Monthly Archives: April 2019

UNDERSTANDING FOLAU FOLLY

BATTERING RAM FAITH AND UNFAITH

It is an irony in its own right that the bible cited  by sports star Israel Folau sacked for “homophobia”, doesn’t employ a precise equivalent of the “homosexual” word as used and understood today any more than it includes the word “atheist” Folau seems to think belongs in scripture. But the ironies (and confusion) don’t end there, they only begin.

Criticized and now penalized Wallabies Rugby star, Israel Folau, who has declared gays are bound for hell (along with other classes of people) if they don’t repent, has something in common with atheist crusader, Richard Dawkins. In the realm of faith and unbelief respectively, both are uncompromising fundamentalist literalists.

Something neither they nor their fans would even recognize, is that both were also born under the (battering) ram sign of Aries which has a remarkable history and function in the sphere of beliefs. Neo-atheism is almost the province of Ariens – Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, A. C. Grayling. Evangelicalism like that of General Booth of the Salvation Army derived from  a fiery Arien,   while it was the missionary saint, St Francis Xavier, whose unmitigated homophobic fervour would prove a major reason Christianity failed to take root in Japan. The level of insult and abuse directed upon gay courtiers (“worse than pigs and dogs”) was considered barbarian brattishness beyond the pale. Coming up to date, Folau’s chief Australian defender of his abrasiveness as free speech justified, is the Arien broadcaster, Alan Jones.

Although it is undeniably controversial for free speech anywhere to penalize Folau  with termination of contract for his outspoken beliefs, there is an exasperating, tactless insensitivity and  confusion in them all the same,  especially as regards gays. A rather six of one and half a dozen of the other  type situation has now  arisen  as regards free speech and its censorship in Australia  because Folau is just so extreme. (He has even criticized Christians for celebrating Christmas !). Since it is well established that young gays have extra struggles of adjustment and a higher than usual suicide rate, they don’t need to have a celebrity promising them the hell fires on Instagram (especially not one who in the not distant past has not been unhappy to model for a gay magazine and be spokesperson for “diversity”. Folau has the right to change his mind without being called  a hypocrite, but he should in common decency have left any words about gays to others. For an impassioned gay response to Folau see this article in the Sydney Morning Herald shorturl.at/klrS8

If public figures must criticize gays at that level, it might be more to the point to call out, say,  those whose rave party enthusiasms help keep the drug cartels in business or again older gays who exploit the vulnerable  and inexperienced young who may have just been shunted into the big world by rejecting families. (This might  besides better approximate to the apostle’s “homosexual offenders” as a modern  translation like NIV has it).

For the likes of Folau and his supporters (who now regard him, as he plainly does himself, as a bit of martyr ready to suffer any rejection in service of Jesus!) the matter is as simple as “what the bible says” and needing to repeat it. Anglican Bishop Michael Stead of South Sydney in rather similar vein told The Australian (April 17th) if Folau did nothing more than post to social media “what is essentially a summary of the Bible, then it’s a signal to the rest of us to keep our mouths shut”….. WHAT?!  Can  the bishop be so misguided (and self interested in relation to personal freedoms) as to propose a summary of the bible or gospel is involved?!

The matter  certainly isn’t as simple as “what the bible says”  or some “summary” of it, and it’s important to realize why.

THE LIMITS OF LITERALISM

As regards specifically homosexuals, words for “homosexuals” and “homosexuality” simply don’t occur in the bible so that translation and terminology will have a lot to do with how the subject is understood today by different scholars, historians and Christians and with other statements and references in the bible taken into account.

Psychology didn’t come into the picture for the ancient world so what the bible, especially the OT, would recognize as indicated would tend to be persons, sodomites, known for acts such as would be committed by especially paganish temple prostitutes masquerading as women. It was this class of persons who got dismissed from the Jerusalem temple (but not executed) under the reforms of Israel’s King Josiah. Such were almost certainly the original target of the often cited Leviticus ban of male same sex. (But lesbians aren’t even mentioned in the OT, while if male same sex is paganish “abomination”, then so too is eating the pork many Christians eat. So let’s belatedly obtain some perspective!).

