Christianity is the main religion in Europe, Russia, the Americas, the Philippines, East Timor, Southern Africa, Central Africa, East Africa and Oceania. There are also large Christian communities in other parts of the world, such as Central Asia and the Middle East, where Christianity is the second-largest religion after Islam. The United States of America has the largest Christian population in the world, followed by Brazil and Mexico.
Christianity, in one form or another, is the state religion of the following 16 nations: Armenia (Armenian Apostolic Church), Argentina (Roman Catholic Church), Bolivia (Roman Catholic Church and Christianity), Costa Rica (Roman Catholic Church), Denmark (Danish National Church), El Salvador (Roman Catholic Church), England (Church of England), Greece (Church of Greece), Georgia (Georgian Orthodox Church), Iceland (Church of Iceland), Liechtenstein (Roman Catholic Church), Malta (Roman Catholic Church), Monaco(Roman Catholic Church), Norway (Church of Norway), Vatican City(Roman Catholic Church). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_by_country
Are all these Christian people today being fooled? When the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, they fled Rome to start a new nation founded on religious freedom. Therefore we can assume Roma is where they came from. Roma was not based on religious liberty. Every citizen in the Roman Empire of old was forced to become Catholic. Not becoming catholic was considered an act of treason and the punishment was death.
Roma had committed a multitude of crimes against humanity including both slavery and murder in massive amounts. Our country which is based on religious liberty is full of hatred and judgment. I find it difficult to see America as any great leader at all. She has caused the nations to become drunk with the wine of her fornication via Rome. Idolatry, illicit sexual behavior and mass murder of infants produced by Catholic Priest who impregnated Nuns are the mark of the religion the world marvels after.
Vatican City or Vatican City State in Italy is a landlocked sovereign within the city of Roma. It has an area of 110 acres and a population of over 800 people. This makes Vatican City the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world. I visited Vatican City when I went to Roma around 2002.
Vatican City was established as an independent state in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty, signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Gasparri, on behalf of Pope Pius XI, and by Prime Minister and Head of Government Benito Mussolini on behalf of King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy.
Today, all religions are joining hands with Rome. On March 29th, 1994 leading American Evangelist and Catholics together signed a joint declaration entitled, “Evangelicals and Christians together.” Remember, we fled from Rome to start a new nation based on religious liberty. Southern Baptist, Campus Crusaders, Assemblies of God, Fuller, Seventh Day Adventist, and more continued to join after that initial signing. See Article here: http://www.firstthings.com/article/2007/01/evangelicals--catholics-together-the-christian-mission-in-the-third-millennium-2
I find it a bit amusing that the “pilgrims,” fled their Europe for religious freedom and took the book that enslaved them along with them. I find it even more remarkable that African Americans have taken the rule book of their persecutors believing said book (the Holy Bible) would bring them hope and salvation and the promise of heaven. That spells freedom in my mind. However, what if all they/we, received in return for our freedom was another form of slavery? Mental Slavery!
The Bible most of us have has been given and taught from, from our youth is the King James Version. Many of us will only read from this version, not that it makes much difference. The Authorized Version (AV), commonly known as the King James Version(KJV) or King James Bible (KJB), is an English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England begun in 1604 and completed in 1611.
First printed by the King's Printer Robert Barker, this was the third translation into English to be approved by the English Church authorities. The first was the Great Bible commissioned in the reign of King Henry VIII, and the second was the Bishops' Bible of 1568. In January 1604, King James VI of Scotland and I of England convened the Hampton Court Conference where a new English version was conceived in response to the perceived problems of the earlier translations as detected by the Puritans, a faction within the Church of England.
I believe that our Creator has left us messages all around us, and perhaps even meant the Holy Bible to be the inerrant guide for humanity to follow. However it has been made a spectacle of to some degree with the numerous contradictions found therein. The power and control of the God of the Bible and Character traits displayed are also questionable to some.
We would do well to study all the sciences from math, science, religion, astrology, metaphysics, etcetera, until we come to a full or fuller understanding. The greater part of our worlds population believe there is a God. In my next study, I will discuss the name of the Creator and why addressing the Creator in any casual way may be hindering our relationship.
There should come a time in our lives it seems, where we should feel a sense of contentment in our relationship with our Creator and have a mass solidarity in our beliefs as a civilization.
