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Darkness to Light - Vol. XVII, No. 5
Darkness to Light
Volume XVII, Number 5
Director: Gary F. Zeolla
In This Issue
Back Issues of Darkness to Light Newsletter
CCM Email Response
Ads for Astrology?
Analytical-Literal Translation Questions
New on my Christian, Fitness, and Politics Websites
I must apologize again to anyone who tried to unsubscribe from this newsletter but is still receiving it. I messed up the unsubscribe link in the last issue. To unsubscribe, you need to use the unsubscribe link at the end of this newsletter. It is the default unsubscribe link from Send in Blue (my new email newsletter service), so your unsubscribe request should go through this time. But that is also why it is in such tiny print. I have no control over that. I tried having a one that wasn’t quite so small, but again, I messed it up.
That said, you are currently registered to receive the Darkness to Light newsletter. This newsletter is published about every other month, usually during the first week of odd-numbered months. To unsubscribe, use the link at the bottom of this newsletter. To subscribe to my FitTips for One and All newsletter, click here. It is published every other month, usually during the first week of even-numbered months.
Back Issues of Darkness to Light Newsletter
Back Issues of Darkness to Light Christian Newsletter is a new page on the website. It links to every back issue of this free Darkness to Light Christian email newsletter. That’s 17 years’ worth of newsletters, a total of 126 issues, all free for the reading.
God’s Sex Plan: Volume Two: What the New Testament Teaches About Human Sexuality - Many issues are discussed in this book that are related to sex, including but not limited to: monogamy, marital sex, polygamy, incest, homosexuality, premarital sex (fornication), extramarital sex (adultery), celibacy, transsexualism, reproduction, infertility, contraception, abortion, sexual harassment and assault, masturbation, pornography, gender roles, and school and other mass shootings (yes, those are related to this topic).
CCM Email Response
By Gary F. Zeolla
I recently received a lengthy email from someone criticizing me for my practice of listening to Contemporary Christian Music (CCM), especially my listening to Christian hard rock and white metal while training for my powerlifting competitions in my home gym, as heard in my workout videos. The emailer’s comments are way too lengthy to publish, but the following is my not near as lengthy response. The reader should be able to get the gist of the emailer’s comments from my comments.
I want to congratulate you. You receive the award for the longest email I ever received from someone commenting on one of my articles. When I copied and pasted it from Microsoft Outlook into Microsoft Word, it was ten pages long. That is how long the two-part article I just posted on my politics website was when I wrote it in Word, before I formatted it for posting on the website. That article took me four days to write. If you’re interested, it’s posted at: Racist, Racist, Who Is the Racist?
I sure hope you did not spend four days writing this email to me, as I could summarize much of it in one sentence—“CCM makes me feel bad; therefore, it is bad.” To that, I could respond, “CCM makes me feel good; therefore, it is good.” And that would leave us at a standoff, with no way to determine whose “feelings” are correct, if it can even be said that feelings are correct or incorrect.
Don’t get me wrong. Feelings are not to be dismissed. I think I know what you are saying when you say you feel a demonic presence when hearing Christian rock music. I probably felt the same way when I tried to read the Quran (or Koran) many years ago. I mention that experience in the first article I wrote about Islam for my Christian and politics websites (see Islam Claims). But I did not stop there. I then proceeded to present many Biblical, historical, and logical problems with Islam in that article and the other articles I have written about Islam.
That is the pattern for all of my writings. I might mention my feelings or experiences, but that is just by way of introduction or illustration. I defend my positions and claims with Biblical, scientific, historical, Constitutional, logical, or whatever non-emotional evidence is appropriate for the topic at hand, as seen in the above “Racist” article.
In the case of CCM, in my three-part CCM article, I mention my feelings and experiences with CCM and mention how it has been a great boast to my spirituality and walk with the LORD. But I then quote Scripture verses to support that position, while pointing out there are no contrary verses. You mention the passages I quote, but you in no way refute my use of them. And you do not quote any verses supporting your position that CCM is “demonic” and “worldly.”
For instance, I compare Psalm 150 and Daniel 3 and comment that the same musical instruments are used to praise the LORD and to praise Nebuchadnezzar’s idol. As such, it cannot be said that any type of instrument is sinful. You reply that neither passage mentions instruments like electric guitars and electric keyboards that rockers use.
That is of course true. But it is also true the Bible the mentions handwritten letters but not email, but you obviously do not have any qualms about using email. I would assume you also have no qualms about using the myriad of other modern-day conveniences that are powered by electricity. Thus, you cannot claim that the use of electricity somehow transforms an otherwise godly device into an ungodly one.
