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#Exploring the Bible
thechristadelphian · 9 months ago
Why Our Hope is Called 'the Hope of Israel':
Why Our Hope is Called ‘the Hope of Israel’:
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css_animation=”zoomIn”]A Christadelphian Video: Description: What is your hope? The hope of everyone who believes is that they will receive God’s gift of immortality. But there is much more to God’s purpose. His Son, Jesus Christ, will soon come to restore the Kingdom of Israel and rule the world from his capital city of Jerusalem. Those believers who are made…
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poetry2fish · 2 months ago
i loved that midnight mass did a protagonist fake out and killed off the leading white male atheist and left saving the day from catholic vampires to a squad comprised entirely of not white male atheists but. the downside of spending 5/7 episodes building up a main character who ends up dying is that it comes at the expense of developing those characters who are left holding the protagonist bag in the end
mainly I mean sarah and her mom considering they were, in the end, pruitt’s core motivation!
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shutterandsentence · 28 days ago
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Blessed is the one    who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take    or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,    and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,    which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—    whatever they do prospers.
-Psalm 1: 1-3
Photo: Midewin National Prairie, Illinois
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llycaons · 2 months ago
like I don'tseek out fanfiction for the vast majority of media I consume and this is because I like to think I have taste and I enjoy stories that are well made and satisfying and resolve their character arcs. and there are some pieces of media that I respect too much to read fanfiction about because literally nothing a fan could write would come close to canon (this is about rev girl utena). anyway thanks for bearing with it everyone and I promise it'll be over soon
#it just doesn't interest me most of the time#I read a little for h/xh bc its unfinished and I like seeing killua and his sister and younger sibling being happy#also pariston is insane and I like reading about him#go/mens was an unresolved gaybait with intriuging worldbuilding and it was funny#c/ql was an unresolved canon slowburn with a much larger cast of characters and a much more engaging and emotional plot#like who reads fic about anyone besides the two main guys in go/mens...I'd read about anathema but she has no compelling relationships#with anyone! I liked her and crowley hanging out but there weren't a lot of those#but there were SO many people in untamed you could talk for years about only a single sect or arc and not run out of content#also c/ql lived in my head for months and months longer than go/mens and I hate rewatching things over and over so#also cql/mdzs like go/mens was designed to appeal to certain audiences who are both really big into fic and stuff#but I think md/zs was better designed for that than a comparatively short bible parody altered for profit#but I don't feel the need to seek out specifically md/zs (OR tgcf tbh) so I think it is#something about the lack of resolution/reconciliation (respectivlely) and the atmosphere of c/ql#that drew me in#also I like gomens show but I have a LOT more respect for c/ql as an adaptation#the adaptation choices for gomens were often very stupid and needlessly edgy meanwhile we know how I feel abt untamed#so I was less interested in gomens show meta/explorations#cor.txt
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orange-plum · 4 months ago
Have your religious views changed at all in the time since you started SaM?
This is actually a very complicated question lol I’d say yes and no TBH
Overall, I guess I’d say Yes! But when I say yes, I mean more my feelings towards religious institutions as a whole, not my belief in God or anything. When I started SaM almost 10 years ago (omg!) I was only 23 or 24, so I was a p different person back then. Since then I've discovered a lot about myself and see the institution of church differently.
I personally don't have an interest in joining a church atm because I think a lot of religious people won't accept or agree with me and my views as an Lgbtq+ member, as well as, in my experience growing up in a church and big religious community, a lot of church goers tend to lean right on their social views while I lean left. OBV this isn’t the case with everyone, as me and my two siblings have a good relationship with God, while at the same time all being a part of the LGBTQ+ community and having a lot of left leaning ideologies. I was actually somewhat a part of a church before I moved to AZ 2.5 years ago that seemed very welcoming and taught the bible in a way I’d never heard of before (exp: I grew up struggling being a woman and religious because I was taught almost that women were subservient via the bible, but the new church I was at broke down the Hebrew words, put cultural and historical context for background with what was going on at the time/in the region the verses were written, and put it in a pro-woman light and now I have no issue with that anymore).
TBH I do miss that church because they were so open, but I can still watch their sermons online if I want to because they post them on their website. But I digress. My point was that, as a person who grew up in an old fashioned church, I was surrounded by people who claimed to be accepting, but weren’t so much that way at the end of the day. And I’ve found myself a bit jaded with religious people and the church (any religious institution ngl). 
