Apologetics

In the effort of making the thinkers believe and the believers think, I write this as a tribute to Ravi Zacharias, who passed away earlier this year. To give a brief explanation of the title, Christian Apologetics means to gently and respectfully defend and promote the living God, his only begotten son, and his holy spirit. It walks hand in hand with preaching the gospel, it just does it slightly differently. Personally, I’m not a fan of the title because it sounds like you’re saying sorry for being a Christian, which is not something a believer should be doing. But it is what it is. All believers should be prepared to defend their faith and explain why they believe. “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” (1 Peter 3:15) This essay is just a series of questions people may have and a possible answer for each. These are not necessarily the correct answers. I am not the almighty, and therefore do not know everything. But if it helps you to understand and/or strengthen your faith, then by all means let it help. I believe because of personal experience, and research. The more I research, the more I become convinced of the truth. Personal experience is why many people believe. An angelic encounter, a near death experience, a prophetic dream, or even an answered prayer. But we as believers still may have questions, also non-believers may share these questions and use them as reasons not to believe.

QUESTION: If God wants us to obey him then why doesn’t he make us obedient and take away free will?

ANSWER: Probably because there would be no authentic sincerity. If we’re all made to love and obey him, we’d become like robots, void of any authentic spirit [spirit as in willpower, not as in soul]. But if we have freewill and still choose to love and obey him, there is authentic sincerity. We are consciously choosing to love the truth. Your parent can’t force you to love them. Whether you love your parents or not, is your choice. They can only do what they believe is best for you.

QUESTION: Why can’t I do what I want?

ANSWER: ‘Do what thou wilt’ does not work, no matter how you slice it. ‘Do what thou wilt’ is a philosophy that is increasingly becoming embraced by many, also known as Thelema. It means exactly what it says, whatever you want to do (regardless of consequence) do it. It is basically, hedonism; the belief that whatever is pleasurable should be pursued at any cost. This doesn’t work. While it sounds nice at first, it leads to a path of complete self-absorption and ultimately destruction. You end up constantly searching for a feeling versus searching for substance. Just like a drug addict is in constant pursuit of the “high” feeling that never amounts to the initial “high” feeling they have when using the drug for the very first time. While all kinds of sin stem from this lifestyle, the primary one is pride, due to the self-absorption. Pride is considered the deadliest of sins. All conflicts and problems stem from a prideful thought of some sort. As such, this system is in stark contrast with Christ. If there is anything that Jesus has taught us, it’s selflessness.

Moving back to the original discussion: Where do you draw the line? Some say ‘love is love’ when referring to homosexual marriage. Clearly, homosexuality, and thus homosexual marriage is a sin (Romans 1:18–32, 1 Corinthians 6:9–10, Deuteronomy 22:5). But for the sake of explanation, let’s assume that it isn’t. After all, it’s no one’s business what goes on between two consenting adults. Okay, so what about the adult who wants to marry a boy or girl child? What about the person who wants to marry an animal? You must have a line to determine what is right and what is wrong. Just because someone says or believes it right, doesn’t mean it is. What if someone believes it’s right for them to rob a bank, or break into your house, or murder you? That doesn’t mean that it is right for them to do so, in fact it’s still wrong. One may say, but people do that kind of stuff already. This is true, but we have a basis to determine what is right/wrong; the scripture. That basis tells us these things are wrong. In a purely ‘do what thou wilt’ world, there would be no basis of morality. And this is the only way a ‘do what thou wilt’ world could exist as a partial existence would imply a basis of morality of some sort. Humans are imperfect, [even non-believers admit this] and therefore we can’t rightly establish a basis of morality by ourselves. Therefore, God gave us his inspired word, the bible.

QUESTION: What if you pray for something and the darkness (the devil, demons, spirits, etc.) gives it to you?

ANSWER: This is impossible. If you ask God for something and will thank God for it when you receive it, the darkness cannot give it to you because you will praise and thank God for it. The lord would be taking the praise and thanks from them. This means the darkness just gave praise to God and that goes entirely against their nature. The devil isn’t going to do anything that would bring you closer to or have a higher opinion of God. He only does the opposite. After all, the enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy. (John 10:10) If any of these beings tell you anything otherwise, it is a lie. “You are of your father the devil, and it is your will to practice the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar and the father of lies and half-truths.” (John 8:44)

STATEMENT: God does not change. He is the same yesterday today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) As someone who hates change and actively and vehemently opposes it, there is tremendous comfort in that fact. Life – – this world perpetually changes. It can be unnerving for all of us, Christian or not. So, there is immense comfort in his word. “It is the Lord who goes before you; He will be with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8), “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel”—which, when translated, means, “GOD IS WITH US.”” (Matthew 1:23), “The Lord will fight for you while you [only need to] keep silent and remain calm.” (Exodus 14:14), “No weapon that is formed against you will succeed; And every tongue that rises against you in judgment you will condemn. This [peace, righteousness, security, and triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And this is their vindication from Me,” says the Lord.” (Isaiah 54:17), “Therefore do not worry or be anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted), saying, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ For the [pagan] Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; [but do not worry,] for your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.” (Matthew 6:31-33), “I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust [with great confidence, and on whom I rely]!”” (Psalm 91:2), “He brought me up out of a horrible pit [of tumult and of destruction], out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock, steadying my footsteps and establishing my path.” (Psalm 40:2), “God is our refuge and strength [mighty and impenetrable],A very present and well-proved help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1) “and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be death; there will no longer be sorrow and anguish, or crying, or pain; for the former order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

QUESTION: Why are the angels, who are clearly superior to us, commanded to protect and watch over us?

ANSWER: Isn’t it only right that the strong should take care of the weak? You don’t have to be a believer to know this is a very noble virtue.

CLAIM: Christianity isn’t the first religion. There were many before it.

ANSWER: Just because it wasn’t first doesn’t mean that it is wrong. Thomas Edison came before Nikola Tesla, but that doesn’t mean Edison was right or better.

QUESTION: Did Christianity rip off Judaism?

ANSWER: No, it continues it. Jesus is mentioned all throughout the entire Old Testament. From Genesis to Malachi; a few examples are: (Genesis 49:10) “The scepter [of royalty] shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh [the Messiah, the Peaceful One] comes, And to Him shall be the obedience of the peoples.” Jesus being the poster child of the peaceful one.  (Micah 5:2) “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah; From you One shall come forth for Me [who is] to be Ruler in Israel, His goings forth (appearances) are from long ago, From ancient days.” Jesus was born in Bethlehem and is the King of Israel.   (Isaiah 7:14) “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Listen carefully, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will call his name Immanuel (God with us).”  Gabriel came to Mary, a virgin, and told her she will give birth to a son and he shall be called Immanuel.   (Zechariah 11:12-13)  “I said to them, “If it seems good to you, give me my wages; but if not, do not.” So they weighed out thirty pieces of silver as my wages. Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter [as if to the dogs]—that magnificent sum at which I am valued by them!” So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the Lord.” Jesus was betrayed by Judas who was paid 30 pieces of silver.   “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers [a reconciliation produced by repentance], so that I will not come and strike the land with a curse [of complete destruction].”  (Malachi 4:5-6) Elijah came before Jesus to foretell him. And the church, via reconciliation produced by repentance, will be spared from the great and terrible day of the lord.

We also don’t replace the Jewish people as God’s chosen people. “…my brethren, my kinsmen, according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises…” (Romans 9:3-4)  “I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He?” “May it never be …God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew” (Romans 11:1-2). God has a plan for the Jewish people just like he has a plan for his church.

CLAIM: “I’m a good person. I don’t need Jesus.”

ANSWER: By your standards, you’re a good person. By my standards, you’re probably a good person. From a worldly set of standards, most all of us around the world are good people. But by God’s standards, (the standards by which we will ultimately be judged) none of us are good people. “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) God is perfect, and holy. As such he demands perfection and holiness. And his standards reflect that. The key is he loves us, anyway, knowing we are not good people. That’s what his grace is. But you must believe in his son and turn from sin in repentance. There are four areas in which we look for absolutes: Evil, Justice, Love, and Forgiveness. We see evil in each other, and talk about evil people, events, etc. We seek justice for each other and attempt to establish a just society. We feel, or want to feel, love. And we seek forgiveness for our deeds. The convergence of those four, resides at the cross. Jesus shows us the evil in our hearts, was the only just person to walk this earth, and loved us so much he died for us so that we will be forgiven. When you see the evil in your own heart and realize you need help (a savior in order to change), you can become an answer instead of a question. Jesus is that help, that savior. And he will make you that answer. You have to agree with the statement: “I’m broken and Jesus is the only one who can fix me.”

QUESTION: What is God, where did he come from?

ANSWER: This question is rather difficult to answer, but a valid question. A common, understandable question is the origin of God. As humans in this material universe or physical realm, we know that everything came from something. You came from your parents, America came from England, your hardwood floors came from the forest, and so forth. But the origin of God is different. It may sound like an avoidance of the question, but God has always existed. He created the universe, but being the creator of the universe, doesn’t mean he has to abide by the laws of this universe. Just like a programmer doesn’t abide by the laws of the video game universe he/she created. He existed before the laws existed. God has always existed and always will exist. “Before the mountains were born or before You had given birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are [the eternal] God.” (Psalm 90:2) God is. {God is what?} God just is — he exists. We know that from nothing, nothing comes. So, if there were ever a time when there was absolutely nothing in existence, then nothing would have ever come into existence. But things do exist. Therefore, since there could never have been absolutely nothing, something had to have always been in existence. That ever-existing thing is what we call God. God is the uncaused being that caused everything else to come into existence. God is the uncreated creator who created the universe and everything in it.

QUESTION: Why were the angels created first?

ANSWER: This one is also rather difficult to answer. God made man in his image. But if you think of the preconceived image of angels, they look like us but with wings. According to Job, the angels were made before us. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone – while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-7) One of the functions of an angel is to be a ministering spirit to those who inherit salvation. “For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16) The angels were created for the same reason everyone and everything else was, to please God. Unfortunately, we may never know the real reason God made the angels first. But if you think about it, knowing why the angels were created first doesn’t make you a better person.

CLAIM: Christmas is a ripped off holiday from Pagans worshiping the solstice.

ANSWER: This is incorrect. Prior to the birth of Christ, the pagans did worship the sun; however, it wasn’t a big ‘to do’ that Christmas is. The holiday became a ‘to do’ for pagans in 218AD (After the crucifixion) by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus. The holiday is called Sol Invictus named after the god. After the emperor’s assassination in 222AD, the celebration fizzled out. The holiday was revived in 274AD, long after the Christian celebration of the nativity was in full swing as a tradition.

QUESTION: What makes Christianity right?

ANSWER: Well, the short answer is, it gives us a savior, which we desperately need, to save us from ourselves and our sinful nature. The long answer is it has stood the test of time. There is a large amount of evidence to support the Christian faith. One piece of evidence is the magi — the three wise men. The wise men are known to everyone. They visited Jesus on the night of his birth and brought him: Frankincense, Myrrh, and Gold. The story of these three reinforces the divinity of Christ. Little is known about the wise men, but it is speculated that their names are: Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar. Melchior came from Persia, Caspar came from India, and Balthazar came from part of Rome that is present day Iraq and Syria. Other theories suggest the wise men came from Arabia. Regardless of where they came from, the fact remains that they were not of an Israelite/Jewish background. And yet they still acknowledged the significance of his birth and the fact that Jesus was the deliverer, the redeemer, the son of God.

            One of the most popular events in the bible is Noah’s flood. The Judeo-Christian account of a flood is not the only account of a global flood. Over 200 other cultures have mentioned the flood including: Russia, China, India, Cherokee, Fiji, and Hawaii. 88% of them mention a favored person/family (Noah), 66% say the flood was due to the wickedness and iniquities of mankind, 67% say all animals were saved, 95% say it was a worldwide flood, 70% say the family survived by boat, and 57% say the boat landed on a mountain. It’s safe to conclude that there was global flood, and that majority of people died, just as the bible says.

            When Joshua fought the Amorites. The sun stood still, for what is known as Joshua’s Long Day, for the Israelites to win the battle. Around this time (roughly. 1448 BC) other cultures throughout the world have mentioned the long day: The Egyptians mention an unusual high tide due to the long day. The Chinese reported the sun did not set for ten days. The Ojibways, Wyandot, Dogrib, Omaha, and Bungee Native American tribes all tell stories of a long night. Some Native South American tribes also tell of a long night.

            Another interesting note is the astounding prophecy made in the book of Daniel. Daniel makes many predictions, most regarding the end times. These predictions are subject to other discussions. The prediction discussed here is about Alexander the Great. The book of Daniel was written between 604 B.C. and 532 B.C. Alexander the great was born in 356 BC. He conquered Persia, Asia Minor (Modern day Turkey), Egypt, and everything in between these nations. His reign was only 13 years (from 336 – 323 BC). When he died, his empire was divided between his four generals. The four generals divided the empire into 4 kingdoms (North, South, East, and West): Cassander (circa 358–297 BC), Lysimachus (circa 361–281 BC), Seleucus (died 281 BC; later the Seleucid Empire), and Ptolemy I (died 283 BC). From the Seleucid empire, came Antiochus Epiphanes who was a vicious persecutor of the Jews. He plundered the Jewish temple and set up a statue of Zeus in the Holy of Holies. He tore down the walls of Jerusalem and confiscated all copies of the Scriptures he could find. He forbade circumcision and offered swine as sacrifices in the temple. 40,000 Jews were slain in Jerusalem and others were sold as slaves. In 167 B.C., a Jewish man, by the name of Mattathias Maccabaeus, declared open war against Antiochus. The “Maccabean Rebellion” continued until Jerusalem was purged of paganism and the temple was repaired. On December 25, 165 B.C., the Hebrew temple was restored.

            “In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a [second] vision appeared to me, Daniel, [this was two years] after the one that first appeared to me. I looked in the vision and it seemed that I was at the citadel of Susa, [the capital of Persia], which is in the province of Elam; and I looked in the vision and I saw myself by the Ulai Canal. Then I raised my eyes and looked, and behold, there in front of the canal stood a [lone] ram (the Medo-Persian Empire) which had two horns. The two horns were high, but one (Persia) was higher than the other (Media), and the higher one came up last. I saw the ram (Medo-Persia) charging westward and northward and southward; no beast could stand before him, nor was there anyone who could rescue [anything] from his power, but he did as he pleased and magnified himself. As I was observing [this], behold, a male goat (Greece) was coming from the west [rushing] across the face of the whole earth without touching the ground; and the goat had a conspicuous and remarkable horn (Alexander the Great) between his eyes. He came up to the ram that had the two horns, which I had seen standing in front of the canal and charged at him in [the fury of] his power and wrath. [In my vision] I saw him come close to the ram (Medo-Persia), and he was filled with rage toward him; and the goat (Greece) struck the ram and shattered his two horns, and the ram had no strength to stand before him. So the goat threw him to the ground and trampled on him, and there was no one who could rescue the ram from his power. Then the male goat magnified himself exceedingly, and when he was [young and] strong, the great horn (Alexander) was [suddenly] broken; and in its place there came up four prominent horns [among whom the kingdom was divided, one] toward [each of] the four winds of heaven. Out of one of them (Antiochus IV Epiphanes) came forth a rather small horn [but one of irreverent presumption and profane pride] which grew exceedingly powerful toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Beautiful Land (Israel). And [in my vision] this horn grew up to the host of heaven and caused some of the host and some of the stars to fall to the earth, and it trampled on them. Indeed, it magnified itself to be equal with the Commander of the host [of heaven]; and it took away from Him the daily sacrifice (burnt offering), and the place of His sanctuary was thrown down (profaned). Because of the transgression [of God’s people—their irreverence and ungodliness] the host will be given over to the wicked horn, along with the regular sacrifice; and righteousness and truth will be flung to the ground, and the horn will do as it pleases [by divine permission] and prosper. Then I heard a holy one (angel) speaking, and another holy one said to the one who was speaking, “How much time will be required to complete the vision regarding the regular sacrifice, the transgression that brings horror, and the trampling underfoot of both the sanctuary and the host [of the people]?” He said to me, “For 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be cleansed and properly restored.” (Daniel 8:1-14)

If this prophecy was so accurate, it makes one wonder about Daniel’s end times prophecy.

