“The Gospel of Thomas” translated by Svein Woje & Kari Klepp.

A “new-age” relative of mine was very eager to lend me this non-canonical gospel, once she figured out that I was reading The Holy Bible.

After having read “The Gender Agenda” by Lis Goddard & Clare Hendry., I decided to take a look at it before publishing my Old Testament review.

If you are going to write about religious texts you should preferably know what you are talking about since religion is so vital to those who believe and can be potentially life-changing for those who discover the power of it.

Yet in today’s political and cultural environment you can easily find yourself confused, which is probably the point. This morning I read a very good interview with Bishop Rachel, the 1st female bishop in the church of England, and even though the interview was very good, I couldn’t help but wonder about the presence of women in such high positions. This has nothing to do with my personal preferences; it has everything to do with the Bible texts themselves. Before you know it I’ll re-read the entire Bible just to double-check, since modern church practises clashes so monumentality with what the Bible is explicitly saying. Of course it will make you wonder what you’ve potentially missed. Yet when I re-opened my Bible while reading The Gender Agenda, my impression of what the Bible actually states, was not changed.

It would probably be better for people who fundamentally disagree with Christianity to find some other outlet for their spirituality rather than trying to change the Christian faith to fit with their own preferences….

I do posses a gigantic book about the history of Christianity, which I will certainly read soon I believe. I have too many questions, and a lot of times you can find what you are looking for by going back into the past…

“The Gospel of Thomas” has its relevancy in a very popular conspiracy, where it is claimed that women were especially targeted by the Christian church in the name of oppression. I have debunked parts of that myth as old pre-Christian mythology/spiritual practises do not come across as particularly egalitarian.

Yet it seems like there are forces so desperate to establish a certain new-ideology and/or political order, that history has to be re-written, especially anything that has to do with religious practices. In that spirit I recommend reading this: Ancient Greek Myths – The Universe, The Gods, And Mortals told by Jean-Pierre Vernant.

I guess the reason as to why my “new-age/spiritualist” relative was so very eager to lend me “The Gospel of Thomas” is that it undermines the very structures of the Church and can therefore be seen as a good document for subversion.

She also appears to have some big problems with the Church herself, due to her own fixation on gay’s rights. Last time we visited her she proclaimed that the greatest perpetrators in history have been “white Christian men.”

On that note I’ll zoom in on the gospel itself…

The story goes that this gospel among others was cut out of The New Testament to cover up the social egalitarianism in the early churches and throw women under the bus in order to establish the “evil-Christian-patriarchy.” The non-canonical gospels were excluded in order to hijack Jesus and keep the real-truth from the world, such as Mary Magdalene being his favourite disciple.

The foreword/preface to this translated edition is repetitive but very informative and good. It creates a great built up, addressing the controversy surrounding this non-canonical text, but it all falls flat when you finally get to the actual gospel.

To call it a dethronement of Jesus would be laughable, as you’ll feel like you’ve just read the words of a fortune-cookie-prophet reminiscent of Jaden Smith.

It is all in all a pretty bland text, so I sincerely hope that this is indeed “ancient-fake-news.”

If they do reflect the truth they are evidence of the greatest fraud in history, where an average prophet or cult leader, had some of his quotes inserted into an epic fantasy story, creating division and controversy in the Jewish world and eventually re-setting the spirituality meter all across Europe…

Considering the enormous personal sacrifice and hardships that his disciples put themselves under though, I sincerely doubt that. There is a thread that can be followed, historically speaking, and this in combination with the quality of the writing in The New Testament refutes the “conspiracy.”

It is of great importance to address it though, because this is what critics of the Christian faith will hold on to and bring up in order to debunk and ridicule the faith.

In “The Gospel of Thomas” Jesus speaks of duality coming to an end with “women becoming men, while men become women, so that all can become one” to paraphrase.

Jesus will lead Mary Magdalene “to turn her into a man, so that she can become a living spirit, that is like the spirit of men, for any woman who makes herself a man shall be allowed entry into the Kingdom of Heaven.

“The Gospel of Thomas” is a quick read and is not the bombshell that people will have you believe. The text itself is mediocre at best, but it is still worth a read, so that you know what “the haters” are going on about!

More about faith:

“Simply Christian” by Tom Wright.

The Slippery Slope Of Religious Liberty.

Live Footage From My Benefit Concert To Raise Funds For A Norman Church In The Cotswolds, England.

Spirituality & Archangels.

I Just Finished The Old Testament!

Love Thy Neighbour As Thyself………

Chambers “ghosts and spirits.”

Why The Bible Is Dangerous & Why The Political Correctness Brigade Wants To Keep It Away From You.

