Saturday, March 15, 2014

Scientists confirm Fountains of the Deep?

To tell you the truth, I never used to take the Book of Genesis all that seriously from a factual viewpoint, but lately I have been discovering more and more "things that make you go Hmmmm"... 

Like, maybe there is more to the Book of Genesis, factually speaking, than would be expected.  I am not necessarily saying that Genesis can be taken as literally or scientifically true in all respects.  But I am finding that there are an amazing amount of scientific confirmation for things in Genesis. 

ANY scientific confirmation for Genesis is amazing, really, when we consider it to be just a book of primitive mythology.   But when things that seem totally "mythological" are suddenly confirmed by science, it just makes me take pause...

The latest:  what looks to be confirmation of the "Fountains of the Deep" down below the Earth's surface.   This is a "mythological" element of the Flood story that seemed to defy scientific corroboration: in Genesis 7:11, it describes the flood being caused BOTH by rain from the sky AND "fountains of the deep" pouring upwards!

Doesn't seem to make much sense, until it is suddenly confirmed by geologists that oceans worth of water actually do exist below the surface of the ground!


from http://news.yahoo.com/rare-diamond-reveals-earths-interior-wet-181429521.html

Earth's mantle holds an ocean's worth of water.  "It's actually the confirmation that there is a very, very large amount of water that's trapped in a really distinct layer in the deep Earth," said Graham Pearson, lead study author and a geochemist at the University of Alberta in Canada. The findings were published today (March 12) in the journal Nature.

The results suggest there could be a vast store of water in the mantle transition zone, which stretches from 254 to 410 miles (410 to 660 km) deep.

"It translates into a very, very large mass of water, approaching the sort of mass of water that's present in all the world's ocean," Pearson told Live Science's Our Amazing Planet.




Friday, January 31, 2014

The War on Weather

The Enemy seeks to keep us in a constant state of worry and unhappiness.   Along these lines, he seeks to spread the fear of various boogie-men.  One of the foremost for us today has got to be the War on Weather. 

If you are letting yourself get upset over any aspect of the weather, you have truly got it bad, you are truly in the grip of the Enemy.    

"Its Hot!", "Its Cold!", "It is getting Hotter, AND Colder!"   "Like, OMG, what is going to happen in the Future?!?!"  "Panic Panic Panic!!!"   "How can we possibly be happy facing such uncertainty???"

I mean really, folks.  Take my advice:  Free yourself, free your mind and free your spirit from this silly brand of anxiety.   STOP WORRYING ABOUT THE WEATHER!

The Lord meant for you to be at PEACE.   You cannot be at Peace if you let the Enemy get in your head with all kinds of imaginary worries, like about the weather. 

Setting you are a perpetual treadmill, obsessing about abstractions and things you are totally powerless to affect, yup, just what the Enemy ordered...

I say, try something else instead:  Don't worry about tomorrow.  Can you add a single hour to your life by worrying?    Nope, of course not.  So forget about it.   Let go of silly worries and embrace the Peace that is waiting for you all along. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Man's review of Frozen: Disney's latest Princess feminist crap

Went to see Frozen with Bounteouswife and the offspring.  Entertaining movie, but chock full of all the feminist War on Girls crapola we expect to see in a Disney princess movie.  This stuff is so routine we don't even notice it anymore.

The biggest lie is that it is not marketed as a "Princess movie".   There is a male sidekick slash love interest, but it is pure 100% unadulterated feminist Princess fantasy movie to the core. 

Gratuitous violence against male characters?  Check
Princess rescuing male characters in physical fights?  Check
Princess proving she doesn't need a man?  Check
Princess taking over highest leadership position?  Check
Hesitant, dorky, non-alpha male in lead role?  Check

For quite a few years now, Disney has been engaged in an active SUBVERSION of traditional values, and this is just the latest crap sandwich thrown on our cultural platter. 

The emotional/intellectual tone of the movie is like being inside the head of an ADD child, with a frenetic pace, full "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing".  There is never allowed any emotional intensity, because any potentially dramatically-engaging scenes are interrupted with slapstick comedy.and general silliness.  If anything, that is the movies one strength: the dialog is really funny, no doubt. 

However, the slapstick tone, combined with an absolute zero degree of character development, leaves the movie taking on the feeling of frothy icing: all insubstantial sugary sweet, with no substance whatever.   You are told you SHOULD care about these princesses, but you are not really given any reason to do so.  It is certainly interesting and entertaining watching them undergo their struggles, but there is really no emotional connection with the characters. 

It is really cool to go back to pre-feminist Disney to see what a what a real children's movie should look like.   Movies like Lady and the Tramp, or Bambi. You don't have to go back that far.  Even the Little Mermaid fits the traditionalist bill. 

In none of those movies do you find the male lead insulted, humiliated, degraded, beat on, or shown up by the female lead.    The relationship dynamic was always one of playfulness, caring, harmony, and a genuine need for one another. 

Whatever geniuses who have been running Disney since, I dunno, roundabouts, Mulan, have decided that CULTURAL INVERSION is their primary objective.  The movies are crappy, and all they do is provide negative role models for our children.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Christ versus Bureaucracy: Bureaucratic Churches are not Christianity

Christ attacks the spirit of bureaucracy all through his ministry.  People who outwardly conform to the rules of religion, while not caring a whit for the actual people around them, were the repeated target of Christ's moral teachings, as for example in the the story of the Good Samaritan.   Christ's Sermon on the Mount is a systematic attack on these type of people.

When a church reaches the point when its members are enforcing bureaucratic rules on each other, it has become a naked Mammon-devoted business, not a Christian community.

Bureaucracy, in fact, signals the death of Christianity, because it proliferates bureaucrats.  Bureaucrats are people who like to "enforce rules". In short, these are people who like to be assholes, by being mean, frustrating, unhelpful, etc.    "The rules" are their excuse to be assholes.  Assholes love bureaucracies because it gives them so many rules to enforce, i.e. so many pretexts to be an asshole.   

"I'd like to help, but, sorry, that would be against the rules" is just the slogan of the asshole. 

There is really no such thing as rules, just as there is no such thing as laws.  Those are just reifications.  There are only people, making decisions to act on way or another.  

Decent people overlook or break the rules at will, because they are decent people who actually want to help.

Assholes seize upon rules because their true motivation is to be an asshole.  Rules are just their way to avoid personal responsibility for their assholery.    They justify themselves by "following the rules", while in fact, they are uncaring assholes to the actual people around them.

In other words, it creates a false consciousness in them, as it allows them to think of themselves as good people, while in fact, they are wicked uncaring monsters.  This is the very substance of Christ's critique of rabbinic Judaism: a shell of true religion, full of wicked rule-following monsters.

Christ characterized them as "beautiful on the outside, but, on the inside, full of dead men's bones and everything unclean" (Matthew 23:27). 

Christ was profoundly anti-religious.  To any Christian, this should be a sobering and humbling realization. 



 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Go Time for Monetary Meltdown?

Well, for years, I have pointed out, the trigger for the true US monetary meltdown will be the end of the USD/FRN as international reserve currency.   We may finally have reached that point:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-20/pboc-says-no-longer-in-china-s-favor-to-boost-record-reserves.html

The People’s Bank of China said the country does not benefit any more from increases in its foreign-currency holdings, adding to signs policy makers will rein in dollar purchases that limit the yuan’s appreciation.

