Thursday, July 27, 2017

"cast forth the devil out of her daughter" - Pascal's Holy Night

Around Tokyo

Pascal's Holy Night

Blaise Pascal (1623 – 1662),  a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Catholic theologian, saw God when he was 31 years old from 10.30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on November 23, 1654.

He wrote the incident in a sheet of paper and made a clean copy of it, both of which were stitched into  his clothing. But they were found by chance by his servant or the like after Pascal's death when he checked the clothing of dead Pascal.

So, Pascal did not intend to show his writing about his encounter with God:

The year of grace 1654,
Monday, 23 November, feast of St. Clement, pope and martyr, and others in the martyrology. Vigil of St. Chrysogonus, martyr, and others. From about half past ten at night until about half past midnight,
GOD of Abraham, GOD of Isaac, GOD of Jacob
not of the philosophers and of the learned.
Certitude. Certitude. Feeling. Joy. Peace.
GOD of Jesus Christ.
My God and your God.
Your GOD will be my God.
Forgetfulness of the world and of everything, except GOD.
He is only found by the ways taught in the Gospel.
Grandeur of the human soul.
Righteous Father, the world has not known you, but I have known you.
Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy.
I have departed from him:
They have forsaken me, the fount of living water.
My God, will you leave me?
Let me not be separated from him forever.
This is eternal life, that they know you, the one true God, and the one that you sent, Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ.
I left him; I fled him, renounced, crucified.
Let me never be separated from him.
He is only kept securely by the ways taught in the Gospel:
Renunciation, total and sweet.
Complete submission to Jesus Christ and to my director.
Eternally in joy for a day’s exercise on the earth.
May I not forget your words. Amen.

One impressive word is "eternal life."

How can one be sure that he sees eternal life?  Pascal saw God in the form of fire.  And he remembered the Gospel as the only guide to God.  Then, he was sure that he was seeing eternal life.

Anyway Pascal lived and died in Europe before the bourgeois revolution and the industrial revolution, although Shakespeare had already completed his life.

So, his words sound remote for us, but they are a rare record of a man seeing God in these centuries.

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Mar 7:26 The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter.
Mar 7:27 But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

"for it was founded upon a rock" - Fortune Telling vs. Word of God


Fortune Telling vs. Word of God

Once there was a man who ran a shop to sell little birds in Osaka, Japan.

One day he consulted a psychic for guidance who told the man that he had better become a fortune teller himself.  So, the man changed his business and he was engaged in fortune telling for more than 30 years eventually to became a unique fortune teller.

He developed his own method of fortune-telling based on various skills such as those of  ancient Mesopotamia, etc.  He found that the key to fortune telling is a level of cultural sophistication of a fortune teller.  A fortune teller can gather various data of his client, including the date and place of birth and a state of stars and constellations related to the client, but these data must be interpreted.  And the interpretation depends on a level of cultural sophistication of a fortune teller.

He said that he could tell fortune of his clients, but he did not like to check his own fortune.

Some time after the fortune teller was interviewed by an editor of a magazine and told these things, he died.  

However, early Christians did not trust fortune tellers, since they could not defeat evil spirits.
Act 19:13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the LORD Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.
Act 19:14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.
Act 19:15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
Act 19:16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
Act 19:17 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
Act 19:18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.
Act 19:19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.
Act 19:20 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
Satan can even manipulate fortune telling.  But, no matter what fate men live, their spirits are more important.  

Accordingly, the word of God is more powerful than fortune telling.

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Mat 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

"every whit whole on the sabbath day" - Christianity, Just One of Major Religions?


Christianity, Just One of Major Religions?

Christianity failed to prevail in some areas in the world: the Middle East, India, and most part of East Asia, especially China and Japan.

In other words, Christianity simply prevailed in Europe before Columbus or around 1500 and in some colonized regions by Europeans, namely Africa and America, after Columbus or around 1500.

The areas that did not accept Christianity had other religions deeply rooted (Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, etc.) or clearly competitive to Christianity (Islam and Judaism).

In this context, the religion Christianity cannot claim that it is the only right religion for the mankind, since there are so many religions whose followers have not accepted Christianity in these 2000 years.  Indeed, in its process of development Christianity adopted many aspects of the ancient Greek and Roman Civilizations.  As a result, Christianity became very European to the extent that other peoples in areas with very different cultural backgrounds from European's could not simply accept Christianity.

But it is strange that Christianity has become such a religion while Christ Jesus declared that He is the Son of God and He wished that His teaching would prevail in the world.  So, we have to think that true Christianity is not what we see as Christianity today in the world.  True Christianity must be obtained by subtracting European features from the present Christianity.

Especially the Vatican and other church systems reflect these European features that have been integrated into original Christianity.  However, the Gospels seem to reflect original Christianity, since they were written in the first century.  Later churches and the Vatican leaders made biased interpretation of the Gospels and especially the words of Christ Jesus, which became authentic teaching of Christianity.  However, to find original Christianity, we must check the Gospels by ourselves with reference to our daily lives.
Anyway it is impossible that the Son of God came to this world 2000 years ago just to give one of several major religions in the world to the mankind.  Or, we have to know why the religion the Son of God gave to the mankind could not prevail overwhelmingly as He wished.

And, if we could find how true Christianity was modified by Europeans and the Vatican to the extent that the European Christianity became critically different from true Christianity the Son of God intended, we cannot use the fact that Christianity has not overwhelmingly prevailed in the world as a proof that Christ Jesus was not the Son of God.

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Joh 7:23 If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?