I can understand why some of the small number of regular visitors to this blog would ask the question as to its future longevity, and what will be its subject matter.
As long as I am capable of writing it, and I am allowed to say what I want about whatever I want, it will continue.
The centerpiece of Earth Images will be photography. That is why I created it. In a world where everyone has a camera in their pocket via a cell phone, in some respects, it is even more topical now than when I began.
That said, I will continue to write about social issues, politics, and religion, including Christianity, pseudo Christianity, and other religions, both organized and not. It’s not that the world demands I do so, more likely the other way around. It is that I can’t stay shut up about those subjects.
I will never understand anyone’s interest in me personally or my life, but to the degree that I am willing to talk about it, here goes.
If it seems as though I no longer create images. Why not?
I quit as an active photographer some time ago. I did so for two reasons.
One, there were some health issues which meant there were problems hiking while carrying equipment, and my appearance was diminishing, and that meant I no longer felt like wandering around outdoors and meeting people in the field. Previously that was something I loved.
Two, money was becoming an issue. My equipment was not only in bad shape, but was becoming obsolete. It would have been wrong at the time for me to spend the money necessary to update. Also, I had or have, no desire to roam around making snapshots. I was either going to be “all in”, or not in at all.
My political and social discourse on this site is partly just who I am, and partly what the world has made me. I suspect it is similar for each of you.
My religious writing and politics, overlap quite often. That is actually unfortunate, but such is the current state of the world!
My perspective is from that of a Christian. Yours might be Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist or the church of The Three Stooges or some such thing. Everyone has a right to their belief system. Of course today, the overriding religion in the world is environmentalism. With the rocks, trees and critters being god.
Am I Baptist or Methodist or a Pentecostal or non denominational? None of the above. I am Christian. I began as a chld as a Lutheran but personally (this is just me) I would not go that route again. Half hearted attempts to teach humanism with a slice of God and an occasional mention of Jesus Christ (Christmas, Easter) and the Holy Spirit, and very little explanation. I left that church believing that everyone in the world, regardless of their life, faith or anything else, is going to Heaven because Jesus died for our sins. I guess we would have had (by what they said) Satan himself to hang out with in Heaven.
You say, I seem to have a gripe with some Christians. Everyone has the right to believe what they believe, even if they make it up along the way, but yes, I have some gripes.
Christianity has been reinterpreted, and made a whole new religion by many. They can do that if they choose, and I can comment on it.
No, I do not regard myself as a scholar of such. I have learned and studied behind some brilliant Bible scholars. Many are pastors, some are not. Some are controversial, most are not. How do I decide? What I don’t do is make my choices on personality, appearance, voice or other such things. I judge by content, trust and accuracy. I pray a lot. Most of my answers come through prayer. Finding the right people can take time, but it Is worth it. If they actually preach, I worry not whether they are of the fire and brimstone type, the quiet studious intellectual sort, or something in between. It takes all sorts of individuals to teach and/or preach the Gospel.
I want the truth even when it is not what I want to hear.
An example of a Biblical disagreement.
The Sabbath, was a part of old Jewish law. The law which preceded Christianity and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus obeyed the Sabbath. This subject is much debated among those who consider themselves Christian. It was meant to honor God, Who rested on the seventh day. That was and is Saturday. Not Sunday. You were not supposed to work or travel. You were even instructed to rest your work animals such as donkeys or oxen.
When Jesus resurrected, then we were no longer under Jewish law. We were now Christians. Many of the first Christians came from Hebrews (Jews) followed by gentiles which were pagans. I suspect, I am of pagan stock. Those who chose not to follow God’s rule, who remained religiously Jewish, continued one form of the Sabbath or another, and some still do. Many Christians did not and do not address the Sabbath. Then again some Christian “offshoots”, such as The Seventh Day Adventists, make a Saturday Sabbath, along with Jewish food laws, the most important aspect of their religion. They are good people who know a lot of Biblical truths, but it is a shame they put their faith in what they believe to be a 19th Century profit instead of God’s Word.
The issue for some modern day Christian sects when It comes to honoring or not the Saturday Sabbath is, that it appears in the Ten Commandments so it must be a current directive. Those commandments are still very much law and rules to live by. They are front and center today just as God commanded in the beginning. They are not obsolete. They are from God to us. So some Christians chose to just move the Sabbath to Sunday. The problem becomes, Sunday is not the seventh day. Are you truly honoring God?
The Sabbath was not necessarily a day to go to temple, or later church as many have made it. If your temple was over what is about a mile away, you were not allowed to travel that far. It was about honoring the day God rested, as far as I can tell.
This is an issue for a few Christians, and it is one I believe, that can be tolerated to have some latitude.
