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My Parents' First House

 

After my brother and I were born, my parents got married and bought a very small house about 2 blocks from my dad's parents' home. This was a terrace house, just off the Uppingham Road in Leicester, which was built such that the fronts of all of the houses along that side of the street formed a single wall punctuated by side-by-side front doors, then side-by-side front parlour windows, with one door and the immediately adjacent window belonging to a single address. The front and rear walls of the houses were built of brick, laid in double-rows: effectively an outside wall and an inside wall with perhaps 2" of airspace between to create a barrier against the chill of winter and to prevent moisture from seeping through. The "shared" wall on each side, however, was usually a brick wall of single thickness. This had the unfortunate effect of making everyone aware of everyone else's business.

The houses in that street were old enough that the builders had distrusted newfangled indoor bathrooms. The toilet was the 3rd of the contiguous structures extending from the rear wall of the kitchen, but these areas could be entered only by leaving the house and walking past two storage rooms to get to the outdoor privy. My mother refused to move into the house until this early Victorian Era prejudice had been corrected.

Dad hired a builder to knock down the kitchen wall into the first storage room, effectively tripling its size to a narrow eat-in kitchen, and to extend the plumbing facilities upstairs to the back bedroom above the kitchen, turning it into a light, spacious bathroom with all-new chrome fittings, shiny white and mustard tiles (it was the late 1970s), mustard-colored fixtures, and everything mum had wanted.

That room scared the hell out of me, but it was nothing to do with the décor. I hated walking toward it; I hated entering it; I hated being in it; I hated turning my back on it as I left. It was a room filled with cold tension.

The problem was two-fold. Though dad had paid to update the structure and the fixtures, etc., there wasn't a lot of budget left over for additional electrical work in the rooms and areas which had not been renovated: the lights in the windowless upstairs hallway were controlled by a switch at the bottom of the stairs, inside the living room, and by a switch at the top of the stairs, outside my parents' bedroom door. The light bulbs were at the top of the stairs and at the other end of the hallway outside the bathroom door. My bedroom door was immediately adjacent to the bathroom door. If anyone left the bathroom door open to let light in, it was not an inviting sight; if it had been left closed, the end of the hallway was pitch black and even less inviting.

Whenever I complained about not liking the bathroom, my parents would tell me I'd got an overactive imagination. To be fair, at that age I was pretty scared of the spooks and monstrous disguises worn by "Scooby Doo" villains. The bathroom, unlike the cartoon's bad guys, always seemed like it was watching me.

As my younger brother and I grew up, we had bunk beds so we could share the bedroom above the living room. Our parents created a new rule; we could stay up a little later if we brushed our teeth and changed into pyjamas first. Once we'd been told that we had to go to bed, though, I had the responsibility for the hallway light switch. I'd wait at the top of the stairs next to the upstairs switch until my brother said that he was in bed. As the upstairs hallway was one step up from the top of the stairs, I'd be standing with my right foot resting on that step, and with all the grace a clumsy 6-year old could muster, I'd pull the light switch down with my left hand and start running toward the closed bathroom door, turn abruptly right through my open bedroom door, slam the door behind me, and clamber up the ladder to the top bunk (the privilege of being the older brother). When I'd calmed down enough, I'd use the pull-cord to turn the ceiling light off so we could sleep. My parents would come upstairs to check on us about an hour later after watching "Inspector Morse" or "Columbo."

On the last night I took responsibility for turning off the hallway light, I had a horrible experience. The bathroom door was closed, my brother was getting into his bunk, and I had my back to the closed door of my parents' room. I knew that my parents were in the living room with both dogs, as they'd stayed on the sofa to watch t.v. We'd closed the downstairs door to the staircase, and my little brother had preceded me to the bedroom. I turned off the light switch. The light, however, remained on. As I pondered this bizarre phenomenon, I realized that I was frozen in place. That's when the hands -which I could not see- grabbed my upper arms and rotated me rather firmly 90 degrees to my right so that I was now facing the stairs, my right foot suspended in mid-air instead of resting on the step into the hallway. I was given an encouraging push toward the stairs. I would like to use an acceptable term like "screamed" but I strongly suspect that I shrieked. That is when the light bulbs extinguished and the invisible hands let go of me. I pelted along the hallway, slammed the door shut, and I have no memory of touching any of the rungs on the ladder to my bunk. Honestly, if I'd tried to climb a ladder in that state of mind, I'd probably have twisted an ankle or broken a leg; I have no clue how I survived that ascent.

My parents both showed up about two minutes later (it felt like a month), and they were pretty insistent that I stop shrieking because it was upsetting my brother, them, the dogs, my budgie, the neighbors, and about half the cast of "Kojak."

I know now that I was not in serious jeopardy, as I was not hurled down the stairs; I was being encouraged to go away. At the time, the terror I felt made me think that -whoever or whatever it was- it wanted to push me down the stairs.

Over the years, I've considered various explanations which might account for the experience. I know that faulty wiring could cause an electrical short-circuit which may account for some of the phenomena, but the UK runs on 220 volts, not the 110 which America uses; 220 volts passing through my left arm, torso, and left foot would have stopped my heart while cooking my skin and muscles.

My guess is that someone who had died in that back bedroom did not appreciate his or her cozy haunt being disrupted by young adults and toddlers showering, teeth brushing, flushing, and splashing about in bubble bath (sorry, "haunt" was a bad pun). What surprises me the most about this, though, was that I dreaded traveling toward the bathroom, but I do not recall having had any paranormal experiences in there; the interaction (I hesitate to call it an attack or an assault) I've described here took place at the opposite end of the hallway.

Oddly, I was in my late twenties and living in America when my dad admitted that the bathroom in their first house had scared him, too; he had never closed his eyes in there -not even when he'd gotten shampoo in his eye while showering. I honestly couldn't believe he'd spent years telling me I was making it up as a child but, twenty years later, admitting he'd felt the same fear as we sat on his back deck drinking cold beers. I was flabbergasted and furious at the same time!

I don't think I've left out any pertinent details in the story, and I know there's little to be done about this haunting three and a half decades after the fact. However, I'm adding this narrative to the YGS archives, and -as always- I welcome discussion, questions, and alternative explanations.

Thanks, everyone.

Biblio.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Bibliothecarius, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Bibliothecarius (5 stories) (742 posts)
 
6 months ago (2017-04-08)
Val:

"So let it be written; so let it be done."

You are correct that we've strayed from the reason I moved the conversation here, and I do not think the tone has remained as positive as I had intended.

Thank you for your clarity of purpose & attention to details in our slow descent from inquiry to acrimony.

Best,
-Biblio.
valkricry (39 stories) (2730 posts) mod
+1
6 months ago (2017-04-08)
Kind of putting me on the spot there, Rook. I did say, comments not related to the story would be deleted, and I know some will attempt to give me flack over allowing yours to stand. HOWEVER, " it does address Ghosts, Spirits and the 'preternatural'," as you put it, which is well within the guidelines. So, I do not see a reason to delete it.
However, we really should let Biblio have his story back, and drop further debating/arguing over religion. Those comments, I will definitely delete on sight.
rookdygin (24 stories) (4320 posts)
+2
6 months ago (2017-04-08)
valkricry,

This may not be about Biblio's O/S, however it does address Ghosts, Spirits and the 'preternatural'.

Integrist,

In you last comment to me you made this statement...

"I'd say that speaking of the preternatural apart from religion is akin to artifically making oneself handicapped."

As I felt I was being 'baited' with that and additional things you stated in that comment I 'stepped away' and chose not to reply 'in the heat of the moment'. Now after a Wee Bit O' Time has passed I feel I can make a comment and stay neutral.

The preternatural world as you refer to it can be studied from a 'pure science' point of view, ZERO religion needed.

One simply starts with a hypotheses and applies the...

Sci·en·tif·ic meth·od: (noun) a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.

All of the things mentioned in the proceeding definition CAN be done without including ANY inputs from ANY religion. One simply needs an environment that people CLAIM is haunted, then a group of individuals who wish to study 'preternatural phenomenon can show up with lot's of Gizmo's and Gadgets for measuring and recording information and testing results.

So the first thing needed is a TESTABLE HYPOTHESES. Here's mine...

Spirits (Ghosts) are comprised of INTELLIGENT Electromagnetic Energy that can be measured and/or interacted with. In some cases this will be an electromagnetic 'IMPRINT' on the environment that simply 'replay's' an event from the past (A Residual Haunting). In other cases the electromagnetic energy is 'intelligent' and can interact with electrical equipment and physical objects (including living individuals).

See simple, zero religion involved...

😁

Have a nice day.

Respectfully,

Rook
valkricry (39 stories) (2730 posts) mod
+5
6 months ago (2017-04-08)
"Your Ghost Stories is your source for sharing paranormal experiences and hauntings", and this topic has strayed far from this purpose. YGS in NOT the place for theological debates and this particular thread has gone way past it's initial attempt at "understanding where the other is coming from." I don't think it even qualifies as a discussion anymore, but chest beating over who is right or wrong over religious beliefs. ANY further comments not related to the OPs story, will be deleted.
Biblio, where as this IS your thread, and you did invite this conversation here, I MUST insist you stop it now.
RANDYM (1 stories) (246 posts)
+4
6 months ago (2017-04-08)
Integrist

Thank you for your response
If I may

I know of no religion that thinks they have it wrong. As far as I know each one is at least 500 percent convinced theirs has the answers and know what's right. I have to believe that there is probably some truth in almost all religions but I do not believe that one faith has it all figured out. Please understand that I am not saying you, but the Christians I have met are very convinced that they, and they alone know the truth.
I think that type of thinking can stunt people in actually learning truths.
Especially when we consider how much mankind has had his hands all over the religions of the world

There was a time when the astronomer Galileo was considered a heretic because he dared to ask questions and become knowledgeable when he called into question whether the Earth was the center of things. Locked away under house arrest for the remainder of his life it took until the late Pope John Paul II to finally admit the Galileo was right and offered a formal apology. The point is I don't have a problem with learning, investigating, finding out truths.

