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Credit the Virgin Mary with Saving Europe from the Invading Turks

(Protestant) Christians do not realize just how nutty it sounds to non-Christians when they give credit to Jesus (a man who has been dead for 2,000 years) for events in their lives, whether it is something as simple as getting a job promotion or something as spectacular as a military victory by their country’s armed forces.

“Thank you, Lord Jesus, for assisting our military in defeating those evil _______!”

But look at how outrageously nutty it sounds (even to Protestants) when it is a Roman Catholic giving credit to the Virgin Mary (another human being who has been dead for two thousand years):

Mike (Roman Catholic):  In 1571 the Ottoman Turks assembled a mighty fleet with the intention of conquering Christian Europe and turning it from Christian to Moslem. That they were prevented from doing so was due the great victory of the Christians at the naval Battle of Lepanto,

On the eve of battle, the men of the Holy League prepared their souls by falling to their knees on the decks of their galleys and praying the Rosary.  Back in Rome, and up and down the Italian Peninsula, at the behest of Pius V, the churches were filled with the faithful telling their beads. In Heaven, the Blessed Mother, her Immaculate Heart aflame, was listening.

As the fleets grew closer, the Christians could hear the gongs and cymbals, drums and cries of the Turks. The men of the Holy League quietly pulled at their oars, the soldiers stood on the decks in silent prayer. Priests holding large crucifixes marched up and down the decks exhorting the men to be brave and hearing final confessions.
Then the Blessed Virgin intervened.
The wind shifted 180 degrees. The sails of the Holy League were filled with the Divine breath, driving them into battle. Now heading directly into the wind, the Turks were forced to strike their sails.
The fighting lasted for five hours. The sides were evenly matched and well led, but the Divine favoured the Christians, and once the battle turned in their favour it became a rout. All but thirteen of the nearly 300 Turkish vessels were captured or sunk and over 30,000 Turks were slain.
The news of the victory made its way back to Rome, but the Pope was already rejoicing. On the day of the battle, Pius had been consulting with his cardinals at the Dominican Basilica of Santa Sabina on the Aventine Hill. He paused in the midst of their deliberations to look out the window. Up in the sky, the Blessed Mother favoured him with a vision of the victory. Turning to his cardinals he said, “Let us set aside business and fall on our knees in thanksgiving to God, for he has given our fleet a great victory.

(Copied from:  here)

Gary:  Good grief!

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How to Prove Christianity False in Five Minutes

I believe that traditional Christianity can be proven false in five minutes by knocking out the three pillars of the Christian Faith (belief system):

  1.  The Bodily Resurrection of Jesus
  2.  The Accuracy of Old Testament Prophecy
  3.  The Witness of the Holy Spirit

And here is the evidence that destroys these three superstition-based claims:

  1.  Based on cumulative human experience, it is much more probable that the early Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus was due to one disciple’s bereavement hallucination (probably Simon Peter’s) than a once in history reanimation of a three-day-brain-dead corpse.  Persons who experience hallucinations believe them to be real life experiences.  If Paul was able to convince first century Jews in Asia Minor that he had seen a resurrected Jesus based on a “heavenly vision”, then Simon Peter was surely capable of convincing first century Jews (including the other disciples) in Palestine that he had seen the resurrected Jesus, even though his experience had really been an hallucination.  The remainder of the “appearances” of Jesus listed in the Early Creed of First Corinthians 15 could simply have been static images (illusions) something we see today with alleged group sightings of the Virgin Mary.  The Early Creed gives no details whatsoever of these appearances.  The detailed appearances in the four Gospels may well be literary embellishments, very common in Greco-Roman biographies, the genre of literature in which most New Testament scholars, including many conservative Christian scholars, believe the authors of the Gospels were writing.

2.  The Book of Daniel is a blatant fraud.  The book very accurately portrays the events in the Greek Empire down to abstract minutia but makes major errors regarding the Babylonian and Persian empires, the empires during which the book’s author infers the book was written.  Jesus quotes from this fraudulent book.  Jesus, who was not a scholar, was fooled by the author.  Modern scholars are not fooled.

3.  The “witness of the Holy Spirit” is a joke.  Christians can no more prove that the voice that allegedly speaks to them is their god than can the Muslims, Hindus, Mormons, Jews, and others prove that the voice that speaks to them is their god.  Watch this powerful video for proof:

Why Would CS Lewis use a Turkish Word for the Character who Symbolizes Jesus Christ in his Novel, “The Chronicles of Narnia”?

