Pharisees

June 15, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Often, when we are hearing about events that took place in the gospels, we are told about the enemies of Jesus. Those people who opposed Him and tried everything they could to show Him to be a charlatan. Of all the groups that did this, the one that Christians are most familiar with are the Pharisees. Because of the often simple light in which this group is painted, many people don’t realize the dangers inherent in what they said and did. To understand this, it is important to understand where the Pharisees came from.
 
The group of Jews known as Pharisees arose during the reign of John Hyrcanus. They came from the Hasidism, which was a militant religious community that was focused on obedience to the Law and worship to God. They began around 168 B.C. (before Christ!…). The name Pharisee means “separated one” and was applied to this group because they separated themselves from the Hellenistic influence brought in through the Greeks. At the time of Jesus, it is believed that there were around 6,000 Pharisees in Israel. The Pharisees saw the entire Old Testament as authoritative, but accepted oral tradition as authoritative as well. They believed in the existence of angels and demons. They believed in life after death and bodily resurrection. They believed that the study of the Law was worship. They strove to live holy by keeping the Law and saw the Law as determining what was clean and unclean. They felt very strongly about obedience to the Law and developed a set of regulations to help save people from breaking the Law. There are 613 laws in the Old Testament and the discussions that they had were as specific as whether or not a person should eat an egg laid on the Sabbath. The Pharisees lived for the Law and sought to use it in all situations. Continue Reading Pharisees…

Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2009 at 2:42 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.

While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” Continue Reading Merry Christmas!…

The reason for the season?

December 21, 2009 at 3:50 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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This time of year, you see it all over the place – “Jesus is the reason for the season”. I guess it’s an effort to try and get people to focus on the real meaning of Christmas, but as I was thinking about all of this, I had some questions about it. Is Jesus really the reason for the season in the hearts and minds of most people? Is this just a weak attempt to try and evangelize without having to really do anything? If people know Jesus as He’s portrayed in the Bible, should this be necessary?
 
I understand the statement and I totally agree with it. Jesus is the reason for the Christmas season. Of course, He’s the reason for every other season as well… The problem comes when I see the same people that tell me that Jesus is the reason for the season slide tackling an 80 year old woman and hurdling two shopping carts full of crying newborns (who were dragged out into the freezing cold weather at 4 a.m.) just so that they can join in a death match for the last Patty Wets-her-pants. Ok, so it may be more than a little problem…I guess I have gotten to where I don’t understand some of the things that people do in the name of celebrating the birth of the Lord Jesus. We trek out to the malls to find that perfect gift for that special someone at the best price. All the while, we gripe about the traffic and the waiting in line. Meanwhile, we try as hard as we can to latch on to the Christmas carol playing over the mall speakers so that we can drown out the horrible groans our conscience is making as it keeps a running total of how much we’re spending. The only solace is that we’re using our credit cards so fast there is a slight chance that they will actually melt before we spend ourselves out of house and home and into oblivion. When the amount actually does register, it reminds us to pick up that super-sized bottle of Tums so that we stay healthy enough to come up with a plan for paying off all the debt we’re building up. Continue Reading The reason for the season?…

Religion at its best

August 3, 2007 at 11:49 am | Posted in Christianity | 5 Comments
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I’ve taken the liberty to copy an article from WorldNetDaily. The reason that I copied it is so that the context of the article can be seen as I write my response. The bold and narrow assertion made by Pope Benedict XVI recently is not only offensive, it goes against the very thing that it proposes to uphold. This discussion could go on for pages, so I will try to stay to the issue at hand. I will keep short the background information in hopes that readers will study what is said on their own.

Pope Benedict XVI has ignited controversy across the world by approving a document saying non-Catholic Christian communities are either defective or not true churches, and the Roman Catholic Church provides the only true path to salvation. Continue Reading Religion at its best…


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