Category Archives: Religious affairs

From a polio stricken lady about wheelchairs and freedom

Terry Austin received his first wheelchair as a gift from the United States nonprofit organisation March of Dimes that works to improve the health of mothers and babies.

Growing up, going to church every Sunday was one of those never-miss activities for her family. She loved church because that’s where her friends would be. Her father was always her pastor.  Her father was a large man. He fought with the Marines in World War II and was wounded in the battle of Iwo Jima. He was the strongest man she ever knew, and she had a healthy fear, whether he was around or not.

When she was so young that the doctors had no conscience memory in her adult brain, she saw so many. Her earliest memories were of Dr. Matchett, an orthopedic surgeon who was assigned the task of helping her regain what she had lost to polio. She says

I remember him because of his gruff bedside manner. His training included treating wounded soldiers on the European battlefield during the war. {Prescription for the Church}

She dreaded visits to Dr. Matchett because he scared her.

His grey hair was perfectly coifed into a one-inch flat top, and he barked out orders to his nurse as if he were still a Colonel in the Army. Every time he saw me, he would grab my crooked foot, twist it straight, and say to my mom,

“This is the way it should look, and when he’s old enough, I’m going to fix it.”

It was painful; I hated it. When I turned 17, he did what he promised and fixed both of my feet, and made it possible for me to wear normal shoes. Prescription for the Church

Several years later she recognises

As painful as it was visiting Dr. Matchett if it were not for him repairing my feet and other stuff he did with my spine, I wouldn’t be here today. He knew what was needed for me to live to old age. The gruff doctor had a special place in our family, and we learned that when he said something was needed, we should listen. Years later, when he died, my mother sent his obituary to me, and I’ll admit, I grieved. Prescription for the Church

It was a few days before she started first grade in the small town of Eads in southeastern Colorado that she received her first wheelchair. Up until that time, the only way she could move around was to crawl on the floor or have someone carry her. Even having a wheelchair, she did not experience complete mobility. Stairs were always a problem, and her polio-weakened arms didn’t allow her to get too far away or traverse difficult terrain.

She writes

Things improved some when I was eleven and began walking on crutches. I continued to use a wheelchair for school and other times that required walking long distances, but now freedom was greater. Whenever Sharon would drag me shopping, I often waited in the car, which could be a long wait. When we went to the mall, I would typically walk in and find a central location where I could watch other folks shopping. {How to Live Free}

For her freedom came in the form of an electric wheelchair.

For the first time in my life, I was free to go places without help, without stopping to rest, and without worrying about a fall. Freedom is great. I didn’t especially enjoy shopping, but I did enjoy following Sharon up and down the store aisles and wandering around the mall. Conference Centers and parks were now a part of my world. Freedom is a great thing. {How to Live Free}

Read more: > How to Live Free

In that article she directs our attention to what we call the “Ten Commandments” within the context of freedom. She agrees that it seems strange to associate freedom with what we have always understood are binding rules. She writes:

Every preacher, worth his weight in communion wafers, has preached a series of sermons on keeping God’s commandments with a heavy emphasis on obedience. Obeying them certainly brings blessings, but they are still rules.

But let’s rethink this for a moment. The Israelites had been enslaved people for ten generations. They knew how to live according to rules imposed on them by a master. The last thing that would have interested them was more rules.

Jesus specifically did not come to “abolish” what they considered the law. He was there to “fulfill” or complete it. In other words, to bring it to complete fulfillment. Listen to what He said. Free people don’t murder because they have no need to be angry. Free people don’t commit adultery because they’re free from the lust after another man’s wife. Free people have no need to lie because the truth is enough. Free people don’t need revenge because God has given them everything they need.

When we are free from stuff, we are free from greed, anger, covetousness, and all the other emotions that separate us from others. We like to tell people that God is all we need, yet we live as if we are enslaved to other stuff. It’s inconsistent to say God has set me free, but it really makes me angry when you disagree with me, or I’m jealous of what you have, etc. We find ourselves living like the Israelites after leaving Egypt, wishing for what we left behind. {How to Live Free}

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Culture War Christianity in American history

In this article, you might find our comments on our previously published articles about Culture War Christians

What Are The Culture Wars?

A History Of The Culture Wars

A Theology of Culture War Christianity

Beyond the Culture Wars


 

What are the Culture Wars?

Think of “culture” as a way of life. It is the sum total of all values, beliefs, and practices making up a communal existence. When God commissions newly formed humanity in Genesis 1 to “fill the earth and subdue it”, he sets men and women into the world with a cultural mandate. His plan was for a human society, united under his rule in the world, ruling with him over the Cosmos as his vice-regents. {What Are The Culture Wars?}

Karl Marx saw how main religion tried to lure people in the ban of the church by false doctrines. It is because the majority of people did not take the time to read the Bible that so many religious groups were able to get people following their false doctrines.

Regularly, people were so prayed for by those doctrines of those churches that they no longer faced the real thing because they preferred to float on those ideas of those churches. It had become so bad that Marx also realised that for many, religion was like an ‘opium for the people’. In lots of Christian and Islamic denominations, their church leaders managed to have their followers, following and worshipping a wrong god and not following the real Christ. since his time still not much has been changed, and there are still lots of false teachers and false prophets around. Marx was disturbed by the knowledge that he saw so many people around him falling for those false human teachings and giving their money away to those churches when there were so many people around them suffering. Marx also noted few dared to question, let alone challenge, church doctrines.

It also bothered several thinkers in the 19th century that the church made no attempt to defend the majority of their churchgoers or parishioners, and did not stand up against the exploitation of parishioners. For far too many centuries, the Roman Catholic Church itself had done everything possible to trot out money from the poorer population.

The German revolutionary, sociologist, historian, and economist, Karl Marx and his closest collaborator, the German socialist philosopher Friedrich Engels’ answer to the ills of society was according to some, just the opposite of the utopian dreamers’ answers. Mainly this, because the ideas of utopists (like Mr. Ampe) seem for many too far-fetched and unreachable. Though Marx and Engels found enough people who, like them, believed that one could change the way people lived and could come to a better world with less inequality. They, too, went for a better world.

Since World War I the world has evolved incredibly on all levels. Politically it was a time of trying out several political systems, getting more than once in a lot of problems and crises. The Western world clinched at the industrialisation and experienced mixed economies floating between all kinds of political thoughts. Even as the western world became less religious and the church got less of a grip on its citizens, the rich continued to control everything and did everything they could to maintain their power.

For

For him it is clear that Christ should be at the centre of Christianity. But he also expects something for those who call themselves Christian. He

When Jesus prayed,

“on earth as it is on heaven”

he was indicating his expectation and desire that the culture of Heaven becomes the culture of Earth by way of his Church. But does Culture War Christianity, the sort launched in the ’70s, contradict the nature of Jesus’ Kingdom?

So many people had looked forward to the 20th century, hoping that because of all the new inventions, brought forward by the Industrial Revolution, they would be able to create a world where everything would be much easier and giving them more time to relax. The century opened with great hope but also with some apprehension, for the new century marked the final approach to a new millennium. For many, humankind was entering upon an unprecedented era. The English novelist, journalist, sociologist, and historian H.G. Wells’s utopian studies, the aptly titled Anticipations of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon Human Life and Thought (1901) and A Modern Utopia (1905), both captured and qualified this optimistic mood and gave expression to a common conviction that science and technology would transform the world in the century ahead.

Already before the seventies of the previous century there was something going wrong in the industrialised world. Even though many countries were allowed to offer independence back to their colonies, they continued to exploit people in their own countries. Even when churches wanted to present God in different ways over the years, people should know That God never changes. He will always be the same and keep to the same Plan He had already from the beginning of times.

The American pastor and current PhD candidate in Theological Ethics at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, Jared Stacy 
wants to call our attention to this basic theological ethic:

The work of God’s rule spreading throughout the world in individual lives and communities will never contradict who God is.

We would have loved that, but reality shows something totally different. For centuries, the main Christian churches have chosen another path than the disciples of Christ. The majority of people preferred to keep to their heathen traditions and festivals and the Catholic and several Protestant churches followed them and made Jesus Christ (the Messiah) their god. As such, we must say there is a lot of contradiction in what people say God is. For many, He is not the God of Christ, Who is the God of Israel, but is a god who is part of a three-headed godship, the Trinity.

It is not just that difference of who God is and who Christ is that has brought division in the world of believers. The diversity of religious groups has also brought both confusion and discord. Coming closer to the 21st-century tension or strife resulting from a lack of agreement came to bring even more separation between the true followers of the Nazarene Jewish masterteacher Jeshua  ben Joseph (Jesus Christ) and the name-Christians who worship Jesus as their god and do not shy away from also worshipping all kinds of people they call saints, this while the One True God desires full recognition and worship.

We have the impression that the blog writer who also writes for platforms like NPR, the BBC, Current, and For the Church, does not see (or does not know) the multiple camps in Christendom. He only mentions two of them. He writes

To speak generally, mischaracterizations come from two camps. Let’s call one group “conscientious objectors” and the other, “vocal advocates”.

Some accuse conscientious objectors to the Culture Wars of believing that Christianity should have no influence in the public square. They slander these conscientious objectors as faithless & godless, or misrepresent them as conspiratorially hypocritical, secretly harboring a progressive political agenda.

On the other end of the spectrum, some conscientious objectors accuse vocal advocates of conflating Christianity with cultural power. This often leads them to slander vocal advocates as compromising sell-outs, or mischaracterize their advocacy & well-connected influence as grounded in an inherently complicit conservative agenda. No doubt, I believe there are instances of legitimate criticisms from boths sides in Christian spaces. But polarity abounds.

For him the polarizing gap between vocal advocates and conscientious objectors reveals a vast “no man’s land” in American evangelicalism. This is why he believes his series has pastoral and personal implications for all of us.

Because either you or someone you know is wandering the no man’s land as a refugee from the Culture Wars.

Many American evangelicals are proud that they (so-called) keep to The 10 Commandments, though all of them already sin against the first commandment, not keeping to The Only One True God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah of hosts, the God above all gods.

David Hansen correctly says

“The majority of Americans will tell any pollster that they believe in the Ten Commandments. But only a small percentage of those people could even recite the Ten Commandment; and even a smaller percentage have any genuine interest in following them.” {The 10 Commandments in American Culture}

Lots of North Americans should seriously think about their religion and their faith. About that faith Stacy says there is a danger.

On a day of hope, we need a fresh reminder of the danger inherent in an embrace of Christian faith. {The Danger of Faith}

He points out the trap many Americans have fallen into.

It is American consumer Christianity that invites us to “make Jesus Lord of our lives”. This pitch makes Christ a commodity, leaving us—the consumer—with control. The resurrection and ascension is a coronation that happens apart from our consumer choice & control. {The Danger of Faith}

1909 painting The Worship of Mammon, the god of material wealth, by Evelyn De Morgan

The great part of the US population, as well as in other developed countries, is that believers have deviated from Biblical truth as well as become wedded to matter and thus actually honour the god Mammon. Several denominations in the United States make clever use of asking people for money all the time, pretending that they will then have a better life. It has also become so ingrained in people that one can only be successful if one has acquired a lot of money. Consequently, many do everything possible to be as rich as possible (on the material plane) while completely neglecting spiritual wealth. Many have forgotten that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.

Stacy writes

It is hard to deny today that for many, the supposed downfall of America is synonymous with the collapse of Christianity. Jesus confronts this idolatry with his Kingdom. {The Danger of Faith}

Lots of Americans are even not aware of how they participate in idolatry, which they prove by continually clinging to pagan festivals such as Candlemas, Easter, Halloween and Christmas, to name only the main ones, and to cling to money and material gain.

He reigns over a Kingdom that cannot be shaken through the rising and falling empires of this world. {The Danger of Faith}

And throughout history, many kingships or kingdoms and principalities as well as republics have risen and fallen. Never before has man succeeded in creating a nation or empire in which everyone was comfortable and where justice was done to everyone. Several Christians, in imitation of Christ, have tried to make people understand how best to live in unity with fellow human beings, plants and animals.

Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. (Leaders marching from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial) - NARA - 542010.tif

The 1963 March on Washington participants and leaders marching from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, as mass protest movement against racial segregation and discrimination in the southern United States that came to national prominence during the mid-1950s.

When we look at the German culture struggle of the 1870’s (kulturkampf) it’s clear that the American Civil Rights movement was a “Culture War” too. King’s commitment to non-violence laid a distinct Christian foundation for the Civil Rights movement. But white evangelicals of the time either distanced themselves from King, or denounced the Civil Rights movement entirely, with calls to “just preach the gospel.”  {A History Of The Culture Wars}

writes Stacy.

But not many white Americans were really willing to go to preach what was really written in the gospel. They prefer just to take some phrases out of context to repeat them so that people come to believe them.

The forty odd years from this origin point until today witnessed the end of the Cold War and an insurrection at the US Capitol. Between these bookends, Culture War Christianity made itself known & felt in American society through movements. (See, Kristin Kobes Du Mez, Jesus and John Wayne; Stan Gall, Borderlines: Reflections on Sex, War, and the Church; Frances Fitzgerald, The Evangelicals; Tim Gloege, Guaranteed Pure; historical treatments on these movements) {A History Of The Culture Wars}

Stacy reminds his readers:

The arguments and relationships in the antebellum South were transported via Lost Cause theology 100 years into the future, seen in white evangelical responses to the Civil Rights Movement. But these leaders could not ignore the impact of King’s kulturkampf. {A History Of The Culture Wars}

He assures his readers that

Culture War Christianity started after the Civil Rights Movement, not before. It borrows the playbook of the CRM. Ironically, it thrives on a sort of “persecuted minority” mindset, borrowed from the Civil Rights movement, but not actually indicative of the communal experience in its main constituents: white evangelicals. A minority mindset is a prominent characteristic of God’s people in the Scriptures. However, this mindset is not characteristic of evangelical experience in the United States. Race relations and evangelical’s historic participation in the moral establishment offer two historical keys that present a necessary critique of modern Culture War Christianity. {A History Of The Culture Wars}

He believes it is impossible to understand the history behind Culture War Christianity apart from race relations in the United States. So, we begin where we left off, with this statement:

The Culture Wars began when white American evangelicals took the activist playbook from the very Civil Rights leaders they opposed, to advance a moral agenda they could support.