“Answers from Heaven” by Theresa Cheung & Claire Broad.

Why so many Christians still literally believe in demons and Satan

Lent for the 1st time.

“An Angel Saved Me” by Theresa Cheung.

Petitions To Sign & Share.

The Lion Encyclopaedia of Jesus.

\m/ Spiritus Gladius \m/

“The Gender Agenda” by Lis Goddard & Clare Hendry.

This book came into my possession courtesy of our local vicar, who lent it to me after having read my review of “Simply Christian” by Tom Wright.

The work is a discussion between two Christian women regarding female leadership and involvement in the Church.

I can hardly think of a topic more relevant in this day and age where female priests seem to be the only vicars left, in addition to female bishops, even female lesbian bishops!

With the emphasis on LGBTQ and egalitarianism it is certainly surprising to read the actual Holy Bible and see how the texts contrast with our “modern values. ”

In my review of “Simply Christian” I wrote among other things this:

“I’m also questioning the presence of female priests and authority figures within Northern European churches when it is explicitly said in 1 Timothy 2 (12) : “I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent.” I guess it can be counter-argued that women are keeping the faith alive and that it is better with female priests than no priests.”

That is probably a good place to start, because the Holy Bible does certainly not come across as a feminist manifesto, to put it that way, even though Lis Goddard seems to think so.

Her interpretation of The Holy Bible hinges on our Bibles being translated wrong … which means that both my copy of the Bible and Clare Hendry’s copy are faulty.

Lis Goddard zooms in on what could have been the intended or original meaning of certain words in the texts and she also seem to believe that Genesis depicts a gender-neutral Utopia of sorts, before the Fall….

Eve is created from Adam’s rib and God first turns to Adam when Eve has not only been disobedient but has brought her man into disobedience as well. A great deal of people will read this as follows: God created the man first, gave him a companion “of him,” and was upset with Adam when he failed in his leadership, punishing both parties (even the snake).

Lis Goddard and those who agree with her, would claim that there was no such thing as any leadership to begin with. That Adam and Eve were equals, that both were leaders in their own right, but that the Fall distorted this Utopia leading to gender-unbalance, which was finally corrected with the arrival of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom.

My impression after reading “The Gender Agenda” is that joining a Bible reading group might put you into a situation where after staring at certain passages in the Bible for a prolonged period of time, you’ll start seeing all sorts of strange things…Everything that is all of a sudden isn’t and everything that isn’t is.

In other words: if you analyse something long enough you’ll eventually get whatever you desire, seeing your own reflection after turning what you are reading into a mirror.

The same can be observed in a lot of modern journalism.

I’m not saying this to be rude, but the book certainly gives off this vibe and as I result I opened up my Bible again to read Genesis to see what I had missed.

The passage that Goddard and Hendry constantly fall back on doesn’t even occupy a full-page. It is a remarkably short section spanning from Genesis 2 (18)  up until the Fall in Genesis 3. After reading this section again, a couple of times, I find it difficult to agree with Goddard’s interpretation.

A good point made by Hendry is that if a woman is supposed to listen to her husband, and he is the head of the household, then how does that work out if a woman is to be the head of a Church? This might be the reason as to why there were supposed to be male monarchs back in the day. Will a female Queen be “King enough”? Or will she be swayed by her husband as “the head,” in effect meaning that the man is ruling the territory rather than the actual Queen?

Yet with all of this said; it is written in the Bible that women should study, prophesy, and pray, not to forget that there are important female characters present in the Biblical texts which is something that anti-Christian critics wouldn’t acknowledge or downplay. Women are to have a role and be active, the question is how.

An interesting point made in “The Gender Agenda” is that Paul was writing to different Churches, helping them with whatever issues that they were facing. It was also mentioned that women and men were probably seated according to their gender, just like in the synagogues, which can explain why Paul says that women need to be quiet in Church. No gossiping and chit-chat in other words. Here is an interesting quote from 1 Corinthians 9 (22):

“To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”

That quote might shed some light on Paul’s letters. It is also of interest to note that disagreements was a factor from the very beginning of the establishment of the various Churches:

“I appeal to you brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgement. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’e’s people that there is quarrelling among you, my brethren.” 1 Corinthians 1 (10)

I would recommend reading Goddard & Hendry’s book as it is extremely relevant in today’s Church environment. If you’ve attended any Church services in Scandinavia or the U.K., then you’ll know what I mean.

Reading the Old & New Testament will instantly put you in a situation where you’ll be worried that you’re supporting heresy, which is probably why young people turn to Islam or Orthodox Christianity.

