REVISIONIST BIBLICAL HISTORY: LET’S ASSUME THAT THE BIBLE WAS USED FOR NON-RELIGIOUS INTENT

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“Guide to life, not to preservation for death.”


The Christian bible has been pondered over for centuries regarding its authenticity in society. The believers say that it is the words of prophets and God; while skeptics say it was merely man. And that man created this as a template in how to live your life on Earth. And that’s what brings me to the topic for today. What if the Christian bible was just that in society? What if it were just a template in how to live your life? That would mean that all the miracles were just more imagery that is supposed to serve as something else in our lives. And what is that something else? Because the bible was written to be unchanged, and is supposed to last for the life of humanity.

But how does a book last for the life of humanity, when humanity in itself is constantly changing. So let’s explore the idea of what life is like for the bible as just a template in how to live your life. That would mean the miracles weren’t true and neither is the notion that we’re created in God’s likeness. Which would further go on to mean that Earth was not created in seven days. Does that devalue the meaning of the bible any less? Could people still believe if that were the case? And does that mean life as we know it for people is over because this is it? And that’s what clouds people’s minds on this topic, is what does life hold for me?

Is that something that people who were the scholars understood about the past? Maybe they knew that man needed something to believe in that was much higher than themselves to define their lives. Because humanity is just as fragile as any other creature. Only problem is that humans are given a conscious. And with that conscious we have the ability to make what we feel are rational decisions. And another aspect of that rational mind is knowing and understanding that we all will die one day; our mortality. Knowing and understanding that this is it for us in life, and nothing else. So here one day and gone the next, not experiencing any real fulfillment out of life. And here is where belief becomes strong in a deity.

Not being able to come to terms with not mainly your ending, but your existing. We hold on to religion because it does in part gives us the reason to exist. We say, “Without God, where would I be.” “Or you’re never alone when God is near.” But how is it that in a world of so many people are we alone and no one to depend on. So the idea of the bible serving as a non-religious text, but more so just a basic moral code, still creates disconnect. Because the moral code is fine and all, but what about the living. We have something in us that goes far back in the DNA chain that makes us who we are, that is the reason we tend to be alone, not like other people, or ignore another person’s existence. And yet we need that friendship and companionship.

See, in the end, I don’t see religion going away. And when I say religion, we think about the major religions. I mean a new religion, or one growing in popularity that is already here, yet small may not go away. People are always searching for something outside of self. It’s something that both believers and non-believers both agree on. Once we feel know we know all there is to know about us as a human species, you’re now interested in something greater. Greater than you, me, this Earth we live on, and beyond.


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SINS: ARE THEY REAL OR ARE THEY DEEPER INSIGHTS INTO WHO WE ARE

Image result for sin

“A look into yourself.”


Most of us are familiar with the seven deadly sins. The cardinal sins that would most definitely banish man to hell. They are pride, lust, greed, sloth, gluttony, envy, and wrath. And at least once in our lives we have come across one of these sins, if not all of the sins. But what I want to know regarding these sins is are they real, or just deeper insights into man. Was there something man knew about ourselves in the past, that is only being magnified in the world today? Because life was quite local in the days of early Christianity. So how did man know so much about us? But human nature is a universal characteristic. How do these sins tell us who we really are in life?

In the case pride, one carries an excessive sense of accomplishment. They are quite boastful in what they have achieved, almost to an intoxicating level. They Related imagenot only have to let others know, but they also have to accumulate tangibles as a means of showing themselves off to the world as well. But, don’t we all have some form of pride? Pride is the satisfaction you get out of winning a race. Pride is the fulfillment you get when you lose weight. And pride is the gratification you get when receiving a gift from someone close to you. So why is pride such a cardinal sin? Because pride is only a problem when it takes over your life. Or, it becomes a sin the moment you have allowed your pride to turn into hubris.

