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Apologetics and World Religions ARS John Oakes, Ph. D and Dan Conder May 28, 29 2010
Course Outline A. Introduction to the Topic and Definitions B. Christianity: What are we comparing to? The Christian world view. C. Eastern Religions: Pantheism/Monism – – – Hindism Buddhism Taoism, Jaina, Confucianism, Shinto, Sikkhism D. Other Monotheisms – – – Islam Judaism Bahai E. Scientology, Christian Science and other strange religions F. Pseudo-Christian Religions – – – Mormonism Jehovah’s Witnes Seventh Day Adventism G. Roman Catholicism
Class Requirements u Reading Assignment – Required Reading u u The Illustrated Guide to World Religions by Michael D. Coogan Oxford University Press. Essay: Apologetics and the Christian World View J. Oakes http: //www. evidenceforchristianity. org/index. php? option=com_cus tom_content&task=view&id=5125 – Suggested/Supplemental Reading for Extra Credit u u u u The Compact Guide to World Religions Dean C. Halverson. Answering Islam Geissler and Saleeb Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus Brown The Qur’an Etc. Final Exam (essays, mostly) Visit at least two of the following: mosque, temple, shrine, or etc. (and write a brief report). Submit an approx 6 page paper on an approved topic.
A. What is Religion? u From the Latin: ligate—to tie or bind to the gods u Webster: Any system of faith or worship: the outward manifestation of belief in a supreme or superior being. From my SCI 110 class: u – Religion is a belief in something – The belief is not necessarily substantiated by physical or material evidence – Religious knowledge is obtained through holy writings, authority, revelations and religious experiences – Religious believers have faith in such knowledge u Practical Definition: I don’t know what religion is, but I sure know one when I see one.
Things we will not cover u Various Philosophies – Postmodernism, Secular Humanism, Scientism/naturalism, Existentialism, Marxism, Stoicism, Epicureanism, neo-Platonism u More obscure religions – Iglesia de Cristo (Philippines) Falun Gong (China) Unification Church (Sun Myung Moon) Paganism/Wicca Zoroastianism, Manichaeism, Santaria, etc.
What About Cults? u Webster: – 1. A cult is a particular ritual or system of worship. – 2. Involves devoted or extravagant homage or adoration of some figure. – A strong negative connotation in the US. – Is the Unification Church (Moonies) a cult? – What about Falun Gong? (1999 declared an “evil cult” by PRC) – What about Mormons? – Suggestion: Let’s not use this word.
Definitions u Animism: Anima = spirit. A religious system which includes the belief that spirits inhabit inanimate objects and phenomena. u Polytheism: Poly = many. A belief that the universe is governed by many gods. u Pantheism (monism): Pan = all. A belief that a spirit fills the universe. God is the universe, and we are part of God. – Panentheism: God is in everything (stoicism) u Dualism: A belief that the universe is governed by nearly equally matched forces of good and evil. (Zoroastrianism, Manicaeism, Taoism)
Definitions (cont. ) u Deism: A belief in a distant, uninvolved God who is creator, but does not interact with his creation. (Epicureanism) u Monotheism: A belief that the universe is created/governed by a single omnipotent/omniscient/omnipresent spiritual being. u Asceticism: A belief that enlightenment or a close relationship with deity is obtained by an extreme denial of worldly pleasures and possessions. Associated with monasteries, monks, nuns, etc. . u Mysticism: A belief which sees enlightenment and spiritual power coming through meditation/direct personal experience of God. Mystical experience may be gained through use of drugs, drumming, dance, etc. A highly individualized form of religion.
Other important concepts u Scripture: The list of primary authoritative writings for a particular religion. u Inspiration: The belief that a particular writing, edict or tradition comes by direct communication from divinity, and is therefore perfect and authoritative. u Myth: A story, presumably fictionalized, about a divine interaction with human beings which teaches an important religious truth.
Jesus Christ: “I came to testify to the truth. ” Pontius Pilate: “What is truth? ”
One Point of View: “Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. ” -Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 7: 13 -14) I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Jesus of Nazareth (John 14: 6)
Another Point of View: Different Paths to the Same Goal? God Islam Mysticism Ba’hai Buddhism
Are all religions simply “different paths to the same goal? u There is some similarity between most or all religions. u All man-made religions contain truth. u But…. On the most basic level of theology, all other religions (except Judaism? ) are incommensurate with Christianity u If Hinduism is right, then Jesus Christ is a deceiver and an enemy of truth.
The Bible and Other World Views u If Genesis 1: 1 is true, then animism, polytheism, pantheism, dualism, naturalism, deism, postmodernism and every other ism is false. u Conflicting world views cannot be accommodated with one another. Biblical theism is incompatable with all these other world views.
How, then, should we interact with members of other religions? u Find common ground. u Give respect where respect is due. u Acknowledge the good and do not make personal attacks—especially toward revered people. u Highlight distinctions in world view/theology and introduce them to Jesus Christ. u This is EXACTLY what Paul did in Acts 17: 22 -34
The Bible and Other World Views (cont. ) u Acts 17: 16 -34 Paul shares the gospel by arguing for the Christian World View. – v. 22 -23 Paul finds common ground. – v. 24 -28 Paul argues for the superiority and the truth of the Christian world view as opposed to Epicureanism/pantheism and Stoicism/deism – v. 28 Paul quotes from Aretas a Stoic philosopher. “ For we are his offspring. ” – v. 29 -31 Having laid the groundwork, Paul points them to Jesus. – v. 32 -34 Some, but not all were converted.
Acts 17: 16 -34 Paul confronts Greek World Views u God is Creator. He exists outside creation. – Disproves pantheism/Stoicism. u God is close to us. – Disproves deism/Epicureanism. u God is personal and has given us an individual purpose. u God will bring all of us to judgment. Evil will be defeated – Disproves dualism/Gnosticism.
B. Christianity: The Christian World View u One's world view is the perspective one uses to process and interpret information received about the world. u James W. Sire put it this way, "A world view is a set of presuppositions (ie. assumptions) which we hold about the basic makeup of our world. " u A Jain World View James W. Sire, The Universe Next Door (Inter. Varsity Press, 1997)
A “Good” World View Defined A. It is true. It is consistent with reality. It is consistent with what we know to be true from experience. It works. B. It answers satisfactorily the questions people really want answered. What is prime reality/the ultimate cause/the nature of God? ) What is the nature of external reality-the world around us? What is a human being? What happens to a person at death? Why is it possible for us to know anything at all? How do we know what is right and wrong? What is the meaning of human history? What is my purpose? What is the nature of my relationship, with the "prime reality? " C. It causes those who hold to it to be better people than they would otherwise have been if they held to competing alternative world views.
