Tag Archives: Christian Studies

MATTHEW CHAPTER 16: ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE

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!”…

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Filed under Faith, History, Joseph A. Butta, Jr., Judeo-Christianity, Religion

BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY AND SIN: DETERMINING WHAT IS ULTIMATELY RIGHT OR WRONG

By:   Joe Butta and Steve Daskal

CHRISTIAN MESSIANIC ANALYSIS AND APOLOGETICS

In the previous post the following comments were made concerning Biblical Christianity: “The latter [Christianity] emphasizes loving God with all one’s heart, mind, and strength, and loving others as one loves oneself.  The latter [also] emphasizes confession, repentance, and acceptance of divine forgiveness.  Sin, as understood in Biblical Christianity, is the fallen spiritual nature that we have inherited from our first earthly parents, Adam and Eve.  Unlike secular humanists and Islamists, who see humankind as basically good but corruptible, the faith that Jesus inspired and is taught in the Bible insists that we have all sinned and this is due to the sin nature that we inherited.

Biblical Christianity is not a faith based on strict adherence to Mosaic law.  It is based instead upon a unique relationship between the omnipotent, eternal Creator God and His people, through whom He would redeem all of mankind from sin.  God instituted the Torah through Moses to give the new nation of Israel, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, a standard for living that, if followed, would set them apart from the ruthless, fatalistic, idol-worshipers around them and thereby enable them to be a holy nation — holiness in Hebrew meaning “set apart.”

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ISLAMISM AND SIN: DETERMINING WHAT IS ULTIMATELY RIGHT AND WRONG

By: Joe Butta and Steve Daskal

CHRISTIAN MESSIANIC ANALYSIS AND APOLOGETICS

Islam is a revolutionary ideology wrapped in set of religious beliefs, rites and rituals.  Islamism is the movement to Islamicize the world by fully implementing Islamic law [the Shari’a] globally over all believers [to stamp out heresy] and unbelievers [to bring all of mankind into submission to Allah].  Allah is the medieval Arab conception of the one God whose symbol is the crescent moon, whose primary place of pilgrimage is the Ka’aba in Mecca, and is linked through them to pre-Islamic moon worship].  The Allah of the Qur’an [the Islamic holy scripture] is NOT the God of the Bible, because the Allah of the Qur’an denies the validity of the far older and better documented Bible and rejects fundamental Biblical teachings such as the covenant promises to Isaac and Jacob/Israel for their descendants, asserts that Hebrew prophet Moses, the first Israelite High Priest Aaron, and Israelite kings David and Solomon were Arabs descended from Ishmael, and denies the virgin birth, sinless life, death by crucifixion, and resurrection of Yeshua HaMoshiakh [Jesus Christ].  If the Qur’an is accurate, then the Bible is a corrupted jumble of half-truths.  If the Bible is accurate, the Qur’an is a counterfeit of true religion.

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Why a Dad is Needed in this Ordered Universe.

By:  Joe Butta and Steve Daskal

Christian Messianic Analysis and Apologetics

Can inanimate, purposeless, formless nothingness create something animate, purposeful, and alive? That would appear to violate the basic laws of physics [e.g., the laws of thermodynamics]. Before anything was or could be, there had to be Someone. Even the ancients understood this, and came up with a vast array of myths about one or more superhuman “gods” creating the world, starting with dust and water, and then everything else. Their reasons for doing so were obscure, but basically came down to either needing something to occupy themselves with [life and humanity as toys for gods] or needing workers to toil for them and feed their superhuman egos [life and humanity as slaves for gods]. But if these gods had the same vices and many of the same needs as mankind, how could they have created the universe, and why are they worthy of any respect, much less love?

The Bible presents a very different situation, in which an eternal, complete [God needing neither slaves nor toys] creates the universe to enjoy the process [aesthetics, accomplishment] and humanity with whom to enjoy it through interpersonal relationship.

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NEED PROOF TO BELIEVE AND TRUST THE BIBLICAL GOD?

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.

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Filed under Joseph A. Butta, Jr., Judeo-Christianity, Religion, Steven E. Daskal

Habakkuk—Pivotal Prophet of Judah

FROM: Steve Daskal

CHRISTIAN MESSIANIC ANALYSIS & APOLOGETICS

 

What Was Happening?  Judah is on the Brink of Disaster

— Judah’s new king at this time, Jehoiakim, aka Eliakim, is a relatively young man.  But he is characterized in 2 Chronicles 36:1-8 and 2 Kings 23:34-24:6 as being an evil king, who did not follow the pattern of godliness of his father Josiah.  Josiah had been an ally of Assyria against Egypt who died in battle when the Egyptians had defeated the last remnant of Assyrian power at Megiddo [in the lands of the former northern Israelite kingdom of Israel].

— Jeremiah refers to him this way:  “your eyes and your heart are intent only upon your own dishonest gain, and on shedding innocent blood and on practicing oppression and extortion.”  [Jer. 22:17]  While it may have required heavy taxes and harsh action to pay the required tributes to great powers and keep his throne in the face of widespread violence and disorder, the tone of Jeremiah’s condemnation [and those in 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles] indicates that not only was Jehoiakim tough and demanding, he was also brutal and corrupt.   Jehoiakim apparently reverted to the idolatry and unjust rule of his grandfather Amon and great-grandfather Manasseh [ref 2Ki21].  Jehoiakim also openly rejected and mocked prophetic warnings from Jeremiah [36:23-27] and had them destroyed.

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Filed under Judeo-Christianity, Religion, Steven E. Daskal

UNBELIEF: THE NEW BELIEF

Most people throughout history believed or practiced their religion because they were raised to do so, made to feel guilty if they failed to do so, or coerced by social pressure to “fit in” with their family/clan/neighbors/local elites.  Prior to the 20th century, there was generally little questioning of authority, and swift, vigorous punishment for those who dared to do so. What people learned in the home and school was also not all that demanding – it took an hour or so on a sabbath-day, or was the “price” for a feast day off from one’s work demands, or on fairly rare occasion required some self-denial for a fast day.  There were always privileged, authoritative “religious” to obey:  priests/monks/nuns on up through archbishops, or rabbis, or imams/mullahs, or the like, many of whom in turn had still higher human authorities to whom they were held accountable. These religious did not share their shortcomings, therefore many of the laity were convinced that they, unlike themselves, didn’t have any.

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Filed under Atheism, General, Judeo-Christianity, Miscellaneous, Religion