I consider myself a progressive Christian rn, and I just want to love and support people in their walks of life. The God I believe in is the message to love and not judge, which I find a lot of Christians say they do, until you put them in an uncomfortable situation (I’m only going to speak about my experience with Christians because that’s the only point of reference I have, I can’t speak on other religious communities). So, I take “Christians” on a case by case basis. If I found out you’re Christian but you judge people for things they can’t control, or you want to remove people’s basic human rights cuz they make you uncomfortable, I think you’re fake af and move on. So, I suppose my religious views have changed. I’m a bit more jaded at people claiming to follow God, then turn around and be the most unwelcoming/judgmental people with those who don’t conform to their label of “normal”.
My relationship with God hasn’t changed, though. I just distanced myself from churches and I’m more skeptical when I hear someone tell me they’re Christian, I guess?
But the nice thing about my comics is that no one has to be religious or atheist/agnostic to read them. It’s more biblical lore with a dash of creative liberties lol My parents, who are deeply religious, support SaM and even try to help give me ideas to make the comic better and such. I’ve always found it odd some people can’t separate a fictional work based on elements of religion from actual religion. My family has always been the black sheep of the church tho NGL. Where they watch/read things that are religion based but not take it personally (Good Omens, Constantine,etc), the other members of the church we attended didn’t like that so much. My dad always tells me a story when Harry Potter came out, a woman at our church gave a speech while crying, telling everyone not to let their kids indulge in a book about witchcraft (ironic because her 3 kids became huge Harry Potter fans later lol). And my dad said, “I remember sitting there thinking what the hell? The message in the book is good tho? Good vs Evil and stuff. Who cares? Sounds fine to me.”
Anyway, I’m rambling. Overall, it’s a yes/no answer. My opinion on “Christians” and the church has changed, not for the better, but my actual belief in God/Jesus hasn’t, if that makes sense?
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tonyglowheart · a month ago
Your posts on the '''canon jc''' crowd is a balm to my soul. It's so frustrating seeing them throw shit everywhere at everybody who doesn't completely agree, then get surprised-pikachu-face when people get angry with them (for good reason)
sdjfkdj glad I can be of service :'D
also it really do be like that sometimes huh. p sure I got accused of not staying in my lane once, in a post that I didn't stick in the main tags and tagged as either fandom wank or vent tag or both so basically it was just on my own blog and I didn't @ anyone or name-drop anyone. I don't know if that post exists anymore, I think they might have deleted it but I think I'm also in mutual blocks now with a good couple of these people
#asks answered#Anonymous#fandom wank#I heard about this second-hand and I was like#?? I've had this guy blocked since forever? how are they seeing my post. but like I mean yeah you can still see it on the actual blog page-#but then turns out it was some fucking anon who quoted something I said in a post to wank at them about a 'jc stan' and I was like#lmfao. LMFAO. yeah. sure. k.#also tho. why are you clowning me on translation talk when I'm literally right#but like beyond me getting salty and going 'lmao actually no. you're wrong and I'm Right'#I think I try to emphasize how like. reading and literary analysis itself will be populated with many different interpretations#and like there really generally is no 'true' reading over another?#especially in a work such as mdzs where MXTX works very hard to explore that theme and herself tries not to go too too much into#the realm of authorial intent vs reader interpretation?#it's so fucking funny that they were dismissing my posts as a 'delusional jc stan' bc apparently I'm saying text doesn't count bc the transl#doesn't support my bias. when my point is. we all have biases. I try to be aware of my own and try to make others aware of their own#bc the bias influences a lot as far as interpretation goes.#and here's the thing. if you really care about canon why would one translation - esp one other ppl disagree with - become your bible?#my other thing is: literally you can ask other ppl if you don't trust my translation. you can stick it into a couple translation machines >#yourself and see. if we're talking about the interview - which is the only one I did a retl of recently - you can literally see there are >#parts left out of the original chinese - which the OP actually puts right up there too#like. sure you don't trust my translation or grasp of the language. you don't have to!#find someone you know and trust and ask them what they think of the CN and then see#but you're going to tell me I'm delusional and saying translations don't work? that's literally not what I say lmao#anyway. whatever I already have this person blocked#and idk who the anon is tho apparently they're around#I'm going to stop now bc I'm just venting now lmao but like. cmon now. I get y'all love bad faith but literally not everyone is#operating in bad faith lmao. or automatically assuming bad faith in others
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the-highest-warlock · 5 months ago
I was reading an extract from the Gothic novel Abbot Thomas, and for a Gothic novel about a man it seems fairly interesting. Anyway, that and some other prompt from this hellsite inspired the existence of this.
