The Story of the Bible is Violence

The story of the Holy Bible is violence. Violence was used by God and sometimes God used mankind to help the nation of Israel  change  its ways. One has to pick the stories from the different books of the Bible to prove, through the whole Bible, that violence was used. One will see in these examples from the different translations, that God used violence to make the world a better place.

            First, we will start from the book of Genesis and the fall of mankind; after Adam and Eve wished to be like God. God punished them by forcing them out of the Garden of Eden.  From the book of Genesis chapter 3:24, “And he cast out Adam: and placed before the paradise of pleasure Cherubims, and a flaming sword, turning every way, to keep the way of the tree of life”. [1] The effect of Adam and Eve’s choice made possible for this sin to spread to their children. Cain and Abel were brothers, but were jealous of each other. God would take offerings from Abel and not that of Cain. Cain tricked his brother into thinking they were going for a walk, when Cain would murder his brother. From Genesis 9:1, “and he said to him: What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth to me from the earth.”[2] Cain would end up being forced out from God as his parents were before him and he would be cursed.

            The book of Exodus is about the  Ancient Hebrew People  and their movement to Egypt over time, which became such a large number of people that the Egyptians had to force them into slavery. This way, the Hebrew people would not over-power them. This would backfire on Egypt for out of this, Moses would rise to be the voice of God among His Hebrew People. Moses and his brother Aaron go through conflict with the Egyptians  over whose gods were more powerful than the other. The Pharaoh’s heart was still hard to letting the Hebrew go. God chose to soften his heart by killing all first borns of Egyptian households in that area. In Exodus 11:5,  “All the first born sons will die in every family in Egypt, from the oldest son of Pharaoh, who sits on his throne, to the oldest son of his lowliest servant girl who grinds the flour”.[3] Moses, through God, used Pharaoh’s own words against him by killing all the first borns. This  reinforces that the Lord used violence for the  purpose of the “greater good” of humanity. The Pharaoh, mourning his son’s life and his people’s children, told Moses that  the Hebrew people could go. Ironically, Pharaoh would rise up with force and try to stop the Hebrew people from leaving. Once again, the Egyptians would be foolish to act this way. The Hebrews would pass through the Red Sea with God’s help and when the Egyptians tried to follow, the Red Sea came down and crushed them. Then, the Hebrew people started over, but again violence is ever present in their lives. The Hebrew people would live in the desert for 40 years according to Exodus and other books of the early Hebrew Bible. There is also Numbers, Joshua and Judges. All of these books have violence in them in one way or another.

First and Second Book of Samuel

            Eli’s family was called to be a part of the priesthood and his children were not doing what was right in eyes of God. For this, God punished Eli and his family. According to the  book of Samuel, “And this that shall come upon your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you: both of them shall die on the same day”. [4] Now this may not seem like violence to most people, but God did kill this whole family. They were His priests and they were not living rightly in his eyes, so he destroyed them. In the story of David and Goliath, people think David is an innocent boy. As people know, David was simply a Sheppard and a little boy, but look at his actions. According to Samuel 17:51, Then David ran and stood over the Philistine; he grasped his sword, drew it out of its sheath, and killed him; then he cut off his head with it”. [5] David was not meek. Firstly, being a Sheppard they were  tough people and he said before this that God had protected him from lions and bears. God used David with violence to save his people of  Israel and ultimately make him king. David  became King of Israel and united them under him. David would cross the line and sleep with another man’s wife and get her pregnant Uriah, not even Jewish but Hittite, was more of a man of honor than David. David would have him killed and take Bathsheba as his own. David did this because he did not get caught. He would not sleep with his wife before battle, which was Jewish custom. So David had him killed to protect him from the crime he did.  David is so blinded by his power he does not realize what wrong he has done. According to  2 Samuel 11: 15, “In the letter he wrote, ‘Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, so that he may be struck down and die.”[6] Nathan, the Prophet of God, remind David of his sinful deeds  and God take away his son’s life. According to 2 Samuel 12:14, “Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child that is born to you shall die.”[7] It can clearly be seen God used violence to bring his message across.