The Christian World View 1. The physical world is: a. real b. created out of nothing (ex nihilo) and c. essentially good. 2. There exists an unseen spiritual reality which is not limited to or defined by the physical reality. Human beings have a spiritual aspect to their nature. 3. The creator of both the physical and spiritual realm is the God who reveals himself in the Bible. 4. Human beings have both a physical and a spiritual nature, The spiritual nature is more essential as it is eternal. 5. God is not easily defined but he can be characterized by certain qualities. God is a person. God is love, God is just, God is holy, God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent.
The Christian World View (cont. ) 6. Although all God’s creation, including the physical world is good, evil does exist. Such evil is the result of freedom of will given to created beings and their subsequent decision to use that freedom to rebel--to “sin” 7. Because of God’s justice and his holiness, those who choose to rebel against him will ultimately be judged and separated from God for eternity. 8. The solution to evil, to sin and its eternal consequences is provided by God through the atoning substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Our job in the rest of this course is to compare this world view to that of other religions and to analyze which is the “best” world view.
C. Eastern Religions u u u u u Hinduism Buddhism Jaina Taoism Confucianism Shinto Sikkhism Zoroastrianism Western Monism: New Age Religions
HINDUISM u The principle religion of India. u Approximately 1, 000, 000 adherents. u Began as animism/polytheism u Evolved into polytheism/pantheism u Syncretistic. Hinduism is not really a single religion. Ganesh: a Hindu deity God of wisdom and intellect
History of Hinduism u Aryan invasions about 1500 BC u Early animistic religions of Indian subcontinent merged with Aryan/Persian religion u Gradually, a huge pantheon of gods distilled down to the chief deities, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva
Principle gods of Hinduism u Lakshmi Brahma Chief god of the pantheon. Shiva God of destruction. Worshipped as a male phalus. u u Vishnu Preserver and protector. u Krishna The eighth emanation of Vishna. u Rama Seventh incarnation of Vishna. Hero of the Ramayana. u Devi Chief female deity. The power (shakti) that animates the cosmos. u Lakshmi Female consort of Vishnu. Godess of prosperity.
Krishna, Incarnation of deity Rama, Hero of the Ramayana
Scriptures of Hinduism u Vedas Poems. Ritualistic, priestly. 1500 -1000 BC. Especially the Rig Veda. Include the Brahmanas. u Upanishads Highly philosophical essays about brahman, atman, transmigration of atman, karma and so forth. 800 -600 BC. u Epics (Ramayana, Mahabarata, Bhagavad Gita) Mythic adventures of Rama, Krishna and others. u Puranas Largely local legends, myths, many local deities. AD 400 -1000. This is the “scripture” of most local Hindus. u Tantras Religious discussions/teachings.
Important Hindu Terminology Brahman universal soul u Atman soul, essence atman is part of a brahman. u Maya illusion u Reincarnation a disincarnated soul enters a new body, starting a new existence (samsara) u Shakti power u Karma a principle of cause and effect u Nirvana oneness with brahman u Dharma righteousness, teaching u
Hindu World View u Maya. The physical world is an illusion. The physical world is evil. Suffering is an illusion. u Brahman. Universal soul. Pantheism. u Atman (soul). When we die, atman is swallowed up in Brahman u The goal: Escape cycle of karma and reincarnation u Nirvana; oneness with the universal soul which is within yourself. u The Hindu world view has man looking inward, not outward.
Caste System u A historical remnant of the Vedic system and the interaction between the Aryans and the natives of the subcontinent u Brahmins the priestly (Aryan) class Kshatriyas The ruling class. Kings, landlords, warriors. u u Vaishayas merchants u Shudras servant/trade classes u Untouchables
Modern Hinduism u Yogic practices u Gurus (teacher), yogi (practitioners), sadhu (holy men) u Transcendental Meditation u Hare Krishna Paramahansa Yogananda
Hinduism and Time u u Time is cyclic. There is a “wheel of time. ” World is cyclically created by Brahma, sustained by Vishnu and destroyed by Shiva. Creative/destructive cycles called Yugas A universe lasts for one Brahma day = 4, 320, 000 years – Satya yuga (Krita yuga): - 1, 728, 000 Human years (already past) – Treta yuga: - 1, 296, 000 Human years (already past) – Dwapar yuga: - 864, 000 Human years (already past) – Kali yuga: - 432, 000 Human years (5, 110 years have passed; 426, 890 years remain). Kaliyuga started in 3, 102 B. C. ; CE 2008 corresponds to Kaliyuga year 5, 110
Hindism and Time (cont) u One full cycle = 100 “Brahma years” 311 trillion years. u Then Brahma himself dies and is reborn
Hindu Cosmology Many different levels of heavens/worlds/hells u These levels are horizontal (flat) u The physical world is illusory and it is evil u Lower levels are even more evil than ours u
Angkor Wat: Mount Meru
Popular Hindu Cosmology The earth is on the back of four elephants standing on top of a turtle, encircled by a serpent, swimming in a sea of milk… The Sutras
Hindu Cosmology Time is cyclic—like a snake that bites its own tail. Remember, the world is not real. Hindu apologetics?
Is The Hindu World View a Good One? u Is it true? – Hindu cosmology (cyclic time, earth on the back of four elephants on a turtle swimming in a bowl of milk) is patently false. – The physical world is real and it is good. – Evil is NOT an illusion u Does it answer the important questions? – It does better than postmodernism or naturalism! u Does accepting this world view make one a better person? – Debatable. Better than naturalism. Karma. Self-focus and dispassion are not helpful. – Suffering is not real. – Evil is not real.
Buddhism u Principle religion of Korea, Japan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma Sri Lanka and China? u 400, 000 adherents. u A reaction against the rigid priestly system of Hinduism. u Pantheistic, or arguably nontheistic. A philosophy, a psychology.
Life of Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) u Born into a wealthy family in north India about 550 BC. u Renounced his birthright. Sought nirvana/god through asceticism. u Decided on a middle path between asceticism and sensuality. u Created the eight-fold path to enlightenment (nirvana).
The Spread of Buddhism
The Four Noble Truths of Siddhartha u Suffering is not getting what one wants. u The cause of suffering is desire which leads to rebirth. u The way to end suffering is to end desire. u The way to the end of desire and of suffering is the eight-fold path. u Buddhism encourages dispassion, not compassion.
