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SHAME AND THE CROSS

Learning from the disgrace of the crucifixion.

Shame and the Cross

In February of tenth grade, a huge longhaired guy named Mike beat me up after school. He had learned that a male friend had sexually abused me when I was young. Concluding that I was a "faggot" (as he so eloquently put it), Mike decided I deserved to be beaten up. To him it was a simple mathematical equation. The fight didn't last very long. I spent most of my free time reading books and playing video games—not activities that make one much of a fighter. Mike got me in a headlock, I cried uncle, and that was it.

Well, that wasn't quite it. I had dug a deep grave to bury the secret of my sexual abuse, and now that secret was unearthed.

In the months after the fight with Mike, I wandered the halls at lunch hour, pretending I had somewhere to go when I really didn't. I had a few friends, but I spent most of my time with them drinking—the more alcohol the better. I had a couple of girlfriends in high school, but those relationships were based heavily on physical intimacy. Alcohol and sex provided a mind-numbing escape from shame. My hunger for intimacy battled with the terror of being truly known.

Looking back, I wonder: where was God? Why, if Jesus is so loving and full of compassion, wasn't he around? There was the psychologist with her flash cards and Rorschach tests. There was my high school English teacher who encouraged my writing. But from God, not a peep. The Christians I knew seemed to think that all God cared about was that people "accept Jesus into their hearts," remain sexually pure, not drink, and be happy.
 
I finally did "accept Jesus into my heart" the year after high school. I was longing to fit in and be accepted by the group of Christian friends I had met. Yet the cross, as they explained it to me, did not seem to address my deep experiences of shame and my fear of intimacy.

The significance of the cross, according to my evangelical friends, was as a payment for human sin, which offends God's holiness. According to the rules of divine justice, "the wages of sin is death." Jesus paid our death penalty, offering himself as a sacrifice in our place—a sacrifice he was qualified to make because of his life of perfect obedience. God's anger was turned away from our sin and poured out on Jesus, thus enabling us to be in relationship with God.

In ways I only vaguely understood then, this relationship had its limits. If my shame-filled memories had to be "covered by the blood of Jesus" before God could know me, then God wasn't in the business of truly knowing. God had to kill Jesus because God couldn't stand me as I really am. God's plan for salvation seemed to mirror my plan for dealing with shame: (1) Dig a really big hole and bury it. (2) Present a shiny, perfect exterior and hide the mess.

It's as if Jesus were saying, "Take up your shovel and follow me. If you let others see you as you truly are, they will reject you, and so will my judgmental Father in heaven."

Those shame-filled experiences—the ones that Jesus' blood supposedly covered—didn't feel covered. I had "accepted Jesus," but shame continued to cripple me, and I could never fully believe that God had accepted me. Until, that is, I started to reflect more deeply on the meaning of the cross.

Roman crucifixion was explicitly designed to bring shame upon its victims. Crucifixion was the public execution of a naked person whose crimes were posted on a sign at the top of the cross; death by crucifixion took hours, prolonging the humiliation. A naked body dangling from a wooden cross clearly sent the message, "Anyone who dares to defy the Roman Empire is worthless, not even deserving of a decent death." But there God was, in Jesus. Jesus' death on a cross demonstrates the depths to which humanity will sink. We crucified God, the very God who became incarnate as a tender expression of love and compassion.
 
Jesus' cry from the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" demonstrates that he experienced first-hand what it means to be rejected. Jesus' cry brings back the dark, painful memories of times when I have screamed heavenward at God, "Where were you?" The crucifixion reveals a God who is willing to be vulnerable, who chooses to bear the pain of shame and rejection. On the cross God meets us in our shame.
 
But does the cross mean God can save me from the effects of my shame? I've been tripped up repeatedly by the way I was taught to associate the cross with the need to repent of specific sinful acts. I have repented more times than I care to think about, "God, I'm sorry for the abuse I suffered. God, I'm sorry for the way the abuse cripples me. God, I'm sorry that I feel so worthless." Certainly, I do things that require repentance. But God doesn't ask me to repent of the sexual abuse I suffered as a child—nor does he leave me to suffer its consequences alone. Instead, on the cross Jesus enters into my shame and experiences its destructive influence, and then he triumphs over its power in the resurrection. The resurrection is our hope that God will wipe every shame-filled tear from our eyes. The resurrection is a call to every shamed, oppressed, hopeless, scared, messed-up person out there: "He is risen!"
 