The Book of Kings:

            In the book of Kings, Elijah gets into contestation with other prophets of Baal who stated their  god was  more powerful. Elijah would let Baal’s priests “work their magic.” but a fire would not start with their spells. Elijah, even with wet wood, would start a fire with his God’s power. After this, Elijah had the Jewish people murdering in the name of their God.  According to  the book of Kings,”and Elijah said to them, ‘Seize the prophets of Baal!   Do not let one of them escape!’ So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the Brook Kishon and executed them there.”[8] God used violence in this situation to get his message across. Baal is a false god and  Yahweh of Israel was not.  God used the exile of  other nations to make Israel become the nation he wished it to be. First by Babylonians and then by Persians. Both of these nations were used by Yahweh to make Israel change its ways.

The Exile :

            Both the book of Jeremiah and  Daniel show life before and after the exile. Jeremiah warns the  people and acts likes a fool to get his point across. According to Jeremiah,  “and the king of Babylon’s army was then besieging Jerusalem; and the prophet Jeremiah was shut up in the court of the guard, which was in the king of Judah’s house.”[9]  God is using violence in this situation to gain humanity’s salvation for the greater good. The first passage of Daniel shows how God used the Babylonians to help the Jewish people and humanity overall. In the first chapter of the book of Daniel, In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim King of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged .”[10] Both of these passages used the word “besieging” which was warfare and one nation forcing control over another ., Israel let God down and a cycle of  God punishing them and then redeeming them  came about. Violence, once again, is ameans to an end for God and the greater good of humanity.

The Salvation Story through Violence:

 Most people know the Biblical story of the Lord Jesus. There were many violent events that took  place in His lifetime. The connection as seen in Matthew’s Jesus as the new Moses.  According to Matthew :

            Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly            angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all         its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.[11]

These poor infants were killed in an effort to stop Jesus from becoming the Messiah. It is  interesting how this violent act is only talked about in this Gospel; once again reinforcing that violence is needed  to make God’s salvation plan known.  Jesus, when he was put on trial, was whipped badly  and he could have died from that alone. According to Gospel Matthew, Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.”[12] This sentence has double meaning because Jesus was whipped and this is a violent act, However, when the Jewish people pick Barabbas over Jesus, this shows that  the Jewish people said they preferred violence over peace. Most people knew that Jesus died on the Cross for humanity’s sin. This can even be seen throughout the Bible to the book of Revelation.

            Revelation has been seen as the end of the world and has been influenced by the book of Daniel.  St. John the Divine writes about how those who used violence will have  violence used on them too.  St. John the Divine wrote, “If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed” [13] Revelation also tells about the ten plagues that fall on the Earth. Revelation states, “I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues—last, because with them God’s wrath is completed.”[14] It is about when judgment day comes upon the end. Also,  St. John the Divine writes about other forms of problems for people. Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go, pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.”[15] The “mysterious whore of Babylon” has been a question of some scholars for many years. Many think it is the  link to paganism, especially in the Roman Empire, In the age of  Reformation,  many of the Reformers claim it  to be  the Papal state.  One must think of this as Rome. Of course, the early church was attacked by Rome and ironically it took over the Roman Empire itself. This too proves that God used violence for a greater purpose. St. John the Divine writes about these visions of battle between good and evil; in other words, Jesus against the Devil. The Devil will lose and be locked in Hell for all eternity in the lake of fire.

            The world  has always been in a battle between good and evil. In the end, the Good, which is God, will win and bring salvation to people who repent and change their sinful ways. Sadly, this world only seems to know violence and God has let us have it. The book of Revelation said it the best, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” [16]

 

 

 

 

Work Cited

The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611            Authorized Version.) (Jn 19:1). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.The Holy

Bible : King James Version. 1995 (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611    Authorized      Version.) (Lk 22:50–52). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

The New King James Version. 1982 (Mk 6:16). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Darby, J. N. (1996). The Holy Scriptures : A new translation from the original languages (Je          32:1–2). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.

Darby, J. N. (1996). The Holy Scriptures : A new translation from the original languages (Is          53:4–5). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.

The Holy Bible : Holman Christian standard version. 2003 (Da 1:1). Nashville: Holman Bible       Publishers.