The eight-fold path to bodhi/dharma/nirvana/lack of suffering u u u u Right viewpoint (the four noble truths). Right values. Right speech. Right actions. Right livelihood Right effort Right mindfulness Right meditation
Important Terms to Understand Buddhism u Nirvana awakened state, lack of suffering. u Bodhi awakenment, enlightenment. u Bodhisattva an awakened being. u Dharma the Buddha’s teachings. u Sangha the Buddhist community of monks and nuns. u Maitreya the second coming of Buddha prophesied.
Schools/Sects of Buddhism u Mahayana (the greater vehicle) China, Korea, Japan. Ideal of the bodhisattva. Stresses the divine nature of the Buddha. Many minibuddhas (bodhisattvas). u Theravada Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma. A more pure form of Buddhism? u Zen. An offshoot of Mahayana which emphasizes meditation to achieve nirvana. u Vajrayana Stresses tantric practices, rituals, initiations, mystical power. Tibet, Mongolia. Similar to Gnosticism.
Practices of Buddhism u Many monks and nuns who live ascetic lives u “Lay” Buddhists follow the five precepts, which are, 1. do not kill 2. do not steal. 3. do not have sex. 4. do not lie and 5. do not get drunk u Meditation is a big part of many Buddhist traditions, involving the saying of a mantra. (Om Mani Padme Hum).
Buddhist Scripture u The Tripitaka “three baskets” Three sets of the supposedly original sayings and teachings and philosophy of Buddha. These were oral only for about 400 years. u Disputes over the content of the Tripitaka led eventually to the Theravada, Mahayana and other sects. u Jatakas Mahayana stories of previous incarnations of Siddhartha Buddha. Buddhism is a striving through many lives to come to a bodhisattva state.
Buddhist Cosmology u Like Jaina, Hinduism, a vertical cosmology, with multiple levels/earths/heavens/lokahs u 31 planes of existence, each with 3 realms. u Higher ones more blissful, lower ones more like hell. u Endless cycle of time Cosmic wheel.
Borodbur in Indonesia: A Buddhist concept of the world
Questions: Can we take the Eastern ideas about cosmology seriously in the context of modern science? How does this compare to biblical cosmology and ideas about creation? Is the Buddhist World View a good one? Is it True? Does it provide satisfactory answers to the imporant questions? Are those who accept this world view better for having done so?
Jainism u Founder: Mahavira ~600 -540 BC u Last of 24 gurus. Parshva 750 BC? u Location: India mostly. u About 5, 000 practitioners u A reaction to worldly, priestly Hinduism
Jaina Theology u u Siddhartha may have been a follower before finding a middle way. u The Svastika a symbol of samsara (rebirth) Very strong emphasis on asceticism We are souls trapped in a body. The goal: escape the body to reach nirvana through ascetic practices. u Reincarnation u Karma u Pantheistic
Jaina Scriptures u The Purvas. Sayings of the 24 gurus all the original Purvas were lost. u Agama Sutras Sayings of Mahavira Jaina Sects Digambaras: Monks are nude, only males can reach enlightenment. Shvetambaras: Wear white robes. Women can be ordained as nuns.
Jaina Worldview u u u A very strange cosmology. The universe is an infinitely repeating pattern of cycles of time. One of the gurus lived 70 trillion years and was 3000 ft. tall. The earth is the center of the universe The universe has existed forever. Five Mahavrata or rules of ascetic living – Ahimsa. Non-harming (fly-whisk, strain liquids, etc…) – Satya. Truthfulness – Asteya. Non-stealing – Celibacy – Non-attachment
Jain Cosmology u u u A representation of Jain Cosmology u u The universe has existed forever. A cyclic wheel of time. Utsarpini: A period of progressive happiness and purity. Time spans ages and sizes of people get much larger. Avsarpini: A period of progressive sorrow and immorality. Time spans, ages and sizes of people get much smaller. Great teachers in the past lived for millions or billions of years and were thousands of meters tall. In the future, people will be even less religious, smaller and live shorter time. An extremely complicated cosmology with multiple levels of worlds/heavens.
Sikhism u u Founder: Nanak (1469 -1539) u Nanak, founder of Jaina Location: India, especially the Punjab. 25, 000 adherents. A compromise between Islam and Hinduism. u Avowedly monotheistic, but with many Hindu ideas.
Sikh Teaching and Theology u Reject polytheism but keep ideas of maya (illusion), samsara (reincarnation), karma u Reject priestly system. All are equal before the “True Name. ” u Opposition to idolatry and to asceticism. u Sikhs do not try to escape the world, but to participate in it. u Works salvation: “Sin and sorrow are destroyed by hearkening. ” The Golden Temple Amristar, India
Scriptures of Sikkhism u The Adi Granth Compiled by the fifth guru Arjun in 1604 u The Ganth of the Tenth King: Written by the last of the ten great gurus of Sikhism Gobind Singh. u The Janamsakhis Legends. Obviously mythical accounts of the life of Nanak, including miracles. (Nanak never claimed to be a miracle worker).
Sikh Practices u The wearing of the male turban is very characteristic. u Baptism in sugar water holding a dagger. u Sikhs have been warriors. They have been very militaristic. u Sikhs are immersed in worldly affairs. Businessmen, merchants etc. u Think of Sikhs as the opposite of Jains.
Confucianism u Founded by Confucius Kung Fu Tzu 551478 BC. Principle religion in China? Is it a religion? Also influential in Korea and Viet Nam. u u Not a religious leader—he accepted the religious superstition of his day as sufficient. u Agnostic—“Keep aloof from spiritual matters, but perform the ceremony correctly. ” u Utilitarian, conservative philosophy. Each person should accept his position in society for righteousness and stability. Strong emphasis on proper government, training for holding government office.
Confucianism (cont. ) u Practical rather than esoteric. u Ancestor worship stressed. u Later Confucian philosophy involved emphasis on ying and yang—the competing balance between good vs. evil, physical vs. spiritual, hate vs. love. (Dualism) Confucianism competed with two other philosophies: Taoism and Moism. Confucianism, being more practical, generally won out.