“It’s no longer in China’s favor to accumulate foreign-exchange reserves,” Yi Gang, a deputy governor at the central bank, said in a speech organized by China Economists 50 Forum at Tsinghua University yesterday. The monetary authority will “basically” end normal intervention in the currency market and broaden the yuan’s daily trading range, Governor Zhou Xiaochuan wrote in an article in a guidebook explaining reforms outlined last week following a Communist Party meeting. Neither Yi nor Zhou gave a timeframe for any changes.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

25 Reasons for Trinitarian skepticism

 Shamelessly copied from Vox's blog, archived here for my ease of location.  
 
 
1. Because Jesus Christ is represented by the sacred writers to be as distinct a being from God the Father as one man is distinct from another. “It is written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one who bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me” (John 8:17 and 18).
2. Because he not only never said that himself was God, but, on the contrary, spoke of the Father, who sent him, as God, and as the only God. “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). This language our Saviour used in solemn prayer to “his Father and our Father.”
3. Because he is declared, in unnumbered instances, to be the Son of God. “And lo, a voice from heaven, saying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17). Can a son be coeval(the same age) and the same with his father?
4. Because he is styled the Christ, or the anointed of God. “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power” (Acts 10:38). Is he who anoints the same with him who is anointed?
5. Because he is represented as a Priest. “Consider the ….High-Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus” (Heb. 3:1). The office of a priest is to minister to God. Christ, then, as a priest, cannot be God.
6. Because Christ is Mediator between the “One God,” and “men.” “For there is one God, and oneMediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5).
7. Because, as the Saviour of men, he was sent by the Father. “And we have seen and do testify thatthe Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world” (1 John 4:14).
8. Because he is an Apostle appointed by God. “Consider the Apostle,...Christ Jesus, who was faithful to him that appointed him” (Heb. 3:1 and 2).
9. Because Christ is represented as our intercessor with God. “It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Rom. 8:34).
10. Because the head of Christ is God. “I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of every woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor. 11:3).
11. Because, in the same sense in which we are said to belong to Christ, Christ is said to belong to God. “And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s” (1 Cor. 3:23).
12. Because Christ says, “My father is greater than all” (John 10:29). Is not the father, then greater than the son?
13. Because he affirms, in another connection, and without the least qualification, “My Father is greater than I” (John 14:28).
14. Because he virtually denies that he is God, when he exclaims, “Why callest thou me Good? There is none good but one, that is God” (Matt. 19:17).
15. Because our Saviour, after having said, “I and my Father are one,” gives his disciples distinctly to understand that he did not mean one substance, equal in power and glory, but one only in affection and design, as clearly appears from the prayer he offers to his Father in their behalf, --“that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us” (John 17:21).
16. Because the Father is called the God of Christ as he is the God of Christians. Jesus saith unto her, “....Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my Godand your God” (John 20:17).
17. Because an Apostle says of God, in distinction from the “Lord Jesus Christ,” that He is the “onlyPotentate,” and that He “only hath immortality” (1 Tim. 6:15 and 16).
18. Because it is the express declaration of the same Apostle, that the Father is the one God, and there is none other. “Though there be that are called Gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) yet to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things” (1 Cor. 8:5 and 6).
19. Because the power which Christ possessed was, as him affirmed, given to him. “All power isgiven unto me” (Matt. 28:18).
20. Because he positively denies himself to be the author of his miraculous works, but refers them to the Father, or the holy spirit of God. “The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John14:10). “If I cast out devils by the spirit of God” (Matt. 12:28).
21. Because he distinctly states, that these works bear witness, not to his own power, but that theFather had sent him (John 5:36).
22. Because he expressly affirms that the works were done, not in his own name, but in his Father’s name (John 10:25).
23. Because he asserts, that “him hath God the Father sealed,” i.e. to God the Father he was indebted for his credentials (John 6:27).
24. Because he declares that he is not the author of his own doctrine. “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me” (John 7:16 and 17).
25. Because he represents himself as having been instructed by the Father. “As my Father hath taught me, I speak these things” (John 8:28).

Monday, October 7, 2013

Christ versus the Catholic Church

I really like a number of aspects of Catholic liturgy and culture.  You can often find me listening to Catholic radio in my car.   Catholic schools are awesome, and Catholic individuals can be as deeply pious and spiritual as anyone out there.  Shucks, truth by told, I practice a Lenten fast with my family, and we usually go to a Catholic church for the imposition of the ashes, and often for Stations of the Cross.

But... there is no question that Jesus himself condemns, at least the pretensions of, and possibly the existence of, the Roman Catholic Church. 

Jesus Condemns the Primacy of any Disciple (Luke 9:46-48)

The disciples began arguing about which one of them would be greatest, and Jesus shot them all down.  "The least is the greatest," he said, i.e., THERE IS NO GREATEST, especially anyone who would claim to be greatest.

Jesus Condemns Exclusionary Denominationalism (Luke 9:49)

The issue of rival denominations also came up during the life of Jesus.  They actually saw someone, who wasn't even a follower of Jesus, going about acting in Jesus' name.  Of course, the disciples wanted to stop this "denominationally independent" character.

Jesus again shot his disciples down.  He is plain and clear: Don't stop someone who is doing good works in my name, even though none of us appointed or controls him.

Jesus Condemns Mary-elevation (Luke 11:27-28)

A lady rolled up on Jesus and tried to tell him how blessed his mother must be.   He shot that garbage down immediately.  Any of his followers, he says, is more blessed than his mother. 

On another occasion (Luke 8:19-21), Jesus elevates his followers above his whole family, mother and brothers included.  Of course, that passage is also problematic for Catholics because they deny that Jesus had brothers.

Jesus Condemns Trinitarianism (Luke 18:18-19)

 A fellow rolled up to Jesus asking him a question, addressing him as Good Teacher.  Jesus shot that down right quick, stating plainly: "Why do you call me good, no one is good by God alone."  This is definitely the number one bullet in the anti-Trinitarian gun.  Jesus specifically identifies himself as separate from God.   

Jesus Condemns Church Hierarchy (Matthew 23:8-12)

Speaking to the public, Jesus condemns religious hierarchy, saying specifically, you should call no one Teacher/Rabbi, Father/Pastor, or Instructor.   His followers are to look up solely to God, not any worldly office, examples of which he spends a great deal of time condemning as abusive hypocrites. 


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Truth about I, Pet Goat II, with a full interpretation of its symbols and what it means

The movie short “I, Pet Goat 2” has become something of a viral hit. It is labeled on Vimeo as “a story about the fire at the heart of suffering”, but it is so much more. Watch it here http://vimeo.com/44583147.

The pace of the movie is such that the average person doesn’t get much out of it at first view, beyond a creepy feeling of “What the hell was that???”

Examined more closely, it is the symbolic depiction of our current mental/spiritual enslavement to evil powers. However, the film takes us beyond mere dystopianism, also showing us the path to freedom and victory over evil through Christ, whose Holy Spirit is the fulfillment of all religious paths.

Below you will find a detailed scene by scene interpretation of the entire film, explaining what all the confusing action and symbols truly mean. 

First of all, you need to know that “My Pet Goat” was the name of the book George Bush was reading to a classroom of children when he was informed the 9-11 attacks had occurred.   This is a crucial moment in history, which has lead to a decade and counting of continual war and the loss of everything America as "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave" once stood for. 