The Holy Bible : Holman Christian standard version. 2003 (1 Ki 12:1–4). Nashville: Holman         Bible Publishers.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996 (electronic ed.) (Ex 12:29–30). Grand Rapids:             Zondervan.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996 (electronic ed.) (Ex 11:4–6). Grand Rapids:     Zondervan.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996 (electronic ed.) (Ex 2:11–13). Grand Rapids:   Zondervan.

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ex 1:12–14). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

The Everyday Bible : New Century Version. 2005 (Ge 4:9–12). Nashville, TN.: Thomas Nelson,   Inc.

Tyndale House Publishers. (2004). Holy Bible : New Living Translation. (2nd ed.) (Ge 3:22–24). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.

1 The Holy Bible, Translated from the Latin Vulgate. 2009 (Ge 3:24). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

2 The Holy Bible, Translated from the Latin Vulgate. 2009 (Ge 4:10). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

10 Tyndale House Publishers. (2004). Holy Bible : New Living Translation. (2nd ed.) (Ex 11:4–5). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.

4 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (1 Sa 2:34). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

5 The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (1 Sa 17:51). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

 6 The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (2 Sa 11:15). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

7 The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (2 Sa 12:14–15). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[8] 1 Kings 18:40 (NKJV)

[9] Jeremiah 32:1-2

10 The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996 (electronic ed.) (Da 1:1). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

[11] The New King James Version. 1982 (Mt 2:16–17). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[12] Matthew 27:26 (NKJV)

13 The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996 (electronic ed.) (Re 13:10). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

14 The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996 (electronic ed.) (Re 15:1–2). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

15 The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996 (electronic ed.) (Re 16:1). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

16 The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996 (electronic ed.) (Re 1:8). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Sowing the Seeds

The Gospel of Matthew is consider to be the Jewish of all the Gospels that the church has today. According to A. Carr , “The date is uncertain. Irenæus however states that St Matthew wrote his Gospel when SS. Peter and Paul were founding the Church in Rome: and the fact that it was published first of the written Gospels rests upon early and uncontradicted testimony”.[1]  Carr also wrote, “St Matthew’s Gospel was primarily intended for the use of the Jewish converts in Palestine. It is this fact that gives its special character to this Gospel[2].” According to U. Luz, “Thus the Gospel of Matthew tells the story of a conflict”.[3] In essence one could argue all of the Gospels in this way. The author is unknown to the modern  reader but whoever wrote this was Jewish. They clearly see Lord Jesus as the New Moses and they write Jesus in such a way. Luz wrote, “This is not a story of conflict but a story of teaching and learning, of misunderstanding and of understanding, of failure and new beginning”[4]. Jesus was the new Moses to bring about the Law again.  Now Matthew 13:1-23 will be broken down. Jesus use parables to get his message across to people. This passage main message  is how people see and act with the word of God. J. B. Green  wrote,”The English word parable refers to a short narrative with two levels of meaning”[5].  Furthermore, Green states, “The Greek and Hebrew words for “parable” are much broader. Jesus’ parables are both works of art and the weapons he used in the conflict with his opponents”[6]. They were the teaching method he chose most frequently to explain the kingdom of God. The parable has hidden message inside the story and was common way of telling stories at this point in time. Craig Keener wrote,

That the parables in Matthew address his people’s acceptance or rejection of the kingdom message follows from the context in Matthew’s narrative: Jesus speaks parables “that same day” that he has confronted Pharisaic opposition (12:24-45) and offered a culturally offensive statement about his family (12:46-50).[7]

 Lord Jesus use the farmer perspective for it would been to know more common known to the people. Keener wrote,“This “parable of the sower” (13:18) draws from natural agricultural conventions, as one would expect from a teacher sensitive to rural Galilean hearers.[8]

 

