xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#'UA-81427306-1 Wisdom and Folly: January 2016

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Follow You Heart?

"Take care lest your heart be lured away, and you turn astray and worship alien gods and bow down to them."  The Shema.  The heart can be lured away easily.  There was a young man who grew up in a religious family.  He was well aware of the scriptures.  One day the young man met a girl with whom he quickly fell in love.  The girl was not from a religious family.  In fact, they were anti-religious. The two enjoyed spending time together.  After a short time, the two were engaging in sexual relations.  The girl's family liked the boy.  They accepted him.  After seeing each other for nearly six months, the boy's parents were less than pleased with the situation.  There was a great deal of tension in the house.  The young man finally decided, at the prodding of the girl and her family, to move in with her and her family.  The girl was proud of her boyfriend because he'd followed his heart and left his own family.  Was this the best thing for him?  Stories like this happen every day across the world; people following their heart.  But didn't God warn us not to let our hearts be lured away?

The heart is filled with emotions.  We're all aware of it.  These emotions take control of our lives if we let them.  People who are passionate about what they do credit that with following their heart. This can be a good thing in the right person and under the right circumstances.  However, as we saw in the example above, it can be a bad thing as well.  So what can you do when you're in the middle of it and everything is coming towards you at the speed of life.  The heart pulls in many directions at the same time.  Any of these directions might be the perfect path for your life.  How can you know?  That is where the mind comes into play.

The mind uses logic to make decisions.  It doesn't use emotions at all.  The mind weighs options.  It's almost mechanical.  Had the boy in the example only used his mind, he might have stopped to think that his parents knew better.  His future success in life will most likely be hindered because he followed his heart instead of using his mind to fully discern the situation.

There is a balance that we must find within ourselves between the heart and the mind.  People who only follow their hearts usually wind up being pulled in different directions throughout their lives. Someone who finds balance will choose one of those paths that suit the desire of their heart, but will do so logically.  These people tend to stay on that path and pursue it passionately.

Deuteronomy 11:13 "And it will be, if you hearken to My commandments that I command you this day to love the Lord, your God, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, 14 I will give the rain of your land at its time, the early rain and the latter rain, and you will gather in your grain, your wine, and your oil. 15 And I will give grass in your field for your livestock, and you will eat and be sated. 16 Beware, lest your heart be misled, and you turn away and worship strange gods and prostrate yourselves before them."

In the passage above God is saying to serve Him with all of your heart, and if you do He tells the reward.  In the same passage, He warns that your heart can be misled.  So what we are seeing is that He is saying to use your mind and make a conscious decision to use all of your heart to serve Him. You must use your mind to make decisions.  That is its job.  The heart's job is to provide the passion with which execute those decisions.    

Copyright 2016 by
William Bouker  

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Second Golden Calf

In Exodus chapter 32 we learn the story of the golden calf.  Moses had gone up on the mountain to receive the Word of God.  In the beginning of chapter 32, the people didn't know what had become of Moses.  There were among the children of Israel, those who came up from Egypt with them.   These were the people whom Moses accepted but were not of the children of Israel.  These were the rabble-rousers who insisted Aaron make for them gods to worship.  They were accustomed to having many gods.  Aaron succumbed to them and the golden calf was made.  Today we have a similar golden calf.  It is none other that Jesus.   

We see in the New Testament that the people were living in troubled times.  The Roman Empire had conquered Judea and, as was their custom, instituted their own governance over the land.  Herod the Great was made king by the Romans.  He was an evil man who is credited with the killing of the "holy innocents".  While the only account of this is in the New Testament, it sets the stage for what would come, Jesus.  The Jesus character in the New Testament is cast as the savior who would defeat the Romans and rule as the king of the Jews and return them to the great nation they once were. Clearly, none of this happened.  

What we see in the New Testament, when we look closely, is a picture of a nation in trouble.  The Romans allowed the Jews to keep their religion.  They weren't interested in destroying the Jews.  It was in their best interest to keep things as they were.  The Temple was allowed to stand.  Herod even renovated the Temple Mount, the remains of which still stand today.  Not until the revolt of 70CE was the Temple destroyed.  There were problems during the end of the second temple era.  But it is important to know that the priests were still in place.  The Sanhedrin  was also in place, although they didn't have complete authority.  The sons of Aaron were standing in his place but just like in Aaron's time, with Moses gone, there was no real leader to set the example for the people.  The result was the same.  A segment of the people turned to idolatry.

The golden calf is just like Jesus in that they both represented multiple gods.  In the fourth verse, we see that it says, "These are your gods, O Israel, who have brought you up from the land of Egypt!" Now we know that the golden calf was a singular object but they say "These are your gods".  In the same way, Jesus represents multiple gods, the trinity, which were to save Israel from the Romans.  At least, that is what was expected.

