- Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Fact or Fiction?
Fact or Fiction? A pamphlet written and distributed by Michael Woroniecki cover the different religions of the world.
Someone says Mohammed was Chinese, Jesus was born in London and Abraham was from the North Pole. Such nonsense finds an audience only amongst fools. Most people act as though just because they say something it is FACT. Not quite! Truth is proven not by personal opinion, but by historical documentation. Passion is no legitimate replacement for FACT!
As a young zealous catholic I attended a Protestant seminary to prove they were wrong and we Catholics were right. In my first theology class I did a thesis on the role of Mary in salvation. My professor told me if I could document such beliefs he’d accept it. (His security really irked me.)
I expended painstaking research on exegesis of Greek manuscripts, the catholic Bible and early church fathers like Augustine, Jerome and Aquinas. I had to find direct correlation between Mariology and factual documentation. I slowly realized that such beliefs are traditions rooted in religious sentiment not Scriptural fact(Mk.7:6). All those years I was wrong!
As any lawyer knows, a case is not proven by conjecture, opinion or emotions. Facts are everything. I painfully realized all catholic traditions, from sacraments to Mass, are not based on sound Biblical exegesis. There is no Scriptural hint that God assigned divinity to Mary, who herself admitted being a sinner in need of salvation (Lk.1:46/ Jn.2:4/ Mk.3:35/ Mt.12:46).
Are you willing to FACE THE FACTS of what you believe? Are you willing to subject your feelings to fact? Don’t be naive! Hell IS fact! As humiliated as I felt, to know the truth was well worth it. My presumption could have driven me to deny the facts but I knew my eternity was at stake! I am deeply indebted to God for His mercy. Passion without knowledge is stupidity (Pr.19:2)! I did graduate from Fuller Theological Seminary with a Master’s Degree but now all my beliefs would be scrutinized by GOD’S WORD or any documents relative to the subject at hand.
How pure is YOUR quest to know God? Are you a “religious zealot” or a lover of truth? Do you have an upbringing, personal bias or resentment for God that will keep you from the truth? You must be willing to change. Only then will you get beyond your own personal deception. One cannot expect to be taken seriously if one cannot substantiate his claims with proven facts.
HISTORY TELLS US: Mohammed was born in Medina and lived between 570 AD and 632AD. He became an orphan at the age of six, tended sheep, became a merchant and was married. Abram and Sarai left the pagan city of Ur and sojourned throughout southern Israel. Jesus was born in Bethlehem. He learned the Carpenter’s trade from Joseph, his legal father. These are facts. It is common belief that the three religions which derive from these three men all represent the same God. Is this a fact? What do the documents say?
Scholars prove a document to be reliable by three things; 1) Do other documents written in the same time period confirm these events? Do other historians recount similar facts? 2) Are there events like an earthquake, war or birth of a nation which establishes a time line? 3) What is the internal witness of the document? Is there an integrity of common reason? Do the writings reconcile with what is already known to be true? Does the author invoke credibility by an honest and unbiased account? Does he claim some “mystical vision” that cannot be substantiated? Does one write of love but kill people?
MUSLIMS number over a billion people in the world. Mohammed claimed to have received a vision from the angel Gabriel commanding him to write down it’s message in the Koran. He was outraged by his contemporaries who held to the polytheistic religions derived from early Greece. Mohammed picked the name “Allah” from amongst the many names of gods he heard in Mecca. Mohammed claimed this was now the only one God and he was the prophet.
The leaders of Mecca became threatened and forced him to leave the city. Moving to Medina, he became respected as both a wise lawgiver and judge gaining many followers he named Muslims. Mohammed claimed Ishmael was the chosen son of Abraham (Even though the facts of Genesis 17:18ff reveal it was Isaac). He named his religion “Islam” which means “surrender” in Arabic. Mohammed later attacked and overcame Mecca with a huge force of Muslims. He became known as a successful warlord. Abu Bak became his immediate successor. These are facts of history. To say Mohammed was not a warrior who shed blood is to deny history. Modern Islam is divided into the orthodox element of the Sunni (90%) and more political Shiite (10%) Muslims.
Clearly Mohammed biased his writings against Jesus. The Koran emphatically denounces that God had a Son (SURA 17-verse 110). According to SURA 5-verse10 Jesus was NOT God (v70). Every well-read Muslim takes pride in Mohammed’s “vision” that “God had no sons”. The demonic spirit of the Koran is clearly exposed here. It is written “The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, is only an apostle... Far be it from God’s glory that He should have a son” (SURA 4-verse 160/also SURA 2-v110). It states that Jesus was created from dust just like Adam (SURA 3-50). This is emphatic blasphemy of the essence of God’s revelation in Jesus Christ. The Koran also allows adultery (SURA 4-verse1). It labels the entire non-Arabic-speaking population as “infidels”.
