Wednesday, March 9, 2011

HJC - Matthew's Three Fold DISCUSSION --- First Verse ---

HESUS JOY CHRIST / Matthew's Three Fold animation

As promised, here are the more words a wise person would not ask for . It does relieve my frustration, though, to write these wordy explanations !

DISCUSSION From Tuesday, March 8th, 2011 to Ash Wednesday, March 9th, 2011 © R David Foster 2011

The Gospel of Matthew – Chapter Three -----------------------------------------------

HESUS JOY CHRIST / Matthew's Three Fold


Well here we go ! Try to keep up because there are many angles to this text and its' discussion will cover all the angles I can find in both texts and the relationship between the two texts, which carries a fourth level of meaning. That is – the meaning of each text individually ( 2 meanings ), the meaning when both texts are viewed together ( 3rd meaning ) and the meaning of the relationship ( 3rd meaning ) in the context in which we share – real life ( the 4th meaning ) !

Stepping back a bit, let's acknowledge a few things . We are talking about religion – specifically christianity, which I believe is essentially forgiveness to the ultimate degree . All religions have their strengths, in fact all are valid and relevant . Forgiveness is either a spoken or unspoken element in many religions. I believe forgiveness is essential, and that is why I am christian .

Many religions have elements of Whole and Part . Yin-Yang for example . Other terms are Agency and Communion, one and many, or Male and Female . All that exists has both a wholistic aspect and a partial aspect . Everything that exists is part of a context, and wholly made of parts . To bring something into existence one must address both the whole and the part, both the context and the specific, aspects .

Furthermore, everything that exists has an inclination to either whole or part . The approach to anything assesses the balance of whole and part in that thing . An imbalance is always apparent , and the inclination of any approach is to correct the thing to obtain balance . If it appears too partial it must be corrected . If it appears too wholistic it must be corrected . The fallacy is that anything that exists is not in balance . In other words, if you may approach it then it does exist and if it exists it must already be in balance . Forgiveness allows the balance to exist without correction, and accepts that all things are in balance . This is somewhat a Buddhist opinion or faith . The important thing is to SEE the balance and not be moved to correction by any APPARENT imbalance . Otherwise the urge to correct leads to confrontation and a need to make things unbalanced and favoring whole or part over the other . A key thing about christianity is that it will forgive any apparent imbalance to the extreme of self destruction, but the self destruction is only apparent and not real ! This last idea is explored in the animation entitled HESUS JOY CHRIST / Matthew's Two Four which is a chapter about ends .

If whole and part are termed male and female, then this forgiveness that exists between the sexes will allow marriage, which is capable of creation, if not joy and contentment . The whole of HESUS JOY CHRIST points to marriage as the further salvation of humankind, which is based on the essential character of Jesus that is essential for any successful marriage of any whole and part or male and female .

All people are called to different vocations, whether single celibacy, marriage, or other . Marriage is essential to society as a union of whole and part that creates new meaning and life . Marriage is a resource that produces new understanding and creates far more than just babies . This in no way diminishes christianity, because without ultimate forgiveness and sacrifice no marriage will survive . It will end when a partial or whole attitude fails to forgive a whole or partial attitude . Once one has taken up the challenge of Christ and begun to follow him, some sort of witness of the union of whole and part is where one must head, fully armed with forgiveness .

Moving on, evil is real, and forgiveness is how to deal with it . This third chapter of the Gospel of Matthew is about Jesus' baptism by his cousin, John the Baptist . John the Baptist was not preaching forgiveness, nor rebirth through death from forgiveness, but repentance which is turning from doing evil and trying again . Obedience to the Law, as turning from evil, will make balance apparent and allow the balance to be acknowledged and seen . But no one has ever been able to obey the fullest intent of the Law without the benefit of infinite grace . In other words, no one has ever been able to keep the Law when circumstances were against them . Jesus was able to obey the Law but it lead to his very public death . Many others have died obeying the Law in much less honoured deaths . Death – what is it really ? Death will be discussed elsewhere – perhaps in a further discussion of Matthew's Two Four .

Finally, one may choose to keep the issue of the existence of God out of this discussion . For my part, God is an infinite goal, infinitely present as an infinite goal, colouring our perception of existence . Whether God is a person, male or female, is beyond this immediate discussion, but worth discussing in some other writing . Suffice it to say, for now, that whatever has been created exists within infinite and it is all, entirely, good .


Ash Wednesday, March 9th, 2011


Opening Notes

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Gospel of Matthew - Chapter Three

HESUS JOY CHRIST / Matthew's Three Fold is written very tightly to this chapter of the Bible. It really doubles, if not more than doubles, one's appreciation of the animation which is to screen at the Revue Cinema's Drop Your Shorts open screening this Thursday.

The Gospel of Matthew - Chapter Three

New International Version


This FIRST CITATION OR VERSE is always the Original Gospel Text of the Third Chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, New International Version .

This SECOND CITATION OR VERSE is always the text of the animation - HESUS JOY CHRIST / Matthew's Three Fold , written by R David Foster .

Verse 1 from the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter Three

1 In those days, John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea . . .

Verse 1 from HESUS JOY CHRIST / Matthew's Three Fold , written by R David Foster .

