Blog Items (2623)
Don Richardson writes “The theologians responded unwisely by rejecting the sky-god phenomenon as being of no consequence. They in turn persuaded generations of their students to adopt the same defensive posture. Ever since, some theologians have made it part of their career to discredit Bible-paralleling beliefs in folk religions as "distortions" or "satanic counterfeits." … “It is true, of course, that falsehoods, distortions and spiritual counterfeits do exist in the world. It is also possible for bearers of the Gospel to get sidetracked by them, just as it is possible for a bee buzzing among blossoms to bumble into a Venus's-flytrap by mistake. But bees do not call a halt to nectar-gathering because of danger from Venus's-flytraps.” (p.53 Eternity in their Hearts)
Richardson’s rigid posturing avoids seeing any of these cultures myths of god (the ones he used) being counterfeits, or piecemeal distortions. This does not help anyone arrive at the truth. It is not just his way or the highway. There are many other researchers besides Richardson who have done extensive research (especially over the last 30 years since his book was released) that have come to some very different conclusions. We will look at several of his best examples and compare it to theirs.
We need a factual and Biblical approach to arrive at what is true. The complete facts and information cannot be dismissed because of so-called old attitudes to have one see them as genuine parallels.
Richardson thinks because the name of god relates to a sky god or is called a “supreme being” that it automatically means it is the same God that was REVEALED to the Hebrews. Again one should not make theories from assumptions or a few similarities. We are speaking of tribes who know nothing specific of God; the Hebrews were not like these tribes. That had a moral system woven into their society with a high degree of law and punishment (all instructed by God). They were given the instructions on how to approach God by a certain system and instructed on how to build the tabernacle that was a replica of what is in heaven (Heb.8:5). You can’t have other nations be like the nation of Israel that was a theocracy, who was given special (direct) revelation for over 1,400 years. You can’t attribute to another tribal people the same knowledge or relationship and make them equal or on the same level by them having only a general belief of a god. For the Gentiles to know God they would have had to have the same system given to Israel. They do not.
The idea of a supreme being found in ancient religions should not be mistaken for the true God. Their god and the ways they worshipped Him show they had a different God than the Hebrews, and it is NOT the Father who sent Jesus Christ. We start with the truth of the Bible, not the culture. The culture does not define the Bible, the Bible defines it.
Israel was a nation which God promised to be with them ALWAYS, protecting them so that they would continue to exist. For nearly 1,900 years, when they were no longer in the land, their identity was preserved and they now fulfill the prophecies written in the book by being brought back in the land today.
In Richardson’s book he does not mention any scriptures that show Israel being unique, receiving the oracles of God. In his statements about the Gentiles he does not mention at all the numerous times the Bible says they did not and do not know God. Why? It’s obvious … it would go against his inclusive theory of the majority of folk religions knowing God.
He turns cultures myths into “truth”. He wants you to believe they are somehow equally true like the Bible (i.e. they had a book from God but lost it).
If God said they (the Gentiles) do not know Him how does Richardson ignore this and say they do? Not only that but he claims the majority do. That God was already present in hundreds of cultures (90% of folk religions, the majority) making them gospel ready?
“We have been wrong. In actual fact, more than 90 percent of this world's folk religions acknowledge at least the existence of God. Some even anticipate His redeeming concern for mankind."
Some people want to find Christianity in their culture; they see what they want to see. Some want people to believe they were always with God and that He formed their culture. Others will actually do research and are careful to distinguish Christ from their culture’s religion.
The category Richardson put these god[s] of the various cultures (who had lost a book) is not false, but forgotten, lost. Consider Richardson’s formula for including these cultures into Christianity ... tell the culture there former supreme (sky) god that they do not know today is God the Father who sent his son. Not only is this void of common sense it a myth of Biblical proportions (2 Tim.4:4; 1 Tim.1:4; Titus 1:14).
Second or third hand stories passed on from past generations of 100-200 years to 1,000 years ago are inaccurate, especially when we look at the details left out. Centuries go by; these false gods do not become truer because some missionary made a bridge by their cultural mythical beliefs. One is left trusting the story teller instead of the Bible. And few hold up to any biblical scrutiny today.
We will go through a number of his stories, the main ones, and point out why they are contrary to the Bible as well as flawed research.
Everyone has a prophet
“The apostle Paul called Epimenides a "prophet." One wonders what title he would have ascribed to Pachacuti, whose spiritual insight as a pagan far surpassed even Epimenides' (p.33 Eternity in their Hearts)
Paul called Epimenides THEIR prophet, not God’s. God did not give his truth to the other nations through their prophets, he makes it perfectly clear the only “nation” prophets were given is to Israel, especially through the New Testament. They were His witnesses (Isa.43:10,12; 44:8)
For 2,000 years the Lord developed the one true Religion from the lineage of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob into the nation of twelve tribes. God did not send prophets of these other cultures to correct the Gentiles. He did not give them the law or the tabernacle or priesthood, they received nothing. It is not the same God. As with all the other tribes he points to, God was silent and never corrected them because of what we see in Rom.1 which is the overarching principle of why Abraham was chosen. God made a theocracy with the nation Israel, they were unlike any other.
Pachacuti and 'Viracocha'
Richardson chose Machu Pichu to be the cover of his book and uses Pachacuti as an example. Apparently he thought this was a glistening example of what he is trying to convey. So we must look at what was said of him.
Richardson: “Discovering a man like Pachacuti in fifteenth-century Peru is as startling as finding an Abraham in Ur or a Melchizedek among the Canaanites.”
Richardson asks, “How did a fifteenth century Peruvian king named Pachacuti, recognize that there was only one true God, before the coming of the Europeans? Richardson points to the insight of Pachacuti (p.34-35) who came to understand that 'Viracocha' (the Inca god) really was the God of all Creation - and not merely a sun god. In his own words, Pachacuti described the one true God, they called Viracocha: Within the Inca tradition was the story of Viracocha - the Lord, the omnipotent Creator of all things. When Pachacuti came to his realization that they had been worshipping the wrong god, he had to look no further than his own culture.”
"He is ancient, remote, supreme, and uncreated...He manifests himself as a trinity when he wishes...otherwise only heavenly warriors and archangels surround his loneliness. He created all peoples by his 'word.'"
How does a fifteenth century Peruvian king named Pachacuti say this one God is a “Trinity” (Not three eternal persons but manifests as three in one)? How can this word, that was strictly from New Testament revelation and coined by apologists in the first few centuries, be used? One thing is certain … you do not call God a Trinity without New Testament revelation, as this term was first written by the early church.
Do Christians believe this story? Does anyone think critically and/or biblically anymore, or just accept what someone famous says as the gospel truth? Did this word trinity Pachacuti mentioned (which I cannot find evidence of) have Jesus as the Son of God along with the Holy Spirit? What exactly did Pachacuti know about the nature of God?
There are answers from other researchers.
“The Sun was called INTI, “sun god,” and P’ONCAW, “daylight” (modern P’ONCAY). Polo and his disciples. Acoste and Cobo, say that there were three images of the Sun called APO. INTI? lord sun,” CORI-INTI, “son sun,” and INTI-WAWQI, “sun brother,” for which different explanations were given. (See Cobo, lg99-96, bk. 13.ch. 6.) While the existence of these three statues is perfectly possible, they lock suspiciously like a consciousimitation of the Christian Trinity made up for the benefit of the Spanish missionaries” (p.294 Inca Culture at the Time of the Spanish Conquest by John Howland Rowe)
Pachacuti is over 1,400 years AFTER Christ. How can anyone believe this was separate tradition of those who had no writing without contact with someone else? Like so many other people groups, we don’t know who Pachacuti met, what travelers came through or what he could have heard second or third hand (if he did at all). Certainly stories of Israel’s Exodus spread throughout the nearby lands of how the Egyptian army was defeated by Israel’s God (as with Rahab). Could the story of Christ be spread by travelers that may not be missionaries? Richardson wants us to accept that those who had no revelation had one of the most revealing revelations of God’s nature, a trinity, which only comes from the apostle’s writings. Nonsense!
