent from the historic Church, and normally do not refer to themselves as catholic.

        Those who have acknowledged a break in Apostolic Succession, but have restored it in order to be in full communion with bodies that have maintained the practice. Examples in this category include the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada vis-à-vis their Anglican and Old Catholic counterparts.

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      • Rian on April 22, 2015 at 13:56 said:
        “Just an important correction there, Bryan.

        Most of us Aspergers simply do not consider that we ‘suffer’ with Aspergers. The modern understanding is rather that we represent one of the many interesting and uniquely productive variations of the human kind. For me, no, I’ve never suffered from the Syndrome. Any inherent suffering therewith, is more linked to the problems faced when interacting withe the great majority of the population, who we term as NTs. (That stands for Neuro-typicals. In other words for all the rest of you who are not Aspies.) I’m not hyper-sensitive about my AS. I’ve done too much lecturing and writing about it to be disturbed and heard every possible argument.. ”

        I would support that, Rian, and I think you have the crux of it in “Any inherent suffering therewith, is more linked to the problems faced when interacting withe the great majority of the population.” I am very aware of the struggle you have trying to be at ease in company, it is a suffering. So I wouldn’t be too hasty about dismissing the ‘suffering’ of the condition, as most people might be referring to the effects of the condition, just not being specifically clear!

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      • Strewth

        Put bluntly, Roman Catholicism is a corrupted form of Christianity, just as Judaism was in the days of Christ. In rejecting the Word of God as the final authority/arbiter in matters pertaining the Christian faith. Catholicism has lost its right to call itself Christian.

        The members in this organisation come in three types.

        1 The clergy which are not entitled to call themselves Christians. They have had the opportunity to become familiar with the Bible and become born again Christians through its teachings.
        2 The lay people whose involvement in religion might be church attendance on odd occasions only because it is the thing to do, or because they happen to have been baptised as infants, or have become Roman Catholic through forced conversion. These are no different in their spiritual outlook from outright atheists.
        3 The lay people who take their religion seriously, but who don’t know any better. These follow the clergy blindly without knowing that the Bible encourages thinking for themselves, the Bible encourages them to check whether the clergy are telling them the truth, the Bible encourages them to ditch their organisation if it does not conform to the teachings of the Bible.

        It is the 3rd group above that is genuine Christian. When the truth regarding the role of the Bible in the Christian’s life will be made clear to them, they will leave the Roman Catholic Church and will unite with other Bible believing Christians to form one Church and one fold. Just what organisational form this Church will take we don’t know. We do know that this will be a purified Church that will be take taken to heaven when Jesus returns again.

        Just as in the Judaism of Jesus’ time there were sincere Jews who became Christians once they understood the Old Testament Scriptures regarding Jesus, so will the 3rd group above.

        As for the questions about organisations, please google Jesus’ parable of the wicked husbandmen to understand what is going on.

        Throughout the centuries, whilst the sincere laity was considered Christians, the organisations that failed to execute their Christian duties were ultimately rejected by God. Both laity and clergy were faced with a choice. Either follow God and bring forth fruits corresponding with the standard that God had placed in the church (the Bible) or do their own thing, ignoring what God had said what they should do in the Bible.

        Those who followed God ended up separating from those who did not want to follow God, forming new denominations, which again split into those who wanted to follow God and those who wanted to follow the world.

        I can’t emphasize the importance of the Bible in the destiny of the church enough.
        It is not membership of one Christian organisation or another that will decide a favourable destiny for the Christian, but rather the organisation’s capacity to obey the Word of God.

        It is not membership of the current organisation that is now favoured by God, but once again, obedience to the Word of God.

        It is not theoretical knowledge of the Word of God that decides the destiny of the Christian, even should s/he belong to the organisation that follows what God says in the Bible. It is obedience to the teachings therein.

        Which is why apostle Paul utters the words “Examine yourselves whether you are in the faith, or whether you are reprobates”. The question is by what standard do we examine ourselves? It is the Bible and only the Bible.

        Because our sins have separated us from God and Jesus to such an extent that they cannot talk to us face to face. He uses other methods, the foremost being the Bible.

        The question is what will you and I do when the Bible reveals things that are wrong in our lives. Will we obey its teachings and seek grace to overcome and correct them? Or will we reject the Word of God and become “lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God” (look it up in your Bible if you’re not familiar with the phrase). If we become “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” we will become rejected both by the Church of God (in whatever organisational form it will be) as well as by God.

        Therefore to answer your question, you need to get your standard of determining genuine from counterfeit right.

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      • Nah, I still want to have a talk with you Rian. I will try harder to communicate better from now on.

        Now, what’s your take on Acts 12:20-24, particularly the part where Herod is eaten up by worms as a punishment from God?

        Herod’s Violent Death
        20 Now Herod had been very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; but they came to him with one accord, and having made Blastus the king’s personal aide their friend, they asked for peace, because their country was supplied with food by the king’s country.

        21 So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them. 22 And the people kept shouting, “The voice of a god and not of a man!” 23 Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died.

        24 But the word of God grew and multiplied.

        Cheers

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      • to davinci (to follow his at 13.15)

        Well davinci, you have left me scratching my head there. I cant really spot in recent times, where I’ve brought up topics that were irrelevant. I endeavour to keep straight to the point of the discussion.

        Boy oh boy, you are sure enjoying the attempt to diminish me aren’t you? Your insight into my nature and spirit are just what I need to bring me to salvation I guess. One correction there, you say that I ‘dabbled in Catholicism’. Actually the church I was in was not a Roman Catholic Church. It was a Gnostic Catholic Church. Am I to gather that the Spirit of Prophecy has entered into you, that you can let fly quite so viciously? I really hope that any Catholics on this blog will not take your words too seriously as a condemnation of their church.

        The points I make are based on wrong premises to begin with, are they? Would you REALLY anticipate that a non-Christian would come from the same premises as yourself? Gee, I’m sure glad that I’m not some potential convert being evangelized by you. I’m waiting at the moment for you to start raving on about Fire and Brimstone, like a 19th century Tent Revivalist. Something I guess you would just love. And you appear to be just so darned sensitive about your Christianity. No way was I introducing comments that confuse the difference between Astronomy and Astrology. (just see my last little not to you.)

        So ‘nobody wants to debate anything’ with me? Actually I would presume that if that be so, then they are abiding by Bryan’s edict that the blog is NOT for debate or argument, but purely for discussion. You seem to be making a pretty strong fist of it on the other hand. To date anyway, you have shown absolutely no ability to carry on a proper debate. And barely any of the arguments you and I have engaged in has shown you to be at all good at it. And your knowledge of history can be very weak. Oh, and you should keep it in mind that I know very well the ‘Christian side of the Story’.

        I don’t doubt that I would find it easy debating you in public. Rave on old mate.
        Rian.

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      • Oh dear Mon,
        You asked there what to me was a perfectly natural sort of hypothetical question about things in general. Did I think that you folk are not very good salesmen.

        I gave an answer in which I was considering it in the general too. And I certainly didnt have anything you’ve said about smugness in my mind at the time. So I’m sorry if you took it at all personally. Though presumably we can all improve our approach and resources in what we do.

        As I said, that there are some things Christians can say when evangelizing, that are ineffective. It has to be all too easily to put a listener off by inappropriate words. And I quoted back one example to show what I meant. I’m sure every Christian would admit that some things they say can be penetrating and powerful, while other things simply dont carry any weight to the listener or will put them off.

