Not trying to make the heathen live like Jews #1

Man living in Garden of Eden in Days of God

At a certain time in history of the universe the Divine Creator made “from the dust of the ground” a human being. Just with dust man would be nothing so there had to be a spark or something special to bring the material to live. The “essence” of the being for man came  from God Who is the “Supreme Being” Itself.

Michelangelo's painting of the sin of Adam and...
Michelangelo’s painting of the sin of Adam and Eve (the Fall of Man) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Eternal Spirit Who Is Who He is the Being in Itself made man in His own image by His Voice and by “a spark”, or particle, scintillated from His Divine Nature, giving the being life, having intelligent faculty and existence independently of the substantial organism with which it is associated.

Man felt lonely and got a partner, a mannin or woman, called Eve. Together they could sojourn freely in the Garden of Eden. In essence they where good and had the free will to stay good, by keeping to the ordinances of their heavenly Father.

Seventh day Day of rest for God

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c4/Merneptah_Israel_Stele_Cairo.JPG/300px-Merneptah_Israel_Stele_Cairo.JPG
The Merneptah stele. While alternative translations exist, the majority of biblical archaeologists translate a set of hieroglyphs as “Israel“, representing the first instance of the name Israel in the historical record.

They too came to understand the days of God and how they should honour Him and respect His creation. For them the seventh day was also a day of rest where they could show how much they loved their Creator. We do not know whether the earth’s first population organised themselves by means of a seven day week. Whereas other periods of time or various calender units based on the time the earth takes to revolve once around the sun (the day, month and year) are based upon observable movements of stars and planets, the seven day week has no such basis-that can be found only in the explanation in Genesis. As the time passed days, month and years got names. A Rosh Chodashim (head of the months) came to exist next to a month of the salvation or Chodesh ha Yeshuah,  a month of redemption or Chodesh hageulah, a year of recompense and many others.

From beginning the stars, planets and man’s being may have been very complex and not understandable for man. Darkness and light made a difference for him giving him an idea of a time element. But the things man did not know seemed to worry them. Also the matter that That Holy Spirit they could not be seen made their mind weary. They started wondering how This Spirit could order days and demand them to take rest or have  period of inactivity, relaxation, or sleep, on a certain day and not to eat from a certain fruit-tree, calling it the Tree of knowledge of good and evil, which was going to bring life and death over man.

Organisation of days and food provision

In case man had decided to organise his living according to periods of seven days nowhere can we find proof that God said they would be punished for not resting on the seventh day. They had total freedom of choice about this. In fact, God gave no instructions about how the seventh day should be spent until after the nation of Israel had been brought out of Egypt (the Shemoth) and led miraculously through the Red Sea into the wilderness of Sinai. Being a large community, they needed a good and regular supply of food and water, but in desert conditions these were very scarce. The people soon complained, and wished they were back in Egypt. A further miracle brought them their food. Each morning around their camp

“there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as the hoarfrost on the ground” (Exodus 16:14).

The food was called “manna“, and could be collected for six days each week.

This was literally food which could be eaten. On the first five days each week any manna not eaten that day, but kept overnight “bred worms, and became foul”.
On the sixth day, if a double portion was collected, it would keep fresh for use on the seventh day when no manna was available. Moses asked them to eat that manna that day for that seventh day is a Sabbath to Jehovah God. Therefore they could not find any manna in the field. Take attention that Moshe or Moses says it was a ‘day of rest for Jehovah’ and not ‘day of rest for man’.
In this way the pattern of work and rest was enforced for the nation of Israel:

Exodus 16:25-26 NHEBJE  Moses said, “Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to Jehovah. Today you shall not find it in the field.  (26)  Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day is the Sabbath. In it there shall be none.”

Six days of gathering and one day of rest: God’s activity in Creation thus became the example for His nation. For the first time in the Bible, the word “Sabbath” is used. It means simply ‘to cease‘ ( to bring or come to an end), and is used to describe the day when the manna discontinued falling down from heaven and the Israelites rested from their labours, as God had from His.

