Call (Four Zero Five) 722-0866 to talk about The Urantia Book or find a local study group to attend

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Compare 12/15/2017

One of the primary tests of the mood of a society at any given time is whether its comfortable people tend to identify, psychologically, with the power and achievements of the very successful or with the needs and sufferings of the underprivileged.
  --Richard Hofstadter, historian (1916-1970)

(140:8.12) The Master did not say that men should never entertain their friends at meat, but he did say that his followers should make feasts for the poor and the unfortunate.

(141:7.8) To insure the recognition of his Father in the unfolding of the plan of the kingdom, Jesus explained that he had purposely ignored the "great men of earth." He began his work with the poor, the very class which had been so neglected by most of the evolutionary religions of preceding times. He despised no man; his plan was world-wide, even universal. He was so bold and emphatic in these announcements that even Peter, James, and John were tempted to think he might possibly be beside himself.

(196:2.8) Jesus blessed the poor because they were usually sincere and pious; he condemned the rich because they were usually wanton and irreligious. He would equally condemn the irreligious pauper and commend the consecrated and worshipful man of wealth.

    Richard Hofstadter was an American historian and public intellectual of the mid-20th century. Hofstadter was the DeWitt Clinton Professor of American History at Columbia University. Rejecting his earlier approach to history from the far left, in the 1950s he embraced consensus history, becoming the "iconic historian of postwar liberal consensus," largely because of his emphasis on ideas and political culture rather than the day-to-day doings of politicians. His influence is ongoing, as modern critics profess admiration for the grace of his writing, and the depth of his insight.
    His most important works are Social Darwinism in American Thought, 1860–1915 (1944); The American Political Tradition (1948); The Age of Reform (1955); Anti-intellectualism in American Life (1963), and the essays collected in The Paranoid Style in American Politics (1964). He was twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize: in 1956 for The Age of Reform, an unsentimental analysis of the populism movement in the 1890s and the progressive movement of the early 20th century; and in 1964 for the cultural history Anti-intellectualism in American Life.

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Compare 12/11/2017

What a child doesn't receive he can seldom later give.
  --P.D. James, novelist (1920-2014)

(177:2.4) "Your young friend Amos believes this gospel of the kingdom just as much as you, but I cannot fully depend upon him; I am not certain about what he will do in the years to come. His early home life was not such as would produce a wholly dependable person. Amos is too much like one of the apostles who failed to enjoy a normal, loving, and wise home training. Your whole afterlife will be more happy and dependable because you spent your first eight years in a normal and well-regulated home. You possess a strong and well-knit character because you grew up in a home where love prevailed and wisdom reigned. Such a childhood training produces a type of loyalty which assures me that you will go through with the course you have begun."

    Phyllis Dorothy James, known professionally as P. D. James, was an English crime writer. She rose to fame for her series of detective novels starring police commander and poet Adam Dalgliesh.
    James was born in Oxford, the daughter of Sidney James, a tax inspector, and educated at the British School in Ludlow and Cambridge High School for Girls.[3] She had to leave school at the age of sixteen to work because her family did not have much money and her father did not believe in higher education for girls.[citation needed] She worked in a tax office for three years and later found a job as an assistant stage manager for a theatre group. In 1941, she married Ernest Connor Bantry White, an army doctor. They had two daughters, Clare and Jane.
    When White returned from the Second World War, he was experiencing mental illness, and James was forced to provide for the whole family until her husband's death in 1964. With her husband in a psychiatric institution and their daughters being mostly cared for by his parents, James studied hospital administration and from 1949 to 1968 worked for a hospital board in London. She began writing in the mid-1950s. Her first novel, Cover Her Face, featuring the investigator and poet Adam Dalgliesh of New Scotland Yard, named after a teacher at Cambridge High School, was published in 1962. Many of James's mystery novels take place against the backdrop of UK bureaucracies, such as the criminal justice system and the National Health Service, in which she worked for decades starting in the 1940s. Two years after the publication of Cover Her Face, James's husband died, and she took a position as a civil servant within the criminal section of the Home Office. She worked in government service until her retirement in 1979.
    In 1991, James was created a life peer as Baroness James of Holland Park and sat in the House of Lords as a Conservative. She was an Anglican and a lay patron of the Prayer Book Society. Her 2001 work, Death in Holy Orders, displays her familiarity with the inner workings of church hierarchy. Her later novels were often set in a community closed in some way, such as a publishing house or barristers' chambers, a theological college, an island or a private clinic. Talking About Detective Fiction was published in 2009. Over her writing career, James also wrote many essays and short stories for periodicals and anthologies, which have yet to be collected. She revealed in 2011 that The Private Patient was the final Dalgliesh novel.
    As guest editor of BBC Radio 4's Today programme in December 2009, James conducted an interview with the Director General of the BBC, Mark Thompson, in which she seemed critical of some of his decisions. Regular Today presenter Evan Davis commented that "She shouldn't be guest editing; she should be permanently presenting the programme." In 2008, she was inducted into the International Crime Writing Hall of Fame at the inaugural ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards.
    In August 2014, James was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.
    James died at her home in Oxford on 27 November 2014, aged 94. She is survived by her two daughters, Clare and Jane, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

