History’s Most Famous Execution

David Matthew a committed Christian since the age of twelve who reached the blessed age of 77 and was a schoolteacher for 14 years, then went into the Christian ministry, to be by now still very much on a journey of faith having become now a lot less dogmatic on doctrinal issues than he used to be, and a lot more Jesus-focused, always tried to keep up with current thinking on evangelical Christianity and wrote about it.

He has been disturbed to keep coming across once-keen Christians, including some church leaders, who, in the face of the challenges of raising questions about traditional views or proposing new ways of looking at certain biblical passages, have lost their faith altogether. He therefore wrote a.o. the book: “ A Poke In The Faith: Challenges to evangelical faith and how to survive them”.

He also looked at “Did God Kill Jesus?: Searching for love in history’s most famous execution by Tony Jones (HarperOne, 2015).” and asks “What happened to the cross“.   He also made a very nice “synopsis of the bookin which we found the following text we do like to share with you:

History’s Most Famous Execution

We should be clear on the basics about Jesus. Born in 6 or 4BCE, he was reared in Nazareth, in the fairly prosperous region of Galilee. He was, like Joseph, a tekton, ‘craftsman’ — not necessarily a carpenter. At the age of 30 he merged from obscurity into his public ministry. The core of his message was:
‘A new age is dawning — the rules by which followers of Yahweh lived their lives, while not irrelevant, are in need of
a serious overhaul; the spirit of those rules has been forgotten amid the attempts to keep those rules; I’ve come to redefine the relationship between God and humanity.’ (p70)
The ultimate rule, he taught, is love —which should extend even to one’s enemies.
The apocalyptic aspects of his teaching (a common and popular genre at the time) were directed chiefly at the political situations of his day. His miracles were not primarily to show his deity but to demonstrate God’s rule and show how it reaches out to the marginalised in society.
Jerusalem, where Jesus headed at the end of his ministry, was the centre of Jewish religious life. The Gospel writers focus on his last week there. Each of the four has its own angle on it. They focus on his trial, sufferings and death.
The Gospels show little interest in who actually killed Jesus (or, indeed, in what his death accomplished), but together they portray him as crucified by the Romans at the instigation of the Jewish leaders.
His resurrection led his followers to see his death cosmically and theologically, as an act of God.
At a human level, the early church put the blame chiefly on the Jews, while later centuries blamed them entirely, on the basis of Matt 27:25 — a verse which has had a terrible anti-Semitic legacy. The Gospels do tie Jesus’ death to the Passover. His passion takes place during the build-up to Passover. His last act is to eat the Passover meal with his followers. Like the original Passover lamb, the blood of Jesus liberates the people.
Paul, however, takes this much further…

Paul’s Cross-Centred Life

Paul got to know the Jesus story backwards: starting with the resurrected Lord. He never heard Jesus teach, nor witnessed his miracles (note of the editor: he might have witnessed some miracles, but we do not know that, but for sure he would have heard about them from first hand witnesses) , and never mentions his life — the focus is on his death and resurrection.
He sets these in the context of Israel’s story, a key feature of which was the law. Paul concludes that the law killed Jesus (Gal 3:13).

‘The cross’, for Paul, means ‘the gospel’, and it is the lens through which he interprets everything else. He opens up his thinking on it chiefly in Romans 3, and Romans 7 – 8. In Rom 3 God is faithful, and it is through Jesus, the faithful Israelite, that he fulfils his covenant promises. Jesus is the ‘sacrifice of atonement’ — literally the place of atonement, or Mercy Seat. In other words, he sums up everything that has gone before in Israel’s history. In Rom 7 – 8, all of human sin is concentrated in Jesus, and in him on the cross all sin is condemned.
If the Gospels show Jesus as the Passover sacrifice, Paul presents him as the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) sacrifice. Both are valid emphases, but different.
According to Paul, in the cross God showed himself to be on the side of all human beings, Jews and Gentiles alike, and through the cross he shows us how to live right, recognising that we have been crucified with Jesus. We are called to live out the example that God set on the cross: self-limitation, humility and submission.

+

Preceding

Review: What happened at the cross?

++

Additional reading

  1. Christian values, traditions, real or false stories, pure and upright belief
  2. The saviour Jesus his human side
  3. Redemption #4 The Passover Lamb
  4. Death of Christ on the day of preparation
  5. Hebraic Roots Bible Matthew Chapter 28
  6. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  7. Glory of God appearing in our character
  8. Hebraic Roots Bible Book of The Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2
  9. Matthew 2:7-12 – Pawns of Herod, the Magi Find the ‘Child’
  10. Anointing as a sign of Promotion
  11. Preparing for 14 Nisan
  12. 14 Nisan a day to remember #1 Inception
  13. 14 Nisan a day to remember #4 A Lamb slain
  14. A Messiah to die
  15. Lost senses or a clear focus on the one at the stake
  16. Jesus the “God-Man”: Really?

+++

Related

  1. Events That Changed History
  2. The Outrageous Story
  3. Torsten Jantsch on Jesus, the Savior: The Soteriology of the Lukan Doppelwerk
  4. Jesus Led The Way
  5. We Preach Christ Crucified …
  6. Did Jesus Christ die on Good Friday or not?
  7. The Mathematics of Caiaphas and Christ
  8. A New & Glorious Morn
  9. No Sweat, No Thorns, in New Jerusalem (2)
  10. The One You Pierced!
  11. Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
  12. When God seemed to be an atheist
  13. No Need for Sleep in New Jerusalem
  14. Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? … by Alice ..
  15. ”Moksha With Jesus Christ”

Own Private Words to bring into a good relationship

In the previous posting “Words to bring into a good relationship” we have spoken about Words God spoke to man and which enable man to find the Real True God.

English: Sperindio Cagnola, Jesus Christ, John...

Sperindio Cagnola, Jesus Christ, John the Baptist kneeling and praying to God the Father (detail of the Last Judgement), 1514 -24, Paruzzaro, San Marcello Church (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today we look at our own words and how they also can be important to find God and to build up a good relationship with God.
Jewish men grow up going to the synagogue and temple where they witnessed prayers often. You would think they then know to Whom we should pray, why and what result it can have. In the first century of this common era there were people who found an interesting man preaching about the Most High Elohim. That teacher spoke with awe about that heavenly Father, and told his onlookers he could do nothing without this heavenly Father. This rabbi often prayed with them to that heavenly Father.
These men came from homes in which their father was active in praying and now they had their leader also praying to that God of Abraham. They had seen enough examples how to pray, but still asked Jeshua, their master teacher, how to pray.

Luke 11:1  (RNKJV)
And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Rabbi, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.

Jesus in Pray

Jesus in Pray (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For some time now Jesus had taught them by precept (Matthew 6:7-15) and example (Luke 9:29). More than once Jesus had taken time to pray to that God about Whom he spoke so much. Jesus very well knew that God and knew that he could not do anything without God. For those who think Jesus is God, they should then wonder if Jesus prayed to himself and told lies about his position and that one of his heavenly Father. Jesus told those around him that God is greater than him and does all the works (in case Jesus is God he would be the greatest of all and always would do his own wish and doing the works himself.) Jesus told them that it is God Who does all the work and is the One to whom we should ask to have things done.

