Should Trump Relax Rules on Churches Being Political?

For a long time, the U.S. has exempted religious organizations from paying taxes. The main reasoning has always been that much of their activity includes helping poor people and thereby being a humanitarian organization. Another reason is that many politicians have believed that religious organizations have a positive moral and ethical influence on society. Since the federal government has many programs to aid the poor, it is thought that religious organizations simply further this goal. Some … [Read more...]

Comey Was More Wrong

My post yesterday was about FBI Director James Comey being questioned that day by a Senate committee hearing that was televised. Mr. Comey explained publicly for the first time the reasoning for his decision to inform Congress on October 28th, eleven days before the presidential election, that he had reopened the investigation into Secretary of State Hilary Clinton's use of her emails. Yet he had not informed Congress or the public that several weeks before that he had started an investigation … [Read more...]

Comey Was Wrong

Today, FBI Director James Comey appeared before the Senate committee public hearings investigating two things about last year's presidential race: the Clinton email mishap and possible collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian government operatives. For the first time, Comey spoke publicly about his reasoning when he announced eleven days before the presidential election why he gave Congress a letter that day, which was immediately made public. The letter said he was looking … [Read more...]

Is Jesus God Because of His Virgin Birth?

One of the most important elements of church doctrine has been Jesus’ virgin birth. (The miracle was conception, not birth, so it can more properly be called “the virginal conception.”) Jesus’ virgin birth is only mentioned in two New Testament (NT) gospels (Matthew 1.18- 25; Luke 1.26-38; 2.1-21). Together, they relate that Mary miraculously conceived in her womb by the power of the Holy Spirit, and she remained a virgin until Jesus was born.Many Christians have believed that Jesus was God b … [Read more...]

Does Jesus Say in John 6 He Literally “Came Down from Heaven?”

The institutional church has always claimed that the Bible says Jesus preexisted as God in heaven and came down to earth to become a man, called “the incarnation.” The Nicene Creed says of Jesus, “For us men and our salvation he came down from heaven.”The church also has claimed the incarnation is based on the Bible. Yet there is nothing in the first three gospels of the New Testament (NT) to indicate this. In contrast, the church has cited the Gospel of John as incontrovertible evidence of t … [Read more...]

Abbas Announces No More Electricity for Gaza

Mahmoud Abbas is president of the Palestinian Authority that governs Palestinians living in the West Bank. Hamas governs Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip. These two governing agencies have been at odds with each other ever since 2007. The history is that Israel unilaterally relinquished the Gaza Strip to Palestinians in 2005, Hamas won elections there in 2006, and Hamas militarily defeated the Fatah (military wing of the Palestinian Authority) there in 2007 to take full control of the Gaza … [Read more...]

Pope Francis Visits Egypt

Tomorrow, Pope Francis will meet in Cairo, Egypt, with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb. The sheikh is the grand imam of Al Azhar mosque, which is affiliated with Al-Azhar University in Cairo. It is the most revered center of learning in Sunni Islam.The pope has multiple purposes for this visit. First, he will speak on encouraging the Christians in Egypt. They suffer persecution there, mostly from Islamic Jihadists. For example, on Easter, Islamic radicals … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Preexist as “the Angel of the LORD”?

The most mysterious and enigmatic figure in the Old Testament (OT) is “the angel of the LORD.” This expression occurs 56 times in the OT, and “the angel of God” occurs 10 times therein. This angel of the LORD appeared to Abraham, Hagar, Isaac, Jacob, Manoah and his wife, Moses, Joshua, and many others.There has never been any consensus in Judaism about the identity of "the angel of the LORD/God" in the OT. The three eminent rabbinic Bible commentators in medieval times interpreted it as the “ … [Read more...]