Autumn traditions for 2014 – 6 Bonfire night

After the gathering of witches and calling the spirits on the 31st of October, people loved to be busy with the dead on the following days, celebrating All Saints and All Souls people want to frighten the spirits away. This, according many cultures can be done with making as much noise as possible and bringing flashy nights. On the other hand many find it necessary to bring the ‘sacred days for the dead’ to a good end by bringing all the death material back to dust by fire. At the end of the Autumn holiday or All Saints holiday bonfires may lit in several places.

Anti Catholic sentiment

Portrait of Henry VIII, King of England

Portrait of Henry VIII, King of England (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For many there is also an anti-Catholic sentiment which found its origins in the English and Irish Reformations under King Henry VIII and the Scottish Reformation led by John Knox. The Act of Supremacy 1534 declared the English crown to be ‘the only supreme head on earth of the Church in England‘ in place of the pope. Any act of allegiance to the latter was considered treasonous because the papacy claimed both spiritual and political power over its followers. The Scottish Reformation in 1560 abolished Catholic ecclesiastical structures and rendered Catholic practice illegal in Scotland.

Pius V and Elizabeth I

Pius V and Elizabeth I (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having Pope Pius V wanting to depose Queen Elizabeth with the papal bull Regnans in Excelsis, he declared her a heretic and the servant of crime. The pope released all of her subjects from any allegiance to her, and excommunicated any who obeyed her orders. By this bull the queen found herself forced to have the believers choosing for the pope or for her, becoming part of the ecclesia anglicana, or Anglican faith. The Elizabethan Religious Settlement was set out in two Acts of the Parliament of England. By the Act of Supremacy of 1558 the governement managed to get back the control over the churches in the reign. By re-establishing the Church of England‘s independence from Rome, with Parliament conferring on Elizabeth the title Supreme Governor of the Church of England, the Act of Uniformity of 1559 outlined what form the English Church should take, including the re-establishment of the Book of Common Prayer.

On the question of images, Elizabeth’s initial reaction was to allow crucifixes and candlesticks and the restoration of roods, but some of the new bishops whom she had elevated protested. The determination to prevent any further restoration of “popery” was evidenced by the more thoroughgoing destruction of roods, vestments, stone altars, dooms, statues and other ornaments.  Puritans delivered sermons regarding the perceived dangers of popery, while during increasingly raucous celebrations common folk burnt effigies of popular hate-figures, such as the pope.

A devout and militant Catholic

Guy Fawkes (a.k.a. Guido Fawkes), cropped detail from a contemporary engraving of the Gunpowder Plotters. The Dutch artist probably never actually saw or met any of the conspirators, but it has become a popular representation nonetheless. - National Portrait Gallery, London

Guy Fawkes (a.k.a. Guido Fawkes), cropped detail from a contemporary engraving of the Gunpowder Plotters. The Dutch artist probably never actually saw or met any of the conspirators, but it has become a popular representation nonetheless. – National Portrait Gallery, London

Travelling soldier—mercenary would be the wrong word, Guy Fawkes (1570–1606), a devout and militant Catholic, brought in on a plan to blow up Britain’s Houses of Parliament on November 5, 1605. The family Fawkes with father Edward Fawkes (sometimes spelled Faux), a judicial court official, was required, under the state Church of England religion (now known as Anglicanism, with the Episcopal Church as its American branch), to swear an oath pledging that they were Protestants. Fawkes’s mother, Edith, like many other Catholics, put up a Protestant facade, but her nephew became a Jesuit priest and some of her relatives were recusants — English Catholics who refused to attend Protestant church services. When Edward Fawkes died, when Guy was eight, his mother showed her true sympathies by marrying another recusant, Denis (or Dionysus) Bainbridge, described by an acquaintance (according to the Gunpowder Plot Society) as “more ornamental than useful.” The family moved to a home near the village of Scotton in North Yorkshire. From that point on, Fawkes likely began to come in contact with devout Catholics who were working through official channels and also by underground means to safeguard and advance the rights of Catholics under the country’s increasingly entrenched Anglican regime.

St. Peter’s School in the city of York though having a nominally Protestant headmaster, John Pulleine (or Pulleyn), was likely a hotbed of Catholic resistance. One local noblewoman, according to Gunpowder Plot historian Antonia Fraser, called the school “Little Rome.” Fawkes, according to one source, married Pulleine’s daughter Maria and had a son, named Thomas, in 1591. Other early accounts of Fawkes’s life make no mention of the marriage, which could suggest that it was very short (perhaps with mother and child dying in childbirth) or that it did not occur at all.

Spain wanting to control Flanders and to invade England

Working as a footman to the Catholic nobleman Lord Montague, he may have met Robert Catesby, the originator of the Gunpowder Plot, through family connections during this period. Around 1593, he left England for Flanders (a Dutch-speaking region now divided among northern Belgium, France, and the Netherlands), which was then under the control of Spain, Western Europe’s great Catholic power, and he enlisted in the Spanish army. A military associate (quoted by David Herber) described Fawkes as

“a man of great piety, of exemplary temperance, of mild and cheerful demeanor, an enemy of broils and disputes, a faithful friend, and remarkable for his punctual attendance upon religious observance.”

Spain’s feared Armada had tried unsuccessfully to launch an invasion of England in 1588 trying to expand its power in the willingness to conquer the whole of Europe. Serving under the command of the Archduke Albert of Austria, Spain’s ally, Guy Fawkes fought for the Spaniards in a battle at Calais, in western France, in 1595, and he may have been wounded at the Battle of Nieuwpoort in West Flanders in 1600. It was at the continent that his assignments brought him the experience for blowing up things, like a procession of military wagons. In both these campaigns he came to the attention not only of his Spanish and Austrian commanders but also of a group of English Catholic nobles sympathetic to the Catholic side. He was recognized not only for military valour but also for his virtue and general intelligence.

From protestantism to Catholicism

After the establishment of the Church of England under King Henry VIII and a temporary and gruesome return to Catholicism under Queen Mary (“Bloody Mary”), Protestantism had become well entrenched under Elizabeth, as even the Spaniards recognized. They gave Fawkes a polite reception, but they were moving in the direction of a permanent peace with England, and Fawkes’s mission went nowhere. Meanwhile King James, suspicious of the intentions of English Catholics, sharpened his anti-Papist invective and imposed new fines on recusants.

In Brussels after his Spanish mission, Fawkes was introduced by Sir William Stanley to Tom Wintour, a Catholic soldier. Wintour or Stanley informed Fawkes of a plot under consideration by English nobleman Robert (or Robin) Catesby, whose father had undergone long imprisonment for his Catholic affiliation, and whose own militancy had deepened as he fell on hard times. Fawkes seemed the perfect foot soldier for the plan’s execution. He knew guns and explosives well, and since he had been away from England for many years, his name and face were unknown to Sir Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury and the head of the English monarchy’s secret police.

Conspiracy

Conspirators of the Gunpowder Plot. Very similar to one in National Portrait Gallery by Crispijn van de Passe the Elder

Conspirators of the Gunpowder Plot. Very similar to one in National Portrait Gallery by Crispijn van de Passe the Elder

At an inn in London’s upscale Strand distric Fawkes, Catesby, Wintour, and two other conspirators met in May of 1604 to swore an oath for carrying out Catesby’s plan: to throw England into chaos by killing its king and lawmakers in a massive explosion, to install King James’s young daughter, Elizabeth, as Queen and arrange her marriage to a Catholic monarch from elsewhere in Europe, thus restoring a Catholic monarchy.  The Westminster district in London’s West End was a crowded warren of streets and businesses at the time, and Fawkes/Johnson attracted little notice as he was installed as caretaker of an empty cellar of an adjoining building. By early 1605 the plotters had begun to fill the cellar with barrels of gunpowder. To disguise it they covered it with iron bars and bundles of kindling, known in British English as faggots. They had to replace the powder as it “decayed” or went stale.

November the 5th

Finally a date for the explosion was set: November 5, 1605, when King James, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons would all be in attendance in the same chamber. The Powder Treason began to unravel on the night of October 26, with the delivery of an anonymous letter to a Catholic nobleman, Lord Monteagle, advising him to concoct an excuse to avoid the opening of the Parliament session on November 5. Monteagle informed Sir Robert Cecil of the letter’s contents, and Cecil informed the King. Continuing uncertainty over who wrote the letter, together with signs that pointed to its being a forgery, have given rise over the centuries to theories that the Gunpowder Plot was devised not by Catholic militants but by Cecil himself, with the intention of permanently crippling Britain’s Catholics in the ensuing uproar. In this version of events (promoted in recent times by Francis Edwards), Fawkes and Catesby were double agents. The preponderance of historical opinion holds that the Treason was a genuine terrorist plot, but the debate continues.

Anti-Irish propaganda from Punch magazine, published in December 1867.

Anti-Irish propaganda from Punch magazine, published in December 1867.

Whatever the case, the cellars beneath the Parliament buildings were searched on the night of November 4, and Fawkes was discovered, along with the gunpowder. Described as a very tall and desperate fellow, he gave his name as John Johnson. King James, according to Fraser, ordered that “the gentler Tortures are to be first used unto him et sic per gradus ad ima tenditur [and so by degrees proceeding to the worst],” although torture was illegal in England at the time, and had been since the signing of the Magna Carta, the 1215 document that restricted the power of the English kings. Fawkes was hung from a wall in manacles and probably placed on the rack, a notorious device that slowly stretched a prisoner’s body until he lost the use of his limbs. After two days, Fawkes gave up the names of his coconspirators, all but one of whom were tracked down and executed or killed. Prior to his execution by hanging in Westminster’s Old Palace Yard on January 31, 1606, Fawkes was barely able to sign his own name on a confession. After dying on the scaffold, he was drawn and quartered.

Restrictions harsher than any they had yet experienced were placed on English Catholics by King James, and November 5 became a national holiday in England, known as Firework Night, Bonfire Night, or Guy Fawkes Day. In the colonial United States it was celebrated as Pope Day, featuring a ceremony in which the Pope was burned in effigy, but the holiday was gradually absorbed into the Halloween festivities that occurred a few days earlier. Guy Fawkes Day evolved away from its roots in Britain, where the targets of the fire might include contemporary figures despised by the public. As part of a group of anti-terrorist measures, the cellars of the Houses of Parliament are still searched by guards each year before the legislature opens in November.

The execution of Guy Fawkes' (Guy Fawkes), by Claes (Nicolaes) Jansz Visscher, given to the National Portrait Gallery, London in 1916.

The execution of Guy Fawkes’ (Guy Fawkes), by Claes (Nicolaes) Jansz Visscher, given to the National Portrait Gallery, London in 1916.

 

Remembrance night of terrorism acts or ‘bonefires’ as cleansing ritual

An effigy of Guy Fawkes, burnt on a Guy Fawkes Night bonfire

Celebrations are held throughout the United Kingdom (including non-Catholic communities in Northern Ireland), and in some other parts of the Commonwealth. In the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, 5 November is commemorated with bonfires and firework displays, and it is officially celebrated in South Africa.*

Non religious people love to have a remembrance of the fires in which bones were burned. The “banefire” was the place were the dead were brought together to be burned so that no deceases could spread. It is the sheol or hell spoken of in the Bible, which was at the Biblical times a place outside the cities were the fire was kept burning day and night so that in case of a serious infection the spreading of the decease could stopped soon enough to avoid further deaths. Also the ones (bane) had to undergo a fast decay, which could be done by a fire.

In the ancient and present druid religions, bonfires were and are still held between 31 October and 5 November to celebrate Samhain and to burn the bones of the slaughtered livestock they had stored for the winter months. People and their livestock would often walk between two bonfires as a cleansing ritual, and the bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames. In several pagan circles the tradition of the bonfire is till kept alive. Some modern day Druids and Pagans see bonfire night as a significant celebration to end the harvest festival. In Belgium and Ireland they are mostly lit on the 31st of October. In those countries they are seen as a reaction against those who are religious and believe in Christ and/or in One Creator. Christian symbols are burned to give a sign to abolish them and with it the faith in such symbols or in what it represents. The burning cross should give a clear visible sign  to every one of how they hate the figure of Jesus Christ and everything around it. Pernicious weeds, diseased material is put on the bonfire to show how man can conquer the bad things in nature and how he can be stronger than the natural things which surrounds him. Lots of people find it a nice way to show the gods of nature and the bad spirits that they can control the earth and can frighten any spirit which they do not want to have around them, because if they would come close , they (man) would be there to put them in the fire.

For sure Christians do neither have to celebrate terrorism acts nor papal celebrations, nor feasts for making souls afraid or for giving gods a sign. Participating in such festivities as a sign of anti-catoliscism or a as sign of anti-protestantism would not give a sign of openness to other believers or other Christians and of forgivingness for what had happened in the past.

+

* In Northern Ireland, the term “Bonfire Night” can refer to the Eleventh Night celebrations of 11 July. Like 5 November, this Bonfire Night also has its roots in the sectarian struggle between Protestants and Catholics. It celebrates the Battle of the Boyne of 1690, in which the Protestant William of Orange defeated the Catholic James II. The 23 June Bonfire Night in Ireland has its origins in a religious celebration and originally featured prayers for bountiful crops. {“Bonfire repair bill revealed”. BBC News. 15 July 2003. Retrieved 27 May 2011.; Haggerty, Bridget. “St. John’s Eve in old Ireland”. Irish Culture and Customs.}

 

Preceding articles:

  1. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet
  2. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 2 Summersend and mansend
  3. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 3 Black Mass, Horror spectacles and pure puritans
  4. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 4 Blasphemy and ridiculing faith in God
  5. All Saints’ Day
  6. All Souls’ Day
  7. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 5 People, souls and saints in the news

+++

  • This Day in History: October 30th- A King, His Wife, and The Act of Supremacy (todayifoundout.com)
    Pope Clement feared Queen Katherine’s powerful nephew The Holy Roman Emperor right up the road a lot more than the King of England across the ocean, so he put off dealing with the situation.
    +
    The Protestants in the realm who thought they won a major theological victory were sorely disappointed, because the King deviated very little from traditional Catholic doctrine or ritual. Henry just wanted to be the boss – and to have access to all of the Church’s vast riches in his kingdom, which he plundered with great gusto.
    +
    How the King James Bible Came About
  • 2000 years of Christianity : what happened? – Part IV – 1200AD – 1600AD (biblethingsinbibleways.wordpress.com)
    1549: Book of Common Prayer released – At the death of Henry VIII, the archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer, moved forward with the English reformation. Images were removed from churches, private confessions to priests were discontinued, and the clergy allowed to marry. But mass was still said in Latin. So Cranmer moved to create a liturgy that was pleasing to Protestants as well as Catholics. The book of common prayer was born.
    +
    1559: John Knox makes final return to Scotland – A Scottish clergyman and writer who was a leader of the Protestant Reformation, founded the Presbyterian denomination in Scotland, helping to write the new confession of faith and the ecclesiastical order for the newly created reformed church in Scotland called “the Kirk”.
    +
    With the sale of indulgences, the reformation would officially begin at the hand of Martin Luther and the likes of Ulrich Zwingli. Protestantism which spread quickly even with heavy opposition from the Catholic church, even leading to wars between the two groups, would also give birth to the Anglican Church in England, a separate entity from the church in Rome. While Calvin’s teachings were soaked in by Protestantism, a counter reformation was underway inside the catholic church which did not reform many of its earlier teachings. While the Jesuits traveled on missions programs with spain and portugal as they extended their land overseas, many reformers such as Ridley, Latimer and Cranmer were executed for their beliefs – but Protestantism could not be stamped out, and would become one of the largest sects in Christianity – distinctively different from Catholicism, although borrowing and having many of its roots in the teachings of Rome.
  • Repost for Today (supertradmum-etheldredasplace.blogspot.com)
    The king had declared himself Head of the Church in England and had repudiated its spiritual allegiance to the Pope. The suppression and spoliation of the Religious Orders followed, but the Knights of St. John were not at first included in the general ruin. In 1539, two knights of the English Tongue, Blessed Adrian Fortescue and Ven. Thomas Dingley, a nephew of Sir William Weston, Grand Prior of England, were martyred on Tower Hill for denying the Royal Supremacy. By Letters Patent 7th July, 1539, Henry reminded the knights of the English Tongue that he was a Protector of the Order : and it was his will that in future every appointment must be confirmed by him, and that he was to receive the first year’s revenue of the office.
  • The Fallibility Of Papal Infallibility (psalm115three.com)
    if papal infallibility has only been exercised twice, how can Catholic apologists claim that the canon of scripture, Christ’s deity, the Trinity, etc. have also been infallibly declared? How can they claim that some rulings of Popes and councils are infallible, while others aren’t, without having a reasonable and consistent standard by which to make such a distinction? For example, if Pope Pius IX’s Immaculate Conception decree is infallible, why wouldn’t Pope Boniface VIII’s Unam Sanctam decree, which errs repeatedly, also be infallible? Both decrees were issued by Popes, both decrees define doctrine, and both decrees use authoritative language. Or when the Fourth Lateran Council dogmatizes transubstantiation, why is that accepted as infallible, while the same council’s offering of indulgences to those who participate in a Crusade and “exterminate heretics” isn’t accepted as infallible? Catholics are unreasonable and inconsistent in how they define papal infallibility.
    +
    The Dislike of Catholicism: Understanding the Holy in the Catholic Tradition – 5 – Psychological reasons
    Some Christians routinely advocate angry, hateful behavior. And if they see any vice among individual Catholics they arguably project their own anger – and other shortcomings – onto Catholicism as a whole. This type of Christian is self-perceived as genuine and true while Catholics are deemed invalid.
    +
    The self-righteous Christian may try to engage others in heated messaging wars over specific points of doctrine. With these individuals, the ideal of loving within the mystical body of Christ gets twisted into something more like negative attention seeking, stemming from an unresolved personal issue.
  • Douthat: Conservatives Will Take Their Ball and Go Home if Francis Changes “Their” Church (religiondispatches.org)
    If the church had been evolving doctrine in a more gradual, holistic manner over the past several decades, the changes being proposed now wouldn’t seem so dramatic. But a pair of popes—John Paul and his long-time doctrinal henchman Benedict—conspired to freeze the natural development of Catholic teaching. They took uber-conservative readings of key issues, like the ordination of women and the “intrinsically disordered” nature of gay Catholics, and then declared them virtually infallible, so that any future evolution was by its very nature heretical.To conservatives, Catholic doctrine has become like a game of capture the flag—if you can hold onto the flag long enough, you win, regardless of the advisability of the original teaching.
  • Biography : Robert Catesby (writedge.com)

    Robert Catesby is a well known figure in English History. He was born in 1673 and died in 1705 at the young age of 32. He was the son of Sir William Catesby of Lapworth and Anne Coughton. Catesby was directly related to the Richard III through his father. He was 6th in the line of succession.