When those Jewish men who had seen so many examples of praying now asked their teacher how they should pray, Jesus gave them the substance of the Model Prayer (in Matthew and Luke).

Matthew 6:7-15  (RNKJV)
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
9 After this manner therefore pray ye:

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amein.
14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Jesus also had often used the books of King David showing people they had to use the right words when directing themselves to others and to God, never having false words or lies on their tongue.

Psalms 19:14  (RNKJV)
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O יהוה, my strength, and my redeemer.

When we try to live in the way God wants, offering ourselves in an acceptable way, using right words and not veil words, like we also would not use certain words to our friends, than we may direct ourselves to God as a close Friend and receive answers like a close Friend or loving Father would do.

Jesus assures his pupils also with comparing God with their own fathers who would treat them well.

Luke 11:11-13 (RNKJV)
11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

When people are sincerely looking for God, even when they are not convinced that He exist, they always can start trying to speak (= pray) to Him. Even if they do not yet believe in God, but ask that God to let them know if He really exists and what they have to do, for sure That God shall not let them in the dark, but shall bring them answers at the right time.

Jesus was always praying. Before he chose the apostles, he prayed. He prayed all night. He prayed in the garden before his arrest and even was daring to question his God to look at him who was willing to put his own wishes aside for doing the Will of God. (In case Jesus is God he naturally would always have done his own will)

Luke 22:42  (RNKJV)
Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

In the worst moments of his life Jesus took up prayer, speaking to his heavenly Father, the One Spirit Jesus considered to be the Only One true God, to Whom we all should direct our prayers. Upon the piece of wood, when his final hour had come Jesus his final statements were prayers. The praying Jesus was impressive.
Like Jesus always talked, not to himself but to God, we also should not talk to ourselves all the time, but should be making time to talk to that God of Jesus, his disciples, the Jews, Zacharia, Jeremiah, Isaiah, David, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham and many other men of God.
Jesus prayed to God because that’s what fellowship with God demands and needs. He did it because he wanted to have a good relationship with his heavenly Father, the Only One True God.

Jesus wanted others to come to know God. with Jesus we also find a person who is showing the way to God. It is one man who we should trust and follow his example and words. When we look at the Words of God, in the Bible, we do find that God is pointing out to that sent one He promised. And God’s promises are not like those of man. God is well able to fulfil all that He has promised. He is all mighty to ensure that His Word will come true and will be honoured.

The Old Testament or Covenant, meaning a solemn undertaking, shows us how God has mercy with man and wants to guide them. Jesus and his disciples read and studied those books and considered them the Word of God to be taken at heart.
Jesus explained the things the people could not understand about some of those old sayings form those books.
By listening to what Jesus says about those old saying of the prophets and history writers, we can come to a better understanding. Those sayings of Christ can be found in the New Testament, where we are offered a New Covenant by Christ Jesus, the Messiah. He has become the mediator between God and man, and we should make use of him.

1 Timothy 2:5  (RNKJV)
For there is one Elohim, and one mediator between Elohim and men, the man Yahushua the Messiah;

This mediator can be our advocate, but he also prepared the way so that we can talk directly to God. That provision we should use gratefully.

We should consider prayer to be a conversation. Our prayers when directed to God is talking to God. It is not talking to God when we pray to virgins, Christophers, Thomasses or other saints. Like Jesus talked to God, his heavenly Father we too should talk to our heavenly Father. Like not every prayer of Jesus was the same, our prayers also do not have to be the same. The opposite God expects us not to mumble all the time the same words in the same order. God even does not like repetitious prayers.

Ecclesiastes 5:2  (RNKJV)
Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before Elohim: for Elohim is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.

Ecclesiastes 5:7  (RNKJV)
For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou Elohim.

Matthew 6:7  (TS2009)
“And when praying, do not keep on babbling like the nations. For they think that they shall be heard for their many words.

When we love to have a good relationship with people around us, we are going to talk to them. When we have good friends and want to be close to them we are going to talk regularly and openly with them. With are parents we shall talk often and tell them lots of things. The same or even more with our heavenly Father. wit god it is best to communicate openly and honestly with  because He knows our heart and knows everything of us.

When we do not know God, He knows us already. He wants us to communicate with Him and us coming to Him. Please, in case you are looking for God or if you want an intimate relationship with Him, do not hesitate to contact Him and to talk to Him, what we also call praying to Him.

You do not need a specific place. Any place is good to come to talk to God. You do not have to speak loud. You can think the words in yourself. By thinking those words you want to bring over to God, you are bringing them over. You may do it in your own language and in your own words at any time of the day or night. God is always there to hear your thoughts and see what is moving your heart.

+

Preceding articles

Words to bring into a good relationship

About the Lord’s prayer

People Seeking for God 7 The Lord and lords

++

Additional reading:

  1. 7000 to 20000 words spoken each day
  2. Walking alone?
  3. Experiencing God
  4. God, my father, my closest friend
  5. People who know how to pray to move God to take hold of our affairs in a mighty way
  6. A Living Faith #7 Prayer
  7. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  8. Religious people and painful absence of spring of living water
  9. Being sure of their deliverance
  10. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  11. God should be your hope
  12. Praying and thinking positively
  13. Does God hear prayer?
  14. God Helper and Deliverer
  15. Gods promises
  16. Belief of the things that God has promised
  17. Gods measure not our measure
  18. God showing how far He is willing to go to save His children
  19. Listening and Praying to the Father
  20. Prayer, important aspect in our life
  21. Genuine prayer
  22. Be sound in mind and be vigilant with a view to prayers
  23. Be vigilant with a view to prayers
  24. Natural inclinations and Praying and asking
  25. Praying is surrendering in all circumstances
  26. Praying and acts of meditation without ceasing
  27. Always rejoicing Praying constantly Giving thanks for everything
  28. Worship and worshipping
  29. Praise Jehovah
  30. Praise and give thanks to God the Most Highest
  31. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  32. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  33. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  34. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #7 Prayer #5 Listening Ear
  35. Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  36. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #9 Prayer #7 Reason to pray
  37. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  38. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #11 Prayer #9 Making the Name Holy
  39. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #13 Prayer #11 Name to be set apart
  40. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  41. Praise the God with His Name
  42. Does God answer prayer?
  43. Gods non answer
  44. Faithful to the leastening ear
  45. Wishing to do the will of God
  46. God of gods
  47. A god between many gods
  48. Hashem השם, Hebrew for “the Name”
  49. I Will Cause Your Name To Be Remembered
  50. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  51. Jehovah Yahweh Gods Name
  52. Archeological Findings the name of God YHWH
  53. Titles of God beginning with the Aleph in Hebrew
  54. Use of /Gebruik van Jehovah or/of Yahweh in Bible Translations/Bijbel vertalingen
  55. Without God no purpose, no goal, no hope
  56. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  57. Golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters obedience
  58. Happy who’s delight is only in the law of Jehovah
  59. Rest thy delight on Jehovah
  60. Old Man of Prayer
  61. Biblical Prayer at Tabernacle Site Shilo
  62. What moves mountains? Trust!
  63. If you think you’re too small to be effective
  64. Get into the habit of dealing with God about everything
  65. Give your worries to God
  66. Work with joy and pray with love

+++

Further articles on praying

  1. Why bother being silent?
  2. Proverbs: Wisdom’s Call-Hard Words
  3. Less pride and more praise – That’s what we need, Lord.
  4. when your job is to pray on the job
  5. Re-commit
  6. Jesus Showed Up
  7. The Prayers of a Righteous Man
  8. Does God Pray? – Katherine Sonderegger
  9. Learning how to NOT pray and ignoring spirits
  10. Thank God For His Grace And Mercy
  11. Prayer for our children
  12. Stuffed to Bursting
  13. Psalm 23 (1b)
  14. Hallowed and Holy…
  15. Thy kingdom Come…
  16. The Power of Prayer

+++

Words to bring into a good relationship

Relating to God is a new website and blog, created at the beginning of this year (2016-03-09) to bring people in a good relationship with the Divine Creator. To come to such good relationship it is important to get to know God and to get to know His Word, the Bible. For that reason the site is looking at the gathered Words of God.

