Plugin ‘SPIDER’ registration as a STORAGE ENGINE failed.

I fixed a stupid error which had me stumped. Here’s the answer for posterity:

mysql_upgrade

I was doing this on mariadb to install the spiderdb engine, and it was not working:

MariaDB [(none)]>  install plugin spider soname 'ha_spider';
ERROR 1123 (HY000): Can't initialize function 'spider'; Plugin initialization function failed.

The .so file was present, and there’s really no reason for it to fail. Since I couldn’t find the log file, I was stumped … it was hiding away in /var/lib/mysql/$(hostname).err and saying:

2019-08-12 18:35:51 10 [ERROR] Column count of mysql.proc is wrong. Expected 21, found 20. Created with MariaDB 50541, now running 100407. Please use mysql_upgrade to fix this error
[ERROR] Column count of mysql.proc is wrong. Expected 21, found 20. Created with MariaDB 50541, now running 100407. Please use mysql_upgrade to fix this error
2019-08-12 18:35:51 9 [ERROR] Plugin 'SPIDER' init function returned error.
2019-08-12 18:35:51 9 [ERROR] Plugin 'SPIDER' registration as a STORAGE ENGINE failed.

And then I remembered that this is an installation that was upgraded from previous versions a few times over – and after running mysql_upgrade to create the table that says what plugins are enabled, it worked just great:

MariaDB [(none)]>  install plugin SPIDER soname 'ha_spider';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.075 sec)
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Ignoring out-of-band network policy systems with iptables

I’ve been working on parental controls using an out-of-band policy engine. It is easy to subvert, if you care to, since the controls it implements are very light, and it is not actually part of the conversation between you and the remote server.

Out of band policy engines are used for:

  • Transparent HTTP acceleration (we have a better and faster copy of what you want)
  • Network policy enforcement (we have a better idea of what you should be doing than you do)

The way these animals work is that they receive a copy of all the traffic on the network, and occasionally, when they are in the mood, they interfere with the traffic to provide helpful (or unhelpful) hints, namely:

  • TCP RST (the server you were talking to said sorry, we’re done)
  • HTTP redirects (the HTTP server you were talking to said please try another URL).

These tips are not provided by the server you are talking to, but by an intermediate server that sees fit to interfere with your communications. If your system ignores these helpful tips, then you can go on your merry way without the redirection and acceleration that they offer.

Here is a tcpdump of a connection to tumblr.com (a cesspool of questionable content) being blocked by a policy engine:

12:08:48.849796 IP 66.6.33.31.80 > 192.168.0.84.51172: Flags [P.], seq 2510308747:2510309104, ack 458187453, win 15, length 357: HTTP: HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
 12:08:48.849825 IP 192.168.0.84.51172 > 66.6.33.31.80: Flags [.], ack 381, win 251, options [nop,nop,sack 1 {0:357}], length 0
 12:08:49.099136 IP 192.168.0.84.51204 > 66.6.33.31.80: Flags [S], seq 3649489092, win 29200, options [mss 1460,sackOK,TS val 3200081088 ecr 0,nop,wscale 7], length 0
 12:08:49.313994 IP 192.168.0.84.51172 > 66.6.33.31.80: Flags [F.], seq 1, ack 381, win 251, length 0
 12:08:49.357485 IP 66.6.33.31.80 > 192.168.0.84.51204: Flags [S.], seq 2428884831, ack 3649489093, win 14600, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 10], length 0
 12:08:49.357557 IP 192.168.0.84.51204 > 66.6.33.31.80: Flags [.], ack 1, win 229, length 0
 12:08:49.357854 IP 192.168.0.84.51204 > 66.6.33.31.80: Flags [P.], seq 1:75, ack 1, win 229, length 74: HTTP: GET / HTTP/1.1
 12:08:49.359564 IP 66.6.33.31.80 > 192.168.0.84.51204: Flags [FP.], seq 1:381, ack 75, win 4096, length 380: HTTP: HTTP/1.0 302 Moved
 12:08:49.359725 IP 66.6.33.31.80 > 192.168.0.84.51204: Flags [R.], seq 1, ack 75, win 16, length 0
 12:08:49.359742 IP 66.6.33.31.80 > 192.168.0.84.51204: Flags [FP.], seq 1:381, ack 75, win 4096, length 380: HTTP: HTTP/1.0 302 Moved
 12:08:49.359770 IP 192.168.0.84.51204 > 66.6.33.31.80: Flags [.], ack 382, win 251, options [nop,nop,sack 1 {1:382}], length 0
 12:08:49.359835 IP 66.6.33.31.80 > 192.168.0.84.51204: Flags [R.], seq 1, ack 75, win 16, length 0

The highlighted lines appear to be a very quick response from the remote server, saying (1) go to another URL and (2) close the connection – and these are the packets that were generated by the policy engine. The real server is blissfully unaware of the interference, and sends its own response – but by then, the connection has been closed:

 12:08:49.360259 IP 192.168.0.84.51204 > 66.6.33.31.80: Flags [F.], seq 75, ack 382, win 251, length 0
 12:08:49.615439 IP 66.6.33.31.80 > 192.168.0.84.51204: Flags [.], ack 75, win 15, length 0
 12:08:49.615475 IP 192.168.0.84.51204 > 66.6.33.31.80: Flags [.], ack 382, win 251, length 0
 12:08:49.615487 IP 66.6.33.31.80 > 192.168.0.84.51204: Flags [P.], seq 1:358, ack 75, win 15, length 357: HTTP: HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
 12:08:49.615505 IP 192.168.0.84.51204 > 66.6.33.31.80: Flags [.], ack 382, win 251, options [nop,nop,sack 1 {1:358}], length 0
 12:08:50.033977 IP 192.168.0.84.51204 > 66.6.33.31.80: Flags [F.], seq 75, ack 382, win 251, length 0
 12:08:50.202639 IP 66.6.33.31.80 > 192.168.0.84.51204: Flags [P.], seq 1:358, ack 75, win 15, length 357: HTTP: HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
 12:08:50.202668 IP 192.168.0.84.51204 > 66.6.33.31.80: Flags [.], ack 382, win 251, options [nop,nop,sack 1 {1:358}], length 0

By simply ignoring these packets, you can do (mostly) normal communications:

iptables  -I INPUT -p tcp -m tcp --tcp-flags RST RST -m multiport --sports 80,443 -j DROP
iptables -I INPUT -p tcp -m tcp --sport 80 -m string --string "Location: http://100.64.12.12:" --algo bm --to 65535 -j DROP
# iptables -I INPUT -p tcp -m tcp --sport 80 -m string --string "Location: http://" --algo bm --to 65535 -j DROP

The first ignores TCP reset packets from web servers, so that there is no way for a remote web server to shut down the connection.

