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Recently a high profile Saudi dissident went visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. He never returned. What excuses the Riyadh government gave became curioser and curioser but no body. Here is another that defies explanation. Enlightenment in Europe as a principle would separate State from Religion. Afterall when the Pope of the Holy See in 800 AD endorsed the Divine Rights of kings it was Religion legitimizing the rule of one bandit king and his family the exclusive rights to plunder the state finances with impunity. After much bloodletting and religious wars the beacon of enlightenment succeeded in throwing light into dark recesses of man who would publicly establish a principle but see to that something far different takes control over the rest of the proceedings. That is history for you, in capsule.
Is our mind that complex? Wars for instance was not sought out as the ape ancestor had nothing to complain of than hunting and gathering on an unwritten principle: share and share alike.

Evolution can explain why humans exhibit aggression because it is a primal emotion like any other, experts say. Dogs have it and apes also show it. Emotions are to be handled and for a social animal like man, nature provides them a safety valve in context of other life forms. Members in the same group come to learn very early there is safety in numbers. Maternal instincts of mother and suckling baby in need, forge a bond held more secure on account of the genetic push. Emotions of a mother and her infant, both benefit by emotions. Emotions can run the gamut of aggression and fear when threatened by outsiders. Evolution has primed primates and men to express appropriately so the survival of each group is in the best interest of each member and also a collective responsibility. Think of brain as a muscle that is well toned by constant use. Bodily exercise and mental agility benefit from constant use. Body and Mind as one. Think of members of the same group with same goals and sharing of genes as one organism.
Man, given his tool making capacity, has relied on channeling his emotions in the ways he whittled a piece of flint to serve his every day needs. By breaking it off he might hone the edge as sharp as a surgeon’s knife. In making that fine artifact, he has dissipated his bad emotions as well as found a new thrill of making a useful tool.
Somewhere along the line it became a lethal weapon and a weapon of war.
The same evolution that made man separate jumped the realm of biology found a new use for the tool, his handiwork.
Primal emotions when given expression consciously make even a piece of bamboo or flint as weapons of war. The use of weapons may date back well before the rise of humanity, given evidence that even our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees, can use spears to hunt other primates. Man, as a social animal can rationalize his nature, his need to give vent to pent up aggression. Only he did not account for the destructive force he would unleash in evolving a simple weapon as a flint knife to the nuclear bomb that may wipe off all life from the face of the Earth. How did a flint as a tool to fell animals in hunt or skin the hides of animals or carve piece of wood became a weapon to murder? Blame it on his nature.

Biologists speak of ‘norms of reaction,’ which are patterned responses to environmental circumstances. For example, some male insects are more likely to guard their mates when there are fewer females in the population, hence fewer other mating opportunities. Natural selection didn’t just shape a fixed behavior, it shaped the norm of reaction — the nature of the response,”
In humans a bad idea when he can think rationally on it brings many advantages. Increasing his supply of food at the cost of one who is weaker is one way of doing it. Annexing a territory from a weak tyrant is worth the while of a chieftain if he has a superior force. He reckons that his success would silence others and make his position more secure. It must have come handy when others would take the same path to aggrandize themselves.
‘Just as compassion for your offspring increases your genes’ chance of survival, violent tendencies may have been similarly useful for some species’ observed biologist David Carrier, of the University of Utah(2012),” Humans certainly rank among the most violent of species.” In true nature-nurture fashion, though some kind of genetic preprogramming for violence, may exist in humans as a result of our evolution. The west has long felt as champions of liberty and free speech but when dissidents simply disappear in broad daylight it ought to warn all how a thin veneer of decency has coated modern man. It must sit oddly where civilization is on every body’s lips while civility is cut out from his heart.

Now in a very divided America evangelicals have come in droves to support President Trump. What excuse they have? They embrace Trump the policymaker, despite being uneasy about Trump as a man, says Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a prominent evangelical activist group. What kind of family Mr. Perkins has in mind, I wonder? When he supports a system the head of the family is fated to spend most of his waking hours into drudgery to the neglect of his family sounds hypocritical. He is more like the Popes of yore giving a thorough whitewashing of men whose moral turpitude knows no bounds. Never mind religion has a way of rationalizing Satan when he comes in the form of mammon. This is what Tony Perkins, Jerry Falwell Jr. and their ilk want to see in public life.
Benny

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A child growing in an environment of domestic violence becomes a victim as well as the perpetrator.”This adage applies to individuals as well as nations. We read stories of caravan of migrant families seeking refuge in the US. They are escaping failed states whose failure begins with the US itself.

