Category Archives: RELIGION

All blog entries: Categorized with links

https://biotheorist.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/for-seekers-other-heretics-blog-entries-menu.pdf

SEEKERS & OTHER HERETICS MENU - CATEGORIZED WITH LINKS

 

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Unholy Hype: Many churches & religious organizations are following the playbook of Madison Avenue & Dr. Goebbels

https://biotheorist.files.wordpress.com/2018/06/unholy-hype-by-dr-anthony-g-payne-june-20181.pdf

UNHOLY HYPE

Some cautionary words about prosperity theology (The Prosperity Gospel)

BERT FARIASFor those of you who are believers and subscribe to prosperity theology aka “The Prosperity Gospel”: Please take some time and carefully read Rev. Bert M. Farias’s new Charisma article titled “8 Reasons to Flee From Carnal Prosperity Preachers“. As you will see, Rev. Farias marshalled some powerful scripture-centric reasoning in this insightful piece and, if I were a betting man, I’d wager the good Lord is going to have him write a book on this very topic (I know Dr. Michael Brown has written extensively about this topic but there is always room on the proverbial plate of life for another incisive tome on the subject).

If after reading Rev. Farias’s conclusions and cautionary warnings you are tempted to reject them, kindly check out the earliest known catechism for messianic non-Jews which is the Didache (Many scholars believe it was written and first circulated in 50 CE. Given that Yeshua HaMashiach was crucified by the imperial Roman government sometime between 30 and 33 CE, this means the Didache was penned perhaps as few as 17 years after his death, burial and resurrection). It has a few choice things to say about greed (The very first chapter of it includes instructions on “almsgiving”). Those who wish to read it in its entirety can do so online for free at http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/didache-lake.html

And for those good folks who appreciate authoritative and balanced commentaries, there is one on the Didache which IMO is top flight: The Way of Life (Didache: A New Translation and Messianic Jewish Commentary) by Toby Janicki (600 pages, Vine of David © 2017). I actually had a gift copy sent to Rev. Farias during early January of this year and have sent copies to many other people in my orbit as well since then.  

My fellow Roman Catholic Charismatics are invited to read Why the Prosperity Gospel Is Bankrupt by “Catholic Answers” writer Trent Horn. 

We are all explorimentalists by nature

On 6-16-2018 Rev. Bert M. Farias posted the request below on his very popular Facebook page. A number of replies followed including one comment from a Miss Alice. I responded to her comment, Rev. Farias to mine, and so it went back & forth between us. We did not exactly stay on topic but did kibitz on things that might, just might prove of interest to some of you.

Bert Farias
For those who have the time and interest:Bert M Farias FACEBOOK page
I’d like some feedback on this comment to my recent article. I’m constantly searching my heart on these issues, never wanting to be high-minded about these things, but to remain teachable. I guess the core question I found myself asking after reading this comment is this: What are some indicators of preachers who teach the gain is godliness message, and that financial prosperity equates to spirituality? (the article is on my timeline as I didn’t want to repost it).
READER COMMENT: “There are some things worth considering in this article but it is hard to judge someone’s heart and steweardship (sic) based only on their wealth. I will say that it seems extreme to compare someone like Joyce Meyer 35 million in estimated net worth to Bill Gates 91 billion, (A 2600 times difference) If I followed this logic, a typical minister in the USA might have 200k in net worth, while many poor have only debt. This is worse than 2600 times. Should ministers be allowed to have two cars when much of the world does not have a bike? Using the same standard, such relativism could apply the label false teacher to any Western Christian that has a skilled occupation. No, fortunately, God looks on the heart. Are you ruled by money or are you ruled by God? There is no certain dollar standard, lest all Westerners be guilty. Never mind that it takes LARGE Christian donors to move policy to the right..such as what occurred in recognizing Jerusalem as the capital.”
THOUGHTS ANYONE?

Alice: And one more comment: I once had a lady ask me why God didn’t let Christians win things like PCH millions of dollars prizes. My answer, without evening thinking about it, was that to many Christians can’t /won’t tithe on a $1,000, how can God trust them with millions. I believe God will bless obedience. It’s not just money, but in everything that concerns us. I don’t believe in all this “give $49.52 and God will multiply it 100 fold” stuff. That is just manipulation. But the Word does say that we are blessed with faithful Abraham. Again, that’s not JUST money.

