August 20, 2016 Leave a comment
Is evolution compatible with Christianity – absolutely!
Are science and Christianity compatible – absolutely!
Is your understanding compatible with both truth-seeking science and Christian Cosmology? – TBD.
Walking around on Resurrection ground
August 20, 2016 Leave a comment
Is evolution compatible with Christianity – absolutely!
Are science and Christianity compatible – absolutely!
Is your understanding compatible with both truth-seeking science and Christian Cosmology? – TBD.
August 18, 2016 Leave a comment
Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman and “82,000” has been on my mind lately.
Here is a brief intro video. No comment will be necessary. The video following is where “Attention must be paid” to 63-year-old Willy Loman [2:50]
“We were almost free and clear.” I suggest watching the entire play.
August 13, 2016 Leave a comment
The five-day conference, “Alethea Lit Conference – Form without Substance? brought Irene to town. She was to lead the symposium O Still Voice of Calm on day three.
On Sunday evening Irene checked into room 351 and got settled. Pulling back the drapes she could see a terrace and beyond that the wooded campus of Indiana U. The late evening August sun etched the campuses’ limestone buildings with long sepia shadows; the heat of the day was receding.
After unpacking Irene went down for dinner. She returned an hour later anxious to kick off her shoes and put her feet up. Before retiring Irene was in the habit of reading. She chose Paul’s letter to the Romans for this week. But soon the day’s travel caught up to Irene and she fell asleep in the armchair. She awoke later with a terrible kink in her neck. She moved to the bed for the rest of the night.
Irene woke at the sound of her alarm clock, at 5:30. She showered, dried her hair and put on a jersey tank, an A-line skirt and a pair of flats. She was to meet her publisher Mark for breakfast. She gathered her loose belongings into her suitcase, left her open Bible on the desk and headed downstairs.
Antonia knocked. When she heard no answer she entered 351 and began her routine. Hotel housekeeping began at 7:30 during the week with the previous day’s laundry to clean. When finished, Antonia would then clean rooms until 2:00.
As was her habit Antonia turned on the TV when she cleaned a room. She switched the station to her favorite talk show. “Today, two couples each recount the loss of their child,” announced the host. Antonia’s turned up the volume and headed into the bathroom to grab the wet towels.
While dusting, Antonia saw the open Bible and moved it to the bed to wipe the desk top. She then changed the bed sheets after replacing the Bible.
“My son was eighteen when his car flipped over and he was killed,” the mother of one of the couples related. The police found nothing to cause the accident. There was no rain, no alcohol, no other car – nothing! It just happened!”
Antonia watched the husband put his arm around his wife as she began to wipe her eyes. Tears welled in Antonia’s eyes.
Antonia adjusted the sheers and then went in to finish the bathroom. Seeing the makeup kit on the sink reminded her of what had happened the other day.
After work last Tuesday Antonia headed to her car. She grabbed her car keys from her purse loaded her soiled uniforms into the back seat and then drove off, leaving her bag sitting on the pavement. When she got home she couldn’t find her glasses and suddenly realized what she had done. She raced back to the parking spot and found that the bag was gone. Now she was frantic. The bag contained her wallet. The wallet held her ID, 40 dollars in cash, her credit cards and her hotel pass card.
Not finding the bag in the parking lot, Antonia went to the front desk to see if her bag had been turned in. It had. With that she breathed a huge sigh of relief, but then made sure everything was still there. It was. Antonia shuddered at the memory. Finished, she grabbed her cart, turned off the room lights and headed to room 353.
Tuesday morning Irene woke with her alarm at 5:30. She washed her face and then slipped on a pale blue dress and a pair of flats. After making a cup of coffee she sat with her Bible. This morning she would meet author Janice Fillmore for breakfast. Seeing it was 6:30 Irene placed her open Bible on the desk, gathered her loose belongings into her suitcase and headed down to breakfast.
Antonia knocked. When she heard no answer she entered 351 and began her routine. She turned on the TV and found she didn’t have to change the channel. After turning up the volume she proceeded to vacuum the floor.
“Today we have Chance Parlance, Senior Pastor of Broadway Church here to talk to us about his new book, “The Power of You. Before we talk about your book, our viewers would like to know…You are asking each of your 200,000 followers to donate $300.00 so that you can purchase a luxury jet?”
“Yes. We want to safely and swiftly share the Good news of the Gospel worldwide…I declared it and God will do it!”
