Delete . #1573 2020-01-20 03:04:48

James gives good advice to those waiting for the second coming. Be patient don't grumble or judge others. He knew like the others that his second coming was imminent. He knew he would come within his lifetime or at least within his generation. 

Chad
Delete . #1572 2020-01-19 22:52:23

It should be possible to enclose a "quote".

Since when is asking to know who is talking deemed policing? 

 

Lou
Delete . #1571 2020-01-19 21:23:56

That should be sure.

Gary
Delete . #1570 2020-01-19 21:08:31

Re: 1566  First half is a quote from one of the Bible sites, rest is mine.

 

Are you sur there isn't too much policing here, seems very restrictive.

Gary
Delete . #1569 2020-01-19 15:54:24

These posts are intended to be a vehicle to express what we fell about the reading of the day or what it triggered from something else we read(then please name the source). 

The mission of this website is exploring what the Gospels, or other sources(name them), have to say about helping us on our way to salvation.

If we assume that we are already there we are in trouble. That is the surest indication that we are deluded. The Pharisees praising himself at the front of the church as opposed to the supplicant at the back. 

The confidence that we are on the way is needed but we have to be open to God's grace or it will flow like water over a duck's back.

Being human we are prone to relapses so that is why we hang around church and scripture even though we don't agree with everything that they say but agree with what they basically stand for.

See you at 8 Sunday mornings with coffee at Timmies afterward.

 

Lou
Delete . #1568 2020-01-19 15:16:25

Gary, I could be wrong but most of #1566 not from you but is a quote if so please cite the source or if I'm wrong please forgive me and keep it let's have more of it.

Lou
Delete . #1567 2020-01-19 14:54:35

Gary, do you think that James could eventually overcome his animosity enough to forgive those that had his brother imprisoned tortured and killed. I think that is what Jesus wanted, he said that himself according to scripture. We see examples of this forgiveness in our time. Martin Luther King son forgiving his father's killer, Nelson Mandela forgiving his captors. It takes incredible internal strength and courage to rise above our primeval emotions and see the bigger picture presented by the most important emotion of love and forgiveness. Whatever tact James took it made him a Martyr.      

Chad
Delete . #1566 2020-01-19 12:03:39

Biblical scholars generally agree that the James who wrote the Bible's Epistle of James was Jesus' half-brother. Religious historians believe that James did not follow Jesus during Jesus' time on Earth, but rather became a believer after Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection.

It seems James was a late bloomer.   Maybe I see a little bit of guilt in his writings. I wonder if he felt bad for not supporting his brother while he was alive?  He seems to have it in for the wealthy, this could also be a warning for the well off today to give and share where needed.

I see the Bible speaking the same way to people today as it did 2,011 years ago.

Gary
Delete . #1565 2020-01-19 11:35:33

It would seem to me that  James is chastising and insulting the Pharisees and maybe Sadducees

You have condemned and murdered the righteous one, who does not resist you.

Not only did he not resist them, but he also loved them dearly.

Christ was not impressed with their pompous attitude, their self declared earthly status, their privilege and wealth or their indignant indifference to others.

Although he loved dearly he could not excuse their behaviour. His resistance was not physical as James suggests. But he told them in no uncertain terms what he thought of their thinking and behaviour.

 

Chad
Delete . #1564 2020-01-18 15:46:34

That is probably closer to what he means now that I have seen your comments and reread the passage.

 

Chad
Delete . #1563 2020-01-18 14:47:30

What James is saying along with the likes of "inshallah" and "god willing" could be ways of saying what I said before about evolution.

As I said before the fittest in 'survival of the fittest' is the one who does the action appropriate to the environment. Most of the time that action is not overpowering the opponent but rather acquiring the needed object. That doesn't mean that evolution control actions any more than God does. I have never understood James to mean that God controls our actions but simply that the future is uncertain and as is stated repeatedly we never know when the end will come. 

God set the world in motion and when we act in harmony with it (meekly) we prosper and the more we fight it even unintentionally even unknowingly the more we suffer. That could be a definition of sin, maybe. Acting out of love could be opening ourselves to recognize the appropriate thing to do at the moment.

Lou
Delete . #1562 2020-01-18 10:53:03

Re 1560

The first 2 commandments as Christ reiterated them covers it all. I would go as far as to say that if we are thinking or doing something that contravenes these commandments then we have something dreadfully wrong. Christ goes on to clarify neighbour as any other person we encounter, even our enemies.

The first two commandments can be our church as Christ interprets them.  

Chad
Delete . #1561 2020-01-18 10:36:19

I don't agree that God controls the world in the manner James seems to imply. I don't think we are willing to say that God's will arranged to have a recent Ukrainian Airlines flight shot down by Iranian special forces, are we? I don't think it works that way. It is up to us to live responsibly, but in a free society, we have the choice to do right or wrong. The intention to do right is the key to my way of seeing it. But having said that, we have seen so many times in the past that being right and doing right with what we feel is good intent has backfired. We can be easily compromised by societal norms and pressures that consume and distract us without our full awareness. We must be able to see things as they truly are and not as we think or society thinks they should be. We must be constantly mindful, diligent and principled. We need to be openly honest with ourselves and others if we are to get it right.

Christ had some great ideas and principles that can help us to behave in that positive way. It is up to us to know what they are and how to use them. 

Chad
Delete . #1560 2020-01-18 09:26:31

Knowing the right thing to do and failing to do it is disobeying the "Love God totally and your neighbor as yourself" commandment and that is the only sin the actual murder, for instance, being the result.

That could answer the question posed in post 1558.

Lou
Delete . #1559 2020-01-17 22:18:46

If a person does not know the right thing to do and he does the wrong thing. That's not a sin. It may be a case of ignorance, poor upbring and lack of education, delayed social awareness. mental disorder or instability, etc,  but it wouldn't be considered a sin or even wrongdoing.

Thoughts???

 

  

Chad
Delete . #1558 2020-01-17 21:53:58

James 4:17 Anyone, then, who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, commits sin.

Lou
Delete . #1555 2020-01-16 12:54:15

James gives us two types of wisdom, one spiritual from Heaven, the other is unspiritual demonic from the Earth. Somewhat like the needle in a compass with Heavenly spiritual at one pole and Earthly unspiritual at the other. He is saying that we should guide our life following the true north of spiritual wisdom of love goodness light. He does not want us to follow the bearing of unspiritual Earthly desires.

Jesus was people blind. He loved us all and knew we all had different special needs as far as our spiritual lives were concerned. He wasn't inhibited or intimidated by Earthly laws or customs.

The Pharisees like other elites slant their interpretation of the laws to favour themselves. They feel they are separate, righteous and special in the eyes of God. Jesus had the courage to suggest otherwise.

Chad
Delete . #1554 2020-01-16 10:57:47

Matthew mentions sinners a couple of times, the sick and those in need of repentance.  Two out of three of those words you guye don't like to talk about.

Lou you mentioned Pharisees in the church, what about the lukewarm or those who treat the church as a social club?  

To be truthful, I don't think all this discussion gets us any where since we all have our own personnel relationship with Christ.

Lets pray that those noisey minorities stop attacking the church and move on with their lives, in private!

Gary
Delete . #1553 2020-01-16 08:53:48

Let us pray that God would help us develop pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere wisdom.

Jesus had no problem doing things forbidden by the Pharisees; things like eating with tax-collectors and sinners. Jesus didn't bar or exclude anyone he even ate with Pharisees.

What he had against the Pharisees was their insistence on applying the law to the letter without love and regard for the spirit of the law and then congratulating themselves for being so very good. 

Don't we now have Pharisees on the loose in the Church!

Lou
Delete . #1552 2020-01-15 12:01:23

James has hit upon an interesting dilemma. The tongue and therefore the word. If I have it right he is implying that mouth can spew forth good positive affirming thoughts or it can spew out negative degrading thoughts. We should manage or steer our tongue toward the former and away from the latter. This is easier said than done at times even though we know it to be true and the right thing to do. Because of our normal disposition, we are more prone to hear and give weight negative thoughts. I have heard it is about a 4:1 ratio. So the negative tongue is much more potent especially dangerous if it is spewing out lies and negativity. Again James is giving very colourful but very practical advice.

