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I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[b] a slave to the law of sin.

For the past three years, I have been tutoring/mentoring a Russian student in Moscow via Messenger. I had only talked about my faith at his direction, whenever he had questions about it. I knew, for instance, that he had read some “Christian” books, but also Buddhist, New Age, etc. as well. Last fall, he became a Christian. One day, a few weeks after his conversion, I got a message from him: “I commit a sin.” Uh-oh! What has he done?! After correcting his grammar(!), I inquired as to what sin he had committed. “I cheated on a test.” I breathed a sigh of relief, glad to know he had not killed someone or slept with another student! But I was intrigued. I kind of knew that cheating in the Russian university system was common. He told of a common expression professors would use: “Thank yous do not fill my pockets.” But we had talked about it only very tangentially and I had never expressed any concern about it or offered any opinion, certainly not of a “Christian” point of view: “You know, you shouldn’t do that! It’s a sin!” I later learned that it was not just university, but even middle school students would bribe teachers and cheat on assignments. He admitted to cheating since junior high!

So I had to ask him: “Who told you it was wrong? The cheating?” He couldn’t answer. No one had. In fact, it seemed to surprise him that he now felt any guilt over it! The answer was clear: the Holy Spirit had convicted him.* Was he, then, “set free” from the sin of cheating. Yes. And no. He knew it was wrong, repented of it, but was still faced with situations in which he was tempted to. I have read that the graduation rate of students in his school (engineering) is only 20%! They turn out the best engineers, but even potentially really good ones never make it. “Really good” is not good enough. so the temptation to cheat is incredible, especially when everyone really is doing it!

So, to take the passage and apply it here:

‘I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, be honest, I do not do, but what I hate I do, I cheat. And if I do what I do not want to do by cheating, I agree that the law that says “no cheating allowed” is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who cheats, but it is sin living in me. For I know that being honest itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to be honest, but I cannot carry it out. For I am not honest when I want to be, but the cheating I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, cheat, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

‘So I find this law at work: Although I want to be honest, the desire to cheat is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law to be honest, trustworthy; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the desire to cheat at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

‘So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, which says to be honest, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin, which says to cheat.’

There is deliverance of sin through Jesus Christ, but there is no real “resolution”, because we will always, while alive on this earth in these corrupt, corporeal bodies, be “earth-bound.” BUT! Praise be to God! The 7th chapter, an artificial division, ends here. It is the next passage, though, in chapter 8, that is so awesome:

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

Want to know a secret? A scandalous secret? Only those who have been set free from the law of sin and death have true free will. The lost person is bound, chained to sin. He cannot help it. In fact, because nothing he does is “of faith”, it is sin: “…everything that does not come from faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23) Proverbs says that even the good deeds of the wicked (the lost) are detestable to God (Proverbs 21:27). It is only when we are set free of those chains that we are really able to choose between doing things God’s way and sin. You will fight, because you can truly choose. What Paul is saying bottom line is, “Sometimes, I want to do bad, but Jesus makes me want to be better than I am. So I will fight to be better.” Be thankful for that. Only runners stumble.

Know what? You’re forgiven. There is now NO condemnation. When you’re good, Jesus loves you. When you sin, Jesus loves you, and you’re forgiven.

“Killed by extreme Christians” is a bit of an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. I’m going to catch holy hell (no pun intended!) from those who love to blast me for committing the “no true Scotsman” fallacy, but they never seem to realize that it just doesn’t apply here. The fallacy as defined by Wikipedia is: “No true Scotsman or appeal to purity is an informal fallacy in which one attempts to protect a universal generalization from counterexamples by changing the definition in an ad hoc fashion to exclude the counterexample.” (No true Scotsman – Wikipedia) The key phrase is the Latin one, ad hoc

It is similar to asking if there are “killer pacifists” or “meat-eating vegans”; I guess there might be pacifists who are driven to rage or vegans who “cheat”, but that would really disqualify them from their professed beliefs. Furthermore, I think the founder of the faith has the right to set the rules for what constitutes a true follower, just like the creator of a game has the right to make the rules. If a basketball player wants to run with the ball, James Naismith has the right to cry out from his grave, “Not a true basketball player!” The author of this article, The No True Scotsman Fallacy Fallacy Fallacy, does a pretty good job of refuting what he would say I am guilty of, which is the “no true Scotsman fallacy fallacy”, except for two things: he says, “It is a straw man to say that atheists regard anyone a Christian who claims to be a Christian. I have yet to see an atheist who holds that position.” What? I see that all the time! In fact, it is the single most used argument against my position. His second error is when he says, “The Webster Concise Dictionary, a Christian is ‘professing or following the religion of Christ’. I’ve searched in vain for a definition of ‘true Christian’. Who is a true Christian if not the person who reads and interprets the bible and tries his best to live his life accordingly?” Sorry, old boy, but Webster is not the one who defines a true Christian! Jesus is; and no, according to him, a true Christian is not someone who “reads and interprets the bible (sic) and tries his best to live his life accordingly”.

