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Default theme changed
Forum: Announcements
Last Post: jaybreak
02-19-2018, 03:42 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 12
Were the Pharisees Hellen...
Forum: Sermons, Teachings, Blog Posts
Last Post: jaybreak
02-19-2018, 03:02 PM
» Replies: 4
» Views: 47
I Miss It So
Forum: Prayer Requests
Last Post: Ed Hurst
02-18-2018, 03:34 AM
» Replies: 3
» Views: 39
Something minor...
Forum: Prayer Requests
Last Post: jaybreak
02-15-2018, 02:18 AM
» Replies: 8
» Views: 152
GLURG?
Forum: Miscellaneous
Last Post: IainH
02-11-2018, 09:30 PM
» Replies: 4
» Views: 63
This is the Story, Part 3
Forum: Miscellaneous
Last Post: Ed Hurst
02-10-2018, 11:40 AM
» Replies: 2
» Views: 78
The Challenge
Forum: Questions
Last Post: jaybreak
02-09-2018, 03:19 PM
» Replies: 10
» Views: 244
Amazing Grace
Forum: Miscellaneous
Last Post: jaybreak
02-05-2018, 11:46 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 51
This Is the Story, Part 4
Forum: Miscellaneous
Last Post: Ed Hurst
02-01-2018, 08:59 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 48
This is the Story, Part 2
Forum: Miscellaneous
Last Post: Ed Hurst
01-30-2018, 03:27 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 44

 
  Default theme changed
Posted by: jaybreak - 02-19-2018, 03:42 PM - Forum: Announcements - No Replies

I changed the default theme to the myBB default. There were some issues I was noticing in the tawny theme (the previous default) on some admin functions. So I decided the switch back to the Default theme since everything seems to work as expected there.

You can still switch the theme to tawny or Flatty. I explain it here.

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  Were the Pharisees Hellenized?
Posted by: jaybreak - 02-16-2018, 03:24 AM - Forum: Sermons, Teachings, Blog Posts - Replies (4)

I recently read The Cross Examination of Jesus Christ (Randy Singer), about the trial of Jesus under Pontius Pilate, and a few of the milestones that lead up to it. The middle chapters were a mix of Gospel readings, and commentary with personal anecdotes. They were adequate if you can endure the evangelical cheeseball routine aftertaste. The real gems were the bookending chapters, which were a fictional account of Pilate's dealings with Jesus, from the perspective of his assesore--a close legal advisor.

One bit of information mentioned in passing in the book spoke of the Pharisees not being Hellenized, in contrast to the Sadducees, who were Hellenized. Picture, if you will, my surprise. I didn't know the specific of the matter but I had assumed that the Jewish groups vying for power at the time were all more or less Hellenized. 

What to do? After some Googling around digging into the dusty nethers of arcana, it turns out the Pharisees were actually Hellenized, though the issue is a little more broader than that.

The page here gives a bird's eye overview of the situation:

Quote:However much they failed to acknowledge it, the Pharisees also drew from Hellenism. They had been attracted by the student-teacher relationship that had been common in the Hellenistic world but alien to Judaic society. They had been impressed by that part of Hellenistic education that tried to develop character in students and that had a high regard for individuality. Under Pharisaic influence the synagogue became a university for the Jews, a place where they gathered to learn and read the words of sacred writings from the past, where they read from the Torah and studied, sang and prayed.

The Pharisees were impressed by Hellenism's Stoic philosophers, who taught an inner standard impervious to happenstance and suffering. And the Pharisees were attracted to Hellenistic law-making: Greek-style legislative bodies. The Pharisees created the Beth Din ha-Gadol (Great Legislature) as a lawmaking, law-transmitting and law-confirming body. They had not lifted the idea of this institution from scripture, but they saw their legislative body as having its authority in God rather than from a constitution, and they saw laws created by the legislature as having origins in divine revelation.


More detailed is this chapter from the book Judaism: Revelation of Moses or Religion of Men?*:
Quote:Continuing [John] Phillips' quote: "Instead of the allegories and homilies of the Midrash, the Tannas employed logic and reasoning borrowed from the Greeks.... Like the Midrash, [the Mishnah that developed] was a somewhat jumbled exposition of truth, and, like the Midrash, it kept on diluting the Word of God with liberal quantities of fallible human opinion" (p. 59; emphasis added). “The artless commentaries of the Midrash”—the simple, oral exegesis of Scripture—" were [during the time of Ptolemaic rule of Judah] seen by the Jews as inadequate in an age of Greek enlightenment. Adding Greek logic to their hermeneutics, the rabbis [scribes] overhauled their views and developed the Mishnah” (p. 63; emphasis added).

