Delete . #850 2019-05-19 10:43:39

It is it the same now the law is placed above the need of people. Build walls social and legal walls as well as physical ones to make them conform to the law even if they belong to a different legal system.

Delete . #849 2019-05-19 10:29:00

Acts 11:7 Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’ Pork is 1/3 as bad for the environment as beef.

Please visit the Picture page.

Delete . #848 2019-05-18 14:06:49

Jesus is right of course the pious judgemental unempathetic Jews placed the law and process over people and the true Spirit of God. They thought like so many do today that the Bible is a way to be righteous and judgemental of others. They have corrupted the Bible and use it as a weapon and not as a beacon of light. The Pharisees were so blind arrogant and damaged that they were unable or even incapable of understanding never mind acting responsibly with love towards their fellow men. What do you do with semi-conscious obtuse people that are thick as a brick? 

We have to love them of course and not judge them unfairly or too sternly because truly they are mimics and shadows of others and do not know, and will never know, who they are or what they are doing. It is best to treat them as we would like to be treated. We are all God's children after all. 

Delete . #847 2019-05-18 07:39:27

The reading today about washing before meals show Jesus accepting the common knowledge, or lack thereof, of the time and using it to convey his message. He did the same on many other occasions. 

Delete . #846 2019-05-17 18:09:31

I think we agree that Jesus as a rabbi/philosopher is equally important to Jesus the Messiah fulfilling Jewish prophecy. As you said Lou things were a little topsy turvy in the beginning. Maybe they should have stayed that way. A bunch of politically minded pious and biased men deciding the direction of the church, nothing much has changed, has it? Let's repatriate the church and take it back to the basics before creeds and the unnecessary stifling dogma of men.

Delete . #845 2019-05-17 17:20:58

You get three levels from the Jewish worldview but in reality, all is one and that is what Jesus was telling them when he said the Kingdom of Heaven is here. The Jews were interested in an earthly kingdom with a powerful king so when they lost that they wanted a powerful warrior king of a Messiah that would fix things for them. They are still waiting and that is where the end of ages and the second coming comes from. I have heard Christian say that the world is in bad shape and Jesus will come and fix it.

I wonder what the world would be like if  Christianity had developed into a religion about the teachings of Christ instead of a religion about the nature of Jesus, whether fully divine or fully human or fully both. There were extended fights and about even the nature of the Trinity resulting in three or four Creeds to define a Christian Totally ignoring that God is love and we should likewise love. 

Delete . #844 2019-05-17 16:55:53

With all due respect(and you know what I think about that phrase) Archbishop Tillotson doesn't know what he's talking about. Nobody is advancing that sort of Rendezvous.

Delete . #843 2019-05-17 16:55:52

With all due respect(and you know what I think about that phrase) Archbishop Tillotson doesn't know what he's talking about. Nobody is advancing that sort of Rendezvous.

Delete . #842 2019-05-17 15:36:38

How often might a man, after he had jumbled a set of letters in a bag, fling them upon the ground before they would fall into an exact poem, yea, or so much as make a good discourse in prose! And may not a little book be as easily made by chance as this great volume of the world? How long might a man be in sprinkling colours upon a canvas with a careless hand before they could happen to make the exact picture of a man? And is a man easier made by chance than his picture? How long might twenty thousand blind men, which should be sent out from the several remote parts of England, wander up and down before they would all meet in Salisbury Plains, and fall into rank and file in the exact order of an army? And yet this is much more easy to be imagined than how the innumerable blind parts of matter should rendezvous themselves into a world.

(Archbishop Tillotson.)
Just saying.  g.

Delete . #841 2019-05-17 14:53:29

The Jews pleaded for a Messiah and the lesson or warning is to watch what you ask for? 

The Second Comming may not be at all of what we want or expect. Some of us are patient but I think some have cheated and have torn the paper off the corner of their present and with that partial knowledge they are more than likely mistaken about the real contents of the gift. They are cocksure they know what is inside because of their impatient peeking and speculation, but, It is likely something completely different and they will be fooled just as easily and completely as the Jews were.

Delete . #838 2019-05-17 13:27:09

There are some things that stand out in John's writing today.

John is metaphorically equating Jesus with Bread or taken farther the tree of life in Heaven or the Garden. Jesus says the mana from Heaven is from the Tree of life. Not from Moses or the Law or the tree of knowledge. Whereas the tree of Knowledge leads to death the tree of life is everlasting and spiritually satisfying. 

Existence in mythical and or spiritual terms is basically divided into 3 levels Heaven in the upper-level Middle Earth and Hell in the lower level.

The idea of following and wanting a tyrannical Leader comes from Jews vision and version of their tyrannical vengeful God. Jesus is changing that view. He is and has a vision of a nourishing and personal loving God equated to the tree of life. 



Delete . #835 2019-05-17 00:19:51

I did as you suggested. I see it works the same as posting in the comments. I assumed it was different. Thanks, Lou.

I agree with you Lou, The painting is quite dramatic. It clearly depicts the uncomfortable position and the muscle strain of his reaching and the precarious position that he was forced to assume. The surrounding hills give us the idea of the depth of the steeply sloping landscape and sure death waiting if he and/or the lamb were to lose their purchase.

The parable itself is an interesting one.  We are presented with the double vision of Christ as both Sheperd of his flock and the innocent lamb of God to be sacrificed. The painting depicts both aspects of this vision.

Delete . #833 2019-05-16 17:18:08

I suppose there is no way to comment on pictures posted on the pictures site. Gary's most recent picture depicting the parable of the lost sheep by Alfred Soord I think is interesting in a number of ways. It is done in a romantic style we don't get Jesus' expression but we do get the expressive face of the bowing lamb and the menacing looks of the nearby vultures obviously waiting for the lamb's demise. I think that the halo around Christ's head was a little much but it may have been the style for church paintings at the time just around the end of the 1800s. 

Gary said that the picture paints a thousand words. A picture may be worth a thousand words but we get the point. If we just used our imaginations just a bit we could come up with 100 different scenarios depicting the same parable. 

Delete . #832 2019-05-16 12:40:39

I guess we have to ask ourselves does the Bible empower or minimize. Today's leaders like most all leaders want to hold on to and increase their power. What they will do to keep power is inhuman and criminal in too many cases. It seems that when we obtain some power we become corrupt or easily corruptible.

This is a familiar story. that is why robust checks and balances are needed in any progressive society.

It is one of the main problems that the Roman Catholic Church is facing, for instance. Unfortunately, there are too many other examples.

So nothing has changed in so many thousands of years that why the voters, not the leaders are so crucial in a democratic process. 

Delete . #831 2019-05-16 09:42:21

2 Chronicles 16-9  For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”

Although here the message is to Asa, but it also sounds like it could be a message to our leaders today?

Delete . #830 2019-05-15 23:53:48

I'm saying there is value in Christianity. I think it was an important force in creating our modern Western society. 

I think you are right when you say that you would stick to your beliefs, God or no God. 

The movie might be more appropriate than a snapshot but to get a clearer picture you might remove the negativity lens. Eeyore always manages to see dark clouds but never the silver lining. Are you our Eeyore Gary?;-)

Tyranny needs to be fought. That is where figureheads leaders of the state are better than standalone political ones. Christ is most powerful in the presence of the anti-Christ. A huge # of people have lazy or hazy brains and can't tell the difference.   

Gary, you say you want the glory and the happiness of Heaven but I think your demeanour gives us the idea that you feel much more comfortable in a negative turmoil.;-) 

Christians don't have to be gullible or even sheep if they are able to think clearly. Let's increase our talents and enjoy life. Misery and negativity get us nowhere.

Delete . #829 2019-05-15 22:38:25

David and Rowanabove) have something new to say once in a while.

Delete . #828 2019-05-15 18:55:07

It's only outdated if you don't believe. In Chist's day only a certain percentage followed Him and it didn't seem to bother Jesus.  He told His followers, share the word and if they don't listen, move on.

Same applies today, follower's and rejecter's.  It's totally everyones choice to make that decision, so know use getting too excited if someone wants to make a bad choice.

Even if I found out tomorrow there was no God I have live my life as close to the teachings of Jesus and not much would change.  

I wish we could see a snapshot of the world from beginning to end, I think it would show a steady decline in our moral value's. I know I am rambling and may not be as educated as you but but so what, maybe Christianity is declining, in some countries not so much.

 Make a choice, follow your heart.  Society will always try to corrupt, just live according to your principles, let God do the rest.

Sometimes I would like to stick my head in the sand when I see the alternative tofollowing  Jesus, but I would rather be a sheep than a goat.. 

    I could go on for hours here tonight but all good things must come to an end!   What was the question again?

Delete . #827 2019-05-15 13:28:43

No offence was taken, Gary. I needed to look up a word to make sure I was getting the meaning right. At any rate, It's me trying to formulate a realistic way of comprehending and dealing with today's complex global society. I see the church be less relevant as time goes on. The church is no longer the same revolutionary force it was when it was infancy. It's now a reactionary force helplessly trying to hold and impose its outdated dogma prejudices and will on its own followers. It becomes dictatorial and oppressive where it still holds sway. 

Christianity has had its influence and like all other forces that have shaped Western society, it has been absorbed and diluted and no longer saturates that society as it did at one time. Men did there best to distort and destroy the essence while others tried to distill and clarify the essence of the original words written through time. 

I can't pretend that this is not so, although ostriches never did hide their heads in the sand, I can't either. Society is much too rich diverse and worthwhile to pretend that it is not so. To attempt to degrade it as unworthy unchurched or tainted and secular just alienates Christians further.  

Gary, I guess we can adhere or cast off whatever we want with our faith and beliefs. I suppose it is nice to know and maybe even crucially important to belong to a group or groups. It is likely very important to think that we have some affinity with others to some dogma/mythology/beliefs no matter how profound or how ridiculous they may be. 

Delete . #826 2019-05-15 11:04:23

Proverbs 11:3 (KJV)

The integrity of the upright shall guide them:
but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

I suppose you don't really need the church to have a relationship with God.  But as a church we are there to support others, a little like AA, we can support the newcomer and in turn it could help us.