The second ignores packets that redirect to the policy engine enforcement URL, or to the caching server’s delivery URL – you need to customise that for your own policy engine’s redirects.

These rules could probably be improved to look for the tell-tale sequence number of 1, if the policy engine does what this one does. Oh wait, looking into that, it’s not going to work – that’s a synthetic number. It might work to check the TTL and only drop those that have the magic TTL that matches the distance from you to the filter device.

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Shoprite wishes you a very Halal Christmas

Shoprite’s turkey for the Christmas season

We bought a turkey for Christmas from Checkers/Shoprite. It cost a stack of cash, but you know, Christmas – all about Christ, the Son of God, come to earth to save us from our sins – good tidings of great joy for all people – we can spend a bit of cash. We took it home, stored it, and then defrosted it to cook … and then noticed a little note that says:

“SLAUGHTERED AS PER ISLAMIC RITES”

So here’s the idea: you sit down to celebrate the birth of the Son of God, and your friendly turkey provider so completely despises the Son of God that he has decided to accommodate people that hate his name, that speak nothing but lies about him, and who would like their meat butchered not efficiently and humanely, nor wishing you a merry Christmas, but with the name of their false god “allah”. They would rather insult the majority of Christians to accommodate the minority of vocal muslims who hate Christmas. They despise their Christian customers. They don’t even put this offensive antichrist religion’s special stuff in a demarcated shelf labelled something like “Halal Antichristmas Turkey”.

Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

1 John 2:22 KJV

This is not an empty accusation. Islam specifically denies the Son of God: they hate Christmas.

Never has God begotten a son, nor is there any other god besides Him. Were this otherwise, each god would govern his own creation, each holding himself above the other. Exalted be God above their falsehood

Qur’an 23:91

That is nothing but a flat-out denial of the gospel, which is that God sent his Son into the world to save us from our sins:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16 KJV

We fixed this problem for ourselves (but not the insult to Christ). Turkey is a bit dry. We followed the recipe, and covered it with another meat. It ain’t halal no more.

Shoprite’s halal Christmas turkey !? But we fixed it with bacon 🥓. Bacon is awesome! Bacon saved Christmas!
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Freeradius Module-Failure-Message = “Failed retrieving values required to evaluate condition”

One of my radius servers stopped doing its radius thing. Everything was going along swimmingly, and then it suddenly stopped at 1:00AM.  Restarts didn’t fix it.

The way this server works is that the default handler receives accounting packets, writes it to spool files, and then another process forwards the contents of the spool files to the correct destinations (e.g. databases). However, it stopped. There was no reason, so I (eventually) looked at the spool files in /var/log/radius/radacct/blah and found this packet:

Tue Nov 6 00:57:15 2018
    User-Name = ""
    Event-Timestamp = "Nov 6 2018 00:57:15 SAST"
    Acct-Status-Type = Accounting-Off
    NAS-IP-Address = 104.78.28.84
    Connect-Info = ""
    Module-Failure-Message = "Failed retrieving values required to evaluate condition"
    Module-Failure-Message = "Failed retrieving values required to evaluate condition"
    Module-Failure-Message = "Failed retrieving values required to evaluate condition"
    Timestamp = 1541458635

That’s an accounting packet from the NAS that says it is rebooting, and all the sessions have are going away. When this packet was handled, FreeRadius lost its mind and added the Module-Failure-Message attributes.

The reason that this was happening to these accounting packets is that the processing section for the accounting packets said things like this (edited for brevity):

accounting {
    if ( &Framed-IP-Address =~ /^192\\.168\./) {
        detail-write-nat-server
    }
    # ...
    ok
}

The idea is to log to a spool file for handling by another server:

detail detail-write-nat-server {
    filename = ${radacctdir}/nat/detail-%Y%m%d:%H
    permissions = 0664
    header = "%t"
    locking = yes
}

So the trouble is that the Framed-IP-Address attribute is not present in this particular accounting packet. Here’s the right way of doing it:

accounting {
    if ( &Framed-IP-Address && &Framed-IP-Address =~ /^192\\.168\./) {
        detail-write-nat-server
    }
    # ...
    ok
}

So I fixed it, and now it’s better.

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The corrupted gospel of the NIV, 1984 and 2011

These editions, labelled “Holy Bible” claim to be translated from the original texts,  and all that, but they are actually based on the corrupt Greek texts dug out of the trash and invented out of thin air since the 1800’s.  Even where there is no controversy in the text, the translators manage some subtle tweak that undermines the meaning in some way.  In some cases they just pretend that good words are out of style, and substitute poor words in their place.  This is the case with almost all the verses in view.

In 2011 the NIV people (a bunch of liberals pretending to be conservative) dropped the act, along with the 1984 edition, and published the “TNIV” as the NIV (NIV 2011).  The main difference was “gender inclusive” language and bad grammar to accommodate the same: apparently gender inclusiveness is so very important that the publishers were required to embarass themselves immediately, and to mock the KJV 1611 with a 400-year after the fact contradiction of its doctrine.

Here is what the NIV does to the Romans road plan of salvation.

1. You are a sinner

KJV 1611 Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

NIV 1984 Romans 3:10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;

NIV 2011 Romans 3:10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;

The “no” is missing, contradicting the argument that there might be one.  While “none” does include the concept of “no”, it is just a number.

KJV 1611 Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

NIV 1984 Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

NIV 2011 Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

“Fall short” indicates a sudden and somewhat permanent failure (falling), whereas “come short” indicates a simple lack of achievement (you simply don’t measure up). “Fall short” would tend to support the idea that was one specific sin that sent you over the edge, one slip-up that led to the fall. It dilutes the condition of the sinner from not making it to glory. Instead of being a thousand miles away and out of fuel, it suggests you have stumbled at the gates of glory.