By "artless," Phillips suggests that the scribes' midrashim were, as yet, uncontrived. They were genuine attempts to explain the Scriptures. But the idea of a so-called "oral law" was most contrived. In fact, with religious constraints cast off, new ideas found fertile ground among these Jewish scholars. Thus, while outwardly supporting the Scriptures and resisting Hellenization, the scribes could justify virtually any doctrine by making the claim that it was part of an esoteric oral tradition—hidden all along in the depths of the written Torah.

To sum up the issue: Hellenization started, obviously, with Alexander the Great, and it continued well after his death and the subsequent Ptolemaic and Seleucid rule over Jewish life. It seems that Jewish life in general was peppered in all places with Hellenized thought, religious life included. The Pharisees may have openly contradicted Hellenization, but the damage had already been done with the adoption of Greek logic to interpret scriptural truth before Jesus came onto the scene.

The Pharisees were a populist faction that governed the religious aspect of the Jewish life at that time. Their pedigree was working-class, as opposed to the aristocratic Sadducees, who openly embraced the entirety of the Hellenism the pagan Greek culture had on the menu. The Pharisees, in particular, enjoyed the democratic aspect of Greek politics, contrasting themselves from the elitist Sadducees, who cozied up close to imperial Rome. You can see why the everyday Jew might identify with a Pharisee than a Sadducee. Sadducees wouldn't have been involved with the down-and-dirty Jewish rabble as the Pharisees were. Perhaps this is why Jesus dealt with the latter much more so.

I'm mentioning all of this because, to the thoughtless, Jesus would seem implicitly pro-Hellenization because the Pharisees constantly antagonized Him. I believe strongly that He wasn't, since His issue with the Pharisees had more to do with their behavior and attitudes. Both the Pharisees and Sadducees, despite any possible propaganda from the former, had already been thoroughly damaged by the spread of Hellenism and abandonment of their forefathers' mysticism. 

Jesus didn't seem to take any explicit sides in the pro- or anti-Hellenization debate, but sidled up with lots of different segments of society. In this sense, His important work had more to do with proactively bringing God's shalom to people directly, than bringing down institutions. Those institutions often got in His way; He simply worked around them, in spite of them. There's something we can extract from that fact.

* The Midrash was commentary on the Torah that eventually became the Talmud. Tannas was a newly-formed group of Hellenized Jewish scholars.

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  I Miss It So
Posted by: Ed Hurst - 02-15-2018, 11:32 PM - Forum: Prayer Requests - Replies (3)

There were several periods in my life when it was my blessed privilege to stand before a class and deliver the Word of Truth. There are moments when I feel transported back to those periods and can experience the whole thing down to minute details. I really miss those times.

I can tell you that attempting to make a video isn't the same thing. I've tried it. There's no way that can scratch the itch. Without a live class, it's just not the same. So I'm praying that someday out there in front of me I can once more stand before an audience with a chalkboard and share what's on my heart.

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  GLURG?
Posted by: IainH - 02-11-2018, 07:42 AM - Forum: Miscellaneous - Replies (4)

I believe this device of mine is fixing to crap out on me. It's a Kindle Fire 7 and its all I need. I suppose like the good microbe that I am, I shall purchase another. If I could be any critter I wanted, I would be a sand bubbler crab. IMHO those guys have the most awesome job in all creation. Everyday at low tide... Ah, just check it out on YouTube. I worked production for fifteen years as an upholsterer and now I'm going back at age 54 out of necessity. My kids are in high school and I gotta pay for collage. I've asked the Lord to bless my endeavors and I could use some prayer support. Please.

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Bug Something minor...
Posted by: jaybreak - 02-09-2018, 03:07 PM - Forum: Prayer Requests - Replies (8)

I've been fighting off something for a few weeks now. It feels flu-like, but not quite. I am able to function as normal during the day, but I get totally wiped out at night, so it's not something quite so debilitating as the flu or pneumonia. Mrs. Break thinks it's a sinus infection. 

I'm going to the doctor's today about it. Normally, I just ride these things out, but its persistence is affecting my writing time and helping out at home after work.

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  Amazing Grace
Posted by: jaybreak - 02-05-2018, 11:46 PM - Forum: Miscellaneous - No Replies

I found this to be a great rendition. The vocalist is Japanese, but classically trained, which speaks to the very American English-sounding accent.

Knowing the religious stats of Japan, there's very little chance she was Christian. Still, a song done well is a song done well.