Actually living according to that good news is a process for me. But Jesus offers a window of hope into a new way of living, and so does a little community that has helped me discover his way of healing and liberation from shame. In a small room every Wednesday morning, I meet with three other men. We share about all the messiness, ugliness, and brokenness—and the victories—of our lives. I am free to say, "I looked at some stuff on the Internet that wasn't good for me," or "My marriage feels like it's falling apart," or, "Hey, I had a great day yesterday." I don't need to fear rejection, nor that my friends won't take the time to celebrate small victories with me. The God I encounter in this community is not a big, angry God. Instead, through my friends I encounter the one who lived among us, sharing in the experience of being a vulnerable person; died, sharing in the experience of shame; and rose, offering to share his unquenchable life with all of us.

Encountering this God has taken my focus off myself. Shame drives me inward—I bow my head, afraid to look others in the eye. Love and affirmation give me freedom to welcome others as I take my place as a beloved child in God's house. According to Romans 8:29, Jesus is "the firstborn within a large family." The cross issues an invitation to all who live in isolation, shame, and fear to come, lay down their shovels, and join God's family.

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January 28, 2004

DAVID EDWIN EAGLE was a student at the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary in Fresno, California when he wrote this article. He is currently Pastor of Saanich Community Church, a Mennonite congregation in Victoria, British Columbia.

Reprinted with permission of the author. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Regeneration Quarterly.

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READER COMMENTS
05.26.04   alexander caughey says:
Hi Jonathan, You make an excellent point, however, so many of us have chosen to make this great symbol of suffering and ultimate resurrection, into an object of self-flagellation and the crucifix then takes on a life of its own, separate from that of the centre of our focus, which is Christ. That this greatest of symbols of love through shame, torture, humiliation and death, should take on a life of its own, might well suggest that the crucifix is being adored rather than the Christ, whose life and death, it celebrates. Symbols have their purpose and I am an enthusiast for the culture of our church and its many beautiful works of arts, celebrating God's beauty in our lives, but the danger is us turning these works of art, into idols of worship. Today's society has enough idols of worship, through sporting personalities, film stars etc. without transferring our focus from the centre of Eternal Love, to that of creating another idol, out of symbols. Moses recognised this danger, when he returned from the mountain with the tablets of stone, to face a calf of gold, being worshipped by his impatient brothers and sisters. As long as these symbols remain symbols then we will be able avoid idol worship.

05.25.04   Jonathan Kinsman says:
Pastor Eagle's article brings up a good point.It would be enlightening to learn when we Christians (of Catholic ilk) began using the crucifix or the cross as a symbol of our faith, and quit using the (now) ubiquitous two line 'fish' symbol.To use a symbol of shameful and demeaning death for Unconquerable Love and Everlasting Life and Perfect Mercy was a stroke of the greatest genius. It is similar to those groups who take a cognomen or nickname meant to debase and wear it proudly like a rose. Think of "Queer Nation" and some white Americans proudly calling themselves "rednecks."It seems we take the shame and make it a badge of honor, indeed, a mark of distinction among the mobile vulgus.Back at the same time, our cross becomes jewelry and loses is bare, singular power of redemption through encrustation of diamonds and 24 carat gold. When we take on the shame (as the adulterous woman in John) we shame others from hypocrisy.Good article.Jonathan

