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Her – Review by MC

Fair Use/Dealing rationale for image from Her http://www.herthemovie.com/ - low res image for review and educational purposes

Fair Use/Dealing rationale for image from Her http://www.herthemovie.com/ – low res image for review and educational purposes

I watched Spike Jonze’s film, Her, the other night. A few more points came to mind that weren’t covered here, mostly about different types of love (eros, agape, and so on). But this was my first shot at audio reviewing, so I was lucky to get as much in as I did. No notes or excessive thinking beforehand. Just first impressions…

I should add that I was somewhat inspired by the New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham, who takes fashion photos on the streets of New York and talks about them every week at The Times’ website. If the documentary about Cunningham is accurate, it seems that he takes a quick look at his pics on a storyboard before taping his weekly commentary. I like that spontaneity, and tried to emulate it here.

Maybe with practice I’ll be half as good at this as he is!


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The Chinese New Year Festival and Calendar Epochs

“Year of the Horse” – Image via Tumblr

By Rabbi Allen S. Maller

This week the people of China, and Chinese people everywhere in the world, will celebrate the New Year. A New Year festival urges people to look forward beyond the present into both the future and back into the past.

Two modern cultures; the Chinese and the Jewish, both have a great veneration for their history which dates back into the far distant past. Although Chinese and Jewish cultures are very similar in many ways; they are very different in some ways.

Both use a lunar month, adjusted to keep it connected to the seasonal cycle (unlike the Muslim lunar calendar). But the Jewish calendar has always had one starting point; while Chinese calendars have had many.

Although China has a very long record of written history, no Chinese dynasty ever established a calendar epoch (a point in time that marks the beginning of a new era) that started with a special event, perhaps because each dynasty valued continuity more than innovation.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year (Photo credit: Andrea Bedini)

When we speak about the Mayan, Aztec, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish or Muslim calendar we usually mean both the yearly cycle of months, and a long term period of years measured from a epochal date.  Chinese imperial tradition was to use the emperor’s era name and year of reign.

One alternative to this approach would have been to use the reign of the semi-historical, mostly legendary Yellow Emperor in the third millennium BCE to number all the years, but this was never done.

Agricultural societies have an annual calendar that marks the seasons of the year so farmers can prepare in advance for planting and harvesting crops. With the development of governments, land ownership, taxes and laws, there also arose a need to date things over many decades.

The most common way was to use the number of the year in the king’s reign. Kings themselves began to erect monuments to their victories and these usually mentioned the year of the king’s reign.

These records were then compiled into chronicles which were simply lists of events that occurred during the reigns of the preceding kings. These royal chronicles, over centuries, could be grouped by dynasties, as was done in  Egypt and China. The origin of the first dynasty was usually attributed to descendants of Gods or semi- Divine heroes.

Most calendars epochs today begin with an event of major importance. There are two groups of such epochs: political historical events like the beginning of  a dynasty, a war victory, or the proclamation of a new empire. These epochal calendars rarely outlast the end of the dynasty that originated them.

woman : pray for the wind, wallpaper calendar ...

woman : pray for the wind, wallpaper calendar for november 2010 (Photo credit: nevil zaveri)

The other group of epochs, which can transcend  the political world that gave birth to them, are religious calendars that begin counting from the life of a great religious leader, or from the beginning of the world.

After the death of Alexander, his giant empire split into three kingdoms. The one with the most varied populations and calendars, was ruled by one of Alexander’s generals named  Seleucus. He decided to unify his kingdom by introducing a new calendar with a new epoch starting from the date Seleucus had conquered Babylonia (October 312 BCE.).

This calendar spread widely in the middle east and was in use for many centuries. The Jewish post Biblical history book, Maccabees 1 (c.120 BCE) used Seleucid era dates (1:10) and rabbis dated Jewish legal documents with Seleucid dates well into the 9th or 10th century CE.

Syrian Christians used it for religious purposes though the 19th century. The success of this calendar prompted the Greeks, and later the Jews and the Romans to also create a epoch calendar.

Major religions that last for more than a dozen centuries produce an epochal calendar that can outlast political states and empires. Thus, all the world’s major calendars today are based on a religious epoch. The oldest of the world’s religious epochal calendars is the Jewish calendar, which is now at 5774.