Pluralism and political correctness is hurting Northern churches, who would probably gain more by proclaiming God as the God and the Holy Bible as the Truth. If you start doubting yourself, then others will do as well and in today’s political and spiritual environment, I don’t know if that’s the best way forward.

To conclude; it is certainly at odds with everything in our modern pop-culture to be a practising Christian, especially if you are a woman, since being: argumentative, loud, not modestly dressed and especially having authority over men are all characteristics that are currently being celebrated, in addition to abortion. Nothing gains wider praise than women involved with the military, ministry or politics. So if you are looking at the Bible and Christianity through a conservative lens you’ll probably think that you’ve woken up in Hell, or at least in a world that is in a state of absolute chaos.

I Just Finished The Old Testament!

Why The Bible Is Dangerous & Why The Political Correctness Brigade Wants To Keep It Away From You.

The Lion Encyclopaedia of Jesus.

 

Why I Don’t Go To The Library…

This household is filled to the brim with books. Everyone is just as curious and everyone is a bit of a collector.

I myself have plenty of unread books such as: Shakespeare’s works, Viking texts, Norwegian classics, all sorts of other more modern works covering everything from the entertainment industry, to spirituality, history and whatnot. In addition there are piles of Magazines, newspapers, and little reminders to check out digital articles, recommended to me by others, or that I’ve stumbled into myself.

Add unto to this all of the other books that are around the house belonging to others, and you start looking at quite a lot of reading material.

I therefore found myself in a familiar situation when I earlier this year acquired a library card and brought with me a pile of books that remained largely unread……

The catch of course is that you’ll be billed once your books are overdue, and when you then pay the bill and re-new your “lease” you’ll only be billed again, and again, as you forget to read whatever it was that you were going to read in whatever pile stationed somewhere, wherever that was…

What I gathered from my reading about ancient England was that people sometimes created false charters to feign legitimacy to certain territory. Total tribalism was the norm before unification, which means that one excavation site cannot be held up as “national” evidence when it comes to customs and practises! People have been looking for clues regarding religious activity sometimes regarding “house placement” as an indicator of spiritual affairs.

There have been instances of tons of weapons being thrown into water and researches have been hypothesising that this had to deal with religious rituals, my gut feeling was that maybe this was an act of disarmament. Much like those who are lobbying for gun control in the U.S.A., and have successfully done so across Europe.

Ancestry worship of bones, turning into “Saint-worship” and tribes fighting among themselves for control over the English territory, all made for interesting reading, until I actually had to abort my mission and give the books back.

I never managed to finish the pile and was reminded once again of why I don’t go to the library.

“Simply Christian” by Tom Wright.

“Nobody was expecting anyone, least of all a Messiah, to rise from the dead. A crucified Messiah was a failed Messiah. When Simeon ben Kosiba was killed by the Romans in AD 135, nobody went around afterwards saying he really was the Messiah after all,…” (p.96)

This book was lent to me by my local priest who recommended it when I told him that I was reading the Holy Bible.

After I was done reading the scriptures in its entirety (which took me over a year), I ventured into Wright’s work, which is a very straightforward and easy read.

The book is very enjoyable and explains Christianity and what it really is and what it really means.

Nothing beats having the source material though and it is vital to always keep in mind that the Bible is the number one “document” or more fittingly “Testament,” to which believers are to stay true.

“Once we glimpse this vision of the Holy Spirit coming to live within human beings, …” (p.111)

I therefore recommend people who are either turning to Christianity or becoming practising Christians to actually read the Holy Bible rather than not reading at all, or only reading Church approved interpretations of the Holy works.

It is not an easy undertaking reading the scriptures, because a lot of the Old Testament make for repetitive reading, but it is worth it due to those parts that aren’t, and especially since it exposes you to all of that which is normally excluded from pop-culture and mainstream Church services. It is quite staggering how much that has been left out and how limited modern Christianity is when it comes to what it quotes….

I’ve written before that I was going to review the New and Old Testament, and that I’m working on a very long entry for the Old, this is all true, but I wanted to read what our priest had recommended first.

I’m glad that I did because there were certain aspects of the Christian faith that I hadn’t quite figured out, such as “God-time,” meaning that the past, present and future isn’t linear when dealing with God.

“Somehow, God’s dimension and our dimension, heaven and earth, overlap and interlock.” (p.110)

I choose to start my Testament reviews with “Simply Christian” so that others too can read and enjoy this work, hopefully avoiding misconceptions and confusion. My reviews of the Old and the New Testament are based on my reading of the uncensored source text and is not based on politically correct, modern-Church approved, filtered, interpretations. I intend to address: slavery, the role of women, the fact that you should not rebel against your government, the early persecution of Christians, and the divisiveness that Jesus’ presence brings into this world, all of which is based on the Holy texts themselves, but aspects that modern-churchians and pop-culture never mention.