The Parable of the Sower:The author wrote, “That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea”.[9]  This verse is rather simple; Jesus went and sat by the sea in a boat.  The Scribe also states, “And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down”.[10]  Once more Jesus goes out and people come to listen to his teachings by the sea. Furthermore, the biographer wrote, “And the whole crowd stood on the beach”.[11]  The crowd of people stand by the beach to listen to him. The novelist states, “And he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘A sower went out to sow’”.[12] Jesus goes on to tell a story about a sower.  Jesus states, “And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them”.[13] Jesus explain where his seeds fall as he is sowing them along the way.   The scribe wrote, “Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil,”[14] Some of the seeds fell into rocky soil and come up to soon.  Jesus goes on go explain, “ but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away”.[15] The sun would rise and kill off these plants without soil.  The biographer states, “Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them”.[16] Some of the seeds would grow in the throns and would be killed off by the throns. The author states, “Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.  He who has ears1 let him hear.”[17]  Then Jesus said about some seeds fell in the good soil and they grew and gave much better plants to the planter.

The Purpose of the Parables:

The Scribe wrote, “Then the disciples came and said to him, ‘Why do you speak to them in parables?”[18] Jesus’ followers  came to him and asked him about the meaning of this message.   “And he answered them,’To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given’”.[19]  Jesus explains how his followers would know whathe was saying, but outsiders would not. Lord Jesus states,  For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away”.[20]  Jesus talks about how even people with great wealth will have these objects taken from them and even the poor who do not listen to The parable of  the sower will lose more. The scribe wrote, “This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand”.[21]  Jesus explains why he speaks in parables and so most people would not understand. The writer wrote, “ Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “You will indeed hear but never understand,  and you will indeed see but never perceive.”[22] Jesus is quoting from Isaiah who wrote many years before Jesus had lived. According to Isaiah, someone would come along and speak in parables, and so most people will not understand what he was saying.

The story teller wrote,

For this people’s heart has grown dull,  and with their ears they can barely hear,  and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears  and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’[23]

In this passage, Jesus explains how people are going to react to his message: some will not care

and other will not hear. Some would not see what he is doing for the people. If people were

willing to listen and see what he was doing, he would heal them from all their issues.

The essayist states, “But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear”.[24]  Jesus is telling them how blessed, they were to live in this time because they’re seeing the Messiah.  The writer states “For truly, I say to you, “many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it”.[25]  Jesus in this passage is explains how blessed they were, when prophets and holy people would have loved to have seen him. This was a hard life and earlier Jews wish to have lived to see the messiah in the flesh.  

The Parable of the Sower Explained:

Lord Jesus states “Hear then the parable of the sower:[26] “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart”. “This is what was sown along the path”.[27]  Jesus  explain in this passage the evil one will come long and  always take the message from listeners for they did not understand. Who is the Evil one ? It is another term for Satan who is trying to destroy humanity. Jesus is telling us to beware of him and be on the watch.The writer writes , “As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy,”[28]  Jesus explain how people see the message, but over time it died off because they lack firm  foundation.  The essayist states, “yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away”.[29]Lord Jesus states, “As for what was sow among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful”.[30] In this passage, Jesus explains how people listen to his message, but care more about the world and do not listen to him. The biographer writes, “As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty”.[31] These are people who listen to him and do what he is saying. If one has not figure out the sower is Jesus, the seeds are his lesson, and the people are different types of soil some are good and others are bad.

What does this message mean to modern readers today?

This passage can be used just as it has been in the past. Jesus’ message is rather simple in this passage compared to many others stories within the Gospels. Let the reader break down the different types of soils that there are again. In the first, place he saved The sower sowed his seeds in the path and birds eat them up. Lange writes, “Ver. 3. [By the wayside.—‘The ordinary roads or paths in the East lead often along the edge of the fields, which are unenclosed. … Hence as the sower scatters his seed, some of it is liable to fall beyond the ploughed portion, on the hard, beaten ground which forms the wayside.’ Dr. Hackett: Illustrations of Scripture, etc., p. 168.]”[32]The second, the sower sow his seeds in rocky soils. There is not enough soil and the sun rises and the plants’ roots died off. Lange writes, “Not merely soil covered with stones, but rocky soil. Think of the terraces used for agricultural purposes in ancient Palestine. The cultivated soil terminated in the rocky abutments of the hills”.[33] This is not  good area to plants seeds, because they will not have soil to grow. Palestine was a desret, sowers in this era needed to know the good soil from the bad soil, where to plant and where not too.