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Sunday Night Class 12/04/2017

Friends,

Sunday Night class remains intrigueing. We are discoving all over again about how the gloriuos heaven of our dreams is a reality so much more than we can imagine. The revelators do their best to tell us what it is like.

Come join our trip into the inevitible joys of our afterlife. It won't be long.

Tom

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Compare 12/04/2017

No amount of belief makes something a fact.
  --James Randi, magician and skeptic (b.1928)

(102:5.1) Although the establishment of the fact of belief is not equivalent to establishing the fact of that which is believed, nevertheless, the evolutionary progression of simple life to the status of personality does demonstrate the fact of the existence of the potential of personality to start with. And in the time universes, potential is always supreme over the actual. In the evolving cosmos the potential is what is to be, and what is to be is the unfolding of the purposive mandates of Deity.

(189:2.6) The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus has been based on the fact of the "empty tomb." It was indeed a fact that the tomb was empty, but this is not the truth of the resurrection. The tomb was truly empty when the first believers arrived, and this fact, associated with that of the undoubted resurrection of the Master, led to the formulation of a belief which was not true: the teaching that the material and mortal body of Jesus was raised from the grave. Truth having to do with spiritual realities and eternal values cannot always be built up by a combination of apparent facts. Although individual facts may be materially true, it does not follow that the association of a group of facts must necessarily lead to truthful spiritual conclusions.

    James Randi is a Canadian-American retired stage magician and a scientific skeptic who has extensively challenged paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. Randi is the co-founder of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), originally known as the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP). He is also the founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). He began his career as a magician under the stage name The Amazing Randi and later chose to devote most of his time to investigating paranormal, occult, and supernatural claims, which he collectively calls "woo-woo". Randi retired from practicing magic at age 60, and from the JREF at 87.
    Although often referred to as a "debunker", Randi has said he dislikes the term's connotations and prefers to describe himself as an "investigator". He has written about paranormal phenomena, skepticism, and the history of magic. He was a frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, famously exposing fraudulent faith healer Peter Popoff, and was occasionally featured on the television program Penn & Teller: Bullshit!
    Prior to Randi's retirement, JREF sponsored the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge, which offered a prize of one million dollars US to eligible applicants who could demonstrate evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event under test conditions agreed to by both parties. The paranormal challenge was officially terminated by the JREF in 2015. The foundation continues to make grants to non-profit groups that encourage critical thinking, and a fact-based world view.

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"Spirit of the Law" vs "Letter of the Law"

  “Letter of The Law” vs “Spirit of The Law”

 

    In my last Blog (Hypocrisy) I made a statement of how the Pharisees actively sought loopholes that allowed them to violate the spirit of the Law. In doing this I might have left the question unanswered on just what is meant by that statement, and it is not my intent to suggest that all of you might not know what this difference is, but it is a fascinating study to say the least! 

    The first recorded use of this phrase is by the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians in 2 Cor 3:6;

    “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”

     Paul being a former Pharisees himself well knew that they placed the letter of the law above the spirit.    

     It is interesting to find that “spirit of the law” only appears once in the UB from Christ himself, and that it is at the place where Paul, many years later sent his letter, Corinth;

    *133:4.7 To the Roman judge he said: “As you judge men, remember that you yourself will also some day come to judgment before the bar of the Rulers of a universe. Judge justly, even mercifully, even as you shall some day thus crave merciful consideration at the hands of the Supreme Arbiter. Judge as you would be judged under similar circumstances, thus being guided by the spirit of the law as well as by its letter.

