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 Post subject: The Black Stone of Islam; Expiation or Idolatry?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:10 pm 
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I have been doing a little study on the Black Stone of Islam, and here are a few points I have been considering. This is very brief, and should only serve as a rough introduction to the subject, in case anyone wants to look into it more deeply. I look forward to any additional thoughts from Bible believers on the topic.

Before I get started, I want to say that I am referencing many of the details on the Black Stone directly from Islamic sources, right off their own websites; so I am not attempting to present all of this as factual or scientific info, because a lot of the traditions of men cannot be verified; I just want to make it clear that I am not making this up, or trying to misrepresent the Islamic doctrine.
If you are a Muslim reading this, I encourage you to question everything you have learned in your traditions and seek the truth in Christ.



The Black Stone of Islam; Expiation or Idolatry?

Where is it located?
The Black Stone of Islam is located in Saudi Arabia. You may be aware that Muslims bow and worship toward a certain place called Mecca. This is the place; Mecca in Saudi Arabia. You may also be aware of the so-called "Five Pillars" of Islam; (their core doctrine) and how one of those pillars requires a pilgrimage to Mecca. What you may not know, is that the whole pilgrimage to Mecca is based on a visit to the site of the Kaaba, and this all rotates around their precious "Black Stone," a physical object, which is sitting there in Saudi Arabia.

Very basically, the Kaaba itself is a small cube-shaped granite building kept inside a black shroud (see top left photo above), which the Islamics teach was built in part by Abraham and/or Adam from Genesis; and in the east exterior corner of this tiny building, are the fragments of this stone, which is in turn framed by an oval-shaped silver frame (see bottom left photo above). It should be noted that this is a corner stone, but more on that later.

Muslim tradition claims there are other elements involved in this Mosque, including the grave of Ishmael, the Zamzam spring, the preserved footprints of Abraham, etc., but that is not the subject of this writing. Secular historians have their own views on this, but I think it is generally agreed among Muslims that Muhammad set the stone into the wall after it was smashed or blasted into pieces by one or more attackers in the past.

So there it sits; in the corner of this tiny cube-shaped black structure, inside the largest Mosque in the world, in Mecca.

What is it?
That has been hotly debated, but the Muslim traditions teach that this thing is a special stone that came from the sky or Heaven (they say it came from Paradise). Islamic tradition holds that the stone fell from Paradise to show Adam and Eve where to build an altar, and that it was once white but became black due to the sins of the sons of Adam. Some have suggested it is actually a meteorite. From my research, I can tell you it is widely taught among non-Muslims that this setup was part of a pagan temple and that it existed long before Muhammad got there and claimed it for Islam. There are all kinds of stories and fables associated with this object, but one thing is for sure; it should be noted that stones and meteorites in particular have long been associated with various forms of pagan worship; even a casual bit of research by the most jaded skeptic will show this. Our own KJV makes mention of a townclerk in Ephesus, who proclaimed "the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter." (Acts 19:35) More than one author has stated this was likely a meteorite (See Maunder, The Astronomy of the Bible; page 112, Olivier, Meteors; page 3, Moulton, Astronomy; page 297, etc.).

While the exact physical nature of this stone or pieces of stone at Mecca may not be clear, we can say for a reasonable certainty that according to them it is an OBJECT (or pieces of an object) that fell from the sky (this is exactly what Muslims claim), and it holds great importance for them, and they seek to touch and kiss it. We also know the Bible shows evidence of this type of thing being associated with paganism and goddess worship. More than one author has suggested that the stone represents a "certain portion" of the female anatomy. I can see that the peculiar shape of the frame with its opening does indeed look like that, however that is not the purpose of this writing. The purpose of this writing is to examine more closely what Islamics say the Black Stone does.

