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Go on a mission trip or don’t call yourself Christian!

Posted by truthtalklive on May 27, 2008

Today Stu interviews Jeff & Jodie Chetwood, missionaries with International Commission. They have recently returned from a trip to Taiwan. For more information on their organization visit www. ic-world.org

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You can listen to either show online after 6pm EST at www.wtru.com

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56 Responses to “Go on a mission trip or don’t call yourself Christian!”

  1. jAsOn said

    I know your provocative title wasn’t meant to suggest that, unless one has been on a mission trip, one can’t call himself a child of God, right? 🙂

  2. zerxil said

    Depends on what your definition of “mission trip” is…

  3. ADB said

    What about the whole idea of 1 Corinthians 12? Not all Christians have the gifts and graces for use in the mission field. God does not call everyone to the mission field. Now if God is indeed calling you to missionary work, ya gotta go!

  4. John said

    This website could be your “mission trip” ADB.Know what I mean[smile]? For example it helped you encounter people like me, F. L. A., Atheists Fred and Chris C.[among others],Amanda and her son the Mormons, a few homosexuals, etc.
    Take advantage of opportunity when and where you can find it.

  5. Jeff42 said

    Today on the show I heard it said that the beginning of Matt. 28:19 should read “as you are going …” This is a common misconception so I thought I would address it. The Greek participle that begins the verse is actually what is known as an “attendant circumstance” participle. It takes on the mood of the main verb (translated “make disciples”)which is an imperative. This means that the participle should also be translated as a command, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, …”

  6. Jeff42 said

    If any are interested, you can get more information about attendant circumstance participles from “Greek Grammar: Beyond the Basics,” by Daniel Wallace, pages 640-645.

  7. Maz said

    I believe evey believer should be a witness to Jesus Christ. The mission field is the world, not just going abroad to some foreign country or getting involved with ‘a mission’ as such.

  8. stu said

    Isn’t it time to be provocative?
    So few Christians are sharing their faith, maybe we need a little jolt!

    I’m with you Maz—Life is a Mission trip! Let’s be ambitious about the Gospel.

    For those of you who can’t go, even on a short term trip, I praisi God for you and your witness right here where you’re planted.

    For those of you who can go on a short-term trip–by all means GO! You’ll never be the same!

  9. MissionMinded said

    Didn’t hear the show but…..

    Your personal mission field is where you are with what gifts/talents/abilities God has given you. An American missionary to a foreign field cannot do what an indegenous local native Christian can do in his own area/country/culture.

    Nothing wrong with short-term missions, but should we raise thousands of dollars a year to send an American into a culture that a local Christian could be more effective in for a fraction of the cost? I know of many missionaries that do not go to evangelize but to “disciple” the local Christian leaders so that the locals can send out their own missionaries. These local Christians don’t want American Christians going out, they want us equipping them.

    And I disagree with Jeff42, the Greek does indeed read “as you are going” it is a lifestyle of evangelism and discipleship.

    Lastly, American is the worlds largest mission field. We have thousands of imigrants coming into America. As has been said already, we have the internet. We send millions of dollars, thousands of missionaries overseas and we neglect the unbelievers in our own back yards.

    To get equipped with sound Biblical tools, visit Good Seed dot com or New Tribes missions.

  10. Maz said

    Stu: I have been a Christian for over thirty years and as nervous as I was at first I was encouraged with a few other christians of like mind, to go onto the local streets with tracts.
    Since then as my confidence grew in myself and in God I have been on my own regularly to give out tracts on the streets, talk to people, do surveys (which are a good way of getting people to open up because most people like answering questions) knock on doors (it’s funny because most people who open the door seem to think I’m a J.W!) write letters in my local newpaper, post tracts through every door in my town (about 40,000 homes!!)atleast once if not several times, and also in other towns witnessing on the street with tracts. I’v been involved in street witness with my Church, singing, preaching etc.(I love it!) and other crusade events.
    I’m not trying to pat myself on the back or want any credit for what I’v done because it is all of God. I would never have had the courage to do any of it without the Lord. And if there is anyone that feels too shy or nervous….just step out….make a start like i did, and soon you will get the confidence to do things for God you never thought you would or could.