0:01 Beginning at the door to a room: barbed wire surrounding a prison camp, graffiti of guard and dog on the holding pen, separated pens inside the wires (representing our isolated, disconnected personal lives)

0:10 Goat mesmerized, mind controlled, wearing the Mark of the Beast on its head (represented by the bar code with numbers 666), bleating, shaking head in the “no” motion (representing a refusal to see or accept reality)

0:20 Reptilian puppet master hands, with dollar-sign golden ring on the left ring finger, with what looks like a bloody devil's head on the right index finger and blood covering that hand (representing the inhuman powers who pull the strings of the visible political actors)

0:28 President Bush dancing with dunce cap, on a black and white checkerboards floor (representing the temple of the Freemasons), in what is revealed to be a classroom

0:36 Symbols in the classroom:

1) the watching owl (representing the surveillance state); 2) pins on US map of major disasters/terrorism at OKC, NYC, New Orleans, the Gulf ; 3) snowflakes (representing our spiritual winter), 4) F = -F equation (representing how opposites are being equated, being taught to see evil as good); 5) a pictorial timeline of man’s evolution (representing a denial of our spiritual identities); 6) a picture of brain split in half being eaten by dragon (representing the damage to our minds and how that serves our inhuman masters) 7) a medical drawing of a heart (represents our disconnected, lifeless hearts)

Drawings on chalkboard: 1) house on fire and shark (represents symbols of fear mentality), 2) a penis shooting ejaculate (represents sensualism and juvenile carnalism), 3) a hangman-game trying to spell the word “evolution” (representing our anti-spiritual brainwashing)

0:43 Clock at high noon, close look at Bush’s face reveals clown-type makeup

Bush stumbles stupidly through the saying “Fool me once, shame on you….” (evoking the completion of the phrase: “Fool me twice, shame on me”), but then switching into ghetto/black dialect and flashing gang signs, blurts out: “Homey can’t get fooled again!”

1:04 Exorcist-style transformation of Bush into Obama (representing how we were "fooled twice" with Obama, though supposedly of a different culture, he was no change in policy from Bush)

1:12 Obama reading from “lol” on teleprompter

1:13 One real child holding an apple amidst a faceless crowd of formless, identity-less students who are loosely wrapped with barbed wire (represents her holding on to her Fruit of the Spirit amidst the masses of children who have been rendered lifeless and trapped by their educational brainwashing)

1:14 She is sitting in golden circle, with a rabbit on the back wall, and a stag with golden drops falling from its body on the left wall (the gold representing their noble nature)

1:19 The drops from stag turn red (evocative of blood drops), along with the eyes of rabbit and the exit area (representing her being overwhelmed by the evil power), she falls asleep and drops the apple (represents the loss of the fruits of the spirit, and the lulling to sleep of youthful opposition upon Obama’s election)

1:32 Apple stops rolling at Obama’s foot, next to letters (not sure what this represents). His foot is on a coin with an elaborate inscription (I cannot make out what the inscription is). The apple splits and grows into lotus blossom (the symbol of enlightenment), which Obama is worried about

1:47 Outside is wintery conditions, clock at high noon, but Psalm 23 is graffiti on the wall (Psalm 23 tells of our reliance on God to bring us to green pastures, as the famous psalm says “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…”

1:56 Twin towers collapsing in background (representing the momentous event which launched our current cycle of evil warmongering)

2:04 Kachina dances and jumps off cliff (alluding to Hopi prophecies, and representing a spiritual point of no return)

2:10 First glimpse of Boat of Ra, with the head of Anubis on the prow (represents the promise of resurrection out of the underworld of death)

2:17 Osama bin Laden with CIA badge on chest, under red inverted Islamic symbol (representing the role of Osama as an American-led actor, using a perverted brand of Islam)

2:21 Oil rigs in distance, oil leaking into water in foreground (representing the key role of control of oil resources as the motivator of our wars)

2:28 The Statue of Liberty, called by the filmmakers “Lady Helotry” (Helots were slaves in ancient Greece), standing on Star of David which is below the surface of the water, the shining star abover her goes out and her flame of freedom breaks off and drops (representing how American freedom and the promise of democracy has been betrayed, under the secret control of the Zionist powers).

2:32 Embryo to be born from egg, being encoiled by a snake and examined by a reptile eye (representing how the evil powers work to control us from the womb).

2:39 Boat of Ra coming through mist (represents the process of resurrection and rebirth), heart beginning to catch on fire (represents the ignition of the Holy Spirit in our hearts), eye of Horus as third eye (representing royal heritage) on head of Christ who is attempting to awaken

2:47 Evil snake with human head showing on TV screen, who has  broken young boy’s head open (represents our mind control by evil powers through the medium of television)

2:55 Blue-eyed boy in golden priest robes struggling next to drug pills and needles (representing our noble heritage being denied by the evil powers)

2:58 Snake-man’s face: golden left eye and golden left earring, with inverted dollar bill pyramid on his chin, laughing in mastery over captive priest-boy (representing how the evil powers use the US dollar to control us).

2:59 Bad news constantly streaming across boys vision, tears streaming down his face

3:01 Three stealth bombers shaped like the Freemason symbol streak across sky, blowing up a mosque (representing how the Anglo-Jewish Freemasons are behind the military actions in the Islamic world)

3:06 Birds rising from mosque (representing Muslims attempting to escape the carnage of worldly wars by reaching up to Allah)

3:10 White dove/butterfly flashes into flames as it lands on Christ (representing the fulfillment of the birds flight in the Holy Spirit)

3:12 Dancing kachina falls back

3:13 Crying mother over body of dead son (evocative of Madonna and Child statuary), but the child is bloody and wrapped in burial cloth. She is holding a potion bottle in her raised left hand, which we see under exploding volcano (like a mushroom cloud) in the distance (represents the Elixir of Life, which heals all wounds and provides immortality).

3:18 Scarab beetle crawls up the body and over the face of dead son, revealing his bruised right eye (the scarab represents the process of death and rebirth, the victory of life over death)

3:24 African boy who appears to be a robot holding a rifle, under control of faceless handler who has an inverted red cross on his chest, who unties the bow on the rifle like a gift (represents the Satanic power of arms dealers creating death and destruction in the Third World)

3:32 Mestizo man holding Communist hammer and sickle drowning in sludge, (represents the sinking condition of the working classes of the world and the eclipse of Communist ideals)

3:36 Tiananmen Square-like scene as lone protester marches in front of line of tanks, she has Chinese tiger drawing on her back

3:43 “Party Skeleton Man” taps her back, distracting her, with fireworks going off in sky above him, which makes her give up hope (representing the Chinese embrace of the American way of life, betraying their hopes of freedom)

3:47 Christ on Boat of Ra, heart burning, trying to wake (representing that the moment of rebirth is getting close, fueled by the Holy Spirit fire in his heart,)

3:58 Boy attempts to stand up, snake-man yelling into his head to stop (representing the increased desperation of the inhuman powers to keep us controlled)

4:05 Boy sees the Boat of Ra rushing at him from the heavens, and Christ blows Holy Spirit fire at him (represents a baptism by the Holy Spirit)

4:21 Shiva dancing in front of Holy Spirit flame (represents the fulfillment of Hindu ideals in the Holy Spirit)

4:28 fish jumping into boat with awakening Christ (representing a Christian miracle)

4:35 hand from sky drops down to point at phallic lighthouse, which has a Christian cross on its peak (representing God calling for the cleansing of the institution built in his name)

4:38 The ugly old painted Whore trapped in building, falls back from the coming of the light (represents the corruption of the counterfeit church, which is really a spiritual prison)

4:50 Christ entering the heart chamber following a flood wash (representing the regeneration/ignition of the heart through baptism)

5:02 Christ bursts above gray faceless masses (represents spiritually baptizing the masses)

5:08 Snake-man with TV head slithers away in fear, priest boy in yellow robes gets up (represents how the evil powers fear the coming of Christ and the Holy Spirit fire)

5:18 The previously-dead boy with bruised eye, now resurrected and healed,  rises up as a Sufi, whirlling up towards the moon (represents the mystical truth of Islam rising up to God after its supposed defeat)