These big words in the article below mean nothing to me, no offence Chad!  ;-)

Delete . #825 2019-05-15 10:28:27

I think the influence and coercive activity of the church are waning. I would like you to read this article and give your feedback.




I have thought it necessary to indicate the distinction between religion and theology at some length, as I think it furnishes a fundamental principle in accounting for the anomalous position of the Church of today, and afford is a genuine criticism on that part of Judge Higinbotham's lecture which deals with the "Waning Influence of the Church." In fact, I think that there are signs in the lecture which would make it seem probable that this is the position which Judge Higinbotham would himself have taken, had his judgment not been warped by a still lurking shadow of theology—namely, a belief in the divine government of the universe. It seems to me that the worship of ideals is the only religion compatible with a theory of universal development, and the principles assigned by the lecturer as causes of the waning power of the Churches, I would consider not to be fundamental causes at all, although they might help, but to be merely signs of that waning influence. The anthropomorphic conceptions of the deity conflicting with the results of modern science, the conflict of creeds and their superposition on the purer doctrines of the founder of Christianity, and the incompetence of the Christian clergy, assigned by the lecturer as reasons to account for the anomalous position of the Church, are as I have said, rather signs than causes of its degeneracy. The real cause seems to me to lie in the fact that theology is a shattered ideal—that since the time when Christianity was a genuine religion, men's minds, men's emotions and aspirations have developed into something higher and nobler, society has reached a higher groove in the scale of progress and can no longer be satisfied with the old apparitions. It requires some higher ideal to strive after—a religion which will again minister to its welfare and its wants, one that will be in harmony with its higher stage of development.

Delete . #824 2019-05-14 21:28:19

Lou testament can be thought of in a wider context but you are right I can not use the word testament in an unfamiliar context when actually I'm referencing the most known testaments. How would you encompass the knowledge wisdom insights, spirituality and imagination that is not addressed in the Bible?

Maybe that is the answer. We accept it as is without detracting from Biblical mythology.

Delete . #823 2019-05-14 19:44:42

Lou testament can be thought of in a wider context but you are right I can not use testament in an unfamiliar context when actually I'm actually referencing the most known testaments. How would you encompass the knowledge wisdom insights and imagination that is not addressed in the Bible?

Delete . #822 2019-05-14 14:30:23

Testament means covenant and the Old Testament is a covenant between God and the people through Moses while the New Testament is through Jesus. So while I agree with you that composers, painters, philosophers, and scientists, to name only a few have been inspired the word testament does not apply. 

Delete . #821 2019-05-14 11:31:58

There is only one place to post comments because having two places is confusing. There's a place to post a picture along with comments about the picture. 

The  is also available.

Chad's line of thought I will get to later. 

Delete . #820 2019-05-14 11:21:53

Help me modify this line of thought. The Third Testament, The truth revealed through all other inspired thinkers, teachers and writers other than those selected to represent the Biblical account. In addition, those philosophers teachers and writers that show us our relationship to these revealed truths. 

Delete . #819 2019-05-14 10:59:06

I'm going to modify #817

Let's consider the Third Testament to be All that has been written and revealed by sincere and inspired writers before, during and after the Bible was completed. If God is truly universal then he will inspire other writers to reveal the truth of who we are in relation to these revealed truths.


Delete . #818 2019-05-14 10:40:03

A case for this Third Testament and to help make my point is the two links posted by Lou at the top of the page. Click on each and read the inspired messages.

Delete . #817 2019-05-14 09:39:24

I suppose we could consider the Third Testament to be All that has been written by sincere and inspired writers after the Bible was completed. 


Delete . #816 2019-05-14 09:37:12

Is there just one section for comments?

Delete . #815 2019-05-13 16:45:18

Thanks for putting everything into perspective Gary. Where would the Forum be without you?;-)

Delete . #814 2019-05-13 14:18:11

It my be someone has been talking to Aliens?

Delete . #813 2019-05-13 13:25:35

It may be that our world religions are quite insular and are very limited in scope and focus. If we are to have a planet for future generations then we need to start believing in other relevant myths and an expanded world view.

Delete . #812 2019-05-13 13:24:27

It may be that our world religions are quite insular and are very limited in scope and focus. If we are to have a planet for future generations then we need to start believing in other relevant myths and expanded world view.

Delete . #811 2019-05-13 12:11:01

could it be that the problems with depression drugs lawlessness stem from our neglect of our religion. 

Delete . #810 2019-05-13 11:37:30

Dare I ask, with all our Sacred Texts behind us. Are we as a human race served well by the traditions and dogma of our respective religions in this modern world?  

Delete . #809 2019-05-13 10:26:58

He spoke to them about the Kingdom of God.

Statements like these from today's reading say Christ is revealing some information about the Kingdom of Heaven without any of the information being revealed to the Gospel reader. 

The Jews didn't need to go to Heaven. They needed and therefore created a place for God to be. Their story has always been about their temple and Holiest of Holies. These are actual places. John the Gospel writer wanted to create some distance between the new followers of Christ and the Jewish orthodoxy yet he was mitigated or restricted by the need for these myths to overlap. The Christian myth cannot exist without the old testament. Changing or at least modifying the aspect of Heaven as a place for everyone, not just God is one way of creating some distance without destroying the relationship of the two Testaments, likewise the eliminating the food laws and transferring the Laws of Moses to a personal obligation and responsibility. The Solely societal God of Isreal becomes less societal and more the individualized personal God of the Lord's prayer, so there are enough changes to create a separate religion but not enough to throw away the OT. 

So what is it that creates the Third Testament that reflects what we are now? The Testament that brings us up to speed with our current globalized village. We have modified previous existing religions by adding and overlapping new mythology. Is it time to do this again?     

Delete . #808 2019-05-13 08:00:54

I couldn't have said it better myself. Duty is the key word.

Delete . #807 2019-05-12 23:29:58

I get your reasoning about multiple meanings and seeing the same thing from different points of view. The head/tails aspect of the coin I think makes clear that the secular world is opposite but not opposed to the spiritual world and both put different but legitimate and equal demands on us. So we must do our civic duty as well as our spiritual duty.

Delete . #806 2019-05-12 21:59:04

My point about Caesar's coin was not about how it was understood but it was about the fact that is was understood in two more or less opposite way. 

  • we are not to concern ourselves about civic duties only spiritual ones.; we shouldn't even bother to vote.
  • we are to be interested in how the country is run

Meaning almost any verse can be taken any way you want and that is not only in the Bible.

Delete . #805 2019-05-12 18:25:50

"Comments" was set up to get input from Pat and others but that didn't happen. It hard to figure up where to post(Comments or Forum) so I decided to merge them and have only one place to post anything about anything except pictures and comments about the pictures.

Please let me know what you think.

Delete . #452 2019-05-12 12:51:04

I believe whatever we believe is our Gospel. If we wrote down all our beliefs I wonder how close they would line up with all or any of the actual Gospels.

I wonder how important it is to adhere to what Jesus thought and therefore taught? I don't think there is an answer. I think it is just like any other book we get out of it whatever we are able to comprehend and absorb in our own limited terms. I don't think it is necessarily an agent of change as long as we keep reading it from our limited perspective and our entrenched beliefs. I imagine it will reveal to us what we want it to reveal to us and nothing more.

So we are stuck with what we want to be stuck with and we believe what we want to believe.

I don't think many of us want to change our beliefs. Therefore we read and hear the Bible and all other intelligent material as though it were a blank menu with our eyes and ears closed. 

Delete . #804 2019-05-12 11:08:38

I know Gary believes these are God's words. Even if they are not spoken in their original Aramaic language. I believe belief is the most powerful of our reasoning tools.

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another."

Delete . #451 2019-05-12 10:56:59

The way I understand it, the coin is a metaphor for the division of spiritual and temporal authority.

At a later date, Caesar is declared to be God and therefore demands spiritual acceptance also, at that point he becomes the antichrist.

How do you understand Matt 21 now Lou after your get together?

Delete . #449 2019-05-12 07:10:53

Yesterday at coffee we saw two opposite understanding of  21 They replied, “Caesar’s.” He said to them, “Then give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”.


Delete . #448 2019-05-11 23:41:53

God needed writers with vivid imaginations and great writing skills to deliver the Gospels to us, no writers no Gospels. I agree Gary God is in our minds and hearts 

Delete . #447 2019-05-11 21:37:41

“The mind of God is greater than all the minds of men, so let all men leave the gospel just as God has delivered it unto us.” ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon


As I tried to say in # 446

Delete . #446 2019-05-11 21:35:35

I have God in here (heart) I don't need to debate any other types of God.

Delete . #445 2019-05-11 19:17:49

Lou that is a wonderful way of perceiving your/our God. Others may not agree with it but so what, that is not important. They are free to see it their way as you have suggested.

Delete . #444 2019-05-11 12:37:12

Religion is a society's agreement on the state of the world and of events(real events) that have with the passage of time become myths(I'm using the correct definition of myth), which far from lessening its veracity makes it more accessible. If only people would stop fighting about whose view of God is valid and accept that we are all only partially right. No religion has to be totally wrong.

Your last paragraph I agree with as long as it is understood that God is absolutely real, unquestionably real and that our( us humans) understanding of God is what we are talking about. There is no agreement even within Christianity about what God is like and what the Bible is telling us.

From this morning's reading "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another." 

Delete . #443 2019-05-11 11:02:02

Here are some things I got from the PDF file.

Religion or faith system is a societal agreement and conviction of a certain doctrine and rituals derived from underlying ancient myths. The more homogeneous a society is the stronger is its faith system. The more a society is diverse and/or endorses individualism the more scattered and diverse the society faith systems become.

Basically, that is the gist of it. God or gods are incremental and seem necessary to the faith process but the process itself is imagined. 

So I would conclude based on this that God or gods are not real in an empiric or practical sense but are real in a mythological and imaginary sense. The caveat that I would add is that the mythological and the Imagined seem and therefore are more real to most of us. So God and our whole learned faith system is not out there anywhere but is really in here permeating our thoughts emotions and memories

Thoughts??? Gary.Lou.

