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Genesis Old-timers...Why so Old?

How come in Genesis people get so old? That was my question at Presbyterian confirmation class, eons ago. I wasn’t such a hot student, nor was I overly interested. But you have to say something to justify your existence, and so that was my question.

The answer was disappointing and dull, but I had no reason to think it was not legitimate. They had different calendars back then! What they called a year was really a month. Thus, the eight patriarchs of Genesis chapter 5 who live almost 900 years apiece, give or take, really live only 75 years, just like us in suburbia.

In fact, the calendar answer is not legitimate, or at least it is not complete. For Arpachshad fathered a son at 35 years of age. Under the different calendar theory…..let’s see….ah!…he was 3 years old when he became a dad! This is clearly impossible, because…..well, it just is.

Furthermore, Genesis chapter 11 has people living about 500 years, no longer 900. Later, Abraham and Moses lived less than 200 years. By the time Psalm 90 was written, the common lifespan was 70-80 years. So are we to believe there is a regulatory agency sliding time calibration as the Fed slides interest rates? Plainly, something doesn't fit with the different calendar explanation.

It does, though, fit perfectly with the Bible's teaching that man was made to live forever, and that death only came about after the first man disobeyed God. Of course, this view requires that we accept...gasp... Adam and Eve!…..whadaya think, we’re 5 year olds??!

Accept it for a moment…you can always take it back later… just as the mathematicians assume certain conditions and then see where it leads. Valuable math has been discovered that way.

When Adam disobeyed God, yes, in the Garden of Eden, it was as if he pulled the plug on himself. Pull the plug on a fan and the blades don’t immediately freeze. Instead, they gradually slow. So Adam, designed by God to live forever, still coasts to over 900 years after rebelling.

If you put a dent in a cake pan, any cake you bake will also have the dent. Similarly, Adam passes on imperfection to his offspring. And like the slowing blades, lifespans of successive generations are ever shrinking, from 900 (Gen 5) to 500 (Gen 11) to 200 and less.

I’d always been taught that Genesis was a fairy tale, for the consumption of dumb people and children, beneath consideration for we wise ones of modern times. When I came in touch with Jehovah’s Witnesses, however, and saw loose ends such such as this example coming together with satisfying logic, it changed my view of the Bible. Assemble a few key pieces of a jig saw puzzle, and you gain confidence that the rest will come together as well. And that is just what happened.

Greater detail can be found in the book What Does the Bible Really Teach? available from Jehovah's Witnesses.

Genesis chapters 3, 5, 11, 25:7, Rom 5:12

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Tom Irregardless and Me        No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

New Testament........Click and Go

Matthew

Matt 2:1-23

Matt 6:5

Matt 6:9-10                           Matt 6:9-10                     Matt 6:10

Matt 6:19-33

Matt 7:3-5

Matt 7:28-29

Matt 10:8

Matt 11:11                    Matt 11:11

Matt 11:25

Matt 11:28-30

Matt 13:10-15

Matt 13:24-30                    Matt 13:24-30

Matt 18:23-34

Matt 18:34

Matt 20:25-27

Matt 20:28

Matt 24:3               Matt 24:3-7              Matt 24:3-8              Matt 24:9