My personal view is simple. The point to having the Sabbath, (remember, this is pre-resurrection), was to honor God’s rest with our rest. Now we biblically are told, that we are to seek Jesus daily for rest.
My rest and my Sabbath is in Christ. Every day.
Below is a jpg with The Ten Commandments printed on it. It is a valid and good example because to me, even though some of the language may differ from say a King James Bible, it is accurate and easier to read. The Ten Commandments have been bastardized by many, including religions, to mean anything but what they said.
Notice the sixth Commandment. It usually reads you shall not kill. When it says that it does so because it has been altered by do-gooders to say what they think best. The original Hebrew translates to say murder. It is sinful to kill with malice and premeditation. It does not suggest that we do not have a right to kill to save our lives or those of other innocent people. Or that in a just war, you cannot kill to defeat the enemy.
David killed Goliath!! He did not murder him.
A fair question to me would be, do you really believe all this stuff? That is what many who read this blog would ask. Many people claim a religion and go to one form of service or another. Do they believe it? I would not waste a moment of time and energy if I did not. Religion or church to me, is not about ceremonies to make me feel good, although they can certainly be great and can enhance the Christian experience and worship, and sometimes even educate you. God loves group worship.
Horrible things have been done throughout history, in the name of Christianity and for that matter all religions. That is a part of the “sin nature”.
The Ku Klux Klan, burned crosses on the front lawns of black Americans. And then often did worse. What an abominable use of the symbol of our Savior. They misinterpreted (on purpose I believe) Bible verses meant to separate the darkness from the light, as meaning to separate black people from white.
They hated Jews (God’s chosen people). By the by, I know many Christians chafe at the idea of the Jews as the chosen people. That does not make you, me or any Christian any lesser, it just means He set forth a mission for that group. You will note that Jesus and His mother Mary, were Jews. They are of David’s bloodline. ( The same David that killed Goliath)
Today some so-called Christians hate Jews because they believe the Jews were replaced by the church. The Jews still have their place in end time prophecy.
The church age is now coming to an end. Many of us will be put to death as we refuse to stop spreading the word. Christians are being imprisoned and killed every day in the Middle East, Africa, and other locales right now. It will get worse. I expect that to happen in this country eventually.
The Jewish tribes and the locales in Israel, are still at the center in end time prophecy. Jerusalem will be the ruling location for Jesus. That said, individual Jews will have to accept Christ and what He did, and do so in time, in order to sit next to Him when He is on the Throne. Just like the gentiles.
Another reason for Christian anti-Semitism is because they call the Jews Christ-killers. Let us be clear, the Romans killed Christ. I see nobody hating modern day Italians for that. A small Jewish tribunal, tried Jesus and sentenced Him to Death. The Romans tortured Him, beat him, crushed a crown of thorns into His head, stripped Him naked and gambled for His clothing. His body died perhaps from blood loss, or maybe His heart stopped from dealing with the pain.
The Romans then tortured and killed Christians until they realized they could not kill them all. That is when Constantine ordered that they accept Christianity, but only on his paganistic terms. He was a sun worshipper, henceforth one of the reasons for church on Sunday. That does not mean that there is anything wrong with church on Sunday, only that historic context helps us to learn.
Much of anti-Semitic behavior today comes either from poorly educated Christians, the Islamic movement, or Democrats and other liberals.
As a Christian, my wish is for all of my Jewish brothers and sisters is for them to accept Christ. That is happening now at a fair rate. I wish the same for Islamists, Hindus, atheists (yes it is a religion) or anyone else.
If I was forced to break down Christianity and its book called the Bible to one word, it would be Grace. We are saved by the Grace of God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross. He paid our penalty. We have to accept it and even then that doesn’t mean there is nothing left for us to do. Of course we should reject sin in every way possible. Those Ten Commandments are a great start. We will fail along the way. That’s why recognizing and accepting Grace, from what Christ did, is the only answer.
If any church would go so far as to suggest that works, or Grace plus works, is the way to Heaven, I would run. They either do not understand the Bible, or they do not trust it, so they added to the story in order t make it what they think it should be. I accept what God has told us, not what man adds or subtracts.
Of all the subjects I broach in this blog, religion, Christianity and the Bible is the most exhausting for me. I am not complaining, I am just being honest. Nobody admires true Biblical scholars, or preachers who teach and preach from knowledge and honesty more than I do. There are many great ones. I probably do them a disservice as they are so much better at speaking or writing about this subject than I ever could be. The question is, for how much longer will a free exchange on this subject be allowed in this country and the world?
Well I think I will take a nap now.
Thank you and the next post, will be photographic in nature.
Happy Trails till we meet again. (Boy could we use Roy Rogers and Dale Evans now). By the by, both were Christians.
Below is an opinion from Sebastian Gorka on Afghanistan.