So what did Jesus say? A few things, but mainly:

Matthew 13:24–30; there are definitely false teachers, false Christians, if you will, even in the “church”.

Matthew 7:15–20; true Christians: bearers of good fruit (this can mean two things: the kind of people a teacher or prophet “wins over” and those who exhibit or bear the fruits of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians5:22–23); false Christians: those who bear bad fruit .

Matthew 7:21–23; true Christians: “…only the one(s) who do(es) the will of my Father who is in heaven.” “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’

“Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

Matthew 25:31–46; Sheep (true Christians): provide food for the hungry, water for the thirsty, comfort and shelter to the stranger, clothing for the unclothed, compassion for the prisoner. Goats (Chinos): do not do the above.

The Apostle Paul expounded on the Lord’s teachings in Romans 12:9–21:

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Now, take the long list of horrors perpetrated by “Christians”, from the wicked popes to the Inquisitors to Colonel Chivington’s (former Methodist pastor!) massacre of the Cheyenne at Sand Creek to lynchings to whatever, and ask, “Did those people follow Christ and engage in the Father’s will? Did they function like Paul said above?” No and no. They were basketball players who carried the ball…constantly and consistently, unrepentantly. Paul said of those people “But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

“What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. ‘Expel the wicked person from among you.’” (1 Corinthians 5:11–13; emphasis mine) Sadly, even supposed evangelicals in America have reversed Paul’s injunction, judging the wicked outside the church, and having full fellowship with the wicked inside the church. I beg forgiveness for this.

“The evidence of a true Christian is displayed in both faith and action. ‘If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!’ (2 Corinthians 5:17). James says, ‘I will show you my faith by my works’ (James 2:18). Jesus put it this way: ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’ (John 8:12). A true Christian will show his faith by how he lives.” What is a true Christian?

So, to answer your question (finally! I know…), there have been many horrible atrocities committed by people who have cried and will, on the Day of Judgment, cry, “Lord! Lord!” only for Jesus to tell them, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” and “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

Does that answer your question?

Edit: I will answer the common complaint expressed so eloquently by Mr. Knight: “Your own holy book condones foul and immoral acts including genocide and child murder so just don’t launch into a diatribe of shit excusing Christianity just because it does fit how you’d like it to be.” The Bible says, “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 18:21) The italicized phrase is mentioned several times, and was considered a terrible sin. Why? The Canaanite god, Molech (Moloch, Milcom, or Malcam) was a hungry god, and very particular in his dietary needs: he required children, infants, babies. So, the Canaanite priests would heat the bronze hands of the hungry god until they glowed red hot, then they would place the children on them—alive—to be incinerated. That is what the phrase “passing through the fire” is referring to. It is said that the temple musicians would beat their drums and raise the other instruments to a loud crescendo in order to drown out the screams of the burning children. They also practiced temple prostitution, homosexuality, bestiality, and were a fierce, warlike people. “The Phoenicians were a loosely gathered group of people who inhabited Canaan (modern-day Lebanon, Syria, and Israel) between 1550 BC and 300 BC. In addition to sexual rituals, Moloch worship included child sacrifice, or ‘passing children through the fire.’ It is believed that idols of Moloch were giant metal statues of a man with a bull’s head. Each image had a hole in the abdomen and possibly outstretched forearms that made a kind of ramp to the hole. A fire was lit in or around the statue. Babies were placed in the statue’s arms or in the hole. When a couple sacrificed their firstborn, they believed that Moloch would ensure financial prosperity for the family and future children.” Who was Moloch/Molech? “In 1921 the largest cemetery of sacrificed infants in the ancient Near East was discovered at Carthage. It is well established that this rite of child sacrifice originated in Phoenicia, ancient Israel’s northern neighbor, and was brought to Carthage by its Phoenician colonizers.[2] Hundreds of burial urns filled with the cremated bones of infants, mostly newborns but even some children up to age six years old, as well as animals have been uncovered at Carthage.

