Biblical, Early church fathers, History, Romans, Sabbath, Sunday

The History of Sunday Worship in Western Christianity

 

In some Christian circles there is this perception that is going around as fact that Sunday worship celebrated by most Christians was imposed on the church by the Romans .  This is not the complete truth . There is evidence historically and Biblically that Sunday worship was not imposed by the Romans  and the Roman Church.

Christians who worship on Sunday call it the Lord’s Day which appears in Rev 1:10, is the weekly worship practice of remembering the resurrection of Jesus Christ who in numerous accounts in the Gospels to have been seen alive on the first day if the week.

According. to Roger T Beckwith in his book Calender,Chronology ,Jewish and Christian Biblical Intertestament and Patristic Studies.page 47. in Acts 20:7 Christians met togethet to break bread and gather around to hear preaching.

Justin Martyr a 2nd century philosopher and Christian apologist in his book The First Apology. Chapter 67 says that Christians worshipping on Sunday was widely spread. In the New Testament the phrase te mia ton sabbaton meaning the first day of the week both for the early morning John 20:1 and evening John 2:19 appears.

Paul also in 1st Corithians 16:2 has the church in Corinth to collect funds for Christians in Jerseulem on the first day of the week.
Most scholars agree that by the 2nd century Sunday worship was widespread. RJ Bauckham in his book Sabbath and Sunday in thr Post Apostlic Chuch pages 252 -298 says that Sunday worship originated in Palestine by the mid 1st century in the period of the Acts of the Apostles c.f Acts 20 and became universial by the 2nd century without controversy,
Therefore, the Sunday law that some Christians claimed that the Romans impose on Christians couldnt be possible as Christians were already gathering on Sundays . The Church in Rome aka The Roman Catholic Church didnt have the power or the authority to do that at that time. Bauckham states all Christian groups except the Ebionites who was mentioned by Eusebius of Caesarea observed worship on a Sunday.

Many advocates for the Sabbath suggest that Constantine the Great changed the Sabbath and decreed that all residents of the empire worship on Sunday, however that is not completely the case.

It wasnt until March 3rd 321 that Constantine decreed that Sunday will be observed as Roman day of Rest. However  by that time Christians were already observing Sunday as the day of worship . The emperor’s decree was mostly modelled for pagan sun worshippers, but it can be assumed and argued he also intended it for the church whom  were already worshipping on Sunday.

Christians have been worshipping on Sundays from day 1 for 2000 years. Morevover we are not Jews. Christians are primarily comprised of Gentiles.

The 3rd century church father Tertullian which wrote in his work Ad Nationes against Christians who practiced pagan rituals defending Sunday worship by implying that we were not Jews and also implying that to Christians Sabbath seems weird  and because it is strange to us it is  not observed. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf03.iv.viii.i.xiii.html

Another 3rd century church father  Cyprian linked Sunday which was also called the eighth day to baptism and Jesus resurrection, statting that because the 8th day is the first day after the Jewish Sabbath and Jesus rose on that day, Spirtual circumcision (baptism )was also given to us. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf05.iv.iv.lviii.html

Augustine of Hippo , a church father of the early middle ages suggested that the Sabbath  rest was not to be taken literally by taken to mean a Spirtual rest. Nevertheless, Sunday and Sabbath rest was increasing during the middle ages.

church interior
Photo by Thgusstavo Santana on Pexels.com

Thomas  Aquinas a theologian of the middle ages , according to R.J Bauckham in his article, “Sabbath and Sunday in the medievial church in the west “From Sabath to the Lord’s Day stated that the Ten Commandments is an expression of natural law and everyone is binded to it and it was a moral requirement like the other 9. Thus because of Aquinas  Christians  started to rest more on Sunday and Sabbath.(Bauckham 1982 299-310).

Henceforth, Sunday worship is not a sin nor is it breaking any of the commandments. Sunday worship also is not a creation by the Romans nor the Roman church.It has always existed in Christian communities historically and Biblically.

However ,if you want to keep the Sabbath that is your choice but know Christians worshipping on Sunday are not doing it so because of the Romans or the Roman church. They are actually worshipping on Sunday just like the first Christians in Acts 20 did 2000 years ago. They are also historically and Biblically accurate. We have enough to blame the Romans and Roman church for but this isnt one but i digress….