The one logical argument you use, that churches that use old hymns are more-theologically sound than ones that use CCM, might be true in Estonia where you live, but it is not true here in the United States. I have attended many churches both here in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area and when I lived in Denver, Colorado that were theologically sound and which utilized CCM. In attendance were both older and younger people.
Meanwhile, most mainline Protestant churches use old-fashioned hymns, but they are generally theologically liberal, which is to say, they deny just about every essential doctrine of the Christian faith. They are mostly composed of older people, as such churches are dying here in the USA. Thus, it would seem it is hymns that are “dividing,” not CCM.
As for charismatic churches, though I disagree with many of their distinctive doctrines, they are generally conservative when it comes to the essentials of the faith. If I had to choose between the two of them, I would take that over the liberal churches.
For what I mean by the essentials of the faith, see my ministry’s Confession of Faith. A church that agrees with these doctrines would be theologically conservative, while one that denies them would be theologically liberal.
As for the dress of Christian heavy metal bands, I can remember Stryper being asked about this very issue. They responded that it was the standard “costume” for heavy metal bands, just as there are standard costumes or uniforms for other aspects of life, such as for police officers or football players, or me needing to wear a singlet for powerlifting contests.
But the important point is, just as the Bible never condemns any particular type, form, or style of music, it also never condemns any particular type, form, or style of dress or clothing. Now, I do make a case that it would be unbiblical for a Christian to dress in sexually alluring or scantily clad manner in my God’s Sex Plan books. And in those books, I mention that the Bible specifically forbids men dressing like women, and vice versa (Deut 22:5). But that is it. Nowhere does the Bible mention dress styles in general.
However, there is a passage in the Apostolic Fathers that does mention dress. These are the writings of the Church leaders of the late first through mid-second centuries. They are not inspired, but they do give us insight into the teachings and life of the Church of that time. That is why I translated them as a sort of “appendix” to the New Testament (see Analytical-Literal Translation of the Apostolic Fathers).
In one of these books, The Epistle to Diogenites, is the flowing passage:
1For the Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country, nor language, nor the customs which they observe. 2For they neither inhabit cities of their own, nor employ a peculiar form of speech, nor lead a life which is marked out by any singularity. 3The course of conduct which they follow has not been devised by any speculation or deliberation of inquisitive men; nor do they, like some, proclaim themselves the advocates of any merely human doctrines. 4But, inhabiting Greek as well as barbarian cities, according as the lot of each of them has determined, and following the customs of the natives in respect to clothing, food, and the rest of their ordinary conduct, they display to us their wonderful and confessedly striking method of life (5:1-4, bolding added).
Thus, early Christians most likely dressed just like those around them as appropriate for their profession. Music is not mentioned as one of the things that do not distinguish Christians from non-Christians, but given all else that is said, it could easily have been included. The writer goes on to say in what ways Christians are distinguished from non-Christians, but music is not one of them. Thus, early Christians most likely did not listen to different styles of music than non-Christians.
To go on, you say you agree with me in quoting Romans 14, but you seem to miss the point. You are indeed “judging” me with your email, trying to guilt me into giving up listening to CCM and even to give up powerlifting, if it means having to listen to CCM to get psyched up for training. You even make it sound like I need to make a choice—to follow the LORD or to continue to listen to CCM and to powerlift, if that means listening to CCM.
However, that is a false dichotomy, as there is no evidence whatsoever that listening to CCM while powerlifting or otherwise is contrary to the Word of God. Such a dichotomy should be reserved for behaviors for which there is clear and undeniable Biblical prohibitions, like premarital sex, as discussed in my Sex Plan books.
It bothers me greatly if you have used this same tactic on others, trying to guilt them into giving up something they enjoy but which you do not “feel” is good but for which you have no solid Biblical evidence to support your feelings. That is legalism, pure and simple, the kind that has turned many people off of the Christian faith.
In this case, it is even worse, as you are trying to guilt me into giving up something that is not only not spiritually depressing but is spiritually uplifting, that of CCM, while powerlifting is a great boast to my emotional and physical health.
To those ends, and to answer your questions about my current health situation, see my bio on my personal website. It also mentions CCM.
Finally, I found it surprising you were able to watch my workout videos. I recently stopped posting them, as, due adding SSL security to my websites, they appeared to no longer be working. But now they seem to be working again, so I have begun to post workout videos again.
Also, be sure to note the new URL for my Christian website: www.Zeolla.org/Christian/ and for my fitness website: www.Zeolla.org/Fitness/
Ads for Astrology?