Delete . #441 2019-05-10 21:10:14

#439 link doesn't work. Links have to be to a web page. Links to files on a local computer can't work.

Delete . #439 2019-05-10 18:23:35


The above is a wee bit of reading I apologize I think it is on topic and therefore worthwhile

Delete . #438 2019-05-10 14:20:32

I agree it is best to keep philosophical. Here is an idea I'm working on. If we knew nothing about God or the Bible I think if there was no other belief system available. I think we would probably invent a god or gods to fill the psychological void.

People tell us what to believe. The reason they do this because we want to be told by some authority what to believe. We are hard-wired for this. that is why our myths are so powerful. Once that mental shelf is filled somewhere in the unconscious or subconscious we move on with our lives that mental shelf never needs to be visited again by most people. I would posit that it doesn't matter what fills that mental shelf and only societal pressure will keep us on a certain religious track. If that pressure gets relaxed or dispersed then there is an opportunity to examine with some freedom our own belief structure just like it is easier to critique other belief structures than it is to review our own because we have no attachment to it, which can tumble like a shaky house of cards if we are brutally honest with ourselves, but even so I don't think we can get over that initial psychological need to be told what to believe.

This is just some thoughts for discussion only.  Now your thoughts. 

Delete . #803 2019-05-10 14:01:44

I put my response in the forum as it off in a different direction from the readings.

Delete . #802 2019-05-10 10:15:39

You are mixing God and our view of God. We need to look up to an overseer of some sort. Even animals show the need as well as a need to question a resist the Force be it a god, the alpha male, or Truth. Richard Dawkins worship of Science and Mathematics is even stronger than most people worship of God, at least that is how it appears from his behavior. Studies have shown that fairness, justice, ethical behavior comes first then comes culture and the need to describe God or gods and codify rules. In my view, that means that God was at work long before we realized our need. Where we went wrong and were kicked out of Eden is when our free will enabled us to screw up the codifying.

Yes, I agree with you that change is needed and has been happening all along. Some people resist and that is as it should be isn't that how evolution works.

Why do we need air? Without God, we would not exist?

Why do we need to describe God and believe in that description is a valid question and very hard to find an answer to. 

From now on let's define God as 'our description of God'. 

Delete . #801 2019-05-10 09:02:33

We can't stop time/change. Societies have evolved and various Christianities has evolved along with their respective societies. I think now we are free to crawl from underneath the rubble created by men and get back to that original need we had for gods and God in the first place. Why do we need God?  

Delete . #437 2019-05-10 08:41:49

Well, I'm glad somebody sorted God out. God must have been relieved when he has finally sorted out. Imagine going 4 centuries in limbo with such an identity crisis. :-)

After the fact means well after the last words were written and the book was completed or scroll was rolled and already collecting dust on the shelf. 

For something completely different, I watched an interesting youtube, an interview with Gore Vidal on the Depression. He had a unique position in which to observe various presidents and elected officials. There are echos of our current time. It is a bit long 1hr + in length


Delete . #436 2019-05-09 20:01:07

"why do you think they had to fix a problem much after the fact." Meaning? After the fact?

You are the one who called the Trinity polytheistic as they did back then until various synods had it sorted out. It was a problem then and it's only a problem now when the Trinity misunderstood as being polytheism. The only thing affected is a view of God but that is what is important to each individual.

It took hundreds of years, with the help of the government, to sort out that and the nature of Christ( divine, human, or both) . 

Delete . #435 2019-05-09 18:50:20

Lou why do you think they had to fix a problem much after the fact. Did you think there was a problem I didn't?  Anyway, does it really matter? It makes sense to me to pull back and focus on the mantra that sums it up that is that God is Love. Everything should flow from that. What do you think?  

Delete . #434 2019-05-09 15:17:11

The God that Christians worship is the god of Abraham as defined by the Old Testament and since Anglicans, Romans, Protestants, Muslims, and Jews all worship God as described in the Old Testament it follows that they all worshipping the same God. The Jews refuse to pronounce his name, the Muslims simply say God( Allah ), And we say Lord.

I maintain that the God of Abraham is simply one view of God since there can be only one God even though there can be many gods. The Muslims understand that when they say " There is no god but God ". Those gods, saints, idols are only limited/functional view of God; our feeble grasp of what God is like.



Delete . #433 2019-05-09 14:49:27

There is absolutely nothing polytheistic about the Trinity that problem was sorted out in the fourth century.

Christians, Muslims, and Jews all worship the God of Abraham and you are right in saying that Jesus was a practicing Jew and regularly attended synagogue. The Gospels show that the only problem Jesus found with Judaism was their insistence on following the letter of the law and insisting that it was the means of salvation instead of just a guide, a resource( the Sabbath was made for man). 

I maintain that the churches are doing the very same now and have been doing so ever since the beginning.

Delete . #431 2019-05-09 13:43:22

I wonder if our own Anglican God had as much trouble separating itself from the God of the Roman See as the Eary Christians God did from Judaism. Christians seem to reject Alla altogether. Are they separate Gods? Should we not appreciate that we are seeking to appreciate the same God through some radically different channels. Not unlike how we appreciate music. We gravitate towards the music that moves us the most although we could have some appreciation of the other modes and vogues of music.

If we really think of it doesn't God have to transcend our various dogmas and most sacred and deep beliefs? To me, God must be beyond human interpretation and definition and therefore beyond any sounds words or language. Our meditations should be focused, wordless and empty of content, but full of wordless praise and love.

Delete . #430 2019-05-09 11:36:10

I never thought of this before but how are Christians supposed to respond to the God of Israel is he the true God. As far as I am aware Jesus never denounced that God or his citizenship. Do we still believe that is our God, the God of Jesus, or do we see the polytheistic Trinity as our God?   

Delete . #429 2019-05-08 18:08:38

I wonder if I can be just a little naughty and said that some Christians think they have stolen, displaced or erased the God of Israel and Alla the God of Islam with their own God. God made it easy to be sliced up for their convenience. I say this in jest of course. I think most societies prefer to have their own version of God.  

Delete . #800 2019-05-08 11:10:23

Christianity turned out to be a religion not about the teachings of Jesus but rather a refocusing of the current Greco-Roman religion at least as in outward appearance and administration. It turned out to be a religion about Jesus.

Dioceses and basilicas were all in existence long before being taken over by Christians. The belief in one God, the Jewish God, replaced the many gods and Jewish ethics took over the social life.

Delete . #799 2019-05-08 10:47:07

What I suspected all along is that John's Gospel had several earlier Gospels at his disposal and he created his updated version from them including the Gospels of Peter and Thomas. He wanted new recruits for the followers of Jesus and he also wanted to create a Gospel that created a distance from and an alternative to the Orthodox Jewish religion. The church needed to recruit dissident or dissatisfied Jews and available Gentiles. The aggressiveness and exclusion are designed and targeted at the Jews primarily, especially for the religious elite.

I think that the Bible unintentionally launched our modern western society. I say this tentatively because I think the Gospel writers would be quite amazed and bewildered at what they helped to create. I'm sure it would be nothing like they could have imagined and/or hoped for. 

When the NT was created with its new direction and emphasis, the first people exposed to the words helped each other create a new religion. Today we have the fruits of their labour. Personally, I think it is best if we see it that way. In other words, we are the end result of a mostly organic and haphazard process.

Delete . #428 2019-05-07 20:11:05

I'm sure the charity will live on. He was a champion for the disabled and revered worldwide. He left quite a legacy in his 90 years on Earth. No wonder Gail was impressed.

On another note, I found this site while looking for more info regarding John. The credentialed authors have some insights into the early church. 

Delete . #427 2019-05-07 19:39:52

John Vanier died today, wonderful man and founder of L'Arche, one of Gail's favorite charities. 

Delete . #424 2019-05-07 14:35:01

In conclusion, once an early date for this gospel is allowed, the explanation of John 21 as the catalyst for this gospel comes into sharp relief. Paul had died and Peter died, too. John not only wanted to make the literary connection with Paul’s churches that Peter had done—he went the extra mile and took up residence in Ephesus himself. As we stated in our preface, the Gentile mission and the Gentiles’ missionary are what drive the literary endeavors of the NT writers. John has certainly put his stamp of approval on Paul’s gospel and efforts!

Isn't that a more likely motivation? 

Delete . #423 2019-05-07 14:26:52

I read the argument that you sited. So what I understand by it is that John's Gospel was written sooner than first thought. How does that affect our understanding of the Gospel? One thing that hit me was that he may have been commissioned rather than motivated by his own inspiration and compulsion to write his Gospel. An artist has to eat.

Delete . #797 2019-05-07 12:52:36

Re 791 What I forgot to mention is that Christ's rejection in Nazareth was also fulfilling prophesy. The rejected stone becomes the cornerstone.


Psalm 118:22 New International Version (NIV)

22 The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;

Delete . #422 2019-05-07 11:04:53

In sum, we believe that a pre-70 date for the Fourth Gospel is the most probable one. Further, we believe that this gospel should be dated late in 65 or even in 66, for the following two reasons: (a) it is doubtful that it should be dated after 66, because otherwise the lack of an Olivet Discourse in which many of the prophecies were at that time coming true, is inexplicable; (b) the gospel should perhaps be dated after Peter’s death, as we shall see when we examine the purpose.

That's an earlier date that I been led to believe but it makes sense. 

Delete . #421 2019-05-07 10:15:42

It's up to you, guys, but I hope to get around to read this later today.

You might have noticed by now that the mission of this website is the study of the Gospels, of what we can learn from the teaching and the life of Jesus the Son of God.

Delete . #796 2019-05-07 10:15:09

#794 has been moved to Forum

Delete . #420 2019-05-07 08:55:02

I agree with you, Lou. We should try to remain mindful and look for opportunities to listen and empathize with others. We should appreciate and encourage them. We can be a positive force by just changing our attitude towards ourselves and others.

Delete . #795 2019-05-07 08:14:57

John is making a direct connection between malady and sin and therefore a personal behaviour. We know now that bad things happen to good people without God's intervention. John's writing it seems has been influenced by the notion of the hands-on in your face God of Israel that minutely controls all things.

