Delete . #990 2019-06-17 10:33:54

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

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

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

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

Remember that we are reading a sophisticated figurative language presenting a rhetoric argument (kerygma) in a narrative form  

Delete . #989 2019-06-17 07:30:20

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

Delete . #988 2019-06-16 13:11:08

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

Delete . #987 2019-06-16 12:29:48

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

Delete . #986 2019-06-16 11:51:36

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


Delete . #985 2019-06-15 17:19:10

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

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

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

Delete . #984 2019-06-15 15:52:50

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

Delete . #983 2019-06-15 13:25:37

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

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


Delete . #982 2019-06-15 12:09:00

I agree with you Lou, All that I post I hope is in that spirit. My comments should be taken as my thoughts alone triggered by any passage or comment. I agree we have to accept what is written in the Gospel but not necessarily on the interpretation, especially when it is a literal interpretation of the text or how a passage may have been interpreted in the past. I may not appear tentative at times, but I am always open to challenge and correction. I think the forum works well this way, unfortunately, we seem to be the only ones engaged. 

Here is that Cornell site I was talking about this morning.

Delete . #981 2019-06-15 08:28:15

My purpose with these posts is for us to share what the passage means to us with no intention of having it accepted but only that it may trigger some thoughts in others.

Delete . #980 2019-06-14 22:06:04

I think we lose the sense of the passages Luke and Matthew if we take them literally. I suspect that the cities named are not all that important or their importance is not obvious to us from the content and context of the surrounding verses. What seems to be clear and important is the need to repent and the threat of consequences if one doesn't.

We must remember though that we and others need to have the choice to accept or reject these passages. I don't think everyone understands this basic but very important concept. We are not to coerce or force compliance with our interpretations. We must allow our neighbour to discover and come to God in their own manner and timeframe. In all cases, we must let go of the need to be right control and judge others. Regardless of how our neighbour responds to these verses especially when they are unclear to us. We are to love them and support them no matter what they may think at any given moment.  

Delete . #979 2019-06-14 15:52:23

I think Jesus is talking about the Tyre and Sidon of the OT and not the ones He visited after saying that.

What is a city supposed to do to show repentance? Families were converted as one unit then I suppose why not cities.

What is He telling us?

Note that Marc and John don't mention that episode, so what was Q's message, to whom?


Delete . #978 2019-06-14 13:04:41

I find it interesting and a bit perplexing that Jesus via Matthew and Luke would exalt whole cities and condemn others and vehemently condemn one in particular. The ones condemned were just north of the Sea of Galilee Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum. The two that were exalted were located on the Mediterranean coast Tyre and Sidon. His reason for condemnation was those cities were unwilling to repent.

It seems he was addressing both John's and his own disciples, he sent John's disciples back to report his message to John.

It makes sense to me that both Luke and Matthew writings are addressing their own audiences after the fact and the acceptance of their words was the same for them as it is for us now and that is an expectation or a dictate to repent or suffer severe consequences. 

I wonder if this strong arm twisting violates the required free will when it is administered harshly by those that have taken or take the message literally and without mitigating it in the light of other teachings and principles proclaimed by Christ.  

Delete . #977 2019-06-13 16:27:29

Just listening to Drew's sermon on John 17.  Will comment later

Delete . #976 2019-06-13 16:06:36

Silly me the title of today's reading is the Commissioning of the 70 derived from Luke 10. So Lou, don't worry about my question of your prompting.

Delete . #975 2019-06-13 14:16:39

What put you on to the number 70 Lou?

Back to some thoughts re 973. Drew has some thought about how we can fit into this call for discipleship in his sermon called "stepping up". Just to warn those with a limited attention span it is over 30 minutes in length. I know Anglicans typically do not like sermons over 12 minutes in length !5 minutes tops. Drew touches on this a bit. One of the main themes in the sermon is unity. He draws mostly from John 17 for his inspiration and talking points. Please watch this and give me your thoughts.

Delete . #974 2019-06-13 12:02:02

Seventy has a stunning meaning in theBible. The word “seventy” is used 56 times in the Holy Bible. The numberseventy (70) is made up of two numbers — seven, representing perfection and ten representing completeness and God's law.

Delete . #973 2019-06-13 11:19:43

In Matthew's Gospel, the disciples are given instructions on how to proclaim the Good News. They were to live in poverty and by getting their basic needs met by the goodness of others.  All Jesus gave them was words of advice and guidance. The disciples had these words his teaching and the Holy Spirit to proceed with their task and almost all of them became tortured martyrs. 

So when the rich man asked if he could be a disciple he wasn't prepared for the task and Jesus knew it.

I think the desert monks were fully aware of the extraordinary effort, devotion, self-cleansing and discipline that was needed. They were also very much aware of just how difficult it was and said so.

So I must be honest with myself I'm not going to be a monk or a disciple any time soon.

Delete . #972 2019-06-12 16:30:59

There are some legitimate people that have wonderful and amazing healing abilities. I think we do what we can to alleviate or eliminate illness to give comfort and hope and uplift spirits. Healing is usually a process, being with and supporting a person in a convalescence maybe all we can do. We are God's agents in the process. I don't know if it comes from above, to me it seems like it comes from within.

Delete . #971 2019-06-12 15:15:31

They were also told to cure the sick, I wonder if this was just cold's and flu's or if the had the healing touch given from above?

Delete . #970 2019-06-12 12:27:54

The disciples, unlike the apostles who were sent to villages of the Jews, are sent to town and cities of Samaritans and Gentiles. They are told to preach in the city square to as great a crowd as possible not door to door. Why are they told to "eat what is set before you"? Would that be needed if they were visiting uncle Moses? 

Delete . #969 2019-06-12 10:27:08

I suspect this town is a Pharisee stronghold note the metaphor of the town compared to Sodom of the OT which would be understood only by those that knew the OT stories. Luke is very much aware of the divide and the hostility that stems from it. I think this passage is about the split of allegiance that was widening in the Holy Land, remember Saul was persecuting Christians to the point of stoning them to death before his conversion.

Delete . #968 2019-06-12 07:11:17

Tough words today near the end of Luke.  There would be a lot of dust shaken off my sandals today if I was in charge of spreading the word of God, with love of course.




