A Christian rebuttal to ‘richard rives book too long in the sun’: A five part series

Feb 2014

Editorial / Opinion:

INTRODUCTION:

Back in 2009 I was first introduced to richard rives doctrines via comments his people left on a post of mine. Since rives ‘ministry’ has grown enough where he has posted youtube videos and made public dvd documentaries supposedly ‘exposing paganism’ within Christianity his words & actions have been causing confusion and apostasy.

In order to better understand rives doctrinal philosophy I bought three items from his websites for skeptical study. I was not surprised nor dumfounded by the poorly written products he sells. In this series I will attempt at my own amature answers to rives teaching and how his conclusions are wrong.

Rives in his book “Too long in the sun” attacks Christianity in the following 5 ways.

Part 1 Sun worship

Part 2 Mystery of iniquity

Part 3 Celebrations

Part 4 Sabbath a sign

Part 5 10 Commandments or the Entire Law of Moses:

It is my intent to give answers and counter information to what rives has published for the sake of fellow Christians who may or may not have been introduced to the philosophy rives subscribes to. Let’s start with part one.

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A Christian rebuttal to richard rives book too long in the sun part 1

Feb 2014

Sun worship:

In rives book “Too long in the sun” he claims that the following civilizations were sun worshippers and somehow their ideas were incorporated into modern Christianity.

Chaldeans

Assyrians

Babylonians

Medo Persia

Greco roman

Roman mithraism

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Why does this matter?

Richard rives is following the exact same philosophy of seventh day adventists, armstrongists (church of god), and Hebrew roots nutters.

All of their teachings share the exact same information and are biased against Protestant Christians.

In my own studies about this subject I came to the realization that each civilization has many differences in its doctrines, ritual, gods, goddesses, religions etc.

Those ancient cultures / religions if compared to modern Christianity has absolutely nothing in common with us. After all do we as modern Christians worship the sun? Do we have a god / goddess pair? Do we borrow from their rituals, symbols and more?

I don’t think so.

A great deal of these civilizations have missing data on their religions, prayers, ritual and more. How does rives know as fact that Modern Christians hold similar beliefs? Simply put… he doesn’t… and neither do the other accusers that I’ve previously mentioned because they donot have specialists in archeology to prove their accusations as true.

Allow me to make a suggestion for anyone interested in this subject.

#1 Look up each group using historical websites and compare their religions to modern Christianity. I would bet you would agree with me that they all donot have anything to do with Christianity today.

#2 IF you donot have a computer and internet at home. Take the time to find a local library and do your own research about each of these subjects above. Use those books and the information contained to verify if rives is right or wrong. Also look for Christian reference books that hopefully will give you more information on each civilization or religion.

#3 DONOT believe every teacher you hear about. PARTICULARLY those who are preaching / teaching about the Doctrines or culture that are in the Christian church.

#4 IF you are following a individual that has created teaching that go against this present Church find out WHO they associate with, WHO agrees with their philosophy, WHAT they believe and IF it agrees with the Holy Bible.

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As Christians we have to be willing to listen to criticism of those cultural, doctrinal differences we have with various sects of Christianity UNLESS they attack us due to someone’s bad teaching.

In reviewing the accusations of rives and his lumping together of those dead civilizations as faulty evidence against modern Christians he does the following.

*He focuses on civilizations in the Bible but neglects the peoples in Europe, South America, Mexico and even North America that had ‘sun worship’. ALL those civilizations were different and they did not share the same doctrines, rituals etc.

*Modern Christianity was not shaped by pagans but by Jewish and Gentile believers who risked their lives to bring the many pagan peoples to God.

*The Pantheons of polytheistic gods and goddess have nothing to do with Jesus Christ or Christianity.

*There is a large loss of known information on the doctrines, prayers, rituals and other forms of religious worship of each of those civilizations. To simply lump each civilization together to create false evidence is not great scholarship but amateurish authorship.

INTENT IS EVERYTHING!:

rives and his Hebrew roots buddies love to make claims that Modern Christianity worships false gods, has a false day of rest or worship and yet…

OUR GOD is the same

Our day of rest and worship may be Sunday while theirs is Saturday but we offer the same PRAISE AND PRAYERS as they.