05.19.04   alexander caughey says:
Hi Jonathan, Perfidious Albion must take her responsibility for the willingness of so many Americans to find the right directions to wards living life as life should be lived. That Britannia is very happy that so many of her fanatically inclined folk, transported themselves to the New World and freedom from Anglican oppression, must tell us a lot about the history of the United States and its appetite for freedom of expression and pluralism, so creatively formed out of the wilderness of North America.That a German King and his Hessian and Hanoverian regiments, did such a lousy job in trying to prevent English/Scottish/Irish and Welsh colonists from daring to opt out of merry olde England's grasp, must say a lot about Britannia's willingness to avoid importing more German princes to settle outstanding accounts, especially on the matter of ensuring that the Puritans were to ensure that the rest of the world would be liberated from the likes of Kaiser Bill, Adolphus Schicklegruber, General Tojo, Benito Mussolini et al. That the fanaticism of so many Puritans of the new American persuasion has enabled democracy to conquer the world, must say a lot for Unitarians, ala Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklyn, especially, when the first Post Master General of the United States, dared to be born and raised in corrupt and less than merry, olde England. Now Jonathan, I am not a supporter of Cromwell but he did get a lot right, even if the fun was taken out of living and the appetite for not enjoying life, so evident in the lives of so many Puritans, must indicate that we Catholics can iron out this misconception, by ensuring that our appetite for living, is on display. That our latter day friends, the Mormons, are so enthusiastic for spreading their ideas, says little about their enthusiasm for not understanding why we Catholics prefer to avoid engaging in debates with those who see Christ as a spaceman. Cape Canaveral, might well be the origins of so many of the problems of the Mormon brotherhood. Humour aside, that we who are able to be proud of our history of Protestant enlightenment and seed sowing, should now feel the need to embrace all of those who dare to spend their lives living for the creation of more denominations than we can count or remember or even understand, must tell us that rebellion is a fact of life and with the history of the United States, as our best example, of the best in us being the best that we can be, should surely engage us to be more enthusiastic in our willingness to set an example of how we can live for the betterment of others, without appearing to be better than those who are in need of our better side of enjoying life.I believe that Catholicism is a lot richer and stronger, as a result of the resistance shown by so many people, who were willing to stand-up and be counted as soldiers for reform of that time in the life of our church, when reform was long over due. Jonathan, as you have said and rightly so, Catholicisms strength, lies in its appeal to the human race and not just to those who are of one region or another of planet Earth. In hope of this appeal being heeded by those in need of the appeal of Catholicism, I wish you a hearty good dinner, hopefully irrigated with some good California wine. Alex

05.18.04   Jonathan Kinsman says:
Alex:Your courtesy in not mentioning my editorial lapse is commendable. I had forgotten (when I was called away) that I had already begun my answer. You bring up another thoughtful point: the catholicity of our Catholic faith. We have Orders Galore: more Faith less Works, or if you prefer, more Works less Faith, Religious Mendicant, Religious Preaching, Religous in all its variegated textures. And for us Laity!This is the strength of our Faith: we can have Anglican use, Coptic rite, Latin rite and so forth and still be within the same widening gyre of DNA ! (that's Divine Numinous Authority!). Suffer me a moment here, my friend. Four gospels, four amino acids: all the stuff of life in endless variation and richness. Not to mention our very own Talmudic Rabbi: Saint Paul (the Administrator).Your comments on the 'orthodox' and 'mystical' aspects of religion calls to mind those silly English colonials (my paternal ancestors) who brought their variations on a theme (cafeteria Christianity) to these shores. Puritan to Congregational to Unitarian to United Church of Christ to [franchisees welcome! see Lease agent on premises!]. Mmmmm, not California, but Mother England bears the blame for bringing such odd fruit trees to our land. [end of light aside]Do you agree that one can be fervent in faith and practice and yet loving of non-believers? I say yes. But do we have a (religious) duty to witness our faith in words to these unlettered souls? Islam says convert or be put to the sword, New Agers chant, recluses recuse and Mormons agitate and prosletyze without rest. Should we be active as Catholics in proclaiming our faith, or should we "live life my way"?Alex, forgive the tautology. I may have answered my own question, but, I used to think that the rituals and the prayers and the fellowship were enough. Now I secretly read (while my wife is asleep) books by our Church Fathers, Chesterton on Francis, Wills on Agustine, and Jewish scholars. I joined a local SFO chapter next to my military post so as to avoid answering uncomfortable questions on why from my family. I crave the words of those who work with the broken and unfortunate, I desire to be of some use to our Lord's will but am at a loss at where to begin.Peace to you friend, your views are bracing as the breeze off Morro Rock.Jonathan