I received an email looking to advertise on my websites. But when I checked the emailer’s website, it was about teenage girls. I emailed her back and told her, “Your website has nothing to do with the subjects of my websites; so sorry, but your advertising would not be appropriate for my sites.” But then for some strange reason, she emailed me again and offered to pay $125 for an ad for her “spirituality/horoscope website.” I emailed the following back to her:
As I said, the subject matter of your site is not compatible with my websites. And there is no way I would allow an article about the sinful practice of horoscopes to be placed on any of my sites at any price. Consulting the stars for your fortune is sinful. You should instead be looking to the LORD, the one true God, the God of the Bible, and His revealed will in the Bible for direction in life. The LORD created the heavenly bodies to mark times and seasons, not to be consulted about our fortunes.
14And God said, “Let there become lights in the firmament of the heaven for light of the earth, to divide between the day and between the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and for years. 15And let them be for light in the firmament of the heaven, so as to be shining upon the earth,” and it became so.
16And God made the two great lights, the greater light for beginning the day and the lesser light for beginning the night, and [He made] the stars. 17And God placed them in the firmament of the heaven, so as to be shining upon the earth, 18and to rule the day and the night, and to separate between the light and between the darkness. And God saw that [it was] good. 19And there became evening and there became morning, [the] fourth day (Genesis 1:14-19).
35Thus said the LORD, the One having given the sun for a light of the day, [the] moon and stars for a light of the night, and a shout [fig., roaring] in [the] sea, so the waves of it make a booming noise (the LORD Almighty [is the] name to Him) (Isaiah 31:35).
15“And guard your* souls exceedingly [fig., diligently], for you* saw no likeness in the day in which the LORD spoke to you* in Horeb in the mountain out of [the] midst of the fire, 16 lest you* act lawlessly, and make to yourselves a carved image, any image, likeness of male or female, 17likeness of any animal of the ones being on the earth, likeness of any winged bird which flies under heaven, 18likeness of any creeping thing which creeps on the earth, likeness of any fish as many as are in the waters under the earth; 19and lest having looked up into the sky, and having seen the sun and the moon and the stars, and all the worlds of heaven [or, heavenly bodies], having gone astray, you should prostrate yourselves in worship to them, and serve them, which the LORD your* God has distributed to all the nations under heaven (Deuteronomy 4:15-19).
41“And in those days they made a calf and brought a sacrifice to the idol and began celebrating in the works of their hands. 42So God turned away and gave them over to be sacredly serving the host of heaven [i.e., the sun, moon, planets, and stars], (Act 7:41,42a).
Repent of your sin of promoting astrology and consulting horoscopes and turn to the LORD and His Son Jesus Christ and His death on the cross for your sins.
17“And now, brothers [and sisters], I know that according to ignorance you* did [it], as indeed [did] also your* rulers. 18But what [things] God announced beforehand by [the] mouth of all His prophets, [that] the Christ [would] suffer, He fulfilled in this manner. 19Therefore, repent and turn back [to God] in order for your* sins to be blotted out, in order that times of refreshing shall come from [the] face [fig., presence] of the Lord 20and [that] He shall send the One having been appointed for you*—Christ Jesus (Acts 3:17-20).
Note: After sending the preceding responses, I did not hear from either of them again.
Analytical-Literal Translation Questions and Updates
My Analytical-Literal Translation of the Bible (ALT) is currently available as seven volumes. I have had many people ask me if I will ever publish a one-volume hardcopy edition. To answer; an one-volume ALT is not possible with my current self-publishing method for my books given the page limitations of the publishers. Maybe someday I will find a major publisher to publish the ALT in one volume. In lieu of that, I would like to publish new editions of each volume of the ALT. If I do, I will try to reduce the number of volumes from seven to four.
In addition, I plan on changing the format of the hardcopy volumes. They are currently printed on 8-1/2” x 11” pages in double-columns. I used that format as I figured the cost would be less. And it is, for the paperback versions, but not for the hardback versions, which is what most people purchase. Meanwhile, I’ve had many comments that the larger size is too awkward to handle, and the double-columns difficult to read. As such, the new editions will be printed the same as most of my other books, on 6” x 9” pages in single columns.
However, the print size will be smaller. Times New Roman 11 is used in most of my books, while the ALT will be in Times 10. That will lessen the number of pages and thus the cost somewhat. But the 6” x 9” size will increase the number of pages as compared to the 8-1/2” x 11”, which I why I am not sure how much I can reduce the number of volumes given the page limitation of my publishers.
Similarly, I have also had many people ask me about making the ALT available as a Bible app. The problem there is, the format the ALT is currently in would not be compatible with Bible apps, and it would take a LOT of work to make it so.
