Saturday, December 29, 2012

On reviewing 2012

It is coming to that time of the secular year, when we review our past and take record of our mistakes and failures, and decide how we are going to improve for the new year. Well, I am now in that mode reflecting on my blunders for 2012.

One thing that I do know is that while society on a whole is pretty unforgiving about blunders, God is not so. He understands that we are as frail as dust (Psalm 103:14). So while society can hold a blunder against one for life and be so unforgiving that they do not  permit any second chances, God sometimes permits second chances. We see this in the story of Jonah, both in how God dealt with both Jonah and the city of Nineveh (See Wikipedia article on the story if unfamiliar). We also see this in how God esteemed David, who had a litany of sins including adultery, murder and cover up. Even the story of the woman brought before Jesus on the account of adultery to be stoned shows us just how mean society can be when you fail to live up to its moral code (John 8:1-11). We see this again in the story of a sinful woman who anointed the feet of Jesus at Simon the Pharisee's house (Luke 7:36-50)

I sometimes perceive that some of my blog posts revealing my thoughts are blunders that I should not have shared. However, I also feel that it is useful for one to blog and make known some of their thoughts for the purposes of engaging with others who can help them to re-examine deeply held prejudices, beliefs and ideas. It is part of the discussion that needs to take place at church, which does not happen because of our rigged adherence to liturgy and concern for getting through the liturgy on time. Spiritual or religious blogs should also be spaces for peaceful theological and spiritual exchanges that help those who hold certain beliefs examine and scrutinize their own beliefs and receive civil feedback from others that hold different points of view.

One thing I can guarantee is that as I blog about my spiritual journey and experience events that shape that journey, some of my beliefs will change and I will adapt new beliefs. However, one of the commitment that I have made that will always remain constant is my commitment to pursue Christ and follow his voice and not the traditions of men. I will always uphold the view that the Reformation is not yet ended, and that Christ is leading his church back to what we lost after years of pagan traditions and the thoughts and systems of men infiltrating and usurping Christianity.

I know that so much of what I was taught and raised in as a Christian are alien to what Jesus and his disciples practiced and taught. My desire for 2013 is to continue to learn and unlearn what 1st century Christianity thought and practiced, while being able to communicate their message in the language of post-modernity. As for 2012, I know I have held beliefs that I shouldn't have and have needed spiritual correction and rebuke. At the same time, I know in 2013, that I may still hold wrong beliefs and positions, and erroneously share what may get me into trouble or make enemies. However, at the same time, I know that I am still a work in progress, just like this blog, and not a finished product. God is still working on me, just like how he is still working to get the church to 'come out of Babylon' (Revelation 18:4).

Anyways, a happy secular and spiritual year to you all for 2013! May it be the year of the Lord's coming, to end all the madness that's taking place globally! Also, may 2013 be a year of second chances. God bless you!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Questioning 'Christian' rites & ceremonies

As I reflect on what I consider imminent marginalisation of those with conservative Christian worldviews, I stumbled across this article reporting on how atheists and secularists are establishing or institutionalizing "church" (Hallowell, 2012). The title of the article is very catching: "A godless congregation’: British comedians launch atheist church to provide secular weddings, funerals & ‘worship’ services". Comedian Sanderson Jones in commenting about the rationale behind this initiative states:

"We thought it would be a shame not to enjoy the good stuff about religion, like the sense of community, just because of a theological disagreement"  (Hallowell, 2012).
This article lead me back to consider what are the things that Christians do, believe and practice today that are really Biblical. In fact the same rites of weddings, funerals and community gathering services are not exclusively Christian. In reality, the world turning against Evangelical Christianity is pushing Christianity back to its pure roots and foundation. What business does Christianity have in conducting marriage ceremonies or even funeral rites? Aren't such rites actually state or secular functions? Where in the Bible has Jesus ever married any couple? While he was present at a wedding in Cana and blessed the union with a miracle, he never officiated the function (see the whole story in John 2). Neither did Jesus perform any funeral rite. He was absent from funerals, markedly his friend Lazarus' (see the whole story in John 11), and even cancelled his own funeral rites by dying close to a Sabbath and rising before his followers could embalm him (See the story of the resurrection as well as the Wikipedia entry summarizing the four gospel accounts).

When we look at the early apostles and the early church, there is also no evidence that 1st century Christianity officiated weddings or funeral rites. All these came much later, when the persecuted Church became the state endorsed church of Constantine. As such, I am contemplating that the only authentic Christian rites are baptism and communion (Lord Supper). Hence, when the state decides who must marry who, is it really the business of Christians to oppose legally? Even if we do oppose on moral grounds, are we to legally fight against the passage of state laws about how marriage institutions should operate? Are pastors to even conduct marriage ceremonies or aren't these to actually be done by the state? To me certain questions have arisen about how much the church has taken on state functions and rites, which is why the faith is in so much trouble today. As the post-modern state returns to its pre-Christian state, church as we know it today will indeed need to be purified and drop all the trappings that have been added by Constantine. Only then can we go on and be the church and do what Christ really wants us to do.


Hallowell, Billy. (2012, December 21). A godless congregation’: British comedians launch atheist church to provide secular weddings, funerals & ‘worship’ services. The Retrieved from

Bible believing people becoming minorities

While the world hasn't ended on December 21, 2012,  the world dominated by Christian thought has come to an end. Christians must now see themselves as a dwindling minority, whose conservative views are now in conflict with mainstream culture. As John S. Dickerson, the senior pastor of Cornerstone Church and author of the forthcoming book “The Great Evangelical Recession: Six Factors That Will Crash the American Church ... and How to Prepare.” states:
"We evangelicals must accept that our beliefs are now in conflict with the mainstream culture. We cannot change ancient doctrines to adapt to the currents of the day. But we can, and must, adapt the way we hold our beliefs — with grace and humility instead of superior hostility" (Dickerson, 2012)
Not only are Christians in trouble, but also the people of Israel. Even Israel is likely to be in great trouble for the future as evangelical Christianity declines in America and as global secular humanist take control of political power. Already, we see such movement in US, with Obama's likely Secretary of Defense coming from a person who has in the past likened Israel to apartheid South Africa (Schwartz, 2012). In addition, at the United Nations, Palestine has been given recognition with growing global support

Together, the two witnesses of God: the Bible believing people of the Jews and Christians are losing their privileged positions in the global order and are now becoming minorities. This is both good and bad. 

Even the Pope is losing influence in molding Europe to global humanistic secularism. Benedict acknowledges the premise of global humanistic secularism as being that of creating their own destinies denying a creator. 
He states:

"When freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God," ("Gay marriage")
As the Pope rightly puts it, today, the world is throwing away the books and stories that have had a hand in guiding societal and human destiny for centuries, and are instead writing their own new stories and books. However, in doing so, they are also fulfilling the books, especially the prophecy by Jesus in Matthew 24:

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 

Today, I listen to the stories of gay persons and read them with the realization that in the future, Christians will have to closet their beliefs and be afraid to "come out" because of the persecution and abuse that will be given to them. I however note that we as Jews and Christians are also being purified as we ourselves at some time or the other have been persecutors of minorities. However, it is amazing that on entering high school, I recognised that Christians were respected and honoured, but today, they are increasingly being labelled as bigots and are disrespected. What a change within a few decades!