Matt 24:14                   Matt 24:14                      Matt 24:14

Matt 24:36

Matt 24:38-39               Matt 24:38-39

Matt 24:42, 25:33

Matt 24:45-47                Matt 24:45-47                  Matt 24:45-47

Matt 24:48                     Matt 24:48-9

Matt 24:48-49,25:13

Matt 25:1-11

Matt 25:14-18

Matt 28:18                    Matt 28:18-20

Matt 28:19                   

Mark

Mark 4:22

Mark 4:35-41               Mark 4:35-41  

Mark 5:26

Mark 6:17-28

Mark 9:43-48

Mark 13:33-37

Mark 16:9-20

Luke

Luke 1:31-33

Luke 2:8-14

Luke 3:1

Luke 4:5-8

Luke 8:5-15

Luke 8:17

Luke 8:43-44                 Luke 8:43-44

Luke 9:26-37

Luke 13:23-24

Luke 16:2-8

Luke 16:8  

Luke 18:8              Luke 18:8            Luke 18:8

Luke 19:11

Luke 21:11                  Luke 21:11

Luke 21:26,31

Luke 21:36

 Luke 22:19

Luke 23:29-30

Luke 23:43

John

John 1:1                             John 1:1, 7:15

John 1:41, 7:15

John 3:16

John 5:28

John 6:14-15                    John 6:15

John 7:48-52

John 8:32

John 11:11-14                  John 11:11-44

John 12:19,17:19

John 13:35

John 14:12

John 14:30

John 15:2

John 17:3  

John 17:14-16                John 17:16                     John 17:16

Acts

Acts 1:6-7

Acts 2:27

Acts 2:31                        Acts 2:30-34

Acts 2:41,4:4,6:7,9:31, 11:1-18

Acts 4:13                    Acts 4:13                  Acts 4:13, 17:11

Acts 4:13, 20:9, 28:21-22

Acts 5:30                   Acts 5:30, 10:39

Acts 12:15

Acts 15:1-33, 16:4-5

Acts 15:14

Acts 16:4-5

Acts 17:11                           Acts 17:11

Acts 17:18

Acts 18:1-4                        Acts 18:3-4

Acts 20:29                   Acts 20:29                    Acts 20:29-30

Acts 21:27-32, 28:21-22

Acts 22:22-29, 24:24-25, 25:9-11, 26:24-32, 28:21-31

Acts 23:6-10

Acts 24:15                       Acts 24:15

Acts 28:12

Romans

Rom 1:16          Rom 1:18-21                  Rom 1:20                        Rom 1:20

Rom 1:22                       Rom 1:24-27  

Rom 5:12                     Rom 5:12                      Rom 5:12

Rom 6:23                       Rom 6:23

Rom 11:33-36

1 Corinthians

1 Cor 1:10-15

1 Cor 1:10-15, 16:16  

1 Cor 1:18-28                      1 Cor 1:26-28 

1 Cor 2:9

1 Cor 3:19                          1 Cor 3:26-28

1 Cor 4:6

1 Cor 5:7

1 Cor 7:18-20                       1 Cor 7:31

1 Cor 8:5

1 Cor 9:19-22                      1 Cor 9:24-27

1 Cor 12:14-20

1 Cor 15:24-26                     1 Cor 15:25

1 Cor 15:45                        1 Cor 15:45

2 Corinthians

2 Cor 1:20                      2 Cor 1:24, 8:8, 10:1

2Cor 4:4

2 Cor 5:20                           2 Cor 5:20                        2 Cor 5:20 

2 Cor 7:1

2 Cor 10:3-5                     2 Cor 10:10 

2 Cor 11:23-25                  2 Cor 11:23-27

Galatians

Gal 3:13

Gal 5:1-3

Gal 5:19-21

Ephesians

Eph 2:1-2

Eph 4:11-13                          Eph 4:13-14

Philippians

Phil 2:3                Phil 2:12               Phil 2:12                Phil 2:12

