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kicking against the goads?

April 5, 2016

When religion makes people worse


now are ‘we’ beginning to understand what a protestant is?




*continued in comments section


From → Uncategorized

  1. opheliart permalink

    I don’t particularly like the label “protestant” but … as I said on RNS comment … regarding a militant atheist’s demand to follow my every post and try to devalue me/my work—my worth—“If he just has to be here, we will use him to share.” and so we will use the label protestant (and interestingly, no ‘believer’ came to my defense in the case of the militant desperately trying to undermine me and make me look … less than while trying to put words in my mouth, trying to make me out to be something I am not … and I should remind the reader, I AM A MINORITY … where do nonbelievers or believers permit a gnostic any credence? 😉

    what was it JESUS said about doing to others? and the least of these?

    why would anyone not believe in ME? 😀 😀 😀 I seem real enough, don’t I? what more do you want? my death to prove that I AM … real?

    • opheliart permalink

      Christ lives within.

      those of the following of TRUTH.

  2. opheliart permalink

    PAUL never murdered anyone. once you begin to acquiesce in the kicking against the goads you begin to understand where he was in his “seeing”, which is of the mind (seeing is of the mind; hearing is of the heart).

    • opheliart permalink


      Rules, customs, theology, and beliefs[edit]
      The accounts by Josephus and Philo show that the Essenes led a strictly communal life – often compared by scholars to later Christian monastic living. Many of the Essene groups appear to have been celibate, but Josephus speaks also of another “order of Essenes” that observed the practice of being engaged for three years and then becoming married.[38] According to Josephus, they had customs and observances such as collective ownership,[39][40] electing a leader to attend to the interests of the group, and obedience to the orders from their leader.[41] Also, they were forbidden from swearing oaths[42] and from sacrificing animals.[43] They controlled their tempers and served as channels of peace,[42] carrying weapons only for protection against robbers.[44] The Essenes chose not to possess slaves but served each other[45] and, as a result of communal ownership, did not engage in trading.[46] Josephus and Philo provide lengthy accounts of their communal meetings, meals and religious celebrations.

      After a total of three years’ probation,[47] newly joining members would take an oath that included the commitment to practice piety towards “the Deity” (το θειον) and righteousness towards humanity, to maintain a pure lifestyle, to abstain from criminal and immoral activities, to transmit their rules uncorrupted and to preserve the books of the Essenes and the names of the Angels.[48] Their theology included belief in the immortality of the soul and that they would receive their souls back after death.[15][49] Part of their activities included purification by water rituals, which was supported by rainwater catchment and storage.

      Ritual purification was a common practice among the peoples of Palestine during this period and was thus not specific to the Essenes. Ritual baths are found near many Synagogues of the period.[50] Purity and cleanliness was considered so important to the Essenes that they would refrain from defecation on the Sabbath.[51]

      The Church Father Epiphanius (writing in the 4th century CE) seems to make a distinction between two main groups within the Essenes:[28] “Of those that came before his [Elxai, an Ossaean prophet] time and during it, the Ossaeans and the Nazarean.”[52] Epiphanius describes each group as following:

      The Nazarean – they were Jews by nationality – originally from Gileaditis, Bashanitis and the Transjordan… They acknowledged Moses and believed that he had received laws – not this law, however, but some other. And so, they were Jews who kept all the Jewish observances, but they would not offer sacrifice or eat meat. They considered it unlawful to eat meat or make sacrifices with it. They claim that these Books are fictions, and that none of these customs were instituted by the fathers. This was the difference between the Nazarean and the others…[53]

      After this Nazarean sect in turn comes another closely connected with them, called the Ossaeans. These are Jews like the former… originally came from Nabataea, Ituraea, Moabitis, and Arielis, the lands beyond the basin of what sacred scripture called the Salt Sea… Though it is different from the other six of these seven sects, it causes schism only by forbidding the books of Moses like the Nazarean.[52]

      If it is correct to identify the community at Qumran with the Essenes (and claim that the community at Qumran are the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls), then according to the Dead Sea Scrolls the Essenes’ community school was called “Yahad” (meaning “community”) in order to differentiate themselves from the rest of the Jews who are repeatedly labeled “The Breakers of the Covenant”.
      —-from wikipedia

      JESUS came out of a sect of the Essenes to do what? was he a type of protestant? protesting THE LAW(s) of his Day?

  3. opheliart permalink


    pontius pilate engaged in it—yes?

    how many of our politician pastors are ruminating in this same genre?

  4. opheliart permalink

    The Essenes chose not to possess slaves but served each other[45] and, as a result of communal ownership, did not engage in trading. wiki

    i am not sure this is true. if one family was skilled in an area and another in another area, they traded with each other, as one might need something the other made, and in exchange something was given … in order to be even.

    but, where i see they would not trade with other groups not within these same beliefs and practices would be because of the their desire for purity. they did not want to be in a position to have to serve in the laws of others not of their beliefs —their faith. they did not want to be forced to go to war or to be a servant to practices they were not in agreement with. and like ‘blood diamonds’ or something, they did not want to trade with people abusing their own or others to get things … property, wives … whatever. if dishonesty, deception, abuse and misuse, even pandering, were a part of a person, government’s habit … way … means of getting … they did not want to support it … be a party to it or … encourage the practices/beliefs.

    • opheliart permalink

      coming out of the comfort of a community to walk among barbarian interests … well, it takes a prophet willing … to endure in these contemptuous, pride-filled, big-headed, accusatory, reckless, hypocritical, careless, often misogynistic … pandering … agents.