Without our any further ado, below you will find a brief list of controversial Biblical text. You can look up each one for yourself at www.BlueletterBible.com and add or take away meaning as the Spirit leads you. For, we should each be persuaded in our own minds. I look forward to your comments and feedback. At the end of this article I will include further references for personal study.
In all fairness I should tell you that I got these questions from an Atheist website that I was lead to examine by an Atheist who was challenging Christian beliefs with me online. Around that time in my life I had begun to question some of the things I had been taught over the years as well and was frustrated with my own religion.
It's okay to question, but even better to seek answers yourself, prayerfully and carefully. One day I will take the time to more fully examine each text below in it's original language and in it's full context and provide a part two to this article. (3/2018)
--------Is it folly to be wise or not?
PRO 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
ECC 1:18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
1CO 1:19: "For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent."
It makes us all feel good to believe that we are good and that we are loved by our creator. No one wants to be alone too long and needs love.
-----The Death of Judas
ACT 1:18: "Now this man (Judas) purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out."
MAT 27:5-7: "And he (Judas) cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests...bought with them the potter's field."
The GENEALOGY OF JESUS?
In two places in the New Testament the genealogy of Jesus son of Mary is mentioned. MAT 1:6-16 and LUK 3:23-31. Each gives the ancestors of Joseph the CLAIMED husband of Mary and Step father of Jesus. The first one starts from Abraham(verse 2) all the way down to Jesus. The second one from Jesus all the way back to Adam. The only common name to these two lists between David and Jesus is JOSEPH, How can this be true? and also How can Jesus have a genealogy when all Muslims and most Christians believe that Jesus had/has no father.
Can God be Seen?
EXO 24:9,10; AMO 9:1; GEN 26:2; and JOH 14:9
God CAN be seen:
"And I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my backparts." (EXO 33:23)
"And the Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend." (EXO 33:11)
"For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." (GEN 32:30) God CANNOT be seen:
"No man hath seen God at any time." (JOH 1:18)
"And he said, Thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me and live." (EXO 33:20)
"Whom no man hath seen nor can see." (1TIM 6:16) Genesis 32:30: And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
Tempted of God?
"And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham." (GEN 22:1)
"Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." (JAS 1:13)
Ascending to Heaven
"And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven." (2KI 2:11)
"No man hath ascended up to heaven but he that came down from heaven, ... the Son of Man." (JOH 3:13)
Jesus' Last Words
MAT 27:46,50: "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, eli, lama sabachthani?" that is to say, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" . . . Jesus, when he cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost."
LUK 23:46: "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, "Father, unto thy hands I commend my spirit:" and having said thus, he gave up the ghost."
JOH 19:30: "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, "It is finished:" and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."
The Sins of the Father?
ISA 14:21 Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.
DEU 24:16 The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
Ezekiel 18:20: The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father.
The penalty of sin is placed upon only the sinner, not the offspring.
Exodus 20:5: I the lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.
Does every man sin?
1KI 8:46 If they sin against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near;
2CH 6:36 If they sin against thee, (for there is no man which sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them over before their enemies, and they carry them away captives unto a land far off or near;
PRO 20:9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?
ECC 7:20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.
JO1 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
JO1 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
JO1 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
JO1 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
Genesis 7:1: The LORD then said to Noah, "Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.
Noah was righteous.
Job 2:3: Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason."
Job was righteous.
Luke 1:6: Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly.
Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous.
James 5:16: Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
Some men are righteous, and their prayers are effective.
1 John 3:7: Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous Christians become righteous
Romans 3:10: As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one.
[Whoso] findeth a wife findeth a good [thing], and obtaineth favour of the LORD.
1 Cor 2:15 "The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment:" (NIV)
1 Cor 4:5 "Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God."
Matt 5:16 "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (NIV)
Matt 6:3-4 "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (NIV)
Did Mary and Joseph Flee to Safety?
Matthew 2:13-16 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son." When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.
They fled to Egypt until Herod’s death. But notice Luke’s account.
Luke 2:39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.
The Christ child was presented, and Mary and Joseph returned to Nazareth. There’s no mention of Herod’s decree or a flight to Egypt for safety.
NOTE: The Jesus story is hardly original, much of it copied from other, earlier myths. Hercules had a prophesied birth, a divine father and mortal mother, and at the end of his life uttered the words, "It is finished" before ascending to Olympus. Osiris was born of a virgin, was hailed as king, rose from the grave and went to heaven. The early Romans had the pagan god Attis, born December 25th, crucified and rising again on a Sunday 200 years before the story of Christ. Dionysus, the Greek god and son of Zeus, was also born December 25th of a virgin mother, healed the sick, turned water to wine and was resurrected from death to save mankind. It’s also interesting to note at the December 25th Christmas holiday is actually based on the week-long Babylonian festival of Saturnalia (the festival of Saturn, the sun god, a pagan celebration).