Confucian Scriptures – – – – I-Ching 1000 BC. Book of divination, magic. Shu-Ching. History, ancient documents, speeches. Shin-Ching 800 -600 BC. Poetry used extensively by Confucius. Customs concerning courtship, marriage, war, agriculture, feasts, sacrifices, etc. Li Chi. Book of ceremonial etiquite. 200 BC – 200 AD. Ch’un Chiu. History of one Chinese province. Collected by Confucius? Lun Yu. Written down 400 BC. The sayings of Confucius, especially on ethics and government Analects of Confucius, etc…
Chinese symbol for Confucianism is a philosophy, a way of life, not really a religion, although it has accreted ideas such as “chi” “yin and yang” It can easily coexist with other religions such as Buddhism, Taoism and even Christianity.
Taoism (Daoism) u Founded by Lao Tzu—a contemporary of Confucius. u Scripture: The Tao Te Ching. Tao = way Te = power Ching = teaching u Basic doctrine: Through non-involvement and withdrawal, we come to know god/deity. Emphasis on self-interest. “The religion of selfishness. ” u Pantheistic yet Dualistic. Experience God by contemplating nature. u Emphasis on mysticism and magic. “He would not pluck so much as a hair out of his head for the benefit of his fellow man. ”
Taoist World View u Pantheism Tao is an undifferentiated force of existence. u Wu-wei: Purposeful inactivity u Self-focus, emphasis on mysticism and magic. u Yin/Yang A balance of forces to be achieved. Good and evil are coexistent and mutually dependent. u Is this a “good” world view?
Baha’i u Founded by Baha-Ullah 18171892 u The Bab 1819 -1850 The John the Baptist of Baha’i u Begun in Iran, moved to Iraq, Lebanon. Very widely spread today. u About 7, 000 adherents. u A reform movement within Islam?
History and Teaching u The Bab was martyred in 1850 u in 1852 Baha-Ullah claims to have received a vision, while in prison, of a divine woman who declared him to be “The Beauty of God amongst you. ” ie the next prophet. u Ba’hai is the culmination of all the world’s religions. Moses, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, Baha’Ullah. u No priests, no ceremony.
Theology and Teaching u Monotheistic. u God is unknowable “The most Exalted, the Inaccessible. ” u Baha-Ullah claimed to be – The second coming of Christ—that John 14: 16 was about him. – The Maitreya—the second coming of Buddha. – The new incarnation of Krishna – The fulfillment of the “Day of God” in the Koran. u Strong emphasis on equality, education, peace. u Progressive Revelation. “Religious truth is not absolute but relative. ”
Teachings and Scripture. u Salvation through keeping the law as handed down by Baha-Ullah u Emphasis on good deeds, helping the poor, education u Jesus did not die for our sins, because he did not have to. We are imperfect, but not lost. u Scripture: The writings of Baha-Ullah. There are many! An somewhat open scripture.
Other World Religions u Shinto—the ancestral religion of Japan. Animist u Zoroastrianism—Dualistic religion with origins in Persia. Worship of Ahura Mazda; a fire god.
Summary u The theologies of world religions are fundamentally and diametrically opposed to one another. Many paths to the same God is a ludicrous philosophy. u The truth of the Bible is confirmed by – Clear evidence of inspiration (fulfilled prophecy, types and foreshadows, historical accuracy, scientific evidence, etc…) – Public miracles worked by Moses, Elijah and others, and especially by Jesus Christ (Hebrews 2: 3, 4).
A Question: Who reaches out to whom?
Initiative Human approach God Mankind Truth God Mankind
Works Salvation: Man reaches out to God. Salvation by Grace: God reaches out to man. Islam Judaism Hinduism Christianity Jaina Sikkhism Gnosticism New Age Buddhism?
New Age: A Very Confusing Religion Is it: Palm reading? Channeling? Seances? Meditation? Reincarnation? Occultism? Gurus? Paganism? Gnosticism? Mother Goddess worship? Yes… all the above.
So, What is New Age, Really? u You are God, I am God, the trees are God, we all are God! u New Age is Western pantheism u New Age is a syncretistic blend of Gnosticism, Hinduism, Spiritualism, Mysticism, Buddhism and Paganism. u New Age is Monism! God is everything I am God!!! “Once we begin to see that we are all God, then I think the whole purpose of life is to re-own the Godlikeness within us. ”
u Is u u u This a “good” worldview? Is it true that I am God? Does it make me a better person to think that I am God? Does this solve the problem of evil and of sin?
Summary u The theologies of world religions are fundamentally and diametrically opposed to one another. Many paths to the same God is a ludicrous philosophy. u The world view of Christianity is radically different from any other religion. They cannot both be right! u The truth of the Bible is confirmed by – Clear evidence of inspiration (fulfilled prophecy, types and foreshadows, historical accuracy, scientific evidence, etc…) – Public miracles worked by Moses, Elijah and others, and especially by Jesus Christ (Hebrews 2: 3, 4).
Islamic Theology u Like Christianity and Judaism, Islam is monotheistic u But there are several differences in theology of these religions. u In Islam God is more like the neo-Platonic idea of God—very distant and removed from man.
Islamic Theology “Surely good deeds take away evil deeds” (11: 114). Kabira (big sins)—murder, adultery, drunkenness, disobeying parents, neglecting Ramadan or Friday prayers, gambling, dancing, shaving the beard, forgetting the Koran after reading it, usury… Forgiveness with repentance. Saghira (little sins)—deceit, anger, lust. Forgiveness if greater sins are avoided and good deeds are performed. Shirk—association (of other gods with Allah). No forgiveness.
Salvation by own effort (40: 9, 39: 61, 7: 43) Charity atones for sins (2: 271, 277) u Earn grace. u Earn favor of Allah. u Earn salvation. u Earn paradise.
Islam: Salvation is earned through the efforts of those who were pre-selected by Allah to inhabit a very sensual paradise. Christianity: Salvation is granted by the grace of a loving God to those who, through faith and repentance and baptism accept that love.
Islamic Worldview: God is very distant from mankind In Islam, Allah determines everything, even who will choose to follow him. 2: 142, 6: 39 6: 125 Inshallah God willing. It is God’s will that people suffer. .
The Biblical World View u The physical world is real and it is good. Genesis 1: 31 – Only Islam agrees with this conclusion. u This world is not our home. u But, compassion… u Christian groups are responsible for virtually all the world’s efforts to deal with poverty and human suffering in general and to work for social justice. James 1: 27 Micah 6: 8
Scriptures of World Religions u And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God. 1 Thess 2: 13
The Qu’ran; the Scripture of Islam Based on “revelations” from Gabriel to Mohammed. Compiled in the 7 th century AD (the 600 s). Contains 114 chapters, or suras, arranged from longest to shortest. Quite repetitive. About 80% the length of the New Testament.
