Saturday, April 11, 2020

HAPPY RESURRECTION CELEBRATION

Love, crucified by Hate,
Has broken Hades' Gates
And, vanquishing Hatred,
Now pronounces us Sacred,
Our darkest sins forgiven
Our dead spirits enlivened
To life born from above
Dead to Hatred, Alive to Love!

HAPPY RESURRECTION CELEBRATION!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Is COVID-19 a God-sent Pandemic or is it Man-created? Does it signify the end of the world?

Based on a literal interpretation of prophecy (which has more credence) and based on direct evidence of the historical narratives in the Bible (which make the question even worthwhile), the following observations may be inferred:

1. COVID-19 pandemic is not a God-sent apocalyptic plague. All evidence shows that it is a man-made pandemic. It began at a wet market in Wuhan, now identified as 'ground-zero' of the virus' first impact. The Torah lists out some food restrictions for the Jewish community, which are today considered as being crucial for prevention of plague-inducing conditions for those times when scientific understanding was not highly advanced. If the Jewish community had violated the restrictions and contracted a disease that turned into an epidemic wiping off a large portion of its populace, that epidemic would be considered as a consequence of negligence and not a direct God-sent pestilence.

There were many human-created conditions that escalated the spread of the virus. The failure to understand the severity of the situation and attempts to quash information by Chinese authorities. Downplaying of the contagious and fatal nature of the virus by WHO. Countries that failed to take early preventive action and or to impose targeted lock-downs. Various groups that ignored preventive guidance to maintain distancing.... all these indicate human tactical failures that caused the pandemic.

2. The Bible does talk of God-sent judgement. One of the ways God judges nations is through pestilence (others being war and natural disasters, Jer.24:10). But, if God sends a judgement, humans can neither control it nor fight against it. Remember the Egyptian plagues, the Wilderness plagues, and the plague during David's census. In each of these cases, there was also a prophetic message strongly attached. We have the prophetic message now clearly revealed in Scripture. The book of Revelation tells us that when God's wrath really comes on the earth, "In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, but death will escape them." (Rev.9:6). They will try to flee and hide and will say to the mountains: "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!" (Rev.6:16).

3. A literal interpretation of prophecy puts Israel in global focus before the coming of the Great Wrath.

4. It also predicts that the anti-Christ, his false prophet, and his false religion would attempt at a totalitarian world domination prior to the Great Wrath.

5. However, it is certainly the case that COVID-19 presents the world with a novel situation of a situation post-Babel where linguistic, cultural, and economic barriers are eased through the process of globalization and rapid communication. It does create an emergency situation very conducive for events foretold regarding the end days. It also has shaken the church to wake up from its slumbering position and to look up. The church will also not be the same again.


Saturday, April 4, 2020

Comparative Table of Genitive Suffixes Examples in Greek, Sanskrit, Hindi, Punjabi, Telugu, Khasi



GREEK
SANSKRIT
HINDI
PUNJABI
TELUGU
KHASI
ου, ίας, ων
अस्य, अयोह, अनाम; :, ओ:, अनाम      
का, की, के  
ਦਾ, ਦੀ, ਦੇ
డి, అ,  యొక్క,
Jong
ou, ias, on
asya, ayoh, anam; ah, oh, anam
ka, ki, ke
da, di, de
di, a,
yokka
Jong


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

QA: Christian Ethics: Homosexuality

Q. Isn’t the Bible patriarchally prejudiced, therefore, towards homosexuals?
Ans. The Biblical condemnation of homosexuality is not patriarchally based. It is based on the creational nature of sexuality. Sexuality is essentially procreative and sexual attraction has an affectionate dimension that is essentially related to the procreative function. Sexual love is not the same as friendly love or parental love. It is not matriarchal to say that a woman must not have sex with woman in the same way as it is not patriarchal to say that sex between two men is a fundamental aberration. Homosexuality is wrong because it severs desire from its natural directive/objective and grants it autonomy; in other words, it let’s desire lead.

Q. Paul in Romans 1, 1Corinthians 6, and 1Timothy 1 is referring to nonconsensual homosexual practices between older men and constrained young boys or slaves. It doesn’t refer to homosexuality in the modern sense, right?
Ans. Paul is not referring to rape or sexual exploitation, but is explicitly referring to homosexuality that was primarily consensual. The Greek term ἀλλήλους used in Romans 1:27 and translated as “one another” in the statement “they burned in their lust for one another” is a reciprocal pronoun and a masculine accusative plural. Paul is not talking about immoral acts committed against the will of others but is talking about people who reject God and let their “vile passions” (πάθη) lead them (Rom.1:26).

