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When in doubt, Sit it Out! (I do, so I don’t!)

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In
&
Out
&….
“upside down”

Personally, Why i don’t play with piñata..s…

THE Christmas season is here. What does that mean to you, your family, and your associates? Is it a spiritual occasion, or is it only a festive and merry period? Is it a time to reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ or not to be concerned about Christian norms?

In considering those questions, bear in mind that Christmas traditions may differ according to where you live. For instance, in Mexico and other Latin-American countries, even the name is different. One encyclopedia points out that the English name Christmas “is derived from the medieval Christes Masse, the Mass of Christ.” However, La Navidad, or the Nativity, as it is called in these Latin-American lands, refers to the nativity, or birth, of Christ. Take a moment to consider some details from Mexico. This may help you to shape your own opinion about this holiday season.

The Posadas, “the Three Wise Men,” and the Nacimiento
The festivities begin on December 16 with the posadas. The book Mexico’s Feasts of Life comments: “It is the time of the posadas, nine magical days leading up to Christmas Eve, which commemorate the lonely wandering of Joseph and Mary in the city of Bethlehem and the moment when they at last found kindness and shelter. Families and friends gather together nightly to reenact the days preceding the birth of Christ.”

Traditionally, a group of people carries images of Mary and Joseph to a home and in song asks for shelter, or posada. Those in the house sing in reply until the visitors are finally given admittance. Then begins a party, where some—blindfolded and with a stick in hand—take turns trying to break the piñata, a large decorated earthenware pot that hangs from a cord. Once broken, its contents (candy, fruit, and the like) are gathered by the celebrants. This is followed by food, drinks, music, and dancing. Eight posada parties are held from December 16 through December 23. On the 24th, Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) is celebrated, and families make an effort to be together for a special dinner.

Before long comes New Year’s Day, celebrated with very noisy parties. On the evening of January 5, the Tres Reyes Magos (“three wise men”) are supposed to bring toys for the children. The climax is a party on January 6, when a rosca de Reyes (ring-shaped cake) is served. As this pastry is eaten, somebody will find in his piece a little doll representing the baby Jesus. The finder is obliged to organize and host a final party on February 2. (In some places there are three little dolls, representing “the three wise men.”) As you can see, the partying in connection with Christmas goes on and on.

Concerning the Christmas celebration as it is generally known all over the world, The Encyclopedia Americana says: “Most of the customs now associated with Christmas were not originally Christmas customs but rather were pre-Christian and non-Christian customs taken up by the Christian church. Saturnalia, a Roman feast celebrated in mid-December, provided the model for many of the merry-making customs of Christmas. From this celebration, for example, were derived the elaborate feasting, the giving of gifts, and the burning of candles.”

In Latin America, those basic Nativity customs may be followed, along with additional ones. ‘From what source,’ you might wonder. Frankly, many who want to adhere to the Bible recognize that some customs are nothing but Aztec rites. El Universal, a newspaper in Mexico City, commented: “Friars from different orders took advantage of the fact that festivities of the Indian ritual calendar coincided with the Catholic liturgical calendar, so they used this to support their evangelizing and missionary work. They replaced the commemorations to the pre-Hispanic divinities with festivities to Christian divinities, introduced European festivities and activities, and also took advantage of the Indian festivities, which resulted in a cultural syncretism from which authentically Mexican expressions have arisen.”

The Encyclopedia Americana explains: “Nativity plays early became a part of the Christmas celebration . . . The representation in church of the crèche [the manger scene] is said to have been begun by Saint Francis.” These plays featuring the birth of Christ were performed in the churches during the beginning of the colonization of Mexico. They were organized by Franciscan monks in order to teach the Indians about the Nativity. Later the posadas became more popular. Whatever the original intention behind them, the way the posadas are held today speaks for itself. If you are in Mexico during this season, you can see or sense something that a writer for El Universal highlighted in his comment: “The posadas, which were a way to remind us of the pilgrimage of Jesus’ parents looking for a shelter where the Child God could be born, are today only days of drunkenness, excesses, gluttony, vanities, and more and more crime.”

In Latin America, the three wise men replace the idea of Santa Claus. Still, as is done in other lands, many parents hide toys in the home. Then on the morning of January 6, the children look for them, as if the three wise men brought them. This is a money-making time for toy sellers, and some have made a fortune on what many honesthearted people recognize is just a fantasy. The myth of the three wise men is losing credibility among a goodly number, even among little children. Though some are displeased that this myth is losing believers, what can anyone expect of a fantasy maintained only for the sake of tradition and for commercial convenience?

Christmas, or the Nativity, was not celebrated by early Christians. One encyclopedia says about this: “The celebration was not observed in the first centuries of the Christian church, since the Christian usage in general was to celebrate the death of remarkable persons rather than their birth.” The Bible links the celebration of birthdays with pagans, not with God’s true worshipers.—Matthew 14:6-10.

This does not, of course, mean that it is not beneficial to learn and remember the actual events involved in the birth of the Son of God. The factual Bible account provides important insights and lessons for all those who want to do God’s will. [excerpted: Christian Customs: Are They Christian? w 00]

“RELIABLE” information… aka “accurate” (aka Truth)… is very useful in making sound aka wise decisions. What about the Gospel Accounts?… aka “good news” accounts of Jesus… aka Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John…

There are benefits to having these separate accounts of what Jesus said and did. To illustrate, imagine that four men are standing near a famous teacher. The man standing in front of the teacher has a tax office. The one on the right is a physician. The man listening from the left side is a fisherman and is the teacher’s very close friend. And the fourth man, located at the back, is an observer who is younger than the others. All four are honest men, and each has a distinct interest or focus. If each writes an account of the teacher’s sayings and activities, the four records would likely feature different details or events. By considering all four accounts, bearing in mind the varying perspectives or objectives, we could get a complete picture of what the teacher said and did. This illustrates how we can benefit from having four separate accounts of the life of the Great Teacher, Jesus.

Continuing the illustration, the tax man wants to appeal to people of a Jewish background, so he groups some teachings or events in a way to help that primary audience. The physician highlights the healing of the sick or crippled, so he omits some things that the tax man recorded or presents them in a different order. The close friend emphasizes the teacher’s feelings and qualities. The younger man’s account is briefer, more succinct. Still, each man’s account is accurate. This well illustrates how having all four accounts of Jesus’ life enriches our understanding of his activities, teachings, and personality.