When Pinker says things are getting better. All sorts of people at a minimum find this surprising or give resistance insisting vehemently that things are getting worse. The reason is so is because of our natural tendency to focus on and believe negative information and mostly disregard or discount positive information.

That is why it is more effective for people to hear of possible damnation of themselves or preferably others rather hearing the affirming and seemingly less dramatic message of Love. 

Chad
Delete . #1551 2020-01-15 10:10:10

I agree, Lou, James has good practical advice.

There must have been a strong appetite for change at the time of the Epistles and Gospels or NT. John the Baptist, Jesus and others were calling for repentance and the people of the day were willing to listen and react to the call for repentance. What did repentance mean? Well, metaphorically it could mean the acceptance of water turned to wine or out with old and in with the new. A change in the gravitational centre from the temple to the Son of man. The followers turned from their old refrain accepted the new tune or at least were called to accept the new minstrel. 

I think you are right Lou. At the time the only relevant and established religion was Judaism. I think there was evidence at the time that Jesus was considered by his followers to be a rabbi and by some to be another Jewish prophet. Of course, all prophets worth their salt tip the apple cart and disturb the status quo. This disturbance eventually caused a faultline and a widening chasm over time but not immediately. Jesus centred his ministry around the synagog and Jerusalem and remained very much attached to the common people, his Jewish teaching and roots. When he had a small gathering going about the countryside he was not a threat. Things changed when he became popular and news of him became widespread. He had no fear. He openly debated with the ever-growing hostile establishment. He advocated for major reforms in religious establishment particularly aimed at their improper emphasis and application of the Law. Their propensity to appoint themselves and their selfish appropriation of the Law to control and oppress their own people. The most significant and contentious was the need to accept him as the Son of Man and the prophesized Messiah. The conservative Jewish establishment could not kowtow to this radical and pretentious upstart and relinquish their wealth and authority. So in a very real way they were the ones to cause the split.

All conservative establishments do not want even the simplest reforms from the outside. They see it as an immediate threat and if powerful enough they will eliminate it.  The radical Jesus could have known this when he started his ministry but it would have become quite apparent to him in short order.

The controlling of the tongue or restraint of thoughts is proper if it is self-control. If it is enforced by others it is censorship and control by others. Having said that sometimes there are times when censorship may be required. For example, Lou could shut the Forum down if we go too much beyond his comfort zone. He has control. 

For the most part, the Bible is rhetoric (the writer's ideas) we can Challenge James or any other writer to no avail because it is rhetoric. We read or listen to it and there is no response to be given and no one of authority to even hear it. There can be no debate of the original intended meaning because the author is dead. We can agree but we are not expected to disagree with what has been written.

Lou, I hope this entertains you. What do you think? Gary?

Chad
Delete . #1550 2020-01-15 07:54:34

What James wrote about the tongue applies to the pen and the keyboard as well. James is so full of good advice it should be read in its entirety every Sunday.

What did Jesus have in mind when he called for repentance.

 After gathering a few followers he went around teaching in synagog and healing the sick.

Calling for repentance and teaching in synagogues makes me think that he was not after starting a new religion but a reform.

Lou
Delete . #1547 2020-01-14 15:14:09

Gary, that is an excellent question? this what I was trying to get at with my John the Baptist post. The Gospels are not good a definite or distinct definitions, they are by design more nebulous than that. You found a definition of sin that is fairly specific. To my mind, it doesn't cover the concept of sin as most of us see it. I would be more satisfied with wrongdoing or thinking against God, ourselves, our fellow man, and or God's creation. 

The original sin, sins of our fathers(previous generations) systemic or genocidal crimes committed against humanity are areas that may bear considering by the fact some of this activity did not happen on our watch and would be out of our control. None the less we are found very much in the middle of the aftermath of some of these events. Are we in sin ourselves?

These are just some of my thoughts but this could be an interesting philosophical discussion that may be well worthwhile.

Chad
Delete . #1546 2020-01-14 14:58:24

These discussions are not about sin but about the actions of Jesus, what the gospel tells us that he did, why, what it must have meant to them, and what it means to me personally and to the church and society in general. I plan to skip over what he said and concentrate on what he did like miracles(not every miracle) and upsetting tables.

If you want us to study sin then start a topic in the forum making sure you select notify.

There you can voice your opinion, quote some source if short provide a link if long. 

Lou
Delete . #1543 2020-01-14 10:32:30

If you need to condemn Gays, Muslims(for example could be lepers and outsiders in Jame's time), etc and be fearful of others those that do will read James and see and or imagine this message between the lines in order to be justified. They expect God to think as they do and that he will eventually correct everything to their liking with his magic wand, they can see and hear the signs of it. They worship false prophets and liars in the name of the Lord and sadly don't realize it.

The way we think and perceive the world is unique to every one of us. We should not get discouraged by others and their infertile and immature thinking, but rather focus on actions forged from Love to do what we are expected to do for ourselves and others. That includes those mislead and or don't have the wherewithal and that may never understand their faith or their place in it. We ask God to bless them in Jesus' name. 

.  

Chad
Delete . #1542 2020-01-14 09:08:45

James is telling us to follow Jesus' example and go around helping people instead of condemning them.

Jesus is telling us:

  • to realize what our needs really are
  • to be prudent and not expect God to correct our mistakes
  • to worship God not worshiping power or wealth 
Lou
Delete . #1541 2020-01-13 19:14:41

I wonder about repentance and what John the Baptist had in mind. His routine was symbolic as baptism is today. How much weight should be given to Baptism in relationship to Christ on the cross? Not known by John the Baptist According to the story but certainly know by the Gospel writers. I find it fun to poke into and swim in the Christian myth. The Gospel writers left so much to the imagination. What does the group think of John's vision? I mean what are our thoughts on what he had in mind when he was standing in the Jorden River prior to Christ coming along. Why didn't Jesus baptize in the Gospels? The Gospel writers left a lot for us to argue about.

Chad
Delete . #1540 2020-01-13 11:04:56

The key to Christianity being successful is the belief that God is Love. That we are not to be judgemental of others and we are to treat all others as we would like to be treated ourselves. God is infinite in his mercy forgiveness. Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

 

Chad
Delete . #1539 2020-01-13 09:57:52

John states that his baptism is a symbolic act. He says that he only baptizes with water of the Jorden River but The one who follows baptizes with the fire of the Holy Spirit.

There is a paradox here whereby you have a sinless man carrying or containing all the sin generated in the world. I wonder could it mean that Christ's job is to address the eating of the forbidden fruit in the garden which was the original sin of man. That corresponds to the narrative that holds that sin above any other encompasses all mankind. That sin is why we were separated from and expelled by God from the garden in the first place. Lou, you may be right that the Jorden water, because Jesus was sinless, washed away man's sins that faithful day. I had always thought that it was the Jewish need for a symbolic (originating from Abraham) sacrificial lamb (of the best quality) to be slaughtered and therefore much pleasing God be atonement for our sins. Hense the Lamb of God that John's Gospel goes on about.

I'm not sure but doesn't the Baptismal symbolically designate that Jesus has freely accepted the role of God's sacrificial lamb (as we declare in our baptism, infants excluded they are managed by proxy) and that he has commenced his ministry. He immediately needed to confront Satan to see if he was really prepared for the task. He quickly thoroughly passed the test of Satan's temptation using ancient Hebrew philosophy to do so.

Some thoughts???   

Chad
Delete . #1538 2020-01-13 07:58:42

Mattew wants his readers to understand that Jesus is the promised Messiah. In the OT immersion in the Jordan(baptism) symbolizes the washing away of sins. Since Jesus is taking on the sins of the whole world He needs to be cleansed. God then confirm that it was the right thing to do.

