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I
CON

I “con” = Con Artist?? 😉

My brain goes there…to corny play-on-words. (Not meaning to personally disrespect artists/any artist working with the (?) sacred.)

(I respect art and artists. )

My mind “respectfully” asks:  Are icons  in “deed” (oops, there i go again) counterfeits, fakes?! Ch-e-e-r-fully check out the following.🙂

“Images were unknown in the worship of the primitive Christians . . . The admission of images into the church in the 4th and 5th centuries was justified on the theory that the ignorant people could learn the facts of Christianity from them better than from sermons or books.”— Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, by McClintock and Strong, Volume 4, pages 503 and 504.

hmmm, wow…’theories’ everywhere about everything, eh?…wonder IF an ‘illiterate monkey‘ thought up this one: “ignorant people could learn the facts of Christianity from  [images] better than from sermons or books.”
Goes without saying pictures are teaching tools…however, any tool can be properly used and improperly misused, huh? (In our day and age, today’s “tool” of media manipulates to ‘only’ teach “Truth” &  “Facts” ?!)
“Ignorant” to what?? The Dishonesty and Corruption of the Church Fathers?!
Here’s a “fact”…keeping the “masses aka us ‘regular’ folks” aka the ones not HIGHLY ESTEEMED AS EXPERTS..dumb…or dumb ’em down so they cannot easily fact check/THINK for themselves…why?? or Why not?! teach people to read..or improve literacy skills or help them learn a different language say Latin…so they can be educated enough to check scripture/read for themselves and engage in comparative inquiry (True v. False) against any religious-false “oral” dogma spewing from less-educated or less-than holy priests with unholy motivations.

Appalled by a Lack of Education

Cyril Lucaris was born in 1572, in Venice-occupied Candia (now Iráklion), Crete. Possessing fine talents, he studied at Venice and Padua in Italy and then traveled widely in that country and others. Embittered by the factional struggles within the church and attracted by reformation movements in Europe, he may have visited Geneva, then under the sway of Calvinism.

While visiting Poland, Lucaris saw that the Orthodox there, priests and laity alike, were in a deplorable spiritual condition as a result of their lack of education. Back in Alexandria and Constantinople, he was alarmed to find that even the pulpits​—where the reading of the Scriptures was done—​had been removed from some churches!

ERRONEOUS PRACTICES/HUMAN TRADITION

In 1602, Lucaris went to Alexandria, where he succeeded his relative, Patriarch Meletios, in that see. He then started corresponding with various reform-minded theologians in Europe. In one of those letters, he noted that the Orthodox Church maintained many erroneous practices. In other letters, he stressed the need for the church to replace superstition with “evangelical simplicity” and to depend on the authority of the Scriptures alone.

Lucaris was also alarmed that the spiritual authority of the Church Fathers was held in equal esteem with the words of Jesus and the apostles. “I can no longer endure to hear men say that the comments of human tradition are of equal weight with the Scriptures,” he wrote. (Matthew 15:6) He added that, in his opinion, image worship was disastrous. The invocation of “saints” was, he observed, an insult to the Mediator, Jesus.​—1 Timothy 2:5.

Aversion to the Roman Catholic Church:

Those ideas, along with his aversion to the Roman Catholic Church, brought upon Lucaris the hatred and persecution of the Jesuits and those in the Orthodox Church who favored a union with the Catholics. In spite of that opposition, in 1620, Lucaris was elected patriarch of Constantinople. The patriarchate of the Orthodox Church was at that time under the domination of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman government would readily depose a patriarch and admit a new one for payment of money.

Lucaris’ foes, mainly the Jesuits and the all-powerful and fearsome papal Congregatio de Propaganda Fide (Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith), kept slandering and plotting against him. “In the pursuit of this aim the Jesuits employed every means​—guile, calumny, flattery and, above all, bribery, which was by far the most effective weapon for winning the favour of the [Ottoman] grandees,” notes the work Kyrillos Loukaris. As a result, in 1622, Lucaris was banished to the island of Rhodes, and Gregory of Amasya purchased the office for 20,000 silver coins. However, Gregory was unable to produce the promised sum, so Anthimus of Adrianople purchased the office, only to resign later. Amazingly, Lucaris was restored to the patriarchal throne.

