English: Signature of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In its 101 years as a national observance, Mother's Day has made its fair share of enemies
That’s because if anyone could get away with it, she could. After all, Jarvis invented the whole thing, and then it ballooned far beyond what she had been imagining. As TIME wrote in 1938, it was May of 1907 when Jarvis persuaded a church in her hometown, Philadelphia, to hold a special church service on the anniversary of her mother’s death. The next year the governors of Florida and North Dakota issued special proclamations inspired by the service and it went national in 1914 when President Wilson made one, too. It wasn’t long before businesspeople across the country figured the day could be a great way to sell the nation on flowers, cards and other tokens. Jarvis, the article explained, was not amused: MORE
Well, it is a fact that May Day, which the children do enjoy with all vibes, is not an overly prominent holiday in America. Yet, it does have a long and notable history as one of the world's principal festivals. The origin of the May Day as a day for celebration dates back to the days, even before the birth of Christ. And like many ancient festivals it too has a Pagan connection.
For the Druids of the British Isles, May 1 was the second most important holiday of the year. Because, it was when the festival of Beltane held. It was thought that the day divides the year into half. The other half was to be ended with the Samhain on November 1. Those days the May Day custom was the setting of new fire. It was one of those ancient New Year rites performed throughout the world. And the fire itself was thought to lend life to the burgeoning springtime sun. Cattle were driven through the fire to purify them. Men, with their sweethearts, passed through the smoke for seeing good luck.
Then the Romans came to occupy the British Isles. The beginning of May was a very popular feast time for the Romans. It was devoted primarily to the worship of Flora, the goddess of flowers. It was in her honor a five day celebration, called the Floralia, was held. The five day festival would start from April 28 and end on May 2. The Romans brought in the rituals of the Floralia festival in the British Isles. And gradually the rituals of the Floralia were added to those of the Beltane. And many of today's customs on the May Day bear a stark similarity with those combined traditions.
May day observance was discouraged during the Puritans. Though, it was relived when the Puritans lost power in England, it didn't have the same robust force. Gradually, it came to be regarded more as a day of joy and merriment for the kids, rather than a day of observing the ancient fertility rights.
Most of what we think we know about Patrick turns out to be wrong.
He wasn’t Irish, but English.
He never drove snakes out of Ireland – because the island never had any snakes.
He did, however find Ireland “all heathen, and left it all Christian.”
Kidnapped as a boy, Patrick was a slave for six years in pagan, druid Ireland. He miraculously escaped, only to dream years later that he must go back. By his death in 461, Patrick had founded 300 churches, baptized 120,000 believers, and his followers re-evangelized Europe.
This St. Patrick’s Day will have new meaning for all who read this great book and documentary by William Federer.
It has been said that Patrick is one of the few figures in recorded history directly responsible for the completely non-violent religious conversion of an entire nation.
Wouldn’t you like to know the rest of the story? Wouldn’t your children?
Do you observe Christmas because you think it's Christ's birthday? Was He born on or anytime near Dec. 25? If Jesus lived on earth today, would He celebrate Christmas at all?
Just what are the origins of Christmas? History shows that Christmas predates Christ by many centuries.
We should sit up and take notice of remarks from a popular American comedian and actor, Drew Carey. At a White House correspondents' dinner on May 5, Mr. Carey directed his comments to the president and vice president and their wives, several military and civilian dignitaries and a host of Hollywood entertainers:
"I can't watch the news lately," he said. "It gets too depressing. What I do now is turn the news off, get out my Bible and turn to the book of Revelation. I start just checking things off ... Got it, got it, need it, got it, need it ... Red dragon, seven horns, 10 crowns, got it.
"Yeah, I read the Bible a lot, you know. It's just crazy [the way] we celebrate holidays in the United States. I found out just recently there are so many religious holidays we celebrate here in this country that have nothing to do with the Bible at all. Real famous holidays, like Christmas. Christmas has nothing to do with the Bible.