Phil 3:2-3                 Phil 3:8                      Phil 3:18-19

Colossians

Col 1:15-18                Col 1:26                   Col 1:26

Col 2:8

Col 4:1

1 Thessalonians

1 Thes 4:10-11                1 Thes 4:16                       1 Thes 4:17-18

1 Thes 5:2-3

2 Thessalonians

2 Thes 3:4                       2 Thes 3:11

1 Timothy

1 Tim 1:7               1 Tim 1:7                  1 Tim 1:9                   1 Tim 1:19

1 Tim 2:3-4                 1 Tim 2:5-6  

1 Tim 3:11

1 Tim 4:1

1 Tim 5:23

1 Tim 6:3-4                  1 Tim 6:7-8  

1 Tim 6:17-19              1 Tim 6:17-19                 1 Tim 6:17-19

1 Tim 6:20

2 Timothy

2 Tim 2:16                     2 Tim 2:24                        2 Tim 2:24-25

2 Tim 3:1-5             2 Tim 3:1-5              2 Tim 3:1-5              2 Tim 3:1-5

2 Tim 3:1-5                  2 Tim 3:2-4                  2 Tim 3:3

2 Tim 4:2-3               2 Tim 4:3                   2 Tim 4:3                2 Tim 4:10

Philemon

Phil 8-9

Hebrews

Heb 3:4

Heb 11:1

Heb 11:8-10                     Heb 11:8-10                        Heb 11:9-10

Heb 12:7-11  

Heb 13:17                        Heb 13:17                        Heb 13:17

James

Jas 2:26

Jas 3:2                         Jas 3:17                       Jas 3:17

Jas 4:4                         Jas 4:4

Jas 4:13-15                   Jas 4:17

Jas 5:11                        Jas 5:19-20                      Jas 5:19-20

1 Peter

1 Pet 1:10-12  

1 Pet 2:12, 4:3-4

1 Pet 3:15

2 Peter

2 Pet 2:1-2                    2 Pet 2:1-2                          2 Pet 2:1-2

2 Pet 3:3

2 Pet 3:3-4                     2 Pet 3:3-4                     2 Pet 3:3-4

1 John

1 John 1:10, 2:4,22,:20, 5:10

1 John 2:15-17                       1 John 2:15-17                          1 John 2:18

1 John 5:7                   1 John 5:7                  1 John 5:7                      1 John 5:7

1 John 5:19

2 John   

2 John 8-10                  2 John 9                     2 John 9

3 John

3 John 9-10                             3 John 10

Jude

Jude 3-4                       Jude 9                         Jude 22

Revelation

Rev 3:15

Rev 4:1                                Rev 4:11

Rev 5:2-10                      Rev 5:2-10                 Rev 5:10                         Rev 5:11

Rev 6:2-8                         Rev 6:2-8                     Rev 6:3-8

Rev 6:12-17, 4:11

Rev 7:4-10                       Rev 7:9-17

Rev 11:18                     Rev 11:18                        Rev 11:18

Rev 12:9-12                  Rev 12:9-12                  Rev 12:9-12                 Rev 12:10-17

Rev 13:14-15                     Rev 13:18

Rev 17:1-18:18:1-24                   Rev 17:8                           Rev 17:16-17

Rev 18:1                   Rev 18:24

Rev 19:11-19

Rev 20:1-6                     Rev 20:10                       Rev 20:10-15

Rev 21:2-3                         Rev 21:4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Old Testament..........Click and Go

Genesis

Gen 1:1,11-25, Gen 2:4          

Gen 1:28, Gen 3:1-5          

Gen 1:28         

Gen 1:6-8, Gen 7:11-12         

Gen 2:7         

Gen 2:9,16, Gen 3:15,22-24          

Gen 2:17         

Gen 5:1-32, Gen 11:1-32, Gen 25:7         

Gen 6:11-12         

Gen 11:1-9         

Gen 11:6                Gen 11:6         

Gen 37:35         

Gen 40:8                Gen 40:8

Exodus

Ex 14:11-12

Ex 20:4-5               Ex 20:4-5             Ex 21:5-6

Ex 32:24

Leviticus

Lev 17:11-12

Lev 18:24-25, 19:9-10

Lev 25:11-55

Numbers

Numbers 14:34

 Deuteronomy

Deut 4:5-8

Deut 13:1-5, 18:20-22

Deut 19:21

Deut 21:22-23

2 Samuel

2 Sam 12:1-7                2 Sam 12:1-7

1 Kings

1 Kings 4:33

1 Kings 18:27                1 Kings 18:27

1 Kings 20:23-25

2 Kings

2 Kings 2:23-24

2 Kings 17:7-17

1 Chronicles

1 Chron 29:23

2 Chronicles

2 Chron 28:3

2 Chron 33:9

Job

Job (throughout)