  1. Garland wrote, “

New themes emerge in this discourse that address the following issues: (a) the different kinds of response among persons ; (b) the parables and their purpose ; (c) the requirement of understanding ; and (d) the nature of the kingdom of God . (e) A theme found in every discourse reappears: the threat of judgment .[34]

Jesus is trying to get them ready for the Kingdom of God and he is explaining it in hidden

messages. People who were true follower would stay around and listen to his message.

Thirdly, Jesus explains, other seeds fell among thorns and these seeds grow and choke from

going on thron.  These people fall under pressure from others and stop believing. This has

happened to a lot of Christians over the years. Many Americans today are unchurch and their

familes for generations were Christians but they were not Christian,  in name only. This is

major issue of the modern church. Is America culture the path the throns which so many

different beliefs are allow and have made the Christian message come off as too narrow-mind?

. Is Africa today the good soil ? Many parts of Africa are become Christians. 

  1. B, Gardner writes,

As one might expect, Matthew adds his own touch to the interpretation as he passes it on to us: (1) He identifies the word sown as the word of the kingdom (v. 18), which is the subject of each of the parables in the collection. (2) He contrasts the first and last types of hearers in terms of who does and doesn’t understand (vv. 19, 23), picking up the theme of the previous section. (3) He underscores the fact that hearing should lead to doing, adding a verb which here is translated yields (v. 23), but which is the same verb used elsewhere for one who does God’s will.[35]

Once again these are ageless teaching that clearly can be taught at any age. Now people here in

the States are not farmers for the most part, but people can still can understand what Jesus is

trying to tell the listener.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work Cited

Carr, A. The Gospel according to St Matthew. Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges (xvii). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1896 

Lange, J. P., & Schaff, P. . A commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Matthew . Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software 2008.

  Garland, D. E. (2001). Reading Matthew: A literary and theological commentary on the first Gospel. Reading the New Testament Series (146). Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys Publishing.

Gardner, R. B. . Matthew. Believers Church Bible Commentary . Scottdale, PA: Herald Press 1991.

Luz, U.. Matthew 1–7: A commentary on Matthew 1–7 (H. Koester, Ed.) (Rev. ed.). Hermeneia—a Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible (11).  Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press. 2007

  Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 1992 (J. B. Green, S. McKnight & I. H. Marshall, Ed.) . Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Keener, Craig S. A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew 2011. Eerdmans Publishing Co – A. Kindle Edition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Carr, A. The Gospel according to St Matthew. Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges (xvii). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1896  .

[2] Carr, xvii.  

[3] Luz, U.. Matthew 1–7: A commentary on Matthew 1–7 (H. Koester, Ed.) (Rev. ed.). Hermeneia—a Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible (11).  Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press. 2007

[4] Luz, U. (11).

[5] Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 1992 (J. B. Green, S. McKnight & I. H. Marshall, Ed.) (591). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[6] J. B. Green, 591

[7] Keener, Craig S.. A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (p. 371). Eerdmans Publishing Co – A. Kindle Edition.

[8] Keener, 375

[9] Matt 13:1

[10] Matt 13:2

[11] Matt 13:3

[12] Matt 13:4

[13] Matt 13:5

[14] Matt 13:6

[15] Matt 13:7

[16] Matt 13:8

[17] Matt 13:9

[18] Matt 13:10

[19] Matt 13:11

[20] Matt 13:12

[21] Matt 13:13

[22] Matt 13: 14

[23] Matt 13: 15

[24] Matt 13:16

[25] Matt 13:17

[26] Matt 13:18

[27] Matt 13:19

[28] Matt 13:20

[29] Matt 13:21

[30] Matt 13:22

[31] Matt 13:23

[32] Lange, J. P., & Schaff, P.). A commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Matthew (239). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software  2008.

[33] Lange, J. P., & Schaff, P. . A commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Matthew (239). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software 2008.

[34] Garland, D. E. (2001). Reading Matthew: A literary and theological commentary on the first Gospel. Reading the New Testament Series (146). Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys Publishing.