We are all shaped by the life we have lived up until this very moment and our experiences mold us into the people we are today. The things that happen to us and our interactions with people help us form our ideas and convictions.
Back to my experiences with Christians. (I really hope not to offend you or any other Christian but since the above applies to me so I will share)
In talking to many Christians I have been told the same thing you wrote about in your response to me. I can't be certain of who is talking to me. That much is 100 percent true. I can't. However, they will talk about people in the Bible who also spoke with deceased people and non living entities and its all good. In other words
Their's are the "good ghosts, but mine are the bad ones"
I asked a Christian once if he believed that good was really stronger than evil and he ask me why. I told him that if the bad ones were strong enough to come through to our world then his good ones should be able to do the same. Why must we always assume that if a spirit comes through it is automatically a bad one?
I know its not that simple but I was trying to be light hearted with him.

With regards to my statement about "right" or "freedom" to follow our own path is because God didn't put us here to be robots. He gave us free will. He wants us to come to and believe in Him because we desire to.

I know this is not a religious site but since it's clear this is where this thread has gone I'll tell you the biggest problem I have with the Christian view.

It was always my understanding that God loves his creation of man more than anything. He desires that we follow and love him. I have no problem there.
That said, I have also been told by Christians that anyone not following the Christian faith is going to Hell to be tortured forever.
So here is what I'm left with. Let us assume that roughly 70 percent of the world's population is NOT Christian. That creates a huge problem in my view.
First, in that 70 percent, there are a lot of good and loving people. People that
Have dedicated their own life to helping their fellow man. People that love because
It's truly in their hearts. Yet, God, who has so much love, compassion, forgiveness, and understanding that we as mortals can't even begin to fathom the depths of it.
That same God is going to cast the vast majority of His most beloved creation into an eternity of pain, torture, and separation from Him? So where is the unimaginable love, compassion, understanding and forgiveness? Do decent, loving people really deserve that? Do they deserve that because they had a hard time believing some things, After all, we are just using the brains and minds He gave us.

That is one of my main reasons for not being able to square with Christianity as we know it. It is those types of questions and many others like it that can lead good people to start looking in other places for answers. I don't mean asking spirits answers, just searching for truths.
My college roommate is/was Catholic.
My best friend a Southern Baptist
None of us three are the types to just accept dogmatic answers.
Answers like these:

"Pray about it"
"The Lord works in mysterious ways"
"We don't understand His reasons"
"You shouldn't question His ways"
"We prayed about it and this is what the Lord told us to do"

And my personal favorite

"If your praying and not hearing the Lord then YOU are doing something wrong"

So where does those types of answers lead a lot of people? When people don't feel the answer is correct or make sense they start looking in other places.

I think this thread has been good for discussion and to see the viewpoint of others.
I would only say that NONE of us have the absolute answers. As I stated in another post once
"If we had all the answers without the search there wouldn't be much point in the journey of discovery." While you have a great amount of faith, it is not the same as "knowing in fact". In reality I commend you
For being able to following something so strongly by faith. It's really harder to do that than to believe in something that has already been proven to be true.

So I would say that we all should go forward in seeking the truth and accept nothing less.

Thanks for reading and taking the time to respond.
Regards
Randy
Bibliothecarius (5 stories) (742 posts)
+2
6 months ago (2017-04-07)
Integrist:

You seemed to find the comment "eternal teasing" upsetting; that was merely a passing thought synopsizing your description of limbus parvulorum. It struck me as bizarre that God had apparently decreed that the souls of babies who had not been baptized were not allowed to be punished, but they were not allowed to receive comfort, either. I'm still looking for a justification for that description in the Bible, but I'm not finding much in my King James, my New International Version (the Zondervan chain-reference edition), or Strong's Concordance.

A brief clarification about the diction I employed which apparently offended you enough for you to quote it to: placing a baby in a floating basket, then setting it to float in the river nile during the spring floods, and sending a little girl to stand in the reeds to watch it float past the basking crocodiles is not a sound parenting technique: it is child neglect & reckless endangerment of a minor. Preparing to sacrifice your son on an altar atop a mountain in order to prove to God that you will do whatever he tells you to do is not a sound parenting technique: it is attempted homicide. Getting 7 years of work in exchange for the right to marry a daughter is odd, but switching the daughters is breach of contract, and demanding another 7 years work to marry the second daughter is extortion. It was examples of behavior that the Bible treats as normative but are now treated as heinous CRIMES that I referred to as "Insane."

As for "B.S.," I thought that it was clear that I was describing the Biblical claim that trees cause prostitution.

Have you tried reading what is written, instead of what you presume is going to attack your religion?

You stated: "I find it funny you would use the term "Jehovah", which is an error." I explained my use of the term, and your response was "Conventional among the JWs, perhaps." THIS NEITHER SUBSTANTIATES YOUR INITIAL CLAIM OF AN ERROR, NOR DOES IT EXPLAIN YOUR DISDAIN FOR THE STANDARD SPELLING USED IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. ALL IT DOES IS IMPLY THAT A RELIGIOUS GROUP OTHER THAN YOUR OWN IS RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT YOU PERCEIVE TO BE A SPELLING MISTAKE. I did not criticize your use of "Isaias" instead of ישעיהו (which sounds like "Yesh-ay-ah" and is usually transliterated as "Isaiah") nor did I question your use of the original French form "Jean Calvin" instead of the Anglicized spelling "John Calvin" which avoids confusing the French masculine name "Jean" with the English feminine name "Jean."

My inclusion of the other branches of Catholicism was to establish King Henry VIII's misapprehension that he could create a distinct Anglo-Catholic church, but his rejection of the Pope's WORLDLY authority (the impetus for his flawed plan) caused the schism.

Your complaint that I've asserted that there were Catholic corruptions of the Biblical principles espoused by Yeshua Ben Yosef, does merit some response:
-El Cid's bloody rampage through Moorish Spain at the behest of Sylvester II
-The slaughter of Jews in the Rhine & Danube regions in the First Crusade (which the Pope did try to mitigate)
-The Siege of Ma'arra -also in the First Crusade- which resulted in Catholic knights cannibalizing Muslims.
-The persecution of Jews in France during the second and third crusades
-Torquemada's Spanish Inquisition
-The orphanage in Tuam, County Galway
-Pius XII's Active support for Adolph Hitler
-Gerald Posner's assertions in his exposé "God's Bankers" that, "By World War II, the church had sizable investments and created the Vatican Bank in order to hide its financial dealings with the Nazis from the U.S. And the U.K...the Vatican was deeply embedded with German companies... They bundled together life insurance policies of Jewish refugees who had been sent to Auschwitz and other death camps. They escheated these policies early on - meaning they took the cash value of them."
-The systematic reassignment of child-molesting priests to new parishes by Cardinal Bernard Law (Archbishop emeritus of Boston, former archpriest of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, and Cardinal Priest of Santa Susanna, the American Catholic church in Rome).
-There are others, but I think that the point of institutional failure to adhere to the founding principles stands.

Initially, I was curious to discover the points you believed I had overlooked in my first broad-strokes depiction of Christian history. As I keep looking into the HISTORICAL behavior of the Catholic Church as an institution, the details I uncover in church theology and in church practice are, if nothing else, unconscionable acts performed by bigoted, self-interested zealots. The GOOD DEEDS performed on a daily basis by DEVOUT, RESPONSIBLE, and MORAL Catholics do not garner much attention in histories written by the Catholic Church's detractors, nor in the Hagiographies of beatified/canonized saints who seem to be the sole moral individual in landscapes filled with hedonists, barbarians, or inveterate non-Catholics.

I wonder if you are ever going to discuss my point about Emanuel Swedenborg, or if you are simply seeking to become upset with minutiae of decreasing relevance.

Not everyone who responds to your statements by performing research on his or her own time is looking for a reason to devolve into accusatory bickering. I read several books, journal articles, and webpages in response to your comments over the last few days, and have found provocative statements about God, Angels, Jesus, the Virgin Mary, Souls, and Catholic Dogma. These assertions range from the risible to the obscene. When I take a few minutes to type out the ideas and facts I have uncovered, I find you have consistently mischaracterized my earlier statements or you have become argumentative with other people. This is tiresome.

I am curious about how religions change and adapt (Thomas Cahill's "The Gifts of the Jews," Robert Wright's "The Evolution of God," etc.) and their effects upon cultures; beyond that, I don't care which one provides you with an attentive friend who understands you.

-Biblio.
Integrist (51 posts)
 
6 months ago (2017-04-07)
Hi RANDYM,

Let me start by thanking you for your questions, and by reassuring you that I have not taken any offense whatsoever at them. I try to answer questions to the best of my abilities. And asking sincere questions should never be taken as cause for offense. At least this is what I think.

I hope you do not mind me addressing some points in your statements that were not questions: I think they will help clarify my position.

>>Every human has the right to find and follow their own path<<
I disagree here, because you used the word "right". I would use "freedom" in its stead. Why? Each one of us knows that we make mistakes. The principle of non-contradiction teaches us that two statements that contradict each other cannot both be true at the same time: either one is or both are erroneous.
With the different paths takes: there are paths that are mutually exclusive. While everyone is free to follow the right path and to follow any wrong path, one only has the right to what is objectively true. Having a right suggests that one mustn't be punished for exercising said right.
To illustrate then, if Islam happens to be correct, then I will be condemned for not following their understanding of Tawheed: and rightly so.
The only time the above example of negative consequence does not apply is if relativistic and universalistic positions happen to be correct. But if it be so, then the supposed "respect" paid to any other religion is a "sweet lie" at best: because if universalism is true, then all religions preaching damnation to infidels by default are wrong, and are preaching error. BUT, the funny thing about this is then: So what? If everyone ends up in Paradise - the mass murderer as well as the most charitable person ever - then of what consequence is truth?
Oddly enough, the people who preach (or rather try to impose) "open-mindedness" (which can only be understood as the betrayal of one's own dogmatic beliefs, are often the people who operate from a perspective that "it doesn't really matter what you believe in" thereby discounting any position that proposes adherence to absolute truth as nothing other than "pious nonsense" that is "cute" at best.