        This is of course the sort of issue that experienced Christian debaters like CS Lewis (in his own time) and Lane Craig and others today know very well. They know just what to bring up, and what to avoid. That is their skill.

        Now in regard to the quote you put to me from Acts. As an Aspie, I’m not normally given to looking under the surface and applying my intuition to questions that are given me, as I normally take them exactly as given – as literal theoretical questions. But in this case, I’m just wondering if you are utiizing the text as some sort of way to warn me about some self-pride (like that of Herod) that I am falling into, and consequently the kind of fate that awaits me for my hubris. Be that as it may. It’s a matter of individual perception. That doesnt fit into the spiritual philosophy that I am party to.

        Anyway for my own part, I read that story about King Herod as a typical Scriptural take on an historical event. The intervention of an Angel of God is precisely the way that a Scriptural writer would describe the fall or collapse of a ruler who was ungodly. I was just looking for my copy of Josephus to remind myself of his handling of the matter. Couldnt see it. Somehow the death of Herod occurred at the time, and I’m not prepared to put any construction onto it. Keeping in mind that I am not given to accepting the literal word of the Bible, you couldnt really expect me to.

        Funny you know, that I cant convince you that what is said on this blog to or about me just fails to trouble me. Goodness me, if it did, I would have got to hell out of it long before this. Cant I convince you that I just get a great enjoyment out of debating? That does NOT mean that I am being insincere, but rather that I see exciting challenges in tackling matters that I see written here, and if necessary, researching them in order to give my answers. I’m a mad enthusiast at heart, and it must seem like some inner angst to the rest of you.

        Probably none of you can really conceive of the lengths I often go to in order to do this research, and the care with which I choose my words and phrases when I put them in my posts. Some of the issues that I tackle, I’ve never had to pursue before, and that makes it most interesting. In the few cases where other posters have duly offered arguments back to me, I’ve of course learnt some things, and had to research in order to find more about them and properly answer them.

        Do keep in mind that at all times, I work rigidly on the principle of ‘Play the ball and not the man’. So I am never attacking the person. Even going back to all the extraordinary interchange I had in the old days with Alexie and PG, I took the greatest of care to be arguing the topic, and hoping for the same back.

        I dont say anything much here about my own ‘relationship’ with the God. And it is true that in my Gnostic philosophy, there is not much said about ‘sins’ and the separation they make from the Divine. But let me assure you that whenever I come before my God, I do it as a little child. I never argue or debate about The God in ultimate reality. But I will debate and dissect ideas creeds and comments written or spoken about the divine.

        Funny that you made the suggestion that I still appear to misunderstand Christians even though you spent a day with me. All my life I’ve associated with Christians of all shades, after being brought up powerfully within the Church. My feelings about Christians have never changed. But my feelings and theories about Christian topics and history have never stopped changing. I sincerely trust that I will never stop changing and developing in regard to matters of the spirit.

        Love as ever, Rian

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      • A great post Rian,

        So great that it settles everything that was troubling me concerning our interaction here. Finally, you’ve convinced me that all is well with us. Thank you very much, and thank God! 🙂

        Okay, the answer is a resounding NOOOOO! concerning:

        “But in this case, I’m just wondering if you are utiizing the text as some sort of way to warn me about some self-pride (like that of Herod) that I am falling into, and consequently the kind of fate that awaits me for my hubris.”

        Gosh Rian, what kind of a nasty piece of work do you think I am? I don’t think that way…..”that God will smite you dead if you don’t behave”. Although, seeing as I am being honest here, I do think that on this blog you present as having an over-inflated ego, but you certainly didn’t strike me as being like that in person. And if I were to use a Scripture as a warning, I wouldn’t use the analogy of Herod Agrippa’s demise. Heck no! I’d use, 1 Corinthians 8:1 “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up,” because human knowledge, apart from God, is flawed. The Bible also refers to it as worthless because it isn’t tempered by love (1 Corinthians 13:2) and the knowledge man possesses tends to make one proud.”

        But getting back to my question about Acts 12:20-24, didn’t you ever wonder how someone could be “eaten by worms and then die”? That horrified me. It doesn’t say he was left to rot after he died; no, it says he rotted first and then died. It put the fear of God in me!

        Anyway, astonishingly, it turns out that Herod Agrippa’s grandfather, Herod the Great, died in much the same way.

        I’ve been watching a series titled, ‘Deadly Journeys Of The Apostles’ on the National Geographic Channel which is about their missionary journeys and martyrdoms; extra-biblical stories/legends of course, but nonetheless very interesting. Here’s a translation in part:

        “In Jerusalem, the first execution of an apostle will lead to others in a systematic attempt to subvert the spread of Christianity. Herod Agrippa is remembered by the Christians as having really viciously tried to quash their Movement and having tried to end Christianity before it really got going. And for a while it seems like he will succeed. Ultimately, Herod Agrippa meets his end—his reign comes to a close. Acts chapter 12 recounts a sickening death, Herod Agrippa finally punished by God for comparing himself to the divine.

        And it is easy to take that kind of detail and to see it as a matter of window dressing, but as it happens, we have a very good historical source for the life and death of Herod Agrippa’s grandfather, Herod the Great who died in much the same way.

        There is a medical condition, which is known as ‘Fournier gangrene’. It is a gangrene that develops in the area of the abdomen, is truly a dreadful and excruciating way to di, and because there is a great deal of dead flesh, it attracts maggots”

        Well that was a revelation to me, and it gives credence to the veracity of the Bible. Anyway, just wanted to hear your views, and not to ‘warn’ you or any such nonsense.

        Love, Mon

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      • Oh, and I forgot to say Rian,

        that I was laughing when I used the scripture verse about ‘pride’. It was good humoured tongue-in-cheek and I only brought it up to go along with what you were thinking about me re the use of Herod Agrippa as some sort of warning to you.

        Yes, I do take life very seriously, but I also have a sense of humour and much joy, thank God!

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      • Dom on April 23, 2015 at 07:54 said:
        ” I remember before I was a Muslim a devout Christian threw an eraser at my head when in passing I said that Catholics are Christians. From that I sensed that maybe some Christians do not think Catholics are Christians. :)”
        Much the same, Dom, as some Muslims think other Muslims aren’t real Muslims? 🙂

        Like

      • davinci on April 22, 2015 at 18:11 said:
        “Put bluntly, Roman Catholicism is a corrupted form of Christianity, just as Judaism was in the days of Christ. In rejecting the Word of God as the final authority/arbiter in matters pertaining the Christian faith. Catholicism has lost its right to call itself Christian.”
        While I and a whole heap of Protestants and others, as well as Catholics, might not agree with you, Davinci, I believe that God has his hand on your life, is guiding you, and loves you. He IS capable of guiding us all in individual ways. I cannot believe he wants us all to think alike.

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  2. I will always be grateful to Eddie for telling me the truth about Horoscopes, for like him, I too believed in all this nonsense. Mind you, at first I dismissed the truth that Eddie was trying to show me and refused to let go (repent), and I must say that I reacted angrily to his intrusion of my fantasy, but I eventually came to my senses, thanks to his persistence.

    I’ve learnt over the years that the devil will do everything in his power to make you think that your voice is not being heard and to give up, but all we need do is plant a seed of truth and God will take care of the rest. He, and only He sees the full picture.

    The HOROSCOPE & MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
    Eddie Russell FMI (Catholic Evangelist, Archdiocese of Perth, WA.)

    Part 1.

