Tag Archives: Children of God

What God should I believe in

On the Facebook Group Christadelphians we found the following letter we want to share with you:

I have been deconstructing my faith for some time now and found that I have not got a faith. I do believe though that God exists,somewhere, and that Jesus is his Son So I am not an atheist. But I now lean towards agnosticism. I have found that God cannot be relied on when I have needed his help I cannot believe that the bible is inherent and divinely inspired. And prayer is unreliable.
I did post a question Why did God need a human sacrifice to enable Him to forgive sin. I havent yet found an answer.
I read about the God of the Old Testament and cannot reconcile Him to the New Testament .John ch 3 v 16 in particular
In the OT we see God sanctioning slavery, Ordering the slaughter of Men, Women ,and Children, Genocide on a grand scale, ie the Flood. If all humans inherit Adams sin /Original sin then so did Noah and his family So why wasnt he destroyed as well as everybody else.
What God should I believe in

John Gale

Virginia McInturff replied

Man was created in God’s image. Man was given a choice to 1)follow God by blind faith or 2) do it his own way and learn good and evil.
God ket man go through the consequences of these choices to learn good and evil, allowing evil to exist. God can do good; God can do evil, just as we can all in His image do. He chooses to have good for His children, which Jesus in his many miracles that God did through him, all were good. Jesus didn’t harm or kill people. He did curse a tree. He could have called thousands of angels to save him…
All the evil we see is consequence of God allowing mankind to learn that, choosing to disregard God’s guidance, thus causing God to allow it.
He hates evil because it harms His children, His creation… air, water, creatures, land, plants… to the point of destroying it.
His plan for a world cared for by His children is wonderful and will happen, after the children of Adam are brought to learn that God is right.
Meanwhile God allows people to learn evil. It all comes from Him. He wants good for His creation. Eden held good, but outside the gate was the other side of God’s world.
Man has the power of being able to keep the good going by caring for the animals and earth, working it in balance with the things that are wholesome and healthy for the dirt, water, air, animals, our bodies and minds. The battle comes when shortcuts are chosen because of lusts and pride. So trust God’s promises that He wants good and has a good wonderful plan for our earth and His children. We will live and appreciate His choice to rid the world of evil!
I’ve been thinking a lot about gardening in terms of our lives… the Bible often alludes to this analogy for example in the parable of the sower. And I have been reading about no-till agriculture and cover crops and how it is so much better for the soil instead of thinking that a field has to be ploughed and harrowed and left bare for a while each year. This may not seem to have a lot to do with your questions, but I have found that thinking that I have to have all the answers to all the difficult questions is a bit like ploughing up the soil – it destroys all the little micro-ecosystems that have built up and eventually makes it difficult for anything to grow without a lot of chemical fertilizer and chemical pest control. I think sometimes we just need to count up all the ways that God is good, all the little ways that He is faithful – they are there even in trouble if you look for them. It is really human pride that thinks we have to have all the answers and be able to understand all the ways of God before we can give Him approval. I don’t mean we ignore the questions we may have but do we give God the benefit of doubt when we try to find the answers,? I hope you can find your way back to faith.

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Right Attitude in Trouble… Joshua of Ghana

For years people have doubted God His righteous position and have created themselves other gods.

At all times every human being has been given and is still been given the opportunity to make a personal choice. The only great problem with man is that most often they prefer to be partakers of the world instead of being partakers of Christ his world or to be Children of God.

Having now more time to ourselves to reflect, let us make more time to meditate on God’s Word, given to mankind by the Bible.

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To remember

  • Charles Swindoll said we have a choice every day regarding attitude we will embrace from that day.
  • Isaiah prophesied what attitude of Judah will be in reaction to judgment of God in scattering them among the nations. > Isaiah hopeful that Judah would eventually demonstrate right attitude by turning to God in repentance.
  • submission = needed while in trouble
  • perplexity = right attitude
  • choice concerning attitude + course of action we adopt each day => positive attitude goes a long way to determining an eventful end.
  • futile for anyone to fight his Maker.

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Preceding

Quicksand

Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth

January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works

The rock on which we stand

Covid-19 Psalm 19 Isaiah 26 and the Evangelical Proof-Texters

Questions by Isaiah Chapter 26

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Additional reading

  1. Today’s Thought “You will keep … in perfect peace” (May 03)
  2. Extra memorizing verses Isaiah 26:3-4: Focused on God finding perfect peace
  3. Gates to different belief systems in this world

Paul the Poke

ISAIAH 26:12-21

Key verse: “LORD, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them.” Isaiah 26:16

Joshua of Ghana @beholy404 on Twitter

@beholy404

Charles Swindoll once said, “The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace from that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string that we have and the string is attitude.”

In this prophetic song in our text about the latter days, Isaiah prophesied what the attitude of Judah will be in reaction to the judgment of God in scattering them among the nations. Judah had lived in sin and God had visited them with judgment, allowing their enemies to take them into captivity…

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Like a sandcastle,…..

In the World of matter, all may be temporary, but those who want to be children of God shall be carried over sand, water, swamps and into the clouds of a new reality, by the Eternal existing God to a world still to come, a Kingdom to stay and to live in peace for ever.

Purplerays

Like a sandcastle, all is temporary.
Build it, tend to it, enjoy it. 
And when the time comes, let it go.

Text & image source: Spiritual Awakening
https://www.facebook.com/Spiritual-Awakenings-ॐ-105433989565465/

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Jesus, A way given to find the right way to God

More than once the Nazarene preacher Jeshua asked people around him what they thought he was.

Still today there are people who have never heard about Jesus. These people don’t know anything about Jesus. In our regions most people have somehow already heard about Jesus. They have very different ideas about that person. Lots of people think christians take him as their god. About that idea that all christians would worship Jesus as their god, they are totally wrong. There are loads of Christians who do not consider Jesus to be God, but believe in what the Bible says, that he is the son of God (and not a son god or a god the son).

Around us we may find people who have heard about Jesus. These people have heard about Jesus through Bible stories, their parents, a friend, media, etc., but they did not come to a point to believe  in him and/or to accept him as the son of God or the Way to God. They are also not interested in having a personal relationship with him.

Luckily we also do find people who say they want a personal relationship with Christ and people they say they want a personal relationship with God. Pity that lots of people think it is all right to take Jesus as their god and to have pictures of him in their house and at other places. Many think having Jesus as their god means that they can have a good relationship with God. They are caught in the human doctrines of their church which preaches about a three-headed god. In fact they do not hear enough bible words to convince them who Jesus really is and why it is so important to know him.

Some Christians may think that they know enough about Christ from what is told in their church at service. They think it is sufficient just to hear a few phrases or one or two paragraphs once a week to have some proper idea.

Those from the Roman Catholic Church do not worry so much about the Bible. With reason some say

If you are a life-long Catholic, you think you would be somewhat “fluent” in the Word of God.  {the musings of a Franciscan friar… Knowing Jesus}

Some friars and certain priests of that denomination may have a comfort level with Sacred Scripture, but that can not be said of many Catholics. Also when you ask them about Scripture and their relationship with Jesus, they

get a bit tongue-tied, flummoxed, bewildered, and feel this inner desire to change the subject. Why is that? {the musings of a Franciscan friar… Knowing Jesus}

We should not expect people to be able to quote all particular parts of the Bible. From those who call themself Christian we should think they can at least tell some Biblical stories with their own words.

Fr. George Corrigan, OFM

A Franciscan Friar writes

When you know the stories of Jesus and can tell them in your own words, hitting the high points, now you are truly meeting Jesus in a whole new way.

And that is what is missing today by a lot of people who call themselves Christian. They do not know much about that Jesus. somehow it is a vague figure. They mostly cannot tell much about him. They also feel not or have no relation to him.

Lots of people do not know he is the Way to God. He is the bringer of light in life, the one who took care that we shall have the right to enter the small gate to the Kingdom of God. Though we all are sinners, we shall have the possibility to come before God and say

Abba. (Father)

But to become accepted a children of God we do have to behave as children of Him. And by our willingness to come to God we also should come to recognise the other children of God, our brothers and sisters in Christ. Those who come to recognise Jesus as the sent one from God, should unite under him and follow his path, by worshipping the only One True God, the heavenly Father.