People may speak of ‘the Gospel of Matthew’ or ‘John’s Gospel.’ That is not inaccurate, for each contains “good news about Jesus Christ.” (Mark 1:1) However, in a larger sense, there is but one overall gospel, or good news, about Jesus—available to us in the four records. [excerpted: Why Four Gospels, The Way, The Truth, and The Life]

The Astrologers…

Matthew’s account mentions that astrologers from the East came to Jerusalem looking for the place where the King of the Jews was born. King Herod was very interested in this—but not with good intentions. “Sending them to Bethlehem, he said: ‘Go make a careful search for the young child, and when you have found it report back to me, that I too may go and do it obeisance.’” The astrologers found the young child and “opened their treasures and presented it with gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” But they did not go back to Herod. “They were given divine warning in a dream not to return to Herod.” God used an angel to warn Joseph of Herod’s intentions. Joseph and Mary then fled to Egypt with their son. Next, in an effort to eliminate the new King, cruel King Herod ordered the killing of boys in the Bethlehem area. Which boys? Those two years of age and under.— Matthew 2:1-16.

What Can We Learn From the Account?

The visiting astrologers—however many of them there were—did not worship the true God. The Bible version La Nueva Biblia Latinoamérica (1989 Edition) states in a footnote: “The Magi were not kings, but fortune-tellers and priests of a pagan religion.” They came in line with their knowledge of the stars to which they were devoted. Had God wanted to guide them to the young child, they would have been led to the exact place without needing to go first to Jerusalem and to Herod’s palace. Later on, God did intervene to alter their course to protect the child.

At Christmastime this account is often surrounded by a mythical and romantic atmosphere that obscures the most important thing: that this baby was born to be a magnificent King, as was announced to Mary and to the shepherds. No, Jesus Christ is not a baby anymore, or even a child. He is the ruling King of God’s Kingdom, which very soon will eliminate all rulerships opposed to God’s will, and he will solve all problems of mankind. That is the Kingdom we ask for in the Lord’s Prayer.—Daniel 2:44; Matthew 6:9, 10.

Through the angels’ declaration to the shepherds, we learn that the opportunity for salvation is open to all who are willing to hear the message of the good news. Those who gain the favor of God become “men of goodwill.” There are marvelous prospects for peace in all the world under the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, but people must be willing to do God’s will. Is the Christmas season conducive to this, and does it reflect that desire? Many sincere people who want to follow the Bible feel that the answer is obvious.— Luke 2:10, 11, 14. [excerpted: Christian Customs: Are They Christian? w 00]

More reliable information about piñata…article:

The Piñata—An Ancient Tradition

BY AWAKE! WRITER IN MEXICO 2003

THE neighborhood children are having a fiesta. We can hear their excited voices crying out: “Dale! Dale! Dale!” (Hit it! Hit it! Hit it!) We peer over into the patio and observe a gaily decorated papier-mâché burro suspended between two trees. A blindfolded child is striking out at the burro with a stick, attempting to break it. The guests are shouting encouragement. At last, the burro bursts open, and candy, fruit, and toys spill out. Amid much laughter, all scramble to pick up the treats. It looks like fun. We are told that the burro is called a piñata and that breaking a piñata at fiestas is a tradition here in Mexico and some other Latin-American countries.

A widespread opinion is that the Chinese may have been the first to use something like a piñata as part of their New Year’s celebration, which also marked the beginning of spring. They made figures of cows, oxen, and buffalo, covering them with colored paper and filling them with five kinds of seeds. Colored sticks were used to break the figures open. The decorative paper that covered the figures was burned and the ashes gathered and kept for good luck during the coming year.

It is thought that in the 13th century, Venetian traveler Marco Polo took the “piñata” back with him from China to Italy. There, it acquired its present name from the Italian word pignatta, or fragile pot, and came to be filled with trinkets, jewelry, or candy instead of seeds. The tradition then spread to Spain. Breaking the piñata became a custom on the first Sunday of Lent.* It seems that at the beginning of the 16th century, Spanish missionaries brought the piñata to Mexico.

However, the missionaries may have been surprised (as we were) to find that the native people of Mexico already had a similar tradition. The Aztecs celebrated the birthday of Huitzilopochtli, their god of the sun and war, by placing a clay pot on a pole in his temple at the end of the year. The pot was adorned with colorful feathers and filled with tiny treasures. It was then broken with a stick, and the treasures that spilled out became an offering to the god’s image. The Maya also played a game in which blindfolded participants hit a clay pot suspended by a string.

As part of their strategy to evangelize the Indians, the Spanish missionaries ingeniously made use of the piñata to symbolize, among other things, the Christian’s struggle to conquer the Devil and sin. The traditional piñata was a clay pot covered with colored paper and given a star shape with seven tasseled points. These points were said to represent the seven deadly sins: greed, gluttony, sloth, pride, envy, wrath, and lust. Striking the piñata while blindfolded represented blind faith and willpower overcoming temptation or evil. The treats inside the piñata were the reward.

Later, the piñata became part of the festivities of the posadas* during the Christmas season and continues as such to this day. (A star-shaped piñata is used to represent the star that guided the astrologers to Bethlehem.) Breaking the piñata is also considered indispensable at birthday parties. Indeed, piñatas have become so traditionally Mexican that Mexico even exports them to other countries.

We found that for many people in Mexico, the piñata has lost its religious significance and is considered by most to be just harmless fun. In fact, piñatas are used in Mexico on many festive occasions, not just for the posadas or for birthdays. And piñatas can be purchased in many forms other than the traditional star shape. They are sometimes made to resemble animals, flowers, clowns.

When considering whether to include a piñata at a social gathering, Christians should be sensitive to the consciences of others. (1Corinthians 10:31-33) A main concern is, not what the practice meant hundreds of years ago, but how it is viewed today in your area. Understandably, opinions may vary from one place to another. Hence, it is wise to avoid turning such matters into big issues. The Bible says: “Let each one keep seeking, not his own advantage, but that of the other person.”—1Corinthians 10:24.

*In some religions, such as Catholicism, Lent is the 40-day period of penance that culminates in Holy Week celebrations at Easter time.

In Mexico the posadas is a nine-day celebration prior to Christmas, enacting Joseph and Mary’s search for posada, or lodging. A piñata is broken as the culmination of the festivities on each of the nine nights.

12/25/17 @ 11:52 a.m.

Breaking free… is an on-going-progressive-education… a spiritual lifestyle…

For me, i highly value “accuracy”… it provides protection/direction and “real” freedom!..🙂

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Warning, Warning

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Will Robinson…

“Danger, Danger!!”….Don’t Be a “Robot” Lost in Space!