5:31 Kachina dancer now has new coyote mask, dancing around Holy Spirit fire (same fire room as Shiva), passes quickly through bear and raven masks as well (representing the unity of all tribes in the presence of the Holy Spirit)

5:50 Christ in boat emerges from the cathedral door, lotus blossoms blooming in water behind him (representing the fulfillment of Buddhist enlightenment in Christ)

5:54 Christ awakens, with eye of Horus in third eye position (representing royal power and protection), below a pyramid on his forehead (representing the fulfillment of pagan hopes for resurrected life)

6:02 Christian cathedral crumbles behind him (represents that the institutional church is obsolete in the presence of the living Christ)

6:25 Christ on boat sails towards rising sun, with the Freemason "eye on top of the pyramid" destroyed by a fireball from the sun and other pyramid-shaped icebergs melting in the distance (represents Christ as the Way to God, destroying the slavery hierarchies of the world, melting away our current spiritual winter with all its evil and destruction)

6:50 movie ends

Addendum

It is my opinion that, although Heliofant does not self-identify as such, this movie is secretly the latest output from the group that brought us Zeitgeist. Zeitgeist was focused on three elements: the Christian dependence on Egyptian mythology, the nature of 9-11 as an inside job, and the role of the Fed Reserve as evil puppeteer powers. As such, one might best subtitle “I, Pet Goat 2” as “Zeitgeist for Dummies”, playing a role in educating the masses much like stain glass picture stories played for medieval peasants.

However, after carefully analyzing the film, I have come to conclude that the Zeitgeist people did not produce a film with the religious message they were quite intending. Whatever they intended, they produced a  Christ-centric film portraying the vital power of the Holy Spirit, and the fulfillment of all religions in Christ, who is our only path to God. These religious elements are all true, as is their view of current politics. As a faithful Christian, guided by the biblical Christ alone, I fully endorse this movie.


Monday, June 18, 2012

The Similarity of Game, MGTOW, and Feminism, vs being a real MRA

Men rightly object when they are painted in a broad brush by some hateful Feminist: "All men are rapists", "All men are molesters", "All men are abusers", etc etc etc. 

Gamers/MGTOW do they EXACT same thing to women.  Do I even need to provide examples?    Anyone in the Mensphere is familiar with the stale routine.  [If you are new around these parts, just go peruse any comment thread at The Spearhead, you will quickly abound in examples]

One of my personal favorites is when some misogynist blogger generalizes traits to all women based on some odd, statistically-insignificant sample, like women who write love letters and marriage proposals to men on death row.   Yup, I guess that proves something about ALL women!   Heck, it probably doesn't even prove what you think it proves about those specific women. 

Anyway, of course, they even have the "clever counter-thrust" ready: mocking the NAWALT response.  Thus, the mental echo chamber is solidified. 

Commenter fschmidt put it perfectly:  "MGTOW are like whining lesbian feminists. Gamers are like empowered slut feminists."

I will add this caveat one more time: I am not talking about all MGTOW bloggers or the philosophy behind it.  Given the current state of our marriage/family laws, IF YOU ARE THE ONE MAKING MORE MONEY, marrying probably doesn't make sense; who can deny that?  

What I am doing is attempting to warn off my fellow brothers against a destructive and nihilistic worldview.  If you have unwittingly fallen into this mental habit of negativity, you should probably check yourself.   

A great example is Elusive Wapiti, a centerpiece of the Mensphere who a couple years ago found himself circling around this drain-pit of negativity, but pulled out and publicly denounced it, and reformed his blogging priorities.  [His denunciation provides a precise marker for the "Peak Game" moment, marking its subsequent decline.]

What is a "real MRA" ?

Being a "real MRA" means that you recognize a) the inevitability of relationships with women and b) the desire to sire your own offspring, as bedrocks of the masculine imperitive, and therefore see the necessity of fighting the cultural and legal battles to safeguard that imperitive for the majority of men. 

If your response to our problem is: "screw women, fuck society, to hell with other men, I am going to take care of myself,  the only person who matters", you a nihilistic narcissist. 

People who make these outrageous public assertions are either selfish moral anarchists who will be used to discredit the Men's Rights Movement as dangerous and extreme, or they are FALSE FLAG OPERATIVES who are working to the same end.  

In either case, they deserve to the shunned and denounced.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Prettiest girl in Britain - Florence Colgate

"A woman's face is said to be most attractive when the space between her pupils is just under half the width of her face from ear to ear. Florence scores a 44 per cent ratio. Experts also believe the relative distance between eyes and mouth should be just over a third of the measurement from hairline to chin. Florence's ratio is 32.8 per cent."

Well, science says so, so it must be true! Three cheers for science!



She's 18, still in high school (an all-girls school), and of course, is utterly charming. See her interviewed here:

http://www.reuters.com/video/2012/05/10/a-look-at-the-uks-most-beautiful-face?videoId=234790523


In the pic above she is wearing light makeup and lip gloss, but she was the winner of a "no-makeup" beauty contest (put on, oddly enough, by a makeup company). Although the Brits are famous for having the most well-endowed race of females in Europe, Ms. Colgate is a bit scrawny of body.

Reminds me a bit of Elizabeth Hurley, really, in terms of the beautiful face and scrawny body. And lest you be tempted to put a beautiful woman like this upon a pedestal, let us remember an important lesson from Ms. Hurley's life.

What Good is a Beautiful Woman?

Some 8 years into his marriage to the beautiful model, rich and famous actor Hugh Grant was busted getting a blow job from a black hooker on a Hollywood street (story here). An "alpha" by any standard of looks, status, or money, Mr. Grant was obviously none too well satisfied with the beauty he was married to. [Oddly enough, they would remain married another 5 years].

Beware the appearance of outer beauty, my son, and the sparkling charm that usually accompanies it. Girls with pretty faces and sexy clothes are a dime a dozen, but they will not accompany you down the path of happiness. The woman "of the flesh" is so much more attractive to our young carnal minds, but the long-term consequence of association with her is personal destruction.

Worth far more is a kind-hearted woman, a woman who will treat you with respect, a woman who doesn't fight you at every turn. Such a woman has an inner beauty that will never fade.

Such women with inner beauty are out there, more common than some would think, but you can't find them by looking with your eyes. You will only find happiness with a girl who is adorned with the fruits of the Spirit, so look for those instead. If you find a woman with those, tend and cherish her well.

"The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."





Friday, June 8, 2012

Can a Christian support Game?

Jesus was highly dominant in his relations with women, the original Alpha if you will.  I wrote a post about this in the past: http://religionnewsblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/origins-of-game-jesus.html.  As a rule, Christian men are commanded to be the leaders in their marriages. Insofar as "Game" encourages that, fine.

The problem comes in the definition of Game. Game arose in the context of Pick Up Artist culture, and was popularized on the internet through the synthesis of PUA technique with evo-psych theories.

The popular packaging of this PUA/evo-psych synthesis has been done by quasi-pornographers, such as Roissy and FerBard, who are by and large, extremely hostile to religiousness and traditional morality.

By constantly promoting "Game", you are marking yourself as a foot soldier in their army, you are carrying their banner.  It is that simple.  

I have been hearing the same argument since "back in the day" (2008 or so when the Gamesters first made their move to take over the Mensphere) from guys like Brendan/Novaseeker: "Game is just a set of techniques, you can use them for good for bad".     

My calling "Bullshit" loudly back then, taking a principled stand against the culture of "Game", is the primary reason you don't find me on too many Mensphere link lists.   You either ally yourself with degenerates like FerBard, or you don't.    I don't.   