Dickerson, John S. (2012, December 15).The decline of Evangelical America. New York Times. Retrieved from

Gay marriage a threat to world peace, says Pope. (2012, December 21). Associated Press/Jamaican Observer. Retrieved from 

Schwartz, Sharona. (2012, December 17). Did you know about the surprising views on Israel of Obama’s likely pick for secretary of defense. The Blaze. Retrieved from

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dissenting Pagan Christianity: Searching for Biblical Christianity

I started my reading of the book Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and George Barna this week. I have just read the preliminary pages, but so far the writers have written what I believe. One of the author speaks about the concept of the 'institutional church' that has become like the Pharisees of Jesus' time, adding to the scriptures traditions of men. Viola also speaks about the other movement within Christianity, that operates like the Sadducees, subtracting from the Scripture and removing Biblical practices from the church. I appreciate his words, as ever since I arrived at university with the pivotal experience of finding Christians accusing other Christians of being a cult, the Lord has lead me into a spiritual journey of discovering for myself authentic Christianity. While for a time, the Seventh-day Adventist church and Ellen G. White's The Great Controversy (the first half of the book) played a role in supplying the answers, today I see the church as carrying out the same errors of creating its own traditions, perpetuating other Protestant (and even Catholic traditions) and abandoning the principles and even beliefs of its founders.

I therefore appreciate the growing number of Christians who feel to identify themselves as 'unchurched" or "uncommitted". Like this growing body of Christians, I too feel uncommitted to any religious institution, as all the Christian religious institutions that I know possess traditions that are not quite Biblical and unquestioned. In other words, their theology seems closed, or perhaps to the other extreme of being so open that they change their beliefs and practices to meet contemporary times and postmodernist thought. Hence, my identity is not defined then by an institution's system of beliefs, but rather more eclectic, as I shop for beliefs among Christian and Jewish thinkers that best explain truths that I see in the Bible.

However, in the mean time, for my children's sake, I have to pause my spiritual shopping around, so that they can get a stable spiritual environment to support their own social and spiritual development. As I do this, I try to guard myself from becoming to active in the denomination that only possess portions of my own spiritual beliefs. After all, like Abraham, I am a wandered, a pilgrim, awaiting the holy land and the promises that the great teacher (Messiah Jesus) will come to earth, put an end to all false doctrine and teach the whole world righteousness. However, before that day comes, I need to study the word of God for myself and be like the Bereans, questioning the dogma and teachings of preachers, speakers and denominational leaders (Acts 17:11). For if one thing is clear, it is that these are the days of deception and false prophets are everywhere.


Viola, F. & Barna, G. (2008). Pagan Christianity? Exploring the roots of our church practices. [Carol Stream, Ill.?]Barna/Tyndale House Pub.

White, E. G. (1911). The great controversy between Christ and Satan: The conflict of the ages in the Christian dispensation. Washington, D.C.: Review & Herald Publishing Association.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lessons from John D. Rockerfeller's biography

After blogging in the previous post about John D Rockerfeller and how his Christian views shaped his capitalism, I have decided to share more about what I read in his biography and my assessment of the lessons to be learned from his life. For those who are not familiar with the man, Rockerfeller was a 19th century American  entrepreneur who was hated by many because of how he did business. Nevertheless, the man was also at the end of his life a philanthropist giving a lot of money for charity. In Colllier and Horowitz (1976), Rockerfeller was so considered to be a wicked man that there were some pastors who felt that they could not accept funds donated for charity  from him. Rockerfeller was so considered evil (in my estimation), because he was on of those men who destroyed small businesses while creating one of America's large corporation within his period. At the time, the people of America valued small businesses rather than corporations (and perhaps still do).

From now on, all the information that I present in this post comes from the book/source :

Collier, Peter and David Horowitz. The Rockerfellers: An American Dynasty. New York: Holt, Rhineart and Winston, 1976.

Alternately to this post, one can browse the Wikipedia article on him.

While I do not want to insinuate that Rockerfeller was evil, wicked or immoral, I see some lessons from his life that will do well to serve as a warning to Christian entrepreneurs and those who are financially rich while professing the faith. It must be noted that the scriptures hints that the very anti-Christ spirit could come from a falling away from Christianity (see 2 Thessalonians 2:3). It is therefore not strange that someone from the Christian faith that grew up in the church and once practiced Christianity could become the final embodiment of the Antichrist. On reading the biography of John D. Rockerfeller, the concern in my mind is how close every one of us is to falling into that pattern.

An inspiring beginning?

John D. Rockerfeller had ambition as a young man. He set out in his mind what he wanted from life. He did not just want a career, but wanted to be worth thousands of dollars (p. 11).

He took his first job because he wanted a job that would prepare him for (to borrow Charles Dicken's words) his "great expectations" (p. 12). As such, he aimed high, seeking employment at big companies (p.12). This ambitious young man was thereby in pursuit of greatness and wealth. Especially considering the dishonour to be gotten from his poor family background, especially the negative and criminal reputation of his father.

John's Father, William was a deceiver, a con artist/artiste or con man, a "pitchman", who was also ever absent from the home (p.8). He was described as "the sort of man who could tell a tale" (p.7). He was implicated in the rape of a girl and was on the run from law (p 8-9).

In contrast, John's mother "was quite the opposite – moral, strict, severe with harsh Scottish piety”. She filled her son's head with maxims that he would recollect all throughout his life (p.9). Her influence resulting in John growing up as a faithful Christian at the Erie Street Baptist Church where he eventually became a deacon.

John was both diligent in his career, business and in his church life. He rendered faithful service both at his job and at his church. He believed in recording his expenditure and in record keeping of what he spent. Consequently, he “wrote down (daily) the penny, the income and expenses, the saving and investment, the business and benefactions of his life” (p.12). Church was his only “recreation” (p.13). He gave money faithfully to his Sunday school at Erie Street Baptist Church, money to the poor and to foreign missions (p.13). Eventually, John became an entrepreneur, after asking for a pay raise and being denied that raise.

The immoral change?

Our friends and associates really colour us. It is the company that we keep that can drag us into immorality. So it is with John, who though distant from his father's ways, encountered someone who had those same ways that helped to lead him into a path that deviated from his inspiring progress.

John found a “friendship” that was “founded on business” which he believed was better than a “business founded on friendship” (p. 20). This friendship was with a man that John believed to be competent in making deals. John later remarked that “the ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee...and I pay more for that ability than for any other under the sun” (p. 21).

It was this friend that was made an executive in Rockerfeller's firm. This same friend was a man that was shady and of the same disposition as his father. Collier and Horowitz states of the man that he “resembled [John's] father and did not stickle at taking care of those aspects of business from which Rockerfeller himself preferred to establish a certain distance” (p.21). Apparently this began the downward spiral of Rockerfeller's character.

From then on Rockerfeller went on a path of making secret deals that would eliminate his competitors. His lifelong policy of close door meetings to change the economic landscape of the state of Ohio and later America and eventually the world now began. He wanted to buy out all his rivals and establish a monopoly, viewing himself and the company that he operated as acting in grace by saving the other firms. He declared of this initiative:

“We find her the strongest and most prosperous concern in the business...turning to its less fortunate competitors...and saying to them, 'We will stand in for the risks and hazards of the refining business...Come with us, and we will do you good. We will undertake to save you from the wrecks of the refining business'” (p.25).

“What other men saw as villainous self-interest, he regarded as Christian charity...'Get into the ark. Put in your old junk. We will take the risks'” (p.25). John wanted to bring all businesses under the umbrella of his own company, and believed that what he was doing was merciful and righteous.