Job 2:4-5,Job 38-41

Job 14:13

Job 26:7,10                 Job 26:7,10

Job 15:15,32:2-3,42:7

Psalms

Ps 10:4                Ps 10:4

Ps 16:10

Ps 22:16

Ps 23:1

Ps 34:12-14

Ps 37:10-11

Ps 38:12-14

Ps 83:18                   Ps 83:18

Ps 93:1

Ps 104:8

Ps 110:1                  Ps 110:1

Ps 115:4-8

Ps 115:16                Ps 115:16

Ps 120:6-7

Ps 138:6

Ps 146:3-4

Proverbs

Prov 4:18

Prov 14:15

Prov 18:11

Prov 21:19

Prov 22:29

Prov 26:14

Prov 30:7-9

Prov 30:8-9

Prov 30:12

Prov 30:18

Ecclesiastes

Eccles 1:11, 2:18-19

Eccles 5:2

Eccles 7:1

Eccles 7:7

Eccles 7:16                Eccles 7:16

Eccles 9:5,10

Eccles 9:10                Eccles 9:10

 Isaiah

Isa 2:4

Isa 6:9

Isa 11:6-9

Isa 11:9-11

Isa 21:9

Isa 26:2

Isa 38:13

Isa 40:22

Isa 55:9

Isa 65:21-23                 Isa 65:21-23

Jeremiah

Jer 8:9, 10:23

Jer 38:7-13

Jer 45:2-5

Jer 52:8-11

Ezekiel

Ezek 3:17

Ezek 4:6, 21:25-27

Ezek 18:25

Ezek 21:5-6

Ezek 33:32

Daniel

Daniel 2:42-43

Dan 2:44              Dan 2:44            Dan 2:44            Dan 2:44

Dan 4:7-26

Dan 6:7-16

Dan 12:1                       Dan 12:1

Dan 12:4                       Dan 12:4

Micah

Micah 7:3

Habakkuk

Hab 3:17-18              Hab 3:17-18                Hab 3:17-18

Zephaniah

Zephaniah 3:9

 

                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Who's Afraid of the Lake of Fire?

Disagree with a fundamentalist, and he may remind you of hellfire, much as a bully might remind you of his big Cousin Paulie. And if he really wants you to shake in your shoes, he reminds you of the Lake of Fire! But I’m not afraid of the Lake of Fire, and you don’t have to be either.

The Lake of Fire is found only one place in the Bible: Rev 20:10-15. (21st Century King James Version)

10And the devil who had deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are; and they shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

11And I saw a great white throne and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, and there was found no place for them.

12And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works.

14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

15And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

Take the verses literally and you might worry, especially if you’ve been…..well….bad. Quite obviously, though, the verses are not literal.

If they were, then you’d have to explain how death (vs. 14) can be thrown into hell. Is death something you can torment (for ever and ever)? In fact, hell itself is thrown into the Lake of Fire. Hell thrown into hell, a prospect many find….awkward.

While we’re at it, we must also throw the Devil (vs. 10) into the Lake of Fire. But that doesn’t quite work either. Turns out that the Devil maintains a summer cottage on the Lake of Fire. He’s not bothered by it a bit. The hotter the better.

Fortunately, common sense can prevail, for verse 14 tells us what the Lake of Fire really is…..the second death. That is, death (or destruction), which is permanent, unlike the first death, from which one can be resurrected. Thus, being cast in the Lake of Fire simply means that, in the new system….God’s Kingdom rule over earth….death, hell (Greek: Hades, or the grave) and the Devil will be no more.

New writings apparently appear (vs. 12) in the new system….the existing Bible serves mainly to get us to that point. How will resurrected ones….those emptied from the grave…..respond? Some (vs. 15) will not respond well at all, and thus are added to the list of ones done away with permanently.

Yeah, but what about the Devil being tormented in the Lake of Fire (forever and ever)? What about that, Tom Sheepandgoats, hmmm?

Matthew 18:34 refers to jailers as  tormentors, presumably because that’s what they did. They were not nice. But the key thought is that they kept you out of circulation. (Matt 18:34  (KJV) And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.) So the Devil is jailed….kept inactive….out of circulation …in the Lake of Fire. (forever and ever)

See Rev 21: 4

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Tom Irregardless and Me              No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Science and Sex and Evolution

My wife was especially amorous last night, up for some steamy romance. Of course, I wanted no part of it, for all my thoughts were of science. Specifically, science and sex and evolution.

Because if the evolutionists are right, somewhere in our primordial chain, we must have switched from amoeba reproduction (asexual) to bird n bees reproduction (sexual) Somewhere, one blob, or if further along in the chain, one critter, became a guy, and at the same time, another blob or critter became a girl. It must have been at the same time in order to procreate.

The astute person will have noticed that when gay couples desire children, they always adopt ready-made babies, they do not produce their own.

The evolutionist folk will tell us that any specific mutation is a one in a googozillian chance. Not very likely at all, yet ……give an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters, and one of them will eventually write the complete works of Shakespeare! All the dopey monkeys who only scrawl obscenities don’t count, because natural selection ensures that only the good mutations stand. If something seems a little fishy with that argument, never mind. Let it stand for now.