“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service,” an American veteran named Smedley Butler once wrote, “and during that period, I spent most of my time as a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers.”

Butler had fought in the so-called Banana Wars of the early 20th century, when the American military sent their troops south into Central America to keep their business interests there intact.

It was a time when mistreated workers across Central America were getting fed up with working long hours in harsh conditions for less than a living wage. Workers started grumbling. Some went on strike. Some threw together militias and waged full-on rebellions to fight for better conditions.

But for the American government, all this fighting for freedom was bad for business. Companies like the United Fruit Company had a vested interest in keeping their Central American plantations stable and so they called in the American Army to crack down on those who were disrupting the system.
Butler and other soldiers like him were thus sent to Central America to fight the Banana Wars. When a rebellion in the Dominican Republic, for example, damaged an American-owned sugar cane plantation, American troops were sent in, starting in 1916. They took over a small castle called Fort Ozama, killed the men inside and set up a military presence to protect their business interests.

Troops also moved into Haiti to quell the Cacao Rebellion in 1915, partly to protect the interests of the Haitian-American Sugar Company. The U.S. Army stayed behind even after the war was over, patrolling the streets of Haiti and making sure that no one got out of line.

And in Honduras, where the United Fruit Company and the Standard Fruit Company were worried about their banana sales, the American Army marched in on seven separate occasions throughout the early 20th century. Sometimes the army was called in to crush strikes, other times to stop revolutions — but every time, it was to keep business booming.

Hundreds of American soldiers and thousands of locals died in the Banana Wars. Strikes and revolutions were crushed and put to an end – all while the profits of a handful of companies were maintained.
“I might have given Al Capone a few hints,” Butler said. “The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”(All-thats-interesting/The Banana Wars- Mark Oliver.Septt.14,17)

Bananas and politics collude and as Melania Trump’s coat says it succinctly ‘I really dont care, do U?’The US collected their profits but moral culpability shall pursue them even if they fly to the space to found a colony there.

Benny

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Let us not forget politics is the art of the impossible made to pass for the possible. Since the founding of the new nation it was played by the educated and also who were not so endowed with intellectual abilities but they all had ambition to run for office. The slogan Making America Great Again sounds great but isn’t that what the Presidents from George Washington till Obama have been striving for? Only that no citizen got a chance to see this perceived greatness since wave after wave of world events rocked the shores while ethnic minorities and native Americans reacted to the domestic policies vector of forces impacting from elsewhere. Wars broke out as riots were quelled and even a Civil War from 1860 till 1865 did not achieve what greatness every President had hoped for. So politics is an euphemism for what really takes place in the backrooms while every President in office assures home and abroad what they see is indeed greatness. In this connection I think the rise of President Trump would be a good topic to illustrate how politics discover you. You rake up the cesspool of human ambition and greed and it is wealth  what you gather. Carnegie, Rockefeller and Mellon and many others used it with class so their wealth funded music arts and letters. Their foundations made treasures of the world accessible to a man on the street. For those who have made millions in unsavory manner a university or Homes for the Veterans that they float is not for the end user but the means to bilk the very people who may vote them to office. In whichever case politics discovered Trump.

Trumps’ grandfather arrived as an immigrant from Germany and after many unsuccessful attempts, not exactly in honorable manner while selling liquor and girls of easy virtue made one economically viable,’ for god’s sake there was gold rush in those days. He died young and Trumps father made money in a manner that shaped Donal’s future irrevocably.  “In 1973 Trump, 27, was living in a rent-controlled studio, wearing French cuffs, and taking his dates to the Peacock Alley, the bar in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria. At the time, the lockbox of Establishment New York was tightly closed to the Trumps of Queens, despite their mansion in Jamaica Estates.

