Monday, February 22, 2016

Islam and Homosexuality

I've spent some time in my defense of LGBT people from a Christian perspective linking modern Homophobia to many things my fellow modern American Evangelical Christians consider boogymen.  Like Evolution, and Greek Philosophy and even mentioning it's existence in Wicca.  So followers of my blog may wonder "what about Islam? they're a boogeymen to Christians and the Islamic world's Homphobia is well known?"

First of all I don't necessarily like that guilt by affiliation logic, as I've also alluded to before.  But I go there because it's often used against Homsoexuals so I want to show it can go both ways.

And Islamaphobia has a particular political connotation that I consider dangerous.  Islam I consider a false religion because it denies the Deity and Sonship of Jesus and because it teaches Salvation by works.  And while I do think a strong argument can be made that the Koran makes Islam more inherently violent then most religions, I also understand the counter arguments and also know the conditions of the Muslim world today would encourage violent outbursts regardless of what their Holy Books said.  So I'm hesitant to do anything that could be perceived as playing into that.

And because there is disagreement among Muslims about the Koran's position on Homsoexuality just as I question the "traditional" view of what The Bible says.  But I do have one friend who is an Atheist and a Homosexual with no love for any Abrahamic faiths who's objective unbiased opinion is that I'm right about what The Bible says but the Koran does condemn it.  But he is also of the opinion that Islamic Homphobia can ultimately be blamed on Augustianian Christian homophobia.

And watching Red Eye had me confident no conservatives needed the existence of Islamic Homophobia explained to them.

So for all those reasons it was something I didn't want to address..... until I saw on Youtube a show from a Christian network that was called "Imam or Molester (homosexuality in Islam)".  And I went
They went and found a way to marry their Homophobia to their Islamiphobia.  And with the whole treating Homosexuality and Pedophilia as synonymous fallacy right in the title.

Gays are stoned to death in Islamic countries every day, Louis Farrakhan calls for Homosexuals to be put to death in America, and radical Muslims brazenly harass gay men in the streets of London.  But now Islam is part of the Gay Agenda because they found some isolated incidents to talk about.

So it began by documenting some child abuse sex scandals involving Imams.  Acknowledging the similar trend among Catholic Priests but not the fact that it has occurred among Protestant and Evangelical religious leaders too.  And likewise with the Caliphs and Sultans, who like monarchs of many nations do things they forbade the commoners to do.  And they go and tie it into the Islamic world's misogyny.

The Koran and Muhammad definitely have some problems with regards to sexual morality given the whole Aisha situation, the details of which are debatable.

They talk about the Islamic concept that in Paradise you can do many things forbidden in this world.  That is an important aspect of why the Islamic understanding of Paradise is different from the Christians (though these Christians seem to think there will be no Sex in New Jerusalem, I disagree).  And they cited some specific quotes about modern Imams thinking Homosexuality is among those.  That would encourage Muslims to approve of homosexual acts in this life no more then it would drinking alcohol.

Their only attempt to read Lesbianism into the Koran was taking two different passages about Paradise together to create an implication women can get the 72 virgins as well.

And they recited some seemingly Homoerotic accounts of Muhammad from the Hadiths.  But to that I only say you can't have it both ways, you can't use these description that are kind of Homoerotic but by no means definitive to demonize Muhammad.  But insist the exact same kind of language used of David and Johnathon has nothing gay about it.

But indeed Homosexuals have existed in the Islamic world just as they have existed in the Christian world even after Augustine, like the martyr Jean d'Arc.  I have no desire to answer the question of if it's because of or in-spite of the Koran.

What interests me is the Encyclopedia of Pleasure which is a collection of Arabic stories involving Lesbianism that have been preserved.  One of the stories is set before Islam, during the lifetime of Muhammad but before he had his first epileptic caesure at age 40 in 610 AD.  Because at least one of the two women in the story would have been a Christian.

