Who plants the seeds of hate, careful study will be directed at this question. Is hate family inspired, school inspired or religious inspired? Are we in danger from foreign interest, or are we home growing the seeds of our own problems? Research and investigations will have to provide answers to these questions. If hate is religious inspired, then seminaries and religious training institutions will have to review what part they may be playing in preparing individuals with incorrect and distorted scripture understanding. Looking back on my own seminary studies, I remember loving devoted professors opening doorways to understanding the will of God for the people of God. I am proud that we were encouraged to learn the many paths of faith used by man to understand his God. Seminary was an important part of my life and training and I am proud that the foundations was always love for each man in his quest to know God. I am proud to attend the Riverside Church, an interracial, interdenominational and international Body of Christ welcoming and affirming the acceptance of all to the feast of God.

Research In Understanding Christianity From A Seminary Class

 

Christianity has come to many crossroads, but, did not always make the right turn. Christianity has different kinds of “folks,” representing different views. We have denominations such as Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Methodist, etc. McLeod suggests that although we will use the Bible, Seminary is “not bible school.” In reference, he further states that if, as a Seminary student you are asked the question, “Why does America always support Israel,” the Seminary students is not expected to give as an answer, “the Bible said so.” McLeod suggests that the Bible is a “reference” not a reason. [1] In the context of seminary education, McLeod suggests that there are four pillars of Christian faith: Kononia which is Greek and means community coming together

  1. Diaconal, also Greek, which means, “people who, work with the pastor” in the church. The word Deacon comes from this word. The word deacon means servant.
  2. Kerugma, Greek, meaning clergy or proclaim
  3. Liturgy, also Greek, meaning “the work of the people.”

 

 

Dr. McLeod provides the Christian understanding of these four pillars of faith. He states that they mean:

 

  • Ÿ Building Community
  • Ÿ Do Service
  • Ÿ Proclaim the Message
  • Ÿ The Work of The People

 

Professor McLeod suggests that the Christian faith comes from the Jewish faith, which comes from the Egyptians faith that came from ancient cultures. He further suggests that there is a difference between providing a service, and being a servant. He states that sometimes people have to be trained to understand the difference between being a servant and providing a service. McLeod states that the word “Dolus” is Greek for servant. The servant chooses his master, the slave has his master imposed on him.[2] Information was provided with respect to the history of Israel. McLeod stated that only 10% of the people in the country were taken out of the country. The people who were taken out of Israel were those who had specialized skills which were valuable to the conquering countries. The remaining 90% remained in Israel. A very important part of the class was the information with respect to how to effectively read and understand the Gospel. Dr. McLeod suggest that when you read a book, careful attention should be paid to the introduction of the various chapters. The introductions will tell you the direction the writer is going in. McLeod indicates that the writer will tell the reader what the writing is about.

Ideas Helpful In Understand Parts Of The Bible.

In the book of Matthew, the writer is trying to connect Jesus with the Jews. Matthew deals with genealogy. In comparison to the writers of Luke, McLeod suggest that Jesus has a different grandfather. Mark, he states, talks about the “Good News.” In Mark, there is no story about the birth of Jesus. Professor McLeod indicates that some believe that Matthew is Mark with a prologue. Dr. McLeod further provides information with respect to understanding the Bible. We learn that Matthew, Mark and Luke make up what is called the “Synoptic” gospel. The book of John does not fall in the “Synoptic “[3] gospels. Dr. McLeod suggest that each writer, who wrote a book in the New Testament, had a picture they wanted to paint of Jesus. Matthew gives authority and the blood lines to all the patriots and all the blood relationships Jesus had with the royal ruling class. Mark, it is stated, connects Jesus to the Prophets. Jesus was the one that Isaiah said will come. Dr. McLeod suggests the following information with respect to the Gospel and its

 

Understandings:

 

  1. Luke never met Jesus
  2. Luke was the companion of Paul
  3. Luke was one of the Jews people was brought into Christianity by Paul
  4. Luke’s orderly account writes a lot of the material that is attributed to Paul
  5. Luke wrote the books of Acts.
  6. Luke is writing for someone who has commissioned him
  7. Theopholus is suggested as the person who Luke is writing for
  8. Luke said that others saw “this” from the beginning. He did not see Jesus so he decides to write an orderly account.
  9. Luke is not a disciple of Jesus. He was a disciple of faith
  10. Luke said that he had investigated events, and he is reporting the results of that investigation

