What is My Identity?

We often find ourselves asking, who am I, what am I supposed to be? What am I here for and what are my goals in life? We asked these questions of ourselves especially when things are not working out for us, we suffer many setbacks. Likewise, often we are told to discover ourselves, find out whom we are, then find and take our place, in the world. That way we find our truthful selves. However, they never told us truly, how to get there, and how to find our way? They never told you about the many bends and humps, and hills you must climb. Few tell you how difficult are the race of life and the many disappointments along the way. Of course, there are many pointers, many roads leading in all direction, and many suggestions.

They told you about the anchor of religion, but so many in the market place advertising their brand, you never know which one to choose, or which is the right one? To muddy the water even more they try to tell you anyone is OK, they all leads to God. Just chose a brand they all are calling on the same God. However, are they right? Does all religion leads to the true God, and if there are false teachers and preachers how do we identify them? They deny that Jesus Christ is God the Son come in the flesh (1 John 4:2-3). They deny Jesus Christ is the Sovereign Lord (2 Peter 2:1). They will say that Jesus has already returned (2 Timothy 2:18, Matthew 24:23-27). They pretend to be Christ’s servants but they actually preach a different Gospel (2 Corinthians 11:4 and 12-15, Galatians 1:6-7).They are in disguise, and taking off the arsenic label of a bottle, replacing it with honey don’t make the content any less deadly.

Humanity can identify the right type of strategy to solve the purpose of his existence, by identifying the true religion. To solve the purpose of existence he must settle comfortable with whom the true God is. Alternatively, he must solve the problem of his identity by asking two delicate yet apparent questions: How well can we define the problem of man? How well can we define the ability sphere obligatory to disentangle its complexity? Once we disentangle the complexity of Man and our understandings of God we will determined our identity, and find our purpose in the world.

So that after resolving the problem of our identity, we must answer, is who we are a choice? Alternatively, can we change who we are? Do identifying who we are and our purpose on earth determine our life choices? When we choose to belong to the human experience, we agree to unite and engage with the known world. However, the legend of the jagged nonconformist disregards the fact that humans are communal by natures, we need each other. That we desire inordinately for love, companionship and community. We are stronger together; we have a need to belong – a desire to succeed in the race of life. In addition, community have a need for all to be good to each other.

When we were born we became part of a family, develop relationship, in schools, in church, we become members of groups. We become part of the wider community without choosing and without being offered a choice or agreeing we become part of the human family. We also volunteer to do things the way society do them; we contribute to its stability.  We agree to play by societies rules, or otherwise we are punished. This in philosophy is known as voluntary conformism.

Some folks often query whether these kinds of societal conformity offer us ‘freedom,’ of choice. However, because it offers the freedom to choose what assembly to belong to and, though illogically, the freedom to do what others expects us to do, we can affirm, positively it is freedom. Therefore, though humans have the freedom of choice, the right to act, to speak and to think, we must ask, what is the limit to freedom? Can we then dare to assert that with freedom comes responsibility? I am free to speak, but I must know when to speak. I am free to shout, but shouting in a place where quiet and silence is beneficial, even healing will cause disgust. I am free to walk but there are laws against trespassing on others property. So freedom have limits, no?

Adam and Eve, had freedom to their hearts content. God made them free moral agents with the power of choice. “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Gen. 1: 27). They were given all things God created in the garden, they were in control, and they identify with God as long as they made the right choices. They lost that identity, and ever since humankind is trying to find himself. Though they we are advised that a particular choice would cause their death, they ignore that advice, follow a lie, and humanity has suffered ever since. Our best choices prove inadequate, causes self-hate and personal regrets and disgust unless it centres on God. “Unless a man is wise his own circumstances will not please him; every kind of folly is plagued with self-disgust” (Seneca, Letters 9.22).

However, it will be well with us if we heed the advice Joshua gave to the people of ancient Israel: ‘But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24: 15NIV). Joshua puts the clear choice before the people in concise form, but not as if he was unconcerned, whether they served God or not. Choose you whom ye will serve, now the matter is place plainly before you. He resolves to serve God, whatever the people of Israel did. It is essential that the service of God’s people be performed with this kind of willing and resolute mind. They identify with and chose to serve the God of their fathers. After the service of God is made the peoples clear and deliberate choice, Joshua binds them to it by a solemn covenant.

Our most important life choices are not just about finding ourselves, or discerning how we fit into the big picture of the human experience. “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (1Cor. 12: 27NIV). I conclude it is not about personal identity, independent of God, but rather in Him. Our experiences, has everything to do about discovering who we are in God and what He created us to be in the world! Our human identity can only find fulfilment and contentment in Christ Jesus. Without Christ we are nothing, and can do nothing, out life choice is complete in Him alone. God created the human family to have distinctive characteristics and purpose in the world. “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1Pet. 2: 9NIV). However, God designed us also to have a commonality of contentment with our lives through His will. We discover our identity when we know and choose Christ, and the more closely we are drawn to Him. All other names and prophets are a nonstarter.

Muslim Imam denies the Holocaust.

Holocaust denial is never new and continues unabated among Muslims, despite in existence of clear evidence, documented proof in videos and still photographs, thousands of living eye witnesses and personal stories. The Holocaust among Muslims is a concocted tale of Zionism and supported by Western and European white lies.

