Does Jamaica need an aggressive and tough crime chief? Does it need severe penalties against murderers and gang members? Well the call is out from several citizens for the country to fix our rotten crime statistics, which placed us as one of the most murderous countries in the world for such a small population. Some citizens want it fix, but with little or no aggression against criminals, while some want it fix with all the aggression there is.
As a result of this crime problem that seemed to be raging like a bull let loose destroying our little resources and anything in its path. We have seen the demise of many heads of the armed forces (police and army) and many ministers of National Security, all in an attempt to find the messiah. The one to kill the bull, the one to bring it to its knees and save our country.
To date the bull is still raging, the last two backs have turned like a hopeless child and our country is in a state of limbo and confusion about our next move, the army messiah is in place, but the police messiah is yet to appear. Social media and other media channels are ringing out on who should be the next and who shouldn’t be. Many answers to capturing the crime bull are given and likewise many questions raised.Several answers coming from those without bullring and bullfighting experience. Some from behind the academic and theoretical desks, some from behind the man revered pulpits, some from the holy temples, some from the streets of the downtown, the streets of uptown, some from behind their fortified walls, some from behind the zinc fence, some from foreign lands and some from within the forces. All seem to have the answer to capturing the bull, yet the bull continue to elude us.
We all can say what we may and theorise whatever we want, but until you have been in the ring of the bull and know just how it feels to know that the bull called crime is really real then you know little about the strengths and weakness of the bull. Knowing the strengths and weakness is pivotal in destroying this crime bull. Until you see your neighbour killed, houses burnt to the ground, families eradicated, businesses fail or failing due to this crime bull, then you know little about grabbing this bull by its horn. Until you have been shot at, robbed, humiliated, see your children wounded, traumatised, some killed, some confused by the force of this bull then you know little. Until you see your once peaceful community and playing field turned into a war zone, until you see the bus stop in front of your lane or avenue become a border line that if you stand there or cross it you will be in a body bag, until your only means of leaving your community to go shopping is by a vehicle and not your God given travelling feet, then you know little about this crime bull.
Until you have the experience of spending consecutive days away from your love ones on a duty fighting this bull and you return to base to go home to be reunited with your family, when your little daughter who long to see her daddy or her mommy, ask you over the phone when are you coming home and you tell her, i’m coming home now, then you hang up the phone, put on your civilian clothes about to leave, then you are called to an emergency meeting, only to be greeted with the news that another community is in upsurge and your service is required immediately, you are told to go and get your gears and prepare to move out again, possibly for another week or maybe 48 hours.
While getting dressed again in your war suit your phone rang, it’s your daughter on the line, her voice happy and cheerful as she burst with excitement and ask you how far away are you on your journey home, you pause for a while, looked into the sky, think hard of the best answer that will not burst her angelic bubble, but to no avail,all answers that you can possibly give will send her into depression and sadness. So you strong up, put on the brave voice and told her, daddy or mommy won’t be coming home again for today. You could hear her anguish as she screamed NO NO NO NO NO NOOOO! in your ears. Her heart breaks, your partner heart breaks and your heart broke in pieces. A family so near but so far apart, separated by this crime bull. Until you know just how that feels then you know little about what it takes to kill this bull.
Until your innocent brother has been killed and you are out planning his funeral arrangements, still in your grief, still coming to grips with this harsh reality. Only to hear your phone rang, thinking it is mummy, but no, it is the neighbour, on the phone you’re told that shots just rang out in your volatile community as gang members fought for dominance and that your mother was sitting watching her television and was hit in the head by a stray bullet that went through the zinc fence and into the house killing her on the spot. Your brother is dead, not even buried yet and now your mother. How would you feel towards this crime bull. Until you know just how it feels, then you know little about this crime bull.
Lest we forget.In the aftermath of the Tivoli incursion, crime went to its lowest in our history, persons of interest when called to report responded quickly and turned themselves in. If you call a man a don he would be quick to disassociate himself from such a term. Why was it like this and only seem to prevail in the period following May 2010? As a seasoned crime fighter and educated citizen, it would be logical to attribute these success to the reality that breathe upon us, the reality that those who chose to defy the laws of the land will be severely punished.No one wants to be in contravention to the law, no one wants to be the next crime fighting statistic, so everyone complied with the rule of law.
Sometimes, maximum force has to be applied to send a strong message, the message that will see morality and good principles be adhered. Even Jesus, the lord and peace maker of the bible understood this.He showed his understanding of this when he went into the temple and see men doing evil within the temple. This evil was so ingrained in them, it became the norm of the day. Jesus, upon seeing them committing their treachery and evil, did not hesitate, instead in twine some figs together and began to whip the moral breakers outside of the temple. His tactic was aggressive, yet effective, his message was clear. He may have violated their rights, but rights to what, rights to commit crime, to commit atrocities. Go help me if i defend a man’s right to become evilous and treacherous. That ain’t no right but a breach of all rights.
