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Judgment unto Victory


What is the true meaning of this phrase from the Bible and how could it be edifyingly interpreted in consonance with the Scriptures?

Matt 12:20

20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.

John 8:15 & 16

15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.

16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.

Judgement is determination of the superiority of a claim over another, a position over another, the intrinsic value over another, a right over another right, a person over another, or for that matter any situation over another. A judgement is by a Peer. Jesus by having served the Will of the Father in the flesh and having succeeded in the Flesh as Jesus, had become the only one to be called a Peer to human beings yet the Son of God from the beginning.

God the Father, when He judged man, He had gone by the compliance of the Commandments and judgement was bound to follow, unless a Righteous man were to intercede on behalf of the delinquent or the people themselves repented upon self-contrition or upon being preached to.

In the Old Testament, there were instances where God sent his angels to intimate Abraham before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; had there been those number of righteous souls as Abraham thought, probably the cities would have been spared. The people of Nineveh were spared when they repented. When Hezekiah was intimated of his imminent death, his prayers for extension of his life was granted even before Isaiah could leave the palace gates of the King Hezekiah. When King Solomon sacrificed to elicit the attention of God, God appears and grants Solomon his request and more. When Gideon was threshing clandestinely keeping his activity from the eyes of the Midianites, an angel is sent to call him a mighty man of valour. Therefore God the Father was attracted by DEVOTION TO HIM; IMPORTUNATE PLAINTS TO HIM; REPENTANCE & CONTRITION OF HEART. Essentially Man had to connect to God.

This changes with the advent of Jesus. God connects to man.

But God cannot connect from the heavens, He has to subject Himself to the liabilities and the constraints of human living. The curse that entered into the world had to be gone through, yet without being tainted by the evil. A person of perfection was required to both measure up and intercede with God the Father, who had been through the plight of man in those cursed circumstances and yet had remained untainted and DONE THE WILL OF THE FATHER. Only such a person would be worthy to break that curse through His intercession.

Jesus’ Life and teachings are an example on his perfection. A doubting Thomas would not have stayed with a person of dubious dealings; a greedy Judas would not have committed suicide had Jesus not been up to the reputation he was ascribed with. Thomas and Judas were there representing our scepticism and our suicidal provocations. The former was told: Blessed are those who have not seen yet believed and thereby we are all Blessed. Jesus who had said that one has to be pure in heart to see God, carves out a large exception to those who believe in Him (Matt 5:8). Belief takes the place of the Purity in Heart.

Jesus by having intimated Himself with the curse of man and yer having overcome Life successfully, was made the Judge of mankind.

So Jesus judges and it does not remain as a record in the books of the Father, but sends human beings to the Victory podium.

The verse according to me means that though we as human beings might have reached the end of all our capabilities, and become broken and therefore useless, or have lost our fire and enveloped with ashes which are bound to smother the embers of our lives, Jesus resuscitates us and send us to the Podium of Victory, just because we put our complete FAITH in Him.

That I think is sending Judgement to Victory.

The prayer of Jonah.


There is no history of any other person who had prayed from the belly of a big fish and survived to narrate the experience, except for Jonah.

Preachers have belittled Jonah in the altar of self-righteousness, stating that he was not of the standard of Abraham, who obeyed God even to the extent of taking his only legitimate son Isaac to the mount for sacrifice.

Obedience to the extent of putting one’s own life and property in line is distinctly different from being obedient to the Word of God in matters concerning directions to prophesy against peoples and kings. It really did not go down well with Isaiah when he prophesied against Manasseh.

Elijah, despite his tremendous zeal after a point, could NOT withstand the onslaught of the political hounding let loose by Jezebel and Ahab. Elijah’s prayer is no less diffident than Jonah’s, towards the end. Yet Elijah’s chutzpah in challenging the worshippers of Baal, knowing fully well the unstinted patronage of the de facto ruler of Israel, Jezebel, is unparalleled.

Yet, Jonah, though classified as a ‘minor prophet’ by the writers for easy slotting, have led the Bible reading public to relegate Jonah to the sidelines of the prophets.

Had not Jesus mentioned Jonah in those two significant instances conveyed in the Gospels, Jonah would have remained a footnote to the Christian understanding of the Hebraic tradition of prophets.

Yet, Jonah’s testimony had a ring of truth to whatever he said.

Firstly, Jonah was chosen by God himself and no substitute was nominated, like in the case of Elijah. God tells the disgruntled Elijah to anoint his successor Elisha; but here Jonah was nominated and God pursued Jonah and made Jonah accomplish the mission to the great satisfaction of God. Maybe Jonah’s attempted truancy, diffidence and reluctance might be a stumbling block for humans to set him up as an example, but we should also consider why God did not relent and made only Jonah complete the task?

I’m sure that Jonah had the skills of an eminent speaker who could bring out the immediacy of the impending calamity and also make the people to repent, otherwise Jesus would not have compared Himself and said that one greater than Jonah was there about Jesus himself. Almighty God, in the flesh as Jesus, who was before Abraham was, certifies of Jonah – a no mean certification.

Besides this comparison, rather a contrast, Jesus says that there would be no sign given except that the Son of Man would be in the hades for three days and three nights like Jonah was in the belly of the fish.

The sanctification of Jonah was complete. So why did Jesus exalt the stay of Jonah in the belly of the fish?

When Jonah was swallowed up by the big fish, the finality through Death, which Jonah preferred to the travel to Nineveh, did not happen. Jonah was swallowed whole. Jonah was in a situation where death could be preferred – Jonah did not faint but was fully conscious. For a human being, the most terrible situation is when – one doesn’t know where one is; one doesn’t know any way out; one doesn’t have any Hope for anything and the only Hope could be a long drawn out death or a remote possibility of divine intervention for relief. Jonah finally faced a situation where his preferred destination of Death was not only denied to him but he had to experience the ordeal with full consciousness, solitarily and hopelessly.

It is at this moment that Jonah prays to God and comes up with gems distilled for mankind.

No man could have been distressed to that extent that Jonah was. Jesus, who would have seen that, while still with the Father, compares His stay in the Hades for those three days and nights with that of the stay of Jonah – and we belittle Jonah’s experience by denominating him derogatorily as a ‘minor’ prophet? Who are we to judge Jonah, he was another man’s servant and he rose in the estimation of his Master.

I am compelled to repeat portions of the prayer of Jonah:

“I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.

They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

(Pl. read my blog : https://movid.wordpress.com/2018/05/17/lying-vanities/ )

But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.”

Today, this world that we know and still continue to think we know, is confronted with COVID 19 and we are all locked down. Yet we have human interaction, electronic connectivity, hope that a cure would be invented, fervent hope that a vaccine would be concocted for future protection; but Jonah had NO ASSURANCE WHATSOEVER. Jonah was locked down not knowing where he was, whether he would live, if so how long; would he ever get back to where he once was… and the hopeless fears were endless. Those three days would have been the most endless passage of Time in Jonah’s consciousness.

It is in those circumstances that Jonah understands many distilled Truths and embedded it in his prayer. There could not have been a more authentic prayer in distress except for the prayers of Jesus Christ both in the cross as well as in the Gethsemane.

The greatest realisation of human existence is realisation of his own insignificance; followed by an AFFIRMATION that one will follow God and BE obedient to His will.

Jonah’s second excerpted passage relates to Human Understanding and the paradigms with which one lives in the comfort of those perceptions. Jonah recognises the falsity of it. Man needs Mercy and not vain formulae.

The third excerpted portion relates to a PERSONAL ASSERTION that one would Praise God; perform the vows with a RESOLUTE BELIEF that Salvation CAN come only from God.

These prayers of Jonah are totally relevant for us in today’s scenario. There might be over-beliefs like :THIS TOO SHALL PASS, but we should be conscious of the unknown time limit each mortal is subjected to and therefore should not be dragged into all these nice little pithy sayings, which are Timeless.

Therefore, it is time to seek His Mercy and stop following the Lying Vanities from the assumed comfort of our flawed perceptions.

JONAH – Wrong question, but the Right answer‼️


Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. Jonah ch 1 The Bible

This was the conclusion arrived at by the mariners in the ship that was sailing from Joppa to Tarshish, when it was caught up in a storm. Prophet Jonah was one of the passengers of that ship.

The premise was a deep rooted belief, especially by the Captain of the ship, who instead of steering the ship in times of trouble using his skill, knowledge and resources, had arrived at a ‘belief’ that the turbulence of the seas surrounding his ship was caused by a human being, who was present in the ship when it was caught in the storm.

Based on that belief, the mariners and all the other passengers, including the merchants had arrived at a conclusion that the causal creature (a passenger) had to be firstly identified.

Prior to this, the mariners, as mentioned in the Bible probably included the whole lot of travellers in the ship, had taken action by firstly wailing and supplicating to their gods, hoping probably that they and their merchandise would be saved. When their mere prayers went unanswered and the storm showed no signs of abating, probably at the instance of the “shipmaster”, the merchants and passengers started throwing overboard the merchandise on a belief that the lightening of the ship would save the ship and their lives at least. Quite logical, considering the fact that the ship would float higher and consequently the billows would have to be higher if the ship were to be still drowned by those stormy waves. That marginal reduction of the risk is understandable and reasonably scientific. In my layman’s understanding the plimsoll line would have gone up better and the risk of keeling over considerably reduced.

The observing part of their brains did NOT get the desired result. Their initial action of merely praying but salvaging their merchandise gratuitously being of no avail, decided to throw the merchandise overboard. Even that did not bring down the storm. Following is the relevant excerpt:

“the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.”

But in all this commotion and finally engulfed with a fear for their own lives, the shipmaster is taking rounds to identify if he could do something which might further lighten the ship and he chances upon a man sleeping peacefully on the sides of the ship. The Captain – as I would like to dignify him, a democratically inclined man- rouses Jonah and chides him thus:

What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.

The Captain is still under the belief that everything humanly possible had been done and PRAYERS probably by each passenger might alter the external turbulence of the storm. There’s no evidence that Jonah followed his instructions. Jonah could NOT ASK GOD. The clearest sign of an unrepented sinner. Cain could not ask God for forgiveness, because the sin of fratricide was hanging round his neck. Cain could only ask God for eliminating the paranoia, the unremitted sin still underlying his consciousness. Such was the case of Judas Iscariot, who could NOT seek repentance for his behaviour as his conscience was still laden with guilt.

Jonah had on the other hand been raised on a belief that sins OUGHT TO BE PUNISHED, come what may. Probably his premise had kept him within the banks of righteousness and but he also prescribed the same exacting standards to the people he preached to. Further, Jonah did not believe that the judgement HAS TO BE LEFT TO GOD- Jonah believed that the consequences of action should follow willy nilly. Secondly, Jonah believed that if he pronounced a consequence to certain behaviour, in consonance with the scriptures, there should no Mercy be applied by God despite repentance by the guilty person. Jonah believed that the punishment SHOULD BE INFLICTED. In fact he says that as a reason to God and how God’s Mercy would interfere in his prophetic credibility.

When Jesus says that one greater than Jonah was here, Jesus was referring to Himself as a sinless person – who in the flesh was not only sinless but also submitting to the will of the Father. That is why, when John & James sought Jesus’ permission to bring down fire from heaven like Elijah, Jesus says at Luke 9:

55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.

56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

That spotlessness alone could beget a response like that. Jesus was sinless and He told his disciples to ignore and move on.

Jonah couldn’t have responded like Jesus did, as he was already imbued in that paradigm of sinful action being followed by punishment, he had not entered the dispensation of Grace. That was heralded by Jesus and Jesus alone.

Thus caught up in this paradigm, Jonah submits himself to the dictates of those passengers and provides his name for the purposes of the lot.

We as Christians are not any superior to Jonah, we also submit ourselves to become a party being named in the lot to be drawn. What a pity – and we believe we are better than Jonah. I shudder when people talk disparagingly, especially the preachers, about Jonah. Even when Jesus compares Himself with some of the best like the temple, or Solomon, Jesus names Jonah therein. We need to develop modesty – spiritual modesty. We can’t talk of our ancestors for their shortcomings disparagingly – even in those days when the dispensation of Grace had NOT DESCENDED they had led a life of probity, which probably was more exacting.

So Jonah, being a prophet of the Almighty God, should have volunteered himself to be offloaded in the middle of the sea even before the lot, believing that he was responsible for the storm – he didn’t. He submitted to the game of chance to be named. But when Jonah’s name came out in the draw, he is convinced that he was the offender and requests them to offload him in the middle of the seas.

That takes us back to the proposition if the line of reasoning of the mariners was right. That is whether “Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us.” was right?

I believe that it was wrong because Jonah, a Prophet, if convinced of his own guilt and the consequent divine disapprobation should have volunteered and stepped out to confess his guilt before the mariners, but Jonah did not.

That is when God had to sanctify the outcome of the draw and ensure that Jonah’s name is drawn.

The line of reasoning was wrong – as the outcome under the theory of probability could have gone against anyone else, and if a weak person’s name had turned up, the mariners could have ferreted out his/her guilt and could have been made a SACRIFICIAL LAMB.

That is where God works. God sanctified a wrong question with an appropriate answer. As in the words of Francis Thompson in THE HOUND OF HEAVEN:

From those strong feet that followed, followed after

But with unhurrying chase and unperturbe d pace,

Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,

They beat, and a Voice beat,

More instant than the feet:

All things betray thee who betrayest me.

……

Fear wist not to evade as Love wist to pursue.

…….

To all swift things for swiftness did I sue,

Clung to the whistling mane of every wind,

But whether they swept, smoothly fleet,

The long savannahs of the blue,

Or whether, thunder-driven,

They clanged His chariot thwart a heaven,

Plashy with flying lightnings round the spurn of their feet,

Fear wist not to evade as Love wist to pursue.