Why would Muslims want to deny one of the most horrible historical blots on the human experience and psyche? Could it not be that the Muslims themselves have an agenda, which is not so subtle? Could it be that by denying anything to do with the Jewish people, who God has chosen to establish His name among the entire race of humanity, is to deny their credibility? Could it be then, that by of denying Judaism, which gave birth to Christianity, is affirming Islam’s credibility? If the Jewish history and experience were wiped out, there would be no doubt, questioning, or denial of the Islamic prophet and his message in the Koran? Historians and biblical theologians agree Jesus Christ, the Jewish Messiah, as recorded in the Holy Scriptures by holy men as they were moved and influenced by God, was/is the true prophet and son of God, the saviour of humanity and the final messenger to humankind! Many researchers have found little evidence of Mohammad claims of divine inspiration, of being the final prophet or his claim, that his message replaced the Jewish prophets and Jesus himself! Therefore, what is the inheritance of the Jewish people, for Christianity, and all of humanity if in fact the Koran later replaced the biblical literature Christians believe was divinely inspired?

I digressed, but deliberately to prove a very pivotal point, which is denying something that is so evidence is like putting petrol on your house, torched it, watched it burns, someone point it out, took pictures, videotape it, but you will not accept that your house is on fire. Christ said to Paul, ‘it’s hard to kick against the pricks’ and Muslims agenda is really believing that if you deny something never happen will make it disappear from memory! One very prominent Holocaust denier is Australia’s former Grand Mufti, Sheikh Taj Din al-Hilali who was named ‘Muslim Man of the Year’ in 2005 and Australia most senior and longest-serving Muslim cleric (1988-2007).

Hilali in 1988, when imam of the largest mosque in Australia gave a speech at Sydney University described Jews as the cause of all wars and the existential enemy of humanity.

In July 2006, Hilali refers to the Holocaust as a ‘Zionist lie’ and referred to Israel as a ‘cancer.’ This kind of dangerous rhetoric is not new among Muslims or unique to Australia.

In October 2006 insinuating that the long prison sentences handed to Sydney’s Lebanese gang-rapists for attacking young teenage girls in the year 2000, were unfair he compared Australian women who do not wear the Islamic veil to meat left uncovered in the streets and then eaten by cats. During his long career, Hilali also praised suicide bombers as heroes and called the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States “God′s work against oppressors” and “the work of 100 per cent American gangs.’

At the time, Hilali’s principal adviser and spokesperson, Keysar Trad, wrote, ‘The criminal dregs of white society colonised this country and… the descendants of these criminal dregs tell us that they are better than us.’ Trad subsequently served as president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils the national umbrella organization, which represents Australian Muslims at national and international level from July 2016 until May 2017. 

The Auschwitz Institute, the Holocaust memorials are among the thousands of places where evidence exist if Mr Hilali and his lot are interested in some history lessons, but I suspect they are not! However, I will offer some anyways, because as George Santayana remarked, ‘Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.’ Though the quote is most likely due to, and in its original form read, ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ As Mr Hilali and his cohorts will find, between 1933 and 1945, Nazi Germany and its allies established more than 40,000 camps and other incarceration sites. The perpetrators used these sites for a range of purposes, including forced labour, detention of people thought to be enemies of the state, and mass murder. The total number of sites is based upon on-going research in the perpetrators’ own records.

Concentration Camps

From its rise to power in 1933, the Nazi regime built a series of detention facilities to imprison and eliminate so-called ‘enemies of the state.’ Most prisoners in the early concentration camps were German Communists, Socialists, Social Democrats, Roma (Gypsies), Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, and persons accused of ‘asocial’ or socially deviant behaviour. These facilities were called ‘concentration camps’ because those imprisoned there were physically ‘concentrated’ in one location.

After Germany’s annexation of Austria in March 1938, the Nazis arrested German and Austrian Jews and imprisoned them in the Dachau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen concentration camps, all located in Germany. After the violent Kristallnacht (‘Night of Broken Glass’) pogroms in November 1938, the Nazis conducted mass arrests of adult male Jews and incarcerated them in camps for brief periods.

Forced-Labour Prisoner-of-War Camps

Subsequent to the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, the Nazis opened forced-labour camps where thousands of prisoners died from exhaustion, starvation, and exposure. SS units guarded the camps. During World War II, the Nazi camp system expanded rapidly. In some camps, Nazi doctors performed medical experiments on prisoners.

Succeeding the June 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union, the Nazis increased the number of prisoner-of-war (POW) camps. Some new camps were built at existing concentration camp complexes (such as Auschwitz) in occupied Poland. The camp at Lublin, later known as Majdanek, was established in the autumn of 1941 as a POW camp and became a concentration camp in 1943. Thousands of Soviet POWs were shot or gassed there.

Jewish Genocide Centres

In order to expedite the ‘Final Solution’ (the genocide or mass destruction of the Jews), the Nazis established killing centres in Poland, the country with the largest Jewish population. The killing centres were designed for efficient mass murder. Chelmno, the first massacre centre, opened in December 1941. Jewish and Roma people were gassed in mobile gas vans there. In 1942, the Nazis opened the Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka killing centres to systematically kill the Jews of the General government (the territory in the interior of occupied Poland).

The Nazis constructed further gas chambers (rooms that filled with poison gas to kill those inside) to increase killing efficiency and to make the process more impersonal for the perpetrators. At the Auschwitz camp complex, the Birkenau killing centre had four gas chambers. During the height of deportations to the camp, up to 6,000 Jews were gassed there each day.

Jews in Nazi-occupied lands often were first deported to transit camps such as Westerbork in the Netherlands, or Drancy in France, en route to the killing centres in occupied Poland. The transit camps were usually the last stop before deportation to a killing centre.

Additionally millions of people were imprisoned and abused including starvation in Nazi occupied territories and the various types of concentration camps. Under SS management, the German secret police, the Germans and their agents murdered more than three million Jews in the killing centres alone. Only a small fraction of those imprisoned in Nazi camps survived.

