FIRST-TRUMP#top..........Sound the alarm in Zion..... ...........................

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. A Priest sounds the alarm on a shofar

 

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OPINIONS & DOCTRINES


21And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. (1Kings 18:)



"You're so hard-headed and egotistic. You must be a politician."

"Politician? No, I'm no politician."

"Then you got to be a lawyer or a college professor or the like."

"No. I've been to college, but I'm not a teacher or a lawyer."

"Well, come on then; give it up. I know you ain't no cabbie or truck driver."

"True. I'm a preacher."


In days gone by, and probably still yet in some circles, experts on any subject were easy to find. Men learned all about politics, the stock market, current events, and the neighborhood gossip from their barber or the kid selling newspapers on the street corner. Women were a little more selective in their search for factual information; they consulted their hairdresser, the butcher or the corner grocer.


Nowadays experts tend to be a more specialized, possessing a great deal of knowledge in a single field of interest. This on the surface seems like a good idea, and certainly one that would cause information to be more accurate and factual. However, time has not proven this to necessarily be the case.

For instance: what is the likelihood of receiving honest and accurate answers to a question on politics from a politician? Wouldn't you be more inclined to rely on your barber or the kid selling newspapers for such advice?

Or how about learning the value and condition of the used car being touted by the used car salesman? Again, ask the kid selling newspapers.

There's been many a stock broker who has grown rich giving financial advice, while those following his expert advice went bottom-up.

And who would you trust most to give you an accurate weather forecast? your aged aunt with the arthritic elbow that acts up when the climate changes, the farmer who reads the sky for his living, or the weatherman with all his multimillion dollar instruments? Aunt Martha is almost never wrong; the weatherman is almost never right.


In any field of endeavor the result is the same: experts battling to the death to be the one recognized as "right," even though they change their expert opinion more frequently then Aunt Martha changes her socks.

Yet we continually lend our ear to the "Expert" of the day, trusting in his or her ping-pong opinion even when we know full-well the doubtful chance of that opinion being reasonable or based on logic or facts.


I first became aware of the fallacy of listening to "Experts" when I studied music at the age of 65. I won't give a detailed account of the incident here as I have already done so in the Abstract Musician. Suffice it to say that I discovered a multitude of different forms and methods of study; all claiming to be the "One and Only."

Of course, each and every teacher and student (with perhaps an exception or two) firmly and honestly believes their's to be the "right" one. Yet, they all are definitely "wrong" for me, and had confused me to tears all these years of my musically uneventful life.


When I add to my repertoire of experience the tragic errors I encountered with the Psychiatric field; and consider the ever-expanding death tole encountered in modern hospitals, the National Debt, Global Warming, and the inadequate and often inept advice I received from mother - I take pause to reconsider "Expert Advice," and I head for the kid selling newspapers on the street corner for my education.


There was a time (there must have been) when information and fact went hand-in-hand. Perhaps in ancient days when things were simple and there was very little to know or learn a person could receive accurate information. However, I tend to doubt it, because even then, the simplest of times, there must have been the "Expert" con man ready and anxious to sell us the Brooklyn Bridge.


And why not? It has been pretty well demonstrated that it is our nature to elbow our way to the front of the line in order to get first dibs on the Brooklyn Bridge. And when we see we have been "took," we elbow our way to the front of the next line where yet another bridge is being sold.


Politics, Finances, Psychology, Medicine, Weather and Used Cars (and Bridges) are not the only areas where people love to be taken for a ride (only to complain later). No indeed. In fact these count low on the scale of effective ways to pry money from the Masses and solicit Respect from the Rabble.

It has long been known that Religion is where the money and the prestige lies. If you doubt this, take a look at the Cystine Chapel or the Crystal Cathedral. And although not as ornate, consider how multimillion dollar churches embracing more loose-wallet people than the Superbowl are springing up across the country like boils on Job.

Howsoever, it is not necessary to have a large building to attract people with more money than reasoning. Consider the TV Evangelists. These programs (I suspect) bring in more money for less effort and even lesser returns for their supporters than the Home Shopping Network, which they often resemble.

Yet the masses continue to follow after these circus ringleaders, hanging on every word, like a panting dog after the promised doggie biscuit.


The Politician promises lower taxes and cleaner air to those who believe his platform.

The Weatherman offers protection from the elements and a means by which to plan one's holiday for those who heed his advice.

