Why Preterism Seems Absurd

Preterism NotWhy Preterism Seems Absurd

A Third Gender? A Natural Extension of Oneism

Third Gender
In The Supernatural Worldview, I explained the burgeoning monistic spirituality or oneism — all is one — as the religious paradigm of our age. One page 393, I explained:

The defining issue is the creature/creator distinction. From exegesis of: “who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen” (Romans 1:25, NKJV, underline added). Although many use the indefinite article “a,” it is argued by many competent scholars that the definite article “the” is the best translation so that the text juxtaposes “the lie” to “the Creator.”[i] The lie is pantheistic monism or “all is one” which entails the universe evolved.  Remarkably, pagan or paganus comes from the Latin word meaning “of the earth” and originally denoted rural folk.[ii] From Paul’s apposition in Romans 1:25, Peter Jones observed that there are really only two religious perspectives, “oneism” (worship of creation) and “twoism” (worship of the creator). Jones explains:

One-ism believes that “all is one” and shares the same essential nature. Theologians use the term “consubstantiality.” As you probably know, “con” means “with” in Latin, and you know what “substantial” means — “substance” or “essence.” In One-ism, everything shares the same essence. In a word, everything is a piece of the divine. [iii]

Oneism extends into sexuality as androgyny and homo / bi-sexuality.  After all, if all is one, then there are no distinctions between male and female. However a supernatural worldview makes these distinctions based on a creature / creator separation. Jesus said, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,”(Mt 19:4) Now Thailand is writing a third gender into its constitution. President Obama would seemingly concur. I wonder how long before America follows suit?

Thailand to have ‘third gender’ in new constitution

Thailand is poised to recognise a third gender in its new constitution, with the constitutional drafting panel saying on Thursday that “Thai society has advanced”.

The panel, composed of members handpicked by the ruling junta, said that “there are not only men and women”, and that there is a need to recognize all genders.

“We need to protect all sexes – we consider all genders to be equal”, panel spokesman Kamnoon Sittisamarn told journalists.

The panel will send details of the measure to the National Reform Council by April. It will need to be formally approved by the ruling junta, also known as the National Council for Peace and Order.

Thailand has a significant LGBT community, with homosexual, transgender and transsexual people playing a prominent role in the country’s entertainment industry.

In 2012, a group of lawmakers and LGBT activists formed a committee to draft legislation recognizing same-sex couples that would, among other things, enable them to marry.

But discussion of the draft law was put on ice while Thailand struggled with political protests in 2013 and 2014.

BioEdge

 

[i] Peter Jones, One or Two: Seeing a World of Difference, Kindle edition (Escondido, CA: Main Entry, 2010) Kindle Locations 1307-1308.

[ii] Paganus” in An Elementary Latin Dictionary ed. Charlton T. Lewis (Medford, MA: American Book Company, 1890).

[iii] Jones, One or Two, Kindle Locations 151-157.

Podcasts Debunking the “Christmas is Pagan” Canard

I was recently on The 4th Watch Radio Show with Justen Faull discussing Christmas:

Christmas Closure: An Alternative View with special guest Cris D. Putnam

In this episode Justen and Cris compare popular pagan claims about Christmas, with corresponding contradictions in historical documentation. The adventure includes controversial alternative views, as well as answers the question “Should Christians divide over Christmas?”. Join us tonight for these and much more! This is one broadcast you won’t want to miss!

http://4thwatchradio.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-4th-watch-radio-show-with-justen_18.html

My friend Cliff Garner (PhD candidate in history) was on Beyond Extraordinary:

Beyond Extraordinary Ep. 32: Debunking the “Pagan Christmas” Myth with Cliff Garner

Is it wrong for a Christian to celebrate Christmas?  Are our Christmas traditions mired in pagan symbolism?  Is Christmas a day that once belonged to an assortment of sun gods?  Can a Christian celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25th in spirit and truth?  Should we?  Where did these “Pagan Christmas” ideas come from?

These are the questions we’re taking on in this very important Christmas episode of Beyond Extraordinary.

http://extraordinaryintelligence.com/beyond-extraordinary-ep-32-debunking-the-pagan-christmas-myth-with-cliff-garner/

And a Messianic Rabbi takes a stand for Christmas on the Iron Show:

IRON SHOW LIVE 51 – DEFENDING CHRISTMAS WITH RABBI MIKE

Rabbi Mike – aka Michael Bugg Defends and explains Christmas. Rabbi Mike shows us how even the WORD itself uses pagan themes.
http://fringeradionetwork.com/iron-show-live-51-defending-christmas-with-rabbi-mike/

Christmas on December 25th is not from Paganism!

dec 25If you frequent social media, then you’ve probably been inundated with smarty pants pseudo scholars calling Christmas a “pagan holiday.” These under-informed accusers believe they have the goods with bold claims like Christmas trees are forbidden in Jeremiah 10 (a passage about the manufacture of Canaanite idols) and that the date of December 25th was adopted from the pagan holiday of Saturnalia (actually December 17th).