Dude(s), don’t be duped!!… by “advertising” dupes (aka Big Business aka Big Religion; aka Big/Fake Media aka Big Fake Leadership/Government)… Please, check out this excerpted reading…[reference: December 2015…“What Is Wrong With Christmas Customs?”]

For one thing, there is the myth of Santa Claus. The modern-day jolly, white-bearded, rosy-cheeked, red-suited Santa is known to have been a successful Christmas advertisement created for a North American beverage company in 1931. During the 1950’s, some Brazilians tried to replace Santa Claus with a native legendary figure—Grandpa Indian. The result? Santa Claus not only defeated Grandpa Indian but even “defeated the child Jesus and became the official representative of the feast of December 25,” says Professor Carlos E. Fantinati. But are myths such as Santa Claus the only problem with Christmas? For the answer, let us go back to early Christianity.

Veneers… old ways…

In the fourth century C.E., despite the stand taken by the early Christians against the custom of celebrating birthdays, the Catholic Church instituted Christmas. The church wanted to strengthen its position by removing one of the main obstacles in its way—the popularity of the pagan Roman religions and their winter solstice festivals. Each year, from December 17 through January 1, “most Romans feasted, gamed, reveled, paraded, and joined in other festivities as they paid homage to their deities,” says Christmas in America, by Penne L. Restad. And on December 25, the Romans celebrated the birth of the Invincible Sun. Instituting Christmas on that day, the church cajoled many Romans into celebrating the birth of Jesus instead of the birth of the sun. Romans “were still able to enjoy the trappings of these midwinter festivals,” says Santa Claus, a Biography, by Gerry Bowler. In reality, they “continued to mark the new days with old ways.”

To walk well/safely… function optimally/healthy/(compassionately)… physically, (mentally, emotionally, and spiritually)…(simple logic) takes what?…a spine? a crooked spine? a straight spine?!

Clearly, then, the main problem with Christmas celebrations lies in their unsavory origins. In his book The Battle for Christmas, Stephen Nissenbaum refers to Christmas as “nothing but a pagan festival covered with a Christian veneer.” “There is no biblical or historical reason to place the birth of Jesus on December 25.”

Christmas, therefore, dishonors God and his Son, Jesus Christ. Is this just a trivial matter? The Bible asks: “What fellowship do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what sharing does light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14) Like the trunk of a tree that has grown crooked, Christmas is so twisted that it “cannot be made straight.”—Ecclesiastes 1:15.

i am not spineless!..i am “courageous”…being guided by “truth”… (aka sound Bible principles)…accurate knowledge keeps me safe, alive, and well in any space (in time)!:)

(stumbling/fumbling around in the dark (inaccuracies, etc.) can get You hurt!… taken advantage of; robbed; enslaved; programmed; controlled; or worse–premature death most likely!:(

{BTW: as a kid, loved the TV show Lost in Space;} (also, of note, young-inexperienced explorers… can easily become prey!)

Around the world, nearly two billion people celebrate Christmas each December 25, while at least 200 million others celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ on January 7. However, there are also millions who choose not to celebrate Christmas at all. Why?

For one thing, they may belong to a religion that is not part of Christendom. They may be of the Jewish, Hindu, or Shinto faith, to name a few. Others, such as atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, or secular humanists, view the Christmas story as a myth.

First, they do not believe that Jesus was born in either December or January. The Bible does not give a specific date. It simply states: “There were also in that same country shepherds living out of doors and keeping watches in the night over their flocks. And suddenly Jehovah’s angel stood by them, and . . . the angel said to them: ‘. . . There was born to you today a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’”— Luke 2:8-11.

Facts point to Jesus’ birth at approximately the beginning of October when shepherds with their flocks would still spend the night in the fields. The countryside around Bethlehem experiences the coldest weather during the months of December and January. Hence, to keep them warm at night, flocks are herded into protective shelters.

A second reason: The only event Jesus specifically instructed his followers to commemorate was his death, not his birth, and this was to be done as a simple communion meal. (Luke 22:19, 20) Note, too, that the Gospels of Mark and John are silent about Jesus’ birth.

A third reason: There is no historical evidence that the early Christians celebrated the birth of the Christ. But they did memorialize his death. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26) It was not until more than 300 years after Jesus’ birth that Christendom officially began to observe Christmas on December 25. Interestingly, in the mid-17th century, an act of parliament banned Christmas celebrations in England. In the United States, the Massachusetts General Court did the same. [excerpted reading: Why Do Some People Not Celebrate Christmas? w 2012]

As a mature-adult-woman…i choose “real” life… and “real” freedom. Real, refreshing recreation, etc.

i am not gonna be “knowingly” controlled…like the “unknowing” masses of mankind… duped into spending time/money/etc….and more on fake, enslaving, popular practices; enslaving rituals of mind/body on demand… by fake religion/fake media… for big business to profit off me!!

(Healthy recreation is refreshing… not endangering escapism.)

(insert snarky tone)…Oh, and this stance/stand makes me quite popular!;)

(Coercive-compulsory giving… is it really gracious generosity?!)

Attempting to live… using (not abusing) my free-will wisely… according to “accurate” knowledge and heartfelt-compassion…is a daily intention…unconditional!…whether rain or shine; hot or cold; winter or spring… on “every day” of the so-called calendar year.

Happiness has been described as a state of well-being that is characterized by relative permanence, by emotions ranging from mere contentment to deep and intense joy in living, and by a natural desire for it to continue.

Further, as an ongoing state of well-being, happiness has been described, not as a destination or goal, but as a journey. To say, “I’ll be happy when . . .” is, in effect, postponing happiness.

To illustrate, compare happiness with good health. How do we enjoy that state of physical well-being? We follow a wise path in regard to diet, exercise, and overall lifestyle. Likewise, happiness results from following a good path in life, living in harmony with sound principles.

[excerpted: Finding the Way…Way to Happiness AWAKE! No. 1 2018]

On-going well-being… is a journey/path of sound/helpful-healthful principles by which to walk happily!:)

12/19/17 @ 7:07 p.m.

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My Micro & My Macro

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My micro reveals my macro…

Unless I am able to make micro changes… for the better… compassionate/unselfish/agape choices… my macro is adversely affected.

(my micro impacts/influences others’ micro and my macro impacts/influences others’ macro)

A “stumbling block” refers to an action or circumstance that leads a person to follow an improper course, to stumble or fall morally, or to fall into sin. [excerpted Treasures from God’s Word… “Carefully Avoid Stumbling Yourself and Others.”]

Honestly, never would want to be a negative/non-compassionate influence on Anyone. Or cause intentionally or unintentionally someone to fall from a compassion course of action.