Advertisements
bible, feminism, patriarchy, rape, sexual assault, women

Sexual Violence in Revelation to John

Sexual Violence in the Revelation to John

There is an idea by many Christians that the New Testament is not as violent as the Old Testament however, this concept is untrue. When Jesus is suggesting that he came to bring the sword and not peace, this is Jesus suggesting violence. Jesus also says our hands should be cut off which in itself is a statement inciting violent.. Jesus says to those who asked him about lust to pluck their eyes out. He did not blame women for lust, specifically adultery, yet his statement was still violent.Finally, Jesus in the book of Revelation is violently striking down his enemies with a two edged sword.. Revelation’s Jesus is not a pacifist but a violent warrior.
Hence, like any other acts of violence, there are acts of sexual violence, particularly in the Revelation to John, chapters 2 and 17 . In Revelation 2:22-23 there is a threat of violence against a woman named Jezebel. In the chapter overall, messages are given to the four churches in Asia Minor ( present day Turkey). The churches that were spoken about in Revelation included Ephesus 2:1-7, Smyrna 2:8-11, Pergamum 2:12-17,Thyatira 2:18-28.
In regard to the sexual violence, it is the message to Thyatira in which the harsh act of sexual assault is implied. The woman who is threatened with this act, a prophetess, is called a Jezebel.(2:20-21). Jezebel, the Phoenician princess, referenced in the Book of Kings is deemed evil .Jezebel is evil because she convinces her husband to abandon God and brought in the worship of her gods and encourage the people who worship her gods. Jezebel also killed and persecuted the followers of God. Thus Jezebel is connected with false prophetess. Because of this reference to Jezebel in the book of Kings, the reader interprets Jezebel in Revelation as doing evil and as a false prophetess ( Revelation calls her false prophet)
.The writer of the text states in vv 21-23 “I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her fornication. Beware, I am throwing her on a bed, and those who commit adultery with her I am throwing into great distress, unless they repent of her doings; and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am the one who searches minds and hearts, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve.” This text is using the motif of rape to justify punishing someone. It also conveys control. It brings to the understanding that rape is not about sex but control. Power over someone who is weaker and This threat of rape is used as punishment for Jezebel and to deter anyone who believes as she does. In this perciope, punishment and harm are intended. If this author is not intending to do harm to her, why is he threatening to throw her on a bed where she will suffer harm and then punish not only her but those who do harm to her? It suggests that if you have committed a crime that you deserve to be raped.In our modern world women and men in prisons who are sexually assaultedare thought to deserve it.. Many former prisoners have said they were victims of sexual assault. Thus,this scripture can be used to justify sexual assault of prisoners.

Like Revelation 2, Revelation 17 also implies that rape can be justified as punishment. In this portion of Revelation, 17:15-18, the Whore of Babylon is raped. L .Michael White in states in a PBS documentary that the Whore of Babylon is symbolic of Rome. He and Tina Pippin also convey that Rome oppressed many of the people within their empire. Hence, according to Pippin John’s Revelation is about Rome and its oppression. In verses 16, it expresses that they will make the whore desolate, naked, devour her flesh, and burn her to death. There in this verse the threat of violence is again used for punishment and control. There Revelation also implies that because the Whore of Babylon has multiples of people following and that she has to be punished for her promiscuous behaviour . The Whore of Babylon is symbolic in the way that there is no perfect rape victim. The Whore of Babylon oppresses other entities and people but her punishment is to be sexually assaulted.
If we move away from John’s Revelation, Jezebel,The Whore of Babylon, and come into our modern context, rape or the threat of rape, is also used as punishment or a determent of crime. Female and male prisoners of war are raped. Male and female prisoners who are incarcerated throughout prisons and jails are raped. The outside world or should one say our 21st century world does not believe that prisoners have rights and believe that prisoners deserve to be assaulted. Thus ,it is not irrational to interpret that the Revelation of John in chapters 2 and 17 are justifying the use of sexual violence against the prophetess Jezebel and the Whore of Bbaylon. In Revelation 2 and in Revelation 17 raped is used as punishment for evil and thus the modern interpretation that the punishment fits the crime.
The Old Testament is viewed as violent and sexist in its depictions of women but the New Testament via The Book of Revelation is also just as hostile towards women. Although, the women are symbolic especially in the The Whore of Babylon, the actual depiction of Rome and any other oppressor as an evil and promiscuous woman is dangerous, chauvinistic and patriarchal. Women ,particular rape victims, are not deemed human.Hence they are depicted in the Bible as evil women who are threatened with violence.
To move away from this patriarchal view, we must unpack Revelation and question whether it was necessary for women to be depicted as oppressive and be threatened with violence and whether it is still necessary and why we must move away from this suggestion and read Revelation with a hermeneutic of suspicion.Burgkmair_whore_babylon_color
Continue reading “Sexual Violence in Revelation to John”

