Friday, May 23, 2014

2066- HERACLITUS- Ok- lets pick up on my philosophy stuff.
Heraclitus lived in the 6th/5th century BC. - He was from Ephesus and his key thought was Ever Present Change.

That is he saw everything as being in a state of continual flux- one of his famous sayings was ‘No man ever steps into the same river twice’.

He is called the Weeping Philosopher- sort of like the prophet Jeremiah in the bible- also called the Weeping Prophet.

Heraclitus is known for his concept of the Logos- the Word- or thought/reason.

Now- this aspect of his thought plays a role in the development of the Christian understanding of Christ himself- in our New Testaments [written in Greek] Jesus is indeed referred to as the Logos- or Word of God.

The Greek philosophers understanding of the Logos was not the same as the Christian view- mainly expressed thru the writings of John [The gospel- the 3 epistles- and Revelation].
But- some see the Greek view as a precursor to Christ.

In the work of one of the early church fathers- Hippolytus ‘The Refutation of all Heresies’ he attacks Heraclitus view of the Logos as an early form of heresy.

The apologist Justin Martyr is more gracious- he [Like Ulrich Zwingli- the great Swiss reformer of the 16th century] viewed the early Geek thinkers as ‘pre- Christian’ or ‘Christians before Christ’.

Though many reject this view- yet there is some scripture to back it up.
The apostle Paul said in his letter to the Romans that if the Gentiles [non-Jews] do by nature the things contained in the law- then they are justified in God’s sight.

Of course these things are debatable- but I add this to show you that some great Christian thinkers did indeed view the early Greek thinkers- who did live by a moral code- as being right in God’s eyes.

And the bible does teach a theme that we will be judged according to the amount of light [understanding] that we had at the time.

I should note that Plato [one of the 3 titans that arose after Heraclitus- from the city/state of Athens] disagreed with Heraclitus on all things being in a state of constant change.

When [if?] we get to Socrates- Plato and Aristotle- I’ll try and cover the ways they advanced- built upon- the thought of the pre Socratic thinkers.

As a side note- the most famous student of Aristotle- who was the most famous student of Plato- who was the most famous student of Socrates- was Alexander the Great.

This goes to show you how great an influence Greek philosophy had on the ancient world.

A few nuggets from Heraclitus- ‘all things come to pass in accordance with this Logos’ ‘follow the common’ ‘not having their own judgment’.

Recently I covered Acts chapter 2- and we see some of these ideas in the early Christian movement.
The first Christians did ‘follow the common’ they sold their goods- and had ‘all things common’ [communal lifestyle].

The apostle Paul teaches the early church to all ‘speak the same thing- that there be no divisions among you’.
And the New Testament also says the scripture should not be given to Private Interpretation- meaning- ‘not having your own personal judgment’.

All in all- we do indeed see a sort of pre Christian thought in the pre Socratic thinkers- they did indeed speak of the Divine- God- though there understanding of him was not the same as the Christian church.

In a sense- Heraclitus idea that in life- the only ‘constant’ is the fact that there is no constant- that life itself is made up of an ongoing journey- we live day by day- not ever knowing what ‘the next day will bring forth’- Jesus.

Yeah- the man had some good points- the later Stoics would consider Heraclitus as the father of their movement.
And in the study of Philosophy- the Stoics- who had a good run from a few years before the Common Era- were overtaken in the 4th century [as the main influential philosophy of the time] by some new and lasting philosophy- started by a man named Jesus Christ- who his followers claimed rose from the dead.
Yeah- this New Way was called Christianity- and this philosophy has endured now for over 2 thousand years.


Yesterday I spent the morning at the mission- had no meeting scheduled for the day- so I try and use this time to help the guys.

Lance- one of the young guys I see as a son- had to take care of some tax stuff- he never filed his taxes- so wanted to do it late.
I took him to the IRS building downtown- and he had an appointment for about an hour and a half later.
So- we drove down to the water front and hung out for an hour.

I realized I was right next to the American Bank Center- so I decided to buy the tickets for the Chicago concert coming next week.

As we sat next to the Lexington air craft carrier- I said ‘hey kid- why don’t I baptize you today’.