(makes me wonder how many??! offices of influence: religious/governmental or otherwise won…have been “purchased” through the centuries and currently…and by “clean” (?) currency/money (?) traded/exchanged by clean hands?)

Lucaris was determined to use this new opportunity to educate the Orthodox clergy and laity by publishing a translation of the Bible and theological tracts. To accomplish this, he arranged for a printing press to be brought to Constantinople under the protection of the English ambassador. However, when the press arrived in June 1627, Lucaris’ enemies charged him with employing it for political purposes, and they eventually had it destroyed. Lucaris now had to use printing presses in Geneva.

Respect for The Bible and Its Power to Educate:)

Lucaris’ tremendous respect for the Bible and its power to educate fueled his desire to make its words more accessible to the common man. He recognized that the language used in the original, inspired Greek Bible manuscripts was no longer comprehensible to the average person. So the first book that Lucaris commissioned was a translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures into the Greek of his day. Maximus Callipolites, a learned monk, started work on it in March 1629. Many of the Orthodox considered translating the Scriptures outrageous, no matter how obscure the text otherwise might be to readers. To appease them, Lucaris had the original text and the modern rendering printed in parallel columns, adding only a few notes. Since Callipolites died soon after delivering the manuscript, Lucaris himself read the proofs. That translation was printed shortly after Lucaris’ death in 1638.

In spite of Lucaris’ precautions, that translation roused a storm of disapproval from many bishops. Lucaris’ love of God’s Word was more than evident in the preface of that Bible translation. He wrote that the Scriptures, presented in the language that the people speak, are “a sweet message, given to us from heaven.” He admonished people “to know and be acquainted with all [the Bible’s] contents” and said that there is no other way of learning about “the things that concern faith correctly . . . save through the divine and sacred Gospel.”​—Philippians 1:9, 10.

Lucaris sternly denounced those who forbade the study of the Bible, as well as those who rejected the translation of the original text: “If we speak or read without understanding, it is like throwing our words to the wind.” (Compare 1 Corinthians 14:7-9.) In concluding the preface, he wrote: While you are all reading this divine and holy Gospel in your own tongue, appropriate the profit derived from its reading, . . . and may God ever lighten your way to that which is good.”Proverbs 4:18.

“Confession of Faith”

After he had initiated that Bible translation, Lucaris took another bold step. In 1629 he published at Geneva a Confession of Faith. It was a personal statement of beliefs that he hoped would be adopted by the Orthodox Church. According to the book The Orthodox Church, that Confession empties the Orthodox doctrine of the priesthood and holy orders of all meaning, and deplores the veneration of icons and the invocation of saints as forms of idolatry.”

The Confession consists of 18 articles. Its second article declares that the Scriptures are inspired by God and that their authority exceeds that of the church. It says: “We believe the Holy Scripture to be given by God . . . We believe the authority of the Holy Scripture to be above the authority of the Church. To be taught by the Holy Ghost is a far different thing from being taught by a man.”​—2 Timothy 3:16.

The eighth and tenth articles maintain that Jesus Christ is the sole Mediator, High Priest, and Head of the congregation. Lucaris wrote: “We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ sitteth on the right hand of His Father and there He maketh intercession for us, executing alone the office of a true and lawful high priest and mediator.”​—Matthew 23:10.

The 12th article declares that the church can stray, mistaking the false for true, but the light of the holy spirit may rescue it through the labors of faithful ministers. In article 18, Lucaris maintains that purgatory is a mere figment: “It is evident that the fiction of Purgatory is not to be admitted.

The appendix of the Confession contains a number of questions and responses. There Lucaris stresses first that the Scriptures should be read by every one of the faithful and that it is harmful for a Christian to fail to read God’s Word. He then adds that the Apocryphal books should be shunned.​—Revelation 22:18, 19.