We as Modern Christians do not worship false gods

We as Modern Christians have a different day of rest but that doesn’t make that choice wrong.

As a Christian. A believer in Jesus Christ as God. A man that calls upon the Holy Spirit for wisdom on how and what to write, rives foolish accusations and the similar accusations of seventh day adventists, church of god, Hebrew roots and many other individuals and groups dare accuse me of worshipping paganism without due evidence.

My intent is to Praise, Worship and Pray to the God of the Holy Bible whom created me.

For those people to falsely accuse me of not following their ways should note that you are in the wrong and God will judge you for your sins against me and other Christians like me.

Conclusion:

I’ve posted a great deal about roman mithraism on my blog. The examples used in rives book such as Dec 24, Baptism, Sunday and so forth are intriguing. Did ancient Christians copy such subjects or did the roman mithraists?

But there is something missing in regards to these subjects.

roman mithraists would have never accepted Christ as God. Their rituals, prayers, feasts and so forth were all dedicated to a pagan god.

As modern Christians whom do we dedicate our meals, Baptisms, Praise, Prayers, Worship to? Jesus Christ our God.

richard rives is wrong. It is not pagan gods or goddesses modern Christians worship. It is the Biblical God we Worship. Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Next Part two:

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A Christian rebuttal to richard rives book too long in the sun part 2

Mystery of iniquity:

rives in his book on page 74 defines iniquity as such:

“literal greek: trangression of the law”

He takes his cues from Matthew 7:21-23

Yet his statement is not backed by how others translate that work. Please notice this.

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“Iniquity: Translated from Greek:”

translated from one of two words:

“Adikema”

“a misdeed, evil doing, iniquity”

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“Anomia”

 

“the condition of without law because ignorant of it because of violating it contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness “

“Lexicons – New Testament Greek Lexicon – New Testament Greek Lexicon – New American Standard – Anomia”

http://www.biblestudytools.com/search/?q=iniquity&s=References&rc=LEX&rc2=LEX GRK&p=2

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Here’s how I know rives and his cohorts are in the wrong. Let’s view some interesting website information.

“In the New Testament “iniquity” stands for Anomia equals properly, “the condition of one without law,” “lawlessness” (so translated in 1John 3:4, elsewhere “iniquity,” e.g. Matthew 7:23), a word which frequently stood for `awon in the Septuagint; and adikia, literally, “unrighteousness” (e.g. Luke 13:27).”

http://www.biblestudytools.com/encyclopedias/isbe/iniquity.html

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Some of you might be saying “A-ha see he means the 10 Commandments.”

That could be true but if the term Law ONLY meant the Law of Moses but from the above words it could mean ANY law used by Governments.

How could rives know that anomia ONLY means the Ten Commandments when in reality that Greek word has a different meaning? It’s because rives has ignored the REAL translators in order to produce false evidence that he publishes as ‘truth’.

This is only a small sampling of rives mistakes and bad teaching. The next several posts will give more evidences that rives is in the wrong and that his claims are bogus and need to be refuted by more Christians.

Next Part three:

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A Christian rebuttal to richard rives book too long in the sun part 3

Celebrations: Christmas, Easter

Rives makes a great big deal over these known pagan days and as usual leaves us not with Biblical truth but home spun judaizing philosophy similar to hebrew roots, seventh day adventists etc.

For richard rives… he claims that we as Christians celebrate ‘astarte / ishtar’ during Easter. A Dead goddess that hold no meaning or power over we the followers of Jesus Christ.

After all… How does HE KNOW our celebration are pagan?

The truth is very simple.

HE DOESN’T!

rives simply used encyclopedias to toss out information in order to fool the unwary into thinking that we are somehow worshipping dead pagan goddesses or gods.

After some brief research I noticed nobody has any idea on the rituals, prayers and other religious subjects about those pagan religions so how can we as modern Christians follow a goddess when there is no known recorded ritual to be used as evidence against us?

