Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

"Dear Andrew

...we draw your attention to Stewart's letter in the March
2002 issue...Regarding your comment about the TV preachers, we disagree with
your comment where you have said that some of them project a message of '...look
at Jesus, and some say look at me...'. The truth is much more than the human
mind has ever understood as to what it means to be a born again Christian...For
far too long, through the doctrines of men which we call religion, people have
become more sin conscious and unworthiness conscious rather than God conscious
and righteousness conscious. This is what has made a great part of the Church
ineffective. It is a religious spirit of condemnation and false humility at
work. It has caused Christians to totally underestimate the work of the cross
-– and in a way it rejects God's gift of Jesus Christ as our Redeemer and
Saviour. In one voice we accept Him, and in another we reject Him. This has
given Satan the legal right to divide and rule the church for many centuries. Is
it any wonder that every manner of occult and witchcraft and all manner of evil
is just exploding in this small country of New Zealand...Andrew, just as you are
fully informed of all that is happening in the world right now, God has opened
up the TV channels of the world and is speaking to His people through His
anointed ministers. We can either listen and take heed or let our own little
pride rise up within us and say 'We know better than that because God wouldn't
speak through men like these'. And like Stewart, continue to always ask
questions and live messed up and confused, because the answers that were right
there before you on the TV screen were ignored. The television preachers are not
saying 'Look at me but look at Christ in me the hope of glory' which is
something every born again Christian is supposed to say...Collossians 1:27...you must be
sure you don't distort to your readers what is actually being said. The world
sees the division, confusion, powerlessness and mess and they say 'Thanks but
no thanks, I'll get my experience through the occult and drugs'...Please be
assured of our prayers as you come to terms with these things for they are very
serious matters...

Royce & Annette Allen Hamilton"

Dear Royce & Annette

Some good points which I accept -– particularly with regard
to the divisions and therefore lack of power (or rise in alternative spiritual
growth)! If I have unintentionally set myself up as an authority and pulled down
another ministry in the process, this was not my intention and I'm sorry! I am
always thrilled to witness a 'Christian presence' in any area of life, be it
media or neighbour to neighbour. At the same time I feel strongly about those
who create mega profiles and blatantly merchandise the gospel as a profit making
system...I am not going to try to be God and name the real from the false -–
but as Stewarts confusion indicates, not 'every ministry' claiming
allegiance to the cross projects a ring of truth and confidence. I talk with
lots of non Christian folk - many are amazed at 'us' for being so gullible
-– from where they sit, we are sitting ducks for 'any money extracting
religious propaganda'. I actually believe we are more effective in being
honest about these issues rather than pretending they do not exist. It's a
juggling act within ministry - obviously ministries (like ours) need money to
operate...and each ministry must approach the 'publicising of their financial
needs accordingly. What I am saying in my comments (March OT) is that in
ministries what we emphasise projects our values... we can spend a lot of time
discussing $$$ OR "Me" OR Jesus.

Always learning, Ed.

"Dear Ed

Hitler said if the people will believe a small lie they'll
believe a big lie... Please advise agent 86 (March) there is no secret code in
Revelation 22:19. It means exactly what it says and is reinforced in Proverbs 30:6.
These verses offer only everlasting condemnation to those who rip 64576
words out of the original 773746 found in the King James Bible. Now lets look at
a small lie with nevertheless momentous consequences. The King James Bible
translators translated the word Passover 77 times (7 is God's perfect seal
Revelation 5:1). However all modern day 'Protestant scribal devils' chose to
add one more Passover by interpreting the Greek word Pascha which means simply
'festival' as Passover in Easter in Acts 12:4, revealing an astounding lack
of knowledge of the Jewish Feasts given by God and established by Moses...In
Acts 12:3-4 Peter was arrested during the days of unleavened bread! Which starts
when the Passover end with intentions of keeping him until after Easter which
may or may not have started, but clearly hadn't finished at the time of Peter's
arrest, whereas Passover clearly had not finished or Peter couldn't have been
arrested during the days of unleavened bread. Clearly, Peter could not be
arrested during the days of unleavened bread to be held over until after
Passover as claimed by all modern Bible versions. This one mistake/deception
alone brings the infallible word of God into question unless all modern Bibles
are denounced for the erroneous works they are. If this makes me a 'legalist
cultist friend' so be it....Ron Pearce, Auckland"