See Christianity and Judaism both thrived in Pre-Islamic Arabia.  The Gassamid and Lakhmid kingdoms in the north were both Christian.
One of the stories told in the book is a story about the first Arab lesbian Hind Bint al-Khuss al-Iyadiyyah, known as al-Zarqa’, and her love to a Christian woman Hind Bint al-Nu`man, who was the daughter of the last Lakhmid king of Hira in the 17th century. When Hind Bint al-Khuss al-Iyadiyyah died, her faithful lover "cropped her hair, wore black clothes, rejected worldly pleasures, vowed to God that she would lead an ascetic life until she passed away…" She even built a monastery to commemorate her love to al-Zarqa'
  Sahar Amer (2 May 2009). "Medieval Arab Lesbians and Lesbian-Like Women' Journal of the History of Sexuality
The Lakhmid king in question is al-Nu'man Ill ibn al-Mundhir.  From what we know historically he did have a daughter who's name isn't mentioned.
Nevertheless, according to creditable historical accounts, when Khosrau II demanded Nu'man's Christian daughter as part of his extensive harem, he refused the Shah's demand. In response, Khosrau II had him crushed by elephants; however, according to a Syriac chronicle, Khosrau invited Nu'man to a feast where he was dishonored and trapped;
 Philip De Souza and John France, War and peace in ancient and medieval history, p. 139; Khuzistan Chronicle 9
Interesting that he was so determined not to marry his daughter off in a back then perfectly normal political marriage.  And we have a completely different tradition that his daughter was a very Monogamous Lesbian.  I suspect the story may well be historical.

Khosrau II btw persecuted Jews in his own kingdom while supporting Jewish rebellions in the Byzantine Empire to serve his political ends.  He was the villain of a lot of the history that helped make Islam's rise possible.  He was an @$$hole.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Gospel Portions

In-spite of my disagreement with some attitudes towards The law.  I am very much a supporter of being Torah observant.  The Hebrew Scriptures do need to be understood to fully understand God's Word.  The Gospel is simple but there is plenty of good fruit to find digging much deeper.

And even though it comes from Rabbinic Judaism I think even doing their Torah Portions spread over the year system can be very edifying.  Here is one website (with many views I don't agree with) that helps Believers do it from a Christian perspective.

http://www.virtualhousechurch.com/

But I feel that shouldn't be the only way we decide which Scriptures we are going to study each week.  Spending a year doing it that way every now and then can be great.  But there should be others methods as well.

I agree with the suggestion of one Local Racine Baptist Preacher then it's a good idea to take a 31 day month and read a chapter of Proverbs every day for that month.

While I agree with Rob Skiba that Christians acting like only the New Testament matters is very bad.  I do still feel strongly that The Gospels should be the Heart of The Bible for believers on this Side of The Cross.

So it came to me literately only hours ago right before I started work on this post and launching my own Virtual House Church Facebook Group.  To device a parallel schedule for going through The Gospels over the course of 54 weeks.

I'm not going to claim a copyright on this idea, I fully encourage others to come up with their own system.

Right now I've just started work on it and am hoping to have a plan ready by Nisan.

The 4 Gospels will be gone through Chronologically.  I do believe the order they are in in most Bibles is the order they were written in.  For each portion I will come up with different passages from elsewhere in Scripture in pair them with.

Here is the link to that Facebook group I started.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/534999483345570/

Follow up post.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Paganism is about what you Believe not what you do

I've spent much of my time as a believer listening to a lot of the Occult exposing Christians of the world.  I myself have in the past been guilty of some of the same thinking I'm going to criticize in this post.  I find listening to them a lot of fun, and I know most of them mean well.  But I've grown annoyed at how many oppose the occult in the context of believing what the occultists claim.

Paganism is in believing what the Pagans believe, not in doing things superficially similar to pagan customs.  Pagans are not bad people, God loves them just as much as anyone else, but those of us in a covenant relationship with God are instructed to believe and behave differently then Pagans.

So this is not me saying all the casual paganism in the secular and even much of the Christian world is fine.  Trying to talk to the dead is divination regardless of if you do it with an authentic Quigi board or one of the commercial knock offs sold in the board games section of Toys R Us.  Or something else entirely.

1 Corinthians 8:1-8
As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.  For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.  Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.  But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.
1 Corinthians 10:25-
Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake: For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof.  If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.  But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that showed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof:
In both chapters Paul explains the context of when we shouldn't eat food offered to Idols as public contexts.

He clearly does not believe food offered to Idols is in any way inherently physically or spiritually corrupt or he would not have instructed us to not ask.

This is not me claiming Paul didn't believe in Demons or the Supernatural, he cast out demons.  But some superstitions are indeed based on nothing.

Now certain people trying to say we're still under The Law will try to make this issue about dietary laws.  They will say "food offered to Idols" is code for Pork because they allege it's well known that the ancient Pagans used pigs in pagan sacrifices more then any other animal because they "knew" that pigs were the ideal animals to house demons.

That is clearly entirely nonsense.  But putting aside how factually wrong it is, they are believing categorically the opposite of what Paul said by arguing that whatever food is being discussed here has something spiritually different about it from other food.

