First Pitch: Baseball and Religion

When he was 12 years old, Jesus traveled with his parents — Mary and Joseph — to the city of Jerusalem.

They were traveling in a group, going to the city for the Feast of the Passover. This was common in the time for groups of people from the surrounding areas to make the hike on foot to Jerusalem for the spiritual gathering.

At the end of the journey, Mary and Joseph left with the group, assuming that their son was with someone else in the group. It wasn’t until they reached a different city that they realized they left their son behind in a completely different city.

Honestly, it amazes me how much inspiration the Home Alone movie franchise drew from the Gospel of Luke.

The Bible isn’t the only account of Jesus. He’s mentioned in other religions formed around the same time as Christianity, which makes me think he was a real person. Islamic faith, for example, tells of Jesus as a prophet. The Qur’an shares the story of Jesus making the journey to Jerusalem with his parents, and it includes other stories of a young Jesus being a prodigy — speaking and walking at a young age, and dealing with the struggles of being a more advanced child.

The Bible, on the other hand, only really has one story of Jesus as a child, and that is the story of being left behind at the temple. Other than that, Jesus was born to poor parents. He eventually reappeared at the age of 30 as a rebellious force against the Roman Empire, so powerful and influential with his words that they had to kill him. There’s not much to explain how he went from A-to-B, other than this story of the temple, which is shared across multiple religions.

As an agnostic atheist who grew up inside Christianity, I view all religions as more metaphorical guides to human existence. We are all born, and we all die, but at what point in life do we become ourselves?

Coming of Age

After searching for three days, Mary and Joseph found Jesus in the temple, which was the center of the city.

Jesus was listening to religious teachers, and asking them questions. The teachers were amazed by the understanding that Jesus had of the subject.

Mary walked in, saw this, and dropped something along the lines of “Where were you? Your father and I were worried sick!” To which, Jesus responded: “How did you not know to look for me here?”

Being the agnostic atheist who doesn’t believe in God, I don’t believe in the immaculate conception. I do believe that Jesus was raised by a mother who told stories of her child’s divine greatness, leading to the child to seek out that specific path. By the time he was 12, Jesus could hold conversations with religious teachers. By the time he was 30, he was the teacher.

Before that older life, he had advanced beyond his parents’ comprehension of religion. He reached a point where he could no longer be taught at home the skill that made him a child prodigy. His mother didn’t seem to believe her son was actually the son of God if she didn’t look for him first at the temple — a bit of irony that Jesus was quick to point out.

His parents didn’t understand him, because at that point, Jesus was the adult he would become, and only needed love from those close to him, and guidance from those like him.

Changing in Your 30s

I don’t know when exactly my path was set, though it was around the age of 12. I created my first website around the age of 13, and I knew that I was going to start my own business one day. I don’t think these were ideas I came up with on my own at age 13.

By the time I was 35, I had a successful business running this website. I also didn’t really know what I was.

I think we all reach a point in life where we ask ourselves who we are and what we stand for. What skills do we have, and what can we accomplish with those skills? I feel we all find these answers when we are in our teen years, but we don’t reevaluate until we’re in our 30s.

The reevaluation period doesn’t always lead to change. Some people die at an old age the same person on the same path that they had at the age of 12. Others change their lives and live a completely different path, and that change tends to happen more often in your 30s.

I think the ultimate story of Jesus is that we all reach a point where we have to decide what we are willing to live and die for in this life.

For example, I will die a writer before I will live as anything else. That’s not because anyone told me to be a writer, but because I felt at the age of 35 that this was more my natural calling and purpose in life.

Fortunately, I was already in a writing career. And while I spent the last few days plotting out one of my future novels — where my time traveler goes back in time to attempt to save the life of Jesus Christ — my writing career will always include baseball, because baseball is my true religion.

Somehow, baseball is the easiest way for me to make sense of this world.

Baseball and Religion

What I love about the game of baseball is how much it reflects life. In fact, baseball is a more extreme version of life.

Almost every professional baseball player you read about realized that they were heading down this path during their youth years. Perhaps baseball was the coming of age that gave their life purpose and direction.

Every player in this organization and every other organization is a person. A person who is unsure of their future, following a path based on past success and outside affirmations, and seeking out guidance and coaching from their peers in the world.