Christians know their calendar starts its epoch from the birth of Jesus. Muslims know the Muslim calendar begins its epoch with the flight of Muhammad from Makka to Medina. Buddhists know that their epochal calendar starts with the enlightenment of Siddhartha under a Bodhi tree.

Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553): Adam and ...

Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553): Adam and Eve. Beech wood, 1533. Bode-Museum, Berlin (Erworben 1830, Königliche Schlösser, Gemäldegalerie Kat. 567) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But most Jews would be hard pressed to explain what happened 5,774 years ago to begin the Jewish calendar.

By analogy to the Christian, Muslim, or Buddhist calendars one might expect that the Jewish calendar starts with the birth of Abraham or Sarah (the first Jews), or from the Exodus from Egypt (the trans-formative experience of the Jewish people), or from the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai (the enlightenment of the Jewish people).

But the second century Rabbis who made up the calendar Jews currently use, chose to begin with Adam and Eve i.e. the beginning of written world history.

The word Adam in Hebrew means mankind/Homo Sapiens– the species. The exit of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden symbolizes the transition of humanity from a largely nomadic/neolithic stone age society of hunter-gatherers to a more advanced metal working bronze age society of farmers and village dwellers.

By starting the Jewish calendar with a historical transition that would have a universal impact on all of human society, the second century rabbis followed the lead of the Torah which begins not with Judaism but with urban civilization and recorded history.

All historical dates from the first urban societies that are derived from written records fit into the Jewish calendar. The earliest writing comes from the Mesopotamian city of Uruk (Genesis 10:10) and dates to about 5,500 years ago i.e. the third century of the Jewish calendar. The first dynasty in Egypt arose in the 7th century of the Jewish calendar and king Sargon of Akkad (2371-2316 BCE) lived in the 14th century. The first historical dynasty in China, the Shang dynasty, dates back to the 22nd century, about the time that Abraham lived.

Only in the generations after Abraham does Biblical history begin to focus on the religious development of one specific people.

The Jewish calendar is not only the oldest of the world’s calendars, it is the only one that begins with the beginning of recorded human history. Everything prior to the Jewish calendar is prehistory or natural history. History with written records begins with age of Adam and Eve.

Rabbi Maller’s web site is: rabbimaller.com


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Debunking the Myth of Nostradamus

Portrait de Nostradamus , Musée Calvet, Avignon

Portrait de Nostradamus , Musée Calvet, Avignon (Photo credit: jacqueline.poggi)

By Morten St. George

I read the works of many of the ancient Greek philosophers in my youth. Those men were intellectually brilliant, even by today’s standards, and I always assumed that they knew that their myths about Zeus and all the other gods were merely fairy tales. Now, I’m not so sure about that. When facing the unknown, the human mind seems to want to accept fiction as reality. Thus, the ancient Greeks may have believed their myths were reflecting events that really occurred.

Mythology did not come to an end in ancient times. As we shall see shortly, it resurfaced in full blossom during the Renaissance in regards to Michel Nostradamus, history’s most famous seer. Today, you can find that mythology all over the Internet, everywhere purporting to be the true history of Nostradamus and his prophecies. I recently googled Nostradamus Predictions 2012 and got nearly one million results. In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, Nostradamus was just as much of a moneymaking scam as he is today.

Scam artists, then, as now, typically resort to any type of unethical means to make money. Around the turn of the seventeenth century, they did all the following: wrote a fictional biography of Nostradamus, altered or created town and university records to support the fictional biography, republished Nostradamus’ almanacs adding freshly written predictions, wrote unprophetic books and falsely attributed them to Nostradamus, wrote letters and a last will and testament and falsely attributed them to Nostradamus, and published his prophecies backdating those publications to dates within or close to Nostradamus’ time. Beyond the facts to be found on Nostradamus’ original tombstone in Salon and a sprinkling of other information, almost nothing about Nostradamus can be taken for certain. What we think we know about Nostradamus and his prophecies is overwhelmingly mythology.

