Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

God and Man

The student can never be better than the teacher. Words I remember from my childhood. Those words echoed in my brain a valuable lesson of not trying to reach beyond my boundaries. There is another saying though, that power corrupts and it is my belief that the ultimate corruption is not the bending and twisting of rules and laws to become a beneficiary of those perversions.

The most extreme case of valorousness and sheer gull is when men try to achieve divine status while still a mortal being on earth. David Koresh was one of this beings who believed he was actually a prophet whose destiny would be fathering the “Chosen One”. While he was born Vernon Howell, he changed his name to David Koresh in which he claimed direct lineage to King David and the Persian King Cyrus the Great. He became his own self-proclaimed messianic figure.

David Koresh is just one of many figures in our history that wanted to be more than human so they turned themselves into their own conceptualized divine incarnate. Jim Jones, Charles Manson, Marshall Applewhite and a host of others have all claimed to be Jesus or a religious prophet. From early in our history we have voiced a special bond with whatever being we thought created the universe and ourselves. Perhaps the most famous example of this bond is the Apotheosis of George Washington. The painting can be seen in the US Capitol building in which it depicts Washington becoming a God and sitting on a throne among of Roman Gods like Minerva, Columbia and Neptune.

Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs also claimed a special connection between God and themselves. They would claim God gave them birth rights ordinary men and women did not have. The Romans and Greeks were no different.  The burden of proof was rarely questioned in times of prosperity and wealth. What I believe gave them immeasurable malice and confidence is that God in their eyes looked and behaved just like them.There are several examples of God becoming angry in the Bible. Kings 11:9 God becomes angry with Solomon, Exodus 4:14 God becomes angry at Moses, and Balaam.

We even refer to God in gender specific terms. He, Him, His are always the terms we use to externalize God. We humanize God and in turn subconsciously make it possible to ascend to divinity ourselves. Our belief is arrogance and ego driven at best. We can’t become God simultaneously while trying to trace the steps of creation. Instead of trying to understand we want to conquer. We’d rather rule over the world than merely participate in the fabric of its ecosystem.

The reason mankind wants to rule over the universe is because that is the example we perceive to be followed. Since God rules the universe we must in turn rule the space in which we exist. Not every culture believed that space and time has a supervisor. In ancient African cultures the reality is that God is in everything and everything in the world, good, evil and all in between represents God in its self. In other words God isn’t the overseer of the universe, they are one and the same.

Amid Syria’s civil war, a 40-foot statue of Jesus rises on mountain top between front lines

 
 
 

(Samir El-Gadban, St. Paul’s and St. George’s Foundation/ Associated Press ) – This Oct. 14, 2013 photo provided by the St. Paul’s and St. George’s Foundation shows workers preparing to install a statue of Jesus on Mount Sednaya, Syria. In the midst of a civil war rife with sectarianism, a 12.3-meter (40-foot) tall, bronze statue of Jesus has gone up on a Syrian mountain, apparently under cover of a truce among three factions – Syrian forces, rebels and gunmen in the Christian town of Sednaya.

  • (Samir El-Gadban, St. Paul’s and St. George’s Foundation/ Associated Press ) - This Oct. 14, 2013 photo provided by the St. Paul’s and St. George’s Foundation shows workers preparing to install a statue of Jesus on Mount Sednaya, Syria. In the midst of a civil war rife with sectarianism, a 12.3-meter (40-foot) tall, bronze statue of Jesus has gone up on a Syrian mountain, apparently under cover of a truce among three factions - Syrian forces, rebels and gunmen in the Christian town of Sednaya.
  • (Samir El-Gadban, St. Paul’s and St. George’s Foundation/ Associated Press ) - This Oct. 14, 2013 photo provided by the St. Paul’s and St. George’s Foundation shows workers preparing to install a statue of Jesus on Mount Sednaya, Syria. In the midst of a civil war rife with sectarianism, a 12.3-meter (40-foot) tall, bronze statue of Jesus has gone up on a Syrian mountain, apparently under cover of a truce among three factions - Syrian forces, rebels and gunmen in the Christian town of Sednaya.
  • (Samir El-Gadban, St. Paul’s and St. George’s Foundation/ Associated Press ) - This Oct. 14, 2013 photo provided by the St. Paul’s and St. George’s Foundation shows workers preparing to install a statue of Jesus on Mount Sednaya, Syria. In the midst of a civil war rife with sectarianism, a 12.3-meter (40-foot) tall, bronze statue of Jesus has gone up on a Syrian mountain, apparently under cover of a truce among three factions - Syrian forces, rebels and gunmen in the Christian town of Sednaya.
  • (Samir El-Gadban, St. Paul’s and St. George’s Foundation/ Associated Press ) - This Oct. 14, 2013 photo provided by the St. Paul’s and St. George’s Foundation shows workers preparing to install a statue of Jesus on Mount Sednaya, Syria. In the midst of a civil war rife with sectarianism, a 12.3-meter (40-foot) tall, bronze statue of Jesus has gone up on a Syrian mountain, apparently under cover of a truce among three factions - Syrian forces, rebels and gunmen in the Christian town of Sednaya.
 