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“They were buried there between the 8th century B.C. and the fall of Carthage during the third Punic War in 146 B.C. On the burial monuments that sometimes accompanied the urns, there was often inscribed the name or symbol of the goddess Tanit, the main Phoenician female deity, and her consort Ba’al Hammon. Infants and children were regularly sacrificed to this divine couple.” (Abortion and the Ancient Practice of Child Sacrifice) The Canaanites were also a Phoenician people.

In WWII, we fought against an equally reprehensible people: the Nazis and Axis powers. We bombed many of their cities back to the stone age. We firebombed Tokyo, and ultimately incinerated Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic bombs. The victims included thousands of babies and children. Only die-hard pacifists ever decry this killing of innocent life. Why? Because the cause is seen as a just one, stopping an evil from growing, even cutting it off completely.

Here’s the greatest inconsistency, however, even hypocrisy: Critics like to howl and wail that no “loving God” would allow a horror like the Holocaust: “Why didn’t God do something?!” They also howl and wail with equal anguish over the “genocide” ( a spurious accusation if there ever was one*) of the Canaanites, who were as wicked as the Nazis. So, they complain when God doesn’t intervene when nations commit atrocities, and they complain when he does! Can’t win.

In reality, these people simply hate the idea of a God who commands obedience, for it is they who wish to be the “god” of their lives. It is the placement of MAN on the throne that decides right and wrong, moral and immoral, that breeds the very atrocities they “blame God” for. It is interesting in some of the comments I receive, how so many of them seethe with a hatred and a rage that is very much like…the people they hate.

*genocide: the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation. (genocide – Google Search) What the Israelites did was not genocide, for they did not kill them because of their ethnicity, but because of their detestable practices, including child sacrifice. The “good news” for the critics is that the Israelites never did annihilate the Canaanites; in fact at least one group made a treaty with them, and might have eventually assimilated. No, because they did not drive them out, those that remained were a “thorn in the flesh” of the Israelites, often causing them to stray and engage in the same detestable practices. Further, a careful reading of the text, beginning with the Exodus from Egypt, would reveal that God never intended for them to go to war with them anyway. God promised that if the Israelites remained faithful and didn’t whine and complain, that He himself would “drive them out”, not destroy them.

The Canaanites also had at least 40 years to either get out or repent, as twice, the text tells us that they KNEW the Israelites were coming, KNEW their intentions, and KNEW their greatness in battle and the greatness of their God. When the spies who were sent in to reconnoiter Jericho were taken in by Rahab, she told them: “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.

“Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them—and that you will save us from death.” (Joshua 2:9–13; emphasis mine) Rahab and her family lived, and she eventually married into what became the royal house of Judah, and was an ancestor of…Jesus Christ!

Similarly, a Canaanite people called the Gibeonites, who made the treaty with Israel told Joshua: “Your servants have come from a very distant country because of the fame of the Lord your God. For we have heard reports of him: all that he did in Egypt, and all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan—Sihon king of Heshbon, and Og king of Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth.” (Joshua 9:9–10) It was a trick, however, but because the Israelites made an oath to protect them and not fight them, they had to uphold that oath and let them live.

See also, Is God Immoral for Killing Innocent Children?

Yes, I have; and he always answers: the answer is either, “Yes”, “No”, or “Not now.” I have prayed for people to come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior, and it has happened. I have prayed the same prayer and never seen the results. I have prayed for healing, my own and others’; I have seen it happen sometimes, others not. Skeptics claim “unanswered” prayer is somehow “proof” that Christianity is false, delusional. But they are the ones who have set up a straw man…or should I say, a straw God. They want scientific proof that prayer “works”, as if God is obligated to follow the laws he created in the first place, and that he created for us, not the other way around. We are not the ones who worship a “cosmic Santa Claus”; it is they who foist a cosmic Kris Kringle on us. They seem to think our God is like a supernatural gumball machine or genie in a bottle: put in a coin, get out a gumball, or, speak the right words, get your wish. This IS what prosperity preachers like Kenneth Copeland and Jesse Duplantis preach, but that’s nothing but witchcraft with a “Christian” facade. Speak the right spell or incantation, and magic can happen; you can even speak things into existence and control the weather! As I said, God always answers prayer, but like any earthly father, the answer is not always “yes”. No good father gives his children everything they ask for; that’s a sure-fire way to create a monster. No. Children must be told “No” and “Later” and “We’ll see”, and they probably are a lot more than they are told “Yes”! I know I was!