Eventually, the best will realize who they are, and what they are capable of. Those people will have the most successful careers at the highest level. That’s typically because while the rest of us average human beings are waiting until our mid-30s to change and adjust, baseball players are asked to do this in their mid-20s.

This coming season, the Pittsburgh Pirates will have a lot of young players making the jump to the majors for the first time in their mid-20s.

At that point, the dream they’ve had since around age 12 will become real. Some of them will step up and embrace that they are in control of this destiny. Some simply won’t want the end goal enough to change.

The reality is that there is no individual end goal in Major League Baseball. Every player gets out of it the effort they put into it. Every player’s goal is based on what they’ve been led to believe is their potential — both in current skills and capacity to change.

MLB is a team sport, and the goal of every player is to play their specific role to help the team. The teams are built by adding the players and skills that combine for the best recipe for winning. Each player is asked to play to their abilities, to provide their own unique contribution. Some abilities from one player can enhance another player. Likewise, some abilities from one player can detract from another player.

I’ve spent most of my time on this site focused on individual player development. At a certain point, every individual player boils down to the same story: Mindset.

All of the tools in the world won’t matter if you aren’t willing to live and die by what makes you unique in the game.

Beyond that, there’s a higher meaning to this game, which comes in the form of team building. In all honesty, that’s the part of the game that drives my interest today.

The New York Mets are perhaps bringing a different biblical story to baseball: David vs Goliath. The Mets are now spending so much that the Pirates could triple their current payroll and still be spending about half of what the Mets are spending. That’s both a condemnation of where the Pirates currently stand, mixed with astonishment of how high the Mets have pushed the outer marker.

The Mets aren’t the only Goliath. Major League Baseball is turning into a land of giants. That’s not to say the small market teams can’t win. It’s just that it takes a well executed shot to pull it off.

History throughout sports shows us that All-Star teams aren’t guaranteed victory. The 1980 United States Olympic hockey team gave us the best example of how miracles in sports can take place against All-Star level teams.

Major League Baseball is starting to provide the type of contrast that sets up the Pirates for those same type of impossible odds.

I guess the question to ask, appropriate as it is for the current season:

Do you believe in miracles?

LAST WEEK ON PIRATES PROSPECTS

**My First Pitch last week dove into the city of Pittsburgh, the Pirates, Major League Baseball, and Misery.

**My column last week looks at whether the Pirates may have found a missing piece from their previously broken development system.

**Last week’s article drop was kept short, due to a lot of people being busy in advance of the holidays. I looked at how the Pirates are slowly stabilizing their roster. Anthony Murphy and John Dreker looked at the development history of Osvaldo Bido.

**We had two Roundtables last week. The first one looked at our favorite prospect stories from 2022. The second one came on Christmas Day, where we each picked a baseball gift we’d want to receive.

**In the weekly Pirates Discussion, Jeff Reed looked at how the Pirates are building around their prospects this year, versus in 2016.

**John Dreker looked at the new pitch that Brad Case is working on this offseason, in the latest Pirates Winter Report.

**Ethan Hullihen has the update on where the Pirates stand with their roster and payroll at this point in the offseason.

THIS WEEK ON PIRATES PROSPECTS

On a normal week, my planning day is Sunday. My writing day is Monday. This week, I’m behind by a day. To make up for that, First Pitch is doubling as Pirates Prospects Daily for Tuesday.

I’ll have the article drop going up in the afternoon on Tuesday. I’ve got two articles toward that. Anthony Murphy will have a look at pitch framing. David Hague will also have his best photos of 2022.

From there, we’re wrapping up the season coverage and starting to look ahead to 2023 in the final week of the year.

I’d like to thank everyone for following along this year. Around this time last year, I was preparing for our first article drop, and wondering if I could do that 52 times in a year — and then some.

This year, I’m wondering if my focus on creating a video feature for 2023 will play out as expected.

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FUQUAY VINYL PLAYLIST

This week’s playlist has my top new music from 2022. I included 100 songs, and no more than four per album. This isn’t a true top 100 list, since there are some albums this year that have more than four of my favorite songs in 2022.

