Agape love: A Limerick.

agape350A few weeks ago our Pastor mentioned God’s love – agape and claimed it was a word that was coined by the Apostle Paul, since the word didn’t exist in classical Greek. I let it ride, but then last week he said it again, so a red flag went up, and I decided to check the true origin of the word. My first reaction was: It can’t be so, all the Gospels, and all the letters of Paul, Peter, James, John and Jude and the book of Revelation contains the word agape. The only exception is the book of Acts. Now I was really curious.

Being a naturalized citizen of the U.S, even though I have been in this country 45 years, I still sometimes search for words in English that are better expressed in my native Swedish tongue. So I searched the internet to see if anyone else forwarded the theory that Paul was the one that popularized the term agape. Indeed there were, more than one, and they seemed scholarly enough.

How can that be, and what did then Jesus really say to Peter in John 21:15-17 if the term agape is new with Paul?

The Greek language have many words for love, English is poorer and is using one word for all kinds of love, be it of sunsets, McDonald’s cheeseburgers, my wife, friendship, my newborn grandson or God. Classical Greek has 4 basic words for love:

Mania – Love of McDonald’s cheeseburgers would fit well.

Eros – Love of sunsets and my wife. Besides sexual it has a connotation of intense longing.

Philia – Brotherly love, the mutual love you develop among friends, and also a sense of belonging.

Storge – Commonly translated A mother’s love, the sacrificial love of a mother for her children.

The New Testament contains one more word for love – Agape. It has the connotation of total allegiance, love no matter the consequences. All true love is costly, and agape is the love God has for us, even dying on the cross for our sins. But it is not always that positive. In 2 Timothy 4:10 Paul writes: Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me.

The so-called Koine Greek was the lingua franca in the Hellenistic empire after the conquests of Alexander the Great. It is also called Alexandrian Greek, and in around 280 BC the Old Testament was translated into Greek. So I checked what word it used for love in Deuteronomy 6:5

 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

The word used is agape.

It is quite clear. Paul may have introduced the concept to a more general audience via his letters that were circulated throughout all the churches, but he was in no way the author of the word agape.

Now John 21: 15-18 makes sense again:

15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love (agape) me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love (phileo) you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love (agape) me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love (phileo) you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love (phileo) me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love (phileo) me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love (phileo) you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

Peter felt hurt because he realized his commitment to Jesus up to that point had been of the friendship type, not unconditional. For the first time he grasped the full meaning of the difference between God’s love and human love.

Maybe we can trace back the decline of our understanding of agape in today’s society back to Sigmund Freud where he claimed the highest state of man is sexual man. Since he didn’t believe himself he couldn’t conceive there is one more development; spiritual man. This last development is a gift of God, and only then can we enter into God’s rest.

All this led to a limerick on Love.

Agape, a word that means love;

a precious and God – given love.

The Muslims deny it,

Progressives refuse it.

For Jesus is it, it’s His love.

Ryan, Biden, Romney, Obama and the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Ryan, Biden, Romney, Obama and the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Now when the election is over I am impressed how prophetic history unfolds before our very eyes. \The book of Revelation (also called the Apocalypse) has fascinating reading, and the reader is promised a blessing if he so does. With all the death and destruction in the Revelation this promise always puzzled me. The seals of the Revelation starts the events of the tribulation, or so I thought. There is another view of these seals where they open the four dominant world powers that seek to dominate the world.

Let us first take a look at Revelation 6: 1-8

I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2 I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

3 When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.

5 When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6 Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds[a] of wheat for a day’s wages,[b] and six pounds[c] of barley for a day’s wages,[d] and do not damage the oil and the wine!”

7 When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” 8 I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

The first horse is white. The rider has a bow and a crown, and he is bent on conquest. The color of the Catholic Church is white, and starting around 600 A.D. or so they consolidated power and tried to dominate the world.

The second horse is red. This represents Communism, socialism and all forms of Statism.

The third horse is black, and the rider represents Capitalism.

The fourth horse is most interesting. Most bible translation calls its color pale. The Greek word is chloros as in chlorophyll and in the two other instances in the N.T. it is translated green

The color of Islam is green, as can be seen in the flag of many Islamic nations. We can see this description fits since Islam by now has about 1,75 billion followers and the world’s population is about 7 Billion. In addition, their highest honor is to die as martyrs in Jihad.

Back to the four candidates in the Presidential race.

Paul Ryan is a faithful Catholic. He respects religious freedom and has respect for life.

Joe Biden is a nominal Catholic, but really a statist. How do I know? He has said paying more taxes is the patriotic thing to do. His charitable giving is less than 0.4%. He’d rather pay it through taxes. He represent the socialists.

Mitt Romney is a Capitalist. Nuff said.

That leaves us Barack Hussein Obama.

The name Hussein is an exclusively Muslim name.

His Father was a Muslim.

His Stepfather was a Muslim

He enrolled in school in Indonesia as a Muslim.

Is Obama a Muslim?

To become a Muslim one must simply pronounce the Shahaadatayn (Declaration of Faith) with sincerity and conviction.