Without Easter… the resurrection of Jesus we have no risen Savior. How can we possible consider such a miracle pagan simply because of the words of rives or some other enemy of Christianity?

No my friends Easter is not about paganism, it is about Jesus coming alive from the dead and becoming LORD over all his believers.

Christmas:

Previously I mentioned about moslems attacking Christmas in order to promote their religious ideology or dahwah in order to lure us into their theocratic cult. How much more does rives use the same philosophy to attack a day for either commercialism or the purported birthday of Christ.

There is no denying that pagans did use that day. But where is their grand power? Where are their many gods and goddesses? Where is the grand rituals, prayers and so forth that would give evidence that Christians worship such dead gods?

Again such subjects do not exist outside of rives imagination.

Christmas is only a ‘pagan’ day because rives thinks everyone that IS Christian should be as religious as himself. After all he can’t bother to ACTUALLY do the work Jesus asked him to by going out in the world to find the unsaved and bring them in! INSTEAD he has to re-convert fellow Christians to his judaizing philosophy.

Perhaps by now your thinking to yourselves… “Aha you can’t disprove rives claims!?”

I don’t have to… similar claims by atheists and other cults have already been answered by people smarter than myself.

See below.

“Was Easter Borrowed from a Pagan Holiday? The historical evidence contradicts this popular notion.”

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/bytopic/holidays/easterborrowedholiday.html

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/bytopic/holidays/easterborrowedholiday.html?start=2

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/bytopic/holidays/easterborrowedholiday.html?start=3

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“Question What are the origins of Easter?”

http://www.gotquestions.org/easter-origins.html

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“Question What is the origin of the Easter bunny and Easter eggs?”

http://www.gotquestions.org/easter-bunny-eggs.html

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“Easter origins – What are they? Should we even be celebrating Easter?”

http://www.compellingtruth.org/Easter-origins.html

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“Should Christians Celebrate Easter Sunday?”

“By S. Michael Houdmann”

http://www.blogos.org/gotquestions/easter-sunday.html

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“Question Do some Christmas traditions have pagan origins?”

http://www.gotquestions.org/Christmas-traditions.html

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“Question: “Should a Christian celebrate holidays?”

http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-holidays.html

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I don’t really have to give more information on this subject do I?

Here is a annoying question for rives and his allies:

“Can you prove you as Gentile are to keep Passover, Purim and the many other wonderful Jewish holidays? in the Bible”

The most obvious answer is NO! Why? Because in order to keep such festivals / holidays those who follow after rives only follow the activities of both Jesus and the Disciples and not the COMMANDMENT of Jesus himself.

I am not interested in following the actions of people of whom did not ask nor Command me to follow those days.

Conclusion:

Richard rives doesn’t discredit either of those days. Why? Because it is up to the individual to remember those holidays or not. It is not up to rives and his followers to convince me I am in the wrong because the Bible doesn’t give clear instructions on keeping holidays, festivals and other modern celebrations.

Next Part Four:

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A Christian rebuttal to richard rives book too long in the sun part 4

Sabbath a sign?:

Where does rives get the idea that Christians MUST keep the Ten Commandments?

Only through philosophy.

Rives lays out his philosophy in the following pages.

“Children of the promise: Pages 88-108”

“Sabbath a sign: Pages 150-195”

According to rives we as Gentiles are part of Israel.

How?

Because we somehow keep the Ten Commandments as part of our Faith.

According to rives: Saturday Sabbath is a ‘sign’.

I will deal with rives ideas about the Ten Commandments shortly. Right now I want to discuss Sabbath. rives theories are of course based off of hebrew roots, seventh day adventists and other groups. Ultimately each group has to make excuses on the WHYS and HOWS they keep Saturday Sabbath.

On my blog I listed all the known Scriptures that discussed Jesus keeping the Sabbath and what he did on those various days. Which brings me to this specific point.

Yes Jesus kept the Sabbath.

NO! NEITHER Jesus or the Disciples ORDERED OR COMMANDED the Sabbath for Gentiles.

Judaizers who claim otherwise are deluded with philosophy and not the Bible.

