30 May 2017

You Have The Right To Have Privileges...?




Privilege

as a noun:

a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people

Right

as a noun:

a moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way

What are some rights and privileges that the U.S. citizen enjoys that are not available or enjoyed elsewhere in the world?

Some argue that a right is a natural reality for the human being, regardless of the government that surrounds that human being in history's time, and regardless if that government acknowledges such rights or not.

This is where the idea of sovereignty comes into the conversation for some people.

Some people argue that their natural rights have been stripped by governments, rendering the 'people' as subjects (please read definition at link) and the state as the replacement of the sovereign (monarchy).

This has been the case in many jurisdictions the world over, mostly by force (look at the countless wars since written history began).

The conversation into legalese land can become quite confusing, for example the legal definition of person (read this person, this person, and this person) and the definition of people (or this people) can seemingly be worlds apart.

Some have also argued that the idea of rights is a direct result of God having sovereignty over all of creation, and that God's highest creation (people) is granted full freedom and also full responsibilities and obligations to properly manage creation.

As to how one free person deals with another free person, is what has been discussed for quite some time in the more civilized parts of the world.

Looking closely at the United States and how people move about within the United States, let's take a look at traveling.

There exists an issue among some people in the U.S. regarding the status and difference between a right and a privilege when it comes to traveling in one's own car.

The argument is; what used to be a right (or simply acceptable and never being questioned as either lawful or unlawful) was somehow and in some manner turned into a privilege...or a lesser degree of freedom that is now explained and written in law by government.

Sometimes the definitions of some words (as illustrated between the two words above) seem to be interchangeable or very similar, maybe very different.

How can you have a 'right to travel' when you need a 'license to drive'?

What is a driver?

When you travel to work in your own car, are you actually a 'driver' or participating in the legal definition of 'driving'?

Shouldn't there be a 'driver's license' for the conducting of business, and then nothing or a simple competence qualification to manage a car on the road?

This is the aim of the class 'C' driver's license, which also doubles as a qualifier to be an employed taxi cab driver (business activity on the road; driving).

But somehow the two activities (freely traveling vs driving for business) seem to have have been merged, and such a binding contract (please read) when you sign your name to that driver's license has entangled otherwise an otherwise free people who are going about their lives when not doing any sort of business on the road.

The argument is that 'driving' is a commercial activity, done for business, and thus this activity is not only subject to tax, it is subject to legal restrictions and sanctions...and why not?

The government is employed to protect the business activities of the people, and thus a tribute is justly derived for such protections...against theft, piracy, the breaking of contracts, etc..

Is this where the traveling is also subject to taxation through a license and also car registration?

The continued argument in favor of a right over the privilege, is that traveling shouldn't be restricted to walking or using public transportation (in the modern sense).

There was a time a private carriage (whether powered or pulled by a horse) had no lien (or tax, license, registration free, etc.) attached to it.

Somehow, these items previously seen as property of private peoples now is subject to government regulations.

If one of the people enjoy exclusive rights over their private property, how then can the state take possession of one's private property?

How can exclusive rights be revoked if they are exclusive?

Where did the consent to release the property (or one's exclusive rights over it) occur?

The pitfall being that when your car registration expires, you lose the privilege to travel in your private carriage on public roads.

The question then is: who has the highest position, or holds exclusive rights, the state or the people?

I think you know the answer.

For example, if your property (car) is impounded for whatever reason (tickets, expired registration, temporarily abandoned on the road due to accident, stolen, etc.), why and how, after 30 days, can your property be sold at auction?

Many people simply use their cars to get from home, to work, or one place to another, and not as a tool for business (if going to work is one's business, or that of the employer).

If the idea that the public is the government, and the public paid for the roads via taxation through the government, how can the public be restricted from traveling upon the public roads without first registering their private property?

How did the government get into a first-position lien holding exclusive rights over the people?

Looking closely at the term “registration”, the first five letters are “regis” (read that definition at the link).

Some have looked into words according to their compound nature, the etymology or development of such words as they pertain to the subject matter (in this case law and legalese), and what those words initially meant and how such meaning have or have not changed today, despite popular concepts of their meanings or opinion of their change.

A resource to read through regarding how legal systems developed.

One can see how easily the war of words, their definitions and their understanding, can become a mysterious web for some, even for those who claim to be barristers, esquires, judges and jurists.

When did the idea of registration or license come into existence...in the United States?

To gauge what the rationale was back then is difficult.

To know what the arguments for and against such legislation is also very difficult.

It's about asking: can we tell the good rules / laws / codes from the bad ones in the past or even Today?

If your car is ever towed away for whatever reason, how did the state engage that car owner to do business with a tow yard, now compelling (or perhaps coerce) the car owner to ransom their property from tow yard in order to satisfy the demands of the state?

The word collusion comes to mind.

Does the average person even know how to deal with what seems like an expiration of rights when dealing with persons working behind legal entities (the window clerk at the tow yard, or the window clerk at the department of motor vehicles, who are simply people occupying a rank and file position and are most likely ignorant of the points in this blog article)?

There are questions that are difficult to ask and answer in a court of law, let alone in the virtual forums of the internet.

It's a rabbit hole that can be confusing, contentious and conspiratorial, but by reason and logic it is clear to see why for some thinkers, they would like to first question rather than immediately submit to things which on their face seem wrong.

When these things are considered wrong despite the arguments for them being right, what is right when people don't understand (or have understanding about) the difference between a right and a privilege?

It seems the general public are at an intelligent disadvantage regarding the law-filled world they reside in.

29 May 2017

Enjoying A True Classic

Matthew 7: 16

I think people complicate what is simple.

God's message of love, redemption and guaranteed salvation for His chosen is very simple.

The testimony, whether you read it in the Bible or hear it verbally from another person, is that a man died and rose to life again...and that man promises life eternal to those who follow Him.

Simple.

But religions (and religious people) complicate the matter by arguing over words, yet the testimony was first told from the lips of that man's listeners...and is now found in what is called the Bible.

This is the same message that was spread not by written words, but by word of mouth...and miracles accompanied the message.

This was a major qualifying factor to those who wondered if the message was true, the message that sure evidence for life after death was made real.

The messengers of this message were of no consequence, for they personally were not needing to be qualified when the message itself brought with it supernatural realities and the brightest light and most profound peace into the dark depths of previously cavernous hollows of people's hearts.

Some religions make a bid deal about whomever their claimed messenger is, and lots of noise is made regarding that person's qualifications, but their message never comes with miracles...nor with good fruits.

Miracles alone are not the sole litmus test proving a message's legitimacy.

Righteous fruit in the hearers, derived from the message, is the longstanding qualifier...what changes a people, culture and region forever in memorial.

Where peace overrules strife, and tranquility replaces violence, is the honest test of truth accompanying the message.

Notice where some regions a 'messenger' is claimed to have spread a 'true' message from God, yet those places are as dangerous as walking through an inferno.

Such places claim to have a righteous message and a righteous messenger as their herald and foothold into God's paradise, but notice how the strife has never left their culture, how violence is their means to justice, and the law and order they proclaim is found in their peculiar message and messenger is far from an actual reality.