    Before experiencing conversion many years ago, I relied heavily on the daily horoscope. My dependence was such that without an in-depth reading for each day my plans or their potential would not be realised.

    Even my relationships were governed by the character-analysis as well as what had been cast, boxing people in to handle them or even manipulate them in subtle ways for personal gain; if the person’s star sign did not match, a relationship with them would not be a serious consideration. It would often mean avoiding them completely and a judgmental attitude disguised as freedom of choice developed. (Proverbs 16:2)

    This obsession began in a small and seemingly innocuous way with the conviction that it was just for fun with bad forecasts rejected as superstition. However, good forecasts would be accepted and acted upon and eventually a horoscope book was carried everywhere.

    Not content or secure reading the daily horoscope analysis, reading what the newspapers and magazines had to say became a way of checking just to be sure, and over time, the whole thing became bondage. It was so absorbing that decisions made without consulting a star guidebook were rare.

    One day, when speaking to a journalist, the subject of the horoscope came up.

    Shocked to discover he did not believe the horoscope, or even know much about it, he revealed that he was the one who wrote it in the newspaper that I read each day. He confessed that he often made it up to fulfil his obligations. Later, discovering that statistics showed publications that do not have a horoscope do not sell well was a surprise. That is why all major publications have one. This also reaches as far as magazine-style television shows that also have a horoscope segment.

    Many people who read their forecasts will say they do not really believe in them.

    This of course is not true judging by the use of them in publications. If it were true, they would not dabble and there would be no demand for them as a priority for sales, and further to this, consulting an astrologist has become a major growth industry in recent years.

    The telltale sign of having faith and belief in the horoscope is that people will reject a negative forecast but accept one that suits them. They can justify this by saying that it is only a bit of fun and they do not really believe in it. However, they give it credence when they even tacitly accept the possibility that a good forecast might be true for them.

    When they do this, they accept a false god. In doing so, they sin by putting their faith in the horoscope (or should we say horrorscope) rather than in God’s divinely revealed plan for their lives. (Ephesians 1:3-23) As John Sandford once said, “Sin is taking by force what God would give by grace.” When we seek the future in this way or by divination, tarot card reading, fortune telling, palm reading, tealeaf readings, and such things, we are taking by force what God has promised by grace through his Word regarding his plan for our future. (Ephesians 1:9-10, Ephesians 2:10

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  3. The HOROSCOPE & MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
    Eddie Russell FMI (Catholic Evangelist, Archdiocese of Perth, WA.)

    Part 2.

    After becoming Catholic it was a shock to discover how many parishioners used the horoscope, divination and many other superstitious practices, not the least of which is the malocchio, evil eye.

    One day after Mass, a group of friends gathered at our home for breakfast. One of the guests, a close friend was getting married and a discussion ensued about this. One of the women asked for his partner’s engagement ring. She put it on a length of cotton and held it in front of the girl. Looking deeply into her eyes they both concentrated on the dangling ring. Eventually the ring began to swing, a prediction and a conclusion followed about their future relationship. The direction of the first movement of the ring related to either the man or the woman, whichever being first received a prediction.

    Familiar with such divinations before conversion, I knew that divination and fortune telling had no place in Catholic faith and belief and a polite explanation that God had a plan for our lives and that it was sinful to seek the future in any other way brought a patronising response. Everyone made light of the event and she continued doing the same with the other guests who delighted in the occasion.

    At a charismatic conference some years ago, the speaker, a priest, said that many people that consult him regarding their problems tell him that their use of the horoscope and Ouiji Boards is only a game. He told the conference delegates, “For you it might be a game. But for Satan, they are his tools.”

    Reading the horoscope and using other superstitious practices is perverted faith.

    In fact, it is not faith at all but fate and it takes our focus from God and directs us to the creature if not Satan himself. This is exactly what the serpent did in the Garden of Eden when he diverted Eve’s attention from the tree of life and focused it on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. She did not hate God but forgot about him, and this is the same ruse of Satan today.

    For those who take these matters lightly in these days of New Age enlightenment and pagan revivals of all things that worship nature and the creature, they should take God’s views very seriously and repent.

    God has not changed the way he works, nor has he relented of his hatred for this Satanic corruption of his (cosmic) creation; a creation meant to reveal his glory rather than the creature glorying in the creation and thereby rejecting its Creator. In these days, people have even reviled heavenly beings (God’s holy angels) by giving their names to deceiving spirits just as Nimrod did with the Mazzaroth in Babylon.

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    • You mentioned that many parishioners in the Catholic Church use horoscopes, etc. Which is why you need Bryan to raise this issue time and time again.

      Many of these parishioners don’t know any better. As Strewth pointed out in another post, they follow the likes of Cardinal Pell who thinks Scripture is a bunch of fairy tales.

      This is in spite of the fact that the Bible has a proven track record in predicting the future accurately.

      Ironically, they have rejected a book that predicts the future accurately, in exchange of fortune tellers that do rely on fairy tales to predict the future.

      The antidote for this would be to study Biblical prophecies with them and show them from historical records the fulfilment of Biblical prophecies. Once you show people how reliable the Bible has been in regards to prophecy, people will soon realise that if the Bible can foretell the future accurately, in some cases thousands of years in advance, it can be trusted in other areas such as science, doctrine, etc.

      In my case, what finally decided it for me that the Bible was not a book of fairy tales, was Revelation 9 which has a historical application to Islam and the Ottoman Empire. Coming from a part of the world that was traditionally attacked by Islamic invasions over the centuries, it was easy to compare what the book of Revelation was describing with historical records describing what Islam was before the destruction of the Ottoman Empire.

      If my recollection is correct it was something called a Millerite movement which correctly predicted events within the Ottoman Empire accurately, solely by using the Bible to do so. I have to check my records to do so and will get back to you on this issue.

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  4. THE HOROSCOPE & MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
    Eddie Russell FMI (Catholic Evangelist, Archdiocese of Perth, WA.)

    Part 3.
    Because the occult zodiac hides the plan of God and denies Jesus, he condemns it in the most vehement way.

    In Isaiah 47: 9-15 he says, “Both these things shall come upon you suddenly, in a single day: Complete bereavement and widowhood shall come upon you for your many sorceries and the great number of your spells; Because you felt secure in your wickedness, and said, ‘No one sees me.’ Your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray, and you said to yourself, ‘I, and no one else!’ But upon you shall come evil you will not know how to predict; Disaster shall befall you, which you cannot allay. Suddenly there shall come upon you that you will not expect.

    “Keep up now your spells and much sorcery. Perhaps you can make them avail. Perhaps you can strike terror! You wearied yourself with many consultations, at which you toiled from your youth; Let the astrologers stand forth to save you, the stargazers who forecast at the new moon what would happen to you. Lo they are like stubble, fire consumes them; they cannot save themselves from the spreading flames. This is no warming ember, no fire to sit before, thus do your wizards serve you with whom you have toiled from your youth; each wanders his own way, with none to save you.”

    In other words, God hates the horoscope and warns of his wrath towards those who do not repent and put their faith in him instead.

    Revelations 21:8 regarding God’s plan for a New Heaven and a New Earth reiterates this, saying that those practicing these deceitful things will NOT enter the Heavenly Jerusalem. The Catechism of the Catholic Church also makes this clear.

    2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead (channeling) or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honour, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.

    2117 – All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others – even if this were for the sake of restoring their health – are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it.

