Tag Archives: Christ

John Chrysostom: Part 3: The Second Banishment and Death


Myself

By T.V. Antony Raj

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Statue of St John Chrysostom, at St Patrick's cathedral, New York City. (Source: wikimedia commons)
Statue of St John Chrysostom, at St Patrick’s cathedral, New York City. (Source: wikimedia commons)

 

Even though exiled, John Chrysostom found it possible to correspond with his supporters in Constantinople. He was still able to exert a measure of influence in his cause. His correspondences were discovered. Word came from Constantinople that he was to be removed from Caucasus to an even more remote place at the eastern end of the Black Sea to a so-called castellum, a rectangular fortress with towers at each corner, built by the Romans in the 2nd century AD in Pitiunt, in modern Abkhazia.

Imperial officials forced John Chrysostom to walk in bad weather to his new place of exile. He did not survive the exhausting journey. He died at Comana Pontica on September 14, 407. His last words are said to have been, “δόξα τῷ θεῷ πάντων ἕνεκεν”, meaning “Glory be to God for all things.

After John Chrysostom’s death, people venerated him as a saint. Three decades later, some of his adherents in Constantinople remained in schism. Saint Proclus, the then Patriarch of Constantinople (434-446), hoping to bring about the reconciliation of these Johannites, preached a homily  in the Church of Hagia Sophia, praising his predecessor  He said:

O John, your life was filled with sorrow, but your death was glorious. Your grave is blessed and reward is great, by the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ O graced one, having conquered the bounds of time and place! Love has conquered space, unforgetting memory has annihilated the limits, and place does not hinder the miracles of the saint.

These homilies helped to mobilize public opinion.

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Coffin of St. John Chrysostom in Komani, Georgia.
Coffin of St. John Chrysostom in Komani, Georgia.

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The patriarch Patriarch of Constantinople received permission from the Emperor Theodosius II, son of Arcadius and Eudoxia, to return Chrysostom’s relics from Comana to Constantinople. On January 28, 438, the relics were solemnly received by the Archbishop Proclus and the Emperor Theodosius II and enshrined in the Church of the Holy Apostles.

The Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches commemorate John Chrysostom as a “Great Ecumenical Teacher” and honour him as a saint. They count him among the Three Holy Hierarchs, together with Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzus. These three saints, in addition to having their own individual feast days, are commemorated together on January 30, a feast known as the  feast known as the honour him as a saint. They count him among the Three Holy Hierarchs, together with Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzus. These three saints, in addition to having their own individual feast days, are commemorated together on January 30, a feast known as the  feast known as the honour him as a saint. They count him among the Three Holy Hierarchs, together with Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzus. These three saints, in addition to having their own individual feast days, are commemorated together on January 30, a feast known as the  feast known as the Synaxis of the Three Hierarchs.

There are several feast days dedicated to him:

  • 27 January, Translation of the relics of St John Chrysostom from Comana to Constantinople. Some Lutheran and many Anglican provinces commemorate him on this traditional eastern feast.
  • 30 January, Synaxis of the Three Great Hierarchs.
  • The Churches of the western tradition, including the Roman Catholic Church, some Anglican provinces, and parts of the Lutheran Church commemorate him on 13 September (Western feast day).
  • 14 September, Repose of St John Chrysostom
  • 13 November, St John Chrysostom the Archbishop of Constantinople (Eastern feast day).

The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria also recognizes John Chrysostom as a saint (with feast days on 16 Thout and 17 Hathor).

Here is an excerpt from one of John Chrysostom’s Homilies on confessing one’s sins:

Are you a sinner? Do not become discouraged, and come to Church to put forward repentance. Have you sinned? Then tell God, ‘I have sinned.’

What manner of toil is this, what prescribed the course of life, what affliction? What manner of difficulty is it to make one statement, ‘I have sinned’?

Perhaps if you do not call yourself a sinner, you do not have the devil as an accuser? Anticipate this and snatch the honor away from him, because it is his purpose to accuse. Therefore, why do you not prevent him, and why do you not tell your sin and wipe it out, since you know that you have such an accuser who cannot remain silent?do you not prevent him, and why do you not tell your sin and wipe it out, since you know that you have such an accuser who cannot remain silent?

Have you sinned? Come to Church. Tell God, ‘I have sinned.’

I do not demand anything else of you than this. Holy Scripture states, ‘Be the first one to tell of your transgressions, so you may be justified.’ Admit the sin to annul it. This requires neither labor nor a circuit of words nor monetary expenditure nor anything else whatsoever such as these.

Say one word, think carefully about the sin and say, ‘I have sinned.’”

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← Previous: Part 2: The Bishop of Constantinople

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John Chrysostom: Part 2: The Bishop of Constantinople


Myself

By T.V. Antony Raj

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Saint John Chrysostom (Hagios Ioannis Chrysostomos) of Antioch. An early Byzantine mosaic from the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. The mosaic is approximately 1,000 years old.
Saint John Chrysostom (Hagios Ioannis Chrysostomos) of Antioch. An early Byzantine mosaic from the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. The mosaic is approximately 1,000 years old.

 

On September 27, 397, Nectarius, Bishop of Constantinople, died. There was a general rivalry in the capital for the vacant see.