Do Muslims worship the Black Stone?
Again, that is subject to debate, but they will flatly tell you, "No - we do NOT worship the stone!" To even suggest they are idolators stirs a lot of offense and resentment from the Muslim community, and they will go to great lengths to convince you this is not idolatry. Despite the books which report a history of goddess and idol worship swirling around this stone and others similar to it, their tradition tells them that Muhammad destroyed all the idols which had been set up around this location. I sense this is a delicate issue for them, and for good reason—the Kaaba and the stone is not a minor part of their religion! Mecca forms the very heart of Islam, and this stone lies in the heart of their most sacred mosque! The Black Stone plays an important role in the central ritual of their Hajj, when pilgrims must walk seven times around the Kaaba in a counter-clockwise direction. They will often jostle for position and attempt to kiss the Black Stone seven times, they claim this is emulating the actions of Muhammad. Yet Muslims insist they are not worshipping this thing, and that it has no benefit other than a reference marker for their Hajj. From what I can see on various public forums, If you ask them about all this, they will often refer to specific quotations in their doctrine, such as the very popular one narrated by al-Bukhaari, which states:

It was narrated that ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) came to the Black Stone and kissed it, then he said: “I know that you are only a stone which can neither bring benefit nor cause harm. Were it not that I had seen the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) kiss you, I would not have kissed you.”
- al-Bukhaari, 1520; Muslim, 1720

So we see right there, they are quoting this al-Bukhaari and saying the stone can "NEITHER BRING BENEFIT." But it is hard for me to believe that, when we read so many articles that mention the Black Stone "absorbing sins." It is hard for me to accept it, when we see them longing to visit this object, rotating around this thing and kissing it and venerating it like they do. Clearly the crowds gather around this thing, and the Muslims jostle for position so they can make contact with it and possibly kiss it (see right photo above). This has been going on for a long, long time.

Now, if you ask them about this they will tell you they are merely following the actions of Muhammad, and they will very often make a comparison to kissing a child or a family member; they will say something like, "when you kiss your child or father, you are not worshipping that person, so you see we are not worshipping the stone!"

Unfortunately, that comparison seems a bit disingenuous to me, because it ignores the reality of the importance the Black Stone has in the Muslim world. We are not talking about family affection here. Anyone can plainly see that millions upon millions of people are NOT making a pilgrimage to make contact with a specific child, and incorporating that specific child into their religious ceremony, and rotating around a child seven times, or jostling for position for the chance to kiss and touch a child. Still, if a man insists he is not worshiping something, I am not going to argue with him. I can see how Muslims would see idolatry in Catholicism, and I can see how any non-Muslim person would confuse all this Black Stone veneration with idolatry, however that is not the purpose of this writing. The purpose of this writing is to examine more closely what Islamics say the Black Stone does.

What do Islamics say the Black Stone does?
So now we come to the crux of the matter. As I studied their traditions and quotations located in various articles and published materials regarding the Black Stone in Mecca, one thing began to jump out that I had never noticed before. I was reading a description of the Black Stone written by Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (Fatwa No. 1902). As I reviewed the list of items provided by Al-Munajjid, I got down to the last item on the list, No. 8, which states:

(8) Touching the Stone is one of the things by means of which Allaah expiates for sins

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Touching them both [the Black Stone and al-Rukn al-Yamani] is an expiation for sins.”


(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 959. This hadeeth was classed as hasan by al-Tirmidhi and as saheeh by al-Haakim (1/664). Al-Dhahabi agreed with him).
http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/1902


Now I have provided a direct link to the Islam Q&A site above, and it should be noted that Muslims often refer to this information when discussing the Black Stone, and the website (IslamQA.com) claims to "provide intelligent, authoritative responses to anyone's question about Islam," and also claims that "Responses are composed by Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid, a known Islamic lecturer and author... All questions and answers on this site have been prepared, approved, revised, edited, amended or annotated by Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid, the supervisor of this site."

Now I want you to look carefully at what this Muslim has stated about the Black Stone above in that quote. Please notice the quote (caps are mine), "Touching the Stone is one of the things by means of which Allaah EXPIATES for sins." And again, in the next line; "I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Touching them both [the Black Stone and al-Rukn al-Yamani] is an EXPIATION for sins.”

Now I must admit to you, I had never thought about this much before. But this is the purpose of this writing, to examine and expose the reality of what these Muslims believe about that Black Stone in Mecca, and there it is—like a dead catfish in the sunlight. To understand that word "expiation," you don't need a lesson in Arabic; you can go right to Mirriam-Webster's online dictionary and see that the word means "ATONEMENT."