>>Even your name YGS username "Integrist" has a religious meaning as a way of defining a sect within the Catholic Church that basically thinks the Church should be in charge of everything, even government.<<

Indeed, the name has a meaning. Integrism does not mean that the "Church is in charge of everything": this is against the Catholic principle of subsidiarity. The Church and the State are two different powers that govern the same people, but with different - though at times overlapping - fields of responsibility. The ideal is that both work together to enable man to more easily attain his final end: that is eternal blessedness in Paradise enjoying the beatific vision. This is the doctrine of the two swords.
Now, as the soul is of greater importance than the body, the spiritual authority is therefore also above the temporal.

>>Anytime a Christian person has asked me about my interest in life and I mention the paranormal the person looks at me and acts like I have the plague. They very quickly tell me about how I'm not to talk Mediums and ghosts and all that. I think your bio even mentions few of those same things.<<

I understand this. We indeed believe that it is wrong (sinful) to contact "mediums" and the like - or to participate in occult practices. This is a form of "curiosity" that is not proper to man. Just because we can know something, does not mean we ought to. Likewise, just because we can do something, does not mean we ought to.
For the most part, I hope that such reactions take place out of sincere concern for your soul.

Furthermore, even if one does not believe these things to be inherently wrong, there is still the question as to whether we can really ascertain anything about preternatural occurrences? We get fooled already by people made of flesh and blood. People wear masks, pretend to be someone they are not, but somehow we are to believe that any spirit that claims to be someone's grandmother or grandfather is truly what it portrays itself to be? Not few such encounters ended up in major exorcisms.
That prospect alone should make people pause and wonder. For the sake of safety, it is altogether better to stay away from these things, and try to end them as quickly as possible.

On the other hand, tell people nowadays that you are a practicing Catholic, and you will be met not with concern but ridicule. Words like "B.S." and "insane" - as Biblio prefers to use - are not uncommon descriptors of one's faith.

>>Once they catch their breath and I am allowed to speak about what I think and why I have certain beliefs I can watch the color drain from their faces as they tell me to stop talking about such things as they can only be brought about by The Dark One and his demons that must be influencing me. That anything I may hear, see or think is just an evil presence that is trying to lie and deceive me.<<

Well, I cannot speak for those others you have spoken to before. However, as I have stated above: how are you to know? It is within the realm of possibility (if one were to not think as a Christian) that a spiritual entity has been watching you since the day you were born. Unrestricted by walls or any other material barrier, this entity knows all of your secrets. Then, when a person dear to you dies, it seeks contact, and pretends to be said person. Now, how can you ascertain the veracity of the claim?

"After a short but strong sermon and the obligatory "can we pray together""

I'm not a big fan of the "can we pray together" thing.

>>They just will not in any way listen to "that kind of talk"<<

If you are convinced that your beliefs are true, why would you intentionally consider something contrary to it? Especially if the alternative is relativistic? The only position worth considering is the one that claims to be true.
This is not to say that one ought to brainwash oneself, and not study. After all, there is the tradition of "fides quaerens intellectum".
However, it is one thing to ask questions that lead to a deeper understanding, and another which aims at dismantling one's own views for no good reason. I hold that view that one should first make sure that one understands properly whatever he/she believes in.
What I find lacking in many conversations about both the preternatural and the Supernatural is teleology: purpose. A great many seem to be interested in "spiritual stuff", but the questions as to *why* we are here, *why* they are there, what all of this is for, etc. Are rarely raised. Any "path" that does not tackle these questions is not worth any serious thought. And whenever I discuss faith with people of differing faiths (including atheism), then these are the questions I ask them to answer from their perspective. And I evaluate their view based on that.
"Whence do I come, and whither shall I go?" The way one tackles these questions will have an impact (if one values integrity) one how one views the world - both the seen and the unseen.

>>So I'll just be direct and hope not to offend nor seem unwelcoming<<

No worries at all. Yours is a legitimate question I would ask myself.

😊

>>What makes a person such as your self, with your knowledge and convictions want to come to a site where the topic is about things that I have been told your not to be messing with.<<

It's not to dabble in these things, that is for sure.

I registered because a story (the first one I commented on) caught my attention. It was written by a Christian. And my suspicion was demonic activity. I registered out of concern as I did a bit of reading and most of the "solutions" suggested are practices we would consider superstitious and idolatrous. You may have seen another thread from a Christian member from the Philippines.

Apart from asking some questions to understand what the other person's view or motivation is for doing the rituals they do, I generally kept focused on threads by Christians or those where falsehood was being spread about the faith (that for instance triggered my first response to a a post made by Biblio).

One cannot preach "respect" and "acceptance" on one hand, and then think that one can claim all sorts of nonsense against the Christian faith without being challenged and corrected.

>>I'm going to be very very honest here. You come across as wanting to come here with your wisdom and show us that you know the way. I really trust and hope that's not your intentions.<<

I wouldn't be claiming wisdom on my part. As far as "knowing the way", I do believe that, otherwise I would not be Catholic. But did I come here with the intention of preaching to you? As per the above statement: no. I came here out of concern for a fellow Christian, and partly due to a desire to understand why neo-pagans believe what they believe, and whether said beliefs have any connection to the previously mentioned fundamental questions.

I have no charge nor office to preach. Not am I learned enough to do so. My responsibility as a lay man is my own soul, for the others I pray, and I assist in other ways whenever and wherever I can.
That said, if someone asks me a question about the faith, I will not avoid answering it for fear of irritating someone, because I may come off as being "preachy". I am more concerned about God's view of me than of what people think.

I hope I have answered your questions to your satisfaction. If anything, however, remains unclear, please feel free to ask away.

Regards,
Integrist
Integrist (51 posts)
-1
6 months ago (2017-04-07)
>>YES.<<

Repeating an error does not make it true.

>>Except for Maronites. And Byzantine Rite Catholics. Coptic Catholics, Or Chaldean Catholics, Armenian Catholics, and Ethiopian Catholics.<<

How is the listing of particular Catholic Churches a retort to my statement about schismatics?
A Ruthenian Catholic is as much as Catholic as an Armenian Catholic as a Latin-Rite Catholic as a Coptic Catholic, etc.
Do you even understand what schism is? It seems your opposition is based on a misunderstanding of what it is.

>>"All of the diverse Catholic churches I listed at the start of this paragraph enjoy a "distinct but included" status as they have been declared "sui iuris" in Catholic canon law."<<

So, what's the point in listing particular Catholic Churches when the discussion is about schismatics? All the Churches you mentioned are in full communion with the Roman Church: hence why they can properly be called Catholic. And all these particular Churches together make up the one Catholic Church.

>>He did all this in order to obtain his divorce,<<

Divorce? Were you not the one trying to lecture me on how "Catholic" Henry's views were?

" I did see that you'd questioned my use of the conventional, Anglicized version of the Latinate translation of the Hebrew deity's name"

Conventional among the JWs, perhaps.

"Jews consider writing out the Tetragrammaton in any non-scriptural context as a profane use of that word; I selected the colloquial diction as a reasonable alternative."

Because saying "God" or "Hashem" would be too difficult? Jahovah would've made sense, but not "Jehovah". But then again, I still wonder why you did not simply stick to the more conventional "God". The context makes it perfectly clear as to Whom is being discussed.

>>I refer to the founder of Islam as The Prophet, to avoid offending Muslims, and the Founder of Christianity as Yeshua Ben Yosef, to separate out the historical/Divine individual who taught peace, kindness, faith, hope, charity, generosity, devotion, and love in his sermons, from any later adjustments to (and, sadly, corruptions of) his teachings through "revealed knowledge."<<

And of course, you must be the one to *know* the *real* historical figures and their *authentic teachings* as opposed to the religions that trace themselves back to said persons?

>>This is not to say that all revealed knowledge is inaccurate, or that it doesn't have a place within the growth and the sociological adaptations of the Christian faith, merely that the teachings of the Aramaic-speaking human being --or human incarnation-- who indisputably had an itinerant Essene ministry in Judea, Galilee, and Jerusalem approximately 2,000 years ago should be the primary basis for the actions and teachings of the organization which purports to continue his ministry today.<<

And within that is already a presumption on your part that He was a "human person" - as opposed to a Divine Person -, and that the "organization" (the Church) that traces itself all the way back to His time, and preserved what we know about Him somehow "corrupted" His teachings. It's odd how they did not just invent completely new Bibles, no? Or why even bother with the figure?
Or are we speaking of the same Christ Who warned more of eternal damnation than He spoke of Paradise? Or are you speaking of the modernist "Messiah" who is nothing other than some Mid-Eastern "Social Justice Warrior", a "nice guru" of sorts - perhaps with some delusions of grandeur?

>>I'll gladly illustrate this point by making the current Pontiff my example; Pope Francis seems to be a sincere, devout, humble, and kindly man who wants to see the Catholic Church become more active in extending charity and kindness to all human beings as a mark of piety, much as Yeshua Ben Yosef instructed.<<

This somehow does not surprise me. Judas was very much into "social justice". The Church was not primarily established to be a charitable organization trying to cure the ills of poverty, etc... Her first mission is her first law: the salvation of souls.
It's the same example given by the Christ.
True humility is bending one's will to what one ought to do, to what is proper to his state in life, instead of trying to force one's will to override immemorial customs hallowed by antiquity (which is the mark of piety - according to the Latin understanding of "pietas" anyways).

>>If you don't mind waiting until mid-afternoon Friday, possibly Friday evening,<<

I hope you do not mind me responding already, as I am not sure whether I will have much time over the weekend or the coming week.

Regards,
Integrist
RANDYM (1 stories) (246 posts)
+5
6 months ago (2017-04-07)
Integrist

Greetings to you

(Biblio,thanks for providing a place for this interesting discussion)

First I want to say that I think of myself as a rather easy going/easy to get along with person and don't want to come across as trying to provoke you. Nor am I trying to gang up on you with anyone from a perceived YGS clique. I have been reading your comments to posts as I normally read all new stories and comments and there are some things I'm not understanding.

First let me say that I'm not opposed to any religion. If a person finds happiness, comfort, and peace and becomes a better, kinder, and more loving person to their fellow humans because of it then I certainly applaud them. Every human has the right to find and follow their own path
To God/Creator of which I certainly believe there is. Maybe not the typical Sunday school version, but God none the less.

Here is what I'm not understanding with regards to you.

