Category Archives: Christianity

It Is Time For Christians to Fight Back

General John Kelly of the US Southern Command has reported that about 150 persons left the Caribbean region in 2015 to fight with Islamic State – the Islamic army that is killing Christians wherever they find them. He warned that Islamic terrorists may now choose to carry out terror activities in their home countries.

The mass-beheading videos by Islamic State appear to show Christians unresistingly kneeling before their executioners. Tragically, Christians were taught to submit to this barbarism by their religious leaders. Even after the televised mass-beheadings, Christians continued to be taught to submit to their oppressors while maintaining their faith until the end. Before a similar persecution is upon us, our religious leaders need to honestly discuss an effective Biblical Barbadian response.

Jesus’ Response to an Individual Oppressor

Jesus provided two responses to violence. The first was directed to individuals during their normal interaction with other individuals. Jesus advised His followers to essentially turn the other cheek and not resist such individuals. Paul advised Christians not to retaliate against oppressors since vengeance belongs to the Lord. The Bible teaches that God hears the cries of the oppressed, and that certain terrible judgement awaits the oppressors.

Those who organise the mass killing of Christians depend on the willingness of Christian religious leaders to convince their adherents not to resist the impending slaughter. Such religious leaders conveniently ignore Jesus’ second response to violence as they unwittingly cooperate with the oppressors.

Jesus’ Response to Terrorism

Jesus’ second response was directed to communities vulnerable to terrorism. A few hours before Jesus’ arrest, He instructed His disciples to sell some of their possessions and arm themselves with the latest weapon of war – the sword. The disciples obtained two swords and Jesus said “it is enough” (Luke 22:38), indicating that the armed should protect the unarmed.

And He said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?”  So they said, “Nothing.”

Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.  For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.”

So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.”  And He said to them, “It is enough.” (Luke 22:35-38)

There is no contradiction with Jesus’ responses. While Jesus ministered, He was the lighting rod that attracted criticism and death threats. He preached openly, chased merchants from the temple, and defended His disciples from criticism. However, shortly before He was arrested, and would not be present to protect His disciples, He instructed His disciples to defend themselves (Luke 22:36).

While Jesus was being arrested, His disciples asked whether the time had come for them to attack with the sword. Jesus replied “Permit even this” (Luke 22:51), signifying that the swords were last-resort defensive weapons.

The murder, rape and enslavement of millions of Christians around the world over the past 2,000 years has been facilitated by religious leaders teaching pacifism. Jesus hated religious traditions that violated God’s commandments, and He publically insulted religious leaders who misled gullible adherents. Hear Jesus’ public response to such religious leaders: “Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?” (Matt 23:33)

It is better if each person conscientiously arrived at their own response to potential terrorists now, rather than being forced to react immediately during such a foreseen event. While I respect pacifists who have honestly considered all sides of this issue before reaching their conclusion, let it be known that if I am overwhelmed by terrorists, I intend to go down fighting.

Best regards,

Grenville.

Colliding With Truth

Dear Readers:

I am announcing the publication of my third book: Colliding With Truth – Restoring the Lost Ministry of Recalibration.

Jesus described His two principal missions while He was on the earth:
1. to restore the Ministry of Recalibration; and
2. to establish the Ministry of Reconciliation.

The ministry of reconciling others to God is directed to those who do not know God, and has been embraced by the evangelical Church. The ministry of recalibrating traditions is directed to those who claim to know God, and its purpose is to ensure that erroneous teachings are not perpetuated. However, this ministry has generally been neglected.

Jesus recognized the vulnerability of His message to manipulation, and warned His followers about those who would try to mislead others. The harshest words spoken by Jesus appear to be reserved for religious leaders who stubbornly defended and taught their inherited traditions that conflicted with God’s commands.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte [convert], and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” (Matthew 23:13-15)

Given the dire consequences for those who defend inherited traditions that conflict with Jesus’ words, it is the responsibility of every Christian leader, parent, and convert to examine their denominational traditions prior to teaching them to others.

Colliding With Truth examines popular traditions of the church which are in conflict with the words of Jesus.  The book can be purchased Here.

