Showing posts with label christianity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label christianity. Show all posts

Saturday, December 24, 2022

24: Peter Wehner

गठबन्धनमा ‘पावर सेयरिङ’ : कांग्रेस ०७४ कै मोडलको पक्षमा, दाबी बढाउँदै प्रचण्ड राष्ट्रपतिमा पौडेलको बलियो सम्भावना
गठबन्धनमा यसरी हुँदैछ सातै प्रदेशको शक्ति बाँडफाँट गठबन्धनमा सबैभन्दा ठूलो दलको हैसियतले सातै प्रदेशमा कांग्रेसको दाबी छ ।
प्रचण्डको 'ट्रेडमार्क' दोमन, दुवैतिर वार्ता .

Why Jesus Loved Friendship “Power can generate obedience, fear, awe, grudging submission — but not love. The God who comes to us in Jesus doesn’t want grudging submission; he wants us to love him and be loved by him. He wants relationship, including friendship, and so he came in vulnerability, not in power.” ........ The concept of a vulnerable God, meek and lowly in heart, was almost unfathomable to many at the time, and for many people it still is. But a vulnerable God is an essential part of the Christian story. We see it in Jesus’ life, from his birth in a manger to his weeping over the death of his friend Lazarus to the anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane, where he was betrayed on the night before his crucifixion. ....... “Our witness is not right doctrine; it is our relational orientation” ........ “Instead of being people who stink with judgment and criticism,” she told me, “we are to be an aroma of blessing, hope, joy, peace and love.” ......... “If the church claims to be the community of the friends of Jesus,” he adds, “it must engage in Christ-like friendships toward all people, particularly those who have been and are marginalized. The gift of friendship shows and reminds people that they are valued and indeed valuable individuals. That is a gift the church must offer all people.” ........ God is seeking above all else to be in a meaningful relationship with us ......... Those are the qualities — more than God’s power, more than his perfection — that ultimately won the affections of my heart as a person of the Christian faith. It is the knowledge that we can be seen and known by God, and that we can see and know God. That we need him, but that also, in some essential way, he needs us. ........ in so many cases the Christian faith has been shorn of love. When that happens, Christianity becomes a religion characterized by hard edges and judgmentalism, by brittleness and moral arrogance, by mercilessness and gracelessness. ........ For me, when my own faith was jumbled, uncertain and abstract, when I had more questions than answers, when God seemed a million miles away, they have been reflections of the divine. .

Why Jesus Never Stopped Asking Questions For most of his life, he was an agnostic; faith for him was “infinitely unattainable.” But attain it he did, late in life, and in 1975 he wrote, “The coming of Jesus into the world is the most stupendous event in human history.” ......... Twenty centuries after his birth, Jesus still holds a revered place in the hearts of billions of people. I am among them. I imagine that it has influenced almost every area of my life, like food coloring dropped in water. ......... his method of dialogue and teaching. He asked a lot of questions and told a lot of stories in the form of parables. ......... in his book “Jesus Is the Question” that Jesus was more than 40 times as likely to ask a question as answer one directly, and he was 20 times as likely to offer an indirect answer as a direct one. .......... Some of Jesus’ questions were rhetorical; others were meant to challenge or even provoke. In some cases, Jesus used questions to parry attacks by religious authorities who set traps for him. In others, he used questions to enter more fully into the lives of others and to help people look at the state of their hearts. He asked people about their fears and their faith. Jesus used questions to free a woman caught in adultery from condemnation and to inquire whether people considered him to be the Messiah. He probed deeply into questions not many had asked before him, like “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” ............. Jesus “created meaning like a dramatist and a poet rather than like a philosopher.” .......... refers to Jesus as a “metaphorical theologian” whose “primary method of creating meaning was through metaphor, simile, parable and dramatic action rather than through logic and reasoning.” .......... “Arguments may form our opinions, but stories form our loves” ..... “Stories ask us to enter another world — which usually has the result of broadening or disrupting our own.” .......... “Parables and questions invite us — require us — to think, to ponder.” .......... “The Truth must dazzle gradually/Or every man be blind.” .......... “With his use of everyday elements of life, people felt seen,” Ms. Dearborn added. “With his powerful depictions of a father who loves prodigals, tax collectors and Samaritans, people were comforted and felt safe enough to follow him. And hearing stories of the ways in which God stands on the side of the oppressed, people would know they could trust this God of both justice and love.” .......... “the aspect of Jesus’ style that stands out to me is how unpropagandistic he was. Imagine: He knew the truth more than anyone who has lived and could have responded with dogma and fiat, as the church so often has done in his place. Instead, he was anything but an arm twister.” ........... “Jesus was after our hearts, not just our minds. He was after lives changed, not just intellects grown.” ......... Jesus used stories, then, but he was also part of a story, one that contains thousands of characters and unexpected twists and turns, different genres (poetry, prophecy, epistles, wisdom literature) and countless subplots. But the Bible is also, above all, a metanarrative — the unfolding of a story God has entered, most conspicuously in the person of Jesus, a drama that has purpose and direction. That has been, at least for some of us, a source of comfort, especially in moments of grief and great pain. ........... “Jesus’ tender birth and violent death leave the problem of suffering unanswered until the end of days. We must learn to live and die in the not-yetness of suffering and empire, fear and uncertainty. But our questioning hearts in the face of evil is not an affront to faith. Jesus simply says: Wait. All will be revealed.” .......... trauma is like broken glass — shards in our lives that can randomly and repeatedly cut us inside. The trauma needs to be named and gradually integrated into a person’s life, and if possible, for those who are able, it helps for the trauma to be put in the context of being part of a larger story. For some people, that larger story need not have a faith component; they are able to create meaning without it. But for others, having their trauma understood not as a random, awful event but rather as a very difficult chapter in a larger and ultimately redemptive story can be life-giving. .