People Today still experience miracles in the Name of that man who raised to life...and regardless if such testimonies are written down, or not believed by others, those who have experienced a renewal themselves cannot be dissuaded by those who have not tasted the good fruit from Above.

25 May 2017

Honest Medicine For The Religious: Beliefs or Faith?

John 4: 15 (Isaiah 55: 10-11)

There is a polarity that exists in the Quran that is not present in the New Testament, while being found when the Old Testament is read alongside the New. Throughout Muhammad's poetry, we see and hear the message of both the Old and Testament in soundbite fashion. On one hand we see the approach to those outside of Muslim identity, as unbelievers, being similar to the Christian approach to non-Christians. On the other hand we see the approach having historically included lawful severity (eye for an eye, death remedy for trespass, etc.) as reflected in the Law of Moses, although such a law was actually prescribed directly and solely only to Israel. Those receiving the prior covenant established through Isaac's descendants were to be judged according to their own laws. These are contrasted with the new law and light of Christ, established by Christ. This is the conclusion a study of the Old and New Testaments reveal. The polarity is quite distinct between the Old to the New Covenants according the fulfillment of Christ, even historically notable by a secularist's point of view. While this polarity has been widely misunderstood in the Islamic world for over a millennium due to several factors, it has been an issue of misidentifying covenant concepts and is a major issue despite the promoted similarities between the Christian and Islamic identities.

The peaceful and humble approach examples found in the Quran's poetry has been attributed to the early developing effort of relations between Muhammad's cause and local communities; the period prior to Muhammad's triumphant return to Mecca where his legitimacy and his new order was made evident. Yet no clear covenant is mentioned in his message, at least not a new one nor a continuation of the New Covenant of Christ, but more of a retelling of the idea of the covenant of work with Adam (the first man). This covenant is not clearly identified nor explicitly mentioned in the Bible, but something loosely explained by later theologians when reflecting what was mentioned about Christ in reflection of Adam. The change of tone, if Muhammad was to be regarded as a prophet heralding a return to God, was a drastic move away from the law of Christ that promoted love and forbade violence. This reality is recognizable with every ensuing battle for legitimacy, land, rule, and the eventual conquest of all surrounding peoples and areas under the blanket of a new single perspective on God and religion: Islam.

How did Christendom begin and what about the violence committed underneath the cross of Christ?

As the faith in Christ grew out of suffering at the hands of that time's imperial state, with the “bless and do not curse” and “love your enemy” ideal, those destined to believe in the risen Christ found it difficult to oppose the law of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Those not destined to hear such words directed at one's heart, and who balked at such a seemingly naive ideal, were not compelled to believe or accept the kingdom within by the early Christians, but were allowed to do as they pleased from without the church. The early Christians did not have an aim to conquer the state's government, but aimed at being a people living at peace with all others, moving away as a final resolution, not going to battle in defending land or property. Sadly, in due time the old order of man's mind would eventually and forever clash with the new order of the Spirit's heart as the church became more influential and the state softened its approach to the church. After the state capitulated to the priesthood in the 4th century, the New Covenant doctrines would eventually adopt aspects of both the Old Covenant and the state's already present methods of dealing with lawbreakers, who unfortunately have always existed. Temporal power was a challenge for those not truly ordained to head the kingdom of God on earth, and their sins and waywardness is clearly read throughout the common era histories of crafty church activities. Despite this obvious hypocrisy and polarity at the top of the new government dynamic, the new order of peace in Christ was never abrogated from Above, although men wrote their logical arguments into laws justifying the grievous manner outside of full submission to God and dependency on God for protection, correction and worldly grievances.

The dilemma of ruling the unruly, when the unruly do not do to others as they would like to have done to themselves, was dealt with through Old Covenant methods religiously speaking and state methods physically speaking. One would wonder, and this is where the separation of church and state argument would eventually appear; if the church was to rule in place of secular government, or rule over government with Old Testament manners at their disposal? Again, temporal power is a great challenge for any man, only being justly wielded by the truly ordained, not by any strong man or person desiring the power, responsibility and influence the earthly throne brings. This reality, spiritual in actuality and thus not capable of being actually physically understood as one does military or political rank, is what is also exemplified and reflected in the early Islamic community.

What is missing from the Islamic view of God's prophetic procession?

It can be reasoned that Muhammad followed the cues of some Jewish and Christian communities he encountered, being reflected in a political approach to religious issues when promoting his idea of religious identity outside the previously understood covenant sequence already mentioned. Although Jewish communities had spread throughout various places in the existing empires over time (Assyrian, Babylonian, Greek and Roman by the time of Christ), the religious method was that of a closed community comprised mainly of ethnic Jewry under the covenant made through Isaac. This covenant only speaks and binds the children of Isaac initially. The children of Ishmael, and all others (collectively called Gentiles), were not included into this covenant that eventually produced the monarchy, the priesthood, worship at the Jerusalem Temple and eventually revealing the Christ after a succession of many prophets and prophecies. By contrast, the Christian effort was not exclusive but inclusive and inviting, and thus the Christ-centered identity was absorbed and accepted by peoples of all languages and into nations beyond empire's reach as prophecy predicted it would be. The worshipping of the Son of Man who entered into the Father's Presence as the vision revealed, that same Immanuel (Hebrew for 'God with us') who was promised to a maiden, that revelation who would be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, would come to pass. This is the expanded theological definition, according to the primary sources of the Old and New Testaments, of Messiah. These are the very details absent the Quran's poetic message, absent Muhammad's poetic appeal to the world when proclaiming himself as a final prophet to the inheritance of the kingdom of God. The concept and explicit idea of the kingdom of God having been ushered onto earth (and being found within the believer) through Christ, is absent the Quran besides mention of a kingdom when speaking of something Abraham was shown. The clear foundations of the Old and New Testaments are unfortunately absent the Quran. Only in Hadith (testimonies claiming to quote Muhammad and others) certain ideas not mentioned in the Quran are hashed out in some detail, yet their development over the centuries have been initially Arab-centric, then Muhammad-centric, and are Today still vacant of the full reality expressed in the Old and New Covenants.

The variety of ideas and positions regarding the death of Christ on the cross is a clear example of later developments in Hadith and Tafsir (exegesis of Quran and Hadith notions) that are broad in their explanations, while failing to answer the historical record of the death of Christ from Jewish, Christian and secular sources. Although the Quran clearly portrays Christ as being killed and being raised from the dead, such references have not been popularly taught in Islam throughout the centuries despite such historical references being found in the earliest Islamic writings. Whether Muhammad actually believed such a message, or was himself baptized into Christ, is not found, or whether the Quran did mention it previous to the Quranic manuscript burnings of Abu Bakr when that man was compiling and 'authorizing' a single dialectic version of that work, is most likely lost to history pending a future discovery. The cross is widely disdainful for the uninitiated, both religious outside of Christendom and the atheist, but for the believer it is the crowning achievement which expresses the guaranty of salvation.

How has God used the honoring of a poet with a misleading testimony of Christ to fulfill His will?