"The birth of Jesus is in the Bible, but not Christmas. The tree is not in the Bible, you know. Gifts—that's not there either. There's no place where it says, '"Celebrate my birthday," says Jesus.' It's a pagan holiday that the Romans invented that we just do. But everywhere you go, I'm telling you, I've seen this so many times, you see a nativity scene and there's baby Jesus, the manger, sheep, shepherds, Mary, Joseph and Santa Claus right in the middle. Who's he? Mary's [birthing] coach? Santa Claus has nothing to do with anything."
Drew Carey actually brought up a serious side of Christmas: that history exposes the holiday as nothing more than a pagan observance dressed up in Christian garb.
Does the question of whether Christmas is biblical or not make any difference? What must Jesus Christ think about the feel-good, commercially driven season that supposedly honors Him?
Was Jesus born on December 25? Can we even know when He was born? And most importantly, does it even really matter when Jesus was born?
God makes it very clear that He doesn’t like pagan worship practices being used to honor Him.
When was Jesus Christ of Nazareth born? We hear Christmas carols about the baby Jesus in the manger and the winter wonderland associated with His birth. If we look at our calendars, chances are they label Dec. 25 "Christmas Day." The birth of Jesus Christ is said to be the reason behind the season. But was He actually born on that day? It's not as clear and simple as our calendars would suggest.
Dec. 25 wasn't always considered Jesus' birth date. In a U.S. News and World Reportarticle titled "In Search of Christmas," Joseph Sheler wrote: "Lacking any scriptural pointers to Jesus' birthday, early Christian teachers suggested dates all over the calendar. Clement . . . picked November 18. Hippolytus . . . figured Christ must have been born on a Wednesday . . . An anonymous document believed to have been written in North Africa around A.D. 243, placed Jesus's birth on March 28" (Dec. 23, 1996, p. 58).
Although it's difficult to determine the first time anyone celebrated Dec. 25 as Christmas Day, historians are in general agreement that it was sometime during the fourth century. This is an amazingly late date! Think about it—this means that Christmas, which most consider Jesus' birthday, wasn't observed by the Roman church until about 300 years after Christ's lifetime on earth!
There are so many Christmas traditions in the US! Where did they all come from? America is often called a “melting pot” and its Christmas traditions can be seen the same way! It is a country of immigrants from all over the world who each brought their culture’s unique traditions to the New World. Read on to find out how Americans came to celebrate with Santa Claus, stockings, trees, gifts and more!
Leiden, The Netherlands - The first Pilgrims of the first American Thanksgiving in 1621 were unusually devout – even by Puritan standards. They crossed the ocean on a conviction that "the Lord has more truth and light yet to break forth out of his holy Word," as pastor John Robinson said before they sailed from the Netherlands.
Yet the Pilgrim band that braved the Mayflower and shared deer and turkey with native Americans were also some of the most cosmopolitan and tolerant among the Puritan groups willing to brave the wilds of a new world.
Before going to Plymouth, the Mayflower group lived 11 years in the Dutch city of Leiden. Those years of exile in Leiden, where the Pilgrims worked, worshipped, and debated – amid hefty clashes of civilizations and belief in Europe – profoundly influenced their sensibilities in ways that have not been widely recognized.
The Thanksgiving Code: Five Hidden Symbols of America’s Holiday
The real story of Thanksgiving reads like a Dan Brown novel. It involves a little-known web of secret societies, biblical imagery, presidential power, and lost books. A few years ago, I set out on a 10,000-mile journey through the hidden symbols of American life that became the basis for my new book, "America’s Prophet: Moses and the American Story." One afternoon I was invited to join the all-male, secret society based in Plymouth, Massachusetts that is the keeper of the Thanksgiving flame. Thanksgiving begins in America’s hometown when these men make their annual sail across Plymouth Harbor to the off-limits island where the pilgrims spent their first Sabbath. What I learned on this trip would forever change how viewed America’s holiday.