The Shahadah can be declared as follows:

“ASH-HADU ANLA ELAHA ILLA-ALLAH WA ASH-HADU ANNA MOHAMMADAN RASUL-ALLAH”.

The English translation is:

“I bear witness that there is no deity worthy to be worshiped but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.”

Barack Hussein Obama recited the Shahada by heart.

Mr. Obama recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, reciting them with a first-rate accent. In a remark that seemed delightfully uncalculated,  Mr. Obama described the call to prayer as “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.”

When Barack Hussein Obama publicly confessed the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, he “proclaimed  Shahada“.

To all Muslims it is therefore quite evident that Obama is a Muslim.

The only thing that can undo this and make Obama a Christian in Muslim minds is if he submits to water baptism in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

If Obama produces a Baptism Certificate dated after the time he pronounced the Shahada , then and only then will I believe he is not a Muslim. .

He says he is a Christian. No devout Christian can refuse to submit to water Baptism and be believed.

I stand corrected if he produces his water Baptism certificate, complete with a renunciation of the Shahada. (The only known exception to this rule as far as I know is if he is a devout Quaker. They only recognize the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.)

With the four first seals opened, the next event is the opening of the fifth seal found in Revelation 6:9-11.  9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” 11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.

This is where we are right now. There are right now more Christians being martyred than in any time in history. The State department is silent about it. But they are concerned about a video that insults Mohammed.

When is the full number complete?

The five tenets of the Christian Faith. A song.

This glorious Good Friday reminds us about the redemption we have in Jesus Christ.

A few years ago I wrote this song in five verses. Five is the number of grace.

It can also be used as one way of expressing five pillars of the Christian faith.

To be sung to the tune of “Dark Eyes” (Ochi Chernye)

1 The word incarnate proclaimed by God.

• Once in David’s town
• As the prophet said
• God Himself came down
• In a manger laid
• Wise men saw his star
• They came from afar
• Unto Bethlehem
• Where our Lord was born

2. The prayer of submission to the cross.

• In Gethsemane
• There in bitter pains
• Sweat like blood did flow
• From His sacred veins
• In deep anguish he
• Prayed more earnestly
• That God’s will be done
• Jesus prayed

3. The redemption.

• Outside city walls
• Up on Calvary
• He hung on a cross
• In deep agony
• The atonement made
• As He loudly said
• It is finished, then
• Breathed his last

4. The Resurrection.

• First day of the week
• The three women went
• They the grave did seek
• Stone was rolled away
• Strips of cloth they found
• As the scripture said
• Jesus had to rise
• From the dead

5. The pilgrimage and final victory.

• Therefore let us rejoice
• Gladly let us go
• Conquered has our Lord
• Vanquished is the foe
• Christ without, our shield
• Christ within, our life
• Unto Him our all we yield
• this is victory!

Verse 5 can be sung: So let us rejoice if sung in the same key as v1-4.
Otherwise modulate one half step with the extra syllable.
©Lennart Bilen 2007.

Most admired country according to Bill Clinton: The Islamic Republic of Iran. A Limerick.

“It is the only country in the world that has now had six elections since the first election of [its president in 1997]. (It is) the only one with elections, including the United States, including Israel, including you name it, where the liberals, or the progressives, have won two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote in the six elections…In every single election, the guys I identify with got two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote. There is no other country in the world that I can say that about, certainly not my own.” Davos, Switzerland, Feb.2005.

The person that said it is William Jefferson Clinton, former President of the United States of America, and the country he is referring to is the Islamic Republic of Iran. He said it in an interview with  PBS Charlie Rose.

 

The Islamic Republic of Nation Iran

Bill Clinton admires as much as he can.

They are so progressive

What we call oppressive

Is freedom to nuke our friends; that’s their plan.

Netanyahu’s coded message to Sarah Palin at AIPAC.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in his speech Mar 4 2012 to AIPAC said this:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This week, we will read how one woman changed Jewish history.

In Synagogues throughout the world, the Jewish people will celebrate the festival of Purim. We will read how some 2,500 years ago, a Persian anti-Semite tried to annihilate the Jewish people.

And we will read how that plot was foiled by one courageous woman – Esther.

In every generation, there are those who wish to destroy the Jewish people.

The next day  Netanyahu handed US President Barack Obama a gift that spoke volumes about Israel’s tensions with Iran – an ancient Hebrew tome about a Persian plot to annihilate Jews, otherwise known as the Scroll of Esther.

The Scroll, or the Megila, tells a tale of palace intrigue featuring a Jewish beauty, Queen Esther, who charms a Persian king into foiling an evil adviser’s genocidal plans for her people some 2,500 years ago.

“Then too, they wanted to wipe us out,” Netanyahu told Obama, according to an Israeli official.

History was made last week. Did you miss it? There was but a one paragraph mention in most of the news clips.

For what it is worth here is my take on it.

Sarah Palin visited India in 2011 (She came, She spoke, She conquered, Hindustan Times).