05.18.04   alexander caughey says:
Hi Jonathan, A further thought. That Southern California is to be considered a paradise for those of us who would plant churches of some what indescribable flavour, would suggest that people are aware that we are all a concoction of each other and that with the right experimentation in mixing, there might well arise a flavour that will attract the attention of us all. That our own Church of universal appeal is a continuous process, of some two thousand years of shaking and stirring, should teach us that as our lives are in fluid growth, so must our development of our willingness to adapt that one unchangeable message of life, to suit the needs of that diversity found in the diverseness of the human thirst for God.That that unchangeable message of Our Lord remains a constant and timely reminder of all things that are born to die, so must our energy for living, recognise the needs of people for their own desires to find that path which beckons them to wards their purpose for living. Your reference to the fellow who acts out the role of a priest of the Greek Orthodox Church, would tell me that the "priest" in question, would find life in Agios Oros (Mount Athos) more than he could cope with, for it would entail him living according to the strictures of a Christian community that requires its followers to recognise that we are all a little of the whole and wholeness is that which creates Heaven in this life of living in the process of searching for Eternity. That the "orthodox" communities place special emphasis on the "mystical" aspects of their religion, should also suggest that there is more to our lives than endeavouring to squeeze out of The Bible, more than it contains. That there is a multitude of Christian denominationsin the United States, might also remind us that more does not equal better and despite the variety of opinion (and vibrant debate) within our own community, there is hope that all will be well when we recognise that our strength always lies within the confines of those who understand that none is perfect and therefore there is no necessity for restraining expression of ideas that might well expand our own vision of perfection in the making. That Bishop Sheridan (not my diocese, thank God!) has stated that the Holy Eucharist should be denied to those who would not support Catholic doctrine, is to suppose that those who do support Catholic doctrine are holier than the rest of us. That I am within the ranks of those who consider myself less than I should like to be, might also indicate that I am one of those who should be denied the real presence of Our Lord, in my life. That my needs are greater than those who are patently closer to Christ, might also indicate that my needs for Jesus, in my life, are more of a priority. Clearly, I would keep matches well away from this Bishop, for fear of him igniting more than a debate on the needs of the less than perfect. There again, perfection is what we make of it, so it is likely that this Bishop will learn that his own willingness to listen to others, might well be his growth into the person he would like to become. Saint Ignatius of Antioch is rumoured to have said the following (circa 100 AD - I think!!) (my translation)In flowering forth doth yonder shootOf life in growth in He does but growUs to be in Him of all that we must beIf we are to be His image in us but beIn all that life will but give us beI am sorry to say that the initial KJ version has also polluted my thinking processes. May be there's hope for me in some fundamentalist chapel called Zion. Alex, always hopeful.

05.17.04   alexander caughey says:
Hi Jonathan, It is always the way of things that life presents us all with many opportunities to live and spread the Words of Life, that are so well set out in all the early writings of the Apostles, Church Fathers and the wonderful traditions of our Church of Sinners. That you will not find too many churches in Southern California, advertising themselves in this manner, will tell us all, that the willingness of so many to neglect this fact of life, is perhaps the cause of so much ignorance in understanding our own imperfect state. That the Master has chosen all of us to find our way through life, by asking us to live our lives His way and not our natural way, will also tell us that Heaven is not to be found in a church building but in our own lives. That our Church is our instrument of guidance to wards that purpose for living our lives, should also remind us that we need our Holy Mother the Church of Christ, in order that we find our way through the highways and bye ways of life's hurdles and obstacles. I bother not one iota what the other man believes, for it is my life that matters to me and my patience for the religious beliefs and cruel attacks on my own religion, is but my acceptance that my own Church is filled with sinners and thank God for it, for I would dread to worship in a church filled with those who are perfect, for not only would I feel very uncomfortable but I suspect that I would even feel somewhat of an alien.Now, Southern California has an a reputation for UFOs but that's for Halloween and not for the merry month of May, so I'll leave that subject for another time. That we Catholics are perhaps an example of what is good in God's creation, should enable us to influence our fellows by the way we live, for it is by our example of understanding that perfection is to be worked on by our daily living and that the unfortunate understanding that "once saved, always saved", is to neglect the fact that saving for heaven is a daily task, to be worked at, until we finish our journey of saving. That journey's end can be seen as a bank savings account, being totalled, is perhaps my way of saying that we get out of life, what we put into it and that life's end is the recognition of interest being assigned by the one who created the account. To be less serious is to be aware that life's little hurdles are for our own willingness to raise us a little higher every day that we continue in the race that we call life.Jonathan, the world is a life for living and I continue to live my life my way and I am sure, that from time to time, I will set some of my Catholic brothers, scurrying for the matches, so in anticipation of not igniting an atmosphere of warmth of heart, I will nevertheless wish you and your family, the warmest of salutes, knowing that the whole human race is always in the heart of the one whom you and I serve, with the love that surpasses all. Alex

