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1014 The Parable of the Ten Virgins
Matt 25:1-13
‘Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, “Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.” Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” But the wise replied, “No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.” And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, “Lord, lord, open to us.” But he replied, “Truly I tell you, I do not know you.” Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
#1202 2019-10-04 14:49:01

All writing requires an educated imagination especially apocalyptic writing both on the writer's part and on the reader's part. The imagination is somewhat controlled or contained in the clever but restaining construction. This writing could be the raving of a lunatic if John was not held back by existing social and literary conventions. He is on fire and has set many a poet on fire with his words and imagery. So it is no wonder that we, ordinary folk are dazzled and stirred by his fantasy. He is no slouch. He has packed his imagery with metaphor, dramatic and poetic archetypes with more than a dash symbolism. The underlying meaning and emotion are left to the reader to interpret. Poets and literary critics get it. I think we should listen carefully to them for guidance before we go off half-cocked with our own agenda, untrained imagination and limited literacy.

Chad
#1201 2019-10-03 22:49:37

Apocalyptic writing in the Bible is dramatic and equally confusing for most of us. One thing it isn't is a prediction of the future. It is the proclamation of creation from the old order of things when it was written and this is revealed when it is read. John's vision was written for his time in the distant past. It has nothing to do with our present or future reality. John's writing brings the Biblical story to its climax. Ending the Bible with a new creation.

Chad
#1200 2019-10-03 19:32:17

Jesus knew it was never about the bricks and mortar. It was always about a spiritual domain that isn't centred in any particular spot on Earth. The people had a spiritual life before the Temple existed and after the Temple was destroyed.

All military leaders will tell you it is impossible to destroy an idea or dogma. An example of this is the rise in white supremacy and neo-Nazism.    

Chad
#1199 2019-10-03 12:21:42

Re: #1196

It is a sign that God has withdrawn from (though certainly not abandoned) the Jews. Although the Jews will survive—in accordance with the promise that they will be an “eternal nation” - the special relationship with God they enjoyed while the Temple stood is gone.  Some Jews today are still waiting to build a new Temple.

Gary
#1198 2019-10-03 10:03:07

"For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: all this is but the beginning of the birth pangs."

  I would say all this is increasing, time may be short and unless the Lord comes we may all perish.  (Very Biblical)

Gary
#1197 2019-10-03 07:34:08

If you get a deeper meaning do share it with us.

Rumors of wars, wars, and nations rising against nations have been happening since the dawn of history and it has even eased a bit in recent history. 

Lou
#1196 2019-10-02 12:44:16

Today's reading about the destruction of the Temple, is there a deeper meaning?

Gary
#1195 2019-09-20 10:08:34

Going back to the season for figs, The tree of death ( the Cross) will in time bear fruit in time (the season). The Resurrection (the destruction of death) will create an abundance of people of faith (fruit). Their symbol will be the tree of death.

Chad
#1194 2019-09-20 09:53:15

I have read and heard from others that the fig tree is a metaphor for the Tree of Knowledge (the fall, death) in Genisis. It also represents the Cross that Jesus will defeat with his Resurrection.

These passages give the idea of the duality of faith and proper deeds (fruit ). Your faith, if it is strong, can remove mountains (tremendous difficulties). We are also commanded to love and care for our fellow man (forgiving his trespasses).

 

 

 

 

 

Chad
#1193 2019-09-18 15:26:29

I think Jesus was talking to the Jews and their reluctance to believe in Him and the new direction the new religion was going.

Also if we follow Christ we must bear fruit.  "Not the season for figs," I googled it and there are many responses, I am not too concerned about the season, I think it is about any of us bearing friut.

Gary
#1192 2019-09-18 07:34:44

Cursing of the Fig Tree

12 Now the next day, as they went out from Bethany, he was hungry. 13 After noticing in the distance a fig tree with leaves, he went to see if he could find any fruit on it. When he came to it he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.

What we to make from the fact that it "was not the season for figs"? 

For one thing, it's not to likely that the writer would have made that up and why was it considered important enough to be remembered? 

Lou
#1191 2019-09-16 09:20:40

Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem-- Reading for Sept. 16

I imagine He is weeping over our cities today, just turn on the news!

Gary
#1190 2019-09-14 07:07:57

The Plot against Lazarus

John 12:9-11
There is a slight problem with logic in this passage. Even if the Jews killed Lazarus. It would not negate the fact that Jesus had previously raised him from the dead.

This passage is a, fly on the wall, mini-drama that John uses to depict the fear and the desperation that the Jews had about Christ's growing popularity. 

Chad
#1189 2019-09-13 05:03:54

The Anointing at Bethany

Mark 14:3-9, Matt 26:6-13, Luke 7:36-50, John 12:1-8,

I find it interesting but surprising that stories of the Anointing at Bethany are quite similar but are not the same. This is an excellent example that the story does not have to mirror any real event or even incorporate real people because the event and the characters are only used as a backdrop for the message of the writer and what he chooses to emphasize. 

Chad
#1187 2019-09-12 17:09:18

Many parables are aimed primarily at Christ's nemesis the Pharisees. At the time Matthew and Luke were writing under the duress of the Jewish animosity and persecution and I wonder if this factor influenced their depiction of this parable and others like it. We know that it is a common practice to exaggerate faults and demonize adversaries in conflicts.

By looking at these parables in this light we can understand the disappointment, anger animosity that Gospel writers convey, however, these parables can not contradict Christ's teaching, that you have to love your enemy, furthermore, because they are parables we can see them as hyperbole just to stress a point.

Chad
#1185 2019-09-12 11:24:50

The Parable of the Pounds

Matt 25:14-30 Luke 19:11-27

The point to this parable is that you need to willing to accept Christ as Lord and his teaching to prosper spiritually. If you do not accept all will be taken away spiritually.

 This is Luke's summary.

But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and slaughter them in my presence.
 

Chad
#1184 2019-09-12 10:19:34

 The Parable of the Pounds

Mark 13:24

This passage is totally poetic and therefore it precludes any literal translation. It echos part of Isaiah's prophesy and is picked up again in Revelation. Obviously, it is foreboding  and apocalyptic symbolism

 The Coming of the Son of Man
‘But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light,

Chad
#1183 2019-09-11 13:41:55

Re: # 1181   Very true Chad.

Gary
#1181 2019-09-11 09:56:05

Zacchaeus

Luke 19:1-10

Is the underlying message this; If a sinner becomes a true and devoted follower of Christ then he will gladly without hesitation adjust his world view and behaviour and follow Christ's ways and teaching.

Chad
#1180 2019-09-10 09:11:22

The Healing of the Blind Men (Bartimaeus)

Mark 10:46-52, (Matt 20:29-34 and Matt 9:27-31), Luke 18:35-43

These miracles as metaphors suggest that those that have faith and believe see Jesus. Those that don't are blind to him.

Chad
#1179 2019-09-09 15:13:26

The Dispute about Greatness

Mark 10:35-45, Matt 20:20-28, Luke 22:24-27

This teaching should not feel like a put-down but should be looked at as a counter-intuitive message about servitude and service to our fellow man. This is very hard to do and impossible if one holds fears animosity and grudges or even hatred against their fellow men.

This teaching alone would be a big step forward if only Christians could grab its significance and internalize it.

Chad
#1178 2019-09-08 12:35:41

Living in the Gospel era where written literacy was hardly existent stories of events of that era were transmitted orally. The information related to the story and the story itself had to be formulated prior to its documentation.

For example, watching a movie isn't the same thing as writing a review about it. A reviewer or critic needs to see the movie first, mentally process it and then give his impression and critique of what he saw.

Now creating a Gospel based on oral history is similar in a way except that the author also pulls in information from other sources such as OT references metaphor and symbolism and uses sophisticated literary devices and rhetoric to compose the final product. The gospel writer isn't telling you what happened. That would be descriptive writing.  He is giving you his thoughtful creative version of his biased ideas and conclusions based on his convictions and beliefs. His knowledge of certain important events. He adds many of the other infused elements such as OT references. He uses a rhetorical argument that he feels will convince you the reader there is an importance about certain events possibly directly witnessed but more likely recalled or reported. He also gives a creative account of how the people involved thought and reacted to these events. Most importantly he tells you how you should react to these events.

He is so skilled it seems real, John's gospel in particular. 

Truly a Gospel is as real as the words written on a page. Those words are carefully crafted by very skilled and knowledgeable writers.

http://www.oxfordbiblicalstudies.com/print/opr/t94/e1382

 

 

 

Chad
#1177 2019-09-08 08:33:57

What oral tradition, these guys lived through all these events.