All people should know they may say a lot against people or at the son of man, Jesus Christ, but when they keep saying awful things of his heavenly Father they will be in problems.

Luke 12:8-12 RNT But I tell you every one who confesses me before men, him will the Son of Man confess before the angels of God. (9) And he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God. (10) Every one who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who says profane words against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. (11) When they bring you in before synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not be anxious about how to defend yourselves or what to say. (12) For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that hour what you must say.”

Therefore it is important that people come to know more about that Spirit God, the heavenly Father of Christ. To do that the easiest way is to come to know Christ.

Before Paul came to believe in the Nazarene master-teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ), he spoke evil of Jesus and went against all who were willing to follow that man. Saul, like he was then called, oppressed the followers of Jesus, and exalted himself.

“I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man.”

he came to admit. Yet, God called Paul from this ungodly religious life and made him a faithful, fruitful servant of the Lord.

Such transitions are possible. No man is lost. God keeps calling people. God gave the world his son to show people the Way to God. It is now up to man to find Jesus and to find that way to the Most High Divine Creator.

Once more we will see this can only happen by exceedingly abundant grace for transformation.
This magnificent transformation process began with mercy, the necessary companion of grace, which came unto man by Jesus putting his own will aside for doing the Will of God.

For Saul there was also the ministry of grace that God eventually gave to him even to become one of the major scribes of the group the Way, whose epistles or letters are still of great importance for the church today. God chose Paul to be a distinctive example of His rich mercy.

1 Timothy 1:16 RNT But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might show all of his long-suffering for an example for those who are to believe in him and gain life eternal.

Nobody is excluded to receive mercy. Like for Saul first Jesus Christ came to show all long-suffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on him for everlasting life, all followers should be grateful they can be under Christ, partakers of a grand project of transformation for people around us.

Paul told the people around him that they should ask for insight, wisdom and revelation, so that they could come to know Jesus and his God better. He tried to convince others to do like him and to put the world aside and to come to follow Jesus. He also tried to convince them that in knowing Jesus better every day people could come to wisdom. Jesus had his focus on his heavenly Father and only did what he saw his Father doing. He set the clear example for all people, who from his public life onwards have the free choice to become his followers.

Being called Christian one should be a follower of Christ, keeping to his teachings and to his commands; One command being to go out into the world and spreading the Good News. When having found Christ Jesus, one shall feel him in the ‘soul’ and be conscious of the bountiful grace having brought two spiritual blessings (faith and love).

Being reborn when one got baptised does not mean it ends there. Several Christians do think they have not to study any more. They forget that the Christian’s experience is a continual schooling. Every day we should be ready to be ready for Christ and be ready for those around us, willing to show them Jesus in us. Being under Christ we should be willing to listen to his words regularly and be prepared to learn each day.

The Book of books God has given mankind is the ideal tool for man to learn about God and about his only begotten beloved son. In Jesus we should find our example. Looking at him each day we should give ourself the opportunity to reprobate and correct in ourselves. In thus discovering our own imperfections, we should learn, as a matter of course, not to expect perfection in others; and we should give them credit for doing their best to exemplify the highest ideals which they have in respect to the unity and perfection required for membership in the body of Christ.

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Preceding article

Are we sometimes like Peter and say we do not know Jesus

Witnesses of Christ and of his gospel

May we have doubts

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Additional reading

  1. The saviour Jesus his human side
  2. To know Christ is filling life with meaning
  3. The Son can do nothing of his own accord
  4. Redemption #7 Christ alive in the faithful
  5. Through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe
  6. Luck
  7. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love
  8. Omniscient God opposite a not knowing Jesus
  9. Relating to God is it possible
  10. Several Christians fail to recognise the Chosen ones of God and are not taking on a Christian attitude
  11. Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news

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Related

  1. Barely knowing Jesus …
  2. Knowing Jesus
  3. Know Jesus Know Peace
  4. The Biggest Lie I Ever Told
  5. Knowing Jesus Christ gives you a completely new attitude
  6. The Kingdom Of God: Luke’s Gospel

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The Rise of Anti-Seminism

In January a Jewish community centre received a recording, which was obtained by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, a news service. On the tape one could hear the pitch of the voice computer-altered, making the speaker sound a little like Donald Duck, but the message was hardly cartoonish.

“In a short time, a large number of Jews are going to be slaughtered.”

In February there was a rash of threats on Monday the 27th hit 20 Jewish institutions in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia.  It was the fifth round of similar threats that have come during the last two months, according to the Anti-Defamation League, which has counted 90 bomb threats for those two months.

Paul Goldenberg, who used to head a hate-crimes office for the state of New Jersey and is now in charge of investigating anti-Semitic threats for Jewish organizations, said, anti-Semitic incidents would increase in reaction to events in the Middle East, such as Israeli incursions in Gaza or Lebanon, but the recent incidents appeared to have no such trigger.

“I am a 20-year veteran of law enforcement, and these are extraordinary times. … I have never seen such an uptick in such a short period of time.”

Goldenberg said.

English: "Anti-Semitic Jewish Postcard"

English: “Anti-Semitic Jewish Postcard” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some analysts have tied the upsurge of hate crimes to the polarizing election of Donald Trump as president, but Naomi Adler, head of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, said it dated to 2015.

“The rhetoric and disgusting speech began two years before the actual election at the beginning of the election season, but is not the whole explanation,”

she said.

“There is an incredible amount of anxiety and fear in our community.”

Jews, Christians and Muslims should show they want to be children of God. They should do everything to show the world the Love of God and how we as creatures created in God His image, should all respect every other human being, ass well as every other created being (animals and plants).

The best way to take away anti- or hate feelings is to make sure the wrong ideas about the religious community (be it Jews, Christians or Muslims) are taken away by openness and clarity of teachings and way of living, not isolating oneself from the rest of the surroundings society.

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The University of Texas at San Antonio Downtow...

The University of Texas at San Antonio Downtown campus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Find a reaction on the University of Texas San Antonio’s newspaper The Paisano inside view from a university Jewish Hillel student on her thoughts and feelings about the recent tragedies,  JCCs and cemeteries that are threatened and neighbourhoods or houses that have experienced anti-Semetic attacks.

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Preceding article: What to do in the Face of Global Anti-semitism

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Related articles

  1. If you’re going to be a hater, make sure you’ve done your homework
  2. Germany’s Muslim Demographic Future
  3. Actively Breaking Godwin’s Law (And thereby also indirectly following it.)
  4. Morning Star promotes claims of Israeli “apartheid” – from slave-state Qatar!
  5. University of Illinois Chicago: “The expression “Jewish Privilege” is particularly chilling for Jews, of course, because Jews are so disproportionately successful in many realms of competition”
  6. What has Zeldin Actually Done ?
  7. Do Not Reward Bad Behaviour: Trump Must Bury Anti-Semitic UN Resolution
  8. Maloney calls for formation of coalition to fight anti-Semitism
  9. Is Pope Francis ushering in a revival of Catholic anti-Semitism as it seeks to ally itself with Islam? Prominent Italian Rabbi Giuseppe Laras sounds the alarm

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Elizabeth Quinn

Disclaimer: I have chosen this article due to my photojournalism project that was also about anti-Semitism. I wanted to see how similar my questions were with another school’s student’s questions.

Jewish communities continue to receive threats and are attacked by anti-Semitism. The University of Texas San Antonio’s newspaper The Paisano interviews a Jewish Hillel student on her thoughts and feelings about these recent tragedies.

The newsworthiness of this piece is evident with the current and continuous threats and attacks to Jewish communities. To get an inside view from a university Jewish student is a great way to frame a story. It is a first-hand attack, but in this case, it is not a first-hand experience.