For years I thought our lack of vision was the reason why Jamaica perishes, until an old man left a coin in my hands. He said he had no use for it as it can’t buy anything. I looked at this coin, only to realise that it was an old outdated Jamaican coin. Inscribed on the coin were the words , ” LET US PRODUCE MORE FOOD”. The inscription appeared to be one of the written vision statements of Jamaica’s path to wealth and prosperity in the 1970’s. It was profound, I was illuminated and sent in meditation trance.Inscribed on the other side was the year, “1977”. My intuition told me that our country received the right vision for growth from as early as the 1970’s and even beyond; yet, more than 38 years later, our country have not accomplished that vision. I learnt an invaluable lesson from this inscription on a coin of no value. We as Jamaicans, had a vision, but not the power and might to accomplish that vision as our power and might have been paralyzed by the venom of austerity. This venom was injected in our productive veins by the poisonous bite of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the body of the Jamaican economy.
Curious to know my history so I can know how to draw the path of the future, I decided to research the truth behind the reason why such a profound vision was never accomplished. In summary, this is what i found. In the 1970’s, Jamaica was experiencing economic hardship, Michael Manley (then Prime Minister) entered an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with the hope of getting help for the woes of the country. During that agreement his administration disagreed with some of the austerity measures demanded by the IMF, the next election he was ousted from power and allegations of US led conspiracy echoed the airwaves, he lost to Edward Seaga. Seaga continued on the IMF agreement, but also arrived at a crossroad with the IMF, he refused to follow the IMF’s demands, he lost in the next election.
Michael Manley returned to power and a new IMF was in place. Power of the country was internally was passed on to P.J Patterson who continued the IMF’s imposed market oriented reforms, nonetheless, Jamaica’s economy continued to decline. After several long years of hardship under the PNP led administration and the after effects of the IMF’s venomous austerity bite, the JLP returned to power. The world recession was in full swing at this time and Jamaica was feeling its effects. Another IMF deal was placed as an option, but the JLP refused, before their term ended, Bruce Golding was ousted from power by what was alleged to be a conspiracy by US authorities, and the PNP returned to power. America is one of the major governing countries that governs the IMF. The PNP entered a new IMF deal, but Jamaica was still plunging.
May i pause for a minute to reflect on industrial history in Jamaica, particularly in St.Catherine, my birth parish and the once industrial commercial parish of Jamaica. I can remember as a child growing in the parish of Saint Catherine, we had approximately 14 factories spanning the length and breadth of the parish, some of which were owned by the government and some by private individuals and companies. As Jamaica’s woes increased as a result of mismanagement by our leaders and austerity measures by the IMF, our factories decrease. Today, only approximately half of those factories still exists in operational mode. The rest have been transformed into churches, squatter business and wastes building. In addition, of the few still in operation, not one, is owned by the government; and they are all operating with minimum levels of employment and outdated machinery. The venom of austerity has left a lingering paralysis within our economy. We have not recovered from the first bite and we are in for a second.
To date, we are in one of the hardest times i have experienced as a citizen, and I believe the worst is yet to come based on IMF trends and our method of growth. Our working hands and feet seem to be crippled by the disease of the IMF’s austerity rules. History had taught us, that if you disagree with the slave master (the IMF) you will be punished, your rule will end. It also taught us, that our problems cannot be solved with deals from the IMF as our country have not grown significantly by the austerity measures. The myth, many are led to believe, is that Jamaica need help from the IMF, debunking that myth will reveal that, it is the IMF who is desperate for help, not Jamaica, as it is the IMF who imposes itself on us. Examine the historical trend, they (IMF) sabotage any party or leader that is opposed to their control of the country’s economics.
Now if you are only here to help us, why sabotage leaders when they refuse to take your help? Why not walk away and allow them to make their own choices? The moment you decide to use cruel and manipulative tactics to enforce or impose yourself on another that does not wish to engage you, speaks volume to an evil intent on part of the imposer. It is the IMF who needs help, not Jamaica.Thank God for reflection, as it paints a clear picture on the path of the past leading into the future, it allows us to see things we might not have being able to see while in the present. I implore us to resist oppression now, break the chains of the modern day slave master and cure ourselves from its venom.
Greece waited too long to realise this, that’s why they are in that predicament. Some are led to fear the repercussions of resisting the IMF, especially when they heed to the illusion that Greece is suffering because they refuse to accept the IMF’s demands. A mind of wisdom and vision will see the truth that if we resist now we may suffer hardship from the hands of the slave master, but our children and children’s children will live in happiness. Let us pave the happiness and bright future for our children by acting now. It is better to be free and live in hardship, than be in bondage and still live in hardship. Bondage can never bring happiness, what it yields is a cloning or illusion of happiness. You think you are happy, but you are not, your gut feeling and intuition tells you, you aren’t.