Still with unhurrying chase and unperturbed pace

Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,

Came on the following feet, and a Voice above their beat:

Nought shelters thee who wilt not shelter Me.

I sought no more that after which I strayed

In face of Man or Maid.

Jonah had to be pursued and had to be taken to Nineveh, no matter whether the route was wrong, no matter whether the transport was wrong, no matter whether the persons involved were stupid, no matter whether the logic was flawed, or no matter whether the question was wrong – the RIGHT ANSWER ALWAYS TURNS UP. That’s the law ordained by God.

Compliant without Conviction. 


Being Compliant of an unjust law could be a necessity at times and a good strategy sometimes, but rarely both. But in the case of Gideon the Valorous, it was both a Necessity and a Strategy.
The Midianites, who were the Overlords to the Israelites, extracted tribute in the form of  agricultural produce, which probably kept the Israelites poor, with no reserves or leisure – the twin benefits of prosperous activity. Each day’s labour was expended on earning their bare livelihood.
In these hard times for the Israelites, the Overlords kept an eye on the Compliance of the rules the Midianites had made to keep the Israelites in that state of want and lack of leisure.
Seeming to be compliant yet threshing wheat near the wine press keeping his activity out of the view of the Midianites was the valorous man Gideon.
The Midianites, Amalekites and the children of the East came in multitudes like grasshoppers and entered into the labour of the Israelites and destroyed the very source of their sustenance. This impoverished the Israelites.
I can imagine what a plight it would have been when mere numbers are used to subjugate a people in their own land; depriving them of the very source of their sustenance and making them labour without pride & having to conceal their labour and the meagre rewards which accrue out of such clandestine labour, in their own lands. Can one forgive the perpetrators of such cruelty? I guess not.
I can imagine a Gideon, a valorous man, slinking and threshing his homegrown wheat in his own land, gathering the same and saving the wheat for his near and dear ones- all because he was ranged against a multitude of men who outnumbered his clan. Yet that spirit in Gideon sustained him to not give up, but toil in silence and in the dark and gather as much as possible.
When that ass seeking King Saul spared the Amalekite King Agag, much later despite Prophet Samuel’s instructions, did he recall the plight his ancestor Gideon suffered at the hands of the Amalekites? I guess not. Saul was protecting Agag the king of the Amalekites. Samuel definitely had a longer memory of how that Amalekites had attacked the Israelites from the rear, harming the women. children and the enfeebled lot on their journey to Canaan.
Even if Saul hadn’t read that history, he should have had some idea of how a valorous man like Gideon had to cower under the Overlordship of the Amalekites and should have diligently carried out the instructions of Samuel. Alas, Saul didn’t! Saul became a big man in his own eyes – rightly spotted by Samuel and questioned.
Gideon, a valorous man threshing in the dark and away from the sight of the Amalekites had a reason. The Amalekites attacked the enfeebled and the impoverished, having no MANLINESS in them nor the courage to risk and make a frontal attack on their enemies.
An Amalekite doesn’t need your land, he needs your wheat and corn- the finished products. An Amalekite doesn’t want to administer, he just needs all the resources from others.
Moses was able to identify this trait in the Amalekites very early. The Amalekites stole or used violent means to obtain the resources of others without expending any labour on it. At Rephedim, Moses anoints them as enemies of God.
If I have not yet convinced the reader about the ways of an Amalekite, look at that Amalekite who found the same Saul – who wanted to save the life of Agag the Amalekite – in a moribund state leaning on a sword in the mount of Gilboa begging the Amalekite to deliver the coup de grace on Saul. That wretched Amalekite dares to kill a King, though ostensibly at the king’s request. Who knows? There were three, one was the dying Saul, the other was that wretched Amalekite and finally, as always, the Almighty. Out of this one killed the other and very rarely God stands as a witness in such sordid human affairs – except in the case of Abel. Now that Amalekite narrates a story to David, the ultimate story teller. David, the Shrewdest King of Israel, knows better‼️ The Amalekite steals the crown and the bracelet from the dead Saul and takes it to David for a reward.
David was DAVID. Uses the opportunity to redeem his own image in front of the Israelites – especially the Benjamites but also kills the Amalekite for having dared to have been responsible for the final blow to the dying King of Israel. David remembers how to handle an Amalekite – spare them not!
So Gideon was dealing with these type of Amalekites and that needed outward compliance for SURVIVAL – that compliance was strategy.
There is another kind of compliance – Compliant so that one doesn’t take up an issue which carries no purpose.
Jesus, while in the flesh, asks Peter whether the Kings collect customs and tribute from their own children? Peter promptly answers in the negative and Jesus says something absolutely BRILLIANT and becomes Compliant of those unfair Laws, without any Conviction in what he recommended to Peter to do. Read the following:
Matt 17: 24 & 25
Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
Jesus tells Peter to pay not out of the offerings given by people or any other laboured money, but tells Peter to cast a hook and pay the money found in the mouth of the fish as tribute/ custom for Him and Peter. He demeans their greed by getting the money from a fish. 
I sense the contempt Jesus had for such unfair taxation; and the method He used to defray the tax liability was amazing. 
I see this episode as a clear proof of Compliance without Conviction. 
In keeping with His saying : Render unto God that which is God’s, and unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, that piece of money that came out of a fish’s belly, is paid out to the Caesar.
Don’t rebel when your rebellion is to no avail. Just comply WITH CONTEMPT!

Historicity of Jesus is dubious – imran Khan


Socrates was highlighted and brought to public view beyond the territory in which he lived by two persons, one was Plato and the other one was Xenophon.
Plato is read well, whereas Xenophon is not read much for reasons more than the fact that he did not have an illustrious disciple like Aristotle.
Xenophon is supposed to have been turnpiked by Socrates and asked: How men are made virtuous?
When Xenophon pleaded ignorance, much as the Biblical command of Jesus to Matthew at the customs, is supposed to have stated: FOLLOW ME & LEARN‼️
This Xenophon became Socrates’ follower and wrote many books, which have mostly survived and the one book called Apology deals with the trial of Socrates and the defence.
The interesting part of all this is that Xenophon being the head of 10,000 men of the mercenary band, had gone on a war and was actually absent from Athens at the time of the trial and execution of Socrates. Yet, what Xenophon wrote of Socrates, is accepted by historians as true.
The point I am labouring at is that one need NOT BE A WITNESS to the events to gather facts from those who were present at the scene and present those facts as History. Therefore on a comparative basis, much of the History wouldn’t measure up to the touchstone of historicity if the same yardstick which is applied to Jesus were to be applied to those historical figures.

Like Plato and Xenophon to Socrates, the persons who were in a position to write about Jesus were John and the other 10 disciples who survived the crucifixion. But it was not any of these who brought out the teachings of Jesus as much as the Evangelist Paul. An erudite Jew, with a Roman citizenship. This Paul of Tarsus, earlier called Saul, wrote on Jesus and his teachings by the mid fist century of the Common Era. The evangelism of Paul made enclaves of Christianity in various cities of Greece and the Asia Minor. That is History. A record not disputed. Paul had not met Jesus while Jesus was in the flesh, however Paul says that Jesus appeared to him. This is almost a few years after Jesus’ crucifixion, if we take that as a fact, then Pontius Pilate, who as per historical records was the Roman Prefect in-charge of Judaea executing the functions on behalf of the Roman emperor, was contemporaneous to Jesus historically.

But why was not Jesus’ name not mentioned in the records?
I believe that not only the Roman Prefect was not interested in perpetuating the status of persons who could be a threat to the the Roman Empire; even the Jewish Religious heads were against the memory of Jesus, consequently all records must have been destroyed so as to gloss over the empty tomb issue.
Further, looking at Jesus from the synoptic Gospels, Jesus was then a popular local hero shuttling between Galilee and Judaea, at variance with the established Jewish faith and its informal custodians like the Pharisees and the Scribes and it wouldn’t have been anybody’s case to glorify his deeds in the flesh or to perpetuate the memory of Jesus. In fact the Jews then being under the Roman vassalage, the local authorities were interested in maintaining status quo lest a worse fate befall them. Therefore, to look for contemporary references either in the Roman history or the Jewish history wouldn’t be of much avail.
At least one and a half decade had passed before Paul starts his epistolary venture, before the Gospel writer Mark wrote his Gospel.
Therefore the forerunner to the Gospels were those 13 epistles written by Paul the evangelist to the various branches he had established around Greece and Asia Minor. These pockets of Christian Faith coagulated into the Church. These are facts.

I’d like to excerpt Schopenhauer here from his essay WISDOM OF LIFE:

“We can thus understand how it is that the vainest people in the world are always talking about la gloire, with the most implicit faith in it as a stimulus to great actions and great works. But there can he no doubt that fame is something secondary in its character, a mere echo or reflection—as it were, a shadow or symptom—of merit: and, in any case, what excites admiration must be of more value than the admiration itself. The truth is that a man is made happy, not by fame, but by that which brings him fame, by his merits, or to speak more correctly, by the disposition and capacity from which his merits proceed, whether they be moral or intellectual. The best side of a man’s nature must of necessity be more important for him than for anyone else: the reflection of it, the opinion which exists in the heads of others, is a matter that can affect him only in a very subordinate degree. He who deserves fame without getting it possesses by far the more important element of happiness, which should console him for the loss of the other. It is not that a man is thought to be great by masses of incompetent and often infatuated people, but that he really is great, which should move us to envy his position; and his happiness lies, not in the fact that posterity will hear of him, but that he is the creator of thoughts worthy to be treasured up and studied for hundreds of years.

Therefore, it was the content of Jesus’ teachings which Paul gathered from the Apostles which form the bulk of his exhortations to those pockets of Christianity which Paul established, which formed the kernel and substance of Jesus’ sayings and lent to the appeal and coagulation of the movement called the Church at Antioch.

In the case of Jesus the man, the man Jesus died and His ideas sprouted and spread. Whether he was crucified, buried and resurrected could be a matter of faith but that the Faith led to the discovery of tracing those teachings to Jesus, which is discovery of a fact from an Idea.
That atoms existed was an Idea even before it was discovered and proved and its structure hypothesised though chemistry. Likewise, Jesus was a discovery and that discovery is a fact that its origins are not concentrated at one point does not take away the fact that it was historical.
If Imran Khan could rely on the revelations made by the Angel Gibrel to the Prophet Mohammed as ‘facts’ and implicitly believe in those facts as historical, he should at least concede to the fact that Jesus, Isa Nabi, for him and refrain from questioning the Historicity of Jesus.
I may not agree with the belief that Jesus was merely a prophet, but Mr. Imran is bound to believe as a fact that Jesus was born, lived a Prophet and would return.
At least each man is to be judged by the same yardstick which he uses, for Jesus said:

1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
(Matthew Chapter 7)

Go and Sin no more!


One of the two pet Christian notions of each generation is that that generation is the culmination of all discoveries and revelations on Christian theology. The Second notion is that the Second Coming of Christ would happen within their generation, for sure.

The first notion is erroneous and the second one could turn out to be false.
As regards the First notion, that notion is a good insulation against reading up the Christian theological material written over the ages, consequently it affords one to be puffed up with a sense of prophetic confidence – Elijah like, being emboldened to tell God that he was the only one who had not fallen to the coercive methods of Jezebel in Baal-ising Israel. But God, who in his en passant reply tells the mortal Elijah that he had reserved for himself 7000 men who had not bent their knees before Baal.
So one day, when my father was still alive, to emphasise the point that Jesus’ healing was conditional, I told him that Jesus always told those whom he had healed that they should SIN NO MORE.
He calmly said: Son read the Bible. Jesus has said that only twice, and both are reported only in the Gospel of John. One was to the woman who was caught in the very act of adultery, and the other was to the invalid who had lain in the vicinity of the pool at Bethesda, for a full 38 years.

I scurried to my Bible and read chapters 5 & 8 of the Gospel of John, and found that indeed to that woman and that invalid Jesus had said : Go and sin no more.

I asked my dad: Why did he say that only to these two, whereas the Bible has multiple instances of Jesus having healed many?
I am yet to recover from my Dad’s reply: Son, these were the only two persons in the whole New Testament who NEVER SOUGHT RELIEF FROM JESUS. ONE WAS RECONCILED TO THE FACT THAT SHE WAS AN ADULTERER, AND THE OTHER THOUGHT THAT THE ONLY WAY TO GET HEALED WAS TO BE THE FIRST TO GET INTO THE POOL AFTER THE MOVING OF THE WATERS‼️

These two persons did not ask Jesus for relief, nor did anyone else intercede on their behalf, in fact they both were resigned to their condition; one as a sinner deserving being stoned in public; the other one, stuck in the formalism of ‘being the first after moving of the waters’. They neither thought that they deserved relief nor did they believe that there was an option outside their own judgement and knowledge.
These persons when they obtained their relief unsought,  had to be intimated not of repentance, but not committing sins in the future, as Jesus had already cleansed them of their past sins through Grace.
I was flabbergasted at his interpretation, I’ve never heard of any such interpretation of GO AND SIN NO MORE, neither before nor after.
I believe that every generation is intimated through Discovery or Revelation from the Bible and to believe that ‘our generation’ is the culmination of all understanding of the Bible is downright erroneous.

As regards the second notion, Jesus’ warnings were aimed at an awareness of human consciousness to be prepared continually, without any backlogs of un-repented sins &  unresolved spiritual issues, so that when the end comes, one could stand prepared before the seat of Judgement.