Antonia moved the Bible from the desk to the bed and began to dust. As she gathered the garbage she noticed a brochure in the desk trash bin. She lifted it out and read the title out loud. “Alethea Lit Conference – Form without Substance? Monday – Birthing The New Creation in Christian Lit.”
Looking at the time, Antonia put the leaflet into her apron and finished her cleaning. She had been given several more rooms to clean today. She turned out the lights and headed to the next room.
Wednesday morning Irene awoke before her alarm. She showered, dried her hair and carefully applied her makeup. This morning she would lead a symposium before three hundred people. She put on a gray suit while coffee streamed into a cup.
Irene sat down with the coffee, her Bible and her notes. She had chosen her topic, O Still Voice of Calm, after spending several years practicing listening prayer. It had become her habit to sit in silence and to let God speak to her. She expected God to speak to her; God was constantly streaming His words to her. And Irene had come to realize that her creativity, her art, was born out of such times. Today she would introduce authors and publishers to listening prayer. At 6:30 she gathered her things and headed down to breakfast.
Antonia knocked. When she heard no answer she entered 351 and began her routine. She turned on the TV and found she didn’t have to change the channel. The volume was the same so she turned it down. But she didn’t feel much like listening today. Monday’s program had left her unsettled, like she had lost something she couldn’t afford to lose. She even discussed the show with her best friend Lily, a biology major at IU, the day before.
Lily’s dogmatic reply came out of nowhere: “Now, how could any god permit the death of any child? You saw the pain those families had to deal with! And there is so much injustice in the world. My god, it’s like the gods are off somewhere uninvolved and angry and just waiting to jump all over us with patriarchal oppression. The god nonsense is a placebo for the weak. These things happen, you know. Just live, laugh and party on if you can before you leave. Make the most of your time. And who knows, maybe when you die you will be reincarnated as a god and you can do some good in the world. And don’t forget about me, your best friend.”
That conversation had left Antonia more unsettled.
Antonia moved the open Bible from the desk to the bed and began to dust. As she gathered the garbage from the bins she noticed another brochure in the desk trash bin. She read the title out loud. “Alethea Lit Conference – Form without Substance? Tuesday– Uncommon Grace: The Life of Flannery O’Connor, a documentary film and discussion
Looking at the time, Antonia put the leaflet into her apron and finished her cleaning. She then turned out the lights and headed to the next room. Her work for this week ended at 2:00. She would start work again on Sunday morning.
Bonita knocked. When she heard no one answer she entered 351 and called out “Housekeeping!” No answer. She began her routine. Bonita would clean the hotel rooms until 2:00. Then, her kids would need to be picked up from her mother’s house. Little Alphonso and his older sister Lupe would be anxiously awaiting mom.
Bonita had worked for six years as a hotel housekeeper. The housekeeping hours allowed her to work while her kids were in school and then be home for them in the afternoon. During the spring and summer months Bonita’s husband, Alonzo, a landscaper, was gone from six in the morning until eight at night. During those times Bonita would bring her two kids to her mother’s house.
While dusting, Bonita saw the open Bible. She carefully lifted the Bible and read out loud, “In the same way, too, the spirit comes alongside and helps us in our weakness. We don’t know what to pray for as we ought to; but that same spirit pleads on our behalf, with groaning too deep for words.”
Bonita set the Bible down on the bed. She wiped the desk top. She then changed the bed sheets after replacing the Bible. She turned her attention to the bathroom.
On the bathroom ledge was a makeup kit. Bonita cringed. It was twelve years ago, in Sonora Mexico, that Bonita lost her first child Esperanza. The child died from pneumonia six months after her baptism. For the funeral the mortuary had applied rouge to the Esperanza’ cheeks. Bonita’s eyes welled with tears as she cleaned the sink.
After Esperanza’s death, Bonita grieved for many months. After coming to live in Indiana she decided to remember Esperanza in a painting. Bonita had become a watercolorist after leaving Mexico. She had seen many art fairs in her new home town. It was the water color portraits that had so moved her.
Bonita painted Esperanza in a white Easter dress, purchased in Mexico. Bonita applied a faint Cadmium red to Esperanza’s cheeks.
Bonita dried her eyes with a towel, gathered the towels, tossed them into her cart and sighed.
Being at home with two kids every day, Bonita appreciated the room’s silence. It felt like she was in the presence of something much more than herself.
Bonita turned out the lights and headed to the next room.