It is the gospel message given for an individual, a tribe or nation, that makes it possible to be made right with God.
“In the rest of this book (and in companion volumes to follow) I will prove that this assumption is false. God has indeed prepared the Gentile world to receive the gospel.” (p.33 Eternity in the Hearts) .
Then he presents his story on the Inca's and Pachacuti, who never received the gospel. So Richardson’s reference to Pachacuti’s discovery and reformation becomes a moot point because it did not lead to salvation for him or anyone else.
Yet Richardson says on p.35, He “reached out for and found a God far greater than any popular "god" of his own culture. Unlike Epimenides, however, Pachacuti did not leave the God of his discovery in the category of "unknown." He identified that God by name, and more.”
Pachacuti’s statements of Viracocha have to be understood in the context of his culture and its own history.
Pachacuti realized he had been worshiping a mere thing as Creator! “And asked If Inti is not the true God, then who is?” Richardson writes, “Where could a pagan Inca, cut off from Judeo-Christian illumination, find an answer to a question like that? The answer is quite simple—from old traditions lying dormant within his own culture! That such an event is possible was foreseen by none other than the apostle Paul when he wrote that Theos, in the past, "let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony" (Acts 14:16-17, italics added (p.37 Eternity in their Hearts?)
The first problem is that this witness is about supplying man’s basic needs. As it reads “that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” How is that relative to them having God dormant in their culture? And let’s not overlook the premise -- it says he let ALL the nations go their own way. This is actually is a witness against this theory.
The Inca civilization was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America which began in Peru about 1200 AD. Most accounts agree on thirteen emperors.
How far back can we go? The Incas worshiped the earth goddess Pachamama, and the sun god, the Inti. Of equal importance with the sky gods were the female supernaturals, Earth (PACA-MAMA, “earth mother”) and Sea (MAMA-BOCA, “mother sea”). (p.295 Inca culture at the Time of the Spanish conquest, John Rowe)
The old traditions do not help support Richardson’s theory.
“the Inca handed down many legends of gods and heroes, quite similar to those with which the Romans of the time of Augustus filled out the blanks in the early history of their city. Most of these legends deal with the origins of men and customs and the adventures of their more remote ancestors. It is not always easy to draw a rigid line between legend and history, but for the purposes of this summary, the historical period can be said to begin early in the 15th century.” (p.202 Inca culture at conquest, John Rowe)
“Viracocha, the creator made a world of earth and sky and left it in darkness. Then he decided to make people to live in it, so he carved statues of stone in the shape of giants and gave them life. After a while, when the giants displeased him, he destroyed them by turning some to stone at Tiahuanaco, Pucara, and other places, and overwhelming the rest with a great flood (ONO PACAKOTI, “water cataclysm”), from which he saved only two assistants. Then he created a new race of his own size to replace the giants he had destroyed. First he gave the world light by causing the sun and moon to emerge from the Island of Titicaca. … Then Viracocha went to Tiahuanaco, where he modeled animals and men out of clay, each species and tribe in its proper shape. On the models of men, he painted the clothes that they were to wear. Then he gave men their customs, food, languages, and songs, and ordered them to descend into the earth and emerge from caves, lakes, and hills in the districts where he instructed them to settle. Viracocha himself set out toward the north with his two assistants’ to call the tribes out of the earth and to see if they were obeying his commands” (P.315 Inca Culture at the Time of the Spanish Conquest by John Howland Rowe)
There are but a few slim resemblances in word but the meaning is not the same. One can see that going into their past is not helpful to make a case of original monotheism.
Richardson writes, “Pachacuti recalled also that his own father, Hatun Tupac, once claimed to receive counsel in a dream from Viracocha. Viracocha reminded Hatun Tupac in that dream that He was truly the Creator of all things. Hatun Tupac promptly renamed himself (dare we say presumptuously?) Viracocha! (p.37 Eternity in Their Hearts)
His assumption that the ancient Inca god was the true God is absurd. Richardson’s point of general revelation being sufficient is seen as weighed and found wanting in this example. It did not lead to further special revelation as Pachacuti’s own father, Hatun Tupac called HIMSELF God (Viracocha). Who does that when they hear from the true God?
“Pachacuti took action. He called a congress of the priests of the sun—a pagan equivalent of the Nicene Council if you like—at beautiful Coricancha. In fact, one scholar dubs that congress the Council of Coricancha, thus ranking it among the great theological councils of history." (p.38 Eternity in their Hearts)
Really? Greater than two men using the Bible to confirm if Jesus was either a created being or God himself? The fact that Richardson uses this to promote Pachacuti as a great monotheist reforming his culture is problematic when one reads further of their history (even from those Richardson quotes from).
“Instead of trying to replace regional and local deities, Pachacuti had them assimilated into Wiracocha. The Creator adopted the names, attributes, and wakakuna of the principal deities of the provinces. In most cases this was no problem, since many of these deities already were creator gods and gift-bringers. They assimilated into Wiracocha without losing their original names and attributes. Pachacuti used the Situa and the other annual Inca ceremonies and poem-prayer-songs in this cultural revolution.” (Introduction the sacred hymns of Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui http://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+sacred+hymns+of+Pachacuti.-a0141997146 underline mine
“Viracocha (sometimes spelled Wiracocha) created all of the other gods, as well as men and animals, and so ruled them all. This greatest of the gods had no name but only a series of titles. These are most commonly given as Ilya-Tiqsi Viracocha Pachayacachiq, which in Quechua means “ancient foundation, lord, instructor of the world.” The Spanish most commonly referred to him as Viracocha, using one of his titles as a name.” (The Incas New Perspectives by Gordon F. McEwan ABC CCLIO Santa Barbara, California Denver, Colorado Oxford, England) underline mine.
The Incas knew him as Viracocha, but he was not just exclusive to the Inca’s. To the Mayans He is Kukulkan, Quetzalcoatl to the Aztecs, Gucumatz in Central America, Votan in Palenque.
His numerous attributes and aspects included Pachawallpaq, world creator; Pachakama, world governor; and Pachayachachiq, world teacher. We will see why this was assigned to him.
Richardson states, “Further confirmation of the authenticity of de Molina's compilation has surfaced” (p.36 ibid)‘In 1575, in Cuzco, a Spanish priest named Cristobel de Molina collected a number of Inca hymns along with certain traditions associated with them. “Modern scholars, rediscovering de Molina's collection, marveled at their revolutionary content. Some at first refused to believe they were genuinely Inca! Surely, they thought, de Molina himself must have edited his own European thought into the original Inca composition. Alfred Metraux, however, in his History of the Incas, agrees with Professor John H. Rowe who, he says, "has succeeded in restoring the hymns to their original version, [and is] convinced that they owe nothing to the missionaries' teaching. The forms and expressions used are basically different to those of the Christian liturgy in the Inca tongue." (p.36-37 ibid.)
