Jewish Food Guidelines

Question from a reader:  

Hello, I am a Christian “messianic”/ “Hebrew roots” type of guy. I am curious about how you can use Peter’s vision to say that all food is clean and ok to eat even when YHVH told us that certain things are not food — such as pork. Can you biblically explain this to me? Thank you, shalom!

Yes, I believe that Peter’s vision in Acts 10 was even more startling to him than it is to you and me. When God said, “Get up Peter, kill and eat” even the unclean animals, Peter’s Jewish heritage immediately made him kick back against this idea. His trained conscience would have never let him eat what was prohibited by the Levitical law. However, the whole point of this vision was to illustrate the new covenant. Christ had fulfilled the law, even the strict Jewish ceremonial laws, and Peter needed a very graphic illustration in order to re-train his mind (Romans 12:1-2) through a transition from law to grace (Romans 6:14).

While still under the law, Christ had commissioned the disciples not to go to Gentiles, but to go to the lost sheep of Israel (Matthew 10:5-6). However, now, under grace, he was being told to go to the Gentiles, as Christ commanded in the Great commission (Matthew 28:19-20). On the cross, Christ had broken down the wall (Ephesians 2:14-18) between Jews and Gentiles.

Now, this passage uses symbolism to illustrate the transition from law to grace. However, it does not invalidate the truths buried in the Mosaic Law. Remember that Christ fulfilled the law, but he did not invalidate it. The physical truths of the law are just as alive as they ever were. I believe that we would do ourselves a favor by continuing to adhere, in a physical way, to the dietary laws of the Old Testament. For more information on this, please see my article entitled Pork.



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Charles Krauthammer’s Take on Trump

A different take on Donald Trump: (a non-political agenda)

Trump Is Not A Liberal or Conservative, He’s a “Pragmatist.” (Definition: A pragmatist is someone who is practical and focused on reaching a goal. A pragmatist usually has a straightforward, matter-of-fact approach and doesn’t let emotion distract him or her.)

We recently enjoyed a belated holiday dinner with friends at the home of other friends. The dinner conversation varied from discussions about antique glass and china to theology and politics. At one point, reference was made to Donald Trump being a conservative, to which I responded that Trump is not a conservative. I said that I neither view nor do I believe Trump views himself as a conservative. I stated it was my opinion that Trump is a pragmatist. He sees a problem and understands it must be fixed. He doesn’t see the problem as liberal or conservative, he sees it only as a problem. That is a quality
that should be admired and applauded, not condemned. But I get ahead of myself.

Viewing problems from a Liberal perspective has resulted in the creation of more problems, more entitlement programs, more victims, more government, more political correctness, and more attacks on the working class in all economic strata.

Viewing things according to the so-called Republican conservative perspective has brought continued spending and globalism to the detriment of American interests and well being, denial of what the real problems are, Weak, ineffective, milquetoast, leadership that amounts to Barney Fife Deputy Sheriff, appeasement oriented and afraid of its own shadow. In brief, it has brought liberal ideology with a pachyderm as a mascot juxtaposed to the ass of the Democrat Party.

Immigration isn’t a Republican problem, it isn’t a Liberal problem, it is a problem that threatens the very fabric and infrastructure of America. It demands a pragmatic approach not an approach that is intended to appease one group or another.

The impending collapse of the economy wasn’t a Liberal or Conservative problem, it is an American problem. That said, until it is viewed as a problem that demands a common sense approach to resolution, it will never be fixed because the Democrats and Republicans know only one way to fix things and the longevity of their impracticality has proven to have no lasting effect. Successful businessmen like Donald Trump find ways to make things work, they do not promise to accommodate.

Trump uniquely understands that China’s manipulation of currency is not a Republican problem or a Democrat problem. It is a problem that threatens our financial stability and he understands the proper balance needed to fix it. Here again, successful businessmen, like Trump, who have weathered the changing tides of economic reality understand what is necessary to make business work, and they, unlike both sides of the political aisle, know that if something doesn’t work, you don’t continue trying to make it work hoping that at some point it will.