Gary
#1176 2019-09-07 12:29:35

Jesus Retires to Ephraim

John 11.54-57

John continues his Gospel based on how he interpreted and presented the existing oral story of the Passion. He cleverly sets up the time frames to coincide with Jesus going to Jerusalem bringing in the idea and the connection between the Jewish Passover and Christ's Ressurection.

The early Christian elite and writers didn't have unique mythology of their own so they needed to lean heavily on the OT for their symbols metaphors and themes. They, understanding the methods of storytelling, couldn't pull Jesus out of a vacuum they needed some significant context and prelude. There was only one very familiar immediate source that they could tap into for that.

This symbiotic relationship if accepted by the Jews I speculate would have just modified the Jewish traditions and beliefs and we might be Jews today with Christ accepted as the promised Jewish Messiah. Speculating, possibly the Christian tradition would not have taken off as it did.

So it turns out that Christians writers needed Jewish Mythology for meaning and continuity but found they had to distance themselves from that very same mythology. 

Chad
#1175 2019-09-06 12:12:54

 The Chief Priests and Pharisees Take Counsel against Jesus

John 11:45-53

We can see that John somehow got to be a fly on the wall during the Counsel against Jesus. By John's account, we can see to the extent that the Pharisees feared Christ and the extreme measures they were prepared to take in order to destroy and dispel Christ, his followers', and his message.

Unfortunately, the backlash from the Christians created a mentality of "us and them" which first mentioned in the Bible was indoctrinated into the expanded beyond just Jews but to all others. Unfortunately, this focus that came out of the original animosity and related conflict took energy and the focus away from Christ's core teachings. The "us and them" thinking and related dogma has somewhat dominated the Christian mentality since then. 

It is easy to be critical of previous times, however, I think that we need to significantly reduce or drop this defensive attitude and become much more compassionate empathetic and flexible with others, especially if we want that sort of loving church to survive in the future. Really all that is needed is to focus on and emphasize Christ's positive doctrine. 

If Christ is truly universal and we want everyone in we can't block or force anyone out.    

Chad
#1174 2019-09-05 23:16:45

Here is something that I think may be important. In the early church say within 100 years after Christ's death the Jews guided by the Pharisees were at the Christians throat. In that time frame, Pauls epistles and the Gospel writing occurred. During that time the animosity of the Jews against the Christians was intense and often deadly. This conflict is strongly reflected in the Gospels. The Gospel writer's emphasized that the early Christians had to aggressively distance themselves from the Pharisee led Orthodox Jews. At that time, the us and them dichotomy was extremely important for both sides. And still is in some minds.

Chad
#1172 2019-09-01 19:02:16

The Pharisees and others who insist on following the letter of the law instead of the spirit are the ones who claim to have all the answers. Asking how to gain life eternal is acknowledging that they finally felt that following the law is not enough. I'll take a cue from you and suggest you read the Gospel.

Lou
#1171 2019-09-01 09:52:23

The rich ruler thought he had all the answers covered, he was wrong, so what are the chances any of us have all the answer?   Even if he gave away all his possession's, he would still have to accept Christ.

Gary
#1170 2019-08-31 07:50:17

Asking about what can be done to inherit eternal life even though they have been following all the commandments showed that the felt that something was lacking. What Jesus is doing is forcing them to realize where their heart stands, in love of possessions or in the love of God. 

Lou
#1169 2019-08-28 23:06:01

 Departure to Judea

That is the 

The Gospels are a story already told, I guess we could say they recreated story in a written form. So we are recreating it when we read it. We can be intrigued by the drama and the rhetoric even though it is almost certainly more familiar to us now then it was to the original Gospel writers when they first heard it.

I think Paul was flabbergasted at the absurdity of it all. He came up with some illogical rationale to explain what he reasoned it was what it was and why we should believe his rationale although he believed it to be irrational himself. 

 

Chad
#1168 2019-08-21 08:23:44

Jesus Foretells His Death

John 8:21-29

We can see that John is telling the Jews that because they were thinking in their earthly materialistic self-serving self-centred antiquated ways they were incapable of grasping either the significance of his words or the source they originated from.

On the other hand, it is extremely difficult to entertain or accept new ideas when our mind is closed and only concerned with our own little bubble of thoughts and egotistical entrenched beliefs. In that case, we are unwilling to surrender our own thoughts and beliefs or suspend them to consider what Jesus is really telling us and here is the kicker we don't even realize that we are doing it. 

Preachers teachers books and lectures can be put away and forgotten because we have no need for them. We want to live in a reinforced never changing echo chamber of our own thoughts. Just like the Pharisees.  

 

Chad
#1167 2019-08-20 19:28:32

Jesus the Light of the World

John 8:12-20

I think John enlighten us further about Judgement in this passage. The idea is as I see it that Jesus does not Judge or function based on earthly human-created laws but much more importantly in a divine and spiritual way or dimension. That is why our judgements are only base and humanly limited whereas Heaven is based on infinite possibilities that are unknowable to man. It is something to accept but not understand. 

Chad
#1166 2019-08-20 17:35:00

You could say sin if you like, however, Jesus did not choose to condemn her. The Pharisees were more interested in following the letter of the law then they were in recognizing the woman and addressing the issue at hand. The woman and her crime, for the lack of a better word, was useful in demonstrating the difference between the Pharisees simplistic mean spirited approach to the law and its administration versus  Christ's more merciful and compassionate approach focused on the women's well-being.  

Chad
#1165 2019-08-20 14:39:25

"Jesus wisely suggested that she should discontinue this inappropriate behaviour. "  Chad you probably meant to say her sinful behaviour?

Gary
#1164 2019-08-19 14:47:02

Woman Caught In Adultery

I find it interesting but not surprising that John only depicts half the law. If you check it out you will see that both the man and the woman caught in Adultery are to be stoned to death. I am sure that Jesus would have taken the same action had they brought the man forward as well. He had the courage and the wherewithal to not only confront the religious elite but to publically humiliate them. It is obvious that the elite wanted to put Jesus on the spot. Instead, the woman was free to go because charges had been dropped. Jesus wisely suggested that she should discontinue this inappropriate behaviour. 

Chad
#1163 2019-08-19 14:25:25

It was a rhetorical question, Gary.  I was giving a plausible reason for the comparison. I think Lou understands the significance of the passage.

Chad
#1162 2019-08-18 21:27:19

Somewhere in between I suspect depending on the day.

Lou
#1161 2019-08-18 20:24:51

From Luke 18:9-14 

God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.

My guess is that you can substitute any group you prefer. I'm sure that this list Jesus mentioned is only a small sample of the others that could be targeted by the Pharisee. 

So why is the comparison made?

Are we more like the Pharisee or more like the tax collector?  

 

Chad
#1160 2019-08-13 07:03:49

Luke 18:9-14 calls us to do some serious soul searchig to find where we stand.

Lou
#1159 2019-08-11 09:41:50

Matt 24:37-41

Today's reading from Matthew sure sounds like Jesus will return, we must be ready!

Gary
#1158 2019-08-06 23:28:02

Gary, you know that Job is a fictional character in an imagined or imaginary narrative. Good story though I agree.

Chad
#1157 2019-08-06 22:04:06

The Creation of Man

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

 

This is part of the Judeo-Christian creation myth. We have known this to be a creation myth for quite some time now, the people that wrote knew it was a creation myth they borrowed from other creation myths they were familiar with. Ask Kit if Genesis is a creation myth? If you still believe it is something other than that.  

Chad
#1156 2019-08-05 14:54:26

From today's reading it is easy to have faith when everything is going well, Job shows what real faith looks like.

Gary
#1155 2019-08-05 14:52:33

The Creation of Man

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

Gary
#1154 2019-08-05 14:48:37

Watched it, makes you think but I am not much of a fan of Darwin.

Gary
#1151 2019-08-04 19:33:38

Worth viewing:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10217863987544835&id=1637569616

Lou
#1150 2019-08-03 18:12:25

I will check them out.

Gary
#1148 2019-08-03 17:56:42

There is also two icons to the right Readings for Sunday that gives you both the Epistle and the Gospel. Have you been using that?

Lou
#1147 2019-08-03 17:51:47

The second icon from the left on the second row leads you through the complete new testament in the course on one year. Have you been using it or have you found something blocking you from getting at it?

Lou
#1145 2019-08-03 16:10:56

There are many stumbling blocks to put before people, one may be not including Paul's letter's in our studies as well as studying Revelation and OT.  Only my opinion.

Gary
#1146 2019-08-03 16:10:56

There are many stumbling blocks to put before people, one may be not including Paul's letter's in our studies as well as studying Revelation and OT.  Only my opinion.