Anthony G. Payne Right on, Miss Alice. I would add: If God rigged drawings & lotteries to favor specific Christians or others winning he would be guilty of engaging in a form of cheating (When chance is violated in such lotteries by people who profit from it or do so to profit others this is a crime. Of course, human law is not binding on God in instances in which it violates his articulated rules and ways, but he does respect these when they spring from or dovetail with his rules & ways, i.e., his prescribed laws/instructions & ethics).

Bert Farias Anthony G. Payne Dr. Payne! Nice of you to chime in. 😁

Anthony G. Payne I’ll be sending you something from my laboratory shortly, Herr Reverend (It took a while, yes, to process it). Oh vey! Oh, and here’s a link to my “What’s Up, Doc?” fill-in-the-blanks video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zdIRLuTTgU (Do I know how to have fun or what?!?!)


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/275281155″>Eh, what’s up doc?</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user86267628″>Dr. Anthony G. Payne</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Bert Farias Not only do you know how to have fun, but you are brilliant! To God be the glory! While you’re putting the finishing touches on your lab work, I’m gonna need about a gallon of that hair stuff! 😂

Bert Farias I’ll pay for it!

Bert Farias And if both of these things work for me I will spread the good cheer and joy and market it in my circles.

Anthony G. Payne As a boy I was smitten by astronomer Edwin Hubble’s writings including this beautiful, powerful gem….

“The scientist explores the world of phenomena by successive approximations. He knows that his data are not precise and that his theories must always be tested. It is quite natural that he tends to develop healthy skepticism, suspended judgment, and disciplined imagination.”

Later on, as an adult, I got into explor-i-menting and discovered firsthand how my own musings & handiwork are but “successive approximations”. Sometimes a hypothesis or idea or invention will pan out quickly, while at other times it needs retooling & retesting or, worst case scenario, proves an irredeemable dud (And, yes, sometimes an invention or product creation will work for some or a few and not the many). But above all I strive to question my own findings & conclusions. The alternative tends to birth dogma which is anathema for the theorist as well as the experimentalist.

Bert Farias Anthony G. Payne Our God of wonders and selection put this in your heart at a young age. You not only have to have an acute sense of fascination but incredible patience to explore such things.

Anthony G. Payne Most of us are natural born explor-i-mentalists, Herr Reverend. We are all engaged in testing this against that and weighing the preponderance of evidence & logic for and against things (albeit to varying degrees). The sad part if that so many folks have had their curiosity and willingness to question & test certain beliefs & such constrained or eroded by dogmatic teachers or preachers or family or others who prefer to dole out pat answers & solutions that are never to be questioned (The truth is these people should actually welcome such questioning and even argumentation as it might just compel them to closely examine, revise and even discard that which is unfruitful or useless). IMO we should all take to heart the approach of scientists and rabbis who question almost everything and take nothing as absolutely settled or final (Which is to say any claim, pet theory, finding or even law of nature can be overturned by sufficient contrary evidence).

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Roles, deeds and commitments

Life often revolves around roles we play and things we do.  You undoubtedly have many passions, interests and commitments (Some of mine are reflected in the 1m29s video below), which I hope also includes doing good works and cultivating a solid relationship with the Almighty.  Ever onward in shalom!

Are you a religious Charlie-in-the-box?

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charlie in the box

If you’re a poor fit with the community of believers you hang out with at present moment, do not let this trouble you. It is perfectly OK to be a misfit, nonconformist (but obedient to God’s commandments), or oddball. As you likely know from experience, not only do many ministries and evangelical organizations adhere to a rather narrow view of what is true faith and practice, but they also tend to exclude or marginalize those who disagree with them or otherwise differ from them. For instance, if you happen to be a theistic evolutionist (as I am and have been for decades), many ministers will brand you a heretic or worse. And (ahem) God help you if you are a left leaning soul politically much less a democratic socialist such as I have been for over 30 years (But do not let it be said I am “predictably leftist” on all issues. I am, for instance, prolife which is consistent with the Christian faith as reflected in the Didache and other early Yeshua Movement documents).

