Why This Blog?

    This blog is designed to be a place where the mind can freely stretch. If you are accustomed to confining your mind to close quarters, then you will find this blog an uncomfortable place. It is entitled 'Methinks' because these are my musings. I am not setting forth new doctrines. Rather, I am allowing myself to ponder whether old truths have been forgotten or misunderstood, and whether we have developed our own liturgy the same way a horse cart wears a path in a quaint rural road.  
   Here, in this blog you are free to express. The only requirement is that contributions represent a true exchange of ideas, not biases, or emotional responses.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Obama - Something to think about

Louis Farrakan, a militant muslim, hails the possibility of an Obama presidency.  Momar Khadafi, leader of Libya has publicly lauded the millions of dollars, with which rich muslims in Africa have bankrolled Obama's campaign. Methinks they know something.

Of course, all Christians understand that this is the wrong man.  many will be depressed on wednesday, Nov 5th, wondering how God can let this happen.  I'm no prophet, but this is something that may make you think.  Rev 16:13 and following picture three forces coming together to attack the kingdom of God.  One of these forces is symbolized as the "false prophet".  The picture is Islam.  My personal belief that Armageddon is a symbol of the United States.  There is no place on earth where there is a greater struggle between competing ideologies.  The nation already struggles between catholocism (66 million Americans), and atheism, which has entrenched itself. Islam has a foothold(8 million) but what could possibly bring this third force to significant status?Perhaps a muslim-friendly Administration?

I'm not depressed, The bible pictures this as the setting of the stage for God's final victory. I'm not predicting an imminent return of Christ, but I am getting the feeling we are seeing the final pieces begin to be put in place.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

what a pick!

i will say i was not enthused about having John McCain as a president - well i still am not, but now i wish i was in the states to vote in November.  a lot of people don't realize the impact that Palin will have on the GOP.  McCain's health is probably going to prohibit him from serving two terms, meaning that Palin would be an incumbent possibly as soon as 2012.  the liberal judges probably are hoping that McCain would lose to hillary the next time around, and won't retire, but if Palin were elected the older justices would die or retire prior to 2016-2020, meaning Palin would appoint up to 3 or four justices! Think about the possibilities

Friday, May 30, 2008

666 and antichrist

I must say this is a little pet peeve of mine.  In the debate over '666' many people have accepted a false premise.  The false premise is that the beast represented by 666 is the antichrist.  probably most people would fight you to the death if you told them that the word antichrist doesn't appear in the book of revelation.  It only appears in 1st and 2nd John.  If we assume that the beast is the Catholic church, how can we possibly consider the antichrist to be the beast? consider John's description of the antichrist:

"1Jn 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son." - 1 Jn 2:22

"And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come" - 1 Jn 4:3

   Many criticisms I may have of the catholic church, but we certainly cannot convict them of denying the incarnation of Jesus, or Denying the existence of the Father! These were doctrines of the Gnostics, not the catholic church.  Revelation doesn't deal with the Gnostics, and so John does not use the word Antichrist there!

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Here's an interesting question. Where did Her dream come from. ? She told her husband, Pilate, not to have anything to do with him. She suffered much in a dream because of him. We have always assumed that the dream comes from God, but what if this is not true. It would explain a lot. First, it may be just semantics, but God doesn't seem to torment through dreams. that's not his MO. Satan on the other hand, has no scruples, as witnessed by demon possession. Secondly, if Pilate had heeded her warning, he would have presumably freed Jesus, but that would have worked against the plan of God. Would God have given an influence to someone that would prompt them to make a decision that prevented salvation? Not likely. I have a theory but that will come later...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Speak where the bible speaks, silent where the bible is silent

   This sentiment was first stated by Thomas Campbell. It was a thought to summarize why people wanted to leave denominations, and the numerous creeds and confessions that accompanied them. It is interesting. type this into a search engine and you will pull up website after website belonging to a ‘CHURCH OF CHRIST’. Perhaps this is a noble ideal, but it is interesting that one man’s phraseology against creeds has almost become a creed in and of itself, the unofficial confession of the ‘churches of Christ’

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The right 'Man' is on the throne

