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God’s Chosen Time and Place; Not God’s Chosen People Ver. 1.1.0

The Philosopher

https://anewparadigminchristianthinking.wordpress.com/tag/chosen

Rev. 1/1/2016

Copyright 2015

 

Introduction

During this time of year – December – the birth of Jesus gets a lot of attention.  Was Jesus born to a promised people or was Jesus born in God’s chosen place?   The birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, and reared in Nazareth, is in an area known as “The Fertile Crescent.”   It is here that paleoanthropologists have determined was the birth of civilization as we know it in this first quarter of the twenty-first century.  The development of man from a hunter-gatherer and nomad transitioned from tending flocks and gathering to learning how to plant seeds and grow crops.  This new skill, planting, enabled men to reside in one place and build cities.  Jericho has been determined to be the oldest city on the planet and is located in this Fertile Crescent along the Mediterranean Sea.  The Romans were in power and had created roads throughout this region, so travel to distant places was made easier and communications between cities was greatly improved.

The families that Jesus was born into were of the Jewish religion and were known as Israelites.  Mathew traced the linage of Jesus’s paternal father back to David, the son of Abraham, who was the Father of the Israelites. [i]  Does this make Jesus Jewish and an Israelite or is this just the mode of his appearance on earth?  It was pointed out to me and other class members by one of our classmates that Jesus could not have arrived in a more advantageous place on Earth.  “This is the only region on Earth that Jesus could have had the impact that He did on the world.” [ii]  So the question remains, are the Jewish Israelites God’s chosen people or is this just God’s chosen time and place for Jesus to enter the world?

A Monotheist People

The Jewish Israelites were a monotheist people, believing in one God.  This was to be an advantage to Jesus by teaching this monotheist people about a new relationship with their God, who was “Their Father in Heaven.”  This advantage turned out to be more of a stumbling block for the Jewish Israelites, as even to this day, in the first quarter of the twenty-first century, many of those in the Jewish religion still find Jesus as an upstart and a threat to Jewish religion.  Saul, who became the Apostle Paul, was assigned by Jesus to take his message to the Gentiles (Non-Jewish Israelites) Paul found the acceptance of these people mostly receptive to his message of this new relationship with the one God, our Father in Heaven.  It follows that the teaching of Jesus about the new cloth as a patch on the old cloth, the new wine into new wineskins and the old wine being better than the new, detailed below, proved to be very accurate as the Jewish Israelites’ rejection of His message of this new relationship with our Father in Heaven.  This writer’s observation is that the time required for someone to accept a new paradigm is proportional to their education, especially in the area of the old paradigm.

Jesus Was Way Ahead of His Time

Jesus was teaching the Jewish people advanced concepts that would not even be discovered by man until many centuries later.  One of these teachings was the description of a “paradigm shift,” which was a phrase that was not coined until Immanuel Kant used the phrase in the preface to his Critique of Pure Reason (1781), referring to Greek mathematics and Newtonian physics:

 “A paradigm shift is a phrase that was popularized by American physicist Thomas Kuhn to describe the nature of scientific revolutions, or fundamental changes in the basic concepts and experimental practices of a scientific discipline.  Hans Küng applies Thomas Kuhn’s theory of paradigm change to the entire history of Christian thought and theology. He identifies six historical “macromodels”: 1) the apocalyptic paradigm of primitive Christianity, 2) the Hellenistic paradigm of the patristic period, 3) the medieval Roman Catholic paradigm, 4) the Protestant (Reformation) paradigm, 5) the modern Enlightenment paradigm, and 6) the emerging ecumenical paradigm. He also discusses five analogies between natural science and theology in relation to paradigm shifts. Küng addresses paradigm change in his books, ‘Paradigm Change in Theology and Theology for the Third Millennium: An Ecumenical View.’ ” [iii]

Jesus taught the process of a paradigm shift to his Jewish disciples to show that what He was bringing to Earth was totally different and not dependent on the Jewish religion, history, or tradition, but was a new relationship with our Father in Heaven – a completely different and a standalone relationship.  “No one tears a patch from a new garment and sews it on an old one.  If he does, he will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old[iv] [or the new unshrunk cloth will pull away from the old, making the tear worse][v]. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins.  If he does, the new wine will burst the skins; the new wine must be poured into new wineskins.  And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says. ‘The old is better.’” [vi] Jesus was certainly way ahead of His time on the subject of new paradigms, for He was teaching them that they must scrap the old Jewish religious practices, traditions and history and welcome this new relationship with our Father in Heaven. 

The Apostle Paul and His Message

Saul, who became Paul, was well educated in the Jewish religion, tradition and history.  Paul was born to an aristocratic Pharisee father in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in Jerusalem. He was a Roman citizen by birth and educated in the Jewish religion by Gamaliel. [vii]  Paul was converted from a persecutor of Christians (People of the Way) on his way to Damascus to arrest the Christians there.  He was temporarily blinded by a bright light on the road to Damascus by Jesus, who assigned him to take His message to the Jews and Gentiles.[viii]

In preparation for his visit to Rome, Paul recorded his theology on the message of Jesus in the book of Romans in the Book of Books, the Bible.  Paul did not have the knowledge of all the things of which Jesus had knowledge, and related the Gospel of Jesus to the old Jewish religion, tradition and history, giving a different perspective on the Gospel than that presented by Jesus himself.   Paul made Jesus the centerpiece of his Gospel and Jesus made our relationship with our Farther in Heaven and His Personal Counselor – the Holy Spirit – the centerpiece of His Gospel.

The Apostle Paul exhibited much of the Adlerian Physiological traits of a first born male and was possibly the only male child raised in this family. The firstborn male is aPerfectionist (does everything well.  Overly critical and dissatisfied with his own performance); Driven (Ambitious, headed for success. Always under great pressure); Organized (Able to stay on top of everything.  No room in life for flexibility); Scholarly (Able to think problems through and solve them.  Sometimes thinks too much; is overly serious); List Maker (Gets things done; knows where he’s going.  Boxes himself in’ becomes a slave to his list); Logical (Avoids pitfalls of compulsive behavior.  Knows he’s right, even when he isn’t); Leader (Plays an important part in his family, community, etc. [He is] expected to do too much; always leaned on by others); Compliant (Known as a good guy.  Known as an easy mark); Aggressive ([He] gets ahead in life; others look up to him.  [He] tends to be selfish and to disregard the feelings of others).” [ix]

The Grand Conclusion of Christianity

The axiom of philosophy that states that, “when you choose whom to ask the question, you have already determined the answer,” holds true for Jesus and the Apostle Paul.  They are two very different individuals, both well educated in the Jewish Israelite religion, traditions and history, but both of different character and knowledge.  The Apostle Paul was relating his message of the (Gospel) of Jesus to the Jewish religion, tradition and history making Jesus the focus of his Gospel, while Jesus taught that His message (Gospel) was totally different and separate from the Jewish religion, tradition and history and put His focus on our new relationship with our Father in Heaven and His Personal Counselor.  Is it any wonder the world is confused about the Christian religion or if it even is a religion?  The idea that Jesus should be worshiped came from the followers of Jesus, not from Jesus who pointed to a new relationship with our Father in Heaven and the guidance of His Personal Counselor, the Holy Spirit.  This looks to be more science than religion, science that we in this first quarter of the twenty-first century have not yet defined.