Does one need spiritual visions and inspiration to see this flagrant denial and contempt for the truth of history? Is this then not a clear Satanic inspired attempt to deny the truth, which can be found in Christ Jesus alone? ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’ (John 14: 6). Satan’s attempt to deny Christ, and the Scriptures that testify of His divinity, and his objective, is to establish, that the bible lies and the Koran is truth! To deny the Jews and their suffering is denying history. As Samuel Taylor Coleridge once remarked, ‘If men could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us! But passion and party blind our eyes, and the light which experience gives us is a lantern on the stern which shines only on the waves behind.’ Establishing there is another way, gives credibility to Mohammad’s teachings, which has no credible history! As to accept Islam is to deny Christ! In fact, many others have now accepted that all religions are equally true, there is one god, so that there are many ways to him! When the water is so muddy, people will not see a difference. My friends, removing the label of an ‘arsenic poison’ bottle and re-label it, as ‘fruit juice’ will not neutralise its deadly content!

With such credible documented evidence of history, how does Muslims and imams like Hilali are allowed to get away with such blatant Holocaust denial?

A Troubled Mind

“But I cry to you for help, Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before you… Why, Lord, do you reject me and hide your face from me? From my youth I have suffered and been close to death; I have borne your terrors and am in despair” (Psa. 88:13-15NIV).

This sounds like a pretty bad place to be, is it not. I mean that place where, you feel that the host of hell has overtaken you and you are in fear for your life. Where your faith and confidence in God is weakened because there is no response from Heaven to your plight? You feel rejected and alone, abandoned even as your troubles instead of decreasing, they seemingly multiplied?

Many of you know it well; you have been at that place repeatedly in your life when it seems God ignores your plight. You want answers, after years of struggles you want an end. After years of seeking, knocking and asking but no credible substantive answer is revealed. Your mind start to play tricks on you, God no longer loves you, He forget you or do not care about your circumstance. Especially when you look around and see people evil ones prospering, those who have no faith or belief in God. David declared this a personal issue, “For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” He is not alone in this mystery, Job asked, “Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power? That question continues to plague us even now.

When things get rough with us, we want instant release. The prophet Jeremiah said, “You are always righteous, LORD, when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? This is the significant part is it not? Why do all the faithless live relatively at ease and without a care in the world? It is human that we look on the growth and wealth, even prosperity of ungodly people and wonder why others who know God, our suffering are prolonged. Though we are encouraged in Scriptures, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things… For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God… When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Col. 3: 2-4)

Therefore, the problem is not in what is actually happening, it is the perception of what is, in Greek thought, “the fault is not in one’s surroundings but in the mind itself. Whatever it was that made poverty a trial makes riches a trial as well. When a person is sick, it makes no difference whether you lay him on a wooden bed or a golden one: he will take the disease along wherever you carry him. Even so, it matters not at all whether one sick in mind is placed in wealth or in poverty. The trouble is his own, and it follows him” (Socrates and the Stoics). The mind can always put us into a place where we feel helpless and disenfranchised, God no longer cares he will say. However, exactly the opposite is true; God cares more than we will ever know. The bible gives us enough meat to chew on about God’s unfailing love towards the human race and the things He has in store for us. Satan does not want us to fully understand and appreciate that so he fills our hearts with fear and doubts.

The mind of a human being, the place where our thoughts take place and our opinion and choices to do good or evil, come to manifestation. A number of terms in the Scriptures are used for mind and reason, some of which overlaps in meaning and others that view the inner man (mind/spirit) from opposing views. The significance of this aspect of human reality is viewed mainly in its relation to God and His revelation to man.

The simple difference between Hebrew and Greek thought, is that in Hebrew it serve as allusions to the mind or reason most often, mainly, ‘heart,’ ‘spirit,’ ‘soul’, so are not limited to these meanings, but cover a wide range of ideas as they seek to describe the inner man or the unseen dimensions of the human person in an all-inclusive way, i.e. specifics of eastern thought. However, advances in the Old Testament are not, for lack of such specific language to be thought of as less refined but rather as linked

to Hebrew culture, which reflected the cerebral and sensitive aspects of human life from the standpoint of the whole person? I.e. ‘heart, soul, and spirit’ are not separate parts of the inner man, but are reference to the whole inner man and is to be understood in relation to the whole human person. Consequently, the aspect of the inner thought and knowledge is view in connection to right behaviour.

Likewise, in Hebrew the heart is view as connected to the Mind. The term ‘heart’ (leb ‘bel’, ‘lebab’ or ‘b’bel’, in its metaphorical practice, is the most significant term for the ‘inner person.’ It sights the inner person from different viewpoints, of which the unease here is its reference to the ‘thought’ or ‘will’ of human beings or to the structure of understanding. Therefore, the ‘heart’ or ‘to set the heart’ means to make up the mind or choose (2Chron.12:14; Neh. 4:6). ‘Calling to mind’ in Deut. 30:1; Isa. 46:8; 65:17; Jer. 3:16; ‘recalling’ is similar (Deut. 30:1; Jer. 51:50; Ezek. 38:10).Wisdom and understanding are located in the heart (1Kings 3:12; Prov. 16:23) and perceived with the heart (Prov. 18:15; 22:17; Eccles. 1:1, 8:16). Moreover, it is the heart that plans or purposes to act (Prov. 16:1 Proverbs 16:9). God’s ‘mind’ is sometimes described this way (Jer. 19:5; 32:35; 44:21). Decisions of a moral nature take place in the heart (Gen 20:5; Job 11:13). This being the case, evil will also be manifested in the heart, where decisions to disobey and rebel take place (Jer. 17:9). The heart or mind can be perverse and therefore incapable of apprehending truth and wisdom (Prov. 10:20; 11:20; 12:8; Prov. 17:16, 20). The heart is also the place where deception occurs (Isa. 44:20).