 

McLeod suggest that the reason that Luke was selected to write the report was the fact

 

that:

 

  1. He is educated and intelligent
  2. He is a physician
  3. He is a Greek

 

In the continued focus on the information received from the instructions provided in

 

the Foundation of Ministry course, we learned:

 

  1. Luke, Mark and Matthew, are called Church Books
  2. There was a lot of discussion concerning whether John was going to be put in the Bible
  3. Synoptic-being of the eye, at first glance, easy to see.
  4. There are still people in the world that worship John the Baptist.
  5. The question with respect to whether John the Baptist supported Jesus, or did John do his own thing?
  6. Jesus was a follower of John the Baptist
  7. The ministry of Jesus did not start until John the Baptist was in prison
  8. The words of John the Baptist,” I am the voice of one shouting in the desert, make straight the way of the Lord.”
  9. Jesus believed that John the Baptist was Elijah
  10. If John is not Elijah, then who is Jesus?
  11. “Of men born of women, John the Baptist was the best.”
  12. John never followed Jesus
  13. John told them, go and ask Jesus if He is the One, he did not ask Jesus himself.
  14. John the Baptist were not buddies
  15. John the Baptist had a following
  16. Herod was afraid of John the Baptist
  17. John did not bear witness to the Messiah
  18. They too understood that Elijah had to come
  19. John the Baptist is in the spirit of Elijah
  20. The Bible does not teach reincarnation
  21. The spirit lives eternal
  22. Jesus came in the spirit of Adam
  23. When the Dove ascended upon Jesus, it was the spirit of God which descends upon Jesus
  24. People try to make their own Christology fit

 

 

Dr. McLeod suggested that the class read the book the Divinci Code. A review of this writings were very disturbing for this writer. Faith is very important. It is faith that has carried this writer through very difficult

situations. It is also the faith in the readings and understandings of the works in the Bible. Faith is the purpose of the retelling of the myths of the Old Testament and the history of some of the ancient peoples of the world. Faith in the birth, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. These myths and accounts of history have remained true for over 2,000 years. They have remained acceptable, as reported, due to the fact that the belief in these mythologies have help to guide human civilizations through countless painful

encounters. When some writers, for whatever personal reasons, attempt to persuade and possibly change the direction of thought in a long held belief system, it can be offensive. There appears to be little if any sensitivity to the fact that Jesus and His life are considered sacred ground. That sacred ground is the foundation upon which the lives of billions of people plant their being. Creativity and poetic license are understood to be the tool of the writer. It can however, if permitted, trample on sacred grounds. This writer will take Jesus in a way that has been supported of the religious positions passed down through culture and traditions through the ancestors in my own genetic pool. It is difficult to throw out one belief system without having another one to replace it. Speculation may sell books, it can also result in some psycho spiritual discord. The sexual adventures on the physical person of Jesus has little or no relevance to the message. Jesus came here to represent His Father. He came here to explain the creator to the people who were created. He came here to heal the emotional confused, who because they had permitted demonic thoughts to enter into their minds were demonstrating physical systems of illness and confusion. He came here to open the eyes of the psychologically blind who were shut off from the information concerning the kingdom of God. He came here to put the lame back on their feet, and help them to understand that the power to walk as a man and not depend on being carried by others is what God wants for His people. He came here to lift the reality of the female as an important member of the human family. He responded to the call of the woman suffering in quiet pain just because of her birth condition. Jesus came here to free the slave, and reveal to him that no man can make you a slave unless you give him permission through your thought and belief process. They may make you a captive and a worker, but Jesus came to free the mind of the slave. This is also true of the oppressed. Man must give permission to his oppressor. He must agree with the oppressor that he is entitled to be oppressed. Jesus freed the mind of the oppressed. It is more important that I believe in a God who has provided His creations with the mental capacity to think into His thoughts. The knowledge that Jesus brings to us that we are made in the image and likeness of God. The greatest information provided to this writer is that we are all sons and daughters of God, and the thinks that Jesus were able to do, we too can do when we understand who were are. This is more important to me than the creative expressions of the writer of the Divinci Codes. I will wait for the review after another 2,000 years. If they last, then maybe I might consider its direction Dr. Mc Leod continues with information relating to the Foundation of Ministry. He further states the following with respect to the books, which would be included in the Bible:

 

  1. Theologians and historians did not accept John They believed that John was void of a lot of information contained in other books
  2. There are stories in John that is in no other books of the Bible. This would include stories such as the woman at the well.