But Jesus’ ‘continual awareness’ and ‘constant doing’, have been hijacked through institutionalised anxiety, by stamping everyone of being perpetually guilty. The more the anxiety the more a man would believe that the end is near.  Time hastens. If the end were to be near, then Death is the only option for him to consider. This idea of Death has to be interposed with a more redeeming idea of the Second Coming. But his own unworthiness would rule out him being ‘raptured’. Now that Death has been relegated as a NO OPTION, he has to believe that the Second Coming SHALL HAPPEN WITHIN HIS OWN LIFETIME. Consequently, the Second Coming has become the mechanism for everyone to ignore Death, which could also happen before the Second Coming, yet institutionalised Belief that it SHALL happen before his death, keeps his attention fixed not in being “raptured” but with the anxiety of being LEFT BEHIND‼️

Secondly, it preempts the thought of Death. So why not believe that the Second Coming is imminent? Forgetting fully that no man, not even the Son knows the end of Time.

Instead of following Good and doing Good, PERPETUALLY, everyone is anxiety ridden  to predict that end, that day of reckoning, and be prepared and flawless, for that one day!

Blindly shouting Bartimaeus.


When Bartimaeus’ eyes were opened, he realised that he had shouted out to the Son of David while he was still oblivious of the milling crowd outside Jericho, following Jesus.

If only had Bartimaeus SEEN the crowd, he’d NOT have called out to Jesus, being afraid to draw attention to himself and having become overawed.
Our faith remains stifled and unarticulated because we feel others are watching!
Turn a blind eye and call out, the Redemption maybe in our calling to attention the Saviour passing by.

Moses’ commandments Vs. God’s commandments.


This portion in chapter 7 of the Gospel of John has been a great challenge to my understanding.

22 Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man.
23 If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?

There is a commingling of the Ten Commandments and the other Rules given by Moses. Jesus tells those Jews who tried to kill Him contextually thus in the same chapter:

19 Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?

It appears that Jesus was trying to dissuade the Jewish people who were trying to kill Him, that they ought not to kill, as killing would be breaking of a commandment of God.
But a few verses later he brings in the conflict arising between CIRCUMCISION and SABBATH.

My understanding is that Circumcision started with Abraham and definitely doesn’t find a part in the Ten Commandments; whereas keeping the Sabbath holy is a commandment of God.
Jesus brings in the conflict, between circumcision and the Sabbath, by saying that if the eighth day after the birth of a male child were to fall on a Sabbath day, you Jews circumcise the male child even on Sabbath, as you believe that the TRADITION of yore should not be broken. But by circumcising the child on the Sabbath, you are violating one of the Ten Commandments. Thereafter, Jesus Justifies circumcision on Sabbath by stating that if for the benefit of the child circumcision is carried out on the eighth day, only through an infringement of breaking the Sabbath, then DOING GOOD, like HEALING (making a person whole) on the Sabbath would not tantamount to breaking the Sabbath!
The underlying principle which Jesus said was: God is good and if any deed is done infringing a general law, such Good deed should not be seen as a deed having violated the general law.
Brilliant.
How he got them!
It was not the Circumcision that Jesus was questioning but the tradition of circumcising only on the eighth day, come what may, though the eighth day fell on a Sabbath, which Jesus drew as a parallel to justify good deeds, like healing and making people whole.
Another way of looking at theses passages is that a General Law need not be strictly applied to every PARTICULAR situation. A child would have only one eighth day after his birth and if it were to fall on a Sabbath, why break the tradition? After all that work of circumcising was not the choice of the parents, assuming that the day of birth of a child would be beyond the choice of a parent. Therefore, in the PARTICULAR case of male children whose eighth day fell on Sabbath, the act of circumcising would not offend the General law of the Sabbath, but would act as an EXCEPTION to the observances of the Sabbath. Likewise, if Jesus were to heal on the Sabbath, such healing would also fall within the exception and would not attract the penalties for non observance of the Sabbath.

New brand of Christianity!


Many would have read the following passage from the New Testament:  Matthew chapter 17:

20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Remove from here to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

21But this kind goes not out but by prayer and fasting.

The above passage was when the disciples could not drive away the evil spirit from the boy, and Jesus stepped in and cured the boy. Thereafter Jesus’ disciples ask him WHY THEY WERE NOT ABLE TO DO WHAT JESUS SUCCEEDED IN DOING? 

The Godhood of Jesus is revealed in this passage, not because he succeeded where his disciples failed, but because Jesus says in unequivocal terms that it is the successful efforts of PRAYER &FASTING, which enables a human to perform such miracles. Secondly, Jesus doesn’t find fault with the father of the boy or worse still, even with the boy, but STATES THE INADEQUACIES IF HIS OWN DISCIPLES. 

Cut back and let us see some passages of Paul in I Corinthians chapter 11 verse 30 says thus:

For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 

James says this at Chapter 4:3:

Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

The first is a passage by the self declared Apostle and the latter passage is by probably the earthly sibling of Jesus, if not the one who was one of the Boanerges. 

In any case, both the pillars one of the Jerusalem and the other of the Gentiles points fingers at others instead of looking into themselves and spread fear, guilt and a sense of inadequacy in OTHERS. These “apostles” we’re constantly excavating reasons for either the sicknesses or the non-receipt of the things sought through prayers by the lay men! 

THAT WAS THE DIFFERENCE. In their eagerness in building the Church, they couldn’t continue the path of self purification through prayers and fasting! 

If anyone is eager to believe that Christianity is being used to purvey guilt and portray the laymen as inadequate only in the recent centuries, then they are terribly wrong. The process started immediately after Jesus’ death and resurrection! 

Christ did not make the other man’s faults or INADEQUACIES as his reasons for non curing. No doubt He was/is God, but He recommended His disciples to look into themselves and not to find Pretexts. 

That is/was and would be Christianity and not as what the disciples wrote with a misplaced fervour to build a Church! 

God save us from false preachers of Christianity. 

Rapture in Christianity


Rapture means the act of the Chosen few of God, being transformed at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and being conveyed into Eternity with Christ, without dying or death.  This is being Peddled by most Pentecostals as a sure shot happening BOUND TO HAPPEN DURING THIS GENERATION ITSELF.

In the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 13 there is an elaborate discussion between Jesus in the flesh, and His favourite disciples John, James, Peter & Andrew, wherein Jesus says that EVEN THE SON OF MAN DOESN’T KNOW THE TIME OF SUCH HAPPENING!

Firstly, Jesus REFRAINS from marking the Time of such an event. But He goes on to say the broad happenings which would take place prior to the event, and finally rounds it off by saying THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT PASS TILL ALL THESE THINGS BE DONE! (Verse 30).

If Jesus had meant the generation which ‘ lived’ during his Life in the world, surely the EVENT IS OVER. But, to my understanding, it was not THAT GENERATION , BUT THE GENERATION WHICH READS (had read, are reading and who will read in the future) WHAT HE HAD SAID THEN!

  So, essentially what Jesus said was that Rapture (unlike, erroneously interpreted in the Pauline epistles) could happen or even DEATH could overtake the Rapture, but a human being’s duty was to be PREPARED – Jesus says, “WATCH”! His emphasis was on INDIVIDUAL SALVATION and INDIVIDUAL EFFORT.

Secondly Jesus’ foretelling at verses 24 & 25 that THE SUN SHALL BE DARKENED AND THE MOON SHALL NOT GIVE HER LIGHT, are not external events, but similar to what Solomon says in ECCLESIASTES Ch 12, where he figuratively forewarns the state of disrepair, human body and mind is susceptible to fall into, with age and sickness, and thus reminds man that youth is Vanity! Solomon goes on to add that THE WHOLE DUTY OF MAN WAS TO FEAR GOD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS!

Might be, Solomon, was a fallen man, yet his words were true. It is like those contrite statements made by the Rich man from the Hell, a lot too late. Solomon’s realization might have come at a time when he couldn’t make amends, or who knows whether God forgave him in the last minute, like Jesus promised the robber on the cross? We can’t judge.

Jesus’ statement has been interpreted by the Pauline epistles to have an immediacy on the hearers, probably based on a genuine belief held by Peter, Paul & c. that RAPTURE was IMMINENT. But by hindsight we all know that Neros, Caligulas & c., came after Jesus and did most of those things foretold by Jesus. Yet , most, nay, all Christians believe that the Rapture hasn’t happened yet .

Therefore, instead of hustling the Christian believers into a Rapture trap, without hinting at the predominant certainty of Mortality, and skimming their resources through tithe amassing, they should be enlightened of the true meaning as explained by me and tell them to be ready to have an EPIPHANY AT THE POINT OF MORTALITY OF THE INDIVIDUAL if the RAPTURE doesn’t happen during one’s lifetime.

 But that would not create a hysteria and the revenue flow that follows such hustling!

CHOOSE TO BE FREE. BELIEVE RATIONALLY! 

Work


There are those who Work, those who can’t , those who won’t , those who would want to, and finally those who claim the credit for somebody’s good work. 

I’d like to last category first – those who claim the credit for somebody’s good work. They, as Jesus said, ” ENTERED INTO ANOTHER MAN’S LABOURS!” (John 4:38). In fact, Jesus reminds his disciples that they have arrived at the reaping time and therefore not to gloat over the produce but humbly realise that they were merely reaping the benefits of others who had laboured before! Most of those who ENTER INTO ANOTHER MAN’S LABOURS, seldom recognise the effort or privation suffered by their  predecessors who had laboured in the same fields and are either not there because of flux of time or have been ousted or even sidelined at the time of REAPING! 

The last category is the most RAPACIOUS WITHOUT ANY CHARACTER, as there is neither compunction nor modesty in their claims. 

The fourth category being “those who would want to ” but either because of the daunting task don’t launch themselves into the task or cleverly procrastinating so that others would complete the onerous and humdrum task and enter the field after making an assessment of the rewards of the labours of others and thereafter be hailed as Messiahs, who concluded the task. They like a reputation as FINISHERS, with a keen eye on the results. 

The third category  of ‘those who won’t ‘, surely have the skill & the means but WOULDN’T  DO. It is an attitude backed by a policy of diffidence. The reasons for such DIFFIDENCE may include phrases like WHATS THE USE? I AM NOT GOING TO BENEFIT! etc. They become rusty with their skills.

The second category of those who CAN’T, are seriously differently abler and not equal to the task- it doesn’t necessarily mean that they wouldn’t desire the benefits which accrue from the labour!

The First category are those who work as per the advice of Krishna to Arjuna: DON’T  LOOK AT THE RESULTS, JUST DO YOUR DUTY TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITY or who follow the Koranic advice of TRUST IN ALLAH BYT TIE YOUR CAMEL or like Jesus’ advice as at Luke 17:10 Even so ye also, when ye shall have done all the things that are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which it was our duty to do.

It is because of the first category that work gets done, but who are we to judge who belong to the other 4 categories? So long as we do not belong to those 4 categories, we are assured of our of our bread and sleep! 

Apostolic Christianity!


I was always at loss to understand what APOSTOLIC FAITH was all about! With innumerable denominations in Christianity, no sane Christian would ever claim that he knows the doctrinal differences which set apart one denomination from the other – unless of course one has had the inclination to study in a Theological seminary and in fact studied there.

APOSTOLIC FAITH is best described by Jesus in the following passage! Refer Gospel of Mark: Chapter 9, Verse 17 onwards

17 And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;

18 And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.

19 He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.

20 And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.

21 And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.

22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.

23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.

26 And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.

27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.

28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?

29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.

This is one of the best passages where Jesus reveals TWO CARDINAL PRINCIPLES OF CHRISTIANITY. One is that when the father says that he BELIEVES but help thou my UNBELIEF – in all humility he accepts that his experience was in the way of his “belief” even though, he wanted to believe.

Secondly, that ANYONE who prays and FASTS would be able to perform what Jesus was able to perform.

Jesus is not applauding the father of the boy, like in the case of the woman with an issue for 18 years, or that of the Centurion whose servant was ill where Jesus did “tele-curing” from a place afar off; but was kind to the father who had the burden of his experience with his son, and WILLS ON HIS BEHALF. That is Christianity.

But come to the Apostles of Jesus and the Pseudo Apostle Paul, they were acutely aware of the fact that they were not ABLE TO CURE ALWAYS, but desired to CURE ( rather it was every Apostle’s ‘ASPIRATION” to cure). Jesus did not lay the blame on the DISBELIEF of others, but BELIEVED on their behalf.

I have no issues on the apostles not being able to CURE the sick and the invalids, but their prescriptions have been to lade the believers with GUILT. The following passages would bear me out:

James Chapter 5:

14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

I Corinthians Ch. 11

29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

These are the cornerstones on which APOSTOLIC FAITH is being propagated. They have forgotten the following passages which narrate what Jesus Himself said:

Luke Chapter 13

There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Another one is JOHN Chapter 9

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

So, from the above mentioned passages from the Gospels of Luke and John, it is clear that it is not because of SINS that a man suffers. But Jesus says there is a greater chance of relapse, if one falls into SIN again. So CURING of Jesus was to remove the SINS of man, for man to receive HEALTH. But, the APOSTOLIC doctrine was to PRAY for the ‘sick’ and then leave it for TIME to HEAL.  In case, the person gets CURED, then take all the credit, if not , anoint him with Biblical verse that suits their inability to CURE.

My experience is that Jesus’ teachings have been HIJACKED by the not so competent Apostles by reiterating the sin of man, instead of going and PRAYING & FASTING themselves.

Even in the case of Jesus, mighty works could NOT be done always, yet HE never ever said that the lack of their CURING was because of their SINS. Pls read the following passages:

Matthew  Chapter 13 says : King James Bible
And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Mark Chapter 6, Verse 5 says

And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.