Uncategorized

Signifying and Scripturalization in Xena: Warrior Princess

I wrote this

Pop Culture and Theology

By Princess O’Nika Auguste

Xena: Warrior Princess is a fantasy/historical fiction action and adventure show that aired on television from 1995 to 2001. Xena is a spinoff of Hercules the Legendary Journeys. Xena and Hercules both are based on Greek mythology although they divulged into other forms of mythology and history including Christian mythology and Christian Theology, Xena more so than Hercules. In the two last seasons of Xena, the show goes deeper into Christian mythology and theology with characters like Livia/Eve, Eli, the archangel Michael, concepts of hell and heaven, and the concept of Eli’s God becoming the one true God. I would like to take a moment to say despite I myself being a Christian, I absolutely despised the Christian mythology on the show especially in season 6. What Xena the Warrior Princess did throughout seasons 5 and 6 was engage in a process of signifying and…

View original post 2,069 more words

Food, History

Sweet Potato pie with tuna and spinach filling

Sweet potato pie with tuna and spinach filling
Ingredients
Sweet pototatoes about 12 depending on their size and how many people serving
3 cans of tuna.
A handful of spinach
A block of cheese

Preparation
Wash and peel the sweet potatoes and put them to boil until soft.
Meanwhile open one or two cans of tomato sauce place it in a pan, season it with garlic, onions,celery and all that jazz.then sautéed the sauce until boiling
Then open the cans of tuna, drained them and place the tuna in the sauce.
Wash the spinach and cut them up and also place it in the sauce.
Grate the cheese.
Meanwhile the tuna and spinach sauce is cooking check with the potatoes are soft. If they are drained the water from the pan and mashed the potatoes adding milk and butter.
Once the sauce is cooled
You get a baking pan and layer it the mashed potatoes first , then cheese , then tuna and spinach sauce, then cheese then the mashed potatoes and then cheese .
Place the dish in the oven at 350 degrees and bake for an hour and half or until cheese has melted and it’s golden brown.
Looked all over the Internet to see if there was a recipe but nothing like it so I guess until further notice this recipe is my invention.
History of the sweet potato
Acording to the Encyclopaedia Britannica the sweet potato or the morning glory is native to tropical America and is cultivated in the trooical parts of the United States, the Caribbean, central and south America, warmer parts of Japan,Russia and the Pacific islands. It is a root vegetable and is served as a vegetable either whole or mashed.
Tuna
Tuna fish migrate all over the world’s oceans and occupy tropical, cooler and temperate waters and are main staple of fish all across the world.
Spinach.
Native of Europe and the United States and are edible leaves and can be bought canned, fresh or frozen. Spinach can be served as a cooked vegetable or served as a green salad. Although never ate it in a salad and I personally think it would taste horrible.
Anyways that is all I got for now and the sweet potatoes pie was delicious .

Food, French and British, History, Native Americans, St.Lucia

Corn and Carrot pie

I found a way to combine my love of food (eating and cooking) with my love of history and writing.Now the corn and carrot pie seems to be a native dish of St.Lucia and the wider Caribbean. I have tried to research similar recipes but nothing has come up yet. Hence I am assuming until further notice it is a St.Lucian dish.
Ingredients
A can of corn
5 carrots
1 block of cheese.
How to make it.
Grate ,wash and clean the five carrots placed the grated carrots in a baking dish, then open the can of corn and poured it over the carrots.Finally grate the cheese and then pour the grated cheese over the corn and carrot mix. Then placed the dish in the oven for an hour or until the cheese has melted and it is golden brown . MAKE sure the oven is 350 degrees.
History of the Carrot.
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica , the carrot was domesticated in central Asia around 1000 BC.The carrot a root vegetable is native to Europe and Southern Western Asia and probably came from Persia which is what is now known as Iran. Before it was domesticated , the according to Iorizzo Massimo , Senalik ADouglas ,and Shelby L Ellison in their article Genetic structure and domestication of the carrot American Journal of Botany (2012)100 (7) 930-938 carrot awas used for medical purposes.
Hence the carrot probably came over to St.Lucia with European colonization in the 17th century. The first permanent European settlements was in 1635 where both the British and the French set up colonies on the island. The British settlement died out because of diseases and hence the French were the main colonized until 1663 when the Caribs ( a Native American / Amerindian tribe) sold the island to the British and since then until 1814/1815 the island went between the English and FRENCH until Napoleon gave the island to the British.
Corn
Is native to the New World and is a grain/cereal . It was first domesticated by the indigenous peoples in southern Mexico Maize as corn is known as according to Delores Piperno in her article The Origins of Plant Cultivation and Domestication in the New World Developments, “Current Anthropology 52 (54):453-470 2011.Native Americans taught Europeans how to grow it and Christopher Columbus and other colonizers brought it to Europe and from then on became the staple of the world.
Cheese is harder to give a history of.the cheese we used in St.Lucia came from cows. Cows came to the island because of European Colonization and we’re domisticated about 10,000 years ago and originated from Eurasia. Cheese making begun before recorded history and most of the old world were already making cheese archaeological sites in Egypt,Greece, Sumeria, the Sahara and Rome have shown evidence of cheese making.
Hence the process of this dish on a tiny caribbean island is a mixture of mostly old world ingredients with one new world ingredient. It is easy to make, tasty and let’s us know that food is universal and there is a story in each recipe to tell.
received_280520319330753