Well, what about lust; lusting is a sin. But how much lust is bad and how much lust is good. See, I lust, but to what degree makes it a sin? Is this lust going to lead down a road that will hurt me in the end? Or is the lust the yearning and wanting I get from seeing a box of chocolates. You see, lust is yet another Related imageambiguous sin that only becomes problematic once it grips you where you can’t shake it loose. Lusting over strawberries is different than lusting over a woman I might see on a job. Because those strawberries will satisfy my hunger pains and keep me until I consume a meal. That women might get me fired if it goes too far.

Next comes greed, which is the need to want something in excess where it leads to selfishness and control. Well is it wrong; once again, it’s all in context. Wanting to make a lot of money to leave for your descendants so they are not thrown into Image result for greedpoverty is greed. Why because you are taking more than you need. Yet, is it really sin if you are trying to protect family. Difficult to say considering money is a tough topic. Anyone that makes a lot of money, yet reworks their portfolio to make more can be seen as greedy. But true greed is taking more than you need for the sake of having. There is no use for it, you just don’t want anyone else to have it.

Then there is envy; which is the longing to have something that someone else possesses. Yet another sin that can be both bad and good. For example, I grew up in a poor household. I often wanted the lives of friends I had went to school with as an adolescent. But in the bible that can be seen as sin. Or is it really a sin? I Image result for envydidn’t wish to be them, just had a desire to have more than barely surviving. And that is the difference between the good envy and bad envy. Sinful envy is you have it, I want it, I’m going to get it if I have to take it from you. There is nothing wrong with seeing someone with something you want and don’t have; it’s human nature. Yet, there are limits to how far you can go before it’s a sin.

So let’s continue on down to sloth. The lazy and the indolent. Those who sit back and want everyone else to do their dirty work without putting in an effort. They let themselves go by the waist side. From their home life to their outer appearance; Related imagenothing is kept together. Then there is the good sloth which is, being tired. You work all day and sometimes don’t want to clean or move. You are not of sin because you have a legitimate reason for not getting up and making a move. But this is what we describe as taking a load off. Resting until you get up to make moves, which is sloth on a low level. Sloth on a high level is trouncing around in filth; almost in comparison to a pig.

Image result for gluttonAnd of course we all know gluttony. The overindulgence in eating, almost to the point it will cause you to develop an ailment. There is a difference between eating to live and eating just to eat. Eating to eat leads to health problems; while eating to live keeps you in line with having good health. And of course from time to time you indulge, yet you never veer off course too much. So as to not be led too far astray where you have hit the point of no return.

 

And last but not least, wrath, which is that strong wanting to punish someone. That inner hurt you feel that someone else must feel in the moment. Now wrath is tricky because is there ever a time to want to dole out punishment without sin? And the answer is yes. In the case of being a parent, the wrath is often brought down and is justified. Not only in biblical text, but even among non-denominational people. But when you want someone to feel pain because of your Image result for wrath sinown internal struggles, then you become the true face that is wrath. See, in the end, all seven sins not only are of biblical context, but they say something about us all. Interestingly enough, you can’t go through life without having one or more seven sin qualities. But it’s not having these sins, but more so an excessive sin trait that becomes problematic. Because that is the point where you start to lose control.


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AGE OF DEPRESSION: HOW THE MORE WE UNDERSTAND SELF THE MORE UNHAPPY WE BECOME

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“In an era of technology, we are more connected, yet very much detached.”


In a world where we are more connected than anytime before, you would think it would make us happier. Yet it has not only made us happier, but the more we learn and understand ourselves the more depressed we become. And I don’t mean know ourselves like knowing me as an adult. I mean knowing us is it pertains to our existence on Earth. You would think with the advent of technological innovation and scientific breakthroughs, we would have a much higher level of enlightenment that would make us happy. But what that heightened awareness has done is give us the complete opposite effect. But should we digress because of this unintended effect?

View of Tourist Resort Well, let’s first look at what makes us depressed in today’s society. There are many different reasons why people tend to be unhappy. For starters, you are able to see up close your reality. And what I mean by your reality, you can see where you stand financially, socially, academically in the world. For example, you can Google image luxury, and see a world that is beyond your world just by typing it into a search engine. When my mother was young, an opulent life existed, yet you didn’t quite know about it. Clear Wine Glasses in a RowPeople were either born into wealth, or it was something you stumbled upon. Not today, today, you can actually see how little you have relative to someone else. And what’s crazy, you might have a socioeconomic position that is supporting you and your family. Yet you can’t enjoy because you are comparing yourself to someone way above you.