Delete . #967 2019-06-11 17:04:32

yeah, sort of. Duty comes into it but letting go in the main thing. There is a connection between this and what I'm sure you remember me saying that survival of the fittest in evolution doesn't mean survival on the strongest but survival of the meekest because the meek is the one who adapts, work with, to the environment instead of fighting it. The ten commandments were an attempt at nudging people in that direction and Jesus emphasized that they were to be internalized, we are not to even have the thought of committing murder or wanting the neighbor's property. All the stuff we have is on loan to us including our body. 

Delete . #966 2019-06-11 16:29:15

What I think you are saying is that we are to work towards an unconscious competence so that our thoughts and actions are on an automatic pilot and are natural and genuine without ulterior or self-serving motives. I do the right thing because it is the right thing to do not because I am afraid that if I don't I will risk a penalty or I'll miss my reward. We have to get it right in the here and now because that is all we have to work with.

What do you think??

Delete . #965 2019-06-11 14:40:40

I agree, Chad, that it is a matter of attitude. It's how possessive we feel about our stuff. He doesn't want us to stop being human, on the contrary, He wants us to be fully human. Something like that shows when a performer forgets about himself and what he hopes to get out of it ( and that applies to everything we do).  It is impossible to tell if someone is living up to that even impossible to tell if we are ourselves. To help explain what I mean: I think Bill Gates is. The young rich man was not expected to give away his riches only to be totally willing to do it, something like Abraham, his son, and the goat. You see that runs through the whole Bible, with a lot of tangents, but we are told over and over again to put God first and we will be handsomely rewarded. We have better make sure that we don't do it to be rewarded.

So seen one way, you are right that it is not easy and we can't even tell if we are there. The one who knows he is saved like the one who thinks he knows everything has better think again.

Delete . #964 2019-06-11 13:29:05

I agree Lou it is a question of degree, We are not in a monastery nor do have an inclination to move there. Remember even the monks had temptations and worldly desires despite the fact they were isolated in the desert. I don't think Christ is asking us to stop being human. It makes more sense to me that the Gospel is saying don't get carried away with ungodly thoughts actions or possessions and make sincere efforts to refocus on our goal to follow Christ and his teachings if and when we get off track. It is problematic and even harmful when our earthly desires temptations and attachments cloud and weaken our spiritual efforts.

Being realistic balanced and mindful may be the key.

Delete . #962 2019-06-11 12:31:38

I don't agree with #960 but then I do if I put on my materialistic hat. I think that Matthew did mean it, not in the immediate instance of not bothering with burying the dead but like the whole life of Jesus as told in the Gospels is telling us we are to drop everything and follow God. RW in the talks we've been following says the same thing just a different way. All major religions say the same thing they only differ in how they say it.

He repeatedly said to give up live, family, friends, and possessions. He did all the way to the cross. It's a matter of attitude, of how we feel about things. It doesn't mean to live in poverty but it means detachment from people and things. It shows in a way when one spontaneously says 'the car' instead of 'my car'. 


Delete . #961 2019-06-11 10:43:45

There are some youtube videos with Henri Nouwen presenting his ideas. From what I have gathered so far makes me think that he takes a basic and simple approach to his ministry. I'll post one if I find it stirs my imagination.

Delete . #960 2019-06-11 10:19:59

We must remember that the words Matthew used here are rhetoric and figurative, however,  I think they were deliberately provocative and used to make us think about our priorities and where we presently fit God into our primary concerns. We are comfortable and maybe too comfortable and we have designed our society to satisfy our comfort with trivial and meaningless distractions and useless stuff. We are bombarded continuously 24-7 with stimulus and stresses that numb, confuse and distract us. This makes it very difficult to concentrate and focus on our most primary concerns including God and our spiritual life.

I think the questions are; what can I give up or suppress of my egotistical needs and my earthly possessions to help me be more mindful of and therefore closer to God and what are my priorities and should they be changed?


Delete . #959 2019-06-11 07:46:33

Matt 8:18-22 The Cost of Following Jesus 

Detach yourself from material concerns and attach yourself to the Lord. Considering the return on your investment the cost is well worth it. 

Delete . #958 2019-06-10 20:14:14

Delete . #957 2019-06-10 18:28:03

On a lighter note I am reading a devotional book called "You are the Beloved"  by Henri Nouwen.  I left a link here, maybe he deserves a spot on the web site.  Much like Rowan, Henri talks much about solitude.

Delete . #956 2019-06-10 15:23:28

I passed on this web site to Mike but he said Rowan was way over his head like David Reed.  I did tell him there was other stuff on the site.

Delete . #953 2019-06-10 11:42:14

You may be familiar with this web site. It is loaded with biblical scholarship and insight.

Delete . #952 2019-06-10 09:47:29

This is the way I see it.

Christians have ignored Christ teaching through the ages. Out of respect and love, we should leave people alone who have different views especially if they do not want to hear what we are preaching. 

There are usually other evils such as exploitation, fear, ignorance, aggression and oppression that were blatant and at times hidden motives that cloud or appropriate Christ's teaching.

The disciples were suggesting a genocide for the Samaritans not unlike the flood God used to wipe out those that were not obeying his will. We, unfortunately, like the disciples have this default setting that is a major obstacle to fully appreciating God's teaching and plan for us.

Delete . #949 2019-06-10 07:25:57

In Luke 9:51-56 Jesus forbids his disciples to punish peoples for refusing to receive Him.

Delete . #948 2019-06-09 13:15:52

It is becoming more apparent as time goes on that the current version of capitalism and the power that is created by accumulated wealth is serving fewer people and is being designed to serve even fewer people and so it is doomed without reform. One reform that is possible is dictatorships where democracy is shattered and everyone is enslaved. A move towards socialism is a better option. 

The church is realizing this, especially in poorer countries.

Delete . #947 2019-06-09 12:31:06

In today's reading, we are asked to forgive others as God forgives us. It is difficult to match God's mercy and forgiveness but that is what we required to do. It is tough being a true Christian because the bar is set high and the expectations are uncompromising. We can not claim ignorance when we know full well what is needed and are just reluctant or too self-centred to do what is asked. 

I for one have a lot of work to do. I have to remember that most of the disciples gave their lives attempting to be the real deal. I know I am nowhere near that courageous. How can I be critical of anyone else when I am so far off the mark.

Delete . #946 2019-06-09 11:24:39
Delete . #945 2019-06-09 11:15:50

I think the lesson is worth printing as well.