The first thing that I notice about the questions asked were the audiences for the questions. Isaac Serna moves from a broad, national, audience to a specific, university, audience and back to a broad, national…

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Crimes & Atrocities, Headlines - News, Knowledge & Wisdom, Political affairs, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs

Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel

Witness well Net knows that we are not human beings who like to come in the open easily. It says

we have a tendency to remain hidden and not share the gospel. {How pre-judging others has a serious effect on evangelism}

Some of us want to be so much like God and cast judgement on a person’s receptivity toward the message of salvation that they forget the love message.

Placing a gag over our mouth that keeps us from proclaiming His name rather than allow His Words to overflow from our hearts can be a result of pre-judging the condition of a person’s soil. {How pre-judging others has a serious effect on evangelism}

Talking about a saving relationship with ChristDave Malnes from the website Witness well tells us that we should trust his promises that our righteousness is secure because of his faithfulness – not our own; his obedience and not our own; his trustworthiness and not our own. {How evangelism rests on trust and what you possess}

He writes that

Evangelism

Evangelism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

World religions attempt to search within to find true meaning and purpose. The object of their faith is themselves. Biblical Christians trust squarely on Jesus promises as the object of their faith. Peace and joy is not something that is self-generated, but Spirit-filled. {How evangelism rests on trust and what you possess}

Jesus-army-bus

Jesus-army-bus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Though we do find still  too many Christians counting too much on worldly arrangements and governments. Also a lot of Christians do not know their Bible. Some of them know perhaps several phrases from the New Testament, but do not see the whole picture.

The same about one of the tasks Jesus has given and as such has to be one of the many works of faith we do have to do. We do have to become one in Christ, like Christ is one with his heavenly Father. In case we would think like trinitarians, that would mean they have to become like God and some of them consider themselves to be like Christ, to be God.

The Elohim, who has sent His only begotten son to this world, commissions believers in Christ to sow the seeds of the gospel and to become humble like Jesus humbled himself. By embracing this role, Christians find joy and peace in encouraging and equipping others with the faith in Christ and in Only One true God (the heavenly Father of Jesus).

When we call ourselves Christian we should show others that we are willing to become like Christ and like him have faithfully responded God’s call to sow the seeds of the gospel and trusting God His promise that the harvest may be plentiful.

English: 4 days of Evangelism Training in Sout...

4 days of Evangelism Training in Southern California provided by LivingWaters Ministry. Obeying the great commission of Jesus Christ. “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to everyone” Mark 16:15 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Full enjoyment and trust we should bear the Good News in our mind and be of full courage to share the message of encouragement and uplifted spirit of rejoicing being presented to us by the acts of the apostles. Their work must have been an amazing experience, but is not finished yet. We do have to continue the work of the apostles and those first Christians.

Followers of Christ should be giving themselves totally to Jesus, willing to become in Christ Jesus, a part of a bigger picture as partakers of the Body of Christ, being those who have been set apart as God’s children through God’s grace.

It is by grace, God’s undeserved love that makes us Christians. No wonder we can rejoice through any circumstance that comes our way when we can be assured of our status before God, not by what we have done or what we are doing, but what God has already done for us. {An appropriate benediction}

We should be so tankful for Jesus proving to us that man is able to put his own will aside for doing God’s Will, and giving himself for atonement, paying the ransom prize for the sins we did.

For this liberation we can have joy which comes from trusting God’s promises that we will receive liberation from the curse of the Fall and that Jesus restored the relationship between God and man and has received authority to be the mediator between God and man and the judge at the end times, where it is him who shall decide who shall be able to enter the Kingdom of God.

An evangelist fully trusts God’s promises associated with being His messenger. Sharing the message of the gospel is not about us, but proclaiming the power of the message. In Christ, we conquer fear, worry, and guilt. By remaining in Christ, we bear fruits of the Spirit that reflects the light of Christ and introduces His presence to the world. {How evangelism rests on trust and what you possess}

The Bible teaches that God “gave” to certain people the gift of evangelism to build up the church (Eph. 4:11). We marvel and rejoice at these gifts as one who has the gift of music. Most believers like myself do not have the gift of evangelism, but we are not excused from the work of evangelism (2 Tim. 4:5). God commissions all believers to go, teach, and baptize (Matthew 28:19-20). {Twelve Things Successful Evangelists Do}

Dave Malnes believes these are twelve things that successful evangelists do:

Love Successful evangelists speak the truth that is prompted by love and concern for the soul.

Joy Evangelists reflect the gospel light in their own lives that attracts unbelievers.

Peace   Evangelists find their identity in Christ that washes away guilt.

Patience Evangelists understands the fruit of patience ripens into persistence by keeping God’s timetable and not our own.

Kindness Evangelists sacrifice acts of kindness and generosity with no strings attached.

Self-control Evangelists resist the need to win the argument and focus on winning the soul.

Goodness Evangelists consistently extend grace to those who are least deserving.

Gentleness Evangelists express humility and give all credit and glory to God.

Pray continually Evangelists give thanks in all circumstances and reflects this pattern in an ongoing prayer life.

Perseverance Evangelists never, never, never give up.

Faithfulness Evangelists rely on God’s faithfulness to renew their own faithfulness by regularly reading, studying, and praying over God’s Word. {Twelve Things Successful Evangelists Do}

We have to set our mind on Christ Jesus and nurture our and others their need for a goal, a focus, instructions, and a hero. When we are afraid to tell others about our faith we do need to conquer our fear with our faith. We also should remember that “Everything God has made is an assignment”. In the knowledge that our future is the seed for the one we chose to honour we should be pleased, showing our joy in the Messiah. Our gratitude should be a seed for more. and we should not be afraid to sow seed wrapped with expectation and faith in the harvest.

When having become a Christian we have come into a covenant with Jesus that gives purpose and then we should follow his rules and given tasks, sowing our seed for a desired harvest.

Oxbow sunset #2

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Preceding

Witnessing because we love

Is being a humanitarian enough to convey the full love of Christ?

Preaching Christ Is Not Enough

A Christian has to have eyes and ears and a tongue to use in good ways

Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news

An uncovering book to explore

Preaching by example

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Additional reading

  1. A question to be posed
  2. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  3. Written down in God’s Name for righteousness
  4. A way to look for Christ, the Bible, Word of God
  5. The Right One to follow and to worship
  6. The Almighty Lord God of gods King above all gods
  7. Glory of only One God Who gives His Word
  8. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  9. Appointed to be read
  10. Focussing on oneness with Jesus like Jesus is one with God
  11. Not able to make contact with God because to busy
  12. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #3 as a Christian
  13. Atonement and the race been bought
  14. Atonement And Fellowship 1/8
  15. Atonement And Fellowship 2/8
  16. Atonement And Fellowship 3/8
  17. Atonement And Fellowship 4/8
  18. Atonement And Fellowship 5/8
  19. Atonement And Fellowship 6/8
  20. Atonement And Fellowship 7/8
  21. Atonement And Fellowship 8/8
  22. The manager and Word of God
  23. The Metaphorical language of the Bible
  24. Scripture alone Sola Scriptora
  25. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything
  26. Be an Encourager
  27. Foundation for a good relationship with God
  28. Apple of Gods eye
  29. A “seed” for the blessing of all mankind would come through the family of Abraham
  30. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  31. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  32. Bearing fruit
  33. Rejoicing in the day
  34. She who sows thistles will reap prickles
  35. You cannot change anything in your life with intention alone
  36. Picking Stones
  37. The Big Conversation
  38. John 4 according to the Scriptures

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Further reading

  1. Simple John
  2. Seeds that you plant
  3. With the Patience of a Saint
  4. 7 Laws to Create Uncommon Success
  5. The Good Gardener
  6. Others before myself
  7. Leviticus 2:8-16: The First-Fruits Offering
  8. A Spiritual Harvest
  9. Sharpen Your Blade!
  10. The Secret to Successful Gardening
  11. Your Mind is the Garden
  12. No Soup For You!
  13. Who is Going to Tell Them?
  14. Dying Field
  15. IF: I listen, can I hear You?

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100-Day Identity Makeover: Day 56

Jesus called man to follow him as The Way to God. He warned us for not to be mistaken and thinking that by grace we would be saved and have nothing to do any more. Jesus himself gave already some tasks we should do and gave enough examples of people who missed the opportunity to enter the Lord’s house.

