Promises and Secrets
A website for those not afraid to examine their beliefs, compare them to the real world, and make sure they fit.
Here's how the site works
WE TAKE THIS SIDE
On subsequent pages, this box is the place where the summary of a view is presented explaining something about the topic in the FACT box in the center. Of course, not everyone claiming to be on the presented side will be represented by this view. If you want to add to the view or suggest changes, please send in your comments to:
THE REAL WORLD
This set of three side-by-side boxes will be used to identify the major viewpoints of boths sides of an issue. FACTS listed here in the center will be undisputed events, things, and information accepted by most reasonable persons, but about which there are multiple viewpoints regarding the state, origin, or meaning of the subject matter.
SEND US YOUR SIDE
Here you will find a summary of at least one (if any are submitted) of the general opposing views to the explanation presented in the box on the other side of the FACT column. Again, not all who claim to be in this camp will be represented by this view. If you want to add to the view or suggest changes, please feel free to send in your comments to:
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Telling the difference between truth and lies
An interesting thing happened today in a conversation with my wife.
We have a "project" going on with the Bible Study pastor at her church. She attends a regular "bible study" on Wednesdays at her church. I put the phrase in quotes because it is often just one person getting up to speak about a subject or the need for more donations or efforts regarding some need in the world. Well, she has finally consented to actually read what I write in these pages, but she asked for them to be transferred to print because she, like others, does not like to read a lot of articles online. She is making notes in the margins, but will not let me read them yet.
Checking out my weird ideas
At one of these Bible Studies, she mentioned to the pastor that I had a site that presented some very off-the-wall ideas about what the Bible actually says. He was interested and asked her to have some printed for him. He has been reading these pages for some weeks now and is now about one-third the way through the extent of my site. Evidently, he is saving his comments for later. She told me that he said that he has written more comments than I have written in the pages. However, he asked her not to tell me about any of the comments he has made to her.
The whole reason for this site
This morning she asked me if I had prepared more papers for her pastor to read. I said yes, but that I didn't print out the page on the Lost Gospels. This got her attention, and she asked me why I would write about that nonsense. When I mentioned that a lot of people think that the Lost Gospels are valid accounts written by some of the actual apostles, so I examine them for what they actually say and their comparison to the flow of the Bible. This site is designed to illuminate false ideas and interpretations for everyone to see. Sometimes, I present some context for what the Bible actually says and present that as the truth.
An example of error
I then related one of the "facts" listed as part of the so-called "Gospel of Thomas" during a conversation between Peter and Jesus (presented by CARM (Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry)):
4. Heretical Nature and Gnostic-like Overtones
Third, another reason why the Gospel of Thomas does not belong in the New Testament is due to its heretical nature which disagrees with the undoubtedly authentic New Testament books. The Jesus of the Gospel of Thomas teaches many things which are contrary to the Jesus of the canonical Gospels. For example, in the Gospel of Thomas saying, "Simon Peter said to them, 'Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life.' Jesus said, 'I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven.'" This quote is in striking contrast to the New Testament where Jesus affirmed the value of women, and the fact that Paul taught that we are all one in Christ (Galatians 3:28).
"But, I thought..."
OK, here's the interesting part. After relating this to he, she then stated that she thought I only wrote about the truth because that's what true Christians are interested in learning. She felt that the Gospel of Thomas was obviously so far off base that it is obviously not true, so no one would actually believe that stuff.
Again, that's what this site does
My response? I said that the whole purpose of my site is to analyze things that "most" Christians believe that are, in fact, not true. The next step is to present a more fitting explanation than the commonly accepted one, but providing Biblical evidence at to why it makes more sense than the common "Christian" stand.
The typical "Sunday" Christian stand (for some critical issues like the Sabbath, diet, and Holidays, but not all their stands) appears to me to be the same as this segment of the Gospel of Thomas. Common erroneous statements with no, or out-of-context, references to the Word have been around for so long that everyone believes that they must be true.
To be continued
Well, unfortunately, my mother walked into the kitchen right at that moment, so the conversation ended there and my wife went to Bible study. The interesting point was that while something like the Gospel of Thomas is readily recognized as contrary to the Gospel, other blatant examples of disobedience are evidently not so apparent because of traditions and long-standing beliefs. That is why this site is here.
Let us know what you think
As the Bereans did with Paul, when you read the ideas presented on the pages of this site, don't just blow them off or accept them without challenge. Check them out. Compare them not only to your beliefs, but to the Bible and the references given to demonstrate their accuracy. If you find something you consider an error, send in your thoughts. If you wish, they will be published in the opposing view column so that others can see the other side.
This site is based on the plea of David, the author of Psalm 12.
Psalm 12 (NIV)
1 Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
2 Everyone lies to their neighbor;
they flatter with their lips
but harbor deception in their hearts.
3 May the Lord silence all flattering lips
and every boastful tongue -
4 those who say,
"By our tongues we will prevail;
our own lips will defend us - who is lord over us?"
5 "Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
I will now arise," says the Lord.
"I will protect them from those who malign them."
6 And the words of the Lord are flawless,
like silver purified in a crucible,
like gold refined seven times.
7 You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
and will protect us forever from the wicked,
8 who freely strut about;
when what is vile is honored by the human race.
A submission from a reader:
What Got in the Way
I didn't want the what I found
Nor did I even care.
I didn't seek to understand
The what I saw in there.
No matter what it can't be true
I know 'cause I can see
Just what I want, and what I don't
And what is wrong with me.
What absolutes are promised.
That's not how I depict it.
And what my what is wanting,
would make it all conflicted.
So even though the what is there
I'd just assume it's not,
'cause if it was of consequence
I'd have to ask - then what?
-Steven Glen of Caleb and Company
TELL US YOUR SIDE
Join the discussion here. This space is waiting just for you.