Richardson’s theory certainly has challenges. In the book “the Inca Hymns and the Epic-Makers” we read: “The very elevation of Viracocha as a theistic concept has more than once aroused the suspicion that the Incas did not invent him on their own, and that their surviving hymns underwent the influence of those Spanish missionaries who set to work in Peru immediately after the conquest in 1533. Though it is common knowledge that the Spanish exploited and adapted existing liturgy in the Andes (11), the suspicion is untenable for many reasons. One is that Quechua-speaking Spanish priests like Molina did not fully understand all the hymns they collected, though these have a high degree of internal consistency. Far more important: in dogma and tone the hymns are positively non- or anti-Christian. Man is pre-lapsarian, in need not of redemption but of protection. He addresses god not with Hebreo-Christian yearning (of the kind which creeps into Mossi's translations), nor with the will to appease or atone” (Gordon Brotherston, Inca Hymns and the Epic-Makers) underline mine.
Not all agree with Richardson’s conclusions, especially those who have done extensive research and have no agenda to find the true God in hundreds of cultures.
Rowe whom Alfred Metraux quotes are as important as Molina:
“John Rowe has conscientiously reconstructed Molina's Quechua text (6) and provided a translation into a European language superior to Molina's Spanish "Declaraciones" (p.200 Inca Hymns and the Epic-MakersGordon Brotherston)
Brotherston also mentions “Markham himself was directly responsible for popularizing some quite inadequate versions of Pachacuti's hymns when he Englished M. A. Mossi's Spanish translations of them (4) in his best-seller "The Incas of Peru" (1911); Mossi's notion that Quechua like all other languages in the world derived from Hebrew had not steered him closer to his originals, and indeed later led Means (1931:434ff.) to find them similar to David's Psalms - a truly misleading comparison. More recently scholars like Jesús Lara have reworked these translations (5), while John Rowe has conscientiously reconstructed Molina's Quechua text (6) and provided a translation into a European language superior to Molina's Spanish "Declaraciones" (which Markham had previously rendered into the English of a Victorian hymnal). (p. 200 Gordon Brotherston Inca Hymns and the Epic-Makers)
We need to think biblically, not separate from the Bible, and look at history correctly. Viracocha is known as the feathered serpent god, depicted by a water symbol, that of the serpent or snake. The serpent and snake in the Bible are a symbol of Satan, which changes the whole representation of Viracocha. “Viracocha was one of the most important deities in the Inca pantheon and seen as the creator of all things, or the substance from which all things are created, and intimately associated with the sea. (Dover, Robert V. H.; Katharine E. Seibold, John Holmes McDowell (1992). Andean cosmologies through time: persistence and emergence. Caribbean and Latin American studies. Indiana University Press. p. 274)
So we have gods, a pantheon, and he is associated with the sea, (Lake Titicaca). This is who Richardson claims is the God in heaven that created everything?
“Viracocha was believed to have created humanity at the ancient site of Tiwanaku in Bolivia or on an island in Lake Titicaca near the border between modern Peru and Bolivia. After the creation he traveled through the Andes performing miracles and teaching people how to live. He is said to have appeared as an old man with a long beard wearing plain clothes and carrying a staff.” (The Incas New Perspectives by Gordon F. McEwan ABC CCLIO Santa Barbara, California Denver, Colorado Oxford, England) underline mine.
He is depicted as the sun god of creation [wearing a sun crown] and the moon god. Viracocha was worshipped as god of the sun and of storms, with thunderbolts in his hands, and tears descending from his eyes as rain. In his conquering, “Pachacuti took an image of the Thunder God for his guardian (Sarmiento, 1906, ch. 14; Cobo, 1890-95, bk. 12, ch. 13; bk. 13, ch. 9). (P.297 Inca Culture at the Time of the Spanish Conquest by John Howland Rowe).
“Alfred Metraux, however, in his History of the Incas, agrees with Professor John H. Rowe who, he says, "has succeeded in restoring the hymns to their original version, [and is] convinced that they owe nothing to the missionaries' teaching. The forms and expressions used are basically different to those of the Christian liturgy in the Inca tongue." (p.36 Eternity in their Hearts)
Richardson needs to pay more attention to his research. His statement attributed Rowe’s comment to Metraux's teaching. It does not say Metraux agrees with him.
Metraux's view: “Some have supposed him to be the supreme deity of the mysterious race that built the megalithic monuments of Tiahuanaco, and that the figure carved on the lintel of the Gate of the Sun is his.”
While Richardson claims “Pachacuti did not leave the God of his discovery in the category of "unknown." He identified that God by name, and more:
Actually Metraux said this “It is more difficult to account for the cult of Viracocha, the Creator, which tended to replace that of the Sun God, who was reduced to a mere creation or "son" of the Supreme Being, from the reign of Pachacuti onward. This change in the hierarchical order of the gods must surely have been wrought by an intelligent clergy given to theological speculation and basing their conception of the supernatural world on the earthly one they knew; but the motives of the emperor in carrying out this reformation are less clear."...What interest could Pachacuti have had in lessening the prestige of his ancestor, the Sun, in favor of Viracocha, the Creator? When he placed above all the nature gods a god whose dominance was undisputed, since he was the Master of Creation, was he encouraging the cult from inward conviction or from policy? A tradition passed on by the Spanish chroniclers suggests that Pachacuti (others say Huayna Capac) had genuine doubts about the pre-eminence accorded to the Sun."(p.125 The History of the Incas, Translated from the French by George Ordish)
Some points to consider - that the sun god was made into the son of the supreme God, it was not abandoned for monotheism like Richardson claims. Metraux was not decisive on who changed the order or why. In fact he writes further on Virococha's "successive acts of creation. First he makes heaven and earth, and a race of men who dwell in darkness these men, for some unspecified sin, he destroys, changing them into statues of stone. In his second manifestation he emerges from Lake Titicaca and at Tiahuanaco creates "the sun and the day, the moon and the stars." That done, he carves from the rock "men with chiefs to rule over them, ..." (ibid). Clearly their myth cannot be considered on equal standing with the Bible.
Professor Rowe, however, who has succeeded in restoring the hymns to their original version, is convinced that they owe nothing to the missionaries'.
I could not be find what Richardson implied in Rowe’s book, what I did find was the opposite: “Because the ideas of Inca religion were so thoroughly woven into these poems, they were frowned on by the missionaries and none was ever literally recorded. However, summaries of several were preserved in Spanish prose by Sarmiento, Betanzos, and Pacha’cuti” (P.321)
“All the types of Inca literature so far considered suffered heavily from Spanish influence or repression since the Conquest, (p.322 Inca Culture at the Time of the Spanish Conquest by John Howland Rowe) underline mine
“In addition, 16th- and 17th-century writers copied liberally from one another, often without giving credit, so that many works which are usually termed “sources” or “documents” are ’only third or fourth-hand restatements of the original testimony, marred by carelessness and by personal or political prejudice…It is wisest, however, to consult the original text even when an English translation does exist, for much often depends on details of wording, and none of the translations is entirely accurate” (p.194 Inca Culture at the Time of the Spanish Conquest by John Howland Rowe)
In one of the hymns it says “my Wiracocha, earth spirit, sacred mountain; "Lord." Viracocha was the maintainer of the world and of the other deities. The sun was the tangible manifestation, but the invisible Viracocha was above the sun. Many of these same hymns are secondarily consecrated to the other deities; Pachamama (Earth Mother, in hymn 9) and Inti (the Sun, in hymn 10) are invoked alone.
When one reads what is actually Incan history, they understand for one to make Viracocha into the eternal God becomes more than a Grand Canyon leap. To make Pachacuti a prophet or on the same level as Job, or Melchizedek is also disturbing. Pachacuti may have been divorcing himself from the ancient religious ways but he certainly did not find biblical truth in the way the Bible explains it.
Daniel Kikawa repeats Richardson’s theory and quotes Alfred Metraux in History of the Incas referring to the Virococha cult, who he states is the Lord, also known in mythology as “the ancient one”, “maker of earth”, “old man of the sky”, etc.