Uncategorized

The privilege of language

PaperGirl36's Weblog

What is the role of language in the creation of culture? In the process of meaning-making? What is the place of culture in a societal formation? What is the relationship of culture to other social practices? And what does any of this have to do with race and racism? These are the questions I attempted to answer today.

It is comical to me the complications of reading work that could/would be classified as “high theory.” I’ve really decided that some scholars just don’t want to be understood, or that some scholars only want to be understood by a certain **class** of folks. This is what I’ve decided to call “the privilege of language.” I’m definitely not the first person to land in this spot, with this thought. Epifanio San Juan basically says the same thing in his 1992 essay “From Institutional Racism to Everyday Racism,” he just didn’t…

View original post 332 more words

comparative theology, mythology, theology

Saviors

Saviors

A Comparison between Jesus, Krishna and the Buddha

Buddha is significant in understanding Buddhism as Christ is also major in understanding Christianity and while Krishna is not the most important figure in Hinduism, he has a very significant role in the Hindu religion. There are many similarities between the three figureheads. In India Hinduism is the major religious group and there is a small significant Christian minority in that country . Buddhism although it may have started in India is now a small minority in that country. There can be question that in the concept of Christ in Christianity that there can be a concept of many saviors such as King Arthur, Buddha, the Bab and many others with Krishna and Buddha being of two of them.

The similarities between Jesus and Krishna suggests that Hinduism and Christianity have influence each other and that one can use the Krishna to convert some that practices Hinduism into Christianity . The parallels are so great that it is undeniable. According to the article Jesus and Krishna both “ Jesus and Krishna both had miraculous birth and that both their births comes in the middle of the night as an evil king sleeps” ( Mohammed 665)[1]. They similarities are so real that one must wonder if Jesus had some time in India. As stated Krishna is a very important to Hinduism and Jesus is an important figure not just in Christianity but Islam and even the Bahia faith. Another similarity between the two God figures is after they are both born “ Jesus and Krishna when they were born there was a massacre of infants when the king awakens”[2] Krishna and Jesus also after they were born according Kersey Graves “ were both visited by three men and shepherds , guided by a star”( Graves 279) [3] Many conservative Christians and many conservative Hindus may believe that those similarities are not true and are blasphemy but the legends are close. Each Myth or legend arises with a virgin birth, “that is that both their mothers are impregnate but a God or a divine spirit”[4] Jesus and Krishna’s fathers both had to leave and go into their native cities of birth and pay taxes. “ Jesus and Krishna were both born when their mortal fathers were paying taxes in their homelands”[5]

Buddhism and Christianity seem very similar and close like they are sister religions , many of Buddha’s sayings can be seen in many of Christ parables and teachings. It can be assumed that Buddha may have an serious influence on Christ. The similarities between Christianity and Buddhism or should one say Christ and Buddha are extended according Hewlmuth Von Glasenap to “ the life history of the founders, the ethics and the church history of both religions”[6] It seems that both Christ and the Buddha had miraculous births and lives Glasenap says that soon after their birth both “Christ and the Buddha future greatness were proclaimed by sages. For Christ it was Simeon and for Buddha it was Asita. They both surprise and impressed their teachers through the knowledge that they possess when they were still very young.”[7] Christ and Buddha were both tempted by an evil spirit and according to Glasenapp “ It was the devil that tempted them both. This temptation happened before the start of both their ministries. Buddha and Christ both walked over water and they both feed a multitude of people by miraculously multiplying the food.” Many believe that the Jesus parables have drawn inspiration from Buddha’s sayings Glasenappy states “ The parallels between Jesus’ and Buddha’s parables have shown some similarities example , the story of the sower ( Samyutta, 42, 7; Matth. 13, 3) and the prodigal son (Lotus of the Good, Chapter. IV; LK. 14), and of the widow’s mite ( Kalpanamanditka ;Mark 12)”[8] Jesus and Buddha both when they died had some supernatural event during and after their deaths [9].