Laws to control the activity of the nation

In those days of Moses and his people shortly after the manna was first provided, it also was the moment in time that God gave through Moses laws to control the activity of the nation. Today those written rules are mostly known as the Ten Commandments by which people where told to have only One True Eternal Spirit God of Whom no graven images where to be made. Of the people was also demanded in the fourth commandment to remember the Sabbath day and to keep it holy or sanctified, which means to have it been kept apart, not being it the same as other days. Also it was told they could work six days but the seventh day they should take a Sabbath to the Lord their God. In it they had not to do any work .

Exodus 20:8-12 NHEBJE  “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  (9)  You shall labor six days, and do all your work,  (10)  but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Jehovah your God. You shall not do any work in it, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your livestock, nor your stranger who is within your gates;  (11)  for in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore Jehovah blessed the Sabbath day, and made it holy.  (12)  “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which Jehovah your God gives you.

As for the manna, so for all of Israel’s activities the pattern would be six days of labour followed by one day of rest. We may not forget for man to be able to stay alive he had to work hard. Everything had to be done by hand. Labour was at first not a  physical toil done for wages, but was a necessary act for providing food. In the early days in the Garden of Eden there did not exist a difficult or arduous work or effort. they had not to strive or work hard for something, but when then opposed God, Adam and Eve had been disobedient to God‘s commandments, Jehovah sentenced them and their descendants to hard toil in order to produce their necessary food.

We also can find the Psalmist referring to such work which was done until the evening (Psalm 104:23). From the fall of man onwards the daily work he had to do became a constant reminder of his mortality; the certainty that he is “dust, and to dust (he) shall return” (Genesis 3:19).

Significance of introduction of Sabbath commands

God’s people experienced many wonders by God and by them they could survive. God freely provided their daily food, but they had to work to gather it, except on the seventh day. The difficulty of walking through the dessert and gathering food was to make them conscience of the punishments brought upon the world as a result of Adam‘s disobedience.

The day they had not to gather the food from heaven, they had to remember what they had received the previous days. That day of not to provide for their food they could contemplate and take more time to think about God. That day of rest, on the Sabbath, would give man time to meditate on God’s works and to let him identify himself with God, and with the completion of His creation, when He was able to review

“everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).

Measures to bring man back to God

Though man could see all the wonders of God and they had received brains to create things themselves as well, they wanted more. God had given their mind to think and to make their own decisions. At one point in time they choose to go their own way, against the Will of God, and throughout history many times they went astray, but God always came back to them to help them out.

It was from that moment when Adam and Eve had revolted against their Maker that God had to take measures to bring them back to their senses and back to Almighty God, the Most High.

When Adam and Eve where expelled from the Garden of Eden and had created a family, their descendants also could not always follow the Way of God, wherefore the Elohim gave them more rules and regulations so that they could keep themselves on the safe path.

Man choose to create their own regulations and wanted to create their own calendars and wanted to say what to do what they ever wanted on whatever day. But for God not all actions of man were acceptable. He clearly told them what would be appropriate for man to do and what would be an abomination in the eyes of God.

Showing willingness to come to God

Throughout the ages lots went wrong and often God came back into the picture to guide His people back onto the right track. Already from the beginning of the fall of man God provided a solution for their sin, but first they also had to show they where willing to come to God again. Every individual has now the own choice to choose either to be for God or against Him, to follow His ordinances or to refuse the right to God to demand certain things from man.

In later writings we shall come to see how the promises of God for the solution against the fall of man became a reality which took away the many chains the people had gotten over them by the years.

In subsequent readings you shall, hopefully, come to see how a Nazarene man, called Jeshua, today better known as Jesus became the man who brought salvation and who is the embodiment of Israel. Those who follow that Nazarene man and call themselves Christian should know who that man is and what his teachings are, but also keep to his teachings, so that they can be part of the Body of Christ and be part of the (new or renewed) true and faithful Israel.

Finding difficulties to keep to God’s Laws

It took many centuries but God’s people Israel bounded to the Mosaic Laws often found it a burden, therefore the loving God foresaw also an abrogation of many laws. Jesus namely was to come to install the New Covenant between God and man, which would do away with, or annul, especially by authority given to Christ Jesus, several Judaic Laws.