So there you have it. The exact physical nature of this object at Mecca may not be clear. The history, legends and traditions circling around this thing can be debated. The Muslims may deny they are worshipping it, and that too can be debated. But when you brush away all that debate and simply read their own material, it certainly seems obvious that these poor, deceived people are clamoring over themselves by the millions to kiss and touch a black stone object which they claim offers an atonement for sins! Please notice, I do not teach this—it is the Islamic tradition itself which teaches this, even as it seems to contradict itself with this inconsistent expiation nonsense. They claim the stone is involved in expiation of sins. This explains why I have read so many comments about the Black Stone "absorbing sins." No wonder they long to touch it! Muslims will always deny this, but we can see the exact quote from Al-Munajjid above.

What is the future of the Black Stone?
Al-Munajjid has also described the future of the stone, and this is no secret. The future of the stone is described as follows:

(3) The Black Stone will come forth on the Day of Resurrection and will testify in favour of those who touched it in truth.

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said concerning the Stone: “By Allaah, Allaah will bring it forth on the Day of Resurrection, and it will have two eyes with which it will see and a tongue with which it will speak, and it will testify in favour of those who touched it in sincerity.”

Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 961; Ibn Maajah, 2944. This hadeeth was classed as hasan by al-Tirmidhi, and as qawiy by al-Haafiz ibn Hajar in Fath al-Baari, 3/462


So we see that according to the quote above, the Black Stone is not merely a stone with "no benefit," or just a "marker for Hajj." They clearly teach this object will one day be brought to life and it will SEE AND SPEAK. Moreover; if you touch the stone, the stone will testify on your behalf, like an advocate. I didn't make that up, you see it right there—it's on the same page in the same Fatwa by Al-Munajjid above, you can see it's No. 3 on their list. No wonder they venerate it so! If Muslims currently show this much respect for an inanimate object, can you imagine how they will respond if it begins to speak? We are given a glimpse of a similar scenario in Rev. 13:15, where the Bible describes another religious scene that is fueled by strange powers being given to an object—given not to a stone—but to an image of the beast, which will no doubt deceive many millions of people. It should be noted, these powers do not come from God!

A dangerous teaching
My impression is that Muslims are terribly deceived. I do not hate Muslim people, in fact there are some things about Muslims which I genuinely think we can admire, and I have listed some of them on this forum (see here). However, like many Bible believers, I do have some major concerns over their ugly doctrine—and their teaching on the Black Stone providing "expiation for sins" is distinctly opposed to the teaching of the New Testament in our Holy Bible. Mankind cannot obtain "expiation," atonement or reconciliation with his Maker through some meteorite or black stone in Saudi Arabia—or any other stone object for that matter! That teaching is a dangerous lie from the darkest depths of hell.

The King James Bible uses the word "atonement" 69 times in the Old Testament, it is associated over and over again with man's sin, and specifically with a sin offering. However the word is only used once in the entire New Testament, as follows (caps are my emphasis);

"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received THE ATONEMENT." (Romans 5:6-11)

Notice, it says THE atonement, indicating there is only one. My friend, if you are a Muslim, (or any other religious person), trusting in any religious system of works for your salvation, please let me assure you; there is nothing in that entire passage about getting "expiation" or any type of atonement or reconciliation from a black stone, or a white stone, or any other type of stone object in heaven or on earth today! There is only one atonement in the New Testament, and that is in Jesus Christ, God's only begotten son who shed His precious blood for your sins. Will you believe this? If you have never done it, I encourage you to get down on your knees right now and ask God to forgive you for your sins; trust in the shed blood of Christ. Just receive God's gift of salvation, accept the blood atonement of Jesus Christ. In simple, child-like faith, just ask God to save you and come into your life right now, and He will. (see Romans 10:8-10, Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:16).