  5. opheliart permalink

    we are not in any way serving for these people … murderer or lawyers defending his rights

    just so you know

    there ARE boundaries and there ARE limits

    • opheliart permalink

      and we do not wish our time and money go to these histrionics … nor do we wish our time and money to go to murderous religious political laws … no matter how old or how people claim it as their right

      if evidence is more than overwhelming that the murderer is … a murderer

      • opheliart permalink

        sometimes evil sets itself up to be given something … trained in military means … an excuse to be lauded in some manner

  6. opheliart permalink

    James Apr 5, 2016 at 11:08 pm
    Irrelevant. Without a transcendent moral good all ethics is arbitrary. If arbitrary then the best you have is some form of social contract or a shell game equivalent to paper money. It’s worth something only because we all agree it is. Sure, if you want to live in the system you have to go along but there is not an inherent value. With a transcendent moral good then whatever that goodness reveals as being good must be by definition. The most we can do is argue over what that revelation is. “kindness” to a “human” “person” is not a self-evident standard but relies on arguing for the “goodness” of some action defined as “kind” and the value of both a “human” and a “person”. Empathy will not do as all is does is inform a person about the emotional state of another, it doesn’t make a demand outside of system that dictates a particular emphatic response is of moral oughtness. For instance, pigs have feelings and I still eat bacon. Without a higher goodness to give pigs…

    – See more at:

    so where do you feed to enter into that “higher good” ? if watching pornographic video is your feeding to understand how to engage in sex, for example … you would very likely have a different view of sex from one engaging in sex with one he truly loves and understands, respects, appreciates and grows with … and the release is communal not instant gratification or something systematically breeding.

    was reading philo’s commentary on the essenes to see how it matched up with wikipedia’s info. wiki shows a combining of two philosopher’s views and observations. and interestingly, philo goes on to share his views of women and these are not the kindest views, and he was referring to essenes … but it was clear to me that it was HIS view of women in general and not a clear depiction of the female of this sect, or the view the male essenes had of its female members … as this is inconsistent and incompatible with the manner and life/belief of these people as a community of faith … although I am certain that there were cases where their women were absent from assemblies because of birth and child care responsibilities, but no where do I see a blatant disregard of women in the life of certain Essenes.

    I had read some time ago philo’s statements regarding women and was disappointed that he, too, was feeding in the secular (of that day—its morals and ethics, bound by popular demand-practices …). his circle of interest was obviously tethered to teachings steeped in partiality … an ignorance born of a misunderstanding in the realm of the Spirit. it permeates in the buttresses of that day. not the essenes, but men in general, often viewing women as seductresses … intent on evil, and for many insulated in the intellect regarding the spirit (the mind pleasing itself over and over and over), missing the heart of Humanity.

    philo contradicts himself. at one point in his glorification of the essenes, he tells of how children sit listening to the older, wiser … so attentive, but in another, he says there are no children among them—that you find no children among them (and no women) and that these are men older … at first, trained in the language of the SPIRIT, I thought he might be referring to SPIRITUAL MATURITY (put away things of a child … that sort of thing) but no, it speaks quite candidly when he goes on to tell of the avarice of women. it is clear that philo was partial and his views are not to be taken as AUTHORITY or even TRUTH. this is not to say that he has not much valid work; it is merely to caution the reader that he was feeding in the mandates of the patriarchal … as much of his religious attribute shows. * if you have read philo’s commentary about women … you know of what we speak … can you imagine how certain societies would be attacking his views? 😉

    and this was true of many of what regions call their “church fathers”. and where roman catholicism was feeding, orthodoxy … christianity and its many sects.

    we are not of this vein.

    • opheliart permalink

      jimfromcanada Apr 6, 2016 at 1:22 am
      It seems to me that societies choose their own ethics and that many Biblical narratives simply were developed to justify what the leaders of Israel(for example) decided to do.
      The impulse for the common good may come from our common wonder at the universe and our existence. Whatever society we are a part of changes over time. Our understanding about how the universe works, how society works and what our part in human society is constantly challenged The cognitive dissonance that is a part of those challenges create the cracks that “let in the light” or the sense of the divine, and a new “eternal” order emerges. Evil, our inadvertent mistakes as well as our deliberate self centred choices will always be a part of human existence dealt with by society when the results become obvious. Religion is the vehicle of much human reflection and valuation, and as one religion becomes banal another one will take its place. Even the religion of religionlessness will be supplanted.

      – See more at:

      and it is clear many leaving religion are leaving because of its stagnant nature. it no longer breathes … but the answer is not disbelief in God of Truth, but a moving upward … that climb to see where man is mired … what makes him irresolute. violent. hypocritical. diseased. partial. accusatory. lazy. impetuous … and so on.

      • opheliart permalink

        a ship stuck in the mud needs divers. and divers need to be skilled in the wake.

  7. opheliart permalink

    too many pastors are secular vocational religious. they are unclear on what is the manner of the Spirit and they dare not risk their reputation … nor give up their precious seat … to save …

    JESUS gave up the comforts of the old, and steered meticulously in the secular… to advance the NEW, which is to say he acquiesced in the HEART OF LOVE.

    today, one watches while ignorance is permitted to ridicule and despise what it does not know, understand or care anything about. man loves his own self-determination. he spits his rhetoric for his own advancement but cares nothing of Truth. he will veil his mediocrity to gain influential seats … for the temporal of his own inheritance …partners with his own … same, rather than the Christ of emergence.

    • opheliart permalink

      we have no use for pornographic adventurists. let them eat their sugary, fattening excess of cakes.
      we will stay within the legumes of sincere trust and motivational respect, not careless feeding for has-been retrospect. history repeats … we watch it enamor itself until it reeks … drugged, wrestling within its own stupor.

      • opheliart permalink

        the nightmare called mankind, absent of HUMANITY

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