An anarchistic reading of the Bible (2)—Creation and what follows

Whilst there may certainly be nothing sacred or “God-ordained” about the modern nation-state, lots of people do claim the connection of their state with the God of their Christian faith. Lots of those claiming to be Christian do not notice they themselves made themselves an own faith which in many cases has gone far away from the leader Christ Jesus his teachings. Even worse many of the conservative Christians and extreme right people have twisted so much the biblical teachings they do not see straight any more.

Lots of people in the so called democratic countries would like to build up their country to what they call to be a free nation, though they want to put a lot of limitations to whom may enter and to what others may believe.
A very good example of such deformation of the mind is the United States of America where there are some citizens who are totally convinced that it is their own home country, not recognising they themselves came from immigrants, thinking their laws should be build on their restricted view of the Bible, ignoring in a certain way the idea of freedom of the Pilgrims who founded their country.

Americans, convinced that the only state they have does not belong to the original locals, redskins or Indians, neither that it belongs to the Divine Creator, are convinced only they can work, according to their measures, to make ‘their state’ the most just and life-enhancing state it can be.
They are also convinced they should also work against their state as strongly as possible when it is unjust and undermines life. Though they often forget which measures or rules they would consider to be the just, righteous and most right to choose for.

Perhaps they can use an anarchist critique of the state and an anarchist affirmation of the human capacity for self-organizing to help to resist the undermining and, even more, to help them as they seek to construct a well-functioning society.

But most of all I would advice those who call themselves Christian to take up again the Bible and to go through it thoroughly.
All people interested in building up a community which can leave together in peace,is better to take up the manual given by the Supreme Writer and Divine Creator of all.

We can approach the Bible as a storybook and see it as providing a loosely coherent message, amidst a great deal of diversity, but than we shall miss out a lot of wisdom provide in it and would not be able so much to see our own stupidities and the stupidities of our governments who do not want to learn from the past, having the past repeating over and over again.

When we look at the Bereshith, the book of the Beginnings brings us the evolution of all things. Lots of conservative Christians do want to take its writing as a literal presentation from day to day, but it was never intended to be so. Moses neither the Client to write, wanted to present humanity with a factual historical scientist into depth account of what happened throughout the years of this universe.
The very beginning of the Bible provides much important information about the Bible as a whole, about the cosmology of the whole, about the character of the God seen to be central to the entire story, and about the relationships between humankind and this God.

Those people taking up the Bible, the infallible Word of God, should remember that the tale told in that Book of books, is to bring us knowledge about our own beings, our own self, how and why we are and how humanity develops.

In this Best-seller of all times, the One giving His Voice, the One Who asked to have His Words written down, This Creator God speaks of His Creation, which includes not only the human beings (male and female) being created in His own image, but also all the things He gave under dominion of those human beings (plants and animals). Though man could make use of it and could give it names, it has made a mess of it, and has done dishonour to the Creator of it. Too many have forgotten that humanity is commissioned to care for the rest of creation as God’s stewards. This is one of the good reasons lots of people should again or for the first time start reading the Bible to find out what their position on this planet is and what they have as task to do to come to a nice good peaceable world.

The Bible tells us what went wrong in the past and how the relationship between God and man became troubled. We do have to find ways to restore that relationship between God and humanity which is not one of domination, command-and-obedience. Yes it is rather a relationship of like with like. God has given several man of God to lead us and to show us the right way to develop. The prophet and master rabbi Jeshua (Jesus Christ) is the most important one to follow. after so much time that the people still did not come to understand the Torah, Jesus came to clarify it once again and to show the Way to God. though Jesus is the Way, he did not want to do his own will nor wants us to do only his will, neither to make him God or to worship him. He wants us to worship and to pray to the same God he prayed to, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, Who is also the God of him (Jesus) and his disciples.

We are told to put on the armour of Christ and to become like Jesus, and to put on the armour of God becoming one with God like Jesus is one with God. Though God is the Most High and even Jesus could not do anything without his heavenly Father, we also shall never be able to do anything without God allowing it to happen. But we are given the words of Christ and the words of the other prophets to help us to find the right way, trying to transform ourselves by the teachings of the master teacher and by the words of the very different books brought together in the Canonical Bible.

We as humans created in the image of God are also by that Creator asked to be like God. And, perhaps even more importantly, the picture here is that all humanity shares in this divine image — kingly, perhaps, but in a strongly egalitarian sense. As well, human beings are given power and responsibility.

The biggest problem is we all are responsible for our own choice and for our own actions. There is nobody else to blame for what we ourselves decide to follow.
It is up to us to take up the Book of books, to believe in it and to follow up freely its advice and wisdom.

