On Bra-burners and the True Test of Faith…

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“Jonah and the Whale” – an attention getter that became a negative and trite association…

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Friday, May 17, 2024 – Before this weekend ends I’ll do a post on Pentecost Sunday – 2024. But first I wanted to review two past posts I just revamped: Jonah and the bra-burners, and The True Test of Faith. The Jonah post talked of how the whale in the account became a distracting attention-getter, like feminists “burning bras” at the Miss America pageant on September 7, 1968. That story – tweaked by a creative reporter – did get attention. But in the end it became a “negative and trite association” with a net effect of trivializing serious feminists working at equal rights for women. (In 1968 women couldn’t get a credit card, serve on a jury, or get birth control, and faced discrimination in the workplace, like being fired for getting pregnant.)

By the way, the real message in the Book of Jonah is that God’s love is universal.

In Jonah’s case, that love of God extended even to the people of Nineveh, Israel’s arch-enemy and arch-tormentor. (An idea of God’s love that Jonah hated.) For more details see the post itself, but now it’s time to move on to The True Test of Faith. It talks about two Christians who die and find out there is no God, no “life after life,” no reward for good behavior or punishment for bad behavior. And how one gets irate because of all the fun he could have had, while the other says, “You know, I wouldn’t change a thing.” And how that’s the kind of faith I’m working on.

And how there is “probably no sin more tolerated or more widespread in the Christian world than legalism.” And how the answer to being saved is found in John 6:37 and Romans 10:9.

One final thought: In the notes below I say that too-literal Christians are like soldiers who enlist in the Army but never go beyond boot camp. (They never do more than “learn the basics, the fundamentals.”) But a more telling image would be of students who never go beyond elementary school. I’ll keep working on that idea, as well as the idea that “the Bible is designed to expand your mind.” (To the tune, If It Doesn’t Fit, You Must Acquit.”)

But now it’s time to move on to Pentecost Sunday!

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The descent of the Holy Spirit – the very first “Pentecost Sunday…”

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The upper image is courtesy of “elijah taken up in a chariot of fire – images.” This image came with a page on “Pieter Symonsz. Potter.” See also Wikipediaon the prophet Elijahand on “Pieter Symonsz Potter” (1597-1652), a Dutch Golden Age painter.

The Book of Common Prayer reference: The “corporate-mystical” prayer is on page 339, the post-communion prayer for Holy Eucharist, Rite I.

“Feast days” are designated days on the liturgical (church) calendar “set aside to commemorate events, saints, or doctrines that are important in the life of the Church. These can range from Solemnities, which are the highest-ranking feast days like Easter and Christmas, to optional memorials that celebrate lesser-known saints.” Feast Days: Celebrating the Church’s Calendar.

Re: Women’s status in 1968-1970. See 5 things women couldn’t do in the 1960s | CNN, and 40 Basic Rights Women Did Not Have Until The 1970s.

The lower image was originally courtesy of Pentecost Sunday Images – Image Results. But see also El Greco – Pentecost, 1610 at Prado Museum Madrid Spain, which I went on to “glean.” The caption is from the Wikipedia article, gleaned from the following: “The Christian High Holy Day of Pentecost is celebrated on the 50th day (the seventh Sunday) from Easter Sunday. It commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks, as described in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:1–31).”

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