1st
It is obvious that you are religious. Even your name YGS username "Integrist" has a religious meaning as a way of defining a sect within the Catholic Church that basically thinks the Church should be in charge of everything, even government. If I'm wrong about that please accept my apologies ahead of time and let me know the meaning. Perhaps its just a name you like and has no underlying meaning.

The next thing is this.
I'm not meaning to stereotype and can only go with my experiences.
Anytime a Christian person has asked me about my interest in life and I mention the paranormal the person looks at me and acts like I have the plague. They very quickly tell me about how I'm not to talk Mediums and ghosts and all that. I think your bio even mentions few of those same things.

I'm really not trying to criticize Christians here but to help you understand why I asking some things. Bare with me.

In my experiences with Christians I have found that they can talk all day, all night, and into most of next week about their beliefs and why they believe the way they do. Once they catch their breath and I am allowed to speak about what I think and why I have certain beliefs I can watch the color drain from their faces as they tell me to stop talking about such things as they can only be brought about by The Dark One and his demons that must be influencing me. That anything I may hear, see or think is just an evil presence that is trying to lie and deceive me.
After a short but strong sermon and the obligatory "can we pray together"
They go on their way with the assurance that they will be praying for me.

They just will not in any way listen to "that kind of talk"

In reading your comments to stories it is clear you have a lot of knowledge about the faith you follow. That is great. A person should know what they believe in and why they believe in it. The Christians
That I know want nothing to do with a site discussing dead people, ghosts, never been human entities and such because they view it as something they are not suppose to dabble in.

So I'll just be direct and hope not to offend nor seem unwelcoming

What makes a person such as your self, with your knowledge and convictions want to come to a site where the topic is about things that I have been told your not to be messing with.
I'm going to be very very honest here. You come across as wanting to come here with your wisdom and show us that you know the way. I really trust and hope that's not your intentions.

Thanks for your time
Randy
Bibliothecarius (5 stories) (742 posts)
 
6 months ago (2017-04-06)
Integrist, I've looked at your 2nd (3rd?) message first, as it was at the top of the stack.

<<no...>>
YES.

<<Does not recognize schismatics>>
Except for Maronites. And Byzantine Rite Catholics. Coptic Catholics, Or Chaldean Catholics, Armenian Catholics, and Ethiopian Catholics. I'm pretty sure my father-in-law (leader of his congregation's diaconate for several decades) mentioned others, too, as he's a serious scholar of his faith, as are his son (a professional researcher) and his brother-in-law (a priest). With this crowd, Thanksgiving & Christmas holiday conversations sometimes veer into the theological, and I'm always on the lookout for interesting books of Catholic theology, history, biography, and eschatology to pass on to my brother-in-law, though I do thumb through them first. All of the diverse Catholic churches I listed at the start of this paragraph enjoy a "distinct but included" status as they have been declared "sui iuris" in Catholic canon law. Henry wanted to use these precedents to justify separating England's Churches from the absolute control of the Papacy, which is why his effort failed; they all defer to Papal rulings, thus are not true schismatic churches. He did all this in order to obtain his divorce, then tax (i.e., "loot & pillage without remorse or compunction") the church properties which had been exempt from both common law and parliamentary law (and thereby from taxes) because they were governed by canon law.

As I scanned down, I did see that you'd questioned my use of the conventional, Anglicized version of the Latinate translation of the Hebrew deity's name. As "He" --again, a conventional pronoun-- is the Jewish conceptualization of God, and Jews consider writing out the Tetragrammaton in any non-scriptural context as a profane use of that word; I selected the colloquial diction as a reasonable alternative. I did this in much the same way I refer to the founder of Islam as The Prophet, to avoid offending Muslims, and the Founder of Christianity as Yeshua Ben Yosef, to separate out the historical/Divine individual who taught peace, kindness, faith, hope, charity, generosity, devotion, and love in his sermons, from any later adjustments to (and, sadly, corruptions of) his teachings through "revealed knowledge." This is not to say that all revealed knowledge is inaccurate, or that it doesn't have a place within the growth and the sociological adaptations of the Christian faith, merely that the teachings of the Aramaic-speaking human being --or human incarnation-- who indisputably had an itinerant Essene ministry in Judea, Galilee, and Jerusalem approximately 2,000 years ago should be the primary basis for the actions and teachings of the organization which purports to continue his ministry today. I'll gladly illustrate this point by making the current Pontiff my example; Pope Francis seems to be a sincere, devout, humble, and kindly man who wants to see the Catholic Church become more active in extending charity and kindness to all human beings as a mark of piety, much as Yeshua Ben Yosef instructed.

If you don't mind waiting until mid-afternoon Friday, possibly Friday evening, I'll read the remainder of your posts then, so I'll be at leisure to respond fully.

Thanks for providing food for thought, Integrist; it is good to ponder those points on which we agree in addition to those on which we disagree. It gives us pause to consider our own beliefs and disbeliefs, and to evaluate any need for change in our own preconceptions.

Biblio.
DirtCreature (guest)
+1
6 months ago (2017-04-06)
I've read many stories on here and have seen Satanists and even Wiccans say that their way was the only way or even just tried to give advice through their religion. I've also seen comments from someone who made an account that was a Staunch "I worship Hitchens" Atheist just to harass people on here and tell them they all needed therapists. And all of them got thumbs downed if they were being cruel, forceful, or aggressive. Some weren't aggressive or forceful, just pretty religious. And of course with that comes... Well people arguing. The people of YGS do criticize others from other faiths or belief systems. Sorry, but it's just the truth.

I am not picking sides between you, Biblio, Rook, or anyone else. It's just because I've read so many stories on here and so many comments from stories that go all the way back to 2007 until now. I have seen the arguments, the clash of religions. I was just pointing out the fact that it's not like only Christians have been criticized or debated with on here. I've seen it all. I've been a forum lurker before I even had an account on here.
Integrist (51 posts)
-3
6 months ago (2017-04-06)
>>Jehovah's wife<<

With all of your concern about supposed mistranslations, librarian, I find it funny you would use the term "Jehovah", which is an error.

>>So, it's less eternal torment, more eternal teasing?<<

Teasing?

As far as your comments regarding Henry VIII:

>>No, he didn't favor the Protestants; his version of the "Church of England" was *still* Catholic<<

No.

1) There is no "Catholic view" of the Church that includes schism, that would - by virtue of said schism even invalidate some sacraments (those whose validity are dependent on jurisdiction).

2) There is no "Catholic view" that supports his idea of "remarrying".

3) The view that a layman is the "Supreme head of the Church" isn't Catholic.

Cheers,
Integrist
Integrist (51 posts)
-1
6 months ago (2017-04-06)
Cheers for your patience, librarian. 😊

Before it was "the Bible is mistranslated". Once that was responded to, now it is "Judaism is fake and was stolen from Zoroastrianism and it is not really monotheistic". I wonder what will be next? Supposed parallels between Christ and Horus, Mithras or any other such pseudo-scholarship as found in the old "Zeitgeist" videos?

Interestingly as well, you have not directly addressed any of the statements I made, but instead decided to attack the Judeo-Christian religion itself by relying on theories that suggest that similarities must mean causation (interesting presumption without proof right there- but people believe what they wish to believe).

The pattern seems to be: claim open-mindedness while actually claiming historical Judaism and orthodox Christianity to be frauds. Of course, all of that is shrouded in flowery language.

Apart from these instances though:

>>Apparently, you CAN just make up this B.S., and people will believe it because it's in a book.<<

And:

>>assorted bouts of equally-insane behavior. <<

Now, I understand when you disagree with my position and dislike my manner of communicating with people my views. However, I was lectured by others (and your own remarks suggest the same) that one ought to "keep an open mind" and refrain from "insulting" other people's views.

The above statements of yours are directed against Christianity and historical Judaism: the actual faiths.
If I were to remark to a Muslim here that the Qur'an is "B.S." (to use your words), certainly that would be met with more whining about the "religious zealot imposing his views" onto others and being "disrespectful". Funnily enough, such statement has not come from me, but rather from you.

Though, judging by the infantile ratings of comments, I will have to assume that a certain level of hypocrisy is standard here. C'est la vie.

--

So, as far as the claim that Jews fell into different forms of idolatry: most certainly. One of the common themes of Sacred Writ is the covenant with marriage being its icon. Multiple times is Zion likened to a harlot/whore.
One must not also forget that Judeans were in the midst of Canaanite living in an area with many foreign deities. Is it naive to assume that some Jews may have adopted beliefs and/or practices of others around them and vice-versa? No. Just as modern-day atheists think they celebrate "Christmas" or "Easter". Does that make them Christians? Certainly not. And can such behaviour be misconstrued as being a normative or fundamental part of atheism? No.
The position with "Astarte" is put up in the same vein. What we know is that Judaism condemned the practice of idolatry. And that was the "orthodoxy" of Judaism: not the wayward folks.
But as I said: I understand why you find the idea so appealing.

Now, the instance of the golden calf - which clearly is idolatry - would not be taken by anyone as meaning that the Jewish religion as such was therefore a polytheistic one with a pantheon of a golden calf and God and assorted other deities.
In like manner, there are "Christians" on here that claim to be such while practicing idolatry and/or religious indifferentism.
The analogy to such a case would be that because such "Christians" exist - evidently so - Christianity (the religion) therefore has to be relativistic in nature and also idolatrous.
That position is patently absurd. I understand why some - dishonest - people would want to portray anomalies as the norm (it helps fuel their opposition to orthodox religion), but the truth gives us a different picture.

Rich Robinson states:

"The very clues used to imply borrowing seem to serve as evidence that monotheism was a universal impulse. The notion that monotheism evolved is a product of 19th century philosophy. It is insupportable in light of evidence provided by linguistics, archaeology, comparative ancient history and anthropology. The potpourri of primitive or sophisticated polytheism, pantheism and pick-your-own-theism appears to be a devolution from primal monotheism.

History shows ancient Israel as a unique example of a monotheistic nation. Monotheistic tendencies could be found everywhere, but Israel alone made the transition from tendency to theocracy. Such uniqueness demands an explanation. The monotheism of ancient Israel, a nation not only surrounded, but frequently ensnared by polytheistic neighbors, is a mystery. The answer is not a "genius for religion" (as is often suggested). Scripture is a witness to the Hebrew tendency toward apostasy - a fact which led Jewish prophets of old to express anger and anguish over the spiritual condition of Israel.