 

 

  1. Information relating to some of the works of Jesus
  2. Jesus asked the paraplegic “ Will thou be made whole” upon his response of yes, he was told to take up his bed and walk. This suggest that individuals must have the will to do something about their problems
  3. The difference between the intelligence quotient and the emotional quotient Emotional intelligence is feeling intelligence
  4. Gnostic Gospel
  5. Mary Magdalene believed that Mary should have inherited the Church
  6. She was Jesus chief follower of Jesus not Peter.
  7. She has unusual authority. She speaks with authority reserved for women in special positions
  8. Mary was probably Larazurus sisters
  9. Mary studied at the feet of Jesus
  10. Every transitional character when he is getting ready to make a transition, it is usually with a woman at a well
  11. The meaning of the symbol of woman and water is an indication that a significant change is about to be revealed
  12. Moses- woman-well
  13. Jacob-woman -well
  14. Symbolism in the book of John, relates to the oppression of the Samaritans people relate to the fact that they had been conquered by five different oppressors
  15. The story of the woman at the well was not about the story, but a reference to the five times the people were conquered. John 4:16, the husband issue is not about the men in the woman’s life, but the number of times the land had been occupied by oppressors
  16. The well symbolizes spiritual water-spiritual knowledge coming from within
  17. Jesus is showing that He is coming to all human kind through the devolution of the Holy Spirit
  18. Jews believe in Jesus, but will only come to Him by night. This is the significance of the dream.
  19. Lazarus never speaks

 

 

Integrating the readings into the course.

 

Donald D. Kraybill (1989) writes the following:

 

         “There are many books on Jesus with many different spins

           on his story. The pages that follow show how I have spun the story.

           I say story because I have crafted the narrative in ways that

           reflect my interest as an Anabaptist Christian and as a sociologist.

           As you read this story, two key questions loom large. First is this fair

           reading of the story? If it is, then what do we do with Jesus and

          his upside down kingdom? If in fact he points toward God, how does the vision

           and the message of the kingdom transform our lives for God’s honor and glory”5           glory.”[4]

 

It is important to note that Kraybill stated that his will putting his “spin” on the Jesus story. Kraybill want the reader to relate the story of Jesus and His life 2,000 years ago to the political situation, as he perceives it in the 20th century. He even relates some of his views to some of the events in the 19th century. Krabill wants his readers to think politics whenever the reference to mountain is used. When we see reference to temple, he encourages the reader to think of one of the major social institutions in modern society such as religion. He suggest that the oppressive restrictions and rules of many churches in the modern world were represented in Jesus time. He ask the reader to stretch and consider the reference to manna, as bread to the economic structure of many current political systems. He does support his ideas with his analysis of social institutions. He suggest that social institutions are the established social patterns that organizes a particular aspect of society. He further gives an example of economic institutions:[5]

  • Ÿ social rules
  • Ÿ governs financial activity
  • Ÿ rates of interest paid on money
  • Ÿ rights of creditors
  • Ÿ rights of debtors
  • Ÿ financial sector

 

There are two directions for an understanding of the message of Jesus Christ. There are those who see Jesus as revolutionary, and a radical. They see His as taking on the outward structure as represented by the political system. Those seeking to follow this direction will be able to use effectively the writings of Kraybill. He can motivate the individual to develop programs and ideologies which seeks to study, plan and