    “So with us; when we were children, we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe. (Galatians 4:3) “See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8) “If with Christ you have died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belong to the world?” (Colossians 2:20) “He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word and power.” (Hebrews 1:3)

    If you have any doubt that God has a great future planned for you so that you do not need the zodiac, read and meditate on Jeramiah 29: 11 “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope. 12 When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. 13 When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, 14 you will find me with you, says the LORD, and I will change your lot; I will gather you together from all the nations and all the places to which I have banished you, says the LORD, and bring you back to the place from which I have exiled you.”

    *This article taken from a chapter in my book, “It’s Faith Jim, But not as we know it” serves as a timely reminder that even those seemingly pettty little facebook horoscope applications have no place in the life of a Christian.

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  5. Not the Hororscope, but something much better:

    “Don’t ever let the devil tell you that you amount to nothing! He is a liar! All of us have a unique place in God’s plans and each and every one of us is needed until He comes! In case that other voice has been around discouraging you, read again Psalm 139:13-16. That is a word for you!”….. Rev. Juha Ketola, ICEJ

    (The Message MSG)

    Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
    you formed me in my mother’s womb.
    I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
    Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
    I worship in adoration—what a creation!
    You know me inside and out,
    you know every bone in my body;
    You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
    Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
    The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day.

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  6. I may be wrong, but I don’t think the magi from the time of Jesus’ birth were using what we today call astrology, but a limited knowledge of astronomy with the added idea that over great periods of time attitudes changed, and history while not actually repeating itself might go through some sort of cycle.

    Even today Jews look back through history to identify present events with precursors, with the idea that this is God’s plan. He presents us with the same lesson again, if we haven’t learnt. Perhaps there is some sort of cycle as there is in our own educational system, that God has instituted in the school of life. Perhaps the precession of the equinox coincidentally adheres to such a cycle. Who’s to know?

    But whatever, astrology as practised today is garbage, when one expects guidance about all sorts of matters. So many factors are woven into it, such as cusps, ascensions, etc, etc, that any reading is possible for any event.

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  7. To Rian,

    “Well davinci, you have left me scratching my head there. I cant really spot in recent times, where I’ve brought up topics that were irrelevant. I endeavour to keep straight to the point of the discussion.”

    Bryan writes

    “Taurus – The stars and planets will not affect your life in any way”

    Title of his discussion? “The most accurate horoscope”

    Your input? Nothing to do with Astrology but rather Physiology and possibly Astronomy. Which have absolutely nothing with horoscopes. Not even comments about destiny and what affects your destiny (if not horoscopes).

    “Think about it this way, – if a professional Scientist or Astronomer had read your blog, do you really believe that he would have let it stand?”

    Actually I am in contact with professional Scientists and astronomers. After pointing them to Bryan’s website and showing them your comments, I asked them if they would kindly make a comment. One refused on grounds that he was too busy to answer to an imbecile (to quote his words). Another refused to answer because he refuses to answer questions from people that insinuate a connection between astronomy and astrology. Yet a third one looked at your comments regarding context and laughed… I won’t repeat what he called you because it was too rude.

    Keep scratching. And for your sake, don’t confuse astronomy with astrology.

    Like

    • Oh dear, davinci, my feelings are real hurt! Sob sob!!

      Did I at any time suggest that Physiology and Astronomy have anything to do with Horoscopes? And yet you still say that my ‘input – nothing to do with Astrology’. You are contradicting yourself there. What a lot of codswallop. And of course, I said nothing about ‘destiny’.

      Now IF you really did confer with ‘professional Scientists and astronomers’, then my guess is that at most, you just quoted me verbally to these guys but didnt show them exactly what I had written within my context. Did you point out to them the mention I gave of the Scientific research into Astrology we did in Perth all those years ago? If you had, they would have taken me more seriously. My scientist friend back there would be rather insulted. You have clearly and probably deliberately misunderstood or mis-quoted what I was saying. I could add just what a close friend said about it, and he is a Theoretical Physicist. But if we start swapping friendly authorities, it will never stop.

      I notice that you failed to react to my comment earlier that it really has to be an embarrassment to Christianity, when one brings up the question of context. As any Jewish Scholar would confirm, for upwards of 2000 years, enthusiastic Christian Theologians have taken innumerable verses out of the Jewish Scripture and endeavoured to interpret them for Christian purposes without considering properly the context in which they were situated. AND just what they have consistently meant within Judaism. No wonder our Jewish brothers have failed en masse to join in the Christian fold.

      Again, when have I ever confused Astronomy with Astrology????? The old trouble, you dont observe just what I’ve actually written.

      Cheers old mate, (an unrepentant) Rian.

      Like

      • Why did you bring into the discussion the word Astronomy, when Bryan deliberately started his discussion with words like horoscope, and/or the names of the zodiac?

        Why did you bring in the discussion the effects that the sun has on the body when this is related to physiology whilst astrology is related to destiny? Why did you bring into the discussion Astronomy, when this has absolutely nothing to do with Astrology or with what affects one’s destiny?

        Why did you deliberately ignore the importance of context?

        Come to think of it, why do you constantly ignore evidence?

        You think that it was the theologians who deliberately took words out of the Old Testament out of context eh? If they did so, pray tell us what Matthew (who was a Jew) did when he wrote that Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey was a fulfilment of Scriptures? When he said that Jesus would be born of a virgin? Pray tell us what Scriptures did Jesus mean when He expounded His death and sufferings as the fulfillment of Scripture on the road to Emmaus? What Scriptures were the Sadducees guilty of being ignorant when Jesus rebuked them for not knowing the Scriptures? Was Jesus a liar when He said that if the Jewish leaders searched the Scriptures, they would find that the said scriptures testified of Him? After all, the Gnostics were not on the scene yet, to formulate their scriptures, neither were the enthusiastic Christian Theologians you speak of, to take words out of context.

        I accused you earlier of working from a false premise to begin with. You make the comment that enthusiastic Christian Theologians failed to take in consideration what passages of Scriptures meant in the context of Judaism. How do you know that the Judaism of Jesus’ time was the same as the Judaism we know today? Were you aware that Jesus might have angered the Jewish leaders of His day because they were not following the very Scriptures they were supposed to follow… but were developing a type of Judaism that was foreign to the Old Testament teachings, and thus misleading the general population in regards to the character and will of God?

        How is it that a number of Messianic Organisations that see absolutely no contradiction between the Old Testament and Jesus, are organisations which owe their very existence based on concluding that Jesus’ life and claims were in perfect accordance with the Old Testament? And how did they conclude this? Did you ever stop to think that every Jew who acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah had to ditch a huge amount of Rabinical garbage because it was not supported by the Old Testament Scriptures?

        You claim that the Judaism of today is that of Jesus’ time. Did you ever bother to compare the Mishnah and the Talmud with what the Old Testament actually said or didn’t say to do? Or did you merely let other people do the thinking for you?

        Isaiah 8:20 – “To the Law and to the Testimony; if they speak not according to this Word it is because there is no light in them”.

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      • Wowee davinci,

        You have come riding in on your dashing white charger and waving a great sword above your head. This must all be very gratifying to you davinci. For a time I was thinking Gee, you are telling me all sorts of things about myself that I didn’t know. Sadly though, you certainly got it all wrong.

        Bryan quoted a line that read precisely ‘The stars and the planets will not affect your life in any way.’ In whatever context it might be quoted, the meaning is crystal clear. Stars and planets are heavenly bodies that are studied in Astronomy; and regardless of context that line was a simple statement that finished up ‘in any way’. And the word ‘destiny’ was not mentioned anywhere there. Perhaps you should look at the meaning of each of those various words – IN ANY WAY. Then get back to me.