It amazes it (as I am sure it has many of you) how so many conservative clerics and ministries confuse an Americanized gospel and Americanized messiah with the very Jewish message and person of rabbi Yeshua. These poor souls often adhere to a literal reading of Genesis especially with respect to cosmological, planetary and biological origins, think capitalism bears God’s imprimatur, and are convinced that the teachings and practices of Yeshua and his talmidim (disciples) are reflected in the Republican Party’s platform and vision for America and the world.

Well, I am here to left you know that if your words and actions line up with the Almighty’s commandments, you are perfectly at liberty to prefer science (Darwinian evolution) to pseudoscience (creationist “science” drivel), democratic socialism or social democracy or such to Republicanism or other right wing political agendas, and a low carbon impact/green lifestyle to the acquire & consume living pattern many ministers and ministries believe constitutes being a good steward of the earth and her resources.

And if you happen to find megachurch exploitation off-putting and their orchestrated rallies filled with elements that parallel those employed by the NSDAP (Nazi) party in its rallies in the 1930s, you are more spiritually attuned and intellectually aware than those who have been deceived into thinking otherwise.

Those of you who’d like to “share and care” with like-minded believer misfits, oddballs and “unconventional conventioneers” can start the ball rolling by emailing me at founderabbot at gmail.com. There is no cost or obligation, material or otherwise.

Dr. Anthony G. Payne (Summer Cloud)

Roter Bauklotz auf blauen

 

God & Satan: Clash of the Experimentalists

https://biotheorist.files.wordpress.com/2018/05/rats-in-the-cosmic-laboratory-nl-may-2018.pdf

RATS IN THE COSMIC LABORATORY NL - May 2018

 

A cautionary word about modern day prophecies by Christian prophets & seers

https://summerclouds.weebly.com/summer-clouds-blog/a-cautionary-word-about-modern-day-prophecies-by-christian-prophets-seers

fortune cookies

And now a word about failed extrabiblical prophecies

Miserable prophetLike many of you reading this blog I have been following eschatologists, prophecy teachers and perusing bible-based prophecy books for what seems like an eternity (1960s on in my case). Along the way I have noted and sometimes jotted down prophecies that were precise as opposed to nonspecific, meaning specific timeframes and events such as a major quake in southern California were predicted in “thus says the Lord” fashion. None panned out.

Now, as you might expect my interest in eschatology and prophecy has not escaped the notice of close friends, family and others in my orbit. This leads to my getting emails containing prophetic words in oral or written form penned or spoken by various (mostly) evangelical preachers and self-proclaimed prophets. I typically retain those prophecies that bear a specific timeframe and later compare the predicted catastrophe, upheaval or what-have-you with what actually unfolded (The misses outnumber the hits by an almost astronomical margin).

On occasion, I will have someone pass along an email “imminent warning prophetic word” more often than not given by a well-known evangelist or teacher whose prophetic track record is not just abysmal but a literally train (of accuracy) wreck. Last night (9-4-2017) I got one such email in which great credence was given to a prophecy Jim Bakker reportedly shared concerning the recent flooding in Houston (and this well before Hurricane Harvey hit). Here are a few of the salient sentences from this email concerning Bakker’s prophetic predictions:

That prophecy was right about the flood here. Jim Bakker remarked a prophecy after that was for California. He predicted an earthquake. Since he was correct about the flood in Houston, I hope you take him serious for earthquake preparedness. Those products Bakker cover everything to get one through disaster.

To read the rest of my op-ed article go to http://summerclouds.weebly.com/summer-clouds-blog/and-now-a-word-about-failed-extrabiblical-prophecies

 

For those getting married or remarried: Think you’ve covered all the bases?

Happy bride and groom on their wedding

If you are considering getting hitchified (married) or remarried, I am sure by now you have been on the receiving end of all kinds of advice (welcome or not) and have spent some time online researching ways to help insure you are ready for this big step (Click to read 13 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married) and have in-place what’s needed to avoid a future marital meltdown and subsequent divorce.

One thing I hear from altar-bound couples is how compatible they are and how much in love they are. This is great, but what I want to know about is their relationship/bonding (attachment) style. Most couples I have dealt with have never heard of this or have, but know little about it. What I typically suggest is that couples read up on the subject starting with Attachment Styles – Why Knowing Yours Can Change Your Relationships, then take a free online, researcher developed attachment style (The long, not short version) at http://www.web-research-design.net/cgi-bin/crq/crq.pl and share the outcome with each other.