But almost more to the point for understanding biblical condemnations and any vice lists of the damned which Folau derives from St Paul to the Galatians (which unlike 1 Corinthians doesn’t include anything re “homosexual” or “homosexuality – the guy can’t quote right), let’s notice it includes liars.

Think one moment. The fact is that even the most honest people do, or need, to lie at least occasionally. The bible doesn’t endorse Kant’s “categorical imperative” according to which one should never lie. In Exodus God blesses the two righteous midwives who lied to save the Hebrew children from Pharaoh.

Thieves. Are all thieves damned? Would it be so evil for the starving to steal a loaf of bread? Obviously by thieves St Paul has in mind all those who Mafia-like spend their lives turning the wheels of corruption.

That it’s so easy in this way to start deconstructing what the bible via St Paul states, should alert us to the following:

  1. The apostle is generalizing. At most he is speaking regards what his supposedly regenerate flock should not exhibit while pointing to symptoms of a larger unregenerate state in the world beyond. But more importantly…
  2. For purposes of random, sensational quotation like Folau’s, there is anyway a certain irrelevance in these vice lists seeing  that in Paul’s understanding, there is another, more crucial generalization involved. This is that – by and large – everyone, even the good, can be hell bound. For the apostle the chief feature of society is that it is “fallen” and largely doomed. “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing” (2 Cor 4:4).

In the ancient world and before acceptance of resurrection belief became common enough to produce more RIP style optimism in even unbelievers, save in rare exceptions the post-mortem state for everyone was understood to be the darkness of Hades. This was unremitting, a version of hell. Consider the Homeric horrors of Odysseus’ visit to Hades and the souls trapped there that blood sacrifice alone can summon up  to record their misery. The gods can never save from death.

DEATH, HELL AND ALL THAT

Christianity arrived to promise deliverance from death, conditional upon especially faith and repentance. Folau is all for these and not incorrectly; it’s just that he gets the emphasis and application wrong. Without these, and because God is perfect and humanity imperfect, the two can otherwise never now be easily reconciled and. “Flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom of God”(1 Cor 15:50). The regenerate soul would require nothing less than  the house of a new spiritual body via resurrection to reside anywhere but deep earth or Hades.

Today, neither faith nor repentance (lit. mind change) are popular, well understood concepts, especially amid trendy doctrines of personal autonomy and pride in self and one’s accomplishments. Faith and repentance are nonetheless secrets of meaningful spiritual change …..even if not change to the extent Folau assumes that the gay orientated person will become straight. (As the himself probably gay orientated prophet Jeremiah famously had it: “Can the leopard change his spots?” ( See my “Jeremiah’s Loincloth” feature https://wp.me/p2v96G-Hm).  The gay person needs to be responsibly rather than chaotically gay.

Though the bible does argue for God from creation, belief itself is treated less philosophically than existentially. Accordingly,  “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand” is how the Baptist introduced his ministry. It is honest recognition of human failure, brokenness and mortality which can best prompt both realization of the need for God and what the nature of God is. “Repent” in this case denotes a general direction of the mind for everyone –  a whole vice-list of those needing to repent  doesn’t come attached.

REPENTANCE AS A USEFUL PRACTICE

Providing it doesn’t descend into morbid, self-unforgiving  guilt, repentance or permanent self-criticism, is (with praise) almost the prime religious exercise. To say repentance “doesn’t work” because people keep failing, is almost but not quite irrelevant. Just as people do (or should) reckon to keep saying “sorry” if they hurt and offend others, even though they are virtually guaranteed to do so again (but perhaps less so over time!), so it is good for mind and spirit to keep “repenting” failures. It’s  the opportunity for renewal of mind and spirit. Simply to recognize one is not Superman or Superwoman for ideal performance in life can be both a relief and a means of being closer to interaction with the perfection of God. Confession to self, others and God and being forgiven by them is a profound human need inadequately understood. The rationalist poet, Goethe, couldn’t understand his irrational need for it.