1 In those days Joan preached to the converted and got nowhere, . . .

Verse 1 Discussion

John the Baptist, who was he ? In a book called The Pagan Christ, some academic makes the case that the people of the Bible, specifically Jesus, never really existed as persons, but were created by theologians to justify a mythology of Christ . I find it irrelevant whether they ever actually existed as persons, because the mythology of Christ makes sense to me regardless . I do however feel that the author of such a book doesn't even believe his own ideas if he cannot entertain the possibility that a mythology could be real .

Religion is not a window onto the world, it is the world . The whole of existence is fodder for religion, even to within our own senses, within our perceptions . When I read something I consider the ideas put forth against my experience, which accumulates daily, and try to find sense in what I read that fits with my experience . To me, John the Baptist was a devoutly religious person from his upbringing, who could not tolerate common society, and that drove him into the desert, away from society . I know this feeling . With me, what I found in the wilderness, on the doorstep to infinite, called me back to society, where people were far more interesting, even if at times exasperating, than any rock, tree, lake, bush or animal . John, on the other hand, apparently still encountered people who came across him from time to time, who were curious about him, how he lived, and his ideas put forth in what he said . Society went to him, rather than John coming back to society . Jesus went out in the desert, in the fourth chapter of Matthew, but came back to society . Another example of the type of person John may have been, is the actor Charlie Sheen, and the meltdown he experienced in the winter of 2011 . Mania is probably not too far from how John the Baptist presented himself .

If John was a man, so be it . His gender is irrelevant . So I created a preacher named Joan. If John was in the desert, people had to travel to meet him . It took the effort of a special trip . If he had been in an auditorium what difference would it have made . The only difference it would have made would be that he was supported by sufficiently affluent members of society . Today many preachers are beyond established churches preaching their own comprehension of the ancient texts . This is what John was doing . Nobody told him what to say, just like the modern preachers speak from their own heart, even if their interests may be questionable . John was in this category .

Hopefully you recognize the expression “ preaching to the converted “ . What is the point of such a love in ? It will accomplish less than what is ultimately possible . Furthermore, by all the heads nodding in agreement, everyone accepts the teachings of this preacher Joan . Is she content with that ? I hope not . A good preacher hopes her words will move people to live a greater

life through understanding, love and joy . Joan did not enjoy such a pleasure . She “got nowhere“. I am sure she may have felt like the voice of one calling in the wilderness . If a preacher speaks and there is no one to hear it, does she make a sound ? She may just as well be alone in a desert for all her effort . Nevertheless, she trudges on .

The point is that a preacher is a talker. Sure they have an understanding, which they feel compelled to share, and that may be worthwhile, but could there be more ? Jesus was more . He healed, however he was able to do that, but more importantly, he voted with his feet, by placing himself squarely as a living example rather than just a mouthpiece . He was a master journeyman, investing his time in the people around him, apparently twelve of them, by getting right down to the same work he expected of them . Many people take offense at how preachers take money and a livelihood out of hard working people by just talking . The whole idea of a priesthood endures this criticism . Apparently Jesus had his concerns with the priesthood of his day . Nevertheless, he agreed that a worker is worth his keep, referring to his disciples . But don't forget that his disciples, including Paul, led by example . Paul was a tent maker, and worked as one as well as preached . Sure, they had ideas to get across, but they also did things and stood up for things as well. Imprisonment was common . Just read the book of Acts . These people could relate to others through personal experience, which many theologians and seminarians could easily lack . How much academia is necessary before one can be a benefit to society . The trick is how to maintain work and witnessing at the same time . It can be done to this day . To my knowledge, Jehovah's Witnesses suffice themselves with part time jobs so they have the time to knock on doors . Young members of the Church of Latter Day Saints spend a good part of their early adult years witnessing .

Jesus and John each gave their whole life to their ministry, suffering death for their preaching . Jim Baker lost everything, so only God knows a man's soul . The idea is more akin to tying a rope around yourself, and, after making sure the other end is secured to the vessel, diving into the waves of the storm to retrieve the lost, rather than throwing a lifeline from the safety of the ship . Look at people in soup kitchens, who serve the homeless in spite of how repugnant their characters may be . The Salvation Army takes this approach . Who knows where a life following Christ will lead ? Let me assure you it will have a good portion of adventure . And so will any marriage .

Lastly, I would like to address the intellectualisation ( yeah, I made up that word ! )of faith . Understanding is not the same as doing or being . Many people will applaud a good preacher for the interesting ideas they put forth . To me, reality is more bizarre than most people can imagine . I do not need to be entertained in church . I have enough going on in my life of following christly balance to keep me interested . In my Roman Catholic parish, the priest's homily speaks to my spiritual life, rather than my mind alone . I am not looking for intellectual agility – a life following christ has plenty of that . I am looking for immediate solutions, which always surprise me by not appearing on my schedule, yet well in time . These solutions come in my heart when I follow other's witness, as well as God's presence . Suffice it to say that reality is far more intellectually agile than any good preacher, and more quiet . ______

Ash Wednesday, March 9th, 2011


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