(Updated for additional comment) Make Easter that time of year that finds you in agreement with Peter. I am off the remainder of the week. See you Monday. "God bless," even to you who think I am full of nonsense.

261 share

  
If you have heard of the "Eucharist" or the "Lord's Supper,"  tonight, Thursday,  some 2000 years ago,  Jesus,  the man/God from Nazareth,  dedicated the emblems of this supper.  The next day,  he was betrayed by nearly all who followed him and had attended that Thursday meeting.

Peter's denial , that "next" day,  Friday, was not about fear at the Nazarene's trial, as some suppose.   Rather,  it was about Peter's own sense of humanity.  He stood in the shadows and watched as they beat his friend.  He knew that, this time,  there would be no escape.   He watched,  not actually believing in a resurrection,  "knowing" that this was the end of a wonderful,  three year dream.  His denials (there were three of them) was an admission,  that hope had come to an end and reality had set in.  

Some 30 years later,  this same Peter,  would die by crucifixion,  for the very thing he denied years before.  What happened to change his mind?  Does anyone believe that this man,  Peter,  would die for an unproven dream? I do not.  His denials prove, to me,  that he was a man willing to face reality,  no matter how unpleasant.  It proves,  to me,  that he would die for reality  (as in the garden,  at The Arrest,  when he drew his dagger,  willing to fight a Roman command).  Again,  understand that on Thursday,  in the garden,  he was willing to fight an impossible battle (one man with a dagger against a troop of Roman soldiers),   one that he knew he could not win,  only to deny Jesus,  24 hours later  . . . . . . .  only to die for that reality some 30 years later.

With Peter,  it was all about reality,  not visions or wild claims of resurrection.  He was not willing to die for a much desired but fantasy belief.  THAT is what we know about Peter.

We are about to celebrate the Resurrection.  I believe  that  this event, the "resurrection,"    turned Peter's intellectual decision to deny,  into a life of faith that demanded of him,  the strongest of validations  -  his own death.

Personally,  I believe because of Peter.  Other reasons abound,  but that is mine.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fables are fun. Too bad people actually believe them.

http://anongallery.org/7975/help-me-you-idiots

John Smithson said...

You mean like "we will never run out of money," or "acid rain will kill us all," or "global cooling is mankind's greatest threat," or "I can say I am a woman, and, BAM, I'm a woman," or "be nice to a bully and he will stop beating your face," or "New York will be under 20 feet of water by 2015," or "the ozone layer is vanishing," or "there will be no more snow by the end of 2014," or "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, period," or "I will pass comprehensive immigration in my first year as president," or telling Israel, "we have your back," or "al Quaeda is on the run," or . . . . . You mean, like that??

John Smithson said...

Re: Anonymous. I really have never understood why folks like "Anonymous" feel so threatened by my belief in a "fable." If it is a fable, that is equal to believing in nothing, right? And "Anoy" is threatened by "nothing," and never misses an opportunity to go on the attack.

If Anoy truly did not believe, thought Jesus was/is a fable, she would not care. And THAT, strangely enough, is one of my "evidences for belief." Look, the biblical message talks about folks who will hate both the message and the messenger. And when you realize that all secular cultures throughout time, have absolutely hated the idea of a true and living God, that seems to me to be a rather exhaustive fulfillment of "prophecy."

Maybe she missed the point of my post, above. Peter and I have much in common. We are both big on talk, have a fiery temper, are willing (at times) to fight to the death for what we believe and/or love, and when convinced of something, are loyal to that believe, right or wrong, and neither of us believe in fables - so Peter did not believe in a resurrection from the dead. He really didn't.

I do not believe Peter thought the resurrection of Christ was a fable, however, something "make-believe," something he only WANTED to believe and, so, he did. That was not Peter. Instead, in the garden at the time of the arrest of Jesus, Peter was willing to fight and die to protect the man. He surely did not believe that he, Peter, was, single handedly, going to defeat the Roman guard that came to make the arrest. But hours later, at the end of the day, before the chickens went to roost, he denies that he is a disciple of Jesus, as most of you know. But here is my point, I believe that between the time in the garden, when he was willing to die for Jesus, and his denials, the evening of that same day, he went from believing that Christ could not be defeated to "knowing" that he was watching the last moments of friends life . . . . and why die for a dead man?