All of us can make little tweaks that will/can change things for the better now & later… we can choose kind words, helpful deeds, recycling, using just what we need to eat and not wasting or killing!… stopping the unnecessary shopping and unnecessary consumption and production of countless products/items… depleting resources, wasting clean water…cutting down trees and destroying ecosystems.

We can stop polluting our minds, our bodies, our planet, our reality… selfishness is ruining the earth–it’s ruining the human family. When we hurt each Other, we are hurting ourselves. Lies hurt! Yeah, I am REJECTING aka talking back, and spitting/yaking out…the lies being force-fed me today!… and on every other fake holiday… no! I refuse to gobble up the bologna being served!.. by non-reliable-fake-information, big-FAKE-religion, and big-cut-throat-business…I am not participating in the slaughter of turkeys or trees or human dignity!! Sorry, but there is so much hurtful ignorance & idiocy circulating in media & over the internet… Careful Research & Deep Study help me take out the trash and keep the treasure!

The one walking with the wise will become wise, But the one who has dealings with the stupid will fare badly. Proverb 13:20

I practice gratitude-year-round-attitude 

Personally, I don’t elevate one ethnicity over another…living impartiality and loving my global-brotherhood of fellow-fragile-life!:)… the topic of the Pilgrims & the Indians is interesting to me… growing up/living in Massachusetts, and for other reasons…my Dad’s Grandmother was 100% Cherokee (and spoke no English)…His Grandfather was not…(He was English as far as i know)…they married and had a bunch of kids possibly 9?!… Plus, am interested in spiritual TRUTH… thus, i don’t celebrate “the Thanksgiving Holiday”…I “live” gratitude and Thank the Creator everyday by my compassion course! (my Mom’s Grandparents (on her Dad’s side) 100% Lithuanian and they emigrated from Vilna, Lithuania. Her Mom’s side: Irish/Scottish/Welsh: may be? That’s why i have sooo many freckles;)… Anyway, enough of my family tree… various cultures are of interest to me… oh, and the yummy food, too.

Some past stuff read on Pilgrims/Puritans topic:  Excerpted article: Pilgrims and Puritans—Who Were They? (my highlights) AWAKE! 06

ON THE North American seashore at Plymouth, Massachusetts, lies a large granite stone with the number 1620 carved on its surface. Called Plymouth Rock, it is widely believed to be close to the place where a group of Europeans landed almost 400 years ago. You may know them as the Pilgrims or the Pilgrim Fathers.

Many know the stories of the hospitable Pilgrims inviting their Native American friends to rich harvest meals. But who were the Pilgrims, and why did they come to North America? For answers, let us go back to the time of the English King Henry VIII.

Less than 100 years before the Pilgrims set sail, England was a Roman Catholic land and King Henry VIII held the papal title Defender of the Faith. But a breach developed when Pope Clement VII refused to annul Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon, the first of the king’s six wives.

While Henry pondered his domestic problems, the Protestant Reformation was causing upheaval in the Roman Catholic Church throughout much of Europe. Reluctant to lose the prestige that the church gave him, Henry at first kept the Reformers out of England. Then he changed his mind. The Catholic Church would not annul his marriage, so Henry would, in effect, annul the church. In 1534 he severed the pope’s control over English Catholics and had himself declared supreme head of the Church of England. Soon he was closing monasteries and selling their vast properties. When Henry died in 1547, England was becoming a Protestant nation.

Henry’s son Edward VI maintained the break with Rome. After Edward’s death in 1553, Mary, Henry’s Roman Catholic daughter by Catherine of Aragon, became queen and thereafter tried to make the nation submit to papal authority. She forced many Protestants into exile and had over 300 people burned at the stake, earning herself the name Bloody Mary. But she could not hold back the tide of change. Mary died in 1558, and her successor and half sister, Elizabeth I, made sure that henceforth the pope would have little say in English religious life.

Some Protestants, however, felt that mere separation from the Church of Rome was not enough—all vestiges of Roman Catholicism had to be removed. They wanted to purify the worship of the church, so they were called Puritans. Some Puritans saw no need for bishops and felt that each congregation should govern itself, separate from the national church. They were called Separatists.

The contentious Puritans came into the open during Elizabeth’s reign. The relaxed dress of some clergymen irked the queen, and in 1564 she commanded the Archbishop of Canterbury to hold them to a dress code. Foreseeing a return to the vestments of Catholic priests, the Puritans refused to obey. More controversy arose over the old hierarchy of bishops and archbishops. Elizabeth retained the bishops and required that they swear allegiance to her as head of the church.

James I succeeded Elizabeth in 1603, and he put great pressure on the Separatists to submit to his authority. In 1608 a Separatist congregation in the town of Scrooby fled to Holland for the freedom offered in that country. In time, however, Dutch tolerance of other religions and loose morals made the Separatists less at ease there than they had been in England. They decided to leave Europe and take up life in North America. The willingness of this group of Separatists to travel far from home for the sake of their beliefs led in time to their being known as the Pilgrims.

The Pilgrims, which included many Separatists, obtained permission to settle in the British colony of Virginia and embarked for North America in September 1620 on a ship called the Mayflower. Approximately 100 adults and children spent two stormy months on the North Atlantic Ocean before arriving at Cape Cod, hundreds of miles north of Virginia. There they wrote the Mayflower Compact, a document that stated their desire to establish a community and submit to its laws. They settled at nearby Plymouth on December 21, 1620.

The refugees arrived in North America unprepared for winter. Within months, half the group died. With spring, though, came relief. The survivors built adequate houses and learned from the Native Americans how to grow indigenous food crops. By the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims were so prosperous that they set aside time to thank God for his blessing. From that occasion developed the Thanksgiving holiday now celebrated in the United States and other places. More immigrants arrived, so that in less than 15 years, the population at Plymouth surpassed 2,000.

Meanwhile, in England some Puritans also decided, as the Separatists had, that their “Promised Land” lay across the Atlantic. In 1630 a group of them arrived at a point north of Plymouth and established the Massachusetts Bay Colony. By 1640 about 20,000 English immigrants were living in New England. After the Massachusetts Bay Colony absorbed Plymouth in 1691, the Separatist Pilgrims were no longer so separate. Boston became the spiritual hub for the region, as the Puritans now dominated New England religious life. How did they carry out their worship?

Puritanical Worship…

The Puritans in the New World first built wooden meetinghouses in which they gathered on Sunday mornings. Conditions inside were endurable in good weather, but winter services tested the forbearance of even the flintiest of the Puritans. The meetinghouses were not heated, and the shivering faithful were soon freezing. The preachers often wore mittens to protect their gesticulating hands from the frigid inside air.