Dear Ron

Romans 3:1-2 says that unto the Jews were "committed the
oracles of God". The oracles are the written Scriptures...mostly written in
Hebrew. As Arnold Fruchtenbaum (Jewish Bible teacher) points out "...many of
the doctrinal problems in the Church are a result of ignoring the Jewish frame
of reference". I would sound a whole hearted amen to that! When the word 'Scripture'
is mentioned in the New Testament it refers to the three areas of the Hebrew
Bible -– the law, the prophets and the writings. Early Church believers
included the writings of the Apostles as Scripture...but left out the Apocrapha.
We could start a game of 'battleship' over the topic of the 'infallibility
of the King James Bible'. I fire my torpedoes this month and you fire yours
back next month. I don't believe this would be conducive to our readers
gaining any clarity on the subject at all! In your correspondence with me you
questioned my stance regarding 'inaccuracies within the KJV'. I stand by
this -– there are plenty of translation options to choose from. If
anything, we believers in the Living God should be excited about digging deeper
to find the 'depth of truth which is contained within the Scriptures' -– it's
absolutely wonderful!! I use the KJV with the aid of as many other Biblical
references as possible when looking to understand 'truth' re/. any given
topic. My purpose is not at all to discredit the KJV, but to point out to
readers that there are 'many facets to the Word of God' -– many gems exist
in the original language which, without any research, are lost on the Western
mind trying to understand from a single Westernised textbook. Often the very
meaning of a passage remains hidden, in behind the 'words'. Yes, I do
believe the Holy Scriptures to be the inspired, infallible Word of God. But I'm
not referring to the KJV as 'The Scriptures'... I'm referring to the
original texts!!

The KJV is a blessed and wonderful version which has served
us 'miraculously' for generations -– and will continue to be the preferred
version of the Scriptures for many believers (including myself)...but not all!
Hell fire for those who don't read the KJV? We'll let God decide on that one...

Dear Ed

"...I find your reasoning very incongruous to say the
least, in that you believe "all" versions are acceptable to Christians, even
in spite of the glaring fact that you acknowledge there are many vast
differences between the texts. Your article highlights the principal difference
between Christianity and Islam. Unlike Christians like yourselves, who claim to
worship a Sovereign God, yet who believe He has revealed Himself through
numerously contradictory and inconsistent Bible versions, Moslims believe the
exact opposite. Islamic scholars are well aware of the profound differences in
the modern Bibles, including the huge differences between the Textus Receptus
and the Alexandrian Text underlying them. Since there are vast differences in
the texts, obviously, the KJV and the NIV both cannot be the pure perfect word
of God. Your views are laughable to informed Muslims...the Quran is in every
detail the unique and miraculous text which was revealed to Muhammed PBUH
fourteen centuries ago". Allama Saiyid Ahmed"

Dear Allama

Thanks for your thoughts re/. the Holy Scriptures. I was
pleased to receive your letter as it provides a perspective we Christians can
learn from. First and foremost, you misquoted me as saying "all versions are
acceptable". I didn't make such a statement as I don't believe that all
translations are acceptable. As you have rightly pointed out, there are profound
differences between some versions of the Bible and others -– sometimes blatant
contradictions, making one right and the other wrong! For you to propagate (from
the same root word as 'propaganda') that the Sovereign God has made the
mistake of "Revealing Himself through numerously contradictory and
inconsistent Bible versions" is completely wrong. The issue I am addressing
has to do with the accuracy in the translation and transliteration from the
source language, into our own (English). The Bible is indeed the inerrant Word
of God -– in the original Hebrew and Greek. From the West, we do not naturally
understand some of the context into which the Scriptures were written -– in
this respect Middle Eastern minds have an advantage -– and we have to use study
resources. The beauty of freedom to study (research) is that we learn fresh and
vital insights for life everyday as we 'dig' into the ancient but absolutely
relevant Word of the Living God.