Some were overtly political, like the Moral Majority or Christian Coalition. Others would serve the notion of family values, yet retain political influence, like Focus on the Family or Promise Keepers. Local churches and expansive media (books, radio, television) formed the local grassroots communities made these movements possible.

While this all may seem quite familiar, especially if you inhabited spaces within white American Christianity during the last 40 years, a history of the Culture Wars would be best served by going back 2 centuries to look at the phrase “Culture War” itself. {A History Of The Culture Wars}

In his blog he then goes back to the 19th century, across the Atlantic Ocean where the Germans provide us with a glimpse into a framework upstream to both the Civil Rights Movement and “Culture War Christianity” at a time when a new world order was being born. In that era, he recognises the central position of the Catholic Church, facing new threats to its grasp on power.

From the political power of the nation- state to the intellectual frameworks of liberalism and Darwinism, the winds were shifting. In response, the Church produced a flurry of theological statements and denouncements meant to stem the tide of ideas that threatened its hold on the Old World Order. {A History Of The Culture Wars}

File:Portrait pius ix.jpg

Portrait of Pope Pius IX circa 1864

The Holy See under Pope Pius IX on 8 December 1864, brought an appendix to the Quanta cura encyclical, with a syllabus where the church wanted to have the people see that it was with the times and recognised 80 of the

“principal errors of our times.”

As the errors listed had already been condemned in allocutions, encyclicals, and other apostolic letters, the Syllabus said nothing new and so could not be contested. Its importance lay in the fact that it published to the world what had previously been preached in the main only to the bishops, and that it made general what had been previously specific denunciations concerned with particular events. Perhaps the most famous article, the 80th, stigmatising as an error the view that

“the Roman Pontiff can and should reconcile himself to and agree with progress, liberalism, and modern civilisation,”

sought its authority in the pope’s refusal, in Jamdudum Cernimus, to have any dealings with the new Italian kingdom. On both scores, the Syllabus undermined the liberal Catholics’ position, for it destroyed their following among intellectuals and placed their program out of court.

The Church denounced religious liberty, the nation-state, and other consequences stemming from the “threat of liberalism.” {A History Of The Culture Wars}

For some time there had been bumbling or difficulty in having a good relationship with the Catholic Church. More thinkers also came to speak out about the huge profits the Church was making on the backs of the faithful. Increasingly, there was also the idea of going back to the basics of Christ’s teachings where simplicity was preached and people were taught how to stand up for and care for each other. In the gospel, Jesus set a good example of how not only Christians should live, but actually every human being.

In the 1870’s, the German people, specifically within the Kingdom of Prussia, found themselves in conflict with the Catholic Church over their own Reformation roots and a rapidly secularizing order. This conflict had ramifications for both the Church and the separated German states. As a result of this conflict swirling around the German peoples, individual German States united along highly Protestant lines under Otto Von Bismark of Prussia. (See, Helmut Walser Smith, editor, The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History) This period of conflict and change was given a name: Kulturkampf, or “Culture Struggle”. This German kulturkampf shows us how struggles between competing visions for human existence are sparked by complex reactions between religion, politics, and power. {A History Of The Culture Wars}

It is the clash between people of the common people, as well as philosophers and political thinkers, with the church, that caused very animated conversations in several places in the German Empire about faith, church, and the way we as human beings should choose to arrive at a better world.

After World War II several American religious groups tried to have the power over the American people. They tried to convince them that they were the sole church which preached the truth. Some even went so far to tell the people they were chosen by God and that their church is the only one that can bring them in heaven. For those churches, it is certain that one can only be accepted by God if one follows their rules. Of course, such a saying is absurd, but a large majority of Americans follow that false statement. In the life of faith, it is also certain that no particular church by Jesus was ever designated as the only one to follow.

By studying German kulturkampf, we can begin to see the American Culture War’s false claim to exclusivity and authority by claiming itself to be the sole representative and defender of orthodox Christianity. When we realize this — that American Culture War Christianity is not the single defender of the faith —  it trains us to adopt a healthy critical filter every time a Christian leader describes the “very survival of Christianity at stake” as a smoke screen for unChristian agreements with power. On the other hand, conscientious objectors to Culture War Christianity would do well to consider how “culture struggle” might be a positive expression of Christian faith. There is space to consider positive “culture struggle”. {A History Of The Culture Wars}

King’s kulturkampf was rooted in Christian principles, and sought to dismantle the injustices of racial segregation, subjugation and discrimination within America. With the upcoming of the more conservative Christians, and/or conservative evangelicals, the position between coloured people worsened again and nationalism and (far) right-wing ideas came to the forefront in the States, the same way they did in the 1930s in Europe. Thus, from Europe, we could see the very dangerous development of right-wing rule and the glorification of such despots as Donald Trump, who is a danger to the world.

What would come to define and shape Culture War Christianity in 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s in the US is not at all what King and several serious preachers had in mind. The growing conservatism by the Americans brought forward people who are against equality and who find the white man is the pure race. Even Billy Graham came to criticise segregation but also denounced the non-violent demonstrations as contributing to further violence.

Others denounced calls for desegregation entirely. Back in 1960, Bob Jones Sr. took harder lines at Christians supporting an end to segregation by referring to them as “religious infidels”. {A History Of The Culture Wars}

Several pastors of mega-churches, especially in white neighbourhoods, succeeded in shifting all the faults of the system onto the backs of the blacks and refugees who just’ came and invaded America’, without the government doing enough to stop them. One would think the religious leaders would have their moral reasoning to flow from a theological calculus, but it (for sure) did not come from Biblical teaching.

Stacy writes

Charles Ivory’s masterful Proslavery Christianity examines the white evangelical relationship with black evangelicals before the Civil War. He looks at how these interactions between white and black Christians, slave and free, actually came to shape the white evangelical theological defense of slavery. If we want to understand the Culture War Christianity of Falwell, and other white evangelicals, we need to examine their response to the Civil Rights Movement. I believe their response has its source in the theological calculus of white evangelicals in the antebellum South. {A History Of The Culture Wars}

Ivory writes it was not uncommon for white and black evangelicals to worship within the same church. Indeed, the revival of the late 18th century did not discriminate on the basis of cultural background. But the theological conflict in evangelical churches pre-Civil War centered around conversion. Namely, does Christian conversion necessitate manumission? Today, Christians would argue chattel slavery is indefensible regardless of a slave’s conversion to Christianity. Humanity is not property. However, the historical context of the time made the question of conversion and manumission the frontline theological conflict regarding chattel slavery within evangelical churches. {A History Of The Culture Wars}

In West Europe the people had gone already through that process, knowing that slavery was something one could not accept in a civilised society. On this, several speakers came to draw attention to a system to bring more equality among all people. The road to socialism and communism was thus promoted by several enthusiasts.

Culture War Christianity has long since ossified into the de facto expression of faith for many white American evangelicals.

But those white American Christians have come to love themselves more than someone else and consider themselves as the only ones worthy to govern America. They do not have an eye at all for the indigenous people, because they consider themselves as the rightful founders and owners of America.

For 200 years, white evangelicalism has been an insider. No where has the minority mindset been more pervasive in our modern conception of Culture War Christianity than rhetoric. Phrases like “drain the swamp”, “make America great again”, and “take back America for God” in evangelical politics go right next to “that’s too political” and “just preach the gospel” in evangelical churches. {A History Of The Culture Wars}

We can wonder from who those evangelicals have to take back ‘their country’! Those evangelicals seem not to have any idea what the ‘founders’ of America had in mind and why they wanted religion and government separated.

While separation of church and state was federally enshrined in the Constitution, it did not play out in those strict terms in state and local governments. This changed in the early 20th century, when the Scopes trial, New Deal politics, and internal theological warring between fundamentalists and modernists left a vacuum in American society that evangelicalism used to fill in common culture. Neo-evangelicals like Billy Graham emerged in this vacuum. But for the long of American history, Christians have not only been influential, but privileged.

How can a privileged majority come to see itself as a minority? Culture War Christianity accomplishes this in part by dressing itself in the Biblical and theological concept of a remnant. A faithful few of God’s people who remain loyal to God and his ways in a foreign, godless land. But this theological adaptation does not line up with the historical participation of white evangelicals in the moral establishment of the United States. Yet, the drums of Culture War for white American Christians implied a greater enemy beyond its borders. {A History Of The Culture Wars}

Though the big problem of those Tea Party and conservative or fundamentalist evangelicals is that they are not at all remaining “loyal to God and his ways in a foreign, godless land” they even have betrayed God and His son on several levels. They have created some three-headed god (or three-une being) and political leaders such as Trump as their gods, and consider their American flag as their religious symbol even a Christian symbol. For sure they can not belong to the faithful few of God’s people, because they do not believe in the Only One True God and because they do not act like People of God. They themselves are part of that ‘dark world’ the Bible is talking about. And now in those times that darkness and of gloominess can be seen everywhere, they also do everything to create division and spread hate, instead of spreading the love of Christ and his great message of a world full of peace. Those evangelicals with other name Christians have made it a sport to make fun of, blacken and curse true Christians. They do everything possible to get people away from those true worshippers of God. They also have some sort of paranoia and consider all people from abroad as dangerous suspects. They fear those coming from outside America would destroy their freedom.

Stacy remarks

the drums of Culture War for white American Christians implied a greater enemy beyond its borders. {A History Of The Culture Wars}

and also see what happened under the influence of certain political figures.

The Culture Wars of white American evangelicalism was not the reaction of the minority against the majority, but the majority against a imagined majority. It is hard to avoid this conclusion given overwhelming support for President Trump. {A History Of The Culture Wars}

Stacy continues writing

In the place of Jesus’ active reign today, we find American Christians given to other reigning power structures: nationalism, racism, misogyny, and bigotry. They are discipled by political—not resurrection—power. This is partly the reason why Culture War Christians took greater issue with Kaepernick’s supposed desecration of the flag than they might with his concerns over police brutality against image bearers. They operate in a power structure other than the Kingdom of Jesus. {A Theology of Culture War Christianity}

Stacys wonders

What if Culture War Christianity long ago bowed the knee to a nationalist, secular conservatism? One with its law & order politics, reticence on issues of race, and idolatry of country? {Beyond the Culture Wars}

Ans says that he has argued this in his series.

Long before white evangelicals told MLK to “just preach the gospel”, there has always been a Christianity domesticated by, and deployed in defense of, the status quo in this country. Frederick Douglass called it before any of us. And in this sort of Christianity, “make disciples” has too often been code for “make people like us” not “make us like Jesus”. {Beyond the Culture Wars}

There lies one of the biggest problems in American Christendom. The majority of Americans does not take time enough to seriously study the Scriptures. For most of them the Bible also only means the New Testament. Lots of those evangelicals also do not understand what that sacrificial offering of Jesus, letting himself be nailed at the stake, means. For them it is very difficult to grasp how a man of flesh and blood could give himself as a lamb for whitewashing the sins of many.

Some of those white evangelicals living in the United States of America are convinced they are the only ones who can  Make America Great Again and build up the most correct state. They forget how so many people before them have tried already to construct an ideal state. They should know it shall only happen under Jesus Christ that we shall be able to live in a perfect world.

Let us also not forget Niebuhr’s saying,

“any good worth doing takes more than one lifetime.”

According to Jared Stacy

This should give us pause before we entertain pragmatism to bring about change in our lifetime. It was Jesus who said,

“what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his soul?”

This should give us pause as we count the cost of pragmatism to reveal the Kingdom of God. {Beyond the Culture Wars}

He ends his article series by saying

After all, the cross is not a symbol of cultural superiority for white America, but of surrender and sacrifice in the Kingdom of God. We must measure our motivations by the Cross, and our methods. Take it from me. A millennial. The generation who was born in and shaped by the ‘Jesus & John Wayne evangelicalism” in its prime. {Beyond the Culture Wars}

And recognises the problem

Culture War Christianity allows you to have a Christian worldview and reject the Cross.   {Beyond the Culture Wars}

By which he hopefully means: rejecting the ransom offering of that Jewish Nazarene master teacher, Jeshua ben Josef, or Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

It substitutes other, more pragmatic means to really get things done. But in the Kingdom of Jesus the only strategy available for implementing a Christian worldview is the Cross.  {Beyond the Culture Wars}

We have to do away with the false teaching in Christendom and have to go back to the Biblical teachings and keep to them, adhering to Biblical Truth and not human doctrine.

We should recognise the danger of that growing conservative evangelism.