“Photograph of a painting by Edward Percy Moran (1862-1935), showing Myles Standish, William Bradford, William Brewster and John Carver signing the Mayflower Compact in a cabin aboard the Mayflower while other Pilgrims look on.” ca.1900. The original hangs at the Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth, MA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
RUSH: It's time for the traditional true story of Thanksgiving, as written by me in my second best seller of 2.5 million copies in hardback: See, I Told You So. "Chapter 6, Dead White Guys, or What the History Books Never Told You: The True Story of Thanksgiving -- The story of the Pilgrims begins in the early part of the seventeenth century (that's the 1600s for those of you in Rio Linda, California). The Church of England under King James I was persecuting anyone and everyone who did not recognize its absolute civil and spiritual authority. Those who challenged ecclesiastical authority and those who believed strongly in freedom of worship were hunted down, imprisoned, and sometimes executed for their beliefs. A group of separatists first fled to Holland and established a community.
"After eleven years, about forty of them agreed to make a perilous journey to the New World, where they would certainly face hardships, but could live and worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences. On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract, that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs. Where did the revolutionary ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact come from? From the Bible. The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments. They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example.
FBI wanted poster for D. B. Cooper (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The deceased man the FBI is investigating in the D.B. Cooper case was a surveyor whose training might have enabled him to scout locations to parachute from the skyjacked Boeing 727.
Lynn Doyle Cooper, who has been linked by his niece to the 1971 skyjacking, worked as an engineering surveyor, according to an Oregon death certificate.
His brother, Dewey Max Cooper, who also has been implicated by the niece in the skyjacking, once worked at Boeing, his former sister-in-law, Grace Hailey, said Thursday. He also is deceased, Hailey said.
Hailey, 67, who lives in Oklahoma, said she did not know precisely when Dewey Cooper worked at Boeing, but that it was roughly during the same period as the hijacking.
A person by that name worked briefly for Boeing in the late 1960s, a Boeing spokesman said Thursday, but no other information was available. It's not known if his job would have given him knowledge of the skyjacked airplane.
Hailey's daughter, Marla Cooper, in television interviews on Wednesday said she believes her two uncles were involved in the fabled skyjacking on Thanksgiving Eve 1971.
The FBI said earlier this week that it had been investigating a "promising lead" for more than a year and confirmed that Marla Cooper, who lives in Oklahoma City, had provided information. The bureau also said it was working with the family to obtain items from which fingerprints might be lifted to compare to partial prints obtained from the Boeing jet.
The skyjacker parachuted from the Northwest Orient Airlines plane with $200,000 in cash paid by the airline as ransom money. It remains the nation's only unsolved skyjacking.
In another "Why we do what we do series" articles, we will examine Halloween an why this day isn't as innocent as most of us believe.
Today's holiday known as Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain. The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture, and is sometimes regarded as the "Celtic New Year". Traditionally, the celebration was a time used by the ancient Celtic pagans to take inventory of supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, now known as Halloween, the boundary between the alive and the deceased dissolved, and the dead become dangerous for the living by causing problems such as sickness or damaged crops. The festivals would frequently involve bonfires, into which bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown. Costumes and masks were also worn at the festivals in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or placate them. In pagan times often humans were burned in these bonfires along with cattle and other animals.
In the 1950's and 60's the day was mostly a children's fun day but over the past thirty years, Halloween has become a holiday that is not just for kids any more. Halloween has fast become the party holiday of adults and parents. It ranks number two behind Christmas in decorations and annual sales within the United States.