In doing research like this it’s imperative to pay attention to details. What both Richardson and Kikawa forgot to include in their quotes of Alfred Metraux is this: “At his side there is usually a second mythological being, the "Transformer,"who completes his work and instructs the people in the rudiments ofcivilization.”
In one of the prayers to Viracocha it says, “Viracocha, Lord of the Universe! Whether male or female”…. being one who, even with his spittle, can work sorcery. Where are Thou?” (From: Ancient Civilizations of the Andes by Philip Ainsworth Means, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1931, pp. 437-439.)
“Where art Thou?” is certainly not a phrase from the language of the Incas and it shows an outside influence. Working sorcery which was part of their cultures belief in spirits does exhibit his association.
Richardson writes, “… Pachacuti, whose spiritual insight as a pagan far surpassed even Epimenides' (p.34 Eternity in Their Hearts.)
That’s not saying much when we look at all the details.
None of this story portrays the monotheism found in the Bible. So if Pachacuti surpasses Epimenedes, a prophet according to Richardson what do we have here? Richardson wants you to believe this story and much more. In fact when we read of Pachacuti, his so called monotheistic conversion does come into question.
The most important servants of the Creator were the sky gods, headed by the Sun, who was believed to be the divine ancestor of the Inca dynasty…. The “Temple of the Sun” in Cuzco housed images of all the sky gods of the Inca and a host of lesser supernaturals besides; its most important image was not of the Sun but of Viracoca. (P.294 Inca culture at conquest John Rowe)
So Viracocha had an idol in the temple of the Sun.
“The high priest then came forward, made a gesture of reverence to the images of Viracocha and the other gods, had the animals led four times around the images, and then dedicated them to Viracocha in the name of the Sun (p.307 Inca culture at conquest John Rowe).
The Inca ruler Pachacuti and his army were conquering the lands surrounding the Cuzco area,
“Certain images, especially those representing tribal ancestors, were regularly carried into battle by the Inca and their neighbors” (p.281 Inca Culture at the Time of the Spanish Conquest by JOHN HOWLAND ROWE 1946)
“The numerous stones, called puruauca, that Pachacuti claimed had turned to warriors to help him defeat the Chanca army during the siege of Cuzco were all worshiped as huacas. (Cobo 1990: 35–36; Rowe 1946: 296).
“Pachacuti cried out that even the stones were turning to men to help the Inca, and after the battle he pointed out a large number of loose stones on the battlefield which had done so. These stones were reverently collected and distributed around Cuzco as shrines (Acosta, 1940, bk. 6, ch. 21; Cobo, 1890-95, bk. 13,ch. 8).
Rowe writes on p.280 (Rowe is cited by A. Metraux in Richardson’s book) “From the time of Pachacuti, religion was used to justify the Inca conquest, on the pretext that the purest and highest form of religion was the Inca way of worshiping the Creator, the sky gods, and the place spirits, and that it was the Inca’s duty to spread this religion throughout the, world.”
On his deathbed he spoke this to Tupac Inca his son: "Son! you now see how many great nations I leave to you, and you know what labour they have cost me. Mind that you are the man to keep and augment them. …When I am dead, take care of my body, and put it in my houses at Patallacta. Have my golden image in the House of the Sun, and make my subjects, in all the provinces, offer up solemn sacrifice, after which keep the feast of purucaya, that I may go to rest with my father the Sun." (Death of Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui "History of the Incas" by Pedro Sarmiento De Gamboa, translated by Clements Markham, Cambridge: The Hakluyt Society 1907, pp. 138-139.) underline mine
Consider the statement “rest with my father the Sun!” which certainly brings into question his so called biblical monotheism (besides his image in the temple of the sun). His son Thupa Yupanqui continued his father's conquest campaigns.
What is even more disturbing is “When Pachacuti died in 1447, many of his supporters followed him into death by committing suicide (People in World History p.27)
“For the funeral of the Inca Pachacuti Five thousand llamas were sacrificed and 1,000 children” (Betanzos 1996: 134–137; Rowe 1946: 286). Quoted in The Incas New Perspectives Gordon F. McEwan ABC CCLIO Santa Barbara, California Denver, Colorado Oxford, England)
Is that what a reformed monotheistic culture would do for its leader?
Richardson’s portrayal of historical events is sorely lacking. Again, it’s not just what he wrote but what he omits that can change the conclusion of his theory, for what is omitted is crucial. Few people of any culture in the ancient world were really monotheistic (i.e. Job and Melchizedek are possibly but not likely a few of the Bible’s INDIVIDUAL examples), not hundreds of cultures as he claims.
Richardson does exactly what you would you would expect a cultural inclusivist to do … use the lowest amount of similarity of another culture to be accepted as near sameness of the ancient saints.
“And how ironic that Spanish Catholics, in their zeal to abolish Inca "idolatry," destroyed a monotheistic belief which, in effect, constituted an interim Old Testament to open the minds of thousands to the good news of Viracocha's incarnation in the Person of His Son (p.40 Eternity in their Hearts)
What the Catholics did was certainly wrong but then Richardson’s point of them destroying a monotheistic culture is hardly the case.
In 1438 Pachacuti became the 9th emperor and most agree he died in 1471 AD. That’s a long time period before the Spaniards came and conquered. In 1532 Incan Ruler Huayna Capac died. Two of his many sons, Atahualpa and Huáscar, began to fight each other over his empire. Atahualpa was victorious but the Empire was in ruins. It was then Francisco Pizarro led the Spanish conquistadors to defeat the weakened Inca armies; they were not monotheistic.
Yet Richardson says, I like to call him the "Incan Melchizedek." This statement diminishes Jesus as the Melchizedek priest for all mankind.
There are apologists for Christianity that use this story, repeating the errors of Richardson’s research. This occurs for only one reason, because they have not done their own independent research using what primary resources we have or looked to those who are the experts on this and other cultures. We need to be careful that we do not continue this error. There is a need to correct the inclusiveness that has purposely rejected the false, corrupted and counterfeit myths.
What Richardson has created is another myth from the Incan religious myth. And he does this over and over again.
Truth For Youth Teaching Conference
Welcome toÂ Truth 4 Youth
Christian Youth Conference in the UK
Welcome to Truth 4 YouthÂ
Christian Youth conference in the UK
This conference is designed for young adults, teenagers and their parents to engage with the issues ofÂ TRUTH, andÂ DISCERNMENTÂ as the Bible teaches:
Heatree House Activity Centre, Manaton, Devon TQ13 9XE
Â Â Friday 28thâ€“ Monday 31st
Carl Kerby (Reasons for Hope)
Dr David Moore (Milton Baptist Church)
Tony Brown (UK Partnerships for Christ)
Tim Palmer (New Tribes Mission)
More information about our speakers this August:-Â
Carl Kerby"s passion is to proclaim the authority and accuracy of the Bible and to engage the minds and hearts of believers and unbelievers so that they may experience the realities of the Word of God.Â Carl was a founding Board Member and speaker "Answers in Genesis". Carl served there for more than 15 years before co-founding the apologetics ministry, "Reasons for Hope".
Carl was also an air traffic controller at O"Hare International Airport and is the son of a professional wrestler.Â He is married to Masami and has two children and three grandchildren.
David Moore is originally from Belfast and was saved in 1979 at the age of 17 whilst drumming in a punk rock band. David is the Pastor of Milton Baptist Church in Stoke-on-Trent.Â David brings a wealth of pastoral and practical experience to his teaching which has an emphasis on expository preaching, particularly in the field of eschatology.Â David is married to Hazel and has four children and two grandchildren.