 

QED

 

[i] Mathew 1:1-17

[ii] Mathew Heart, Private Communication, Explorers,  Cedar Grove Community Church, Livermore, CA, 2015

[iii] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradigm_shift

[iv] Luke 5:36-39

[v] Mark 2:21

[vi] Ibid iv

[vii] Acts 22:3

[viii] Acts 9

[ix] Dr. Kevin Leman, “The First Born Advantage” Revell pub. 2008, p 69

The Solution to World Peace Ver. 1.2.0

The Philosopher

http://thephilosopheronpolitics.wordpress.com/tag/mirror-image/

https://anewparadigminchristianthinking.wordpress.com/tag/mirror-image/

12/4/2015

Copyright 2015

The Mirror Image of Christianity

In a recent broadcast by “Frontline” on PBS, interviews and strategies of ISIS were shown.  The ISIS strategy is to make Islam the world religion and the use of arms will be used to bring about this change in the world’s societies.  Their children start the education process as young as four years old.  If they are old enough to manage the use of a handgun, they qualify for training as an ISIS Evangelist.  The youth are indoctrinated into the ISIS theology and, as they are able, taught how to use more sophisticated weapons to accomplish the ISIS mission.  This ISIS doctrine is to do what God wants them to do and that is to make Islam the world religion.  They live their lives to please God.

Christianity

Take out the weapons and what is left is the mirror image of Christianity.  Or can we take out the weapons?  Christians no longer use just simple handguns or even machine guns; they use war planes to conduct highly accurate air strikes against the so called “Terrorist.”  Putting a label on someone to dehumanize them is the first step in genocide operations.  As ISIS uses simple weapons like knives, IUDs and automatic weapons on “soft targets” (unarmed civilian targets), the Christian nations employ their advanced weapons against “hard targets” (those of military interests).  ISIS then responds with more attacks on soft targets.  The Christian nations respond with more air strikes.  Around and around we go in this never ending “Do Loop” (a computer programing term for a program that continually repeats itself with a “Do” command).  But the Christians are doing what they think God wants them to do and they are living their lives to please God; a mirror image of ISIS.

Case Study

For an example of putting their belief in pleasing God as preeminent over their relationships with others of God’s children, see the recordings of events in the journals of Luke in Chapter 5 of the Book of Acts of the Apostles in the Book of Books, The Bible.  A short synopsis of this event was that the Apostles were in the process of establishing a socialist organization that would take care of the poor and widows among them.  Peter, the leader of the Apostles in this time period, demanded that everyone contribute their resources to this socialist cause.  When a husband and wife team had sold their property and only given the Apostles a portion of the proceeds from this sale of their capitalist profits, Peter publically renounced them one by one as sinning against God.  Both of the members of this capitalist team died on the spot, probably from heart failure at being accused of sinning against God.  Peter erroneously put living his life to please God over the lives of the other children of God.  This same phenomenon of putting their worship of God over their relationship with other of God’s children can still be observed in the Christian societies all over the world.

Where to Go from Here

Commentators are suggesting the Christian nations send in ground troops to wipe ISIS off the map, but ISIS theology is now all over the map.  They want ISIS to flee, but flee to where?  ISIS has its beginnings from those who were disenfranchised from their homeland in Iraq by the puppet government the Christian nations put in place after the removal of the existing government in Iraq. The invasion of Iraq by Christian nations is now considered, by some national crises troubleshooters, as the stupidest foreign policy that has ever been put forth by these Christian nations.  We may not like what some of these national dictators do in their own countries, but it is not our business to put these dictators out of business by the use of our military forces.  The way that Jesus taught to take care of these issues was by prayer and oratory, teaching them about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The Founding Fathers of the USA went to great lengths to ensure that religious organizations did not have political power or the use of the military forces to accomplish their religious goals. There is a long tradition of a fuzzy line between church and state to ensure that religions cannot force people into their religious beliefs.  However, in the exercise of our political power in international relations, we helped establish a religious nation and helped to arm them to the level of a nuclear nation, making a religious nation with political and military power.  We called this new nation Israel.

This new nation based on religion upset the balance to power in this region.  When this region was under the Ottoman Empire before World War I, the Ottoman Empire had undergone a culture revolution similar to the French and English culture revolutions.  The Sultan had advocated and people were allowed to choose their own destiny.  Several ethnic groups: Jews, Turks, Arabs, Palestinians, etc. resided in this area for centuries and had learned to live together in a somewhat harmonious state.  Difficulties in this area resulted from the Russians purging the Jews from Russia.  Some of these Jews immigrated to their ancient homeland and upset the balance of power and harmony in this area.  The new immigrants from Russian not only did not know how to farm in this new climate, as it was much different than the farming in Russia, but they did not know how to relate to the other ethnic groups who had lived in this land for centuries.  Turmoil was the result of these new Jewish immigrants into their ancient homeland.  After World War II, the Christian nations chose to make this ancient homeland of the Jews their own officially recognized nation.  The turmoil in this region continues into the first quarter of the twenty-first century, as there is now a religious nation armed to keep this land to themselves and exclude the other ethnic groups who also claim this land as their ancient homeland.

The Solution to Peace in the World

As long as we continue to pit religion against religion, the best we going to end up with is a continued argument about whose religion and whose God we serve.  A close look at the teachings of Jesus shows that He was indeed ahead of His time.  He knew more about science than all the scientists now on Earth.  We are still in our infancy in learning what Jesus already knew.  He just could not teach all that He knew to a people that could not yet understand his teachings.  A college professor does not enter into a lecture hall and teach their students all that they know.  No, they teach their students what they think they are capable of understanding at that point in time.   Anyone who has studied and been involved in one of the applied science should recognize that Jesus was teaching the people of his day about applied science.

