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Archive for December, 2013

 

 

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Under vault of heaven we make merry

Ev’n as seasons after their fashion hurry:

Surely as our peers we replaced in time

We must leave seats- for time will not tarry.

benny

 

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Pen Portraits- Martin Luther

(1483-1546)
Born in Germany in 1483, Martin Luther became one of the most influential figures in Christian history when he began the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. He called into question some of the basic tenets of Roman Catholicism, and his followers soon split from the Roman Catholic Church to begin the Protestant tradition.
Born of peasant stock Martin at first wanted to become a lawyer for which in 1501, he entered the University of Erfurt, where he received a Master of Arts degree (in grammar, logic, rhetoric and metaphysics). However, in July 1505, Luther had a life-changing experience that set him on a new course. Caught in a horrific thunderstorm where he feared for his life, Luther cried out to St. Anne, the patron saint of miners, “Save me, St. Anne, and I’ll become a monk!”

Through his studies of scripture, Martin Luther finally gained religious enlightenment. Beginning in 1513, while preparing lectures, Luther read Psalm 22, which recounts Christ’s cry for mercy on the cross, a cry similar to his own disillusionment with God and religion. Two years later, while preparing a lecture on Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, he read, “The just will live by faith.”Finally, he realized the key to spiritual salvation was not to fear God or be enslaved by religious dogma but to believe that faith alone would bring salvation. This period marked a major change in his life and set in motion the Reformation.
In 1517, Pope Leo X announced a new round of indulgences to help build St. Peter’s Basilica. On October 31, 1517, an angry Martin Luther nailed a sheet of paper with 95 theses on the university’s chapel door. Though he intended these to be discussion points, the Ninety-Five Theses laid out a devastating critique of the indulgences as corrupting people’s faith. Aided by the printing press, copies of the Ninety-Five Theses spread throughout Germany within two weeks and throughout Europe within two months.

The Church eventually moved to stop the act of defiance.
On May 8, 1521, the Diet of Worms released the Edict, banning Luther’s writings and declaring him a “convicted heretic.” This made him a condemned and wanted man. Friends helped him hide out at the Wartburg Castle. While in seclusion, he translated the New Testament into the German language, to give ordinary people the opportunity to read God’s word.

Though still under threat of arrest, Martin Luther returned to Wittenberg Castle Church, in Eisenach, in May 1522. Miraculously, he was able to avoid capture and began organizing a new church, Lutheranism. He gained many followers and got support from German princes. When a peasant revolt began in 1524, Luther denounced the peasants and sided with the rulers, seeds of which we see coming to fruition when the German Lutheran Church would try to appease Hitler and his totalitarian program*. The Church of Rome was battling against an idea that had come of age. Printing made even a friar who had the courage of convictions and knew his Scriptures take on the mighty edifice that shall become tainted steadily for the reason it was organized and in the process had repackaged the Scriptures. In the end it would neither fit with the state nor with God. (ack: biography.com)

*MARTIN LUTHER AND THE NAZIS
The Nazi Party had argued that Hitler held the same beliefs and goals as Martin Luther. Martin Luther had warned the Germans against the Jews, and Luther’s writings, including “The Jews and Their Lies,” had been used by the Nazis to encourage anti-Semitism in the 1930s and 1940s. The Nazis went so far as to say that Adolf Hitler was carrying on the work of Luther. The Nazi Minister of Education reflected these beliefs when he wrote, “I think the time is past when one may not say the names of Hitler and Luther in the same breath. They belong together — they are of the same old stamp.”

THE REICH CHURCH
Pro-Nazis in the Lutheran Church, along with members of the Reformed and United churches, formed The German Christians’ Faith Movement in the 1930s. The movement was lead by the Nazi Ludwig Mueller, who called for the unification of all Protestant churches into one national church supporting Nazi racial and nationalist ideology. The members of this movement accepted the Nazi doctrine of a German super race and the inferiority of other races, including the Jews. The Lutheran Church was merged with the Reformed and United churches of Germany to form the Protestant Reich Church, officially known as the German Evangelical Church, in 1933, and Ludwig Mueller was appointed “Reich bishop,” answering to the Nazi Party. The Reich Church banned the use of the Old Testament of the Bible based on its Jewish origin, and excluded Christians of Jewish heritage. By the late 1930s and the beginning of World War II, the Reich Church had raised “Mein Kampf” above all other books, and had replaced the cross with the swastika. This church was the dominant form of Protestant and Lutheran Christianity in Germany during the war.(ack:http://people.opposingviews.com/lutheran-church-during-wwii)

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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 21,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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The Life of Aesop- Illustration
Momus gregarious as ever, another day invited Iadmon to hear the special guest he had that evening. Momus introduced a wretched looking man from Rhodos. He said, “Don’t let looks deceive you. He is Xeno and he is cynic.” He whispered, “Don’t speak of money. It makes him mad!” Iadmon thought the dog-faced Xeno was a man from the moon.
Xeno politely showed interest as Momus took him and Iadmon away from other guests to his collection room to show his new acquisitions. Xeno admired the vases and Iadmon said forgetting the word of advice of his friend, “To think the mind that must dirty his hand in common clay would dare to ask a ridiculously high sum! His gumption!” Momus was aghast. He looked askance at the cynic who looked at a figurine in silver, “The same mind which can produce such exquisite beauty needs to make drachmae (*silver coins) as well.” Later Momus asked Xeno what he meant by his answer. The cynic said idealism was all right. Any idea of man to keep that aim before and strive for perfection had to eat and work as a drudge. “He works under less than ideal conditions. Don’t you think?” Momus kept his silence.

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The spirited spout by its very shape

Gives somewhat a hint that it holds within;

‘Peer not in confusion of mouth agape

Drink deep and learn of me,’ so says the urn.

benny 

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Who pedals the wheels of time to ov’rturn

Glory of man gone to rack and ruin?

The titles and honors he had amassed

Are laid a-heap left for the worms to scorn.

benny

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Quatrain#11 Now Voyager

 

We are lost on this great sea of living

We seek no port or care where we’re heading:

Love, you and I as we make the landfall

Seek not the past nor what future will bring.((First ed.)

 

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