Jesus and Buddha bases their philosophies and ethics on the concept of the golden rule. According to Glasenapp “Buddha told the Brahmins and the household of the certain village as follows ‘ A lay follower reflects this: How can I inflict upon others what is unpleasant to me? On account of that reflection, he does not do any evil to others and he also does not cause others to do so’ Jesus said something similar in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘ Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do so to them; for this law and prophets” ( Matt.7,12;lk.6,31)[10]

Buddha and Christ have always preached to their followers the concept of love and loving your neighbor and yourself. When Jesus says, in, Luke. 10,27 “ Love thy neighbor like unto yourself” “this philosophical concept is found in Buddhism in the statement that love should be extended to enemy”[11]. Christianity and Buddhism ( Christ and Buddha) are not only similar in ethics and teachings but historical development and geography that is “ Both religions setting out of their countries of origin and have spread over large parts but in their homelands they have scarcely any followers left. The followers of Christ and Buddha are not of their ethnic group or their race. The largest amount followers of Buddhism are of the Yellow race and Buddha was Indo- Aryan, the largest groups of Christians are of the Indo- Germanic ethnicity and Jesus and his Apostles were Jews.[12] Finally in a comparison between Buddha and his followers and Christ and his followers, their religion have in common according to Glasenapp certain aspects of cult and worship for example monasticism, tonsure of the clergy, confession, the cult of images, relic worship, ringing of bells, use of rosary and incense and the erection of towers”.[13] Jesus as shown has many resemblances to Buddha, in fact one may think that Buddha and Christ are more alike than Christ and Krishna but there are still many parallels between Christ and Krishna that many have not realize for example “ Both Krishna and Jesus are second person in a holy trinity, Krishna is the second person of the Hindu Trinity and Jesus is the second person of the Christian Trinity. Krishna is considered to be the incarnation of the God Vishnu and Jesus is said to be the incarnation of the Christian God”[14]. One can see why one can say that Hinduism influence Christianity because Christ and Krishna had so many resemblances that if not careful you can think they were the same even though they lived in different centuries , examples of more parallels according to Graves “ Both were sent from heaven to earth in the form of a man, both of their adoptive fathers were carpenters, Jesus and Krishna were of royal descent, they both were withdrew to wilderness and fasted and Jesus was called the lion of the tribe Judah and Krishna was called the lion of the tribe of saki. They also both claimed that “ I am the Resurrection” , Krishna and Jesus referred to themselves having to existed before their birth on earth. Their followers both considered them god men because they both were human and divine”.[15]

Krishna and Jesus “ both had a last supper, both selected disciplines to spread their teachings , both were humble and compassionate , they both raised the dead and associated themselves with sinners, both died and were resurrection and many people witness their ascension to heaven”[16]

It is also worth to note that all three Buddha, Christ and Krishna “ performed miracles, healed the sick, feed the poor and cast out demons”[17]

Although there are many likenesses between the saviors and their theologies there are some differences. “Some of the those differences are in the Christian theology Christ is central in the doctrine of salvation. Christ also said himself that no one can come to the father but through him, Buddha was not an incarnation of God and in Buddhism is the Buddha’s is not an isolated historical phenomenon. There will be more Buddhas coming into the future and that there would be many rebirths with persons in themselves until the finally attain the highest truth and impart it to others”[18] Another great difference between Buddhism and Christianity is that “ Christianity from the beginning was a movement of faith appealing to the masses the poor, the orphans, the lower-class and the oppressed and only became philosophical when it won over the upper class. Buddhism started off mainly from the classes of noblemen, warriors, the middle class and the wealthy, it became a popular religion when it reached the masses.”[19]

Despite the differences there similarities outweigh them and since the theologies and these three “ Saviors” are very close in theology one as a Christian can used these parallels to bring into discussion of Christ and theology in a discussion with a Hindu or Buddhist. Despite all three men were from totally different cultures, they seem to have found the same type of enlightenment that influence each other and their theologies. As we continue to research Hinduism, Buddhist and Christianity theologies then maybe we all can respect each other and understand and not force our religion on each other and that we all have found some form of God or heaven.