For me, full of doubts in my younger and party-hardy days, the fact that Peter died for his faith after the denials, means only one thing: that he saw Christ after the resurrection and could not deny that reality.

In fact, if you think about it, all the apostles except Peter and Paul, died terrible deaths, but in anonymity. No books written, no claim to fame, no record of a hero's deliverance or death . . . nothing. But because of them, the gospel of Christ went into China, Europe and Africa - all of the known and inhabited world, at the time.

Anyway, I can't talk you into believing. I only state part of the reason for my faith To think I am dangerous, and my faith needs to eradicated from society, well, what a miserably confused person you must be to want that outcome. Oh, by the way . . . . . ain't going to happen.

Anonymous said...

Dangerous when it shapes law, education and government ... and also when it divides people. There IS a public test for religion among elected officials. Almost impossible to get elected in America as an atheist/agnostic, especially in red states. We see it's detrimental affects all the time, and we see how theocracies in this world are dangerous. America is losing it's greatness and superiority because of know-nothing regressive creationists, science deniers... often hostile to higher ed. One of the best things about America is we continue importing better schooled scientists from Asia, India, Europe. Of course, the regressives are against this too.

John Smithson said...

Silly. Religion has been around, in this country, since its inception and has never failed "the test." America is not losing its superiority in the world because of people of faith, however you quantify them for the sake of your bias. It is losing its place in the world because the current crop of Progressives does not believe in traditional American principles . . . . you know, those principles that made us great, in the first place. It is not fair that we are the only super-power; it is not fair that we the only, wildly successful, representative democracy in the world. Our women are better treated than anywhere else. Our "poor" are the wealthiest such constituency on Earth. We share more wealth with poorer nations, heal more sick, supply more food and clothing than any other nation . . . . . and we have been markedly "religious," all of this time. So, don't tell me that religion is "dangerous."

Anonymous said...

No John, it HAS changed. America was privately religious. Now it has become civically and publicly religious. "Under God" in the Pledge is a recent addition. Mega churches have taken over media and entire towns. One political party attempts to define and align itself with Christianity and initiatives have been put forward by Republicans to push Christianity in schools and gov't. This is self righteous BS is recent and dangerous. The ignorance level of Republicans is not getting better, it's getting worse. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/01/03/republicans-belief-in-evolution-declining/

When a dominionist creationist science denying know nothing like Sarah Palin gets as close as she did to one heart beat over leading this nation ... it becomes a SERIOUS problem.

John Smithson said...

Palin would have been a great president. Look at the mess H Obama has made of everything - and he is a secular atheist, hardly driven by any since of faith in Jesus (and I write “faith in Jesus” because it is “Jesus” he claims to follow). Talk about "dangerous." BTW, name me one policy statement Palin has made, other than on abortion (I know your view on that subject, a minority held view, btw), that you would consider "dangerous.” Palin haters, in my opinion, are nothing more than talking-points-parrots with no knowledge of what the woman believes are teachers. None. Prove me wrong.

You write, " Now it has become civically and publicly religious." I don't know how old you are, my friend, but you know my age - 69 next week, and, while you are waiting for me to die, the fact of the matter is this, unless you are old and not-black, your perspective of the past 7 decades is very different from your statement, just quoted above, in this response.

I grew up in a public school system in L.A., one that allowed prayer, served fish on Friday to accommodate Catholic students (happened to like fishsticks to this day), closed for “Easter” vacation, celebrated the birth of Christ in its Christmas pageants, allowed for crosses on public lands, taught respect for the founding of this nation and the specifics of its history; taught students the Constitution,, saluted the flag, sang patriotic songs in school plays and pledged allegiance to this country every morning, and allowed parents in the classroom to monitor what was being taught, if they desired.