      We are confronted by the problems of life and we seek consolation and help from some outside source, but the wise find these in the inner realm. They retire within themselves. This outer material life becomes much more beautiful, it acquires new grandeur when it is connected with the inner spiritual life. The drudgery we too often feel arises because these two spheres of living are unrelated. We escape from this sense of drudgery by uniting the inner and outer, and we do this through faith.

Delete . #944 2019-06-09 08:46:55

      All-loving Spirit, Source of my life,

      May my heart rest close to Your Divine Heart.

      Fill it with Your pure joy.

      Grant unto me unswerving courage

      And a trust that cannot be shaken or destroyed.

      May I lean wholly upon Your guidance and look to You alone for protection

Delete . #943 2019-06-08 23:59:08

Gary, it seems like your mother worked very hard to give the necessities of life to her family. It seems she was able to keep you up to the living standards of your immediate neighbourhood. I am tentatively assuming that you may have been in a very precarious and vulnerable state if your mother was unable to work. What would have happened if you mother for whatever reason was not able to work?  I know it is speculative but could you hazard a guess?

Delete . #942 2019-06-08 20:35:24

Couldn't edit so part # 2 of 941  Although my family was poor, single mom working two jobs, we never lacked food or clothes.

Delete . #941 2019-06-08 18:19:34

Most of our families were poor when we were kids but we didn't realize it till we got older and looked back.

Delete . #940 2019-06-08 16:34:26

I may be wrong but I have this thought that Peter wanted Jesus to come up with some appropriate punishment to deal with his troublesome sinner. Instead, Jesus said to forgive him endlessly. I wonder if Peter was disappointed. It seems being right isn't good enough for Jesus he wants us to go farther when we are dealing with others.

Delete . #939 2019-06-08 16:18:18

Gary, That is somewhat the same list that I came up with when I realized that I was just stereotyping and generalizing. There is little or no evidence to support these stereotypes. But they are strongly imprinted in our minds and they are often openly repeated and generally accepted carte blanche. The poor are very easily scapegoated and dismissed as unworthy and given a "justifiably" lower social status.

After some thought, I find what seems to be the common cause of being poor is the circumstances a person finds themselves in. Hardly anyone wants to be poor except maybe for some monks that have sworn themselves to poverty. Many want or wish to be rich but hardly anyone wants to be poor. There is so much stigma attached and so much shame felt. Who of us would want to be caught standing in line at the food bank?

I have been mindlessly cruel and mean-spirited without consciously being aware that I was doing so. I was just by going along with the flow and accepting well-established stereotyping and generalizations.  

What I found more than a little disturbing was that I picked the poor to consider first so I'm wondering just how far off base I will be when considering other groups. It appears there is much to consider and many ideas and assumptions that I hold that need to be challenged and dealt with.

Delete . #938 2019-06-07 12:43:28

Listening to Rowan today on leaving and self critiicism.

Delete . #937 2019-06-07 12:38:25

Re; 931 I agree there are too many factor's in why people are poor.  I have heard it said that if you took all the money from everybody so that everyone started out even, in most cases the same ones who were rich and successful would likely rise to the top again, something about drive and ambition.

My thoughts on the a lot of the poor in Western society is brought on by laziness and lack of ambition. One example is the imigrants come here and in some cases take the lowly jobs that the rest of us don't want, maybe because we are too proud. Welfare in our country is abuses by many.

Delete . #936 2019-06-07 12:30:58

15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. 18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

So, this is about someone that has sinned, so, in verse 16 you take 1 or 2 people with you. These are the two or three discussed in verse 19 and 20, so it is people from within the church, but not the church, nor even leaders in the church.

And it is dealing with the church discipline, and if these people are in agreement then God is with them."

  This guy says we cannot take these verses from Matt. 18 out of context and must read the verses before, does this make sense to you?

Delete . #935 2019-06-07 12:15:18


Delete . #934 2019-06-07 12:14:28

Today's reading re; Matt 18

That passage has created grief and disillusionment than I think Matt intended. Obviously, this passage cannot be interpreted literally. 

I heard it said that the answer may be no as if that is an option but that is only an option with a literal translation of the passage and even then it doesn't fit.

Delete . #931 2019-06-07 08:47:55

I asked myself the question. Why are the poor poor and I was surprised at how many stereotypical thoughts and attitudes that came into my thoughts. All of them untrue or only partially true at best.

The real answer is I don't know, but I am quite ready to make some errant assumptions based on what I have been told by others.  

Delete . #930 2019-06-06 20:08:59

I think it may go deeper and further back. All through our lives, we have been told stories. For example, don't go swimming for an hour after you eat. It is a fallacy there is no evidence that supports this. One of the disturbing stories that some people still believe is that the measles vaccine causes autism. I deliberately chose stories that have been debunked years ago. I'm saying we are susceptible to myths that are not true and may have negative consequences to our spiritual growth. We must be brutal in our self-assessment.

Delete . #929 2019-06-06 19:10:39

All Anglican churches have policies that deal with conflicts in pews. These policies reflect the Gospel teachings. It is always best if the parties can resolve their differences without intervention, There are some grievances that must be escalated and some may even require legal authorities to be involved and criminal charges laid.

Like Luke suggests there is a process to be followed. The trick is to find the proper methodology that deals with the issue properly.

Delete . #928 2019-06-06 17:41:24

Flee from what's easy, from following the crowd, from consumerism, from passing judgment on others. Flee to the stillness of God.

Delete . #927 2019-06-06 15:05:26

Matt 18:15-18 ‘If another member of the church sins against you"

Both Luke and Matthew make it plain that they are referring to relationships between fellow Christian brothers there is no call to make it say anything more than that.

RW suggests throwing a blanket over our brother's sin so that God will also forget ours. Lou

Delete . #925 2019-06-06 14:48:13

In the current edition of the online Anglican that focuses on the Pentecost this coming Sunday, there is an article that considers speaking in tongues. Interestingly enough both the Arch Bishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and our own Rev David Reed a former Pentecostal both pray in tongues. Rev Reed says that the practice is waning. It seems that being in a remote area of Canada is more conducive to the Anglican parishioners speaking in tongues than in the more populated southern parishes. I found the article interesting. 

Delete . #924 2019-06-06 14:36:20

In Luke's reading today as we have discussed before, how do we interupt what is a sin?

