Tuesday, February 14, 2017

REL 212 Week 7 Winter 2017

The presentation may contain content that is deemed objectionable to a particular viewer because of the view expressed or the conduct depicted. The views expressed are provided for learning purposes only, and do not necessarily express the views, or opinions, of Strayer University, your professor, or those participating in videos or other media.

We will have two breaks: at 7:30 and, at 9:00 pm. I will take roll early, then the Discussion, before you are dismissed at 10:00 pm.

 KEY TOPICS

    Historical evidence 302

    Evidence of the Bible 303

    The life and teachings of Jesus 305

    The early Church 321

    Church administration 327

    Intellectual revival and monasticism 331

    Medieval mysticism 332

    The Protestant Reformation 333

    The Roman Catholic Reformation 339

    Liberal trends 340

    The Second Vatican Council 341

    The Orthodox world today 342




     Central beliefs in contemporary Christianity 346


    Sacred practices 348


    Contemporary trends 357



  &nbs Read: Chapter 9: Christianity

https://www.librarything.com/catalog/gmicksmith&collection=-1&deepsearch=Christianity

View the Other Preparation Materials
View the lectures contained in the course shell
Participate in the Discussion titled "Why Can’t We Just Get Along?"
Complete and submit the World View Chart Assignment

Judaism Review

Christianity Notes




Assignments and Activities

1. Since most students have probably been exposed to Christianity throughout their lives, it is particularly important to clarify preconceptions students bring to a study of this religion. Have students write down statements or questions that come to mind when they hear “Jesus Christ” or “Christianity.” 

Video
 
Christianity Pre-Test
http://wps.prenhall.com/hss_fisher_livingrel_BRIEF_3e/206/52790/13514333.cw/index.html




 Christianity  PPT

PowerPoint

Y
Jesus' Birth (alternately titled, "Christianity: The Three Pillars"), :38
Brief discussion of the timeline and location of Jesus' birth, and of his three-year ministry, with beautiful art work.
http://media.pearsoncmg.com/ph/hss/SSA_SHARED_MEDIA_1/religion/MRK/videos/myreligionkit/JesusBirth_MyLab.html

Y
This video presents "The Three Pillars: Jesus Life Teachings." 1:39
http://media.pearsoncmg.com/ph/hss/SSA_SHARED_MEDIA_1/religion/MRK/videos/myreligionkit/JesusLifeTeachings_MyLab.html

Y
This video presents "The Three Pillars: Resurrection." 1:13
Easter story portrayed in religious art, voice-over narration, and a brief reading from the New Testament Gospel of Luke.


http://media.pearsoncmg.com/ph/hss/SSA_SHARED_MEDIA_1/religion/MRK/videos/myreligionkit/ResurrectionStory_MyLab.html

1 Corinthians 15:3-8 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
How many witnesses to the resurrection are there?

3 "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me."

The historicity of the resurrection is critical. For example, as the New American Standard Bible states: "and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain" (1 Cor. 15:14). The context indicates that if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised.






Gary Habermas, Resurrection
True
 
14. With Gary Habermas - The Resurrection, 2:53 

Dr. Gary Habermas, one of the world's leading experts on the Resurrection of Christ, tells us what he would do if he had a brief amount of time to defend the Resurrection. 

https://youtu.be/v2y8S2ACBRA 






The Resurrection Argument That Changed a Generation of Scholars - Gary Habermas at UCSB, 1:20:42
Gary Habermas is the Distinguished Professor of Apologetics and Philosophy and chairman, Department of Philosophy and Theology, at Liberty University, explores the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Recording from The Veritas Forum at UC-Santa Barbara.

Visit www.veritas.org for more content, including New Testament scholars like N.T. Wright and leading scientists exploring the credibility of the resurrection..

Over the past two decades, The Veritas Forum has been hosting vibrant discussions on life's hardest questions and engaging the world's leading colleges and universities with Christian perspectives and the relevance of Jesus. Learn more at http://www.veritas.org, with upcoming events and over 600 pieces of media on topics including science, philosophy, music, business, medicine, and more!
https://youtu.be/ay_Db4RwZ_M



UCSB
 


Faith Under Fire
 
Faith Under Fire: The Resurrection: Fact or Fiction? Gary Habermas vs. Tim Callahan, 11:37 

Date: 2005 Location: Lee Strobel's Faith Under Fire Christian debater: Gary R. Habermas Atheist debater: Tim Callahan 

https://youtu.be/PbExDzozUxU 






Liberal Christianity, also known as liberal theology, covers diverse philosophically and biblically informed religious movements and ideas within Christianity from the late 18th century onward. Liberal does not refer to Progressive Christianity or to a political philosophy but to the philosophical and religious thought that developed as a consequence of the Enlightenment.

Liberal Christianity, broadly speaking, is a method of biblical hermeneutics, an undogmatic method of understanding God through the use of scripture by applying the same modern hermeneutics used to understand any ancient writings. Liberal Christianity did not originate as a belief structure, and as such was not dependent upon any Church dogma or creedal statements. Unlike conservative varieties of Christianity, or Orthodox Christianity (whether one speaks here of Catholicism, Protestantism, or the Eastern Churches), liberalism began with no unified set of propositional beliefs. Instead, "liberalism" from the start embraced the methodologies of Enlightenment science as the basis for interpreting the Bible, life, faith and theology.

The title "Acts of the Apostles" (Greek Πράξεις ἀποστόλων Praxeis Apostolon) was first used by Irenaeus in the late 2nd century. It is not known whether this was an existing title or one invented by Irenaeus; it does seem clear, however, that it was not given by the author.