My questions:

Is Christianity today being perceived in the same way as Rockerfeller? Especially in America. And if the answer is yes, are these principles truly Christian and in light with the ancient faith from 2000 years ago?

My interpretation or assessment

I remember from my studies of European history that Antisemitism began when people in Europe saw the Jews as wealthy aristocrats, benefiting from the economic system while the masses struggled and suffered. It was on this issue that Hitler and Fascist Germany arose.

Yet I fear that the recent US elections also painted the Republican party in similar light. It seemed as if the America's wealthiest persons were conservative Christians benefiting from the current economic and social system of US while those not included in that social group suffered. But that is not just in America.

In my homeland Jamaica, it is the same. My Anglican education and Protestant upbringing caused me to see that the important, respected and wealthy people in society were all professed Christians. They had stable  families, wealth and prestige. As such, what I learned from school, was that if I followed the rules, rituals and protocols that my principal and teachers taught me, I too could achieve the success of those highly respected people of society. In fact my school motto was "hard work conquers all".

I also remember a political cartoon sketch from my study of the French revolution, where the nobility and clergy were pictured as placing burdens on the poor while being well fed and rich. It is therefore with concern that I note that the wealthy Christians among us may be creating an image that will lead secular people who are suffering to blame us as the scapegoats for their sufferings.

However, my greatest concern is that rather than showcase Christ, we ourselves may be the obstacles or the stench that turn the poor away. Just like Rockerfeller, we may be doing what we feel is our Christian duty, but in the process, causing people to blaspheme God's name because of our insensitivity to their needs. And even after we have made millions of dollars and decide to spend some of it on the poor, the damage may be irreparable.

Rethinking Christianity's support for Capitalism

It is good to have a blog, because one's views are always and constantly evolving. After some interaction with friends and introspection based on some thoughts expressed in my previous blog post on the American 2012 election, I have given some thought to my current ideology, paradigm and worldview. In my previous blog, I espoused views that endorse preference for a capitalist economy over a socialist one. After interaction, conversation and introspection, I reflected on views on socialism and asking the question are my views on socialism really Christian or are they inspired by the traditions of men?

So much of the New Testament is written about money and personal money management. Just take for example the book of Luke. Luke records many stories about money. Luke 18 - parable of tax collector and the story about the rich ruler, Luke 19 - parable of 10 pounds + Jesus cleansing the temple of the money changers; Luke 20, paying taxes and wicked tenants; Luke 21 - widow's offering. Consequently, in the scriptures one can find so many references, stories and parables about money. Yet does the scriptures either sanction socialism or capitalism? That is not as obvious.

I know that most of my views though on the relationship between capitalism and Protestant Christianity are inspired not by the Scriptures, but by the work of the German sociologist Max Weber. Weber (1930) wrote on The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (for more about this see this entry in Wikipedia), pointing out how much the Protestant ethic was compatible with and also aided the initiation of capitalism.

Weber's work is not the only one to point to the compatibility of capitalism. I have also read the biography of  John D. Rockerfeller and have seen in this evidence of such compatibility in action. Collier and Horowitz (1976) tells us how John D. Rockerfeller's worldview was influenced by his mother's Protestant teaching. Rockfeller learned how to relate to money and personal money management and accounting from his Christian Protestant Baptist beginning (Collier & Horowitz, 1976)

As such, I now question if capitalism is really compatible with true Christianity or is it only compatible with fallen or apostate Christianity? These are the questions that I now pose for others and myself, at the eve of a possibly new America, as the conservatives and the harbingers of the old American Protestant story of democracy have suffered defeat to the new America of minorities and youth.

In one regard the old story of American Protestant is not very applicable today. Protestant story works when there are stable families that care for each other. However, with America's new demographics of unstable (if it is not politically correct to say 'broken') families, poverty concerns are inevitable. There are no guarantees that families will take care of each other in the present or future. People "fall in and out" of love, and no longer decide to commit to and persevere in keeping the family together and caring for each other until death.

Within this context, the issue then is, should not the Christian support widows and orphans, with widows in this case being single parents? Our New Testament theology answers with a resounding yes (See for example, James 1:27). Hereby, it is Christian to support and help single parents and those in unstable family conditions or situations of distress. The question however arises: should that duty be done through compulsory tax deduction via the state or through philanthropy, charity and good works?


Collier, Peter and David Horowitz. The Rockerfellers: An American Dynasty. New York: Holt, Rhineart and Winston, 1976.

Weber, Max. (1930). The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Roxbury Publishing Company

Thursday, November 8, 2012

My reaction to American Election 2012

On November 7, 2012, when I heard the results of the hotly and closely contested election, the information while not surprising confirmed to me the beginning of the decline of Evangelical America. Unlike the rest of my Caribbean friends who are elated at the re-election of the president of colour, my concern is that Americans have voted against Biblical Christianity's influence on their public policy. That to me is not something that I celebrate. In fact, it tells me that from now on Biblical Christians, whether Catholic or Protestant, will be a minority not only in America, but globally. It also tells me that America, the last religious developed nation on earth, will now go the way of secular Europe. For me, this is a hard pill to swallow.

Most of my spiritual values have been shaped by both Anglican education and American Protestantism. My outlook and worldview have all be constructed from drawing on the stories from either American Protestantism, or being inculcated by my education in Anglican schools up to tertiary level. As such, my identity and "self" or what secularists would call "ego", identifies with American Evangelicals and Catholics and their struggles to maintain their national identity. But at last, progressive liberal secularist and humanist agenda has won the culture wars. Progress is now defined as abandoning the Protestant ethic and history of the United States towards the socialist and secular models of Europe.

However, people have a right to chose and to decide their destiny. And the people of America have spoken louder than the Christian community. Hence the last religious developed nation on earth is about to shed its identity with its conservative religious past, and change its own story and history. A new story about America will be written within the coming decades. One that will be increasingly secular and anti-Protestant  and anti-Christian. However, this will also be not just the situation in America, but across the rest of the world.

I have always felt like a minority because of my spiritual beliefs. Even within Christianity and even within the denomination that I now fellowship in. This is due to the fact that I am anti-traditions of men. My own religious identity draws upon the story of Reformation and the need for Christianity to be in a constant state of looking back at their traditions and identifying what is a product of apostasy versus what is authentic. The election results have had me this week in a state of introspection recognising that the days of me having political influence in any nation has ended. My votes will always be within the minority. Also, the candidates that I would want to represent me, will never win nomination much less an election. That to me deprives me of hope for the nations and my place in them.

Yet, there is hope when I look back to the stories and prophecies of Scripture. Because, if these things did not take place, then Biblical prophecies would not be coming to pass. In the Bible, Jesus tells me that these last days, Christians will be hated, but must stand their ground (Matthew 10:22).  However Jesus  also says that when we are persecuted as Christians, we must flee into other cities (Matthew 10:23). Hence, today's globalisation presents the opportunity to travel and immigrate providing us Christians with the opportunity to flee persecution as we remain true to our identity in Christ. As such, for those in America, I encourage you not to limit your identity to your nationality, but be willing to even flee to a developing nation, when and if you are persecuted in your homeland for your beliefs and refusal to act against your conscience. Look back to the stories of the American pilgrims and remember that they too had to flee Europe to establish what you have inherited. Yet not only can we flee to other nations when the persecution becomes unbearable, but Jesus promises that we will not exhaust the cities before he returns (Matthew 10:23).  May God bless you as we wait the return of the one in whom we believe. Stand firm and trust the word of God, though hell seems to move against you. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Why am I a Protestant Christian?