To read the rest of this article click this link.

 

Intimacy with God

INTIMACYIntimacy has many forms and expressions, as you know — familial, romantic, sexual, and many others. You’ve got intimacy down pat, right? Now go do a Google search using the word intimacy and read a few of the articles concerning human relational intimacy (But skip the porno sites that may have gotten into your search results).  After doing this I suspect you have found yourself questioning whether your mastery of intimacy is as thorough and complete as you thought it to be.

Now take this little self-reflection exercise a step further (provided you are a believer): do a Google search using the phrase (in parentheses) “Intimacy with God”. I did it just now and turned up 524,000 websites, blog entries and what-have-you. Now read through a few of the top ranked articles on this subject.

You probably read a lot about “surrender”, “transparency”, “obedience” and such (All consistent with what the Bible articulates about the God-human relationship). 

What intrigues me is that many writers on the subject have a lot of “how to” steps based, in whole or part, on biblical examples and notions of what tends to draw us closer to the Almighty as well as those things that can throw a monkey wrench in the achievement of intimacy with God or complicate its development over time. Some of these writer-pontificators draw on personal experience. All this is fine and good and is generally valid at various levels and in various ways, I’m sure. And, I suspect, few (if any) believers are so instinctively and spiritually adept (gifted) at establishing and maintaining intimacy with God as to obviate the need for biblical and extrabiblical guidance or other input, such as “how to” guides and personal accounts (I invoked “I suspect” because it is hard to know for sure without surveying all believers).

In addition, I also suspect that many believers either think intimacy (at least the deepest, most profound expression of it) with God is something that he unilaterally ordains, decrees and facilitates, or is a matter of individual volition in the sense of approaching God and having faith he will respond to this and then help or enable us to wade into the waters of intimacy with him (starting with “toes first” and then progressing slowly over time as millimeter by millimeter of our being is submerged), or is a mix of both. Read the rest of this entry

The Dark Charisma of Donald Trump

FARIAS ON CRUZWhat follows below is a slightly truncated & edited email I sent to Rev. Bert M. Farias in response to a 5-4-16 article of his concerning the ever-growing embrace of Donald Trump by many Republicans, evangelical Christians and others.   

Good Thursday (May 5, 2016), Rev. Farias!

I perused your 5-4-2016 Flaming Herald entry titled How Cruz’s Dropout Exposes the Corruption of the American Soul and thought you might welcome some feedback on it.

First off, I have no doubt but that some of your readers and even supporters (especially any diehard Trump supporters) will take exception with your article and make an exit, stage far right (of course). As you yourself stated, “I know I may lose followers, readers and even friends over this article, but that’s OK”.

I am not a Trump supporter or fellow traveler — quite the opposite actually (I’ve been a democratic socialist since 1986). But even if I were, I would not head for the door after reading your article. One of the things I discovered early on in my work as a theorist is that truth, not only in science but in most other areas of life, is arrived at haltingly in the form of what famed astronomer Edwin Hubble characterized as “successive approximations”.

Read the rest of this entry

For those who feel unqualified, under qualified or disqualified to play a significant role in God’s doings in this world

If you are a believer who feels unqualified, under qualified or disqualified to play any sort of role in the Almighty’s work in this world, do yourself a BIG favor and watch the interview below.

 

 

Bernie Sanders and the Christian Vote

I became a democratic socialist in 1985 because, in large part, this approach seeks to address many societal and Red_Rose_(Socialism)other ills by addressing underlying (as opposed to superficial) causes. Many of these problems and their solutions lie in redressing specific moral failings such as unbridled corporate greed, which is something democratic socialists such as Senator Bernie Sanders tackle head-on with genuinely progressive, transformative ideas and proposed legislation. And, at the heart of democratic socialism, is a sharing and “level the playing field” ethic that is consonant with core Jewish and Christian beliefs and teachings.  Luke Tomycz “cores the apple” on an article titled “Bernie Sanders and the Christian Vote” which I wholeheartedly recommend you read and then share with others in your orbit: https://medium.com/@ltomycz/bernie-sanders-and-the-christian-vote-2350b31a6bbf#.94h2wp30g

Bernie Sanders and the Christian Vote

 

💀 Everything you ever wanted to know about post-death decomposition (“Body Farm”video) 💀

Depositphotos_80158370_originalCurious about what kinds of physical changes happen post mortem? The video below will fill in many blanks. Of greater concern to you is likely how and when you’ll shuffle off this mortal coil. Naturally, most of us prefer to “stage left” with as little pain and discomfort as possible, something medical science has make more certain than was true long ago. But die we must. The larger question is what lies afterwards – click to read.  First, satisfy your curiosity about what becomes of your “earth suit” after death and then read what follows below.