Lou
Delete . #1537 2020-01-13 07:49:27

From James 2:1-13 "Mercy triumphs over judgment" Are we always aware of that? Are we aware that Jesus told us as much by his actions and words? 

Lou
Delete . #1536 2020-01-12 21:11:19

Let's start our study of the acts of Jesus with his baptism: reason, significance to them and to us.

Lou
Delete . #1535 2020-01-12 17:39:57

I better stop picking on Gary because Gail gets very upset with me.:-)

Chad
Delete . #1534 2020-01-12 17:36:23

Yeah, let's get out of the boat. 

Chad
Delete . #1533 2020-01-12 16:23:45

Re: 1530   Ok Lou.

Gary
Delete . #1532 2020-01-12 15:00:16

To the man with the tiny puppet god.

They may think your Christian or Gary's God is too infanticidal and insignificant for it to be of any use to them. They would more likely believe that the godless and delusional guy in the boat is in the direst straights and in immediate need of their intervention. I think we all wish you would drop your tiny god Gary. Do you really think God thinks as you do? :-)

That's funny. :-)  

 

Chad
Delete . #1531 2020-01-12 14:58:32

Maybe they would forgive the Judeo-Christian God for flooding them in the first place. That comment was triggered by the statement that they need to repent. Who gave you the authority to decide what is a sin and who is a sinner.

Lou
Delete . #1530 2020-01-12 14:45:56

Chad and Gary, let's start on a project that you, Chad, mentioned quite a while back namely going through the gospels taking note of the actions of Jesus and posting appropriate comments. What say you?

Lou
Delete . #1529 2020-01-12 14:09:00

Maybe if the guy on the roof who was gay, trans or Muslim, and they were rescued by the guy in the boat, they would realize that the Christian God was behind it and would either convert or repent from there sin?

Gary
Delete . #1528 2020-01-12 13:49:33

I wonder should it matter whether the guy on the roof is gay or a trans. What if the guy is somebody I don't like? What if the guy on the roof is strongly committed to Islam. Our we not asked to be consistent like God is consistent. We will detect differences, but we will not allow inconsequential perceptions of difference deflect our obligations to our fellow man. Why I might even throw Gary a rope on a good day. ;-)

Chad
Delete . #1527 2020-01-12 11:31:07

We are to be the guy in the boat who carries out God's answer to the guy stranded on the roof of his house.

We are to use talents to everyone we have contact with even indirectly.

We are to do the best we can to protect the environment.

Lou
Delete . #1526 2020-01-12 10:23:08

We can only guess what is in the minds of people. We better idea about who people are through their actions. the most pious man without actions is not of much use to society. No matter how righteous we think we are and how true to the word we claim to be in our own self focused self-deceiving manner, it will all be unravelled by our actions and how we express ourselves. If we are in fact are righteous and seeker of the truth and we are outwardly focused in our thoughts it will be clearly demonstrated in our actions and expressions. 

So I guess it all depends on our orientation. Do we need to be right with the word self-justified and self-satisfied? Or do we have the courage to possibly falter trying to improve the world if only in a minimal way? 

Chad
Delete . #1525 2020-01-12 09:45:03

From today's reading:

Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation, anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.

Isn't that what Chad means.

Lou
Delete . #1524 2020-01-12 09:42:12

James 1:19-29 has good advice for us.

Saying Lord, Lord is not enough it must be followed by care for the poor, the sick, the refugees, the down-trodden, and all in need.

 

Lou
Delete . #1523 2020-01-11 22:13:18

Drama? 

 

Chad
Delete . #1522 2020-01-11 17:45:23

"Wht(sic) so much drama, here it is: "

It would be nice to know which drama you are referring to.

Lou
Delete . #1521 2020-01-11 15:52:53

1/ Hear the Word of God. Recall that there are a God-part and a Believer’s-part?

Could we interpret this as read the words of men who believe they are righteous and right in God's eyes?

2/ Repent. The second thing we must do to be saved is encapsulated in the behaviour of the Roman Jailer after he heard the preaching of the Gospel.

..Could we interpret this as be willing to modify or change beliefs when we realize they have been replaced by superior thinking, principles and/or better represent the veracity of the subject at hand? 

3/ Believe. Believing the Word that your head is actually the third step. And repentance always precedes belief.

Could we interpret this as read intently and interpret sincerely expressed words and apply the ideas that emerge that usefully fit our current circumstances?

 

Rember the Bible is a device for us to use freely. It is not a device to imprison or restrict our thinking.

Chad
Delete . #1520 2020-01-11 14:37:22

Wht so much drama, here it is:     Simple.

What Must I do to be Saved –

  1. – Hear the Word of God. Recall that there are a God-part and a Believer’s-part? ...
  2. – Repent. The second thing we must do to be saved is encapsulated in the behavior of the Roman Jailer after he heard the preaching of the Gospel ...
  3. – Believe. Believing the Word that you head is actually the third step. And repentance always precedes belief.
Gary
Delete . #1519 2020-01-11 14:10:46

Man = humankind.

God creates man and man created the view of God as seen in Genesis.

God created man and man created the view of God as seen in every other scripture.

That is where imagination and trying to understand the world comes in. The Hebrew "scientists/philosophers" did the best they could with the "scientific" instruments they had to deal with. We did mention this morning how reasonable it is to believe the earth to be flat.

Lou
Delete . #1518 2020-01-11 14:06:56

James 1:9-18

 

It is a desire that leads to sin and strife. This is much like the Buddhists believe. 

14 But one is tempted by one’s own desire, being lured and enticed by it; 15 then, when that desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and that sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved.*

We can go along way to justify our desires and sense of entitlement.

There can be a significant gap between what we want and what we really need?

Thoughts??

Chad
Delete . #1517 2020-01-11 13:59:06

God is not an "Entity" so comprehension and conception cannot be involved. All we can hope to achieve is a feeble description built from our experience of the world around us from our culture. That's why the god of desert people is different from the gods of jungle peoples and the views of God in the Far East from God in the Middle East and the West.

Human description of God cannot prove nor disprove that God exists not assign qualities to God. All we can do is describe what God is not. 

Lou
Delete . #1516 2020-01-11 13:16:25

I think the idea that comes from Genisis that God created man in his own image should be reversed, that is to say, Man created God in his own image or imagination. That would give a simple explanation of why we are aware of so many variations on the Abrahamic God theme or monotheistic theme. God, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. It would also explain why Gary and I don't see eye to eye on some issues. He imagines a God that is different from what I envision.

Thoughts?

That is why the imagination and imaginary stories(myths et al) are so important to us. Although they very seldom inform us in a factual or concrete way they do inform us in a social or human way. 

 

Chad
Delete . #1515 2020-01-11 11:33:16

I wonder after our talk this morning, Is it possible to comprehend or conceive of an "Entity" that is not human or non-human. I think we can only use our imagination to consider aspects of the God of our imagination.

It is the human imagination that is the key. Therefore God is an imaginary entity that exists only in our minds.

To find God we have to search our minds It can't be found or exist anywhere else. 

Thoughts?

Chad
Delete . #1514 2020-01-11 11:23:18

Note that the Message Version has a different interpretation of this verse than all the others.

Grammarly wants: Note that the Message Version has a different interpretation of this verse then all the others. ???

What is James telling us here, that rich or poor we are to accept it since it will pass.

Desire is the cause of sin and it is not from God but from our own nature but charity/love is.

Lou
Delete . #1512 2020-01-10 22:14:20

I agree Lou Christians didn't have a picnic when they started out. At first, they were just a wayward Jewish sect.  It would have been nice if they had stayed in that naive and innocent state before the empire builders took over.

 

Chad
Delete . #1511 2020-01-10 17:08:02

James people had real problems be ostracised by the Jewish leaders and being fed to the lions by the Romans. Is it any wonder that the would question whether it was really worth it. We are not being fed to the lions but to the great consumer god how can we resist?