Delete . #923 2019-06-06 08:53:50

From today's reading particularly from John. 

If we do not forgive the sins of others they will remain a burden on our own heart and will cloud and darken our thoughts and actions. Forgiving frees us from this anguish. 

I found it interesting that Desmond Tutu said that if he had been brought up as a white South Africa he no doubt would have been in favour of apartheid. it is also interesting that he realized that he was conditioned by apartheid as much as the whites who were the perpetrators and the oppressors. He said that when he was a child he saw a white priest respectfully recognize his mother who was a domestic worker. He found this shocking and eye-opening. This went against his conditioning but it made him question his conditioning.

That is what we should do question our conditioning and assumptions? What of our conditioning and our assumptions does not stand up under sincere and severe scrutiny, and what of our conditioning and assumptions is an obstacle to our spiritual growth? 

Delete . #922 2019-06-05 17:32:27

I think we need to withdraw to the desert at times in our mind and meditation because we are constantly bombarded with urgent unimportant issues and distractions. We need to create some quiet time to sort out urgent important and non-urgent important issues, the truth, and God's plan and developing our potential in that plan. We must be attentive calm and discerning. The noise and negativity in our electronic globalized world can be so distracting, nerve-racking, energy eroding, and even debilitating. We must not lose sight of the Great Commandment and Great Commission. 

Delete . #921 2019-06-05 15:23:40

The way I see it is that we are to, first of all, acknowledge own sins and repent then share the Gospel leaving it to God to take it over from there. We are to love our neighbors as brothers not as human beings, that being the condescending way and not what Jesus meant. For examples of how it's done look up to Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela, not to the African Church. 


Delete . #920 2019-06-05 15:08:20

Rev. Dr. David Reid's last sermon is about God be patient and supportive us in our weakness and our search for understanding. Just like we should be supportive and understanding of others. None of us is perfect but by not being overly discouraged or defeated but by plodding along with the Holy Spirit and openness to seek the truth no matter the source and no matter how uncomfortable that may be, we will progress never to perfection but to a more mature state. However, we must be extremely careful that we are listening to the truth and not to the wolf or our, easily manipulated and sometimes whimsical ego.


Delete . #919 2019-06-05 13:31:20

I wonder do I have it right, do we not have to come to the Father and all that entails and requires first and let all other children of God find him in their own time and in their own way with our love and support.

I don't see our spiritual maturity as ever being a done deal but it seems to me to require much effort particularly in seeking out and dealing with our own obstacles shortcomings and the courage to relinquish the destructive ways of the ego and by continuing our ongoing diligent search for truth and God's true path for us. While we are doing this we at all times we are to love others as ourselves.     

Delete . #918 2019-06-05 12:50:56

Gary, it is so good to hear from you. I'm glad that you are our silent and to some degree our engaged partner. 

Delete . #917 2019-06-05 12:15:40

I think this video covers the ideas of the Desert Fathers as expressed by Desmond Tutu and the Elders including Nelson Mandala and Jimmy Carter and prominent others.

Delete . #916 2019-06-05 11:53:07

We have that book somewhere, The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, if only I could find it.  g.  PS: don't worry about me, I am following.

Delete . #915 2019-06-05 11:17:28

Re: 912  I love them all as human beings and would pray that they all come to Christ, period.

Delete . #914 2019-06-05 10:20:26

In the writing, the little ones could very well be youth and young children but metaphorically it can also stand for the Beatitudes. The Weak, the Oppressed. the Persecuted The Sick The Poor, The Refugee and all others that are oppressed, not respected, not treated fairly, or are considered less than equal in some manner. 

I was looking for a new way of considering the Bible especially the New Testament. I'm so glad that you found these You Tubes Lou. Rowan Williams is a great orator and preacher and has fully researched these Monks and their words not just in an objective scholarly way but also in a respectful and loving human way. The Eary Desert Monks were on to something profound in their take on the Bible and how they responded to it. All the Bible passages I have read since have reflected or reinforced their basic approach to life and their spirituality.

Like you said Lou it has taken this long to get here and we still have so many things to address conquer and relinquish. 

Delete . #912 2019-06-05 08:13:25

"do not despise one of these little ones" Who are those 'little ones'? The poor, the sinners, the LGBTQ, the Latino, the Muslim.

Delete . #911 2019-06-05 08:05:33

I want to make sure you didn't miss the 'and much more' in my previous post. We're barely at the foot of the mountain while, or is it whist, he's well above the tree line. The trees standing for all the obstacles that were mentioned a few posts back. 

Delete . #910 2019-06-04 21:31:00

Rowan Williams says the same things we say and much more it doesn't sit well with him. I could be wrong but that can be the only reason for not finding a free thirty minutes a week.

Yes, Gary, have a listen and tell us how you disagree with what he says.

Delete . #907 2019-06-04 21:11:22

I wonder where Gary is. I think we lost him on Rowan Williams first talk. He said he didn't have enough time. Gary drop us a line just to let us know how you are doing.

Delete . #906 2019-06-04 15:42:19

Reading John 14 through the Desert Brothers filter gives us an appreciation of the interrelationship between all aspects of God and ourselves and our responsibility we have to both God and our fellow men.

From the lectionary page

Delete . #905 2019-06-04 09:27:54

It works both ways not only are we to give others the time and freedom to find God in their own way without creating obstacles. We are to find God by addressing the obstacles before us most of which are mostly self-made and/or self-inflicted. Yet like Jesus, we can not be passive we are to take a stand against injustice and champion the weak and the vulnerable. 

Delete . #904 2019-06-04 07:59:56

Chad raises a very good point.

Too often we place obstacles that keep others from God instead of bringing them to God as is our intention.

RW tells us to be free to let God give through us instead of imposing our set of belief on others. 

Delete . #903 2019-06-04 01:05:03

Today's reading about harming youth is very apropos given the report that was just issued. The Church went along with policies that violated vulnerable children and families.

That is why it is so important to be in tune with what the Gospels are actually teaching us and to be wary of those who say they represent the truth of the Gospel but in truth are lying either intentionally or by following the misguided crowd that in turn are chasing falsehoods. We are not to be coerced no matter the source or to be intimidated by the title they may hold or represent. We must stand back and search for clarity and truth even when the current is overwhelmingly flowing against us.

If we are not diligent we will allow atrocities, such as those covered in the report, to happen in our silence and we will be complicit in our ignorance. 

