The best way to obtain Grace is to educate oneself. Moses was fully trained by the Pharaoh’s homeschool for the Royal kids. They, Moses included, would have received the best education.
In the power struggle with Ramses II, Moses was externed,
Before him was Joseph, he chose to get himself educated in every circumstances- in Potiphar’s hose he became an accountant, a Manager, and a logistics man but Potiphar’s wife wanted to give Joseph an additional burden of being a night watchman in the place of Potiphar! The first jump is always false, and he escaped that snare. In the prison Joseph becomes the storekeeper and doubles up predicting the futures of the co-prisoners, in leisure. So the skills Joseph had acquired through experience takes him to be a candidate for the Governorship of Egypt. The primary exposure to education and knowledge and transcription of their language into a script took place in those 480 years of sojourn at Egypt. Miracles without process are episodic, but there are miracles which happen coupled with human effort could become Institutionalised. The Ten Commandments was written by God, but the second block of the Commandments was written by Moses, a man well versed in all Egyptian learning. When Jesus made clay of his spittle and told the blind man to wash in the pool of Siloam, if the blind man hadn’t made that effort, would the miracle have happened?
If the woman with the issue of blood had not dared to touch the hem of the garment of Jesus, would she have been healed?
If Joseph had not honed his skills in book keeping and strategising on apportioning the provisions when he was at Potiphar’s house or in the jailhouse, would he have had the skill set to run a country like Egypt?
If Moses had not been educated enough to understand the wiles of the Pharaoh in keeping a large group of Hebrews as slaves, would he have liberated them from the Pharaoh?
Had David not built his skills as a slinger, while discharging his assigned duties as a shepherd, would he have struck Goliath in his temple, on a situation fraught with slavery for the community, if one man failed?
If Paul had not been trained under Gamaliel, against Christianity, would he have had the mental wherewithal to counter the sophistry and rhetoric of the Greeks and the logic of Romans?
The examples I had cited are where human effort with hope fructified, but in Jeremiah’s case, God touched his mouth and thereby put His words in Jeremiah’s mouth. In this case, God’s role seems absolute.
God’s angel calls Gideon ‘mighty man of valour’ when Gideon was threshing wheat, away from the eyes of the Midianites. That’s again sanctification if human effort.
David composed lyrics which shows his ability to blend understanding with spirituality in an artistic way.
The above examples proves that God loves the educated, the skilled and those who put on an effort with whatever they have. Christianity, besides Jesus, is built on the Pentateuch, putatively written by Moses; the Psalms, mostly by David and the doctrine/ rules written by Paul. Education formed the basis of all these pillars.
God opens Himself to those who strive for Understanding, of the spiritual kind and their writings have stood the test of Time and inspired generations and continue to inspire and lead many in the centuries to come.
Consequently, Movid believes that Grace is not a word to sweep the conflicts and contradictions of human understanding and make it an unintelligible Idea, but made up of God’s love for human effort with sincerity.
Least of all Grace should NOT BE USED to substitute human understanding. God is good and wants man to strive sincerely in a path which brings good to all. What He would do, give, withhold or inflict shouldn’t be of human concern, it is man’s duty to strive with sincerity.
The best way to obtain Grace is to educate oneself. Moses was fully trained by the Pharaoh’s homeschool for the Royal kids. They, Moses included, would have received the best education.
Besides zeitgeist, there is a certain pervading spirit of the terrain, which sprouts and supports certain traits in human beings. A flamboyant Napoleon who could sway the crowds and the ragtag militia, the spillover vain men of the French Revolution, into a military command was possible in France, but the same French terrain couldn’t have supported Otto Von Bismarck, as French terrain would support brilliance and flashiness at the cost of fundamental structuralism. Yet the opposite terrains need to be next to each other to bring equilibrium to the terrain.
Likewise Jallikattu is terrain specific to Tamil Nadu. It needs a reason and the reasons are not merely functional, it is the recognition of the Bull’s/ ox’ contribution to the society. It is not merely a means of transport of Lord Shiva, it is the symbol of effort and masculinity coupled with unleashing of stored prowess. Bull is amenable to breeding and it is not merely a showpiece like the over muscular Belgian bulls, but loyal to the family which raises it through self control of its aggressive power, but when attempted to be controlled by outsiders capable of shrugging off its attempted Tamers and in the worst case scenario capable of goring and ploughing through a mountain of men. That trait is what endears the owners to raise and hone their capabilities. In olden times when the physical prowess determined the skills of man, taming such a bull aided the tamer to get the hand of the daughter of the bull owner! A surrogacy to blatant submission! Why give your daughter to the man who squelched your pride? A plated surrender deed signed by the loser in a platinum nibbed pen. Contrast this with its neighbouring state Kerala, which has decimated their bulls through a Legislation during the CMship of Shri. Pattom Thanu Pillay! The cows which have enjoyed the mount of a tumescent bull during their lives may not be more than 5 %. Reason being that they strawed their heifers and cows into accepting artificial insemination instead of consort with a bull. The bleating mooing of a cow in heat makes you run to get the nearest bull. Once done, the receptivity being so high, the cow conceives in a single jump. Cow is the only animal which copulates only for posterity’s sake, never ever as a recreation or demonstration of an idea! Such a cow should give a higher milk yield, so the Fresiens, Jerseys spermed their way into Kerala. TN prides in its bulls, whereas Kerala celebrates the yield of the cow, truly matrilineal.