As some of the comments on my last post indicated, I am not the only one who finds it repugnant how many so-called Christian bloggers identify with that culture of filth. 

Whose banner are you flying?  Let's put it this way, are spending more time trying to convince Christians to adopt Game, or Gamers to adopt Christianity?   Yeah, thought so.   When the sheep are being separated from the goats (and the true Christians know what I am talking about), I think we will find that "Gospel talks, Psuedo-Christian bullshit walks". 

I leave you with this:

"Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?"  



Friday, May 25, 2012

How do you help a Christian Zionist overcome his error? Scriptural truth about Jews and the Old Covenant

Commenter Daybreaker described the Christian Zionist mentality with keen insight:

“In my experience Christian Zionists are unreachable. I have in mind one particular friend. To him, the Jews are God's people, and others are not. Israel is God's special concern, and other states, such as his and mine, are not. If Jews lapse into sinful actions or thoughts, as all people are prone to, that doesn't mean anything. God's special and particular love is enduring, and will prevail. The role of non-Jews then is to bless Israel and be blessed (or else curse Israel and be cursed by almighty God).

Information that's in tension with the agenda of loving God's people, blessing Israel and accepting God's providence goes down the memory hole. It's simply not helpful in maintaining the frame of mind that God wants, and doing what God wants is everything that matters.”

Unfortunately, all too accurate. However, I do think Christians can be reached, through the direct application of scripture, which speaks very clearly to this issue. I will present them in order of what I think to be the most powerful effect. There are other scripture passages that speak to this issue as well, but if these don’t do the trick, nothing will

--Galatians 3:28-29

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

This is powerful, and states clearly, Christians are heir to the promises of Abraham’s children. Anything said about Israel of the Old Testament applies to the Body of Christ today.



--Revelation 3:9

“I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.”

This is also powerful and clear. There are those who profess to be Jews, who are secretly worshippers of Satan. Just claiming to be a Jew means nothing.



--John 8:42-47

“Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God… You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. … Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

Jesus directly denounces his Jewish opponents, who justify themselves as Abraham’s children, as children of the devil. In short, merely being a physical seed of Abraham means nothing.



--Romans 2:28-29

“A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.”

Being a Jew, i.e., a blessed child of God, is an inward identity, not a matter of outward identification.



--Romans 9:30

“The Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal.”

Quite clear: the non-Jews (Gentiles) have replaced the Jews, because of their faith.



--Hebrews 8:6-13

“But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs [the Jewish priests] as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises. For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another… By calling this covenant ‘new,’ he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.”

Again, quite clear, the New Covenant is in place. The Old was replaced and is gone.



--Luke 14:16-24

“Jesus replied: A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ ‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’ ”

The Parable of the Great Banquet, illustrating that those who were the intended benefit of God’s banquet -- his Chosen People, the Jews -- rejected the invitation, and have been replaced.


--Matt 21:33-45

“ ‘Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants? ‘He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,’ they replied, ‘and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.’ Jesus said to them… ‘Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.’ When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them."

The Parable of the Tenants, illustrating that the Jews have killed both prophets sent by God and even God’s son. Therefore, God has taken their kingdom away from them and given it to others who will use it to produce good fruit.


--Luke 4:25-30

“I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian. All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.”

Immediately after his temptations in the wilderness after his baptism, Jesus returns to his hometown and preaches the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy. After being rejected by them, he tells his listeners of God’s blessings for the foreigner, the non-Jews, even back in biblical times. His listeners are outraged at the suggestion, and try to kill him.

Conclusion

As you can see, the New Testament is quite clear and unambiguous on this matter, with clear statements by Jesus and Paul. The Old Covenant is over, the New Covenant has replaced it, and the Jews as a people are no longer heir to any special privileges or considerations.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Jewish Values Survey 2012 – Hating Christians more than Muslims

It is quite eye-opening to see the degree to which Jews dislike Christians, which was the headline-making aspect of this survey. On a hundred point scale, American Jews rated Muslims a 41.4, but they gave the Christian Right only a 20.9. 

For baseline information, the survey of American Jews (1004 random survey participants, Feb 23-Mar.5, 2012) found that 35% identified as Reform, 26% as Conservative, 8% as Orthodox, 1% as Reconstructionist, 29% as secular/ethnic. 95% of Jews identified as racially White.

There were a number of other fascinating results:

Modern Judaism = Holocaustism?

American Jews are obsessed with the Holocaust. 86% of them said the Holocaust is somewhat or very important for informing their political beliefs and activities. This far outpaced their immigrant experience (70%) or their experience as religious minority in America (66%). Funnily enough, the only thing that came close, was the prospect of making money (“opportunities for economic success in America” -- 85%).

Jews – not very Jewish

Which qualities are most important to their Jewish identity? Only 6% said cultural heritage and tradition, and only 17% said religious observance. The largest number (46%) said cited their commitment to social equality.

Echoing this value, 76% agreed that synagogues should be engaged in public policy advocacy to address social problems (“hey, we said separation of CHURCH and state, not synagogue and state”).

I am led to conclude that American Jews are actually more Marxist than Jewish. Their political views follow accordingly, with 70% of them identifying with or leaning towards the Democratic Party, versus 29% for the Republicans.

A full 29% say that being Jewish is either “not too important” or “not at all important” in their lives. Only 29% of young (18-39) Jews say that being Jewish is “very important” or “the most important” thing in their lives, although that number rises to 52% in the 60+ age bracket. Women (50%) value their Jewish identity more than men (32%).

40% of Jews see God as an impersonal force, versus 26% as a person with whom one can have a relationship. A full 18% of Jews don’t even believe in God. 60% do not belong to a synagogue.

Insiders to the Wealth Game

A full 73% of Jews admit that the U.S. economic system unfairly favors the wealthy, which is ironic because Jews are, of course, the single wealthiest demographic group in America. 81% of them support raising taxes on millionaires.

Love towards Muslims…

66% of Jews think American Muslims are an important part of the religious community in the U.S., and only 22% think they want to establish Islamic law as the law of the land in the U.S. Also 53% of American Jews say that they would support the establishment of a Palestinian state (higher than the national average of 44%).

…but war with Iran!

59% support U.S. military action against Iran to stop their nuclear program, if economic sanctions don’t do the trick. .

Supporters of Immigration, Abortion, and Homosexual Marriage

57% believe the growing number of foreign immigrants to America strengthen American society.
93% support legal abortion in most or all cases.
81% support homosexual marriages.


Source http://publicreligion.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Jewish-Values-Report.pdf




Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Truth about early Christianity and the Essenes – Conclusion


In this 12 part series, I have covered a great deal of ground. I think the project has been worthwhile, especially insofar as it serves to dispel a great deal of ignorance on the subject of early Christianity, and perhaps even serves to combat more than a few lies.

A great many essays have been published on the internet recently claiming to prove some controversial claim, especially in relation to the historian Josephus, such as Christianity was invented by the Roman emperors, or invented by Paul (or Josephus) on behalf of the emperors, or Paul or Jesus didn’t even exist, that kind of thing.

I didn’t start this series with the specific intention of combating those claims. Rather, I just wanted to dive deeply into the primary sources and see what they really had to say, and what information they provide for the modern reader. A recently popular subject appears to be the relation of the historian Luke to Josephus, and I wanted to investigate potential issues of plagiarism in greater detail. Overall, I just wanted to thoroughly investigate what we can know about the Essenes and what role they played in early Christianity.

My findings were astounding, and, if I do say so, a bit revolutionary. The main element which recommends my conclusions, which makes them potentially useful and reliable, is my strict reliance on, and respect for, the historical material.

