BY: Joe Butta
Christian Messianic Analysis and Apologetics
There is no chapter in the New Covenant that is as polarizing to Christian denominations as Matthew 16. Starting with verse 13 Jesus asks His disciples what others say about the Son of Man. In verse 10 Simon Peter said, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God”. Jesus responded, “Blessed are you Simon son of Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in Heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter [Kepha, Cephas, Petros] and upon this rock [Kepha, Cephas, Petra] I will build my church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” The same Aramaic word for rock/Peter is used in the following verses (see Jn 1:42: Cor 1:12: 3:22, 4:5, 15:5 Gal 2:9-14!”…
By: Joe Butta & Steve Daskal
CHRISTIAN MESSIANIC ANALYSIS AND APOLOGETICS
It is nearly 2018 and things that would have been unimaginable in the 1950’s are today protected by laws in various western nations. The question is…How did we get here and who determines what can be described as normal behavior?
Secularism is not new. It was rampant in the latter days of ancient Greece and the latter 2/3 of the Roman Empire. Alexander’s Hellenism was very humanistic — while pagan rituals were retained, they were not taken very seriously as a belief system, but rather as a justification for the imperial cult and the sports, sex, and self-indulgence that was the norm for the free minority and eagerly sought by the enslaved majority. Similarly, the Roman Empire became increasingly secular by the end of the Antonid [first] dynasty. Again, pagan rituals were retained, but as a justification for the imperial cult and the orgiastic rituals of the various sects and cults that grew up around this or that “deity.” Secularism arose at the end of these civilizations and played a role in their end, because the beliefs and values which motivated them during their rise became hollowed-out shells of what they once were, getting paid “lip service” but not being taken seriously.
By: Joe Butta/Steve Daskal
Christian Messianic Analysis and Apologetics
There can be little doubt that this world is troubled by a myriad of problems. But that isn’t anything new — mankind has faced problems since Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden. So what has changed? Why do we so often have a sense that something is deeply wrong — that something is missing?
For the most part modern Americans have come to avoid or reject Biblical truth because we have been told through schools and the media/entertainment industry, dominated by secular humanist progressives, that a truly caring, loving God would not permit all the suffering and injustice we perceive around us. They assert that if God did exist, He would want us to be happy. So either God does not care — isn’t really good, God isn’t powerful enough to “clean house,” or God isn’t there and perhaps never was.
The unbelievers in our schools and universities often teach that the existence of so much evil in this world negates the existence of a holy and righteous God. Life itself proceeds with no discernible purpose. Events that occur in the cosmos appear to be totally random. The First Law of Thermodynamics proves since energy cannot be created or destroyed the universe has always existed.
Since we cannot argue that creation exists then how can creation exist apart from an act of creating initiated by an unseen Creator?
For Christians, most of us were born into a Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and other Christian denominations. There are far more people who identify as Baptists and “mainstream” Protestant [Anglican-Episcopal, Methodist, Lutheran, Calvinist-Reformed] than there are Eastern Orthodox globally and in the US. The Roman Catholic is still the largest single faith community in the US, and within Christianity globally. Evangelicals are a large body, especially in the US, and growing in Latin America and Africa, but harder to put hard “boundaries” around. Most Baptists are evangelical, and there are Evangelical Lutherans whom most evangelicals wouldn’t acknowledge as evangelical. Then there are the Pentecostal or charismatic churches, which believe that all of the spiritual gifts manifested in the 1st century church still regularly manifest in true churches today – including healing, prophecy, speaking in tongues, etc. Many people lump Baptists, Evangelicals, and Charismatics in with the three main groups of “mainstream” Protestants as all being Protestants, but while they all do share some beliefs, they are as different from each other in practice and theology as Catholics, Orthodox, and Anglican-Episcopal are from each other. Then there are even more “unusual denominations” like the Seventh-Day Adventists.
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