   I believe our vision of reality is similar to our physical vision. Our eyes see such a narrow bandwidth of frequency. I wonder what colors we will see when God gives us superior bodies. When our spiritual vision intersects our political beliefs, we often assume that what we see is all that there is to see. This is one of the causes of judgmentalism.
   Most of the people who read this will have been one of the people in the following scenario: A religious person who judges another for not voting. Which one are you? Do you think you have achieved a higher spiritual level because you vote? Perhaps you did not feel the urge to vote, or had a conscience against it and someone pressured you to do your “civic duty” (by which they imply ‘Christian duty’). Consider the scenario that will play out this year. regardless of who receives the Democratic nomination the platform is the same. The Republicans have nominated the most liberal candidate since Gerald Ford. In the last few elections the republican party has maintained fewer and fewer moral planks. There is only one great cry this year: Judges. That is all we have to hang our hat on.
  On one hand we will always state that God is in control, but then we will lament what would happen if ‘the wrong man were elected’. As if God is only in control when the man we think is the right man wins. Was God on vacation when Bill Clinton was elected? Was he in His 'inner chamber' when Clinton was re-elected? I believe that our vision is not large enough to see the purpose of God, probably the same way the Jews could not understand the victories of Assyria, Babylon, or the Roman empire.
  The right man will win this year.  

There is nothing that your vote can do to change that.  

All that is left is for us to wait for history to unfold and reveal why he/she was the right one.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Where 'incrementalism' will get you


All good Christians are republicans. Oh, we don't say this in sermons (mostly because we could lose our tax exempt status), but the idea is clear when we use our own ‘talking points’; the secret code about religion or pro-life, or what have you. Understand, I am not against voting or political involvement, but this year is beginning to illustrate something that I have said for several election cycles. I have been told time and again how we need to vote for the better of the two - to ‘hold my nose and pick’, After all we must make incremental gains. I have debated this point with a number of Christians and I will make my point again.
   Understand that at no time ever in history has a significant positive change come through an incremental evolution. Follow the history of any nation or empire, and there is de-evolution. When it gets to an unnacceptable low, someone wakes up and starts a revolution.
   What do we have now? Well it’s hard to say, because the final choice is not set in stone, but it appears to be Barack Obama vs. John McCain.  In the next few weeks, when this becomes obvious, we will be faced with a muddled mess. Neither candidate has a strong stance on the unborn, and it is the Democrat who has shown the greater respect for the institution of marriage.
   Incrementalism in politics works like this: a politician sees that ‘conservatives’ will vote for the more conservative of the two. He doesn’t have to achieve the ideal, only be better than the other guy. This man's stance becomes the new standard. In the next cycle the candidate will fall just a little short, but still better than the last guy.
   In November, Millions of Christians will go the booths and hold their nose, while convincing themselves that it is their 'civic duty' to choose the lesser of 'two evils', somehow ignoring the fact that the lesser of two evils is still evil.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Did Satan know?

   We have noted several things which can serve as explanations for the similarity of ‘savior myths’ to the genuine story of Christ. We have mentioned coincedence, which cannot explain everything. Those Christians who would solely rely on this explanation are hypocritical in their theology. Think about it, don’t we often point to probability as proof of creation or the Messianic prophecy? If we are to be consistent in our methods, we must admit that something greater than pure chance is at work.
   We have also pointed out that there is the possibility that a number of cultures were influenced by the Jewish culture. Again, we must also be honest that this explanation only goes so far, not being able to affect those cultures who had developed their myths prior to interaction with the Jewish nation, or in parts of the world to far from Israel. How then do we explain these things?
   It takes a brave person to consider something that runs against an accepted theological statement, but I will offer an explanation. I do not know how many I times I have heard, and even repeated myself, that ‘Satan did not know that Jesus was supposed to die.’ This is a doctrine not born of the bible, as far as I can tell. I have found no scripture mentioning that Satan was ignorant of the plan of God. It is a thought that is derived from human logic, and fanciful ideas. We like to see the bad person defeated by their own doing, so Satan comes up with the plan to kill Jesus, not knowing it is the death that defeats himself. The problem with the common thought is that for this view we must project our weakness onto Satan. That is, we must pretend that Satan has the same inability to decipher prophetic statements and imagery as we, not to mention ignoring obvious statements that Jesus made.
1) It explains the numerous prior attempts on Jesus life. If Satan knew the plan of a crucifixion, he could defeat the plan through a ‘preemptive strike’
2) It possibly explains the temptation in the wilderness to give all the nations to Jesus (Matthew 4). If Satan was referring to the people, rather than the physical kingdoms, it might have been a temptation to Jesus to worship Satan in return for Satan surrendering his hold over the gentile world, and more specifically, a temptation to convince Jesus not to draw all men to Himself through the process of crucifixion.

