From Goo to You by Way of the Zoo

The StarPhoenix – Saskatoon, Thursday, October 30, 2008 on page A3 – an article entitled “Author at odds with church over book debunking Satan”.

Main point of the article: Jim Brayshaw – a firefighter in Saskatoon and deacon in Elim Tabernacle of Saskatoon (Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada / Asemblies of God if it were in the United States to help the reader with Church context) – has written a book (500 pages) that douses the existence of Satan. He states that the idea of a fallen angel who rules an after-world in Hell is a man-made construct.

The book: “Satan – Christianity’s Other God, Volume 1 – Legend, Myth, Lore or Lie.”

As a result of the book and discussiions with the leadership of his church – He has been removed from eldership at Elim and removed from the congregational roles.

“His arguments have academic support”, said Mary Ann Bevis, head of the department of religion and culture at the University of Saskatchewan. She states (in conclusion) “…there is some scholarly support (to Brayshaw’s claims). There is evidence to back it up.”

My commentary on the issue without having read the book – I would rather not waste my time and money purchasing and reading a book by someone who calls themselves a Christian and yet denies that God’s Word is true and accurate and the basis of all beliefs in the Christian faith.

First let me say – been there and done that. I was ordained in a denomination back in the 1970’s that went the way that this author is now heading. That denomination is, in my mind, in serious trouble today and has lost it’s biblical foundation and thus the Bible truths that would allow it to be called “Christian”. It is not just a matter of interpretation – it is a matter of denying biblical truths long established in the Christian faith (and in some cases established thousands of years before in the Jewish faith).

Here is how the decline goes:

1> Adam and Eve are not real people – it is simply a myth made up to help ignornant and superstitutious people understand where man originally came from. Now that we know we evolved from “goo to you by way of the zoo” we no longer need to believe this myth.

2> If Adam and Eve did not exist then we no longer believe that man’s heart is, by nature, Inherently evil (the Prophet Jeremiah) and we no longer have a basis upon which to build the doctrine of original sin.

3> This is good because as soon as you toss any one part of the Bible out and it becomes acceptable to do so – you have opened the barn door and no section of scriptures is safe – you can now toss out anything you want.

4> The next thing to go was the understanding that Mary was a sexual virgin. The word virgin got redefined somehow into meaning “a young teenager”. So, Mary was not a virgin and thus Jesus is not divine – fully God and wholly man at the the same time.

That’s okay because we really no longer need a Savior because we are no longer born with a heart that deceives and we are no longer born into a world that is fallen and thus in spiritual darkness.

5> Thus Hell (and by implication the Devil) is no longer needed because without a Saviour from sin (which no longer exists) God will welcome everyone into His Heaven (Universalism) and He does this because He is love and would never comdemn anyone to Hell (punishment).

6> Along the way – somewhere in the journey – actual sin gets removed because we adopt the theology that “every man does what is right in his own eyes” as was adopted by people in the days of the book of Judges (Old Testament). Then it was wrong – now it becomes right … it is called “situation ethics”.

So now we have removed the Devil, sin, Saviour, Hell, punishment, and judgment and demoted Jesus to simply being a “teacher” and a good man living by a tremendously powerful philosophy (which other Greek and Roman, Babylonian and Persian philosophers had also lived by before Him).

I watched the denomination that I grew up in, their seminaries (in one of which I earned a Master’s degree), and churches move from belief to unbelief…

Then over the years I took a second Master’s degree from another (different) denominational seminary. This seminary belonged to and trained leaders for a born again denomination. Over the ten years or so of taking classes here and there to fulfill the requirements of the degree I watched this seminary and its academic staff take the same journey that my original denomination had taken – only they went through the stages in a slightly different order and a lot faster … all in the name of solid academic pursuits.

And now – here is an elder in another supposed born again (and Spirit-filled) denomination stating the same proposition I heard 30+ years ago … do we hear the sound of the toilet flushing once again as another group of believers heads down the toilet and into the sewer of unbelief.

I go on record as supporting the senior pastor of Elim Tabernacle and would go so far as to question this former deacon’s personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, who came to rescue us from the pit of Hell and set us upon the Rock. It is time to “earnestly content for the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

And, before you jump down my throat, let me say that this kind of thing does not threaten me or my faith and this blog is not a knee jerk reaction of some doo-doo bird who has not looked long and hard (and in an academic way) at the facts backing up the basic beliefs of the faith I preach and proclaim daily on the streets and in the pulpits from which I teach and preach.

I am well informed and well read and have researched all the basic beliefs of the Christian faith for many years reading all sides of the argument. And, I have personally met (and physically seen and touched) the Risen Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, the Lord of lords and King of kings, and the soon coming Judge of the living and the dead. He is alive and is sovereign God in conrol of my life, this world and the entire universe that He alone created. I am not threatened by this type of supposed academic honesty and “pursuit of truth”.

I do simply wonder why the man did not keep his personal journey into unbelief private instead of apparently trying to correct or rescue the rest of us from what he thinks is intentional deception on the part of the Church.

29 replies
  1. Karen
    Karen says:

    QUOTE: “I do simply wonder why the man did not keep his personal journey into unbelief private instead of apparently trying to correct or rescue the rest of us from what he thinks is intentional deception on the part of the Church.” QUOTE
    What is sad and very dangerous is that people like this man will follow a slippery path into darkness denying satan and the existance of evil to justify their behaviors.
    (I would be curious to look at this man’s whole life: business, personal, family, church and see him without any ‘masks’. I do not believe you’d like what you see.)
    He may seem ‘normal’ to most, however, this satan he denies could be the one pulling his “puppet-strings”.
    Now, forgive me, I don’t have a Masters Degree of any kind, but, I do have the Holy Spirit in me now AND before I followed the Lord, I clearly followed this ‘non-existant satan’ and I still remember the smell.