One thing that many people fail to see in the story of the golden calf is verse 5. When Aaron saw [this], he built an altar in front of it, and Aaron proclaimed and said: "Tomorrow shall be a festival to the Lord."  This is the biggest similarity of them all.  Even though they had built the golden calf, they were going to have a festival to the Lord.  They didn't really believe that the calf had brought them out of Egypt.  They knew God had done it.  What they wanted was a symbol to represent God. This is exactly what Christianity is doing with Jesus.  Jesus is the symbol that the church has stood up in place of the God of Israel.  Just like the people in the desert, Christians know about the God of Israel.  They know He created the universe.  They know about the miracles.  They know about the Patriarchs and the prophets.  The problem is that they are trying to worship Him in a way that He detests, through idolatry.  Deuteronomy 6 tells us that God is one.  He is not a multiple, nor is He divisible.

Daniel chapter 2 describes what will happen when the Messiah comes.  Verse 44 And in the days of these kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom forever, it will not be destroyed, and the kingdom will not be left to another people; it will crumble and destroy all these kingdoms, and it will stand forever.  Just like Moses who destroyed the golden calf of his time,  the Messiah will destroy the golden calf of our time.  May he come speedily in our days.


Copyright 2016 by
William Bouker   

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Simple Response

Christianity makes many claims.  In this piece, I will look at some of these claims  and give a simple response from scripture, followed by a brief explanation.    One of these claims is that Jesus is God, a part of the trinity as though God is divided into three equal parts.  The simple response to this is Isaiah 46:5. Isaiah 46:5 tells us, "To whom shall you liken Me and make Me equal and compare Me that we may be alike?"   Isaiah 46 is dealing with those who follow other gods.  In this verse, God is saying in no uncertain terms that He is not equal with anyone nor like anyone.   

Another claim that Christianity makes is that Jesus dies as a sacrifice to save us from sin.  This claim tries to make use of the sacrificial system as outlined in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Ezekiel 33: 14-16 "14 And when I say of the wicked man, "You shall surely die," and he repents of his sin and performs justice and righteousness,15 The wicked man will return the pledge, he will repay the theft; in the statutes of life he walked, not to commit injustice he will surely live, he will not die. 16 All his sins that he sinned will not be remembered for him: he performed justice and righteousness; he will surely live."   Here we see that God really desires repentance.  The sinner who repents and does righteousness will be saved.  His sins will not be remembered.  So, why do we need Jesus to die to save us from sin?  The simple response is that we don't.

The church also teaches that the Law of Moses is not in effect any longer.  It was nailed to the cross with Jesus.  Psalms 119:89-91 89 Forever, O Lord, Your word stands in the heavens.   90 Your faith is to every generation; You established the earth and it endures.  91 For Your judgments, they stand today, for all are Your servants.  What then, can we say?  The simple response is this.  If you claim to be a servant of God, you must adhere to His commandments.  A point of interest here,  The Law of Moses is for the Jews.  Christians are actually forbidden to keep them.  There is a code of scriptural law for the rest of us.  They are called the Noahide Laws.  This group of seven laws, or rather seven groupings of laws are in place for the rest of the world.  With adherence to these laws, there really is no need for Christianity.

The biggest thing the church touts is that Jesus is the Messiah prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures. But they never teach what the Messiah is supposed to do.  They teach that the Messiah will be a supernatural being and save the world from sin.  Scripture does not support this.  Isaiah 11  teaches us that he will gather all of the exiles of Israel.  They will fight together and defeat all of the enemies of Israel.  He will establish a government in Israel that will be a center for all world governments.  He will rebuild the Temple and re-establish the worship of the God of Israel.  Jeremiah 33:18  The simple response to this is that Jesus didn't do any of these things.  The Christian concept of the second coming is nowhere to be found in the Hebrew scriptures.

The only response that can logically be made concerning Christianity is that it is nothing more than a money-making operation selling false hope.  The church will tell you that if you are not "saved" by the blood of Jesus, you will be damned to hell.  In simpler words, believe what we are telling you or you will burn in hell for eternity.  When you throw in the monetary aspect, this is no less than extortion.  The final response, and the most simple response I can express to you, is if you are in Christianity, is get out now.

Copyright 2016 by
William Bouker

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Fourth Deity of Christianity

Everyone has heard of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, but there is a fourth entity whom Christians deify. They call him the devil.  First we have to understand what a deity actually is.  A deity is a figure who is thought to have powers greater than ordinary human beings.  It is someone who can supernaturally do things to us or for us. They can effect change to the world through their powers.

In Christianity, the devil is seen as the god of this world.  That is to say that this world and everything in it is evil and falls under the authority of the devil.  He is the cause of all the bad things that can happen to people.  He uses his powers over this world to cause people to commit all perverse acts. He makes people commit murder and other crimes.  He is the cause of addiction as well as the cause of sickness and disease.  Basically, anything we don't like happening to us is caused by the devil.