The fourth question asks: “How ought we to think of Icons?” Lucaris answers: “We are taught by the Divine and Sacred Scriptures, which say plainly, ‘Thou shalt not make to thyself an idol, or a likeness of anything that is in the heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath; thou shalt not adore them, nor shalt thou worship them; [Exodus 20:4, 5]’ since we ought to worship, not the creature, but only the Creator and Maker of the heaven and of the earth, and Him only to adore. . . . The worship and service of [the icons], as being forbidden . . . in Sacred Scripture, we reject, lest we should forget, and instead of the Creator and Maker, adore colours, and art, and creatures.​—Acts 17:29.

Didn’t discern everything erroneous..(Hey, we’re all imperfect, eh?;) with lots to learn yet…from womb to grave.)

Although Lucaris was not able to discern fully all matters of error in the era of spiritual darkness in which he lived, he made commendable efforts to have the Bible be the authority on church doctrine and to educate people about its teachings.

Killed for killing it–ignorance.

Immediately after the release of this Confession, a renewed wave of opposition to Lucaris arose. In 1633, Cyril Contari, the metropolitan of Beroea (now Aleppo), a personal enemy of Lucaris and supported by the Jesuits, tried to bargain with the Ottomans for the patriarchal chair. However, the scheme failed when Contari was unable to pay the money. Lucaris retained the office. The following year Athanasius of Thessalonica paid 60,000 silver coins for the office. Lucaris was again deposed. But within a month he was recalled and reinstated. By then Cyril Contari had raised his 50,000 silver coins. This time Lucaris was banished to Rhodes. After six months, his friends were able to secure his restoration.

In 1638, however, Jesuits and their Orthodox collaborators accused Lucaris of high treason against the Ottoman Empire. This time the sultan ordered his death. Lucaris was arrested, and on July 27, 1638, he was taken on board a small boat as if for banishment. As soon as the boat was at sea, he was strangled. His body was buried near the shore, then exhumed and thrown into the sea. It was found by fishermen and later buried by his friends.

Ludicrous Lucaris?! “living” lessons..🙂

“It should not be overlooked that one of [Lucaris’] primary aims was to enlighten and uplift the educational level of his clergy and flock, which in the sixteenth and early seventeenth century had sunk to an extremely low point,” states one scholar. Numerous obstacles prevented Lucaris from reaching his goal. He was removed from the patriarchal throne five times. Thirty-four years after his death, a synod in Jerusalem anathematized his beliefs as heresies. They declared that the Scriptures “should be read, not by just anyone, but only by the ones peering into the deep things of the spirit after having done appropriate research”​—that is, only the supposedly educated clergymen.

Once again, the ruling ecclesiastical class suppressed efforts to make God’s Word available to their flock. They violently silenced a voice that pointed to some of the errors of their non-Biblical beliefs. They proved to be among the worst enemies of religious freedom and truth. Sadly, this is a stance that in various ways survives even to our day. It is a sobering reminder of what happens when clergy-instigated intrigues stand in the way of freedom of thought and expression.

[reading excerpted (my highlights red & purple) : Cyril Lucaris—A Man Who Valued the Bible w 2/15/00]

Questions for Reflections:
What do i value/highly esteem?
Theory?
Tradition?
Truth?
Divine/Accurate Education?
Spiritual Light?
Spiritual Darkness?
Human’s Word?
God’s Word?
Scripture? or Aprocrypha?
Freedom of Thought & Expression?
1/12/19 @ 6:26 p.m.
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education Joan Winifred

a “little” ? late

to the party (“fun” gathering of minds) Honey, but hey! You showed UP;)

HELLO! What is going on in places/institutions of so-called Higher Education is NOT (much) “new” and NO “new” surprise(s) to some of us! (Latest trends? NAH! old patterns.)

past “JW”  insightful and Bible-based warnings:

Effect of College

◆ Some 25,000 students attending 217 U.S. colleges were sent questionnaires. Their answers revealed the effects of higher education on their thinking. College changed their behavior and self-concept. Most obvious were the changes in connection with increased drinking, smoking, irregular sleeping habits, political activity and a very notable drop in their commitment to religion. [excerpted: AWAKE! 1973 Watching The World 4/22] (my highlights)

JW’s warn..back in 1956!! excerpted:

Careful Living Helps Avoid Life’s Pitfalls”