  11. Fred said

    “When the missionaries arrived, the Africans had the land and the Missionaries had the Bible. They taught us how to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them, they had the land and we had the Bible.” Jomo Kenyatta

    “The pioneers and missionaries of religion have been the real cause of more trouble and war than all other classes of mankind.” – Edgar Allen Poe

    “Missionaries are perfect nuisances and leave every place worse than they found it.” – Charles Dickens

    “The most heinous and the most cruel crimes of which history has record have been committed under the cover of religion or equally noble motives.” – Mohandas Gandi

    “A soul? Give my watch to a savage, and he will think it has a soul.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

    “They came with a Bible and their religion, stole our land, crushed our spirit, and now tell us we should be thankful to the Lord for being saved.” – Pontiac

  12. Jeff42 said

    MissionMinded,

    I applaud your passion for home missions here in America and for sending missionaries to train indigenous leaders in foreign countries. These are both necessary. But, it is also necessary to train and send out missionaries to tribes and tongues that have never heard the gospel. There are millions around the world who have never heard the gospel. They have no Christians that can be trained and sent out, so it is very necessary for pioneer missionaries to go to these people with the gospel. We all have a role to play in missions. Some train and go to the foreign field, while others stay behind and support those who go. We are not all called to go to foreign countries, but we are all called to participate in the Great Commission.

    As to your disagreement over the translation of Matthew 28:19, what do you base that on? You are not only disagreeing with me. I’m surely not smart enough to figure these things out on my own. Check out the major translations. They all translate it as a command – “Go.”

    ASV Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit:

    ESV Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

    KJV Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

    NAS Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

    NET Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

    NIV Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

    NKJ Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

    To translate it as an adverbial participle is to turn the Great Commission into the Great Suggestion (Daniel Wallace). Most may not be interested, but for those who are, here is more information on attendant circumstance participles:

    ATTENDANT CIRCUMSTANCE PARTICIPLE

    Definition:

    The attendant circumstance participle is used to communicate an action that, in some sense, is coordinate with the main verb. In this respect it is not dependent, for it is translated like a verb. Yet it is still dependent semantically, because it cannot exist without the main verb. It is translated as a finite verb connected to the main verb by “and.” The participle then, in effect, “piggy backs” on the mood of the main verb. This usage is relatively common, but widely misunderstood.

    Clarification:

    The attendant circumstance participle will always be related to a finite verb, and it derives its mood from the main verb. If a participle makes good sense when treated as an adverbial participle, we should not seek to treat it as attendant circumstance.

    Structure:

    All five of the following features occur in at least 90% of the instances of attendant circumstance. The conclusion from this is that if these five features are not present (or if one or two of them are not present), to label a participle as attendant circumstance needs strong corroborative evidence. The five features are:

    1) The tense of the participle is usually aorist.
    2) The tense of the main verb is usually aorist.
    3) The mood of the main verb is usually imperative or indicative.
    4) The participle will precede the main verb – both in word order and in time of event.
    5) Attendant circumstance participles occur frequently in narrative literature, infrequently elsewhere.

    (All five of these are present in Matt. 28:19.)

    Semantics:

    First, the attendant circumstance participle often introduces a new action or a shift in the narrative. This is a key for identifying this usage.

    Second, a greater emphasis is placed on the action of the main verb than on the participle. That is, the participle is something of a prerequisite before the action of the main verb can occur. (Obviously, it is necessary to “go” if we are to make disciples of all nations.)

    (Above mostly taken from Greek Grammar: Beyond the Basics, by Daniel Wallace.)

    From this description, it is very easy to see that the aorist participle (poreuthentes) in Matt. 28:19 meets the qualification for an attendant circumstance participle.

    In Matthew, every other instance of poreuthentes (the aorist participle of poreuomai) followed by an aorist main verb (either indicative or imperative) is clearly attendant circumstance (Wallace).