            The bible is the most scrutinized religious text. The fact that it has stood the test of time is an attestation to the information provided in it. In this modern society there is a massive epidemic of depression. People are craving substance and meaning to life. We need significance. Especially in these younger generations, we are being taught and indoctrinated that we are nothing; that we are not smart, strong, worthy, good looking, wealthy, funny, — GOOD enough. That humans are nothing more than useless animals that evolved from primitive lifeforms that live on a giant rock flying through a vacuum and is all just a mere happenstance and a mistake that shouldn’t have even happened. Is it any wonder why so many of us are depressed? There is no meaning in that belief. It’s that kind of nihilism that caused the Jews to be slaughtered in the holocaust. And this isn’t just an atheistic problem as Hitler and the Nazis were occultists. Frederich Nietzsche, in the early 20th/late 19th century wrote “For when Truth battles against the lies of millennia there will be shock waves, earthquakes, the transposition of hills and valleys such as the world has never yet imagined even in its dreams. The concept “politics” then becomes entirely absorbed into the realm of spiritual warfare. All the mighty worlds of the ancient order of society are blown into space—for they are all based on lies: there will be wars the like of which have never been seen on earth before. Only after me will there be grand politics on earth.” If you consider the concept of Communism vs. Capitalism as a spiritual war (atheism vs. any kind of faith) the 20th century seems to have been described in that statement. The 20th century is the bloodiest century in history. More people have been killed in the 20th century than the previous 19 combined. It can be argued that this is due to the complete disregard of human value and basic empathy and humility. Humans need meaning, we need something that makes us feel needed and have value. Christ gives us that meaning, value and hope. “It is the Lord who goes before you; He will be with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8), “Do not fear [anything], for I am with you; Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, be assured I will help you; I will certainly take hold of you with My righteous right hand [a hand of justice, of power, of victory, of salvation].” (Isaiah 41:10), “I do not call you servants any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you [My] friends, because I have revealed to you everything that I have heard from My Father. You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed and placed and purposefully planted you, so that you would go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit will remain and be lasting, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name [as My representative] He may give to you.” John (15:15-16), “Are not two little sparrows sold for a copper coin? And yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered [for the Father is sovereign and has complete knowledge]. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31), “So God (the almighty supreme being) created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27), “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you [and approved of you as My chosen instrument], And before you were born I consecrated you [to Myself as My own]; I have appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5), “to the praise of His glorious grace and favor, which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved [His Son, Jesus Christ].” (Ephesians 1:6), “in whom we have redemption [because of His sacrifice, resulting in] the forgiveness of our sins [and the cancellation of sins’ penalty]” (Colossians 1:14), “And in Him you have been made complete [achieving spiritual stature through Christ], and He is the head over all rule and authority [of every angelic and earthly power].” (Colossians 2:10), “So, as God’s own chosen people, who are holy [set apart, sanctified for His purpose] and well-beloved [by God Himself], put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience [which has the power to endure whatever injustice or unpleasantness comes, with good temper];” (Colossians 3:10), “Therefore there is now no condemnation [no guilty verdict, no punishment] for those who are in Christ Jesus [who believe in Him as personal Lord and Savior].” (Romans 8:1)

CLAIM: Jesus wasn’t the only one born of a virgin. What makes him the truth?

ANSWER: The short answer is, he said he is the truth. “Jesus said to him, “I am the [only] Way [to God] and the [real] Truth and the [real] Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) There is no other spiritual figure that has ever said that they alone are the way to heaven. Others have merely said a certain set of rules or ritualistic practices are the way; never the figure themselves.

            The long answer is: While it is popularly held that there are many spiritual figures throughout history to have had the same story of Christ, they aren’t all identical. Many claims are untrue. The Egyptian god Horus is the biggest example people like to throw out to discredit Jesus. Three others are: the Persian god Mithra, the Hindu god Krishna, and the Greek god Dionysus. Hercules has also been used as well.

            Let’s start with Horus. The claims of Horus are that he was born of a virgin, on December 25th, was baptized, tempted in the desert, healed the sick, raised the dead, had 12 apostles, was crucified, and resurrected. Horus was born to the goddess Isis. She resurrected the body of Osiris, with whom she conceived Horus. Therefore, Isis was not a virgin. The Egyptians celebrated the birth of Horus at the winter solstice (December 21st). The bible does not mention an exact day when Jesus was born. It is popularly believed that Horus was baptized by Anup. There is no Anup in Egyptian mythology. There is Anubis, and Anubis did perform a type of baptism, but this was only done to pharaohs (mortal men), not gods. Horus physically fought Set in the desert. There was no temptation, in fact Horus and Set reconciled. There is no, nor will there ever be, a reconciliation of Jesus and Satan. Horus was poisoned by Set, died, and was brought back to life by Thoth. The ancient Egyptians used the spell Thoth used to cure people. It was believed that the spirit of Horus would dwell within the sick, and they would be cured the same way he was. This spiritual indwelling is a far cry from the physical healing ministry of Christ. Horus did not travel the countryside placing his hands on sick people and restoring them to health. The belief that Horus resurrecting Osiris is also false. As mentioned, previously, Isis resurrected Osiris long enough to conceive Horus. There is a mural depicting “the twelve who reap the harvest.” But Horus does not appear in the mural. While Horus did have followers, there were not exactly 12. There is no Egyptian text that mentions Horus being crucified. The common claim comes from a hieroglyph that shows Horus with an ankh. The ankh has never been used as a reference to crucifixion or death. In fact, the ankh is a symbol of life. Nor is Horus being depicted as being nailed to an ankh. If Horus was not crucified, he in turn could not have been resurrected. The only time Horus was resurrected was when he was poisoned and died, but he was a child and was resurrected due to the grieving of his mother. He did not resurrect as an adult.

            Mithra was said to be born of a virgin, on December 25th, was dead for three days and resurrected. The Persians have always said Mithra was born of a rock, or mountain. Since a rock is not a living creature, it is not a virgin. The belief of being born on December 25th is due to Mithra’s relation to Sol Invictus. In fact, it has been speculated that they are one in the same. Sol Invictus, as mentioned previously, was celebrated on December 25th, but long after Christ’s nativity was celebrated on that date. There is no specific birth date for Mithra alone. There is no Persian indication of Mithra’s death. If he did not die, he could not have been resurrected.

            Krishna was said to have been born of a virgin, called the son of God, son of a carpenter, and resurrected. He is the son of Devaki and Vasudeva. Devaki and Vasudeva had seven children before Krishna. Therefore, Devaki was not a virgin. There is no Hindu mentioning of Vasudeva being a carpenter, in fact he was a king. Krishna was killed when a hunter mistook him for a deer and shot him with an arrow. He died and instantly ascended. He was not resurrected.

            Dionysus was said to have been born of a virgin on December 25, turned water into wine, and called the holy child. There are a few different versions of Dionysus’ birth. The first version mentions Zeus impregnating Semele. Zeus being a lady’s man was not too shy when it came to sex. Semele was tricked into making Zeus reveal himself, and she burst into flames and died. Zeus rescued the fetus and attached it to his thigh until it was able to be born. The second version mentions Zeus impregnating Persephone. After Dionysus was born, he was torn apart by titans, and Zeus attached his heart to his thigh to be reborn. Neither of these two origins feature a virgin birth. His birth is celebrated on January 6th, not December 25th. While Dionysus is referred to as the god of wine, he never turned plain water into wine. Nowhere in Greek mythology is Dionysus referred to as the holy child.

            Hercules is the son of Zeus and Alcmene (a human woman). He is half man, half god. This is a stark contrast from Jesus as he fully man and fully god. He is God in the flesh. The bible mentions Hercules’ kind. The Nephilim. They were never meant to exist, and this is why they were killed in the great flood. The Nephilim were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown (great reputation, fame). (Genesis 6:4) As Hercules was.

CLAIM: Jesus wasn’t born on Christmas. He was born in August/September.

ANSWER: This is debatable. Obviously, common belief of his birth is December 25th. There is a theory that he was born in September. Evidence supporting this theory is as follows: According to the Christmas story, there were shepherds in the field on that holy night. Shepherds wouldn’t be in the field during the winter months. The Romans were holding the census at the time of Jesus’ birth. Historians would argue that the census wouldn’t have taken place in the winter. While the bible does not say the exact month, day, or time of year; it is possible he was born in December, and it is possible he was born around August or September. If he was born in September, common sense would dictate that Mary conceived nine months prior which would be December. Regardless, whether we celebrate in December his conception or his birth, we are still celebrating him. And that is what matters.

CLAIM: The United States of America was not founded by Christians, contrary to popular belief.

ANSWER: This is subject for another essay. But in short, this statement depends on where you define the founding of our nation. If you define the founding of our nation as the colonization of the New England states by the Puritans, then yes, this country was founded by Christians and thus a predominate Christian nation. If you define the founding of this nation as the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress, then no, this nation was not founded by Christians. The difference is what defines a Christian. Anyone with a brain can define a Christian: a person who accepts Jesus Christ as their personal lord and savior and places full faith in him. The Puritans, in a nutshell, qualify under this definition. Our Founding Fathers, however, don’t all qualify under this definition. The founders read the bible, prayed, and encouraged these things. They believed in an almighty god that is the ruler of everything, and they used the bible as a basis for morality. But they did not accept Jesus Christ as their personal lord and savior. In fact, many of them rejected his own divinity. They saw him as a teacher, and nothing more. Regardless, the fact that the founders were moral Christians indicates this country is based on inherit Christian values.

STATEMENT: Christianity — Christian values ended slavery. During the mid to late 18th century, there was what was known as the Great Awakening. Many people all throughout the United States experienced a revival and came to Christ. Ben Franklin even wrote about this revival in 1739: “It was wonderful to see the change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants. From being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seemed as if all the world were growing religious so that one could not walk through the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different families of every street.” During this time, many people began spreading the gospel to both slaves and non-slaves; and even started to question slavery altogether. Their insistence on sharing the gospel with all people and their willingness to share Christian fellowship with blacks, both slave and free, breached racial and cultural barriers in Colonial America. Furthermore, the inclusive gospel message they preached, and their compassionate treatment of blacks, created a climate conducive to the anti-slavery sentiments that would burst forth through those who would come after them. Samuel Hopkins of Rhode Island even sent a letter to every member of the First Continental Congress addressing the hypocrisy of calling the colonies slaves to England while ignoring the black slaves in the colonies. In 1744, Methodist founder John Wesley spoke and wrote publicly against slavery. The impact spread to our nation’s founders; while some of them were not true Christians who gave their lives to Christ, they still acknowledged the errors of slavery. George Washington accepted free blacks into the Revolutionary Army, resulting in one out of every eight soldiers being of African descent.

            In the context of the continuance of slavery after the Constitutional Convention Thomas Jefferson wrote: “God who gave us life, gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just and that His justice cannot sleep forever.” While it ultimately took the Civil war to finally end slavery; The great awakenings of the late 18th, and early 19th centuries plus a great prayer awakening led the charge for the anti-slavery cause.

QUESTION: Aren’t all religions trying to get to the same place?

ANSWER: This is a common fallacy. Some religions follow the statement, “If I just learn something, I’ll find spiritual meaning and truth.” Others follow, “If I just do something, I’ll find spiritual meaning and truth.” And even others try, “If I just experience something, I’ll find spiritual meaning and truth.” With Christianity, the answer to meaning and truth, is Jesus Christ. Learning is learning his word, his gospel. Doing is doing his will. Experiencing is experiencing the life lived for him. Christianity differs from all other religions in that it is built upon the person of Christ, who embodies all approaches to spiritual truth.

CLAIM: The Vatican gathered the books that make up the bible, and they are out only to control people.

ANSWER: Whether the Vatican is out to control people is a choice for you to make. As for the compilation of the 66 canonical books that make up the holy bible, this answer seems to be with a little controversy. Foremost, the old testament, in its entirety, was already accepted as canon by the time of Christ’s birth. There are many references to the old testament that support this. As for the new testament, it seems the first full compilation of the new testament was in 170 AD and the canon that we know today was established in 397 AD. The big question that comes from this is: How was this the word of God when it was written and compiled my men? The bible is the inspired word of God. It was written by men who were led by the holy spirit. Likewise, the hand of God was involved during the compilation.

QUESTION: How can a loving God allow for such despair in this world?

ANSWER: It must be made clear that God does not tempt you. “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone.” (James 1:13) Nor does God bring bad things upon you. There are 2 major players in the spiritual realm. It is the other one that causes the despair, in an effort to pull you away from God. The question of why does God allow it? God does and allows things for his glory. “The Lord does not delay [as though He were unable to act] and is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is [extraordinarily] patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) He doesn’t want anyone to perish (be cast in the lake of fire). If the current pandemic has brought more people to him, that otherwise wouldn’t have come to him, then the pandemic, as painful and annoying as it is, was worth it. His ways are not our ways: “”For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts higher than your thoughts.”” (Isaiah 55:8-9) Everything works to his glory, and for our good who are believers in Christ. “And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.” (Romans 8:28) Trials and tribulations come with both a purpose and a reward. “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. . . . Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:2-4,12). Just like gold and silver and gemstones need to be refined, so do we. Our tribulations refine us into being more like the who has saved us and set us free. Don’t not tempt the lord your god. ‘Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written and forever remains written, ‘You shall not test the Lord your God.’”’ (Matthew 4:7) Many of us do this. We think that God will give us anything we ask for in the exact moment we ask for it. Like a genie. This is testing God. God will provide for us, but on his time, not ours. We need only trust him. This is a hard thing to do, but a necessity.

QUESTION: Isn’t Easter based on a Pagan holiday, too?

ANSWER: As with the pagan beliefs featuring Jesus and Christmas, the popular belief of Easter being pagan is from the goddess Ishtar. The belief is that Ishtar, pronounced Easter, is the Babylonian goddess of fertility and sex. Her symbols are a rabbit and an egg. And her celebration was in the spring which was changed to Easter when the Roman emperor Constantine became a Christian. These beliefs are inaccurate. Firstly, Ishtar is in fact pronounced as it looks — Ish-tar. Secondly, she was actually the goddess of war, sex, justice and politics; not fertility. Her symbols were an eight-pointed star and a lion, not a rabbit and an egg. While some traditions did celebrate her in the spring, there is no direct evidence to support a correlation between Ishtar and Easter. Easter celebrations started around the second century AD. It is held in the spring due to the fulfillment of the Passover feast by Christ. There are seven feasts in Jewish tradition. The messiah has/will fulfill each one. The subject of the feasts is for another essay, or personal research. For now, the focus is the fact that Jesus fulfilled the Passover feast during his crucifixion. In Exodus, a lamb was slaughtered, and its blood was painted on the doorways to protect them from the final plague of Egypt. The spirit of death would Passover the Israelite houses. Every Passover since a lamb has been sacrificed. Jesus is the lamb that was sacrificed at Passover for the atonement of our sins. This is how he fulfilled this feast. the word Easter derives from the Latin phrase albis, meaning (“dawn” or “daybreak” in Spanish and Italian). Albis became eostarum, which eventually became Ostern in modern German and Easter in English. The French word for “Easter” is Pâcques, based on the Latin and Greek Pascha, meaning “Passover.”

            Ancient Christians viewed the rabbit hole as a symbol of Christ’s tomb. The rabbit symbolizes the resurrected Christ; as the rabbit came out of his hole, Christ came out of His tomb. As for the egg, it symbolizes the end of the Lenten fast. During Lent early Christians would not eat meat or birds (including eggs). On Easter morning, decorated eggs were eaten for breakfast to break the fast. Breaking the shell came to represent Christ breaking out of His tomb. There were many poor farmers, and most had chickens. Eggs were a staple to their diet. Lent used to be much stricter. The farmers couldn’t eat the eggs, that were going bad. But they knew that once Easter approached, they could; so they boiled the eggs to last long enough to make it to Easter. So, it was really a way of not having to throw away good food that they couldn’t eat. They were able to preserve it and save it for Easter. Medieval people thought that rabbits, because of how quickly they reproduce, must have been able to reproduce asexually. This would portray them as virgins and the rabbit became closely related to the virgin Mary. During the medieval period, rabbits began appearing in illuminated manuscripts and paintings where the Virgin Mary was depicted, serving as an allegorical illustration of her virginity.

Once again, the pagan origin is a fallacy.

QUESTION: Is God prideful?

ANSWER: Life, both this one and the next one is all about God. He’s the one that created everything including us. Yes, he demands worship. But none of us are on his level. Therefore, we have no right to challenge him. God hates sin, the bible makes that perfectly clear. Pride is a sin; some argue the deadliest of sins. Since pride is a sin, God cannot be prideful since he is perfect and righteous. So, while he is to be glorified and worshiped, it is not because of the petty sin of pride, but due to the fact that he created us for his pleasure. Putting it a different way, God created us. We owe our entire being to him. Everything we are, and everything we have is owed to him because he gave it to us. We should always praise and glorify him. “So then, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of [our great] God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) Pride is usually associated with an inflated view of oneself. Pride often involves thinking of oneself to be greater than they are, to have a distorted and false impression of one’s own worth. However, such a description cannot be applied to God since when God declares his greatness to all creation, he is correct in his estimation of himself. God does not have an inaccurate view of who he is and what he is worthy of. As the author and giver of life, he is worthy of worship and praise since every breath we breath is from his loving and sovereign hand. For that, mankind should give thanks. When God declares his power and might, this is not a prideful and self-inflated description of himself, but rather, it is an expression of God’s great power and majesty. If God is prideful, the he wouldn’t have given us his word to grow from. As a result of not having that word, you’d have a shallow relationship with God, you won’t be motivated to pray and read that word, which are crucial to your spiritual growth, and Satan will have succeeded in putting a wedge between you and God.