encourage other people to take on the governments, it programs, and to seek to right the wrongs put forth by an oppressive society. Kraybill motivates people to be armies in the fight of what ought to be. There is another direction, it is a more spiritual direction. I call on individuals to study what Jesus did to and for the pain that individual human beings were feeling. The whole society might be blind to the injustice that the government officials are putting them through. However, Jesus saw the individual pain of the single man. This single man was hurting. He could not see to take care of himself. Jesus did not lecture him about the cruelty of the outer society, which had the responsibility for his blindness, he healed the man where he was hurting. He made people walk where they were. He cast out the demons of distorted mental thinking.   Jesus was not in the blame game. He did not say to the people take up your plow shares, pick forks and sticks, and go after those who have oppressed you. Jesus understood that oppression starts in the mind and the hearts of the oppressed. He healed minds and hearts. He visited the homes for quiet chats, not in a spirit of anger or resentment. He visited the homes, ate what they ate, and listen to the concern of their hearts. He felt the pain of the dying in spirit and in hope, He called them forth from that death like sleep as represented by the story of Lazarus. He saw the pain of love ones that watched family members being taken from them and watching the life giving forces leave their body, as sores and the odor of death replaces their vitality. He could understand the pain of a mother seeing her son dying from the use of drugs, he could understand her pain as she calls on a Jesus who she had known as a friend, much as Mary and Martha had known Jesus as a friend of the family of Lazarus. A mother who is suffering through this personal pain, wants her friend Jesus with her to help her to bear her grief and pains. If in the moment of deepest need, she learns that her friend is too busy being a political activist to be concerned about her simple individual pain how lost she would be. When we think of mothers visiting their spiritually dying sons in the prisons of this society, we wonder if she can depend upon a Jesus who is more interested in fighting the social, economic and political system which benefits from her son in prison, or would she prefer that the Jesus raise her son from the dead and bring him back to her. Would she want Jesus to purge the demons which have invaded his mind and caused him to take this path to the living death, She will be at the gate to welcome her son back. The question is whether, the churches and major institutions will be there to help keep her son alive? Demons are powerful. They enter a body through the mind, and gain control over the individual who is not protected by the blood of Jesus Christ. Depression is a demon. Poverty is a demon. Low self-esteem is a demon. Ignorance is a demon. Jesus cast out demons. Jesus raised people from the dead. Jesus made the lame walk. Jesus made the blind see. When a mother’s son comes out of prison, she wants Jesus standing by her at that prison gate. She wants to know that Jesus has inspired His mass group of followers to go to work healing in his name. Jesus wants the people who are spiritual educational guides to provide this young man with an education. Jesus wants people who have been blessed with expanded employment opportunities to provide this man with the training needed for a meaningful job, and provide him with the job. Jesus wants to the churches to stand in his stead and is a friend to this young man. He wants them to hold this young man in their spirits and prayers so that demons cannot enter into his holy and guarded space. Jesus wants the right spiritual mate to come forth and bless this young man and let him knows that he is loved, and demonstrates that love through acceptance. There is so much work for the people of God to do, that the question of who or what is in charge of the political arena would be of no consequences. God’s people are the government. God’s people control the political structure. God’s people control the religious structures in society.   Our focus becomes our reality. If we focus on the problems and the ills of society, we will give them life and endurance. If however, we focus on God and his plans and revealed through Jesus, then we have the power to bring God’s kingdom into existence. We do not need to spin God. We do not need to spin the life and the purpose of Jesus. The only spin that should be taking place is the spin that is in our hearts and minds, when we ask, what have we done to bring Lazarus back? Six hundred thousands Lazarus will be released from the prisons of our political systems. How will we bring these six hundred thousand back to life? Next year there will be six hundred thousand more. We the people of God had better be getting ready to do some Jesus miracles. We are the hands of God. Prepare the way of the Lord.

Review of seminary studies suggests that there was no time to learn hate. Those preparing to enter the world of spiritual helping had to know the Bible and the intent of the Bible. The intent of the Bible was to help man to know his God, not to have reasons to hate his neighbor.

 

 

 

[1] Rev. Dr. Lonnie McLeod, Foundation of Ministry, U. Theology Seminary Fall 2004

[2] Dr. McLeod, Foundation of Ministry, U. Theology Seminary, Fall 2004

[3] Synoptic, being of the eye. Easy to see at first glance

[4] Donald B. Kraybill, The Upside Down Kingdom, Herald Press, Scottdale, Pennsylvania, Waterloo, Ontario,1989

[5] Donald B. Kraybill,The upside Down Kingdom, Herald Press, Scottdale, Pennsylvania, Waterloo,

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