Those who would embrace the faith of Abraham could make their choice for God sealed, not by worldly proofs, but by spiritual proofs. They would not have to have a real body circumcision but should be circumcised by putting on Christ in baptism, thus partaking imputatively of the literal circumcision of which Christ was subject under the law, becoming the children of Abraham, and heirs of the promises made to him.

Bartolomeo Montagna - Saint Paul - Google Art Project.jpg
Saul of Tarsus was called by Christ and became an apostle who taught the gospel of Christ and founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe in the first-century world of the common era.

The Jew Saul of Tarsus took some time to come to understand God’s new ordinances but by the new light having come he made a testimony that we can face a world where there is neither Jew (believing descendant from Abraham’s tribe) nor Greek, Roman, or Goyim (gentile; a non-Jewish person or an unbeliever), but that all have the free choice to go their way. There would neither be a servant nor freeman, neither male nor female, or no distinction in the eyes of God, all being made equal and all having to make their own choice. And those baptised into Christ should all be one in Christ Jesus, liberated by him.

Galatians 3:27-29 NHEBJE  (27)  For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  (28)  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  (29)  If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to promise.

Children of promise made free

United in Christ Christians should not be barren any more having broken forth knowing they are brethren and sisters and as Isaac was, being children of promise.  Though still being born according to the flesh the mind we received can be used to come to knowledge and with the right insight making us to make the right choices. Those who choose to follow Christ Jesus are children of the free: by the freedom wherewith Christ has made us free.

Galatians 4:27-31 NHEBJE  (27)  For it is written, “Rejoice, you barren who do not bear. Break forth and shout, you that do not travail. For more are the children of the desolate than of her who has a husband.”  (28)  Now you, brothers, as Isaac was, are children of promise.  (29)  But as then, he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now.  (30)  However what does the Scripture say? “Throw out the handmaid and her son, for the son of the handmaid will not inherit with the son of the free woman.”  (31)  So then, brothers, we are not children of a handmaid, but of the free woman.

Those liberated by Christ should not take up the old burdens but should face the Saviour Jesus who is the new Genesis (New World), by who’s life we can see the embodiment of the new Exodus.

We should come to see that Jesus is fulfilling Israel’s history and  bringing it to a climax.

 

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Preceding articles:

Genesis – Story of creation 6 Genesis 3:13-24 Enmity and curse

Creation of the earth and man #3 Of the Sabbath day #1 the Seventh day

Creation of the earth and man #4 Of the Sabbath day #2 Days 1,7,8 and 50

Creation of the earth and man #5 Of the Sabbath day #3 Ceasing from the works of the flesh

Creation of the earth and man #6 Of the Sabbath day #4 Mosaic codes, Sabbaths and Sunday

Creation of the earth and man #7 Of the Sabbath day #5 Respecting the day on which Christ Jesus rose from the dead

Creation of the earth and man #8 Of the Sabbath day #6 If it be necessary to keep Sunday

Were Gentiles excluded from entering the synagogue?

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Additional reading

  1. “Before” and “after” the Big Bang
  2. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  3. God giving signs and producing wonders
  4. What is life?
  5. Dying or not
  6. Possibility to live
  7. Blindness in the Christian world
  8. A learning process for each of us
  9. Creator and Blogger God 3 Lesson and solution
  10. People Seeking for God 7 The Lord and lords
  11. A prophet to restore
  12. Story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament
  13. With child and righteousness greater than the law
  14. Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be
  15. Marriage of Jesus 8 Wife of Yahweh
  16. Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant
  17. Hosea Say What?
  18. Born to Shine not to fear!
  19. Commemorating the escape from slavery
  20. Days of Nisan, Pesach, Pasach, Pascha and Easter
  21. Do we need to keep the Sabbath
  22. Vayikra after its opening word וַיִּקְרָא, which means and He called
  23. In case you find contradiction between Old and New Testament
  24. Together tasting a great promise
  25. Deliverance and establishment of a theocracy
  26. Glory of God appearing in our character – The Face of Moses and Law on Tablets of stone
  27. Atonement And Fellowship 6/8
  28. The Law of Christ: Law of Love

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Further related reading:

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Means of creations

In the different cultures habiting this planet we can find many symbolic narratives of how everything came into being. Lots of stories were created to give people an idea how the world might have began and how people first came to inhabit it.

