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Friday, 18 April 2014

Easter Has Pagan Origins: My Thoughts


What do you tell people who make statements like the one above (Easter Has Pagan Origins) in an attempt to water down the significance of Christian festivities like Easter? Do you just ignore them? No, don't! Give them a response! ...Yes, Easter has pagan origins, no disputing of that fact. But it takes nothing away from the significance of the occasion as Jesus‘day of resurrection. Christ died and resurrected. Didn't He? He died as a ransom for the sins of humanity thus granting eternal life to anyone who will believe and accept Him as Lord and Saviour.

Now, as Christians, we have an assignment to engage our communities, friends, families and world and influence them through Christ: We are not to sit unconcerned about what goes on in the world. Remember Jesus described us as the salt and light of the earth. If we are the salt and light of this world, it simply means we have to influence our world positively by ending evil practices. That's exactly what has been done with these pagan festivities that have now become Christian. They have been influenced by Christianity and turned around for a good cause.

Usually, in my defense of these petty reasons for not celebrating Christian festivities because of their Pagan origins, I always throw in Acts 17:28: "For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offsprings". I bet Acts 17:28 is one of the popular and favourite text of many Christians. But I am sure it will be a surprise to many Christians that that text are borrowed lines from pagan poets.

Let's pause on the text and examine the phrase "as certain also of your own poets have said". That phrase was making reference to pagan poets of Greece who wrote a poem in honour of Zeus, a Greek god considered as the father of all gods. So really, Acts 17:28 is not Christian, it's pagan, but it was used by Paul to preach Christ. He took a pagan poem and pointed the Athenians away from their "UNKNOWN GOD" to the known God: “...For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.“(Acts 17:23).

Who is Zeus? Nothing! In his epistle to the Corinthian church, Paul did justice to gods: “...we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.“ (1 Corinthians 8:4-6).

See below the poems Paul quoted from:
Let us begin with Zeus, whom we mortals never leave unspoken.
For every street, every market-place is full of Zeus.
Even the sea and the harbour are full of this deity
Everywhere everyone is indebted to Zeus.
FOR WE ARE HIS OFFSPRINGS
---Phaenomena by Aratus1

They fashioned a tomb for you, holy and high one,
Cretans, always liars, evil beasts, idle bellies.
But you are not dead: you live and abide forever,
FOR IN YOU WE LIVE AND MOVE AND HAVE OUR BEING.
---Cretica by Epimenides2
The next time you want to speak against Christmas and Easter, be ready also not to quote Acts 17:28 again in your life. Also, if you have a problem with Christmas and Easter, then take your calender and cancel out Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. These are all names of Roman gods. I am not done yet. Extend the cancellation to January through to December. These are all names of Roman gods...

Notes:

Thursday, 17 April 2014

What Does Easter Mean To You?



Photo: WHAT DOES EASTER MEAN TO YOU? 

BLOOM Magazine and Truth Publications bring you a writing project on Easter from different individual perspective.... Follow the link to download your copy...Bless You 

http://bit.ly/1j4AShZ

Contributors... Senyo Akaba, Kwaku Dei-Asiedu, Lena Ewurafua Oduro, Michael Appiah-Duku, Josephine Amoako, Albert Adjetey, AlfCollins Djan, Phil IsGod'sbabygirl Ama Nyarkoah, Theodora Williams, Bom Sirr,

It's Easter, a period Christians celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though Easter as we have it today has its origins in pagan beliefs, we must not lose sight of it's significance today. I will do another post to explain why I believe though, Easter has pagan origins, there's nothing wrong celebrating it today as Christian. 

In this post however, I am making available for free download an ebook with the thoughts of different people's view of Easter. Follow this link to download...http://bit.ly/1j4AShZ

The bodily resurrect ion of the Lord Jesus Christ which we celebrate in this season as Easter is one of the fundamental tenets of the Christian faith. He died and rose again thus reconciling sinful humanity to the Father through the efficacy of the finished work on Calvary. He died in our place as a ransom for our sins.
He appeased God’s wrath for the punishment of our sins. (See Isaiah 53:4-6).His death and resurrection paved the way for everyone who will believe in Him to have a relationship with the father and also to have eternal life.

For the Christian, the resurrection of Christ is not a problem. But to the critic and atheist, Christ and Christianity area hoax.

Now before anyone will question the resurrection, let’s first look into the mind of Saul, a critic―a vicious enemy of the Christian faith― who later in his life embraced the Christian faith and became its number one advocate. What happened to Saul who later became Paul? He experienced the resurrected Christ. He became an eye witness of what he was opposing. On a journey to Damascus to apprehend Christians and execute them, he met with the Lord Jesus.(Acts 9)

This same enemy of Christ and Christianity, later on wrote to defend the resurrection. Truth is that, if Christ did not resurrect from the grave, then Christians have no hope.
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 1Corinthians15:12-15).
Pauls turn around to embrace the gospel can only be based on the fact that he experienced the truth. He also became a witness to the resurrected Christ.
This ebook celebrates our redemption by looking at what Easter means from different individual perspective. It is my prayer that this book will be a blessing to you
Happy Easter!... Get the free download here....http://bit.ly/1j4AShZ

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Five Pitfalls To Avoid In Life(Final Submission)

 Loaves and Fishes stained glass


Today I bring to a close this series started last week. I have treated Don't Live By The Expectations of Others, Living In The Past, Living For Temporal Things and Living By Sight(Unbelief, Doubt). 