It nonetheless makes sense because from a certain point of view it could be said we are anyway always a bit “wrong” even at our best (our righteousness like filthy rags as the apostle had it) and moderns especially are half neurotic living in what the writers of bible would probably regard as a state of ritual impurity from sheer lack of regular, sufficient “repentance” in  their lives. Some would even boast “I never say sorry”, but perhaps they really should for their own and everyone’s good!

NOT ALL AND QUITE LOST

Though unquestionably he does regard the whole world to be “perishing” and needing to repent,  in fairness to the sometimes severe apostle, this doesn’t mean St Paul assumed as some extremists since St Augustine and up to Folau today evidently do, that everyone, (from unbaptized infants to even the ignorant in the case of Augustine!) are all automatically lost souls. In fact, he surely negates that claim in such as Rom 2:14. However….there’s  no need to go into that subject here nor regarding hell, matters I touch on in an article Greg Sheridan’s God is Good for You: A Major Book with and odd flaw https://wp.me/p2v96G-16w What should be stressed  is where Folau’s outspokenness  puts the rules of public conversation  in an era of PC.

Folau’s pushing of his beliefs despite warnings against their unsuitability and possible danger to impressionable young minds, is  troubling. His aggressive “witness” and then his martyred stance is almost a caricature of  type of Christian role. Little good can come of it…. Except possibly that it reminds us of one thing that church leaders ignore, namely precisely the need for “repentance” as a major aspect of life  and Christianity itself, and almost as a   technique…..

FUNDAMENTALISTS WITHOUT REAL FUNDAMENTALS

….Radical change is not being preached in the majority of churches, especially where whole areas of private behaviour are concerned. A too frequent, puritanical over-emphasis on sex in the past has led in the present to an almost total silence to the point almost anything has been allowed, or at least conveniently ignored. The scandals of especially clerical sexual abuse have occurred only because it was too easy to forgive or just dismiss things where a more serious repentance was plainly required. You  don’t say  like Cardinal Pell “I’m not interested” when faced with a case of notorious abuse.

The churches, reduced almost to just arms of smiling public charity, have ceased to teach their members, let alone preach to those outside, some basic spiritual and theological principles of the faith. It is  scarcely possible  to understand what has happened through the Folau controversy otherwise. Folau’s actions and attitudes are both an accident and over- compensatory reaction to what the churches have become where beliefs and witness are concerned. There is a crisis of ignorance that neither church silence nor celebrity shouting can hope to resolve but against which Folau kicks and butts.

This is an article it should not even cross my mind as a lay person  to write. It should be  unnecessary because if they were attending to their their job so many church leaders should already have given meaningful answers to Folau and to gays and others; but so far the silence is either deafening or as in the case of the cited Bishop Stead, almost in itself another scandal of misguided thinking.  No one wins in this case. If Folau loses that’s bad for freedoms, if he wins it will  seem like open day to the uninformed, careless even eccentric treatment of religion in public. Folau is an insensitive messer should have just kept quiet and  whatever happens, he and the world  should not see  him as any martyr to the things of Christ.

 

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NOTRE DAME BURNS: TIMING AND OMEN

I will paste below what I have sent this morning in Australia to the Noel Tyl site in America

Much could be said on this topic, especially given several charts used for modern France -the 4th republic with its 24 Aries Midheaven as opposed to 5th looks like it might be more relevant at this point. However and dramatically I would point out this.

I have long claimed to possess the true chart for Christianity at Pentecost in AD 30 and that it works down to the last asteroid and still works for events.

Today Uranus for accidents and disasters is at 2 Taurus 9 dangerously square Pentecost’s fiery 2.40 Leo ascendant.

I don’t know the exact time the still ongoing fire began, but I am seeing the TV reports this morning in Australia and today is the 16th. The sun is presently at 25.40 Aries. This means today it sufficiently comes to  conjunct Pentecost’s 26.57 Aries Venus in its tenth house of destiny/reputation, Venus being its ruler of the fourth of any property, art and any endings. Also, transiting   doom-laden Saturn at 23 Cap is conjunct Pentecost’s Neptune (the stained glass windows have been lost) and square the 23 Aries destiny Midheaven of Pentecost.