It is not the acquiring of true scientific knowledge or that on many other subjects, which is in full accord with the Word of God, that is detrimental, but rather the vehicle in which it is conveyed is often saturated with the ideas of men conflicting with God’s thoughts, such as the evolution theory as to the origin of man and other theories and hypotheses that are not compatible with the Bible. Taking in knowledge of pure mathematical science, physics, chemistry, engineering, history, etc., is very commendable and necessary for advancing and improving standards for people to enjoy in this the twentieth century, [..]when done in harmony with God’s right standards. However, as transmitted to the students through modern unprincipled political ideologies, and therefore questionable, through the unscrupulous commercial methods, and through the allied doctrines of modern Christendom, it may have an adverse effect on the student’s mind.

1992:

Higher education too has been placed on a pedestal in this competitive world. As soon as a child is born, parents are urged to start putting aside large sums for education. By the time he is two or three years old, they worry about getting him into the right nursery school or kindergarten as a first step on the long journey to a university degree. Some people seem to think that a prestigious diploma carries with it the right to favor and respect from others.

Yes, skin color, education, money, ethnic background​—these have become the standards by which many people judge or, rather, prejudge another person. These are the factors that determine to whom they show favor and from whom they withhold it. What about you? Whom do you favor?

Are These Sound Standards?

The book Hindu World observes: “Any one of the lower castes killing a brāhmin could be tortured to death and his property confiscated, and his soul was eternally damned. A brāhmin who killed anyone could only be fined and never punished with death.” Though the book is speaking of ancient times, what about today? Racial prejudice and communal tension have caused rivers of blood to flow even in the 20th century. And this has not been confined to India. The hatred and violence perpetuated by apartheid in South Africa, racial prejudice in the United States, nationalist prejudice in the Baltics​—the list goes on and on—​are all caused by feelings of innate superiority. Certainly, such favoring of one person over another because of race or nationality has not produced good, peaceful fruits.

How about wealth? Undoubtedly, many become rich through honest, hard work. However, enormous wealth has been amassed by underworld criminals, black marketers, drug traffickers, illegal-arms dealers, and others. True, some of these donate to charities or support schemes to help the poor. Nevertheless, their criminal acts have brought untold suffering and misery to their victims. Even comparatively small-time operators, such as those who take a bribe or share in shady business practices, have caused frustration, injury, and death when their products or services fail and malfunction. Indeed, possession of wealth in itself is no basis for favorable judgment.

What, then, about education? Does a long list of degrees and titles after a person’s name guarantee that he is honest and upright? Does it mean that he should be looked upon with favor? Granted, education can broaden one’s horizons, and many who have made use of their education to benefit others are deserving of honor and respect. But history is replete with examples of exploitation and oppression of the masses by the educated class. And consider what is happening on the college or university scene today. Campuses are plagued with problems of drug abuse and sexually transmitted diseases, and many students enroll solely in the pursuit of money, power, and fame. A person’s education alone is hardly a reliable indicator of his true character.

[excerpted: What Kind of People Do You Favor? w/92 12/1]

Scathing…1954: Educating Ourselves for Peace and Life” excerpted:

EDUCATION is proclaimed to be the backbone of this civilized world. Without it this world could not continue for long. It would soon sink back into the primitive past, like uncultivated and uncared-for land reclaimed by nature. Therefore, for continued enlightenment and progress, accent is on higher education.

[…]Therefore we ask: How intelligent is this world? What has it gained from its intellectual achievements? How far has it progressed toward a better world? Is it capable of governing itself? Is its education harmful or helpful?

The extent of human carnage in this world committed with instruments of knowledge condemns this world as void of wisdom and understanding. It has grown up like a freakish monster, strong and fearsome with might and power, but void of all moral and spiritual responsibility. Consequently, we live in a world of miraculous gadgets, television, telephones and antibiotics, while at the same time being plagued with corruption, immorality, crime, fear, anxiety and trepidation. This lack of moral fiber was made clear by Bernard M. Baruch, who, when speaking to a group of college students at City College, New York, declared:

“This same half century or more which has brought such astonishing material advances has been marked by two terrible world wars and by a revival of ancient tyrannies, made all the more barbaric through being technologically refined.”