It is no wonder that so many Christians focus on sin often times missing the point or the importance of what is happening. 

Delete . #419 2019-05-07 08:13:49

What I wrote applies to everybody to a lesser or greater extent. We should look for the goodness in others instead of worrying about their sins.

Even fighting our own sins is not the way to go but cultivating the complementary virtue is what would produce results.

Delete . #793 2019-05-07 07:48:53

Today's Gospel reading of John 5:1-18 gives us of few statements by Jesus 

  • ‘Do you want to be made well?’ 
  • ‘Stand up, take your mat and walk.’ 
  • ‘See, you have been made well! Do not sin any more, so that nothing worse happens to you.’
  •  ‘My Father is still working, and I also am working.’

Food comments or, at least, for contemplation.

Delete . #418 2019-05-06 20:37:26

Correction Lou Gary is preoccupied with what he judges to be the sins of others. He isn't concerned about his own sins like I said before it is much easier to find faults than to fix our own. I think Jesus said something similar come to think of it. Gary might feel like he is being picked on Lou we should leave Gary alone with his thoughts if he has room for them  :-)

Just kidding Gary. :-)

Delete . #792 2019-05-06 17:29:50

Or could it be telling us not undervalue our handed-down religion because it's familiar?

Delete . #417 2019-05-06 17:25:10

How can Jesus find room in a mind already occupied by thoughts of sin!

Delete . #416 2019-05-06 14:59:54

Gary, polygyny was once God's natural order. Things change thank God.

Delete . #415 2019-05-06 14:40:16

How sad these people have to go against God's natural order.  

Delete . #791 2019-05-06 13:52:27

Today we see in Mark 6 that we have a ready-made Messiah. The people wondered where Jesus got his amazing knowledge and insight. We don't know who taught him from Luke we know as early as the age of 12 he was a bright kid that could converse intelligently with rabbis and the religious elite. As the son of a carpenter, it seems out of place, or unusual that he could think, read-write and converse at such an intellectually advanced level about scripture and spiritual matters. If he was a child today we might think of him as something like a savant with autistic tendencies with a very intense sense of right and wrong. Or is it better to think of him getting his knowledge and wisdom by a slow osmotic process that permeated through him with the wind and flame of the Holy Spirit?

Later on in Mark, We get the idea that the people that knew him best didn't think he was so special or noticeably more spiritual and they did not recognize him as the Messiah. 

The stories don't mesh well but that is not surprising because although his disciples witnessed incredible supernatural things and healings and were told directly specifically who he was they did not believe it or put things together until his death. We are even told that he was denied by his closest followers.

Could it be that his rejection at Nazareth was foreshadowing of the rejection he would receive from his followers and his disciples previous to the crucifixion?  


Delete . #414 2019-05-06 12:06:51

I read this about Kevin Robertson 

He seems like your standard well-educated and experienced priest. News of his marriage will likely spread through certain churches and individuals like wildfire mostly because these righteous people are always looking for a reason to get their nose out of joint. There are always those who run around like Chicken Little saying the sky is falling before things gravitate to the new normal and the new status quo.  

Delete . #413 2019-05-06 11:41:26

I had to chuckle Gary because if I understand your response you are fascinated with sin. I would say jokingly that not only do you have a fascination but possibly you might even be a little obsessed with the sins of others. Maybe just maybe you are afraid to look at yourself in the mirror and see if there are any blemishes there. :-) Don't you think it is easy to pick out sinners and their sinful ways. I do, It is a little harder to self-critique wouldn't you agree? ;-)


Delete . #789 2019-05-06 11:17:42

If there was no Bible I wonder what we would believe. Years before I met Sarah I had no official beliefs although some of my family were devout Roman Catholics and my parents always declared they were protestant on any forms I got from school or any type of census but they as far as I was aware had no affiliation but they didn't desire any kind of unwanted attention . From school, I got this idea there was a Heaven and Hell and good people went to Heaven and bad people went to Hell. Then I learned of something called Purgatory a middle ground and I thought that a place like that would be for people that were both bad and good. That was simple but it was OK by me If I died I went somewhere and lived there forever. I was much more interested in catching bugs and fish playing outside and I really liked popular music. I was I think a Purgatory type kid. God was something like Santa Clause he somehow could see you and tell if you were bad or good something like the Romper Room Mirror and if you were good you didn't get coal you got a nice present and a Christmas stocking, maybe the idea of a Christmas stocking came later when I married Sarah. But at any rate, I think this is a good religion there were no requirements except to be goodish. It was honest and straight forward and not much thought was required. When I went to funerals I always assumed the person would go to Heaven.

Delete . #412 2019-05-06 11:01:39


Delete . #788 2019-05-06 10:39:48

When Jews, Christians, and Muslims say there is only one God what they really mean, unfortunately, is that our way of seeing God is the only way and everybody else's way is wrong and we are ready to force them to adopt our way. The reality is that there can only be one God. You can have as many gods as you like and you can describe God any way that suits your culture and you have to because infinity cannot be visualized nor can it move people. Problems arise when the other people are told that their view of God is wrong and they are forced to switch to our view. I'm not suggesting that anyone should adopt a new view of God but only that others should be allowed their own views. There are enough godless people around that are hurting and turning to drugs and other distraction to keep our attention away from fighting over the interpretation of scripture. 

Wouldn't be nice if people were to fight over who will help the need arise as it does way too often.

Love God totally and all others as yourself.

Delete . #787 2019-05-06 10:19:48


Delete . #411 2019-05-06 07:49:53

Gary, have you stopped and asked yourself why you are so fascinated with same-sex relationships?  

Delete . #410 2019-05-06 07:34:39

Ontario House of Bishops declares support of Kevin Robertson and same-sex spouse ahead of Lambeth 2020.


Oh just accept it and stop your crying.

Delete . #784 2019-05-05 21:13:14

I don't know of course. We say there is only one God. But do we really know God? or does our religion tell us what to believe? I would prefer not to put restrictions on God or other faiths.  

Delete . #783 2019-05-05 20:18:27

Salvation is a Christian term that means being on the way to heaven, to be with God and non-Christians have other words for it that lead to the same result since there is only one God. But then there's the problem of those who would deny other religions even other denominations access to God.

Delete . #782 2019-05-05 19:19:30

Lou, I have heard distinguished scholarly Jews say the same thing. If you watched the God series with Morgan Freeman it was stated more precisely but your post captures the essence of their position. The restoration of the Temple is paramount.

I think one of the difficulties with getting Christianity is because the Jesus of the Gospels is hardly ever talking about the real world but far more often the spiritual world that needs to be imagined. If you have never been exposed to this language it will more than likely seem strange and alienating. I think even Paul admits that language sounds crazy to those that are not incorporated or only know it superficially. When the Gospels first became known most Jewish converts would likely understand the connections and the nuances that originated in the OT and maybe even farther back but hardly anyone knows the OT so that perspective and imagery is literally a thing of the past.

The Bible is described as inerrant and in its own context, it is. However, most of what is written is a narrative or literary form which is neither true or false. A parable demonstrates a truth but it is not true itself for instance. Hyperbole and exaggeration are often used. Metaphor symbolism and symbols are essential, and so on. So any statement written usually has a reference and metaphorical attachment to some other writing somewhere else in the Bible. Any expression or proclamation may be taken at face value or literally but that is not likely or necessarily what it means in a figurative or spiritual sense.

I would argue that salvation is a Christian term and is not relevant nor should it be to non-Christians.  

Delete . #409 2019-05-05 14:57:39

There are different languages in the English language. For example, we can read the words of the Bible but we do not speak the words of the Bible in our everyday speech. Although the Bibles we use are primarily written in the English language it should be apparent that they are written in a specific type of language. A language that closely resembles today's literature and poetics.

Delete . #408 2019-05-05 12:12:24

Good or even lousy storytellers use their imaginative words to convey information by stirring our imaginations and emotions and rarely our intellect, logical and/or critical thinking. Ian Anderson as Jethro Tull said that he could make us feel but he couldn't make us think.

The world of the imagination is where we normally find ourselves. We can train and utilize our imagination and put it to good use or we can let it flounder around at the lowest path of least resistance.

Delete . #781 2019-05-05 12:07:33

The reason that the Jews did not accept Jesus as the Messiah is that the Jews were expecting a warrior king, not a suffering prophet especially not a divine one. In a face to face talk, while accepted as true, that was not a satisfactory answer for the one who asked the question in the first place, so I have no idea what would be.

Why some people fail to accept Jesus will probably not fare any better. Some reasons could be the way the good news is spread and the way Christians behave.  A better answer is that it is a thing between that individual and God: they'll get it when their time comes and all we can do is to let our light shine to show them the way.

Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God and God the Son is the one saying that He is the only way. That does not imply that there are other ways. But it does not prevent God from sending His Son to other people, at other times whether it is to cultures or to individuals.

This means that non-Christians can attain salvation not that we can window shop for our favorite savior.


Delete . #407 2019-05-05 11:40:41

Good or even lousy storytellers use their imaginative words to convey information by stirring our imaginations and emotions and rarely our intellect, logical and/or critical thinking. Ian Anderson as Jethro Tull said that he could make us feel but he couldn't make us think.

Delete . #780 2019-05-05 10:10:11

Leviticus 12 

2 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Say to the Israelites: ‘A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period. 3 On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised. 4 Then the woman must wait thirty-three days to be purified from her bleeding. She must not touch anything sacred or go to the sanctuary until the days of her purification are over. 5 If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding.

6 “‘When the days of her purification for a son or daughter are over, she is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting a year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a dove for a sin offering.[a] 7 He shall offer them before the Lord to make atonement for her, and then she will be ceremonially clean from her flow of blood.

“‘These are the regulations for the woman who gives birth to a boy or a girl. 8 But if she cannot afford a lamb, she is to bring two doves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering.In this way the priest will make atonement for her, and she will be clean.’”

We can see in Mark 5  the metaphorical connection to the writings of Leviticus 12 shown above in reference to the women's bleeding.