Bible believers know a different "Corner Stone"
Despite the teachings of Muslims, Catholics and others regarding these various relics and stone objects, there is only one ROCK which Bible believers really care about—and it's not Peter the little pebble (petros), no—it's the massive rock (petra)—and that is JESUS. It is Jesus "the STONE that the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?" (Matt. 21:42) You do not need to travel to a temple in Mecca, and kiss that mysterious black corner stone to be closer to the living God. No! The Holy Bible declares we can obtain fellowship with God today through Jesus, the CHIEF CORNER STONE, "For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone..." (Eph. 2:18-20)

The atonement man needs for his sins is found in the blood of Jesus Christ, the Bible calls this God's own blood! (Acts 20:28)
Thanks to Jesus Christ, now we can say as David, "The LORD is my ROCK" (Psalm 18:2)

I hope this little study can be used to help someone. My reason for writing it was not to offend anyone or embarrass sincere people, but I can offer no apology for the truth. Thanks for reading, here are just a few of the references used for this study; I have more if needed, let me know and I will try and help you:

Islam Question and Answer
http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/islamqapages/2

Oxford Dictionary of Islam - pg. 165, Black Stone absorbs sins

The Joy of Sects, Peter Occhigrosso, 1996, pp. 394-397

Muhammad and Muhammadanism, S.W. Koelle, 1889, pp. 17-19

Islam in the World, Malise Ruthven, 1984, pp. 28-48

Black Stone, Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Stone

Instructions for kissing the Black Stone
http://www.islamweb.net/eramadan/index. ... &id=146792

Five Pillars of Islam
http://carm.org/five-pillars-of-islam


Atonement Through the Blood of of Jesus, Billy Sunday
http://www.biblebelievers.com/billy_sunday/sun4.html

_________________
The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever." Psalms 12:6-7


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 Post subject: Re: The Black Stone of Islam; Expiation or Idolatry?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:11 pm 
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I have learned a lot from this write up.
Got a question -- (and I hope this is not a dumb question) -- but when the Cleric states -- “Touching them both [the Black Stone and al-Rukn al-Yamani] is an expiation for sins,” -- what exactly is the other relic he is talking about there, the al-Rukn al-Yamani?

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"It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors." -- George Washington (Ref: A Collection, W.B. Allen, ed. 543)


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 Post subject: Re: The Black Stone of Islam; Expiation or Idolatry?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:36 pm 
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I'm not an expert on the Kaaba, but from what I understand, the term "Rukn" means corner. There are four "Rukns," or corners to this cube-shaped structure called the Kaaba, and the "Yemeni Corner" or al-Rukn al-Yamani (together with the "Black Corner" where the stone is) is one of the two corners they claim are built (or rebuilt) on top of what they call the "pillars of Ibrahim" or Abraham. I do not believe the other two corners of the building have this significance. It all adds up to a very complicated collection of traditions, and I have left out many details in order to get to what I felt was the most important element; namely this nonsense about "expiation."

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 Post subject: Re: The Black Stone of Islam; Expiation or Idolatry?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:44 pm 
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I'm thankful we really do have the "Chief Corner Stone" in Jesus. It would be cool if some Muslim comes on here, reads all this and ends up turning to the Bible and getting saved. :) :) :)

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"It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors." -- George Washington (Ref: A Collection, W.B. Allen, ed. 543)


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 Post subject: Re: The Black Stone of Islam; Expiation or Idolatry?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:38 am 

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Hi Folks,

Nice article, it is hard to find solid islamic information, that is Christian apologetic oriented yet also sound and balance. The part about remission of sins is especially fascinating and I would like to read a bit more about the primary sources.

If I remember, even at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, there is a focus on the stone in the islamic temple there. Is that like a daughter or cousin stone ?

One similar issue that comes up is precisely when the Moh-to-Jerusalem story came forth, as an interpretation of the vague quran passage about the uttermost places ? I think it was a century or two later, after Moh, maybe more.

Also how many different places were so identified, or were identified, for convenience, as "holy place #3". Jerusalem was an islamic backwater until the 20th century, till it became front and center. If I remember (I'm a bit rusty on this stuff) 3rd most holy cities would pop up here and there, depending on the current spiritual-political tides.

Shalom,
Steven Avery


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 Post subject: Re: The Black Stone of Islam; Expiation or Idolatry?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:51 pm 
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Steven Avery wrote:
If I remember, even at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, there is a focus on the stone in the islamic temple there. Is that like a daughter or cousin stone ?

Hello Steven, another great question...
I'm probably not the best one to answer it, but basically—yes—I believe that would be the "Foundation Stone," also called the "Pierced Stone," this is venerated by both Jews and Muslims but for different reasons. Some Jews consider it the location of the Holy of Holies in the Temple.