The Puritans based their beliefs on the teachings of the French Protestant Reformer John Calvin. They embraced predestination and held that God had foreordained which humans he would save and which he would damn to eternal hellfire. No matter what people did, they could not change their standing before God. A person did not know if at death he would enjoy heaven’s gentle breezes or burn like a lampwick forever.

In time, Puritan ministers began preaching repentance. They warned that although God was merciful, those who disobeyed his laws were going straight to hell. Those preachers stoked the inferno’s fires, keeping them hot, in order to hold the people in line. An 18th-century preacher named Jonathan Edwards once spoke on the subject “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” His descriptions of the abyss were so frightening that other clergymen had to give emotional help to the distraught congregation who heard that sermon.

Evangelizers from outside Massachusetts who preached there did so at their peril. The authorities banished a Quaker preacher named Mary Dyer three times; but each time, she returned and kept voicing her views. They hanged her in Boston on June 1, 1660. Phillip Ratcliffe apparently forgot the zeal with which the Puritan leaders handled opposers. For his speeches against the government and against the church of Salem, they had him whipped and fined. Then, to help him not to forget, they cut his ears off before sending him away. Puritan intolerance drove people out of Massachusetts and contributed to the growth of other colonies.

Arrogance breeds violence:

Considering themselves to be the “elect” of God, many Puritans viewed the native peoples as subhuman squatters on the land. This attitude created resentment, and some natives began making attacks. So the Puritan leaders relaxed laws involving the Sabbath enough to allow men to carry guns on the way to worship. Then, in 1675, things got worse.

Seeing the loss of his people’s territory, Metacomet, also known as King Philip, of the Wampanoag American Indians started raiding Puritan settlements, burning down houses, and massacring settlers. The Puritans retaliated, and the fighting went on for months. In August 1676, the Puritans captured Philip in Rhode Island. They beheaded him and had his body drawn and quartered. Thus ended King Philip’s War and independent life for the native peoples of New England.

During the 18th century, Puritan zeal found a new outlet. Some ministers in Massachusetts decried English rule and helped to kindle a desire for independence. They mixed politics and religion into their discussions of revolution.

The Puritans were often hardworking, courageous, and devoted to their religion. People still speak of “Puritan character” and “Puritan honesty.” But sincerity alone does not purify someone of wrong teachings. The mixing of politics and religion is something that Jesus Christ avoided. (John 6:15 “Then Jesus, knowing that they were about to come and seize him to make him king, withdrew again to the mountain all alone.”; 18:36 ) And brutality is a contradiction of this vital truth: “He that does not love has not come to know God, because God is love.”—1 John 4:8

 Brutality in any form is a contradiction to Love! So, today, like most days…am sharing some food (with any and all Fellow-Fragile-Life stopping by here)… spiritual truth and encouraging the adoption of a Compassion Culture that transcends all cultures… including hurtful-fake-religious-holidays.

Courage to Adopt a Compassion Culture!

Compassion Culture: SPEAK it, Baby!

Compassion Culture: TEACH it, Baby!

By preaching hellfire, the Puritans contradicted God’s Word. The Bible teaches that the dead are unconscious, unable to feel pain or pleasure. (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10: “5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing at all, nor do they have any more reward, because all memory of them is forgotten. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do with all your might, for there is no work nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom in the Grave,* where you are going.) Moreover, the true God never had ideas of torture ‘come up into his heart.’ (Jeremiah 19:5 “They built the high places of Baʹal in order to burn their sons in the fire as whole burnt offerings to Baʹal, something that I had not commanded or spoken of and that had never even come into my heart.”’; 1 John 4:8) He entreats people to change their lives, and he deals with unrepentant wrongdoers in a humane way. (Ezekiel 33:10, 11“And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, ‘You have said: “Our revolts and our sins weigh heavily upon us, causing us to waste away; so how will we keep living?”’ 11 Tell them, ‘“As surely as I am alive,” declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that someone wicked changes his way and keeps living. Turn back, turn back from your bad ways, for why should you die, O house of Israel?”’)

Contrary to these Scriptural truths, Puritan preachers often painted God as cruel and vindictive. They also promoted a heartless view of life that included the use of force to silence opposers. [excerpted: Puritans and Hellfire Awake!06]

11/23/17 @ 4:23 p.m.

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July 4th, 2017: a FREE day??

choice compassion fake "holy" days Freedom insights Joan Winifred prisoners

Heard a ridiculous stat (on news) about hotdog consumption…(on 4th & Memorial Day BBQ’s) 118 hot dogs per second! Of concern to me–how pets and people (those suffering from PTSD, etc.) adversely affected by the noise/big booms of fireworks…(also, firework safety/accidents, etc.)

PLEASE! think about it? these “fake” so-called “holy” (sacred?!) days (in America and Elsewhere)..are hurting people!…and trees and turkeys and planet!…all the over-consumption, tree-chopping, turkey-killing, over-drinking, over-eating, etc. going on and over-spending and lack of healthy moderation…from drunk driving to operating under the strong influence of something/some drug of choice…say like too much candy on Halloween; You name it. (All the combined, various, exhaustive/time-consuming/(life-consuming) rituals performed…year after year!) Or say the other “unbalanced” extreme…excessive dietary and Other restrictions imposed on adherents.

Come on, there is no denying the commercialism attached to these specific days and the robotic manipulation and enslavement of the masses to perform, buy, eat, drink…oh, yeah…BE FREE!??…uh-huh…no! (No Thank You from me!) not “true” freedom…people are programmed, coerced through culture, family, peer pressure to participate in one way or another!

Some may think these holidays, etc. enrich our lives somehow…but, they do the opposite…you cannot fill a deep void or a spiritual need with surface materialism. (The hunger remains.) And You cannot fill a true/healthy spiritual hunger/need (say for veggies) with pseudo-spirituality (unhealthy junk food) either!

“Material wealth is inferior to spiritual riches.” [Excerpted article reading: Seeking Riches That Are True–July 2017]

i invite any Reader:) today, July 4th, or any day YOU so Choose…to take a “tiny”  independent step toward real freedom…and read the following excerpt and reflect on Your choices/Your options to NOT participate in certain rituals.

TODAY’S economic system is harsh and unfair. Young people search in vain for employment. Many risk their lives to move to more prosperous lands. Poverty is widespread, even in affluent lands. And the gap between rich and poor is widening. According to recent estimates, the richest 1 percent of the earth’s population have as much wealth as the rest of its inhabitants combined. While such a figure is difficult to confirm, no one disputes that billions of people are desperately poor, while others have enough wealth to last for many lifetimes. Jesus recognized this harsh reality with the words: “You always have the poor with you.” (Mark 14:7) Why such inequality?