• Early Period in Mecca. Muhammad sees himself as following tradition of Judaism. Muslims pray toward Jerusalem. • Early Medina period. Mohammad begins to be politically powerful. The idea of Jihad introduced. • Later Medina and Meccan period. Muhammad strongly opposed to Jews and Christianity. Islam definitely a distinct religion.
Historical errors in the Qur’an u u u u Ishmael = Isaac 37: 102 2 trees in Eden = 1 tree 20: 120 Noah’s 4 th son drowns 11: 43 Zechariah silent 3 days (not 9 months) 3: 41 Pharaoh’s magicians repent 20: 70 Judges 7 / 1 Sam 17 conflated 2: 249 Jesus’ childhood miracles 3: 49, 5: 110,
Scientific errors in Qur’an (I) 23: 14—Creation from the clot of blood “Then we made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then from that clot we made a lump; and we made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh. ” 18: 86—Traveling west… “… till, when he reached the setting-place of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring. ”
Scientific errors in Qur’an (II) 21: 33—Sun and stars orbit the earth 12— 11 planets 34: 9, 52: 44—Piece of sky falls and kills someone 36: 4, 23: 14 Man deposits child into the mother
Is Islam a Good World View? u Is it true? Is Mohammed a prophet? – – u Fifteen wives Massacre of 700 Jews Doctrine of Abrogation Science errors Does it make its followers better? – Motivation to help others? – Are women respected? – Does emphasis on Jihad lead to loving non-Muslims?
Where are they? u 15 million Jews throughout the world (Mostly in the U. S. , Israel & former USSR) u Jews makes up 83% of Israel’s population u More Jews live in the U. S. than in Israel! u A higher proportion of American Jews are religious (i. e. , practice Judaism or profess some form of belief in Judaism) than in Israel!
Major Branches of Judaism u Conservative – 4. 5 million u Unaffiliated & Secular – 4. 5 million u Reform – 3. 75 million u Orthodox – 2 million • Most Jews today do not strictly hold to the Law • Many of Israel's Jews are secular - nonobservant and either nonreligious or even agnostic / atheist • Religious Jews are in the minority in Israel
Post Old-Testament Jewish History u u u 333 -63 BC – Greek Period – Hellenization of Holy Land; Maccabean Revolt; rise of Synagogue & religious parties (Sadducees, Essenes, Pharisees) 63 BC-200 AD – Roman period 70 AD – Jewish War results in the destruction of Herod’s Temple, Sanhedrin & sacrificial system. Pharisees become dominant force in Judaism. Council of Jamnia solidifies this position. Synagogue system replaces Temple Judaism. 132 AD – Judean revolt sparked by Roman Emperor Hadrian’s building city Aelia Capitolina on top of ruins of Jerusalem. Jews banned from Jerusalem; circumcision of converts forbidden 200 -640 AD – Period of intense persecution mainly from the Christians, especially after Christianity became the religion of the Roman Empire
u u u u 634 -1096 AD – Age of the Gaons – Muslim conquests bring many Jews under Islamic domain, improving quality of life considerably 1096 AD – Crusades specifically target Jews; they are looted & murdered en masse 1096 -1348 AD – Jews expelled from England, not returning until 1650 1348 – Jews accused of poisoning wells and causing the Black Death. (This resulted in many gruesome massacres across Europe. ) 1348 -1517 – Jewish Influence – After the massacres, Jews allowed to return to their cities, many becoming moneylenders. 1492 – Jews in Spain offered choice of converting to Christianity or leaving the country. Wherever they went the exiles had a powerful impact.
u 1517 -1700 – Europe in Ferment – Period started with a era of tolerance as authorities viewed Jews as useful. Massacres in 1648 & 1649 devastated the Jews in Poland & the Ukraine. 1700’s-Present – Large numbers migrated to the Americas (period of Jewish tolerance) u 1880’s – Strong Aryan, anti-semitic movements began in France u WWII – Extermination of 1/3 of world’s Jewish population – 6 million murdered u 1948 – Zionists pushed for & received the State of Israel for the Jews to have a country once more. Battle for this territory still rages today u
u Jewish Sects in 1 st Century (Josephus) – Pharisees (formerly the Hasidim) – Sadducees – Essenes – Zealots
Pharisees u u u Represented more of the common people Stressed holiness of life; created a body of laws to prevent people from breaking laws (‘hedging’) Not as strict as the Essenes Created the oral law; eventually became the Talmud Unlike the Sadducees, they strongly resisted the Hellenistic culture Emerged as the dominant group after 70 AD
Sadducees u Composed of wealthy aristocrats & priests u Held to a very strict interpretation of the Scriptures u Rejected the doctrine of the Resurrection u Most members of the Sanhedrin were Sadducees u Disappeared with Jerusalem destruction in 70 AD When John the Baptist saw many of the Pharisees & Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? ” – Matthew 3: 7
Essenes u u u Ascetic, monastic sect; removed themselves from daily life to prevent being polluted by the corrupt world No personal possessions, very strict observation of community & Sabbath rules, incl. no bowel movements Devoted themselves to study, with a focus on moral & ethical learning Qumran sect is best known of this group; the Dead Sea Scrolls were widely believed to be their work John the Baptist was an Essene? Not!
