I try not to express opinion’s on every news event, let’s face it that would require a full-time and largely futile effort.
Nevertheless I have to say this particular issue motivates a personal response;
The trauma and pain that some people are unfairly burdened with is truly sad. It’s well said that to truly understand others we need to, as it were, ‘walk a mile in their shoes.’ So in all fairness I cannot compare my life with those who desire assisted suicide.
That said; within the past year I have also been diagnosed with some serious health issues, which I will not mention here.
In my humble opinion dealing with extreme pain and physical disability can, ‘and will’, be alleviated by a higher power. That power was abundantly demonstrated to literally hundreds, if not thousands, of eye-witnesses in the first Century CE!
If you accept that strong evidence as accurately recorded in Holy Scriptures, and I do, there is hope well beyond any pain or suffering experienced today for the future. So does that mean we should simply accept our present conditions…?
That question each one of us must answer for ourself. But for me, the answer is clear; no matter how difficult our lives may be now, there is, in fact, a real hope for relief and restoration of life in the future.
It was truly demonstrated by the greatest human to have ever lived that, not only does he possess the power from his Creator to accomplish that feat, but he has the will and genuine desire to do so!
True, our lives and the lives of countless others may well have been, and will be cut short or reduced to basic levels of existence until that time arrives, but there is not a shadow of a doubt based on reliably recorded history that such a future will come about. Therefore the courage and strength of character to await that future while facing unnatural consequences of our present existence, or death, is not too high a price to pay if and when we put full trust in that firmly promised future.
(Revelation 21:4) “And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”
I’m not a football wag, or fan either, however that said, I do have an opinion on why the Seahawks lost.. namely, they were victims of their own success! They had achieved their goal of playing in the SB only because of unprecedented success in the season finale’, a victory that can truly be described as ‘unbelievable’. Such success, along with other extreme risks that actually paid off, led to the final decision to pass on the goal line vs run the ball a mere one yard for an almost guaranteed SB victory, indeed they were victims of their own prior success imho!
On the news tonight It was the 50th anniversary of Air Canada flight 831 crash after taking off from Montreal in 1963… all 118 were killed.
I was booked to be on that flight, weeks ahead, it was a connecting flight from Halifax to B.C. But while celebrating (honorable) release from the RCN (Royal Canadian Navy) in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, I made a last minute decision in the late afternoon to cancel, and re-book for another flight very early the next morning.
When I arrived at the Air Canada desk the next morning, the staff had just arrived and nervously whispered glancing at me while I waited for ground transportation. I thought I must have revealed some evidence of late night partying.? Completely unbeknown to me, apparently, they had just learned of the crash and realized I had been booked on it, many days in advance.
In my case this is just trivia now of course, but as Solomon so well said it “…time and unforeseen events overtake them all.” (Eccl. 9:11)
Our lives are so limited by circumstances we have no control over, I most truly sympathize with those who lost family members on flight 831, but thankfully we all still have hope to see loved ones in the future provided we exercise faith in the loving ransom of Christ Jesus… while that opportunity still exits. (please visit JW.org)
At this time of year, there are so many (pardon the expression) phony ‘spirit of Christmas’ commentaries that it really necessitates this posting.
If and when there was ever ‘genuine’ good will towards men, as espoused by a minority at this time of year, the world would certainly not be in the dismal condition it truly is in today.
What is even more fictitious is the conception that Christmas is based on the birth of the most significant human to have ever lived. Far from it, this annual celebration, touted as being Christian in origin, is forever steeped in the most un-christian, yes even ‘anti-christian’ beliefs… how can this be so?
There is no better explanation than that the principal religions of Christendom have themselves been party to the propaganda that has misled their flocks into this incredible dilution. Why this was undertaken can be summed up in one word; politics.
That’s right, shortly after the last of the faithful followers of Christ died, there was a major political movement to incorporate pagan religion into the teaching of Christ, and it has been amazingly successful.
Indeed, ask the majority of Church-goers today what Christmas is based on and they would undoubtedly claim it is the birth of Christ. How absurd that is!
Historical Timeline Involving Christmas:
1513 BCE – 60 CE (1600 years of recorded Bible History)
Period of inspired Biblical writings and prophecies, many concerning Jesus Christ. No mention of his date of birth; nor its being celebrated by his 12 apostles.
No mention of Christmas. No mention of any holy person celebrating a birthday – only sinners (like Pharoah and Herod). (Gen. 40:20; Matt. 14:6; Mark 6:21-28; John 18:36)
History of Sun worship. Began in ancient Babylonia by worshiping the sun god Shamash & Nimrod – parallels exist between Babylonian New Years & Christmas celebrations (historian Pimlott in ‘The Englishman’s Christmas’).
Celtic Druids used mistletoe winter solstice celebrations due to it being viewed as magical, mysterious, and sacred.
Romans began celebrating Saturnalia (where many Christmas traditions find
Julius Caesar introduced the Julian Calendar making December 25 (not today’s 21 or 22) the date of the winter solstice (shortest day of the year).
Jesus was Killed. The Apostle Paul warned Timothy that “wicked men & impostors” would slip into the congregation and mislead many. (2 Timothy 3:1
Josephus popular 1st Century Jewish Historian reported that Jews did not celebrate birthdays, 1st century Christians (former Jews) continued the tradition of NOT celebrating them.