This author has found no reasonable explanation other than that given by the Tanakh; Israel's monotheism was received as a direct revelation from God. We see no evidence to indicate that Israel invented, discovered or borrowed monotheism."

That the exposure of the Judeans to Zoroastrian semi-dualism may have affected them insofar as solidifying their strict monotheism is possible. And that's not problematic in the slightest.

--

Regarding your comments on the New Testament, I am baffled as to the quality of your questions and the same self-congratulatory tone you speak that you accuse others of.
Claiming that St. Paul created a new Christianity (an idea that most heretics love to justify dissent) is silly. The very same authorities charged - in your theory - with the propagation of the "old faith" accepted and worked with St. Paul (whom you falsely accuse of creating a new religion). Weird that. Alas, sometimes conspiracy theories sound rather "scholarly".

And thank you for this gem:

>> How is this Panglossian logic a defensible argument? It is a doctrinally-entrenched anachronistic tautology: "Judaism existed for 3 millennia to create Christianity to correct Judaism, so the only valid readings of Jewish texts are the Christian ones... On the condition that they're grounded in the *Right* Christianity, and not in one of the others." <<

I wonder with your references about your access to books and your dealings with other religions and your studies whether you have never gotten acquainted with the position that Judaism and Christianity are not two religions, but rather developmental stages of the same line of Revelation?
Or that within the Jewish tradition is one of a foreshadowing, one of promise, whereas the later - and and eternal - covenant is that of fulfillment. The fact that the Tanakh points to a Messianic promise (which requires a fulfillment in the future) seems to have gotten lost on you as well.

And, of course, you have no qualms with criticizing Christians for their opposition to Rabbinical "Judaism" (which is younger than Chistianity, but whatever, right?), but you, omniscient librarian, have the answers thousands of years later to basically declare both religions (yes, I am aware I speak of religionS for the sake of convenience) to be nothing but "B.S.", right?

So you take offense at what you deem to be some sort of triumphalistic behaviour, which you yourself easily exhibit.

All that said and done, I am amused by the fact that to you, the agnostic who claims to have no zealous insistence on any "dogmatic truth", then boldly declare two religions to be frauds (based on pseudo-scholarship of the like debunked by authors like Matthias Schulz with regard to the New Testament) in the clearest manner.
Yet, you receive the support of supposed "Christians" and those so concerned about not offending others or attacking other positions.

This quote from DirtCreature was quite nice:

>>If a Wiccan came on here and said "this way is the only way" the people of YGS would criticize it... So it's not Christians getting knocked down.<<

There is such a thing as the tyranny of relativism.

With the obvious support of a couple of users to the librarian's comments about Judaism and Christianity and none about other religions, I think the evidence is clear.

😉

A bemused,
Integrist 😁
Melda (8 stories) (614 posts)
 
6 months ago (2017-04-06)
Biblio - Thanks for a very enlightening reply. I've written down the title of the book. Will I get down to reading it? Hopefully, but I honestly don't know 😊

Regards, Melda
Bibliothecarius (5 stories) (742 posts)
+1
6 months ago (2017-04-06)
Thanks, Melda. 😊

I voluntarily moved the conversation over here to prevent it interfering with responses to RC's narrative. I thought that putting it here would give me a chance to look things over so I could respond knowledgeably, and keep an abstruse discussion/debate out of the way of the primary purpose of the site.

I am indeed an agnostic. There may be a Divine creator and shaper of the universe, there may be many, or there may be none; my default setting is Curiosity, so I read, I ask, and I learn. When I'm told I've missed something, I like to look into it to learn more. There's a fantastic aphorism:
"Librarians don't know everything, they just know how to find out everything."

I don't see the harm in people trying to put their lives into perspective with a religious belief, especially when that belief also encourages good, moral behavior in the general population who follow that belief. Though I was raised in a loosely-Protestant home, and my family became more Evangelical after a traumatic experience, I'm happily married to a Catholic. I've attended religious services, funerals, and banquets in High-Church Anglican, Low-Church Anglican, Episcopalian, Roman Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Foursquare, Assembly of God churches, a Jehovah's Witness meeting house, a Unitarian Chapel, Orthodox & Conservative Synagogues, a Muslim Mosque, a Hindu Temple, conversed with a friendly and restrained (read: "not a pushy stereotype, but a pleasant fellow") Mormon on my front porch, and I've had a lovely chat with a Druid on his way to a ceremony in the Oxfordshire countryside. In every single instance I've listed, there was no pressure to join or to conform to the group, there were just decent, kind people who wanted to be welcoming and friendly to a stranger in their midst (in the case of Funerals, I found this to be very considerate).

I truly enjoy learning; it's an engaging and endless enterprise. In the English translation of Arturo Perez-Reverte's "The Purity of Blood" (his 2nd or 3rd "Captain Alatriste" novel) there is a wonderful line (my copy is at home, but I think it's around page 72 or so), which begins with something like 'Worst of all is the exegete... Be he Rabbi, Priest, or Imam,' that ends with"never trust a man who reads only one book."

Best,
Biblio.
Melda (8 stories) (614 posts)
+5
6 months ago (2017-04-06)
Biblio - I really have to admire you.

To be very honest, if somebody starts on religious rants in reply to any of my stories - nine months later, no less - I don't know whether I would bother to go into the depth of the discussion that you do! I am Christian but have a tremendous amount of respect for, and interest in, other people's beliefs. (As do you, considering that you are agnostic as far as I have been able to ascertain).

I have in fact read all your submissions and they were all very good and thought provoking - as are your comments on this site in general.

Just decided to leave that spontaneous thought with you 😊

Regards, Melda
DirtCreature (guest)
+7
6 months ago (2017-04-06)
There are Christians on this site who openly express their beliefs so saying only paganism is accepted is just untrue. Some of the people on here are critical of Christianity because of the political powers, history, and contradictions surrounding the book. I am not saying the bible is wrong. But that because of these elements surrounding it, people feel skeptical of it and tend to do away with it when discussing the supernatural.

Side note: Religious affiliation is not required to be interested in the paranormal. There are Atheists who believe in ghosts. The universe is a vast and crazy place. There could be all kinds of things. The paranormal does not equal God, and God does not mean angels, devils, or anything else exists. These things are not dependent on one another.

The reason a lot of people into the paranormal don't have strong religious affiliation is because to many it feels like a box. I do notice a lot of people on here being agnostic, spiritual, or having really open minded religious affiliations. It reminds me of what someone on here once said. I cannot remember for the life of me who it was. But one of the stories on here a person was seeing shadows or some kind of entities as a child and because of a strict Christian upbringing with parents that told them "oh it's all demons. God doesn't let spirits visit, yada yada" the person was terribly frightened. As the person got older, they realized the entities they saw were not doing anything to them. They don't believe they were demons and in my opinion, I do not believe what they experienced was evil either... It wouldn't make any sense. They ended up getting rid of a lot of fears they developed that stunted them in assessing their experiences and appreciating them.

Having weak religious ties is common because after a person experiences a whole host of things from OBE, dopplegangers, premonitions, entity encounters, etc it starts to feel strange to tie oneself down to one belief system. I know people who are Christian or even Witches that have beliefs from OTHER religions as well, creating their own mishmash of beliefs and that's okay. Open-mindedness is really important with this kind of thing because there is so much we do not know that is going on in our beautiful scary universe. If not, we can shut ourselves away from our own experiences. If a Wiccan came on here and said "this way is the only way" the people of YGS would criticize it... So it's not Christians getting knocked down.

This comment from Integrist is hidden due to low rating. Show comment

Bibliothecarius (5 stories) (742 posts)
 
6 months ago (2017-04-06)
Notes as I'm reading through:

Integrist:
<<The term itself means "border" and often is thought of as somewhat the "outer borders" of hell, where one is not tormented for personal sins (as e.g. In the case of the limbo infantium), but nevertheless is deprived of the grace of supernatural happiness and the beatific vision.>>

So, it's less eternal torment, more eternal teasing?

<<...prompted Henry VIII to attack Martin Luther,>> Yes, he did attack Luther.
<<and then later recant his own position in favour of the protestant view?>> No, he didn't favor the Protestants; his version of the "Church of England" was *still* Catholic; that's why he sought the Pope's permission to install Bishop Cranmer (who was "secretly" married and pro-reform) as the new Archbishop of Canterbury. Henry's second wife, Anne Boleyn, was a "Reformer" (later, "Protestant"). Henry couldn't imagine being the Spiritual head of the Church, as that would be blasphemy; he wanted to hold sway over the physical, Earthly church within his own country. It was after decades of religious upheaval and persecution that Elizabeth ascended the throne and *She* applied the Lutheran Protests to the C. Of E., eventually to be the foundation of the 39 articles. On several occasions (with the notable exception of the Papal Bull of 1570, Regnans in Excelsis, in which the Pope ordered devout Catholics to murder Elizabeth I) the Catholic church attempted to reconcile with the Anglican Communion. These offers to overlook past differences were predicated upon the basis that the Church did stop selling "indulgences" to the wealthy to skip ahead to Heaven without going to Purgatory, etc., even if took a couple of centuries to do it.
-Biblio.
Bibliothecarius (5 stories) (742 posts)
+4
6 months ago (2017-04-06)
Oh, gracious! It feels like I'm interrupting the conversation, here! (Have we lost sight of the fact I was giving a general overview in order to make a point about the protestant mystic Swedenborg, who claimed that Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell were essentially the same place, but the attitudes and preconceptions of the individual souls affected how they perceived it? ("The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven"-Milton; "there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so" -Shakespeare.)

I've been off cataloguing in Theology and in Psychology, so I've been reading about the history of religion (which is NOT the same as religious history!). Quite recent scholarship demonstrated that Judaism only became monotheistic *AFTER* the Babylonian Exile, as a direct consequence of the interaction of Judaism with Zoroastrianism. The chain of causality was something I hadn't fully grasped before; I'd just thought it an odd coincidence that the other members of the early semitic pantheon seemed to die off without much explanation, right around the time that the Babylonians overran Judea (and pretty much the rest of the middle east).

