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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Myths and Legends!!

A legend is a story that usually includes an element of truth that has been passed on from generations-to-generations based on historic facts with 'mythical qualities'.
Therefore, a myth is based on a legend or tradition, which could be true stories of actual events and may sometimes not necessarily be a true record of the actual event. Usually, the aim of a myth is to convey the truth and symbolic meaning in a legend or past event regardless of whether the myth is a true record of the actual event or not.
Interestingly, many stories inherited from different traditions concerning how the universe began are myths that often involve supernatural beings.


What If All You Know About Some of these Mythical Stories Was Not True?

When you were young you heard a lot of myths and fables from your friends, older siblings, parents, grandparents and even Sunday school teachers. As you grew older you stopped believing in those myths. You did not only start disbelieving the myths but you also completely rejected the source of most of the myths altogether, which is only natural.

Let us examine some of those myths and fables:

1)Hansel and Gretel
2)The little Red Riding Hood
3)Snow-white and the seven dwarfs
4)Stories about fairies, elves, and gnomes
5)Father Christmas
6)Adam and Eve eating an apple in the Garden of Eden
7)The visit of the three wise men
8)The Earth is 6,000 years old


I’m glad to tell you that every myth listed above is exactly what you have always thought it to be, a myth. We will however focus on both the mythical and historic aspect of the last three alone. The facts that Adam and Eve ate an “apple” or “fish pie” in the Garden of Eden or that three wise men visited baby Jesus in the manger is a mere myth just like many oral accounts of creation from different traditions.
As earlier mentioned, the main aim of mythical stories is not really to ascertain whether the story is a true record of actual event or not but mainly to convey some element of truth and symbolic meaning behind events from the past.

You are about to discover the real truth about the myths concerning the last three incidents mentioned above. Most importantly, you are about to discover that even the Bible confirms what scientists have always believed concerning how our planet is a lot older than the six thousand years contrary to what tradition makes us believe it is.
Before then however, let us examine how the religion that is based on the preconception of man’s tradition is the main phenomenon responsible for the three religious myths mentioned above, which slightly deviate from the true records of actual events.
Throughout the journey of man along the pavement of his mortal existence, there has been an ongoing conflict between science and the religion that is based on traditional preconceived ideas (Matthew 15: 6-7).

…Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, this people draw nigh unto me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
It is evident from the Scripture above that God is also not interested in religious rites and outward demonstrations like some of us except if it is based on an inward conviction of faith from the heart (Matthew 23:23-27). Religion is more of showmanship and outward demonstration but faith is more of an inward conviction in the heart that is based on the revelation knowledge of truth and the answer of a good conscience towards God (Mathew 23:23).

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
As revealed above, the only time God Himself appreciates religion or tradition is when they are linked with faith that results in justice, mercy and kindness.
Whenever these weightier matters of faith from a good conscience are absent, any religious activity is a mere showmanship or a meaningless ceremony (James 1: 26-27).

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridle not his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

The only two forms of outward demonstrations of an inward belief prescribed as the sacraments of the New Testament are “Water Baptism” and “Holy Communion”, which are merely symbolic because they are done as outward demonstrations of an inward conviction of faith in the death and resurrected body of Jesus Christ.
For instance, the process of going down into water and rising up out of water during baptism is an outward demonstration of faith by identifying with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Without this conviction of faith in the resurrection, water baptism would be a meaningless religious rite or a mere swimming session. According to 1Peter 3:21, the ordinance of water baptism is not for the religious exercise of cleansing the filthiness of the body but it is an outward acknowledgement of an already present inward faith in the resurrection.

The like figure whereunto even baptism also now save, (Not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Romans 6:4 also reveal how the ordinance of baptism is merely symbolic or a pictorial demonstration of an already present inward faith in the resurrection.
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
The Easter Sunday that is celebrated today, 24th April 2011 is all about the faith in this resurrection victory of Jesus Christ over the power of death. Religion without this essential ingredient of faith is merely a tradition.

Oftentimes, religion also conflicts with science just as it clashes with the Scripture of truth. On the other hand, faith always agrees with scriptural truth and the principles of scientific observations that confirm the knowledge of the truth already revealed in nature.
In comparison with religion, faith is God’s method of revealing the knowledge of spiritual truth that conveys His supernatural power but religion is man’s method of searching for spiritual knowledge and supernatural power, which may not necessarily align with principles of truth (Matthew 22: 29).
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…Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.