My favorite new albums this year were “Dawn FM” by The Weeknd, “Melt My Eyez See Your Future” by Denzel Curry, “Cheat Codes” by Danger Mouse and Black Thought, and “Being Funny in a Foreign Language” by The 1975. Overall, it was a banner year for hip hop, with the new Pusha T album falling just outside of my top five, despite listening to that constantly for half a year.

My number one album was “Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers” by Kendrick Lamar. I want to use this space in 2023 to review albums — new and old. I thought I would start by reviewing my favorite album of 2022 to see how it would go.

Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers by Kendrick Lamar

Highly Recommended For: Human Beings

Best Songs: This is subjective to the listener, but I love “Die Hard”, “Purple Hearts”, and “Mirror”. The beat in Purple Hearts puts me in a good mood, no matter what.

Trigger Warning: The song “We Cry Together” is more of a performance, depicting very accurately a toxic relationship plagued by power games and a quick trigger to tear down the other person until power is regained. Anyone who has been in a toxic relationship (everyone?) might want to skip this. I do recommend listening once. By the end of it, you are feeling the tension, and the transition to that “Purple Hearts” beat feels extra smooth.

Social Moment: This album is filled with songs about real life. They’re all powerful. One of the most powerful is “Auntie Diaries”, where Lamar describes his aunts’ transition to a man, as well as a cousin’s transition from male to female. The most impressive thing about this song is how he interchanges the past and present pronouns at a punching pace that make you just let go and follow along as Kendrick emotionally and masterfully lays out struggles from his further marginalized family members, through his eyes — past and present.

If You Haven’t Cried Yet: The song “Mother I Sober” lays out the impacts of generational curses and how they can impact anyone, regardless of financial situations or relationship status. Or, to borrow from “Count Me Out” earlier on the album, Lamar knows “millionaires that feel alone”.

Every Man Should Listen To: “Father Time”. Neat. No chaser.

Album Sleeper: This album features a lot of great cameos. My personal favorite is Ghostface Killer, however, I’ve talked about “Purple Hearts”. I’ll add that Summer Walker is amazing on that same track. My sleeper for the album is Kodak Black. He’s featured almost as a narrator throughout the album. Each one adds to the energy of the album. “Rich (Interlude)” talks of struggles trying to make it, receiving doubt from people you know in the face of success, and ending with the statement “We own property.” It’s a powerful crescendo, reminding of the basic right that every human should have, but which our current systems make so difficult to obtain.

Vinyl Disappointment: The gold version from his web store doesn’t include “The Heart Part 5”, which is more a single with the album. I don’t think any vinyl pressing has it. If it was on the album, it would be my favorite track.

My Favorite Track: Surprisingly, this is not “Purple Hearts” for me. The song “Mirror” gets me out of bed in the morning. It also ends the album on as positive note you can end on this type of album. By this point, you’re emotionally spent, and hearing anyone prioritizing their own growth after facing so much toxicity is refreshing. My favorite lyric comes from this song: “Sorry I didn’t save the world, my friend, I was too busy buildin’ mine again”. It can feel so frustrating being torn between helping a world that seems like it’s burning or drowning everywhere, all while ensuring that your own life avoids hitting burnout or drowning in depression in the process.

Choose yourself. Then, choose people who choose that self. That’s how I’m choosing me. I’m not sorry.

Aftercare: If you’re down after Mr. Morale, and need a lighter touch and something more uplifting, check out “Lavender Days” by Caamp. This is their third album, after a debut in 2016, and my favorite, “By and By” in 2019. This third album has a very uplifting sound all throughout.

WEEKLY PIRATES QUIZ

With these types of quizzes, I always fall apart before 1992.

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Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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Randy

I should have added, since music is popular here, that I write and record my theological and faith explorations in song form in my home recording studio. Here is my latest:

https://www.reverbnation.com/randallstaudt/song/33655954-weird-randall-staudt-2022

Randy

Thanks for the topic! I am a theist as far as the best explanation for why there is something rather than nothing. I believe the apostles’ testimonies as far as the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and the meaning of his life in the context of it all. I think science is a great method to learn about the physical properties of the universe. Science has its explanatory limitations by the nature of what the method entails. Baseball is awesome in a secondary importance sort of way as part of my life.