References

Graves Kersey, “The World’s Sixteen Crucified Savors,” Adventures Unlimited Press, Chapter 32, (pg. 279. 1875; Reprinted 2001)

Glasenapp Von Helmuth, Buddhism and Christianity and Buddhism and the Vital Problems of our Time (page 2-8 1963, online version 2006)

Boisvert Mathieu, A Comparison of the Early Forms of Buddhist and Christian Monastic Traditions, Buddhist- Christian Studies Vol .12 (1992) pp. 123-24

Mohammed N Overy, Jesus and Krishna, Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 26.4, fall 1989

Jallcollioy, “The Bible in India”, Sun Publications. Company (1992)

[1] Mohammed N Overy, Jesus and Krishna , Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 26.4 ,Fall 1989

[2] Mohammed N Overy, Jesus and Krishna , Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 26.4 ,Fall 1989

[3] Graves Kersey, “The World’s Sixteen Crucified Savors,” Adventures Unlimited Press, Chapter 32, pg 279. (1875;Reprinted 2001)

[4] Graves Kersey, “The World’s Sixteen Crucified Savors,” Adventures Unlimited Press, Chapter 32, pg. 279. (1875;Reprinted 2001)

[5] Jallcollioy, “The Bible in India”, Sun Publications. Company (1992)

[6] Glasenapp Von Helmuth, Buddhism and Christianity and Buddhism and the Vital Problems of our Time ( pge 4 1963, online version 2006)

[7] Glasenapp Von Helmuth, Buddhism and Christianity and Buddhism and the Vital Problems of our Time ( pge 4 1963, online version 2006)

[8] Glasenapp Von Helmuth, Buddhism and Christianity and Buddhism and the Vital Problems of our Time ( pge 4 ,5 1963, online version 2006)

[9] Boisvert Mathieu, A Comparison of the Early Forms of Buddhist and Christian Monastic Traditions, Buddhist- Christian Studies Vol .12 (1992) pp 123-24

[10] Glasenapp Von Helmuth, Buddhism and Christianity and Buddhism and the Vital Problems of our Time ( pge ,5 1963, online version 2006)

[11] Glasenapp Von Helmuth, Buddhism and Christianity and Buddhism and the Vital Problems of our Time ( pge 4,5 1963, online version 2006)

[12] Glasenapp Von Helmuth, Buddhism and Christianity and Buddhism and the Vital Problems of our Time ( pge 4,5, 6 1963, online version 2006)

[13] Glasenapp Von Helmuth, Buddhism and Christianity and Buddhism and the Vital Problems of our Time ( pge6 1963, online version 2006)

[14] Graves Kersey, “The World’s Sixteen Crucified Savors,” Adventures Unlimited Press, Chapter 32, pg. 279. (1875;Reprinted 2001)

[15] Graves Kersey, “The World’s Sixteen Crucified Savors,” Adventures Unlimited Press, Chapter 32, pg. 279. (1875;Reprinted 2001)

[16] Graves Kersey, “The World’s Sixteen Crucified Savors,” Adventures Unlimited Press, Chapter 32, pg. 279. (1875;Reprinted 2001

[17] Graves Kersey, “The World’s Sixteen Crucified Savors,” Adventures Unlimited Press, Chapter 32, pg. 279. (1875;Reprinted 2001

Glasenapp Von Helmuth, Buddhism and Christianity and Buddhism and the Vital Problems of our Time ( pge6 1963, online version 2006)

[18] Glasenapp Von Helmuth, Buddhism and Christianity and Buddhism and the Vital Problems of our Time ( pge71963, online version 2006)

[19] Glasenapp Von Helmuth, Buddhism and Christianity and Buddhism and the Vital Problems of our Time ( pge8 1963, online version 2006

Uncategorized

Hagar: A Portrait of a Victim of Domestic Violence and Rape

This week Twitter has been a flurry with information for victims of   domestic violence and rape.  This ranges from the U.S. redefinition of rape to include men to Nigeria’s first anti-rape toll free hotline for women.  There is even a male movement to stand against rape.  This problem is an ongoing issue, one that shows no sign of diminishing or going away.  According to Amnesty International, one in three women worldwide have been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused and their abuser is normally someone they know.  As I contemplate this very difficult issue, I am reminded of the Biblical Hagar in Genesis 16. The story of Hagar and Sarai is abundant

in ethical situations that draw in the reader and presents complex issues that can be very troublesome.  If you take the text hermeneutically, through an ideological examination in its English translation, we have an Egyptian woman…

