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We live in a strange community, where it is not uncommon to see bumper stickers that say things like, I am Light, or Due to circumstances within our control Armageddon has been cancelled. But the one that really gets me is the one that reads simply, I AM. Thank God, the I AM doesn’t drive a VW van. If the guy driving that van has numbered our days, we’re in trouble. Somehow I don’t think he was the one that hung the stars in space and sustains all things by his word. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.
"A classic type, common to many Renaissance paintings is the ’student.’ A favored follower, a protege or disciple, is always portrayed as very youthful, long-haired and clean-shaven...Throughout the Renaissance, artists portray St. John in this fashion. He is the ’disciple Jesus loved’ ....Only a colossal fool would paint a heresy where the monks could study it day after day. While no evidence suggest that Leonardo held the church in contempt, proof abounds that he was no fool." (Elizabeth Lev, "The Real Leonardo")
First of all, the Gospel of Phillip is a Gnostic text that is widely considered by scholars to have been written at least a century after the canonical gospels. So it’s not authoritative.
Second, even that debunked book does not refer to Jesus having married Mary Magdalene, but simply states that he kissed her. The word used does not even denote a romantic kiss, but denotes something more like a kiss on the cheek or forehead.
A kiss was a common way for men to greet each otherPhillip, in mentioning that Jesus kissed Mary, is telling us that he treated her like other disciples.
John 14:6 – “Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.’”
This is so hard for prideful people to accept.
Elaine Pagels (author of The Templar Revelation: Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ) says she had an epiphany while reading the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas during graduate school, particularly this passage: “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you.” According to Pagels, “The strength of this saying is that it does not tell us what to believe but challenges us to discover what lies hidden within ourselves….” This Gnostic perspective essentially says that salvation is within ourselves, and that it is in a process of self-discovery that we find redemption.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer had a different perspective: “The fact that Jesus Christ died is more important than the fact that I shall die, and the fact that Jesus Christ rose from the dead is the sole ground of my hope that I, too, shall be raised on the Last Day. Our salvation is “external to us.” I find no salvation in my life history, but only in the history of Jesus Ch...
“Constantine did not collate the Bible. The Old Testament had been compiled even before Jesus’ time. The New Testament’s formation began by the end of the first century (about 90 or 100)—almost two hundred years before Constantine. In fact, recognizing which books of the New Testament were authoritative was a century-long process within both the Easter (based at Constantinople) and Western (based at Rome) churches. They independently agreed on which books belonged in the New Testament.”
Richard Abanes in The Truth Behind the Da Vinci Code
Brian La Croix
“I’ve become convinced that the problem with believing the Bible is not based on what we don’t understand about the Bible – but it’s based on what we do understand about the Bible.
“What we do understand challenges everything about us. Jesus calls us to follow him, and that means we have to give up our life. That, I think, is the major reason why people don’t want to believe in the Gospels, because it involves self-surrender, the hardest thing in life to do.” (Dr. Scot McKnight, Biblical scholar, professor of religious studies at North Park University, Chicago. Quoted in Exploring the Da Vinci Code, Lee Strobel and Garry Poole)
3 of every 10 U.S. teens have played the Ouija board or had their palms read. 8 in 10 have read horoscopes.
(The Foster Letter 6/25/08)
THE CHURCH'S GREATEST TROUBLEMAKERS
Preacher and Bible commentator, John Stott, said this in his exposition of Paul's letter to the Galatians:
"To tamper with the gospel is to trouble the church... Indeed the church's greatest troublemakers (now as then) are not those outside who oppose, ridicule and persecute it, but those inside who try to change the gospel... Conversely, the only way to be a good churchman is to be a good gospel-man. The best way to serve the church is to believe and to preach the gospel."
PARIS (AFP) – Heart attack survivors who eat chocolate two or more times per week cut their risk of dying from heart disease about threefold compared to those who never touch the stuff, scientists have reported.
...the new study, led by Imre Janszky of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, is the first to demonstrate that consuming chocolate can help ward off the grim reaper if one has suffered acute myocardial infarction -- otherwise known as a heart attack.
"It was specific to chocolate -- we found no benefit to sweets in general," said Kenneth Mukamal, a researcher at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and a co-author of the study. "It seems that antioxidants in cocoa are a likely candidate" for explaining the live-saving properties, he told AFP in an exchange of e-mails. [AFP, Aug. 09]
It seems like everything they used to say was bad for you is now good for you, and everything they said was good for you is bad for you -- or not as good as they thought.
Take raw vegetables and spinach. They now say raw spinach is not nearly as good for you as cooked; the same is true with tomatoes. The cookies releases nutrients your body would not absorb otherwise.
There are lots of confused and confusing people and facts in life.
And sometimes God’s working in someone’s life can be very confusing...like Paul’s.
SPURGEON ON TRUTH
Spurgeon quote: "We are one in Christ; let us be friends with one another; but let us never be friends with one another’s error. If I be wrong, rebuke me sternly; I can bear it, and bear it cheerfully and if ye be wrong, expect the like measure from me, and neither peace nor parley with your mistakes. Let us all be true to one another, and true to Christ; and as soon as we perceive an error, though it be but as the shadow of one, let us root it out and drive it from us, lest it plague the whole body, and put leprosy into the entire fabric of the church."
"You will hear many men admire the preacher who deals in generalities, but when he comes to press home searching questions, by-and-by they are offended."
Some are too busy criticizing the minister, his or her style of preaching and their doctrine and do not realize their own soul may be perishing.