The gospel of Luke and Acts make up a two-volume work which scholars call Luke-Acts. Together they account for 27.5% of the New Testament, the largest contribution attributed to a single author, providing the framework for both the Church's liturgical calendar and the historical outline into which later generations have fitted their idea of the story of Jesus and the early church.
Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels by Michael Grant, Scribners (1977).

The author looks at the gospels with an historian's eye, in search of the authentic Jesus. He seeks to separate those portions of the gospels that refer to the true career and teachings of Jesus, from the subsequent additions or inventions by the evangelists. The gospels are studied in the same way as other ancient historical sources, endeavouring to reconstruct what really happened and to uncover the truth of the historical Jesus.

Jesus in history, an approach to the study of the Gospels by Howard Clark Kee, New York, Harcourt, Brace & World, [1970].

 
This text is a study of the historical Jesus. Specific literary sources are referenced - Roman and Jewish historians, the individual gospels, and other early Christian sources.

"Among Roman writers, the oldest reference to Jesus that has survived is found in one of the letters that Pliny the Younger (A.D. 62-113) wrote to Emperor Trajan. . . . The Roman historian Suetonius, a contemporary of Pliny, mentions in his Lives of the Twelve Caesars that under the reign of Claudius (A.D. 41-54), there was a disturbance among the Jews that reached such a peak of intensity that they had to be expelled from the city. . . . [from] some one named Chrestos" (pp. 45-46)."


Evidence in non-Christian Historical Writing

The Jewish Historian Josephus

The Roman Historians: Pliny, Suetonius, and Tacitus

Evidence in Jewish Religious Sources

Tannaim

Later interpretations from the Talmud and the Midrash

The Bearing of the Dead Sea Scrolls on Understanding Jesus

Parallels Between the Teacher of Righteousness and Jesus

The documents demonstrate theological ideas that are similar to what is found in the NT.

It is plausible that the Teacher was crucified.  

Qumran Rites and Christian Sacraments

Baptism

Eucharist

Radical Interpretation of the Law at Qumran and in the Gospel Tradition

"The Qumran materials particualrly suggest the range of viewpoints among Jews at Jesus' time and the depth of their dissatisfaction with the religious establishment in Jerusalem" (Kee, 73); furthermore, "these extrabiblical sources render extremely improbable the claim that Jesus is a pious fiction rather than a historical character" (Kee, 73). 

What kind of figure would evoke strong favorable and unfavorable reactions?

After the fourth century there is nothing of historical evidence that is considered reliable. 

Jesus of Nazareth by Gunther Bornkamm, Other authors: Fraser McLuskey (Translator), Irene McLuskey (Translator), Augsburg Fortress Publishers (1995).

Günther Bornkamm (1905-1990) was a German New Testament scholar. He was a student of Rudolf Bultmann, as well as other famous theologians. Bultmann was famous (or infamous, depending on one's point of view) for his proposal to "demythologize" the New Testament; that is, remove the legendary accretions to the story of Jesus added by the early Church. Bultmann said that "I do indeed think we can know almost nothing concerning the life and personality of Jesus."

However, in 1956 Bornkamm wrote this influential book, which begins by stating, "No one is any longer in a position to write a life of Jesus," not least because the gospel writers display "an incontestable loyalty and adherence to the word of Jesus, and at the same time an astonishing degree of freedom as to the original wording." 


Nevertheless, Bornkamm maintained that there was a layer of historical recollection that underlay the gospel accounts, which "do speak of history as occurrence and event."

Bornkamm believed that there were certain events in the life of Jesus that were incontestably historical; for example, "The fact that Jesus let himself be baptised by John belongs to the data of his life which cannot be doubted." Also, that "Jesus had to reckon with the possibility of his own violent end, we have no reason to doubt." He is even willing to credit some historical truth to the gospel stories about Jesus' death, since "nothing would be more wrong than to deny that there is any historical truth in the story in the gospels about Jesus' suffering and death, simply because the church's faith was specially concerned with this piece of tradition.

The historical reliability of the Gospels refers to the reliability and historic character of the four New Testament gospels as historical documents. Although some claim that all four canonical gospels meet the five criteria for historical reliability, others say that little in the gospels is considered to be historically reliable.



Are the Gospels Historically Reliable? 3:28 

From our Series "The Search For Jesus Continues" this clip answers the question: Are the Gospels Historically Reliable? 

https://youtu.be/4fU77HKUZLM 



Almost all scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed, but scholars differ on the historicity of specific episodes described in the Biblical accounts of Jesus, in particular, two events are subject to "almost universal assent" are that:

1) Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist; and,
2) Jesus was physically crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate

Two reliable historical facts about Jesus' life is that he was baptized and physically crucified. 

Elements whose historical authenticity is disputed include the two accounts of the Nativity of Jesus, the miraculous events including the resurrection, and certain details about the crucifixion.



Source criticism


According to the majority viewpoint, the Synoptic Gospels are the primary sources of historical information about Jesus and of the religious movement he founded, if the gospels are considered to be historically reliable. 


These religious gospels—the Gospel of Matthew, the Gospel of Mark, and the Gospel of Luke—written in the Greek language, recount the life, ministry, crucifixion and resurrection of a Jew named Jesus, who spoke Aramaic

There are different hypotheses regarding the origin of the texts, for the gospels of the New Testament were written in Greek for Greek-speaking communities, that were later translated into Syriac, Latin and Coptic.