    Reply
  2. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    How true – how true. This deception is subtle and always has been. Screwtape Letterts by C.S. Lewis is so good in revealing the deceptive games the real devil plays – and this author / fireman / amature theologian has played right into his hands. Too bad others will be influenced by his book.

    Reply
  3. Bev Wensel
    Bev Wensel says:

    …thanks R. for the step by step explanation of where this one false step leads…defn. NOT the path to life & light… just another “fruit”
    showing that we are in an era of GRT deception!!
    We must stay plugged in to THEE truth, & not our idea(s) of what truth is, like so-o-o many
    today…which is no truth at all, but merely (educated??)opinion.
    We must also stay planted where He has led us to be/live/ & BE IN fellowship & accountable.
    Or, we will end up deceived as well.
    And pray, pray, pray …stay CLOSE to the Lord!
    May the Lord righly bless us & keep us in the days ahead……… B&V 😉

    Reply
  4. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    Bev,

    Very true – and we must see and know that the Bible is our only authority. In spite of 5 or 6 rooms in this house full of books and DVDs, videos and CDs – great resources crammed full of great information – it is all from the heart of man. Only the Bible – not books about the Bible – is God-breathed and absolute Truth as delivered to man from the heart of God as timeless and profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). A wise man once told me to spend much more time in the original book (Bible) than I do reading books written about THE Book. I have held to that wise counsel given over 3 decades ago.

    Reply
  5. James R Brayshaw
    James R Brayshaw says:

    Greetings Ralph,
    I came across your post and thought I’d send a note.
    You seem to have made a rather serious judgement about a book and an author you are completely unfamiliar with. I appreciate your experience from the seventies but to teach your opinion to those who will listen to you without ever reading the book or even talking to the author is simply irresposible. One of the major practices in Christianity that lends to the blind leading the blind is the very thing you are doing. It appears neither you nor any of your blog posters have explored the topic. Please consider reading the book. It is available in digital format on my web site and I would be happy to provide a discount to any who want to purchase a hard copy and mention this blog.
    Ralph, have you seen in the Scriptures that to believe in a supernatural entity who can supposedly thwart the God of the Universe is to believe in multiple Gods? The Israelites learned that, the Prophets knew it, and the Apostles understood it too.
    It is sad that a preacher can arbitrarily judge the work and relationship with the Messiah an author has, simply because that preacher has learned a belief that disagrees with said author.
    Consider if you will that if God(Yahweh/Yeshua) can do things like deliver judgments, control the weather, inhabit a person’s spirit and appear in various forms…and Satan can also do those things…then by function and definition satan is a god.
    The Messiah taught us to love the Lord our God with all our heart soul, mind and strength. Maybe it is not such a bad thing to use our minds then to understand the words of the Bible from a corrected historical, cultural, linguistic, social , and religious context. The Holy Spirit indeed leads into all truth…is it possible Ralph that the Scriptures used by the Messiah and Paul the apostle, reveal the truth to be there is no other God but one? A simple exploration of the origin of Satan is a good start along the path to having One God and none else and to affirming the Creator’s words that state there is none like Him. If you need a Satan Ralph then perhaps you are yet unwilling to accept full responsibility for the sin and wickedness in your life just as I was prior to realizing the truth about God and the fact of Satan being an ancient myth. A myth that went from metaphor to reality for those who are led by Greek minded theologians who have not used the Scriptures for their doctrine but have devised doctrine from a weak understanding of the New Testament. A compilation of letters that were written by Hebrew minded writers in an Aramaic culture almost two thousand years ago. Are you really understanding those letters correctly as the original writer and hearer would have understood them…or are you understanding them the way the Greek church fathers have passed down an understanding? I wonder if your fathers have inherited lies? Should one defend a belief Ralph because he or she has believed it their whole life.. or should one defend a belief because the Holy Scriptures prove it to be true? Do some research instead of speaking from the place you have always been at…or maybe your faith is thereatened as mine was before I started to honestly and prayerfully explore. Oh , one last thought. If it is correct to take literally the mentions of Satan in the English bible then it appears Peter must be Satan. After all the God of the universe in fleshly form spoke directly to Peter and called him Satan.
    “…, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan…” (Mark 8, MAtt 16, Luke 4)
    Or perhaps the Messiah knew what a Satan was Ralph…something much of Christianity has clearly missed out on learning.

    Regards
    James R Brayshaw
    http://www.scog.ca

    Reply
  6. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    Hi James,

    The problem is I don’t believe you have a relationship with the Messiah because He believed in the Devil and you don’t. He came to defeat the work of the Devil – including the last enemy “death” and you apparently don’t believe this. He came as light (God) into the darkness (Sin and Satan’s domaine – not kingdom) – I did a Master’s thesis on the Philo of Alexandrea’s Greek Philosophical Influence on the Gospel According to John.

    There are just so many things Jesus said and did and spoke that reference a real Devil (Satan) and you have simply wiped it all out as myth.

    Been there and done that – before I met Jesus and became born again and walked away from man-made religion into which I had been ordained a priest and received a living relationship with the Jesus who speaks of the Devil and whose book (the Bible) references the work of Satan in both the Old and New Testament.

    It is a slippery slope that you are on that will take you all the way to the bottom and from what you have written in your comment you are well on your way – but not to truth that will set you free.

    I do not judge the relationship you have with your god – I question which “god” it is you are worshipping because it is not, in any way, the God of the Bible – Old or New Testament.