All of the encyclopedias will tell you that Nostradamus began to publish his prophecies in 1555, often citing the Bonhomme edition that displays this date, but apparently no one ever bothered taking a close look at that edition. In 1594, a charlatan by the name of Chavigny (perhaps also the originator of the fictional biography) altered some of the prophecies to suit his needs. The Bonhomme edition copies those alterations. How could it have been printed in 1555? Meanwhile, Benoist Rigaud, alleged printer of the complete 1568 edition, did indeed print a couple of editions of the prophecies, both dated 1596.

The period following Nostradamus’ death was a time of considerable religious strife in France. Recall the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre. Superstition was widespread, and if those prophecies were available, both sides would surely have used them for propaganda purposes. But there seems to be no record of any such thing. Many experts have investigated the early history of the prophecies and they have nothing to report. From a reliable source you cannot find a citation of a single verse of any one of the 942 prophecies or even a comment about one of the prophecies. There were references to Nostradamus and his almanacs but not to the prophecies. During Nostradamus’ lifetime and for twenty years thereafter, the famous prophecies were unknown in France.

A breakthrough on the publication mystery began with close scrutiny of some of the earliest genuine publications, namely, the editions of Roger, Rossett, and Menier, all of which were printed in Paris toward the end of the 1580s. These editions contain massive textual alterations, the suppression and replacement of entire stanzas, all in sequences that turn out to tie in integrally with a book called the Sefer Yetzirah. The Sefer Yetzirah, for its part, was the earliest known text of a medieval religion called the Kabbalah.

Français : Michel de Nostredame dit Nostradamu...

Français : Michel de Nostredame dit Nostradamus 1503-1566 à Salon-de-Provence. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Kabbalists prospered in the country of Provence, Nostradamus’ homeland, during the age of the troubadours. There was also a large community of Kabbalists in Spain. Toward the end of the fifteenth century, things went badly for the Kabbalists. The Kabbalists of Spain were expelled from that country in 1492, just short of enough time to migrate to the New World. In Provence, now part of France, the Kabbalists were likewise given the option of converting to Catholicism or leaving the country. Unlike their counterparts in Spain, the Kabbalists of Provence had a special reason for remaining in that country. They openly converted to Catholicism but then took the Kabbalah underground. Catholics by day, by night they continued their ancient traditions.

Everything I say about the Kabbalah here is of course pure supposition granted that there is no historical record that an underground religion existed in France during the sixteenth century. But this was the environment in which Michel de Nostredame grew up. It seems Michel was recognized as the most intelligent of the group and hence he was the one appointed to dedicate his life to the study of the ancient texts of the Kabbalah.

One of Nostradamus’ brothers was a grain dealer (the traditional business of the Nostredame family) who made regular trips to Egypt. Others in the community may have also been merchants, likewise pitching in to help support Nostradamus. There is evidence that on one of his trips to Egypt, Nostradamus’ brother brought back with him an enthusiastic youth by the name of Isaac Luria, who aspired to study the Kabbalah under Nostradamus. Luria came from a wealthy family and may have provided additional financial support for Nostradamus.

This brings us to the greatest of all the Nostradamus myths, which is the myth that Nostradamus wrote a book of astrological predictions. Not quite. Nostradamus’ book is a religious text, only published under the disguise of astrology for self-protection. I’ll clarify that: the famous book of prophecies simultaneously incorporates and masks the translation of an ancient text that, like the Quran for Muslims, was the central text of a religion. That ancient text, entailing the foundations of the religion, was sometimes referred to as the Book of Light and sometimes as the Revelations of Elijah. There are indications that the word ‘Kabbalah,’ ‘the receiving,’ now the name of the entire religion, was in earlier times the foremost name of the book that Nostradamus’ book conceals.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/kabbalah-articles/debunking-the-myth-of-nostradamus-5207156.html

About the Author

Morten St. George is the author of the Nostradamus-related book Incantation of the Law Against Inept Critics and the creator a website about Nostradamus et la Kabbale. His website includes the Nostradamus textual variants of the Paris editions and other technical support for the themes of this article.


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It’s Martin Luther King Day in the USA

About 4 mintues of Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech of 1963, set to original music. When reading about Dr. King, I couldn’t believe what an incredible man of faith he was. And so kind. When whites hated him and threatened his life, he called them his “sick white brothers.” How generous is that? I’d probably have another name for them!