On the way back she and her husband Todd visited Israel. She wore a large David’s star as a necklace. One of the stops was to celebrate Purim with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara. At the feast of Purim it is customary to read the entire scroll of Esther. That Purim was no exception. They mentioned they talked about many things, but mentioned Esther in particular.

When Netanyahu spoke Sunday night he was not only talking to all Jews, but it was a coded signal to Sarah Palin. When Sarah Palin abruptly resigned as Governor less than 3 years into her term, she went fishing. The press was there and asked her many questions. She claimed the reasons for her resignation were so obvious that anybody should get it. Liberal interviewers are not just anybody, so they kept asking. In one of her answers she said the phrase from Esther, slightly concealed “If I die, I die”. This was too deep for the interviewers, for they do not even know there is a book in the Bible called Esther, and if they do they would never admit it, for the Bible is not something about which they are supposed to acknowledge any positive knowledge.

Anyhow the exact quote is: Esther 4:13-16 (ESV)

13 Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” 15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, 16 “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”

I believe Netanyahu reminded Sarah Palin about her quote from Esther and the consequences if she doesn’t answer the challenge.

I also believed Sarah wore the same necklace in Hannity’s interview of her the same week to respond in solidarity with the Jewish People.

Excerpts from the interview can be found in a desperate Obama fundraiser video where Sarah’s remarks are taken out of context to deliberately generate a false narrative of Sarah. But there it is: The David’s star necklace. In Obama’s narrative only a racist can support the Jews.

Please explain your theology, Mr. President.

Mr. President!

On the resent National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C. you said:

“Jesus would back my tax-the-rich policy.”

You went on to say that your understanding of the Bible is the basis for your economic policies.

Campaigning in Ohio, presidential candidate Rick Santorum was criticizing your radical environmental views, which he said hurt the American people.

“It’s not about you [people],” Santorum  declared. “It’s not about your quality of life. It’s not about your jobs. It’s about some phony ideal. Some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible — a different theology.”

Very few commented on your statements at the prayer breakfast. People seem to be perfectly happy that you are using your understanding of the Bible as the basis for your polices.

When Rick Santorum challenges you on your understanding of the Bible, saying that your  theology is open to challenge, everybody is jumping on him, saying that any criticism of your Christian belief is over the line.

You invited a discussion on your understanding of the Bible since you use it as the basis for your economic polices.

What is your biblical basis for not having an opinion whether we should have a budget or not?

What is your biblical understanding on abortion? The only references on abortion I can find in the Bible are child sacrifices, as was practiced in Baal worship. Is that your basis?

Where is the biblical justification for Government regulation trumping Religion?

Please let me know where you stand on the Bible since it is your understanding of the Bible that is the basis for your economic polices.

You were in Rev. Jeremy Wright’s Church for twenty years. You said you never listened to his sermons. How did you obtain your understanding of the Bible?

 

Obama like Henry the 8th decides what is faith. A Limerick.

Obama is doing the Henry the 8th. (1)

“I am the King. I decide what is faith.

And I like abortions (2)

of Baal-like proportions

and orgies galore. I don’t care what you saith.” (3)

(1) Besides his six marriages, Henry VIII is known for his role in the separation of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church. Henry’s struggles with Rome led to the separation of the Church of England from papal authority, the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and establishing himself as the Supreme Head of the Church of England.

(2) How else can you explain his insistance that he will veto any bill that has an amendment defunding Planned Parenthood, and is suing the states that do?

(3) The principal pillars of Baalism were child sacrifice, sexual immorality (both heterosexual and homosexual) and pantheism (reverence of creation over the Creator).

Ritualistic Baal worship, in sum, looked a little like this: Adults would gather around the altar of Baal. Infants would then be burned alive as a sacrificial offering to the deity. Amid horrific screams and the stench of charred human flesh, congregants – men and women alike – would engage in bisexual orgies. The ritual of convenience was intended to produce economic prosperity by prompting Baal to bring rain for the fertility of “mother earth.”

The natural consequences of such behavior – pregnancy and childbirth – and the associated financial burdens of “unplanned parenthood” were easily offset. One could either choose to engage in homosexual conduct or – with child sacrifice available on demand – could simply take part in another fertility ceremony to “terminate” the unwanted child.

Modern liberalism deviates little from its ancient predecessor. While its macabre rituals have been sanitized with flowery and euphemistic terms of art, its core tenets and practices remain eerily similar. The worship of “fertility” has been replaced with worship of “reproductive freedom” or “choice.” Child sacrifice via burnt offering has been updated, ever so slightly, to become child sacrifice by way of abortion. The ritualistic promotion, practice and celebration of both heterosexual and homosexual immorality and promiscuity have been carefully whitewashed – yet wholeheartedly embraced – by the cults of radical feminism, militant “gay rights” and “comprehensive sex education.” And, the pantheistic worship of “mother earth” has been substituted – in name only – for radical environmentalism.

Excerpt from: http://defendingcontending.com/2009/02/16/baal-worship-then-and-now/