From the earliest of times after Christ rose to heaven, the message of the cross spread through loosely organized groups in rural places and more formerly in cities and towns, with the conquest of peoples and places being one of the heart with later manifestations into physical realities. By the time of Muhammad's birth in a distant 6th century Arabian desert, far from Christian power centers, the realities of a Church-led absolutism model through the apparatus of the state (or for some, the other way around) was recognizable even in that distant Arabian peninsula. So it was no surprise for the Islamic approach to mirror this formal reality of the church and state being blended into a single political and religious factor exacting both spiritual and worldly affairs, legality and punishment.

I view this subtlety as God's allowance in bringing historically autonomous and inferior intertribal relations, what is still present in parts of the Middle East and elsewhere, under a single umbrella of a monotheistic approach to the view of God. Various identities having on the surface a semblance of unity previously only through trade and a common language, now a religious identity bridging divides...if even by force. Similar to how the captivity of both the northern and southern kingdoms (Israel and Judah) would serve a greater purpose. Although the exile was actioned by sinful and difficult manners, God exacted His punishment on Israel through the Assyrian and Babylonian instruments of chastisement. It then could be argued, historically speaking, the Islamic effort has brought forth eventual inroads, with 'inroad' being defined by that noun's two stark dualistic meanings (progress and hostility). The people who encountered Islamic conquest had three choices: convert to Islam and adopt the external identity fashioned by Muhammad in Mecca, pay a yearly tribute in order to keep your 'allowed' religious identity (Judaism, Christianity or Zoroastrianism: the dhimmi), or death for refusing to convert or submit the levy for living if being one of the dhimmi. This political / religious position should come at no surprise since the Christian nations had their own methods of forceful conquest, or forceful defense by the time Muhammad formulated his dreams into religious theology.

By the time Muhammad's followers began writing his poetry into what would become the Quran, the influence of power and politics had been fashioned within a generation...what took Christianity several centuries to development through internal battles and conflation of the Way with the old wine. The poetry of the Quran captured people's attention and beckoned emotions, as it still does today, with its cadence, rhythms and references to ancient and local myths, storied legends, time-stamped regional attitudes, reflections of some Jewish laws with a narrative coupled with Christian manners, some called incorrect while at the same time, amazingly and cryptically, glorifying Christ.

References to primary and secondary sources supporting the author's original research are available upon request.

23 May 2017

Difficult To Destroy What God Has Ordained

Everything, whether seen as insignificant, happens for a reason...even what is pictured in this image.

When I first saw my wife, I knew in my heart that this was a woman unlike the others I had known.

When I heard her speak, when I first heard the timbre of her voice, it was as if I've known her all my life.

With hope came also doubts, and both notions raised in my heart.

I doubted God was going to bless me with a daughter of His because of how I had treated other women in the past.

Both of my initial notions were shown to be correct, for our perceptions interpret what is happening.

I had to push past my doubt, relinquish my fears, and release my baggage.

My wife (to be) at the time was patient with me, and although that first year she broke off our relationship because of my infidelity and playing games (I had imitated the world for quite some time before meeting her, and confessed to her my shortcomings), it was all a process now looking back.

She said it was over and that she would not be contacting me, and asked that I not contact her.

I didn't, and she kept her word...for a year.

After me nearly losing everything (because I've made many mistakes), and after losing the acquaintance of this woman, I was very suicidal in my ways.

I finally broke down and prayed to the Lord to restore me (I had not been reaching out to God, but simply festering in my sorrows and making excuses).

I asked God to grant me her hand if He was truly maneuvering her into my life as my wife.

That time in the desert brought some clarity, and I had realized that I ruined what God was intending to be a good thing for me.

In prayer I vowed to make her my wife if it was His will for her to be my wife.

I asked that He please make it obvious.

I could have simply called her or contacted her, but I asked Him to have us come together in a way that was from Him or Him stirring her heart; not my doing.

About two weeks after praying for God to once again straighten out the life I had once again derailed, I received a message from her.

I knew deep down inside my heart, as when I heard her voice that first time, that God had answered my prayer.

His answer was “yes, she is for you... I love you and you are worthy to receive this good gift”.

I didn't feel worthy, but God doesn't work according to our feelings, but according to His will.

It took me many years to see a glimpse of God's grace in the manner He has guided me my entire life, even after making an effort to be obedient to Him for a time in my early 20's and then losing my way a few years later.

With gifting me my wife, grace became clearer to me as never before.

The religious tenor is mostly about punishment and overt consequences, instead of God's enduring love and promise of restoration through even the worst of situations.

His righteousness is greater and beyond the deluge of religious ingratitude, clothed in judgment.

I had realized that God's love had once again overcome my sin, and when yet another harvest repenting of old and new shortcomings came to pass, the union He established with my wife was in due time, not too early and not too late...but in perfect timing as He had already decreed from Above.

May His Name be forever praised in all circumstances, in all places, and from all His creation.

18 May 2017

Mistaking Entertainment For News: Be Not Distracted


This is not an apologetic for any single person, country, economic endeavor, or particular political method, but simply an explanation of the obvious as seen from my point of view, what I would call obvious.

Markets always consolidate.

Why and how?

That answer is what economists and business men argue over.

I think consolidation occurs because of inflation.

Inflation is a direct byproduct of the charging of interest / usury.

Some reading this may disagree, and that is fine, I'm not trying to convince them.

This is how I see the world and what my math tells me.

Marketplaces have existed ever since a trade was made between two people of different tribes / families long ago.

Today, whether it is apples for oranges, grain for wheat, eggs for milk, or labor for paper money, the market is what happens with the things we use and do.

The entire world is now a large marketplace.

This is the direction the world (and its marketplace) has been going for eons.

So it should be no surprise when wealthy people of various countries trade between themselves, or go into business together.

I don't find the suspicions in the news justified.

The common language of the world is money and math.

What is typically a secondary language is political affiliation, religious views and ulterior motives besides the initial motive to make more money, leverage influence and power, consolidate previous growth.

Wasn't one of the ideas of America (the United States) the effort to bring all nations under a single manner and banner of life?

Isn't this what has been going on since Greek times, and before even with eastern empires?

Whenever a new power would rise in the world, one manner of conquest was to keep business as usual, with the tribute simply going to different hands than before.

When certain kings or leaders would not acknowledge that new power, they would have to risk their position, wealth and people...it was after the bloodshed and loss of life one may have realized they could have simply gone along with the new influence, the new power, the new way.

We've had a new way for some time now, with places and people still shedding their old ways of thinking and realizing and adopting the new.

How wars in the modern era could diminish would be recognizing the influence that economic forces have outside of the risk of putting lives on the line to prove what is already so very obvious.

Media propaganda, whether it is programmed from government directly or is a residual programming that has been left over from previous generations, frames the minds of people when the obvious can instead be realized.

How does the east and west come together?

Just as they've been coming together; with business, through diplomacy, via new ideas and slowly, over time.

Not by continuing to push the divisive narrative or illusive differences.

Have people noticed that the differences are becoming less and less as the east vs west cultural divide is being narrowed?

So when some men in Russia have gone into business with some men in the United States, isn't this simply the continuation of what previous generations have done?

What is so suspicious when America has been exporting its culture via movies, media and magnanimous military motives?

How can I put magnanimous and military together?

Look at how previously conquered nations have been included into the culture, market and dialogue of democracy.