QUESTION: What about Halloween?

ANSWER: Unlike Christmas and Easter that have origins rooted in Christ, Halloween has no link to Judeo-Christian faith. Halloween is based on the Celtic celebrations of Samhain, the pagan lord of death. Its origins date back to the 10th century and to this day, it is considered a very holy and sacred night in the eyes of witchcraft practitioners and the like. According to the Old Testament, witchcraft was an abomination and punishable by death (Exodus 22:18; Leviticus 19:31; 20:6, 27). In the New Testament, witchcraft is still frowned upon; in fact, it’s violently opposed to Christianity (Acts 13:6-11). So, the question of, should Christians celebrate this holiday? This question has divided Christians for years. Some completely ignore it due to its pagan roots; some celebrate it but try to incorporate Christian learning by educating others and dressing up as biblical figures and hand out literature, and some celebrate it as an innocent fun holiday for children. As a Christian who is set free by Christ, you are free to make your own decision. But if you do decide to celebrate, remember these questions: Is Halloween pure? Is it lovely, praiseworthy, or of good report? (Philippians 4:8)

QUESTION: Does God favor men over women?

ANSWER: This is probably a big question many people, Christian or not, have. God is personified as our father. Jesus, our lord and savior, is a man. He had 12 disciples, all men. All the old testament prophets were men. Adam was created first. To many the answer would be yes. However, this is incorrect. Firstly, God created us in his own image. We are all equal in that we share his image. Secondly, the entire crux of Christianity rests upon one event — the resurrection. If he did not resurrect, then we are not all saved, who believe in him. Everything rests upon that single event because if he remained dead, then he did not conquer death and sin. And neither can we. The first witnesses that the tomb was empty were women. If women were inferior, no one would believe them. In other words, the entire Christian faith is held up by the testimony of two women. It’s funny that while man was created first, it is the woman who announces the miracle of salvation. God created the two genders with different strengths and weaknesses for each. But we are all equal in his eyes.

CLAIM: Many people view Jesus as a white man, but being born in the middle east, he is dark complected.

ANSWER: This is a common claim in our race obsessed society. Firstly, many Israelis and Syrians are quite lighter complected, then say someone from Iran, or Pakistan. Secondly, there are early century depictions of Jesus having darker skin, then the typical modern view of him. Being that he was born in Israel, 2000 years ago, it is possible for him to have had darker skin. The most recent depiction is the very famous image of him with light skin, and short hair with a short beard. Some people who have been blessed to see him, have agreed with this depiction. Lastly, no one truly knows what color his skin is, and frankly it is irrelevant. The important factor is that he came here with great love to die for our sins and give us grace and salvation; not what his skin color is.

If you’ve made it through this entire essay; firstly, congratulations on reading and learning all the information presented. I know I wrote more than I expected, and it is a big feat. Secondly, thank you and hopefully your faith has been strengthened by some, or all the information presented.

“I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return].” (Philippians 1:6)

“Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call on Him [for salvation] while He is near.” (Isaiah 55:6)

https://www.learnreligions.com/prophecies-of-jesus-fulfilled-700159

https://www.gotquestions.org/was-Jesus-born-in-September.html

https://www.gotquestions.org/who-created-God.html

https://www.gotquestions.org/canon-Bible.html

https://discoverthebook.org/the-ultimate-sin-is-pride/

https://www.crosswalk.com/special-coverage/christmas-and-advent/5-common-myths-about-the-three-wise-men-story.html

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_Magi

http://www.geocentricity.com/astronomy_of_bible/jld/index.html

https://carm.org/joshua10-12-13-long-day-sun-stood-still

https://www.nwcreation.net/noahlegends.html

https://answersingenesis.org/the-flood/flood-legends/a-comparison-from-secular-historical-records/

https://www.icr.org/article/noah-flood-gilgamesh/

https://mythology.stackexchange.com/questions/980/are-there-any-depictions-of-horus-being-crucified-and-resurrected

https://www.gotquestions.org/zeitgeist-movie.html

C Henderson, S Hayes, Debunking the Horus-Jesus Connection, 2015, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1996

http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2015/02/how-to-quickly-debunk-horus-jesus-myth.html

http://www.stephenjbedard.com/2015/09/28/was-dionysus-born-of-a-virgin/

https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-Dionysus.html

https://www.gotquestions.org/are-all-religions-the-same.html

https://www.gotquestions.org/trials-tribulations.html

https://www.gotquestions.org/Ishtar-Easter.html

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inanna

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter

https://www.catholic.org/lent/story.php?id=67999

https://www.historicalbiblesociety.org/god-prideful-demanding-worship/

https://www.gotquestions.org/Alexander-the-Great.html

https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/869-amazing-prophecy-in-the-book-of-daniel-an

https://www.charismanews.com/opinion/79857-this-christian-awakening-ended-slavery-in-america

https://townhall.com/columnists/dineshdsouza/2008/01/14/how-christians-ended-slavery-n962085

https://www.gotquestions.org/Christians-celebrate-Halloween.html

https://www1.cbn.com/questions/should-christians-celebrate-halloween

https://www.bibleinfo.com/en/questions/it-wrong-celebrate-halloween

The Pandemic of Fear

Today, with the current state of affairs, we are in a pandemic. Not just of Covid-19, or any other disease; but of fear. The most enslaving and compelling of emotions is fear. Especially in this current society, fear is the leading driver of most of our choices and decisions. The definition of fear is an unpleasant, often strong, emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.


From a worldly standpoint, it is possible for fear to be a positive thing. In the old days fear was used to keep people alive and safe. If you are stranded alone in the wilderness, your basic human instincts will take over, due to fear of dying, to try to keep you alive. 


One theory of [all emotions in general, but for this discussion, specifically] fear is a conceptualization of a situation. You conceptualize your current, or a potential future, situation and attach an emotion or definition to it in order for your brain to make sense of it. For example, if you are or potentially see yourself stranded in the wilderness, you attach the emotion of fear to it; specifically, unpleasant fear — horror, terror, or dread. As stated above, this is where your basic human instincts would kick in, to prevent harm and/or death to your being.


Continuing with this theory, there is an opposite to unpleasant fear; pleasant fear, or a thrill. We as humans, occasionally [or quite often for some] seek a thrill. Something that can be scary but supplies your production of adrenaline. Riding a roller coaster or skiing down a mountain are examples of a pleasant fear. There is danger, but overall fun.


Today, though, fear has become a lifestyle. We have become so frightened of everything. We fear the news, losing our jobs, death, sickness, aging, bugs, people, and loneliness, among many other things. Since 9/11, our biggest fear has been terrorism. Since early 2020, we’ve changed that to the Novell Coronavirus. When you add in political correctness, our society has become cowardly of every little thing. Although fear of the virus/terrorism, etc. does keep you from harm, it also prevents you from living your life. While human interaction has been changing over the last 20 years, it has dramatically changed now; and for the worse to many. We can’t live like this. It’s completely unsustainable. Suicide rates have risen over 30% in most states since 2000, and 60% worldwide since 1975. And rates are climbing, in large part, due to the pandemic lockdowns and lay-offs. There is a fine line when it comes to fear keeping you safe, and fear running your life, preventing you from living the idealized normal life.


Alternatively, from a spiritual standpoint, we are instructed not to fear anything or anyone except the almighty. Fear is associated with doubt and unbelief in the power, or entity, of the most high. As such, fear is a barrier that tries to separate us from God. In this way, fear is a sin. We are reminded that God is with us and can take care of our problems if we believe and trust in him. It is repeated 365 times in scripture to not fear. If we put God first and stand in sheer awe and reverence of his power and wonder; we have nothing to fear but the lord. No disease, no person, no weapon, no animal, no nothing. Many things can break our bodies, but only one thing can break our soul. “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather be afraid of Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)

God makes it perfectly clear that we should not fear. In fact, he goes one step further and tells us what to do with our fears: “casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].” (1 Peter 5:7) “Cast your burden on the Lord [release it] and He will sustain and uphold you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken (slip, fall, fail).” (Psalm 55:22)
When you give him your fears, (and your heart [yourself, your life]), and let him take care of them, he gives you peace. As the Apostle Paul wrote: “And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].” (Philipians 4:7)


Dealing with fear is a very difficult thing to do. It’s not something any of us can do overnight. It’s a constant journey. The more you give your fear to Jesus, the better things turn out; the more you want to give him your fears. As he said: “And who of you by worrying can add one hour to [the length of] his life?” (Matthew 6:27)


In this life, we’re going to get nervous about things. Our minds are going to start racing about different scenarios; thinking about all sorts of harm that could happen. The key is, when you catch yourself doing that, to remember that God has it handled. God can and will take care of it. As someone who has spent his whole life in fear, it is an arduous thing to break. But it does one no good to continue in fear and holding on to it. One person described why not to fear in the following three scenarios: Do you have a problem? No. Then don’t worry; Do you have a problem? Yes. Can you do something about it? No. Then don’t worry, you can’t do anything about it anyway; Do you have a problem? Yes. Can you do something about it? Yes. Then do it and stop worrying. When you look at it this way, it’s elementary. Of course, it’s always easier said than done. But that is part of the journey.


Fear and its derivatives: horror, petrification, terror, etc., are a waste of energy, and they rob you of your peace and happiness, as well as your ability to reason. The only thing that comes from fear is more fear. It becomes a vicious cycle. If you follow the news, you are instilled with fear. Certain interests plant the seeds of fear. When they fill you with fear, they can control you. If they can control you, they have you right where they want you. When people are full of fear, they are willing do anything to feel better. If you are willing to do anything, i.e. give up your freedom, your peace of mind, your faith; they win. Don’t let them win; God is stronger than they are.

Fear cuts deeper than swords.” ― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” ― Plato

Do not be afraid; our fate Cannot be taken from us; it is a gift.” ― Dante Alighieri, Inferno

A man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a short cut to meet it.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Children of Húrin

He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.”  ― Aristotle

Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”
― Francis Chan, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

“You have plenty of courage, I am sure,” answered Oz. “All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The True courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.” — [The Wizard speaking to the Cowardly Lion] L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fear
https://psychology.stackexchange.com/questions/10000/how-can-fear-be-a-positive-emotion
https://www.learning-mind.com/top-10-most-common-human-fears-and-phobias/
https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/suicide/index.html
http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-statistics.html
https://www.rt.com/news/488070-australia-us-coronavirus-suicide-spike/
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/acquainted-the-night/202003/will-covid-19-make-the-suicide-crisis-worse

The concept of Belief

The concept of belief is one of wonder–complete comfort to some, utter silliness to others. In this season of Lent leading up the the feast of Passover and the fulfillment of the Passover by the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ; some may feel a resurrection, so to speak, of their faith or are still searching for their faith. What does it mean to believe? What does it take to believe?

When one hears the word “believe,” they usually think religion or spiritualism. The definition of the word believe is: “to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so.” We all believe in something. We believe in how the world should look, how government and economics should function, historical events, what we want to do with our lives, what is right and what is wrong, etc. Therefore, the question of belief doesn’t just reside in the realm of spirituality and faith, but in all aspects of our lives. Naturally, this essay will cover the faith aspect. Whether you believe in the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; or not, you still believe in something. If you believe there is no spirituality at all, you still believe in something. If you believe that there IS spirituality, Judaeo-Christian, or otherwise, you believe in something. There is no one that believes in absolutely nothing. If there is, they’re not human.

To first believe, [in anything] especially in something bigger than us, a higher power if you will; you have to consciously want to. No one can make you consciously want do anything, not God, not people, not even the greatest spiritual adversary, the devil. They can only influence you. It ultimately comes down to your own conscious decision to believe. That’s the beauty of your free will that was endowed to you by your creator. Belief comes from a combination of different influences such as education, upbringing/environment, and experience.

Education can be attained via either of the two latter influences. Most people believe because they were influenced by their parents/guardians. They were raised in faith. They grew up being taught the greatest story ever told. And they go with it, they embrace it. However, for a number of reasons, some people that were raised in faith break away from it. Some come back, some unfortunately do not. So why do we choose to believe? Some people continue to believe because that’s all they know. It’s the simple life: eat, sleep, work, pray, repeat. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. The simple life has many virtues. After all “But godliness actually is a source of great gain when accompanied by contentment [that contentment which comes from a sense of inner confidence based on the sufficiency of God]. For we have brought nothing into the world, so [it is clear that] we cannot take anything out of it, either.” (1 Timothy 6:6-7) Others choose to believe due to an event that had happened in their lives…an experience.

Many believers probably would tell you they’ve never experienced anything supernatural. They’ve never felt the presence of God, or the warmth of Jesus’ love. But they still believe. If you’ve never felt anything, you’re not exiled from God. He’s still there with you. To experience the holy spirit, you have to have an open mind. And just like believing, you have to want to experience it. And to be sincere. Nothing can exile you from him. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39) If you can’t think of any experience; remember everyone has felt God at least once in their lives. At birth: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you [and approved of you as My chosen instrument], And before you were born I consecrated you [to Myself as My own]; I have appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

The apostle Paul, who wrote many of the new testament books and letters, was not always a Christian. He was born a Jew, more specifically, a Pharisee. The Pharisees despised Christians and were blinded by the law of the old testament ways. Paul set out to Damascus, Syria to find Christians and bring them to Jerusalem for punishment. On his way, A spotlight from heaven shines on him (Saul) [Paul’s birth name] during his travel and the voice of Jesus asks “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” (Acts 9:4) God strikes him blind and his traveling companions must lead him to the city. These events lead to his total repentance and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. God also heals him of his blindness. After his conversion, the same zeal and single-minded dedication Paul had against Christianity transforms into a hyperactive-like quest to spread the gospel worldwide.

Experiencing God doesn’t always have to be supernatural. Look at the natural beauty and wonder of the world God created. Everything is so mathematically precise. The golden ratio, which is the mathematical number 1.618 and can be explained as a spiral is found everywhere, from seashells to flowers, to the human body. It’s no wonder the golden ratio is referred to as God’s fingerprint. Physicists like Michio Kaku, admit to intelligent design. Kaku has stated, “I have concluded that we are in a world made by rules created by an intelligence. Believe me, everything that we call chance today won’t make sense anymore. To me, it is clear that we exist in a plan which is governed by rules that were created, shaped by a universal intelligence and not by chance.” If you want the experience, it will come to you.

So why believe in The living God, the father, the most high? Why not believe in a different deity?
“Aren‘t all religions fundamentally the same and superficially different? No, they are fundamentally different and at best they are superficially similar…you take a look at other world religions and see where these 4 questions are dealt with: origin, meaning, morality, and destiny. These 4 questions have to be answered in two ways: every particular answer has to correspond to truth either through empirical form of measurement or through the logical reasoning process. And when those four answers are put together they must cohere and not be incoherent. So the two tests correspondence and coherence, I guarantee you only in the Judaeo-Christian worldview will you find these four questions answered with corresponding truthfulness and with the coherence of a worldview. Let me take just one example and I don’t say this too slight but this is a fact and we have to deal with it…In the quran, it is the only historical acclaimed document that denies that Jesus Christ was actually crucified or died on the cross, denies that. The Greek historians say he died on the cross, Roman historians say that, Pagan historians say that, Jewish historians say that, and Christian historians say that. The Quran is the only one that says it appeared to him that he died but he didn’t actually die on the cross so historically it is making an affirmation that is really historically untrue. I got into a discussion with Sheikh Hussein of the leading Shiite cleric in Damascus…at the end of it Sheikh Hussein looked at me…and he said you know professor I think the time has come for us in the Islamic world to stop asking if Jesus Christ died and to start asking why…Origin, meaning, morality, and destiny. The Judaeo-Christian worldview is not the only one that claims exclusivity [that it’s the one true faith] but it’s the only one that takes those four questions with corresponding answers that are truthful and coherent answers that stand the test time and the ultimate answer of the resurrection from the dead that gives you hope and meaning.” — Ravi Zacharias

“There are three sources of belief: reason, custom, inspiration. The Christian religion, which alone has reason, does not acknowledge as her true children those who believe without inspiration. It is not that she excludes reason and custom. On the contrary, the mind must be opened to proofs, must be confirmed by custom, and offer itself in humbleness to inspirations, which alone can produce a true and saving effect. Ne evacuetur crux Christi.” — Blaise Pascal

Do your own research. Study the most perfect person who ever walked this Earth. Learn what he said, what he did, and how he lived. Read the new testament. Study what the apostles said about him. Understand it, elaborate on it, and meditate on it, as the bible says.