It must first be determined if “Christian” has an objective definition or can be applied to anyone who merely calls themselves one. I hear from anti-Christians all the time that the latter is enough, that if a person says they are a Christian, then they are. If such and such an act is done “in the name of Christ” or Christianity, then Christ or Christianity is responsible for it. This is patently absurd and a standard not applied to any other religion in the world. Even Islam escapes this tortured reasoning by many of the same people. “I slaughter these people in the name of Allah!” is excused as “not real Islam” and the perpetrators as “not true Muslims”!

Without going into all the New Testament passages which, collectively read, objectively define the true Christian, I think the answer can be found in the text and is quite simple: A Christian is a person who follows Christ. I will leave it to the reader to search the text for specifics, but here is a good place to start: What Does the Bible Say About You Are My Disciples If You Do What I Tell You To Do?

So, we then have to ask, “Does Donald Trump follow the teachings of Jesus Christ?”

You tell me.

I have never heard a child who believed in God deny their faith because of disappointment, war, genocide, etc., or terrible illness, even their own. Even terribly abused children will cling desperately to the hope that their parents love them. In a similar vein, from my own personal childhood, I cannot recall ever getting anything from Santa Claus that I asked him for at the store. Not one single Christmas. And yet, I was never disappointed, never pitched a fit, none of my friends or siblings ever encouraged me to “curse Santa and die”! It wasn’t disappointment with him that caused my lack of belief, it was being told by other kids.

I think this is the “child-like faith” that Jesus talks about. If even imperfect parents can love their children, and those children love in return, how much more should we love a perfect Father?

Mere “anger with God” is not what will send a person to Hell (or eternal torment or whatever you choose to call it). Lack of faith in Jesus Christ is; ultimate and final rejection of the prompting of the Holy Spirit to confession and repentance of sin. Plenty of Christians express anger, confusion, even disillusionment with God. I think it is actually kind of healthy, in a way, as working through the “dark nights of the soul” can help strengthen our faith, not weaken it. It’s telling that when Elijah had his little pity party after the miraculous display of God’s power and the subsequent threats of Jezebel on the prophet’s life, God did not condemn or rail against him for his depression, lack of faith, and self-pity. He spoke softly in a breeze and nourished him. Would that we, too, treated each other as kindly.

The qualification “hurt so much in life” is too subjective. Millions of Christians have historically faced horrible abuse and torture, even unto death–their families and their own–without denying Jesus. Skeptics often like to criticize the concept of eternal Hell as unfair for a mere lifetime of sin and rejection of God, but flip it around: what’s a lifetime of hurt and pain when measured against eternity in Paradise? To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, with God or without him, Great Physician or Cosmic Sadist…or pure myth, fairy tale…we are all in it. And in for it. If rejection of God made all the pain go away, surely religion would have died out millennia ago. No, when people kick God to the curb out of disillusionment or mere disappointment, they are still left with all the pain…and no reason for it, no resolution but death.

And are any of them really sure about that?

I am unaware of this argument. While the terms left and right, like liberal and conservative, are historically ambiguous and relative, it is, I believe, pretty clear that the Southern Democrats, at least, of the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow eras, were center-right to far right or “conservative” socially, if not economically. The KKK was a Democrat institution, founded by six Confederate veterans from Pulaski, TN. “Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest became Grand Wizard, claiming to be the Klan’s national leader.” (1) “Lifting the Klan mask revealed a chaotic multitude of antiblack vigilante groups, disgruntled poor white farmers, wartime guerrillabands, displaced Democratic politicians…even a few freedmen and white Republicans who allied with Democratic whites or had criminal agendas of their own.” (2) The Republican party was more liberal, at least by the standards of the day. “Many scholars have identified more than 1,500 African American officeholders during the Reconstruction Era (1863–1877).” (3) All were Republicans.

From 1900 to the 2010s, the parties began a slow, but inexorable shift. Sped largely in part by FDR and Truman, then Kennedy and Johnson, the Democrat Party became more and more liberal, while the Republican Party moved rightward. While it is true that more Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than Democrats, the vote was more along geographical lines than party.

(Were Republicans really the party of civil rights in the 1960s? | Harry J Enten)

Note the numbers in the final graph: 95% of House Democrats from UNION states (the North) voted for the Act; 98% of Senate Democrats from Union states voted for it. Only 9% and 5% of Democrats in the old Confederate states respectively voted for it, and not a single Southern Republican did. More Democrats from the South voted for the bill than southern Republicans.