Regards,

Grenville

Securing Your Children’s Failure

There are many personal destructive addictive behaviors.  Some can be categorized as illegal, some unethical, some unhealthy, and others morally destructive.  It is a father’s responsibility to demonstrate mastery over all such behaviors, so that he may impart to his children the necessary confidence and self-esteem in knowing that any addictive behavior can be overcome.

 Every child will have to face diverse temptations. It is not a parent’s job to keep their adult children from these temptations.  However, it is a parent’s job to prepare their young children to overcome such temptations by modeling responsible behavior, and by correcting them when they stray, as they inevitably will.

A study performed on US prisons found that almost all prisoners had a bad or non-existent relationship with their fathers.  These prisoners were unprepared to manage the temptations that confront every man.  Rather than practicing to overcome such temptations when the consequences of failure were relatively mild in a family environment, they failed as adults where such consequences are severe.

As I raise my son, my heart grieves for those children who are not being fathered, and for those young adults who are not prepared to face temptations on their own.  Let me try to share some fatherly advice to those young adults who do not feel that they can overcome an addictive behavior, whether sex, drugs, alcohol, Internet pornography, gambling smoking, gluttony, etc.

Firstly, you need to understand that you can avoid becoming addicted to any type of addictive behavior by simply choosing not to engage in it.  I know that this is easier said than done. However, it is the most efficient way to live your life.

You see, there are three equally effective ways of learning life’s basic lessons:

1. by obeying responsible instructions;

2. by observing the failure of others; and

3. by experiencing the failure for yourself.

The principal difference in these methods is the time required to learn.  Once you have learned the basic lessons, you can then proceed to learn more advanced lessons.  The first method takes the least amount of time.  The second takes a bit more time.  The last may take decades.  However, those who  consistently choose the third method are destined to learn only a few lessons because we have a finite amount of time on this earth.

 Secondly, if you find yourself addicted to irresponsible behavior, then you can stop at any time – once you are serious.  Many struggle with addictions for years, principally because they are not serious – they wish to leave the door slightly open, so that they can have the option of returning to experience the pleasure that engaging in the behavior brought.

If you are a father, and you are engaging in addictive behavior, whether extra-marital sex, drugs, alcohol, Internet pornography, gambling, smoking, gluttony, etc, then unless you get serious about stopping, you are simply ensuring that your children will have to fight your unfinished battles, while being completely unprepared to do so.  Thus, you are securing their failure, and destining them to many years of failing to overcome the behavior which you refused to overcome.

 If you are serious about stopping, then let me suggest the following three steps.

Step 1 – Tell God, who knows your true intents, that you will never do the deed again.

Step 2 – Demonstrate your commitment by getting rid of and cutting yourself off from everything associated with that behavior.

Step 3 – You will be tempted often.  Choose to stop thinking about it, look away,  and spend the time that you used to spend in addictive behavior habitually doing something responsible.

You may fail subsequent temptations.  However, the difference is that you are now walking upright and going somewhere.  You may stumble and fall, but get up quickly and keep walking.  The person who is addicted stays down for a long while.

Let me recommend that you listen to the following song – it is in two parts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qC6nxbu8XPM&playnext=1&list=PLA5815C60B80D7EBF

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Chz0K8rXkAw&feature=related

 You can also watch the dramatic presentation below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmkysRWPJHk

This one may also be useful:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3ewPHaPBfA

Regards,

Grenville

Throwing in the Towel

For the past 30 years, I have heard many academics confidently assert two things about the Bible.

1.  It  conflicts with scientific evidence; and

2.  It is full of contradictions.

 Persons who challenged these assertions were rarely given an opportunity to honestly discuss their concerns with these academics, but rather, had their opinions derisively dismissed.

 Approximately 10 years ago, I felt that I had sufficient confidence in the breadth and depth of my Biblical and scientific knowledge to investigate the common assertions.  They did not stand up to rigorous scrutiny.

 Jewish, Christian, and Islamic religious leaders consider themselves to be entrusted with knowledge of God’s truth as recorded in their principal religious texts.  However, what is most appalling is that such religious leaders, with limited scientific knowledge, have simply accepted the academics’ assertions in order to avoid being ridiculed for their beliefs.  Worse still, they teach their converts to accept the conflicting academics’ opinions, despite being aware of Jesus’ commandment:

 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea. (Mark 9:42)

 I hereby issue an open challenge for anyone with claims of Biblical contradictions with itself and with scientific evidence to present them for discussion and scrutiny here.

