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Page 2 - Methuselah / Havilah / Eliezer / a slave in Goshen
My name is David. All of you know who I am. I am the man after "God's own heart". I wrote much of the Bible. My cries to my God have been the source of hope for countless millions throughout the centuries.
Many sins were committed by me. I killed many in battle. Through my sins many in Israel were punished. Adultery was punishable by death under our law. I had one of my best commanders murdered to hide my adultery with his wife. I allowed the people to behold the Ark of the Covenant, a sin according to Moses. Of the priest's portion did I eat; again, a crime. I raised sons, one who committed every sin imaginable and another who rebelled against me. According to the Mosaic Law, I was to stone Absalom, but I didn't. Between me and my sons, Solomon and Absalom, we piled up a mountain of sins, especially according to modern church theology.
Many in the church say that people who commit the kind of crimes I and my sons have committed, should and will be eternally punished. Have I been condemned to everlasting torture by the very men and women who find comfort in my writings? Or have they waved some theological magic wand and whisked me into the arms of Abraham as an exception to the standards by which they judge others? "Let this one in because he gave us so many great Psalms." If you are a Christian, then hear me! I speak from a heart which is after God. Are you consistent in your judgments or do they change as quickly as do your emotions? Do you judge with balanced scales? Do you really know anything about judgment and mercy? Modern Christian, my psalms were desperate pleas for mercy, for God to change me from within. "Wash me and I shall be clean. Renew a right spirit within me." was my heart's cry. My hope was in the arm of the Lord to deliver me. But I find little hope in your message.
I will take my place among the rest of the adulterers and murderers of this world and come before God asking for mercy, a mercy which many of you have denied the sinners of this world. You quote my psalms, but you have lost the Spirit in which I wrote them. I am among the very few in history who was given the revelation of the Messiah. Yes, I, a murderer, adulterer, and much more. I placed my hope in a man hanging on a tree for me. No, most of my generation does not understand Psalm 22. I could not say that I understood it when I wrote it. Prophets often do not understand what the Spirit speaks through them. I do know that those words gave me great hope, not only for myself, but for all like myself -- sinners. I did not know the name of this man. I did not know when and how he would come. But I knew his arm would be long enough to reach me from wherever and whenever he was born. Of this I was certain.
Some of you teach that we "Jews" will enter heaven by a different means than "Gentiles". What is this system? The Scriptures declare all Israel will be justified and saved. (Isaiah 45:25; Romans 11:26) However, the Scriptures equally declare no one will be justified by the Law of Moses. (Romans 3:20) What is your basis for making this separation? Think, meditate, and cry out as I have done many times in my life and you will reach the Rock of Salvation, both of the Jews and Gentiles. You will not have to twist the Scriptures to do so. It will be plain as day.
The Roman Catholic/Protestant "good news" is worthless to me. I know something about the Spirit of the Lord. Your message does not come from the same Spirit. I will keep my hope in my Lord, the Rock of my salvation.
My name is Sheshai. It means "noble". However, there is nothing noble about my life. I was killed by one of king David's men when they conquered Jerusalem. They killed men, women, and children as commanded by their Law. I did not choose to be born in this time and place. I did not choose my parents. I came into this world in hope. I had hoped to fulfill my name, but my hope was never realized. I was killed because I lived in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I knew the Israelites as savage warriors who showed no mercy, as a foreign people who stole our land. Christians justify David. How? I do not understand. My hatred against Israel is just as yours would be if a foreign army came and killed all your relatives, including the babies. Yet you somehow justify these men in your strange understanding of justice. What about me? I carried no sword. I played like all the children of the world and I died because some man named David thought he had the right to kill my parents and myself and steal our land. I hate these Israelites and the god they claim who makes them the savages they are.
I know nothing about gods. I am a child. My candle was just lit before it was violently snuffed out at the age of five by the "chosen" of God! Do you have hope for me? Can you find it in your Bible without having to twist Scriptures out of context? Oh, I know about this modern concept of the "age of accountability". Many justify this barbaric god by saying that he considers children innocent until they can make moral decisions. Some sects make it the age of 7, others 12, and still others say whenever a child is able to make moral decisions, which may vary from child to child.
Conscience prevents many from consigning little ones to the torments of the Christian Hell, but the Christian Scriptures betray them. There are no Scriptures which speak of an age of accountability. Instead, they speak the opposite. "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) "There is none righteous, nay not one." (Romans 3:10) "Behold, I was shaped in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." (Psalm 51:5) "For God has committed them all to disobedience (unbelief KJV), that he might have mercy on all." (Romans 11:32 NKJV) "...through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned." (Romans 5:12)
In light of these and many other similar Scriptures, how can you consign any to sinlessness because of the innocence of youth? If I was sinless, how do you justify your God's command to the Israelites to kill even the children, if we are, as you say, "innocent"? I admire the softness of heart of this line of reasoning, but it does not line up with your Scriptures.