Delete . #406 2019-05-05 09:41:27

Re #401 Gary, Why the depressive thoughts? Why do you wear these negative emotions and such a pessimistic view? Why do you listen to people that promote this nonsense when you're a devout Christian. I have heard of people wearing rosy glasses before but I think that yours need cleaning so the light can get through. :-)

Delete . #778 2019-05-04 14:35:57

Isaiah 66:17 New International Version (NIV)

17 “Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one who is among those who eat the flesh of pigs, rats and other unclean things—they will meet their end together with the one they follow,” declares the Lord.

We can see that this verse in Isaiah is related metaphorically to today's Mark 5 reading. 

Delete . #405 2019-05-04 14:26:28

RE #403 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Delete . #777 2019-05-04 11:50:36

Thanks, Lou you pointed out that there are other acceptable ways to God the Jews saw God differently as did Hindus and every cult in between. This I think is what John was trying to end. This I think is an extreme intolerance to other ways of expressing spirituality. Our way or the highway(Hell) if you like. I think this may be what Gary believes but I'm not 100% sure if Mike sees it that way.

Mike may be pointing out that we have eaten from the tree of knowledge and that has barred us from the tree of life. God has put 2 angles with flaming swords to guard and prevent us from returning to the Garden and the Tree of life which could be interpreted as the ultimate spiritual truth. 

Of course, without understanding how to read the Bible properly with an educated intensity and critique, the Bible becomes a prison in the Tower of Bable.   

Delete . #404 2019-05-04 07:31:29

Gary, why is it that you can only post a link if it is about trump?

Delete . #403 2019-05-04 07:23:44

Re: 397--It's coming to a town near you!

Delete . #776 2019-05-03 22:36:40

For the Jews the way to salvation was to follow the law to the letter and atone for any transgression with prescribed rituals including as described in Leviticus 16:20-22 the heaping all their sins on a scapegoat and releasing him in the desert.

John tells us that Jesus makes that no longer necessary since He is now the way, the only way. I don't see that as implying that there are other ways. In other words, keeping the law will not do it for you. Works will not buy your way into the Kingdom.

So does that mean that not accepting Jesus means eternal damnation? No, Jesus used the words 'I am', God. the Son of God and who are we to limit the Son of God, to restrict Him to Jesus of Nazareth when He wants to reach people. For us, Jesus is the way but God would reach other cultures in ways they would understand. 

Delete . #774 2019-05-03 18:22:22

Jesus tells Thomas and His followers the only way to the Father is through me. Gary, you feel this straight forward. The only way suggests there are other ways that can be considered or imagined, in John's opinion they shouldn't be. Do you think John is admitting there are other ways and is attempting to censor those other possibilities with his proclamation? There must be a reason. Who is he trying to censor and why? What are your thoughts on this?

Delete . #402 2019-05-03 09:50:55

Why Trump's Average Approval Rating Is Going Up

One of the headlines I am seeing today, I see the light!

Delete . #772 2019-05-03 09:49:43

We only from the old gang, I was hoping for new views.

" I think it is just eternal separation from God." That is eternal torment; so you contradict yourself. " Poof your gone" is definitively not the Christian( or any other religion's) view.

I'm still waiting for other's view or questions. 

#771 is insightful.

Delete . #401 2019-05-03 09:46:00

Just to change the pace for a minute, some amoug us say the world is a safer place now than in times past, I disagree.  Being a journalist must be one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, the other being a Christian.

Delete . #400 2019-05-03 08:31:16

I guess we see what we want to see and feel the way we want to express our emotions. It is impossible to perceive the whole picture so we have to edit out most of what is there. So we only get out what we have put in and have imagined. There is a principle or understanding that we are all God's children and equal under In his eyes. If this is true then it is therefore logically impossible to be more equal or better than someone else in His eyes. The differences we create are human fabrications and do not come from God at all. We can not hold God accountable or responsible for our thoughts and emotions. If what we read is true then we know it is the other way around.

Delete . #771 2019-05-03 07:58:35

I am the way, and the truth, and the life. 

(I am) =  God

(The way) = The Gospels

(True Life) = Obedience and Glory to both


Delete . #399 2019-05-03 07:42:51

In WWI I wonder what the soldiers in the trenches did to keep them from getting bored!

You have not found any because you have not been looking. Do know anything about Islam? Have read the Koran? 

You judge all Muslims by what you hear on the news about a very tiny minority of extremists who are misusing the religion to their own political advantage.

Some Buddhists in Burma and some Christians in some African countries are also deserving of your wrath but are ignored.  

Delete . #398 2019-05-03 00:24:31

Gary, The Bible triggers men's emotions and imagination but not necessarily their sound reasoning. Most if not all of the Christians I know are good and genuine folk. Most of us are not Biblical scholars and anyway I quickly get bored with Biblical dissection and esoteric dissertation. It feels so much like spinning tires in a snow bank.

I don't worry about Muslims and most of them don't care about me. I only really care about the wonderful Muslims I know. I don't know Islam enough to discuss it intelligently. Christianity is the religion I know best so I let you know what I get and don't get about Christians and their actions. I want to understand the Bible as it was meant to be understood and that is not an easy task probably an impossible task for me at least. Having said that my feeble attempts have given me some wonderful insights that I would not have had otherwise. There is so much to learn and ponder. In these discussions, I try to be a human with no true or official affiliation.  

Delete . #770 2019-05-02 19:57:12

Re John 14 -6  As the Jews rejected and or distanced themselves from other societies around them especially regarding spiritual practices likewise the new Christian doctrine is separating itself from Jewish and other non-Christian ideas about God and gods. More of a challenge at that time because there was quite a flux of religiosity. Now there are different challenges.  

Delete . #397 2019-05-02 18:43:33

Lets talk Islam for a while, this attack every day on Christianity  is getting boring.  Are there any good points in Islam, I haven't found many. 

Delete . #767 2019-05-02 11:11:57

Point 4 There may be some people that have had no exposure to the Judeo/Christian doctrine.

They are likely influenced by some other belief system. I would like to believe that they are in God's hands and he will know and love them even if they do not know him. 

Delete . #395 2019-05-02 10:12:17

The point of my quote was that the controversy over the literal reading of the Bible versus an allegorical understanding is far from new it was not new even in Origen's time. I think that was obvious in my post.

People fight over their literal understanding of the scriptural text and go their separate way often killing each other in the process.

Delete . #766 2019-05-02 10:01:01

Point 2 Why people do not believe Christ is their Savior? 

They may not be aware, they may be disenchanted with, they may not understand, they may be hostile to, or may not believe the concept.

Point 3 Will they go to Hell?

I think that the Bible emphasis is on creating the idea of a benevolent loving personable God. To make this idea more believable there needs to be the demonic anti-love supreme entity and demonic characters. Conflict and drama are required. The evil one must be defeated or suppressed.

I think it is the reader that either chooses or is prone to their interpretation and therefore their comprehension of these ancient and epic stories and the elements that are contained within them.

Personally, at times I see what looks like Hell on earth, but I doubt there is an actual place only an imaginary one.

Delete . #394 2019-05-02 07:41:50


“Beauty is indeed a good gift of God; but that the good may not think it a great good, God dispenses it even to the wicked.”

~ (Saint) Augustine of Hippo

If Lou can pull an oldie like Origen out of the hat, so can I.  I would say beauty is both a curse and a blessing but in today's world,  Even Lucifer was described as an angel of light and his pride got to him.

Chad on the right hand of God I can't add to what has already been said.

Delete . #765 2019-05-01 22:59:40

Point 1 the more conservative and more orthodox Jews had a high resistance to change and found what they thought were valid reasons in the prophies to believe that Christ was not the anointed one. I don't think their position is so strange or that difficult to understand. People believe what they want to believe for whatever reason they want to believe it and we are free to believe otherwise. 

I'm sure If God is interested in such things he will know what we are like and he won't hold it against us. Both are legitimate religions that are sanctioned by God.

Delete . #764 2019-05-01 19:35:31

Sure God could, the purpose of the Bible is to lead people to Christ.  I am sure he will be fair.

I don't believe in eternal torment, I think it is just eternal separation from God.  Poof, you are no more.

Delete . #393 2019-05-01 18:49:48

Gary in Colossians 3 you can see the phrase where Christ sits in the place of honour at God’s right hand It seems like a nice enough exaltation and it is found throughout the NT. Not so long ago people had their left hand tied behind their back so they could not learn to write with it. The Bible has words of power however that power is used or misused.


(Little is known of the practices and attitudes towards handedness during the Middle Ages, but there is no reason to suppose that it was any more enlightened than what came before it and what succeeded it.

Under the misguided aegis of the powerful Catholic Church, left-handedness was vigorously oppressed in medieval Europe, albeit not in any systematic way. Left-handers were routinely accused of consorting with the devil and, during the excesses of the Inquisition and the witch hunts of the 15th and 16th Century, left-handedness was sometimes considered sufficient to identify a woman as a witch, and to contribute to her subsequent condemnation and execution.)

Delete . #761 2019-05-01 14:55:40

If John 14:6-7 tells you that a God loving, pious, and charitable person who doesn't accept Jesus will end up in hell then that is the wrong literal reading.

Could a loving God send someone to eternal torments for failing to accept Jesus of Nazareth? 

Delete . #392 2019-05-01 09:55:10

Gary, the Bible is what it is. When you say just look around, I understand it to mean that when you look around you imagine the things that you see now remind you of some events and maybe prophesies that were written in the Bible. That is the power of good writing. It has staying power. Even though it was written over a period of thousands of years over 2000 years ago it still has some relevance and value today. That is why it is required reading for those that are seriously studying literature and maybe thinking of becoming authors themselves. Just as the Bible has stirred your imagination it has likewise stimulated and informed all serious writers and poets in Western society.

Where would NT Wright be if he didn't have Paul's writing to dissect. ;-)

Delete . #391 2019-05-01 09:19:49

RE #388 that's what I just said, Gary.

What power these words have had and have however they have been understood and used.