    Reply
  7. AngieF
    AngieF says:

    I totally agree with Ralph, one doesn’t need to read the book. Your note easily explains where your coming from. You probably didn’t experience the Lord Jesus Christ, because if you did, you would find it is very hard to walk away.

    Reply
  8. James R Brayshaw
    James R Brayshaw says:

    Angie f, how can you say I haven’t experienced The Lord Jesus Christ? Are you hearing how quick you are to judge…my goodness Angie, judgment of a person because of what Ralph says…are you a follower of the Messiah or of Ralph. You didn’t even bother to find out if I believe the Messiah is the way the truth and the life and that no man comes to Father except through Him.(Which I do beleive) Start there and then explore other doctrines…oh, have you explored the doctrine of Satan or do you read the English New Testament and presume you understand the nuance of the underlying Hebrew mindset?
    Christianity is typically very narrow minded and rejects any one as not being a follower of Christ if they find a way to understand ancient writings that does not agree with what they have been taught. Don’t be afraid to explore the origins of your beliefs.

    Let me ask if you think Satan was originally a good angel? If so then how can he be called a murderer from the beginning in John? I thought the Christian satan was a good angel from the beginning.
    If you do one thing regarding this topic go look at the context of the word Lucifer in Isaiah 14, find out what the word means and when Jerome changed it from the Hebrew word helel to a word speaking about a pagan king.

    Reply
  9. AngieF
    AngieF says:

    Hi James
    I am not speaking just from the knowledge of reading scriptures. I don’t follow Ralph I follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Do I trust Ralph? Yes very much so.
    QUOTE ” You didn’t even bother to find out if I believe the Messiah is the way the truth and the life and that no man comes to Father except through Him.(Which I do believe)” Even Satan believes that.
    When I got saved, I experienced God the Father in a way that can never be taken away from me. I have also experienced Satans demons many times along the way. I cannot be talked out of what I have experienced. As a result I read my bible a lot and the Holy Spirit teaches me as I read. I believe in the whole of scriptures, but the scriptures didn’t save me Jesus did. I may not be able to argue theology with you, but you also can’t argue what I have experienced.
    If You believe in God how can you not believe in Satan? I for one cannot believe in one without the other.

    Reply
  10. James R Brayshaw
    James R Brayshaw says:

    Angie, If satan believes that then can he be saved? Or does the reference to the devils indicate those who were teaching false doctrine, as would have been understood in the Aramaic culture of the Messiah?
    By the way Angie, the letter from James in the NT shows us these false teachers(devils) believed there is one God, I don’t see where we are told these “devils” believed in the Messiah as the way the truth and the life. Are you responding out of emotion defending a manmade doctrine or have you studied to show yorself approved as we are are instructed to do so in the New Testament by Paul?

    Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
    (2 Timothy 2:15)

    The word of truth Paul was referring to was the Old Testament as the NT was long from being written at this time. Have you studied the Old Testament to understand what it says about the satan or even about the Messiah?

    We are supposed to study to show ourselves approved not to have experiences to show ourselves approved. One cannot rightly divide the word of truth by “experiences”. The first century Gnostics were all about the experience as the barometer of truth. Ask Ralph to study the Gnostic connection to Christiainty for you. Your experiences do not dictate the truth on this topic Angie, otherwise many Buddhists, Muslims, Satanists, Taoists and a multitude of others who have had experiences are also in the truth. Our experiences are only as real as we decide to beleive they are. The Scriptures must define our experiences Angie not our experiences define Scripture. The Holy Spirit will lead into all truth and the Old Testament truth teaches that satan is an adversarial attitude, action, government or human opposition. Once again…please notice that the “devils” do not beleive Jesus is the savior rather the teachers of false doctrine believe there is one God…so don’t compare my statement about the Messiah to what Satan believes. It just so happens that the Sadducees were the devils that are probably being spoken of by James(Ch2 v 19).

    Your experiences may have been born out of the suggestion that you have been subject to in the past and the false Greek teaching about demons and satan that has been placed before you is only fuel to the idea that there is two Gods…one called Satan and another called Yawheh

    Just as you trust Ralph in most ways there are many people who trust other religious leaders…does your trust dictate you should trust he is correct on his views or should you be responsible to study matters on your own? Don’t let Ralph take the fall if he happens to be mistaken on a thing or two..go find out yourself. Perhaps you might consider using the time you are blogging with me to go and study the origin of some of yours and Ralph’s beliefs.
    Seeing as how you are eager to take so much of the NT literally i suppose you ought to take Paul’s charge to “study: litereally as well.

    Study to shew thyself approved unto God,….
    (2 Timothy 2:15)

    To answer your question of how I can not beleive in satan I will ask how can you calim there is only one God and still beleive in Satan…if you do you are believing in two gods. According to he God of the Bibls there are no other gods except those that are created in teh minds of men and neither see , nor hear , nor walk.

    Regards
    J Brayshaw
    http://www.scog.ca

    Reply
  11. James R Brayshaw
    James R Brayshaw says:

    This reply was emailed to ralph but I am not certain it got to him so i will post it here. Sorry to take up so much of your time with the las tcouple of entries..

    Thanks for the reply Ralph,

    I understand you require the words in the New Testament must be taken literally…So according to Jesus Peter is Satan…or is it Judas(one of you is a devil)…and the Pharisees are vipers. And according to you Ralph the Messiah had two Gods. After all the bible refers to any entity one ascribes supernatural, autonomous powers to, as a God.