Friday morning Irene awoke before her alarm. She showered, dried her hair and carefully applied her makeup. She would participate in a final symposium this morning and then head out. While coffee streamed into a cup Irene put on a jersey tank, an A-line skirt and a pair of flats. She gathered her belongings into her suitcase. When she reached for her Bible she noticed what looked to be a watermark on one of the pages. She closed the Bible, placed it into her suitcase, took one last look around, shut off the lights and went down to breakfast.
© Sally Paradise, 2016, All Rights Reserved
August 1, 2016 Leave a comment
Where then does wisdom come from?
Where does understanding dwell?
It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing,
concealed even from the birds in the sky.
Destruction and Death say,
“Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.”
God understands the way to it
and he alone knows where it dwells,
for he views the ends of the earth
and sees everything under the heavens.
When he established the force of the wind
and measured out the waters,
when he made a decree for the rain
and a path for the thunderstorm,
then he looked at wisdom and appraised it;
he confirmed it and tested it.
And he said to the human race,
“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,
and to shun evil is understanding.”
As children our mother and father would read a chapter of Proverbs after every weekday dinner meal. With lilting voices and raised eyebrows they would teasingly “note” the passages related to children listening to their parents as in, “Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.” (Prov. 23:22) Us kids would snicker, “Yeeeeah, dad.” A desire for wisdom was fostered in me during those times.
As a teen I read a Tyndale House Publishing compilation that consisted of five Psalms and one Proverb for each day of a month. After several months of reading, my soul started tuning to the A-440 of wisdom’s standard pitch. I found delight in the harmony of wisdom, knowledge and a good understanding. In fact, the tritone became a lifetime prayer: “Lord, I ask for wisdom, knowledge and a good understanding.”
Seeking the simple matters of wisdom with humility would soon become a gift of discernment for me to use. And though confusion (a characteristic of evil) is everywhere, I could see what was true and what was false, the good and the bad. Now, I will say that most people do not like to be around polemics. So be it!
There is nothing on this earth like finding a wealth of wisdom. And wisdom is free for the asking, unless, of course, your feet stray off the path of wisdom. Then, according to Proverbs, you will pay Big Time! And that is where we find our nation wandering today – having turned out off the path of wisdom and mired in the slough of deconstructionism.
The “folly of fools yields folly”: Self-actualization mumbo-jumbo, social media promoted narcissism, psycho-therapy nursed introversion, university humanities programs which have switched out revelatory wisdom-of-the-ages study for belly-button gazing identity politics, atomistic Enlightenment preaching – all of these “elements of the world” are man-made ear plugs drowning out the shouting of Wisdom in the streets. Reject ages-old wisdom and you make an ass of yourself!
I find it fascinating that the writers of Proverbs who were inspired by the Holy Spirit and were living within a patriarchal world used the imagery of a woman to reveal God’s mysteries, that which has been hidden, to us. See Proverbs 1:20-33 and 9:1-6.
Perhaps it is a reference to what is common in all cultures across time – women have traditionally epitomized the foundations of home, marriage, family and of prudence, while men could be typified as Trekkies who “go where no man has gone before” (and sometimes go where no man should ever go, see Wisdom’s admonition below) and then return home to journey another day. (Please note: Both female and male roles – in general, one earth-bound, the other as planetary trailblazer – are of equal importance for human flourishing. One role should not be placed above the other.)
And Wisdom as woman is very vocal in her appointed calling! Wisdom clamors to be heard!
“Wisdom shouts in the streets.
She cries out in the public square.
She calls to the crowds along the main street,
to those gathered in front of the city gate:
“How long, you simpletons,
will you insist on being simpleminded?
How long will you mockers relish your mocking?
How long will you fools hate knowledge?
Come and listen to my counsel.
I’ll share my heart with you
and make you wise.” Prov. 1:20-23
Wisdom is no Sophia-come-lately:
“The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old; I was formed long ages ago, at the very beginning, when the world came to be.” Prov. 8:22-23
Now you must set your own cosmological foundations with wisdom. Here is short list of Wisdom’s ways to whet your appetite for more “wisdom, knowledge and a good understanding”.
Wisdom says to observe and then take responsibility for yourself:
“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise. It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.” Proverbs. 6:6-8
I have yet to find the Scripture verse that says “Go to the candidate, you sluggard; consider his/her ways and be taken care of for life.”
Wisdom leads to wise words and to righteousness.
“The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.” –Prov. 10:11
Wisdom can see that evil is a synthesis of good and evil. (e.g., sex and homosexuality). That is why evil can be so tempting.