There is an axiom in philosophy that states that, “Once you have chosen who to ask the question, you have already determined the answer.”  If you ask a religious person like the Apostle Paul about the Gospel of Jesus, you are going to get a religious answer, because Paul was an exceptional authority on Jewish religion.  If you ask a present day applied scientist about the Gospel of Jesus, he probably would answer in scientific terms.

Experimental Science has only been around for about four hundred years.  Experimental Science is the science that proves or disproves Theoretical Science theories. Experimental Science was introduced into the world by Galileo, who used his handmade telescope to produce data that proved the Copernican heliocentric theory, that the Earth rotated about the Sun and not the contrary that the official church subscribed to.  Galileo’s reward for this discovery by the church, which had political power, was life imprisonment, which was relegated to house arrest for the five remaining years of his life.  Applied Science is the science that applies what we have learned about science to solving the problems and issues of the day and has grown into the technology that is all about us in this first quarter of the twenty-first century.

It is of no wonder that the people that Jesus was teaching about applied science could not comprehend what was being taught to them; the Applied Sciences had not yet been discovered by man.  As has been the case all through the history of man, man has made a religion out of things and events when he did not understand the supporting science.  An astrophysicist said, “Science tells you the truth whether you like it or not”.  Religion is something one chooses to believe, this can be caused by many various reasons, including: coercion, inheritance, crowd psychology, social pressures, family pressures, a means of saying in business and earning a living, indoctrination from youth, or evangelized by circumstances and oratory arguments.

The solution to peace in the world then seems obvious: teach the world about the science behind the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (or your Personal Counselor as Jesus called the Holy Spirit).

QED

A Church Guided by Gossip or a Church Guided by the Holy Spirit?

Ver. 1.0.1

The Philosopher

https://anewparadigminchristianthinking.wordpress.com/tag/gossip

10/4/2015

Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft Societies

“Ferdinand Tonnies (1877-1988) saw a new type of society emerging. Tonnies used the term Gemeinschaft (Guh-Mine-shoft), or ‘intimate community,’ to describe the traditional type of society in which everyone knows everyone else and people share a sense of shared fate. In such a society, people toe the line because they are acutely sensitive to the opinions of others and know that if they deviate, others will gossip and damage their reputation. Although their lives are sharply controlled by the opinions of others, they draw comfort from being part of an intimate group.

Tonnies saw that industrialization was tearing at this intimate fabric of village life. He noted that, in this emerging society, personal ties, family connections, lifelong friendships were growing less important. They were being replaced by short-term relationships, individual accomplishments, and self-interests. Tonnies called this new type of society Gesellschaft (Guh-Zell-shoft), or ‘impersonal associations.’ As much as anyone might hate it, in Gemeinschaft society informal mechanisms such as gossip had been effective in controlling people. In this new world of Gesellschaft, however, gossip was of little use, and to keep people in line society had to depend on more formal agencies, such as the police and courts.”i

The Church has become a Gemeinschaft society – and “intimate community.” A community that is to be guided by the Personal Counselor, a.k.a. the Holy Spirit, that Jesus sent into the world during the Pentecost Festival after His ascension into Heaven. However, this writer has noticed some competition with gossip controlling the church. And when we have given members of the church a position of authority, and gossip rather than the Holy Spirit is in control, the community of the church can be led astray and damaged.

In the Covenant of one local church, the following was made a part of this Church Covenant: “I WILL PROTECT THE UNITY OF MY CHURCH
…By acting in love toward other members
…By refusing to gossip
…By following the leaders”

What do the Scriptures say about Gossip?

Proverbs:
 11:13”A gossip betrays a confidence….”
 16:28 “…a gossip separates close friends.”
 18:8 “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s/ [woman’s] inmost parts.”
 20:19 “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man/ [woman] who talks too much.”
 26:20 “Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.”
 II Corinthians 12:20 “….I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.”

Women and the Church

1 Corinthians 14:34-35“…As in all congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.”

I Timothy 2:11 “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.”

Paul’s Letters and Gender Roles

“An example of gender roles would be gender roles depicted in the letters, which proscribe roles for women that appear to deviate from Paul’s more egalitarian teaching that in Christ there is neither male nor female. Separate male and female roles, however, were not foreign to the authentic Pauline epistles; the First Letter to the Corinthians (14:34–35) commands silence from women during church services, stating that “it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” This is widely regarded to be an interpolation by a later editor of 1 Corinthians of a passage from 1 Timothy 2:11–15 that states a similar “women should be silent in churches”. This made 1 Corinthians more widely acceptable to church leaders in later times. If verses before or after 1 Corinthians 14:34–35 are read, it is fairly clear that verses 34 and 35 were inserted later.”ii

Pauline authorship

For Pauline authorship

“Among the Apostolic Fathers, ‘a strong case can be made for Ignatius’ use of … 1 and 2 Timothy’. The unidentified author of the Muratorian fragment (c.170) lists the Pastorals as Pauline, while excluding others e.g. to the Laodiceans. Origen refers to the “fourteen epistles of Paul” without specifically naming Titus or Timothy. However it is believed that Origen wrote a commentary on at least the epistle to Titus.

Easton’s Bible Dictionary (1897) gives a date for the First Epistle to Timothy of around A.D. 66 or 67 and says of 2 Timothy, “It was probably written a year or so after the first, and from Rome, where Paul was for a second time a prisoner, and was sent to Timothy by the hands of Tychicus,” as the text indicates. Of the Epistle to Titus, Easton’s says “Paul’s authorship was undisputed in antiquity, as far as known, but is frequently doubted today. It was probably written about the same time as the First Epistle to Timothy, with which it has many affinities.”

“Adherents of the traditional position date the Epistle to Titus from the circumstance that it was written after Paul’s visit to Crete in Titus 1:5. That visit could not be the one referred to in Acts 27:7, when Paul was on his voyage to Rome as a prisoner, and where he continued a prisoner for two years. Thus traditional exegesis supposes that after his release Paul sailed from Rome into Asia, passing Crete by the way, and that there he left Titus “to set in order the things that were wanting.” Thence he would have gone to Ephesus, where he left Timothy, and from Ephesus to Macedonia, where he wrote the First Epistle to Timothy, and thence, according to the superscription of this epistle, to Nicopolis in Epirus, from which place he wrote to Titus, about A.D. 66 or 67.

Biblical Scholars such as Michael Licona or Ray Van Neste, who ascribe the books to Paul find their placement fits within his life and work and see the linguistic differences as complementary to differences in the recipients. Other Pauline epistles have fledgling congregations as the audience, the pastoral epistles are directed to Paul’s close companions, evangelists whom he has extensively worked with and trained. In this view, linguistic differences are to be expected, if one is to assert Pauline authorship to them. Johnson asserts the impossibility of demonstrating the authenticity of the Pastoral Letters.”