And again with the whole anti-Christmas movement that is growing every year we see the same thing.

When someone points out that Jeremiah is actually talking about carving the wood of a Tree into an Idol, not decorating it with the green still intact.  The anti-Christmas people will just respond "It's still clearly an Idol".

Yes I agree Idols are not always literal statues/pictures.  But Idolatry still requires belief that the object of worship is either a god, a vassal of a god, or some special thing that allows them a connection to the divine they wouldn't have without it.

The Catholic Church is guilty of idolatry, but that has less to do with the literal statues (how seriously they're taken depends on the individual catholic).  And more to do with believing that the Priest is closer to God then the average believer is.  And because they believe the communion cracker and wine literally become the Body and Blood of Jesus.

I accuse them of worshiping Mary and the Saints regardless of their denial that that word is accurate because they believe that praying to them matters.  Only Praying to God matters.

That is not what goes on with Christmas trees, they're just a fun decoration.  Now I will see people giving a seminar on the subject go into this whole "you bow down to put the gifts under it, and bow down again to pick it up.  That's WORSHIP!!!".  And I become genuinely embarrassed as a Christian that every Christians in that room just accepts that laughable argument.  No, that is not worship, and if you think that's enough to qualify as worship then I have to question if the Real God is receiving any real worship from you.

I agree with the Anti-Christmas people on at least one thing, we should not deceive our children into believing in Santa or the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy or any other such modern folk deities.

But as long as no one believes anything incorrect all the customs are harmless.  Since I reject Augustinian sexual morality I'll say that even goes for kissing under the Mistletoe.  The Pagan custom that derives from is about a superstition that that plant can increase fertility.  So I would suggest that when two people of the same gender are kissing under the Mistletoe there is a 0% chance that that is a concern of theirs.

Now some people in this Anti-Christmas movement have made it clear even IF you removed all the superficially Pagan things, if all you did was sing the Jesus centric hymns and read The Bible, they still feel the assumption that the date is wrong makes it all wrong.

I've seen one even express unapologetically that hearing someone reading from The Nativity Gospel accounts of Matthew and Luke under the pretense of it being Christmas makes them uncomfortable.  Not one single verse of God's word is meant to be read only on the accurate anniversary of when it first happened, if so you'd have to be real careful reading Ezekiel which dates each revelation to a specific day.  And not all of the Nativity story was on the Birthday anyway, (every plausible theory I've seen makes the Kislev/Tevet time frame when some part of it happens).  If some spirit is ever making you feel like it's wrong to read God's Word, that Spirit is not the Holy Spirit.

The Bible does not clearly state when Jesus was born, I feel it can be deduced and have indeed come to the conclusion against what I used to think that Jesus was born around December 25th of 2 BC.  But regardless the fact that it's not clearly stated means God doesn't care if we commemorate that at all, much less do it on the wrong date.

Whether it's Christmas or any other holiday, I reject the notion that any day is owned by any pagan god.  God created everything.  And I think days we know the Pagans are doing things are days we should be engaging in Spiritual Warfare.

I see these people when complaining about behavior in The Church they don't like saying "the Pagans know this stuff, the occultists know it, the Freemasons know it".  And I'm just thinking regardless of if I agree with their overall point "The Pagans and Ocultists are wrong according to The Bible, try reading it."  So what they think they know we should immediately suspect to be wrong.

And the Golden Calf is one of their favorite stories.  Somehow that is comparable to celebrating a birthday on the wrong day or whatever their focus is in the current rant.  The issue with the Golden Calf was that they declared that Calf to be Yahuah and worshiped it as Yahuah.  Nothing in the Golden Calf narrative suggests Yahuah's anger would be the same over decorating a pine tree.

Isaiah 60:13 says the Messianic Temple well be decorated with Pine Trees.  Now I've seen this objected to by saying this is about the wood of Pine trees being used in construction.  No it clearly says they will "beautify His Sanctuary".  I believe this is the New Heaven and New Earth where there will be no more destruction of plant life other then maybe for food, not the Millennium.  Verse 14 clearly alludes to New Jerusalem.  This is describing a recreation of the Garden of Eden.  It will be more like the original Tabernacle which may not have been shaped how we assume it was.

Romans 14 is clear, you shouldn't do anything if you feel it'd be wrong to do it.  But don't go around judging others.