I have been meaning to start baptizing the boys again- it’s been around 24 years since I’ve done this.

Lance came with me to our new Kingsville meeting the other day- David Buentello hosts this one.
He was part of the original church I started in Kingsville back in 1987- David told the guys ‘yeah- many years ago John baptized us in the ocean- there were jelly fish all around- and John said ‘don’t worry- lets just do it’.

We did!

It was funny- these guys have long records- my original Kingsville crew did many years in prison- not like most of the Corpus guys.

I remember the faces of these ex-cons- when they realized we were swimming with jelly fish- they panicked- I laughed.

So- we went back to the IRS building- and took care of business.

Before we came back to the Bluff- I drove over the harbor bridge- and yeah- we jumped in the bay.

I’ll post the pics- this will be our designated spot for baptisms- North beach.

They just opened up a Philly Cheese steak spot about 6 months ago right here- I took my wife about a month ago.

I remember feeling uncomfortable that day- when we went in I talked to the girl at the counter ‘Hey- I’m from New Jersey- do I get a discount’?

Of course I was joking.
As I walked out with my wife- I heard ‘by John’.

Real loud.

I thought she was talking to some else- no- she was saying by.

I mean I don’t know the girl- but it was a little strange- my wife was right there!

Anyway- me and Lance waded into the surf- and I baptized him.

The water was nice- we swam for a bit- sure enough- I realized I was bumping into Jelly Fish.

I didn’t say anything at first- but after a few minutes I said ‘kid- you know we are swimming with Jelly Fish’.

The look on his face was just like the day I baptized the Kingsville guys here 20 years ago- I mean it was funny.

Lance- a kid with quite a bad rap sheet- panicked a bit- I’m sorry- I had to laugh.

I told him ‘don’t worry- I’m claiming that verse- no deadly thing will hurt you’.

Actually- I don’t feel any stings- I don’t think Lance did either.
He said ‘John- I was petting them’.

He said this after he realized we were in the water with them- he didn't know he was ‘petting them’ at first.

About a month ago I was driving the boys back from our Bishop meeting- had Whistler with me.

I took the Joe Fulton road- it’s a little out of the way- but you can see the deep water Port from this road- and all the big tanker ships from around the world.
We drove right past the area where I baptized Lance.

Whistler just got out of jail and told me he had some strange dreams in jail.

He said he had a dream that he was in the water- kind of preparing the way for others to follow- he said at one point he was in the middle of a bunch of jelly fish- they were stinging him- but he kept going.

Sort of like taking the stings for others.

I have not seen Whistler in over a month- Lance thinks he might be dead.

I hope not.

Whistler was the one who ‘gave the interpretation’ of his dream- he told me he felt like he was a fore runner in a way- and others will come after him.

Yeah- me and Lance did- and thanks Whistler- we felt no stings.

1Corinthians 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
1Corinthians 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
1Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


Just a note before I do the teaching for this week.
Yesterday- right after I wrote the last post [you know- swimmin’ with the jelly fish] I took the boys to Bishop for our meeting.

I knocked on the door of Eli’s house- and Little Rudy opened- 
‘Wow- brother John!’
Rudy is the son [grandson] of the original group of guys I started the ministry with 25 years ago.

His dad has been in prison for a while- and the Kingsville meeting with David B- well he used to run with Rudy- not only friends- but Big Rudy [aka FuFu- don’t get this wrong- FuFu is not weak- or girly!] was also married to David’s sister Mary.
I know- it’s hard for me to keep track of all this.

So- I haven’t seen little Rudy in about 15 years.
As we did our meeting- Little Rudy tells the guys ‘Yeah- brother John baptized me in the ocean- and there were Jelly Fish stinging us’!

Funny- I told him I just wrote on this earlier in the day.

Ok- in the meetings this week [and tonight] I have been teaching the famous love chapter penned by the Apostle Paul to the church at Corinth [1st Corinthians 13].
The Apostle tells us that Love is the principal thing.

He says Knowledge- though good to have- is only in part- meaning there will come a day when ‘we shall know- even as we are known’ and at that time- we will all be on the same level- perfect knowledge in the presence of God.