 Regards,

Grenville

 

The Most Important Role of a Father

I was preparing to make a presentation of ‘Brothers Kept Apart’ at the Grande Salle, Central Bank complex, and I had to get there early to prepare.  As I was putting on my tie, my 4-year old son came into the bedroom and asked: “Daddy, where are you going?”  I am going to give a presentation, I replied.  “Can you give me a present too?” He asked.  I am not going to give a present but a speech.  Immediately he responded: “Oh! I know. You are going to say blah blah blah blah blah.”  Well, yes. I replied.

Mid-way through my presentation, I noticed my wife and son in the back row.  It was a school night, but my wife brought him along to see his father in action.  When our eyes met, he waved, and I waved back.  My wife had to restrain him from speaking.

 When I finished the presentation, there was a 15 minute intermission and complimentary refreshment break.  He ran to me, greeted me with a hug and said “You did good Daddy.”  While I got an ovation for the presentation, and received and appreciated the many kind and encouraging words from dignitaries, friends, and those whom I did not know, it was the response of my only begotten son that had me chocking back tears.  Thank you. I replied.

 I love my son.  I love when we walk together with his little trusting hand in mine, or when he climbs onto my back, or when I lift him into my arms as he raises his arms signalling to me that he is tired.  I feel rewarded just serving him.  However, I am fully aware that the most important function that I must play is to facilitate the transfer of his precious and complete trust from my hand to God’s hand, from my arms to God’s unfailing arms, from me to God.  For I am flesh, and my strength and knowledge will fade, but God is perfect and almighty and all-wise and good, and his guidance is sure.

 When I was fifteen years old, shortly before my high school examinations, my father and I were at home alone cleaning up.  Daddy was washing the dishes and I was drying them.  As we conversed, my father encouraged me to trust God and to seek his guidance.  Thus began not only an acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah, but the cultivation of a relationship with God, my heavenly Father.

 My hope for all of you fathers is that you be reconciled to the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and that you facilitate the reconciliation of your son to God, your heavenly Father.  There is no greater responsibility than that.

 Regards,

Grenville

Public Presentation of Brothers Kept Apart

9781440116100_cvrDear Readers:

You are invited to a free public presentation of the concepts contained in Brothers Kept Apart.

The Book assumed that both the Bible and the Qurán were authentic, and then found harmony between their principal teachings without compromising the teachings, or damaging the integrity of any verse in the Bible or the Qurán.

The presentation is scheduled to be held on Thursday 18th June 2009 at the Grande Salle (Central Bank) starting at 6:00 pm.

Given the limited seating, you are encouraged to reserve your seat by e-mailing BrothersKeptApart@gmail.com, or text or call 232-9783.  Please note that seats will be reserved until 5:50 pm.

Regards,

Grenville

The Audacity of Hope

9781440116100_cvr1.jpgDear Readers:

Christians and Muslims claim to serve the same God. However, Christian and Muslim teachers have convinced their adherents that God had rejected the other group. This has led to an acrimonious and sometimes violent relationship between Christians and Muslims over the past 1,300 years. Both of these groups believe that they will stand before the God of Abraham at the end of the age. Can these brothers, who have been kept apart for far too long, be reconciled before that time?

An Honest Look at Mohammed

Mohammed was born in 570 AD. He was an orphan and was raised by his uncle who was a trader. Mohammed also became a trader where he traveled from his home in Mecca around the Arabian Peninsula. When Mohammed was 25 years old, he married a widow named Khadīja and took no other wife during her lifetime.

When Mohammed was 40 years old, he reported receiving revelation from an angel. The message was that the Ishmaelites should reject their idols and submit to the One God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who was the God of the Jews and the Christians. His wife believed him, and she called her Christian cousin, Waraqa, who encouraged Mohammed that he was God’s prophet to the Ishmaelites, but to expect persecution.

Before Mohammed started preaching, Mohammed was financially well off, and he belonged to an influential family of the descendents of Ishmael. However, he risked it all and preached an unpopular message.