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To remember:

to avoid the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (2:17) =  restriction >  arbitrary rule from a dominating God intended to prevent human enlightenment? => Such an interpretation contradict much of the surrounding story + much of what follows in the Bible.

restriction = symbolizing innate human limitations.

human beings seek to know + use that knowledge to dominate creation => will devolve into power struggles and develop hierarchies

To avoid such a dynamic =>  to step back from desiring too much “knowledge,” to accept limits, and recognize to live in trust.

Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“temptation” to violate restriction = too strong => Adam and Eve break the close connection between themselves and God.

coming from human side — after they eat the forbidden fruit, God still seeks to hang around with them in the Garden

humans hide from God (3:8) = they become ashamed of their nakedness.

consequences of this turn toward disharmony = establishment of “enmity” between Adam and Eve (3:15) and of Adam as “ruler” over Eve (3:16).

Not God’s will

new tensions and struggles = characterize human life.

rest of story = God’s work among humanity to overcome this “enmity” and proclivity toward “rulership.”

“fall”= affirmation of fundamental character of human peaceableness and responsiveness to God = complicated by human freedom.

God gives humanity potential to turn away as a key part of basic loving nature of the relationships +> turning away has consequences.

fatalistic interpretation has underwritten power politics over the centuries — the “fallenness” of humanity used as an excuse for a politics of centralized, coercive power.

human proclivity to exercise power in dominating ways = target in story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11.  = inclination to centralize human power and to create a “oneness” that serves centralized power.

“scattering” Babel-dwellers (3:4, 8, 9), God seeks to create the conditions for a different kind of oneness — human unity respecting diversity, decentralizing power, based on mutual respect.

rest of the Bible’s story describes long, tenuous process of such a oneness being established.

human beings being gifted through God’s Spirit to connect despite their differences in languages, points to the type of oneness God endorses.

God’s healing strategy

genealogy that will connect Noah with the founding of God’s chosen people, we meet the human founders of the Hebrew peoplehood.

God creates something new out of barreness + promises descendants, beyond counting, and the agents of blessing for “all the families of the earth” (12:3).

important intervention of God = vocation God gives Abram, Sarai, and their descendants = God’s response to what happened in Eden, the story of the Flood, and the Tower of Babel => God will bring healing, but it will be patient, non-coercive, based on love and not on domination.

Founding ancestor of God’s chosen people = far from being a king or powerful ruler.

God’s work to bring healing to creation = not linked with territoriality => no geographical kingdom and no human king.

The method for doing God’s work in the world is “blessing” and this work is intended to encompass “all the families of the earth.”

We will have to follow the rest of the story to understand better the political implications of this starting point. But we should notice right away the combination of a lack of state-centeredness and the optimism about the possibilities of this “blessing” spreading widely without domination.

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Additional readings:

  1. What is life?
  2. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures
  3. Men of faith
  4. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #1 Christian Reform
  5. Right to be in the surroundings
  6. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  7. Creator and Blogger God 5 Things to tell
  8. God wants to be gracious to you
  9. The giving and protecting God
  10. Testify of the things heard
  11. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  12. A secret to be revealed
  13. Humility and the Fear of the Lord
  14. No fear in love
  15. If you want to go far in life
  16. Being of good courage running the race
  17. Wisdom lies deep
  18. God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supplies
  19. God should be your hope
  20. Your New Job Description — Bless!
  21. Count your blessings
  22. There can only be hope when there is a will to be and say “I am”

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  • American Pride: What Does the Bible Say? (endtimesprophecyreport.com)
    Throughout its short 230+ years existence, the country known as the United States of America has specialized in turning vice into virtue.  Exhibit A?

    Americans teaching that pride is a much-desired quality.

    “American Pride”: it’s on the airwaves; it’s taught in the schools; it’s preached from the pulpits.

  • Is This What US Interviewing Officers In The Embassy Go Through? (thechroniclesofrenard.blogspot.com)
    The experience of getting a United States visa in order to visit the United States of America can be quite challenging for a lot of people in The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

    Here is a humorous video about those interesting experiences.

  • Muslim Americans Insist Students Were Killed Because of Faith (voanews.com)
    The Obama Administration released a statement late Friday about the killing of three Muslim students this week in North Carolina. In the statement US president Barack Obama said “No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship.” American Muslim leaders agree and are urging authorities to label the shooting deaths a hate crime. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
  • Akin Osuntokun: The winner takes all election (dailypost.ng)
    Politics is inherently conflict-ridden with a dual and contradictory potential to either serve as a conflict resolution mechanism or generate a momentum for the escalation of conflict to crisis and ultimately to catastrophe.

    The election of Barack Obama, the first African-American, to the office of the President of the United States of America (USA) is unique and indicative in several respects. It was a veritable indication of how far America has gone in functional socio-political integration and positive adaptation of social diversity. Yet it equally brought in its wake the manifestation of the negative potential of politics to serve as a predictor and harbinger of conflict and crisis.