The fourth gospel, the Gospel of John, differs greatly from the first three gospels. Historians often study the historical reliability of the Acts of the Apostles when studying the reliability of the gospels, as Acts was seemingly written by the same author as the Gospel of Luke'.

Historians subject the gospels to critical analysis, attempting to differentiate rather authentic, reliable information from possible inventions, exaggerations, and alterations. 


Since there are more textual variants in the New Testament (200-400 thousand) than it has letters (c. 140 thousand), scholars use textual criticism to determine which gospel variants could theoretically be taken as 'original'. 

To answer this question, scholars have to ask who wrote the gospels, when they wrote them, what was their objective in writing them, what sources the authors used, how reliable these sources were, and how far removed in time the sources were from the stories they narrate, or if they were altered later. 

Scholars can also look into the internal evidence of the documents, to see if, for example, the document is misquoting texts from the Hebrew Tanakh, is making claims about geography that were incorrect, if the author appears to be hiding information, or if the author has made up a certain prophecy. 

Finally, scholars turn to external sources, including the testimony of early church leaders, writers outside the church (mainly Jewish and Greco-Roman historians) who would have been more likely to have criticized the early churches, and to archaeological evidence.

Two Source Hypothesis  


Source criticism: diagram of the two-source hypothesis, an explanation for the relationship of the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.

Historical criticism, also known as the historical-critical method or higher criticism, is a branch of literary criticism that investigates the origins of ancient text in order to understand "the world behind the text".


The primary goal of historical criticism is to ascertain the text's primitive or original meaning in its original historical context and its literal sense or sensus literalis historicus


The secondary goal seeks to establish a reconstruction of the historical situation of the author and recipients of the text. 

This may be accomplished by reconstructing the true nature of the events which the text describes. An ancient text may also serve as a document, record or source for reconstructing the ancient past which may also serve as a chief interest to the historical critic. In regard to Semitic biblical interpretation, the historical critic would be able to interpret the literature of Israel as well as the history of Israel.


In 18th century Biblical criticism, the term "higher criticism" was commonly used in mainstream scholarship in contrast with "lower criticism". 


In the 21st century, historical criticism is the more commonly used term for higher criticism, while textual criticism is more common than the loose expression "lower criticism".

Historical criticism began in the 17th century and gained popular recognition in the 19th and 20th centuries. 


The perspective of the early historical critic was rooted in Protestant reformation ideology, inasmuch as their approach to biblical studies were free from the influence of traditional interpretation. 

Where historical investigation was unavailable, historical criticism rested on philosophical and theological interpretation. 

With each passing century, historical criticism became refined into various methodologies used today: source criticism, form criticism, redaction criticism, tradition criticism, canonical criticism, and related methodologies.

The Greek text of John 1:1 is worth examining for what Christians understand the NT to be stating. 



Where Does Jesus Say He Is God? 



Mark says it at the outset of his gospel (1:1).

The angel told Mary her child would be the Son of God (Luke 1:35).

John the Baptist said the same thing (John 1:34).
Nathanael said it (John 1:49).

Martha believed it (John 11:27).
The centurion said so (Matthew 27:54).
Jesus claimed that He said so (John 10:36).
Jesus clearly implies it in John 11:4.
The demons called Jesus the Son of God (Matthew 8:29Luke 4:41Mark 3:11).
The charge against Jesus was that He claimed to be the Son of God (Matthew 27:43John 19:7), a claim He never denied, and virtually admitted (Luke 22:70).
The Gospel of John was written to convince the reader that Jesus was the Son of God (John 20:31).
Why, you might ask, does Jesus not say so plainly. I think the answer is found in Matthew 16:15-17:
15 He said to them, “And who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “You are blessed, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven!” (Matthew 16:15-17).
Jesus did not want Peter and His disciples to believe He was the Son of God just because He said so. He wanted God to bring them to this conclusion, based upon the evidence of Scripture.

As a result, all orthodox Christians confess that Jesus is God's Son as summarized in the Nicean-Constantinople Creed which all Christian acknowledge as authoritative. 



The Nicene Creed (Greek: Σύμβολον τῆς Νίκαιας, Latin: Symbolum Nicaenum) is a profession of faith widely used in Christian liturgy.

It is called Nicene /ˈnaɪsiːn/ because originally adopted in the city of Nicaea (present day Iznik, Turkey) by the First Council of Nicaea in 325. In 381, it was amended at the First Council of Constantinople, and the amended form is referred to as the Nicene or the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed. The churches of Oriental Orthodoxy use this profession of faith with the verbs in the original plural ("we believe") form. The Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church use it with the verbs of believing changed to the singular ("I believe") form. The Anglican Communion and many Protestant denominations also use it, sometimes with the verbs of believing in the plural form but generally in the singular.

The Apostles' Creed is also used in the Latin West, but not in the Eastern liturgies. On Sundays and some other days, one or other of these two creeds is recited in the Roman Rite Mass after the homily. The Nicene Creed is also part of the profession of faith required of those undertaking important functions within the Catholic Church. In the Byzantine Rite, the Nicene Creed is sung or recited at the Divine Liturgy, immediately preceding the Anaphora (Eucharistic Prayer), and is also recited daily at compline.

The following is a literal translation of the Greek text of the Constantinople form:

"I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. 




And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and born of the Father before all ages. 
 
God of God, light of light, true God of true God. 
Begotten not made, consubstantial to the Father, by whom all things were made. 
Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. And was incarnate of the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary and was made man; was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried; and the third day rose again according to the Scriptures. 
And ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, and shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, of whose Kingdom there shall be no end. 
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who together with the Father and the Son is to be adored and glorified, who spoke by the Prophets. 
I believe in one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. 
I confess one baptism for the remission of sins. And I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen."