There’s an old story the men of the woods used to tell to anyone who would listen. Their young would run around and act out their great stories, of the man-corpse who rose after three days, bringing terror to those who had tried to punish him, or any of the other various men who were brought back to life.
They would gesticulate with wild movements of angels and demons, of a being who was not one but three separate parts, yet still retaining the individual identity. I don’t think there’s anyone normal around here that didn’t find that bloody confusing.
Speaking of the vengeful, jealous deity they worship - they called it God, and it demanded absolute worship. It was a temperamental being they followed, who would drown the world to sate a whim, playing games with its followers to test their ‘faith’.
Those who failed - or those who refused to follow it, because why would we, with our own gods who had protected us dutifully - were sent to hell. A land, where you were punished for the rest of the days by a mischievous demon who had once been their god’s favourite, but upon refusing to bow on the right day had been cast out. Or something like that, I stopped caring at that point.
Our younglings didn’t though, and I know the border patrol has stopped a total of seven excursions where they were trying to pretend that they were demons from “hell” or burning bushes since they started talking about their delusions. It’s always amusing to see them try though, with their faces painted red and their makeshift horns. Some of the better ones would use horns they stole from their parents, attaching them with vines and string in complicated knots.
I still remember those days, when we used to do that.
For the most part, they kept to themselves, unless they were trying to talk to us about their god, or trying to get something from us. They claimed they were on a ‘holy’ mission or something, but considering the nature of their god, there isn’t anyone here who believes that it has anything to do with ‘holy’.
Though, the womenfolk do narrate some interesting ‘holy’ stories when the men have fallen asleep.
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thechristadelphian · 6 months ago
World in Chaos! Who is in Control?
World in Chaos! Who is in Control?
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css_animation=”zoomIn”]God has a great plan, and he is out working his purpose. He wants people to work with him, to learn as they experience life and choose right ways. Be sure, the day of accountability will come! Are you preparing?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css_animation=”appear”][embedyt]…
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thaboysho · 4 months ago
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Song of Solomon 4:15 
15You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water streaming down from Lebanon.
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shutterandsentence · 25 days ago
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“He said: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; 3 my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior— from violent people you save me.” -- 2 Samuel 22:2-3
Photo: Custer State Park, South Dakota
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cleaver-2007 · a year ago
Ian saying go, get the fuck out of here! Fiona confessing, I'm scared. How DARE you (how dare you!) after four seasons of missing the emotional beats hit me with a mimetic sucker punch like this. Shut UPPPPPPP the fear and elation of getting out, the leap of hope and pre-emptive regret, the knowledge that even if you go back you can never GO BACK???? WHO ARE YOU WHEN YOU ARE NOT THE PLACE YOU ARE FROM? SHUT UPPPPPPP
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(1/2) hi there! so, i don't really consider myself a "new" christian- i've felt drawn to god since i was young- but i only started reading the bible about a week ago. i set a goal for myself of reading 20 chapters a day so that i will have read the entire bible in ~2 months, which was very manageable initially because april break was still in progress when i started. however, now that i have schoolwork to do, i'm finding that i just don't have enough time in the day to read that many chapters.
(2/2) i don't want to disregard my goal, but if i force myself to read too much each day, i fear that i won't be able to retain or appreciate much of what i read. i'm not sure what to do. should i lessen my ambitions at the cost of taking longer to read it overall, or somehow muscle through 20 chapters a day at the cost of not fully understanding them? sorry this isn't relevant to lgbt matters- i'm just always comforted by your advice and wasn't sure where else to turn. thank you for your time!
Ah, don’t be sorry! If I could talk about the Bible all day every day, I’d be thrilled! (I’m autistic and scripture is my mainstay special interest haha)
This gets super long so tl;dr: I vote for revising your goal and reading less per day. You don’t wanna get burned out, and you want to be able to retain what you read and have the chance to really mull it over! 
It means a lot to me that folks like you come to me for suggestions; I’m by no means an expert but golly do I love the Bible, and I’ve been reading it since childhood -- first picture book & abridged versions, then the “real deal” starting in ninth grade, and these days I often translate passages from the original Greek and Hebrew. So I’m always joyful to share what I’ve learned about reading the Bible, particularly in ways that combine the spiritual and the scholarly. 
I super admire your dedication to reading the entire Bible; most Christians never do so and while it’s by no means a prerequisite to being Christian, I find that actually reading it all can be a great help in many ways:
First, it means that no one can tell you what’s in the Bible without you being able to bring your point of view to the discussion, because you’ve read it too. You don’t have to just accept what others say about it, ya know? 