Let us truly emancipate ourselves from modern slavery, produce more food and rise to the top of our potential as an independent country. We are never independent as long as our crucial economic decisions are controlled by another external government who cares not about our well being. May this vision of the 1970’s “LET US PRODUCE MORE FOOD” be accomplished with this generation, only then will we be able to cure ourselves from the poisonous and paralysing venom of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This article is non partisan and is only influenced by the facts of historical data and logical reasoning. Are you up to the task to make a difference? Cheers.
I was born on Saturday May 29, to Mr. Charles Thompson and Mrs. Pearl Thompson. Some might not believe in numerology, but the compelling results from numerology about my life left me with no choice but to believe in part. My belief is somewhat reserved though. Below are excerpts on what some have to say about Rohan Alexander Thompson and his birthday. Hope you enjoy.
Origin: Hindu, Indian, Irish
Meaning: Ascending, Developing bud
Astrology: Spiritually aware, a visionary, inspiring, charismatic, inventive, a dreamer, idealistic and a deep thinker. You rely on faith rather than logic to deal with life and all it has to offer. Much is expected of you having the master number eleven. Your purpose in life is to give inspiration to others. You possess an inordinate amount of energy and intuition, and you can inspire people even without much effort. Take full advantage of your powers you must develop yourself sufficiently and surrender yourself to higher ideals. You will find success in fields that let you be a teacher, diplomat or speaker. All fields where you can utilize your considerable talents at uplifting and inspiring others.
Meaning: Defender of Men
1.Meaning of this life path number: You have a very high level of creativity, imagination, self expression and an ability to inspire others. This abundance of creative energy combined with vesratility and a good nature make you able to communicate in all areas. Writing or verbal communication both feel easy to you, these are your origins. Your road can lead you to become a poet, writer, actor, artist or musician. In fact the life path three is very common in many writers, radio broadcasters, actors, singers, performers, and counselors. Very giving and generous souls who can find positivity everywhere around them.
2. You are an independent person: ambitious and freethinking. You do not crumble under pressure, you always stay true to yourself. Being a natural leader, you love being in charge and need to have a goal or purpose. You have courage, but make sure you’re also flexible and take other people’s ideas to heart. (explainwords.com)
- You get excitement from all that is new. Slowing down has it’s benefits. Taking on many new things too frequently can become a load on you back. In your personal relationships you can be assertive or even aggressive. Keep your feelings and outward appearance in check, and don’t get too sensitive.
- Positive: Active. Emotionally expressive. Restless. Spiritual. Strong. Determined.
Negative: Easily influenced.
- Being a visionary you tend to amass great wealth but also lose it fast. In the longrun you will probably be fine. Your creativity will serve you well. You think from the gut and might prefer to be alone. Fight any doubts you might have about yourself and spend plenty of time outdoors!
- Positive: Successful. A natural money maker. Business acumen. Nature lover. Self-contained.
- Always taking the moral high ground that support your spiritual beliefs and strong will can at times alienate people around you. Boundaries and having rules is important to you. You feel things very deeply and are sensitive. Jealousy feelings can cause you trouble. Not brooding over past mistakes and forgiving others could lead to more happiness.
- Positive: Patienct. Studious. Responsible. Intellectual. Community minded. Good student.
Negative: Uncontrolled emotions
- One could call you a workhorse because of your high work moral. Not needing much sleep and having great health. Without financial security you feel very uneasy. Homeimprovement is one of your hobbies. Having too great a drive to get things done can at time result in impatients with others.
- Positive: Self-confident. Industrious. Courageousous. Domestic. Intuitive. Psychic.
- You are fond of new knowledge and pursue it. Making great first impressions comes easy to you, but you can also seem distant. You get extremely impatient at times. Do not focus too much on it and to be more generous with your time.
- Positive: Shrewd. Thoughtful. Expressive. Influential. Knowledgeable. Spiritual.
- You are a real charmer. Your warmth and devotion cal lead you towards strong feelings and overly dramatic reactions. Try not to be too emotional when making big decisions. Sometimes it’s better to just wait five minutes beforehand.
- Positive: Strong feelings. Starter. Magnetic. Attracts money. Energetic.
- Having creative and unique ideas you tend to think outside of the box. You have a strong will with opinions to match it. You like to have an overview of your life which can result in writin journals. You build your life in a systematic way and could have your fair share of romantic relations.
A Draft by astrologist Jill M. Phillips
Geminis born May 29 possess a star quality that is unrivaled by others. Their ability to sway the opinions of others is nothing short of miraculous. They possess charm, intelligence, and wit. If they lack for anything it is an introspective side. These social individuals prefer not to analyze their feelings. They gravitate toward risk and sometimes are foolhardy.