Judaism has altered over time, it is true, primarily due to wiping out the divergent forms of Judaism "They did evil in the sight of the Lord..." such as including the wife of God, Astarte/Ashtoreth/Ishtar, and the destruction of the temple and the Jews who worshipped in it. The surviving form of Judaism is the one which was independent of the temple; they had the Torah & attendant Biblical scholarship including the Tanakh, Navi, Psalms, the Proverbs, & Pseudepigrapha. The Catholic Church decided these supplementary texts were *also* part of the Bible, not the independent scrolls they'd been heretofore; this increased the canonical materials from the five books of Moses to 46 "Old Testament" books, until the Protestants (who didn't like the inclusion of the hallucinatory descriptions in the Apocrypha) reduced the number to 39. The notion of "Hell" as eternal torment in Judaism was an aberration which occurred during the Babylonian exile when some Zoroastrian ideas were mixed into the more extreme versions of Judaism (more on this later), including the group who would become the Essenes, which included Yosef and Mary.

I presume that everyone in this conversation is aware of the connections between assorted ancient Semitic faiths, and of the existence of Jehovah's wife Astarte whose symbol was the tree (i.e.: "The Tree of Life"). That's why the newly-monothesitc Jews extirpated the tree from the temple grounds on the orders of King Josiah when they returned to Jerusalem from their exile. I'd always found that to be an odd instruction, but the Bible is filled with people doing strange things because they're told to: "don't eat the fruit of this tree because it's going to corrupt your entire species," "marry a prostitute," "slaughter your son as an offering to me," "build a massive ship right here in the countryside," "I'll only give you food if you give me your birthright," "you have to work another 7 years before I'll let you marry my younger daughter, too," "put your baby in a reed basket and float it down the Nile" and assorted bouts of equally-insane behavior.

About 4 years ago research was published indicating that the temple tree had been there first, the temple was built around it (as a symbol of Astarte), so removing the tree from the temple had been a symbolic act of declaring that the monotheistic faction was now in charge. All of the passages in the Bible in which groups identified as "offending" the Lord, or "doing evil in my sight," wasn't because those groups were engaged in abominable foreign practices --usually, the sins of those people are laid out very clearly for the reader-- but because "doing evil" was performing Jewish rituals that still adhered to the polytheistic traditions.

NOW for the FUN bit! What I had not known before Integrist prompted me to further my researches, was that the Jewish people had an *intermediate* step between polytheism and the Babylonian monotheism: monolatry! There was a period in which Jews acknowledged that other gods existed, but that they were only going to worship one of them. I imagine that the more old-fashioned Jews were upset that God got a divorce, whether he wanted it or not, but the fanaticism of the new order overwhelmed any objections; however, as they were fanatics, they left the writings of the prophets intact (Hosea and Ezekiel include weird references to trees causing adultery and incense-burning, respectively). Now that the Prophets' works are part of the Christian Bible, their words fall under the de facto "Divinely Inspired" rule for holy texts, so it is -officially- in the word of God that pleasant groves of trees cause daughters to become prostitutes and wives to become adulterers.

Apparently, you CAN just make up this B.S., and people will believe it because it's in a book.

The idea of "Eternal Punishment" in Sheol is flawed because of the translation issue: it means "the grave" or "sorrows," NOT "site of eternal damnation for sinners." This gets translated into "Hades" in Greek, which was originally the name of the God, but became synonymous with his domain, over time. That was complicated in the Latin translation from Greek, because the Roman Pantheon had a God of Wealth who was theologically reassigned to take responsibility for the underworld, "Pluto" -hence "plutocrat" being a wealthy leader, not a demonic one. In English, the term "Hell" is used, but again, she was Hel, the queen of Niflheim, in the Norse pantheon, and the Anglo Saxons living in Danelaw conflated "Hel" with her domain, because Divinely-appointed monarchs *ARE* the embodiment of their countries; this is the source of the "Royal 'We'" in which living monarchs refer to themselves in the plural. (See also the Arthurian Cycle, Arthur's placing Caliburnus between Lancelot & Guinevere to demonstrate that he'd caught them without killing them, but he abandoned the blade of power, so he had to quest for the grail to heal the land & himself. Read "Parsifal" by Chretien de Troyes, skip Wolfram von Eschenbach's tedious tome, then read Malory's "Le Morte d'Arthur" & Tennyson's "The Idylls of the King.") There is NO substance to the peculiar translation, but claiming that dead people are in graves lacks any sense of religious significance. "We bury the dead" is like saying "we visit the dentist twice a year," in that other people kind of expect a certain level of hygiene from you, but don't really care much about how you go about doing it. "The dead are in sorrow" sounds far more interesting, especially if the promoters of this statement have a "Get Out of Suffering Plan" they want you to follow. You'll note that there's a surprising lack of specificity on what is *causing* the sorrow, but by golly they'll give you a whole bunch of things you can and can't do while you're alive so you can be sure to avoid having to find out.

All of these postmortem peregrinations are based on legends of legends, filtered through layers of cultural biases, anachronistic evaluations of extant texts with the presumption that the later writer has the ability to determine authorial intent on the part of the earlier writer, and religious zealots retconning their own history so that the facts will align with the current "Truth." ("Truth" is an epistemological can of worms which I prefer to leave unopened -- mostly because it's an empty can, but you can't prove that until you've opened it, and everyone blames you for letting the little buggers escape.)

Documents written after the teachings of Paul's version of proselytizing Christianity began ("Upon this *other* rock mankind will build a completely different church"?) is problematic, in that the reader of the early Christian texts is now forced to use them as an analytical tool to explain texts written 3,000 years before Christianity began. How is this Panglossian logic a defensible argument? It is a doctrinally-entrenched anachronistic tautology: "Judaism existed for 3 millennia to create Christianity to correct Judaism, so the only valid readings of Jewish texts are the Christian ones... On the condition that they're grounded in the *Right* Christianity, and not in one of the others." Yes, I've spent a few days wading through all of this self-congratulatory sermonizing by dozens of cerebrally challenged theologians; some of their writings were hilarious in their abstract certainty about unproven claims and their utter failure to do anything useful, but I don't think they were meant to be funny.

I can state, however, that this has been an enlightening romp through the murky minds of fundamentalists and their bedrock certainties. Blaming only "Saint" Jerome (the Patron Saint of Librarians & Translators) for screwing up the texts was indeed an unfair accusation on my part. There are, quite literally, HUNDREDS of people responsible for the inclusion of Zoroastrianism in both Judaism and Christianity; there are THOUSANDS responsible for taking religious belief and twisting it to their own ends, each of them claiming the "truth" was "obvious" when the facts indicate that both of those claims had no bearing upon reality.

Sorry if that was a bit convoluted; I had to type that all out while it was fresh in my mind.

I'm now going to read through the conversation which seems to have been proceeding without me (!)

Best,
Biblio.

This comment from Integrist is hidden due to low rating. Show comment

rookdygin (24 stories) (4320 posts)
+2
6 months ago (2017-04-05)
(Oy Vey! Let's try some VERY direct questions.)

Integrist,

I know Biblio has provided their comments section of this experience to have a discussion but we seem to wandering away from 'Ghosts, Spirits and Hauntings' and focusing more on Religion/Religious beliefs. Having said that I will see if this series of questions can steer us back towards that rather than a 'strict religious' discussion.

Having said that, let's start by quoting you...

"1) hell in the strict sense, or the place of punishment for the damned, be they demons or men (this is permanent and eternal):

2) the limbo of infants (limbus parvulorum), where those who die in original sin alone, and without personal mortal sin, are confined and undergo some kind of punishment;

3) the limbo of the Fathers (limbus patrum), in which the souls of the just who died before Christ awaited their admission to heaven; for in the meantime heaven was closed against them in punishment for the sin of Adam;

4) purgatory, where the just, who die in venial sin or who still owe a debt of temporal punishment for sin, are cleansed by suffering before their admission to heaven. (yes, the fires of purgatory are the fires of hell - albeit temporary)."

Can a Spirit/Demon/Angel interact with us on the physical plane from ANY of these locations?

Having asked that I can not let this statement pass without observation...

"God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.
If this be true, then what spirit was it that granted Martin Luther an understanding that differed from Jean Calvin's? And that which prompted Henry VIII to attack Martin Luther, and then later recant his own position in favour of the protestant view?
Truth does not contradict itself.
And logic dictates that in cases where there are two mutually exclusive positions, either one is or both are erroneous. They cannot both be right at the same time."

You are correct Truth does not contradict itself, that is why we must look at the similarities all of these individuals shared and see them for the Truth and any and all differences are either the folly 'man' or 'false doctrine' 'inspired' by... Well let's just say its not a 'good' source. 😉

Here is another question for you...

With Christ 'opening the veil'...does that mean spirits can travel between the spirit realm and the physical realm?

Respectfully,

Rook
Integrist (51 posts)
-1
6 months ago (2017-04-04)
Hello rook,

Thank you for your response.

>>A contradiction? Did he descend into 'Hell' or into Purgatory (Abraham's bosom" or the "Abode of the Just"...your words not mine).<<

I never said He descended into Purgatory. Perhaps you misunderstood? Purgatory and the Limbo Patrum are two different things.

>>The very Scripture you are quoting seems to contradict itself. Which is it? Did he descend into 'Hell' and release the 'just'? Or did he enter Abraham's bosom (Purgatory if I am following/understanding the scripture you quoted correctly) and open the Door to Heaven to those who had lived righteously 'Before' His ministry on Earth?<<

There is no contradiction between descending into hell and descending into the Abode of the Just (it's the same), and releasing the Just from that place (which happened after the descent).

As explained by the citation from the CCC: the limbo Patrum can be called Hell due to its separation from Paradise - most notably exemplified by the deprivation of the Beatific Vision.

"In theological usage the name is applied to (a) the temporary place or state of the souls of the just who, although purified from sin, were excluded from the beatific vision until Christ's triumphant ascension into Heaven (the "limbus patrum"); or (b) to the permanent place or state of those unbaptized children and others who, dying without grievous personal sin, are excluded from the beatific vision on account of original sin alone (the "limbus infantium" or "puerorum")."

The term itself means "border" and often is thought of as somewhat the "outer borders" of hell, where one is not tormented for personal sins (as e.g. In the case of the limbo infantium), but nevertheless is deprived of the grace of supernatural happiness and the beatific vision.