In this blog entry, I want to share on why I have consciously positioned my stance as a Protestant Christian. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, Protestants in my understanding are Christians that protest submitting to a pope or papal authority as the final authority in matters pertaining to the Christian faith. Protestants generally hold the view that the final authority to which they must submit is God's written word which in this case is the Christian Bible. (I however always like to point out that early Christians only had the Jewish canon of scriptures for their guidance in determining doctrines and matters of the faith, and that the entire Christian canon of Scriptures came up later due to papal authority. This makes it paradoxical to be a Protestant Christian).

I am more sympathetic to the Roman Catholic Christianity and their challenges than in my early twenties. No other Christian denomination is known to carry out so much poor relief globally. At the same time, the same denomination is often haunted with a history of intolerance, violence and inquisitions. Add to that, the denomination also suffers from more modern stories of sexual scandals and pedophile leaders. While I have not always been sympathetic based on the historical works I have read, more modern news have satisfied me to conclude that the Roman Catholic church in particular no longer fits Protestant Christianity's traditional ideas of the beast. In fact, radical Islam seems a more likely candidate, which is something that is hinted in one of my previous blog entries.

Protestant Christianity has its own history of intolerance, sanctioning slavery and committing genocide of indigenous people, killing pagan practitioners of witchcraft etc. Hence Protestant Christianity like Roman Catholicism also has its sins. Despite the past, I still find that even though the messengers did evil, the message is still appealing. It appeals to my fears and to my hopes for utopia. The truth is, after evaluating other religions, only Christianity (and possibly Islam) paints the most awful picture of what might happen to you if you do not believe their message. I like to take calculated risk, but the uncertainty that death presents is not something that I think I want to gamble with.

However, having been raised as a child in a Christian environment and milieu, while experiencing God for myself within those boundaries, I have consciously decided on the path of Protestant Christianity. Apart from the obvious reason being that I was born into a Protestant family, as an adult now, I find myself with good reasons to be a Protestant Christian as opposed to a Christian submitting to some papal authority. One notes that there are other papal Christian groups apart from Roman Catholicism such as the Eastern Orthodox Church or the Ethiopian Orthodox (also Russian and Greek and perhaps other regional variations). If I were to choose among papal Christianity, I would definitely go for Ethiopian Orthodox as a Jamaican influenced by Rastafarian ideas and racial consciousness. After all, I can find more spiritual connection to Ethiopia, which is mentioned so many times in the Bible, from Genesis down to the book of Acts.

However, I find good theological grounds to adopt a Protestant stance to Christianity, rather than submit to papal authority. In my view, no one person should be given the authority or control over the interpretation of the Bible or how Christianity must be practiced. I know that this poses a problem, as it permits the possibilities of multiple interpretations, traditions and practices. However, this very problem is necessary in order to permit the growth and spread of Christianity. Let me explain.

There is in the book of Acts and Galatians  the mention of the story of how the Jerusalem church had conflict with the Gentile churches established by Apostle Paul (See Acts 15). Apostle Paul, following revelation, made a trip to Jerusalem to hold a meeting with the credentialed apostles (the inner-circle trio that got special attention from Jesus), that is Peter, James and John (Galatians 2:9).  From that meeting, the 3 apostles (not one) made decisions that they would assume control over the Christian outreach to the Jews, while Apostle Paul and Barnabas were to be given equal authority to assume control over the Christian outreach to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:9). As such, Apostle Paul and Barnabas were given similar authority and worked in a similar capacity as Peter, James and Peter. Hence, there was no one person that was apparently elevated to be head over the church.

Hence this to me, raises the issue that earthly church government is a democratic affair, and not a monarchy. Decisions about the direction of the church must be made by at least three persons, and not one. After all, most of Christianity believes in the tri-unity concept of God, three governing as one (). It therefore makes sense to me that if there is to be a papacy at all, there should be 3 or at least 2 persons who comprise that Papacy.  Three or two witness are required to enforce a decision to be made as evident in Paul's writings (see 2 Corinthians 13:11 Timothy 5:19), Jesus teachings (Matthew 18:16)  as well as the Jewish Scriptures (See Deuteronomy 17:6; and even John 8:17). 

From the same story, I also perceive that if the Galilean Jewish apostles had not compromised with apostle Paul and Barnabas, then entire growth and spread of Christianity beyond Jerusalem could have been compromised. Hence, there is wisdom in not having one man vested with all the decision-making authority and the power to interpret the mind or heart of God. Doesn't even the Bible tell us that a cord or strand of three is not easily broken? Further, doesn't even the same wise book tell us that the multitude of counsel is valuable to establishing a thing?

Even the canon of Christian scriptures, which is another story altogether, is incomplete. It does not seem to me that God would have only given us 66 books. That very number is too co-incidentally close to the infamous 666 of the Anti-Christ. In addition, there are numerous books mentioned or quoted in the Bible that were not included in the canon, including the book of Enoch, which is cited at least twice by Jude and Peter (see this blog entry on that topic). Yet, Protestant Christianity, while believing in principle that they must not be limited in their interpretation of the mind and heart of God by  a pope, are yet still limiting their own reformation by sticking to the orthodox practices, traditions and even actions established by popes - including the definition of the Bible as being the 66 books canonized by papal authority, as well as celebrating festivals, occasions and times sanctified by papal authority. Hopefully, I will not be persecuted for posting this. After all, even the Roman Catholic's papal see could benefit from this insight in reforming the political or papal structure of the Roman Catholic church in keeping with the Biblical traditions that they have seemingly drifted away from.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Case for a Jamaican English or Patois Bible

The Jamaican Patois translation of the New Testament of the Holy Bible had its official launch in London recently at the Jamaican High Commission. In this post, I want to make a rare injunction into the debate, by making the case for the need for this Bible translation. This is in part motivated from an online discussion or debate on the subject that I had with my Facebook friends.

My point is basically that the God of the Bible wants his message to be given in every tongue, tribe and nation, and as such, Jamaican English or Patois (Patwah) is one such tongue that I do not think he would want to ignore. This is quite evident in the book of the Acts of the Apostles, that on the day of Pentecost, every member of the Jewish diaspora visiting Jerusalem could hear their dialect being spoken by the Jewish Galileans. God gave sound to every dialect that day, and the same God of yesterday would want to give his message in the Jamaican dialect today. In fact Apostle Paul states: "There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance" ( 1 Cor. 14:10).

For those Jamaicans who can read the Jamaican Patois Bible, I believe it can have a more local and personal impact than the King James English. Already, I know that Jamaican pastors and Evangelists preach in Jamaican patois. So why not also read the word in patois as well as preach in patois? Especially if pastors and evangelists during their sermons need to preach the word so that the common and poor man can understand. As the Bible says, Jesus came to preach to the poor, not the well educated and rich (Luke 4:18). So having a bilingual sermon that both preaches and reads the word in the language that the common man can understand, enables them to receive the message. It seems hypocritical that we can have the pastor preach bilingually in patois and English, yet have the Bible verse read only in English. Why not do both conducting the service fully bilingually?