The term Halloween is shortened from All Hallows' Even (both "even" and "eve" are abbreviations of "evening", but "Halloween" gets its "n" from "even") as it is the eve of "All Hallows' Day",which is now also known as All Saints' Day. It was a day of religious festivities in various northern European Pagan traditions, until Popes Gregory III and Gregory IV moved the old Christian feast of All Saints' Day from May 13 (which had itself been the date of a pagan holiday, the Feast of the Lemures) to 1st November. In the ninth century, the Church measured the day as starting at sunset, in accordance with the Florentine calendar. Although All Saints' Day are now considered to occur one day after Halloween, the two holidays were, at that time, celebrated on the same day. Liturgically, the Church traditionally celebrated that day as the Vigil of All Saints, and, until 1970, a day of fasting as well. Like other vigils, it was celebrated on the previous day if it fell on a Sunday, although secular celebrations of the holiday remained on the 31st. The Vigil was suppressed in 1955, but was later restored in the post-Vatican II calendar. Therefore, you Protestants out there following the holiday, you are following yet another Catholic holy day that was adopted from paganism and nothing found in the Bible. The same applies to Sunday replacing the Sabbath, by the way. It was the Catholic church, hundreds of years after the first New Testament Pentecost that changed the Saturday Sabbath to Sunday. Catholics have every right to worship on Sunday's, non-Catholics do not!
Unlike other paganized 'Christian' holidays, Halloween has no scriptural basis whatsoever! None, zero, Nada! It is a totally pagan day from start to finish that God condemns us to follow! Satan, the devil who is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4), who deceives the whole world (Revelation 12:9), is the author of all these days. Ironically, Satan wears the greatest costume of all, masquerading as an Angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). Jeremiah 10:2 (King James Version) "Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them."
Scripture also records God’s command: "When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone… who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord" (Deuteronomy 18:9–14). The Bible clearly forbids dabbling in witchcraft and the occult and idolatry, but the Israelites ignored these instructions. Israel incurred God’s wrath because its people "practiced witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger" (2 Kings 17:17).
America, it is time to wake up. We cannot continue to disobey God and enjoy peace and freedom and prosperity. If we are true to obey God, God will be true to forgive our sins and to bless us before the world! Start reading your Bible! Learn what it is that your God wants you to know. The God who created you wants you to be their friends! Both the Father and the Son are God (John 1) and have invited us into their family!
One reason I most commonly hear from vegetarians for giving up meat is the conviction that other animals have a right to life as well as humans. Their sincere belief in preserving other life is like most liberal causes (and yes it is a liberal cause, whether you want to believe it or not) based on the lack of understanding just how food is produced, or for that matter, how anything is produced. We live in a ready made world, going to work from 9-5, and buying everything we need from some store, which purchased that item from hundreds, if not thousands of miles away. Most of us today don't have a clue what it takes to grow an apple, or wheat, corn and yes, beef! We don't know how our clothes are made, or where they are made and by what sort of forced labor. We are blissfully ignorant of the world around us. You see, one must be ignorant of reality in order to be a liberal. You will never find a liberal on a deserted island, or living amongst natives in some wilderness setting. Liberals don't live very long, once their beloved “nature” controls their destinies.
Nobody's hands are free from the blood of animals, not vegetarians or anyone else. Millions of animals are killed every year to prepare land for growing crops, "like corn, soybean, wheat and barley, the and the whole host of “organic” foods." The animals killed in many cases are mice and moles and rabbits and other creatures that are run over by tractors, or lose their habitat to make way for farming. These are the unintended victims of agriculture. Are their lives any less sacred than say, a goat? So one must honestly answer this: "What makes it OK to kill animals of the field so that we can eat veggies, but not venison, fish, chickens or cows?" The cold hard facts are that any disruption of the land, whether it be to farm or to build homes and malls, reduces the amount of land left for other animals, resulting in their deaths.
And for those vegetarians who consume dairy, eggs and wear clothes made of wool, are they honest about not killing animals? Nope... If you buy milk, cheese, eggs, or woolen shirts-- it may be true in theory that you aren't killing these animals for their “goods,” but the fact is in order to supply you with these products, you are! All modern farmers, trying to eek out a living providing cheap food aren’t just going to let their animals die of old age; they kill them at whatever point the farm considers to be the most profit-maximizing. For dairy cows, that’s usually at age 3-5, out of a natural 20-25 year lifespan. For egg-laying hens, it’s usually after one or two laying cycles. And since the males of the laying species are useless to the egg farmer, they’re killed right after they hatch. These, are the cold hard facts.