Delete . #902 2019-06-03 19:41:02

Today the report from the missing aboriginal girls and women. The authors were careful to use the word genocide in their conclusion. The government has received the report and we get the idea that they will address the concerns of the report although they have failed the women and girls miserably in the past.

Isn't this is a result and a good example of what happens when there is no love and even hatred is directed at a neighbour (others).

The fact that the church is implicated is very disturbing.

It is extremely important how I think and I behave as an individual as well as how I behave and think in my society.

The Desert brothers Brothers were sensitive to social pressures that demanded that they should join a bandwagon. They knew to stand back and follow the path of love and truth. 

Delete . #901 2019-06-03 09:04:17

In light of RW talk, today's reading shows that disciple wants praise from Christ for trying to stop someone (an outsider) from speaking for Christ. Instead, Christ mildly rebukes him saying, those who are not against us are for us. 

We have to be careful, don't we? There is such a compulsion for quickly reacting and doing the "right" thing and being praised for it or being self-satisfied because of our efforts. We get clouded in our self-delusion and fantasies and by doing so we miss the point and the reality of the situation. 

Delete . #900 2019-06-02 23:37:34

I'm still working on the Self Discovery video. I will listen to the next 2 tomorrow. 

We are strange beasts in that we have to learn who we are. Following God and the truth is of paramount importance but doing this is easier said than done. 

There is a lot of ideas expressed in the self-discovery video that I need to revisit.

These tapes are pure gold, Lou.

Delete . #899 2019-06-02 18:22:44

The call by today's Gospel reading "whoever receives one whom I send receives me' is being ignored if they speak Spanish or Arabic or are deemed to be sinners. 

R.W. is true to the message of Christ in the Gospel. When Christ describe what the good news is it is about people being looked after not coerced into following the law:

When I'm done typing I will tackle 'Staying" then we should continue exploring what he has to say.

Delete . #898 2019-06-02 17:20:47

You are so right Lou. Christ didn't criticize Pharisees for their religious beliefs but rather for their bad will and negativity they bestowed on their fellow man. He was demonstrating God's love for his fellow man by healing comforting teaching no matter who he encountered but he never intruded or disciplined anyone except on very rare occasions. His interventions were always personal and welcomed. He would have done the same for the Pharisees if they had given him the chance, but they were too blinded and deafened by their tyrannical power and sense of themselves.

Christ is asking us to give our lives up for our fellow man as he did. That is what the message from the desert suggests, isn't it?.

Delete . #897 2019-06-01 20:33:52

In answer to a point that was raised today I would point out that Jesus was not asking the Pharisees to abandon their religion but to practice the way it was intended, the spirit of the law, as when He said the Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath. He didn't ask anything other than faith of the Samaritan woman nor of anyone else. 

Delete . #896 2019-06-01 08:41:13

      What we need is a basis in life which will bring us upliftment, courage, and resourcefulness. At no time do we need to feel lonely, destitute, devoid of help. All will come out right if we have faith. Faith means trust in the Divine. Faith always enriches our life and brings true understanding.


You are the source of all goodness.  May I learn to work, worship and aspire with unfaltering faith and selfless spirit.  May I gain strength and vigor of mind, high inspiration, and peace.  May Your holy peace fill my heart and life.


Delete . #895 2019-05-31 15:03:04

That is what the church should be doing. Christ Church does do quite a lot with food banks, schools, and other things but cooperation between various agencies as described makes things much more effective.

Delete . #894 2019-05-31 12:59:59

This initiative to me seems to somewhat fit with monks idea of loving our neighbour unconditionally?


Delete . #893 2019-05-31 11:52:35

Jesus is offering himself to others as a refuge and to be a gentle and humble guide. He wants to comfort and soothe troubled souls.

The monks have accepted Christ's offer and they are saying we should do the same. We should behave the same way with our neighbours and others. 

Jesus was most upset with those who were self-centred and serving individuals and tyrants who took advantage of and violated others. 

I'm sure the monks would have been similarly upset, but I'm sure they would leave wiggle room and time for the individual to finally see the light and repent.

Delete . #892 2019-05-30 19:39:20

"Matthew 11:28-30 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

 I think Jesus is saying that giving up kin, wealth, and even life itself to let Him in and to stop struggling and become meek you will inherit the earth. That includes not struggling to fix your neighbor's faults but to be welcoming and helpful. 

During the whole of his life on earth, Jesus was always welcoming and never rejected anyone. 

Delete . #891 2019-05-30 19:27:55

Gary, I didn't mean to pressure you. Take as much time as you like. I'm still listening to the tapes and I get something out of it each time new each time. It's too bad nobody created transcripts of the tapes. At any rate, it is what it is.

The way I understand it Christ is not constricted to our idea of time and is therefore timeless and or infinite. He is the Alpha Omega and is always present. He may appear as you suggest, unfortunately, we are not there yet so in the meantime, we have work to do. 

Delete . #890 2019-05-30 14:59:00

Jesus Ascends to Heaven

9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

Here I am, I can't get into Rowan right now but have been checking them out.  Give me time, if I have the time, Jesus could return at any moment.

Delete . #889 2019-05-30 13:53:00

We all come at this from different perspectives and different abilities to respond to it as you have pointed out and as Paul has suggested. 

I can see where the Monks would have to take this model into the desert. This is so counter-intuitive to how most of society behaves then and now. I think most Christians now and back then are and were weekend Christians and be only as Christian as their society expected or demanded. The Monks wanted to go to a much deeper sincere devotional level. 

Most of us are weekend Christians, very much on the surface which is probably better than not being attached at all. Many would not be interested in delving deeper, because of countless reasons excuses and distractions that our secular society generates and is so deeply entrenched. So entrenched that these ideas of Christianity would be lost on them and even if they did realize what was suggested they would reject it as being impractical or too demanding.

Like Gary says it is a narrow road if you choose this path. It is much easier being a weekend, Christian. 

After getting the gist of these talks I wonder. Do the Monks ask too much of us? Did Christ? 

Delete . #888 2019-05-29 20:36:22

I agree wholeheartedly Lou. We have this thing we call human nature is our instinctive innate condition that makes us unique and at the same time makes us part of a global society. And now more than ever your point that we should be learning from one another guided by love rather than imposing our will on one another. The Monk's 4th-century methodology is a way to be with and a way to totally respect and love our fellow man. Only from that base of mutual respect and love, can we create a better world.