Gary
#1144 2019-07-27 07:51:54

The Prodigal Son is aimed at the Pharisees and the orthodox Jews They can't get what Jesus is saying. We can't buy your way to Heaven with dedication and effort alone, we truly have to love God and your fellow man as well even though they may seem to be sinners and don't seem to be following our rules as we see them. We should never give up on anyone or say they are unfit for Heaven like the Pharisees would do. We should rather hope that God opens his arms to them as he did with the prodigal son. After all, He has the final say. The Pharisees and those like them only have earthly rules and prejudices. God is love and therefore not affected by earthly bias or self-serving thoughts and attitudes. 

    

Chad
#1143 2019-07-27 07:32:43

"He divided his property between them" So how can the oldest son complain about being treated unfairly?

What lesson can we take from that? God bestows his grace equally to all and the ones who live virtuous life envy the ones who live a life of debauchery.  

Lou
#1142 2019-07-26 18:57:11

The lost coin is being used as a  metaphor for a lost soul in Luke's writing today. given the time it was written I wonder if the persecuting Jews were the sinners that this passage is aimed at. Paul would be one such convert.

Chad
#1141 2019-07-26 08:02:49

Today's reading like scores of others tells us that we are to give up everything for God, possessions, father, mother, children, safety, life itself. 

Lou
#1138 2019-07-21 09:24:08

Christ disciples do not seek revenge, nor try to injure those who injure them. They do not complain or condemn, but strive to benefit those who maltreat them. They would rather be defeated and cheated again and again than grow distrustful of their fellow human beings. People who are ignorant do not recognize the oneness of all humankind. It is easy for them to bring pain and suffering to others. But those who are awakened see all people as their brothers and sisters and they shrink from hurting any living thing.

Lou
#1132 2019-07-18 21:52:37

Well, I have to leave at that. I'm off to the cottage.

Chad
#1130 2019-07-18 14:21:39

I have always been interested in the passage about Herod and the Pharisees use of him as a threat in order to shake him. He wasn't phased or worried in the least. He rebutted them. Tell Herod I'm busy with my ministry, Luke throws in a 3 day period as a foreshadowing of the future. Now we know that Luke knows that Jesus will die in Jerusalem at the time he wrote this passage so the statement that a Prophet has to die Jerusalem is a safe bet as far as Jesus is concerned, but it might be interesting to see if there is a previous reference regarding the requirement of prophets to die in Jerusalem. If I recall Moses didn't die in Jerusalem.

Chad
#1129 2019-07-18 12:24:27

Oh, don't get me wrong Gary. You are free to worry and fret all you want, but as Jesus suggested all the worry in the world will not change anything. You for some reason seemed to be worried more about those unrepentant others than you do about your own salvation, which I find quite admirable and pleasantly self-effacing , and you seem to imply that they, whoever they are, are in danger at the judgement day and you also seem to be happy with your assessment of how it is and how it is all going to work out. You may be a prophet.

Let Jesus know how you feel I'm sure he will be impressed. Maybe you could help him at the slaughterhouse because obviously by your assessment most of us are going to Hell.

;-)

Chad
#1127 2019-07-17 19:31:48

The narrow way parable is obviously directed toward the Pharisees. They had high earthly importance but in Heaven, the lowly and downtrodden are exalted and the Pharisees will be least. If you have earthly riches you already have your reward. 

I'm not worried because that is not the point. If we were mean spirited and Pharisitical like to others, then I might have some concerns.

Chad
#1126 2019-07-17 16:04:51

I don't think we can come up with anything definitive in this forum. What are differences are mostly related to are differences in our personalities and backgrounds. But this makes sense If you have 2 people or more in a group with different backgrounds and they are allowed to think for themselves and they exercise that ability in a discussion, disagreements will ensue especially when considering literature, especially Biblical literature. 

     

Chad
#1125 2019-07-17 11:56:47

I should have said OT and NT passages. I see you got my point. 

Chad
#1123 2019-07-17 10:13:08

Gary, I guess you feel justified now that you have made a point. You have taken excerpts from the OT to make it, neither of which have anything to do with what I said.  What I would like you to do is make your comment as if you live and speak as a modern Canadian living in a relatively progressive society, not as some type of quasi Biblical scholar pretending to be an oppressed ancient Hebrew. 

 

Chad
#1122 2019-07-17 09:35:12

O  God, a violent society filled with "pride" seeks to despise me, for they do not know you. Turn your face upon me, O Lord, I pray, and have mercy on me, for you are full of mercy and truth. Give strength to your servant and show me a sign for good, that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed of their hard hearts, and turn to you for help and comfort, as I do.

Amen.

from Psalm 86

Re:1118.  Who says; "Remember that we are not the intended recipients of this writing. The Gospel and Epistle writers had no idea of us that were coming along 2000 years late."  Oh it was Chad.   God Knew.  The truth of Scripture never changes.  See Jude 1: 3-4   

Gary
#1121 2019-07-17 09:33:41

It is disturbing but unfortunately, it is the way things are. My way or the highway mentality. If they (those that you referred to in your post) read like trained scientists or historians they would quickly discover the Bible is not a history and certainly not science. There are are no dates or reliable time frames there are a few verifiable facts but we know most of the writing was written for and with a certain society in mind with a strong cultural bias and rhetoric.

Today we attempt to understand the Bible from a jumbled inconsistent sometimes incoherent modern perspective. One of the problems of many is that some want to limit the Bible so it has a meaning that justifies and reinforces their own level of limited comprehension and very strong biases. They think the Bible speaks to them but not to anyone else, especially if they don't agree, which is fine until they want to impose that limitation on the rest of us as you have suggested, Lou. 

The Bible is a good book to study for our own edification and maybe if we are lucky some interesting conversation. 

  

Chad
#1120 2019-07-17 07:50:20

Chad, that is a very good summary of what we have been saying all along but the great majority of Christians insists on reading scripture as a history and science book that has the final divinely inspired answer to everything and are willing to impose their views on the rest of the world.

Lou
#1119 2019-07-16 22:17:17

I would make an amendment to your prayer Gary.

May those that follow him seek out, discover and embrace the truth found in the Gospel.

 

Chad
#1118 2019-07-16 21:02:57

A good way to think of the Bible or the New Testament at least is that it functions much the same way as a parable does only much longer.  We shouldn't worry too much about the details, for instance, how accurate they might be, but we should pay attention to the teachings and principles that are contained in the message. 

So we are left with making a go of it as best we can. Remember that we are not the intended recipients of this writing. The Gospel and Epistle writers had no idea of us that were coming along 2000 years later. They were dealing with a fledgling Church of mostly illiterate and confused people that had various factions vying for their allegiance.

Actually not much has changed in that regard.

Chad
#1117 2019-07-15 19:16:24

God our Father,
Your light of truth
guides us to the way of Christ.
May all who follow Him
reject what is contrary to the gospel.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Gary
#1116 2019-07-14 13:58:03

Re: today's reading.   "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."   So we should enjoy whatever we do on Saturday or maybe Sunday.

Gary
#1113 2019-07-10 17:43:37

Theory? Please explain, on Forumx, what you mean. Jesus must have been in a mood that day because that doesn't fit with what he says anywhere else.

Lou
#1112 2019-07-10 07:07:07

Lou today's verses must fit right in with your theory, Jesus seems to be saying anyone who follows him, look out for trouble from non believers.

Gary
#1111 2019-07-09 11:10:59

New activity at :https://dubelou.com/Forumx/

Lou
#1110 2019-07-09 07:57:29

Christians have been interpreting the Bible literally when it suited them and fighting each other over it since the very beginning. Some, on the other hand, take it that Jesus meant what He said and try to live accordingly. An inner attitude of detachment, of selling all our possessions, is what is called for.

Reading what the Bible is meant to tell us about our road to salvation instead of reading it literally is what we are supposed to do. 

Lou
#1108 2019-07-08 17:43:49

I didn't say that everything has to be taken literal.  You guys said nothing can be taken literal.  See it works both ways.  As to today's reading you still have to be smart and plan for retirement, Jesus is talking about hoarding and worshipping your wealth.  Put your faith in God but be smart about it.

 

 

Gary
#1107 2019-07-08 16:44:52

Today's passage Luke 12:33-34 is more than the description of an event Jesus is telling us to do something. Gary, how do you deal with this since you say the Bible has to be taken literally? The same goes for most of the Sermon on the Mount.

Lou
#1106 2019-07-07 20:08:32

What concerns, I don't have any concerns.   OM

Gary
#1105 2019-07-07 19:52:04

Off to the cottage for a week.  Gary, I don't think you get the idea of the lilies of the field. I don't have time to address your concerns now so I' ll try to respond when I get back.