English: Dairy heifers The milking dairy cows are in for the winter now, but as the weather is fair the heifers (young females) are still outside. When they reach 350 / 400kg in weight they will put in calf and 9 months later will begin their life as a dairy cow. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A vegetarian diet must kill far fewer animals than an omnivore diet, right? Not always! Here is an example: Eggs. While you only need to kill one single cow to get about 450 pounds (405,000 calories) worth of meat, you’d need to kill about 20 chickens to get enough eggs to match that number of calories. So if you’re a vegetarian who eats a lot of omelets, you’re likely responsible for more animal deaths than someone who chows down on burgers and steaks but doesn’t like eggs! Never thought of that did you?
I’ve scrounged up data on the typical amount of meat, eggs, and dairy that we get out of a modern farm animal, and combined it with data on the calorie counts of those foods. That allowed me to calculate the number of calories of food that we get out of each type of animal, or more to the point, the “lives-per-calorie” statistic for each food. The results are below, with the foods ordered from “kills the fewest animals per calorie” to “kills the most animals per calorie.” (All numbers are approximate, of course, but they’re from as recent and reliable sources as I could find. Detailed citations are at the end of this post.)
*The yield for a laying hen over its lifetime is actually about 550 eggs, but I’ve divided it by two because approximately one male chick is killed for each laying hen.
The lives-per-calories cost of eggs is so many times higher than that of beef that even a small amount of eggs outweighs the life cost of a larger amount of beef. So let’s say you’re a vegetarian and you go out to lunch with your omnivorous friend, where he orders a burger and you order an egg-salad sandwich. The two eggs in your sandwich are only 150 calories, compared to the 300 calories in his beef patty, but the eggs cost almost 9 times as much life as the beef.
Deutsch: Palette mit Hühnereiern auf dem Wochenmarkt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Of course, as I said earlier, these calculations are only concerned with the question of taking animals’ lives. They don’t take into account the amount of suffering the animal experiences. That would change the calculations somewhat, but I suspect the overall verdict would remain similar if you were looking at suffering-per-calorie – or, if anything, things would look even grimmer for egg-lovers. Laying hens arguably lead some of the most miserable lives out of all livestock, spending all their time crammed into cages with less space than half a piece of paper, having their beaks cut off, and being starved to induce molting. (Although the male chicks would count less if you’re looking at suffering-per-calorie, since their lives are so short.) These calculations also don’t take into account impact on the environment. Raising beef is pretty clearly the worst industry in terms of things like producing greenhouse gases, breeding antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and requiring huge amounts of farmland just to feed the cattle. So there’s still a good case for choosing eggs over beef in the sense of minimizing your environmental impact, but that doesn’t change the fact that you’d be making a tradeoff: killing more animals to hurt the environment less. Citations:
According to the USDA, the average dairy cow produced 21,000 lbs of milk last year, and according to several sources, the average dairy cow is culled from the herd after about 3 years, so I multiplied 21,000*3 to get the average amount of milk produced over the lifetime of a dairy cow. It takes about 1 gallon of milk to produce 1 lb of cheese, and there are about 8.5 lbs of milk per gallon, so I divided 63,000 lbs by 8.5 to get the 7,400 lbs of cheese figure.
The figures on beef and pork come from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture. The average number of eggs per laying hen per year comes from the USDA, and I multiplied by two because that’s the most common figure I found for the number of laying cycles. The average weight of a broiler chicken I got from the USDA’s annual Poultry Slaughter publication. And by the way, doesn't harmful insects have the same right to life as humans? Are most vegetarians willing to eat apples with worms in them – and if they are, what do they do with that live worm when they find it?
And if insect lives are as valuable as a human, how about bacteria. Bacteria is animal life. In order for vegetarians to digest their wholesome organic grains and grasses, trillions, of bacteria get killed in the process! So, you better stop taking those pro-biotics, because you are brutally slaughtering animal life.
