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His Master's Voice
|Copyright © 2009 - All rights retained by author|
|Written by: C. W. Booth|
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Lord of the Sabbath -- the End of the Story
In two previous posts I wrote on the subject that Jesus entitled Himself “the Lord of the Sabbath,” thus calling Himself YHWH God. Some atheists (who were once Jehovah’s Witnesses) could not tolerate the notion that Jesus claimed to be God, so they argued that Jesus was calling all of humanity “the lords of the Sabbath.”
Even atheists must admit that when anyone writes something or says something, it should have genuine meaning. However, by the time the atheists were done attempting to re-write what Jesus said, this episode in the gospels became absolutely meaningless, even to the atheists. Why meaningless? Because, if Jesus called the multitudes of humanity “the lords of the Sabbath” there is no possible substance or meaning in His statement or in the title. Consider:
In what way could all men be lords of the Sabbath? Did they create the Sabbath Law? No, YHWH did. Did men have the ability to change the regulations of the Sabbath Law? No, if men had broken the Sabbath (like picking up fire wood) they would have been executed (Numbers 15:32-35) . Did men have the authority to ignore the Sabbath Law? No, Jesus told them they must obey the entire Law in spirit and in letter (Matthew 5:18-19).
True, men got benefit from keeping the Sabbath Law, but that did not make them lords over the Sabbath. Humankind benefits from the rain that falls, but that does not make them lords over the rain. So that weak logic easily fails.
By contrast, I can readily see how it is meaningful for Jesus to say He was the Lord of the Sabbath. Jesus, as YHWH, authored the Sabbath Law. In fact, as Creator, Jesus rested on the 7th day and thus invented the first Sabbath observance. As YHWH Jesus accepts the worship given by the Jews on the Sabbath. So, yes, I can see how Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath.
In what meaningful way was man supposed to be lord over the Sabbath since he could not create it, change it, and had to obey it or risk being executed? When an interpretation of Scripture results in a meaningless story, it is certain that the interpretation is wrong.
When confronted with attempting to explain how it is that mankind could be “lords of the Sabbath” in any useful way, the atheists abandoned the discussion altogether. So Jesus’ claim that He was the Lord of Sabbath, YHWH-God, stands as strongly today as in His own.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
A new kind of mythology has arisen in the past few decades. I call it neo-mythology. It is probably better known as higher literary criticism. However, its original name hardly explains or describes what it has become.
Higher literary criticism began as a tool of atheistic scholars to attempt to “find the real origin of Judeo-Christian Scriptures.” Since atheism rejects even the possibility that any Scriptures were given by a supernatural God via prophetic revelation, the quest was on to find out how entirely human agents could compile a book that appeared so rich in truths, sophisticated beyond their literary technology in theology and plot, and accurate in future-telling forecasts. To achieve this goal, always keeping the primary rule at the front (i.e. that no supernatural agency was involved) the atheistic scholars designed theories of literary evolution to explain away the supernatural theme of the Bible. The theme was, and is, that God created man, man sinned, and God actively redeems man.
Over time the rules of higher literary criticism changed from literary analysis (with an anti-supernatural bias as its fundamental assumption) to the encoding of a new mythology that has the power and force of a new religious belief. For this reason I refer to it as a new atheistic mythology.
Neo-mythology requires its adherents to slavishly view the Bible as an attempt by superstitious men to explain the physical world and to give mankind hope; and so man invented “God.” Every initial ancient attempt to write down these superstitions/legends was immediately surreptitiously edited and secretly embellished by the next generation, which was careful to destroy all versions of the earlier unrevised editions. This allegation and assumption that there was an undocumented and unproven secret practice of continuous and sweeping revisions to all of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures by unnamed and unidentified authors of fiction is the very heart of the fledging religion of Neo-Mythology.
The mythology is not in reference to the content of Scriptures. Rather Neo-Mythology labels the convoluted atheistic theory that every Scripture was faked, edited, revised, assigned a pseudonym, and pre-dated by mysteriously anonymous copyists who were the real brains and sources of all the stories of supernatural encounters recorded in the Scriptures. In short, this has become an unwavering belief by atheists, a true religion, that has at its core in a mythological and hidden group of copyists who conspired to create all the supernatural elements of both Judaism and Christianity so as to mislead all future generations into believing something that was never true. That is Neo-Mythology.
So, here at the time of year we have chosen to celebrate the incarnation of God, we can place our faith in one of two belief systems. We can choose to believe that the supernatural God has revealed Himself to prophets who accurately wrote down their encounters which have been compiled into the Judeo-Christian Scriptures. Or, we can choose to believe the unconfirmed neo-mythology of a massive conspiracy by a secret group of anonymous men who, over a period of thousands of years, have faked and revised all the Judeo-Christian Scriptures to invent a religion about a God who never did exist.
I never did care much for mythology.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Three Favorite Christmas Memories?
Christmas “time” (December 25) was once dedicated to celebrating paganism but, just like us, was redeemed and rededicated to the worship of Christ. Sure, it is not the actual day on which Jesus was born, but there is no law that says birthdays must be celebrated on one’s birth date. So, we celebrate!
While it may sound somewhat sacrileges, Christmas as we celebrate it here in the US seems to be focused very little on the genuine worship of God (except for Christmas Eve services) and more on the gift exchanges, tree decorations, and cookies (mmmmm…cookies). Whether this is improper or whether that is as it “should be” for a celebration not explicitly commanded of us in the Bible it does perhaps explain why my top three favorite Christmas memories are not worship related.
Top Three Favorite Christmas Memories
What are your favorite Christmas memories?
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
“I cannot apologize for being right” -- The Reconciliation Impasse
In previous articles / essays I investigated what biblical forgiveness is, when to forgive, and how. But one nagging real life scenario kept intruding in my thoughts. Namely, how do a pair of Christians resolve a disagreement when both think their words and their perspectives have been correct?
Ordinarily a conflict is resolved when one party comes to see they have been wrong in word, belief, or conduct. The offending person apologizes, the other person forgives them, resulting in the fellowship becoming reconciled and the relationship restored.
But what if both continue to be fully convinced they have done nothing wrong or improper and have not been the cause of the offense? To apologize for being right seems like lying. Who wants to lie to resolve an argument? When both feel that way, how can any dispute be settled? In marriage this is a rather common occurrence.
One approach that may or may not work for any such dispute is this:
Covering a matter in love means that no one has admitted being wrong, but that the issue is not worth losing fellowship or fracturing the relationship. It is a voluntary issuing of a total pardon to another person, just as if you were forgiving them for having repented (1 Peter 4:8, Proverbs 10:12).
Just like in forgiveness, there is no more bringing up the past issue, no more seeking punishment, no more debt owed. The matter is finished.
Of course, that does not mean that a decision has been made on what to do about what caused the dispute. For example, the anger from the fight may have been ended, but the decision on where to go for vacation or whether to allow the children to spend the night across town may not yet have been made.
To answer the question of decision making, sometimes it is necessary to defer, or to be subject, to someone else. Wives must sometimes be subject to the husband as a final decision making authority. Sometimes a husband must admit that the wife’s needs are greater than his own selfish desires.
Being subject to one another in love means seeking to do the best thing for the benefit of another even if it means sacrificing your own interests. Whether we appreciate it or not, there is a decision-making order that God imposes on the family. Yet, all decisions are to be made in love.
and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, (Ephesians 5:21-25)
Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. (Colossians 3:18-20)
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