Therefore, ‘heart’ serves as a reference to the person as thinking, perceiving, and willing being, bringing together the ideas of knowledge, understanding, and will. When we are faced with mind-blowing decisions, when circumstances affects our lives in such a way that we are unable to see the price. We are advised to, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding’ (Prov. 3:5NIV). When we lose sight of God, fail to rise above our fears and doubt of God, the visions of prosperity around us, will cause us to fail. When we struggle and people are advancing and developing, especially if those people are wicked, we are thinking as the world does. Paul advised, ‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will’ (Rom. 12: 2). Only when we are fully transformed in our way of thinking, can we see and understand the full picture of why others prosper living so wicked year after year. David was tempted to be envious at their prosperity, but when He searched the Scriptures he realised they were living on slippery ground.

So friends work hard in controlling the mind and its perception of what is or is not. We have to take control of out thought processes so we win the battle of wits, Satan throws at us because winning will not come to us without that spiritual fight. We have to be strong in spirit and soul and be courageous, knowing that we can do it if we put our backs into it. Our heart can accomplish anything and everything that our mind can conceptualise. If anybody puts us down, analyse us for lack of physical progress, keep on fighting, believe in your own ability, but have faith in God who strengthens you. God can do anything but fail, and in Him, we can turn our negative life and way of thinking into something positive!

 

Jihadists agenda, assault Freedom and Secular Democracies.

Saudi Arabia the most prominent promoters of the Wahhabi version of Islam, money and influence is propagating the west Western leaders because of the need to fuel their economic juggernaut has turned a blind eye of Saudi Arabia’s influence in its cities, universities, colleges, prisons and other public institutions. More than 95% of Imams station in these public institutions are from the Wahhabi sect and funded with Saudi Arabia’s money. Yet the amount of Sunni and Shia Muslims greatly outnumbered the Wahhabis in Britain. The same money that trained these Islamic representatives to infiltrate these bodies so they may influence western students and government has one aim that is to put a soft gloss over the name Islam and make it more acceptable. Once it becomes an everyday expression in the news, regardless of its method and means the end result is what matters.

Sunni Islam’s most prominent preacher, Yusuf al Qaradawi, declared that the day would come when, like Constantinople, Rome will be Islamized. It is clear that the men and women, Islamic covert representatives trained in Saudi Arabia and Turkey have been working overtime to affect the cause of Islam in western states. As it is Islam, not Christianity, that now saturates Europe and other western states, landscape and imagination. Last year in North America alone more than 2000 Mosque were built with Saudi Arabia money, the figure doubled in Britain and other western democracies.

Why is Saudi Arabia so keen in saturating the west with Mosque and Islamic centres? It is almost as if the west is stuck in a time warp, watching the Islamization of its continent and is powerless to stop it from happening. Islam is out of bounds when it comes to poking fun. People are so scared of Islam that not even satirist and comedians usual poking of fun and a joke at Judaism and Christianity has a no touch policy when it comes to Islam.

Clearly, the Jihadists likewise have an agenda, and seemingly leading an assault against freedom and against secular democracies. They want to divide and concur. US President Trump’s strategic advisor Steve Bannon recently observed that the “Judeo-Christian West is collapsing, it is imploding.  And it’s imploding on our watch, and the blowback of that is going to be tremendous.’ Many see Bannon a conspirator and supporter of the far rights agenda with extreme views but is he on to something here? The impotence and the fragility of our civilization are haunting many Europeans as well. The west has not yet catch on that the greatest of battles is being fought in Islam itself. Saudi Arabia, Wahhabi and Iran Shia are great enemies and rivals as to the brand of Islam they promote in the world. The west is caught in the middle of that battle and know not which way to go, whether the side of Iran or Saudi Arabia.

Dictatorship and one man rule is the modus operandi in Islamic States, and the Ayatollah and the Saudi King want to be that Islamic strong man that rules the world, not just Islam. The Turkish president is knocking hard on that door of Islamic strongman, by increasing his presidential powers. You will find that very few Islamic states if any have any semblance of what the west treasure as freedom and democracies.

Many run to the west for freedom because of persecution at home, inability to vote or speak freely yet they want to restrict what you can say about their religion. It is the fear of this violence, torture and death, wielded by extremist Muslims, that keeps every person desperate to obey.

If the liberals are in favour of freedom of speech, why do they then turn a blind eye to Islamist governments such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, which execute people for expressing their opinion? Why do they not allow people in the West express their opinion without attacking them as we see in France and Germany? On the other hand, even giving people the respect of hearing what they have to say and the freedom to choose what they want? Many seem, in fact, like the autocratic people from whom they are fleeing, who also did not want their simplistic, binary way of thinking to be threatened by logic or fact.

In Islam, no one is allowed to attack except to defend the prophet Mohammad or the Islamic religion. Extremist Muslims need to keep finding or creating supposed attacks to make themselves to appear as victims. They will find excuses such as western foreign policies or Israel’s treatment of Palestinians as a vehicle and justification for their extremist and violent actions. My dear ‘Liberal’ in the west, if you truly stand for values such as peace, social justice, liberty and freedoms, your apologetic view of radical Islam is in total contradiction with all of those values. Your view even hinders the efforts of many Muslims to make a peaceful reformation in Islam precisely to advance those values. So that you Mr and Mrs liberal is a part of the problem not the solution!