The best way to respond to these claims is to ask them what evidence they have (from source documents). Most of the time this question will cause them to change the subject or elicit the chirping of crickets.  The truth is most of the claims are dubious and have no actual evidence.  Even if there were other holidays on the same date, it does not mean that they were even aware of each other. Correlation does not necessarily imply causation. The leaps in logic are prohibitive and there is no source claiming the Christians appropriated pagan days until the 12th century!

In the real world. reputable ancient source documents lay waste to the popular pagan origins theory concerning December 25. Biblical Archaeology Review is a serious journal respected by real biblical scholars. The article How December 25 Became Christmas provides ample evidence debunking the pagan origins myth, showing how it actually began, and even demonstrating how 12-5 was decided to be the date of Jesus’s birth. This dates back to the second century ( I challenge pagan theorists to antedate it).

Around 200 C.E. Tertullian of Carthage reported the calculation that the 14th of Nisan (the day of the crucifixion according to the Gospel of John) in the year Jesus diedc was equivalent to March 25 in the Roman (solar) calendar. March 25 is, of course, nine months before December 25; it was later recognized as the Feast of the Annunciation—the commemoration of Jesus’ conception. Thus, Jesus was believed to have been conceived and crucified on the same day of the year. Exactly nine months later, Jesus was born, on December 25.[1]

Of course, I am a nerd with Logos Bible Software and a searchable database of ancient documents including Tertullian. I verified the claim from the original source documents, Tertullian wrote:

And the suffering of this “extermination” was perfected within the times of the lxx hebdomads, under Tiberius Cæsar, in the consulate of Rubellius Geminus and Fufius Geminus, in the month of March, at the times of the passover, on the eighth day before the calends of April (March 25)[2]

The belief was that he died on the same day he was conceived. They believed the conception was on March 25 which became the Feast of the Annunciation, commemorating the angel’s appearance to Mary:  “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth” (Luke 1:26) This idea appears in an anonymous Christian treatise titled On Solstices and Equinoxes from fourth-century North Africa:

“Therefore our Lord was conceived on the eighth of the kalends of April in the month of March [March 25], which is the day of the passion of the Lord and of his conception. For on that day he was conceived on the same he suffered.” [3]

The rationale was innocent enough, just add nine months to date of conception to determine when He was born and it lands on December 25th.  It’s that simple. Paganism had absolutely nothing to do with it.

 

Note:  Due to so may folks missing the point, I do not think Jesus was born on Dec 25th; the point of this post is that the early church did not chose the date based on a pagan holiday but rather when they assumed he was conceived (mistaken or not).

 

[1]Andrew McGowan, “How  December 25th Became Christmas ” Biblical Archeology Review, 08/12/2014  http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/how-december-25-became-christmas/#location1

[2] Tertullian, “An Answer to the Jews,” in Latin Christianity: Its Founder, Tertullian, ed. Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe, trans. S. Thelwall, vol. 3, The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1885), 160.

[3] De solstitia et aequinoctia conceptionis et nativitatis domini nostri iesu christi et iohannis baptista  as cited by Andrew McGowan, “How  December 25th Became Christmas ” Biblical Archeology Review, 08/12/2014  http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/how-december-25-became-christmas/#note11 

Romans 14:5 & the Sabbath

My last post on Sunday worship elicited the expected response from the HRM crowd. Unfortunately many of them still use the strawman “The Sabbath didn’t change,” Of course I do not think it changed but rather that it became irrelevant when the covenant changed. A “go to” passage is traditionally:

“Therefore do not let anyone judge you with reference to eating or drinking or participation in a feast or a new moon or a Sabbath,”(Col 2:16)

Judaizers intentionally obfuscate and twist that passage as explained here. Although that verse is devastating to their arguments that New Covenant Christians must keep the Sabbath, another passage is lesser known but clearly teaches that it is a personal preference.

“One person prefers one day over another day, and another person regards every day alike. Each one must be fully convinced in his own mind.”(Ro 14:5)

At first glance this seems vague but the Sabbath is certainly in focus. Here is the ESV Study Bible note which is very illuminating:

“14:5 The weak thought some days were more important than others. Given the Jewish background here (see v. 14), the day that is supremely in view is certainly the Sabbath. The strong think every day is the same. Both views are permissible. Each person must follow his own conscience. What is remarkable is that the Sabbath is no longer a binding commitment for Paul but a matter of one’s personal conviction. Unlike the other nine commandments in Ex. 20:1–17, the Sabbath commandment seems to have been part of the “ceremonial laws” of the Mosaic covenant, like the dietary laws and the laws about sacrifices, all of which are no longer binding on new covenant believers (see also Gal. 4:10; Col. 2:16–17). However, it is still wise to take regular times of rest from work, and regular times of worship are commanded for Christians (Heb. 10:24–25; cf. Acts 20:7).”

Crossway Bibles, The ESV Study Bible (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008), 2181.

The HRMer would be the “weak” in this case and it is perfectly acceptable for them to observe special days. What is not acceptable is to judge others who choose not to, which is, unfortunately what most of them do.