JEWS number about twenty million. Along with numerous others, they claim their roots are in the God of Abraham. One must investigate whether the many claims of allegiance to him are consistent with what Abraham himself revealed. I have talked to many people who claim to be a Jew yet do not even know what constitutes this identity. The word Jew means “one who praises Yahweh”. According to the documentation of Genesis, the indistinguishability of a Jew is based entirely upon lineage, circumcision and obedience to God’s Law.
Abraham was called by God to be a type of Adam through whom God would generate a people who would love and serve Him. Abraham beget Isaac who begot Jacob whose name was changed to Israel. Israel had twelve sons from whom twelve tribes came forth. Israel was both an individual and later an entire tribe.
The Jew claims “the Torah”, which is the first five books of the Old Testament, as the holy book. According to Genesis 17:10 a true Jew must be circumcised as a prerequisite for the tribe of Judah. To be a Jew one must observe the Ten Commandments given on Mt. Sinai and ten thousand other commandments (Ex.20/Hosea 8:12). According to Leviticus 4 and 17 a Jew must offer up the exact animal blood for a sin, guilt, grain and peace sacrifice. A Jew lives in anticipation of the coming Messiah who is described by all the Jewish prophets and kings. According to Joshua, only if one adheres to all these tenets is one truly considered a Jew (Joshua 23:16).
Modern Judaism is divided into basically two groups. Orthodox Jews view the Torah as absolute. Conservative Jews allow for changes to accommodate modern life. For both groups numerous interpretations of the ancient Torah have given birth to a complex religious system.
CATHOLICS claim Peter (who himself denied Jesus-Jn.18:25) was their first infallible “Pope”. A Catholic must be baptized and attend Mass every Sunday or is guilty of mortal sin. The center of Catholicism is the mystical ritual of transubstantiation. The body of Jesus becomes the Eucharist which is a wafer to be taken into one’s mouth. Priests“offer up the “unbloody sacrifice” of Jesus”, every day, for the sins of their congregation. A catholic must recognize and participate in the seven sacraments. One must also confess one’s sins to the priest, in order to eliminate both venial and mortal sins. Space does not permit the multitudes of traditions, sacraments and rituals which constitute the Roman System of religion.
Around 300 B.C. the Greek ruler Constantine incorporated Catholicism into the reform of his crumbling empire. It resulted in a success no one could have ever imagined. An image of Christ was imprinted on one side of the currency with Constantine’s image on the other side. (Quite similar to many of today’s western currencies.) It is crucial to understand that one did not separate the idea of Christianity from the system of Catholicism. They were one and the same. To be a Christian meant to be a Catholic.
CHRISTIANS have quite the history. On October 31st, 1517 in Wittenburg, Germany a catholic priest by the name of Martin Luther revolted against all the multitudes of religious requirements. He posted his “95 Thesis” and declared that to be a Christian meant to follow his teachings of the New Testament. Shortly thereafter men like John Calvin and many others said their teachings were the right way. These men began the evolution of Christianity as a separate entity from the huge religious system of Catholicism. Today there are over seven thousand such denominations. Although each holds to a variation in doctrine the basic framework of one hour on Sunday, divided into ten to fifteen minute segments, is the same. They talk about Christ but live for themselves. There now exists a very bizarre reality on earth; an accepted institutional “church” and an obscure rejected church.
A Christian, as seen in the Book of Acts, in the New Testament is defined by absolute abandon to follow Jesus Christ (Acts11:26). Conversion is defined as one who is “born again” into the alternate world of the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Jn.3:3). The prerequisite is to repent of one’s self-centered life (Acts3:19/Jn.12:25/Rm.6:6). True disciples became one in heart and mind and no one claimed any possessions as their own (Acts4:32). Their entire goal in life was to be full of the Holy Spirit and preach Jesus to the world (Acts 1:8,2:1).
The modern definition of a Christian is one who repeats the religious formula started by John Wesley and Charles Finney in the 17th century “revivals” along the east coast. They concluded that conversion needed to be simplified for the masses. They told men if they would recite the prayer-formula “Accept Christ as Savior” men would be ensured of eternal life. Conservatives, liberals, evangelicals, charismatics and fundamentalists all maintain this tradition as their centerpiece.
