Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth

People do like to have things for themselves. Contemporary day gadgets play on the consumer market to win the eyes and greedy hands.

English: Students and scholars can study a wea...

Students and scholars can study a wealth of materials and artifacts available at the Broadcasting Archives. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lots of people are convinced that luck lies in having enough things. Many have put their hope in having enough material wealth. They are convinced having enough money will bring them luck and everything they want. Their head believes material wealth shall bring them peace and heaven on earth.

We would agree that some objects can bring intrinsic joy. We also would agree there are man made things which can serve us to have an easier life.

But, we also want to warn our readers that many man-made things can be utterly dangerous for man and for nature as well. Lots of things man create ruins mother earth. Lots of people do have no respect at all for the environment and  waste a lot of things making it for the generation coming after them, more difficult to live properly in a healthy environment.

May we lift a veil of reality?

Land of Wealth

Land of Wealth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is it not better that we are conscious of what we eat and drink and of what we buy and use? Is it not better that we more would ask ourselves: Where is this made under which condition?

Should we not take more notice of the hidden facts?

We all should remember that there are lots of things which seemingly look very attractive, and can tempt us to buy it. But will they contribute to a better life?

Man may make lots of things but not all of those things are good for him. Several things, instead of bringing peace, welfare, bring despair and death.

As Prayson Daniel writes in his blog “With All I Am“:

Those that bring despair and death often promise intrinsic joy and life but deliver despair and death. Fame, sex, and money are objects that often promise intrinsic joy and life. When they serve us, they do deliver what they promised. {Joy in Submission}

Those who continuously look to enrich themselves do not have as such an eye for others; Their interest in themselves.

To make the best of life it is a matter to be able to set yourself, your own “I” at the side.

A joyful living springs from thinking of ourselves less and others more. In such moments where we think of ourselves less and others more, we are supremely joyful. Consider the moment when a loving father meets his newborn or a wanderer sees a sunrise and feels a spark of warm sunrays on her skin after a long and dark winter. In such moments, time stops. Though the quantitative time continues, the qualitative time everlastingly stops. In those joyful moments we reign by serving. We reign through serving by submitting to the moment. Submission is joyful. Supremely joyful. {Joy in Submission}

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Preceding articles:

Summermonths and consumerism

How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace

Less for more

Less… is still enough

Contentment: The five senses

See the conquest and believe that we can gain the victory

Just be yourself…

The natural beauties of life

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Additional reading:

  1. Greed more common than generosity
  2. How we think shows through in how we act
  3. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 3
  4. Intellectual servility a curse of mankind
  5. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 4
  6. Subcutaneous power for humanity 5 Loneliness, Virtual and real friends
  7. Blow to legitimacy of the capitalist system
  8. Capitalism
  9. Economics and Degradation
  10. Ecological economics in the stomach #1 Alarmbell
  11. Self inflicted misery #1 The root by man
  12. Facing disaster fatigue
  13. Waste and recycling
  14. How long will natural resources last [The InfoGraphics List]
  15. True riches
  16. Count your blessings
  17. Good to make sure that you haven’t lost the things money can’t buy

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20 Comments

Filed under Being and Feeling, Economical affairs, Lifestyle, Welfare matters

20 responses to “Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth

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  8. crystal bussiere

    Prayson,
    I have to do a conspiracy theory paper in school. I want to disprove that Jesus was not married to Mary Magdalene. I wanted to know what was the date of the god of Attis and Paul’s letters. There are claims that Paul modeled Attis into Jesus…the Resurrection, even a statue of Attis with a lamb. I read your story on Attis, which I loved, but I can not find the dates.There is also a claim people have found graves believed to be Jesus, Mary Magdalene and their two children. And lastly, what they call the Gnostic Gospels. They have said to have done tests on these particular books and claim to predate the Gospels in the New Testament. Would you also put in credible sources?

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  9. You want to find credible sources about Jesus his marriage and so called two children, but those are not existing because Jesus probably was never married, and if he was this was of no particular importance to his message nor to his task and therefore was not mentioned in the bible.

    Mary Magdalene who could touch Jesus, whilst Thomas was asked not to touch Jesus should be seen in context and be looked at from the right meaning. The original Greek verb, which is usually translated “touch,” means also “to cling to, hang on by, lay hold of, grasp, handle.”