Zealots u Term used to describe Jewish anti-Roman groups using both political & military tactics u Covered many different factions; was not a party name u Began in 6 AD by Judas Maccabees based on inspiration of Phinehas (Numbers 25: 11) u “Sicarii” (‘Dagger-men’) most extreme branch; carried short daggers, stabbing their enemies in broad daylight in large crowds, then joined the outraged crowd, adding their own cries of indignation u Largely responsible for the beginning of the Jewish War, which led to the destruction of the Temple
Zealots u One of the 12 apostles was ‘Simon the Zealot’ u Barabbas; possibly Paul (Acts 22: 3; Galatians 1: 14) u Acts 21: 38 – ‘ 4, 000 Assassins’ – ‘ 4, 000 Terrorists’ u Mark 15: 7 – ‘The Insurrectionists’ u Last Zealot Stronghold, Masada, fell in May 74 AD
Orthodox vs. Reformed u Most obvious division today is between Orthodox & Progressive Jews u Orthodox Jews adhere to a very strict biblical & oral law (Talmud). u Diligently follow Sabbatical laws & Kosher regulations. (In their own eyes no other Jews are really Jews. )
Reformed Judaism u Began in Germany in the 18 th Century u Followed philosophies of enlightenment, enjoying the benefits of the lessening persecution u Soon many Jews adapted to their culture rather than holding to their traditions u Using scientific inquiry and critical evaluation some even taught that man no longer needed to accept the revelation of the Torah as factual & binding u Changes in ritual law & worship were encouraged; dietary laws were abandoned and a more “people friendly” version of Judaism was born
Kabbalah (Mysticism) Branch of Judaism; meaning ‘Received Tradition’ u Claims to be the oldest religion; with origins dating back to Adam & Abraham u Possesses secret & mystic “truths” u Claims to hold the long-hidden keys to the secrets of the universe & mysteries of the human heart & soul u Many similarities to Gnostic movements u Essenes protected their writings, allegedly authored by Cain, Noah & Jared u Isaac Newton, Madonna, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Mick Jagger, Anthony Kiedis u
Kosher/Dietary Regulations u Kosher – Fit or clean according to Jewish dietary laws u Regulations found in the Torah (Lev 11, Deut 14), but many more added through traditions u Meat & dairy products can’t be eaten together. (Many households have 2 sets of dishes to prevent any contact u Jewish hotels have 2 kitchens to prevent contamination u Animals must be slaughtered & prepared by a ‘ shochet’, trained & ordained in the kosher regulations u Orthodox Jews follow these regulations meticulously; average Jews do not
The Synagogue u Place of Jewish communal worship u Most Jews are members of a Synagogue although that does not mean that they regularly attend u Mainly a place for reading scripture & prayer u Since 70 AD (Destruction of the Temple), this has been the center of both religious & cultural life u May have originated after 586 BC to replace temple worship while in exile, but it developed rapidly during the Intertestamental period
Christian Science and Scientology. What do they have in common? Definitely not science!!
Christian Science u Founder and chief prophet: Mary Baker Eddy 1821 -1910 u Headquarters in Boston. Less that 1, 000 adherents. u Influenced by Phineas Quimby and the “New Thought” movement. u Quimby: God is “Universal Wisdom and Intelligence. ” God is “Presence. ” God is “Loving Principle. ” u Emphasis on disease, spiritualism. Disease is an “error, created not by God, but by man. ” No false beliefs → no disease.
Mary Baker Eddy u “She was subject from infancy to convulsive attacks of a hysterical nature and had many nervous fits. ” u Clairvoyance, spiritualism, occult u “Cured” by Quimby (but symptoms soon returned) u “The works I have written on Christian Science contain absolute Truth. ”
Christian Science is neither Christian, nor is it science. Science? 1990’s 18 documented cases of children suffering preventable death because parents refused to take them to a doctor. Convictions of child endangerment and even manslaughter. Zero scientific verification Christian? Jesus was a mere man. He is an embodiment of the “Christ Principle. ” He is “the highest possible Inner consciousness. ” He did not die on the cross. He did not resurrect from the dead.
Theology of Christian Science Jesus is “divine mind. ” Jesus was a mere human, but an expression of Christhood. Salvation is release from ignorance. Sin, evil, sickness and even death are illusions which are conquered by denying them. Q: Will denying cancer make it go away? The trinity is “Life, Truth and Love. ” No hell.
Scripture of Christian Science u One must use “Science and Health with Key to the Scripture” to properly interpret the Bible. u Interpreted the Bible esoterically. Cannot take the miracles, resurrection and so forth literally.
“The cause of all so-called disease is mental, a mortal fear, a mistaken belief of conviction of the necessity and power of ill health. New York Sun Dec 19, 1898, Eddy “challenged the world to disprove” that she had healed a variety of serious illnesses, including cancer Dr Charles A. Reed (later president of AMA) offered to present similar cases for her to heal, which she politely declined. “If she by her Christian Science, shall cure any one of them, I shall proclaim her omnipotence from the housetops; and, if she shall cure all or even half of them, I shall cheerfully crawl upon my hands and knees that I may but touch the hem of her walking dress. ”
Scientology u Founder L. Ron Hubbard u A science fiction writer who took his fiction seriously. u Wrote Dianetics The Modern Science of Mental Health, 1950 u Established Church of Scientology, 1954. u Tom Cruise, 2006; “Psychology is pseudoscience. ” u John Oakes, 2006: “Scientology is pseudoscience. ”
Theology u Men are “Thetans” (immortal spirits) u God is “All Theta, ” “The eighth dynamic. ” u Our problem is our “engrams. ” u Engrams are stored impressions in the reactive (vs analytic) mind of painful experiences carried over from past lives (and during gestation in our mother). u The goal: eliminate your engrams so that you can realize your true nature. u “Man is not the limited and pitiful body and ego he mistakenly imagines himself to be. He is a thetan whose fundamental nature is basically good and divine. He is not morally fallen; rather he is simply ignorant of his own perfection. His only fall was into matter, not sin. ”
Scripture of Scientology All L. Ron Hubbard’s books. The “Science” of Scientology: The solution to engrams is “Auditing” Involves using an electropsychometer to discover the engrams in the “pre-clear. ” The electropsychometer is a pair of electrodes which detect changes in conductivity when certain questions are asked by a trained auditor. Auditor guides the pre-clear to discharge the harmful energy from the engram. All this costs a lot of money. This is a religious scam; plain and simple.
Response u Scientology: Jesus was “a shade above clear. ” u Jesus: John 8: 46 “Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? ”
MORMONISM ANOTHER TESTAMENT OF JESUS CHRIST?
OUTLINE u. History u. The Book of Mormon u. Mormon Teachings u. Evangelism
Joseph Smith u Diviner u Treasure Hunter u Religious Fraud
Early History The Hill Cumorah u 1823 A visit by the angel Moroni – You will be given golden plates on the hill Cumorah u 1827 Dug up golden plates. Written in “Reformed Egyptian. ” u Used the “Urrim and the Thummim” with his head in a hat to translate the Book of Mormon. u Conveniently, God took the golden plates back to heaven.
u “His translation complete, Joseph had one further use for the golden plates. To assure skeptics that the plates did, indeed exist, he showed them to several trusted witnesses, who signed statements affirming that they had beheld the plates. In preparation for viewing the plates, the chosen witnesses prayed for several hours. After lengthy praying, one witness reported that he saw only an empty box. Joseph sent him out for additional prayer, after which the golden plates were fully visible to the witness. ” u Later, all these witnesses became apostate to Mormonism.
Understanding Mormonism u This is my testimony…. . u Emotion-based religion. u Mormons are, arguably, the most Christian-like group around, and they know it.