THE BIBLE contains some visions, dreams, prayers but essentially is a history with an established time line. It contains multitudes of events, births of nations and natural phenomenon. It has been substantiated as a historically reliable document by both secular and religious scholars. It claims absolute authority on all truth. It is written “All Scripture is God-breathed...”(2 Tim.3:16). And “no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophets own interpretation for the prophecy never had it’s origin in the will of men but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2Pt.1:29/ Mt.5:18/ Rev.22:18)
Other documents (such as Josephus, Gaelic Wars etc.) found in the same geographic area confirm it’s time line; the Bible’s documentation of Israel, Egypt, Babylon, Arabia etc. The mention of numerous kings, rulers, wars, famines, floods and earthquakes all lend to it’s authenticity. It’s internal integrity is confirmed by numerous accounts by Moses, Peter and Paul and others whereby they fully expose their own failures and are consistent with recording facts substantiated by other internal sources.
JESUS claimed nothing less than equality with God (Jn.14:9,10:30,1:1 and1:14,8:58/Phil.2:6/Col.2:9/Heb.1:3). He never claimed to be just another “good teacher”. The Scriptures document how the Jews clearly understood Him to “blaspheme” by making Himself equal with God. For this sole reason they sought to have Jesus tortured to death (Jn.5:18/1Thes.2:14). Jesus made no claim to be a ruler of Rome, a Jewish warlord or a common merchant. Neither did He steal anything or cry out “I will kill you, Caesar!” His life, words and purpose are clearly documented. Jesus identified Himself as the Savior of the world with the single goal of offering His perfect life as atonement for man’s sin and through His death and resurrection, provide the sole means through which a man can find reconciliation to God and eternal life (2 Cor.5:19).
Jesus accepts from others the title of, and Himself claims to be, “the Son of God” (Jn.3:16, 5:20ff, 1:34,49/Mt.26:64/ Mk.1:1/Lk.1:35). Even His executioner recognized Jesus as God’s Son (Mt.27:54). Jesus says He came down directly from heaven (Jn.8:23). Jesus claimed to be the King of the Jews and the messianic fulfillment of all the ancient long-awaited prophecies (Mt.27:11). It is absolutely crucial to Jewish Law that the lineage of the Messiah prove that He is a direct descendant of King David (2Sam.7:12/ Is.9:7,11:1/ Ezek.37:25/ Ps.89:3). This is the exact reason for the great emphasis put on genealogy in the gospel of Matthew (Mt.1:1). Jesus repeatedly explains, accepts and identifies Himself as “the Son of David” (Rev.22:16,3:7,5:5/ Mt.15:22, 21:9-15,22:43/9:27, 12:23/Jn.7:42/Rm.1:3/2Tm.2:8).
Jesus displayed a very lowly disposition and said “I am humble in heart” (Mt.11:29). Yet He claimed; to be equal with God, greater than the Temple (which took 46 years to build), to be the Light of the world, to have greater wisdom than Solomon, to have lived before Abraham and to be free of sin (Jn.2:20, 8:12,46,58 /Mt.12:6,42). Only God could say such things and be considered humble. If these claims are lies they are the epitome of delusion, arrogance and contradict anything having to do with humility. Jesus claims to be “the good Shepherd”, “the Door”, “the Vine”, “living Bread”, “living water” and “Jacob’s ladder”(Jn.1:51,6:35,7:37,10:7-11,11:25,15:1). He did not flinch in commanding men to “eat” His flesh and “drink” His blood, well-aware it was an apparent contradiction to Jewish Law (Jn.6:53/ Lev.17:12). Likewise the Law forbad men to work on the Sabbath yet everyone saw Jesus do so (Mk.2:23/ Ex.31:14).
Jesus walked on water, raised men from the dead, cast out demons, demonstrated absolute authority over all life and manifested compassion and a wisdom beyond Solomon or any man recorded in history (Jn.8:7,11:43/Mt.7:29,8:16,14:14-25, 21:24, 22:21). In the eyes of the Jew anyone who is hung on a tree is under God’s curse (Deut.21:23). Yet to the great dismay of His followers, Jesus prophesied this is exactly how He was to die. He knew the exact day of His death, how long He would be in the grave and the ultimate outcome of His resurrection (Mt.16:21, 12:39/ Jn.3:14, 12:24). According to Paul this was the depth of the extent of the love Jesus was willing to go to save men from God’s wrath (Gal.3:13/Phil.2:8).
So even the feigned respect by Jews and Muslims exposes a huge contradiction against common reason. A serious seeker of truth does not put whatever identity one conjures-up as the life of Jesus, and then say “It’s a fact”.