For all it’s posturing about the morality of America, Culture War Christianity has stopped its ear to calls for ethnic & economic justice. Has tied its hands in response to sexual scandal and abuse in its ranks. Yet expresses incredulity when the world fails to take its sexual ethic seriously. Culture War Christianity can only provide more entrenchment, more combat, and more pragmatism. But crucified Christianity is growing the world over, and—as it has always done— turning the world upside down.  {Beyond the Culture Wars}

Writing from Scotland, the author of the mentioned articles, wants to suggest a simple but humble invitation to venture into the wilderness as an act of faithfulness. For him,

the wilderness meant stepping out of the American pastorate, and out of America. This was my move made in faith. An attempt to combat the rise of cynicism in my own spirit, channeling it into meaningful, faithful action.  {Beyond the Culture Wars}

From Moses, to Elijah, to Christ. Perhaps the wilderness is the place for those disenchanted and disillusioned, those disowned and disinherited from Culture War Christianity, to begin to see the Cross not as a symbol storming the US Capitol, but again as a place where our power grabs go to die. And where there is death to our ability to bring about change, God brings resurrection that changes everything.  {Beyond the Culture Wars}

The Austrian philosopher and Roman Catholic priest known for his radical polemics arguing that the benefits of many modern technologies and social arrangements were illusory and that, still further, such developments undermined humans’ self-sufficiency, freedom, and dignity, Ivan Illich illumines what it is to be in the world, but not of it — just like Jesus.

Jared Stacy offers his words as a simple reflection in the conclusion to his series:

It is astonishing what the devil says: I have all power, it has been given to me, and I am the one to hand it on — submit, and it is yours. Jesus of course does not submit…Not for a moment, however, does Jesus contradict the devil. He does not question that the devil holds all power, nor that this power has been given to him, nor that he, the devil, gives it to whom he pleases. This is a point which is easily overlooked. By his silence Jesus recognizes power that is established as “devil” and defines Himself as The Powerless. He who cannot accept this view on power cannot look at establishments through the spectacle of the Gospel. This is what clergy and churches often have difficulty doing. They are so strongly motivated by the image of church as a “helping institution” that they are constantly motivated to hold power, share in it or, at least, influence it.  {Beyond the Culture Wars}

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Please also do find to read

  1. Utopism has not ended
  2. Looking at an Utopism which has not ended
  3. My faith and hope
  4. Utopian dreams
  5. Are Christianity and Capitalism Compatible?
  6. The Upbringing of Ideas and the Extrapolation of Capitalism
  7. A famous individual by the name of Jesus of Nazareth
  8. 19th and 20th Century Shifts in bourgeoisie
  9. All that is solid still melts into air.
  10. Intellectual servility a curse of mankind
  11. The New Imperialist Structure
  12. Is Christianity a Greedy Religion?
  13. Should church members question preachers about the doctrine that is not in the Holy Bible?
  14. A History Of The Culture Wars
  15. Unhappy people in empty churches
  16. Gradual decline by American Christians
  17. Christians are increasingly mixing and matching their faith in unexpected ways
  18. Being Christian in Western Europe at the beginning of the 21st century #1
  19. The decline of religion in the US continues unabated
  20. Liberation, salvation and the Latin American voice entering the Vatican
  21. Eyes on pages and messages on social media
  22. Troubles testing your faith and giving you patience and good prospects
  23. The Most Appropriate teacher and Scoffers in our contemporary age
  24. Social media for Trumpists and changing nature of warfare
  25. Blinded crying blue murder having being made afraid by a bugaboo
  26. False teachers and false prophets still around
  27. The Field is the World #4 Many who leave the church
  28. Unhappy people in empty churches (Our World)
  29. Hardships for choosing to follow the real Christ
  30. Church indeed critical in faith development
  31. Crises of Real, Imaginary, and Symbolic Money
  32. International Proletariat
  33. The killing of capitalism
  34. The Principles of Communism – Friedrich Engels
  35. Ability
  36. Ability (part 2)
  37. Ability (part 3) Thoughts around Ability
  38. Ability (part 4) Thought about the ability to have ability
  39. Ability (part 5) Thought about the abilities to be under God’s Spirit
  40. To whom do we want to be enslaved
  41. Compromise and accomodation
  42. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  43. Not saying Jeshua is God
  44. The 17th annual White Privilege Conference a militantly Christophobic conference held in Philadelphia
  45. Faith, storms and actions to be taken
  46. Christ’s ethical teaching
  47. Obeying God rather than man & A Time to Act
  48. Entering 2022 still Aiming for a society without exploitation or oppression
  49. News that’s fit to print
  50. Beyond the Culture Wars
  51. January 6: A Failed Apocalypse
  52. Hope For, But Not In, Evangelicalism
  53. Presbyterians and Reformed Christians, membership and active involvement is part of a congregation’s DNA
  54. The Guardian’s view on the world 1st week of June

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Related

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  2. The Pharaoh and The Worker | From Ancient Egypt to The Communist Manifesto
  3. (Sunday Homily) Christianity Is Communism! Jesus Was a Communist!
  4. Bernie Reminds Us that Christianity Is Communism & Jesus Was a Communist!
  5. 7th Century Madina Economics
  6. Religion and the Rise of Capitalism
  7. Karl Marx
  8. Marx, Labor Rights and Reform in Capitalism
  9. Das Kapital (Karl Marx)
  10. Cultural Marxism versus Marx
  11. Karl Marx – the prophet of goons – Part 3
  12. All that is solid still melts into air.
  13. Wage Differentials or Discrimination: Islamic Perspective
  14. Marxists Changed How We Understand History
  15. Finding the Ideal, Perfect Community
  16. Alternative Earth
  17. Utopia! 
  18. Utopia – Thomas More ****
  19. Anarchy, State and Utopia
  20. Postalgia / Prostalgia – Is this as Good as it Gets?
  21. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism
  22. Cultural Amnesia
  23. The Future of Governance
  24. False American Dream
  25. Thinking Critically about Marxism, Socialism and Communism (All in fewer than 1000 words!)
  26. The Missing Faith Dimension of the Capitalism vs. Socialism Debate
  27. A Broken system
  28. Psychological Warfare
  29. Humanities Retribution
  30. Walk The Path
  31. Reform or Revolution? A Debate (I)
  32. Reform or Revolution? A Debate (II)
  33. Editorial: what is humane socialism?
  34. The virtues of good, enlightened, accountable elitism
  35. The Radical Left Needs to Call into Question Existing Social Institutions at Every Opportunity, Part Four
  36. End of capitalism as we know it
  37. The Future is History
  38. The true believer
  39. Research Resources: Communism in America
  40. “A Spectre is Haunting Europe…”
  41. Finding the Ideal, Perfect Community
  42. So You Think Capitalism Is Evil
  43. Capitalism: The Ultimate Empowerment
  44. Capitalism: Misunderstood
  45. On the Current Conjuncture
  46. The discipled political church
  47. Veneration (Gilbert and Gilbert)
  48. Christianity and Idealism (Van Til)
  49. Brief Insights on Mastering Bible Doctrine (Heiser)
  50. A Field Guide on False Teaching
  51. Andrew McWilliams-Doty looks at evangelicals
  52. Evangelical: Leave It or Love It?
  53. How the term Evangelical has grown to blur theology and ideology
  54. Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics – An Interview
  55. Which Christians Actually Evangelize
  56. Is it Time to Abandon “Evangelical?”
  57. Warped Christianity
  58. The 10 Commandments in American Culture
  59. Communist Infiltration, What Did Bella Dodd REALLY Know – YouTube
  60. German priest contradicts pope and backs pornography as sexual ‘relief’ for celibates | Catholic News Agency
  61. Sports Star to Be Jailed 10 Months for ‘Transphobic’ Message
  62. What is at stake in the buffer zone debate? | Isabel Vaughan-Spruce | The Critic Magazine
  63. Win for Christian ministry after judge refuses to strike out discrimination case – Christian Concern
  64. Watch the body language in this heated exchange yesterday between Canada’s Justin Trudeau and Chinese Emperor Xi 👀 | Not the Bee
  65. Episode 21 – Stella(r) (Hypo)Creasy and the Gov Crackdown on Free Speech – YouTube
  66. Senate advances same-sex marriage bill amid religious freedom concerns – Catholic World Report
  67. America/Brazl – After 50 years, the mission of Cimi is still “to defend with courage and prophecy the cause of the indigenous peoples” – Agenzia Fides
  68. The Christian Father -Conferences of the Men’s Group – YouTube

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A cloudy morning

George Shetuni

A sagging sky,
It’s so ugly, it’s beautiful.

I was happy once
Ah, to be young and in love…

A dreary wet morning,
Tea alone on a lounge chair

A thunderstorm last night
An open window, a thunderstrike

So loud, so near, so terrible!
That it’s beautiful

The windows left open
Rainwater gushes in.

Ah, to be young and in love…
O what beautiful dark days of youth.

I was happy once,
I was sad at once

This? What is this?
A sagging sky, so dark, so ugly,

That it’s beautiful?
This is nothing!

Lonely. I must write!
The End

Nje Mengjes me Re (Albanian)

Një qiell i varur,
Është aq i shëmtuar, sa është i bukur.

Një herë isha i lumtur
Ah, të jesh i ri dhe ne dashuri

Një mëngjes i zymtë i lagësht,
Pi caj jashte, i vetëm në një karrike të varur

Një stuhi mbrëmë
Një…

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Our existence, the world showing up for us and holding up a mirror

The world doesn’t just exist, it shows up for us. It appears as the pure experience of the present moment. And one of the most amazing things about the world is that it changes – from age to age, generation to generation, over the course of a human lifetime.

We can not ignore the world. We live in it, and we have to face those things that happen in that world. Today it would even be very difficult to live on a desert island just to live on our own without any interruption or interference from other human beings.

We are here and though others can ignore us, we can not ignore them nor deny our own existence. We have our fleshy bodies within it our brains which enable us to think and reason. From the moment we are born we are confronted with the world and shall have to learn to live in that world. From that first step on earth, time does not let us on our own but however we want, time binds us to itself. It makes hours, days, months and years go by while we have to hold in it and come to the realisation that we are getting older. However, we turn it or turn it and look for the ‘why’ we are here and the ‘how’ we can make it true here, we are pulled in all directions to do this or that or to be here and there.

Sometimes we even wonder not only why we exist, but also why this world and this universe exist. Lots of people also wonder what there would be in outer space. In the darkness behind the horizon, stars and planets get us dreaming of other planets and perhaps also about other living beings. Why should we be the only intellectual beings?

When we see time passing, we often feel as if we are running out of time. Looking at how glaciers melt and how waters rise, but so many in the world do not want to believe climate change is a serious business and that we are heading for an unseen natural disaster if we do not act quickly to combat global warming.

If nothing existed there would be nothing to contemplate existence and no existence to contemplate. Now we have to think about a lot of things. In fact, it happens that our brains don’t let us rest easy and get our heads spinning with all sorts of (sometimes foolish) thoughts.

Why did anything happen?

Why didn’t nothing happen?

Why did all those planets came into existence?

Why does anything at all exist?

What does it mean to exist?

Why did man came into existence and why does he thinks he is superior to all other beings?

Why are we here?

What is life all about? or What is the purpose of existence?

Is that what we think to see realy there? Or is it just an illusion?

Philosophers through all ages have tackled this most fundamental question of existence. Many persons came to practice or investigate the systematised study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language. There was and is the searching, the rational, abstract, and methodical consideration of reality as a whole or of fundamental dimensions of human existence and experience. We know of major Eastern philosophers, like Buddha; Confucius; Dai Zhen; Han Feizi; Laozi; Mencius; Mozi; Nichiren; Nishida Kitarō; Wang Yangming; Xunzi; Zhu Xi.

But in the West, they did not have to undercut and could in turn make others think and philosophise with a variety of thoughts. There were many Ancient Greek philosophers, like Aristotle and his followers, who brought a whole movement into being,  Aristotelianism. Epicurus and Epicureanism.
The Western world provided lots of major Western philosophers, like Peter Abelard; St. Anselm; St. Thomas Aquinas; St. Augustine; Noam Chomsky; Jacques Derrida; Duns Scotus; Michel Foucault; Jürgen Habermas; Martin Heidegger; David Hume; William James; Saul Kripke; Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz; John Locke; John Stuart Mill; Friedrich Nietzsche; Hilary Putnam; Jean-Jacques Rousseau; Bertrand Russell; Jean-Paul Sartre; Socrates; Benedict de Spinoza; Bernard Williams; Ludwig Wittgenstein, and so many more who request our attention.

Some of those philosophers from the east and west will tell you that everything that we experience as real is an illusion. Especially in Eastern philosophies, we find ‘masters’ or ‘teachers’ who will say this is all a dream.

Could it be that we are part of a dream or living in some surreal universe?

And is there some Being managing it all?

Is there a Creator or Manipulator? And are we just His toys?

We may see all this physical stuff around us, but in which way is it real, or do we get to know how it really is?

Over the years, mankind had to change its views about so many things. More than once, man had it wrong. More often there were groups of people or organisations, who wanted to have control over people and made it a rule or doctrine that people had to believe. The Roman Catholic Church was (and is still) a master in that.

Many people have high ideas about themselves. Sometimes it happens that they suddenly become confronted with themselves and have to come to see that their thoughts and emotions are ‘nothing’. It is all, they will say, the play of pure consciousness. John Locke considered “the perception of what passes in a man’s own mind” man’s consciousness.

Pure being is all that really is. Everything else is an illusion created in an ungraspable field of consciousness, awareness and sentience. Some philosophers regarded it as a kind of substance, or “mental stuff,” quite different from the material substance of the physical world. From such philosophers’ ideas many started to believe we exist out of more than one element. They managed to have several people believe that when they die that there is a spiritual element (the soul) that will go to other places (like purgatory, hell or heaven) and another physical element that will transform into another body (incarnation and reincarnation). That reincarnation, also called transmigration or metempsychosis, in religion and philosophy, would be a rebirth of the aspect of an individual that persists after bodily death — whether it be consciousness, mind, the soul, or some other entity — in one or more successive existences. Depending upon the tradition, these existences may be human, animal, spiritual, or, in some instances, vegetable, depending on the way one lived before.