    Catesby’s father was a staunch Catholic and a prime supporter of the Jesuit mission. His religious belief led to his arrest in 1580. Richard was only 8 years old at that time. His father was tried along side Lord Vaux and his brother-in-law Sir Thomas Tresham, for harboring of a Jesuit, Father Edmund Campion. This arrest and trial had a traumatic effect on Richard who grew up as a strong supporter of the Catholic mission.
    +

    Despite his religious inclinations Catesby was held in high esteem by both Catholics and Protestants and was part of the glamorous circle that surrounded the court. This affluence and popularity played a great part in protecting him from the rigors of recusancy.

    When Queen Elizabeth I fell ill in 1596, as a precautionary measure Catesby and some of his friends from his circle namely John Wright, his brother Christopher and Francis Tresham were arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London.

  • Death by Quill, the Parliamentary Act of Attainder (englishhistoryauthors.blogspot.com)
    Thomas Cromwell simply did what Thomas Cromwell was highly regarded for. He drafted a law forbidding the foretelling of the monarch’s death, filing Acts of Attainder against the Holy Maid of Kent and her inner circle. How can one be convicted for violating a law before it actually became a law? Obviously, that mattered not. Parliament enacted sentence as judge and jury. Elizabeth Barton, Holy Maid of Kent and five men close to her subsequently condemned, they all were executed at Tyburn — problem solved.
  • Could We Please Have Better New York Times Columnists?: Historical Lack-of-Literacy Ediiton (delong.typepad.com)
    the sixteenth-century Catholic Church lost England not because Popes condemned Henry VIII Tudor’s marriage to Ann Boleyn as adulterous, but because Pope Pius V rejected the legality of the Third Succession Act:
    +
    Pope Pius V, in Regnans in Excelsis, rejected the legality of the Third Succession Act. He commanded Catholics on pain of excommunication to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I Tudor. Regnans in Excelsis declares that it is not the Crown-in-Parliament that decides upon the line of succession to the throne of England, but the Pope.

Autumn traditions for 2014 – 3 Black Mass, Horror spectacles and pure puritans

For Pippa Jay, who is Vampire-obsessed since childhood and Dark Shadows reruns, it may look normal to look into the Vampire stories and traditions. We can imagine she with many others looks forward to All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints’ Eve (now better known these days as Halloween) the yearly celebration she thinks is dedicated to remembering the dead. As you could see in the previous posting it has much more to do than remembering the dead.

Every year people may find their Halloween heroes and heroines back in the old adventures but also in all new adventures. In Autumn time the storms raging around the house gets many people loving to be kept on the edge of their seat all throughout the books they are reading or all through the horror-films reaching our living room by the little screen which has become quit big by the years.

Arleigh wants to remind us that

One cannot think of horror and not bring up Richard Donner’s The Omen. A film made during the turbulent late 1970’s when the world was literally on the brink of ripping itself apart. The Omen was a film that told the tale of the birth of the Anti-Christ which would herald the coming of the Apocalypse. Outside of William Friedkin’s The Exorcist there wasn’t a film during this era which put the fear of God’s Judgment on the faithful than The Omen. {Horror Song of the Day: Ave Satani (by Jerry Goldsmith)}

Español: Christian Coma de Black Veil Brides

Christian Coma de Black Veil Brides (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In that film like in some others we can see that one of the most holy rituals in Roman Catholicism was taken and inverted in to praising Satan instead of the Virgin Mary. It was a fellow choir-master in London, close to the source you would say, who made effective use of the Gregorian chant in the “Ave Satani”. That ‘black masses’ are back in the running may proof the record industry which brings groups like Black Veil Brides whose album ‘Black Veil Brides IV’  is scheduled to be released later this month. Between now and the 12th of December Black Veil Brides is on the ‘black mass tour’, along with Falling In Reverse around the rest of Europe and America.

In Oklahoma City may be the Head Quarters of ‘The Dakhma of Angra Mainyu‘ of the legally filed church in the State of Oklahoma, their curch with Mobeds (ordained masters of their branch) may try to reach the world by internet. {OU Student’s Interview & Dakhma of Angra Mainyu, Dastur Adam’s Pre-Exorcism Speech.} Such group may follow old European Celtic traditions and have formations of the Coven of the Seraphim aiming to get more followers of Satan or Traditional Satanic Coven aka Devil Worshippers. In such groups can be found Jesus Apostates From Christendom.

Traditional Ahrimanism has birthed from Zoroastrianism, Zurvanism, Vedic Hinduism, and Yezidism. The reason is because Zoroastrianism is the center of duality that influences all major world religions particularly in the west. Do note, that Zoroaster was a fugitive from India which is why he demonized the Vedic Hindu Deva into Zoroastrianism Daeva. Zoroaster brings the first antithesis, the Devil, into existence. {OU Student’s Interview}

What the old student tells is very familiar to the impression we may get when we look at the many Halloween participants in Flanders. They love to decorate the trees and the whole surroundings where they live, giving a sign to the others about their love of the dark and unknown powers. It looks like they want to give the community a very clear statement that they do not want to do anything with the traditional church. When questioned they also say they do not want to talk about ‘belief‘ and do not belief in ‘God‘. For many of them the purpose of the Halloween events and the Black Mass is to help relieve themselves and their ‘beloved’ Halloween participants of the burden of the cross. for most of them it is clearly a rejection of Christianity.

Depending on the person, will depend on how many its done to deprogram and reject Christianity from their subconscious mind. It is a blasphemy ritual and is a tool to help with the conversion of religion. Though the ritual is crude and out right silly, it does have its place as a serious tool to free people’s minds. {OU Student’s Interview}

With many others, such groups like to get people far away from Christendom and for sure would not like to have people finding Christianity. Peter Turner, who does not believe in the literal existence of God, and many others have their blog to lure others away from the Divine Creator. He writes:

“A warm welcome to Zingcreed, the Christian-atheist blog that’s on the reading list of students doing the ‘Socialist Theory’ course in the Politics dept of NYU. It’s also read by discriminating nuns and Christian radicals in the UK. If you want to have a say in the direction this polemic should take – get in touch!” {Satanic Panic!}

He wrote a non-theist creed encapsulating many of the points that might be supported by a “christian atheist” (see wikipedia and wikiquote), a “jesuist” (Wikipedia’s term), “Jesusist” (Anarchopedia’s term) or “Jesusite” (Philip Pullman’s term). {The Thinking Behind The Zing Creed} for him and many others Jehovah himself was no more a historical reality than Zeus or Thor were. {Throwing the baby with the bathwater}

For him and many others it is good news that in the groves of academe various dedicated men and women (of all faiths and none) ‘have been merrily winnowing away for the last 200 years’ and they are perhaps very happy to see that lots of people are finding more amusement in folkloric activities. The people enjoying the Halloween fun, are they than not grown up kids? Or why do they prefer to spend their time in making costumes and in preparations for the Halloween events?

Of many groups their language declares a lot, using f words for everything that has to do with Christendom. Titles as ‘Satanic Black Mass of Oklahoma F..k Your Eucharist‘ say enough, we would think.

Gay people may find the gimmick-free piece of theatre with something to say, and not afraid to say it with gusto for the ‘Black Mass’ by Edward Bond at the London Theatre in New Cross. {Two Shedstheatre}

English: Black Veil Brides performing at Extre...

Black Veil Brides performing at Extreme Thing in Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For certain Catholics the Satanic masses and Satanic events are not liked at all. They have taken seriously the dark and dangerous spirits being invited into their community.How they are afraid of getting bad spirits in their centres is indicated by the reaction of Roman Catholic Archbishop Paul S. Coakley and a priest who performed “prayers of exorcism” to rid the Civic Center Music Hall in Oklahoma City, of evil spirits that may have lingered there after a satanic “black mass” on Sunday, Septembre 21, by members of the Dakhma of Angra Mainyu Syndicate, a Satanic sect led by Adam Daniels. {Exorcism after Black Mass at the Civic Center Music Hall, Mysterious heartland}

A. Edwards wrote

Despite the cloudy Sunday evening, Hundreds of people stood in front of the Civic Center, 201 N Walker, Oklahoma City. The black mass leader said that the purpose of the black mass was to mock the Catholic Church so that people would not be afraid of it. Many different religious groups came together in protest. Including the well known Westboro Baptist Church. WBC came to protest the protesters. One of WBC members shouted from a megaphone, that Catholic Church were idols worshippers and that they were child molesters. Which the Vatican tries to conceal. The Hebrew Israelites Marched in stomping and yelling. They read from the Kings bible and tried convince the African Americans and the Latinos that they were the true Israelites. Many Caucasians didn’t take to kind to that message. One Caucasian lady tried to put her hands on on one of the Israelites head. The woman had a look on here face like how dare you tell her that her Jesus is black.{Black mass draws crowd of protesters}

After their leader Johnathan Phelps died, the extremely ideological church, known for their very fundamental outlook with their leader and as the “God Hates Fags” church showed it is still going strong. They find a just view of afflicting incidents is necessary to Christian behaviour and exercise under them; and that view is to be obtained only by faith, not by sense.

When we do not properly look at the crooks in our lots, as to what they are, why they are there, and what we should therefore do, we get into worlds of  trouble. And a mixture of right thinking and fleshly analysis will simply trick us.

All those actions show many are tricked. The Roman archbishop said about the Black Mass being performed in the centre:

We anticipated this would be a concern for those visiting the Civic Center, and we’ve received many questions about the safety of the building following the satanic ritual. To address those concerns, we visited the venue the next morning to pray prayers of exorcism over the place and to pray the prayers for cleansing.

This clearly shows that that church sincerely believes, like the other parties involved, that demons are active spirits endangering this world. For the Catholic Church and some others Satan is the Prince of Darkness which laughs at the Holy Father’s efforts to drive him away and to keep his flock away from him. According to the Catholic church the casting out of demons and the healing of the sick and the lame were two of the great facets of the apostolic commission that Jesus gave to his followers, but the practice of performing an exorcism on candidates for baptism was first recorded by the church father Hippolytus (c. 170–c. 235) in third-century Rome. The priest or layman instructing those who would join the church was instructed to lay his hands upon the heads of the catechumens and pray. It was then supposed that it would be impossible for a demonic entity to remain quiet and unnoticed at this time, thereby betraying its presence and presenting the unfortunate human host for the process of exorcism. {Exorcism, Gale Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained, 2003}

Several churches also tell their flock it is dangerous to look at pictures of demons or ghosts or to read stories about such creatures.

This year the television may brake the tradition by not screening so many ghost and horror films. On the menu this year are the 1939 classic Hunchback of Notre Dame with Charles Laughton as Quasimodo. The forth Bourne film ‘The Bourne Legacy’ shall not captivate many viewers, whilst the remake of the cultfilm Fright Night of 1985 was not a must, the 2011 movie may be for many hilarious. Further on the screen on October 31 are ‘Inception’ (SF-actionfil 2010), ‘the Pelican Brief’ (Thriller 1993), ‘a l’Origine’ (French Drama 2009), ‘True blood’,  and further the weekly series plus the so called romantic comedy for Woody Alan fans ‘Midnight in Paris’ (2011), ‘My Fake Fiance’ (2009) and family drama’s like ‘A Family divided'(1995), ‘The Wrong Woman’ (2013), ‘Das Traumhotel Marokko’ (2014) and the war-drama ‘Akte Grïninger/Grüningers Fall’ (2013). It looks like we are not treated with a few days of monsters, blood and violence. (What a good change.)

According the Westboro Baptist Church

There is a certain train of providential events that falls to each of us in this world. . And that is our lot, being allotted to us by the sovereign God, our Creator and Governor, in whose hand our breath is, and whose are all our ways. This train of events is widely different to different persons, according to the will and pleasure of God, who orders men’s condition in the world in a great variety.
In that train of events, some fall out, cross to us, and against the grain; and these make the crook in our lot. While we are here, there will be cross events, as well as agreeable ones, in our lot and condition. Sometimes things are agreeably gliding on; but, by and by, there is some incident which alters that course, grates us, and pains us, as, when we have made a wrong step we begin to limp.
Some men’s crooks have not been made aware to them yet. Some men’s crooks, by volume or by intensity, are greater than other men’s
– this is providence. But the crook, or crooks, in a man’s life cannot, to our minds, measure the volume or grievousness of any man’s sin. This is folly. Think Lazarus or John the Baptist.

For the WBC it is clear that ‘God Hates Belgium‘ because Belgium was the second country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage thereby proving that her people are wicked sinners before God exceedingly ala ancient Sodom and it is a place without God where prostitution is legal and

the fag-enabling violence towards God parallels the antediluvian world, and will bring full and final, fiery destruction to this present world.  {God hates Belgium}

The usually naked female “altar” was having lingerie; and vinegar was being substituted for urine

They too believe in Satan and consider that

a Satanic lie tricks the vile sinner into believing that there is no Day of Judgment and that mankind can live any way they want, with no accountability, and that everyone goes to Heaven. It is the same lie that he told to Eve at the Garden of Eden – if you violate the express direction of a sovereign God and eat of the fruit (see Genesis 3:4) “ye shall not surely die” – you can violate all the commandments of God, and don’t worry “ye shall not surely die” everyone goes to heaven anyway.

For the WBC the reason God blessed the United States at its foundation is because the Puritans lived and breathed the Commandments, the Bible, and the fear of God.

The Puritans are gone, except a few of us who still love these doctrines, because they are the doctrines of the Old and New Testament.
they say.
But at the same time they like to bring fear over many people and preach damnation.
They are aware that
The saints of God are told to be sober minded. However, the children of the flesh have no such direction. God says woe unto them. He says that they have erred through their wine and strong drink and have gone out of he way.
The New Testament says that the sins and the works of the flesh include such things as excess of wine, reveling and banqueting and that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
The New Testament says that people are to walk circumspectly and not as fools and that they are to be filled with the Spirit not drunk with wine.
The night of the 31st of October unto the 1st of November is also used to have special parties where all sorts of alcoholic drinks and drugs can be used in abundance. This naturally makes that church annoyed, but also should us have to react that such actions can not be taken by people who claim to be Christian.
Perhaps there is good reason in them calling the Roman Catholic clergy weak priests and saying that the preachers and churches of their country are afraid to run off members and donors are afraid to address the issue, so the drunkenness continues and they love to have it so. For them America and even Belgium Holland, the United Kingdom and many Western countries may be doomed for her drunkenness, drugs, reveling and blatant hedonism.
The playing around ghosts, spirits and devils the last few years became again popular. Halloween is considered the high-day for connecting with those spirits, demons and devils and ideal for casting spells on others.
Satanic activity tends to come and go in waves, with mostly hereditary Satanists carrying the tradition forward in secret during quieter times. With each new surge they seem to get more sophisticated but also become more blatantly obvious about what they are doing. This time the various covens and lodges are organizing. They are combining forces on a level not seen in generations and if we don’t act fast, they may be here to stay. If these are truly the End Times, as many of us believe, the mainstream tolerance of Luciferianism is the final stage that allows for the rise of the Antichrist.
Some people are lured into these groups by the thought of participating in a cause but damn their souls in the process. It may seem like fun and games to some but to those at the top it is very serious. Keep in mind that some people joining these groups are well meaning people. Others will simply be acting out rebellion. It is important that we understand this when we witness to them.
+

Preceding articles:

Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet

++

Further reading:

  1. Antichrist and The Most Hated Family in America in crisis
  2. Westboro Baptist Church and Catholic Truth against Nelson Mandela
  3. We are ourselves responsible
  4. Casual Christians
  5. Halloween custom of the nations
  6. The Soul not a ghost
  7. Satan or the devil
  8. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !

+++

Find also additional reading:

  1. The Phantom Spectre Hunter
  2. Mysterious Monsters of Illinois Coming to Kankakee, Oct 23
  3. Exorcism: What the Devil Is Going on? Fueled by Books, Movies, and a Therapeutic Culture, Exorcism Is Alive and Well in America. but Are We Dealing with Demons or Diversions?
  4. Exorcism and Its Texts: Subjectivity in Early Modern Literature of England…
  5. In the Name of Jesus: Exorcism among Early Christians
  6. The Devil in Pictures; the Vatican Is Steadfast in Its Defense of Exorcism
  7. Are They Demons or Just Delusions? Popular Culture Continues to Debate…
  8. A Fresh Look at a Remarkable Document: Exorcism: The Report of a Commission…
  9. Man’s Reaction to Pope’s Prayer Fuels Exorcism Talk
  10. Exorcism Lives!
  11. Francis Credited with an Exorcism
  12. Satanic Black Mass
  13. DIR News: Satanists to Hold Controversial Black Mass in Oklahoma
  14. What you can do to sponsor a prayerful protest; Help Stop the Black Mass in Oklahoma City!
  15. Prayers for the Triumph Of The Cross offered to stop the Black Mass on September 21st in Oklahoma
  16. Picture taken inside the Satanic Mass !!!
  17. Bryan Fischer Links Oklahoma Beheading To Satanic ‘Black Mass’
  18. Spiritual warfare in Oklahoma City and another battle yet in Rome?
  19. Satanists’ “Black Mass” spawns protests in Oklahoma
  20. Hundreds of protestors confront ‘Black Mass’ in Oklahoma
  21. Catholics crusade to protest ‘Black Mass’ in Oklahoma City
  22. Exorcists Warn of Danger from Oklahoma City Black Mass
  23. Oklahoma Christians in Final Push Against Satanic Black Mass; Archbishop Warns Demonic Activity, Evil Forces Are ‘Very Real’
  24. The Alarming Rise of Satanic Spiritual Warfare Against Families
  25. Archbishop Coakley comments on Black Mass- “The Hour has Come!”
  26. Lilith’s Mass
  27. Is Angra Mainyu (Abbadon/Apollyon) Rising?
  28. Satanism and Black Masses Are Only a Symptom of the Infiltration of Evil Into Our Society
  29. Consecrated Host Returned!
  30. The Satanist and The Communion Wafer
  31. Black Mass of Oklahoma Cracker Lawsuit

+++

  • Halloween in Italy (lifeinitaly.com)

    These days, many have the feeling that Halloween has become more popular, especially among the younger generations, than Italy’s very own Carnevale, those two weeks right before Lent when Italians get crazy about dressing up and playing tricks on their friends. Sounds familiar? Yes, it does remind a lot of what Americans do on Halloween. Carnevale has plenty in common with Halloween and not only because it’s a holiday with a penchant for tricks and costumes: there is special food  only cooked this time of the year, too and, of course, the Carri di Carnevale, some of them (think of Venice and Viareggio) known all over the world.

    In Italy, however, Halloween has been making amazing progress over the past few years. And according to research, the search term “Halloween” comes up more often on Italian online searches than “Carnevale”. Are Italians all becoming Halloween fanatics?

  • 25 Creepy Details From Your Favorite Horror Films You May Not Know (list25.com)
    Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the cameras when the lights turn off, especially in films that scare us and freak us out? Do the actors of such films take their roles as seriously as they appear to onscreen? What about all those little, spicy details that most of us usually never hear about? Do the horror film crews party and have fun while shooting a film with such gruesome effects? Find out with these 25 creepy details from your favorite horror films you may not know.
  • Here Are 12 Scary-Ass Halloween Movies To Totally Ruin Your Shit (theconcourse.deadspin.com)

    I have always suspected that there is a reason why all of our best holidays come in the fall and winter. Days get shorter, and it’s cold and wet out, and all the animals go to bed, and all the trees, like, die or whatever. Winter is a hard, shitty time of year.

    And so, whoever schedules this kind of thing had the bright idea of livening things up with a series of genuinely excellent holidays, so that just when you’re sinking into the swamp of seasonal affective disorder, someone shows up with a casserole full of yams covered in marshmallows and buys you another few weeks of relative happiness.
    +
    What follows is a list of 13 great Halloween movies to watch as we approach Halloween. No, these are not the 13 best or greatest or even scariest horror movies (although some of them certainly are among the best and greatest and scariest). But I figure a horror movie needs a few things to be truly Halloween-appropriate:

  • Things To Do In London: Halloween 2014 (londonist.com)
    a.o.: a post-apocalypse-themed party, macabre party, circus-themed Halloween party, follow the blood trail, avoid the zombies, find the monsters and hear some spooky stories, Celebrate the scariest night of the year within the Gothic surroundings …
  • Top 10 Halloween Symbols and What They Mean (toptenz.net)
    The significance of corn husks and stalks of wheat is pretty straightforward.  Halloween comes in the autumn, the traditional festival of Samhain celebrated the end of summer and the end of the harvest, so these images are meant to represent the end of harvest and the beginning of winter.
    +
    the Celtic festival of Samhain marked the transition between “light” days and “dark” days – so the black likely represents those dark days of winter when there are fewer daylight hours to attend to the fields and crops.  Of course, the modern secular Halloween retailers have certainly pushed the orange-and-black as official colors of Halloween, so such an explanation seems weak, but it’s true.
  • 17 New Horror Movies to See Before Halloween (movieweb.com)
    this weekend begins a month long barrage of horror movies set to invade our local cineplex. Some of these movies will even be available on VOD in the weeks leading up to Halloween! We’re seeing more original thrillers this year, as new titles hurry to occupy the slots vacated by holiday perennials Saw and Paranormal Activity. We have plenty to choose from, with creature features and slasher flicks galore, all spanning the gamut between pitch black comedy to blood red terror. There are spin-offs, reboots, and even an old favorite making its return for a much-deserved 10th anniversary celebration.
  • Timing Is Everything: The Unfortunate Case Of Halloween III (badassdigest.com)
    Halloween made a bundle, and was for 20 years the most profitable independent film of all time. Small wonder, then, that by 1981 the low-budget film industry was lousy with filmmakers planting flags (and pitchforks and machetes) on every holiday on the calendar, lining up for some of that easy slasher money.
  • 17 New Horror Movies to See Before Halloween (cinvox.com)
    New Line Cinema’s supernatural thriller Annabelle begins before the evil was unleashed. John Form has found the perfect gift for his expectant wife, Mia, a beautiful, rare vintage doll in a pure white wedding dress. But Mia’s delight with Annabelle doesn’t last long. On one horrific night, their home is invaded by members of a satanic cult, who violently attack the couple. Spilled blood and terror are not all they leave behind. The cultists have conjured an entity so malevolent that nothing they did will compare to the sinister conduit to the damned that is now… Annabelle!
  • Satanism in Not a Benign Belief
    Satanism is growing because the mainstream culture, education system, and government is promoting it! All of this can be proven in an ebook called Ten News Stories Showing Satanism is a Real Problem in America.
    +

    Satanists- La Vey or otherwise, have no good intentions toward humanity as a whole. Even people who are atheistic and examine their overall teachings see that they are not beneficial to people. If you follow Satanism you will freely violate what are considered the basic human rights of others.

Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious

Today lots of youngsters their understanding of their faith is the faith that was “once for all entrusted.” This makes that often the “spiritual but not religious” group can be the most difficult to work with, primarily because they believe they have found a personalized expression of faith. But their faith was not placed in a seed that could grow in fertilized ground.

This painting is on display at the Kunsthistor...

Religious men and their actions because of their faith- Painting is on display at the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History) in Vienna, Austria (site). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Church should bring in the fertilisation for its members to grow, be it slow but strong.

Much has been made about the growth of “nones” in the past few years, the group who consistently checks “none” on surveys about religious faith. As with all surveys, how questions are shaped determines how good the data is. If a question is multiple choice, the answers must fit within the parameters of the possible responses. For example: What is your faith? a. Christian b. Buddhism c. Islam d. Judaism e. Hindu f. none.

Clearly, that’s a poor question. It assumes the five major faiths are the primary conduits for the transmission of religious frameworks. While I believe that is largely true, there are other factors at work culturally right now. What does none or spiritual but not religious really mean?

writes a teacher of a Teaching World Religions summer term. {Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide}

In such courses about world religions or religion tous-court, you can see that lots of people want to restrict their idea about their god on others. They may say

I just believe in God

But then we should ask which God? Most people do take only a story from the four Gospels, one that is canonized by Church Councils, propagated by ministers and missionaries, and communicated to them through Christian denominational speakers. They are brought up with the religious concepts of their family idea and than they believe that their story is just one wherein they simply believe in God.

Vermeer The Allegory of the Faith

Vermeer The Allegory of the Faith (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The radical individualism and consumerism in our culture makes a personalized faith seem perfectly normal. In Belgium, which is considered to be a Roman Catholic Country (though only 6% of the population still go sometimes to mass whilst 25% of the population visits the mosque very regularly), when you would ask what they believe and whom they think Jesus or God is, you would find very individual interpretations of the person Jesus, which some Catholics say is the son of God and do not believe he is God, though the godhead of Jesus is part of the Trinitarian dogma of the Catholic Church. But most Belgians want to believe their own thing and do not bother what the church may say. Lots call themselves Catholic or Christian (meaning the same for them) but do not follow the rules of the Pope and their church, not bothering to use preservatives or having abortions, having sexual relations than the own ‘regular’ partner, etc. Their religious life is standing far away from a spiritual life and from church life. The church is mostly only used to have a child baptism, a first and second communion, a wedding service and a funeral. That is what church stands for in Belgium, when they are not talking about all the abuses in that church.

According to some

All the new Christian categories — Christ follower, Jesus follower, follower of the Way (hell, just pick one)—are all concepts that are used intentionally to avoid the unhappy conclusion that the follower is really a Christian, but a Christian who doesn’t like the Christian tradition or church or some doctrine. Better to own the word Christian than have me interrogate you only to discover that you are actually a Christian. At that point, I think you’re dishonest, disingenuous, ignorant, narcissistic, or confused. None of those are good. {Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide}

Wherever you may look you shall see that many of your spiritual but not religious acquaintances have no genuine framework for their faith. Lots of the people who say they are religious or spiritual, are mostly enjoying some trend which is popular at the moment, and go from one fling into the other, but never stick to one ‘faith‘ for a long time.

The writer of The Parish believes that it’s a completely self-serving construct that allows them to believe, in the words of Christian Smith,

“God loves me and wants me to be happy.”

What that requires is no commitment to a larger tradition, and a radical internalizing of metaphysical assumptions, all of which are exempt from criticism.

Do you pray? Yes. Do you attend worship services? No. Do you have a sacred text? No. Will you go to heaven? Yes. What will it be like? It will be what I make it. How do you know there is a God? I just do. What’s he or she like? He loves me. He’s kind and forgiving and gracious. Why should he be those things and not angry, vengeful and capricious? He’s not. How can you know this? What tradition taught you this? I have no tradition. I just know this. I’m not a religious person, just spiritual.

Faith

Faith (Photo credit: sspantherss)

Often when you will present students of religion or people on the street and you

talk about all the Saturnalia and pagan syncretism you like, talk about substituting one pagan holiday for a Christian one, talk about borrowed symbols and commercialism, talk all you want about it; at its core, theologically (for Christians), Christmas is the coming of Messiah, and therefore, a religious high, holy day. It’s a celebration day, much like Easter (another holiday about which I’m weary of hearing stories of syncretism. One thing is clear, however it started, the Christian narrative won.), not a fast day like Good Friday. It is, by my estimation, the second most important day on the church calendar, following Easter, of course. {Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?}

The great church institutions by the years have mixed their theology with philosophical and pagan teachings so that that more became  “great pagan institutions” which allegedly “pickle” children’s brains by pouring “paganism” into them. We can see a society in decline where parents do not to set any more good religious examples for their children. It is time they will concern themselves with their offspring’s spiritual state, and again “plead God’s promises” to their children. We should long to do well by our children and grandchildren, striving to raise them well and encouraging other parents to do the same.  Parents should come to teach their children spirituality again. That spirituality must also include empathy, humanity, and critical thinking. Piety without these elements can devolve into fanaticism, with unsettling results.

Lots of people may know that lots of elements in their celebrations are from pagan celebrations, but they do not want to change their similar manner of celebrating what they want to place on that day the heathen use for their celebration. It does not matter for them that Jesus was a Jew who is not born on the 25th of December (Christmas-day); It is just a lovely time for them to be together and have everybody having a good time, giving each other presents and enjoying some nice food. Why should they change the tradition of their forefathers? And why should churches abandon such a festivals when those are the few occasions that they can get some people in their churches and get some more money in the till?

Almost all American and European forms of Christianity are first cultural, traditional and secondly theological. In the capitalist countries the people are more concerned with their material wealth than their spiritual wealth. Europeans like

Americans are largely shaped by consumerism, individualism, and materialism, the three idols of the market that serve to make all of us mini-narcissists. {Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?}

They want to enjoy their life with good food and lovely goods for their enjoyment. Fairy tales and mythical stories, ‘little lies for fun’ seem to be harmless for them and to create the mysterious atmosphere which attracts them and their children. The unknown and mysterious has always been an attraction.

The Knights of Columbus exhibiting their group identity in American society

In the United States some Christians do not want to know about the ‘unknown’ and do think the bible has to be take literally on all fronts. Their creationist and revisionist education might leave children ill-prepared to integrate into American society, and failed to grasp that some children might reject their fundamentalist upbringing altogether. For this reason it is important that God-loving people make it clear how we do have to interpret and follow the Bible. God loving people should be challenging historical revisionism. By remembering that history encompasses many narratives, not just one. By demanding accuracy in home school curricula. By reaching out to current and former home-schoolers and making accurate information available to them. And finally, by educating ourselves on the past and recognizing its impact on the present. Home-schooling and schooling at the church (Sunday school, Bible Study or Children’s Bible class) are powerful, useful tools. It represents a democratic approach to educational progress, innovation, and creativity. It allows a child’s learning environment to be tailored to individual and personal needs. When home-schooling or Sunday-school is done responsibly, it can be amazing. We should oppose irresponsible home-schooling or church training, where the educational method is used to create or hide abuse, isolation, and neglect, and where the child is not educated to go and search, to explore the world and to explore the Bible. They should train the children to read and study the Bible thoroughly and to go deeper into their own soul, learning them to meditate about everything they learn, be it in their daily school or at the church. The trainees at the church should make sure that social contact outside of church, family, and the home-school umbrella group is provided so that children do get to know the outside world and are aware of the world its ideas and way of living. Only by growing up in a church which is open to what is happening in the world the children would not become what we can call socially retarded to use the pedagogical technical term.

In certain developed countries we see a growing tendency to protect church life and to get the children away from what is really happening in the world. The religious sheltering of such a childhood in recent years has come more extreme and miserable by greater institutions and international homeschool conglomerate cults. Those groups not only present childish stories in which all do have to believe and activities everybody has to follow with the right dress-code, otherwise they are considered to be against the group. More attention is given to the outside appearance of the persons gathering than on the inner spirit. Often it is all about the creationist teaching and opposing scientists, not willing to see archaeologist their findings, which are all considered as contra-actions of the evil world.

They often try to drive home to their ‘trainees’ (typically 16-18 years old) that no matter what adversity or difficulty they are facing, either physical, mental, or spiritual, all they need to do is cry out to God and He will get them through it. But they forget that we did have received the responsibility to become resourceful fellows who should try to grow from the understanding of the Scriptural knowledge and use it in their daily life. To be able to stand strong in that daily life there should be a good relationship with the Supreme Being.

Most people are not interested in a good relation with their god, but with themselves. It has become already very difficult to build up a good relationship with one partner in this world which can be seen and touched. So who would try to have a good relationship with somebody who can not be seen nor touched, and who nobody has ever seen, or when it is Jesus who is already long ‘dead and forgotten’?

Dr. Tom Kennedy does find that correct religion, like bones, provides the proper structure for spirituality.  Spirituality grows in distorted ways without religion.

Imagine reaching over and grabbing the child’s head.  Then imagine lifting up the skeleton out of the imaginary child.  What would happen?  Spirituality would collapse to the floor. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

Religion, like bones, also provides much of the immune system for spirituality.

It helps to fight toxic influences that may corrupt one’s spirituality.  Two of the most toxic influences are the individual’s own selfishness and the willingness to let other people control one’s spirituality.  Of course, if religion itself becomes corrupt, one’s spirituality also becomes corrupt. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

Like the religion can be corrupted we should know that spirituality is not always so ‘clean’ as it may seem.

Many people think of spirituality as perfect and incorruptible.  Unfortunately, that is not true.  Non-religious spirituality emphasizes special experiences, something you feel.  If there are no feelings to this kind of spirituality, people would not pursue it. I have heard of many strange experiences that were labeled ‘spiritual’ just because there was a burst of pleasant feeling involved. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

03.365 (02.08.2009) Faith

Faith in words from a Book of books (Photo credit: hannahclark)

Religion in the Bible is a catalyst for our relationship with God, to Whom we have to bring a spirit which is pure and not hiding things for God Who sees everything, so that would be useless to hide something for Him. Our state of mind we do have to build ourselves. Others may help us but they can not do it for us or make it work for us. We ourselves our responsible for the way we want to think and the way we want to use the knowledge we receive by the years.

Jesus died on the wooden stake to make God’s religion and spirituality alive, dynamic and interactive with each other. He opened the way for humankind to come directly to the Creator God. Today Jesus sits at the right hand of God to be the mediator between God and man. by the brothers and sisters in the church we should be exhorted therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made not only for ourselves but for all men. We should know we live in a world where there are kings, presidents and members of parliament who have to make decisions for the community. So we better also pray for them that they may make the right decisions. Yes we should have our thoughts also at all that are in high place and pray for them and for that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity.
Each of us should look to find in himself or herself the way to become acceptable in the eyes of God. He that provided the human Saviour, who could understand his fellow man, who wanted that all men should be saved, and will come to the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus,  who gave himself a ransom for all; the testimony to be borne in its own times;  where-unto several people like the apostles and religious men were and are appointed a preacher and a teacher of the Gentiles or those who are not in the faith in Christ Jesus, in faith and truth.

