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Disappearing Act: Presbyterians Embrace Leftist Politics, Shun Reformed Roots
Breakpoint ^ | 7-3-14 | Stan Guthrie

Posted on 07/03/2014 6:28:21 PM PDT by ReformationFan

Over the last two decades, more than three-fourths of Iraq’s Christians have fled the country, driven out by a combination of Muslim fanaticism and economic and social collapse. Iraq, however, isn’t the only place to experience a mass Christian exodus in recent years.

Look at the Presbyterian Church (USA), the 10th largest denomination in this country. But you’d better look fast. The PC(USA), which is the nation’s largest Presbyterian denomination (at least for now), is driving out members through its own brand of leftist fanaticism.

From a high of more than 4 million members back in 1965, the Louisville-based PC(USA) has seen more than half of its members disappear through the back door, reaching the current level of 1.7 million people. This includes a nasty hemorrhage of 103,000 members between 2011 and 2012. All this despite a merger in 1983 that gave the denomination a temporary shot in the arm—but before current controversies that threaten to drive the PC(USA) into ecclesiastical extinction.

The death spiral appears to have everything to do with continuing church efforts that shun the denomination’s theological roots in favor of political and social “relevance.”

At last month’s 221st General Assembly, held in Detroit, PC(USA) delegates voted in favor of three controversial measures that fit quite nicely into current leftist politics.

--“The PC(USA) voted to divest from three companies—Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions—that provide equipment Israel uses to raze houses, operate checkpoints and communicate in the occupied West Bank,” Christianity Today says. “The decision makes the denomination one of the few in the U.S. advocating financial divestment as a peace strategy.”

Paul deJong, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Fort Myers, said that his congregation will send a formal protest. “The actions of the denomination are at best misguided, at worst represent outright racism, and certainly give every appearance of intentionally promoting anti-Semitism,” deJong said. “One must question the motives of anyone who vilifies Israel with greater fervor than any other nation, especially when we consider the numerous places in which violence is being reported continuously.” Such as Iraq.

--Delegates voted down a resolution that would have condemned the murder of babies after botched abortions, such as happened in Kermit Gosnell’s grisly chamber of horrors.

--The General Assembly voted to change the definition of marriage from “a civil contract between a woman and a man” to “a unique commitment between two people.” Additionally, according to Christianity Today, “The new ‘authoritative interpretation’ of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Book of Order gives individual pastors discretion to perform same-sex ceremonies where the practice is legal.”

More theologically conservative Presbyterians have seen the handwriting on the wall for some time. In 2010, the denomination voted to abandon its expectation of monogamy in marriage and celibacy in singleness for its clergy. This past March, the 3,400-member Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, pastored by John Ortberg in California’s Silicon Valley, overwhelmingly voted to leave the PC(USA), despite the $9 million price tag. MPPC cited differences over the authority of Scripture and in church-planting strategy.

Other observers have been blunter, including Mark Tooley, who is president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy in Washington, D.C. “In fact, the exodus from the PC(USA) after the marriage vote may increase for congregations and individuals,” Tooley says. “Many exiting PC(USA) churches have joined the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, while others helped create a new denomination called the Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians. Despite the impact on denominational finances, PC(USA) elites, committed more to the Left than to the church’s health, seem mostly indifferent.”

Two earlier, more conservative denominations started by PC(USA) dissidents include the Presbyterian Church in America and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

The PC(USA)’s leftwing death wish not only disregards Scripture. It also contradicts the teaching of the spiritual founder of Presbyterianism, the Protestant Reformer John Calvin. Though known largely for his emphasis on the sovereignty of God, the 16th-century theologian Calvin spoke of many matters.

While Calvin was a man of his times in saying some harsh things about Jewish people—“I have had much conversation with many Jews: I have never seen either a drop of piety or a grain of truth or ingenuousness–nay, I have never found common sense in any Jew”—he also affirmed that Jews and Christians have the possibility of equal access to God by faith. By contrast, the PC(USA) has singled out Israel (incidentally the Middle East’s only democracy) for special censure.