Like Jesus, who did not want to do his own will (which he would have done in case he would be God), we too should try to do the Will of our heavenly Father, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the God of Christ and his disciples. The God of Jews Who should also be the God of Christians and God of Muslims but also should become the God of love of our world. this can only happen when people continue the work Jesus asked his followers to do, to go out in the world and to proclaim the Works of God and to tell them the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God.

In case we want to be proper children of God, we have to honour Him and appreciate Him for what He has done for us and for what He still can mean for us. Him we do have to praise in Christ. By following the teachings of rabbi Jeshua we have to show the world we do not want to be from it but that we want to be of God, whitewashed by the innocent blood of Christ.

Let us live accordingly, saying thanks to God and asking for guiding us throughout our life and helping us to call others in the name of Christ.

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To remember

  • seen a strong-willed child + wondered what kind of battles his parents endure on a daily basis
  • strength of one’s character reveals itself in the very beginning => Parents + grandparents quickly recognize dominant personality traits
  • certain things each of us been good at ever since we were little kids
  • with some training = potential to use it for good
  • in adult business world = gift of reading people well => selling your product
  • God has a great purpose for the strategic thinker!
  • In Scripture example of Aaron > leading people according to God’s divine direction
  • people grew impatient + asked Aaron to make a god for them => he did = fashioned a calf idol from their donated gold, + they had a pagan- style celebration of their new god.
  • Aaron had great potential for leading people in worship > however, he was mistaken in solving their need, +, in the process, misled the entire community!

That is also what we see today. Many have made their own idols into a god. Lots of Christians also made Jesus into their own god. For them it seems a nice solution though lots of them do not understand quite really the matter of the trinity and the biblical saying we should only have One True God, the Eternal Spirit and Adonai, Elohim Hashem Maker Jehovah.

  • Israel’s actions angered God => see mercy of God => gave them another chance
  • God selected Aaron to be the first of the Levitical line of Israel’s priesthood
  • men who would be separated unto God to live holy lives + to bring God’s people into holy communion with Him through worship according to His Word

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  • Aaron gifted in leading others in worship.

What about you? Child of God <= created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for you to do (See Ephesians 2:10)

  • Through the Spirit’s empowerment => strength = powerful tool for revealing glory of God in the earth
  • gifts of the Spirit work in and through you => reveal God’s goodness > excelling natural abilities => supernatural gifts

Jesus said

“This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples” (John 15:8).

Walk It Out     Hear God’s Word + put it into practice (Luke 8:21)

Align life with God’s purpose = giving Him your “yes.” => Walk in the way He leads you with complete trust => His Presence + empowerment through Holy Spirit accomplish good works in + through you.

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Preceding

  1. Paul giving notice of the works we have to do
  2. The works we have to do according to James the brother of Christ
  3. Leading people astray!
  4. Restitution
  5. Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works
  6. Luther’s misunderstanding
  7. January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works
  8. Our life depending on faith
  9. Romans 4 and the Sacraments
  10. Is Justification a process?
  11. Justification – salvation is by grace through faith – JI Packer
  12. Faith itself not the cause of justification – Louis Berkhof
  13. Letter to the Romans, chapter 3
  14. Letter to the Romans, chapter 4
  15. Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans
  16. Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4
  17. Which is worse–works without faith, or faith without works?
  18. James 2:14-23 — Justified Dynamic Faith & works
  19. James 2:24 – You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
  20. James 2:25. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

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Read also other articles as:

  1. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  2. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  3. The way of salvation
  4. A “seed” for the blessing of all mankind would come through the family of Abraham
  5. God works faith
  6. Faith is the belief that god will do what is right
  7. Christ’s ethical teaching
  8.  Being Justified by faith
  9. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
  10. Faith Requires a Basis
  11. Walking in love by faith, not by sight
  12. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  13. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  14. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  15. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  16. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  17. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  18. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  19. Faith and works
  20. Sharing your faith
  21. Bearing fruit
  22. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  23. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  24. Be holy
  25. 1 Corinthians 15 Hope in action
  26. Chief means by which men are built up
  27. Not to play at Christianity
  28. To be established in the present truth
  29. She who sows thistles will reap prickles
  30. Love for each other attracting others
  31. Share your faith
  32. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  33. Faith, storms and actions to be taken
  34. The longer you wait
  35. A call easy to understand

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sharing love and truth

Day 56

You Are Created in Christ Jesus to Do Good Works (Ephesians 2:10)

Have you ever seen a strong-willed child and wondered what kind of battles his parents endure on a daily basis? Maybe you were that strong-willed child, or perhaps you’re raising one! It amazes me how the strength of one’s character reveals itself in the very beginning. Parents and grandparents quickly recognize the dominant personality traits. My response to such observations- “God has a great purpose for that!”

There are certain things that each of us has been good at ever since we were little kids. Maybe we didn’t use the gift for good, but we were certainly good at it, and with some training, we had potential to use it for good. Take, for instance, the child who can strategize and work a situation to turn in his favor… Sure, it’s manipulation at its finest, but in…

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Filed under Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs

Reactions against those of the other sex

Lust in the Dust

Lust in the Dust (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you’re genuinely born of God, you’ll be growing to be an overcomer as you deal with the temptations around you — the world, the flesh, and the adversary.

When becoming a Christian you decided to become a child of God and to live according His statutes. You have put your old life aside and made the decision to take on an other life, one in accordance to God’s Law.

As a Christian you should try to please God and have your thoughts focused on the right things.

According to 1 John 5:4,

“Whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”

The word overcome implies a struggle, getting over something. that what is not easy, that what tempts us, that what can bring us from our position and get us on the wrong path. Also having the wrong ideas like Peter had, can make us being called ourselves an adversary or satan.

Human race is a weak one. And men are for sure not the strongest of the humans. In many religions that is taken in consideration. In some Muslim cultures it goes so far that they say women have to hide their contours and faces for men, because otherwise they would tempt them too much and man is not able to be counted for his deeds in such instances.

In our western culture you would think men and women would respect each other. But still too often we hear stories of men going too far and taking women as a subject or just an object to be used. The previous posting is a good example of this.

"Idle Thoughts", 1898

“Idle Thoughts”, 1898 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It can well be when a man sees a woman that his mind goes off dreaming and fantasying. The same for women, when they see certain men, they also can have their thoughts going into fantasy world. In such circumstances it is important that we know how far we can have our thoughts linger away. For sure our physical reactions may not bring the other person in shyness or quandary.

Being confronted with ‘toppling thoughts’ we should come to our senses and remember the lesson about the eyes and fornication. We may look at the other sex, but how and how long we look in which way makes a difference

We’re faced with an adversary whom we must overcome. Our adversary is identified in 1 John 2:14 as the wicked one:

“I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.”

John went on in the next verses to say:

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. . . . For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world” (1 John 2:15-17).

Life has to offer a lot of lust. Daily we can be confronted with lust and temptation, of all sorts. How we cope with it is important.

You may not be victorious over every temptation every time, but you’ll make progress in gaining more victories and losing less battles as you grow stronger in Christ and in the power of the abiding Word of God.

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Preceding article: Part of a great team but also of gender discrimination

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Find also

  1. Because men choose to go their own way
  2. Epicurus’ Problem of Evil
  3. Satan the evil within
  4. What others think about the tree of knowledge of good and evil
  5. Object of first woe
  6. Gainsayers In Apostolic Days
  7. A look at materialism
  8. Material gain to honour God
  9. Summermonths and consumerism
  10. Savouring pictorial entertainment
  11. Belonging to or being judged by
  12. Male domination and tyranny giving opportunities to defile the Name of God
  13. Temptation in matrimony
  14. Subcutaneous power for humanity 2 1950-2010 Post war generations
  15. The Cares of Life
  16. Wondering
  17. A love not exempting us from trials
  18. When the wind blows hard on a tree
  19. The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places
  20. Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
  21. It continues to be a never ending, exhausting battle for survival.
  22. Signs of the Last Days
  23. Salvation and Righteousness
  24. Hebraic Roots Bible 1 Corinthians 6:15-20 – Flee fornication and be joined to our Master
  25. Nazarene Commentary 1 Corinthians 6:15-20 – Flee from Immorality

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Social affairs

Silencing Women – Of God or Men ?