” I Beseech you, therefore, first of all to offer to God, petitions, prayers, supplications, and thanksgiving for all men,  (2)  For kings and for all in authority; that we may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all purity and Godliness.  (3)  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour:  (4)  Who desires all men to be saved and to return to the knowledge of the truth.  (5)  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;  (6)  Who gave himself a ransom for all, a testimony which came in due time.  (7)  For that testimony I was appointed a preacher and an apostle; I tell the truth and I lie not; and I became the teacher of the Gentiles in a true faith.  (8)  I wish, therefore, that men pray everywhere, lifting up their holy hands, without anger and doubting thoughts.” (1Ti 2:1-8 Lamsa NT)

Religion, Catholic Community

Religion, Catholic Community having prayers and meditation together at a meeting (Photo credit: Parker Knight)

Lifting up the hands or going in prayer can be done on our own. But to come to a good prayer we better also do come close to ourselves. Be it also becoming in a more concrete relationship the world can offer. Away from the materialisation of things we can come in a transcendent form.

Where Transcendentalists assert their natural right to an individual relationship with God, defined only by one’s own will and a communing with nature, Puritans “sought both individual and corporate conformity to the teaching of the Bible, with moral purity pursued both down to the smallest detail, as well as ecclesiastical purity to the highest level. They believed that man existed for the glory of God, that his first concern in life was to do God’s Will and so to receive future happiness”. Puritans were largely responsible for amendments that mandated public education inspired by their belief that children could only conform properly to biblical and legal tenants if they could read them for themselves.

To come to the Truth, each person has to make the free choice to study the matter. Without reading the Bible and without the will to think about what is written a person shall not come to the Truth. No matter how he may be active in doing things for his church, how religious he  or she may look for the outsiders, when their is no burning spirit in the soul of that person, no willingness to go deep in him or herself, there shall not come an opening to the real faith Jesus had in front of his eyes.

Jesus was also brought up in a world full of traditions. He was a boy living in a Jewish cult and learned from the Torah, which was his guide. He looked at the different religious groups and dared to question them. He looked at the way they interpreted the Holy Scriptures, how they lived their faith and how they were are were not prepared to go into the mystics of faith.

In most spiritual traditions, mysticism lies at the heart of spirituality. ‘‘Mysticism’’ refers to transcendent, contemplative experiences that enhance spiritual understanding. Mystical experiences can occur during intentional practices designed to create openings for transcendent experiences, such as Christian contemplative prayer, Zen meditation, movement or dance meditation or Sufi dance; or they can occur in the process of living a lifestyle that is conducive to transcendent experiences, as in contemplative gardening. In either case, contemplative or transcendent knowing is associated with spiritual experience.

‘‘Transcendence’’ refers to contemplative knowing that occurs outside the boundaries of verbal thought (Wilber). Although transcendence can refer to increasingly abstract thought, contemplative transcendence involves transcending thought itself. Mystical experiences of transcendence can be brought into thought, but they do not originate in thought or sensory perception.

The spiritual person can become a transcendental person, going into mystical contemplative experiences. He either may become religious with it or stay out of religion. But this kind of spirituality, set apart from religion would be weak and might be directionless, or worse, narcissistic.  Jesus wanted us to have a vibrant faith that focuses on his Father and he wants us to use the teachings of the Bible to shape both our religion and our spiritual interactions with him and God. Our spirit has to become connected intimately with Jesus, God but also with our brethren and sisters in the community, plus feeling a love for the full creation of the Supreme Being, Jehovah God. This includes a good relationship with the animals, plants and all sorts of people, no matter which religion they may belong to. A good Christian should be a good follower of Christ, sharing the same love Jesus had for all people, no matter what they had done or how they felt about him. Jesus loved also his enemies, so we should do likewise.

Our religious and spiritual practices should focus on that relationship with creation. The spiritual practices should not merely be productive in a narrow sense but should be disciplined, creative and committed. The regularity of a spiritual discipline like meditation may give shape to what may otherwise be a fragmented life. as such it can enrich the religious life. Over time meditation may facilitate a growing freedom from destructive energies that inhibit healthy relationships. Such a growth in inner freedom makes us more available and effective as compassionate presences in the world.

As the great traditions emphasise, spirituality is actually concerned with cultivating a “spiritual life” rather than simply with undertaking practices isolated from commitment. It offers a “value-added” factor to personal and professional lives. So, for example, in a variety of social contexts spirituality is believed to add two vital things.

  • First, it saves us from being purely results-orientated. Thus, in health care it offers more than a medicalised, cure-focused model and in education it suggests that a holistic approach to intellectual, moral and social development is as vital as acquiring employable skills.
  • Second, spirituality expands ethical behaviour by moving it beyond right or wrong actions to a question of identity – we are to be ethical people rather than simply to “do” ethical things. Character formation and the cultivation of virtue then become central concerns.

Current evidence suggests a growing diversity of new forms of spirituality as well as creative reinventions of the great traditions. The language of spirituality continues to expand into ever more professional and social worlds – for example urban planning and architecture, the corporate world, sport and law. Most strikingly there are recent signs of its emergence in two contexts that have been especially open to public criticism – commerce and politics. Equally, the Internet is increasingly used to expand access to spiritual wisdom. So, on current evidence, spirituality appears to be less of a fad than an instinctive desire to find a deeper level of values to live by. As such, it seems likely not only to survive but to develop further into many new forms. {Is spirituality a passing trend?}

Church HDR

Church HDR (Photo credit: I_am_Allan)

The church community should not be afraid of those people who also want to be spiritual people. Every religious person in a way should be a spiritual person. Faith without works is dead. Each person believing in Jesus should know he should undertake efforts to understand those teachings, knowing the Torah and following the commandments of Christ and the commandments of God. Each follower of Christ should not only go out in the world on his own, no he should make efforts to meet regularly with other like minded people, considering them as his brothers and sisters in Christ. Gathering together they should ‘make church‘ and be united in the religion of the Body of Christ. In that Body or Church they should undertake actions, like reading the Bible, exhorting each other and Breaking bread with each other. This would mean they are have do do religious actions and to be religious in the tradition of the faith of Christ Jesus. But without their pure heart they would not be honest to the others in that community. So first of all each individual has to purify himself or herself, to which she or he can use meditation or spiritual exercise.

Religion and spirituality are complementary and should go together, uniting each of us in the name of Christ.

Bible School, USA

Christadelphian Bible school meeting.
United brethren and sisters in Christ.

+

Preceding articles:

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people

Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences

Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists

Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one

Next: Points to remember of philosophy versus spirituality and religion

++

Find also to read:

  1. Human nature
  2. “Who is The Most High” ? Who is thee Eternal? Who is Yehovah? Who is God?
  3. Only One God
  4. God’s design in the creation of theworld
  5. God Helper and Deliverer
  6. Gods hope and our hope
  7. God’s Will for Us – Gods Wil voor ons 
  8. Gods hope and our hope
  9. God’s measure not our measure
  10. God’s promises
  11. Gods Salvation
  12. Full authority belongs to God
  13. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  14. Jesus Messiah
  15. Servant of his Father
  16. Incomplete without the mind of God
  17. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  18. Faith
  19. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  20. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  21. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  22. Faith antithesis of rationality
  23. Faith is a pipeline
  24. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
  25. Are religious and secular ethicists climbing the same mountain
  26. Caricaturing and disapproving sceptics, religious critics and figured out ethics
  27. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  28. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  29. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  30. Fellowship
  31. United people under Christ
  32. Parts of the body of Christ
  33. What part of the Body am I?
  34. Communion and day of worship
  35. Church sent into the world
  36. Pulpit reserved for the pastor
  37. Teach children the Bible
  38. Everything that is done in the world is done by hope
  39. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  40. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  41. Peter Cottontail and a Bunny laying Eastereggs
  42. Fr Paddy Byrne finds First communions and confirmations should be delayed
  43. Are Science and the Bible Compatible?
  44. The Soul confronted with Death
  45. Is there an Immortal soul
  46. The Soul not a ghost
  47. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  48. Dying or not
  49. What happens when we die?
  50. Dead and after
  51. Destination of righteous

+++

Additional reading:

  1. Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide
  2. Is spirituality a passing trend?
  3. Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?
  4. Rewriting History — The History of America Mega-Conference: Part Three, “Religious Liberalism” And Those Magnificent Mathers
  5. Rewriting History — History of America Mega-Conference: Part Eight, Closing Thoughts
  6. Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?
  7. Let The Children Come ~ Teach Them About God
  8. Let The Children Come ~ Teach Them God’s Word « An Imperfect Life
  9. Let The Children Come ~ Be An Example « An Imperfect Life
  10. Let The Children Come ~ Pray for Them

+++

  • I am Spiritual but not Religious (passionistpartners.com)
    “I am spiritual but not religious.” This is the mantra voiced by a number of people, Catholics included. It means that such people savor the inner qualities of their faith in Jesus Christ but not the outer framework in which those qualities are contained.

    They respond warmly to the Christmas scene of Mary and Joseph kneeling close to Jesus as a newborn infant. They may resonate with the teaching of Jesus on the beatitudes, describing the poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful, the peacemakers. They may treasure His words on loving one another as he has loved us.

    But when it comes to graphically depicting these sentiments in ritual, music, art, architecture, vestments, ceremonies, processions, incense—this is a different story. They find such a discrepancy between thoughts and feelings, and the attempt at giving tangible expression to them fails miserably in the opinion of some people. The sermons are boring, the collection is scandalous, the singing is outdated, the prayers formulaic and out of touch with people’s needs and desires.

  • The one religion that’s not part of my spiritual quest (roguepriest.net)
    Jesus is central in one out of 16 or five out of 43 major religions practiced in the world today. (In the first list I’m excluding “no religion,” “new religions” and “other” for my count, and in the second list I’m pointing to Christianity, Christian Science, Jehova’s Witnesses, Mormonism, and Rastafari.) By that count less than 6 – 11% of religions consider Christ important. With nods from Baha’i, Islam and Unitarianism, the figure rises to a max of 25%.
    Likewise, the majority of people in the world today do not follow any branch of Christianity.
    Yet the teachings of Christ loom large.
  • Religions and Spirituality (allowinglove.wordpress.com)
    diverse ethnicities and faiths from Passaic County gathered for one hour at Pa… SPARTA, NJ
  • Picking fights over religion and the separation of church and state (santamariatimes.com)
    how this kind of free-floating rage differs from Bible-beating preachers who blame earthquakes and tornadoes on other people’s sexual sins escapes me. The main characteristic of the fundamentalist mind is an inability to refrain from expressing contempt for beliefs different from one’s own — whether one’s spiritual example is Pat Robertson or Christopher Hitchens.
  • Spiritual Well-Being (casapalmera.com)
    piritual well-being is an integral part of mental, emotional and physical health. It is considered to be a primary coping resource on the journey of recovery and healing. This healing takes place in drug treatment centers, eating disorder residential programs and at trauma recovery. Spiritual well-being can be associated with a specific religion but does not have to be. This practice is merely one’s own journey to discover things of importance in life as well as one’s place among them. It can be practiced in numerous ways, with its main purpose being to find purpose and meaning in life. Spirituality and faith provide an opportunity to detach from circumstances and observe life with clarity and integrity. Spirituality can either be positive or negative. Spiritual well-being is a state is which the positive aspects of spirituality are shown. How the effects of spiritual well-being impact you is greatly determined by each individual.
  • My journey of faith (brynsthoughtsonfaith.wordpress.com)
    What might have happened if I was baptized into the Church of England, for instance? Would my faith have been stronger as a teenager? Would I have still gone down the route to the Catholic Church, given the opportunity?My early upbringing was, as such, not massively religious one way or the other. We did not go to Church (Anglican or Catholic) on Sunday, so as not to sway me one way or the other.
    From what I remember, my Primary School was Church of England in all but name, we had Assembly every morning, sang hymns and when Christmas and Easter came, we would sing in the local Anglican Church, St. Nicholas.
  • Obama Spiritual Advisor: President Very Religious (peacemoonbeam.typepad.com)
    President Obama’s spiritual adviser says the leader of the free world is more religious than most people think.
  • Enriching Your Spirituality: Famous Christian Quotes (quotes.answers.com)
    A poignant quote can have a profound effect. The simple truths contained in only a few lines have the power to inspire, calm, and encourage someone in need. This is especially true for Christian quotes. Whether you are struggling to find God’s purpose in your life or seeking comfort in a time a duress, these famous Christian quotes offer great help in times of need.
  • 10 Religious Quotes to Make You Think (quotes.answers.com)
    It seems that no matter what breakthroughs science makes in explaining the world, people will always have a need for spirituality and religion. Indeed, it seems that the only area with satisfying answers for many tough questions is religion. These religious quotes are collected from thinkers, writers, and lay people from a wide range of religious faiths and creeds. What they all have in common is that they are guaranteed to make you think.
  • Religious Rites: An Overview of Christian Funeral Services (christianity.answers.com)
    Regardless of your religious persuasion, a funeral service is one of the more somber rites that you might attend. In the Christian faith, even though death is seen as a passage to eternal life, saying goodbye to a loved one is very sad. This article details the common elements of most Christian burial services.

 

The imaginational war against Christmas

American debate on celebrations and holiday season

In the United States we see a debate is going on about the celebrations or holiday season. Several camps are claiming the 25th of December as their special event, belonging to their group.

English: Father Christmas on T. Armstrong & Co...

Father Christmas on T. Armstrong & Co’s Christmas float. – Do you see the connection with ice-bears and the birth of Christ? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The conservative Christians and the Tea Party members claim everything of Christmas is sanctified and belongs to the Christian community and may not defiled by the heathen atheists.

Call to encourage Christian people to worship God

Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert wisely advised that if atheists want their country to be free and safe, they should encourage people to worship God. Gohmert, who has a penchant for tweaking people who do not believe in God, was delivering a speech about the lack of attention given to Christians who are persecuted around the world. Although he also declared that Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world, as an aside he argued that only nations that turned away from the Judeo-Christian God have ceased to exist.

“No country has ever fallen while it was truly honouring the god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

“So if you were completely areligious, completely atheistic, but you wanted to have a free country, and you wanted to have it safe and protected, then it would sound like — from historical purposes — that it might be a good thing to encourage those who believe in God to keep doing so,”

Gohmert said.

“Because when a nation’s leaders honour that God, that nation is protected. It’s only when it turns away that it falls.”

Historicity of birth of Christ

According many historians it is proven that Jesus was not born on the 25th of December, so they wonder why so many Christians keep wanting to celebrate the birth of Christ on that day of the birthday of the goddess of light. Likewise I would like to ask those Christians, like Sarah Paling who says Father Christmas belongs to the Christians and is in honour of God, what this mythical elf had to do with the event which happened on the 17th of October 4BCE, when the Jew Jeshua (Jesus Christ) became the first-born in the family of Miriam (Myriam/Mary/Maria) and Joseph (Yosef/Iosíf/Josef), from the tribe of king David? What have all those Christmas trees to do with the land of Palestine or Bethlehem, were Jesus was born? (There were and are no such trees in that region).

Poster campaign against Christmas

In the United Kingdom there are also some fanatics from a banned Islamic hate group that have launched a nationwide poster campaign, but they go a step further than the American atheists because they denounce Christmas as evil.

Organisers plan to put up thousands of placards around the UK claiming the season of goodwill is responsible for rape, teenage pregnancies, abortion, promiscuity, crime and paedophilia. They hope the campaign will help ‘destroy Christmas’ in that country and lead to Britons converting to Islam instead. though those Muslims should also notice many Islamic families also put the Christmas tree in their living room and give each other presents in this so called Christian holiday season. I do agree also by that population we see the pagan rituals have won above faith and they took over the western traditions, saying the same thing like Christians say about Halloween,

“It is just for fun”.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation and America Atheists in the United States also started a campaign to give non-believers a voice in a Christian dominated space and taking back something what belongs to them and not to Christianity.

Holiday season rooted in pagan festivals

Real Christians should make use of the holiday season to make clear to the Christians who celebrate the Yule fest or “Kerst-mis”, “mass of Kerst” (later made in “Christ” in Anglo-Saxon countries), Yuletide or Christmastide and to Muslims that Jesus is the son of God, who is really born, whilst God can not be born nor die, because He is an eternal Spirit.

In West Europe, before the population was christened they celebrated the end of the year and the dark period and remembered the Wild Hunt, the god Odin and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Modranicht, (Old English “Night of the Mothers” or “Mothers’-night”). It was an event held at what is now Christmas Eve by the Anglo-Saxon Pagans where a sacrifice may have been made, and for the Germanic people (like in Belgium) the Germanic Matres and Matrones, female beings attested by way of altar and votive inscriptions, nearly always appearing in trios, to which the Roman Catholic Church placed their Holy Trinity. The earthly spirits and natural spirits where transformed into the natural spirit Jesus who came in the place of the goddess of light and became the Light itself, but would also be the same person as the air spirits or heavenly spirits, becoming the Holy Spirit who at the same time would be God the Father and God the Spirit. Though the Divine Being God Who is One Himself is Spirit according to the Holy Scriptures.