After some months, to the great disappointment of the rival factions, Emperor Arcadius, at the suggestion of his minister Eutropius, asked the Prefect of Antioch to send John Chrysostom to Constantinople without the knowledge of the people of Antioch, due to fears that the departure of such a popular figure would cause civil unrest.

John Chrysostom was hurried to the capital. On February 26, 398 Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria ordained John Chrysostom as Bishop of Constantinople in the presence of a great assembly of bishops.

The life in Constantinople was more turbulent than what John Chrysostom  had at Antioch. As Archbishop of Constantinople, he refused to host lavish social gatherings. This made him popular with the common people, but unpopular with the wealthy citizens. He became unpopular with the clergy for his reforms of the clergy. He told visiting regional preachers to return to the churches they were serving, without any payout.

Here is an excerpt from a homily by St. John Chrysostom on the Gospel of Matthew (Hom. 50, 3-4, PG 58, 508-509). In this homily, he warns against adorning Church buildings at the expense of caring for the suffering members of the Church:

Do you want to honor Christ’s body? Then do not scorn him in his nakedness, nor honor him here in the church with silken garments while neglecting him outside where he is cold and naked. For he who said: This is my body and made it so by his words, also said: “You saw me hungry and did not feed me, and inasmuch as you did not do it for one of these, the least of my brothers, you did not do it for me.” What we do here in the church requires a pure heart, not special garments; what we do outside requires great dedication.

Let us learn, therefore, to be men of wisdom and to honor Christ as he desires. For a person being honoured finds greatest pleasure in the honor he desires, not in the honor we think best. Peter thought he was honoring Christ when he refused to let him wash his feet, but what Peter wanted was not truly an honour, quite the opposite! Give him the honour prescribed in his law by giving your riches to the poor. For God does not want golden vessels but golden hearts.

Now, in saying this I am not forbidding you to make such gifts; I am only demanding that along with such gifts and before them you give alms. He accepts the former, but he is much more pleased with the latter. In the former, only the giver profits; in the latter, the recipient does too.

A gift to the church may be taken as a form of ostentation, but an alms is pure kindness. Of what use is it to weigh down Christ’s table with golden cups, when he himself is dying of hunger? First, fill him when he is hungry; then use the means you have left to adorn his table. Will you have a golden cup made, but not give a cup of water?

What is the use of providing the table with cloths woven of gold thread, and not providing Christ himself with the clothes he needs?

What profit is there in that? Tell me: If you were to see him lacking the necessary food, but were to leave him in that state and merely surround his table with gold would he be grateful to you or rather would he not be angry?

What if you were to see him clad in worn-out rags and stiff from the cold, and were to forget about clothing him and instead were to set up golden columns for him, saying that you were doing it in his honour? Would he not think he was being mocked and greatly insulted?

Apply this also to Christ when he comes along the roads as a pilgrim, looking for shelter. You do not take him in as your guest, but you decorate floors and walls and the capitals of the pillars. You provide silver chains for the lamps, but you cannot bear even to look at him as he lies chained in prison.

Once again, I am not forbidding you to supply these adornments; I am urging you to provide these other things as well, and indeed to provide them first. No one has ever been accused of not providing ornaments, but for those who neglect their neighbour a hell awaits with an inextinguishable fire and torment in the company of the demons. Do not, therefore, adorn the church and ignore your afflicted brother, for he is the most precious temple of all.

In 399, through the intervention of John Chrysostom and the influence of the emperor Theodosius I, Flavian was acknowledged as the sole legitimate bishop of Antioch.

Theophilus, the Patriarch of Alexandria, wanted to bring Constantinople under his jurisdiction. He opposed John’s appointment as Bishop of Constantinople, even though he had ordained him under duress instead of securing the appointment for Isidore, his own candidate. At that time, Theophilus had disciplined four Egyptian monks, known as “the Tall Brothers,” over their support of Origen’s teachings.

Origen (184/185 – 253/254) was a scholar and an early Christian theologian. He was a prolific writer in many branches of theology, including textual criticism, biblical exegesis and hermeneutics, philosophical theology, preaching, and spirituality. Some of his reputed teachings, such as the pre-existence of souls, the final reconciliation of all creatures, including perhaps even the devil (the apokatastasis), and the subordination of the Son of God to God the Father, later became controversial among Christian theologians.

The Tall Brothers fled to Constantinople and were welcomed by John Chrysostom. Theophilus accused John of being too partial to the teaching of Origen.

John Chrysostom made another enemy in Aelia Eudoxia, the Empress consort of the Byzantine Emperor Arcadius. Eudoxia assumed that his denunciations of extravagance in feminine dress were aimed at herself.

In 403 AD, Theophilus Eudoxia, and other of enemies of John Chrysostom held a synod (the Synod of the Oak) to charge John Chrysostom. They used his connection to the four Egyptian monks who espoused the teachings of Origen against him. Eventually, this resulted in the deposition and banishment of John Chrysostom from Constantinople.

The people rioted over the deposition and banishment of John Chrysostom. Also, on the night of his arrest, there was an earthquake.  A frightened Aelia Eudoxia considered it as a sign of God’s anger. She beseeched Arcadius to reinstate John Chrysostom as Bishop of Constantinople.