Allow me to make a further point. God required TRUE Israel to keep the Sabbath.

Exodus 20:8-11

Exodus 31:12-18

Why is that so hard?

Because false teachers can’t stand that they are ‘left out in the cold’ because they either think or preach…

“They have replaced TRUE Israel”

“They are TRUE Israel”

“They keep the Sabbath like Israel”

“They keep Sabbath because the Ten Commandments can give them salvation”

Or some other type of feeble excuse.

Meanwhile they gleefully tell we “Sunday keepers” we are practicing paganism or satanism due to our tradition of the use of Sunday. All the while forgetting Saturday is or was pagan too.

EXAMPLES:

(IF Saturday is so grand.. Then why is it named after a pagan god?)

“Saturday — Saturn’s day”

“Middle English saterday”

” Old English sæter(nes)dæg “Saturn’s day”

” Latin dies Saturni “day of Saturn””

” Ancient Greek hemera Khronu “day of Cronus”

“Saturn is the Roman and Italic god of agriculture and the consort of Ops. He is believed to have ruled the earth during an age of happiness and virtue. “

“Cronus (Kronos, Cronos) is the Greek god (Titan) who ruled the universe until dethroned by his son Zeus.”

http://www.crowl.org/Lawrence/time/days.html

You see folks… our seventh day week is named after pagan gods. Each day of our seventh day week is named after a god or goddess and yet it is only Sunday that is satanic? C’mon now… Let’s get real here. Either our entire work week is pagan or it is not.

Do we has Christians conduct ourselves as pagan worshippers all week long? And if so where is rives grand doctrine that our seven day work week is equally satanic?

Last time I went to church I wasn’t praying to a pagan god or goddess but the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

Where is the power of rives god?

Perhaps you are wondering why I have typed such a statement up? Well here is my reason.

Either richard rives God is the God of the Holy Bible or the god of fear because what rives is doing / teaching is causing fear mongering among Christians who should be working together to get this world ready for Jesus return.

How is richard rives doing that by attacking silly subjects like Saturday Sabbath, so-called pagan traditions and the up keep of the Ten Commandments? In other words rives and his fellow theonomists are not bringing unsaved peoples to Jesus. He has made himself and his followers enemies of both Christianity and Jesus.

To conclude this section.

I am not alone in my doubts over the subject of Saturday Sabbath vs. Sunday…

“What does it mean that Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath?”

http://www.gotquestions.org/Lord-of-the-Sabbath.html

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” Sabbath Keeping and the New Covenant”

http://www.equip.org/articles/sabbath-keeping-and-the-new-covenant/

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“The Haters: GotQuestions vs Sabbatarianism”

http://www.blogos.org/gotquestions/sabbatarianism.html

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“Question: What day is the Sabbath, Saturday or Sunday? Do Christians have to observe the Sabbath day?”

http://www.gotquestions.org/Saturday-Sunday.html

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Richard rives and his sabbath keeping cohorts are not as cleaver as they think. God did not give me the Sabbath and am not scared not keeping it. It was a day of rest for an Ancient people and those brave souls who are TRUELY Jewish who obey Gods ENTIRE Law.

God, My creator, My LORD accepts me as I am. Perhaps flawed with my ‘issues’ but He is accepting of me because he is my Father, My Creator and knows me far better than I know myself.

Next the Conclusion of this series. Part Five:

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A Christian rebuttal to richard rives book too long in the sun part 5

10 Commandments or the Entire Law of Moses:

In this FINAL section…

I will discuss why I don’t believe in rives philosophy and why I believe that the Ten Commandments is not for me on a personal and spiritual level.

rives assumes the responsibility of keeping the Ten Commandments from Exodus 20:1-17. He creates his philosophy in Chapter 9 of his book (Pages 88-108).

Here is how rives has everything wrong.

The LAW of Moses didn’t STOP at merely the Ten but is 613 Commandments in length that ISRAEL was to keep. The ENTIRE LAW is found from Exodus 20:1-26 to Leviticus 27:1-34…

Now why does rives avoid that? Because he is listening to men who believe as he does.

rives favorite Scripture to prove his points are found in Revelation.