Mythology is an important feature of every culture. Various origins for myths have been proposed, ranging from personification of nature, personification of natural phenomena to truthful or hyperbolic accounts of historical events, to explanations of existing ritual.

Creation on the exterior shutters of Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights (1480–90)

Concerning the myths telling about the beginning of the universe we have to notice that in most of them there is no mention of a ‘oer god’ or ‘primal god’. The primitive gods in the myths all seem to come from something, be it an egg or other element of nature. The rudimentary elements all seem to be ignited by some force or by a reaction to an action.

In most of the creation stories we can find the same element over and over again: first having disorder or chaos and than coming bit by bit more order and structure in things. Most of them seem to agree on the ‘dim’ past or the ‘darkness‘ and ‘chaos‘ there must have been. Only in moderner versions we notice the trend to come to a a static universe with a finite space but all seem to look at it as an unbounded (analogous to the surface of a sphere, which has a finite area but no edges). This spheric idea might perhaps brought the dust-ball, fireball or egg in some stories. people also have been intrigued with darkness and light, intrinsic luminosity or the brightness of an object or surroundings caught the eye and attention. For this reason also in many stories we can find several figures to be spoken of as being a light in this world. Also in Christianity we find such a referral to Jesus for example, him being the light in this world and him being a new creation. (About that light and New Creation later more.)

We always should remember that it are ‘Creation myths‘, stories trying to explain things we human beings can not understand yet? It does not mean that there would not come a time that we shall see more clearly in to the matter. Science develops and more and more people come to see further in history and start finding more out about creation, telling us how things began. We always should keep in mind that those stories about creation are told in metaphorical terms to explain our sense of who we are in the context of the world, and in so doing they reveal our real priorities, as well as our real prejudices. Our images of creation say a great deal about who we are.

Modern science has propounded many theories as to how the primieval gaseous substance evolved into the present harmony of the universe. These theories may be called scientific cosmogonies; and the account of the origin of the world given in Genesis, i and ii, is styled Mosaic cosmogony. {Cosmogony}

Scientists investigate cosmology with the tools of empiricism and rationality, but creation myths define human reality in very different terms. They were also written in pre-scientific times where the oral story to get most of the people a good idea was more important than the accuracy. Moses in the same way did not want to give a detailed explanation how everything exactly came into being. In a certain way is that not so much of importance for humankind or for how we cope with life. The Book of books is there to give mankind a guide, a manual for life, not a scientific study book.

While creation myths are not literal explications they do serve to define an orientation of humanity in the world in terms of a birth story. They are the basis of a worldview that reaffirms and guides how people relate to the natural world, to any assumed spiritual world, and to each other. The creation myth acts as a cornerstone for distinguishing primary reality from relative reality, the origin and nature of being from non-being. {Sproul, Barbara C. (1979). Primal Myths. HarperOne HarperCollinsPublishers. ISBN 978-0-06-067501-1, p. 6}

The Old Testament story brings us the founding-stone and in the New Testament the evangelist John tries to build further on it and continues in the lines of the First Creation, looking at a New Creation, in both instances having a voice out of darkness bringing light. Moses and John focus on that Voice, uttering words, and by bringing out the Word having the things or persons coming into existence. As such we hear that God spoke and it came into being. There was darkness and God spoke in the darkness and there was light. The Word of God sounded and heavens and earth came into being. In the same way God Spoke and the first living creatures came squirming through waters and earth. Wriggling elements started filling the world, in the air (heavens), on the ground and in the waters.

Science can only give a fairly dry description of the physical processes underlying creation. Science never has any intention to go looking behind the core element of what they can see. They are not primarily interested in looking for a godhead behind everything. They probably shall also not be able to come to the finest details of creation and to reveal God’s role.