APA citation. Wilhelm, J. (1911). The Nicene Creed. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved February 13, 2015 from New Advent:


  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11049a.htm
 
http://media.pearsoncmg.com/ph/hss/SSA_SHARED_MEDIA_1/religion/MRK/videos/myreligionkit/ResurrectionStory_MyLab.html

What is the most important ritual in early Christianity? 

Y
This video presents "Eucharist." :58
http://media.pearsoncmg.com/ph/hss/SSA_SHARED_MEDIA_1/religion/MRK/videos/myreligionkit/Eucharist_MyLab.html

N
This video presents "Sacred Journey: Baptism ." :12
Visual depiction of different baptism rituals, with no verbal explanation.

http://media.pearsoncmg.com/ph/hss/SSA_SHARED_MEDIA_1/religion/MRK/videos/myreligionkit/Baptism_MyLab.html

 
Map illustrating the spread of Christianity 300 C.E.

Spread Christianity 300 AD
 

"Mapspreadofxity" by Agur - http://www.usu.edu/markdamen/1320Hist&Civ/slides/13xity/mapspreadofxity.jpg. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mapspreadofxity.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Mapspreadofxity.jpg

Augustine (354-430 C.E.) stands as the most influential theologian in the Western Christian tradition. After a period of wandering, seeking after religious truth, he was baptized as a Christian in 387 after a conversion experience in 386. He later became bishop of the city of Hippo in North Africa (around 395), and he spent part of the next few years writing the Confessions (used to denote both confession in the biblical sense, that is, as praise of God, and also in the sense of a declaration of fault or sin). One of the classics of Western literature, it is a spiritual autobiography that details his search for God while also previewing, in a way, the trajectory of his thought on issues such as the knowledge of God, the role of the Church, and the nature of humanity as essentially sinful and completely reliant upon God's grace for salvation.

Hand-out
In the first two sections of Book I (the first part of the reading selection), what is the problem that Augustine presents to the reader?

The material from Book II focuses on the problem of sin as seen from the perspective of the so-called pear garden incident. His musings on the psychology of sin leads him to come to two conclusions: one about the nature of sin, and the second having to do with the context for committing individual acts of sin. Identify those two conclusions that provides an overview of Augustine's understanding of sin in the Confessions.

The Great Schism
Great Schism

Print
The Global Mission of the Jesuits (Thomas Taylor), 4:43
http://media.pearsoncmg.com/ph/hss/SSA_SHARED_MEDIA_1/history/MHL/WORLD/author_podcasts/jesuits.html

















Debate/discuss any of the following assertions:

a. If you try to follow the ethical teachings of Christianity, but do not believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, died in order to atone for human sins, and rose physically from the dead you should not call yourself a Christian.

b. Christian missionaries have done more harm than good. Christians should stop trying to push their religion on others and respect other people’s different religions.

c. All the major churches (Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant) have corrupted the teachings of Jesus.

d. We are born sinful.

e. Christianity has traditionally put too much emphasis on “life after death” and not enough on life before death.



Questions for Class Discussion

1. Most Christians believe the New Testament’s Gospels and Epistles tell us the basic facts about Jesus. 

Would it be worthwhile or necessary for Christianity to find more information about Jesus from sources other than the New Testament?


2. The vast number of Christian denominations and traditions has prompted some to ask what the essence of Christianity might be. Many people over the centuries have tried to boil Christianity down to a single essence. Do you think there is a single essence to Christianity? If so, what is it? If not, why not?

3. Christians generally claim that Jesus is unique, the “messiah” (anointed one) sent by the Creator God to the human race. What specifically is unique about him? Why, in you opinion, has the religion centered on Jesus dominated Western civilization, gained more members than any other world religion, and become the fastest growing religion in the world?
4. AC/DC Highway to hell (with lyrics), 3:33
 
Can religious people, in this case Christians, accept modern culture--music--and tolerate alternative views their religion?

Comment from YouTube


 
ShortSideSniper17 

 
"I'm a serious christian and i don't think there is anything wrong with listening to acdc. It's just a song, it's not like they are worshiping the devil. Also, song lyrics are metaphorical. Even if they were meant to be taken literal, you always have your own interpretation and don't have to take this literally. For all you "crazy christians", my priest even loves acdc and grew up on them and he had this conversation with me. He is also a New Jersey Devils fan like me. Are we both going to hell? Maybe, maybe not, but it sure as hell won't be because of this song (no pun intended). Do you really think that you'll be at the gates of heaven and the gatekeeper says "nope, too much acdc" and banish you from heaven? I really don't think so. In conclusion, for those about to rock; i salute you."

 
http://youtu.be/mBjwMSIC7ik

 

 

Origin of All Things
Nature of God/Creator
View of Human Nature
View of Good and Evil

Good and Evil - Christian beliefs about the devil, 2:44

 https://youtu.be/F0FXIkZlmPw  (Embedding disabled by request)

View of "Salvation"
View of After Life

2 1 Christian beliefs about life after death, 3:54

https://youtu.be/4_bb2etuVzI 

 


Practices and Rituals
 

 
This video presents "Sacred Memory: Orthodox Easter," :055
http://media.pearsoncmg.com/ph/hss/SSA_SHARED_MEDIA_1/religion/MRK/videos/myreligionkit/OrthodoxEaster_MyLab.html

  Sacred practices

Imitation of the model set by Jesus in his own life is the primary practice of Christians. In the widely read fourteenth-century book The Imitation of Christ, people are encouraged to aspire to Jesus’ own example as well as his teachings:

    O how powerful is the pure love of Jesus, which is mixed with no self-interest, nor self-love! … Where shall one be found who is willing to serve God for naught?78

In addition to the inner attempt to become more and more like Jesus, Christians have developed a variety of spiritual practices. Although forms and understandings of the practices vary among the branches of Christendom, they may include public worship services with sermons and offering of the sacraments, celebrations of the liturgical year, private contemplation and prayer, and devotions to the saints.