Against Pauline authorship

“On the basis of their language, content, and other factors, the pastoral epistles are today widely regarded as not having been written by Paul, but after his death. (Although the Second Epistle to Timothy is sometimes thought to be more likely than the other two to have been written by Paul.) Beginning with Friedrich Schleiermacher in a letter published in 1807, biblical textual critics and scholars examining the texts fail to find their vocabulary and literary style similar to Paul’s unquestionably authentic letters, fail to fit the life situation of Paul in the epistles into Paul’s reconstructed biography, and identify principles of the emerged Christian church rather than those of the apostolic generation.”

“As an example of qualitative style arguments, in the First Epistle to Timothy the task of preserving the tradition is entrusted to ordained presbyters; the clear sense of presbuteros as an indication of an office, is a sense that to these scholars seems alien to Paul and the apostolic generation.”iii

If we take the scriptures as “God’s unerring word,” women participating in church activities would be in trouble. On speculation, these passages look to appear from a practicing preacher, as they are almost word for word in I Corinthians and I Timothy. As an amateur platform speaker, I can attest to the frustration a speaker would have when he is delivering his important message and women are taking amongst themselves, interpreting what the speaker is saying. It seems women have an unrestrained need to share their thoughts and insights with their neighbor in the audience. The insertion of the “women not to speak in the church” into Paul’s writing in I Corinthians could have been an attempt to eliminate this urge of women to share their thoughts and insights while the speaker was speaking and to assert this frustration.

Church Covenants and Codes of Conduct

The following Church Covenants and Codes of Conduct is suggested for churches that deem these necessary.
I will protect the unity of the church:
 I will support and treat others with love and negotiate workable compromises in a win-win manner.
 By refusing to gossip or carry gossip forward or act upon gossip in the discharge of my church duties.
 By following the leadership of the Personal Counselor Jesus sent to us with my constant, real time, continuous seeking his guidance in my life.
 By remaining silent, except for an appropriate “Amen” of approval and support, and not discussing my insights with others as the speaker is delivering their message in general assembly.
 I will conduct outreach for the purpose of introducing the unchurched to Christ’s Teachings. I will not visit church members to ascertain their assets that I can use for my own personal purposes. Private assets are for the mission of the church as each member chooses to make them available to the church mission.

QED


i Henslin, James M., Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, “Sociology (A Down-to-Earth Approach) 5th ed.” Allyn and Bacon, Needham Heights, Massachusetts, 2001, p 107
ii https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastoral_epistles#Against_Pauline_authorship
iii Ibid

Is the Truth Found in Scripture or in Science?

Ver. 1.3.0

The Philosopher and Church Reformer, Twenty-First Century

https://anewparadigminchristianthinking.wordpress.com/tag/Scripture-vs-science/

8/27/2015

Introduction

Experimental science has been around since Galileo (1564-1642), who has been attributed the title of “The Father of Modern Science” when he made a number of observations of planetary motion with his advanced hand-built telescope. His data proved “the 16th century Polish astronomer Copernicus’ suggestion of placing the sun at or near the center of the heavens and giving the earth an orbit equivalent to that which had previously been assigned to the sun. He published his ideas in the great book “De revolutionibus orbium celestial.The first copy was placed in his hands while he lay on his deathbed in 1543. Unknown to Copernicus, a preface had been anonymously added to this book by an officious clergyman, advising readers that the ideas in it were to be construed not literally but merely as hypotheses useful in simplifying the work of astronomers.” i

“The Ptolemy system put the earth at the center of the universe. The centers of planetary orbits were placed at some distance from the center of the earth, and such orbits were called eccentric, and most planets were given small circular orbits around centers which moved in large circles around the earth, and these smaller circles were called epicycles. This system took its name from Claudius Ptolemy, who brought it to completion about 150 A.D. It had been set forth by Hipparchus about three centuries earlier. Although the Ptolemaic system was defended by the followers of Aristotle, in reality it was the much older astronomy of Eudoxus (ca, 408-355 B.C.) to which Aristotle’s statements were originally intended to apply”.ii

The clergy in this time period favored the Ptolemy system of planetary motion, as it featured the earth as the unique and distinguished situation at the center of the universe, which agreed with what the clergy found in the Scriptures. This was also the position of philosophers as well as theologians, who taught that the heavenly bodies were created especially for the use and service of man, and that man was the subject of God’s principal care and concern. Also the Copernican system had the further disadvantage of requiring vast and rapid motions of the earth, which seemed to contradict all common sense and everyday experience.” iii

Galileo completed “Dialogue,” his proof of the Copernicus system of planetary motion, and sought to gain a license to print from Rome, the center of Catholic theology, and was granted permission to print. Printing began in June of 1631, and was completed in February of 1632. In August of 1632, Rome ordered the suspension of sales of “Dialogue.” In October of 1632, Galileo was ordered to Rome to stand trial. The Pope, in June of 1633, ordered rigorous examination; Galileo capitulated and was sentenced to indefinite imprisonment after humiliating abjuration. In December of 1633, he was placed in permanent house arrest and banned from any further publishing of his work. In 1635, the Latin translation of “Dialogue” was published at Strasbourg; an English version was made but not published. Galileo died January 8, 1642. “The Pope forbade the Grand Duke to erect a monument in Galileo’s honor if any word on it would ‘offend the reputation of the Holy Office’.” iv

The father of modern science died while imprisoned under house arrest, sentenced there by the “Holy Office” of Rome, which thought the Scriptures were the absolute truth, and science had to comply with the Scriptures or the science was not only wrong, but an act of heresy, which was a charge equivalent to a felony.

A back of the envelope calculation shows that, in the twenty-first century, modern science has been in use for less than 400 years. The Scriptures date back multiple centuries – greater than twelve centuries, and the New Testament Scriptures for just more than two centuries. The history of man is being rewritten by DNA analysis; similarly, the Scriptures need to be updated to coincide with the physical laws that God has created to keep his universe in good working order. And the church needs to update its theology to coincide with the developments of science and we are not done yet with finding out what God has created in His universe.

The New Deal

The New Deal began on the day of the Pentecost Festival, about fifty days after Jesus’ ascension into Heaven after His resurrection from dying on a Roman cross. The New Deal began with a bang, or as documented, by a ‘strong wind and tongues of fire’.v This was too big a deal for the followers of Jesus to understand. They received this gift of the Holy Spirit and acted in a manner they thought was appropriate, being given the responsibility to bring this New Deal to all nations.vi Did they get it right? If I were a gambling man, I would bet against them getting it right. For one thing, there is not mention of the Personal Counselor that Jesus sent to us to “Teach us all that we need to know,”vii Tell us what to say.viii . There is some mention of the Holy Spirit telling the Apostles where to go.ix But the New Deal was way over their heads; there was more delivered by Jesus than anyone in this time period could understand. Did the Apostles get it right? Not likely, given the circumstance and knowledge of the time.