As Christians we are called to two things: Research (to
study) and Obedience (obey what we discover)...Research comes from the Jewish
word 'Doresh' ie. Isaiah 55:6 "Research (doresh) Jehovah if you are to
find Him, call upon Him while He is near"; Psalm 34:11 "Those who research
(doresh) Jehovah will never lack the goodness of life"; Psalm 34:5 "I
researched (doresh) Jehovah and He answered me, from all of my confusions He
saved me". Because our English renderings of certain Hebrew words do not give
the complete picture, we need to take 'Doresh' as a serious but simple
principle for living! For example, Dr Ivan Panin of Bible numerics fame tells us
that when comparing bible numerics with the Scriptures, he observes that
differing translations sometimes give us a clearer idea of the true meaning as
taken from the original Hebrew and Greek. For example, Daniel 11:37 referring to
the antichrist's non religious Jewish nature: KJV says "Neither shall he
regard the God of his fathers nor the desire of women". This latter
portion may give the impression that the antichrist is a sexual weirdo -– yet
the amplified bible clarifies the true meaning of the passage ie. Nor him to
whom women desire to give birth. This whole passage obviously refers to YHWH of
the Hebrews and the Messiah, His son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Another example of
a 'preferable translation into English' is Luke 17:36. The reference to 'eagles'
as opposed to 'vultures' in some translations is a pertinent variation (one
bird feeds on living food and the other dead -– completely changing the meaning
of the passage).

As for your claims that the Quran has no errors, and 'is
the exact words' of Mohammed: What about the numerous grammatical errors like
Suras 2;177,192 - 3:59 - 4:162 - 5:69 - 7:160....and other 'small issues of
incongruence'?: like the Quran's account that Abraham was thrown into the
fire by Nimrod -– when in fact Nimrod died centuries before Abraham...along
with numerous other historical anomalies such as: Mary (Maryam in Arabic), the
mother of Jesus being portrayed as one and the same person as Miriam, sister of
Moses and Aaron (missing the 1300 years which lapsed between the two historical
individuals). Re/. The Quran never being changed, a number of writers disagree.
The Quaran is certainly not pure Arabic (containing over 100 Egyptian, Hebrew,
Greek, Syriac, Akkadian, Ethiopian and Persian words and phrases). Not only have
parts of the Quaran been lost or deliberately removed, but "entire verses and
chapters have been added to it" Ibid p.123. I recall an interesting sequence
of events beginning in 1989 following the publishing of Salman Rushdie's
Satanic Verses. The fundamental issue appears to have been Mohammed's 'change
of belief with regard to divine revelation, from monotheism to polytheism, and
then back to monotheism'. Whilst Islamic Scholars vehemently deny the
authenticity of the 'Satanic Verses' as being part of Mohammed's original
writings -– there is a question mark over this issue which is viewed seriously
enough to put out a contract on the life of Salmund Rushdie.

I trust that what is being highlighted in my reply to you is
the need to 'research' what we believe the Scriptures say. God has given us
a brain so that we would think! Dogma as taught by many religions (including
your own -– and factions within Christianity) takes away from the individual
the ability to think and consider what he or she believes. To boast that you
never question what you believe is certainly nothing to gloat about!

One thing we would undoubtedly agree on, is that The God of
Torah (Hebrew Scriptures) and the God of the Quran are not the same! I encourage
you to think for yourself, and be free to serve the Living God, not out of fear
-– but with an open heart and the ability to research (doresh) and learn from
Him everyday.

Respectfully and with Christian Love Ed

Due to the nature of the issues raised in this months letters
to the editor, numerous other letters to the editor will be addressed in the
next edition of Omega Times.