I see these activities not as cause for concern, but an opportunity for more difficult discussions to be had about human rights, quality of life, environment, religious tolerance, education, etc..

American propaganda has vilified so many groups and peoples last century, and now most of those peoples are now partners in business, economy and the world stage.

As more culture is exported, along with open-hearted people looking to do something good overseas and beyond current borders, the growth of the ideal with continue.

Yet, when the culture is partly depravity and consumerism, don't be surprised when other places on earth desire not to be influenced by such low-life manners.

But food, clothing, economic efforts and conservation doesn't need to be argued.

Outward and outright depravity is the west's dilemma, not that such things are vacant elsewhere, but they are not openly promoted as modern or progressive, but regressive and low-natured.

A question: is the current, and next generation, going to fall for the false dilemmas that the previous generations were subject to and ignorantly forwarding?

In the age of information, and hopefully knowledge, understanding and wisdom - beckoning love for one's fellow man - perhaps the order we've been desiring has long arrived and we have yet to realize it.

What has been desired has, for me, obviously arrived about 2,000 years ago when the primitive still prevailed in many places.

Notice how law and order has reached a people who a generation ago were the closest link to primitive man, but now have modernized their minds while keeping their heritage, a heritage and point of view worth learning from, for their life's balance is exactly what is necessary and missing in both the east and west.

Realize how the marketplace, and people of different backgrounds working together, has brought us all onto the same page of life!

16 May 2017

Eternal Treasures


Imagine yourself winning a large lottery prize...but the winnings come with a few rules.

One rule is you cannot tell anyone you won.

Another rule is you cannot spend large amounts of money, showing evidence that you are now very wealthy.

You can't move into a luxurious home, nor buy your dream car / boat / plane / etc..

You can't start dressing like royalty nor hanging all kinds of jewelry from your body.

In other words; you are restricted from losing yourself in this new wealth, or allowing the wealth to 'change' you.

Instead, you are required to be frugal, disciplined and wise with your spending...as if your finances were dismal or similar as before.

Although you are now rich beyond your wildest dreams, you must continue to live your life as if you had not won the prize.

There is, however, no limit on the amount of joy you can express, so long as you don't reveal your financial standing to another person.

Your conversations would eventually lose the financial worry and stress that you may previously had.

Replacing the typical lamentations of “oh these bills are overwhelming” or “I wish I made more money” would be phrases like “I wonder what a good investment looks like” and “how can I help someone where they'll learn to be more disciplined with their monies?”.

As for the notion of peace of mind that comes along with not having to worry about your bills ever again, how will you be able to contain yourself?

Will all worry about life now disappear?

No.

Despite what some may opine, health cannot be purchased...aside from buying more expensive healthier food, some argue that their wealth can buy them longer life, newer body parts or better health.

Can complete peace of mind be purchased?

Some do try using their wealth.

What about love?

Can your wealth now purchase love for yourself?

People do confuse wealth with security, maybe because since the economic worry is covered, every other issue in life seems feasible or tolerable.

Is this true?

Does having the bills covered bring full security?

Insurance is purchased to cover accidents, theft and other unforeseen events...to lessen financial insecurity.

Have you ever noticed an insecure person who was wealthy?

Have you ever noticed a wealthy ignorant person?

How about a very wealthy person single and unable to find a likable partner, or someone who could tolerate them?

Wealth buys lots of insurance.

Can insurance replace life?

Does insurance repair a broken heart, a fractured mind or a lost friendship?

Has wealth ever mended a broken relationship between relatives or friends?

Some may say the inclusion of wealth has 'helped' them, but does the pain of disappointment evaporate because of wealth's ingredient?

Perhaps a mild and temporary pacifier wealth can be, helping put aside a grievance.

If we are honest with ourselves, we know the honest answers.

Wealth is not evil, it is simply a tool that can be used for good, or for evil; for selfish reasons or selfless efforts.

It is the shadow that may come over one's heart when wealth is introduced that causes trouble.

It is written the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.

What do you love?

What is at the root of your life's tree?

Replace “money” with “God” and “evil” with “goodness”.

It can be agreed that the love of God is a root of all kinds of goodness.

Some have equated the peace of mind and the comfort of heart to be similar to the understanding of salvation.

Some believe they will never truly know if they are indeed saved until after they die.

This may be true for them, for much of our life's expectations are dependent on what we hold in our hearts and minds to be true.

Others believe they know through and through they are saved even now while still living in the body of sin.

I am of the latter persuasion, although when I've had bouts with doubt.

I would go back and forth between the latter and prior notions daily, or periodically, like during a time of trial or drought....awaiting refreshing rains and a new harvest.

I was being swayed back and forth like a tiny boat tossed by the waves of the sea.

The sea will not stop moving, the wind will not stop blowing, and the waves will not stop rolling.

So how does one set proper sail to navigate the constant motion of the ocean and the ever-changing winds?

Set your heart and mind on things Above.

When I realized Salvation, it was after having been gifted it.

It was like I won the largest lotto jackpot ever known.

And the joy continues to exponentially grow, the more I ponder what He has done for me.

It is keeping focus on such realities from Above, not being distracted or confused by the madness in the world, that assists in this growth.

The wealth jackpot was not realized in monetary form, although there has been a taste of that, but in eternal gratitude deep in my heart...that money can never reach, nor change for the better.

It was, and still is, only in my heart that this wealth, fortune and treasure is fully realized.

My heart is encapsulated by my soul; that part of me fashioned from Above that preceded the fleshly heart.

And that soul, being crafted by Eternal Hands, is filled with the Eternal Spirit from Above.

It is this reality that has comforted my fleshly heart where I can bask in the wealth of heaven while still traversing this earth.

But just as the rules of winning that worldly lotto exemplify, we shouldn't go around dressed like the 'religiously' pompous, or act like 'Pharisees' towards others, nor should we boast the wisdom granted by His mind to ours, neither should we treat others as if they are worth less than we are worth in His eyes.

We instead follow the Example from Above: the Christ.

Christ is King, yet acted like a servant to everyone He encountered.

Christ is Lord, yet humbly loved sinners and kissed others with gracious words.

Christ is Holy, yet sat and ate with the outcasts; those considered wretched and lost by the religious.

Christ is God in the flesh, and left His heavenly abode in order to reach His right hand down to help us up.

Christ is Perfect, yet chose to put on the semblance of imperfection; our related flesh.

Christ is the I Am, yet chose to be born as a human and experienced over 30 years of life, proving able to relate to us, so we may understand and eventually relate to Him...and allowed Himself to be killed, experience death, and traversed hidden dark paths so we would not have to...for we would be unable.

Christ is the love God has always had, has always proclaimed, and still reveals the world-over.

Christ desires to build a chest full of fortune within you, and the 'rules' are that you cannot reflect the false wealth of this world (attitude, ingratitude, pride and boasting), but must exemplify His perfect Example of love, grace and peace.

13 May 2017

Christology To Suite All Mankind

John 14: 19 . . . Revelation 1: 7
What is the confidence (or crux) of the crucifixion?

The belief (or doubt) that a man died and somehow came back to life.