The Pentecost Festival Event

In the Book of Acts of the Apostles 1:4 Jesus said, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.” Book of Acts of the Apostles 2:1-6 says, “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them.
“Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own language? …….we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own language! Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, ‘what does this mean?’”

This Pheromone is Difficult to Explain

Sound Waves

Sound waves are like ripples on a smooth pond. Toss in one stone and it will produce ripples on top of the water, going out in expanding circle. Throw two stones, at the same time, into the pond at slightly different positions, and the waves will interfere with each other. Toss ten stones into the pond at the same time at slightly different positions and the waves will be indefinable from each individual stone.

Given the difficulty of overcoming the physics of this situation is not an easy task. If the Apostles were all speaking at once, who could understand the resulting noise? Air waves are like the waves on the pond, only they are three dimensional waves, going out in a spherical manner from the source. The air does not move, but each air molecule pushes against its neighboring molecules until it reaches the ears of the hearer and then the air waves pulse on the ear drum, which the brain converts to sound. If there is no air between the speaker and the listener, there is no air wave and there is no sound produced.

An alternative explanation that allows the laws of physics to apply to this situation is that each Apostle is speaking in their own language and the listeners are hearing what they are speaking in their own language. This would be an easy task for the Holy Spirit to accomplish; the speech of the Galileans is translated by the Holy Spirit into the language of the listener.

The Joshua Problem

Galileo, in the 17th century, had a similar situation with what is known as “The Joshua Problem.” In Galileo’s time, there were two different theories on planetary motion: the Ptolemy theory that the earth rotated about the sun, and the Copernicus theory that the sun rotated about the earth. Though his self-made telescopes, Galileo produced data that proved the Copernicus theory as the correct theory – the earth rotated about the sun.

Galileo was a member in good standing with the Catholic Church, and the Catholic Church had a problem with the Copernicus theory of planetary motion conflicting with the scripture. “The Joshua Problem” comes from Joshua 10:12-13: “On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: ‘O sun stand still over Gibeon, O moon over the Valley of Aijalon.’ So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation triumphed over its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.” Galileo became known as the first experimental physicist because of his method of using data to prove or disprove a theory. But the resulting physics was in conflict with the Scriptures.

The problem with “The Joshua Problem” is the loss of centripetal force that keeps the earth in rotation about the sun. This is the force that counteracts the gravitational attraction of the earth and the sun. Without this centripetal force, the earth would be pulled into the sun. And if the earth stopped its rotation, how would it restart its rotation? Religion is based on people’s emotions and physics is based on the fundamental laws of physics that God put into place to maintain order in the universe. Galileo argued that the Joshua event happened during the summer solstice, when daylight would be at its maximum. Why would Joshua ask that the sun stand still at midday? Would it not be more plausible that the sun was setting and Joshua saw the time urgency for more daylight? Galileo also argued that using the Copernicus system of planetary motion, the sun would need to stop is own rotation and that would cause the earth, moon and stars to stop their rotation.

In both the Pentecost event and the Joshua event, the laws of physics that God put into place to maintain order in His kingdom, the universe, must be obeyed. “Science is the truth if you believe it or not.” – An Astro Physicist.

Science the Final Voice of Truth

There has been great effort by mankind to make these Scriptures the absolute word of God and the final truth of all matters. In the time of John Newton, (mid-18th century) John and three others founded the Eclectic Society (a select, diverse society not connected to any other group). “The spirit of the society was characterized by the informality of it proceeding, the seriousness of its spiritual discussions, and the commitment of its membership.”x When the Eclectic Society was revived by John Stott in 1955, a requirement that “members must accept the supreme authority of Scripture and avoid arcane theological arguments” was added to the society’s rules. This rule would certainly seriously limit the contribution that science can lend to the understanding of the Gospel that Jesus sent to us.
In reality, God created the physical world and he created the physics that brings order to His universe. Scientists discover how these wonders of the universe work together to bring harmony to His vast creation – the universe.
As this Astro Physicist pointed out, as he showed a photo taken from a spacecraft of the earth as a small dot below the huge rings of Saturn, “We are thinking too small when we concern ourselves only with the events taking place on this planet earth.”

Philosophy’s Contribution to Finding the Truth

Rene` Descartes, a 17th century philosopher, established a method for finding the truth. He wanted to find the truth for himself and not the truths that the religious and political authorities were promoting as the truth. Cutting through all the fog and clouds and eliminating all beliefs and opinions – no matter how many people had these beliefs and opinions – he doubted anything that he knew until he could establish a truth that he could convince himself was the truth. He then built upon these truths and bootstrapped his way to the larger truth.

This method was picked up by other 17th and 18th century philosophers and they became known as the “Enlightenment Philosophers” and began the era of “Reason.” This was the beginning of Modern Philosophy, replacing the Ancient Philosophy of finding the truth by argument and rebuttal.

The “Enlightenment Philosophers” influenced Thomas Jefferson in his writing of the Declaration of Independence from England incorporated the “Rights of Man” established by these Enlightenment philosophers. The English Enlightenment Philosophers influenced the bloodless revolution in England and the French Enlightenment Philosophers the French Revelation. Rene’ Descartes method of finding the truth has become known as “Autonomous Reflection.” A method still used today by CEOs, political leaders to lead their enterprises, research scientists, and whoever else wants to push the extents of the envelope of our knowledge of the truth.xi Jesus told us to find a quiet place like a closet, where one can hear themselves think and “Tell your Father, who is unseen, then your Father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you. …your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” xii

The Book of Genesis

Genesis 4:2 “….Now Abel kept flocks and Cain worked the soil”. In the development of man he was first a hunter and gather and a nomad. The keeping of flocks was a transition from hunter-gatherer to agrarian but since they still lived in tents they were still nomadic. Man did not learn about planting seeds in the soil and growing their own crops until the time that Jericho was forming as the oldest city on the planet. It was this new agrarian life style that allowed man to remain in one place. Therefore the book of Genesis must have been written after the founding of the city of Jericho. We do know that the agrarian life style originated in the Fertile Crescent on the Mediterranean Sea the same area that Abraham was located.