I attended a Baptist parochial school growing up.  During one of my classes in sixth grade, I believe it was, our English teacher read to us from CS Lewis’ classic books, The Chronicles of Narnia.  They tell the story of a family of children who enter a wardrobe in an old house in the English countryside to suddenly find themselves in a magical land called Narnia.  This land is ruled by a lion king, named…Aslan.

“Aslan?  What kind of a name is that?”  I remember asking myself as a kid.

The story is steeped in Christian metaphors.  (Spoiler Alert!) The pinnacle of the story is that the lion king, Aslan (representing Jesus Christ), sacrifices his life for his people.

A few weeks ago, I and my wife were watching a Turkish movie on Netflix entitled, “Magnificent Century”.  It is about the greatest of all sultans of the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire, Suleyman the Great.  In the movie, Suleyman’s mother, the “Queen Mother” refers to him as “my lion”.  Since the movie is in Turkish, I heard what she said in Turkish.  She said, my …”Aslan“!

“Aslan???”  I said to myself.  Where have I heard that word before?  In seconds it came to me:  The Chronicles of Narnia!

Why would CS Lewis use a Turkish word (a Muslim country) as the name of the character in his novel which symbolizes Jesus Christ?  How very odd!

If only Lewis were alive to ask!

 

Christians and their Sophisticated Arguments for the Bodily Resurrection of Jesus

Several years ago evangelical Christian historian and apologist William Lane Craig held a public debate with agnostic New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman. Craig led off the debate with a fifteen minute presentation of a very complex mathematical formulation “proving” the near certainty of the bodily resurrection of Jesus! He placed the long mathematical formulations up on a huge screen in front of the audience, and by the reaction of the crowd (composed mostly of Christian believers), you could tell they were very impressed.

When Craig’s time allotment expired, he confidently looked over at Ehrman and waited for his response as if to say, “I dare you to prove my complex mathematical formulation false!”

Ehrman completely ignored Craig’s mathematical argument.

Ehrman instead addressed the lack of good evidence to support the claim that a first century corpse really did come back to life in circa 33 CE. You see, no matter how complicated and sophisticated their defensive arguments, Christian apologists such as William Lane Craig, at the very core of their argument, are still trying to convince us that an ancient ghost god took the form of a human being in circa 3 BCE by impregnating a young Jewish virgin, giving birth to….himself, dying on a tree, coming back from the dead three days later, and then levitating into outer space where he now sits at the edge of the universe on a golden throne as Lord of the Cosmos.

It is a silly ancient folk tale, my friends. No matter how complicated and sophisticated they try to make it sound…it is still a silly tall tale that no educated modern person should believe.

Powerful Proof that Basing Your Beliefs on an Inner Voice is Unreliable

 

 If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you.

                                                                       —James 1:5

 

“You cannot reason people out of a position that they did not reason themselves into.”

                                                                                        —Ben Goldacre

Watch the powerful video below to see why it is most definitely not a wise decision to base your beliefs on an “inner voice” or upon your feelings:

Heathen, Pagans, and Infidels

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Suleyman the Magnificent

 

You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols…

I Corinthians 12:2

 

My wife and I are currently watching reruns of a Turkish television series on Netflix called, “Magnificent Century”.  The series is a historical fiction about the life of the greatest sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Suleyman the Magnificent, who ascended the throne in 1520 (three years after Martin Luther nailed his 99 Thesis on the door of his church).  Sultan Suleyman ruled during the pinnacle of Ottoman power and expansion.  At one point, his armies penetrated as far into Europe as the walls of Vienna.

Being a Turkish production, it is told from a Muslim worldview.  It is interesting to see how the Muslim is portrayed as the good guy and the Christian as the evil “infidel”.  Growing up Christian, of course, the roles were reversed in my worldview.  In western history books and movies, “the Turk” has always been portrayed as an evil, threatening menace to the peace and stability of the Christian world.  In the television series, Suleyman is portrayed as a wise, just, and benevolent ruler who regularly prays to God for guidance.

One scene on this subject really struck me.  The sultan was bidding his mother, sister, wife, and five year old son good bye before leaving on a military campaign against the Hungarians (who are Christians).  The little boy wrapped his arms around his father and said, “Father, let me go with you to chop off the heads of the Infidels!”  Everyone present smiled with approval at his comment.

I thought to myself:  “And we could reproduce this exact scene with Saul bidding farewell to his family as he marched off to slaughter the “heathen” Amalekites.  And we could repeat it again as Christian knights were sent off with the blessings of their families (and the Christian Church) to slaughter entire Muslim cities (pagans) in the Crusades.

I thought to myself:  Religion truly is the root of all evil.

 

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