[35] Gardner, R. B. . Matthew. Believers Church Bible Commentary (213). Scottdale, PA: Herald Press 1991.

A Seeking Soul

 

As most people, I was raised in the religious way. My Mother is a deeply devoted Roman Catholic who married a Catholic man, but he does not really practice his faith anymore. I would not say I was not religious, because I was forced to go to church until I was 13 or 14 years old. This is the time when one is confirm in to the Roman Catholic church and became a full member of the church. I am not sure, that I did not believe in God. But I was tired of the strict rules of the Roman Catholic Church, which were almost impossible fully to do. Sin is sin, rather then degrees of sins as in the roman Church. Just about every thing could be seen as sin, and maybe there is some truth in that statement by the Church.

The Roman Catholic Church did not even encourage one to read the Bible, unless at the church. One can not forget you need to get only a Bible that the Catholic Church has approved. This is one of the major issues, I had with this church. Many of it teaching were not back up by the Bible. When you question the Church, you were not a good Catholic anymore. This Church tells you what to do and how to think without question the Church.

 I found myself going to a high school in my freshman year, with a bus driver who was deeply religious, but A born again Christian. She told me and another student about the Bible. She show me the book of revelations, which scare me to death.   This book kept me up all night and at this point of time; I only thought the Bible was totally pure fact. It was over time I came to realized that the Bible is in part fact and part myth. Myth did not mean that the Bible was all made up, but that something are just unexplainable to one.  I stay up that whole night up set and I came to read the passage from Matthew from Chapters twenty-Eight verse sixteen to twenty. “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

I knew after reading this I was called to the  service of God in the church and at this time I thought it was in the Roman Catholic church, but over time learned otherwise.  The passage that stood out that night and I would even dare to say now was when Lord Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” At the same time, I thought this met I was called to the priesthood and was looking into it. A Father Francis Hoffman and other local priests were heroes to me. I never  really felt  apart of the church , because it seem to only pick some people over other people. For Example Father Albert Audette was the first priest, I really felt had a connection with the people. He was a married man, before his wife would pass away. So he knew how the real world work compare to other priests. He knew what it was like to be a husband and father. I think many Catholic’s priest miss out and cannot fully do their job. Father Audette is the very reason, I want to be a priest. We sadly had a falling out, when I left the church, but I guess this is how it goes. Catholic for most part do not realized all churches are preaching the same gospel, but without the pope.  I really did not get attach with in the church, until I went Protestant. My Mother always felt that I had a calling, because when I talk about the Bible it was as those, I was not the same person. It is as if the Holy Ghost was speaking through me and I was just the tool to do so. At first I was not sure, if I could agree, but over time I must say I did. There is a presents with me, when come to Bible. My Mother of course felt I was called to Roman Catholic Church, but Protestantism overtime made more sense to me.  I knew over time many of the Roman Catholic teaching was man made and not base on the Bible. There was a church just a cross the street from a grocery store in my home town, but I never knew its name before. It was old fashion and very simpler to The Roman Catholic Church. 

This was Saint Thomas Episcopal Church and over time I would become a member. I thought I was met to be a priest within this tradition.  The Episcopal Church was not the right match for me and over time I look else where. I would say around the age of 18 years old, I started reading all books on theological or just spiritual matters. I never fully felt one church spoke for God over the other, but each one claims that their church was the true church for me. I just know all these churches were preaching the gospel, so they were all doing the same thing. I read some works of Luther and Calvin. I read still many Catholic books and felt a connect with St Francis of Assisi. Later on this connection would lead me to third order of Franciscans. This order would welcome me in and allow me to keep some of my Catholic devotional that other churches would not. In the middle of my college days, I became to be involved with the Third Order of Franciscan, which is an Episcopal order, but allowed Lutheran of ELCA to be members. In this community of I am require to do Daily office, either in the morning or evening, but it must be done. I must follow a rule of life,that I promise to do as example of following Jesus Christ as Saint Francis did back in his time period.  I came to learn about Lutheranism founding out that my great grand uncle was a Lutheran minister in the Germany. I came to enjoy Lutheranism, but the church teaching are not question as much as in other Protestant traditions. This is not say questioning is not good, but it can hurt. Martin Luther’s story spoke to me, because he was once a Roman Catholic too, but felt that some of the teaching were not Bible base. I try to follow the Bible as much as possible and to keep the basic.  I am very active with the church being a lector and usher, when needed so a greeting too, but not as much. People do not realized how a greeting can make church seem friendlier.