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John Chrysostom confronting Aelia Eudoxia, in a 19th-century painting by Jean-Paul Laurens (1838-1921).
John Chrysostom confronting Aelia Eudoxia, in a 19th-century painting by Jean-Paul Laurens (1838-1921).

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However, peace between John Chrysostom and Eudoxia was short-lived. A silver statue of Eudoxia was erected in the Augustaion, near his cathedral. John Chrysostom denounced the dedication ceremonies. He spoke against her in harsh terms alluding to the events surrounding the death of John the Baptist:

Again Herodias raves; again she is troubled; she dances again; and again desires to receive John’s head in a charger.

Once again, John Chrysostom was banished, this time to the Caucasus, a region at the border of Europe and Asia, situated between the Black and the Caspian seas.

John Chrysostom wrote an appeal for help to three churchmen: Innocent I,  the Bishop of Rome (Pope);  Venerius, the Bishop of Milan; and Chromatius, the Bishop of Aquileia.

Pope Innocent protested against the banishment of John Chrysostom from Constantinople to the Caucasus. With the help of the western emperor Honorius, the Pope attempted to intervene, but the enemies of John Chrysostom thwarted his efforts. In 405, Pope Innocent sent a delegation to intercede on behalf of John. But the delegation never reached Constantinople.

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Next → Part  3: The Second Banishment and Death

← Previous: Part 1- Where Can You Find God?

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John Chrysostom: Part 1- Where Can You Find God?


Myself

By T.V. Antony Raj

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If you cannot find Christ

 

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Saint John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, was an important Early Church Father. He is considered the most prominent doctor of the Greek Church and the greatest preacher ever heard in a Christian pulpit. He is known for his preaching and public speaking. The zeal and his clarity of preaching appealed to all, especially the common people. This earned him the Greek surname “kihrys stymo” (χρυσή στόμιο) meaning “golden-mouthed.” He denounced the abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders.

John Chrysostom was born in Antioch in 349 AD to Greco-Syrian parents.

In the fourth century, at the time of John Chrysostom’s birth, Antioch was the second city of the eastern part of the Roman Empire.  Throughout the fourth century, religious struggles troubled the empire. Pagans, Manichaeans, Gnostics, Arians, Apollinarians, Jews, made their proselytes at Antioch. The Christians were themselves separated by the schism between Bishop Meletius and Bishop Paulinus for the bishopric of Antioch.

John Chrysostom’s father, Secundus, a high-ranking military officer died soon after his birth. His widowed mother Anthusa, only twenty years of age, took the sole charge of her two children John and an elder sister. She raised him in piety. Using her influence in the city, she had him study under a distinguished pagan rhetorician, Libanius, the most tenacious adherent of the declining paganism of Rome. Soon John acquired the skills for a career in rhetoric, as well as a love of the Greek language and literature.

About 367 AD, he met the Bishop Meletius. John captivated by the earnest, mild, and the winning character of the bishop frequented the sermons of Meletius. He studied Holy Scripture and soon began to withdraw from classical and profane studies and devoted himself
to an ascetic and religious life.

According to the Christian historian Sozomen, Libanius was supposed to have said on his deathbed that John Chrysostom would have been his successor “if the Christians had not taken him from us“.

About three years later John Chrysostom received Holy Baptism and was ordained lector. Later, the young cleric, desiring a perfect life entered one of the ascetic societies near Antioch.

About 375 AD, John Chrysostom resolved to live as an anchorite in one of the caves near Antioch. There, he followed extreme asceticism. He spent the next two years, continually standing and fasting in frost and cold, committing the Bible to memory. He scarcely slept at all. As a consequence of these harsh practices, his stomach and kidneys were damaged. He returned to Antioch to regain his health and resumed his office as lector in the church.

John Chrysostom was ordained as a deacon probably in 381 AD by Bishop Meletius of Antioch, president of the Second Ecumenical Council. After the death of Bishop Meletius in Constantinople in the same year, Flavian I of Antioch (ca. 320 – February 404) was ordained as bishop or Patriarch of Antioch. The Bishop of Rome and the Patriarch of Alexandria refused to acknowledge Flavian, and Paulinus, who by the extreme Eustathians had been elected bishop in opposition to Meletius, continued to exercise authority over a portion of the church.

John Chrysostom separated himself from the followers of Bishop Meletius, but he did not join Bishop Paulinus.

On the death of Bishop  Paulinus in about 383, Evagrius was chosen as his successor. In 386 AD, John Chrysostom was ordained as a presbyter (a priest) by Evagrius.

Note: Actually, there is a difference of opinion on who ordained John Chrysostom as a presbyter. Some authors claim it was Bishop Flavian I, while others say it was Bishop Evagrius.

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St. John Chrysostom (Source: integrated atholiclife.org)
St. John Chrysostom (Source: integrated atholiclife.org)

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For 12 years, from 386 AD to 397 AD, John Chrysostom became popular for the eloquence of his public speaking at the Golden Church, Antioch’s cathedral. People liked his clear expositions of Biblical passages and moral teachings. The themes of his talks were eminently social. He explained the Christian’s conduct in life. His straightforward understanding of the Scriptures were in contrast to the Alexandrian tendency towards allegorical interpretation.

One incident that happened during John Chrysostom’s service in Antioch illustrates best the influence of his sermons.

