Friday, January 25, 2013

The hidden cost (and stresses) of communication

I don't know about anyone else, but communication devices are becoming very stressful for me. Email, Social networking sites, Skype and telephone mean that your friends and people you know expect you to keep in touch. No matter where in the world they are, because of these devices, I have no excuse to not keep in touch, even with persons that I do not know if I will meet them in person again. 

On top of that, I have to keep track of birthdays, anniversaries, and special holiday seasons, and remember to send various persons greetings who may or may not be expecting me to do so. Managing all these relations, responding to emails, messaging people on Facebook, are taking a toll on me. I have started to ignore when Facebook reminds me of friends birthdays, and begun to email people in groups general messages and greetings and updates. I don't even bother to instant message persons unless I need to set up a meeting with them or bring a matter to their attention.

These days remind me of the times when I started mail correspondence with girls in high school. It was always good to receive mails, but these was just too much pressure to reply. (Yes...these were before the days of cell-phones and text messages.)

I now appreciate the ancient days when if people wanted to correspond, they would have to travel. Those days of John the Baptist or Jesus of the New Testament Bible for instance. People had to travel distances to see them and get a word from them.

No offence to my friends, colleagues and those who I know personally. I love people, and love deep conversations and the advice given by my many mentors and friends. I need and depend on my social capital. However it is really costly to have many friends and know many people. It is costly to one's attention span from a communication perspective. As the number of people I know increases, I am forced to zone some people out until some event or happening makes them more relevant again. Hence it is nothing personal. It is just that I am unable to manage the stress of keeping in touch with so many people. :(

That's why I understand that Jesus narrowed down those whom he communicated with. In Luke 10:1, he appointed seventy-two people. Then he later narrowed down the 72 to the chosen 12 disciples out of the crowds that followed him, as the Bible says in Mark 3:13, Jesus "called to him those he wanted, and they came to him." He later narrowed this down to 3 out of 12 (Matthew 17:1). It appears to me that being in man's limitation, one can only communicate effectively with a few people, especially in order to impact those people so that they can pass your message on to others.

Shalom! God's peace be with you!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Problems in science and religion

This week I read an article from the National Public Radio and have meditated on it in relation to a conversation that I had in a previous week with another young person. In our conversation, the young Jamaican mentioned frustration at political leaders quoting, alluding to and referencing the Bible when discussing the nation's problems. And that person is not the only one. I have even seen my Jamaican network on Twitter also expressing disgust at Biblical reference, allusions and meaning given by Jamaican political leaders in their execution of their political responsibilities and duties. The National Public Radio's article however, goes on to find out why.

While I can understand why many of my generation and peers may be turned away from religion, it beats me that we so trust the methods of science that we are willing to believe and take the imaginary accounts of what scientists could not have observed as having happened and actually taking place as a better alternative. My friends, the methods of science are part imagination and part observation. Science also like religion uses storytelling and imagination in telling a story based on the reasoning, deducting or inferring from what we can see and observe to what we don't actually know, but wish to know. Take for example, the Big Bang theory or the theory of evolution. No scientist was actually present at the beginning of time to actually observe what took place. In fact, even with the Neanderthal skeletons that man has found and used to construct a theory of natural selection, there are disputes within the scientific community about (Harding, 2010). Unfortunately, we are not all schooled in the methods of science to know how much imagination often plays a part of the scientific process.

Another problem with science and its view of the world, is that even the process of science is not totally free from manipulation (especially in the era of corporate funded universities and research). The very same methods that are supposed to be objective are being manipulated by industry to sell us stuff or ideas that can even kill us slowly. I know from experience that if one wants to get funding for one's research, one has to seek out an organisation or institution that is interested in the possible findings of that research. Then one has to be able to convince the institution through a research proposal that such research will ultimately meet the institution's goals or objectives. Knowing this, I now take this into consideration when reading scientific publications to see if scholars indicate in their publications the institution(s) that funded the research.

