Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Put on the full armour of God

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  • andin,

    @andin: Did you read the quote?

    You aren't quoting from a very reputable source, even if it has been translated for the linguistically challenged.
    And tales of Paul's encounter's with the early christian church leaders with Jesus' supposed brother James then the head of the infant organisation are said to be one sided, especially if taken from Paul's own letters.
    Most of the rest sounds like typical fare if you wanted to travel or had outstayed your welcome back in that era, shipwrecks, local hostility, sleeping rough, scratching for food.
    I do prefer Gore Vidals retelling of the Pauline era.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    the fantasy of so many nz'ers that religion is 'used to suppress thought' is highly amusing, to say the least!

    Sitting in a country where it's illegal not to profess a belief in one of the six officially prescribed religions and where the dictator of the previous three decades worked actively with tame Islamic leaders and used traditional animism to maintain control, I'd argue that.....

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • p forrester jarvie,

    ScottY if you want to read the most killer work ever on the very weird dynamics of belief itself then check/loan out asap my man Jean Pierre Dupuy's "Self-Deception and the Paradoxes of Rationality" (1998) )

    'Pologies to those who despise consecutive posts

    Since Feb 2009 • 84 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    it is to distribute the appetitive object amongst the newly sign-bearing creatures persent around it in such a way that resentment is minimised...

    The preacher wants to get more followers/more coins on the collection plate. If this can be managed in any such way the best then religion flourishes, praise the almighty. The way to to advance is situational and resentment is piffle, irrelevent in many situations.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Isn't that what organised religion is for?

    As the American Poet J.M. White put it:

    there was a time
    in the history of this globe
    when conservative
    evangelical
    fundamentalists
    were in charge
    of the church
    the state
    and the schools
    they call it
    the dark ages


    or in the words of Lenny Bruce:
    "Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God"

    yrs Pig Cat-Eons

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7948 posts Report Reply

  • p forrester jarvie,

    how does one USE 'traditional animism' to 'maintain control' if every thing that moves - or doesn't - is equally invested with spirit? Just asking, y'all... where's the 'tradition' kick in exactly?

    Since Feb 2009 • 84 posts Report Reply

  • p forrester jarvie,

    resentment is never, EVER irrelevant
    (love from the 50 foot DogmaGirl
    hovering above your free-way now...)

    Since Feb 2009 • 84 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    how does one USE 'traditional animism' to 'maintain control'

    Maybe using the specific gravitas
    of "The Black Pantheists"? : )

    Yrs
    Sir Isaac, Huey, Louie
    and Dewey Newton

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7948 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    ScottY if you want to read the most killer work ever on the very weird dynamics of belief itself then check/loan out asap my man Jean Pierre Dupuy's "Self-Deception and the Paradoxes of Rationality" (1998) )

    No offence intended, but I can't ever imagine myself reading a book with a title like that.

    But if you can promise me a cracking good read (i.e. a gunfight or two, a car chase and a few villains) then maybe....

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    how does one USE 'traditional animism' to 'maintain control'

    1) Political opponent makes compelling speech arguing against your course of action, causing your popularity to drop.
    2) You sacrifice a pig to the tree-sprites.
    3) Political opponent is caught in bed with a transvestite hooker.

    Et voila.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    the fantasy of so many nz'ers that religion is 'used to suppress thought' is highly amusing, to say the least!

    I see what you mean. After all, it only took the catholic Church 367 years or so to apologise to Galileo. And there hasn't been a heresy trial in NZ for, ooh, decades.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    how does one USE 'traditional animism' to 'maintain control'

    Suharto notoriously used Javanese spiritual beliefs to anoint himself as some sort of divine leader. To this day a large part of rural Indonesia still believes he had magical powers derived from Kebatinan. A mixture of that, Islam, a strong fist, massive underfunding of education and Western support kept him in power and control. He both increased and decreased the voice of Islam in Indonesia at various times when appropriate and played to widespread Javanese beliefs in traditional mysticism as methods of control.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Tim McKenzie,

    @andin: Fair enough, I only quoted Paul's own account of his woes. What about the accounts in Acts? There's the stoning (along with a prior attempted stoning), a beating with rods, and a violent mob arrest, for example. The stoning is particularly interesting, because it comes just after Paul was trying to convince the townsfolk not to worship him as the Greek God Hermes.

    Is the account in Acts one-sided? Well, in Paul's first appearance in Acts (where he's called Saul), at the end of chapter 7 and the start of chapter 8, he's approving of the stoning of Stephen, without even having to get his hands dirty.

    I find it difficult to believe that Paul would have left his powerful position as a Pharisee (a former student of the well-respected Gamaliel), persecuting the church, just so that he could attempt to make a "fast buck" by being persecuted himself as a member of the new unpopular movement. Unless, of course, he was doing it because he believed it, not because he was after a "fast buck".

