Sunday, January 24, 2010

Monotheism, Christianity and the Bible

Monotheism, Christianity and the Bible

Webster defines monotheism as “the doctrine or belief that there is but one God”. Christians profess to be monotheists. Christians embrace the Bible as the word of God. We can refer to Bible scripture for the following comments on God(s) and / or god(s):

Genesis 3:5
“For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

Exodus 15:11
“Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?”

Exodus 23:24
“Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.”

Deuteronomy 5:7 (commandments)
“Thou shalt have none other gods before me.”

Deuteronomy 32:17
“They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.”

Judges 10:6
“And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the LORD, and served not him.”

I could go on for pages and pages. The discussion(s) of other gods in the Bible is very extensive. There are approximately 22 named gods in the Old Testament and 5 in the New Testament (1). We can conclude from these passages that there are other gods and that YHWH does not dispute their existence, just requires that one place none other above him. If Webster is accurate in their use of “is” in the definition of “monotheism”, which could be replaced with “exist(s)”, then it would stand to reason that Christianity (among others) is not monotheistic. If you believe in the Bible, you then must believe in the existence of other gods. Should we choose to argue the point, we would need to consider the perception of “gods” and “God” and their use in the Bible. Some feel the term “gods” is used in a general sense for objects created by man in explanation for the things around him/ her. Others feel that there are other gods but it is the one God (YHWH) that created and dominates over all the others. Webster does not make this distinction in their definition nor does The Bible in and of itself does not offer a distinction or explanation (2) other than the specific references made to one (god) or the other (God / YHWH). John 1:1 tells us: “In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god”(3) . Here the term is used for a spiritual being created by YHWH, having a specific amount of power and authority. So, we can assume the term is used in this way throughout the Bible, confirming the existence of other gods. Someone has to be wrong here. Either Webster has their words mixed up or the religions believing in the Bible (Old or New Testaments) are really not monotheists.

As always, I welcome my readers (or should I say reader) to comment. I would love to see scripture either way.

Reference for this article and notes:
(1) Andrew Hill. Baker’s Handbook of Bible Lists. 1981

(2) Comment specific to English versions/ translations.
(3) New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures

This is the best reference I have purchased regarding the traditional Bible. It is like the Bible without all the words. It includes many family trees and histories/ events in date order.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Tragedy or End of Days

Tragedy in Haiti

Tragedy in Haiti or YHWH warming up for the grand crescendo of them all, the End of Days Armageddon.

The Bible tells us in Revelations about the end of the system of things. We call this day Armageddon (Rev. 16:16) and the times leading up to it we refer to as “the end of days”. Matthew 24:7-14 tells us (regarding signs of those times):

7) For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse places.
8) All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9) Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
10) And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11) And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12) And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13) But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14) And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Now let’s take a little look at Haiti. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with 80% of the population living under the poverty line and 54% in abject poverty. In the early 1980s, Haiti became one of the first countries to face an AIDS epidemic. Fear of the disease caused tourists to stay away, and the tourist industry collapsed, causing rising unemployment. Two-thirds of all Haitians depend on the agricultural sector. While the economy has recovered in recent years, registering positive growth since 2005, four tropical storms in 2008 severely damaged the transportation infrastructure and agricultural sector.

With these things in mind, should we be sad about the tragedy in Haiti or should we look at it as YHWH’s strategic targeting of third world countries in his building up to the grand crescendo of them all, Armageddon, and be happy because we are getting one step closer to the next thing? To quote Monty Python’s Life of Brian, “always look on the bright side of life”. Did the earthquake of 2005 in Pakistan get this much media attention? In my opinion we should be saddened by the fact that it takes a natural disaster to take notice of places like Haiti. Most people go about their daily lives with very little concern for people they cross paths with much less goings on in third world countries. Giving should occur all of the time. What makes the people in Haiti that need medical attention, food, clothing and water any different from those all over the world, even right in your backyard, that need those things on a regular basis? If it would further your concepts of giving, please consider that accumulated wealth, savings, property, and the like will be absolutely meaningless when Armageddon occurs. In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus says, "If you have money, don't lend it at interest. Rather, give [it] to someone from whom you won't get it back."

Sources for Haiti data:

Bible source: (King James Version)

Gospel of Thomas:
Patterson & Meyer translation from the Nag Hammadi Library

Further reading:

Perception Video

Found this while surfing the web. Please enjoy and as always I welcome comments and criticisms.