Chad
#1104 2019-07-07 14:10:06

‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

This is from today's reading, what a glorious promise for the faithful.  All encompassing, one body in "Christ!

Gary
#1103 2019-07-07 12:39:31

Luke 10:10-12: Wiping the dust from their feet.
How can we understand such a hard threat? Jesus came to bring an entirely new thing. He came to recover the community values of the past: hospitality, sharing, communion around the table, and welcoming the excluded. This explains the severity of the words used against those who refuse to accept the message. They are not refusing something new, but their own past, their own culture and wisdom! Jesus’ plan for the 72 disciples was aimed at digging up the memory, recovering the community values of the oldest tradition, to rebuild the community and renew the Covenant, to renew life and thus to make God the new great Good News in the life of the people.

   Sounds good to me, if it's good enough for Jesus it is good enough for me.  And there is enough dust to go around.

Gary
#1102 2019-07-07 12:33:56

“Lord Jesus, send your Spirit to help us to read the Scriptures with the same mind with which you read them to the disciples on the way to Emmaus. In the light of the Word, written in the Bible, you helped them to discover the presence of God in the disturbing events of your suffering and death. Thus, the cross which had seemed to be the end of all hope became for them the resurrection and source of new life.  Amen

Gary
#1101 2019-07-07 11:09:49

Re: 1098.  I am afraid you have lost your way Chad.  There are many things in the Bible you can take literal.  Eternal separation from God just one of them.  I think the term eat, drink and feel Mary came from your lips. ;-)

Gary
#1100 2019-07-07 10:06:18

We are taught all our lives to plan ahead and to always be prepared to be quiet so the teacher preacher can speak certainly don't talk back and heavens sake don't challenge. Those in authority knows best, conform to the expectations. Embody societies fears and anxieties. 

Don't do things that are not worthwhile. Arts are OK but can you make a living at it. Accounting and programming and the trades are things that will let you support yourself and be a contributor and you don't want to be a burden on society.

Don't trust yourself believe us we know what you should do.

We have been so brainwashed that we have become the brainwashers ourselves. 

We can not see or consider alternatives because they have been beaten out of us and we and anyhow we definitely want to return to our routine and safe societal bubble where we quietly belong. Don't make waves whatever you do.

Christ is saying that is all poppycock. Live, you are free to express yourself however you want this instant. Don't think just be and rejoice in the creation and your uniqueness in it.

Christ's advice is kinda scary and seems risky and makes us feel more than a little uncomfortable.

Gary, if you want fast do it, you don't need justification from anyone or any other authority.

Oh, by the way, don't we all have to be somewhere or doing something useful right now. Get back to that routine and that prison and remember that you are the jailer and the jailed at the same time.

Christ was a pretty radical guy.

 

Chad
#1099 2019-07-07 07:52:40

When I set this up a few years back I must have thought 'Anxiety About Earthly Things' important enough to be offered two days in a row. 

Lou
#1098 2019-07-07 00:30:53

We should remember not to take the Bible literally. What do the forty days represent? Who spent 40 Years in the wilderness. The Nation of Israel is founded after wondering in the desert for 40 years Christ's Ministry starts after 40 days in the desert. There are other symbols and metaphors that are used to glue together similar stories or they are used to have the same story repeated.

Chad
#1097 2019-07-06 22:06:04

Most religions have some form of fasting, and of course, Jesus fasted for 40 days.  It is good to give the body a break once in a while.  Several times a month I do a fast where I eat for an eight hour period and fast the other sixteen hours.  Recommended by my doctor, it feels good.

Your right Jesus never mentioned fasting but hinted after He was gone they could fast if they desired.

 

 

 

Gary
#1096 2019-07-06 21:46:06

I don't think you can quote a verse where Jesus ask anyone to fast. In the Gospels, John the Baptist is the only one who does.

Lou
#1095 2019-07-06 21:32:26

Gospel Reading - Matthew 9:14-17

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?"

I never noticed before, it was the disciples of John the Baptizer who first brought up the question of fasting.

Gary
#1094 2019-07-06 15:48:12

https://dubelou.com/Forumx/ was suggested to you a while back

Lou
#1093 2019-07-06 12:47:34

 The gospel of Jesus Christ is not to br forced upon an unwilling world.  To put it bluntly, people have had their bellyful of our sermonizing.  They want a source of strength for their lives.  We can recommend it only by making it actively present in our own.  The operative principle is 'less is more.'  

 Shortly before his death, the Marxist leader Lenin sais,  "Give me ten men like Francis of Assisi and I will rule the world.              Brennan Manning--1992

 He said this 30 years ago, is it still true today, likely.  

 

By the way do we still have a forum?

 

Gary
#1092 2019-07-06 11:17:17

 

Frye says;

The primitive conception of wisdom is the permeation of the individual life by the communal tradition and prudence. But there are different degrees of absorption of that: and complete absorption comes at the point of complete spontaneity. That is why I said that the figure of wisdom in the Bible suggests the little girl with the skipping rope, and why Jesus places a child in the middle of his disciples, not as a symbol of uncritical intelligence, but as a symbol of genuine wisdom, where the absorption has gone to the point of complete spontaneity. There are many Eastern religions, like Taoism in China and some aspects of Zen Buddhism, that also stress the recovery of the child's spontaneity, that complete integrity of the rhythm of thinking and of doing as the goal of what they are teaching. In practically all of our ordinary life, the action comes first, and thinking about the action comes a second or two later, as in T.S. Eliot's The Hollow Men, where the shadow falls between the idea and the response. That split second of time between acting and thinking about acting is part of what is meant, in Christianity at least, by the Fall. It's the shadow thrown over life that is bound up with the passing of time, and that makes it so difficult for us to live the purely spontaneous life exhorted by the Sermon on the Mount, where the comparison is drawn with lilies of the field.

Chad
#1091 2019-07-06 10:10:50

We all die as paupers. We came with nothing we go out with nothing. So that should be a good enough reason to live for the fleeting now. Because as Jesus and others have said I only have this moment to live and that I can not possess or alter and soon I won't have that. So if I'm not in the moment where am I? I think Jesus is saying give praise, revel and live to be intensely aware and be mindful this very moment that He has given us. You see, it is fleeting and already gone and I was planning my day's activities and wondering how you would react to this post.

He is also making it clear that he would be leaving his disciples shortly so they should enjoy him to the fullest while he was still with them.

Chad
#1090 2019-07-06 08:01:01

In Matt 6:25-34 the emphasis is on the word worry and on what we are to strive for. Like the birds and the grass, we have to play our part which is to serve our neighbor (everybody and everything else) and to do that we have to feed ourselves.and plan for the future. We are called to offer all our work to God and to keep our eyes on the Kingdom of God and not on earthly wealth.

Lou
#1089 2019-07-05 22:21:50

I like it, Gary.  Everything works in the world of the imagination. Man can be God God can be a man with no justification other than a writer's convincing words and our willingness to be convinced. The Bible actually exists in the minds of its readers. 

Chad
#1088 2019-07-05 16:03:25

Re:1085  Check out the pic I just posted, might relate?

Gary
#1087 2019-07-05 12:05:56

Feel free to use my prayer of gratitude modify it if you like.

Dearest God 

I didn't realize that my time was so short.

I was sleeping, now I am too late awake 

Dust is all we are and all we are going to be.

Everything else is a meaningless and fleeting illusion.

What lies will I tell myself? What lies should I believe?

Please tell me I will live forever with the hope of endless meaninglessness. 

Better to be dust I think.

Oh, our poor egos suffer so much ahead of their final silence.

There will be no questions, why should there be, and certainly no answers. 

I don't have to worry someone or something will pick up the remains.

Even if it is just to deal with the terrible tench.

Life goes on. then death then life goes on

I can't face that finality, can I? But of course, I have no choice,

For a moment my eyes were open.

Soon death. 

Quickly tell me what lies should I tell myself? What lies should I believe?

Thank you, God,  Amen 

Chad
#1086 2019-07-05 11:01:16

Luke 12:13-21 can be read as a warning against building bigger barns, metaphorically, which probably often led to RC's being poor and Protestants being prosperous often leading to conflicts.

It's a matter of attitude and of what we hold as important.

Lou
#1085 2019-07-05 10:54:17

The other day I drove past the Union Cemetary and I laughed at the huge stone gravestones that marked some of the graves.  What size Grave stone would you like? My father and my grandfather are on top of my fridge. is it too late to build a monument for them? If, and I really don't mean to suggest anything morbid but either of you predecease me I would be happy to put you on my fridge top.

Yes, the big day is coming and quickly I might add, fire or dirt?