English: Frontispiece of the 1917 JPS translat...

Frontispiece of the 1917 JPS translation of the Bible (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the organisation’s words people do not have to start of with a believe in god nor in His Word to come to get to know Him. It is by discovering the Words of God, that people shall come to understand that the assembled set-apart or Holy Scriptures manifest themselves to be the word of God, by the scope of the whole, which is to give all glory to God.

There is an essence or a centre or a dominant peculiarity in the way God glorifies himself in Scripture and those collected Words do manage to bring people to see Who God is and What His desires are.
When people are willing to listen to those words in that library of 66 books they shall come to the understanding that the Bible has final authority over every area of our lives and that we should, therefore, try to bring all our thinking and feeling and acting into line with what the Bible teaches.

The world may have many religions and many churches, but those who are willing to listen to the Call of God shall come to hear that Sacred Calling. There are people who believe themself and want to have others to believe that certain churches have their own Bible with their own words, but this is not taking into account that God Himself all over the years has protected His Own Word. Certain churches and people may prefer to have a certain Bible translation and may not like an other Bible translation, but that does not mean that people using an other bible translation would not been able to come to the Biblical Truth.

A Bible translation is not the private charter of a faith community among other faith communities. It is a total claim on the whole world. God, the Originator Speaking Creator Owner, and Governor of the world, has sent His Word all over the world and has not limited His Words to one particular language or one particular church denomination.

His words, in whatever language they may be read, are valid and binding on all people everywhere. God can not be owned by any church, but God owns all people in the world and is Master of all.

First page of latest Dutch Bible translation (NBV)

First page of latest Dutch Bible translation (NBV) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People might believe in only certain things their religion places before them, irrespective of whether the Author is divine. But even if they don’t believe in all of it, they still can be believers in God. They also might find other ideas than their original church is preaching. At a certain point they might even come to see that there are too many differences in the church teaching opposite in what they belief the Bible is teaching. And most important of all tit is the bible which should guide people. It is the Words of the bible which should be taken as the truthful words of God.

In the end it are people themselves who shall have to decide which way they go and what they want to believe, human doctrines or Biblical doctrines.

The rubber meets the road, however, when fundamentalist notions of “what one must believe” overtake open-mindedness in a non-secular community – when one’s personal beliefs, and more important his personal disbeliefs, ostracize him from “good standing” if he articulates  those disbeliefs aloud.  If that occurs – if the Bible’s factuality becomes essential to one’s faith for fear of being shunned – it will be man, and not God, who decides what one must believe in order to be viewed as having Faith.  And that principle cannot ever be what God intended.

writes rabbi Joel Cohen in Is the Bible’s factuality essential to faith?

God His way of speaking with unique, infallible authority counted in the 5the century b.C.E. as well as in the 1st century or 21st century C.E. is through signs or letters on a stone, papyrus, paper or even today on a screen of an electronic device. The Words He thinks necessary for mankind or brought together in “One book”. A Set-apart or Holy Book, which is for all people, educated or not.

+

Please do find to read:

  1. Are there certain books essential to come to faith
  2. Life and an assembly of books
  3. Words of God to stand and to be followed and to believe
  4. the Bible – God’s guide for life #1 Introduction
  5. the Bible – God’s guide for life #2 Needs in life
  6. the Bible – God’s guide for life #3 Fast food or staple diet
  7. the Bible – God’s guide for life #4 Not to get the best from our diet– or from ourselves
  8. Challenging claim 3 Inspired by God 2 Inerrant Word of God
  9. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God

+++

For those on the Quest of their life

In this world where there are not many interested in the Sovereign Maker, some guys living in a small country at the European continent took the courage to go out and preach. In Jesus time there was not yet such a practical medium like we have today. The internet might be not bad for preaching work.

Using the modern electronic provisions to bring people in contact with others all over the world to get to know and to share ideas, the Belgian Christadelphians decided to bring some websites for those who are looking for the meaning of our life and are looking for Whom or What is behind this all.

Blog pagina van Op zoek naar God (Dutch component of the triptych in search for God)

Blog pagina van Op zoek naar God (Dutch component of the triptych in search for God)

First was published a Dutch triptych presenting the 1st component especially for those who are looking for God: Op zoek naar God.

2° component of the Triptych "Looking for God": the Way to God = De Weg naar God

2° component of the Triptych
“Looking for God”: the Way to God = De Weg naar God

As second panel, in the middle as the most important picture when looking for the Source of everything, “The Way to God” or “De Weg naar God“.

Last but not least, after having done all the research, having found some ways and some solutions it comes to the difficult tasks to make the right choices and to find God by opening the mind to Him.
The third section goes deeper into the matter of finding God or “God vinden“.

The adventure page of "God vinden" (Finding God, at the start in March 2016.

The adventure page of “God vinden” (Finding God, at the start in March 2016.

Lots of material in Dutch can be placed over there, but there are not so many people in the world understanding Dutch. This demands an anti pole in a for more people understood language: English. As such came into being “Relating to God” on the Weebly server and at WordPress its sibling “Relating to God – Blog“.

Relating to God - a website for those looking for a relationship with the Divine Creator Deity

Relating to God – a website for those looking for a relationship with the Divine Creator Deity

Those new sites have the same aim: to bring people to God and to have them come to see the difference between human dogmatic teaching and Biblical teaching. They also want to give answers to many questions people have about life, God , gods, religions etc., and show how we can come into a good relationship with God, Jesus and each other.

We kindly invite you to have a look at those sites and hope you will find them interesting enough to return to them and to leave some reaction behind.

Looking forward to your visit,

Yours truly,

Relating to God

Scenes from the life of Jesus Christ, triptych...

Scenes from the life of Jesus Christ, triptych. Constantinople, late 10th c., crimson ivory. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

+++

Framework and vehicle for Christian Scholasticism and loss of confidence

in the December issue of the Spectator questions where Christianity began to lose confidence (as he thinks it now has) that its teachings can offer a sure framework for day-to-day moral reasoning.

Detail of The School of Athens by Raffaello Sa...

Detail of The School of Athens by Raffaello Sanzio, 1509, showing Plato (left) and Aristotle (right) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to us all went wrong when the church fathers agreed to Constantine the Great to adapt their faith to the Roman faith and to include their gods in the god of Christianity, creating a three-headed god like in the Roman and Greek culture. They also were very attracted to the philosophers of antiquity. One of the greatest intellectual figures of Western history got his philosophies in the teachings of the false teachers of Christendom.