This is what Paul argued having full knowledge of when he left a promising religious career and influential position among his peer group, and instead, went to his death proclaiming the Christ.
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except HaMashiach Yeshua (Jesus Christ) and Him crucified. 
- 1 Corinthians 2: 2
How such faith is put into words is secondary to actually believing the testimony, I think.

Some argue that Yeshua depicted Himself having authority and power to raise Himself back to life.

Others say it was God's authority and power that raised Yeshua back to life.

Can it be both?

Both answers are given, one quoted as Yeshua speaking in the Gospel, the other the testimony being relayed to listeners by Paul...with several other evident examples from other disciples of Christ.

This should be proof that there is more than a single answer to any given question that demands a single and solitary answer.

I think such a paradox exists in the Scriptures in order to speak to individuals according to where they are; their current perceptions and their limitations or depth of understanding...
Do not believe Me unless I do the works of My Father. But if I do them, even though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father. 
- John 10: 37-38
...and men's minds argue contradiction when it seems more likely an explanation of a single reality spoken in a myriad of ways in order that different listeners can hear that singularity in their own way.

The singularity: a man predicted His death, predicted His return, and such a prescient declaration came to pass...yet this man was more than a man.

He was a man for our own sake, so mankind may come to understand an unfathomable God.

He was made like us so we may understand who He is.

It seems the religious from opposing views (whether within Christianity or in other religious circles) like to argue over 'who' and 'what' Yeshua was in the flesh, or how Yeshua is now beyond the flesh.

It is very difficult to argue against the factual reality of Yeshua being crucified...and the eye-witness testimony that Yeshua rose again to life.

The prior is something attested to in various secular places (as well as religious), and to argue such evidence of death is to deny the rudiments men have used in determining the events of the past as either historical or mythical.

The latter belief, that Yeshua rose back to life, can also be historically attested using the same rudiments, but such things are found to be illogical to those who haven't been gifted faith.

Let us consider the term “religion”.

For some who identify themselves as being ____________ (fill in a religious ideology), Yeshua is seen through the backdrop of their religious notions...and is somehow fitted into the similarities they have conceived as true, possible and factual.

I use the term “religious” loosely and according to how the writer M. Scott Peck defined religion in his book “The Road Less Traveled”.

In short, every human being has a unique 'religion' regardless if they believe in God or something else.

Their 'religion' is how they perceive, define and explain themselves and the world.

For the atheist, Yeshua is seen as a decent human being whose teachings are difficult not only to follow, but to argue against, for they speak to the heart...although such hearts may deny the notion of God or all that Yeshua expressed in His claims.

What is quite exciting and interesting to me is that scholarship has allowed the atheist, the religious, and all types of people in between, to look at the historical references about Yeshua according to their own minds.

I think these are stepping stones to the Gospel message of Yeshua, and a salvation opportunity.

Regardless of any single person's immediate frame of mind, or their ideas about God, or religion, or Yeshua, they can be brought to learning something (or many things) about Yeshua that meets them where they currently stand in time's eternal vastness; wherever they are on their earthly sojourn.

For some, Yeshua is the Son of God (not literally as if the Father procreated as humans physically do), but “Son” in a way that people have usually argued about, both inside and outside Christian church walls, for far too long.

Allowing the walls of instigation to finally come crashing down, people could agree that the Mystery of God in Christ (whether by His Spirit, His Word, and/or some other means) could be discussed philosophically, logically, rationally, religiously, ideally and basically.

So basic that a child can understand...so why not 'learned' adults?

What should be discussed, and not debated, is disallowing the building of more walls.

Instead, may we figure out how to further unify humanity and build upon similarities and agreeable understandings.

For some people of the world, the term “Son of God” is unacceptable because they've been taught to deny such a relation to a God that is beyond human understanding.

Their cultural pillars hold a polemic as a rudimentary rule.

This is similar to how some people who deny God exists desire not to even discuss such a topic; hostility, instead of an effort towards discussion.

But do those who profess to follow and believe in the Son of God really preach that God had a child as a man does with a woman?

Of course not, but somehow this ridiculous notion seems to be the idea heard when people hear “Son of God”.

What does the testimony from Above really say about Yeshua, and why is the term “Son of God” given to Yeshua?

For Muslims, Yeshua being called the “Spirit of God” and the “Word of God” is acceptable (because that is taught in Islam as 'true').

Why then is it such a difficult notion to ponder that God lived by and through His Word and Spirit in the body of Yeshua for a short time many centuries ago?

Some Muslim thinkers have concluded such ideas, because it takes more soul searching to look past dogmas and hear what the Spirit is speaking to the heart.

The two notions do not seem opposed, but somehow such notions are vehemently opposed or immediately questioned.

Since it has been proclaimed and quoted by the prophets who preceded Yeshua, and quoted by Yeshua Himself, that God (shall live) and did live in the body of Yeshua by His Word and His Spirit, then it would make sense for the term “Son of God” to be made when speaking of that Man whom the Spirit and Word of God lived in for a short time on earth.

It says:
“I and the Father are One.” 
Again His Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone Him, but Yeshua said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone Me?” 
“We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” 
Yeshua answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ’? If He called them ‘gods,’ to whom the Word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside—what about the One whom the Father set apart as His very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse Me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I Am God’s Son’? Do not believe Me unless I do the works of My Father. But if I do them, even though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” 
- John 10: 30-38
Notice how God opens up at least two manners of coming to faith in Christ: the testimony itself being one, the evidence of the works being another.

Read what else is proclaimed:
“Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a Son, and you are to call Him Yeshua. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; His kingdom will never end.” 
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.” 
- Luke 1: 30-35
Going further, does the Gospel testimony say that God vacated heaven and was only found in the body of the man Yeshua?

Was heaven empty for those thirty some years that Yeshua lived on earth?

Of course not, but again, somehow this is the infantile notion received by those who cringe at such a though of God in Christ...yet this is the Gospel's message and a difficult notion to ponder for some who are very accustomed to avoid.

So what if God, displaying how humble, patient and gracious He truly is, granted people a way of repentance and salvation by seeing Yeshua in a manner that would initially agree with whatever worldview they were brought up with?... to grow in them as a seed grows into something greater.

This is what I see has happened in what Muhammad claimed as inspiration, for the internet is full of testimonies of Muslims coming to faith in Yeshua as Lord and Savior.

Islamic scholars, and some Christian scholars, consider Muhammad (his poetry, the cadence in rhyme and rhythm in the Arabic tongue, what is called the Quran) to have been inspired by God, or to contain a divine effort from God.

I don't hold such a view.

I do concede that half of the Quran contains the repeating of previous messages found in the Old and New Covenants, with other acceptable notions that compliment and agree with these messages.

I think this is what some scholars opine to be divine revelation, but I call it simply repetition.

The other half unfortunately contradicts itself and the previous messages from Above, having copied some fringe ideas that preceded Muhammad (legendary apocryphal and heretical accounts) along with regional and mythical Arabic-ethnic stories.

The man who repeats, and writes down what is accepted as wholly inspired, is not actually inspired from Above, but simply forwarding what was previously accepted as inspired of God.

Such a man is a scribe, or if he is illiterate, is a repeater of things he believed to be true, and a repeater of other things he perceived to be true.