Why do we do it? Why do we look to someone that is far beyond us? Well, at times, that person is our age. No matter your age today, there is someone that age doing something on a more monumental scale than yourself. When I was in college, I was broke coming out, yet guys my age were signing multi-million dollar contracts to play sports. Comparing yourself to them and not appreciating what you have, even when what you have is adequate to live, robs you of gratification Image result for comparison peopleand the ability to live a fulfilling life. Meaning, you might want to make $50,000 in a year, but someone tells you, you should want better. Now you can’t enjoy what life you could have had with what you wanted because you’re chasing something you may not even want just to satisfy other people’s perspective. And with our lives being inundated with so much imagery, we still have another aspect of our lives that make us unhappy: our own existence.

Coping with our existence is tough for so many. And I don’t mean existence in the context of waking and going to work everyday, coming home, and sleeping. I mean the fact that we are here, on Earth, living and breathing. The fact that I was not born a lion, tiger, bird, or a house cat, but a human is hard for many to cope with in life. The simple existence that is me, a carbon based life form that has Related imagetaken forever to evolve into what I am, is hard to accept. And a lot of it comes from increased scientific understanding of ourselves. Here is where religion may have aided us in living on this planet. With the idea that there is something greater once we die, it gives us hope. As time progress in society, more and more people are becoming awoken to our existence. So awake, we are unmotivated to do anything. So now we become depressed with the idea that this is all that is here for us.

You would think that feeling this way would give people a sense of urgency, yet it’s having the inverse effects. The closer we come to figuring out why we are on Earth, the more we become detached from living. Maybe not knowing, is what’s best at times. Because in the end, unlike any other species where nature dictates how they behave, we are given conscious. We are given the ability to say yes or say no. We are endowed with the ability to make sound decisions. And that very conscious that gives us that ability also makes us aware of our situations in life. Some people make the best out of it, and others can never cope. And for those that can’t cope, it leads to further depression; leading to substance abuse or even suicide.

“He who increases knowledge, increases sorrow on the land.”

                          -Ecclesiastes 1:18


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GONE TOO SOON: HOW LOSING SOMEONE WHO IS YOUNG MAKES YOU LOOK AT LIFE CLOSER

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“Here one minute and gone the next.”


No one wants to think of the day in which they will no longer be here on Earth. We dread that moment, but it won’t even be something we realize. We will just be gone, and that’s it. But our family and friends will hopefully make sure our name stays around forever. And another aspect of living and dying we hope is the belief that we will make it to a great age. I recently saw a post on my Facebook where someone I knew through passing, died this week. Only in his late twenties, it can shake you up when you hear this type of tragedy. Because I am abut to be thirty years old next month. And you never know when that day will be your last.

No one wants to think about that day especially when you’re young. We have all these visions of our lives once we reach an old age. We all hope that someone will be with us when we do pass along. But no one is ready to experience being told they only have a small time on this planet in their twenties. There are even people who die at younger ages. When you hear about a teenager dying it’s even more tragic. But what tends to be more shocking is once you find out how someone has died. Anytime I hear of a young person dying of natural causes, it always blows my mind. Especially if the person was around my age. You think to yourself, we are the same age and just passed unexpected. What is that about? How did that transpire?

It’s for those reasons we have a sense of urgency in life. So that whenever we do pass along, whatever we have done up to this point meant something. And that is something that terrifies people as much as dying. Which is dying and not even achieving close to what it is you set out to accomplish. There is this massive void you feel exist in your life. But if you have accomplished so much, and/or living the life you want, then can we honestly say this is a tragedy. You have people who live their life to the fullest, so their life was full of meaning. My great-grandmother passed away back in 2010. She was born in the year 1914. Now you’re talking a long life. I can’t imagine if I live that long what I would witness. Hence is another reason we aim for longevity. The longer we live, the more we are able to cope with our mortality.