It is one of the myths propagated by false Prophets and bogus Apostles of Christianity that God gives unmerited favours according to His Will, irrespective of man’s efforts.
Wrong and PATENTLY WRONG!
Christianity was not built on meekly submitting and succumbing to the martyrdom inflicting Evil, it was built on the Life and teachings of Jesus, who lived a life of purity; said what He heard from His Father in heaven & DID THE WILL OF HIS FATHER.
To know and to DO are the twin points of Christianity. To know is easy, to Do that which is Right is Tough, but to Know and Do that which is Right is nigh impossible. Herein comes the Principle of Uncertainty. The more accurately one Knows the Truth, the less a man Does that which is True. The reason is that Knowledge numbs activity beyond a point.
Christians have become inert and believe that idle goodness is what God loves. My father, who had slipped into Pentecostal doctrine through inadvertence but kept tethered by the false guilt inspiring interpretations of the Bible once told me: It is better to sleep in the church than to be in a cinema or a tavern! Therein begins the IDLE GOODNESS.
Opportunities do not come announcing, they steal upon us. The aware and the aspiring ones take initiative and explore, sometimes it works but mostly those don’t work. To give up is abominable, as every effort raises a man’s hope to more activity. Do something – God loves it.
In the Acts of the Apostles, where Dr. Luke stealthily, out of weakness for Paul & Saul of Tarsus smuggled Paul into a disguised Apostleship in the book, at chapter 12 talks of how Peter was saved from the chains and the prison.
But look at the shrewdness of Peter, he did not present himself as a sitting duck for the bloodthirstiness of Herod, the Tetrarch of Judea, but ran off to Caesarea!
Well, human mind might be apt to question: When God saved a man from the prison and chains, why should Peter evade or fear a temporal authority and not stay in Judea? Good question – Herod ain’t gonna answer that one. Herod had executed James the brother of John a little earlier, so why would he spare Peter if, not sparing Peter would please the Formalism of the Synagogue going Jews?
We make principles and start believing in those principles, little knowing that there are exceptions to those principles. I am reminded of two boys who caught sight of a barking dog at a distance. The smart Alec said: BARKING DOGS SELDOM BITE. But as they approached the object of their trepidation, the smart Alec took to his heels, so did the other boy. Later when they met, the other boy asked the Smart Alec: But why did you run, as that dog was merely a barking dog? The smart Alec replied: But that dog doesn’t know that barking dogs shouldn’t bite!
We make principles and start believing in those principles and later become victims when the same principle starts showing deviance or exceptions. But Peter knew that Herod, who was believed to have murdered his own brother, wouldn’t spare him if Peter’s martyrdom would result in political gains for Herod. At the end of it, a Satrap wants to keep the local populace happy to make them more productive so that taxes could be appropriated and sent to Caesar, at whose pleasure Herod was the Tetrarch! Amen.
So Peter’s effort of running away despite having been relieved from the chains by angels by not presenting himself to be victimised by a bloodthirsty fellow like Herod, is what God wanted. A personal initiative. A caged bird, when let loose OUGHT TO FLY.
God loves Effort!
False prophets do not impel people to put more effort and care, in their worldly affairs, yet smugly live off the labour and tithes of the same adherents, who eke out an honest living through Effort!
Jesus says again and again DO DO DO! Yet false Apostles with their brand of Communism tinged Pentecostalism have perfected the art of downgrading the effort of the laymen so that the fruits of the labour of laymen could be appropriated with consummate ease, in the name of God.
Remember that God wants even the person with one talent to go and strive and succeed! God doesn’t want him to bury that talent and return it safely.
Peter was sharp!
But that sharpness showed itself as an effort and God sanctified his effort.
I am excerpting two passages from the Bible, which are fundamentally divergent. The first passage is from the Book of Romans, the next is from the Gospel of John.
When we are embarking on the assessment of merit for choice of an Idea, it is immaterial as to who authored it.