Regarding the sanctity of human life, the distinction between Calvin and the PC(USA) is even clearer. “If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house, than in a field,” Calvin wrote, “it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a fetus in the womb before it has come to light.” The denomination, however, has long held membership in the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, which opposes restrictions on abortion.

When it comes to marriage, of course, “marriage” between homosexuals was unknown in the 16th century and would have been considered an abomination. Calvin, according to one reviewer, “made sexual sin and crime, marital formation and dissolution, children's nurture and welfare, and family cohesion and support essential concerns for both church and state.” His philosophy can be summed up in this quote: Matrimony is “a good and holy ordinance from God.”

The theological and numerical decline of the PC(USA) is likely irreversible, according to Tooley. “Although church liberals love to insist their policies appeal to the rising generation, all of the available evidence indicates just the opposite,” Tooley says. “Essentially, the PC(USA) . . . resolved to become even smaller, older, and whiter, creating a future that depends more and more on endowments instead of live people.”

And when the endowments run out, can the PC(USA) be far behind?


TOPICS: Current Events; Mainline Protestant; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: abominationtogod; abortions; calvinism; fauxchristians; fruitsofcalvin; gaychurch; homosexualagenda; israel; lesbyterian; liberaltheology; paganchurchusa; pcusa; pissbyterians; playingchurch; presbyterian; prolife; reformation; reformed; religiousleft; spewthemout; stanguthrie; whitedsepulchres
PCUSA, it's past time to close your doors. If people want to attend a Democratic party meeting on Sundays, they'll do that instead.
1 posted on 07/03/2014 6:28:21 PM PDT by ReformationFan
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To: ReformationFan
Sounds a far cry from the uber-conservative congregation I used to sit in 45 years ago.
2 posted on 07/03/2014 6:36:04 PM PDT by skeeter
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To: ReformationFan
And when the endowments run out, can the PC(USA) be far behind?

If they are anything like the ELCA, previous generations were generous to the point where the upper levels of the hierarchy can do whatever they want almost in perpetuity. That being said, the families who used to keep quiet when mom or dad willed a hefty chunk to the church are now more likely to make a bit of a scene. Not too many farms around here are being used to ease the trip to eternity compared to the old days.

Mr. niteowl77

3 posted on 07/03/2014 6:44:29 PM PDT by niteowl77 (The five stages of Progressive persuasion: lecture, nudge, shove, arrest, liquidate.)
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To: ReformationFan
the 3,400-member Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, pastored by John Ortberg in California’s Silicon Valley, overwhelmingly voted to leave the PC(USA), despite the $9 million price tag

Sounds like PC(USA) is worth more dead than alive.

4 posted on 07/03/2014 6:48:51 PM PDT by RightGeek (FUBO and the donkey you rode in on)
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To: RightGeek

$2,640 per member to leave?

crazy


5 posted on 07/03/2014 6:58:18 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: ReformationFan

who are these members of the general assembly?????? how do they get their positions?

I always notice these apostates never use scripture to support their decisions in church govt!


6 posted on 07/03/2014 7:03:57 PM PDT by RginTN
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To: ReformationFan; Oldeconomybuyer; RightField; aposiopetic; rbmillerjr; Lowell1775; JPX2011; ...

—The General Assembly voted to change the definition of marriage from “a civil contract between a woman and a man” to “a unique commitment between two people.” Additionally, according to Christianity Today, “The new ‘authoritative interpretation’ of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Book of Order gives individual pastors discretion to perform same-sex ceremonies where the practice is legal.”

Vivo Sola Scriptura!

/sarcasm off/


7 posted on 07/03/2014 7:10:02 PM PDT by narses (Matthew 7:6. He appears to have made up his mind let him live with the consequences.)
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To: narses

There’s nothing in Scripture that authorizes what the PCUSA had done concerning the definition of marriage.