However, in previous verse, Romans 3:22, which is rendered as part of the sentence, the NIV 2011 flatly denies salvation by faith, saying “This righteousness is given through faith in[h] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile [h][Or through the faithfulness of]”. The text is good enough, but the footnote says you’re right to have doubts: They say it is not your faith, but the faithfulness of Jesus that saves, and then in case that is not enough, they throw in more confusion by the unnecessary repetition of “Jew and Gentile”.

What is the NIV teaching here? While it is somewhat teaching you are a sinner, by comparison with the real Bible, it is casting distracting shade on the seriousness of your predicament and raising questions. Never mind that it says that faith does not save.

2. Sinners deserve death and hell

KJV 1611 Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

NIV 1984 Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[w] Christ Jesus our Lord. [w] or through

NIV 2011 Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[a] Christ Jesus our Lord. [a] or through

Changing from “through” to “in” eliminates the observation that the gift is not through our works, but through the work of Christ. Yes, we do have our life in Christ, but it is through what he has done. Because “through” is mangled, the “but” also makes no sense – as if we being asked to compare concepts that have no relation to each other: You’re getting a bonus this month, but your cousin Fred got a bike for his birthday.

KJV 1611 Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

NIV 1984 Revelation 20:14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.

NIV 2011 Revelation 20:14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.

Hell is gone. The Greek god is being cast about instead. Again, questions arise, like “who is Hades?” The only point that needed explanation before the translation was mangled was, “what is the lake of fire?”

KJV 1611 Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

NIV 1984 Revelation 20:15 If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

NIV 2011 Revelation 20:15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

There might be an error here, but it’s hard to see. However, it is amusing that the NIV 1984 went from gender-neutral to male, and then the NIV 2011 corrected it. Oh wait, there it is: “Whosoever” is not quite the same as “anyone”: anyone is about choosing the one out of many, whereas whosever is about choosing all (that meet the condition) without distinction.

KJV 1611 Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

NIV 1984 Revelation 21:8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

NIV 2011 Revelation 21:8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

This verse is horribly mangled: Fearful? Nay, Cowardly (a specially bad display of fear is required). Abominable? Nay, Vile (because abomination is a nasty word). Whoremongers? Nay, Sexually immoral (don’t identify the specific sin, but rather just vaguely identify the area in which the sin is found). Their part? Nay, Their place, no wait, their consignment (because it’s not as if there’s a specific place in hell for each sinner, it’s just that hell is the place for them all – according to the NIV).

What is being burned in this lake? According to the NIV, sulphur is being burned. According to the KJV, the lake is doing the burning.  People are being cast into this lake, and people are being burned.

What kind of death and hell is the NIV warning of? It’s getting death right, but its hell is rather uncertain, and probably cold.

3. Jesus died for our sins

KJV 1611 Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

NIV 1984 Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

NIV 2011 Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

They changed “love” to “own love” – as if the personal pronoun was not enough. “Yet sinners” to “still sinners” that kinda seems the same to me. To nit peck here, the proper problem is the dilution of the bigger sentence to multiple soundbites. The sense in the KJV is that “God commendeth his love .. in that… Christ died for us”. You cannot get that sense out of the NIV, and then point out under what circumstances it was that he showed his love to us: “while we were yet sinners”.

KJV 1611 1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

NIV 1984 1 Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

NIV 2011 1 Peter 2:24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

Whereas the NIV added “own” to Romans 5:8, they removed it twice here. The tree is gone (“Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree”). The NIV is here teaching works for salvation, and that those saving works are made possible by the cross. Changing “being dead” to “might die” suggests that we are going to do something, but more obviously, hanging “live unto righteousness” into “live for righteousness” says that it is not that we receive righteousness by the resurrection of Christ, but that we work out out own righteousness by our works.

Changing stripes to wounds is just a stupid dilution of the text.

If all that were not enough, then the 2011 edition adds quotation marks around part of the verse, as if it’s a just the heading for a talking point, a quote without a speaker that said it, or a hand-written sign in a hand-written scrawl with bad grammar.

What is the NIV saying? It says that Christ did a down payment for our salvation, and we must achieve the remainder of salvation by our works.

4. Salvation is by faith

KJV 1611 Acts 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

NIV 1984 Acts 16:30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

NIV 2011 Acts 16:30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

So far so good.

KJV 1611 Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

NIV 1984 Acts 16:31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.”

NIV 2011 Acts 16:31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

(2011 is actually an improvement, not incorrectly implying impersonal salvation without faith.) The difference between “believe in” and “believe on” is much of a muchness.

But there is a problem: The certainty of “shall” is diluted to the mere future tense “will”. “If A, then B shall follow” means that it so determined, and nothing will make it otherwise. “If A the B will follow” means that after the completion of A, some time later, there will be B. Using “will” instead of “shall” allows the separation of the cause (believing) and the effect (salvation) by an undetermined amount of time. This leaves room to change salvation from the now of “be saved” to the indefinite process of “being saved”.

KJV 1611 John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

NIV 1984 John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[u] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. [u][Or his only begotten Son]

NIV 2011 John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Oh dear. “Begotten” and “one and only” are rather different concepts. This one and only Son is a little bit of a weird concept, especially since there are other “sons of God” all over scripture – those that believe in Christ.  This change was deliberate, as seen by the removal of the truth, which had been related to a footnote, in the 2011 edition.

Abraham offered up his “only begotten” son (Hebrews 11:17) and in that verse the NIV also says “one and only” even though elsewhere it clearly says that Ishmael was also his son.

“Whosoever” means “each and every one (that meets the condition)”, but “whoever” means just “any one”.

So what does the NIV do to the Romans road? It’s not completely turned to poo – it’s just a little bit corrupt: hell is not so bad, salvation might require your works, and Jesus might not be the only begotten Son of God. And a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

Speaking of salvation, the Bible says this:

1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

Good luck with salvation based on the corrupt NIV: not completely the word of God.

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The mangled gospel of The Message, by the late Eugene Petersen

The Bible includes severe warnings against changing its text. It says that if you do change it, then you will never be saved:

Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Mr Eugene Petersen, a Presbyterian pastor, set out to change the Bible to be more palatable for profane readers, and recently passed away at the age of 85. He certainly sold a lot of his bible “The MeI’m going to add emphasis to “The Message” ssage” but now he’s dead, and in hell.  In hell?  Yes.  Call me uncharitable, but let’s have a look whether anyone would be saved by the words of his own book by comparing his rendering of the Romans road verses with the actual English Bible.