I've been to churches which practice the "laying on of hands".  Charismatic, Pentecostal, and some other denominations practice this ritual.  This can be performed in front of the congregation or privately.  Sometimes they rub olive oil on the person's forehead.  While this is not mandatory, many believe it helps in some way. They will lay hands on people for various reasons.  It is usually done to someone who is sick.  During these sessions, the ones doing the laying on of hands are considered more faithful and stronger than others.  They are usually the elders of the church.  As they have their hands on the person, they pray over them.  They call on God to heal the person.  They also call the devil out of them in many cases.  In doing this, they acknowledge that the devil has taken control of this person in some way.  He can only be called out in the name of Jesus.  Many believe this to be a very spiritual experience.  Now there is a catch to this scenario.  If the person isn't healed, it is said that they didn't have enough faith.  They can only walk away from the episode feeling that there is something wrong with them.  During all of these rituals in which I have both witnessed and taken part, which is a significant number, I have never seen anyone healed.  What they do is simply move on.  All of these failed healings are either forgotten or chalked up to a lack of faith.

To acknowledge the devil as the god of this world is to diminish the real God of this world.  This is a serious offense which Christians don't realize they are committing.  We know that the God of Israel is the creator of the universe.  Christians don't deny this.  Isaiah 45: 5-9 explains this quite well.  In verse 5 God is telling us "I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides Me there is no God:...".In verse 7 He goes on to say "Who forms light and creates darkness, Who makes peace and creates evil; I am the Lord, Who makes all these."  It is plain to see that God is the creator of all things, both good and evil.  How could it be any other way?  If we read on to verse 12 it says, "  I made the earth, and I created man upon it; as for Me-My hands stretched out the heavens, and I ordained their host".  What does this mean?  We know from Job chapter 1 that Satan is an angel; one of the heavenly host.  Verse 12 here is telling us that God has ordained the host.  Through this, we know that Satan is not the adversary of God, but that he is doing what God intended for him to do.  Now here is the offense. When Christians say that the devil is the god of this world they are putting him in the place of the God of Israel.  In today's language, they are "snubbing" Him.  In the language of Isaiah, they are contending with their creator.  (see v9)

If you are a Christian reading this, I urge you to take a serious look at the things you believe.  Ask yourself if you believe what you do because of what you learned in church, or because of what you have learned through scripture?    You have seen how I have shown you, through scripture, that what the church has taught you about the devil is not in line with scripture.  What other things have they taught you?  There are many things they teach that are also not in line with scripture.  I have listed some of these things in another post called "If Someone Lied to You".  I cannot urge you enough to learn these things for yourself.  Please don't take my word for it.  Look it up for yourself.  The Hebrew Bible is the only source to learn about the God of Israel.  You will not learn the truth from your Christian bible.  It is filled with inconsistencies.  A simple internet search for " inconsistencies in the New Testament" will show you.  You can sit down with your Christian bible, any version you like, and compare it against the Hebrew Scriptures and you will be able to see for yourself.  Please, look it up.  If for nothing else than to prove me wrong.                    

Copyright 2016 by
William Bouker

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

If Someone Lied to You

I pose this question to you.  If someone lied to you, and I knew about it, would you expect me to tell you?  Have you ever been in this position before?  You probably have.  This type of thing happens all the time at work or school.  It puts you in an awkward position.  You can either tell the person about the lie or not.  If you tell them, in a way you have betrayed the person telling the lie.  This person might be a better friend to you, so you feel some loyalty to keep the secret.  On the other hand, a good friend shouldn't expect you to cover up a lie.  So you must consider your options.  Either way, you are going to betray one or the other.

If you go to the victim, you get to clear your conscious.  You can give them the information and let them do with it what they will.  At this point, one of two things is going to happen.  They will either believe you or not.  It is possible that they trust the other person more than you.  If they do, it will be hard for you to convince them of the lie.  I'm not sure if you are obligated to convince them at all.  It is ultimately up to them.  If they do believe you, your work is done.  Or, is it?  In some cases, you might be expected to console the person.  They might want more information from you.  They will, no doubt, have questions for which they need answers in order to fully ascertain the truth.  This will, most likely, not be the end of it.

Now, let's add a few variables.  What if the liar made money from the lie?  Is it worse if they received some benefit from their lie?  It is definitely a strike against their character.  While there are different types of liars, the worst is the pathological liar.  A pathological liar is a person who lies to get their way.  These people are very goal oriented. They are also, often charismatic, manipulative, and show little or no concern for the feelings of others.
What if the liar is someone you've known for years?  Maybe they've been lying to you all along?  The manipulator will always find some way to convince you that what they are telling you is the truth. Even when you have a sinking feeling that they are wrong, they will tell another lie just to keep it going; even making you doubt yourself.