Martin-Luther-King-JrAnyhow, instead of me talking about him, I think his own words should speak today.

The full text of his speech can be found here: http://news.bbc.co.uk…

The full audio is here:
https://archive.org/details/MLKDream

And the Wikipedia entry is here: http://en.wikipedia.org…

The following is from the last speech he made before he was assassinated:

And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats… or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. [applause] And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land! [applause] And so I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!

A truly amazing man.

—MC


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On The Subject Of God – Part 2

Karma

Karma (Photo credit: pixel8 (RCRD))

“On The Subject Of God” was submitted to earthpages.org by the author. It originally appears in the About section at Alfsbootcampblog.

On the Subject of Karma

The word Karma comes from the ancient Sanskrit language of India. Its nearest translation into English, is the word Action. The word karma also has many sub-meanings & associated meanings not in the English language. The following meanings are from this author’s spiritual enquiry into the word karma. Because from a destiny perspective, karma is one of the most important words to fully comprehend in life.

In expanded definition, karma is a by-product of the impulse of creative-intelligence that we call thought. Every thought contains the creative element of karma in its action; it is a ‘cause & effect’ vibratory influence created out of the action of thought. Karmic influence once created is timeless and always returns to its initiated source…to its owner. Merely to think & desire, is to create karma that is automatically bound by affinity to its source. Its creative influence enters the interactive spiritual domain of Nature that underwrites the physical domain of Nature, to eventually return as influence to the individual life-form that created it.

Clarification: In the duel physical & spiritual creative workings of Nature, karma is a creative tool of evolution to process the individual evolution of life via its ‘cause & effect’ influence. It is a creative influence that has no boundaries on the known physical plane or the unknown spiritual plane of life. It is the vibratory influence of karma, that interacts with the
primordial archetypal intelligence of Nature underwriting the biology & chemistry of life. It is this invisible interactive process with the intelligence of Nature, that allows the biology of life to adapt to changes in its physical environment…albeit on a slow time scale.

All brain structured life, has evolved and is continuously adapting through the creative process of karma and its ‘cause & effect’ influence interacting with the creative-intelligence of Nature. Animals have no say in this interactive process, they function through instincts alone. Unlike the highly creative human being, they do not think & create with a thought,
their life is entirely instinctive. They create no ‘adverse karma’ in the quantum workings of Nature as a result, unlike the human being.

Clarification: Karmic ‘cause & effect’ influence enters the spiritual workings of Nature, to interact with the archetypal primordial intelligence underwriting, propelling & processing life. What we input into that primordial intelligence with our human karma, is what we receive back from that spiritual dimension that underwrites the physical processes of life. As we sow so do we reap, sums up perfectly the invisible process of karma operating in the evolution of the unique human species.

Where a human being is concerned, karma becomes attached to the action of words, to the actions of deeds, to the product of our unique human creativity. A karmic influence that takes on the quality of the thought that created it and is attached to the actions & outcomes of that thought. That is where the word ‘destiny’ comes into the equation of human created karma. We create a plus or minus destiny on the ladder of evolution out of the product of karma. What quality of karma we create is what quality of karma we receive back to process our continuing evolution…individually & collectively.

Explanation: All karmic influence we create returns to its initiated state in the spiritual workings of Nature. Returned to the individual, to the family, to the town, to the province, to the nation, to the world that has created that karmic influence. If that karmic influence and its qualities do not return in a present life cycle, then it will return in another life cycle, long after those that created it have departed this planet. Therefore human created karma, is a perpetuating inherited influence contained in the lineage of the deceased. Influence that becomes a karmic inheritance locked
into the family tree. A karmic inheritance tied to the individual, to the family, to the tribe, to the nation, to the civilization that created it.

Returning karmic influence is what we are unknowingly influenced by in life. It invisibly influences our thoughts, actions, deeds and creativity unconsciously. We also perpetuate the deeds of our ancestors through that karmic inheritance. Therefore we are not free of the past, we our anchored to the past within evolution through the product of karma as well as our genes. We only think we are free-thinking, for we are inextricably caught up in its ‘cause & effect’ product. A invisible product (equation) that returns through the hidden workings of Nature to influence our creativity and expression. That is the invisible power of karmic influence, created by mankind and returned to mankind. Returning influence that can be a positive or negative equation in its effect on our biological intelligence, creativity, evolution & destiny.