Continuing, Baruch briefly reflected on the course of this atomic age, giving reasons for its failure. Some sixty years ago, he said, all nations were thought to be evolving steadily toward a better life and increased freedom for the individual. But, he added, “that simple faith in the certainty of progress is gone. In this twentieth century we have sniffed the horrible stench of gas chambers; we have seen the return of slavery as a human institution, both in Germany under Hitler and behind the Iron Curtain. Why is it that we perform miracles almost daily in our laboratories but fumble like children when governing ourselves? Is it not largely because we are so poorly educated?”

Illustrating his point Baruch chose the framers of the United States Constitution as an example, saying: “The men who framed the Constitution would not today be called a highly educated group, by academic standards. There was not a professor of government among them. . . . I daresay that most of the men who drafted the Constitution could not have met the entrance requirements for this college. Still, despite their lack of formal education, the men who met in Philadelphia in 1787 were well-educated in the true meaning of the term. First, and most important, they knew how to think. . . . The fathers of our country were well-educated in still another sense—they were deeply imbued with moral values. Their minds drew a clear distinction between good and evil, between principle and expediency. They were not uncertain of the values they believed in and were determined to uphold. . . .

“Today, in contrast, thinking has become a generally neglected art. Although we read prodigiously we seem to have lost the faculty of learning from the past. We lack any sure sense of values. Never in history has mankind boasted superior means of communication, high speed printing presses, profusely illustrated magazines, the radio, movies, television. Yet all these miraculous forms of communication seem less conducive to thought than a log in the woods. Almost, in fact, these jet-propelled, streamlined means of communication appear the enemies of thinking. They bombard us daily with fresh distractions and new alarms. The net result is that our energies—not only our intellectual energies but our economic and military resources—are dissipated on side issues, while the fundamentals of the critical problems before us remain untouched and ignored. Not too long ago, it was fondly thought that ours was ‘The Age of Enlightenment.’ More and more it is becoming ‘The Age of Distraction.’ . . .

“Over the last half century or more our hopes for a better world have revolved mainly around material advances. We have pressed this technological quest to the point where nothing seems beyond man’s capacity—nothing physical or material, that is. We can level mountains, irrigate deserts, fly faster than speed of sound. Reflecting this rage for technological advance, our colleges and universities have tended more and more to emphasize technical skill rather than thinking ability. And where has it all brought us? It has brought us to where we live in fear that this incredible energy at man’s command will become the means of destroying civilization as we know it. Clearly something is missing. That something can hardly be still more power, still newer technological advances. The something we lack is discipline, the capacity to govern ourselves and to control the power that is already ours.”—Vital Speeches of the Day, June, 1953.

the greatest educator of all time, Jesus of Nazareth, proclaimed this principle of truth up and down Palestine. But the truth he proclaimed was not the wisdom of this world. Therefore Pilate retorted to Jesus: “What is truth?” To him Caesar’s political ambitions, institutions, traditions, etc., were justifiable truths to be preached throughout the Roman Empire. But to Jesus truth was something entirely different, something foreign to this world, something this world knew nothing about. Jesus announced God’s Word to be truth. “Your word is truth,” said he. On a previous occasion he told his disciples: “If you remain in my word, you are really my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”—John 18:38; 17:17; 8:31, 32NW.

(Warnings, warnings, warnings…back in 80’s & 00’s also.)

1/8/19 @ 10:31 p.m.

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attitude Breathing-Fragile-Life conscientious-ness education Joan Winifred mind food spiritual food

Spiritual Famine

Greetings Healthy Eater of mind/body food. 🙂

These last couple of weeks, for me, have been a hectic sprint since my Florida Young Ones go back to “school”… (cough, cough, clear my throat/clear my mind…trying to maintain positive attitude) tomorrow morning…UGH!

I am feeling mixed…yeah, they need an “education” however, i definitely supplement their academic appetites. Getting them organized, getting them appropriate clothes, backpacks, and supplies etc. IS a task. It’s a business…education (insert snarky tone).  So, my writing time is quite limited at the moment…aka capturing my thoughts (virtually) time.

Is it a virtue??…(honestly writing/sharing?)