14:12

22:14-15 (And others)

However…

When we actually look at the Scriptures we find the following.

Those who are or were Israel are spoken of in:

Revelation 7:1-17 Israel is taken from the twelve tribes and number 12,000 each. Those of us that are not part of Israel are known as the Great Multitude.

Revelation 14:1-20 The remnant of Israel

Revelation 22:1-21 Not merely a blessing for Jews but also for all Christians who kept Jesus TEACHINGS not merely the Law of Moses.

Why would rives think that he has to keep the Ten Commandments?

Because in his philosophy… He has joined Israel by Faith being ‘grafted into the roots’ of Nazoreans.

Now let’s deal with rives philosophy.

How does rives know that we as modern Christians are part of Israel?

While he uses various scriptures to prove his point lets deal with what Jesus TAUGHT to his followers both Jew and Gentile.

Matthew 5:1-48 to Matthew 7:1-29. Jesus used the Law as an example to teach all those around him but DID NOT use the Ten Commandments specifically.

Matthew 22:36-40 Jesus used the ENTIRE Law of Moses to teach a Pharisee ‘lawyer’ which of the Commandments from the Law of Moses are the most important. How can anyone claim that Jesus has changed his mind after two thousand years and suddenly wants his followers to keep the Ten Commandments AND have Faith in him as rives teaches.

And frankly if rives goes against the teachings of Jesus and the Disciples he is a false teacher but also a false Christian.

Meanwhile what doe other Christians have to say about the question of Law of Moses verses Christianity?

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“What does it mean that the church has been grafted in Israel’s place?”

http://www.gotquestions.org/grafted-Israel.html

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“What does it mean that Christians are not under the law?”

http://www.gotquestions.org/not-under-the-law.html

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“What about the Christian and the Law?”

http://www.blogos.org/gotquestions/christian-law.php

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“What is the law of Christ?”

http://www.gotquestions.org/law-of-Christ.html

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“Law vs. grace why is there so much conflict among Christians on the issue?”

http://www.gotquestions.org/law-vs-grace.html

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“Are Christians expected to obey the Old Testament law?”

http://www.compellingtruth.org/Christian-OT-Law.html

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“What is the purpose of the Mosaic Law?”

http://www.gotquestions.org/Mosaic-Law.html

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I have already posted what I believe to be a adequate Morality for Christians on my blog. My own morality is based off of the teachings of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew and Acts 15:29.

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Here is why this matters in regards to the Ten Commandments.

When you claim to be Christian and yet attack fellow Christians on subjects that are minor you open yourself up to attacks from fellow believers. And such activities makes you look like a cultist or satanic helper to moslems, lds, jehovahs witnesses, atheists and many other groups.

We as Christians follow the teachings in our Bibles from Jesus and the Disciples. Such teachings reflect the early church and those times they lived. Jesus fulfilled the Law and made it into something beneficial for all mankind according to Matthew 22:36-40 and those teachings were echoed by the Disciples according to Romans 13:8-11.

Why can’t rives and other groups just stop attacking us?

Here’s a few possible reasons:

1) The age old excuses of catholic hatred that have been around for centuries.

2) The teachings from said hatred of could include: “Sunday is a day of satanism”, “The catholic pope is an antichrist”, “The catholic church replaced Saturday Sabbath with Sunday”, “The pope changed Gods Law to…”

3) PHILOSOPHY, Each group has taken the teachings of past and present teachers which have copied from each other to promote fear and hatred of catholics whether those doctrines are mere propaganda or based on actual events in the Churches history.

4) The absolute necessity that they are merely using the Ten Commandments as a form of works doctrine. While rives rejects such doctrines the groups he freely associates with promote such doctrines or worse.

The standards I equate Christianity with are based not on my opinion or philosophy alone but what Christians are doing in this world. Are they fulfilling the Commission that Jesus gave us to reach the lost?

Or are they placing Christians back under a Law that people failed under.

Richard Rives, Seventh day adventists, Hebrew roots, Judaizers, “Primitive Christianity” they are not reaching the lost. They are needlessly attacking fellow Christians on subjects that only matter in peoples opinions and not the Church at large.