Does God Keep Anger Forever?
Jeremiah 3:12: ... for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger forever.
God pleads with Israel to repent and return to Him.
Jeremiah 17:4: Ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn forever.
Same book. Also note the previous chapter, where God brings disaster in verse 11: "…it is because your fathers forsook me," generational punishment which again contradicts Ezekiel 18:20
Fig Tree That Jesus Cursed Dry Up Immediately or Overnight?
Matthew 21:19: And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward forever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
It happened immediately, and the disciples were amazed.
Mark 11:20: And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.
The dried up fig tree was discovered the following morning.
Who Carried Jesus’ Cross?
Mark 15:20b-24a: ... and led him out to crucify him. And they compel one Simon a Cyrennian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus to bear his cross. And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not. And when they had crucified him.
Simon of Cyrene carried the cross
John 19:16-18: Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha where they crucified him.
Jesus carried the cross.
When Was Jesus Crucified?
Mark 15:25: And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.
The third hour, as noted in the Amplified Bible, is 9am
John 19:14-16: And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour: and he (Pilate) saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him over therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.
The sixth hour is Noon.
Is Jesus the Same As God?
John 10:30: I and my father are one.
Jesus is God.
John 14:28: I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
God is greater than Jesus.
Who is the Ruler of the Earth?
John 12:31: Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. Satan is the ruler, or prince, of this world.
1 Corinthians 10:26: for, "The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it."
The earth, and its possessions, belong to The Lord.
Revelation 1:5: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
Jesus is the ruler of the earth.
Is it Good or Bad to be Wealthy?
Psalms 112:1-3: Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord... Wealth and riches shall be in his house.
Riches are good.
Matthew 19:24: It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
Riches are a hindrance.
Leviticus 19:15: In righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor.
God’s law given to Moses instructs the righteous to judge others.
Matthew 7:1: Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Part of Jesus’ sermon on the mount, instructing not to judge others.
Who Has Ascended to Heaven?
John 3:13: No man hath ascended up to Heaven, but he that came down from Heaven, even the Son of Man.
No man has ascended to Heaven.
II Kings 2:11: And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into Heaven.
Elijah ascended to Heaven.
Genesis 5:24: Also Enoch was taken bodily to Heaven at the age of 365.
Enoch ascended to Heaven.
Is Incest Immoral?
Genesis 17:15-16: God also said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her."
Abraham marries his half-sister. God blesses the union in Genesis 22:17.
Leviticus 20:17: If a man marries his sister, the daughter of either his father or his mother, and they have sexual relations, it is a disgrace. They must be cut off before the eyes of their people. He has dishonored his sister and will be held responsible.
Incest is a disgrace.
Deuteronomy 27:23: Cursed is the man who sleeps with his sister, the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother. Then all the people shall say, "Amen!"
The perpetrator is "cursed."
Answering a Fool?
Proverbs 26:4: Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself.
Proverbs 26:5: Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.
Is There an Unforgivable Sin?
Mark 3:28-29: I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.
There is an unforgivable sin.
1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Jesus forgives our sins. No exceptions mentioned.
Colossians 2:13: When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins.
"All" of our sins are forgiven.
References for further study:
Jesus Interrupted, Bart Ehrman, (book, Amazon)
The Big Book of Bible Difficulties, Norman L. Geisler and Thomas Howe
Note: I am not suggesting that a person should not read the Bible, or change their beliefs or lifestyle based on this article. I am merely presenting my thoughts in hope that your mind will be intrigued and you will begin to seek answers to your own questions.
If our lives here now are defining our afterlife; we would do well to study for ourselves with prayer and draw our own conclusions. Most of us are spoon fed our beliefs from the time we are children and never question them.
I am still surprising in awe of Bible Prophecy concerning the last day events as foretold in Revelation and Daniel and also in some OT Prophets. We would be foolish to totally disregard the whole Book of the Bible. I don’t believe man could have written the Apocalyptic stories told therein.
Vivian Gale, aka Freedom Gale
Counselor and Author
March 25, 2013 ©
No part of this article may be republished without crediting and or quoting the author.