The French mathematician, scientist, and philosopher René Descartes for instance as one of the first to abandon Scholastic Aristotelianism, formulated the first modern version of mind-body dualism, from which stems the mind-body problem. Because he promoted the development of a new science grounded in observation and experiment, he is generally regarded as the founder of modern philosophy. We all know his expression

“I think, therefore I am” (best known in its Latin formulation, “Cogito, ergo sum,” though originally written in French, “Je pense, donc je suis”).

The medieval English logician St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033/34–1109), is at the heart of Descartes’s rationalism, the view that regards reason as the chief source and test of knowledge, knowledge about an existing thing solely on the basis of reasoning from innate ideas, with no help from sensory experience. Descartes has an innate idea of Allah Al-Aliyy or Most High God, being The Sublime God as a perfect being. For him, it is clear that God necessarily exists, because, if He did not, He would not be perfect. It is That God Who presides in the great assembly (Psalm 82:1) of human beings, who often think they are greater than others.

Jim Holt, the American journalist, author in popular science and essayist, who often contributed to The New York Times, wrote the nonfiction work and NYTimes bestseller for 2013, Why Does the World Exist?, presented the central question ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’, which lies in the domain between philosophy and scientific cosmology. Also the English cosmologist and astrophysicist Martin Rees looked at the big-bang theory of the origins of the universe. By examining the nature of existence itself Holt was following in the path of the philosophy called ‘Existentialism’, which stresses human existence in the world concreteness and its problematic character. for those writers ‘Existence’ is primarily the problem of existence (i.e., of its mode of being); it is, therefore, also the investigation of the meaning of Being. Going back to the intitial thought of previous philosophers

What is Being?

What does it mean to be?

To be is the question!

What does it mean to exist?

What is the nature of being?

For the German philosopher, counted among the main exponents of existentialism, Martin Heidegger, the human subject had to be reconceived in an altogether new way, as “being-in-the-world.” Because this notion represented the very opposite of the Cartesian “thing that thinks,” the idea of consciousness as representing the mind’s internal awareness of its own states had to be dropped. With it went the assumption that specific mental states were needed to mediate the relation of the mind to everything outside it.

Man philosophers had the above questions, bringing them to think about their own being and the being of others around them. Those people thinking and writing about those life questions bring the deep contemplation of what it means to be human. We think no other living being is concerned with such questions. Even pets don’t wonder what their role in the family might be (we think). Even though plants and animals have sentience, we suspect that they have no thinking capacity whereby they would ascertain their essence in this world.

On the other hand, it can well be that one of the reasons that other creatures don’t worry about the meaning of life could be that they don’t seem to have any choice about how to live it. Dogs and cats just live the way dogs and cats live. They respond to circumstances the way dogs or cats generally do. Sure they may differ one to the other, but generally speaking they act more or less predictably like dogs or cats.

But human beings can also be very predictable. We also could say human beings act in a similar way. Many people around us are also very predictable. Though we can notice that even when the majority lives a standard way of living, we can find people who follow a totally different course. There are human beings who stand out and surprise us. We also find several people who do not want to follow the tract the majority follows. They don’t live an ordinary life. They live an extraordinary life, that is remarkably new and different from the norm. And sometimes these rare human beings discover a way of being that eventually becomes the new norm.

Martin Heidegger was convinced that the history of Western thought has failed to heed the ontological difference, and so has articulated Being precisely as a kind of ultimate being, as evidenced by a series of namings of Being, for example as idea, energeia, substance, monad or will to power. He recognised that most of us live as ‘the one’, or that we do generally what ‘one’ does or what would be the general norm to do. Though we are often concerned with what ‘one’ tends to be concerned with.

He spoke about “Dasein” or “being there”, the most fundamental a priori transcendental condition or mode of being not so much to be seen from the point of being there but from the perspective of how the being essentially unfolds. As Heidegger puts it:

“A being is: Be-ing holds sway [unfolds]”.

The hyphenated term ‘be-ing’ is adopted by Emad and Maly, in order to respect the fact that, in the Contributions, Heidegger substitutes the archaic spelling ‘Seyn’ for the contemporary ‘Sein’ as a way of distancing himself further from the traditional language of metaphysics.

We all should be aware that somehow we come on this planet and have to make the best of it. We receive an overdose of information during our lifetime and are fed an untold number of knowledges and rules, with which and by which we try or must try to live. Through all these influences we have to go through, we have to try to build our lives and live a generic human life.

Unlike the rest of the animal kingdom, a human being could, if they were heroic enough, choose to live a different kind of human life and could come to live a profoundly authentic and original human life. The American lecturer, poet, and essayist, the leading exponent of New England Transcendentalism, Ralph Waldo Emerson called such human beings ‘representative’ because their lives represented new possibilities for being human.

I do not think “Life is But a Dream” even when we may dream that we live or imagine our life to be a certain way. When we are dreaming it can well be that we are not aware that we are asleep. But also when we are awake it can happen that we wonder if we are dreaming, because what we encounter seems to be so unreal. How often does it not happen that we must come to the conclusion that we were in a dream-world. And that dream world was not always to our liking. More than once the dream world that comes into our mind, is one that can cause fear, but luckilly there is also that dream world that causes joy, surprise, and myriad other emotions. Dreams take us, seemingly, to worlds we’ve been to and worlds that we have never experienced. In them we re-live what we lived before in that world we should recognise as the real world. But we should be aware that very often we are deceived by the real world around us. Often we do not want to know that this world has played tricks on us.

Every day we have doubts about certain things, often which we should recognise as facts. There and then we once more are confronted with those questions that come up into our mind so often. Oh, so often we are troubled, and question our own self and all the things we see happening around us. Then we might ask

What is our role in this all?

What happens when we become older?

As time passes we start getting in contact with other peoples and other cultures. Mostly how we grow up is decided by our parents and our surroundings. The culture of our homeland, the religion of our parents, and the friends we hang out with, all influence us and mould us in a form we do not mind or which bothers us. In case we do not like the form in which we are moulded we get frustrated and come into a stressful position. sometimes people would love to have been born in an other place or have lived in other circumstances. But the choice is not up to us. We are dropped in a time and place and have to find our way in it.

We have no memory of a previous life, because there is just not such another life.

Could we prove that we have ever lived if we did not have our memories?

No, there would be no way to prove it. There is not one person who ever could recollect and prove some previous existence. Even for those who are born, when young, their memory is too short and after some time they shall not be able to tell what happened in those first years of life. When you would ask a toddler to prove he lives, he would not be able to do so, because he has not enough memory and not enough knowledge. The very young cannot prove they live because they do not have memories. Memory starts to develop a bit later than the first few years of life. Memory is an essential component to the human mind, so important that we cannot say that we exist without memory. Knowledge and memory are two requirements to realise that one is alive and can be. In other words, our very existence is hinged on our capacity to remember. Without our capacity to think, or to have thoughts, we can not remember nor can we analyse. And to be able to know we live we need to be able to think, consider and to review.

Memory, as the encoding, storage, and retrieval in the human mind of past experiences, is unconditionally linked to thought and being. Without awareness, there is no knowledge of being. We can notice this when people have reached an age when they start to suffer from dementia. It is then as if their thinking but also their “being” falls away.

Memory is both a result of and an influence on perception, attention, and learning. It is those thoughts of past events and influences that help shape us, making us who we are. With that awareness and understanding of that event and of that personality we are confronted with, we ourselves are presented with a mirror, in which whether or not we will accept, love or hate that reflection. But dar we will recognise that this is that “I” that we wish, desire or curse.

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Preceding

With Positive Attitude

There can only be hope when there is a will to be and say “I am”

I and Thou

Our existence..

Leap

To come to live in the peace of fulfilment of our own Divine Identity

What is Existential Ergonomics?

On the Anxiety of Non-Being

Running out of time

Why does the world exist

Our real self ever perfect and free

Life’s Purpose

Modern Living

Quandary of Reflections

Existence in the non-existent and non-existence in the existence

Human experience maintained in a fragile existence

Soul-searching

Vivamos Videre, the more we live, the more we are a witness to life

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Additional reading

  1. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  2. Onsterfelijkheid – Immortaliteit – Immortality
  3. About The story of Creation 1 Existing cosmologies
  4. Genesis Among the Creation Myths
  5. Creator and Blogger God 1 Emptiness and mouvement
  6. Creation of the earth and man #14 Formation of man #6 The Uncreated One, neshemet ruach chayim and nephesh
  7. Jesus begotten Son of God #11 Existence and Genesis Raising up
  8. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  9. Ability
  10. Ability (part 2)
  11. Ability (part 3) Thoughts around Ability
  12. Ability (part 4) Thought about the ability to have ability
  13. The Opinionated Truth
  14. God make us holy
  15. Two states of existence before God
  16. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  17. Wisdom Quote #21…..seeking within with Carl Jung!
  18. Living in this world and viewing it

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Related

  1. Who am I to…?
  2. Spike the obit
  3. Awareness is All
  4. Trouble being myself
  5. #being as details
  6. Conditioning and Consciousness
  7. Becoming
  8. What Descartes Proved
  9. The ABCs of Python: The Identity of “is”
  10. When I sleep, I think, I dream [A philosophy post?]
  11. Wisdom Collection Collection 26. Human thinking is a creation process with devastating results. Thinking is separation of myself from my source.
  12. Mind and language essays on descartes and chomsky
  13. Therefore (Quote Series)
  14. Essays on the philosophy and science of rene descartes
  15. Descartes proof for the existence of god essay
  16. My favorites: philosophy ideas
  17. I remember therefore I am
  18. Descartes, Perception, and Society
  19. Strange nonsense
  20. Perception and Reality
  21. How Ego Disrupts the Cosmic Brilliance of ‘Is’
  22. I am
  23. What is Left to Doubt?
  24. Life is But a Dream
  25. In here and out there
  26. Confusion of knights
  27. Awareness, Consciousness, Experience, Mind
  28. Interlude: Descartes’ Role
  29. Descartes
  30. Consciousness, Personhood
  31. St. Borges of Canterbury
  32. Spirituality of the Left
  33. Breakthrough
  34. The floating consciousness
  35. Useful Heideggerian Concepts
  36. At The Existentialist Cafe by Sarah Bakewell is a biography of existentialism
  37. Martin Heidegger, the Standing Metaphor, and the Politics of 1935
  38. Time and Being
  39. Heidegger and the Question of Being
  40. Existential Reflections: The Shadow Side of Human Existence (2)
  41. Second Principle- Freedom in Being
  42. Every man is born as many men and dies as a single one.
  43. The ‘Man for All Seasons’ and Ontological Exigency
  44. Martin Heidegger Quotes
  45. Religion, Consumerism, and Absurdism: Modernity and the Quest for Meaning
  46. Two reviews of The Early Foucault (Polity, 2021) by Colin Koopman and Jasper Friedrich – and a note on Heidegger
  47. [Reflections] Why Does the History of Philosophy Matter to Philosophy?
  48. Modern Transcendentalism
  49. Ralph Waldo Emerson
  50. American Voices: Ralph Waldo Emerson
  51. Transcendentalism literary origins in america and influence essay
  52. Living in Subversia
  53. Ernest Holmes and the Science of Mind Part One: ‘Ye Are Gods’
  54. What are the main features of Shelley’s Transcendentalism ?
  55. Autumn, Concord, and Transcendentalism
  56. Transcendentalism : An American Movement
  57. Self-Awareness, Self-Reliance and Non-Comformity

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Questions asked, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Spiritual affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

Hunger of spiritually living Christians

Hunger to worship God


”True Christians truly seek the Kingdom of God first (Mat. 6:33).
Spiritually living Christians hunger for each opportunity to worship God and fellowship with other Christians (cf. Psa. 95:6; Mat. 5:6; Acts 12:12; etc.).
Cross-centered saints do not look for “reasons” to miss worship and Bible study with other saints!
It is incongruous to think of a spiritual-minded person (cf. 1 Pet. 2:5)
battling with the decision (?) of whether or not to attend.
May each of us develop the yearning of David and say,
“I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord” (Psa. 122:1).”

~ Allergic To Church? by Neal Pollard

 

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Of interest:

  1. My perspective: Virtual v Physical church attendance
  2. Church indeed critical in faith development
  3. Being Christian in Western Europe at the beginning of the 21st century #1
  4. Germinating small seeds, pebble-stones, small and mega churches and faith
  5. 500 Years of Reformation Divisions Have Lost Much of Their Potency
  6. American secularism is growing — and growing more complicated
  7. The post-Christian world
  8. Unhappy people in empty churches
  9. Jewish millennials between 2013 and 2017
  10. Difficulty in getting new young members
  11. The Field is the World #4 Many who leave the church
  12. Decrease in church attendance not only a recent feature #1 Methodist Church of Victoria and Tasmania
  13. Decrease in church attendance not only a recent feature #5 Necessity of attendance
  14. Less Americans interested in praying
  15. Christians close to falling below 50pc in England
  16. The decline of religion in the US continues unabated
  17. After 2,000 UK Church Buildings Close, New Church Plants Get Creative
  18. Christians are increasingly mixing and matching their faith in unexpected ways
  19. Reasons why Christianity is declining rapidly in America
  20. How to Save the American Church
  21. What sort people of faith do we want to be
  22. Not everyone in the churches of Christ are “ungodly”
  23. Being religious has benefits even in this life
  24. Offering words of hope

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Filed under Religious affairs

New form of body exercises gaining popularity

Physical therapies and body exercises

Regularly, some body technique is promoted. Since the 1980s, techniques have thus passed where the utmost of the body was demanded, while other techniques focused on just a few parts of the body. In addition, yoga techniques have come and gone only to reappear in a different form.