Western government be on the alert of the Jihadist agenda! The freedom and democracies we all holds dear is under threat by a violent extremist plan, to divide concur and rule the west with an Islamic strongman. Christians, be on the alert, the freedom you hold but take for granted may soon be no more. For if the extremist wins, Christianity will be no more! Watch and pray that God will protect you through the ever increasing Islamist assault on western values. The true aim of Islam? To silence Christ and His followers… Christians!

Emphasise firm knowledge, established on objective truth.

Sometimes it takes years, for some people a lifetime to develop an identity, knowing who you are, not the ones they think you are, or think you should be. The true one, the real unique you, the one God create with a purpose, fulfilling your design objective, Gods plan for you in a hostile environment. Not that you are perfect, ‘we all have sinned’ but highly favoured, just and only forgiven sinner, saved by grace. Finding, identifying occupying your place, in the world in a culture pregnant with subjectivity however, you must be free to design and create to your own taste. Not that subjectivity is wrong at all times, far from it, subjectivity has its place, but it must be research and reason before one submits to greater forces. Subjectivity is an essential theory of philosophy, associated with awareness, activity, personhood, authenticity, and truth, which has been variously define by causes. Roughly being a focus, closely meaning people, who have conscious experiences, such as viewpoints, feelings, beliefs, and desires. Because we are originals and not a carbon copy of anyone else we must be allowed to form, develop and establish the true us, not formed by others ideas or their cynicism of us.

However, objectivity is pregnant with impartiality, which is the absence of bias/prejudice. As being objective, we are able to find fairness, equitability, even-handed, justice, open-minded, disinterest, detachment, dispassion, neutrality etc. We very often head ‘the ideals of journalistic accuracy and objectivity’ being flaunted about, but it is rarely achieved. Very few news broadcast or headlines have accuracy and objectivity. Nevertheless, this is what world reporting and what society need from its news reporting. We often heard the phrase, we will have to agree to disagree, but it also works the opposite way. It is important that we look at things objectively, and then we have a clearer picture of what we are subjecting ourselves to. Understanding who we are as a human beings, firstly a new born, that our parents loves and cherished. As we grow through childhood into teenage years and into adulthood, singleton in school. Later in society always looking for a footing, forming identity through groupings, friendships a sense of belonging. For some entering into relationships, starting a family man, and finding a suitable working pattern that conveniently blend with our family life and responsibilities.

Those experiences in the academic pursuit understand that it takes pages and pages to develop a coherent concept. Of course not pursuing an academic discipline, for those other times as for a magazine article a short vignette will be acceptable. In the start of 2017, this article will emphasise firm knowledge, established on objective truth. I will share with you a selection of thoughts I have gathered over the years addressing a wide range of issues relevant to your role as an ambassador for Christ.

Sometimes all it takes is a short reflection or a briefly explained insight to put a stone in someone’s shoe, gently prodding him or her to see things from a different perspective. Not to follow the usual hype, hysteria and half-truth peddled by the unlearned and spiritually blind. Many of Christians interactions with family and friends are laced with tales that undress, peal the skin from, separate, destroy others with whom we take a dislike or imagined a hurt that never exist. Our interactions with people must be about building up others, building walls of friendships, not building walls that keep us apart. Maturity in Christ is not about tearing down bridges that brings us together, and unites us. We should be spiritually mature enough to say stop it! Whether it is family or friend, let them see the error of their ways, be objective. When we join in the arguments that are assassinating others, we are being subjective to the forces of hysteria and disunity. It is like putting a bullet to their head, not with a gun, but from our lips. ‘But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgement. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell’ (Matt. 5: 22). Stop it, already, its 2017!

Start today, the first working day in January 2017, to love your neighbour, our sister/brother as ourselves. As only then, we will see again clearly, since we are in relationship with them and with God. This means that much of our individual and collective effort in 2017 will and should be about planting and nurturing the seed of righteousness and love rather than in harvesting the fruit of hate. As Christian ambassadors, let us be prepared to take small steps, engaging someone over time, evangelise our backyards. Offering little morsels like those in this ‘emphasis on firm knowledge, established on objective truth’ is a great way to get people thinking objectively and hopefully move them towards re-establishing a firm relationship, subjectively with Christ. Likewise helping the unsaved to making a firm commitment to follow Jesus Christ.

I hope you share it with your family, friends, work colleagues and associates.

Is the Christmas tree Christian?

When it comes to this season of the year, shoppers are enticed with advertisement on TV, Radio, newspapers and billboards to get the perfect Christmas tree. The shops are packed, and you can see many people gathering at stalls trying to choose which is best for their particular setting. The associated Christmas is a holiday shared and celebrated by Christians, but has sympathies with many other world religions. Undoubtedly, it is a day that has a worldwide effect.

To many people, Christmas time is a favourite season of the year and involves stupendous spending, the sharing of gifts, party celebrations and elaborate feasting. Christmas is a holiday that unifies almost all peoples of faith and non-religious claimants.

This festive seasons, or the spirit of Christmas causes many to elaborately decorate their everyday spaces, grow a special tree, then cut it down and bring them to their houses, schools, business places and shopping centres, decking them with silver and gold with elaborate lightings. In the light of the mistletoe, families gather, make merry one to another. As I sat down to write there are many lights of my neighbours and of varying colours flashing at me.

Traditionally, when the sun goes down on the 24th of December and darkness covers the land, families and churches prepare for participation in customs such as burning the Yule log, singing around the decorated tree, kissing under the mistletoe and holly, and attending a late night service or midnight mass.

However, quite often we are confronted with important questions such as, what is the meaning of Christmas? Where did the customs and traditions originate?

Many Christians, would desire to worship Christ the Lord in Spirit and in truth as was intended, therefore discerning the spirit of what make sense and what does not, what is truth and what is not. More importantly is Christmas really Christian, and if it isn’t would God be happy that we pass it off as a Christian festival?