How Can I Possibly Believe That Faith Is Better Than Doubt? It can intensify during periods of grief and pain, when faith may not offer much consolation or even make much sense in a world that seems random and cruel. ........ Not seeing and still believing is held up by Jesus as a greater thing than seeing and believing. .......... treating Christian faith as different from proof doesn’t mean it’s antithetical to evidence and reason. Christianity is a faith that claims to be rooted in history, not abstract philosophy. ......... “Faith without reason risks descending into superstition; reason without faith builds a world without windows, doors or skylights.” ........... Materialists, rationalists and atheists ultimately place their trust in certain propositions that require faith. To say that truth is only intelligible through reason is itself a statement of faith. Denying the existence of God is as much a leap of faith as asserting it. As the pastor Tim Keller told me, “Most of the things we most deeply believe in — for example, human rights and human equality — are not empirically provable.” ......... “The supreme function of reason is to show man that some things are beyond reason” ........... why faith is prized within the Christian tradition is that it involves trust that would not be needed if the existence of God were subject to a mathematical proof. What God is seeking is not our intellectual assent so much as a relationship with us. .......... Every meaningful relationship — parent-child, spouse to spouse, friend to friend — involves some degree of trust. It is better and more vivifying to be the object of someone’s trust rather than the last person standing after a series of logical deductions. ......... “There is a force within love that longs to be received” ........ “Faith is a greater blessing than proof because it gives us a relationship with Jesus. All good relationships are bound together by love. And love is always an expression of faith.” .......... proofs don’t necessarily inspire belief. Toward the end of his Gospel, Matthew mentions that

some still doubted after they looked right at the risen Christ

. (“When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.”) .............. Some of those who witnessed the miracles of Jesus eventually sought to kill him. And Judas, one of Jesus’ original disciples, betrayed him with a kiss. So sensory experience isn’t enough to compel belief and allegiance. ............. Our most important forms of knowledge rarely come from logic or proof ........ I know my wife loves me because I know her, I know her heart, I know her character, and because I trust her. “Your knowledge of her is less about physical certainty” ....... “Faith,” Ms. Harder added, “is tied to love in a way that logical deduction and reason are not. We are changed by what we love more than what we think.” ........ Faith can allow us to understand things in a different way than reason does, in a manner similar to what J.R.R. Tolkien meant when he said that pagan myths weren’t lies but rather pointed toward deep truths. The imagination could be integrated into reason, he believed, in a way that helped us to see reality a bit more clearly. Reason is one way to perceive reality; faith — rooted not in partisan ideology but in grace and a sense of the sacred — is another. ............ one other difference between faith and reason. The latter can analyze things like quantum physics and modern cosmology. But what faith can do is to put our lives in an unfolding narrative in ways reason cannot. It gives us a role in a gripping drama, of which the Christmas story is one defining scene. It’s a drama that includes sin and betrayal, redemption and grace; and ultimately it gives purpose to our lives despite the brokenness and pain we experience. .......... Some need proof, at least as a start; for others, faith alone is enough. .......... For many of us, shadows of doubt coexist with faith. ............ To emphasize faith is not to cast out doubt. In fact, it is precisely to take doubt seriously, but also to understand the doubter more completely — not just as a reasoning mind but as a full person, possessed of a divine spark that lets us see, now and then, right through the walls we have built between faith and reason.