Emperor Theodosius I, also called Theodosius the Great ruled from 379 to 395 made Christianity the official state religion of the Roman Empire. He was the last emperor to rule over both the eastern and western portions of the Roman Empire. He was a strong defender of the Orthodox Christian faith and honoured  as a saint.

When John Chrysostom arrived in Antioch its citizens were on a riotous rampage. They   mutilated the statues of the Emperor and his family. The Bishop had to intervene with the Emperor on behalf of the citizens of Antioch.

During the weeks of Lent in 387 AD, John Chrysostom preached 21 sermons in which he entreated the people to see the error of their ways. These sermons had a lasting impression on the citizens of Antioch. This resulted in many pagans converting to Christianity. Due to the conversions, Theodosius’ vengeance on the citizens of Antioch subdued and was not as severe as it might have been.

The most valuable of his works from this period are the Homilies he wrote on various books of the Bible.

He was most concerned with the spiritual and temporal needs of the poor. He spoke out against abuse of wealth and personal property. He particularly emphasized alms and charitable giving:

Do you wish to honour the body of Christ?

Do not ignore him when he is naked. Do not pay him homage in the temple clad in silk, only then to neglect him outside where he is cold and ill-clad.

He who said: “This is my body” is the same who said: “You saw me hungry and you gave me no food”, and “Whatever you did to the least of my brothers you did also to me”…

What good is it if the Eucharistic table is overloaded with golden chalices when your brother is dying of hunger? Start by satisfying his hunger and then with what is left you may adorn the altar as well.

After the death of Evagrius (c. 393), Flavian succeeded in preventing the election of a successor. However, the Eustathians still continued to hold separate meetings.

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Next → Part 2:  The Bishop of Constantinople

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What exactly is the millennium?


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Myself . 

By T.V. Antony Raj

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“But of that day and hour no one knows,
neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son,
but the Father alone.”

(Matthew 24:36)

The Millenium

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The accepted definition of a millennium, a period of 1,000 years, did not originate from nature or from any practical calendar.

Unlike the primary cycles of days, lunations and years, it does not correspond to any factual astronomical cycles, or the practical needs of humanity, but to social factors, the peculiarities of Christianity. In fact, the issue of the millennium reflects a Christian-centric view.

Outside the Christian world the year 2000 will actually be the year 5760 according to the Jewish calendar, 5119 in the current Maya great cycle, 5100 years elapsed in Kali Yuga according to the Hindus, 2544 according to Buddhism and 1420 according to the Moslem calendar.

The arbitrary construction of the millennium is the domain of eschatology – a part of theology, physics, philosophy, and futurology concerned with the final events of history, the ultimate destiny of humanity – commonly called the “end of the world” or “end time”.

During the period of the great Roman empire, Jesus and his initial followers fully expected the fulfilment of the apocalypse and the inception of the millennium in their lifetime. It was no Utopian dream relegated to some future unspecified time at the time of Roman oppression, social turmoil and ideological uncertainty.

Millennial thinking is deeply embedded in the apocalyptic writings of the Bible. In traditional Christianity, “the millennium” means the future reign of Jesus lasting one thousand years, following a last battle between Christ and Satan. Satan loses, and is cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, and Jesus wins, overseeing a Last Judgement of all the dead. Modern traditions of Christian eschatology use the term “Rapture” in two senses; as a general synonym for the final resurrection, and in the view of pre-tribulationists, where a group of people would be left behind on earth after the events mentioned in Matthew about “The Coming of the Son of Man“:

Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a trumpet blast, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. (Matthew 24:29-31)

During Paul’s ministry in Thessalonica along with Silvanus and Timothy, a doubt arose among the Thessalonians about the fate of those Christians who would die before the return of Christ. Would they miss the glorious events of Christ’s second coming and the resurrection? Paul assuaged their fears. He assured them that God would save those who had already died, as well as those still living with these words:

We do not want you to be unaware, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep. Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore, console one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

After the crucifixion of Jesus, and even now, countless groups and people have compared the events of their time to Bible prophecies, and concluded that Jesus would be returning soon. Some even set a date for the Rapture and led their followers into the deserts, to the mountains, and into the wilderness, to await the phenomenon.

Though the consummation of the second coming and the expected biblical millennium failed to materialise over the generations, and even after every one of those predictions turned out wrong, steadfast Christians still make modern-day predictions that Jesus will be returning soon and postpone the date of the expected apocalypse they ardently believe in.

However, most mainstream Bible scholars, do not think current world affairs evidence the imminent return of Christ. Even so, we still do come across Christian groups who believe in the Rapture as the centerpiece of the second coming of Jesus – a glorious, dramatic event with Jesus appearing and literally taking the believers physically along with him up into the sky.

In recent years, the Rapture and the second coming of Christ have spawned a lucrative industry. Besides the many books written on this subject, there are thousands of self-styled television evangelists with websites, radio stations, lecture series, audio recordings, videotapes and other Paraphernalia. Many of these accouterments feature imaginative and vivid embellishments of the Bible prophecies, and usually classified properly as fiction, and not as Bible prophecy.

Among these Christians, there are several theories about the timing of the Rapture. Thus the apocalyptic millennium has transformed itself into a calendrical measurement.

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Add this anywhere

Who made superstitions????