Aristotle, Greek Aristoteles  (384 bceStagira, Chalcidice, Greece – 322, Chalcis, Euboea) his philosophical and scientific system that became the framework and vehicle for both Christian Scholasticism and medieval Islamic philosophy. Even after the intellectual revolutions of the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Enlightenment, Aristotelian concepts remained embedded in Western thinking. For him

ethical questions were soluble by the application of logic and common sense that he could advise anyone seeking to determine the ‘right’ course of action to ask themselves what a respected gentleman would recommend; and if still in doubt ask what would be going too far, and would not be going far enough, and thereby locate the mean between them as the appropriate action. The Nichomachean Ethics do not speak to me of an age of aching uncertainty about the rules for human coexistence. From those times, only Pilate’s ‘what is truth?’ calls to us down the ages with a modern ring. {The question Christianity fails to answer: ‘Who is my neighbour?’}

Though he was the the founder of formal logic, devising for it a finished system that for centuries was regarded as the sum of the discipline, the 4th century church leaders did not seem to have much interest to keep everything logical and to keep just to what the words of the Bible said. Though the idea of the homoousios [consubstantial, of the same substance] used by the council of Council of Nicaea in 325, to define the Son’s relationship to the Father was not universally popular, different emanations from God looked much cooler and by transferring the god Zeus into the person of Jeshua corrupting his name to Issou or Jesus (Hail Zeus),they could go with the Roman emperor his ideas and keep the minds at ease, not confronting the Roman merchants with the instructions of followers of Jeshua to their believers not to buy figurines or sculptures to have them as representation of God or gods in their house.

The raising and discussing of doctrinal difficulties became a popular pastime. It also created the possibility for church-fathers to create writings and to gain popularity in certain circles. But because they agreed to certain Roman elements they became in difficulties with the Aristotelian use of deductive reasoning proceeding from self-evident principles or discovered general truths; and syllogistic forms of demonstrative or persuasive arguments. On lie or false teaching made they had to crate an other lie or a doctrine people had to take for truth, with the saying that it is something to difficult to understand for a human mind and therefore Christians had just to believe it as a creed of faith.

writes

Early Christianity strikes me as inheriting much from Aristotle’s ‘think about it: it’s obvious’ approach. The Roman Catholic church added layer upon layer of specific rules, all underwritten by a claim to divine authority — the big ‘Because’ — as handed down by a clear and certain hierarchy of human office-holders. The Reformation at first aimed to replace Roman Catholic certainties with certainties of its own. But in time the Reformation produced so many competing answers to the big ethical questions that in the schisms, sects and splinters — the rival certainties — modern Europe’s sense of one great, shared moral certainty was lost. {The question Christianity fails to answer: ‘Who is my neighbour?’}

The early Christians had already became distressed by heresies and by men who liked to have the pre-eminence over others. This resulted in schism and fragmentation. When the apostles were alive they still could call others to order. They made every effort to rebuke and educate those in error, sometimes with success and sometimes not. Those they could not bring to order or following the teachings of Christ Jesus grew in number and as such more and more people preferred those teachers which allowed them to keep the heathen rituals and to enjoy the human traditions. Still today we see that this is the main reason why many Christians do not want to convert to the truthful Christian groups which only want to keep to Biblical teaching and not to the human doctrines.

Some people are convinced that Aristotle is the most wise man who was keenly attuned to the realm of the divine. They also want to think that the divine the philosopher was talking about would have been the same divine Jesus and other Hebrew prophets were talking about.

He might have thought the divine being the origin of the human and the human at its best approaches the divine.

The latter is a paradoxical truth at the center of human existence {Aristotle’s Key to Christmas}

writes who thinks

the more perfect a human life, the more it stretches beyond the human and almost touches the divine. One who sees deeply into human greatness can as it were see through it, to something beyond. For men can become like gods. Such a profound truth Aristotle saw. {Aristotle’s Key to Christmas}

Aristotle had confidence — though not certitude — that the gods will reward those who become like them, and the followers of Christ asked their disciples to become like Christ. For lots of human beings to become like God would be the most favourable and the climax in their life, the sum-mum. So, having Christ Jesus as their god would be better than the gentiles having their Roman or Greek gods, when they would equal Jesus with the God of Abraham.

All the preaching of the Hebrew prophets and rabbi Jeshua was about becoming one with the God Most High, building up a relation to last in eternity.

In some sense the possibility of God and men becoming friends does enter his mind. It enters his mind as a possibility to be rejected: “when one party is removed to a great distance, as god is, the possibility of friendship ceases” (also from the Nicomachean Ethics). It is not that the notion was inconceivable to him. Rather, there was simply no ground to consider it a real possibility. For God and men to be friends an apparently unbridgeable gap would have to be bridged. For as Aristotle often points out, friends share one life together, and there is nothing for which they so yearn as to be together. {Aristotle’s Key to Christmas}

Such idea makes some Christian philosophers or Christian teachers, also today, placing Aristotle as the visionist who not only could tell what is  truly virtuous and what is mistakenly thought to be so, but also could tell the world what the meaning of Christmas is.

And this, then, is what Aristotle has to say about Christmas, about its deepest meaning.  If men are ever to become more than just somewhat-like the divine, if we are ever (tremble at the words) to live one life with him, and thus be his friends, then something very specific has to happen. And there is no human ground to expect that it ever will. {Aristotle’s Key to Christmas}

As you see, it was thought of that one could live with the gods and to be befriended with the gods and with God. In Ethika Politika speaks about that happening in what he calls the “first Christmas”. With that “first Christmas” he refers to what lots of Christians have taken as the birthday of Christ.

That celebration which is still popular by many Christians and is even seen as a Christian holiday by many non-religious persons is a pagan celebration with lots of figures which have nothing to do at all with the birth of the promised saviour, Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

But we can see or understand why many want to bring Aristotle’s thinking to that pagan celebration and to bring it in Christendom. For man it has always been a question why they lived, why they had to suffer so much and how they could bring an end to suffering and get a better life.

Many have searched for happiness and came to the conclusion it must also have to do with having friendly relationships to living beings and perhaps also to divine beings.

According to John Cuddeback

Aristotle had the key to understanding Christmas. His master achievement was a profound understanding of human happiness. It is as though he grasped as much as can be grasped by human reason alone. {Aristotle’s Key to Christmas}

Men are designed for greatness, a greatness that few ever achieve. True human happiness consists, simply put, in living virtuously. And virtuous living is the fundamental requirement and the necessary context for that deepest of human longings—true friendship. {Aristotle’s Key to Christmas}

gods take an interest in the struggles of men? Here, writing in the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle is more tentative:

For if the gods have any care for human affairs, as it seems they do, it would be reasonable both that they should delight in that which was best and most akin to them and that they should reward those who love and honor this most, as caring for things that are dear to them.

Remarkably, he has confidence—though not certitude—that the gods will reward those who become like them.

But this is as far as far as it goes. Surely the possibility of God and men entering into some sort of shared life never entered his mind. Right?

This is a subtle matter. In some sense the possibility of God and men becoming friends does enter his mind. It enters his mind as a possibility to be rejected:

“when one party is removed to a great distance, as god is, the possibility of friendship ceases” (also from the Nicomachean Ethics).