Christmas Turns the World Upside Down What does it mean for God’s power to be “made perfect in weakness”? ......... lowliness, obscurity, humility, fragility. ......... The circumstances of Jesus’ birth “were calculated to establish his detachment from power and authority in human terms” ......... That could be said not just about Jesus’ birth but also his entire life, which was in many respects an inversion of what the world, including much of the Christian world, prizes. ............ “He was raised by unremarkable parents in an unremarkable part of the world, conducted a ministry that was missed by most people, died as a criminal on a cross, and his ascension was seen only by a small band of disciples who then led a movement that within three centuries changed the world.” .......... His disciples did not have notable worldly status or influence. Jesus’ energies and affections were primarily aimed toward social outcasts, the downtrodden and “unclean,” strangers and aliens, prostitutes and the powerless. ......... The people Jesus clashed with and who eventually crucified him were religious authorities and those who wielded political power. .............. True greatness is shown through serving others and sacrifice. ......... Paul is describing a “thorn in my flesh” that was tormenting him. (We don’t know specifically what it was.) Three times he beseeched the Lord to remove it, according to the apostle, to which Jesus replied, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Paul went on to add, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” ........... we often grow in times of weakness rather than strength, when we face hardship rather than experience success. That isn’t always the case; sometimes hardships and suffering simply overwhelm us and no good thing comes from them. .......... weakness can open the way for greater personal growth, reflection and self-reflection, and focus us on what is essential rather than ephemeral. ......... that suffering is good but that sometimes it can serve a purpose. This is true for people of different faiths and people of no faith. ........... “Our weakness finally opens our eyes to the need for a Savior. Nothing prevents that more than our strength. No one has ever said, ‘I was so successful I just had to come to Jesus.’” .......... the aftermath of his death was “the most powerless I’ve ever felt. Trusting in God’s goodness and yielding without being able to nail him down. That’s where peace begins: Surrender, in powerlessness.” ........... there are sufferings we may experience that make us a more resilient, deeper and more compassionate person, yet if we were asked whether we are glad for having gone through it, we would answer no. .......... “You can have scars and still be healed. There are some things in life you never move on from, but you do learn to carry them differently.” .......... human weakness and suffering are not meant to be ends in themselves. For Christians, they are meant to spur us to seek out God from a place of need and provide an opportunity for the display of divine power. And again: Power understood through the prism of Christianity is different from how the world generally understands power. ......... the difference between power over others and the power of connecting with others, which she said requires that there be openness and vulnerability........... weakness opens us up to a fundamentally new definition of strength — strength that is not coercive, domineering, prideful and self-seeking but rather compassionate, sacrificial, humble and empathetic. ........... God’s power, perfected through our weakness, makes us instruments of mercy, seekers of justice, agents of reconciliation. It helps us see the world in a different way. .......... “I am daily inspired by how Jesus continually turns the world upside down in regards to power, might, world success and achievement. Jesus’ subversive challenges to the human-crafted structures that oppress and bind is what keeps me following Jesus and holding on to hope that there is a third way — the Jesus way that brings healing to individuals, communities and nations.”........... “Jesus was most frequently out among the people — engaging and paying attention to the realities of ordinary people’s lives and helping them see that in God’s eyes they are extraordinary — and so often these are the people who are viewed as weak in the world. I am learning how to live well from those who hold very little worldly power but who are some of the most content and real people I’ve ever met.” ...... “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy,” Jesus declared in his most famous sermon. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” ............ “the valley of the shadow of death,” wasn’t simply Jesus spouting off abstract teachings; it was his life story. What the incarnation represents is God entering history not as the screenwriter of the drama but as an actor within it. Jesus is the suffering protagonist. ........... an infant placed in a manger in a troubled corner of a troubled world. You would have thought he would be among the most inconsequential individuals ever. .

After Great Pain, Where Is God? “I wish I could tell you that we are walking this journey with courage and faith, but that really doesn’t describe our situation at all. The outward courage feels like a ruse to convince ourselves that this immense pain will subside in time, and the weakness of our faith is showing us its shallow limits.” ............ Sometimes we suffer; other times we have to watch people we love suffer. Each situation is difficult in its own way. ......... My professional life has been focused on politics and the ideas that inform politics. Yet I’m also a Christian trying to wrestle honestly with the complexities and losses in life, within the context of my faith. .......... “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” .......... Lewis wrote after his wife’s death. God’s megaphone didn’t just rouse Lewis, it nearly shattered him. In writing about his bereavement, Lewis described what it was like to go to God “when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence.” ............ Jesus himself, crucified and near death, gave voice to the question many people overwhelmed by pain ask: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” ........... Like Job, we have to admit to the limitations of human knowledge when it comes to making sense of suffering. .......... So what, then, does Christianity have to offer in the midst of hardships and heartache? .......... the consolation that comes from being part of a Christian community — people who walk alongside us as we journey through grief, offering not pieties but tenderness and grace, encouragement and empathy, and when necessary, practical help. ......... All things may eventually be made new again, but in this life even wounds that heal leave scars. .......... The book of Isaiah, in prophesying the messiah, describes him as “man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” We’re told “by his wounds we are healed.” For those of the Christian faith, God is a God of wounds, where the road to redemption passes directly through suffering. There is some solace in knowing that while at times life is not easy for us, it was also hard for the God of the New Testament. And from suffering, compassion can emerge, meaning to suffer with another — that disposition, in turn, often leads to acts of mercy. .

The Uncommon Power of Grace A revolutionary idea lies at its core: radical equality. ......... No other religion places grace at its theological center. It was a revolutionary idea ......... grace “seems to go against every instinct of humanity.” We are naturally drawn to covenants and karma, to cause and effect, to earning what we receive......... the unmerited favor of God, unconditional love given to the undeserving. It’s a difficult concept to understand because it isn’t entirely rational. .......... “Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions.” ........ There’s a radical equality at the core of grace. None of us are deserving of God’s grace, so it’s not dependent on social status, wealth or intelligence. There is equality between kings and peasants, the prominent and the unheralded, rule followers and rule breakers. .......... They love us despite our messy lives, stay connected to us through our struggles, always holding out the hope of redemption. When relationships are broken, my wife Cindy told me, it’s grace that causes people not to give up, to extend the invitation to reconnect, to work through misunderstandings with sensitivity and transparency. ........... You don’t sense hard edges, dogmatism or self-righteous judgment from gracious people. There’s a tenderness about them that opens doors that had previously been bolted shut. People who have been transformed by grace have a special place in their hearts for those living in the shadows of society. They’re easily moved by stories of suffering and step into the breach to heal. And grace properly understood always produces gratitude. ........... We obviously can’t organize society entirely around the concept of grace. Yet the problem today is more the absence of grace than its presence. ......... Living a grace-filled life is hard. Most of us, when we feel wronged, want payback. Our first impulse, when hurt or offended, is to strike out, justifying our anger in the name of fairness. ......... “He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself,” and we forget that only grace can break the cycle of ancient hatreds among peoples. ......... while I have regretted not granting grace to others, I’ve never once regretted extending it.......... There is a tendency among many people of faith to come across as holier than thou, more eager to judge than to forgive. Jesus encountered this throughout his ministry, which helps explain why he was more comfortable in the company of the unclean and reviled, the lowly and the outcast, than religious authorities. .......... when we see grace in action — whether in acts of extravagant, indiscriminate love, in radical self-giving, or in showing equanimity in the face of death — it can move us unlike anything else. ......... grace is “some combination of generosity and magnanimity, kindness and forgiveness, and empathy — all above the ordinary call of duty, and bestowed even (or especially?) when not particularly earned.” .