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sakshivashist

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By sakshivashist

Re-posted from ~Cruising through my Life~ journey since 1989…

I am a Hindu. A Brahmin that too. I have equal belief in all the one thousand Gods we follow and worship. As i mentioned in my previous post, I pray to ChristAllah and Guru Nanak Sahib too.

I am not sure which one of the religions or cultures gave birth to superstitions. I ardently disbelieve any sort of superstition.

The most recent one I heard and objected upon :

Do not go to the loo when temple bells are ringing

So I asked, what if someone is already in the loo, does he/she have to hold it? Or come out running cuz the bells are ringing?

And what if someone is ill, say has loose motions or weak bladder, what does that person do?

And what about kids, obviously they cannot control the pressure for 15 minutes of aarti time.

And infants? They don’t even know what is God and aarti and excretion and bladder. They are exempted of this rule of not-going-to-loo-when-temple-bells-ring?

superstitions

That’s not it. I was told another one:

 Do not sleep during aarti time

So does that mean specifically evening or morning aarti time too?

But what about the person who is already asleep? Is he supposed to wake up in respect of some everyday prayers being offered to one of our million Gods?

Oh and what about people who work in shifts, who have to work in night time and sleep during the day? God gets upset with them? Oh is that why they’re suffering in night shifts and have to work while the entire world sleeps. And here I thought it was their own career decision to work in such factories and plants and companies. :|

Oh, and don’t get me started on kids and babies and infants and old and sick people or hospitalized people or people under medication or coma.

Really, not sleeping when temple bells ringing so important? My my.

superstitions1

But by far, the most ridiculous superstition:

 Do not to wash hair on Thursdays

And

Do not to cut nails on Saturdays.

And I question – exactly WHY?

Do we have a scientific explanation as to why I should think about a super-power being angry over my personal hygiene? C’mon think about the people who bite and chew their nails everyday. They must be upsetting God. And priests who take a dip in rivers or lakes every morning, thus wetting themselves completely (including hair), must be not THAT faithful to the Almighty. Otherwise why would they do such a thing.

Attention people. This is the 21st century. Agreed its good to keep faith in a certain super-power, to have belief in karma and doing the right thing. But doing things based on superstitions and hearsay things is foolishness.

Trust me, if you cross a road after a black cat crosses your way – you will not meet with an accident as long as you keep your eyes on the road.

superstitions2

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The resume of Jesus Christ by PastorMikeSays!


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Pastor Mike

by PastorMikeSays!

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The resume of Jesus Christ

Address: Ephesians 1:20
Phone: Romans 10:13
Website: The Bible.
Keywords: Christ, Lord, Savior and Jesus

Hello,

My name is Jesus – The Christ. Many call me Lord! I’ve sent you my resume because I’m seeking the top management position in your heart. Please consider my accomplishments as set forth in my resume.

Qualifications

    • I founded the earth and established the heavens, (See Proverbs 3:19)
    • I formed man from the dust of the ground, (See Genesis 2:7)
    • I breathed into man the breath of life, (See Genesis 2:7)
    • I redeemed man from the curse of the law, (See Galatians 3:13)
    • The blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant comes upon your life through me, (See Galatians 3:14)

Occupational Background

    • I’ve only had one employer, (See Luke 2:49).
    • I’ve never been tardy, absent, disobedient, slothful or disrespectful.
    • My employer has nothing but rave reviews for me, (See Matthew 3:15-17)

Skills Work Experiences

    • Some of my skills and work experiences include: empowering the poor to be poor no more, healing the brokenhearted, setting the captives free, healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind and setting at liberty them that are bruised, (See Luke 4:18).
    • I am a Wonderful Counselor, (See Isaiah 9:6). People who listen to me shall dwell safely and shall not fear evil, (See Proverbs 1:33).
    • Most importantly, I have the authority, ability and power to cleanse you of your sins, (See I John 1:7-9)

Educational Background

    • I encompass the entire breadth and length of knowledge, wisdom and understanding, (See Proverbs 2:6).
    • In me are hid all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, (See Colossians 2:3).
    • My Word is so powerful; it has been described as being a lamp unto your feet and a lamp unto your path, (See Psalms 119:105).
    • I can even tell you all of the secrets of your heart, (See Psalms 44:21).

Major Accomplishments

    • I was an active participant in the greatest Summit Meeting of all times, (See Genesis 1:26).
    • I laid down my life so that you may live, (See II Corinthians 5:15).
    • I defeated the archenemy of God and mankind and made a show of them openly, (See Colossians 2:15).
    • I’ve miraculously fed the poor, healed the sick and raised the dead!
    • There are many more major accomplishments, too many to mention here. You can read them on my website, which is located at: www dot – the BIBLE. You don’t need an Internet connection or computer to access my website.

References

    • Believers and followers worldwide will testify to my divine healing, salvation, deliverance, miracles, restoration and supernatural guidance.

In Summation

Now that you’ve read my resume, I’m confident that I’m the only candidate uniquely qualified to fill this vital position in your heart. In summation, I will properly direct your paths, (See Proverbs 3:5-6), and lead you into everlasting life, (See John 6:47). When can I start? Time is of the essence, (See Hebrews 3:15).

Only HE can possibly do all these things and he’s not done yet …

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Re-posted from pastor mike says

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Pearls of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta


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Myself . 