Riding around Brooklyn in a Rolls-Royce, Trump’s mother, Mary, collected quarters from laundry rooms in various Trump buildings. Trump’s father, Fred, had already beaten back two scandals in which he was accused of overcharging and profiteering at some of his government-financed apartment complexes, and was now facing an even more explosive charge—systemic discrimination against black and other minority tenants. The Trumps, however, were connected to Favor Bank politicians in the Brooklyn Democratic machine, which, in tandem with the Mob bosses, still influenced who got many of the judgeships and patronage jobs. It was twilight world from Dante and if you did not hold on to your scruples you were sure never to find way back again.

It was here his world connected with a lawyer much older in comparison by name Roy Cohn.  Cohn and Trump were twinned by what drove them. They were both sons of powerful fathers, young men who had started their careers clouded by family scandal. Both had been private-school students from the boroughs who’d grown up with their noses pressed against the glass of dazzling Manhattan. Both squired attractive women around town.

Cohn after graduating from Columbia Law School at 20, he became an assistant U.S. attorney and an expert in “subversive activities,” allowing him to segue into his role in the 1951 espionage trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. (Cohn persuaded the star witness, Ethel Rosenberg’s brother, David Greenglass, to change his testimony; in Cohn’s autobiography, written with Sidney Zion, Cohn claimed that he had encouraged the judge, already intent on sending Julius to the electric chair, to also order Ethel’s execution, despite the fact that she was a mother with two children.) Come 1953, this legal prodigy was named McCarthy’s boy-wonder chief counsel, and the news photos told the tale: the sharp-faced, heavy-lidded 26-year-old with cherubic cheeks, whispering intimately into the ear of the bloated McCarthy. Cohn’s special skill as the senator’s henchman was character assassination. Indeed, after testifying in front of him, an engineer with the Voice of America radio news service committed suicide. Cohn never showed a shred of remorse.

Cohn was best known as a ruthless prosecutor. During the Red Scare of the 1950s,  But in the decades since, Cohn had become the premier practitioner of hardball deal-making in New York, having mastered the arcane rules of the city’s Favor Bank (the local cabal of interconnected influence peddlers) and its magical ability to provide inside fixes for the ilk of Trump.

“You knew when you were in Cohn’s presence you were in the presence of pure evil,” said lawyer Victor A. Kovner, who had known him for years. Cohn’s power derived largely from his ability to scare potential adversaries with hollow threats and spurious lawsuits. Trump—who would remain loyal to Cohn for many years—would be one of the last and most enduring beneficiaries of Cohn’s power.

Cohn, with his bravado, reckless opportunism, legal pyrotechnics, and serial fabrication, became a fitting mentor for the young real-estate scion. And as Trump’s first major project, the Grand Hyatt, was set to open, he was already involved in multiple controversies. He was warring with the city about tax abatements and other concessions. He had hoodwinked his very own partner, Hyatt chief Jay Pritzker, by changing a term in a deal when Pritzker was unreachable—on a trip to Nepal. In 1980, while erecting what would become Trump Tower, he antagonized a range of arts patrons and city officials when his team demolished the Art Deco friezes decorating the 1929 building. Vilified in the headlines—and by the Establishment—Trump offered a response that was pure Roy Cohn: “Who cares?” he said. “Let’s say that I had given that junk to the Met. They would have just put them in their basement.”

For author Sam Roberts, the essence of Cohn’s influence on Trump was the triad: “Roy was a master of situational immorality . . . . He worked with a three-dimensional strategy, which was: 1. Never settle, never surrender. 2. Counter-attack, counter-sue immediately. 3. No matter what happens, no matter how deeply into the muck you get, claim victory and never admit defeat.” As columnist Liz Smith once observed, “Donald lost his moral compass when he made an alliance with Roy Cohn.” Then was the third in the triad. Roger Stone in 1979 though only 27, had achieved a degree of notoriety as one of Richard Nixon’s political dirty-tricksters. At the time, he was running Ronald Reagan’s presidential-campaign organization in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, and he needed office space. He came in touch with Cohn who in turn put him to Trump

“I went to see him,” Stone told me, “and Trump said, ‘How do you get Reagan to 270 electoral votes?’ He was very interested [in the mechanics]—a political junkie. Then he said, ‘O.K., we are in. Go see my father.’ ” Out Stone went to Avenue Z, in Coney Island, and met Fred Trump in his office, which was crowded with cigar-store Indians. “True to his word, I got $200,000. The checks came in $1,000 denominations, the maximum donation you could give. All of these checks were written to ‘Reagan For President.’ It was not illegal—it was bundling. Check trading.” For Reagan’s state headquarters, the Trumps found Stone and the campaign a decrepit town house next to the ‘21’ Club. Stone was now, like Donald Trump, inside the Cohn tent.

