Shroud of Turin

Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
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Re: Shroud of Turin

#376

Post by bippy123 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:56 am

Now let's look at the credential of the folks from this German skeptic journal called pseudo-scientists,

http://shroud2000.com/ArticlesPapers/Ar ... actor.html

After completing over a thousand chemical tests, Adler and Heller published "A Chemical Investigation of the Shroud" in the Journal of the Canadian Society of Forensic Sciences in September, 1981. The Society invited them, along with John Jackson, the physicist, and Robert Bucklin, the medical examiner, to debate McCrone in Hamilton, Ontario. McCrone, however, failed to show up, and sent an assistant, who simply quoted his mentor's papers." Page 99

http://www.shroudofturin4journalists.co ... blood2.htm

Alan Adler, a professor of chemistry at Western Connecticut State University and an expert on porphyrins, the types of colored compounds seen in blood (chlorophyll and many other natural products) concluded that the blood is real.

Alder and John Heller, Professor of Life Sciences at the New England Institute, published their conclusions that the bloodstains were genuinein the peer-reviewed scientific journal Applied Optics [1980]. They reported spectral analysis confirmed that the heme was converted into its parent porphyrin.

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Re: Shroud of Turin

#377

Post by bippy123 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:09 am

So Pierson and Sandy, we now have the peer reviewed work of a world reknowned blood chemist Adler and his partner heller against the non peer reviewed work of a microscopist .
I ask the both of you a simple question.
Do you take the peer reviewed work or the non peer reviewed work.
Walter Mccrone's work has been refuted so many times as pesudoscience that it isn't even funny.
Do some research about the egg he had all on his face concerning his research on the Vineland map.
He said he was sure from his research that he knew thevineland map was a fake.
It was later found to be real
He probably submitted his research on the Vineland map to the microscopist journal of which he is the owner of.
Gotta love the skeptics definition of peer reviewed research hehe. Mccrone also chickened out on the offer to go head to head against Adler and heller .

On a good note, there were tests done a few days ago on my mom, and she now can feel pain in both arms!!!
7 months ago she was given virtually no chance to survive. My older bro and uncle wanted to take the plug off of her but me and our priest convinced my dad not to give up.
Please keep praying for her folks
It's a miracle she made it through these odds:)

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Re: Shroud of Turin

#378

Post by bippy123 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:23 am

Philip wrote:
What I'm waiting to see are the results from the holographic research in holland. I bet something will come out of there within the next 5 to 10 years but when it happens it's gonna be news of global proportions.
Bippy, I'm not so sure. There already are lots of powerful evidences for Christianity, but the majority of the global media may well just ignore spectacular Shroud proof or simply dismiss it in some way or another - or by not truly addressing what the evidence might say. Evidences can be powerful to people who are truly open to listening and examining them. But as for determined refusers to belief, NO evidence is powerful enough. And I don't think that it's that somewhere down deep they don't know that God exists (see Romans 1), it's that they have either greatly repressed it, or believe it's true but refuse to deal with it (don't want to change), to repent, embrace and follow Christ.

Again, Jesus did many fantastic miracles in front of people who failed to repent and TRULY believe. He rose from the dead. What more evidence did they need? God brought Israel out of 400+ years of Egyptian bondage without them having to draw the first sword - through amazing miracles, leads them my fire and cloud, parts the Red Sea, drowns Pharaoh's army, and how long is Moses out of camp before the very witnesses and beneficiaries of these powerful evidences are already building a Golden Calf to worship? Not long! Proof of the Shroud being authentic - it will have its limits. People so often have such hard hearts. It's just that the more I've practiced apologetics, I realize that its power is only as strong as the filter that prevents their truths from getting through. An awful lot of people have their spam filters set so as to prevent any relevant truth from getting through.