WANDERING IN THE WILDERNESS u Palmyra, New York u Kirtland, Ohio u Independence, Missouri u Nauvoo, Illinois u Salt Lake Valley, Utah
JOSEPH SMITH AND SIDNEY RIGDON
General Joseph Smith
The Mormon Scripture u The Book of Mormon – A grade B religious fantasy about the Jaredites and the Nephites. u The Pearl of Great Price with the Doctrine and the Covenants. u The Bible, “so long as it is correctly translated. ” u Mormon 8: 18 “Don’t demand to see the plates or you will be killed. ”
Did Jesus come to the New World?
Statements by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Geographic Society: • "The Smithsonian Institution has never used the Book of Mormon in any way as a scientific guide. Smithsonian archaeologists see no connection between the archaeology of the New World and the subject matter of the Book. " Official Statement, 1979 • "Neither representatives of the National Geographic Society nor, to my knowledge, archaeologists connected with any other institution or equal prestige have ever used the Book of Mormon in locating historic ruins in Middle America or elsewhere. " Dr. Neal Judd
MORMON TEACHINGS u u u u The Latter Day Saints Modern-day revelation We are all gods Polygamy Racism Baptism for the dead Scriptures to bear in mind: Galatians 1: 6 -9, 2 Thessalonians 2: 5 -12, 1 John 2: 18 -23.
The Latter Day Saints u The original church completely fell away with the death of the original apostles. There was no legitimate church for about 1700 years. u “This is my testimony, Joseph Smith is a prophet and the Book of Mormon is the Word of God. ”
We are all gods. u The Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are three separate gods. u Mormonism is polytheism. – “I will preach on the plurality of gods. I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods. ” Teachings of Joseph Smith, p. 370. – From Joseph Smith’s most famous sermon: “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!. . . I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil so that you may see… He was once a man like us; yea that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did.
Polygamy u A new revelation against polygamy by the Utah church 1890 u Joseph Smith had at least 30 wives, some less than 15 yrs. old and took many other women as well. u Celestial marriages. u When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the Ancient of Days! About whom holy men have written and spoken—He is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do. ” Journal of Discourses vol 1, p 50. u “The grand reason why the Gentiles and philosophers of his school persecuted Jesus Christ, was because he had so many wives;
Racism u Mormons 5: 15 “Indians are dark filthy and loathsome. ” u 1 Nephi 11: 13 u 2 Nephi 5: 21 “Dark skin are loathsome. Those who marry dark skinned are cursed. ” u Officially renounced by new revelation in 1978. “dark people are sinful. ”
Other interesting doctrines u Baptism for the dead u Modern-day priesthood of Melchizedek u Baptism in the name of Jesus preached to the Nephites several hundred years BC. A very confused idea of covenants.
The Salt Lake City Temple
REACHING OUT TO MORMONS u This is my testimony…. . Emotion vs reason. u Do not attack Joseph Smith personally u Friendship/family u Study on “Covenants” Joe Fields
Study #1 The Word of God What books are identified as the words of God? 2 Nephi 29: 13 “…words of the Jews” (Old Testament) “…words of the list tribes of Israel” (Lost book? ) “…words of the Nephites” (Book of Mormon) What does “they both shall be established in one” mean? 1 Nephi 13: 41 What are “the plain and precious things” that were taken from the Bible? (1 Nephi 13: 28) Please be specific. Do the Bible and the Book of Mormon have to be in harmony with each other? What are “the two sticks? ” in Ezekiel 37: 15 -22? What version of the Bible do you accept as the inspired word of God? Does God’s word in the Book of Mormon ever contradict God’s word in the Bible? Would there ever be any reason to reject the Bible as God’s word?
Study #2 Infinite and Eternal Atonement Alma 34: 14 / Hebrews 10: 1 Atonement Shadow Book of Mormon Mosiah 16: 14 (148 BC) 2 Nephi 25: 24 -27 (545 BC) Alma 33: 19 -22 (74 BC) Mosiah 12: 31 -13: 28 (148 BC) Alma 25: 15 (77 BC) The Old Testament Genesis 12: 3 (1500 BC) Numbers 21: 4 -9 (1500 BC) Isaiah 53: 4 -7 (701 BC) Exodus 12: 1 (1500 BC) Leviticus 4 (1500 BC) (Hebrews 10: 1, Galatians 3: 24) Atonement Applied Book of Mormon Mosiah 4: 2, 3 (124 BC) Jacob 4: 11 (421 BC) Jarom 1: 11 (399 BC) Jacob 7 (421 BC) Alma 7: 14 (83 BC) The New Testament Galatians 3: 8 (AD 49) John 3: 14, 12: 32 (AD 85 -90) 1 Peter 2: 21 -25 (AD 64) 1 Corinthians 5: 7 (AD 54) Hebrews 9 (AD 60 -69) (Galatians 3: 19, 23, Colossians 2: 14)
The Jehovah’s Witness The Watchtower vs The Bible John Oakes, Ph. D
Charles Taze Russsel
Historical Background u Influenced by Adventist movement u William Miller, October, 1844 u Russel establishes The Watchtower, 1879 u Rejects the Trinity 1882 u Predicts the end of the world in October, 1914 u Dies 1916
u “Judge” Rutherford takes the reigns u Predicts the resurrection of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to occur in 1925 u Changes name to Jehovah’s Witness, 1931 u Began predicting Armageddon to occur in 1975 u Oops…. . !
Fundamental Theology of JW’s u Jesus is not God u The Holy Spirit is not Deity or a person, but a force of God. u God’s only acceptable name is Jehovah. u Only JW’s will be in heaven. u Hell is not a place of punishment. u The Church became completely apostate until 1870’s
Jehovah’s Witness Theology (cont. ) u Emphasis on OT law u No u blood transfusions Miscelaneous (attempts to mark JW’s as unique) u Birthdays, etc. u No Military Service u No Wearing Crosses u No pledging
The Watchtower Society God’s faithful and discreet slave Matthew 24: 4547 “God’s sole channel of communication to His people. ” “Avoid independent thinking or questioning the counsel that is provided by God’s invisible organization. ” “We recognize not only Jehovah God as our father, but his organization (The Watchtower Society) as our mother and the wife of our Father, Jehovah God” (The Watchtower, May 1, 1957,
The New World Translation of the Bible u Done by JW members only u Designed to protect members from corrupted non -Christian translations (like NIV and so forth) u John 1: 1 The word was a god….
The Deity of Christ u Jesus is the first and highest of Jehovah’s creation. u Jesus is the archangel Michael. u The Arian heresy (Arius, 3 rd Century AD). u Claim: Jesus is never worshipped in the NT.
