Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
Good News from Mars (Part 2) > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

Good News from Mars (Part 2)

Paul is led up a 512 ft. hill, Mars Hill, also known as Areopagus, and there he faces the Epicureans and the Stoics (and others). These intellectual giants represented the philosophical thinking of the day in which Paul lived. And when these PhD's saw Paul, they sneered and considered him a vain babbler (seed picker). They had given Paul audience merely to amuse themselves by listening to what he had to say.

Now, the Stoic religion, founded by Zeno (c. 300 B.C.), was rooted in the art of living wisely. Their teaching suggested that the ultimate principle of the universe and the ideal of the ethical life is to live in harmony with reason. Reason will keep each man under control. God was thought to be the indwelling reason, the soul of the universe and apart from it, God had no existence. So according to stoicism, the fundamental injunction laid upon man was to follow the law of nature and maintain self discipline by listening to the voice of reason.

I think the Stoics made a good point because if we investigated the doctrines and practices of most of the major religions, we will find something comparable to the teachings of Christianity. We can look at Buddhism or Confucianism or Hinduism and find teachings against murder, stealing, adultery and so forth. And so the Stoics believed there was something in our natural thinking process that would lead us to do the right thing. Paul contemplated this philosophical leaning and came up with a gospel that seemed to undercut what the Stoics believed. I imagine Paul saying something to the effect: Men of Athens, I can appreciate your philosophical thought that there is something in the laws of nature that will lead us to do the right thing. I understand what you are saying concerning the laws of nature, but I do not think you have considered human nature. You see, just because we know what is right does not mean we will do what is right. Just because we know we should not lie does not mean we will not lie. Just because we know we should not gossip on each other, stab each other in the back, dig ditches for one another, does not mean we will not do it. But my gospel takes into account human nature. Because I discovered the other day that even when I would do right, even when reason does lead me to do the right thing, evil is always present.

As intelligent as we may consider ourselves, we cannot afford to rely solely on reason. When we have done all the thinking we can do, we will realize that there are some things beyond reason. We know this because if we stop to think about it, we would have to admit that the virgin birth is not logical. The turning of water into wine is not logical. It is not reasonable to accept the idea of a man walking on water. But the gospel transcends logic. The doctrine of the gospel is a great mystery of godliness. It is out of the road of the enquiries of human reason; it transcends the finiteness and limitations of man.

The Epicureans were also on Mars Hill. They believed in the art of living happily. They considered pleasure of mind and body to be the highest good in life. Life to the Epicurean is simple fulfillment of natural desires which they felt rendered a life of security and lasting pleasure. They emphasized and sought to maximize the happiness of the majority and did not worry about the rest. For them, the chief end of man was to eat, drink and be merry.

Well, I can hear Paul telling the Epicureans, There is nothing wrong with wanting to be happy. It is great to want to maximize the happiness of the greatest number, but my gospel also considers the few. There may be a few folks out there who cannot afford the cost of an education. There may be a few folks out there who are struggling trying to make ends meet. There may be a few folks out there who are not listed among the fittest; because under the evolutionary program, only the fittest will survive. If you are not fit, you'll be lost. But under the Gospel that I represent, it does not matter who you are, God cares.

Unlike man, God's love is not conditional and not predicated on who you are, where you are, where you live or your education. You can be the President of the United States or you can be a sanitation worker for the city, God cares for you. It doe not matter where you are ? you can be on top of the mountains or you can be on the bottom of the barrel, God still cares. It does not matter what street you live on. You can live in the richest neighborhoods or you can live in the ghettos of America, God still cares. Maybe you do not have a degree behind your name, maybe you do not know how to make the subject and the verb agree; God still cares for you.

Paul looked at the surroundings he was in and could hardly believe what his eyes were seeing. Athens was famous for their temples that were exquisite works of art. There was no other place on earth at the time where so many idols were exhibited. It was often said that it was easier to find a god than a man in Athens. Paul observed the many temples, surrounded by statutes of deities and gods of many natures. There were thousands of public statutes and thousands more in the Parthenon. Athens was not only the home of the great philosophical thinkers; it was the home of the Greek gods of mythology. Many deities were housed in the temples and shrines of men's hearts and minds including Zeus, Apollo, and Narcissus. So Paul challenged them with the preposterousness of all the idols. What he said to them was tantamount to:

I've noticed you have a lot of idols up here. Everywhere I look, I see idols. I have even noticed an altar with the inscription ? To the Unknown God. Here you sit like you have all the answers, like you have a monopoly on wisdom and yet the true God is an unknown God. Well, let me tell you about this unknown God.

The Good News from Mars (Hill) is that God cares. He cares for you in a personal and intimate way. It does not matter who you are, where you are, what your circumstance, God cares.

Rev. Saundra L. Washington, D.D., is an ordained clergywoman, veteran social worker, and Founder of AMEN Ministries. She is also the author of two coffee table books: Room Beneath the Snow: Poems that Preach and Negative Disturbances: Homilies that Teach which can be reviewed on her site. Her new book, Out of Deep Waters: My Grief Management Workbook, is expected to be available in July.

You are welcome to visit AMEN Ministries: Your Soul's Service Station for spiritual refreshing, soul edification or to browse our newly expanded mini shopping mall.

Blessings to all!