If one sees the second verse above, Jesus Himself had come to the ‘HEALING” mode and not the “CURING” mode. That was because everyone was an OBSERVER of the MIRACLE WORKER, instead of SEEKING GOD’S BLESSINGS! But never did Jesus say, it was because of their “sins” that they could not be CURED or could not be the beneficiary of MIGHTY MIRACLES. He admitted that their UNBELIEF could be a CLOG. Jesus never laid the sins of any man for him not receiving the CURE. That is Christianity.

That was what Jesus INTENDED. Not to lade men with GUILT of the PAST SINS. But the very same Apostles couldn’t get the message, how can I expect these 21st century APOSTOLIC FAITH people to get the message? All these have hijacked JESUS’ statements under the Pauline & Jacobean  THREATS, which were mainly a cover-up for their own deficiencies and a HEAVY DUTY REVENUE MODEL, to boot!

Divinity of Jesus & Blasphemy!


The attributes of Divinity are essential to be understood by Humans, to ascribe Divinity. Calling another human being as God is not alien to cricket fans in India, but a true God is not one who plays a leg-side delivery well or provides a lease of life to some commercial venture of a cola company.

It is a cliché to ascribe OMNISCIENCE, OMNIPRESENCE and OMNIPOTENCE to God. The problem with any cliché is that by constant use the ingredients are forgotten and a new generation without conscious understanding of the ingredients, which make up the ATTRIBUTES, parrots the words with confidence creating an illusion of the person uttering such clichés to have fully grasped the meaning of such clichés.

OMNISCIENCE is an attribute which I as a human being cannot determine, for the reason that when I do not know how much to know, how can a mere mortal say that someone knows everything? So OMNISCIENCE has no provable (by which I mean scientifically explain under uncontrolled surroundings to any witness who is willing to see/hear/feel/smell/taste or show proof through gadgets which are extensions of human senses) ingredient.

OMNIPRESENCE is another attribute which is easier to BELIEVE as an attribute, than to scientifically prove. If I as a human, am limited by space and time, how can I prove that a mega superior power is present everywhere?

OMNIPOTENCE is no better in the hands of a human understanding, as power is the ability to design and enforce one’s WILL without limit or barrier.

So for a human to prove that GOD is OMNISCIENT, OMNIPRESENT & OMNIPOTENT are clichéd in the mouth of a person, even though for anyone who wants to believe that GOD is OMNISCIENT, OMNIPRESENT & OMNIPOTENT without looking for proof, it is a BELIEVED TRUTH.

But humans cannot be compelled to believe in anything unless they themselves are willing to believe. Once the basic limitations of human beings are overcome through a belief system, then it is not difficult to believe any of these attributes.

In the whole of the HISTORY of mankind, is there one who had claimed OMNISCIENCE, OMNIPRESENCE & OMNIPOTENCE? I know of one and that was JESUS CHRIST. JESUS CHRIST claimed DIVINITY. It has been the propagation of many religions that JESUS never ever claimed DIVINITY, but that his followers have perverted the TRUTH.

I rely on the Gospel of John to prove my point. The hurdle which a person of impartial inquiring mind has to overcome is: WHY SHOULD I BELIEVE IN THE CONTENTS OF THE GOSPEL OF JOHN? One needn’t have to believe, one has to just read the Gospel to understand the TRUTH of the statements made by Jesus. The word would sink in and make one realize that in the non-logical spiritual world, the apparent paradoxes meld into a belief, which convinces a reader without giving enough material for the experiencer to explain scientifically, to oneself or to others, with SENSE based proofs.

As a human being, LIFE is that most important thing. Second is to have a WHOLESOME LIFE. Third is an assurance that as I grow older and pass away, what would happen to the SELF/SOUL? Besides these, all other queries are mere supplementary to the abovementioned three questions. ALL THESE THREE QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED BY JESUS in the said Gospel.

All the answers to the three cardinal questions have been CLAIMED by Jesus and I know of none who had dared to CLAIM the above mentioned three ATTRIBUTES which make up DIVINITY.

These are excerpted from Chapter 5 of Gospel of John:

21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

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.

28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

So in the verses excerpted above the first and the third questions had been answered by Jesus, while he walked in the flesh, as reported by John. Verse 26 says that Jesus, as the son of the Father, “HATH LIFE IN HIMSELF”. This expression of LIFE IN HIMSELF is not based on a LEASED LIFE GRANTED BY THE FATHER, BUT THE “POWER” GRANTED TO JESUS TO “HAVE LIFE IN HIMSELF” which was granted by the Father. This self perpetuating POWER, to GIVE UP HIS LIFE & TO TAKE IT BACK AT JESUS’ OWN WILL MAKES HIM DIVINE.  Jesus had claimed it, since from Verse 19 onwards Jesus says about THE SON and gets to the “I” only in the 30th verse. Till crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus’ process of having been made a man by the Father and Jesus dying for mankind had not been fulfilled and Jesus’ WILL as a human being was at play. This human WILL was constantly assaulted through trials and temptations, like any other human being. This process was not yet over, Jesus had to submit to the will of the FATHER till the end, but also realize through personal human experience, the liabilities of existence as a man, without recourse to the POWERS as one element of GOD. JESUS had to be granted the powers of JUDGEMENT of Humans only after he had qualified completely doing the WILL OF THE FATHER as a MAN.

The third point is the future of Human existence, which is answered in Verse 28 & 29, wherein Jesus says: the dead shall hear the Son’s VOICE and be resurrected and thereafter JUDGED. So whether in the Soul or in RESURRECTED FLESH, is a question of doctrine, and not a question which could be settled on FACTS.

 Jesus calls Himself “Son of Man”, which means Jesus’ work in the flesh had not been CONSUMMATED and thereafter HE was to ascend to the place from where he had DESCENDED and would become the SON OF GOD.

As regards wholesome LIFE, the answer is at John’s Gospel Chapter 10 verse 10, where Jesus says: …. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. That “wholesome Life” is grantable THROUGH Jesus, where Jesus claimed that he was “the way”!

In sum, Jesus claimed DIVINITY and anyone, anyone (even Gabriel, reportedly) who downgrades him to a Prophet or a Preacher or a Teacher or a Guru or anything less than the Divine is/was/and shall be a BLASPHEMER!

Leveticus 24:16 says: 16 Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall stone him. The sojourner as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.

Therefore whoever blasphemes the name of the LORD, shall be a blasphemer and the BIBLE nowhere uses BLASPHEMY for talking ill of or cursing a Prophet. JESUS was no prophet and that right to DIVINITY claimed and attained by JESUS puts him beyond mortal Prophets. Yet as a Christian, I owe NO DUTY to God or mankind or even to myself to defend Jesus’ name except by attempting to follow what He had taught!

Slavery in Christianity!


Deuteronomy Ch.23, verses 15 & 16

Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee:

He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him.

This is the commandment given by God the father through Moses. Moses had been overruled by Jesus on many such laws and in proof thereof please read Matt: 25 and 26, wherein Jesus says, “…. but I say unto you…” and amended the Mosaic law with DIVINE authority. However, Jesus does not make any statement about SLAVES overruling the Mosaic law relating to escapee slaves . 

Paul has an opinion on anything and everything. Having an opinion is not as bad as having scripted his opinion and such scripted having been found worthy by the compilers of the New Testament to be included in the New Testament. Further, Paul’s opinions were addressed to members, of the fledgling faith of Christianity, who were not rooted in the Judaic tradition. So when he wrote to the new members in Ephesus, he wrote for the edification of those members who were surrounded by a different spiritual ethos. Even when King Solomon, after having surrounded himself with Sidonian, Egyptian, Hittite women, succumbed to their gods and goddesses like Ashtoreth, Milcom, Baal etc. So Ephesians were in a different milieu and when Paul says at Ehesians 6:5-  Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ, he is not recommending SLAVERY, he is merely telling the slaves not to worry about their present plight but “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” of Christian salvation and hope! Is such attitude tenable in Christianity? I am certain that Christianity never did nor would have ever recommended SLAVERY.

Let me first re-quote the Mosaic law: 

Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee:

He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him.

1600 years (at least) before Paul had ordained himself an Apostle, Moses had written the above law as having been ordained by God the Father. So, Judaism is very clear on THREE things:

IT IS NOT THE DUTY OF THE PERSON TO WHOM THE SLAVE HAS TAKEN REFUGE, TO DELIVER THE FORMER SLAVE TO HIS ERSTWHILE MASTER.

IN FACT, THE LAW RESTRAINS AND PROHIBITS THE PERSON WITH WHOM THE ESCAPEE SLAVE HAS TAKEN REFUGE  FROM CAPTURING AND SURRENDERING HIM TO HIS ERSTWHILE MASTER.

FURTHER, THE MOSAIC LAW SAYS THAT THE PERSON WITH WHOM THE ESCAPEE HAD TAKEN REFUGE SHALL PROVIDE HIM A PLACE OF THE ESCAPEE’S CHOICE AND THE PEOPLE OF THAT AREA SHALL NOT OPPRESS HIM.

THAT WAS THE LAW! AND THIS LAW HAD NOT BEEN AMENDED BY JESUS, THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF CHRISTIAN FAITH.

But Paul was given to much PRESCRIPTIVE CHRISTIANITY, a malaise from which he suffered when he was a Pharisee and later when he altered into a Pharisaical Christian. In any case, none of Paul’s letters show him to be a meek man (Moses was the meekest man Number 12:3), given to boasting but claiming that he wasn’t and in fact that he shouldn’t be! Another instance where SLAVERY finds a reference in Paul’s letter is at Colossians  at 3:22, however, the KJV states as “servants” and hence I am disinclined to accept the other versions, where instead of the word servant ‘slave’ has been used. Paul  was more than kind to Onesimus in recommending him to Philemon, however,  true to his sophistry and chicanery tells Philemon that Paul would pay Onesimus’ debts with a superb piece of verbal calisthenics thus :I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self. (Philemon v. 19). Why will Paul pay, if Philemon owes his very self to Paul?  

So   why did Jesus use Paul? The answer is in Mark 9:39.

 John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us.”39 But Jesus said, “Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. 40 “For he who is not against us is for us.…

Paul did what none did or could have done immediately after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. His was to spread the Gospel, he was the greatest CHRISTIAN EVANGELIST, who used letters and speech to turn people into Christians, rather than turn others into Christians by being a model through his own life! 

 Therefore his office was over and in legal parlance, his evangelism is FUNCTUS OFFICIO and to follow his prescriptive Christianity only helps the Pentecostals to build a brand of Christianity which emphasizes on tithes (revenue model for Pentecostal churches), preparatory Eucharist (denying administration of Eucharist if the priest feels that the communicant is unworthy, and thereby exercise authority!) and Exclusivity! 

 I hope Christians would abandon Paulian Christianity and return to Jesus and read the Gospels of John and Matthew, without allowing themselves to be tainted by such PRESCRIPTIVE CHRISTIANITY!

To come back to the topic, Christianity is the REPEALED version of the Mosaic law, where no amendments were made, or Moses’ provisions were not abrogated, the old is to be blended with Jesus’ statements. In the light of such an assertion, Christianity always gave LIBERTY to flee from SLAVERY and cast a duty on others to accommodate a runaway and provide opportunity for pursuit of happiness through FREEDOM. 

So this leads to the next question as to whether, the slave owner has any RIGHT to own a slave and does that IMPOSE any DUTY on others, excluding the slave so owned? Yes, there was a RIGHT  in-personam between the owner and the slave, it was not the slave owner’s right in-rem, where the whole society was to respect the ownership of the master!

 Further, there are different categories of slaves mentioned in the Bible viz. those who have been abducted/kidnapped and sold as slaves;  those Jews who had fallen into debts and have sold themselves as slaves being unable to repay their debts; Jewish slaves who have renounced their freedom and bound themselves with their masters, and non-Jews taken captive and freely traded.

If one were to go by Paul’s recommendation of attitude of the slaves in EPHESIANS, we freeze history to the Roman institution of slavery. But the instructions in the BIBLE, being an eternal book, cannot be limited to a set milieu or political order or even time. Joseph was sold by his brothers before Moses gave the commandment in Deuteronomy, therefore, merely because there was no law can we say that slavery was RIGHT? No, it was permitted by default, because the evil nature of man wanted to subjugate fellow humans and extract labour or other compliance from those fellowmen and women!

When THE BIBLE gives the LIBERTY to a slave to run away and the slave owner denied  any protection through other persons, how can one assume that slavery was a matter of RIGHT? A RIGHT is NO RIGHT, if it does not cast a DUTY on others. In fact the Mosaic law casts a duty on the person, to whom the erstwhile slave takes refuge, to provide him space and liberty. 

It gained the status of a RIGHT only under the ROMAN law, and since Paul was a Roman (which he invoked whenever it suited him!), he had preposterously made the Roman law the benchmark for advising salves to obey their masters as if they were obeying Christ! This verse in THE BIBLE cannot be taken to support SLAVERY in THE BIBLE. Even Kevin Rudd, fell a victim to such Paulian prescription which has unfortunately been embedded in the BIBLE. 

Christianity is the religion of LIBERTY and FREEDOM, let us not choose passages to support our evil  inclination, but be humble and read the Gospels of John and Matthew (simply because, a first hand recounting of Jesus’ life and teachings ought to be more reliable than hear say narration!) and LIBERATE ourselves from such self-demeaning practices. 

Paul upbraiding the Chief Apostle Peter!


Whenever I launch on my brand of Christianity, which is that John’s Gospel is the first preferred book of the Bible and Matthew, the next: i have brickbats aimed at me, and some have even let loose the much misused verse, “ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY THE INSPIRATION OF GOD AND IS PROFITABLE FOR DOCTRINE, REPROOF, CORRECTION …..etc.etc.” For me a SUPER EVANGELIST is still lesser than an APOSTLE, who was not only chosen by Jesus himself, but even after the death & resurrection of Jesus propagated Christ and told what they had heard with their own ears.