It is not that the notion was inconceivable to him. Rather, there was simply no ground to consider it a real possibility. For God and men to be friends an apparently unbridgeable gap would have to be bridged. For as Aristotle often points out, friends share one life together, and there is nothing for which they so yearn as to be together. {Aristotle’s Key to Christmas}

When for Aristotle the happiness meant to become wholesome, the early church argued people could become complete went hey became like Christ, though we do not know if they intentionally would say by that that people could become like God, because they came to take Christ Jesus to be God.

For Aristotle, eudaimonia was about living in accordance with reason; fulfilling our sense of purpose; doing our civic duty; living virtuously; being fully engaged with the world and, especially, experiencing the richness of human love and friendship. {Hugh Mackay, ‘Why we sometimes need to be sad’Happiness, Aristotle & Catholicism}

Today we do not see many Christians who understand that living the life Christ calls us to live as Christians is a very logical exercise. Many Christians do not want to believe Jesus when he says who he is and who is grater than him.

A 22 year old Catholic woman writes

 if He is indeed God, then it is only logical that I need to center my life around Him. {Happiness, Aristotle & Catholicism}

But than she makes a funny remark as if Jesus would not be saying who he is, but than says

On the other hand, if Jesus is not who He says He is, if He is not God, then He’s not a nice man, He’s a dangerous fanatic, and therefore I would do well to avoid centering my life around Him. {Happiness, Aristotle & Catholicism}

what she does not seem to see that Jesus never told lies, because according to the Holy Scriptures, which we take to be the infallible word of God, being from the Most High God of gods Who does not tell lies, Jesus would not have sinned and as such would not have told lies. Jesus tells very clearly how he relates to God and how we like him have to relate to his heavenly Father.

As a Catholic she believes that our hearts are designed for union with God. She has reason to believe that, but she takes the wrong person to be her god. She has to be in union with her brothers and sisters in Christ and with Christ in union with God, like Jesus was in union with his heavenly Father. This will not make us to become Christ nor to become God, like Jesus was also not God, though one with God like we have to be one with Him.

This unity is the purpose of our existence that is inscribed into us; to love God and to be loved by God.

St. Augustine said,

“You have made us for Yourself, oh Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You”

And so, when we live in a way that we were designed to live, we experience a pervading joy and peace that the world cannot give. St. Catherine of Siena said,

“Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire.”

In other words, to be fully alive is to be who we are meant to be. {Happiness, Aristotle & Catholicism}

These days in darker times of the year man tries to look at light and hopes to find in it happiness. He has taken the day of the goddess of light as the day to celebrate and present a Santa Claus, who has taken the place of Christ and the place of God. Man has become so materialistic and thinking happiness lays in the material goods one can get, that he is blinded not seeing the light of Christ and the Way to God.

All those false teachings were many became victim of give them a false hope of their spirit leaving their body and going to a sort heaven where they shall be able to find happiness. They do forget that Christ Jesus came to safe us and liberated us already some two thousand years ago from the penalty of death. thanks to him we are able to receive here already lots of happiness and hope in a marvellous new world here on earth.

Christian joy is living in accordance with reason, in a way that fulfills our sense of purpose, living virtuously, being fully engaged with the world and experiencing the richness of love and friendship with God.  {Happiness, Aristotle & Catholicism}

A reason that follows with reason the words form the most sacred Book of books, the Bible and not from human dogmatic teachings and philosophies.

+

Preceding

Focus on outward appearances

Marriage of Jesus 7 Impaled

Roman, Aztec and other rites still influencing us today

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

++

Additional reading

  1. Integrity of the fellowship
  2. Gainsayers In Apostolic Days
  3. Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:18-20 – John’s Teaching and Imprisonment
  4. Matthew 1:1-17 The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
  5. Politics and power first priority #2
  6. Politics and power first priority #3 Elevation of Mary and the Holy Spirit
  7. Altered to fit a Trinity
  8. Spelling Yahshuah (יהשע) vs Hebrew using Yehoshuah (יהושע)
  9. Americans really thinking the Messiah Christ had an English name
  10. Experiencing God
  11. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  12. Focussing on oneness with Jesus like Jesus is one with God

+++

Further related articles

  1. In the Family Way or Aristotle’s Ethics
  2. What Aristotle Says About Christmas
  3. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
  4. Deterring Determinism: The Freedom of Mankind
  5. 3 Quotes, 3 Days Challenge: Round 2
  6. The Birth of Science
  7. The Good Life: You Scratch My Back and I’ll Scratch Yours
  8. Four-Part Epilogue
  9. Aristotle’s Poetics and Sophocles’s Oedipus
  10. Interrogation
  11. Happiness, Aristotle & Catholicism
  12. Imagination defines humanity
  13. Some Thoughts about Two Old Guys
  14. Happy Holidays
  15. The Smiths’ Christmas Letter
  16. A really lovely yet simple day
  17. Out with the old, in with the new
  18. Solving the Unwanted Gift Dilemma – With Love
  19. Christmas Party 2015
  20. It could only  happen at christmas
  21. Deconstructing Christmas
  22. This Christmas
  23. Tales of Christmas
  24. Christmastime
  25. Twelve days of Christmas
  26. One Last Look at Christmas, 2015
  27. Attachment and Holidays
  28. Prepare the Way for Christ
  29. grandchildren, love, and being a “gift-hero”
  30. Where is My Christmas Joy
  31. Not ‘Feeling’ Christmas This Year?

+++

Being in tune with God

Too many Christians do forget that they have to come in unity with Christ and with God in the same manner that Jesus is one with God.

Too many Christians overlook that God has a purpose to save the world through Jesus; and what the importance is of the role of faith in Jesus as the means of salvation.
Too many Christians have made Jesus in their god instead of believing that he is a man of flesh and blood, who really was tempted (remember God cannot be tempted) and really died at his impalement (remember God cannot die).

In this son of God people can find rest. He not only did the will of his Father, and not his own will, which he would have done in case he is God, He shall not condemn us but judge us on how we reacted on his words and his showing the Way to God. We can not stay blind and deaf, and should react accordingly how we receive insight and take steps according the truth we find. Than we have to show if we want to stay of the world and preferring to keep to human dogmas or to be part of Christ not being of the world but of God, loving His commandments and believing His Words.

By accepting Jesus and following him we shall find life will become much easier to bear. In him we shall be able to find wholeness and well-being and the courage to come closer to his heavenly Father the One and Only True God.

