15 Oct 2011

Four stories

1. The first:

  • There is a man who lives at the North Pole.
  • He lives there with his wife and a bunch of elves.
  • During the year, he and the elves build toys.
  • Then, on Christmas Eve, he loads up a sack with all the toys.
  • He puts the sack in his sleigh.
  • He hitches up eight (or possibly nine) flying reindeer.
  • He then flies from house to house, landing on the rooftops of each one.
  • He gets out with his sack and climbs down the chimney.
  • He leaves toys for the children of the household.
  • He climbs back up the chimney, gets back in his sleigh, and flies to the next house.
  • He does this all around the world in one night.
  • Then he flies back to the North Pole to repeat the cycle next year.

True or False?

2. The second:

  • was in my room one night.
  • Suddenly, my room became exceedingly bright.
  • Next thing I know there is an angel in my room.
  • He tells me an amazing story.
  • He says that there is a set of ancient golden plates buried in the side of a hill in New York.
  • On them are the books of a lost race of Jewish people who inhabited North America.
  • These plates bear inscriptions in the foreign language of these people.
  • Eventually the angel leads me to the plates and lets me take them home.
  • Even though the plates are in a foreign language, the angel helps me to decipher and translate them.
  • Then the plates are taken up into heaven, never to be seen again.
  • I have the book that I translated from the plates. It tells of amazing things -- an entire civilization of Jewish people living here in the United States 2,000 years ago.
  • And the resurrected Jesus came and visited these people!
  • I also showed the golden plates to a number of real people who are my eye witnesses, and I have their signed attestations that they did, in fact, see and touch the plates before the plates were taken up into heaven.

True or False?

3. The third:

  • A man was sitting in a cave minding his own business.
  • A very bright flash of light appeared.
  • A voice spoke out one word: "Read!" The man felt like he was being squeezed to death. This happened several times.
  • Then the man asked, "What should I read?"
  • The voice said, "Read in the name of your Lord who created humans from a clinging [zygote]. Read for your Lord is the most generous. He taught people by the pen what they didn't know before."
  • The man ran home to his wife.
  • While running home, he saw the huge face of an angel in the sky. The angel told the man that he was to be the messenger of God. The angel also identified himself as Gabriel.
  • At home that night, the angel appeared to the man in his dreams.
  • Gabriel appeared to the man over and over again. Sometimes it was in dreams, sometimes during the day as "revelations in his heart," sometimes preceded by a painful ringing in his ears (and then the verses would flow from Gabriel right out of the man), and sometimes Gabriel would appear in the flesh and speak. Scribes wrote down everything the man said.
  • Then, one night about 11 years after the first encounter with Gabriel, Gabriel appeared to the man with a magical horse. The man got on the horse, and the horse took him to Jerusalem. Then the winged horse took the man up to the seven layers of heaven. The man was able to actually see heaven and meet and talk with people there. Then Gabriel brought the man back to earth.
  • The man proved that he had actually been to Jerusalem on the winged horse by accurately answering questions about buildings and landmarks there.
  • The man continued receiving the revelations from Gabriel for 23 years, and then they stopped. All of the revelations were recorded by the scribes in a book which we still have today.

True or False?

4. The Fourth:

  • God inseminated a virgin named Mary, in order to bring his son incarnate into our world.
  • Mary and her fiancĂ©, Joseph, had to travel to Bethlehem to register for the census. There Mary gave birth to the Son of God.
  • God put a star in the sky to guide people to the baby.
  • In a dream God told Joseph to take his family to Egypt. Then God stood by and watched as Herod killed thousands and thousands of babies in Israel in an attempt to kill Jesus.
  • As a man, God's son claimed that he was God incarnate: "I am the way, the truth and the life," he said.
  • This man performed many miracles. He healed lots of sick people. He turned water into wine. These miracles prove that he is God.
  • But he was eventually given the death sentence and killed by crucifixion.
  • His body was placed in a tomb.
  • But three days later, the tomb was empty.
  • And the man, alive once again but still with his wounds (so anyone who doubted could see them and touch them), appeared to many people in many places.
  • Then he ascended into heaven and now sits at the right hand of God the father almighty, never to be seen again.
  • Today you can have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus. You can pray to this man and he will answer your prayers. He will cure your diseases, rescue you from emergencies, help you make important business and family decisions, comfort you in times of worry and grief, etc.
  • This man will also give you eternal life, and if you are good he has a place for you in heaven after you die.
  • The reason we know all this is because, after the man died, four people named Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wrote accounts of the man's life. Their written attestations are proof of the veracity of this story.

True or False?