Illustration results for allegory
AUGUSTINE AND THE FOUR STATES OF MAN
In the 5th century AD, St. Augustine wrote about the "4 States of Man":
* The first state of man (the haec sunt prima) is "living according to the flesh -- with reason making no resistance." This can be seen in so many ancient cultures and religions (and unfortunately more than a few in our own time) with their human sacrifices, their idols, their pagan ceremonies, and even cannibalism. Human life -- without power -- was lightly regarded. Animals, especially domesticated animals, were often valued more highly than human life. Reason often vanishes when weighed against lust and self-gratification. Even today, this seems to be coming full circle.
* The second state of man is "recognition of sin through the Law . . . but sinning knowingly." It was so important for Satan to remove the Ten Commandments from our classrooms and courtrooms. It was critical for him to "separate church and state." So long as people knew the Law, it would not be so easy to ignore the Law. Without the reminders of the Law, we easily return to the first state of man. Does any of this sound familiar?
* The third state of man is "faith in the help of God -- but he perseveres in seeking to please God." Man has begun to be moved by the Spirit of God. We are already standing with one foot in the hell which we have created, but in the "third state", man knows it. So he still struggles against his own sinful nature because he has not yet been fully healed.
* The fourth state of man is "the full and perfect peace in God." This we find in harmony with Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. In the person of Jesus Christ, we see how far we have departed from God.
Augustine adds, "The will of man is always free, even and particularly when it can no longer will to do evil." But Adam and Eve were not gods, "and their 'free will' would not have sufficed, even in paradise, to merit immortality. Divine assistance was needed. Their immortality could only continue by their continued relationship with the Divine. So how much more do we need God's help since our fall?"
Augustine continues, "Even the good merits and qualities which people may display toward one another are gifts from God. Every good quality comes from His grace. God's mercy is the ground of salvation. Therefore, let no man boast. Out of faith spring hope and love. We hope only in God -- not in men and not in ourselves." ("The History of Doctrines", Reinhold Seeberg, p. 366)
Dorothy Sayers wrote, "If men will not understand the meaning of judgment, they will never come to understand the meaning of grace."
JUST LISTEN TO THE FOLLOWING STATISTICS THAT PROVES THE BIBLE IS A SPECIAL MASTERPIECE OF COMMUNICATION FROM ALMIGHTY GOD TO HIS CREATION:
• THE BIBLE WAS WRITTEN OVER A SPAN OF 1,500 YEARS
• THE BIBLE WAS WRITTEN BY MORE THAN 40 DIFFERENT AUTHORS SUCH AS MOSES, DAVID, JOSHUA, DANIEL, SOLOMON, MATTHEW, MARK, LUKE AND JOHN. THESE AUTHORS REPRESENT ALL WALKS OF LIFE SUCH AS SHEPHERDS, FISHERMEN, SECRETARIES, SERVANTS, PRIME MINISTERS, KINGS, MILITARY GENERALS, TAX COLLECTORS AND EVEN A JEWISH RABBI AND MEDICAL DOCTOR.
• THE BIBLE WAS WRITTEN IN ALL KINDS OF PLACES SUCH AS THE WILDERNESS, A DUNGEON, A PRISON, AND A PALACE. ALL OF THESE AREAS OF AUTHORSHIP WERE ACCOMPLISHED ON THE THREE CONTINENTS OF ASIA, AFRICA, AND EUROPE.
• GOD USED THE THREE LANGUAGES OF HEBREW, GREEK, AND ARAMAIC AND THEN PRESENTED THEM IN VARIOUS LITERARY STYLES SUCH AS POETRY, SONG, ROMANCE, MEMOIRS, SATIRE, BIOGRAPHY, LAW, PROPHECY, PARABLE, AND ALLEGORY.
C.S. Lewis’ celebrated children’s book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, tells of the adventures of four children in the magical kingdom of Narnia. The story is fun, but it’s also an allegory of Christ and salvation, with Christ represented by the lion Aslan. When in Narnia, the children meet Mr and Mrs Beaver, who describe the mighty lion to them.
"Is he a man?" asked Lucy.
"Aslan a man!" said Mr Beaver sternly. Certainly not. I tell you he is King of the wood and the son of the great emperor-beyond-the-sea. Don’t you know who is the King of the Beasts? Aslan is a lion - the Lion, the great lion."
"ooh!" said Susan, "I’d thought he was a man. Is he - quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."
"That you will, dearie, and no mistake" said Mrs Beaver; "if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly."