    Ralph it is sad to see you refuse to explore the cultural understanding of the words of Christ and by that have misinterpreted those words thus landing in a camp that has a dualistic two god belief system. The God of the Scriptures says He makes piece and creates evil. Any New Testament statement that speaks of Satan or the devil in English all has an underlying Hebraic meaning and origin. Are you wiling to explore the possibility Ralph or have you decided your belief is concrete? I am happy to dialogue about the topic but to be fair it would be beneficial to a dialogue if one tries to comprehend the speakers’ intent when dissecting the words of the Messiah or any apostolic writings. To be sure Ralph, history and Scripture disclose that the idea of a literal cosmic Satan did not originate from the God of the Hebrews. Consider 2 Samuel 24:1 and 1 Chronicles 21;1. Who caused David to number the tribes of Israel…was it God or was it Satan?

    2Sa 24:1 Once again GOD’s anger blazed out against Israel. He tested David by telling him, “Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.”

    1Ch 21:1 Now Satan entered the scene and seduced David into taking a census of Israel.

    Ralph, I believe that once one understands the Hebrew Scriptures the way the Messiah and the apostles did then they will be equipped to unpack the very challenging Greek Scriptures (New Testament). I question how one can make Yahweh a liar when He says He is the only God and there is none else…there is none like Him, yet persist to teach of a Satan who is “like” God in many ways. Have you ever explored why God says this and what the other man made gods were believed to be doing when Yahweh felt the need to express His sovereignty in such a way?

    You have indeed done much good with your ministry Ralph but please consider the efficacy of such a doctrine as the Persians taught the Hebrews, the concept that there is a Good God and an evil God.

    Once again Ralph, I ask if you have explored the topic or if you make your claims based on the beliefs you presently ascribe to?

    It is you my friend who rejects the understanding the Messiah had of satan and therefore the truth of His word by thinking He spoke of a literal cosmic being when He used words like satanas and diabolos. Perhaps you might consider a thesis on the word sawtawn in the Hebrew language. If you find it in the Word you will see the satan comes from God and is in fact God at times. The word is not and never was intended to be a proper noun (a name) but it means adversary or opposer and every OT reference is shown to be either a human force or a dispatch from the Father.

    Thanks again for your input but could you explain to all who follow your ministry just exactly why it is ok to decide a work is wrong without ever having read it or researched the concepts from the perspective of their cultural, historical, linguistic, and social context. Do you realize John and Yeshua were Hebrew so you may want to step around the Philoean thinking and find out what a Hebrew thought of satan would have been.

    Hope your judgment does not return to you Ralph, may the truth find those who seek her.

    Please post this on your blog

    Regards

    James R. Brayshaw

    Author of Satan Christianity’s Other God – Volume 1

    http://www.scog.ca

    Reply
  12. AngieF
    AngieF says:

    James your eyes have been blinded by the enemy, you are a twister of the Word.
    I have never heard nor been taught or read that Satan is a God. Do you remember Paul the apostle. He was saved and changed by experiencing God. Oh yeah he met Him face to face. He instantly went from persecuting the christians to being totally sold out.
    My experiences are what saved me got my attention so to speak, I never knew much of anything about the Word of God or christians before I got saved. Hated them in fact. I didnt have any preconcieved ideas about God or the devil before I got saved.
    I believe the scriptures are God breathed. I totally believe that scripture needs to line up with what we hear and experience. Jesus is the Word by the way.
    Oh yeah and I totally believe you need to experience Jesus. Read Acts
    Ralph is a wonderful teacher and one of the things he taught me was to test everything including his teachings. So who teaches you?How did you get saved then, if you are saved?
    The bible says we shall know them by thier fruits? Your fruit is telling me you believe the bible says something that it doesn’t say. James woe to him who tries to lead one of Gods children away from the truth.

    Reply
  13. James R Brayshaw
    James R Brayshaw says:

    Angie,
    There are thousands upon thousands of Christians…yes born again believers who have learned what a satan was to Jesus and realized that to believe in Satan is to believe in two gods. Just because you have never heard, been taught, or read about it only means you have never heard, been taught, or read about it. It doesn’t make it not true.
    Angie, it is difficult to have a belief challenged and I understand your position as it is a typical Christian position. Even in the book of Acts that you tell me to read, we can see that a satan is the wickedness that comes from ones’ heart. The whole Old Testament teaches the same thing about a satan, a word that was never used as a proper noun in the Hebrew(sawtawn).
    Notice how the heart of the sinner is where evil is conceived according to the Apostle.

    Act 5:3-4 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

    The apostle points to the heart of the giver as where the wickedness was concieved. Yeshua does likewise when he says out of the heart proceed evil things…Mark 7 and Matt15.

    James also teaches that it is from our internal lust that evil springs;
    The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust.
    (James 1:14)

    Alas one is often unwilling to give up their second god when it seems like they understand the words of Jesus. One must find out that the English words they read in the NT come from a Greek document that has undlying Hebrew meaning, nuances and hebraisms that fil the terms with meaning.You and Ralph are mistaken in claiming Jesus believed in a Satan just because the english word is capitalized in your bibles, and you are also mistaken in judging my fruit because you have no idea what my fruit is, only that I don’t interpret the New Testament the way you have been taught. Once again I will ask if you have ever explored the possibility that your understanding of Satan is a misunderstanding based on Greek thinking and poor perspective of the cultural understanding of the day the Messiah walked the Earth?

    To answer your questions; I am taught by many of the same people Ralph is taught by and others who have explored the culture of the Bible. I, like Paul, was saved, am saved, and will continue to be saved by believing in the redemptive act of the God of the Universe through the Messiah.
    What if you are being led from the truth by your teachers because you fail to study the Scripture( the Old Testament) to find out what a satan is?
    Please contact me if you ever feel you want to look into the idea futher. Thanks for the time you have given me and may His will be done in your life.