With all this in mind, would you still expect me to tell you the truth? What if that truth will call into question everything you believe to be true?  Do you still want to know?  I would.  So, let's take a look at the truth.

Truth can be defined as "the real facts about something".  Truth is pure.  It is not corrupt. Manipulators know this.  They also know that a small amount of untruth mixed into the truth allows it to appear to be true.  This is a classic tactic of the manipulator.  They can twist the truth ever so slightly, one may not even realize it has happened.  Once they do this, they can continue with their charade until what they are telling you couldn't be farther from the truth.

The real fact is that the church has been doing this for centuries.  It is generally accepted that the Hebrew Scriptures are the word of God. This truth is not only held by the Hebrew people.  It is held by most of the other religions of the world as well.    This can be called a "truth" in that it is generally accepted by most people.

The church is a master manipulator.  Keep in mind that when I say the church, I am referring to the entire Christian religion; all denominations. The church is extremely goal oriented.  They use charismatic leaders to convince trusting people to bend to their will.  This is where the trickery comes into play.  They appear to show genuine concern for other people but are only concerned as long as they are getting their way.  They will spend millions of dollars to help people while at the same time proselytizing them.  If you've ever worked in the church you know this to be true. Have you ever seen them help someone without mentioning that person's "salvation"?  They will explain that in doing this, they are only trying to give them the ultimate help; that is a life in christ.  This sounds like a good thing but isn't it proper to give charity without expecting anything in return?  You see, there is a little bit of pure truth, the charity, mixed with something else; an ulterior motive. Do you see the subtlety?

They do the same thing with scripture.  The church attempts to base itself on the Hebrew Scriptures. They include the "old testament" in their bible.  Of course, these scriptures have been maligned, but they include them.  They talk about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and David. They read from the Psalms.  This is the purity with which they mix their untruth. Take, for example, the concept of tithing.  Now the church will tell you that Jesus did away with the Law of Moses.  They will tell you that no one could ever follow it anyway.  But they will later tell you that you have to tithe.  This is part of the Law of Moses which they say no one can follow.  In their corrupted form, the tithe goes to the church.  This is not according to scripture.  One may argue that they need money to support the church.  They do, and they use some of it to do good.  But this doesn't excuse what they do to get it. If a bank robber gives some of his stolen money to charity he is still a thief.  Does this seem like a small thing to you?  It gets worse.

The church takes pieces of prophecy and tells us they are about Jesus. They do this in a tricky way. Words and phrases are changed to fit the story they are telling.  Most people don't read Hebrew unless they were raised in a Jewish household.  Throughout history, the church has used this fact to their advantage.  The translations we have today of the "old testament" have simply been accepted as legitimate.  No one ever thought to challenge the validity of the translations.  The only thing one could do would be to find a Jewish person to read it to determine if it was wrong.  But the church cunningly inserted a blockade for this.  The church tells us that the Jews are blind to their own scriptures.  The New Testament has nothing good to say about the Jews.  They are the bad guys in the story who can't be trusted.  So, most Christians simply stay away from them.  Not until recently, with the advent of the internet, have Christians even thought about looking into the Hebrew Scriptures. Many are finding out that what the church has been teaching for over two-thousand years is simply wrong.  There are some good English translations of the Hebrew Bible available online.  I invite you to look at them and decide for yourself. One that I like to use is on the Chabad website.  The Complete Jewish Bible.  It includes a great commentary by Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki 1040- 1105).

So there is the truth about the church and the lies it has been telling for so long.  I cannot urge you enough to study the Hebrew Scriptures.  It is amazing when you see the truth come alive.  Now that you have the information, what will you do with it?  Please don't misunderstand what I am telling you.  I am in no way saying that Christians are bad people.  I am not telling you they are maliciously telling you things that they know to be untrue.  Christians believe the way they do because it is what they were taught.  What they were taught is the lie.
The Bible teaches us that God is one.  The church teaches us that God is three.  The Bible teaches us that God is not a man.  The church teaches us that God became a man.  The Bible teaches us that God's word is eternal.  The church teaches us that God's word changed and that the Law is no more. The Bible teaches us that no one can die for the sins of another person.  The church teaches that Jesus died for our sins.  The Bible teaches us that the Messiah will have children.  The church teaches us that Jesus didn't have any children.  The Bible teaches us that the Messiah will sin and make a sin offering for himself.  The church teaches that Jesus was without sin.  The church teaches that the New Testament is the word of God, yet it is filled with contradictions.  Does God make mistakes?

So I leave you with the information.  Remember you have only two choices. You can either believe it or not.

  Copyright 2016 by
William Bouker