The problem is, so much of contemporary scripture and historical study plays very fast and loose with the historical material, dismissing it at will, or even worse, reading into it whatever wild speculation one desires to muster. Too often, reading this post-modern stuff, some author just posits some wild backstory of motivation by some politico-religious group, who supposedly wrote whatever fanciful tale they wanted, in order to advance their agenda. Thus, these studies get more and more outlandish in their attempt to make up some “secret story behind the writing” of the documents.

My approach, by contrast, was simply to examine and analyze the documents, treating them as legitimate historical sources, to see what connections I could find. I specifically looked for contradictions or plagiarism if I could find them, but I had no particular agenda to prove. I was on a quest of discovery, more than anything else, journeying into an area I had scant prior knowledge of whatsoever.

The revolutionary character of my findings comes from the way I handled four separate points of view. I conceive of it as if having four separate people looking at the same milieu from four different corners. What lies in shadow from one point of view, is perfectly clear from another point of view. The four perspectives which come together to create a revolutionary new picture arise from understanding 1) Christianity, 2) the Essenes, 3) the Nazirites, and 4) Josephus.

I don’t mean to imply these are 4 separate historical sources. Rather, these are four conceptual domains, the understanding of one which allows for a deeper understanding of the other three. As I have attempted to demonstrate, when we understand all four of them in relation to each other, we get an amazing three-dimensional, vividly colorful picture of the times, which is impossible considering just one of them at a time.
Just to give one example of a remarkable conclusion at which I arrived has to do with Josephus’s Flavianum Testimonium, in which he describes the life of Christ. You will probably not see it mentioned without of such qualifiers as “controversial”, “disputed”, and “largely seen as non-authentic by modern scholars”, and I went into the study expecting to find as much.

Instead, I found that it is almost certainly completely authentic. Now, I must point out that the authenticity of his Testimonium does not mean that Josephus himself was Christian, nor that he knew anything of the life of Christ himself. But rather, it is a reflection of the fact that he was intimately connected with other people who were connected with the Christian movement and were probably Christian themselves. Specifically, I came to see that the Testimonium most likely reflects the contribution of Josephus’s colleague Agrippa II, who was one of Josephus’s primary sources and whose whole family was connected very closely with the Christian movement.

Which leads me to what was probably the most surprising aspect of my findings: the fact that the earliest Christians were at the very core of the major political battle of their day, involving kings, governors, high priests, and even emperors, for the control of the temple in Jerusalem. We tend to see the earliest Christians as mere victims of the larger historical forces around them, small fish buffeted by the strong currents in the big pond surrounding them.

But, I was left to conclude, the evidence is actually to the contrary: the Christians were powerful players in the very thick of events, struggling for control of the temple as clients of the king and emperor, as potent rivals to the orders of hereditary priests.

The religious elements of my findings are also quite revolutionary. We tend to the see the earliest Christians as Ex Nihilo creations arising from the amazing and transformational life of one person, Jesus. In fact, I found, Jesus provided the culmination of a wider and older religious movement, one which numbered in the multiple thousands of people and which had been brewing for a couple centuries. Jesus clearly arose from this movement himself, but also transformed it, expanded it, and sent it in new directions.



The full series:

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: the Nazirite Connection
Part 3: Communalism and Celibacy/Marriage
Part 4: the Jesus-Essene connection
Part 5: Was Paul a Nazirite Priest?
Part 6: Did Josephus Know Paul?
Part 7: Josephus’ connection to Christianity
Part 8: Nazirite priests and Epiphanius
Part 9: Paul on communal labor and feasts
Part 10: Divisions, non-uniformity, the role of women
Part 11: Purification, Angels, Moses, & the Epistle to the Hebrews
Part 12: Therapeutae and Vegetarianism
Part 13: Conclusion
Also related:
Josephus’ role in the Jewish-Roman War


Christian victims of Israeli aggression in Palestine - attempted blackout by Zionists

Zionists attempted to silence a report on Palestinian Christians that aired on 60 Minutes (http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7406228n).  American Christians are slowly waking up to the evil that is Zionist Israel.   Truth will out  As usual, big money is on the bad guy side, so truth fights an uphill battle.  

The Zionists not only refuse to cover this type of thing in their extensive media channels, they also actively work to make sure other outlets don't cover it either.  According to Haaretz, the effort to thwart the broadcast was intense and coordinated, involving Israel ambassador Michael Oren penning an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal and Netanyahu addressing Evangelical leaders in Jerusalem, all in an attempt to bolster the government's record when it came to the Christian community in Israel (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/24/60-minutes-israel-christians-netanyahu-kill-story_n_1449595.html).



Here is an excellent summary of the reasons why they tried to censor this report (http://mycatbirdseat.com/2012/05/top-ten-reasons-israel-tried-to-censor-bob-simons-report-on-palestinian-christians/):

Here are the top ten reasons Israel’s Likud Party would have wanted to censor American television news on this occasion (and of course we don’t know all the occasions they have successfully done so):

1. The report told Americans that there are Palestinian Christians. Right wing Israelis have attempted to displace, expropriate and erase the Palestinian nation, and to convince Americans that Palestinians don’t exist or if they do are enemies of the U.S. When the foe of the US was the Soviet Union, they made the Palestinians Communists. When the foe became al-Qaeda, they made the Palestinians violent fundamentalists. But if some percentage of Palestinians is Christians, then that fact disrupts the propaganda. In fact, millions of Palestinians are descended from the 700,000 or so Palestinians ethnically cleansed by the Israelis from what is now Israel in 1948, of whom about 10 percent were Christian.

2. The report mentioned that some Palestinians are Lutherans, Catholics and Episcopalians, establishing a link of commonality between them and Americans. The Israeli Likud Party wants Americans identifying only with Israelis, not with Palestinians.

3. The report told Americans that Israel is occupying and colonizing Palestinian land. Most Americans think it is the other way around because of the success of Likud disinformation.

4. The report let it slip that Palestinians in the West Bank need a permit to travel to Arab East Jerusalem and are subjected within the West Bank to humiliating check points that turn a 7 mile journey into an all-day ordeal. This system sounds an awful lot like the old South African Apartheid.

5. The report allowed Palestinians to speak for themselves and to refute Oren’s anti-Palestinian talking points. It is a key principle of right wing Israeli propaganda that Palestinians should never be allowed to challenge the Israeli narrative on American television.

6. The report allowed a prominent Palestinian businessman and Coca Cola distributor to say that he knew of no Palestinian Christians who were leaving the West Bank and Jerusalem because of Muslims but that rather they were leaving because of Israeli oppression.

7. It allowed the Palestinians to point out that the West Bank now looks like Swiss cheese, with Israeli colonies grabbing the good land and water, and the stateless Palestinians pushed into the holes.

8. The report described the Palestinian Kairos Document, calling for nonviolent, peaceful struggle by Palestinians against Israeli Occupation and land grabs. Likud propaganda insists in racist fashion that all Palestinians are inherently angry and violent and that their protest against being made stateless and homeless by Israel is irrational.

9. The report quotes an Israeli scholar who puts “Political Judaism” on par with “Political Islam.” It is a key principle of Likud propaganda that no movement in Israel may ever be compared to movements in the Muslim world.

10. The report allows Palestinians to point out that the way the Israelis built the Separation Wall isolated Bethlehem, Jesus’s birthplace and a city that still is 18% Christian, had made it “an open-air prison.”






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Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Therapeutae and Vegetarianism, part 12 in The Truth about early Christianity and the Essenes



At the time of the life of Christ, along with the Essenes, the Hebrew holiness movement included a group known as the Therapeutae. Philo gives us an extensive description of the sacred practices of the Therapeutae. He describes them as living throughout the known world, but especially concentrated in monastic communities in the desert of northern Egypt, near Alexandria.