Really important people don't need gravestones. Good people of modest or little means are forgotten quickly. We probably fit that category. The marker of the unknown soldier is the quintessential gravestone.  

We can possess stuff but is it ever really ours?

This is the perfect Gravestone inscription I think.

We are fairly confident he was here for a while but maybe he wasn't.

Really Who Cares?

Chad
#1084 2019-07-05 08:13:47

There is an expression you can't take it with you. Our runaway Capitalism is based on obsessive greed, and obsessive greed will destroy everything if left unchecked.

Chad
#1083 2019-07-04 22:29:14

Yes very much so. All these lines have been given to me by Anglicans.

I just wanted to add some levity. I think the Holy Spirit was being a little sassy with me ;-) 

Chad
#1082 2019-07-04 20:37:13

Chad I take it the list applies to you?

Gary
#1081 2019-07-04 19:36:11

Wozzer you really are excited even Lou was moved to comment. Now that our enthusiasm is boiling over what did you think of my play list ;-)

Chad
#1080 2019-07-04 19:27:25

The Holy Spirit speaks to everyone, few hear, and even fewer respond. How many times is the spirit of God mentioned in the Old Testament!

Lou
#1079 2019-07-04 17:53:56

This is a very difficult question to answer correctly, because the word boring is very relative. Some people are bored by routine while others thrive on it. Some people are bored by comic books while others love them. Some people find religion boring, and others find it exhilarating. But the Christian life is not a series of routines, nor is it entertainment, nor is it religion. The Christian life is just what we are. One might as well ask us "is breathing supposed to be boring?" or even "are your feelings boring?" The fact is, life can be boring—for both believers and unbelievers. What some people mean when they ask this question is "in order to be a good Christian, do I have to give up everything fun and meaningful and exciting?" Not at all.

It is what you make it. Mosy exciting time of my life was when I found God for real at age 40.  Wouldn't have it any other way, especially when I read Romans and see how the other half lives.   g.

Gary
#1078 2019-07-04 16:49:08

Let's imagine the Gospel writers being like the rock musicians and avant-guard poets of their time. Dissatisfied with the status quo and singing the dissidence to the right-wing establishment. Looking at it that way you can see that most Christians are missing the boat. Most people do not want the radically new even if they know the status quo is not at all right. It is familiar and seemingly safe and somewhat routine. Most Christians are bored out of their skulls and they don't have a clue why. It is because they want security and the illusion of control and certainly not the truth, risk and freedom that comes with the truth. 

I'm thinking of creating a new band called the Christian Dead Heads. Here are some song titles to work with. What do you think?

I go to church to be told what a good guy I am

Don't make me think or I'll leave.

I can't tithe because I don't have the change 

Please turn down the music I came here for rest.

Those other bad guys spoiled the world for me.

I hope God knows all the bad guys I know I do.

I wish I could remember the sermon message

My watch says this is a lousy sermon

Everybody could do better by sleeping in on Sunday

Chad
#1077 2019-07-04 12:15:40

I agree with you, Gary.  They were energized to evangelize Christ and what Christ stood for to the best of their abilities their efforts were the seeds that germinated the result was Christian Church. To be of any use we must understand the true meaning of the Gospel. Unfortunately, we are left with words, grammar and metaphor so we must be careful. We must be the most responsible when we evangelize. Read Charles Templeton's book and you will be made aware of many of the potential pitfalls that wait for you.

Lou is taking a well-earned sabbatical to contemplate the Desert Fathers.  

Chad
#1076 2019-07-04 11:51:58

The 12 seemed to be energized after the death of Jesus. All but one I believe were killed for sticking to their story of a risen Christ. Same goes for Paul.

 

 

Where's Lou??

Gary
#1075 2019-07-04 10:57:15

I wonder about the Holy Spirit and how its guidance works. I can see where taking today's reading taken to heart as the literal truth could lead to problems. It's fine to be guided by any means including the Holy Spirit but I feel I must take the utmost responsibility for my actions and realize the full consequences of those actions. I can't blame the Holy Spirit for my shortcomings or wrongdoing. The Holy Spirit will always and only guide me through Christ's teaching. Obviously, the Holy Spirit cannot be at odds with Christ. 

Chad
#1074 2019-07-03 23:39:17

Charles Templeton was a very intelligent man. He was like so many intelligent and literate people do they leave the church to pursue other things worthwhile and more fulfilling. I admire the man. To my knowledge, Pat didn't know Charles Templeton so to make a judgement like that is not indicative of his usual balanced approach. 

Gary, I know you wish Charles Templeton all the best in his new life may he rest in peace. He's truly a Canadian icon. Someday you may be a Canadian icon as well.

Chad
#1073 2019-07-03 18:41:09

You mentioned Charles Tempelton once, I remember Pat saying that he would possibly be a person who would come very close to the defination of turning your back on the HS.

Gary
#1072 2019-07-03 16:10:26

Why would we turn our back on the Holy Spirit.or any of the other Trinity? We are accountable for our actions. But of course, we have to take responsibility for our actions. I don't think, putting the actions of others on our shoulders and getting all saddened and depressed about their imagined shortcomings doesn't accomplish much. We have a choice we can be the light of God or we can hide our light behind the (what's the use) depressive statements and negative thoughts about others.

Lighten up buttercup. ;-)

Chad
#1071 2019-07-03 15:48:48

I don't know why anyone would denounce Jesus or the Holy Spirit, or God for that matter, especially Christians. So I think that today's passage is directed toward Jews. 

I know some that denounce Allah and expect no consequence. Of course, anyone that would do so is missing the point. Mocking, denouncing or belittling anyone is blasphemous. 

 

Chad
#1070 2019-07-03 15:46:19

I will just take it at face value and try not to turn my back on the Holy Spirit, or God, or Jesus for that matter.  We must be accountable to a higher power for our actions.  Of course a large part of humanity does just that, turn their backs on a higher power which I call God.  So sad!

Gary
#1068 2019-07-03 13:03:41

From Frye

The sense in Christianity as a faith beyond reason, which must continue to affirm even after reason gives up, is closely connected with the linguistic fact that many of the central doctrines of Christianity can be grammatically expressed only in the form metaphor.  Thus, Christ is God and man; in the Trinity three persons are one; in the Real Presence, the body and blood are bread and wine. When these doctrines are rationalized as conceptions of a spiritual substance and the like, the metaphor is translated in metonymic language and “explained.” But there is a strong smell of intellectual mortality about such explanations, and sooner or later they fade away and the original metaphor reappears, as intransigent as ever. At that point, we are back to the world where St. Patrick illustrates the doctrine of the Trinity with a shamrock, is the use of concrete paradox that enlightens the mind by paralyzing the discursive reason, like the koan of Zen Buddhism. The doctrines may be “more” than metaphors; the point is that they can be stated only in a metaphorical this-is-that form

ko·an

/ˈkōän/

noun

  1. a paradoxical anecdote or riddle, used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and to provoke enlightenment.

 

me·ton·y·my

  (mə-tŏn′ə-mē)

n. pl. me·ton·y·mies

A figure of speech in which one word or phrase is substituted for another with which it is closely associated, as in the use of Washington for the United States government or of the sword for military power.

Chad
#1067 2019-07-03 12:03:39

Today's writing does not support 3 in one concept but it does support the Holy Trinity. I suppose someone could have said well if we have 3 entities we worship how can we claim to have one God and only one God we worship. That was quite a tangle or paradox if you look at it from a literal or logical perspective but from the imaginative figurative and mythological perspective, there are no limitations anything goes if it is generally accepted and if it doesn't affect he elite of the society in a negative way. Some sects like worship the Virgin Mary and all the Saints as well. I think we could look at it as a hierarchy of Saints.

I think more to the point the Jews would not go along with this nonsense and these ideas would stand out as a striking difference between Judaism and the Jesus Cult. We had the Trinity and saints and they vehemently rejected the concept and attack those that might let their minds wander over and ponder these new words being proclaimed. They truly believed in the one God Jehovah and the prophets all this other baloney was total blasphemy. 

Of course, all religions and ideologies have a this is right that is wrong, boundary. And will oppress or dismiss those that don't comply or those that think differently.

 

Chad
#1066 2019-07-02 19:11:22

Re 1063  Why not just treat everyone as you would like to be treated. Lead with love, not with words. They will get it.

Chad
#1063 2019-07-02 18:02:04

‘Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.

From today's reading, we should share the good news and acknowledge that we are Christians to all we meet. Don't be a Peter.