    The Bible tells us that Mary who was called Magʹda·lene, from whom seven demons had come out; was ministering to the twelve disciples from their belongings. She had accompanied Jesus from Galʹi·lee to minister to him and had come up together with him and his disciples to Jerusalem. (Luke 8:1-3; Matthew 27:55; Mark 15:40, 41)

    Reasonably, Jesus was not objecting to Mary Magdalene’s merely touching him, since he allowed other women who were at the grave to ‘catch him by his feet.’ (Matthew 28:9).

    Her clinging to Jesus was an action out of fear that Jesus was about to leave and ascend into heaven. Moved by her strong desire to be with her Lord, she was holding fast to Jesus, not letting him go. To assure her that he was not yet leaving, Jesus instructed Mary to stop clinging to him but instead to go and declare to his disciples the news of his resurrection. (John 20:17).

    Jesus was certainly not affected by the prejudices common to Jews of his day, according to which women could not serve as legal witnesses.

    So, far from being biased against women or condoning chauvinistic attitudes toward them in any way, Jesus showed that he respected and appreciated women. Violence against them was completely contrary to what Jesus taught, and his attitude, we can be sure, was a perfect reflection of the way his Father, Jehovah, sees things.

    Him appearing first to Mary Magdalene and another of his disciples, whom the Bible refers to as “the other Mary” is not to be taken as if Jesus would first appear to his wife, but he dignified women by allowing them to be the first eyewitnesses of his resurrection. An angel instructed them to inform Jesus’ male disciples about this astonishing event. Jesus said to the women: “Go, report to my brothers.” (Matthew 28:1, 5-10)

    In the opinion of scholars like Pagels, the Bible is not the only source of Christian faith; there are other sources, such as the Apocryphal writings. We also believe we should look at civil writings. That way we also came to find out that Jesus Christ really existed, that he was born in October (the 17th) that he was not liked by the religious and political rulers of that time.

    Archaeological work is of help to get to know more about Jesus and Mary Magdalene their relationship, but lots of stories may go around, not yet much proof of a real close relationship is given. A BBC program entitled Bible Mysteries, “The Real Mary Magdalene” observed that the Apocryphal writings present Mary Magdalene as “a teacher and spiritual guide to the other disciples. She’s not just a disciple; she’s the apostle to the apostles.”
    National Geographic made a nice series about Jesus and Mary Magdalene, but in it lots of speculations could not really made hard.
    Commenting on the supposed role of Mary Magdalene, Juan Arias writes in the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo: “Today everything leads us to believe that the early Christian movement, founded by Jesus, was profoundly ‘feminist,’ since the first domestic churches were women’s houses, where they officiated as priests and bishops.”

    For many, the Apocryphal sources seem to carry far more weight than the Biblical source. This preference, however, raises some important questions: Are the Apocryphal writings a legitimate source of Christian faith? When they contradict clear Bible teachings, which source should we believe—the Bible or the Apocryphal books? Was there really a conspiracy in the fourth century to suppress these books and alter the four Gospels to exclude important information about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and others?

    For answers to these questions,you should consider the Gospel of John.

    A valuable fragment of John’s Gospel was found in Egypt at the turn of the 20th century and is now known as the Papyrus Rylands 457 (P52). It contains what is John 18:31-33, 37, 38 in the modern Bible and is preserved at the John Rylands Library, Manchester, England. This is the oldest manuscript fragment of the Christian Greek Scriptures in existence. Many scholars believe that it was written about 125 C.E., a mere quarter of a century or so after John’s death. The amazing thing is that the text of the fragment agrees nearly exactly with that in later manuscripts. The fact that a copy of John’s Gospel of such antiquity had already circulated to Egypt, where the fragment was discovered, supports the conclusion that the good news according to John was really recorded in the first century C.E. and by John himself, as the Bible indicates. The book of John is therefore the work of an eyewitness.