For we are not dealing with one one-in-a-googozillian mutation, but two, each complementary to the other. It’s no good to have a guy without a girl or a girl without a guy.

But that’s not all! In fact, we are dealing with three such mutations which must occur at the same time. For the urge to mate also must also be present. Just because something is possible doesn’t mean it will happen. It is possible to pick each others’ noses, for instance, but no guy ever bought flowers hoping his sweetheart would give a green light in that regard. (So far as I know)

How does evolution stand in the face of such nonsense? In spite of scientific endorsement, this is the theory which requires blind faith. Adam and Eve seems dead sober pragmatism in contrast.

 

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Tom Irregardless and Me            No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Wanna Buy a Citroen?

There is no sense going through life as a sorehead. If someone makes a joke at your expense and it’s funny and it’s not malicious, you don’t get huffy. You don’t get bent out of shape. You don’t get en- or out- raged. Supersensitive people find any joke aimed their way malicious, but it’s good not to see things that way

There’s this car company in Europe that thinks we, Jehovah’s Witnesses, are going to sell their cars for them. The Citroen C3. Want to buy one? Maybe they‘ll give me a commission.

Yes, we take it on the chin a little, but the ad is funny. I love the foot in the door! And not really mean. Sure, we come across as colorless, but, truth be known, not all of us are teeming with color. Besides, the car is cute. I might buy one if they sold them here. But they don’t, and I’m not going to Holland to get one.

Separately, but still in the joke department, a cartoon making the rounds has Osama Bin Laden answering his cave door. His visitors are two of our people, scrubbed and smiley as we are reputed to be, offering answers to life’s problems. The caption: Jehovah’s Witnesses find Bin Ladin.

We’ll take it. No one else has found him.

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Why do Bad Things Happen?

The gist of this article does not start for several paragraphs....I first must set the stage with a cute (but true) story. You might not like the dopey story. Should you want to skip it and cut right to the chase, scroll ahead till you reach the paragraph that, like this one, is in bold print.

Carpooling to work, Bill was pounding me into jelly with non-stop drivel about, of all things, pornography. I was not feeling well, had insufficient sleep and the beginnings of a headache. Jake was either snoozing in the back seat or wisely playing possum. I pretended to be deaf, but Bill was wise to it and kept talking! I considered piercing my eardrums so as to actually be deaf, or breathing in exhaust so as to die, but did not have the nerve.

It seems there is a certain woman who has forsaken the arts, at which she was successful, to make hard-core pornography, at which she is astoundingly successful, and she has become wealthy. This has caught Bill's attention and it is the subject of the day

. ....Tom, she was a concert pianist and she was successful. Now she makes hard core porn and she is super-rich. I don't understand how she could do it. I mean, she was not just some loser, but she was a concert pianist. I just can't understand how a concert pianist could give that up and start a new living making hard core pornography. (Jake and I have no trouble understanding it) I think these people in Hollywood are so super-rich and powerful that they just laugh at all the rest of us, with our quaint and backward little bourgeois notions of morality. I mean, maybe this is just the capitalist system...maybe this is just free enterprise. Where's the harm, anyway. I mean, if it doesn't hurt anyone, what is wrong with it, anyway? Why not, if it makes people happy. But what I don't get is how she, who was a concert pianist......now, Bill is very predictable and I'm sure you can fill in the rest for yourself and not be too far off

Of course, I don't want to imply that Bill is a regular consumer of hard core porn. I've no reason to believe that, and I don't believe it (I don't think). It is simply today's topic. Actually, the three of us ride together a lot, and women are a frequent topic of discussion. Not obscenely, of course, and not specifically, but just generically, as a species. Both of these guys defer to me, since I have been married forever, so they assumeI know a lot.

On the job, I resolve not to put up with the same drivel on the drive home. How much can a guy take? But once back in the car, my headache, held at bay during the workshift, returns with a vengeance, and I also begin to feel carsick. Bill, of course, never doubts that I am eagerly awaiting the next phase of his harangue, and picks up where he left off! Desperate measures are called for. 