The quotations from “The Message” are labelled “FAKE”, and I’ve added highlighting.

1. You are a sinner

REAL Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

FAKE Romans 3:10 “Scripture leaves no doubt about it: There’s nobody living right, not even one,”

Right out of the starting gate, “the Message” says that righteousness is equal to right living. This is a poor start. Besides all this, there are plenty of people living an outwardly righteous life, which makes this rendition nonsense.

REAL Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

FAKE Romans 3:23 “Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us”

“The Message” does not say that all have sinned, which is a second escape hatch for the self-righteous outwardly good person. The Bible goes beyond our incapacity to an actual determination that we come short.

What hard preaching does “the Message” teach here? Well, if you’re a not a good person, then you’re living a bad life, and you’re stuck in it.

2. Death and hell

REAL Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

FAKE Romans 6:23 “Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.”

Instead of sin being the transgression of the law, the Fake suggests that you have to sin really hard and for your whole life to be worthy of death. If you believe that, then salvation is simply a matter of moderating your sin. Eternal life is through Jesus Christ our Lord, which agrees with his words, “I am the way”. The fake term “delivered by” is weaker, and suggests a passivity, which is contradicted by the work “Master” which would make us “slaves” – as if salvation is by service.

REAL Revelation 20:14-15 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

FAKE Revelation 20:14-15 “Then Death and Hell were hurled into Lake Fire. This is the second death—Lake Fire. Anyone whose name was not found inscribed in the Book of Life was hurled into Lake Fire.”

Turning “lake of fire” into “Lake Fire”, makes the second death sound like a peaceful mountain lake with a cool name, like Lake Peterson and Lake Eugene. Then there’s the “Book of Life” as opposed to the “book of life” – it’s a title, but as a title, it loses its descriptive value. And then names are “inscribed” instead of “written” … as if the book is made of stone. It makes no sense. These confusing elements take the bite out of this verse.

REAL Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

FAKE Revelation 21:8: “But for the rest—the feckless and faithless, degenerates and murderers, sex peddlers and sorcerers, idolaters and all liars—for them it’s Lake Fire and Brimstone. Second death!”

I had to look up feckless – it means lazy. Lazy people go to hell? No! Fearful people! Whoremongers are turned into “sex peddlers” – instead of just sleeping around, “The Message” says you must be really bad – a pimp. The thing missing in the “Message” is “shall have their part”. This tells the reader that the proper and right resting place is hell.  Also the burning of brimstone is gone.

What will we learn from “The Message”? Again: if you are a really bad person, then you deserve to go to hell, but there are many loopholes and uncertainties.

3. The cross

REAL Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

FAKE Romans 5:8: “But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.”

What is missing here? Sinners. “The Message” says you’re not a sinner, you’re just less useful. The truth is that Christ died for sinners, but the confusing concept of being useful to God is substituted. Suddenly God is needy of our help, that we should be useful to him. He’s not simply demonstrating his love any more, but has an ulterior motive to prepare us to be useful for him.  You would think he did it for himself … but the REAL Bible says that Christ died “for us”.  The “for us” is missing in “The Message”.

REAL 1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

FAKE 1 Peter 2:23 “He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing.”

“The Message” removes the atonement from the cross, and puts it on the path to the cross. It removes the death of the cross. It suggests sinless perfection is possible. It takes away the completeness of being healed – the past tense “ye were healed” – and substitutes vagueness. It even suggests that Jesus body was of a different quality to our own – a servant body, which he used, like a discarded piece of clothing.

What does “The Message” teach here about the cross? Well, it says that the cross makes us useful, and maybe even perfect. It does not teach that Christ died for sinners. It takes away death and life – it takes away the resurrection from the verse.

4. Salvation by faith

REAL Acts 16:30-31: And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

FAKE Acts 16:30-31: “He led them out of the jail and asked, “Sirs, what do I have to do to be saved, to really live?” They said, “Put your entire trust in the Master Jesus. Then you’ll live as you were meant to live—and everyone in your house included!””

I think this is where “The Message” gives itself away. Firstly, its salvation is merely a better life – not to be delivered from deadly peril – that is the question asked, even though the context is all about deadly peril. The answer given is not to believe, but to “put entire trust”. While this is technically correct, it obscures the simplicty of the gospel, which is salvation by faith. It also does not say you will be saved! It says if you do what they’re saying, then you will experience a change of life. Instead of eternal salvation, you are offered warmed up works of righteousness, which is nothing more than a stinking rag.

REAL John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

FAKE John 3:16 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.”

“The Message” doesn’t know who Jesus is, because it thinks that “begotten” means “only”.  Actually, it doesn’t even know to keep its capitalisation consistent, and gives us “his Son”, which may be a subtle nod towards modalism.  Yet again, it does not offer eternal life, but worldly wholeness and prosperity. It makes faith a continuous process of “believing”, and takes away salvation as an event in which a man passes from death unto life on account of receiving eternal life!  “The Message” offers a salvation that promises to make you useful in this life, but which deals with your sin as a light matter.

Would someone who had believed the gospel obscure it in this manner?  What kind of person would do this?

REAL Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

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“Two Ways to Live”: tract review

This is the “Two Ways to Live” tract from “Matthias Media”, in its pictorial form. This tract sets out to present the gospel of Jesus Christ, but fails.

Instead, this tract sets out what is called “Lordship salvation”, which pays lip service to salvation by faith, but amounts to a call to salvation by works.

This tract is not going to cause a man to believe on Jesus Christ as saviour, but to vainly believe that he has laid down the excesses of his rebellion, and that because of that he’s okay.

Matthias Media: Two ways to live: the choice we all face.

There wasn’t a subtle snake in the background originally. I added that.

Here’s the review. It might be superfluous to mention that I don’t much like it:

1.Way to live

The name of the tract gives it away: this tract is about how you live, and in the sense which it presents, it’s about how you live your earthly life. If the gospel were about changing your life, this would be a great thing.