Aker, an ancient Egyptian personification of t...
Aker, an ancient Egyptian personification of the horizon. Two lions symbolize ‘yesterday’ and ‘tomorrow’ with the sun-disk rising between the symbolic horizon between them. The hieroglyph for ‘sky’ spans across the top. Based on New Kingdom tomb paintings and the book of the dead. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus also tried people to understand that God His Ways are not catchable for our limited human brain. He also wanted us to reassure us we should not worry too much about certain matters. It is good to investigate things. But by doing our research we may never forget the most important matter in life. Jesus also wanted to sooth his followers reassuring them we can trust The One Who is behind everything, and that He has provided for everything to be able to live and to be part of this creation and shall be fitting in the Plan of God.

Mat 6:24-34 NHEBJE  “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Mammon.  (25)  Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious for your life: what you will eat, or what you will drink; nor yet for your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  (26)  See the birds of the sky, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns. Your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of much more value than they?  (27)  “And which of you, by being anxious, can add one moment to his lifespan?  (28)  And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They do not toil, neither do they spin,  (29)  yet I tell you that even Solomon in all his glory was not dressed like one of these.  (30)  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today exists, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, won’t he much more clothe you, you of little faith?  (31)  “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What will we eat?’, ‘What will we drink?’ or, ‘With what will we be clothed?’  (32)  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  (33)  But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  (34)  Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Too many Christians are loosing site of the essence of the Word of God, by going to deep into details, wanting to explain those things which are not essential for faith. We do not need to know exactly what came first and how and how it really looked like and what it had to eat or how it ate. It is sufficient to know Who was behind everything and how He let it evolve to come to the situations where it is today and how it shall still evolve in the coming years or centuries. We may not forget that after the prophesied Word War III or Armageddon there shall still be another thousand years, where we shall probably have to face a further evolution.

In the old times it was enough to tell in an easy way how things are. As such we get in Psalm 139 a description by the Psalmist’s own creation in his mother’s womb. A great deal is known about how babies form, and it is clearly through natural processes — but at the same time, Psalm 139:13 describes that God wove the embryo himself. But the Bible doesn’t tell us how God creates things, and Psalm 139:6 suggests that we couldn’t understand even if he told us.

Psa 139:13-16 NHEBJE  For you formed my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother’s womb.  (14)  I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. My soul knows that very well.  (15)  My frame wasn’t hidden from you, when I was made in secret, woven together in the depths of the earth.  (16)  Your eyes saw my body. In your book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there were none of them.

God was and is everywhere. No human being, no animal nor plant can hide from Him. God is an all-knowing God without any limitations. We shall have to face our own limitations which are different for each of us.

Psa 139:2-12 NHEBJE  You know my sitting down and my rising up. You perceive my thoughts from afar.  (3)  You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.  (4)  For there is not a word on my tongue, but, behold, Jehovah, you know it altogether.  (5)  You hem me in behind and before. You laid your hand on me.  (6)  This knowledge is beyond me. It’s lofty. I can’t attain it.  (7)  Where could I go from your Spirit? Or where could I flee from your presence?  (8)  If I ascend up into heaven, you are there. If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, you are there!  (9)  If I take the wings of the dawn, and settle in the uttermost parts of the sea;  (10)  Even there your hand will lead me, and your right hand will hold me.  (11)  If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me; the light around me will be night;”  (12)  even the darkness doesn’t hide from you, but the night shines as the day. The darkness is like light to you.

We might even be limited to come to understand the deepest thoughts of the Creator, but being created in His image, The Creator wants us to get to know Him and has given us His Word, the Bible to tell us that He is The Creator God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah Who is One and Who created all things (e.g. Isaiah 45:12, Hebrews 11:3), and why He created them.

Isa 45:11-13 NHEBJE  Thus says Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: “You ask me about the things that are to come, concerning my sons, and you command me concerning the work of my hands!  (12)  I have made the earth, and created man on it. I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens; and I have commanded all their army.  (13)  I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will make straight all his ways. He shall build my city, and he shall let my exiles go free, not for price nor reward,” says Jehovah of hosts.

God His word is there for us to receive enough information to continue. While many people would like to know more, that limited information in the Book of books is what God chose to tell us.

Having God’s Word we should be able to find the most essential things for life and should we able to find reasons enough to trust this Divine Creator. With those Words we should have enough building-stones to create our fortress of trust in God. those Words should take us and nit us a life of faith, worthy of the Divine Creator.

