Christians worship on Sunday because of the Sunday Resurrection and the deliberate Sunday appearances of the resurrected Christ. Really?

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Unless otherwise noted, all verses below are taken from the King James Version of the bible.

Table of Contents

  1. The Introduction
  2. Christianity is a Jewish faith
  3. God told the Jews when to worship
  4. God wants Gentile believers to keep the biblical Sabbath
  5. The Scriptures say that New Covenant Sabbath-keepers will receive a better name, a better heritage and much more!
  6. Early Christians assembled on the Sabbath Day
  7. If the Sabbath has truly been abolished then why should the Church still assemble?
  8. The Sabbath law was done away with in the New Covenant but it will soon be mandatory in the New Covenant. Wait, what?
  9. The Sabbath law is a necessary inference of Genesis 2:2-3
  10. The seven-day week betrays the ongoing relevance of the Sabbath
  11. Are there certain commandments in the Mosaic Law which are no longer applicable? If so, what does this mean?
  12. The Law has been “abolished” yet it “remains in effect.” Are you confused? So am I!
  13. According to Hebrews 4:9, there remains an “observance of the Sabbath”
  14. Are those who disregard the Sabbath being disloyal to God?
  15. Exploring the origins of Sunday worship
  16. Hijacking the “Lord’s Day”
  17. Extra-biblical Evidence of Sabbath-keeping Throughout Church History
  18. Constantine, Antisemitism and the persecution of Sabbath-Keepers
  19. Ecclesiastical forgeries and the Roman State Church’s involvement in Sunday Worship
  20. Keeping the Sabbath obligates one to keep the whole law? Really?

The Introduction

This may come as a shock to some, but in all of the bible, there is no verse which commands Christians to come together for corporate worship on a Sunday. Neither is there a verse which records Christians coming together for routine worship on a Sunday.

There is the oft-cited Acts 20:7 which mentions a Sunday evening Christian gathering (which would actually be Monday in Jewish reckoning) where the apostle Paul preached until midnight, but the purpose of this meeting was for fellowship and dinner, hence the term “breaking bread” which is used therein. Sometimes “breaking bread” can also refer to partaking in Holy Communion (e.g. Matthew 26:26, 1 Corinthians 10:16-17), nevertheless, this biblical phrase, on several occasions including this one (see Acts 20:11), only referred to eating a meal (e.g. Lamentations 4:4; Luke 24:30,35; Acts 2:46; Acts 20:11, Acts 27:33-35 etc.). Another verse often cited is 1 Corinthians 16:2 which pertains to private preparation, doesn’t even mention a Christian gathering, and is therefore wholly irrelevant to the matter of corporate worship. Continue reading

Pastor Lon Solomon says Paul tried to get intellectual with the gospel and was “booed off the stage.” Really?

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The other day I was watching Ken Ham’s Foundation Series DVD entitled: “Revealing the Unknown God” where on the second half of the DVD Ken was talking about how he felt like crying after reading one of the devotions from a devotional booklet that was printed for a particular group of reformed churches in Michigan. The devotion stated:

Paul came to Corinth speaking the gospel in simple terms. He had just journeyed there from Athens where he had drawn on his education and tried to communicate the gospel in the style of a philosopher. He even quoted from the Greek poets. The result? The great missionary fell flat on his face. I can picture him entering into his diary, “Don’t ever try this again. The cross doesn’t need my verbal decorations.” – Chic Broersma, https://woh.org/word/devotionals/2010/01/03

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In eight consecutive verses, eight different times Jesus claims to be God

The bible informs us that one of the reasons why Jesus was killed was because of His claim to deity (Mark 14:61-64) and yet it is popular to hear some assert that Jesus never claimed to be God. In a recent bible study, I made the observation that within the John 5:1-24 excerpt, Jesus made five (initially I actually said three) claims to deity and I set out to discuss them but time did not allow for me to delve into each one with the depth that each deserved. However, upon writing this blog as a way to address the deity claims after the fact, I ended up documenting eight distinct claims to deity. In fact, if you carefully follow my reasoning below you may find that there are more than the eight listed.

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Jonah and the whale is pretty much all allegorical. Really?

Friend:
I was listening to Bill O’reilly at Foxnews who was telling his guest that the Bible, especially Jonah and the whale is pretty much all allegorical. What say you?

James:
I did not see the segment when it aired live but from what I can tell, from watching the dialogue (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcAZm4_LLnA) it appears that Bill’s entire argument is based upon applying the verification principle. The idea that nothing can be true or even false unless it can be verified or falsified by sensory experience. What is unverifiable is neither true nor false but meaningless (hence the need in Bill’s case to allegorize it). Unfortunately, if we were to apply O’reilly’s hermeneutic (particular way of interpreting scripture) consistently we will end up being forced to abandon the most foundational aspects of the bible since creation from nothing (ex nihilo) has never been observed nor has a virgin giving birth (in humans), nor has science any examples of a man rising from the dead. Yet Bill considers himself a Catholic and a Christian. The irony in relying on the verification principle is that the principle itself fails on it own terms, the verification principle (i.e. the idea that nothing can be true or even false unless it can be verified or falsified by sensory experience) itself cannot be verified and hence is meaningless. We can thus neatly dispose of this form of thinking since self-refuting ideas are necessarily false based upon the law of non-contradiction. Furthermore, Jesus Himself used the authenticity of Jonah’s event to buttress His claim that He would be dead for three days, He said: Continue reading