 

Life after deathSo you know what’s coming: You die and then face judgment. It is natural to think “Well, OK, I  think my good deeds outweigh my bad so I am good to go, right?” Wrong.  Ahem, dead wrong. The penalty for sin either must be paid by you or by someone qualified to pay it for you. The trick is there is only one individual who qualified to pay the penalty for your sins which he did. However, like a gift certificate purchased for you by a benefactor, you have to claim or redeem it and then follow the directions that come with it to preserve it. So how do you learn about this gift and how to claim it? The best way in my opinion is to hear from someone who has done it. In this vein, I heartily recommend you watch this video featuring scholar Dr. Michael Brown in which he shares how he went  from hell bound to redeemed:  https://askdrbrown.org/about/personal-testimony/

Then grab and read this book:

https://amzn.to/2K1y370

And buy, borrow or rent this film:

Video: Cardiologist Chauncey Crandall, MD discusses what a dead man brought back to life had to say about the afterlife

Video: Atheist Ian McCormack – Dead on Morgue Slab – Goes to Hell, then to Heaven and Back

 

Are you “pretty sure” or even “absolutely convinced” you’re heaven bound? Here are things you need to be aware of.

Following Messiah and living the faith authentically is countercultural & radical. One way to do so is in intentional community as a lay monk or nun (Married or single is OK)

© 2015, 2017 by Dr. Anthony G. Payne. All rights reserved.

Extraordinary vocal talent – young boy & girl sing “You Raise Me Up”

PSALMS 71:20 http://biblehub.com/psalms/71-20.htm

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For you have shown me great trouble and evil and you have returned and you have saved me, and even from the depths of the Earth you will return; you will raise me up!

God’s Chorus of Crickets (Jim Wilson)

All Creation Worships God

 

Is the Shemitah upon us? (Divine judgment in the form of economic collapse)

By

Anthony G. Payne

Lightning from Blue Cloud

Reports are beginning to surface indicating that retail sources for emergency preparedness or survival gear, dehydrated foods, seeds and such cannot keep up with demand. It isn’t hard to figure out why with articles and tweets and such appearing almost every few minutes on what is happening or lies ahead in term of climate spawned global upheaval, tectonic activity that is triggering volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and other calamities, fracking induced quakes, super droughts and massive wildfires, epidemics, increasing social conflict & unrest and gun violence, economic instability in nations great and small, the unrestrained barbarity of ISIS, not to mention terrorist acts taking place worldwide by people of every extremist stripe, and a seemingly endless litany of calamities both human-made and natural that are sending millions of refugees streaming into Italy, Hungary, and elsewhere. And this hardly begins to scratch the surface of how many ways life is now making various doomsday movies, books and such that appeared in the 1950s,  1960s and beyond almost prophetic.

Read the rest of this entry

Christian Rock Music Video Supporting Israel Is Rightfully (Righteously!) Going Viral!

As a Texan, a Country Western music fan, and a messianic monk, I found this music video tribute to Israel a joy and well worth sharing. Enjoy and then tell others!

Click to access CBN’s Cross Country radio

 

Ashley Madison as a wake-up call for would be and real-life cheaters

teenage depression - teen woman sitting thinking

https://biotheorist.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/ashley-madison-as-a-wake-up-call-for-would-be-and-real-life-cheaters.pdf

 

100 year old Jim Downing, USN Lt. at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, remembers the trauma & triumph of WWII (CBN Video News Segment)

Centenarian Remembers the Trauma and Triumph of WWII

As the 70th anniversary of World War II’s conclusion is commemorated, one eye witness, veteran Jim Downing recounts what it was like to live through this unparalleled time in history.

For the next time you are feeling down or defeated: Music video “Overcomer” (Mandisa)

Paul Harvey, Prophet (?)

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