The concept of believing, for even the most devout believers, is a constant struggle. The constructs of the world are all too convincing that the present moment is all that matters, is and ever will be. Although, the constructs of the world can also be a stark reminder of the warnings and prophecies of belief, or lack thereof. It’s easy to think that if an opportunity is missed, that that type of opportunity is lost. If you miss out, you’ve lost so much. Those who believe can rest assured that the right opportunity will come at the right time and be taken. This takes faith. Belief walks hand in hand with faith. To quote Miracle on 34th street, “Faith is believing in something when common sense tells you not to.”

The key is the belief of salvation. That is faith in Jesus alone, that saved us from irredemption. It is our faith that gives us God’s love and grace. One question many ask: Why did Christ have to die for us to be saved, for us to receive God’s love and grace? The answer to this question could be an essay in itself, I believe Blaise Pascal explained it well: “The reason why. Types. – They had to deal with a carnal people and to render  them  the  depositary  of  the  spiritual  covenant.  To  give  faith  to  the  Mes-siah, it was necessary there should have been precedent prophesies, and that these should be conveyed by persons above suspicion, diligent, faithful, unusually zeal-ous, and known to all the world. To accomplish all this, God chose this carnal people, to whom He entrusted the  prophecies  which  foretell  the  Messiah  as  a  deliverer  and  as  a  dispenser  of  those carnal goods which this people loved. And thus they have had an extraor-dinary  passion  for  their  prophets  and,  in  sight  of  the  whole  world,  have  had  charge  of  these  books  which  foretell  their  Messiah,  assuring  all  nations  that  He  should  come  and  in  the  way  foretold  in  the  books,  which  they  held  open  to  the  whole world. Yet this people, deceived by the poor and ignominious advent of the  Messiah,  have  been  His  most  cruel  enemies.  So  that  they,  the  people  least  open to suspicion in the world of favouring us, the most strict and most zealous that  can  be  named  for  their  law  and  their  prophets,  have  kept  the  books  incor-rupt. Hence those who have rejected and crucified Jesus christ, who has been to them an offence, are those who have charge of the books which testify of Him, and state that He will be an offence and rejected. Therefore they have shown it was  He  by  rejecting  Him,  and  He  has  been  alike  proved  both  by  the  righteous  Jews  who  received  Him  and  by  the  unrighteous  who  rejected  Him,  both  facts  having been foretold. Wherefore the prophecies have a hidden and spiritual meaning to which this people  were  hostile,  under  the  carnal  meaning  which  they  loved.  If  the  spiritual  meaning  had  been  revealed,  they  would  not  have  loved  it,  and,  unable  to  bear  it,  they would not have been zealous of the preservation of their books and their cer-emonies; and if they had loved these spiritual promises, and had preserved them incorrupt  till  the  time  of  the  Messiah,  their  testimony  would  have  had  no  force,  because they had been his friends.Therefore it was well that the spiritual meaning should be concealed; but, on the other hand, if this meaning had been so hidden as not to appear at all, it could not  have  served  as  a  proof  of  the  Messiah.  What  then  was  done?  In  a  crowd  of  passages it has been hidden under the temporal meaning, and in a few been clearly revealed;  besides  that,  the  time  and  the  state  of  the  world  have  been  so  clearly  foretold  that  it  is  clearer  than  the  sun.  And  in  some  places  this  spiritual  meaning  is  so  clearly  expressed  that  it  would  require  a  blindness,  like  that  which  the  flesh  imposes on the spirit when it is subdued by it, not to recognise it. See,  then,  what  has  been  the  prudence  of  God.  This  meaning  is  concealed  under  another  in  an  infinite  number  of  passages,  and  in  some,  though  rarely,  it  is  revealed; but yet so that the passages in which it is concealed are equivocal and can suit both meanings; whereas the passages where it is disclosed are unequivocal and can only suit the spiritual meaning.
So  that  this  cannot  lead  us  into  error  and  could  only  be  misunderstood  by  so  carnal a people. For  when  blessings  are  promised  in  abundance,  what  was  to  prevent  them  from understanding the true blessings, but their covetousness, which limited the meaning to worldly goods? but those whose only good was in God referred them to God alone. For there are two principles, which divide the wills of men, covet-ousness  and  charity.  Not  that  covetousness  cannot  exist  along  with  faith  in  God,  nor charity with worldly riches; but covetousness uses God and enjoys the world, and charity is the opposite. Now  the  ultimate  end  gives  names  to  things.  All  which  prevents  us  from  attaining  it  is  called  an  enemy  to  us.  Thus  the  creatures,  however  good,  are  the  enemies of the righteous, when they turn them away from God, and God Himself is the enemy of those whose covetousness He confounds. Thus as the significance of the word enemy is dependent on the ultimate end, the righteous understood by it their passions, and the carnal the babylonians; and so these terms were obscure only for the unrighteous. And this is what Isaiah says: Signa legem in electis meis,* and that Jesus christ shall be a stone of stumbling. but, “Blessed are they who shall not be offended in him.” Hosea, 14. 9, says excellently, “Where is the wise? and he shall understand what I say. The righteous shall know them, for the ways of God are right; but the transgressors shall fall therein.” The law had to be established before grace could be enacted.

The love and grace of God doesn’t mean that you’ll be given God’s promises if you choose not to believe. 2 statements prove this. The first commandment: thou shalt not worship strange gods before me. This means you can’t put anything or anyone before God in your life. Not any other deity, not any worldly possession, not any other person. Put in a different way: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27) In order to do this, you must believe that God even exists, and that you want to serve him. The second statement is the most famous bible verse. You could even say it sums up the whole bible in on phrase: “For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] [a]only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

If you truly are unsure, you have nothing to lose. If you believe, and it turns out that the bible is true, you have everlasting life in paradise. If you believe, and it turns out there is nothing out there, you’ve still lived a noble, virtuous life. Which is still an accomplishment. “For My yoke is easy [to bear] and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30) If you want to know whether or not God exists, seek and you shall find. And remember: “Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, do you now believe? Blessed [happy, spiritually secure, and favored by God] are they who did not see [Me] and yet believed [in Me].” (John 20:29)

“Heaven and earth [as now known] will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)

One final note about faith and belief:
“The amazing thing about the human conscience is this: That even if you don’t believe what I’m saying, you believe what I’m saying. That even if you reject the truth of what I’m saying, there is rooted inside you a conviction which you can suppress with the years, but which is there nonetheless which is telling you that these things are so. And this truth is the truth which the scripture will not let us forget, that there is a last day.” — Derek Prince

https://www.biblestudy.org/beginner/learn-basic-bible-timeline/life-of-apostle-paul.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWY-6xBA0Pk

https://www.inquisitr.com/opinion/4441013/stephen-hawking-michio-kaku-and-other-scientists-on-god-the-existence-and-mind-of-god/

https://godmadeus.com/Create/fibonacci.php

Pascal’s Pensees: The Misery of Man Without God

The Amplified Holy Bible

The concept of Belief

The concept of belief is one of wonder–complete comfort to some, utter silliness to others. In this season of Lent leading up the the feast of Passover and the fulfillment of the Passover by the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ; some may feel a resurrection, so to speak, of their faith or are still searching for their faith. What does it mean to believe? What does it take to believe?

When one hears the word “believe,” they usually think religion or spiritualism. The definition of the word believe is: “to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so.” We all believe in something. We believe in how the world should look, how government and economics should function, historical events, what we want to do with our lives, what is right and what is wrong, etc. Therefore, the question of belief doesn’t just reside in the realm of spirituality and faith, but in all aspects of our lives. Naturally, this essay will cover the faith aspect. Whether you believe in the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; or not, you still believe in something. If you believe there is no spirituality at all, you still believe in something. If you believe that there IS spirituality, Judaeo-Christian, or otherwise, you believe in something. There is no one that believes in absolutely nothing. If there is, they’re not human.

To first believe, [in anything] especially in something bigger than us, a higher power if you will; you have to consciously want to. No one can make you consciously want do anything, not God, not people, not even the greatest spiritual adversary, the devil. They can only influence you. It ultimately comes down to your own conscious decision to believe. That’s the beauty of your free will that was endowed to you by your creator. Belief comes from a combination of different influences such as education, upbringing/environment, and experience.

Education can be attained via either of the two latter influences. Most people believe because they were influenced by their parents/guardians. They were raised in faith. They grew up being taught the greatest story ever told. And they go with it, they embrace it. However, for a number of reasons, some people that were raised in faith break away from it. Some come back, some unfortunately do not. So why do we choose to believe? Some people continue to believe because that’s all they know. It’s the simple life: eat, sleep, work, pray, repeat. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. The simple life has many virtues. After all “But godliness actually is a source of great gain when accompanied by contentment [that contentment which comes from a sense of inner confidence based on the sufficiency of God]. For we have brought nothing into the world, so [it is clear that] we cannot take anything out of it, either.” (1 Timothy 6:6-7) Others choose to believe due to an event that had happened in their lives…an experience.

Many believers probably would tell you they’ve never experienced anything supernatural. They’ve never felt the presence of God, or the warmth of Jesus’ love. But they still believe. If you’ve never felt anything, you’re not exiled from God. He’s still there with you. To experience the holy spirit, you have to have an open mind. And just like believing, you have to want to experience it. And to be sincere. Nothing can exile you from him. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39) If you can’t think of any experience; remember everyone has felt God at least once in their lives. At birth: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you [and approved of you as My chosen instrument], And before you were born I consecrated you [to Myself as My own]; I have appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

The apostle Paul, who wrote many of the new testament books and letters, was not always a Christian. He was born a Jew, more specifically, a Pharisee. The Pharisees despised Christians and were blinded by the law of the old testament ways. Paul set out to Damascus, Syria to find Christians and bring them to Jerusalem for punishment. On his way, A spotlight from heaven shines on him (Saul) [Paul’s birth name] during his travel and the voice of Jesus asks “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” (Acts 9:4) God strikes him blind and his traveling companions must lead him to the city. These events lead to his total repentance and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. God also heals him of his blindness. After his conversion, the same zeal and single-minded dedication Paul had against Christianity transforms into a hyperactive-like quest to spread the gospel worldwide.

Experiencing God doesn’t always have to be supernatural. Look at the natural beauty and wonder of the world God created. Everything is so mathematically precise. The golden ratio, which is the mathematical number 1.618 and can be explained as a spiral is found everywhere, from seashells to flowers, to the human body. It’s no wonder the golden ratio is referred to as God’s fingerprint. Physicists like Michio Kaku, admit to intelligent design. Kaku has stated, “I have concluded that we are in a world made by rules created by an intelligence. Believe me, everything that we call chance today won’t make sense anymore. To me, it is clear that we exist in a plan which is governed by rules that were created, shaped by a universal intelligence and not by chance.” If you want the experience, it will come to you.

So why believe in The living God, the father, the most high? Why not believe in a different deity?
“Aren‘t all religions fundamentally the same and superficially different? No, they are fundamentally different and at best they are superficially similar…you take a look at other world religions and see where these 4 questions are dealt with: origin, meaning, morality, and destiny. These 4 questions have to be answered in two ways: every particular answer has to correspond to truth either through empirical form of measurement or through the logical reasoning process. And when those four answers are put together they must cohere and not be incoherent. So the two tests correspondence and coherence, I guarantee you only in the Judaeo-Christian worldview will you find these four questions answered with corresponding truthfulness and with the coherence of a worldview. Let me take just one example and I don’t say this too slight but this is a fact and we have to deal with it…In the quran, it is the only historical acclaimed document that denies that Jesus Christ was actually crucified or died on the cross, denies that. The Greek historians say he died on the cross, Roman historians say that, Pagan historians say that, Jewish historians say that, and Christian historians say that. The Quran is the only one that says it appeared to him that he died but he didn’t actually die on the cross so historically it is making an affirmation that is really historically untrue. I got into a discussion with Sheikh Hussein of the leading Shiite cleric in Damascus…at the end of it Sheikh Hussein looked at me…and he said you know professor I think the time has come for us in the Islamic world to stop asking if Jesus Christ died and to start asking why…Origin, meaning, morality, and destiny. The Judaeo-Christian worldview is not the only one that claims exclusivity [that it’s the one true faith] but it’s the only one that takes those four questions with corresponding answers that are truthful and coherent answers that stand the test time and the ultimate answer of the resurrection from the dead that gives you hope and meaning.” — Ravi Zacharias

“There are three sources of belief: reason, custom, inspiration. The Christian religion, which alone has reason, does not acknowledge as her true children those who believe without inspiration. It is not that she excludes reason and custom. On the contrary, the mind must be opened to proofs, must be confirmed by custom, and offer itself in humbleness to inspirations, which alone can produce a true and saving effect. Ne evacuetur crux Christi.” — Blaise Pascal

Do your own research. Study the most perfect person who ever walked this Earth. Learn what he said, what he did, and how he lived. Read the new testament. Study what the apostles said about him. Understand it, elaborate on it, and meditate on it, as the bible says.

The concept of believing, for even the most devout believers, is a constant struggle. The constructs of the world are all too convincing that the present moment is all that matters, is and ever will be. Although, the constructs of the world can also be a stark reminder of the warnings and prophecies of belief, or lack thereof. It’s easy to think that if an opportunity is missed, that that type of opportunity is lost. If you miss out, you’ve lost so much. Those who believe can rest assured that the right opportunity will come at the right time and be taken. This takes faith. Belief walks hand in hand with faith. To quote Miracle on 34th street, “Faith is believing in something when common sense tells you not to.”

The key is the belief of salvation. That is faith in Jesus alone, that saved us from irredemption. It is our faith that gives us God’s love and grace. One question many ask: Why did Christ have to die for us to be saved, for us to receive God’s love and grace? The answer to this question could be an essay in itself, I believe Blaise Pascal explained it well: “The reason why. Types. – They had to deal with a carnal people and to render  them  the  depositary  of  the  spiritual  covenant.  To  give  faith  to  the  Mes-siah, it was necessary there should have been precedent prophesies, and that these should be conveyed by persons above suspicion, diligent, faithful, unusually zeal-ous, and known to all the world. To accomplish all this, God chose this carnal people, to whom He entrusted the  prophecies  which  foretell  the  Messiah  as  a  deliverer  and  as  a  dispenser  of  those carnal goods which this people loved. And thus they have had an extraor-dinary  passion  for  their  prophets  and,  in  sight  of  the  whole  world,  have  had  charge  of  these  books  which  foretell  their  Messiah,  assuring  all  nations  that  He  should  come  and  in  the  way  foretold  in  the  books,  which  they  held  open  to  the  whole world. Yet this people, deceived by the poor and ignominious advent of the  Messiah,  have  been  His  most  cruel  enemies.  So  that  they,  the  people  least  open to suspicion in the world of favouring us, the most strict and most zealous that  can  be  named  for  their  law  and  their  prophets,  have  kept  the  books  incor-rupt. Hence those who have rejected and crucified Jesus christ, who has been to them an offence, are those who have charge of the books which testify of Him, and state that He will be an offence and rejected. Therefore they have shown it was  He  by  rejecting  Him,  and  He  has  been  alike  proved  both  by  the  righteous  Jews  who  received  Him  and  by  the  unrighteous  who  rejected  Him,  both  facts  having been foretold. Wherefore the prophecies have a hidden and spiritual meaning to which this people  were  hostile,  under  the  carnal  meaning  which  they  loved.  If  the  spiritual  meaning  had  been  revealed,  they  would  not  have  loved  it,  and,  unable  to  bear  it,  they would not have been zealous of the preservation of their books and their cer-emonies; and if they had loved these spiritual promises, and had preserved them incorrupt  till  the  time  of  the  Messiah,  their  testimony  would  have  had  no  force,  because they had been his friends.Therefore it was well that the spiritual meaning should be concealed; but, on the other hand, if this meaning had been so hidden as not to appear at all, it could not  have  served  as  a  proof  of  the  Messiah.  What  then  was  done?  In  a  crowd  of  passages it has been hidden under the temporal meaning, and in a few been clearly revealed;  besides  that,  the  time  and  the  state  of  the  world  have  been  so  clearly  foretold  that  it  is  clearer  than  the  sun.  And  in  some  places  this  spiritual  meaning  is  so  clearly  expressed  that  it  would  require  a  blindness,  like  that  which  the  flesh  imposes on the spirit when it is subdued by it, not to recognise it. See,  then,  what  has  been  the  prudence  of  God.  This  meaning  is  concealed  under  another  in  an  infinite  number  of  passages,  and  in  some,  though  rarely,  it  is  revealed; but yet so that the passages in which it is concealed are equivocal and can suit both meanings; whereas the passages where it is disclosed are unequivocal and can only suit the spiritual meaning.
So  that  this  cannot  lead  us  into  error  and  could  only  be  misunderstood  by  so  carnal a people. For  when  blessings  are  promised  in  abundance,  what  was  to  prevent  them  from understanding the true blessings, but their covetousness, which limited the meaning to worldly goods? but those whose only good was in God referred them to God alone. For there are two principles, which divide the wills of men, covet-ousness  and  charity.  Not  that  covetousness  cannot  exist  along  with  faith  in  God,  nor charity with worldly riches; but covetousness uses God and enjoys the world, and charity is the opposite. Now  the  ultimate  end  gives  names  to  things.  All  which  prevents  us  from  attaining  it  is  called  an  enemy  to  us.  Thus  the  creatures,  however  good,  are  the  enemies of the righteous, when they turn them away from God, and God Himself is the enemy of those whose covetousness He confounds. Thus as the significance of the word enemy is dependent on the ultimate end, the righteous understood by it their passions, and the carnal the babylonians; and so these terms were obscure only for the unrighteous. And this is what Isaiah says: Signa legem in electis meis,* and that Jesus christ shall be a stone of stumbling. but, “Blessed are they who shall not be offended in him.” Hosea, 14. 9, says excellently, “Where is the wise? and he shall understand what I say. The righteous shall know them, for the ways of God are right; but the transgressors shall fall therein.” The law had to be established before grace could be enacted.