The plain truth is that all the customs associated with Christmas pre-date the birth of Jesus Christ, and has firm roots in paganism. Christmas as it has become is a collection of traditions, practices and rituals taken from many cultures and nations.

The 25th of December comes from Roman traditions on which mass were a celebration offered to the Italic god, Saturn, and the rebirth of the sun god Tammuz. The date

In the pre-Christian Romans era pagans noted that daylight began to increase after December 22nd, when it was assumed that the sun god died. These ancients’ worshippers believed that the sun god rose from the dead three days later as the newborn and venerable sun. Consequently, they believed that to be the reason for increasing daylight.

This gave justifiable cause, in their views for much uninhibited excitement and licentious celebration. Gift giving and merriment filled the temples of ancient Rome, as sacred priests of Saturn, called dendrophori, who carried wreaths of evergreen boughs in procession. In Germany, the evergreen tree was used in worship and festivity of the Yule god, also in observance of the resurrected sun god.

The evergreen tree was a symbol of the essence of life and was regarded as a phallic symbol in the fertility god worship. Witches and other pagans regarded the red holly as a symbol of the menstrual blood of the queen of heaven, also known as Diana. Additionally the wood of the holly was also used by witches to make wands for their witchery practices. The white berries of mistletoe were believed by the pagans to represent droplets of the semen of the sun god. Both the holly and the mistletoe were hung in doorways of temples and homes to invoke powers of fertility in those who stood beneath and kissed, causing the spirits of the god and goddess to enter them.

Kissing under sprigs of mistletoe is a well-known holiday tradition, but this little plant’s history as a symbolic herb dates back thousands of years. Many ancient cultures prized mistletoe for its healing properties. The Greeks were known to use it as a cure for everything from menstrual cramps to spleen disorders, and the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder noted it could be used as a balm against epilepsy, ulcers and poisons. The plant’s romantic overtones most likely started with the Celtic Druids of the 1st century A.D. Because mistletoe could blossom even during the frozen winter, the Druids came to view it as a sacred symbol of vivacity, and they administered it to humans and animals alike in the hope of restoring fertility.

Kissing under the mistletoe is first found associated with the Greek festival of Saturnalia and later with primitive marriage rites. They probably originated from two beliefs. One belief was that it has power to bestow fertility. It was also believed that the dung from which the mistletoe would also possess “life-giving” power. In Scandinavia, mistletoe was considered a plant of peace, under which enemies could declare a truce or warring spouses kiss and make-up. Later, the eighteenth-century English credited with a certain magical appeal called a kissing ball.

Th customs we now see at Christmas transcended the frontiers of ancient Rome and Germany and to the far reaches of the then known world. So why and how did all of these ancient customs find their way into and become acceptable practices in modern Christianity, from Catholicism to Protestantism even into fundamentalist churches?

‘Christmas’ itself reveals the marriage of paganism with Christianity. Christmas being a mixture of the name ‘Christ’ our Lord and ‘Mass’ which was a pagan celebration. As many failed to understand ‘Mass’ signify death and was coined originally by the pagans. However when the pagans converted to Christianity, became the Roman Catholic Church, or the universal church of Rome. They could not make a clean and complete break from their roots and traditions, transferred many of the ancient customs and called them Christian, a clever mixture of paganism with Christianity.

The ritual of the Mass involves the death of Christ and the distribution of the ‘Host’, a word taken from the Latin word ‘hostiall’ that means victim! Christmas is therefore a mixture of Christianity with paganism introduced by the Roman Catholic Church. A study of the schemes of the Catholic Church reveals that in every case, the church absorbed and welcomed the customs, traditions and general paganism of every tribe, culture and nation in their efforts to increase the number of people under their control. The Catholic Church invited all of the pagan cultures to, ‘bring your gods, goddesses, rituals and rites and we will give them Christian sounding titles and names so they can be more acceptable, without many people batting an eyelid.

However, they never planned for the liked of Martin Luther the great reformer and corrector of Catholic errors. Luther came on the scene on October 31st, 1517, and other reformers followed his lead, all of them took with them the paganism that was so firmly imbedded in Rome. However in spite of the great work they accomplished these reformers left Christmas intact, leaving many to think it was OK. However, many people continue to question the validity of the tree arguing that it was associated with pagan festivals and not Christians, but how did it becomes associated with Christianity and thus a Christian symbol?

‘Hear what the LORD says to you, O house of Israel… This is what the LORD says:

“Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, though the nations are terrified by them… For the customs of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and an artisan shapes it with his chisel… They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter” (Jer. 10: 1 – 4 NIV).

Hebrew Masoretic Text

3 For the customs of the peoples are vanity; for it is but a tree which one cutteth out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman with the axe.

This message to Israel by the prophet Jeremiah was often ignored by God’s chosen people and continues to be ignored by Christians at Christmas. Though denied the message appears to forbid cutting down a tree, bringing it into our homes, and decorating it. There are few Christian groups who in modern times will heed the warning and forbid Christmas trees anywhere in their environment due to this passage.

However, most Christians who are aware of the ancient warning will excuse it by claiming that it was warning against the associated idolatry and not about Christmas trees in particular. Some modern churches ignored the whole Old Testament books and this includes this passage, so obviously it could not be a Christmas tree. Similarly, they highlighted the fact that in many modern translations the word chisel is used, which to them is an indication that the reference was not really to a tree but a carved idol. However, the NIV uses the word chisel, while the KJV uses the word axe, as does the Hebrew Masoretic Text.  The Septuagint does not use axe or chisel, but calls the tree a “molten image” in verse 3. Once again, the different translations are a source of confusion.

