Posted by: Dahni | February 19, 2011

Thank God

Thank God? Yes, that is correct. That is what I wrote and that is what I meant. I do not care if you are Jewish (Judaism) a Christian, a Muslim, of some other religious belief, an Agnostic or an Atheist. The word belief was purposefully and intentionally emphasized, because these are all beliefs! Everyone on planet earth and especially in the United States, should thank God! OH really? How can I write this? More importantly, why should you or anyone thank God?

First of all, Judaism, Christianity and Islam represent by numbers of adherents to these beliefs, the three major beliefs in the world today. There are many others and there is no intention on my part to exclude or offend anyone, as everyone is included in that everyone should Thank God.

Many Muslims believe that they share a common ancestor with those adherents of Judaism. I do not know if that is true and that is not the point. The point is that many believe that both the Jews (Judaean) and the Muslims have Abraham as a common ancestor. Abraham of the Bible had two sons. One was Issac and the other was Ishmael. This is a true account according to the Bible.  Through Issac, Judaism was founded and that is a true statement, also according to the Bible. And many believe that through Ishmael, Islam (the Muslim belief) began and was completed by Muhammad and the Qur’an (Koran). Many of the writings of the Qur’an (Koran) and of Muhammad, mention Abraham.

In Jerusalem, both the Jews (Judaeans) and the Muslims share areas important to both beliefs.

The ‘Dome of the Rock’ (foundation stone) is important to Muslims and is supposed to be built upon the Old Temple Mount of Jerusalem whose architect was David and whose builder was Solomon (one of David’s sons), both Judaean. The City of Jerusalem historically has been conquered and occupied several times over the many past centuries since it’s origin. Wars and battles have been fought in and around its borders for 100’s of years. Conflicts among the Jews, (Judaeans) Christians and Muslims have continued since its beginning and exist in our present day.

The significance and importance of The Dome of the Rock to Muslims, according to Sunni Islamic tradition is, it is, the spot from which Muhammad ascended to Heaven accompanied by the archangel Gabriel.  It is believed that from this location, Muhammad was taken here by Gabriel to pray with Abraham, Moses, and Jesus.

Just as Muslims pray towards the Kaaba at Mecca, the holiest site in Islam, Jews pray towards the raised platform on which the Dome of the Rock stands. Jews have traditionally regarded the location of the stone as the holiest spot on Earth, the site of the Holy of Holies during the Temple Period. The Jewish tradition does not have information regarding the exact location of the Holy of Holies, but the majority of scholars and rabbis believe it is somewhere in the area of the raised platform.

“Every where about the Mosque of Omar are portions of pillars, curiously wrought altars, and fragments of elegantly carved marble – precious remains of Solomon’s Temple. These have been dug from all depths in the soil and rubbish of Mount Moriah, and the Moslems have always shown a disposition to preserve them with the utmost care.”

Mark Twain

After the Siege of Jerusalem by the Rashidun army under the command of Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah, Patriarch Sophronius refused to surrender except to the Caliph Omar himself. Omar traveled to Jerusalem and accepted the surrender. He then visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Sophronius invited him to pray inside the Church, but Omar declined so as not to set a precedent and thereby endanger the Church’s status as a Christian site. Instead he prayed outside in the courtyard, in a place where David had prayed. Here ,in this vicinity, a mosque was constructed.

According to the Bible and of Abraham, it is said that he is –

the father of all that believe.

So if the common ancestor of both the Jews (Judaeans) and Muslims is Abraham, they should Thank God and be thankful for each other!

Well what about the Christians, Non-Christians, Agnostics and Atheists? Why should they thank God?

Christianity came out of Judaism. According to the Bible again and historical evidence, the person of Jesus did live and die. Jesus Christ according to scripture, fulfilled the law (over 900 of them including the 10 commandments). This allowed mankind that was cursed by its inability to fulfill the law due to corruption and imperfection of body and mind (soul), to be redeemed from that curse. The only payment to be made to get out of this curse was to die. WOW, great, we are no longer cursed, but still dead. Not too impressive is it? Well, if someone took your place, you would be free and still alive. This is what the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was to accomplish and not just for the Jew, Judaean or Israel, but once and for all people. This “all people,” thing technically occurred on the Day of Pentecost (around 1 AD) or 40 days after the resurrection of Jesus Christ and 10 days after his ascension. 40 + 10 = 50 days which is what Pentecost means  in ancient Greek. This event occurred in the open;  in the Temple and during a Holy Day in which at least all the heads of the families were required to be in Jerusalem. According to the book of Acts in the Bible, the people who attended this festival, this high or Holy Day, this feast of or this Day of Pentecost, were mentioned and represented all parts of the then world. News of this event would be spread to the whole earth as those attending in Jerusalem returned home.