There are 2 passages in the Bible which  appear to say that women should be silent in church.

1 Cor. 14:34-35  & 1 Tim. 2:11-12

A closer look shows that they are talking about different things and use a different Greek word for silence.

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (KJV)

“ Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted to them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”

Notice that it doesn’t just say that women can’t speak – even if they have a question they must ask their husbands at home. This implies that husbands are able to answer their wives spiritual questions.

Notice also that Paul appeals to the law, but he doesn’t say where he’s quoting from.

What’s also interesting is it seems to be the ONLY time Paul says he’s quoting the Old Testament, and he doesn’t back it up with the quote.

Let’s take a look at Paul’s normal writing style when he says he’s quoting scripture.

CITING QUOTES – (Thanks to Ian McHaffie for his research on this)

Paul introduces an Old Testament quote by “It is written” about 30 times and Includes full quote

Paul says “it says” or “the law says”  about 25 times and includes the quote.

Sometimes Paul just quotes with no introduction about 36 times

So that’s a total of 91 times where Paul gives the actual quote.

The only where he says he’s quoting scripture, but doesn’t say where, seems to be this verse .

1 Cor. 1:1–2a from the 14th century Minuscule 223

1 Cor. 1:1–2a from the 14th century Minuscule 223

It seems strange that if this is a weighty passage intended to stop women speaking for all time – that Paul doesn’t back it up with the exact scripture in the way he normally does. There’s another possibility. Corinthians was written to mostly Gentile believers living in a Roman city.  Maybe it’s Roman Law mentioned here.

ROMAN LAW

The word “law ”in 1 Cor. 14  can mean  any law whatever -not just the law of Moses.  For example Rom.3:27 “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith – so here the word law refers to a law of works and a law of faith.  It’s possible the word Law in 1 Cor. 14  could be referring to yet another Law – the Roman Law. Under Roman law a woman was subject to a man all her life.  The Romans had a law called Patria Potestas -power of a father – absolute authority – power over life and death.  When his daughter married this power could either go to her husband to have control over her, or stay with the father, whichever way, she was always controlled by a man.

But the traditional church argument has been that Paul is referring to Genesis and a Law that women must submit to men.  Let’s see if such a law exists.

GENESIS 3:16 is where the traditional argument takes us back to – the events in Eden.

“Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

What is the context of this verse ?  It’s often been interpreted through Paul – but let’s think about it again realising that we don’t know if Paul was referring to it.

What happened in Eden was a breakdown of relationships, especially with God, and it lead to sin.  When Eve was tempted she didn’t turn to God, she turned to her husband.  It was a mistake to turn to her husband, she should have turned to God.

It’s also interesting that the term, “cursed”, arur, is absent from God’s announcement to Eve. The serpent is cursed above all the animals and punished, and because of Adam’s sin, the earth is cursed. But nothing is cursed, using the word ‘arur ‘because of Eve. 

Let’s compare this verse in Gen. with Paul’s verse in Corinthian –

“Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16

“They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as also the law says. If they want to learn something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.” 1 Cor. 14:34

Notice that The verse in Genesis isn’t a commandment, it’s a statement  -That men WILL rule over women – a prophecy. The verse in Cor. says that women MUST be submissive to men – this is a commandment to obey, two different things.

The question is – is Paul really referring to Genesis?

The traditional view is that Paul expanded what was said in Genesis, that he in fact gave it a different meaning than we would otherwise take from it.

But why would Paul appeal to the Law in this verse, when he says so many times we are no longer under the law?

LAW QUOTES

“Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.” Galatians 3:13

“If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” Galatians 5:18

This Law of sin and death that we are set free from goes back to Eden.  Paul is clearly referring to it and saying we are no longer under it – we still die, but if we are in Christ it doesn’t have a hold over us in a spiritual sense.

So what is this law that Paul is referring to?  It’s inconsistent to say we’re NOT under the law and then to enforce it in 1 Cor. 14. Could it just be the Roman Law?  Or could there be a fuller explanation?

When Jesus was tempted to take a passage of scripture at face value during his temptation in the wilderness, His response was to say “IT IS ALSO WRITTEN”. He considered the broader picture of what else the scriptures had to say.   So now I’d like to do the same.  Let’s think about the rest of the Bible and what it has to say about the silence of women.  Let’s start by looking at some women in the Old Testament.

The Bible provides examples of women who led, spoke out, and gave wise instruction to both men and women.

I’ve heard it said that men shouldn’t listen to women because Eve deceived Adam – more about that later- but we have  the  example of David hearkening to the voice Abigail and it was a good thing. She stopped him from sinning.   There’s the example of Deborah who judged and led Israel.

Esther who saved the nation by having the courage to speak out – A Jewish girl who married a foreign King at a time when other Jews were forcing men to divorce their foreign wives. (more about that in next post)

Huldah the prophetess  -The King and priests – the most important men in all the land – went to her to hear God’s word.

Miriam was chosen by God to lead Israel along with Moses and Aaron.

NO -There weren’t as many women as men in leadership roles but there’s enough to show they DID have God’s approval. I don’t believe it was God  who told women to be silent but the prophecy of male dominance taking effect.

RABBIS –Let’s  have a quick look at Jewish thinking by the time of Jesus and Paul.  As well as the Law of Moses they had all the interpretations of it by Rabbis known as the Mishnah and Talmud. These are some examples of what they said.

“Out of respect to the congregation, a woman should not herself read in the law.”

“It is a shame for a woman to let her voice be heard among men.”

“Even the sound of a woman’s voice is lustful.”

Josephus summed them up:

            “Thus says the scripture, a woman is inferior to her husband in all things.”

So clearly these Rabbis thought women were inferior to men and made statements to say that the scriptures backed them up.  There’s definitely no scripture which says that a woman is inferior to her husband in all things –it was a story going around because of how the Rabbis re-interpreted scripture.

Let’s compare these sayings with what Jesus said.

WHAT JESUS SAID

“For you have one Teacher, and you are all brethren (includes male and female).  And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.  Nor are you to be called instructors (Rabbi, Master), for you have one Instructor, the Messiah.  The greatest among you will be your servant.”Matt. 23:9-11 NIV

So we are not to call anyone but Jesus our instructor or leader. It’s Jesus women turn to for ultimate guidance, not their husband, nor people who wrongly interpret scripture. Likewise it’s Jesus men should turn to, not their wives. Jesus is our leader.  How can women ask spiritual questions of their husbands at home if they don’t have a husband?

Let’s think about a woman with no husband. In John 4  Jesus broke the protocol of the day by talking to a woman alone. She had no husband to ask questions of.

The disciples left their nets to follow Jesus, but she left her water pot to go and preach.  She was the first person to be told by Jesus that He was the Messiah

She spoke to the people (including men), of the town and “many came to believe because of the words she spoke.

She was the FIRST to hear Jesus words and go out preaching the good news.

This was clearly an example of a woman preaching the good news of Jesus to men.  This woman grasped the message of Jesus and ran with it – she didn’t need a husband to know what the right thing to do was.

Jesus TRAVELLED WITH WOMEN we are told in Luke 8:2

He went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women.” Luke 8:2

After His resurrection He APPEARED FIRST TO A WOMAN & TOLD HER TO PROCLAIM HIS RESURRECTION – just as we should be doing now.

In John 20:17 Jesus said to Mary

“Go to my brethren, and say to them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the LORD, and that he had spoken these things unto her.”

We are told in Luke 24:11 that “It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles.
But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.”

Mary became known as the “apostle to the apostles” because Jesus chose her to give the news of His resurrection to the other disciples.  We are told that the 11 men didn’t believe her.  We are also told that Jesus rebuked them sternly for this.

Mark 16:14  “Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven … he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen”.