Next up, we need to do the hymns. As the apostle says, sing but sing with understanding (1 Corinthians 14:15). In addition, he said that he would rather preach a short sermon that everyone can understand, than speak in different languages/tongues (1 Corinthians 14:19). Hopefully, even more Jamaicans will be interested in reading the Bible in their own language. And hopefully, they study both English versions and Jamaican English versions.

What I learned from watching Noah's Ark documentaries

This weekend, I watched two documentaries on the subject of Noah's Ark. One produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in 2003 (Bragard, 2003)and another based on the findings of an amateur archaeologist produced in 1988 (Snider, 1988). BBC's production relied on experts who poured doubt over the Bible's story of Noah and instead, relied on Babylonian sources to recreate a different version of what they considered the historical reality upon which the flood story was based. After watching their documentary, one got the feeling that Jewish priests just adapted the Babylonian story into the Bible to make a point that disobedience to God's laws has consequences. However, I asked the question, why would Jewish scribes go through all the trouble of giving names and indicating genealogies if they just wanted to concoct a parable to make a point? They could have easily omitted names, just like the Babylonian source, and ignore the presentation of genealogies and all the details which just takes away from the flow of the story. Below is the Noah's Ark video by the BBC for those who want to watch it for themselves.


Another thing that turned me off from the BBC presentation is its poor journalism. Good journalism in my view presents balance: two sides of a story and allows for the audience to draw their own conclusion and make up their own mind about which story to believe. For me, all the experts used by the BBC seemed to doubt the authenticity of the Noah's Ark story as presented by the Bible. However, one would have expected that a good journalist would present a debate, between the experts against and the experts for the Noah's Ark story. Hence, I decided to watch another video, a more amateur and not so big name one, that was entitled the best evidence. This video, licensed to UFOTV, highlighted actual evidence and not just theories about how the world works, nature and material things work, but actually presented visual evidence of the presence of a boat like shape and structure in a mountain region corroborating with the Biblical dimensions of the ark in the Bible's story. Watch the following documentary for yourself for details, if you have the time.


 At the end, I wondered why a BBC production in 2003, would ignore and not even mention this particular event and work by this amateur archaeologist, and present his side in their documentary. Lesson: be critical of all information sources and media, and evaluate them for balance in presenting truth and reality, especially in so-called documentaries.


Bragard, Jean Claude (dir.)(2003).Noah's ark: The real story. British Broadcasting Corporation [BBC]. Retrieved from [uploaded by Dara Kosnav on Jul 16, 2011]

Snider, Douglas A. (dir.) (1988). Noah's ark found. Retrieved from: [uploaded by UFOTVstudios on Nov 11, 2010)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Implementing a postmodern tithing system in keeping with Christian tradition

After posing an important question in my previous blog post entitled Questions about paying pastors monetary wages, I feel compelled to offer an alternative to the problem posed in that post.

For me, I'm at that age where I really begin to become critical of traditions and how we interpret and practice traditions today. The problem posed is the question regarding how do we continue to practice Christian tradition today? In this case, how can we maintain a Jewish tradition of tithing in contemporary times, seeing that Jewish tradition of tithing as taught by the Torah did not compel any mandatory monetary tithe? Even the "New Testament" endorsement by Jesus of the good of tithing (see Matthew 23:23) makes it clear that we tithe grains, spices and of things that are come naturally from the creator, and not from some man made economic system.

In a greater urbanised world and the movement away from agriculture, can we legitimately practice a Judeo-Christian tradition of tithing without using State-printed money? What about those who advocate that the church must be separate from the state, but still accept the use of state-printed funds to pay their shepherds?

I propose this alternative. That instead of pastors receiving monetary wages, that they receive wages in kind from the congregation that they serve or shepherd. This can be implemented through tithing of grocery and clothing. Let every member of the church reserve a tenth of their shopping and purchases to give to the pastor and those who minister. Tithe not the state-printed money, but the farm produce and other goods purchased with the state-printed money. Hence, even those who don't have farms, can still legitimately partake in a Judeo-Christian heritage of tithing without the use of state-printed money. This will truly liberate the church from state, an essential value of American Protestant Christians.

Questions about paying pastors monetary wages

I am reading through the book of Luke with the university student Adventist group on campus. Their closed Facebook page allow us to share our thoughts on what we have been reading. Being the critical and analytic person that I am by nature, some interestingly critical questions arise regarding the church traditions today in comparison to what I read in Luke.

On reading Luke 20, Jesus uses the imprint on the coin to tell the people to render to the Roman emperor what belongs to the Roman emperor. I then wondered if the people gave Roman coins to the temple or if they had their special temple coins. I know that some pastor taught me in the past that money temple changers existed and developed a business on exchanging currency to the temple currency, which gave rise to the situation where Jesus had to chase them out and rebuke them for turning God's temple into a den of thieves (See story in Luke 19:45-46).

I also noted that God did not require monetary offerings, but only animal and grain offerings which would also serve as the wages for the priests as recorded in whole book of Leviticus.

This got me wondering if the church today has totally rejected Biblical principles in its funding. Shouldn't we be bringing food offerings meet our pastors grocery and dietary needs? And shouldn't we also bring clothing offerings to meet the clothing needs of our pastors? I can understand the paying of offerings to take care of building and utilities, but tithe going to conferences to pay wages for pastors? Isn't is like using Caesar's money to pay God's officers? Just asking.

Weapons of our warfare (Song post)

This song was written to illustrate the idea that the LORD is the LORD of Hosts. He is a warrior God. A commander-in-chief of the armies in heaven. Such a concept I know seems out of touch with post-modern society. However, this songs means a lot to persons who are under attack (whether spiritual or physically). Imagine if you are surrounded by enemies who are seeking your destruction. You definitely want to know who to call on, to defend and protect you.

I entitle the entire song  "Prayer Warriors", but alternately "Warfare" or "Weapons of our Warfare". However, there are verses and other parts of this song that have not been included in this clip. Hence what I post here is just a synopsis. Again, the soundtrack is not professionally and perfectly recorded, but the message and spirit of the song is still conveyed.

The lyrics:

The weapons of our warfare,
They are not carnal,
The weapons of our warfare,
Yes, they are spiritual,
Pulling down, pulling down,
Pulling down the strongholds

Pulling down, pulling down,
Pulling down the strongholds

  Warfare by Mark-Shane Scale

Place of inspiration (Song post)

I've been writing songs for a long time now, as the inspiration comes and goes. Well, today I have decided that it is now time to publish sound clips of my original voice tracks via this blog. While my voice tracks may not be perfectly edited and sometimes sung without first going through proper vocal exercises, I have decided that I can no longer wait to find musical contacts and a professional recording studio. In fact, perhaps, by posting my raw and unedited musical and song ideas and lyrics here, I may in fact be closer to connecting with the right persons to publish the songs. Hence, starting from today, I will be giving voice to the songs that have found me in my times of inspiration

The one below, I have entitled "Let's go to the place" or alternately as "Jesus, I want to be inspired by you". This song communicates the need to be in a place where one can receive inspiration from the LORD.

The words/lyrics of the song goes like this:

Let's go to the place, where love first found me,
Let's go to the place, where God's love surrounds me,
Let's go to the place, where love first found me,
Let's go to the place, where he puts his loving arms around me,

Jesus, I want to be inspired by you (By you),
Jesus, I want to be inspired by you,(By you),
Jesus, I want to be inspired by you
 By you, By you, By you...