Gary, where are you? 

Delete . #887 2019-05-29 19:06:36

Where is Gary? 

Delete . #886 2019-05-29 15:44:06

Well said,

Chad. Rowan is talking to us. Monastery or city the circumstances are the same. We have to put up with each other, we feel we have to correct the faults of the other not realizing that the other feels the same. He reminds us that like Paul, wrote we were blessed with different talents, burden, and purpose in life and we should be learning from each other instead of trying to correct each other.

Delete . #885 2019-05-29 12:22:46

I just listened to Silence and Honeycakes. We can be very much different in our demeanour attitude abilities and capacity. What is easy for some is difficult for others some are outgoing and some introverted. God gives each one of us all the room and time we need to develop to our own unique potential so it is useless to judge and to assign a pecking order of who is closer or more favoured by God. Because we have fragile egos, this is so tempting to do but it is errant, irrelevant and counterproductive to do so and it flies in the face of what we are supposed to be and do. We are to work as hard as we are able to deal with our own sins and shortcomings so that we reach our own potential in the eyes of God. 

Delete . #884 2019-05-29 07:49:07

Nelson Mandela gave us a good example of that after his release. Instead of accusing and punishing he worked, along with Desmond Tutu, at reconciliation. We can't bring our neighbors to God by flaunting our superiority and sitting in judgment pointing out their faults but by humbly admitting our own sins and work at developing the complementary virtues. 

Delete . #883 2019-05-29 04:00:48

You are right Lou. We cannot live like 4th-century monks. I think I can be more mindful of and dedicated to my neighbour (fellow man) and work towards controlling my ego especially the idea of needing to be right and superior. I must forgo assumptions and actions that stem from my thoughts and judgements of my neighbour's shortcomings. I must curb my idea of what is needed or what I think my neighbour should do to address their faults in order to satisfy my lofty standards. Instead, I need to be more attentive to who they are and accept them as they are and love them unconditionally. They are my passage to God and so they must be most important to me. 

Delete . #882 2019-05-28 19:05:49

#880 and #881 are very insightful. Relationship with neighbors can be very hard and I don't think eased much by in a close community as monks do. The whole of the Gospel, the teaching of Jesus, is about submission to God and that leads to looking after all the neighbors and that includes enemies as well as oneself. I don't think servitude is the correct word but rather it should be more like lavishing tender loving care on the garden and watching it grow. Lately, studies have shown that there is more joy in giving than in receiving. 

We must be in this world(consumer society) but not of this world. One can withdraw to the desert in the middle of Toronto it's a matter of inner attitude. Actually, I think monks in a monastery interact with each other a lot more than we do out in the world.

Renounce, give up, wealth, family, and life and then enjoy life, family, and wealth

Delete . #881 2019-05-28 14:43:34

Today's readings from all four Gospels to my mind very much reflects the idea of suppressing or even negating ego altogether. So we are to pick up our cross ( the sins stemming from our selfish and self-centred ego) and lovingly die to and for the neighbour with no thought of ourselves.

John says those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

Delete . #880 2019-05-28 12:37:00

It is hard to imagine being in servitude to our neighbours in such a profound way. Being critical only of our own shortcomings and suppressing our ego to the extent that it does not interfere in any way with our relationship with the neighbour. Letting go of our own competitive spirit and nature demanded in a manipulative capitalistic society based on survival and failure winners and losers exacerbated by our electronic instantaneity is very difficult indeed. 

I can see where withdrawing to the desert would be helpful and limiting access to others might make this challenge more easily accomplished. Yet we can see that these brothers and saints had and have something that has endured and maintained since the 4th century. 

This stuff is not of or for our scattered and urgent monkey brain that is preoccupied with trivial fleeting emotionally driven stimuli. That I think it is why we must contemplate and still our minds in meditation to get any real benefit of what is being expressed so eloquently by Rowan Williams.  

Delete . #879 2019-05-28 09:55:49

To win our neighbor is to put them in touch with God but not to intrude between them and God.  We think we know what they need. I liked the anecdotes about the monks: cool down the harshness. (the leaky jug).

" Winning our neighbor for God" is next. in case it's not offered on the right panel of your screen.

Delete . #878 2019-05-28 09:36:52

You should be done by now so what do you think?

Delete . #877 2019-05-28 07:38:24

I'm up to the nine minute point.

Delete . #876 2019-05-27 12:43:56

Hi Gary, This first talk was about 17 minutes approximately about the same time as a sermon sans our Rev David of course. Both Lou and I think it is well worth the time. I wish you could find the time to join us. 

Delete . #875 2019-05-27 11:28:08

Just started to listen to Rowan, how can I find the time?

Delete . #874 2019-05-27 10:29:47

Thank you for your approval. I also listened to Life Death and Neighbour again this morning and every time something different hits me. This morning I like the idea of throwing a blanket over our neighbor's sins. 

Those talks are to a congregation of monks and are not intended as sermons but they do apply to all of us and are more inspiring than most sermons.  

Delete . #873 2019-05-27 10:02:14

I listened to Life Death and neighbours this morning. It is incredibly rich and I understand why you are using it to do your daily contemplation. I think we by we I mean you should keep it on the website as a  source of devotion and as a reminder of a true Christian path. I feel this may just be the essence and the path that I have been searching for.  

Delete . #872 2019-05-26 18:45:28

Life death and Neighbours is very inspiring. I also plan to listen to it again. Maybe make it part of daily prayer for a week ( at least a few days )before moving on to 'winning our neighbor for God'.

Ditto to all your comments. I trying to find something to add but can't, maybe tomorrow. Let's keep this up and, yes, Gary please join us and do comment on it.

Delete . #871 2019-05-26 17:19:46

I just listened to Life Death and Neighbour. It is full of great thoughts, maybe some that we know but need to revisit. It's well spoken of course and doesn't that set the stage for addressing our neighbour. Finding no faults flies in the face of our nature to make quick judgements and being judgemental of our neighbours. How important are we and what is our real purpose? We do think we know more than the other guy, don't we? Are we self-serving and wrapped in our own ego? Who are we to judge?  

Interesting thought finding sin in others simultaneously reveals the faults in our selves.

Stand with your neighbour. and I might suggest or may I add love them no matter what.

