Give them a fighting chance

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Joseph_Botwinick, Sep 10, 2006.

  1. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
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    First, I would like to apologize to the moderators of the missions / evangelism forum for the following reasons:

    1. I was debating something in a thread in the missions forum without paying attention and realizing that it was a fellowship forum. I don't usually try to debate in the fellowship forums because I know that is off limits to debate. Please forgive me for that.

    and

    2. The debate between me and another person on that thread turned into a personal squabble. I apologize for that and give you a 100% guarantee that this will not happen in this thread, at least from my side. I will not be responding to anything this person says, guaranteed.

    Now, to the topic:

    On this thread, I made the following statement in response to something the atheist said in the video which is linked in this thread:

    Let's keep this discussion polite.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  2. Helen

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    God presents every person alive with enough truth to respond to (Romans 1). When we, as Christians, are given the opportunity to be used by the Lord in helping someone know who Christ is, that is an enormous blessing. But He most certainly does not need us, as salvation is by grace through faith. That means 'through the avenue of faith', which means any unbeliever who becomes a believer had some kind of faith in the Creator God and wanted the truth enough to be led to Jesus and be accepted by Him (John 6, etc.)

    In that sense, every adult alive has a 'fighting chance.' Some do fight harder than others, though!
     
  3. Blammo

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    Helen,

    I think I agree with what you're saying here.

    Romans 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

    Romans 10:14-17 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    There is a reason God sends preachers. Though God does not need man to accomplish His will, He allows us the blessing of being involved in His plan.

    I believe Romans 1:20 denies the existence of any true atheist. Every man is without excuse. If a lost person is fortunate enough to hear someone preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, it may give them more of a chance to believe. However, if someone does not get to hear the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, it does not make them any less guilty.
     
  4. Helen

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    Blammo, the problem I have with the Romans 10 quote is that it stops short of Paul's intent and message there.

    Let's pick it up immediately after where you stopped:

    But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:
    'Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
    their words to the end of the world'.


    That is a direct quote, in which he answers his own question by referencing Psalm 19:

    The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
    Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they display knowledge.
    There is no speech or language
    where their voice is not heard.
    Their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.


    If we go into Hebrews 1, we get a little more information about 'the glory of God'. It is not the twinkling of pretty stars.
    The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being...

    Do the heavens themselves declare Christ?

    We read in Genesis that Adam named the animals. We read in Isaiah, and other places, that God Himself named the stars. In Genesis 15, when God tells Abram to go out and recount, or tell, the stars, and then Abram does, and believes, and it is counted to him as righteousness, God was not telling him that he would have many descendants. That promise if given to Abram two other times, both before and after this incident. But, rather, as Paul explains in Galatians 3, God is telling Abram that 'so shall your Seed be' -- not plural, but singular, and Paul makes a distinct point of that.

    So what was it that was counted to Abram as righteousness? We know that all righteousness is in Christ, or so the Bible tells us. So we come back to something about Christ in the stars themselves.

    When my husband lectured in astronomy many years ago, some of his students asked him what the names of the stars meant. He looked them up and came up short, stunned. Here is a brief sampling:

    In the constellation of Virgo (Bethulah in the Hebrew, Parthenos in the Greek, Kanya to the India Indians -- all meaning 'virgin'), the brightest star there is Zerah (Hebrew) or Spica (Latin) which means 'seed.' The next brightest star is Tsemech (Hebrew), which means 'branch.' (This is the same word in Scripture used six times to describe the coming Lord). Another star in Virgo called Zavijevah, which means "the gloriously beautiful one." An echo of this is in Isaiah 4 -- "In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious." The message in Virgo, when this and the rest is put together is that the gloriously beautiful branch of the Lord is to come as the Seed of the Virgin.

    Or take the constellation of Leo, the Lion. It's brightest star is Regulus, which means 'treading under foot.' The second brightest star is Denebola, which means 'the coming Judge.' Another star there is Zosma, which means 'shining forth.' So the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Leo was the constellation associated with the tribe of Judah) is to shine forth as the coming judge treading under foot his enemies.

    What constellation is Leo the lion treading underfoot? It is none other than Hydra, the Serpent. In fact, even in the sky, the 'fleeing serpent' as mentioned in Job 26:13. The brightest star in this constellation is Alphard, which means 'the accursed one.'

    There is obviously much, much more.

    The gospel story is there, in the stars, and has been there for men since the dawn of time. As Hebrews 1 says, however, although God spoke to those before in many ways, now He speaks to us through Christ. The zodiac has been massively perverted to occultic garbage now, but the names of the stars remain, and the story is still there for those who which to understand what it was that Abram saw, how the heavens declare the glory of God, pouring forth knowledge, and why Paul used that verse in Romans 10, which so many ignore, to answer his own question about "Did they know?" Yes. They did.

    The Promise of God, in one way or another, has been there for all men from all time, to be accepted or rejected by them.
     