Commonalities and Differences with Essenes


Like the Essenes, the Therapeutae were ascetic monastics. The Therapeutae shared much in common with the Essenes, including the renouncing of personal possessions, the sacred communal meal, the white robes, the simple diet of bread, the spurning of meat and wine, the veneration of holy scripture, and the leadership by priests and elders.


They appear to differ from the Essenes in a couple areas: for one, they included both men and women, whereas the Essenes were usually described as including men-only. Josephus does mention one sect of Essenes who married (the Christians, most likely), but the Therapeutae, men and women, were all celibates.


Secondly, there is the question of them performing the physical labor that was usually attributed to the Essenes. Philo does describe a Sabbath-day’s rest from their labors, saying of their Sabbath practice: “their bodies also, giving them, just as they do to their cattle, a complete rest from their continual labors”. But the only labors he specifically describes them performing are scripture-study, meditation, prayer, and hymn-writing. As a critical thinker, one wonders how they supported themselves if they did no labor at all (especially as they had given away all their possessions upon joining the holy order). But the lack of mention of communal physical labor is a potential difference from the Essenes.


The goal of the religious practice of the Therapeutae was to attain experience of the divine. They appear to have lived in solitude for six days of the week, coming together only on the Sabbath, into a divided congregation, men and women on opposite sides, for religious instruction and a sacred meal.


Special Pentecost services


Philo also describes their Pentecost service as a special night-long celebration full of song and exuberance. It is a bit unclear from his description if this was the once-a-year Pentecost, or if it was occasioned every fifty days.


It seems likely that this Pentecost vigil was practiced by the early Christians, as well. As the Bible prefaces the coming of the Holy Spirit to the post-resurrection community: “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place” (Acts 2:1).


Indeed, the very purpose of the Therapeutae Pentecost service was to bring the congregation into communion with God (see description below), the very thing which was accompished at that first Christian Pentecost.  Of course, it is possible that the Christians were all together in one place on Pentecost morning by random happenstance, but the Therapeutae practice indicates it was part of the sacred calendar of the holiness movement.


Whether or not the Therapeutae shared a common institutional lineage with the Essenes, we cannot be certain. Without going so far as to equate the Therapeutae and the Essenes, we are on safe grounds in asserting that, at the minimum, they were both expressions of the Jewish holiness movement, and they did have much in common. Distinctions we draw within the wider holiness movement appear to be somewhat arbitrary, and, historically speaking, Christianity would subsume them both.


The Healers


Philo says they were called Therapeutae because of their role as healing physicians, both of the body and the soul:


“with strict regard to etymology, they are called Therapeutae and Therapeutrides … because they profess an art of medicine more excellent than that in general use in cities (for that only heals bodies, but the other heals souls which are under the mastery of terrible and almost incurable diseases, which pleasures and appetites, fears and griefs, and covetousness, and follies, and injustice, and all the rest of the innumerable multitude of other passions and vices, have inflicted upon them)”


The emphasis on healing brings up obvious parallels to the practices of Jesus and the apostles, who displayed multiple healing miracles.  It also calls to mind Paul’s companion Luke (author of the gospel and the Book of Acts), who was described as a physician. Paul referred to him with the Greek word iatros, meaning healer, in Col 4:14.


Eusebius on the Therapeutae


So close was the similarity between the Therapeutae and Christian religious practice, that the church historian Eusebius was absolutely certain that the Therapeutae were actually early Christians. Writing in the early 300s, Eusebius described them as one of the early Christian communities established by the apostle Mark himself:


“And they say that this Mark was the first that was sent to Egypt, and that he proclaimed the Gospel which he had written, and first established churches in Alexandria. And the multitude of believers, both men and women, that were collected there at the very outset, and lived lives of the most philosophical and excessive asceticism, was so great, that Philo thought it worthwhile to describe their pursuits, their meetings, their entertainments, and their whole manner of life." (History 2.16.1-2)


“It is also said that Philo in the reign of Claudius became acquainted at Rome with Peter, who was then preaching there. Nor is this indeed improbable, for the work of which we have spoken, and which was composed by him some years later, clearly contains those rules of the Church which are even to this day observed among us. (History 2.17.1)


In more detail concerning their similarity with Christianity, he writes:


“Why is it necessary to add to these things their meetings and the respective occupations of the men and of the women during those meetings, and the practices which are even to the present day habitually observed by us, especially such as we are accustomed to observe at the feast of the Saviour's passion, with fasting and night watching and study of the divine Word.


"These things the above-mentioned author has related in his own work, indicating a mode of life which has been preserved to the present time by us alone, recording especially the vigils kept in connection with the great festival, and the exercises performed during those vigils, and the hymns customarily recited by us, and describing how, while one sings regularly in time, the others listen in silence, and join in chanting only the close of the hymns; and how, on the days referred to they sleep on the ground on beds of straw, and to use his own words, "taste no wine at all, nor any flesh, but water is their only drink, and the relish with their bread is salt and hyssop."


"In addition to this Philo describes the order of dignities which exists among those who carry on the services of the church, mentioning the diaconate, and the office of bishop, which takes the precedence over all the others. But whosoever desires a more accurate knowledge of these matters may get it from the history already cited. But that Philo, when he wrote these things, had in view the first heralds of the Gospel and the customs handed down from the beginning by the apostles, is clear to everyone.” (History 2.17.21-24)


Eusebius clearly establishes that Christian practice is obviously descended from the Therapeutae, but in all fairness, he does not thereby establish that the Therapeutae were Christian. The problem for Eusebius is that Philo describes them as not at all Christian in faith, but focused on the prophet Moses and unnamed founders of theirs sect.


The solution to this conundrum seems plain enough to me, and follows the thesis I have previously been developing: the Christian movement grew out of the wider holiness movement, grafting Christian faith onto pre-existing holiness practices. The Therapeutae stand as probably the single most persuasive example of that trend.


The similarity to later Christian monasticism is obvious, but given the dating of the description (possibly as early as during the life of Christ) and details about their beliefs (pre-Christian Jewishness), it seems fair enough that the Therapeutae are best described as proto-Christian, rather than early Christian.


Christian reforms regarding Vegetarianism


It was out of this holiness milieu that early Christianity drew its early support. Much of the liturgical life of these holiness communities was adopted, while some of its more ascetic demands were moderated. For example, Paul speaks directly against these practices in his letter to Timothy:


“Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats is a doctrine of devils” (1 Tim 4:3), and “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine” (1 Tim 5:23).


This focus on celibacy, vegetarianism, and temperance was shared widely in the holiness movement, seen in the Therapeutae, the Essenes, and the Nazirites. It seems to have caused more than a bit of friction in the early Christian movement.


Paul urges Christians to stop judging one another over these issues: “Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them” (Romans 14:1-3).


He also seems to come down on the side of decorum and consideration, over those who flaunted their Christian freedom:


“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit… It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall” (Romans 14:17, 21).


The issue of vegetarianism lingered as a controversial subject for centuries. In the year 314 A.D., for example, the Council Of Ancyra ordered the removal of any dogmatic vegetarians from the clergy:


“It is decreed that among the clergy, presbyters and deacons who abstain from flesh shall taste of it, and afterwards, if they shall so please, may abstain. But if they disdain it, and will not even eat herbs served with flesh, but disobey the canon, let them be removed from their order” (Canon 14, http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3802.htm)


Almost a century later, circa 400 A.D., Augustine argued against the dogmatism of the Manicheans, who demanded abstinence from meat and wine. Augustine acknowledges that some people avoid meat or wine for good reasons, such as to check indulgence or out of love.  But he condemns dogmatic, absolutist abstinence as superstitious and spiritually unfounded (On the Morals of the Manicheans, Ch.13, v.27, http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf104.iv.v.xv.html).