  Jesus understood that the current economic system would not change until God’s Kingdom comes. Along with the political and religious elements, the greedy commercial system, represented by “the merchants” of Revelation 18:3, constitutes part of *Satan’s world. [*God of this world/System of Things aka Arch-enemy of True God of Compassion Yahweh (Hebrew) Jehovah (English). Satan and cohorts fight/oppose Compassionate Rulership of Yahweh/Jehovah.]

 [a woman relates]“By being materially generous, I have experienced an unusual phenomenon within myself over the years. I find that the more generous I am materially, the more generous my disposition toward others has become. I am more generous in being forgiving, in being patient with others, and in being able to accept disappointments and counsel.” Many have learned that generosity is spiritually enriching.—

Ps. 112:5

It goes well for the man who generously* (graciously) lends.

He conducts his affairs with justice.

Prov. 22:9

The generous person* (he with a good eye) will be blessed,

For he shares his food with the poor.

How Can I minimize involvement with the commercial world?

Resisting the pressures of advertising and the world around them, they remember the principle: “The borrower is a slave to the lender.” (Prov. 22:7) Satan would like nothing better than to have us spend all our time and energy as slaves to his commercial world. Some decisions could keep us in financial bondage for years. Huge home mortgages, lingering student loans, expensive car payments, even extravagant weddings can result in great financial pressure. We demonstrate practical wisdom when we simplify our life and reduce debt and expenses, setting ourselves free […]

When God’s Kingdom* (*Spiritual (actual) Government rulership based on Compassion) does come, rent and mortgages will cease, food will be free and plentiful, health-care costs will disappear. Jehovah’s earthly family will enjoy the best that the earth has to offer. Gold, silver, and gems will be for adornment, not for investment or hoarding. High-quality materials of wood, stone, and metal will be freely available to build beautiful homes. Friends will assist us for sheer satisfaction, not for money. A new system of sharing earth’s bounties will be a way of life. [excerpted reading : Seeking Riches That Are True–July 2017]

True Freedom a “new system of sharing earth’s bounties” a way of life…not under robotic compulsion, but generously/willingly with a heart full of unselfish love for fellow-fragile-life every day of the year!:)

7/4/17 @ 6:42 p.m.

 

 

 

 

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2013, 14, 15, 16 Confessions of a Chocolate Lover

choice conscientious-ness fake "holy" days Freedom Joan Winifred mind food

Confessions of a chocolate lover…FY: i don’t want to stumble any (aka put an obstacle in anyone’s path that could potentially cause a fall) or be pushy as in push (aka potentially injure) any by my personal research/belief(s) system or by my love of chocolate…however, i am NOT/NEVER participating in Halloween whatsoever! (And yes, i share candy with kids; just at other times and for other reasons.) And Yes, i will control any chocolate and/or candy cravings for another day. Sorry, but i (little-fragile-life) refuse to be manipulated and controlled/enslaved by my desire for chocolate…or by threats of treats or tricks by big business or big media, big religion, popular tradition or scary zombies, etc.

for further context IF You choose to read (at your own risk of finding freedom)…check the following out please:)

halloween-twenty-thirteen

Halloween history and customs

Samhain: The origin of Halloween can be traced to this “ancient pagan festival celebrated by Celtic people over 2,000 years ago,” states The World Book Encyclopedia. “The Celts believed that the dead could walk among the living at this time. During Samhain, the living could visit with the dead.” However, the Bible clearly teaches that the dead “are conscious of nothing at all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5) Thus, they cannot contact the living.

 

Halloween costumes, candy, and trick or treat: According to the book Halloween—An American Holiday, An American History, some of the Celts wore ghoulish costumes so that wandering spirits would mistake them for one of their own and leave them alone. Others offered sweets to the spirits to appease them. In medieval Europe, the Catholic clergy adopted local pagan customs and had their adherents go from house to house wearing costumes and requesting small gifts. The Bible, on the other hand, does not permit merging false religious practices with the worship of God.—2 Corinthians 6:17.

 

Ghosts, vampires, werewolves, witches, and zombies: These have long been associated with the evil spirit world. (Halloween Trivia) The Bible clearly states that we should oppose wicked spirit forces, not celebrate with them.—Ephesians 6:12.

 

Halloween pumpkins, or jack-o’-lanterns: In medieval Britain, “supplicants moved from door to door asking for food in return for a prayer for the dead,” and they would carry “hollowed-out turnip lanterns, whose candle connoted a soul trapped in purgatory.” (Halloween—From Pagan Ritual to Party Night) Others say that the lanterns were used to ward off evil spirits. During the 1800’s in North America, pumpkins replaced turnips because they were plentiful as well as easy to hollow out and carve. The beliefs behind this custom—the immortality of the soul, purgatory, and prayers for the dead—are not based on the Bible.—Ezekiel 18:4. (excerpted The Origins of Halloween–What Does the Bible say about them?)

{Personally, some feelings on the matter: i want my kids to enJOY chocolate or candy in moderation at appropriate times throughout the year and not have to feel like they are “entitled” to beg for these or trick/hurt/threaten others, in some way, to get what they want when they expect to get what they want. Nor do i like the idea of them feeling the need to pretend to be something they are not as a method to get what they may want i.e. scary costume, etc. And Yes, my kids have played dress up and pretend as part of their normal growth toward maturity at appropriate times.} i respect other parents may feel differently than me! Plus, my kids are old enough to decide for themselves to participate or not. (Honestly, i am Happy when they make courageous decisions that are different from the popular course. Just because the crowd does it, does not mean i want my kids involved…depends.)

10/29/16 @ 5:10 p.m

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The GREATEST MAN Who Ever Lived: Killed! (Part 1?)

fake "holy" days Joan Winifred questions review study things i learned

What makes You sad? What makes You cry?

It’s super sad, to me, when anyone is killed! (A life/process cut short/stolen/time taken.) Innocent ones have been martyred (by many torturous “mean”s) throughout human history…literally..(and nowadays: virtually or in the media/social or on film).

Sunday evening, Hubby, our Girls, (and me) watched “portions” of–(Bill O’Reilly’s so-called “history” book..yeah, HIS story? book about the Carpenter’s son brought to film)–Killing Jesus on National Geographic channel. (Actually, I was hoping to catch an Alaskan Bush People episode instead.) And as a person (46 years old–from youth to maturity) who has read about/studied/researched/investigated in-depth/thoroughly pursued (learning) knowing this person of interest, this “perfect” example of great compassion, this great teacher thereof, Jesus,…I was curious (to say the least).