“God is Spirit; and those who worship him must worship spiritually and truly.” (John 4:24 TCNT)

God Himself is not immaterial; He has a Spirit-body (ie 1Corinthians 15:44-54; Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 1:7; Matthew 28:2-4), a Being full of Spirit power, a body with parts. Jesus contrary is a man of flesh and blood who really could be tempted (God can not be tempted) could be tortured to death and was made higher than angels to whom he was lower, but God was, is and always shall be the Most High, Almighty Who knows everything, whilst Jesus had still to learn everything and even did not know when he would be coming back.

“For he (Jeshua/Jesus Christ) is the radiance of the Glory of God and the very expression of his Being, upholding all creation by the power of his word; and, when he had made an expiation for the sins of men, he ‘took his seat at the right hand’ of God’s Majesty on high,” (Hebrews 1:3 TCNT)

“To this Peter and the Apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men.  (30)  The God of our ancestors raised Jesus, whom you put to death by hanging him on a cross.  (31)  It is this Jesus whom God has exalted to his right hand, to be a Guide and a Savior, to give Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.  (32)  And we are witness to the truth of this, and so is the Holy Spirit–the gift of God to those who obey him.” (Acts of the apostles 5:29-32 TCNT)

“He appeared among us as a man, and still further humbled himself by submitting even to death–to death on a cross!  (9)  And that is why God raised him to the very highest place, and gave him the Name which stands above all other names,  (10)  So that in adoration of the Name of Jesus every knee should bend, in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth,  (11)  And that every tongue should acknowledge Jesus Christ (originally יהושע Messiah) as Lord (Master) – – to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:8-11 TCNT)

Christians having to choose either to belong to pagan world or to have their own religious world

The Christians should know that they may live in this world but do not have to be active in al the things of this world. As children of God we should not differ from God His best servant, Jesus who is lord of all. As long as that man who did not know when he would return (remember: God knows everything) we should follow the Master teacher, the tutors he trained and the stewards till the time appointed by the Father. So also we, when we were children, were in servitude under the rudiments of the world;  but when the fullness of time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, that he might redeem those under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.  Having now become sons we should no longer be a servant of this world, but a son; and if a son, also an heir of God.  Formerly, not knowing God a Christian may have served beings which are not really gods;  but when converted and baptised they should Now know God, what He likes and what He does not like. Once a person came in the faith he or she should take care not to turn again to the weak and imperfect rudiments, keeping to the traditions of heathen people or gentiles.

The apostle Paul writes:

” My point is this–As long as the heir is under age, there is no difference between him and a slave, though he is master of the whole estate.  (2)  He is subject to the control of guardians and stewards, during the period for which his father has power to appoint them.  (3)  And so is it with us; when we were under age, as it were, we were slaves to the puerile teaching of this world;  (4)  But, when the full time came, God sent his Son–born a woman’s child, born subject to Law–  (5)  To ransom those who were subject to Law, so that we might take our position as sons.  (6)  And it is because you are sons that God sent into our hearts the Spirit of his Son, with the cry–‘Abba, our Father.’  (7)  You, therefore, are no longer a slave, but a son; and, if a son, then an heir also, by God’s appointment.  (8)  Yet formerly, in your ignorance of God, you became slaves to ‘gods’ which were no gods.  (9)  But now that you have found God–or, rather, have been found by him–how is it that you are turning back to that poor and feeble puerile teaching, to which yet once again you are wanting to become slaves?” (Gal 4:1-9 TCNT)

Christians should remember that their rabbi Jeshua (Jesus Christ) charged his followers to follow his Fathers instructions and to love one another. Jesus warned them that it could well be that the world would hate them because of their (our) choice to follow him. We should know that the world hated Christ before us.  We either have the choice to follow the traditions of the world and showing them that we not only are part of the world but also want to be in the world; Or if we were of this world, the world would be a friend to its own; but because we are not of the world the world hates us.  We should remember the word which Jesus said to his apostles that a servant is not greater than his lord and that if they have persecuted the send one from God (Jesus the Messiah), they will also persecute his followers; if they have kept Jesus his word, they will also keep ours.  But all these things they will do to us, on his account, because they know not Him that sent Jesus. and that is the whole problem. They do not want to know God who sent his prophet to save the world. Today the world should have no pretext for their sin.  It is true that those who hate Christ Jesus also hate his Father. In Christ we should put our hope because we have seen the Works of God in his hands. The whole world has received the opportunity to get to read the Words of God, to listen to them, to study them and to get to understanding for those Words came from the God Who does not tell lies.  so when He says ‘This is my only begotten beloved son” it up to us, living in this world to either accept that Nazarene Jew as the son of God or to make him like so many pagan do with the nature elements and other man of the world (Presley, Spears, Maradonna, Madonna, Jackson, Cyrus, Cano, 1D a.o.)
With Jesus the promise in the Garden of Eden became fulfilled, and the Word of God became a reality, which the world can face now. Jesus came to live in this world so that the word written in their law may be fulfilled.  After Jesus died (remember God can not die) his Father, the Only One God gave them light from His Power, the Pneuma or Holy Spirit. When this Comforter had come, whom Jesus as mediator between God and man, had send them from the Father, the Spirit of truth which proceeds from the Father, he testified of Jesus and the apostles also started to testify without fear about their teacher, because they had been with him from the beginning and had seen all the things Jesus had done in the name of his Father, the God of Abraham.

” I am giving you these commands that you may love one another.  (18)  If the world hates you, you know that it has first hated me.  (19)  If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world–that is why the world hates you.  (20)  Remember what I said to you–‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have laid my Message to heart, they will lay yours to heart also.  (21)  But they will do all this to you, because you believe in my Name, for they do not know him who sent me.  (22)  If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have had no sin to answer for; but as it is, they have no excuse for their sin.  (23)  He who hates me hates my Father also.  (24)  If I had not done among them such work as no one else ever did, they would have had no sin to answer for; but, as it is, they have both seen and hated both me and my Father.  (25)  And so is fulfilled what is said in their Law–‘They hated me without cause.’  (26)  But, when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father–the Spirit of Truth, who comes from the Father–he will bear testimony to me;  (27)  Yes, and you also are to bear testimony, because you have been with me from the first.” (Joh 15:17-27 TCNT)

A pent-up woman using strong men for the opposite they believed in

Sarah Palin addressing a Labor Day rally sponsored by the Tea Party Express (Manchester, NH), September 5, 2011

The American politician, commentator, author, former youngest person and first woman to be elected half-term Governor of Alaska and failed vice presidential candidate, registered Republican since 1982, Sarah Palin, née Heath, said

“Today, in too many respects, it’s politically incorrect to acknowledge that Jesus is the reason for the season and Christ is the main part of Christmas,”

If Thomas Jefferson were alive today he would probably go on Fox News to complain about the war on Christmas.

The freedom of the Constitution of the United States

Page one of the original copy of the Constitution

Page one of the original copy of the Constitution of the United States, the supreme law of the United States of America, Created September 17, 1787, Ratified June 21, 1788

She told the audience of students that the U.S. Constitution was written by and for moral and religious people, and that nonreligious people probably were incapable of appreciating its principles.

“If you lose that foundation, John Adams was implicitly warning us, then we will not follow our constitution, there will be no reason to follow our constitution because it is a moral and religious people who understand that there is something greater than self, we are to live selflessly, and we are to be held accountable by our creator, so that is what our constitution is based on, so those revisionists, those in the lamestream media, especially, who would want to ignore what our founders actually thought, felt and wrote about in our charters of liberty – well, that’s why I call them the lamestream media,” Palin said.

Adams who was sixty-one when he took office and by whom theological uncertainty had turned him toward a secular vocation also was not so sure about the divinity of Christ and being the God born on the 25 of December. He was a real searcher and wanted to discover as much he could in the books of law, political theory, moral philosophy, or economy from classical Greece and Rome to Enlightenment Europe. No theoretical works could escape his critical eye. and we can imagine he was also very critical of what churches said and what the Bible said. He was not an abstract political thinker; rather, he read and wrote to understand and solve the problems of society in his own day. At the outset of the Revolution he believed that the superior virtue of the American people would prove sufficient to maintain a balance between liberty and order in the new republics being formed by the states. In his Thoughts on Government, written early in 1776, and in his draft of the Massachusetts Constitution three years later, he advocated popular governments with checks on the abuse of power adequate to maintain their republican purity. I think it would be in-acceptable for him that a political party took the country in banishment like the Tea Party does. what that movement does is also against the idea of Jefferson who wanted a a free and democratic government and wanted to avoid the weakness of the Old World standards. Closely associated with liberal, enlightened circles in ParisThomas Jefferson sympathized with the revolutionary impulse but sought to direct it into moderate and pacific channels of reform.The sorting and synthesizing habits characteristic of Enlightenment thought, having a state free of the connection with religion, formed the core of his thinking.

The challenges posed by the American Revolution (1775–1783)—creating a new nation, defining its form of government and politics, and shaping the kind of nation that the United States would become and the kind of people it would have—lent practical urgency to Jefferson’s investigations of the natural, social, and political world. {International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences | 2008 |}

Two of the three key measures of Jefferson’s lawmaking had to do with the life of the mind and individual liberty; all three embodied his devotion to Enlightenment ideals. Arguing that any alliance between church and state was dangerous to individual liberty and the health of the political realm, Jefferson insisted on strict separation of church and state, denying government any power to direct what citizens should believe or do in matters of religious belief and observance. Jefferson’s proposed system of public education embodied his view that an informed citizenry was essential to the success of republican government. Finally, his measure for proportioning crimes and punishments reflected the profound influence of Marquis Cesare di Beccaria’s (1738–1794) Treatise on Crimes and Punishments (1764), in particular Beccaria’s commitment to humanizing law and setting aside old barbarous punishments as inconsistent with a modern, just legal system. {International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences; 2008}

Although he never confused France with America, Jefferson became an ardent friend of the French Revolution and in time assimilated some of its radical doctrine into his political philosophy. He sought to engender amiability and, wherever possible, to grasp “the smooth handle.” Business was conducted through day-to-day consultation with the secretaries. The cabinet met infrequently, but when it did, usually on critical foreign problems, Jefferson invariably managed to produce a consensus. He led without having to command; he dominated without ruling. {Merrill D. Peterson; A Reference History; 2002; Peterson, Merrill D.}

Liberty of choice and combination of theism, materialism, and determinism

As he viewed the American experiments in government from Europe during the 1780s, Adams lost faith in the political virtue of his countrymen. He saw them repeating the mistakes of Europe, especially in the feverish pursuit of luxury, with its inevitable social and political corruption and its nurturing of class antagonisms. Today we can see how the Tea party and the Republican Party are aiming to go back to the 18th century European tradition and would like to steer to the same mistakes the men in charge of that time had taken.

The French Revolution had further strengthened Adams his belief that political freedom could be preserved only by a balanced government effectively controlling the natural rivalry of men for wealth and distinction and that state and religion should be kept separate. Therefore I do find it so strange Palin is always waving with those bright founders of the American constitution to get the Americans believe in her system which totally opposes the ideas of the founders of the United States of America. It is true that he believed that the quest for equality would inevitably bring chaos and the loss of the freedom that the French revolutionaries sought. He clearly sought constitutional separation of powers.

The Adamses had also been fond of Joseph Priestley, the English scientist and political radical, who attempted to combine theism, materialism, and determinism, a project that has been called “audacious and original”. They where well aware of this man his ideas about Jesus not being God and our task not to worship him like a god. They strongly believed in the free and open exchange of ideas, advocated toleration and equal rights for religious Dissenters, which also led Priestley to help found Unitarianism in England.

So very strange some very conservative Christians who are very devout Trinitarians today use those names to get their ideas in favour and have people to celebrate pagan festivals as their own Christian festivals.

Secularists and their look at religious themes in Christmas celebrations

She seemed to imply that Jefferson, who spent his summers at a home not far from the present-day site of Liberty University, may have been inspired by the religious college founded in 1971 by televangelist Jerry Falwell.

“Thomas Jefferson and his thinking, I believe that much of it fundamentally came from this area, having spent his summers here, having spent influential years here, two miles away from Liberty University,” Palin said. “Man, there’s something in the water, perhaps, around here – again you are fortunate you get to taste it.”

Palin said Jefferson would likely agree that secularists had set their sights on destroying the religious themes in Christmas celebrations.

“He would recognize those who would want to try to ignore that Jesus is the reason for the season, those who would want to try to abort Christ from Christmas,” she said. “He would recognize that, for the most part, these are angry atheists armed with an attorney. They are not the majority of Americans.”

Protection of atheists

Palin said there was a double standard that protected atheists at the expense of the religious.

“Why is it they get to claim some offense taken when they see a plastic Jewish family on somebody’s lawn – a nativity scene, that’s basically what it is right?” she said. “Oh, they take such offense, though. They say that it physically even can hurt them and mentally it distresses them so they sue, right?”

“But heaven forbid we claim any type of offense when we say, ‘Wait, you’re stripping Jesus from the reason, as the reason for the season,’ but heaven forbid we claim any type of offense,” Palin said. “So that double standard, I think Thomas Jefferson would certainly recognize it and stand up and he wouldn’t let anybody tell him to sit down and shut up.”

Though, Thomas Jefferson did not believe in Jesus being God and wanted a free America were people of different opinions could share the land and live in peace together, respecting each-others believes. He believed in a beneficent natural order in the moral as in the physical world, freedom of inquiry in all things, and man’s inherent capacity for justice and happiness, and he had faith in reason, improvement, and progress.

Jefferson’s political thought would become the quintessence of Enlightenment liberalism, though it had roots in English law and government. The tradition of the English constitution gave concreteness to American patriot claims, even a color of legality to revolution itself, that no other modern revolutionaries have possessed. Jefferson used the libertarian elements of the English legal tradition for ideological combat with the mother country. He also separated the principles of English liberty from their corrupted forms in the empire of George III and identified these principles with nascent American ideals. In challenging the oppressions of the empire, Americans like Jefferson came to recognize their claims to an independent nationality. {Encyclopedia of World Biography; 2004}

Was it not the intention of the founding fathers of America to get rid of all the boundaries they had to endure in their different countries at the European continent? Was their intention not only to protect those who had certain believes, be it in the Supreme High Being, in spirits of the world, or in nothing of that sort? And did they not want to protect atheists not at the expense of the religious, and protect the religious not at the expense of atheists ?

Defending her believes in Christmas

EXPRESS-TIMES

Former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin signs her new book “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas” and greets customers during an appearance at Barnes and Noble on Nov. 12, 2013, in Bethlehem Township, Pa.

The former vice-presidential candidate has also written a book, Good Tidings and Great Joy – Protecting the Heart of Christmas, published by HarperCollins, about the real meaning of Christmas.

She writes:

A tree is best felled if you do it yourself, preferably from your neighbour’s plot or your own. If you do have to buy a commercial tree, watch out for the ones sold as “holiday”, “pine” or “fir” trees. These are not Christmas trees, and Christmas is all about Christmas! Keep the saw handy: after Christmas you can chop up the tree for your burner.

Buy some felt. Collect some fur from whatever pelts you have about the house. For a really wild “frontier flair”, ask a parent to saw buttons from antlers: any species will be fine. Hoohah! “You won’t find that on Pinterest!”

A gun is a great gift because it opens up a whole world of accessories.

Every year buy the Guiness Book of Records and read aloud from it. One year, you might be in it (as, for example, 2008’s most searched name on the internet).

You may wonder how a Christian can advertise to have guns and how it would not harm to point your 30-06 rifle to an other human being.

Perseverance in retaining enjoyable memories

Christmas in the post-War United States

Christmas in the post-War United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Palin recounts news stories from recent years—such as a North Carolina college temporarily banning students from selling “Christmas” trees—to mount evidence that there are Americans trying to “destroy” the holiday. She generally refers to her foes as “secular leftists” and waffles between how formidable they are, saying “these guys aren’t just a few malcontents with lawyers” and dismissing them as a “few haters and cranks.” Palin prebuttals critics who would say she’s tackling a “non-existent problem” but doesn’t present any shattering new statistics to move the perennial debate.

A central trope in the book is Palin’s disgust and frustration at people saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” While hitting on various points about the commercialization of the holiday (it’s good, it’s bad, it’s beside the point), she extolls businesses like Hobby Lobby that use religious imagery in advertisements and shames businesses like Target and Wal-Mart who have eschewed ­Christmas for more politically correct terms.

Reviled and marginalized citizens in American society

Palin argues that Christians are being reviled and marginalized in American society — and that Christian faith should be more central to culture, politics, schools and public squares. Some chapters lean heavy on the Evangelicalism, as she recounts Biblical stories and advocates for more Christ in Christmas. “God,” she writes, “is the only cure for what ails us.”

About that last bit she is right. God is the only cure and people should concentrate more on Him, the God of gods, and should abstain from everything which goes against God His rules, the commandments He has given. His commandments make it very clear that people may not bow down in front of human made images (crosses, statues) but also not honour or decorate trees, honouring gods or natural beings. (Is the Christmas tree not a decorated tree?)

Offensive well-wishes

When people say ‘Happy Holidays’ this is considered offensive for Sarah Paling and many conservative Christians in the United States. She does not seem to see that there is no coordinated campaign against uttering Christ’s name but rather, a seeming gradual shift over decades to awareness that not everyone celebrates Christmas. “Happy holidays,” for those who say it, is not disrespectful but a catch-all phrase to which the hearer can impute anything he or she wants; presumably Palin’s faith in the Nativity is not so weak that a person failing to mention Christ in alluding to the celebration could shake it.