Why Is Jesus Still Wounded After His Resurrection? . “The risen but scarred body of Christ is the ultimate signifier of divine empathy.” ....... Jesus’ death by crucifixion was part of an unfolding drama, not the end of the story ....... “We bear all the ruins of the lives we’ve lived and the loves we’ve endured. What a gift to have a Savior who does the same.” ........ it is similar to the situation facing victims of trauma ....... when he’s counseling or mentoring others “often the most helpful thing I bring is my wounds.” ........ “Everything important about being a pastor I did not learn in seminary.” He learned it through the pain of a personal loss that will never completely fade. “Wounded people make the best healers because they know what it means to be wounded” .......... Jesus himself experienced a “dark night of the soul” at the Garden of Gethsemane, where we’re told his soul was “deeply grieved,” and especially as he hung on the cross, naked, beaten and left to die, feeling forsaken by God........ the idea that in embracing flaws and imperfections, you can create a more beautiful and more valuable piece of art.

What It Means to Worship a Man Crucified as a Criminal A God who allows suffering is a mystery, but so is a God who suffered. ........ until the accounts of Jesus’ death burst upon the Mediterranean world, “no one in the history of human imagination had conceived of such a thing as the worship of a crucified man.” And yet the crucifixion — an emblem of agony and one of the cruelest methods of execution ever practiced — became a historical pivot point and eventually the most compelling symbol of the most popular faith on earth. ......... the idea that people would worship a God who is compassionate toward us is one thing, but to worship a God who suffers and dies — as a condemned criminal, no less — is distinct to Christianity ......... From the perspective of Christianity, one can question why God allows suffering, but one cannot say God doesn’t understand it. He is not remote, indifferent, untouched or unscarred. ........... there’s no good answer to the question, “Why is there suffering?” Jesus never answers that question, and even if we had the theological answer, it would not ease our burdens in any significant way. What God offers instead is the promise that he is with us in our suffering; that he can bring good out of it (life out of death, forgiveness out of sin); and that one day he will put a stop to it and redeem it. God, Revelation tells us, will make “all things new.” ........ a radiating effect of the cross was to undermine abusive power and injustice; that care for the disenfranchised and those living in the shadows of society came about as a direct result of Jesus’ crucifixion. .......... The most important moment in my faith pilgrimage was when the cross became my interpretive prism. ....... I was and remain a person with a skeptical mind and countless questions. There are parts of the Bible I still find puzzling, difficult and troubling. ........ the glory and joy of Easter Sunday is only made possible by the anguish of Good Friday.

The Forgotten Radicalism of Jesus Christ First-century Christians weren’t prepared for what a truly inclusive figure he was, and what was true then is still true today. ....... Simon Peter, already a disciple, registers his fierce objection. Matthew is a tax collector, who were viewed as tools of Roman authorities, often dishonest and abusive. ......... “I don’t get it,” Simon Peter says to Jesus about his decision to invite Matthew, to which Jesus responds, “You didn’t get it when I chose you, either.” ........ First-century Christians weren’t prepared for what a truly radical and radically inclusive figure Jesus was, and neither are today’s Christians. We want to tame and domesticate who he was, but Jesus’ life and ministry don’t really allow for it. He shattered barrier after barrier. ......... Jesus’ rejection of conventional religious and cultural thinking — in this case because Jesus, a man, was talking earnestly to a woman in a world in which women were often demeaned and treated as second-class citizens; and because Jesus, a Jew, was talking to a Samaritan, who were despised by the Jews for reasons going back centuries. ............ Jesus was repeatedly attacked for hanging out with the wrong crowd and recruited his disciples from the lower rungs of society. ............ Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan, a story about a man who helps a wounded traveler on the road to Jericho, made the hero of the story not an influential priest, not a person of social rank or privilege but a hated foreigner. .......... For Christians, the incarnation is a story of God, in the person of Jesus, participating in the human drama. And in that drama Jesus was most drawn to the forsaken and despised, the marginalized, those who had stumbled and fallen. He was beloved by them, even as he was targeted and eventually killed by the politically and religiously powerful, who viewed Jesus as a grave threat to their dominance. ............ Jesus sees indelible dignity and inestimable worth in every person, even “the least of these.” If no one else would esteem them, Jesus would. .......... We place loyalty to the tribe over compassion and human connection. We view differences as threatening; the result is we become isolated, rigid in our thinking, harsh and unforgiving. .......... Jesus clearly believed that outcasts had a lot to teach the privileged and the powerful, including the virtues of humility and the vice of supreme certitude. Rather than seeing God exclusively as a moral taskmaster, Jesus understood that the weak and dispossessed often experience God in a different way — as a dispenser of grace, a source of comfort, a redeemer. They see the world, and God, through a different prism than do the powerful and the proud. The lowly in the world offer a corrective to the spiritual astigmatisms that develop among the rest of us. ............ who the modern outcasts are and whether we’re mistreating them ........ what ultimately changes people’s lives are relationships rather than rule books, mercy rather than moral demands. ......... we drift into self-righteousness and legalism, even to the point that we corrupt the very institution, the church, which was created to worship him and to love others......... all of us were once outcasts, broken yet loved, and worth reaching out to and redeeming. ....... If God did that for us, why do we find it so hard to do it for each other? .