    We find “letter of the law” only in two places in the UB;

    *121:7.1 By the times of Jesus the Jews had arrived at a settled concept of their origin, history, and destiny. They had built up a rigid wall of separation between themselves and the gentile world; they looked upon all gentile ways with utter contempt. They worshiped the letter of the law and indulged a form of self-righteousness based upon the false pride of descent. 

    *135:6.8 John conducted classes for his disciples, in the course of which he instructed them in the details of their new life and endeavored to answer their many questions. He counseled the teachers to instruct in the spirit as well as the letter of the law.

    It is here that Im going to paraphrase what is for me the greatest examples of the the “Spirit of the Law’, the parable of the Good Samaritan that we find in both the Bible (Luke 10:25-37) and in the Urantia book, Paper 164. The passage concerns a dialogue between Jesus and an "expert in the law" or "lawyer".

    A certain lawyer stood up and tested Him saying, Teacher what must I do to inherit eternal life?, the intent of the dialogue was to trap Jesus into making statements contrary to the law. 

    Jesus responds by posing the question back to the lawyer, as already having knowledge of the law, "What is written in the law?" 

    The lawyer quotes Deuteronomy 6:5 "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind and your neighbor as yourself.",  The question "Who is my neighbor?", that follows is described as being asked with the goal of self-justification.

    It is then that Jesus responds with the story of a man beaten by robbers who is ignored by a Priest and a Levite, but then rescued and compassionately cared for by a Samaritan. He goes above and beyond simply tending to the injured man. He takes him to an inn and gives money for the man's care, promises and then actually does return to inquire about the man, and pay any overage incurred. Jesus concludes by asking the lawyer which of the men was a "neighbor" to the beaten traveller, to which the reply was "the one who showed compassion". Then Jesus says to him "go and do likewise".

    Here again we can see how Christ made this individual judge himself by just asking a few question, the mirror test!

    It is interesting that a famous writer that you may have heard of by the name of William Shakespeare wrote numerous plays dealing with the letter versus spirit antithesis.

    In one of the best known examples, The Merchant of Venice, he introduces the quibble as a plot device to save both the spirit and the letter of the law. 

    In the play Shylock is a Jew who lends money to his Christian rival Antonio, setting the security at a pound of Antonio's flesh. 

    Shylock is the play's principal antagonist. His defeat and conversion to Christianity forms the climax of the story.

    "The quality of mercy is not strain'd, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest: It blesseth him that gives and him that takes." 

    William Shakespeare. (the first four lines of Portias famous speech from The Merchant of Venice)

    Christ did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. His purpose was to encourage people to look beyond the "letter of the law" to the "spirit of the law”.

 

     Rickey H. Crosby (Petitor Veritatis) 

 

    

    

Rick's picture

Is Hypocrisy a sin?

Is Hypocrisy a Sin?

 

    Recently I found that my brain is racing in so many direction that it has been hard to nail down one subject to study or spend time on to write about.  Most of my thoughts are sparked usually by current events and what is happening in the world and if I am able to think on it long enough, I want to know what God or Christ Michael might say on the subject, also writing about them helps me retain that truth, for me what it is all about!     

    Christ said; UB, 182:1.9 I am the way, the truth, and the life.

    One word that keeps popping in my brain is “hypocrisy”, or maybe it’s two words “hypocrite”. 

    This begged me to ask the question, is hypocrisy a sin?

    What is hypocrisy?

    In essence, “hypocrisy” refers to the act of claiming to believe something but acting in a different manner. The word is derived from the Greek term for “actor”, literally, “one who wears a mask”, in other words, someone who pretends to be what he is not.

    The prophet Isaiah condemned the hypocrisy of his day: “The Lord says, ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men’” (Isaiah 29:13).

    Isaiah did well in his criticism of the leaders of his day, but for us today I prefer the way in which Christ’s condemned the Pharisees that we might get a better understanding of hypocrisy.

    Centuries later, Jesus quoted this verse;

    UB, 153:3;3 Why is it that you in this way make void the commandment by your own tradition? Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, saying: `This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. In vain do they worship me, teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men.'

    Did you catch that? Here we can see from Jesus’ own lips two very important things;

    1- You can worship him in vain. 

    2- How? By the teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men.

    In that sentence he put two things together;

    Doctrine, “a belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a church, political party, or other groups.”