Seriously, it's about time we stop falling for the liberal lies that we were raised on. Both conservatives and liberals have been fed a bunch of lies. We need to start using the brain the God gave us to start thinking about why we do what we do.
Teachers are all too often silent about the origin of the customs they are forced to teach in today's schools! If they were to speak out, many would lose their jobs!
Isn't it time we examined why we encourage our children to celebrate St. Valentine's Day - when it is never mentioned in the Bible as a practice of the New Testament Church?
Today, candymakers unload tons of heart-shaped red boxes for February 14, while millions of the younger set are annually exchanging valentines. Florists consider February 14 - St. Valentine's Day - as one of their best business days. And young lovers pair off - at least for a dance or two - at St. Valentine's balls. Why? Where did these customs originate? Where do we find any such practices in the Bible? How did we come to inherit these customs?
A Christian Custom?
Did you know that centuries before Christ, the pagan Romans celebrated February 15 and the evening of February 14 as an idolatrous and sensuous festival in honor of Lupercus, the "hunter of wolves"?
HANOVER, N.H. (AP) — You know Dasher and Dancer and the rest of the gang. But do you recall, the most “Perfect Christmas Crowd-Bringer” of all?
That’s how executives at Montgomery Ward originally described Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, who first appeared in a 1939 book written by one of the company’s advertising copywriter and given free to children as a way to drive traffic to the stores.
Peter Carini holds a first edition of "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer", part of a special collection at Dartmouth College, on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011 in Hanover, N.H. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
Curious to know more about how Rudolph really went down in history? It’s all in the pages of a long-overlooked scrapbook compiled by the story’s author, Robert L. May, and housed at his alma mater, Dartmouth College.
May donated his hand-written first draft and illustrated mock-up to Dartmouth before his death at age 71 in 1976, and his family later added to what has become a large collection of Rudolph-related documents and merchandise, including a life-sized papier-mache reindeer that now stands among the stacks at the Rauner Special Collections Library.
But May‘s scrapbook about the book’s launch and success went unnoticed until last year, when Dartmouth archivist Peter Carini came across it while looking for something else.
“No one on staff currently knew we had it. I pulled it out and all the pieces started falling out. It was just a mess,” Carini said.
The scrapbook, which has since been restored and cataloged, includes May‘s list of possible names for his story’s title character – from Rodney and Rollo to Reginald and Romeo. There’s a map showing how many books went to each state and letters of praise from adults and children alike. MORE>>>>>>>>
Note by Bob Barney: Santa isn't bad for Christmas, as Christmas is really about Santa (Satan) and other pagan traditions that nobody who professes to love Christ would ever follow. Don't be ignorant - do you own research and obey God - not man.
Is Santa Claus a whimsical concept that brings kids joy — or a holiday thorn with the power to harm children’s faith in Jesus Christ?
Dr. Candida Moss, a professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame, says Santa actually “hurts Christmas” and that he’s a counterproductive force both theologically and socially.
While not everyone celebrates the religious tenets of the holiday, it’s safe to say that there would be no Christmas without Jesus, whose birth is the centerpiece of the celebration. But with commercial and pop culture interests often driving the conversation, Santa Claus is also a major holiday fixture — one that millions of children embrace.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
Moss, who recently wrote about Santa’s damaging impact for the Daily Beast in a post titled, “How Santa Hurts Christmas,” said the myth of good ‘ol St. Nick simply “doesn’t work.”
By lying about Santa, Moss said parents are doing a disservice to their children, specifically when it comes to their Christian faith.
“When they find out Santa isn’t real, there’s a risk they think of Jesus in the same way.”
“After spending years deceiving our children about the jolly man who brings presents, can we really say ‘Gee you got us, but that part about the virgin giving birth to a child? Now that’s the real deal?’” she wrote. “We’re hardly building trust here. We’re catfishing our children.”
How do you know if what you believe is really true? Is it possible you have been influenced to believe things that are wrong? How can you replace faulty notions with true knowledge?