And Stone soon seized the moment to cash in. After Reagan was elected, his administration softened the strict rules for corporations seeking government largesse. Soon Stone and Paul Manafort, Trump’s future campaign manager, were lobbyists, reaping the bonanzas that could flow with Favor Bank introductions. Their first client, Stone recalled, was none other than Donald Trump, who retained him, irrespective of any role Manafort might have had in the firm, for help with federal issues such as obtaining a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the channel to the Atlantic City marina to accommodate his yacht, the Trump Princess.

All along there had been something deeper connecting Stone and Trump and Roy Cohn: the climate of suspicion and fear that had helped bring all three to power. Although Stone, like many around Cohn in the 70s and 80s, was too young to have observed how Cohn helped poison America in the McCarthy years, Stone had learned at the feet of Richard Nixon, the ultimate American paranoid. And the politics of paranoia that Cohn and Stone had cynically mastered would eventually make them kindred spirits. Just as the two of them had come to prominence by exploiting a grave national mood (Cohn in the 50s, Stone in the 70s), it was this same sense of American angst, resurgent in 2016, that would ultimately help elect Donald Trump.

“Pro-Americanism,” Stone said, “is a common thread for McCarthy, Goldwater, Nixon, [and] Reagan. The heir to that tradition is Donald Trump. When you combine that with the bare-knuckled tactics of Roy Cohn—or a Roger Stone—that is how you win elections. So Roy has an impact on Donald’s understanding of how to deal with the media—attack, attack, attack, never defend.”

Ack: Vanity Fair magazine section: How Donald Trump and Roy Cohn’s Ruthless symbiosis changed America /Marie Brenner Aug.2017

Benny

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In the Gospel of John we have the prayer of Jesus.  He communed often with his Father which we read in the gospels (Lk.6:12;Mt.14:23). But we are not told what our Lord Savior prayed for. So the prayer as given in the gospel of John is special for the intimacy of Father-Son relationship it gives us. Considering he had not much time left it requires our special attention. Jesus was concerned about those whom God had entrusted under this care.

Here we need to take a few steps back in order to place it in proper context of his earthly ministry. God is love and he sent his Son so whosoever believed in him should have everlasting life. God has infinite agencies to get his Will done. Leading to the Advent the Spirit has been busy indeed. A clue of this is the ministry of prophets notably Isaiah who had spoken of the coming of Messiah, his passion and Millennial Reign so on. Then we have John the baptist who was anointed specially for preparing the way. (Here we have the prophesy of Isaiah ‘Voice in the wilderness’) The epistle of Apostle Peter  speaks of the  Holy men of old who were informed by the spirit of Christ about the salvation that were to come. Coming closer the Advent we read of the Angelic host that appeared to the shepherds announcing the birth of Jesus. This was similarly part of the divine plan. News about the coming of Messiah was not only for the palace but for the hovels as well. We can infer from the Samaritan woman (mentioned in Jn.4) the coming of Messiah had gained currency among people in Samaria . Why God had caused these several incidents across the passage of time and all classes in Palestine attests to the God is love principle.. Coming of salvation was not for a few.  It is the jump off point and the Great Commission of Jesus was the signal,’Go!. It was intended to touch the ends of the earth.  Jesus did not have to travel east or west but principle of Association between God the Father and Son worked through the so many disciples shall achieve it. Now we can appreciate the words of Jesus, ” I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor (Jn.4:38-NIV)”. Jesus sent the apostles and the other disciples 70 in number for spreading the gospel. Whosoever believed in him were saved. Jesus came into his own but ‘his own did not received him not (Jn.1: 11) Great many who rejected him were content with Law of Moses and were complacent.