This post is NOT a movie review nor a book review…exactly/per se. (Do random excerpts of books & random excerpts of movies count for review??) May be? You’ll call this post: HER story. (Read on as i eat my own words–“Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover!” Tasty?? -lol:)

Hey! i guess, it takes something..some kind of something…(no vocabulary word is coming to mind…insert Your own) to render a  passionate follower/fan of Jesus…stale/unimpressed by a movie that deflates climatic/awe-inspiring accounts of incredible feats/miracles of compassion and sacrifice as totally anti-climatic!!  (Dare i! say, this movie was Anti-Christ?!) I’m not knocking the actor (who played Jesus)…tough role; for sure. (Perhaps, i should of watched the entire thing to form a more positive feel for it. The feeling i do get is: most likely, saw the better portions. (The ones that kept me from channel surfing or falling asleep.) The ones that needed/”attempted” to grab/attract the attention of a person who didn’t need “any” attention grabbing/attracting to begin with…(before watching bits of Killing Jesus…Did the movie murder it for me?).

I’m “kinda” knocking the compilation/filter/script/presentation of filled in glaring gaps and omissions (on film from what i did watch) in Jesus’ life put forth and withheld (that couldn’t help notice/acknowledge). Probably because of being a person familiar/well-acquainted with the historicity of the Nazarene aka The Sage from Capernaum, The Prince of Peace, Humble Washer of Feet, Healer of Lepers, Gregarious Great Teacher…

He presented matters of great weight and depth with simplicity, brevity, and clarity. He illustrated his points with things well known to his listeners (Mt 13:34, 35)—to fishermen (Mt 13:47, 48), shepherds (Joh 10:1-17), farmers (Mt 13:3-9), builders (Mt 7:24-27; Lu 14:28-30), merchants (Mt 13:45, 46), slaves or masters (Lu 16:1-9), housewives (Mt 13:33; Lu 15:8), or anyone else (Mt 6:26-30). Simple things, like bread, water, salt, wineskins, old garments, were used as symbols of things of great importance, even as they were so used in the Hebrew Scriptures. (Joh 6:31-35, 51; 4:13, 14; Mt 5:13; Lu 5:36-39) His logic, often expressed through analogies, cleared away misguided objections and put matters in their proper perspective. (Mt 16:1-3; Lu 11:11-22; 14:1-6) He aimed his message primarily at men’s hearts, using penetrating questions to cause them to think, arrive at their own conclusions, examine their motives, and make decisions. (Mt 16:5-16; 17:24-27; 26:52-54; Mr 3:1-5; Lu 10:25-37; Joh 18:11) He did not strive to win over the masses but endeavored to awaken the hearts of those sincerely hungering for truth and righteousness.—Mt 5:3, 6; 13:10-15. (Excerpted: Insight On Scriptures, Vol. 2 Jesus Christ–Master Teacher)

Excerpts seen of this “particular” movie (Killing Jesus)/take on Jesus…left him a silent stranger to me…and did, in my opinion, unjustly Kill “the Greatest Man who Ever Lived”..again! (FYI: The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived is 1 fav book of mine about Jesus.)

(Perhaps ? I am being a bit dramatic, okay, yeah!…how could any film do Jesus justice?? And most movies seem unable to fully capture the essence of any book. May be? for someone less familiar (or unfamiliar), this was an “okay” (adequate) introduction to Jesus.)

This is what Bill O’Reilly says:

To say that Jesus of Nazareth was the most influential man who ever lived is almost trite. Nearly two thousand years after he was brutally executed by Roman soldiers, more than 2.2 billion human beings attempt to follow his teachings and believe he is God. That includes 77 percent of the U.S. population, according to a Gallup Poll. The teachings of Jesus have shaped the entire world and continue to do so.

Much has been written about Jesus, the son of a humble carpenter. But little is actually known about him. Of course we have the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, but they sometimes appear contradictory and were written from a spiritual point of view rather than as a historical chronicling of Jesus’s life. Who Jesus actually was and what exactly happened to him are emotional subjects that often lead to contentious discussion.

Martin Dugard and I are both Roman Catholics who were educated in religious schools. But we are also historical investigators and are interested primarily in telling the truth about important people, not converting anyone to a spiritual cause. We brought this dedication and discipline to Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, and in these pages we will do the same with Jesus of Nazareth. By the way, both Lincoln and Kennedy believed Jesus was God.

Sorry Bill (& Martin)…but, You got me laughing a little (at the above-highlighted) and thinking:) “Really O’Reilly?!”

Yeah, we may NOT take Your word for it …that Jesus “supposedly is” God (a Catholic/Non-Biblical teaching), but we might just accept it from (your soft-er/best-er sell-ers) Lincoln & Kennedy, eh?! (or from the popular poll of 2.2 billion opinions). If we cannot believe Bill, Lincoln or Kennedy, then surely–2 billion people cannot be wrong?? (about God?!) Do 2 billion opinions (aka “non-facts”) make 1 (O’Reilly) right (aka “accurate”)?! Is popular opinion “truth”?

Really-O’Reilly?! It’s a riot! to me, that You claim Not to be pushing a spiritual POV “whatsoever”? (even though, educated in religious schools (or rather is it: programmed by?) and professing to be Roman Catholic)…and that this book is purely “fact” based/well-researched or is it “really” a popular-opinion/tradition-based book?! Or is it pushing some (modern-day) political agenda in ancient carpenter costume (disguise)? Or is it just a follow-up (killer formula)…last two books killed it/made money/made hot lists?

Makes me wonder: 1 look at the cover: A Cross smacks/pops me in the face!…an immediate red-flag goes up in my mind:…a blatant Catholic/pop-ular Idol/doctrine is making me eat my words “don’t judge a book by its cover.”  (YUM) IF–these authors supposedly are not pushing a spiritual agenda/point of view/popular dogma about Jesus…What’s up with the Cross Cover?? Or the Cross Crucifixion in the movie?? Or showing the movie on Palm Sunday??

According to Greek scholar W. E. Vine, staurosʹ “denotes, primarily, an upright pale or stake. On such malefactors were nailed for execution. Both the noun and the verb stauroō, to fasten to a stake or pale, are originally to be distinguished from the ecclesiastical form of a two beamed cross.”