According to some reports, there are early Hebrew writings suggesting that the Dome of the Rock is the genuine site of the Holy of Holies and therefore the location of the Foundation Stone, but others will often debate this view. As I understand it; according to the Talmud, it was near here that God gathered the earth used to form Adam, and on this rock Adam offered his sacrifices to God. Also, Cain, Abel, and Noah are said to have used it to offer sacrifices to God. Some Jewish sources apparently identify this same rock to be where Abraham nearly sacrificed Isaac. So many views and traditions on all this; please don't quote me on any of it, as I am not an expert.

I think Muslims venerate the same stone because their tradition teaches Mohammed left from there on his white horse, but here's the interesting part; it has been suggested some of the Muslims believe that in the end of days, it will become one with the Black Stone of Mecca. I think the source on that is W. R. Lethaby, Architecture, Mysticism and Myth - pp. 87-88, but it could be nonsense. Nevertheless, you can see the Muslim teacher in the link I provided above, predicting their Black Stone will come to life and speak. Could it be possible that the beast of Rev. 13 will utilize some type of "miracle" like this, merging the two stones into one beastly animated image, to deceive the populace and control their worship? I don't know.

My own Pastor and I were talking not too long ago, about how the Islamic world seems to be too often ignored when studying the antichrist and end times. As you know, Bible believers are anticipating a somewhat different future with this Mount than the Muslims are, but that goes into eschatology.

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The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever." Psalms 12:6-7


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 Post subject: Re: The Black Stone of Islam; Expiation or Idolatry?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:52 pm 
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Steven Avery wrote:
One similar issue that comes up is precisely when the Moh-to-Jerusalem story came forth, as an interpretation of the vague quran passage about the uttermost places ? I think it was a century or two later, after Moh, maybe more.

Bro. Parrish wrote:
My own Pastor and I were talking not too long ago, about how the Islamic world seems to be too often ignored when studying the antichrist and end times. As you know, Bible believers are anticipating a somewhat different future with this Mount than the Muslims are, but that goes into eschatology.

I think a good place to start would be with the history of "Palestine". I have some trouble with the name "Palestine" as I don't think there is really such a place, or even "Palestinian" people. The name "Palestine" was given as a derogatory term to the Jews when they were conquered. As I recall the Arabic people didn't have any interest or claim to "Palestine" or Jerusalem until after the Jews started to change that area back into a rich land.

This is just something I remember from some articles I read and some notes I made. I should try to find if I still have my notes and references. I think knowing the history of modern Israel and "Palestine" may be helpful.


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 Post subject: Re: The Black Stone of Islam; Expiation or Idolatry?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:44 pm 
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Amazing. So at its core -- Islam is counting on a meteorite to resolve the sin problem. A black stone that they believe will one day sprout eyes and start talking. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: The Black Stone of Islam; Expiation or Idolatry?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:59 am 
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It's sad really. Not all traditions are bad, but they can be used to render the word of God useless, and they can lead to vain worship. (Matt. 15:9)

I guess this is the danger of replacing the Bible for the traditions of men. No one knew this better than our Lord; he made this painfully clear to the Pharisees, when they tried to throw that tradition junk at Him about washing hands, cups, pots, etc.; this is also found in Mark 7:1-13:

His conclusions;

"For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." v. 8-9

"Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition..." v. 13

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 Post subject: Re: The Black Stone of Islam; Expiation or Idolatry?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 5:41 pm 
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Bro. Parrish wrote:
Nevertheless, you can see the Muslim teacher in the link I provided above, predicting their Black Stone will come to life and speak. Could it be possible that the beast of Rev. 13 will utilize some type of "miracle" like this, merging the two stones into one beastly animated image, to deceive the populace and control their worship? I don't know.

One way or the other, it does seem like these people are being set up for major deception. That passage in Revelation 13 about the image of the beast always kinda freaks me out -- it's going to be a creepy scene for sure! :? :? :?

I'm just thankful for the precious blood of Christ, and the fact that I won't have to go through it!

_________________
"It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors." -- George Washington (Ref: A Collection, W.B. Allen, ed. 543)


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