 I was going to college, first at Norwalk Community College and then just finished Western Connecticut State University. Coming up this spring of 09, I will have my degree in History. I have come to believe that I am called to Deacon within a church and this why I am writing to you. I am offer my body and soul to the service of the living God and I want to do his service with in this tradition and in this ministry. I would love to work at hospital chaplain , but I could also see myself being  caring soul to those in need at hospital both patient and employee.. I knew when Jesus said these words, Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” I have no choice in this, because it God’s will over mine and I must do his will. There was a point in time that I did not really want to talk about God, but somehow his present would come up again and again. Was this God doing or my own will? I like to think both, because, as I said I know I must do his will over my.

My Current understanding on Deacon is a position to make Jesus Christ known, not only in the church, but outside the church walls. Many seem to forget that church building is not the church, but just building. I feel that over time with right training and studying I will be able to express this over time better.   I like that fact that one can do many things with in this ministry. I love to focus on Hospital Chaplian , but I would not mind doing anything else on side service the church. I feel the African American church these days, are doing more with their members.  Men like Dr King and even Jesse Jackson and other great black ministers. Many of them unknown to most people, but God know who they are. Their rewards await them in paradise up above.  I am of course willing to change over time and move into other area, if the church needs it. I know I am just one of many preaching the crucified Christ message and what great message is it. I hope to be a tool for the church, maybe being type that go between churches. Because, I do not mine trying new things and learning new ways of worship. Then the possible sharing with other within our church.

Ecumenical creeds of early church 

The Nicene Creed

WE BELIEVE in one God,

 the Father, the Almighty,

 maker of heaven and earth,

 of all that is, seen and unseen.

 We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

 the only Son of God,

 eternally begotten of the Father,

 God from God, Light from Light,

 true God from true God,

 begotten, not made,

 of one Being with the Father.

 Through him all things were made.

 For us and for our salvation

 he came down from heaven:

 by the power of the Holy Spirit

 he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,

 and was made man.

 For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

 he suffered death and was buried.

 On the third day he rose again

 in accordance with the Scriptures;

 he ascended into heaven

 and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

 He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,

 and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

 who proceeds from the Father and the Son.

 With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.

 He has spoken through the Prophets.

 We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

 We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

 We look for the resurrection of the dead,

 and the life of the world to come.

Amen.[1]

The Apostles’ Creed

 I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:

 And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:

 Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into

hell:  The third day he rose again from the dead:

 He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:

 From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:

 I believe in the Holy Ghost:

 I believe in the holy Catholic Church: the communion of saints:

 The forgiveness of sins:

The resurrection of the body:

 And the life everlasting  Amen.[2]

the Athanasian Creed  

 Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith;

Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

 And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;

Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance.

 For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.

. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.

 Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit.

 The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated.

 The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.

 And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal.

 As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.

 So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty.

 And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.

 So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;

 And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.

So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord;

 And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord.

 For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord;

 So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say; There are three Gods or three Lords.

 The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.

The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten.

The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

 So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.

 And in this Trinity none is afore or after another; none is greater or less than another.

 But the whole three persons are coeternal, and coequal.

So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

 He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.

Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.

 God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of substance of His mother, born in the world.

 Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.

 Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.

 Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.

 One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood

into God. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.

 For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;

 Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day

from the dead;

He ascended into heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God, Almighty;

From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

 At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies;

 and shall give account of their own works.

And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.