Worship services and sacraments

Christian worship typically takes place in a church building, which may be revered as a sacred space. The late-nineteenth-century Russian Orthodox saint Ioann Kronshtadtsky (d. 1908) explained:

    Entering the church you enter some special realm which is not like the visible one. In the world you hear and see everything earthly, transient, fragile, liable to decay, sinful. In the church you see and hear the heavenly, the non-transient, the eternal, the holy. A temple is the threshold of heaven. It is like the heaven itself, because here is God’s throne, the service of angels, the frequent descent of the Holy Spirit. … Here everything from icons to censer and the priests’ robes fills you with veneration and prayer; everything tells you that you are in God’s shrine, face to face with God himself.79

The word “sacrament” can be translated as “mystery.” In Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy, the sacraments are the sacred rites that are thought capable of transmitting the mystery of Christ to worshipers. Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches observe seven sacraments: baptism (initiation and symbolic purification from sin by water), confirmation (of membership in the Church), Eucharist (the ritual meal described below), penance (confession and absolution of sins), extreme unction (anointing of the sick with oil, especially before death), holy orders (consecration as a deacon, priest, or bishop), and matrimony. In general, Protestant churches recognize only baptism and the Eucharist as sacraments and have a somewhat less mystical understanding of their significance.


For many Christians, the Eucharist (also called Holy Communion, mass, or the Lord’s Supper) is a central part of regular worship. It is a mystery through which the invisible Christ is thought to grant communion with himself. Believers are given a bit of bread to eat, which is received as the body of Christ, and a sip of wine or grape juice, understood as his blood. The priest or minister may consecrate the bread and wine in ritual fashion and share them among the people. While many Protestants consider the bread and wine to be simply reminders of Jesus’ last supper, Roman Catholics and Orthodox.

 

The sacrament of the Eucharist, celebrated here in Ghana, engages believers in a communal mystical encounter with the presence of Christ.

hold that they are mystically transformed by the Holy Spirit into the blood and body of Christ. They are treated with profound reverence. In sharing the communion “meal” together, the people are united with each other as well as with Christ. The traditional ideal was to take communion every day and certainly every Sunday (the day set aside as the Sabbath).

Jesus is pictured in the Bible as having set the pattern for this sacrament at what is called the Last Supper, the meal he shared with his inner circle before his capture by the authorities in Jerusalem. The body and blood of Christ are seen as the spiritual nourishment of the faithful, that which gives them eternal life in the midst of earthly life.

Mother Julia Gatta, an Anglican priest in Connecticut, describes this sacred experience from the point of view of the clergy who preside at the liturgy:


To be the celebrant of Eucharist is, I think, the most wonderful experience on earth. In a sense, you experience the energy flowing both ways. … One experiences the Spirit in them offering their prayer through Christ to the Father. But at the same time, you experience God’s love flowing back into them. When I give communion to people, I am aware that I am caught in that circle of love.80


The partaking of sacred bread and wine is the climax of a longer liturgy of Holy Communion. The communion service begins with liturgical prayers, praise, and confession of sinfulness. A group confession chanted by some Protestant congregations enumerates these flaws:

    Most merciful God, we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.81

Catholics were traditionally encouraged to confess their sins privately to a priest before taking communion, in the sacrament of penance, meaning “reparation for guilt” (also called “reconciliation”). After hearing the confession, the priest pronounces forgiveness and blessing over the penitent, or perhaps prescribes a penance. Orthodox Christians were also traditionally expected to spend several days in contrition and fasting before receiving communion. The reason for the emphasis on purification is that during the service the church itself is perceived as the Kingdom of God, in which everything is holy. In Orthodox services, the clergy walk around the church, swinging an incense censer to set apart the area as a sacred space and to lift the prayers of the congregants to God.


In all Christian churches, passages from the Old and New Testaments may be read and the congregation may sing several hymns—songs of praise or thanksgiving to God. The congregation may be asked to recite a credal statement of Christian beliefs, and to make money offerings. There may be an address by the priest or minister (called a sermon or a homily) on the readings for the day. These parts of the liturgy constitute the Liturgy of the Word, in which Christ is thought to be present as the living Word, addressing the people through scripture and preaching. In Protestant churches, the Liturgy of the Word is often offered by itself, without the communion service.

In both Protestantism and Roman Catholicism, there are now attempts at updating the liturgy to make it more meaningful and personally relevant for contemporary Christians. One innovation that seems to have taken hold everywhere is the “sharing of the peace.” Partway through the worship service, congregants turn to everyone around them to hug or shake hands and say, “The Peace of Christ be with you”—“and also with you.”