Christian Doomsayers Have Lost It Leading social indicators are trending their way, but somehow it is only Trump who stands between us and the apocalypse...... in 1990 there were more than 1.6 million clinical abortions, the historical high-water mark in absolute numbers. (The abortion rate reached its peak in the early 1980s.) Since the early 1990s, the number of abortions has declined steadily, and recently the institute reported that the number and rate of abortions reached their lowest levels since the procedure became legal nationwide in 1973. ......... Clinics performed about 862,000 abortions in 2017 — the latest year for which data is available — the lowest number since 1974, when about 898,000 abortions were performed. .......... the total number of abortions dropped during 15 of the 16 years of the Clinton and Obama presidencies. ........ the teenage birthrate in the United States is also at a record low. ......... in 2018 the divorce rate reached a 40-year low. ....... Today nearly 40 percent of children are born to unmarried mothers. Pornography is ubiquitous in our society, and we face an opioid epidemic and an alarming increase in teenage suicides. ......... We are not living in Nero’s Rome. In world history, there are very few nations that have been as accommodating to Christianity as the United States is today; and America is hardly on the edge of a moral abyss. ......... Many Christians have become invested in a dark narrative. As a friend of mine puts it: “They seem to have some kind of psychological craving for apocalyptic fear. I wonder if walking it back is even possible.” .......... This apocalyptic moral mind-set has led to an alliance with a shockingly unethical figure, who embodies a mobster’s mentality and an anti-Christian ethic. Mr. Trump, a skilled demagogue, has taken full advantage of this. There appears to be almost nothing he can say or do to break the bond that has developed, and virtually nothing that many of his Christian supporters will not excuse. ............. A movement characterized by anxiety and anger, by harsh language and hard edges, by defensiveness and undue pessimism isn’t going to win many converts. Why would it? .......... We should be willing to accept good news where we find it. We shouldn’t assume that joy, gratitude and kindness are synonyms for weakness. And we should be known more for caring for our culture than for constantly being at war with it............. Jesus didn’t view the world primarily as a battle zone. Neither should we. .

How Would You Prove That God Performed a Miracle? He believes that God miraculously healed him of a brain tumor. ....... documentation purporting to link Christian prayers and revivals to sudden, inexplicable medical recoveries. But is it possible to prove that a miracle happened? Is it dangerous to even try? ........... stories of healings that are impossible to account for by natural means, based on current medical knowledge (although they believe that God mostly heals through modern medicine) .......... about half of American scientists and three-quarters of doctors believe in a higher power. ........... The Browns grew up in Christian families but not the sort that expected God to intervene ostentatiously in modern life. Still, he was desperate. He started traveling the country seeking out Christian healing revivals, dragging along his wife and baby daughter. “I needed to find out what was going on,” he said. “If there was any reality to it, I wanted a miracle.” ........... he saw things he couldn’t explain — like a blind man on a street in Cuba who appeared to instantly regain his sight after missionaries prayed for him. Months later, after many sessions of prayer for healing and deliverance, an M.R.I. revealed that his tumor had turned into scar tissue. ........ “One way or another, the tumor went away,” he said. “I’ve been symptom-free for 19 years. The doctors said very little.” The Browns felt grateful — and perplexed. “At that point I wondered why, when I had seen so many things that seemed miraculous and difficult to explain, why was there so little careful investigation of these things?” .......... But the Christian God does not work in randomized, repeatable trials. He works in history. ......... a blind woman who, while praying one night with her husband, regained her sight and a teenage boy who depended on a feeding tube until his stomach suddenly healed itself during an encounter with a Pentecostal minister ......... The Browns’ experiences are striking because they operate in one of the most antisupernaturalist subcultures in the modern world: secular academia. But in a global context — and we are in the midst of a worldwide Christian revival — stories of unexplained healing in response to prayer are common. .......... 80 percent of new Christians in Nepal come to the faith through an experience with healing or deliverance from demonic spirits. Perhaps as many as 90 percent of new converts who join a house church in China credit their conversion to faith healing. In Kenya, 71 percent of Christians say they have witnessed a divine healing ......... we are talking about millions of people who say something otherworldly happened to them. ......... He has been a healing evangelist since the age of 7, when, he said, Jesus appeared to him in a dream and asked if he would like to heal people. His family was not Christian at the time, but after his frightened parents heard him speaking English in his sleep (they spoke only Igbo), they took him to a local minister, who proclaimed that the boy was anointed as a healer. ............ In the Bible, humans see wondrous signs of God’s power where the Gospel is spreading to new lands, and Jesus refuses to perform magic tricks for skeptical Pharisees but heals those whose desperation drives them to faith. .......... They described startling cases of cancer remission and unresponsive people with dementia getting up to dance. But most of their stories emphasized internal transformation, the acceptance of approaching death by pilgrims and their families. ........... many Christians’ belief that miraculous healing ceased after New Testament times springs from “protection against pain, protection against feeling ill will toward God or other people. It takes hope and vulnerability to be open to healing.” ......... miracles are not the point. Miracles are signs meant to help humans see the greatest miracle of all, the incarnation and resurrection of Jesus Christ— God’s ultimate intrusion into ordinary life, by which he eventually “shall wipe away all tears,” according to the Book of Revelation.