8 posted on 07/03/2014 7:14:00 PM PDT by ReformationFan
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To: ReformationFan

Really? They disagree.


9 posted on 07/03/2014 7:14:40 PM PDT by narses (Matthew 7:6. He appears to have made up his mind let him live with the consequences.)
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To: narses

They don’t disagree. They know full well what the Bible says on this issue. They just don’t care.


10 posted on 07/03/2014 7:16:18 PM PDT by ReformationFan
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To: ReformationFan

Vivo Sola Scriptura!

/sarcasm off/


11 posted on 07/03/2014 7:18:38 PM PDT by narses (Matthew 7:6. He appears to have made up his mind let him live with the consequences.)
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To: RightGeek

I used to belong to a PCUSA church. Expenses exceeded donations. So far as I know they were borrowing equity from the building (I never understood the treasurer’s report so I could be wrong about that - but there was no doubt that expenses exceeded donations).

I’m not sure what will happen first - either the members will die off, quit, or the church will run out of equity. I suppose if it’s either of the first two, the presbytery will come in and take whatever is left.


12 posted on 07/03/2014 7:26:09 PM PDT by scrabblehack
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To: GeronL
$2,640 per member to leave?

crazy

The denomination owns the local church property.

Some presbyteries let congregations go graciously. Others do not.

13 posted on 07/03/2014 7:34:25 PM PDT by Lee N. Field
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To: Lee N. Field

and there is nothing graceful about the PC-USA, right?


14 posted on 07/03/2014 7:36:35 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: ReformationFan

So happy about Menlo Park Pres. It’s my old church! I didn’t know they had left. It means it’s still conservative! It was a great church when I attended.


15 posted on 07/03/2014 7:36:53 PM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: narses; ReformationFan

Those living in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Nothing about the papacy, Mariolatry, Purgatory, Indulgences, etc. in the Bible either — but the RCC asserts their truth.

the PCUSA is apostate... much like the Roman Catholic Church. Finally... common ground between the two denominations. Who knows? Maybe they took their lead from the RCC!

Hoss


16 posted on 07/03/2014 7:39:49 PM PDT by HossB86 (Christ, and Him alone.)
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To: HossB86

17 posted on 07/03/2014 7:42:29 PM PDT by narses (Matthew 7:6. He appears to have made up his mind let him live with the consequences.)
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To: ReformationFan

PCUSA - stands for Politically Correct United Satanic Assembly.


18 posted on 07/03/2014 7:43:04 PM PDT by eldoradude (How many democrats does it take to change a light bulb?)
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To: ReformationFan
denomination voted to abandon its expectation of monogamy in marriage and celibacy in singleness for its clergy

So Presbyterians allow polygamous clergy now?

19 posted on 07/03/2014 7:59:16 PM PDT by Unam Sanctam
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To: Unam Sanctam

“So Presbyterians allow polygamous clergy now?”

Not until the government declares polygamy legal. That’s the standard, the government not God and His Holy word.


20 posted on 07/03/2014 8:19:05 PM PDT by ReformationFan
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To: Unam Sanctam
Ah, the Utah Presbyterians.

Give it a couple years.

21 posted on 07/03/2014 8:20:12 PM PDT by Lee N. Field ("And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD")
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To: ReformationFan

when will Protestants realize that they are Protestants???


22 posted on 07/03/2014 8:42:43 PM PDT by terycarl
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To: ReformationFan

Do these people not read their Bible? Throughout, God tells us those who bless Israel will be blessed; those who dishonor or curse her will be cursed. You can’t miss the message.


23 posted on 07/03/2014 9:04:03 PM PDT by Girlene (Hey NSA!)
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To: terycarl

Quote-when will Protestants realize that they are Protestants??

Only if they come to realize that they are really, at the core, greco roman latin daughters worshipping things that their greco roman latin mother taught them first- only to adopt those traditions and teaching that seemed reasonably biblical or harmless and throwing some stuff out that they couldn’t find in scripture..