The Imperial Bible-Dictionary says that the word staurosʹ “properly signified a stake, an upright pole, or piece of paling, on which anything might be hung, or which might be used in impaling a piece of ground.” The dictionary continues: “Even amongst the Romans the crux (Latin, from which our cross is derived) appears to have been originally an upright pole.” Thus, it is not surprising that The Catholic Encyclopedia states: “Certain it is, at any rate, that the cross originally consisted of a simple vertical pole, sharpened at its upper end.”

There is another Greek word, xyʹlon, that Bible writers used to describe the instrument of Jesus’ execution. A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament defines xyʹlon as “a piece of timber, a wooden stake.” It goes on to say that like staurosʹ, xyʹlon “was simply an upright pale or stake to which the Romans nailed those who were thus said to be crucified.” (Excerpted: Did Jesus Really Die on a Cross?)

Crossing Out the “Christian” Cross: (further excerpts: Did Jesus Really Die on a Cross?)

Long before the Christian era, crosses were used by the ancient Babylonians as symbols in their worship of the fertility god Tammuz. The use of the cross spread into Egypt, India, Syria, and China.

If the Bible does not really say that Jesus was executed on a cross, then why do all the churches that claim to teach and follow the Bible—Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox—adorn their buildings with the cross and use it as a symbol of their faith? How did the cross come to be such a popular symbol?

The answer is that the cross is venerated not only by churchgoers who claim to follow the Bible but also by people far removed from the Bible and whose worship far predates that of “Christian” churches. Numerous religious reference works acknowledge that the use of crosses in various shapes and forms goes back to remote periods of human civilization. For example, ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and depictions of their gods and goddesses often show a cross in the shape of a T with a circle at the top. It is called the ansate, or handle-shaped, cross and is thought to be a symbol of life. In time, this form of the cross was adopted and used extensively by the Coptic Church and others.

According to The Catholic Encyclopedia, “the primitive form of the cross seems to have been that of the so-called ‘gamma’ cross (crux gammata), better known to Orientalists and students of prehistoric archæology by its Sanskrit name, swastika.” This sign was widely used among Hindus in India and Buddhists throughout Asia and is still seen in decorations and ornaments in those areas.

The Non-Christian Cross, by J. D. Parsons, explains: “There is not a single sentence in any of the numerous writings forming the New Testament, which, in the original Greek, bears even indirect evidence to the effect that the stauros used in the case of Jesus was other than an ordinary stauros; much less to the effect that it consisted, not of one piece of timber, but of two pieces nailed together in the form of a cross.”

Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words states: “By the middle of the 3rd cent. A.D. the churches had either departed from, or had travestied, certain doctrines of the Christian faith. In order to increase the prestige of the apostate ecclesiastical system pagans were received into the churches apart from regeneration by faith, and were permitted largely to retain their pagan signs and symbols,” [including the cross].

What about the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (close friends/followers of Jesus)…authenticity? contradictory? historical accuracy? (Excerpts from: an Awesome article..(read back in 2000 & reread recently) The Gospels—History or Myth?

Author and critic C. S. Lewis found it difficult to view the Gospels as mere legends. “As a literary historian I am perfectly convinced that whatever the Gospels are, they are not legends,” he wrote. “They are not artistic enough to be legends. . . . Most of the life of Jesus is unknown to us, and no people building up a legend would allow that to be so.” It is also interesting that although noted historian H. G. Wells did not claim to be a Christian, he acknowledged: “All four [Gospel writers] agree in giving us a picture of a very definite personality; they carry the . . . conviction of reality.”

In his book Caesar and Christ, historian Will Durant writes: “That a few simple men should . . . have invented so powerful and appealing a personality, so lofty an ethic and so inspiring a vision of human brotherhood, would be a miracle far more incredible than any recorded in the Gospels. After two centuries of Higher Criticism the outlines of the life, character, and teaching of Christ, remain reasonably clear, and constitute the most fascinating feature in the history of Western man.”

What of the claims of higher critics that the Gospels do not meet the criteria of real history? Continues Durant: “In the enthusiasm of its discoveries the Higher Criticism has applied to the New Testament tests of authenticity so severe that by them a hundred ancient worthies—e.g., Hammurabi, David, Socrates—would fade into legend. Despite the prejudices and theological preconceptions of the evangelists, they record many incidents that mere inventors would have concealed—the competition of the apostles for high places in the Kingdom, their flight after Jesus’ arrest, Peter’s denial . . . No one reading these scenes can doubt the reality of the figure behind them.”

Historian Wells realized that there is a huge gap between the teachings of Jesus as presented in the Gospels and those of Christendom. He wrote: “There is no evidence that the apostles of Jesus ever heard of the Trinity—at any rate from him. . . . Nor did [Jesus] say a word about the worship of his mother Mary, in the guise of Isis, the Queen of heaven. All that is most characteristically Christian in worship and usage, he ignored.” Therefore, one cannot judge the value of the Gospels on the basis of the teachings of Christendom.

What about Contradictions? (further excerpts The Gospels—History or Myth?)

Critics have long claimed that the Gospels are full of contradictions. Historian Durant sought to examine the Gospel accounts from a purely objective standpoint—as historical documents. Though he says that there are seeming contradictions in them, he concludes: “The contradictions are of minutiae [trivial details], not substance; in essentials the synoptic gospels agree remarkably well, and form a consistent portrait of Christ.”

Seeming contradictions in Gospel accounts are often easily resolved. To illustrate: Matthew 8:5 says that “an army officer came to [Jesus], entreating him” to cure a manservant. At Luke 7:3, we read that the officer “sent forth older men of the Jews to [Jesus] to ask him to come and bring [the] slave safely through.” The officer sent the elders as his representatives. Matthew says that the army officer himself entreated Jesus because the man made his request through the elders, who served as his mouthpiece. This is just one example showing that alleged discrepancies in the Gospels can be resolved.

Further related reading: tidbits about Jesus: please see:

Easter, Eggs and Chocolate

“In” formed & Un-in-formed

Tweeting Bird: Say What?

Getting to know (and well/accurately) “any mind” can be challenging, huh?! Getting to know a person (Famous/Influential or Not)…What do You examine? What do You consider? Who do You ask? What do You read?…(The person’s writings IF available? Accounts from Friends? Accounts from Enemies? Accounts from Family? Legal Documents? Historical Documents? Reporting in Newspapers of the Day? Biographies, Autobiographies, etc., etc., etc.)

“These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves.”~Gilbert Highet

Let me close this post/book?/(her story?) with this:
For “who has come to know the mind of Jehovah (Yahweh/God), so that he may instruct him?” But we do have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)

(published 3/31/15 @ 11:03 a.m. word count 2420+…whew!) ALRIGHT!:)

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