Every one of those examples, above, has either been eradicated from our schools or is under attack by those who are traitors to our Country, self-serving existentialists driven by the desire to eradicate what has driven this nation, since its beginnings. To argue that religion, today, has BECOME an expression of a civilly and publicly held religiosity, is just plain silly. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Originally, the pledge to the flag was a single sentence long, and, indeed, "in God we trust" was officially added in 1954, I believe. We all know that the phrase is doomed. Your side of the aisle, has decided it is a corruption of American principle, in spite of the fact that it cannot defend that belief. My point? The growing publicly held nuisance the extreme, minority held angst for anything remotely related to matters of faith.

Surely you can do better than this. You are intelligent, driven by a passion for your beliefs, but unacquainted with your own epistemology. I win most of our arguments, but not because I am right or especially gifted in matters of debate. I rather think, the problem for you, is not me, but the novelty of your own partisan leanings.

John Smithson said...

By the way, the pledge was written by a Baptist. Today, you Lefties would fight against its inclusion, if "today" was the time of its initial authorship. You all find it offensive and exclusionary, in a "one-world" sense of the term, and work against it, in school district after school district.

Anonymous said...

An Oklahoma school district has approved the use of a Bible curriculum designed by Steve Green, the controversial owner of Hobby Lobby. He's also pushing the concept into the corporate world. "Corporations are 'people' with their own religious beliefs."

State lawmakers in Louisiana are moving forward with their plans to make the Christian Bible the official book of the state.

As if the “war on Christmas” didn’t seem quite foolish enough, Fox News has also been talking up an alleged “war on Easter.”

A provocative new faith-based film opened domestically two weeks ago called, “God’s Not Dead,” which demonizes atheists is childish and stupid manner.

Churches avoid not only taxes, but any requirement to disclose their finances. The US loses Billions.

Creation Museum founder Ken Ham announced that a municipal bond offering has raised enough money to begin construction on the Ark Encounter project, estimated to cost about $73 million, furthering the creationist science denying view. $73 million.

A Roman Catholic middle school in Montana recently fired a teacher for getting pregnant outside of marriage.

A coach for the University of Connecticut football team vowed to use his position to evangelize to student athletes.

American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer told his audience that in the 18th century, only property owners were allowed to vote – and according to Fischer, that’s still a sensible policy for a democracy. It's "biblical" to subjugate women.

An Oklahoma minister filed a lawsuit challenging a state license plate featuring a young Apache warrior shooting an arrow skyward, claiming that the image is a religious message that’s inconsistent with Christianity. Talk about tolerance.

The Kentucky Baptist Convention wants to “point people to Christ” by giving away guns at Second Amendment Celebrations hosted across the state.

I'm sure all of this sounds good and great for America. It's a regressive view. America is not a Christian nation as much as you want it to be.






John Smithson said...

An Oklahoma school district has approved the use of a Bible curriculum designed by Steve Green, the controversial owner of Hobby Lobby. He's also pushing the concept into the corporate world. "Corporations are 'people' with their own religious beliefs."

[Editor: I don’t know Steve Green or anything about a biblical curriculum, but I do know, that it need not be the end of the world. The Bible is the single most popular book sold, on Planet Earth and modern translations are quite readable. It makes for an interesting literary study. After all, it is a collection of 66 “books” and letters, written over a period of 1500 years. Corporations: it is grossly unfair to order a business, tax it to death, demand a wage ceiling and limit profit margins, without giving that business a voting/financial voice in the national politic. To disagree is to believe in tyranny and governmental ownership of our business sector].

State lawmakers in Louisiana are moving forward with their plans to make the Christian Bible the official book of the state.

[Editor: the bible was quoted by nearly all of our Founders. The 10 commandments are written in stone, and can be seen in the halls of the Supreme Court. As long as civil liberties are not tied to an observance of biblical principles, per se, or biblical doctrine, per se, I see no problem].