The scribe is not like an inspired prophet of God, although the scribe is writing the inspirations coming through an inspired prophet.

A factual prophet of God cannot contradict God's previous testimonies, unless a new covenant is being revealed and clearly established...and Muhammad made no such explicit claim, but claimed to be continuing a covenant made with Adam...while ignoring, misunderstanding or not knowing the covenants made and concluded with Noah, made and fulfilled with Abraham, and the current everlasting covenant of the Messiah.

Let us call a scribe what a scribe is, a warner what a warner is, a prophet what a prophet actually is, and let us call the Messiah who the heavenly testimony declares the Messiah to be: Son of God, Holy One, One with the Father.

12 May 2017

Something About Mary - Part 3


[continued from Part 2] . . . [read Part 1]

As was in the past, and sadly still today, zeal sometimes doesn't allow for peaceful communion to continue between those who share the common faith.

To follow the logical conclusion that Mary gave birth to a man who was revealed to be Lord and God in the flesh, was to me, an effort that eventually caused trouble.

For some, this notion about Mary was something that would have (and still could be) kept in one's heart, for it isn't theologically a salvation issue (although some may argue it to be).

For the motherless child, what is the harm in viewing Mary as also their mother, if not simply to draw a maternal example or the example of a righteous woman?

The salvation issue is the confession of the heart through one's mouth; Yeshua / Jesus is Lord...all other things secondary.

Notice how the effort of some Catholic priests in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries in correcting the waywardness of dogmatic Catholic church teachings eventually led to protests, divisions and bloodshed.

The names of these priests would eventually be titled after sects, denominations (named movements) and much more blood would be spilled as the church would begin fighting internally, now seeing itself as divided, where no such division previously existed.

How can I say this?

There is only one church, so why does the ignorant think they can perceive who is and who is not part of God's kingdom?

A new waywardness emerged, hypocritically clothed in “righteous judgment”, and this festering still continues to plague, with accusations, those who desire to live out their lives in peace.

The warning not to argue over words is still being ignored.

What was an early teaching about dealing with those who profess the Holy Name, yet are not of your particular group?

“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your Name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”

“Do not stop him,” Yeshua said. “For no one who does a miracle in My Name can in the next moment say anything bad about Me, for whoever is not against us is for us.”

- Mark 9: 38-40

This passage speaks especially Today, and is applicable in every scenario where perceived group differences may arise among those who call upon Yeshua as Lord and Savior.

Peace and unity is the aim despite differences of perception and opinion.

Instead of firstly standing on the Gospel's message that, by logical conclusion a non-believer cannot come to faith in Yeshua as their Lord, God and Savior, why do religious people think arguing over dogmas can lead people to make faithful conclusions?

And why does one think they know if another is under God's grace, saved or not, or something else?

Can they see another man's heart and soul?

If not, why then do they judge another man as if they could?

Because they don't agree with the words and thoughts from that man?

This is not only unfruitful, but is futile given the fact that faith is gifted by God.

Is a man disqualified from salvation if they believe other things besides or beyond Yeshua as Lord?

Speaking of Mary in logical terms, can she be a virgin and also give birth to a child?

If this notion lands on deaf ears as illogical, let it be illogical for the faithless without ears to hear.

But for those who do believe, although they may believe other things which you / your group may find false, why cannot you be unified by what is agreeable?

Why argue logical conclusions regarding things that are miraculous, mysterious and only accepted by God's gift of faith to the individual?

This also goes for how one group may perceive Mary and speak certain titles attributed to her.

What eternal difference is it to you personally if you don't agree?

Who calls you to accuse and protest another man's extracurricular beliefs?

Speaking to nefarious attitudes towards Mary; it isn't Mary's fault that men have reached further in their words than what was revealed to them.

She is the “mother of the Lord” as mentioned in an earlier part of this blog series, and if “Lord” is argued to be synonymous with “God” (in almost every instance it theologically can be), where does such contention actually originate if such is the heavenly testimony?

Was Christ contentious with those who opposed and maligned Him?

Wasn't He gracious, humble and kind even to those who desired Him dead?

It can be concluded that such harsh contention is not from Above, but from below.

One thing that needs to be objectively acknowledged is how a focus on Mary's role in the world, previously as the Christ-bearer, but now as someone revered, has become a key and sign for the rest of mankind.

Mary's veneration has caused a positive influence the world over by changing the way paternal societies view women.

Christ initiated men and women praying and worshipping together, breaking social and religious norms.

Such a notion was not previously allowed in Jewish circles, for men and women worshiped separately in synagogues, and this is still the case today in certain religious groups.

The social maturity of bringing women into worshipping union with men has evidently been established, while not yet universally realized.

How has Mary's position or character been viewed in the Islamic world?

Some Islamic theology holds the premise that Mary and Yeshua were blameless / holy above all other humans that have existed.

Some legends of Mary in Islam, being understood not as simply another woman but someone quite special and honored, has somehow helped that religion bridge gender roles from a superior – subordinate model towards something more mutual.

The evidence is there in Islamic theology and writings, despite arguments of the lack of cultural example in some Islamic countries.

I see this as quite a positive and significant idea considering the current mainstream Islamic ideas regarding Christ; namely 'who' and 'what' Christ is according to human logic, although as I've already stressed, the Gospel message goes beyond logic in declaring clear divinity status to Christ.

Yet, I must share that even the Quran does subtly forward the message of Christ's divinity...it depends on how that book's poetry is interpreted...also considering the portions of that book that clearly contradict the other portions.

In some Islamic theology, Mary is elevated as being free from sin, or being herself spared from any evil influence.

This furthers the notion of Yeshua being born a “pure boy” and “protected” from sin / evil / Satan's touch as is mentioned in Islamic writings.

Logically speaking, the vessel birthing God's mercy (Yeshua) also being found pure and sinless, would be a conclusive notion.

This is quite significant, and a positive reversal of the “women are evil” notion prevalent in some ancient societies, or as can be derived when people look at the Adam and Eve narrative, speaking of women being 'weaker' and incapable of being righteous / obedient.

Since Christ is likened to Adam regarding how Adam came to exist (without father and mother) and in full submission to God's command(s), in Islamic narratives Mary is also likened to Eve as the obedient woman who didn't fall into temptation like Eve, but fully obeyed God's desire for her life.

In essence, Christ and Mary are seen as the perfect examples of a man and a woman, but this may be me jumping to a conclusion some religious Muslims would contest...but such things are expressed in Islamic writings.

Islam has developed their own archetype of perfection answering Mary and Yeshua in Muhammad and Fatima, Muhammad's daughter.

The Islamic religious narrative is to uphold Muhammad and his daughter Fatima as being that perfect example of man and woman.

Some Islamic commentary has Fatima replacing the position of Mary, and regardless of the consternation this would have for religious debaters, I find this to be evidence of the woman's role, position and peerage being altered for the better because of Mary and the effort of men expounding on her role.

Hasn't this been what some Christian doctrines and dogmas have desired to express all along?

The two becoming one in purity and in spirit (brothers and sisters) and if God wills it, in spirit and physically (husband and wife).

The human examples of what it means to be obedient to God, now being found and expressed in a man and a woman, Mary and the Christ in Christianity, Fatima and Muhammad in Islam...that latter showing how God meets people where they currently are in their journey.