Although people do not realize it, they may embrace beliefs that are simply not true. How is that possible? It's because their views have been formed as a result of tradition, hearsay or information not based in fact or properly researched.
Furthermore, people will often adopt the beliefs of their family, group or religion with little or no question. If or when those positions are challenged, people will defend them even if their position doesn't match the facts.
Conventional Christian doctrines vs. the Bible
Perhaps you are a Christian and feel you understand the seriousness of what Paul said. You also need to be aware that the apostles and Jesus Christ Himself repeatedly warned about counterfeit Christianity. They also warned of ministers who, being unwittingly motivated by the devil, would promote seriously flawed doctrines (Matthew 7:15; 2 Peter 2:1; 2 Corinthians 11:15).
These wrong teachings are often filled with half-truths. That means they appear reputable to many people, but they don't accurately reflect what the Bible teaches (John 17:17; Luke 4:4; 11:28).
Here are some conventional beliefs you need to look at, each followed by what the Bible actually teaches:
• Conventional doctrine: "Once saved, always saved," also known as "eternal security." Biblical truth: An individual can receive salvation from sins through Christ and still, through neglect, ultimately come to reject God, thereby losing salvation (2 Peter 2:21; Hebrews 2:1-3 ; Hebrews 6:4-8 ; Hebrews 10:26-38 ).
• Conventional doctrine: The reward for a good life is going to live as a disembodied consciousness in heaven at the time of death. Biblical truth: The dead are not conscious, and no one has ascended consciously to heaven following death except Jesus Christ—after He was resurrected from the dead (Ecclesiastes 9:5, Ecclesiastes 9:10; John 3:13; Acts 2:29, Acts 2:34).
• Conventional doctrine: You have an immortal soul. Biblical truth: You do not have an immortal soul. A soul can die, and again there is no consciousness in death. Death is compared in Scripture to a lifeless sleep from which people must be awakened in a resurrection (Ezekiel 18:4, Ezekiel 18:20; Ecclesiastes 9:5, Ecclesiastes 9:10; Daniel 12:2; 1 Corinthians 15:18).
• Conventional doctrine: Sunday is the Sabbath. Biblical truth: The seventh day of the week, Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, is God's Sabbath (Genesis 1:31 - Genesis 2:1-3 ; Exodus 20:8-10 ; Isaiah 58:13; Mark 2:28).
• Conventional doctrine: Jesus was crucified on a Friday and resurrected on Sunday morning, being dead for parts of three days. Biblical truth: Jesus was in the grave for three days and three nights, which cannot fit between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning (Matthew 12:39-40 ).
These are just a few examples of many long-established, conventional Christian teachings contrasted with true biblical understanding. Do you see why it's so important for you to thoroughly challenge what you read, hear and accept as truth?
Jesus Christ resisted conventional religious ideas
Jesus Himself was the best example of challenging the status quo. His teachings and actions persuasively corrected accepted religious notions (Mark 1:22; Matthew 5:21-44 ). Jesus told His followers to carefully scrutinize what they were taught and to avoid following the wide, easy way that would lead to their destruction (Matthew 7:13).
The apostle Paul also encouraged people to "not be conformed to this world" but to "prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:2 ). You also need to question your religious beliefs by honestly comparing them to scriptural truth (Acts 17:11).
True understanding comes from being willing to look outside traditional Christian teachings to what is actually written in the Bible (Isaiah 55:8-9 ; Isaiah 66:2; 1 Corinthians 1:19-21 ).
Of course it may be difficult to accept what you learn because you will have to unlearn deep-seated ways of thinking. Discovering that something you believe is wrong can, at first, make you feel uncomfortable. Admitting you have been wrong is one of the hardest things you will ever do. Nevertheless, if you sincerely desire to please your Creator and follow His way of life, you will strive to reject all error and love the truth (3 John 11; 1 Peter 1:22).
Hint: Think of city dweller Lot's views on things (like giving virgin daughters to rapists) versus Abrahams view on things, and this Rabbi is pretty darn close to The Plain Truth!