View original post 1,065 more words

bible, Mary, theology, women

The Image of God

Image of God, Virginity and the Virgin Mary

The Virgin Mary can be considered an image of God because of how honored she is. she is almost as equal as God and Jesus. However, she is this honored because of her assumed chastity. She is the female image of God in some ways but she is only so because of her purity and virginity. The Virgin Mary is a complicated figure in the image of God discussion. In many ways, she represents this divine aspect of God (but it is only through her virginity) and in other ways she represents the distorted patriarchal image of God (because only white women are considered pure). Paul Lakeland and Serene Jones argues that “. . . Mary is often characterized by her solidarity with the poor. She has been symbolic of many things including the perfect disciple, the idealized church, Christian obedience and the maternal dimension of God. Thus, her image has functioned in both liberating and oppressive ways for women in solidarity with women struggles and as an impossible ideal for everyday women.” [ Jesus Christ Karen Baker-Fletcher, Michelle A. Gonzalez, David H. Jensen, Joerg Rieger, Cynthia L. Rigby, Deanna A. Thompson( Chapter editor)Serene Jones, and Paul Lakeland. Constructive Theology : A Contemporary Approach To Classical Themes, With Cd-Rom,( Fortress Press, 2005), 168.] Many poor Roman Catholic women in the Caribbean, Latin America and other places honor Mary and identify with her. I know I still say the Hail Mary and ask the Virgin Mother for help even though I have broken with the Catholic Church for a very long time. However, the ideal of virginity and being chaste like Mary posed an impossible task for me because I could not be pure, nor I was a virginal.
Virginity has a patriarchal hold on women because it is surmised that through Eve all causes of sin and lust came into the world. By becoming virgins, they would emulate the Virgin Mary and hence become close to the image of God, but they only do so because of their purity. Irenaeus in his treatise Against Heresies contends that Eve’s disobedience was overcome by the Virgin Mary’s obedience, he states, “For what the virgin Eve bound through unbelief, this the Virgin Mary loosed through faith.”[ Irenaeus against Heresies, (Book III, Chapter 22), Translated by Alexander Roberts and William Rimbaud. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight.http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103322
] Because of the fall of man and that Eve was the cause of it, a woman was born of Eve’s sin and hence was allowed the chance to die to self and to transcend and have value and freedom by following the example of the Virgin Mary.
Yet, in the normativity of virginity, for those of us who pursue into becoming virgins can never be the mother of Christ. We can transcend our sex, become pure and holy by emulating Mary and overcoming the disobedience of Eve. In that way, we became the agents of the transformation that the church fathers said that was necessary for the world. I believe that the church fathers had to mature Christ for us women to “marry” Christ.
This idea of birthing Christ into the world is impossible and unnecessary because this redemptive work was accomplished through Mary. Therefore, it would have been impossible for us to achieve true virginity because we could never birth Jesus Christ. Patriarchal management of Christ required the Church Fathers to mature their representation of him from a baby or infant so women could be married to Christ. Such management of the image of Christ resulted in women unable to reach True Virginity as reflected in Mary. We will never hit that mark unless we transcend from this earthly body to the soul. If we transcend our sinful nature we will become male. As because of patriarchy the Image of God is male.
The Virgin Mary’s purity and virginity has horrible effects on women who are not white. Delores Williams in her book Sisters in the Wilderness says, The Virgin Mary as a social construct has stood for purity and innocence, which were qualities assigned to white women. Black women were constructed by white social mythology to be loose, immoral and incapable of either purity and innocence. Thus, the Virgin Mary can be a negative symbol for black women: too white and too false to represent what is an acceptably black female”[ Delores S. Williams, Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-Talk, Anniversary ed. (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books 2013, 159.]
I believe like Williams that black women and other women will not be benefit from the innocence and purity of Mary. The early church fathers implied that women must be pure to transcend to glory or to be the image of God. This implication that purity is needed to be an image of God is that Augustine and the other church fathers may not have thought women who were raped to be pure and hence they may not be the image of God. Women who were raped have their bodies corrupted and because the female body is sinful, they cannot hit the mark to become the image of God. It is safe to assumed this because women who have been raped in the ancient world specifically in ancient Israel were not considered persons c.f Deut 22: 28-29. Male bodies were considered superior than women bodies, which is evident on how the stressed on the virginity and purity of women. Hence women are not the image of God because of our bodies and we are accused of being sinful and lustful by the church fathers.
Outside of the tradition of the Virgin Mary being pure and innocent, if we are to read the scriptures concerning Mary including the birth narratives, Mary does not look pure and innocent. In the ancient Israel and in ancient Jewish religion Mary would have been considered loose and sinful because she was with child without being married. It is true that deity is the father however this culture and society does not know that God is the father of Jesus. In this respect, Mary is like how black women and minorities is viewed. Augustine if he was honest with himself probably would not have consider Mary as pure and hence not the image of God. Augustine and some of the early church fathers may not also not include rape victims or other women who are not pure. Granted it is not the woman’s fault, the fact that she is no longer pure can deemed that she is not made in the image of God.
Virginity was praised often by the church fathers, women found power in the church and were “closer” to God because of this. Virgins through bodily transcendence can experience God to the fullest. Virgins were compared with angels as reckoned to Gregory of Nyssa’s sister Macrina. Allusions are drawn between virgins and angels in The Life of Macrina. Women who retained their virginity and died to themselves were close to angels. Macrina, as noted by Gregory of Nyssa is transformed from her body of the earth to her holy body.
Gregory of Nyssa says, “it was if some angel had providentially taken on human shape, an angel who had no connection or familiarity of life in the flesh, and for whom a state of incapability of feeling pain was perfectly natural for the flesh did not drag her towards physical passions”. [ Caroline White. “Life of Macrina.” Lives of Roman Christian women. London: Penguin Books, 2010. 20-48. Print. Page 37 http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/gregory_macrina_1_life.htm%5D Angels are not God itself but are spirits and not necessarily have the fact that Macrina was considered to look like an angel is illustrating that her virginity and her purity has helped her to transcend to an image of God an angel. Angels are characterized as male in the biblical texts c.f Daniel 8:15–26, Luke 1:11–38, Daniel 10:13-21, Revelation 12. Thus, if the Virgin Mary is also part of that Image of God, she has done it because according to tradition she remained a virgin and became close to an angel. Many women cannot do that. While the veneration of Mother Mary is wonderful and somewhat progressive, the only way she is venerated within the church is because of her assumed chastity and purity. Most women can never be Mary and even Mary of church tradition probably is not the historical Mary. Hence the Image of God is distorted even with a female entity of it.