RaisetheJollyRancherGirl

That Sean Murphy extension should cool Reynolds’ jets a little bit, imo.

hoptown

Tim, I find it odd that you would consider the less significant story about 12 year old Jesus to be factual, but not the more important/documented parts of the gospels like the crucifixion and resurrection.

mpg43952

John Prine covered those years in “The Missing Years” if I’m not mistaken.

HeyFred

See also “Lamb:. The gospel according Biff” by Christopher Moore. Biff was Jesus’ boyhood friend.

RaisetheJollyRancherGirl

1 year/$8M to Rich Hill from the Bucs haha

Catch_22

Jesus H

I didn’t realize he’s going to be 43 before Opening Day

RaisetheJollyRancherGirl

Steamer still thinks he’s got 1 fWAR in him!

Catch_22

Makes sense as 1 WAR = 8M

Catch_22

No sh*t, I’ll take it. Rotation appears to be set

Keller
Roansy
Brubaker
Hill
VV

Indy will have nice depth…

Ortiz
Oviedo
Preister
Burrows
who am I forgetting?

Mblee24

I would say Thompson and Chatwood could be some starting pitching depth too. That gives them 11 guys that’s pretty good. If they don’t trade Reynolds I think they are around 72-75 win team. I like the mix of veterans and young guys. Should be a fun year if everything breaks right.

RaisetheJollyRancherGirl

I hope he improves the curveball for a few kids he pitches with. He threw like 750 of them last year.

steve_zielinski

Hill needs to talk with Preister, another pitcher with a peak curveball.

Last edited 1 month ago by steve_zielinski
Catch_22

Has anyone watched the ‘Righteous Gemstones”?

If not, it’s hilarious and I highly recommend it.

Catch_22

It’s fantastic. There’s a charac6ter called *Baby Billy* played perfectly by Walton Googins.

There are only 2 seasons right now, so you’ll be able to binge through a weekend.

Mblee24

I love to see the conversations of faith and science below. What I have read has been cordial which is a breath of fresh air when it comes to these topics. I myself am a devout Christian but I like to think and see what others think about these topics. I also think as a Christian we must share the gospel of Jesus to all but that does not mean arguing, being right or trying convincing others to agree with you. It just means planting a seed. Letting them hear the gospel and giving them an opportunity to respond to God. Keep up the good conversations guys and thank you Tim for having the courage to start a conversation like this on a baseball site.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and I hope the conversations here are fruitful and stays way from name calling and hostility because we all know there’s enough of that going around.

PiratePrimate

The sad reality is that we’re all bathed in ignorance and the less savory among us use that ignorance to influence us to believe in such things as original sin, virgin birth, the infallibility of the pope and all those other myths which our founders knew were hateful doctrines of an old world. Unfortunately, the baby boomers are the largest mass of ignorant people to ever populate a country and their ignorance has led us to this point in our country where a Supreme Court Justice can decide that his “moral” point of view can overturn precedent and the rule of law. Our founders would shudder to imagine a group of Catholic justices sitting on the bench handing down rulings based on their religious beliefs.

Stapes

It seems that ignorance is bliss for every generation. How much propaganda are you espousing to your own generation? Have you read the decision handed down by the Supreme Court? The fact is abortion was not banned by the decision. The decision simply puts the availability of abortion to each individual State, you know the way our democratic republic was designed.
While I’m at it, the practice of ending a life, for convenience/form of birth control, is abhorrent to me. You don’t need to be a baby boomer to disagree with moral relativism, nor do you need to be catholic or religious for that matter.

RaisetheJollyRancherGirl

Catholics have the white house right now too lol and that is a total disaster.

Of course, the Catholics could argue that the Chinese _actually_ have the White House right now.

Last edited 1 month ago by RaisetheJollyRancherGirl
James_Robert5

That’s probably too harsh on baby boomers and Catholics

The founding fathers were far from perfect

I’ve been reading “The Cloudbuster Nine” over the break

It still hurts my heart and head to know that the majority of the best players in the world were not allowed to play in the MLB at that time

PiratePrimate

The better novel would be to return in time and discover the reality that myth is all that drives us and everything we believe as true is really nothing more than the elaborate fantasy you’re now trying to spin. .

steve_zielinski

The Allegory of the Cave has informed Western Civilization for 2500 years, and is the belief that motivates the sciences and philosophy. Yet, the essence of the various things in the world is a product of our interaction with them and from our experience of those objects. These things are not akin to a shadow. They are the real basis of whatever truthful claims we know, not the immaterial forms. Truth is a human invention, not a devine gift or something we gain by luck every once in a while. Anyone can speak the truth.