In the end, no one wants to think about the day when they die. It’s final, and the only thing in life that is guaranteed. The eternal aspect creeps people out, yet there is something also so soothing and calming to the mind knowing that hardships and struggles are over. I guess this is why people cling so tight to religion because it gives us that feeling there is more after we leave here; thus making it easier to cope with our own mortality.


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ALTERNATIVE FAITH BASE: WHAT IF GOD EXIST, BUT NOT OUR BELIEF IN HIM

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“He might exist, but we could be wrong about him.”


The alpha and the omega, the creator of the heavens and the Earth; God. The age old questions, does he exist? Did God create us, or was he made up for humans to have purpose in life? But what about the alternative to both views. What if God exist, just not how people of faith see him. Meaning, what if science is wrong about his existence? But also, what if people of faith is wrong about his existence as well? Whoa, how could that be possible? Well, I have come up with a few scenarios as to why both sides could be wrong. One of the ways both could be wrong is his existence.

His basic existence could be something different on the scientific side and the religious side. Let’s first start with the scientific side that says there is no Blue Orange and Red Outer Space PhotoGod at all. Well, just as much as religion can’t prove his existence you can’t prove his nonexistence. Science can aim to disprove his existence as to how people interpret him. Meaning, humans were created by a deity is the religious faith base. But what if God is the all seeing, all knowing, who created the earth, and all creatures. But, he may not be the deity we see him as, but more so the force keeping all of existence of everything in order. And our scientific understanding of the universe, is in essence an understanding of God.

We could be slowly figuring out God, just from a scientific standpoint. Our human minds could have created the scientific theory for what he the creator have wanted us to find out. Our scientists just are picking up the bible, book, chaptercrumbs of what he left for us to figure out. It’s doesn’t remove science, but it also doesn’t remove religion as well. Which brings me to the religious aspect of who God is. And that is interesting in itself. What if God exist, people of religion would be ecstatic. But what if he is not the God we want to accept? What if he is more so one faith, than the other? Are we all ready to accept what the all-seeing God truly is as a deity? And what do I mean by accept who he is.

Let’s say you’re a Christian, and you die. You stand before the voice of the Gold and Black Crucifixhigher power. And then God says to you, “You have to past these series of test.” Makes sense because our religious beliefs always imply that God gives us obstacles. So, your first test is standing before God. Then your next test is
standing before Jesus Christ. But one more test you must face, and you’re ready for that test. Then out walks the Prophet Muhammad. Now, here in book, close-up, faiththis moment, you can’t accept that. Why would a challenge be to prove yourself to Muhammad. Now, your human belief says this must be wrong. But religion says God makes no mistakes. So what do you do? Because you can’t challenge God, it’s his house.

So, accept what he has placed before you or remove yourself from his kingdom above. Because he doesn’t need you, you need him. And what I could have just said would be the same for Muslims and Jews mixing the bible, church, handsdifferent deities. You might reject what I am implying in this moment. But what would you do standing before God. So even in our own belief of not challenging God, you’re ready to challenge him. Yet remember what I said, God makes no mistakes. So if you shall prove yourself to these other deities, then so be it.

And in the end, that’s what has so many people stuck in thought. We control so much on Earth, that we want to now control the afterlife. But you don’t control the afterlife. We all have beliefs and theories of what takes place after you die, and who you answer to when you die. Science says no one, this is it, and religion says God. But neither is ready to deal with both sides being wrong.


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TIL DEATH DO US PART, UH, NOT REALLY: WHY THIS PERFECT UNION IS SO HARD

Midsection of Woman Making Heart Shape With Hands

“Forever and ever; or maybe not.”


In our society, we are expected to meet one person in life. Fall in love with that person. Get wed, have children and live like that forever. But is that really who we are as people, or is that the image we portray. I always hear that this union is so perfect in the eyes of God. So what is it about this union that is so hard? Because when you observe the vowels you take, it should make marriage easy. I promise to honor and obey, through sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, til death to us part. Then we look each other in the eyes and say I do.