 

By Associated Press, Published: November 2

BEIRUT — In the midst of a conflict rife with sectarianism, a giant bronze statue of Jesus has gone up on a Syrian mountain, apparently under cover of a truce among three factions in the country’s civil war.

Jesus stands, arms outstretched, on the Cherubim mountain, overlooking a route pilgrims took from Constantinople to Jerusalem in ancient times. The statue is 12.3 meters (40 feet) tall and stands on a base that brings its height to 32 meters (105 feet), organizers of the project estimate.

People watch the waves batter into the sea wall of a marina in Brighton, south England, Monday, Oct. 28, 2013. A major storm with hurricane force winds is lashing much of Britain, causing flooding and travel delays including the cancellation of roughly 130 flights at London's Heathrow Airport. Weather forecasters say it is one of the worst storms to hit Britain in years. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
 

 

Best news photos of the week

 

A quick way to catch up on the week’s news through our favorite photos.

Latest stories from Foreign

U.S. drone strike prompts rebuke, threats in Pakistan

U.S. drone strike prompts rebuke, threats in Pakistan

Tim Craig NOV 2

The day after the killing of Hakimullah Mehsud, the Pakistani Taliban moves to elect a new leader.

 
 

U.S. strike kills Pakistani Taliban chief

U.S. strike kills Pakistani Taliban chief

Tim Craig NOV 2

His death could cripple the group, but also threatens to “sabotage the peace talks’’ between the militants and Pakistan’s leaders.

 
 

World Digest: Nov. 2, 2013

NOV 2

2 French journalists killed in northern Mali; Iranian hard-liners unveil new ‘Death to America’ songs.

 
 

Britain asks if Conservatives can really be ‘green’

Britain asks if Conservatives can really be ‘green’

Anthony Faiola NOV 1

Environmentalists are alarmed by the rollback of ‘green taxes’ and other measures by the prime minister.

 
 

Giant Jesus statue is raised in midst of Syrian war

Giant Jesus statue is raised in midst of Syrian war

Diaa Hadid NOV 2

Christians and other minorities are all targets in the conflict, and the new statue’s safety is far from guaranteed.

 
 
Click here to subscribe.
 

That the statue made it to Syria and went up without incident on Oct. 14 is remarkable. The project took eight years and was set back by the civil war that followed the March 2011 uprising against President Bashar Assad.

Christians and other minorities are all targets in the conflict, and the statue’s safety is by no means guaranteed. It stands among villages where some fighters, linked to al-Qaida, have little sympathy for Christians.

So why put up a giant statue of Christ in the midst of such setbacks and so much danger?

Because “Jesus would have done it,” organizer Samir al-Ghadban quoted a Christian church leader as telling him.

The backers’ success in overcoming the obstacles shows the complexity of civil war, where sometimes despite the atrocities the warring parties can reach short-term truces.

Al-Ghadban said that the main armed groups in the area — Syrian government forces, rebels and the local militias of Sednaya, the Christian town near the statue site — halted fire while organizers set up the statue, without providing further details.

Rebels and government forces occasionally agree to cease-fires to allow the movement of goods. They typically do not admit to having truces because that would tacitly acknowledge their enemies.

It took three days to raise the statue. Photos provided by organizers show it being hauled in two pieces by farm tractors, then lifted into place by a crane. Smaller statues of Adam and Eve stand nearby.

The project, called “I Have Come to Save the World,” is run by the London-based St. Paul and St. George Foundation, which Al-Ghadban directs. It was previously named the Gavrilov Foundation, after a Russian businessman, Yuri Gavrilov.

Documents filed with Britain’s Charity Commission describe it as supporting “deserving projects in the field of science and animal welfare” in England and Russia, but the commission’s accounts show it spent less than 250 pounds ($400) in the last four years.

Al-Ghadban said most of the financing came from private donors, but did not supply further details.

Russians have been a driving force behind the project — not surprising given that the Kremlin is embattled Assad’s chief ally, and the Orthodox churches in Russia and Syria have close ties. Al-Ghadban, who spoke to The Associated Press from Moscow, is Syrian-Russian and lives in both countries.