Heb 11:1-3 NHEBJE  Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen.  (2)  For by this, the elders obtained testimony.  (3)  By faith, we understand that the universe has been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen has not been made out of things which are visible.

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Preceding articles:

  1. Background to look at things
  2. The very very beginning 1 Creating Gods
  3. The very very beginning 2 The Word and words
  4. Scripture about Creation and Creator Deity
  5. How Many Persons Created the Heavens and the Earth?
  6. God, the Father, the Sole Creator of Heaven and Earth
  7. From waste and void coming into being by God’s Word
  8.  Something from nothing

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Additional reading:

  1. God’s forgotten Word 3 Lost Lawbook 2 Modern scepticism
  2. Creation Creator and Creation
  3. Other stories about the beginning of times
  4. Creator and Blogger God 1 Emptiness and mouvement
  5. Serve him without fear
  6. Written to recognise the Promised One
  7. Searching, light, fear and deliverance
  8. You Need Light for Your Path
  9. Increased in wisdom in favour with God
  10. Is it “Wrong” to Believe that the Earth is a Sphere? Inclusive the first generation of Christadelphians their views
  11. Bible containing scientific information
  12. The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (1)
  13. The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (2)
  14. Science and the Bible—Do They Really Contradict Each Other?

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  • Mythicism Making Christianity More Meaningful (vridar.org)
    He sounds a lot like Thomas Brodie who as a continuing practicing Roman Catholic finds the truth of the Christ Myth adds a new dimension of meaning to his faith. So will those people who imagine that “mythicism” is a plot by angry atheists to destroy Christianity please come to their senses! Some of us really are more interested in exploring the evidence for the sake of understanding. (See also an earlier post of mine: Is the Christ Myth a Threat to the Christian Faith?)
  • Living by the myths (renewamerica.com)
    When one thinks of myths, the mind typically races to those classical tales of the ancient Greek and Roman gods. In the Roman Pantheon were stories of the way the universe, the world, the gods and mankind came into existence. The story of Deucalion and Pyrrha is the Greek myth that supplants the biblical story of Noah and the Flood. Many scholars believe the reference in Genesis chapter 6 to the fame of “mighty men, men of renown,” and their many exploits may be the roots of much classical mythology.Often myths of old were an alteration of what God had actually revealed concerning himself. Distortion, perversion, and counterfeit are the ways of the deceiver, Satan.

    However, myths are not exclusive to antiquity. Every culture has them and they are the means by which people seek to explain the world in which they live.

  • Accepting Scientific Explanations (venitism.blogspot.com)
    If Adam did not literally exist, then he did not literally commit the first sin, thus there’s no need for Christ to die on the cross and the whole Bible collapses.This argument, which is indeed short-sighted, may well be the reason why hardline Christians cling so hard to Creationism in the first place and why the science-denial involved in it has become one of their two big emphases at present.
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    The funny thing is that Christianity as a whole neither rises nor falls on a literal reading of Genesis–only fundamentalism/evangelicalism does. Their leaders have chosen to pin their entire religion on something this comically erroneous. The fight is not between atheists and Christians, or even between science and religion, but rather between those who understand and accept scientific explanations for our universe and those who deny and/or misunderstand those explanations. And there are Christians in both of those camps. Christianity itself isn’t the enemy; zealotry is. Indeed, we must not fall into the trap of thinking that Creationism is any sort of monolithic belief; even when surveys ask Christians what they think about the subject of evolution and the universe’s origins, a lot depends on precisely how the questions get asked. When asked questions in a way that doesn’t threaten Christians’ compartmentalizations of religion and science, they tend to fall along more sensible lines.
  • House of Cards and the ‘Old Testament’ God (stream.org)
    Frank Underwood, after asking for a moment to himself to contemplate the priest’s message, looks defiantly up at the statue of Jesus and says that he rejects Christ’s offer because he sees it as weak and silly. Frank prefers the power-first-and-last “Old Testament God,” but only because he has molded Yahweh into his own perverted image. Like so many of us on a daily basis, Frank has created one straw-man version of God to like and one to hate, based entirely on his own craving for power and control.
  • Inhabiting Eden: Christians, Scripture, and the Ecological Crisis – Public Lecture to Discuss Faith-Based Environmentalism (prweb.com)
    While ancient people, including the community that produced Scripture, understood their deep connection with and dependence on the natural world, recent generations have lost much of this wisdom. The environmental choices humans make do affect the future. She will explore paths to a renewed awareness of humans’ place on earth.
  • A Unification of Creation and Evolution (robertjrgraham.com)
    When people say that “god created the heavans and the earth in six days and on the seventh he rested”, who can say how long one of god’s days is. Why are we so egotistical as to believe that his day is the same as our’s. We don’t know god (Most of us who believe in god do so because we want to not because we have proof.) but if there is a god why can’t his, her or it’s day be a thousand or a million or even several billion of our years.Chapter 2, verse 7 of the book of Genises states “then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” It does not state how long this took or what form the being we call man originally took. God’s image can be many things. We have no way of knowing. Additionally, although the bible is supposed to be the word of god, it was written by humans and therefore subject to human interpretation.