    Bottom line, the church has been commanded to make disciples of all nations. Attached to that command is the command to “go.”

  13. MissionMinded said

    Fred,

    So much anger and bitterness 😦

    I think the issue could possibly be the Calvinist or Reformed mindset of some Christians to conquer in the name of Christ. One thing that is clear in the Scriptures is that one can be a Christian without becoming like a Jew. In other words, an Ethiopian can become a Christian without having to stop being culturally an Ethiopian. For some reason some missionaries beleive that a different culture should have the same music and dress that American Christians do. One example would be a Christian congregation in a small tribal village in the African continent that sings only American hymns, the preacher preaches with suit-n-tie, and they only use the KJV Bible. Yes, there are churches out there that are like this.

    That is another problem with Americans going overseas to evangelize. So many seem to think that along with Jesus Christ, the unbelievers in foreign lands also need to be Americanized.

    I agree, religion is evil. But a relationship with Jesus Christ is not religion, no more than a relationship with your spouse is.

    The native Americans were done wrong by European settlers, no doubt. Even done wrong in the name of the Christian “religion”, yet we cannot assume that all Christianity is evil, nor can we assume that all Christians are responsible for the misinterpretations of a few.

    Anyone who reads the New Testament, especially the letters of Paul, will see that a lot of what is done in the name of Christ today and the past few hundred years is not Biblical.

    The Old Testament was written with a purpose for particularly one people group, the Jews. Even though there is some application for all humanity. The New testament was written with a purpose and mainly for one people group, the Christians. Even though there is some application for all humanity. One error that is very costly is the mixing of law & grace and the mixing of physical Israel & Spiritual body of Christ.

    Again, a great example of Christian mission work that does not seek to convert to “American Christianity” is New Tribes Missions.

    And my ancestry includes the Cherokee tribe of NC and also African & European. I am a typical American in the great American melting pot, yet I would never force my Americanism on another culture. There is a distinction between Christ and culture. As long as the cultural distinctions are not against Scripture, then we have no reason to change it. Example: sacrificing 1st born to the cultural gods.

  14. MissionMinded said

    Jeff42,

    It really doesn’t matter whether it is “go” or “as you are going”. Most American Christians don’t do either 😉

    My point was missionwork is a lifestyle. I see so many missionaries that will raise thousands of dollars annually to go to a foreign field, yet won’t even walk across the street to speak to their neighbor.

    Also, pioneering work is completely different than standard Christian mssionary work. Pioneer work would represent Pauls heart to reach the unreached and not tread where other missionaries have been. Yet, how many missionaries really go into the 10/40 window? The statistics say not many. And it should be the pioneer missionary’s desire to evangelize, establish a local assembly equipped with a group of elders that can function on its own with little assistence. Thus giving the task of church planting and evangelism to the local believers.

    Look at the average denomination. They have hundreds of missionaries in Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, brazil, South Africa, etc. and maybe one or two in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, etc.

    We, as American Christians fail at mission work. We fail at local missions. If we were succeeding, then why in the world are Chinese Christians being sent out to American as missionaries? Why are Chinese Christians preparing to go to the mission field in the 10/40 window?

    Every American Christian should indeed go on a short-term mission trip. But I dare say, unless you are going as a pioneer missionary, don’t go as a fulltime foreign missionary. The local Christians are more able to work in their own culture. Send them literature and resources to equip them. Support a local missionary instead of raising thousands to support yourself. It would be much cheaper.

    Ok, I’m getting off my soapbox now 🙂

  15. jAsOn said

    Missionminded said, “I think the issue could possibly be the Calvinist or Reformed mindset of some Christians to conquer in the name of Christ.”

    Could you expound on that, b/c in its cryptic form it makes no sense, what is your premise there, and how does your comment relate to Fred’s comments?

    Also, you said, “The Old Testament was written with a purpose for particularly one people group, the Jews. Even though there is some application for all humanity. The New testament was written with a purpose and mainly for one people group, the Christians. Even though there is some application for all humanity. One error that is very costly is the mixing of law & grace and the mixing of physical Israel & Spiritual body of Christ.”