  • United States Corporation & The united, “States of America” . . use this to help people understand! It is very important information! ~J (gunnygbb2.wordpress.com)
    This film explains the difference between the, “united States of America” which is a Republic, created by the people, and for the protections and freedoms of the people; and, a corporation called “The United States Of America”, which is a Corporation of the “District of Columbia”; Titled, “The United States Of America” this corporation was founded in 1871″.

Thinking Pacifism

Ted Grimsrud—February 2, 2015

This is the second in a series of posts.

In this survey of some biblical themes looked at from an anarchistic angle, I will not be real precise in my use of “anarchistic.” I’ll be talking about a sensibility more than a full-fledged political philosophy. The key “anarchistic” motifs I will focus on will be a strong suspicion toward centralized social power, especially kingdoms and empires, and an optimism about human possibilities for self-organizing and decentralized social power.

And I will be reading the Bible in fairly naïve and straightforward ways. I approach the Bible as a storybook and see it as providing a loosely coherent message, amidst a great deal of diversity. I will focus more on the loose coherence than the diversity—largely due to a desire to find usable guidance in the Bible. At the same time, in reading the Bible more as…

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An anarchistic reading of the Bible—(1) Approaching the Bible

As human beings we do have to make a lot of choices in our life. the first one is who we want to follow and trust. First of all those we consider our parents, but next we can see many human persons asking for our attention. People have written loads of books, but none of them can really compete with a master-work which has different styles of literature bundled together to offer us a lot of knowledge and advice for life.

Many do ignore it and neglect what it can bring to them.

Believer or not a believer in the Most High Divine Creator of all things, that book which Christians consider to be the infallible Word of God, has a lot of knowledge, wisdom and idioms we should look at, in it.

The Bible actually presents itself as a very non-authoritarian collection of writings. It never pushes its ideas on others, contrary it tells itself that people are free to take it or leave it. It gives us one of those choices in life about which it speaks thoroughly. It let us see what happens if we go through life without seeing the many opportunities, without making use of the different choices laid in front of us.

The Best Seller of all times does not demand that we follow this or that rule or saying but it presents openly the different possibilities, the many choices we can make in our life and tells us also what the consequences are of our choices made freely or deliberately.

One of the difficulties of the Book of books is that in some way it can not be taken up passively. It is impossible to read or to go though it without having questions posed to yourself.
This amalgamation of works from the very old times is still accurate and actual, an authority that requires the participation of the reader — and, actually, the participation of many readers.

That it has certain powers can be seen throughout history. Many people tried to destroy it but never succeeded. Lots of people tried to break it down and bagatelle it, but did not succeed and even several negative people reversed their standpoint and became a believer in God, became Jew, Christian or Muslim.

This collection of books, as no other, can transform people. It has so much power, never seen by any other peace of literature or any written work of human beings.
Yes “Its power on its own terms—different from the power that comes from being expropriated by human authoritarian institutions — is power than empowers the reader. It is not power that lends itself to being concentrated in top-down structures but the power that enhances diversity and decentralization.”
The book of books breaths the Power of a much more higher Supreme Being, that surpasses all modern technology and human knowledge.

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To look at:

How the Bible works as an authority is a complicated and contested issue.

approach Bible as source of absolute truths that simply need to be heard and followed

“the house of authority” => three authoritative presences:

Bible revealed truth from God, official doctrinal statements (creeds, confessions, etc.)

Bible actually presents itself as a very non-authoritarian collection of writings.

pick up Bible and read from it =>one will be struck by what we could call an epistemological humility.

Bible makes few claims for its own truthfulness.

gives us a bunch of stories that upon reading together, numerous times, does seem to have a kind of coherence

Bible’s message is invitational. The reader can choose to enter the story or not.

The characters in the Bible are quite human— sometimes strikingly so.

an on-going conversation within the Bible where different points of view challenge each other.

Beyond the internal dynamics that humanize the Bible and present a non-authoritarian kind of authority, we need also to recognize that the humanness of the text for us is reinforced by the fact that what we have in our English Bibles are translations made by human beings from ancient languages that at best provide us with what has been called “dynamic equivalence” where the translators can do no better than approximate the meanings of the original.

authority of the Bible =anarchistic = requires participation of the reader

Its power on its own terms = empowers the reader = enhances diversity and decentralization.

reader of the Bible, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, may read the Bible and find direction from it for oneself

 

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Find additionally: Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #5 To meditate and Transform