Jesus wasn’t impressed when the men refused to believe these women who were proclaiming the resurrection, especially when they had been instructed by Jesus Himself to proclaim it.  This is a powerful point and warning to men who refuse to listen to women proclaim the gospel.

The  New Testament is full of examples of women preaching alongside  men.  Just a few examples here.

Acts 2 says ALL received the holy spirit, ALL spoke in tongues.”  This is what was spoken by Joel the prophet in chapter 2:

“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,  your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”
It was an exciting time for the church – men and women were working together  to proclaim the gospel.                      

We are told that Phoebe (a woman) was a servant/deacon of the church in Cenchrea in Romans 16:1-2,  and that Priscilla and her husband Aquila were a preaching team “When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” Acts 18:26, 1 Cor. 16:9

Priscilla and Aquilla taught Apollos, they are mentioned together about 5 times and usually it’s Priscilla who is mentioned first.   So in the New Testament  we hear of  women speaking and preaching together with men.

But what of the two difficult verses by Paul which seem to say at face value that women are to be silent???

CONTEXT

–Before we look at the quote in 1 Cor. 14 Let’s think about the context within the rest of 1 Corinthians.  Paul doesn’t expect women to be silent because –

1 Cor. 11  discusses what men and WOMEN will wear when PRAYING AND PROPHESYING– both spoken activities.

1 Cor. 14:5 says “I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy”.

1 Cor. 14:26 says “When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.”

1 Cor.14:39 says Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy” (NIV)

In the IMMEDIATE CONTEXT  – Paul approved and encouraged both men and women speaking in the ecclesial meetings.

In the WIDER CONTEXT – Women spoke, judged, prophesied, led.

EXPLAINING 1 COR. 14:34-35

It seems to me that 1 Cor. 14:34-35 can’t be saying the opposite of what is established by the rest of the Bible.  Women did instruct and speak both in the Old Testament and New Testament WITH GOD’S APPROVAL.

The difficulty with 1 Cor. Is that Paul is answering a whole series of questions.  We have the answers but not the questions, nor the punctuation in the original Greek to make the questions stand out.  We know that all through 1 Cor. Paul is answering questions that have been written to him. 1 Cor. 7:1  makes this clear when Paul says Now for the matters you wrote about”.

I believe that the strongest explanation for this puzzling verse is that it’s actually Paul quoting one of these questions that he’s been asked .

1 Corinthians 14 is a QUOTATION of the matters they wrote about.

This is what it looks like if we put the words of Paul in italics

                                    QUOTATION  1 Cor. 14:34-35

Paul’s words Italics

And the spirits of  prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.”

“As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is a shame for women to speak in  church”.(PART PAUL IS QUOTING THEY HAVE WRITTEN TO HIM ABOUT)

 What?

Did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only ones it has reached?” (Paul dismisses the idea as nonsense)

I think this passage is the outcome of the Rabbis re-interpreting Genesis 3:16, something that was the thinking of the day, and is one of the “things you wrote about” which Paul refers to.

This theory makes sense of the strange exclamation of “What” at the start of verse 36 -It’s Paul’s dismissal of such an idea that women can’t speak. If we understand it like this, then Paul’s message takes on the opposite meaning to the traditional view. It’s dismissing the silly idea of women not being able to speak. Let’s look more closely at Paul’s dismissal of the idea.

If we understand that the passage is something quoted – then this response from Paul makes sense.  The problem verses would be a whole new teaching that contradicts Jesus.

Women to be silent and ask questions of their husbands? Paul challenges this new teaching with two questions.

  1. “Came the word out from you?”  – The word came out from Jesus not these men.
  2. “Came it unto you only?” “only” =  alone –  without a companion.  Were these men alone receiving a new teaching and not the women?

In Jesus women are “Sons of God”. Being male or female doesn’t matter, they are born of God’s will not men’s will, nor a husbands will.

“To all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” John 1:12

Let’s move on the Paul’s other difficult quote in 1st Timothy

What was Paul’s Purpose of Writing to Timothy?

Paul tells Timothy to stay in Ephesus – so that he could command certain people not to teach false doctrine.  So our setting is Ephesus in the 1st Century and there is a problem with wrong doctrine. Lets’ try and go back in time to ancient Ephesus, and try to understand the wrong doctrines that were in circulation.

ANCIENT EPHESUS –   Was the home of the Temple of Artemis – one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world.

Ephesus was the trade centre of the ancient world. It was a melting pot of myths.

Trying to understand these myths is useful when thinking about the problems that Paul is addressing in his letter to Timothy

Archeological site Ephesus at the time of Marcus Ampe's 1992 visit

Archaeological site Ephesus at the time of Marcus Ampe’s 1992 visit

Besides the cult of Artemis, there is evidence of various mystery religions, the practice of magic (Acts 19:19), worship of Egyptian gods as well as a large number of other gods.Legend has it that the city of Ephesus was founded by the Amazon women who also built the first temple to Artemis.  Ancient Statues of the Amazon women still exist. Artemis, according to Greek mythology, is one of the virgin goddesses who remained independent and free of any man. She is the Goddess of pregnant women and childbirth, Goddess of all animals and Goddess of the hunt.

Let’s think about the Amazon women who supposedly founded Ephesus.

AMAZON WOMEN – According to Greek mythology the Amazons were a nation of all female warriors who originated from Northern Turkey. They were skilled warriors who rode horses, enslaved men and forced them to build the city of Ephesus. They also worshipped Artemis.  By the time of Paul Artemis had merged into Diana of the Ephesians.

DIANA of the Ephesians

We know from Acts 18 that Diana was worshipped all over the Roman Empire, and this is confirmed by ancient coins which even call her “Saviour”. From Acts 19:27 we have the quote

“The goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world.”

She had many titles, one of them was PROTECTOR OF WOMEN IN CHILDBIRTH

The Roman Diana had evolved from the Greek One.  The idea of powerful independent women was reinforced in the Artemis cult because unlike other Greek goddesses, Artemis had no need of a male partner. Images of the Amazon women also lined her temple in Ephesus.

Philosophers, Myths -As we’ve seen Ephesus was a breeding ground for myths and also attracted philosophers.  Paul said –

“Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?  For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified.” 1 Cor. 1:20-25

Ephesus, library of Celsus - Photo by Marcus Ampe

Ephesus, library of Celsus – Photo by Marcus Ampe

Here in Ephesus the thinkers of the age came together.   There was a statue in the library in AD 117 where wisdom or Sophia was personified as a woman.

At some stage there were the Gnostic stories going around.  It’s hard to date the origin of the Gnostic stories as they evolved over time, but it seems likely that the ideas that fed them would have been present in Ephesus at the time of Pauls writings. This is one of the Gnostic texts which mentions Eve as the daughter of Sophia (Wisdom) who wakes Adam from sleep.

Myth – Eve made first (difficult to date the origins of these myths)

Sophia sent Zoe, her daughter, who is called “Eve,” as an instructor in order that she might raise up Adam, in whom there is no spiritual soul so that those whom he could beget might also become vessels of light. When Eve saw her companion, who was so much like her, in his cast down condition she pitied him, and she exclaimed: “Adam, live! Rise up upon the earth!” Immediately her words produced a result for when Adam rose up, right away he opened his eyes. When he saw her, he said: “You will be called ‘mother of the living’, because you are the one who gave me life.“  from ‘On the Origin of the World’

We’ll keep these ideas in mind while we look at Paul’s other difficult passage.

Paul’s other difficult passage

SILENCING WOMEN ?  1 Tim 2:11-15

“Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. And she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.”

At face value Paul appears to be silencing women because Adam was made first and wasn’t deceived like Eve was.  He appears to be giving Adam an elevated status and endorsing a MALE HIERARCHY.  Let’s see how these ideas compare to the teachings of Jesus.

                                                 Would Paul contradict Jesus?          What did Jesus say?

NO HIERARCHY

“Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah.  The greatest among you will be your servant.”