Lou
Delete . #1510 2020-01-10 16:08:12

As far as I ascertain the world is mostly if not totally subjective. Reading James, the words being the most objective and( the same for all). That is where the similarity ends along with the agreed-upon objectivity, and where the subjectivity begins. From that point, whatever happens, happens internally consumed by our own thought processes and becomes totally subjective even if we quote others when we make comments about what we have read.

How difficult would it be to bring all our thinking in line so we all read the passage and with a discussion we all finally agreed totally on its content context and messages intended.

Reading doesn't work like that. We can only give what we have to offer and we all have something different to offer that comes from our subjective and unique point of view.

We can talk about that. 

I think we can all agree that subjectivity by its nature nullifies any absolutes or certainties.

Chad
Delete . #1509 2020-01-10 15:35:00

There you go again judging others. As far as I know, it's like at Cana the stewards asking Mary to ask Jesus for help.

And besides, it's none of your business. 

Lou
Delete . #1508 2020-01-10 15:09:39

Duties

The Church is or should go back to being a community of God’s people, and priests, pastors and bishops, who have the care of souls, and are at the service of the people of God.

~ Pope Francis

This kind of fits in with some of the mountain of stuff you have been talking about, although I don't think the Catholics are much of a role model these days.  Imagine, praying to mother Mary?

Gary
Delete . #1507 2020-01-10 14:08:07

Let me explain my last post. There is an overriding Christian principle that there are two distinct worlds. The good Christian World and the hostile secular world where non-Christians reside. This view is quite skewed and biased. I think it would be judicious to put this idea aside. It drives people to conflict with others and is especially polarizing and troublesome with Christians themselves.

I think James comes to this idea of protectionism naturally (and I think this a very basic human trait) because everyone that was outside fledgling Christian sect was either hostile or indifferent to their plight. But just like the 2nd Amendment in the States, the original reasons for the argumentation have changed significantly.

We should not consider reverting back to outdated thinking just because it exists, as the literalists might do). It was documented with a different mindset for a different time and circumstance. 

Chad
Delete . #1506 2020-01-10 10:04:30

I wonder do all Christians live in a gated community albeit mostly psychological and not necessarily physical. When James says, Brothers and Sisters, I think he is referring to new Christians that haven't been fully indoctrinated and I think he saying listen to me even though there is no reward in doing so in addition disregard others and contrary thoughts that you may have about what is said. By doing this you will be fully hoodwinked into believing what I have said is true.

You see when you do this you enter into a Christian world and come out of the evil world around you. The world of Gays Muslims and Atheists who are all bad and if you stick to your guns and ignore others you will have succeeded in your endurance.

Good thoughts Lou especially those about our hostile world. :-) 

.

Chad
Delete . #1505 2020-01-10 08:33:26

James 1:2-8 Use the trials you face as opportunities for groth.

Faith needs to be tested as muscles need to be exercised lest they wither. Martyrs are what spurred the growth of the nascent church.

The church should use the 'testing' for the hostile world to rediscover its root in Jesus Christ.

Some of our church leaders including pope Francis are trying but not enough of them and not hard enough.

Lou
Delete . #1504 2020-01-09 14:31:02

There were these two brothers one was a stay at home God-fearing Christian. He followed all the rules, read the Bible religiously and prayed constantly but he was very perturbed to distraction that his brother seemed to do the exact opposite. He hated his brother and very much resented his father for loving his brother despite his seemingly bad behaviour.

He knew for certain he was bound for Heaven and his brother was bound for Hell. He knew if only his father could come to his senses he would go to Heaven as well.   

Chad
Delete . #1503 2020-01-09 14:16:20

I like the idea that to error is human if it's me and a mortal sin if it's you. Chad

Delete . #1502 2020-01-09 13:39:45

CS Lewis was born into an Anglican (COE) tradition he was baptized as a Christian and attended church with his family. He drifted away from the church to the point where he considered himself an atheist but eventually with persistent persuasion from Tolkien, he returned to his Anglican roots and eventually became an apologist for the Church of England. Did he have 2 conversions or just a reconsideration of what he already knew?

The way it was presented in the Inklings story the transition came suddenly on one faithful night. That is certainly more dramatic and more like an epiphany, isn't it?

Chad
Delete . #1501 2020-01-09 09:40:42

I find it interesting that the conversion can go both ways. In my books, Saul's /Pauls's conversion was not a total or true conversion Paul was a staunch monotheist that believed in God before his conversion and he was a staunch monotheist that believed in the same God after his conversion. He still held to most of the Jewish traditions and dogma with of course the addition of Christ.

Chad
Delete . #1500 2020-01-09 09:09:16

Good points Gary. I have read that Jesus could be a composite of a number of Messiah types that existed at the beginning of the current era, but that doesn't matter. He is a mythical hero archetype who has his place in the Biblical narrative of man. That starts at the beginning of time and ends at the end of time. Taking a man from creation to the garden to the fall, to knowledge and the law, to the redemption of man through Christ, to the end of time, man is joined again with God in the new city of Jerusalem. So the story works more like a spiral than a circle.

The grand narrative is very positive. Some men are selfish though and they want the prize for themselves and so they have creatively devised ways to eliminate their competition. The ones after the precious prize feel they are the righteous ones that deserve God's love and attention. It goes back to Cain and Able, or maybe Joseph trapped in the well. doesn't it?

Chad
Delete . #1499 2020-01-09 08:23:05

In today's reading we read about Paul's conversion.  I love stories about conversions.  Especially ones like C.S. Lewis and Paul that happen when they least expect it.

Gary
Delete . #1498 2020-01-09 08:16:15

Re: 1496  There is only one Christ so I guess that answers your question.  The peach keen comment comes from me because no where in the Bible do I see where it says if you become a Christian your life will be rosey.  Jesus is there to go through the trials with you and ou can call upon Him anytime you wish.

Gary
Delete . #1497 2020-01-09 08:16:13

Re: 1496  There is only one Christ so I guess that answers your question.  The peach keen comment comes from me because no where in the Bible do I see where it says if you become a Christian your life will be rosey.  Jesus is there to go through the trials with you and ou can call upon Him anytime you wish.

Gary
Delete . #1496 2020-01-08 16:59:05

You have put Christ at the head of your life. What I would like to know is whos version of Christ have you appropriated?  

"Christ at the head of your life" sounds profound Gary, but it is an empty claim without context. What do you mean by that?

And while you are at it, maybe you could clarify the connection of Christ to the idea of being or not being peachy keen.

You may be on to something but I think you need to give us some substance so we can better consider what you are attempting to tell us.

Chad
Delete . #1495 2020-01-08 16:21:18

Just shows us again that we should put Christ at the head of our life, everything else will fall as it should.  Doesn't mean everything else will be peachy keen.

Gary
Delete . #1494 2020-01-08 14:17:17

Ephesians 4:4-16

RE. 14 We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. 

Paul is suggesting that his doctrine is the true one and that the wind blows in his direction, belittling anyone who thinks differently from his doctrine calling them childish. Isn't he being condescending therefore being more than a little bit tricky and crafty himself, I wouldn't go as far as being deceitful but he was certainly focused in a very biased way. It is these controlling and corraling statements and other statements like this that have prevented people for generations from challenging critiquing or modifying his singleminded parasitical doctrine. I think Christianity would have been much more improved if it stayed in the oral organic way and less formalized and Pauline restricted tradition. A movement away from hard fast rules the Pharisees and like thinking people would appreciate toward a more flexible contextual approach. Where false certainty would be replaced by pragmatic loving considerations. 

When the children are hungry you don't look for reasons not to feed them and you certainly don't put them in jail.  

Chad
Delete . #1493 2020-01-08 13:39:03

Ephesians 4:4-16

Paul agrees and espouses the notion That Man lives in the Middle Ground of the spiritual domain temporal domain and chronicle time. In other words, the Heavens are up, the deep cavernous underworld or Hell is down and of course, man is Earthly bound caught in the present between past and present. This is the imaginative metaphorical landscape or blank canvas on which he hangs his narrative. This idea was used most often and imaginatively by the Greeks, Romans and most other societies with advanced narratives. Tolkien made excellent use of this idea in his work. 