Paul of Tarsus upbraids Peter, the apostle who was the most daring and action oriented disciple of Jesus Christ. That narration could be seen in Galatians Chapter 2 verses 11 onwards:

11 When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

15 “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in[d] Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

This upbraiding was, in my opinion unworthy of a proselytized Christian who did not have the benefit of the WORD IN FLESH. Further, when the Phoenician woman asks Jesus, while He was in the flesh, for the cure of her daughter, He said,

“But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.” (Matt:15:26)

But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. (Mark 7:27)

Matthew, a disciple of Jesus, while in the flesh, had no axe to grind after the resurrection of Jesus to tell something which he did not hear, therefore I suppose Matthew’s narration has authenticity and verity. Whereas, Mark, was first a disciple of Peter and then of Paul and I see more reason to adjust the FACTS to be in harmony with their doctrine. These adjustments may be in line with the present day thinking, but for Matthew who saw and followed Jesus, there would have been no necessity to accommodate the morale of the gentiles, like Paul and his disciples had to!

Jesus said, “Salvation is of the Jews.” (John4:22), which is very clear and as Khalil Gibran says about one’s children in his “PROPHET”: “They come through you but not from you, they are life’s longing for itself”, it is the preposition OF, which spells from where the salvation is to emanate and such salvation is not FOR the Jews only.

One should call into reference Jesus’ many parables, one of which is that the king made a big feast and invited guests but none having turned up, sent his men and collected people from the streets and idlers for the marriage feast. But when one invitee was found without the wedding clothes, Jesus did not say that since he was an invitee, he could come to the dinner without preparation. Even if one is invited, one cannot enter certain places without being WORTHY of that august company to which one has been invited! (Matt 22:5-14)

“But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.

13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

This parable shows that the Jews were the original INVITEES, but because they did not turn up, citing one flimsy ground after another, the invitation was extended to the gentiles also. This doesn’t mean that the gentiles could go in because of an INVITATION, the gentiles had to be prepared.

So in my humble opinion, Paul was too eager to get in the gentiles into the fold without preparation, all in the name of FAITH, but the Jacobean WORKS was also important.

So that leads to the next question whether eating with or being seen eating with the gentiles was proscribed by CHRIST? My answer is that it is most important that there are some etiquette  which are necessarily to be followed. Let us cut back and go to the feast organized by Joseph for his brothers in Egypt, Joseph did not want to be seen eating with the shepherdic Jews and did not eat with his own brothers for a while. Peter was merely NOT WANTING TO DISTURB THE FLEDGLING FAITH OF THE JERUSALEMITES, Jerusalem was the core. There was no reason, much less, any authority vested nor did Paul have the heritage to go ballistic and write such an epistle to Galatians proclaiming his doctrine and how he upheld his beliefs, even before the centre. According to me  he broke ranks and even if that was forgivable, he did not have the courtesy of deference to an Apostle like Peter, who despite his impulsive nature  was chosen by Jesus, after having seen through the heart of Peter. At I Timothy 5 :1 , Paul says:

Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;


But Paul doesn’t seem to have practised what he was prone to PREACHING. But, who am I to judge? Yet I have to choose a Christian path, which is : to wisely make choices like a serpent, yet to be INNOCENT like a dove in, ACTION. And therefore I WEIGH to CHOOSE! Even if I have done something wrong in such weighing, may the Lord be merciful to me.

Paul to me was a messenger of God to the non-Jews, but Peter was chosen as the ROCK on which Jesus brought every believer. Peter’s ability to REPENT as soon as he realized; the trust he had to try walking on water – can you imagine the TRUST he had in Jesus? No other disciple dared, but Peter did it! He was shown in his utterly human weakness so that I do not glory in my flesh, but depend on His Grace. If Jesus died for me, Peter trusted and DID, but he could not sustain and thereby has shown that my failings do not have to hinder my access to God. Thomas by his doubting, has cleared my ‘fundamental’ doubts!

Paul is a bundle of contradictions of a dying Pharisaical attitude, with a relentlessly emerging CHRISTIAN CONSCIOUSNESS. And Paul chose his company – Paul tonsured his head because of a vow- WOW! But it is his EFFORT, which surpasses all his defects. Yet Paul is no norm for a Christian.

 

LOVE & FEAR!


There is this beautiful passage which appears in Chapter V of The Book of ACTS in the New Testament of the BIBLE. I would like to remind the reader that these things happened after Jesus was crucified and resurrected and Peter was running the nascent Christian fellowship in Israel (or whatever was left of it then!)

1 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.

 3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.

 5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

 7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”

   “Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”

 9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

 10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

PETER, as could be seen from the various incidents reported in the Gospels, was an IMPULSIVE PERSON. Not only that he was IMPULSIVE, but also a WILLFUL person. No doubt, he suffered a lot for Jesus and if God had forgiven him who am i to judge? Yet, Peter along with the NEOPHYTE Paul, who declared himself to be the Apostle of the Gentiles had brought in a brand of Christianity, which in reverberating through the centuries and has become the stumbling block on which many a church foundations had been/ are being  laid.

If i believe JESUS LIVES, i cannot submit to the belief that Peter had a better claim to Christianity than i have as a Christian merely on the grounds that Peter lived in the flesh along with Jesus in flesh.

JESUS SAID, “SELL ALL THAT YOU HAVE, GIVE IT TO THE POOR AND FOLLOW ME.”

Jesus did not want to benefit from the sale proceeds of anything which  anyone had who followed Him. Of course His daily needs were met by many people around Him, but at no time did He command that anyone should sell something and hand over the proceeds  to Judas. Jesus was supreme, whenever he wanted a colt he sent for it and told his disciples as at MATT 21. 3  :And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. Whenever Jesus wanted food he asked and took. Once  bread and fish was furnished by a small boy which  fed many and Jesus must have packed the boy a load out of the fragments of twelve baskets gathered after feeding those thousands! JESUS was a GIVER not a TAKER. HE definitely did not want to take from those who intended to follow Him.

I do remember that Abram (later renamed ABRAHAM), after he had pursued the 4 kings and recovered all and returned the goods to the King of Sodom, Abraham said: Genesis 14: 21-24

21 Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself.”

22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich’— 24 except only what the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me: Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.”

If Abram wouldn’t take would JESUS take, who said, “BEFORE ABRAHAM WAS I AM!” That is the brand of Christianity that Jesus wanted. But Peter and Paul had IMMEDIATE interests and the victims were ANANIAS and SAPPHIRA! That brand of Christianity still continues and would till kingdom come. Peter and Paul built a Church based on FEAR, but that is not what Jesus wanted. He wanted people to give up their attachment to wealth and if that attachment were to be an impediment to their spiritual life, then they had to sell and come out of that ATTACHMENT.Let me give the prime examples of  Jesus’ disciples who were wary of declaring themselves as His disciples: one was Joseph of Arimathea and the other was Nicodemus. They were RICH, but that did not come in the way of their following Jesus. Moreover, when Zacchaeus wanted to sell half of his goods and give to the poor, Jesus did not want a share in that! That was Jesus, but look at the followers who had turned CHRISTIANITY into THREATENING BEGGARY!

NOW MANY SUFFER FROM THIS FEAR- WHAT WILL THE PRIEST SAY? WHAT WILL THE PREACHER SAY? WHAT WILL THE PASTOR SAY? WHAT WILL THE BISHOP SAY?WHAT WILL THE CARDINAL SAY? WHAT WILL THE ARCH BISHOP SAY? WHAT WILL THE POPE SAY?

Instead CHRISTIANITY should be a free flowing offering made out of gratitude or LOVE. That would be Christianity. There was more GRATITUDE shown when the woman opened an alabaster box of ointment and wouldn’t stop wiping Jesus’ feet with her hair. THE MASTER SEES THE HEART.

LOVE EXPRESSES but FEAR REVEALS.

SIN vs. GUILT


SIN is what we do and think. The definition of Sin varies from religion to religion; from belief to belief, but GUILT depends on the person and the “time” during which he “FEELS” guilty.

So essentially, SIN is based on what one DID or THOUGHT (Jesus says: if a man lusts after a woman, he has committed adultery in his heart) but GUILT is what a person “feels” or “is made to feel about what he did or thought”. Herein lies the difference.

Ashoka the Great killed millions in the war of Kalinga but did not feel Guilty, but somewhere thereafter he FEELS GUILTY, so he was CONVICTED OF HIS GUILT and gave up war.

David overcomes his guilt after committing adultery with Bathsheba till Nathan CONVICTS David of his guilt.

Guilt is a personal conviction, whereas SIN is an ACT..

The best part is that one could SIN and never FEEL GUILTY.

And if we are LUCKY, God will not bring up a person to show us our SINS and make us FEEL GUILTY!!

LENTEN MISCHIEF!


Almost anyone who is religious must have discovered that his religion, if it does not impose, recommends a period of abstinence and abnegation. The reasons attributed for such abstinence could be depending on your vocation/temperament/erudition/inveterate belief. Even though there is nothing in the NEW TESTAMENT directly stating that one should FAST or deprive oneself of food and good living at any point of time,  CHRISTIANITY has competed with other religions and has prescribed through the Church establishment that the period from ASH WEDNESDAY till EASTER, every year,  should be observed as a period of SELF-DENIAL, called THE LENT.

Coming to the NEW TESTAMENT averment made by me, Jesus was once asked by someone as to why, “when the Pharisees fasted often, why his disciples did not fast and observe the “regulations” imposed by the Jewish ecclesiastical regulations?, Jesus answered, ‘When the bridegroom is with them, where is the need for them to fast?” So the inference drawn is that there is no hard and fast rule regarding ABSTINENCE (do not mistake it for ABSTENTION which is what the legislators do to ensure that some bills are passed without having to take the blame for the passage of the bill!). However the same Jesus when asked, why his disciples were not able to drive out the evil spirit which possessed a boy brought to them for healing says, “Except through prayer and fasting it is not possible to drive out such an evil spirit.” So the counter inference is that YOU ARE AT LIBERTY TO FAST OR NOT TO FAST, BUT IF YOU WANT TO DO POWERFUL DEEDS, YOU BETTER FAST!

So stuck between these inference and counter-inference I stand as a Religious Christian, confused at the fork and letting my own interpretation take its course. But my mind has to be placated and subjugated to a line of reasoning which would give me the benefits of the “powerful deeds” yet not “clamp me down with any hard and fast rule”. So i follow ABSTINENCE  not as a religious compulsion but as a religious compliance. But repeated compliance can make even oneself believe that THAT HAS TO BE DONE, COME WHAT MAY. But I believe that MIND was given to man, for his welfare just as EVE was given as a helper to ADAM,  and not to be led by a MIND which is prone to habits and routine, therefore i make my own concessions to my LENTEN ABSTINENCE. Which i call as LENTEN MISCHIEF!

My idea of LENTEN MISCHIEF does not include binge drinking or for that matter drinking at all, as i am not tempted by drinks- i mean LIQUOR! And before the reader falls into slotting me as a teetotaler, i’d like to state that i have had it and i discovered that i was not REPRESSED enough to need liquor to UNLOCK my mental treasures hidden deeply in my sub-conscious! I discovered that LIQUOR has no effect on me and consequently, i prefer not to force myself to “ACQUIRE” a taste for the obnoxious peaty flavors emanating from those liquids preserved in oaken casks, for decades!

So my LENTEN MISCHIEF includes, but not limited to (ha ha aha!),  forays into eating NON-VEGETARIAN food during the LENT. I have some convenient excuses, in that some of my close relatives’ birthdays fall during this period and i am “compelled” into making exceptions to my LENTEN ATTEMPTS!

So yesterday, i was asked by my friend to accompany him to a restaurant where non-vegetarian items, of almost all on flight except kites (not the bird, but the ones which are flown during festivals and windy seasons in India!)  and anything on the run – except wheels-, were available on the menu. So he ordered for a slew of non-veg items and i ordered for appam and vegetable stew. I saw my friend have a hearty meal, surprisingly i found myself not tempted at the spread at all. I recalled that statement from Blake, which goes something like this : we control our passions not be cause we are strong, but because our passions are weak.

I came out of the restaurant crest-fallen, now I am not even tempted enough to breach and feel guilty! So i have decided to have the best of the non-vegetarian spread today. If the food has lost its temptation, what sacrifice am i doing? I am sure ……………i’ve found one more reason to break free! LENTEN MISCHIEF!

 

 

 

FORGIVENESS!


WHO are we to Forgive?

WHAT are we to FORGIVE?

WHY should we FORGIVE?

The  answer to ‘WHO’,  is that we are STILL ALIVE, and only while we are still ALIVE we CAN FORGIVE. In law there is a Latin Phrase called INTER- VIVOS, which means a TRANSACTION which is possible between only two LIVING BEINGS. But in the case of FORGIVENESS, the FORGIVER has to be LIVING. The FORGIVEN might already be DEAD.

Secondly, ONLY the person concerned CAN FORGIVE. Somebody else cannot FORGIVE on my behalf. Only when others get a RIGHT to FORGIVE that others can FORGIVE on our behalf, even that is not FORGIVENESS as it is based on the fact that the DEAD are HELPLESS in the matter and therefore the SOCIETY may have given the Right to the heir to FORGIVE, but the God given RIGHT to FORGIVE is entirely PERSONAL. Therefore WE , and WE ONLY, as INDIVIDUALS can forgive.