Palin’s claim that “the homogenization of the holiday season” is underway is hard to square with the reality that last year, shows including “The Big Bang Theory,” “Parks and Recreation,” “The Office” and “Grey’s Anatomy” broadcast Christmas specials. In all the Western countries on television and radio stations people can see and hear nothing but Christmas specials. Christmas is inescapable in pop culture from more than a month out — after all, Palin’s Christmas book came out in November, more than a month before the holiday, so that it could be promoted enough and become a holiday sales record.

Critique of “the war on Christmas” and separation of church and state

, staff reporter for Salon’s entertainment section, writes:

This critique of “the war on Christmas” leaves aside a tenet Palin and her fellow warriors hold dear: that Christmas has become more about Santa and “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and gifts under the tree than about the glorious birth of Jesus Christ. Per the display copy connected to Palin’s book, “Palin defends the importance of preserving Jesus Christ in Christmas—whether in public displays, school concerts, and pageants, or in our hearts.” It’s hard to come up with a counterargument to this because, aside from the long-standing separation of church and state (not a new practice), no one is preventing those who celebrate Christmas from hosting pageants or keeping Jesus in their hearts.

Celebration for Santa Claus

Jon Stewart waded into the “war on Christmas” on The Daily Show on Tuesday December 3, mocking conservative personalities like Bill O’Reilly, who was driven to ask “what holiday is Santa celebrating?” after seeing a Macy’s ad depicting Santa Claus helping customers with a “holiday gift list,” as opposed to a Christmas gift list.

“That is a good question,”

Stewart said sarcastically.

"Father Christmas" is often synonymo...

“Father Christmas” is often synonymous with Santa Claus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Santa, or Sinterklass (sic), (Sinterklaas) is celebrating the Feast of Saint Nicholas, which originated in the Netherlands in the Middle Ages and occurs every December 6th. But you might not have heard about that because like every other December holiday, it was long ago sucked into the insatiable black hole that is Christmas.”

Protecting the integrity of Christmas isn’t just about God when you look at all the controversy going on. For Palin Christmas is about patriotism and strangely enough also about the liberty and rights of the American people. Christmas, in Palin’s eyes, is the All-American holiday. Nativity scenes “acknowledge the very real history and identity of the vast majority of our citizens.” (her words) for her. They are according to her a part of “our National Heritage” and should be protected.

A tradition began years after the constitution

The NSM rally on the West lawn of the US Capitol, Washington DC, 2008

To me either she knows and ignores that Americans really began to celebrate Christmas widely only in the second half of the nineteenth century or she wants to get all other thinking people, those with not the same religious believes as her, being pushed in the corner or even better shoved out the country. No wonder so many Neo-nazis are liking her and the weapon industry do not mind providing money for her.

The Americans would do better to think of the reasons why so many left Europe and how many had found out that their church had fooled them with many dogmas. The Puritans who came to the New World to escape religious intolerance in Europe, didn’t celebrate Christmas at all. It was outlawed in New England from 1659-81. The God loving people knew their Bible better than many people today, who keep up the sacred book to wave to the people and shout to them about hell and damnation, but not read it.

Papist extravagance and pagan festivals

The immigrants from the 17th and 18th century wanted to see a New World were people could live together no matter of which denomination they were. But they did not like the Catholic or Papist extravagance. As far as they were concerned “Christmas” was a fourth-century innovation adapted in part from the pagan festival of Saturnalia. To this day there are home-grown American Christians that frown upon the celebration of Christmas because it’s not in the Bible. For them, as for the Puritans, Christmas is a gaudy distortion of the original message of Jesus. Also in many other countries, lots of real God loving people detest any connection with pagan festivals.

In the west of Europe we are full of Celtic and Germanic traditions and so it is understandable that many more people would have problems to desert those heathen activities. The Old colonist had abandoned those rituals, but now the Americans have come back home, into the 17th century Europe.

Danger looming around the corner

Some people may consider Sarah Palin to be a charlatan of no harm because she shall never reach her goal. But they could be mistaken. In Europe we have seen already other ‘charlatan’ who have made it to the top and who have destroyed many other peoples lives. Americans would better look at what happened in Europe, with such nationalism Sarah Palin is trying to imagine or to imprint in the minds of many Americans. Ad some financial crisis’s and we could come back 1930s (if we are not yet there). In Europe we have seen what sort of political figures and monsters it has created. There was also presented an ideal picture of family values, youth camps, and nice family celebrations with national holidays.

First every one shall have to comply with the Christian holidays of a certain Christians group and afterwards no other religious celebrations shall be recognised and would be considered to be an infringement on the national values, even become a danger for the nation. So no Hannukkah any more the state shall say in a few years time, in case the citizens are not careful enough to keep their liberties high in the meaning that liberty is protecting the freedom of the other.

Christians should better notice the trend of the marketeers making all efforts to push the ‘Holiday Season’ trough the throat of every body, making them guilty not to spend enough on Holiday Season Gifts.

Palin doesn’t seek the original Christmas (a fourth-century invention), the traditional American Christmas (they didn’t celebrate it), or consumerism-free Christmas (you Communist!). The festival Palin wants to retrieve is the Christmas of her youth. Palin’s Christmas is a medley of joy-filled eating, present opening, charitable giving, and idiosyncratic family tradition.

Candida Moss writes.

Real Christians should look for the real reason behind the season and be aware of their actions with national, worldly activities and with pagan celebrations..

+

Please read also my article on Christadelphian World: Nativity scene of the birth of the Bill of Rights

bloggers-for-piece-badgePeace in the community is only possible
when the citizens in that community respect the other people living around them,
no matter which colour or which believes they may have.

Peace can only be there when people are willing to give each other the freedom
to have their own celebrations,
but also by not claiming something as only their own,
forgetting the real historicity.

In case people want to be of the world or in the world that is their own choice.
Christians do have to make the right choice but to respect the choices of others,
having their own celebrations, but distancing themselves from them, not promoting them themselves.

Give peace a chance
and join the movement for peace,
becoming a Peace Blogger.

++

Additional reading:

  1. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  2. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  3. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  4. History of Christianity
  5. Birth of Christ – articles
  6. The nativity story
  7. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  8. God’s Special Gift
  9. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  10. Christmas trees
  11. A season of gifts
  12. Sancta Claus is not God
  13. Mocking, Agitation and Religious Persecution
  14. ‘Tis The Season To Be Cranky: Religious Right Gears Up New Round Of ‘War On Christmas’ Claims
  15. The atheist’s Thanksgiving dilemma  Whom to thank when there’s no recipient?
  16. Religious, political, spiritual—something in common after all?
  17. Double Standard for Americans Celebrating Christmas?
  18. Sarah Palin’s New Book About the “War on Christmas,” As a Recipe
  19. Sorry, Sarah Palin: There’s no war on Christmas
  20. Sarah Palin: ‘Angry Atheists’ Wage War Against Christmas
  21. Jon Stewart skewers Sarah Palin and Bill O’Reilly’s defense of ‘inexorable black hole that is Christmas’
  22. Sarah Palin Is Here to Save Christmas, Thank God
  23. ‘Christmas is evil’: Muslim group launches poster campaign against festive period
  24. Muslims in Malta condemn anti-Christmas poster campaign
  25. Introducing Buy Nothing Christmas + Learn About Buy Nothing Christmas Here.
  26. Tea party has roots in the Dallas of 1963
  27. A small circle taking a nation hostage
  28. Victims and Seekers of Peace
  29. Judeo-Christian values and liberty
  30. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God
  31. Warning! Get Out of Her – My People!
  32. American Revolution
  33. Americanism
  34. Constitution, U.S.
  35. Declaration of Independence, U.S.
  36. Enlightenment
  37. Nativity scene of the birth of the Bill of Rights
  38. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  39. What Jesus sang
  40. Weekly World Watch 12th – 18th Sept 2010‏
  41. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  42. What do you want for Christmas
  43. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  44. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ

+++

James and his snowman (from the 1982 film) mee...

James and his snowman (from the 1982 film) meet Father Christmas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Rep. Louie Gohmert Still Yammering About Christian Countries Or Whatever (wonkette.com)
    So how is Gohmert trying to help us save us from ourselves and the total destruction of these United States? Supporting increasing the minimum wage? Encouraging the uninsured to enroll in Obamacare? Free abortion on demand? Hahaha, don’t be Ridiculose. Gohmert’s save America plan today is so much simpler than all that commie nonsense.
    +
    we are thiiiiiiiiiis close to the end of America, and we’ve already been teetering on the brink, what with our sex educating of our children, which has practically turned us into the Soviet Union. (Gohmert spent a summer there, you know, so he is A Expert on that too.)
  • Atheist Billboards: Deliciously antagonistic or just a step too far? (theirishatheist.wordpress.com)
    Driving in America is an utter terrifying ordeal, filled with collapsing infrastructure, lunatics behind pieces of large machinery, and completely arbitrary traffic laws an interesting experience. Mainly because as you drive along, you get a good feel for the commercial values of each region of the States in the form of billboards. For example, Wisconsin. A casual traveler through Packer territory will swiftly come to realise that the hardy folk of Wisconsin value cheese, adult videos, and fireworks above all else. Or in Iowa, where they prefer outlet malls, country radio stations, and second-rate Mexican restaurants.
    +
    I didn’t realise that the Times Square billboard war was continuing until yesterday when Christian author Benjamin Corey wrote an article on the most recent salvo. Mr. Corey identifies himself as a ‘formerly fundie’ progressive Christian who works for a better level of understanding between the various factions of Christianity as well as people of other (or no) religious persuasions. Mr. Corey, having recently written an article deriding the so-called War on Christmas, took issue with the most recent atheist message to go up in Times Square. Sponsored by The American Atheists, the ad essentially asks “Who needs Christ on Christmas?” and proceeds to cross out ‘Christ’ and replace it with ‘Nobody.’
    +
    Billions of Christians are going to sit down, exchange presents, sing beautiful songs, eat delicious food, go to Mass or services, and show goodwill and kindness to others. Including atheists. And Jews and Muslims and Hindus and everyone else where Christianity is the philosophical majority. Christmas is celebrated for more than a month, it’s probably the singular most influential feature of Western culture. And you know what? It’s Christians who made it that way. Christianity is why I’m guaranteed a few days to be with my loved ones without work hanging over my head. Christianity is why all those pagan practises that they appropriated have survived for thousands of years so they could be enjoyed by us today. Christianity is why Christmas trees are everywhere, why charities do so well this month, and why I can’t listen to “Oh Come Oh Come Immanuel” without cold chills.
  • Louie Gohmert: Atheists should encourage prayer to boost national security (thedailyblogreport.wordpress.com)
    Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) seemingly tied Christianity to U.S. national security during a bizarre speech on the House floor on Thursday, the Huffington Post reported.
  • Louie Gohmert: Atheists should encourage prayer for national security (examiner.com)
    Glenn Beck picked a really bad time to claim the Religious Right was dead. That very same day, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), the exact same Congressional representative he vowed he would become the “worst nightmare” of to get him to run for the Senate, embraced one of the most asinine Religious Right talking points possible.
  • The war on Christmas trees (coupleofatheists.com)
    Every year of my life the home I lived in had a Christmas tree. Weather that was when I lived with my Atheist father or during college when I stayed with my Catholic grandparents- the tree was always there. For me, it is a symbol of another year ending and preparing for another to begin. It is a reminder of family memories that could have only been made in its presence. When I was a little girl, Christmas eve was one of the only times that everyone came together- and that has remained true well into my adult life.Christians blame Atheists for the “War on Christmas” but as much as they hate when we object to giant manger scenes on government property… they also are unhappy when we embrace the secular side of the holiday… so what if we turned it on them.

    +
    There is nothing biblical about the fir tree- that is simply Winter Solstice witch craft… thankfully we are addressing this now so you can (hopefully) make right all the wrongs you have done in regards to disrespecting the celebration of the birth of Christ.

  • Sarah Palin Disgraces History With Claim Adams and Jefferson Support Her War on Christmas (politicususa.com)
    If there is one distinguishing feature unique to conservatives, it is their predilection for war. They will declare war on anything, seemingly for sport, but primarily to advance their sick agendas whether it is war against Muslims, women, the poor, gays, or equality; they just love war. It is interesting then, that conservatives of the Christian persuasion claim there is a war on their religious liberty when they are prohibited from forcing compliance to their religious dogmata on the entire population, and then there is their annual outrage that they are victims of the “war on Christmas.” Of course, the aggressors, according to conservative Christians, in the war on Christmas are the dreaded atheists who, interestingly, enjoy the winter “holiday” season as much as the next American, but resent the fact that any sector of government uses their tax dollars to promote the religious aspect of the uniquely commercial holiday.
    +
    Thomas Jefferson, a deist, eschewed everything divine about biblical Jesus; particularly what he called the “contrary to the laws of nature” virgin birth and resurrection story. What Jefferson did appreciate about biblical Jesus was the humanitarian ethics of goodwill toward human beings, charity for the poor, and his inherent humanism that Jefferson himself espoused.  To make his point, Jefferson gathered 4 translations of the gospel accounts, edited out each and every “contrary to natural law” part, and compiled humanistic Jesus into his version of the gospels minus Christ’s miracles, Christ as divine, and especially the virgin birth and resurrection. In fact, Founding Father Thomas Jefferson wrote to another Founding Father, John Adams, in 1823 that “The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.” So much for America’s resident dunce counting on Thomas Jefferson joining her in fighting against “atheists trying to abort Christ in Christmas” or the “reason for the season” that is as absurd as a star guiding wise men to Bethlehem around December 25.
  • Atheists to Bill O’Reilly: ‘Religion does more than just hurt people. Religion kills people.’
    On Friday night on his Fox News Channel show, Bill O’Reilly made a show of attempting to understand the motivations and thinking of the people he deemed “angry” atheists, asking, “Are they that bitter against religion?”
    Raw Story spoke with Dave Muscato of American Atheists, Inc. to find out whether there was any merit to O’Reilly’s charges, which were part of the cable host’s annual protest against the so-called “War on Christmas.”
  • Makes Total Sense: Rep. Louie Gohmert Says If Atheists Want to Be Free, They Should Promote Christianity
    Gohmert previously received some lovin’ on Friendly Atheist when he introduced the Church Act, a bill that exemplified the literal opposite of church-state separation by proposing a plaque to honor the religious services that were once held inside the Capitol. Prior to that, we noted that he openly blamed the deadly mass shooting in the Aurora movie theater on the godless state of American high schools.

Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia

°°°

+

+

By 1890 all Americans voted to make 25 December, Christmas a legal holiday.

The old elph Claus, induced with supernatural powers, and his eight horned magical reindeer.
By 1880 Santa Claus was a very popularised folk hero.
(According to this video) Looking at conception of Elisabeth and Mary, possible birthday 1st day of Feast of tabernacles, September 25th or beginning October.

Many people use Christmas to perpetuate the myth of Santa Claus to their children. (A lie and deceivement to their children, who believe and trust their parents. Later people would wounder if other things the parents told them would be true or not like this Santa Claus and Easterbunny myths) It plants the seeds of doubt, creating disappointment and disillusion.

In schools the holidays are celebrated but no references to God or to Jesus may be made. All references to God must be omitted. They only may sing non-Scriptural songs.
“There is no Christian element in the holiday” the interviewed says.

Christians should live on a daily basis, remembering the son of God, born in Bethlehem; momentby moment dedication of their entire life to Jesus, then, and only then, they will be able to have victory over pagan influences and to have an impact on society, for the Only One God the Creator of heaven and earth.