        Next I remind you that I do not hold a belief in the absolute historical accuracy of the text of any part of the Bible, other than possibly the very latter books of the Old Testament. Also, I believe along with most scholars that the Gospels came on the scene anonymously, and so unlikely anyone called Matthew wrote the Gospel attributed to him. And also that those same books were written upwards of two generations and more after the Crucifixion, with virtually no authoritative certainty about the original events and sayings. Also as Bart Ehrman and other experts maintain, over the first hundred years especially up till Irenaeus there were all sorts of interpolations and ‘corrections’ as the earliest readers and scribes did their best to bring the theology and the political correctness up to date from year to year. From then on, the remaining texts and quote from the Fathers were pretty standard as you and others have stated.

        The question of whether or not Jesus was a liar is not in question, because we cant be really certain about the accuracy of anything he is reported to have said or much of what he did. So it is purely the word of the Gospel writer about the supposed fulfilment of OT prophecy. When one looks in detail at the actual context of each of the multiplicity of supposed prophecies about Jesus in the OT, the certainty of them simply fades away. The extra lines and verses around the texts in question do not support the claims of Christian prophecy.

        Some months back, when Bryan quoted just about the whole list of the prophecies, I took some five of them at random and demonstrated how they were not valid. No-one tried to correct me on it or even protested. It is likely that from when the Gospels were first penned, the many gaps in the record were simply filled in by the scribes, by searching through the OT for appropriate ideas, and fabricating events in the life of Jesus to match.

        No, I do not claim that the Rabbinical Judaism of today is anything like the same as the Judaism of the time of Jesus. Also, I agree with those scholars who maintain that about the time of the Babylonian Captivity, (before and after) the scribes and priests of the newly created Judaism set to work to virtually create a suitable history for the Jews as well as a great religious tradition; and that in itself makes all of the earlier books rather suspect for authenticity. And as for all the organizations that have relied on OT prophecy and tradition for their very existence, – well So What? And I do know that there are loads and loads of traditions and folk tales in the Talmud and etc that vary from the Scripture. Again, so what?

        But I certainly maintain that Jewish scholars to this day, are far far better at understanding the OT than are Christian scholars. It is noticeable that almost all of the earliest Christian scholars and Fathers of the church were Greek trained, and had to tackle the Hebrew from the ground up. They were significantly ill-equipped to comprehend the Jewish tradition and Scripture. I seem to recall that even St Jerome needed the assistance for his translations etc, of a Jewish Rabbi.

        So do you understand my point of view better now, davinci? On your bike, OOPs On your horse I mean..

        Cheers, Rian.

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  8. Casting lots was a method used by the Jews of the Old Testament and by the Christian disciples prior to Pentecost to determine the will of God. Lots could be sticks with markings, stones with symbols, etc., that were thrown into a small area and then the result was interpreted.

    No, it’s not astrology, but just as much divination.

    Just shows how our thinking that what God wanted in the past, must be what God wants now. God is the same yesterday, today and forever, but he isn’t compelled to repeat ad infinatum the same message, like telling us to breed up and fill the world.

    Same with the words of Jesus. Today it might be wise to think “What would Jesus say in THESE circumstances?”

    Like

  9. To Rian

    “Bryan quoted a line that read precisely ‘The stars and the planets will not affect your life in any way.’ In whatever context it might be quoted, the meaning is crystal clear. Stars and planets are heavenly bodies that are studied in Astronomy; and regardless of context that line was a simple statement that finished up ‘in any way’. And the word ‘destiny’ was not mentioned anywhere there. Perhaps you should look at the meaning of each of those various words – IN ANY WAY. Then get back to me.”

    Bryan repeated the phrase 12 times and before each repetition was a name corresponding to one sign of the zodiac. Which you ignored.

    Bryan also mentioned the word “superstition” which you ignored.

    Bryan also gave us a link to a Stevie Wonder song about superstition which you ignored.

    How much evidence do you need to understand that he was talking about Astrology and not Astronomy?

    But this is typical of your world view Rian. You cherry pick part of the evidence to make the point and ignore other evidence which might contradict the point you are trying to make.

    I am quite happy to discuss the evidence that you have ignored with respect to why you are wrong about how we got our Bible. If Bryan will permit this, I am happy to discuss it.

    But given that you are hiding behind Aspergers disease, I don’t want to be seen as humiliating a disabled person.

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    • “But this is typical of your world view Rian. You cherry pick part of the evidence to make the point and ignore other evidence which might contradict the point you are trying to make.”

      Given your inclination make assertions without evidence, you are in no position to lecture Rian or anyone else about evidence.

      “But given that you are hiding behind Aspergers disease, I don’t want to be seen as humiliating a disabled person.”

      Aspergers isn’t a “disease” or a “disability”. But thanks for writing this. The suggestion that you are okay with “humiliating a disabled person” so long as you’re not “seen” to be doing it, sums up nicely how you come across on this blog.

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      • Too Stu for you:

        I pointed out the evidence that Rian had ignored in his postings. Is Stu short for Stupid? Again?

        Secondly, thank you for pointing out that Aspergers is not a disease. It is a mental disorder. Sometimes my non English speaking background gets in the way in the way I express myself.

        Therefore I rephrase my statement:
        “I don’t wish to humiliate a mentally ill person.”

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      • Davinci, please read my post below. A person with Aspergers is NOT mentally ill. That’s an ignorant and hurtful statement to make.
        Neither is Stu “stupid”. He is a decent bloke with a fine mind. He may have diferent views to you and me but that doesn’t make him stupid.

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      • To Stu:

        “Given your inclination make assertions without evidence, you are in no position to lecture Rian or anyone else about evidence.”

        Evidence for Utilitarianism in Catholic Thinking:

        Whenever the topic of child abuse by clergy rears its ugly topic, watch how many people rise up and accuse those who raise the topic of being anti-Catholic and point to the amount of good works the catholic church does (as if that is a good defence of covering up child abuse).

        Did you look for the statements of Catholic people making this sort of comments? Perhaps you should read people’s comments a little bit more closely when the topic of kiddy fiddlers comes on the internet. You will find plenty of evidence there.

        But no, like Rian, you suffer from tunnel vision which prevents you from looking at all angles of the problem.

        You said that happiness is not the only measure of utilitarianism. But you refuse to look at the Christian perspective on the matter.

        The Bible tells us that some people are “lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God”. When we look at the issue why sins are covered up in the church, whether it be kiddy fiddling or whatever, we always find that illicit pleasure is at the bottom of it. Some people operate on the principle of “If it feels good, do it” and this is the only guide to their ethics and morality.

        Like

      • Brian,

        Ok so Stu is not Stupid and Rian are not mentally ill. Then they must be both Charlatans. No better and no worse than the horoscope peddlers.

        And since Stu is a very fine minded man:

        Refer to the link below, and tell me by what principle is the priest operating? Could it be utilitarianism?

        “http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/bishop-not-sure-if-child-molestation-is-a-crime/”

        Like

      • Davinci:

        “I pointed out the evidence that Rian had ignored in his postings. Is Stu short for Stupid? Again?”

        Clearly you think infantile personal attacks are a substitute for rational discussion. I suppose it’s pointless to even ask why you think evidence is something only other people need to consider, while you get a free pass with any baseless assertion you care to make.

