Jesus' simple Message of God's love.

Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Jesus' Family Tomb?

Well, here we go again. Last year we had the the Da Vinci Code which was nothing more than a re-hashing of the 1982 book, 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail' which was completely debunked back then.
All through history there have been people trying to discount the validity of the scriptures and the significance of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The latest which I'm sure many of you have heard about is the so called discovery of the tomb of Jesus and his so-called son. Once again this is an old story that was debunked several years ago. Unfortunately, some will buy into it without doing any research and the damage will be done. This is another reminder that we always need to be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks the reason for the hope that lies within us. 1Peter 3:15
Here is a great refutation of this latest attack on Christianity by Paul L. Maier Ph.D.,Litt.D:

Dear Friends and Readers,

...Please, lose no sleep over the Talpiot “discoveries” for the following reasons, and here are the facts:.

1) Nothing is new here: scholars have known about the ossuaries ever since March of 1980. The general public learned when the BBC filmed a documentary on them in 1996. James Tabor’s book, The Jesus Dynasty, also made a big fuss over the Talpiot tombs more recently, and now James Cameron (The Titanic) and Simcha Jacobovici have climbed aboard the sensationalist bandwagon as well.

2) All the names – Yeshua, Joseph, Maria, Mariamene, Matia, Judah, and Jose -- are extremely frequent Jewish names for that time and place, and thus most scholars consider this merely coincidental, as they did from the start. One-quarter of Jewish women at that time, for example, were named Maria.

3) There is no reason whatever to equate “Mary Magdalene” with “Mariamene,”as Jacobovici claims.

4) So what if her DNA is different from that of “Yeshua” ? That particular :Mariamme” (as it is usually spelled today) could indeed have been the wife of that particular “Yeshua.”

5) What in the world is the “Jesus Family” doing, having a burial plot in Jerusalem, of all places, the very city that crucified Jesus? Galilee was their home. In Galilee they could have had such a family plot, not Judea. Besides all of which, church tradition – and Eusebius – are unanimous in reporting that Mary died in Ephesus, where the apostle John, faithful to his commission from Jesus on the cross, had accompanied Mary.

6) If this were Jesus’ family burial, what is Matthew doing there – if indeed “Ma-tia” is thus to be translated?

7) How come there is no tradition whatever – Christian, Jewish, or secular -- that any part of the Holy Family was buried at Jerusalem?

8) Please note the extreme bias of the director and narrator, Simcha Jacobovici. The man is an Indiana-Jones-wannabe, who oversensationalizes anything he touches. You may have caught him on his TV special regarding The Exodus, in which the man “explained” just everything that still needed proving or explaining in the Exodus account in the Old Testament! It finally became ludicrous, and now he’s doing it again. – As for James Cameron, how do you follow The Titanic? Well, with an even more “titanic” story. He should have known better.

There are more arguments, to be sure, but I want to get this off pronto.

With warm regards,
Paul L. Maier

Pray for those that are easily decieved by this kind of nonsense.

God bless,


Thursday, 22 February 2007

Preaching The Word

A few years ago while my family and I were on the first leg of our missionary journey (in New Zealand) that would eventually lead us to Scotland we found ourselves struggling to find a decent church. In the course of the two plus months while in New Zealand we visited about five different churches for Sunday morning services. There was one we heard that had some life and the preacher was apparently a good communicator so we decided to give that a try. Well after things didn't pan out the way we had hoped once again I decided I would just read my bible and found God leading me to 2 Timothy 4:2 which says, "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction." Now, I had read this passage many times before but this time it jumped out at me as though God were screaming it in my ear. Just prior to this in chapter 3 Paul is speaking about how in the last days people will try and find someone to tickle their itching ears. In other words tell them nice little fluffy feel good stories to make them feel good about themselves and the world instead of the truth.
Today this mentality is everywhere in the church where people show up on a Sunday at church to get a good vibe, network with other people to grow their businesses or just socialize. So many times the preacher will choose topical messages that keep them in safe territory with the congregation so that hopefully the numbers will grow.
So, what do we do at Alva Baptist? We are preaching straight through the bible starting with the gospel of John and dealing with the feel good stories and the difficult ones as well and letting God's word speak for itself. Our prayer in doing this is that instead of leaning on our own cleverness we will lean on the power of the Holy Spirit through God's word to speak directly to hearts so that they are changed not just for time but for eternity.
Whether we have 5 people or 5,000, our main goal is that people are fed the word of God. Jesus said, 'feed my sheep'! He didn't say do whatever you have to do to get more people in the building.
Later after that service we attended we went to pick up the kids from Sunday School and found their Sunday School lesson consisted of watching Eddie Murphy in 'Daddy Daycare'. Well, at least they were consistent.