   Satan is described as the one who ‘deceives all of the nations’ (Rev 12:9). at some point he was cast out of heaven. The exact moment is the subject of much debate, but immaterial for our purposes. Consider the statement of the crucifixion plan:

      “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world…” I Pe 1:18-20

Satan and his demons quite possibly knew the plan. If they did, it would explain how some of these details found their way into numerous myths - so that people would have an innoculation to the truth when it finally appeared in true form, and so that critics of Christianity would be able to use this argument to shake the faith of believers

Of course, this leaves other questions such as ‘Satan entering Judas’, but we will save that discussion for another day.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

reverse borrowing: Part II

    We often refer to the 400 silent years before Christ, and have used that phrase so often that it has become a doctrine in good standing. Perhaps we should examine the history of prophecy. Messianinc prophecy began very vague and infrequent in the patriarchal age (Gen 3:15), With Abraham and Moses, prophecy was mostly through symbolism and typology. Under the period of Kings it was often through poetic means, which is still very difficult to understand. On the other hand, once we arrive at the major prophets, statements start to be more concrete. The trend then, is that the closer to Christ, the clearer the picture becomes. This seems to culminate with Daniel whose ’70 weeks prophecy’ gives a discernable date for the death of Christ. After this, the post exile prophets seem to address events mostly concerning the Jewish nation and punishments of other nations. Then, the Hebrew scriptures end with a final prophecy in Malachi. With no more scriptures, we conclude that there was no more prophecy.
All the same, when the ‘magi’ arrive they quote a number of details that do not appear in our scriptures. That there should be one who was ‘born the king of the jews’, and that his birth would be attended by ‘a star in the east’. Notice that in their conversation with Herod, they did not mention angels giving them direct knowledge, but they mentioned a sign, as though it were a well accepted sign that people had been looking for. True, I am assuming that, and cannot be sure of it, but it is a possibility.
What’s the point? Perhaps, it is not the 400 silent years, but rather the 400 undocumented years. Perhaps, prophecy continued in Persia rather than Jerusalem.

   What does all of this mean? The Jews were taken into Babylon in 606 B.C. Several of them rose to prominence (Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-Nego, and Daniel). Of these, Daniel is known to have had preferential treatment from the kings of Babylon from beginning to end, and this continued onder the administration of the Medes (Darius) and Persians (Cyrus). We know Cyrus and Nebuchadnezzar worshipped or revered the God of Israel to some degree. We also theorize that there is a significant possibility that prophecy continued in Persia after many of the Jews returned from Babylon. We also know from history that each of the four kingdoms mentioned in Daniel borrowed what they conquered. When Persia defeated Babylon they incorporated much of Babylon in their own culture. Likewise the Greeks were influenced by the Persian’s after Alexander the great defeated them. Then rome swallowed Greece and adopted it’s entire culture. This created one heterogenuous culture. and what was included in this culture? It would be nearly impossible for Judaism to have enjoyed the popularity for the period it did, at the highest levels that it did without leaving it’s mark. It is inconceivable that details of the stories of the Jews, as well as pieces of prophecy did not wind their way into babylonian and persian folklore, and therefore Greek and Roman as well. The result is that after the year 606 B.C. it is impossible for us to determine exactly what religion influenced which, and it is just as likely that the ‘Christian’ story of the crucified savior actually preceded (many) pagan stories of a savior, through the prophecies of the old testament. We must note that this story fails to acount for those legends which appear prior to 606 B.C. or in lands that reached beyond the inluence of the four empires mentioned. There is one more explanation that may suffice…

Friday, February 1, 2008

Reverse Borrowing: Part I

   What is reverse borrowing? Well, first understand two problems with humans. First, we humans tend to oversimplify things. Second, we think chronologically. Together, these two things can be dangerous. The application is that it is simple for the skeptic to look at things before Christianity and say, they came first, therefore anything in Christianity was borrowed from the earlier acount. It’s nice, neat and logical, so it satisfies both of the criteria we stated. But the truth may lie in a deeper examination, What I will ask you to consider is the exact opposite; that the ‘Christian’ view actually came first (at least in some circumstances). To do this, I am going to ask you to follow me on a ‘rabbit trail’ and I promise it will make sense at the end.

The Magi
Have you ever wondered how a bunch of pagans (The Magi) from the east figured out the truth?