“Evildoers do not understand what is right,
but those who seek the Lord understand it fully.” -Prov. 28:5
Wisdom knows when to speak up and when to be silent.
“To answer before listening— that is folly and shame.” Prov. 18:13
Wisdom warns and defends. Upon rejecting wisdom, Wisdom says,
“Then they will call to me but I will not answer;
they will look for me but will not find me,
since they hated knowledge
and did not choose to fear the Lord.
Since they would not accept my advice
and spurned my rebuke,
they will eat the fruit of their ways
and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
but whoever listens to me will live in safety
and be at ease, without fear of harm.” -Prov. 1: 28-33
Upon accepting wisdom, Wisdom says,
“Then you will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path.
For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you.” -Prov. 2: 9-11
Wisdom acknowledges the meritorious efforts of others.
“She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” –Prov. 31: 27-31
Wisdom is its own reward. You won’t need to pat yourself on your back or require a “Participation Trophy” . Wisdom does that for you when you make the right choice.
“Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.
She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
those who hold her fast will be blessed.” -Prov. 3: 13-18
“The wealth of the wise is their crown,
but the folly of fools yields folly.” -Prov. 14:24
Wisdom is an antidote to confusion in a world that increasingly embraces moral relativity – all values are to be made equal.
“The simple believe anything,
but the prudent give thought to their steps.” -Prov. 14:15
Wisdom keeps good company:
“Walk with the wise and become wise,
for a companion of fools suffers harm.” -Prov. 13: 20
Wisdom, to paraphrase a quote from William F. Buckley, stands athwart the wide road yelling, ‘Stop’!
Regarding the prostitutes along the great wide way, wisdom says,
“Now then, my sons, listen to me;
pay attention to what I say.
Do not let your heart turn to her ways
or stray into her paths.
Many are the victims she has brought down;
her slain are a mighty throng.
Her house is a highway to the grave,
leading down to the chambers of death.” -Prov. 7:24-27
“Give careful thought to the[c] paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways.
Do not turn to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.” Prov. 4:26-27
Wisdom accepts correction.
“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.” -Prov. 12:1
“Whoever heeds life-giving correction
will be at home among the wise.” -Prov. 15:31
Wisdom seeks knowledge.
“The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge,
for the ears of the wise seek it out.” –Prov. 18:15
Wisdom doesn’t deceive or treat a neighbor unfairly.
“Differing weights and differing measures—
the Lord detests them both.” –Prov. 20:10
Wisdom applies healthy introspection.
“Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure;
I am clean and without sin”?” –Prov. 20:9
What the world needs now: One night, over the shouting of Wisdom, it was the heavenly host who clamored for our attention. They proclaimed the birth of Jesus who “became for us wisdom (σοφια, sophia) from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption”. (1 Cor. 1:30). Jesus, “wisdom from God” was before the foundations of the word; Jesus is everything you need to know, he is the Logos, the Word made flesh, Wisdom incarnate.
July 28, 2016 Leave a comment
Ezra grabbed his pipe and headed out the door. He walked behind the garage and out of the wind. Holding the bowl of the briar pipe, he filled it with Cavendish from a pouch. The flame of his lighter bent into the bowl as he inhaled in short gasps. The glowing tobacco soon released a familiar otherworld aroma that pleased Ezra at times like this.
Only moments before Delores had been yelling, nose to nose, at Ezra, her white spittle flecking his face. “You’re a mealy-mouth pea brain,” she told him.
Now no matter how he figured, Ezra was never sure about what it was that added up to make Delores so furious almost every night. She did find him once looking at a woman posed in a two-piece bathing suit on the internet. And that night she accused him of adultery. And after that night Ezra wouldn’t be allowed to ever to forget the error of his way. Delores’ slurred ‘reminders’ of that day were so often and so vivid that Ezra became a serial “adulterer” by proxy.
But Ezra was sure that the Margaritas and wine Delores had been drinking before he came home from work had taken possession of her. There would be no reasoning with Delores that night. Time and a safe distance would be required to maintain Ezra’s sanity, but face to face rebukes and then a full-throated rejection would have to come first.
Burning with alcohol fueled anger Delores would declare, on more than one occasion, “I am going to my mother’s house for the night!”
And so off she went. And each time she did Ezra wanted to call the police and tell them that Delores had been drinking and shouldn’t be driving. But he did not call. What if she accused Ezra of abuse or something else just as crazy as what he was hearing night after night? Her amplified “righteous” indignation seemed to know no bounds. And though he hated himself for not calling the police he also wanted to be rid of the madness for a few hours. In the still house Ezra thought of his kids, asleep in the car, and cried.