But Bippy, you just keep up what you're doing, as there are also MANY people who WILL listen. You've done a marvelous job so far!
Thank you Philip, I also agree with you that there is alot more evidence for Christianity than the shroud, and they are what sets Christianity apart from other religions. I love the lord so much and I really want to get back to doing what I love the most, feeding the homeless . I feel so honored to be around them.
I hope I can get back to that.
God bless

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Re: Shroud of Turin

#379

Post by bippy123 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:46 am

Pierson, I believe you will find the debate that your looking for here
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-rel ... =1&;page=1

Each page contains 50 posts and this debate is at least 3 pages long.
Look through this and let us know who uses peer reviewed science and who doesn't .
The skeptics on this forum have spent many years on the shroud.
This site has multiple debates throughout the years on the shroud, and it seems that the same basic theme that I have seen is the pro authenticity experts using peer reviewed work and the skeptics using non peer reviewed work.
But don't believe me, judge for yourself.
Happy reading

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Re: Shroud of Turin

#380

Post by Pierson5 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:24 pm

bippy123 wrote:I have never heard of the other 2 journals Pierson and are u sure that these are peer reviewed. I doubt they are.
I see that you brought up the microscope magazine again. We allready talked about that magazine.
Would you care to let us know who the owner of this magazine is?
That's right, non other than good ole non peer reviewed Walter mccrone.

I have no desire to debate anyone who is still bringing up Walter Mccrone's work and if they are doing this then debating them is a complete waste of time since they aren't honest enough to tell you guys on that forum that Mccrone's magazine isn't peer reviewed and he's the owner and editor of the magazine.

Pierson I allready posted this to you in one of my first responses to you here if you don't remember .
The fact that you are currently on the fence about the shroud means that you have changed your position since you were totally convinced it was s fraud a few months back.
I vaguely remember you going over McCrone's work, and at the time I knew a lot less about the subject than I do now. The reason I posted it, is because I remember seeing the publications when we were discussing this earlier. A simple google search brought up the results. No deep digging there :ebiggrin:

I am on the fence, so to speak. I like to consider myself open minded to the possibility of the shroud being genuine, but I'm still slightly leaning towards it being a fraud for various reasons.
bippy123 wrote:My advice is to make time for shroud research my friend. Can you honestly tell me there is a more important subject for you and your souls future ? :)
Well, I think if I focus on being a good person, regardless of belief, God will understand. Also, I'd hate for this to take up much of my time and risk damaging my GPA at the university ;) . For now, I think the best use of my time is to sit on the sidelines and observe the current debates.
The Microscope is an international peer-reviewed journal founded by Arthur Barron in 1937 and dedicated to the advancement of all forms of microscopy for the biologist, mineralogist, metallographer or chemist.
You are correct, though. McCrone was one of the editors during the time of his publication.

ACS seems to check out: http://pubs.acs.org/journal/achre4

Regardless, I don't think the blood on the shroud is all that important. Obviously if it's paint, it shows the shroud isn't authentic. If it's blood, it could be anyone's blood. As pointed out in the skeptic forum, it's not much of an argument for the authenticity, which I would agree.

On that note, with your permission, would it be OK if I used your guys' objections and just relayed them to the other forum to get their feedback?
Pierson, I believe you will find the debate that your looking for here
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-rel ... 1&;page=51
Thanks Bippy. I looked through some of it, a lot of it is Bible passages, which obviously doesn't do much for me ;) . But I will continue to dig through it and see what I can find.
Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.
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Re: Shroud of Turin

#381

Post by Philip » Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:03 pm

Regardless, I don't think the blood on the shroud is all that important. Obviously if it's paint, it shows the shroud isn't authentic. If it's blood, it could be anyone's blood. As pointed out in the skeptic forum, it's not much of an argument for the authenticity, which I would agree.
Yes, if fake, it COULD be anyone's blood. But why would anyone use blood when various pigments of paint were readily available, untraceable/undetectable, and FAR easier to work with. Once dry, who could have known the difference between paint and blood? And so the fact that the image is of BLOOD actually IS very important.

IF this is a mere fake, then it would have to be the work of a highly skilled artist. It's spatial application - inside and out - the careful detail to historical wounds, etc. ... this is not something that could have been done quickly (and really, not at ALL). It would have been a painstakingly slow, methodical, and highly sophisticated process - one in which we still can't determine. In its on way, it would have been a meticulously created masterpiece. And so such incredible detail would have required substantial time and many sessions to complete. Using blood makes that process FAR more problematic.

Un-refrigerated blood would have greatly inhibited ANY artistically applied process. The blood would begin to thicken and stink - basically have begun to rot. Of course, obtaining fresh blood for each session might be done - but from what source? And why introduce this unnecessary and tremendously problematic hassle? And with paint availability, and no way for 1st century people to know the difference, why on earth would someone not just use paint? But, of course, we know that The Shroud shows no traces of paint.