‘…there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews?’
Mat 2:1,2

   Different people assume different things. We think east, and we believe it is Persia, we read that they ‘saw his star’ and maybe we wonder if they were using astrology, or perhaps we just simply assume that God told them in a dream, as he did at other times on the trip and ask no more questions. The first thing I would assume is that God did not use the practice of astrology, which was a crime punishable by death in the Old Testament. I would assume that God revealed this to them in some fashion, but I would not assume that the magi were pagans. All Jews did not live in Jerusalem. All we have to do is look at the second chapter of Acts to notice that there were Jews in other places, among them; ‘Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites’(Ac 2:9) all of which were part of ancient Medo-Persia. It is possible that these magi were Jews. consider:

‘It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom a hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage. Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.’ -Daniel 6:1-3

   Darius was the king of the Medes, and Daniel was the most popular. He did not return from the captivity, and stayed under Cyrus of Persia Dan (6:28). It appears that Cyrus worshipped YHWH (2Chr 36:23, Ez 1:7), although probably not exclusively.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


   Even here in Ukraine, primetime dramas are preceded by the disclaimer, 'Any similarity between actual names and places is only a coincedence.' Why do they put that disclaimer there? Perhaps, its because fiction often imitates real life. How many times have you read a book and wondered if the author borrowed his idea from another book that you may have read. How many times have we seen real discoveries that were strikingly similar to fiction writers? Did you know that NASA has developed technology that came straight out of the television series ‘Star Trek’?
   Let’s also remember that the story of Christ and God is a story of a hero who addresses man’s most basic spiritual need, freedom from guilt. Considering that there are thousands of versions of this story scattered across time and lands, it is not unlikely that a number of them will have similar details is it? For me it is not a total explanation, but it can account for something if a person is reasonable enough to admit it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Prometheus and Christ?

    If you were like me you had assumed that the words in the poem below were written first by Isaac Waats. The Christian mind seems compelled to a decision. Different Christian minds will solve the problem in different ways. Perhaps you are 'hearing' this for the first time. If so, you have not attended a religion class in a secular college, where atheistic professors get a thrill from seeing young Christian students, who have been sheltered in their dogma, blown away by revelations such as these. In case you miss the significance of this poem, here it is: 700 years before Christ there is a Greek myth concerning a Titan named Prometheus who was crucified for man’s sins, atoning for them with his blood. Even more striking, is the reference to the hiding of the sun at his death. So, how did you respond? Were you tempted to say, ‘Oh that’s just stupid!’ and surf over to your favorite sports/news site? Or maybe you passed it off as just one fabrication among many feeble atheistic attempts to malign Christianity. Maybe you chalked it up to mere coincedence, noting how often fiction mirrors reality. In a moment we will weigh each option, but while we speak of coincedence, consider the following:
  •  Prometheus was said to resurrect
  •  Prometheus was referred to as the ‘logos’
These are details which appear in Christ’s story, but there are still other facts:
  • Before Christ there are a number of myths that parallel the Christ story.
  • Osiris (Egypt), Thammuz (Syria), Baldur (Iceland), Odin (Iceland ) Mithra (Persia), Romulus/Quirinus (Rome), Dionysus (Greece) are some of the more well known. No story has all of the following details in common, but each has at least a few.
  •  Virgin birth, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and titles such as ‘Son of God, Bread of Life’, etc. are all things mentioned as parts of myths before Christ.
   I never think that ignorance is the best policy. I refuse to be intimidated. If I am afraid to check the facts, then I am admitting my lack of faith in God. Maybe after reading the poem you did some fact checking. You might have found that many such claims exist on atheist websites. You will note if you research this, that there are even bolder statements than I make. You will then easily find refutations of these websites. You will find that the majority of quotations come from copycats of two or three sites: the Zeitgeist movie (which also claims that 9/11 was a conspiracy), a dubious book by Kersey Graves called 16 crucified saviors, which an atheist sight infidels.org will not even endorse (but will publish). both of these apparently quote a common book by D.M. Murdock, a woman who goes by the pen-name Acharya S.
   Many Christians would be satisfied to stop here. having felt that they discredited the authors for blatantly false statements, they would feel free to discard every statement made. This option is not the course of a true scholar. Next up: Coincidence and reverse borrowing…

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Coming Soon: Prometheus and Christ...

Lo! streaming from the fatal tree
His all atoning blood,
Is this the Infinite?? Yes, 'tis he,
Prometheus, and a god!
Well might the sun in darkness hide,
And veil his glories in
When God, the great Prometheus,
For man the creature's sin.

     - Hesiod, circa  700 B.C.