Whether it be Paul, the Evangelist or John the Apostle, shouldn’t be of any consideration unless we need to deduce the ascribable meaning based on the Life of the Author. Since the passages below do not concern either of the putative authors, it must needs be that we ignore their received and assumed backgrounds, and set forth to assess the content of the statements.
The passages are:
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
John 5:26 & 27
26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
The first passage says as if ‘the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus‘ & ‘he that raised up Christ from the dead’, was required to raise Jesus from the dead. Herein is the idea not in consonance with the Idea of God the Son, as mentioned in the passage from the Gospel.
The greatness of John’s Gospel is that God the Father’s primacy within the Triune, is not compromised, and the obedience of the Son – vis á vis God the Father, is well brought out. The Son CAN KNOW, IF HE WERE WILLFUL ENOUGH TO ASK THE FATHER OR EXERCISE HIS OPTION TO KNOW when the Second Coming would be, but in obedience to the Father’s will modestly, says EXCEPT THE FATHER NONE KNOWS IT.
The Spirit is a Comforter and none is to speak ill of the Holy Spirit, which is a command of Jesus in the flesh, but to exalt Holy Spirit as the one reviving Jesus from the dead is to berate the Godhood of Jesus Christ.
Please read the passage from the Gospel, the writer says:
‘..so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself‘
In effect, according to the Gospel, just as God the Father had LIFE IN HIMSELF, which I understand as self-perpetuating; self-organising and self-resurrecting, Jesus was granted a Form, unlike the Holy Spirit, and he was vested with the same capability ‘to have life in himself’!
There erred the writer of Romans.
Jesus did not need the spirit to resurrect Him, but he had divinity in himself to bring himself back from the Hades or annihilation.
John’s Gospel is head and shoulders above the rest because of the possible interpretations emanating out of out of it than the other books.
In the same 5th chapter of the Gospel of John, it is mentioned as follows:
21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
This is the power of Jesus to raise others from the dead. This power had been exhibited by prophets like Elijah and Elisha of yore, but none had the power to RESURRECT ONESELF OUT OF ANNIHILATION OR DEATH, that made Jesus divine and this strain runs through the The Gospel according to John, through the exposition in the 5th Chapter, which brings out an idea fitting enough. Unlike the Romans, it doesn’t make Jesus dependent on another part of the Godhood.
It is these interpretations which have emboldened the Pentecostals to have exalted the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, above the Son of God, who in submission to the will of the Father took the form of man, subjecting himself to all the temptations and liabilities of Man and finally emerged to Life through SELF-RESURRECTION.
If Phoenix could, God should!
When I saw him, whose name I know not, in a grocery after Church service on a Sunday at about 11 AM, I felt a surge of brotherhood in my soul. I didn’t have to run upto him and confess our fraternity of our escapehood but deep down I felt how he must have struggled to have got out of the snare which his father would have led him into in those years of infancy.
Fathers have their challenges and if food were to be a challenge no doubt, when the father bird sights a good spread of corn and seeds, it would be his priority to swoop and start pecking at it unmindful of Liberty & Freedom. It is a pity that only when the stomachs are full that the sense of Liberty & Freedom start emerging in our consciousness. But, Alas! When the birds try to fly, the wings flap but the feet are tied to the snares into which those feet had slipped in unwittingly! No escape.
If at that moment of trepidation and anxiety the young bird were to help itself by slowly pulling the noosing-end of the noose with its beak and enlarges the noose for it to escape; and with that new found knowledge if it were to loosen the other noose from the other feet and free itself, how happy and liberated would that young bird feel? INEFFABLE feeling of Thankfulness to God and the grace given to believe in an attempt at loosening the noose and finally succeeding therein!
That sense of ineffable thankfulness to the divine can be felt only by those who value Liberty and who had extricated themselves from a situation of despair as above. It was that sense that I felt when I sighted him at the grocers.
An Escapee, has not submitted to the sentence imposed based on judicial determination of the Law in force. But there are escapees who have been freed by systems which declare a Law contrary to the one which convicted the person. One of the best examples I recall is the case of SOMERSET in the U.K.. My facts may be rusty but the principles may be sound. Somerset was a slave bought in Africa and was being transported to the USA and the ship had to be moored for supplies in one of the UK ports. While it was docked in the U.K., Somerset escaped and was later captured. The slave owner wanted restitution of the slave, but the decision was that THE AIR OF ENGLAND WAS SO PURE THAT THERE BREATHES NO SLAVE IN THE UK! Since slavery has been abolished, the claim of the slave owner could not be sustained as there was no such Right vested with any human that he could bring action for restitution of ‘slavehood’ of any other human being.
