FANTASIES, FABLES AND TRADITIONS
9But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Mat 15:)
"I'm sorry, Mr. Smith, but your wife has an advanced cancer that is inoperable."
"How long does she have, Doctor? A month? A year? Will she suffer much? Should she be told?"
"There is no way of knowing just how long she has. It may be a few weeks, it may be years, but death is inevitable. Yes, it will most likely be painful. And yes, she should be told."
"My wife is very emotional, she won't take the news well. Will you tell her? She would hold it against me for the rest of her life if I told her."
"I could tell her, but I believe it would be insensitive for us to inform her in this way. I think you should be the one to tell her."
"The doctor said you would be fine. You might experience a little pain, but not to worry about it."
"Will I need an operation?"
"No, the doctor said that wouldn't be necessary."
"Mommy, my kitty died. I miss my kitty so much. What am I going to do without my kitty?"
"I know you miss your kitten, Honey, but don't worry, your kitten is in cat heaven. She's happy now playing with all the other kittens in heaven."
"But I miss my kitty, Mommy. Why can't I have her back?"
"We will get you another kitty to play with, Hon. And some day, if you are a good little girl, you will get to play with your kitty again when you get to heaven."
Fantasies are usually entertaining and serve no useful purpose. When we hear a fantasy, we know it is not true. When you and I encounter a fantasy, we enjoy it, then let it go.
In the stories above, the fantasies did no harm in themselves because nothing has been changed by the telling of them. The truth has been covered up, but the ones being told the fantasy are comforted.
"Oh, good. I have a cancer similar to yours, and my doctor told me I had to have an operation or I would die. But I trust your doctor's advice more, so I won't get the operation."
"Oh, goody. My friend has some kitties that her father said he was going to drown. I thought that was awful, but if they are happier there, and if we'll get to see them again, maybe I can drown my kitties as well so they will be happy."
Although one cancer victim can not be cured, another, who very well might be cured, takes the information she wants to hear and puts herself at risk.
The child, as children will believe anything, has taken a story of comfort and is well on the way to creating a mind set.
A Fantasy you say? For sure it is. And who would do what those in the story above have done?
Guess who my father listened to.
My mother had cancer. She did not want to have an operation. She heard of a doctor in Mexico who advocated nothing but grape juice. My mother made many trips to Mexico to see this doctor, and followed his grape juice diet religiously - until she died of cancer.
Consider school shootings, the Two Towers, the Suicide Bombers, mothers who kill their children because they want to save them from this corrupt world. All these stem from a mind set where they took a fantasy and turned it into a reality.
On the other extreme, Edison, Einstein, the Wright Brothers and Disney took a Fantasy, a dream, and turned it into a reality.
A Fantasy, as long as it remains in the realm of Fantasy is of little danger. As long as nobody believes they can fall off a cliff and survive, as does the coyote in the roadrunner cartoons; or they can shoot someone, and that person will again reappear in the next western they watch - a Fantasy is harmless.
Fables are Fantasies that are taken seriously. Fables can be instrumental in explaining the unexplainable. Fables are unbelievable stories, that somehow are truly believed by many.
Fables have a moral attached to them. Fables teach at the same time they entertain. Fables are designed to make us think. On my website, the "Checkerboard" could well be classified as a group of Fables.
Jesus used Fables in the form of Parables (or allegories). Though His stories illustrated a Truth, and were based on factual situations, they were not necessarily true events in themselves.
In the case of the parables of Jesus, they not only illuminated Truth to the initiated, but hid Truth from the stubborn.
The Bible, in many ways and in many places warns us against Fables and "old wives tales." While fables can illustrate a Truth, they can also very easily make a Lie look appealing and honorable.
Consider Satan's story to Adam and Eve. A large part of what Satan said was the truth; but the little bit that wasn't the truth ("Ye shall not surely die") was their, and our downfall.
Fables can magnify the Truth, they can hide the Truth, or they can unveil the Truth. It depends on what we want to hear.
We have God trying to tell us the Truth; we have Satan telling us the lies we want to hear - and we stand in the middle spinning like a whirling dervish trying to decide what will suit us best.
Satan will win, because he is telling us what we want to hear, and he has magnificent specimens of manhood helping to spread his lies. (Consider the Beast of Revelation.)
God, to spread His truth, conceals His Truth by utilizing a Nazarene, and Galilean fishermen, and tax collectors, blind ex-Pharisees, and prostitutes, and demon possessed men (Legion). He uses the lowest of the low to bring His Message from on High.
"Un huh. And maybe someday we'll be famous because we started this religion."
Traditionalism is the making of a religion out of a tradition.
Now, who would do that? Who would take a tradition, that was based on a fable, that started out as a fantasy, and turn it into a religion?
It's easy to stand back and criticize others for their ridiculous beliefs. In fact, it is even fun at times, and it bolsters our opinion about ourselves and our own beliefs - as long as the ones we are talking to happen to hold our own corrupted beliefs.
"But we're not like them. Our beliefs come from the very Word of God!"
No, our beliefs come from a multitude of people's interpretation of the very Word of God.
Is the Word of God True and correct?
Is our interpretation of the Word of God correct?
Not by a long shot.
As evidence of this, I offer thousands of cults, denominations and religions who base their Doctrines (teachings) on the very same Book.
And not one of them is right.
One may be correct in one area, and be way off base in others. And another might be correct in another area, and out in left field for all the rest.
It's part of the Parable system of the Bible. God hides bits and pieces of Truth throughout His Church, then allows them to conceal it with Fantasies and Fables.
It's rather like treasuring a shiny, gold plated plastic ring, while disregarding the tarnished old solid gold nugget.
God's purpose is a straight line that does not vary. But He has displayed it to us like an Easter egg hunt, with a bunch of painted rocks thrown in for our pleasure.
4Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. (1Tim 1:)
19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. 20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, (Rom 1:)
1I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2Tim 4:)
7But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. (1Tim 4:)
9Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. 10For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 11Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. 12One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. 13This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; 14Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. 15Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. 16They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. (Titus 1:)
16For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (2Pet 1:)
1Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, 2Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. 3But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? 4For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 5But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 6And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. 7Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Mat 15:)
7Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. (Mark 7:)
8Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (Col 2:)
6Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. (2Thes 3:)
17Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. 20O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: 21Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. (1Tim 6:)
14Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. 15Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 17And their word will eat as doth a canker: (2Tim 2:)
6But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. 7And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. 8But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. 9Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people. (Isaiah 64:)
13But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. (Isa 28:13)
4I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not. (Isa 66:4)
9Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. 10And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. (Mat 13:4-15)
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