Speciality, once again...and God reaching for people for people's sake.

Considering man's logic when looking at mysteries from Above, it makes sense that men will have a role model in Yeshua (the role of a father, son, brother, friend, peer, example, etc.) while women will also have a role model in Mary (the role of a mother, daughter, sister, friend, peer, example, etc.).

And although every culture does have its mirroring, even though the names may momentarily be different, these realities exist for a greater purpose than we can currently wrap our minds around.

11 May 2017

Something About Mary - Part 2


[continued from Part 1]

All who believe themselves to believe in God (and suppose they are correct in their perceptions of and beliefs in God), may believe themselves to also be special; special not meaning 'superior' to others, but special in knowing something quite amazing, regarding the world, regarding God...and what God has done for them.

This speciality should cause humility in a person, not pride.

This speciality is not being puffed up with 'knowledge' (the trap of gnosis), but should beckon gratitude for realizing what God has established on earth and the material construct as it relates to spiritual realities in the heavenly realms.

The cloud of witnesses are always praying in the presence of God for us who are still on earth dealing with the schemes of darkness.

This speciality should bring forth several of the variety of attributes of God has graced upon on us through to others, despite our obvious failings as humans, for such must occur in order to exemplify how great God's grace is...and how dismal we are without such grace!

Notice how Yeshua's words are quoted and manners depicted in the Gospel accounts.

Did Yeshua come across as boastful, proud and arrogant?

Some wayward souls would interpret Christ in such a way, likely according to their upbringing and their current opinions of Christ, but we actually read humility and Yeshua adopting the role of a servant although always having been King and Lord of all.

This should also be the approach one has towards another, and should be their approach in discussing the subject matter of what others believe or perceive to be true as such things relate to themselves.

Notice how in the lesson of the temple tax, Yeshua spoke about taking care not to offend those who presumed to be something they clearly were not.

I don't think it was out of fear this was expressed, but out of respect for God and righteousness, and the fact that what one holds as true is quite special, and such things when honestly expressed to those not knowing God or His depths, such things most likely fall on deaf ears...and will likely cause strife.

So one should be very delicate in how God in Christ (and the church - the believers) is presented to others; the unlearned, the immature, those brothers and sisters having yet to taste the goodness from Above.

I personally still have much to learn in choosing my words and expressions in humility when discussing anything (especially touchy subjects about beliefs, faith, God, etc.) with others, especially things people hold onto as truth and fact aside from what I hold as truth and fact.

It was in absence of love and humility that divisions arose regarding the discussion of Mary and her significance in light of Christ.

How special was Mary?

I think the later development of Mary as “the mother of God” had more to do with men whose linear logic would have them argue a notion that was already explicitly evident in the inspired writings.

Their efforts may have been less about a logical challenge and more about failing to heed a warning already mentioned...about not instigating the minds and hearts of others (taking care not to offend).
Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 
- 2 Timothy 2: 14
By the 4th century, bishops were more at each other's throats than before, being divided by their words...misunderstanding their expressions of what is ultimately a mystery.

Taking a quick detour, let us think of the discussion of “the sky is blue”.

The sky 'looks' blue to us during the day...but as the day turns to night, we notice the 'blue' disappear as if it wasn't there in the first place.

For reasons scientific words have explained the visual phenomenon, and whether the sky is actually blue (a particular color or hue) or not is besides the point of what is actually seen.

Thus can such discussions about what one person perceives and another does not, or the manner of explaining such ideas, can become a struggle instead of actually agreeing that something unique is evident.

One thing is for sure; only the sun (and occasionally the moon) can be seen during the day, and the sun being the nearest star, is the only star visible during the day....while the rest appear in the sun's absence and after the blue dissipates.

Returning to Mary, the hearts and minds of others was less of a consideration than the effort to leave no stone unturned in forwarding their faith in Christ as more than merely a man...which again was quite explicit in the inspired writings, but men do interpret things according to their heart's landscape.

If this was how men of the same fold would act with one another, whom they are to see in themselves and be united as one, how about those outside the fold?

So when philosophical terms were used in an attempt to explain what is messaged in the Gospel and letters, the work of God (as they viewed it) was partly refuting heresies, and searching out what was perceived to be heretical.

Similar to how the rise of terrorism has sparked an acute awareness of what people are up to where none previously existed, the rise of various and strange ideas going beyond the basics of the Gospel was cause for concern.

A climate of suspicion arose along with the asking of “what did you mean by using that term?”

The church at that time had to deal with ear-tickling ideas from every place of the world the Message had reached.

It was a common effort having to refute new ideas, although sometimes the ideas were simply (now looking back from possibly a more objective view) the use of different words attempting to explain Mystery.

How can Mystery be fully explained if it is mysterious?

Some claim to fully understand it, and perhaps some of us do, yet when using a common language, and quoting familiar passages of Scripture, listeners seem to miss the full transmission.

In pursuing knowledge and understanding, it seems some men desired also to legitimize their position by continuing to explain things they believed to be inspired, things possibly revealed only to them and not for public consumption.

Men believed their own writings to be inspired, or complimenting the inspired, and it is quite surprising how some scholars today, being believers, still quibble over what was and was not inspired.

We are special despite having specifically special understandings of the mysteries.

We see this in not only religious leaders of any given religion, but in political leaders as well.

We all seem to do this to some degree regarding whatever we believe in or pursue, whether it be religion or gardening.

Perhaps in seeking to achieve revelation, or significance for their lives, some men caused (and still cause) harm and division.

I read this all the time on social media posts, in the news and when I have a philosophical, political, economic or religious discussion with someone.

This reminds me yet of another lesson that I need to heed more often.

I think this is what happened when Nestorius attempted to correct the overreach (as he understood it to be) of Cyril.

“Mother of Christ”, or “Mother of Man” was Nestorius' response to Cyril's effort of titling Mary “Mother of God”.

This conflict, and its outcome, should then be no surprise when Islamic polemics perceive Christians believing in three gods, or viewing the Father, Son and Mary as such.

Surely the arguing over of words had ruined even the ears of people even in faraway places.

Many conflicting arguments among the early Christians developed and added to the confusion of those outside the fold, and to some within.

But, paradoxically, this seemed to have been God's will through it all; allowing for such divergence to occur.

These two bishops could have easily agreed to quote, plagiarize while copyrighting “the mother of my Lord” and have resolved what likely should not have been an issue in the first place...and gone onto to working on how to better feed the hungry, house the homeless and clothe the naked.

Here is an in-depth article with a political perspective regarding the 4th century schism over Mary's title.

As was back then, and sadly still today, zeal sometimes doesn't allow for peaceful communion to continue...but some of us do have room in our hearts for communion, unity and peace with all mankind.

To be continued in Part 3.

09 May 2017

Something About Mary - Part 1



What comes to mind when you think of Mary the mother of Jesus / Yeshua?

Are there thoughts that cause you to be divided against others who also call upon Yeshua as their Lord and Savior?

Depending on your upbringing, or the things you hold to as 'truth', you may view Mary (or what people think about Mary) in a positive, neutral or negative way.