°°°


*

“2 here is what ADONAI says: “don’t learn the way of the Goyim, don’t be frightened by astrological signs, even if the Goyim are afraid of them;
3 for the customs of the peoples are nothing. they cut down a tree in the forest; a craftsman works it with his axe;
4 they deck it with silver and gold. they fix it with hammer and nails, so that it won’t move.
5 like a scarecrow in a cucumber patch, it cannot speak. it has to be carried, because it cannot walk.
do not be afraid of it—it can do nothing bad; likewise it is unable to do anything good!”” (Jeremiah 10:2-5 CJB)

+

“18  “if the world hates you, understand that it hated me first. 19 if you belonged to the world, the world would have loved its own. but because you do not belong to the world—on the contrary, I have picked you out of the world—therefore the world hates you. 20 remember what I told you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ if they persecuted me, they will persecute you too; if they kept my word, they will keep yours too. 21 but they will do all this to you on my account, because they don’t know the one who sent me. 22 “if I had not come and spoken to them, they wouldn’t be guilty of sin; but now, they have no excuse for their sin. 23 whoever hates me hates my father also.” (John 15:18-23 CJB)

“11  now I am no longer in the world. they are in the world, but I am coming to you. holy father, guard them by the power of your name, which you have given to me, so that they may be one, just as we are. 12 when I was with them, I guarded them by the power of your name, which you have given to me; yes, I kept watch over them; and not one of them was destroyed (except the one meant for destruction, so that the Tanakh might be fulfilled).
13 but now, I am coming to you; and I say these things while I am still in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves.
14 “I have given them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world—just as I myself do not belong to the world. 15 I don’t ask you to take them out of the world, but to protect them from the evil one. 16 they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 17  set them apart for holiness by means of the truth—your word is truth.” (John 17:11-17 CJB)

“4  you, children, are from god and have overcome the false prophets, because he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
5 they are from the world; therefore, they speak from the world’s viewpoint; and the world listens to them.
6 we are from god. whoever knows god listens to us; whoever is not from god doesn’t listen to us. this is how we distinguish the spirit of truth from the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:4-6 CJB)

“14 therefore fear ADONAI, and serve him truly and sincerely. put away the gods your ancestors served beyond the (Euphrates) river and in Egypt, and serve ADONAI! 15  if it seems bad to you to serve ADONAI, then choose today whom you are going to serve! will it be the gods your ancestors served beyond the river? or the gods of the Emori, in whose land you are living? as for me and my household, we will serve ADONAI {Jehovah}!” (Joshua 24:14-15 CJB)

*

Preceding article: Holidays, holy days and traditions

+

  1. The nativity story
  2. Religious Practices around the world
  3. The Trinity: paganism or Christianity?
  4. First Century of Christianity
  5. Hellenistic influences
  6. Not all christians are followers of a Greco-Roman culture
  7. Only One God
  8. Idolatry or idol worship
  9. Faith and works
  10. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  11. Compromise and accomodation
  12. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  13. For those who have not the rudiments of an historical sense
  14. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  15. Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah
  16. Thanksgivukkah and Advent
  17. A season of gifts
  18. God’s Special Gift
  19. What Jesus sang
  20. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  21. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  22. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  23. The nativity story
  24. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  25. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  26. Speedy Christmas!
  27. Christmas trees
  28. Merry Christmas with the King of Kings
  29. What do you want for Christmas
  30. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  31. Sancta Claus is not God
  32. Wishing lanterns and Christmas

++

Additional reading:

  1. Pagan Roots? 5 Surprising Facts About Christmas
    Pagan, or non-Christian, traditions show up in this beloved winter holiday, a consequence of early church leaders melding Jesusnativity celebration with pre-existing midwinter festivals. Since then, Christmas traditions have warped over time, arriving at their current state a little more than a century ago.
    +
    As Christians spread their religion into Europe in the first centuries A.D., they ran into people living by a variety of local and regional religious creeds.
    Christian missionaries lumped all of these people together under the umbrella term “pagan,” said Philip Shaw, who researches early Germanic languages and Old English at Leicester University in the U.K. The term is related to the Latin word meaning “field,” Shaw told LiveScience. The lingual link makes sense, he said, because early European Christianity was an urban phenomenon, while paganism persisted longer in rustic areas.
    Early Christians wanted to convert pagans, Shaw said, but they were also fascinated by their traditions.
    “Christians of that period are quite interested in paganism,” he said. “It’s obviously something they think is a bad thing, but it’s also something they think is worth remembering. It’s what their ancestors did.” [In Photos: Early Christian Rome]
    Perhaps that’s why pagan traditions remained even as Christianity took hold. The Christmas tree is a 17th-century German invention, University of Bristol’s Hutton told LiveScience, but it clearly derives from the pagan practice of bringing greenery indoors to decorate in midwinter. The modern Santa Claus is a direct descendent of England’s Father Christmas, who was not originally a gift-giver. However, Father Christmas and his other European variations are modern incarnations of old pagan ideas about spirits who traveled the sky in midwinter, Hutton said.
    +
    With no Biblical directive to do so and no mention in the Gospels of the correct date, it wasn’t until the fourth century that church leaders in Rome embraced the holiday. At this time, Nissenbaum said, many people had turned to a belief the Church found heretical: That Jesus had never existed as a man, but as a sort of spiritual entity.
    “If you want to show that Jesus was a real human being just like every other human being, not just somebody who appeared like a hologram, then what better way to think of him being born in a normal, humble human way than to celebrate his birth?” Nissenbaum said. [Religious Mysteries: 8 Alleged Relics of Jesus]
    Midwinter festivals, with their pagan roots, were already widely celebrated, Nissenbaum said. And the date had a pleasing philosophical fit with festivals celebrating the lengthening days after the winter solstice (which fell on Dec. 21 this year). “O, how wonderfully acted Providence that on that day on which that Sun was born … Christ should be born,” one Cyprian text read.
  2. The Origin of Christmas
    The truth is that all of the customs of Christmas pre-date the birth of Jesus Christ, and a study of this would reveal that Christmas in our day is a collection of traditions and practices taken from many cultures and nations.
    The date of December 25th comes from Rome and was a celebration of the Italic god, Saturn, and the rebirth of the sun god.
    This was done long before the birth of Jesus.
    It was noted by the pre-Christian Romans and other pagans, that daylight began to increase after December 22nd, when they assumed that the sun god died.
    These ancients believed that the sun god rose from the dead three days later as the new-born and venerable sun.
    Thus, they figured that to be the reason for increasing daylight.
    This was a cause for much wild excitement and celebration. Gift giving and merriment filled the temples of ancient Rome, as sacred priests of Saturn, called dendrophori, carried wreaths of evergreen boughs in procession.
    In Germany, the evergreen tree was used in worship and celebration of the yule god, also in observance of the resurrected sun god.
    +
    A simple study of the tactics of the Romish Church reveals that in every case, the church absorbed the customs, traditions and general paganism of every tribe, culture and nation in their efforts to increase the number of people under their control.
    In short, the Romish church told all of these pagan cultures,”Bring your gods, goddesses, rituals and rites, and we will assign Christian sounding titles and names to them.

    When Martin Luther started the reformation on October 31st, 1517, and other reformers followed his lead, all of them took with them the paganism that was so firmly imbedded in Rome.
    These reformers left Christmas intact.
    In England, as the authorized Bible became available to the common people by the decree of King James the II in 1611, people began to discover the pagan roots of Christmas, which are clearly revealed in Scripture.
    The Puritans in England, and later in Massachusetts Colony, outlawed this holiday as witchcraft.
    Near the end of the nineteenth century, when other Bible versions began to appear, there was a revival of the celebration of Christmas.

    We are now seeing ever-increasing celebrating of Christmas or Yule, its true name, as we draw closer to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ!
    In both witchcraft circles and contemporary Christian churches, the same things are going on.

  3. Is Christmas Pagan?
    There was, for example, a saturnal celebration around the time of Christmas that pagans celebrated, which was actually a temptation for Christians to participate in that had pagan content to it.  So the church changed the day that they celebrated the birth of Christ.  They used to celebrate it in the Spring.  But the church said, We can celebrate it any time we want.  Let’s celebrate it at the same time the pagans are celebrating their pagan festival.  It’ll act as a contrast to that pagan festival because our celebration is the birth of the God-man, Jesus Christ.  It has Biblical content.  Plus it will protect Christians from being wooed away by this other celebration to participate in what was a pagan celebration.
    +
    Circumcision was practiced by the Egyptians before it was practiced by the Jews.  It was a cultural practice which had some religious significance.  God captured the practice, gave it to Abraham, reinvested it with new meaning and it became a religious rite for Abraham to worship his creator.
    We think of circumcision as this really holy thing in the Old Testament associated with the covenant, which it was.  But it wasn’t that way originally.  By golly, it seems to me that if God can do such a thing–take a practice that had heathen content to it, save the practice, reinvest new information to it–then it certainly is okay for the church to do it.
    +
    Even Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, wasn’t given by God in the Scriptures.  It’s something that they do to recollect a deliverance, a special deliverance, that God gave them during what we call the inter-testamental period, those 400 years between Malachi and Jesus.  Theirs is a festival that is commonplace now but which doesn’t have its source in a direct command in Scripture; but it does function like many of those other things that are in Scripture.  It reminds people year to year of God’s faithfulness and His goodness.
  4. The History of Christmas, simple to remember
    St. Mark’s, written about 65 CE – begins with the baptism of an adult Jesus.  This suggests that the earliest Christians lacked interest in or knowledge of Jesus’ birthdate.+

    Joseph A. Fitzmyer – Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at the Catholic University of America, member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, and former president of the Catholic Biblical Association – writing in the Catholic Church’s official commentary on the New Testament {Addison G. Wright, Roland E. Murphy, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, “A History of Israel” in The Jerome Biblical Commentary, (Prentice Hall: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1990), p. 1247.}, writes about the date of Jesus’ birth, “Though the year [of Jesus birth is not reckoned with certainty, the birth did not occur in AD 1.  The Christian era, supposed to have its starting point in the year of Jesus birth, is based on a miscalculation introduced ca. 533 by Dionysius Exiguus.”

    +

    The DePascha Computus, an anonymous document believed to have been written in North Africa around 243 CE, placed Jesus birth on March 28.  Clement, a bishop of Alexandria (d. ca. 215 CE), thought Jesus was born on November 18.  Based on historical records, Fitzmyer guesses that Jesus birth occurred on September 11, 3 BCE.

    +

    In the 4th century CE, Christianity imported the Saturnalia festival hoping to take the pagan masses in with it.  Christian leaders succeeded in converting to Christianity large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Christians

    +

    The Reverend Increase Mather of Boston observed in 1687 that “the early Christians who  first observed the Nativity on December 25 did not do so thinking that Christ was born in that Month, but because the Heathens’ Saturnalia was at that time kept in Rome, and they were willing to have those Pagan Holidays metamorphosed into Christian ones.”{ Increase Mather, A Testimony against Several Prophane and Superstitious Customs, Now Practiced by Some in New England (London, 1687), p. 35.  See also Stephen Nissenbaum, The Battle for Christmas: A Cultural History of America’s Most Cherished Holiday, New York: Vintage Books, 1997, p. 4.}  Because of its known pagan origin, Christmas was banned by the Puritans and its observance was illegal in Massachusetts between 1659 and 1681.{Nissenbaum, p. 3.}  However, Christmas was and still is celebrated by most Christians.

    +

    Norse mythology recounts how the god Balder was killed using a mistletoe arrow by his rival god Hoder while fighting for the female Nanna.  Druid rituals use mistletoe to poison their human sacrificial victim. {Miles, p. 273.}  The Christian custom of “kissing under the mistletoe” is a later synthesis of the sexual license of Saturnalia with the Druidic sacrificial cult.{Miles, p. 274-5.}

  5. Christmas: Is it “Christian” or Pagan?
    “The cold of the night in Palestine between December and February is very piercing, and it was not customary for the shepherds of Judea to watch their flocks in the open fields later than about the end of October.” Hislop, A., The Two Babylons, Loiseaux Brothers, Neptune, N.J. pg 91.
    +
    If the winter was such a bad time in which to flee, it seems unlikely that the shepherds would be sleeping out in the fields while tending their sheep during that season.
    +
    Isis, the Egyptian title for the “queen of heaven,” gave birth to a son at this very time, about the time of the winter solstice. The term “Yule” is the Chaldee (Babylonian) name for “infant” or “little child.”
    This pagan festival not only commemorated the figurative birthday of the sun in the renewal of its course, but it also was celebrated (on December 24) among the Sabeans of Arabia, as the birthday of the “Lord Moon.”

In Babylon, where the sun (Baal) was the object of worship, Tammuz was considered the incarnation of the Sun.

“In the Hindu mythology, which is admitted to be essentially Babylonian, this comes out very distinctly. There, Surya, or the Sun, is represented as being incarnate, and born for the purpose of subduing the enemies of the gods, who without such a birth, could not have been subdued.” Ibid pg 96

There are many other Christmas counterparts of the Babylonian winter solstice festival, such as: 1) candles lighted on Christmas eve and used throughout the festival season were equally lighted by the Pagans on the eve of the festival of the Babylonian god, to do honor to him, 2) the Christmas tree was equally common in Pagan Rome and Pagan Egypt. In Egypt that tree was the palm tree; in Rome it was the fir. The tree denoted the Pagan Messiah.

“The mother of Adonis, the Sun God and great mediatorial divinity, was mystically said to have been changed into a tree, and when in that state to have brought forth her divine son. If the mother was a tree, the son must have been recognized as the ŒMan of the branch.” Ibid pg 97

  • Should we Celebrate Christmas?
    Sometimes tradition is acceptable and perhaps even pleasing in the sight of Yahweh. But other times it is not acceptable and can even be hated by Him
    The issue of traditions transgressing the commandment of Yahweh was a key teaching of Yahushua the Messiah:
    (NKJV) Matthew 15:1- Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Yahushua, saying, “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”
    +
    Messiah didn’t like the traditions of the Scribes and Pharisees because they transgressed Yahweh’s clear commandments. As I will share, Christmas is also transgressing the commandment of Yahweh in favor of tradition. But first, notice that He goes on to say:

    Matthew 15:7 –
    “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:8 `These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with [their] lips, But their heart is far from Me.9 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ “So a tradition can honor him with the lips, but actually be a vain thing that displeases Him. I have found that Christmas is honoring with the lips but it is actually a vain tradition that has essentially become a doctrine and commandment of men.
    It is a tradition and commandment of men because there is no verse in the bible that tells us that we are to celebrate the birth nor the resurrection of Yahushua the Messiah—let alone in a way that imitates paganism and idolatry!
    So yes, I do believe we must question these traditions that have been handed down to this generation even though few dare to. Many Christians speak against the Catholic traditions of Lent, Ash Wednesday, etc. but fail to recognize that the same types of pagan elements exist in the celebration of Christmas and Easter.
  • The History of Christmas and Its Pagan Origins
    English: large wooden Santa Claus and "no...

    large wooden Santa Claus and “north pole” at Santa Claus House, North Pole, Alaska (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Many people suffer from the misconception that Christmas is a Christian holiday. The earliest history of Christmas is composed of “pagan” (non-Christian) fertility rites and practices which predate Jesus by centuries. The truth is, in short, the real history of Christmas has nothing to do with Christianity. Many of the traditions which we hold dear, such as decorating Christmas trees, singing Christmas carols, and giving Christmas gifts, are rooted in the traditions of non-Christian religions.
    +
    In the Middle Ages, Christmas was a raucous, drunken celebration which resembled a carnival. Poor people would go on a Christmas“trick or treat” around the richer neighborhoods, causing them misery if they didn’t get what they wanted.
    +
    The Germans did not so much celebrate as honor the winter solstice. They believed that their god, Oden, flew through the sky at night passing judgment on his people. Generally, they would stay indoors during this season. When the Germanic people were converted to Christianity, their winter festival was naturally adopted as a celebration of the birth of Christ.
    +
    Contrary to popular belief, the tradition of cutting down a Christmas tree, bringing it into the home and decorating it is not pagan in origin, and did not appear until centuries after Christ’s broth. The Romans decorated their homes and temples with evergreen clippings, but allowed the trees to remain intact, often decorating live trees with religious icons.
    The Druids tied fruit to the branches of live trees, and baked cakes in the shape of fish, birds and other animals, to offer to their god, Woden. We also inherited the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe from the Druids. The Christmas tree tradition we currently practice had its origins in 16th century Western Germany. “Paradise trees” were cut down to commemorate the Feast of Adam and Eve, which took place on Christmas eve every year.
    +
    Christianity and pre-Christian pagan religion have a great deal in common. Various pagan religions shared the Christian practice of worshiping a god-man who could offer salvation in the form of heaven or condemnation in the form of hell. The concept that a son of God could be born of a mortal woman is seen in many different religions spanning the globe. These concepts are universal, except to those who are extremely divisive and have a tendency to pick nits.
    +
    Fortunately there are many ways to reconnect with the original purpose and meaning of Christmas. Small traditions, such as placing apples or cookies on the tree, or decorating a live tree instead of a cut one, are a good way to get in touch with the way that our ancestors celebrated Christmas. Respecting the planet and understanding its powers and its limitations are important. The pagans were aware of the changing seasons and found earth-centered and social ways to cope with them. They were aware and appreciative of the sun. They exchanged gifts, but their gift exchange was not commercialized. Instead the focus was on bringing good fortune. Giving gifts of fruit has been a common practice throughout history, and is still popular today.

  • A History of New Years
  • Christianity gone haywire, and going down
  • The Marketing Of Catholicism
  • One of the main concerns of the Church in the last 50 years – and I mean, even from good, orthodox priests and laymen – seems to be to make the message of Christianity attractive, or easy to digest, or such that it would appear an improvement in one’s quality of life.
    +
    Christianity isn’t a “fun option”, or a “better choice”; similarly, atheism or unrepentant grave sin are infinitely worse than “poor choices”. It is no surprise 50 years of trying to persuade people of this have brought us to the level where we are now.
    Christianity is, first and foremost, harsh. Harsh in the brutal commandments – not suggestions of “better choices” -, harsh in the consequences for those refusing to do so, harsh in the crystal-clear warning that no alternative ways are acceptable.
    +
    The call to submit our will to His good and perfect will – because God’s ways work for our happiness. A call to surrender our “rights” and all that we are to Jesus – through faithful membership of His Church.