MB21

Just curious – why would you want the time traveler to save the life of Jesus? I love fantasy and at times have been fascinated by the time travel aspect of fantasy literature but the whole point of the Gospel narrative is that the very purpose of Jesus’ coming was to die for His people.

Although I have an ethereal hope that the Pirates have a chance to win one season, my hope in Christ and eternal life is not ethereal but an eager expectation. I have, in a sense, bet my life on the truth that Jesus came to die an atoning death for sinners like me. May all my fellow Pirate (and Pirate Prospect) fans have the same hope!

MB21

Thanks for sharing that much. It is true that I am a bit more of a black and white than grey guy myself. I find it interesting that your main character wants to destroy or reshape the Bible. I might like some parts of modern day religion to be destroyed or influenced, too, but for me, the Bible is off limits.

I would love to see what drives you towards these themes for your books but alas, this is Pirates Prospects and such a conversation would perhaps be better accomplished in other formats. I hope you had a good Christmas and will have a Happy New Year!

leefieux

You cannot argue someone into Heaven.

All I can say is that, at 24, I walked into a church having never read a Bible or prayed nor desiring to do so. I was just chasing a girl. For some reason, tho, I responded to an altar call. I asked Jesus into my heart as my Personal Savior, becoming what is referred to as being Born Again, ie, having the Holy Spirit ‘possess’ me.

That night and from there on, I suddenly had an insatiable appetite to read the Bible and pray. I refuse to believe that, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, EYE decided, thru sheer force of will, to do these things. To me, God is VERY real.

But, I can fully understand Tim’s viewpoint, because I was the same way with the same views.

Except that I ALWAYS had better taste in music. 😙😙😙

steve_zielinski

Religion — a haven in a hearless world.

leefieux

My favorite churches are the new evangelical churches. They are also the fastest growing, mainly because they aren’t tied to legalistic denominational rules.

When we’re praising the Lord in song, those places get to rocking. Our church (among others) have hosted quite a few Contemporary Christian artists down thru the years.

Old denominational churches bore me to tears. To each their own. 😇😇

leefieux

Methodist and Presbyterian growing up. My first ‘mega’ church after I was born was called the Jesus Chapel. Assembly of God churches, while technically a denomination are really good, too. When I played softball, my church was Christian Life Assembly. Now I go to Christ Community Church.

leefieux

I see why you feel the way you do about Jesus, lol. Denominational churches will do a number on you.

I was saved in an Assembly of God Church. I went there until I moved away from Pgh. I then went to the aforementioned CLA before moving to CCC which is where I have been since ’92.

RaisetheJollyRancherGirl

Dude, Tim, you’ve just been really stoned.

jk jk

Check out Thrice Great Hermes

Danatural08

interesting description & point of view, minus the planet part (this realm is a level plane, not a spinning ball with curved water).

clemo83

My dad had a similar story Lee, completely changed. Consequently I grew up in the faith but had to wrestle it for myself. I just believe there is nothing else like the gospels and the story of Jesus. Having a God who wants to be with us and wants to be known by us, so much so that he removed the barriers to that relationship himself, by being like us and suffering for us. Thats how much he loves us. The gospel accounts are remarkable.

Sorry for the preaching, Tim started the discussion. 🙂 The biggest way this has shown up in my own life is, I am prone to serious bouts of depression and anxiety, its not my fault its just something I deal with. There were two serious spells, one where I took a year off of school and a second about 5 years ago brought on by back pain and serious lack if sleep. In both instances, I was at my wits end and the Lord carried me through, giving me scripture for encouragement, and just opening up my life again. So I know he’s there and he’s carried me, in these deep personal experiences.