WHAT is to be FORGIVEN? WHATEVER which hurts us, WHATEVER which is perceived by us to be WRONG, WHATEVER is an obsession for us to retaliate, WHATEVER which consumes our TIME (therefore LIFE) in a negative way, has to be FORGIVEN. WHAT and WHY are linked, without knowing WHY, we cannot arrive at WHAT is to be FORGIVEN.

FORGIVENESS is an ACT by the INDIVIDUAL to pardon, ignore and never to recall the slight, hurt, offence or wrong inflicted or perceived to have been inflicted on him/her.

By this act of FORGIVENESS one gains FREEDOM to LIVE without the PAST INTERFERING with our PRESENT LIFE. That is the ‘WHY’ of FORGIVENESS. FORGIVENESS LIBERATES US FROM THE DEAD PAST and ALLOWS US THE FREEDOM TO ACT WITH INNOCENCE. The ENERGIES of LIFE is not strapped and tied into knots. With this as the purpose, WE have to not only FORGIVE OTHERS but also FORGIVE OURSELVES. When we have FORGIVEN OTHERS, we automatically GAIN an INALIENABLE RIGHT to FORGIVE OURSELVES. WHICH is TRUE LIBERATION.

This RIGHT TO FORGIVE is the ONLY RIGHT GIVEN TO MANKIND WITHOUT ANYBODY INTERFERING. It is PERSONAL and needs no recognition from other HUMAN beings. That is why, even a WEAK man, even though incapable of retaliation, by taking this route, would be rising beyond the powerful and the rich. It makes him INDIFFERENT to the powerful man’s jibes, slights, harms and victimization.  It makes a DIOGENES out of him, who could tell the globe conquering ALEXANDER the Great, to move away so that Diogenes could get some Sun!

The above is not based on the teachings of the greatest Jew who walked on this earth, but simple logic. But there was a Jew called Chaim Herzog who had something else to say:

I do not bring forgiveness with me, nor forgetfulness. The only ones who can forgive are dead; the living have no right to forget.
Chaim Herzog

Now that I have quoted the POISONOUS Jew, let us get the analytical German in, Frederich Nietzsche:-

If there is something to pardon in everything, there is also something to condemn.
Friedrich Nietzsche

So where do we draw the line? Chaim Herzog had the memories of the German pogrom and could not get that out of his system. Nietzsche was prior to all the Hitlerian pogrom, so we get in La Rochefoucauld the Frenchman who ascribed everything to self interest:

One forgives to the degree that one loves.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld

If you love yourself, FORGIVE – especially when NOT FORGIVING is turning your LIFE into a life of anger, remorse, vengeance and negative!!

VIEWS ARE MANY, BUT THE CHOICE IS OURS. OUR CHOICES COULD LIBERATE OR CONDEMN US!

I remember the narration in the Bible when Jesus made a whip of chords and whipped the back of the traders who were “making His father’s house a den of thieves”, so even Jesus decided not to FORGIVE. If you CAN DO something about it – JUST DO IT!! But do not let your inability to FORGIVE interfere with your LIFE!

GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE!!

 

 

JOSIAH & JOB!


Josiah was a king of Judah (the tribes of Benjamin and Judah out of the 12 tribes) during the seventh century BC. WIKIPEDIA has the following to say:

Josiah or Yoshiyahu (play /ˈs.ə/ or /əˈz.ə/;[1][2] Hebrew: יֹאשִׁיָּהוּ, Modern Yošiyyáhu Tiberian Yôšiyyāhû, literally meaning “healed by Yahweh” or “supported of Yahweh“; Greek: Ιωσιας; Latin: Josias; c. 649–609 BC) was a king of Judah (641–609 BC) who instituted major reforms. Josiah is credited by most historians with having established or compiled important Jewish scriptures during the Deuteronomic reform that occurred during his rule.

Josiah became king of Judah at the age of eight, after the assassination of his father, King Amon, and reigned for thirty-one years,[3] from 641/640 to 610/609 BC.[4]

THE BIBLE says the following about King Josiah:

2 Kings 23:25 KJV

And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him.
So, as per the Bible there was no King before Josiah, nor after Josiah, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, soul and might. David was his forbear, even he doesn’t measure up to the standards of Josiah.
But the end of Josiah is unexpected. The Egyptian King Necho is at war with the Assyrian king, and at the time, the Egyptian king tells Josiah that Necho’s war was with the Assyrian king and therefore Josiah should not involve himself in the war. However Josiah would not listen and he engages himself in the war with Necho and gets killed. A perfect man, Josiah was, yet his end did not conform to “A THOUSAND SHALL FALL AT THY SIDE AND A TEN THOUSAND AT THY RIGHT HAND, BUT IT SHALL NOT COME NIGH THEE.”
Jeremiah the prophet laments over such type of departure of Josiah. Totally unjustified against the touchstone of the tenets of the Bible.
In the Book of II KINGS, by way of explanation, it was given that GOD could not forget the deeds of Manasseh, his Grandfather and therefore he met with such a fate. I have to agree that it could be right. In Deuteronomy 5:9-10 God says, “I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands.”
Therefore it is not difficult to rationalize and say that God has time only till the third and fourth generations to settle the iniquity of the fathers. SO Josiah was already the 3rd generation, counting down from Manasseh, Amon and then Josiah. So one could rationalize that Josiah, for no fault of his had to bear the brunt, as the time was running out for God to visit the iniquities of the fathers.
We come to the story of Job. According to the Bible, Job was faultless. Wikipedia is precise in its summary:

The Book of Job begins with an introduction to Job’s character — he is described as a blessed man who lives righteously. God‘s praise of Job prompts Satan to challenge Job’s integrity and suggesting that Job serves God simply because he protects him. God removes Job’s protection, allowing Satan to take his wealth, his children, and his physical health in order to tempt Job to curse God. Despite his difficult circumstances, he does not curse God, but rather curses the day of his birth. And although he protests his plight and pleads for an explanation, he stops short of accusing God of injustice. Most of the book consists of conversations between Job and his three friends concerning Job’s condition and its possible reasons, after which God responds to Job and his friends, opening his speech with the famous words, “Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.”[1] After God’s reply, Job is overwhelmed and says, “I am unworthy – how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth.”[2] Many interpretations read this as Job realizing how little he knew when he says to the Lord, “My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you.”[3] Other scholars and readers, however, find this explanation unsatisfactory, since the problem of Job (the innocent man suffering at the hand of God) is not addressed. Job’s response to God shows none of the anger, passion, or piety he demonstrated in the rest of the story, even when God does not give Job the direct answer he has demanded for much of the book.[4] Then Job is restored to an even better condition than his former wealthy state.[5] Job was also blessed to have seven sons and three daughters named: Jemimah (which means “dove”), Keziah (“cinnamon”), and Keren-happuch (“horn of eye-makeup”). His daughters were said to be the most beautiful women in the land.[6] “Job went on to live one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations.”[7]

In the history of Job, there is REDEMPTION; but in the history of JOSIAH there is an unjustified end. Josiah comes out as a undeserved TRAGIC HERO.

Jesus therefore aptly says at LUKE 13:2 onwards:

2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

So death is unavoidable, but when DEATH OCCURS, let us be prepared. It is not because of our RIGHTEOUSNESS that we get to live long, but because GOD’S agenda CANNOT BE KNOWN TO MAN. Manasseh, despite being the worst offender of the Kings of Judah, ends up ruling for close to 59 years- maybe because of the goodness of his father Hezekiah- but his sons and grandson do not get the benefit of Hezekiah’s goodness as Manasseh’s evil overtook them eclipsing the goodness of Hezekiah.

In my opinion, JOSIAH was self-righteously arrogant. He could have sought God’s will when Necho also invokes the name of God. Maybe the prophets with their urim and thummim (whatever that be!) could have revealed that his fight was not favourable.

HUMILITY and SKILL are more important than  RIGHTEOUSNESS! Otherwise i cannot justify David’s successes and the GRACE he obtained from God.

PHILOSOPHY


The following is the analysis of Philosophy and the evolution thereof according to Nietzsche:-

In every philosophical school, three thinkers succeed one another in the following way: the first produces out of himself the sap and seed, the second draws it out into threads and spins a synthetic web, the third waits in this web for the sacrificial victims that are caught in it- and tries to live off philosophy.

Nothing can be truer than this epigrammatic statement. Let us take the example of the trio Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Socrates had to consume hemlock before his Philosophy sprouted in the youth of Athens. Plato drew the thread and spun the synthetic web of UTOPIA and Aristotle with his ETHICS waited with hope for the sacrificial victims.

Let us come to Christianity, where Jesus produced out of himself the sap and seed, then Peter spun the web and Paul through his specific advice to the Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Thessalonians, Romans etc. along with his votaries got his sacrificial victims. Not for nothing we have the Idiom ROB PETER TO PAY PAUL!

Even in Politics, the same  holds good. E V Ramasami Periyar had sown the seeds of  Dravidian movement: C N Annadurai drew thread and spun a synthetic web and I do not want to mention the third name, who waited for the sacrificial victims and made a good life for himself.

Nietzsche stands unparalleled in EPIGRAMMATIC TRUTHS. 

JESUS & the Canaanite woman.


One of the passages of the Bible which had troubled me a lot during early adult years, was the passage found in Matthew chapter 15 verse 26. We as Christians are fed with a lot of  nice epithets like ‘loving’, ‘compassionate’, ‘non-judgmental’, ‘forgiving’  JESUS and suddenly the verse, “It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs”  hits an Indian Christian. Was Jesus truly sent for the lost sheep of Israel and not for the salvation of “MANKIND” as suggested by the disciples  after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus? I reproduce the passage for better appreciation of the episode:-

21 Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. 24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. 26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. 27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. 28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

Years of scrutiny has led me to the conclusion that THIS IS THE ONLY MIRACLE OF JESUS (WHILE IN FLESH) THAT TOOK PLACE IN WHICH, HIS WILL DID NOT COINCIDE WITH THE RELIEF SOUGHT AND OBTAINED. IF ONE ADVERTS TO THE MIRACLE, WHERE THE WOMAN WITH BLEEDING for 18 YEARS  GOT CURED, JESUS KNEW OF THE PASSAGE OF POWER THROUGH HIM. HE WAS UNAWARE TILL THEN that the woman touched the hem of his garment with the faith and intention to get cured.THEREFORE, THAT EPISODE SHOULD BE INTERPRETED AS THE ONE IN WHICH JESUS WAS NEUTRAL, BUT IN THE EPISODE OF THE CANAANITE WOMAN, HE WAS NOT MERELY RELUCTANT, HE WAS DOWNRIGHT AGAINST “WILLING” IN FAVOUR OF THE WOMAN’S REQUEST.

The beauty of this passage is that Jesus relents, as He knew that it is/was/will be HIS FATHER’S WILL, to be compassionate to the afflicted and grant relief, when fervently asked for,  even by the undeserving. Jesus says: O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.

Jesus does not tell the leper whom he cured “be it unto thee even as thou wilt”, instead Jesus said,”I will; be thou clean!”( Mark 1:41)”. The difference is apparent and clear, in the case of the leper, he had lost his “faith” and needed the help of Jesus to restore that by “willing” for him, whereas in this episode, the Canaanite woman had a “faith” that amazed even Jesus. There is another miracle of Jesus in the episode of the Centurion’s servant  where Jesus was amazed, as excerpted below:-

Luke 7:1-10

Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.2 And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. 3 And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant. 4 And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this: 5 For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue. 6 Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: 7 Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. 8 For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. 9 When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 10 And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.

In the Centurion’s case Jesus was on His way to the Centurion’s house and he had obtained a good report from the elders of the Jewish synagogue, whereas, this Canaanite woman was a CANAANITE and starts off with an inherent disadvantage and is almost like Naaman, the Syrian, coming to Elisha (II Kings 5th chapter)  for cure of his leprosy. Yet her FAITH breaks the barrier of the Jewish mind that a Canaanite was a “dog”, and Jesus by this miracle breaks the barrier set by the Jews that the NON-JEWS (gentiles) were not to be a part of the SALVATION, to be  inducted by the MESSIAH.

IT IS THROUGH THIS MIRACLE THAT JESUS PROVES THAT,  FAITH MOVES MOUNTAINS and FAITH was beyond THE NORMAL PRINCIPLES OF SALVATION .

FAITH IS CAPABLE OF ALTERING THE VERY PRINCIPLES, THAT STOOD AS BARRIERS TO SALVATION.

There were instances where Jesus willed the cure of the afflicted (the leper who asked Jesus to will his cure), there were instances where Jesus agreed  with the request of the afflicted (water to wine, the blind man of Bartimaeus), there were instances where Jesus was moved with compassion (Widow of Nain’s dead son, the man with a legion of demons), there were instances where Jesus was moved by the request made by someone on behalf of  the afflicted (dead Lazarus, man with palsy sent thru opening the roof), there is at least one instance where Jesus was unaware till the cure was obtained by faith ( the woman with issue for 18 years) BUT this story of the CANAANITE woman is the only instance that this blogger knows of, where JESUS  accedes reluctantly to the woman’s request by saying:”be it unto thee even as thou wilt.”

THIS IS THE PASSAGE THAT SHOULD EMBOLDEN A NON-JEW (the so called “gentiles”) TO BELIEVE THAT FAITH IN JESUS IS SUFFICIENT, EVEN IF ALL THE OLD TESTAMENT PRINCIPLES WERE RANGED AGAINST GENTILES. EVEN JESUS HAD TO RELENT WHEN HE SAW THE FAITH OF THE UNDESERVING GENTILE CANAANITE WOMAN.

PAUL WAS RIGHT AFTER ALL!!

Jesus heals the Leper.