Though Ezra couldn’t define what ignited Delores’ anger for days on end, he did know what irked him. When asked by a marriage counselor what each of them wanted from the other, Delores said “words of affirmation.” Ezra took this to mean “show Delores that he loved her.” And though he awoke early and had taken her coffee and chocolates to her bed in the morning before going to work and had often given her flowers, he wasn’t verbal to the extent Delores was. He had to work out the words of love.
In the same counseling session, Ezra had asked Delores to have coffee with him in the morning before he left for work. The afternoon return home would be filled with the kids and Delores wanting attention from him. But time spent with Ezra in the morning would never happen. Delores’ late night wine drinking and movie habit had her sleeping in past the time Ezra went off to work. Ezra never did work out the words to say what bothered him, though each day came and went as before. But Ezra didn’t need words for a pipe in his hand and the smell of pipe tobacco in the air. On his fiftieth birthday he had bought a pipe.
Reflecting night after night with pipe and a briar of glowing Cavendish and at a distance from the incendiary, Ezra soon came to realize that his fallible existence was Delores’ problem. Delores had come into the marriage hoping that Ezra would make all things new. She wanted someone to take her in, to cover her mortality with a cloak of look-the-other-way love and be the transcendent one – a kinsman redeemer. But the Fallible One turned out to be a “mealy-mouth pea brain” that could do no right. The Fallible was to be put out, the embers dumped and scattered. After a year of paralyzing quarrels and unrelenting verbal abuse, Delores told Ezra that she wanted a separation. “Get out or I will force you out!”
Upon hearing these words, Ezra grabbed his pipe and headed out the door. He walked behind the garage and out of the wind. Holding the bowl of the briar pipe, he filled it with Cavendish from a pouch. The flame of his lighter bent into the bowl as he inhaled in short gasps. The glowing tobacco soon released a familiar otherworld aroma that pleased Ezra at times like this.
© Sally Paradise, 2016, All Rights Reserved
July 25, 2016 Leave a comment
Musicals, and especially the lyrics and melodies of certain songs, have, since my earliest childhood days, enriched my life with the harmony of playful idealization and “swooning” romanticism. I will post more on this later. For now, here is one incredible piece sung by America’s leading baritone.
From Oscar and Hammerstein’s Carousel, Act I – Soliloquy sung by Thomas Hampson as Billy Bigelow, a barker for a carousel (and his future child):
July 17, 2016 Leave a comment
We learned this week that a truck driver, one who was so deeply affected by devastating climate change, drove a semi-trailer into a large crowd gathered in Nice France thereby demonstrating for all the world to see the efficacy of and need for climate alarmism. And while the truck driver was a humanity-challenged Muslim, it was the unstable climate in Nice France that had him so detached from reality.
The gods of egalitarianism will rejoice though. There were equal outcomes for the eighty-four slaughtered by the climate change driven fanatic, a fanatic who, we are told by our “betters,” does not represent the religion that posits “Death to Infidels” as one of its core tenets. CO2 is the real killer here and it is an egalitarian killer!
Our “betters” have touted Scripture and “settled science” and scenarios of doom. They tell us that the greatest threat to mankind is climate change. After this past week, I guess they were right all along. What happened in Nice fits their CO2 narrative:
If only we could gain control of our out-of-control climate. Then mankind wouldn’t be so unruly!
And here I thought climate forecasting is unreliable. Why just this morning the Weather Channel told me that there would be no rain in my area until later tonight. And lo and behold I look out my window and I see rain pouring down. It is still raining as I write this. But, my “betters” must know something I don’t. My eyes can deceive me. And my thoughts can be even worse than what my eyes perceive! Under the effects of climate instability – OMG! – any type of thinking could lead to terrorism!
Hold on. What’s this? Climate skepticism?
Let’s give CO2 its due: CO2 Coalition
July 10, 2016 Leave a comment
“…God’s way of sadness is designed to produce a repentance which leads to salvation.” The Apostle Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth, 7:10
One day after the Fourth of July, America’s day of Independence from arbitrary laws and rules we learn that FBI Director James Comey, after laying out the extensive criminals acts of one Hillary Clinton involving “classified emails”, decided to NOT recommend prosecution for such acts. Director Comey stated that no “reasonable prosecutor” would bring such a case because there was no bad intent on Hillary Clinton’s part (only reams of black and white evidence!)