On that note it might be fitting to reveal that Wright’s work is not particularly politically correct, and that I was somewhat surprised that my local vicar would recommend something that must surely stand opposed to a great deal of what is being promoted within Church communities today.

“But setting it out in this way feels a bit like trying to describe my best friend by offering a biochemical analysis of his genetic makeup. It is important. Indeed, if he didn’t have that makeup he wouldn’t be the same person.” (p.154)

It was a relief that the book wasn’t filled with post-modernist falsities, yet there were some conclusions that Wright arrived at that puzzled me, and his digestible promotion of Christianity appears very mild, if re-visiting the New Testament after having read “Simply Christian.”

Wright concludes that global economic justice must be one of the many goals of Christians today but the Holy Bible itself states that: “If any one does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5 (8)

I’m also questioning the presence of female priests and authority figures within Northern European churches when it is explicitly said in 1 Timothy 2 (12) : “I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent.” I guess it can be counter-argued that women are keeping the faith alive and that it is better with female priests than no priests.

I also think it is important to quote James 2 (17) & (26) since it is written that: “So faith by itself, if it has no works; is dead.” “For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.”

“You become like what you worship.” (p.127)

“How many times have I been grateful, faced with nightfalls both metaphorical and literal, for the old Anglican Collect which runs:

Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord;

and by thy great mercy

defend us from all perils and dangers of this night;

for the love of thy only Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.” (p.142)

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” (p.144)

 

Chambers “ghosts and spirits.”

An interesting alphabetical overview over various paranormal phenomena throughout the ages; displaying how far back these type of stories go, with a particular focus on England and the spiritualist movement during the Victorian era; not to forget the popularisation of “the medium.”

It is of interest that poltergeist activity, at this point in time, is largely considered to be a manifestation of psychic powers. Especially within young, teenage, individuals, who are conflicted when it comes to the handling of their own emotions.

A theory is presented to the reader that hauntings are simply recordings of past events; since humans cannot interfere and interact with these manifestations, but can simply stand by and observe.

Time glitches where people all of a sudden find themselves transported for a brief moment back in time, is mentioned in short.

The work also contains a story of a very famous psychic woman, who found herself imprisoned for life after allegedly murdering her own child in the U.S.A.; it made me think of a medium over in England who was arrested by the authorities during WW2 because she knew about dead soldiers and losses before the news hit the public. This led the government to suspect that she was guilty of espionage.

Invisible entities attacking people physically is also featured.

A theory is also presented suggesting that “mediumship” might be telepathy; meaning that you get access to people’s subconsciousness!

The book also describes how some people have negative NDEs, describing a hellish experience of the afterlife. I’ve heard rumours; but this is something that you never really see mentioned in popular new-age, non-religious, books about the spiritual world.

Chambers also have some other cool books about the unexplainable; needless to say there are countless other works mentioned within “ghosts and spirits,” since this book is more or less like some sort of “spirit dictionary.”

PS. The picture of the book is not very flattering 😮 It is obviously a very popular, well-read library book, so I guess I now need to get a serious disinfectant for myself! 😮

 

Lent for the 1st time.

Sometime after lent had commenced I decided that maybe I ought to try it, not that I was aware of when it started exactly, as the local church is somewhat neglected by the church authorities and don’t even have a service every Sunday; but that’s ok, the most important thing is that the church hasn’t been closed and is still standing strong, open at all times, after all these years. (It’s Norman and an absolute beauty).

Lent was interesting as it functions like a habit-breaker, I was not entirely successful but at least I gave it a go and tried my best. The biblical reason for this strange “celebration” is that Jesus was wandering around in the desert for a while and withstood temptation from the Devil 😮

I personally have not reached this section of the Bible as I’m still working my way through the Old Testament; I’ve largely been a protestant-in-name-only, (or secular protestant) my entire life, gradually turning to Christianity over the last few years. So lent was pretty new to me (just like attending Holy Communion), but a valuable lesson nonetheless.

The Church of England is struggling greatly; they don’t have enough funds to look after England’s numerous and beautiful places of worship, and most people who I’ve run into complain about dwindling numbers when it comes to attendance.

It is rather sad since England is an Anglican country and so far I have to say that I’ve really enjoyed whatever services I’ve come to; I also heard complaints about general low attendance over in Norway last time I was there. There also seem to be many women who take it upon themselves to keep the faith alive by becoming priests.