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  The Challenge
Posted by: IainH - 02-03-2018, 07:58 AM - Forum: Questions - Replies (10)

For want of a better word, I do hereby entitle this thread; The Challenge.
What is The Challenge?
Simply put it's this, how do we who are not particularly gifted as communicators get across to people who like ourselves blundered around in the opaque soup of religiosity trying to find a path that fit our stubborn commitment to "get this right". 
Personally, it was by accident. I was looking for something and stumbled upon Ed's blog and was intrigued, excited and frightened that someone else was on my wavelength just, fortunately for me, much farther along. The FREE books and posts, literally saved me decades that, quite frankly, I ain't got.
I was born into, raised in and taught by parents, school teachers, pastors and on and on that Western Civilization, from now on and forever more simply WC, IS the ultimate stage of human development. Insurmountable and eternal. Everyone I know believes this. 
How do I break down this festering edifice so that ONE person can glimpse the light.
The way I see it; I have three tools.
1. Prayer
2. God's Holy Word
3. My own conviction.
   Planting little seeds.

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  This Is the Story, Part 4
Posted by: Ed Hurst - 02-01-2018, 08:59 PM - Forum: Miscellaneous - No Replies

I realize the previous part is just a little muddled; I tried to cover too much territory at once. Also, it's a functional explanation of the visible parts of something that is largely hidden from view. Let me add one more small piece to this puzzle.

Perhaps you have noticed that there is a strong parallel between how the bankers operate and how the Zionists do their thing. I wrote elsewhere that the whole point of Israel is to provoke and keep things stirred up. In this, the Zionist agenda serves the bankers' purposes. Again, this is something that has a lot of hidden parts and all I can see are the effects. I can't hope to explain the actual behind-the-scenes relationships. However, it should be obvious that there's a relationship of some sort there. I'm convinced that Israel is the project of some portion of banking moguls.

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  This is the Story, Part 3
Posted by: Ed Hurst - 01-30-2018, 05:02 PM - Forum: Miscellaneous - Replies (2)

This is what I see; this is the story I tell to explain why I do what I do. I'm going to oversimplify on purpose, because I'm trying to paint a background picture that doesn't require a lot of precision. It echoes things I've said before.

You've probably seen my link to The Cult, several pages explaining the history of how Satan has established a close following among world political leaders. It's not a bunch of people consciously congregating as a distinct group, but an outline of what they share as a distinct influence in human government. It's more about the net effect, not so much a conscious intent. Here I want to discuss the primary means to influencing and controlling how governments work. You don't have to buy into this; I'm just telling you where I'm coming from when I try to explain what I see going on in the world today. This explains some of my decisions.

The primary means of control over human politics is debt. There is no legal authority, no secret cabal of ancient hereditary rulers, no secret council of masters of the world; there is only a bunch of bankers with varying reasons for being involved in banking. Quite of few did inherit their position; nepotism is rife in banking. But however it is they got into their position, the only real power they have is debt. That is, they control the debts of the world as the means to control human behavior across a very wide spectrum. Their aim is to protect the system that feeds their power and wealth.

In the final analysis, you don't own any property. Everything you have that isn't part of your soul can be legally confiscated or stolen -- "Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth," our Lord said. Be the treasure; live the treasure. All so-called currency is just a debt slip. Every US dollar in circulation in this world is borrowed value, legally owed to the Federal Reserve Bank, which is a privately owned central bank. Every other currency (with few exceptions) in the world is based on the same thing; it constitutes a loan from some central bank. The various legal entities borrowing the money works out to be the representative governments of the people. So there is this conception that the people owe the banks all the presumed value behind the currency. The agency tasked with paying that debt, should the loans be called in, will be the various governments. These governments have the law and weaponry necessary to enforce collection on the debts.

There is an ad hoc sense in which a government's hands are tied should they not actually be able to collect as the agents of the banks (due to effective resistance), but this is the concept. The governments are beholden to the banks as their collection agents. In other words, the banks can tell the governments what to do. If the governments reject orders from the banks, the former can lose their credit rating and all access to liquidity is gone. The system grinds to a halt and the government can't pay the troops and bureaucrats. It's vaguely possible a big enough country can cut themselves off from the banking system, but that means an awful lot of export-import trade halts. It requires an awful lot of wheeling and dealing with trade partners to get around this problem. Some countries are doing this already on a small scale. There are plans for some big countries to do it on a larger scale.

This international banking system is being challenged by rival banking systems. It's an insider challenge. There's a bit of schizophrenia here, because the existing banks in those countries are partly involved in this. Still, it's starting to work. That's because everyone is familiar with the system and it's just a matter of one bunch of bankers pulling away from the rest, because they can and because it offers a better deal for them. They still keep their hands on the debt, but with a requirement to work more closely with the governments (AKA, collection agencies). It requires the breakaway bankers to be more loyal to the government and less to the old global banking empire.