 This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved.[3]

[1] http://anglicansonline.org/basics/nicene.html

[2] https://www.ccel.org/creeds/apostles.creed.html

[3] https://www.ccel.org/creeds/athanasian.creed.html

Post-denominational Experiment

Do not be fool by the name, this is not a postmodern concept, nor is it a progressive Christian ideal. This is new experiment of the Christian experience in 2014. I grow up a Roman Catholic with  Irish Catholic mind set in America.  I was taught by the Church and that only Catholicism is right church. However, I came to see that all these different churches were really not that different. I say about 80% to 90% is the same theology.I knew from early age I was called to be  servant of God. At this time I felt I was called to be a priest and Catholic one at that. I learned you could not marry those. I was like wait a minute, Let me look at these other churches where you could get marry. I over time went to the Episcopal church and I was rejected over my learning disability and weight. I then looked towards Lutheran and always also reject by them over my learn disabity, but my weight. apparently, if you are slow and fat, you do not have place in the Kingdom of God. This was not told to me by words, but by others actions. I came to believe in God  and less in the churches who had their clicks and if you did not fit in you left just sit and watch others do. Well, I am person of acting, rather than watch others enjoy life.

So, instead of others defining my fate,” I took the bull my horns”. I went to seminary and I got my master in divinity.  I have been out for little over eight months give or take a few months.  I have decided to take fate into my hands again and look for start my own Post-denominational church, which will apply many of positive aspect of the many traditions. If this experiment works, it will be of God. However, if I fail we know it was not of his will.  I think Post Denominational churches should each do their own Jesus’ experience in each and every local churches. I like to have all creeds of the churches be used in each every church. However, one should follow their concise and do what they feel the Holy Ghost is doing within them and their churches. The Bible should always be at the corner stone, but experience and reason should not be the enemy of the churches either. Remember how the disciples learned other were using  Lord Jesus name and they were not followers of their? Luke wrote, John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.” (‭Luke‬ ‭9‬:‭49-50‬ ESV) Jesus did not agree that, they need to stop. He said who was for us is not against us. The Denominations need to put past their petty difference and focus on the Gospel. Jesus came and took away our sins, but not our minds. The Bible is bunch of books, that were inspire by God, but were written by men at different point in time in history. For example for long time Jewish people thought Moses wrote the five books of Moses. However in the two last ones, he already dead. So, how was this possible? Again, tradition can get in the way of reason.  There are four gospels, but one Jesus. He came and died and Rose  again.  Therefore, why are these gospels so different from each other? They were written by different people and were met for different audience. Over time as the early Holy Catholic Church came about, did they collect these gospels and rejected other ones. In fact St, Paul letters were written first and we do not know what the other letters were saying back to him.

I am thinking of keeping it Sabbath base having services on Friday evening and Saturday morning. This will keep with the churches Jewish foots, but follow the liturgy of the modern churches. I like following a format, but each pastor or minister will follow what they are feeling will work for the church. I just personal love the Book of Common Prayer and I feel it will allow the church to have structure.  However, the robes and incense are not necessary per se to good worship experience. Once more, each church must come to term in what that parish is looking for. The churches should have each fully member have vote and be able to voice their point of view respectfully. This is just draft, but I want to see what other people thought about this. Some of you may ask why not just be non-denominational? I have experience was very negative, they are very anti Catholic and this really turn me off. I saw them making fun of Holy Communion and were calling the church McChurch, as a person of Irish descent, I felt they were not mocking the Lord supporter, but Irish people as well. I have learned later on, they were mocking more the churches being like McDonalds cookie cutter format. Meaning all the churches were following the same format and that they were catering to church members taste in beard. I still felt it as disrespectful and really as said before turn me off. So, this church will be different. I want to embrace all the different churches and show the Unity of Christ. For example many suppose Catholic worship Mary, this is not true. They give her the due and proper respect that the Mother of the Lord should be given respected and honor. Now have some worship Mary over the years as goddess ? Possible, but it was never the church teaching of her. She is blessed among all women and has special place in the Kingdom. In Revelation 12:1-6, if the child is Jesus then the woman must be Mary. Why is that not possible ? Now should one ask a saint to pray for them? As you ask someone on earth, why is not possible in the cloud of witiness can we not pray for us down below? I am not saying this need to be requirement, but it is not hurting anyone either. May I ask what are your thoughts on this ? This is just infancy and I hope, if of God this seed will grow into something more.