Photo by Cliff Booth on Pexels.com

In recent years, many even went so far as to make exercise an essential part of their lives or even came to adhere to a body cult. Thus, in the early 21st century, a kind of new religion or body cult began to replace traditional religions.

People wished to feel good in their skin and were willing to go very far in this and even invest a lot of time, energy and money in it. But there were also many who actually wished to distance themselves from money and matter. For them, materialism was the enemy of our society and dependence on the matter was reprehensible and one had to train the mind to become master of the body again, through appropriate exercises on both spiritual and physical fleets. Several people were convinced that all facts (including facts about the human mind and will and the course of human history) are causally dependent upon physical processes, or even reducible to them.

Because of the augmented stress in our industrialised world or so-called developed countries, a lot of therapies were also doled out.

Physical therapy is a professional career which has many specialties including musculoskeletal, orthopedics, cardiopulmonary, neurology, endocrinology, sports medicine, geriatrics, pediatrics, women’s health, wound care and electromyography. Neurological rehabilitation is, in particular, a rapidly emerging field. PTs practice in many settings, such as private-owned physical therapy clinics, outpatient clinics or offices, health and wellness clinics, rehabilitation hospitals facilities, skilled nursing facilities, extended care facilities, private homes, education, and research centers, schools, hospices, industrial and these workplaces or other occupational environments, fitness centers and sports training facilities

File:Fitness Magazine January 2015.jpg

Fitness, a United States-based women’s magazine, focusing on health, exercise, and nutrition, launched in 1992.

As we entered this century, a lot of health mags found the publishing market while only fitness magazines left the magazine shelves. Though there appeared men’s and women’s magazines which also centred largely on well-being, body form, exercise, nutrition, health, and beauty. For a while, wellness was the fashion word. Lots of magazines presented several adverts for wellness farms and all sorts of wellness programs.

After all the years of hard, intense exercise with a lot of sweating, place was made for gentil exercises and feel good cures.

An aerobics class

All the brutal violence of the 80s with Aerobics, among others, now seems to have been pushed under the carpet for good. It has finally dawned on several people how bad such ‘good sweat and suffering’ programmes are bad for the body. It has taken several medics years to rid people of such techniques that do more harm than good.

However, a large part of the population has become aware that one has to take care of the heart and treat the body respectfully to know how to handle multiple things smoothly. One came to see that for doing cardio or cardio-respiratory exercise there is no need in such high intensity exercises but has to come to low-intensity enough that all carbohydrates are aerobically turned into energy via mitochondrial ATP production. Medium- to long-distance running or jogging, swimming, cycling, stair climbing and walking, have proven to be more effective and less damaging than the overpopular Jane Fonda Workout or Aerobics. The American actress, political activist, and former fashion model spawned imitators and sparked a boom of women’s exercise classes, opening the formerly male-dominated fitness industry to women, and establishing the celebrity-as-fitness-instructor model. The horrible “Feel the burn!”, became a common saying lots of people really started to believe, along with the proverb, “No pain, no gain.” The exercise motto that promises greater value rewards for the price of hard and even painful work, has been luckily now pushed in the corner. It is true that one has to put in the effort to achieve something and it is not all that simple. Effort is a must, but it should not be at the expense of a healthy body.

Something of a revelation to devotees of hard, intense exercise, Zone 2 is one of this year’s key fitness talking points. Influential US well-being podcasters such as the American neuroscientist Andrew Huberman and the Canadian-American physician Dr Peter Attia who focuses on the science of longevity, have been recommending Zone 2 to their many thousands of listeners.

In January 2021, Huberman started the “Huberman Lab Podcast”, focused on neuroscience and science-based tools.In those podcast s he gives attention to breathing/breathwork and the visual system influence the autonomic nervous system, stress, and other brain states, including sleep.

On his podcast Huberman said:

“Getting 180-200 minutes of Zone 2 cardio per week has enormous positive effects on longevity and general health.”

Stress, he says, is not just about the content of what we are reading or the images we are seeing. It is about how our eyes and breathing change in response to the world, as well as the cascades of events that follow. Both these bodily processes also offer us easy and accessible releases from stress. By doing body exercises the wrong way we build up negative stress.

If you need to run and catch your train, you want all the things that go along with stress to go pursue that train. But if the stress response is spontaneous or excessive, it can start to feel pathological.

In the previous decades those exuberant fitness programs won terrain because lots of women wanted to lose weight.

“Despite reaching epidemic proportions, obesity has been wandering in the wilderness of medical lexicon.”

says Attia.

It is striking and distressing to see how several fat people have been added in recent years. Notwithstanding so many fitness programmes and all kinds of diet items and drinks, obesity has increased enormously. (Today the definitions of overweight and obesity are based primarily on measures of height and weight—not morbidity.) Since obesity is often the on-ramp to cancer, heart disease and even Alzheimer’s, we sincerely need to do something against this worrying increase.

The prevalence of overweight and obesity varied across countries, across towns and cities within countries, and across populations of men and women. In China and Japan, for instance, the obesity rate for men and women was about 5 percent, but in some cities in China it had climbed to nearly 20 percent. In 2005 it was found that more than 70 percent of Mexican women were obese. WHO survey data released in 2010 revealed that more than half of the people living in countries in the Pacific Islands region were overweight, with some 80 percent of women in American Samoa found to be obese. {Encyc. Britannica}

The fattening population has everything to do with culture and lifestyle habits among which eating and exercise habits are the main ones.

People need to be aware that it is not about being physically engaged to the point of giving up. On the contrary, one should exercise in a balanced way and not overload the body. It comes down to finding the right balance.

Zone 2 training means exercising at a level of exertion where your body is working, but not very hard – at this level your body is able to use fat as fuel rather than carbohydrates. As you work harder and move up into Zone 3 and beyond you will switch to using carbohydrates, a quite different state in which your heart, lungs and muscles are under stress and will need time to recover. (You know this switch is happening when breathing becomes harder and you are gasping or panting.)

Thanks to its turbocharging effect on our cells’ mitochondria Zone 2 cardio exercises have a very positive effect on the metabolism, improving blood sugar levels and reducing insulin resistance.

The cardio is linked to lower rates of a whole raft of diseases including type 2 diabetes, dementia, stroke and heart disease.

Dr Richard Blagrove, senior lecturer in physiology at Loughborough University, says:

“In terms of both health and performance, Zone 2 training can be really advantageous. I don’t feel bad about getting on my stationary bike and reading a book for an hour.”

Photo by Rui Dias on Pexels.com

Yes, even in a simple and not too strenuous way, one can train their body and work on it. Of course, it is even better to get out now and then, say twice a week, to fully focus your mind on movement in, say, a beautiful green environment. Though such ‘biking’ can lay down an “aerobic base” before one goes training further and build to more intense modes of exercise for competition later in the year.

For the rest of us, Zone 2 can be transformative.

Blagrove points out.

Former professional cyclist and fitness coach at ATP Performance Andy Turner lost 24kg through this kind of movement.

“Zone 2 makes you better at utilising fats as a fuel source and it can help level out your blood sugar. Longer-duration aerobics work can sometimes be forgotten, now it’s all about time-efficient, 30-minute, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).”

HIIT cannot be done every day without strain and risk. It can take 48 hours or more for your body to recover from a session and unsurprisingly this does not speed up as you grow older, whereas Zone 2 provides its many benefits in a sustainable way.

Zone 2 works best in a mix with some high-intensity training – three Zone 2 sessions a week with two HIIT blasts is a good mix.

Zone 2 is the place where your body is working, but not very hard. Technically this is 60-70 per cent of your maximum heart rate, but I would recommend an easier way, namely to check the Talk Test. If one trains properly and performs breathing correctly, one should be able to simply converse without getting out of breath. If you were to call someone during a Zone 2 workout, you should be able to use complex sentences, not just sentiments such as “Help!” or “Taxi!”.

I hope now some more people will put aside that wrong thought of having to suffer to have some successful training. One should not do penance for having sinned by going to a dinner or party. Physical exercise should never continue as a punishment. It should be an enjoyable activity so that it is also a liberating activity.

Always take of your body, because it is the only one you got.

Photo by Chevanon Photography on Pexels.com

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Preceding

Happy First Day of Spring: Spring Cleaning!

What would you do if…? Continued trial

”For The Moment Of Happiness”

Anxiety Management During Pandemic Days~

7 Ways To Boost Your Immune System in Lockdown

Be it in May or September: Run the race

Do you have painful creaky knees

Reasons to be cheerful

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Additional reading

  1. Strength of older people can be boosted by resistance training
  2. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  3. The focus of multiculturalism in Europe on Muslims and Jews
  4. Why are we surprised when Buddhists are violent?
  5. Spreading good cheer contagious

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Celebrate

Celebrate” – channelled spiritual message from The Circle of The Light of The Love Energy – Channelled by Kay Meade.

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  6. How to Squeeze Fitness into Your Day?
  7. Relaxation or exploitation? The commodification of yoga as a colonial practice
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  9. Today: “Now we have to understand…how we can tune our mind to Infinity. ” – Yogi Bhajan
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  13. I Tried Nude Yoga…And It Was Nothing Like What I Expected (via Yoga Journal)
  14. Kicking it old school on Fitness Friday
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  16. CHA Celebrates 10 Years of Helping Residents Lose Weight, Lower Blood Pressure and Reduce Cardiovascular Risk
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  23. Today’s Health Tip ~
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About a fleshless diet

Normally the Divine Creator provided enough food in the vegetable world.

However, not all fruits were to be eaten like that either. God had provided two trees in the Garden of Eden that man had to keep away from. But the mannin or 1st woman found this difficult and wished to be like God and be able to do things He could. She also tempted her husband, who went along with her story. They ate of the fruit of the “Tree of Knowledge of good and evil” (or Tree of moral) and gained insight into their futility and fragility. After they became aware of their mistake they hid from God at first, but after He found them and gave them another chance to be honest He placed them out of the Garden of Eden. From then on, it was not so easy for man to earn a living and he had to work for his food. At that time though, man was still aware that he should not inflict harm on any sentient creature.

As time progressed, humans began to crave more and/or become more greedy. Man was no longer content to just eat fruit and vegetables, and longed to eat things with flesh and blood. After some time man wanted also to eat ‘living beings‘ by which he first went for animals. In later years, certain peoples also came to eat other human beings, though that is not what God wanted.

The wrong ideaa  lot of people have about the People of God is that because they offered sacrifices that they would have eaten regularly meat. But that is not so. The offerings of pigeons and lambs in the Old Testament were done as an act of repenting, giving to God what He had given to them, showing that they could take distance from it and showing gratitude to the Elohim, but this also in a way that they showed respect for life.

Ascetic Jewish groups and some early Christian leaders disapproved of eating meat as gluttonous, cruel and not according to the Torah. Some Christian monastic orders ruled out flesh eating, and its avoidance has been, for several centuries, a penance and a spiritual exercise even for laypersons.

Today for many people, it is very difficult to go back to the origin of God’s Wishes. In a certain way, it would not be bad for man himself and for nature, when we would come to eat again those things the Elohim had in mind for our food.

Because man wanted to eat more and more meat, the flesh or other edible parts of animals, he had to replenish his meat supply and watched his livestock grow bigger and bigger, with those animals eating grass from deforested fields and thus being less able to purify the air, while their pee and poo polluted the air more. Thus, the world was burdened to a great extent, which would not have happened had he kept to God’s first thought.

The 17th and 18th centuries in Europe were characterized by a greater interest in humanitarianism and the idea of moral progress, and sensitivity to animal suffering was accordingly revived. There were several philosophes, and Protestant groups that came to promote and adopt a fleshless diet as part of the goal of leading a perfectly sinless life.

In the late 18th century the utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham asserted that the suffering of animals, like the suffering of humans, was worthy of moral consideration, and he regarded cruelty to animals as analogous to racism.

It should not surprise us that the first vegetarian society was formed in England in 1847 by the Bible Christian movement, founded by William Cowherd in Salford, North West England in 1809. Those Bible Christians put great emphasis on the independence of mind and freedom of belief, stating that they did not presume

“to exercise any dominion over the faith or conscience of men.”

Their idea of and believe in free will and that the original sin did not taint human nature and that humans by divine grace have free will to achieve human perfection, made many consider the Bible Christian Church to be a sect.  The Bible Christian Church (1815) was a dissident group of Wesleyan Methodists desiring effective biblical education, a presbyterian form of church government, and the participation of women in the ministry. The group, having a Pelagian approach, originated in Devonshire and spread to Canada (1831), the United States (1846), and Australia (1850), although O’Bryan left the society over administrative differences and began an itinerant evangelism in the United States (1831). The Bible Christians joined with other dissident Methodist groups in 1907 to form the United Methodist Church.

Today, vegetarianism and veganism have changed roles for many.

Veganism denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practical, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose. It also promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals, and the environment.

writes Hesh Goldstein in the NaturalNewsBlogs about health: How and why I chose veganism. She continues

The word “vegan” is newer and more challenging than “vegetarian”. “Vegan” includes every sentient being in its circle of concern and addresses all forms of unnecessary cruelty from an essentially ethical perspective. With a motivation of compassion rather than health or purity, “vegan” points to an ancient idea that has been articulated for many centuries, especially in the world’s spiritual traditions.