Secondly, there really is deep richness in the Bible; the Holy Spirit will breathe through the pages as you read and enliven your heart. You’ll learn more about what it means to be in relationship with God, with yourself, with other humans, and with all Creation. 
Finally, only in reading the entirety of the Bible to you come to see the overarching themes of scripture, the fullest glimpse of the God it reveals. The separate fragments and books of the Bible are distinct from one another in many ways, written by many authors with differing opinions and understandings of God; but once you’ve read them all it is possible to trace the path of the Divine across them all. 
Hopefully, you’ll grow more comfortable with things like contradiction and doubt. You’ll learn how to scoop up glimmers of the Divine even in Bible stories that make you shake with anger or scratch your head nonplussed. You’ll learn that being faithful doesn’t = having all the answers, but instead is about a willingness to engage in dialogue with God and with others, to constantly learn and question and grow. 
All that being said, 20 chapters is a lot to get through in a day!! Whew!! I do recommend reconsidering your goal. It was a valiant one and I’m impressed you were able to do it for a time, but it’s totally okay to re-plan things. I used to be really, like, averse to the idea of revising goals; I felt like a failure or like I was weak or something if I had to change them? So if that’s what you’re feeling, do what you can to let that feeling go. There is no shame or weakness in realizing that your current plan isn’t working for you. The true shame is in refusing to change your ways when everything is pointing to a need for change! 
Decrease your goal to something more manageable, so that you don’t start dreading your scripture reading and get burnt out. You don’t want to resent the time you reserve for reading! You want to be open to the Spirit’s wisdom as you read. 
Honestly, if your goal were to become as general as “read at least one chapter each day,” or even “read at least one paragraph each day,” that would be totally fine! There may be days when you get more done, but even a little passage of scripture is full of richness. And you’ll be showing your dedication and learning spiritual discipline in making time for even a little passage in a busy day. 
Yes, you’ll be reading for a lot longer; but there is no rush. Reading the whole Bible isn’t just about cramming all its contents into your brain; it’s also about letting the words seep into your heart. That takes years, lifetimes even. 
Still, I understand the desire to have the whole Bible in your head. So the rest of this post is going to try to balance the “scholarly knowledge” of the Bible that you logically want to get into your brain as soon as possible with the spiritual wisdom and impact of the Bible, which is cultivated over a lifetime.
The spiritual side of Bible reading
I’m gonna share a passage from Sister Macrina Wiederkehr’s book A Tree Full of Angels about Bible reading, because she describes the richness held in the tiniest crumb of scripture and the wisdom in taking it a little at a time better than I can. 
Let’s start with her explanation of the spiritual discipline called “Lectio Divina,” reading the Bible in an embodied way that enriches our understandings of God’s presence in all Creation:
“Here is a way to harvest the Word of God. 
The monastic tradition to which I belong has always stressed the value of seeking intimate communion through persistent dwelling with and in the Word of God. We call this form of prayer Lectio Divina (Divine Reading). Lectio Divina is far more than what we ordinarily understand as spiritual reading. It is reading...with the eye of God, under the eye of God. It is reading with the desire to be totally transformed by the Word of God, rather than just to acquire facts about God.
The incarnational aspect of Christianity reminds us that all of life is full of God. God is in all. Lectio Divina, then, is a way of reading God in everything. ...
In the tradition of our desert fathers and mothers...the emphasis was on the reading of the Scriptures. This was the Word of God par excellence. The discple was encouraged to hover over the word of God in the Scriptures as the Spirit once hovered over the birthing world. ...The one who is immersed in the Word of God in the Scriptures is eventually able to read God in all things. ...
Macrina then brings up Guigo II, a monk from the 1100s who came up with four phases or degrees of the Lectio: reading, meditation, prayer, contemplation. 
It sounds to me like you’re currently most focused on the “reading” phase, since you’re busying yourself with getting through the whole Bible as soon as you can. That is totally cool! 
Guigo II described the reading phase as putting food in the mouth, while “meditation chews it, digs for the treasure. Prayer extracts the flavor and helps us get to know the treasure. Contemplation embraces and welcomes the thirsty soul.”