The love and grace of God doesn’t mean that you’ll be given God’s promises if you choose not to believe. 2 statements prove this. The first commandment: thou shalt not worship strange gods before me. This means you can’t put anything or anyone before God in your life. Not any other deity, not any worldly possession, not any other person. Put in a different way: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27) In order to do this, you must believe that God even exists, and that you want to serve him. The second statement is the most famous bible verse. You could even say it sums up the whole bible in on phrase: “For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] [a]only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

If you truly are unsure, you have nothing to lose. If you believe, and it turns out that the bible is true, you have everlasting life in paradise. If you believe, and it turns out there is nothing out there, you’ve still lived a noble, virtuous life. Which is still an accomplishment. “For My yoke is easy [to bear] and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30) If you want to know whether or not God exists, seek and you shall find. And remember: “Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, do you now believe? Blessed [happy, spiritually secure, and favored by God] are they who did not see [Me] and yet believed [in Me].” (John 20:29)

“Heaven and earth [as now known] will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)

One final note about faith and belief:
“The amazing thing about the human conscience is this: That even if you don’t believe what I’m saying, you believe what I’m saying. That even if you reject the truth of what I’m saying, there is rooted inside you a conviction which you can suppress with the years, but which is there nonetheless which is telling you that these things are so. And this truth is the truth which the scripture will not let us forget, that there is a last day.” — Derek Prince

https://www.biblestudy.org/beginner/learn-basic-bible-timeline/life-of-apostle-paul.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWY-6xBA0Pk

https://www.inquisitr.com/opinion/4441013/stephen-hawking-michio-kaku-and-other-scientists-on-god-the-existence-and-mind-of-god/

https://godmadeus.com/Create/fibonacci.php

Pascal’s Pensees: The Misery of Man Without God

The Amplified Holy Bible

The concept of Belief

The concept of belief is one of wonder–complete comfort to some, utter silliness to others. In this season of Lent leading up the the feast of Passover and the fulfillment of the Passover by the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ; some may feel a resurrection, so to speak, of their faith or are still searching for their faith. What does it mean to believe? What does it take to believe?

When one hears the word “believe,” they usually think religion or spiritualism. The definition of the word believe is: “to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so.” We all believe in something. We believe in how the world should look, how government and economics should function, historical events, what we want to do with our lives, what is right and what is wrong, etc. Therefore, the question of belief doesn’t just reside in the realm of spirituality and faith, but in all aspects of our lives. Naturally, this essay will cover the faith aspect. Whether you believe in the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; or not, you still believe in something. If you believe there is no spirituality at all, you still believe in something. If you believe that there IS spirituality, Judaeo-Christian, or otherwise, you believe in something. There is no one that believes in absolutely nothing. If there is, they’re not human.

To first believe, [in anything] especially in something bigger than us, a higher power if you will; you have to consciously want to. No one can make you consciously want do anything, not God, not people, not even the greatest spiritual adversary, the devil. They can only influence you. It ultimately comes down to your own conscious decision to believe. That’s the beauty of your free will that was endowed to you by your creator. Belief comes from a combination of different influences such as education, upbringing/environment, and experience.

Education can be attained via either of the two latter influences. Most people believe because they were influenced by their parents/guardians. They were raised in faith. They grew up being taught the greatest story ever told. And they go with it, they embrace it. However, for a number of reasons, some people that were raised in faith break away from it. Some come back, some unfortunately do not. So why do we choose to believe? Some people continue to believe because that’s all they know. It’s the simple life: eat, sleep, work, pray, repeat. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. The simple life has many virtues. After all “But godliness actually is a source of great gain when accompanied by contentment [that contentment which comes from a sense of inner confidence based on the sufficiency of God]. For we have brought nothing into the world, so [it is clear that] we cannot take anything out of it, either.” (1 Timothy 6:6-7) Others choose to believe due to an event that had happened in their lives…an experience.

Many believers probably would tell you they’ve never experienced anything supernatural. They’ve never felt the presence of God, or the warmth of Jesus’ love. But they still believe. If you’ve never felt anything, you’re not exiled from God. He’s still there with you. To experience the holy spirit, you have to have an open mind. And just like believing, you have to want to experience it. And to be sincere. Nothing can exile you from him. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39) If you can’t think of any experience; remember everyone has felt God at least once in their lives. At birth: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you [and approved of you as My chosen instrument], And before you were born I consecrated you [to Myself as My own]; I have appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

The apostle Paul, who wrote many of the new testament books and letters, was not always a Christian. He was born a Jew, more specifically, a Pharisee. The Pharisees despised Christians and were blinded by the law of the old testament ways. Paul set out to Damascus, Syria to find Christians and bring them to Jerusalem for punishment. On his way, A spotlight from heaven shines on him (Saul) [Paul’s birth name] during his travel and the voice of Jesus asks “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” (Acts 9:4) God strikes him blind and his traveling companions must lead him to the city. These events lead to his total repentance and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. God also heals him of his blindness. After his conversion, the same zeal and single-minded dedication Paul had against Christianity transforms into a hyperactive-like quest to spread the gospel worldwide.

Experiencing God doesn’t always have to be supernatural. Look at the natural beauty and wonder of the world God created. Everything is so mathematically precise. The golden ratio, which is the mathematical number 1.618 and can be explained as a spiral is found everywhere, from seashells to flowers, to the human body. It’s no wonder the golden ratio is referred to as God’s fingerprint. Physicists like Michio Kaku, admit to intelligent design. Kaku has stated, “I have concluded that we are in a world made by rules created by an intelligence. Believe me, everything that we call chance today won’t make sense anymore. To me, it is clear that we exist in a plan which is governed by rules that were created, shaped by a universal intelligence and not by chance.” If you want the experience, it will come to you.

So why believe in The living God, the father, the most high? Why not believe in a different deity?
“Aren‘t all religions fundamentally the same and superficially different? No, they are fundamentally different and at best they are superficially similar…you take a look at other world religions and see where these 4 questions are dealt with: origin, meaning, morality, and destiny. These 4 questions have to be answered in two ways: every particular answer has to correspond to truth either through empirical form of measurement or through the logical reasoning process. And when those four answers are put together they must cohere and not be incoherent. So the two tests correspondence and coherence, I guarantee you only in the Judaeo-Christian worldview will you find these four questions answered with corresponding truthfulness and with the coherence of a worldview. Let me take just one example and I don’t say this too slight but this is a fact and we have to deal with it…In the quran, it is the only historical acclaimed document that denies that Jesus Christ was actually crucified or died on the cross, denies that. The Greek historians say he died on the cross, Roman historians say that, Pagan historians say that, Jewish historians say that, and Christian historians say that. The Quran is the only one that says it appeared to him that he died but he didn’t actually die on the cross so historically it is making an affirmation that is really historically untrue. I got into a discussion with Sheikh Hussein of the leading Shiite cleric in Damascus…at the end of it Sheikh Hussein looked at me…and he said you know professor I think the time has come for us in the Islamic world to stop asking if Jesus Christ died and to start asking why…Origin, meaning, morality, and destiny. The Judaeo-Christian worldview is not the only one that claims exclusivity [that it’s the one true faith] but it’s the only one that takes those four questions with corresponding answers that are truthful and coherent answers that stand the test time and the ultimate answer of the resurrection from the dead that gives you hope and meaning.” — Ravi Zacharias

“There are three sources of belief: reason, custom, inspiration. The Christian religion, which alone has reason, does not acknowledge as her true children those who believe without inspiration. It is not that she excludes reason and custom. On the contrary, the mind must be opened to proofs, must be confirmed by custom, and offer itself in humbleness to inspirations, which alone can produce a true and saving effect. Ne evacuetur crux Christi.” — Blaise Pascal

Do your own research. Study the most perfect person who ever walked this Earth. Learn what he said, what he did, and how he lived. Read the new testament. Study what the apostles said about him. Understand it, elaborate on it, and meditate on it, as the bible says.

The concept of believing, for even the most devout believers, is a constant struggle. The constructs of the world are all too convincing that the present moment is all that matters, is and ever will be. Although, the constructs of the world can also be a stark reminder of the warnings and prophecies of belief, or lack thereof. It’s easy to think that if an opportunity is missed, that that type of opportunity is lost. If you miss out, you’ve lost so much. Those who believe can rest assured that the right opportunity will come at the right time and be taken. This takes faith. Belief walks hand in hand with faith. To quote Miracle on 34th street, “Faith is believing in something when common sense tells you not to.”

The key is the belief of salvation. That is faith in Jesus alone, that saved us from irredemption. It is our faith that gives us God’s love and grace. One question many ask: Why did Christ have to die for us to be saved, for us to receive God’s love and grace? The answer to this question could be an essay in itself, I believe Blaise Pascal explained it well: “The reason why. Types. – They had to deal with a carnal people and to render  them  the  depositary  of  the  spiritual  covenant.  To  give  faith  to  the  Mes-siah, it was necessary there should have been precedent prophesies, and that these should be conveyed by persons above suspicion, diligent, faithful, unusually zeal-ous, and known to all the world. To accomplish all this, God chose this carnal people, to whom He entrusted the  prophecies  which  foretell  the  Messiah  as  a  deliverer  and  as  a  dispenser  of  those carnal goods which this people loved. And thus they have had an extraor-dinary  passion  for  their  prophets  and,  in  sight  of  the  whole  world,  have  had  charge  of  these  books  which  foretell  their  Messiah,  assuring  all  nations  that  He  should  come  and  in  the  way  foretold  in  the  books,  which  they  held  open  to  the  whole world. Yet this people, deceived by the poor and ignominious advent of the  Messiah,  have  been  His  most  cruel  enemies.  So  that  they,  the  people  least  open to suspicion in the world of favouring us, the most strict and most zealous that  can  be  named  for  their  law  and  their  prophets,  have  kept  the  books  incor-rupt. Hence those who have rejected and crucified Jesus christ, who has been to them an offence, are those who have charge of the books which testify of Him, and state that He will be an offence and rejected. Therefore they have shown it was  He  by  rejecting  Him,  and  He  has  been  alike  proved  both  by  the  righteous  Jews  who  received  Him  and  by  the  unrighteous  who  rejected  Him,  both  facts  having been foretold. Wherefore the prophecies have a hidden and spiritual meaning to which this people  were  hostile,  under  the  carnal  meaning  which  they  loved.  If  the  spiritual  meaning  had  been  revealed,  they  would  not  have  loved  it,  and,  unable  to  bear  it,  they would not have been zealous of the preservation of their books and their cer-emonies; and if they had loved these spiritual promises, and had preserved them incorrupt  till  the  time  of  the  Messiah,  their  testimony  would  have  had  no  force,  because they had been his friends.Therefore it was well that the spiritual meaning should be concealed; but, on the other hand, if this meaning had been so hidden as not to appear at all, it could not  have  served  as  a  proof  of  the  Messiah.  What  then  was  done?  In  a  crowd  of  passages it has been hidden under the temporal meaning, and in a few been clearly revealed;  besides  that,  the  time  and  the  state  of  the  world  have  been  so  clearly  foretold  that  it  is  clearer  than  the  sun.  And  in  some  places  this  spiritual  meaning  is  so  clearly  expressed  that  it  would  require  a  blindness,  like  that  which  the  flesh  imposes on the spirit when it is subdued by it, not to recognise it. See,  then,  what  has  been  the  prudence  of  God.  This  meaning  is  concealed  under  another  in  an  infinite  number  of  passages,  and  in  some,  though  rarely,  it  is  revealed; but yet so that the passages in which it is concealed are equivocal and can suit both meanings; whereas the passages where it is disclosed are unequivocal and can only suit the spiritual meaning.
So  that  this  cannot  lead  us  into  error  and  could  only  be  misunderstood  by  so  carnal a people. For  when  blessings  are  promised  in  abundance,  what  was  to  prevent  them  from understanding the true blessings, but their covetousness, which limited the meaning to worldly goods? but those whose only good was in God referred them to God alone. For there are two principles, which divide the wills of men, covet-ousness  and  charity.  Not  that  covetousness  cannot  exist  along  with  faith  in  God,  nor charity with worldly riches; but covetousness uses God and enjoys the world, and charity is the opposite. Now  the  ultimate  end  gives  names  to  things.  All  which  prevents  us  from  attaining  it  is  called  an  enemy  to  us.  Thus  the  creatures,  however  good,  are  the  enemies of the righteous, when they turn them away from God, and God Himself is the enemy of those whose covetousness He confounds. Thus as the significance of the word enemy is dependent on the ultimate end, the righteous understood by it their passions, and the carnal the babylonians; and so these terms were obscure only for the unrighteous. And this is what Isaiah says: Signa legem in electis meis,* and that Jesus christ shall be a stone of stumbling. but, “Blessed are they who shall not be offended in him.” Hosea, 14. 9, says excellently, “Where is the wise? and he shall understand what I say. The righteous shall know them, for the ways of God are right; but the transgressors shall fall therein.” The law had to be established before grace could be enacted.

The love and grace of God doesn’t mean that you’ll be given God’s promises if you choose not to believe. 2 statements prove this. The first commandment: thou shalt not worship strange gods before me. This means you can’t put anything or anyone before God in your life. Not any other deity, not any worldly possession, not any other person. Put in a different way: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27) In order to do this, you must believe that God even exists, and that you want to serve him. The second statement is the most famous bible verse. You could even say it sums up the whole bible in on phrase: “For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] [a]only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

If you truly are unsure, you have nothing to lose. If you believe, and it turns out that the bible is true, you have everlasting life in paradise. If you believe, and it turns out there is nothing out there, you’ve still lived a noble, virtuous life. Which is still an accomplishment. “For My yoke is easy [to bear] and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30) If you want to know whether or not God exists, seek and you shall find. And remember: “Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, do you now believe? Blessed [happy, spiritually secure, and favored by God] are they who did not see [Me] and yet believed [in Me].” (John 20:29)

“Heaven and earth [as now known] will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)

One final note about faith and belief:
“The amazing thing about the human conscience is this: That even if you don’t believe what I’m saying, you believe what I’m saying. That even if you reject the truth of what I’m saying, there is rooted inside you a conviction which you can suppress with the years, but which is there nonetheless which is telling you that these things are so. And this truth is the truth which the scripture will not let us forget, that there is a last day.” — Derek Prince

https://www.biblestudy.org/beginner/learn-basic-bible-timeline/life-of-apostle-paul.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWY-6xBA0Pk

https://www.inquisitr.com/opinion/4441013/stephen-hawking-michio-kaku-and-other-scientists-on-god-the-existence-and-mind-of-god/

https://godmadeus.com/Create/fibonacci.php

Pascal’s Pensees: The Misery of Man Without God

The Amplified Holy Bible

My Experience with the Dark Night of the Soul

This essay has been brewing for some time. It discusses a very controversial topic —
unorthodox, and ridiculed, often. If such topics bother you or if reading about someone’s belief in
Christ disgusts you, please do not read this. I’ve never been one to gush and preach about faith, but this
is so profound and life changing, it alters the way you think and perceive the material realm. To
preface, 2019 hasn’t been a very good year for myself and my family. This isn’t a pity party, this is just
a statement of fact. (Please spare your sympathy. This is meant to be helpful and informational.) But
these troubling times — to say the least — have provided for a silver lining that may otherwise have not
been attainable. I choose to write this not to boast and sit on my high horse, but in the hopes that it may
be useful and helpful to anyone else experiencing a similar situation. To begin lets examine what the
Dark Night of the Soul is.