    On the other hand, the Apocryphal writings all date from the second century on, a hundred years or more after the events they describe had taken place. Some experts try to argue that the Apocryphal writings are based on earlier writings or traditions, but there is no proof of this. Thus, the question is appropriate, Which would you put more faith in—the testimony of eyewitnesses or that of people who lived a hundred years after the fact? The answer is obvious.*

    The Papyrus Rylands 457 (P52), a fragment of the Gospel of John dated to the second century C.E., was written only a few decades after the original

    What about the assertion that the Biblical Gospels were altered in order to suppress certain accounts of Jesus’ life? Is there any evidence that the Gospel of John, for example, was altered in the fourth century to distort the facts? To answer this question, we need to bear in mind that one of the key sources of the modern Bible is the fourth-century manuscript known as Vatican 1209.
    If our Bible contains changes made in the fourth century, then these changes would be reflected in this manuscript. Happily, another manuscript that contains most of Luke and John, known as Bodmer 14, 15 (P75), dates from 175 C.E. to 225 C.E. According to experts, it is textually very close to Vatican 1209. In other words, no significant changes were made to the Biblical Gospels, and we have the Vatican 1209 to prove it.

    There is no evidence, documental or otherwise, that proves that the text of John — or of the other Gospels — was altered during the fourth century. After examining a collection of manuscript fragments discovered at Oxyrhynchus, Egypt, Dr. Peter M. Head, of Cambridge University, writes: “In general terms these manuscripts confirm the text of the great uncials [manuscripts written in large capitals that date from the fourth century on] which forms the basis of the modern critical editions. There is nothing here which requires a radically new understanding of the early transmission of the NT [New Testament] text.”

    “Gnostic” and “Apocryphal” come from Greek words that can refer to “secret knowledge” and “carefully concealed” respectively. These terms are used to refer to spurious or uncanonical writings that attempt to imitate the Gospels, Acts, letters, and the revelations in the canonical books of the Christian Greek Scriptures.

    The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, survives only in two small fragments and a longer one with probably half of the original text missing. Moreover, there are significant variations between the available manuscripts.

    In recent years we have heard a lot of speculations which were fed by fanciful fiction, many books and articles that focus attention on those apocryphal writings from the second and third centuries C.E. that claim to reveal facts about Jesus omitted from the Gospels.

    According to some sources, the Gospel of Matthew was written as early as the eighth year after Christ’s death, that is, about 41 C.E. Many scholars favor a somewhat later date, but there is general agreement that all the books of the Christian Greek Scriptures were written during the first century C.E.

    Eyewitnesses of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection were still living then; they could verify the Gospel accounts. They could also easily expose any inaccuracies. Professor F. F. Bruce observes: “One of the strong points in the original apostolic preaching is the confident appeal to the knowledge of the hearers; they not only said, ‘We are witnesses of these things,’ but also, ‘As you yourselves also know’ (Acts 2:22).”

    The writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures included some of Jesus’ 12 apostles. These and other Bible writers, such as James, Jude, and probably Mark, were present on the day of Pentecost in 33 C.E. when the Christian congregation was formed. All the writers, including Paul, were closely united with the original governing body of the early Christian congregation, consisting of the apostles and the elders in Jerusalem. (Acts 15:2, 6, 12-14, 22; Galatians 2:7-10).

    Jesus commissioned his followers to carry on the preaching and teaching work that he had started. (Matthew 28:19, 20) He even said: “He that listens to you listens to me too.” (Luke 10:16) Further, he promised them that God’s holy spirit, or active force, would give them the power they needed to do that work. So when writings came from the apostles or their close fellow workers — men who gave clear evidence of being blessed by God’s holy spirit — the early Christians naturally accepted such books as authoritative.

    Some Bible writers testified to the authority and divine inspiration of their fellow writers. For example, the apostle Peter referred to the letters of Paul and put them on par with “the rest of the Scriptures.” (2 Peter 3:15, 16) Paul, for his part, recognized that the apostles and other Christian prophets were inspired by God. (Ephesians 3:5).

    The Gospel records therefore have a strong claim to reliability and authenticity. They are not mere legends and tales. They are carefully recorded history, based on eyewitness testimony, written by men who were inspired by God’s holy spirit.

    Some authors have claimed that the canon of the Christian Greek Scriptures was chosen centuries after the fact by a church that was an established power under the direction of the Emperor Constantine. However, the facts show otherwise.