In addition to regular liturgies and the sacrament of the mass or communion, there are special events treated in sacred ways. The first to be administered is the sacrament of baptism. Externally, it involves either immersing the person in water or, more commonly, pouring sanctified water (representing purification) on the candidate’s head, while invoking the Holy Trinity. The World Council of Churches has defined the general meaning of the practice:

    By baptism, Christians are immersed in the liberating death of Christ where their sins are buried, where the “old Adam” is crucified with Christ, and where the power of sin is broken. … They are raised here and now to a new life in the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.82

Aside from adult converts to Christianity, the rite is usually performed on infants, with parents taking vows on their behalf. There are arguments that infant baptism has little basis in the Bible and that a baby cannot make the conscious repentance of sin and “conversion of heart” implied in the ceremony. Baptists and several other Protestant groups therefore reserve baptism for adults.
A second ceremony—confirmation—is often offered in early adolescence in Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. After a period of religious instruction, a group of young people are allowed to make a conscious and personal commitment to the Christian life.

Some Christians observe special days of fasting. Russian Orthodox Old Believer priest Father Appolinari explains fasting as a way of soprichiastna, of becoming part of something very large, the spiritual aura of the Lord. He says:

    More and more ordinary people are seeking a comfortable life. More and more we leave spirituality. We try to fill this vacuum with material things. I told my students that there was a fast coming up. They groaned, “Why?” I said that we fast for spiritual reasons. The rule is that you should fast not with a spirit of suffering but with such elevated spirit that your soul sings.

    When we limit our physicality, as in limiting our food intake, then we grow in our spirituality. I advise my students to notice whether their brain works better when their stomach is full or when it is almost empty. Monks refuse physical things in order to get spiritual benefits. We look at them and see their lives as dark, but for them, it is light.83

 
Celebrations and Festivals
N
Brief introduction to Mother Teresa's faith and work, :34.
http://media.pearsoncmg.com/ph/hss/SSA_SHARED_MEDIA_1/religion/MRK/videos/myreligionkit/MotherTheresa_MyLab.html

Contemporary Trends

 
François-Marie Arouet (French: [fʁɑ̃.swa ma.ʁi aʁ.wɛ]; 21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778), known by his nom de plume Voltaire (/vlˈtɛər/; French: [vɔl.tɛːʁ]), was a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and separation of church and state. Voltaire was a versatile writer, producing works in almost every literary form, including plays, poems, novels, essays, and historical and scientific works. He wrote more than 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books and pamphlets. He was an outspoken advocate, despite the risk this placed him in under the strict censorship laws of the time. As a satirical polemicist, he frequently made use of his works to criticize intolerance, religious dogma, and the French institutions of his day.

Voltaire
In a letter to Frederick II, King of Prussia, dated 5 January 1767, he wrote about Christianity:



La nôtre [religion] est sans contredit la plus ridicule, la plus absurde, et la plus sanguinaire qui ait jamais infecté le monde.
"[Christianity] is assuredly the most ridiculous, the most absurd and the most bloody religion which has ever infected this world. Your Majesty will do the human race an eternal service by extirpating this infamous superstition, I do not say among the rabble, who are not worthy of being enlightened and who are apt for every yoke; I say among honest people, among men who think, among those who wish to think. ... My one regret in dying is that I cannot aid you in this noble enterprise, the finest and most respectable which the human mind can point out.."
In La bible enfin expliquee, he expressed the following attitude to lay reading of the Bible:

It is characteristic of fanatics who read the holy scriptures to tell themselves: God killed, so I must kill; Abraham lied, Jacob deceived, Rachel stole: so I must steal, deceive, lie. But, wretch, you are neither Rachel, nor Jacob, nor Abraham, nor God; you are just a mad fool, and the popes who forbade the reading of the Bible were extremely wise.
Whether it is Voltaire from outside the church, or Kierkegaard, the Danish theologian-philosopher, or Nietzsche who positioned himself awkwardly somewhat within religious thinkers--but in opposition to institutional forms of Christianity--the West has developed a self-reflective and critical opposition to Christian ideas. Both inside and outside of Christian circles, and thereafter in elite and popular circles, Christianity and Christ have been examined, dissected, vilified, and criticized.


Piss Christ is a 1987 photograph by the American artist and photographer Andres Serrano. It depicts a small plastic crucifix submerged in a glass of the artist's urine. The piece was a winner of the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art's "Awards in the Visual Arts" competition, which was sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, a United States Government agency that offers support and funding for artistic projects, without controlling content.
Piss Christ
 

It took Paris attack for AP to remove anti-Christian photo after 26 yrs.

 

http://www.onenewsnow.com/media/2015/01/10/it-took-paris-attacks-for-ap-to-remove-%E2%80%98piss-christ%E2%80%99-photo-after-26-yrs#.VOJuZ7d0wdU







Chris Ofili’s dung-decorated Virgin Mary painting sold for $4.6 million

 

The Ten Most Anti-Christian Movies of All Time
http://www.vulture.com/2007/12/list_antireligious_movies.html

Most offensive Jesus material on the Internet
Every year (typically around Easter), there's at least one viral Jesus meme, Jesus viral video or Jesus-themed webcomic that makes the rounds. From the horribly offensive images that straight up make fun of Christ, to the downright poignant, here's the best the internet has had to offer on funny Jesus memes over the years.
http://www.ranker.com/list/the-12-greatest-jesus-memes-of-all-time/brian-gilmore?format=SLIDESHOW&page=1




Metaxus on Christians and Political Involvement, 2:23
What is the proper role for Christians in politics?
Best selling author Eric Metaxas explains what it means to "be political God's way." Metaxas is a board member of the Manhattan Declaration, a movement of Christians for life, marriage and religious liberty founded by Chuck Colson and over 100 religious leaders in 2009. Read, sign and share the Declaration at www.manhattandeclaration.org. 

https://youtu.be/sQrtbVVpnjU 

Metaxus
 

 
REFERENCES, MUSIC
 
The Vatican Rag, Tom Lehrer


The Jewish agnostic, Tom Lehrer, playing "The Vatican Rag," - LIVE FILM From Copenhagen in 1967, 3:44

 





Podcast 8.24 Satanic Imagery And Conspiracies In Modern Culture

Published June 19, 2015


This final episode in the series looks at some ways in which Satan still finds a place within modern culture.  After discussing the importance of the film Nosferatu (1922), I discuss Satanic imagery within the country blues (1930s) and rock and roll.  Then I conclude with a discussion of two Satanic conspiracies of the 1980s, the Satanic ritual abuse scare and the notion of backmasking in rock and roll.