Finally, I believe that we can used the Virgin Mary and reinterpret her for the use of black women and other minority women. Delores Williams expresses a somewhat of a similar stand, “By removing their sexist lens, black theologians can see that though incarnation is traditionally associated with the self-disclosure of God in Jesus Christ, incarnation also involves God’s self-disclosure in a woman: Mary. The angel Gabriel tells her “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you, therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God” (Luke 1.36). Translated in African American heritage from traditional African religions, one can say, The Spirit mounted Mary.” The word was made flesh in Mary’s body. Incarnation, in a womanist understanding of it in the Christian testament, can be regarded as a continuum of the manifestation of the divine spirit beginning with Mary, becoming an abundance in Jesus and later overflowing into the life of the church.”[ Delores S Williams, Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-Talk. Anniversary ed. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2013. 149]

How do we change the notion that the Image of God is male? If the Image of God includes a female aspect, how can we progress from the idea that this female aspect has to be pure, a virgin and chaste? To do that we must change the language of patriarchy and understand that the Image of God is complex and complicated and that women do have to birth the Christ and be forever a virgin to be part of the Image. Even the historical Mary was not this and even if she was because I and many other women could never birth Christ, this standard is impossible to reach and we must consider victims of rape, who did not have a choice in deciding whether or not we are pure. I still honor Mary as the divine aspect of God but I do not honor her the way the church does. She is not the Virgin Mary to me but she is Mother Mary, a mother, a caregiver, a nurturer not some unreachable chaste, virgin and pure goddess.

Jesus Christ Karen Baker-Fletcher, Michelle A. Gonzalez, David H. Jensen, Joerg Rieger, Cynthia L. Rigby, Deanna A. Thompson( Chapter editor)Serene Jones, and Paul Lakeland. Constructive Theology : A Contemporary Approach To Classical Themes, With Cd-Rom,( Fortress Press, 2005), 168.

Irenaeus against Heresies, (Book III, Chapter 22), Translated by Alexander Roberts and William Rimbaud. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight.http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103322

Delores S. Williams, Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-Talk, Anniversary ed. (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books 2013, 159.
Caroline White. “Life of Macrina.” Lives of Roman Christian women. London: Penguin Books, 2010. 20-48. Print. Page 37
http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/gregory_macrina_1_life.htm
Delores S Williams, Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-Talk. Anniversary ed. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2013. 149

Uncategorized

Oya – The Dark Goddess of Storms, Destruction and Change of the Yoruba People

Goddess Inspired

Oya is the Dark Mother Goddess of Storms and Destruction of the Yoruba People in West Africa as well as the Americas. [1] In Africa She is associated with the river Niger and in Brazil with the Amazon whose source She is said to be.

Oya is the violent rainstorm that floods the land and whose gushing waters destroy anything in their path.

Oya is the wind. She is anything from the gentle beeze that ruffles your hair and cools your skin to the fierce hurricane or tornado that rips up trees and destroys houses. Oya is the storm that makes way for Her brother Shango with his fierce thunder and lightening.

Oya is the primeval Mother of Chaos, the destructive force of the Goddess. She is the Wild Woman, the Force of Change. With Her machete and flywhisk Oya rips down the old in order to make way for…

View original post 337 more words