    Paul said this of the OT & the NT scriptures that existed at the time, “16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work”

    I agree that mixing Law and grace is a costly error, but how is “mixing of physical Israel & Spiritual body of Christ” a parallel, and who is doing that?

  16. Maz said

    Mission minded: I agree in part to what you said about the Native American Indians. But we can’t generalise any more than those that generalise about what ‘Chistians’ have done in the past. A lot of settlers just wanted…to settle,in a new land. The American government I believe wanted land that the Indians owned, they did an awful lot to almost irradicate a people from their own country. I am not American so I don’t know too much about American history but I have a certain empathy for what these people suffered and still suffer to a certain extent. They lost their land and their way of life. It was cruel and heartless, yet there were also ‘Christians’ that were involved in trying to change these, what they called ‘savage people’, into civilized Americans. You can’t do that.
    I love what has happened in the South American jungle, where Steve Saint lived for some years with a tribe there. I’v mentioned the story before, probably most people know it. A wonderful story of dedication, love and forgiveness.
    But these people weren’t made to become Americans, they did choose to follow Christ because of the love and forgiveness shown them, and they still live fairly simple lives in the jungle as far as I know.

  17. some guy said

    I recall some churches have “you are now entering the mission field” signs located @ the property perimeter–this is a great reminder that even wal-mart, food lion or fred’s house can be great places to talk about spiritual topics and how Jesus desires to reveal himself to each and every person.

  18. F. L. A. said

    As John implied in post#4, you could also be a “cyber-missionary.

  19. zerxil said

    “I agree that mixing Law and grace is a costly error, but how is “mixing of physical Israel & Spiritual body of Christ” a parallel, and who is doing that?”

    Um I thought you state the law & show and than explain the grace. Physical Israel is a state that has all kinds of people in it religious & non. The spiritual body of Christ is all Christians.

  20. jAsOn said

    Physical Israel is the nation with which God made His covenant through Moses, thus giving His Law on tablets of stone. The spiritual body of Christ is everyone who believes, both Jew and gentile.

  21. ADB said

    Been away. In my comments earlier I took “mission trip” to be a just what it sounds like- a mission trip to a strange or distant land. Not everyone is called to do that, but we are all to serve the Body of Christ however we are gifted and led to. This may be spending years in the Brazilian jungle, teaching kids Sunday School, as an itinerant evangelist, visiting the sick and shut-in, preaching and teaching faithfully in the local church. All this being said, all Christians are, in the words of Peter expected to be “ready to give a defense.”

  22. Fred said

    Mission minded, I simply supplied some quotes from some famous people regarding Christian missionaries. I did this to illustrate that the way Christians see themselves and their gospel is not the way the rest of the world perceives them. You agree that religion is evil and Christians often make the same claim and then claim a relationship with a figure that they can only imagine exists and they are having a relationship with isn’t religion. I’ll agree, it’s a fear induced superstition. The same people who claim faith in Christ isn’t a religion claim that the theory of evolution is. Nothing could be more opposed to the truth and since that isn’t true there is no reason to listen to any of the pie-in-the-sky nonsense that is the Christian gospel. I know you people mean well but you have been mislead yourselves and are therefore misleading others. When you tell children to believe something that you yourselves cannot prove you are committing child abuse.

  23. jAsOn said

    Fred, there is more historical evidence proving the accurate transmition of the Christian gospels than any other historical documents known to man. Christianity is no mere superstition, but a belief rooted in the most precise representation of rationality known to man.

  24. Fred said

    Jason supply this evidence proving the accurate transmission of the Christian Gospels. Prove that anything in them is historical. Christianity is rational? Believing a man spent three days in the belly of a fish or that a 500 year old man built a ship the size of the Titanic is rational? Belief in demons, angels, devils, giants, dragons, unicorns, cockatrices, fiery serpents, seraphs, Satan, flying serpents, witches calling up dead people…. is rational? Your idea of rational and mine differ greatly. Supply this evidence that you have to prove your claims please.