Monday, April 12, 2021

धर्म निरपेक्षता भनेको नास्तिकता होइन

नेपालमा संविधान सभाको समय देखि नै, अझ त्योभन्दा अगाडि नै, हिन्दु राष्ट्रको मुद्दा बड़ा ज्वलंत हुने गरेको छ। २०४६ को आंदोलन पछि राजा वीरेन्द्र ले नया संविधान मा अरु जेसुकै लेखे नलेखे पनि हिन्दु राष्ट्र अवश्य लेख्नु भनेर वाहवाही लुटेका थिए। राजस्थान बाट भागेर आएका राजाले अहिले नेपालबाट फेरि भागेर हिन्दुस्तान कब्ज़ा गर्न लागिसके भन्ने खालको रिपोर्टिंग हरु भएको देखिन्छ युट्युब मा। 

नेपालको संविधानले धर्म निरपेक्षता र सनातन धर्म दुबै भनेको छ। आखिर के हो त धर्म निरपेक्षता? यो वादविवाद दुई हजार वर्ष अगाडि हुँदैनथ्यो। युरोप बाट शुरू भएको आधुनिक राज्य को अवधारणा सँग यो आएको हो। युरोप मा धर्मका नाममा मारकाट। अमेरिका को स्थापना हुँदा पनि युरोप बाट भागेर आएका पीड़ित प्रोटेस्टैंट हरु ले शांतिपुर्वक आफ्नो धर्म को पालन गर्न पाऊँ भन्ने अभिप्रायले नै लेखेका हुन। अर्थात धर्म निरपेक्षता भनेको धर्म मास्न पाऊँ भनेर लेखिएको थिएन। उल्टो थियो। त्यसको सिको गरेर नेपालमा धर्म निरपेक्षता लेखेको हो। धर्म मास्न पाऊँ भन्ने अर्थ लागनै सक्दैन। 

नेपालको संविधानले धर्म निरपेक्षता लेखेको जाबो मेलम्ची को पानी काठमाण्डु सम्म पुर्याउन ३० वर्ष लगाउने झुण्ड बाट आफ्नो हिन्दु धर्मको रक्षा गरिपाऊँ भन्ने अर्थ नै लाग्छ। 

भगवान कृष्ण खुदले मेरो असीमित ज्ञान मध्ये अलिकति (अर्थात अत्यंत थोड़ै अंश) यस गीतामा छ भनेका छन। कुनै हिन्दुले गीता बाहिरको ईश्वरको कुरा गरेको म मान्दै मांदिन भने त्यसलाई के भन्ने? कुनै हिन्दुले म राम मान्छु तर कृष्ण मांदिन भन्दा के भन्ने? 

इजराइल का यहुदी ले अरु हरु लाई धर्म परिवर्तन गरेर यहुदी बनाउने प्रयास गरेको पाइँदैन। भारतका हिन्दु पनि त्यस्तै छन। तिमी ले हिन्दु भएर जन्मिने सौभाग्य पाएको हो र तिमी हिन्दु हुने भन्छ? Chosen People Syndrome. इजराइल का यहुदी सँग भारतवर्षका ब्राह्मण हरुको थुप्रै कुरा मिल्छ। जन्मजात पंडित। सारा युरोप भन्दा टेक्नोलॉजी मा इजराइल एक्लै अगाडि छ जबकि युरोप आफै त्यस्तो कमजोर होइन। 

ब्राह्मण जन्मजात ब्राम्हण हो भने ब्राम्हणले पाएको सफलता पाउन के गर्ने? ईश्वरको आराधना गर्ने। थुप्रै जन्मको पापले दलित लाई त्यहाँ पुर्याएको हो यदि भने उपाय के? आम माफ़ी को बाटो। शुलीमा चढेको इशु लाई अँगाल्ने। पृथ्वीमा समानता प्राप्त हुन्छ र मृत्यु पश्चात मुक्ति। भगवान कृष्णले गीतामा भनेका छन, हे अर्जुन तिमी ब्रम्हको बाटो पाप को प्रत्येक सागर पार गर्न सक्ने छौ। अर्जुन भनेर समस्त मानव जाति लाई भनिएको हो। इशा धर्तीमा आउनु भन्दा तीन हजार वर्ष पहिला भनिएको हो। जति बेला बाइबल को एक अक्षर पनि लेखिएको थिएन त्यति बेला भनिएको हो। गीता ले गॉस्पेल तिर देखाएको छ। 