    Again, contact me through my web site if you’d like but in the mean time please go in peace and may the truth find those who seek her

    Best regards
    James R. Brayshaw
    http://www.scog.ca
    author of Satan Christianity’s Other God – Volume 1

    Reply
  14. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    Hi James and Angie,

    I have been monitoring your discussion and find it interesting to say the least. Let me write a few observations to draw this discussion – more appropriately, this lecture from James – to a close.

    As I sat in my hotel room in Calgary yesterday morning I once again read all of the discussion that has been going on over the past week or so. It is interesting to read everything that has been written in one sitting.

    My observations:

    1> The Bible is more than “ancient writings” as James states. It is the Living Word of God -sharper than any two-edged sword and it divides asunder between soul and spirit”. Until one is born again and has a personal relationship wth the Lord it is “ancient writings”. After you meet Jesus it becomes living waters, daily bread from Heaven, and God’s instrument to bring purity and holiness into our lives (a mirror). To study it as “ancient writings” is good and valid as it needs to be understood in the cultural setting in which it was written and in the context of their day and age (politically, economically, socially, and religious), as well as keeping in mind to whom it was written and why. But, it is more than all that – it is God’s Living Word.

    2> James has misrepresented Jerome and his commentary. As someone whose first Master’s Degree was from a liberal and non-believing seminary I am (and continue to be) very familiar with Jerome and his writings and commentary. He was misrepresetned by James.

    3> The comment that Jesus (and others) when referring to “demons” or “devils” was referring to those teaching false doctrine according to the Aramaic culture is utter nonsense. It sounds good. It sounds informed and academic. But is is simply incorrect biblically (in the various contexts it was written) and culturally.

    4> Christianity is narrow-minded as James states. But it is not narrow-minded because the Bible is held to be true but because Jesus is God , Hell is real, the Devil is a real entity, and Jesus is the only way to avoid the punishment of Hell that was originally designed for the Devil and his demons. It is okay to be narrow-minded when you are following Jesus who is Truth and the Bible which is true.

    5> The Bible does state that Satan is a ‘god”. He is called by Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “the god of this world”. However, never is he given a position equal to Jesus (so there are not two Gods but one God and many self-made ‘gods’) as his rulership is over a “domain” while Jesus is King and rules over a Kingdom.

    6> Your comment – out of a judgemental attitude (which you accuse both Angie and I of having) – that her “experiences have been born out of suggestion.” Of course, there is no way you could know if that were true. But, it does sound good. Your “experiences” James have been born out of academic ignorance and self-deception.

    7> James obviously does not beieve in the biblical Messiah because he apparently does not believe in the devil, sin and the stated consequences of sin. One wonders why then there is even a need for a Saviour at all.

    8> It seems that James has a “god” of his own making thus breaking the first of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) as he does not believe the written Word and thus one must wonder if he has had an encounter with he Living Word Jesus Christ.

    9> The comments about the Gnostics misrepresents them regarding their teachings and doctrine being “experience” based. This was not the basic concern of the apostle John and the early Church when he wrote the first letter of John to counteract the influence of the Gnostics in the Church.

    It was not an issue of “experiences”. However, to follow your argument to its logical conclusion. if their “experiences” didn’t result in knowing truth then your experiences and discoveries also don’t necessarily equal truth. By simple logic from your own comment.

    10> The “devils” do believe Jesus is Saviour. In the writiings of 1 John and James the references to “devils” or “demons” (if you use a more modern translation of the Bible) is not a reference to false teachers and/or Sadducees. That is just a serious bunch of absolute crap James and no scholar of the Scriptures – or anyone who seriously “studied to show themselves approved” would ever be able to come to that conclusion. You were hard on Angie on this point and yet you are guilty of not “accurately handling the word of truth” yourself.

    11> You assume and stated that Angie has not studied the Bible on her own but simply blindly follow others who have taught her. That is abolutely untrue as I personally know Angie and she diligently seeks after truth and tests everything taught to the Scriptures. And, I would state that her comments in this discussion the two of you have been having are biblically valid and well thought out – and I could not say the same for your’s.

    12> You are right James “there are no other gods but God only”. This would include the god that you worship which is one of your own making and design and who is not the God of the Bible – Old and New Testament.

    13> Being called to be a good steward of the gifts the Lord has given to me – and time is one of those gifts – I chose not to purchase and read your book. What you write and the garbage you teach is nothing new. I had shelves of books expounding the same crap after finishing a three year Master’s degree in theology at the University of Toronto. I threw them all out after I personally met the Lord Jesus Christ. Why would I want to begin again to collect this nonsense that has been floating around the religious world for many decades – if not centuries?

    Your thoughts and your twisting of the Truth are not new in the least.

    On a personal note – to respond to your reply to my original reply…

    I don’t take the Bible literally as you stated I do. I never said I did and I never have. You made an assumption and a judgment and lumped me in some “box”and gave me a label that is simply not true. Those who hang around the blog would know that – just thought that you should know it as well.

    I also don’t “refuse to explore the culture” as you state. Here in my study there are thousands of dollars worth of books that “explore the culture” and I have read them all and reference them with every teaching and sermon.

    I have not – as accused – “misrepresented the words (of Scripture) thus landing up with dualistic two gods”. It is not I who is twisting the words of God’s Bible to make it back up my pet theory sir – it is you!