That this event occurs in the Holy Week before the Passover in sync this year with the Christian feast, looks like not just an event but an omen, an omen of the soon end of the Piscean Christian era itself, a subject which it seems is increasingly being reported by many in dreams.

I am not however going to get into date setting or speculations here re such as Second Advent or the Rapture, a real mystery which however I do see as arguably locked into symbolism and factors of the Pentecost chart from its inception. I will however say there is something  hurtful to me and rather shameful  in relation to the astrological community that none of its leaders, its magazines etc have,  over the years, been interested to feature or examine the chart for Christianity or indeed even for Christ. The latest gossip over Hollywood holds more importance. This isn’t good enough and against this failure I am confident of being proved right.

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THE STARS OF ISRAEL’S RED HEIFER

A CREATURE WITH A DESTINY?

It’s quite a question. Born last year, is Israel’s Red Heifer  likely to stay red and be the true and ritually perfect one whose ashes can be used in dedication of the anticipated third temple? Although, surprisingly, a couple of apparently pure red heifers have been born this year  too, there are some highly suggestive indications that the kosher true one quite likely finally arrived last August  and I am surprised I never examined this more closely before to pass an opinion.  After all, the whole question is now almost inextricably tied in with the current mounting expectations of a Messiah for Israel and full blown apocalyptic expectations in some Christian circles  (partly addressed in my recent “Rabbi Kanievsky’s Messianic Purim 2019”  on this site. https://wp.me/p4kNWg-qd).

Just what the Red Heifer is and does, touches on some sensitive points of doctrine and difference between Judaism and Christianity. The Red Heifer of Num 19, is a unique sacrifice within Judaism, a sin offering which takes place outside the city walls and is effectively a collective purification from sin and the greatest impurity of all which is death.

The mainstream rabbinic position is that Israel is living in a state of ritual impurity unless and until the Temple system of sacrifice is restored. The Christian position as outlined in especially  the Epistle to Hebrews and its Chap 10, is that Jesus made the sacrifice once and for all time for the sins of the world, rendering animal sacrifice unnecessary. Christians today seem divided  over whether any rebuilt temple that awaits its heifer is a positive move (a symbol and reminder of God to the world) or a signal/trigger of apocalyptic events since a false prophet or Antichrist will arrive to defile and stop the rituals of any new temple, or even a trigger to both possibilities.

One thing is rather clear amid differing beliefs. There is an affinity of sorts between the symbolism of Jesus and the Red Heifer. Jesus died, and the Red Heifer must uniquely die, outside the city walls and both are understood to die as radical sin offerings. Jesus “lamb of God” is as  much and possibly more the unique heifer, and both have been born under the sign of precision and perfection, of health and cure, Virgo, itself the ideal of the opposite sign, Pisces, sign of the  (approx. 2100 year) age  now declining and at its last gasps. For the astrology of Jesus, data that work for Jesus issue to this day, see https://goo.gl/x8KASy

I will read this in two ways, first as a day chart and  where relevant  in relation to Israel, and second in relation to the regularly working data I claim to have for Christ. (See https://wp.me/p2v96G-ip)  Following   this I will have some things to say about the last Purim and “messianic” developments from that.