However, what I have taken away from this is that just as how religion has been manipulated, science can also be manipulated. Those who hold power over the people, will use any storytelling devices and institutions that we believe in and trust in order to control us. Hence it is not that religion is irrelevant in an era of science, but for me, the issue is trying to decipher what has been added and how people in power (the elite) have taken over religious institutions and made them agents of propaganda and hegemony in order to keep their own status in tact.

For me, religion and its rituals are not irrelevant; but more relevant is the search for meaning. Religious rituals become irrelevant when they fail to give us an occasion to search for and find meaning. Rituals are suppose to lead us to seek and find meaning, but to some adherents, have become an end in themselves. But the whole purpose of rituals are to point us to the end: arriving at better understanding and meaning about ourselves and our God, and why the world is the way it is. As one apostle puts it, our religious rules and rituals are only but a shadow of things to come and not the realities (Hebrews 10:1 ; Colossians 2:17).

Hence the purpose of our religious rituals should be to point to past, present and future realities. While religion should give us an occasion to tell the stories of humanity's past and to reflect on it, religious rituals must primarily get us to think about our present and future, and where we are heading or going. While our rituals are supposed to do this, just like science, they have been tampered with. Religious and political authorities have intentionally and unintentionally added to and subtracted from religion rituals and meaning to create a man-made religion that serve or suit their own purposes. This have been done over the millennia until what we have today are rituals and meaning that God did not intend for us to have (Mark 7:7-9).

Hence, the irony is that the very thing that should keep us in harmony with our world and others is the very thing that power elite will adopt in order to exert control and to preserve their status: whether science or religion (or both). Need I mention Adolf Hitler to justify this statement?


Harding, Fred. (2010, March). Nephilim skeletons found. ISEE Magazine

National Public Radio. (2013, January 15). More young people are moving away from religion, But Why? Retrieved:

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Querying the meaning of the sons of God in Genesis 6

Since the pastor of the church that I fellowship at is scheduled to do a Bible study exploring the Biblical meaning of the "sons of God" or the "bene 'elohim" next week, I am doing my own research. Most pastors that I know shy away from calling the "sons of Gods" extraterrestrials, which I have not been afraid to do even previously on this blog (See previous post where I espouse this view)

After conversation with some church members, reflection and prayers, I have come up with the hard questions that I have emailed to the pastor. Below is the content of my email sent, which I hope the pastor will address:

In prelude to your Bible study on the sons of God in Genesis 6, that I hope to attend, I am sending you my questions in advance. 

I have several questions and hope that you can address them all in your presentation. As such, I am giving you the heads up for you to prayerfully and thoughtfully research and prepare your answers....The questions are as follows:
  1. I hear you say that the fallen angel view of Genesis 6 was concocted by the Catholic church. Early church fathers in the 1st century of Christianity, prior to the formation of the Catholic church, such as respected Ante-Nicene father of the early church, Iraeneus espoused a fallen angel view (Schaff p.481). Further, New Testament church leaders such as Peter and Jude cite the book of Enoch, which also espouses the fallen angel view of the sons of God (Jude verse 14-15). Secondly, even if you contend that Ellen G. White espoused the Seth-line view, isn't it possible that Mrs. White was merely espousing the view that she herself was taught and inherited from fallen/apostate  Christianity?
  2. Where in Genesis is Seth ever called a son of God? And if there is such a reference in a particular Bible translation, is that context independent of translation?
  3.  Doesn't the term "sons of God" refer to only the creatures whom God directly created and not those who came from sexual unions?
  4. Doesn't the Hebrew for the daughters of men (בנות אדם‎) actually translate as benot ha-adam? Doesn't the term Adam in this term strengthen the case that they were daughters of Adam?
  5. If one is to take the Seth-view, doesn't this view make God seem unjust, writing off the entire generation of Cain from access to his grace and mercy? Doesn't it also seem more just that God would send a flood to wipe off human beings with contaminated fallen angel DNA, than it would be if he wiped off mankind for heterosexual marriages to whomever they desired?