By T.V. Antony Raj
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Blessed Teresa in the National Shrine, Washington DC
Statue of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington D.C. (Photo: T.V. Antony Raj)

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Anyway

People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.

If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.

For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

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Deeds

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

“We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.”

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

“I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.”

“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”

“Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.”

“God doesn’t require us to succeed, he only requires that you try.”

“Never travel faster than your guardian angel can fly.”

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Dreams

“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.”

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Forgiving

“I once picked up a woman from a garbage dump and she was burning with fever; she was in her last days and her only lament was: ‘My son did this to me.’

I begged her: ‘You must forgive your son. In a moment of madness, when he was not himself, he did a thing he regrets. Be a mother to him, forgive him.’

It took me a long time to make her say: ‘I forgive my son.’

Just before she died in my arms, she was able to say that with a real forgiveness.

She was not concerned that she was dying. The breaking of the heart was that her son did not want her. This is something you and I can understand.”

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Humbleness

“Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.”

“If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.”

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Life

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.”

“A life not lived for others is not a life.”

“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.”

“Live simply so others may simply live.”

“Spread the love of God through your life but only use words when necessary.”

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Love

“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.”

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”

“Love begins by taking care of the closest ones – the ones at home.”

“Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand.”

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

“People are unrealistic, illogical, and self-centered. Love them anyway.”

“Work without love is slavery.”

“Intense love does not measure, it just gives.”

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

“I’m a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.”

“Love to be real, it must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self.”

“Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.”

“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”

“Let us more and more insist on raising funds of love, of kindness, of understanding, of peace. Money will come if we seek first the Kingdom of God – the rest will be given.”

“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”

“Even the rich are hungry for love, for being cared for, for being wanted, for having someone to call their own.”

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”

“I try to give to the poor people for love what the rich could get for money. No, I wouldn’t touch a leper for a thousand pounds; yet I willingly cure him for the love of God.”

“If you want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.”

“I want you to be concerned about your next door neighbor. Do you know your next door neighbor?”

“Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go.”

“Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”

“I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, ‘How many good things have you done in your life?’ rather he will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?’”

“God made the world for the delight of human beings– if we could see His goodness everywhere, His concern for us, His awareness of our needs: the phone call we’ve waited for, the ride we are offered, the letter in the mail, just the little things He does for us throughout the day. As we remember and notice His love for us, we just begin to fall in love with Him because He is so busy with us — you just can’t resist Him. I believe there’s no such thing as luck in life, it’s God’s love, it’s His.”

“There is a terrible hunger for love. We all experience that in our lives – the pain, the loneliness. We must have the courage to recognize it. The poor you may have right in your own family. Find them. Love them.”

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Patience

“Without patience, we will learn less in life. We will see less. We will feel less. We will hear less. Ironically, rush and more usually means less.”

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Poverty

“Each one of them is Jesus in disguise.”

“It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”

“The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.”

“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.”

“The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.”

“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”

“When you don’t have anything, then you have everything.”

“When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her.  It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed. “

“The more you have, the more you are occupied, the less you give. But the less you have the more free you are. Poverty for us is a freedom. It is not mortification, a penance. It is joyful freedom. There is no television here, no this, no that. But we are perfectly happy.”

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Prayer

“Prayer in action is love, love in action is service.”

“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.”

“If we pray, we will believe; If we believe, we will love; If we love, we will serve.”

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Religion

“There are so many religions and each one has its different ways of following God. I follow Christ:
Jesus is my God,
Jesus is my Spouse,
Jesus is my Life,
Jesus is my only Love,
Jesus is my All in All;
Jesus is my Everything.”

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Sharing

“You and I, we are the Church, no? We have to share with our people. Suffering today is because people are hoarding, not giving, not sharing. Jesus made it very clear. Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it to me. Give a glass of water, you give it to me. Receive a little child, you receive me.”

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Smile

“Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”

“Peace begins with a smile..”

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”

“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”

“The person who gives with a smile is the best giver because God loves a cheerful giver.”

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Speaking

“Before you speak, it is necessary for you to listen, for God speaks in the silence of the heart.”

“Speak tenderly to them. Let there be kindness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile, in the warmth of your greeting. Always have a cheerful smile. Don’t only give your care, but give your heart as well.”

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Words

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

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The Rapture and the Doomsday Predictions of Harold Camping, King of KooKoo Birds


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” (Matthew 24:36)

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Harold Egbert Camping
Harold Egbert Camping

Whenever I come across the word “Rapture” it reminds me of Harold Egbert Camping, an American Christian radio broadcaster, widely known as the doomsday radio preacher. Why? Camping has successfully predicted the Rapture multiple times.

The Oakland Tribune says that according to an estimate made in 2009, Harold Camping presides over an empire of more than 70 radio stations worth $72 million.

Camping first predicted that the Judgment Day would occur on or about September 6, 1994 and that became a significant red mark on his record. On that day scores of his crazy followers gathered at his offices in Oakland, California waiting for the return of Christ. Later, Camping attributed his prediction to a mathematical error.

Last year, Camping, once again predicted May 21, 2011 as the day of the Rapture and the Judgment Day. Camping reportedly spent more than $100 million over a span of seven years publicizing the Rapture, mainly through billboards and constant chatter on his Oakland-based Family Radio International.