Predestination according to the Will of his Father was entrusted with the Son .”The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands (Jn.3:35-NIV).  This is what St Paul terms as Mystery of his Will (Ep.1:9-12).

When we read that God had placed everything in his hands, it is not merely a few but the whole mankind. It ties up with the nature of God and when He sent his Son with a mandate we have this  word, “For God so loved the world…(Jn.3:16). Those who hated the light lest they be shown what they really are would not receive the Son. neither would they who are self-righteous of whom were the elders of the local synagogues.

Without this whole world included in his divine Plan the theological concept of free will  divine quality of love of God would not run as natural and transparent as existing between the Father and the Son. Perfection of the Father is exemplified in the rain that He sends for the good and evil alike; the sun shines on all since God’s faith is stronger than man’s wisdom. He first trusted in the Son and he as Servant-King was willing to reconcile all to his Father.

Whoever received the Son by Association is adopted into the family quality of which is light. Children of light and children of darkness are settled by response of man.

Calvinism bases limited atonement on this basis John 17:9 where Jesus in prayer interceded for the ones given Him, not those of the entire world; Acts 20:28 and Eph. 5:25-27 which state that the Church was purchased by Christ, not all people; and Isaiah 53:12 which is a prophecy of Jesus’ crucifixion where he would bore the sins of many (not all). (Calvinistcorner.com/Tulip) ‘Calvin interpreted the Scripture literally and his doctrine of Predestination is wrong. Like the buttons of a shirt front if one is out of place all the other naturally would be misplaced. Unlimited Election by the same token seriously suffers on account of it. So is Total Depravity. Without free will man shall not come to the light lest their works of darkness be reproved. For those who confess God is righteous to forgive them. Fullness of the atoning work of the Son is the key. Even those who have been called and made sons of God need to make sure their election(Make your calling and election sure’ we are warned.). Those who reject the light grow deeper into a worse condition. Despite of sexual permissiveness the world cannot get enough. The naturalness of love when debased (examples of which is a social phenomena of our times) do spiral into violent brutal bestial perverseness. They are so addicted. It is what happens to anyone who hold the truth in unrighteousness (Ro.1:20) . If it is the case of an individual what about the churches?  Look what s making news in the American churches to which Calvinism made a phenomenal impact. Has it given a good role model? Earlier activism of evangelicals was to condemn abortion and gay life style. When churches have come loose from the teachings  of Jesus and become self-satisfied what animates the Christians now? The churches that blanched at the idea of a gay pastor now brazenly defend a pedophile and child molester. They even (as the pastor in an interview with CNN the other day) speak of grace and the pastor from Alabama defended that the man had not been found guilty? The culprit against whom the victims have spoken does not feel he needs grace and outrageously defends himself as an example of  white evangelicalism; He has support from churches.  What is behind this? At this rate much more perverseness shall be tolerated under specious reasons and the congregation shall simply accept it.

Benny

 

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“For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship–and this is what I am going to proclaim to you. (Ac.17:23-NIV)”

Luther’s protest movement in Germany only recently marked 500th anniversary. Equally important was the emergence of another sect which can well be a Christian equivalent to the pagans St Paul addressed in the verse quote here above; and it created a troublesome facet to the body of Christian thought. After all Calvin was an accidental theologian and reformer who had a troublesome relationship with his father. He originally chose a career in law but had a prick of conscience after the death of his sire.

‘While Lutheranism was largely confined to parts of Germany and to Scandinavia, Calvinism spread into England,  Scotland, France, the Netherlands, the English-speaking colonies of North America, and parts of Germany and central Europe. This expansion began during Calvin’s lifetime’. (www.britannica.com)

  • A merciful God, however, took pity on man and sent his Son to redeem some of the damned. No man was deserving of such grace, but God freely offered salvation to an unspecified number (thought to be very small) of sinners. These fortunate individuals were known as the Elect; their fate was determined by God before their births (predestination) and was irreversible.