To enhance their claim they point to other verses which shows that the context of this passage is clearly about the worship of idols. However, verses 3 and 4 are still strong statements against cutting down trees and bringing them into a house to decorate, and these verses are a direct quote from God through the prophet.

Additionally, God clearly declares that he hates the practices of the other peoples who were neighbours of Israel.  Of course, there are many non-Israelite origins of peoples decorating trees that pre-date the modern ‘Christmas tree.’ Ancient (and modern) pagans would cut boughs of evergreens for decoration in their homes. Ancient Egyptians decorated their homes with palm tree branches. Greeks decorated evergreen trees as part of worship of their god Adonia. Pagan Romans would decorate trees with metal and replicas of Bacchus, a fertility god. Germans tied fruit and candles to trees in honour of their god Woden.  Christians cannot accurately claim that decorating a tree is not related to pagan idol worship.

The second-century Christian theologian Tertullian condemned those Christians who celebrated the winter festivals, or decorated their houses with laurel boughs in honour of the emperor:  ‘Let them over whom the fires of hell are imminent, affix to their posts, laurels doomed presently to burn: to them the testimonies of darkness and the omens of their penalties are suitable. You are a light of the world, and a tree evergreen. If you have renounced temples, make not your own gate a temple.’ Other Christian leaders condemned the ‘pagan’ practice of Christmas trees, including the Pilgrim’s second governor, William Bradford. The Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Worldwide Church of God (recent post at http://worldwidechurchgod.blogspot.com/2009/12/call-for-christmas-tree-sellers-to.html) and many fundamentalist Christian groups still forbid Christmas trees. Notice the Worldwide Church of God link mentions Jeremiah 10 as well.

Most of Christendom, continue to ignore the warnings contained in Jeremiah 10, and any other passage in the bible that contradicts their opinions. Are you/me kill sport if we do not join in the celebrations? Should we like many Christian groups join in the celebration and ignore the apparent link with paganism? Should we say, ‘it’s only a day, it won’t harm you?’ I see no reason why we should act against our conscience and flagrantly ignore the warnings. Let God be the judge!

 

God: I Got This, I Got Your Back!

I felt compelled to revisit this message in light of the demonstrations across American cities. In most western countries, we have democratic institutions and systems where people have the opportunities to express their opinions freely and vote for the candidate of their choice, who they wanted to lead them. Unfortunately, in many countries of the world people die for such privileges, dictators, politically unfit and misfits grab and exercise enormous power through force and intimidation. Millions of people today do not have a voice, they cannot vote for their leaders, and if they raise a voice of dissent, they are intimidated, lock up in prison, or silenced forever. Let us stand up for the democratic system where we are at least we know we are free to express opinion, and vote for who we desire. It does not means we always get what we want, but at least we have that choice!

The packages that arrive at our address today, the uncertainties life brings may not be the ones we planned, work, bought, dream or prayed for. However, it is the ones that lands at our doorsteps, it becomes the one we are stuck with. There comes a time in life when we experience defeat, even disaster, but we must admit defeat, lick our wounds and start again. Some punches are hard to accept, but accept them we must, so acknowledge them, and move on, life goes not backward but forward.

The election is history; no one can go back there and change it, no one can change the hands of time! However, we are here now, we have today, it is ours to win or lose, so grab it and run, just move with it. The best planning and preparation we can make for tomorrow is taking control of the opportunities now. We worry because we don’t know what will happen tomorrow, the future terrifies the best of us. When humanity begin to realise that nothing in life is guaranteed, only then we will be more confident about today, and end our lives much stronger than when we first began! Only the future is ours to take and that only is secure with God. We must learn from our experiences, even the bad and sad ones, lessons therein are designed to correct errors, to have a better ending.

Each morning when we open our eyes, whether we live in western democracies or under a dictatorship we are blessed. “As long as there is life there is hope.” Each moment that we are awake, we have life, which means we are blessed! We need no election results, no motivational speaker, bible bashing, jacket tale flashing, feet stamping, and not loud shouting preacher to tell us we are! We are blessed in the city, we are blessed in the field, we are blessed in our homes, and we are blessed when we travel. We are blessed because we have life, but we can have it more abundantly when we understand and accept that Jesus is Lord of our lives. The election result brought worries and pain for many in America, even the world, but let go of your worries and let God take control of today and tomorrow. We should spend more time praying for people everywhere, mostly for those in war torn areas, famine ravaged, destitute and hungry people who have no hope. Their situations, their dire circumstances dictate their desires, their hopes their dreams of a better future.

Christians have a better grasp of the future, because Christ is our Lord and He knows better than us what tomorrow holds, we should depend on Him. If the future were here it would not be the future, it would be today, we are stuck with the present, so live it! We must make the best of what we have, in the here and now, live for today, and while living with the difficulties, pray for a better tomorrow. If we live well, work with what life dished out to us, and make the best of what we call today, the future is and will be bright. Gods word reassures, relax, I got your back!

So fear not for the cloudy skies that hangs low above us, nor the gathering storm that approaches from a distance. They can harm our bodies, but never kill our spirits. They cannot come near or harm us, and should not worry us if we rely on the word of Him whose promises are sure, and who we rely on. We depend on Him for our daily sustenance, why not relax and allow Him to take control? We don’t know about tomorrow or know about what the future holds, but God is faithful to His children, our destiny is secure. Many troubling, fearful things about tomorrow, we label the future we do not understand, because we cannot see beyond today. However, God promise to stand by us, in the storm, in the battles, in the midnight hours. We know who, God holds tomorrow, and we know who, God hold our hands, He, Christ stands by me/us!