The Bible reading from the Old Testament,  last Sunday (31st January, 2010) was the portion from Leviticus where Moses gives various instructions about how a leper is to be treated in the Jewish community and how upon him being cured the erstwhile leper should show himself to the priest and make an offering as commanded by Moses. The New Testament reading was from the Gospel of  St.Mark which i reproduce herebelow:-

Mark 1:40-45 (King James Version)

40And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

41And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.

42And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.

43And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away;

44And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

45But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.

This passage is seldom understood the way i have always understood. My father who is an ardent supporter of the Paulian interpretation of the Bible,  with Pisa tower like leanings towards “charismatic” movement and speaking in tongues, was asked by me to expound the passage. More as a challenge, than as a student eager to understand the “true” meaning of the Biblical passage. he went on  the traditional route and said that this was an instance where Jesus in flesh as God finds a LEPROUS MAN who is unable to “will” his own weal and requests Jesus to WILL for him. The new versions use the word “CHOOSE” instead of the KJV “WILL”. Effectively, the Leper was unable to believe, and therefore wanted Jesus to CHOOSE for him the health which he desired for himself, but could never believe that he could ever be cured of his LEPROSY. So the relevant part of the passage is ,”And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean!” So here Jesus fills up the void in the WILL of the leper and makes him whole.

Although, my dad’s interpretation had a new flavour to it, i felt that the kernel was left untouched. So i embarked on my explanation thus:

“God’s commandments succinctly put by Jesus in the flesh, was twofold:

Love God and Love your neighbour.

So the commandment is lucid on two aspects, one is the SPIRITUAL the next is the SOCIAL.

First is Man’s relationship with God, and the next is MAN’s relationship with MAN.

Jesus not only “willed the cure” for the leper on his behalf, but advises the cured leper to show himself to the priest as commanded by Moses and obtain the CERTIFICATE OF CLEANLINESS. This was the Social aspect. Jesus in Flesh knew the ostracism that had been faced by the cured Leper and wanted him not only to enjoy a life without Leprosy, but wanted the cured Leper to enjoy his life MORE ABUNDANTLY. The former leper is to be recognized by the society as “CLEAN”, thereby gaining access to the temple, to public places etc.

JESUS saw the second aspect and told the cured leper, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.”

It is not that Jesus told him a secret, but advised him to go and get the stamp of approval from the appointed authority, for declaring cleanliness of a cured leper, and thereby enjoy a good social life. But in the miracle of the cure, the man goes declaring that he had been healed. Jesus was also aware that if the priests knew that the healing came of Jesus, they might not declare the leper to have been cured and thereby jeopardize the social life of the cured leper (pl. recall the sufferings that the healed blind man from birth had to go thru, because he confessed that Jesus opened his eyes).

This is what Jesus wanted- that MAN should not merely have LIFE, but that he should have LIFE MORE ABUNDANTLY.

No sooner had i finished my little sermon, on our way back from St.Mary’s church, Fort St.George, Chennai, than my father looked at me in a strange but a lil respectful way ( which i had never experience before!) and said, ” You can be a good preacher! and fool the masses with all yr social aspects of the Bible, but i am too much of a Christian to fall for your theories!!

And wryly added, ” Christianity is in the EXPERIENCE and not in the EXPLANATION.”

His one liner was truly withering. Experience has its certainties, which sounds ADAMANT to the youth’s ears. AMEN.

Individual & Institutions!


It is always the INDIVIDUALS who make up an institution, but the INSTITUTION is always BIGGER than the Individual. It is not because the INSTITUTION has an impersonal character, but because with an institution many individuals make their LIVING, EARNING, fulfill their ASPIRATIONS and therefore the aspirations of many get reflected through these INSTITUTIONS . Further the INSTITUTIONS are not TIME-BOUND and carry something called the INSTITUTIONAL MEMORY. It is still the individuals, who make all the decisions on behalf of these INSTITUTIONS. These INDIVIDUALS could be guided by written principles or by the “SPIRIT”. But it has been noticed that the guiding of the spirit is not always desirable or reliable, as the personal preferences, prejudices creep in and corrupt the “weak and willful” spirit. Therefore there are written constiutions, religious books, binding precedential judgments which are referred in guiding the INSTITUTIONS.

Some of the prominent INSTITUTIONS are the Government, the Church, the Banking system governed by a Central Bank, the Judiciary etc. The Government governs the territory and its people. The Government is the most visible of INSTITUTIONS and it accommodates the maximum number of INDIVIDUALS in its service. Whether one likes it or not, it always impinges on one’s life. So where do we draw the line between the INDIVIDUAL and the INSTITUTION of the GOVERNMENT? That is where the CHURCH, TEMPLES, MOSQUE, PAGODAS, GURDWARAS come in. These religious INSTITUTIONS profess to provide SPIRITUAL SOLUTIONS to the individual. Jesus’ famous saying, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s” (LUKE 20:25) brought in a clear demarcation. The currency/coin that bore the mark of Caesar had to be rendered to Caesar, but the body that bears the SPIRIT of God SHALL be rendered to God. Never was this distinction so beautifully expressed nor exemplified so aptly.

JESUS had to fight the institution of the Jewish Religious hierarchy. Pilate washed his hands off, as he saw that the dispute was with reference to a religious issue and not a TEMPORAL issue relating to the realm of the Caesar. Any INSTITUTION breeds CRONIES, RATS, CARPET-BAGGERS & MEGALOMANIACS and when Jesus fought against the INSTITUTION, he was pitted against not only the visible top hierarchy, but also against the dregs of the institution who derive their pelf and prosperity from that INSTITUTION. They would rise! An ordinary soldier smites JESUS on his face and asks him to predict as to who had smitten him. These rats, megalomaniacs, carpet-baggers and cronies are let loose against the INDIVIDUALS who are seen as a threat to the INSTITUTION. None questioned the high-handedness of the soldier. The INSTITUTION does not rein in the rogues who do cantankerous and nasty things against INDIVIDUALS who are accused/ alleged to have hurt the sacrosanct tenets of the INSTITUTION.

In effect any INSTITUTION grows to its fullness to  hurt the INDIVIDUAL, who is perceived to bring about a change for the better, to the Individual.

COMMUNISM was an Institution that successfully took over the Government/Administration from the Czars of Russia. The monarchy, that existed was also a hierarchification that helped the peasants to do the limited duty of cultivation and the Monarchy with its contacts and resources sold their produce at a place of demand and thereby procured higher rates for their produce thus enriching the peasants, but over a period of time the same Monarchy, out-sourced its primary job of dealing with the peasants, to the Feudal lords and the Priests. This insertion of a new tier between the Monarchy and the Peasants brought the worst  in the INSTITUTION of the Feudal Lords and Priests. They had to facilitate the AMBITION of the MONARCH and squeeze the peasants for higher produce. In effect the INDIVIDUAL’S prosperity, freedom, life and leisure get diminished. So COMMUNISM appeared with a HUMAN face and put an end to the MONARCHY of the Czars, but the same COMMUNISM as an INSTITUTION became RIGID and INSENSITIVE to the INDIVIDUAL. Thus GORBACHEV presided over the dismantling of the INSTITUTION of Communism in Russia.

In effect an Institution is nothing but a group of INDIVIDUALS who take over the “IMMORTAL” aspect of the INSTITUTION and run it based on the PHILOSOPHY those INDIVIDUALS subscribe to. In the process the original priority of HUMANISM gets eroded as the INSTITUTION tends to get IMPERSONAL and projects itself as doing good to the maximum number of people at the cost of the  LIBERTY and WEAL of the FEW! The most are ASSIGNED DUTIES and the INSTITUTIONS are manned by the few- who not only alter the priorities of the INSTITUTION but tinker and meddle with the INSTITUTIONAL MEMORY of the Institution.

The Jews who were in the land of GOSHEN at Egypt, after the death of Joseph, did not become slaves overnight. They were brought into slavery by the Egyptians over a period of time and the unbearable culmination of inflicting excruciating atrocities on the slaves happened 480 years after Joseph’s Premiership. It took a person like MOSES, to see the INSTITUTION of THE SLAVERY OF THE JEWS and do something about it.

We need a clear sense of HISTORY, so that the INSTITUTIONAL MEMORY of any INSTITUTION is not tampered with, as all INSTITUTIONS have had their beginnings in HUMANISM and then thru the manipulation of HISTORY by some INDIVIDUALS, the collective memory of the people are altered to their detriment.

Secondly, more than the RIGHTS, we as INDIVIDUALS have to preserve our LIBERTY. LIBERTY is RIGHTS IN ACTION. I have the Liberty to drive my car on a HIGHWAY, but my RIGHT to drive could be prevented by the police because of necessities and exigencies, but when the police perennially prevents me from driving my roadworthy car and me with a valid licence, my LIBERTY is curtailed for no REASON. It is that constant deprivation of LIBERTY that erodes an INDIVIDUAL’S RIGHTS.

Let us preserve our LIBERTY from oppressive INSTITUTIONS by being conscious of our sense of HISTORY and secondly HUMANISM. As Jesus said, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s” (LUKE 20:25), let us not surrender our LIBERTIES for the so called GREATER GOOD OF THE MANY as propagated by some rats, megalomaniacs, carpet-baggers and cronies who have taken over the INSTITUTIONS and altered their INSITUTIONAL MEMORY to suit their priorities.

STANDARDIZING HUMAN BEHAVIOUR!


A week or so back Mr.Abhishek Singhvi in the op-ed page of the TIMES OF INDIA, Bangalore edition had in an article more or less titled “IQ-EQ”, made the point that the Nobel Laureate Mr.Venkatraman, by not being indulgent to the fans from his home town of Chidambaram, from the state of Tamil Nadu had betrayed that he lacked the EMOTIONAL QUOTIENT to empathize with the fans in Tamil Nadu. Almost as a response to that in today’s TIMES OF INDIA (27/10/2009- Bangalore Edition), one Mr.Ashok (said to be a bureaucrat) had defended the response of Mr.Venkatraman as a respose from a seeker of TRUTH and contrasted it with, the politician’s objective of a “just social order”. Very well written article- i should say.

The problem with Indians (including me) is that we do not want to accord SPACE to our fellow human beings. Every human being has rights but no LIBERTY. His LIBERTY, if exercised is immediately interpreted as a LICENSE granted by the society. Mr.Venkatraman had out of his own efforts made it to wherever he has made it. Even a week before the declaring of the Nobel Prize no Indian outside the scientific community had heard of the work done by Venkatraman. Suddenly after the receipt of RECOGNITION thru the ultimate prize, the politicians swing into action and lecture us as to how the recipient should have the Emotional Quotient, and be humble to the native Indians, etc. etc. Have the politicians named any main road in the capital city of New Delhi in the name of Sir C.V.Raman or Ramanujam or J.C.Bose in all these years? I know of only COPERNICUS MARG (the monk who discovered that the Earth was not the centre of the universe and left the proof for posthumous publishing, so as to avoid the Papal BULL!!), and none besides that radiates from INDIA GATE.

The roads that radiate are AKBAR road, Rajpath, Ashoka road, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, Copernicus Marg, Tilak Marg, Purana Qila road, the High court Road ( do not remember), Shah Jahan marg and one more. Of these roads there is only one SCIENTIST and that also a Polish. So where do we RECOGNIZE the discoveries of our own SCIENTISTS?

We are a nation led by some humbug palliatives. Mahatma Gandhi had contributed to this nation’s independence, had brought out the soul of India by organizing the nation against the British through NON-VIOLENCE. But who is Kasturba Gandhi and besides the fact that she had been the wife to the Mahatma, is there any other achievement that is worth remembering through the generations to pass in this country? I guess not. Yet we have named a road after her. Maybe we have used her name as a replacement to Lord Curzon, so it is okay. But why not name significant roads after C.V.Raman, Ramanujam, Hargobind Khurana (Medicine Nobelist), J.C.Bose, Chandrashekar? After all we haveerrectedstatues for the LIVING POLITICIANS too in India (Dr. M.Karunanidhi, Ms.Mayawati etc). Why do we not recognize their INDIVIDUAL EFFORTS?

Secondly, except for a few lectures delivered by Mr.Venkatraman in the IISc, Anna University has the COUNTRY FELICITATED him in any way by giving him FREE AIR TICKETS TO INDIA in our MAHARAJA AIRCRAFTS? OR the unpunctual TRAINS of India? or VIP protocol during his visits to India? No. That is preserved for the POLITICAL MARKETEERS!! The political marketeers who bring about a “JUST” social order thru PROCRUSTEAN methods. CUT THE BIG ONES TO FIT WITH THE COT OF UNIFORMITY!!!

Now that he had won the Nobel Prize, certain self- appointed high priests of social etiquette are prescribing SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR to our own NOBEL LAUREATE. If only such persons could influence the government and make policies relating to RECOGNITION OF INDIAN SCIENTISTS ABROAD, they would have done some service, instead of curbing the LIBERTY of a great mind.

Finally, Mr.Venkatraman is a scientist who is not into politics or marketing that he has to appease people with his charming behaviour. All great minds have their idiosyncrasies and it squarely falls within the LIBERTY of an Individual. If some fellow in Chidambaram is going to claim that he taught Mr.Venkatraman, when that is not the case, why should NOT Mr.Venkatraman deny it on record? Mr.Venkatraman still cycles and goes for work ( or so the reports say!), so why not leave a MAN alone who is busy with his own vocation and draw him into ACCEPTABLE SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR and make him feel guilty both in his own eyes and in the eyes of his fellow country men?

Mr. Abhishek Singhvi might even question the wisdom of Mr.Venkatraman wanting to buy a Stradivarius cello for his son paying $200,000/- when there are many Indians living below the opaque statistical poverty line!! Leave the man alone. The poor will always be there.