Start from the foundation, not from the roof.

Being a true Christian is difficult and requires meditation, great patience mindfulness honesty and humility.

Thanks, Lou for suggesting these talks.

I'm going to listen to this one again. I hope Gary listens to them.

Delete . #870 2019-05-26 14:59:37

I invite you, Gary and Chad, to listen to the series of talks by Rowan Williams. He is talking about how being a Christian is supposed to influence how you live your life. Probably more useful than what Chad and I have been yakking about.

Delete . #869 2019-05-26 14:26:34

Re # 866 

I agree 100% with your points. 

Our desire to have meaning in our lives and to belong and be a subject to something bigger than ourselves clouds are logical or critical thinking. Apparently this need or desire will allow us to believe and follow the most bizarre and illogical paths. 

Not many want their core believes challenged or even questioned. Belief It is not a question of understanding something. It is acceptance of an idea without question or critique.

The worst thing for a staunch believer is doubt and uncertainty usually created by trauma and therefore having to admit their beliefs are faulty or that they have been fooled or betrayed by what they believed was unshakable. It is better to that we deceive ourselves in order to avoid cognitive dissonance with our own beliefs. Some beliefs are so strong that we increase our resistance exponentially and turn off and shut down any contrary input maybe even resort to violence if need be.

Our mind automatically forms judgements and opinions immediately. This is a good survival instinct to defend oneself in a hostile universe especially when life or death decisions had to made quickly with little or no thought or analysis. Our brains do not want to expend energy if it isn't necessary to do so in most cases it will happily stay at its lowest level of activity for as long as possible. Learning something new takes work and a lot of work if the subject is difficult.

So one of the big problems and benefits when truly seeking is finding something superior that was unknown and different from what we previously knew. That is the value of ongoing seeking over the value of stagnant inferior knowledge. 

Delete . #868 2019-05-26 09:49:43

"And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church"

The RC uses that statement to claim supremacy for Peter and the bishop of Rome ( BTW what other supreme leader can claim to be number 266 in line! ) an interpretation that is refuted by the Orthodox Church, the Protestant churches, as well as all other branches of Christianity. It has led to violence and killing.

My point is to point out what conflict over interpretation leads to and, unfortunately, we are still doing it.

Any takers for a showdown over "Love God and love your neighbor as yourself"!

Delete . #867 2019-05-25 18:21:52

In my opinion, the four shown above are closer to be following Jesus's teaching than commentators on scripture are.

Delete . #866 2019-05-25 18:14:59

I don't want anyone to get the impression that I think there is something with Christianity. What I deplore is:

  • when details that were used to teach a point are elevated to the status of dogma and forced on others even on individuals of other religions. 
  • when it is claimed one's religion is the only true religion and that the whole world must be brought in, by force if needed.
  • when scriptures are misinterpreted to suit a preconceived notion.
  • when principles are discarded to adapt to changing mores.
  • when changes are stubbornly resisted without due understanding.

Christians are to live their religion the best they can and let others do the same. 

Delete . #865 2019-05-25 17:09:28

I'm ok with most of what you say but Hebrew God and Christian God are one and the same even when meaning only 'The View of God'. The OT describes how to work at it by strictly and literally following the commandments while the NT describes how to surrender to God through His Son and then follow the spirit of the law. The OT could be understood to be saying the same thing a different way and that Christianity reverted to OT ways.

What Jesus did is define the price of the ticket to salvation: it's not working at following the law but it's surrendering to Him. 


Delete . #864 2019-05-25 11:28:15

The Hebrew God did not give us salvation. It is The Christian God that does that and did it is done in a most peculiar way. We can see some of Christ's Jewish disciples being turned off or away by Johns proclamations in today's Gospel reading. The idea of the Eucharist did not sit well with them. The eating of someone else's flesh was a sin. They were taking John words literally and not symbolically intended. John says their Mana referring to Moses leads to death where his bread leads to life again this is another slight at Moses. This would seem and should seem strange to anyone if they didn't understand he was talking in a very symbolic and metaphoric language but it turns out that John was being deliberately provocative using the language and symbols he knew would be disturbing and may be offensive and likely confusing to the Jews in order to sort out the non-believing disciples.

We can't be too hard on the Jews many Christians don't understand John's language either. 

Every act of creation is first an act of destruction
Pablo Picasso.

Without deviation from the norm, you can't have progress.

Frank Zappa

Delete . #863 2019-05-24 17:14:12

What I am saying is that the Hebrew God is one description, one view, of God. There are many other equally valid views. The elephant is a good description as long as we keep in mind that while the elephant is real the trunk is only one of the many paths to it, all leading to it without requiring anything from the leg, the ear, or any other member.

The authors of scripture were inspired to write what was needed and in the way that was needed to convey the message to their intended audience. The message applies to us as well as to them but the way it is presented often does not. Some commandments that were needed then are not needed now or at least need to be reinterpreted, not to make things less burdensome but to help toward salvation.

Delete . #861 2019-05-24 15:42:57

I stand corrected you said there is God. Period. You didn't me the Hebrew God. 

I wonder, you say that God is. As I understand you it is a God that all other gods and spirits are derived. That's like or almost like a Platonism of an ideal God. Another idea would be like blind men reaching out to touch an Elephant from a certain spot and describing the Elephant from their restricted perspective. None would agree but all would be convinced that their perception was accurate.

There is something there and this is how I describe it.

How am I doing?

Delete . #860 2019-05-23 14:30:23

Philosophers or scientist either term is fine with me and I might even add historians. I mean anyone who looks into how and why things happen.

re: You sais/ I say: I didn't say anything about the Jewish God has always existed. "The Jewish God" is only how the Hebrews viewed God. You are correct in saying that I couldn't have, had I not been raised knowing the Bible, in this culture, but I have. Other people's God or Gods are just as valid and as limited.

I agree with your last paragraph with the understanding that gods were needed to protect the inborn need for justice threatened by the growing interaction between too many individuals. The same thing happens in the wild and is solved by the alpha male and female pair or the matriarch in the elephant world.

So religion is needed for the smooth running of society but questioners are also needed. Things change and rules that were needed in the past may become obsolete. The 613 commandments that the Hebrews needed Jesus said were to be obeyed in spirit to benefit people not to ensnare them.

What we should not do, but unfortunately what has been happening, is to denigrate anyone's set of belief and leave them with nothing. That, I think, is the reason for violence and drugs nowadays.