The Evolution of man

The Paleoanthropologists has not been able to link the evolution of ancient man that evolved from the ape to the modern man the Homo species. The two species, Ancient man and Homo have the same bone structure from the neck on down, but the skull shape and brain capacity are much different. There has not been found any transition species between the two. It is though one species disappeared and the other appeared on earth. These finding support the creation theory as modern man appeared on earth with no link to a past.xiii

Earth a Special Place?

Astronomers have observed that suns we call stars have planets similar to earth circulating around them, that is in the Goldilocks Zone (not to hot not to cold) and about the same size as our earth (not to large not to small) therefore having about the same gravity as earth. They estimate there are approximately four billion planets that could look like earth and therefore could have life on these planets like earth. We cannot see these planets because they do not give off light, but we can observe the decrease in light from the star as the planet passes in front of their sun. If Jesus is visiting these planets like He did earth, this is going to take up a lot of His time.

QED


i “Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo”, Translated by Stillman Drake, Anchor Books, 1957, pp 12-14
ii Ibid p11
iii Ibid p 12
iv Ibid P 286
v Acts 2: TBD
vi Mathew 28:TBD
vii John 14: 26
viii Luke 12:12,
ix Acts 9:11, 6, Acts 8:29,
x Jonathan Aitken, “John Newton” “From Disgrace to Amazing Grace”, Crossway, 2007, pp 289-293
xi https://anewparadigminchristianthinking.wordpress.com/tag/Autonomous-Reflection/
xii Matthew 6:6-8
xiii http://pbs.org

Romans: The Book That Changed the World or the Book That Derailed the Gospel Jesus Sent Us Ver. 1.0.1

The Philosopher and Church Reformer, Twentieth-First Century

https://anewparadigminchristianthinking.wordpress.com/tag/Romans/

9/11/2015

Dear Fellow Christians:

Our Bible Study Group is in the midst of an in-depth study of the book of Romans, written by the Apostle Paul preceding his trip to Rome. Our class leader has stated that the Book of Romans is “the Book the changed the world.” It has, but is it the Gospel Jesus wanted us to have? Our class leader stated that Martin Luther thought that the book of Romans and especially Chapters II & III “were the heart of Paul’s argument for his Gospel.” However, Jesus was all about the empowerment of individuals.

Things to keep in mind about the Apostle Paul

There are some things we should keep in mind about Paul and his Gospel. 1) Paul was very educated in the Jewish religion. 2) Paul did not have firsthand knowledge of the teachings of Jesus. 3) Paul did not have firsthand knowledge of the arrival of the Personal Counselor, a.k.a. the Holy Spirit, that Jesus said he would send to us when he got back home to Heaven. Paul had secondhand knowledge of this event on that day of the Pentecost Festival, receiving his information from disciples that themselves did not understand the significance of the arrival of this Personal Counselor. 4) Paul was a problem solver; his institution of the Lord’s Supper solved a problem in the Corinthian Church. His theology of the salvation of man was a solution to a condition of man – his original sin. 5) Paul’s mission was to put the church of Jesus on the map. He accomplished his mission. 6) Paul’s lack of knowledge of the Personal Counselor and his failure to empower the new converts with this Personal Counselor resulted in Paul micromanaging his churches.

The Teachings of Jesus

From the teachings of Jesus, it should be obvious to any well-trained philosophical investigator that is very well educated in the New Testament teachings, that it was not the church, that Paul created, that Jesus wanted, but then he, like all taskforce leaders, had to accept what his taskforce people could accomplish with their given skill packages. Jesus was given the assignment to establish His church on this planet by His Father in Heaven; no time limit was given for Jesus to accomplish His mission. Jesus was in the position of waiting for someone to come along, like Paul did, to move his church forward in the direction that He wanted it to go.

Teachings of Jesus

There are some teachings of Jesus that His disciples did not understand, nor did any of the Gospel writers, the Apostle Paul, or any of the New Testament writers, nor any religious leader in the past twenty centuries and, to this day, I think there is only one person on this planet that understands these particular teaching of Jesus found in: Mathew 9:16-17, Mark 2:21-22, Luke 5:36-38. “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse, and no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins. And no one, after drinking old wine, wants the new, for he says, ‘The old is better’.” Jesus is teaching His disciples about a Paradigm Shift. This is something that only a philosopher, who is also a serious student of the Gospel, is likely to notice.

Peter’s Contribution to Derailing the Gospel

  • Case study:

Peter in Acts: 2:38 connected the reception of the Personal Counselor, a.k.a. the Holy Spirit, to the existing Paradigm, which was the Jewish religion. “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” To this day this action has not been challenged by anyone knowledgeable in the teachings of Jesus, and this is probably because they have a problem with Philosophers.

Different Philosophers

Churches seem to have a problem with philosophers and scientist, probably stemming from Paul’s interaction with the Philosophers of Athens in his time and Darwin’s theory of evolution. They seem to be of the opinion that there are two Gods, one created religion and the other created science and they are at odds with each other. This writer’s intent is to show that religion is only science that we do not yet understand and when we do it will be shown to be science. There are several categories of Philosophers: There are Philosophers who have studied Philosopher’s teaching and can quote Philosophers like a serious student of the Bible can quote Book, Chapter, Verse and phrases on demand. Then there are Philosophers who have studied the methodology of Philosophers and learned how to apply this methodology themselves and thus have indeed become a Philosopher in their own right. There are Modern Philosophers and Ancient Philosophers; there are Philosophers that put arguments forward to prove the existence of God and those who argue for the nonexistence of God.

There are two important Philosophers of the 18th and 19th century that have contributed greatly to the field of philosophy. These two Philosophers are Rene` Descartes of France, and Immanuel Kant of Germany. Rene` Descartes was a supporter of his church and country, but he wanted to prove the truth to himself, by himself, leaving no doubt to what the Truth was. He developed a methodology of self-doubt and “Autonomous Reflection.” He had to prove to himself by a step-by-step process, building from the basic known truths to the more complex truths. This new methodology was the beginning of Modern Philosophy and has become the new protocol for Philosophers. This is a new era, “Modern Philosophy,” differentiating it from “Ancient Philosophy” going back several thousand of years. Rene`Descartes then is known as the Father of Modern Philosophy (The Enlightenment Era, The Age of Reason).