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Forbes

Raising Kids With Religion Or Spirituality May Protect Their Mental ...
Forbes
A new study from Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health finds that kids and teens who are raised with religious or spiritual practices tend to have better ...
Spirituality in Early Life, Connected to Better Health Later OnBreaking Israel News

all 5 news articles »

Gaston Gazette

Common Ground trail systems blends nature, spirituality
Gaston Gazette
This series of columns is about great places to walk and enjoy the outdoors in Gaston County, and today's installment will be no exception. But, it is impossible to write about the 3.2 miles of walking trails on the Common Ground property in Stanley ...


Ithaca Journal

Spirituality: It's not how much you know, but how much you care
Ithaca Journal
Chaplain Norris Burkes' column will appear every Thursday on ithacajournal.com and every Saturday in print. Given some of the tragic news stories nearly every ...
New Spirituality column: It's not how much you know, but how much you carePress & Sun-Bulletin
Norris Burkes' Spirituality: How am I doing on my six F words?Elmira Star-Gazette

all 3 news articles »

Our World and Beyond: 7 Best Books on Angels and Spirituality
Signature Reads
As humans, we are naturally curious. Our curiosity pushes us to seek to understand the world around us and beyond. For many, that search is often a spiritual one driven by a desire for a higher power to explain the explainable. Often part and parcel ...


Australian Ageing Agenda

Spirituality program recognised nationally
Australian Ageing Agenda
Residential aged and community care provider Catholic Healthcare has been recognised for its spiritual care program at Meaningful Ageing Australia's national awards in Melbourne. Catholic Healthcare was awarded the 2018 Quality in Pastoral and ...


The Conversation AU

New research shows Australian teens have complex views on religion and spirituality
The Conversation AU
Digging deeper, we found a more complicated picture of faith and spirituality among young Australians. Most Gen Z teens have little to do with organised religion in their personal lives, while a significant proportion are interested in different ways ...

and more »

WUWM

'At The End Of The War,' Explores Spirituality Through Poetry
WUWM
But he came to Judiasm β€” and other spiritual traditions β€” later in life, after he was already established as a poet. Clinton's latest book of poetry is called β€œAt the End of the War," and it explores his spirituality in a series of poems, which draws ...


True spirituality is doing everything in God's love
Belfast Telegraph
Survivors of these horrors continue to live with deep psychic and spiritual wounds. It is hard to fathom how those, who had authority in these establishments, who knew the Gospel, could be responsible for such an obscene negation of their true calling ...


Texas Medical Center News

Experts promote palliative care with spirituality as a boost to clinical medicine
Texas Medical Center News
Houston Methodist Research Institute hosted the Palliative Care and Spirituality for Life (PCSLife) Conference in collaboration with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center's Department of Palliative, Rehabilitation and Integrative Medicine.


Daily Californian

Playwright Lynne Kaufman talks searching, spirituality in 'Acid Test'
Daily Californian
From teaching psychology at Harvard University to teaching spirituality and advocating for the use of psychedelics, Ram Dass has led a transitional and dynamic life. Now, in his later years of life, Ram Dass has become the subject of a one-man show ...

Google News

What Animal Communicators Do

Many people are awakening today to the idea that the... Read More

Universal Meaning of Celtic Knotwork

In the spring of 2003, I spent three weeks in... Read More

Getting Comfortable in Your Own Skin

What does it mean to be comfortable in your own... Read More

The Many Waters, Lauretta Lueck

The Many Waters explores the universe and sifts through the... Read More

The Hidden Cost of FREE

Are you always looking for bargains, especially something that you... Read More

Karma: Is It Good or is It Bad? You Decide!

We hear this word so often and have one thing... Read More

The Kabbalah of Transformation: Turning Darkness into Light

THE KABBALAH OF PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION: TURNING DARKNESS INTO LIGHT"In the... Read More

Fear Base Society

In today's world we worry about everything, food, jobs, clothing,... Read More

The Easiest Way to Overcome Vanity

Vanity - it's easy to mask, easy to forget, and... Read More

Creating With Words

"In the sixth century of the sixth millennium, the gates... Read More

Getting Results

We desire to understand the world by giving names to... Read More

Trust in God

Ecclesiasts 5:18 Then I realized that it is good and... Read More

Willing to Walk with Jesus?

Can two walk together unless they have agreed to do... Read More

You Are Not Your Stuff

We humans are a funny, funny breed. We spend our... Read More

Looking for God - Heres My Story On Finding the Lord

Hopefully you're reading this article because you're intrigued by the... Read More

Who is God?

Since the beginning of time mankind has pondered, who God... Read More

Dancing with the Devil

"If you can't dance with the devil You will never... Read More

Be Thankful

Some people think just by saying the words thank you... Read More

The Universal Connection

I believe in a phenomenon I have been known to... Read More

Getting Your Feelings Down on Paper

Journal ExpressionsIf you haven't already done so, please start keeping... Read More

Why Would You Want to be Enlightened?

Yesterday, a marketing guru asked me a question that left... Read More

Why Isnt God Helping Me?

Have you ever felt like throwing up your arms and... Read More

Stress & Spirituality, Part 1

Stress & Spirituality ? How Spirituality Affects Stress LevelsTake a... Read More

Youve Got a Curse!

It is tough being here on this plane. You have... Read More

Time Changes-- Spring Forward Or Fall Back!

In the game of billiards there are two things you... Read More