  25. jAsOn said

    First of all Fred, you seen to think that in order for something to be rational it must be collected as data empirically proven by the scientific method. If it does not violate the laws of logic, then it is rational.

    Like I said Fred, the words we have preserved as the texts of the scriptures are those words originally written. Jesus of Nazareth was a real historical figure who actually died on the cross and was seen by no less than 500 persons at one time after He had died, and many others at various other times as well. Their testimonies have stood the test of time. You should research the historical understanding of the terms, giants, cockatrices and dragons, ( I suggest that fiery serpents doesn’t mean what you think) and as for and flying serpents, I don’t know to what you are referring.

    If you are an atheist, Fred, I suggest that your belief is the irrational one.

  26. Fred said

    Jason, just as I thought you have no evidence that the gospels are an accurate reporting of facts. 500 people saw Jesus? And where does this information appear? Why in the Bible of course and nowhere else. You can’t use the Bible to prove the Bible is true my friend. What you are trying to do is like proving the exitence of Batman by citing the eyewitness testimony of Robin the Boy Wonder. As usual I get the same old Christian nonsense: The Bible is true because it says it is! LMAO!

    There is no evidence from outside the Bible that anything the Bible syas even might be true. There is no evdience that any of the major figures described in the Bible existed either. Let’s see what a Christian publication has to say about this: “Archaeological dat have now definitely confirmed that the empire of David and Solomon never existed.” – Biblical Archaeological Revue 31, no. 1 (January/February 2005): 16-17.

    Saying atheism is not logical is absurd. It isn’t logical to ignore other PEOPLE when they talk about an invisible, silent, mind-reading sky fairy? Your worldview is upside down and backwards. You are as irrational as you cane be and the anti-logic you spout off would make you the laughingstock of any first year philosophy class.

  27. Fred said

    Jason ,we have no original manuscripts of the Bible. We don’t have any copies of the originals either. What we have is copies of copies of copies of copies of copies of copies of copies and these copies have over 400,000 places where they disagree with each other. The Bible has never withstoood even the slightest critcisms and this is why you believers are told you must believe it at the penalty of eternal torment. Without that threat, no one would believe the absurd barbaric myths in the Bible.

  28. Maz said

    To all intents and purposes I do truly feel deep down in my heart that if Jesus appeared to Fred in a bright shining light, he would still not believe in Him. If Noah’s Ark was really found, if they found one of the Pharoahs chariots in the Red Sea, or the Ark of the Covenant beneath the old temple grounds, if the sky was to open up and Heaven could be seen, he would still not believe.
    Are we not banging our heads against the proverbial brick wall?

  29. Fred said

    Oops, I apologize for the spicy language. I truly forget that words have power over Christians and some are offensive to them. Free-thinkers like myself have a hard time grasping the fantasy that words have some kind of magical power. Sorry.

  30. Jeff42 said

    The New Testament is approximately 99.5% textually pure. This means that of all the manuscripts in existence they agree completely 99.5% of the time. Of the variants that occur, mostly are easily explainable and very few have any effect on the meaning of passages. Many are simply differences in spelling. In all, no New Testament doctrine is affected by any variant reading.

  31. jAsOn said

    You apparently don’t understand the actual differences between Christianity and Mormonism.

    It is the inconsistent way in which “scholars” deal with the historical evidence regarding the bible that is objectionable. We are not now arguing if what was said in the bible was true, just that what was recorded was actually said…that is the context of our discussion here.

    Christians shouldn’t assert their moral superiority, but should assert their dependence on the superiority of Christ and His merit. None of us are yet perfected.

    Your rantings largely lack persuasion and contain a multitude of fallacious argumentation.

  32. Fred, what a shame. You had such potential as a contributor. Alas, you ignored our warnings and now become the 2nd person in 1.5 years to get banned from this site.