Gary
#1062 2019-07-02 17:56:49

Re: 1059

 

"It is a revealing statement, I believe what the author is trying to convey is that we need to view ourselves through God's eyes, and how can one do that without getting familiar with Him by reading His Word and get to know Him intimately, sadly very few are willing to take the risk."          -Andy-

 

Gary
#1060 2019-06-28 21:32:56

St Teresa may have used a little bit of hyperbole here to make her point. She doesn't seem to be all that humble herself. I would have read other things she has written but at first flush, she seems a little overbearing.

Chad
#1059 2019-06-28 18:49:40

We shall never learn to know ourselves except by endeavoring to know God; for, beholding His greatness we realize our own littleness; His purity shows us our foulness; and by meditating upon His humility we find how very far we are from being humble.

(St. Teresa of Jesus)

Gary
#1058 2019-06-28 17:48:47

Could be Gary, shine brightly! 

I'll be off to the cottage shortly. I'll be back next week sometime. You will probably see my comments when I return.

Happy Canada Day!

Chad
#1057 2019-06-28 15:52:15

You never know, maybe for someone who would never pick up a Bible, I may be the only light shining in his/her world.

Gary
#1056 2019-06-28 11:49:20

We are to be the conduits, outlets and action, in the world, of the energy, emanating from God's Love to us. 

Light is the perfect metaphor.

Frye says 

Since divine revelation can only manifest itself to human beings through human beings, this radical faith lays emphasis upon human creative power as the necessary agent of this recreation.

Chad
#1054 2019-06-28 07:28:44

The World English Bible translates the passage as:

15: Neither do you light a lamp, and put it under a measuring basket, but on a stand; and it shines to all who are in the house. 16: Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

That calls for action, to get out and help wherever we can.

Lou
#1053 2019-06-27 14:48:57

I like the Sign of Jonah stuff but to me they put too much emphasis on Mother Mary.  I will keep this link for a while.

Gary
#1052 2019-06-27 14:34:23

http://ocarm.org/en/content/lectio/divina-lectio-matthew-1238-42

The above-mentioned site unpacks the OT references and significance of each in the Sign of Jonah. 

The analysis is based on the passage from Matthew which in turn is the bases of a Divina Lectio.

 

 

 

Chad
#1051 2019-06-27 10:36:45

The sign of Jonah is a message for the Pharisees. Jesus's negative response to Pharisees is coded in a compilation of OT stories metaphors and symbolism that the Pharisees would know well. Cleverly the Gospel writers created a foreshadowing of the cross and resurrection with a double entendre. In not answering the Pharisees he answered them. The sign Christ is referring to is the Ressurection. Of course, this is a case of double vision it is the Gospel reader, such as ourselves, that is being informed of the Ressurection with use of foreshadowing in an episode written after the fact. 

The reader sees this in their imagination as an actual occurrence unfolding in real time. So what we really have is the residue of the recreated story that gives us the words to contemplate. Not reality, but a carefully crafted imagery created 2000 yrs ago that has been passed on for us to consider.

As Barry Gibb said, It's only words but words are all I have to give to take your heart away. 

 

Chad
#1048 2019-06-27 08:36:51

I don't know how many people hear God's word and obey it, but I know you are posing a rhetorical question that has no real answer. The narrow road is a metaphor. I think it could refer to the difficulty for most of us have in understanding the Bible. I would suggest that most of us don't have the wherewithal to comprehensively comprehend or decipher this library of books. So we rely on others to tell us what they think we should know.

We obey laws or commands, but the Bible is much more than blind or unthinking obedience. Because it is mostly a figurative metaphoric poetic and at times symbolic language that is written in a rhetorical style most of it has to be unpacked carefully and considered as a series of integral parts of an interrelated whole. It isn't a simple construct. So when it is said that people should obey God's word I think it really saying listen up I really have something of the utmost importance to reveal to you and you must believe it. I'll help you by giving you stories that you may resonate with you that you may remember I certainly will not give you facts and figures or concrete evidence, that you can hold in your hand just stories that you can hold in your mind.

Of course, a horse can be led to water but it is up to the horse to drink it, this is especially difficult if the horse is deaf-blind and not that smart.

I think we are more like magpies than scholars. We look for shiny things that attract our attention and are easily collected and overlook and discard what may be less attractive and much harder to obtain. Most of us haven't taught how to think or consider anything in depth for ourselves. 15 minutes is eternity isn't it,  so years of study is just simply out of the question.

Chad
#1046 2019-06-26 22:33:36

Luke 11:27-28  In Wednesday's reading how many people hear God's word and obey it?  I guess that's why they call it the narrow road, Andy has lost weight so he will pass through!

Gary
#1045 2019-06-26 22:28:15

Re 1040  I was referring to the verses back a few days ago about getting the unclean spirit out of your house and keeping it clean so the 7 unclean spirits that return cannot enter.  I think Jesus is referring to the way we live our lives. If we open our live to sin, drink too much, gamble too much, whatever your weakness is, it can take over your life 7 fold.  I know it is not too clear but you may get my drift.

Gary
#1044 2019-06-26 11:34:45

Referencing #1043

Are we not complicit with our sin and the tyranny we witness if we feel unable or helpless to take action against it. 

What are the consequences for us and others? 

I wonder do we have examples where people of Christ were witnesses to sin or tyranny and lacked the will power and the imagination to take any action against it.

We can use our imagination to create all sorts of excuses for not pursuing justice or assisting or even worse scapegoating others. 

So 1043 is a positive way of seeing it and 1044 is a negative way of seeing it. Thoughts???

Chad
#1043 2019-06-26 10:06:47

Lou, the way I understand things at this is this; We are free to imagine any way all ways to advance Christ's vision of an improved world by being a beacon of positive possibilities for our fellow man and by resisting all forms of tyranny and negative behaviour(sin). 

let's let the word work in us and for us, let's be continually inspired, challenged and motivated by it, and use our wonderful imagination to create ways to understand and apply it in a positive and loving manner.

It will be a different experience for each of us because each of us is unique with different gifts and potential.

Chad
#1042 2019-06-26 07:44:38

Yes, we are to accept salvation then do the best we can to better ourselves and the world around us, not to earn salvation but because that is what our faith moves us to do as James wrote.

Lou
#1041 2019-06-26 01:59:20

Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!

We must consume the word and use our imagination and our shared imaginations to contemplate and to grow in understanding of the vision created by the word, and then recreate that vision and project that better world on to the world as best we can.

I see It as a dynamic process cyclic or better still an outward-moving spiral through time and certainly not static. We need to be constantly changed by the process.

Chad
#1040 2019-06-25 18:11:51

http://thinkspot.ca/

Here is your site.

House as a metaphor for our bodies is possible I suppose. What passage are you referencing?

I don't think he is suggesting that you should shower regularly. 

Does 1 Timothy 1:5  help or are you thinking of something else?

 

1 Timothy 1:5

The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

Chad
#1039 2019-06-25 16:09:11

I was going to comment on the verses but will wait till the morrow.  Chad how do you get on "Thinkspot" I think it is Jordon Peterson's site, or one of them?

Do you think when Jesus is talking about the house, He could be talking about our bodies, keeping them clean and pure ?

Gary
#1038 2019-06-25 14:00:26

Excuse me for monopolizing the site. I will release the suppression mechanism on your devices after this post so that you can make comments.

Considering my last post I will suggest the converse is true. That intolerance, lack of imagination, irrational thinking and fear of entertaining anything different from an accepted norm will lead to tyranny or at least the desire for tyranny and rule by a tyrant that will suppress the will and expression of those that are different from the norm. In extreme cases, it is either conformity silenced expression or death. 

OK, I have lifted the suppression mechanism and you are allowed to comment.

Chad
#1037 2019-06-25 12:24:11

This is a splendid example of how tyrannical thinking overwhelms rational thought and leads to intolerance unbearable oppression and cruelty.  

https://indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca/the_residential_school_system/

Chad
#1036 2019-06-25 11:00:41

I think in today's writing the unclean or evil spirits are metaphors for the Pharisees who have taken control of their society. They have distorted the meaning and the true spirit of the scriptures and have corrupted a whole generation with their false teachings and fear-mongering tactics. In this generation, the cruel become tyrants and the fearful become victims. Even if people are momentarily freed from the tyranny for a brief time the corruption and evil will overwhelm them again if there is no permanent reprieve shelter or viable alternatives available. 

The number 7 is another significant symbolic and routinely used in scripture but beyond that, I see no other specific relationships demonstrated in this passage. 

Thoughts????

 

Chad
#1035 2019-06-24 22:21:03

Here is the crazy thing although Jesus was no fan of the Pharisees' behaviour, we know he forgave and loved them unconditionally. What kind of man can take spikes in his limbs and forgives those that are harming him? Jesus is a hard act to follow.