But today, they are following the counterfeit pope gregory calendar, the pope’s counterfeit sabbath and the pope’s counterfeit holy days, and certainly those don’t seem to register as problems that they have with their mother... even though those are also not found in scripture..

Those are just ‘givens’... and those are core to christian worship and not theological dogmas or doctrines that get debated at much length... and until they come to grips that they are more counterfeit Tammuz than Torah, thanks to mother -they will follow their mother to her destination..

But counterfeits are not easily detected unless one studies what is genuine..and pastors, preachers and ministers are too busy...some are busy being ‘ecumenical’...

They just don’t think they have a pope and their church mother to thank for what they were taught and know is a work day, holy day and sabbath, all counterfeits to what is found in scripture. And the list goes on.....but some things are sacred to protestants and catholics alike that would get me in trouble...

Protestants are more united, like the world, with their mother and her popes, than they care to admit....

The first reformers were very blunt in what the papacy represented... today the world accepts the papacy timekeeping(in innocent ignorance), its determination of work days( for the major business and major political worlds), the world’s holy days (like the one coming up on goddess Friya’s Day) and sabbaths (for the three major religions)...

So something that unites the business, political and religious world, named after a pope, is just a ‘given’ for even people conditioned to be opposed to the papacy on principle..

they called that kind of system ‘babylon’ awhile back.


24 posted on 07/03/2014 10:57:34 PM PDT by delchiante
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To: ReformationFan

$9million to leave?


25 posted on 07/04/2014 3:30:00 AM PDT by Cronos (Obama’s dislike of Assad is not based on Assad’s brutality but that he isn't a jihadi Moslem)
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To: narses

Marriage is a sacrament, not just some contract


26 posted on 07/04/2014 3:31:47 AM PDT by Cronos (Obama’s dislike of Assad is not based on Assad’s brutality but that he isn't a jihadi Moslem)
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To: narses

Still got nothing, I see.

Anyway, greetings.

Hoss


27 posted on 07/04/2014 5:45:02 AM PDT by HossB86 (Christ, and Him alone.)
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To: delchiante

today the world accepts the papacy timekeeping(in innocent ignorance), its determination of work days( for the major business and major political worlds), the world’s holy days (like the one coming up on goddess Friya’s Day) and sabbaths (for the three major religions)...

...so that’s what’s wrong with the world today...our calendar...and here I was thinking it was something else...like maybe the wholesale secularization of our slovenly culture...silly me...


28 posted on 07/04/2014 6:30:13 AM PDT by IrishBrigade (')
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To: delchiante
But today, they are following the counterfeit pope gregory calendar, the pope’s counterfeit sabbath and the pope’s counterfeit holy days, and certainly those don’t seem to register as problems that they have with their mother... even though those are also not found in scripture..

A bitter holdout for the Julian calendar, still stung by the change to Gregorian?

Just wondering exactly what it is you're advocating.

29 posted on 07/04/2014 6:57:00 AM PDT by Lee N. Field ("And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD")
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To: Lee N. Field

Our Heavenly Father’s calendar.. Found in the sky and in Scripture...

One that the Messiah of Israel fulfills with the set times/appointed times found in the Word..the one with its template in ezekiel 46...

The one that is counterfeited today with the likes of december 25 and easter and its pseudo sabbath.

The Julian was calculated around the sun too....
Our Heavenly Father’s calendar uses the sun, moon and stars..

All those gods and goddesses like Frigg/Friya that gets her own day every week is certainly not in scripture..

Worship of the sun and false gods is not new...just high tech today...


30 posted on 07/04/2014 8:12:33 AM PDT by delchiante
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To: IrishBrigade

It is the conforming to the world when scripture commands us to do just the opposite...

But certainly the fake sabbaths and fake holy days of the world today make perfect sense in a counterfeit world, run by the god of this world, a master deceiver and counterfeiter...

Don’t beat yourself up for being silly... satan has had 2000 years to counterfeit the things of God.

The Word did become flesh and dwelt among us..