Friends and Lovers
May 29 individuals are personable and are able to make an individual feel as if he or she is the most important person in the world. They often have a frivolous attitude toward love. They shy away from intense affairs or individuals who try to “own” them.
Children and Family
May 29 people tend to be the “black sheep” of the family. This can be surprising, since their charm cloaks a decidedly rebellious nature. They make tender, sympathetic parents. Like all Gemini natives, they have an instinct for childhood and strive to develop a child’s sense of independence.
Despite their lithe, youthful image, May 29 natives may actually do little to support a healthful lifestyle. They are the sort who can eat all the wrong things yet remain imperiously slim. Since they keep their emotions to themselves, outlets for their anxiety through meditation or sensory deprivation exercises are recommended.
Career and Finances
Individuals born on May 28 have a complicated nature and are drawn to many different subjects, but they prefer to learn through books rather than firsthand experience. They are not known for their ability to handlemoney, though they may be able to make it easily enough. They make excellent teachers and attorneys.
Dreams and Goals
May 29 natives are extremely goal-oriented. They will work hard to make a goal become a reality, but if they get bored along the way, they will toss all their hard work to the wind without a second thought. They have high ideals yet enough wisdom to know that there are times when those ideals need to be temporarily sacrificed in the name of friendship, love, or simple common sense.
I do not condone violence in most cases. Martin Luther once said” a riot is the voice of the unheard”. Now America has stop its ears for way too long about the ill treatment of one race. Now it is time for action of the unheard, it is sad that America paid them no attention and has told them (by their inability to listen peacefully) that they should use violence with the hope of getting their full attention to make an impartial decision. Sometimes we may never understand why people do things until we are faced with similar situations. Hence we should refrain from becoming judgemental and acting like demi Gods. As one man puts it well “There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, and what doth it behoves any of us, to find fault with the rest of us” (author unknown). Let us hope the powers that be, give a listening ear to the voice of the unheard and let the riots cease. Violence is not good, but sometimes it can convey a message and bring about a change. After all, America is a product of violent actions and it is a nation that utilises violence to show its frustration against the regime of several world leaders and their country. This fact is not mentioned to justify the riots, but to articulate the point that even the Judges of the world uses violence to convey messages. In some countries, peace now exists or to some extent, as a result of Americas violent actions. To further strengthen my case, let me posit that this country (America) gained independence by way of a violent and bloody revolution. It was once divided, now it is united as a result of the broader act of violence.
All these actions mentioned above came out of frustration and neglect of the minority and the willful deaf ears or evil ruling of the majority. As long as laws are mainly for the minority and not the majority, then violence and chaos will always be at the door. May we all learn from this riot, may we learn to give listening ears to all men and may we learn to make impartial rules and laws that governs not just the minority but also the majority. On one hand, we are saddened by the damages caused as a result of violent riots, but let us reserve the other hand and wait on the outcome of the riot to see if we will be happy with its effects on the legislations of the justice system.
Any nation that dishonours the voice of some of its people will definitely reap results as this riot in America. I do hope Jamaica is learning from what is being taught by our American neighbors. It is important, that as we try to understand the complexities of this saga, we bear in mind that everyone, and every nation under the sun has a breaking point. We all, no matter how angelic some of us may sound and over righteous we may seem in our judgements, like a yard stick that breaks at some point during bending, we all have that stress point in which we can take no more, and so we break. How we react when we break is another matter to discuss, some may respond calmly, and some may respond violently. Each man and nation has their own style of responding to conflicts.
In concluding, it imperative, that i extend condolences to the family of Freddie Gray and Walter Scott and all those who have suffered directly and indirectly by the hands of injustice. I do hope peace will blossom in our world, even if tension still exists, I still want peace. “True peace is not the absence of tension, but the presence of Justice” Martin Luther King jr. “Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war and until there are no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation, until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes. And until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race, there is war. And until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizenship, rule of international morality, will remain but a fleeting illusion to be pursued, but never attained… now everywhere is war.”Haile Selassie I.
Cheers to world peace everyone!