भारतवर्षका ब्राह्मण ले घ्यु चामल होम गर्छन। त्यही ईश्वरले भने इजराइल का यहुदी सँग भने भेंड़ा को रगत मागेको छ। किन होला? किन भन्दा भारतवर्षका ब्राह्मण ले घ्यु चामल होम गर्दा गर्दा ईश्वरको बारे कम घ्यु चामल बारे बढ़ी सोच्ने गल्ती नगरुन भनेर। 

प्राचीन इतिहासमा ईश्वर मनुष्य भएर पैदा हुनुपर्ने, विभिन्न ड्रामाटिक्स देखाउनुपर्ने। होइन भने मनुष्यले पत्याउँदैन। अझ त्योभन्दा अगाडि त ठीकै छ आफ्नै आँखाले देख्ने वर्षा कै पुजा गर भनेका। पछि आएर सच्याएका आफैले। वर्षा दिने इंद्र देव त ईश्वर होइनन, ईश्वर त म हो भनेर भन्नुपरेको भगवान कृष्णले। 

तर इस्लाम धर्ममा त्यस्तो कुनै मानव अवतार छैन। किन? कैलेंडर हेर्नुपर्छ। १३०० वर्ष अगाडि मात्र शुरू भएको। The Koran is the only miracle we need भन्छन मुसलमान ले। हिन्दु लाई जस्तो सुदर्शन चक्र घुमाइराख्नु परेन। सुदर्शन चक्र घुमाउनु परेको ५,००० वर्ष अगाडि। 

शिव कुनै औरतको कोख बाट पृथ्वी मा जन्मिएका होइनन, राम र कृष्ण जस्तो, सोझै स्वर्ग बाट पृथ्वी झरेका ध्यान मुद्रामा। स्वर्गका देव ले पुजा गर्ने शिव। हिन्दुले भन्छ ब्रम्ह विष्णुको नाभी बाट उत्पन्न भएका। त्यसैलाई क्रिस्चियन ले अझ स्पष्ट भन्छ, Holy Father, Holy Son. 

एक पटक कसैले शिव लाई सोधे, तपाईं कसको छोरा? शिवले भने ब्रम्हको। ब्रम्ह कसको सन्तान? विष्णु को, शिवले भने। विष्णु लाई पैदा गर्ने को? शिवले भने म आफ्नै हजुर बा हुँ। गीतामा भगवान कृष्णले भनेका छन, न म पैदा भएँ न मरछु। भने पछि अमीबा एक बाट दुई भए जस्तै एउटा शिव बाट शिव र विष्णु दुई भए होलान। तर त्यो सबै धरती र यो ब्रम्हांड को समय सीमा भित्र भएको होइन। जसलाई हामी समय भन्छौं त्यो आफैमा ब्रम्हको सृष्टि हो। त्यो शिव ब्रम्ह का अगाडि एउटा बालक भएर प्रगट भए, रुन थाले। ऐ बालक, तिमी किन रोएको भन्दा मेरो कुनै नाम छैन। ब्रम्ह ले शिव लाई नाम दिनु अगाडि न शिव शिव थिए न महादेव। ब्रम्ह ले शिव लाई अडॉप्ट गरेका। पैदा गरेका होइनन। पैदा गरिने बच्चा र गोद लिइने बच्चा बराबर हुन। तर त्यो सब हुँदा एक पटक पनि स्वर्ग अथवा पृथ्वी को सृष्टि भएको थिएन। 

विष्णुले ब्रम्ह पैदा गरे भने विष्णु महिला कि पुरुष? त्यो प्रश्न नै व्यर्थ हो। महिला कि पुरूष त्यो सीमित मनुष्य मा लागु हुन्छ, असीमित ईश्वरमा होइन। 

शिव सत्य युगमा आए। आजसम्म तिनका अनुयायी कुम्भमा डुबुल्की मार्छन। राम आए। फेरि आउँछु भनेर गए। २,००० वर्ष पछि कृष्ण बनेर आए। कृष्णको प्रस्थान पछि कलयुग शुरू भयो। हिन्दु हरु भन्छन। कलियुग मा पाप हुन्छ। चार ऋतु जस्ता चार युग। त्यो पापको हरण गर्न ब्रम्ह येशु अवतारमा २,००० वर्ष अगाडि इजराइल आएको कुरा मानन हिन्दु हरु लाई किन गारहो? 

Holy Father: Vishnu, Holy Son: Bramha, Holy Spirit: Shiva.

बाइबलमा कहानी छ, अब्राहम को पहिलो छोरा लाई पत्नीको वचनमा छोड्नुपर्दा ईश्वर ले चिन्ता न गर म तिम्रो त्यो छोरा मार्फ़त पनि एउटा राष्ट्र खड़ा गर्छु भनेका: Nation of Islam. 