Faith is the revelation knowledge of truth from the spiritual laws that are parallel to the knowledge of truth from natural laws that govern the universe (Romans10: 17).
The power of nature is released through the scientific knowledge that applies the principles of natural laws correctly just the same manner that supernatural power is released through the revelation knowledge that is received by faith that is based on correct application of the principles of spiritual laws. This similarity between faith and science becomes more glaring everyday while the conflict between science and religion continues.

Due to the fact that religion is man’s method of searching for spiritual knowledge and power, it has a tendency to be unreliable, inconsistent and evil, which could sometimes conflict with scientific observations of the knowledge of universal truth that is pure, natural and exists largely for the good of mankind.
Faith on the other hand is the invisible response to an invisible supernatural being predicated upon his revealed word and it should not be confused with religion.
Besides, faith only comes by inspiration while religion without inspiration of faith is a mere product of man’s pre-conceived ideas and unreliable among other things.

For instance, man’s pre-conceived religious ideas said that the earth was flat contrary to the Scripture of truth and it persecuted anyone who said otherwise.
This myth that the Earth was a flat surface actually contradicts biblical information because a certain prophet, who lived in the eight century BC said that, He (God) sits enthroned above the circle of the earth...
This prophet, inspired by God, had always known that the earth was circular and his knowledge was later confirmed scientifically (Isaiah 40:22) NIV.

Now to discover the truth about the three religious myths earlier listed above.

1) Religion makes us believe that it was an apple that Adam and Eve ate in the garden of Eden: The truth is that the fruit eaten by Eve and Adam in the Garden was never identified in the Bible. It has recently been discovered that man did not start to cultivate the apple fruit until long after that.

2) The Story of Three Wise Men: The truth about this is that the number of men who visited Joseph and Mary was never mentioned. There’s no documented evidence that they were Three. They could have been only two or more. This is what the bible said in Matthew 2:11,
… behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem…And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother…

Contrary to popular belief, the visit of the wise men did not take place at the manger where the baby was born but in a house that Joseph and Mary moved into after Jesus was born in a Manger. The above verse clearly shows two things; Jesus was not a baby when the wise men visited him, he was a young child of about two years old. How did we know he was about two years old?
Verse sixteen of the same second chapter of the book of Matthew said,
Then Herod… was exceedingly wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.

Interestingly, historical evidence has shown that three men with precious gifts would not normally make a risky journey through deserts all by themselves. Even if they were three or even two, a band of servants and bodyguards would have accompanied them to protect them from bandits on the way. Besides, it is logical to infer that the number of the wise men and entourage was much more than three such that Herod the king also became aware of their presence.

Furthermore, this historic journey of the wise men from the east to Jerusalem must have taken many days because people travelled by camels in those days and not jet planes. Therefore, Joseph and Mary had left the manger with their baby boy and moved into a proper house where the wise men visited the child. The emergency delivery of the Baby in a manger was because there was no room in the Inn when the mother was about to go into labour (Luke 2:7). Consequently, only the shepherds that watched their flocks the night Jesus was born visited the Baby in a manger but the wise men that followed the starlight from the east met the child in the house and not in a manger (Matthew 2: 11).

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him…
As revealed from Herod’s enquiries, the baby was under two years when the wise men reached Jerusalem.
Suffice to say that the concept of three wise men visiting baby Jesus in the manger, which you find depicted in several Christmas Cards, is at best a myth. The true event concerning the visit of the wise that is recorded in the bible is slightly different from the mythical story of what is commonly known. The misconception, albeit not as a completely innocent one, must have arisen from the fact that he was given three gifts.
[References taken from the book title: Nations of the World…How They Evolved].


3) Finally, That The Earth Is Only Six Thousand Years Old: This is probably one of the most damaging mythical misconceptions that man-made religion is responsible for. The Bible would never support this notion. It is clear from the Bible that the Earth is several billions of years old and Adam was not the first man to walk on the face of this earth. This theory that the Earth is about 6,000 years old, made popular by religion, falls flat in the face of incontrovertible Scientific discovery of fossils and other remains of animals that lived millions of years ago.

According to the Bible, there were beings before Adam that became disembodied (demons) after they perished with the Old World, which was the reason Adam was given a mandate to replenish the Earth.

The above theory, that the Earth is older than six thousand years old, would be the subject matter of our next post. Please stay tuned and Happy Easter!!

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