Interestingly we can also consider our selves in the middle ground between the minutely small and extremely huge aspects of nature and the Universe. I guess we have always known that we have been in some type of middle ground either real or metaphorical.

 

Chad
Delete . #1492 2020-01-08 10:44:35

Ephesians 4:4-16

Could it be that because Paul was a Pharisee and a Roman that he had strong nationalistic tendencies and therefore stopped short of making Christ and therefore God a Universal entity? God had been a provincial entity all his life. I don't think he had the wherewithal to conceive of such a radical notion of a completely detached (of any particular dogma or ownership) Universal God for all. I'm not sure if it was a conscious thought on his part but he may have realized that when you open or offer God up unconditionally to the whole world and beyond, that his humanly designed provincial definitions and control would be weakened and even dissolved. So I think it could be that he was on the right track but he just didn't go far enough. Having said that if he did have that notion he might have been wisely self-censored by the needs of his audience and the social situation of his time. Even today this sort of thinking would be met with much hostility. Going way out on a limb, I think we can thank John and especially Paul for creating a very popular religion.  

It may be time to completely bump self-centred bumbling man out of his self-centred Universe and realize that an undefinable and unownable Entity is there instead. For our own psychological comfort, we may want to consider It benevolent and we may want to consider the thought that the true Christ had a strong intuition and awareness of the nature of this Entity he called the Father. 

Chad
Delete . #1491 2020-01-07 23:28:28

Gary, your version of this passage is watered-down and oversimplified and so it comes off quite bland and anti-climatic compared to others I have read. I'm with Lou, please get a  better translation and therefore a superior use of language in order to have a better sense of the drama, the possibilities and the insight that can be generated from this piece. 

Chad
Delete . #1490 2020-01-07 17:20:26

Click the Holy Gospel icon then go to Ephesitant 3:14-21 right click on any verse then select parallel and how off base that version is compared to all the other ones. 

Lou
Delete . #1489 2020-01-07 16:41:18

It's from the modern version of the Bible. (The Message) I know you don't like it.

Gary
Delete . #1488 2020-01-07 15:08:57

OK, why is that 'just for Lou'? If it's a message I fail to get it so please explain what you mean.

You owe it to yourself to find the time to listen to Kare Armstrong preferably with pen and paper to jot down when you think she's wrong(timestamp would be good) and you can tell us later why you disagree with her.

One thing she said that I especially agree with is that when we read scripture we should get a different message every time based on our situation at the time.

Lou
Delete . #1487 2020-01-07 14:25:57

Here it is from the Message, just for Lou.

 

Eph.  3:14-19 My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.

20 God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!

Gary
Delete . #1486 2020-01-07 14:19:09

She has a nice voice.

Gary
Delete . #1485 2020-01-07 12:51:34

Ephesians 3:14-21

One of the ideas, that stands out to me in this passage is the admission that we can't comprehend the infinite mystery set before us, and so if we feel there is, in fact, a mystery, our effort to understand it is quite superficial and limited. Maybe it is our own selfish optimism that suggests that it could be benevolent and somewhat understood. It is that hope makes it worthwhile to pursue, I think.

Chad
Delete . #1484 2020-01-07 12:19:49

Karen Armstrong suggests in her comments that music and performance were a big part of conveying the mystery and the spirit of scripture early on. The words were secondary and the message would always be oral if words were even used.

Here is a musical rendition that is somewhat stilted in its phraseology to accommodate all the words of Ephesians 3:14-21 They may have edited the words in ancient times in order to please the ear and negate the logic of the eye that we are so bound to today.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCuE5MFbknE 

Chad
Delete . #1483 2020-01-07 10:09:54

Nice prayer.  Might be worth meditating on this daily.

Gary
Delete . #1482 2020-01-07 09:45:36

Ephesians 3:14-21

Through the spirit behind and beyond words, that reveals, inspires and motivates the spirit within us to imagine the unlimited and boundless possibilities that are waiting for us and mankind. 

Chad
Delete . #1481 2020-01-06 10:09:45

The jealous king, the pregnant virgin, the 3 Magi and their odd gifts, and the star are symbols that add an exotic nature to the Christmas story. I'm thankful that Luke had his vision and that he decided to add it to the beginning of his gospel. What would our modern Christmas be without Clement Clarke Moore's "Night Before Christmas" and Luke's storytelling of Christ's birth?

 

Chad
Delete . #1480 2020-01-03 12:27:44

Everything we create reflects who we are we can not express anything that can not be expressed in a human way. I can't say definitively there is a God or there isn't a God. The Bible isn't about a definite God only a God that was man-made to explain most or maybe all things to certain people. Man, explains things to men. That's the process. We usually use stories but we can use philosophy, mathematics, science, music, the arts, and religion. If we are open to learning these different languages and the way man uses them to express ideas we can have a richer understanding of God's Creation or Nature but this understanding can only be understood in human terms.

 

Chad
Delete . #1479 2020-01-03 10:27:27

The Bible has to do with how the Jews viewed God and it has helped them survive as a people. Christians adopted and modified that view which then produced our culture good points and bad points. 

 

Lou
Delete . #1478 2020-01-03 10:09:49

Hebrews 11:13-22

We learn how men of a certain faith perceive God. This reduces God to human terms and human conditions. The question I think is worth asking does God actually favour certain people. It seems to me that certain people prefer a certain God. 

We might favour this limiting version of God because we have some familiarity brought to us from the Bible. 

Can God really be defined? The Biblical God is defined only in human terms because that is our limitation. We can't talk in Godly terms. Therefore the Bible is totally a human literary creation using our various languages to create it and later to interpret the human Bible certain people. The Bible is all about us it has nothing to do with God.   

Chad
Delete . #1477 2020-01-02 11:55:25

Faith in action is Love in action.

Chad
Delete . #1476 2020-01-02 11:18:44

Of all the language in the Bible, this rings the truest for me, Lou.

And now these three remain faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love

This is the primary objective of the first two commandments.

Our greatest gift from God is LOVE. 

Not only the whole World in his hands but God has the Whole Universe in his hands.

Chad
Delete . #1475 2020-01-02 08:05:49

1 Corinthians 13:13 New International Version (NIV)

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love

Lou
Delete . #1474 2020-01-02 07:47:52

Faith is to believe in Love and design your world around it even though it can't be seen. I ask myself self, can I tell if a message is the truth and meant to promote love and justice? I think I can and therefore I can have faith that Love exists and that some of my fellow men understand this.

Chad
Delete . #1473 2020-01-02 07:33:35

Hebrews 11:1-12 is a good summary of the OT.

Right on, Chad.

Lou
Delete . #1472 2020-01-02 07:26:35

You have to have eyes to see and ears to listen and a mind that is open to the truth to understand Rev. Curry's sermon.

Chad
Delete . #1471 2020-01-01 09:26:08

I thought I saw Trump in the audience.

Gary
Delete . #1470 2019-12-31 22:21:34

How do I get Trump to listen to this!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGF_saBeJYE

Lou
Delete . #1469 2019-12-31 20:58:33

Matt 25:31-46 describes what the Gospel expects of us. That is what Jesus did when he was on earth. He didn't ask people to believe in his miracles nor did he asked them to follow the law but He did ask for faith and actions. He cured the sick and fed the hungry. That is the message of the Gospel: faith involves submission to God which drives us to love our neighbors and help them wherever we see a need.

No one claims that feeding people is the ticket to heaven but saying 'Lord! Lord!' without 'walking the talk' will not or so Matthew says in 25:31-46 and so does James. 

That is what Rowan Williams, Desmond Tutu, Justin Wilby, Michael Curry are preaching. 