Here is the fifth and final submission. 

  5: Walking Away From Truth

From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him(John 6:66).
How do you handle truth when it's presented to you? Do you walk away or you embrace and live it? Here, we see disciples; people who have been following Jesus offended because He told them the truth of who He truly is. In John 6, every single truth about Jesus offended the people. I am the bread of life; they got offended. I came from heaven; they got offended:
....Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? (John 6:42).
Truth is not always pleasant, especially if it challenges and confronts our way of life. An example is the young rich ruler who walked away because Jesus asked him to sacrifice all he had to follow Him. “...sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.“ (Luke 18:22-23).

We can't walk away from truth because truth librates. When you hear the truth, embrace it and live it. Peter's response to a question possed by Jesus is worth noting: 

...Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. (John 6:68).
Jesus has the words of eternal life and is the way to eternal life: “...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.“ (John 14:6). May I make a personal appeal here. Do you preach the Bible? Do you teach the Bible? Do you write from the Bible? My appeal to you: Preach the Truth! Teach the truth! Write the Truth and live the Truth! Our generation needs depth and Truth. Let‘s make a commitment to represent the Truth.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Five Pitfalls To Avoid In Life(Four)

Loaves and Fishes stained glass

Today I continue with the series, Five Pitfalls To Avoid In Life. This is a continuation of a five point series from portions of John Six. This is the fourth point in the series. For a quick recap, please see Don't Live The Expectations Of Others, Living In The Past and Living For Temporal Things.

Here we go with the fourth point:


Living By Sight (Unbelief, Doubt).
They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?(John 6:30).
Despite witnessing the multiplication of bread and fishes, we still see these folks asking for signs to believe who Jesus is. Their’s is what I described in a previous post as “butter and bread faith“. It's in fact, no faith at all. It's a life lived by sight and subject to what happens around us instead of what God's word says. If you read further down John 6, you will notice how eventually these people walked away from Jesus when He told them who He really is: 
The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?(John 6:41-42).
You see, without faith, we cannot handle God's word. When the truth of the word is spoken, it's not always pleasant to us. The depth of the word confronts and rebukes us. It challenges our perspective on life. The word always exposes to us our true nature. Truly, the word is sharper than any double edged sword! It reveals our very thoughts. These guys were pure doubters and pessimists. They asked for a sign, Jesus told them who He truly is and they couldn't take it: 
For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him (John 6:55,57,60,66).
Hard talk indeed: “my flesh is meat“. But because they didn't take it in faith, they turned away. Scripture is clear about how we must live our lives: "...we walk by faith, not by sight...[For] without faith it is impossible to please [God]..." (2 Corinthians 5:7, Hebrews 11:6). 

Let‘s make it a point to walk by faith, believing and trusting in every word of God. The just, Scripture says shall live by faith...

Friday, 4 April 2014

Five Pitfalls To Avoid In Life (Three)



 Loaves and Fishes stained glass


For the past three days I have been writing on the theme above. It's an exposition on portions of John 6. I have already treated the first two point; Don't Live The Expectations of Others and Living In The Past. Today I continue with the third point:

3: Living For Temporal Things
Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which
endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto
you: for him hath God the Father sealed (John 6:27).
Consistently, Scripture warns us against making the world and its possessions our standard. The Bible is replete with such instructions: "Set your affection on things above...Love not the world...Seek ye first the Kingdom...The life of a man is not made up of his material possessions...what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul...etc."   

You see, after Jesus has fed the people; the next day, they showed up again looking for Jesus; not because of His person, but because of the food they ate. They came for more! They came for "what is in it for me". Their focus and attention was on the food, instead of the giver of the food. As usual, Jesus gave them an answer that is as relevant in our days as it was when it was first spoken:
Labour not for the meat which perisheth [temporal things]....
In these words, Jesus was pointing to the people what matters in this life. He was calling for a life beyond temporary things. He was calling for a reordering of priorities: "Come to me...not to the things I will give you". "Seek eternal life...not temporal life". Now, eternity is rarely a topic amongst us. Check our church programs. Sample the theme of the messages we hear daily. The "here and now" is top on our list: Our everyday faith language predominantly centers on material things: money, visa, mansions, cars...add to the list. That is what I call "butter and bread faith": It's shallow, it's temporal and it will perish. I think in our days, we have become selective in our approach to faith; we have developed tickling ears. We want to hear exactly what we want to hear; not what God wants to say.
 
Let's face it: we are not here to stay, one day, we will depart and all things temporal we have built here on earth can't follow us into eternity: "...we brought nothing into this world, and it is CERTAIN we can carry NOTHING OUT". (1 Timothy 6:7). We can carry nothing out...Empty handed we came...empty handed we shall return. What is your life built on; the temporary, earthly, material things of this life? Make a wise choice, "Labour...for that meat(the word of God)which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed". Build your life on a foundation that can't be shaken....