“Jesus Christ died for our sins” is a common phrase echoed in the Christian arena. It is widely believed that the death of Jesus on the cross is the sole action that allows the world to receive remission of its sins from God the Father; a sin that originates in the garden of Eden at the yielding of Adam and Eve to the temptation brought on by the devil. I would like to ask, Is this phrase, entirely true? Did Jesus Christ declare to the world that he came to die so that the sins of the world will be forgiven? Most, if not all in the Christian faith were taught this message, that Jesus Christ died for our sins. We are going to analyse this belief system in an effort to debunk issues such as theological truths and theological heresies that might have been overlooked or over rated throughout the centuries of Christian teaching. It is the intention of the writer to bring truth to the surface and to bring to order any confusion. It is not the intention of the writer to contradict doctrinal teachings and create confusion among believers in Christ. Even though some may develop challenges after reading. For those who are willing to accept the naked truth of scripture even if it oppose their clothe indoctrinated beliefs.This article is not for non thinkers, but for those who are willing to think beyond and to confirm what they have been taught over the years. Now that we are clear on the purpose of this article let us continue our exploratory journey into one of the most mysterious mysteries of Christianity concerning, Jesus Christ dying for the sins of the world. How did it all began?
The history behind the salvation story (the story of the incarnated God in a human Prototype)
” As in Adam all sinned even so in Christ shall all be made alive”. This phrase sums up the role of Christ in relation to the role men played in the shape of their own destiny. An explanation that can be derived from this phrase is that because of the actions or life of Adam (meaning “the first man” or literary “man”) all mankind were destined for spiritual death, as the wages of sin is death (spiritual death), see Romans 6:23, but through the actions and life of Christ, man now has the opportunity to receive spiritual life. It is important to note that sin came about as a result of the way in which man lived, and still exists today due to the way we live. Sin will continue to live among men, once men continues to display acts contrary to the principles of God. When the apostle says ” Let sin not reign in your mortal bodies”, he shows that he understands that sin can be a thing of the past, once mankind allows the greater power to reign in their body or mind.
The Mosaic Law of the Israelis was unable to transform men into the image of God. The Law tried, but it could not bring men to master the most important virtue, the virtue of Love. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Gal. 5:14; NASB). This is the reason Christ had to come and show us the way,the way of Love; and he did so by living an exemplary life of Love. And this greater power commands us to Love in order to receive spiritual life, “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death”. (1 John 3:14). Now that we have established that sin and its partner which is spiritual death, first came as a result of actions displayed in the life of man, we can also establish the fact that life came first as a result of the actions displayed in the life of Jesus Christ. This spiritual life has been transferred to the world through the life of Christ and is received when man emulates the actions of Jesus Christ. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another”. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”(John 13:34-35). I think we all can agree that Love is displayed in the life lived, rather than a thousand words spoken. I need not say more on this now.
Evidences supporting the issues that led to Christs crucifixion.
Despite the teaching and rigorous laws of Judaism, the world was still living in spiritual death, mankind was still clueless as to how to refrain from sin. The act of Love was missing, no religion prior to the birth of Christ taught Love in its true sense. Not even the so-called people of God ( the Jews) had it right. This is the reason Jesus came and this is the reason why his teaching opposed most of the doctrinal teachings of Judaism. Let us read a couple of these explicit contradiction to the law of Judaism but clarification to the universal laws of God proclaimed by Jesus Christ. Matthew 5 : 38-39, 43-44.“You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,…”. Jesus taught the world how to live a life of love and righteousness through his speeches and daily actions. He those speeches and actions he offended and in the same breath bring to a close the Mosaic Law when he taught against some of its precepts. Once you go against one law you offend all the law, and that is the law of Judaism.
“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.”(James 2:10). So Jesus, by disapproving one, much more two, of the Mosaic Law has without any doubt, obliterated it. At the time of Jesus, the Jews knew this fact of dishonoring or contradicting one Law, hence the hatred meted against Jesus by religious leaders. The Israelites tried to teach Love to the world by the teaching of their Laws and subsequent obedient lifestyle to the Laws. Yet they fail miserably, as their very Law was in default of depicting true Love, hence any obedience to the Law would be in error of professing Love.
God knew this fact about the Law of Moses and that is the very reason why he himself had to come to earth in the form of a man and showed the world their error and the way to living a God centered life. Since the teachings of the Mosaic Law was in error, the teachings of God had to contradict all error in order for true righteousness to be established. This righteousness was established through the life and teachings of Christ.
Therefore it was for the reason of contradicting and overruling the law of Moses that resulted in the death of the body of Jesus.
Did Jesus Christ really died for our sins?
According to the scripture, John 2:20 “Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”20The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21But He was speaking of the temple of His body.…”. This is a clear indication that Jesus Christ who is the spirit was just an occupant of a temporal temple called the body. Now John 10:18 remarked, “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” This is another confirmatory passage that tells us Jesus Christ wasn’t killed by men, instead he lay down or exited his mortal body and later returned to it with his own power. Jesus Christ is God the almighty, the God of Abraham and Israel incarnated in human flesh. Since he is God, and God cannot and never dies, we should be settled in the truth that Jesus never died. It was the body occupied by the supreme God that was laid down. Jesus Christ never died, he simply lay down the mortal body and resurrected or returned to it after three days. Now that we have proven and establish that Jesus did not die, the question then arises, How was our sins forgiven? This takes us to our next paragraph.