As a pragmatist, Donald Trump hasn’t made wild pie-in-the-sky promises of a cell phone in every pocket, free college tuition, and a $15 hour minimum wage for working the drive-through at Carl’s Hamburgers.

I argue that America needs pragmatists because pragmatists see a problem and find ways to fix them. They do not see a problem and compound it by creating more problems.

You may not like Donald Trump, but I suspect that the reason some people do not like him is because:

(1) He is antithetical to the “good old boy” method of brokering backroom deals that fatten the coffers of politicians;
(2) They are unaccustomed to hearing a president speak who is unencumbered by the financial shackles of those who he owes vis-a-vis donations;
(3) He is someone who is free of idiomatic political ideology;
(4) He says what he is thinking, is unapologetic for his outspoken thoughts, speaks very straightforward using everyday language that can be understood by all (and is offensive to some who dislike him anyway) making him a great communicator, for the most part, does what he says he will do and;
(5) He is someone who understands that it takes more than hollow promises and political correctness to make America great again.

Listening to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders talk about fixing America is like listening to two lunatics trying to “out crazy” one another. Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Marco Rubio are owned lock, stock, and barrel by the bankers, corporations, and big dollar donors funding their campaigns. Bush can deny it, but common sense tells anyone willing to face facts is that people don’t give tens of millions without expecting something in return.

We have had Democrats and Republican ideologues and what has it brought us? Are we better off today or worse off? Has it happened overnight or has it been a steady decline brought on by both parties?

I submit that a pragmatist is just what America needs right now. People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance, but that is common among those who have never accomplished anything in their lives (or politicians who never really solved a problem, because it’s better to still have an “issue(s) to be solved,” so re-elect me to solve it, (which never happens) and those who have always played it safe (again, all politicians) not willing to risk failure, to try and achieve success).

Donald Trump put his total financial empire at risk in running for president and certainly did not need or possibly even want the job; that says it all. He wants success for the U.S. and her citizens because he loves his country.

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Planned Parenthood, Sexual Abuse, and Abortion

Congressman Ralph Abraham, R-Lousiana, and other members of Congress are calling for an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s failure to report the suspected sexual abuse of minors in their care. A recent study by Live Action revealed that Planned Parenthood failed to report cases such as these:

– In Washington in 2014, George Savanah repeatedly raped and impregnated his daughter, and took her to Planned Parenthood to have each pregnancy terminated while she was 14, 16 and 17 years old.

– In Colorado in 2012, Timothy David Smith forced his stepdaughter to have an abortion after he impregnated her when she was 13 years old. Planned Parenthood not only performed the abortion but also sent her home with her abuser.

It seems that Planned Parenthood prioritizes abortion over concerns of sexual abuse. By sending the victim back home with the abuser after the abortion, they’re enabling the abuse so that they can do more abortions.

Oh, and you’ll have trouble finding this story on any network or cable news channel. You’ll probably have to go to religious-based, or pro-life news.

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Jesus’s Siblings

Question from a reader: 

Did Christ have any actual brothers or sisters? James is sometimes referred to as His half-brother. What and where are the facts?

Thank you for your question. There is no agreement among Bible scholars on this. Some claim that the Bible teaches that Mary (Christ’s mother) gave birth to no other children, based upon the fact that the Bible doesn’t tell us about her giving birth to others. However, I believe that this is a weak argument.

Others cite those like James, claiming that he was a half-brother to Christ, since he was the son of Mary (Christ’s mother) and Joseph. This is what I tend to believe, although it’s difficult to prove, because names like “Mary,” “Joseph,” and “James” are such common names.



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Jesus and Hell (Hades)

Question from a reader:

When Jesus died on the cross and descended into hell (Hades), was He still suffering while there or did the suffering end when “it is finished”? 1 Peter 3:18-20 says He went and made proclamation to the spirits in prison, was He still in a state of suffering?