Contending for the Faith: Refuting “The Ledge” Movie

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The plot of the film entitled “The Ledge” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1535970/) centers around an openly atheist hero (Gavin) and a Christian villain (Joe). At a particular point during the film, the conservative Christian husband engages in some interesting dialogue with the atheist man trying to seduce his wife. It is most of this dialogue that this blog concerns itself with. The film’s director is an outspoken atheist named Matthew Chapman, who also happens to be the great-great grandson of Charles Darwin. He claims that he didn’t make the film for atheists, but anyone who watches this movie may come away with a different opinion. Either way, not much appears on the web in the way of critiquing what must be characterized as an utterly irrational attempt at dispelling the Christian worldview. So I decided to provide a rational response to a particular section of the contrived dialogue that comprises the crux of the film’s aim. Specifically, I have identified at least 20 errors in reasoning that occur during the dialogue that the listener may or may not have picked up on.
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How would you respond?

A friend asked:

 Just curious, how would you guys respond to the comment below:

Skeptic:

Religious people are the ones making claims, and thus the burden of proof are on their shoulders.What I’m pointing out, or at least have been trying to point out is that we have very different understandings of the words “valid evidence”. The reason why I point out the similarities in the arguments between different religions, is that you can’t exactly go and say that XY and Z is proof that YOUR God exist when the other corner does exactly the same thing with the exact same ‘evidence’ to prove that THEIR God is real.

If we’re in court, and you’re trying to prove me guilty of breaking into a house, it’s going to be hard for me to prove that I’m not guilty with the exact same evidence you bring to the table to prove that I am. One of us must be mistaken about what the evidence actually points to, or we’re both wrong in even thinking that it’s evidence (for or against) to begin with. Continue reading

Irrational attacks against the Bible

Co-Worker:
It is a matter of history that the bible is the invention of a group of men coming together in a room to decide which books would go in and which ones wouldn’t therefore it isn’t the Word of God.

James:
It should be immediately apparent to any student of logic that the argument above amounts to making many mistakes in reasoning. Assuming that the above claim is referring to the famed 397 AD Council of Carthage, it would then also be false for espousing historical inaccuracies as the canon that emerged from that council differs from the canon that I axiomatically subscribe to and which is found in, for instance, the KJV or any other bible based upon the Textus Receptus.  Furthermore, any account suggesting that the scriptural canon was the result of scholars deliberating in some Roman Catholic-driven council is defied by the very words of Scripture itself.  For instance, in 1 Thessalonians 2:13  we are told of Christians who recognized that the Apostle Paul’s words were of divine origin and received it as the Word of God without the help of a council. This scripture is corroborated by Christ’s claim in John 10:27, 5  which suggests that Christians–by virtue of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God–are individually able to discern what is God’s Word and what isn’t. In fact, the bible goes as far as stating that Christians DO NOT NEED a person, a council or any other man made establishment in order to arrive at truth since they are indwelt by the Arbiter of truth, namely, the Holy Spirit of God (1 John 2:27). Finally, there is reason to believe that the skeptic above is equivocating on the word God since in the context of this conversation it became evident that he was largely ignorant of the Biblical God to whom the claim above pertains.

Other Errors in reasoning

  1. Asserting the Consequent:
    (P – The Antecedent) If the proposition that the bible is NOT the word of the biblical God is to be affirmed (Q – The Consequent) the bible’s transmittal and assembling will involve the efforts of men. (Asserting Q) The bible was transmitted and assembled through the efforts of certain men (P) therefore it is impossible for it to be the Word of the Biblical God.
    The form of this logical fallacy is:  if P then Q, Q therefore P (where P and Q are premises).
    The classic example that is used to demonstrate the absurdity of this reasoning is: (P) if it is raining then (Q) the streets are wet; (Q) the streets are wet, (P) therefore it must be raining. The reason that this line of reasoning is fallacious is because there are many other reasons that could equally explain why the streets are wet so the conclusion that it must be raining is not a necessary inference, thus it is an invalid inference. Likewise, the conclusion that the bible cannot be the Word of God because of man’s involvement in its composition introduces an arbitrary and unnecessary restriction on how God chooses to reveals His word to man; therefore, it is an invalid inference and a mistake in reasoning.
  2. Falsifying the Axiom:
    The central Christian axiom of Scripture states that the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God. This axiom, just like any other, is not open to further discussion about it’s truthfulness or falsehood and yet the skeptic above tries to demonstrate that this axiom is false; hence, the error in reasoning. To quote the Christian Philosopher Dr. Gordon H. Clark:“One does not, need not, and cannot prove axioms. Yet they are indispensable; every philosophy and every person must have axioms, or there would be no philosophy and no persons. From this axiom [the 66 Books of the bible alone are the Word of God] , all other Christian doctrines follow.”

    If the skeptic would like to criticize an opponents worldview, the skeptic must be willing to temporarily accept the axioms of the offending worldview in order to perform an internal critique and demonstrate that the axiom’s necessary consequences are not congruent with reality; the skeptic must show that they lead to logically unacceptable conclusions.

  3. Appealing to an Artificial Authority:
    The skeptic above would have us believe that his statement above is a true statement yet he has not demonstrated himself to be a valid arbiter of truth and is therefore incapable of authoring propositions that must be considered truth. It is an error in reasoning for the skeptic to elevate his opinion to the level of truth unless of course it can be demonstrated that his opinion coincides with a previously revealed proposition from the Arbiter of truth or it is the corollary (a necessary inference) of such a proposition. In other words, how does the skeptic know that his conclusion is “true“?