“Vegan” indicates a mentality of expansive inclusiveness and is able to embrace science and virtually all religions because it is a manifestation of the yearning for universal peace, justice, wisdom and freedom. {How and why I chose veganism}

We as humans should not think that everything is just ours and can be used by us as we see fit. We must realise that the Creator of the universe has loaned us the world. We are allowed to name and use things there ourselves. But that use should be done with respect. Just killing animals does not show respect at all.

We are therefore expected to have the right attitude towards how we treat things around us.

It is nice to see that there is a new trend and that the contemporary vegan movement is founded on loving-kindness and mindfulness of our effects on others. Hesh Goldstein finds it revolutionary

because it transcends and renounces the violent core of the “herding culture” in which we live. It is founded on living the truth of interconnectedness and thereby minimizing the suffering we impose on animals, humans and bio-systems; it frees us all from the slavery of becoming mere commodities.  {How and why I chose veganism}

We must recognise it has become time we reorganise ourselves and find ways to come back in balance with nature.

The suppression of awareness required by our universal practice of “commodifying”, enslaving, and killing animals for food generates the built-in mental disorder of denial that drives us toward the destruction, not only of ourselves, but of other living creatures and systems of this earth.

Because of this practice of exploiting and brutalizing animals for food has come to be regarded as normal, natural and unavoidable, it has become invisible. Eating animals is thus an unrecognized foundation of consumerism, the pseudo-religion of our modern world. Because our greatest desensitization involves eating, we inevitably become desensitized consumers devoid of compassion and caring little of how what is on our plate got there. {How and why I chose veganism}

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Preceding

A bird’s eye and reflecting from within

Warm-blooded, feathered vertebrates

Less… is still enough

Away with it oh no! – Weg er mee, oh neen

Grain for the heart

Looking at man’s closest friend

Weight loss that works

Having a problem with wonkiness…

Do you feel or love writing about Food

Is Organic food even safe?

Community Farming

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Find also to read

  1. Man was created to be a vegetarian
  2. The figure of Eve
  3. We won’t cut meat-eating until we put the planet before profit
  4. Seed banks: the last line of defense against a global food crisis
  5. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #10 Health
  6. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #12 Conclusion
  7. Ecological economics in the stomach #3 Food and Populace
  8. Today’s thought “Killing and eating” (January 05)
  9. Today’s thought “Allowed to have dominion over the universe” (January 02)
  10. Today’s thought “Rooted and built up in him” (November 14)
  11. Food as a Therapeutic Aid
  12. Cap 3000 a Valhalla blinding consumers

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Related

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  13. Bharat’s diet found to be healthy, West Africans have the healthiest diet: study
  14. Reversing Disease with the GAPS Diet.
  15. My Story: A Former Pescatarian
  16. September 2022: ‘The Little Book of Hygge’ + How To Feed A Vegetarian
  17. Famous vegetarians and their favorite recipes
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  30. The Flexitarian Diet: The Best Diet for Sustained Weight Loss?
  31. Why I don’t eat meat on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
  32. Meat
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  34. Vegetarian women a third more likely to experience later life hip fracture, study finds 
  35. Study Finds That Vegetarian-Vegan Middle-Aged Women Are 33% Are More Likely To Fracture Their Hip Than Meat Eaters
  36. We probably shouldn’t do anything about wild animal suffering
  37. Meat industry propaganda and the climate crisis

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Filed under Ecological affairs, Food, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Nature, Religious affairs, Welfare matters

Invitation to the news platform that brings a view of the world

Dear Reader,

There is so much news — and too many voices — competing for your attention today.

Do you know that we provide a site where we present news from all over the world and do not mind going deeper into certain facets of facts everyone should know or should receive attention (according to us) .

Some view on the World”  does just that what the title of the website is called. It wishes to bring a view of world affairs. It wants to be a Journal for you and provides unbiased news and perspective to keep you well-informed and entertained.

In addition to general press reviews, you will be able to find articles that deal with environmental issues and take a closer look at how we, as human beings, must take responsibility, not only ethically and politically, but how we must behave towards other living beings and respect nature. Towards respecting other beings, racial discrimination comes to the fore, but also how we in the West sometimes look strangely at other cultures. We believe that getting to know other cultures and religions better can help to better understand and accept “that otherness of those people”. In today’s society, people do not like to talk about religion, but on “Some View on the World” we certainly do not shy away from that subject, and we even think it is important to talk about God and commandments.

As on this overview site, we believe it is important to let diverse voices have their say. Therefore, at that view of the world, you can find reports from several newspapers and writers from all kinds of directions or different political movements.

Today, we would like to invite you to feast your eyes on that website too, pay it a visit and (who knows) also subscribe to it to receive free daily news in your mailbox.

A warm welcome!

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Filed under Announcement, Cultural affairs, Ecological affairs, Economical affairs, Educational affairs, Headlines - News, History, Lifestyle, Nature, Political affairs, Questions asked, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

Discouraged from asking questions

How often do we not hear from people that when they had certain questions about faith matters, that the priest or minister told them they should not ask such questions but should put their faith in God. What those ministers or priests would mean by that?

Does the church discourage you from asking questions?

is one of those questions that Dan Foster brings forwards in one of his blogs. In “Is It Time To Leave Your Church?” it is the 4th question of the eight questions to ask yourself that might help you come to a place of peace about what you need to do, either staying with the denomination you are in or leaving the church.

 

He writes:

If your pastor bristles when you ask him a difficult question, that ought to set off alarm bells.  {Is It Time To Leave Your Church?}

You should know it is not at all wrong to have more than one question about certain matters. As in some other blogs articles Foster mentions the relationship between people of the same sex.

Mention that you support gay marriage and observe the reaction. Suggest that the earth might not be only 6000 years old and see what kind of reception you get.   {Is It Time To Leave Your Church?}

When growing up a person more than once is confronted with matters that trouble him or her. It can be very personal matters but also matters of the mind as well as of spiritual evolution. Also, when a person starts relationships and wonders how those can be continued or strengthened. Strangely enough, we often hear from dissatisfied church members that they could not receive satisfactory answers to questions they had about that what they could read in the bible and on that what their church wants them to believe that there is written in the Bible.

For several churches, matters on the way we sexually behave are not to be discussed. Homosexual friends or gay marriages.

Some churches have convinced themselves that discussing difficult questions like these is unhealthy. It is almost as if they worry that their faith will fade away when exposed to the light. If it’s tested, it may just shatter.

The reality is that if our faith is that fragile, it probably was never true. If our God is so easily defeated, he is probably not really the true God.   {Is It Time To Leave Your Church?}

Problem with a lot of churches is that they have build their ‘teachings and rules’ on a series of dogma’s which you shall not be able to find in the Bible.

Whether we have built castles of doctrine on flimsy foundations or have metaphorically curled ourselves up into a ball around the fundamentals of the gospel, avoiding the tough questions will never lead to any real answers.   {Is It Time To Leave Your Church?}

The real answers, you should realize, are all there in the Great Book of books, that is provided by the Divine Master of all Himself.

So, if you find that your church shuts down, shames or freezes out people who ask tough questions and openly verbalize their reasonably held doubts, then you are not in a place that fosters and promotes the thinking that is needed for growth.

Then it is time to really consider not better going to search for a place where you shall be able to ask questions, and where you shall be able to discuss matters of faith but also about matters of the way of life.

When the pastor or minister tells you that when you have such questions that it means you are weak and that you are not a believing enough in God, you should not be afraid to say how you feel that your faith is. Every person should also be allowed to doubt certain matters, without being told that he or she is a bad person that would come to burn in hell when continuing such way.

First of all there is no such place where God the father would torture His children. Secondly

If you are constantly reminded — either explicitly or implicitly — of your own wretchedness and the need to eliminate sin from your life before you would even be remotely acceptable to God, then perhaps it’s time to move on.

If your church uses the threat of eternal damnation or judgment to win converts and manage the behavior of its members, and if your church has reduced Christian discipleship down to a sin-management program or self-improvement course, then I suggest you walk away.   {Is It Time To Leave Your Church?}

And Mr. Foster has good reason for that.

Because using the doctrine of sin and fallenness to accuse, berate, critique, attack, belittle, condemn or produce guilt is actually a form of spiritual abuse — not about freedom and grace, but control.  {Is It Time To Leave Your Church?}

God is a god of love and understanding. He understands you might have lots of questions; He wants you to grow in your own way at your own time. He does not put any limit of time. He also allows you to grow and chose your own way, like you want to develop. He provides different ways and has provided several answers in His Own Word, notated by several of His own people. The Book of books, the Bible is there to give the answers, but there are also men of God who can come to your help. Try to find those churches where people are open to receiving you without questioning you, but allowing you to ask them questions.

Do know that it is impossible that one man would have all the answers to your questions. Do not believe that the guy behind the pulpit, who gets up every week and lectures you about how you’re doing a terrible job of living a life that honours God, is the one you should follow. Nor would that be the place to go to every Sunday. Look more for a place where you can feel like being part of a family, having a meeting of brothers and sisters in Christ.

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Leaving (the) Church

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Leaving (the) Church

Today I had a look at the cathedral of the Reigning King Christ at La Spezia, in Liguria, Italy. An awful huge round building only build in 2015, but already showing signs of being in ‘decay’, materially but probably also spiritually, not receiving many congregants anymore.

It is something we can see all over Europe, churches running empty. Some may find it just a sign of the present modern times, others consider it as normal, people being fed up by the false stories of those churches.

Dan Foster last month asked

Is It Time To Leave Your Church?

Image by Thidarii on Shutterstock

He compares leaving a church as kind of like walking away from a long-term girlfriend or boyfriend. In a way he has good reasons to compare it to that, because often people have grown up with a church or have been affiliated for many years with a certain denomination.

Lots of time people have a history with a certain church and have shared memories — many of them good. Foster writes

You may have raised children together. You might have decades-long friendships attached to your church as well. And there is so much comfort in the familiar.

Though for some there is some awkward feeling. The fire seems to gone out. Previously everything seemed to go nicely and you felt you could even be active in that church.

Yet, at the same time, you just know it’s not working anymore. You have grown apart. Things are not what they once were. There might be conflict — words and deeds that leave you feeling detached a cold towards your former love. You are left with a lingering question,

“Is it time to leave my church?”

This was the situation that Dan Foster with his wife faced. He writes

We walked away from the church that had been my wife’s spiritual home for over thirty years. Imagine that! It was not an easy thing to do. However, we realized in the end that we could not remain in an environment that had, for the most part, turned toxic. {Is It Time To Leave Your Church?}

And for him it was not as such a matter of teachings, though people should better think more about what their church teaches and what is really written in the Bible. But when they come to see there is something not right or not conform of what is written in the Bible, lots of people do not dare to step away from their church … though they better should.

Dan Foster gives eight questions one should pose:

  1. Does your church use guilt, shame, or fear to motivate you?
  2. Does the church act like it has a monopoly on the truth?
  3. Does the church speak at you or listen to you?
  4. Does the church discourage you from asking questions?
  5. Does the church try to isolate you from your non-believing friends?
  6. Does the church preference certain kinds of people over others?
  7. Does the church care most about maintaining the system?
  8. Does the church berate other people who have left?

Strangely enough he forgets the 2 most important questions:

  1. Does the teaching of your church follows the teachings of Jesus Christ?
  2. Does your church worship the same God as Christ?

Because in Christianity we find lots of churches where there is worshipped another God than the God of Christ. That God of that Nazarene master teacher is a singular eternal Spirit Being. In such churches often there exist the idea that only clerics (priest or ministers) can bring and explain the Word of God.

Foster warns people

Often in churches, the pastor, priest, or minister does our spiritual homework for us. We come to rely on them to read, interpret and deliver the word of God to us in a form that is both palatable and entertaining each week. They do this with varying degrees of success.

However, if Christ came to be the one and only mediator between God and us, enabling us to have complete, unfettered access to the divine, then that ought to change the pastor-parishioner relationship from that of teacher-student to one where both parties have equal access to the revelation of God. {Is It Time To Leave Your Church?}

Each person can learn from reading the Scriptures and can help others to read it as well. As such a church should promote dialogue and joint learning. For centuries dialogue was already gone in the Catholic churches, but for several decades it has also dispeared in many protestant churches.

In several churches the leaders do not want to hear questions and tell their flock when they have such difficult questions their faith is weak.

If your pastor bristles when you ask him a difficult question, that ought to set off alarm bells. Mention that you support gay marriage and observe the reaction. Suggest that the earth might not be only 6000 years old and see what kind of reception you get.

Some churches have convinced themselves that discussing difficult questions like these is unhealthy. It is almost as if they worry that their faith will fade away when exposed to the light. If it’s tested, it may just shatter.

The reality is that if our faith is that fragile, it probably was never true. If our God is so easily defeated, he is probably not really the true God. Whether we have built castles of doctrine on flimsy foundations or have metaphorically curled ourselves up into a ball around the fundamentals of the gospel, avoiding the tough questions will never lead to any real answers.

So, if you find that your church shuts down, shames or freezes out people who ask tough questions and openly verbalize their reasonably held doubts, then you are not in a place that fosters and promotes the thinking that is needed for growth. {Is It Time To Leave Your Church?}

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History of dreaming, and connection with spirit #3

Kone, Krusos, Kronos

Heavenly Path

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”

― C.G. Jung.

First let me say, there’s all sort of dreams, provoked by so many reasons, from you being worry about something, that its bothering you, to unfulfilled wish desires, or you just had too much to eat for diner, and have a nightmare, but one thing I will tell you, the dreams you have are a reflection of who you are, and of course your Spiritual side, or the lack of it, will show up, in your dreams.