INCONSISTENCIES AND CONTRADICTIONS result in the tragic destruction of those who are unwilling to spend the heart on research and examination of the facts. People often ask the meaning of a “true” Muslim, Jew or Christian? There is the IDEAL and there is the practical reality. One imagines the ideal as an astute holy man untainted by worldly affiliation. Is this fact or fiction? Can a man attain perfection from studying any of the preceding religions? Salvation is the focus of every religion. How does one save himself from evil both within and around himself and from hell? For the Muslim, adherence to the Koran and the five pillars of Islam demand all his efforts. For the modern Jew, there are multitudes of complex options. For the modern Christian, one must recite the formula, attend Mass or “church” and strive to be like Christ.
A great majority of “Protestant” Christians believe salvation is, on the one hand, a “free gift” of God. However the contradiction is made when this teaching is followed by a “sacramental” condition of two things. One must go to a “church” on Sunday (or Saturday for Adventist). One must repeat the specific prayer formula (”Accept Christ as Savior”) in order to ensure the merit of salvation. Such a mechanical ritual, imposed upon the masses, is not consistent with the insistence of one being able to experience “personal” salvation. All religions depend on the personal degree to which an individual is able to live a “good life”.
Jews and Muslims (and many others) say “Oh, we recognize Jesus as a ‘good teacher’. We just don’t believe Jesus is God”. As if this is a sincere and acceptable denunciation. As if this is just some irrelevant and peripheral issue. THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST IS THE ENTIRE BASIS OF SALVATION (1Tim.2:5/2 Cor.5:19)!!! No sinful man can save another sinful man(Ps.49:7). If Jesus is not God man has no hope (Is.63:5).
Jesus was not a “GOOD” teacher if He deceivingly welcomed worship as God, claimed to forgive sin and said He created the Sabbath (Lk.5:20/19: 40/Mt.9:2). Jesus was accused of blasphemy by making Himself equal with God (Jn.5:18). He would have been a “good” teacher only if He refuted such a huge claim. Instead Jesus said if men didn’t worship Him the rocks would (Lk.19:40).Jesus either did the miracles attributed to him, or he did not. In which case the entire Jewish population conspired to make an issue out of miracles that never happened.
It is a complete disregard of Scriptural accuracy to say Jesus claimed to be a mere “apostle”. It is a fool’s denial of factual documentation. It is to imply Jesus died for natural, selfish and delusional reasons. To insist God had no Son, when this is the essence of His revelation in John 3:16, is not some menial disagreement with Christians. It is diabolical blasphemy! Thus one observes that Mohammed’s “vision” was written with an obvious intention to demean the Person of Jesus using a religious rhetoric. One can only assume the blatant corruption of Biblical text about God’s Son is a malice by Mohammed for his majestic Predecessor, Jesus Christ. Mohammed was incensed, as is every Arab, by the derogatory depiction of Ishmael in the Scriptures.
The essence of the New Testament is it’s documentation that “God gave His only begotten Son”(Jn.3:16/Mt.11:27). It is written “You are My Son; today I have become your Father” and “Who is the liar? It is the man who denies Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the anti-christ” (Ps.2:7/1 Jn.2:22). To outrightly deny Jesus as God is not exactly laying a building block of “tolerance and shared agreement”.
Ishmael was the father of the Arab nation. Islam claims Ishmael to be God’s chosen but factual documentation names “Isaac”(Gen.17:21,21:12). Ishmael was the illegitimate son of Abraham (Gen.16:3). God’s angel prophesied to Hagar of Ishmael’s destiny; “He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers” (Gen.16:12). Even secular scholars have found the Scriptures to reliable in regards to many other historical accuracies. These are not my opinions. These are documented facts written thousands of years ago. An integral doctrine of Islam is “Jihad” which is to “Kill the infidel”. Not exactly “love your enemies”. Thus, it is nonsense to say Islam is a “religion of peace” according to it’s very own Koran.
Upon study of the Torah one discovers that a true Jew is not a descendant of the physical seed of Abraham. For God chose to anoint many pagans (Is.45:1/Jer.25:9). In fact, God became furious with Israel and wanted to completely annihilate them (Ex.32:9). God did so much for them yet they acted no differently than His greatest enemies (Jer.11:10ff). In fact, Israel today is no different than any other pagan nation and is the object of God’s wrath for their wicked rejection of His Son (1Thess.2:15/ 1 Cor.1:23/ Heb.3:9/Am.9:7/Is.19:23). This is documented fact not opinion. No matter what “Christian conservatives” say, what God says in His Word is TRUTH!