  • For the day of the Red’s birth (28.8.2018) we have no exact time or place, so I will follow custom and take the generalizing average of midday at Jerusalem. It  happens to be a potent choice, as the sun has just entered 5 Virgo where it conjoins asteroid JERUSALEM for that day, while Jupiter, the religion and beliefs planet, conjuncts the ascendant (the point rising on the horizon). Also the chart’s  base angle (origins,  traditions) at 24 Leo manages to be near conjunct modern Israel’s TEMPEL  asteroid, an incidental relevance.
  • Surprising, revolutionary, unique Uranus is suitably placed in Taurus, sign of the bull and any heifers. It’s a sign, besides, long associated with Israel which in modern times was born under Taurus in 1948. Uranus is also perfectly trine Saturn, symbol both of any traditions and any guilt, and at 2 degrees Capricorn very strong in the sign of its rulership. By tradition Israel wants to purge guilt with this heifer.
  • The birth can be world relevant and sacrifice associated especially as CHIRON, the wounded healer planetoid, is at 1 degree of Aries, namely on one of the six world points. ( O Aries is such a point, but anything up to 1.30 degrees is counted as on that degree).
  • At 2 of Taurus, Uranus in tension square to asteroid REDDISH at 2 Leo, heightens controversy around the status and significance of the heifer and whether she will remain completely red as required, – which she likely will. Reddish in a fixed sign (fiery red Leo) favours remaining red!
  • That this birth seriously involves Israel and its religion is indicated by the way at 16 Scorpio Jupiter, the faith and beliefs factor, makes fortunate easy trine to asteroid ISRAEL at 16 Cancer and to Neptune, strong in the sign it rules, at 15 Pisces…incidentally sign of the outgoing era.
  • That involved, however indirectly, are matters concerning the Messiah, is indicated by the challenging and tense opposition of asteroid MASI (Ar. Messiah) to Pluto, the judgement, force majeure, even deity planet.
  • Asteroid COLPA (sin/guilt) at 4 Cancer happens to be conjunct modern Israel’s Venus at 4 Cancer. This is all the more significant if one takes the usual, most working chart for Israel which shows Venus in its ninth house of beliefs and religion. So religious Israel wants the purification of this sin offering.                                                                              I am nonetheless bound to concede all of this may represent wishes, desires and expectations around the birth rather than its final identity.

THE HEIFER to JESUS’ CHART

I will now highlight the pattern of the day as it agrees and disagrees in connection with data for Jesus but either way suggests an element of destiny and involvement with many beliefs.

  • The sun is in Jesus’ sign of Virgo and at just 5 degrees it falls opposite his JACOBI possibly indicating difference with traditions of the sons of Jacob.
  • Mercury (any news) at 16 Leo conjuncts JERUSALEM in Jesus’ chart. The heifer is all about Jerusalem  and being just outside it.
  • Venus, strong in its own sign  at 20 Libra, conjuncts SALMON (a variant Solomon name) itself in suggestively easy and favourable trine to Jesus’ 19 Gemini TEMPEL (Ger. temple) asteroid. This has to reflect current desires to restore the temple of Solomon. (Solomon as SALOMIN was in Jesus’ fourth house of his origins and ancestry along with other biblical notables).
  • At 16 Scorpio, religion planet and Bethlehem star, Jupiter,  well and truly reflects the confusion and argument about the meanings and fate of any  third temple and sacrifices. It manages to conjunct SETHOS (Seth/Set/Satan) which is bookend conjuncted at 15 and 17 Scorpio respectively by MALUS (bad) and PALOMA (dove) which is like some devil and Holy Spirit contention over religious issues.
  • Uranus at 2 Taurus is opposite Jesus’ VERITAS (Truth) at 2 Scorpio, incidentally a natal position suggestive that truth about Jesus has a lot to do with death and the issue of his death and transformation, ideas which as we know is not ultimately in harmony with what the heifer represents.
  • Pluto at 19 Capricorn is hitting a conjunction of several asteroids in Jesus’s pattern including ABBE (Father). The issue of the heifer involves both Jewish and Christian beliefs around how much the Father can be contacted and worshipped and will forgive.

I think the above is enough to signify the Red Heifer’s birth is timely and relevant for many current beliefs and that she is quite  likely to stay the course fully red and prove the elect creature that let’s the temple be dedicated. But she now has rivals whose dates I don’t find advertised. This whole subject is rather under wraps, no one knows where the heifers are being kept and raised.

Meanwhile….and to continue the story and issues of Rabbi Kanievsky’s Messianic Purim….

PURIM AND POST PURIM EFFECTS

Where Israel was concerned the real surprise and gift of the festival proved not to be a hidden, emerging Messiah but Trump’s recognition of the historic Golan as Israel and not just “occupied territory”.