In summary, the God of Abraham the Jews, Christians, and Muslims worship is one view of the real everlasting God that other cultures describe in different ways and is needed for the smooth running of this society as theirs is for their societies. Rocking the boat a bit is good but capsizing is not.

Delete . #859 2019-05-23 12:20:30

Lou when you used the term Jewish scientist I substituted philosophers. I think we are more in agreement than not.

I suggested it was social chaos and alienation or a fallen state if you prefer that needed organizing to become a succinct society. A big part of that organization was the acceptance of agreed-upon myths as a standard that led to the formation of a social-religious state. All sorts of gods and mythical creatures prevailed at the time. Even Genesis suggests God held council with other gods. It was the collective imaginations, and the need to be different from the other close by either established or fledgling societies, that honed out and separated the structure of their God of Israel from the entities from the surrounding societies. The clue for this is the idea of God for the chosen people. 

You said,

Now the way I see it is that God is. Period. We have evolved( for lack of a better word ) from God and so have all animals and absolutely everything. We developed intelligence and started to look around and so found reasons to explain why thing are the way they are and we are still at it. Genesis was not laid on the Jewish people, rather the Jewish scientist of the time came up with the best answer possible give the instrument they had to work with and the same thing is happening now.

I say,

The idea that the Jewish God always existed. A God for a minority race being the creator of the Universe. For that God to be more widely accepted had to be appropriated and modified by yet another fledgling society. How do we know this? The source is the Bible. the energy and imaginative force that is generated comes from the words within. You couldn't have made your statement if you didn't know the stories of the Bible.

Yet there is something psychologically unique to humans that drives us to duplicate the process of creating separate societies based on a common agreed upon history(memory) and mythology that is expressed consciously or subconsciously through our interactions reactions and stories. This is not an accident all societies as far back we can determine through archeology activity this is the case. I say along with others that gods and invisible spirits were developed as soon as our educated imaginations, therefore language and communication skills became sophisticated enough to express them in some manner. They were needed to help ease and deal with the emotional stress and placate the alienation of our self-awareness in a very hostile chaotic Universe. Ever since we aware there is something in us that needs a reason for our existence and consequently the belief structure and the belief in a communal structure. That to me is the creation of where God or any other deities of your choice stem from. They along with their creators became more sophisticated as time went on.


Delete . #858 2019-05-22 21:10:08

Thanks for your thoughts, Lou. Let me have some time to consider what you have said. I know it is just discussion but there might be something to learn about this.

Delete . #857 2019-05-22 19:33:51

I think you are mostly correct in describing our view of God and I assume that you would accept any other religions view of God to be equally acceptable to them.

Now the way I see it is that God is. Period. We have evolved( for lack of a better word ) from God and so have all animals and absolutely everything. We developed intelligence and started to look around and so found reasons to explain why thing are the way they are and we are still at it. Genesis was not laid on the Jewish people, rather the Jewish scientist of the time came up with the best answer possible give the instrument they had to work with and the same thing is happening now.

Religion and culture fill a need for a society to function and it grows from a need for fairness and justice rather than the other way around. It has been shown that some animals and very young infants show a concern about fairness. Now how God and God's dealings with humanity is described in scripture depends on the needs that developed in the culture as it was growing up. The Hebrews invading some other people's country needed a God that would approve such conduct and later when they were persecuted they needed a Messiah that would come and defend them so they wait for the end of time and the Apocalypse when things will be set straight. That is what Christianity has inherited. 

Are the problems we are facing now, violence and opioid caused by the abandonment of religion and culture? 


Delete . #856 2019-05-22 17:59:51

As I continue my soliloquy, the larger more important question. What happened at the Resurrection? What we have is an account from at least one Gospel writer and possibly three duplicates. We were told in no uncertain terms that faith without proof is the best faith of all. So if it is written it must be true no matter how implausible it may seem. So what does the Pasion and the Resurrection really mean to us or what we have we been told by those that are most knowledgable what it means? Parroting someone else's explanation it is totally acceptable and strongly encouraged. Critical thinking is not

Delete . #855 2019-05-22 11:14:06

I think the idea of God is just that the idea of God. God and gods are a convenient invention to explain human and social concerns not knowable in any other way. We are still governed by tribal instincts and the desire to belong to something greater than ourselves and to follow our tribal leaders and our tribal gods. We are wired to believe things true or false that derive from our own societal stories.

So I would say God and the need for God is totally internal and closely linked with our need to form societal structures, conventions and values.

If I understand NT Wright, I think he is suggesting that somewhere along the hominid line we may use Adam an Eve as a point in time God revealed via stories the idea of right from wrong and how to go about creating and maintaining a superior and unique society.

I would take from that that contained within our skull somewhere is God and also the Fall. I don't believe like NT Wright does that God is an outsider residing elsewhere.  The Fall or societal Chaos begat God and not the other way around.

These are my responses so far to NT Wrights Q and A on the Book of Genesis.

Please give me your thoughts.    

Delete . #854 2019-05-21 10:57:11

Genesis was laid on the Jewish people or for some reason it resonated with them and it stuck. NTW prefers a Godly intervention or experiment. I favour the idea that there needed to be some grounding unifying societal force and pressure that would define and glue a society together. How do you do this? Through those that can use the expressive creative and imaginative power of your language and the willingness of the society to adhere, enforce and submit to this creative language and processes stemming from it. God, in this case, is needed as an ultimate authority (above man) to explain the occurrences and forces that lie beyond the comprehension and knowledge of society.

In my way of thinking, God is a necessary exponent of the language and therefore the expressed psychology the Jews needed for authority and the unexplained.

Delete . #853 2019-05-21 10:42:33

Had coffee with John Wall on Monday and he sugested it, so far I like it.

Delete . #852 2019-05-20 22:43:52

Re: NT Wright; I listened to most of the Genisis Q&A. NT Wright has an excellent command of English and a comprehensive understanding of the Bible. His opinions are carefully crafted and worth considering, of course, his responses are tilted and somewhat apologetic. Would we expect anything else? Gary did you listen to the Genisis Q&A. I would like everyone to listen to it so we can have a discussion

It is a good site, Gary. Thanks.

Delete . #851 2019-05-20 11:14:33

Lou, Chad and anybody else out there watching, this link may intererst you.  

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?