The same goes for Wisdom- the gift of Prophecy.

He says even if we have faith to move mountains- and have not love- it does not benefit.

If we sell all our stuff and give it to the poor- without love- it doesn’t mean anything.

If we give our bodies to be burned [see- once again dying for God- in the early church- was also seen as noble!].

All of these noble things- without love- don’t really count.

A friend of mine shared some bible chapters with me a while back- and this past year I have been trying to ‘hear God’ thru the things my friends share.

So one day David says ‘yeah- I went to the mission church the other night- and they talked about Hosea- the first 3 chapters’.

Being I do the halfway house with David- and these verses came from a sort of street preacher- I knew they would have significance.

As I read the chapters later that night- to be honest- I really wasn’t getting anything.

Then in chapter 3- God tells the prophet ‘go- love a woman loved of her friend- yet and adulteress- with the love of the Lord’ [I’ll try and post the exact verse at the end].

Hosea was given a hard task- he would marry a hooker- love her- and she would learn to be faithful to him.

God did this strange act as a sign- he said this was the way God’s people treated him.

They were unfaithful to God- they sought spirituality [which is in the heart of us all] thru other means [occult- false god’s- even Lucifer himself!].

Now- when people do this- they are convinced that ‘their god’ is just as legitimate as the Christian God.

Paul told the Corinthians that satan has blinded the minds of those that don’t believe [in the Christian God- as revealed thru Christ].

So- God’s people- well- were blinded.

They thought seeking after other god’s was ok- it wasn’t.

The letter of James says ‘the Spirit that dwells in us gets jealous- know ye not that to love the world is to reject God’.
So God gets jealous- he loves us- he made us- and then we go after other sources of spirituality- and it hurts him.

What Hosea did- in a way- was what Jesus did.
In the gospels we read about the great miracles of Jesus- actually all the things that are in the love chapter quoted above.

Jesus did miracles- spoke prophetic words- gave his body to ‘be burned’ [died on the Cross].
Yet- the thing that hooked people- was his love.

Mary Magdalene was one of his closest followers- she saw him every day- how he gave his life for others.

She saw how he gave voice to people- to the women who were ‘silenced’ by the culture of the time.

When a hooker cried- poured oil on his feet- wiped them with her tears.

The religious leaders saw this- they said ‘if he were a prophet he would know what type of person this is’.

He did Know!!

That’s the thing- he loved her anyway- he forgave- he accepted- he let their side of the story be told- for the first time.
These women- they saw all the miracles he did- the raising of the dead- opening up of the eyes of the blind.

I mean they were part of the crowd too.

But then he engaged with them- he went out of his way to talk to the Samaritan woman at the well [John’s gospel- chapter 4].

Even she was shocked that he gave her the time of day.

These past few weeks I have been posting some intellectual stuff- that’s ok.

I have been helping out the guys- giving my time [and spending my money] on this stuff.

But God spoke to me- most people can tell when I get irritable- or out and out mad.

Then I read the love chapter- love doesn’t respond like this.

It’s not irritable- or rude- it doesn’t seek its own welfare- but that of others.

Jesus showed us love- he gave his life for people- people who never felt like they had value.

People who couldn’t seem to find purpose in life.

Mary Magdalene is said to have a pretty bad past- like the woman Hosea loved- by God’s command!

After the death of Jesus- Mary was distraught.
She went to the grave- and even though she thought his body was still dead- she hoped to at least get it back.

When she realized Jesus was alive- and speaking to her- he said ‘don’t touch me- I have not yet ascended to my Father’.

She was wanting to hug him- hold him- show affection to him.

He was the first one who really loved her- that’s why.

Hosea 3:1 Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.
Hosea 3:2 So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley:
Hosea 3:3 And I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee.
1Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
1Corinthians 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
1Corinthians 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
1Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
1Corinthians 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
1Corinthians 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
1Corinthians 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
1Corinthians 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
1Corinthians 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
1Corinthians 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
1Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
1Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
1Corinthians 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. [note- charity is love- this is the old King James version].

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [FaceBook#] - I have posted lots.

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