This is, of course, to be distinguished from that hell, which is the abode of the unjust, which is permanent damnation.

Perhaps, the confusion arises on your part due to the term. As we distinguish different meanings for the term "heaven" (Elias for instance was not assumed into that heaven, which we typically equate with Paradise), we do so with hell. Traditionally, theologians distinguish four possible usages of the term:

1) hell in the strict sense, or the place of punishment for the damned, be they demons or men (this is permanent and eternal):

2) the limbo of infants (limbus parvulorum), where those who die in original sin alone, and without personal mortal sin, are confined and undergo some kind of punishment;

3) the limbo of the Fathers (limbus patrum), in which the souls of the just who died before Christ awaited their admission to heaven; for in the meantime heaven was closed against them in punishment for the sin of Adam;

4) purgatory, where the just, who die in venial sin or who still owe a debt of temporal punishment for sin, are cleansed by suffering before their admission to heaven. (yes, the fires of purgatory are the fires of hell - albeit temporary)

St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologiae discusses Christ's descent into hell (with the above subtleties):

"I answer that, A thing is said to be in a place in two ways. First of all, through its effect, and in this way Christ descended into each of the hells, but in different manner. For going down into the hell of the lost He wrought this effect, that by descending thither He put them to shame for their unbelief and wickedness: but to them who were detained in Purgatory He gave hope of attaining to glory: while upon the holy Fathers detained in hell solely on account of original sin, He shed the light of glory everlasting.

In another way a thing is said to be in a place through its essence: and in this way Christ's soul descended only into that part of hell wherein the just were detained. So that He visited them "in place," according to His soul, whom He visited "interiorly by grace," according to His Godhead. Accordingly, while remaining in one part of hell, He wrought this effect in a measure in every part of hell, just as while suffering in one part of the earth He delivered the whole world by His Passion." (Question 52, Article 2)

>>For me, Divine Revelation is an accepted concept. Sola-Scripture? Far from it (considering my choice of Faith), however via Divine Revelation of 'PUBLISHED' Scripture can be interpreted in different ways by different people... Wait that's not quite clear...<<

The atheist, the Buddhist, the new-ager, the Christian, the Muslim, etc. Can all read the same chapter of the same book and come to different understandings - some complimenting each other's, while others being mutually exclusive.

This is most definitely an issue with "book-religions" or any individualistic type of "spirituality".

>>When one prays about understanding Scriptures they are reading the Spirit moves within them so as that they have the understanding that THEY NEED at that time. Additionally we, as individuals UNDERSTAND no more than our FAITH will allow.<<

Sed contra:

God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.
If this be true, then what spirit was it that granted Martin Luther an understanding that differed from Jean Calvin's? And that which prompted Henry VIII to attack Martin Luther, and then later recant his own position in favour of the protestant view?
Truth does not contradict itself.
And logic dictates that in cases where there are two mutually exclusive positions, either one is or both are erroneous. They cannot both be right at the same time.

Equally terrible is the error that suggests (theological modernism) that Truth changes.
Contrary to that we affirm: Christus heri, hodie, semper.

>>As far as the Quran is concerned, Most scholars agree it is NOT in chronological order... And have their sources to support why. Your answer though confuses me...

You stated...

"As far as the Qur'an is concerned, others would argue that its chronology is based on the historical development of Muhammad's own life: so the peaceful passages towards the Christians are to be found in the beginning of the book (when we found refuge among Ethiopians when he first started preaching Tawheed.
Later passages are less amicable - as was his later relationship with Christians after clashes with Byzantine soldiers. Etc. Etc. Etc."

So by definition (Merriam-Webster) Chronological means...

Chronological: 1. Of, relating to, or arranged in or according to the order of time.

Doesn't "its chronology is based on the historical development of Muhammad's own life" mean just that?<<

You understood me correctly. I gave you the position of some that suggest that the Qur'an is indeed chronological: though the chronology is based on the development in Muhammad's life. Regarding the actual time when the various Suras were first written, nobody knows.

>>Anyway thanks for the chance to discuss things of this nature.

Oh and Biblio, thanks for giving us a place to do so.

Respectfully,
Rook<

Thank you as well. 😁

Regards,
Integrist
rookdygin (24 stories) (4320 posts)
+2
6 months ago (2017-04-04)
Ah, thank you for the reply. (And away we go...)

"1) Purgatory (a state of purification from venial sins or from the requirement of justice for satisfaction) is not the same as the Limbo Patrum ("Abraham's bosom" or the "Abode of the Just"). The latter is the abode of deceased who were to be saved, but could not enter into heaven on account of original sin. Christ opened the gates of heaven to these (it is thence that He descended upon His own death)."

"3) "Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, "hell" - Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek - because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God. Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into "Abraham's bosom": "It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham's bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell."

A contradiction? Did he descend into 'Hell' or into Purgatory (Abraham's bosom" or the "Abode of the Just"...your words not mine).

The very Scripture you are quoting seems to contradict itself. Which is it? Did he descend into 'Hell' and release the 'just'? Or did he enter Abraham's bosom (Purgatory if I am following/understanding the scripture you quoted correctly) and open the Door to Heaven to those who had lived righteously 'Before' His ministry on Earth?

For me, Divine Revelation is an accepted concept. Sola-Scripture? Far from it (considering my choice of Faith), however via Divine Revelation of 'PUBLISHED' Scripture can be interpreted in different ways by different people... Wait that's not quite clear...

When one prays about understanding Scriptures they are reading the Spirit moves within them so as that they have the understanding that THEY NEED at that time. Additionally we, as individuals UNDERSTAND no more than our FAITH will allow.

As far as the Quran is concerned, Most scholars agree it is NOT in chronological order... And have their sources to support why. Your answer though confuses me...

You stated...

"As far as the Qur'an is concerned, others would argue that its chronology is based on the historical development of Muhammad's own life: so the peaceful passages towards the Christians are to be found in the beginning of the book (when we found refuge among Ethiopians when he first started preaching Tawheed.
Later passages are less amicable - as was his later relationship with Christians after clashes with Byzantine soldiers. Etc. Etc. Etc."

So by definition (Merriam-Webster) Chronological means...

Chronological: 1. Of, relating to, or arranged in or according to the order of time.

Doesn't "its chronology is based on the historical development of Muhammad's own life" mean just that?

Anyway thanks for the chance to discuss things of this nature.

Oh and Biblio, thanks for giving us a place to do so.

Respectfully,
Rook
Integrist (51 posts)
 
6 months ago (2017-04-04)
> (Pardon the Interruption)

Sense the conversation moved over here I will comment here.

Question: Why are the 'Righteous' in 'hell/hades' rather than Paradise?

I would understand if They were in Purgatory for that is where spirits (human spirits) await the Final Judgment... Then based upon their actions in Life they either Achieve Paradise or Receive Eternal Damnation. But it is clearly stated that He (Christ/Yeshua Ben Yosef... Name of your choice...)

"entered into the realms where souls were in torment" OR he made " The descent into hell/hades..."

Again, these descriptions seem to be of the same location... One that does not take Purgatory into consideration...

(Personal Belief here...) This could Only be possible if Purgatory WAS established because of Christ's (Yeshua Ben Yosef's) teachings. Because before His Ministry an individual had lived a life 'well' enough to obtain Paradise or they had not and were cast into 'hell/hades'. It was to these spirits that 'Christ/Yeshua Ben Yosef' visited AFTER the Crucifixion, so they would have a chance to hear the Teachings of the New and Everlasting Covenant that was taught by the Prophet Yeshua Ben Yosef/Christ.<

Thank you for the question, rook.

Here are some answers:

1) Purgatory (a state of purification from venial sins or from the requirement of justice for satisfaction) is not the same as the Limbo Patrum ("Abraham's bosom" or the "Abode of the Just"). The latter is the abode of deceased who were to be saved, but could not enter into heaven on account of original sin. Christ opened the gates of heaven to these (it is thence that He descended upon His own death). Hence He said to St. Dismas that on the same day he would be with Him in Paradise.

2) Prior to the Crucifixion, one can think of the netherworld as having been divided between the Abode of the Just and the Abode of the Unjust. And there is a chasm between these two abodes. Damnation is the lot of the latter "where the worm doth not die".

3) "Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, "hell" - Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek - because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God. Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into "Abraham's bosom": "It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham's bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell." Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him." (CCC 633)

4) Every soul that goes to purgatory will eventually enter into heaven (some sooner, some later). It is neither a waiting place until the General Resurrection, nor is it a place where all people go and then have to be tested to either go to heaven or hell eventually.

5) Those who die unjust and unrepentant are eternally damned. There is no second chance after death. Death is the door, by which we pass from faith to knowledge.

> (DEEP BREATH)

Many, many different historical writings can be referenced, pointed to, used, misused, quoted, misquoted... I prefer to (at least try) to study as much as possible, from every source I can, then say a Prayer and go with how the Spirit with-in me moves. Remember, Most of the Historical references we have today were pieced together by Humans... And as we know... Humans can make mistakes...

The New Testament... The chosen writings, I am pretty sure supported the views of the Men who ran the Church at that time... The rest went unused/unpublished/un-talked about, this allows for misinterpretation/misunderstanding The Quran... Men placed it in order from Longest verse to shortest verse... They did not leave it in chronological order... This allows for misinterpretation/misunderstanding.<

Here seems to be the notion that Christianity is a book religion, wherein the book is the beginning and end of all things. This is not the case.
It started with the Church: a Living Body, an interpretative authority, the "pillar and ground of truth", which would treat dissenters as "heathens and publicans".
While it is true that any purely human affair cannot be perfect by virtue of our wounded nature, the same cannot be said of the work of God Himself.

So the question is twofold:

1) Does one believe in Divine Revelation, without which our knowledge of God would be limited to some truths accessible by reason alone?

And

2) If one accepted Divine Revelation, does one do it in such a manner as to think that Perfection Himself decided to communicate to mankind in such a manner as to leave His message corrupted within just a generation or two?