Proof-texts · John 1: 1 …. The Word was a god… u John 3: 16 (NWT) Jehovah’s first creation was his only begotten Son. u Coll 1: 15 -17 The first-born of (vs over) all creation. u Jn 14: 28 The Father is greater than I u Jn 20: 17 My God u 1 Cor 15: 28 … the head of Christ is God
Response u Compare Coll 1: 16 to Hebrews 2: 10 u Hebrews 1: 2 u John 8: 58 (Exodus 3: 14) u John 10: 30 (see vs. 33) u Coll 2: 9 u John 20: 28 u Titus 2: 13 u Phil 5, 6 u Zech 12: 10 u Isaiah 9: 6, 7
The Holy Spirit is not Deity u “The Holy Spirit is not a person, but is a powerful force that God causes to emanate from himself to accomplish his holy will (Reasoning From Scriptures, 1989, p. 381) Arguments: u The Holy Spirit is never given a name u Mark 1: 10, Acts 2: , etc describe the Holy Spirit coming on or filling up people. A person cannot do this. (see Eph 3: 19) u Genesis 1: 2 (NWT) “God’s active force was working to shape the earth”
Response u 1 Cor 2: 10 u Eph 4: 30 u Acts 16: 6, 8: 29 u Matthew 12: 32 (see Rev 13: 6, Matt 27: 39) u 1 Cor 12: 11 u Acts 13: 2 u John 14: 15 -17 u John 16: 7 -11 u Matthew 28: 18
Jehovah is God’s Only Name u u Ezekiel 39: 6 Matthew 6: 9 Exodus 3: 15 Romans 10: 13 Claim: Jesus is never called Jehovah—Therefore he cannot be God. Claim: The word Jehovah was removed from most of the OT by superstitious Jews. Claim: The word Jehovah was removed from the NT by early apostate Christians.
Response u To the ancients, the name of a person stood for the person. u YHWH + ADONAI’s vowels = YAHOWAH → Yiddish → German as Jehovah. u The word Jehovah is not found anywhere in NT or OT u God has many names in the OT and the NT (Elohim, Adonai, Father, God, Lord, etc. ) u Jesus never called his Father Jehovah. u Manuscript evidence (ex the Rylands Papyrus) absolutely rules out even the possibility of Jehovah being removed from the NT.
Hell Not a Place of Punishment u No conscious existence after death. u There is no soul apart from a physical body u Jesus himself ceased to exist when he died u All go to a common hell called “soul sleep” when they die to await being recreated by God. u If they are not re-embodied by God, they simply cease to exist—no punishment at all for sins.
Soul Sleep u 144, 000 of Revelation 7 will be in spiritual heaven with Jesus (the “little flock” of Luke 12: 32) u The rest (“my other sheep of John 10: 16) will live in physical bodies on a paradise earth. Proof-texts: u u Matthew 6: 10 NWT “Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth” Ecclesiastes 9: 5 “The dead know nothing. ” Luke 23: 43 NWT “I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise. Matt 25: 46 NWT “And these will depart into everlasting cutting-off. ”
Response u Rev 14: 9 -12 forever and ever u Matthew 25: 46 u Daniel 12: 2 Can you have one without everlasting comtempt another? u Mark 9: 44 blessing and curses u Luke 12: 46 -48 degrees of punishment
Seventh Day Adventism APLA Manila PI Jan, 2010
Ellen G. White, Prophetess of 7 th Day Adventism An epileptic? Probably A plagiarizer? Yes!
History of Adventism u Millerite movement 1840 s u Jesus did not come back in 1844!!! u Premillenialism, Arianism, Sabbatarianism, etc. u Led to 7 th Day Adventism and Jehovah’s Witness
Important Teachings of 7 th Day Adventism u Adventism: Jesus came in the “Investigative Judgment in 1844 (based on Daniel 8) Emphasis on premillenialism. u Obedience to Mosaic Sabbath u Emphasis on Jewish health laws u Do not believe in Hell
Evangelizing 7 th Day Adventists u Suggestion: Do not start by attacking Ellen G. White u Sabbath: – Acts 20: 7 – Rev 1: 10 – Church history is unanimous u Law-keeping: – More than one kind of law? Ceremonial law? – Galatians 2: 21, 3: 10 -12, 5: 2 -4 Colossians 2: 13 -23
Roman Catholicism APLA Manila, Jan 2010
History of Catholocism u Unlike other “Christian” groups, Catholics can legitimately claim to be a primitive church which can trace its origins to the New Testament church (as can “Orthodox” and Coptic Christians) u To some extent, the story of Church history is the story of the gradual corruption and paganization of the Roman Catholic Church, especially after AD 325 u Authority is found through “apostolic succession, ” not the scripture.
The Big Problem with Catholicism: Authority u The Rule of Faith (in other words tradtion) u The “Church” u Scripture In that order!!!
Apostolic Succession u Authority of the Roman Church has traditionally been based on supposed apostolic succession, with Peter as the first “pope” or bishop of Rome. u Matthew 16: 17 -19. You are Peter (rock, stone, petros) and on this rock (bedrock, large rock, petra) The “rock” that the church will be built on is not Peter. It is the confession and the fact that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of God.
Does Tradition have authority? u Catholics use NT language about traditions to justify authority of extra-biblical tradition (2 Thess 3: 6, Rom 16: 17, Phil 3: 17, etc. ) u Mark 7: 1 -13 Jesus: “You nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. ” “They worship me in vain, teaching as doctrines the traditions of men. ”
False Doctrines in Catholicism u Prayer to God through Mary and the saints. 1 Timothy 2: 5 u Original Sin. → Infant Baptism Ezekiel 18: 1920 u Transsubstantiation. (The elements in the Lord’s Supper literally become flesh and blood) u Lord’s Supper is a sacrifice. Luke 22: 19 “Do this in remembrance of me. ” u Immaculate Conception. (Mary was born from a virgin)
False Doctrines (cont. ) u Sacramentalism. Power in the act rather than in faith and repentance. u Special class of Christian priests 1 Peter 2: 9 2 Corinthians 5: 17 -20. u Purgatory. Works salvation. u Salvation is found, not “in Christ” but in the church. Irenaeus: She [ie. the church] is the entrance to life; all others are thieves and robbers.
Traditions which “nullify the Word of God” u Church calendar u Statues, icons, vestments u Celibacy of priests u Monks, nuns, asceticism u Popes, cardinals, archbishops, etc.