The Bible says that justification is without works of the law – it’s not about changing your life at all: But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (Romans 4:5)

2.Rebellion, not sin

Says the tract, “God won’t let us rebel forever”:

This tract sets out to cure rebellion, and not to cure sin. Rebellion is one particular sin, committed knowingly by wicked sinners who know that they are rejecting God. Not every sinner is a rebel: many sin without properly understanding what they are doing wrong.

The natural cure for rebellion is that the rebel should cease his rebellion, and seek merciful terms of surrender. The problem is that the cure for sin is death. It is a perfectly good cure

This tract does not have any message for children, of whom Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” (Mark 10:15). Instead of being able to receive the kingdom of God, the child is expected to grow, rebel, and then only to be cured of his rebellion.

Sin is not rebellion. Sin is the transgression of the law. All unrighteousness is sin. These statements appear just like this in 1 John. Since only rebellion is being cured, the standard of practical righteousness being asked for is “don’t rebel”. The actual standard for holy living is to live according to the law: be ye perfect. By dealing with rebellion, the tract avoids the observation that God’s law is yet being broken, even after the excesses of rebellion have ended.

Rebellion is a particularly wicked sin. When Saul rebelled against the Lord, he was already saved – he had already been chosen by God as his king. He was punished for his sin by being rejected as king. “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” (1 Samuel 15:23) When Saul attempted the solution that this tract offers (laying down his rebellion), he was rejected by Samuel. This is an allegory for the failure of salvation by works.

3.Death, not death and hell

There is only the faintest hint of hell in this tract, being the reference to “judgement” after death. Limiting what happens after death to mere “judgement” suggests that our sins might just perhaps not take us to hell. It doesn’t say this, but it leaves room for doubt, and doubt is the enemy of faith.

The truth is that those that die with their sins unforgiven will most certainly be cast into hell:

Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. (Mark 9:44,46,48)

4.Works, not faith

The cure offered by this tract is that you should “submit to Jesus as our ruler”, and then to rely on his death and resurrection. Now what, I ask you with tears, would it mean to submit to Jesus as your ruler, and yet not submit to his law? If you submit to his rule, then you are undertaking to obey his law. This is why they disposed of the law pre-emptively, and dealt only with “rebellion”. The acknowledgement given to relying on his death and resurrection does not cure this defect.

Everyone knows that salvation is not by works of the law, but people don’t as easily recognise it when it is dressed up in unbiblical terms.

5.Comparison to a competent gospel outline

This tract is somewhat difficult to analyse because it is not a competent gospel presentation with a few deadly flaws. It also does not deal with the correct topics.

What this tract does NOT set out in any way are the following important aspects of the gospel:

  • The cause of our predicament is sin
  • Our failure is that we sin
  • We deserve to burn in hell eternally for our sins
  • Jesus shed his blood on the cross – it’s actually quite important
  • Salvation is a free gift: it is by faith, not by works; it is a gift
  • Salvation is eternal: it cannot be lost, nor returned with or without a receipt.

Real deal: 1. Every one is a sinner (Rom 3:10: As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one, Rom 3:23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God)

Raw deal tract: Does this tract convict the world of sin? Well, no: it doesn’t use the word sin.

Real deal: 2. Every one deserves to go to hell (Rom 6:23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rev 20:14-15: And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Rev 21:8: But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.)

Raw deal tract: Does this tract convince you that you deserve the punishment of sin? It doesn’t connect sin and death, but presents death as punishment for rebellion – instead of going with the scripture, they’re going with the analogy.

Real deal: 3. Jesus died on the cross for us so we could be saved (the events of the cross, the blood, the death, burial, and resurrection) (Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. ; 1 Pet 2:24: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.)

Raw deal tract: The exact form of the resurrection is left open to interpretation. The mangling offered by the NASB (“alive in the Spirit”) implies that he did not bodily rise from the dead. The choice of 1 Peter 3:18 is also poor, because it is just part of a larger sentence which is very easy to get misled on.

Real deal: 4. You must believe on Jesus Christ as your only way to heaven (Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. ; John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. )

Raw deal tract: the existence of such a thing as faith by which we are saved is absent from the explanation, and only present in the mangled bible verses presented. The false choice in the false versions between believe or obey, or between believe and reject falsely supports the narrative of this tract.

Real deal: 5. When you believe on Jesus Christ, God gives you eternal life (illustration: receiving a gift: explain eternal security in detail) (Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.)

Raw deal tract: this tract has nothing to say about how secure you are in Christ. That’s okay, because by the time you have done everything this tract says, you are no more in Christ than you were when you started.

Good question: 1. Do you believe that you have sinned?

Tract answer: No, well maybe, but I know I’m a rebel.

Good question: 2. Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for YOUR sins and rose again from the dead?

Tract answer: No, it was more a demonstration that I can be forgiven my rebellion.

Good question: 3. If you were to ask Jesus to save you right now would he do it?

Tract answer: No, not unless I stop my rebellion

Good question: 4. How long would you be saved for?

Tract answer: Until I resume my rebellion – that would show that I never really laid it down and was never saved.

Good prayer: “Dear Jesus, I know I am a sinner, and I know I deserve to go to hell. But I believe that you died on the cross for my sins. Please save me and take me to heaven when I die. I’m trusting only you, Jesus. Amen.”

Tract prayer: If this tract were to offer a model prayer, it would say, “Dear Jesus, I have been a rebel, and I’m going to die. I don’t want to die a rebel. I’m going to stop my rebellion now. I’m sure that your death and resurrection makes this okay. So seriously, you’re my ruler now, and I’m going to attempt to obey your rules. Please like me when I change. Amen.”

Real John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Appendix: Fake Bibles

The “Bible” quoted by the comic tract is the NASB. Other editions seem to use the NIV – but it doesn’t much matter, because all the revisionist versions mangle things away from the truth in similar ways. This tract doesn’t much care which false version is quoted. The NASB is a particularly good choice for “Lordship salvation”, since its creatively edited John 3:36 says you must “obey”.

Both of these editions are unfit for the purpose of salvation, because faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Faith does not come from hearing the word of men, as are the NASB and NIV.

Here are the specific problems with the presentation of the verses chosen:

FAKE NIV Revelation 4:11 You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.

Real Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Apart from the spurious “and God” added by the fake bibles, the aspect of pleasing God has been removed. We are not supposed to just do what he says, but to actually please him.