.....Hard core porn. I mean, where's the harm in it? Isn't it just our petty ideas of morality, which the super-powerful rich people in Hollywood just laugh at? Tom, I think they just laugh at us. And where is the harm in it?......Without warning, I hit him hard with a right punch: "Bill, don't be an idiot! Of course it's harmful! It interferes with a normal relationship with a woman, because all your thoughts are tainted!“ He is not fazed! He keeps coming at me!...Yeah, but...if people don't mind, I mean if they find enjoyment...how can it be harmful? What is really wrong with it? .....I land another hard right! "Damn it, Bill, we just came from the job, where about half of the folks are women. You go back and explain to them how wonderful hard core porn is...see if you can persuade them how it doesn't hurt anyone"......Yes!! If only for a moment, he is stopped. Jake, from the back seat, explodes in laughter....he is beginning to sense a good fight, and he perks up.

But Bill is far from down and out. He regroups! ......a concert pianist, who used to play the concert piano in front of a concert piano audience! What I don't understand is....

I feign with my right, but this time I hit him hard with my left, out of nowhere and completely unexpected! ....."Bill, what really upsets me is that we should die! Why should people die after only 70 or 80 years, when there are some turtles that live 150 years. I'd like to live forever and never die. What do you think of that!!??" (Now, this has nothing to do with anything, but if we must talk, it is going to be on my subject, not porn) ....He staggers! He looks for the gutter, but he has lost the thread of conversation.......After a pause: I don't know why the hell a person would want to live forever, or even just five more minutes on this crappy earth! The way life is today it is not worth living! [He's not a joyful guy, this Bill.] Is this life just some kind of a joke that God is playing on us? I think he must be laughing at us. I mean, what's the purpose of all of this?

With the right combination of moves, I could dominate this fight. I take a gamble:.....

"Bill! I could explain it all to you, but I'm not going to because you'll interrupt!" ......Bullseye!!!  Jake splits his sides laughing. "I could explain it to you, but you'll interrupt," he mimics. Bill is speechless. He stumbles a bit, even briefly goes back to the porn star, but it is no good! The subject has been changed. By and by, he asks what is this explanation about the purpose of life.

Could it be? Is he really going to shut up? Gingerly, I lay down a foundation. "The first thing that you've got to understand is that God did not put humans on earth because he wanted them somewhere else. The earth is not a proving ground from which to launch people into heaven or hell. It was meant to be a permanent home, and people were created to live forever on it." Silence. It looks like I may really have his attention!

"Secondly, Bill, while I am explaining some things, you are going to hear things that you disagree with, but you cannot say so! For example, I will speak about Adam and Eve. You are going to want to say: "I don't believe in Adam and Eve." You cannot say it! You must wait until I am done, see if it hangs together, and then afterwards, if you still want, you can say: I don't believe in Adam and Eve." Again, not a word. It really seems like he is listening, and Jake too, for that matter.

And with that, I lay out the following scenario for them. And not just for them, but also for you, the reader. Perhaps it will seem reasonable to you, and perhaps not. Let me know. Having prepared the earth to support physical life, God creates all life we see, including humans. As one perceptive person put it: "As almost a selfless act, to the extent of….I have life, perhaps I will create more life, so others can enjoy it as I do." In a nutshell, you couldn't explain it much better.

Still, happy living will depend on their recognition of their Creator's authority, his rightness, the need for obedience to him regarding questions of how to live & how humans should govern themselves as they grow in number. Not that God's going to control every minute aspect of their lives. Indeed, he has granted them free will. He has not programmed them as one might program robots…they can choose their course. And while that allows a wrong course, it also makes a right course so much more meaningful. After all, how meaningful is someone's love if you know they are programmed so they can't behave any other way?

To some extent the obedience that Adam rightly owes God parallels that of a child toward it's parents. The child for many years will encounter situations with which it is unfamiliar, but not the parents. Assuming the parent holds the child's best interests at heart, obedience is therefore a very good thing. Now, the child will one day become the equal of the parent. Humans will never become the equal of God, so with God the need for obedience never disappears, even though God wants us to continually gain wisdom from experience.