Jesus Christ lived for our sins.
Concerning our sins, the Old Law would have required blood sacrifice, but because Christ came with the new covenant, there is no need for the shedding of blood for sins to be forgiven. This truth about forgiveness did not began at the cross, it existed during the life of Christ. To further illuminate my position, I will refer you to the encounter with Jesus and the paralyzed man, reading from the book of Matthew 9:2, “And, behold, they brought him a paralyzed man, lying on a bed; and Jesus, seeing their faith, said unto the paralyzed man, Trust, son; thy sins are forgiven thee. Here is another encounter Luke 7:48 ” Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.”…”. These two encounters which happen during the life of Christ articulates the fact that sins were already forgiven before the crucifixion, before the blood run from his side. Since sin had been forgiven without any blood shed, I am impressed to believe that the shedding of Christ’s blood on the cross had little, if anything at all to do with forgiveness of our sins. He forgave sins while he lived, hence it is his life and spoken word that allowed sins to be forgiven. By teaching against the misconceptions of Judaism and directly establishing a new covenant with his pronouncements, Jesus Christ brought salvation to mankind long before his body was crucified. Salvation is God’s way of life and will for mankind, this was demonstrated in the life of Christ. Now since his death did not bring salvation, what is its significance?
What is the purpose and significance for the death of the body of Christ?
John 12:32″And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” The purpose of the death of Jesus’ body was to bring all men to him. It was to bring glory to God. How was this glory achieved? When the world behold his body crucified and then seeing that body resurrected without the help of anyone except God himself, it would signify to people that Jesus was indeed a supernatural being. They would then conclude that he was indeed God incarnate, as only God could have that power to lay his body down and resurrect it. Now men would begin to glorify God through the belief in the life of Jesus Christ. Looking on Jesus’ life from a literal standpoint, one could conclude that the body was crucified as a result of the hatred Jesus received from the religious leaders of his day.To them he was a threat to their doctrine and religious order, hence he had to be annihilated. Yet to Jesus, he had to change the covenant in order to bring God (speaking of his salvation) to man and lay down his body in order to bring glory from man to God.
The day God die is the day our world ceases to exist as he is the life of the world. He is the plug and the current to our life machines. In our christian arenas and meetings, more emphasis need to be placed on the life of Christ; as it is through his life that salvation comes to us. The death of the body instead of the death of the soul of Jesus should be emphasize on, as Jesus never died. The body, the son of man died, Jesus, God the spirit did not die. There is a difference between the body and the soul or the spirit. His body died because men did not like his teachings, it died because the job of Jesus was accomplished and God had to leave the earth along with his now physical body.The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ’ body was a symbol that points humans to salvation. In other words, the death and resurrection of the body of Jesus illuminates the fact that Jesus the spirit that occupied the body, was and is God and it serves as a guide towards salvation.
All text are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) and the New International Version (NIV).
Digging up the grounds of Divorce, Remarriage, and Adultery. By: Rohan .A. Thompson B.A
Divorce, remarriage, and adultery are troublesome topics that haunt the minds of several religions across the world. Christianity is one such religion; for this blog, I will dig into the ground of the Bible hoping to unearth the naked truths about these issues. In setting the premise, let me unorthodoxly define marriage as the intimate togetherness of a man and a woman, which is characterised by mutual love and consistent faithfulness. Marriage need not have the elements of vows, human witnesses, ceremonies and legal documents to be justified. We will cover this in another blog. Now to the issue before us, here is a bit of Old Testament history.
In the Old Testament Law, Moses allowed couples to divorce providing that they met certain criteria, (See Deuteronomy 24). This chapter in Deuteronomy points to the reason for divorce to be one single factor, and that is “uncleanness”. The Hebrew noun טֻמְאָה (tum’ah; pronounced tüm·ä’), meaning “uncleanness” refers to one’s actions, it is literally, “nakedness of a thing”, hence sexual immorality can be implied here. It can also be implied that “uncleanness” is anything that is consistently bad or bad to the point where it cannot be rectified, hence the hurting party feels the need to separate. Uncleaness in this book of deuteronomy speaks to an unclean act being committed by the female gender. However, the writer in the book of the gospel of St. Mark later gave us the illumination that uncleanness could also be found on the husband’s part, hence women can issue divorce too, (see Mark 10:12). Since uncleanness is the only reason cited for divorce according to these scriptures, let us examine what it literally means. The gospel according to St. Matthew records Jesus’ understanding of ‘uncleaness’ in the passage of the book of deuteronomy. In referring to that same passage about uncleanness in Deuteronomy 24:1, Jesus remarked, “whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery” (Matthew 19:9). Sexual immorality is also uncleanness before God. Hence the issue of ‘uncleaness’ in the book of deuteronomy can be substituted for the word ‘Sexual Immorality’ in the book of St.Matthew. It can be viewed that Jesus understood that uncleanness is associated with acts of sexual immorality. Now, sexual immorality is sometimes substituted by the word fornication in Some bible versions. The word ‘fornication’, is derived from the Greek word ‘porneia’ which derives from the root greek ‘porneo’ which means sexual immorality. As a result of this root definition, fornication should be considered a broad term, or category referring to or covering any form of sexual sin; which includes, but is not restricted to, sexual intercourse with someone who is not your spouse. Even consistently withholding sex from your spouse can be viewed as sexually immoral. This can also be a reason for divorce as it is sexual immorality. Let us be clear “God hates divorce” (Malachi 2:16). The pain, confusion, depression, and stress most people experience after a divorce are surely part of the reason that God hates divorce. Nonetheless, God hates unhappiness too, and if persons are unhappy in a marriage due to sexual immoralities, and a divorce would make them happier, I do not think God would have a problem with this reason for divorce. Actually he don’t as he stated it clearly in Matthew 19. According to Jesus, once divorce is done for the reason of sexual immorality, remarriage is not to be viewed or considered a sin.