FAKE NIV Romans 3:10-12 There is no-one righteous, not even one; there is no-one who understands, no-one who seeks God. All have turned away.

Real Romans 3:10-12 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Here the fake bibles offer “turned away” in the place of “gone out of the way”. Turning away is a conscious decision, but going out of the way includes all manner of wandering off. This chosen mangling of the Bible agrees with the tract’s theme of setting out to cure rebellion (turning away), rather than sin (deviating from the way).

FAKE NIV Hebrews 9:27: Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.

Real Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Appointment has a cause, while destiny is just predicting the future. The fake judgment is a personal kind of judgment, where “the judgment” is where all men will be judged.

FAKE NIV 1 Peter 3:18: Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.

Real 1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

The fake bible says that he died (a past tense historical observation), but the real Bible says that he has suffered – a present tense observation of the way it is. The one says there was a death, the other says that the suffering has been completed. The fake bible says that he did it for Peter’s audience, as if Peter did not need to be saved, but the real Bible says that he did it for Peter and his audience.

FAKE NIV 1 Peter 1:3 In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Real 1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

The real Bible says that we are actually born again and that God is our Father, and the fake says that he has given us something mystical.

FAKE NIV John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.

Real John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

The fake bible suggests that to be damned you must consciously and deliberately reject Jesus, but the real Bible says that simply failing to believe leaves you where you were: under God’s wrath. Reading the fake people will think something like: “I’ll not reject him now, but I’ll think about these terms later”.

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Bible solution to the land question

The Bible contains the solution to the land question.  It consists of these components:

  • Allocation: Land is allocated to tribes and families
  • Trading: Land cannot be sold, only rented out.
  • Debt: All debts are cancelled every 7 years, and contracts of servitude are cancelled
  • Ownership: All land ownership reverts every 50 years

Here are a the references (and you can find more, if you look):

  • Allocation: by family, with proportion:
    Numbers 26:55 Notwithstanding the land shall be divided by lot: according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit.
  • Trading: no buying or selling, except on a temporary basis:
    Leviticus 25:23 The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine, for ye are strangers and sojourners with me.
    Leviticus 25:15 According to the number of years after the jubile thou shalt buy of thy neighbour, and according unto the number of years of the fruits he shall sell unto thee:
  • Debt:  Cancellation every 7 years:
    Deuteronomy 15:1-2 At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbour shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the LORD’s release.
  • Ownership reverts to the family every 50th year:
    Leviticus 25:13 In the year of this jubile ye shall return every man unto his possession.

The exceptions to this are these:

  • Houses in cities can be bought and sold permanently (Leviticus 25:30 And if it be not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the walled city shall be established for ever to him that bought it throughout his generations: it shall not go out in the jubile.)
  • Land rented out must be returned to the owners if they pay back the rental (pro-rata redemption).

Communism offers a different solution, in which the supposedly benevolent state takes control away from individuals, and controls their means of production:

  • Allocation: Land is allocated to the state, which is the owner
  • Trading: Land cannot be traded in any way
  • Debt: Debts are never cancelled
  • Ownership: Communist states last around 50 years, and the collapse

The modern liberal democracy idea differs too, by failing to make provision for individual financial disaster, and by failing to prevent rampant greed by usury:

  • Allocation: Land is held by individuals, not families
  • Trading: Land is tradeable, but all trades are irreversible
  • Debt: Debts are never cancelled
  • Ownership: Over time interest bearing debt causes foreign banks to own all the land

The Bible solution is correct.  To this day nobody has surpassed the very simple provisions of the law of Moses.  “And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?” (Deuteronomy 4:8)

If this law were implemented, then everyone would have some land.  There would be incentives to rent land out to someone that is able to use it productively, and that could largely replace social grants.  Considering how much land is in state hands, this system could be implemented immediately, and expanded to other lands as it enters the market.  Even if the land does enter the hands of the banks and evil capital, this situation would be temporary.

The ancient Israelites did not actually implement the law as they were told to.  They didn’t even practice the passover as they should have, and when Hezekiah did, it was exceptional and notable.  Stephen rightly said they are those “Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.” (Acts 7:53)

This all said, there is no land problem in South Afria.  There is, however, a large and significant covetousness problem: the communist party and its pet agencies, the ANC and the EFF, wants to take control of all private property in the country for the benefit of the shady people that run the communist party.  They are telling the masses that if they were land owners, then they would be as rich as the farmers.  The leaders are teaching their followers to be covetous, by feeding them lies about how prosperity was stolen from them:

Jeremiah 6:13 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.

They are not going to listen to reason: they are brass and iron.  They don’t care about solving even the problem they are talking about.  All they want to do is to get their paws on the wealth of others:

Jeremiah 6:28 They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters.

In the words of the ancient Chinese proverb: Communism is theft.

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War on religion conversions

IOL has an article with the headline “War on religion conversions”  in which a Hindu whines about how they need protection from other religions.  They’re fishing for legal protection – to prevent free speech, and to restrict freedom of religion – but in the end they say they’re going to settle for trying harder to teach their people how wonderful their religion is.

Take it away, Janine Moodley:

Durban – The South African Hindu Dharma Sabha has officially declared war on conversion, labelling religious change as “cancerous” and vowing to halt Hindu “decimation”.

They don’t sound very progressive.  They sound scared.  “Decimation” is what the Romans did to punish armies by removing a tenth – not only to foreign armies but to their own.  They’re losing tenths at a time of their followers?  Well, that’s hardly surprising, because worshiping idols is stupid.

The Sabha, which launched a national signature campaign last week in support of an international drive by the Global Hindu Foundation to ban conversion from Hinduism, believed many converts had become “trapped and ostracised”.

This sounds like an admission that the policy of ostracising people that convert from Hinduism has failed (but see below).  They have noticed that they’re not winning them back by being nasty to them.  What a surprise.  Perhaps it’s time for another brief charm offensive?

Its president, Ram Maharaj, said at least 500 000 signatures were needed by the Netherlands-based foundation to start legal proceedings at the International Court of Human Rights and the UN to seek reparations for the harm which has been “deliberately inflicted” upon indigenous civilisations in direct contravention of UN resolutions.

He believed South Africa was one such civilisation.

