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Empty vessels

Empty vessels have always and unfortunately will always make the most noise.

I guess you can also add that for what it is worth, we have lots of religiously, spiritually, theologically and other-ly empty vessels that keep tremendous noise on the modern Christian landscape.

There are droves of people across the world who know precious little about God but claim to believe in God. I guess you can call that “blind faith”. But faith in what?

The strange thing is, many of these people are comfortable in their ignorance.

The frightening thing is that some of these people today call themselves church leaders.

We need to avail ourselves with as much information as humanly possible so we can speak from an informed platform about God.

This is where we come to the fork in the river and get lost.

We have lots of people who believe in the Bible rather than believing in God. There is more to God than the English translations of the Bible.

Let me say now for those of you who may be wondering: Yes, I believe in the living God and yes I believe in Him manifest in the form of Jesus Christ.

There are Hebrew words — the original language of the Old Testament with several English meanings and then there are those with no equivalent.

There is no definite article in Hebrew and the first word of the Bible bereshit which means “in a beginning”; but is usually translated as “in the beginning”, indicates that a beginning was made on a beginning.

Obviously there had to be a beginning but the world millions of years old and the Bible a few hundred, relating a story dated a few thousand does not sit with me as the first beginning story.

There are stories of beginnings from China — Lieh-tzu and the story of the Giant Pangu. There are stories from Australia and Polynesia. Stories from Guatemala, stories of the Father Maker from North America, several stories from Africa and Europe. There are also stories from India and Asia like the Enuma Elish.

Holding the Bible as the only revelation of God speaks to gross ignorance and leads to misunderstanding and disrespect and war.

Our warped understanding of God through the Bible leads to the belief that all Muslims believe in terrorism, the Jews are foolish because they didn’t accept Jesus and the Hindus believe in foolishness.

It is the same ignorance that prevents us from seeing “Egyptian Jew” in the context it was meant.

The Bible is just another collection of stories of a people’s relationship with God.

The reality is that without a story of a beginning, human beings face chaos and their origin and life seems to be this great abyss.

Every culture attaches a meaning to beginning usually in the form of stories. The thing is these stories should not be seen as tales but the realities in and by which people live and have their foundation.

The Genesis story is the story the Western world embraces and finds root but other cultures tell different stories of beginning and this shapes their reality.

This myopic view of God speaks volumes about Christians and the religious box in which we have imprisoned God.

Christianity is not the be all and end all, neither is the Bible. Just a reminder — Jesus was a Jew not a Christian.

Hinduism is generally considered to be the oldest religion still being practiced today. This ancient religion was born when the Aryan peoples migrated to Northern India and first put their religious tradition into writing. The texts they created are the Vedas, which were written around 1,500 B.C.E. (before common era) and have greatly influenced Indian culture ever since.

Several other religions are almost as old as Hinduism. Judaism traces its roots back to the patriarch Abraham, who lived around 1,800 B.C.E. While the Jewish people are descended from Abraham, it was Moses who first recorded the Torah, the Jewish holy text, in 1,400 B.C.E. Most sources consider the date of the Torah as the beginning of Judaism.

Zoroastrianism is considered in many places as the oldest prophetic religion. It’s certainly one of the earliest religions founded by one person. Scholars are not certain when the founding prophet Zarathustra actually lived. Some believe Zarathustra lived in the 6th century B.C.E., while others trace his writings to the 14th or 13th centuries B.C.E.

India has been a veritable cradle for world religions — in addition to Hinduism, both Jainism and Buddhism originated in India. The first of Jainism’s sacred lords, called a Tirthankara, lived in the 8th century B.C.E. The last of these lords was Mahavir, who lived in the 5th century B.C.E. and was a key figure in spreading the religion. The philosophical teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha, spread around Asia after his death in 483 B.C.E.

Oddly enough, the two religions that dominate the world today are relative newcomers to the spiritual scene. Christianity began with the teachings of Jesus Christ around 30 C.E., and Islam started in 610 C.E. with the prophet Muhammad’s revelation.

Let us drop the arrogance and truly acknowledge God for the Almighty Creator he really is and not the play thing we have reduced him to waiting for us to remember to pray so he can grant our request.

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