Tony is a former Jehovah"s Witness who got saved 20 years ago.Â He is co-Pastor at Sunbridge Road Mission in Bradford and is a speaker for UK Partnerships for Christ which is an organisation dedicated to sharing the truth of the Gospel with those in cults and also teaching believers how to witness to them. He is married to Cath and they have three children.
Tim Palmer is an American missionary who served with New Tribes Mission in Senegal.Â Tim is now a Bible teacher at New Tribes Mission North Cotes Bible College in Lincolnshire, UK. Tim is married to Joanne and they have three children.Â Tim and his wife Joanne are also on the steering group of Truth 4 Youth and have been a part of Truth 4 Youth since 2006.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
For more information or to book please go to our websiteÂ www.truth4youth.co.ukÂ or call Graham andÂ SuzieÂ on 01929 472484.
Mezuzot (The Doorposts) Part 1 of 2
by James Jacob Prasch
Reading from Judges chapter 14: "Then Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah, one of the daughters of the Philistines. So he came back and told his father and mother, 'I saw a woman in Timnah, one of the daughters of the Philistines; now, therefore, give her to me as my wife.' Then his father and his mother said to him, 'Is there no woman among the daughters of your relatives or among your own people, that you would go and take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?' But Samson said to his father, 'Get her for me, for she looks good to me.'"
The sin that so easily besets: Samson had a weakness for unbelieving women. Understand that the issue here was not the woman's race; females are not circumcised, except in certain Islamic tribes of Central Africa. However, the issue was her belief. At that time, a Jew marrying a non-Jew would have been equivalent to a believer today marrying a non-believer. The issue, in other words, was her belief.
Samson had a predisposition toward being attracted to unbelieving women. By the time we reach chapter 15, we see that it has gotten him into a real mess. Although God worked in the relationship for His purposes in terms of Providence, it got Samson into real trouble. In verse 18 of chapter 15 we read: "Then he (Samson) became very thirsty, and he called out to the LORD and said, 'Thou hast given this great deliverance by the hand of Thy servant, and now shall I die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?'" Samson's relationship with this woman eventually landed him in trouble, first with her father and then with the Philistines; and God rescued him. That was his first recorded bout with an unbelieving woman.
We have other teachings on Samson, one of which is 'The Vow of the Nazirite', which deals with the midrash, including the typology of the hair. It also deals with the wicked woman of Proverbs chapter 5, which speaks of giving one's strength to the adulteress. This was the Pesher meaning, the deeper spiritual meaning; now, however, let us look at the Peshet, the straightforward, clear meaning of the text as we read chapter 16 of the book of Judges:
"Now Samson went to Gaza, and saw a harlot there, and he went in to her." He does it again; he finds another unbelieving woman. 'The sin that so easily besets' - ". . . and he went in to her" - in Hebrew, bow l'ah. As you may know from other messages, one person is inside of another person, and a third person is procreated: we are created in the image of God - Imago Dei - we are theopomorphic men and women. This aspect of God's image in us is the main reason that adultery and fornication are so serious in His sight; these sexual sins cause us to pollute and obscure the image of God in which we were created. On the doorposts of my house in England, there is a small box called a 'mezuzah', which has on it the Hebrew letter 'shem'. Shem is also the first letter of the Hebrew confession of faith. In the Gospels, when they asked Jesus what the greatest commandment is, He said, "Shema Israel Adonai Elohenu Adonai ekhad baruch Ha Shem; "Hear O Israel, the LORD your God is oneness; you shall love the LORD your God with all your soul, all your heart, and all your strength." That word akhad means a plural oneness; the word for the oneness of God is the same word for Adam and Eve becoming one flesh - akhad. Again, this reproduces His image and His likeness.
The small box on my doorposts is called a mezuzah; but what a mezuzah actually was in ancient Hebrew culture was the doorpost itself; so the little box is named after that upon which it rests; a doorpost. In the Book of Exodus when the hyssop was taken and dipped into the blood of the Paschal lamb, they were to put it onto the mezuzot, the doorposts, in the form of a bloody cross. More about that in a moment.
The husband shall cling to his wife, and they shall be akhad. The Hebrew word translated there as 'cling to' is daveq. Clinging to God in Judaism is called devequt. When you see Orthodox Jews with the payoot, the ear-curls, you may observe them making a certain gesture, which to them indicates clinging to God. They are trying to capture something called zumzumim, or 'holy sparks'. In modern Hebrew, daveq is the word for glue, and cellotape in Hebrew is nyr daveq, literally meaning 'glue-ribbon'. In the Bible, however, the idea conveyed by that word is not glue, but rather superglue. What is the difference, then, between glue and superglue? Glue sticks, but superglue bonds. Superglue forms a polymer; you have an exchange of electrons. Once the superglue comes into contact with atmospheric pressure, the change of electrons begins and forms the bond. The polymer bonds; it is not merely sticking now, but actually bonding on a molecular level. There is a co-valency established by polymerization. In this way, Samson clings to this unbelieving woman.
Let us go on: "When it was told to the Gazaites, saying, 'Samson has come here,' they surrounded the place and lay all night in wait for him at the gate of the city. And they kept silent all night, saying, 'Let us wait until the morning light, and then we will kill him.' Now Samson lay until midnight, and at midnight he arose and took hold of the mezuzot - the doorposts - of the city gate, and the posts, and pulled them up along with the bars. Then he put them on his shoulder and carried them up to the top of the mountain which is opposite Hebron." The bars here are made of iron - in Hebrew barzel. Samson's burden, like the Cross, is made of wood and iron.
This is not the first time he got himself into a mess because of his weakness: Paul calls this 'the sin that so easily besets'. Thanks to the advertising industry, which has reduced human sexuality to a means of selling anything from spring fashion to toothpaste, I do not know anybody under the age of 87 who is not vexed by sexual temptation. The world and Satan have combined in the advertising industry to make everything from MTV to magazine adverts degrade human sexuality to an animalistic level.
In Samson's situation, however, we simply know what his weakness was. For you and me, it may or may not be something sexual, but everyone has a weak spot. Not only do you have one, and I have one, but also the enemy knows what they are. Although I knew better, when I was in University my life was based on cocaine, sex, dope, rock'n'roll, and classical music. Although I professed to be a Marxist, I realized that because cocaine costs money, I needed a good education in order to get a good job with which I could subsidize my decadence. What a hypocrite! If you had asked me as a young believer what I thought would be the weakness that would hold me back, what would be the enemy's main weapon against me, I would have said it would be cocaine and cannabis. Yet in hindsight, I cannot think of anything that the Lord has given me a more total deliverance from than substance abuse. I cannot even stay in the same room with someone who smokes a cigarette, let alone a joint. I have been to parties at which people were taking this stuff, getting stoned, and not only have I had no temptation, I have even been able to witness to these people and tell them how God gave me power over the addictions and delivered me from them, giving me something better. Substance abuse is something over which God has given me complete victory, although that was the thing that I thought would drag me down. I have no issue with it, although other people do struggle with it. That is not my weakness; my weakness is this:
In England we have a lot of traffic. So one day I will be on my way to a church to speak to a hundred people, and there's a lorry driver up ahead with an 18- or 22-wheeler with a European license plate, tying up traffic for miles. When I finally manage to overtake him, now that I'm forty minutes late, I see him with a mobile phone in one hand and a cigarette in another, and I want to shoot him. My indignation may itself be righteous, but wanting to put the man in his grave is certainly not.
My weakness is explosive anger: there is a big difference between holy anger and being wholly angry. When Moses took the tablets with the Decalogue - the Ten Commandments - and threw them down from the mountain because Israel had made and worshiped golden calves, he told them they had broken the Law of God; that was holy anger. When I want to shoot the lorry driver, however, that is not holy anger. Being right in what you say does not automatically translate to having a righteous indignation or holy anger. We speak of this further on the 'Sons of Zadok' tape. That is my personal weakness.