Yes we can agree. Some elements of catholic Christianity ‘borrowed’ from pagans in regards to tradition and celebrations. But only to include them into the Church, Into Gods Future Kingdom. When all is said and done that dead paganism will cease to be and a New Heaven a New World will be brought for according to the Scriptures. Revelations 21:1-27… However we must note that the religious, ritual and dieties of pagans were NOT BORROWED from during the catholic phase of Christianity.

To Conclude this response.

I found a interesting book a few weeks ago about the early Christian Church. It is called:

“The teaching of the 12” by “Tony Jones”

Here is why I am mentioning this book. Mr. Jones has introduced me to a interesting document thought to have been written in the first or second century of the Jewish Church. Its called the ‘Didache’.

It contains the teachings of a moral lifestyle for early believers in Jesus Christ.

Why does this matter? Because in the Didache it gives a specific morality based off of Matthew and other Biblical books.

To view such a document feel free to do your own search on internet search engines using the term “Didache” and view it yourself. You’ll possibility thank me later.

How can such a document be ignored by Richard Rives and his fellow Judaizers?

After all wasn’t it the ‘nazoreans’ that wrote such a document for both Gentiles and Jews and knew it was teaching from Jesus our God?

IF such a document was created as a teaching tool for Gentiles and Converted Jews it would have changed the minds of many people regarding the Law of Moses.

Too bad most people in Judaizer groups ignore early Christian writings and follow poisonous philosophies that are only creating problems for modern Christians.

Please feel free to do your own studies in regards to early Christianity and the doctrines that the Disciples taught. It can help you to discover many things that we have lost today and yet how many doctrines have remained the same over 2000 years.

The doctrines rives teaches are not ‘nazorean’ Christianity it is only philosophy made up by a fellow who has strong beliefs and really bad information. Leave rives and his teachings to Gods judgment for he is only one of many fool hearted and false teachers online.

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Questions and Answers:

“How do you know rives information is wrong?”

Because of the many reference books and apologetics websites that counter his claims. In his books he uses encyclopedias, dictionaries and other out dated books as his source material. Not every source he quotes from is written by believers some are written by atheists as I’ve mentioned in my blog. WHY should I trust a person who uses atheist authors?

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“Rives has written a scholarly book about the subject of paganism in Christianity. WHO are you to question him?”

Because it is my right to research and to question those who dare post objections and attacks on Christianity for the sake of one doctrine, philosophy or religion. rives has a specific reason to attacks fellow Christians but his alternative is to go back into Judaism. That is not necessary nor a Commandment from either Jesus or the Disciples.

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“Have you bought the book “Time is the ally to deceit?” and will you give a response to it soon?”

I have bought a copy, I have read it, and I intend to post a brief response to it in the near future.

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“Richard rives has a back ground in archeology and knows about the subjects he wrote better than you. How can you doubt a man like him?”

For starters ACTUAL archeologists who dig in Israel and other countries verifying Biblical persons don’t believe in the mans claims either. See here:

Ancient Discoveries on Trial Part 1 Are the ancient discoveries by Ron Wyatt true or religious fraud?

By Jim Allen

Ancient Discoveries on Trial Part 2 Did Ron Wyatt find the Ark of the Covenant?

By Jim Allen

Ancient Discoveries on Trial Part 3 Did Ron Wyatt find Noah’s Ark?

By Jim Allen

http://www.blogos.org/keepwatch/ron-wyatt-intro.php

http://www.blogos.org/keepwatch/ron-wyatt-ark.php

http://www.blogos.org/keepwatch/Ron-Wyatt-ark-2.php

http://www.blogos.org/keepwatch/ron-wyatt-Noah-ark.php

http://www.blogos.org/keepwatch/Ron-Wyatt-Noah-Ark-2.php

I donot mean to insult the late Mr. Wyatt but I find it necessary to remind those who believe without proper evidence that a persons claims have to be verified by specific groups of professionals in that field. IF his claims are flawed then his theories donot hold up water.


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