So then, where is my hope? Five short years and then death at the hands of the "chosen ones" of your God. And now eternal torture? Is that what your God of love has in store for me? He made my life on earth miserable through his "chosen" people and now some of you say he himself will make me miserable for eternity. You speak of a merciful and loving God. As far as I can see, he does not exist in your system of belief. I see a hypocrite made in the same image of the "chosen" people who created him. Hypocrites create hypocritical gods.
Radbod is my name, chief of the Frisian tribe. Your historians have recorded a part of my life. I was ready to be baptized into the Christian faith by Bishop Wolpan when I asked him, "Where are my dead forefathers at present?" His reply was "In hell, with all other unbelievers." Your historians have recorded my words to him. "Mighty well, then will I rather feast with my ancestors in Woden, than dwell with your little starveling band of Christians in heaven." Let me ask you, Christian, are you all still as cold and callused as Bishop Wolpan? If you believe as he did, you make pagans like me look kinder and more concerned than you and your God. Do you still offer no better hope than Bishop Wolpan?
My name is Ali. I followed the traditions of my father who followed the traditions of his father. This is the way it has always been in our lands. Our God is Allah. There is none else and his prophet is Mohammed. I was taught this from my father and my tribe. I knew nothing else. We did not have books in our tents. They were useless to us since we did not know how to read. Even the founder of our faith, Mohammed, could not read. I know it is difficult for the modern Western mind to realize most of the peoples of the world could not read anything, let alone the Christian Bible.
Many members of modern Christian sects spend thousands of hours combing their Bibles trying to be certain their lives will be acceptable to their God when they die. If this diligence is needful, then the vast majority of mankind is lost. Furthermore, your God would be guilty of not giving mankind the tools needed to prepare themselves for the afterlife. He did not provide us with teachers, the time to study, nor the Bibles to read. Your Scriptures say God is not a respecter of persons. Then why didn't he provide me all these things you possess? Is it possible for an all-powerful, miracle-working God to not be able to provide all these things equally for all mankind if their very life after death depended upon it? Surely he could do such a thing, but he didn't. This tells me your God is either a respecter of persons or the traditional churches' understanding of God's requirements are inaccurate.
Some of you tell me, that even though I could not read, although I did not have a Bible, I am still without excuse. Somehow your God still made a way to give me the gospel.
Hear then, the gospel which I was fed. I was told by my elders Christians were great idolaters. From what little I saw of them, this was true. Why, they ate a piece of bread and said it is a man who died hundreds of years ago. They worshiped dead saints and put their body parts in jars and hid them under their altars. They told us to kiss a stick with an image of a dead man on it. They did and still do many strange things like this and then tell us if we do not join their church and eat this piece of bread which they say is their God, then we will be tortured by their God forever. They say their God is love and yet they killed many Arabs for their properties. These Christians even kill each other, both sides claiming to do it for the cause of their God!
I am not a learned man, but I have some common sense. In my opinion, these Catholics, as they call themselves, must be demon possessed! They have gone mad. Is it any wonder that we Arabs seek to drive them from the earth? There are many of you whose ancestors fought these madmen and now many of you moderns have joined forces with them. Your Protestant evangelists send converts to the Catholic Church by the millions. Tell me, Christian, how can I have hope in such madness? Can you not see how insane you appear to the rest of us? Can you not see how difficult it is for us to have hope in your inconsistency and hypocrisy?
Many modern Christians say that unless I accepted their Christ, I will be endlessly tortured and then you have the nerve to call Islam a cruel religion. To that kind of Christian I would ask, which Christ is the real one? In my day there were two kinds of Christians, those who worshiped statues, their pope, and the bread; and those who worshiped icons, their patriarchs, and the bread (Roman Catholic and Orthodox). However, the modern Christians, they have multiplied their gods by the thousands. They have divided into so many different sects over thousands of different rituals, rules, and concepts of their God, that my head spins from confusion. Then they say my eternal life depends upon making the right choice! I am a simple man, even childlike in many ways. Christendom is too complicated for me. I am not good at puzzles.
The Christian Bible says do not follow Paul, or Apollos, or any other man, yet Christians have divided themselves between thousands of different men's voices. Do I not rightly say this is confusion? Pray tell me, dear Christian, how can I find hope in such a mess of hypocrisy!?
Page 4 - Zuma / Maria / Kim
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