There is something I do consider an Idol that a lot of Evangelical Christians are guilty of worshiping.  The American Flag, and other symbols of Patriotism.  Why is it more legitimate to view The Flag as an Idol then a Christmas Tree?  Precisely because far more people are offended by that suggestion.  Because a significant portion of the population acts like you've offended the Divine when you disrespect the Flag or refuse to take part in it's worship ceremonies like the Pledge of Allegiance.  People who treat the Christmas Tree that way are very rare, my family stopped doing it simply out of economic necessity, but they'll never stop worshiping The Flag.

And among fellow Conspiracy Theorists it only gets worse.  I mean think about it, how many are selling their seminar or YouTube video or book on the premise that they're going to reveal the secret of freemasonry, (with the secret being different each time).  The idea that these mystery schools guard some deep esoteric secret that it would empower us to learn is the entire gist of what Gnosticism is.

And setting that aside, they have this tendency to just accept the Masonic version of History as true besides the required tweaks to make it fit a Literal interpretation of The Bible.  And that includes all the comparative mythology stuff Zeitgeist promotes, but just instead of saying Jesus ripped off all these gods, they say all these gods are based on Nimrod.  But new ager David Icke then puts those two narratives together saying all pagan mythologies were based on Nimrod and Semiramis and Tammuz and then Jesus was based on all of them.  Why Jesus alone gets to be both Nimrod and Tammuz at the same time isn't really explained.  And some Anti-Christian Jewish authors do the same.

Instead what I recommend you do is watch Chris White's videos on YouTube debunking all of this "all mythologies are the same" nonsense.  He has videos on Zeitgeist, David Icke and Jordan Maxwell to get started.  His one mistake is conceding December 25th as a birthday when he shouldn't have.

A lot of us seem to base our moral and political positions on what we perceive the "Illuminati" to be promoting or opposing, not on The Bible.

Monday, February 1, 2016

I now view Yahuah as the proper pronunciation of The Tetragrammaton

First off I'm not a Sacred Namer, Salvation has nothing to do with if you pronounce the name properly.

I had favored pronouncing YHWH as Yahweh for a long time.  Last years I first heard Rob Skiba's argument for Yahuah/Yahuwah.

For readers unfamiliar what was Rob's Argument for it.  I don't feel like going into it detail but it's about how the Yah theophoric names in the Hebrew Bible are pronounced (in Hebrew not how they look in our English Bibles).  The YHW seems to be in them pretty consistently pronounced Yahu, then you add a Heh sound at the end.

I also feel the Greek New Testament inspired texts of Revelation 19's Alleluia verified an "a" (Alepha) not an "e" (Eta or Epsilon) should be the vowel following the Yot/Iota/Jot.

His argument for it isn't what convinced me though, what convinced was just a few days ago I noticed how similar that pronunciation is to Yeshua.  Because I've long noticed that the 4 letter Hebrew spelling of Yeshua is the Tetragrammaton with the Heh replaced by new letters.

YHUH
YSUA

As if Yeshua was always the real name but the Hehs concealed it.  The Heh is one of the most mystical letters of the Hebrew Alphabet, often viewed as representing The Holy Spirit.

So I'll be using Yahuah in the future, I may edit past posts to replace YHWH and Yahweh when I have the chance.  But no guarantees, in fact probably not.

Rob Skiba's desire to view "translating" Yahuah as "Lord" as a horrible offense is discredited by the fact that the Greek text of the New Testament does the same when quoting the Law and Prophets.  When Paul says in Romans 10 "All who call upon the Name of The Lord" he's quoting Joel 2:32, but Joel 2 said Yahuah (as I said before I reject the notion that the NT authors were quoting the Septuagint).  I know Skiba means well and I don't support the KJV's attitude toward YHWH either, but it doesn't help to go overboard.

I believe the reason the Name is never used in the New Testament is because the name of Yeshua/Iesous/Jesus has supplanted it as the proper personal name of God.  Paul's quoting of Joel I feel shows that, the Name of Jesus is clearly in the grander context of his writings the Name that Paul meant.

So the desire of people to inset Yah and YHWH into their hypothetical Hebrew New Testaments actually kind of annoys me.  I know they mean well, but they are over looking a deeper mystery.

Just look at some of the places where Salvation is used and in the orignal Hebrew it's Yeshuah.

Genesis 49:18 in the KJV
I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.
In the Standard Version.
I have waited for thy salvation, O Jehovah.
Other ways to render it
I have waited for thy Salvation, O Yahweh
I have waited for thy Salvation, O YHWH
I have waited for thy Yeshuah, O Yahuah