"Then he isn’t safe?" said Lucy.
"Safe?" said Mr Beaver; "don’t you hear what Mrs Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you."
Meeting Aslan was a frightening experience for Lucy and her brothers. Meeting God is no different. Why you ask? Because of God’s Glory.
Let’s pretend that somewhere, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, there was a planet of crooked people. They didn’t differ much from one another as they were all crooked in the same way. What we call their left arm was bent in a peculiar way that was very unlike what we’d call their right arm, with a small percentage of the population having a crooked right arm and a straight left arm instead. Nevertheless, all were crooked.
Many centuries have gone by that people have had these crooked left arms; so long that the common condition has been long since accepted as the norm. Tools, furniture, office machines and so forth have all been designed to accommodate a crooked left arm and a straight right arm until the only people who are really inconvenienced at all by this condition are the ones with crooked right arms…but they have also learned to deal with it. They are kiddingly referred to as ‘East paws’.
One day a space ship lands and from the ship emerges a man with two straight arms. He goes about telling the people that they all belong to a King who is not of their world, but from whom they were separated many centuries ago. This good King wants to be reconciled to them as he knows what is good for them and can provide them with all they need and more. In addition, he wants them to see that they could live a much higher quality of life if they had two straight arms instead of one ~ a claim they can easily see is true by the ease and deftness of motion they witness in the new stranger ~ and he tells them that if they come with him they will all be made straight and live on a wondrous new planet with the King, enjoying his company forever, and perhaps he finished his invitation saying, “Trust me; I’m being straight with you”.
Now we could go on wit...
The utmost extent of man’s knowledge, is to know that he knows nothing.
Joseph Addison (1672–1719), British essayist. “Essay on Pride,” Interesting Anecdotes, Memoirs, Allegories, Essays, and Poetical Fragments (1794).
There’s a verse of a hymn with this line: ’The Lord hath yet more light and truth to break forth from His Word.’ (George Rawson). They are based on the words of Pastor John Robinson as the Pilgrim Fathers set sail from Plymouth in 1620, leaving their homeland for an unknown future. Like them, we too, are called upon to take risks of faith whenever God calls us to accept change, even if it means leaving precious things behind, safety, homeland, or another comfort zone. There’s always more to learn in our Christian pilgrimage, the Lord stirring us to find risk-taking faith to change and grow in obedience to Christ. We say we are open to God, but whose agenda do we accept? Is it God’s or our own?
In the forefeet of pigs is a very small hole, which may be seen when the hair has been carefully removed. The tradition is that the legion of devils entered by these apertures.
There are also around it some six rings, the whole together not larger than a small spangle. They look as if they are burnt or branded into the skin, and the tradition is that they are the marks of the devil’s claws when he entered the swine.
Three chefs were working in a restaurant one day, when their kitchen supervisor approached them with an order, and instructions on how to properly prepare it. The first chef looked at the instructions, and said "You can show a recipe to 100 different people, and each of them get a different meaning. You can’t understand recipes, so why even read them?"
The second chef took a slightly different angle. He said "I don’t believe this recipe to be the literal directions of our supervisor. I believe the ingredients all have hidden meanings. I think the meat represents one thing, the spices and other ingredients symbolize something else, and the time and cooking temperature are some sort of mysterious allegory."
While the other two were engaging in their debate, the third chef simply took the recipe, and prepared the dish according to instructions. The dish turned out to be delicious, and I’m sure you can guess what happened next. This chef was ...
W Pat Cunningham
The primary objective, indeed the only end of the liberation from slavery, is worship, "which can only take place according to God’s measure and therefore eludes the rules of the game of political compromise" suggested by Pharaoh. "Israel departs, not in order to be a people like all the others; it departs in order to serve God" as God wants to be served.
Source: Pope Benedict XVI
HARD PLACES CANNOT BE MENDED
How many of you have read the Pilgrim’s Progress? This is a classic allegory of the Christian journey.
The main character, Christian, is on a journey from the city of Destruction to the Celestial City, and along the way him and all the other pilgrims come across various obstacles that can’t be avoided. One such place is the slough of Despond where pilgrims can find themselves sinking in the mire, and depending on the amount of burden they have on their back, can find it very difficult to get out.
Christian had this problem until a man named Help (the Holy Spirit) came and pulled him out. Christian asks help why has this place not been fixed so that this journey might be easier and more secure for the pilgrims. Help responds that this place cannot be mended. The point being that places like these are inevitable and no matter how mature we are, no one is immune to these places. But these places cannot be mended, only travelled through.