Harold Camping reportedly spent more than $100 million over a span of seven years publicizing the rapture, mainly through billboards.
Harold Camping reportedly spent more than $100 million over a span of seven years publicizing the rapture, mainly through billboards.

According to him, God started allowing his true believers 37 years ago to understand what they were reading in the Bible and recognize the signs that pointed to the exact date and time for the Rapture and the Judgment Day. Using passages from The Book of Daniel and The Book of Revelations, he predicted that the Rapture would occur on May 21, 2011 with the coming of Jesus, and the Judgment Day – “like a thief in the night.”

His website said:

This web site serves as an introduction and portal to four faithful ministries which are teaching that WE CAN KNOW from the Bible alone that the date of the rapture of believers will take place on May 21, 2011 and that God will destroy this world on October 21, 2011.

When asked who will be among the lucky ones, to be Raptured up to Heaven and escape this Earth before chaos ensues, Camping said that anyone who still followed a church on May 21, 2011 will not be included in the Rapture because churches do not follow the true teachings of the Bible. A true believer he said would end up in Heaven on May 21, 2011; and the heathen left here on Earth to suffer the chaos of End Times.

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Judgement Day, May 21

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In the following video titled “Harold Camping Countdown: 10 DAYS LEFT UNTIL JUDGMENT DAY / Timeline” uploaded on May 10, 2011, Harold Camping explains the Biblical Timeline that begins with Christ’s Crucifixion and ends with Judgment Day.  Also they added the following in YouTube: “Judgment Day begins May 21, 2011. Daily updates will be posted on this youtube channel.”

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The mass media widely reported his prediction: “After the righteous fly up to heaven there would follow five months of fire, brimstone and plagues on Earth, with millions of people dying each day, until October 21, 2011, when the world would be finally destroyed”.

A poll conducted on the Coast to Coast AM website revealed that out of 26,634 respondents, 4.39% believed Camping’s prediction. However, an overwhelming 82.97% did not believe Camping, and an undecided 12.64% respondents.

On May 21, 2011, Jesus did not return to Earth as predicted by Harold Camping.

Dr. Michael Shermer
Dr. Michael Shermer

In the “End of the World Special” show conducted by the Coast to Coast AM website, skeptic Dr. Michael Shermer spoke about Harold Camping’s failed May 21st Rapture prediction, and why people believe the things they do, especially as it relates to the apocalypse. Sherman then said he expected Camping and his followers, while not admitting they were wrong would likely issue some kind of rationalization for the error, such as the date was slightly miscalculated or the group’s faith spared the world. “We don’t have a good bologna detection module in our brain, so we tend to believe almost all patterns we encounter, even the false ones,” he explained.

However, as the predicted doomsday passed with the planet intact, Camping switched his claim as expected by Shermer and Company, to October 21, 2011, as the “real” rapture day.

In the following video uploaded by Richard Holicker on May 24, 2011 with audio from May 23, 2011 press conference and the images from the internet, Harold Camping explains why the world did not end on May 21, 2011.

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Again as Camping’s prediction failed to come to pass October 21, 2011, he suffered a stroke, and was hospitalized.In his apology letter, posted Thursday, October 27, 2012, on Family Radio’s website, the Alameda preacher called the May 21, 2011 campaign – which according to the Times inspired Camping’s followers to empty their bank accounts and quit their jobs – “an astounding event” that raised awareness about the Bible and Jesus Christ. However, he said, his prediction a “sinful statement” and he asked God’s forgiveness.

In stark contrast to his previously staunch position on the subject he said: “Family Radio has no interest in even considering another date,” the letter said. “We have learned the very painful lesson that all of creation is in God’s hands and he will end time in his time, not ours!

“We humbly recognize that God may not tell his people the date when Christ will return, any more than he tells anyone the date they will die physically.”

Camping said in his letter that as he had no evidence that his predictions would ever come true, he would cease predicting the apocalypse. He added that he was now searching the Bible “even more fervently…not to find dates, but to be more faithful in [his] understanding.”

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BEWARE OF FALSE PROPHETS!

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The Rapture

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The Rapture


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” (Matthew 24:36)

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The Rapture

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The word “Rapture,” a term found in Christian eschatology does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Most Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias do not mention the Rapture at all. The word “Rapture” derived from the Latin word “rapare” means “seize,” “snatch,” “being caught up” or “take away.”

In the article “Rapture what does it mean?” published in the Belgian Christadelphians’s website, the author lists several bibles that translate the word “Rapture” as:

    • Rapt: Etheridge
    • Caught up: ABU, ACV, AKJV, AMP, ASV, AV, BWE, Cath.Seredipity B, CAB., CENT, CJB, Common, Darby, Diaglot, EMTV, ERRB, ERV, Evid, GSNT, HCSB, HNV, IAV, ISV, JB2000, JSV, KJ21, Lamsa, Lit, LITV, MKJV, Mont, MRC, Murdoch, NAB, NASB, NET, NHEBJ, NiRV, NIV, NLT, Noyes, NSB, RNKJV, RSV, Rev.Mur., RWebster, RWP, Ryrie Stu.B., Sawyer, TCNT, TNIV, TRC, Twenty, Tyndale, UKJV, WEB, Webster, WORNT, Worrell Rev&Tr, Worsley
    • Caught away: Rotherham, Synaitic
    • Gathered up: GNB, NCV, the Script.1998,
    • Snatched away: CEV, CLV
    • snatched up: Orth.JBC, Wyc
    • be seized and snatched away (carried off by force): JMNT
    • Taken up: BBE, Douay, GWV, LO, CPDV
    • Swept up: Phil2007, Philips
    • To meet: ECB, Amp, ESV, ABU
    • Seized … for meeting: ABP
    • Ascend (together) to meet: PNT
    • Conveyed together: Mace

