Santa Claus

 

picture1-pngstep9-2“If you’re not a good little boy, Santa Claus is gonna leave you nothing but a bucket of coal.”

Did your parents ever say that to you?  Yes, it was a form of blackmail and most often it worked.  After all, what would a little boy do with a bucket of coal? Couldn’t show it off to buddies, couldn’t play with it, couldn’t eat it like candy.

“If you’re not a good little boy, God’s gonna get you and throw you into the fires of hell.”

Any of you remember hearing that from parents, teachers and preachers?

The fear of the Lord was instilled at a very young, impressionable age.  Unfortunately, when that little boy grew up, he continued to greatly fear that bearded, white-haired old man setting somewhere in the heavens with a judgemental scepter……good little boys on this side, bad little boys on that side.  And then, as an adult, if he still allowed religion in his life, this fear which had now become a life-directing terror was often supported by an erroneous interpretation of Job 28:28.

And he said to the human race, “The fear of the Lord–that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” Job 28:28

I finally bought a Strong’s Concordance because at a certain point in my adult life, I realized I could not uninstall or delete from my brain bank all that had been put in there by church and religion.  Reprogramming is not an easy undertaking.  For those of you unfamiliar with Strong’s, it is a compilation of every word in the Bible with a cross-reference to the original Chaldee, Hebrew or Greek words and their definitions.

I wanted to know what the original authors had in mind when they wrote the stories, parables, and histories of the ministry of Jesus which was later combined as the canon of the New Testament.  That is also true of the Old Testament which is an assembled canon of the writings of revered Jewish authors.  Neither of the Testaments was simply laid down before the people and declared to be the official word of God.  They were an assortment of histories, myths, folklore, parables and spiritual inspiration.   And I was told by a wise, old spiritual adviser that for he who seeks, those books can be a wealth of wisdom and truth.

Very simply stated, I could not continue in life with a headful of “thou shalt” and “thou shalt not”  teachings floating around in my head.  If indeed there was any truth in the scriptures which indicated a loving and compassionate God, I needed to find that truth, or give up the search completely, or go insane.

Slowly, by having the Bible and my Concordance open side by side and sometimes referencing each word of the verse I was reading, so slowly I was seeing for the first time in my life the beauty and true meaning of the writings of this book called the Bible.  Even more revelatory was the insight gained when I was able to apply this wisdom in a spiritual realm rather than the inerrant, infallible, literal interpretations of my childhood.

The KJV translation uses in Job 28:28 the words, “fear of the Lord.”   Fear carries a highly negative connotation.  Fear, actually terror,  is what I regularly felt as a young man who knew he fell far short of being the human he was meant to be.  At some point, men like me say “What’s the use?  I would sooner die being a happy sinner rather than a frightened little boy.”

The Strong’s Concordance also includes in its definition of the word ‘yir’ah’ (fear) the meaning “reverence”.  Does it take a college degree to see the vast difference between fear and reverence?  Yes, of course I revere, honor, cherish a power greater than myself; yes, I am awed by a loving, compassionate entity worth of being named God.  I can finally say in truth and confidence “Reverence for my Lord is wisdom.  To shun what is not of the Lord is understanding.”smiley 3

 

 

 

 

 

10 Replies to “Santa Claus”

  1. Best wishes to you in your faith. I wonder did your Strong’s Concordance show how some of the things told or described in the bible were taken from other religions in that area that preceded the bibles writing? The Epic of Gilgamesh is one I hear often mentioned. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Strong’s is not a commentary nor a history. It merely translates words. What eventually became the Bible was an accumulation of folklore, cultural history, poetry, inspirational writings, parables, and analogy. Unfortunately, many people follow the belief that the Bible was sent down from heaven as infallible truth. Even the Jewish faith sees the Torah as a guide to living which changes with the events of contemporary society. Your concept of my faith has probably been poisoned by fundamentalist doctrine. Hugs back at ya. Feeling better?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I don’t think my comment was clear and that was my fault for making it so short. Reason it was short is I am trying to eat peanut butter on toast, and have to keep running to the kitchen to wash my hands before typing. Peanut butter is really hard to get out of keyboards.

        I actually do not think you are a fundamentalist or have a fundamentalism faith. And that is why I said “best wishes on your faith”. I do not share your faith as you have explained it but I don’t have to. It is not required of me to believe for you to believe. And as you are not hurting anyone with your faith I support it, if you want it. On the other hand I was having a discussion with a hard line fundamentalist who was making claims and is sort of a jerk about the limits of where to put god. But he is a fundamentalist pastor and sort of his job to push go into things that do not require or need one. That is totally not what my comment to you was about.

        What I was interested in was if the book you mentioned , which I have never read, included those things. You answered the question I had. I find that when people get too narrow a view of faith or religion they tend to miss the prior religions or fables that go into their current faith. Sort of they forget that humans build things from the material that came before thing. This relates to the book question because while I have heard speakers mention the prior stuff, I don’t know if it is common knowledge or where the information comes from. For example I mentioned the Epic of Gilgamesh. I hear it all the time used on videos and web sites dealing with fundamentalist and atheists, yet no one says, hey this can be found here so you wont have to pull your hair out looking for it. So again I just wondered if it was mentioned in the Strong’s book.
        Again sorry if I came across as I did not mean to. As for me , I slept most of the afternoon again. Trying hard to stay up and get to the huge back log of email and blogs I have. Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ah, peanut butter and jelly….love it. No, I wasn’t put off in any way. I know where you stand and I respect that. Have you ever heard that Jesus from ages 12 through 30 is unaccounted for in scriptures? If you have ever read the Buddha and what Buddhists call the “Path” and then Jesus and what Jesus called the “Way” you would swear the same author wrote both. Remembering that Jesus appeared on the scene about 500 years after the Buddha, I find that similarity in teachings too coincidental. Some “heretics” say that possibly Jesus traveled with Buddhist monks between ages 12 and 30. Hmmmm. Thank you for not attacking my faith. You are much more spiritual than some “Christian” brothers who would just as soon burn me at their stake of intolerance. Hugs back

        Liked by 1 person

      3. If you don’t mind the irrelevant tone Professor Taboo did a great post on the 12 to 30 missing years. https://professortaboo.com/2017/09/17/the-new-man-from-old/
        I have never understood the intolerance between faiths or ways of practicing it. Faith means it is not a set in stone determined to be the only correct way. To me that intolerance shows fear, confusion, and is a sign that you have little faith. There is no reason to attack people for faith if the people are not causing harm. Live and let live. In the end it will sort it self out…literally. Wish I could have jelly. Too much sugar and the non sugar ones I tasted are not fit for consumption. You know that need to force everyone to have the same idea and feelings really diminishes the human spirit I think. The people like Michelle Bachmann and the people of the 700 club Pat Roberson. They make their faith seem really small to me. Oh well, they did not ask me either so …… Hey be well. Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

      4. No Scottie I love irreverence when applied to established religions. In my world….where would we be if Jesus didn’t question and debunk the hypocrisy of the Pharisees? We’d still be burning prime veal on the altars.

        Liked by 1 person

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