    Fred, this is easy for us to do. We can block any IP address on the planet. Jump on another computer and try to post again….we’ll block that IP address too.

    Sad that your ignorance got the best of you.

    Goodbye, Fred.

    The Moderator

  33. zerxil said

    33 IN ABOUT 2 WEEKS OR IS wILLIE JUST BEING EDITED?

  34. zerxil said

    FRED Had some good points, his research on certain things was flawed (or downright wrong) though. And he was blasphemous, you were right maz.

  35. jAsOn said

    Wow! That was unexpected

  36. Maz said

    I thot it was about time actually. It was one thing to insult me and other Christians here, but He was constantly blaspheming God and His Beloved Son Jesus by his total ignorance of the Truth and his hateful attitude. We can still pray for him though.

  37. Maz said

    Titus 3 v 10,11: ”A man that is an heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject, knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sins, being condemned of himself”

  38. Jeff42 said

    The New Testament is constantly under attack and its reliability and accuracy are often contested by critics. But, if the critics want to disregard the New Testament, then they must also disregard other ancient writings by Plato, Aristotle, and Homer. This is because the New Testament documents are better preserved and more numerous than any other ancient writing. Because the copies are so numerous, they can be cross checked for accuracy. This process has determined that the biblical documents are extremely consistent and accurate.
    There are presently 5,686 Greek manuscripts in existence today for the New Testament. If we were to compare the number of New Testament manuscripts to other ancient writings, we find that the New Testament manuscripts far outweigh the others in quantity.

    Pliny – written 61-113 A.D. – earliest copy 850 A.D. – time span 750 yrs – number of copies 7

    Plato – written 427-347 B.C. – earliest copy 900 A.D. – time span 1200 yrs – number of copies 7

    Demosthenes – written 4th Cent. B.C. – earliest copy 1100 A.D. – time span 800 yrs – copies 8

    Herodotus – written 480-425 B.C. – earliest copy 900 A.D. – time span 1300 yrs – copies 8

    Suetonius – written 75-160 A.D. – earliest copy 950 A.D. – time span 800 yrs – copies 8

    Thucydides – written 460-400 B.C. – earliest copy 900 A.D. – time span 1300 yrs – copies 8

    Euripides – written 480-406 B.C. – earliest copy 1100 A.D. – time span 1300 yrs – copies 9

    Aristophanes – written 450-385 B.C. – earliest copy 900 A.D. – time span 1200 yrs – copies 10

    Caesar – written 100-44 B.C. – earliest copy 900 A.D. – time span 1000 yrs – copies 10

    Tacitus – written circa 100 A.D. – earliest copy 1100 A.D. – time span 1000 yrs – copies 20

    Aristotle – written 384-322 B.C. – earliest copy 1100 A.D. – time span 1400 yrs – copies 49

    Sophocles – written 496-406 B.C. – earliest copy 1000 A.D. – time span 1400 yrs – copies 193

    Homer (Iliad) – written 900 B.C. – earliest copy 400 B.C. – time span 500 yrs – copies 643

    New Testament – written 50 to 100 AD – earliest copy ~130 AD – time span less than 100 years – copies 5600

    As you can see, there are thousands more New Testament Greek manuscripts than any other ancient writing. The internal consistency of the New Testament documents is about 99.5% textually pure. That is an amazing accuracy. In addition there are over 19,000 copies in the Syriac, Latin, Coptic, and Aramaic languages. The total supporting New Testament manuscript base is over 24,000.
    Almost all biblical scholars agree that the New Testament documents were all written before the close of the first century. If Jesus was crucified in 30 A.D., then that means that the entire New Testament was completed within 70 years. This is important because it means there were plenty of people around when the New Testament documents were penned who could have contested the writings. In other words, those who wrote the documents knew that if they were inaccurate, plenty of people would have pointed it out. But, we have absolutely no ancient documents contemporary with the first century that contest the New Testament texts.
    Furthermore, another important aspect of this discussion is the fact that we have a fragment of the gospel of John that dates back to around 29 years from the original writing. This is extremely close to the original writing date. This is simply unheard of in any other ancient writing and it demonstrates that the Gospel of John is a first century document.
    Below are some of the oldest extant New Testament manuscripts compared to when they were originally penned. Compare these time spans with the next closest which is Homer’s Iliad where the closest copy from the original is 500 years later. Undoubtedly, that period of time allows for more textual corruption in its transmission. How much less so for the New Testament documents?