You may have the thought to either diminish or elevate her, her status, or the ideas about her...most likely depending on your current opinion of her (or of what you know, have been taught to believe, etc.).

In this man's opinion, and with regards to salvation, what you think or believe about Mary means very little contrasted with what you think or believe about the child she bore into the world.

What I mean is that God doesn't demand a Ph.D. in theology as a qualifier into heaven / entrance to paradise / salvation.

And when it comes to details about certain things, and whether you know or believe certain details and disbelieve or deny other details, aside from Yeshua dying and rising again to bring you salvation, the details are arguably beyond a salvation issue (faith in what is stated and linked in this sentence being primary).

Your heart's condition towards others may be a disqualifying factor.

How you view from your heart perceived enemies and people who believe things you don't.

Some would argue quite forcefully in favor or against what I mention, but these are the things religions are made of, aren't they.

One man's religion demands they honor Mary in a certain way, and demand others believe certain terms and ideas attributed to Mary.

These are looking through volumes of information and ideas regarding the things they believe in, as they perceive the Word of God and further revelation and thought development.

Another man's religion vehemently denies such ideas and calls another man's religion false, apostate, and many other protesting terms, claiming instead their ideas are correct and so forth.

These too are looking through volumes of information and ideas regarding the things they believe in, as they perceive the Word of God and further revelation and thought development.

Yet a very literal passage of spirit-spoken terms was revealed from Above:
In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 
- Luke 1: 42-43
This was spoken through Elizabeth, cousin of Mary, who was previously barren and in old age, but was now pregnant with John the prophet, the prophet who would be baptizer of Yeshua.

It is expressed “the mother of my Lord” and “blessed are you among women”.

For some men, this phrase wasn't clear enough, or sufficient enough, to attribute to Mary.

Why this phrase couldn't have been the basis, and unifying factor regarding Mary's relationship to Yeshua, I don't know...but God always has a greater purpose beyond our limited view and understanding.

It seems God had a greater purpose in allowing divisions to arise.

It can be argued that “my Lord” is not the same term as “my God”, but what was Thomas' response after having seen Yeshua in the flesh after having risen from the dead?
Thomas said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 
Then Yeshua told him, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 
- John 20: 28-29
In the Gospel we see Christ having fulfilled, repaired and rebranded what has always been long established: mankind in relationship with God – obedient, aware and praising God in their words and actions.

Going beyond God in Christ is building a wider understanding of the significance of Messiah on earth, but the manner one builds shouldn't be cause for division between human beings, but sadly such is a typical outcome of building.

Instead of building bridges, walls are built.

When considering 'who' and 'what' Mary signifies in relation to Christ, it seems to me that the divine message still speaks, although subtle for some, despite perceived differences and objectionable arguments being voiced from various religious ideologies.

This article isn't about laying blame, or supporting an argument of who is right, but rather to point at a bigger picture showing how significant beliefs have been spread despite the arguments against them.

The significant belief is that ideas, people, and how people approach others, are important and special.

Yeshua in the flesh was special...to this man, Yeshua is the most special and significant reality to occur on earth.

Mary was also special.

The entire lineage that brought forth Christ was special; from God to Adam to Noah to Abraham to David, wives and relatives included.

The legacy Yeshua left in people of all nations and languages the world over is special; the kingdom invisible among and within the believers – the church.

Peter, Paul, even Thomas, are special.

We see very specific character lessons and attributes in such as these, enabling each and every human being on earth someone to relate to.

This is why it says we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.

We can learn from their triumphs and failures, since they too experienced the life of God and then Christ in themselves in some way and at some level.

The saints, either listed on some church role or in heaven (heaven's scroll being the “official” list), is part of the great cloud of witnesses.

Just because you, or your specific religious leaning, does or does not acknowledge certain people to be saints doesn't mean God hasn't sanctified them.

While in the flesh the faithful ask for others to pray for them, regarding our weaknesses and hope for strength, why are others who ask those now a witness in that cloud, accused and vilified for doing so?

It is a matter of faith, doubt, ignorance and misguidance, I think.

All who believe themselves to believe in God (and suppose they are correct in their perceptions of and beliefs in God), may believe themselves to also be special; special not meaning 'superior' to others, but special in knowing something quite amazing regarding God...and what God has done for them.

To be continued in Part 2.

02 May 2017

Beyond The "What If" Paradigm

Read all of Romans 8

The “what if” argument.

What if there was more equality in the world?

What is equality?

Is it all people having the same amount of things, or enjoying the same benefits of labor?

What if we were all kings; who would pay the tribute, enforce the law and build society?

What if we were all subjects; who would manage the government, write laws and deal with lawbreakers?

What if we were all priests; who would need saving, argue for the defenseless and invoke blessings from Above?

What if we were all rebellious heathens instead; would we have a civilization to complain about?

If we had anarchy, what about the weak or the indifferent?

Would such as these be protected?

If all people would have it their unique way, where would consensus be and who would enforce it?

It is easy to criticize a system that allows you to be openly critical without having your tongue cut out...yet not all existing on earth enjoy such a freedom! (sadly, tongues may still be cut out in some dark corners of the world...or worse)

It is easy to protest for / about ________ (whatever you feel passionate about) when the current context allows for such criticism.

When people abhor the empires of the past (and present), I don't think they fully understand where they now stand, for what they now enjoy is likely a by-product or direct result of empire's footprint.

I personally am a byproduct of Fidel Castro's attempt to 'change' something he saw as wrong, unjust or equal.

The question then is: would I even exist if it wasn't for the Cuban exodus into the U.S. from what eventually became a communist effort on that island and the economic embargo that prompted my predecessors to leave the island?

If I would have been born in Cuba (my parents having met in the U.S., not in Cuba), would all things have stayed the same (no Castro / communism / embargo)?

Would I have turned out to be the man I am today?

Would I be speaking English, or studying the subjects I research and write about?

I would not have been born in Silver Lake or have grown up in Los Angeles.

I would not have met and communed with those I have throughout my life.

The answer is no, I wouldn't be the man I am, for this man writing these words is the consequence of living in Southern California since 1975 up until the present (with a momentary sojourn in Texas).

I am the consequence of all the people I've met, the experiences I've had, and the schooling I've received every day since I can first remember...and learning is an every-single-day-effort.

It is this “what if” that causes us to mistakenly think the present would be the same, or better, if certain things from the past would have developed differently.

“If only _______ (your gripe) would have turned out _________ (your ideal)” isn't a wise contemplation when you have reality to work through...and it is this challenge and effort which makes you into who you are Today!

The cause and effect of “what if” can never be accurately estimated since all things present are consequences of past events.

We can learn from the bad decisions of others, and our own, to not repeat what may seem inevitable to some.

There is no “what if”, even from one day to the next, for our time, decisions and their consequences cannot be rewound as if it was a song or a movie.

It is easy for people to rant about the sins of the past of others, or injustices of collective government, when their ranting online, for example, is a byproduct of such activities.

If it wasn't for empire, do you suppose most of the innovations, developments, education and benefits that specialized societies enjoy would have come to pass in the first place.

No.

If we were all equal in the sense of being the same with all similar attributes inward and outward, would man have progressed beyond the invention of the wheel?