For an agnostic, I’m sure there’s a set of life experiences and questions that bring one to that place. I won’t not diminish that or judge that. I ultimately believe God is just and fair to each if us, he knows how complex life is. I think theres a ton of legit questions – no one has good answers to. I don’t know why there as so many religions or why certain people hear the gospel just because of where they live and others never hear it. I don’t think evolution precludes divine intervention. I’m an engineer, I believe 110% in science, I think science can be used to observe, describe and understand God’s creation. The tower of Babel and Noah’s Ark don’t make sense to me and feel like children’s stories. Getting all the answers is not really the answer. To say nothing of personal pain and personal experiences (which I believe the gospel ultimately has the deepest answers to).

I can just respond to the truth I see in the gospels and in Jesus and the way he’s shown up in my life experience and just God to carry the answers to these questions, not me. I do think if anyone desires to know Jesus and wants a personal relationship God will respond.

I’m just not sure that God can help the Pirates. One question I’ll never understand – why are the Pirates the way they are?

Last edited 1 month ago by clemo83
bucsws2014

In just the last four days, I rewatched the original “Inherit the Wind” with Spencer Tracy. And last night I had Serbian Christmas dinner with my wife’s relatives, hearing story upon story of the corruption of priests within that corporation. Those types of things have always influenced my views on organized religion, along with an appreciation of logic, and a firm acknowledgement of “winners get to write the history”, which is more or less universal in its application of writings on all things, not just religion.

Man is inherently fallible. Any man trying to tell you he “knows God” is simply full of himself and dangerous. I invite spiritual people in my life as I find them necessary to offset the cynics, materialists, and Trumpians out there. A couple are pastors of non-centralized churches, graduates of Moody College and the like, and simple folks who spread their message by actions and behavior and example, not by telling you to do this or that in order to achieve grace. Some of the best people I know.

That said, I’d love to see Nutting on the stand with Henry Drummond taking apart all of Nutting’s philosophies on how to build a team on the cheap, just chipping away at the flawed logic of it all.

leefieux

Even fasting and praying for forty days couldn’t help the Pirates.

mpg43952

Maybe BC could fast from the waiver wire!

skliesen

Intelligent design vs Happenstance. A debate with no clear outcome.

To me it boils down to it being more reasonable to believe something (The Universe) was created from something else (God) than it is to believe something was created from nothing.

As for baseball, it’s kinda the opposite for me. Seems more logical to believe Pirates have no chance to win, so I need to allow faith to outweigh reason to believe Pirates can win another WS title in my lifetime.

Let us pray.

docdon385

It’s not happenstance nor chance, it’s evolution and it makes perfect sense.

bucsws2014

It makes perfect sense after Earth came into existence. I’m admittedly still lost on what happened before that. Even gases had to come from somewhere, and theoretical physics still doesn’t explain that.

skliesen

Not to me it doesn’t.

leefieux

So we evolved from what? A single cell? Where did that single cell come from?

docdon385

You could ask the same question about intelligent design. If God designed everything then where did God come from? Who or what designed him? It sounds like you’d like an explanation of everything in 25 words or less? Sorry, not possible. If you’re really interested though I can point you in that direction.

The mistake that most people seem to make is to assume that religion and evolution are mutually exclusive and that they have to choose between the two. They can co-exist quite easily to anyone willing to open their mind just a bit.

Both are attempts to understand the big questions like where did we come from and what’s the meaning of everything? Religion usually says God created it, end of story. Fine if that’s enough for you, but not very informative now is it? Try asking one additional question. How did he do it exactly? Evolution just might provide the answer and there’s no need to give up your basic beliefs to get there.

You could try reading Darwin to get an understanding of evolution but far clearer and easier to understand books are available on Amazon for $5. Try, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation by Bill Nye the science guy to start, or not, your choice.

skliesen

Now this we can agree on. I believe life as we know it has been designed for continuous change (improvements). I just get lost on the whole concept of one species turning into another species. But I think it’s easy to believe a model of life was used and different species share characteristics of other species.

Maybe I’m right. Maybe I’m wrong. But it makes sense to me.

leefieux

I do not separate evolution from religion. There is definitely some evolution, but, .I believe we are descended from Adam and Eve not some ape.

Btw, I am not religious. Religion, to me, is a bunch of rules man made up to try to make themselves good enough to get to Heaven. That is impossible.

skliesen

If our birth is the beginning and our death the end, then you’re right about it not mattering. However if there’s an afterlife, it matters greatly.