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  • Food for Thought-3 Things to Remember Before Starting a Lenten Bible Study (richardsfoodforthought.com)
    The Bibles we use emerge from two distinct ancient communities. The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) comes from the history, people, and traditions of ancient Israel. The text of the New Testament first originates in the early Christian church. When I say, “the Bible is the product of well-intentioned human beings”, I’m not denying the existence of God. Nor am I disputing the idea that God inspired humanity to do certain things then record those events for posterity. I am saying the Bible isn’t a divinely created product in the way Islam regards the Quran. The Bible is a collection of many different types of writing (politics, history, theology, poetry, genealogy) which tell the history of how people understood their relationship with God.  Fallible people wrote our holy book.  God didn’t write or dictate words to a scribe.  There are contradictions and errors throughout the Bible.  Once we realize that God works within our mistakes, we can read scripture with fresh eyes.
  • Think Einstein believed in God? You probably haven’t read this letter he wrote in 1954 (deadstate.org)
    Some religious figureheads such as Ray Comfort claim that Einstein believed in some form of God and acknowledged a higher power’s presence.

    “Although he clearly didn’t believe in a personal God [like the one in Christianity],” Ray Comfort says in his book Einstein, God, and the Bible.

    “Einstein wrote that he wanted to know ‘His’ thoughts, referred to God as ‘He,’ and acknowledged that He revealed ‘Himself.’”

    But in contrast, vocal atheist

  • Christianity book speaks ‘with conviction and eloquence’ (gospeak.org)
    On their Facebook page, the Jundiaí School of the Bible wrote Feb. 10 about our new book, Cristianismo Original (=Original Christianity), by Joel Stephen Williams
  • Did Plato influence the Book of Genesis? (lionoftheblogosphere.wordpress.com)
    Now the belief among Orthodox Jews is that the book of Genesis is very old, but as the web page points out, there are no outside historically dated references to the book of Genesis until the second century B.C., which is two hundred years after the founding of Plato’s Academy. This all fits in with a general pattern I’ve pointed out before that Judaism isn’t as old as people think it is.

    Thus it’s likely that Genesis was not influenced by God dictating Genesis to Moses (who probably never existed as a real person), but rather by the scientific research and philosophy of Aristotle, Plato, and other ancient Greeks scholars.

  • A Unification of Creation and Evolution (robertjrgraham.com)
    When people say that “god created the heavans and the earth in six days and on the seventh he rested”, who can say how long one of god’s days is. Why are we so egotistical as to believe that his day is the same as our’s. We don’t know god (Most of us who believe in god do so because we want to not because we have proof.) but if there is a god why can’t his, her or it’s day be a thousand or a million or even several billion of our years.

    Chapter 2, verse 7 of the book of Genises states “then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” It does not state how long this took or what form the being we call man originally took. God’s image can be many things. We have no way of knowing. Additionally, although the bible is supposed to be the word of god, it was written by humans and therefore subject to human interpretation.

  • Big Brother has a lot to offer (georgehach.wordpress.com)
    We all have a big brother who would like to help us have a better quality of life.  His name is Jesus.  He inspired 4 books in the Bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  They will give you great insight into how to live better.
  • A Conversation About The Nature of God (thehardincrowder.wordpress.com)
    God doesn’t need us in any way, shape, or form. God would still be God if no human being ever worshiped Him.

    I do, however, believe that human beings (and all of creation for that matter) were created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. As John Piper would put it “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.”

    God cares about what we think about him because:

    1. God is worthy of worship
    2. God loves us and knows that there is no lasting joy, fulfillment, or life apart from Him.
    3. God loves us and knows that apart from His love there is only wrath, destruction, and death.
  • Zionists Have Used Evangelical Christianity To Cheat Christianity (thetotalcollapse.com)
    It’s no coincidence that the rise of Zionism, that is: the impulse of the Jews to seek a homeland for themselves, began not long before the Scofield Reference Bible was published. In the late 1800’s, England is where Zionism first found political support. England was already awash with the erroneous “Christian” doctrine of British-Israelism, wherein the British Christians were taught that they were of the lost tribes of Israel; therefore they should support the Zionist Jews venture to create a Jewish state: Israel.

Thinking Pacifism

Ted Grimsrud—January 25, 2015

[This post is a continuation of the conversation about anarchism that I have started in this blog in months past—the most recent post was “More thinking about an ‘anarchistic’ Christianity” on December 15, 2014. It’s an introduction to a series of seven or eight posts that give a quick survey of some anarchistically-inclined dynamics in the Bible.]

I have become motivated to pursue, as a thought experiment, an anarchistic reading of the Bible, for several reasons. For quite some time, probably going back to my discovery of Christian pacifism now nearly 40 years ago, I have found the Bible to be a great resource for thinking politically. However, it has been rather difficult to find connecting points between biblical politics and our current political landscape. I don’t find attempts to link biblical politics with liberal democracy all that attractive; likewise with Marxism. Yet, I also am…

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