    For example, note what Professor of Church History Oskar Skarsaune states: “Which writings that were to be included in the New Testament, and which were not, was never decided upon by any church council or by any single person . . . The criteria were quite open and very sensible: Writings from the first century C.E. that were regarded as written by apostles or by their fellow workers were regarded as reliable. Other writings, letters, or ‘gospels’ that were written later were not included . . . This process was essentially completed a long time before Constantine and a long time before his church of power had been established. It was the church of martyrs, not the church of power, that gave us the New Testament.”

    Ken Berding, an associate professor whose field of study is the Christian Greek Scriptures, gives this comment about how the canon emerged: “The church did not establish a canon of its choosing; it is more proper to speak of the church recognizing the books that Christians had always considered to be an authoritative Word from God.”

    However, was it merely those humble first-century Christians who selected the canon? The Bible tells us that something far more important—and powerful—was at work.

    According to the Bible, one of the miraculous gifts of the spirit that were given in the early decades of the Christian congregation was “discernment of inspired utterances.” (1 Corinthians 12:4, 10) So some of those Christians were given a superhuman ability to discern the difference between sayings that were truly inspired by God and those that were not. Christians today may thus be confident that the Scriptures included in the Bible were recognized as inspired.

    Evidently, then, the canon was established at an early stage under the guidance of holy spirit. From the latter part of the second century C.E., some writers commented on the canonicity of the Bible books. These writers, however, did not establish the canon; they merely testified to what God had already accepted through his representatives, who were guided by his spirit.

    Ancient manuscripts also provide compelling evidence to support the canon that is generally accepted today. There are more than 5,000 manuscripts of the Greek Scriptures in the original language, including some from the second and third centuries. It was these writings, not the apocryphal writings, that were regarded as authoritative during the early centuries C.E. and therefore were copied and widely distributed.

    However, the internal evidence is the most important proof of canonicity. The canonical writings are in harmony with “the pattern of healthful words” that we find in the rest of the Bible. (2 Timothy 1:13)

    The apocryphal writings are quite different from the canonical writings. These apocryphal books date from about the middle of the second century, much later than the canonical writings. They paint a picture of Jesus and Christianity that is not in harmony with the inspired Scriptures.

    For example, the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas ascribes a number of strange utterances to Jesus, such as saying that he would transform Mary into a male to make it possible for her to enter into the Kingdom of heaven. The Infancy Gospel of Thomas describes young Jesus as a mean-spirited child who deliberately caused another child’s death. The apocryphal Acts of Paul and Acts of Peter emphasize complete abstinence from sexual relations and even depict the apostles as urging women to separate from their husbands. The Gospel of Judas depicts Jesus as laughing at his disciples for praying to God in connection with a meal. Such notions are at odds with what is found in the canonical books.—Mark 14:22; 1 Corinthians 7:3-5; Galatians 3:28; Hebrews 7:26.

    Many of the apocryphal writings reflect beliefs of the Gnostics, who held that the Creator, Jehovah, is not a good God. They also believed that the resurrection is not literal, that all physical matter is evil, and that Satan was the source of marriage and procreation.

    A number of the apocryphal books are attributed to Bible characters but falsely so. Did some dark conspiracy exclude these books from the Bible? One expert on the apocrypha, M. R. James, said: “There is no question of any one’s having excluded them from the New Testament: they have done that for themselves.”

    Bible Writers Warned About an Apostasy to Come

    In the canonical writings, we find a number of warnings about an imminent apostasy that would corrupt the Christian congregation. In fact, this apostasy had already started in the first century, but the apostles restrained its spread. (Acts 20:30; 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 6, 7; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 2:18, 19; 4:1-3) Such warnings shed light on writings that began to crop up after the death of the apostles, writings that contradicted Jesus’ teachings.

    Granted, such documents may appear old and venerable to some scholars and historians. But consider: What if scholars were to collect a pile of dubious writings printed today, perhaps gleaning them from gossip magazines and the publications of radical religious cults, and then were to seal the papers in a vault? Would the passage of time render those writings truthful and reliable? After 1,700 years, would the lies and nonsense in those papers become true simply because the documents were very old?

    Of course not! It is similar with claims that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and other outlandish statements from the apocryphal books. Why trust such unreliable sources, especially when reliable ones are at hand? Everything that God wants us to know about his Son is right there in the Bible — a record we can count on.

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