Mohammed’s Message

Mohammed started preaching in Arabia when he was 40 years old, and he preached a message of non-violence for the next 9 years. His message included:

  • return to the religion of Abraham, and worship the One God, who is identified as the one God of Abraham, the Jews and the Christians;
  • adopt responsible cultural practices;
  • believe God’s revelation sent to the Old Testament prophets, and recorded in the Gospel;
  • believe in the Messiah Jesus, who was born of the virgin Mary;
  • believe that there is a resurrection and a judgment where everyone’s eternal future would be determined;
  • believe that the Holy Sprit was sent to strengthen and guide believers;
  • reject the ways of satan; and
  • avoid the penalty of eternal hell fire.

Mohammed interacted with several Christian and Jewish religious leaders during his lifetime; however, many of them rejected him and his message. Mohammed’s message of returning to the One God of Abraham was very unpopular in the polytheistic region. It resulted in many family divisions, and severe persecution of those who forsook the dominant polytheistic religion. Many of his followers fled to Ethiopia in 615 AD to escape the persecution in Arabia. However, Mohammed remained in Mecca under the protection of his uncle.

From a Message of Peace to the Sword

Mohammed’s uncle and wife both died in 619 AD and to escape persecution, Mohammed fled from Mecca. Mohammed later declared that he was sent to humanity to call them to serve God alone. Later, he claimed that God had given him permission to defend his followers, and then to execute God’s judgment on the surrounding nations.

Mohammed sent letters to: Roman Emperor Heraclius, Persian king Khosrow II, Ethopian king Negus, the Egyptian king Muqauqis, and the kings of Uman, Yamama, Yaman, Bahrayn and Ghassani, warning them to submit to God or to face the consequences. After Mohammed’s death in 632, the Islamic armies would go on defeat most of these kingdoms, including the Persian and Roman armies. The Islamic army’s victories during the first approximately 100 years were as impressive as those undertaken by the Israelite army under Joshua approximately 1,000 years earlier.

The Compilation of the Qur’an

Mohammed did not write the Qur’an during his lifetime, but his scribe had written the dictated messages on hundreds of stones, bones, and leafs. Approximately 24 years after Mohammed’s death, the final written compilation of the Qur’an was completed. However, rather than order the compiled chapters chronologically, they were ordered generally from the longer to the shorter chapters. Of all of the books ever written, in any civilization of this world, and at any time in recorded history, the Qur’an is perhaps the easiest book to misunderstand and to misinterpret for three principal reasons:

  • its non-chronological ordering;
  • the end of the ‘Period of Judgment’ is not recorded in the Qur’an;
  • the Qur’an contains responses to various questions, teachings, and behaviors of Jews and Christians, but it rarely includes the questions.

Unverified Assumptions

These issues have led to Islamic teachers making the following unverified assumptions.

  • Since the initial 9 years of non-violent teachings appeared to conflict with the later retaliatory and ‘Period of Judgment’ instructions, then some later “violent” verses permanently replaced or abrogated some earlier more “peaceful” ones.
  • The ‘Period of Judgment’ or ‘Holy War’ is to continue until the end of time.
  • Since the Qur’an is responding in a negative way to Biblical teachings, then the Bible had to have been corrupted.

Understanding the Qur’an

These assumptions actually damage the integrity of several verses in the Qur’an. However, they have become entrenched in Islamic religious tradition for the past 1,300 years. Given these challenges, the proper interpretation of the Qur’an requires a working knowledge of the following:

  1. the Qur’an read in chronological order;
  2. the Books of the Bible, to which the Qur’an refers the reader;
  3. the historical biography of Mohammed;
  4. the development of Christian and Jewish religious traditions from the time of Jesus to the time of Mohammed;
  5. a history of Rome, Persia, and Arabia, whose activities are recorded in the Qur’an;
  6. the Islamic commentaries, in order to understand the Islamic traditional interpretations.

Brothers Kept Apart

After undertaking this research over the past 30 years, I have found that there is harmony between the principal teachings of the Bible and the Qur’an. Given that both Christians and Muslims claim that the same God was the principal author of their Book, then why should anyone be surprised that there is harmony between both books?  The research is titled Brothers Kept Apart.

Regards.