Matt.23:11“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,  and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.”  Mark 10:43

“Whoever does the will of God is My brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3:35

ORDER DOESN’T MATTER

“But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” Matt. 19:30

Younger brothers chosen: Jacob not Esau, Isaac not Ishmael, Joseph ruler of older brothers, David the youngest son

WHAT PAUL APPEARS TO SAY

MALE HIERARCHY ?

  “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” 1 Tim. 2:12

  “They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.  If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.” 1 Cor. 14:34-35

   “The head of the woman is man” 1 Cor. 11:3

DOES ORDER REALLY MATTER ?

     “She must be quiet.  For Adam was formed first, then Eve.” 1 Tim 2:13

Conclusion – At face value – the words of Jesus and the words of Paul don’t seem to agree.

Let’s compare Paul’s words in here to some of his other words.

Would Paul contradict himself?
The question is – Would Paul really command all women to be silent when
he has encouraged them to speak?

1 Cor. 11  discusses what men and WOMEN will wear when PRAYING AND PROPHESYING– both spoken activities.
1 Cor. 14:5 – “I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy”.
1 Cor. 14:26 – “When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.”
1 Cor.14:39Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy” (NIV)

Would Paul say order matters in one place when he said it doesn’t in another?

1 Cor. 11:11-12 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. And everything comes from God.”

Compared to

‘Women are to be silent for man was formed first.’

So once again – at face value – Paul’s words are very puzzling. Let’s think about Timothy the young man Paul is writing to.

Timothy’s Background

Paul begins his letter by saying –

“To Timothy, my dear son…

I thank God, whom I serve… I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” 2 Tim 1

Let’s compare this to our difficult passage

“I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” 1 Tim. 2:12

Again the passages seem to clash.  Would Paul really silence Timothy’s mother and Grandmother? In 2 Timothy he commends them, he even seems to say that Timothy’s faith had been nurtured by his mother and grandmother. It would seem very much that they had in fact been teachers to Timothy

Let’s think about another part of the difficult Timothy Passage.

Verse 14

“And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” 1 Tim 2:14

A misunderstanding of 1 Tim 2: 12  has caused  Eve to be blamed for the original sin which brought down mankind – yet Adam and Eve were together in the transgression.  Eve turned to Adam when she was deceived. Adam knowingly sinned.

It’s interesting that in Eden God had given the command not to eat of the tree of knowledge to Adam – before Eve was made.  It would seem that Eve was told about the command via Adam, and  what Eve told the serpent was not quite what God Told Adam.

After they ate the fruit it was Adam that God spoke to- the one given the original command from God.  Adam’s guilty verdict starts with “Because you listened to your wife,” which gives the impression that listening to his wife is his main misdoing;  this is NOT what it’s about at all.
The point of Adam listening to his wife was not about listening to a woman, and therefore all men should never listen to women- the point was  about  Adam messing up and disobeying the direct and  clear command from God.  Adam deliberately sinned by eating the fruit, he knew it was wrong and still did it anyway. Eve had been deceived by wrong doctrine, she wasn’t sure if it was wrong anymore.

Paul said repeatedly that is was ADAM who  brought sin into the world.

     IT IS ALSO WRITTEN

            “For as in Adam all die”1 Cor. 15:22

“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin” Rom. 5:12

It’s very likely that the church in Ephesus would have read Paul’s letters to the Romans and Corinthians Letters which stated that Sin came into the world by one man – Adam.  It’s very likely that the women were questioning whether Eve was part of the original sin of Adam.  In 1 Timothy Paul is emphasising that women were drawn into the transgression by being deceived, that is the point here – to correct wrong doctrine.  It seems likely that some women were saying that Eve was not part of Adam’s sin.

Different Greek words for silence

Next let’s compare our difficult verse in Cor. with our difficult verse in Timothy.

The translators have used the same English word “SILENCE” in these 2 passages.  But in Greek the  words are different with different meanings.  The word for silence in the Cor. passage means silence as we understand it – without sound.

But the word in the Timothy passage doesn’t necessarily mean to be without sound – It has more of a slant to meaning stillness, or behaving in a quiet way, or settling down.

COMPARE -So let’s compare our Timothy passage with another passage which uses the same word for silence – only this time the translators decided to call it quietness.

1 Timothy 2:11-15

“Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.  For Adam was formed first, then Eve.  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.”

2 Thes. 3:11

“We hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread…14And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.”

So in this passage the same word takes on the meaning of quietness.  It’s the Greek word hesychia, it’s not the word sigan, “refrain from speaking”, used in 1 Corinthians 14  when speakers in tongues, prophets and the women are told to be silent. “Quiet” in verse 2 of the same chapter in Timothy means “free from disruption or persecution”, and it has been suggested that Paul meant the same in verse 11, i.e. that no attempt should be made to disrupt the process of a woman being taught.

Traditional Interpretation

Let’s compare the traditional interpretation with an alternative one

Traditional interpretation

Women are to be silent because Adam was made first. A universal rule from Paul to apply to all women for all time.

Alternative interpretation –

Deceived women teaching wrong doctrines are to stop teaching and learn in quietness. Advice for a local situation to women who still needed to learn and were leading others astray. Other women like Priscilla were ready to teach and  they did.

1 Tim 1   What was PAULS PURPOSE OF WRITING TO TIMOTHY?

1 Tim 1:3  says

“Stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies.”

NOTICE:  Paul’s command was only for ‘certain people’ – the ones teaching wrong doctrine. 

FROM THE CONTEXT OF 1 TIM. 2 The Wrong Doctrines appear to be

– Doubts about Jesus being human

– Angry men

– Women overdressing

EVE MADE FIRST and not part of Adam’s transgression

– HAVING CHILDREN WAS BAD or women hoped Diana would saved them in childbirth

Paul’s comments – Wrong Doctrines

I want to try to explain this passage by comparing what Paul is saying, to what appears to be the wrong doctrines  he’s referring to.

Remember that in chapter one Paul told Timothy to stop some of the people from teaching – the people to stop teaching were the ones spreading wrong doctrine.

“Stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer  or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies.”

Then in chapter two he goes on the say who those certain people are he is not allowing to teach – it is directed at a woman or perhaps a group of women.

I don’t allow a woman (with wrong doctrine – who is still following the myths and genealogies) to teach nor to “usurp authority”  (act of herself – independently of the men) but to learn quietly.

For Adam WAS formed first.  Remember we know that there were ideas circulating in the Gnostic writings that Eve woke Adam.  It’s not unreasonable to suppose that those ideas were forming at the time of Paul’s writingsPaul is not saying

“Women must be silent because Adam was made first”

He’s saying that women with wrong doctrine must not teach and the fact is that Adam WAS made first, and that Eve WAS in the transgression.

Paul warned of those who claimed to have true knowledge but had a false knowledge (gnosis “Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge (gnosis)” 1Tim.6:20

WOMEN HAVING AUTHORITY

The Greek word for “AUTHORITY” that Paul uses in this verse is unique – it’s the only time it appears in the Bible.

1 Tim 2:12  “And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence (meaning quietness).”

Authority – authenteo –means “to act of oneself” a SELF WORKER

The  most common word used for authority in the New Testament is

– exousia– means power or authority – used 103 times

We know from the context of 1 Timothy that there were women in Ephesus who were trying to dominate but they were lead astray by wrong doctrine and still needed to learn. We know there was a culture in Ephesus of Diana worship  and of the worship of independent women who had once dominated men – according to myth.

 Paul is saying that women with wrong doctrine were not to be self workers, not to be independent of the men.

It should also be noted that Paul is not saying that men can have authority over women or be  self workers – MEN  can’t work independently  of women – JUST AS WOMEN CAN’T WORK INDEPENDENTLY OF MEN.

Saved through childbearing?

            What does Paul’s statement mean that women will be saved through childbearing?

            I don’t believe this verse is saying that women are saved by the birth of Jesus.

            It’s not saying “through the childbirth” there is no “the” in the Greek.  It is in the same sense of childbearing that he uses in chapter five.

1 Tim. 2:15  “And women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”

1 Tim. 5:14  “So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander.”

Women are not saved by a different process  MEN AND WOMEN are saved by grace – by belief in God and Jesus.