Rabbi Daniel Lapin of the American
Alliance of Jews and Christians filled in on The Glenn Beck Program
Friday to explain why he believes cities tend to vote Democrat, and
rural areas Republican – and what it all means for the country.
After showing a county-based map of
election results, which is more indicative of rural vs. urban areas than
a state-based map, Lapin asked three questions:
1) Why are cities so much more liberal than the rest of the country?
2) Do cities attract citizens with
socialistic leanings, or do they tend to convert people who live in them
from conservative to left-leaning liberals?
3) What can be done to change this?
Rabbi Lapin guest hosts The Glenn Beck Program on TheBlaze TV. (Photo: TheBlaze TV)
It is convenient for followers of a religion to conform to society
norms, even when there is no religious connection. For example, our way
of measuring time (hours, minutes and seconds) are based on an early
Babylonian system, and our modern calendar is based on pagan practices
But whether we are 'religious' or not, we do not think of the
calendar as a pagan thing; it's merely a means to measure time, using
things called 'days' and 'months'. When we see on the church
notice-board: 'Sunday Worship', it doesn't mean that people will gather
on that day to worship the sun. (See also Sun Cross.)
April Fools' Day, sometimes called All Fools' Day, is one of the most light-hearted days of the year. Its origins are uncertain. Some see it as a celebration related to the turn of the seasons, while others believe it stems from the adoption of a new calendar.
New Year's Day Moves
Ancient cultures, including those of the Romans and Hindus, celebrated New Year's Day on or around April 1. It closely follows the vernal equinox (March 20th or March 21st.) In medieval times, much of Europe celebrated March 25, the Feast of Annunciation, as the beginning of the new year.
In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII ordered a new calendar (the Gregorian Calendar) to replace the old Julian Calendar. The new calendar called for New Year's Day to be celebrated Jan. 1. That year, France adopted the reformed calendar and shifted New Year's day to Jan. 1. According to a popular explanation, many people either refused to accept the new date, or did not learn about it, and continued to celebrate New Year's Day on April 1. Other people began to make fun of these traditionalists, sending them on "fool's errands" or trying to trick them into believing something false. Eventually, the practice spread throughout Europe.
Problems With This Explanation
There are at least two difficulties with this explanation. The first is that it doesn't fully account for the spread of April Fools' Day to other European countries. The Gregorian calendar was not adopted by England until 1752, for example, but April Fools' Day was already well established there by that point. The second is that we have no direct historical evidence for this explanation, only conjecture, and that conjecture appears to have been made more recently.
Constantine and Kugel
Another explanation of the origins of April Fools' Day was provided by Joseph Boskin, a professor of history at Boston University. He explained that the practice began during the reign of Constantine, when a group of court jesters and fools told the Roman emperor that they could do a better job of running the empire. Constantine, amused, allowed a jester named Kugel to be king for one day. Kugel passed an edict calling for absurdity on that day, and the custom became an annual event.
"In a way," explained Prof. Boskin, "it was a very serious day. In those times fools were really wise men. It was the role of jesters to put things in perspective with humor."
This explanation was brought to the public's attention in an Associated Press article printed by many newspapers in 1983. There was only one catch: Boskin made the whole thing up. It took a couple of weeks for the AP to realize that they'd been victims of an April Fools' joke themselves.
It is worth noting that many different cultures have had days of foolishness around the start of April, give or take a couple of weeks. The Romans had a festival named Hilaria on March 25, rejoicing in the resurrection of Attis. The Hindu calendar has Holi, and the Jewish calendar has Purim. Perhaps there's something about the time of year, with its turn from winter to spring, that lends itself to lighthearted celebrations.
Observances Around the World
April Fools' Day is observed throughout the Western world. Practices include sending someone on a "fool's errand," looking for things that don't exist; playing pranks; and trying to get people to believe ridiculous things.
The French call April 1
Poisson d'Avril, or "April Fish." French children sometimes tape a picture of a fish on the back of their schoolmates, crying "Poisson d'Avril" when the prank is discovered.