        Aspergers. Is. Not. A. Mental. Illness. Again, I suggest you consider your own lack of knowledge here (plank) before questioning the intelligence of someone else (splinter).

        Bryan, thank you for your kind words. “A decent bloke with a fine mind” is no small compliment and it applies equally to you. The same goes to you Rian – I understand the points you are making on this and other threads. And I very much appreciate the research you do into gospel era and early Christian history.

        Like

      • “And the example you posted of the priest is not an example of utilitarianism. It is just plan shocking ignorance.”

        Shocking Ignorance Bryan? By whom? Since you claim to be a Christian, let’s see what the Bible really says on this matter:

        1 The Bible describes utilitarianism as follows:

        – For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers” 2 Tim. 4:3

        Now remember that the definition of utiliatarianism :
        – the doctrine that an action is right in so far as it promotes happiness, and that the greatest happiness of the greatest number should be the guiding principle of conduct.

        – Isaiah 30:10 describes a people that is no longer interested in the truth but rather expects the prophets of God to speak to them smooth things.

        2 How is utilitarianism Manifested in Paedophilia Cases.

        The way that the Church defends itself from kiddy fiddler charges is through the Ellis defence, which opens the way of treating the charge as a spiritual matter (over which the state has no jurisdiction) rather than a secular matter (over which the state has jurisdiction). Hence we need to look at how utilitarianism is used, in a spiritual context.

        a) Leviticus 10:8-11 entitles us to have priests who are competent in distinguishing between clean and unclean on pain of death for the priest who cannot do so. Not many people know that, because by operating under utilitarianism principles, it was too hard to study the Bible for themselves, it was too much brain strain. It was more convenient to leave it to the priests to do the thinking for them. Hence when you get priests that can’t distinguish between clean and unclean, nobody can say a thing.

        b) 1 Corinthians 5:11 entitles us to have the fornicating priest thrown out of his position in the church and out of the church, not moving him from one parish to another where he can repeat the behaviour. In other words, I am entitled to send my kids to RC schools and rest assured that they will not be molested by a priest that has been moved in because he is a repeat offender. Yet under the “smooth things” that the utilitarian philosophy operating in the Catholic Church, my happiness to have well adjusted kids, is subordinated to the “love theology” where the guilty and repeat offenders are protected and both my kids and myself must keep silent and suffer in silence.

        c) Matthew 18:15-18 gives the process of excommunication/reconciliation that Jesus ordained when there is trouble in the church. This process entails public revelation of the crimes that the offender has committed so that everyone knows the reasons why the offender is eventually thrown out of the church. Jesus’ instructions are not followed, because firstly, the priesthood would be seen as something less than the idols the people take them to be. Secondly people who are governed by their lusts, cannot have their favourite lusts exposed, especially when these lusts involve idolising the priesthood by letting the priesthood do their thinking for them. It is often the testimony of the kiddy fiddler victims that they could not speak out, it was not the done thing, despite the fact that the Bible gives you the right to speak out and denounce the unrepentant priests.

        If one is a victim of such a vile act, one should remember that the above verses and others like it entitle you to a redress from the Catholic Church, not have your issues censored and swept under the carpet.

        I hope that Bryan will not censor this posting because it does not fit the narrative of those who would sweep this sort of issues under the carpet.

        Like

      • Is that Hassan or Davinci. Bit hard to tell.
        Before you start lecturing, tell us how you (supposedly) two are posting around the same time from the same computer . It’s about honesty.

        And to suggest I want to sweep paedophilia in churches under the carpet is offensive and wrong. And dishonest.

        As for utilitarianism, are you supposing that it applies to ALL catholics. The example you posted was about one mad bishop not understanding that child abuse is wrong. Clearly that’s an unusual and shocking case.

        But it does not apply to all Catholics or all protestants or all people.

        To believe so is just silly.

        Cheers Hassan/Davinci

        Like

      • To Bryan

        “As for utilitarianism, are you supposing that it applies to ALL catholics. The example you posted was about one mad bishop not understanding that child abuse is wrong. Clearly that’s an unusual and shocking case.”

        Actually that was only the tip of the iceberg. In Latin America the age of consent varies between 12 and 14 despite the fact that Latin America is the continent where Catholicism has had the greatest influence. In Spain the age of consent is 12. Yet Catholicism has not been able to stamp this out. Ask yourself why hasn’t the Catholic Church managed to stamp this out?

        Ironically the same Catholic church has been able to influence a number of these countries against abortion. Why not against the age of consent which causes the temptation for abortion in the first place?

        Just to show how shocking the situation is, we have an example of an 11 year old girl being praised by the Chilean president for not going through with an abortion.

        Jesus says of Christians “You are the light of the world” Remember? Or do I have to spell it out for you with Bible texts? How is it that the Church who claims to be the true authentic representation of Christianity has one policy of what the age of consent should be in non Latin American countries but has a different tune in Latin America?

        Did Christ say that “You are the light of the West (excepting Latin America and Spain)?”

        Why not cry out and call the nations of Latin America to repentance on the issue of age of consent, Bryan? Could it be that the Catholic Church is silent in South America and other places like it, because it would offend those who are “lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God”?

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      • Illogical davinci/Hassan. Let’s face it, you have a hatred of the Catholic church that blinds you to logic.
        For one thing, There are many non-Catholic churches in Latin America. Do you really think Perhaps they are all involved in a conspiracy to keep the age of consent low in some of those nations?
        Or is it the fault entirely of the Catholics that the age of consent is low in some places?
        And anyway, what do you think the age of consent should be? Do you have a figure?

        Like

      • Davinci. “The Bible describes utilitarianism as follows:”

        Your biblical reference is not a description of utilitarianism.

        “Now remember that the definition of utilitarianism is the doctrine that an action is right in so far as it promotes happiness, and that the greatest happiness of the greatest number should be the guiding principle of conduct.”

        As you’ve been shown before, happiness is not the only measure of utility. You completely ignore (the avoidance) of suffering as part of the equation, and you fail to demonstrate how the Ellis defence is based on utility. Your fallacious argument seems to based on the false assertion that utilitarian ethic equals “if it feels good do it”.

        Like

    • Oh you poor fella,
      Aspergers is not a disease. Your ignorance is just appalling. I’m mighty glad you are not a school teacher or a therapist with that approach.

      You could not humiliate me in a million years, but if that is the standard of your human understanding, I feel so sorry. I notice that up to date by the way, that even your unique take on Evangelical Christianity doesnt seem to get much recognition and approval from the many other Christians on this blog. Perhaps you might do well to remove the plank of irregular unorthodox Christianity from your own eye, before you start to reproach another for a supposed splinter of viewpoint in his eye.

      I know, for heavens sake, that Bryan was talking about Astrology and superstition. But he quoted a line that can stand alone in any context. The words still say ‘ln Any Way’. They do not say ‘when in Astrological context.’ Any means Any! Oh by the way, my Theoretical Physicist friend is also a long retired evangelical Pentecostal pastor and he laughed like hell when I told him of my words and your attitude towards my argument. He described you as a Trogladite

      On your other issue, for starters, old chum,. why dont you just look back on the blog for that occasion I mentioned, when I took five so-called prophecies from Bryan’s list and dissected them in the context of the OT passages where they are to be found? Show everybody just where I and my authorities are wrong. If you try to pass that easiest test then I might just consider elaborating for you on some more tricky ones. Otherwise you just dont warrant it. So far I cant recall you ever managing to disprove any of the matters I’ve debated out.