Then we learned of a police (self-defense?) shooting in Louisiana and Minnesota. Those who do not watch “The First 48” remain clueless or in denial about black violence and criminality. Some will even pander to #BlackLivesMatter activists, i.e., Minnesota’s Governor Mark Dayton, who can also read minds and intents like FBI Director James Comey.
I live in Chicago surrounded by a liberal Democrat elite who believe that the intentions of the criminal element, the black criminal element are good, just misdirected. “If only we had more jobs and more education and less of the white “man’s” justice, is the cri de Progressivism coming out of the coalition of unicorns and rainbows spread across the “Welcoming” Welfare city of Chicago.”
As I reflected and grieved over the events of this past week – the breakdown of the rule of law and the anarchy and lawlessness becoming acute in America, several words came to me over and over: “fundamental transformation”, repentance and fasting.
We are reaping, on the streets and in the homes of out of work America, the almost eight years of the “fundamental transformation of America,” the agenda sown by our Muslim President Barack Obama, a disciple of “Rev.” Jeremiah Wright, and by Obama’s rubber stamp justice department led by AG Eric Holder and AG Loretta Lynch. Under these locusts, blind justice has come to mean look the other way unless, of course, you are singled out as a “bitter clinger” of your Bible, guns and science. Then your intentions are considered no good. Enough about the Iman Obama and his Progressive caliphate.
If you have studied Scripture and the historical Gospel account of Jesus Christ and the beginnings of his Kingdom on earth, then you have come across the word “repentance.” It is throughout the New Testament. It is an imperative directed at the will of an individual. “You” must decide which way to go.
Of course, there is a way that seems right to a man and to a protestor and to a populace of men. But…
“Go in by the narrow gate. The gate that leads to destruction, you see, is nice and wide, and the road going there has plenty of room. Lot of people go that way. But the gate leads to life is narrow, and the road going there is a tight squeeze. Not many people will find their way through.” Jesus, Sermon on the Mount.
Recalling my study of Koine Greek from my days studying at Moody Bible institute, the word “repentance” is the Greek work μετάνοια (transliteration: metanoia) defined as “repentance, a change of mind, change in the inner man.”
One could easily recall the word “repentance” being used in the book of Acts by the apostles when evangelizing. Yet consider that Jesus taught a fundamental change of mind. In the Sermon of the Mount Jesus started several teachings with “You heard that it was said to the ancient people…but I tell you…
…that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgement…”
…everyone who gazes at a woman in order to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
…don’t use violence to resist evil! Instead, when someone hits you on the right cheek, turn the other one towards him.”
…love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! That way you will be children of your father in heaven.”
Here Jesus is speaking of the change required in one’s thinking to be a part of His Kingdom. Status quo “tit for tat” thinking was out.
Lastly, the word “fasting” permeated my thoughts this past week. And, yes, it is a personal call for me to fast.
Briefly, fasting is me throttling me getting my way. I suppose it could be considered a self-inflicted “sadness” that leads to more repentance in my life.
Fasting is a change of the inner me which leads to a metanoia I won’t regret. The nation should try it.
And, BTW: only God can read the thoughts and intentions of hearts and minds. This thought alone should lead one to fasting.
July 10, 2016 Leave a comment
The “Hate your white neighbor, love your black heart” religion:
“Jeremiah Wright declares that the God he worships is the same as Allah, the God of the Muslims. At the same time, Wright is preaching that the God of the “slaver” and “oppressor” (read white society collectively) is a “different” God. That is, implying that white America and the white race collectively worship Satan, which is a tenet of Black Liberation Theology.
It is a theology which confronts white society as the racist Antichrist, communicating to the oppressor that nothing will be spared in the fight for freedom.”, quoted from “Black Theology and Black Power” by James H. Cone (1969), page 135.
Black Liberation Theology teaches the genocidal Black Nationalist cult concept that white society, America and the traditional Christian church are all part of the Antichrist system and the black man is the “manifestation of God on earth.” The uniqueness of the divinity of Jesus is denied. Jesus is a prototype that any man can potentially achieve. A revolutionary black messiah or messiahs will led the destruction of the Antichrist and his tool, the American constitutional republican system, in their scenario of the imminent end times and create a Utopia on earth, the biblical millennial kingdom on earth, which will be a physical kingdom, not a spiritual kingdom. This could be seen as the same, then, as the Muslim Caliphate, the earthly kingdom that the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda seek to establish.” (emphasis added)