I heard it again the other day: “Mary Magdalene was a reformed prostitute.” This came from a preacher, no less. He should have known better. Absolutely nowhere in the Bible does it state that Mary Magdalene had any kind of profession, much less that of prostitution.
Far from an honest mistake, this rumor was probably started by the early Church for the sole purpose of defaming Mary Magdalene. As a woman, she figured far too prominently in the Gospels for the misogynistic Church. Her image had to be tainted somehow. And voila, she was fashioned into an ex-hooker. How’s that for spin?
The Catholic Church has since renounced its position on Mary Magdalene, so these days, anyone who makes the prostitute reference is ignorant, at best. For those who should know better, it may be a strong indication of misogyny.
What creeds do you have to recite to be a true Christian? What beliefs do you have to profess?
Why complicate things? A Christian, put simply and completely, is someone who follows Christ. Because, in the end, it’s really not what you choose to believe that really matters, it’s who you choose to follow.
If God is not actively working in the here and now and does not concern Himself with human affairs, then He is completely irrelevant. For all practical purposes, this would be the same as if God didn’t exist. As I understand it, some deists believe that God created the universe then went about His merry way. I say that it doesn’t really matter who or what created the universe if the Creator no longer influences it in any way.
So who created the universe? That question makes an invalid assumption which I for one refuse to accept. Ultimately, I don’t see God’s creation of the universe in the past tense. The universe is still actively being created. There is at least as much growth and change going on right now as there was in the so-called beginning.
I secretly think the very best part about Christianity (and possibly other religions as well) is that it gives you an ‘excuse’ to be on your best behavior and for the best possible motives. If you want to be nice, kind and loving to a fellow human being, you are at liberty to do so (usually) without having your intentions made suspect.
Recently, I was reading an article about ‘dark’ matter (a theory originally proposed to account for the non-newtonian rotation of the galaxies). It occurs to me, however, that Einstein already dealt with that in his Theory of relativity. We know that gravity warps space-time and causes time-dilation. Heavenly bodies toward the center of the galaxy would not need to move as quickly as expected from an outside observers perspective to achieve a stable orbit.
I’ve often heard it said, “God will never give you more than you can handle”. I believe the opposite to be true. God often gives people much more than they could ever hope to handle on their own. Why? I don’t know but I suspect that it is to remind us of our powerlessness in many instances and to encourage us to seek help from others or even God Himself.
I don’t think people who find things in the Old Testament and say, “Looky here, that’s a sin” fully understand what it means to be Christian. What’s in the Old Testament is just a bunch old Jewish laws. Christians are now ‘above’ the law. Consider that Jesus Christ was completely without sin and yet he frequently and flagrantly broke many of the Old Testament laws. Sinning is not so much *what* you do but *why* you do it. Love God more than anything and love your neighbor at least as much as yourself. Do those two things and everything else is pretty much optional.
I believe we all suffer to some degree. What I’m beginning to realize is that faith does not necessarily minimize our pain but it does tend to minimize its personal importance.
I wonder sometimes if someone really has to know Christ to be a Christian. I mean, a bird doesn’t know aerodynamics yet he still seems to fly pretty well. Is someone who intuitively follows Jesus’ commandments without knowing them a ‘better Christian’ than someone who knows them yet doesn’t follow them?
I think that human language can no more accurately describe God’s interaction with his creation than frog language can accurately describe the complex interaction of quantum particles. We say God is infinite, perfect and eternal but how can any finite, imperfect, and temporal human can possibly understand what any of these things actually mean? The difference between a mere human being and God must be unimaginably greater than even the difference between a human and an amoeba. How can a human communicate effectively with an amoeba? How can an amoeba even begin to understand the mind of a human? We often ask “Why?” but even if God chose to explain certain mysteries to us, we would very doubtfully have the capacity to understand. I think it is better to trust in God’s obvious benevolence – Although it is true that we often “believe” things could somehow be better but we are usually pretty vague on the details. On the other hand, don’t we usually “know” beyond a doubt that things could be much worse in very specific ways? If we can acknowledge this simple fact with our extremely subjective and incredibly limited perspective, how much greater would God’s overall benevolence appear if we could begin to understand the bigger picture?