      You really are funny. But very sad. No wonder Aspergers remained suspect as a genuine syndrome until the late 1990s, with views like yours around.
      Cheers, Rian.

      Like

      • Davinci and Rian,

        This is for both of you. Disagreeing with someone’s point of view or about issues is fine. What is not welcome is lacing your arguments with personal insults or trading abuse. i.e. name-calling etc. Let’s not have a flame-war of retaliation.

        Davinci, Aspergers is not a disease. You can’t catch it. No-ne knows what causes it. This might help you understand what it’s about.
        http://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/dec/02/aspergers-syndrome-dropped-psychiatric-dsm

        AND

        http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/7601.php

        Like

      • Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
        and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

        Proverb 16:32

        Like

      • Dom,
        Does this apply to Mohammed and Islam who came into prominence by taking cities instead of controlling themselves? Islamic refugees who recently threw Christians overboard because they did not pray to Allah? Can you not see how Islam quoting the Bible makes them charlatans on the par of astrologists?

        Like

      • Hi D Vinci

        You seem to ignore just how brutal the Persian and Byzantine empires were. I think for you it is time for a history lesson.

        In 638, just a few years after the death of the Prophet pbuh, an army of his followers surrounded Jerusalem. The city Patriarch, Sophronius, handed over the city after a brief siege. There was only one condition; that the terms of their surrender be negotiated directly with ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second Khalif of Islam.

        ‘Umar entered Jerusalem on foot. There was no bloodshed. There were no massacres. Those who wanted to leave were allowed to, with all their possessions. Those who wanted to stay were guaranteed protection for their lives, their property, and their places of worship in the ‘Umariyya Covenant.

        For the first time in its long history, Jerusalem had been spared a bloodbath.

        It is said that ‘Umar accompanied Sophronious to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and that he was offered a place to pray in it. ‘Umar declined, fearing it might establish a precedent which would threaten the church’s continued use as a Christian house of worship. He prayed instead to the south of the church, now the site of the Mosque of ‘Umar in Jerusalem.

        ‘Umar then asked to be taken to the site of Al Aqsa Mosque. The Bishop took him to the site (known to the Jews as Temple Mount), which to Umar’s disappointment was being used as a garbage dump. This is because under the Christian rule at that time, Jews were not allowed to worship or even enter Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa site.

        On seeing the state of the Al-Aqsa site, Umar said:

        “Allah (God) is Great, I swear by the one who holds my soul in his hand that this is the Mosque of David which the prophet of Allah described to us after his night journey.”

        A huge timber mosque which held three thousand worshippers was erected on this site in the time of ‘Umar, at the southernmost wall of the Noble Sanctuary.

        Umar Al Khattab allowed the Jews back into Jerusalem and allowed them access to the temple mount which the Christians of that time used as a rubbish dump. The place where Jesus chased the money changers out with a stick was used as a rubbish dump. Do you see the irony ?

        Like

      • The Christians regained Jerusalem after the first crusade. They were told whoever killed a Jews that refused baptism had all their sins forgiven. In one acount the blood in the streets of Jerusalem was covering the hooves of the horses.

        What happened after the 2nd Crusade when Jerusalem was liberated again ?

        Saladin allowed Christian pilgrims to visit Jerusalem without official papers. He posted soldiers for their safety. He commanded that every kindness be extended to his guests, and he enjoyed conferring with the bishop and allowed him to visit Bethlehem and Nazareth and to leave behind Latin priests and deacons.

        He returned to Damascus in mid-November 1192 and was greeted with jubilation. Crowds followed him through the streets. Poets praised him, calling him the great protector who had spread the wings of justice over all and spoke of his having rained gifts on his people “from the clouds of his munificence and kindness.”

        He returned to be greeted by Jubilation. Sounds like the Jewish people were happy to live under peace again.

        Like

      • Surah 9 speaks of removing corruption from the land. The Romans persecuted the Jewish people. The Muslims opened Jerusalem up to all again.

        The Jews persecuted during the Spanish revolution fled to Muslims lands. There are Jews in Iran that refuse to migrate to Israel no matter how much money is thrown at them.

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/jul/12/israel.iran

        I suspect now you will cherry pick your way through history putting to isolated incidences and Jewish people unhappy to be living under Islamic rule. History states the Muslims freed Jerusalem and allowed the Jewish people back in. The Muslims gave the Jewish people a haven from forced baptism. Sure there were Jewish people not happy to be under Islamic rule but what people are happy to be governed under others.

        I would just like to end by clarifying I do not believe the Christians of that time represent the teachings of Jesus or Paul.

        Like

      • As I stated before, now the Muslims are losing the plot. We moved away from the teachings of God and become a people who act on our desires and become materialistic. We let evil grow in our societies without trying to stop it. We did not urge each other to do good. We are now being punished for it. This was all foreseen 1400 years ago.

        The People will soon summon one another to attack you as people when eating invite others to share their food.”
        Someone asked, “Will that be because of our small numbers at that time?”
        He replied, “No, you will be numerous at that time: but you will be froth and scum like that carried down by a torrent (of water), and Allah will take the fear of you from the breasts (hearts) of your enemy and cast al-wahn into your hearts.” Someone asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what is al-wahn?”
        He replied, “Love of the world and dislike of death.”

        [An authentic hadith recorded by Abu Dawud and Ahmad]

        We have become like froth on water. No substance. What do Muslims have to do to get Gods blessing back ?

        Truly, God does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” (Quran 13:11)

        We need to move back to God and stop acting on our desires. Try to stop the evil we see around us and urge each other to do good.

        Like

      • Thanks Bryan, well said.
        As I think you will agree, this last posting of mine is contains the first and only occasion on which I have indulged (by quoting) a name-calling. My normal principle is to always play the ball and not the man; despite that during these three years, I’ve frequently been called all sorts of names and been subjected to many judgemental out-bursts from a few other posters. It has never troubled me personally, as I have learnt over the years not to take myself too seriously.

        Your references on Aspergers were good and timely. I well know that there are certain Aspies who are decidedly disabled by certain of their symptoms. Thanks to heaven, I am not so. I’ve endeavoured to let some of my particular AS characteristics and talents lend power to my community and cultural activities. And I’ve put a great deal of effort since my diagnosis to writing and lecturing in education of the public about Aspergers, especially in having my own highly regarded book of ‘Confessions’ published.

        I am still not sure just how you distinguish discussion from argument, as long as it is clearly appropriate to offer a spirited defense against attacks from other posters. I would repeat that I really enjoy the cut and thrust of debate from something of a professional point of view, but that does not mean that I am in any way insincere about the things I say. i just expect and hope that due courtesy will be promoted on all sides in the process.

        As I’ve indicated here many times, I do not debate Eternal Realities, I have too much respect for them. But theories, histories and written materials about those realities are always ripe for discussion, research and new discoveries. And that represents for me one of the joys of life.

        Cheers, Rian.

        Like

      • Dom,
        Good proverb there. I recall the account of an old clergyman who deplored violence. When asked how he handled dissent and opposition, he replied that he was accustomed to applying ‘Solomon’s defense’. When asked just what that was, he replied ‘A soft answer turneth away wrath’.

        Might not always work, but it sure can turn many situations round pretty quickly.

        With respect and a certain admiration, Rian (if you dont mind ‘blessings’ from an infidel!)

        Like

      • Dom, thank you for your recent interesting posts.