Of course, the practice of ascetic vegetarianism survived most visibly in various Lenten-season practices of the church. It became standard practice throughout Christendom for believers to give up meat for the entire duration of Lent. Thus, we can see that some of the dogmatic purity practices in the holiness movement influenced the Christian movement, affirmed in the idea of Christian holiness, though modified according to the understanding of Christian freedom.


Select quote from Philo's description of the Therapeutae:

The therapeutic race, being continually taught to see without interruption, may well aim at obtaining a sight of the living God ... they are carried away by a certain heavenly love, give way to enthusiasm, behaving like so many revelers in bacchanalian or corybantian mysteries, until they see the object which they have been earnestly desiring ...


because of their anxious desire for an immortal and blessed existence, thinking that their mortal life has already come to an end, they leave their possessions to their sons or daughters, or perhaps to other relations, giving them up their inheritance with willing cheerfulness; and those who know no relations give their property to their companions or friends…

And they are accustomed to pray twice every day, at morning and at evening… And the interval between morning and evening is by them devoted wholly to meditation on and to practice of virtue, for they take up the sacred writings and philosophize concerning them, investigating the allegories of their national philosophy, since they look upon their literal expressions as symbols of some secret meaning of nature, intended to be conveyed in those figurative expressions….

They have also writings of ancient men, who having been the founders of one sect or another have left behind them many memorials of the allegorical system of writing and explanation, whom they take as a kind of model, and imitate the general fashion of their sect; so that they do not occupy themselves solely in contemplation, but they likewise compose psalms and hymns to God...

Sabbath celebration

These, then, are the first circumstances of the feast; but after the guests have sat down to the table … and when those who minister to them are all standing around in order, ready to wait upon them, and when there is nothing to drink, the one [who presides] will speak… and then he searches out some passage in the sacred writings, or explains some difficulty which is proposed by someone else … And he, indeed, follows a slower method of instruction, dwelling on and lingering over his explanations with repetitions, in order to imprint his conceptions deep in the minds of his hearers… And these explanations of the sacred writings are delivered by mystic expressions in allegories...

When, therefore, the president appears to have spoken at sufficient length… applause arises from them all as of men rejoicing together at what they have seen and heard; and then someone rising up sings a hymn which has been made in honor of God… And after him then others also arise in their ranks, in becoming order, while every one else listens in decent silence, except when it is proper for them to take up the burden of the song, and to join in at the end; for then they all, both men and women, join in the hymn.

And when each individual has finished his psalm, then the young men bring in the table which was mentioned a little while ago, on which was placed that most holy food, the leavened bread, with a seasoning of salt, with which hyssop is mingled, out of reverence for the sacred table, which lies thus in the holy outer temple; for on this table are placed loaves and salt without seasoning, and the bread is unleavened, and the salt unmixed with anything else, for it was becoming that the simplest and purest things should be allotted to the most excellent portion of the priests, as a reward for their ministrations, and that the others should admire similar things, but should abstain from the loaves, in order that those who are the more excellent person may have the precedence.

And after the feast they celebrate the sacred festival during the whole night; and this nocturnal festival is celebrated in the following manner: … they sing hymns which have been composed in honor of God … at one time all singing together, and at another moving their hands and dancing in corresponding harmony, and uttering in an inspired manner songs of thanksgiving, and at another time regular odes…

Then, when each chorus of the men and each chorus of the women has feasted separately by itself, like persons in the bacchanalian revels, drinking the pure wine of the love of God, they join together, and the two become one chorus, an imitation of that one which, in old time, was established by the Red Sea… When the Israelites saw and experienced this great miracle... both men and women together, under the influence of divine inspiration, becoming all one chorus, sang hymns of thanksgiving to God the Savior, Moses the prophet leading the men, and Miryam the prophetess leading the women.

Now the chorus of Therapeutae and Therapeutrides [i.e. male and female] being formed, as far as possible on this model, makes a most harmonious concert, and a truly musical symphony, the shrill voices of the women mingling with the deep-toned voices of the men. The ideas were beautiful, the expressions beautiful, and the chorus-singers were beautiful; and the end of ideas, and expressions, and chorus singers, was piety; therefore, being intoxicated all night till the morning with this beautiful intoxication, without feeling their heads heavy or closing their eyes for sleep, but being even more awake than when they came to the feast, as to their eyes and their whole bodies, and standing there till morning, when they saw the sun rising they raised their hands to heaven, imploring tranquility and truth, and acuteness of understanding. And after their prayers they each retired to their own separate abodes, with the intention of again practicing the usual philosophy to which they had been wont to devote themselves.

But on the seventh day they all come together as if to meet in a sacred assembly, and they sit down in order according to their ages with all becoming gravity .. and then the eldest of them who has the most profound learning in their doctrines, comes forward and speaks … investigating with great pains, and explaining with minute accuracy the precise meaning of the laws … and all the rest listen in silence to the praises which he bestows upon the law, showing their assent only by nods of the head, or the eager look of the eyes...

they eat nothing of a costly character, but plain bread and a seasoning of salt, which the more luxurious of them to further season with hyssop; and their drink is water from the spring; for they oppose those feelings which nature has made mistresses of the human race, namely, hunger and thirst, giving them nothing to flatter or humor them, but only such useful things as it is not possible to exist without.

Pentecost celebration

these men assemble at the end of seven weeks, venerating not only the simple week of seven days, but also its multiplied power, for they know it to be pure and always virgin; and it is a prelude and a kind of fore feast of the greatest feast, which is assigned to the number fifty, the most holy and natural of numbers...

Therefore when they come together clothed in white garments, and joyful with the most exceeding gravity… before they sit down to meat standing in order in a row, and raising their eyes and their hands to heaven… they pray to God that the entertainment may be acceptable, and welcome, and pleasing; and after having offered up these prayers the elders sit down to meat, still observing the order in which they were previously arranged, for they do not look on those as elders who are advanced in years and very ancient, but in some cases they esteem those as very young men, if they have attached themselves to this sect only lately, but those whom they call elders are those who from their earliest infancy have grown up and arrived at maturity in the speculative portion of philosophy, which is the most beautiful and most divine part of it.

And in those days wine is not introduced, but only the clearest water; cold water for the generality, and hot water for those old men who are accustomed to a luxurious life. And the table, too, bears nothing which has blood, but there is placed upon it bread for food and salt for seasoning, to which also hyssop is sometimes added as an extra sauce for the sake of those who are delicate in their eating, for just as right reason commands the priest to offer up sober sacrifices, so also these men are commanded to live sober lives, for wine is the medicine of folly, and costly seasonings and sauces excite desire, which is the most insatiable of all beasts.

The full series:

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: the Nazirite Connection
Part 3: Communalism and Celibacy/Marriage
Part 4: the Jesus-Essene connection
Part 5: Was Paul a Nazirite Priest?
Part 6: Did Josephus Know Paul?
Part 7: Josephus’ connection to Christianity
Part 8: Nazirite priests and Epiphanius
Part 9: Paul on communal labor and feasts
Part 10: Divisions, non-uniformity, the role of women
Part 11: Purification, Angels, Moses, & the Epistle to the Hebrews
Part 12: Therapeutae and Vegetarianism
Part 13: Conclusion
Also related:
Josephus’ role in the Jewish-Roman War