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Feast of Tabernacles and Thanksgiving Meditation

As the Feast of Tabernacles (FOT) or Sukkot approaches as well as Canadian Thanksgiving,  I am preparing my mind to reflect and meditate on the meaning behind these seasons. The seasons also have special significance to me today as an immigrant, as it was almost a year ago within the same period that I was reunited with my family on Canadian soil, after I left them in Jamaica to begin PhD studies. As such I can appreciate Thanksgiving and its message as well as identify with the Israelites as immigrants and the joy of the Feast of Tabernacles.

As I prepared my mind today by attempting to listen to a semon on Zechariah preached by a pastor at a  2010 feast of Tabernacles commemorative service (see FOT sermon from Ian Boyne on Zechariah), I had a spiritual refreshing conversation with a friend of mine who also observes the festival.

My friend asked me if I would be attending any feast site this year, to which I responded that I did not think so, but may rather just listen virtually and attend the feast in meditation and spirit. As far as I know, there are no such celebrations in my town apart from Thanksgiving. Observing the FOT is not in main stream Christian tradition, and contemporary Jewish observance keep it with only adult males living/sleeping and having meals in hand-made and home-made booths for 8 days. Herbert Amstrong introduced a Christian remake of the Feast of Tabernacles celebration which differs from the Jewish tradition, that in my past as a child member of the Worldwide Church of God, the feast site was usually a hotel where the entire church went for 8 days of services and activities together. It was like a church camp meeting plus family vacation (See a balanced Wikipedia entry on Christian Feast of Tabernacles and compare with The Restored Church of God's teaching on this ordinance).

I also get the sense that Canadians and Americans kind of keep a remnant of this feast in the form of Thanksgiving.  Canadian Thanksgiving in particular falls this year (2012) on October 7th, which is within the Feast of Tabernacles celebration. From my own experience, I have come to the conclusion that the early pilgrims felt their journey to be likened to that of the Israelites in their entering the promised land. However during that period, there was an apparent unity among the pilgrims and the First nation peoples, which reflects a future expectation that one day the entire world will be united in worshipping and celebrating God.

My friend also showed me his mini sukkah, which inspires me to have a perfect family activity to commemorate the season. I hope to build a mini sukkah with my daughters during the feast of Tabernacles and have the occasion to tell them about the feast (and make the link with Thanksgiving) and explain to them the spiritual and cultural significance of this feast, while helping them understand the ordinace in light of past, present and even the future. I know that my firstborn of four years will be very receptive.

John 3:16 and the ten commandments

I've taken a long time before publishing this post following a previous post  dissecting John 3:16. In that  previous blog entry, I expounded upon John 3:16, a beloved Bible verse of mine. I am also amazed to find out how many of the ten commandments are embodied in John 3:16. This entry follows up on the previous, making explicit how one can see the 10 commandments reflected in John 3:16.

1. For God: In the Ten commandments, the first commandment tells us to not worship any other than God. John 3:16 begins 'For God' also reminding us that God exists and is to be worshiped, honoured and respected. It tells of God's authority and identity.

2. So love: The second of the Ten commandments tells us not to make God jealous. Love and jealousy are apparently connected. Songs of Solomon 8:6 says it all about how 'jealousy is cruel as the grave'.

3. The world: As if in a message to the world system, the third commandment prohibits the misuse of God's name. How holidays such as Christmas uses the Lord's title, but is exploited by paganism and commercialism. Yet, is not using the name of God worse than using his name in vain? Are both not equivalent? For though the world was created by God, there is a great secular movement that takes offence to the use of God name (except as a swear word or for entertainment purposes). Using his name meaninglessly and the efforts to remove his name from the earth, seem like both actions taken to assert an indentity without him. Its like a son renaming himself and eliminating the family's surname, disconnecting with his family and their heritage. Not respecting God's name is the same as not rejecting his identity as Creator of the world.

4. That he gave: The fourth commandment speaks to the Sabbath day. What God gives is special and you must not treat it anyway, but must instead make the effort to take care of what he has given and preserve it. The Sabbath day was to celebrate God's act in creating the earth. Exodus 20:11  gives God's creation as the primary reason why God blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Hence like his name, the Sabbath is another symbol given to humanity that signifies God's identity and authority.

5. Only begotten son: is paralleled by the fifth commandment of giving honour to parents. In this case, we honour God the father, the parent of Jesus the son, by how we treat and deal with Jesus the son of God.

6. That whosoever:  is paralleled by the sixth commandment prohibiting murder. Do not kill anyone, as everyone, whosoever they may be, is valuable and of worth to God.

7. Believeth in him:  This is paralleled by the seventh commandment forbidding adultery. Again this is another statement about being faithful to God. Also one must have trust in God's covenants and agreements. Marriage (between man and woman) is also a symbol or a sacrament of that belief in God, established from Creation. Those that break such a covenant destroys the image of God

8. Should not perish: Do not steal is the eight commandment. Stealing when defined is the act of separating a thing from its owner. implied there is disconnection or preventing something that really belongs to someone else from being in that person's care and possession. This is the work of Satan who comes to steal and destroy (John 10:10). Similarly, our act of disconnecting from God, whether by ignoring his name, authority, identity, covenants or commandments is indeed akin to separating from him what truly belongs to him. We belong to God, but through his granting us free will, he allows us the choice to rob ourselves from him. In so doing, we become like Satan and will suffer Satan's fate. This involves being in hell fire which was never created for us in the first place (See: Matthew 25:41). Such separation from God will indeed lead us to perish.

9. But have: The ninth commandment prohibits lying or bearing  false information. Lies can be defined as beliefs that are not real or falsehoods. The Bible speaks about people making lies. In fact, in Revelations 22:15, the Bible discusses the fate of not only those who make lies, but also loveth lies. The Bible also speaks that in the last days, people will have itching ears to listen to lies (2 Timothy 4:3). People want to chase after things that are not true or real. They even chase after riches that are not real (Proverbs 23:5). God thus cautions us not to have false beliefs and hopes, but to pursue having truth that will lead us to reality and to true possessions. As Jesus declares, it is the search for truth that will lead us into true possessions (Matthew 6:33). Pursuing falsehood and our own ways will never lead us into possessing the earth forever.

10. Everlasting life: The tenth and final commandment forbid us coveting the possessions of others. God wants us to have correct vision. Not to look to what people have in this life, but to set our minds on what we can have in the life to come. Jesus tells us that we must store up for ourselves treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:20). Our benchmark and measurements of our life should not be with our neighbours and what they possess. instead, we must covet the life that God the Father wants us to have and offers us through his son Jesus and the Holy Spirit (John 7:38).

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The parable of the zoo

As I emerge from my secular study of storytelling and folklore, I see great value in what I have learned in application to my faith. Jesus was a storyteller, who told many parables. Parables were stories based on cultural symbols and imagery, and the ordinary things that people were familiar with in their everyday life. These parables however drew on the familiar reality of the times to communicate spiritual truths.

I wish to be like Jesus and be able to cultivate my own parables based on the symbols and imagery of modern society, in order to communicate to people of my times and era spiritual truths. As such, I want to share this parable of the zoo.

There was once a zoo that had on exhibition a monkey and a man, side by side.

When visitors came to the zoo, many flocked the cage with the monkey to see it do tricks. They even fed the monkey treats. As such, the monkey was always the star attraction and the centre of attention, and subsequently well nourished and cared for.