Wilbur Miller

I’ve tried reading about the Big Bang Theory several times. I mean, REALLY tried. But as soon as the discussion turns to space-time, I realize I just can’t do this. I never even get to the question of how the super hot and dense mass that started things got there to begin with.

PiratePrimate

The more reasonable reality is that your feeble mind can’t wrap itself around the idea of an eternal universe without being or end. Try reading ‘Nature’s God’ by Matthew Stewart. And ‘intelligent design’ is a fools game devised by people who neither understand evolution, biology or most of science.

skliesen

A fools game is believing we “understand” evolution, biology, or most of science.

If history has taught us anything, it’s that we don’t know what we don’t know. As such, I think we can both agree there are many more layers to the onion yet to be peeled back in the study of the subjects you referenced.

leefieux

Not a totally blank slate. We are born in sin and remain sinners until we die. We are born bent away from God and not towards.

skliesen

You clearly haven’t had children.

Wilbur Miller

That’s because you’re not a lifelong Pirate fan.

MB21

This made me laugh!

leefieux

Why does that not shock me? 😎😎😎

mehutch

As soon as someone has to refer to someone else’s “feeble” mind to make or debate their point, I know they are talking to a mirror.

leefieux

Even the Bible calls us ‘fools’. Man’s wisdom is foolish to God. And men are called ‘sheep’. Sheep are one of the dumbest animals out there. God doesn’t mince words.

So calling ourselves feeble (and I believe PP was including himself) might actually be a compliment compared to being called a fool. 😇😇

mehutch

You may be right about the intent of the comment, but my guess is the implication is that some are more feeble minded than others. Most of us are feeble minded when it comes to quantum physics, but only those of us who believe in a higher power are “really” feeble minded (that’s my take). It takes as much if not more faith in my opinion to believe in something out of nothing.

I don’t try to comprehend God because it is not possible for me. And I honestly don’t mind being called a fool, but I do take a little exception to those so willing to call others fools or feeble minded based on some belief or faith they have that is different from their own.

leefieux

Or a ‘feeble fool’? I kid, I kid. 😇😇

PiratePrimate

You think my feeble mind can wrap itself around an idea like quantum mechanics or the idea of eternal universe? No, but I can certainly understand that it makes more sense than myth

skliesen

Isn’t it ironic how the Big Bang Theory sounds like God spoke the Universe into existence?

leefieux

I can’t even BEGIN to comprehend a God that always was and always will be. Infinity is unwrappable for us feeble finite folks.

Last edited 1 month ago by leefieux
Wabbit_Season

Ok.

Now lemme mull this over.
The time traveler goes back in order to save the Christ.

I like this….

What does the traveler find? We assume there must BE a Christ… what if there isn’t and the traveler becomes the Christ and has to save his own skin because… Traveler Magics! Can cure the sick, with, you know, proper hygiene. Has a lighter. Can make gunpowder. But, having not been crucified, he escapes, but, because he was not martyred, the faith doesn’t have the staying power that martyrdom brings.

Peters out. Becomes one of those religions, whose deity was a coward and ran off out of fear.

OR… How does he know exactly WHEN is the Christ thing happening. What if there is this Traveler and this Christ and what if they get confused in the public eye? Does the Traveler become an apostle? Do people follow the Traveler or make a sect? Or become the Judean People’s Front? Or does the Traveler write his own book of what becomes the bible?

OR… What if the Christ is found to be nothing like we suppose him to be? What if he has this God complex where he wants to take over everything and be king, actually, and the Traveler recognizes, along with certain Jews and Romans, that this guy makes Ceasar look like Snow White? Is the Traveler’s name Judas? And that he NEEDS crucified… and then BECAUSE he is crucified, his Word takes hold and spreads all over the earth causing hellish holy wars and stuff?

OR… What if the Christ is this totally in-tune new wave guy? Sort of hippy-dippy stoner type. The Traveler lays on him what he knows of the Word from the future and sort of makes Christ happen?

OR… What if the Christ is an ALIEN??? Who is rescued from the crypt and resurrected on the space ship. What if the Traveler winds up in some kind of Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy thing? What if the Traveler is ACTUALLY Tom Baker? My God! A Dr. Who Crossover.