  5. Blammo

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    Helen,

    Again, I think you and I are probably in agreement. I love what you just posted about the stars. I have heard about that before, but not in that much detail. You were correct about the subsequent verses in Romans, they should not be ignored.

    I guess my point is: Though the knowledge of God is out there, and readily available to all men, some men will not understand, nor will they seek after God without the aid of those who are sent. (I could be wrong)

    Consider these verses:

    Acts 8:29-37 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

    Philip was sent to this man to help him understand what he was reading. The man had the word of God right in his hands, but could not understand it. I don't think the presence of the gospel in the stars is going to be understood by many lost people. However, I do agree that God does not need any help, but allows us to aid in bringing the message to the lost. I also agree that no man is without excuse.
     
  6. El_Guero

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    Joseph,

    Asking for polite discussion is toooooo much.

    ;)

    God bless you and I pray you get your answer.

    Wayne


     
  7. pinoybaptist

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    Helen,

    That information about the stars is marvellous information, indeed.
    Do you or does your husband have a book any of you have written on this ?
    I sure would like to be able to own one, if you have.

    I'm an avid, rabid creationist, and this information is just too wonderful.
     
  8. Helen

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    There is quite a bit that has been written about it. One article he and I were co-authors on, along with Lambert Dolphin and Malcolm Bowden (I was Helen Fryman then, before I married Barry) is on the net here:
    www.ldolphin.org/zodiac/index.htm
    Lambert has added to it since we wrote it, but I think the information by Malcolm, who wrote the fourth section, is what you are primarily looking for.

    A good book is "The Gospel in the Stars" by Dwayne E. Spencer. Barry has about four or five books on this topic.

    Blammo, I agree with you. It is awesome that God is willing to use any of us, but He does. Very humbling, isn't it?
     
  9. Blammo

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    Yes, Helen, it is humbling. :praying:
     
  10. Marcia

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    I'm a creationist as well, but reject the GIS theories.
    Helen and I have debated/discussed this before, and I don’t want to go there again. But I do want to point out that this Gospel in the Stars business has many flaws. General revelation does not give the gospel; only special revelation (through God’s word) does. Romans 1 tells us that all men are accountable because nature reveals a Creator. But this information is not salvific; it’s damning. It makes man accountable. Paul goes on in Romans to clearly state it is only by the specific revelation of the gospel that man is saved.

    http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/astrology.html

    This is a site about Jehovah’s Witnesses and the influence on Russell from a man named Joseph Seiss. Seiss is one of the main originators of the Gospel in the Stars (GIS).

    http://www.premier1.net/~raines/offshoot.html

    Charles Strohmer, a former professional astrologer like myself, also rejects the GIS:
    http://tinyurl.com/mhamw
     
  11. Brother Bob

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    I will stay with the Bible myself.
     
  12. Helen

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    Marcia comes out of a background of being rescued from the occult and I respect that highly.

    However, the fact of the star names cannot be avoided. There is clear evidence that the Egyptians knew the Promise of God (the outline is in the star names, not the entire gospel story, by the way -- just the way the outline is in the biblical prophecies). Look at the sphynx. Head of a woman and body of a lion. The beginning and end of the story. It told the Egyptians where to start the story and where to end it.

    Yes, it has been twisted into the occult. But the fake is not even fake unless there is a truth to compare it to. God named the stars. The names have meaning. Yes, people had to learn them -- the sky is not a children's picture book.

    It is the pagans which changed the story in the stars, not the believers who changed the pagans' stories. Pagans did the same thing with Noah's Flood! The truth is in the original. What people do with it after that, they are responsible for.

    Satan will do anything possible to corrupt the truth. But corruption is really not possible unless truth is there to begin with.

    The Magoi of Persia were looking in the sky for the sign of the coming King of the Jews. Why? Abram was told to 'tell' the stars, and believe that so would his Seed be -- and Paul explains very clearly that the word was singular -- Seed -- not plural, as in many peoples or nations. Did Abram think he would be an ancestor or progenitor of Christ? Take a look at when he sacrificed Isaac. There is a bit of evidence that he thought Isaac might be the Promised One, for when they go on the mountain to sacrifice, Abram tells his servants to stay at the base and wait. Abram tells them THEY will go up and worship and then THEY will return. Yet, he planned on killing his son in obedience to God's command. He must have known about the promise of the resurrection, for he stated they both would return. Even more, God stops him from killing his son, and Abram understands, knowing God will provide the Lamb. Where did Abram get this story? The answer is in Genesis 15 -- it was in the stars themselves, which the ancients knew far better than we do today.

    Take an astronomy course. Learn the meanings of the names of the stars. That will rest the case completely.

    It's twisted and occultic now.

    It wasn't before. It made the Promise available to all men from all time.
     
  13. Helen

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    Bob, it's in the Bible that God named the stars.

    It's in the Bible that the heavens pour forth KNOWLEDGE night by night.

