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6-16-2015 Claiming to be Black!

Rachel Dolezal, the NAACP leader in Spokane, Washington, claimed to be a black person, when her white parents have revealed she is not! Now her “integrity” and “credibility” are being questioned, as they should be! Saying she was and wishing she was did not make it a fact! There are people who want to be a Christian, claim to be, teach Christian principles, but have not obeyed to be a Christian. “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity’” (2 Timothy 2:19 NKJV). “For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends” (2 Corinthians 10:18 NKJV). Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#black-person, #credibility, #depart-from-iniquity, #integrity, #rachel-dolezal, #white-parents

A QUESTION OF VERACITY (credibility)

It is my goal to read the Surah via three different translations and to consider the remarks presented by these translators especially in relation to what the Bible actually teaches. In other words, what does the Qur’an say about what the Bible teaches? Does it assert something the Bible does not? Does the Qur’an misuse the Bible? Please my first article in this series.

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In Surah 2:23, the Qur’an sets forth an evidentiary test. The focus of this test is in ascertaining whether or not one can know “that there is revelation” from Allah. This is called a “concrete test” (Yusuf), the challenge given to man is for him to produce a Surah that “can inspire spiritual truth in such noble language” (footnote 42). Reading the words of Maulana one gets a better sense of what might be in mind. “Is it a question of mere style and diction?” After asking the question, Maulana says the Qur’an gives no indication of such, but its “chief characteristic….is the wonderful transformation which it accomplished, and it is to this characteristic that it lays claim in the very commencement when it says that this Book is a guide” (Maulana, footnote 36). Asad gives a different perspective than Maulana, but somewhat akin to Yusuf: one is to come forth with a Surah and a witness to “attest that your hypothetical literary effort could be deemed equal to any part of the Qur’an” (footnote 2:14).

This is not all that we should understand. “…every word of the Qur’an gives expression to divine majesty and glory in a manner which is not approached by any other sacred book” (ibid). Thus, in conjunction with this portion of the 2nd Surah (2:23), there are three other places where this challenge is set forth: Surah 10:38, Surah 11: 13, and Surah 17:88. In 10:38 and 11:13, the charge is laid against Muhammad that he forged this word rather than received it in revelatory fashion. In 10:38, his challengers are asked to bring forth a Surah and a counter to what he has offered, and in 11:13, his challengers are asked to bring forth ten Surahs. Yusuf gives nothing in the way of commentary on this, but references his words in 2:23. Maulana does comment on 11:13 and connects it to Surah 17:88 where we are told that there was an initial challenge given by Muhammad to his objectors to produce a similar work as that which is found in the Qur’an; later, this challenge is reduced for an objector to produce only ten Surahs, and finally, the challenge is for one to produce a single Surah (as stated in 2:23).

SUMMARY CONCLUSION: From the preceding we are to understand: 1) there is a concrete test of verification and authenticity, 2) an objector to the Qur’an should be able to produce something comparable to the Islamic holy book, otherwise his objection has no merit, 3) the style and diction is of great quality and majesty, 4) that the Qur’an merits the status of divine inspiration is seen in the lives transformed from ungodliness to godliness, 5) there is no other book given among men that is uncorrupted, the text standing pure. In this light, Yusuf Ali tells us that the Qur’an “is the only revealed Book whose text stands pure and uncorrupted today” (footnote 2289). More will be said on the corrupted text later.

A CONTRAST IN METHODS: This is to be understood in contrast to that which the Scripture says of itself and verifiability. First, there is the historicity of the Scriptures that can easily be verified (or not). For instance, one can check on the places mentioned in Scripture to ascertain accuracy. One can consider the people mentioned in Scripture against the historical records of the various nations. Josh McDowell has a chapter on the reliability of the Bible, the Old Testament especially. He writes: “The Old Testament has been shown to be reliable in at least three ways: (1) textual transmission (the accuracy of the copying process down through history), (2) the confirmation of the Old Testament by hard evidence uncovered through archaeology, and (3) documentary evidence also uncovered through archaeology” (New Evidence, p. 69). Contrast this veracity methodology with that which is proffered by the Qur’an.

Second, the Lord Himself has set forth a method of testability for the Israelites in the long ago, “I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee; and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto My words which he shall speak in My name, I will require it of him. But the prophet, that shall speak a word presumptuously in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ And if thou say in thy heart: ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?’ When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken; the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously, thou shalt not be afraid of him” (Deuteronomy 18:18-22, the Jewish Publication Society translation).

Jesus reaffirm this approach in John, “The Jews answered him, ‘It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Is it not written in your Law, “I said, you are gods”? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came–and Scripture cannot be broken–do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, “You are blaspheming,” because I said, “I am the Son of God”? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father” (John 10:33-38, ESV).

#credibility, #islam, #methodology, #muslim, #quran, #surah-2, #veracity

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(#71) The Proverbs of Solomon 13:17-Only Use A Correct Courier

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 13:17: “A wicked messenger falls into trouble, But a faithful ambassador brings health.”

The credibility of a messenger is what this proverb is about. Messengers are the means of communication, but if they change the message, they become the communication, itself. Messengers may bring news of what they have seen (Job 1:13-20), or what they have been told to say (Judges 7:23-25). Gehazi was a wicked messenger. After Naaman obeyed the Prophet Elisha and was healed of his leprosy, Elisha refused to be paid (2 Kings 5:1-19). Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, ran after Naaman and reported that Elisha changed his mind and would accept a gift. Gehazi was cursed with Naaman’s leprosy beginning then (2 Kings 5:20-27). A wicked messenger will no longer be trusted, and should lose the job. When so-called “news” sources (networks, reporters, newspapers, magazines, web pages, wire services) are guilty of misrepresenting and perverting what they report, they should never be relied upon again!

God’s Prophet, Haggai, was also God’s Messenger who was inspired to speak (Haggai 1:12-13), but the Levitical priests under Moses’ Law were messengers who had to accurately teach what was written by inspiration (Malachi 2:7). It is imperative that today, preachers and teachers of the Scriptures must not alter, add, remove, replace, or amend the inspired Word of God, or its intended message! Paul represented Jesus’ true Apostles when he said: “But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Corinthians 4:2).

The rest of this proverb is also taught later in the Book: “Like the cold of snow in time of harvest  Is a faithful messenger to those who send him, For he refreshes the soul of his masters” (Proverbs 25:13). Though an actual snowfall would not be expected during a “harvest,” yet a cold wind would certainly feel good and refreshing to those who would be harvesting in a dry climate! Just that refreshing is a faithful messenger who brings good news. Christians should freely share the good about their brethren in Christ. “For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers” (3 John 3-5). Christians who refuse to bring a good report of their brethren should no longer be trusted when discussing the church. “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #credibility, #messenger, #news, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #wisdom