Raoul’s Two Cents: June 9, 2023
Warning: Religious topic. Move on to the joke section if you’re not interested.
Have you noticed there’s a strange breed of people among us who carry these strange books? It’s easy to spot them especially on Sundays … especially in protestant churches. Yup! You guessed it. They’re carrying Bibles!
Eavesdrop on their conversations, and they spit out words like “salvation, intercession, rapture, gospel, grace, sin, forgiveness, atonement and amen.” A prominent name they keep on mentioning is “Jesus.” And they don’t use it to swear like most people in the street but they say it with reverence and awe. It’s definitely a counter culture … these Bible-Thumping Christians live in a parallel universe. In fact, they believe they live IN the world but not OF the world.
Some people have asked me to explain this book called the Bible so please indulge me. The Bible is the most printed and read book in the history of the world. It is a big book composed of 66 smaller books written by several authors in several different languages (some are not spoken anymore) and penned in different eras but mostly within the geographic location of the Middle East; and central to all of the action is Jerusalem. It has survived the centuries … some books dating back to the time of Moses some 4,000 years ago.
Varied as the themes are, the one topic that unifies all 66 books is the almighty Creator. Moses compiled the first 5 books and they were inked in papyrus and/or sheep skin. Christians believe It was penned by men but inspired by God. Think about it, the almighty, all-knowing God of the universe spent time to write a low-tech book. It was that important to God to communicate with us lowly humans. And it was His promise that this book (whether it be in papyrus, books, or digital forms) will never cease to exist — “Heaven and earth may pass away but my Word will never pass away.”
Prior to the written language, stories were verbally handed down from generation to generation. I don’t mean to sound too technical and bore you to death. This is the paradox of the Bible — it can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. And there are several levels of understanding. But I urge you not to be content in understanding the Bible in the superficial sense but dig deep and low for there is where all the wonder really begins … there is where things begin to make sense. And don’t be frustrated if you keep on digging only to find there is more. It’s not in the conclusion (which we will never reach it in our lifetime) but in the process and in the journey that the fun really begins.
I believe the naysayers against the Bible who claim they have read it, are those who gave up too soon. Often, these contrarians base their findings on hypocritical so-called believers. Can’t blame completely for being led astray. Preconceptions prevent true understanding.
“They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.” — Ephesians 4:18
There is beauty in the whole structure of the Bible. There are 2 parts of the Bible – the OLD Testament (OT) and the NEW Testament (NT). In the book of Genesis (aka Origins) God made a promise to Adam and Eve that He was going to send a Messiah to save the world. The OLD looks forward to the coming Messiah while the NEW talks about the activities of the Messiah among humans.
If you’ve never read the Bible before, I suggest you start with the book by Mark because it is action-packed.
If you want to dive in more, CLICK HERE. This is a link to the Bible Project. There you will find quick videos that cover a whole range of topics. Take your pick and I pray you will be blessed.
JOKE OF THE WEEK
Thanks to Thomas of La Habra, CA
Thanks to Art of Sierra Madre, CA
Thanks to Maling of New Manila, Philippines
Thanks to Dan of Quezon City, Philippines
Thanks to Tom of Pasadena, CA
I found these
The Traveling Boy
My good friend (and jokester) Terry and I came up with these.