You would not have Joseph’s kind of dreams, if you are not a Spiritual person, first, because if you are not interested in such thing, as a Spiritual life, it’s like asking a vicious, and evil person, to have good thoughts, and be merciful, it doesn’t…

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On Dreaming, a search for knowledge of the self #1

Kone, Krusos, Kronos

Snorkeling

“God sleeps in the rock, dreams in the plant, stirs in the animal, and awakens in man”

Ibn Arabi

I wouldn’t even know where to start, this business about dreaming it’s so extensive, let me just say for many years as far back as when I was a child maybe no more than five, or six years of age I was intrigued and interested on dreams, in my natal chart I have a very close conjunction Venus with Mars in Pisces, on the fourth  house, making a trine with Uranus in Cancer on the eight house.

Antique Planisphere Celeste Zodiac Map

Another thing that fascinated me at the time was snorkeling, and diving on the Ocean, did quite a lot of it until of course other prosaic but normal occupations took me away from it, like trying to make a living by working, now I realize that dreaming and diving were connected, you dive to…

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Drought

Who knows, July and August will be recorded as the warmest and driest months in Europe since records began.

One can only hope that now, with all the fires and other natural disasters that are coming to our regions, there will be a greater awareness that something must be done to combat global warming.

Jewish Young Professional

Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-brown-bare-tree-on-brown-surface-during-daytime-60013/

Grass grows patchy in bristling brown spikes
(if it grows at all).  The smooth-complexioned 
face of land now cracks 
under unrelenting heat.  Fields once flush
with fruits go barren, pleading

through parched throats and chapped lips 

that no kiss of water
or answered prayer
 
has yet come to soften,

for August doesn’t care 
about religion or rain dances.

***

FOWC, W3, dVerse. I took inspiration from Timothy Price.

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Do the concepts of male and female need to have a formal official definition

In a written reply to a question submitted to General Synod of the Church of England, a senior Bishop said that although the meaning of the word woman was previously “thought to be self-evident”, “additional care” was now needed.

In our world we may encounter more and more people who decided to change their nature. People want to see certain features by certain people, though them themselves prefer to have another identity. Their gender identities incorporate behaviours and traits traditionally associated with the opposite sex, which makes others to raise the eyebrows.

The church of England has to see or is confronted like other people, with transsexuals, transgenderists (in one usage of the term, persons who gender-identify with the opposite sex but who choose not to undergo sex-reassignment surgery or hormone treatments), and androgynes (biologically or psychologically androgynous persons), among other groups. Certainly that last bit, the condition in which characteristics of both sexes are clearly expressed in a single individual, for several ages, has been a very difficult issue.

In its broader sense, transgender is closely related to the more-recent term genderqueer, which is self-applied by persons who are either transgender or who have no gender, a third (neither male nor female) gender, or a fluctuating gender.

Gender-critical campaigners in the Church of England are saying that

“whether your starting point is biology or the Bible the answer to the question of what is a woman remains the same.”

In very conservative church circles, it is assumed that the woman is a secondary type who must be submissive to the man.

In his role as chairman of the Faith and Order Commission, Dr Robert Innes, the Bishop in Europe said:

“There is no official definition, which reflects the fact that until fairly recently definitions of this kind were thought to be self-evident, as reflected in the marriage liturgy.”

“The LLF project however has begun to explore the marriage complexities associated with gender identity and points to the need for additional care and thought to be given in understanding our commonalities and differences as people made in the image of God.”

Rev Angela Berners-Wilson, who became the first woman to be ordained as a priest in England in 1994, and who has recently retired, told The Telegraph in response to the Bishop of Europe’s answer:

“I’m not totally happy with it. I mean, I do think certain things like men can’t have babies just to say the complete obvious thing.”

Naturally, we also may wonder how we are all in the image of God. When the man, as well as the woman, are in the image of God, has God then elements of a man as well as of a woman, or is He both man and woman?

Responding to a report by the Women and Equalities Committee, released in December 2021, which said that several steps required before a trans person can obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) should be removed; the British Government said it had already consulted on the controversial subject and

“the current provisions allow for those that wish to legally change their sex to do so, and we will not be changing the legislation”.

The recommendations of the committee to move toward a system of self-identification were made despite warnings from women’s rights campaigners and legal experts that they could jeopardise single-sex spaces, which are also protected under equality law.

Jayne Ozanne, synod member and founder of the Ozanne Foundation in 2017 – which works with religious organisations around the world to tackle prejudice and discrimination of LGBTQI people – finds that Mr Kendy’s question is sadly a prime example of a passive aggressive question that is designed to upset the LGBT+ community and particularly the trans members in their midst.

Not only the English Church has problems with people who feel differently than what the majority is used to seeing in gender roles. for many it is also impossible that a person would be “asexual,” “aromantic,” or “agender, but in today’s society we have to understand that not everything has to be so black and white and clearly stated.

“It’s time these anti-LGBT attacks stopped and that we learnt to acknowledge that life is not quite as black and white as some appear to think it should be.”

Dr Jane Hamlin, president of Beaumont Society charity, which supports trans people, added:

“I am puzzled why some people are so obsessed with defining ‘woman’. Why might this be an issue for the Church of England?

Are those male priests going to want to define sex partners extensively, like they now want to define women? One can also ask why it took so many years for the Church to realise that besides ‘the man’ and ‘the woman’ there are also people who have elements of both – ambivalence is still something that many do not want to know about -. Many also do not want to show understanding for those people who do not feel good at all in the skin they were given by birth for their appearance. Should these people slide through life like lonely snails all their lives in a wrong shell?

“Is it that women should be treated more favourably or less favourably?

Why does it matter to the Church of England whether someone is a woman or not a woman? Surely it only matters to the individual themselves.”

says Jayne Ozann.

Do those clergy, in the same way, question to what is a man?

For many years, the Church has been a bastion of men, repeatedly seeking to teach its members that men are the masters of women and that the latter must always be submissive and acquiesce to the desires of men.

For centuries the Church pointed with their finger to people who had another feeling to people of the same or other sex. They were all too quick to point out to those who felt differently the danger that they would land in hell, to be tortured by an eternal fire. In doing so, they turned the Divine Father into a hideous being who would take pleasure in seeing his creatures suffer eternally.

No one seemed to stop to think what a difficult dilemma those people had to go through to come to terms with their feelings.
For years, several people had to go through figurative hell and wrestle with their uniqueness, which they could not place well in their environment or where they could not get an audience for their feelings.

Several vulnerable people did not dare to begin with and asking themselves to focus inwards. For many it has been horrible to give themselves a place in a society where it was clearly indicated people like them were (or are) not welcome.

Addiction therapist, mental health advocate and author Gillian Bridge discusses the cause behind a whole range of societal problems in a new book.

“We’ve been living in a gross-out world of personal emotional self-indulgence and sentiment for decades now … decades which have seen the nation’s mental health worsening”

– is a succession of equally magnificent declarations.

She has pinpointed the cause of a whole range of societal problems, from mental distress and the determined fragility of the young to the woke chaos of universities and cancel culture. And in that changing culture it looks like the Church of England does not know how to place itself or to cope with the changing culture of accepting

the individuality of each individual.

+

Please read: The Telegraph 2022 July 11 – July 17 > July 11 > Church of England comments provoke criticism on their remark: There is ‘no official definition’ of a woman

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When does your day begin and when begins God His day

All over the world, we can find several calendars which have the week beginning on another day. But when wants one to start a day?

In a certain way, we need some agreement on an arrangement for choosing a system for dividing time over extended periods, such as days, months, or years, and arranging such divisions in a definite order.
Here in West Europe for practical reasons, the standard week begins on Monday and ends on Sunday, and for the Catholics and most Protestant denominations, Sunday is considered the day of rest and ‘Day of the Lord’.

For the majority, the day also commences when they wake up and go to do their daily busyness. Getting up in time is for most of us the most important event of the day. When we hear our alarm clock, that means we are still alive, and we can face again another day.

Frank Hubeny is a Christian who moved to Miami Beach, Florida. He voted for Donald Trump in 2020 and is a pro-life and pro-Israel, and loves Catholics. By hearing those things, we may assume he is one of those conservative and perhaps fundamentalist American Christians. He suspects most people are aware that the biblical day begins at sunset

or early evening sometime if one can’t see the sun actually set. {Exploration 103 – The Day Begins At Sunset}

Though, I think most people do not relate the day setting to something which is indicated in the Bible or any other ‘holy Scriptures‘. But he agrees that

Skyline of Kaohsiung harbour, Taiwan at sunrise.

there are people who would disagree with this biblical interpretation promoting sunrise rather than sunset as the starting point. {Exploration 103 – The Day Begins At Sunset}

There are those who refer to Jeshua, the Messiah who would have brought some new ‘Covenant Calendar’ or would have done away with the Torah, which is not so at all.

Jeshua, or Jesus as a Jew held himself to the Torah and was very well aware of God’s Law given to mankind for good reason. He went to the synagogue on Friday night, which is at the beginning of the Sabbath. From sunset on Friday to nightfall of the following day Jeshua or Jesus also kept himself to the regulations for that day of the week, which was the closing day of the week. The day after was the first day of the week and would be our Sunday. By most Christians, that day is considered to be “the Lord’s Day”, or the weekly memorial of Jesus Christ’s Resurrection from the dead. The title of that day can be very misleading because it can insinuate that it is God His day, though all days belong to God and those Christians holding on to that Day of the Lord mean with it that it is the day of Christ, or even worse, as their day of their god, namely having Jesus as their god.

In our present time or modern culture, most people have been raised to believe that a new day begins at midnight. The majority of people are not interested in the Bible and as such never looked for being in agreement with such a book, which is taken by others as their guide for life. Not following an Al-Haadi or such Guide for life, they just go by their feeling and custom to stand up after a night’s rest.

For them, there is no reason to think about a Scriptural reason and as such, there is no scriptural precedent for their belief, and the way that midnight is reckoned today would be impossible without mechanical clocks.

Others, such as myself, are more than willing to set them straight since fixing the other guy is more entertaining than fixing oneself. {Exploration 103 – The Day Begins At Sunset}

EliYah Ministries claims to be a place for people to read more about the Hebrew Roots of their faith, and has its name chosen because YLiYah means it means “My Mighty One is Yahweh” and this is the message that they seem to want to proclaim. Strangely enough they give the impression that they are Jewish but seem to take Jeshua or Jesus also as their god Yahweh. Though Jesus or Jeshua is not Jehovah, the God of Israel, but is the son of God and son of man, a human being.

“40 ولكنكم الآن تطلبون ان تقتلوني وانا انسان قد كلمكم بالحق الذي سمعه من الله.هذا لم يعمله ابراهيم. 41 انتم تعملون اعمال ابيكم.فقالوا له اننا لم نولد من زنا.لنا اب واحد وهو الله.” (يو 8:40-41 Arabic)

“40 But now you seek to kill me, a man that has told you the truth, which I have heard from God: this did not Abraham. 41 You do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We are not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.” (Joh 8:40-41 KJBPNV)

Funny also that those writers of that site also recognise that

the translators admit they substituted Yahweh’s name for a title. All for the sake of an tradition. Yahweh’s name is in scripture nearly 7000 times. And nearly 7000 times they replaced it (not translated it) with “the LORD”, or “GOD”. Imagine that? They took His name out of His own book! {Yahushua is the True Name of the Messiah}

Also, they agree with Matthew Henry’s Commentary (on Matthew 1:21)

“Jesus is the same name with Joshua, the termination only being changed, for the sake of conforming it to the greek.” {Yahushua is the True Name of the Messiah}

Though somehow they begin to use those two different names Jehovah/Yahweh and Yahushua/Yahusha/Jeshua/Jesus interchangeably and say that Jeshua – for them: god –  changed the ‘day’. Even when they say themselves

I wouldn’t want someone to change my name unless it was Yahweh, and it is clear that according to the third commandment Yahweh doesn’t want anyone to change or falsify His name either.

Think about this for a moment. What makes man think he has the authority to change the name of the one who created him, and who created all things? We don’t have that right! For instance, in the scriptures we see that one who changes the name of another is always in authority over them. The Messiah renamed Simon. Yahweh renamed Abram to Abraham. He renamed Jacob to Israel. Adam named the animals. Even we name our children, not the other way around. Yahweh, our Heavenly Father, named His Son ‘Yahushua’ in Matt 1:22. {Why people of all languages must call upon the name of Yahweh}

So, why do they change the name of Jehovah in Yahwe and in Yahushua? Clearly, they themselves say God named His son Yahushua or (in short or as a call sign) Jeshua. Furthermore, that site indicates:

Also, notice that Matthew 28:1 says it is “after the Sabbath” which indicates the first day of the week has begun. The sun had not yet risen though because it says that it was “toward dawn.”

Matthew 28:1(ISR) Now after the Sabbath, toward dawn on the first day of the week, Miryam from Magdala and the other Miryam came to see the tomb. {When Does the Sabbath Start?}

Toward dawn, means close to dawn, which is after the darkest point of night; and that moment they considered already to be the first day of the week. They also notice

the word used in Matthew 28:1 “toward dawn” describes same period of time as John 20:1– the time when they started heading toward the tomb. It was still technically dark outside, but the light of dawn was on the horizon. {When Does the Sabbath Start?}

We should remember:

So based on the … accounts, it is evident that the chronology was that the women started heading to the tomb before the sun rose on the first day of the week, they bought spices “after the Sabbath” yet before sunrise, and they arrived at the tomb at sunrise.