Let me reiterate what Jesus said: SABBATH WAS MADE FOR MAN, AND NOT MAN FOR THE SABBATH.

LET US HINDER NOBODY’S LIBERTIES, WHEN IT AFFECTS ONLY OUR SOCIAL SENSIBILITIES!!

Joseph & Samson.


The title relates to the Biblical characters who find a place in the Book of Genesis and Judges respectively. The point that is the focus of my blog is the relationship that Joseph and Samson had with their respective women.

Joseph was a slave in Egypt, because his brothers (especially Judah, who had the bright idea that what would the brothers benefit if they killed him, so more as a matter of greed they agree with Judah and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites) had sold him and he winds up in the Pharoah’s Chief of Guards house and becomes a steward there. The Chief of the Guards is one Potiphar, who has a wife who eyes Joseph and openly and shamelessly makes a declaration of her lust to Joseph and says, “LIE WITH ME.” The story goes that one day when Joseph was alone, Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce him and Joseph runs away leaving his cloak behind, making that cloak a piece of evidence for Potiphar’s wife to bolster her accusation that the slave Joseph was trying to force himself upon her. Potiphar believes her and puts him in the Special Jail meant for the Royal Prisoners (persons who were working for the royalty and fell out of favour with the Royalty for one reason or the other!)

Let us see Samson’s story. He was from the tribe of Dan, not a powerful tribe within the Jewry like Ephraim, Manasseh, Benjamin or Judah, and he was a VALOROUS MAN. A man who with the jaw-bone of an ass, killed a thousand men (Judges 15:15). He had taken many women from time to time but the Bible says that he fell in LOVE with a woman called DELILAH.

Judges 16:4 -And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.

Whether she loved Samson or not is a mystery, but to put it a woman’s lib way, “DELILAH LOVED SAMSON IN HER OWN WAY!!” She was however under the payroll of the Philistine Lords who promised her 1100 pieces of silver each for finding out the secret of the strength of Samson and revealing the same to the Philistine Lords. Then one of the most terrible of charades of love unfolds, where Delilah PESTERS him daily for telling him the secret of his strength.

Judges 16:15 And she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth.

16 And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death;

17 That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.

Samson is caught, after his locks were shaven while he was lulled into sleep by Delilah on her lap, taken bound hand and foot and made a spectacle before the Philistines. He was caught by the guile of the Philistines and the treachery of Delilah. Samson could not take it anymore and his hair had grown (Philistines were so dumb that they did not get his head shaved on a daily basis) and his strength was returning!! So one day while the SPECTACLE OF THE BLINDED SAMSON WAS GOING ON IN A CLOSED THEATRE HE PRAYS TO HIS GOD THUS-

JUDGES 16:28 And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.

29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left.

30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.

NEVER ONCE WAS THAT VERSE 28 OF CHAPTER 16 READ BY ME WITHOUT TEARS WELLING UP IN MY EYES WITH PITY FOR THE VALOROUS SAMSON.

The man who cared for none, and had led a life where he had taken STRENGTH for granted , begs God, for REMEMBERING him THIS ONLY ONCE for committing a SUICIDAL ATTACK. From a Jew’s point of view, he had even forgotten that there was a life after Death and through this prayer he seeks a finality not only to his woes, but also to any FURTHER CONSCIOUSNESS. It is the ultimate passage in PATHOS, which out-pathoses even KING LEAR of Shakespeare.

Now these two characters i.e Joseph and Samson are in stark contrast. One FLEES FROM THE TEMPTATION OF A PHYSICAL RELATIONSHIP WITH A WOMAN and THE OTHER WALKS INTO IT WITHOUT HAVING A CLUE AS TO WHERE IT WAS LEADING HIM.

PROVERBS 7:6 For at the window of my house I looked through my casement,

7 And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,

8 Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,

9 In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:

10 And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.

11 (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:

12 Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)

13 So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,

14 I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.

15 Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.

16 I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.

17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.

18 Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.

………………………..

21 With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.

22 He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;

23 Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.

VERSES 6-18 OF THE CHAPTER 7 OF PROVERBS, defines both Potiphar’s wife as well as Delilah. The consequences of having a physical relationship with women of that type is enumerated in verses 21-23 of the same chapter. So this is the statistical TRUTH. Mostly, if humans were to take to such women, they are likely to end up the way, as mentioned above. As an example to these verses Joseph and Samson could be cited.

But unfortunately, LOGIC does not end here. It goes beyond and tries to apply the formula in respect of every case. So when we apply this formula to the case of KING DAVID, it miserably fails. King David was not only a notorious womanizer, but at least in one case, i.e in Bathsheba’s case was an adulterer and a murderer. That is leaving out the case of Abigail, the wife of Nabal- as it is difficult to believe that Nabal died out of a contrite spirit and not of the conspiracy entered into between Abigail and David the previous night based on their meeting. Maybe Nabal died more out of the knowledge that his wife Abigail had met David on the sly without his knowledge!! As it is Nabal did not have a good opinion of David and in sexual matters he must have had a fairly good idea of David’s proclivities.

But David survives it all, and proves to be an exception. That is GRACE. David had obtained IMMUNITY from the general RULE. That is because he TRUSTED in THE MERCY OF GOD. And at every instance, when he was informed of his wrongdoing, he was not merely PENITENT but also took all reasonable steps to ensure that his GUILT is not made a PUBLIC ISSUE. In fact, if Adonijah had become the King, it would have been quite possible that Adonijah would have made the Prophets and Priests as the witnesses and proved the guilt of adultery between Bathsheba and King David, and got Bathsheba executed for adultery after the death of King David. So King David, while still alive, WISELY declares Solomon, the son of Bathsheba and David as the heir to the throne and protects his own name after his death besides protecting the interests of the co-adulterer. AFTER ALL ONLY A SON COULD BE TRUSTED WITH THE JOB OF PROTECTING THE MOTHER’S HONOUR AND NOT A STEP SON, U SEE!!

If one asks the question, why Samson was caught up in the snare of  the woman Delilah but not David, when both of them had led a dissolute life, there is no logical answer to it. Jesus beautifully solves this conundrum  in the Gospel of Luke chapter 13 as follows:-

1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood
Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?

3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?

5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

So what Jesus says is that we are still ALIVE  by HIS GRACE and let us not squander our TIME by taking individual instances and testing the ESSENTIAL TRUTHS against isolated cases, which have escaped the general laws of RETRIBUTION. Let us make use of the TIME to REPENT and REFORM. As that is the objective of LIFE.

AMAZING RESOLUTION!!

NEO-CHRISTIAN THOUGHTS


The Christian Bible (ie. The King James’ Version) is complete in itself. The only book that a Christian is mandated to follow. But there are two major divisions of the Old Testament and the New Testament, and the total number of books are 66. So where do we place the emphasis of our Beliefs and how do we personally resolve the apparent contradictions, that arise in our minds?

The Bible is the WORD OF GOD. It is the word that was spoken thru Prophets, seers and priests to a particular generation, who found themselves in a particular social setting, and recorded for the future generations for edification, warning and promises.

So the Bible has the facts that were true to the setting of the past times but capable of being made relevant to the PRESENT, thru interpretation of the WORD.

The Old Testament was the identification of the Chosen people. They were not chosen because of their greatness or their skills or diligence but thru the Eternal GRACE of the Almighty. He knows why HE chose them. None can question the choice or His reasons, if at all any, for the choice of ABRAHAM and his seed forever. That was a prerogative and it cannot be questioned but we – as humble, time-bound mortals -will have to accept and move on. The alternative is to tilt at the wind-mills of the past, which would, without doubt, leave us tired and exhausted.

So the Choice of Abraham and his seed is a fait- accompli and leaves us in no uncertain position about God’s choice. Thru Moses, God revives His promise and He gives the basic tenets in the form of the TEN COMMANDMENTS, thereby defining the limits of human action without guilt. But man cannot, by his very nature be sinless, so he propitiates thru the priests for his sins and seeks reconciliation with God on a continual basis.

But man loses the spirit and gets stuck with the form. God knew that man was apt to get stuck with the form and abandon the spirit and therefore sends HIS OWN SON to be a PROPITIATION for our sins. JESUS, who was with God ( before Abraham was I AM), is sent in the human form and as a RESURRECTED JESUS stays in the human hearts as the WORD (cf. Gospel of JOHN) which had taken the form of flesh.

THE WORD that is put in the human heart, finds the expression in the human form in the Gospels and the Human understanding of THE WORD in the books subsequent to the Gospels. But let us make no mistake that the BIBLE has not been figured out, and human understanding is subject to human discoveries. For example The Epistle to the HEBREWS, according to the KJV was authored by St.Paul, till the subsequent discoveries have ruled out St.Paul’s authorship. Now most of the Newer versions have dropped the tag of St.Paul to The Hebrews. So that had left a few generations with a wrong belief of a fact that had turned out to be non-factual. But that hardly matters. There was a position held by the CHURCH that the Earth was the centre of the universe. Therefore the facts , as understood by humans, from the reading of the Bible has no certainty. So errors are likely to creep in if one were to read the Bible as a mere HISTORICAL DOCUMENT OR AS SCIENTIFIC JOURNALS.

So despite all these pitfalls in the interpretation of the Bible, where do we start?

Let me cite an anecdote before proceeding any further. Dr. Billy Graham in one of his sermons said, ” If the king Hezekiah had accepted God’s intimation of Hezekiah’s impending death, his son Mannaseh would not have been born to Hezekiah and Israel(Judah) would not have had the WICKEDEST king.”

The above is speculative and, similar lines of thought is against LIFE and for whatever REASON should be avoided. GOD gives LIFE and it cannot be denied. One could speculate, on similar lines, that if King David had killed Absalom upon him killing his half brother Amnon- who raped Tamar, Absalom’s sister- David would not have had to fight the battle with Absalom subsequently. These are speculative on the facts available in The Bible and is contrary to LIFE. LIFE comes from God and therefore LIFE, as we know it, has to be supported on the facts made available in THE BIBLE.

So the interpretation has to be firstly LIFE ORIENTED. Life in this world as well as in the next. JESUS says, “If u don’t love you brother , whom u have seen, how can u love the God whom u have not seen?” Therefore the LIFE that one is given has to be respected, as it is from GOD. The life hereafter is a HOPE built on FAITH in the WORD. But the LIFE of this LIFE, when in contradiction with the LIFE hereafter, this LIFE shall be sacrificed, if it has to be. But that is not to be taken lightly.

The only Apostle disciple of Jesus who had a natural Death was St. John. It was his belief that made him LIVE. Please confer the last few verses of the gospel of St. John, where Jesus is stated to have told Peter with reference to John that IF I WILL THAT HE TARRY TILL I COME, WHAT IS THAT TO THEE? Therefore if man ASKS GOD, he shall be granted. God is eager to answer the prayers of those who seek diligently.

LIFE is the most important gift of God. The same life is to be used for HIS GREATER GLORY. That is the purpose of man. But, never to CHOOSE THIS LIFE OVER THE NEXT. But even if one did it, there is still salvation and Hope. Otherwise, how can anyone explain the reconciliation of Manasseh, the king and the assurance of the thief/ robber who asked for Jesus’ grace while on the cross and obtained it?

THE IDEA IS THAT MAN SHUD BE RELIEVED OF HIS GUILT EVEN IN THE LAST MINUTE. But waiting for the last minute may not be wise, as one may not have the consciousness in the last minute. So man shud race towards his salvation, he may not obtain it immediately, but God in His due time shall grant it.

But CHRISTIANS have become negative and are under a mistaken belief that God wants man to suffer for HIM. God gives LIFE and gives it ABUNDANTLY. He doesn’t want man’s life. Man cannot make it his purpose to die for Christ- a kind of return favour!! God in the form of Jesus has died for us and He wants to give man life here and provide a MANSION there. A benign God cannot be portrayed a God who seeks your blood (Please do read Psalm 30, where the Psalmist asks God, verse no.9 What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?). There are instances when Jesus hid and slunk away when the mob tried to lynch him. But when the TIME had come for HIM to lay down his life, he submitted to the will of God the Father. His mission, had DEATH as one of the components as HE had to overcome it thru DEATH itself and thereby secure for man the INNOCENCE LOST in the garden of EDEN. So that MAN CAN LIVE.

SO to CHOOSE LIFE IS MAN’S PRIMARY JOB.

The second challenge, is to decide which side to stand for?

Abraham Lincoln once said, “We trust, sir, that God is on our side. It is more important to know that we are on God’s side.”

The beauty of this line is the contrast drawn unobtrusively to the words TRUST and KNOW.

TRUST is the Faith reposed, whereas KNOWLEDGE is the awareness of the existing reality and the interpretation thereof. Since it involves INTERPRETATION, the tools used have to bear the Christian mark and the PURPOSE has to be Christian too.

The ways are given in the Gospel itself. In the story of THE RICH MAN & LAZARUS. the Rich man asks Abraham to send Lazarus from the dead and enlighten the rich man’s brothers who, according to him, were still committing sins. Abraham says, THEY HAVE THEIR MOSES AND PROPHETS AND IF THEY DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM, EVEN IF ONE WERE TO GO FROM THE DEAD THEY WOULDN’T LISTEN.

So as a Christian, one has an option to STUDY the Bible and follow it according to the revelation he receives from ABOVE, or to follow the spiritual leader to whom God has led him in His Grace. Both are good options, but to make an effort to study THE BIBLE and follow it, would be preferable as it gives a certainty that is coupled with HUMILITY. After all it is desirable to be a HUMBLE & KNOWLEDGEABLE CHRISTIAN than to be a SHEEP OF SOMEBODY’S PASTURE.


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