Fox Byte #3: Kicked Out of the Kitchen

"Mother and Daughter in the Kitchen" Viggo Pedersen
“Mother and Daughter in the Kitchen”
Viggo Pedersen

Continuing from Fox Byte #2, how do we learn what God’s definition of order is?  How do we learn anything?  Reading is a good way to learn, but most people I know are not really interested in reading more than they have to.  The truth is, the way we learn best is from other people – hanging out with them, watching them, listening to them, trying to imitate them.  Do you suppose God designed us to learn that way?

The Bible tells us that God gave human beings a list of rules so we would understand how to relate to Him and how to treat each other (see Matthew 22:34-40, Deuteronomy 6:4-5, and Leviticus 19:18).  We call them mitzvot, or commandments.  Good things happen when we keep God’s commandments.  We call those good things blessings.  However, learning about the commandments takes some effort, and living by them takes even more effort.  After all, they are not written like a novel.  Most of them are in the first five books of the Bible, which Christians call the Pentateuch and Jews call the Torah.  Reading them is sometimes like reading a legal document, and sometimes it’s hard to see how these commandments apply to people today. Please click here to continue reading

Of Crockett and Christ

CrockettTwo people who make my job at the Alamo more challenging are John Wayne and Walt Disney.  Their popular movie versions of the battle of the Alamo have influenced three generations, but they are full of myth, legend, and factual error.  That is why Alamo visitors are often disappointed to learn that what they had believed as truth is not truth at all.

This is especially the case concerning that famous Tennessee frontiersman, hunter, and politician, David Crockett.  During his life he made great effort to lift himself above his humble beginnings as a poor backwoods man and break into cultured society.  That is why he preferred to call himself David.  Yet he never could get away from the stereotype of “Davy Crockett” the great hunter.  Today people remember the frontier character who died at the Alamo, not the Congressman from Tennessee who was a champion of the poor.  This was illustrated by a conversation I had recently with a visitor at the Alamo.  After seeing our Crockett exhibits on display, she asked me, “Why do you call him David Crockett?”  I answered, “Because that’s what he called himself.”  Then she asked, “Why do we call him ‘Davy Crockett’?”  I answered, “Because Walt Disney told us to.” Please click here to continue reading

Fox Byte #2: A Commission

"The Garden of Eden" Erastus Salisbury Field
“The Garden of Eden”
Erastus Salisbury Field

To build on the Fox Byte #1, let’s assume that you decide you do believe this Supreme Being made the universe and everything in it.  Now what?  Why did God make all this?  Why did God make you?  We get close to the answer when we realize that God put humans in charge of all the earth (Genesis 1:28-30).  But what does that mean?  Maybe there’s an answer in these words:

“Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.”  (Genesis 2:15)

Oh, so we have a job?  Yes!  God made human beings to set this earth in order and make it productive. Please click here to continue reading

Fox Byte #1: In the Beginning

BFB140113 BeresheetThe very first words in the Bible are, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  (Genesis 1:1).  If you believe that, then you shouldn’t have any trouble believing the rest of the book.  But do you believe it?  Let’s break it down a bit and see:

−  “In the beginning” means this happened at the very start of something, but we don’t exactly know what yet.

−  “God”.  Now we know who the actor is.  It’s some being identified as “God”.  But what exactly did this God do?

−  “Created”.  Looks like this God made something.  Specifically, God made something out of nothing, because that’s what “created” means.  But what did God create? Please click here to continue reading

Commonwealth and Cooperation: How Jews and Christians Can Work Together, Part III

This is the third in a three part series that addresses the implications of Christian support for Israel.

"A Jewish Wedding" Jozef Israëls
“A Jewish Wedding”
Jozef Israëls

The Commonwealth and the Symbol of Godly Marriage.

In Matthew 7:21-23, Yeshua says that in the Kingdom of Heaven He will declare that those who practice lawlessness, or Torahlessness, must depart from Him.  That is a sobering message, but consider it from another perspective.  God went through every conceivable obstacle to win his people back to Himself, even when we were not willing to acknowledge him.  The clearest picture we have of this is in marriage.  Here is what God said regarding marriage and divorce:

When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, when she has departed from his house, and goes and becomes another man’s wife, if the latter husband detests her and writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her as his wife, then her former husband who divorced her must not take her back to be his wife after she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the Lord, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.  (Deuteronomy 24:1-4, NKJV, emphasis added) Please click here to continue reading