    When we create something we start out with one thing and then add to it and alter it untill we finish and with some creations, such as a garden, we never finish adding to and altering it. Who says that god could not have started with one cell and through evolution added to it and altered it untill it became a human being. Who can say for sure that he, she or it is still not adding to and altering mankind. Who can say that god did not make us in such a way that we would continue to evolve without his, her or it’s intervention. Who can say that the process is finished.

  • Who Were The Real ‘Gods Of Eden’? (earthweareone.com)
    The Sumerian scribes and their Akkadian successors inscribed clay tablets with a wealth of information about the gods. One such text, commonly known by the name of its hero, Atra-Hasis, describes the background to the creation of man, when the gods themselves were involved in the painstaking extraction of minerals from Earth:

    “When the gods, as men, bore the work and suffered the toil – the toil of the gods was great, the work was heavy, the distress was much.”

    Conditions were so severe that, after 40 periods of hardship, the gods rebelled against their leader Enlil. A council of the gods was then called, at which the god Ea (alias Enki) provided the solution:

    “While the Birth Goddess is present, let her create a Primitive Worker, let him bear the yoke, let him carry the toil of the gods!”

    The ensuing passages of the Atra-Hasis describe what appears to a modern-day reader as a cloning process, in which the goddess Nin-ti (‘Lady Life’) made fourteen pieces of ‘clay’ and impregnated fourteen ‘birth goddesses’.

  • anthropomorphic God or theomorphic humans (larrysmusings.com)
    In the Vedic philosophy/religion of India, the atman, or spiritual monad (soul), is qualitatively like God’s spirit.  It is eternal and imperishable.  The atman can exist in the spiritual universe or in the material universe (as in this world).  Quantitatively, the atman is infinitesimal when compared to God’s infinite Spirit, His infinite mystic power.So, too, we humans have bodies in the form of God’s.  Per the Vedic teachings, we are, in our human bodies with one head, two arms, and two legs, in the form that God has.  In Hindu religious art (both in paintings and in sculpture), Lord Krishna is sometimes depicted with 2 arms, and at other times is depicted with four arms – but always with one head, and two legs. Perhaps, this form is the most advantageous for consciousness to have experiences.

    So we see that it is not just in Christianity that we are told that humans were created in the image and likeness of God.  And, “in the image and likeness” encompasses both our spiritual component and our physical body.

  • The Old Testament: For and Against – A debate between Christopher Jon Bjerknes and Lasha Darkmoon (Part 1) (darkmoon.me)
    Christopher John Bjerknes launches an all-out attack on the Old Testament and tell you why he thinks this is an evil and dangerous book. Bjerknes can be described as an unabashed and indeed virulent anti-Semite.  He takes the line that the Jews themselves are an evil race, without any redeeming features, and that the Old Testament is one of the earliest manifestations of that intrinsic evil.
  • A Universe Not Made For Us – Carl Sagan on Religion [9:14] (ethicsvideolibrary.wordpress.com)
    Carl Sagan begins with a discussion of the variety of creation stories and how most heavens and hells are simple extrapolations of our own politics.  Instead, science is slowly discovering more about the world we live in.  And it turns out, the universe is more different than anything we could have imagined and, ultimately, does not care about us or in fact could care.