Here is a summary of how these accounts actually contradict “sunrise to sunrise” Sabbath keeping:

  1. John 20:1 says that it was “on the first day of the week”, yet it was “still dark.” Therefore the first day of the week had already begun prior to sunrise.
  2. Mark 16:1 says that they bought spices “when the Sabbath was passed,” yet it was before the sun had risen, proving the Sabbath ended at sundown.
  3. Matthew 28:1 says that it was “after the Sabbath” during the period of time that it began to “grow light,” a word that describes the period of time just before sunrise.

Therefore, these verses clearly support the fact that the Sabbath ends at sundown and the first day of the week was already in motion prior to sunrise.

EVENING TO EVENING

Scripture plainly commands “from evening to evening you shall celebrate your Sabbath.”

Leviticus 23:27-Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh. 28 – And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before Yahweh your Elohim. 29 – For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people. 30 – And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 – You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 – It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath.”

Numbers 29:7- On the tenth day of this seventh month you shall have a holy convocation. You shall afflict your souls; you shall not do any work.

Since Yahweh doesn’t contradict Himself, it is no contradiction that the 10th day of the month is “Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement” while also commanding that we begin and end this day at evening. Since the 10th day began and ended at evening, the days surrounding it would need to begin and end at evening as well. Thus, all days begin and end at evening.

Another example:

Exodus 12:15-Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. 16 – On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat — that only may be prepared by you. 17 – So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance. 18 – In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. 19 – For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a stranger or a native of the land.

Notice that the same language which described the timing of the tenth day of the seventh month (Day of Atonement) is also used to describe when the fifteenth day of the first month (the Feast of Unleavened Bread).

EliYah Ministries agrees with the fact that we should best look at a day from evening to evening.

The scriptures seem pretty clear to me that Yahweh reckons days from evening to evening. While modern reckoning is from midnight to midnight, we need to submit ourselves to the daily heavenly clock that Yahweh Himself established at creation. It makes perfect sense that a day ends when a day ends…at evening. {When Does the Sabbath Start?}

That seems very clear, though several Messianic groups have their Sabbath service on Saturday afternoon. But in Wintertime than the sun has already gone down (like in West of Europe or in the Northern Hemisphere from October to March). For us, it is then no Sabbath anymore but the first day of the week, the Sunday.

There are also groups which say Jeshua/Jesus with his blood made a new covenant so that the old covenant is of no value anymore.

The studies of Covenant Calendar must take time to reflect how this full and complete understanding was born – basically through the most important study of the Melchizedek Priesthood.  The Priesthood study provided the platform that declares this Covenant Calendar is indeed blood-ratified and eternally sealed by Yahusha in His witness through the gospel – especially in His death, burial, resurrection and two ascensions.  Therefore, our most sincere thanks go out to the Supreme Provider Yahusha Ha Mashiach for His guidance and direction through this incredible study.  {What in the world is a Biblical the Torah Yahuwah’s Covenant Calendar}

Seemingly in the United States, there are many groups who find people have to keep the Sabbath, but their interpretation of what has to be the Sabbath seems so different from what we can find in the bible and by standard Jewish people.

However, the fourth commandment expects us to keep the Sabbath (aka Sunday) holy. How are we going to do that if we don’t know when He wants the Sabbath to start and end? It is after all His commandment, not ours, to get some rest. Others think their acceptance of Yeshua (Jesus) allows them do what they want. They might be right. It might not be a salvation issue, but we may still be making a mess of our lives by not doing what He wants while we have the opportunity. {Exploration 103 – The Day Begins At Sunset}

That are the big questions:

How can we keep a holy day before God?

&

What is a holy day in God’s Eyes?

Next to the question:

When is the holy day for God?

Or

When is the Sabbath?

Another question may arise as well. According to many Jehudim or Jews and Jeshuaists the Day of God must start with prayer, and as such has to start with prayers at home, followed by prayers at the synagogue or temple. For them, it is not that

Every day begins with the first LIGHT in the “dawn” sky called twilight.  While the sunrise may be very close behind, the day does NOT begin with sunrise, but with light.  Everything on Day 1 of Creation began with LIGHT … and do remember there was no sunrise “or” sunset until the 4th day of creation.   {What in the world is a Biblical the Torah Yahuwah’s Covenant Calendar}

That looks like twisting the words of the bible. It was out of the void that the world was created. And when there was chaos there was also darkness.

“و“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Ge 1:2 KJBPNV)

So first, the formless earth had darkness around it. A few verses later we come to read that there came to be evening, and as such came to pass a first day by the rising of the morning.

“And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Ge 1:5 KJBPNV)

You see:

the Evening and the morning formded the first day

and not

the morning and the evening formde the day.

It is Jehovah God Who starts with everything; He starts His moment of creation by bringing order in the chaos. It was God Who said to have luminaries come to be in the expanse of the heavens, to make a division between the day and the night.

“14  And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.” (Ge 1:14-19 KJBPNV)

For God it came to completion after He had giving vegetation to man. By the sun going down, heavens and the earth and all their army had come to completion. So God proceeded to rest on the seventh day, from all His work that He had made.

“31  And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. 2:1  Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.” (Ge 1:31-2:1 KJBPNV)

“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” (Ge 2:2 KJBPNV)

It was that seventh day that God blessed and made sacred, not the first day.

“And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” (Ge 2:3 KJBPNV)

The Bible present us by God doing its first Work, when there is darkness. Light came only afterwards. We have a set of periods which always end by darkness coming in again. And as such to me that looks clearly like a new period to come into the picture. A new day.

The sunset-start day puts what God does first. It makes sure what we do later during daylight hours is subordinate to what He wants, not what we want, not even what we think is possible for us to do. {Exploration 103 – The Day Begins At Sunset}

writes Hubeny. And for him, that’s the main reason why he favours having the day begin at sunset,

the time we stop working and acknowledge He is in control to begin  the new day as the old one ends. {Exploration 103 – The Day Begins At Sunset}

This also seems logical, when you consider that at the moment of creation, one is busy. During the day, we have to do our daily job. Often we do not find enough time to honour God (except with our work). But when we have done our daily duties, then comes the moment we can take more time for God. As such, there is also the Friday night, when most of us can put work down and forget it for one or two days.

At sunset, we can come to rest, like God also came to rest. Then arrives the moment we can give all our time to Allah Al-Aliyy, in recognition and respect for all the things He has done and still does for us.

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Related

  1. Rav Avigdor Miller on Shabbos and Yetzias Mitzrayim
  2. Shabbat Rest – The Completion of Creation
  3. Rav Avigdor Miller on The Additional Shabbos Soul
  4. Refuah on Shabbos
  5. Hatzolah on Shabbos
  6. Menachem Bluming Muses: How To Welcome Shabbat
  7. Seder Night on Shabbos
  8. A Restful Day with God
  9. Understanding Sunday and the Sabbath
  10. Responsible Rest
  11. Biblical Foundations for Sabbatical
  12. Remember the Sabbath Day to Keep it Holy
  13. Christians and the Sabbath
  14. The Pastor’s Personal Life – Part 6 – Your Sabbath
  15. LORD’s Day #26 (2022)
  16. Remember the Sabbath and Keep it Holy
  17. Sabbath and Sailing
  18. The God of Rest (1/3)
  19. Sabbath Part 2
  20. Sabbath for the Whole Congregation
  21. July 3: Community Sabbath (No Gathering)
  22. The Sabbath–Our Gift from God
  23. The Necessity of Rest
  24. LORD’s Day #27 (2022)
  25. Christ Our Sabbath Rest
  26. A Sabbath Practice
  27. Why Sabbaticals are Good for Your Church
  28. Restoration of the Sabbath
  29. LORD’s Day #28 (2022)
  30. The Fourth Commandment
  31. For God’s sake (and Yours) Stop!
  32. Principles of Work: Rest.
  33. The God of Rest (2/3)
  34. Heritage Baptist Church Service 7-10-22 (Sabbath)
  35. Twilight of The World, Gross Darkness The People
  36. Sabbath, Feasts, Kosher Will Be What Aids the End-Time Saints? – Today’s McKee Moment
  37. Reflections – Summer Sabbath, 2: Where Are You?
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Catholic priest: Islam is faith of liberation

From some older writings

  Catholic priest: Islam is faith of liberation by rehmat1

Rev. Mike Rivage-Seul is a retired Catholic priest, teacher and a liberation theologian. He taught at Berea College in Kentucky for 36 years where he directed Berea’s Peace and Social Justice Studies Program.In Octobder 2013, he posted a two-part study on Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), entitled, Islam as Liberation Theology: Muhammad as a Prophet for our times.

Understanding Islam as today’s foremost expression of the liberating power of faith made the 1979 Revolution in Iran a movement inspired by liberation theology.
It did the same thing for other movements for liberation throughout the Asia and Africa. With all their triumphs and distortions, they too were movements against colonialism and its neo-colonial aftermath. In the name of God, they all stood against the exploitation and oppression of the East by the West
,”

says Rivage-Seul.

As a liberation theologian, I see Islamists as part of world-wide movement of poor people to use their religious traditions as a force for freedom rather than control and slavery. In fact, I consider this movement as the most important intellectual and social development since the writing of the Communist Manifesto in 1848. Grasping that fact and the true nature of Islam should be Job #1 for teachers and peace advocates,”

Rivage-Seul.

Rivage-Seul claims that after studying American religious scholar Huston Smith’s book, The Religion of Man, he realized that Judaism, Christianity and Islam are sister faiths.

There is no distinction between “their God” and “our God.”

All three were

“religions of the book.”

At the very least, all recognized Jesus as a great prophet,”

Rivage-Seul claims.

This is where I draw the line. Holy Qur’an claims that prophet Jesus'(as) birth by Virgin Mary (as) was a Divine miracle. Catholic Bible claims Jesus pronounced himself ‘God’s son’ and thus shares God’s powers along with angel Gabriel (Trinity). Jewish Talmud shows nothing but contempt for Jesus, Mary and Christianity.

I think Huston Smith (died 2016), like Donald Trump, was a Jew apologist as result of

his eldest daughter, Karen, married a Jew, converted and raised her kids in a Jewish home,”

reported Dan Pine at the Jewish News of Northern California, June 26, 2009.

I have also taught Malcolm X’s autobiography. His embrace of Islam had called my attention to the attraction of Islam for poor people as an alternative to enslaving interpretations of Christianity. Malcolm’s passion for theNation of Islam easily connected with my own for liberation theology – i.e. with the reading of the Judeo-Christian tradition from the perspective of those committed to the welfare and destiny of the world’s poor,”

Rivage-Seul said.

The concept of liberation is an important part of Islamic Jihad. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) divided Muslims based on their commitment Islamic faith in the following three categories.

  1. If a Believer sees an act of aggression and has the power to stop it – he must do it even if he had to use arms.
  2. If a Believer sees an act of aggression and doesn’t have the means to stop it – he must protest against it verbally or through media.
  3. If a Believer sees an act of aggression but decide not to apply one the above two options – he has the weakest faith in Allah.

Several Jewish rabbis have agreed with Mike Rivage-Seul in the past.

The women liberation movement (Feminism) is not a Western invention. It was established by Islam in the 7th century.

Father of India, Mahatma Gandhi praised Islam, saying:

I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway of over the hearts of millions of mankind. I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet Muhammad the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers . his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in Allah and his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the second volume of the Prophet’s biography, I was sorry there was no more for me to read of that great life.”

rehmat1 | June 5, 2017 at 12:51 am

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Optimism & morality of hope

A morality of hope lives in the belief that we can change the world for the better,
and without certain theological beliefs it is hard to see where hope could come from, if not from optimism.
Optimism and hope are not the same.
Optimism is the belief that the world is changing for the better;
hope is the belief that, together, we can make the world better.
Optimism is a passive virtue, hope an active one.It needs no courage to be an optimist,
but it takes a great deal of courage to hope.The Hebrew Bible is not an optimistic book.
It is, however, one of the great literatures of hope.

~ Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, from his book, To Heal a Fractured World

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Christians have been their own worst enemies


”Christians have been their own worst enemies
when it comes to building goodwill and credibility
with the broader community,
and pastors are the leaders of Christians.”

~

How to be a Reasonable Christian –

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Life’s Purpose

paddypicasso

Are we all block layers, leaving the prints of our lives on the human existence. Solomon was listening to the voices, those around him, and the changes going on. There was time and space to do a little thinking, the usual chaos, the news offerings, not so important anymore, life more pointed, introverted, as if to say, what are we doing ourselves. We make it happen, we have to clean up.

Recriminations and arguments, you did this, we did that, the protagonists trying to sway the opinion of the voters, each sure of themselves. The irony Solomon felt, was those who spent their life gathering immense riches, then spending their end days, giving it all away. Surely that wasn’t the purpose.

He recalls the story of Oscar Schindler, who has a turn of conscience, and wants to right the wrongs he can see around him, knowing the danger he faces…

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Megachurches poor places for formation and pastoral care


”Megachurches
“are poor places for formation and pastoral care”
and tend toward
“addictive dependence”
on their founders..”

~Tim Keller

150 West 83rd Street.jpg

150 West 83rd Street, home to Redeemer’s Upper West Side location

Redeemer Presbyterian Church (New York City) – The auditorium of the W83 ministry center

These were the words of Tim Keller in a recent Facebook post, explaining why the megachurch he founded — Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City — decided to split into three congregations when he retired in 2017.

Keller planted Redeemer back in 1989 with just 50 people, but by 2008, the church had grown to a total weekly attendance of more than 5,000 people to its services each Sunday at venues on the Upper West Side, Upper East Side and Downtown.

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