Their concern for the non-Hindu peoples of South Africa is remarkable.  How very sad that when their ancestors came from India, bringing their Hindu traditions and idols, they were unable to teach their ways to the locals.  Or wait … are they claiming to be an indigenious civilisation in South Africa?  That’s  … remarkable!

“It is a historical fact that conversion was forced on indigenous people through conquest and colonialism.

No, it’s not a fact.  In the Cape, people were forced to become Muslims so that they would not be freed as Christian slaves, but if you’re wondering why it is that so many Indian people abandoned the Hinduism of their fathers for Christianity, “force” is the most insignificant element, if you can find actual instances of it.  Apart from marriage, the reason there are vast tracts of converts from Hinduism to some form of Christianity is given away in the next paragraph.

“In South Africa, during the oppressive apartheid regime, only Christianity was recognised by the state as an official religion, which gave it a false sense of superiority over other religions,” said Maharaj. “Fortunately, with the advent of democracy, our new Constitution guarantees equal status, respect and treatment for all religions.”

So they believe that the advantage that Christianity has is that it was officially recognised by the state.  Now that Christianity is not recognised by the state, they believe that their religion will progress again, having the legal status that it needs.  That’s nuts.

That little phrase “superiority over other religions” is exactly the claim of Christianity.  While Hinduism makes this claim for itself in a few ways, Jesus makes it more strongly than they can:  John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  That’s a claim to superiority of religion.  It’s not the apartheid government that made this claim.  The new constitution does nothing to diminish Jesus’ claim.  He backed it up by rising from the dead.

He emphasised that while he respected all religions, he “cannot” and “will not” allow decimation of the Hindu population as well as denigration and destruction of Hinduism with impunity.

Hinduism denigrates Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, reducing him to just another supposed manifestation of God equal to the blue snake-handling idols.  They are right that their own religion is denigrated: they are worshiping devils.  1 Corinthians 10:20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.  Why should the worship of devils be protected from being spoken against?  Impunity means “exemption from punishment”.  Mr Maharaj would like the denigration of Hindu devil worship to attract punishment?  It sounds like he dislikes freedom of speech.

Maharaj now wants to turn the tide on conversion with a sense of mission, confirming that he already has the backing of 20 Hindu organisations that have endorsed the cause.

To have the support of your friends in your cause is not unexpected.  It doesn’t matter how many of your friends support your ideas if those ideas are unjust and stupid.  Proverbs 11:21 Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.

The Sabha has also endorsed the Mauritius Declaration Against Conversion that “conversion is an act of adharma (unrighteousness), of violence and is destructive of family, community and civilisational cohesion”.

The word “dharma” includes duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues and “right way of living”.  Christianity rejects “dharma” as the way of salvation:  Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.  The right way of living, keeping the deeds of the law, will not justify.  Only faith in Christ will serve.  While there are good things to be said for family and societal cohesion, Jesus taught that he would cause exactly that division that is so feared by Mr Maharaj:  Luke 12:51-53 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:  For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

It has already started crafting its own Declaration Against Conversion relevant to South Africa and it will be presented for public input and amendments later this month.

What exactly is the problem with people being free to choose what they believe?  Why exactly should people who are Hindus be shielded from the truth?  It’s not as if Hindus have shown this kind of respect outside of their own society, instead relentlessly infiltrating Christian society with innumerable “New Age” missionaries teaching their stupid doctrines – with a fair degree of success.  The only “public” that will be commenting on their ideas are people who have not believed ours.

On March 17 next year, the Sabha plans to hold a “Stop Conversion Summit” in Chatsworth followed by mass Hindu “homecoming ceremonies”, opening opportunities for converts to freely return to their spiritual roots, “which is their God-given birthright and responsibility”.

God truly has made man free, but to conflate this freedom with truth is an error.  Freedom brings responsibility to seek the truth and to obey it.  Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.  There’s no exemption based on birth.  There is no exemption based on what you happened to receive from your fathers, irrespective of how dearly you hold their vain conversation.

Maharaj spoke of a similar campaign held 15 years ago at the Northcroft Hindu Dharma Sabha where 104 families had returned to the Hindu faith.

So they had a big party in Phoenix back in 2003, and now they want to have a party in Chatsworth?  Well, parties are fun.  Maybe you can trot out some people who have realised the social benefits of hanging around with you.  If you don’t have enough, then hire actors.

“There are lots of people who are trapped and ostracised because of their conversions. But we want these people to return to the fold, knowing they would be welcomed with open arms.”

Interesting choice of words, “the fold”.  It’s tough when you don’t have your own words (“the uncaring arms of the snake handling idols”?) and you have to use Christian symbolism.  “Fold” is from the words of Jesus, John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.  Good luck in getting real Christians out of the hands of Jesus, who said:  John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  They’ll have to settle for people who have been working on their businesses, or worshiping the Catholic idols instead of the Hindu idols.

Actually, what they are doing here is pretty transparent: 15 years of rejection out in the cold to soften you up for converting to Christianity, and then an offer to see your family again on good terms – all you have to do is worship the dumb idols.  Bad cop, good cop.  Extreme punishment, and then the offer of favour.

The Sabha now hopes to implement effective steps to “conscientise, mobilise and organise” Hindus to combat conversion.

Now there’s an idea.  Instead of whining about people leaving Hinduism for Christ, why don’t they teach your people how wonderful their devilish religion is?

“We want to embark on a mass Hindu education campaign to help people understand what Hinduism is really about. We also want to ensure that no family goes hungry, because many Hindus convert because of their practical needs. Thirdly, we will intensify social responsibility and upliftment programmes for people dealing with drugs, alcohol and abuse.”

Be sure to let us all know how it goes when it gets started.  I didn’t know that charity was part of Hindu virtues, but it wouldn’t much surprise me.  Jesus offered some great teaching about how to run this kind of endeavour: Luke 6:33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.

Maharaj added that the Sabha also wanted to phase in progression in Hindu practices.

I don’t think that this religion can be fixed, but they’re going to try anyway.

“There are certain priests who discriminate against widows and then there are women who are not allowed to participate in certain rituals. We want to bridge the gap in gender inequality.”

It sounds like the purveyors of the religion are not doing it right.  Not only are they failing to visit widows and the fatherless, but they also want to be defiled by the feminist spirit of the world:  James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

He further indicated that all relics of the caste system should be “weeded out” as well as ignorance, superstition and fear and that all practices must be based on scriptural authority.