जुन ईश्वरले मनुष्य जातिको मायामा आफ्नै छोरा लाई बलि चढ़ाइदिन सक्छन त्यही ईश्वरले मनुष्य जातिको मायामा आफ्नै छोरा लाई त्यो त मेरो छोरा नै होइन पनि भनिदिन सक्छन भन्ने बुझ्न फेरि क्रिस्चियन हरु लाई धेरै गारहो। अब्राहम ले आईजैक लाई त्यसरी नै मेरो होइन भन्नुपरेको। आज थुप्रै यस्ता मानिस छन जसलाई आफ्नो बाउ को हो थाहा छैन। ईश्वर तिन लाई पनि माया गर्छन। 

धर्म निरपेक्षता भनेको आधुनिक राज्य ले ईश्वर भनेको मेरो jurisdiction भन्दा धेरै माथिको कुरा भनेको मात्र हो। नास्तिकता भनेको होइन। 

महाभारतमा एक ठाउँमा भनिएको छ, हे ब्रम्ह, तपाइँका थुप्रै नाम छन, एउटा त्यस्तो नाम हो ईशा। कुरान मा जीसस को नाम हो ईशा। क़ुरानमा सबैभन्दा बढ़ी उच्चारण गरिएको नाम। 

हिन्दुले ईश्वर मानने, बहुत कड़ाई का साथ मानने, तर त्यही ईश्वर भारतवर्ष बाहिर प्रगट भए नमान्ने। अर्थात ईश्वरले पनि हिन्दुको GPS फॉलो गर्नुपर्ने। भारत सृष्टि गर्ने ईश्वर, अमेरिका सृष्टि गर्ने ईश्वर अर्कै हो र? समुचा ब्रह्माण्ड को सृष्टि गर्ने एक ईश्वर। 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

धर्म निरपेक्षता सब भन्दा बढ़ी चाहिएको नेपालको हिन्दु लाई

Animation of the structure of a section of DNA...
Animation of the structure of a section of DNA. The bases lie horizontally between the two spiraling strands. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
भोजपुरा प्रदेश र मधेसी मुस्लिम
धर्म निरपेक्षता र मानव अधिकार
केपी ओली र धर्म निरपेक्षता
भारत बाट आउने भाड़ा मा उपलब्ध बाबा जी हरु
उद्दण्ड मच्चाइ रहेको भारतीय बाबाजी
राज्य (state) को आफ्नो धर्म हुँदैन भनेको
जबरजस्ती धर्म परिवर्तन गर्ने तरिका के हो?
धर्म परिवर्तन गर्न पाउनु मानव अधिकार हो
Janakpur Muslims

धर्म निरपेक्षता सब भन्दा बढ़ी चाहिएको नेपालको हिन्दु लाई। हिन्दु राष्ट्र त २५० वर्ष देखि पृथ्वी ले "सच्चा हिन्दुस्तान" त बनाएर राखेको हो नि। त्यसले गरीबी र अंधकार बाहेक के दियो?

देश लोकतन्त्रमा जाने तर देशमा वाक स्वतंत्रता नहुने। त्यस्तो पनि हुन्छ? आज संसार मा जति विकसित देश छन सबै लोकतन्त्रको आधारमा धनी र विकसित र आधुनिक बनेका हुन। मान्छेको biology त जहाँ पनि उही हो। Brain त केपी ओली बाहेक सबै को टाउको मा छ।

मानव अधिकार सर्वमान्य घोषणापत्र हो। त्यो मानव अधिकार भनेको लोकतंत्र को DNA हो। जुन देशमा मानव अधिकार छैन त्यहाँ लोकतंत्र छैन। मापदंड नै त्यही हो।

नेपालमा मुसलमान लाई बस्न दिने कि नदिने? बुद्धिस्ट ईसाई लाई बस्न दिने कि नदिने? प्रश्न त्यो हुँदै होइन।

प्रश्न हो, नेपालका हिन्दु गरीब भएर बस्ने कि धनी देशको नागरिक बन्ने? धनी आधुनिक देश बन्ने एक मात्र उपलब्ध बाटो हो लोकतंत्र। लोकतंत्र को DNA हो मानव अधिकार।

जुन देशमा धर्म निरपेक्षता छैन त्यस देशमा लोकतंत्र छैन। कि त लोकतंत्र चाहिएन, धनी देश बन्नु छैन भन्नुपर्यो।

तपाइँ को भगवान ले भोको पेट बस मोक्ष पाइन्छ भनेको छ भने माग्नुस हिन्दु राष्ट्र।

धर्म निरपेक्षता बिना देश धनी र आधुनिक बन्दैन भने त्यो धर्म निरपेक्षता आखिर हो के? नेपाली नागरिक हिन्दु हुन पाउँदैन भन्ने हो?

धर्म निरपेक्षता भनेको राज्य (state) को धर्म हुँदैन भनेको। नागरिक को धार्मिक स्वतंत्रता को त्यो भन्दा राम्रो गारंटी र insurance अर्को हुने सक्दैन। राज्य (state) को आफ्नो धर्म हुँदैन भने जुन सुकै नागरिक को जे सुकै धर्म भए राज्य (state) लाई फरक नै परेन।

धर्म निरपेक्षता भनेको राज्य (state) ले धर्म मा पैसा खर्च गर्नु गैर कानुनी हुन्छ।

तर नागरिक को आफ्नो धर्म हुन्छ। प्रधान मंत्री को आफ्नो धर्म हुन्छ। सरकारी कर्मचारीको आफ्नो धर्म हुन्छ। अमेरिका मा जति धार्मिक मानिस संसारमा कहीं पनि छैन। युरोप मा पनि छैन।

नेपाल धनी देश बन्यो भने धनी हिन्दु नेपाली नागरिक ले पैसा खर्च गरेर "जा अमेरिका मा ईसाई लाई हिन्दु बना, अभियान चला" भन्न पाइयो। अहिले त गाँठ छैन। त्यो धनी देश बनने बाटो धर्म निरपेक्षता हो।