About adverse karma

There are two opposing forces structuring the evolution of the primordial archetypal intelligence of Nature…and therefore life. They are the Negative & Positive poles of Nature responsible for the phenomena of all the opposites found in life…including the atom. In brief definition, negative archetypal intelligence is responsible for dissolving life & matter, as positive archetypal intelligence is responsible for creating life & matter. A perpetuating cosmic authored process, underwritten by absolute intelligence we have yet to understand with our dissolvable human intelligence.

Thus the impulse of creative-intelligence we call thought, can be structured out of the negative pole of Nature or the positive pole of Nature. As human beings with conscious free-will and the ability to think, we possess a unique evolutionary gift to choose the pole of our actions. Thus are we (individually & collectively) responsible for choosing our destiny in evolution as grown adults. Therefore up or down on the ladder of evolution where ‘quality’ of consciousness is concerned. The quotable quote “To Be Or Not To Be” sums it up well.

Clarification: Karma created out of a positive structured thought, always returns as a positive influence to uphold & advance the consciousness of the individual. Karma created out of a negative structured thought, always returns as a dissolving influence to impede & retard the consciousness of the individual. Our human created karma has the creative potential to either support life & evolution, or retard life and evolution. As human beings, we individually & collectively create the positive or negative outcome of our evolution…our destiny.

To sum up: Human creativity & the karma that comes out of it, is a unrealized power that either compliments the primordial forces of Nature underwriting life or degrades them. Thus human creativity, is able to influence the spiritual archetypal intelligence that underlies physical biological intelligence that science knows so much about …yet does not understand where it comes from. A unknown, unrealized, unproven reality that is yet to be uncovered & acquired by mankind on the long path of evolution. That is why the author has said, “it’s a waste of human intelligence to
argue/debate its reality in boot camp”. We have to acquire its reality for it to become a reality…but not with words, but experience. That is the solution to its acceptance in the human mind…not argument or debate.

Kind regards from the author to the reader.


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What’s the Difference Between a Cult and an Organized Religion?

Image via Tumblr

Author: RevAmyELong

Whenever individuals explore and analyze religion, one common, but unfortunate word people use is,‘cult’. Whenever people don’t like religious or spiritual groups, it’s not uncommon to bring up the word ‘cult’, with no real comprehension of the difference those and legitimate organized religions. The reason for this is actually very simple to see.

For example, in the event you fail to follow Christian Biblical concepts strictly, the Christian Protestant Fundamentalists think you a cult. Although they perhaps originally intended that to demean only those Christian denominations that somehow ‘were misguided’, that definition now extends clearly also includes Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, … In fact, because at least 2/3 of the world’s population doesn’t identify with any sort of Christian, almost 70of all of us are therefore ‘members of a cult’.

But, the problem goes even deeper than that. The Protestant fundamentalists have continued to expand their cult list by including Roman Catholics along with all Easter Orthodox faiths, over a disagreement over the number of sacraments there are. By those standards, 93of the people on the planet are involved in cults. To take it 1 step further, they also think most other Christian Protestant groups to have fallen out of compliance with biblical fidelity. So, for these men and women, virtually the only singular group of people on the planet who aren’t in a cult is them!

Whenever different groups examine these extraordinarily strict doctrinal interpretations, they frequently believe that anyone following them has lost all individualized thought, and must therefore be a member of a cult. To much of the rest of the planet, it’s actually these biblically strict, narrow groups who are the true cults. Taken together, that includes everybody. Everyone on the planet is a member of a cult — according to somebody! The Baptists are pointing fingers at the Catholics who are pointing fingers at the Protestants – and everyone is pointing fingers at the Mormons.

Whenever you paint anything with such a broad brush, it’s pointless; as Joey on ‘Friends’ once said, ‘The point is Moo — because who cares what a cow thinks?