The Old Testament is proving a very interesting read as it illustrates how various tribes interact with one another; how everyone travels to Israel to shower the Jews with gifts and praise when they are strong and under tough leadership, while everyone tries to take advantage, looting and conquering the Jews once they are seen as weak! The work is repetitive, as I’ve also written in the very looooong review that I’m writing about it; it is hard to read due to the fact that it was not written to be a page turner. Names of entire Jewish families are listed over and over and over again, which certainly makes for tiresome reading. I therefore decided to check out “The Lion Encyclopaedia of Jesus.,” just to get a more “in-depth” introduction to Jesus; in comparison to what little I already knew.

If you feel like helping persecuted Christians then please read this: “Persecuted Christians around the World.” If you live in England then maybe this will be of interest: “The Vulnerability of the Poor & Our Shared Cultural Heritage.” Here are some interesting petitions to check out: Petitions To Sign & Share.

Here are more books on spirituality & self-help:

“An Angel Saved Me” by Theresa Cheung.

\m/ Spiritus Gladius \m/

The Map of Heaven – by Dr. Eben Alexander & Ptolemy Tompkins.

Spooky Cults, Online Shaming and Alcoholism.

“Don’ts for Weddings” from 1904.

Abortion.

Is Christianity & Islam Compatible?

Patron Saints of Europe.

Intellectual vs. Popular vs. Physical Satanism.

St.Patricks Day a Christian Holiday??????????

A History Magazine from Norway.

Ancient Greek Myths – The Universe, The Gods, And Mortals told by Jean-Pierre Vernant.

The Odyssey – for children.

Boosting Energy So You Can Play More!

The Occult Symbolism of Led Zeppelin

How To Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie.

Willing To Win.

Taking Back Your Time. (goodbye April, hello May)

Bli Best Med Mental Trening by Erik Bertrand Larssen.

The Chimp Paradox.

Live Better & Longer by Michel Cymes.

L’ Art De La Simplicité By Dominique Loreau.

The Clever Guts Diet by Dr. Michael Mosley.

Gi Aldri Opp! “Never Give Up!” by Heidi Løke.

This was a very straightforward and easy read authored or co-authored by one of the world’s best handball players. Heidi comes from a very atypical Norwegian family by today’s standards. If I remember correctly they were 7 siblings in total, raised by very religious and traditionalist parents. Maybe it was to counter this that the opening of the work was so very vulgar … the book is off to a shocking start where it is described how Løke was trying to make her genitalia more like a penis, as a child, in order to be more like her brothers … (straight up the alley of any post-modernist in other words)….after this opening the book goes on to reveal a “good Christian girl” from a very respectable family of good standing in the community without neither divorce or any other official scandals.

Her brother played on the National team for male handball players and is refered to as her big hero; she writes about all of her siblings in detail and ultimately dedicates her book and her victories to her parents who were very involved with all of their children, despite her father working several jobs. I’m assuming that her mother was a homemaker as no profession is mentioned. It is described how she would cook several meals from scratch everyday, to provide every child with what he or she wanted. According to Løke, they were fed to be sturdy sportsmen/women.

Heidi describes an ideal Norwegian upbringing … before technology made us all too busy to just go and knock on the door of our peers …. They were not wealthy, but were certainly an extremely close-knit family, with Heidi moving home to her mum and dad on several occasions despite being in her 20s. Considering how Norwegian society emphasises independence at all costs, it is certainly encouraging to read about a more old-fashioned family.

Heidi reveals some of the hardships that professional athletes have to cope with,  but I regret that she doesn’t go more in-depth in regards to her injuries, etc; It is especially shocking to read the sequence dealing with her coach in Hungary, where yelling at the players and weighting them in front of the entire team was the norm. Abusing athletes psychologically goes against anything I’ve ever read about successful coaching, Heidi also writes in her book that the experience certainly made her aware of how well you are treated as a sports person in Scandinavia. Still it certainly raised my eyebrows when I read about how she was treated as “replaceable” by her Norwegian club before she went on to become a living legend. It is especially interesting that she had to supplement her income when playing for a professional team in Norway and that she was pretty much “taken for a ride,” since her value as a player increased without her salary reflecting this until she fought for a raise….

One would think that athletes would be treated with a little bit more respect…especially if active on the national team……

As I said the book was extremely easy to get through. It only took me an evening. It would have been interesting if the book went a bit deeper, describing in detail how she prepares herself for her matches, etc; It gives off the air of being a superficial read, but I’m guessing that she didn’t want to bore her fans with too many “geeky” details.

If anything, the book could be used as an argument as to how important it is to have the support of a close-knit family and how family values needs to be more prioritized in our “fractured” modern progressive society.