But in practice, this “all people,” did not come until many years later, first with the Apostle Peter and then finally with the Apostle Paul. Peter at first, along with the Apostle John, were pretty much running everything and its main base of operation was Jerusalem. All of the Apostles were Galileans (except Judas Iscariot). Galileans were not regarded as being very high on the Judaean or Jewish stature list. They were considered unlearned (uneducated) and to put it lightly, not well liked or respected. Peter was pretty much anal-retentive when it came to the beliefs of Judaism. Peter was very emotionally high-strung. Peter was big on making promises and quick to quit. His name basically means a tiny stone that could easily blow around with the will of the wind or opinion (Greek = petros). It took God a long time to get Peter into accepting the fact that this new belief would now include non-Jews or non-Judaeans. And when he was finally convinced that this was the will of God, he still had to ‘cover-his-ass’ and brought many witnesses to convince others that God was reaching out to “all people.”

It was the Apostle Paul that was by birth a Judean and born a free Roman (gentile) that would carry this “all people” idea to the world. This new doctrine of basically one out of many (e pluribus unum) or that out of the Jews and Gentiles (all other people), would become the Church of God. This concept which had been written in the stars (astronomy) before people populated the earth and myths, mythology and astrology  corrupted it, was given to the Apostle Paul to write. Others had seen the vision of this in part or in full, but the Apostle Paul wrote it in the Epistle to the Colossians while he was under house arrest in Rome. But in the book of Colossians it is written, that this secret, this mystery of “all people” fulfills “the Word of God!” How was it to be known to the world, if the Apostle Paul was prohibited to travel outside of his own home in Rome, while under arrest?

The Apostle Paul, long before his arrest, basically decided that people in the Temple were not going to believe this new set of beliefs about “all people.” So he moved out of the Temple and beginning with just 12 households, moved this from house to house in all of the known world (Asia Minor) in the space of two years and three months. This marketing blitz  if you will, has never been duplicated ever since, despite our technology and mass media.

This marketing strategy is interesting to note because, history notes that the Roman Empire persecuted the First Century Church. It would have been quite easy to find them all and wipe them all out if they were all found and hanging out at the Temple in Jerusalem, but they were spread out all over the then known world. Sometimes they could be found in caves or other secret places and from “house to house” that looked like any other’s house.

The early Christians rejected the idea and cruelty of the Roman Games and gladiators which had been corrupted and taken from the Greek Olympic Games. The original Greek games were designed to keep their military in top physical, mental, emotional and perhaps spiritual health during peace time in preparation of any conflict that might ensue. The Romans had pretty much conquered  the world. Games became macabre acts of death, destruction, depravity, debauchery and appealed to these basest of human nature. Christianity rejected slavery, classification of people by race, color, creed and even sex. Christianity rejected violence, tyranny, an unbridled lust. Christianity threatened Rome. To make examples of them and to threaten others that might be inclined to look into this belief, Christians were brought as sport to the games, ridiculed, tortured  and killed.

But every person on the face of the earth should thank God for those Christians whose ideas and ideals eventually did away with the brutality of those games, and gave rise of freedom and liberty – to think, to imagine, to dream, to invent to evolve.

Years later, even within the Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches, religion and religious beliefs which had become corruptions and degradations of the original scriptures were challenged.  Martin Luther challenged, John Wesley challenged and there are many others that challenged the ‘status quo.’  This kind of thinking led to challenging that the earth was not flat, that the earth is spherical and many other ideas of science.

Society does not advance or progress without freedom. People such as John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and many others of the 18th century began to examine the blessings of Liberty against the ability to secure those blessings for not just themselves, but for “all people,” and for all time. The Revolutionary War was fought to secure the blessings of Liberty. The United States of America, with a written Constitution, was its legacy.

What perishes or does not survive we may not know, remember, recall or desire to. Wars come and go. Our twin natures of good and evil remain. What we do not know, remember, recall or desire to know, we each still benefit from, by what survives or has replaced what perished.

Today, “all people” of each and every nation upon the planet and wherever there are people, are blessed beyond measure, because of these Islamic and Judeo-Christian beliefs which begin with freedom and liberty and culminate with freedom and liberty.

This is why every person, every man, woman and child upon the face of the earth should thank God. Without Him or the ideas and concepts of this God, there would be no civilization, advancement, progress and no freedom to think, choose and believe, because there would be no liberty to do so. But there is –

THANK GOD!

 

Yes, that’s right. Thank God that Jews (Judaeans), Muslims, Christians, “all people” of all beliefs, the Agnostics and the Atheists all have the Liberty to believe whatever one desires to believe and the liberty to pursue those beliefs. Or from Abraham the father of all that believe through to the United States and all people of the world, Thank God for Life, Liberty and the right to pursue Happiness!

Just Imagine,

Dahni


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