His new moons, Sabbaths and feasts, found only with His calendar, point to the coming King and Kingdom...

And those have been erased with the world’s timekeeping...

And scripture says times and laws could/would change... Daniel 7:25

Silly me, I read the Word and believe what it says...


31 posted on 07/04/2014 8:19:59 AM PDT by delchiante
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To: Cronos

I figure it’s the only way the PCUSA and her fellow liberal denominations can make any money since people are leaving them in droves.


32 posted on 07/04/2014 8:59:02 AM PDT by ReformationFan
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To: ReformationFan

John Machen saw this coming 100 years ago when the Presbyterians abandoned the Westminster Confession and they formed the conservative Orthodox Presbyterians.

B.B. Warfield maintained that correct doctrine was the primary means by which Christians influenced the surrounding culture. He emphasized a high view of scripture. When we fail to understand correct doctrine, we fail to influence our culture.


33 posted on 07/04/2014 1:24:34 PM PDT by HarleyD ("... letters are weighty, but his .. presence is weak, and his speech of no account.")
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To: HarleyD; ReformationFan

Clarification: John Machen saw this coming 100 years ago when the Presbyterians abandoned the Westminster Confession and they [sic John Machen and others] formed the conservative Orthodox Presbyterians.


34 posted on 07/04/2014 1:25:57 PM PDT by HarleyD ("... letters are weighty, but his .. presence is weak, and his speech of no account.")
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To: HarleyD

I understood. I’m a PCA layman and consider J. Gresham Machen a true Presbyterian hero.


35 posted on 07/04/2014 2:05:27 PM PDT by ReformationFan
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To: ReformationFan

I guess so. It is sad that this kind of money is what keeps freaks like the pcusa, ecusa, elca alive


36 posted on 07/04/2014 8:52:04 PM PDT by Cronos (Obama’s dislike of Assad is not based on Assad’s brutality but that he isn't a jihadi Moslem)
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To: HarleyD

Though, how “Orthodox” arethey really? Do they hold to all the tenets encapsulated in the nicene creed? The Athanasian?


37 posted on 07/04/2014 8:55:02 PM PDT by Cronos (Obama’s dislike of Assad is not based on Assad’s brutality but that he isn't a jihadi Moslem)
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To: delchiante
Youdo realize Friday freitag is so called only in germanic languages. In polish it is piątek meaning fifth while in Latin derived languages it is vendredi, venerdi etc. You DO realize English is a pretty new language and there are other languages, right?
38 posted on 07/04/2014 9:00:05 PM PDT by Cronos (Obama’s dislike of Assad is not based on Assad’s brutality but that he isn't a jihadi Moslem)
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To: Cronos
In the PCA that I've attended, we have on frequent occasions recite the Nicene creed as a declaration of faith.

The Athanasian creed is a later creed and I don't ever recall reciting that as a declaration of faith but I believe this is due to it length. It can be found in the prayers of early Reformed book of prayers. According to Wikipedia, the Athanasian creed has also been effectively dropped from the Catholic liturgy since the Second Vatican Council. It is however maintained in the Forma Extraordinaria, per the decree Summorum Pontificum, and also in the rite of exorcism. I believe, like the Protestants, it was dropped not over content but of length.

The Westminster Confession has this to say about the Trinity.


39 posted on 07/05/2014 2:19:53 AM PDT by HarleyD ("... letters are weighty, but his .. presence is weak, and his speech of no account.")
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To: Cronos

Yup..as long as you do realize our Heavenly Father’s calendar numbers days in scripture and doesn’t name them after other gods and goddesses..


40 posted on 07/05/2014 6:54:31 AM PDT by delchiante
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To: delchiante

Those day names are only in English and German. You can follow French day names if you wish


41 posted on 07/05/2014 1:05:16 PM PDT by Cronos (Obama’s dislike of Assad is not based on Assad’s brutality but that he isn't a jihadi Moslem)
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To: HarleyD

Ok, pretty orthodox. <3


42 posted on 07/05/2014 1:06:01 PM PDT by Cronos (Obama’s dislike of Assad is not based on Assad’s brutality but that he isn't a jihadi Moslem)
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To: Cronos; delchiante
"Those day names are only in English and German."