Thank you for your question. I found it quite challenging. It prompted me to do further study of 1 Peter 3:18-20, as well as related passages Ephesians 4:8-10, Acts 2:25-35, and Matthew 12:40, and various commentaries. As a result, I am not sure that we can be completely definitive in answering your question about when Christ’s suffering ended. However, I do think that the best clue we have is actually in 1 Peter 3:19, which says, “After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits.” Christ’s death occurred while He was still on the cross, and He was still dead when he was slain in the tomb. So, the period of time that we’re talking about is between that point and the point of His resurrection. Verse 19 above says that He proclaimed to the imprisoned spirits (in Hades), “after being made alive…” So, He was “made alive” before He descended into Hades. Therefore, I believe that it’s reasonable for us to assume that His suffering ended at the point of His death on the cross, and that He no longer suffered after His resurrection. In other words, I believe the chronology would look like this:

– Suffering on the cross – Death – suffering ended – Lain in the tomb – Resurrection (a glorified body) – Descent into Hades – Ascent into Heaven

Also, note that some Bible scholars would say that when Jesus died, his soul went to Hades for three days, but his spirit went to heaven.



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What’s Worse than E. coli?

On May 9th, 2018, CNN announced that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 29 states have now reported E. coli illness connected to romaine lettuce. A total of 149 cases have been reported since the outbreak began in March. Of these, 64 people affected have been hospitalized; 17 have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a form of kidney failure that can be life-threatening, although most people recover in a few weeks; and, one person has died.  Symptoms of E. coli include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Most people recover in five to seven days with supportive treatment.

What could be worse than this deadly disease that has CNN and the CDC in an uproar? Well, legalized abortion is. We kill 926,000 innocent babies through legalized abortion every year. And, it’s all preventable.

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Wasting Your Federal Tax Dollars reports:

The federal government doled out 560,771 grants in fiscal year 2016, totaling $583 billion. On average, each grant exceeded $1 million.

Research shows pork-barrel spending is bipartisan, as the top 50 grant-receiving districts are represented by 27 democrats and 23 republicans. The top 10 congressional districts are evenly split: 5 democrats and 5 republicans.

Consider just a few examples of taxpayer abuse:

  • Virtual Reality Platform to Teach Children in China How to Cross the Street – $183,750 from the Department of Health and Human Services funded a virtual reality platform in China to teach safe pedestrian techniques.
  • New Condom Design with More Lubrication – $200,601 in taxpayer money funded a new condom design that lowers the chance of breakage and increases “satisfaction between partners.”
  • Cigar Taste Test – $114,375 funded a study to determine whether cigar flavor affected its addictiveness.
  • Sex Ed for Prostitutes in California – $1.5 million funded “safer sex and needle” education for prostitutes in California even though prostitution is illegal in the state.
  • Space Racers: An Animated Children’s Cartoon – $2.5 million in NASA funding supported the production of two seasons of a children’s cartoon series about galactic adventures.

These grants flowed to state governments ($505 billion); higher education institutions ($35 billion); for profit organizations including Fortune 100 companies ($2.5 billion); nonprofit organizations ($19.8 billion); and more.

Fortune 100 companies received $3.2 billion in federal grants between fiscal year 2014 and 2016. Boeing can’t argue it needed $774 million in federal grants while reporting nearly $95 billion in 2016 annual revenue.

How can we rein in this insanity? The people must bring the heat, so the politicians see the light on fiscal restraint.

Read more here.

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What’s Worse than the Opioid Epidemic?

In 2016:

  • 116 people died every day from opioid-related drug overdoses
  • 17,087 deaths were attributed to overdosing on commonly prescribed opioids
  • 42,249 people died from overdosing on opioids

What could be worse than this horrific epidemic?

In the US, approximately 926,000 babies die each year from abortion, at the hand of their own mothers and physicians.  Each of these lives was a totally innocent victim–snuffed out before they could make their first choice.

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Why I Don’t Go to Church

A testimonial from a reader:

Why I Don’t Go to Church

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Infant Baptism

Question from a reader:

I have encountered a church who teaches infant baptism. They claim that God gives the gift of faith” (Ephesians 2:8) to a baby at baptism. Thus, the baby is saved. What can I say to them?

Thank you for your question. I have a couple of articles on my website that might help:

– Infant Baptism

– Baptism

– Water Baptism



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