05.17.04   Jonathan Kinsman says:
Thank you Alexander and greetings from Blessed Serra's San Miguel de Arcangel:Godspy does us all a great service in allowing these formats. And it is a great website, too!I sense a New Catholic Renaissance in this century, in time to strengthen the laity and give support and encouragement to the Church to live the Gospel and praise our God through our work, our art and our lives.I enjoy much of the Knox (what a polymath!) and usually refer to the NAB and Catholic NKJV. I have an old Confraternity version from the 50s that the pull of sentimentality continues to beckon to me.As to my response to Ted Miles. His website says it all: it is anti-Catholic and full of "I-know-something-you-don't-know" allegations all based upon what many nondenominational American christians believe to be THE WORD OF GOD (in Jacobean English, no less!): the Authorized Version of 1611[?].Allow me to quote the source: "Since both 'ye' and 'you' are used in the same verses in the HOLY BIBLE; It reasons that 'ye' should not be replaced with 'you' in modern Bibles."Its not that I fail to appreciate translations from other times and remote cultures (my superfluous undergraduate degree in Comparative Literature (French) and English Literature attests to this!) but that I live among fellow citizens who open shop as "The Rock: A Bible Church" or "St James Apostolic Orthodox Christian Church" or "New American Catholic Church" with little or less Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek or formal theological study.The "St James Apostolic Orthodox Christian Church" in Riverside, California (south of us), looks Greek Orthodox, smells Greek Orthodox, but the homilies are fire and brimstone Baptist-flavored. The minister (I have met him) did not attend a mainstream Protestant seminary, is not Roman or Greek Catholic in upbringing or inclination, nor has a working knowledge of Greek or Hebrew or Latin. Yet he looks like a Greek Orthodox priest (replete with beard and large cross).That is my concern with poor souls like Ted Miles: it is a church of one, a revelation of one, and there seems to be a very poor chance of meaningful dialogue between him and Catholic Christians.I do not know your life experience, Alexander, but I taught in the public high school system in southern California for approximately ten years. I was always being asked by my "born again" students why Catholics were not Christians. Where does one begin??!! So I am sorry if I came across a little harsh at Mr. Miles, but he is so extreme and batty in his views.Heck, Tertullian would get cross sometimes. So would St Augustine.As to the "Other Scriptures" issue: the Gnostic gospels and other apocryphal writings were excluded by early councils for various reasons. The Gospel of Thomas; the Book of Jubilees; the Book of the Bee; the list is legion (mmm, double entendre there!).Remember, St Theophilus of Antioch wrote of the Trinity in his Epistle to Autolycus, circa 180 AD. It was circulated and read in many of the early congregations. It is part of our collective history and our Church tradition, but it is not Scripture. I only meant to point out those Christians (such as Ted Miles) who put exclusive emphasis on one version of the Holy Bible and exclude Tradition and writings of the Fathers and other documents (such as Council creeds) are mistaken and in error. They may be well-intentioned but they are wrong in the mainstream Christian tradition.As a poet-playwright, I appreciate your metaphor of "life as scripture" but I wanted to stress avoiding falling for the "red letter" disease of "if-its-not-verbatim-its-verboten" way of thinking. The Gospels give us a view of His life and law from many angles, similar to the facets in a diamond (from girdle to culet and below). Room for discussion to be sure, but not room to be confined in through one particular English translation of approximately 400 years ago.Keep up the comments, you're good.JonathanThank you Alexander, and Greetings from the land of Junipero Serra!Many translations of the bible assist us in understanding the metaphoric context, the cultural context and the spiritual import. I think this is the reason why our Church and Tradition are deliberate in matters of exegesis.I, too, like the Catholic version of the NKJV, as well as the NAB and the Confraternity Version from the 50s. I have a few Tanakhs tha ther-in-law was born in British Palestine and was Jewish) and his teaching of Hebrew (its puns and its myriad connotations) increased my (literary) enthusiasm for further biblical expeditions.

