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Stretttttching the Truth

By James C ~

How many of you have wondered, as did I, at tales told by ministers? I originally felt that the questionable ones generally came from visiting ministers (being not too worried about anyone questioning what they said).

One visitor got really intense about how badly America needed a revival because of its sinful ways. And he used a couple of examples of how a true revival could reverse the bad stuff in an entire country.

First example, in a country in Africa (conveniently the name of the country was not mentioned). He observed (that's what he said) people walking with signs saying they had been HIV positive and were now totally cured! Marvelous!!

Next was Wales in the UK. Such a country-wide revival that the jails were empty, police standing around with nothing to do, and the bars closed.

Can you imagine that in this age of instant communication and battles for ratings, that someone's media would not pick up on the HIV "miracle" and tell about it? They write about the leaders of nations over there scamming their people with witchcraft type claims of being able to cure it... why not REAL miracles where it is actually cured.

And, then did an Internet search on Wales' jails. Found that they had problems with their jails being too full, that sex offenders were not being incarcerated long enough.

And the bars? Another Internet search gave lots of links to bars one might want to visit, but nothing about them being closed. And again, wouldn't the Brit media have a ball telling the world they were so in control that the jails were empty and the bars closed?

Then along came a new, young assistant pastor who, in one of his sermons, told an interesting story about Russia's Ivan the Great. Seems he was so busy with his campaigns that his advisors became worried because he had never married and had no heir to his throne. So he told them to find a suitable wife for him. That they did. After searching all over Europe they settled on the beautiful daughter of the King of Greece. There was only one hitch... the father/King insisted that he (Ivan) had to become a member of the Greek Orthodox Church. Ivan agreed. But when he and his palace guard arrived they found another glitch. The church forbade warriors from being members. They finally reached a solution. As the soldiers were being immersed for baptism they drew their swords and held them high so that all was baptized except the sword arm! You can go to Google and enter "unbaptized arm" and find links to a few of these tales. But.....

....there are a few problems!

At http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_III_of_Russia we learn that when Ivan married the Greek princess Sophia Paleologue in 1472 he was already a widower and had a son by his first wife, Maria Borisovna of Tver, named Ivan the Young who was born in 1458. Even more of a stretch is that Sophia's father (supposedly the King of Greece) had died in 1465! And even tho the tales say that Ivan and his palace guard troops went to Greece for their baptism and the wedding, again the Wiki link tosses a monkey wrench into the gears by showing that the wedding took place in Moscow in the Dormition Cathedral.

Let's see, could it be that the writers of this tale felt that the 9th commandment was only concerned with testimony against others and had no restrictions against ordinary falsehoods. And they most likely did not want to consider #2 in the Ten Commandments of Solon, "Do not speak falsely" since that list casts a shadow over Moses' reputation.

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