Find Healing Through Your Struggle

No greater the experience of man than the power of love

Speak quietly first to yourself and enforce your soul

Speak gently to yourself and provide reassurance to others

Despair will disappear, better days are ahead, the future will be cheerful,

Your human spirit will promise and enforce the belief in others that they can make it, if they really are extending their best effort.

Comfort your hurting soul by loving; heal your bruised and tender spirit, by hoping

Always be reminded that many others have succeeded, though they suffer loss.

Your successes can be a beacon of hope and offer comfort to the down trodden.

Hebrews 11 highlights heroes and heroine of faith, should be a constant reminder.

They experience tumults and pains like we can never imagined, yet they are winners

If someone is sinking offer them help in practical and tangible ways, not criticism

Lend them a helping hand as if you were lifting, encouraging your dearest friend

You are not a slave to the conventions of this world, release and let your soul fly

You are a free spirit, a king in the eyes of your creator, go forward and take your crown.

If you dream something, release your spirit; open the window of your soul

Let you hopes and dream fly into the tomorrow, the future of Gods reality,

The light of His love will magnify the heart’s desire, and set us completely free of the human prison.

Remember this always, all human lives has a meaning and a purpose

All stories are important; tell your story, not his-story.

All dreams count, possess your dream, live your dream

All voices matter, speak your concerns, let your voices be heard

All lives matters, whatever your ethnicity, your lives have equal value

There is but one humanity, one human race, no white or black race

All lives were created; we were born to make an impact in the world.

The reason we fail to realise, this is they separate us into colour groups which only serves to divide us. All of us can take a stand today and say enough is enough; I will not hate my brother any longer. You have potential that goes beyond this world. I hope that humanity will realise their potential, the hopes and dreams God gave him. For some it may be and wealth and fame, for others just a lowly place serving others in the community. Whatever our lot in life serve well serve passionately, serve God. So that others will see that, it is in serving others where we will find our sense of community and realise completion. The effect we have on others is the most valuable gift there is. Everything we gain in life will rot and fall apart, “‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal” (Matt 6: 19). So all that will be left of us is what is stored in our hearts.

We are not the images that we create of ourselves, but the reality God wants us to be. We are not the cartoons that bend and are crushed but soon rise up again. We are human beings, created in the image of God, through whom the light of Gods righteousness shines in the darkened corridors of this world.

Daniels Prophesy – European Army

The EU has long harboured desires for a super state. The desire for and now the creation of the economic and now monetary union. In recent times, the discussion has gathered pace for a European Army. Those of us who believed this conglomeration of European nations, united economically, monetary and military is the final part of the puzzle of Daniels Image prophesy is being fulfilled.  Many in government for a long time have been issuing warnings that the leaders of Europe have wider interest, but were scorned at, even labelled dramatists. However, the statement of Soeren Kern, a leading European official, is quoted as advocating just that policy. On September 14, 2016 he said, “We are going to move towards an EU army much faster than people believe”. Therefore, while the policy was focused on economics in the past the underlying desire for an army has always been there, fighting to be unleashed to an unsuspecting populace.

Opponents of such a move has always voiced concerns of this creeping danger, not just the fact it would replace NATO, but that this super state would yield unequal, unstoppable powers the world has never seen. Some say that the creation of a European army, a long-held goal of European federalists, would entail an unprecedented transfer of sovereignty from European nation states to un-elected bureaucrats in Brussels, the de facto capital of the European Union. The fight and Brexit from the union seem to have paved the way for increased efforts to form such a body. Nations states, powers have slowly whittled away, and once such powers are concentrated solely in Brussels. No one can stop them.

Others voiced concerns that efforts to move forward on the European defence integration initiative revealed that European strategists have learned little lesson from what the referendum in Britain, and the Brexit delivered. They determined and focused on their long held plans to continue to build a European super state regardless of opposition from large sectors of the European public. Dr Liam Fox, Brexit minister in Theresa May government, in his former role as British defence secretary in the Cameron Government remarked, “Those of us who have always warned about Europe’s defence ambitions have always been told not to worry… We are always told not to worry about the next integration and then it happens. We’ve been too often conned before and we must not be conned again”. While these warnings were being aired, many were ridiculing them as fantasists and anti-Europeans. However, though their voices were being hushed and silenced, the EU leaders were advancing their game changer moves. The recent announcements took many by surprise, but for others, it is more like, “I told you so”.

Daniels prophesies signalled conglomeration of nations, not just a desire, but also an actual attempt, “Iron & clay”, strong and weaker nations coming together but not united for long because the two elements just do not mixed well. The unity will create much trouble for their neighbours and will cause heaven to intervene, because of the trouble they will cause. According to Geoffrey Van Orden, UK Conservative Party defence spokesman the, “Formation of EU defence structures, separate from NATO, will only lead to division between transatlantic partners at a time when solidarity is needed in the face of many difficult and dangerous threats to the democracies”. Can and will the world open its eyes to this potentially dangerous move and take steps to stop them? Alternatively, is it inevitable that such an organisation will come into existence to threaten the world? Those of us bible watchers and students of prophesy will recognise man’s inability to form lasting unions and associations, if it goes against the plan of God. We may wish so an association is stopped in its tracks, but whether we like it or not, and whether or not we see the dangers that lurks beneath, there are just some things in life that man cannot change. Whatever must be, will be, for God meant it so. So stand back and watch the salvation of the Lord.

Proclaim the Good News

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn…and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair…They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor” (Isaiah 61: 1-3).

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you…See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn (Isaiah 60: 1-3)

“If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands…I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit… Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land… “I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove wild beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country…You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you…Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you…”I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you…You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new…I will put my dwelling place[a] among you, and I will not abhor you…I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people…I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high” (Lev. 26: 3 -13).