    It's in the Bible that Abram was told to tell the stars, and that Paul explained what that meant.

    It's in the Bible that all men know because the heavens themselves give the story, pouring forth the knowledge (of what......???)

    It's in the Bible that the Magoi were looking for a sign in the stars.

    It's there.
     
  14. Marcia

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    Helen, thanks for your kind attitude. I consider you a sister in Christ and agree with you on many, many points here on the BB. :thumbs:

    But there is no biblical evidence for GIS. And as Strohmer points out, there are a lot of unknowns around the naming of the various stars. There are many other solid refutations of GIS as well.

    My main argument against it is that general revelation is not salvific. However, Helen, I think you believe it is. Am I wrong about your believing that?

    Just asking about the general revelation issue as I don't want to debate GIS again.
     
  15. Brother Bob

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    Yea, He was looking for the Messaih and when He came they received Him not. Why was the Bible inspired and written Helen, if man already had it all in the stars? We all can see the stars and no one can stop us not even China, seems if the stars tell it all then those that say a two legged preacher has to get there must be wrong and when the missionaies get there the story has already been told. Has it or does it still need to go into all the world?

    Explain the purpose of bringing this into the discussion please?
     
    #15 Brother Bob, Sep 11, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2006
  16. Marcia

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    Well, getting sucked into it. :tonofbricks:

    It says God knows the name of the stars - it means he knows all of them because he created them. This hardly supports the GIS even if you want to make a case for God naming the stars.

    None of this supports GIS. The heavens pour forth knowledge -- knowledge of the GIS? That is not there.

    As far as the Magi go, I respond to that on my site if anyone wants to look at my FAQ page.
    Well, Helen and I will forever disagree on this. :wavey:
     
  17. Helen

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    No, only Christ is the Savior. But the person of Jesus Christ was unknown before the Incarnation. Therefore one had to believe on the Promise of God -- which was Jesus later. Before the cross He was the Promise to come. After the cross He was the Promise fulfilled. However we are told in Revelation that He is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. So the effect took place at the beginning of our time. This means salvation was possible from the beginning, through Christ.

    One is not saved by knowing a story. One is saved by believing in God's Promise, either to come or fulfilled. The story, whether in the stars, in oral 'tradition', in tablets, in the paper pages of the Bible -- the story itself does not save. The story leads to salvation, however, for those who want the truth and follow it. Those who want the truth may not know that what they want is Christ, but 'seek and ye shall find', 'ask and it shall be given' -- these are timeless promises to men. Those who want the truth will be led by the Father to the Truth. How they learn about the truth initially, and how it is presented to them differs from person to person, culture to culture, time to time.

    Knowing can be based on general revelation. Believing -- that's different. That's a personal thing between the person and God Himself.
     
  18. Helen

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    I think, Marcia, if you check the actual words of the ancient mss, it was not the magi who were looking for Jesus. Matthew tells us it was the Magoi -- the upper house of the Persian parliament.

    THAT'S what made Herod and all Jerusalem nervous. This contingent (not three old men on camels!), came with a military escort up to Jerusalem. Herod's army was out fighting in one of Caesar's wars.

    Yeah, Herod and Jerusalem were nervous!

    Barry's research, and this is corroborated by many others according to the emails we have received from professional astronomers and historians, is here:
    http://www.setterfield.org/star.htm -- The Christmas Star
     
  19. Marcia

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    I did a word study on Magi for part of a seminary paper (btw, I got an A on it) -- the Magi were a Persian caste of "wise men." It is a word that devolved into "magician." The term "Magi" is a latinized version of the Greek "magoi,"transliterated from the Persian.

    From part of the word study on Magi:
    Thanks for your answer on general revelation. I thought that on one thread not too long ago, you said that people could be saved (now, not in the OT times) without specifically knowing Christ or without knowing the gospel. Am I wrong?
     
  20. Helen

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    You are right about who the magi were. But it was the Magoi who visited Bethlehem.

    Can a person be saved without 'knowing' Jesus Christ or knowing the Gospel? We are told that all salvation is through Christ, and there is no other way, so, of course, the answer is no. The point I have tried to make is that God, who truly has never desired one to perish, has given every sentient adult who ever lived enough truth to get them going on a seeking or quest for more truth, if truth is what they want. And since Jesus Christ IS The Truth, that must and will lead them eventually to Christ. Before the Incarnation, it would lead them to the Promise and after the Incarnation to the historical fact. But both are the Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

    That is why it is important to understand that the Promise was available to men in a number of different ways. The heavens themselves proclaimed the handiwork of God, and Paul states clearly in Romans 10 that this very fact had to do with the coming Redeemer. Missionaries have also found in the isolated, ancient cultures that there is always some 'hook' on which to hang the Gospel -- something in the old stories and cultural traditions which are still echoing that Promise and which a person could still hang onto.

    The wonderful good news the missionaries were responsible to bring was that that echo had an historical fact connected with it. God did it! His name is Jesus.
     

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