    Your comment – “I hae been taught by many of the people Ralph is taught by…” Really! How would you know who taught me and what I have read. I have never been a member of the denomination which your last church is a part of. I have never been to their schools or attended their conferences. You have no idea who my teachers were or are – who has mentored and trained me over-and-above my academic studies. Sounded good – but a lie!

    By the way – Truth is not a “her” as you state – it is a “Him” and His Name is Jesus who said “I am the Truth…”

    The way you write is an old trick of many people. “There are thousands upon thousands of Christians – Born Again who have learned…” No! That is not a proven fact as you state it is. It is YOU that the focus is on and not the “thousands of others…” If these thousands of others are truly saved and not false converts then they have a personal relationship with the living Christ and don’t (couldn’t) believe as you believe. So, let your ‘theology’ stand or fall on it’s own without the “thousands upon thousands of others” stupidity.

    James, you come across as one who knows how to study and rightly interpret the Scriptures. However, just by what you have written in my blog I would state that you need to learn the basics of how to read, study, understand, interpret, and apply Scripture. You are way off base with your supposed understanding of the Bible and you are preaching, as Paul write, “another Jesus…another Holy Spirit… and another Gospel”.

    You are not a threat to the Christ faith as better men and women than you have tried to derail the faith over the centuries – you are simply a nuicance and, I admit, somewhat dangerous “teacher of myths” and should be seriously avoided as Paul advices Timothy to do.

    Last but not least – when you read your entries to my blog – it becomes readily apparent that you are not dialoguing (as you ask others to do) but instead you are lecturing, judging, and condemning.

    It is amazing that you think you are right when what you teach goes against 5000+ years of Jewish and Christian teachings and flies in the face of the actual and correct interpretation of Scriptures and all academic standards for the study and application of the Scriptures. And, due to true ignorance of many (even believers) today, I am sure you will have a wide and adoring audience. I am not one of them.

    Reply
  15. Bob MacDonald
    Bob MacDonald says:

    Thank you Ralph for speaking straight and in truth. You did right! I think you have dealt with the truth and did it in love.

    I agree that James has been deceived. It would have been nice to see a real dialogue instead of belittling and often rude comments from him.

    Thanks again Ralph for speaking boldly the truth that God is One and Jesus is the Only Saviour.

    Bob

    Reply
  16. James R Brayshaw
    James R Brayshaw says:

    Hi Ralph,
    I will move along from your blog shortly but it is interesting how you started and ended your thoughts on me and on this topic with some judgements of your own….

    Just a note on your comment that seems to claim you are familliar with all the Jewish and christian teaching for the last 5000+ years.
    You say;
    “It is amazing that you think you are right when what you teach goes against 5000+ years of Jewish and Christian teachings”

    There are hundreds of teachings available from both Jews and Christians from all ages that suggest exactly what I have suggested.
    A Jews for Judaism site( not that I am endorsing all their teachings or philosophies)Has this to say about the topic…and their views have been taugh by Jews for thousands of years.
    [begin quote]
    “To reiterate, in the Jewish bible, everything was created by G-d, both good and evil and everything is under G-d’s control. Only one force, not two, whereas, in Christianity Satan is not under the control of G-d but is rather, a competing force against G-d. Christian theology makes Satan so powerful that he is given the title, “the god of this world.”

    This sets up a situation in Christian theology whereby Jesus must come and accomplish something to help us get out of the difficult situation – to overcome Satan, since he is at war not only with G-d, but with us. However, Judaism teaches that what is to be overcome is not Satan, but the satan in our path, the obstacle which has been put there for our growth.

    So, to reiterate, in Judaism Satan is an agent of G-d, who provides opportunities for us to grow, to respond to our passions and desires by producing things of value in this world and to become stronger spiritual people. Bring it on!” [ end of quote]

    Here is the web link for that article. http://shomreiemet.org/index.php?t=article=ARTICLES/Friend_or_Foe_(Satan).htm

    If you decide to explore how teaching Satan is real is to teach there are two Gods, there are a world full of resources available to help you understand the Living Word of God the way the Messiah and the Apostles did.

    Try checking out a book called “The Origin of Satan” by Elaine Pagels, Or some of the works of Jeffrey Burton Russel or Paul Carus. There are hundreds of Christian academics who apply correct academic standards to their biblical explorations. Just not your standards Ralph.

    So Ralph I guess we are both guilty on certain levels if your charges against me are true then because 5000 years of Jewish and Christian teaching is not absent of the ideas I am puting forth as you suggest.

    Best Regards
    James R. Brayshaw
    http://www.scog.ca

    Reply
  17. Sharon Kuhn
    Sharon Kuhn says:

    My goodness, Mr. Brayshaw. All I have to say is “for if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the TRUTH, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of Grace? …It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living GOD. (YAWEH, YESHUA)!!!!!!! Have a blessed day and I pray that the God we serve can remove all and everything that is hindering a true desire for you to serve God with a clean and repentant heart. by the way the quote is from the Book of Hebrews chapter 10. It may be taken out of context but I assure you I know who Gopd is and who He came to earth to free us from.
    Sharon

    Reply
  18. Karen
    Karen says:

    You did well Angie girl!

    And thank you Ralph for the truth you speak.
    I have always appreciated that you speak and teach and direct me and others to seek the truth and the truth-giver and to correctly study and understand what we hear and read and not just gulibly swallow what others deliver.
    (Of course, it is no small matter that the Holy Spirit in me is THEE Teacher)

    James, please, listen carefully, it’s not too late, . . .yet.

    Reply
  19. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    Bob,

    I appreciate your comment on this blog. And I appreciate your concern. It is true that James is self-deceived. But regretfully he will be the cause of others being deceivd because of his writings and beliefs.