The foretold apostasy began after the death of the apostles (Acts 20:29, 30)
A period where Mithraism (syncretic Hellenistic mystery religion) was practiced in the Roman Empire. Mithras was a Roman soldiers god whose legendary birth (as some stories go) resembles the birth of Christ (being born of a virgin in the presence of shepherds). Devotees of Mithra (says the Catholic Encyclopedia) celebrated the birthday of the invincible sun (dies natalis Solis Invicti) on December 25. L.M. Wright, author of “Christianity, Astrology, And Myth” 2002; suggests that the early Christian Church was influenced by much of the myth and symbolism of Mithraism. The cult of Sol Invictius was the Roman Empire’s leading official cult of the fourth century – (Wikipedia)
Christmas began being celebrated as Christ’s Birthday. Early Catholic Church Fathers banned the use of Mistletoe in Christmas celebrations due to their pagan origin. Origen & Tertullian Catholic ecclesiastical writers of the 2nd & 3rd centuries spoke against Birthday celebrations. Tertullian made no mention of Christmas in his thorough lists of celebrations.
218 – 222
Roman Emperor Elagabalus introduced the holiday of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, “birthday of the unconquered sun” was to be celebrated on Dec. 25 (where many Christmas traditions find their origin), and promoted it empire-wide when it reached its height in popularity.
Pope Gregory I wrote to Mellitus, his missionary in England, telling him “not to stop such ancient pagan festivities, but to adapt them to the rites of the Church, only changing the reason of them from a heathen to a Christian impulse.” Thus reports Arthur Weigall, who once was inspector general of antiquities for the Egyptian government.
All religions, even Christianity were legalized in Roman
In the 1st counsel of Nicaea, Roman Emperor Constantine standardized Christian beliefs. According to the Catholic Church, Catholics began adopting pagan customs into Christianity. By the end of the century, Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire.
1st historical record of December 25 as the assigned date of Jesus Birth
All Religions (including formerly persecuted Christianity) in Roman territory were legalized. It took nearly the entire 4th century for the Roman empire to transition State Religion from pagan cults to Christianity. The Merging of cultic tradition with Christianity greatly assisted in this transition.
The Council of Tours “proclaimed the 12 days from Christmas to Epiphany as
a sacred and festive season.”—The Catholic Encyclopedia for School and
Christmas, along with Christianity, spread to Russia, where it became fused with the winter celebration of the ancient Slavs, honoring the spirits of the ancestors. (The Great Soviet Encyclopedia)
Christmas traditions spread to branches of Protestants during the
In England, Parliament discouraged Christmas feasting due to its heathen origin
Parliament banned Christmas by law
1659 – 1681
In North America, Massachusetts Bay Colony banned Christmas n which violators were subject to fine.
The Baptist Church of Newport [Rhode Island] observed Christmas for the
first time. This was about 130 years after the founding of the first Baptist
church in New England.
Alabama became 1st U.S. state to legalize Christmas
Commercialism revived Christmas, Charles Dickens wrote “A Christmas Carol” and Christmas Cards originated in London.
Oklahoma became the last U.S. state to legalize Christmas.
Jehovah’s Witnesses abandoned Christmas celebrations after learning of its pagan origins.
An overwhelming majority of sources agree that Christmas was almost entirely influenced by pre-Christian pagan celebrations.
There was no mention of Christmas nor any celebration of Christ’s birthday for hundreds of years after Jesus & his apostles died. The book Sacred Origins of Profound Things states: “For two centuries after Christ’s birth, no one knew, and few people cared, exactly when he was born.” Thus birthday celebrations, even of gods and leaders, were condemned as far as the late third century by Roman Catholic leaders.
Did this courageous man “change the course of history?” as some over-zealous news talking-heads have proclaimed?
He was a violent anti-apartheid advocate who emerged from years of abusive racial government imprisonment as an unbreakable advocate of peaceful reform, of that there is no argument.
What produced that transition is in doubt. Perhaps it was deep personal mediation on God’s word, he certainly had the opportunity for that in all his years of imprisonment.
In any case, claims that he ‘changed the world’, is not supported by the facts. Not only South Africa, but the ‘world of mankind’, before and after Mandela, has clearly not shown any signs of major reformation, much less become more forgiving, loving, or kind, by any stretch of imagination!
Today there are arguably more world-wide violence, hatred, and turmoil, than in all of history! There are vast divisions between rich and poor, and certainly more anti-government activism in the world than ever before.
South Africa may have seen some reduction in the racial divide through the efforts and example of Mandela, but to suggest he has brought about great changes world-wide is, sadly, wishful thinking.
Compare that with the effects of the man, Jesus Christ, who walked on the earth for a mere 33.5 years! His influence, teachings, and example, are simply unmatched, as millions of people worldwide can and do testify.
I try really hard to suppress an outright laugh when reports like this are treated as scientific fact!
By their very own admission, ‘evil-lution’ is truly “a muddle”! In other words it is not even close to being factual.
The BBC report on the news tonight (Dec. 3rd 2013) states ‘there is no way to connect million-year old man with modern man by comparing skull bones’ etc. But now they expect to be able to do so by comparing the DNA from some cave bones.
What utter and complete nonsense is this frustrated grasping at straws to validate a theory that for about 100 years has been absolutely ‘invalidated’ scientifically.
Of course the real reason for this desperate ongoing fruitless search is very obvious; there is no way that arrogant men of learning can come to grips with the plain truth, namely mankind is the product of the most intelligent, glorious, all-powerful, and generous Creator as clearly set out in His own inspired Word, the Bible. Every science ‘fact’ supports this conclusion!
What’s more he has generously provided the way out of human chaos all the way back to human perfection. But now we are reaching the very limit of his extreme patience with us… just as occurred in the days of Noah… please read Luke 17:26-30.