Mar 6th 2008 8:29AM Not true, Joe!
There was a man named Josephus. I think it was Josephus Flavius, in fact. The man was a Jew, not a Christian, so he wrote outside the early Christian tradition--he was an outside observer.
In his writings he chronicles many of the sayings and actions of Jesus of Nazareth. THE Jesus of Nazareth. In his writings some of the Gospel events are even confirmed by this outside source, non-christian, historical document.
Kind of ironic since you carry the guy's name!
Mar 5th 2008 9:58PM I don't know what Bible you're reading, but if it IS the Christian Bible, you are not reading it in the same Spirit who wrote it.
God is a loving God. Read The first 3 chapters of the first book, Genesis.(Please) We turned away from Him; He did NOT turn away from us! God created everything good. Death, disease, labor, etc. did not appear until we disobeyed his ONE command.
I don't know who or what has hurt you, but I pray that you find healing and peace. God loves YOU personally. He went so far as to become human through His Son, Jesus. Think of the humility and love it takes for an infinite God to don human flesh and limitations! (Just think, the very God who created the universe became a helpless little babe, dependent for everything on the very creatures He created!)
Then when the time was right, He submitted to a very cruel, extremely painful, tortuous death, just to heal the rift between humanity and God. He loves you so much, that even if YOU personally were the ONLY person in the whole world in need of salvation, He would still have gone through it all--just so you could have a chance at eternal perfect happiness with Him in heaven.
He longs to enfold you in His loving arms. However, He will not interfere with your free will. You must accept His willing sacrifice on your part. He loves you enough that He would never force you to accept it.
I am more than willing to discuss this further if you wish to find out more of the TRUTH about God and His true role in salvation history.
I pray that you experience the love and joy He has to offer.
Mar 5th 2008 8:51AM Know what's in the hearts of the vintners, do you? Sorry, that ability is reserved to God alone! Judge not! Lest ye be judged!
If they were selling "Jesus soap," made in Jersey (No offense to my brothers and sisters in Jersey) that would be one thing. This is an item, similar to items used in Christian worship services throughout the world, with a tangible geographic basis in the Holy Land.
Is it wrong to sell crosses and crucifixes? How about Bibles? People OBVIOUSLY "use" Jesus to sell Bibles--the whole Bible, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 is all about Jesus. Is the selling of Bibles wrong?
There are some valid reasons for selling religious articles. Using them to remind one of their Faith and increase the practice of their Faith is one. Increasing the time and attention you spend to matters of Faith brings you closer to Jesus, and that is, my brothers, what "it" is all about.
I for one, WANT and LIKE the idea of drinking wine watered by the Jordan, Grown by the Sea of Galilee. It warms my heart and comforts me to think of the vines growing in the same region where Jesus said "I am the vine, you are the branches."
Cuddling up in a warm blanket with a warm cup of cocoa on a cold winter's day doesn't save you from the winter, but it sure does feel nice for a while.
Will drinking this wine save you? Obviously not. One has to accept the free gift of God's saving Grace. One accepts this Grace by Faith working through Love, just as the Bible says.
However, that doesn't mean that things which bring you closer to the Saviour turn evil, just because somebody makes a buck on it somewhere along the line. I don't know of anywhere that the Bible says money is evil.*
Please, my brethren, don't be quick to condemn! Self-righteous indignation may feel good temporarily, but it is not the stuff of which Salvation is made!
*(It does, however say that the LOVE OF money is the root of evil.)