Delete . #389 2019-04-30 23:06:34

I'm going through Northrop Frye's lectures on the Bible and literature Again. He explains how things that seem convoluted and maybe a little strange to our eyes and ears fit together in the overall imagery and structure of the Bible. It's fascinating stuff.   

Delete . #388 2019-04-30 22:46:09

We have come a long way since Origen.  Was Jesus and His followers not spreading the word to Jew and Gentile alike?  As mentioned in # 387 the purpose of spreading the word to the whole world is to save the sinners and the lost.  Kind of like the parabel of the lost sheep.   No other religion can come close to the God of Christianity, especially Allah.

You like to bring up the crusades, that is nothing to what is coming, just look around.

Delete . #759 2019-04-30 22:36:54

John's gospel in ch. 14:6-7 Jesus tells Thomas and His followers the only way to the Father is through me.  Can't get any plainer then that.  I will take that literal, thank you very much.

Delete . #387 2019-04-30 00:09:08

The Bible in the hands and minds of men slowly suppressed the oral Judeo/Christian tradition and attempted to suppress any opposition that stood in its path. There are people today that think that every person on Earth should be converted and made Christian. What power these words have had and have however they have been understood and used.

Delete . #385 2019-04-28 21:19:06

What you are talking about is not God. It,s the view of the God of Abraham that Jews, Christians, and Muslims describe. 

Seen that way one would have to agree with Origen who lived 185-254 A.D. who said that allegory is the only way in which a thinking Christian could continue to make sense of scripture and remain an intelligent person. If scripture is read only at the literal lever then one must become a Jew [they don't read it at the literal level] or become a Marcionite who believe that the God of Abraham is not the God that Jesus is talking about.  

All that to say that how scriptures are to be read was a problem back then as well. A literal reading of scripture is what brings up that sort of questions and create schisms. 

Delete . #384 2019-04-28 14:12:51

The problem I have with the bigger all-encompassing concept of God with the commonly thought of societal God. I have to ask why would our societal God "deliberately" create a massive black hole 6.5 billion times the mass of our sun. An awe-inspiring feat likely not appreciated or understood to any degree by his own society. Is God sending a message to us? I think it may be analogous to seeing our whole planet from space for the first time with images taken by NASA's Appolo Missions. Thoughts?

Delete . #383 2019-04-28 09:41:58

I would have said 'our view of a monotheistic God existed' 

Delete . #382 2019-04-27 19:51:47

Today's astronomy picture of the day shows us the famous black hole's recently captured image. One of the most staggering revelations with spiritual implications is that the photons that created this image are 55 million years old. The light in this case radio waves left the black hole at least 50 million years before modern man evolved. The black hole itself is billions of years old. It is a hardly conceivable amount of time before our monotheistic God existed. God is much stranger and universal than the ancient Hebrews could possibly comprehend or express in their version of events. Thoughts?

Delete . #381 2019-04-23 15:45:40

Thanks, Gary I am now following Mark Bourrie on twitter. Sounds like a good book. You might also like The Orenda by Joseph Bydon it is a historical novel that takes place in roughly the same time frame. It was a contender on CBC's Canada Reads a couple of years ago. It describes the day to day life of a particular tribe and the brutal competition between the various 1st nations tribes and the tenuous relationship of the tribes with the RC Missionaries also the tribe's interactions with the French fur trade.

I borrowed it from the OPL.

Delete . #380 2019-04-23 12:11:09

Lou in #379 I meant to say Sunday's readings.

Delete . #379 2019-04-23 11:03:10

Reading a book on, Pierre-Esprit Rasisson called, Bush Runner by Mark Bourrie.  In the book he is discribed as a man with no morals or scruples.  He is credited as being one of the guys who helped start up the Hudson Bay Company.  That's it, We are heading to Boston Thursday for my dad's birthday.  Happy Reading Saturday, Lou.

Delete . #378 2019-04-22 20:14:28

The factors that form and govern our guiding values and principles would differ for us. I wonder if we could come up with a top 10 list. I'm going to think about this and see what I come up with.

Delete . #377 2019-04-22 11:48:21

An Interesting approach to faith and Christian life with Rowan Williams and Marilynne Robinson. 

Delete . #376 2019-04-21 13:40:12

These are practical steps we can take to remove our difficulties. Jesus will help us of course.

Delete . #374 2019-04-21 12:31:36

 In today's sermon by the bishop she used the term, "loosener of chains" in referring to Jesus.  I like it.

Delete . #373 2019-04-21 11:23:44

Yet another senseless terrorist attack on innocent people. Let's pray for the victims and the victim's families.

Delete . #372 2019-04-21 06:36:51

Where is the outcry like they had in New Zealand??

Delete . #371 2019-04-20 22:41:58

Rowan Williams - The Finality of Jesus

Delete . #370 2019-04-20 10:38:06

Re:  #369  You talking about me?

Delete . #369 2019-04-20 09:32:26

I believe there is a benefit to listening to intelligent thoughtful speakers particularly those that have a positive and intelligently presented message for us. It is refreshing in a world of sound bites and negative rhetoric. 

Delete . #368 2019-04-20 09:17:51

When the going gets tough. Rowan again.

Delete . #367 2019-04-20 08:55:47

Rowan Williams on Mass Democracy. He is a brilliant thoughtful man with a wonderful command of the English language.

Delete . #366 2019-04-19 15:34:35

Here is a way to address issues from 2 distinctive points of view in a courteous and meaningful way.

Delete . #365 2019-04-19 13:27:45

One of the things that struck me about what Right Rev Williams was contemplating is this desire we have to fix people or things for people and to generate solutions for them when all that can actually and effectively be done is to be a  patient and active listener and genuine empathizer of their plight and tribulations. What do they say they need not what we assume or conclude what is needed.

It is easy to assume the high ground of being right and righteous and offering toxic and alienating advice or criticism when we are not anywhere near being on the same page as the other. 

Delete . #364 2019-04-19 10:40:26

This is my thought, Lou, when we are willing to become a bit vulnerable and uncomfortable in and are willing to explore or look for common ground and we find it with another and we can build from that point. We are a beneficiary of that type of encounter hopefully it is mutual and equal but we can't assess or expect that. It could be that the other benefits more. What we can assess best is how that encounter helped us hopefully, to move to a better place from where we were before the encounter.

Delete . #363 2019-04-19 08:04:59

"I think it is important to not lose sight of the fact that it is our own spiritual and personal growth that is in question when we encounter the other. "

I got the opposite of that from his talk. I wonder if what you meant came across or am I not reading it correctly. Maybe it's the phrase 'is in question' that triggers that feeling. 

Delete . #362 2019-04-18 23:59:36

It is our choice on how we approach someone of a different faith. We can choose to fortify psychological barriers or we can choose to find common ground,  build a rapport, and then have honest and genuine conversations and finally establish a close relationship and hopefully a lasting friendship.

We have to let go of our defences and step out of our comfort zone in order to have personal growth based on what others have to say to us.

I think it is important to not lose sight of the fact that it is our own spiritual and personal growth that is in question when we encounter the other. 

Delete . #361 2019-04-18 19:57:05

Thank you, Chad for pointing this " " out. His talk is only about 40 minutes so we should listen to it. In a way, he is restating the message Jesus has for us. He also hinted that we all worship the same God. Gary, listen to it. if you have not already, and tell us what you think.

Delete . #360 2019-04-18 18:48:44

Gary has stated that Muslims do not worship the same God that we do, I think most Christians agree with him, ignoring the fact that Muslims claim to worship the God of Abraham the same as we do, and by the way, Allah is simply God in Arabic.

It is also claimed that no matter how good a person is there is no hope of heaven unless they accept Jesus.

Delete . #358 2019-04-18 14:08:07

To continue on from #357

Let's focus our devotion, meditation, contemplation and education on God as we understand God.

Let others do the same trusting that God is beyond our human frailties and emotional insecurities. 

So the discussions I should be having should be centred around attempting to understand God from your perspective without negative critique or questioning. 

Delete . #357 2019-04-18 13:37:16

Gary, I think you have inadvertently stressed my point. In your #355 response, you indicated that in order to be attached or may be involved is a better word with the Christian idea of God they would have to convert to Christianity and join that societal arrangement in some way.

Taking that point of view you limit God to your point of view or even the Christian point of view. I think that limiting God has its problems. I prefer to think of those that are truly spiritual can seek and find "God"(unlimited, unowned and not completely knowable) through their own spiritual devotion and meditation including Christians of course.



Delete . #356 2019-04-18 13:10:30

You would have to ask them. I suspect they would each have their own reasons. 


Delete . #354 2019-04-18 00:16:22

This YouTube presentation It is a little longer but I think is worth watching. The main speaker is Rowan Williams.

It is about addressing the other.

Delete . #353 2019-04-17 22:53:18

God as Christians define him, doesn't go around messing with Hindus or Sikhs That is what I mean about socially constrained.

Delete . #352 2019-04-17 22:49:43

Delete . #350 2019-04-17 17:10:47

Delete . #345 2019-04-17 17:07:29

We talked about God being omnipresent probably best described in Psalm 139 7-10 but the psalmist is saying that God is always with him on a personal level.  I did hear Rev Judy say God was everywhere in the Universe. God, as he is known, is socially constrained and is not part of the Universe whatsoever.

Delete . #347 2019-04-17 15:15:26

"is socially constrained"? 

Delete . #346 2019-04-17 15:12:56

I trying to find a way to post a thumbnail instead of the picture of posting the picture directly. It would be easier than posting the picture 300px wide and a link to it underneath.

Delete . #344 2019-04-17 12:02:44

Re #342 There are paintings and icons that likely cover all the episodes in the Bible and manifold for each one.  Each one gives us an idea of how the artist interprets the scripture in his own way and style with all the limitations that face and incumber an artist. They are not identical how could they be?. In much the same way the Gospel Writers interpreted the stories that surrounded the oral legend of Jesus Christ.  

Delete . #343 2019-04-17 11:49:50

Very clever Lou at first I was looking for a picture to the right of the comments in your post and I thought I was missing something.