I consider this relief as setting aside the basis of the conviction.
The Church of South India(CSI) is an accommodative church, a church built on the leftover foundation of the Church of England, which in turn had seceded from the Papal Christianity built on the state legitimised Christianity of Emperor Constantine; who in turn had turned to Christianity on an epiphany during a war; which was founded on the evangelical and apostolic spread of Christianity during the currency of the Roman Empire since Tiberius!
The snares laid over the appetising corn and seeds were the personalised prayers and specialised incentives offered in the after- life by their interpretation of the Bible. To put it succinctly the Holy Ghost had been promoted over the other two of the Triune Godhood of Jesus and Father Jehovah, by the Pentecostals merely on two counts: Jesus said that He has to go and send the followers a COMFORTER, who was the Holy Ghost. Secondly, Jesus in the flesh had said that anything uttered against the Holy Ghost would not be forgiven. So based on these two verses the Pentecostals have made a neat prescription of the Permanent Comforter and One against whom nothing OUGHT TO BE UTTERED!
So what is the proof of The Holy Ghost residing in human hearts? The Pentecostals believe and propagate as an exclusive Truth that unless and until a person speaks in tongues, he ain’t filled with the Holy Ghost. There are enough passages of Jesus which show that when He blessed His disciples to receive the Holy Ghost, they did NOT speak in tongues! Further in the Acts of the Apostles, (Acts 4:31) it is mentioned that they were filled with the Holy Ghost that they became bold in their profession of the faith of Christianity. Therefore, this blogger is of the firmest belief that speaking in tongues may be a sign of the Holy Ghost, but to state that speaking in tongues is the only manifestation of the receipt of the gift of the Holy Spirit/Ghost, is not sustainable from the concordant reading of the New Testament.
By advancing these two Fundamental creed the Pentecostals have hijacked, rather attempted to hijack the agenda of Christ – which according to me is – DO WHAT CHRIST PREACHED AS A HUMAN BEING. The only part of the Godhead which participated in human affairs subjecting Himself to all the limitations of human being is and was Jesus, therefore to follow and attempt what Jesus preached is my duty, but I am bound to fail and in those moments I need the support and comfort of the Holy Spirit and I am sure a Comforter can never replace Christ. Therein they err. All the above is doctrinaire, but their not so subtle spread of superiority on the basis of Celibacy including their preposterous claim that the celibate priests would be allocated Zion and the “believers” who had not dedicated their lives for spread of such Christianity would be allotted a place called NEW JERUSALEM , a place trifle lower than ZION, in the life after!
Even Jesus in the flesh refrained from making such claims when James and John with the help of the earthly aunt Salome tried to obtain a special place next to Jesus in the life after! How preposterous, based on their interpretation of the Book of Revelations!
CSI may be bankrupt of such florid and self-elevating interpretations of the Bible, but sure gives its members a lot of Liberty. One can have ENTERTAINMENT, do personal service to mankind; build social structures for the upliftment of the needy including education and orphanages; wear gold; get baptised as an infant etc.
To put it in perspective, CSI Christianity grants Liberty to practice Christianity without a constant sense of guilt instilled through weekly sermons and other assorted Pentecostal influence peddled through overenthusiastic neophyte Pentecostals!
So when I saw him at the Grocers, I was truly Glad. God gives Liberty, but it is our duty to choose a jurisdiction which would preserve it.
What I don’t know about Hannah is Whether Hannah was the first or the second wife of Elkanah?
If Penninah had been troubling her and drove her to the extent of soreness of her soul, was it engendered by a Leah-ish claim of having been the first wife to Elkanah and Hannah as an intruder?, or was Hannah the first wife and Penninah brought in like Hagar?
Facts are not furnish-able from the text of the Bible.
But one thing emerges: Hannah prayed and she conceived and brought forth a boy child. Named him Samuel.
Despite the effusive praise of Hannah in the lines of Deborah and Elisabeth, what is praiseworthy about Hannah is that she DID SOMETHING WHICH NO WOMAN DID, within the Bible.
Even before she conceived the second time, she parted ways with her only child and gave him to serve in the temple.
Can anyone imagine the extent to which Hannah must have felt about her barrenness? That it was provoked by Penninah, rather aggravated by Penninah, and is explicitly stated on the first chapter, but as a gratitude towards God for having removed that taint of having continued a Barren Woman, she was willing to part with Samuel, soon after he was weaned!
That act of Hannah shouts: CALL ME CHILDLESS, BUT NOT BARREN!
That she got at least 4 more children after Samuel was a bonus, but her parting with Samuel – the precious child – notwithstanding her vow before God is AMAZING!