    Precept, “a general rule intended to regulate behavior or thought.”

     Not long ago I ask a certain individual that I was in conversation with,  and because our conversation was leaning in a certain direction if he believed that he was a Christian? Knowing what his answer would be he naturally said that he was. I went further to ask hime if he was of a certain political affiliation? Again knowing his answer, his response was, “damn straight”. Perfect, now comes my last question. Are you a Christian first, or a damn straight first?    

     There was no need for me to judge this man. the question was intended for him  to take a look at himself!

    The UB tell us the Truth is like mirror held up in front of our face;

    131:7.3 “'If you are not right on the inside, it is useless to pray for that which is on the outside. 'If I hear your prayers, it is because you come before me with a clean heart, free from falsehood and hypocrisy, with a soul which reflects truth like a mirror. If you would gain immortality, forsake the world and come to me.'”

    During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He had many run-ins with the religious leaders of the day, the Pharisees. These men were well versed in the Scriptures and zealous about following every letter of the Law . However, in adhering to the letter of the Law, they actively sought loopholes that allowed them to violate the spirit of the Law. Also, they displayed a lack of compassion toward their fellow man and were often overly demonstrative of their so-called spirituality in order to garner praise. Today, the word "pharisees" has become synonymous with "hypocrite".

    We can see in the UB paper 175, “The Temple Discourse” how Christ condemned these leaders in no uncertain terms calling them hypocrites, tricksters,  false teachers and blind guides;

    175:1.12  “Woe upon you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! 

    175:1.15  “Woe upon you, false teachers, blind guides! 

    175:1.16  “Woe upon you who dissimulate when you take an oath! You are tricksters

    175:1.17  “Woe upon you, scribes and Pharisees and all other hypocrites 

    175:1.18  “Woe upon you, scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites! 

    175:1.19  “Woe upon all of you who reject truth and spurn mercy! Many of you are like whited sepulchres, which outwardly appear beautiful but within are full of dead men's bones and all sorts of uncleanness. 

    175:1.20  “Woe upon you, false guides of a nation!

    175:1.21  “Woe upon you, children of evil! John did truly call you the offspring of vipers,       

     Even, after all of that he said to them;

    175:1.23 “O Jerusalem and the children of Abraham, you who have stoned the prophets and killed the teachers that were sent to you, even now would I gather your children together as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, but you will not!

    We must never forget what our true work here is about;    

    140:3.17 "You are commissioned to save men, not to judge them. At the end of your earth life you will all expect mercy; therefore do I require of you during your mortal life that you show mercy to all of your brethren in the flesh. Make not the mistake of trying to pluck a mote out of your brother's eye when there is a beam in your own eye. Having first cast the beam out of your own eye, you can the better see to cast the mote out of your brother's eye.    

    So, has my study cleared up the question of whether or not hypocrisy is a sin?

    I’m going to leave that up to you to answer, but I can say that being a hypocrite comes with a very strong declarations of, “Woe upon you” and if Christ Michael ever said it to me, my level of concern would be somewhere off the chart!

 

     Rickey H. Crosby (Petitor Veritatis) 

 

 

    

Tom's picture

Compare 11/27/2017

Friends,

Beth is leading us through the administration worlds of the local universe, constellation and local universe. What a great destiny we all have together!

Come next week for more insight and love.

Tom

Tom's picture

Compare 11/27/2017

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.
  --Herman Melville, novelist and poet (1819-1891)

(140:8.15)  Jesus worked, lived, and traded in the world as he found it. He was not an economic reformer, although he did frequently call attention to the injustice of the unequal distribution of wealth. But he did not offer any suggestions by way of remedy. He made it plain to the three that, while his apostles were not to hold property, he was not preaching against wealth and property, merely its unequal and unfair distribution. He recognized the need for social justice and industrial fairness, but he offered no rules for their attainment.

(133:0.3) One day while resting at lunch, about halfway to Tarentum, Ganid asked Jesus a direct question as to what he thought of India's caste system. Said Jesus: "Though human beings differ in many ways, the one from another, before God and in the spiritual world all mortals stand on an equal footing. There are only two groups of mortals in the eyes of God: those who desire to do his will and those who do not. As the universe looks upon an inhabited world, it likewise discerns two great classes: those who know God and those who do not. Those who cannot know God are reckoned among the animals of any given realm. Mankind can appropriately be divided into many classes in accordance with differing qualifications, as they may be viewed physically, mentally, socially, vocationally, or morally, but as these different classes of mortals appear before the judgment bar of God, they stand on an equal footing; God is truly no respecter of persons. Although you cannot escape the recognition of differential human abilities and endowments in matters intellectual, social, and moral, you should make no such distinctions in the spiritual brotherhood of men when assembled for worship in the presence of God."