But in my opinion, marriage is so hard because you actually don’t want to do the vowels you promise to uphold. Meaning, the human element of who we are don’t want to obey someone, be with them if they are poor, not in good health, or til death. But why is that so hard to say? Why do we trick ourselves into believing this is a union that we want? Now, when you observe marriage, the structure of it makes sense. You’re with one person and one person only. It cuts down on a lot of confusion that would otherwise be present when you’re dealing with multiple people. Meaning, it is a lot easier to have three children with one woman, than three children with three women.

So the structure makes sense, but here is the biological piece. We don’t want to deal with the downside that comes with relationships. Why because the downside is not something that attracts us to the person. Meaning, we were attracted to the healthy person, so why would we want to stay in sickness. You had a job, I don’t want to be around now that you are broke and unemployed. And obeying you, what if there are things in my life I want to accomplish. I can’t do them if you are not comfortable with the decision. Oh, and not to mention til death, how do I know I want to be with you for life.

These are all the feelings that go through our minds when we are married or getting married. So why do we involve ourselves in the union? One reason is because of the societal views. We don’t want to be the outsider in the group who is not getting married. If we’re single and the people around us are getting married, then we begin to get uncomfortable. We feel like we are not living a just life, and need to fit into the group. So we don’t marry because we want to. Moreso we marry so that we can gain the approval of another person or people around us. We feel it is some sort of obligation to those outside of us. But what is another reason we marry?

The other reason we marry even though these feelings are there is because there is someone there to walk through life. You could go out trying to have random hook-ups, but random is not going to care for you as you age. Random is not going to be there for you financially in case of a setback, random is not going to listen to your grievances, and random won’t care if you’re living or dying. So knowing there is someone who will be by your side no matter what is calming to the mind. There are days you don’t want to be around that person and they around you. But they always are there when you need them.

In the end, people marry even if they hold these internal feelings because it hurts to walk life alone. Being alone with no one to share your life with is tough. It’s more than just a love life or having fun. They do so because at the end of life, if you and this person is still alive, someone will be there to care for you, when no one else will. So overall, to the people who marry, it’s worth it.


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FREEDOM: WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU

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“And justice for all.”


We are just a few days away from the 4th of July celebration. A celebration which this year will mark 241 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. And in those 241 years a lot has changed in our society that is unrecognizable to that time period. The physical landscape is now being built up and not out. We have gone through a lot of social changes. From slavery to electing the nation’s first African American president. Even politically, we are a nation of Democrat and Republican. Whereas in the past, presidents were a few elected who belonged to other parties. But my question for the topic today is what does freedom mean to you?

When you look at the American flag, which is a symbol of our freedoms, what do you see? How has living in this country shaped your views unlike someone living elsewhere? For me, I base one of my views on America by way of other groups of people coming to America. More people flock to this nation than anywhere else. We have the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness in whatever business endeavor we choose to be apart of in this country. So if you want to be a physician, you can be a physician. I you want to become an attorney, educator, or even pursue a career in athletics, you can do so. The choice is yours to choose whatever path you want to take. But my other view of freedom is never going back to the way things once were.

And my feelings are this strong because as an African American I know what the past was socially and politically. And that experience that family of mine have gone through is not a shared experience I want. So, to me, another freedom is not being judged by ethnic identity, but who I am personally. And if you don’t want to take the time to get to know me personally, so be it. But having the ability to involve yourself in my life without wanting or caring to know me is problematic. Especially if you are unsure with your own belief system. But what are some other views of what freedom might be to you?

Freedom does not only extend itself to being able pursue your career interests or choice without racial discrimination. Freedom may also be to date and marry who you want to marry. During President Obama’s term, the United States officially announced that gay marriage was legalized. And for the first time in their lives, you had men and women, who were able to marry their significant others of the same sex. A union that people who were in their 50’s, 60’s, and some in their 70’s were hoping for their entire lives up that point. And that is what freedom may mean to so many of them.

In the end, freedom is up to the person perceiving what freedom is to them. Freedom could be pursuing career interests or marrying the person you’re in love with. And the key word when looking at freedom is the “pursuit” of happiness. Pursuing what you want and then accomplishing the want is the most gratifying feeling in the world.


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