+++

  • Oh Christmas Tree (notestoponder.wordpress.com)
    We deck the halls because Pagans used to bring greenery into their homes on  the shortest day of the year for the sun god to eat.  It was an “offering” to get well soon; a custom shared by ancient Druids, Romans and Greeks. Jesus could have been born in July for all we know but Dec. 25 was set to soothe uppity Pagans by coinciding with their solstice parties.
  • Chanukah (Hanukkah) / Christmas – Facts or Fabels? (hisimagenme.wordpress.com)
    Would Yeshua Himself celebrate Christmas if He walked the earth as human today? Not likely, at least not the way most do.What about Hanukkah?
    Yeshua likely grew up celebrating Hanukkah. It is one of the Jewish Holidays that goes way back. But to be clear it is the only holiday that God did not command to be celebrated. At least Biblically speaking. At least as far as we know. This is because the time period in which the origin of the holiday takes place between Malachi and Matthew or “old and new” testaments. He did indeed celebrate this holiday, and its not a far stretch to know why. As the Light of the World that gave the oil (Holy Spirit) to His church at a critical time in its history…we are the Menorah of Adonai. The above link does a beautiful job explaining this in more detail. It’s worth the time to “study to show thyself and test the Spirit” in search of Truth.
  • The Idol of Christmas (eternalchrist.wordpress.com)
    No, we are not the Grinch who stole Christmas; but Christians should understand the origins of this most hallowed celebration.
    +
    Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and Jingle Bells are born of the traditions of men, and detract from the birth of Messiah. Granted, Sinterklaas was a real person (Saint Nicholas of Myra); a 4th Century Christian bishop who gave generously to the poor.Everything else we know about Santa Claus is a creation of myth and fables. The Saint Nick who is worshiped today has become an idol of merchants and debtors; and is a sacrilege to the Nativity at Bethlehem.Christmas evolved from the winter festivals of Saturnalia (Rome) and Yule (German) from which we get the word Yuletide. These annual feasts celebrated pagan gods such as the white bearded Odin who supposedly rode his horse across the wintry skies of northern Europe delivering gifts to all the children.
  • The true reason for the season (sanchezjennifer926.wordpress.com)
    Christ will never be “the reason for the season” Jesus Christ was interjected into an already existing Pagan festival/feast and I’m here to shed a little light on an ongoing betrayal.
    +
    During the middle ages, the debased Mardi Gras atmosphere, of what was now known as “Christ’s mass” had reached a fevered pitch. Common practices included sex in the streets, rioting, murder, and a number of Druid Halloween like rituals. This blood drenched ritual got so out of hand, that by the year 1652 following the execution of King Charles I, “Christ’s mass” was finally outlawed.
  • YAHWEH’s Truth Behind The Pagan Holiday Christmas (simplylivingforyah.wordpress.com)
    Unbeknownst to the multitudes of Christians, and other religions, those celebrations are made by witches, warlocks, but mainly by Luciferians. I know you are thinking “why Luciferians”? So I’ll tell you why. Try to go over this a few times so you make sure it’s absolutely correct, and then once you do, “remember it”!The reason Luciferians celebrate it is because they know their god Satan has tricked most of the people that call themselves Christians into believing a lie, and that makes those people seen for who they are. “Weak in study and able to be told anything.” Today’s modern day believer is unequipped to do battle with Satan and that gives him an advantage over them.
    +
    These so called “church father’s” pre-existed the man who would continue in their efforts to malign the true doctrine that we were supposed to be taught. Instead Constantine, who was a wife murdering madman, and killed his very own children, found a way to align pagan worship (paganomics) with what was being called “Christianity.” It would allow pagans to bring some long time rituals into the church. “Easter” (Ishtar) The fertility goddess, whose name was originally “Asherah,” or “Astarte.” YAHWEH had the Asheran pole (may pole dancing) taken out of all HIS Tabernacles. “Churchianity brought it back with Easter.”
  • “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” (allaboutarmstrongism.wordpress.com)
    Tonight, the Christmas tree – yes, the Christmas tree – (you’re responsible for your judging thoughts, Armstrong Adherents)  is brightly lit and shining in my home. Lights flashing sequentially, the beautiful colors light the living room in a warm, inviting glow. From speakers, St. Paul’s Cathedral is singing “Hark the Herald Angels sing” – a song proclaiming the birth of the most important Figure ever to walk the face of the Earth. The words echo beautifully throughout. It is absolutely wonderful.
  • The Twelve Mysteries of Christmas, Day 2 (lmwinborne.wordpress.com)
    Fact is, green has been used by many cultures as a symbol of life.  During harsh winters, evergreens were cut down and brought into houses as a symbol that life still existed despite the bleak conditions outside.  Romans hung holly wreaths on their doors and walls to welcome back the sun in the natalis solis invicti (birth of the invincible sun”) festival, which was celebrated on December 25 each year.  Red was added to symbolize the shed blood of Jesus.
    +
    The custom of using a pine to represent the Tree of Good and Evil spread from the church to the home, creating a tradition with the two colors.
  • Falling Back To The Wall – In Length And Wordiness (experientialpagan.wordpress.com)
     I’m (not really) sorry, Christians; you don’t have a patent on festive mid-winter celebrations.  In fact, if you all bothered to know as much about your Christian history as you think you know about pagan history, you would know it was your own Puritans who wanted to banish Christmas; not the secular humanists, thank you very much.At this time of year, I often wish I could master the patter of the professional auctioneer, so I could belt out “Merry Bodhi, Soyal, Dongzhi, Solstice, Yule, Kwanzaa, Malkh, Hanukkah, Christmas, Solis Invicti, Saturnalia, Yalda, Hogmanay, New Year’s!” 545237without it taking me five minutes to say it.  I hear the “defend Christmas” crowd go on about how it is our “culture” to be defended, but you know what?  America doesn’t have a culture.  Not really.  Capitalism is not cultured, religious bigotry is not cultured, consumerism and materialism are not cultured….but enough of my humanism, right?  IF Americans doing the loudest screaming had ANY bloody concept of “culture” they would know what all those holidays up there ARE, for starters…and then maybe we could have a rational talk about their ill-mannered insistence that nobody ever say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas!”
  • Should Christians Celebrate Christmas? (christianmotivations.weebly.com)
    Jewish people celebrate Christmas today, not because of Christ’s birthday, but because it is a popular tradition and part of our present-day culture. It’s as American as apple pie and hamburgers. And I observed Christmas for nearly 22 years of my life, until God opened my eyes to see the falseness of this pagan holiday.It’s not because I’m a Jew that I don’t celebrate Christmas now. That has nothing to do with it. Let me tell you the real reasons why I no longer observe this pagan holiday.
  • The Christmas Season in the Italian Language (becomingitalianwordbyword.typepad.com)
    To celebrate la stagione natalizia in Italy, I am dedicating this month’s blog posts to the sights, sounds, tastes, and traditions of Natale.  Buone feste! (Happy Holidays!)
    +
    the key dates in a season of celebrations:*December 6: La festa di San Nicola, patron saint of shepherds and of Bari–and the inspiration for the American “Santa Claus.”*December 8: La festa dell’Immacolata, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, a Catholic holy day honoring Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus. In Rome the Pope comes to the Piazza di Spagna to drop a garland of flowers around the statue of the Madonna. (Since she stands atop a high column, firemen on ladders do the actual placement.)*December 13: La festa di Santa Lucia, the festival of lights.

    *December 24: La vigilia di Natale, the vigil or eve of Christmas.

    *December 25: Natale,  the “birthday” of Gesù bambino.

    *December 26: La festa di Santo Stefano, Saint Steven’s day.

    *December 31: La festa di San Silvestro, Saint Sylvester’s day or New Year’s Eve (la vigilia di Capodanno).

    *January 1: Il Capodanno, literally the top of the year.

    *January 6: L’Epifania (Epiphany), which marks the arrival of the Re Magi, the three wise men, who brought gifts to the infant Jesus from afar.

The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (2)

[this is a sample of text from the book “Living on the edge” by Jonathan Burke]

The mythical conflict of science & Scripture (2)

Dismissal of the myth that science and Christianity have traditionally been at war, has led to over-correction by some writers who have gone too far in the opposite direction.[1] [2]

Two particularly influential writers claiming Christianity was uniquely influential on the birth of modern science, are Stanley Jaki[3], and Rodney Stark.[4] Building on the earlier work of Robert Merton,[5] who suggested that 17th century Protestant (particularly Puritan), values created an environment in which scientific inquiry was promoted sigfnificantly (known as the ‘Merton Thesis’), Jaki and Stark make the claim that the modern Western scientific tradition benefited specifically from contributions exclusive to Christianity.

The Merton Thesis is still a matter of academic debate,[6] but it is generally recognized by historians of science that Christianity made a significant positive contribution to the development of the Western scientific tradition.[7] [8] [9]

Nevertheless, it is also generally agreed that the development of modern science was not due to Christianity alone.[10] Christians who contributed to science benefited from earlier intellectual traditions inherited from the Greeks, as well as from scientific knowledge and experimentation carried out by Muslim and Jewish investigators,[11] and typically made mention of this in their own writings, citing their sources.

__________________________________________________

[1] ‘It is, in fact, so easy a target that scholars reacting against it have constructed a revised view that has also been driven to excess.’, Brooke, ‘Science and Religion: Some historical perspectives’, p. 42 (1991).

[2] ‘Zeal for the triumph of either science or religion in the present could lure historians into Whiggish history. The works not only of Draper and White, but also of Hooykaas and Jaki fell into that category. Kenneth Thibodeau’s review in Isis of Jaki’s Science and Creation, for example, declared it “a lop-sided picture of the history of science” that “minimizes” the accomplishments of non-Christian cultures and “exaggerates” those of Christian ones (Thibodeau 1976, 112). In a review in Archives Internationale d’Histoire des Sciences, William Wallace found Hooykaas’s Religion and the Rise of Modern Sciences to be “case of special pleading.” In their historiographical introduction to the book they edited, God and Nature (1986), David Lindberg and Ronald Numbers judged that Hooykaas and Jaki had “sacrificed careful history for scarcely concealed apologetics” (Lindberg and Numbers 1986, 5). Likewise some historians found Moore’s nonviolent history unacceptable: He “sometimes seems to be writing like an apologist for some view of Christianity” (La Vergata 1985, 950), criticized Antonella La Vergata in his contribution to The Darwinian Heritage (1985).’, Wilson, ‘The Historiography of Science and Religion’, in Ferngren (ed.),  ‘Science & Religion: A Historical Introduction’, p. 21 (2002).

[3] Jaki, ‘The Road of Science and the Ways to God’ (1978).

[4] Stark, ‘For the Glory of God: how monotheism led to reformations, science, witch-hunts, and the end of slavery’ (2003).

[5] Merton, ‘Science, Technology and Society in 17th-Century England’ (1938); unlike later writers, Merton did not believe that the Puritan ethic, or Christianity itself, was essential for the successful development of modern science.

[6] ‘Scholars still debate what Merton got right and what he got wrong, and in the intervening years they have drawn a far more detailed portrait of the varied nature of the religious impetus to study nature.’, Efron, ‘Myth 9: That Christianity Gave Birth to Modern Science’, in Numbers (ed.), ‘Galileo Goes to Jail: And Other Myths About Science and Religion’, p. 10 (2010).

[7] ‘Although they disagree about nuances, today almost all historians agree that Christianity (Catholicism as well as Protestantism) moved many early- modern intellectuals to study nature systematically.4 Historians have also found that notions borrowed from Christian belief found their ways into scientific discourse, with glorious results; the very notion that nature is lawful, some scholars argue, was borrowed from Christian theology.’, ibid., pp. 80-81.

[8] ‘Historians have also found that changing Christian approaches to interpreting the Bible affected the way nature was studied in crucial ways. For example, Reformation leaders disparaged allegorical readings of Scripture, counselling their congregations to read Holy Writ literally. This approach to the Bible led some scholars to change the way they studied nature, no longer seeking the allegorical meaning of plants and animals and instead seeking what they took to be a more straightforward description of the material world.’, ibid., p. 81.

[9] ‘Finally, historians have observed that Christian churches were for a crucial millennium leading patrons of natural philosophy and science, in that they supported theorizing, experimentation, observation, exploration, documentation, and publication.’, ibid., p. 81.

[10] ‘For all these reasons, one cannot recount the history of modern science without acknowledging the crucial importance of Christianity. But this does not mean that Christianity and Christianity alone produced modern science, any more than observing that the history of modern art cannot be retold without acknowledging Picasso means that Picasso created modern art. There is simply more to the story than that.’, ibid., p. 82.

[11] ‘These men and their contemporaries all knew what some today have forgotten, that Christian astronomers (and other students of nature) owe a great debt to their Greek forebears. This was not the only debt outstanding for Christian philosophers of nature. They had also benefited directly and indirectly from Muslim and, to a lesser degree, Jewish philosophers of nature who used Arabic to describe their investigations.’, ibid., p. 83.

+

Find Part 1: The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (1)

Introduction: Where is the edge

&: Living on the edge

+++

Picture of Father Stanley L. Jaki

Picture of Father Stanley L. Jaki (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • No Faith in Science (richarddawkins.net)
    A common tactic of those who claim that science and religion are compatible is to argue that science, like religion, rests on faith: faith in the accuracy of what we observe, in the laws of nature, or in the value of reason. Daniel Sarewitz, director of a science policy center at Arizona State University and an occasional Slate contributor, wrote this about the Higgs boson in the pages of Nature, one of the world’s most prestigious science journals: “For those who cannot follow the mathematics, belief in the Higgs is an act of faith, not of rationality.”
  • Jerry Coyne’s Twisted History of Science and Religion (forbes.com)
    In his latest post on the topic, he promotes the false belief that there is a fundamental conflict between science and religion, and he even makes the wild (and admittedly unproven) claim “that had there been no Christianity, if after the fall of Rome atheism had pervaded the Western world, science would have developed earlier and be far more advanced than it is now.” (For some thoughts on that theory, see this post.)
  • Did Christianity (and other religions) promote the rise of science? (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
    The claims are diverse, but all give religion—especially Christianity—credit for science.  Religion is said to either encourage thinking (read Aquinas), impel people to do science as a way of unravelling God’s plan, lead to the idea of scientific laws (viz. Davies and Plantinga, above), or “encourage” science in some nebulous ways (this “encouragement” often seems to mean only “did not impede science.”)

    Now these claims are bogus, but if you read various histories of science, you’ll see conflict on this issue.  I’ll put my own objections below, but you should also read Richard Carrier’s 2010 article, “Christianity was not responsible for modern science.” Pp. 396-419 in J. W. Loftus, ed. The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails. Prometheus Books (that’s a book well worth reading, by the way.)

    Here are some of my responses to the “science came from Christianity” canard

  • A response to Bill Nye (religionron.wordpress.com)
    Nye forgets where a lot of things came from which was the study of natural law.  Science came from religion.  Many theories like the big bang theory come directly from religion, but religion was not used as the proof.  Most of sociology comes from a religious core.  Physics has theories that border on pantheism.  You wont here this from Nye because all religion is bad.We do agree on a few things though.  I do not think religion should be taught as science.  Likewise I don’t think science should ever be philosophy or religion.  Its one thing to put in a history book or even an astronomy book the origin of the big bang theory but we shouldn’t use it as a proof of the theory.
  • Science and Religion… (jesusavesisrael.wordpress.com)
    The fact of the matter is that science and faith complement each other, and there is no conflict between true science and true religion. Together they give the best foundation for wholesome faith and courage for daily living. When Galileo, the father of modern science, discovered that the earth revolved, instead of the sun moving around the earth, certain religious leaders were greatly disturbed, for they held another theory. But eventually they were reconciled.
  • Reason Illuminates Faith (in the Middle Ages) (thesoapboxguild.wordpress.com)
    What do the Middle Ages and scientific ideas have to do with each other? Quite a bit more than you might think. Unlike the thoughts brought to mind by words like the “Dark Ages,” the medieval period was not a totally backwards time of ignorance and superstition (though as in any era, both were present!), but one of intellectual formation that proved critically necessary for modern science to develop.
  • Both science and religion have a place under the sun (thehindu.com)
    When we discuss the relevance of science and religion, it will be misleading to look at it through the “either-or” prism. Among scientists, there are many who are religious and similarly among the religious, there are many who have a scientific frame of mind. Far from being founded on the fear of the unknown, true religion is founded on the faith in the grace of the unknowable.

    It is easy to define religion opportunistically and then decry it. If we associate terrorists with religion, as Prof. Natarajan has done, religion becomes nefarious. If we understand religion as an enquiry into the ultimate purpose of life and equate it with spirituality, the merits of religion will become manifest.
    +
    Prof. Natarajan has tried to understand why humans invented the concept of God and denounced it by quoting Albert Einstein. It has been a universal practice cutting across all religions to describe what we don’t understand (essentially what is called ‘mysterious’) as acts of God. Einstein was appreciative of this phenomenon and that is why he said, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science” and “Science without Religion is lame; Religion without Science is blind”.

  • Science, Religion, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life (thehaynesblog.com)
    Last night Joshua and I attended a lecture by the Rev. Prof. David Wilkinson entitled “Science, Religion, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life.”  He holds a PhD in theoretical astrophysics, a PhD in systematic theology, and he is a Methodist Minister.  He is one who is well equipped to engaged the questions posed by some today: “What will Christianity do if or when we do make contact with alien life forms?”  Some have said that it will be the end of faith as we know it.  Some Christians have welcomed it as proof of an omnipotent God.  Additionally, there are a million questions in between.
  • No Faith in Science (secularnewsdaily.com)
    A common tactic of those who claim that science and religion are compatible is to argue that science, like religion, rests on faith: faith in the accuracy of what we observe, in the laws of nature, or in the value of reason. Daniel Sarewitz, director of a science policy center at Arizona State University and an occasional Slate contributor, wrote this about the Higgs boson in the pages of Nature, one of the world’s most prestigious science journals: “For those who cannot follow the mathematics, belief in the Higgs is an act of faith, not of rationality.”
  • No Faith in Science (slate.com)
    What about the public and other scientists’ respect for authority? Isn’t that a kind of faith? Not really. When Richard Dawkins talks or writes about evolution, or Lisa Randall about physics, scientists in other fields—and the public—have confidence that they’re right. But that, too, is based on the doubt and criticism inherent in science (but not religion): the understanding that their expertise has been continuously vetted by other biologists or physicists. In contrast, a priest’s claims about God are no more demonstrable than anyone else’s. We know no more now about the divine than we did 1,000 years ago.