THANK YOU for pointing that out, I've been waiting for someone to do it for some time now. I just haven't been in the mood for the argument but the calendar in my missal reads:

Dies Dominica

Feria Secunda

Feria Tertia

Feria Quarta

Feria Quinta

Feria Sexta

Sabbatum

43 posted on 07/05/2014 1:49:14 PM PDT by Legatus (Either way, we're screwed.)
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To: Legatus; delchiante

Exactly, delc and co who talk about Friday and then Easter etc seem to forget that those names are only in English or at the most in Germanic languages. In Italic, Greek, Slavic, etc. languages it is not these. But evidently some folks think the Bible was originally written in English....


44 posted on 07/07/2014 12:41:22 AM PDT by Cronos (Obama’s dislike of Assad is not based on Assad’s brutality but that he isn't a jihadi Moslem)
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To: Cronos

They are all unbiblical, in any language...

His days are numbered, not named... but scripture hasn’t been followed by those who were entrusted with it, Israel... so those of us who were never taught it, can’t remember it...

It is why the world has no problem finding their own birthdays, even birthdays for countries and its leadera, with the world’s calendar.

But the world has to ‘guess’ what day the most important man ever born, Messiah of Israel, was born- even to the point they make up a date...

The exact opposite occurs on our Heavenly Father’s calendar...
The Messiah’s birthday can be known and everybody else’s is just a big ‘old guess....

That is not an accident...

But some don’t think the whole world can be deceived... Scripture says otherwise..


45 posted on 07/07/2014 12:21:22 PM PDT by delchiante
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To: delchiante

The days of the week are unbiblical in any language? Even Hebrew and Aramaic?


46 posted on 07/08/2014 12:28:15 AM PDT by Cronos (Obama’s dislike of Assad is not based on Assad’s brutality but that he isn't a jihadi Moslem)
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To: Cronos

Ezekeil 46:1
Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the SIX working days; but on the Sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the NEW MOON it shall be opened.
His month template

New moon, work days, sabbath..

New moon day- Day 1 of every one of His months.
1st work day- Day 2 of every one of His months.
2nd work day- Day 3 of every one of His months.
3rd work day- Day 4 of every one of His months.
4th work day- Day 5 of every one of His months.
5th work day- Day 6 of every one of His months.
6th work day- Day 7 of every one of His months-preparation day
Sabbath- Day 8 of every one of His months- His 7th day Sabbath..

Repeat 1st work day, etc, until next new moon day.-.

Those above can be translated into any language that has numbers... and they are not named for gods, goddesses, or parts of Creation..

scripture confirms it and I am not proficient enough in Hebrew or Aramaic but I am guessing ‘the ‘names’ of the week in those languages are numbers or a form of number-1st, 2nd,3rd, etc- but if you know otherwise, I would be happy to learn it....

But the world doesn’t use the template given to Israel for their timekeeping...they were given this Truth, and stumble upon this for the months they celebrate His Feasts- that is, unless their pope appointed sabbath conflicts with those Feasts He gave them..then they postpone His feasts..

One needs only to count to 29 or 30 in any languabe to get His monthly calendar..or just count to seven 4 times each week in His months..

But His moon, tiw, woden, thor, friya, saturn and His sun don’t get their days that way in the 50 plus countries and territories of the world who have English as some sort of official language...

Again, if you can show me where Hebrew and Aramaic uses names for their days like the english-as opposed to numbers or a counting, I would be happy to learn that..

In english, today is the tenth day of His third month- the second day of His work week.

That excludes reverance for Tiw, and the day he usually gets at this time around (at least) with the English speaking world- but, to each their own...


47 posted on 07/08/2014 12:50:24 PM PDT by delchiante
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