            But idle widows at Ephesus were being deceived by wrong doctrine (turning after Satan). Perhaps they were following the wrong teaching of abstaining from marriage.  Perhaps Paul suggested that marrying, having children and keeping busy would save them from being led astray as Eve had been by wrong teaching.

             Paul silences Men

Paul didn’t only silence women, he also silenced men.  He silenced anyone with WRONG DOCTRINE !

That’s the real point here.  It’s not a matter of gender – it’s a matter of stopping those who teach wrongly whether they are male or female.

Titus 1:10-14

SINNING PEOPLE (men included) DECEIVING  OTHERS WITH JEWISH FABLES TO BE SILENCED

  For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:

 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, the Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;  Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

            ANOTHER WOMAN WHO TAUGHT WRONG DOCTRINE

Rev 2:24 “Notwithstanding I have a few things against you, because you suffer that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols….. But to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine and who have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you no other burden.”

POINTS

There was no other burden put on the men & women of Thyatira The only one told to be silent is the one with wrong doctrine.

            Jezebel was not condemned for speaking – but for speaking wrongly, for turning after Satan.

Eve’s undoing was that she was deceived by wrong doctrine.  Adam’s undoing was his deliberate sin.

ADAM WAS GIVEN God’s word first – presumably Adam told it to Eve.  After the sin it was Adam who God confronted with the question Have you eaten from the tree that I COMMANDED YOU not to eat from?”Gen 3:11 God didn’t ask this question of Eve.

Adam sinned knowingly, he should have saved Eve when she was deceived.

JESUS -the second and greater Adam – didn’t give in to sin and died to save his bride. Being first didn’t make Adam better than Eve – he sinned.

           Jesus the 2nd Adam is greater that the 1st Adam.  The fact that Adam was formed before Eve doesn’t make him greater.  Paul was more likely correcting wrong doctrine when he made the point that Adam was made first. Probably some were saying that Eve was made first.

MEN are GIVEN the SAME WARNING

2 Cor. 11:3  to both MEN AND WOMEN

 “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray”

So Paul warns MEN as well not to be deceived and fall into sin like Eve.

The point of the passage in Timothy about deception is DON’T MAKE EVE’S MISTAKE – don’t be deceived – turn to God not people

 What about Paul’s advice to young widows? Is Paul’s giving  advice in a Local Context or making a rule for all women for all time?

1 Tim 5:14    “So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, rule their households”

            Compare this to

1 Cor. 7:8  ”Now to the unmarried and the widows

I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.”

(Anna had been a young widow  – SHE DIDN’T HAVE TO MARRY AND HAVE CHILDREN. She spoke to “ALL (men and women) who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem”.)

Man as the Head –is  A symbol to show Christ’s relationship with the church… it’s a marriage symbol.  By not understanding this symbol some people have fallen into the “men domination women” relationship of Eden that Christ freed us from.  Man as the head is not about male domination but a relationship in marriage that echoes Jesus saving his bride.

MARRIAGE

THE WIFE- the church

She is presenting a picture of how believers submit to Christ.

THE HUSBAND -symbol of Christ. He is to love his wife as Christ loved the church.

Someone looking at a believing husband should be able to see a picture of how Christ loved the church.

JESUS & HIS BRIDE – He didn’t tell His bride to be silent – He told her to go into the whole world and preach the gospel

It is also written

We began by looking at 2 quotes that many people have taken at face value.

But Jesus didn’t just take verses at face value, He  also weighed up everything else that God had said.  So Jesus didn’t isolate verses  to mean something that was incompatible with the rest of scripture.

So when we see a verse that says “Women are to be silent for Adam was formed first”

We should also remember the verse that says that man also comes from woman and everything is from God, and the multitude of verses which encourage women to speak, pray, teach.

There is neither Jew nor Greek

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Gal . 3:28

PAUL’S FINAL COMMENT ABOUT TEACHING

 “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”        “reliable people” = men & women
2 Tim. 2:2 New NIV © 2010

SUMMARY
1 Cor. 14:34-35
Paul was quoting one of the matters that he had been asked about before dismissing it as nonsense.
1 Tim 2:11-15
Deceived women teaching wrong doctrines are to stop teaching and learn in quietness. Advice for a local situation to women who still needed to learn and were leading others astray .  Other women like Priscilla were ready to teach and  they did.

Robin Jones

PPT presentation at  oneinchrist.yolasite.com

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Additional reading:

  1. Be still and listen
  2. Patria Potestas and Ancestor worship
  3. Patria Potestas and Pater familias

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Filed under History, Religious affairs

A Cranky Old Man

In this world many feel lonely. Lots of them have gotten old. Lots of them are abounded, but aside in a nursing home or in a dementia detention ward.

How de we want to look at others? How shall others look at us now and in a few years time?

We ourselves should always looking at others as children of God. Those who are older than ourselves we should respect as those who went before us to pave the way in front of us to make sure that we could have a living too. Them we do owe respect. That is what many forget these days.

Do we want to see ourselves in the older person? And more important do we want to see the person behind the old wreck we see in front of us?

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To remember

sons… grow and go

babies come again to play around

Dark days are upon us

close ones die

looking to the future we may shudder with dread

nature can be cruel

It’s jest to make old age…

Look like a fool.

The body, it crumbles…

Grace and vigor, depart.

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  • Cranky Old Man (shedmontfort.wordpress.com)
    When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, They found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.
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    The best and most beautiful things of this world can’t be seen or touched. They must be felt by the heart!
  • Cranky Old Man (globalunison.wordpress.com)

    This old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this ‘anonymous’ poem winging across the globe awaking masses to accept the reality that“nobody can run away from the dreadful old age however ravishing their young age may be”.

  • Do you really think you know me? (fellowshipoftheminds.com)
  • Do Unto Others… (asatisfiedspirit.com)
  • A Cranky Old Man (outsider-trading.com)
  • Special Feature : The Cranky Old Man (morguemouse.wordpress.com)
  • A cranky old man (murtighazi.wordpress.com)
  • Grow or Not (pamboyd.wordpress.com)
    as we get older, we can just become more cynical, worn out, bitter, resentful, and fearful. Cranky old women and men are everywhere. The only way to avoid the problem of “shrinking” into ourselves as we age, is to start expanding outside of ourselves now.
  • A Cranky Old Man (smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com)
    I would be in the kitchen diner where I had my office and would listen to the discussions going on – slipping in from time to time to replenish the preferred alcoholic beverages. Gin, double with a lick of tonic and slice of lemon – double whisky and water, large schooner of sherry and a large glass of red wine. The ladies were all in late 80′s early 90′s but you could have been out with any group of girls from 18- 100. I had to intervene occasionally when discussions would become a little heated about the attributes of some poor unsuspecting acquaintance, and then escort them across the road and round the corner to the local pub that served a very good senior’s lunch on a Friday.
    Cranky at times yes, but I have more than enough ammunition for a tell all book and enough for a follow up. How they did not get barred from the pub is down to a 70 something Italian waiter who lovingly steered them through their liver and bacon with half portion of dessert. Thank you for the reminder that we should remember that older people have had and continue to have a life.
  • Cranky Old Farts (and Some Young Ones Too) (grumpyelder.com)
    I used to think I was a cranky old fart. I took some pride in that to be frank but I’ll tell you what – compared to David Suzuki – I’m Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music. Not only is he significantly older than I am but he is the poster boy for being cranky or at least – being a crank. There are days, quite frankly, when I wonder if his relationship […]

My Good Time Stories

born 2 B mildWhen an old man died in a nursing home, nurses found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed them, it was spread throughout the nursing home and afar. The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in magazines for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his poem. And this old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this ‘anonymous’ poem winging across the Internet.

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Cranky Old Man

What do you see nurses?

What do you see?

What are you thinking…

When you are looking at me?

A cranky old man,

Not very wise,

Uncertain of habit

With faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food

And makes no reply.

When you say in a loud voice…

“I do wish you’d try!”

Who seems not to…

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Poetry - Poems, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Social affairs