Calvin’s appalling ignorance of the nature of God as revealed by the Spirit and of the role of the Son would sow great mischief. It went against sense and truth of God’s Will. By his lack of spiritual discernment he made Jesus Christ a lie. “All things were created by him…for him /And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.(Col.1:16-17)”. In the next verse we read that “For it pleased the Father that in him  should all fulness dwell. Against this categorical statement what does limited Atonement signify? His confusion to determine where his will got in and where God’s Will glossed over since then would haunt his followers. Naturally Calvinism cast fogginess of his own mind and obscured God’s eternal word and fed a witches brew sort of, on their followers in America and elsewhere.  Sternness of expression and severity in judgment does not make a Christian who trusts in a merciful God. ‘Make your calling and election sure’ we are taught. But our peace of mind comes from the assurance that Jesus Christ came and died for you and me. Learn to live as taught of our Savior Lord and no more such a question of election would come to trouble us. This is how I look at it.

Whereas what does Calvinism do? “No one knew who was among the saved. It was commonly accepted by many Calvinists that saintly behavior was a sign that a person was a member of the elect, but doctrine taught that good conduct could not “win” salvation for anyone. God had decided that matter long ago. On the other side of the coin, it was almost universally believed among Calvinists that a life of dissipation was a sure sign of damnation.

Such a system of beliefs exerted a mixed impact on society. Good conduct was encouraged because many people, perhaps unconsciously, wanted to convince themselves that they were among the elect. However, there were negative influences from Calvinism as well. Anxiety was high in these communities as anguished believers contemplated their fates. There also was a rather constant and unpleasant interest in one’s neighbors’ activities. Comfort was found by observing the moral failures of others and concluding that they were no doubt among the damned. Do we not see activism of the Evangelicals in the US drew muscle historically as well as primed by a feel good conviction of being the elect?

The Calvinists shared with the Lutherans a dependency on Scripture to discern God’s word, but the nature of that word was the subject of great dispute. Luther had taught that salvation was based on faith and rejected the Calvinistic conception of predestination. The Calvinists insisted on an austere society governed by theocrats (as Calvin helped to establish in Geneva); Lutheran communities were more accepting and forgiving. Both the Calvinists and Lutherans would be at odds with later, more emotionally charged Christian sects, in which each group (and sometimes each individual) would interpret Scripture.

Calvinism would have a great impact on the development of colonial America, especially in the New England region, where the so-called Reformed churches(puritan and Huguenot elements were already dominant before the new nation came to birth.(Ack:http://www.u-s-history.com/)

Benny

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A New Canaan
Of U.S Constitution, and the first
Amendment let me not discredit
Founding Fathers nor their sagacity:
Their New Canaan was but one continent,
Pity them, for conscience of pilgrims
Still shackled fast to the fleshpots o’ Europe
Cast the new resolution more o’ the old
feuds, -amid alarums and skirmishes
Taint the new soil, where bisons roamed free;
In the shackles of proud race the new
ever mire’d foul, they made their home as of old;
With their guns drew their fate in New Canaan.
Original:
OF Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit
Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast
Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
Sing Heav’nly Muse, that on the secret top
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed,
In the Beginning how the Heav’ns and Earth
Rose out of Chaos: or if Sion Hill
Delight thee more, and Siloa’s brook that flow’d
Fast by the Oracle of God; I thence
Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song,
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above th’ Aonian Mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime.

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Jesus compares one  who hears him but does not do accordingly to a foolish man who built his house upon the sand.  Such are the churches where believers come to worship. It is a house but not the church Jesus had in mind. (Mt.16:18) And the rains descended so did the floods but what chance has a house built upon the sand? Visitations of disasters sometimes are reminders of man’s foolishness. No church shall survive but the church built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ. There is only one Church and whatever we are building are not for ourselves but to be found when He reveals it according to the will of God. Jesus as the Word made flesh has given us the indwelling Spirit with which to build according to exact fit. Thus we build up our lives. He who searches our hearts shall know who we are. Where we fit in is for the Lord to determine but our blessedness is that we are connected to the Body and the Head is our Christ Jesus.  They boy whose five loaves and two fishes fed so many in  the eyes of Jesus Christ is as vital as the work of St Paul. Small or little,- the fall of sparrow is before God who created it.  Two mites of the widows are of far greater value than megachurches with out love of Christ. Why? She gave all she had to live upon. Hypocrisy Ananias an Sapphira lives still.

In Christ Jesus we are all His workmanship so are we reflecting the love of Christ in our service as well in our being?  When we see the mega churches and TV preachers all vying to be seen and wondered at on the earth we need to keep our wits about. They have their places as we have our place. The Bible is very clear. God is not mocked.