This intervention was clear enough, but post Purim 2019 a measure of confusion (some of it a bit amusing in line with Purim’s carnival spirit) prevails. Indeed, I can hardly keep up with and understand it all. Poor Rabbi Kanievsky who I  now find has stated the Messiah was born last July, must have felt short changed by the events of the festival that were supposed to present the Messiah to a few before a greater revelation around the elections and Passover. (But if he were still an infant, could the messianic crown anyway even fit his head?!).

What Rabbi Kaviensky and his devotees have been left to absorb is the embarrassment of someone apparently taking him at his word and more. On the evening of Purim, a not totally unknown figure once deported from Israel, King Ra-El (aka Raymond Elwood Lear b. June 9th 1968 in Illinois), was featured live stream on social media in English from Baja Mexico. The region is one  that Jews  have long inhabited and which has a kosher farm there that a time back announced it had produced a red heifer, though of course one from within Israel was always to be preferred and now lays claim.

Beneath a canopy blown by sea breezes, Ra-El swathed in Messianic garments arrived, a little  uncertainly  it seemed, to be anointed and crowned by the (returned?) prophet Elijah, as Son of David,  King of Kings, Lord of Lords and Son of a God who insists the world should acknowledge him. A cardinal of a masonic Catholic church has endorsed him as Israel’s and the world’s true Messiah.  Though obviously Ra-El is not this person nor the  Egyptian sun god Ra, nor the prophecied Antichrist either (the latter would have be more mesmerizing and seductive according to every dream of him reported), I did say in the Kaviensky article that the  pattern for Purim was somehow off and had a strange Christ/Antichrist savour.

So I wasn’t exactly wrong about that! And I must admit it’s interesting that Ra-El has his natal Pluto on the degree of Jesus’s sun, while his Jupiter is on the crucial Uranus, Regulus, Achristou conjunction of  the late Jeane Dixon’s Antichrist. But that need only mean there is a connection of themes, someone claiming to be the  Messiah and being thought by some to be the Antichrist.

Regardless of such festive season distractions, there are rabbis expecting some Messiah for Passover.  It is anyway  set to be a very special occasion this year because the Sanhedrin has declared its priests will perform a televised Passover sacrifice near to the Temple Mount. They will do so on the altar dedicated last December at Hannukah for use in the anticipated third temple. Clearly some leaders do anticipate a soon Messiah even though it won’t be Ra-El.

There are even people who have decided it’s Trump who is a, or the, Messiah (because he’s fulfilling a Cyrus-like role and could see a third temple built if his peace plan in the wake of Israel’s elections proves satisfactory). There are also fringe Christians who have decided Trump is not messianic but the Antichrist – previously there were, and still are, some Americans holding out for Obama as same! Others more numerous but not less radical, believe that between anticipated messiahs and Christs in the style of Ra-el, events are pointing to the near onset of the Tribulation (which if so would have to produce an Antichrist figure). Things are certainly hotting up in Jerusalem. Just how things are changing, events speeding up and people getting  impatient for the temple to be built and really soon can be gauged by this news article out only today. shorturl.at/fsLRS

There are regions into which astrology might be wiser not to stray, but for those who want something with a frisson, something can be conceded to the radicals. With shocking, revolutionary Uranus now entered stability and economics sign Taurus and painful wounded healer Chiron gone into aggressive Aries, both of them in March and staying for seven years, the duration of the Tribulation, this among other things would support the idea of major crises due before too long. There could be life-changing, painful crises that some might well call the Tribulation.

There is much reason to suppose that if mid East tensions don’t upset plans, with the Israeli elections, a highlighted Passover and the Trump peace plan expected to be made public, April and the whole Jewish new year month of Nisan from 5th April, could well prove a time to remember.

[Update 31st April – the Trump peace plan is to be revealed directly following  Ramadam which ends June 4th. Whatever its reception and events following, which might be dramatic and anything but peaceful,  there is now the speculation the Tribulation itself could begin during June in any year  because half way through the Trib i.e.three and a half years later hence in December around Christmas, the world is portrayed as exchanging presents as people rejoice at the death of the two prophets in Jerusalem. Rev 11:10. Plainly events in  Jerusalem will keep people on edge with many speculations!)