At 37:00 you hear Led Zeppelin's, "Stairway to Heaven" played forward and backward according to backmasking: do you hear a reference to Satan?

Backmasking is a recording technique in which a sound or message is recorded backward onto a track that is meant to be played forward. Backmasking is a deliberate process, whereas a message found through phonetic reversal may be unintentional.

Backmasking was popularised by the Beatles, who used backward instrumentation on their 1966 album Revolver.[1] Artists have since used backmasking for artistic, comedic and satiric effect, on both analogue and digital recordings. The technique has also been used to censor words or phrases for "clean" releases of explicit songs.

Backmasking has been a controversial topic in the United States since the 1970s and 1980s, when allegations from Christian groups of its use for Satanic purposes were made against prominent rock musicians, leading to record-burning protests and proposed anti-backmasking legislation by state and federal governments.[2]

A well-known alleged message is found in rock group Led Zeppelin's 1971 song "Stairway to Heaven". The backwards playing of a portion of the song purportedly results in words beginning with "Here's to my sweet Satan" (listen ).[84] Swan Song Records issued a statement to the contrary: "Our turntables only play in one direction—forwards."[19] Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant denied the accusations in an interview: "To me it's very sad, because 'Stairway To Heaven' was written with every best intention, and as far as reversing tapes and putting messages on the end, that's not my idea of making music."[85] 



God's Gonna' Cut You Down
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God%27s_Gonna_Cut_You_Down
Odetta - God's Gonna Cut You Down, 1:52


http://youtu.be/5wEdCeJqddI



 

Johnny Cash - God's Gonna Cut You Down, 2:49
 

http://youtu.be/eJlN9jdQFSc


 

Mott The Hoople Hymn For The Dudes 1973 with lyrics, 5:25

http://youtu.be/Rxt8iyA5QyY



 

Don McLean- American Pie (with Lyrics), 8:41

http://youtu.be/uAsV5-Hv-7U



 

Patti Smith, Gloria, 5:51

http://youtu.be/TNQtz6Ajvfg



 

Rolling Stones- Sympathy for the Devil Lyrics, 6:24

"Sympathy for the Devil" is a song by The Rolling Stones, written by Mick Jagger and credited to Jagger/Richards. Sung by Jagger, the song is an homage to Satan, written in the first-person narrative from the point of view of Lucifer, who recounts the atrocities committed throughout the history of humanity in his name. It is performed in a rock arrangement with a samba rhythm. It first appeared as the opening track on their 1968 album Beggars Banquet. Rolling Stone magazine placed it at No. 32 in their list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.


http://youtu.be/pkXIYgsvO0c



 

AC/DC Highway to hell (with lyrics), 3:33

Comment from YouTube


ShortSideSniper17 


"I'm a serious christian and i don't think there is anything wrong with listening to acdc. It's just a song, it's not like they are worshiping the devil. Also, song lyrics are metaphorical. Even if they were meant to be taken literal, you always have your own interpretation and don't have to take this literally. For all you "crazy christians", my priest even loves acdc and grew up on them and he had this conversation with me. He is also a New Jersey Devils fan like me. Are we both going to hell? Maybe, maybe not, but it sure as hell won't be because of this song (no pun intended). Do you really think that you'll be at the gates of heaven and the gatekeeper says "nope, too much acdc" and banish you from heaven? I really don't think so. In conclusion, for those about to rock; i salute you."


http://youtu.be/mBjwMSIC7ik



 

Billy Joel - Only The Good Die Young (HQ with lyrics), 3:55
http://youtu.be/zhjNm20XbXw


"Only the Good Die Young" is a song from Billy Joel's 1977 pop rock album, The Stranger. The song was written from the perspective of a young man determined to deflower a Catholic girl who is a virgin. The song hit #24 on the pop charts in 1977.




Ian Anderson, Aqualung


JethroTullAqualungalbumcover.jpg 


Aqualung is the fourth studio album by the rock band Jethro Tull. Released in 1971, Aqualung, despite the band's disapproval, is regarded as a concept album featuring a central theme of "the distinction between religion and God".[2] The album's "dour musings on faith and religion" have marked it as "one of the most cerebral albums ever to reach millions of rock listeners".[1] Aqualung's success marked a turning point in the band's career, who went on to become a major radio and touring act.

Recorded at Island Records' studio in London, it was their first album with John Evan as a full-time member, their first with new bassist Jeffrey Hammond and last album featuring Clive Bunker on drums. Something of a departure from the band's previous work, the album features more acoustic material than previous releases; and—inspired by photographs of homeless people on the Thames Embankment taken by singer Ian Anderson's wife Jennie—contains a number of recurring themes, addressing religion along with Anderson's own personal experiences.

Aqualung has sold more than 7 million units worldwide according to Anderson, and is thus Jethro Tull's best selling album. The album was generally well-received critically, and has been included on several music magazine "best of" lists. The album spawned one single, "Hymn 43".