(143:1.5) True, the poor and oppressed of this generation have the gospel preached to them. The religions of this world have neglected the poor, but my Father is no respecter of persons. Besides, the poor of this day are the first to heed the call to repentance and acceptance of sonship. The gospel of the kingdom is to be preached to all men—Jew and gentile, Greek and Roman, rich and poor, free and bond—and equally to young and old, male and female.

    Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, and poet of the American Renaissance period. His best known works include Typee (1846), a romantic account of his experiences in Polynesian life, and his whaling novel Moby-Dick (1851). His work was almost forgotten during his last 30 years. His writing draws on his experience at sea as a common sailor, exploration of literature and philosophy, and engagement in the contradictions of American society in a period of rapid change. He developed a complex, baroque style; the vocabulary is rich and original, a strong sense of rhythm infuses the elaborate sentences, the imagery is often mystical or ironic, and the abundance of allusion extends to biblical scripture, myth, philosophy, literature, and the visual arts.
    Melville was born in New York City, the third child of a merchant in French dry goods. His formal education ended abruptly after his father died in 1832, leaving the family in financial straits. He briefly became a schoolteacher before he took to sea in 1839 as a sailor on a merchant ship. In 1840, he signed aboard the whaler Acushnet for his first whaling voyage but jumped ship in the Marquesas Islands. He returned to Boston in 1844 after further adventures.
    His first book was Typee (1846), a highly romanticized account of his life among Polynesians. It became such a best-seller that he wrote the sequel Omoo (1847). These successes encouraged him to marry Elizabeth Shaw, daughter of a prominent Boston family, but the success proved hard to sustain. His first novel that was not based on his own experiences was Mardi (1849), a sea narrative that develops into a philosophical allegory—but it was not well received. He received warmer reviews for Redburn (1849), a story of life on a merchant ship, and his 1850 description of the harsh life aboard a man-of-war in White-Jacket, but they did not provide financial security.
    In August 1850, Melville moved his growing family to Arrowhead, a farm near Pittsfield, Massachusetts where he established a profound but short-lived friendship with Nathaniel Hawthorne, to whom he dedicated Moby-Dick. This novel was another commercial failure, published to mixed reviews. Melville's career as a popular author effectively ended with the cool reception of Pierre (1852), in part a satirical portrait of the literary culture at the time. His Revolutionary War novel Israel Potter appeared in 1855. From 1853 to 1856, Melville published short fiction in magazines, most notably "Bartleby, the Scrivener" (1853), "The Encantadas" (1854), and "Benito Cereno" (1855). These and three other stories were collected in 1856 as The Piazza Tales. In 1857, he traveled to England where he reunited with Hawthorne for the first time since 1852, and then went on to tour the Near East. The Confidence-Man (1857) was the last prose work that he published. He moved to New York to take a position as Customs Inspector and turned to poetry. Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866) was his poetic reflection on the moral questions of the American Civil War.
    In 1867, his oldest child Malcolm died at home from a self-inflicted gunshot. Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land was published in 1876, a metaphysical epic. In 1886, his son Stanwix died and Melville retired. During his last years, he privately published two volumes of poetry, left one volume unpublished, and returned to prose of the sea. The novella Billy Budd was left unfinished at his death but was published in 1924.
    Melville's death from cardiovascular disease in 1891 subdued a reviving interest in his work. The 1919 centennial of his birth became the starting point of the "Melville Revival." Critics discovered his work, scholars explored his life, his major novels and stories have come to be considered world classics, and his poetry has gradually gained respect.

Tom's picture

Sunday Family Class

Friends,

Ten of us were on hand to enjoy delicious food and worship of Jesus and God. Tom Allen did a topical study on Thanksgiving and found twelve references to the topic in the book. Great time by all.

Tom

Tom's picture

Sunday Night Class 11/19/2017

Friends,

Constellation! Edentia is apparently a really beautiful place, and we get to go there! Yea!

Come study with us next Sunday and you will be inspired too.

Tom

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