Let me give you an example of another weakness: I know people who are saved Christians to whom alcohol is not a beverage, but a drug. Enjoying a glass of wine with dinner or a beer with lunch is not possible for them. These believers should never go near alcohol in any form, because that is their personal weakness.
Insurance companies may not know anything about medical science, but they certainly do know about money. Therefore they know about statistics. When you fill out an insurance form, you will notice that one of the first questions they ask is whether or not you smoke. The instant a person quits smoking cigarettes, they automatically go into a lower-risk category. Conversely, the moment you pick up a cigarette and begin smoking you enter a higher-risk category statistically. It is said that for every minute someone smokes, a minute is subtracted from his lifespan. Every cigarette, in other words, is a nail in your coffin. Yet I know saved Christians for whom cigarettes are a weakness. They may go for a day - maybe two days - without one, yet they consistently return to the habit. Some Christians scoff at the idea that this should be an issue, yet when you walk outside of a church and an unsaved person happens to see you light up a cigarette, there goes your testimony. "Yeah, Jesus changed my life. Gotta match?"
"Thou shalt not covet" - How, then, can Christians gamble? I honestly do not know. There are things today that are facilitated by technology. Sin by proxy, as it were, as if that makes it less sinful. For example, there are Christians who would never actually go out and have an affair, betraying their spouses, yet I assure you that tonight there are thousands of born-again Christians in chat rooms committing adultery by cyber-proxy. They will do things over the Internet that they would never actually go out and perform, thinking that this somehow makes it better. But God has said that if you so much as lust for someone else's wife or husband you have already done it. There are thousands of Christians involved in ungodly chat lines. I know one Christian in particular who got herself into very serious trouble in this way.
'The sin that so easily besets'; maybe it is sexual for you, or maybe it is not. Maybe it is substance abuse, maybe not. Maybe it is violence or temperament, maybe it isn't. Whatever it may be, however, every Christian has one thing that they continue falling into. The godliest people I have ever met had a weakness that became conspicuous. In looking to Scripture, we find that the patriarchs had basic defects in character even into their old age. We see God trying to work these defects - these 'sins that so easily beset', as Paul calls them - out of their lives, even until their deaths. In the Greek, when Paul spoke of this besetting sin, he did not speak in the past tense. He said, "I am the chief of all sinners" - present tense, even as a believer.
Samson's besetting sin was his lust for unbelieving women; earlier we saw in Judges 15 that this sin lands him in trouble, but God delivers him from it. Now in chapter 16, however, we find him doing it again: the more you give in to that sin, the deeper you get caught in it, and the more dangerous it becomes. This time, he's up to his eyeballs in quicksand; he is surrounded by his enemies who have laid a trap for him.
The devil is not interested in carnal pleasure; not even in the fleeting pleasures associated with sin. If you read 'The Screwtape Letters', you will find that C.S. Lewis was quite correct: he recounted an old demon's advice to a young demon regarding how to tempt a Christian to sin, warning him to be careful of pleasure because it was something that had been created by their Enemy, God. The older demon points out that if they corrupt pleasure in order to use it in luring their victim, they should do so cautiously. You see, to the devil the fleeting pleasures of sin are only the bait he must use. Satan does not wish anyone to have any pleasure whatsoever - he only wants people to go to Hell. On this side of eternity, the human mind can comprehend neither the love of God in its totality nor the depravity of Satan in its totality.
To return once more to Samson's plight in Judges 16, again we note that he is surrounded. What does he do? In other words, what should you and I do when we find ourselves in a mess because we have fallen into doing the same stupid thing once again? Samson's enemies were waiting to ambush him when? Not at midnight, but at dawn. Samson was comfortably in bed; but he jumped up at midnight. If he had waited until dawn, his enemies would have had him.
To apply this to our own lives: the very instant you realize that you have fallen once again into the same mess and are in trouble, this time even worse than before, you must not wait to put it right. Put it right immediately! To hesitate is to make yourself a sitting target; your enemies are waiting to get you and to get me - demons are real. Samson immediately put his situation right, though he had to jump out of bed to do it. The moment you allow yourself to be comfortable in the sin, you have set yourself up.
So we see that Samson jumped up; however, he was still surrounded. How did he get himself out of the trap? And how do we get ourselves out when we are thick enough in the head to get ourselves into it to begin with? Samson grabbed hold of the mezuzot; the Cross of Jesus Christ, the wood and the iron. There are a million ways into that mess, but there is only one way out of it. Samson put the Cross on his shoulder and carried it with him as he went. Put it right immediately - pick up the Cross at once.
You hear a fiery preacher, but let me tell you about this fiery preacher: Once when I was a young believer - before I was married, before I entered the ministry or went to seminary, even before I was in Israel (I was still in New York) - I met a woman on the East Side of Manhattan who was a bit older than I and rather good-looking. I responded to her advances in the wrong way: instead of witnessing to her, I reacted to her flirtatious invitations. Before I knew it, I was in a taxi with her; not long after that, I found myself in a bath with her; and finally, I was in her bed with her. I was so very close to taking the situation to its natural conclusion, continuing to act in the way I had before I knew Jesus. Yet at the last minute I asked myself what on earth I was doing, and began to wonder how I would get myself out of the situation. My flesh wanted its way, but I began to pray, saying, "Lord Jesus, look what I've done! I am stupid, but Lord, please get me out of this somehow." Well, I don't know what I said, but it must have gotten right up her nose. While I don't remember exactly what I said, I'll never forget what she said: she began running around the room screaming at me to get out, get out, get out! My old creation wanted the sin, but my new creation only wanted to get out of there. To delay is to make yourself a target. There is only one way out: crucify the flesh.
God was gracious to me as He was to Samson: Samson lifted the mezuzot - iron and wood - and to the mountain he went. What happens next? Let us read on to find out: "After this it came about that he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah." Sure enough, Samson does it again! He goes out and finds another one! We do not know how many times Samson actually did this, but we know it was at least as many times as the Bible records. The first time we're told about, he got himself in up to his neck; the second time, up to his eyeballs; what will he do this time?
Your besetting sin may or may not be sexual, as Samson's was; but never doubt - you have one, and I have one. You know what yours is, and so does God, and not least of all, so does the enemy. That one thing, that stupid, idiotic, moronic thing you just keep going back to. What will Samson do now?
"And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, 'Entice him, and see where his great strength lies, that we may overpower him, that we might bind him to afflict him. Then we will each give you eleven hundred pieces of silver.'" Unsaved people care about one thing: Money. Unbelievers will do almost anything if the price is right. Here we see that Delilah is being offered money to entice Samson. Things have now changed: the enemy changes strategy. Up until now, their attempts on Samson were opportunistic; now they are seeking to set him up and trap him. As it says in Ecclesiastes, because the consequences of an iniquity are not instant, people are deceived into thinking they will get away with it. The Bible tells us something remarkable about sin: it personifies sin, saying that it can deceive us. Not only can Satan deceive us, not only can other people deceive us if we fail to be discerning, not only can we deceive ourselves, but sin itself can deceive us. That besetting sin can deceive you into thinking that you can continue pulling it off.
The strategy of Samson's enemies changes now, because they have realized they will not get him through happenstance. When you do something wrong and get yourself into trouble by doing it, that's good, relatively speaking. Once we begin pulling it off and not reaping the consequences of our sins, that's when we're in real trouble - only we don't know it.