Schaff, Philip. ANF01. The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus: Christian Classics. Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 2002. Web. 4 June 2011. <>

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Future mandate revealed: Create start-up to employ persons with disabilities

In a dream, the plight of persons with disabilities in the Jamaican job market has been revealed to some extent to me. Based on the dream, these persons, especially those with physical disabilities have trouble getting employment. I even reflect on a case that I know of in person, where the person even has trouble getting inexpensive transportation to work. As I reflect on the condition that these persons must take transport to go to work in an age where they can work at home, I see that the plight is great and that I am called to take action to do something about it. For the LORD has placed in me the compassion to do so. In my dream, he visited me after I was made aware of the difficulties through two persons of disabilities who personally told me their own experiences and stories of being turned down job offers, which they perceive to be the result of their disabilities. After hearing their personal stories, I heard the LORD questioning me if I would be willing to create a company to employ these persons for him.

I now reflect on the dream and realize that I had planned after completing my Bachelors degree that I would start my own company and operate it on Biblical values as my witness to the nations. This dream resuscitates that inspiration. Starting  such a company to exclusively employ persons with disabilities is my act of justice and mercy. Persons with disabilities must work and not be dependent on handouts. For work is something that can be richly rewarding, enriching and fulfilling. Work can in one regard nourish the human spirit.

In the Garden of Eden, God himself found fulfillment in his work of creation. He admired his productivity and the works of his hand and declared that his work was good. He gave Adam and Eve the work of care taking of the garden as well as delegated to humanity the responsibility for managing the earth. When God sentenced  man after the original sin to toil and labour, work itself was not a curse. Rather, God just declared that no longer will our work just be fulfilling and meaningful. In addition, we will now need to work in order to survive and not just for pleasure. In addition, our work will no longer be made easy, but will become increasingly difficult.

You see, work was never meant to be a curse, but a blessing. The curse comes in the form that before, we already had everything we needed for our survival handed to us, and that the work of tending the garden was just a pleasurable task. But after sin, work becomes hard, difficult, and even raising children becomes difficult, instead of only pleasurable and almost effortless.

With this in mind, I believe strongly that persons with disabilities must be given the chance or opportunity to be gainfully and meaningfully employed. Through such employment, not only should they receive health insurance and other benefits, but also the opportunity to discover and apply their skills and talents to completing jobs and feel the satisfaction of doing work to the best of their ability. The disabled too must get the opportunity to feel empowered, enriched, self-actualized and that sense of having a place in the world and making a contribution to make it a better place. The disabled also need to meet or fulfill all of Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

I know I need to work through the finer details, but so far, the company will be in the research and information production or publishing industry, where employees will have the opportunity to work at home, and use computing technology and the Web to get the work done. Now, by God's grace, I will have to contemplate the details and hopefully receive his greater wisdom and revelation for this mission or mandate.

Exploring the common stories of the 3 great monotheistic faiths

I had the pleasure of viewing ABC's "Back to beginning" series with Christiane Amanpour. Through her series, I went exploring with her the stories I loved, read, learned and cherished as a youth. Many of her experts also had great sayings. I benefited from the store of collective wisdom from Muslim, Jewish and Christian informants, as they shared the meaning they found in the Biblical stories that we all treasured. Some among the many that I documented are:
  • One has to be away from the distractions of modern life and routines in order to be aware of God's presence
  • Being a shepherd softens one heart: makes one prepared to be a shepherd of community.
  • A myths is more than history; it tells you the meaning of history
  • The Bible is essentially a story of a family: an epic tale that spans across the generations.
  • People try to make rules to live by and keep or at least learn from their mistakes.
Hence in this blog post, I just want to share the embedded video or the reference below for you to watch it for yourself.


Amanpour, C. (Producer and Director?). (2012). Back to the beginning [Television special]. New York, NY: ABC News Network. Retrieved from