Look at the other typical relics of the period - and even those far later - all would have been easy to make - and to replicate today as well - and, even still, they were highly sought after and adored, despite their lack of sophistication. And they weren't sophisticated because these were simple, everyday people that they were designed to fool. There weren't a lot of Leonardo Da Vinci types walking around - no, faked relics only needed to fool the masses and religious classes. Paint would have more than sufficed.

So why BLOOD?

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Re: Shroud of Turin

#382

Post by Pierson5 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:50 pm

Because no artist in history ever used blood in a painting? Again, I'm not trying to argue with you guy's, but to me, this is not a very convincing argument.

Hypothetically speaking, let's say the shroud was re-examined, more samples were taken, everyone agreed on the area to remove, etc.... All researchers followed the rules, independently, and multiple sources concluded it is dated back to the 13/14th century. What would you conclude from the results?
Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.
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Re: Shroud of Turin

#383

Post by Swimmy » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:08 pm

Also to add. Why would they have added the blood first before painting the image? Just more evidence that it wasn't a forgery. A artist would have added the blood afterwards. Again. Trying to reconcile all the implausibility of a forgery comes off as ridiculous.

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Re: Shroud of Turin

#384

Post by bippy123 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:49 pm

Pierson5 wrote:Because no artist in history ever used blood in a painting? Again, I'm not trying to argue with you guy's, but to me, this is not a very convincing argument.

Hypothetically speaking, let's say the shroud was re-examined, more samples were taken, everyone agreed on the area to remove, etc.... All researchers followed the rules, independently, and multiple sources concluded it is dated back to the 13/14th century. What would you conclude from the results?
Pierson the 2002 restoration to save the image probably makes it very hard to do another c14 test, but you have to remember it's highly implausible for the shroud to be from the middle ages just from the vanillin tests done by Rogers puts it at between 1300 and 3000 years old, well within the time frame of Jesus.

And like Swimmy said, there are too many impossibilities to reconcile for the forger theory to even be considered plausible. Forensic science has determined that this image was produced by an actual human body, and you've got a professional blood chemist who did pass peer review that determined from over 1000 tests that it is blood on the shroud.

The link I gave to the free republic report forum in which they talked about the ENEA 5 year battery of tests reaffirmed again that the image was not made by body to cloth contact. On top of that reaffirmed that the blood clots were absolutely undisturbed.

Ask yourself Pierson, how does a corpse just get up and walk away from that cloth without smearing or disturbing the blood clots? It's physically impossible, except for one man, that is Jesus Christ.
The only way Jesus could have gotten off that cloth without disturbing the blood clots was to somehow dematerialize through the cloth.

When you match this with an image that matches the gospel account of Christ's passion , crucifixion and resurrection it all makes perfect sense.

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Re: Shroud of Turin

#385

Post by bippy123 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:00 pm

Swimmy wrote:Also to add. Why would they have added the blood first before painting the image? Just more evidence that it wasn't a forgery. A artist would have added the blood afterwards. Again. Trying to reconcile all the implausibility of a forgery comes off as ridiculous.
Correct Swimmy, plus the artist would then have to somehow know how to produce a painting with 3d spatial information, xray information and correcting the middle age depictions of Jesus being nailed through the palms. He would then have to put pollens that match the shrouds journey from jersualem, turkey, France and Italy . Then the artist would need a rare limestone only found in the Tombs of Jerusalem and put them on the shroud in the middle ages knowing that 400 years later scientists with microscopes and sofisticated tools would find it. Do you see how ludicrous the skeptic stance against the forgery theory starts to sounds. It's all academic single Adler, a top blood chemist did find that the bold stains were actual blood.

Any sane person would realize that no forger could have done this and even if he could have somehow pulled it off why would he do stuff like place pollen and the Jerusalem limestone on the shroud knowing that no one would ever probably detect it ever.
It's strains credulity to even think this

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Re: Shroud of Turin

#386

Post by bippy123 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:16 pm

Philip wrote:
Regardless, I don't think the blood on the shroud is all that important. Obviously if it's paint, it shows the shroud isn't authentic. If it's blood, it could be anyone's blood. As pointed out in the skeptic forum, it's not much of an argument for the authenticity, which I would agree.
Yes, if fake, it COULD be anyone's blood. But why would anyone use blood when various pigments of paint were readily available, untraceable/undetectable, and FAR easier to work with. Once dry, who could have known the difference between paint and blood? And so the fact that the image is of BLOOD actually IS very important.