As far as praying Sola-Scriptura style: almost everyone who decides to teach himself (a strange notion) matters of religion, ends up disagreeing with fundamental issues with another who gives the same advise of "reading prayerfully". Perhaps it is for this reason that religion was established by God instead of leaving each one to Himself? The example of the Ethiopian Eunuch comes to mind when he was studying Scripture:

"And Philip running thither, heard him reading the prophet Isaias. And he said: Thinkest thou that thou understandest what thou readest?
Who said: And how can I, unless some man shew me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him."

"The New Testament... The chosen writings, I am pretty sure supported the views of the Men who ran the Church at that time"

As I said: the Church did not come from the Bible, but vice-versa. The New Testament is the written account of some of the Sacred Tradition handed to the Church and preserved throughout the ages. And of course, the writings of heretics would be rejected - and they did so based on the faith of the Church.

As far as the Qur'an is concerned, others would argue that its chronology is based on the historical development of Muhammad's own life: so the peaceful passages towards the Christians are to be found in the beginning of the book (when we found refuge among Ethiopians when he first started preaching Tawheed.
Later passages are less amicable - as was his later relationship with Christians after clashes with Byzantine soldiers. Etc. Etc. Etc.

>I'm am not saying either is right or wrong. What I am saying is we have a LOT to LEARN. Study, Research, CONVERSATION... These are a few of my favorite things.

Respectfully,

Rook<

There is always something to learn. 😁

Apologies for the long response.

Regards,
Integrist
rookdygin (24 stories) (4320 posts)
+1
6 months ago (2017-04-04)
(Pardon the Interruption)

Sense the conversation moved over here I will comment here.

"I'd like to point out the longstanding Christian tradition that after his crucifixion, Yeshua Ben Yosef entered into the realms where souls were in torment so he could preach the "good news" of love and forgiveness to them. Additionally, this is one of the reasons bereaved Catholics would pay an honorarium to their local diocese to have a Mass said in memory of the deceased"

These are two different issues.

The descent into hell/hades where the righteous also abode - though not in Paradise - ("bosom of Abraham" or "limbo patrum") - had the purpose of opening up to them the Gates of Paradise after the Crucifixion. No "change of mind" on behalf of the righteous, but rather an action from God Himself permitting a change for them: i.e. Entrance into Paradise.
Purgatory is something else: this is where remnants of sin (venial) are purged and final satisfaction made for forgiven faults in life. Again, no "change of mind" in this case - but a different case than what happened to the righteous who died prior to the Crucifixion.

Regards,

Integrist"

The following descriptions sounds as if they are speaking of the 'same' place just using different words... There is something else as well which I will phrase as a question below...

"Yeshua Ben Yosef entered into the realms where souls were in torment so he could preach..."

Compared to...

"The descent into hell/hades where the righteous also abode - though not in Paradise - ("bosom of Abraham" or "limbo patrum") - had the purpose of opening up to them the Gates of Paradise after the Crucifixion."

Question: Why are the 'Righteous' in 'hell/hades' rather than Paradise?

I would understand if They were in Purgatory for that is where spirits (human spirits) await the Final Judgment... Then based upon their actions in Life they either Achieve Paradise or Receive Eternal Damnation. But it is clearly stated that He (Christ/Yeshua Ben Yosef... Name of your choice...)

"entered into the realms where souls were in torment" OR he made " The descent into hell/hades..."

Again, these descriptions seem to be of the same location... One that does not take Purgatory into consideration...

(Personal Belief here...) This could Only be possible if Purgatory WAS established because of Christ's (Yeshua Ben Yosef's) teachings. Because before His Ministry an individual had lived a life 'well' enough to obtain Paradise or they had not and were cast into 'hell/hades'. It was to these spirits that 'Christ/Yeshua Ben Yosef' visited AFTER the Crucifixion, so they would have a chance to hear the Teachings of the New and Everlasting Covenant that was taught by the Prophet Yeshua Ben Yosef/Christ.

(DEEP BREATH)

Many, many different historical writings can be referenced, pointed to, used, misused, quoted, misquoted... I prefer to (at least try) to study as much as possible, from every source I can, then say a Prayer and go with how the Spirit with-in me moves. Remember, Most of the Historical references we have today were pieced together by Humans... And as we know... Humans can make mistakes...

The New Testament... The chosen writings, I am pretty sure supported the views of the Men who ran the Church at that time... The rest went unused/unpublished/un-talked about, this allows for misinterpretation/misunderstanding The Quran... Men placed it in order from Longest verse to shortest verse... They did not leave it in chronological order... This allows for misinterpretation/misunderstanding.

I'm am not saying either is right or wrong. What I am saying is we have a LOT to LEARN. Study, Research, CONVERSATION... These are a few of my favorite things.

Respectfully,

Rook
Bibliothecarius (5 stories) (742 posts)
 
7 months ago (2017-04-02)
Integrist's post, copied from RCRuskin's "Happenings in Churches."

Hello Biblio,

Perhaps some clarification on my part: I am male.

"Hell was added after the Christian sect had separated from Judaism."

This is an inaccurate description. The "Judaism" we now know today it not quite what it was prior to the destruction of the Temple (turning it into a new religion of "Rabbinical Judaism"). The concept of damnation - as opposed to the periods of purification espoused by modern Rabbinites - is supposedly still believed in by some "Jewish" sects (or apostate ones if one were to go with the mainstream Rabbanite position) such as the Karaites (at least according to what I have been told regarding their beliefs, but my interest in such sects is minimal, so there is a lot of room for error on my part in this case).

"Saint Jerome decided that "Gehenna" meant "Hell" by conflating it with the lake of fire from John's Revelation on the isle of Patmos (because nothing explains the writings of an already-3000-year-old religion by conflating it with the writings of a shipwrecked man sitting on a sun-baked rock in the middle of the sea)."

A difficult thesis to uphold indeed, considering the view of the permanence of perdition can be found in both Testaments already - prior to St. Jerome's translations.

"So the "Morning Star" (i.e.: The King of Babylon) from Isaiah 14:12 gets mixed in with the role of God's Court Prosecutor to create "The Devil" around 300 years after the death of Jesus, and Hell is created around the same time as a place for the Devil to live in."

This is a strange suggestion if one is to keep in mind that the New Testament is but the written form of some of the teachings handed down since the time of Christ on earth. That manuscripts already existed prior to St. Jerome.

Then we have the testimony of the Fathers. Here is some of it:

"...thus also the punishment of those who do not believe the Word of God, and despise His advent, and are turned away backwards, is increased; being not merely temporal, but rendered also eternal. For to whomsoever the Lord shall say, 'Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire,' these shall be damned for ever; and to whomsoever He shall say, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you for eternity,' these do receive the kingdom for ever, and make constant advance in it; since there is one and the same God the Father, and His Word, who has been always present with the human race, by means indeed of various dispensations, and has wrought out many things, and saved from the beginning those who are saved, (for these are they who love God, and follow the Word of God according to the class to which they belong,) and has judged those who are judged, that is, those who forget God, and are blasphemous, and transgressors of His word." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 4,28,2 (A.D. 180).

"But do you also, if you please, give reverential attention to the prophetic Scriptures, and they will make your way plainer for escaping the eternal punishments, and obtaining the eternal prizes of God." Theophilus of Antioch, To Autolycus, 1:14 (A.D. 181).

"The Jewish "Hell"--which is separated from "Abraham's Bosom" by a chasm-- is much more in keeping with the notion of "Purgatory" from Catholicism."

This is accurate: though it is difficult to understand how they interpret all the passages speaking of its permanence in a way that would make it temporary.

E.g.:

"The sinners in Sion are afraid, trembling hath seized upon the hypocrites. Which of you can dwell with devouring fire? Which of you shall dwell with everlasting burnings?" Isaias 33:14

"And they shall go out, and see the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched: and they shall be a loathsome sight to all flesh." Isaias 66:24

"For he will give fire, and worms into their flesh, that they may burn, and may feel for ever." Judith 16:21

Also, when one asks whether the perpetrators of the Shoah will then be sitting side-by-side with the victims such as Anne Frank in Paradise, the vehement opposition against the eternity of damnation generally dies down. Whether there is a "dogmatic" position on this among the Rabbanites is questionable since there is - like in Islam - not really a final authority to settle the issue of interpretation.

"As you can see from the above paragraph, I thought very carefully about why I was rejecting religion before doing so. Learning through historical research that most of it was made up after the key individuals had died turned out to be the deciding factor"

Based on the information you have provided, it does not seem that your historical studies were as thorough as you may have thought.

I hope this clarifies my contention with the previous posts.

Thank you for the civility despite our disagreements.

Regards,
Integrist
valkricry (39 stories) (2730 posts) mod
+1
1 year ago (2016-07-07)
I'm seriously happy I could help you feel better about the incident, Biblio. 😳
Tweed (22 stories) (2034 posts)
+1
1 year ago (2016-07-07)
haha Biblio I had the same 'Phwhoah, UPVOTE! 😲' reaction to Val's observation! Glad it resonated with you, nice to think this scary as hell encounter wasn't essentially nasty.

Nice one Val! 😆
Bibliothecarius (5 stories) (742 posts)
+1
1 year ago (2016-07-07)
Val 😁!
THANK YOU!
I HONESTLY THINK YOU'VE CRACKED THE CASE! I was just trying to add to the collective store of accounts on here, and I was pleased that Tweed noticed the correlation of events occurring in multiple narratives, but now I can think back on this experience with a cathartic calm that there may have been a simple misunderstanding between life-experiences/eras!

The idea that I ought to be sleeping downstairs in order to do my job in the morning makes a whole lot of sense! (Well, not in the 20th or 21st centuries, but definitely in the mid-nineteenth.) That would also account for the hand-pressure emerging from my parents' bedroom door (despite the fact it was closed), as that would have been the parent's room in the Victorian era, too; it was the front bedroom, it was at the top of the staircase, etc. This would make the terrifying experience less a spectral assault and more a concerned/corrective measure. While I cannot remember what time of year this occurred, precisely, I do know it was dark outside at my bedtime, which means it was between October and March -exactly when hot stove would be necessary in the morning for a victorian household!

This experience, then, may have nothing to do with whatever presence was in the bathroom, as I don't remember the horrid feeling of dread that I used to get in that room associated with the experience at the top of the staircase. I guess we may have had two entities at that address, and one was just trying to keep things running smoothly, while the other one resented/hated us.

Absolute Best to You,
Biblio. 😉

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