The Dark Night of the Soul is a spiritual crisis in the journey toward union with God. The term
was coined initially by St. John of the Cross. He wrote an eight-stanza poem which outlines the soul’s
journey from the distractions and entanglements of the world to the perfect peace and harmony of
union with God. According to the poet, the “dark night of the soul” is synonymous with traveling the
“narrow way” that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 7:13-14. The monk taught that one seeking God will cast
off all attachments to this world and live a life of austerity. Before attaining union with God, however,
the soul must pass through a personal experience of Christ’s passion. This time of testing and agony is
accompanied by confusion, fear, and uncertainty—including doubts of God—but on the other side are
Christ’s glory, serenity, and a mystical union with God. The dark night is not a pleasant experience, but
in the end it allows one to approach nearer to God and His love, the poet calls it a “happy night” and a
“night more lovely than the dawn.” At the end of one’s journey, he concludes, God takes away all
feeling, leaving the traveler senseless to everything except the presence of God Himself.

To put it in another, rather nerdy, way the Dark Night of the Soul is the path of the Jedi, and the
Cave of Evil that Luke Skywalker enters when training with Yoda, in The Empire Strikes Back. It has
only what you take with you (yourself and your faith), and you won’t need any physical weapons as
they will be useless against the spiritual temptation. It is the time where you are tried and tempted the
most in your faith. You will find out just how strong your faith truly is during this period. In addition,
once feeling is taken away, there is just you and The Force — God. You really only have two options
presented to you during this period. You either fall on your knees and ask him to stay with you (resist
the dark side and remain in the light), or you stand up, brush yourself off, and walk away rejecting him
(join the dark side). I chose to ask him to stay.

My Dark Night started in April of 2019, after 3 deaths within 6 months. 2 within the same
month. The death of a close person is rough for anyone; multiply that by 3. But in addition, in the midst
of all that, when you finally come to the realization that you’ve lost the two most important and
influential people in your life, the 2 people who have done the most for you and your development and
pulled you out of your shell, the only two people you’ve really felt close to, it takes an extremely high
toll upon you — physically, spiritually, and especially mentally and emotionally. Though, I still do and
always will love them dearly. I’m an extremely solitary person, almost socially inept. I’m quite content
being at home or in nature away from society and the rest of the world. I always have been, and I
probably always will be. I’ve never been one for travel, either. To quote George Harrison, “The farther
one travels, the less one knows.” I’ve stuck to this lyric ever since I first heard that song and understood
what it meant. However, I do enjoy venturing out into society from time to time.

Going up into space and looking at the earth, climbing Mt. Everest and gazing out into the
horizon, and diving to the deepest depths of the oceans all are great and exhilarating ways to realize
how insignificant the petty squabbles of day-to-day life are and how small you are in this universe. But
you don’t have to do those things to realize that. When you look at the divine beauty of nature and the
natural world around you, meditate on the gospel, and let the rest of the world pass you by, you achieve
the same realization. Needless to say, I have no issue with being alone. But I do have an issue with
being lonely, as many, many people around the world do. I’ve never felt so low and lonely as I have this
past year, an emotional ‘Rock Bottom’ if you will. You’re surrounded by people — even loved ones, but
you are completely numb, empty and isolated inside. And this is where the dark night starts. I feel it’s
when you hit a type rock bottom; physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional, that you truly find your
faith. For me it’s the emotional rock bottom that started the process.

For months I was completely depressed. The Dark Night does feel like the typical mental
disorder of Depression. And it may be that some people are mis-diagnosed as just being depressed and
are medicated as such. In fact, I truly believe that, putting the second coming aside, if Jesus were to
return today and continue preaching the gospel as he did 2000 years ago, instead of being labeled a
blasphemous heretic, and crucified, he would be labeled mentally ill and be medicated to the point of
overdose. I think depression is definitely a part of the dark night, but it is a depression that comes and
goes. There are days which I feel like everything is going completely bonkers. In fact I’ve asked myself
many times if today, do I keep going, or is this the day I become a recluse? And there are days with
complete happiness. Sadly, the days of happiness are few and far between. The first time I felt even a
small amount better was when I visited a botanical garden. Naturally, it was being surrounded by nature
that made me feel better. But that soon changed, when I lost my cat. Some people see their pets as their
children, I don’t agree with this. My pet is my friend, my companion. This cat had been with me for 18
years, majority of my life. Needless to say, I lost a beloved friend. Another thing I’ve dealt with and
continue to deal with is that I’ve never felt like I’ve truly fit in anywhere. There is nowhere I belong. I’m
an outsider, the odd man out. The dark night has amplified this, but I think it has also explained it. Be
in this world, but not of it.

After the first 2 months, I asked Jesus to help me. I clung to my faith. It sounds very cliché, but
it works. The point of epiphany is when you come to the realization that it’s all real. The gospel that is.
This didn’t come until sometime after this. This isn’t believing it’s all real, it’s beyond that. I know he’s
real; it’s very profound and difficult to explain and convey. It’s more of a sense of feeling and knowing.
I’ve never seen Jesus with my own eyes, or heard his voice. But I feel, what I believe to be the holy
spirit and his presence. With this feeling, this sense of ease that has continued to come over me, I know
it all to be true. The definition of faith is believing in something you can’t see, beyond the physical.
This is knowing something you can’t see, beyond the physical. It’s a revelation, if you will.

I don’t know if the original writings of the gospel have been lost in translation. I don’t know if
the original writings were concealed and manipulated. I don’t know if the organization has been co-
opted by those who seek to destroy it. There is evidence pointing to the correspondence of these, but
that is irrelevant right now. All I do know is that he is the one. As he said, ‘the truth the way and the
life.’ And that’s all that matters. Jesus DID come down here to teach the way, and sacrifice himself to
keep us all from pain, suffering, and damnation. And with that, you realize that this entire realm, this
world/universe and everything in it; is fake. It’s not real, and it doesn’t matter. This is just a waiting
room and we are all waiting for the real world to start.

With all of the death, and suffering, I’ve grieved more in this last year than in all of my years
prior combined. And I know I will have more grieving to do, especially on this path. We all grieve,
sadly it’s a part of this life. Just like with the path of the Jedi; emotions lead to the dark side. The Jedi
code states: There is no emotion; there is peace. There is no ignorance; there is knowledge. There is no
passion; There is serenity. There is no death; there is only the Force. Emotions cloud your judgment,
especially negative ones such as fear. When you have an emotional attachment to something, you fear
for it. “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to
suffering.” Many of our haste and rash decisions are made out of fear. The dark night and Christianity
in general as well as the Jedi code, teach: walk by faith, not sight. Being a follower of Christ is hard. I
hesitate to say it’s not for everyone as he welcomes all; you have to let go of a lot. You have to believe
in things you can’t see or explain, you have to be the best person you can be, among other
requirements. But the reward far outweighs the pain. A life full of peace, prosperity and love, where all
of your dreams and desires come true. It’s completely liberating and comforting to let the world pass
you by and just be, when you know this. No stress or concerns of the world. You just are, and enjoy it.
This is something I continue to learn, not only to just be, but to walk in faith, and not with sight.

I’m not saying I’m super-human and above all of this. I’m still human. I still err. I still yearn, I
still dream, I still long. Such as a nice home surrounded by the forest, preferably in the mountains; to be
left alone from the hustle and bustle, and fast paced, heartless demands of the rest of the world; and
especially for what I want most, what I’ve wanted, more than anything else my whole life and would
give/do almost anything to obtain it. And though I see her every time I close my eyes, I’ve come to
accept the fact that I may never physically see her in this life. So I keep reminding and reassuring
myself that my reward is in the Kingdom of Heaven. What I want in this life isn’t always what God
wants for me in this life. But I have God’s love, and Jesus’ love. And that is the most important love of
all. If that’s God’s will that that’s all I’m able to have in this realm, then that will have to suffice. I’m still
in my shell. And I probably will never fully be out of it. But walking in faith means to be comfortable
knowing that God has it handled. This is an extremely difficult thing to do, one that I’m still working
on. Let go and let God.

One thing I’ve learned from this is that I know now that I am not alone. He is always with me,
as he is always with all of us. Another is: Life is very short. I’ve seen other people whom I wasn’t close
to, pass away. Some fairly young. We all know life is short, but it’s different to actually realize it. I’ve
also come up with a phrase, that may be worthy of being a psalm: “Do not be impatient or angry. If
something is lost, let it be lost for my reward is in the kingdom of heaven.” It gets better, at some point.
You just have to be able to let go. As stated previously, life is too short. Letting go helps to rearrange
your mind and realize what is truly important to you. It’s hard, trust me. There are days where I leave
everything up to him and it usually works out. And there are days where I try to take control of
everything and it usually doesn’t work out so well. It’s a learning process. You have to believe and have
faith in something bigger than yourself. Bigger than day-to-day life — bigger than the constructs of
society. You also learn that life is not about what you want, but about helping others in whatever way
that aligns with your personality/faith/talents/circumstances. For me, I like helping people through
nature via homeopathic medicine, etc; or moral support. But anything that helps others is what counts.
Even if they don’t deserve your help. You don’t do it for them; you do it for yourself. We say this every
time we recite the lord’s prayer — forgive us of our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against
us. But do we do it?

I know I’m still in this dark night. How long does it last? Some people say a few weeks or
months. Some people say a few years. The best answer is: as long as it has to. As long as it takes.
Maybe this is what it means to be born again. I don’t know. I don’t think it’s necessary to experience a dark night of the soul to know God, or to be saved. After all, anyone who truly believes and professes with their mouth that Jesus walked this Earth, taught the gospel, and died for us; is saved. It just helps the people who need it. I needed it. I don’t know why — but I did. This is definitely the path least
traveled. It’s excruciatingly painful for the ego but this is the life I’ve chosen — or rather, it chose me.
Going through a dark night doesn’t necessarily mean you are of the Christian faith. Sometimes it’s just a
spiritual crisis for those who don’t subscribe to an established spirituality. I’m not a super evangelist.
I’m not gonna persecute anyone who doesn’t accept Jesus. Just remember, he’s always there whenever
you’re ready. He was for me.

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn:
for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they
which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for
they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the
peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for
righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and
persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be
exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were
before you.

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man
give in exchange for his soul?

If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.

Cast your cares on the lord and he will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.

Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests
known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and
minds in Christ Jesus.

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and
many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Do not fret over doers of evil; do not envy those who do wrong. For they wither quickly like grass and
wilt like tender plants. Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the
LORD; trust in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness like the dawn, your
justice like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him; fret not when men
prosper in their ways, when they carry out wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and abandon wrath; do
not fret—it can only bring harm. For the evildoers will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will
inherit the land. Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will
not be found. But the meek will inherit the land and delight in abundant prosperity. The wicked scheme
against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them, but the Lord laughs, seeing that their day is coming.
The wicked have drawn the sword and bent the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those
whose ways are upright. But their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.
Better is the little of the righteous than the abundance of many who are wicked. For the arms of the wicked will be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous. The LORD knows the days of the
blameless, and their inheritance will last forever. In the time of evil they will not be ashamed, and in the
days of famine they will be satisfied. But the wicked and enemies of the LORD will perish like the
glory of the fields. They will vanish; like smoke they will fade away. The wicked borrow and do not
repay, but the righteous are gracious and giving. Surely those He blesses will inherit the land, but the
cursed will be destroyed. The steps of a man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way.
Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, for the LORD is holding his hand. I once was young and
now am old, yet never have I seen the righteous abandoned or their children begging for bread. They
are ever generous and quick to lend, and their children are a blessing. Turn away from evil and do
good, so that you will abide forever. For the LORD loves justice and will not forsake His saints. They
are preserved forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off. The righteous will inherit the land
and dwell in it forever. The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.
The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not falter. Though the wicked lie in wait for the
righteous, and seek to slay them, the LORD will not leave them in their power or let them be
condemned under judgment. Wait for the LORD and keep His way, and He will raise you up to inherit
the land. When the wicked are cut off, you will see it. I have seen a wicked, ruthless man flourishing
like a well-rooted native tree, yet he passed away and was no more; though I searched, he could not be
found. Consider the blameless and observe the upright, for a posterity awaits the man of peace. But the
transgressors will all be destroyed; the future of the wicked will be cut off. The salvation of the
righteous is from the LORD; He is their stronghold in time of trouble. The LORD helps and delivers
them; He rescues and saves them from the wicked, because they take refuge in Him.

https://www.gotquestions.org/dark-night-soul.html
http://www.yodaquotes.net/fear-is-the-path-to-the-dark-side-fear-leads-to-anger-anger-leads-to-hate-
hate-leads-to-suffering/
https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Jedi_Code/Legends

Is This The Best We Can Do?

It’s 2016; between jackasses and elephants competing for power, and clowns terrorizing neighborhoods; the circus is in town. How have we arrived at this point? We have a more divided nation than ever before.[1][2] Neither of the two major political parties honestly cares about ‘we the people,’ or our freedom. Both parties have advocated for more: war, surveillance, erosion of civil liberties, erosion of civil rights, increased debt/spending, and expanded corporatism. [3]

For over 50 years, but especially in the last 50 years, we have been ‘scraping the bottom of the barrel’ when it comes to our politicians in general, with an emphasis on our presidents. LBJ was involved with the deaths of tens of thousands of people, including a sitting president, and countless veterans in the Vietnam War; to which he escalated into a disaster after lying about the Gulf of Tonkin incident. In addition, since Rape and infidelity are hot topics today, Johnson had many mistresses. [4][5][6][7][8][9] Everybody and their mother knows Richard Nixon is, indeed, a crook. From Watergate, to removing the Gold Standard, to waging the failed ‘War on Drugs;’ Nixon was no saint.[10][11] Jerry Ford wasn’t in office long, but still did some damage. Ford, like his predecessor was a Rockefeller Republican, also known as a RINO (Republican In Name Only). This meant that like many republicans before and after him, he supported expanding the size and power of the monstrous conglomerate, known as the Federal Government. Not to mention the fact that he was a puppet for the Rockefeller Dynasty; a family who has no regard for human life, nor liberty.[12][13][14] Jimmy Carter supported numerous coups around the world, which only served to further the globalist interests of the ‘American’ Empire. Not to mention meddling with Iranian affairs, which led to the Iranian Hostage Situation.[15][16]

Then there’s Ronald Reagan, the actor, aka “Republican Jesus.” For some reason Republicans literally worship this crook. Reagan also staged coups, and increased government spending, and size, as well as helped to create ISIS, which morphed from Al-Qaeda, which morphed from the Mujahideen.[17][18][19] Mr. Reagan, you are correct when you said, “Government is not the solution to our problems, government is the problem.” However, so are you, as you have done nothing to stop it. The Bush Dynasty, drastically, increased the power and size of the conglomerate. The Bushes helped to fund Nazi Germany, committed countless war crimes, and helped create the surveillance state with the Patriot Act, and the TSA. Bush Sr. was right on the money when he said to Sarah McLendon (a Texas journalist), “Sarah, if the American people were ever find out what we have done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us.[20][21][22][23][24][25] William J. Clinton, “The Penis of the United States,” is undeniably a sexual predator, and rapist. Putting all of the women who came out during his presidency aside, Clinton also made numerous trips to what is known as, “Lolita Island,” where not only did he have sex with women, but also underage girls. During his presidency, naturally, Clinton fueled the war machine and conglomerate, but naturally as a Jackass, that’s what he does. Another Clinton disaster, is NAFTA, the reason there are so few jobs in this country.[26][27][28][29] Obama has increased the debt by over $9 Trillion, gave arms and ammunition to Mexican Drug cartels, signed the NDAA into law (allowing for the indefinite detention of citizens with no trial, nor reason), not to mention the continuation of Middle Eastern wars; to which he stated, “I’m really good at killing people.[30][31][32][33]

Economically, this country is in serious trouble. With the highest level of income inequality in the history of the United States.[34] To which both parties have done nothing over the years to fix. Over the past 50 years we’ve racked up more debt, more spending, more inflation, and more taxation than, again, in the history of the country. Once again, both parties are to blame. While it was a Republican congress that passed the repeal of Glass-Steagall, it was a Democrat president that signed it into law. No matter what they say, the Democrats are not going to close loopholes, or fix this problem as a whole. Nor will Republicans.