IF this is a mere fake, then it would have to be the work of a highly skilled artist. It's spatial application - inside and out - the careful detail to historical wounds, etc. ... this is not something that could have been done quickly (and really, not at ALL). It would have been a painstakingly slow, methodical, and highly sophisticated process - one in which we still can't determine. In its on way, it would have been a meticulously created masterpiece. And so such incredible detail would have required substantial time and many sessions to complete. Using blood makes that process FAR more problematic.

Un-refrigerated blood would have greatly inhibited ANY artistically applied process. The blood would begin to thicken and stink - basically have begun to rot. Of course, obtaining fresh blood for each session might be done - but from what source? And why introduce this unnecessary and tremendously problematic hassle? And with paint availability, and no way for 1st century people to know the difference, why on earth would someone not just use paint? But, of course, we know that The Shroud shows no traces of paint.

Look at the other typical relics of the period - and even those far later - all would have been easy to make - and to replicate today as well - and, even still, they were highly sought after and adored, despite their lack of sophistication. And they weren't sophisticated because these were simple, everyday people that they were designed to fool. There weren't a lot of Leonardo Da Vinci types walking around - no, faked relics only needed to fool the masses and religious classes. Paint would have more than sufficed.

So why BLOOD?
Philip don't forget a significant aspect of the blood is that the blood found on the shroud was determined by tests to be bilirubin. Bilirubin is blood that specifically comes from a person that's been tortured severely.
Pierson ask yourself why a forger would even want or need to use blood from a tortured human being to place on the shroud?????
If a gone were a middle age forger, any blood would do. Would you Pierson as a middle age forger would ever think anyone would ever know the difference between regular blood and bilirubin blood?

As far as the being a good person thing, that's another argument entirely as without a transcendent objective moral law giver , good and bad are pure subjective.

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Re: Shroud of Turin

#387

Post by Pierson5 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:07 pm

bippy123 wrote: Pierson ask yourself why a forger would even want or need to use blood from a tortured human being to place on the shroud?????
If a gone were a middle age forger, any blood would do. Would you Pierson as a middle age forger would ever think anyone would ever know the difference between regular blood and bilirubin blood?
Did the person who came to this conclusion publish his results?
bippy123 wrote:As far as the being a good person thing, that's another argument entirely as without a transcendent objective moral law giver , good and bad are pure subjective.
Ok, if the law giver gave me this objective outlook, and I live my life objectively good as the next Christian (minus the belief in a deity, as of now), what's the issue?
Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.
-Marcus Aurelius

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Re: Shroud of Turin

#388

Post by bippy123 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:26 am

Pierson5 wrote:
bippy123 wrote: Pierson ask yourself why a forger would even want or need to use blood from a tortured human being to place on the shroud?????
If a gone were a middle age forger, any blood would do. Would you Pierson as a middle age forger would ever think anyone would ever know the difference between regular blood and bilirubin blood?
Did the person who came to this conclusion publish his results?
bippy123 wrote:As far as the being a good person thing, that's another argument entirely as without a transcendent objective moral law giver , good and bad are pure subjective.
Ok, if the law giver gave me this objective outlook, and I live my life objectively good as the next Christian (minus the belief in a deity, as of now), what's the issue?
Pierson, I'm not sure if I posted the peer reviewed results on this thread but I'm sure I can find them. Shouldn't be too hard. This is common knowledge in shroud research circles. It probably was doctor Adler or Jaime ballone, but I'll find it.

As far as living your life objectively you have taken the first step towards belief in the Christian God. The reason we need to accept Jesus in our hearts many. The heart is imprinted with his laws of love and goodness, justice and compassion . He is the essence of all those things and once you do this it starts to become a relationship unlike any other. Once this happens you start praying and he sends more grace into your heart to spread his love. Once this happens it becomes an avalanche and you will want to get to know the God who came down from heaven, lived as the poorest of men, was spat on , beat, humiliated and turned down by the very people he came down to save.
It's a relationship of love that will change your life forever.