++

Additional reading:

  1. About unity
  2. Unity with Christ
  3. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  4. Maintaining unity of Spirit in the bond of peace becoming one with God
  5. Authority given to him To give eternal life
  6. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  7. A participation in the body of Christ
  8. Preparation for unity
  9. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  10. One Mind, One Accord
  11. Come ye yourselves apart … and rest awhile (Mark 6:31)
  12. Lonely in the crowd
  13. Atonement And Fellowship 4/8
  14. Atonement And Fellowship 6/8
  15. Unity doesn’t mean uniformity
  16. To whom do we want to be enslaved
  17. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything
  18. En Soma: One Body
  19. United people under Christ
  20. Commitment to Christian unity

+++

  • Unity (africanaprincess.wordpress.com)
    Within the body of Christ we all have a role and purpose and there is no distinction with the Lord. The Lord is the same over all who call on His name. We are all called to be a witness and to spread the Gospel to all nations.  Let your light shine so the world may know that you are in Christ Jesus!
  • What the Bible says about Worry/Anxiety (livinginhisfootsteps.wordpress.com)
    Don’t be anxious about anything, but pray in everything with thanksgiving. Then the incomprehensible peace of God will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
  • matthew 6: 33-34 (forwhatiwanticanwait.wordpress.com)
    Our Heavenly Father sustains birds that do not sow or reap; we need to have the faith that Jesus will sustain us. 
  • Reflection on Philippians 3 (jesusaves.net)
    Christ should be at the centre of all we do as we press forward towards the Goal of eternal life being already citizens of heaven. So let us rejoice in the Lord, be united in prayer and meditate on what is right and holy. This will help us put other’s needs before ours.
  • God Did Not Abandon Jesus – Conclusion (instrument-rated-theology.com)
    If God abandoned Jesus, even for a moment, for that moment Jesus was just a human. This is in clear contradiction to the entire message of the gospel of John.
    +
    If Jesus’s prayer for the church was based on his unity with his Father, and if that unity was “revoked” or “abandoned,” then what does that teach us about the unity of his believers? Can we accept division in Christ’s church because Jesus and his Father experienced division?
    +
    Jesus’s death was ultimately unnecessary. If God was with Jesus before Jesus died, and if he was with Jesus as he died, then the atonement was accomplished simply by the suffering of Jesus. His death was superfluous.
  • God’s Great Power (genesisone.wordpress.com)
    The same God who raised Jesus from the dead can raise us from spiritual death. Whether or not we perceived it at the time that power of God was operating in our lives in a way that assured us of eternal life – a life that physical death cannot harm.
  • Live with expectation (takeaminute.net)
    The term “born again” refers to spiritual birth (regeneration)—the Holy Spirit’s act of bringing believers into God’s family. Jesus used this concept of new birth when he explained salvation to Nicodemus (see John 3). This term is a wonderful metaphor of new life from God. You cannot be a Christian without a fresh beginning based on the salvation Christ brings. To be born again is a magnificent gift from God.
  • Romans 15:5-6 – May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind (church4u2.wordpress.com)
    May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    – Romans 15:5-6 (NIV)
  • Dig for Friday the 10th of April…. you’ve just got to love those buts #02…..Romans 6 v23 (heilanword.wordpress.com)
    The love of God towards us and our righteousness through faith in Jesus are the keys to living a holy life.
  • Being Certain In Uncertain Times (elizabethnmary.wordpress.com)
    Let us be not dismayed for the uncertainty of this world, for there is a better world to come for those who remain certain that our God will never fail!

Christian teaching

John 5:19-20; 30

We went through John chapter 5 in some detail last Summer. But I want to go back to it today, or to a few verses from it, to look at a particular topic – being in tune with God so that we do his will.

I think we all know in general what God’s will is for our lives from the Scriptures. For instance we are to share the good news of Jesus, and we are to love our neighbors. But I want to cast a vision for you of being so in synch with God that we not only know the general framework of God’s will, but we can also be guided by God in very specific ways in specific situations.

So God opens a door for you to share the gospel, and you know how to do this, but you are also listening for what…

View original post 1,492 more words

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

To remember:

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

restriction = symbolizing innate human limitations.

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

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

Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

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

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

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

Not God’s will

new tensions and struggles = characterize human life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God’s healing strategy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

++
Additional readings:

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

+++

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

    Americans teaching that pride is a much-desired quality.

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

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

    Here is a humorous video about those interesting experiences.

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

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

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

Thinking Pacifism

Ted Grimsrud—February 2, 2015

This is the second in a series of posts.

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

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

View original post 1,411 more words

Why think that (2) … Jesus claimed to be something special

As discussed in the previous post, Jesus is mentioned here and there by some non-Christians, like the Jewish historian Josephus and the Roman historian Tacitus. But our main source of information is that provided by the early Christians themselves. This evidence comes in two main types. There are the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), which are conventionally dated from around 70 AD but may well be earlier. Then there are letters that early Christians sent to individuals or churches. There are a number of these in the Bible, many of which were probably written before the gospels. Taken together these provide us with a lot of information about Jesus and who he claimed to be.

First page of the Gospel of Mark, by Sargis Pi...

Gospel sources – First page of the Gospel of Mark, by Sargis Pitsak, a Medieval Armenian scribe and miniaturist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We should comment at this point about the way we’re using these sources. Though they come from the Bible, they are also historical sources and we’re going to treat them in that way. So at this point we’re not too bothered about whether every last detail of the gospels is correct or not. Nor need we be concerned about whether these documents also contain messages from God. We can leave such issues till later. For now we can just look these documents for what they are – ancient documents, which contain information about Jesus, written by people who were in a position to know. So what do these sources say about who Jesus claimed to be?

Well, the most obvious one is that Jesus was called “Christ” (or more properly, the Christ) – that’s where the name “Christians” come from. “Christ” is the Greek word meaning “anointed” , equivalent of the Hebrew word “Messiah”. The concept of being “anointed” refers to the ceremony by which someone was made king in ancient Israel. (There is a good example of this in the Old Testament when David is anointed as king – see 1 Samuel 16). By the time of Jesus the kingdom of Israel had long since been destroyed and the Jews were essentially living under Roman rule. But the Old Testament prophets had predicted that the royal line of the ancient kings of Israel would be restored and that there would be a king again. Many Jews living at the time of Jesus expected the Messiah to be someone who would lead them to overthrow the Romans so they could be an independent nation again. What is interesting about Jesus is that, though he claimed to be the Messiah – the promised king, he did not attempt to lead an armed rebellion against Rome. So whilst Jesus was claiming to be a king, he was not the king they were expecting.

The most common phrase Jesus used to describe himself as “Son of Man”. That may sound like an odd way to describe yourself, and it was even at the time. In the language of the day – Aramaic – the expression “son of man” was used to refer to humanity in general. But that’s not the way Jesus uses it. He doesn’t describe himself as a son of man but as the Son of Man. So what was he getting at? The Old Testament prophet Daniel presents a picture of human history, where nations are represented by vicious beasts (Daniel 7). But this succession of beast-nations does not last forever. At the end of the vision, a court is held with God seated as judge. Power and authority is taken away from the beasts and given to a new character who is described as “one like the son of man”. This character receives a kingdom from God that will last forever. So when Jesus describes himself as the Son of Man, he is claiming to be the future king, the one who will receive a kingdom from God. But not a kingdom like the human kingdoms that preceded it. Instead this is good kingdom that will last forever.

Jesus is often described as being the Son of God. And frequently Jesus presents himself as having a unique father-son relationship with God. He is not saying that he is a child of God in the sense that all God’s creatures are his children. He is claiming that he has a relationship with God that is entirely unique. The gospels include the stories about Jesus’ birth, whereby his mother, Mary, becomes pregnant despite being a virgin. According to the gospels Jesus had no biological father (though no doubt Joseph cared for Jesus as his own son). So in a very real sense God was Jesus’ father. But being the Son of God is not just about parentage. Jesus claimed to have a very special relationship with God. The gospel writers describe Jesus has having special power to perform miracles, special wisdom to teach people God’s ways and special authority to forgive sins. Jesus was not simply claiming to be a prophet or holy man, but God’s special representative on earth.