40 years ago, in 1976, the average life expectancy was 73. As of 2010, the average life expectancy is 79. How can 40 years of technological, medical, and nutritional advancements only give us 6 more years to live?[35] Is something affecting our health, causing us to suffer from more disease thus dying prematurely? You tell me.[36][37][38][39][40][41][42][43] Most of our population is on some type of prescription drug.[44] It’s no reason we all need healthcare; the problem is, 17 out of the 23 co-ops for Obamacare have gone bankrupt.[45] Not to mention plans have increased and have become anything but affordable.[46] While it is true that for some, Obamacare is a blessing because they now have access to health insurance; most people are worse off.

This is the 21st century. We should have disease rates in check, poverty obliterated, education for all, and energy sources figured out. Whatever happened to “Good will towards your fellow man?

As a society and as a species, I ask, “Is this really the best we can do?” No matter where you live, where you came from, who/what you worship, what color your skin is, what gender you are, what gender you are attracted to, or how old you are; if your answer is not a two-letter word beginning with ‘N,’ you are part of the problem, and you probably think voting for a criminal, fascist is going to fix it.

 

 

P.S. I realize that some of my sources are a ‘deplorable’ website, Infowars.com; however if you were to actually read the articles, they link to real sources.

 

[1] https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/america-really-is-more-divided-than-ever/2016/07/17/fbfebee6-49d8-11e6-90a8-fb84201e0645_story.html

[2] http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/17/look-how-far-weve-come-apart/?_r=0

[3] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jon-wisman/both-parties-are-owned-by_b_7561400.html

[4] https://www.archives.gov/research/military/vietnam-war/casualty-statistics.html

[5] https://sadbastards.wordpress.com/2007/08/09/what-the-mainstream-media-hid-about-lbj/

[6] http://www.targetliberty.com/2015/04/lbl-as-murderer-and-functional.html

[7] http://www.infowars.com/de-classified-vietnam-era-transcripts-show-senators-knew-gulf-of-tonkin-was-a-staged-false-flag-event/

[8] http://fair.org/media-beat-column/30-year-anniversary-tonkin-gulf-lie-launched-vietnam-war/

[9] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2260031/Book-reveals-Lyndon-Johnson-lost-Lady-Bird-President.html

[10] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixon_Shock

[11] http://reason.com/blog/2016/03/22/nixon-invented-the-drug-war-to-decimate

[12] http://wariscrime.com/new/rockefeller-empire-exposed-in-1959-by-the-soviet-union/

[13] http://truthstreammedia.com/2014/01/12/how-the-rockefeller-foundations-quietly-funded-the-anti-fertility-vaccine/

[14] http://www.infowars.com/rockefeller-family-fables/

[15] http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/18/jimmy-carters-blood-drenched-legacy/

[16] http://www.stateofnature.org/?p=5339

[17] http://www.highstrangeness.tv/articles/reagan.php

[18] https://thinkprogress.org/10-things-conservatives-dont-want-you-to-know-about-ronald-reagan-7a87723a4f68

[19] http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/ronald-reagan-big-government-legacy

[20] http://www.infowars.com/timeline-to-tyranny/

[21] https://coto2.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/the-crime-of-the-patriot-act-911-and-a-whistleblower%E2%80%99s-truth/

[22] https://ratical.org/ratville/CAH/cahBCF.html

[23] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/sep/25/usa.secondworldwar

[24] http://www.sonic.net/~taryfast/destruction.html

[25] https://meagainstiniquity.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/george-herbert-walker-bush-sarah-if-the-american-people-ever-find-out-what-we-have-done-they-would-chase-us-down-the-street-and-lynch-us-that-is-a-famous-1992-quote-by-george-herbert-walker/

[26] http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/06/30/the-billionaire-pedophile-who-could-bring-down-donald-trump-and-hillary-clinton.html

[27] https://twitter.com/HilLIARy_Lies/status/782408067380088833/video/1

[28] http://www.infowars.com/nafta-is-20-years-old-here-are-20-facts-that-show-how-it-is-destroying-the-economy/

[29] http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/International_War_Crimes/ClintonWarCriminal_Herman.html

[30] http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/debt-under-obama-9000000000000

[31] https://www.aclu.org/news/president-obama-signs-indefinite-detention-bill-law?redirect=national-security/president-obama-signs-indefinite-detention-bill-law

[32] http://investmentwatchblog.com/the-complete-list-of-barack-obamas-scandals-misdeeds-crimes-and-blunders/

[33] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/03/obama-drones-double-down_n_4208815.html

[34] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/07/01/income-inequality-today-may-be-the-highest-since-the-nations-founding/

[35] http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005148.html

[36] https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/features/fluoride-childrens-health-grandjean-choi/

[37] http://www.infowars.com/new-gmo-study-rats-fed-lifetime-of-gm-corn-grow-tumors-70-of-females-die-early/

[38] http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/11639-french-study-finds-tumors-and-organ-damage-in-rats-fed-monsanto-corn

[39] https://www.prlog.org/12216483-brain-cancer-risk-increases-with-the-amount-of-wireless-phone-use-study.html

[40] http://www.naturalnews.com/042293_vaccines_autism_medical_studies.html#

[41] http://www.naturalnews.com/052907_Glyphosate_herbicide_cancer.html

[42] http://www.naturalnews.com/043331_World_Health_Organization_cancer_risk_Western_medicine.html

[43] http://blogs.naturalnews.com/7-reasons-cancer-rates-skyrocketed-last-100-years/

[44] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2015/11/03/more-americans-than-ever-are-taking-prescription-drugs/

[45] http://www.businessinsider.com/aetna-ditching-70-of-obamacare-business-2016-8

[46] http://www.naturalnews.com/055565_Obamacare_failing_fact_check.html

Subjective-Objectivism

     Happy [early] Memorial Day! Not to mention, Happy 99th Birthday to John F. Kennedy! It is the fourth year in the cycle. This means that election season is in full swing, and the lunatics are out trying to coerce people into choosing a side. For this primary reason, I have decided to write this thesis on a new philosophical ideology that puts the lunacism to rest and promotes the benefit of everyone.
     If you choose to read this, you may think that I am too liberal, or too conservative, depending on your platform. It is your right to think that, and in fact you would be right. My rebuttle to this statement is that I'm too logical. Also, if you choose to read this, remember that YOU have voluntarily chosen of your own free will to read it, and therefore cannot be offended in any way, shape or form. You have a right to criticize however, I have a right to not care what you think. Here is my thesis:


Subjective-Objectivism

(A libertatis based philosophy)
     Subjective-Objectivism sounds like an oxymoron, but it really isn’t. It’s less of a contradiction and more of a fusion of the two philosophies at hand: Objectivism[1] and Subjectivism[2]. As an Individualist[3] (which encompasses both philosophies), one doesn't conform to one specific ideology, but rather molds one’s own from a multitude of others[4]. What will be discussed in this thesis is an explanation of the theory in parallel of the parent two with differences explicitly stated.
    The purpose of this thesis is to state/present a new philosophy [stemmed from multiple priors] that maximizes individuality (personal freedom, knowledge, and spirituality); in addition to stimulate the reader’s ability to think and to reason. Citations are given for expansion upon each concept or thought. In most philosophies, there are five[5] basic areas of focus: Metaphysics, Ethics, Politics, Aesthetics, and Epistemology. Therefore, these five areas shall be the focus of this thesis. The reader need not agree with this philosophy, nor any other, all the reader need do is think. “Think deeply about things. Don’t just go along because that’s the way things are or that’s what your friends say. Consider the effects, consider the alternatives, but most importantly, just think.” – Aaron Swartz

Epistemology:

     The primary disagreement between Objectivism and Subjectivism is the belief of what is fact, and how that relates to reality. In Objectivism, reality, reason, and the perception of that reality is what is fact; and that reality exists independently of consciousness. Consciousness is but a tool used to deduce reality and reason. Subjectivism believes the opposite: Consciousness is the only true fact, and that reality, reason and the perception of that reality exists dependently on consciousness. Consciousness is but a tool used to create reality and reason. Essentially, the question is: which came first, the chicken or the egg? Or in this case, consciousness or reality?
     The ultimate convention of Objectivism is ‘reason.’ Objectivism defines reason as: "the faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by man's senses."[6] The epistemology of Objectivists maintains "The fundamental concept of method, the one on which all the others depend, is logic,” and that all knowledge is ultimately based on perception. The form in which an organism perceives is determined by the physiology of its sensory systems. Whatever form the organism perceives it in, what it perceives—the object of perception—is reality. This belief is similarly shared by Subjectivism in which, your conscious perception, and sub sequent conscious beliefs, are your reality.
     Subjective-Objectivism agrees with both parents that, knowledge is restricted to the conscious self and its sensory states but that, in order to obtain knowledge, both volition and adherence to a specific method of validation via observation, and concept formation are required. You must first have the will to learn, if you are going to learn anything at all. [Subjective]Objectivists hold that reason is the means of human knowledge and, sub sequentially, reason is each person's most fundamental means of survival; as such it is necessary to the establishment and practice of certain values. In agreement with Objectivism; Subjective-Objectivists believe, that philosophy is logically prior to psychology and is in no way dependent on it.[7][8] Likewise, the acknowledgement of the facts that human beings have limited knowledge, are vulnerable to error, and do not instantly understand all of the implications of their knowledge[9] is understood, and therefore humans should strive for more knowledge, empathy and compassion in order for self-improvement.

Metaphysics:
     As Subjectivism states, “Metaphysical Subjectivism is the theory that reality is what we perceive to be real, and that there is no underlying true reality that exists independently of perception. One can also hold that it is consciousness rather than perception that is reality.” Subjective-Objectivism agrees with this approach. [10] Subjectivism goes on to say that, “The nature of reality as related to a given consciousness is dependent on that consciousness.” This means that what we perceive and apply our intention to, determines our individual reality. This belief is completely contrary to the deterministic model we’ve been taught. Our very being is not the result of set factors we can do very little about, but indeed the exact opposite. We are literally a projection of our own consciousness. The rest is up to us as to how much we let the illusory projection laid down before us determine our reality. [11] The old maxim, “Life is what you make it,” sums up this ideal.
     If you were to watch a video of an erupting volcano, you may perceive that the camera is rocking because the volcano is shaking the ground. Alternatively, you may perceive that the camera is rocking because the person holding the camera is shaking and not keeping steady. This is based on the perception of your consciousness. Objectivisim can be applied to this. According to Ayn Rand (the founder of Objectivism), it is entities that act/react, and [that] every action/reaction is the action of an entity. The way entities act/react is caused by the specific nature (or "identity") of those entities; if they were different they would act differently. [12] It is the entity that acts/reacts however, each entity acts/reacts based upon its own conscious perception of its reality/situation. If a burglar were to rob a bank, one customer may hide under a table, or cooperate with the burglar in order to survive the situation. Another customer may try to tackle and disarm the burglar in order to save the other people in the bank. Each customer in the bank/situation are going to think differently, and thus act/react differently based on their conscious perception of the reality/situation at hand.
     While it is true that, “to be conscious is to be conscious of something," (for most Subjectivists, it is the Universal Consciousness that everyone/thing is connected) it is also true that, “our own mental activity is the only unquestionable fact of our experience." As it is truly unique to each individual. Despite what you believe to be fact, it is your own mental activity that you know completely to be fact. Because you thought it, you know it, therefore that thought is fact. Now, this isn't to say if you think of pink elephants, pink elephants are fact. Rather, it is the thought of pink elephants that is fact because you [the individual] thought it. For instance, it was once believed as fact that the Earth was flat. We obviously know this is not fact. This belief has come back in recent times based on conscious perception of the Earth, and the individual in accordance. Because our mental activity or consciousness has determined this or anything else to be fact, that [mental activity and consciousness] is what truly is fact.
     “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” – Nikola Tesla. “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.” – Albert Einstein. “I am the electricity in the human form.” – Nikola Tesla. What these, brilliant, theorists are essentially saying, is that everything is energy or electricity. Subjectivism and Subjective-Objectivism take this concept one step further, with the Law of Vibration [13], as well as the other universal laws [14]. The 12 immutable laws of the universe are: Law of Divine Oneness, Vibration, Action, Correspondence, Cause and Effect, Compensation, Attraction, Perpetual Transmutation of Energy, Relativity, Polarity, Rhythm, and Gender. Each of these laws shall not be explained in depth in this thesis. However, in accordance with the subject at hand, the law of vibration concludes: anything that exists in our universe, whether seen or unseen, broken down into and analyzed in its purest and most basic form, consists of pure energy or light which resonates and exists as a vibratory frequency or pattern. If everything is energy, and has a frequency or vibration; then even our thoughts, feelings and intentions are energy and therefore also have a frequency or vibration. This leads into the 11 other universal laws.
     This concept of 'everything is energy,' including our thoughts, directly leads to the law of attraction. Put simply, the law of attraction states: we create the things, events and people that come into our lives. Our thoughts, feelings, words, and actions produce energies which, in turn attract like energies. A positive mental attitude attracts positive experiences and circumstances while a negative mental attitude attracts those conditions that we deem negative or unwanted. Stemming from this law, is the Objective-Subjective belief in reality creation. To consciously attract anything you want to experience into your life, you must need it, not simply desire, that which you want. To need something is to have a purpose for it and when something has a big enough purpose, it becomes a necessity rather than a luxury. You are able to attract anything you need to yourself because you are already connected to everything, seen and unseen. Nothing and no one is separate from you. [15] In Subjective-Objectivism, the epistemology of 'necessity' isn't ineluctably something one needs to live or a basic need such as food, water and shelter; necessity can also include the common definition of ‘want’ such as: a better job, a bigger house, or love (as some view love as a want vs. a need) so long as you have a concrete undeniable reason, and conviction, for needing it.
     All of this stems from the conscious mind. As such, there is a metaphysical war on for your mind. This 'war' involves outrageous concepts such as 'mind control.' While the realm of conspiracy fact/theory is outside the scope of this thesis, the theory of mind control is, indeed, inside this scope. It has been proven that world governments have invested large sums of time, effort, and money into the research and practice of mind control. [16][17][18] A more commonly known form of mind control is subliminal messaging. Subliminal messages are the presentation of short messages that tell us what to do, what to think, and what to feel; but that are flashed so briefly we aren’t even aware we have seen them. The conscious doesn't pay attention, but the subconscious, which is more impressionable, does. When subjected, day in and day out, with subliminal messaging, the mind is likely to trigger emotions, memories or feelings, without a person’s conscious recognition of why they feel a certain way. A person may not consciously realize why he/she is starting to be more attracted to certain behaviors, lifestyles or products, but they are more likely to succumb to the attraction. “..subliminal ads are used as a technique not only to increase sales but is also used to divert youth and involve them in such type of behavior which is only hazardous to the consumer.” Take, for instance, advertisements for women. If you look at multiple ads that are targeted at women between the ages 18-35, most, if not all, will personify that women and girls should be thin, wear excessive makeup, style their hair in certain ways, and look 'sexy.' It almost appears as though it is the advertisers’ job to make young women feel bad about themselves. [19]
     In 1958, Vance Packard, an American Journalist and author, uncovered that powerful corporations were constantly looking for, and in many cases already applying, a wide variety of techniques for controlling people without their knowledge. He described a kind of cabal in which marketers worked closely with social scientists to determine, among other things, how to get people to buy things they didn’t need and how to condition young children to be good consumers. Guided by social science or social engineering [20], marketers were quickly learning how to play upon people’s insecurities, frailties, unconscious fears, aggressive feelings and sexual desires to alter their thinking, emotions and behavior without any awareness that they were even being manipulated. By the early 1950s, politicians had also received the message and were beginning to merchandise themselves using the same subtle forces being used to sell soap. British economist Kenneth Boulding once said: “A world of unseen dictatorship is conceivable, still using the forms of democratic government.” The forces that Packard described have become more pervasive over the decades. The soothing music we all hear overhead in supermarkets causes us to walk more slowly and buy more food, whether we need it or not. Most of the vacuous thoughts and intense feelings our teenagers experience from morning till night are carefully orchestrated by highly skilled marketing professionals working in our fashion and entertainment industries. Politicians work with a wide range of consultants who test every aspect of what the politicians do in order to sway voters: clothing, intonations, facial expressions, makeup, hairstyles and speeches are all optimized, just like the packaging of a breakfast cereal. [21]
     In order to recognize and break free from this mind control, one must essentially 'unplug' and become aware, or objective in their subjectivity. Think of this whole concept in terms of computers and networking. There are two types of network communication systems: half-duplex, and full-duplex. In half-duplex, when two computers are connected, only one can connect or communicate at a time. Whereas in full-duplex, when two computers are connected, both computers can connect or communicate at the same time. People are generally half-duplexed, when it comes to consciousness. The average person's conscience, while half-duplexed, can only communicate or connect one way, at one time (mainly receiving). You are receiving these [and other] messages, and are being influenced by them. When one 'unplugs,' they become full-duplexed. Now, your conscience can communicate or connect both ways at the same time. Therefore, when you recognize and see the messages, you can put up a 'firewall' which can either accept or deny the message. In addition to this 'firewall,' one can also project messages into the universal consciousness, and onto others (reality creation). You have essentially become objective to your subjectivity. If you are not objective, you are subjective and therefore are influenced by these messages. A theory has risen in recent years that our universe, or moreover our reality, could be a computer simulation. [22] While this thesis is not advocating that we are all living in a computer program such as the matrix; what this thesis is advocating is that: if all of this truly is a simulation, it is a simulation stemmed from consciousness, and therefore can be manipulated (or hacked to use computer terms) by one's consciousness.