    John Rylands Fragment – Circa 125 AD – ~30 years after original

    Chester Beatty Papyrus – Circa 150 AD – ~150 years after original

    Bodmer Papyrus – Circa 200 AD – ~130 years after original

    If the critics of the Bible dismiss the New Testament as reliable information, then they must also dismiss the reliability of the writings of Plato, Aristotle, Caesar, Homer, and the other authors mentioned. On the other hand, if the critics acknowledge the historicity and writings of those other individuals, then they must also retain the historicity and writings of the New Testament authors; after all, the evidence for the New Testament’s reliability is far greater than the others. The Christian has substantially superior criteria for affirming the New Testament documents than he does for any other ancient writing. It is good evidence on which to base the trust in the reliability of the New Testament.

    (taken from Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry)

  39. We don’t feel like we’re asking too much. Our rules are simple.

    – No profanity of any kind.
    – Nothing obscene or vulgar, including links to the same.
    – Show respect and diplomacy, regardless of beliefs.
    – It’s OK to agree to disagree.
    – Stick to the topic.

    We’ll give 2 warnings. The 3rd time we have no choice, but to block the user.

    We’ve stated these over and over and over.

    We get an unbelievable amount of spam that never makes it, thankfully.

    We’ll be approving every comment before it’s posted, for the time being.

    Moderator (not Stu)

  40. jAsOn said

    Thanks Jeff…that is very helpful!

    I think we all can understand the reasons behind the TTL blog policy, just sorry it had to happen.

    Based on Fred’s malice I don’t think he was particularly interested in dialog anyway; I have found that a more irenic tone is generally more persuasive.

  41. Folks, we were forced to remove Fred’s post containing the “f” word. Our desire is to keep the site completely free of profanity.

    Here is the post, minus the expletive:

    Truth Personified vs Personified God Christians claim that Jesus was truth personified, the “word” (logos) that “become flesh”. Yet these same Christians who claim that “truth” itself used to wet its diaper as a flesh and blood infant, mock the Mormons for… having gods of flesh and blood.

    History vs HIS STORY Christians crave to have their New Testament treated with the same respect that any history book receives. Like Rodney Dangerfield, they feel “no respect” when their Bible is instead treated like any other ancient wacko religious writing rather than legit history. Listen to Christian author Josh McDowell as he begs for some respect for his Bible: One problem I constantly face is the desire on the part of many to apply one standard or test to secular literature and another to the Bible. ONE NEEDS TO APPLY THE SAME TEST, whether the literature under investigation is secular or RELIGIOUS. (Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Josh McDowell, Campus Crusade, San Bernardino, CA 1972 p. 76)Christians whine when modern scholars don’t treat their religious holy book like some sort of “History 101″ , yet whenever a modern historian DOES treat the Bible like any other ancient history book, they whine even more! One of the basic tenets of modern history is to weed out wacko tales from days long gone via the rule that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. In other words, if an ancient book makes extraordinary claims of things that we no longer see demonstrated in our world, these claims are rejected. For example, flying mountains and flying carpets. The things that are left over have the potential of being actual history.So, what the modern Christians actually want is a hypocritical double standard: they want all other ancient history books EXCEPT their Bible to go thru the sieve of modern historical analysis to weed out the extraordinary claims of things for which we find no modern examples of, especially the deeds of ancient gods. Once again, keep in mind this Christian principal: whatever evidence supports their religion is GOOD, whatever goes against their religion is BAD. In short, they want to use history when it supports their religion, and NOT use history when it goes AGAINST their religion, all for one goal: promotion at all costs of their religion, truth be damned.