Ah yes, the “scriptures” that establish the caste system need to be brought to bear on the caste system.  Just don’t let people read them, or they’re going to realise they’re trash, and look for something better.

When asked if trying to stop conversion was not infringing on a person’s basic human right of freedom of religion, Maharaj said people should not misunderstand their “fight”.

“This campaign is a proactive approach to conversion. While we are not forcing people by legal implications here in South Africa, we want to stop conversion in its tracks. I believe what we are doing is right and we are following God’s will. People were created Hindus by God and they need to return home.”

The god/gods of the Hindus did not create people.  The only way to stop conversion in its tracks is oppression and violence.  They cannot stop conversion by education, not only because they have an inferior message, but because it is simply not possible to accurately convey any message to everyone that you believe should hear it.

Knowing will of God, by the way, is only for those that have a transformed mind in Jesus Christ.  I’m pretty sure the devil wants to stop conversions, but no amount of thinking that he is God will make him so.  Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Cardinal Wilfrid Napier OFF was taken aback by the Sabha’s stance.

“I am quite surprised by this. From a legal point of view, every person has the freedom of religion. You have the right to choose what religion you want to adhere to,” Napier said. “From our point of view, people have a freedom of conscious. God has chosen to reveal Himself in different ways and the complete way was through Jesus Christ and that is why we preach about Jesus. He instructed us to make disciples and we are merely following his instructions.”

The Cardinal should lighten up.  He’s on the same team as the Hindus, pretending to be a minister of righteousness while serving as a minister of Satan in the great whore of Babylon, worshiping idols more than they do.  There’s a place for him in the lake of fire too: Revelation 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Napier is a member of the recently launched Inter-religious Council of which Ashwin Trikamjee, the president of the South African Hindu Maha Sabha – the organisation is not linked to the SA Hindhu Dharma Sabha – is a part.

“The main aim of the council is to improve the relations with all religions. Mr Trikamjee, or anyone from the Hindu faith, has not mentioned any of these sentiments. I take this as an invitation to intensify our efforts in strengthening ties,” Napier said.

All these guys who pretend they cannot agree on which set of lies of Satan they prefer.  We’re supposed to be impressed by their tolerance and all, but they’re all on the same team: Mark 3:26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end. 

“When we were setting up the council we asked ourselves: What is the role of religion in society? The answer to the question is pretty much our slogan, which loosely is, religion has a role to transform people and society into something better. To make a place better to live.”

To suppose that false religions will transform people and society for the better is madness.  Religions started by paedophiles won’t produce anything good.  Religions run by paedophiles won’t produce anything good.  Come to think of it, why would the Hindus condescend to hang around with these people?

Trikamjee has slammed Maharaj’s efforts, calling him a “maverick”.

“Despite efforts over the years to unite Hindus, he has steadfastly rebuffed all such attempts and chosen to go his own maverick ways.

Pot, kettle.  Kettle, pot.

“The South African Hindu Maha Sabha has over the years constantly grappled with the challenge of conversions and has followed the path of consolidating Hinduism as opposed to sensationally combating with other religions.”

The wise masters have noticed that fighting Christ publicly does not work.  People want to know what it is that they are fighting, and there is no way you can allow that.

So much for the article.

False religion has nothing to offer that is anywhere close to Christ.  We that believe in Christ have everlasting life:

1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

and hanging around with idols is not cool:

1 John 5:21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

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Summary of falsehoods in Fellowship Tract League tracts

The Fellowship Tract League is a ministry somewhat attached to Fellowship Baptist Church of Lebanon Ohio. They publish tracts which purport to be useful for getting people saved. Before I bash their tracts, a few good things about this ministry are worth mentioning:

  • The tracts use the Authorised Version of the Bible in English (the KJV).
  • They give it all away for free, including shipping. That’s quite amazing, actually.
  • Conveniently, their tracts are numbered.
  • Just a few of the tracts are okay.

There are a few bad things about this ministry – mainly one:

  • The tracts generally present a false gospel. This makes them unfit for the purpose of being a gospel tract.

Generally the tract layout is as follows

  1. The verses that back up the real gospel are shown
  2. At the appeal, a different gospel is substituted: the appeal to “repent of your sins” or “change your life” is added (sometimes subtly)
  3. A prayer is offered, in which you “accept Jesus” and “turn from your sins” (and do almost anything except ask him to save you, believing that he can and will – something extra must be added, and faith must be diluted.)

Adding in things that are elements of Christian growth has the effect of downplaying salvation by faith, and exalting other weaker and more confusing approximations of salvation:

  • Salvation by the power of a choice
  • Salvation by “acceptance”, as if you would say “okay, fine, you can save me.”
  • Salvation by a willingness to change my life (i.e. a false promise)
  • Salvation by giving up control (only in a few)

There are a number of strange features in these tracts:

  • Random capitalisation (e.g. pronouns for God when not quoting scripture and “Hell”).  This makes the message look stupid.
  • Quotation marks used for emphasis (e.g. Jesus paid for your sins “in full”).  The actual effect is de-emphasis!
  • The resurrection is almost never explained, and generally only represented by a single verse, and that verse is almost always Romans 10:9, given without any commentary.  Surely this should be a larger feature of the gospel?

The specific errors in their tracts are:

  • Repent of your sins
  • Repentance means being willing to turn from sin
  • I will change my life
  • You will change my life
  • I will obey you as Lord
  • Take control of my life
  • Hell is separation from God (this is just wrong)

A few of the tracts are actually okay, although weak. The borderline tracts are the ones that quote the “turn from his wicked way” verses without exposition. I don’t really know how to feel about those.

These are the tracts, by number, with the briefest description of the type of error they insinuate into their gospel presentation:

If you absolutely have to use tracts from this organisation, try to stick to the ones that are “ok” or at least “meh”.

For the record: your part of salvation is faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation is not that you feel sorry, nor change your life, nor that you stop smoking, nor that you genuinely hate smoking, nor that you give something to God, but that you trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe: that you call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord in faith. Salvation is not “repent of your sins”.  You should do as much repenting as you please of as many wicked things as are in your life, but first get saved by faith.

Did you get saved by a fellowship tract league tract?

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