I remember that when you first came in here that you had a concern about hell.
Please remember also Pierson that Jesus said in the bible that his yoke is easy, he loves you like a son. The fire and brimstone preachers believe in God but they don't know his love fully. Once you know his love fully you will know that he will never let go of you because he loves you so much, and once you know this you will know that you are destined to be with him heaven. His love and mercy are beyond what we can comprehend as humans and that's what I put my trust in.
The fact that you are in the healthcare field shows me that you want to help people. God loves the charitable heart. Plus in the bible it says works without faith are dead, and Jesus also said the only way to the father is through the son. He wants a personal relationship with you Pierson.
I'll find the bilirubin results

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Re: Shroud of Turin

#389

Post by bippy123 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:02 am

This is the peer reviewed work submitted by Adler and Heller that talks about the bilirubin found
. For some reason my acrobat isnt workinglol, but this is one of the peer reviewed journals that they
passed through

http://greatshroudofturinfaq.com/Scienc ... first.html

There is no image beneath bloodstains; the blood interrupting the formation of an image.
As reported in two peer-reviewed scientific journals,
(Heller, J. H., Adler, A. D., Applied Optics, 19, 1980, pp 2742-4 and Heller, J. H., and Adler, A. D., Canadian Forensic Society Science Journal 14, 1981, pp 81-103)
when blood within a part of an image (containing porphyrin, bilirubin, albumin and protein) was dissolved, there was no
image beneath the blood. However the images were formed,
bloodstains blocked the process immediately beneath the blood.


http://greatshroudofturinfaq.com/Scienc ... odred.html
It is a good question. It is heard often. Skeptics will sometimes claim that the blood cannot be real because old blood
is black. Actually, old blood often just turns brown. That all old blood turns black is overstated.

Old blood is not always black. Two factors will keep bloodstains from losing all or most of their red color:

The blood on the Shroud contains significant amounts of bilirubin, a bile pigment produced by severe trauma.
Bilirubin is bright red and will cause bloodstains to remain red in color.


just found the second peer reviewed journal that they passed through.

Dr. Adler then proceeded to apply microspectrophotometric analysis of a "blood particle" from one of the fibrils of the shroud and unmistakeably identified hemoglobin in the acid methemoglobin form due to great age and denaturation. Further tests by Heller and Adler established, within scientific certainty, the presence of porphyrin, bilirubin, albumin and protein. In fact, when proteases were applied to the fibril containing the "blood," the blood dissolved from the fibril leaving an imageless fibril. (Heller, J. H., Adler, A. D., Applied Optics, 19, 1980, pp 2742-4; Heller, J. H., and Adler, A. D., Canadian Forensic Society Sci, Journal 14, 1981, pp 81-103)

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Re: Shroud of Turin

#390

Post by Philip » Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:20 am

Pierson asked: "Ok, if the law giver gave me this objective outlook, and I live my life objectively good as the next Christian (minus the belief in a deity, as of now), what's the issue?"
Pierson, that is an excellent and very key question about what God requires of us, and strikes to the heart of what He requires that our RESPONSE be to His Gospel. Sorry for the length, as much of this you may know, but others may not.

Pierson, there is nothing ANYONE can do to EARN his salvation! This is the HUGE difference between Christianity and ALL other faiths - as all other faiths, in various ways, teach that good works, or doing this and that, following all their respective, important rules, are the routes to God. These are doctrines of "works" - the false beliefs that one can earn his way into heaven by doing good things. Or as in the belief of karma - that is, if, throughout the course of your life, you generally do more good things than bad, then God supposedly deems you worthy of admittance into heaven. But that is not what the BIBLE teaches.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of GOD - not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

“He saved us, NOT because of righteous things WE had done, but because of HIS mercy.” (Titus 3:5)

Pierson, this means that NO ONE can do enough (“works” or good deeds) to enter heaven, not even the best, most generous, merciful and loving, least sinful person of our species – as if a person has committed JUST ONE sin, he stands unjustified and thus guilty before God.

We need to first realize that we ALL are BORN with a sin problem - every single one of us. And so God has set an impossibly high standard for us to make ourselves right with him – which is for us to be perfectly sinless and blameless in His sight.

"For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by ALL things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” (Galatians 3:10)

"For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in ONE point, he has become guilty of all." (James 2:10)

Now, one may wonder why God demands us to be perfect and sinless, as “what’s the BIG, honking deal?” 1) It is because HE is perfect and Holy, and 2) He detests sin. He sees all sin as evil, and as He is perfect and Holy, no evil can enter into His presence.