I know that there are days when I just can’t seem to get my spirit into the latter three phases of the Lectio; I can only manage the reading phase. So I read, with the faith that by absorbing the content of Bible pages into my brain, there will come a time when I chew on that content, digest it, find the treasure in it. Thus I don’t think it’s a bad thing to read the Bible primarily in that “info-gathering” mode -- the more scholarly mode -- but when you’re ready and able to wade in deeper, do so! That might be every day for you, especially if you don’t spend all your time and energy on cramming in as many passages as possible; or it might be something you don’t really get to until you’ve read whole books of the Bible. I’m not saying there’s one right way to do all this -- just stuff to consider! 
But I will emphasize the “meditation” phase Macrina describes next, because I think it might help you decide that yes, you do need to cut down on just how much of the Bible you read daily. Here’s what she says about how much of the Bible she reads in one sitting:
“Read until your heart is touched. When your heart is touched, stop reading. After all, if God comes in the first verse, why go on to the second? A touched heart means God has, in some way, come. God has entered that heart. Begin your meditation. 
Meditation is a process in which you struggle with the Word of God that has entered your heart. If this Word wants to be a guest in your heart, go forth to meet it. Welcome it in and try to understand it. Walk with it. Wrestle with it. Ask it questions. Tell it stories about yourself. Allow it to nourish you. Receive its blessing. To do this you must sink your heart into it as you would sink your teeth into food. You must chew it with your heart.
... You may ask if there is ever a day when my heart is not touched. Yes, there are many. On some days each psalm or gospel passage is like the parched earth. There is nothing moist or life-giving to be found in the words I read. I see this barrenness as a message from God also. ...God also speaks in silence and darkness. So when nothing comes, when darkness prevails, then too, I lay my Bible down. My word is silent darkness. I carry the dryness, the emptiness, the silent darkness with me through the day. It is only in darkness that one can see the stars. I have seen too many stars to let the darkness overwhelm me. Even though You are silent, still I will trust You.”
So, yeah. That’s Macrina’s instruction for reading the Bible -- it leans very heavily onto the spiritual side of Bible reading. But the scholarly side is important too, especially for your first go-around! Let’s get into that.
The scholarly side of Bible reading
People who have to read part or all of the Bible for school know that Macrina’s method of reading only “till your heart is touched” is pretty, but not pragmatic. There were times when I’d be assigned all of Exodus, or all of John, or all of Paul’s letters to read within a few days or a week in seminary -- so I wasn’t that focused on getting spiritual fulfillment out of the words then! I just had to cram that info into my brain so my teacher would know I did the homework!
I feel like your first Bible read-through is probably going to lean more heavily on the scholarly side than the spiritual, because if the stories aren’t already in your head, getting them in there is your primary goal. 
As you read I cannot recommend enough the use of footnotes or commentaries or other resources to help you make sense of what you are reading. Especially when you come to the more problematic or culturally-complex parts of the Bible. You’re not the first to have questions and confusion and distress about things in scripture; so let others who’ve been in your shoes and done research help you out! By finding trusty resources, you’re leaning on a whole community, just as Christians are called to do. 
I’ve got a post here with recommendations for Bibles with good footnotes, for online Bible resources, etc.
One of the resources listed in that post is the Bible Project’s YouTube series that offers a short video for each book of the Bible. It might be cool for you to watch through all of those in the coming month, so that you can get those “main ideas” and Bible stories into your head now, even while your reading of the actual Bible slows down. Those videos can be like a “sneak peak” for what’s in store as you continue to read through scripture. 
If you prefer text to video, you could also consider getting a “family Bible” / “children’s Bible” to read through! I recommend the DK Illustrated Family Bible, because it has wonderful historical notes and images, and it quotes from the Bible verbatim rather than paraphrasing it in kid-friendly language. Reading through that Bible could totally be done in 2 months, no sweat, unlike getting through the whole Bible. And then you’ll have the main stories and themes in your head asap, while not letting your Bible reading overwhelm you or burn you out.
To wrap up, here are a couple other resources you might find useful as you continue your reading:
A webpage I made discussing a framework for scripture that takes it seriously and affirms LGBTQ+ persons; concepts like divine inspiration, “cherry-picking,” and the rule of love are also discussed
A post addressing misogynistic passages of the Bible; oh and another post on sexism in the Bible
A post addressing the potential for antisemitism when reading the Bible through a Christian lens
And in my Rachel Held Evans tag you’ll find quotes from her wonderful book Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again, which is such a helpful little book for those wanting a crash-course in things like cultural context, divine inspiration vs. human authors, and grappling with violence in the Bible.
I hope that something in this post helps you out, anon! And best of luck to you as you continue your journey through scripture! 
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