You may know that the Bible account, in the first three chapters of Genesis (If you haven't read the Bible, fear not. Few people have) says that God puts a tree, called the tree of the knowledge of good and bad, in the garden of Eden, and tells Adam and Eve not to eat from it. And, in no time at all, they do. Now, what does that mean? Does it mean that before eating off the tree, the first humans couldn't distinguish between good and bad, right and wrong? Plainly, that cannot be. How would they know it is right to obey the command and wrong to disobey? Nor does the fruit have anything at all to do with sex, as giggling people imagine.

Back to the prior illustration, one might say that the child looks to the parent for standards as to what is good and what is bad. It is good to eat veggies, to wash, to learn to read, to be in bed not too late. It is bad to play in the street, to eat only candy, to run with scissors, and so forth. But, if the young child were to absolutely rebel, one way to put it poetically would be to say that the child will now decide for itself what is good and bad....it will no longer look to its parents.

It is in this sense that eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and bad serves to illustrate those first humans rejecting God's right to decide what is right and wrong, good and bad, in favor of making their own rules. By eating from the tree, they are saying that they don't need God telling them what to do, they will decide for themselves! It is a rejecting of God's sovereignty, his right to rule, his right to set standards. Now, what is God going to do about it?

Of course, he can flatten all them and start over, or give up on the whole notion of creating humans. That shows who's stronger. But that question's never been in doubt. The question that has been raised is: who is correct? God or those first people? Can they really govern themselves successfully so that neither God nor anyone else ought interfere, or is self-rule an ability they do not have? Better to settle this question and thus salvage the original project.


Essentially, God says: Alright…. I say you cannot rule yourselves. You insist you can. Try it.

I will give you this much time (hold our you hands about one foot apart, a distance that can represent the time God allows) It will be all the time you will need to make good on your claim. During that time, as you increase in number, you are free to organize and govern yourselves, divide or unite yourselves any way you see fit and can manage. Accept or reject standards I offer, devise your own ways of living, your own economies, your own religions. In time, discover science, and see if you can harness it to improve your lot. I will not interfere. At the end of that time, we will see if you have been able to make good on your claim of independence.

Now, as the Bible presents matters, we are nearing the end of that time. We don't have a precise timetable, but we do have many indications that point to this general time period. And, not to deny that there are a few bright spots here and there...people have learned to clean up after their dogs, for instance...but I don't think anyone can point to the overall human record with pride. It's been one long chronicle of butchery and suffering, injustice and poverty, hatred and selfishness, climaxing so that today the question is seriously asked: will humans destroy themselves. We all know of people who choose not to bring children into the world, so inhospitable does it appear.

So there comes a point when God can say: Enough. Case closed. The question has been answered. He can bring about his own kingdom rule, he can remove those opposed, and he can see his original purpose toward earth come back online. All this without negating the free will he has endowed his creation with, (among the things most people cherish is freedom of choice) and without any permanent damage to those who have suffered in the past, since there is provision of resurrection.

Furthermore, the issue, once settled, becomes a standard for the future, just as a Supreme Court decision becomes a precedent. Should some future whiner make the same claim about self-rule, the experiment does not have to repeat. In time, since everlasting life is the object, the time spent in self-rule and human suffering recedes and comes to represent an insignificant amount of time, like a bad dream of long ago.

And then there is some stuff about how conditions will change under kingdom rule, and a little etc, and thus ends my speech.

Silence. It, or at least parts of it, has struck home.

But, by and by, Bill cranks up again.

Now you must understand that, physically, I feel horrible. My headache has gone migraine, and the ride has made me nauseous. When I am later dropped off at the meet spot, I don't get into my car, but instead walk a few laps around the parking lot, trying to steady myself before the drive home.

The next scene is straight from the movies! How often, after the hero has beaten the foe and has turned his back, exhausted, does that foe.....gasp! Look out!....somehow rise up for one last blow, which will surely find its mark except for the completely unexpected intervention of some third party....say, the woman in distress, or a bad guy just turned good, or an up-to-this-time ambiguous character. And so it is that way in the car!

......What I don't understand, Bill says, is what is the purpose of all this suffering.... how can God allow all of......