05.13.04   alexander caughey says:
Hi Jonathan and thank you for your many, helpful and engaging contributions to "Godspy", always appreciated by one whose appetite for participating in learning discussions is only equalled by my desire to ensure that my own input is helpful and uplifting.My own preference for Bible reading is the Catholic edition of the NKJV, which along with experience of the Douay and Knox versions, is my ideal. Bible translations must and should remain the personal preference of the reader and the question of whether a version is a "poor translation" must remain a personal opinion. Even with the capability of our experts in first century Greek/Hebrew/Aramaic, the life experience of the translator will always influence the work of translation and that our uniqueness as individual human beings is an indication of the Creator's willingness to colour our lives with our own individual experiences, should not make us wary of appreciating Bible translations from earlier times and from cultures remote from our own. You will also recall that the "Tanakh" and the writings of the Apostles (extensively copied) acted as the scriptures of the Early Church and that the "Jewish Scriptures", although expanded by the Catholic Church, by way of the Apocrypha, is still very much part of the Christian tradition, be it with some book variation, according to denomination. You are correct to say that was no "Biblos" until about AD 398, as we know it today, subject to denominational tradition, but the Apostles written works and the Hebrew scriptures, featured prominently in the life of our earlier brothers and sisters, in Christ.That "Jesus did not write anything" is to neglect the fact that His life is the scripture that we now read and that although He did not put "pen to paper", He clearly wrote the whole story and His works are as much a part of the Old Testament as they are of the New Testament, when we believe in the Holy Trinity.In appreciation kai ena megalo efcharisto.

05.13.04   alexander caughey says:
If the self-sacrifice of Christ, on the cross, is to be taken seriously, it is to accept that the only sacrifice we must all make, is that of surrendering our natural self, to living in cooperation with the Spirit of God.That the action of the Holy Spirit will rid us of any shame, incurred by our own actions or the evil actions of others, should be enough therapy. That the Holy Spirit takes care of all our needs, from food to dealing with the rough and tumble of daily living, should also indicate that we need not fear for anything. In a close personal relationship with the Spirit of Hope and Love, we will journey our way through life, filled with problems and solutions, enabling us to grow into the person we are born to be. That the cross and the Bible, have for some. become idols of worship, when they are merely symbols of Christ's sacrifice and a guide to wards opening our door into the Kingdom of God, might suggest that the author of this message is a little "askew", when it is my opinion that the appetite for symbols so often masks the Good News, that of imitating Christ, by living life His way, which was to live according to the loving guidance of the Holy Spirit. That I am a fervent supporter and follower of our religious traditions, for they have enabled me to open that door into the real life of understanding that God's love for me/us, is to be found by cooperating with God, is to accept that our rich and wonderful Catholic religion has been and continues to be that imperfect tool of access to the life that Christ promised us, when we make that choice to live in His Kingdom and not our kingdom. That the Kingdom of God can start in our natural physical life, is to welcome the Good News of living in eternity, beginning now.That so many of us are diverted from this path of hope, by our intellectual obsessiveness with the cross, when its true meaning, of death to the natural self and resurrection into the Kingdom of God, by our acceptance of the Holy Spirit as our one and only friend and guide, has enabled me to appreciate the richness of meaning lying behind so much of the Holy Scriptures and the traditions, that our Church of Sinners has built up over many centuries of trial, error and enlightenment. In so doing, I have been able to discharge my load of burden of guilt of my past, when He wiped away all my tears and led me into the garden of Eden of life of all that we can become, when we live to imitate the one whose image we are made unto.

05.11.04   Jonathan Kinsman says:
Hey Ted;I think what you mean to say on your website is that the bible is "anagogic," not "allegoric."Allegory generally applies to works of fiction. To contend, as you do, that the bible is all "allegory," especially in your biographical section that "the Father, Son and Holy Ghost" are a "wonderful allegory" is sadly mistaken.To think that a poor translation (the King James Version of the 1600s) is the best and final word on the Word betrays a naivete of immense proportions.If you are serious about biblical exegesis, you should look into the Catholic tradition. After all, it was this Church which choose the canon for the Old and the New Testaments. And, there was no 'bible' for about 300 years after the death and resurrection of Christ.PS: the "X-mas tree" is not a Babylonian tradition, it is a Teutonic one. Taking a popular (ie, pagan) tradition and grafting Christian ideas or symbolism onto it was and is an effective way to change a society and redirect the efforts and praise of God's people (all of us).The Scriptures that are referenced in the New Testament are the Jewish Tanakh. Remember: Jesus did not write anything. The "written aforetime for our learning" citation is for Jewish Scriptures.Dominus Vobiscum Ted,Jonathan

05.08.04   godshew says:
Three Wishes: Grace Mercy Peace.Re: Learning from the cross and crucifixion.Indeed "learning" is the purpose of scriptures, "written aforetime for our learning": Rom 15:4.TgooLJCwya. Amen.www.godshew.orgDaniel Miles

01.28.04   Godspy says:
Learning from the disgrace of the crucifixion.

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