Chad
#1034 2019-06-24 16:47:41

We see the Church elite, in this case, the Pharisees. They were totally corrupted by their power and greed and their false sense of importance. Whenever and Wherever we find examples of this, accountable to none, tyrannical idealism and behaviour we will also find strife and suffering. Tyranny spawns the most stupid and arrogant actions.

Chad
#1033 2019-06-24 15:37:07

The passage in today's writing gives us some interesting analogies. There is the presence of the prince of evil in Christ's midst  It is easy to see the polarity contrast of the demonic realm and the realm of Heaven. but Jesus goes on to split these polarized opposites and create additional polarities, and don't we see this polarization has played out through history and it is quite evident that it is still being played out today.

Christ saw that there was some confusion being deliberately propagated as to what was demonic and what was divine. His parable articulates a defence of his actions in the most roundabout way, but many of his parables were multi-layered and deliberately puzzling. 

We let these things wash over us and continue on with the narrative.  

I will add it is quite clear that the Pharisees represent the demonic side.

Chad
#1028 2019-06-24 11:20:25

I posted Thomas Couture's painting Romans of the Decadence on the Post a Picture.

I think we should take heart as Christians because each one of us can be a light onto the world.

We don't need more Christians or muddled and or corrupted Christianity.

I as an individual need to focus on work towards being more Christ-like in a world that shunned Christ and his teachings. 

I can't speak for others.

 

Chad
#1027 2019-06-24 09:47:13

Men manage to misread, confuse, be intimidated by, shun, appropriate and corrupt the words of their prophets, philosophers, intellectuals. Christianity is like a chameleon lizard it that it needs to adapt. and be acceptable and usable in and for corrupt societies.

Christianity is what we want it to be or what we want to make of it. It is no longer the fledgling religion portrayed in the New Testament. I feel it has reached its pinnacle and fulfilled its purpose and is in a state of decline. Of course, the printed Bible that it developed from will remain as is and was.

So I can ask any Christian what Kind of Christian they are and they will give me some fictional version of something they think they are or they think they should be. Of course, they will have the correct and perfect answer.

Chad
#1026 2019-06-24 08:46:45

Romans of the Decadence by Thomas Couture, ca. 1847.
If we are tempted to despair by the growth of immorality and paganism in society, we must remember that Christianity originally flourished in an utterly corrupt society.

I found this quote under a picture by Thomas Couture and it kind of fits with what is going on in society today.

I like today's verses, may comment later.

Gary
#1025 2019-06-24 07:36:13

When a subject is repeatedly brought up even in as a joke or to wind someone up it means there is some subconscious fascination or problem with it. Wanting to punish the rich caused by a subconscious craving to be rich ( as a parable ). 

 

Lou
#1023 2019-06-23 22:31:39

Mike is Mike. I think my assessment stands. Like I said before you reap what you sow and if you don't sow for whatever your reason you are left empty minded.

Chad
#1022 2019-06-23 20:28:05

I'll pass Chad but thanks for the invite.  I only go where I think Jesus might go.

Now back to the verses.  By the way I love the way Mike can wind you guys up.  Most of the time he is right on.  Check out the picture page.

Gary
#1021 2019-06-23 19:33:31

It is all on what you focus on. For example, 1.1 million or more people attended the Raptors Parade and ceremonies. There was shooting close by that directly involved 4 people and that is what a lot of people focused on. You can find negativity anywhere you look for it there are always going to be those who thrive on our negativity, disgust, and overinflated sensitivity. Let' go the Gay Parade next year and take an active part in the festivities so we can put some of these preconceived ideas to rest.

Chad
#1020 2019-06-23 19:21:07

We will have to agree to diagree on the LBT issue.

Gary
#1019 2019-06-23 18:33:49

We shouldn't forget that coming out and gay parades are responses to gay the bashings by Christians and others that they had to suffer in the past. I agree that some of their displays are too much.

Lou
#1018 2019-06-23 18:24:25

There must be a reason that Mike keeps bringing that up and we are not helping him find an answer. For some reasons, he applies the Bible view that it must be absolutely true because scripture says so, to scientific pronouncements. He seems to expect presenters to introduce every thought with 'we're not sure but we believe that' or such disclaimer. He doesn't seem to accept that ' as far as we know from the evidence so far that is the way things work but we are always trying to look deeper' is implied by the way the scientific methodology works.

He must have a problem with the connection between science and religion that we fail to address because we can't understand where he is coming from. I'm not sure how literal is his reading of the Bible, it seems to vary.

BTW do we, you and I, keep coming up with some notion/problem. I think that we usually respond to Gary or Mike input but I could be wrong.

Lou
#1017 2019-06-23 17:45:07

Gary, I missed the parade. I'm assuming you were thinking of the Gay Pride Parade and I'm presuming that you are finally having pleasant and positive thoughts about acknowledging and celebrating others.

It's a march to celebrate formerly oppressed people with different lifestyles and growing acceptance and remembering those that have sacrificed so much to keep the movement alive and thriving. It is also designed to encourage a festering mental burden and burr in the pants of those that are still ignorant or still suffer from Biblical illiteracy.

Thanks for bringing it up, Gary

One day you and I can go together to appreciate the festivities.

Chad
#1016 2019-06-23 15:49:31

Contemplating yesterdays discussions with Mike, it seems to me and I say this tentatively, I don't think is against knowledge or intellectuals, I think he is against what he perceives as arrogant know it alls that state things with what he feels are with unfounded confidence and authority.

He seems stuck, but content with this world view.

Of course, in an ordinary conversation, we don't talk with absolute authority we are reliant on others and other sources for our knowledge. It can take decades to be the foremost authority on any subject. and most of us chose to be generalists. Generally, we don't question the information we receive electronically, in everyday banter and especially in gossip and that at times can be detrimental misleading and manipulative. Some have no idea what critical thinking is never mind how and when to apply it.  But I know this for sure, to learn something new or challenge a point made and possibly change our understanding of things it takes effort. If there is no effort there is no reward. 

So I think Mike is on the right track when he questions authority content evidence and facts. But, he may be off base if he doesn't follow up work needed to answer those questions with his own inquiry and research. 

The question, how do you know that, should be turned around and stated, why is it I don't know that, or how can I know that?

This is my assessment and understanding. It isn't meant to be critical. Feel free to critique this assessment.

Chad
#1015 2019-06-23 15:41:37

In today's parable, Jesus is telling us, in his metaphorical way, to reflect God's love when we interact with others with our love, acceptance, respect, honesty and generosity. 

Thoughts???

Chad
#1014 2019-06-23 15:03:19

You guys must be at the parade!

Gary
#1012 2019-06-22 14:25:38

In our meeting, this morning we discussed the differences that Christians can claim that can demonstrate they are in fact different from the society they live. You have heard it said we are in the world and yet not of the world.

I understand that during the period that the Gospels and Epistles were written. There were turmoil and strife within and between the various religious factions. I think we see this clearly in the writings. There was a perceived need to dramatically differentiate one from the other on all fronts but most of the conflict at that time seems to have come from the Christian Judeo split. It seems to me that the writers of the New Testament with good intention wanted to widen the Gap and exploit any differences that would strengthen that wedge.

I think that this tendency has been reinforced and exaggerated for far too long. We can where and why this tendency was created but we now need to strengthen bonds and collaborate with others. To me at least, it is quite apparent that we are all God's Children. 

The important thing is not that we are a Christian and someone isn't It is rather because we are Christians we have learned the value of loving our fellow man including those that may not be Christians.

Chad
#1011 2019-06-21 10:34:12

I like your response, Lou. 

I think this important because this seemingly simple prayer brings to mind some monumental and perplexing issues. Because he was asked Jesus was and still is teaching us how to pray. He gave us the basic mechanics and possible content of prayer. So in that manner, he answered their and our request. We have memorized and continue to use this prayer with slight variations for thousands of years. It is a ritual not unlike Communion. It is one of those things that identify us as Christians. 

I don't think the content needs to be analyzed because it is more or less like a psalm or mantra or maybe a poem something you repeat that we can give a somewhat formulated meaning or not beyond its the sound of its utterance. The utterance brings God to mind in a collective or individual way at the moment.

I think Jesus may have suggested that words are not necessary nor even complete thoughts nor even conscious thoughts at all, but of course, Jesus had to use words to communicate his methodology. Now we know how to pray and we understand the concept or prayer we can pray however we prefer. The words are meaningless to God or tertiary at best and are certainly not required, silence is just as valid, the idea it is to be with God in our thoughts.

