Richard Rives use of atheist material in his emails

Rives latest email offering has been offered to those of us in his email list. Here is his latest idiocy.

Commandments Heard From The Beginning by Richard Rives

Friday, November 30, 2012 7:19 AM

“Most everyone has heard of the famous work by Edward Gibbon entitled: “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”. Gibbon, was an 18th century historian and a member of British Parliament. ”

” In his writings Gibbon tells us that: “Christianity offered itself to the world, armed with the strength of the Mosaic Law, and delivered from the weight of its fetters. He tells us that the divine authority of Moses and the prophets was admitted, and even established, as the firmest basis of Christianity.”

” Gibbon tells us that: “The enfranchisement of the church from the bonds of the synagogue was a work, however, of some time and of some difficulty; and that “the Jewish converts, who acknowledged Jesus in the character of the Messiah obstinately adhered to the ceremonies of their ancestors”

” He calls those believers “Judaizing Christians” and tells us that they “seem to have argued with some degree of plausibility from the divine origin of the Mosaic Law that if the Being, who is the same through all eternity, had designed to abolish those sacred rites which had served to distinguish his chosen people, the repeal of them would have been no less clear and solemn than their first promulgation, that, instead of those frequent declarations, which either suppose or assert the perpetuity of the Mosaic religion, it would have been represented as a provisionary scheme intended to last only to the coming of the Messiah, who should instruct mankind in a more perfect mode of faith and of worship – that the Messiah himself, and his disciples who conversed with him on earth, instead of authorizing by their example the most minute observances of the Mosaic law, would have published to the world the abolition of those useless and obsolete ceremonies, without suffering Christianity to remain during so many years obscurely confounded among the sects of the Jewish church.”

” Gibbon says that: “Arguments like these appear to have been used in the defense of the expiring cause of the Mosaic Law; but the industry of our learned divines has abundantly explained the ambiguous language of the Old Testament, and the ambiguous conduct of the apostolic teachers.”

” In summary: Gibbon tells us that those whom he calls Judaizing Christians argued that the Mosaic law originated with God and that Jesus and His disciples authorized its observance by their example. In other words, Jesus and His disciples kept the commandments and never taught anyone to break them. They believed that if Jesus had intended for the law to be abrogated by the New Covenant, He would have plainly said so. And as we know, He said the exact opposite. He said that even the slightest aspect of the law would never pass away.”

” As Gibbon states the industry of those who he called “learned divines” attempted to explain away the ambiguous language of the Old Testament, and the ambiguous conduct of the apostolic teachers. There is nothing ambiguous about the language of the Old Testament or the conduct of the apostolic teachers.”

” Even so, today the industry of contemporary Christianity continues in its attempt to explain away the writings of Moses. There is nothing “learned” or “divine” about that.”

” Earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the saints; I’m Richard Rives with Just the Facts.”

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Admittedly I’ve never read the late Edward Gibbon works And frankly long dead authors are no use to me nowadays anyway. The Holy Bible is all I need to disprove rives ‘moral theonomy’.

However I find it utterly entertaining that rives bothers to use atheist material to try to prove his point. And in using such materials either in print or online discredits his ‘works’ that he sells on his various websites.

To prove my accusation about Edward Gibbon atheism all one has to do is look him up online. Please note the following paragraphs from wikipedia.

“Legacy”

“Gibbon’s work has been criticised for its scathing view of Christianity as laid down in chapters XV and XVI. Those chapters were strongly criticised and resulted in the banning of the book in several countries. Gibbon’s alleged crime was disrespecting, and none too lightly, the character of sacred Christian doctrine, by “treat[ing] the Christian church as a phenomenon of general history, not a special case admitting supernatural explanations and disallowing criticism of its adherents”. More specifically, the chapters excoriated the church for “supplanting in an unnecessarily destructive way the great culture that preceded it” and for “the outrage of [practicing] religious intolerance and warfare”.[29] Gibbon, though assumed to be entirely anti-religion, was actually supportive to some extent, insofar as it did not obscure his true endeavour – a history that was not influenced and swayed by official church doctrine. Although the most famous two chapters are heavily ironical and cutting about religion, it is not utterly condemned, and its truth and rightness are upheld however thinly.”

“Gibbon, in letters to Holroyd and others, expected some type of church-inspired backlash, but the utter harshness of the ensuing torrents far exceeded anything he or his friends could possibly have anticipated. Contemporary detractors such as Joseph Priestley and Richard Watson stoked the nascent fire, but the most severe of these attacks was an “acrimonious” piece by the young cleric, Henry Edwards Davis.[30] Gibbon subsequently published his Vindication in 1779, in which he categorically denied Davis’ “criminal accusations”, branding him a purveyor of “servile plagiarism.”[31] Davis followed Gibbon’s Vindication with yet another reply (1779).”

“Gibbon’s apparent antagonism to Christian doctrine spilled over into the Jewish faith, leading to charges of anti-Semitism.[citation needed] For example, he wrote:”

 

“From the reign of Nero to that of Antoninus Pius, the Jews discovered a fierce impatience of the dominion of Rome, which repeatedly broke out in the most furious massacres and insurrections. Humanity is shocked at the recital of the horrid cruelties which they committed in the cities of Egypt, of Cyprus, and of Cyrene, where they dwelt in treacherous friendship with the unsuspecting natives; and we are tempted to applaud the severe retaliation which was exercised by the arms of legions against a race of fanatics, whose dire and credulous superstition seemed to render them the implacable enemies not only of the Roman government, but also of humankind.[32]”

“Gibbon is considered to be a son of the Enlightenment and this is reflected in his famous verdict on the history of the Middle Ages: “I have described the triumph of barbarism and religion.”[33] However, politically, he aligned himself with the conservative Edmund Burke’s rejection of the democratic movements of the time as well as with Burke’s dismissal of the “rights of man.”[34]”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Gibbon

Similar accusations are also noted here:

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Edward_Gibbon

And still more here:

“Gibbon holds religion with the contempt which characterises the Age of Enlightenment. He equates Christianity with superstition, and regards it as only suitable to the ignorant masses. He is especially critical of the monkish and the priestly professions, because of their unsocial and selfish nature, and also because of the hypocrisy sometimes associated with monastic life: vow of chastity created obsessions with sexuality and led virgins into compromising situations, while monastic poverty resulted in extremely wealthy monks and monasteries. Employing the technique of irony for which he is so well known, he writes that “By [some monks’] contempt of the world, they insensibly acquired its most desirous advantages” (Ch. 25). Elsewhere, he mentions that he has heard or read the candid confession of a Benedictine abbot — “My vow of poverty has given me an hundred thousand crowns a year; my vow of obedience has raised me to the rank of a sovereign prince.” Gibbon, who has a sharp eye for hypocrisy, cannot resist adding sarcastically, “I forget the consequences of his vow of chastity” (Ch. 37).”

http://www.his.com/~z/gibho2.html

And still more references about his criticism against Christianity.

” A young convert to Catholicism, Gibbon later formally reconverted to Protestantism. But in writing The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (6 volumes, 1776 – 1788), he became a skeptic and offended the pious by his including historical criticism of Christianity in his mammoth work. Macaulay, for example, thought Gibbon “most unfair” to religion.”

http://philosopedia.org/index.php/Edward_Gibbon

Rives using atheists and other skeptics that are AGAINST Christianity doesn’t make him a fellow Christian but AGAINST that very Faith he claims to follow.


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