So, is there any way to redeem the word, so it can have some meaning of value? The main issue is that those who are creating the definitions are lacking neutrality. They’ve got an agenda. The thing we need is someone else to give us a neutral means to identify a cult — someone without a personal interest in the decision. That individual can be the ‘anthropologist of religion’.

An anthropologist of religion is someone who studies the field of religion from a scientific standpoint. Sometimes they’ve got a particular religion to which they adhere, and other times they don’t. This will make some members from the organized religions rather uncomfortable. If the anthropologist belongs to a religion — any religion — the other people scream ‘bias! bias!’, and everything the anthropologist has to say must be wrong because they’ve got this personal bias.|If it happens that the individual belongs to a particular religion, all the others shout, ‘Bias! Bias! — and ignores anything stated.

If, on the other hand, the anthropologist doesn’t take part in any specific religion, the others scream ‘atheist! atheist!’, and everything this anthropologist says has got to be biased on the fact that they’re simply opposed to all religious beliefs. Drama and accusation aside, how do these neutral parties define cults?

Usually, the majority of them define a cult by using a specific ‘five point system’. The answers to the the following questions will make it clear whether or not the group is a cult.

English: cover of the Photodrama of Creation

English: cover of the Photodrama of Creation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These are:

1. Does the group have a charismatic, strong leader (or leaders)

2. Does the group squash individuality as well as independent thought?

3. Is there a denial of intimacy by excluding or alienating friends or relatives?

4. Do they apply financial pressure and abuse for the welfare of the group, even at the personal expense of the adherent?

5. Does the group keep its members separated from their surrounding community?

Even using this approach, the problem is that it still isn’t black and white. If all 5 questions are answered ‘yes’, then it easily qualifies as being a cult. Obviously, if every one of the answers is no, then it’s absolutely NOT a cult. If it were only The hard part is when, as is the case with most groups, the answer is ‘yes’ to a number of questions between those two extremes. you are unlikely to find any solid answers, so the best we can do is really a sort of sliding scale.

It’s always easy to handle to fully grasp with a real-life situation.

One Case Study of a Cult — The People’s Temple. This is the title of the church founded by the Reverend James Warren ‘Jim’ Jones — over nine hundred folks that committed suicide in Jonestown, Guyana back in 1978.

Ask yourself those aforementioned five questions:

(a). They had Jones as a leader – strong and charismatic.

(b) they thought as a group and weren’t allowed to have any ideas to call their own.

(c) they ended encouraged strongly to exclude their friends as well as relatives from every aspect of their lives and their church activities.

(d) The members more than tithed, they basically gifted all everything they owned to the church, and were in turn cared for by the church (the group was entirely communist);

(e) When their isolation from the surrounding community began to break down, they relocated to a remote spot inside the jungles of South America.

All five factors had been met, so they clearly were a cult.

A 2nd Case Study – Jehovah’s Witnesses. Founded in the late 1800s by Charles Taze Russell, these are the folks that you are likely to come across when they knock on your door.

Let’s compare them to the same five questions:

(a) They do not have a particular leader, strong or otherwise.

(b) They believe that as a result of independent bible study, everybody will eventually come to the same conclusions that they have.

(c) Witnesses ask people they don’t know as well as relatives to teach what they think they have learned;

(d) While it’s frequently true that Witnesses devote a lot of their time and effort trying to convert others, there does not appear to be any monetary pressure – not any more so than any other church encourages tithing.

(e) It’s their lack of separation from the nearby community that often has them at odds with their neighbors.

They meet none of the criteria. Jehovah’s Witnesses are definitely not a cult.

Bottom Line: determining properly whether a group is a cult is unrelated to their biblical interpretations, and needs to instead be determined by sociological criteria unrelated to the religious position of the group. Whether cults are dangerous or not depends on which cult. Just because it’s a cult, does not make it automatically dangerous, but any one or any thing that discourages independent thought, is ultimately bad for you.

This is an excerpt of 1 lesson (of 30) from the Master of Religious Philosophy course offered through the Universal Life Church Seminary. We have many courses available and each one carries with it a degree at the end of the course.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/spirituality-articles/whats-the-difference-between-a-cult-and-an-organized-religion-4327524.html

About the Author
Kevin is a student of psychology and spiritual studies and a minister at the Universal Life Church .

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