 

Lou
Delete . #1468 2019-12-30 17:17:13

The Bible is a big place to roam around in. We have permission and the knowledge now to see God in a more sophisticated and intelligent way.  We are not bound by the concepts a Psalmist wrote so many years ago as a memory device for illiterate people to sing and dance to. We can take out of it what is worthwhile and meaningful to us personally, as you have done Lou, but at the same time, we can keep our heads attached behave in an adult manner focused on the very big picture God presents to us, as Rev Curry suggests. 

Thoughts now that everyone is free of their technical preoccupation.  

Chad
Delete . #1467 2019-12-30 15:36:51

The reason I removed the picture icon is that some pictures cause the website to its security coverage. 

Try describing where and why we can see the picture as a post here.

Lou
Delete . #1466 2019-12-30 15:30:40

Both psalm 20 and 2 Cor have to do with the Lord God supporting us in our afflictions when we surrender to Him. I read scripture as a message to help us given in a way that would touch the emotions of the intended recipients, the Jews in the case of the psalm and the growing church in the case of Paul's mentioning his chronic problem( whatever that was). 

Lou
Delete . #1465 2019-12-30 15:08:21

Haven't listened to Michael Curry yet,  but what happened to the picture icon?

Gary
Delete . #1464 2019-12-30 13:43:08

Psalm 20

We can see in this Psalm a division of us and them. It is natural that primitive thinking people think this way however, we have allowed it to bleed into and at times swamp our religion, dogma, thinking, and behaviour. When your nation constantly occupied by not so nice nations. Everyone is your enemy and you only have your God to give you solace and protection. Of course, all the occupiers laugh at you and your puny and inept God. So your wise seers want to give hope an give a sense of control and security so they enlist the help of a superman never a woman to come at some future date that will destroy your enemies and grant you supremacy over all your enemies and those you dislike.

Now it is imperative that we walk away from this primitive provincial god of the Psalms and turn to the Universal God that Rev Curry is referencing. We are all related humans under God's domain. God doesn't want us to destroy or condemn our enemies, he wants us to find ways to love them.  There are no us and them and no favourites. He died on the cross demonstrating the degree he was willing to stand on this principle.

Chad
Delete . #1463 2019-12-30 12:09:08

Yes, and he is right on the mark as far as I am concerned.

Chad
Delete . #1462 2019-12-30 10:57:58

Have you listened to Michael Curry's sermon (The big icon above)?

Lou
Delete . #1461 2019-12-30 10:53:33

Good points Lou, The fledgling church must have been a hodgepodge of differing and even contradictory ideas. John wants the people to accept his way the only way as he was concerned. Don't we all, want people to see things our way? His writing has been included, other writers have been excluded. The church chose to go on a certain path that was defined and refined as time went on. The process is akin to the survival of the fittest. 

Finally, we are at a point where some of these ideas can be challenged because enlightened thinking can no longer be suppressed. We can correct some of the flaws in the way the Christian church has swayed people away from the profound teachings of Christ.

There is this human pattern of behaviour that allows for the establishment of controlling powerful elites. We give away our own power or have our own power taken away to support what we feel is more powerful with the thought that they have some insight that enables them to control our lives better than we can ourselves. This goes back to tribalism. This thinking is instinctual and natural to want strong tribal leadership. Today it is better if we can think for ourselves to avoid unwanted capitulation and third rate, sometimes negative and hurtful dogma. I think it is true that the road to Hell is lead by good intentions. 

The Bible may not be the best way, and hopefully, we can stop it from being the worse way to find personal peace and to spread peace on Earth.

Chad
Delete . #1460 2019-12-30 09:37:26

I agree that, in his letters, John is placing emphasis on how Christians are to upgrade their views of God from the view they inherited from their ancestors. In this letter (1 John) he is talking about Christians who have developed wrong ideas about Christ and salvation. 

Lou
Delete . #1459 2019-12-29 11:53:20

John is referring to God the same way and with the same type of rhetoric that the Jews claimed God to be their own. It is a common characteristic for people of different faiths to claim God as their own on their own terms. John is part of a new movement that feels justified in appropriating God for his own purposes. I think we will agree that Abrahamic God is worshipped by many major faiths all claiming to have God exactly defined in their own terms. This indicates at least to me that John's gospel is deliberately attempting to distance his newly formed faith from others, particularly hostile Jews. Can he legitimately usurp and define God for his own purposes with his Gospel? Is God not infinite and way beyond the limited thoughts of any Gospel writer? Can Christians steal God from his original people? Can Christians appropriate God, period? I think not.

That is all I have to say for now. Give me your thoughts on this. 

 

Chad
Delete . #1458 2019-12-28 15:21:59

It is not John 5(the gospel) but 1 John 5:11-12 (the Letter.

All John is saying here is "The opponents, in spite of their claims to know God, do not possess (nor have they at any time possessed, cf. 2:19) eternal life."

Lou
Delete . #1457 2019-12-28 13:53:59

Gary, I know your position but I don't think you understand the political stance that John is emphasizing. What seems to be targeting all non-Christians of any ilk is really aimed at certain specific groups in his realm of interest and influence. He isn't referring to Buddhists or Hindus or others, not in his sphere. He is being deliberately antagonistic to those that are against or are at odds with him and the fledgling church. Now some of us have extended his language and message of exclusion to include anybody even those they feel are not quite proper Christians such as themselves, to their way of thinking anyway. From what I see of John's demeanour I deem he would more or less think the same as exclusionists do now. 

His language has had a profound effect on those that are desirous of exclusion and even forced division. By being so antagonistic he has unintentionally drawn focus to himself and his Gospel and diluted the primary messages of Christ.

That is why focusing on certain Bible verses at the exclusion of others creates or reinforces an unneeded Bias in those that are so inclined to exclude others.

You can't grow the church if you don't welcome strangers.

Chad
Delete . #1456 2019-12-27 16:00:46

I still like these verses today in John 5: 11-12    11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.  Simple and Biblical. I think Blake is wrong, God helps us understand the universe.

Gary
Delete . #1455 2019-12-27 16:00:42

I still like these verses today in John 5: 11-12    11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.  Simple and Biblical. I think Blake is wrong, God helps us understand the universe.

Gary
Delete . #1454 2019-12-26 11:52:08

Psalm 148

We can see the progression from the multi god way of understanding and explaining the mystery of the forces of nature to the monotheistic way of perceiving them to the modern-day secular way of understanding them. William Blake hated the last transition because it got in the way of comprehending the imaginative universe. Our preference is still imagined belief and not the real evidence-based truth. Slowly we are drifting away from God the controller of his puppet man to a human-controlled world where we are responsible for our own actions. This is where I think God wanted us to be dependent/interdependent and responsible. Now let's imagine that.    

Chad
Delete . #1453 2019-12-26 10:58:59

We three think differently about the church and its doctrine. I see it as a place that has the potential to be a place to search for and embrace the truth not a place to necessarily favour anyone's personal beliefs. A place to promote love and respect for our fellow man and God's creation. A place where different views are truly heard of with the caveat that those with strong views must present in a way recognizes and respects those with differing views with the goal of strengthening the unity of the church. That also demonstrates their love for their fellow adherents no matter their point of view.

Not a battleground but a place for truth and reconciliation based on love recognizing and embracing diversity and promoting unity. Finding not threatening and respectful ways to discuss differences.

We are all God's children and we should strive to get a get to a point of maturity whereby we give up our sibling rivalry. That is getting away from me and getting to us. 

The truth is the same for everyone, it is our beliefs that vary. Knowing the difference is a significant step towards peace. 

As a facilitator, the Most Revd Justin Welby must keep a neutral position and put aside his own personal views in order to be fair to everyone but not favour anyone. The idea is that the church is looking to discover the truth where possible and ways to live in love though we differ in our beliefs.

Our little group does this albeit not as smoothly as one might like but we all love and respect one another even though we may disagree on some issues.

Chad
Delete . #1452 2019-12-25 21:39:57

That is your opinion and you're welcome to it; I'm with him since he's the one following Jesus' teachings.