What if, Tim…

What if…

“Hey Mac. Lemme take a whack at it.”
-Wabbit

Wabbit_Season

Sincerely one of the neatest conversations we’ve had here on P2.

Love this.

To MB21, without my being flippant, I enjoy your read and your information. To your comment:  “I would think that rejecting the veracity of the Bible would lend one to ignore it but many often cannot.” Well, there is a lot in that sentence.

Finding “veracity”… that is “truth”… in the scripture is a hit or miss proposition for some. I would posit the Christ message is wise and truthful. However, the idea of the vengeful God of the old testament presents problems.

I feel that these scriptures impact our lives today whether we believe or not. Therefore it is fair game to examine the scriptures as a doubting Thomas or a sceptic or a s a believer.

So, for me, I think you can take the scripture as a collection of stories often passed down from very old oral tradition and translated many many times and still find truth in there as well as old tribal wisdom that might be poppycock today. I believe you can find love and wisdom in the book without accepting all of it. It’s not all or nothing, except to believers, and that’s okay too.

Many of us go through stages in life where we deeply examine holy texts. I was raised a Christian, but also read the Quran, the Upanishads and the Tao Te Ching. Each wisdom echos the core tenets of the others and I am led to the idea that there are many paths to God, or, failing that, many names for the path.

We all look to the heavens and wonder why. And we try to fit these great wisdoms into our wondering. It makes us human and hopefully better people too.

Much love … and thank you for a really nice conversation!

-Wabbit

MB21

I do read the original Hebrew. Jesus performed His miracles in the New Testament which was written in Greek. As far as the Hebrew words (from the Old Testament) you write about, “bosem” is generally thought to be the balsam shrub from which we get balsam oil. It is used as an anti-inflammatory today among other things. I believe “qeneh” as you try to transliterate it into English refers simply to a reedy-type plant. To suggest that this describes the modern-day cannabis plant is a bit of a stretch, and to associate these Hebrew terms with Jesus’ miracles doesn’t really work.

As you read the Gospels, Jesus generally healed by simply spoken words (and sometimes touch) and no medicinal herbs are mentioned. He did apply his own spit mixed with mud to a blind person once. Interesting theories about these aforementioned terms but easily dismissed, particularly since these miracles describe actual healings rather than treatments. There isn’t really room to suggest that the Bible is describing the healing power of natural supplements. This says nothing about potential medicinal properties of such plants but take it or leave it, the Gospel writers themselves claim Jesus has supernatural power over illness and disease.

Last edited 1 month ago by MB21
MB21

I think you mean Exodus 30:23-24. I personally don’t see the cannabis connection but I do certainly believe that people can take this kind of reference and fit it to shape their own personal beliefs. The purpose of this stuff (which was used to anoint objects as well as people – only priests and not ordinary people), whatever it was, in this case was not medicinal but to set apart things associated with the sacrifices as holy.

The combination here was especially focused on the smell – included are cinnamon, olive oil and myrrh. Perhaps this anointing may also have been to cover the smells of the blood from the sacrifices. Again, it is true that this has no association with Jesus’ miracles in the Bible.

I myself readily admit that I do take more stock in the Bible than a google debate or many modern “studies.” I happen to believe the Bible to be true and readily admit my trusting the reliability of the Bible over many other sources. It is always fascinating to me that many who do not believe the Bible still want the Bible to support their hypotheses. I would think that rejecting the veracity of the Bible would lend one to ignore it but many often cannot. Interesting!

sewer2001

I think Tim is correct or at least could be. There is definitely a historical resistance to interpreting it as cannabis and MB21 seems to really want that to be right, but truthfully he cannot know. Will he admit that? Will he google it and see the debate is quite lively. Or will he retreat into canon?

This conversation has been impressive in that most folks are not quite being polemical or dogmatic, but it is right under the surface. I can tell some folks really want to say that Tim is damned and wrong.

Last edited 1 month ago by sewer2001
skliesen

Say what???

Wabbit_Season

What if he saves the Christ and so the faith never catches on. What takes its place?

Wabbit_Season

What if the Traveler is Roberto Clemente?

Wabbit_Season

First.

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