Aqualung has widely been regarded as a concept album, featuring a central theme of "the distinction between religion and God".[2] The album's "dour musings on faith and religion" have marked it as "one of the most cerebral albums ever to reach millions of rock listeners".[1] Academic discussions of the nature of concept albums have frequently listed Aqualung amongst their number.[9][10][11]
The initial idea for the album was sparked by some photographs that Anderson's wife Jennie took of homeless people on the Thames Embankment. The appearance of one man in particular caught the interest of the couple, who together wrote the title song "Aqualung".[12] The first side of the LP, titled Aqualung, contains several character sketches, including the eponymous character of the title track, and the schoolgirl prostitute Cross-Eyed Mary, as well as two autobiographical tracks, including "Cheap Day Return", written by Ian Anderson after a visit to his critically ill father.[13]

The second side, titled My God, contains three tracks—"My God," "Hymn 43" and "Wind-Up"—that address religion in an introspective, and sometimes irreverent, manner. However, despite the names given to the album's two sides and their related subject matter, Anderson has consistently maintained that Aqualung is not a "concept album". A 2005 interview included on Aqualung Live gives Anderson's thoughts on the matter:[14]

I always said at the time that this is not a concept album; this is just an album of varied songs of varied instrumentation and intensity in which three or four are the kind of keynote pieces for the album but it doesn't make it a concept album. In my mind when it came to writing the next album, Thick as a Brick, was done very much in the sense of: 'Whuh, if they thought Aqualung was a concept album, Oh! Okay, we'll show you a concept album.' And it was done as a kind of spoof, a send-up, of the concept album genre. ... But Aqualung itself, in my mind was never a concept album. Just a bunch of songs.
Drummer Clive Bunker believes that the record's perception as a concept album is a case of "Chinese whispers", explaining "you play the record to a couple of Americans, tell them that there's a lyrical theme loosely linking a few songs, and then notice the figure of the Aqualung character on the cover, and suddenly the word is out that Jethro Tull have done a concept album".[5]

The thematic elements Jethro Tull explored on the album—those of the effects of urbanisation on nature, and of the effects of social constructs such as religion on society—would be developed further on most of the band's subsequent releases.[15] Ian Anderson's frustration over the album's labelling as a concept album directly led to the creation of Thick as a Brick (1972), intended to be a deliberately "over the top" concept album in response.[16]

"My God," 7:13


 People what have you done:
locked Him in His golden cage,
golden cage.
Made Him bend to your religion
Him resurrected from the grave,
from the grave.
He is the god of nothing
if that's all that you can see.
You are the god of everything
He's inside you and me.

So lean upon Him gently
and don't call on Him to save
you from your social graces
and the sins you used to waive,
used to waive.
The bloody Church of England
in chains of history
requests your earthly presence at
the vicarage for tea.

And the graven image you-know-who
with His plastic crucifix
he's got him fixed
confuses me as to who and where and why
as to how he gets his kicks,
he gets his kicks.
Confessing to the endless sin
the endless whining sounds.
You'll be praying till next Thursday to
all the gods that you can count.

https://youtu.be/THZOIMOhF_4





"Hymn 43," 3:19
Oh father high in heaven, smile down upon your son whose busy with his money games, his women and his gun Oh Jesus save me! And the unsung Western hero killed an Indian or three and made his name in Hollywood to set the white man free Oh Jesus save me! If Jesus saves, well, He'd better save Himself from the gory glory seekers who use His name in death Oh Jesus save me! If Jesus saves, well, He'd better save Himself from the gory glory seekers who use His name in death Oh Jesus save me! I saw him in the city and on the mountains of the moon His cross was rather bloody He could hardly roll His stone Oh Jesus save me! 


https://youtu.be/GbfmYLFTpsY 


 


"Wind-Up," 6:07 

When I was young and they packed me off to school and taught me how not to play the game, I didn't mind if they groomed me for success, or if they said that I was just a fool So I left there in the morning with their God tucked underneath my arm their half-assed smiles and the book of rules So I asked this God a question and by way of firm reply, He said I'm not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays So to my old headmaster (and to anyone who cares): before I'm through I'd like to say my prayers I don't believe you: you had the whole damn thing all wrong He's not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays Well you can excomunicate me on my way to Sunday school and have all the bishops harmonize these lines how do you dare tell me that I'm my Father's son when that was just an accident of Birth I'd rather look around me compose a better song `cos that's the honest measure of my worth In your pomp and all your glory you're a poorer man than me, as you lick the boots of death born out of fear. When I was young and they packed me off to school and taught me how not to play the game, I didn't mind if they groomed me for success, or if they said that I was just a fool So I left there in the morning with their God tucked underneath my arm their half-assed smiles and the book of rules Well you can excomunicate me on my way to Sunday school and have all the bishops harmonize these lines When I was young and they packed me off to school and taught me how not to play the game, I didn't mind if they groomed me for success, or if they said that I was just a fool So to my old headmaster (and to anyone who cares): before I'm through I'd like to say my prayers Well you can excomunicate me on my way to Sunday school and have all the bishops harmonize these lines I don't believe you: you had the whole damn thing all wrong He's not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays
https://youtu.be/JZ-79fwassg 


 

16 Ian Hunter God Take 1 1976 with lyrics, 5:46 

https://youtu.be/yBRMFKfWK_E 




Catholic Boy, People Who Died, Jim Carroll, 5:04 


https://youtu.be/D4LqjVtXUvE 


Jim Carroll

 

 

Hillary's Islamist: Huma Abedin
how-huma-abedin-went-from-intern-to-top-adviser

hillarys-history-dangerous-muslim-connections-stem-back-to-1990s