Few visitors however stopped by to visit the man's cage. Those who did were able to be inspired by his work of art or by conversing with him about life in the zoo as well as about books he read. He was able to help people solve their personal problems, sometimes offering advice and listening to them pour out their personal stories and woes.

However, the monkey soon became overfed, and stressed out. It was getting old and no longer young and energetic, nor willing to perform tricks. People eventually lost interest in visiting the monkey and subsequently  lost interest in the zoo. Losing its attraction, the zoo keepers eventually gave it less of treatment and attention that they had paid it when it was the star attraction and eventually the monkey died, and the cage was empty.

The man on the other hand, though under-nourished, lacking in attention, lived on longer, writing and drawing and creating works of art to leave behind to inspire those who would in the future view and read his works. Eventually the man died. But unlike the monkey, the man's cage was filled with writings on the wall, and works of art telling about his history and life, and how he survived in the zoo and what life was like. He told of how the monkey got all the popularity and attention. He also told of how while he was living he was so desirous of meeting new people and talking with them so that they could realise their destiny. He wanted to ask and answer questions about life, purpose and meaning. Yet people, chose to be entertained by the antics of the monkey reacting to different stimuli.Hence few came to converse with the man about life, get insight or discover more about him and their common humanity.

The man recorded how he watched and observed the many who came and how he longed to share with them what he had learned from reading, conversation, revelation and reflection that would help make their lives better. For since being in the zoo, the man had gained much wisdom reading many books of knowledge, reflecting in silence on life and conversing with persons.

But at last, few paid any attention to the cage with the man. Few saw his works and conversed with him. Those few who did, left better off than they came.

Meaning of the parable:

The man in this story represents the human soul and spirit, while the monkey represents our flesh and body.

The visitors of the zoo represent humanity. Those visitors who only visited the monkey represent the majority of human beings who pursue the gratification of the body and flesh, or the ideas of science (physical and natural laws) and earthly wisdom. Those visiting the man in the zoo represent the seekers of God and his ways and spiritual truth. They settle not just for the contrived, artificial and entertaining reality, but the reality beyond the natural and man-made earthly systems. Instead, they seek for the unseen and unobserved reality that can only be attained through conversation and relationship with God and other truth seekers.

Let those who have ears to ear, let them ear.

And please feel free to share! No charge for this 1.  :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Satan's deception of Evangelical Christianity

This weekend, I have been educated about the great deception and deceptive tactics that Satan is using on Christians in the 21st century. In fact, I see where the Devil is about to use mysticism in all religions (Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism and Christianity) to form the global religion of the last days. Watch these two documentaries to understand what is taking place today as Evangelical Christianity is now encountering Satan's deception from within. New Age and pagan philosophies of spirituality are rapidly spreading into Christianity and over throwing the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ, while undoing the Protestant Reformation and return to Biblical truth.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How I became 7th-day Adventist? Part 1: The Context

Today I am sharing this testimony, not because I want to tell people to become Seventh-day Adventists. Far from that. But I just want to document my own spiritual journey and tell my story about how I am where I am today. Mark you, if I discovered another denomination now that believes everything that I believe now, I would leave the Seventh-day Adventist denomination to join it. But, so far, my search has been unfruitful in discovering a group or even a movement that has a perfect combination of my beliefs. And worst in a foreign land which seems to have less churches per square miles than Jamaica.

This testimony on the other hand may encourage you, which ever denomination that you are in, because where ever you find yourself, there might have been a particular message that God called you to within that fellowship, which you need to hold on to. Because when you have your personal experience with God, regardless of the denomination that you are a part of, God will eventually lead you to where you ought to be.

For me, it is more important to know God and be lead into another denomination and eventually become part of the remnant than it is to become an Adventist and possess superficial knowledge of God and eventually miss out on being part of the remnant.

So while I tell you how I became an Adventist, I want you to bear in mind, that God has people else where in every denomination that will eventually be his remnant (that which remains, when the entire Christendom has fallen away into apostasy). 

But before you can recognise that you are called to be part of the remnant, you must first know that you are in Babylon. For years I was a believer in Christ (from age 15) before becoming Adventist, and not knowing that I was in Babylon. So my testimony today is basically how I came to know that I was in Babylon.

I must say that in my past, I never set foot into Adventist Church, even when my entire family went once. I even remember the Adventists marching in my community and inviting us to church. But I never had any interest in their faith or religion. 

Those who are Sabbath-keepers are perhaps well acquainted with the term Babylon. Sabbath-keepers are usually the ones that know the scriptures in Revelation, and know that Babylon in Revelations has come to signify the fallen church of apostasy in the last days. While some interpret the church to be Rome (based on American Protestant traditions), others, Hollywood, others, New York City, others United States of America, I prefer to just generalise the fallen church of apostasy to be Christianity in general, both Protestants and Catholicism. These ideas  require more justification beyond the scope of this testimony.

I can tell you that I do not remember the exact date when I was baptised an Adventist. It was perhaps around 30th day of a month in 2003 on a Saturday. Neither do I remember the name of the crusade, though I suspect that it had "footprints" in the theme. I can as much as point out the surname of the Evangelist, Pastor Cunningham, and the district of Eastern Jamaica Conference. However, I have never forgotten the sermon I heard on the day that I was baptised an Adventist. Because it is the message that God delivered for me that mattered most, not the denomination or organisation. Today, my baptismal certificate is lost, but the message still resounds in my heart, as it was a pivot message that delivered an answer to my questioning and searching.

To all who do not know me, I was born and raised in a Sabbath and holy-day keeping church that also sowed the seed of the message of Babylon in my subconsciousness. However, by my adolescent years, the church founder had died and the church was in transition. That church became split over doctrinal issues in this transition period and in the end ended up renouncing most of the doctrines believed by the founder, including the Sabbath. It became mainstream Evangelical. When I was baptised in that church though I still went to church on a Sabbath, but it was more because of custom or tradition and not faith. My beliefs also were more closely aligned to mainstream Evangelicals and sympathetic towards Pentecostals.

In those days, I had a Utopian view of Christianity as a united community of believers whose prayers and faith helped to preserve the nations of the world from disasters and destruction. I felt that doctrinal matters were irrelevant as long as we held the core of serving Jesus and believing that he was the Christ and Saviour. In those days I would visit anybody's church.

It was until I began university before my Utopian view of Christianity was challenged. Faced on campus with intellectuals critical of Christianity, a large community of atheists, black power activists, communists, African religious persons, fornicators and secularists, I found that I needed a Christian community even more than I did in high school.

You see, I received an Anglican Christian education (God bless the Anglicans of Jamaica). Had devotions every morning before beginning classes. Had access to a Chaplin. Could attend church services on special times during the school year and even had Christmas services at school. Not to mention repeating the Apostles creed. Attended funerals at the church. From what I saw and learned by observation, politicians, leaders and all the persons who became anyone of respected social status were Christians (mostly Anglicans). Christianity seemed like a path to respectability, social mobility and prestige.

I still remember to this day some of what my principals and vice principals instilled in me, from my attendance of Anglican schools from the elementary to secondary level:

  • reverence for the reading of the Bible
  • a few popular Bible verses, prayers and hymns
  • information about Jesus and who he is
However, when I arrived at university, I realise that tertiary education would not be the same as my early Anglican education. I experienced culture shock, as I realised the lifestyles of the politicians and leaders on campus. Though the princess of England established a chapel at the university, I found spirituality wanting on campus. This was definitely not Anglican tertiary education. To be spiritual at university was a matter of the individual free will. There was no one to enforce any policies to attend any spiritual event. Instead, I had to take responsibility for my own spiritual condition in an environment that was hostile to Christian faith. Fertility idols and paintings (posing as sculptures and art work. Parties every weekend. Young adults indulging in premarital sex (the Bible calls it fornication), liquor and alcohol available and in abundance.