Q. Isn’t the acceptance of the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8 affirmative of God’s acceptance of homosexuality?
Ans. It is only affirmative of God’s acceptance of eunuchs through Jesus Christ who were originally castrated individuals and not allowed to serve in the Tabernacle. There is no basis for associating that particular Eunuch with transgenderism or with homosexuality. There are some who theorize that homosexuals might have been chosen to take care of royal harems, but that is a mere hypothesis. Nevertheless, God’s arms are open to all sinners, including homosexuals provided they repent of their sins. God loves the homosexual (who is a person), but God hates homosexuality (which is a sin). The baptism symbolized the Eunuch’s repentance from sin towards God.

Q. Is it wrong to have romantic feelings for a member of the same-sex?
Ans. It is wrong to nurture the feelings instead of rejecting them. That is true also for adulterous feelings towards a member of the opposite sex.

Q. Then, why does someone have those feelings? Aren’t they God-given?
Ans. It is like saying that if someone has adulterous feelings, they must be God-given; or worse, if someone has paedophilic feelings, they must be God-given. That is judicially irrational and morally confusing. If every feeling comes from God, then moral freedom and moral decision becomes unreasonable. If that were true then, ultimately nothing would be wrong.

Q. But, same-sex attraction is inborn and is not the same as those other forms of desires. One is born that way.
Ans. That needs to be established. There is, presently, no scientific evidence for the born-that-way argument. But, even if it is claimed that there is such evidence (based on empirical studies, which are open to falsification by other studies), the biblical injunction in this matter is clear. Homosexual acts are morally condemned in the Bible, which implies that the Bible regards them as willful choices. If something were “natural”, condemnation of it would be unnatural and false. Since the Bible condemns homosexual act, it cannot be a “natural” act but is as Romans 1 calls it, “unnatural” act.

Q. But, isn’t that begging the question?
Ans. That the presence of smoke implies there must be fire is not begging the question.

Q. You referred to paedophilic feelings. But these are not the same as homosexual feelings. Sex with a child is never consensual, but homosexual acts usually are consensual.
And. I have also referred to adulterous feelings. Adultery is wrong even if consensual.

Q. There was no concept of same-sex marriage in the biblical times, so the writers only wrote with reference to prevailing marriage customs. If same-sex marriage were common, they would not oppose homosexuality.
And. The right way to say would be that same-sex marriage was not common because biblical law forbade same-sex relationships. Today, same-sex marriage is accepted where biblical authority is nullified.

Q. But there are Christian churches that are are gay-friendly and advocate equality.
And. There were various kinds of churches in biblical times that were totally opposed to apostolic teaching. There were also synagogues of Satan.

Q. Isn't that discrimination against a minority group?
And. What is the discrimination?

Q. Homosexuals are regarded as sinners in the same category with thieves and murderers.
And. We are called to respect all fellow humans without any discrimination. However, this does not mean that we fail to distinguish between morally right and wrong behaviors. The Bible does condemn homosexuality as sin. The church is open to all and there is transformation power in Jesus for all who confess their sins and turn to God. But, if someone denies sin as sin, the Bible cannot change for their sake. The moral law is a priori and thus immutable. We are called to love everyone but are also called to rebuke and expose sin.

Q. Homosexuals are as normal as anyone else. They are not deviant people. Their romance life is the same as that of heterosexuals. They are kind and good people.
Ans. Homosexuals are not more sinful than other people who are also sinners but look very normal, intelligent, and good. It is the idea that homosexuals are psychologically "sick" that is behind the view that homosexuals are regarded as abnormal. The Bible doesn't regard them as less normal than other people who are all sinners. However, it does say that all who have turned away from God became debased in mind. (Rom.1:21-22)

Q. If a Christian has same-sex attraction and can't help it, what should he or she do?
And. The Bible promises that with every temptation, there is also a way out. But the starting point is to recognize that homosexuality is sin. The feelings are not sin, but harboring and nurturing them and enjoying them is certainly sin. The first step is to acknowledge that homosexuality is sin. The second step is self-control. The third step is to morally appreciate the natural. If not, celibacy may be the only option left.

Q. What if it is impossible for a person to have heterosexual feelings?
Ans. There may be cases where a person might be dominated only homosexual desire, though in most cases heterosexual attraction still exists and the natural part (heterosexual attraction) is to be appreciated within the moral limits while the unnatural one (homosexual) has to be detested. If someone is incapable of heterosexuality, the immediate solution is continence and celibacy. The Bible promises transformation, renewal of heart, and sanctification for all who seek to obey the Gospel and be led by the Spirit instead of by the passions of the flesh.