Chad
#1010 2019-06-21 07:24:30

tn Or “into a time of testing.”

sn The request do not lead us into temptation is not to suggest God causes temptation but is a rhetorical way to ask for his protection from sin. Some interpreters see this as a specific request to avoid a time of testing that might lead to a crisis of faith, but occurring as it does toward the end of the prayer, a more general request for protection from sin seems more likely.

Lou
#1009 2019-06-20 15:06:20

Regarding Martha and Mary, What are our priorities we all have mundane chores to do, but we must be careful not to let our routines and chores choke off being present for more important things in our life. If Jesus asks you what did you do for me and your fellow man. Our answer shouldn't be I had all my domestic chores done every day in a timely manner no matter what and demanded that others do the same. Resentment can fester if we are overly concerned about how others chose their priorities.

Chad
#1008 2019-06-20 10:17:32

I like your quote from Longfellow. 

I see what you mean by circumstance. In first aid training, we were taught that the first thing to do is assess the situation for risk factors so that we are not putting ourselves or anyone else at additional risk. Of course, every situation is different but our willingness to help our fellow man is the same.

We only have the present moment to act in order to make a better world as Longfellow suggests.

At any rate, it is nice to have you back and participating in these discussions Gary.

Getting back to Lou's comment about taking our attitudes with us. I for one can be very negative at times and I usually make myself or others miserable because of it. If I am in a good mood others pick up on it and we all have a better day. The lesson is to keep positive and have a positive outlook even when I maybe don't feel all that positive. Emotions are fleeting and can be controlled but our principles should be solid. I project the neighbourhood I want that neighbourhood to be. Making a better world begins with me.

Chad
#1007 2019-06-20 09:34:31

In today's reading it underscores the fact the many of us don't take the time to listen to Jesus. either through prayer, meditation or just sitting quietly reading the Bible.  We rely on too many outside sources and our mind gets clouded with other peoples meaningless opinions.

Gary
#1006 2019-06-20 09:29:16

Look not mournfully into the past. It comes not back again.

Wisely improve the present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear.

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I guess what I am saying is if you see 3 or 4 guys beating someome, is it the best choice to jump in and get beat yourself.  Maybe there are better options like calling 911?  

I noticed in the good Samaritan help came after the fact of the beating.

Gary
#1005 2019-06-20 07:39:58

When a home buyer asked his agent if the neighbors were friendly in the area the real estate agent replied "the same as in your previous location. In other words: the world is whatever color you color it. 

Lou
#1004 2019-06-19 23:01:39

Gary, I don't feel threatened or fearful when I go about my daily business. 

You said, 

It's a dangerous world out there, do you not think it depends on the circumstances?

I agree, circumstances influence our behaviour but so do a lot of other factors.  Why do you think the world is so dangerous, Gary?

Chad
#1002 2019-06-19 22:03:59

#996 2019-06-19 09:21:10

"Go and do likewise"

Lou

It's a dangerous world out there, do you not think it depends on the circumstances?

Gary
#1001 2019-06-19 18:35:51

Yes, Templeton did say he would miss his Jesus. We don't know what he meant by that. I'm sure Moses was exalted or the transfiguration is meaningless. You are likely right Gary so let's pray God will in his infinite wisdom and unlimed mercy forgive those that we feel are not worthy of his forgiveness. 

Chad
#1000 2019-06-19 17:53:21

There is Heaven and Hell, or a good place and a bad place, or being with God or eternal separation, whatever you want to call it.I think the Bible makes it plain, Jesus makes it plain, God makes it plain that not everybody is destined to enter the promised land, not even Moses.  That being said, heaven is wide open to those that choose this wonderful unmerited gift. 

Charles Templeton in his last days was to have said "I miss my Jesus", who knows maybe he repented and was forgiven?  

I bet if we google will everyone get to heaven we will get many, many different opinions?  

Gary
#999 2019-06-19 13:28:24

Gary, what do you think of what I just posted? You only asked the question you did not offer an opinion or respond to the previous post. What's up my Bean Town buddy?

Chad
#998 2019-06-19 10:45:28

Speaking of God's love where is Gary?

Hey, Gary are you still there? You disappeared on the 15th. If I recall you were wondering about a hypothetical person who rejects God. Now I wonder some things. Did this person accept God first and then reject him. Are we talking about Peter who denied Christ to save his own bacon or I guess I should say skin? Are we talking about a guy like Charles Templeton who eventually realized that his type of Christianity was a sham? 

I think we are to forgive them and ask God to forgive their sins and shortcomings as he has forgiven us and as he forgave Peter and Paul for their transgressions.

Chad
#997 2019-06-19 09:40:44

Great response Lou. I think this parable sums up everything that we have been reflecting on and expressing lately. This parable demonstrates how Love transcends all boundaries. We are not to let superficial or arbitrary differences throw us off our task of spreading God's love.

Chad
#996 2019-06-19 09:21:10

"Go and do likewise"

Lou
#994 2019-06-18 11:22:12

I think Einstein said it much more succinctly than I did Lou. 

Today's reading, in my opinion, gives us the true meaning of how to apply the Gospels to our daily lives. The first two commandments are the commandments of love. If we get these two right all else falls into place. Truly comprehending and adherence to these Gospels passages allows us to enter and engage with the world In the most profound way.

I can see the benefit of the desert brothers focusing on the love of God and the other and I can appreciate the discipline it requires.

That is why we need to take time to meditate to focus on the radical idea of Love and how we can get to a point where we continually and naturally apply it to ourselves and all others.

I can see Einstein's thought reflected in this idea.     

Chad
#992 2019-06-18 07:36:33
  • "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."
  • "I want to know God's thoughts ... the rest are details."
  • "Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."  Albert Einstein 
Lou
#991 2019-06-17 10:57:30

It struck me that both Luke and Matthew used exactly the same phraseology which would give a strong suggestion that there is a Q to be unearthed.

What is revealed is a love story that requires very little intelligence to comprehend at its basic level. Children and those with a child-like mentality will accept it easily. The disciples were a witness to it unfolding first hand.

I think the message is to us the audience after the fact. The writers want us to believe the story as true as it was written with the authority sanctioned by God without using our intellect and or our experience to question or criticize it.

I think it is quite true that the Gospels were not created to advance their readers intellectually. However, I would say that we shouldn't get the idea that critical thinking should be suspended, suppressed or thrown out the window, and that learning and the sophistication and intellectualism that stems from it is a bad thing just because it might be implied from time to time in the Bible.

Remember that we are reading a sophisticated figurative language presenting a rhetoric argument (kerygma) in a narrative form. Just because we accept a Gospel on some level doesn't mean that we need to discard other thoughts that we know to be true.  

Chad
#989 2019-06-17 07:30:20

Matt 11:25-27 is a call to be open and receptive to God; to ask why as children do and be willing to accept the answer. God reveals himself but we are too busy describing him and even telling him what to do that we can see or hear him.

Lou
#988 2019-06-16 13:11:08

I agree, Lou. there is an attempt to dampen the over the top enthusiasm with a dose of real purpose and focus. I think what this suggests there needs to be a balance with unbridled enthusiasm and disciplined duty and focus. Both are needed but In my opinion, one suffers without the other. 

Chad
#987 2019-06-16 12:29:48

 I think the last sentence is the important thing. Securing a place in heaven is what is important not the curing of diseases and not the defeating demons. Get enthusiastic about what's important. 

Lou
#986 2019-06-16 11:51:36

Luke 10 language is full of metaphoric language and symbolism I think that we should just sit back and enjoy Lukes imagery and creative storytelling. This is the same kind of intense enthusiasm, dare I say hyperbole, that is portrayed in Acts. Don't we see a similar kind of enthusiasm when people return from Flame or the Cursillo program? In my opinion, Luke did a good job of capturing and encapsulating this enthusiasm in this passage.

Thoughts??? 

Chad
#985 2019-06-15 17:19:10

That isn't my concern Gary, The person who rejects our version of God may love his fellow man and see God in a different light, every individual is unique and is allowed to come to God in his own manner. Our job is to love and support them and not to coerce or judge them unfairly or prematurely. The Thief on the cross with Christ repented in the last hour. 

We have enough to work on in our own camp. We should invest all our energy and effort into our shortcomings and sins before we judge someone else with our self-centred values and biases.

Jesus said as much and I think he had it right. Look at how the prodigal son was treated when he returned to fold.   

Chad
#984 2019-06-15 15:52:50

And what do you think happens to the onr who reject Him?

Gary
#983 2019-06-15 13:25:37

I think that Luke's passage this morning expresses the entanglement of the Gospel (God) to us to the other. The three must work in tandem or the arrangement is dysfunctional. The arrangement should be totally interdependent.

I would go as far as to say that this arrangement could work as a small t trinity in its own right.

Thoughts???

Chad
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