    We Are Perfect We are Not Perfect- Just Forgiven Christians are arrogant in their assertions of moral superiority to everyone else on this planet, yet when shown the documented evidence, oft times from Christian pollsters such as Barna that they’re really not any better, and in fact sometimes worse, they’ll fall back on the “Just Forgiven” quibble and forget their earlier arrogance.

    Short Pithy Contradictions Within Christian Thought Islam vs Christianity: If success as a religion proves Christianity true, then what does the overwhelming success of Islam over Christianity throughout the ENTIRE Middle East (circa 600 AD) prove, if not that Allah beat Joe Hovah’s butt in a one-on-one fight??? (For those Christians ignorant of their own history [i.e. most of you], the countries of North Africa & the Middle East used to be overwhelmingly Christian nations, and the Muslims came in with Allah around 600 AD and Christianity got its ass kicked.) So much for your god being “all powerful”.Temptations: IF the “temptations” that Fundies are subjected to REALLY came from the devil, rather than just from their own biological monkey nature, they would be temptations to commit “SPIRITUAL” sins rather than “sins of the flesh”. For example, Fundies would have their evil conscience tempting them to do such evil acts as… join the Mormons, or… become a Jehovah’s Witness, or… pick up sticks on the Sabbath, or… blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Instead, what we see is exactly what any gorilla or chimpanzee would be tempted with: food, &*&#^ing, and fun. Charles Darwin awaits their apology.

  42. Jeff42 said

    I guess it is best to at least read that which you “cut and paste,” huh. 🙂

  43. F. L. A. said

    All those anti-Fairy comments.
    [Sigh…..] John’s going to feel obligated to do so much clapping after reading Fred’s posts[snicker,snicker].
    Biological monkey natures?! I can’t believe that an advocate of human evolution would make such a big mistake. Ape, not monkey. Big difference there.

  44. zerxil said

    I thought it was chimps?

  45. Zerxil said

    Words are powerful. Evil speak and you can cause a sword being used on someone. Misspeak and you can hurt someone worse than using a sword. Thats in the Bible somewhere but in different phrasing.

  46. Zerxil said

    um when Ben said “all things in Moderation” you took it to heart.

  47. John said

    I agree Zerxil, words[and thoughts] do have power, and it’s an often underrated power at that. Are you referring to James 3.4, that Bible verse concerning the metaphor about ships? If so, what it means[I think] is that, just as a little wheel can be used to control the steering of a huge ship, so can our words have a huge effect on others and change their lives for better or for worse.I could be wrong about this though.
    I use words of power all the time while working magick.

  48. I am very interested in missionary work and am ready to be assigned to a missionary post outside or in my own country (Ethiopia). I am a rertired University professor and am very comfortable with the English language. Awaiting your kind response.
    Thank You!

  49. Mary said

    I am being forced to go on a mission trip and I myself personally don’t feel called to go, but I’m still being forced into it, please could someone give me some advice, I really don’t know what to do.

  50. Maz said

    I think it would help if we had a little more detail. Why and who is forcing you?

  51. Stanley said

    Don’t go.

  52. Maz said

    Stanley: You are not a Christian and you do not have the authority from God to advise this lady what to do.

  53. Stanley said

    I’ve been on a mission trip though, so I have experience…

    If you go, I expect you’ll find it to be a really worth while experience, even if you’re not really excited about it. If you don’t go, no big loss. Mission trips are definitely worth going on though.

  54. Maz said

    Stanley: What kind of mission was it? How can you go on a mission that you know nothing about?
    It’s like being an ambassador for curry in India and knowing nothing about it.

  55. salagala,giri kumar said

    we are praying for u 2000 come to Andhra pradesh that i am youth ,,,,,i am pastor in my church please pray for us we are praying for u all mom and u give me u r address to me in that time but i am going to study in at H B I please pray for us and come to India
    with love pastor Giri and family

  56. Wow, that’s what I was searching for, what a data! existing here at this website, thanks admin of this site.

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