To make matters worse, nonreligious lecturers and professors taught, which contrasted with my Christian high school teachers and principals. (Mark you, my principals was addicted to cigarette smoking and smoked until his eyes were red. and he wasn't the only one either, as there were portraits of other principals with pipes in their mouth. At the time I was blinded to such faults).

It was in this new environment, devoid of the spirituality of my youth, that I sought to connect with other young people of the Christian faith which serves as the background and one of the turning points of my life, which I will explain some more in part 2 of this series.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

End times part 1

I have to recommend this book by Walter Scott dealing with prophetic events. And in the next few paragraphs, I will tell you why.

Future Events and Coming Glories by Walter Scott

The author, who first published his interpretations on prophecy in 1877 and 1881, makes prophetic predictions that seem on target. While there might be some theological inaccuracies, I am excited that the author has gotten some things right. 

Firstly, the author clearly distinguishes between Israel and the Church . He states that

"prophetic Scriptures will never be understood correctly unless the distinction between Israel, which is Messiah's kingdom, and the Church, which is Christ's body, is borne in mind. Israel is the subject generally of the Old Testament, which reveals historically (the past) and prophetically (the future) the earthly government of God, of which Israel is the center. On the other hand, the Church, which began its history at Pentecost, and is composed of believers from among Jews and Gentiles formed into one body and united to only spoken of in the New Testament, and not the subject of [Old Testament] prophecy at all..."
Many denominations dealing with prophetic events currently do not have this orientation, including Seventh-day Adventists (speaking from experience here), who subscribe to is what is called replacement-theology or the theology of supersessionism (I must say I need to do more research for a more valid source on this). Unlike those Christians who hold supersessionist views, I share the following sentiments as stated by Scott: destined to be head of the nations and to occupy the highest places on earth, where the divine presence and glory rests...God's time counsels are with respect to Israel...Israel [is] set geographically, in relation to mankind, in the center of the world...., blest and a blessing to the earth...."(p.24)
Secondly, with this foundation, the author accurately predicts that formation of Israel and Jews returning to settle there. The author, well before modern Israel was formed in the 1940s, stated:

"God foretells a national return of Judah...for Gentile-political purposes only, and which will be effected by the aid of a certain commercial and maritime people..." (p.76)
 The Jews will be restored to their own land through the friendly offices of a maritime power - one which has not hitherto, actively at least, meddled in Jewish affairs. Restored...., they will build their ruin temple and city, offer sacrifices, and observe their feasts and sabbaths as before." (p.73-74)
So far, not all of this prophecy is fulfilled, as the temple is not yet rebuilt. In fact, currently, Orthodox Jewry has outlawed any such activity (Dolphin, n.d.; Sharon, 2012).  However, the great signaler of the end of times is the rebuilding of the temple and its subsequent desecration and destruction (Read Matthew 24:1-31). Efforts are currently underway by Jewish groups to achieve just that, investing in the creation of temple instruments such as a fully working golden menorah that is ready for use in Temple worship (Sharon, 2012).

At the same time, Scott (2011) does not believe that the temple will be built before the Anti-Christ appears. He states in order for the temple to be built, the Jews will rely on a treaty with the head of the revived Roman empire, to guarantee their religious liberties, which will also see the anti-Christ being accepted as king by the mass of the Jewish nation and ruling in Palestine. For Scott,

"The antichrist to come is neither a system nor principle, but a person. A Gentile he could not be, as that would invalidate his claim to be received as the Messiah in Judea." (p.83)
According to Scott, the Antichrist will also possess the power to work miracles. However, Scott contends that there will also be another powerful world ruler in alliance with the Antichrist, a Gentile who will permit the Antichrist to be his lieutenant and exercise power on his behalf. In the end, the Antichrist will lead humanity to worship the Gentile ruler as God.

I find this revelation from Scott to be quite insightful in pulling together how the end times will actually play out. I actually have a clearer understanding of the sequencing of the prophetic events and what will lead to what from reading those excerpts. 

While I have not included them here, Scott also cites the scripture references that support his statements. However, since I am writing this, when I actually should be asleep, I will share more of the work that I agree with, in another entry (or entries) on this blog.



Dolphin, L. (n.d.). Moving towards a third Jewish temple. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed July 14, 2012]. 

Scott, W., (2011). Future events and coming glories. Addison, IL: Bible Truth Publishers.

Sharon, J. (2012, May 17). Who may go up to the mountain of God? Jerusalem Post [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed July 14, 2012].

Monday, June 25, 2012

The origin of true knowledge

Today, I discuss a subject of increasing importance, especially as the world has we know it is seeing a great rise in secularism, heathenism and paganism. It is the increase of esoteric knowledge that human beings are increasingly seeking to possess and choose over the knowledge of the scriptures that God would rather have us mull over.

Fallen angles have delivered to humanity esoteric knowledge that God would rather us not have until we have developed wholesome character. It is God's will that human beings inherit the earth, with all the wholesome goodness therein. The precious metals and stones, the herbs, roots and vegetation therein and life eternal and great knowledge about our environment and our potential  is ours to inherit. However, it is God's desire that like children who are to grow and inherit great wealth from parents, we first come to maturity and develop the spiritual values needed to properly manage the inherited estate. God has predestined us for possession of  knowledge, possessions and wealth (Romans 8:29; Ephesians 1:5Luke 12:32), but has set for us that our character development can only take place over a span time.

Imagine for a second that God could have made us perfect beings from the beginning possessing all the knowledge that we need in order to fully manage the earth. In the garden of Eden where it first began, human beings existed in a state of innocence, daily interacting with God each evening and executing  responsibilities given daily over a time in order to understand their needs, who they are and the goodness of God. Adam and Eve were given the mandate by God to dominate and subdue their natural world and to develop the spiritual values of God (Genesis 1:26). We were created to be like God and to control all the resources of the earth. In the first description of the garden of Eden, we learn of the wealth of the land that mankind first inhabited. In Genesis 2:11-12, we learn of the precious metals that were in the land. However, it was through relationship with God and other human beings (plus the animal kingdom and the earth environment) that God intended to fit and equip human beings to possess all the wealth.

Today, our world system,  informed by fallen angels, encourages human beings to place emphasis on extracting precious stones and metals, at the expense of relationships with other fellow human beings, animals and the earth. Wealth and greed is stressed and emphasized, with greed being seen as ambition. Yet in God's system, it is relationships that is stressed and emphasized, with the emphasis on sharing our world with the other inhabitants. It is in meekness that God says that we shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). It is through being patient and waiting on God to daily deliver through our relationships and interaction with him and the others on earth, as well as the earth, that we are to learn what we need to properly manage all that the earth possesses.

Let us today endeavour to seek after the kingdom of God that we lost, for in it we have everything we need (Matthew 6:33). This kingdom though is inherited not through eating and drinking for enlightenment, or even in doing rituals and communicating with inner self, but in interacting with God, and relating with other human beings and animals through caring for them and sharing one's present world with them.