        We can only generalise. Individuals of any faith are still individuals, and act accordingly..

        Like

      • Heck Bryan,
        i think I’ll simply stop trying to debate with our old mate davinci. I did have hopes, but I can see there just aint nothin’ in it for him or for me.

        Stu – thanks for your comments. Yep, I think you do understand where I’m coming from. Even though I have a Faith, that has been developing over – er, the last – well I guess all my life, I can still quite appreciate the point of view of the Atheist, and indeed frequently take their side in arguments.. Sure, some of my best friends are Atheists, but I wouldnt want my daught…… Ooops, forget I said that!

        Actually one of the shelves in my Religion/Philosophy library contains a goodly selection of very stimulating and informative atheistic literature.

        Cheers to all. (Darn it, looks as if I wont have anyone to debate with after all. That’s just not fair, when Ah wuz jest all a-spoilin’ fer a fight!).

        Rian.

        Like

      • Heck Rian,
        Maybe if you had both stopped indulging in a pissing contest _”my friend says you’re an idiot…no my friend says you’re a bigger idiot” – you might have had a useful discussion/debate. You both needed to grow up.

        Like

      • Actually Bryan,

        In truthfully quoting my friend, I was actually just trying to show up the ridiculous nature of davinci’s tactics. You see, I totally agree with you on civilized discussion. I guess it all worked out for the best anyway, because you went ahead and made sure that the whole stupid interchange was halted. I kept trying to get it on track, with the argument kept on the subject instead of being focussed on me or him for that matter.

        No worries. From now on, I can assure you that I am a truly deformed character. Sadly davinci was about the only Christian on the blog who would engage in some sort of a significant debate, however weakly, now that a couple of our old experts (and my old antagonists) rarely seem to come on board. And on top of that, darn it, YOU wont join in, – and when you do, you tend to take refuge in the mantra of ‘just your opinion’, (or of course you pull rank on us. And as I say, one just cant fight City Hall!). I would still just love to see you acknowledge one day that one of us has demonstrated you to be wrong on something. Though just maybe, you are actually always right?? Sigh, – I guess there are limits to one’s expectations.

        Cheers, Rian. (chronically mentally ill and severely disabled! Gee, just as well Monica and my pussycats like me.)

        Like

      • Hi Teresa,
        Gosh some of you people take things so dashed seriously. Lighten up a bit.

        But I must say that I’d much sooner be childish (childlike?) than nasty or insulting.

        Cheers, Rian.

        Like

      • Good on you Bryan, (or should I say Touche?)

        Heck I look back on my life and can truthfully state that I’ve been wrong maybe ten times as much and as often as anyone in my family.

        In the present case, I dont really think I’ve been wildly wrong anywhere or made bad mistakes. I think overall, in my postings I’ve made a good fist of keeping my cool and not indulging in abuse. And I’ve certainly never issued condemnations of anyone that I’ve debated with here. Still cant see any REAL harm in some light-hearted fun (or in strong dynamic rebuttals). As I said to Dom, a soft answer turneth away wrath.

        Anyway, if you consider I’ve genuinely offended this time, I can happily apologize, as I have nothing to lose and really nothing to be ashamed of. Perhaps then I can set something of a good example, and others might follow suit. I’m not the only one who can get things wrong, you know!

        Cheers, Rian. (undeterred)

        Like

      • Of course I like you Rian.

        Love you too. You’re a good person, and a gentleman. 🙂

        BTW., I had a good laugh at your friend’s imaginative choice of words describing davinci. Actually, I think I am a troglodyte too, as in living in a cave/hermit. Be that as it may, I’ve grown to like and love davinci too over the years, and I think he’s a good bloke. Does he have Mediterranean blood running through his veins too? Takes one to know one. 😉

        Like

      • Dom,
        Actually I don’t deny what has happened during the crusades. On my mother’s side of our family tree, her ancestors came from a place called Piedmont in Italy, fleeing persecution from the catholics over the centuries, because they were waldenses. The Waldensian Church always opposed the Roman Catholic Church on the grounds of practicing a corrupt form of Christianity that was not in accord with the Bible. So we have sympathy with the Muslims regarding the crusades. I even have sympathy with the Muslim cleric that called scantily clad women names (“cat meat” wasn’t it?).

        Nevertheless I do not have sympathy for Islam when the Quran talks about beating women (the Christian scriptures never do so), or Mohammed marries a child, or genital mutilation, or… or ISISL.

        If we do not take a stand against evil we are liable of becoming guilty of aiding and abetting it. Unfortunately one of the ways that evil starts manifesting itself is similar to the way our friend Rian did with respect to difference between astrology and astronomy. Whilst Stu would have Christianity adopting non Christian practices whilst personally refusing to understand where Christians come from, and why Christians do not adopt and cannot adopt certain practices (such as utilitarianism).

        If you think I lost self control, remember that Jesus did not deal as tenderly and sensitively with the disciples on the way to Emmaus as is portrayed. Instead of sympathising with them in their sadness, He starts by calling them fools before opening their understanding from the scriptures. Meanwhile Paul calls the Galatians “foolish Galatians” in the opening pages of his epistle to the Galatians.
        Why? Because a lot of their problems would have been solved or would not have arisen if they would have read and studied the Scriptures to begin with.

        Now watch my response to Bryan’s comment:

        “And the example you posted of the priest is not an example of utilitarianism. It is just plan shocking ignorance.”

        Like

      • Davinci: “Whilst Stu would have Christianity adopting non Christian practices whilst personally refusing to understand where Christians come from, and why Christians do not adopt and cannot adopt certain practices (such as utilitarianism).”

        This is simple dishonesty on your part, I have never advocated Christianity “adopting” anything. Let’s add it to your list of false allegations and baseless assertions.

        “Now watch my response to Bryan’s comment:”

        Oh the anticipation!

        Like

      • Marvellous, davinci,

        You obviously didnt read exactly what I wrote about Astronomy and Astrology. I considered that I left no room for doubt in it all. Crumbs, did Satan use me to lead people astray after all? Wow.

        Cheers, Rian.

        Like

      • Davinci,

        May I remind you that you have been reprimanded by a magistrate for discussing the very issue that the Stu identity seeks to draw you out on? DO NOT give Stu, Bryan, Rian the information they seek.

        You are close to trespassing into matters that are currently subjudice. I need not remind you that you can be charged and face court penalties for discussing this issue.

        Like

      • utilitarianism (juːˌtɪlɪˈtɛərɪəˌnɪzəm)
        n
        1. (Philosophy) the doctrine that the morally correct course of action consists in the greatest good for the greatest number, that is, in maximizing the total benefit resulting, without regard to the distribution of benefits and burdens
        2. (Philosophy) the theory that the criterion of virtue is utility

        Utility and pleasure don’t sound much alike to me.

        Yes, I’ve seen the definition that focusses on happiness. But surely that doesn’t mean hedonism? ‘The greatest benefit’, ‘the greatest good’, are much better wordings.

        Like

    • Bryan,
      Regarding posting from same computer. Actually that is not true.

      My employer sometimes brings in staff unexpectedly without giving sufficient time for the network administrator to set up their credentials or profiles. To speed things along, I log Hassan in under my credentials and network profile on whatever computer is available, so that he can do his work and I can do mine. This computer is often in another demountable. Given the quirks of sharing network profiles we cannot communicate together via internet.

      I am not always in a place with a landline, and I have a dislike for mobile phones.

      Hence the situation that you might have observed the other night. Understand?

      Like

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