    Lower Hutt • Since Apr 2007 • 122 posts Report Reply

  • p forrester jarvie,

    TB - you should see what i mean! the church in Galileo's day sided with what was understood to be the scientifically-respectable majority view, ie that of Ptolemaic astronomy, just as it sides for the very most part today with the majority belief in Mother Evolution (and her all-suffocating logic), stopping short only of 'resurrecting' the figure of Teilhard de Chardin as supreme champion and guarantor of the doctrine..

    SG even if you sever the words 'spiritual' from beliefs and 'divine' from leader we are still dealing with essentially the same situation, transposed in its entirety now to the Body Politic; hello BO the fertility god rising from the awesomely rich hate-manured soil of the sacrificed Bush administration...

    Since Feb 2009 • 84 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr,

    On April 7, Saddam Hussein struck a dictatorial pose, under this passage from the First Epistle of Peter: "It is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men."

    In this context it's easy to understand the (embarrassing) insensitivity of NZ customs officials when they see someone with a name and race that makes it clear that he is 'one of them'. What other guidelines do they have? They have been thoroughly advised that people like that are a) terrorists, b) cunning and c) desperate - so don't ignore the underwear. It does surprise me, however, that Customs doesn't hold some sort of list of people invited to NZ. It can't be that long, surely.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    "fast buck" by being persecuted himself as a member of the new unpopular movement.

    Yeah but he got to go travel and just exercise his jaw mainly. And who knows perhaps it was his dream to go to Rome as a mighty messenger, and stonings were like the everyday gauntlet in the messiah trade. Just like GW and the paparazzi eh!

    Julian Augustus from Julian

    "The search is the whole point to philosophy and the religious experience. It is part of the Galilean impiety to proclaim that the search ended three hundred years ago when a young rabbi was executed for treason. But according to Paul of Tarsus, Jesus was no ordinary rabbi or even messiah; he was the One God himself who rose from the dead in order to judge the world immediately. In fact, Jesus is quoted as having assured his followers that some of them would be alive when the day of judging arrived. But one by one the disciples died in the natural course and we are still waiting for that promised day. Meanwhile, the bishops amass property, persecute one another, and otherwise revel in this life..."

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    <threadjack> Copyright thread hits page 100</threadjack>

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Page 101 now although Robbery's having mathematical literacy issues

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Suharto notoriously used Javanese spiritual beliefs to anoint himself as some sort of divine leader. To this day a large part of rural Indonesia still believes he had magical powers derived from Kebatinan. A mixture of that, Islam, a strong fist, massive underfunding of education and Western support kept him in power and control. He both increased and decreased the voice of Islam in Indonesia at various times when appropriate and played to widespread Javanese beliefs in traditional mysticism as methods of control.

    It wasn't just the Javanese who were in thrall to Suharto's supposed mystic powers. The old kleptocrat was given to spending the night in the volcanic Guwa Ratu cave on Central Java's Dieng Plateau, believed by many to be the Island's spiritual heart, where he claimed to commune with the deity Semar. That's where he took Gough Whitlam for a special session during the Australian PM's 1974 visit, casually slamming the steel gate in the face of his chauffeur who tried to follow.

    Shortly after the invasion of East Timor took place, with Whitlam's - and presumably Semar's - blessing. Suharto certainly exerted a powerful influence on Australian Labor PMs. At the time of his fall Paul Keating broke the silence he'd maintained since his defeat by Howard to declare that his good friend was a "constitutionalist" who could be relied on to do the right thing.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Stephanie,

    And there I was, really enjoying the discussion about Dora and Thomas...

    Lower Hutt • Since Dec 2007 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I was enjoying the coexistence of kids' entertainment and religion. I suppose that shoudn't surprise me, really.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    It wasn't just the Javanese who were in thrall to Suharto's supposed mystic powers.

    Indeed and if you want to find him today he's enshrined at Astana Giribangun which has it's own place in Javanese mysticism.

    If the west wonders why, after murdering up to a million, stripping the nation of much of it's wealth and leaving his putrid children huge parts of Bali and beyond, they still gave him a state funeral, they'd do well to look at his the Javanese side of his life.

    Howard was extraordinarily complimentary of the retiring despot as he was forced out in '98 and Clinton did everything he could to support him until it was hopeless.

    We don't even begin to understand the forces that control Java (and thus Indonesia) in the west.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    And there I was, really enjoying the discussion about Dora and Thomas...

    Harumph. You drew me into it.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I was enjoying the coexistence of kids' entertainment and religion.

    Actually, I could have been talking there about the insufferable copywrong thread..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Sorry to hear of your accident Giovanni, I've been lucky to so far avoid being speared by various pieces of train-set... it's a daily challenge however.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

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