Philosophy Fridays: ANA Culture In Hindsight

The Late 20th and Early 21st Century Ancient North American (ANA) Peoples had interesting set of beliefs though all with some unifying factors. Each area of belief was fraught with disagreement yet a strong cohesive unity which indicated their shared identity. This being so, no generation in human history has proven as united as this one and thus easily able to be examined.

Science

ANA Land

The ANA View Of The Cosmos

Regarding their scientific advancements of the ANA, their opinions varied but it seemed that they were grounded more on pragmatics and beliefs rather than empirical data. For instance, although they would teach in their classrooms that the Earth revolved around the Sun, they continued to believe otherwise.  They would refer to “Sunrise” and “Sunset” without a quibble reflecting the true mindset of the culture as a whole.

ANA believed in a tiered cosmology where sky was “up” and where rain “Fell” down—obviously not a clue of the forces of gravity or the three dimensional nature of the world.  But more interesting (and disturbing) is how the culture would speak about location. They would drive “down” to Georgia or tell others to come “up” to their house thus indicating that they believed the world was both flat and vertically held and were completely confused about the actual location of the sky (which for some reason, they thought was “blue”). Was it Up There or Out There—no opinion was solidified.

As to what they believed was below the vertical world, we don’t know but based on some segments of the society saying “It smells like hell down here” and “keep it on the down low” and the like, we can only assume that there was a belief in either hell or an abyss.

Religion

The Rising Divine Market

Their religious ideals seem to be varied enough to fight for though they had a unifying set of rituals which indicates some sort of meta-belief system that they all adhered to.  Some would rise in the morning to pray or to read their holy book but almost all of them rose to listen or read the prophetic utterances  of the “Forecaster” who would dictate to them how they were to dress and when the Sun would “rise” and “set”; and even when rain would “fall”. Without nary of a thought of how this information was acquired, they would structure their day to day activity around such prophetic utterances of the “Forecaster” even in light of repeated failure.

Indeed, they would couple this activity of listening to the “predictions” with baptisms of the body (by sprinkling, not often by immersion which was a practice normally practiced by Mothers during the evening) and of the face. Some of the peoples, obviously offering their bodies as a sweet smelling aroma, would cap this process off by anointing themselves with various perfumes and fragrances.

Apparently the well off in the society worshipped a sort of heavenly shopping district (here depicted as a rising city) because they would start the day by reviewing how this Market would act, and then spend the day worrying about it falling or rising. Idols were attached to these processes (the Bull depicting the ascending City and the Bear depicting the descent).The Idols of the Divine Market

Apparently, these beliefs trickled throughout the culture as they would refer to their leaders or slave-masters as “being on top” indicating a divine connection to The Market.

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Satire Series

The internet is chockfull of both the good and the bad. The good being that I am on it and the bad being that so is everyone else. In light of my extreme humility, here’s a collection of satire: since most people today don’t know what that is, I have provided a link to the internet’s inerrant repository of knowledge. No, not my site: Wikipedia.

This post will function as a series holding page for all other satire I’ve posted on the site. These things, after all, need a place to live without seeming legitimate.

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Quotables: Temple Prostitution For Today

quotables

This was reposted on Evangel but since I don’t want to quote part of it, I’ll link to the entire article. Perfect satire but may not be suitable for some readers.

Now imagine all those problems solved with one simple innovation. The answer: temple prostitution.

I know, I know. Outrageous and offensive. I can hear readers already dismissing the idea out of hand. And I admit that we may not be ready for it quite yet. But please hear me out on this.

First off, let’s address the common objections. Sure, there are a handful of Bible verses that might seem to condemn the practice. But all the condemnation of temple prostitution involves pagan practices or worship of false gods. The objectionable thing is the idolatry, not the physical act itself. Sanctified, faithful prostitution in service of the true God is a new thing. The Biblical writers never foresaw or contemplated sanctified, faithful, God-pleasing prostitution in the churches and thus never wrote about it. Attempts to find a Biblical injunction against the practice therefore fall short.

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We Can Be Angels Today

Angels are awesome. They stand in the throne room of God. They have the ability to slay armies. They can appear at the flash of light, fight demons, and even be a comfort to people when the Lord sends them.

But people have an incorrect view of angels.

They think that angels are some special beings, and though it’s true that there are a special category of well known angels, it is something that is attainable for us all. Indeed, I think that not only are angels around today—but we can be angels right now.

I want to make my argument based on four points:

  1. The word Angel
  2. Angels in the New Testament.
  3. Objections to us being Angels today.
  4. What is an angel.

First the word for angel is angelos (two g’s make the ng sound). It is found almost two hundred times in the new testament—underscoring its Biblical importance. Sometimes the word is translated messenger but it also means an Angel of God.

Second, we see the word in many places underscoring that it is not a class of special beings. In Luke 7:24, the Divine Author calls the men from John his angels. In Gal 4:4, Paul is received as an angel. The list goes on and on!