“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)

“But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And YOUR SINS have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2)

So God requires perfection for us to be in His presence – an impossibility which no man can meet. But this is a GOOD thing, because God’s solution is to provide for man what man cannot provide for Himself – a crucified, resurrected Savior, Jesus. God required that there be a price paid for our sins. And so He provided, through Jesus’ death and resurrection on the cross. Jesus was the PERFECT, sinless, substitionary sacrifice to cover our sins - the ONLY perfect sacrifice available – the life of the perfect and sinless God/Man, Jesus Christ. God let part of Himself (Jesus, The Son) die a hideous, brutal death for ALL of our sins. God’s love for us, demonstrated so clearly at the Cross, is a love and mercy we can scarcely understand, it so boggles the mind. That a God would let puny men spit upon and torture Himself to death – out of a love - is beyond our comprehension.

But God has a few simple but critically important requirements for us that we must satisfy before we can RECEIVE what we neither merit nor can ever earn:

First, faith in Jesus is the ONLY route to heaven and God – this means no other religions are a pathway to heaven.

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions” (2 Timothy 4:3)

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

And so we must believe and have faith – that Jesus is God, that He died for our sins, and that He rose from the dead, and that He has the power and will save us. But this cannot be a mere intellectual belief, it must be an ACTIVE, obedient faith. This means that, as best as we can, letting go OUR own control while making JESUS the LORD of our lives, and turning from our former lord – which was OURSELF. So, for those saved, there is now a new Lord over us, and a sign of this will be our new “works” – as our actions will begin to demonstrate the commitment to the obedience that is now within our changed hearts and minds. No, our WORKS do not save us, but our FAITH is the way in which our salvation is RECEIVED. But ours is to be a faith of ACTION, and not one of mere belief.

“You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?” (James 2:19)

And we are to love God: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matthew 22:37)

We must repent (turn from our sins – go in a new direction).

“The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands ALL people EVERYWHERE to repent …” (Acts 17:30)

We must confess our sins.

“… because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

And so this repentance and confession are to be SINCERE expressions of guilt and remorse.

And lest one would tragically misunderstand that becoming a Christian is all about rules and guilt, they should also know that God repeatedly forgives all CHRISTIANS for their sins, as He is a God of incredible mercy and unfathomable love. And certainly, just as all loving parents do, He does, at times, discipline us, but He is exceedingly gentle and merciful in bringing us to His understandings and His desires for our conduct. So often when we mess up, He simply reminds us of our actions, and encourages us to depend upon Him so that we can do better. In fact, Christ on the Cross paid the penalty for ALL of our past, present and future sins. So we Christians are TOTALLY forgiven - FOREVER! And it is GOD who gives us the ability and strength to obey Him, as from the moment of salvation He is sanctifying us while preparing us for an eternity with Him.

But the joy of the Christian life comes from God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) – an exciting eternal journey that begins at salvation – here ON EARTH!

“.....I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it MORE ABUNDANTLY.” John 10:10

“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11)

And as opposed to the relentless demands of other religions, with their necessary rituals, and all the THINGS and WORKS they demand, and as opposed to going through life without the guidance and assuredness of God’s Holy Spirit, what does God say about His requirements? What does He say about His guidance of ALL Christians?

“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30)

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13)

So, if one has prayerfully expressed to God, his sincere belief in Jesus and His death and Resurrection, committed himself to following and obeying Jesus AS LORD, repented of and remorsefully confessed their sins to God, and thus have trusted God/Jesus/Holy Spirit – then THAT’s ALL there is to it, as afterward that person will have entered God’s eternal love and salvation. They will stand blameless before God in judgment, and will share in eternal bliss and joy with Him – as well as with all others who have trusted in Jesus.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if ANYONE hears My voice and OPENS THE DOOR, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

Pierson, you are in my prayers! But also, pray for yourself. Because if you REALLY want to know the truth about Christianity, just sincerely pray to God, that, "if YOU are real and if Jesus is Your Son, THEN SHOW ME!" Pierson, no person, sincerely praying that prayer, will fail to get an answer. You have nothing to lose, and no one will ever know unless you tell them. Truly, it's the ultimate - and most important - experiment you will ever do!

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