In dealing with remarriage, let us examine divorce in the original Hebrew, even with stipulated cause. Divorce was never to be seen as a preferred or easy option,even though ancient and modern men abuse this privilege. The Hebrew word translated divorce has its root in the idea of “a hewing off, a cutting apart” – it is the amputation of that which is one flesh. With that concept in mind, if one partner cuts him or herself off from the other through a divorce bill, remarriage in and of itself cannot be a sin. There is no attachment to the now separated part (in some cases no love, in most, no sex, no intimate attachment). In the Mosaic Law, the punishment for adultery was death (Leviticus 20:10). Yet Deuteronomy 24:1-4 mentions remarriage after a divorce, this remarriage as recorded in deuteronomy is not called adultery, neither does it demand the death penalty for the remarried spouse. This was so because the reason for divorce was justified by the written word. Hence it did not demand the death penalty as customary. If it did demand death, it would mean that remarriage was seen as a sin. The Bible explicitly says that God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16), but nowhere explicitly states that God hates remarriage providing that it was for the reason of sexual immorality or uncleaness.
Matthew 19:9 says, “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery” (nasb). See also Matthew 5:32. These Scriptures clearly state that remarriage without the stipulated reasons for a divorce is adultery.
After a comprehensive biblical exegesis, it is my view, that there are certain instances in which divorce and remarriage are permitted without remarriage being considered adultery. These instances would include anything that dishonours love and faithfulness in marriage. I would encourage couples to try to keep their marriages intact, but not at the expense of your happiness and peace of mind. Another thing is the fact that if one party decides to divorce for any reason outside of biblical stipulations then that party would be guilty of adultery if he/ she remarries. It is also my view that, following this type of unbiblical divorce, the party that did not initiate the divorce should be seen as innocent of guilt and free of adultery if he/she decides to remarry.
A person who gets a divorce for a reason other than uncleanness or sexual immorality and then gets remarried has committed adultery (Luke 16:18). The question then arises, Is this remarriage an “act of adultery”, or a ” continuos stateof adultery”?
The present tense of the Greek in Matthew 5:32; 19:9; and Luke 16:18 can indicate a continuous state of adultery. At the same time, the present tense in Greek does not always indicate continuous action. Sometimes it simply means that something occurred. For example, the word “divorces” in Matthew 5:32 is present tense, but a divorce is not a continual action. It is my view that remarriage, no matter the circumstances, is not a continual state of adultery. In fact, there is no sin that is continuous because forgiveness discontinues the continuity of sin. The act of getting remarried outside of the reason of uncleanness and sexual immorality itself is adultery. Adultery is a sin and this sin can be forgiven; like any other sin, it discontinues after being forgiven. This means that at confession of the act, the confessor is immediately purged from the stains of sin. Jesus would say go thy way and sin no more. After committing adultery the transgressor can be forgiven.
In summary, Divorce is permissible given the solid grounds for its filing. Remarriage is also permissible whether, of the wrong reason or right, the only thing is that one reason requires confession and forgiveness, while the other does not. Adultery is not a state of being but an act that can be remiss through confession and forgiveness. No one who remarries is forever living in adultery even if the reasons for divorce was wrong. In closing, it is important to note that once love and faithfulness dissolved within a union, the marriage also dissolves. Love and faithfulness are the cornerstones and building blocks all together for the definition of a marriage.
LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE TODAY. IF YOUR HEART DOES NOT CONDEMNS YOU, THEN YOU HAVE ALL CONFIDENCE TO LIVE A FULFILLED AND GODLY LIFE.