Al-Ghadban said he began the project in 2005, hoping the statue would be an inspiration for Syria’s Christians. He said he was inspired by Rio de Janeiro’s towering Christ the Redeemer statue.

He commissioned an Armenian sculptor, but progress was slow. A series of his backers died, including Valentin Varennikov, a general who participated in the 1991 coup attempt against then President Mikhail Gorbachev. He later sought President Vladimir Putin’s backing for the statue project.

Varennikov died in 2009.

People watch the waves batter into the sea wall of a marina in Brighton, south England, Monday, Oct. 28, 2013. A major storm with hurricane force winds is lashing much of Britain, causing flooding and travel delays including the cancellation of roughly 130 flights at London's Heathrow Airport. Weather forecasters say it is one of the worst storms to hit Britain in years. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
 

 

Best news photos of the week

 

A quick way to catch up on the week’s news through our favorite photos.

Latest stories from Foreign

U.S. drone strike prompts rebuke, threats in Pakistan

U.S. drone strike prompts rebuke, threats in Pakistan

Tim Craig NOV 2

The day after the killing of Hakimullah Mehsud, the Pakistani Taliban moves to elect a new leader.

 
 

U.S. strike kills Pakistani Taliban chief

U.S. strike kills Pakistani Taliban chief

Tim Craig NOV 2

His death could cripple the group, but also threatens to “sabotage the peace talks’’ between the militants and Pakistan’s leaders.

 
 

World Digest: Nov. 2, 2013

NOV 2

2 French journalists killed in northern Mali; Iranian hard-liners unveil new ‘Death to America’ songs.

 
 

Britain asks if Conservatives can really be ‘green’

Britain asks if Conservatives can really be ‘green’

Anthony Faiola NOV 1

Environmentalists are alarmed by the rollback of ‘green taxes’ and other measures by the prime minister.

 
 

Giant Jesus statue is raised in midst of Syrian war

Giant Jesus statue is raised in midst of Syrian war

Diaa Hadid NOV 2

Christians and other minorities are all targets in the conflict, and the new statue’s safety is far from guaranteed.

 
 
Click here to subscribe.
 

Another backer, Patriarch Ignatius IV, the Lebanon-based head of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch and All the East, died in 2012. He had donated the land for the statue, according to church official Bishop Ghattas Hazim.

By 2012, the statue was ready, but Syria was aflame, causing the project’s biggest delay, al-Ghadban said.

Majority Sunni Muslims dominate the revolt, and jihadists make up some of the strongest fighting groups. Other Muslim groups along with the 10-percent Christian minority have stood largely with Assad’s government, or remained neutral, sometimes arming themselves to keep hard-line rebels out of their communities.

Churches have been vandalized, priests abducted. Last month the extremists overran Maaloula, a Christian-majority town so old that some of its people still speak a language from Jesus’ time.

On Tuesday a militant Muslim cleric, Sheik Omar al-Gharba, posted a YouTube video of himself smashing a blue-and-white statue of the Virgin Mary.

Al-Ghadban and the project’s most important backer, Gavrilov, weighed canceling it.

They consulted Syria’s Greek Orthodox Patriarch John Yaziji. It was he who told them “Jesus would have done it.”

They began shipping the statue from Armenia to Lebanon. In August, while it was en route, Gavrilov, 49, suffered a fatal heart attack, al-Ghadban said.

Eventually the statue reached Syria.

“It was a miracle,” al-Ghadban said. “Nobody who participated in this expected this to succeed.”

___

Associated Press writers Raphael Satter in London and Albert Aji in Damascus contributed to this report.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Original Post –http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/amid-syrias-civil-war-a-40-foot-statue-of-jesus-rises-on-mountain-top-between-front-lines/2013/11/02/39f0eabe-43bd-11e3-b028-de922d7a3f47_story_1.html

Rolling Stone

 

Kanye West kicked off his highly anticipated Yeezus tour at Seattle’s Key Arena on Saturday night with a two-hour-plus show that was as emotionally unsettling as it was awe-inspiring. Kendrick Lamar, the tour’s support act, got things started with a frantic 45-minute set made up almost exclusively of cuts from his critically acclaimed good kid, m.A.A.d city album. Lamar has been criticized in the last for being something of a lackluster live performer but he generally managed to put any such concerns to rest from the get-go and delivered a truly inspired performance. By the time the last notes of “Compton” had faded from the venue’s speakers, the crowd was on their feet chanting his name for more.