I have also had people ask me about making the ALT available in an audio format. That might be possible someday. In fact, I have thought of making some of my other books available as audio books, but I just have not had time to look into it. If I can figure it out, I might try it with one of those books. If that works out, then maybe I will consider it for the ALT. But again, I am sure it would be a lot of work.
Given the work involved for the above ideas, before I start any of them, I want to go over the entire ALT text to be sure it is as exactly accurate as possible, and that will take quite a while. As such, only the LORD knows if or when any of the above will actually happen.
My current plan is to start reviewing the ALT text after I finish the two major writing projects I am currently engaged in. The first is a new politics book to be titled Breakdown of American Society. It will be a sequel to my book Tearing the USA Apart.
I will then get back to work on the second project, a major revision of my Scripture Workbook that I have been working on for the past couple of years. It is taking me so long as I am expanding it into a three-volume set and re-titling it Studying and Defending the Scriptures and the Christian Worldview. Also, I paused work on it twice to work on the two politics books. I also had many tech problems the first half of this year (2019) that took up much of my time.
These two projects will easily take me into next year (2020), maybe longer, given my failing health, which is another reason it is taking me so long to finish the Studying and Defending set. But if or when I finish these two projects, God-willing, I will start working on reviewing the ALT for the new editions and reduced number of volumes and other mentioned projects.
But it will probably be several years before the new volumes are finished, so if you are interested in the ALT, it would be worthwhile to purchase the current volumes. If you do, and you find anything you think needs correcting or revised, please let me know, and I will look into it.
Finally, I have had many people ask me what Greek text I used to translate the Septuagint from for the ALT: Old Testament. I failed to include that information in the published volumes, so let me do so here:
The LXX text used for the ALT is Codex Vaticanus as it appears on the BibleWorks 10 software program. More fully (from BibleWorks’ copyright information):
LXT - LXX Septuaginta (Old Greek Jewish Scriptures) edited by Alfred Rahlfs. Copyright © 1935 by the Württembergische Bibelanstalt / Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft (German Bible Society), Stuttgart. Used by permission. The LXX MRT (machine readable text) was prepared by the TLG (Thesaurus Linguae Graecae) Project directed by Theodore F. Brünner at University of California, Irvine. Further verification and adaptation towards conformity with the individual Goettingen editions that have appeared since 1935 (9th Edition reprint in 1971) is in process by the CATSS Project, University of Pennsylvania. LXX OT Apocryphal/Deutero-Canonical books, substantial text variations and multiple text types (assuming Codex Vaticanus as standard) from the Theodotian revision, Codex Alexandrinus, and Codex Sinaiticus are included.
New on Darkness to Light Website
Below are new items on my Christian website that have been posted since the last issue of this newsletter was published.
Back Issues of Darkness to Light Christian Newsletter is a new page. It links to every back issue of the free Darkness to Light Christian email newsletter. That’s 17 years’ worth of newsletters, a total of 126 issues, all free for the reading.
New on Fitness for One and All Website
Below are new items on my fitness website that have been posted since the last issue of this newsletter was published.
Health and Fitness Emails (NAET/ MCS / SPS, Glycogen Replenishment and the Glycemic Index, and Powerlifting) is a new page.
XVII, No. 4 is the latest issue of the
free FitTips for One
and All newsletter.
Back Issues of FitTips
for One and All Newsletter is a new page. It links to every back
issue of the free FitTips for One and All email newsletter. That’s
17 years’ worth of newsletters, a total of 125 issues, all free for the reading.
New on Biblical and Constitutional Politics Website
Below are new articles on my politics website that have been posted since the last issue of this newsletter was published.
Hearings About the Not-Mueller Investigation and the Not-Mueller Report is a
Racist, Racist, Who Is the Racist? is a new two-part article.
Trump Said There Was a Crisis at the Border, But He was Ridiculed for It is a new article.
America: President Trump’s Ode to American Exceptionalism is a new article.
What the Old Testament Teaches About Human Sexuality
Also by Gary F. Zeolla:
is the personal website for Gary F. Zeolla.
Author of Christian and of fitness books, Web sites, and newsletters,
and a top ranked and multi-record holding powerlifter.
for One and All website and
for One and All newsletter.
“Helping people to attain their health, fitness, and performance goals,
with an emphasis on powerlifting.”
Biblical and Constitutional Politics
“Political articles and commentary from a conservative Christian and politically conservative perspective”
All material in this newsletter is copyrighted © 2019 by Gary F. Zeolla or as indicated otherwise.