The smart governments involved in this are also paying off their old debts. The stupid ones are only pretending to pay them off. This leads to some natural instability in the system, which was already unstable before. Further, the breakaway folks aren't totally broken away. There is still a strong connection, if not directly through the banks, then through the long established international corporations, which is another factor in this system. They are an odd hybrid of banking and government functions mixed together, with increasing power that seeks to assert a claim to ownership in such a way as to hijack government authority in limited ways. I won't chase that too far right now, but keep your eye on that. Giant corporations serve to weaken the entire political system, in part because the bankers prefer them over traditional sovereign states.

Meanwhile, we have this fundamental problem that using debt as money means eventually the liquidity of the whole system dries up. A precious few folks will catch on and simply opt out of the debt-based economic growth. This refusal to take on debt weakens the system. But in the majority of cases, the debt load becomes too big, and the ability to continue participating in the economic flow ends because all the available resources are absorbed in servicing the debt. In other words, people and companies and governments are so deep in debt they can't pay keep doing what they do. The banks have been struggling to offer new debt at near-zero interest rates to keep it flowing, but the system itself has limits that simply can't be overcome. The various debtors -- individuals, companies and governments -- default.

The banks do not want to seize property. They try to auction it off, but the pool of buyers is shrinking because they are all bound up in excess debt. The governments are forced to manage this to some degree, but there are distinct practical limits on that, too. Governments have no use for more than a small margin of seized property, especially the larger governments. Owning all the physical property won't solve any problems, because everything about this whole system rests on consumer debt. Without high consumption, there is no economic activity, and everyone is reduced to subsistence activities. Think about Venezuela on a global scale. Not every country has their peculiar problems, but it's a picture of economic collapse. When the debts are unpayable, the whole country defaults and the means of trade is gone. Such a country will have to fall back on internal resources as an economic island, and it depends on the wisdom of government to make it work -- or not.

The bankers will struggle to prevent this cancer of collapse from spreading across the West. They will take some major losses, but only because it's the way to stay in power. Still, their losses will be significant, and those losses will affect the whole international system. The various governments will react differently and maps will change. The giant transnational corporations will be affected. Different agencies will seize opportunities and others will come apart completely. It's impossible to estimate many cases, in part because of the way it all ties them together. This is when we can expect globalist agencies to try seizing power, though probably with a lot of public relations persuasion. I suspect they will all fail because they are incapable of all coming together for a common cause.

There is no globalist entity capable of pulling off global government. The bankers would prevent it in any case, because their power rests on conflict and debt. They are the primary cause of all military conflict, because nothing builds debt faster. If all the various national governments collapse into one, bankers will no longer be the single biggest cohesive group. They will lose their advantage. This is already threatened with breakaway banking and trade systems. Banks don't have the means to exert force directly, so it's all a matter of diplomacy and leverage. There are too many competing parties. Don't fear a global government, even if it looks like something is pulling together. It's unlikely to ever be any stronger than the UN, a goofy advisory body whose power rests entirely on big sponsors, big sponsors who play along only when it's to their advantage.

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  This is the Story, Part 2
Posted by: Ed Hurst - 01-30-2018, 03:27 PM - Forum: Miscellaneous - No Replies

Most of you who have read my stuff at all know that I am deeply cynical about the official public narrative. It reflects the story told by a mixture of "powers that be" (TPTB) -- elected officials with suspect motive, bureaucrats with their hive-mind, and corporations too big to ignore, the latter of which includes public noisemakers. I've taken pains to explain some of the depth of insanity behind the bureaucratic government and the powerful commercial interests that purchase a listening ear with elected officials. For me, the official public narrative is some mixture of government propaganda meant to steer the masses into things the bureaucrats and elected officials both don't want for themselves, or things they do want while knowing we don't want them at all.

And if you surf the Net much, you know that leaves a whole bunch of alternative noisemakers who discuss and complain about the lies promoted in the official public narrative. As I've said before, that dissenting alternative noise includes a lot of hired shills who secretly represent the official noisemakers, AKA "controlled opposition." One of the favorite tactics used by this controlled opposition is to weave some actual cynical truth with some of the most preposterous fiction. I can't count how many times some popular alternative news source was exposed in a very messy scandal as working for the TPTB. Some who have been exposed do manage to keep their audience, which should tell you a lot about their audience.

They both assume there is something to gain from clinging to this world. My assumptions about reality prevent me getting sucked into either side of this racket. Further, my assumptions prevent me trying to do anything about any of it. That is, I have no expectation of changing this mad world at all, but trying to stay out of the way as I struggle to reflect the light of glory onto the scene. I must warn you that if you are suckered into either side of this vast loud noise of fear-mongering, you'll be caught off guard by what God actually does in this world. If you know what His glory demands, you'll stand ready to participate.

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