Jake comes to the rescue!!! "Bill, Tom just explained all of that!! he says. Weren't you listening?" ....Bill next says something about evolution, and again it is Jake: "Wait! he says. This is something I can chime in on. I used to believe in evolution but I don't anymore...not because of religion, but because of science. Evolution doesn't make any sense because of"......and he starts into a discussion on DNA and some other science things. Thus the two of them talk for awhile, while I try to nurse my head and stomach, hoping I do not die. [I did not]

There is an epilogue. A week or two later, about ten of us were at another jobsite. From the other side of the room, I can hear Bill complaining to someone: .......What I don't understand is what is the purpose of this life. Is this some sort of joke that God is playing? Is he just laughing at us........"Bill! I interject, I explained all that to you...you shouldn't be going on as if you don't have a clue!" My ally, Jake, roars with laughter." He did!" Jake says. "It made sense, too! Don't worry, Tom, I believe you!"

So I'm batting 500. It could be worse.

 

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More here

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Tom Irregardless and Me                  No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

A Happy Ending

When I heard Clayton was giving his first public talk, I was happy. When I heard he’d done a great job, I was not surprised. Last year I would have been.

Last year, snowboarding, he hit a tree. Force of impact shattered his helmet.

Airlifted to Strong Hospital, doctors removed part of his skull to relieve brain swelling. Friends rallied around the family. His parents, siblings, and young wife made Strong their home for days and weeks. His head swelled up like a basketball. Would he live? Would he regain consciousness? Would he ever speak?

An early sign that all would be well came when Kelly, a pal who works at the Saab dealership, came to visit. “Clayton, Kelly’s here,” whispered his dad. “Remember, you test drove a Saab at his….”….Clayton filled in the rest…. spewing a long list of Saab specifications. The young man always knew fine cars. His dad is one of those Midas brothers, forever dabbling in business. Everything prospers.

The first clue I had that Clayton had such a background came when we took the boy, then 10, along with us camping. I was setting up the camper or taking it down or something, and the precocious kid starts chatting about high taxes and how tough it is to do business in New York. “His dad is self-employed,” I said to myself. It takes one to know one.

He recovered quickly and his unique personality reappeared. “You know, I’m a certified snowboard instructor,” he’d tell hospital personnel. “If you’d like lessons for your kids, I’m available.”

They fitted him with a temporary gadget while his permanent skull awaited reattaching, and he was able to get around. With a half-shaved, misshapen head, he visited Scott Miller Salon, where he does web design, and asked if he could get a half-price haircut. Clearly, he pointed out, he only had half a head. The unsuspecting receptionist did the only reasonable thing she could do…she panicked. “I…I’d be glad to check for you, sir,” she stammered, before Clayton let her in on the joke.

So today he is intact, restored and well. And giving his first public talk. Not all stories end so happily. But we are grateful for this one.

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Tom Irregardless and Me     No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Some Stay and Some Leave

Last week, Birdness Buck got canned at Metro Megacorp. This week, he is starting a website entitled My Life at Metro Megacorp....the Real Truth.

Question: Will the new website be kind to Metro Megacorp?  (Hint: Not a snowball's chance in you-know-where.)

Last month, Bob Slickbottom quit Metro Megacorp. The next day he started a website entitled My Years at Metro Megacorp....the Real Scoop.

What about the Bob’s website? Will it be kind?

This one's harder to call. People job hop today. They aren't necessarily steamed, they just move on. Still, if someone goes to all the trouble of webbing, odds are he won’t be too nice. We all know it's much more fun to lambaste something than praise it. But it could go either way.

However, when grandpa Slyster Slickbottom quit Metro Megacorp 50 years ago, people didn't job hop. You worked at a place straight from school and stayed until retirement. So Sly was steamed, otherwise he would have stayed. When he started his website Twenty years a Metro Megacorp Slave,  he was not kind to his former employer.   

In fact, his site set the pattern for the Birdness Buck site, and was far more impressive, since there was no web then.

It’s like that when a person leaves Jehovah's Witnesses. Its organization represents a faith and a way of life. Like the lifetime employer of former times, people don't enter to stay a few years before moving on. If they leave, it’s likely because they’re peeved over something. Otherwise they would have stayed. And if that person finds the web, he may not be kind.

As for Birdness Buck, Jehovah's Witnesses are among the few faiths that will expel a person for serious misconduct, when persistent and unrepentant. Watch out for any websites started in that wake. There is a fair number of sourpuss websites authored by former JWs.

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)