Modern traditions of Christian eschatology use the term Rapture in at least two senses; as a general synonym for the final resurrection, and in the view of pre-tribulationists, where a group of people would be left behind on earth after the events mentioned in Matthew about “The Coming of the Son of Man”:

Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a trumpet blast, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. (Matthew 24:29-31)

During Paul’s ministry in Thessalonica along with Silvanus and Timothy, a doubt arose among the Thessalonians about the fate of those Christians who would die before the return of Christ. Would they miss the glorious events of Christ’s second coming and the resurrection? Paul assuaged their fears. He assured them that God would save those who had already died, as well as those still living with these words:

We do not want you to be unaware, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep. Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore, console one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

Here are some passages from the New Testament that describe the resurrection of the dead, and gathering in of the faithful when Jesus comes again: (Matthew 16:27, 24:29-31, 25:31-32, 26:64, Mark 12:18-27, 13:26-27, Luke 17:26-35, John 5:21, 5:28-29, 1 Corinthians 4:5, 6:14, 15:12-32, Philippians 3:20-21, Colossians 3:4, 2 Peter 3:8-10, Revelation 1:7).

These passages use various descriptions and images to describe wondrous events that we cannot fully fathom (1 Corinthians 2:6-10, 13:9-12).

None of these passages depicts the image of the faithful caught up in the clouds, and meeting the Lord in the air nor did Paul use that description again in his later writings.

A few years after the crucifixion of Jesus up to the present day countless groups and people have compared the events of their time to Bible prophecies, and concluded that Jesus would be returning soon. Some even set a date for the Rapture and led their followers into the deserts, to the mountains, and into the wilderness, to await the Rapture. Though every one of those predictions turned out wrong, that has not deterred people from making modern-day predictions that Jesus will be returning soon. Most mainstream Bible scholars, however, do not think current world affairs are evidence of the imminent return of Christ.

Even so, we still do come across certain Christians who believe in the Rapture as the centerpiece of the second coming of Jesus – a glorious, dramatic event with Jesus appearing and literally taking the believers physically along with him up into the sky. Among these Christians, there are several theories about the timing of the Rapture.

In recent years, the Rapture and the second coming of Christ have spawned a lucrative industry. Besides the many books written on this subject, there are thousands of self-styled television evangelists with websites, radio stations, lecture series, audio recordings, videotapes and other Paraphernalia. Many of these accouterments feature imaginative and vivid embellishments of the Bible prophecies, and not surprisingly, in most cases properly classified as fiction, and not as Bible prophecy.

Western Christian Society Okays Bikini or G-string but Abhors Women Wearing Veils or Head-scarfs.


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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One of the problems Saint Paul had to handle in Corinth was how to persuade the women to dress properly in the assembly.

In Paul’s period, women had been participating in worship at Corinth without the head-covering as was normal in Greek society. Paul’s stated that his goal was to bring these women into conformity with contemporary Jewish practice and propriety. In order to convince them, he put forward arguments from a variety of sources, though he had space to develop them only sketchily and was perhaps aware that they differed greatly in persuasiveness.

Man and Woman – 1 Corinthians 11:3-16

But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and a husband the head of his wife, and God the head of Christ.

Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered brings shame upon his head.

But any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled brings shame upon her head, for it is one and the same thing as if she had had her head shaved.

For if a woman does not have her head veiled, she may as well have her hair cut off.

But if it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should wear a veil.

A man, on the other hand, should not cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man.

For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; nor was man created for woman, but woman for man; for this reason a woman should have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels.

Woman is not independent of man or man of woman in the Lord.

For just as woman came from man, so man is born of woman; but all things are from God.

Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head unveiled?

Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears his hair long it is a disgrace to him, whereas if a woman has long hair it is her glory, because long hair has been
given [her] for a covering?

But if anyone is inclined to be argumentative, we do not have such a custom, nor do the churches of God.

Twenty years ago, in India, all Christian women, especially Catholic women, when they entered the churches covered their heads with a veil or the fold of their saree. But now it has become a fashion with women not to cover their head in church but wear coiffures in different styles. These women and young girls scoff at those few who cover their heads labeling them as old fashioned.

Even nuns belonging to certain orders wear sarees and do not cover their heads even while dispensing Holy Communion.

What bothers me and most Catholics is the fact that our clergy express pleasure by admiring the uncovered heads of our women folk in churches, be they saree clad nuns or lay women.

So, as Catholics and Christians why not, why can’t and why don’t our women folk, whether they are nuns or not, cover their heads in churches?

Recently, I came across the following video excerpt and was impressed by what Sheikh Khaled Yasin says.

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Question: What’s With Female Head Coverings? (thewayeverlasting.com)Add this anywhere