However, just a quickie thought… more materially can, at times—certain times and at certain places—mean less spiritually. Some of the crises we as a human society globally with which we find ourselves enmeshed on-line or off… is a in/direct consequence of a prevalent (not prevailing) spiritual famine!

The hateful/hurtful speech, hateful/hurtful actions, the immodest fashions (not just talking showing way too much skin at inappropriate times/places, etc.), ethical instabilities, no boundaries/limitations whatsoever…and more are symptoms of having less spiritually speaking…a spiritual hunger/thirst not being filled…a terrible famine.

My modest intent is to expand this post further later…”IF” possible. (Sadly, realize i write that a lot then forget and don’t get back to topic: am trying to better organize writing…so i can address these loose ends…since i “hate” aka strongly dislike loose ends! a pet peeve of mine is no follow-through…i believe in follow-through STRONGLY.)

Peace & Please keep eating nutritious spiritual food…daily Bible reading/study…personally helps me with that!!..and will keep You Dear Reader Fully Functioning and Thinking/Living…MOST HEALTHFULLY.

Humans are complex…and we often neglect our spiritual needs…we cannot function well individually or together IF we are starving spiritually.

a little tasty appetizer..enJOY:)…(my highlights)

Like a good parent, Jehovah {(Creator/Personal Name of True God of Bible aka Yahweh)} wants his children to have the most satisfying life possible. (Isaiah 48:17, 18) So he teaches us basic principles about moral conduct and how we should treat others. He invites us to learn to view matters the way he does and to live according to his values. This is not too restrictive. Instead, it makes us wiser and helps us make better decisions. (Psalm 92:5; Proverbs 2:1-5; Isaiah 55:9) We can still have our personal preferences, but we will make choices that will make us happy. (Psalm 1:2, 3) When we have Jehovah’s thinking, we benefit in many ways! [excerpted Who Molds Your Thinking? w November 2018]

question for reflection:
are my choices making me HAPPY??!
8/9/18 @ 3:44 p.m.

 

Published by:
compassion conscientious-ness education Joan Winifred

Working Definition of Compassion

“compassion, a sympathetic awareness of another’s suffering or adversity coupled with a desire to lessen it.”

Have You heard it said…”knowledge is power!” NO! i modify that expression to ACCURATE knowledge is power! Power to do the compassionate/appropriate thing at the appropriate/needed time!

Why should the topic of compassion interest you? Because the Bible urges you to imitate Jehovah. (Eph. 5:1 “Therefore, become imitators of God, as beloved children,”) Yet, while humans were created to be compassionate, our imperfection as descendants of Adam inclines us toward self-interest. Sometimes we may find that it is not easy to decide whether we will help others or concentrate on ourselves. For some, this is an ongoing conflict, or a balancing act. What can help you to develop and maintain your interest in others?

Mental-health experts say that practicing compassion can improve your health, well-being, and relationships. When you relieve the suffering of others, you will feel happier, more optimistic, less lonely, and less inclined to think negative thoughts. Yes, your showing compassion will benefit you. (Eph. 4:31, 32 Put away from yourselves every kind of malicious bitterness, anger, wrath, screaming, and abusive speech, as well as everything injurious. 32  But become kind to one another, tenderly compassionate, freely forgiving one another just as God also by Christ freely forgave you.”)

Christians who lovingly seek to help others are rewarded with a good conscience, knowing that they are acting in harmony with godly principles. Having such a disposition makes for a more caring parent, a better spouse, and a better friend. Those who are quick to show compassion are, in turn, more likely to receive help and support when they need it.​—Read Matthew 5:7  “Happy are the merciful, since they will be shown mercy.”; Luke 6:38 “Practice giving, and people will give to you. They will pour into your laps a fine measure, pressed down, shaken together, and overflowing. For with the measure that you are measuring out, they will measure out to you in return.” [excerpts: Imitate Jehovah’s Compassion w 2017]

In what ways today can i be less self-concerned and more concerned with Others’ interests? In what added ways can i give more freely?

Practice makes…”better”…everyone feels better when shown compassion, eh? 🙂

 

5/27/17 @ 11:03 a.m.

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