CONNECTING THE DOTS
By: Rohan Thompson
During my primary school years, whenever I purchase the “Children’s Own” newspaper, the first section I turn the pages to, was the section containing the “connect the dots” image or picture puzzle. I have always enjoyed the feelings of curiosity, as I connect the dots of the puzzle. Enthusiasms would bubble in my head as I move my pencil from dot to dot following the order of the numbers on the image. After connecting all the dots I can remember my most common expression of pleasure was “Wow!” I think life’s journey is very similar to the “connect the dots” picture puzzle. The resulting image or picture after connecting the dots of our lives is very important to us, and it will sometimes leave us with the expression, Wow! This expression depends heavily on how we deal with the experiences of life.
As we mature through life’s stages and we learn to maneuver each stage, there is this one thought that most people share, and that is, life is full of uncertainties. These uncertainties, whatever they may be, never became certainties until you have experienced or seen them. You never know if you are going to live to see the next minute or day, until you see it come to pass. If you are driving, and approaching a corner that you cannot see around, what is around the corner is uncertain, it then becomes certain after you have negotiated that corner. In connecting the dots of the picture puzzle, I was uncertain of what the picture would be, but as I finish connecting most or all of the dots, the picture formed by the connected dots became clear to me.
Uncertainty will cripple the feeble minded and knock the breath out of achievement. On the other hand it will strengthen the determination of the explorative or curious mind and give life to achievement. I have come to realize that before I was certain, I was uncertain. Therefore the key to achievement is to explore the uncertain, only then will I become certain that I have achieved. Christians are encouraged to overcome the uncertain by the evidence of things unseen. Christians are further encouraged to ground their walk by the evidence of things unseen instead of things seen. It is this conviction that allows an individual to proceed around the corner, or to continue living toward the next minute or hour.
You may never know why certain things happen in your life until the dots of uncertainty are connected. Hence, you should not allow an uncertain dot to demotivate you from proceeding to the next dot. Steve Jobs, now deceased; former world billionaire and renowned businessman, once gave some university students a glimpse of his life’s journey to success. He mentioned that he was an adopted child, whose adopted parents never graduated from college; he also became a college dropout. After dropping out of college, he drops-in on an art course. Ten years later after establishing his computer manufacturing business, he uses the same art skills learnt to construct state of the art creative designs for his McIntosh computers, making them one of the best in the world.
If Steve Jobs did not drop out of school and drop in on that art class, he would not have been the billionaire we came to know. Dropping out of school plunge him into moods of uncertainty, nevertheless, he explored and persevered through those uncertainties until they became certainties. He further told his audience that connecting the dots of his life could not have been done looking into the future, but looking in the pass. The connected dots not only showed him his life’s journey but it also allowed him to see the logic behind his experiences at each point. Steve did what he loved and loved what he did; hence he was please with the whole image of the connected dots. Even if what you love doesn’t bring you wealth, when looking back it will bring you contentment, this is something wealth can’t buy.
Many of us can identify with Steve, perhaps we share a drop out moment, a resilient spirit, a creative mind or a determine character. Whatever those similarities are, just remember to explore and persevere. You may be presently experiencing uncertainty about your qualification, your job, your family life, your spiritual life or the outcome of your future. However in spite of your uncertainty your task is to persevere into the uncertain world, making it certain one minute at a time through your faith in your deity. If you stop at a dot otherwise from your last, you will never know the true beauty of the image of your life. Don’t dabble in regrets at a particular point, remember, it is just a dot and not the full picture.
Connecting all the dots of your life will allow you to extinguish the regrets, as your eyes will see that you just couldn’t be you if you did not experience all those dots. Your experiences, whether bitter or sweet are just a part of the whole image of your life. Joseph, in the book of Genesis knew this, has he was better able to forgive his brothers for the experiences that they put him through after looking back and connecting the dots of his life. It was at that point, that he realized that his past experiences were just a part of the construction plan for the purpose of his life. Before you exert emotions at life’s experiences, remember that the God of heaven and earth orders the lives of those who trust in him, those who pursue beyond the uncertain. Therefore, you don’t have to be contented with your present experience, but you must remain contented with God the creator and potter of your life.
Set your sights, aim on your targets and launch yourself, living the purpose of your life as you connect the dots of experiences. Your purpose is not a destination point; instead it is the composition of your experiences. You live your purpose each day you experience life; therefore never let your going through stops where you are going to. I completed the picture puzzle in the ‘Children’s Own’ by connecting the dots in their correct order. Joseph followed the order of his dots and became successful, likewise Steve Jobs. You are no different, as the creator gives us charge over our destinies through the guidance of his spirit. Therefore, live through your experiences and demonstrate unregrettable attitudes, so that after connecting the dots and the whole image is clear, it will leave you with a well worth it expression of “Wow!”