    He needs the Holy Spirit – not “another spirit” so that He can lead him into all truth and he can meet Truth – who is a person … Jesus Christ.

    Reply
  20. Bradley Topping
    Bradley Topping says:

    Hello, I realize that I may be a bit late coming into the discussion, this post is directed towards Ralph, but I would like others to take note of a couple of important things that speak for themselves.

    1. You wrote in the first post: “Jim Brayshaw – a firefighter in Saskatoon and deacon in Elim Tabernacle of Saskatoon”

    The problem with this is that Jim has not been a deacon for several years, and this also creates problems with other false statements you made (and if you bear with me I will get to my point) such as :

    “As a result of the book and discussiions with the leadership of his church – He has been removed from eldership at Elim and removed from the congregational roles.”

    The truth is Jim was no longer part of Elim years before the book was published. And you paint a picture saying as a result of the book, however there were other biblical truths that Elim elders were not willing to explore at that time, so in fact it was not as a rusult of the book, but rather years prior to the release of the book that Elim had passed quick judgements similar to those you are so quick to doll out.

    I wonder if even one of your followers Ralph would, even for a moment pause to question something you say, would you then look into something before you drop the hammer?

    Has anyone here even read the book? Or at the least read the free intro available on Jim’s website, I would say you would not be human if you didn’t at least have 1 question…but this is the problem inherent in mainstream Chrisianity, the idea of questioning something, especially a traditional belief, not to destroy it, but to know why it is you believe what you believe, has become, due to conditioning, a thought that makes one feel guilty just for thinking of a question, never mind having the courage to ask.

    I challenge any one of you to actually find out why it is you hold on so dearly to a bileif without questioning it.

    So Ralph, if you can’t even get the facts straight on the person you are tryng to debunk, then how should I believe you have any integrity in what you say?

    Reply
  21. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    Hi Brad,

    Like the author of the book – you are attacking and making totally false accusations about what people (including myself) wrote and why. And, like James you don’t appear to be looking to discuss the issues in question (which are not personal and negative as you make them) but are biblical and theological. Instead you simply judge and accuse.

    It is obvious from your comments that you have not read the entries in this specific blog. Thus you seem to be using the blog as a personal pulpit to express your theological views without actually joining in with the discussion already ongoing. Otherwise you would not have made the comments nor asked the questions you did.

    Here’s the bottom line – its Colossians 2:8

    “Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything. They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitutions of spirit beings. But that’s not the way of Christ.”

    I warn others about people like you and James – you are dangerous – first to yourself and then, by the spreading of your garbage, dangerous to others.

    Reply
  22. Karen
    Karen says:

    Mr. Topping,
    I find it interesting that you said the following:
    QUOTE: “I wonder if even one of your followers Ralph would, even for a moment pause to question something you say,” QUOTE

    Who’s follower are you sir? Mr. Brayshaw’s?
    Because, and forgive me if I’ve read you incorrectly, you seem to be defending him and not The Word.

    I thought that was what it was all about: Jesus (Living Word) and the Bible (Written Word) and not your pet topic or opinion separated from that truth.

    There are alot of things I choose to not read and they are not because Ralph has told me not to.

    I am a grown woman, truly saved, surrendered, set free and filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
    ‘He’ is more than capable of steering me, guiding me and setting me straight.

    But, sir, just how long do you think I could claim that if I decided (as I did before my salvation) that I knew the truth, I knew the way and there was probably more than one light, and then I chose a pet topic out of my rebellion) and wrote a book to support my theory?

    What utter nonsense!
    And no Ralph did not tell me to think or say that!

    And yes, Ralph, I am aware that my comment was not ladylike.

    But as I said, I am Born Again, not born yesterday.
    Just my 2 cents! Have a nice day sir.

    Reply
  23. Bradley Topping
    Bradley Topping says:

    Ralph,

    Bradley here, just to clarify, the link to this blog was passed on to me and yes I did read the posts…that’s why I replied the way I did.

    You didn’t answer any of my questions though. I’m not sure what false accusations that I have made to which you are referring, I did notice YOUR false accusations and judgements, and again, you did not address them in your response, but rather were quick to pigeon hole me.

    And out of all fairness Ralph, how could we have a discussion on something you have not even read!!!, and it is evident you are still in ignorance on this topic, just remember ignorance isn’t always a bad thing, however for somebody in your line of business, you probably can’t afford to be too ignorant too long.

    For whatever reason, you started this Blog, I find it repulsive how you choose tradition instead of truth (as laid out in scriptures) when it comes to important issues such as idolatry.

    As for your kind response Karen, what exactly is it you claim to be set free from? Obedience from the word?

    What I mean by this is that, if you were humble enough to examine the topic from a scriptural point of view, (and an excellent resource to do that is with the help of the mentioned book), you would come to realize that the topic was discovered due to the author’s love for the truth and Yes I am defending the author, as I would anyone who loves the truth more than tradition.

    You keep mentioning that there is this danger that will steer you away from your salvation if you begin to question things too much. I too used to feel this way many years ago when I was part of the mainstream church system. The neat part of finding out answers is sometimes that it requires us to change the way we live, perhaps this has become the hinderance for many, is that what it really boils down to is that people get comfortable with what they believe, without question, then when a truth comes along and exposes a lie in their lives that requires change, it’s like a baby going back to get his soother, it just feels better to not let go.

    I will say also, I don’t claim to have it all, but I do love the truth of Yahweh’s word, and am always open for correction. However we don’t seem to be discussing much here, as Ralph stated, and it would not be possible to have a discussion here unless someone was really interested in knowing what it was they were defending.