Delete . #342 2019-04-17 11:16:10

Click on the picture on the right.

Delete . #341 2019-04-16 23:33:46

Gary, you have a number of assumptions stated in your post. I don't remember anywhere in the NT where Jesus refused an invitation to dinner or not accept a dinner guest at his table whether they were followers or not. You can invite a person to Easter dinner without knowing or even knowing that they have a different belief system. Why would you care?

We celebrate Easter in our manner. There is no wrong way to celebrate the holidays. Some just enjoy the days off.

NT Wright has some good ideas but he has no authority to impose his ideas on us. Follow his lead if it seems right for you.

The ordinary Joe(s) and Jill(s) are our neighbours. They are good people why should we judge them. 


Delete . #340 2019-04-16 22:57:38


Delete . #339 2019-04-16 21:42:18

Doctrine: At the heart of Galatians 2 is not an abstract individualized salvation, but a common meal. Paul does not want the Galatians to wait until they have agreed on all doctrinal arguments before they can sit down and eat together. Not to eat together is already to get the answer wrong. The whole point of his argument is that all those who belong to Christ belong at the same table with one another. ~ N. T. Wright

It's too bad all Christians couldn't sit down and break bread together like Jesus intended.   We usually can't even have coffee together without some kind of disagreement.

I wonder what Easter means to the ordinary Joe.  I see a lot of chocolate, bunnies, easter eggs, and hams, but not much Jesus.

Delete . #336 2019-04-16 17:52:42

Chad, would you please remove that wide image, it makes for awkward reading, too wide.

It's easy to set the width to 400 or less.

Delete . #335 2019-04-16 17:48:36

The culture of consumerism has a hundred years or so until Consumerism emerged and now we punished by never been satisfied, by 'needing' useless products. 

Delete . #334 2019-04-16 16:06:16

Re:327  I heard today that this church possibly could be rebuilt within 5 years. Neww 3D models they have would speed up the process.  I wouldn't think they would have the skilled labour and carver they would have had hundreds of years ago.  Catholics relics rescued included the crown of thorns and a piece of the cross, how likely is that?

Delete . #333 2019-04-16 13:41:17

FYI: There are some interesting studies and a blog that has some interesting articles on Seshat web site. 

The Seshat data bank was mentioned in the Physics Org web article I posted earlier.

Gary, I think Lou is suggesting that consumerism and untethered capitalism are the cause of most of our major woes. I think he is suggesting that the aforementioned has replaced the original idea we had of God at least in Western society and and its effects are increasing globally. The punishment he mentioned is mostly self-inflicted. We are reaping what we have sowed. Lou, am I right on these assumptions? 

Gary, In modern Western societies, our personal beliefs don't necessarily have to adhere to any particular church or religious doctrine or logic for that matter. So you are free to follow your own unique beliefs as is your stated preference. 



Delete . #332 2019-04-16 12:18:14

I guess I'm just not interested in gods.   Believing in God is more of a personnel belief than a whole  society belief.

Lou how do mean, "yes he does punish.?  Are hurricanes, floods, sickness a form of punishment?  Maybe we should make up a list.

Delete . #331 2019-04-16 09:47:04

The current god in the West is Consumerism and we are actively spreading the good news to the developing world, and yes he does punish. 

Delete . #330 2019-04-16 08:34:06

Do we have societal gods? I talked earlier about gods and their societies interchangeable with societies and their gods. It is a simple enough concept. I'm sure there has been researching on this.

I found this post that sheds some light on my thoughts.

Delete . #329 2019-04-15 16:40:59

Just how far out of touch the church can be at times.

Delete . #326 2019-04-15 13:35:28

I celebrate the wonderful aspects and achievements of all humanity. I celebrate a god that is not limited by the men of the OT Jewish God or by the men the NT Christian God. How is that for an open nozzle. 

Delete . #325 2019-04-15 13:16:03

That's an interesting comment Gary because I think it demonstrates that we anchored by our own opinions and self-deception. That is why the Newyorker used the picture for their article.

Gary every one I know tries to stop a badly leaking drain or overflowing toilet for damage control. ;-) 

Walter David Jones CH, CBE (known as David Jones, 1 November 1895 – 28 October 1974) was both a painter and one of the first-generation British modernist poets. As a painter he worked chiefly in watercolour, painting portraits and animal, landscape, legendary and religious subjects. He was also a wood-engraver and designer of inscriptions. As a writer he was considered by T. S. Eliot to be of major importance, and his work The Anathemata was considered by W. H. Auden to be the best long poem written in English in the 20th century. Help in forming his work came from his Christian beliefs and Welsh heritage.

Delete . #324 2019-04-15 12:16:05

The picture in 316 represents to me what happens when we try to muzzle others from speaking their mind.  It's a drag.

Delete . #323 2019-04-15 12:13:05

Image result for david jones painterIn reading Tokens of Trust by Rowan Williams, I have discovered a painter by the name of Davis Jones, a favorite of Rowan Williams.

Delete . #322 2019-04-15 09:21:00

Sometimes a long article is worth reading.  The article suggests and the science supports that we are all susceptible and even hard-wired for this propensity to accept without questioning or reserving judgement until all the facts are considered. Once accepted even if it is totally absurd there is a strong reluctance that becomes stronger as facts and information are presented that contradicts those things that were already accepted. This is something we should be cognizant of when we get someone else's rhetoric or opinions. We should remember to check and modify our own assumptions when we learn more or research information about what we were told previously.


Delete . #321 2019-04-15 08:00:25

A long article but it's well worth reading, I might say a must read, yet reading it is not likely to change one's opinion: it confirmed mine. That is what led to trump and Brexit and is now rocking France. Its application can be seen closer to home but let's leave that for later.

Delete . #319 2019-04-14 23:30:11

My previous post is a Newyorker article about how we form opinions and those opinions are hard to change after we have accepted them. I found the article by searching for Gary's picture Re #316 

Delete . #318 2019-04-14 23:05:13

Delete . #317 2019-04-14 22:54:50

That would be OK you might add if it pleases you, my Lord, receive my spirit.

Delete . #315 2019-04-14 21:24:44

 " While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”   Isn't this prayer one we should all pray at death's door?

Delete . #314 2019-04-14 19:56:35

I think we all create our own version of Jesus from what we gather from the Gospels and other sources and mix with our imaginations, Gary I know this because your vision or version is different from mine. 

Delete . #316 2019-04-14 18:47:07

Delete . #312 2019-04-14 18:45:23

The Stoning of Stephen

54 When they heard these things, they became enraged and ground their teeth at Stephen.[j] 55 But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 57 But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. 58 Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he died.[k]

I would say according to verse 59 many knew act  exactly who Jesus was.  You guys try to humanize the historical Jesus a little too much instead of letting the Bible speak to you, you go off on a tangent and try to produce your own version of Jesus.  Sad.

Delete . #311 2019-04-14 15:22:35

Re 305 We know that there was a historical Jesus that walked around Galaleain with followers within the correct time frame. That is not the mythical or spiritual Jesus that is written about in the Gospels it was the stories that emanated from and about the legend that was Jesus. Some of these stories were documented some were not. It is impossible to tell what actually happened from what was recorded to have happened. All we have is the words that were written. 

Those words in the minds of men are enough to create great works and great wars. The words can justify all actions good or bad depending on what we want to do with them. If God is with you at your side what atrocity is too small.

The words are powerful it's the stupid men reading them that are the weak link.

Delete . #308 2019-04-14 13:11:05

I watched the W5 interview I agree it wasn't a comedy but that wasn't the format. He graciously answered the questions asked by his the host. He is in his 80th year and still writing for the stage with other projects in the wings. He admits he doesn't have the energy he once had, I am not surprised, but he is still doing productive work. Gary, I don't quite agree with your critique. He did say that people tend to focus on negative things.

Delete . #307 2019-04-14 12:41:57

Most creative people have a creative peak in their mid 20's. He said in his book "Anyway" that when he did his final reunion tour with the Python that he didn't get the thrill of being on stage anymore. Well, he does other things now. He is an excellent speaker, writer/ author, studied communicator and actor. He is still here Gary, he has just transformed into something completely different. ;-)

They asked him to be a Lord in the House of Lords, he asked them if that required him to sit in Parliament in the winter months, they said that it would and he turned them down as he would much rather spend the winter months in Spain.

Delete . #306 2019-04-14 11:00:15

RE: # 290  Watched W5 lasat night, it was an interview with John Cleese from his island home, I think it is time for him to retire. It's hard to watch an old man try to be funny, his time has come and gone.  Chad check it out if you didn't watch it.

Delete . #305 2019-04-13 18:22:33
  • Christianity was not founded by Jesus the way Islam was by Muhammad or Buddhism by Prince Siddhartha. I might say that Paul comes close to that role.
  • Historians can state with greater and lesser degrees of probability important facts about Jesus.
  • Christianity did not begin with what Jesus said and did before his death but by what his followers experienced after his death. Even the apostles didn't get it while he was with them.
  • The earliest Christians had problems with the apparent contradiction between their symbolic world and their experience so various sects developed Gnosticism and others.


Delete . #301 2019-04-13 11:16:04

Lou, this is the largest watercolour in the world, my guess is that it is 10ft X 30ft. My original post is closer to size. I get your point though Less is more sometimes. A computer screen is not the same as a museum wall.

Delete . #295 2019-04-12 19:34:54

It worked. This Motto of yours. Is it something you're aspiring to achieve, or are we supposed to believe this personifies some idyllic version or vision you see in yourself? ;-)

I like it. 

I like this, I wouldn't say it was my motto but just something to contemplate. Blake of course.

To see a World in a Grain of Sand 

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower 

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 

And Eternity in an hour

Delete . #294 2019-04-12 18:28:37

My Motto.   Did it work??

Delete . #293 2019-04-12 15:49:54

I had the dead parrot hanging in my office at work. It's probably still here somewhere.

Delete . #292 2019-04-12 14:03:48

I'm a big dead parrot, Monty Python fan.