This can be very much likened to the first time a person picks up a cigarette and tries to smoke it: he will cough violently because his body is trying to tell him something; the repercussions of inhaling the nicotine and tar are instant. After he has become metabolically acclimated to it, the coughing stops and he is led to believe he is all right, when the diametric opposite is the actual truth. He has in reality become a statistical candidate for respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, and all kinds of cancer. Cigarettes contain carcinogens; yet it becomes easy to think there's no problem or danger once the coughing stops. The smoker was better off coughing; at least then he knew it was no good.
Continuing with verse 6: "So Delilah said to Samson, 'Please tell me where your great strength lies, and how you may be bound to afflict you.' And Samson said to her, 'If they bind me with seven fresh cords that have not been dried, then I shall become weak and be like any other man.' Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to Delilah seven fresh cords that had not been dried, and she bound him with them. Now she had men who were lying in wait in another room, and she said, 'The Philistines are upon you, Samson!' But he snapped the cords as a string of yarn snaps when it is touched by fire. So his strength was not discovered. Then Delilah said to Samson, 'Behold, you have deceived me, and told me lies! Now please tell me how you may be bound!'"
Samson is playing with fire; he's in bed with an $1100.00/night hooker, the pimp's in the next room with a loaded gun, and he's playing bedroom games. In the same way we often get flirtatious with the sin we think we can keep on getting away with; it becomes a game to us. Russian Roulette is also a game: you drop the bullet into the barrel and you spin it; only the person you're playing against knows which cylinder the bullet is in. Click, click, click - but sooner or later, probably sooner than later - bang.
Verse 11: "So he said to her, 'If they bind me tightly with new ropes that have not been used, then I shall be weak and be like any other man.' So Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them, and said to him, 'The Philistines are upon you, Samson!' Men were lying in wait in the inner room, but he snapped the ropes from his arms like a thread." Notice that the strategy only changes very slightly the second time. "So Delilah said to Samson, 'Up to now you have deceived me and told me lies;'"- Here she is, trying to get Samson killed, yet reproaching him for his immorality. This is like the Pope saying it is immoral to bomb Iraq, while he is the head of the pedophile religion that protects its sexually perverted clergy who destroy the lives of children. He wants to tell others how to be moral, while his own church is a cesspool of depravity. "'. . . tell me how you may be bound.' And he said to her, 'If you weave the seven locks of my hair in a loom and fasten it with a pin, I shall be weak and be like any other man.'" Do you notice what is happening here? Step by step Samson is getting lured into the trap; now he lets Delilah know that the secret has to do with his hair. The stakes are raised; in our lives, when we successfully get away with the sin a few times, we get confident and careless, and we raise the stakes just as he did. It's like going to a casino or a racetrack; the house always has the odds, or they wouldn't be in business.
Understand what is happening here: why is he beginning to tell this unbelieving woman intimate things about his relationship with God? She isn't the girl next door, she's a femme fatale, and a shichah to boot. Couldn't he find a nice Jewish girl? He begins sharing with her intimate things that should not be shared outside of holy wedlock. Why? Because of deveq; bound. You cannot sleep with someone and avoid being covered with superglue.
I used to live across the street from the United Nations in New York City during my younger days as a believer. I was cohabitating there with an attractive Italian girl, who was a great cook as well as being great at a few other things. The relationship was based on two things, the first of which was Fettuccine Alfredo; the second I will leave to your imagination. When I began following Jesus, the leader of Jews for Jesus at that time told me that I either had to get married or get out; so I told her to get out. I then took the rest of my drugs, as some of you know, and threw them out the window, where they landed twenty stories down on First Avenue. As I often point out, it is a good thing the Polish Ambassador had diplomatic immunity, or he'd still be in the birdcage singin' the blues. I led the woman to the Lord: I can now go to a church almost anywhere in the world, and the women in these churches are sisters in faith, nothing more nor less. Yet if I saw that Italian woman, there would always in this life be something there that should not be there. If you talk to people who have endured the agony of a divorce, they will tell you that it does irreparable damage.
Hello, my dear friends. I"m speaking, of course, to our Catholic friends, and I mean friends. I have many Catholic friends and, on my mother"s side of the family, Catholic relatives, including my mother. My mother is of Irish-Catholic background. In her family there are members of the Roman Catholic clergy in Ireland and in America and in Canada. I've always had a love of the Catholic people, and I spent 11 years of my youth in Catholic schools through my mother's insistence. But like many other young people at that time I began to question the established religious values of the time and began to do my own seeking and my own searching.
Now I should tell you my own family is a mixture of Roman Catholic and Jewish, and partially for that reason I'm able to speak and read the Hebrew language, and I've also learned Greek. I looked at other faiths â€“ Judaism, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism â€“ most of all I studied the Scriptures with an emphasis on studying them in the original languages. I don't say I'm the greatest scholar or theologian in the world, but I do know what I believe and why I believe it.
I have a book here, Rome Has Spoken, written by two academic Roman Catholic nuns Maureen Fiedler and Linda Rabben â€“ they"re the editors. They are both Ph.D.'s, both Roman Catholic nuns, both quite scholarly women. The book is published by Crossroad Publishing Company and it"s a very, very interesting book, a compilation of Vatican- and papal-issued statements from different times in history.
I"d like to ask you some questions as a Roman Catholic, questions of the sort I once asked myself, questions that other people like me have asked. But before I do that I"d like to read you some quotes from Roman Catholic documents â€“ official Vatican documents â€“ that areimprimatur and nihil obstat, official Roman Catholic documents.
In the year 420, Boniface I, Bishop of Rome: â€œInstead of what is lawful for what has been decided by the apostolic see to be reconsidered, the Second Council of Constantinople in 553, the current pope vigilist was found guilty of heresy and formally excommunicated from the body of the faithful. And at the Third Council of Constantinople in 681, Pope Honorius had confirmed the impious opinions of the heretic Sergius and anathematizee the pope from the church." According to Roman Catholic history, Roman Catholic documents, popes have been kicked out of office and excommunicated by councils of the church. It was not the belief, according to the Roman Catholic Church, that the pope at that time was somehow infallible in what he was proclaiming.
Of course now they claim, since 1870, when he speaks ex-cathedra he is, but I've never heard in modern history of a Pope being fired â€“ sacked by the church. But things began to change by the medieval church, and again I'm only reading from Roman Catholic history that the creedom of 1140, where matters of faith are concerned, a General Counsel â€“ a kind of magisterium â€“ is greater than a pope. For though the Roman pope has sometimes erred, this does not mean that the Roman Church has. In other words, popes can say things that are erroneous and the church doesn"t have to support them.
By 1200 A.D. Pope Innocent III: â€œEvery cleric must obey the pope, even if he commands what is evil; for no one may judge the pope." In the year 1200 the papacy decreed you have to obey the pope even if he tells you to do something which is evil and that no one may judge it, although the earlier councils of the church fired popes. A religion that came to teach you have to follow a man even when he's telling you to do something evil.
In the year 1302, Pope Boniface VIII, â€œUnam Sanctam": â€œWe declare, affirm, and define as a truth necessary for salvation that every human being is subject to the Roman Pontiff." In the year 1302 it was decreed by Pope Boniface VIII that to have salvation â€“ that is escape hell and go to heaven â€“ you have to be subject to the pope.
Let"s move to the modern era.
1854, Pope Pius IX, â€œIneffablis Deus": â€œIf anyone shall dare to think otherwise the most Blessed Virgin was from the first moment of her conception preserved immune from all stain of original sin. if anyone dares to think otherwise that has been defined here by us, let him know that he certainly has abandoned the divine and Catholic church." The church is proclaimed as divine and if you don't believe that Mary was sinless you"ve abandoned it. That was in 1854. Why was it not taught earlier? The term â€œtheoticos" â€“â€œmother of God" is not in the Bible or in the Greek text anywhere, it"s not in the Vulgate. Pius IX was the same pope who issued a papal encyclical in which democracy was condemned â€“ â€œQuanta Cura".