Q. Why oppose homosexuality when it is not damaging to others? Isn't it just a private issue?
Ans. That is a hasty generalization and also an error with respect to moral understanding. Firstly, morality is not determined by consequences as opined by utilitarians. The end does not justify the means. Homosexuality is exposed as wrong by the scriptures. It is not about opposition, but about recognition of homosexual acts as morally wrong since they violate the intrinsic moral nature of sexuality. To rip sexuality off its intrinsic nature and posit it as merely instrumental is a violation of its sanctity. Christian ethics is not determined by the harm principle. Secondly, it is too hasty to conclude that Christian acceptance of homosexuality will not have negative consequences. There are already social consequences of its social acceptance in accepting societies. In contexts where procreation is devalued due to social and economic constraints, and where homosexuality starts becoming publicly appreciated in media, literature, and public policies, there can be serious damaging effects on heterosexual values. But, even if there were none, the a priori categorization of homosexuality as immoral remains unchanged in Christian ethics. While Christians do not oppose what non-Christians do in their private spheres, they will oppose, as responsible citizens, any invasion of their spaces - for instance, if homosexual graphics that might be potentially harmful to moral values are displayed in public arenas (billboards, advertisements).

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Sons of God

"the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God." Rom.4:19

~ Human government with its rules and regulations symbolizes humanity in a toddler age [quite freaky when govt attempts to act like a parent]. When the "sons" come to age, they do not live by the letter of the law but by the spirit. Children need codes of conduct, "sons" do not. "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." (8:14)

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

7 Million Lights

One man's terrorist is another's freedom-fighter,
It's folly to think that sticks can beat out a raging fire-
They only add ire to ire.
One fights for honor, the other for his rights;
Darkness has covered this city of 7 million lights,
On the streets, cries and sighs!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Oh Paradise!

Oh paradise! The world so far
That sorrows here can't make it there;
Whence wafts of joy we oft' await
To lighten the load of daily pain.

Oh death! The door of the near
Opening up to freedom or fear.
Some fall helplessly into hell's cries.
Some are snatched away by paradise.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Self-pleasing, Man-pleasing, God-pleasing

There are these 3 orientations of the self:
Towards itself
Towards others
Towards God

People usually have a mixture of these with one or two predominating the others.

Romans 12:1-2 reminds that pleasing God can only be possible through a living sacrifice of the body and a transformation of the mind to be able to discern God's acceptable will.

Galatians 1:10 challenges is to please God and not the world.

Jung talked of the mass man who falls prey to the images of the collective consciousness (what the world is demanding as ideal) rather than listening to the collective unconscious (analogous to the Imago dei, the designer's blueprint within us). Conforming to the world is equal to being incapable of pleasing God as well as being untrue to oneself - inauthentic existence. Transformation requires letting the Spirit work in our innerman to transform the way we are thinking so that our minds become capable of right perception unclouded by and free of  the consciousness of the masses, the world. This is important for individuation. This does not mean a denial of the outerworld but a proper and right orientation towards it that only comes by offering our body (that connects to the external world) as a living sacrifice to God who made us not merely worldly beings but spiritual beings in His own image and likeness. It is His image that we are to be transformed into. Obviously, this begins with first breaking the habit of conforming to the world image.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Shaping a Scientific Sense of Self

SCIENCE
SELF
Causality (determinant factors)
Self-determination (freedom)
Essentiality (defining features)
Social disguise/identity (façade/front)
Objectivity (definite facts)
Subjective dispositions (feelings)

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Grammar, Culture, and Transgender

Accepting an anomaly into the grammar of social-culture might introduce meaning confusions and so humans naturally resist any disturbance of the prevailing system of meaning which is crucial for any proper communication/socialization to take place. That is an important factor why in traditional Asian societies like India, the transgender had to group away into a community of their own with their own socio-cultural grammar system that was different from the others. However, with the rise of liberalism, individualism, and postmodernism, systems of meaning are breaking down. Human consciousness identifies this as an omen of forthcoming rational catastrophe and would naturally attempt to forestall the same.

Whether homosexuality should be criminalized or whether same-sex marriages should be allowed much depends on the ideological position of a government in the spectrum of Individualists Vs Collectivists. The individualists would regard sexuality as a private matter while the collectivist would regard it as a social matter. Whether homosexuality is good or evil must be considered by looking at various moral theories, esp. the consequential and the deontological. Even from the evolutionary point of view, homosexuality has consequential disadvantage in the long-run (collectively speaking). In the short-run, it may only have some psychological benefit of "satisfaction", but "satisfaction" is not a moral criteria for value judgment..

Sunday, September 15, 2019

3 Principles of the Kingdom in Mark 4-5

Principle of Invisible Action
Jesus was asleep on a pillow and it felt and looked like he didn't care, but He is in control. Like the seed sown that grows regardless of human feeling or knowledge, the work of the Kingdom is independent of human cognizance.
Sometimes, answer to prayer, miracles don't seem happening. But, what seems to be the case is only a matter of subjective perception. God knows what he is doing.

Principle of Tangible Flow of Power
The physical flow of power through CONTACT is evident in both OT and NT (Moses' rod, Elijah's mantle, Elisha's bones, Disciples' kerchiefs, oil...). Jesus perceived power leave His body. ...

But it was faith that Healed her

Principle of Order, Unity, and Seriousness

God is not a God of confusion.