Lou
Delete . #1451 2019-12-25 20:39:54

Just listened to it Lou, you can tell by the comments below the video that his comments were not well received.  Do you not think he is walking a fine line and making no one happy?  The Christian church is in a spiritual battle against many who would like to see it crash and burn.  Later I will watch another video I saw there with him and Nicky Gumbal, the man who started the Alpha course.

Gary
Delete . #1450 2019-12-25 18:53:47

An interesting interview with Justin Welby:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pt4y7f0dDhk

Lou
Delete . #1449 2019-12-25 17:39:38

Not that ancient.

Gary
Delete . #1448 2019-12-25 13:19:23

Like I said Gary it doesn't matter where Luke came up with his Christmas story. It is a winner. Let's agree that it is a very ancient story that has affected mankind for eons.

 

You bring joy; fill me with Your holy joy.

You bring peace; bestow on me Your unbroken peace

 

Chad
Delete . #1447 2019-12-25 07:34:14

 

      Lord, make my heart a fitting sanctuary,

      Where Your saving Presence can find Its dwelling.

      Create in me a new openness to Your supreme blessing.

      Rouse in me a new yearning for Your redeeming grace.

      May my soul become Your abiding place.

      You bring joy; fill me with Your holy joy.

      You bring peace; bestow on me Your unbroken peace

Lou
Delete . #1446 2019-12-24 15:52:22

ca.news.yahoo.com/donkey-ideal-choice-carry-messiah-183956484.html

Yes, Happy Holidays, I mean Merry Christmas.  By the way, Luke didn't borrow the story from anybody, would have heard it first or second hand.

Gary
Delete . #1445 2019-12-24 14:55:56

Whether or not Luke borrowed his Christmas story from the Greeks or Romans or elsewhere. It is a wonderful story and certainly a worthy source of our modern-day rituals. And on that note, I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas. 

Chad
Delete . #1444 2019-12-24 12:04:40

What is the current Christian doctrine that is absolutely essential for us mortals to accept and acquiesce to, and who or what is the authority that demands our compliance? 

Chad
Delete . #1443 2019-12-23 22:03:03

Anyone who does not obey the law just cursed. Cursed because it's impossible to follow all the laws to the letter and even if it were buying our way to salvation is not an option.

Lou
Delete . #1441 2019-12-23 18:22:24

Galatians 3:6-14

I wonder how Kit would handle a passage like this. My question is this; who is cursed? and why?

Chad
Delete . #1440 2019-12-23 13:40:53

I agree, Lou. There can never be a gospel that portrays a realistic or literal version of Christ's ministry on Earth or elsewhere. The Gospels are created based on a collection of oral stories infused with more ancient mythologies. They are most dependent on OT mythology.

Essentially the Gospel writers created a new religion looking in the rearview mirror. 

Chad
Delete . #1439 2019-12-22 17:11:12

My answer to #1436 "Because according to John Jesus as the lamb of God was being sacrificed at the time." was too short.

John has Jesus crucified on Thursday while the synoptic gospels have the crucifixion on Friday. This is another of the many examples that make it hard to take the Bible literally. Reporting on the day it happened is not the point the message is what John wanted to convey.

John has Jesus sacrificing himself instead of the pascal lamb to show that He is indeed the Lamb of God that will atone for the sins of the whole world.   

 

Lou
Delete . #1438 2019-12-22 10:27:40

It is interesting that symbolism can be turned on its head: The Good Shepherd = Jesus = The Sacrificial Lamb. 

I believe the concept of the Virgin Mary is most likely derived from Greco-Roman mythology that was adopted brought into the Christian myth by the intellectual Paul who was knowledgable of these stories. Below is an article, I found interesting, regarding this. 

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/did-paul-invent-the-virgin-birth_b_2355278

Of course, the Christmas story is not about whether Mary was a virgin or not or whether there was a star in retrograde motion that arrested this parallax movement against the background stars to eventually hover above a stable in Bethlehem. Does it mater How many Magi were required to bring 3 gifts? No, and  Christmas isn't about Santa Clause either.

Chad
Delete . #1437 2019-12-21 22:45:25

Because according to John Jesus as the lamb of God was being sacrificed at the time.

Lou
Delete . #1436 2019-12-21 20:47:51

I wonder why John didn't include the last supper in his story, maybe because the others already had?

Gary
Delete . #1435 2019-12-21 16:52:48

John 3:31-36 

John is taking an interesting somewhat different slant on the Jesus Narrative from the other Gospels. He seems very adamant mostly because of his matter of fact rhetoric not because he was any closer to the original stories(accounts). He tells the myth (narrative) in his own manner and style. I have asked a number of Christians what was their favourite Gospel and inevitably they will say John's, the odd one might say, Luke's.

The Gospels all tell exactly the same story and therefore there is absolutely no difference in the underlying narrative there is only a difference in the way it is presented by each writer. The writers themselves have a unique way of telling a story. There is no superior or more important Gospel.

It is only the trivial details that are unique or somewhat unique to each Gospel but the global narrative is identical. That is why the details are far less important, or not important at all when they are examined in relation to the overall story. 

What do you think of what I have written so far?  

Chad
Delete . #1434 2019-12-21 08:57:44

What I think is important is that you watched the video, Gary. To me, it shows an openness to at least hear another point of view from someone that you respect, know their ideas and the reason for there transformation. Coren is still a Christian and appears to be a more devout one with the collar and all but that is just my opinion from what I saw in the video. It seems you feel he is a fraud and that you can't trust him. A turncoat just like Saul maybe? 

Chad
Delete . #1433 2019-12-21 07:58:53

I am sorry that you chose to get that out of it. He finally got the message of the Gospel and even if it were to lead him to the UCC, not too likely, it would be better than where he was before.

He now understands Christ's message of love instead of Moses' message of keeping the law and punishing sinners. Unfortunately, that is where a great majority of Christians are.

Lou
Delete . #1432 2019-12-20 20:48:41

Michael doesn't know what he wants, next week he could change his mind again and become United Church of Canada.

Gary
Delete . #1431 2019-12-20 14:15:40

Lou, thanks for bringing that TVO interview forward to our attention. Coren had a more lifelike conversion based on compassion and a realization that he was medium of great harm and hurt. What it took was actually meeting and conversing with the very people he was demonizing. They changed before his eyes from despicable evildoers to loving and caring human beings that were being irrationally targeted and persecuted by word and deed.

People cling on to beliefs to avoid a crisis of faith and identity. Coren went through this phase himself, as many have. He saw there was enough goodness in Christianity to hang in there albeit with some major changes in his heart and mind. Many fall away completely. Our identity can be intertwined with the most harmful and hurtful of beliefs but as long as they are not faced seriously with the actual evidence of the harm and injustice they cause it is possible for us to carry on indefinitely with our self-deceiving justification.

It is difficult to go wrong if we allow Love, compassion and reason to guide our path. 

Chad
Delete . #1430 2019-12-20 11:21:36

Lou, just listening to your link now.

Gary
Delete . #1429 2019-12-20 09:27:23

How we perceive, process and comprehend the world around us real or imagined is who we are and how we communicate with one another. Several prominent people and countless others have dramatically changed their worldview when they realized something that they hadn't recognized or they had suppressed before. Sometimes this epiphany comes with great sadness, regret and social cost. It can be a great shock to the system when you have been on the wrong track all your life. On the other hand, it releases the person from their misconceptions and self-delusion. Some will actually suppress their new knowledge to protect their loved ones and close friends from the pain turmoil it would create. A number of clergies are living a lie for instance.  

Chad
Delete . #1428 2019-12-19 22:50:31

He saw the light and he has something you need to hear especially since you don't want to hear it. 

Rowan Williams, Desmond Tutu, Justin Wilby, Michael Curry are there and you claim that they are wrong.

