Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Little Insight

Hey Gang! I know it's been forever... and I SO apologize for that!

OK... moving on... haha

I found this in a book our High School Ministry (HSM) is doing for small groups and I just had to show it to you...

Today's Treasure: Acts 17:16-34

"At the time Paul entered Athens, the Greeks worshipped as many as thirty thousand gods and goddesses. They were man-made gods but were taken very seriously. They would erect statues and monuments and altars to these made-up gods. The streets were lined with them; they were in every niche, in every window, and at every doorstep. It had been said that it was easier to find a god than a man. They erected statues, carved idols, and created altars for every god they knew so as not to anger any of them. They were so afraid of angering a god that they erected a statue to "the Unknown God" in case they missed one.

Within the population of Athens there were those who lived in two major philosophies: the Epicureans and the Stoics. The Epicureans were consumed with a lifestyle of indulgence, with their main objective in life being pleasure. They believed there was no afterlife and therefore they lived their life in pursuit of pleasures - an 'eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you die' attitude. The Epicureans believed the gods to be material but thought the gods were too busy being blessed and happy to be bothered with governance of the universe.

Stoics considered themselves as good as God. God was in everything - rocks, trees, the oceans, birds, every living and non-living thing. The Stoic god is immanent throughout the whole of creation and directed it's development down to the smallest detail. Those who lived according to this philosophy tended not to believe anything and wre dead to feelings and emotions.

The only thing these two philosophies agreed on was that paul's teaching was abhorrent to thier lifestyle and customs. They considered Paul to be a babbler with no real thought or understanding of his own. Paul spoke of jesus and a resurrection. The Greek word for 'resurrection' is anastasis and the word sounded like a female name. It is possible when Paul talked about Jesus and the resurrection in the marketplace, people thought that he was talking about some new god and goddess, Jesus and Anastasis. While Athens was full of religions, a law prohibited the introduction on new foreign gods. So Paul was summoned before the city council to explain himself. This was not a formal trial. There does not seem to be a formal change, a legal defense, or a verdict. This was most likely an inquiry to determine if laws had been broken." - Liquid; five episodes, one story

I read that the other day and almost fell over at the smackdown I got from God. And I think the part that hit me the most is that they mistook God's resurrection as a female goddess... and how the Greek word for LOVE sounds like a female's name.

Ladies, we have been blessed with the ability to LOVE.... to LOVE like never before - let's go out and show it!

~Susan Elaine