Lastly, Jesus took the remarkable step of claiming that he was going to die. And not in battle, or by murder, but that he was going to die to free people from sin. He says:

The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45)

Westvorhalle der Stiftsbasilika St. Vitus, Ell...

The King of the Jews (INRI) Nailed to death – Westvorhalle der Stiftsbasilika St. Vitus, Ellwangen (Jagst) Kreuzaltar, Hans und Matthäus Schamm (Ottobeuren) zugeschrieben, um 1610; detail: Christushaupt und INRI (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And the early Christians reflecting on the death of Jesus also recognised it as a special death. A preacher named Paul wrote to a church explaining the things he had learnt from talking to those who knew Jesus. He writes:

What I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3)

Now Jesus did die. He was executed. He was nailed to a cross by Roman soldiers and died gasping for air. He died the death of a criminal. He should have been forgotten by history. But his followers understood his death differently. This was not the last disgrace of a failed prophet. This was the turning point of history. When God’s representative on earth made the ultimate sacrifice to so that people could be forgiven for the things they’d done wrong and start a new life.

So that’s what Jesus claimed about who he was and what he would achieve. But is it true? Was Jesus a future king? Was Jesus God’s representative on earth? And did Jesus’ death provide a way for us to change our relationship with God? Well there is one more thing that the early Christians claimed about Jesus: that he rose from the dead – that he stopped being dead and came alive again. And if that is true then we’re no longer dealing with the claims of a human man but with a moment when God intervened in history to change the world.

+

 Preceding: Why think that (1) … Jesus existed?

++

Related articles:

  1. Prophets making excuses
  2. Written to recognise the Promissed One
  3. Patriarch Abraham, Muslims, Christians and the son of God
  4. Story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament
  5. Jesus begotten Son of God #3 Messiah or Anointed one
  6. Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:13-17 – Jesus Declared God’s Son at His Baptism
  7. Servant of his Father
  8. Slave for people and God
  9. People Seeking for God 5 Bread of life
  10. The Anointed One and the first day of No Fermentation
  11. Anointing of Christ as Prophetic Rehearsal of the Burial rites
  12. Atonement And Fellowship 5/8
  13. Atonement And Fellowship 6/8
  14. Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be
  15. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
  16. Wishing to do the will of God
  17. For the Will of Him who is greater than Jesus
  18. Imprisonment and execution of Jesus Christ
  19. Marriage of Jesus 7 Impaled
  20. A Messiah to die
  21. Death of Christ on the day of preparation
  22. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  23. 14 Nisan a day to remember #1 Inception
  24. Days of Nisan, Pesach, Pasach, Pascha and Easter
  25. After the Sabbath after Passover, the resurrection of Jesus Christ
  26. The Song of The Lamb #6 Revelation 14
  27. Jerusalem and a son’s kingdom
  28. Kingdom Visions of a Man, Throne and Great crowd
  29. Signs of the Last Days
  30. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  31. The Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity
  32. Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26
  33. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  34. Self inflicted misery #7 Good news to our suffering
  35. Miracles of revelation and of providence 1 Golden Thread and Revelation

+++

  • Sunday (August 24): “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (shechina.wordpress.com)
    At an opportune time Jesus tested his disciples with a crucial question: “Who do the people say that I am and who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:13). Jesus was widely recognized in Israel as a mighty man of God, even being compared with the greatest of the prophets, John the Baptist, Elijah, and Jeremiah. Peter, always quick to respond, exclaimed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God.
  • Jesus is the Messiah (darnellbarkman.wordpress.com)
    ‘Christ’ in early Christianity was a title, and only gradually became an alternative proper name for Jesus. In practice ‘Messiah’ is mostly restricted to the notion, which took various forms in ancient Judaism, of the coming King who would be David’s true heir, through whom YAHWEH [The Creator God’s proper name] would rescue Israel from pagan enemies.
  • Christianity Fast Facts (wdsu.com)
    Followers of the Christian religion base their beliefs on the life, teachings, and death of Jesus Christ.Christians believe in one God that created heaven, earth, and the universe.
    +
    On the third day after his crucifixion, Jesus Christ arose from the dead.
    +
    The first Christians were Jews who came to believe Jesus was the Messiah. Gentiles (non-Jews) also made up a large majority of its followers, as is the case today.
  • Secular Israel vs Biblical Israel: Are they the Same? (endtimesprophecyreport.wordpress.com)
    With the Gaza War resuming in earnest, now seems to be the time for a few observations about the secular state of Israel, biblical Israel, Jews, the synagogue of Satan and the deliberate Corporate (and other) Media smokescreens which obscure these subjects.
    +
    Of course, the largest mistake–and there are quite a few in the linked piece, which is relatively short–is that one cannot separate the Jews as a people from the actions taken by the leadership of the secular state of Israel.  But we know that is a lie.
    +
    We’re commanded to warn about deception; that deception includes the secular, man-created state of Israel which is NOT biblical Israel. There are observant Jews in Israel.  They are often the victims of violence. God promises He will save His remnant–and He will.  However, make no mistake: secular Israel is not biblical Israel.  Those who confuse the two will reap the unfortunate harvest of deception.  The Christian ignores Jesus’ clear warnings in Revelation 2:9 and 3:9 at his own risk.
  • Matthew 1-7 (apologistmike.wordpress.com)
    The gospel of Matthew was written by an eyewitness to the ministry of Jesus. He was Jewish, which accounts for his emphasis on the Jewish scriptures in the work, and he was a tax collector for the Roman government. This would have enabled him to write effectively. Many early fathers such as Clement of Rome, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian and Origen recognized Matthew as the author of the gospel.
  • FFOZ TV Review: Messiah (mymorningmeditations.com)
    The term Christ is one of the most important terms in all of Scripture and yet is seldom fully understood by followers of Jesus. In episode two we will explore the prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures and learn about the Jewish people’s expectation of the coming messiah. We will study the Hebrew Scriptures and learn that they speak of a coming anointed one, a king who will come to redeem mankind, defeat Israel’s enemies, and set up his kingdom.
  • Simple Truth: Jesus is not the Messiah (leavingjesus.wordpress.com)
    “Christ” is the Greek word for “Messiah”
    “Messiah” is the transliteration of a Hebrew word that means “anointed”
  • “The Christ is the Son of David” (worryisuseless.wordpress.com)
    Why did Jesus question the Jews on the claim that their Messiah or Christ would be the son of David? After all the New Testament makes clear that Jesus himself is a direct descendant from the line of David’s throne (Romans 1:3, 2 Timothy 2:8, Matthew 1:1-17, Luke 3:23-38). Jesus posed the question to make his hearers understand that the Messiah is more than the son of David. Jesus makes his point in dramatic fashion by quoting from one of David’s prophetic psalms, Psalm 110: The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I put your enemies under your feet. How can the son be the lord of his father?
  • Michele Bachmann Waiting to be Annointed Messiah (politicususa.com)
    What’s in a messiah, you ask? Like many terms it is problematic. Contrary to what many people may think, despite the origins of our word messianism is not unique to Judaism. In fact, in historical terms we can’t even speak of “Judaism” singular because there were in fact many Judaisms with different ways of life and different worldviews.[1] So not only is there not one Jewish idea (or Christian idea) of what a messiah is but not all ideas of messiahs are Jewish (or Christian).