Lou
Delete . #1427 2019-12-19 20:42:52

Re: 1425,  Michael Coren doesn't have anything I want to hear.  At one time when he was an evangelical speaker he had  something to say, now he has an agenda and far too liberal for my liking.

Gary
Delete . #1426 2019-12-19 20:35:58

Re: #1424, my source was   www.reference.com/world-view/many-books-bible-did-paul-write-7bf87c7328a038d4

Gary
Delete . #1425 2019-12-19 18:49:54

This is a must listen .

https://www.tvo.org/video/christianity-and-the-religious-divide

Lou
Delete . #1424 2019-12-19 17:12:29

if the first paragraph is a quote, as it appears to be, please cite your source.

Hebrews is not accepted to be from Paul.

Lou
Delete . #1423 2019-12-19 16:30:59

Paul is traditionally considered to have authored 14 of the 27 books of the New Testament in the Bible. His authorship of seven of the 14 books is universally accepted, but debate remains about the rest.

It's too bad he didn't write more like Romans.

In Galatians he does say, "If you belong to Christ," which means we don't all belong to Christ.  You must knock on His door so He can let you in.

 

I say you have to have faith to believe in!

Gary
Delete . #1422 2019-12-19 14:35:25

Of the thirteen epistles attributed to Paul six have his authorship questioned and Galatians is not one of them. 

Paul is restating what Jesus said that through Moses the Jews received the law to teach them how to live but that by submitting completely to God the law is fulfilled and is no longer needed to keep us in line faith does it.

That, by the way, is the reason I say that 'to believe in' is not the same as 'having faith'.

Lou
Delete . #1421 2019-12-19 09:54:35

I have reason to believe that the Scripture (story narrative myth pick one) is vitally more important than what actually happened on the ground, after all, it is the narrative that survives. Paul, a Jew, or whoever wrote Galatians, referred to something Isaiah wrote 700 hundred years earlier. He couldn't have done so if that narrative had not been recorded In Isaiah's time.

So why would Paul bring that narrative forward? It is an addition or an afterthought of his own narrative. I think it is his rationale to provide evidence that Jesus is the guy Isaiah was on about therefore giving evidence validating that Jesus is the chosen one. On the other hand, it also validates Isaiah's Prophesy.

I think Paul actually believed that what he was writing was true in a cosmic or spiritual sense. Because his narrative is purposeful and biased he cemented that idea into his writing as a fact and not a possibility.

My point is that Jesus the mortal may have been a charismatic leader and teacher but Paul and the other NT writers made him the Messiah. 

Chad
Delete . #1420 2019-12-18 17:55:00

There is much of the OT content in the NT to keep a plausible continuity of the Jewish narrative but yet enough new Christian content to create a divide or wedge between the two. Not dissimilar in nature to the Roman Catholic dogma that is incorporated into the Protestant churches dogma especially the high Anglican Church.

I think it would be impossible for a totally unique major religion to be created without having some connection to a previously established faith. 

Chad
Delete . #1419 2019-12-18 09:58:26

Excellent point Gary.

Today some like to think of the continuum as an extension of Acts as in a post Biblical Acts. There is strong evidence to suggest this is the case. It manifests itself in a blend of secular(to include anything other than Biblically generated) and Biblical influence. I have heard it referred to as Acts II. 

There is also evidence that the OT as a writing evolved from much earlier writing but mostly from oral myths rituals and traditions. It doesn't take too much imagination to observe the connections(the intertwining as you have suggested) involved in the evolution and transformation of western culture. This process is still evolving in a natural mostly unstructured way.

There is it seems a very important subconscious element that is also at play that is not easily detected and therefore is quite difficult to understand and to investigate, but It may be the main source of energy and impetus that moves the process along.

Chad
Delete . #1418 2019-12-18 07:43:35

I like the way that the OT here is intertwined with the NT.   Alway said OT leads us to the NT. " There was a song, can't have one without the other."

Gary
Delete . #1417 2019-12-17 18:45:13

You didn't have to. I said I wasn't one of them and why I wasn't. ;-)

Chad
Delete . #1416 2019-12-17 16:16:51

I did not mention any names.

Gary
Delete . #1415 2019-12-17 15:33:08

Gary, I can only speak for myself. I'm not a scoffer. I think that Christ's message has great value especially in shaping our morals, values and principles. Our western rituals are still derived mostly from the Christian myth. I accept that wholeheartedly. There are many profound thinkers and teachers, not necessarily Christian, that can add to this base that Christianity has created for us and our culture. For me, it is a question of balance and reason. It's our decision as to what is important and what seems right and/or works for us. We can read, hear and discuss the Christian rhetoric but we don't have to lose our minds and our critical thinking in order to blindly follow it.   

Chad
Delete . #1414 2019-12-17 11:21:47

I think I know a couple of scoffers!

Gary
Delete . #1413 2019-12-17 11:10:55

JUDE 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

I'm just saying, if this was happening then, it is still happening today, only on a larger scale,

That is what Jude believed. But here's the rub, he didn't want any criticism or resistance from others. I think he would have been more or quite possibly less convincing if he said listen to what I'm saying and listen to what the naysayers are saying and with an open mind and heart decide for yourselves what or who you want to believe. He was calling down other opinions and trying to censor them with his rhetoric. The church has been trying to do this ever since the NT was written. We now know the naysayers and critics will never recede so Christians such as us have to share the road and should at least hear what other non-Christians have to say. Maybe Jude was too quick to reject other voices.    

That kind of bulldozing rhetoric is what you are still witnessing today.

Chad
Delete . #1412 2019-12-17 10:32:27

If you study Christian history you will find that it was on a much grander scale then than it is now. You are passing judgment from what you hear on the news but what we get from 2000 years ago is what got recorded.

Lou
Delete . #1411 2019-12-17 09:52:18

JUDE 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

I just saying, if this was happening then, it is still happening today, only on a larger scale,

Gary
Delete . #1410 2019-12-17 08:34:02

Jude is reinforcing certain ideas of the Christian faith. I'm not sure why the fixation of Heaven and Hell. Christ said he was for the living let the dead take care of the dead. 

If you are serious about it be a good guy and don't slip up. We have no real idea about the second coming we just have images imagined by others. If it is true it will happen probably in ways not totally expected by the faithful but there is nothing we can do to alter the spiritual realm. My suggestion is to follow Christ's teaching and philosophy and don't waste your time fixating on some unknown future that doesn't exist and might never exist as you have anticipated it.

What would you tell God? It's not supposed to happen this way. I read the book and you are not sticking to the script. And what will God tell you Job? 

 

Chad
Delete . #1409 2019-12-17 07:41:17

What Judes is describing is the situation with the Gnostics around 300 AD who had all sorts of ideas about the nature of Christ, marriage, and even social norms. 

I suggest that instead of worrying about the end of days you should follow the example of  Bill Gates, Desmond Tutu, and others and do all you can to make the world a better place.

Lou
Delete . #1408 2019-12-16 22:13:00

Jude describing last days, kind of sounds like the days of now?

Gary
Delete . #1406 2019-12-16 15:41:53

The apostles did not vanish they suffered martyrdom as described in church history.

Lou
Delete . #1405 2019-12-16 12:16:06

Although we don't get music or the rhyme in this part of Psalm 42 we can appreciate the poetic language and the metaphorical and symbolic writing in this composition. All the biblical writers have the same challenge when they attempt to describe the indescribable. Metaphors and symbols are required. 

Chad
Delete . #1404 2019-12-16 11:36:07

I can state confidently there an incredibly large number of factors that might affect the way we perceive and understand our reality. It is relative to our own uniqueness and the unique path that takes each one of us through the Universe. Everything we are able to sense needs to be processed uniquely through our brain and interpreted.

We have evolved sophisticated methodologies to attempt to communicate and bridge the mental gap with one another. However, even seemingly simple communication is incredibly complicated. It seems like a simple seamless process until we attempt to communicate more complex concepts involving our beliefs knowledge and values and it becomes particularly hard when we attempt to convey emotions to one another.

 

Chad