This methodology was accepted by other Philosophers, including Immanuel Kant of Germany, who also was an ardent supporter of Christianity and known as the greatest Philosopher since Aristotle, who stated that “We are not yet enlightened, but are becoming enlightened,” which means we are still in the Enlightenment era in this twenty-first century. These Philosophers became known as the “Enlightenment Philosophers,” as they lead us out of the middle ages, where man was instructed how to live, think and act by the authorities of their time, including church leaders, and into the “Enlightenment Age”, where man could determine for himself how to live, think and act. The Truths that these “Enlightenment Philosophers” developed, regarding the “Rights of Man”, influenced Thomas Jefferson to incorporate them into our “Declaration of Independence” from England. They also led to the bloodless revolution in England, the French revolution and probably the Ottoman Empire revolution.i

Definitions of a Paradigm Shift

Jesus gave us His definition of a “Paradigm Shift” when He taught us that “One does not take a piece of cloth from a new garment and sew it on an old torn garment. The new cloth will shrink and the tear will become worse.” “One does not pour new wine into an old wineskin, as the new wine is volatile and will burst the old wineskin and both the new wine and the old wineskin will be lost.” People will always say that ‘the old wine is better than the new’.”

From Wikipedia:The term ‘paradigm shift’ has found uses in other contexts, representing the notion of a major change in a certain thought-pattern — a radical change in personal beliefs, complex systems or organizations, replacing the former way of thinking or organizing with a radically different way of thinking or organizing.”
“Hans Küng applies Thomas Kuhn’s theory of paradigm change to the entire history of Christian thought and theology. He identifies six historical ‘macromodels’: 1) the apocalyptic paradigm of primitive Christianity, 2) the Hellenistic paradigm of the patristic period, 3) the medieval Roman Catholic paradigm, 4) the Protestant (Reformation) paradigm, 5) the modern Enlightenment paradigm, and 6) the emerging ecumenical paradigm.
”ii

The Paradigm Shift of Jesus:

Jesus brought us a “New Paradigm Shift” – a complete change from the old Jewish way of thinking, believing and acting. This was a paradigm shift that was not to be associated with the old Jewish way of relating to our Father in Heaven, but a new relationship with our Father in Heaven that had nothing to do with the history of the Jewish Religion, its laws or its traditions. This New Paradigm Shift that Jesus brought us was completely new and not to be associated or linked to the Jewish past. But nobody understood it; not one person did until now in this 21st century. The New Paradigm Shift of Jesus is that we have a loving Father in Heaven who wants to guide us through this life on Earth and provide for all our needs to live on this planet. He wants to participate in all of his children’s lives and he wants us to look to him for His support so that “He can feel good about participating in our lives.” That is the New Paradigm Shift that Jesus brought to us and He provided that support through His Personal Counselor a.k.a. the Holy Spirit.

The Problem of Ego

The only thing that prevents us from receiving this guidance from His Personal Counselor is our Ego. This is not the Ego as Freud described it, as a moderator between the Id and the Super Ego, but for what the Ego has evolved through time. “In modern English, ego has many meanings. It could mean one’s self-esteem; an inflated sense of self-worth; the conscious-thinking self; or in philosophical terms, one’s self. Ego development is known as the development of multiple processes, cognitive function, defenses, and interpersonal skills or to early adolescence when ego processes are emerged.”iii This is our desire to be independent and live, think and act the way we want to without the guidance from His Personal Counselor. “We want to live it our way.” This is what separates us from God (our Father in Heaven) and this is the problem Paul, in his intellectual augments in the “Book of Romans,” attempted to solve in chapters II & III by associating ‘The Problem’ and its solution with the existing Jewish religion.

Yours Truly,

The Philosopher
Church Reformer, 21st Century

Amazing Grace its Birth to National-World Spiritual Anthem Ver. 1.1.0
The Philosopher and Church Reformer Twenty-First Century
https://anewparadigminchristianthinking.wordpress.com/tag/amazing-grace
8/24/2016

Biography of the Author of Amazing Grace:

The biography of Mr. John Newton: John Newton was the only son of a sea captain in Liverpool, England, which was a working class community. John was not treated very kindly by the other boys in his community. This was probably the result of a clash in the social order, noticeable to others because of John’s greater inheritance of innate knowledge from his sea captain father. John’s mother instilled in John the Gospel message until he was six years old, when she died of tuberculosis. John was exceptional in his ability to write fluently at the age of three, and memorized long text his mother gave him to study. At the age of eight, he was sent off to boarding school. At age 10, he finished his formal education and went to sea with his sea captain father. By this time, John exhibited much behavior in being tough. He was mischievous, vulgar and blasphemous (degrading God, in some countries this is a crime punishable by death)

Captain of Slave Ships:

John Newton made four voyages aboard slave ships taking slaves from Africa to the West Indies and America. His first voyages was as the first mate on a slave ship and three more as captain of the ship usually carrying two hundred salves in close sardine can accommodations in the overheated hole of the ship. It was usual for many of the slaves as well some sailors to die on the long six week middle voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to the West Indies. On his final fourth voyage, the competition for slaves had increased with ships from France and America now in the slave business and Captain Newton only had eighty-seven slaves on board across the middle voyage. The full complement of slaves and crew survived this middle voyage across the Atlantic a feat never before accomplished by a slave ship.
Preparing for his next voyage on a new ship that was being constructed for him in Liverpool, John experienced what today might be called a mild stroke. John was in robust physical condition and only twenty-nine years old. His doctors recommended that he retire from Sea Captain as it would be too dangerous for him and his crew with this unknown health condition.
Providence had saved John before when he was the first mate on a slave ship, and his captain made a last minute decision to replace John in command of the longboat headed up a river for supplies and the longboat never returned and all hands had drowned in the river. This captain could not explain his decision to replace Newton, it was an impulse decision. Now Captain Newton’s replacement on this slave ship was murdered by his cargo of slaves. Providence again had appeared to save Newton.

John Newton’s Advancement to Ordination:

Mr. Newton, now with his attention turned back to the Gospel message that his mother had taught him, began a long self-study of God’s Grace. Grounded from being a sea captain and unemployed, he landed a government position in the service of collecting duties from the incoming ships into Liverpool. This position afforded him and his wife a comfortable living in this working class community. John’s religious studies led him to interfacing with the new Methodist, Baptist and independent churches of England. The congregations of these churches were two social steps below his in-laws and his wife. The only church that would keep the peace in his family was the Church of England. Mr. Newton applied for ordination into the Church of England several times over a six-year period, being rejected at every attempt. The Church of England was an elitist society and required its priests to have a degree from Cambridge or Oxford, and John’s formal education ended at the age of 10! John was self-taught in the study of God’s Grace. It was not until a wealthy landowner with political power in the Church of England, Lord Dartmouth, took an interest in Mr. Newton as a potential religious leader that John Newton was ordained into the Church of England and given a Parish in Olney, a working class community..

