Reynold Ruslan Feldman, Ph.D. - Author, Editor, Nonprofit Consultant, Wisdom Coach
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The Dangers of Mysticism
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Right Use of Money
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Not the Team or the League But the Sport

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The recently resolved U.S. debt-limit crisis has been described by some as a form of extortion, with a doctrinaire faction of one party holding the entire country hostage to their inflexible beliefs. The nation’s greater good seems to have taken a back seat to the greater good of the few.  Nowadays Republicans strike one as the party of greed, while the Democrats come across as the party of need.  Republicans have a point when they argue for hardy self-reliance, entrepreneurship, and creativity rather than dependence on government handouts.

Honoring Christianity's Founder

Yesterday, January 25, honored the founder of Christianity. Wait a minute! Didn’t that happen a month ago? Well, yes and no. December 25 is the traditional birthday of Jesus. Yet, so far as scholars know, he was born several months later under the sign of Pisces, most likely not in Bethlehem. December 25 comes instead from the Roman Saturnalia, which celebrated the god Saturn and the winter solstice. It was a convenient date as the Hebrew church was turning Roman. Now to answer the question: January 25 in the Catholic calendar celebrates the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, the later St. Paul. On assignment from the chief priest in Jerusalem, he was on his way to arrest Christian leaders in Damascus. En route the voice of the dead Jesus confronted him, Saul was struck blind for several days, and the rest is, well, history. The point is, Jesus was born and died a Jew. The traditional founder of Christianity was never a Christian. Not only that, but his Galilean followers, led by Peter, insisted that to become one you had first to practice Judaism. Cured of his blindness, Paul hit the road again. Unlike Peter, James, and company back in Jerusalem, he was both literate and a Roman citizen. From Tarsus in modern-day Turkey, he had never experienced Jesus in the body. As he wandered Asia Minor and taught Jesus’ way in synagogues, he found few takers. Meanwhile, more and more Gentiles became interested. A pragmatist, Paul did away with the Jewish requirement. Without this innovation, Christianity may well have remained a small Jewish sect and eventually died out like the Essenes rather than becoming the world’s largest religion. So here’s to St. Paul, one of history’s greatest and most important pragmatists, the de facto founder of Christianity.
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