Third, the only objections to us being angels today are vapid. Some people presuppose that humans can’t have angelic powers but the fact is that Scripture doesn’t record angels using their power all the time. Sometimes we merely see them speaking. At other times we see them talking. At other times they’re rescuing. Just because we can’t see the angelic ability doesn’t mean it isn’t going on.

Other people make the mistake of saying that since we’re men and women who get married we are currently not living according to the order of Angels (as Christ says that in the future we will be like the angels who are not given in marriage).

But the fact is that we have a foretaste of that future already in the fact that there is neither male nor female in Christ Jesus—we’re already living in the expectation of being angels, though not yet since we get married. That being the case we should live out our angelic ministry by rescuing people, fighting armies, speaking out the message of God, standing in front of the throne room of God (into which we can boldly approach), slay thousands, move faster than light and cover our faces with wings  while singing Holy, Holy, Holy.

Fourth, an angel is just a messenger. So those beings in the Bible weren’t really any special category at all, just something that we have labeled as being special because we haven’t afforded ourselves the ability to do these sort of things.

So in conclusion, not only do we see angels in Scripture, especially angels who are people, but we should expect angels today, in our situation, in our fellow believers. Unveil your true shining selves and start living out your future ministry as an angel of God.

I’ll call myself Michael.

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Spontaneous, Natural, Physical Resurrection

Oh the universe is full of amazing and wonderful things and very few subjects have been the source of more fiery debates than the topic of evolution. But in all the hubbub of debates about creation, or intelligent design, or cosmological origins one major facet of the Christian faith goes unnoticed: the explanation for the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Though the evidence for evolution is vast and far reaching and applied to origins, none of the same thinking has been weighed and married to this oft-neglected field.  If we as Christians are failing in our embracing evolutionary models in regard to Creation, we have been woefully neglectful in explaining the resurrection of Jesus Christ in terms of modern science.

In this post, I wish to posit a few possible reasons why the resurrection was not a miracle, but actually quite natural, spontaneous, and purely physical and why the Church must embrace this explanation to prepare for the future, especially in light of the overwhelming amount of data in support of biological evolution.

The proof I can offer is not as nebulous as it may seem. We Christians often supply a few proofs that the resurrection happened so we don’t have to belabor the point. He was seen among witnesses. His grave was indeed empty. His death was sure. And the actual resurrection accounts for the apostolic beliefs.

But this in no way implies that God couldn’t have used spontaneous and natural processes to ensure that this resurrection would happen. We must not allow magic or miracles to discredit the very reasonable faith that we Christians embrace!

First we have to admit that Jesus was fully man so he was limited by the knowledge of his day. He didn’t have a clue how he would live again or even if he would live again. He was under the impression that the “glory” was the process of dying (read the entire book of John) and then he cried about it when he was going to die. That’s not the reaction of a person who knew that they would die and come back.

Second, the disciples were surprised by the resurrection. They didn’t have a clue he would do what he did and that would only make sense if it was in fact spontaneous and natural.

Third, we have perfectly good explanations for a physical, random, non-miraculous resurrection. For example, we know that there are an infinite amount of Earths. Given an infinite amount of Earths, there are an infinite amount of circumstances. Just like our Universe came into being because in an infinite number, the chances of something happening are sure to happen, then the chance of a person dying and coming back from the grave most definitely would happen. In fact, I’d bet in this infinite series of worlds, there’s a good chance that each of us get our chance at resurrecting randomly.

Even if we didn’t posit infinite Christs, we can posit infinite physical universes where the laws of death and life are different.  With science firmly in our grip we can conclude that God used processes—like an infinite multiverse or infinite Christs—to arrive at a natural, spontaneous , physical and non-miraculous resurrection from the dead.

We haven’t even looked at Quantum particles which can be in two quantum states at the same time until observed. So Christ, while observed, w as in an alive state (a binary position of 1) and then he was in a two simultaneous states of dead and alive (0 and 1). If the quantum vacuum can bring something in from nothing, then the chance for Christ going from one binary state to a second one is infinitely possible. Heck, this could be a midichlorian process for all we know.

Fourth, we Christians need to stop being afraid of scientific explanations especially since Science is God’s hands. The very smart people (who incidentally are much smarter than us) have told us that the impossible is just that and if it’s physically possible it’s infinitely more probable than the impossible. We need to stop being unscientific, embrace the sciences which are also God’s revelation, his second Bible as it were, and teach that Christ’s resurrection was natural, spontaneous, physical even if ultimately belonging to God.

In conclusion, we must embrace this lest Science, and the world, moves on in their Copernican revolution leaving us behind mumbling about our magical myths. If we truly want to engage the world and not be relegated to a position of non-importance, we must employ robust scientific thinking with the defense of our faith proving that God is not only reasonable, he is constant. We cannot allow Christianity to become a cult—but this is what will happen if the Church continues to turn its head from scientific explanations!

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