It is outrageous to think God’s chosen people are determined by Jewish reproduction! Never did God imply that inherent in the natural procreation of Israel would be God’s divine favor. Wherever “Israel” is mentioned, as chosen or special, it is a clear symbolic reference to the “remnant” people, of any generation, who love His Messiah Jesus(Gal.4:28/Rm.9:7). Jesus clearly revealed the Jews were no longer God’s chosen people (Mt.3:9,21:43ff/ Lk.4:26, 15:28, 19:9, 7:9, 17:18/ Jn.4:24). His greatest apostle Paul was sent to the pagan Gentiles. God is in search of any one to worship Him (2 Chron.16:9/ Jn.4:24, 6:37). The Law is not written on stone tablets and fulfilled through self-assertion (Jer.31:31/ Ezek.36:26/ Ps.51:17). Neither was circumcision the proof of being a Jew because Abraham was reckoned righteous before he was circumcised as an outward sign of an inward “cutting away” (Jer.9:26/Ps.51:17/Rm.2:28).
If you claim to be a Jew, do you offer blood sacrifice for your sins and what about having accurate documentation of the lineage? Since such records of genealogy have long been lost, it would be impossible today to trace the genealogy of any coming “Messiah” back to David. Contrary to Catholicism and Judaism, Jesus declares Himself to be the One High Priest Who has “once and for all” provided one blood sacrifice for sin for all time (Heb.9:12,26/Jn.19:30).
The facts expose Judaism, Christianity and Islam as religions riddled with inconsistency and contradictions. More shocking than the complete lack of Scriptural documentation is the astounding realization of how these religions are accepted as viable ways to God. Presidents, kings, theologians, rabbis, sheiks and the multitudes of nations are ignorant of basic reason and documented facts! Such naive presumption would never stand up to the rules of law if these religions were brought to a court for fraud. All lack sufficient evidence to substantiate their very own claims.
Today Muslims and Jews hate and kill each other but in God’s eyes are of one heart with all rebels in thee most monumental agreement; the rejection of the Savior Jesus as the Son of God. How could a mere Carpenter be God? Today’s “Christian” is worse than all sinners because he defiles access is to God’s TRUTH. The Catholics and “Christians” give lip-service to the doctrines of Christ but their love of self-life unifies them in heart with all other religions. They all “love their lives” (Jn.112:25/Mk.7:6).
The world throws around the word “cult” to describe either some bizarre group, or as a demeaning attack on someone who exposes their wickedness. The word simply means “worship”. It is not found in the Bible. Rather “DISCERNMENT” is what is essential to decipher deception in these last days (Jn.9:39). Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Catholicism and Christianity are the biggest “cults” on the face of the earth!
Religions offer a system of beliefs for salvation. God offers Himself in the Person of Jesus as salvation (Jn.14:6,17:3). All religions emphasize striving to better yourself. Jesus says one must “hate” and “deny” one’s self in order to be reborn into His Spirit (Mk.8:34/ Mt.16:24/ Lk.9:23/ Jn.12:25/ Jn.3:7). YOU are your biggest problem. It’s not complicated. If you want God, go directly TO GOD! He says “Ask and you shall receive...My sheep hear My voice...and do not follow the voice of a stranger” (Mt.7:7/Jn.10:4,27). If God teaches you then you WILL come to meet the living Jesus (Jn.6:44-45). No pastor, lifestyle, temple, system, church or prayer formula.
As long as you have breath in your lungs it is NOT too late. God will blow your mind! God loves you so much! Get all alone! Jesus bore all sin on the cross. Every natural tendency which handicaps you can be broken and healed in Christ. Your regrets can be redeemed! Whether Muslim, Catholic or honest pagan, you CAN change!
Jesus says “YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN” (Jn.3:3). Buy a New Testament. Read the gospel of John all alone. Don’t go to “church”. Jesus says “Come to ME” (Jn.7:37/Mt.11:28). Only God can teach you of Himself. Ask the God of Abraham and Ishmael for revelation of His living Son Jesus Christ!
Mormonism is a relatively new cult started by Joseph Smith who claimed a vision from an angel called Moroni and recorded it in The Pearl of Great Price. There are scores of other deceivers like Jehovah Witnesses etc. The Catholics, Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses all deviate from the original Greek manuscripts to write their own translation of the Bible. There are those who put extreme emphasis on the rapture, having elders, certain way of baptism, tongues, Hebrew names etc. All of them are anathema because none are rooted in the living Scriptures and the Person of Jesus the Messiah.
Write: Michael Warnecki TME-W845-P.O. 3070 - Three Forks, Montana 59752