In the first Vatican Council in the year 1870, â€œPastor Aeternus": â€œWe teach and define that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is when in the exercise of his offices pastor and teacher of all Christians, he defines by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority a doctrine of faith and morals which is to be held by the whole Church. It is by reason of the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, possessed of that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer wished His church to be endowed in defining doctrines of faith and morals." Since 1870 there"s been an official doctrine that the pope, when he speaks ex cathedra from the chair of Peter cannot make a mistake; a human being who cannot make a mistake even though earlier church councils said that popes can make mistakes even in matters of doctrine and some were excommunicated for it.
Quite a book. A book not containing Protestant documents, a book compiled by Roman Catholics containing Roman Catholic documents.
Again, Boniface VIII, â€œUnum Sanctum", 1302: â€œWe declare, affirm, and define as a truth necessary for salvation that every human being is subject to the Roman Pontiff." If you"re not a Catholic you can"t go to heaven they said.
There was a Pope Leo XIII, â€œSatis Cognitum", 1896: â€œLet such as these take counsel with themselves and realize that they can in no wise be counted among the children of God unless they take Christ Jesus as their brother and at the same time the church, that is the church of Rome, as their mother." Jesus as your brother and the Roman Catholic Church as your mother. And if that is not the case, you"re not a child of God. John 1 says to all who believed Him, who believed in His name, to all who received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God. (Jn. 1:12)
1948. the Holy Office, â€œCum Comperum" reminded Catholics of canonical prohibitions against unauthorized prohibition and so-called ecumenical meetings with non-Catholic Christians and in shared worship. They were warned against it in 1948, now all of the sudden it"s to be pursued in order to get people to become Catholic. That tells me something. At one time they were afraid of Catholics being lured away from the church by associating with other Christians; now they think the time is ripe to lure other Christians into the Roman Church.
The Second Vatican Council in 1964, Dogmatic Constitution of the Church: â€œThose who through no fault of their own do not know the gospel of Christ or His church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart and moved by grace tray in their actions to do His will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience, these too may attain eternal salvation." Which directly, of course, contradicts the earlier pronouncement Unum Sanctum.
Contradiction upon contradiction; things have devolved and changed. Yet the constitutional motto of the Roman Church is â€œSemper Idem" â€“ â€œalways the same". Well, it"s not; it"s changed, changed, and changed. What the Roman Catholic Church is today it became at the Council of Trent, basically, in the aftermath of the Reformation. We can document it from their own documents. Some Catholic scholars admit it. Yet in a way it is Semper Idem. Once they make another doctrine they can"t change it. There are two kinds of doctrines in the Roman Church:proxima fide and de fide You can change a proxima fide doctrine like making the mass from Latin into English, but a de fide doctrine â€“ transubstantiation, purgatory, indulgence â€“ they couldn't change that stuff.
And so looking at these contradictions, coming from a Catholic background on my mother"s side of the family, I have to ask some questions of my Catholic friends â€“ sincere questions. Again, I"m not attacking you, it would be attacking my own family, indeed my own mother. I'm not attacking you, I'm simply trying to arrive at the truth. I'm only asking you questions that I once asked myself.
Hello. This is for my friends who are Jehovah's Witnesses. I"ve met a number of them in America and in Britain and in other countries, and they"ve come to my door several times. And we spent time together, sometimes hours.
In my youth I had a friend named Buster Rothman. He was a Jewish man with a fascination with the Bible, an incredibly interesting person. And Buster had a radio program in the heyday of radio before there was television; he was a remarkable man. But he was the first person who introduced me to Jehovah's Witness. He used to go to their meetings although he never became one. He brought me along to their meetings and so I went and I listened. I listened with an open mind because I was seeking religious truth. I was seeking meaning, so I went with my friend Buster in New Jersey but this rightly in New York City. And today not far from there there"s a movie theater taken over in Jersey City, New Jersey by the Jehovah's Witnesses and they have tours of the theater. I used to go to the movies in that theater at Journal Square as a kid. This is, of course, right across the river from New York City â€“ Manhattan.
I had a lot of exposure to Jehovah's Witnesses in those days, and Â I began reading the Watchtower, and I read Awake magazine, and I went back and read their earlier publications like Millennial Dawn and studies in Scripture by Pastor Russell. In fact I"ve even been to Pastor Russell"s grave in Pittsburgh, not that that means anything, but that's where the Jehovah's Witnesses began as the Dawn Bible Society back in the late 1800"s. I was really interested in this organization because they claimed to be the one organization in the world that is only based on the Bible, and therefore they are Jehovah"s organization, the only one based only on the Bible, the others were all corrupt. That's what the Jehovah's Witnesses believed, that's what they told me that they believed, and so I began to go with my friend Buster Rothman and I began to listen. And we would talk about it and I'd read Watchtowers, I"d read Awake magazine, I"d spend time talking to them, and over the years I had various other encounters.
Moriel P.O. Box 201 Maidenhead SL69FB
Write me, email me, Â please answer these questions. I think it's fair to say that I"m somebody who does believe the Bible is the Word of God, I"m somebody who does believe Jehovah is God, and I"m somebody who wants to know the truth. And the person who directed you here is the same; we only want to know the truth.
Now I"ve studied your claims, I've read your literature, and I've read the Scriptures. I have something of an advantage: Although my background was science, I did learn how to read Greek and Hebrew. In fact, my family is Israeli â€“ I can speak Hebrew.
If you can really explain to me why you believe and why I should believe that the Sun is inhabited by these Quaker-like people, I want to know. Please let me know.
Let me know how Satan can be the half-brother of Jesus if God has only one â€œonly begotten" Son. I really want to know this.
Let me know how you can believe a book translated by Joseph Smith when in fact that"s not what the book says.
Let me know how you can achieve sinless perfection.
Now I just want to leave you with two things. I've asked you five questions I hope you will try to answer for me. I'll get back to you, but I want to tell you first of all about another doctrine of atonement and about how you can fulfill the â€œcelestial law" as you call it. The doctrine of atonement of Jesus Christ has nothing to do with the doctrine of atonement as taught by Brigham Young and the â€œChurch" of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His doctrine was Adam was not God, Jesus was God, and He was the â€œlast Adam"; He became a man and went to the cross and in my place and in yours; and He was the substitutionary atonement for our sin; that by putting my faith in Him I am justified even though I am guilty. He rose from the dead to give me eternal life; He atoned for my sin; that is the doctrine of atonement of the New Testament. It has no resemblance to the doctrine of atonement as taught by Brigham Young.
Secondly, how can I reach sinless perfection? How can you be counted 100% sinless? There"s only one way â€“ â€œimputed righteousness": I have no righteousness of my own. When Jesus took my sin on the cross He gave me His righteousness. I can only be counted righteous according to the righteousness of God in Christ. I'm as guilty as anybody, but God counts me as having been righteous and having kept His perfect Law because His Son did it on my behalf. He gave me His righteousness; it"s imputed, it"s not earned, I can"t earn it and neither can you.
There is a doctrine of atonement and there is indeed a Law of God that requires freedom from sin and sinfulness, but I cannot see how theBook of Mormon can fulfill either one; I see how the New Testament fulfills both.
I"m willing to talk to you. I"m willing to hear what you have to say, I"m willing to answer your questions about my doctrine of atonement and my view of the Law of God, are you willing to answer the five questions that I've asked you?
God bless you and thank you.