As if the “war on Christmas” didn’t seem quite foolish enough, Fox News has also been talking up an alleged “war on Easter.”

[Editor: I watch Fox every day, looking for news. There is no obsessing about a “war on Easter.”]

A provocative new faith-based film opened domestically two weeks ago called, “God’s Not Dead,” which demonizes atheists is childish and stupid manner.

[Editor: Nothing "provocative" about the film except you don't care for it. I seriously doubt your assessment of “God’s Not Dead.” But, I have not seen the film. Have you?]

Churches avoid not only taxes, but any requirement to disclose their finances. The US loses Billions.

[Editor: churches do not “avoid” paying taxes. Their exemption is part of the same tax code that allowed Obama to pay onlty 19% of his income in taxes on a half million dollars. My wife and I pay 30% on $88,000. Also, all member contributions to a church, are recorded, each church sends a statement verifying each and every donor's record, so I have not idea what you are talking about when you say that churches hide their donor lists.]


Creation Museum founder Ken Ham announced that a municipal bond offering has raised enough money to begin construction on the Ark Encounter project, estimated to cost about $73 million, furthering the creationist science denying view. $73 million.

[Editor: if the project is not partisan, but literary or historical in nature, I am fine with this. If it is “evangelical” in nature, I would be opposed.]

John Smithson said...

A Roman Catholic middle school in Montana recently fired a teacher for getting pregnant outside of marriage.

[Editor: that teacher signed a contract that specified moral behavior. She knowingly violated the contract.]

A coach for the University of Connecticut football team vowed to use his position to evangelize to student athletes.

[Editor: he will not last long.]

American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer told his audience that in the 18th century, only property owners were allowed to vote – and according to Fischer, that’s still a sensible policy for a democracy. It's "biblical" to subjugate women.

[Editor: and you think this will "catch on," in this country?? Seriously?" ]

An Oklahoma minister filed a lawsuit challenging a state license plate featuring a young Apache warrior shooting an arrow skyward, claiming that the image is a religious message that’s inconsistent with Christianity. Talk about tolerance.

[Editor: you believe this is a popular Christian point of view? Seriously ??]

The Kentucky Baptist Convention wants to “point people to Christ” by giving away guns at Second Amendment Celebrations hosted across the state.

[Editor: Huh???]

I'm sure all of this sounds good and great for America. It's a regressive view. America is not a Christian nation as much as you want it to be.

Anonymous said...

We brazenly call our God the source of mercy, while we are aware, all the time, that there is not an authentic instance in history of His ever having exercised that virtue. We call Him the source of morals, while we know by His history and by His daily conduct, as perceived with our own senses, that He is totally destitute of anything resembling morals. We call Him Father, and not in derision, although we would detest and denounce any earthly father who should inflict upon his child a thousandth part of the pains and miseries and cruelties which our God deals out to His children every day, and has dealt out to them daily during all the centuries since the crime of creating Adam was committed.

We deal in a curious and laughable confusion of notions concerning God. We divide Him in two, bring half of Him down to an obscure and infinitesimal corner of the world to confer salvation upon a little colony of Jews—and only Jews, no one else—and leave the other half of Him throned in heaven and looking down and eagerly and anxiously watching for results. We reverently study the history of the earthly half, and deduce from it the conviction that the earthly half has reformed, is equipped with morals and virtues, and in no way resembles the abandoned, malignant half that abides upon the throne. We conceive that the earthly half is just, merciful, charitable, benevolent, forgiving, and full of sympathy for the sufferings of mankind and anxious to remove them. Apparently we deduce this character not by examining facts, but by diligently declining to search them, measure them, and weigh them. The earthly half requires us to be merciful, and sets us an example by inventing a lake of fire and brimstone in which all of us who fail to recognize and worship Him as God are to be burned through all eternity. And not only we, who are offered these terms, are to be thus burned if we neglect them, but also the earlier billions of human beings are to suffer this awful fate, although they all lived and died without ever having heard of Him or the terms at all.

-- Mark Twain