Ethics:

     In Objectivism, the purpose of moral code is to provide the principles by reference to which man can achieve the values that his/her survival requires. In short: If [man] chooses to live, a rational ethics will tell him what principles of action are required to implement his choice. If he does not choose to live, nature will take its course. Reality confronts a wo/man with a great many "must's", but all of them are conditional: the formula of realistic necessity is: "you must, if – and only if -- you want to achieve a certain goal." [23] You must take action and work towards achieving a certain goal. For Subjectivism, one must first believe that the goal is possible, and attainable, (for consciousness to 'work its magic') in addition to taking action and working towards a certain goal. As previously stated, the epistemology of 'necessity' isn't ineluctably something one needs to live or a basic need such as food, water and shelter; necessity can also include the common definition of ‘want’ such as: a better job, a bigger house, or love (as some view love as a want vs. a need). In essence, if you believe you can achieve something (and stick to it through thick and thin), regardless of the status quo, then you can achieve it, and you have taken your first step towards achieving it. Another maxim, “anything is possible.
     Objectivists believe capital punishment is morally justifiable as retribution against a murderer, but dangerous due to the risk of mistakenly executing innocent people and opening the door to state murder. Rand therefore said she opposed capital punishment "on epistemological, rather than moral grounds."[24] Subjective-Objectivism does not believe capital punishment is morally justifiable as retribution against anyone, regardless of the crime. Not only does, as Objectivism states, capital punishment risk executing an innocent person; but (in a taxed society) it costs far more to pay for capital punishment (via the judicial, and execution processes) than it does for life in prison. It also does not apply as a deterrent for crimes, nor should any individual, in an individualist society, be given the right to take another individual’s life/consciousness. [25][26] This applies to Objectivism’s belief that the use or threat of force neutralizes the practical effect of an individual's reason, whether the force originates from the state or from a criminal. Rand stated, "man's mind will not function at the point of a gun."[27] The initiation of physical force against the will of another is immoral to an Objectivist (and Subjective-Objectivist), as are indirect initiations of force through threats, fraud, and/or breach of contract. The use of defensive or retaliatory force, on the other hand, is appropriate, when warranted. Whereas, the only method of organized human behavior coinciding with the operation of reason is that of voluntary cooperation. Persuasion is a method of reason. By its nature, the overtly irrational cannot rely on the use of persuasion and must ultimately resort to force to prevail. [28]
     The ethical and spiritual teachings of nonviolence apply to the Subjective-Objectivist. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9 “Love your enemies; bless those who persecute you.” Luke 6:27 The motto for the Ahmadiyya sect (one of the most outspoken Muslim groups regarding the message of Islam to be a peaceful one) is "Love for all, hatred for none." Ahimsa (not to injure; compassion) is one of the cardinal virtues of Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. In accordance with Objectivism, and many other Individualist theories, each being is a unique being, and as such offers some degree of value. It is therefore wrong, immoral, and unethical to use force against another being. Nonviolence, in terms of Civil Disobedience, is a sense of ‘moral high ground,’ not for the narcissist who views themselves as better than others, but for the rational mind who stands for what they believe in, (via conscious perception) what is right. Every act of civil disobedience, regardless of if the whole movement won or lost, is a ‘win’ because the individual stood for what he/she believes in.

Politics:

     Because the opportunity to use reason without the initiation of force is necessary to achieve moral values, each individual has an unalienable moral right to act as his/her own judgment directs and to keep the product of his/her effort. "In content, as the founding fathers recognized, there is one fundamental right, which has several major derivatives. The fundamental right is the right to life. Its major derivatives are the right to liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness."[29] "A 'right' is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man's freedom of action in a social context." Each individual must refrain from violating the rights of others goes without saying. Objectivists reject alternative notions to rights, such as positive rights, collective rights, or animal rights, since the basic principles of these are incorporated in Objectivism as ‘the individual in the collective, for example, has the basic right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.’
     [Subjective]Objectivists hold that the only socio-economic system which fully recognizes individual rights is Capitalism,[30] specifically what Rand described as "full, pure, uncontrolled, unregulated laissez-faire capitalism,"[31]  or Anarcho-Capitalism[32]. Objectivism regards Capitalism as the social system which is most beneficial to the poor, but that this isn't its primary justification.[33] Rather, it is the only moral socio-economic system. Objectivism maintains that only societies seeking to establish freedom (or free nations) have a right to self-determination.
     [Subjective]Objectivism views government as "the means of placing the retaliatory use of physical force under objective control—i.e., under objectively defined laws, or the rule of law;" thus, government is both legitimate and critically important[34] in order to protect individual rights.[35] Anarchism is inherently opposed by [Subjective]Objectivists because, as Rand saw, putting police and courts on the market is an inherent miscarriage of justice.[36] Objectivism holds that the proper functions of a government are "the police, to protect men from criminals—the armed services, to protect men from foreign invaders—the courts of law, to settle disputes among men according to objectively defined laws," the executive – to enforce and follow the rule of law and legislatures – to develop reasonable laws.[37] Furthermore, in protecting individual rights, the government is acting as an agent of its citizens and "has no rights except the rights delegated to it by the citizens"[38] and it must act in an impartial manner according to specific, objectively defined laws.[39] In laymen’s terms: “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends…it is their [the people’s] right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”[40]
     Rand argued that limited intellectual property monopolies being granted to certain inventors and artists on a first-to-file basis are moral because she viewed all property as fundamentally intellectual. Furthermore, the value of a commercial product comes in part from the necessary work of its inventors. However, Rand viewed limits on patents and copyrights as important and held that if they were granted in perpetuity, it would completely lead to de facto collectivism. These limits should include a limited amount of time of propriety, after which the intellectual property should be placed in the public domain for individuals to build and expand upon. [41]
     Rand opposed racism and any legal application of racism. She considered affirmative action to be an example of legal racism.[42] Rand advocated the right to legal abortion; Subjective-Objectivsm holds that there should be no law, for or against, in regards to abortion, as it is a personal choice and therefore no government involvement and no compensation from taxation (should taxation exist) should be applied to it. Military conscription is an infringement upon individual rights. Censorship is also an infringement, including legal restrictions on pornography, opinion or worship. However, with regards to pornography, the Subjective-Objectivist mind views that one should not be adjudicated based on appearance but, in the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “by the contents of their character,” and their actions. Therefore, while censorship on pornography is an infringement, pornography, in general, should be frowned upon, as should instant gratification. Ayn Rand famously quipped; "In the transition to statism, every infringement of human rights has begun with a given right's least attractive practitioners.[43][44]
     Objectivists have also opposed a number of government activities commonly supported by both liberals and conservatives, including antitrust laws,[45] the minimum wage, public education,[46] and existing child labor laws.[47] Objectivists have argued against faith-based initiatives,[48] displaying religious symbols in government facilities,[49] and the teaching of "intelligent design" in public schools.[50] Subjective-Objectivists agree with all but the opposition to antitrust laws (as long as true capitalism doesn’t exist), and faith-based initiatives. Since it has been proven that religious individuals are more generous [51] [52], faith-based initiatives should be allowed to thrive; as such it should be up the state, or local governments and the individuals in each community to decide if religious symbols are to be displayed at government facilities. Also it is up the individual parents to decide what kind of education the child receives (i.e., creationism, evolution, etc.).
     An explanation as to why the minimum wage is opposed is as follows: If true capitalism existed, (meaning if there were many competing businesses with many jobs open) the business would decide how much pay employees would receive. If the employees didn’t like the pay offered, they may resign and work for a competing business which would pay more. Businesses would by default have to pay a certain (reasonable) wage in order to invite individuals to work for them. If the business payed too low, no one would work for the business, nor would any individual be forced to as there would be no monopolies, and many competing businesses would be glad to hire more. This is similar to state backed financial aid for higher educational institutions. The cost of tuition wouldn’t be outrageous if the state didn’t ‘foot the bill.’ This would be because: if the institution charged a high tuition, no one would be able to pay to attend, therefore, if the institution wanted to remain relevant and in business, they would lower their tuition to a reasonable amount, allowing for individuals to be able to afford and attend. Taxation is another system opposed by Objectivists and Subjective-Objectivists as it is theft and an endorsement of force over reason,[53][54] and, therefore, should be replaced with voluntary donations.
      In coincidence with Rand’s Objectivist philosophies, Subjective-Objectivists believe in the Anarcho-Capitalistic society based on the voluntary trade of private property and services (in sum, all relationships not caused by threats or violence, including exchanges of money, consumer goods, land, and capital goods) in order to minimize conflict while maximizing individual liberty and prosperity. However, charity and communal arrangements are also recognized as part of the same voluntary ethic.[55] Non-state public or community property can exist in an anarcho-capitalistic society; what is important is that the property is acquired and transferred without help or hindrance from the compulsory state. Anarcho-capitalist libertarians believe that the only just, and/or most economically beneficial, way to acquire property is through voluntary trade, gift, or labor-based original appropriation, rather than through aggression or fraud.[56]
     With the rule of law and an informed population, the limited state is not an initiation of force because it could not use force against those who have not stolen private property, vandalized private property, assaulted anyone, or committed fraud, without intense repercussions. The Anarcho-Capitalist maxim: “Everyone is the proper owner of his/her own physical body as well as of all places and nature-given goods that he/she occupies and puts to use by means of his/her body, provided only that no one else has already occupied or used the same places and goods before them. This ownership of "originally appropriated" places and goods by a person implies his/her right to use and transform these places and goods in any way (s)he sees fit, provided only that (s)he does not change thereby uninvitedly the physical integrity of places and goods originally appropriated by another person. In particular, once a place or good has been first appropriated by, in John Locke's phrase, 'mixing one's labor' with it, ownership in such places and goods can be acquired only by means of a voluntary – contractual – transfer of its property title from a previous to a later owner, [57]” reigns true for Subjective-Objectivism.
     The society envisioned by Anarcho-Capitalists, Objectivists and Subjective-Objectivists has been called the ‘Contractual Society’ – "... a society based purely on voluntary action, entirely unhampered by violence or threats of violence."[58] – in which the system relies on voluntary agreements (contracts) between individuals as the legal framework. One particular ramification is that transfer of property and services must be considered voluntarily on the part of both parties. No external entities can force an individual to accept or deny a particular transaction. An employer might offer insurance and death benefits to same-sex couples; another might refuse to recognize any union outside his or her own faith. Individuals are free to enter into or reject contractual agreements as they see fit.
     Anarcho-Capitalism founder, Murray Rothbard points out that corporations would exist in a free society, as they are simply the pooling of capital. Limited liability for corporations is also able to exist through contract: "Corporations are not at all monopolistic privileges; they are free associations of individuals pooling their capital. On the purely free market, such men would simply announce to their creditors that their liability is limited to the capital specifically invested in the corporation...."[59] Any corporation created in this way would not, however, be able to replicate the limit on liabilities arising non-contractually, i.e., as liability in tort for environmental disasters or personal injury, which corporations currently enjoy. This means that if an oil company were to produce an oil spill, they would not be able to claim limited liability for the spill, in fact they would be fully liable for that or other similar torts. Likewise, if an individual is injured on corporate property, if the corporation doesn’t have “necessary” safety measures, the corporation is fully liable for that tort. Rothbard himself acknowledged that "limited liability for torts is the illegitimate conferring of a special privilege,"[60] which corporations should not have. Rothbard argued that the right to contract is based in unalienable human rights[61] and as a result, any contract that implicitly violates those rights can be voided at will, which would, for instance, prevent a person from permanently selling himself or herself into unindentured slavery.

Aesthetics:

     Art, according to Objectivism, serves a human cognitive need: it allows human beings to grasp concepts as though they were percepts. Objectivism defines "art" as a "selective re-creation of reality according to an artist's metaphysical value-judgments"—that is, according to what the artist [consciously] believes to be ultimately true and important about the nature of reality and humanity. In this respect, [Subjective]Objectivism regards art as a way of presenting any abstraction concretely, in perceptual form.[62]
     The human need for art, on this view, stems from the need for cognitive economy. Art provides a perceptual, easy to understand means of communicating and thinking about multiple abstractions, including one's metaphysical value-judgments. Objectivism regards art as an effective way to communicate a moral or ethical ideal.[63] Moreover, art need not be, and usually is not, the outcome of a full-blown, explicit philosophy. Usually it stems from an artist's sense of life (which is preconceptual and largely emotional).[64]
     Rand held that Romanticism was the highest school of literary art, noting that Romanticism was "based on the recognition of the principle that man possesses the faculty of volition," absent of this literature is robbed of dramatic power, “What the Romanticists brought to art was the primacy of values... Values are the source of emotions: a great deal of emotional intensity was projected in the work of the Romanticists and in the reactions of their audiences, as well as a great deal of color, imagination, originality, excitement, and all the other consequences of a value-oriented view of life.[65]
     The term "romanticism," is often affiliated with Emotionalism, to which Objectivism is completely opposed. Historically, many romantic artists were philosophically Subjectivist. Objectivists branch off Romanticism into what they call Romantic Realism.[66] Subjective-Objectivists stick with the original meaning of Romanticism and agree to a large degree with the Subjectivist philosophy of romantic artists.
     Objectivism rejects "feeling" as sources of knowledge. Objectivists acknowledge the importance of emotion for human beings, and maintain that emotions are a consequence of the conscious or subconscious ideas that a person already accepts, not a means of achieving awareness of reality. Objectivists also reject all forms of faith or mysticism. Under Objectivism, faith is defined as "the acceptance of allegations without evidence or proof, either apart from or against the evidence of one's senses and reason…” Mysticism is, “the claim to some non-sensory, non-rational, non-definable, non-identifiable means of knowledge, such as 'instinct,' 'intuition,' 'revelation,' or any form of 'just knowing.'"[67]
     Subjectivism, on the other hand, embraces ‘Emotionalism.’ Subjectivists believe in utilizing the power of emotions, which one could say is what makes us “human.” Subjectivism also accepts faith and mysticism in varying degrees. This is where Subjective-Objectivism bridges the two: While logic and reason are necessary for reality perception; it is emotion and [sometimes] faith that allow us to be happy in our conscious perception of reality. Happiness is the ultimate strive for Objectivism, Subjectivism and Subjective-Objectivism. As Ayn Rand, stated “My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.”[68]
    Subjective-Objectivists, like Objectivists, appreciate art (values/emotions), and also mathematics and science (logic/knowledge). Therefore, Subjective-Objectivists regard Art Deco as the highest school of visual and logical art/architecture. What the art of Romanticism is to values/emotions, the art of Art Deco is to logic/knowledge. Art Deco is defined as "an assertively modern style [that] ran to symmetry rather than asymmetry, and to the rectilinear rather than the curvilinear; it responded to the demands of the machine and of new material [and] the requirements of mass production".[69] Art Deco represents luxury, glamor, exuberance, and faith in social, economic and technological progress. Being geometrically and mathematically precise, Art Deco expressed the perfect society, in which the individual has full freedom to embrace the technological, mathematical, and scientific advancements of the new world, while retaining the values/emotions and ‘ways’ of the old world. It brought law and order, mathematically through defined shapes and geometric expressions. The Art Deco era ushered in a spirit of frivolity, luxury and a sense of freedom and hopefulness. In this way, the Art Deco style expresses Subjective-Objectivism, as in freedom, luxury, and positivity for all.
     In a nutshell, Subjective-Objectivism is primarily original Objectivism, but with the atheistic aspects removed and replaced with theistic, in addition to a few other minor differences. While I am a big fan of Ayn Rand and her philosophy, especially in regards to Laissez-Faire Capitalism, I do disagree with certain aspects. One major differing belief I have with pure Objectivism is that reality is independent of consciousness. This is where the subjective comes in; reality is actually highly dependent on consciousness [70], (You [the individual] create your own reality). To sum the whole philosophy in five words, Subjective-Objectivism can be described as: “Create, Live and Let Live.



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