The Psychologist assures those who follow his advice: health, happiness and family bliss.

The Financial Wizard promises his clients high returns for low capital outlay.

The Used Car Salesman offers years of carefree driving with the purchase of that rattletrap he is pushing.


When the door falls off the car; when taxes raise and the air turns purple; when it rains on your picnic; when the Financial Expert is arrested for embezzling; when you read of your Psychologist's seventh divorce; and when your bank statement is printed in red ink - you are likely to give second thought to the "Expert Advice" you have been given.


This is how it is in the world of Worldly things.

But what is it that these Mega Churches (and the Mini Churches as well) are offering that is attracting Believers to them like flies to a honeypot?

As stated above, sooner or later each of us is going to discover we have been "took" by the Expert we listened to. But, somehow, this does not often happen with the churches. Nor, when deception and flat-out lies are discovered in these churches, there is but very little action taken to correct it (other than to cover it). And when action is taken, people continue to throw their money at the perpetrator in effort to get him or her out of the pickle he strove so hard (on the believer's money) to get himself in to.

What is it these churches are offering?


Well, for one thing they offer Eternal Life. That is, when their followers die, they are promised they will live again - forever. Not only live, but live in splendor and glory.

Of course there are other religions that promise much the same, and without it costing one penny or too much of one's time. But these don't provide the circus-like atmosphere the churches often do.

Eternal Life. Now there is something to invest in! And Eternal Life is certainly something to sell without fear of a door falling off or rain clouds rolling over a parade.

When the believer wakes up on that Glorious day of reckoning having full expectation of receiving their wings and golden harp, and finds the Preacher he or she has been following is not a Messenger from God, but a retired Used Car Salesman; a door falling off will seem like small potatoes next to having one's wings clipped and hallo yanked from one's head, would it not?

By then there will be no recourse or new beginnings one might take to correct their newly discovered error in judgement. And it will do no good to rag on the Preacher about his shortcomings because he will be standing right next to you, minus his wings and harp.


Politicians stand on opposite poles demanding their rightness be heard and respected. Along with the Politician there are multitudes of groups and organizations insisting they be heard over the din of confusion as people demand their rights.

The world is torn apart with opinions and counter-opinions.

United we stand; divided we fall. And are we ever divided!


The churches are no less divided in their views and their dogmas than the world of the World. But in the church these opinions are not called opinions. Opinions are looked upon as having less substance than wind, and to be just as unstable. In the churches opinion goes by the name of "Doctrine" which cannot be questioned or challenged. They are considered as "Fact," even though those "Facts" are often diametrically opposed to the Doctrines of the church down the street, and a million other churches as well. They are also considered as "Fact" in spite of all "Facts" standing in evidence against them being in fact "Facts."

Yet, these "Facts," unlike the wishy-washy "facts" of the World, are all based on the very same Book they say is written by the very same God they purport to worship.


Is there something wrong with this picture?


Well, as long as no door falls off the Doctrine any one of us is following, the only way to find out if what we believe is in fact truth or fiction is to die. Does your church offer a Death insurance policy?



References


6Thus 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:)


1Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. 2My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: 3Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. 4He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. 5They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation. 6Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee? (Deut:)


3Should thy lies make men hold their peace? and when thou mockest, shall no man make thee ashamed? 4For thou hast said, My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in thine eyes. 5But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against thee; 6And that he would show thee the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth. (Job 11:)


1Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. 2For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. 3For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. 4He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. 5Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. 6Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. (Prov 4:)


9Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 11For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 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:)


6And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not show you mine opinion. 7I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom. 8But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. 9Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment. 10Therefore I said, Hearken to me; I also will show mine opinion. 11Behold, I waited for your words; I gave ear to your reasons, whilst ye searched out what to say. 12Yea, I attended unto you, and, behold, there was none of you that convinced Job, or that answered his words: 13Lest ye should say, We have found out wisdom: God thrusteth him down, not man. 14Now he hath not directed his words against me: neither will I answer him with your speeches.

15They were amazed, they answered no more: they left off speaking. 16When I had waited, (for they spake not, but stood still, and answered no more;) 17I said, I will answer also my part, I also will show mine opinion. 18For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me. 19Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles. 20I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer. 21Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. 22For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away. (Job 32:)


21And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. 22Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men. (1Kings 18:)


7There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.

8The ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.

9The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.

10Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom. (Prov 13:)


15I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. (Rev 3:)


 

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