The Birth of Amazing Grace:

John Newton’s reputation as one of the world’s great preachers flourished in his position of curate in this Olney working class Parish. He began writing hymns to supplement his sermons. For his sermon of January 1, 1773, celebrating a new year and a new beginning, he wrote the song that would become “Amazing Grace.” This was published by Mr. Newton in 1779 in a Hymnal the “Olney Hymns,” with the uninspiring title of “Faith’s Review and Expectations”, and it was #41 in the Olney Hymnal. He had collaborated on this hymnal with William Cowper, who became known as one of England’s great poets, and this song remained in obscurity for 60 years.

The Evolution of Amazing Grace:

Olney Hymns was first published in New York in 1790 and in Philadelphia by the end of the end of the century. The Reformed Dutch Church in North America in 1789 published a general hymnbook that included “Amazing Grace”. In some New England hymnals “Amazing Grace” was featured by the 1830’s. The hymn was becoming popular at revival meeting, where large numbers of people became converted.

The song that John had written for the 1773 New Year became known as “Amazing Grace.” At an unknown time and place. England ignored this song; it first appeared in literature in America, at least the last two verses, in Harriett Beecher Stowe’s book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in 1852,

The earth shall be dissolved like snow the sun shall cease to shine, But God who called me here below Shall be forever mine.

And when this mortal life shall fail and flesh and sense shall cease, I shall possess within the veil A of joy and peace.

These two verses are reversed from Newton’s original version, possible due to its being passed down orally from their African-American forefathers on the plantations.

It ironically was being sung by the decedents of the slaves that John Newton had brought to America when he was a captain of a slave ship. It had been handed down by oral tradition and was first published in William Walker’s book “The Southern Harmony” in 1835 where it was linked to the tune of “New Britain” no one knows where this connection came from. The last verse, which begins “When we’ve been there ten thousand years,” had been around orally for half a century in Afro-American worship, was added after the first three verses by Edwin Othello Excell in 1910 in “Coronation Hymns,” and is the accepted 20th century form of “Amazing Grace” where the last two verses of John Newton were dropped.

Amazing Grace Becomes the National Spiritual Anthem:

Aretha Franklin took “Amazing Grace” from Gospel Music to popular music by recording it in 1947. It shifted into political consciousness of Black America when she teamed up with Martin Luther King in the 1960s and put “Amazing Grace” on its way to becoming our official National Spiritual Anthem. Judy Collins took “Amazing Grace” beyond the church walls in 1970 as the final track on “Whales and Nightingales.” Many recordings of “Amazing Grace” were recorded onward after 1970. The bagpipes of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards created the use of “Amazing Grace” as a melancholy lament appropriate for sorrowful occasions, and its use at funerals grew widely as when Judy Collins sang it at the funeral of her son in 1992 and it was sung as part of the memorial mass for John F. Kennedy Jr. in 1999. “Amazing Grace” came to be used frequently at joyful church services, weddings, baptisms, celebrations of anniversaries, and on important public occasions ranging from the opening of baseball games to ceremonies of national mourning, such as the loss of the astronauts on the space shuttle Challenger in 1986, and the 3,000 deaths at Ground Zero in New York after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, and led by President Barrack Obama at the memorial service of those killed in a church who were attending a Bible Study group in 2015.

In light of its recent history and usage, “Amazing Grace” has been called the “Spiritual National Anthem of America”. This is a description that can be applied even more widely on an international canvas, for the hymn soars above most boundaries as a simple celebration of the experience of grace. It is sung not only by Christians but by Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and people of no particular faith. i

QED

  • 1 Jonathan Aitken, “John Newton” “From Disgrace to Amazing Grace” Crossway, 2007

Amazing Grace
Originally by John Newton
1773
Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound) That sav’d a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears reliev’d; How precious did that grace appear, The hour I first believed!

Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.

Added verse by Edwin Othello Excell in 1910

When we’ve been their ten thousand years Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise, Than when we first begun.

Pyramid of Giving vs. Maslow’s Pyramid of Hierarchy of Needs Ver. 1.0.1

The Philosopher and Church Reformer, Twenty-First Century
https://anewparadigminchristianthinking.wordpress.com/tag/giving
8/9/2015

At a recent church service, the visiting speaker from the nearby seminary presented an argument of giving. This giving pattern can be and was constructed in a Pyramid of Giving. The Pyramid was based on Paul’s writing to the Corinthian Church in II Corinthians 8:7. At the bottom of the pyramid is “Giving for Needs;” the next step is “Giving as a Discipline;” the next step “Giving Above and Beyond the Call of Duty;” and at the top of the pyramid is “Giving for Adventure.” i These may not be the exact titles given by the speaker, but they follow the thinking of the Apostle Paul in the reference cited.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needsii can also be placed in a similar pyramid. At the bottom of the pyramid are “Food, Clothing and Shelter.” The next level is “Safety and Security,” which refers to personal, financial, health and safety nets (insurance). The next level is “Love and Belonging,” which refers to family, social groups, clubs and even gangs. The next level is “Esteem,” such as self-esteem and self-respect, and being accepted and valued by others. The top level of the pyramid is “Self Actualization” (for one to become the most that they can be). The self-transcendence means that the self only finds its actualization in giving itself to some higher goal outside oneself, in altruism and spirituality. Or as John F. Kennedy stated, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”iii This was easier for JFK to say, as he was at the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It may not have been his original thought as this thought is found in history, but he was trying to make a point. “It is better to give than to receive” is a proverb originating with the Apostle Paul.

A similar pyramid of needs that parallels “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs” would be at the bottom level: food, clothing and shelter. The next level is: extra funds for niceties and insurance. And at the next level: conspicuous consumption, which is buying to impress the neighbors. And at the next level: giving consistently to a
worthy cause. The top level is: giving most of your income to a worthy cause as a matter of habit.

These may not be the same labels used by Maslow, but they are chosen to illustrate the connection of the Giving Pyramid to the Needs Pyramid.

The argument of the speaker was that your level of giving will determine your position on “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.” The more you give, the more you receive to give. If you are at the bottom of “Maslow’s Hierarch of Needs” then according to this speaker, give a little, get a little in return. In the technical world this is called “Bootstrapping”. “In general parlance, bootstrapping usually refers to the starting of a self-sustaining process that is supposed to proceed without external input.”iv Not only do your own needs get met, but you are meeting the needs of others who are at the bottom of “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs,” or you are advancing our society with your support.

    QED

  • i Dr. Rick Durst, “Generous Living: Credible Disciples #6”, Trinity Church, Livermore, CA 8/9/2015
    ii https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs
    iii https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inauguration_of_John_F._Kennedy
    iv https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bootstrapping