If you look at the lists here (Party switching in the United States – Wikipedia), you can see how many Democrat politicians switched to the Republican Party, most notably, Jesse Helms, Strom Thurmond, and, of course, David Duke. Note how the vast majority of them are from southern, old Confederacy, states. When we used to talk about the “Solid South”, it was a South that was solidly Democrat. This is no longer the case at all:

“Although Republicans gradually began doing better in presidential elections in the South starting in 1952, Republicans did not finish taking over Southern politics at the nonpresidential level until the elections of November 2010. Today, the South is dominated by Republicans at both the state and presidential level. Republicans control all 22 of the other legislative bodies in the former Confederacy, and all but one in a border state. There are currently no white Democratic congressmen from the Deep South…Arkansas’ governorship finally flipped GOP in 2014 when the incumbent termed out, as did every other statewide office not previously held by the Republicans. Many analysts believe the so-called ‘Southern Strategy’ that has been employed by Republicans since the 1960s is now virtually complete, with Republicans in firm, almost total, control of political offices in the South.” (Solid South – Wikipedia)

In a state “trifecta”, one political party holds the executive (governorship), a majority in the state senate, and a majority in the state house. Every old Confederate state but Louisiana, North Carolina, and Virginia have state trifectas; the Republican Party is in control of everything, and in those three exceptions, only the executive branch is held by a Democrat.

The Solid South is solid once again. Solid Republican.

Ask yourself: In the ongoing conflict over the status of Confederate war memorials, why is it mainly people from the “Party of Lincoln”, which fought those Confederates, and white supremacists who are upset with their removal? Why are so many modern Republicans in favor of monuments to old racist Democrats? How about replacing them with the real heroes, the “good guys”, like Lincoln, Sherman, Grant, etc., all good Republicans? And why is it that today’s KKK supports the Republican Party, not the Democrats?

Conservatism: “…a political and social philosophy that promotes retaining traditional social institutions in the context of culture and civilization. By some definitions, conservatives have variously sought to preserve institutions including religionmonarchyparliamentary governmentproperty rights and the social hierarchy, emphasizing stability and continuity, while the more extreme elements called reactionaries oppose modernism and seek a return to ‘the way things were’.” (4)(emphasis mine) MAGA?

(1) Klux Klan – Wikipedia

(2) ibid.

(3) List of African-American officeholders during Reconstruction – Wikipedia

(4) Conservatism – Wikipedia

Was Moses a black man?

Posted: July 20, 2018 in Uncategorized

If the question is if he was sub-Saharan African “black” the answer is no. Moses was a Levite, a descendant of Jacob (Israel), Isaac, and Abraham. Abraham was a “Hebrew”, a name first used of him in Genesis 14. “The word ‘Hebrew’ in the Hebrew language is עברי (Ivrie). The root letters are used to mean cross over, or pass through. Today in Israel, we can use the word to talk about moving houses, transgressing laws, going through some difficulties, crossing the road, crossing over a river, and so on. Traversing, passing, or crossing over, essentially. In the Bible, it seems to have primarily referred to those who traversed rivers.” (What Does The Word “Hebrew” Mean? – ONE FOR ISRAEL Ministry) “According to Jewish and Muslimtradition, Urfa is Ur Kasdim, the hometown of Abraham.” (Şanlıurfa – Wikipedia) This is opposed to the traditional place, “Ur” in Sumeria, which does not match the description of Abraham’s place of birth in Genesis 24:4 and 24:10. Urfa is in present day southern Turkey. Like the Hyksos, the Hebrews were a Semitic people, who are portrayed in Egyptian art as lighter skinned than native Egyptians. The many photos presented in other answers are very likely accurate.

If called upon by God to do so, yes. The question is, would God ever call one of his children to “abandon” his family. No. Even if a man is called to missionary work to a place where his family cannot go, he still has to provide for them back home and the calling is rarely, if ever, permanent. I don’t know of a mission organization that would require such a thing. When Jesus told the crowd following him around, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26–27 He does not mean here to “hate” as we understand it, for this would violate the second greatest commandment, to love our neighbor as ourselves; no, the Greek is: “miséō – properly, to detest (on a comparative basis); hence, denounce; to love someone or something less than someone (something) else, i.e. to renounce one choice in favor of another.”3404. μισέω (miseó) — to hate

It is to be our commitment that we WILL “forsake all others” for the sake of Christ and in obedience to him, but the specifics of what this might mean to the individual are personal, for example: “For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others–and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” Matthew 19:12

Flawed people who are saved by grace and diligently, joyfully follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Apostles. A person who has repented of their past lives of rebellion against God and can say the following and mean it with all their hearts:

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen. AMEN!!!

(I still tear up when I read it!)

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People who exhibit and bear good fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control; who rejoice when they are persecuted, love their enemies, and love to give to the poor and disenfranchised.