 

Cohabitating Seniors and the Meaning of Marriage

Today older persons seem to question their position with each other and wonder if they have made the right choice some years ago or if they should not choose to bring some change in their relationship.

Some may have to face the natural loss of their partner, but others willingly looked to break their bonds and go other ways. Though loneliness is not always easy to cope with.

In many countries the fiscal situation for people who are not married is in the advantage of having more money over in the own pocket. But sometimes this does not make it so easy for the one who lives the longest and for the children of such not officially married partners. In many countries, like Belgium, the state offered a ‘Co-habiting contract’ for such people who do not want to go for marriage vows but want to secure their finances with each other.

In the picture today, may also be that several men or women once their partner of the other sex died or is gone away, they prefer to go to live together, either to share the bed or not with somebody of the same sex.

Everybody should know where they would like to go to in their life and which decisions they want to take, this to accordance with their own believes. For lovers of God it is clear that they best follow the instructions available in the Holy Scriptures. There they do not have to consider only their own relationship but also their relationship with God.

+++
  • Divorce law overhaul: Is there really any point to marriage anymore? (telegraph.co.uk)
    The only problem with a no-nup is that it till doesn’t provide the same sort of divorce rights, or rights around children, that marriage would, meaning marriage still wins out. So when Sir James Munby, president of the High Court Family Division and the most senior family judge in England and Wales, recently spoke about wanting to give unmarried couples similar legal protections to married ones, I was pretty thrilled.
    +
    It makes me wonder if there’s really any point to getting married anymore. If I meet The One, we can live happily (and financially safely enough) without having to publicly declare our love for each other in an overly expensive ceremony. Right?

    According to family lawyer Marilyn Stowe, of Stowe Family Law, it’s not that simple. She says: “The legislation for cohabitation, if it ever happened, wouldn’t equate the remits of divorce with cohabitation. In other words, you wouldn’t be able to get a divorce-style settlement which meets needs. The best would be some sort of redress for economic imbalance.”

    ‘Redress for economic imbalance’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as ‘half the assets please’, but Stowe – who was part of the advisory panel that actually suggested the idea to Sir James – does add that new laws could still be incredibly beneficial.

  • Reasons not to Cohabit with your boyfriend (mojiakubudel.com)
    In the early 1970s when I moved in with my boyfriend, there were only 520,000 cohabiting couples in the U.S. Today there are almost 4.75 million. Today, more than half of all couples cohabit prior to marriage, making cohabitation the most common way couples in America begin life together.
    +
    The dramatic increase in cohabitation means that women today face even more pressure to move in with their boyfriend than I did. Yet research shows that living together does not help people prepare for marriage nor does it help them avoid divorce. Cohabitation has come under the intense scrutiny of social scientists in the last three decades because the shift from scandalous thirty years ago to widely accepted today occurred so rapidly.
  • Cohabitation Agreements Taking Place of Prenups for Unwed (blogs.lawyers.com)
    Living together before tying the knot is not the scandalous prospect it was considered to be in more conservative times, and adults in the U.S. are now putting off marriage at unprecedented rates. With the stigma of “shacking up” diminished, more couples are finding reasons to move in together before marriage, prompting some to lay down a few ground rules with cohabitation agreements.Similar to prenuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements are premarital contracts that are used to specify ownership of assets, define living arrangements and establish a variety of other legally-binding terms. For two unmarried partners who split up after several years of living together and making major joint purchases, a cohabitation agreement can make it fairer, cheaper and less complicated for them to separate their lives.
  • Best predictor of divorce? Age when couples cohabit, study says. (debatepolitics.com)
    “Up until now, we’ve had this mysterious finding that cohabitation causes divorce,” she says. “Nobody’s been able to explain it. And now we have – it was that people were measuring it the wrong way.”
    Couples who begin living together without being married tend to be younger than those who move in after the wedding ceremony – that’s why cohabitation seemed to predict divorce, Professor Kuperburg explains. But once researchers control for that age variable, it turns out that premarital cohabitation by itself has little impact on a relationship’s longevity. Those who began living together, unmarried or married, before the age of 23 were the most likely to later split.
    “Part of it is maturity, part of it is picking the right partner, part of it is that you’re really not set up in the world yet,” she says. “And age has to do with economics.”
  • Does cohabitation lead to more divorces? (psychologytoday.com)
    Premarital cohabitation has increased significantly, and more than 70% of US couples now cohabit before marriage. The major reason supporting premarital cohabitation is that it enables the couple to get know each better and to see whether they get along well enough to embark on marriage. However, counter-intuitively, many studies have found that premarital cohabitation is associated with increased risk of divorce, a lower quality of marriage, poorer marital communication, and higher levels of domestic violence. But there are also studies (although less in number) that refute the negative correlation between premarital cohabitation and divorces.
  • Roommate Romance: Why You Should Have a Cohabitation Agreement (herstontennesseefamilylaw.com)
    Couples who cohabitate face many of the same big decisions that confront married couples, like whose couch they should keep, what color to paint the kitchen, or who pays what bills. While people fondly refer to cohabitation as “playing house” with couples often comporting themselves like their married counterparts, non-married cohabitants do not enjoy the same legal protections afforded married couples. Since cohabitants essentially merge their lives, money, assets, and property, it can be difficult to figure out who gets what if the couple calls it quits. The lack of any legal protection or guidance on the distribution of property after cohabitants break up is why you should have a cohabitation agreement.
  • Britain’s vanishing stepfamilies (telegraph.co.uk)

    From Cinderella to Snow White the figure of the stepmother or stepfather is as old as the family itself.

    But new official figures show a dramatic decline in the number of British households in which people are bringing up children from their partner’s previous relationships in the last 10 years.

    According to the Office for National Statistics the number of stepfamilies – a category which includes both married and unmarried parents – plunged by14 per cent in the decade up to the 2011 census.

    The number of such families in England and Wales dropped from 631,000 in 2001 to just 544,000 in 2011.

    Over the same period – which saw a soaring birth rate – the total number of families with dependent children rose by 150,000 to 4.3 million.

Enhanced by Zemanta+++

Ezerwoman's Blog

older couple on beach What is marriage?

When do we stop mentoring the truth about marriage?

I submit for your consideration a strange phenomenon.  An increasing number of older men and women are moving in together.  But, it appears to me that their rationale is fear-based.  Perhaps their spouse has died.  They don’t want to be alone.  Financially, it seems practical not to marry and, instead, live together.  Perhaps it seems less complicated to keep their business affairs separate for the sake of their children and grandchildren.  Perhaps insurance coverage or a life-savings will be better protected if they just cohabitate.  After all, it isn’t so much about sex as it is companionship and being a couple in a “couple’s world.”

So, what is a cohabitating senior, especially a cohabitating Christian senior, saying about marriage?

Is marriage all about the joys of pro-creational sex?  Or is it more?

Marriage, from a Biblical worldview, is…

View original post 359 more words