    May Yahweh guide us all in truth…

    Bradley topping

    Reply
  24. Karen
    Karen says:

    Mr. Topping,
    I will not get into a childish battle of wits with you as you seem to be craving.

    It is too bad that there can’t be a decent exchange of opinions here.

    I think that you do seem to somewhat believe what you are saying, however, if there was truly a strong, honest conviction behind your words you shouldn’t feel the need to attack others.

    If what you claim:
    (QUOTE: I will say also, I don’t claim to have it all, but I do love the truth of Yahweh’s word, and am always open for correction.QUOTE)
    is really true, then your concern should be that what you believe to be our error places us in danger, and not about your being right, should it not?
    And along with that should come Christlike compassion for the lost, correct?

    Reply
  25. Bradley Topping
    Bradley Topping says:

    Karen,

    When I entered the Blog there was already much exchanged with respect to words, and I merely entered in with what I thought needed to be addressed with respect to misinformation regarding the details of Ralph’s original post, and some hasty replies after Jim’s post.

    I like fair.

    I don’t feel a need to engage in battle of wits.

    And your right when you say “your concern should be that what you believe to be our error places us in danger, and not about your being right, should it not?
    And along with that should come Christlike compassion for the lost, correct?”

    What surprised me the most when I entered the blog was the way a picture was painted by Ralph, then people started painting their own pictures based on Ralph’s. But the problem lies somewhere between the negative and Ralph’s first picture so to speak.

    I sense that Ralph’s hardball responses are similar to other ‘Damage control’ stategies used in other churches, when he makes comments like:

    “My commentary on the issue without having read the book – I would rather not waste my time and money purchasing and reading a book by someone who calls themselves a Christian and yet denies that God’s Word is true and accurate and the basis of all beliefs in the Christian faith.”

    And Ralph called this a discussion…again, it was not a discussion, it was a lecture.

    I like good discussion, not so much on blogs, because you can’t hear someone’s tone of voice, or read body language ect… so, thank you Karen for your replies, and on that note, if someone investigates the topic and wants to have a discussion, then thats a different story than Ralph deploying ‘Damage control’ measures by trying to get people who have a different understanding than himself off the Blog.
    Says a lot to me about his character. Chances are Ralph was told about this by some Pastor Buddy, and decided to paint a picture first. This has the best effect in a church.

    I’m not sure if you caught how Ralph avoided addressing any of Jim’s input on the real topic and then skillfully dodged my questions, it may seem to you like what you call an attack, but really, Ralph was the aggressor by his verbal assault on the author.

    I like discussion, but it needs to be a two way street, and for that reason I’m out.

    Again,

    May Yahweh guide us all into truth.

    Bradley

    Reply
  26. Karen
    Karen says:

    Bradley,
    I agree with you that blogging has a disadvantage over seeing someone’s facial expressions, body language and tone of voice.

    I do feel that your last exchange was much more gentle toward myself and I do appreciate that. Thank you.

    However, I don’t agree with your comments about Ralph avoiding addressing any of Jim’s issues.
    Forgive me, but as I read Jim’s (Mr. Brayshaw’s) exchanges with Ralph and Angie I was struck with how aggressively he was pushing his views and was not listening to others, “which is not an exchange of ideas but a lecture!”

    And yet you say this about Ralph:
    QUOTE: thats a different story than Ralph deploying ‘Damage control’ measures by trying to get people who have a different understanding than himself off the Blog.

    Have you never heard the phrase: “We’ll just have to agree to disagree”?
    Mr. Brayshaw didn’t get that and seriously wanted to us in this blog as his platform to push his book and he should stick to this on his site so we can choose to go there, or not.

    You know, Ralph being as human as your friend Jim, places him in the same spot as all of us, ‘imperfect’.
    The difference, if you care to get to know him, (without an agenda,) Ralph is the first to admit he is just that, imperfect, but seriously in love with Jesus.

    And with yourself, your comments like:
    QUOTE: Says a lot to me about his character. Chances are Ralph was told about this by some Pastor Buddy, and decided to paint a picture first. QUOTE

    PASTOR BUDDY? Bradley, please, I know I can’t see the twinkle in your eye or the curve of your grin, so, forgive me, that sounded a touch sarcastic, didn’t it?

    All of this topic has seemed too over the top.
    Truthfully, when I read Ralph’s first comments,
    I did not immediately condemn Jim’s views or his book.

    I knew I didn’t want to read it or even get into a discussion about it because I believe the topic flies in the face of Scripture.

    I felt it was off the true path, but I was willing to listen. But you friend’s entries and then yours (with guns loaded) really moved me to the other side.

    One thing I do agree with you on:
    QUOTE: I like discussion, but it needs to be a two way street, and for that reason I’m out. QUOTE: is this, as now I have to get a 12 year old out of bed at 40 below to go to school. 🙂
    So, I’m out too.

    Too many serious issues in the world to be dancing around this same May Pole again and again and again, stomping your feet and demanding your way.

    ‘May Yahweh guide us all into truth.’
    That’s nice, Jesus being the way, the truth and the light, right?!
    Karen

    Reply
  27. Sharon Kuhn
    Sharon Kuhn says:

    Amen Karen;
    You know it’s funny but when it really comes down to it. god doesn’t need any of us to defend Him and His word but it sure is nice to hear that the ones who are searching for truth and light will defend what they believe in to the death. We believe in the one and ONLY God, and are willing to go to the mat for Him, I just don’t think He wants us to spend all of it in unfruitful word exchanges. we all know the scripture about shaking the dust off of our feet if what we say is not accepted.
    Sharon

    Reply

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