 

That was not to be of course, because it was West’s turn to show Seattle what he could do. Clad in a green tank top and wearing the first of four different masks he would don throughout the evening, West set the scene by taking a place at the front of the stage’s extended catwalk, his arms outstretched, bathed in a single white spotlight and surrounded by a gaggle of women cloaked in white dresses – their faces obscured by stockings. The audience responded to the display with an explosion of jubilation, and with the first strands of Yeezus’ opening track, “On Sight,” West was off to the races.

Find Out Why Kanye West Made Rolling Stone’s List of the New Immortals

West’s energy level was extraordinary from the very beginning, with his manic gyrations causing the front end of the stage to rock violently up and down like a giant diving board. The opening number was followed in short order by another two songs off Yeezus, “New Slaves” and “Send It Up.” As the night progressed, West managed to play every song off the new record in addition to a variety of selections from his extensive back catalog, including a sparse rendition of “Stronger,” and truly electrifying performances of “Power,” “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” and “Runaway.” While he did play a few songs from his earliest records, including “Jesus Walks” off The College Dropout, most of the non-Yeezus material seemed to derive from either Graduation808s & Heartbreak or My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

The stage as imagined and executed by West was truly something to behold. It featured a sixty-foot tall white mountain as a centerpiece with a gigantic circular projection screen hanging above. But while West’s last solo outing, his Glow in the Dark tour, was a case study in sensory overload, the Yeezus tour is most notable for its starkness and absence of color. Yes, there were the mandatory laser lights, and as always West’s outfits are a surefire attention grabber, but the real grandeur, the real spectacle, lay more with the vast array of unsettling imagery offered by the various stage performers and by West himself.

The previously mentioned group of women clad in white made intermittent reappearances onstage, most of the time wearing sheer body suits that left nothing to the imagination. At one point, the stage mountain cracked open and they poured out two-by-two in a cloud of thick white smoke carrying various religious iconography – the Virgin Mary, a swinging thurible spewing incense, and a crucifix – with West belting out the song “I Wonder” behind them.

The capper ultimately was the guest appearance by none other than Jesus Christ himself, for whom West finally removed his mask to proclaim that he had been looking for him. Jesus naturally responded that he had been there all along. Later, the mock Christ would ascend to the top of the mountain as West bowed in supplication before him while the haunting refrain from “New Slaves” – “You give us what we need/it may not be what we want” – played repeatedly in the background.

 

Original Post –http://music.yahoo.com/news/kanye-west-brings-jesus-yeezus-tour-kickoff-154529408-rolling-stone.html

October 11, 2013

 

Jesus tattoo billboard is causing major contention and even outrage at the depiction of a tattooed Son of Man, despite the best intentions and good goals of the billboard campaign. WebProNews shares this Friday, Oct. 11, that the billboard is being designed by a still anonymous group who wants to share Jesus Christ’s message of love and welcoming to the outcasts.

The Jesus tattoo billboard is one of almost 60 billboards to be found throughout Texas, and while the public displays of a tattooed Son of God have some followers, others are not very happy, calling the spectacle sacrilegious. The Texas billboards portray Jesus inked with different negative phrases: phrases that Jesus would allegedly speak out against and support those who might be called such names.

Although it may appear at first the creators behind the Jesus tattoo billboards are mocking Jesus or the Christian faith itself, the anonymous group says the boards are not meant to be a slight against the religion, and do not understand the outrage these signs have caused.

“The purpose of this campaign is to prove an important point … that only Jesus can transform these negative things in life to positive things,” said a source.

The controversial billboard, therefore, is not meant to stir outrage, but instead has the good goals to spread Jesus’ messages of love and acceptance of all people. The inked Son of Man billboard also includes a link to where people can read more stories or learn more through videos about Jesus’ teachings, and the makers hope that people from all different walks of life will be moved and inspired by the billboards across the state of Texas, regardless of their sins.

“We’re finding that those who visit the website and watch the video come to understand the message of the campaign. Certainly, like with all deeply personal relationships, not everyone approves of the image of Jesus with tattoos, but we welcome the controversy because we understand that a dialogue on the issue is the best way to spread the message,” said Ashleigh Sawyer, media relations coordinator for Jesus Tattoo.

The Jesus tattoo billboard has some people who dislike the signs, despite the best intentions of the group.

“I don’t like the picture. I think it’s very derogatory,” one Texas man said. Others agreed that it is an “offensive” photo of Jesus Christ to have him tattooed. Still others find the visual a clever way to get more Christian followers.

“I thought that it was cleverly done because, basically, it’s a visual of Jesus taking the sins of people and covering them and taking them from an outcast or something and giving them a new start, which is what the gospel is about,” David Wilson, a senior pastor at Southcrest Baptist Church in Lubbock said.

What’s your input on the Jesus billboard tattoo phenomenon?