Delete . #291 2019-04-12 13:01:13

I think I get why the Puritans were kicked out of England and why the US is in the shape they are in. The British were right for a change. ;-)

Delete . #290 2019-04-12 12:56:04

That's really funny, Gary. I think the Python crew would be most impressed. If they were still together I could see them using your post in their next sketch I agree Gary the posts should stand as they are. ;-)

Delete . #289 2019-04-12 12:21:05

If Chad deltes # 282!

Delete . #288 2019-04-12 11:32:13

I remember one Bible study while Pat was still attending when somehow Pat and I got on the idea that Jesus must have danced sang and laughed heartily with the crowd. I was stunned when some of the participants couldn't bring themselves around to the possibility that at moments Christ couldn't have enjoyed his life in that manner. They couldn't even imagine him laughing.  

Delete . #287 2019-04-12 11:08:54

Well if you know Python they were somewhat naughty at times and quite often tweaked the beak of the church and lampooned religion in general. Most Anglicans didn't mind being made fun of in fact some enjoyed it immensely. There is something refreshing by being knocked off our high horses and brought back to reality with a jolt of laughter. Hypocrites and Pharisees full of self-righteousness always took themselves much too seriously and we don't want to be like them, do we? ;-)

Lou let's leave the comments as is because I am pretty sure Gary was joking. I certainly see the humour of it.

Delete . #285 2019-04-12 09:43:17

Gary, please delete #283, you made your point. To do that, you post a blank post to give you access to the 'delete' functionality.

Delete . #284 2019-04-11 23:08:23

It's humour, Gary not a spelling bee. ;-)

Delete . #283 2019-04-11 20:51:28

  Re: # 282  





  1. the act or offense of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things; profane talk.

    "he was detained on charges of blasphemy" ·



    profanity · profaneness · sacrilege · irreligiousness · irreverence · taking the Lord's name in vain · swearing · curse · cursing · impiety · impiousness · ungodliness ·


Delete . #282 2019-04-11 15:55:24

There you go Gary,  cheer up lad, and always look on the bright side of life.

Delete . #281 2019-04-11 13:58:08

Although Cleese was playing the devil's part?

Delete . #280 2019-04-11 12:29:23

Gary, you would make a great prophet telling everyone that this was the worse generation, declaring that we are all going to hell in a handbasket. God, I wish you would lose that negativity but in all fairness, it seems like it is your nature and significant part of your identity, wouldn't you agree?. Look on the bright side if you go to Hell you will be in good company, you and Andy especially will have a great time together.  Anyway, I find it funny don't you, that John Cleese an Atheist is narrating a Christian Apologist's writing. ;-)  

Delete . #279 2019-04-11 11:24:06

Feds unseal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange hours after arrest in London.

Great news, be interesting to see what comes out of this.  Still don't understand why a traitor and rapist was protected by other countries, I guess his luck ran out.

Delete . #278 2019-04-11 11:20:24

“Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”-    Screwtape

With today's society sliding down that gentle slope it seems C.S. Lewis was right. As a Christian he said writing this book took him to a dark and depressing place.

The book on tape narrated by John Cleese is quite good.

Delete . #277 2019-04-11 07:32:11

Except for Flip Wilson I don't I have ever heard anyone blaming the devil, but some do claim that God told them to do it.

Delete . #276 2019-04-11 00:45:37

On another matter, The supermassive black hole that was photographed by radio telescopes is bigger than our solar system. We have talked about God being omnipresent however something tells me that he would stay clear of this beast. ;-)

Delete . #275 2019-04-11 00:06:19

Enough of the US voters voted for Trump to make him president. I wonder if he will win a second term? 

On another matter, 3 churches were burnt down in Baton Rouge Louisiana in a 2week period. What do you think that's about? The authorities are asking the arsonists to come forward.

We can't charge Satan with arson Gary. I doubt the arsonist(s) can argue a defence that the devil made me do it. 

As far as I can determine it didn't disrupt church services other churches have offered their facilities to the displaced worshipers. It might be worrisome to those churches still standing. they will probably add a security detail in the off hours.

I agree Gary churches are torched from time to time, Christ Church was severely damaged by fire. I think what makes this newsworthy is the number of fires in the same area in a short period of time.

Delete . #274 2019-04-10 19:32:42

I take it Chad your sentence needs to be edited but I get the drift.  It seems to me this isn't the first time churches have been set on fire in the south.  Even here, remember All Saints Whitby was touched a few years ago.   Satan will go to any length to try and disrupt our worship.

Delete . #272 2019-04-10 17:11:34

'King Bibi' stays in power: Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu wins re-election.

Boy, that's a relief.

Delete . #271 2019-04-10 15:32:54

"smashed ISIS, embassy in Jerusalem, a booming economy"

  • I don't buy that he can take credit for smashing ISIS. 
  • Moving the embassy to Jerusalem was a bad thing
  • The booming economy is a result of the shape Obama left it in.
  • Golan Heights is another mistake
  • No other president has ever been laughed at while giving a speech at an assembly of nations.
  • etc. etc. etc.


Delete . #270 2019-04-10 13:42:03

Gary, who is Charlotte Allen?

I wonder she got her information do you know?

She seems to be a Trump supporter is this the case?

First Things, does religious commentary are you a follower of this site?

Just some questions I have about the information you have provided. Thank you for providing the source.

Delete . #268 2019-04-10 12:34:25

It is difficult for me to get where Trump is coming from. Hardly any of his rhetoric resonates with me in a positive way. Some of his policies seem mean spirited to me.

What I have noticed is that American politics seems to be a blood sport and the factions are polarized and entrenched but it has always been this way at least as long as I have been aware of it.

It is hard to keep in tune and remain detached and objective at the same time. I guess the only thing I can do is to be calm and patient and hope American people do what is best for the American people. And just maybe that might have benefits for the rest of us.

Delete . #267 2019-04-10 11:54:30


Troika of Toughness: There’s a lot to love about President Donald Trump’s second year in office: smashed ISIS, embassy in Jerusalem, a booming economy with historically low unemployment. But I’m going to focus on his top three achievements: Trump’s Troika of Toughness, as I call them. No. 1: Brett Kavanaugh. Trump didn’t blink, much less do an establishment-GOP dance of panic when his Supreme Court nominee, a man of towering achievement and blameless reputation, had to endure a Democratic-orchestrated month of outlandish and uncorroborated allegations about his supposed sexual misconduct as a teenager. No. 2: The Wall. Trump is holding fast on that one, too — and a Politico/Morning Consult poll finds that 42 percent of Americans think the border situation is “a crisis” while 37 percent see it as a problem. And don’t forget he stopped that “caravan” of would-be invaders on the other side of the U.S. border where it belongs. Meanwhile, po-faced Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi looked like Uncle Fester and Morticia as they rattled on about poor furloughed federal employees — whom most Americans don’t even notice missing. No. 3: China. Trump slapped tariffs on Beijing that “free-traders” said would cripple the U.S. economy. In fact, China, hitherto Ground Zero for its own abusive trade practices and industrial piracy, is crawling to the negotiating table — since its own economy is not doing so well. Stick it out, Trump.

Charlotte Allen, columnist for “First Things,” @MeanCharlotte

The list goes on and on.

Delete . #266 2019-04-10 11:14:59

There is no reason one cannot listen to the news, for instance, with an open mind instead of hearing, or at least registering, only what fits with one's preconceived ideas. That sort of listening is especially needed during election times.

"The Donald loves his country and is trying to make things better," How can anybody say that and keep a straight face. In a conversation, I would ask to be shown some evidence to point that way.

Delete . #265 2019-04-10 10:49:38

Lou I did read the "pie in the sky" article and agree small group discussion works in this case but how often do we see small groups grow into anything meaningful on a grand scale.  Chad compared it a little to a 12 step program that I know a little about.  As long as you are with people in the group you are heard and repected, but if you go outside the group and hang with your old friends for too long the old way of thinking can sneak back in.


I asked a Trump supporter why he would ever run for President again, says he losing money as Pres, he is being attacked fron all sides, some he deserves, I asked is it hie ego?  This person said he thinks The Donald loves his country and is trying to make things better, seems to be working!    Love you guys.


Delete . #264 2019-04-10 09:11:10

Lou, she did say that not everyone was able to do this exercise. At least Gary came around to the idea that it might work in a small group. It isn't a 12 step program but it does have aspects of the 12 step program in it. People are able to say who they are and where they come from knowing that they will be heard and respected. 

I think Archbishop Welby is aiming for the same type of dialogue in the 2020 Lambeth Conference. How can diverse groups respectfully and lovingly disagree on some issues but a the same time not lose sight of the overriding desire for unity of the church and love of their fellow man?  Wisely he is not planning to give anyone a platform for their own specific rhetoric but he is planning a large number of small breakout groups with the specific task of moving the church forward in these interesting divisive times.

You bring up an excellent point Lou it is all about respect and truly listening and trying to fully understand what the other person is saying and at the same time attempt to comprehend what they believe to be true

Delete . #263 2019-04-10 08:03:14

 Calling it 'pie in the sky' could show a lack of being willing to try it. Refusing to read an article that presents a view contrary to ones firmly held views is an indication of being unwilling to even try effective listening.

Delete . #262 2019-04-09 19:51:25

I don't understand what prompted Gary to use the term, seems like a nice pie in the sky idea, my interpretation would be something like, nice but not plausible. Then later he said it might work in a small group. Gary agreed with her that the media had to share part of the responsibility or blame for the current situation.

She said they started with very small groups of equal size. It was interesting to hear the stereotypical labels that they thought the other group had described their group. But through time and cordial dialogue, the stereotypes disappeared friendships developed and some serious respectful discussions took place and are ongoing.

Having a proven methodology that is not threatening or judgemental that promotes trust and supports a safe place enabling the participants to take some risk when they step out of their personal comfort zone is a good way to start.

Delete . #261 2019-04-09 17:59:09

Gary has used copy and paste with email and this is no different. 

As far as the pie in the sky thing is concerned, how can, listening to the person you are having a conversation with, be an impossible idea? I know it usually doesn't happen but it's not impossible. Trying to understand the other's point of view, without having to agree with it, is that what you call pie in the sky?