2.

The Scripture is a God document. As such it is ‘from God to man’. The Holy Spirit set the divine Will and its Fulfillment in human speech not for God but for man. If there be Aliens the Scripture would be transposed to a medium that they can profit from it. “And there are also many things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written everyone…even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written (Jn.21:25)  ” John’s testimony is true. The Spirit’s preface in the vs.24 ought to make us aware who is behind the gospels.

The Spirit is the Prime Mover and he is the Spirit of truth. I need not seek Calvin or Luther to tell me what Love of God should mean. Luther sided with the Establishment in 1526, It merely gave the Nazi moment a handle to make the German Protestant churches give Mein Kampf  same honor as the Bible. When I see the manner false teachers now tout Prosperity theology I see the rack and ruin left by Calvin.  Do they sound like having the mind of Christ? Do they practice what Jesus taught, enjoining us to do?  The church is the body of Jesus Christ. Do we see it in the US or in Europe? When the one percent of the nation has got the wealth in America and the prosperity theology drives the believers it is a sign. To compound the evil they have even taken the place of God! They judge the lifestyles of others less fortunate than they in circumstances. They remind me of the rich dives in the parables. Never mind the sores licked by dogs. (Has not your wealth blinded you? Within are many sins because love of God has gone cold. You may dine with your fellow travelers, brethren of selfsame strip. You may be far right or of Moral majority. When you damn abortion and LGBT it is all covered in the media. But do you think you will escape judgment of God?) The first epistle of Peter speaks about judgment of God and it must begin with the his House (1Pe.1). When I read Hurricanes Harvey,  Irma making their landfall I fear that the worse is yet to come.

My, my,- the churches are now political! People like Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell endorse their candidate but is it for the glory of God or for Mammon? . Their circumstances are flashy and their prosperity is as unchecked as the growth of cancerous cells in the body, Their public image is persuasive and their wealth beguiling, swallowing up unsuspecting believers **Are they different from the church at Thyatira? Doctrine of Jezebel was authorized by King Ahab (or the President in keeping with the present times) and it achieved results. Political clout of these false teachers similarly shapes the trends so churches are in a manner of speaking hand in glove with political parties of the land.

What doctrines you follow make who you are. Calvin’s wrong understanding was  behind Limited Atonement a cardinal virtue of Calvinism. Think of such heresies of Calvin any other morphing across the centuries into what we get now. Europe at the time of Calvin was changing.  A new class,- the mercantile class had became a force to reckon with following the Age of Exploration. Calvin was aware of the role money played in shaping the ethics of Christianity and it has been so. You shall see how a slight disconnect with the Savior Lord can become a travesty of Core values of Jesus? Like the weak copy in DNA owing to some mutation his TULIP was flawed. It hurts.

3.

The Bible is inerrant. Naturally the narrative carries symbols, signs, allegories and other literary devices that are solely for our benefit. Purpose of the Bible is clear: any one who reads and believes in the scriptures may be made perfect, being thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2Ti.3: 16-17).

Benny

Note:

**How Christianity in the US has become political since the late 1970s is a clear demonstration of the above. The many labels of the Right wing evangelical movement found their party to keep their Protestant identity. Into the 1960 election, Catholics and evangelicals worked against each other, as evangelicals mobilized their forces to defeat Catholics Al Smith in 1928 and they tried again without success  against John F Kennedy in 1960. Secularization came to be seen by Protestants as the biggest threat to Christian values, however, and by the 1980s Catholic bishops and evangelicals had begun to work together on issues such as abortion. Here we see churches once set themselves on foundations other than Christ the Head can multiply by momentum that works by the Prince of the power of the air. These children of Balaam readily speak of Christian values. They have a form of godliness but denying the power of God. It is not mere coincidence that they backed Donald Trump in 2016. According to a an article ‘Trump—a thrice-married, biblically illiterate sexual predator(The New Republic-March 20, 2017) and is it because Trump will make America to their liking or because His example shall fill churches in the land with all the believers ? (ack: wikipedia)

There is only one faith; there is only one body.One God and Father of all (Ep.4:1-6)

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